|A Fight to the Death|
|Series||His True Destiny by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||His True Destiny: Chapter Eight|
|Next||His True Destiny: Chapter Ten|
|← His True Destiny: Chapter Eight||Chapter Chronology||His True Destiny: Chapter Ten →|
Chapter Nine: A Fight to the DeathEdit
As Rowan approached the Bronze Gate, Jack spoke to him once again, sounding triumphant.
As usual, little Rowan, you are too late, he said. Come to the Bronze Gate. We have unfinished business.
Indeed we do, Rowan thought acrimoniously. He was going to revenge his family once and for all.
With his head held high, Rowan walked through the Bronze Gate into the Archon’s Folly.
With his heart beating painfully in his chest, Rowan drew one of his last remaining arrows and cautiously walked over a bridge with a river of red hot, molten lava beneath it. As he did so, he threw off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves. It was boiling hot here. He just went from once extreme to the other.
Once of the other side of the bridge, Jack spoke to him, making Rowan jump violently as he looked around for his enemy.
‘Ah, here you are,’ he said. ‘It’s been a long wait, but I knew you’d free me eventually.’
‘Wh-what?’ Rowan stammered. ‘You mean you were imprisoned here?’
‘Yes,’ Jack laughed, ‘and you are always the puppet. Don’t you ever get tired of having your strings pulled?’
‘Where are you?’ Rowan yelled. ‘Show yourself!’
‘Are you sure you really want to see me, Rowan? I am no mortal man. The gods and demons you fear and worship are nothing to me.’
‘Show yourself now!’ Rowan ordered.
‘As you wish, little Hero.’
Rowan heard a gust of wings before stumblingly back with a yell as a large dragon landed in front of him. Jack of Blades had taken on the form of a dragon.
Well, he’s definitely not small and furry, Rowan thought, backing away slightly, his eyes wide.
How on earth was he supposed to fight a dragon? Their scales were like armour meaning his sword and arrows wouldn’t be able to pierce it. As for his Will, he was nowhere near strong enough to kill a dragon with it.
‘You look frozen, Rowan,’ said Jack. ‘Here, let me help unfreeze you.’
Jack opened his mouth and a gush of fire came charging at Rowan. He managed to dodge some of it, though he had to quickly throw off his shirt, which had caught fire.
‘All these flames and all this heat… it’s just like the day Oakvale burned, don’t you think?’ Jack commented as he mildly watched Rowan deal with the fire.
This made Rowan’s blood boil. He drew his bow and last remaining arrows, aimed for Jack’s eyes and released them. Jack yawned, and blew fire at them, turning them to ash before they could do him any harm.
‘I see you’re still doing the same old tricks,’ he commented.
Rowan threw his bow to the ground and drew Avo’s Tear. He charged at the dragon, who merely flicked him away with its tail.
‘Don’t you realise how small you are to me?’ asked Jack, while Rowan picked himself up. ‘So what are you going to do, little Hero?’ He then started laughing as Summoners and his minions began to appear.
Rowan swore as they began to close in on him.
‘Surrender, Rowan, become my slave and I will spare you,’ Jack tempted.
‘That little spiel might have worked on Maze, but it will never work on me!’ Rowan growled, before using his favourite spell, Divine Fury.
He used it to take care of all the minions and Summoners, before focusing all his Will power on Jack. He could see that the spell was causing Jack a lot of pain, but it was also draining him of a lot of energy. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any potions on hand. They were all near the bridge. He had flung off his bag when he was taking off his burning shirt. Determined not to give up, Rowan used all the Will power he could muster, before finally, he had no more power to continue. He collapsed to his knees and looked at Jack. The dragon was growling as it struggled to his feet, glaring down at him.
‘I remember that spell,’ he commented, ‘but it seems that little trick doesn’t work either. And now, you have used up all your Will energy.’
Rowan closed his eyes and reach down within him. He found that he still had some energy left; it just wasn’t enough to use Divine Fury.
His eyes then snapped open as he got to his feet, Avo’s Tear in hand.
‘You’re wrong!’ he declared. ‘I’m no longer merely qualified as a Hero of Skill. I am now qualified in all three areas!’
With that said, he called upon the last of his Will. He would use two spells. The first spell was Assassin Rush, where he would be propelled through space in a blink of an eye, which meant he would be able to avoid Jack sending him flying back again. The second spell was Multi Strike imbuing Avo’s Tear with the ability to strike multiple times with a single blow.
Upon using these two spells, Rowan managed to slice open Jack’s underbelly, where he was more vulnerable, and pierce his heart. Rowan then stumbled quickly out of the way as the dragon fell. He then stumbled over to his bag, cursed when he saw that all of his potions were broken, and removed the Soul Mask from his bag. He held it out in front of him and captured Jack’s soul.
‘You will never hurt anyone else again,’ Rowan growled as the last of his adrenaline left him, before throwing the Mask into the lava. He stood there watching as the Mask was destroyed, before heading back out to Briar.
Rowan felt weak; weaker than he had ever felt before. He felt like he was going to collapses at any moment, but he also felt as though he was going to vomit. With his jacket wrapped tightly around him, Rowan emerged from the Archon’s Folly and headed back to the Shrine, shaking.
‘Rowan!’ Briar exclaimed, hurrying towards him, smiling. Her smile soon vanished when she saw how pale he was and that he was sweating, even though he was shaking in the cold.
‘Jack is dead for good,’ Rowan managed to say before his world went black. The last thing he heard was Briar’s panicked shrieks calling his name.
Highly worried about her friend, Briar picked him up and teleported him back to the Guild.
‘Call for the Healers, immediately!’ she yelled to her fellow Heroes who were in the map room.
A Hero of Skill ran off to get help, while Thunder, who had been looking for a Quest Card, took Rowan gently out of Briar’s arms and carried him to his room. Moments after Rowan was in bed, Healers appeared and began to do everything necessary for him, while Briar ran for the Guildmaster in the Guild Woods.
‘Guildmaster,’ she yelled when she caught sight of him.
‘Briar, what’s wrong?’ he asked sharply. He could tell that she was worried about something. ‘Is it Jack?’
‘No, Jack is dead,’ Briar informed him. ‘It’s Rowan. I’ve never seen him look so weak! He’s in his room being seen to by the Healers.’
The Guildmaster’s eyes widened with worry before he ran off to Rowan’s room with Briar right behind him. He felt his heart break when he saw Rowan laying there before the Healers, drenched in sweat, shaking and looking paler than the dead.
‘Will he be alright?’ he asked a Healer once they were finished. All the Guild Healers were experts in the three disciplines.
‘We don’t know,’ she admitted. ‘He’s stable now, but that doesn’t mean anything. It would seem that he has used all of his Will power, and even more.’
‘How is that possible?’ the Guildmaster asked. ‘I thought there was a power within that kept some of it hidden so Will-users couldn’t kill themselves from over doing it?’
‘I think he unlocked that power. There is little else we can do for him. All we can do now is prayer to Avo that he will make it.’
-----HIS TRUE DESTINY-----
A month passed and still there was no change in Rowan’s condition. Every day, the Guildmaster would sit by his side praying to Avo. Briar and Whisper would sometimes sit with him too, but he wasn’t the only one praying to Avo. Many citizens, who had heard of his victory against Jack of Blades as a dragon, travelled to the Temple of Avo and asked the god to heal their saviour. Some even went and prayed to Skorm.
And then, two months after the final battle between the Hero of Oakvale and Jack of Blades, Rowan’s condition changed. His condition began to improve, and late one afternoon he awoke to find the Guildmaster sleeping in a chair next to his bed. Brom used to do the exact same thing was Rowan was sick.
‘Guildmaster,’ he managed to say.
The Guildmaster woke with a start, even though Rowan’s voice had been so soft, and looked down at Rowan.
‘Oh thank Avo!’ he exclaimed as tears of joy formed in his eyes. ‘We had thought we’d lost you! Don’t you ever do that to me again! My old heart can’t take much more.’
Rowan smiled weakly up at him.
‘How do you feel?’
‘Weak,’ replied Rowan. ‘Weaker than I have ever felt before. How long have I been out?’
‘Roughly two months.’
‘Well, I’m going back to sleep,’ Rowan yawned, before closing his eyes once more.
The next morning he awoke again and found a Healer in his room, speaking with the Guildmaster.
‘Morning,’ he yawned.
‘Morning, Rowan,’ said the Guildmaster. ‘This is Ancina, one of our Healers. She’s just going to check you over, and then you can eat something.’
‘Sure,’ Rowan muttered.
With the Guildmaster’s help, Rowan managed to sit up to allow Ancina examine him. Once she was happy, he lent back in his pillows and had a small breakfast.
For two weeks he stayed in bed regaining his strength, but during this time he began to notice that something was missing. When he mentioned this to the Guildmaster, his mentor became glum.
‘Did the Healers tell you how you ended up like this?’ he asked cautiously.
‘Yeah, they said that I used all of my Will, but what’s that got to do with the price of eggs?’
‘Rowan, when the Healers say that you have used all of your Will, they mean all of it. You have nothing left. I’m afraid you will never be able to use Will again.’
‘Never? Can’t I drink some mana potions or something?’ Rowan was beyond shocked.
‘Mana potions replenish your existing Will. You no longer have any existing Will, so I’m afraid they can’t. I’m sorry, Rowan.’
Rowan slumped back in his pillows and sighed.
He knew he should be grateful that he was still alive and that Jack of Blades was now gone forever, but something didn’t feel right without his Will. It felt as though a part of his was now missing. He figured that it didn’t really matter, though. After all, he had fulfilled his destiny by saving Albion from Jack of Blades. Little did he know, his destiny was much greater than little old Jack.
Written: 20 February 2013