|United Once More|
|Series||United Once More by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||United Once More: Chapter One|
|Next||United Once More: Chapter Three|
|← United Once More: Chapter One||Chapter Chronology||United Once More: Chapter Three →|
Richard’s eyes widened. He hadn’t gone by Reaver for years, a hundred to be exact. So how could she know his other name? And what did she mean by “Just like old times”? He let her go and she took a step back, levelling a calm look at him.
‘You don’t remember me, do you?’ Her voice betrayed her amusement.
Richard vaguely wondered if he had slept with her as Mark walked over towards them.
‘Congratulations, Richard! You’re the first person to beat Captain Sparrow in hand-to-hand combat.’ he said.
‘Sparrow?’ repeated Richard. Why did that seem so familiar to him?
‘A name my sister used to call me.’ Sparrow responded. ‘But others used to call me Lionheart.’
‘You are indeed worthy of that title,’ agreed Mark. ‘You are like the legendary Hero Lionheart herself.’
Richard gasped. He now remembered who she was…
‘…and we’re done.’ Barnum said as Reaver’s study door slammed open.
‘And you’re sure that it will look like me?’ Reaver inquired suspiciously, ignoring the young lady storming angrily towards him.
‘Exactly like you, sir.’ Barnum replied confidently. ‘In three months, the picture should be developed and …’
‘Three months? That’s no good.’ Reaver chuckled, then, in one swift movement he shot Barnum and calmly turned to face the angry woman only to find her pistol under his chin.
‘And looking as youthful and spirited as ever!’ Reaver said jovially, knocking the pistol out of her hand. ‘Aren’t you a tricky one? Good for you. You have my eternal thanks for delivering that troublesome seal.’
‘I don’t want your eternal gratitude!’ snapped the beautiful Hero Lionheart, before aiming a punch at Reaver’s face.
Reaver caught her fist before snaking behind her and twisting said arm behind her back while pulling her tightly against him with his other arm around her waist, trapping her other arm by her side.
‘Nice try,’ he purred.
Richard’s eyes widened. Hero was here? But how was that possible? How could the Hero of Bowerstone, the first Queen of Albion be here? In this time? She died years ago back when Albion was at the beginning of the Age of Industry.
Richard was barely aware of Mark dismissing them as he watched Sparrow walk away. She still walked with the same confidence and sway in her hips.
That night, Richard left the training site, lost in thought and it was all because of Sparrow. He barely paid any attention to those around him until he found his way blocked by none other than Sparrow herself.
‘Come with me,’ was all she said, before walking off.
Richard stood there debating whether to follow her or not. In the end, he went against his better judgement. Knowing his luck he would get caught up in some mess with her like last time.
Half an hour later, they arrived at what Richard assumed to be Sparrow’s house. He followed her inside and into the kitchen where a small boy was sitting, doing his homework. The boy looked up as they entered and Richard gave a small in audible gasp. It was the same boy that he saw that morning at the school.
‘Hello Reaver.’ The boy said calmly. ‘Hi Mum.’
‘You alright, Logan?’ asked Sparrow, gently kissing him on the head and looking over at what he was doing.
Logan? frowned a thoughtful Richard. Ah, yes, that had been Hero’s eldest son. He had been king until his Hero brother overthrew him.
‘Are you happy with pizza for dinner, Reaver?’ asked Sparrow, interrupting Richard from his thoughts.
‘Huh? Oh, yes.’ Richard flicked his eyes to Sparrow as she spoke, averting his gaze away from Logan.
‘Any type in particular?’
‘Logan, the usual?’
‘Yes please, Mum.’
Sparrow reached over the hutch of the kitchen bench and grabbed her home phone. Moments later she was speaking to someone ordering two pizzas to be delivered.
‘Pizza will be here in fifteen minutes.’ said Sparrow as she sat on top of the kitchen benching, looking over at Richard. ‘I wondered if you were still around or if you had decided to call it quits.’
‘Me? Call it quits?’ Richard smirked. ‘My dear, unlike the other temperamental beings on this earth, I know how to enjoy life.’
‘You didn’t look like you were having fun at training.’ Sparrow said pointedly.
‘Every time has its downside and the army currently takes the top.’ Richard shrugged, before looking slyly at Sparrow. ‘Were you watching me?’
Sparrow smiled. Ever since their little fight she had indeed been watching him.
‘You look better when you’re all sweaty and shirtless. Makes you look manlier.’
‘So I take it you liked what you saw?’ asked a slightly surprised Richard.
Logan glanced from his mother to Richard and back again, before making a slightly disgusted face and packing up his books before heading to his room.
Fifteen minutes later, Logan, Sparrow and Richard were sitting down at the dinner table, eating their pizza.
‘What was it like watching the world progress to how it is today, Reaver?’ asked a curious Logan.
‘Richard.’ corrected Richard. ‘In this time my name is Richard. Reaver became a bit…out dated.’
‘So, what was it like?’ Logan persisted.
‘It has been quite fascinating to see how far technology has come.’ he answered.
‘I’d say. It’s kind of scary how fast it’s evolving, when you think about it.’ Sparrow said conversationally. ‘It’s also kind of sad.’
‘What do you mean?’ Richard was intrigued, what could be sad about progress?
‘Remember all those years ago, back when children ran around outside playing Heroes? Well, you rarely see children outside as much now. They’re all inside playing the Wii or Xbox.’
Richard mulled over her information for a moment before his curiosity finally got the better of him.
‘What are you doing here, Hero?’ Richard finally asked. ‘How is it even possible for you to be here?’
‘I don’t know.’ admitted Sparrow. ‘I was just reincarnated for some reason.’
‘And you’ve always been able to remember everything from your past life?’ Richard was confused. How did something like this even happen?
‘No. My parents took me and my older brother’s to Millfields and when I was swimming in the Lake, I found an underwater cave which led to the Heroes Guild.’ explained Sparrow. ‘Going through there seemed like a memory from a dream. Anyway, inside the remains of the Guild I found my old music box and it showed me all that I had forgotten. I was six and from that day, my relationship with my family hasn’t been on the best of terms. Especially when Logan was born when I was eighteen. My parents had an absolute fit.’
‘So the old king was reincarnated too?’ Richard glanced down, looking to see if Sparrow was wearing a wedding ring.
‘Mum and I were the only ones to be reborn.’ Logan said quietly. ‘Father, Jonathan, Walter, Jasper…none of them have come back.’
‘So, you had a one night stand or something?’ Richard kept his voice even but inside, he was shocked. He never thought Sparrow would do something like that.
‘I’m still a virgin, Richard.’ Sparrow said calmly.
‘Then how -?’ Richard trailed off and looked at Logan.
‘Logan, why don’t you go have a bath?’ Sparrow’s voice was amiable but Richard knew what she was doing. Whatever she was going to say was not for Logan’s ears.
‘Sure,’ replied Logan, before leaving the room.
Sparrow remained silent for a few moments before answering Richard’s question.
‘I don’t know how he was conceived. All I do know is that I woke up one morning, pregnant, and nine months later he was born. When he was five he somehow regained his memories of his past life, which made it difficult for him to be friends with the other kids.’
‘I gathered as much,’ Richard murmured, thinking back to earlier that morning when he saw Logan sitting by himself.
‘It’s been difficult for Logan, though he will never admit it.’ Sparrow said quietly as she began to clear the table. ‘He misses his brother. He misses Jonathan. From the outside they didn’t seem close, but they were. It is unbelievable how close they were. Jonathan meant everything to Logan.’
‘What about you?’
‘I’m no stranger to the loss of loved ones.’ Sparrow shrugged. ‘Thanks to my time in the Spire, I’m able to force all the bad thoughts out of my mind and close my heart…just like you.’
-----UNITED ONCE MORE-----
Richard sat quietly in Sparrow’s darkened lounge room with a glass of wine in his hand. He could just make out Sparrow saying goodnight to Logan and moments later, she was sitting next to him, pouring herself a glass of wine.
‘I wonder how much sleep I’ll get tonight.’ Sparrow yawned, before taking a sip of her drink.
‘What do you mean?’
‘Logan’s been having a lot of nightmares lately about something called the Crawler. Apparently, it tried to cover Aurora and Albion in darkness.’
‘Yes. It is the reason Logan became a tyrant and Jonathan than started a revolution before coming king.’ Richard replied, recalling the past events. ‘Sweet boy. Managed to keep most of his promises to keep the people happy and defeat the Crawler. Never agreed with any of my ideas. I was particularly disappointed when he didn’t turn the Bowerstone Shelter and Orphanage into a brothel.’
‘Why doesn’t that surprise me?’ Sparrow snorted in amusement.
‘Do you think Albion’s in danger again?’ asked Richard. ‘I mean, it can’t be coincidence that both you and Logan were reincarnated, with full memories, and out of all the people in Albion we just happen to stumble across each other. That’s too big to be a coincidence.’
‘You are right, Reaver.’ A quiet, yet familiar voice said.
‘Theresa!’ gasped Sparrow, dropping her wine glass which promptly shattered on the floor.
Theresa was standing at the entrance to the longue room still wearing her red and white dress with matching hood.
‘I can’t believe you’re still alive.’ Richard grumbled. ‘Are Garth and Hammer here too?’ he added with his voice dripping with sarcasm.
‘No. Their destinies have already been fulfilled, unlike yours.’ answered Theresa.
‘You’re going to drag me into some sort of mess, just like last time, aren’t you?’ ’Richard was more than a little annoyed by the return of the Seer. She always brought trouble his way.
‘You don’t have a choice.’ Theresa’s voice betrayed little emotion, as usually. ‘Albion’s end is coming and all that stands in its way are two Heroes.’
‘Alright, that explains Hero’s return and why we met again, but why was Logan reborn?’
‘He will be your guide to help you find the fabled weapon that can destroy the approaching darkness.’
‘But Jonathan defeated the Crawler years ago,’ said a tired voice behind Theresa. Logan was standing there rubbing his eyes. ‘I was there.’
‘The Crawler was only a puppet of darkness.’ Theresa explained as Logan joined Sparrow and Richard on the couch. ‘His master is far more powerful and cruel. Compared to the true darkness, the Crawler is nothing more than a mere bandit.’
‘That’s not good. Dealing with the Crawler was hard enough.’ groaned Logan, leaning against his mother for comfort.
Sparrow automatically put her arms around her son, before she quickly shot a worried look down at her small son.
‘Logan, you’re shaking! What happened?’
‘I had another nightmare.’ mumbled Logan. ‘I was in Shadelight, where the Crawler lived, and I was walking through its dark corridors. It was getting darker and darker until I saw something glowing faintly so I hurried forward to get it. Then two dark sentinels stepped out in front of me and…I woke up. It was dark and cold. It filled me with dread and despair.’
‘It’s all right, sweet heart. It was only a dream; a memory of your past life. You’re safe.’ Sparrow said comfortingly, but Logan was shaking his head.
‘It wasn’t a memory, Mum.’ said a shaken Logan.
‘Then it was just based on a memory…’
Logan shook his head again.
‘Your son is right, Little Sparrow.’ Theresa said calmly. ‘They are not memories, but visions.’
‘Visions?’ Sparrow looked quickly at Theresa. ‘What do you mean visions? You mean he can see the future like you?’
‘Not exactly, but he can see things other people cannot. That is why he was reincarnated. That is why he is your guide.'
‘You spoke of him leading us to a weapon. What’s so special about it?’ asked Richard.
‘It is the only weapon in existence that can kill the darkness.’ said Theresa.
‘And where is it located?’ Richard was dreading the answer. Nothing was ever easy when both Theresa and Hero were involved.
‘You already know where it is.’
‘That weapon museum in Bowerstone?’ Richard asked hopefully.
‘No. It is in Aurora in Shadelight.’ Theresa said softly. Logan flinched and Sparrow held him closer. ‘Logan saw the way just now.’
‘No.’ Sparrow said coldly. ‘I know where you’re going with this Theresa and my answer is no. Logan is not returning to that place!’
‘Without him, you will not find the weapon.’ Theresa said bluntly.
‘But…Richard, tell her!’ Sparrow looked desperately at him, but Richard looked thoughtful. ‘You can’t seriously be agreeing with her!’
‘Look at it this way, Hero. He can either die there helping us get this weapon or he can die here along with millions of other people.’ Richard spread out his hands in an encompassing gesture. ‘Besides, there’s a good chance that he won’t die there. He’ll be with us.’
‘So? Didn’t he have some of the best soldiers with him last time he was there?’ Sparrow snapped. ‘Last time I looked, none of them returned and Logan only just survived! So what makes you so confident?’
‘Because it will take more than a flesh wound to bring one of us down and we know that the Crawler isn’t there. Which just leaves some bird-like warriors and dark sentinels, both of which are quite easy to defeat. I had some practice when I was in Aurora.’ he added when Sparrow gave him a “And how do you know that?” look.
‘It doesn’t matter!’ Sparrow continued to argued. ‘For all we know there could be hundreds of them! Or worse, there could be a new Crawler!’
‘Mum, it’s okay.’ Logan interrupted. ‘Rea-Richard and Theresa are right. If I don’t go countless others will die. Besides, I was lucky once, maybe I will be again.’
Sparrow looked desperately around, but she was outnumbered. She sighed, her shoulders sagging in defeat. Reluctantly, she nodded her agreement. Logan and Richard were right, if Logan didn’t go everyone else would die and eventually so would he.
‘Fine, but we’ll have to fly there since most of my cullis gates have been destroyed.’ Sparrow sighed.
‘I’ll book us the next flight to Aurora.’ Richard put down his wine and made his way to the phone.
‘Theresa,’ began Sparrow, looking away from Logan and towards the Blind Seer only to find that she was gone. ‘Argh! I hate it when she does that. Logan, go pack some clothes.’
‘Yes Mum.’ Logan said obediently. He was still a little shaken from his vision.
Sparrow watched him go before walking off to her own bedroom to get ready.
‘There’s a flight at ten o’clock in five days’ time.’ Richard told Sparrow, twenty minutes later as he stood at her bedroom door. ‘I’ll have to stop at my place first to pick up a few things.’
‘We’ll also need to break into the Bowerstone Weapon Museum.’ said Sparrow, zipping up her backpack.
‘Did you just say what I thought you just said?’
‘Because they currently have my old pistol, rifle, and sword; you know the ones I left to Jonathan.’
‘In that case, we should go to my place as soon as you are ready.’
‘I’m ready,’ said Sparrow.
‘So am I,’ said Logan, coming to a halt next to Richard.
‘In that case, let’s get going.’ said Richard, leading the way downstairs and to the front door. ‘It will take us roughly half an hour to get to my place and then roughly four days to get to Bowerstone.’
Richard was right. It only took them half an hour to walk to his house. They crowded through the front door and Richard began flicking on the lights.
‘Figures,’ muttered Sparrow, looking around at his interior decorations. ‘This house looks practically the same as your Bloodstone Manor…’
‘And Millfields Manor,’ added Logan as he muffled a yawn.
‘Come, I’ll show you to a room.’ muttered Richard. They agreed that they would rest at Richard’s and then set out at first light the next day.
Once Richard had shown them to their room, he went off to his own to pack for the trip before going to bed himself.