"...and that is how we ended up here" Ishtar finished explaining the rather horrifying tale of the fate of his home.
"And here is?" within her story Chris had almost forgot that he woke up in whatever this place is. Though deep down he was hoping that it was a safe place "After the past few days, I need a break"
"It's... well, it's much easier to show you" Ishtar leaned forward to helped him off the bed where he had remained to rest off the slight pain he was feeling "Come on lazy bones".
"Wait" he stopped her from roughly dragging him out of his bed " Where are Mulengu and Ursa?".
His friends had to be safe before he could carry on anything else. He also needed to make sure that he hadn't had the world's most hallucinogenic dream.
"They are in other rooms below. now get up" she answered with a forceful voice that matched her usual cold self and like an electric charge she shocked him out of the bed.
Chris shuddered a little as his feet touched the cold floor and he twiddled his toes a little to build up some heat.
" I need some socks and shoes before the floor freezes my toes off".
"Check under the bed" she answered though him and he followed Ishtar's instructions and leaned down before he pulled two black and blue leather boots with black socks. He quickly put them on to escape the cold floors that was freezing his toes.
"So where to first?" He asked her.
Ishtar led him out of the room and down a spiral of stairs that were case before she strangely asked him "Mother and Father are fine, right?".
Chris looked at her confused wondering why she said that, then it occurred to him that she was copying with what happened and she needed validation that they would walk away from.
"Of course they are, it's mom and dad, those two are the strongest beings on the planet. Course they fine" he put on a confident front as he spoke but he still felt uncertain inside.
"Of course" she answered more confidently with a genuine smile returning to her face much to his relief.
They entered a corridor that was made of a white stone, there were large tapestries depicting medieval artistry of various scenes from hunts, battles and image's of kings.
Many large windows lined the corridor all allowing the rays of the newly risen sun to touch his skin like the warm embrace of a friend that he gladly welcomed.
The sunrise took his breath away, he could see cloud formations barely a few meters above him and below he could see hundreds of marble white castle towers that joined to make one large castle and beneath it he could see an equally marble city.
" amazing" was all he could muster to say in awe.
"I know, that's how i felt too when i saw it" she patted him in the back playfully " Now let's go, we shouldn't keep our host waiting".
"Don't worry you shall meet him soon, now come on" she motioned for him to follow her to the end of corridor door that had a glowing green glyph etched atop it.
As Ishtar neared it the door let out a buzzing sound, like it had a nest of a thousand bees hiding behind it.
"What's that?" he was hoping that he wouldn't have to be doing so much asking today.
"It's a doorway, that's what they call it anyway. It's just a short length teleportation device across the castle" Ishtar explained before she walked into the door and shimmered from sight, like some kind of illusion.
"Okay Christian... you can do this" he began to take deep breaths and slowly walked towards the door nervously.
He inched ever closer step by step feeling more nervous like a young child trying to get into a pool by dipping their toes first into it before going in.
"Come on" he heard Ishtar as her hand came from the door and grabbed him by his shirt before pulling him into the door.
He stumbled into a hall so vast it would fit multiple city blocks. It was so beautiful decorated with grand colours, paintings, statues of solid stone and banners that bore all types of artwork's and finally the passionate sounds of a group of minstrels gave the hall a welcoming atmosphere.
Many large tables could be seen filled with hundreds of people all feasting on bread, vegetables, fruits, pieces of chicken, beef, eggs and all sort of beverages as well as other types of food.
The chattering in the room was loud and merry like the great dinners his family usually hosted during the great seasons back home.
"Come " she tagged at his shoulder a pulling him out his trance that was brought upon by the sweet mouth watering scent of the mixed hot foods that assaulted his senses without the slightest mercy.
"Alright, alright, i am coming" he followed her past many tables where he spotted many people adorned in with the official Avalonian coat of arms identifying as those who had gotten when the invader's portal malfunctioning after Ishtar slammed the battleship into it at least that is what Ishtar explained.
They acknowledged his presence as well as Ishtar's with waves, polite greetings and salutes by others
At the end of the hall, upon an area that was elevated by a meter was a much larger table made of a white wood like with even greater foods that Chris had to stop himself from drooling.
At the said table sat ten people eating their meal with the grace and control expected from people of their great rank if their sitting position was anything to go by.
" The complete opposite of us in private " he sighed thinking about his parents who also ate like these great knights in public, and the privately they let's say they wouldn't want someone to see them eating like that.
At the centre of the table was a man who made ice form in Chris veins and his gut instinct called for him to either attack or run for his life.
It was the man who beat and nearly killed him. It was Artorias as he called himself, Chris would recognise the man from his black hair and his slight stubble that granted him a youthful yet mature look. He was dressed is fine purple and cold silks deserving of one who declared himself a king with a simple silver band acting as his crown.
This was the man who from what Chris remembered had beaten both him and his friends to an unconscious state and the last thing Chris saw was his blade.
The man looked straight at him and he could obviously see the fear on his face as well as his rigid body language. Though considering the chattering had stopped it was clear that everyone had noticed it too.
The man or king arose from his seat and cleared his throat " I welcome you Christian Ddraig, Prince of Avalon to my table. Please join me and let us break bread as friend's in the eye's of the great father himself".
His words had no hostility today and it made this king sound different but Chris's body was acting upon its own will and it was refusing to move even an inch.
"Come sit with us and i can explain everything" Ishtar whispered to him and he couldn't bring himself to disbelieve the honesty in her voice.
Reluctantly he dragged his feet to the main table looking for a seat preferably away from the king who he had the greatest of urges to punch.
"Boy, sit here" a older man dressed in equally fine red garments told him offering him seat next to him on the right side and Chris obliged with Ishtar seating on the mans left side.
The man was looking at Chris very intrigued and it caused Chris out of awareness to also look back at the man who he could tell was rather tall, with a tanned skin tone, the man must have spent a lot of time he wondered. His hair was a dark shade of orange and it extended downwards to his shoulders, he had a thick beard and his eyes Chris could swear he saw a literal orbs of fire.
"By the great father himself you all look just like her" he whispered trying not to be heard but Chris had heard him. Before he could ask what the hell that was supposed to mean, he spotted some people in the crowd waving at him.
With the same type of grace that he had been taught, he waved back at Mulengu, Ursa and Thor who all grinned from ear to ear clearly just as happy to see as he was to see them... oh and Pyrrha was there too but who the hell cares.
"Hey, eat up" Ishtar instructed him with the same bossy tone that he would never dare question " You need your strength and after this i swear we are going have things explained after this".
Chris wanted to argue with her but he decided to just eat because to be honest he was very hungry.
All of Chris's thoughts turned to ultimate bliss from the feeling of bread, smoked fish, fried chicken, boiled eggs and hot milk mixed inside his mouth catching his test buds into a storm of flavours all mixed together perfectly.
The meal lasted for two all hours and for Chris it was heaven. Though the tranquil experience would have been consistently uninterrupted if it wasn't for the man whose eyes were digging into him like he was some sort of oddity to observe.
"Deus, what is his problem" he could almost feel the eyes.
"My friends!" the king declared his voice booming across the hall and silencing the voices.
"We have suffered many great losses at the hands of our mutual enemy, the Lunar nation. We have lost our kingdoms and our loved ones, but with our new allies the kingdom of Avalon, we stand a chance to strike back at our enemies and regain that which they took from us!" his speech drew many cheers from the crowd "Cavallonians and Avalonians standing side by side!".
"Just wait please" his sisters face softened a bit as she pleaded with him to wait as she saw him about to ask for clarification.
"Fine" he said before tossing a piece of chicken to his mouth.
The meal ended and the king with the entire table rose up to leave and discuss private matter's as was always the point to these kinds of events.
He arose from the table with them and for a brief moment he caught the questioning expressions etched upon his friends face asking him what was happening, he could only answer them with a shrug to show just how clueless he was as well.
The king led them to a large library that near equaled the hall in its size and in its magnificent splendor. It was packed with thousands of books and scrolls all neatly stacked in shelves that towered over them all by a near hundred meters.
The only libraries that Chris had seen that could rival this beautiful structure were his parents library and the capital's library.
"I suppose you are in need of answers?" the king finally asked the question clearly directed at Chris who began fidget under the mans cold gaze whilst his knuckles turned white from the fists that they were balled into.
"Yes, i am" he answered after clearing his voice and gaining back control of his wit " What is this place and who are you?".
"Artorias Pendragon, son of Uther Pendragon and king of Cavallon and protector of the realm" the pride and authority in his voice oddly enough reminded Chris of his mother.
But the name Pendragon and a son of an Uther, someone's family truly love Arthurian myths. But then who was he to laugh, in his younger years the stories of Arthurian myth and legend made up a great chunk of his bedtime stories to the point that he knew hundreds of variations of the tales from his mother.
" And let me guess you have a wizard named Merlin and a sword named Excalibur and if i remember correctly a colourful assortment of knights?.
"Oh, close but no cigar my child, its Marzhin " a woman's voice echoed through the library.
Chris almost jumped out of his skin but he managed to calm himself though the thought of how foolish he looked as he almost jumped made his cheeks red " Who said that?".
The air above him shimmered like a lakes surface under the sun's rays as a tall and beautiful woman with long grey locks of hair though she appeared to be in her late twenties materialised. She was dressed in a blue robe with carved wooden staff in hand. As he got a closer look at her Chris could not deny that she was a beautiful creature.
"It is i, Merlin" she answered his original question with a teasing wink that made Chris already red flustered face redder and his breathing shallower.
"Can someone please explain to me what is really going on?" At this point a clear cut answer was very welcome.
"Allow me to explain" an elf woman carrying a large book said as she shot a small glare at Marzhin who was laughing at Chris " You might not know who i am but my name is Olwen Margeston, i am or was a researcher at the Reven-craft institute".
He knew the Reven-croft institution, it was one one of the biggest research institutions " It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance doctor".
"Like wise" she shook his his hand " Have you ever heard of something called the Nexus?".
He racked his brain for a few minutes trying to think of that but nothing came to mind " I can't say that i have".
"Of course" she almost sounded disappointed " The Nexus is what is what we are in. It is a universe that thousand's of years ago experienced an influx of light and dark energy completely altering it's existence".
"How did it alter it's existence. i thought light and dark energy cancelled it each other out. Such amounts should destroyed any universe if such a thing happened " he might not have been an expert on light but that was common knowledge.
" We suspect that there was interface from a third party that we still haven't identified... But the effects are that the entire universe became a plane flowing with great amounts of mana that appears to have found a connection to outside universes that affected it's development".
"This universe rotates around other universes getting within contact with them through linking points in those universe for a short period of time, that varies from between five minutes to an hour. And from those points whatever force was manipulating the energies would copy those worlds collective belief".
"That is really vague" he didn't want to sound disrespectful but it wasn't that helpful to him or descriptive enough.
"Okay think about this universe as a device connected to another device by a fifth dimensional link" and right now she was really losing him.
"That link connects to say England of earth in the middle ages when belief in king Arthur was strong. Now that belief is strong enough to begin warping a king Arthur in this world thanks to whatever force had warped this world to become what it is in the first place. But it does more than that, the third force searches for every thought up king Arthur in that world's existence and begins uploading those copies here creating an entire section of king Arthur's and their legends".
"So he is" he pointed at Artorias before him who had said nothing since Olwen Margeston began her explanation.
"A possibility of the once and future king" Marzhin answered for Olwen Maegeston.
"And when this world connected it is possible for someone to crossover from both sides. That's how we originally got here and that's how your mother originally got here".
"My mother?" he was praying that his mother hadn't killed an Arthur and stolen their sword because her Excalibur was leaving some very bad implications "This explains her obsession with these matters of Britain".
"Your majesty how much do you know about her years between ten and sixteen? " this question felt strange but it also felt like it hit a strange spot.
His mother never talked much about her past expect when she became a knight and her adventures with his father " Not much... oh... she is a...".
"An Arthur, yes but she wasn't created by the Nexus though" that oddly didn't calm the awkward atmosphere that was building up " Besides i am sure you have met your grandparents from you're mothers side before".
He looked at Ishtar and she looked at him sympathetically " She must have gone through this as well. Deus this awkward".
"Remember how i told you about the possibility of one crossing over".
"Well many people did crossover. My research team with your father did crossover. Back when he was a trainee knight interning under the knights of silver who were escorting us on our expedition here".
Lady Margeston appeared to be hit hard by the nostalgia bus as she paused a bit and smiled to some far off memory " Anyway, we found out that many other people from hundreds of other worlds had also crossed. Your mother was one such person".
"Then how did she became an Arthur" it sounded stupid when he said it out loud but this was his reality now "This is keeps getting more and more ridiculous by the minute".
"We found out that most legends were forged incomplete either lacking an Arthur or some important element to them. Now if say someone interjected themselves into a story like a young girl of nine pulling a sword from stone when there was no one else to pull it out, that person would become that legends Arthur " Olwen finished her explanation.
"You should be proud boy" the knight from the dinner table spoke his voice beaming with pride " Your mother served as king of Gamalaot for a good six years before she left it for Avalon and as the divine is my witness she was one of greatest kings I've ever known. No offence Artorias".
"Non taken" Artorias answered him.
"And you are?" Chris wanted to know what this man wanted.
"I am Cai Ceinfarfog, i served under your mother" the man gave a bit of a jolly laugh " I guess that makes me your uncle considering she anointed me her blood brother".
"Alright" having nothing to say to was beginning to become a norm today " And the Lunar nation you mentioned them during your speech. How did they cause any issues with you people?".
"A year ago they found a way to this world. And with the aid of a traitor named Nimue they began to attack my counterparts respective nations and level them to ash" king Artorias answered grimly.
"Are they planning an occupation" if the other Camelot's were as amazing as this castle then he excepted that was a possibility.
"No, i believe they hope to gain power from the cities. All Camelot's are powerful centers of magical energy, no one knows what could happen if they are harnessed in masses but we know that many of my variants including your mother have been captured by them".
"I need a moment" thoughts of every kind were swarming Chris's head as he clumsily stumbled out of the library.
He didn't know where he was going but he just needed time to digest the information given to him. He exited a large arch door leading him to a busy court yard filled with the citizens of Cavallon going with their day. The breeze and chattering of the court yard was welcome.
He was about to take an extra step when he heard Ishtar calling behind him.
He would have just continued on and escaped this madness but something inside him told him to stay and listen to her " You know, this has been a tough couple of days".
"I know" she seemed to also be thinking " You are probably wondering why she never told us".
"That and many other things" he almost felt betrayed by the secret but how would she have told them about this "I am not mad at her at them for lying if that's what you think. I just don't like not knowing things...".
"Good, because Joan was positively fumed when she found out" Ishtar said with a chuckle and Chris was sure that it must have been a sight to behold.
"Joan?" He thought with a pit within his stomach as he realized that he forget about his own twin sister.
"Joan!"he squeaked her name before he coughed trying to brush off that embarrassing moment " Where is she?".
Ishtar's laughter didn't really help him "Don't worry, she left a couple of days ago on a mission to collect refugees and powerful relics left laying around that could help against the Lunar nation. So you wont end up looking like a jerk who forgot about his own sister".
"Days, how long was i out?" He thought that he might have been unconscious for a few hours or a day.
"Five days from what i was told. It was probably the strain of the travel through the worm hole that drained you".
"Yeah probably" he was still thinking about his dream and what it possible interpretation he could have for it "Have we managed to any sort of connection with back home?".
"As a matter of fact we did" Ishtar was beaming with pride so this meant she had a hand in this " our wizards back home are building a stable bridge".
"Then i guess that makes you queen regent until we get mom and dad back" he could see a slight blush building up on her cheeks " So tell me, your majesty how does it feel to wear the crown ".
"Can you stop that!" she punched his shoulder giving him a slight bruise " I am still me so treat me like you always did".
"So like an overbearing sibling who doesn't understand the meaning of personal space".
"Ha,Ha, very funny" it was nice for him to see Ishtar relaxed and casual without laying down a little bit too thick "Anyway you going somewhere?".
"I... i don't know honestly" he took a very deep breath to calm himself " I just need some air doing something familiar... not this".
"You want to be out in the field" it was more an assertion than a question and she was right. He felt like he needed to get into the field and get his blood pumping " Alright, rest up tomorrow there must be something important that i can find to aid you.
"You are letting me go back into danger even after everything?" He knew that his mother would probably kill her now. Both siblings shuddered as they could feel their mother's disapproving glare from here.
"Don't mistake me, i don't like this bit but i am your sister and i trust you. Plus i know that you would find a way to put yourself in danger anyway without my authority" she was most definitely right.
"Thank you Ishtar" he gave her a warm hug "Mother would probably kill you though".
"Oh she will" Ishtar stopped her laughter while she walked away "Also your friends are in that tower in case you need to socialize".
The tower in question was a tall eastern tower and Chris cursed Ishtar for leaving him to find it on his own. It took him two entire hours of hopelessly messing up his directions to find the entrance. Finally he arrived at the tower and found their room after fifty minutes of searching.
He could feel the excitement crawling up his spine as he opened the door and it was immediately dropped when something streaked past his head so fast before it collided with the wall behind him cracking it like an a glass window hit by a rock.
" Ursa !" he heard Mulengu shouting while his entire body stiffened and be taken by a mixture of fear and shock.
"I am so sorry Chris. Are you alright" Ursa rushed to him to inspect him for any possible injuries.
"No i am fine, what the... what the hell was that?!" He demanded while walking into the room and shutting down the door in case someone saw.
"It's um... my light magic" she said as he looked at her left hand that was covered in a golden glowing glow in her right hand.
"Your light what?" he thought he wasn't hearing her right " Ursa, Light magic is the one most powerful and difficult magic to master it's second only to Divine magic and even then people who knew Divine magic still have a hard time learning Light magic, you have never studied it to my knowledge ".
"Just... Y.. you remember these" she showed him the bow and the memories of his dream began to return to him as he studied the crystal embedded in it and at it's center he could see an open book with a galaxy within it.
"So it wasn't a dream" he felt a cold chill run down his spine at this revelation.
The room was quite spacious with two bunk beds and Mulengu, Thor and... Pyrrha also sat there but Chris didn't care. In Mulengu's hand his sword too had the crystal with the engravings of various beasts upon it.
"I guess not" he was really going to need a day to understand what was going on " How do you have... you know that".
"Well let's start with when i woke up" Ursa began to explain.
"When did you wake?" he asked her hoping he wasn't the last out of their sleep.
"Two days ago" she answered and now he dreaded Mulengu's addition to the conversation "I just woke up yesterday".
"Now if i may continue. When i woke up and i remembered a certain phrase that stuck with me since then, Starforge... the crystal said it remember!" she was sounding so excited that Chris wasn't sure if he was to be pleased or afraid " Anyway, i went to check the library where i met the strange gender bent Marzhin, i asked about it and she directed me so many books".
She directed Chris thirty books scattered across one of the bunk beds. The one he bothered to pick up and read was titled "The ancient workings of the Starforge ".
"So from what i interpreted, we've been chosen by the light which is sentient rock apparently to be it's champions and we can use light energy dependant on our roles" her eyes were sparkling and he pitied the other two who had to through the long version of this as she discovered it.
"And our roles are what exactly?" though that genuinely got his attention " I got something that meant fighter or something ".
"The transcript detailing that are mostly unreadable" Ursa seemed to deflated at that " The researchers couldn't translate all of it and i can't read ancient narwhal".
"Ancient narwhal?" he looked at her confused "Please tell me that isn't a real language".
"Of course it isn't" she was getting frustrated by how she rubbed the sides of her head " I have found out my role, i think... i am the Magum and every time i hold this bow I feel knowledge on how to manipulate light energy flow into me even better than my elemental magic".
"What about you, what's your role?" he turned to Mulengu asking but Mulengu just shrugged.
"I think its best that i show you" Mulengu got off his seat and stretched his arms "I suggest that you guy's take a step back".
Everyone wisely obeyed and gave Mulengu room as gold and red chains began to materialise around his body. They revolved around his body at blinding speeds while Mulengu whispered something Chris couldn't make out.
" What is he saying ?" he asked Thor who had proven himself in the past to be a multi linguist.
"I don't know, but it is ancient and deep" Thor answered as the space behind Mulengu warped and twisted.
Out of the distorted space flew a creature that was a meter long and covered in golden scales that glowed. Its snout and mouth showed many rows of teeth and its large reptilian wings flapped over and over again keeping it afloat.
The only words Chris could muster were "Deus be good, is that what i think it is?".
Natalia Ddriag, the queen of Avalon and king of Gamalaot. Each one of those titles inspired all sorts of emotions in all who heard them with good reason.
The woman many considered a legend now sat in a cage like some kind of common criminal.
Her soul was burning with something, it wasn't sorrow for her defeat and capture. She had learned to accept losses, or fear even for her children's safety she trusted in them to survive.
It was hate that she felt, for the woman who dared threaten her family and home, the woman who had betrayed her trust and friendship.
She could still feel her connection to her signature blade and she could sense her husband hidden from her eyes in one of the many cage's far from her own.
She would wait her time and when it did come she would defeat the woman who had been her teacher and blood sister. The woman Nimue, the lady in the lake.
Support "Phantom Ddraig"
I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos