ENDING of The Secret Symbol - Chapters 43, 44, 45, and 46

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httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013

I have been working very much over the last four days to get this book completed.  I was very much in the mood to write, even with my college classes starting.  Them starting also urged me onto get the story done while I was in the mood and get it done so I could devote my time to my new schedule.

 

Anyway, I wanted to post all of these chapters, however many it turned out to be to finish the story, at the same time because the book is so close to ending, I knew you guys would want them to be posted soon after the other one.  So, I am just posting them at the same time.

 

I really hope you have enjoyed this book.  I thank everyone who gave me suggestions.  Please, keep more coming as they continue to make me think of what to do next.  I do not plan on stopping my writing of these stories.  I will continue to write as much as I can and I don't see an end in sight for my writing stories, in general.

 

Now, I really hope you enjoy this chapters to end this book.

 

I hope you have had a lot of fun reading them as I have had writing them!

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Rest in Peace NarixuZen.  2004-2017

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Links to my chapters are below along with links to my other five fan-fics.

 

The Mystery of Shadow Mountain

Finally posted links to all chapters to all books in my signature.

Chapter 34 - Dragon Symbols

 

Chapter 35 - Water Chamber

The Mystery of Shadow Mountain, my sixth fan-fic in three years!  Updates every Friday Night!

 

Proud Leader and fellow member of:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic, 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

 

Here are links to my sequel fan-fic:

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!

 

Here are links to my Tri-quel fan-fic:

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

 

 

 

Pics done by me.  If you want to use them, give me credit please.

 

 

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httyyd
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Drums R Round, Pi's R Squared

Chapter 43

Have We Not Done This Before?

 

         “I mean,” I spoke continuing on.  “Why where hoods at all, if you are just going to take them off every time you see someone?”

         Vixxen looked quite perplexed, even Annabeth did.  Basically, everyone in this room became perplexed as they fell completely silent.  A pin could be dropped and be heard throughout this arena.  Annabeth, on the other hand, looked oddly perplexed as this is the first time she has ever heard me make a quip at anybody.  What have I done time and time before to every foe I have faced and not done at least one quip and the most crucial moment in my victory or defeat?

         One thing I knew Annabeth would get is I am at my best when I make light of the situation, even such a situation as this.  But Annabeth’s odd look of hearing a quip for the first time made me start worrying.  She tilted her head in confusion of my remark.

         Vixxen stood as still as who just had yaknog enter their mouth for the first time, at least the initial reaction.

         “Uh,” said Vixxen who could not think of anything to say.

         “Every time I see one of your people with a hood,” I finished.  “The take down their hood.  Maybe you should use that as a clue to know when I am around.”

         Vixxen chuckled and shook her head, “Now, I see why Annabeth likes you.  Too bad this will be the last time I will hear your little jokes.”

         As I shook my head, I gave a flat smile and said, “Hate to break it to you, but I plan on getting out of here.  If you say we think alike, then you and I both know this is not the last time we will see each other.”

         Vixxen subtly lifted her head and said, “We shall see.” But I know she knows.  She continued, “I would love to banter all day, I really would; but, Annabeth, if you could be so kind as to follow my order like a good girl?  That would be appreciated.”

         Vixxen made an evil smile as Annabeth slowly started for me.

         “Annabeth?” I questioned her as she slowly reached behind her head and unsheathed one of her swords, using her right hand.  “Why are you doing this?” I asked as I slowly, without making any sudden moves, unclipped my sword with my right hand and with my left held it out towards Annabeth for her to stand down.  “We’re friends here.  Are we not?  Come on, Annabeth.  It is me, Jarl.  Jarl Mollerson.  Your best friend…,” I am now very worried for Annabeth.  I then said in a hoarse, whispering tone, tilting my head back and forth, “Please come back to me!”

         She instead picked up speed and charged me.  I all but had enough time to react and bring my sword up to defend and counter her thrust.

         “This isn’t you,” I pleaded.

         Annabeth lowered her sword, stood up straight, and actually spoke to me, “It is now.”

         Once she said that, my arms fell limp, my sword flopped down to my legs though I still had a hold of it, my shoulders dropped as well as my mouth, and my eyes became as big as supper plates, “You… You are not Annabeth.”  My eyes start to water from the dust in the arena.  “I do not know you.”

         Annabeth declared, “That was the whole point.”

         I questioned, “The point of what?”

         Annabeth answered me with a downward strike from the right going left.  I had just enough time to reverse grip raise my sword and block down.

         “I… I cannot fight you,” I told Annabeth.

         From my right, Asvord called out to me, “Brother.  You are going to have to fight her.  Or else all of this will have been for nothing.  Fight Annabeth or think of something real fast.”

         Asvord reminded me of the situation and got me to refocus.  But that also reminded me of something else: Of all the practice duels I have been in with her, not once have I beaten her.  In fact, every fight she has ever been in she has won.  I have been close to winning many times, but she always out smarted me in some way.  Some I thought I may have let her win, but she would win in such a way that it did not matter what I did.  Those fights were for practice.  This is for real. If I could not best her then, how am I supposed to best her now when she is going one-hundred percent with everything on the line?

         An epic fight ensued.  The crowd roared with every move.  Throughout it all I am thinking about all the fights I have had with her to figure out what I could do differently.  As I thought about our most recent duel, the one shortly before the outpost on Mystery was built, I then realized something.  Annabeth is preforming that fight move for move.  I forgot a few of the moves, at least until she executed them.

         I thought, “Ooo, poor choice of words.”

         Annabeth yells at me, “You are going to wish you had never came to this island.”

         I called back to stop her advance, “I came here to rescue your… your sister.  You are initiating the fight.  You made the first blow.”

         “First blow?” she retorted, loudly.  “You came here.  If you had not come, something else would have happened.”

         I reply, “Yeah, but if I had known you would still be alive, I would have done things differently.”

         Annabeth disgustingly sighed.

         The fight went on for several minutes, maybe even ten minutes.  Remarks were exchanged.  As before, some fists were thrown, some landed, some did not.  Every attack I tried to throw her way, she defended perfectly; even anticipating her next move did not help.  It is like she has rehearsed this fight and knows every possible counter to any attack she does so she can defend and continue to attack.

         Finally, I was able to pin her to the ground after I made her trip as I did my father in practice, just now she was running at me.  I put my right foot on her chest, pinning her to the ground.  Before I had a chance to say something, I again relaxed ever so slightly and Annabeth took advantage of it.  The time that elapsed between me pinning her and her pinning me is a fraction of the time that it was before.  No block hit my hand this time.  Because I hesitated to wait for her hesitation, she took advantage and switched the roles.

         Again, before I knew it, I am on the ground looking up at her.  Using both her legs to wrap around my waist, she nearly threw me to the ground.  Now she had me pinned under her by sitting on me.

         Vixxen asked, “Are you guys done now?”

         Annabeth replied without looking away from me, “Yes, I think we are done here.”  She then with both hands raised her sword, pointed it downward, and readied herself for the killing move to thrust the sword into me.

         This time she hesitated and I immediately said, “Annabeth!  Don’t do this.  Come back to me!”

         Vixxen piped in and ordered, “Finish him!”

         Asvord yelled, “Don’t do this!”

         Cazi pleaded, “Annabeth, please don’t do this!”

         At the sound of Cazi’s voice, Annabeth shot a glance at Cazi.

         “Don’t hesitate now!” reminded Vixxen.

         I added, “Don’t listen to her.  This isn’t you, Annabeth.  You are your own person.  Don’t let someone manipulate you into something that is not the truth.”

         Annabeth adjusted her grip on her sword to better hold it.  Instead of going straight down with the sword from here, instead she stood up to come down with more force.  I did not lay still and wait for an opportunity, I made my own.

         She stood up and I started my head up and then backwards over my head to the fling my legs.  Using this momentum, I did the same move Annabeth just did with me just a moment ago but took to more drastic measures.  I wrapped my legs around Annabeth’s neck to flip her back over me.  She dropped her sword to grab at my legs to pull them off, but she could not top me.  I threw her back five yards and she rolled another five.

         Vixxen exclaimed, “NO!”

         Annabeth lifted her left arm to make Vixxen stand down.  I then picked up Annabeth’s sword she dropped and threw it back at her.  She caught it and drew her second sword with her left hand.  I in turn flipped the part of my sword down to make it into the bow-staff weapon.

         Though I was fighting Annabeth for well over fifteen minutes to this point, between moves and attacks I had some time to study my surroundings.  Annabeth had gone quicker in some areas, but a lot slower in most areas.  The fight took a lot longer than I would have thought and we are not even done yet.

         Of all the symbols on the ceiling, walls, and floor, the one directly above Vixxen’s throne caught my eye.  It is a more detailed version of the one I saw with all the Dragon Eye lenses combined.  It clearly looks like a dragon’s head.  All of the clues that have been found, finally added up.  I suddenly got an idea which I think just solved the mystery while trying to figure out a way to stop Annabeth and rescue Cazi, Asvord, and Lilah.

         But first before I could see if my idea would turn out to be true, I have to get through Annabeth and quite possibly Vixxen.

         Annabeth has both of her swords out and I have my bow-staff. Looking at Vixxen’s and Koll’s expressions on their faces, they almost look a little worried.

         Remarking about it to Vixxen, I said, “Didn’t think it would take this long.  Did you?”

         Vixxen replied, “It isn’t over yet.”  It might just be me, but that came across to me as pure worry.  Yet, she did a pretty good job of hiding it, just not from me.  Vixxen might be worried that Annabeth and I are now fighting in our unique styles.  Maybe this is not part of the plan Vixxen had in mind.

         Annabeth and I readied our stances and then rushed each other.  Annabeth jumped and twirled left to right, all the way around.  I countered with a slide under her.

         I simply played defense to buy time and stall I have to defend two swords, but with my bow, it is fairly easy.  If Annabeth attacked both down, I block down.  Attack down and middle, same as before, but add hit to the side she attacks.  Her sword would hit between my hands so no problem there.  If she attacks low and high, if I block her main attack that is either high or low, the other end of my bow is already there.  Then for attack mid and high or both high, same as the first two attacks but with the opposite blocks.

         Using two swords or a bow-staff may be more unique and look cool, but your movement is limited as well as your attacks; unless you have trained this way as your main fighting style, then the previous statement is invalid.

         Annabeth uses a lot of twirling with some jumping, swiping across my head which I would have to duck, and swiping below and I would have to hop over.  When I would hop, I sometimes have to combine it with a somersault dive forward because she swung middle instead of high with the other sword. When Annabeth did a fury of attacks, I often twirled my bow in front of me to block any attack she made.  I also would stop thrust my bow forward to push her back.  Here and there I added a few behind the back spins of my bow, really just to create separation.

         As Annabeth and I fought for another ten or fifteen minutes, very subtly did I start tightening the Gronckle Iron bow string.  I tried to tighten it when I could.  But a few times it nearly cost me as Annabeth attacked quicker than I thought she would.  Also, I slowly worked my way over to Vixxen’s throne.  Once Annabeth and I reached it my bow is taught enough to fire.

         I had been holding back the second half of the fight.  Annabeth is not as strong with two swords as she is with one, yet this fight she seemed a bit off somehow.  With my bow staff I might say I am a little bit better than her with two swords, yet this might just be this particular situation.

         Now… Now it is time to solve this mystery and get off this island, “Sorry Annabeth,” I said.

         When she rushed me with a double slicing attack with one sword after the other, going from right to left, I deflected the first one back to my right and when the second came did the same but ran into Annabeth, shoving her back.  Annabeth fell back into Vixxen’s throne by which she fell over knocking the chair, Vixxen, and Koll to the ground.  Swiftly with very little time wasted, I turn, draw an arrow, and fire.  My target?  Asvord.  Well, her chain to be specific.  The arrowheads on my arrows are Gronckle Iron.  So, the chains being regular medal and Gronckle Iron arrows flying at them… Well… Looked like a hot knife through yak butter.

         I fired two more arrows at the other two’s chains.  The moment Cazi’s left hand came free, she reached over to Asvord’s back, drew her Gronckle Iron sword and sliced the remaining chains.

         The crowd is now in an uproar, though half of them at the same time cheered as this must be something new to watch instead of the same old, same old with Vixxen winning every time.

         While Cazi took care of the chains, I drew another arrow, aimed, and fired at the pulley chain for the drop gate.  Cutting the chain caused the front gate to stay in closed position, keeping any reinforcements back.  This gave the girls enough time to get free.  They will only have to deal with the guards inside the arena and any coming from the rear back behind the throne.

         Vixen finally pushed her throne chair off of her to shout, “What have you done?!”

         “Oh,” I chuckled while taking a pot shot at Vixxen, but only aiming at the floor.  “I’m not done yet.”

         The hallway behind the throne must lead back to somewhere.  However, that is not what I want.  The wooden beams caught my eye.  Going into the hallway slightly, I spotted what I wanted:  The one precarious beam that if moved… Cave-in.  Swinging my bow like an axe, I chopped the left support beam in half.  I saw in front and a couple from behind, guards and soldier running at me.  The beam I chopped was holding up the precarious looking beam.  As fast as I could, I pulled back out of the way while the ceiling collapsed.  The rocks went right through the floor as if it was nothing.

         A few seconds later the cave-in stopped.  I looked back to bid adieu to Vixxen and Koll.  I then looked up to aim my grappling hook.  Right before I fired, someone ran into me knocking me back.  This created some slack in the line.  It still lodged into the ceiling, I just gave me a scare.

         Looking at who knocked me over, I see it to be Annabeth!

         A moment later, the rest of my line became limp. She and I are now free falling.  The rock face that my grapple must have lodged into must have come down too.  Not knowing what to do now, Annabeth took over and raised her hand.  I then heard the exact same sound that… my… grappling hook makes.

         Her hook lodged into the side of the shaft.  She and I now became a pendulum, swinging downward.  Not knowing how much father to a floor, a second later Annabeth had immediately caused her grapple line to stop.  Good thing too, because after doing so we found a floor.  So, instead of hitting bottom at full speed, we sung to the point where our feet kicked up dust as we tried to slow ourselves down.  Our momentum would have carried us back up, after the line met the edge of the underground secret tunnel’s ceiling, we would crash into said ceiling.  Annabeth tapped her gauntlet to cut the line.  Our momentum still carried us ten yards in, which we tumbled over each other all the way.

         We were not out of the woods yet as another cave-in occurred from the shaft and we have to make a brake for it.

         Annabeth ran right beside me to the right.  She had no interest in fighting me.  She just ran.  We raised our arms over our heads to protect them as the ceiling started cracking and collapsing on us.

         Another fifteen yards and…

         And everything went black!

 

Chapter 44

The Secret of The Secret Symbol

 

         I woke up to a thick cloud of dust which I gagged on and coughed.

         “Jarl,” came Annabeth’s voice and I mean Annabeth’s voice. “You alright?”

         “Yeah,” I said coughing a few more times.  I notice I am on my back looking up at her.  “I think so.”

         Annabeth quickly added, “We’ll have to get that boulder off of you.”

         “What boulder?” I asked, not totally aware of where I am at.  “And what do you mean ‘we’?  Who’s with us?”

         Annabeth answered, “That small ‘pebble’ on your foot that shouldn’t cause a problem to move.  And who do you think?”

         Another voice cried out, “Push!”

         “Vixxen!”  What are-. Ah-hah!” I winced in pain.  “I take that back.  I’m not fine!”

         Annabeth and Vixxen pushed the boulder off of my right foot.

         Vixxen said, “Thankfully the boulder was not directly on your foot, but rolled onto it.  Can you stand?”

         Vixxen held out her right hand to help me up.  There is enough light from a nearby torch that I see Annabeth has her right hand out as well.

         “Forgive me if I don’t trust you to take your hand,” I told Vixxen as I grabbed Annabeth’s hand with both of my own.  “Frankly, I wouldn’t mind taking your hand but in the other context, along with the rest of you to capture you and put an end to your games.”

         I pushed myself up with my left leg and foot, putting all of my weight on that side while keeping up my right foot.  Annabeth took my right arm and put it around her neck.      

         Vixxen repeated, “Can you put weigh ton your foot?”

         I could only stare at Vixxen for a moment, but then said, “Who are you?  Where is Vixxen?  Are you her twin sister?”

         “Very funny.  Too bad your humor is still intact,” replied Vixxen who then irritatingly asked, “You haven’t answered my question about your stupid foot?”

         “Ah,” I answered nodding my head once.  “There’s the Vixxen I was expecting.  Must just be the light in here I mistook you for someone else.  Though now I like the other one better.”

         “Don’t get your hopes up,” Vixxen said. “I am the same as before.”

         Annabeth questioned, “Then why are you helping us?”

         Vixxen folded her arms, “Because we are trapped in a cave I did not even know existed until now.  I wanted to chase after you guys because there is a secret to this island that I have been searching for, for a very long time.  So, we will have to work together to find a way out of here.  Things like this make enemies and friends on the same team.  But when we get out of here, things go back the way they were.”

         “They don’t have to be,” I added.  “You don’t have to be like this.”

         “Look, Jarl,” Vixxen simply said.  “You have your ideals and beliefs and I have mine.  We are two sides of the same coin.”

         “Technically there is a third side, that being the edge,” I smiled.

         Vixxen rolled her eyes, “Whatever.  Just answer-.”

         I interjected, “Yes...,” I tried my foot on the floor.  “I can put a little weight on it, but not a whole lot.”

         Vixxen sighed with burden, “Give me your left arm.”

         Reluctantly I did.  Between Vixxen and Annabeth, I am able to stand.

         Annabeth sighed with relief, “I’m glad you are okay, Jarl.  You gave me a scare there jumping into a cave-in like that.  I had to act quickly or we would get separated again.”

         “Wait… hold on… hold everything,” I said as we began to move but stopped.

         “What now?” Vixxen flung my arm off of her.  I then had to hop a few times to regain my balance; Annabeth steadied me.

         Annoyed at Vixxen, though I went back to my statement, “Annabeth… Do you know what just happened?”

         “Not really,” she replied.  “I was about to ask you that.  I remember slipping out of your hand, falling down, and using the grappling hook to slow my fall and swing to safety.”

         “So that’s how you made it out of that alive,” I interrupted.
         Annabeth continued, “I splashed down into the water.  Next thing I know I am laying on the ground under some large chair.  Don’t really know how I went from being in the water to being on dry land, but all I know is I did not want to get separated from you again.  So, I tackled you.  Sorry if that took you by surprised, but I saw vikings, Vixxen, and Koll scrambling to go after you.  I just darted between them and dove after you.”

         There was a second pause before I asked another question, “So, when did you get a grappling hook?”

         “I was going to surprise you,” replied Annabeth.  “But the mission came up and I got side tracked and forgot.  I was hoping for an opportunity to use it to show you that I have one too.  And to answer your next question, I had Garth build a second one with few extra specifications.  Mainly, I wanted it to be hidden inside my bracer so that no one just looking at it would think a grappling hook would be there.  That being said, it is slimmer and not as heavy duty as yours, but it gets the job done.  I thought you could do the heavy lifting with yours and I could do the precise needlework with mine.”

         “I see,” I said, probably looking still confused.  “How did you know that was going to be my next question.”

         Annabeth put her left hand on her hip and stood up sarcastically proud, “I am a woman.”

         I responded, “No argument there.”

         Annabeth sighed through her nose as she chuckled at the same time.

         “Ugg,” Vixxen grunted as she took my left arm again and started walking forward.

         Annabeth and I did not expect her to move so soon, but caught up anyway.  Annabeth grabbed the torch with her right hand so she could light our way.

         “Annabeth,” I stated as we walked.  “You and I were just in a half hour long battle.”

         “What?!” she exclaimed.  “Why would I fight you?  I guess maybe there are several reasons why I would do that, but putting it the way you did in that tone of voice, it was dead serious.”

         “That’s putting it mildly,” I nodded my head back and forth.  “Especially the ‘dead serious’ part.”

         Hesitantly she quizzed, “Why do you say that?”

         I chuckled, “You did just try to kill me by running me through with a sword.”
         Annabeth looked at me as if I was Mildew, “Did you accidentally eat some Dragon Nip?”

         “I’m serious, Annabeth,” I responded.  “You and I battled with one sword and my bow and then two swords and my bow-staff.  Vixxen ordered you to kill me in hopes of saving your family, that being Heather.”

         “Kill you?? Heather?” she looked at me as if I was the one related to Dagur the Deranged and took after him.

         “Yes,” I said.  “I would never lie to you, Annabeth.  It has been almost two days since you slipped through my hand.”

         I filled her in on what we did in those days.  Though I left out the details of the practicing on Icestorm because Vixxen is walking with us.  I just said we prepared for a fight on Verndari Island.

         “Jarl,” Annabeth plainly said.  “Believe me when I tell you, I do not remember any of that.  I would never do any of it.”

         “I do believe you when you say that you would never do any of that and you do not remember it.  But the fact remains that you did just fight me in front of a bunch of Vixxen’s spectators as well as Cazi, Asvord, and Lilah, who were being held nearby in chains by Vixxen’s order,” I answered.  “I believe something else was in play there… And I also believe Vixxen knows the answer.”

         Annabeth leaned forward to look at Vixxen who then looked at her and said, “He’s right.  Something else was going on.  Jarl, I have to admit.  You are even more clever than I thought you were.”
         “Thank you,” I replied.  “I think.”

         “No strings attached.  You figured out my plan with Annabeth even if you did not fully know it until now,” stated Vixxen.  “The hope and love you have for your companions is a previous thing… keep hold of it.”

         Vixxen said that in a way that it brought up a bad memory as an awkward silence came for a minute or two before Vixxen continued, “I know you and Koll have had past brushes with each other before.  He is not a Dragon Hunter, although he works for me anyway.”

         I remarked, “I think he does a little more than ‘work’ for you.  When they paraded us into the arena and Vixxen entered, she got off her Snow Wraith and kissed Koll.”

         “Bleh,” Annabeth stuck out her tongue.  “I’d rather get hit in the head by falling debris like what just happened to you, Jarl.”

         “I wondered what happened to me that would cause me to black out,” I said.

         Annabeth added, “You were only out for about a minute or two.  If you had gone longer, I would have slapped you a few times.”

         “May I go on?” Vixxen but in.

         “Excuse me,” I sarcastically exaggerated.  “You may.”

         “Anyway,” Vixxen began again.  “Vixxen and a small group for a shore party went to that one island with the Catastrophic Quakens, went up the back way that the old history clues of my island and other lore I found over the years had been pointing to.  With your help, I found the missing steps that I needed.  As we tramped though across an underground river, Annabeth’s body was floating in the river.  That much of it, I was telling the truth.  However, Annabeth was not completely limp nor was she unconscious.  She was only dazed from her fall and the rush of water from probably going into her body on impact.  But Koll had made sure Annabeth would stay under -not under the water, but under as in…- Anyway, with Annabeth knocked out, I had the lynch pin I needed to lure you to Verndari Island.  If Heather did not lure you here, I knew recovering Annabeth’s body would do it.”

         I then felt Annabeth shiver while Vixxen talked about her as a thing, a body, rather than a person.  I do not blame her.

         “I then had you revived and had Koll immediately put you under a spell.  You were hypnotized to be my slave, for lack of a better word.  Puppet.  That’s what I was thinking of.  And when Jarl thought he would get the upper hand with his impressive plans as always, I would throw you at him and catch him completely off guard.  I hoped this would be my complete victory against you Jarl, but I did expect you to handle the situation as you did.  When you basically said you were expecting such a move, I did actually begin to worry.  But still, I wanted to see what the fight would be like.  So, I let it go on.  When you said that you and I both knew that you were getting out of this situation let alone getting of this island, I did not want to admit it, but I knew you were right.  That is usually just how these things go until one of us figures out the one way to defeat the other.”  Vixxen finished, “And you, Annabeth, know pretty much the rest as Jarl told you that part.”

         “Wow, that’s a lot to take in,” Annabeth stated.  “Jarl, I’m sorry-.”

         “You don’t have to say it,” I answered.  “It was not you.  Even though you are still undefeated in dueling, which I am sure Vixxen even knows that,” Vixxen nodded.  “I knew if I got your two swords and fighting against my bow-staff.”

         “But I am just as good with two swords as I am with one,” retorted Annabeth.

         “I know that.  You know that,” I said.  “But did Vixxen know that.  Even if she does, the thought of you being hypnotized did cross the back of my mind, but I was too focused to think about it.  If she did hypnotize you, I was thinking that she did so if I was still fighting with a sword.  My gut was telling me to take the outside chance that Vixxen for once did not expect me to go to my bow-staff to fight you.  Thus, if you were hypnotized, it would through off the spell as the suggestion was to fight me against my sword, not my bow-staff.  This ripple in the water was enough for me to buy enough time to tighten my bow string, free the others, and create the opportunity I needed to escape.  Having you along for the ride, Annabeth, with you back the way you are, was totally bonus.”

         Annabeth asked, “But because I was hypnotized, how did you uh, un-hypnotize me?”

         With a tone that Tuffnut may use with scientific remarks, I replied, “With a strategically placed excursion of my weapon and my hands did I propel your figure to the opposite direction of forward into an object of so-called great importance.”
         “What?” she said puzzled.

         Vixxen translated, “In other words, he hit you really hard in the head by shoving you back into my throne, knocking it over along with me and Koll.”

         “Oh,” Annabeth nodded.  “Well, at least I took you two out with me.  If I crash, I want to take my enemies with me.”

         Getting a bit frustrated, “Where does this tunnel lead?”

         We had been walking forward all this time while we talked.  After Vixxen’s remark, we came upon a doorway.  Upon entering it, above us on the far wall appeared a glowing symbol.  -The- glowing symbol.  The head of a dragon with massive spikes on his head with two great big horns to the right and left of its chin.

         “Vixxen?” I questioned.  “Do you know what Verndari means?”

         She thought and replied as we stood staring up at it, “No, actually I do not.  The ancient language of all these symbols is too far beyond my understanding.”

         “What?” I stood amazed.  “I know something that Vixxen does not.  I need to cherish this moment.  Please, give me a second.”

         “It’s been a second,” Annabeth sighed.  “Now, just tell us.”

         “Oh, sorry,” I said.  “After going through the language of the uniquely thin Dragon Eye lenses and comparing it with the language of the regular Dragon Eye lenses, seeing the word Verndari several times on the lenses and in the caves on the other island and here, translating it back into the Dragon Eye language and into our language a few times in my head, I figured out what Verndari means.”

         Vixxen impatiently stated, “Just tell us… please.”

         “Verndari means,” I paused.  “Bewilderbeast.  Whatever the species of dragon that dragon is on The Secret Symbol, that species is called the Bewilderbeast dragon.  Not much about it was recorded on anything I found or read.  All I could get is that this dragon is an Alpha species of dragon and is the biggest dragon in the known dragon kingdom that we know of.  They are extremely rare and only hatch every couple of hundred years or so.  But don’t quote me on the details, as most of it is just putting bits and parts together of clues that does not say a lot.”

         Vixxen said as if I just solved something she has been trying to solve for years, “That is all I ever wanted to hear about this place.”

         Annabeth pointed with her torch up ahead, “What’s that.”

         We walked up to a large bowl-shaped tub.  Vixxen let go of my arm to look at it herself.  I started to hop on my left foot.  Annabeth wanted to go see it as well.  I nodded as I hopped the last few steps in, on my left foot.  Once to the side, I leaned over the edge and looked it.

         Vixxen declared, “A dragon egg shell.”

         “Most of it is here and still intact,” I replied.  “Though definitely not recently hatched.  The shell is brittle enough that it has been years.  Just how many, I wouldn’t know.  My guess is it has been a very long time ago.”

         “So, there is no real treasure behind The Secret Symbol,” Vixxen said, dejected.

         “Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” I answered.  “About the used to be mystery now, wherever this dragon is now, it is one special dragon.  Very little is known about Alpha dragons, and that is coming from the tribe that first started riding them just within the last few years.  When we finally meet this dragon, and see it in action, I hope to hope that it is on our side.  If my guess about this dragon is right, neither you, Vixxen, or I would want to be on its opposing side.  The dragon will pick its own side we just need to hope that we are on the correct side.  What we believe about dragons, who knows… we might both be wrong and this dragon will show us a new side to dragons.”

         Vixxen changed the subject, “I know there is the sentimental treasure of value, I was hoping for gold and jewels of that matter.”

         Annabeth replied, “Well, if you look in the back here, there are a few small chests of gold and jewels.  Nowhere near enough to shake a stick at and be worth selling.”

         “There is another thing you overlooked, Vixxen,” I said.

         “What is that?” she wondered.

         “The journey it took to get to this point,” I responded.  “Sure, we may be on opposite sides, but we both had our own journeys to get to this point.  We all had our mountain highs and our ocean-deep lows.  We had our plains and plateaus, valleys and hills.  We all can take something from this to make us stronger, regardless of what are views are.  I firmly believe, in any situation, good or bad and to both extremes, you can find something good to build on and get stronger for tomorrow.”

         “And just what did you find from this journey,” asked Vixxen as if I was making this all up.

         “Hope,” I simply said.

         “Hope?” Vixxen again sounded disappointed.

         “Yes, hope,” I restated.  “When you think all is lost and there is nothing left to be done but give up, that is when you need hope most of all.  Things may not have turned out the way you had wanted, but you have to deal with what comes next.  You must move forward.  Tomorrow will come and be today, then today will be yesterday and history past.  But hope for the next day that something good will happen, even if you have to make your own opportunity for the right, all is not lost.  All is regained and reignited for a better today.”

         Vixxen added if bored to her wits end, “Anything else?”
         “Yes,” I said smiling.  “There is still hope for you.”

         “Hope for me?” echoed Vixxen as she stood up straight.  “Pfft, I don’t need hope.”

         “We all need hope,” I stated.  “Two opposing sides will always push.  In this case, you, Vixxen push.  Me and my friends push back.  Everyone once in a while, through the darkness of the world, light will glimmer.  This light will break through and show a world behind the push and shove of any two sides.  This light will show just how we are as a person.  This light will show us the way through the darkness, the time when we no longer want to push on either side.  We just have to be willing to follow the light when it appears.  If not, then we hope another opportunity comes and the light shows through again.”

         All Vixxen could do was sigh, put her forehead down on her arms, which she is resting on the top of the rim of the bowl.

         She did say after a few minutes of silence, “How is your hope and your light going to helps us now, genius?  For once in a rare while, I have no idea, plan, or game to play on how to get out of here.”

         “I have hope we will get out of here,” I said hopping around to the back wall where Annabeth had pointed out the small cache of treasure.

         I searched the three small chests and with a slight of hand, so neither Vixxen or Annabeth saw me, I pocketed one item.  Standing up I ran my right hand across the face of the back wall, hobbling on my right foot as I went.

         “As I have recently learned something that strengthened something I have always believe,” I said.  “You sometimes have to take a direct approach… Use your head… Or in this case so I don’t hurt that too… My fist.”

         I ran my hand across the wall in hopes of finding a button to press to reveal a secret door.  By now, in places like this, there is always a secret door.  You just have to find it.

         I pressed into the wall the symbol of the one ships in the one ship graveyard south of where Hiccup and them had been attacked by the giant eels.  That symbol appeared on the worn wall as a button.

         Telling everyone, I said, “Sometimes, things just come full circle.”

         There would be so much to learn from the inside of this cave and the other secret symbols it may have, but we need to get out of here.  From behind us, we heard the sounds of another cave-in.  The sounds could quickly be heard rushing for us, so we hurried through the secret tunnel.  The cave-in very soon came upon us.  We ran as fast as we could with the impairment of my injury while the dust and small debris from the ceiling rained down on top of us.  Just ten more yards, twenty altogether, we then made it out into an outlet cave.  This cave over looked the rear of the island off of one of the many spikes jutting out of the cave.  The position where we are could only be accessed by a dragon.  Although, somehow Vixxen of course knew where we are and led us back into Vixxen’s compound.

         By now, I could put enough weight on my leg where I could jog.  I must have just lightly sprained my ankle, though enough that the pain initially difficult to bear.  Keep off of it as much as I did, really did help.

         Vixxen led us back to the arena, where by this time the front gate had been torn down and no guard was in sight.  However, Ragnarok is still inside the arena where Vixxen left him to chase after us.  Vixxen kindly invited us on the Snow Wraith.  Ragnarok absolutely did not like it.  Vixxen made him do it by giving him some commands in a foreign language neither Annabeth or I could understand.  This must be Vixxen’s serious tone with her dragon to make him do something she wants him to.

         Vixxen flew us out of the stronghold and outside where we first landed.  We are greeted by a huge ground-to-dragon battle between my friends and Vixxen’s Vikings.  Vixxen let us get off the dragon.

         “See you in the skies, Jarl,” Vixxen grinned.

         Annabeth and I just looked at each other and said at the same time, “Did Vixxen actually smile?”  We both shuddered.

         Looking in the air, I saw Fredrick and Anora, which is odd.  But I am in no mood to complain.  Annabeth and I did our respective dragon calls for our mount.  Once they heard us, our friends laid down some cover fire for them to land and mount our rides.

         As soon as we came up in the air, Cazi flew over and asked, “Why were you riding Vixxen’s Snow Wraith with Vixxen flying it?”

         “Long story,” I replied.  “I’ll tell you all about it when we get home.”

         A catapult launched a boulder in our direction in which we had to dodge.  I then scanned the skies for Vixxen.  Once I found her, I looked at who was around me.  Asvord flew up next to Cazi as we hovered in place.

         I asked, “Anyway one for a game of Last Dragon Flying?”
         “Oh,” Asvord declared.  “I have been waiting for you to say that.”

         The four of us flew after Vixxen and her Snow Wraith.

 

Chapter 45

A Shining Light in the Darkness

 

         Above the carnage of fire, dragons, and catapults, a dogfight with Vixxen and Koll on one side and Cazi, Annabeth, Asvord, and I on the other.  Every shot any of us took against Vixxen and Ragnarok, missed every time.  Does not matter if we thought for sure it could not miss, it did.  Vixxen maneuvered her dragon in ways where we nearly took out each other or one of our friends when our dragons fired.  A few times, we nearly ran into each other.  Koll is really just being annoying with his Changewing acid.  Koll kept us off Vixxen’s tail if we got too close.

         What the dogfight started out as, it turned into exactly what we practice the other night.  Just now, for Vixxen and her side they are basically shooting to kill.  One by one, Cazi, Asvord, Annabeth, and even a few of my other friends, had to pull back because there was too much cross fire between the ground and Vixxen.  Koll, even had to go to ground as the cross fire from our side was too much.  It comes down to a one-on-one with Vixxen and her Snow Wraith and me and my Thunderdrum.

         Vixxen retreated back further over her island.  I followed her.  Now, she has nowhere to run, or fly to in this case.  Vixxen has to fight.  Yet, the way she fights, it will not be a walk in the woods.  Still, that would not fit as we are flying.

         Anyway, Vixxen and I started to play Follow the Leader, with Vixxen in the lead.  I followed her where ever she flew.  She got in front of me a little bit but with Fredrick’s speed, I eventually caught back up to five to seven dragon lengths back.

         It seems as though Snow Wraiths are a good bit more maneuverable than Thunderdrums, as Ragnarok made some turns that Fredrick and I could not.  Nonetheless, we stayed with her.  I just took the turns at a different angle or started the turn earlier, almost anticipating a turn, to keep up with Vixxen.

         On the eastern side of the island, there is some trees and more flat areas.  However, these flat areas are walled in on the west and east by the natural rock of the mountain.  Pillars of rocks and boulders scattered the island.  Vixxen wove in and out of the pillars.  She flew through, over, and around many of the jutting out natural spikes of rock from the mountain itself.  Vixxen made her way through sea stack course at the rear of the island to the north.  Every single possible move Vixxen could think of to shake me, did not work.

         Then the thought came to me, “Why is she trying to shake me?  I thought we are fighting here?”

         Then it occurred to me when Vixxen made the turn back to the southern part of the island, “She was trying to shake me, not because I am fighting her, but because she wants to accomplish something else; another game she is playing.”

         Vixxen flew in a straight line back towards the main fighting.  I am still about seven dragon lengths back and only matching the speed of her Snow Wraith.

         I could feel Fredrick become tense before I said, “I have a bad feeling about this.”

         We flew up over the top of the mountain and nosedived back into combat.  Vixxen went directly for Annabeth and Anora!  There are at the front lines fending off ground troops.  Vixxen is going right for that spot with no regard to her own men.

         “NO!” I yelled, but no one could hear me over all the commotion.

         We had been gone long enough that everyone else is still occupied and solely focused on the ground weapons and troop placements of the Vixxen’s Vikings.

         Fredrick picked up more speed than Ragnarok did, but any type of blast will at this point from Fredrick will do little good.  Vixxen picked the one angle that if anything happened to her in mid-air on her dragon, even if she lost control, she would still crash into either Annabeth or Anora or both.  Plus, any blast at this speed will lose power because we are going at the same speed of any of his blasts.  If anything, it would make matters worse.  Fredrick wanted to fire, however, I needed to keep him in check.  Helpless to watch I tried to think of something that would alert Annabeth or Anora.

         From out of nowhere, did I hear a very familiar song.  I think it came from the left, to the east, but I looked and saw nothing… and then…

         BAM!

         I heard a dragon yelp and a scream from a viking.  Afraid it was Vixxen taking an early shot, I look and Vixxen and her dragon just disappeared from in front of me.  Without warning, Fredrick preformed a very tight barrel roll while also banking up.  Once I regained control of my dragon and banked to the left to turn around, I see Vixxen’s dragon has a new color… Orange… Or should I say… Amber.

         “Sirena!” I cheered.

         As she flew overhead, I saw something or someone grabbing her neck as if it is afraid of the dragon, heights, or just some unknowing bystander along for the ride.

         Sirena had fired multiple blasts of amber in our direction, the main one completely blindsided Ragnarok.  In addition to that blast, three more were had been fired at the same time.  Those extra three blasts were the ones Fredrick instinctively dodged, using a move I would have told him to do had I known or seen the blasts coming.

         Arcing back around, I saw Vixxen had been knocked from her dragon and ran over to her Snow Wraith to check on him.  I did the same to Annabeth and Anora.

         “Yeah, I’m fine,” Annabeth replied.  “Was that who I think it was?”

         “Yes,” I answered.  “That was Sirena swooping in to save the day.”

         “I know that was Sirena, that isn’t what I wondered,” Annabeth corrected.  “The guy riding Sirena.  If I was not a Berserker and prone to the occasional insane idea, I would be my bet a whole mug full of yaknog I would have to drink that, that is Dagur.”
         “Dagur?” I responded.  “That is an insane idea.  Him riding a dragon?  No… No… … Could it be though?  No.”

         Yet it crossed my mind that thinking back on what I saw, it did look quite a bit like Dagur.  Sirena did not fly back for a second run.  Instead, Vixxen held up her hand right hand in a fist.  Koll had doubled back to see if she was alright.  The moment Vixxen held up her fist, Koll immediately reached from behind his back, pulled out a horn, and blew through it.  The sound echoed off the island and sounded like a call to battle.  In this case, Vixxen’s Vikings ceased fire.  The signal must be a cease fire as every single Vixxen Viking stopped fighting and no more catapults fired.

         All of my friends regrouped around me, which I got back on Fredrick and flew over to Vixxen.  I did not land, but stayed up in the air and hovered about ten yards above where Vixxen had crash landed.

         Vixxen just stood up and looked at me as if I am the bad guy here.

         To her surprise, I asked, “Is Ragnarok alright?”

         Vixxen did not expect that.  Her expression changed from hate to relief in the blink of an eye.  She is breathing heavily.  Really, so is everyone else, dragons included.

         Taking a deep breath, Vixxen calmed herself down and replied, “Yes, he is okay.”

         “I did not expect that to happen,” I said in a sorry-not-sorry tone.  “But I am glad it did because you were going to do something you would have regretted.”

         “Actually,” Vixxen informed.  “I was arguing with myself whether I should take the shot or not.”

         I looked at her and wondered, “Did she just question one of her own actions?  Because her not taking the shot is going against everything Vixxen says she stands for.”

         “Tell you what, Jarl,” Vixxen spoke.  “My men and your friends have fought bravely to the point where neither side is winning.  However, you and your team better prepared yourself than I did with mine.  Even with all the unexpected twists and turns that I had in store for you and your friends, from what I have heard from reports and see with my own eyes, you and your friends are a good bunch to compete against.”

         “I’m tired, for once,” Vixxen continued.  “My men are tired.  No doubt you are tired.  Your friends, your dragons… This game you and I have played is one I will remember for a long time.  Never have I had such an opponent in all my adventures as good as you Jarl.  It would be a shame to end it now, when there is so much more things we could do together.”

         I slowly added, “That’s one way of putting it, yes.”

         Vixxen finished, “You and your friends may leave.  Let’s put this battle in the category of ‘To be continued,’ shall we?”

         Heather, from the back of Windshear, folded her arms and demanded, “What are you trying to pull Vixxen?”

         “Oh, doubt worry, your secret is safe with me.  Me nor none of my Hunters will tell Ryker about what you are doing,” Vixxen answered.  “I am not trying to pull anything.  No strings.  You may leave and continue this battle another day.  This battle seems on very even ground.  The loses I may encounter I cannot afford.  They would cut into my bottom line.  After all, I am running a business here of trading.”

         “Uh huh,” I nodded.  “Always comes back to gold with you, doesn’t it?”

         “Well,” Vixxen said.  “You have your treasures, I have mine.”

         Lilah asked, “So, you are serious?”

         Sighing as if Vixxen regrets having to talk to Lilah, she replied, “Yes, I am serious here.  You guys may leave.  Maybe you should go before I change my mind.  There may be darkness in this land, but the light won’t shine here for long.”

         “What does that mean?” Cazi asked.

         “Oh, something,” I smiled and looked at Vixxen.  “I guy can only hope.”

         With that done, my friends and I got back together and made our way back to Mystery.

         On the trip back, I asked Dawn, “How did you fare?”

         “Oh,” Heather said.  “You should have seen it.”

         Dawn explained, “After I was led back there to see Heather, they pushed me back into the cell knocking Heather over.  Heather was enraged, but I calmed her down.  Once the guard had left, I showed her that I had swiped the keys off of the same guard.  I had intentional stopped and had the guy run into me.  When he ran into me, I swiped the keys and kept them hidden.  But as Heather and I were about to get out of the cell, I had one of the biggest scares of my life.  I thought I saw Vixxen walking this way.”

         Dagmar interjected, “In reality, it was just me decked out to look like Vixxen.  I could not believe how many vikings we fooled.  After getting those two out safely, we went and go Windshear and found that Anora was there too.  Getting those dragons out and finding a good vantage point at the entrance on the rest of the goings on, we waited while Jarl did his thing.  By the way, that was an awesome fight even though it was against your best friend.”

         Annabeth slouched in her saddle, “That’s what I keep hearing.  I am just sorry I did not remember a thing.”

         My father said, “Maybe it is a good thing you don’t.  Hypnotism is a tricky art.  If you don’t mind, I would like to check to make sure nothing else is hindering you.  Maybe I could help you be less susceptible for the future.”

         Annabeth slowly agreed.  She did not really like to be hypnotized again, but my dad was saying that she may not even have to be hypnotized.

         Dagmar concluded, “Once Vixxen came out, I made sure to stay out of sight to not blow our cover.”

         Mother picked up, “We stood at the gate with Dagmar behind us and our dragons to hide her.  While Jarl proceeded to figure out a way to… well… to do whatever you did, because I was a little confused-.”

         “I had to nearly stand on your mother’s feet to not let her run in and aid you in your fight, Jarl,” remarked my father.  “Although she did have a good point when it looked like you were in trouble.  But the moment I heard Cazi call out to Annabeth and Annabeth froze, I knew Annabeth was hypnotized and a familiar voice caused the spell to go off kilter.  Then Annabeth hesitated, I knew Jarl would not go down that easily.  Svana totally made it clear to me that I was taking a huge risk.”

         “Yeah,” mother folded her arms as she gave my dad “The Look.”

         “But,” my father finished.  “As soon as she saw you flip Annabeth over your head, saw the next half of the fight, and threw her into the chair and start to free Cazi, Asvord, and Annabeth, she backed down.”

         “You did what to me?” Annabeth piped in.

         I grinned as one would when someone finds out you did something the other knows nothing about and it comes as a complete surprise, “Well, what was I supposed to do?  You literally were trying to kill me.  I tried my best just to fend you off and not hit you, but you were the one that told me a time before that in cases like this to make a fight look good, I can hit you.”

         “I know,” Annabeth backed down.

         I also included, “Annabeth you are just too good and awesome with your swords.  Although it helped that you were doing the exact same moves from our last few sparring matches we had.  The fight we just had come out exactly the same as those that happened before.  I was able to anticipate several things, but even then, you perfectly defended all of them.  So, I knew what was coming next.”  I gave more detail of the fight to the point of, “Once I threw you back your sword and you went to draw your second one and then I flipped my sword over to make my bow-staff, you seemed slower and less able to fight.  Although, you were just as powerful as you always are, it was just a slower fight.”

         Cazi came in, “It looked as though Vixxen expected the fight to over and done with very quickly.  But delaying the fight and prolonging it, made Vixxen become slightly fidgety and definitely worried.  When Jarl knocked you over into the throne chair, which probably was the thing that knocked you out of being hypnotized, Jarl took aim right at his sister and sliced her chain.  Well, not right at her, but you get the point.  As soon as my left arm was free, I reached over to grab Asvord’s sword out of her sheath and sliced the rest of our chains.  Then that is about what time you came back to being Annabeth.”

         “Okay,” Annabeth nodded.  “At least I know what happened between then and now.”

         Lilah then said, “What puzzles me though is what happened to the front gate.  Jarl made it so that it would stay closed, but when the three of us had to fend off those inside the arena after you guys fell in through the cave-in, we turn back around and the front gate is open.  I briefly saw a figure that look like a girl run past and put down four or five vikings.  I wonder who that was.”

         “Could be that one girl that helped us before,” I suggested.  “Seems like her and Vixxen have some past history.  Maybe we can search her out and bring her on our side for future reference.”

         To finish everything off, I recounted what Annabeth and I went through after going into the caves.

         Cazi repeated, “A Bewilderbeast.  With a name like that, I want to conqueror that myself.  Alpha dragons, too.  Things like this make me excited for the future.”

         I added, “The Secret Symbol held more secrets and twists than a lot of us saw coming.  Things were not as we thought, but to finish this mystery is a long time coming.  We started this mystery while we were technically in another.  When we were able to concentrate on it, we finally conquered it.  We may not have gotten any physical treasures out of it.  However, the treasures we built in growing stronger as a viking family is nothing to shake a stick at.  We met new allies, learned new things, found out more about our back history, and found a new foe that we need to stop.  But there will be a time for that.  Now we just celebrate the treasure I believe The Secret Symbol was trying to tell us.”

         Father asked, “What is that?”

         “Family,” I answered.  “We are nothing without our family.  And our family is nothing without us.  We are all important to each other and a treasure to all.  What one counts treasure as gold or jewels, the truest treasure of them all is the ones we hold dear to our heart.  We need to make sure we always keep this in mind.”

         “All in all,” mother stated.  “That mission was a success.  A few scares here and there, but nothing that does not come with the job of a viking.  I’m glad everything turned out okay in the end.”

         Everyone seconded that.

 

Chapter 46

True Treasure

 

         The rest of the trip back to Mystery went off without a hitch.  With all that happened, we felt the need to go back to Berk and take a few days off.  We rested for a few hours on Mystery to check on things.  Then we all headed back to Berk.

         I had to rest for a few days to make sure my foot was fine.  Some of my friends went back to Mystery to make sure everything stayed in order and to keep an eye on things until I was able to go back.  Cazi, among a few others, stayed behind while my ankle healed.  I only had a minor sprain, but still it hurt quite a bit the rest of the day and the next couple of days.  During that time, I spent a lot of time thinking and talking to my parents about a few things.  Annabeth came over to see me quite a bit.

         The first night she came over, she mentioned to me, “I am sorry for all that has happened.”

         “It was not your fault,” I declared, holding her hands with my right hand as I sat up in bed.  “I’m just glad you are alive.  I don’t know what I would do without you.  You mean everything to me.”

         “Thank you,” Annabeth replied.  “You do to me as well.”

         As soon as I was up and around, almost three days later after we solved our latest mystery, I am walking past the Olson’s house late in the evening close to sunset and I asked Cazi where Annabeth is.

         Cazi gladly replied, “Where she always is when she comes back to Berk.”

         Now I know exactly what place Cazi is referring.  I took Fredrick out to the place where Annabeth first arrived on Berk.  There Annabeth stood near a cliff face, looking out over the ocean and over the place she came to shore for the first time.

         Dismounting my Fredrick about twenty yards from Annabeth, I took a deep breath.  I looked at my dragon.  All he did was nudge me forward.  Taking his que, I started to walk up behind Annabeth.  Anora is to Annabeth’s right.  Anora saw me coming, but did not really acknowledge me as Annabeth stood still.  I came within ten feet of her as I watched her purple locks flowing in the breeze.

         I began to whistle a tune, “Do…  Do-do-do.  Do.  Do.  Do…”

         “…Do…  Do-do-do.  Do.  Do…”

         “…Do…  Do-do-d0.  Do.  De.  Do…”

         “…Do-do, do…  Do, do…  Do.”

         I paused and then sang in a soft and tender tone, “I’ll swim… and sail… on savage seas…”

         “…With ne’er… a fear of drowning…”

         “…And gladly ride the waves of life…”

         “…If you would marry… me…”

         “…No scorching sun… nor freezing cold…”

         “…Will stop me on my journey…”

         “…If you will promise me your heart…”

         I paused.  One minute… two minutes…

         For what seemed like a lifetime of silence, Annabeth responded and sang the next verse but remained looking at the sunset, “And love me for eternity…”

         “…My dearest one… My Darling dear…”

         Now Annabeth began to turn around to the right and left up her right arm and clasp her fist.

         “…Your mighty words astound me...”

         I raised my right arm up in the same manner, making a fist, and touching her forearm with mine.

         “…But I’ve no need for mighty deeds…”

         She and I did a half turn to the right…

         “…When I feel your arms around me.”

         …And then a half turn back to the left.

         Annabeth and I picked up speed in song and dance.

         As I came in with the next verse, we did the next step in the dance which is clicking our feet with the others; left to left and right to right.

         “But I would bring you onion rings…”

         “…I’d even make some pottery…”

         Annabeth rolled her eyes as I stopped and let her run around me from my left while I still held her left hand with my right hand.  I titled my head down so her arm could fit over my head.

         “…Yet I will keep you from all harm…”

         Then I twirled her again so that she would have her back to me, her arms crossed, and my arms around her.

         “…If you will stay beside me.”

         We danced around in a circle as Annabeth came in and sang.

         “I cannot wear your onion rings…”

         “…I care not for clay pottery…”

         “…I only want your hand in mine…”

         “…I only want you near me.”

         Now we both sang at the same time while I put my right arm around her waist and she put her left arm around mine.  And using our outside arms to steady ourselves, we spun around in a circle.

         “To love and kiss to sweetly hold.  For the dancing and the dreaming.  Through all life’s sorrows and delights.  I’ll keep your laugh inside me…”

         “…I’ll swim and ail on savage seas.  With ne’er a fear of drowning.  I’d gladly ride the waves so white.  And you will marry me.”

         As we held the last note, stopped facing west, spun Annabeth around to face me, and knelt down.  With both of us out of breath, our hearts racing -looked like hers is more than mine- she put her left hand over her heart and her right hand over her mouth.  She started to cry.

         I reached up to take Annabeth’s left hand and in my right hand and said, “I have put a lot of thought into this, especially this last week.  I cannot see myself with anyone else in this life.  I only see you.”

         I pause, using my left hand, I reach into my left pocket and bring out a gold ring with a small ruby gem in the main setting.

         “I found this ring in the chests you pointed out before,” I explained.  “It had several tiny ruby gems in the gold ring and one bigger ruby gem in the main setting.  Having Adam work on it these last few days, he changed the ring to a much simpler look with only the one ruby, which was found on the other side of the ring originally.”

         “Annabeth,” I said, taking a small breath.  “Will you marry me?”

         Annabeth could hardly say anything as she is crying so much.

         She nodded and whispered to me, “Yes.  Yes, I will.”

         As I stood up, Annabeth grabbed me for a hug, throwing her arms around my next.  Then I took her around the waist, then picking her up, I spun her around once in a complete circle.

         Back behind us in the nearby woods and behind boulders and rocks, a crowd of friends and family appeared to cheer and clap for us.  They came over to congratulate us.  After a few minutes of that, they led the way back to Berk.

         We started with them, but I took Annabeth’s right hand and bring her back a bit until we were alone, I told Annabeth, “I love you.”

         “I love you too,” she replied.

         And we kissed!

Cazi the Conquerer's picture
Cazi the Conquerer
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/22/2014
I am Groot

WHOO! IM BACK!/

These chapters were action packed. Awesome!
And I loved the ending. It's so sweet!

__________________

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Lack Lunason's picture
Lack Lunason
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 09/24/2017
The Secret Symbol.

    Hey there, HTTYYD! Lack Lunason here to report that I have just finished The Secret Symbol!

 

   I'm going to keep my review of the series secret until I catch up totally, but I will say that this was a fun story. (Spoiler alert) The twist ending with him proposing was such a shock! I thought Jarl found a dragon eye lense in the chest, not a ring. Wow!

 

 Quick question: I probably missed it in a previous story, so could you remind me of Jarl's age?

 

  I'm going to wait a week to get other stuff done, then I'll start Mystery of Shadow Mountain. With my slow reading, expect it be a month or so before I fully catch up.

 

  Good luck on the story you're writing and expect me to catch up when you least expect me to.

__________________

 

LACK LUNASON

(I figure you've probably already figured that out, but I thought I'd play it safe.)

 

Here, take a gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Hi, I'm Lack Lunason. I'm called that because I lack many things, and I'm a lunatic. I just put son on the end to make it sound more like a viking name. I'm also a Christ follower.

 

      Here are just a few things that I am:

  1. A procrastinator.
  2. Nice (mostly).
  3. Kind (don't listen to those that say otherwise).
  4. Adventurous.
  5. Lazy.
  6. A dreamer.
  7. And I'm slightly crazy.

     I've been around SoD for a long time. I think I was one of the first thousand to leave Berk and sail to the school. I'm happily part of the bold can known as POTATO BROTHERS. I have over four-thousand trouphies, although, I don't like racing much. On the other hand, I'm a master farmer.

 

     I will spare you the details of how much I like HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and just skip to my favorite things  about HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. My favorite dragon would probably be the Terrible Terror. My favorite viking is Tuffnut. My favorite villain is actually not a villain any longer. It's Dagur.

 

  On the ranking on the forum, I've completed/on the following: Jarl, Forager, Wilderness Explore, Viking Warrior, Dragon Trainer, Drott, Dragon Master,Chief, Berk's Power Player, and......

 

SUPREME VIKING CHAMPION

(Respect my  Authority!)

 

Now onto some random stuff. This part will grow over time.

 

Things I am a Fan of

 

How To Train Your Dragon

 

 

Quotes I love

 

"Once I set the sea alight with a single fiery breath....

Once I was so mighty that I thought my name was death....

Sing out loud until you're eaten, song of melancholy bliss....

For the mighty and the middling all shall come to THIS...."

The Green Death, How To Train Your Dragon: book 1. Cressida Cowell.

 

"WE WILL FIGHT THEM ON THE BEACHES! WE WILL FIGHT THEM IN THE BRACKEN! WE WILL FIGHT THEM IN THOSE BOGGY MARSHY BITS THAT ARE SO DIFFICULT TO WALK THROUGH WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SHOES! WE WILL NEVER SURRENDER!"

Stoick The Vast. How To Train Your Dragon: Book 5. Creessida Cowell.

 

"I sailed so far to be a King, but the time was never right.....

I lost my way on a stormy past, got wrecked in starless night....

But let my heart be wrecked by hurricanes and my ship by stormy weather....

I know I am a Hero...and a Hero is....FOREVER!

In another time, another place, I could have been a King....

But in my castle's ruined towers the lonely seabirds sing.....

I burned up my Tomorrows, I cannot go back ever....

But I am still a Hero....and a Hero is.......FOREVER!

Up with your sword and strike at the gale......

Ride the rough seas for those waves are your home......

Winters may freeze but our hearts do not fail.....

Heroes.......Hearts......FOREVER!

You are never alone if the sea is your friend......

Riding the waves of impossible quests.....

If it doesn't end well, then it isn't the end.....

A Hero.....Fights.....FORVER!

The hero cares not for a wild winter's storm.....

For it carries him swift on the back of the wave.....

All may be lost and our hearts may be worn.....

BUT A HERO.....FIGHTS.....FOREVER!"

Grimbeard the Ghastly's Last Song. How To Train Your Dragon: Book 11 and 12. Cressida Cowell.

 

"That's how we're going to win. Not by fighting what we hate, but by saving what we love."

Rose. Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

 

      That's about it. I give full credit for.....well, everything, to GOD. Have a good day. And, in the words of a Vulcan, "Live long and prosper."

 

Bye for now!

 

 

FURTHER STUFF IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION 

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Wait, you're still here?

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

Nice, hope you enjoyed!
 

A secret, eh?  Another mystery... XD

 

That moment with Annabeth and Jarl I had thought about two books earlier but wanted to wait until the right time to do it where the two characters had the right development and chemistry to make it feel like it was the right moment.

 

Jarl is 18 in The Secret Symbol.  I believe the start of on the Edge of Mystery, he is more like 17.  In the first three books he was 15.  Basically the same ages at the same stages of the franchise that Hiccup is at every point.

 

Alright, I just posted Chapter 39, so expect to have 5 more chapters, probably no more than 10 more for Mystery of Shadow Mountain.

 

Thanks.  Yeah, I wasn't expecting you to get done with this story now.  I was thinking maybe within the next week or two.

 

Hope you like the next story.