Outcast (Part 18)

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Dafar and I rode through the pass leading into Moondancer’s valley. Two Moon Holders had joined us. There was Moonsong, a girl around the same age as Moonbeam. She had bright blue eyes and long, black hair. Her pretty features were marred by a fierce scowl. She had a recurve bow slung over her shoulder and a quiver full of wicked looking arrows on the side of the saddle. The other, Moonarcher, was a man older than I. He had a scar on his right cheek, but his face was kind. He carried a huge broadsword across his back. We had the usual introductions, but I felt no need for the whole World to know that is was the Ice Prince. I was Moonrider. Moonbeam was right. I needed to be a Moon Holder, not a prince. We rode through the pass in silence. When we came to the valley, the sight there surprised me. I had not thought that so many would answer the call. Camped in Moondancer’s valley must have been ten thousand Moon Holders. But they were camped in sections. Each section had a different banner and in the center of each section was a large tent. These people were only together because they were Moon Holders. We rode into the valley. People hardly noticed us. I realized that this was no army. If it were, there would have been someone to challenge us and a guard posted around the valley. There was probably nothing I could do. They wouldn’t accept my authority. I might accept Moonbeam’s authority, once they saw her eyes. They, no doubt, had heard or read the prophecy. But that was a problem, as Moonbeam wasn’t here. She was somewhere in the Eastern Sea, on the island of a Vampire Cloud Bringer.

“Moonrider!”

I looked up at the sound of my name. Moondancer came towards us. I dismounted and embraced Moondancer. It was uncommon for men to do this, but we hadn’t seen each other for so long. Moondancer returned the hug.

“You said you were bringing the Princess.” There was a question in his statement.

“Yes. I was.”

“You were? She didn’t want to come?”

“No, she wanted to come. She actually came about halfway.”

“Halfway?”

“A Cloud Bringer, Vlad, who also happens to be a Vampire, had a servant following her.”

“You don’t mean—”

I nodded gravely. “He also happens to be the king of Cloud Bringers.”

“Vlad is the one who killed the first Queen, Moongazer.”

“And he still lives?”

Moondancer nodded.

“She is already dead, then.”

“You are sure that she is the Princess?”

“Yes. But she wouldn’t have had a chance against Vlad.”

Moondancer sighed. “You are tired from your journey, I suppose.”

I nodded and followed him, Dafar following me. We walked past row of tents. Moondancer turned to me.

“You have tents?”

“Yes.”

He nodded. “Good.”

He led us to a larger clearing near the river. “This spot, I reserved for the Princess. Since you are with the Princess, or were, you may have this spot.”

I bowed my head in thanks. Moondancer turned to leave.

“Moondancer.”

He looked at me.

“Her name was Moonbeam.”

His face paled.

“You knew her?”

He nodded. “There was a girl who I half rescued, half kidnapped. Her name was Moonbeam. I’m afraid I treated her rather badly.”

I arched my eyebrows.

“Ten days ago I sold her to Ixol, a Moon Holder, who lived as a regular man. He said that you were looking for a wife and I needed the gold.”

“We must be talking about the same Moonbeam.”

“How many Moonbeams can there be?”

“I don’t know. Were her eyes golden?”

“No. They were grey.” He breathed a sigh of relief.

I nodded. I realized that Moonsong and Moonarcher had camped together in a small spot down the river. While they didn’t know each other, I could tell that they trusted each other. They worked together to set up their tents. I walked over. They flew flags, they had no banners. They were outcasts, with no tribe or family. They stared at me as I stood on the edge of their clearing. Moonarcher bowed.

“Is there anything I can do for you?”

“No. But perhaps I can do something for you.”

Moonsong came up behind Moonarcher. She had her arms crossed.

“And that would be?” Moonarcher asked.

“I want you to come and camp in the Princess’s clearing.”

“We can’t do that. If the Princess should come back, she will need a place to say.”

“She was captured by Vlad. I don’t know if she will be coming back. To us. Besides, she would want you to.”

Moonarcher nodded. “Very well.”

“I will stay here.” Moonsong lifted her chin in defiance.

Moonarcher looked at me apologetically as we walked away. “She is not very trusting of men. We have known each other for five years and I don’t think she fully trusts me yet.”

“It’s alright. She can do what she likes.”

Dafar helped Moonarcher set up his tent. I mounted Nightwing and set off towards Moondancer’s cave. The front room was empty. The back room, I knew was forbidden to anyone but Moondancer, so I didn’t go in. I waited for him at the stone table that he had carved himself. Moondancer came out of the corridor leading to the back room. He sat at the table.


“You don’t believe that the Princess is dead, do you?” I asked.

“No. If she were dead, I think we would know.”

“I’m planning an attack on Vlad’s island. There is a problem, though. I don’t know where it is.”

Do not attack the island, Moonrider. The Princess is free.

“Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Moondancer looked at me as if I were insane.

“A voice. Someone said that the Princess is free.”

Moondancer sat up straight. “A voice?”

I nodded. “A woman’s voice.”

“Listen to this voice. Do not attack the island.”

We sat in silence for a while. Then I stood.

“What will you do?”

“I’ll wait three days. On the fourth, if Moonbeam is not back, I will do what it takes to defeat Vlad.”





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wishonastar said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm
I really like your story. You have a few spelling mistakes here and there throughout your story, and part of it doesn't flow but it's still really good.
 
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