|The Return of Lady Elvira Grey|
|Series||His True Destiny by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||His True Destiny: Chapter Seventeen|
|Next||His True Destiny: Chapter Nineteen|
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Chapter Eighteen: The Return of Lady Elvira GreyEdit
When Reaver arrived at Samarkand he had to admit that it was not what he had expected. He knew that Samarkand was hot, but he didn’t think it would be nearly as hot as the Archon’s Folly.
‘Do you have a hidden lava stream here or something?’ he asked Garth, who had just appeared beside him.
‘No, we merely have deserts and little water,’ replied Garth, before walking away without looking back.
Reaver followed him and began to ask him all these questions about his home land. He was most disappointed with Garth’s answers. He was unable to teach the old Hero anything of interest.
Garth grudgingly allowed Reaver to stay with him, after telling him firmly that he didn’t want to find any naked people in his house. Not that he needed to worry about it as Reaver couldn’t find anyone worth sleeping with. The reason for this was because there was a “shortage of uninhibited people”.
After a month of staying there, Reaver found out that Samarkand had a miserable amount of exotic substances. Two months after that, he saw Theresa again. He was sitting near the water front when she appeared behind him, before calmly sitting next to him.
‘I’m surprised to see you again so soon,’ he commented casually.
‘I thought that I would take advantage of your seemingly good mood and spend some time with you,’ she replied with a shrug. ‘How do you like Samarkand?’
‘It’s not what I was expecting,’ Reaver admitted.
‘I bet it isn’t,’ Theresa chuckled, before wiping some sweat from her brow. ‘I forgot how hot it was here.’
‘You’ve been here before?’ Reaver looked surprised.
‘Yes, I studied in its great libraries for a few centuries. That was how I learnt of the Tattered Spire and knew the importance it will play in the future.’
Reaver frowned as a thought suddenly occurred to him.
‘Theresa, you didn’t manipulate Lucien into building the Spire, did you?’ he asked suspiciously.
‘I thought that by having it rebuilt that Albion would be protected,’ she admitted quietly, ‘but I have only sealed what is to come.’
‘What do you mean?’ asked Reaver, dried mouth.
‘By rebuilding the Spire, the Corruption’s chief lieutenant, the Crawler, has been reawakened.’
‘You do realise that I have no idea what the Corruption and the Crawler is, don’t you?’
‘It may be best that you do not know.’
‘Theresa, I’m not a little kid anymore,’ Reaver informed her with a hint of annoyance. ‘You don’t need to protect me.’
‘I know,’ she sighed. ‘The Crawler is a creature of the Void, also known as the Nightcrawler. Its goal is to destroy Albion, just like it will soon begin to slowly attack Aurora.’
‘So it’s one of Jack’s pals,’ Reaver groaned. ‘So what is the Corruption?’
‘It is an entity that seeks to corrupt the world we know.’
Reaver sat there, silently staring out to sea as he took in what Theresa said.
‘After doing our annual sacrifice, I’ll travel to Aurora and have I’ll have a look around,’ Reaver said eventually. ‘I’ll travel there every five years or so to keep tabs on it. I doubt I’ll be able to defeat it without the use of my Will.’
‘It would be wise not to face it,’ Theresa agreed. ‘There is only one who can defeat it.’
‘No, her youngest child.’
‘I take it you are talking sometime in the future, aren’t you?’
‘Yes. In fifty years she will learn what it takes to be a Hero.’
‘Speaking of Sparrow, I bet you’re glad to have her out of your hair,’ Reaver said with a chuckle.
‘I admit there were time where I wanted to strangle her, but she’s a good kid – young woman.’
‘I think she actually grew up during the brief time I met her.’
‘She’s a little braver, but that’s about it. She jumped over the moon when I showed her that she was going to be queen one day.’
Reaver’s jaw dropped.
‘You can’t be serious,’ he said. ‘She’ll run the place into the ground.’
‘You need to have a little more faith in her, Rowan.’
‘Will she run the place into the ground?’
‘No, she will not. If the kingdom is to be run into the ground, it will be at her children’s hands.’
‘That doesn’t make me feel any better.’
Theresa chuckled, before talking about less serious matters with her little brother.
-----HIS TRUE DESTINY-----
Reaver ended up staying in Samarkand for almost a full year, and on his last day there, he and Garth got into a heated argument. So, that night, Reaver followed Garth to the dump of a tavern and shot him. The placement of the shot gave Garth a fifty per cent chance of surviving, though Reaver never found out if Garth survived, for the moment the bullet hit his target, Reaver left all the drunks and hopped on the next trade ship leaving for Albion.
He ended up getting off at his beloved Bloodstone port and confidently made his way back to his mansion. He stopped occasionally when someone came over to welcome him back.
Back at his manor, he had one of his men report all that happened to his coastal paradise while he was away, but nothing interesting had occurred, until…
‘Oh, and we had a nasty white banshee attack several days ago,’ the man concluded. ‘That Hero of Bowerstone was able to kill it before it caused too much damage, though.’
Reaver nearly spat out his wine when he heard this.
‘Sparrow defeated the banshee all by herself?’ he gasped. He couldn’t believe that the cry baby he knew was about to defeat a powerful banshee all by herself.
‘Aye, she did. The lass seems to have grown since the last time I saw her ‘ere.’
Reaver dismissed the man before going into his back room and heading over to the table upon which the Shadow Court usually left the Dark Seal. It wasn’t there.
At first, Reaver was confused and worried as to why the Dark Seal wasn’t there, before realising that his descendant, Sparrow, the Hero of Bowerstone, must have had it still.
You see, most sacrifices Reaver sent to the Shadow Court never survived the return journey or would end up dying shortly after the ritual, and the seal would be lost. Thankfully, the Shadow Court kept track of its whereabouts and would always retrieve and send it back to Reaver.
Sighing, Reaver went and spoke to his associate, Norman, to find out where Sparrow was these days. He could safely eliminate Wraithmarsh as he knew that Sparrow wouldn’t risk ruining another pair of shoes. Now, the reason Reaver went to Norman was because he was up to date will all gossip, thanks to his sister.
‘Welcome back, Master Reaver,’ Norman greeted as Reaver approached him in Bloodstone’s local tavern, down by the water front.
‘I thought that I would find you here,’ Reaver said quietly. ‘Do you know where I can find the Hero of Bowerstone?’
‘Try Bowerstone Castle,’ Norman replied, after gulping down some beer.
‘Bowerstone Castle. When the Hero bought Castle Fairfax she renamed it to Bowerstone Castle,’ he explained. ‘When she’s not helping people, she’s there performing her duties as Mayor.’
‘Sparrow is now Mayor of Bowerstone?’ Reaver gasped.
‘Yeah. Did you know that her ancestor was the Hero of Oakvale and he too was the Mayor of Bowerstone?’
‘Funnily enough, I did,’ replied Reaver. How could he not know? He was Sparrow’s ancestor, after all.
‘Isn’t it funny that she’s following in her something great-grandfather’s footsteps?’
‘Let’s hope she doesn’t,’ Reaver muttered as he left the pub, heading back to the manor where he packed some of his belongings for his trip to Bowerstone.
Once he had packed, he hopped on a ship to Westcliff – Reaver still needed to buy a new ship. He felt his jaw drop when he arrived in Westcliff. It had changed dramatically since he last saw it. He could, however, say that it had changed for the best. It was no longer a dump. He thought that the small town had a lot of potential as he went in search for the carriage house he had heard people talking about.
He then took a carriage to Bowerstone Market, which he had to protect from balverines and bandits.
When he was inside Bowerstone, he could see that the city had changed much since his last visit three hundred years ago. He was happy to see some of the original architecture had survived the Hero purge and the sands of time.
As he headed for the castle, he found Sparrow in the town square talking to a couple. He paid the couple no heed. Instead his eyes remained on his descendant.
‘Reaver!’ she exclaimed joyfully when he stopped beside her. ‘How good to see you again!’
‘I’m afraid I’m not here on a social visit, my dear,’ replied Reaver. ‘You still have my seal.’
‘Oh.’ Sparrow looked disappointed. ‘Yes, I’ve been meaning to drop it off, but I keep forgetting. It’s currently in my room. Why don’t you come with my friends and me to the castle, stay for dinner and I’ll get it for you?’
‘Sure,’ replied Reaver, following Sparrow up to the castle. Her friends walked on her other side.
‘By the way, this is Victor and Elvira Grey,’ Sparrow said casually, gesturing to the couple beside her.
Reaver abruptly stopped walking, staring at Sparrow’s female companion. The others turned and looked at him, curious as to why he stopped. Reaver felt his jaw drop. Standing before him was none other than Lady Elvira Grey, but how was it possible? He had watched her be executed.
‘Sparrow, why do I feel like I’m looking at Lady Grey?’ he asked.
‘That’s because you are,’ replied Sparrow, before explaining how it was possible.
She told him all about Victor’s quest to bring her back to life, due to the love he felt for her. She told Reaver how she travelled to three different regions of Albion, looking for Elvira’s body parts and then how Victor was able to bring her back to life and how they were now engaged.
By the end of Sparrow’s recount, Reaver was beyond shocked. And there he was thinking that nothing could surprise him anymore, though he didn’t know if he was shocked because Victor could awaken the dead or because Elvira Grey could love.
‘It’s amazing, isn’t it?’ Elvira said, smiling at Reaver.
His eyes went straight to her. Maybe that angry nonsense she had shouted at him when Whisper and he had learnt the truth of Amanda Grey’s death was serious after all. She had managed to return. Maybe she was a witch.
‘I don’t know why, but you look familiar to me,’ she continued. ‘It’s as though I have met you before somehow.’
‘You might have when you were alive all those years ago,’ Sparrow said suddenly. ‘Reaver is six hundred and something years old. You two might have met back then. That would explain his reaction to you.’
‘Sparrow, darling, if I wanted the world to know how old I was, I would have announced it long ago,’ Reaver informed her with a slight edge to his voice.
‘So did you know my sweet Elvira?’ Victor asked curiously.
‘I did,’ Reaver replied stiffly.
‘Were you close?’
‘No one was close to that murder, and if I were you, I’d leave her before she toys with your heart anymore. She doesn’t know what it means to love someone.’
Reaver than headed straight for the castle, leaving Sparrow, Victor and Elvira, stunned, behind him.
That night, Sparrow did her best to clear the air between her friends, but she could see that her efforts were in vain. She also wondered why Reaver hated Elvira so much. She seemed like a nice person to her.
‘So tell me, Sparrow, are you related to any great Heroes?’ Elvira asked during dessert. She didn’t miss Reaver tensing up at her words.
‘Yeah, I’m related to the Hero of Oakvale’ Sparrow said proudly.
‘You’re related to Rowan?’ Elvira’s spoon fell from her hand.
‘Yeah, but I didn’t know what his name was.’ Sparrow was surprised by Elvira’s reaction and that her ancestor shared the same name as Reaver. ‘Why didn’t you tell me you two shared the same name?’ she asked him.
‘Must have slipped my mind,’ Reaver muttered.
‘Reaver’s real name is Rowan,’ Sparrow explained to her confused friends. ‘Why did you change your name anyway, Reaver?’
‘The Rowan who existed back then died years ago,’ Reaver said stiffly. ‘Besides, I didn’t want people knowing that I’m the same guy from all those years ago.’
He glanced at Elvira and saw that she was watching him closely. He didn’t like the calculating look she was giving him. He turned to Sparrow.
‘Could you please show me to my room, my dear?’ he asked, getting to his feet.
‘Sure,’ said Sparrow, taken back, as she too got to her feet and left the room with him.
‘What a strange man,’ Victor commented.
‘Indeed,’ Elvira muttered as she remembered back to the day she died.
For years, Elvira had remained hidden from the people of Albion, studying under a wise witch in order to get revenge on Rowan, the Hero of Oakvale. She was going to make him pay for what he had done, but she never got the chance. She was caught and called a witch by the Witchspotters.
They bounded her hands before taking her to Bowerstone where she was unceremoniously thrown into a prison cell. For two days she remained locked up with no food and water.
At dawn on the third day, she was pulled out of her cell and taken to Headman’s Hill to be executed.
When she and her guards arrived, she saw most of Bowerstone had shown up. All of them booed and hissed at her as she made her way to the Witchspotters, who were standing before the execution block. With a jolt of anger, she recognised the young man a short distance away from them. His blue eyes were filled with hate and disgust. They were cold and held no sympathy.
Elvira snarled at Rowan and turned her eyes upon the young woman who he had his arm protectively around. The girl was younger than he was and she looked scared.
Elvira scoffed. She couldn’t believe that Rowan turned her down for the petty excuse of a woman beside him. The woman wasn’t ugly, but she wasn’t drop dead beautiful either. She was average looking. She made Elvira look like a goddess in comparison. The woman also seemed to be under developed. She didn’t have the perfect curves that Elvira had, not to mention she didn’t seem to come from a wealthy family, if her attire was anything to go by.
‘Remember, Rowan, I will return and will wash away all the filth with your blood,’ Elvira warned as she was forced to her knees.
Rowan looked amused at her comment.
‘Whatever,’ he said, while his woman looked extremely worried.
Rowan nodded to a Witchspotter to continue.
Elvira continued to glare at Rowan. She flinched and tensed up when she felt the edge of a sword lightly touch the back of her neck, before it was withdrawn. Moments later it came swinging at her neck, at full force, beheading her. The last thing she saw Rowan’s uncaring face.
‘Elvira, are you alright?’ Victor asked her quietly as she began to shake with anger.
‘I’m fine,’ she replied curtly. ‘I just need to use the ladies’ room.’
She stood and left the room, though she had no intention of using the bathroom. No, she was going to pay an old acquaintance a visit.
-----HIS TRUE DESTINY-----
Reaver stood on the balcony of his room, staring down at the city below. He couldn’t believe that Elvira was alive, and to be honest, he was worried. He wasn’t worried about his safety, though, but rather Sparrow’s safety. The girl was oblivious to how dangerous Elvira actually was. There was no doubt in his mind that Elvira would hurt and kill Sparrow. She would make sure his bloodline was eradicated if it was the last thing she did.
He was that lost in thought that he didn’t hear his bedroom door open and the soft sound of someone walking towards him. He did react, though, when his unwanted guest spoke to him.
‘I admit that I am surprised to see that you are still alive, and looking as young as ever.’
Reaver whipped around and glared at Elvira.
‘I must admit, you look even cuter with dark hair and eyes,’ she continued. ‘How did you change the colour? Did you use dye or has your appearance changed because you are no longer the goody-two-shoes I once knew?’
‘What do you want?’ Reaver demanded. He wasn’t going to play any of her games.
‘Quick to get to the point, aren’t you?’ she said calmly, walking seducingly towards him. ‘Have you already forgotten my warning to you?’
‘I haven’t forgotten anything,’ Reaver growled, ‘but I warn you now, if you go anywhere near my family, you will wish that Victor had never resurrected you.’
‘I’m not scared of you, Rowan,’ she informed him lightly. ‘It is you who should be scared of me. After all, we wouldn’t want anything to happen to your beautiful descendant, Sparrow, would we now?’
‘If you touch her –‘
‘You’ll do what?’ Elvira challenge, now standing inches away from the Hero. ‘What will you do? Shot me? Stab me through the heart?’
‘Oh no, I will be much more creative.’
Elvira laughed again.
‘Despite my grudge against you, I must confess I am still attracted to you.’ She stood there looking at him thoughtfully. ‘I’ll make a little deal with you. I will forget all about our little disagreement all those years ago, if you become mine, helping me rebuild the life you destroyed.’
She flung her arms around his neck and kissed him, at least she would have if Reaver hadn’t removed her from him roughly.
‘You can go to Hell and rot with Jack of Blades for all I care!’ he growled.
Elvira wasn’t impressed.
‘You made the wrong choice, Rowan,’ she said coldly. ‘And now I have no choice but to get Sparrow involved.’
She turned and began to walk away. Reaver grabbed his Dragonstomper .48 and shot her several times. Elvira gasped, but that was it. She turned furiously to him and began to pull the bullets out. He watched on, in horror, as her wounds quickly healed.
‘Victor may have reanimated my flesh, but I am still dead, Rowan. You cannot kill me,’ she informed him, before sending a volt of lightning at him. He wasn’t able to dodge it. He screamed as it coursed through his body, sending him flying into the balcony wall.
He forced himself into the sitting position and stared at her wide eyed. She was a witch after all.
‘I will take great pleasure in killing you, Hero, but I will make sure to kill Sparrow first so you know true agony before you die.’
Elvira said something in an ancient language and four undead appeared. They immediately went and attacked Reaver. Injured, Elvira approached him, took off his belt and bounded his hands behind his back as he panted. They had broken two of his ribs, he was sure of it.
Elvira walked off and Reaver began to struggle, only to be belted by an undead minion, using its blunt sword on Reaver’s back. Reaver cried out. There was no way he could get out of this situation by himself. If he still had his Will he probably could, but he didn’t. He was helpless, though that was until help came.
Theresa appeared in the middle of the room and slaughtered the undead with ease. She then hurried over to her little brother.
‘Are you hurt?’ she asked urgently as she untied him.
‘Besides my pride? I think two of my ribs are broken,’ Reaver replied as she helped him to his feet.
‘I thought as much. Here, drink this.’ Theresa handed him a health potion.
‘How did you know that I was in trouble? Did you have a vision?’ Reaver inquired before drinking the health potion. As he drank the last drop he felt his ribs begin to mend themselves.
‘Yes, and we need to move quickly. Elvira Grey must not kill Sparrow. If she does, the Crawler will successfully conquer Albion.’
Reaver and Theresa then ran from his room towards the Throne Room where Theresa had Seen Sparrow.
‘How are we to defeat her?’ Reaver panted, clutching his side as they ran alone the castle’s luxurious halls. ‘Ordinary weapons do not work against her.’
‘Rowan, even she can’t survive her head being loped off.’
‘Then let me do the honours,’ Reaver said darkly as they entered the Throne Room.
Their eyes found Victor dead, lying in a pool of his own blood. Sparrow, however, was desperately trying to defend herself from Elvira by using every Will ability she knew. Reaver watched as Sparrow conjured magical blades, which impaled Elvira. She let out a huge roar as she ripped the blades out of her body. She had her back to the siblings.
Sparrow, thankfully, didn’t alert her to their presence, though Reaver figured that Sparrow was that scared that she was only aware of the witch.
He snuck up upon Elvira, Avo’s Tear at the ready, and just as she was about to attack Sparrow, he swung it and beheaded her. He then watched as the body crumpled to the ground.
‘Reaver!’ Sparrow cried. She ran towards him and jumped into his arms, sobbing.
‘It’s okay, Sparrow,’ he said distractedly as he looked around for Theresa. She was gone again. ‘The witch will never hurt you again.’
‘But why would she want to hurt me in the first place?’ Sparrow sobbed into Reaver’s chest.
‘The Hero of Oakvale became her enemy and she wanted to make him pay. You’re his heir so you suffered her wrath.’
Reaver then put Sparrow to bed, before collecting Elvira’s body and disappearing into the night to hide her body where it would never be found again.
Written: 30 March 2013