A Note from the Real Author
John is the fictional father of two kids that would rather play video games than read the Bible. They think it’s boring, so John wrote them a story to convince them otherwise. They said they wanted a story of dragons, swords, magic, adventure, romance, and more. So John sat down to write . . .Jared Dees
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The Adventurer: Part 8
The boy watched as the emperor silenced the crowds with just a hand raised into the air. There were thousands of people there, yet it was quiet enough for the boy could hear clearly what was said at the palace steps.
“What charge have you brought before me? What has this man done?” said the emperor adjusting his shining armor as he spoke.
The crowd began shouting, “Treason! Treason!”
The emperor silenced them again. He turned to the boy’s parents and the warriors who stood behind the Adventurer. “And what charge do you bring before me, dear warriors?”
The boy heard his father speak for the group, “Treason, sir. He came to overtake the palace.”
The crowd erupted in shouts of anger and the emperor silenced them again.
“What do you have to say in response?” he said to the Adventurer.
He made no response.
“What evidence do you have against him?” asked the emperor.
From a distance the boy saw one of their knights come forth from the crowds. He didn’t notice the man leaving their group. He was a quiet knight and the boy did not get the chance to know him well. He did not have his staff. Instead, he carried with him a very impressive sword.
“He calls himself a king!” said the knight. “He said he came to start a new kingdom. He asked me to be one of his knights.”
“Traitor!” shouted the boy but his voice was lost amid the many others shouting the same accusation. Only, their shouts were directed towards the Adventurer, not the knight.
The Emperor addressed the Adventurer once more. “Well, what have you to say? Are you a king?”
The Adventurer responded this time, but it was too quiet to hear.
“I say so? I say so?” The emperor laughed. “I say you are no king. You are no warrior. You are no hero. But I have heard of the things you have done. Oh yes, I know the miracles you performed. I know the large army of followers you have duped into your service.”
The boy looked around and saw the uneasiness on the faces of the knights and followers that accompanied them on their journey.
The emperor announced to the crowd. “Is there anyone here who wishes to stand before me with this man? Anyone? Take up your weapon. Come forward and fight!”
The boy began to step forward in anger, but Theodore held him back. “Remember what he said. Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Stand down.”
Not one knight stepped up in defense against the emperor and the crowds.
“No one is here to support you now,” said the emperor. “But I am not a tyrant. I am a man of mercy. If you really are the great hero and adventurer I have heard you to be, then you will have no trouble defeating the great Dragon!”
The crowd murmured in confusion. The emperor raised his hand to silence them once more.
“Yes, the Dragon will return,” he said.
“What will we do to defend ourselves!” shouted a voice in the crowd.
“The Dragon will return searching for a hero that will match him in battle. If this man truly is who you say that he is, then I will send him out to prove himself in against that evil beast.”
The emperor smiled and said, “That is, unless one of you warriors feels worthy enough to fight the Dragon instead?”
No one volunteered.
“That settles it. Guards, take him to the arena outside the city,” the Emperor announced and turned towards the palace doors.
“Oh, and arm him with something more suitable for the fight,” he said. The boy thought he saw him wink at the guards as he said this.
Two guards grabbed him by the arms and dragged him backwards towards a building off to the side of the palace. It was the armory.
They threw him against the closed door then kicked him out of the way. They opened it and threw him inside.
The head guard turned to the crowd. “Cowards can go back to their homes. The rest of you can join us in stands of the arena. That is, if you are brave enough to watch.”
The guard shut the door and the crowd began to make their way out of the square.
“We have to help him!” said the boy, but Theodore shook his head.
“No,” he said. “They will kill us. What good will that do. Let’s head towards the arena. The Adventurer knows what he doing. Remember, he turned himself in. He told us this would happen.”
The boy looked back at the armory. He didn’t like it, but he didn’t know what else to do. He felt like a coward.
“C’mon,” said Theodore standing with a group of the Adventurer’s knights.
The boy nodded and joined them on the way to the arena.
They arrived at the arena outside of the city and it was already crowded with people. Many of the city’s residence were there. Some of the refugees who had joined them on the way to the city were there, too. They all sat waiting for the arrival of the Adventurer and the Dragon.
“Aren’t these people afraid of getting killed by the Dragon?” the boy asked Theodore.
“Even the Dragon follows a code. There’s something magical about this place. Any beast or battle can only be fought in the center of the arena. The crowds that watch are protected,” he explained.
“But why would someone come to watch this?” he asked.
“To see two people battle for glory or for a warrior to defeat a beast and earn recognition for his great accomplishments,” said Theodore.
Ivan, another one of the knights, said, “And defeating the Dragon would be a glorious accomplishment.”
“Look, here he comes,” said Theodore.
The crowd erupted in anger and insults. The Adventurer had arrived.
The boy could see he was wounded. The guards had not been kind to him. His face was swollen and there was blood near his lips.
The boy remembered the emperor instructing the guards to arm him for the battle. Dozens of swords were tied around the Adventurer’s waist. Armor had been layered on his back. Other plates of armor and shields were tied with rope around his arms and shoulders. They were being dragged behind him as he walked. He moved slowly into the doors of the arena then fell to the ground.
The boy stood up with a gasp, but Theodore set his hand on his shoulder. The Adventurer slowly climbed to his feet again and continued walking. Finally, after much effort he reached the center of the arena.
Then they heard the roar in the distance. The Dragon was on his way.
In the arena, the guards quickly cut the ropes, armor, and weapons from the Adventurer’s body. Then they left the Adventurer all alone with armor and swords scattered on the ground.
“Take the swords!” someone shouted.
“Defend yourself!” said another.
Then the boy saw the great beast descend from the sky. He was dark red with great black wings. Horns came out from many spots of his large head. The Dragon landed in the center of the arena and let out a roar that sent chills through the boy’s spine. He was shaking with fear.
Some of the spectators fled in terror at the sight of the beast. It was too much to even see the Dragon. Others sat clenching their seats or setting their arms on their swords.
The Adventurer, however, did nothing. He was on one knee holding himself up with his arm.
The Dragon lowered his head to get a better look at the Adventurer. He inspected the man, smelling him and nudging him like a dog and his toy. Then the Dragon let out a shriek of disgust. He was frantic and upset. It was as if being there with the Adventurer was hurting him.
He wasted no time with his first attack. Spinning his great red body, the Dragon struck the Adventurer with his spiked tail. The man flew across the arena and hit the wall with a crash.
The boy thought it was already over, but the Adventurer slowly stood up. He had no weapons and no armor. He was defenseless, yet he walked back to the center of the arena limping as he went.
The Dragon let out another shriek and this time slashed at the Adventurer with his claws. This gave the Adventurer deep cuts across his body and face. Blood was everywhere, but the Adventurer did not give up. He stood to face the Dragon again.
The great beast was infuriated. It stomped on the ground shaking the entire arena with the force of an earthquake. It beat its wings in anger and frustration.
Then the boy saw the beast finally use the full extent of its power. It stood on its hind legs and inhaled deeply before letting out such a bright burst of flame that the boy had to shield his eyes.
The flame emanated throughout the arena floor. The Dragon lifted himself up off the ground still spewing the bright flame. Then suddenly he stopped. The boys eyes slowly recovered to see the carnage in the arena. The ground was charred. The armor and shields that the Adventurer carried were melted and burned. The Adventurer was no where to be seen amidst the many ashes upon the floor.
The great Dragon let out another roar and lept into the air, flying back in the direction from which it came.
The crowd was stunned. Many lingered for a time looking at the burned arena floor. Others began making their way out.
The boy just sat in shock.
The Adventurer was gone.
Slowly the crowds left the arena. Only the boy and the knights remained behind.
By now the boy was crying. The sound of his cries echoed in the arena. In a burst of anger, he stood up and ran down the steps to the arena floor. It was black and small fires still burned in places. He jumped down to the ground and walked towards the center.
“Where are you!” he shouted. “You can’t just leave us here. What are we supposed to do now?”
He knelt down on his knees with tears streaming down his face and on to the ground. Soon his tears were joined by a drop of rain hitting the ground. Then another drop and another until a steady rain began to fall.
The other knights stood around the boy with heads bowed in sadness.
“Let’s go,” said Theodore to the knights. “We need to find shelter.”
The boy nodded his head and stood up. He accompanied the knights back towards the entrance to the arena where the Adventurer had come in.
They felt a breeze blowing through the entrance into the arena. Then the breeze turned into a gust of wind and the rain flew into their faces. They turned to see the wind spinning violently in the arena picking up the dirt and ash that sat along the floor.
The wind kept blowing and the knights were stuck. They couldn’t get out. The wind stopped them from moving. And so they watched as the wind spun around them.
Suddenly a flame burst out of the center of the arena. The wind seemed to converge on that point, swirling in the tiny spot where the Adventurer had been defeated and straight up into the sky.
The boy squinted but didn’t cover his eyes. What he saw in the flame felt impossible.
It was him. It was the Adventurer. He was alive and standing in a bright, white flame.
A Conversation about Part 8 of The Adventurer
“I saw that one coming!” John’s son said after he finished telling the story.
“Yep, this was death and resurrection of Jesus in the gospels,” said his daughter.
“That’s right. What did you think about the way I retold it?” asked their father.
“Well, I think it fits,” said his son. “He was sentenced to death, suffered, died, and then rose again.”
“And what was different?” the father asked.
The kids thought for awhile. Finally, the daughter said, “There was no cross.”
“Right,” said the dad. “What did he carry instead?”
“All the armor and weapons,” said his son.
“That’s right,” said the father. “Any idea why? What has been the recurring theme throughout the story and this world?”
“They are all supposed to be heroes and warriors. They all want to get glory,” said the daughter.
“Good and what do you think the Adventurer is there to change?” he asked the kids.
“Be humble instead of seeking glory?” asked the son.
“How did the Adventurer do this?” the father asked.
“He didn’t fight back. He sacrificed himself, but . . .” said the daughter.
“But what?” asked her dad.
“But, what was the point? I mean what will happen now that he is back from the dead. Will this just magically change the world?” she asked.
“That is a very good questions. We will finish up next week to find out how the Adventurer finally does change the world. The knights will finally go on their quest.”
To Be Continued . . .
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