The Unprotected

Chapter 7

“Long ago, when Foron’s army assembled and his village – Eldfort, was just about finished, an old man by the name of Oltar wrote a prophecy. I will tell you what he predicted. And I must apologize, for my mind is hazy and I do not remember the exact words. Forgive me if I mess up and must stop for a few minutes to remember…
“Two medallions, two boys. One guide, one destiny. All together they must come, in to the village of Eldfort. A school they do attend, and learn great things. A war occurs; one death above the rest is the greatest loss of them all. With no hope, the living one returns to his home, lost and distraught, if only he realises, he is not alone. Only when he remembers this, will the past and departed arise.”
There was a stony silence when Kolward had finished, soon interrupted by Rion.
“So, is that suggesting that if we go, then one of us will die in a war?”
Joban gripped the arms of the chair tightly. He turned pale, “Die? I don’t like that idea of dying, especially at our young age.”
“But, the dead will appear when he realises he is not alone? What kind of impossible talk is that?” Rion stood hastily, wanting to escape this place as quickly as he could. He couldn’t believe the prophecy, wouldn’t believe it. Kolward was talking rubbish, just as all old people here did. There was no Oltar, no dying, and no wars. This was all just a terrible dream, a dream where if you pinch yourself, you don’t wake up, for it is too terrible. He began to feel faint and slowly sat again, quickly finding the strength to speak,
“What would happen if we don’t go, if the prophecy is real?”
Kolward chortled, “Rion, Joban, if you do not go to Eldfort, then there indeed was no prophecy, no Oltar. It was all just made up by some ignorant little twit, who thinks it is amusing to start stories that some people take very seriously. But I believe that it is real and you will go, so make your mother proud. Make the world proud, defeat all evil and bring peace to the people and creatures once again. And, if it’s not too much to ask, make me proud as well.”
“But, Kolward, if we do go, won’t we have to tell our mother where we’re going?” Joban asked, sitting up straight.
“Well, Joban, I don’t think that is a good idea, because I am sure she has heard of Oltar’s words, and will try to stop her only sons from running away to join armies and fight in wars. Maybe it is better for her to think you are going to a different town to find jobs for yourselves. If she is a good mother, then she should be understanding enough.”
An old grandfather clock (which happened to be the right time) chimed.
Joban gasped, realising how much time had passed, “Rion, we should go before Mum misses us. Remember we still need to get her flour, oh and those brushes you lied about, too.”
Rion fingered the flour money that was in the pocket of his black pants and stood, “Thank-you Kolward. It was nice seeing you again, you don’t need to show us to the door,”
“Oh, no I insist I do,” Interjected Kolward, rising to his own feet. He shuffled out of the living room, to the front door and opened it, letting the twins out side in to the fresh air and warm breeze. Rion and Joban stood back and watched the old man as he closed the door at a snail’s pace, muttering to himself.
The boys managed to pull the horses from the alley, and were soon on their way to a small general store to buy flour and grooming brushes for Tiya and Teell.
Every now and then, as they rode down the busy main street, Joban or Rion would catch someone eyeing them, as though every one of their thoughts were scrawled across their faces. Joban shifted in his saddle, feeling uncomfortable at all the attention they were attracting, even though they just looked like any other normal person. Rion dismounted slowly as they stopped outside the small shop. While Joban and the horses waited outside, Rion entered the shop and quickly bought some flour and two grooming brushes for Tiya and Teell.
“Be quicker, Rion,” Joban hissed while Rion was placing the flour in to his saddle bags, “I don’t like the way people are looking at us.”
“Yes, okay, okay.” Rion murmured, faking a smile at some workers.
Joban sighed in relief as Rion quickened his movements. In no time at all, they were trotting back to their farm, avoiding eye contact with anyone.