The morning could not come early enough for Chris as excitement grew on having a mission. Though he was still fatigued from having spent most of the previous two days training and studying whatever light abilities he had. As well as when he joined Thor, Mulengu and Pyrrha in boar hunting with Cai in the lead.
The whole notion of them being blessed by the light seemed too fantastical to be true with consideration on the difficulty of mastering much less gaining it for ones self.
But these Starforge weapons as Ursa called them had allowed this miraculous anomaly to occur. And it seemed that their magic only worked if they remained in contact with their specific weapons.
These weapons appeared to react only for them as was evident by Thor and Pyrrha's failure to use their weapons to call upon the light magic.
Chris himself had found the ability to create constructs of all manner from the light. These always seemed to take the form of swords, spears and a strange armour that encased his entire body. It was rather underwhelming in his opinion.
Chris jumped out his bed and rushed to the bathing room to scrub his body clean of anything left over from yesterday before he clothed himself in beautiful blue silks that had been presented to him courtesy of king Artorias.
He walked to the dinning hall while the rising sun illuminated the corridor's for him like a sort of heavenly torch. The corridor's were filled with people still sleepy from the night yawning and rubbing their eyes with sluggish movement's as they got to work. Chris on the other hand felt about as fresh as newly baked bread.
The hall was once again filled with many Avalonian's and Cavallonians all sharing another grand feast that watered his mouth and dulled some of his senses.
"If i could design heaven it would like this" he thought as his stomach grumbled, like some beast demanding that he feed it.
"You seem very excited boy, more than i can say for you're mood yesterday when hunting the boar" Cai spoke to him as he approached the main table where the king and all important people sat. Enjoying their morning meals with the same joyous nature as the knights feasting below them.
Chris didn't know what to make of the Cai to be fully honest. He had served with his mother and regarded himself Chris uncle but it just felt awkward to meet the stranger who all of a sudden was his family and was just so damn friendly. Unsure of what else to do he silently nodded hoping that would end any future conversion.
Thankfully it was Ishtar who answered for him " He is just excited about the quest for today".
"Is that so" Cai looked interested " Then i suggest we get you some new armour boy. Whatever was left of that junk we found won't do".
"Of course" he hoped he didn't come off as rude with that one note answer. He turned his attention to the food that awaited passage to his stomach.
"Good to hear lad" Cai playfully punched his shoulder unexpectedly causing Chris to yelp in surprise "I have something of hers that she used to wear back in the day, trust me you will love it".
He could see his friends and also Pyrrha in the crowd eating as they too prepared for the mission ahead. The feast was shorter than the previous ones as soon Chris was free to speak to Ishtar again about this quest.
"Find your team and follow Cai to the armory where he shall find you some better suited armour and return your weapons to you" Ishtar's instructions were clear as any could be.
He afterwards took to searching the crowds of exiting feasters for his friends. After a light search that included him meeting Siegfried again with his teammates Dorothy and Sun including sharing greetings and a toast of sugared milk because Sun simply insisted that they share the drink as a respectful greeting.
After departing from Sun who kept chugging down more sugared milk while Siegfried and Dorothy looked on in shame. Chris finally managed to find Ursa, Mulengu, Thor and Pyrrha who were still eating.
"You two are a pigs" Ursa stated as she raised her nose in disgust at Mulengu and Thor who had like a few others in the hall continued their feast with the hunger and ferocity of two wild beasts that had been starved for days.
"Oh excuse your ladyship" Mulengu who had been savagely assaulting a piece of chicken decided to defend himself and Thor "We've seen you eat, Ursa the glutton. You're no better than the rest of us, our fair lady upon your high horse".
Thor nodded in agreement. He was too busy enjoying smoked salmon to care for any kind of verbal retort against Ursa who bore the face of someone who had just been slandered with the worst kind of defamation.
" That's not...." Ursa tried to deny Mulengu's accusations.
But the challenging looks on Mulengu, Thor and even his face told her that non them could be further away from buying what she was trying to sell.
"Ursa, we have all seen it" Chris decided to enter the discussion "I swear pizza shouldn't rub across ones face like that".
If anyone had encountered the team during a meal time they would have thought that boys were gluttons and Ursa was the picture discipline and grace. And to an extent they would be right, but when no one but them was looking, refined intellectual Ursa Falcon was an eating monster.
"At least i bother to show some class in public!" embarrassed she shouted at them as she pointed an accusing finger trying to defend herself "What's your excuse!".
"But we are showing class lady Falcon" Mulengu spoke in a faux english accent as his fixed his non existent top hat whilst Thor rubbed his fake moustache.
"Indeed my lady, one could say we are we are the fanciest and most dashing chaps in this entire sea of uncivilised folk" Thor now joined in on the mockery and Chris tried hard to suppress a chuckle.
" Jolly good show ".
" Exhalent my good lad".
" Of course governor, god save the Queen and all that".
"Enough " Ursa was a few seconds away from attacking them in an attempt to stop their continuous tomfoolery, Chris stepped in and restrained her.
"We have a quest, so if we could hurry things along" He needed to move them away from their current merriment and Ursa's torment.
After ten more minutes of pointless verbal spats between Mulengu, Thor and Ursa, Chris finally managed to get them off their seats and out of their meals.
Finding Cai was thankfully easier as his orange hair, thick orange beard and orange armour stood out in the crowd.
"Lad, there you are. Are do supposed that these must be your friends" Cai who still had a large cup of purple wine welcomed them.
" Sir Cai it is a great pleasure to meet you" Ursa shook Cai's hand "my name is Ursa Falcon".
"Oh, so your the Bedivere of this little group" the Knight said as he playfully slapped Ursa's shoulder and Chris could see her buckle under the force.
"My name is Mulengu Mulengu" Mulengu introduced himself with a handshake of his own.
"The Gawain" Cai also slapped him in the shoulder. causing Mulengu to yelp in pain.
" I am Thor StormCloud" Thor introduced himself after Mulengu and Cai seemed to almost study him more than the others.
"Strange" Chris thought as he watched the introductions go by.
"The Bors" Cai let go of Thor, but it seemed very reluctant.
"My Name is Pyrrha Ulster" Pyrrha introduced herself as Chris tuned his mind away from the conversation from a shear refusal to care.
He only returned to reality when he felt someone tap his shoulders. It was Cai who seemed to bare a large grin upon his face.
"Come boy, we should be preparing for the coming battle" the knight led the way out of the great hall.
"This place is giving me the creeps" Mulengu shuddered making his fear of cold dark places known as they went deeper and deeper into the castles lower levels.
"What's the matter boy. Afraid of the dark?" Cai teased Mulengu as he led the way down the semi dark corridors.
"I am not fond of what is found in the dark" Mulengu answered with his eyes looking around frantically. They had fought many monsters of the shadows, Chris couldn't blame him from disliking them.
"Then worry not, all this darkness leads to is the armory. There is nothing of any danger, except a few swords and spears down this path" Cai answered him as he led them to a large gate. He then leaned forward and taped the gates and as if by some invisible hand they creaked wide open.
They were led in to the armory. It was a wide hall greater than even the dinning hall, It was completely made from bronze that was so polished that Chris could see his reflection in it.
Wow that's big. It's just as big as the one from back home" Chris was genuinely impressed.
"Of course it is nephew. This armoury holds some of the deadliest weapons in all of the Nexus" Cai answered with pride beaming from his voice and body posture.
It's walls were lined with all manner of armors, axes, swords, spears, lances, hammers, bows, pikes, scythes, shield's and even ships. The ships looked looked well crafted to handle the sea while others bore wings as if built for the sky itself. Looking to the left he saw a Trident made of bronze and towering ten feet in height, Chris looked at it in awe as he did the many other great arms present.
As he inspected each weapon fully awed by their fine and detailed craftsmanship Chris could sense or feel a great swell of mana contained in them. He wanted to study their magical coding now to see if the tapestry weaved into these object's matched Avalon's.
"Amazing, i know" Cai said looking through the weapons before declaring loudly "I got it".
He brandished Lucius-aurora within the air and Chris almost felt like running for the sword in excitement for its return but he held his horse's and just walked forward and excepted it back with respect from Cai.
He had surrendered the sword to lady Marzhin for her research the previous day. It made him suspect that she knew or at least suspected the light magic.
"Thank you" he said as he accepted back the sword that was placed in a black scabbard.
"Of course boy. Though... " Cai stopped as he studied the blade with a deep wonder to his eyes that left Chris wondering about if Cai could possibly see the light "This blade though... is strangely familiar".
"It's a copy of my mother's Excalibur" Chris answered as he drew it out of the scabbard to give Cai a better look of it "The magical code of my sword is so similar it could pass off as the real thing to the untrained eye".
"Um... that explains it" Cai answered as he gave the blade a slight tap " It felt like that sword, though there was something else...".
"These are mighty arms, tell me of the blacksmith or Wizard who forged them?" Thor asked inspecting the weapons " They remind me of something ".
" What exactly? " Ursa asked excitedly jumping around Thor.
Thor grasped the sides of head as if he was suffering from a migraine "I am sorry Ursa... its... it's still fuzzy".
" Oh" Ursa deflated in disappointment before she sighed and shrugged her shoulders " Well, its still something. Maybe you will remember next time bug guy".
"A lot of these weapons were captured on missions like the one you are about to be sent to" Cai decided to answer the question Thor asked before Ursa swarmed him.
Cai drew his sword that to Chris's confusion was no metal sword at all. It rather a grey stone with red carved inscriptions littered all over it's body from hilt to blades tip " Like my blade Preiddeu-annwn, we took them on raids to Annwn".
"Annwn?" Chris had only ever heard that name when his mother was explaining king Arthur's tales against the other world of the fae.
"She must have done the same thing" he had more and more question's building up.
"The outer realm of the faefolk " Cai continued " When we first formed this Cavallon as an alliance of us refugees, we suffered their raids. So we sent equal raiding parties into Annwn to rescue many of the captured captives and treasures".
"Not many people made it, did they?" the thought that Lunar nation had slaughter thousands of people and destroyed thousands of homes left Chris feeling sick to the core, but most of all it made him angry.
He could feel the hilt pressing into his palm as he formed a fist that whitened his knuckles from the how tight he made it.
"Yes, my brothers and sisters... " Cai spoke of them with such longing and sorrow. He stood there for a few minutes silent and looking off into some distance Chris or the other's couldn't see " I pray that they are mere captives and that Nimue hasn't slain them in one of her many fits of spite".
"What about Lancelot?" Ursa asked and a piece of Chris could almost cringe at the implications of what that tale held.
"We never had a Lancelot, as a matter fact we currently also don't have a Lancelot of any kind" Cai answered before he paused for a second and turned looking directly at Chris with an ever growing smile that traumatically reminded Chris of Morigan or the rest of his aunts and uncles as they thought of ways to torment him " or a Guinevere".
Chris wasn't interested in knowing his parents romantic lives. He didn't care who they had been with and he didn't want to know.
"What's the matter boy wondering if your mother swung the sword for both sides of the team" Cai was now laughing with tears rolling down his cheeks.
"Please can we not, that is not information that i am seriously interested in" he pleaded with Cai who ended his teasing and finally picked for Chris a violet suit of armor that came with a boar helmet.
"Wear this with pride boy, this was your mother's once. It is yours now" Cai's voice was deep and strong as he handed it to Chris and never had a piece of armor been so heavy in the Prince of Avalon's hands.
After leaving the armory Chris went up the corridors of the great towers and back to his room to change into armor given to him.
The armor itself was sturdy and strong. Though his only complaints about it were that the chest area while not being boob plating was slightly wider than he felt comfortable with and the helmet was a bit to tight for his liking.
The last thing he put upon his person was a crystal ring that fit perfectly across the metal that protected his right middle finger and it glowed brightly for a second as if acknowledging him as it's bearer.
"Well apart from from the slightly large chest and this tight helmet the armour is okay" it did look very good in him and Chris enjoyed his own image.
A knock at his door drew him out of his depraved shameless self-worship . And like a child caught doing something bad in their room he frantically yelled " Who is it!?".
"It's me, we need you at the king's council" Ishtar called back to to him "Are you okay Chris?".
" Of course i am" he was slightly flustered as he answered her "Why would you think that?".
" Well, it might be because you sounded like a person who had just been caught watching... ".
" Go away Ishtar!" he hurt his own throat shouting. Ishtar answered with a chuckle as she left him to stew in his own embarrassment.
The last thing he did before leaving his room was to place Lucius-aurora into its scabbard by his left side. He then walked out and found his sister cross armed and awaiting him. She had large grin across her face while he turned red without his helm to cover his face as it currently rested in his arms.
"That armour suits you" Ishtar had always been the weapons and armour nut amongst them so she could see more marks in the armour than he ever could "Though you might have chosen a better helmet and the chest is kind if big".
"Thanks for your complement and half, now to the king" he was still unhappy with intrusion and accusations.
"Of course ladies first" Ishtar bowed as she gave him a way of passage "It is only the chivalrous thing to do for such a maiden in distress".
"Very funny" he just took her teasing after all it was better than Cai's attempts at explaining to Chris his mother's old romantic history in full details which no child should ever be subjected to knowing.
The king's war room was located at the highest tower that stood at the centre of all others and it made Chris appreciate the teleportation doors in Britannia that saved him from walking for miles at a time to just leave a single floor.
They arrived in a large room that would qualify to some as a large and expensive empty hall that reminded him of a school auditorium. The king, his wizard, his knights, Ishtar's knights probably because she was queen now were all present and Chris could see that his friends had all gotten new armor's to protect themselves.
Ursa was dressed in a light purple armor. Mulengu wore a armour that was coloured black and a crimson deep red that granted him a slightly frightening visage.
Pyrrha on the other side wore a scarlet red and silver armor. She had taken to wearing a blue warriors paint upon her face that he recognized as having been warrior by the ancient elvish warrior's of the summer lands.
Thor was the only one not present and honestly it hurt a little to Chris when Thor turned him down in the armory on the mission in order to guard the avatar of Sophia after she ended here with them through whatever ever means made sense strange Sophia powers because not even Thor knew how.
"Queen Ishtar, Prince Christian, thank you for joining us" King Artorias welcomed them with a friendly tone that helped Chris try and control his wounded pride from his defeat at the mans hands.
"Thank your majesty" Chris bowed respectfully before he walked to his friends who stood in the crowd of knights.
"You look good" Pyrrha's whispered to him and he was close to delivering to her a witty retort that was meant to tell her to sod off but he simply held his tongue and nodded in acknowledgement of her.
"My people and my friends" King Artorias spoke with a heavy voice.
"Just like mom" the speech pattern was so similar that felt like look straight into the uncanny valley for him.
"While you were told that this mission would be a standard mission to collect artifacts and slay beasts that encroach upon Cavallon. That is a lie" Artorias words sent whispers of confusion in the knights. It was like a wave starting from those closet to the king all the way to the the back.
"Enough!" the king's order was not soft nor was it loud, it was commanding power and the mummers died off as quickly as they came " We hoped to keep a panic from spreading. We know that the Lunar nation is planning a attack on us within the next two days and this here is a counter attack before theirs ever happens".
The once confused faces of the knights turned to utter fear and frightful whispers by men and women who looked like they had just been told that the end times were approaching in mere seconds, which if he was being honesty it could be for them.
"Silence!" Ishtar might not have had Artorias charismatic voice but her commanding booming voice did the trick.
" I know what the Lunar nation took from you. Your kingdoms and your loved ones have fallen at their hands" she started her own speech.
Chris could see some of them on the verge of tears. He reminded of the day the earth was swallowed by the darkness. The utter looks of devastation and loss on the survivors faces stuck with him to this day, and this was a perfect replay of that.
"I know you must feel fear after seeing what they did" Ishtar spoke as one with experience after all the way she described the woman Nimue to him during her explanation of Primes fall told him one thing... Ishtar Ddraig had felt fear.
"But the fact is that an attack is coming. The Lunar nation will not stop until every Camelot is conquered. We must strike now when when our enemy is least expecting and destroy them for their transgressions!" she finished her speech to a rounding cheer from the knights whose spirit rose.
"Now that's a queen" he heard Mulengu whisper in awed by the passion with which she delivered her proclamation.
"I know" and Chris fully agreed with that statement.
"Queen Ishtar's full army shall arrive today as reinforcements" Artorias declared silencing the knights who now wore bright smiles and faces " but We are to strike today at the Lunar nations Artimes facility, Marzhin if you may".
Marzhin smile and winked at the king who looked away blushing and from her looks alone, Chris was joining him in that red tinted face group as did many other's.
The wizard snapped her fingers and the air around them began to change and morph into a large castle that was a Frankenstein like miss matched abomination of different castles all stitched together by some mad architect.
"This place" the king pointed at it with disgust " Is were all manner of Arthur's, Merlin's, holy instruments and great knights as well as the innocent common folks are kept locked away and drained for their very life by the witch".
"That's where they are keeping mom and dad" he whispered as he could feel his heart pumping faster and faster at the opportunity to rescue them.
"I plan for us to sneak into this facility and free it's captives" Artorias began to explain his plan "the Lunar nations full armies are to arrive tomorrow we believe to the Nexus and attack us. We can not only take the facility and control how they enter our world. But we can encircle them with the Avalonian forces and with our united front we can crush them".
That wasn't the worst plan going through Chris's head but considering that he had no plan he was going to get behind this one.
"Not a word of this is to leave this room least the people fall into a panic. We are to pretend to ride to carry out the duties that you have been instructed to do before coming here. afterwards Marzhin shall use her magic to transmit us to the Artimes facility where our reconnaissance troops shall meet us and you shall receive further instructions" Artorias explained before he raised his hand in some gesture to get a reaction from them "Understood!".
"Yes, My King!" was the answer from every one as they held their fists into the air with all the passion burning off them. Afterwards the troops began to exit the room for the court yard.
"I know" Chris turned to his friends "Not what we signed up for?".
"Chris since we got to become knights it's kind of become a part of the job description" Ursa said amusingly "At this point we have learned to move with the flow".
"You guys go, I want to have a word with my sister" he instructed them as he walked to Ishtar who was also leaving the king.
" Nice speech by the way" he said halting her.
"Thank you, though i doubt that you stopped me in order to comment on my speech".
He had been thinking about the Lunar nation and the thought occurred to him " What is the Lunar nation trying to do with all these people. I mean they probably have been draining mom and dad's power not to mention countless others. They have enough to win the war and control all territories. What is the rest for?".
"Honestly Chris" she looked at him her face holding a thinly veiled fear " I don't know but whatever it is its big and i fear that it might change Jord forever".
This answer truly unsettled him to the core of his soul. The reports about how destructive the war was were unsettling, whatever the Lunar kingdom wanted couldn't be good.
The trip down to court yard filled him with much contemplation on the matter of the Lunar nation. On the intentions that would inspire them to attack Avalon.
It meant even his home would possibly fall in fashion reflecting the hundreds of kingdoms of Camelot and his people would be shattered and broken all because some water spirit was feeling vindictive.
The court yard was filled with thirty thousand knights with nine thousand of them being Avalonian or so Ishtar had told him. Around them were a crowd of civilians all in awe at the knights.
He couldn't tell for sure but he knew that they were all yelling in excitement at the presence of their king who was now dressed in the armour that Chris had originally fought him in.
The horses awaited and Chris thanked Deus that he had enough experience from his childhood with horse riding to not make a fool out of himself.
But even if he wasn't the most experienced person upon the saddle it was nothing in comparison to the nightmarish horse riding under Ursa and Mulengu who both looked wooden with fright as the horses moved decently enough. Perhaps it was through the horse's own instinct.
"A word of advice" Chris said as he approached them "Don't look as if you currently have a dagger to your head. You might make the horse's uncomfortable".
"What" Ursa hissed at him " I barely have any experience on this thing and I should not be uncomfortable".
"Then relax a little you are pulling the reigns a little too tightly" he answered back to her after multiple deep breaths the both of them began to ease up.
The awes from the troops flowed through the air and into Chris's ear's. He turned to face what they were looking at and even he had to agree with them in their awe.
Before them was an aurora in the sky extending all around them so bright and beautiful was it that it blocked the rest of the outside world until they were in a large tunnel of the aurora and their horses rode it.
"Damn, Thor is missing out on this" he heard Mulengu say his eyes reflecting the truly amazing event.
"I know" Chris only had this to say. He could tell his eyes were reflecting the lights show and his face was like that of a child's introduced to this wonderful world.
But alas it did not last long as the lights vanished and they now found themselves upon a forest that he knew masked them well by its thick tree life but that wasn't what caught his eyes.
It was the mighty structure the size of the capital itself. Words could not describe how striking and imposing it truly was.
"Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Artimes" from the distance he heard Marzhin announce their location.
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