Book 9 - The Mist in the Darkness - Chapter 35: Fear of Memory

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httyyd
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Finally got this chapter done.   Probably the most editing I've done in a while towards the last part of the chapter.  I always want to make the story come across as done with a purpose and not thrown together.  So instead of wanting to write this chapter right away, I let it stew for several days, writing here and there, before I finally figured it out.  Also figured some stuff out for the final chapter too.

 

Just so you know, Book 10 will carry us right to the start (or close to it) of Httyd 3.  I won't take as big a break from this book to the next, i just need to figure a couple of things out before I can get going with it.

 

I hope you all enjoy the chapter!

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Book 8 - Conquest for the Truth is finished!!

 

Book 9 - The Mist in the Darkness

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 

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httyyd
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Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

Here is the music mix for the chapter:

DEATH OF A HERO - Epic Dramatic Music Mix | Powerful Emotional Music

 

Note about the mix:

There is one song about 22 minutes in that has lyrics.  This is a shorter chapter, so I'm not sure if you'll need to worry about it, but thought I'd let you know for those who listen to the mixes.  All the other songs I felt fit the mood I wanted.   Which btw, the title of the mix is a bit deciving as I felt it sounded more of an uplifiting, inspring mix than the death of a hero.  But my sister did say it does sound like the music you would hear after the hero did hideand the other characters are pushing ahead inspired by what happened.

 

 

The Mist in the Darkness

 

Chapter 35

Fear of Memory

 

Annabeth's Point of View

 

         There Jarl stands before me.

         Though mere feet from him, it feels like a giant chasm.  Walking it takes only seconds yet feels like eternity.

         I lift my hand to touch his face, worrying if I make contact, he will disappear.

         My hand visibly shaking, trembling the closer I get.

         Jarl reaches for and takes my hand in his.  I flinch as I feel his firm but gentle grasp.  He takes my hand to caress it against his cheek.  Feeling his face once again, something I never thought I would be able to do again, I throw my arms around him, digging my head into his shoulder, embracing him in a hug.

         I do not want to let go.

         Around a minute later, he leans back, and I look at him.  I have tears strobing down my face.  He tries to help wipe them away, but his kind gesture only causes more come.

         “It is really you.  I…,” My voice cracks into a whisper as I finally believe.  “I thought I had lost you.”

         Though my joy in the moment outweighs anything else I could think of around me, I do notice in his eyes something else entirely.

         “What’s wrong?” I ask.

         Jarl sighs and takes me by the hand, leading us both away from the others.

         Now alone to whisper freely, I question, “What are they doing?  Are they using me against you?  Are they using Fredrick against you?  Is it that you must cooperate, or they will attack our home?”

         Ignoring my questions, he from his side he takes a few feet of rope.

         “Wait, what are you doing?” I question as he takes both my wrists.  My heartrate spiking, my words coming out faster, “What’s going on?  What’s happening?”

         He evenly but decisively says, “Annabeth.  Do you trust me?”

         He does not waver from staring me dead in the eyes.

         Hearing him finally ask me this question with his own voice, one the last few days I have been working through only to find he is still alive.

         I do not look away and without a shadow of doubt, I answer with the strongest conviction I have ever had, “Yes.”

         Jarl replies by using the rope with him, to tie my wrists in front of me.

         A minute or two later, he softly asks, “Is it too tight?”

         I shake my head, replying, “No, it’s fine.”

         With the rope he had left, he leads me to the altar and stands me in front of it, using the rope to stretch above my head back on the rock pillars, tying the end to the back of the altar.

         Coming back around, I see Jarl’s eyes heavily reflect the light from the torches and fires.

         There are tears in his eyes as he steps to me, reaching around my head, gradually tilting it forward to rest my forehead on his.  As he closes his eyes, I do mine.

         He whispers, “Please, dear God.  Watch over her.”

         An uneasy sensation of realization comes over me as Jarl lets me go and starts to walk away.

         This is actually happening.

         Looking ahead, into the depths of the darkness of the cavern, my breathing becomes heavy and my heart pounding against my chest as my eyes dart from place to place.  Without the calming influence and the hope of Jarl being here, I do not know if I would be willing to do this.  Just moments before Jarl was revealed, I…  I would have taken my own life.  But even now, thinking of it, I still do not know if I would have gone through with it.  The hardest decision of my life I will never know what I would have done.  Hopefully, I will never need to make that kind of choice ever again.

         Laying my head on the back of the pillar, I fixate on the darkness in front of me, ten or twenty yards in front of me.  The longer I stare at the darkness, the calmer I become.

         From behind me, Jarl announces, “I will throw one of Skygge’s bombs in front of you.  Don’t be too alarmed, it is supposed to arouse the Shadow Dragon from its sleep and bring it to you.”

         Pheonix adds, “Yes, don’t be too alarmed.  Your husband is awakening your death.  Didn’t think he’d have the guts to go through with this.  Though, had he not, Skygge would have probably killed him by now.”

         All I have to go on is hope Jarl has a plan.  I made my commitment to him when I said, “I do, and I will.”  If I fully trust him, I must trust he knows what he is doing.  But it does not make this situation any less daunting.

         So, I quip, “I guess it is too late to say my nose itches?”

         Hearing Jarl let out a short chuckle, Skygge wonders, “What is it with you two and making puns at literally the worst time?  I think by far, Annabeth has taken first prize for the ultimate worst time possible.”

         Well, he is not wrong.  They say the bravest of vikings laugh in the face of death.  Do I know enough of Jarl’s puns to make death laugh with me and not at me?

         The oh so familiar sound of Skygge’s gas bomb whistle through the air, explodes on impact with the ground.  It expels the toxic fumes which have haunted my dreams since the first night Skygge invaded my home.

         Fearful of its paralyzing power, I inherently struggle against the ropes as the cloud reaches out to me before enveloping me.  Moments later, expecting my strength to leave me, I do not feel myself losing any strength.  The potent raw, bitter smell of the gas is still powerful enough to make me nauseous.  Why I am not losing any strength, I do not know.  But I wait.

         And wait.

         And wait.

         Ten minutes later, Skygge’s gas has nearly dissipated and nothing has yet to happen.

         Skygge remarks, “Where’s the Shadow Dragon?”

         “I don’t know,” Pheonix said.  “You’re the expert on the subject.  I’m just here to get what I want.”

         “What is going on, Jarl?!” Skygge barks at him.

         “How should I know,” Jarl defends.  “We are dealing with a rumored legend of a tale from an ancient people who have long since scattered if not have gone extinct.”

         “You’ve got a friend who’s from The Golden Isles,” Skygge tries for answers.  “What about him?”

         “He only knows what the history books tell him,” Jarl tells him.  “According to them, the Shadow Dragon is at best a legend of folklore.  You know that it wasn’t even said to be on The Golden Isles.  What the Isles were said to have had was a grand treasure trove of gold, hence the name of the isles.  There were thought to be mythical weapons of different elements of the earth to help unlock the treasure.  I did find them, but I never saw the Shadow Dragon.”

         “The guy we were up against, Truvor Onundrson – the very guy, who was Griselda’s inside man and led her to these islands – tried to hatch what he thought was a Shadow Dragon egg.  He was too caught up in the legend to even question if the Shadow Dragon was even real.  We know so much more now than we did then.  But even now, I have yet to find anything substantial which can confirm the Shadow Dragon was anything more than a black Sand Wraith or Woolly Howl mistaken to be the Shadow Dragon.  For all we know we may be chasing after a lie.”

         “It is no lie!” sounds like Skygge grabs Jarl.  Jarl shoves him off.  “It has to be real!”

         “Why does this have to be real?” Jarl questions.  “What are you trying to prove?”

         Pheonix sighs, “I don’t have time for this.”

         “Wait!” I hear scrambling feet.  “Where do you think you’re going?  We had a deal!”

         “I need something more substantial than a wild goose chase to rat out one of the Warloards.  Otherwise, you’re nothing to me,” something falls to the ground.  I bet Pheonix pushed Skygge.

         Calling out, I try to remind them, “Hello?  Friendly neighborhood bait would like to be untied.”

         I am ignored as Skygge pleads, “What about Griselda’s location?”

         Pheonix answers, “Find her without me.  The deal was you get me this Shading Dragon or whatever it’s called.”

         RRrrrrrooooOOOAAARRRR!!!!    

         A dragon’s bellow of vile proportions screams out from the darkness in front of me.  The sheer power from the roar is enough to stir up a dust cloud, pelting anything in its path.  I try to turn my face to the side to shield it as best I can.  The moment the dust starts to settle, the darkness sends out a shriek of deafening sound which emits strobes light waves.  It is an echo location stream…

         Just like Toothless!

         From the epicenter of the source, I see for brief seconds the outline of a dragon’s glowing mouth.

         The streams finally stop.  My eyes readjusting back to the lack of light, I see nothing but shadows…  Scratch that, a cloud of shadows moving towards me.

         Thud…  Thud…  Thud goes its paws with each step.

         The subtle swish of its tail, sometimes dragging across the floor.

         The low, monotone purr, like a wildcat stalking its prey.

         The deep noise of its breath, as if a wild boar is about to charge.

         Step by step, the cloud of darkness gets closer to me.

         Though unable to see the dragon clearly, its presence demands a fear I never knew existed.  Just from it walking, the intimidation is extraordinary.  I must force myself to exhale, before I pass out myself.  My breath is shallow at best.  My heart is thumbing my chest as if banging on a door from a locked room.

         Seeing the cloud travel halfway from where it started, it now opens its eyes.

         Two bright ruby red irises with two slit pupils, like gates to the fiery furnace!

         Seeing it look like a dragon helps, but those eyes…  I can feel the shivers of nervousness yet there is an unusual aura of calm about me…  Those eyes…  There is something about them.  I want to reach out and touch them, but I cannot with my hands tied.  Something tells me that is the reason.  Remembering the dragon could have a similar ability to that of a Changewing, I actively try to not pay attention to the eyes.  However, it is extremely difficult to look away.

         Those eyes…  I remember.  I remember those red eyes like two giant rubies inviting me ever closer.  I remember…  Remember reaching out and my hand wanting to touch it, wanting it to take me.  If only I could do that now.

         The moment strikes at my heart as I remember why I am here, the threat which stands before me.  All those years ago, I remember a flash of white before I must have blacked out.  But now, these eyes, begging me to reach out and let it take me, I fight the urge.  I fight the dragon with my own glare.

         “You won’t take me that easily.  Do you know who I am?  I am a Berserker.  And maybe that is why I always needed to come back here.  Because of you.  Because I left something unfinished.  Something my father Oswald would have wanted me to complete.  He changed from his old ways after telling him, ‘Maybe you don’t need to fight.  Maybe all you need to do is…,’” I pause as I remember, remember what I told my father when he came back from his devastating defeat.  Alone with him in that room, I completely remember what I told him, “‘Is find another way.’”

         I hear a soft voice behind me say, “And sometimes create your own way to protect your Heart!”

         Hearing Jarl step out from behind the altar, an object whistles through the air.  Exploding on impact in front of the Shadow Dragon, more of Skygge’s gas bombs.  Though my heart races as the cloud comes over me again, I feel no paralyzing affects by it.  How is this possible?

         Looking at the Shadow Dragon, different story.  It is definitely being affected by the gas but is still able to move around.  The gas is a mere irritant toward it.  Learning how to combat the tactic, it flaps its wings much like a Sentinel to disperse the cloud.  Clamoring of steps behind me tell me some of the vikings behind us let their fear get the better of them and flee. The cloud nearly gone in a couple of seconds, the Shadow Dragon looks back towards me…

         And is priming a shot to kill me!

         Using the ropes to my advantage, I pull myself up and flip over the altar just as the shot is fired, knocking me and Jarl back, obliterating the altar.  If I saw it correctly, Jarl was about to jump in the way.  The Shadow Dragon, annoyed it missed, reared back to fire again, but was interrupted…

         By a flash of white coming up from the depths of the shadows, firing a very familiar burst shot to stop the Shadow Dragon.

         After slicing through the remaining bonds with my hidden blade, I stand up to see, “The Screaming Death!”

         Seeing the grand white Titan Wing come to my aid, it hits me, “All those years ago, when I stumbled upon the Shadow Dragon, it was not the one who saved me, it was the Screaming Death!  The flash of white.  The Shadow dragon tried to fool me then as it tried to now, using its mesmerizing stare.  The Screaming Death has not been attacking this island…  It has been trying to keep the Shadow Dragon from returning to the island.  The horde of Whispering Deaths, while difficult to deal with on the island, they were not attacking Anora, they were a last form of defense against the Shadow Dragon.  They and the Screaming Death are all sensitive to any newcomers regardless of where they stand.  The Screaming Death has been protecting this island any way it could, and we drove it away!”

         The Screaming Death does what it is good at and keeps the Shadow Dragon occupied; the two of them merely stare at each other.

         Running footsteps are heard from my left and right.  On my left, I see a start contrast of color of a golden-haired head and on my right, the bright sheen from a dark black head of hair.

         Cazi and Hyrith!  I would know their hair anywhere.

         Suddenly, the feeling I have had for years yearning to come back here, overwhelms me.  Cazi to my right and Hyrith to Jarl’s left.

         I always felt different after leaving this island, wanting to stay but knew I would hideif I did.  The pain of leaving my home behind me was only part of why I always wanted to come back yet did not.  But now, now that I know the Shadow Dragon is why I wanted to come back, the feeling I had in wanting to come back was different after stopping Truvor on The Golden Isles.  Everything felt different after that.  I thought maybe it was because of what happened to Truvor, but the feeling is stronger having Jarl by my side and knowing Cazi and Hyrith are here.

 

         The Legend of the Shadow Dragon, lies with a treasure of power.  Guarded by a force of nature.  Overcome this force to become worthy.  Choose between the treasure and dragon, or the Legend’s wrath will be released.

 

         With these three specific vikings standing against the Shadow Dragon, I cannot help but think about the riddle Hyrith solved to help us find the seal on The Golden Isles.  Understanding what the Shade Fury is reminds me of what the Screaming Death is doing now.  A “force of nature” protecting the power which the Shadow Dragon holds.  Looking back, the Shade Fury turned out to be an Alpha Class Sand Wraith.  The Screaming Death is already a Titan Class and an Alpha to dragons smaller than it, the dragon is showing the intelligence and memory in how to fight the Shadow Dragon.  To have an Alpha Class Dragon plus Jarl, Cazi, and Hyrith here, I cannot help but think what the common thread is.

         The clue which stopped Truvor from getting the power he wanted, was the Shade Fury.  Ever since that day on The Golden Isles, after being hit by that energy stream during the storm, deep in my heart I felt something change within me.  I could never put my finger on it, until now.  Now, this feeling is the strongest it has ever been with Jarl, Cazi, Hyrith, and the Screaming Death here.  To have it representing what the Shade Fury was then and those with me who were there then holding the mystic weapons, I feel as though we have what it takes to end this once for all time today.

         I ready my stance for whatever comes next.

         Instead, Jarl yells, “NOW!!”

         From behind me, there erupts a chaos of cries and weapons clashing, Skygge’s men fighting something.  With the Shadow Dragon, I had forgotten about those looking on, but now I no longer need to worry about it.  For when the distinct call of a certain Berserker was heard, an inspiring sense of security and strength springs up in me.

         Turning to Jarl, I look into eyes, “No matter what is going on, I have to say this:  I was never alone even when I thought I was.  My friends have been with me from the start.  My Berserker family will always have my back wherever I go.  And you…  You will always be with me, doing everything you can to protect me.”

         Jarl took his hands, holding my shoulders in them, he answers, never once looking away from me, “From the moment I said, ‘I do, and I will,’ we became one.  I lose you, I lose apart of myself.  I will do everything in my power to keep my promise to you.  You are my Heart, Annabeth, and I will never leave you.”

         Everything around me melts away.  I am once more in Jarl’s arms.  He caresses my chin in his hand, lifting it up…  For a kiss!

         You never know how much you missed someone until they are gone from you.  To have the opportunity to be in Jarl’s arms once more, I…

         “Sorry to break up the reunion,” came Cazi’s.  “But we need to get out of here.”

         Hyrith adds, “The Shadow Dragon finally sees the threat of the Screaming Death, yet it will soon either try to attack or escape.”

         I fold my arms and with the biggest smile I have ever had, I ask Jarl, “So.  Mystery Conqueror.  What is the next step in your masterful plan?”

         His reply, “Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get this far, and my plan still be intact.  I am being frank here even if that is not my name.”  I try to jab his side because of the retort, though he dodges.  “Okay, alright.  Uh…  Stop the Shadow Dragon before it can vanish and terrorize others, starting this whole thing all over again.  Our crew will keep Skygge and Pheonix busy, but our priority must be the Shadow Dragon.”

         Jarl cups his hands and lets out a Razorwhip call…  Anora!  She bursts out of the water followed by Fredrick and a few others, flying over to us.

         Once mounted on Fredrick, Jarl offers, “Shall we?”

         With a bountiful amount of joy, excitement, and determination, I gladly mount Anora.  Both Sun Rose and Electic also flew in, which Hyrith and Cazi mount their dragons.

         On our dragons, once again facing a dangerous threat, we let it know…  A storm is here!

         All of our dragons roar, daring the Shadow Dragon to strike first.  Between us and the Screaming Death, the Shadow Dragon has had enough and rips a siren screech of deafening proportions!

         In the moment of being dazed from it, the Shadow Dragon fires directly up to the ceiling.  The red, blinding, plasma blast strikes, creating a crack in the ceiling.  Ceiling begins to break part, portions of it collapsing in on itself.  The debris raining down on us is enough for us to seek cover behind some boulders – the very boulders we used the first time we met our Screaming Death friend.  He could care less about the debris and chases the Shadow Dragon.  Though on his way out, he creates even more destruction above us.

         Moments later after the heavier chunks lessen, Jarl announces, “Let’s finish this!”

         Following him, we all fly out of the cavern to fight this darkness in the light!