Now that Kyle had the capstone, he could finally finish the sword. While he was relieved that the job would soon be finished, he was still concerned about the feelings of danger and anxiousness that kept him awake at night. Shaking his head, he turned his concerns to fitting the capstone to the hilt. Ordinarily, he would have turned this part of the job over to a jeweler. However, something told him that was impossible for this sword. He could have sworn he heard 'Michael' in his head, saying, 'absolutely'.
While Kyle was concentrating on how to affix the capstone, he failed to notice the other activity occurring in his smithy. Over at the wire drawing bench, the spectral 'Michael' was directing a wing of fairies and a spectral Elven Shamans in the drawing of the necessary amounts of Dragon's Gold wire. Hearing a slight thump, Kyle awoke from his reverie and turned towards the location of the sound. He almost fainted when he saw the amount of finely drawn Dragon's Gold wire that was sitting on the bench, still radiating heat from being drawn. As he turned and started to move toward the bench, a small piece of parchment fluttered to the ground. When he picked it up, all he saw was a few runes inked on to the parchment. As he tried to interpret the runes, he suddenly remembered his 'dream' conversation with 'Michael', and suddenly, as if a cloud had moved from blocking Draconis, all became clear, and Kyle began his work with a determination unlike anything he had experienced in his life. For now everything 'Michael' had told him and all of his subsequent dreams now made complete sense. It was almost as if a candle had suddenly lit in his brain.
Kyle left the wire alone and went to get the sword and a grease stick, as he was going to finish the flames and the runes on the blade. Once he had the sword, he quickly drew the outline of the flames on the blade, using the grease stick. He then went and retrieved the parchments that had the runes inscribed on them. He also brought with him a small clay pot that his new insight said he would need. Outlining the runes went far more quickly than he expected, and several times he thought he felt hands guiding him.
He then went over to his favorite blast furnace and, skillfully using the bellows, quickly brought the heat up to just past where he wanted it. He then retrieved a special brush used for applying very caustic substances. Once back at his working bench he removed the stopper from the pot, and then replaced the pot, as he had forgotten a very necessary step. He went over to his locker and removed what looked like a very thick bandanna; He moistened the bandanna with water from his drinking ewer. Then he wrung the bandanna out slightly before putting it on so it covered his mouth and nose, thus protecting him from breathing any caustic fumes.
Kyle realized that he had almost forgotten one important item and returned to his locker to retrieve a small leather pouch and a special brush. He returned to the bench where the sword was and began working precisely and quickly. He opened the pot again, picked up his special brush and began applying the special paste. Working very quickly, he kept the paste inside the areas outlined by the grease stick. As soon as he was finished, he replaced the stopper in the pot and placed the brush in a container of a neutralizing solution. While he was waiting for the grey colored paste to change color to a vibrant red, he untied the leather strings holding the pouch closed. Seeing that the paste had started to change colour, he reached into the bag and began sprinkling the contents on top of the paste covered designs. Once all of the paste was covered with the fine shavings of Dragon's Gold, he headed to the blast furnace and, with a few pumps on the bellows, brought the temperature up to where he needed it. He then opened the door to the furnace. Quickly returning to the bench, he carefully retrieved the sword and retraced his steps to the blast furnace. Reverently placing the sword upon the Dragon Rock pillar inside the furnace, he closed the door and began pumping the bellows, bringing the furnace to a temperature that only he and 'Michael' could determine. He kept pumping every few minutes and kept a very close eye on the sword. Once the sword began to shimmer inside the furnace, he began reciting the runes he had memorized from the parchments and his dreams/visions. As soon as he had finished reciting the runes, he could have sworn he saw 'Michael' and a team of salamanders with small chisels and hammers, working on the sword. Shaking his head to clear his vision seemed to have worked, as, when he glanced at the sword again, he saw that it was time to remove it. Grabbing his best gloves and best tongs, Kyle removed the sword from the furnace. He then quickly walked over to the bin full of diamond dust and quickly dipped each edge of the sword into the dust, and, without a moment's hesitation, dropped the sword into the special quenching oil. Praising Draconis for his damp bandanna, he quickly stepped away from the cloud of fumes and steam rising from the quenching trough.
Kyle decided to step outside for a breath of fresh air while the sword was quenching. He heaved a sigh of relief once he was outside in the fresh night air. 'I am sure glad that most of the work on the sword is done. These long nights, after working all day, are catching up with me,' he thought, as he enjoyed the evening air.
If Kyle had taken the time to look up, he would have seen a contented Draconis winging away; however, he was too concerned about the finishing work left on the sword. He was also thinking that he needed to go into Potter's Village and see how Brion was holding up. Something about the boy's demeanor the last time Kyle saw him was bugging him.
When Justin's Uncle David walked through the door into his house just before dinner, his daughter Robyn turned bright red and started hysterically coughing. Of course, David, being the kind soul that he was, rushed to her aid, or so he thought. Robyn only saw her uncle rushing towards her with her secret in his hands; she never saw the look of concern on David's face.
When David reached her, he set down the ewer and teacup on the table next to his daughter and knelt down in front of her.
"Robyn what's the matter? How can I help you?"
"It's nothing, Dad, something got caught in my throat," was Robyn's cautious reply, but she gave the game away when she glanced over at the ewer and tea cup.
Suddenly David's life changed for the better, as he suddenly remembered some things he had forgotten. He remembered how many times Robyn had sat on his lap, as he was working on one piece or another, or at least trying to work, with a young child sitting on his lap. He also remembered Robyn playing with some of his cast offs and those of his journeymen. One of the funniest things that David could remember was Robyn trying to work Justin's old potter's wheel. Rather than saying anything about what he had realized, he just gave her a hug,
"Go get washed up for dinner. I am sure everything will be better after one of your Mom's wonderful meals."
"Yes, Dad, and thanks," Robyn replied, as she headed off to wash up, but not without a backward glance at her two pottery pieces.
That night, just as the family was finishing their dinner David stood up and announced, "I have some tremendous news for our whole family, although at first I thought it was bad news and could cause major problems." He paused and looked around the table with a wicked gleam in his eye.
"I will be right back." Without another word, he turned and left the dining area.
The table was abuzz, with everyone asking everyone else what their father could be talking about. Robyn and David's wife, Samantha, were the only ones who had concerned looks on their faces. Before things could get too far out of hand, David returned with the scroll the Royal Messenger had given him earlier that day. He had also wrapped the ewer and the teacup in his vest.
Of course, his family was shouting questions at him, so David quickly solved that problem.
"SILENCE!!!!!!!!!!! Or you won't hear my news."
The dining area was quickly as silent as a church mouse.
"Thank you. I, or actually Justin, had a Royal Messenger today. When I told her we were looking for Justin, she asked me who I was, and when I told her she gave me a parchment and a receipt to sign. I signed the receipt and then asked what I had signed for. She told me what it was for, and I said that I couldn't fulfill the orders. To my surprise, she pointed out some items on one of the benches and said, 'Those pieces over there will be perfect'. She was right".
By now, everyone at the table, except for Robyn, was getting very curious. Robyn was too busy trying to make herself as small as possible. She planned to slide under the table, as soon as her Dad wasn't looking.
"The parchment was orders for chima and ceramic pieces for a coronation at the palace, and they are a rush job. They are also very special pieces, mostly to be given as gifts to the attendees. However, there was a major problem. I can't complete the order, and neither can any of our apprentices or journeymen. The only person who could complete the order, besides Justin, is........."
The next morning, before finishing the sword, Kyle decided to go visit Brion, as the boy's attitude was literally driving him insane. After assigning his apprentices and journeymen their jobs for the day, Kyle got his horse and headed for the village. As he was riding toward the village, Brion was busy driving his father crazy. Brion had gone to his Dad, Harold, and borrowed a piece of drawing parchment and a writing stick. He had also cadged an old book of armour designs from the mayor.
"Daddy, Daddy, not like that! It has to look like this!" Brion then tried to draw the scabbard he had seen hanging from Justin's belt in his dream. Somehow, Brion knew exactly what size it should be, and that was the problem. Harold kept trying to make it shorter, like the scabbards in the book. Brion finally won the battle, when he said he would pay for the extra leather needed. Harold finally just shook his head and gave in.
"Bye, Daddy, I gotta go see Coop for his parts of the scabbard. Don't forget to make the colors just right." With that, he was out the door like a flash of greased lightning.
What Harold couldn't understand was why Brion wanted the scabbard in the first place, and why the specific colors. Brion had chosen the royal colors, but also forest green; not only that, but there were some symbols that Harold had seen in some of Cleric Tomas's things. Whenever Harold tried to question Brion about the scabbard, the only answer he ever got was that Kyle needed it, and needed it soon. When he tried to push Brion for a fuller answer, he got even more confused. "Because Draconis wills it." Since the scabbard was of a very intricate design and would require a lot of skill to create, Harold was actually looking forward to working on it. This was far better then making traces and reins for horses and carters. This scabbard had a wooden throat encompassed by a metal locket or mount. In addition to the metal chape1 at the bottom was a wooden block designed to add more protection to the tip of the sword. Not only was this scabbard the longest Harold had ever seen or worked on, it was also the widest. Harold was bound and determined to make this the best scabbard on Draconis, no matter what it took. He wanted to keep the light in his youngest's eyes.
Brion was not a happy child when he left the Cooperage, because the Cooper said he couldn't make the metal parts needed for the scabbard. But Coop did tell Brion that his Uncle Kyle could. A very resolute child left the Cooperage headed towards the Blacksmithy and his beloved Uncle Kyle.
As fate would have it, Kyle and Brion encountered each other in front of Lucaso and Tayledro's Dry Goodes Shoppe.
Luckily for Kyle, he was an excellent equestrian, or Brion's exuberant greeting would have knocked him right off his horse. When Brion saw Kyle riding down the road, he ran yelling and screaming, "Uncle Kyle, Uncle Kyle!!!"
As soon as he was near enough, Brion jumped up at Kyle and almost made it to the saddle. Fortunately for Kyle, Brion was only able to reach his leg, although he did latch on to that as if he was never going to see Kyle again.
"I am glad to see you, too, youngster, but you need to be more careful. You could have been hurt." As Kyle was talking to Brion he reached down with his left hand and, with Brion's help, pulled the boy up onto the saddle with him.
Of course, once Brion was in the saddle with his beloved Uncle Kyle, his mouth opened, and he never stopped talking. He told Kyle everything, and I do mean everything, that had happened to him and the village since Kyle had seen him last. Kyle tried to get a word in, but couldn't, although he kept trying. Since it was close to lunch time, Kyle turned his horse and headed toward the Tannery to see if he could take Brion on a picnic lunch. Once he reached the Tannery, Kyle was almost knocked off his horse again, as Brion launched himself off the horse. "Daddy, Daddy, Uncle Kyle is here, Uncle Kyle is here!"
Harold came out to say hello to Kyle, carrying the scabbard he was working on. Brion had gone to find his Mom, so she could come and talk to Uncle Kyle. Kyle took a hard look at what Harold was carrying, as he hadn't seen anything quite like it before.
Before Harold had a chance to say anything, Kyle spoke up. "Harold what is that scabbard for? It is the largest scabbard I have ever seen!" Kyle's question caused a very strange look to come over Harold's face.
"It's for the sword you are making. Brion said you needed it, and he has given me very specific instructions on how to make it. I would have been coming to see you soon, as it needs some parts that only you can make. Brion was very upset when Coop said he couldn't make the necessary parts. Coop did raise his spirits a bit when he said that you would be able to help make the parts needed." Kyle got off his horse and walked over to Harold.
"Harold, I have no idea what Brion is talking about. Can I see it?" a perplexed Kyle asked.
"No problem at all," Harold responded, as he handed the scabbard to Kyle.
Once Kyle had the scabbard in his hand, he almost passed out in shock!
"Zâkreð Blue!" was all Kyle could get out, as Harold stepped over to catch him before he fell. Surprisingly, Kyle's grip on the scabbard wasn't affected.
"You can let go of me Harold; I am okay now. But can I take Brion on a picnic lunch? I really need to have a private talk with him about how he knows about the sword that will fit this scabbard. You have done a beautiful job on this so far, and, when you have finished it, you should submit it for you masterwork. It is definitely a Masterwork." Kyle recovered enough to finally assure Harold that he was okay.
"No problem, Kyle, just one condition, Please tell me what in Draconis is going on?" Harold answered Kyles question with one of his own.
"I will be glad to, Harold, if I can figure out what is going on, myself. All I know right now is that it is something important, and it definitely involves Draconis." Kyle responded enigmatically to Harold. He then handed the unfinished scabbard back to Harold.
Just as Kyle and Harold had finished talking, Brion walked around the corner of the Tannery, carrying a basket that was almost as large as he was.
"Uncle Kyle, Momma packed us a picnic lunch, so we could talk and watch the clouds and birds, while her and Daddy work."
"Brion, how did your mother know that I wanted to take you on a picnic? I just asked your Dad, and he had just finished saying yes, when you came walking around the corner.," Kyle questioned his young friend.
"I don't know, Uncle Kyle. She just said it was nice day for a picnic, and I needed some time with my favorite uncle. Can I put this basket down? It is really heavy!" Brion looked up at his uncle with puppy dog eyes.
"I'll take it from you, Brion, and your dad can help you up into the saddle; then he can hold the basket, while I climb up behind you." Kyle was looking at Harold, as he was replying to Brion.
While Kyle, Brion and Harold were having their conversation, a curious pair of eyes was taking in everything intently. As soon as Kyle and Brion rode off, Dalos headed off to find 'Cleric' Patoral.
Kyle and Brion headed out of the village, not really paying attention where they were going. They let the horse choose the way, as they were too busy talking about Brion's singing lessons with Mama Nina and all of the new items for sale at his other Dad's Shoppe. The horse continued meandering along and eventually ended up on the path that led alongside the river. Once they heard the river, both Kyle and Brion became aware of their surroundings, and Kyle figured out a perfect place for their picnic. Just a few minutes ride ahead there was a bend in the river, where the path overlooked the river, and there was a nice, small meadow.
As they came around a bend in the trail near a large rock, a small furry creature, about the size of a squirrel, ran across the path, causing Kyle's horse to rear slightly. Although the rearing didn't dislodge the picnic basket or cause Kyle or Brion any major problems, it did cause one of Brion's shoes to fall off. Kyle pulled the horse to a stop fairly quickly, and he helped Brion dismount, so he could recover his shoe. Brion turned back up the path to pick up the shoe, but before he could reach it, another woodland creature dashed out of the brush, picked up Brion's shoe and disappeared between two rocks.
Back in the village, Dalos had found Patoral and was relaying what he had observed. Of course, Dalos and Patoral put a complete spin on what had happened.
'So, it not only those two verdreht shop keepers, but the Blacksmith, as well.' were the disgusting thoughts going through Patoral's head.
"Dalos, keep a closer eye on Brion, and, if Tice and Pawlus see him, tell them to try and stop him from getting to his singing lessons." Patoral gave his orders to the leader of his private band of thugs.
Brion quickly followed the woodland creature, so he could try to get his shoe back. When Brion reached the rock where the creature had disappeared, he was shocked and yelled for Kyle.
"Uncle Kyle, Uncle Kyle come quick! Ya gotta see this!"
When Kyle arrived where Brion had called him from, he nearly didn't see him, as Brion had stepped between two rocks and was almost hidden from sight. A few steps farther away, and Kyle would have only seen an empty path. Once Brion saw that Kyle had arrived, he started up the previously hidden pathway, and was soon gone from sight. Kyle dismounted as quickly as he could, considering there was still a fazer um piquenique basket to deal with. Although Kyle was an excellent horseman, he knew better than to try to ride a horse up a completely unknown trail. Within seconds, Kyle couldn't see the path they had been on, and a flicker of an idea was forming in his brain.
"BRION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Slow down and wait for me! We don't know where this path goes!" Kyle shouted up the path, as he was leading his horse far slower than the youngling up ahead was running.
"But, Uncle Kyle, I need my shoe, or my Mom is going to be mad at me." Brion's reply faintly drifted down to Kyle on the breeze.
Kyle kept leading his horse slowly up the path, until suddenly he nearly tripped over Brion, who was standing in the middle of the path, not moving a muscle. Kyle moved a little closer and found himself standing still, shocked by the beauty that lay before him. In front of them was a beautiful, small meadow of waving grasses and wild flowers. Unconsciously, they both stepped forward at the same time and saw Brion's shoe in the middle of the meadow. The meadow overlooked the river and all of Simon's Valley. Still not speaking, they made their way onto the meadow, and Kyle absent-mindedly tied his horse to a small tree near the end of the trail. The meadow backed up against a magnificent rock face that was flat enough to lean against, so the two friends could eat their lunch.
As Kyle and Brion stood there, taking in the beauty, a feeling of warmth and peace overtook them. The idea that had been forming in Kyle's brain blossomed into fruition.
"Brion, do you know where we are?" Kyle asked his young friend, with a hint of reverence in his voice.
No, Uncle Kyle, I have no idea, but it sure is pretty," Brion responded, turning and looking up at Kyle.
"I bet this was Justin's special place, the place where he went when he wanted to relax and think. I know it was his parents' special place, as well; although they never told me exactly where it was, they described it perfectly," Kyle said, his voice breaking with emotion and tears streaming down his face.
"Uncle Kyle, don't cry; it's okay. I like it here," Brion responded, hugging Kyle. Then his voice changed slightly.
"We are supposed to be here; it is the will of Draconis."
Brion's words snapped Kyle out of the slight daze he was in, reminiscing about Barbara and James, his dear friends.
"It's okay, little one; they are tears of joy."
I cried when I met you
And I’ll cry when you leave
I cried for who you were
And I cried for who you are
I cried for your future and what will be
They were tears of sorrow, for who you were
And for your pain
Tears of sorrow, to wash away the past
Tears of joy, for who you have become
Full of spirit and life
Tears of anticipation, for who you will be
For only you can control your future
Tears of anticipation can become tears of joy
If you remember that the past is past
It is a tool to learn from
Not an anchor on your soul
Remember, I will always be with you
For I have cried the Tears of Life
Tears of Sorrow, to wash away the pain
Tears of Joy, to brighten your life
Tears of Anticipation, for the greatness to come
These are The Tears of Life; may they always flow
"Let's go sit against the rock and eat our lunch, and then we can talk; but first, go get your shoe, while I get the fazer um piquenique basket," Kyle told Brion warmly, while ruffling his hair. He then went to his horse and took down the picnic basket and headed towards the rock face, where Brion had already made himself comfortable, leaning against it.
"Let's eat, and then I will explain why I was crying," Kyle said, and began handing out the wondrous repast that Brion's mother had prepared for them.
They enjoyed their meal in silence, watching the world go by below them, using the peace of the unique place to soothe and erase their troubles and soften the loss of Justin. Before Kyle could explain his tears, the peace and warmth overcame both of them, and soon they were sound asleep. While they were sleeping, a large golden dragon circled overhead, and soon they were both in a dream, or was it really a conversation? Kyle and Brion both saw the whole of the dream, where they had only seen parts of it before. They both saw the dreams that only one of them had seen before, and now both were enlightened as to their true places in the plans of Draconis. Kyle now knew how Brion had known about the sword and the dimensions of the scabbard. Brion knew, as well, why he must continue his singing lessons with Mama Nina. When they awoke, they were completely refreshed and felt better than they had since Justin's disappearance. They also knew that they could never speak of what they had dreamed to anyone, except maybe Andreu and Jonah.
Well, here ends another chapter in the lives of those who live in Potter's Village. I hope it was worth waiting for and didn't leave too many threads dangling. For those of you who look for hidden cliffhangers, sorry; I don't believe I left any for you to find. If you think you found one, you might want to read the chapter again, as there should be enough clues to answer it.
Til we fly again,
'Goos' and TSL
No cliffhangers, huh? So, why is that evil Patoral determined to stop Brion from continuing his singing lessons with Mama Nina, and what did Brion learn in his dream about why he needed to continue them? No, that's not a cliffhanger! I did read the chapter again, and I don't know any more about this "non-cliffhanger" than I did before. Hmmmmmmmm!
Cliff hanger? I don't see no stinking cliff hanger. A good deal of misdirection and a plethora of dramatic pauses but not a true cliff hanger. And if you believe that I have some wonderful land for sale. It was once owned by George Washington, himself. (Never mind the name, very misleading, The Great Dismal Swamp.) Nice chapter and hopefully the next will be along soon (I do NOT mean that in cosmic terms...)
I rather like our new titles; I think.
I found one that I did figure out, but I won't mention it here, Who am I to spoil someone else's pleasure at figuring out a non cliffhanger. It really is nice to see more of Kyle and Brion. They have become such a part of our lives, we miss them when we don't see them for a while. Having read some other stories, I am sure that the evil Patoral will someday get what is coming to him. I fervently hope that no serious harm will come to Brion, in the meantime.
1Chape – the metal tip at the bottom of leather scabbard or sheath.