Book 8 - Conquest for the Truth - Chapter 20 - Nothing is as it Seems

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httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013

I had a lot of ideas for this chapter, but when I looked at the word count, I was like, "Huh... It's a shorter chapter this time."  But man, do you all learn a lot.  But while I answer some questions, new questions arise in their place.

 

And in this chapter, I do something that is a call back to a surprise I did in the very first book.

 

I hope you all enjoy the chapter and thanks for reading!

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Rest in Peace NarixuZen.  2004-2017

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The Wedding

New - Part 4

 

Book 8 Coming Soon!!

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

Proud Leader and fellow member of:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

 

The Wedding

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3 

httyyd's picture
httyyd
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013
Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

First off, I would like to do a shout out to Buffert.  They just posted a new threa of a rewrite of one of the few stories which inspired me to create my own and stick to it.  Here is the link:

http://forum.schoolofdragons.com/content/dragons-ahead-rewrite-all-new-chapters-are-posted-here

 

If you want another awesome story to read, go read theirs.

 

But on to Chapter 20 of Book 8, here is the music mix for this chapter.  If you finish it before the chapter is done, the music still fits to just replay if you like:

IMMORTALS - Epic Powerful Hybrid Music Mix | Epic Massive Orchestral Music

 

Conquest for the Truth

 

Chapter 20

Nothing is as it Seems

 

Annabeth's Point of View

 

         As I make my way down the hallway, it only lasts a few yards before it opens up into the cargo hold.  There are a set of stairs on the other end.  Reaching them, I peak up to see if there is anybody.  When I see blue skies, I know these stairs reach the top of the deck.  With each level I peak my head to see just above the floor if there is anyone around.  Oddly enough there is not.  I am able to reach the top of the deck.

         I am greeted with an impressive yet intimidating view.  Several large ships, maybe ten or so, surrounding a giant bubbling spot in the ocean.  There are many other smaller ships surrounding even them.  I wonder just how much power Einar has in his fleet.  I also see a small group of four dragons flying this way.  They look as if they are carrying something.

         There seems to be one more level on top of the deck so behind will be safe.  Once there, I look around and spot to my left a collection of crates, barrels, and larger boxes.  Going to them, I create for myself a nook where I can be hidden from all sides but be able to look between a gap in the crates.

         A few minutes pass before I see the small group of dragons come closer, lower what they are carrying, and then a figure jumps down to stand on the deck of the bow.  It is a tall man, gray hair, light blue eyes, wears a tunic which goes to his feet, also has a hood, and a crossbow on his back.

         From above me, I hear Einar’s voice, “Grimmel the Grisly!”  I then hear someone climb down from above walk past my hiding place; its Einar.  Neither of them holds out their hands, but merely greet each other.  Einar comments, “So nice to see you, old friend.”

         Grimmel answers in amused way, “When I got word that you still had not won your war yet because of a bunch of kids, I just had to come and see if it were true.”

         “Everything is going according to plan,” Einar assures.

         “I’m sure it is,” Grimmel looks out over the ocean Einar joins him.

         Einar asks, “Did you take care of the Night Furies?”

         Grimmel is only half paying attention, “Oh, yes.  Those creatures.  You won’t have to worry about them.  They are, how should I say, taken care of.”

         Einar is pleased but Grimmel holds up his hand, “The Izarian Night Furies may be out of the picture, but the Bewilderbeast is not.  While I had attacked the sea borne dragon carrier as you had requested, I made sure that no Night Fury made it.  After that had been completed, the Bewilderbeast had already engaged my ships covering for the sea carrier.  That and the Bewilderbeast escaped.  Had it not been for one Kaya of Izar and her friends, then I would have had the carrier.”

         Einar turns to Grimmel with a slight smile, “So you too were bested by a group of kids?”

         Grimmel counters, “You were not up against the Alpha’s Hand.  If you are so intent on taking this power you seek, you’ll know that even the Alpha’s Hand can rival any Dragon Mage.”

         Confidently, Einar states, “I have my own power.  And no one will stop me.”

         “Now tell me,” Grimmel becomes curious.  “Do the others know why you are doing this?”

         Without missing a beat, Einar answers, “I want the power within Izar.”

         “That’s what you tell everyone else.  But what is the real reason?”

         Einar gets defensive, turning to him, he looks at Grimmel, “What are you implying?”  Grimmel just smiles.  Einar takes Grimmel by his cloak and orders him, “Tell me what you know.”

         Grimmel plays innocent and holds his hands up, “I merely want to know if it is true.”  Then stone cold, Grimmel adds, “There are only a few that can take what happened to you and your home, live to tell the tale, and then do what needs to be done.”

         Einar is surprised at the remark, “How did you find out?”

         Grimmel chuckles and walks around to the left side of Einar before learning on the railing of the ship; acting sincere he says, “Oh, I have my ways.  I thought we were old friends.  To keep such a secret from me… I… I thought you knew me.”  His face instantly turns stone cold again.  “No friend of mine keeps secrets from me.  If they do, I will find out.”  Then back to his so-called sincere self, he continues, “And as old friends I would like to commend you.”

         “You would?” puzzled, Einar repeats.

         “I mean, I knew what you were capable of doing for the sake of gaining power,” Grimmel stands up.  “But I didn’t know you had it in you to just flat out wipe out a civilization all on the sake of principal.  Hmm?”  Grimmel gives the weirdest smile I have ever seen.  Now pleased, Grimmel continues, “I thought you were just a power hungry viking sure bent on conquering the world…  We have enough of those to go around…  But to learn of how your home island of the Sun Warriors was completely devastated by Izarian dragons, I was overjoyed to learn you were also sure bent on paying back the Izarians for everything they took from you.”

         I thought to myself, “I thought that was understood for the fact he is bringing a Bewilderbeast to a party that is about a mystery.  But who am I?”

         While Einar at first was angry, when Grimmel approved, Einar’s posture became of pride.

         “Who else knows?” Grimmel asks.

         “Just a few of my top generals,” Einar replies.

         “What about that other Dragon Hunter?”  Grimmel also asks.  “Thorgunna Vixxen was her name.”

         “She’s useful,” Einar states.  “For now.”

         “For now, you say?” Grimmel smiles.  “Now, that is intriguing.  From what I’ve heard of Vixxen, I wonder who will double cross the other first.”

         “Vixxen won’t know what is coming,” Einar comments.  “She is blinded on the fact her own island branded her as a traitor.  Filling her pretty little head with the thought of helping me will help her prove to her own people she can save them.  She proved useful before.  She still proves useful now.  When she no longer is of use to me… Well, I think that goes without saying.”

         Grimmel sarcastically shows excitement, “How intriguing.”

         Einar adds, “Vixxen is one of the most powerful allies I have ever had, besides you of course.”

         Grimmel interjects, “Of course.”

         “But Vixxen is a fool to think she can save her people.  After I am through with this…  I’ll let Vixxen see what she helped me with before I end her and everyone, she is doing this for who had a connection with Izar.  This is about The Legend of Shadow Mountain, Secret of Shadows, and especially The Prophecy.  But this is about so much more.”

         “But what about after?  What will you do once this is done?”

         Einar pauses, “I haven’t much thought about it.  All that matters, is wiping the existence of Izar off the face of the world which even eternity will forget about.”

         The two begin to talk about some of Grimmel’s endeavors, but I just zone out as I think about what Einar’s true intentions are.  I am just speechless as to this devastating discovery.  Sure, I knew Einar wanted to wipe us out, but I did not know he wanted wipe us out, wipe us out.

         Then a voice above me exclaims, “Einar.  Your prisoners have escaped… And one has been listening in on your conversation.  I just now looked over the edge and saw her snooping.  I came over as Grimmel was talking about his plans, so she at least knows that.  Who knows how long she has been there?”

         Taking a page out of Jarl’s book, I step out but do not instantly try and retreat, “Hey Einar, how’s it going?  Love what you’ve done with your ships and your armor.  Black is definitely in style.  And the eight-pointed sun on your masts of these ships?  Nice touch.  You sure know how to strike pause to the foes you face.  Speaking of which, I am one of those.”

         I start to ease my way to the middle side of the deck near the doorway, still talking, “Vixxen and I know each other, I’ve gotten to know you better Einar, but Grimmel, we have not met.  My name is Annabeth Everson, formally Everdeen.  I am married to Jarl Mollerson.  Yes, we merged our two last names together.  I know, so original.  Did anyone ever say you have a long face?  Like, a really, really long face?”

         Grimmel’s slight smile slowly went away.  As I open my mouth to say something else, he draws his crossbow and fires it at me.  I saw reach for it and leaned to my left as the arrow wizzes past my head, striking the doorpost.  I do not think he was trying to hit me, as he did not even look.  But he could have done a better job because it was still inches from my face.

         “Okay,” I start stepping into the doorway to the stairs.  “You’re the ‘Shoot now, ask questions later’ type.  I respect that.  So, I won’t ask question so you won’t have to shoot.  Me go now.  So… Goodbye!”

         I then hightail it down the stairs and back the way I came.  Every Einar goon would be on top of the deck.  To buy time for Asvord, I will delay as much as I can.

         I had expected Vixxen to jump down and follow behind me, but I heard nothing.  As I near Vixxen’s workshop, my gut is telling me something is off.  So instead of just blasting through the doorway, I slide.  Looking up and to the right of the doorway, Vixxen is standing there.  Had I run straight through the doorway I would have been clotheslined by Vixxen’s outstretched arm.

         Vixxen states, “Why are you doing this?”

         “Funny,” I chuckle.  “I seem to recall I said the same to you.  Because I am trying to save my friends.  Basically, if someone holds you against your will, then an escape will be done sooner or later.”

         “It’s a whole ship against just you,” Vixxen states.  “Not good odds.”

         I chuckle, “Never tell me the odds.”

         Taking off running down the way Vixxen led us to her workshop, Vixxen takes off after me.

         Scampering through this part of the ship, there are more vikings are in the hallways or rooms.  At first, no one knew what was going on, but they soon realized.  Almost to the main stair case back to the top deck, Einar’s men start to block my escape.  I slow down, but merely go around the main stair case to go to the next hallway.  Turning left, I start going to the edge of the ship.

         In the hallway are two vikings.  While in stride, I duck a right cross and throw mine own right cross to his face, duck the second guy’s left cross while I right elbow the first guy.  In the same motion, I send the second guy’s arm into the hallway wall, kick the back of his knee in, forcing him to the floor before I continue on my way.

         Climbing up the ladder to the top deck, I round the corner to the right, only to stop in my tracks to be greeted with the whole crew of the ship blocking the back half of the ship.  Vixxen follows me up and I turn to face her.

         “You have nowhere to go and outnumbered,” Vixxen spreads her arms out to show what I can clearly see.

         CRACK, BOOM!!

         Out of nowhere, the sound of splintering wood and an explosion erupts from the back part of the ship!

         We all look back and it is Asvord leading a small group of dragons out.  A couple Dramillions, a Monstrous Nightmare, a copper color Razorwhip, and of course Asvord on her Deadly Nadder, Spiker.

         When the dragons turn around and start attacking the ship, someone barked some orders to take defensive positions.  This took all the crew’s attention off of me and Vixxen.

         I smile, “Guess it is just you and me.”

         Vixxen draws her sword and readies herself.  I take my axe from behind my back, unlock the handle, flip the half around, the lock it back into place.

         “Pretty spiffy huh?” I tell her.  “Jarl made it for me.  While a regular axe is good, having a staff can throw anyone off.”

         I twirl axe around me a few times before having it end up in my right hand with my left arm pointing at her.  Explosions, orders, fire blasts, and weapons becoming splintered pieces are happening all around.

         Waiting for her to make the first move, she lunges forward of which I merely dodge to the right and swing down.  She goes to her right.  I counter with a backwards swing while I lower my back because I anticipate her own counter.  She leans back to dodge my swing but she does counter with a swing over my back.

         I then jump back to create some space, which Vixxen also steps back to catch a break.

         With the pause, I tell Vixxen, “Einar is planning something which you won’t like.  Einar is planning to wipe Izar and all of the people off the map.”

         Vixxen attacks again with a bit more reckless abandon, yet still is disciplined in her technique.

         I simply parry her attacks as she says, “I won’t let that happen.”

         “Just how you said you wouldn’t let her people down in the first place?” I question.  “See where it got you thinking you alone could do it?”

         Vixxen does not answer, I press on, “Einar is not only after what power is within Izar but a revenge story on something he thinks Izar did.”

         She answers now, by saying, “I know.  I heard.  But not only that, I know what went on then.”

         Shocked to hear her say that, I wonder, “Not to give Einar an inch of justification, but could Einar have been driven to this point?  Could he truly be a man of principle not just power hungry?  Well, principled in an evil, maniacal sort of way.”

         I then do one attack with a swipe from upper right to down left.  She active parries it to hopefully get a counter off, but instead I thrust the butt end of the axe forward, knocking her backwards.  She stumbles for a moment of which I am able to convert the staff back to an axe.  I did so originally just so I could stall for time and ask Vixxen about what Einar is planning.

         “Because you found me out,” I tell Vixxen.  “Einar has got to know you overheard him, because he would have done the same to you and probably has done the same to you.  Your days are numbered before Einar no longer has a use for you and double crosses you.”

         Vixxen rushes me again, but I swing my axe with both hands from left to right then instantly counter by letting go with my left hand to swing back with my right.  This stops Vixxen from coming closer.  I then raise my axe straight up with my right hand to come down on her.  Knowing I just opened myself up for a counterattack, Vixxen blocks up the then lunges forward.  With my left arm, I use my bracer to deflect her sword to the right.  I throw a left elbow to her face.  Stunning her for a moment, this is all I need to swing my left leg up and kick her in the face.  Now dazed, I come back and sweep with my right leg, knocking her legs out from under her causing her to crash to the deck.  Circling around her as I let her get up.

         “Not if I double cross him first,” Vixxen stands up, then reaches up to her lips with her right hand.  I drew blood with my kick.  Wiping it off, she adds, “There is one thing which will always separate me from you.  You aren’t willing to throw the finishing blow.  Sometimes you are too worried about not finishing your opponent, you leave yourself open for sleight of hand.”

         Vixxen reveals a cracker bomb and throws it right at my face!  Caught off guard, I raise both arms to block the bomb with my bracers and close my eyes.  But it explodes on impact, disorienting me, and then…

         As I open my eyes and let my arms down… I… I grab for my throat… Vixxen grabs…  My neck with… Her ha- hand, lifting me off the ground!!  I start to use…  My hands to pick at…  Uh…  Pick at Vixxen’s right arm, but she uses her…  Ah…  Huh…

         Starting to breathe deeper for air, I only gasp for it as with each breath I get less and less air back as she grabs tighter, Vixxen mocks me and laughs, “You thought you could win me over by trying to turn me against Einar.  As Einar had foreseen, everything played out exactly as he had planned.  You thought you were rescuing your friend and finding out how to protect yourself from the lightning protecting the power of Izar.  You truly are in over your heads and will never come out of this alive.”

         I struggle to try and say something as I start to swing my legs back and forth, Vixxen chuckles, loosening her grip slightly, “Hmm?  What’s that?”  Bending her elbow, she brings me closer to her.  “I can’t hear you while you choke on your failures!”

         “Vixxen,” I manage to say in a hoarse sound.  “Sometimes… Sometimes you talk too much!”

         I had been swinging my legs back and forth and so finally, I swoop my right leg up over Vixxen’s left shoulder, wrapping my leg around her neck, I then flip my left leg over my right foot, locking my feet together.  Mustering my energy, I lean forward into the swing and after locking my feet together, I throw my body backwards, arcing down to the deck.  With my back, I land on the deck which causes Vixxen to lose her grip on my neck but my hold of Vixxen around her neck and arm is as tight if not tighter than hers was of mine.  I spin her over to have her on the deck and I am on top of her.  Now, she is trying to pry my legs off of her neck and arm, struggling for me to let go.

         Right on cue, Asvord swoops in on Spiker who fires a blast into the deck of the ship to our left.  As she flies over, she throws a smoke bomb creating a screen.  While I let an utterly dazed and surprised Vixxen go, I stand up to watch Asvord make a loop on Spiker who she has do a half barrel roll.  This allows Asvord to position Spiker to be upside down when they complete the loop.  I take a couple of strides in a run to use my left hand to grab Asvord’s left and fling my legs on to the back of her saddle.  The momentum of Spiker completing the barrel to the right made me sit securely on the saddle.  Asvord expertly maneuvered Spiker out of covering fire from the other ships, a few ballista arrows and boulders from catapults, to then have Spiker rally the few dragons up here to rally with us and cover our escape.

         Not even out of range of fire, Asvord checks on me, “Are you all right?”

         Rubbing my throat, I respond, “I am now.  But things just got even more complicated.  I hope Jarl is fairing better than what we have learned.”