Dealing with an Old Friend
By Sadie S.
The sun shone down on two young travelers moving through the forest of Lasho, which was showing the signs of spring coming to life again. Kim walked behind her traveling partner, Bronze. She still remembered the first day they met in the snow as she was petting a fuzzy Bolt Cat. He had asked her to join him on his journey to Quiet Waters. Over the past two months they had become close friends.
Kim watched Blaze flow around Bronze’s head whispering into his ear from time to time. Blaze had been Bronze’s guardian since he was a young boy. Bronze stopped and turned to his left and then continued. Kim followed. Bronze stopped and turned to the right, then took a few steps, then stopped again. He ran his dirty fingers through his messy black hair.
Blaze whispered something to Bronze, "No…well… are you sure… yeah…Kim… no, no… fine."
Kim placed a hand on her hip and voiced strongly, "What about me? What on earth are you talking about?"
Bronze turned to his half Dragon Elf and half human friend, and smiled, "Oh, nothing Kim. Blaze and I were talking about where we should go next."
"And we are going to the city of Rushless Beauty. You are going to make a deal with an old friend of mine," he called over his shoulder as he started walking away.
"Why don’t you make a deal with your old friend? "She asked following him.
"Oh, no. He and I in the same room would be a bad Idea."
"Why is that?"
"Well… last time we were together… let’s just say that he tried to kill me and I took something personal from him. Understand?"
"Let just say that we’re not friends anymore," he interrupted her. Kim shrugged her shoulders and said no more. They walked down the path that Blaze showed Bronze. After three hours of walking and climbing hills, they reached the city. Bronze’s right arm pointed to city, "Kim welcome to Rushless Beauty."
Kim understood where the city got its name. Waterfalls encircled the city with reddish, green, and yellow trees as far as the eye could see. A lake, at the bottom of the city was surrounded with small houses. In the center of the city rose a mountain with a circle carved out of the rock as if it was a castle. Beneath the circle, the most beautiful water flowed down to the lake. The sound of rushing water filled the air. Kim lost her breath looking at the most beautiful city she had ever seen.
In no time they were at the lake. Small shops and houses lined the whole lake. Merchants shouted for the travelers to come over. Bronze eyed the stalls as if he was looking for something. At one stall he stopped and asked a very ugly lady about a dark blue sleeveless shirt. The ugly lady picked up the shirt and held it up for him to see. Blade whispered something to Bronze and he smiled, "I’ll take it and those pants over there." The woman pointed at a pair of pants and Bronze nodded. After paying the woman, Bronze walked away from the stall to a tree.
Bronze handed Kim the shirt and pants, "Here you go."
She looked down at the new clothing, "What’s this for?"
"I’ll tell you later. Now go change over there in that house. You will meet a nice woman. Tell her these words, ‘Bronze is stronger than Silver’. Got it?"
She bit her lip, but nodded and walked over to the house he had pointed at. Bronze took a seat under the tree and took off his brown cape. "Blaze, do you think this will work?" he whispered to his guardian.
"I think it will," Blaze answered in a sparkly voice. "I know that Kim is the perfect person for the job. It says only a Dragon Elf can get it. Plus she cannot get hurt, because it is in her blood to attack before she is harmed. Ahh, here she comes. Remember, watch your words."
Bronze stood up and smiled. Kim smiled back. She held her mother’s blue dress in her arms. She still wore her father’s red cape, not ready to take it off. "Perfect, come on Kim."
Bronze took the dress and placed it in his sack. They walked through the houses and the market until they came to stairs that led up to the highest point of the city. Red trees stood guard in front of the stairs. Leaves covered the stair steps, as if no one dared to step upon the stairs.
Bronze stopped at the entrance and took Kim by the arm, "Ok, take this." Then he placed a small bag in her hands, "I need you to walk up these stairs to where they stop. Wait there. Just wait. Don’t leave until you see a man with a long scar on his left cheek. When he asks you what you’re doing there, tell him you want the Biter. He may say no. Just say it again but this time add this; I have a gift from a friend. If he asks about the friend, just say the same thing you said to the woman at the house. Once you have it, get out of there and run back here to me. Got it?"
"I think so," she said calmly trying to remember everything he had told her. She started for the stairs.
"Kim, wait" She stopped and turned to Bronze who had his hand out. "I need your father’s cape."
"I know it is important to you, but it’s not safe wearing it up there. Trust me on this one." Reluctantly Kim took the cape off and handed it to Bronze. He took it and placed with the dress. Kim turned quickly and walked up the stairs.
Wind blew through Kim’s brown hair as she stood on the side of the mountain looking at a wall. The stairs lay behind her. She looked left, to the right--nothing. Weird. Bronze did say to wait. Kim looked through her dragon’s eyes at the wall--nothing. Maybe…she closed her eyes. She reopened her human eyes and looked at the side of the mountain--nothing. She pressed her hand over the rough rocky side of the mountain. Nothing happened.
Kim blinked back to her dragon’s eyes. Rushless Beauty reappeared. She looked down at the bag Bronze had given her. Maybe if she pressed against this wall something would happen. She reached out her hand to touch the wall. Before touching it she looked down at Rushless Beauty. Suddenly out of nowhere came an arm which grabbed Kim and dragged her into a well furnished huge room.
Kim spun around to see a well-dressed man with a fur cape and jewels draping his neck. Kim looked at his face and saw a long scar on his left cheek, Bronze’s friend. "Why are you here? Why has a young petty girl come to this place?" he barked at her. Kim stared at him forgetting what to say. "Speak!" The man yelled in her face.
"I came for the Biter," Kim stammered.
The man took a step closer to her, "Oh really? You can’t have it. No one can."
"Because only a Dragon Elf can wield the Biter. Why should I give it to a helpless girl?"
"Well, I have a gift for you."
"Really? From who?"
"A friend of yours, Bronze is stronger than Silver." With those words the man pulled out his sword and was about to attack Kim. Without thinking, Kim’s body moved with the blood of her Dragon Elf father. She kicked the man’s hand so hard that his sword flew across the room and out the window with a shatter. The man dropped to his knee holding his hand screaming him pain, for his hand was shattered as the window.
Kim straightened up and said without fear, "Now may I have the Biter?"
The scarred man looked up at her pain all over his face. He cursed in a language Kim didn’t know. "Biter, come to the Dragon Elf maid," he called flatly.
Kim turned her head to the sound of doors opening and closing. Soon a sword flew through the air and landed in her hands. Kim grabbed the mighty weapon and threw the bag from Bronze over to the hurting man. "Here, that’s from your friend."
Before Bronze’s friend opened the bag, Kim darted for the wall she was pulled through. She broke into the daylight and bolted down the stairs. When she reached the bottom step she looked wildly around for Bronze. She saw him under a tree taking a snooze. She ran to his side and kicked him gently. "Bronze I got it. Let’s go." Bronze groggily got up and took her by the arm and started running through town back into the forest of Lasho. Once they were far from the city, Bronze started to slow down. Kim half walked, half ran next to Bronze. Panting she said, "Here is the thing you wanted me to get for you."
Bronze smiled but didn’t take it. "Ah, no. I can’t use it. It’s for you Kim. Beside you know that I already have a fine sword." He slapped the one on his side.
"What? You wanted to get me a sword? Next time just buy one in the market, instead of sending me to your weird friend."
"Sorry, but we need that sword of us to get to Quiet Waters with no problems. Understand?"
"Fine." They walked a little bit without talking then Kim broke the quiet air, "What was in the bag you told me to give him?"
"The necklace I took from him. It was given to him by the only women that loved him. She died a week before they were supposed to get married. He was heartbroken. I tried to convince him he needed to stop mourning and rule Rushless Beauty. The people were waiting on him but he got mad. He yelled in my face, ‘I’m still the ruler here… you know nothing… why should I listen to your words?" He pulled out his sword. I followed, we fought. I cut the necklace off his neck and dove for it. I picked it up. I thought if I had the necklace he would listen to what I had to say, but I was wrong. That’s when he tried to kill me. I escaped just in time with the necklace. He swore if he saw me again I would surely die. Now, do you get why I wouldn’t make that deal with him?"
Kim nodded her head, "So you use to live in Rushless Beauty?"
Bronze slowed down his pace for Kim to keep up. "Yes, I grew up there before my mother died. After my mother’s death, Silver, the guy you met took me in and watched over me."
"Silver, that would explain why he tried to kill me when I said, Bronze is stronger than Silver."
"Silver tried to kill you? How did you escape?"
"She is Dragon Elf," Blaze whispered in Bronze’s ears.
Kim was about to answer but Bronze said, "Forgot you are half Dragon Elf and half human, sorry."
"Where is your father?" Kim asked.
"Oh, my dad died also. See my dad was a Might Man. He and my mother were trying to get to Quiet Waters also. Dad got attacked by a beast. My mother never told what type of beast. She brought him to Rushless Beauty and there he died of his wounds. I was only a baby at the time."
"I’m sorry. I didn’t know."
"Hey, it’s alright. Beside I’ve gotten over the past, now I just look to the future. Come on Kim, Quiet Waters waits."
Bronze took a few steps ahead and followed after Blaze who was leading the way. Kim strapped on the sword and followed her friend deeper in to the forest of Lasho.