Last time, we learned of the land of Gilden and
the newborn Shadow Shoyru Hero Shadowflame. We also met Galahan; and Hondu, who
turned out to be Kewnos, another hero. Darigan was revealed as well.
Maya gasped, "Darigan's
been my husband for two weeks!?" Galahan and the newly revealed Darigan
"That's correct!" Darigan rasped gleefully.
"And now we have to eliminate that little brat that's in the kitchen. If you'd
hold on a minute- Galahan?"
Galahan nodded, "Stay here. Leave to your cost."
"O-o-o-k..." Maya stammered.
A wail set up from the kitchen.
"You may go care for her," Galahan told Maya
as he stepped into the rain to confer with Darigan.
Shadowflame had sensed trouble in the house
and wanted her mother. Maya stuck her head in the doorway.
"Hush... Mommy will be right there!"
Shadowflame was not satisfied with a 'right
there.' She heard the front door open again.
"We're back," boomed a voice that sounded very
scary to her.
Shadowflame pushed up the floorboard and crawled
out. She could glide and walk slightly, being three hours old, but right now
she crawled to be quiet as she could. She spotted a large sword hanging by the
window. It was beautiful!
Shadowflame crawled over and climbed up the
counter to get to the sword.
"ANTIKIA LIGHTEN!?" roared the scary voice,
"GET ME THAT BABY!"
Shadowflame ducked into a cupboard and tried
to close the door. There was a scream and a crash and Shadowflame saw three
people enter the room through a knothole in the bottom of the cupboard door,
her mother one of them. She understood that utmost quiet would be required.
But something was wrong with Maya! There was purple splotches all over her and
the men were calling her Antikia!
Maya lifted the floorboard and gasped.
"She- she's not there!"
"NOT THERE!? YOU WILL PAY LIGHTEN!" roared a
Antikia screamed as Galahan's fin smacked her
and sent her through the window. She hovered in the air for a moment.
"Too bad you lost two heroes tonight!" she smiled,
grimacing in pain.
THUD! came the sound of Maya hitting the ground.
Shadowflame whimpered. The kitchen was on the
second floor! Darigan looked around wildly.
"M'lud, I swear I heard a whimper!"
"Pfffaaa! Is jus' the storm!"
"I dunno..." Darigan replied, casting about
as if expecting to see the baby appear, "Them babes tha's born wi' the mark,
they're tricky sorts m'lud. Permission ta search these cupboards?"
Shadowflame's eyes went wide. She knew that
a trusting and unwary baby was a lost one. Though she was only three hours old,
she was fairly smart and wished she could have had an innocent childhood. It
seemed this would not happen.
"Go righ' ahead Darigan!" Galahan said, "I gots
work ta do at the bally castle 'gain regardin' them blasted taxes!"
"Very good m'lud."
Galahan left, taking the beautiful Shoyru Sword
with him, and Darigan began to pull out drawers and viciously pull cupboards
open. Shadowflame's resolve hardened. This would NOT happen!
As Darigan rounded on Shadowflame's cupboard,
she burst out like a cannonball. Darigan flew backwards, clubbing his head on
"Mom was right. Dat's two hewoes foe da count,"
Shadowflame told the dazed Darigan in babyspeech.
Shadowflame decided it was time she got a shorter,
more fearsome name. Shadow she decided, if I'm a hero or whatever, they'd
better fear the wrath of the night!
And then, after deciding that getting the sword
now would prove much too difficult, she glided out of the window (being unable
to fly yet) and into history.
There was nothing else to do but find shelter tonight, Shadow thought
to herself as she wandered around the foliage behind her former home. She began
to practice flying. She came close to getting into the air at one point and
had to land because of lightning.
But more than one force was acting in the woods
that night. Fate had two surprises in for the world before the storm was through.
"GRAAAGH!" came a rumble from the house, "THAT
The shout scared Shadow immensely, and she jumped,
hovering in the air for a moment before dropping to earth after realizing there
was no threat. Then she realized she had flown!
"YEAH!" she shouted, jubilated that at four
hours old, she had taken flight.
"AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH! THE CHILD IS STILL
Shadow couldn't really understand what was being
said, and tried to take flight again, unsuccessfully. Suddenly, a large figure
burst out of the bushes, lightning flashing dramatically.
Shadow screamed and flew high into the air.
She'd done it again! Shadow flew around, dodging trees as if she were doing
a lap of victory. Darigan, the large figure, chased her, panting heavily. He
pulled out a staff, looking thoroughly annoyed. Shadow dodged bolt after bolt
of magic energy as Darigan shot it at her. Finally, bored with the funny game,
she dove, still dodging magic, until she connected with Darigan, crumpling upon
impact and flopping to the ground unconscious.
Darigan soared up into the air and suddenly
it seemed as if time itself had frozen. Shadow lay in a broken heap on the ground,
and Darigan in the air, his arms and legs flying limply in the wind as he zoomed
backwards. Quite suddenly, however, the moment was shattered by a wayward thunderbolt
that arced out of the sky and collided with Darigan, his shriek echoing as he
was flung far, far away.
Not an hour later, an old Kiko peddler came
past on his way home from visiting his son, John Kiko. He spotted something
in the forest just behind the house with the two Shoyrus who were quite good
friends of his... What were their names? Ah, yes, Hondu and Maya. Nice people.
The black lump Feines, for that was his name,
had spotted, turned out to be a baby! Feines picked it up, and she woke.
"Help me because- I- I- I- ca- an't find my-
my- my mommy!" she cried, "My- my- na-a-ame is Sha- Sha- Shadow!"
"Hush little baby," Feines said, his mind whirring.
Wasn't this those Shoyru's baby? Something was wrong! "You come with me and
we'll check the house."
Feines found nothing in the house but some Anti-Paint
Solution, signs of struggles, and the broken window. Feines, who knew who Maya
was, and she had told him who Hondu was. The old Kiko knew that Galahan had
reached the same inevitable conclusion, and had doused them in Anti-Paint Solution.
He told Shadow, as he gathered her name to be, that her mommy had gone on vacation
and took her home to rest.
"It's going to be okay," he assured her, "It's
going to be just fine"
He hoped. Feines had just taken on a burden
which he knew would spell trouble. But he was lucky, for that last lightning
strike had blurred her memories of the last five hours and she would never know
But was that a good thing?
To be continued...