|Series||The Journey by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||Sparrow's Journey: Chapter Eighteen|
|Next||Sparrow's Journey: Chapter Twenty|
|← Sparrow's Journey: Chapter Eighteen||Chapter Chronology||Sparrow's Journey: Chapter Twenty →|
Chapter Nineteen: QuestsEdit
The next day, Sparrow awoke and was convinced that his birthday had just been a dream. His theory, of course, went flying out the window when his eyes fell upon his birthday presents. Smiling, he grabbed his Fate Cards and went downstairs. No one else was up yet.
He sat at the dinner table and began to read his Fate Cards. He closed his eyes and removed everything from his mind, everything except for a question. His question was in regards to whether there was anyone that needed his help. He shuffled the cards before spreading them out across the table. There were three cards upside down. He took those three cards out and examined them. One card spoke of love, another of rebirth, and the third mentioned the dead. Sparrow stared at them blankly. He ended up being that intent in his card reading that he didn’t notice the other occupants joining him at the table. He didn’t even hear their greetings.
‘Something must be interesting.’ Reaver yawned before jumping – though he denies that he ever did – when Sparrow yelled, ‘So that’s what it means.’ He then noticed his friends bewildered expressions.
‘How long have you been sitting there?’ he asked.
‘For about ten minutes,’ replied Hammer, who was sitting next to him. ‘What did the cards tell you?’
‘The gravekeeper in Bowerstone Cemetery needs help with – with… well, I’m not exactly sure I got the last part of what he needs help with right,’ replied Sparrow. ‘I’ll go there after breakfast.’
‘Can I come?’ asked Hammer, hopefully.
‘I don’t see why not?’ Sparrow grinned at her, before looking at everyone else. ‘What is everyone else doing today?’
‘Sam and I will be following Theresa’s example and will be going home,’ replied Clive. Theresa had returned to the Spire last night.
‘I’ll be going home too,’ added Reaver. ‘I’ve got to deal with some things.’
The companions enjoyed their final breakfast together before going their separate ways.
‘It’s good to be back and going on quests with you again,’ Hammer said cheerfully to Sparrow as they headed towards the Bowerstone Cemetery Mansion. ‘Feels just like old times.’
‘Exactly like old times?’ Sparrow questioned.
‘Well, you are much better company now.’
When the Heroes arrived at the Bowerstone Cemetery Mansion, Sparrow knocked on the door and waited.
‘I’m not in!’ someone yelled from within.
‘Then who’s talking to us?’ Hammer asked, trying not to laugh. Sparrow, however, did.
‘Well… I’m in, but I’m busy,’ Victor the gravekeeper said amending his previous statement, ‘doing absolutely nothing abnormal.’
‘Which means he probably is,’ Sparrow sniggered, making Hammer snort. ‘Are you going to speak to us or not?’ he added to Victor.
‘Go away!’ the gravekeeper yelled. ‘Unless… how would you like to assist in this century’s most important scientific experiment?’
‘That’s why we are here,’ said Sparrow.
‘You-you are? But how -?’
‘I can read Fate Cards,’ Sparrow said dismissingly. ‘They told me that you needed a hand with something.’
‘Yes. I need you to collect a few precious bits of corpse,’ replied Victor.
‘Excuse me?’ Hammer said, wondering if she had heard right.
‘What I meant to say is some totally above-board and non-creepy gathering of various anatomical specimens.’
‘Do you know where the “various anatomical specimens” are?’ Sparrow asked through the door.
‘Yes; the first, um, scientific expedition is to Rookridge. There should be a fine body part hidden away in a cave. Good luck.’
‘That was helpful,’ Hammer said sarcastically as they left the mansion grounds. ‘How many caves are there in Rookridge?’
‘No idea, but I bet there are maps of Rookridge and all its caves at the Academy,’ replied Sparrow.
‘I guess we’re going to Brightwall then,’ Hammer said sounding slightly disappointed.
When the Heroes arrived at Brightwall Academy, Sparrow was beyond shocked at how many people were inside.
‘What are you gaping at?’ asked Hammer, looking highly amused. ‘Samuel told you that the Academy was doing well.’
‘Yeah, but I didn’t think it was doing this well!’ Sparrow replied.
The Heroes ended up finding Samuel at the information and greeting desk sorting out some books.
‘Did you even unpack your belongings or did you come back to work the moment you arrived home?’ Sparrow asked when he got to the desk.
‘Blessed index cards!’ Samuel jumped and dropped the books he was holding. ‘Sparrow? Hammer? What are you doing here? I thought you were on a quest.’
‘We are, however, we need some help,’ replied Hammer. ‘Do you have any recent maps of caves in Rookridge?’
‘Of course! This way.’
Samuel led them down a hall passed many rooms. Hammer stopped outside one and looked in.
‘You even made a kids room! How adorable!’ she said, gazing in at all the children reading, drawing and playing.
‘Well, I doubt the adults would appreciate children running around screaming, so we made a place just for them.’ Sparrow smiled as he watched all the happy children.
The children, who were completely engrossed in what they were doing, didn’t notice the three adults watching. That was until one little girl looked up from her picture book and saw Sparrow. Her eyes widened and gave a squeal of joy.
‘It’s the Hero Sparrow!’ she squealed running over to him and grabbing hold of his arm. Before the Hero knew it, he was surrounded by excited children.
‘Can I have your autograph?’
‘Me too, please!’
‘Can you tell us a story, Mr Sparrow?’
Slightly overwhelmed, Sparrow looked to Hammer for help. She ended up being no help whatsoever.
‘Of course he can,’ she laughed. ‘Mr Sparrow will gladly give you his autograph and tell you a story while we go and do some boring research. See you soon, Sparrow.’ She walked off with Samuel, laughing.
‘Wait! I don’t know anything about looking after children!’ Sparrow yelled desperately after them.
‘Just tell them stories and give them autographs, and you’ll be fine,’ Hammer yelled back. ‘It’s not like you’re fighting a troll.’
Sparrow didn’t look convince. Sighing, he looked down at the children around him.
‘Who’s got paper and something to write with?’ he asked the children around him.
A little boy with curly brown hair hurried over to a nearby desk and returned with some paper and a green crayon.
‘Right, who wants an autograph?’ Sparrow asked as he accepted the paper and crayon.
All around him, hands went flying into the air.
Once all the children had autographs, they began to argue amongst themselves about which story Sparrow should read them.
‘No! I want a princess story!’
‘That’s boring! Let’s hear about pirates!
‘Why don’t we ask Mr Sparrow to retell one of his adventures?’ a little boy suggested shyly.
‘Yeah, let’s hear of a real life adventure!’
‘Will you tell us about one of your adventures, Mr Sparrow?’
‘I guess so,’ Sparrow said, taken back by their eagerness to hear stories about him. ‘Um, let’s see… who here has heard of Captain Dread?’
Only two children raised their hands.
‘I thought as much. Well, roughly two hundred years ago he was the most feared and vicious pirate in Albion; even after death, he is still feared.’ Sparrow began to explain, sitting down on a nearby chair. The children sat on the floor around him, while a cute little five year old girl in a baby pink dress climbed into his lap. ‘He was known as the “Pirate King” –‘
‘I thought Reaver was the Pirate King? That’s what my daddy says,’ one boy said knowledgeably.
‘That is true. Reaver is now the Pirate King, but that only happened when he killed Dread. When Reaver killed Dread, he also killed the vicious pirate’s crew when they tried to revenge their fallen captain. However, unlike most souls, the pirate and his crew didn’t more on. They stayed amongst the living in the Sinkhole off the part of Bloodstone, protecting the Marianne, Dread’s pirate ship. For years they haunted the Sinkhole Cave, unnoticed –though if their presence was noticed, the adventurer that saw them was never seen again.’
‘Then how do you know that he haunts the Sinkhole Cave?’ a confused six year old questioned.
‘I know, because a year ago, I saw him with my own eyes.’ Sparrow looked around out all the wide eyed children. ‘When I was in Bloodstone dealing with a continuous problem of Toby – a con man – and visiting my friend, Reaver, I met an old pirate named Salty Jack. He told me that he saw Captain Dread, but no one believed him.’
‘Except you?’ asked a chubby boy.
‘Oh no… even I thought that he had had too much to drink,’ Sparrow admitted, ‘however, when he asked me to prove it, I accepted, though I had no idea how I would prove his theory. Anyway, when I entered the Sinkhole Cave, a cold male’s voice echoed around the cave warning me to turn back. Now of course, me being as intelligent as I am, I ignored his warnings and continued to search the cave – if that ever happens to you, children, leave the cave immediately. It was in there that I found the Marianne. Now, by this point, I am starting to believe Salty Jack’s ramblings. However, in order for me to take the Marianna, I had to fill the cave with water. To do this, I had to find a lever, which was hidden in Dread’s bedroom. Sounds easy enough, right?’
The children nodded their heads.
‘It wasn’t. To get to Dread’s room, I had to fight the spirits of his crew, something I had never done before. It made me wonder, can you kill a spirit? Turns out you can… or at least, make them leave this world. So I managed to defeat the crew and retrieve the lever. Once I had the lever, and the cave had enough water in it for me to take the Marianne, I boarded the ship and came face to face with Captain Dread and the rest of the crew. There was no doubt in my mind now that Salty Jack was telling the truth.
‘Defeating Dread and his crew was no picnic, but I eventually managed to defeat them, whilst gaining a couple of scars. With my enemies defeated, I went to the wheel only to have the ship automatically sail me to Dread’s Secret Island where he hid most of his treasure. I managed to find it all, before sailing back to Bloodstone and proving Salty Jack was telling the truth,’ Sparrow concluded.
‘What did you do with the treasure?’ a pair of twins asked in unison.
‘I kept some, spent a bit on the Academy and donated the rest.’
The children looked at Sparrow in awe, before the little girl on Sparrow’s lap asked quietly, ‘Can you tell us another story?’
‘I’m sorry, kids, but I’m afraid I have to steal Mr Sparrow,’ Hammer said from the doorway.
The children all grumbled, but they nevertheless said goodbye to Sparrow.
‘Goodbye, children,’ Sparrow said, leaving the room.
‘Maybe you should come here more often and read to the children,’ Samuel suggested.
‘Maybe I will.’ Sparrow looked thoughtful. ‘In the meantime, did you find any caves?’
‘Yes, but we believe that the first piece of corpse is in a cave underneath the Rookridge carriage house,’ replied Hammer. ‘Otherwise there is a cave that we’ll have to swim to, filled with water and gems, or there are the old mines.’
‘Not to mention that cave where you defeated that troll last year to help the Rookridge innkeeper,’ added Samuel.
‘And here I was thinking this would be easy.’ Sparrow sighed. ‘We’ll see you later, Samuel.’
Fortunately, the first piece of corpse - woman’s lower body – was in the first cave; however, they also found out that the cave was infested with Hobbes, who were determined to kill the Heroes. With the corpse in hand, and with a trail of dead Hobbes behind them, Sparrow and Hammer headed back to Victor.
At the mansion, Hammer knocked on the front door while Sparrow took the corpse out of his bad. The Heroes agreed that it wouldn’t be a wise move to be seen carrying a woman’s lower body around; people would be bound to panic.
‘It’s open! I’m upstairs and to the left!’ Victor yelled from within.
Sparrow motioned for Hammer to go through first and he followed. The moment they were before Victor, Sparrow handed him the corpse. He was glad to get rid of it.
‘Oh… it’s her! It’s really her!’ Victor said. His voice was full of emotion as he looked at the corpse lovingly.
Sparrow and Hammer exchanged a look; a look that stated that they both were a little grossed out at the way Victor was reacting to the corpse.
‘I might as well tell you the truth now.’ Victor turned to the Heroes. ‘This is Lady Elvira Grey; well, a bit of her. She lived a long time ago in an awful, barbaric time, and she was the Mayor of Bowerstone. Some people… well, they didn’t like her very much. Couldn’t see what a wonderful person she really was. They called her a witch and… well, they chopped off her head.’
And then the Hero of Oakvale killed those who did it slowly and painfully, Sparrow thought.
‘They then buried her body in three different places,’ Victor continued, ‘but let’s not waste time on such awful tales. The second part of her is hidden in a tomb between Bloodstone and Wraithmarsh. Please find it.’
‘We can do that,’ said Hammer, not sounding too thrilled about having to go to Wraithmarsh. Sparrow felt the same way.
‘Any idea of how many tombs there are between Wraithmarsh and Bloodstone?’ Sparrow asked Hammer.
‘I wish,’ she replied. ‘Does this mean we have to go back to Brightwall?’ she added with a groan.
‘No. I was thinking about going to Bloodstone to ask Reaver. He knows that area better than anyone, and it’s not like it is out of our way.’
‘And you think he’ll know?’ Hammer looked a little sceptical.
‘He might. Seeing as Lady Grey died maybe fifty years before he was born, he was most likely taught something about her and the tombs between the two regions.’
‘Alright… what have we got to lose?’
Reaver was surprised to see his fellow Heroes when they arrived on his doorstep late on next a few days later.
‘Sorry, Reaver, did we wake you?’ Sparrow asked, following Reaver into his sitting room.
‘No, I was already up,’ Reaver admitted. ‘What can I do for you?’
‘We need to pick you brain about something,’ Sparrow said, taking a seat next to Hammer while Reaver sat across from them.
‘About what exactly?’
‘You know the area between Bloodstone and Wraithmarsh pretty well, right?’
‘How many tombs are there in that area?’
‘There are hundreds. Why do you ask?’
‘There is a guy who is after Lady Grey’s corpse, though we have no idea why. He told us that there is a piece of her corpse hidden in a tomb between Wraithmarsh and Bloodstone,’ Hammer explained.
‘He actually found where the Witchspotters’ hid her corpse?’ Reaver looked amazed. ‘Well, there were heaps of small tombs built around her death, but all of them had names clearly written on them.’
‘So you have no idea where her body would be?’ Sparrow looked disappointed.
‘I can only guess that they Witchspotters hid her body in with someone else’s tomb.’
‘That doesn’t narrow it down much for us,’ Hammer groaned.
‘Actually, it does,’ Reaver disagreed. ‘The Witchspotters viewed Lady Grey as evil, as a witch, hence, they would have not put her body in with a mere farmer. They would not wish to taint their final resting place. No, if they were to put her body in another tomb, it would be in someone’s tomb they viewed as being just as evil. The only person I can think of that they would consider being evil, who was buried there, is Twinblade. To them, a bandit would be just as bad as a witch.’
‘But wouldn’t people know if she was buried there?’ Hammer questioned. ‘Surely some historian or adventurer has been there?’
‘Only those who were stupid enough too,’ Reaver informed them. ‘The place is said to be infested with hollow men and that Twinblade’s ghost haunts his tomb. It is for this reason that it is the most likely place for her to be. He did die years before she did.’
‘Makes sense to me,’ Sparrow said, jumping to his feet. ‘Thanks for your help, Reaver.’
‘Don’t mention it, but I suggest you get some rest before you go gallivanting into Wraithmarsh.’
‘We’ll be fine,’ Hammer said confidently, also getting to her feet.
The torso of Elvira Grey did end up being hidden in Twinblade’s tomb as were an army of hollow men. However, the Heroes did discover that Twinblade’s ghost haunting his tomb was in fact a rumour.
Once more they returned to Victor, and just like before, he was overjoyed to see the next bit of corpse.
Maybe it’s a gravekeeper thing, Sparrow thought before Victor sent the duo to Fairfax Garden’s where Lady Grey’s Tomb was located.
Hammer and Sparrow were grateful to have at least one easy task. The worse thing they had to experience was giant beetles. In no time, they were handing Victor Lady Grey’s head. They found him in the basement.
‘Oh… at last!’ Victor exclaimed when he accepted the corpse head. ‘I never thought this day would come, my sweet lady!’
‘What day are you talking about exactly?’ Hammer asked, voicing Sparrow’s own thoughts.
‘Well… you see, I’ve been in love with Lady Grey for many years… ever since I found a picture of her,’ Victor admitted, ‘and I have invented a machine that will not only reanimate dead tissue, but also make her fall in love with me. We’ll be so happy. I’ll take care of her forever, just like she deserves.’
While Hammer looked amazed and happy for the gravekeeper, Sparrow look totally and utterly disgusted.
‘That is gross!’ he said. ‘She’s over six hundred years old! She married the Hero of Oakvale, my ancestor, and had his child before she was convicted of being a witch! That’s just – You’re going to marry my great-great-great-great-great grandmother, plus or minus a few greats. I’m out of here! Good luck!’
Sparrow practically ran from the room and waited outside for Hammer. She appeared ten minutes later.
‘It was a success,’ she informed Sparrow.
‘I don’t want to know!’ Sparrow said quickly. ‘I don’t want to know about my ancestor marrying someone my age. Let’s just go home.’
‘Actually, Sparrow, I was wondering if you’d come with me to Oakfield to visit my father’s grave,’ Hammer asked hesitantly as they walked away from the mansion.
Sparrow didn’t answer immediately. He just walked in silence looking straight ahead well-aware that Hammer was watching him intently. He did not know if it was wise for him to go to the one place he had been avoiding for years. He was ashamed for what he did and regardless of the letter from the People of Albion, he was sure that Oakfield wouldn’t react to well to his presence. However, Hammer was asking him to join her, which meant that she wasn’t confident enough to go by herself.
‘Okay, I’ll come with you,’ Sparrow said eventually. Out the corner of his eyes he saw Hammer smile brightly and began to walk with a slight spring in her step. He couldn’t help but smile too.
Whatever happiness the duo had on their way to Oakfield, soon vanished when they entered the dead region. The once beautiful farming community was now bleak and was starting to resemble Wraithmarsh. Sparrow quickly looked at Hammer as she took in her hometown. She was devastated.
No one noticed them as they went to Hammer’s father’s grave and where the Golden Oak once stood nobly. The moment they were before the grave, Hammer fell to her knees and lowered her head, talking quietly to the grave. Sparrow hung awkwardly in the background. When Hammer was finished with her visit, they headed for the Sandgoose.
‘He raised me from a baby, you know,’ Hammer told Sparrow suddenly. ‘He was travelling back from Bowerstone when he came across my birth parent’s bodies. Bandits had ambushed, killed and robbed them. Then, just as he was about to leave the murder scene, he said that a ray of sunshine appeared through the grey, cloudy sky. That ray of sunshine fell upon me. That is how he found me. He would always say that the ray of sunshine wasn’t coincidence, but rather a message from the Lords of Light. He said that they are the reason I survived and that they would always protect and guide me. But now, they don’t seem to care.’
Sparrow remained silent. He had no idea how he was to react to her story. Thankfully, he was saved from replying. When they arrived outside the Sandgoose, a group of roughly dressed men caught sight of Hammer and hurried over to her. Their faces were alive with joy.
‘Sister Hammer!’ one of them explained.
Hammer and Sparrow’s eyes widened when they recognised the man.
‘Br-Brother Robin?’ Hammer gasped. ‘But –h-how -?’
She looked around at the other men and recognised them as Temple of Light monks.
‘We were in Bowerstone the night of the attack,’ replied Brother Robin, making Sparrow move awkwardly. Brother Robin’s eyes fell upon him and his eyes became unnaturally cold.
‘What would you like to drink?’ Sparrow questioned Hammer quickly, before Brother Robin could say anything else.
‘Um… Yellow Fairy, thanks,’ replied Hammer, slightly taken back by his sudden question.
‘Okay, I’ll go and find us a table.’ Sparrow retreated into the in with the eyes of the ex-Temple of Light monks following him.
‘We’ve been so worried about you,’ said Robin.
‘Brother Rob –‘
‘It’s only Robin, now,’ the ex-monk interrupted. ‘No one has followed the ways of the Temple since it was destroyed. The Light doesn’t protect us anymore.’
‘It might,’ Hammer disagreed quietly. ‘Sparrow destroyed the Temple of Shadows –‘
‘You mean just like he destroyed the Temple of Light.’
‘He is not that man anymore!’ Hammer felt her temper rising. ‘He’s found peace! He’s found… the light,’ she added slowly as she realised something.
‘The Light has always taught us to give people second chances, but sometimes it is not possible to do so.’ Robin then sighed and walked away.
Hammer watched Robin and the fellow monks walk away before heading inside to find Sparrow. She soon found him at a table in the corner, with their drinks, looking grim and thoughtful. Together they sat in silence, only speaking once and that was only when Sparrow told Hammer he had booked them rooms for the night.
With their goblets empty, Hammer got to her feet.
‘I’m going to bed. See you in the morning, Sparrow,’ she said before heading to her room.
Sparrow watched her go and when she was out of sight, he took out his Fate cards.
Is there a way to undo my mistake here? He thought as he shuffled the cards. Two cards fell out onto the table. He turned them over and read them.
One was the card of light and the other was the card of rebirth. With these two cards in mind, Sparrow closed his eyes and let the visions flow to him. He saw a leaf from the Golden Oak in a box with his trophies. He then saw the Wellspring Caves of Light in the third chamber. He now knew what he had to do. Gathering his cards, he went to his room and pulled out his old Guild Seal; he never left home without it.
‘Theresa?’ he called.
Yes, Little Sparrow? Theresa responded immediately.
‘Could you do me a favour by calling into my place and collecting something for me, please?’
I believe I could do that, she replied. What is it that I will be collecting?
‘Under my bed is a chest full of my old trophies. Could you please bring me back the Golden Oak leaf?’
Of course. I will see you soon.
If Theresa found his request weird, she did not let on that she did. Either way, Sparrow did not care. He was just grateful that Theresa agreed to help him.
Three minutes later, Theresa appeared.
‘Here you go.’ She handed him the Golden Oak leaf.
‘Thank you, Theresa,’ Sparrow said as he accepted the old leaf. It was still golden.
She nodded her head and disappeared in shimmering blue light.
With Theresa gone, Sparrow casually left the inn and slipped unnoticeably down the path leading to the Wellspring Caves. From there, he headed straight for the third chamber. He was grateful that no hollow men attacked him on his way.
In the third chamber, Sparrow looked around as he went and stood on the pressure plate Hammer had stood on before realising a dilemma… someone needed to stand on the second pressure plate.
Clicking his tongue in annoyance, Sparrow looked around the room. Eventually his eyes fell upon a large rock.
Maybe I can trick it into thinking that someone’s standing there, he thought.
Sparrow walked over to the rock, picked it up and placed in on the second pressure plate. He then went over to the first and knelt upon it.
‘Here goes nothing,’ Sparrow muttered, before addressing the empty room. ‘Lords of Light, hear me please! Please help me restore Oakfield to its former glory. Albion already has one dead region… it doesn’t need another one. I know that the people don’t believe in the Light anymore, but I do. All I ask is that you save Oakfield!’
Sparrow waited, but nothing happened, so he pulled out the Golden Oak leaf.
‘I believe there is still hope,’ he whispered, looking down at the leaf. ‘If there wasn’t, I believe that this leaf would have died years ago.’
He fell silent again and just stared at the leaf.
‘Welcome, young Sparrow,’ a mellow voice greeted as rays of light surrounded the Hero.
Sparrow looked up and gasped. Before him were three tall figures surrounded by glowing light. While these noble males looked Sparrow’s age, the Hero could tell that they had an ancient aura about them.
‘Are you -?’ Sparrow began, looking truly amazed.
‘Yes, we are the three Lords of Light,’ the head Lord of Light smiled, ‘and we shall help you in more than one way. Close your eyes, young Hero.’
Sparrow did so hesitantly, not knowing what to expect. He sensed the head Lord of Light walk forward, before he felt him place his hand lightly upon his brow. Warm, pure energy coursed through his veins, mixing with the negative energy he still had within. He began to feel more alive than he ever had before. He felt his Will becoming stronger and his skin began to clear of all scars and bruises, while his eyes and hair became lighter.
Sparrow opened his light green eyes and looked up at the Lord of Light when he removed his hand.
‘Why?’ the Hero asked.
‘You and Hannah are the chosen Ones,’ the Lord explained. ‘We have watched over the two of you since you were born, though I have to say, Hannah gave us less trouble than you. You constantly worried us with your reckless behaviour. You especially worried us when you became shrouded in darkness. We’re glad that you found your way back to us, though we now understand that the darkness is as much a part of you as is the light. That is why you had to see the darkness.’
‘What do you mean Hammer and I are the Chosen Ones? What are we Chosen for? I thought it was only to defeat Lucien.’
‘True, you were both destined for that responsibility, but it was not the main reason you were brought onto this earth. Everyone is born to contribute something to life as we know it, but it just so happens, you and Hannah will contribute a lot more than a mere invention.’
‘You’ve lost me.’
‘For years we have sought those who would bring about the saviour who would defeat the upcoming darkness. You and Hannah were those we sought.’
‘But how are we supposed to bring about the saviour? Are we meant to go out looking for them or something?’
‘Everything will become clearer to you in time.’
‘You sound like Theresa.’
‘Now, hand me the last surviving remnants of the Golden Oak.’
Sparrow mutely handed over the leaf.
‘Thank you, child.’
The Lord of Light walked back to his fellow Lords and together they began to focus their energy on the leaf. Sparrow watched them for a little while before taking in his scar free arms and light brown hair.
Sometime later, the head Lord of Light walked back over to Sparrow and handed him the last remains back, only it was no longer an oak leaf, but rather a golden acorn.
‘It’s up to you now. All that remains is the Wellsprings water.’
‘Thank you!’ Sparrow exclaimed happily, before heading off to find a jug for the water. He couldn’t wait to see Hammer’s face. She would be so happy.
It is said that with the rise of each dawn, new hope will come with it. It is for this reason that the citizens of Oakfield gathered in the clearing that once housed the Golden Oak, praying that their farming community would be saved and their children would be free to run around without the constant fear of being attacked by the hollow men who had decided to take up residence in the region.
Hammer ended up joining them in prays, though she wondered where Sparrow was. He wasn’t in his room when she went to wake him up to make him join in pray.
‘Each dawn we hope for a miracle, but it never comes,’ Robin told Hammer as they watched the sunrise. ‘Soon we will have to abandon this place and find somewhere else to live.’
‘For a monk, you’re not very optimistic,’ Sparrow commented as he walked into the clearing.
‘Sparrow?’ Hammer gasped at his new appearance.
‘I’ll explain later,’ he replied, walking towards her and Robin.
‘What’s with the huge jug?’ she asked.
‘Well I had to carry the Wellsprings water in something,’ he told her, before smirking. ‘I honestly don’t know what you were complaining about all those years ago. It’s not that heavy.’
‘Why would you have the Holy water in the first place?’ Robin asked suspiciously before Hammer could retaliate to Sparrow’s last comment.
‘Well, you need to water this once planted.’ Sparrow pulled the golden acorn out of his pocket.
‘You have a golden acorn!’ Robin exclaimed, taking it off Sparrow. ‘But how -?’
‘I had one of the old oak tree’s leaves, so I took it to the Lords of Light,’ Sparrow shrugged, before searching his bag. He pulled out a generous amount of gold and handed it to another ex-monk. ‘And this is for you to rebuild the town. I will drop of some more gold later on. Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to bed.’
Hammer and Sparrow returned to Bowerstone two days later, after dealing with a cross-dresser and his family of hobbes. Hammer decided to spend two more months with Sparrow, Walter and Penelope before determining it was time to leave.
‘I will miss you, dear,’ Penelope said as she embraced the female Hero. ‘You are welcome here at any time.’
‘Thank you, Penelope,’ Hammer replied. ‘I promise that I’ll keep in touch too.’
‘You better,’ Walter joked as they embraced.
When it came to Sparrow’s goodbye, the Heroes just stood before each other awkwardly.
‘I guess I’ll see you around,’ Sparrow muttered.
‘I guess so,’ she replied. ‘Take care of yourself, Sparrow.’
She smiled, gathered her belongings, and left.
‘Do you really want to let her go again?’ Penelope asked Sparrow, quietly, putting her hand gently on his shoulder. ‘Go after her, dear. Tell her how you feel.’
‘How do you know how I feel?’
‘It is written all over your face.’
‘It doesn’t matter. She’s a monk. She can never marry or be in a relationship.’
‘But maybe she would sacrifice her life as a monk for the man she loves,’ Penelope said knowingly. ‘Go after her, Sparrow. You’ll regret it if you don’t.’
Sparrow looked out the door Hammer had just exited through. Penelope had a point. Hadn’t Hammer admitted to him on his birthday that she didn’t see herself as a monk in the future? And hadn’t the Lords of Light told him that he and Hammer were meant to bring about the saviour to defeat the darkness? And wasn’t one of his future children destined to save Albion? Everything was starting to make sense.
Sparrow ran from the house and after Hammer. He found her halfway across the Bowerstone Bridge.
‘HAMMER! WAIT!’ Sparrow yelled out.
Hammer, and everyone else on the bridge, turned to look at him.
‘Didn’t know Hammer was such a popular name,’ he muttered sarcastically as he ran towards the stunned Hammer.
‘Sparrow, what’s wrong?’ she asked, her eyes full of concern, when he came to a halt in front of her.
‘Nothing’s wrong,’ replied Sparrow. ‘I just want you to stay with me because… because I love you, Hammer. I have for a very long time. That’s why I was constantly pushing you away. I was scared that I’d lose you. That is why I came after you to Howling Halls to make sure Lilith hadn’t harmed you.’
Hammer stared at Sparrow, shocked, before she flung her arms around his waist and whispered, ‘I love you, too.’
Those who saw the couple admit their love for each other all agreed that it was a beautiful moment, so it came as no surprise when they married a year later and lived happily ever after…
Alas, this is what the people believed would happen, but happily ever after rarely exists for the great Heroes of Albion.