~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
THE LEGEND OF THE CHOSEN ONE:
BOOK I: HOPE WITHIN
written by Aelyva
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Chapter 5: Psychic Blasts

Goodbye, the future's sold out
There's no use screaming
Who thought we'd ever get this far

'Is Anybody Home' - Our Lady Peace

<><><><><>

She rarely got into fights. Even during her rebellion phase, she hadn’t fought at all. She skipped class, talked back to the teachers, disobeyed her grandmother and even tried to run away, wanting to go back to Key West. But she had never fought physically with someone and had never got hit outside of her Karate classes.

But now, her ass was getting kicked and her opponent hadn’t touched her once. She, of course, heard about telekinesis, on a few sci-fi TV shows, but it wasn’t supposed to be real. But since she arrived on Leven, she kept encountering things that weren’t supposed to be real. This time though, there was no one to explain the ‘why’ and ‘how’ to her. Valaki wasn’t there. She was on her own, and not holding up so well.

“You’re pathetic! You came here with evil intends, but you’re not even defending yourself,” Belle said, her hands on her hips. “Or maybe you’re just so weak you can’t fight back.”

“I-don’t-have evil intentions,” Allison managed to say.

“Lies. Don’t try to influence me with words, it won’t work. I’ll kill you for thinking you could destroy us!”

Allison gulped and tried to get back on her feet. She cursed whoever decided that she would be a good choice as a Chosen One. She wasn’t brave; at the moment, she only wanted to run away. Like a coward. The other day, she threw up because she had seen a dead body and a lot of blood. She didn’t have what it took to be a Chosen One. Proof, she was going to die, and she hadn’t been here more than a week.

“I’m not bad,” she said softly.

Those words seemed to make the other woman even angrier. “Shut up!”

“What’s going on?”

Allison and Belle both turned their head at the sound of the voice.

Valaki.

Allison let a relieve sigh. He always had the best timing. She didn’t question how he managed to find her. She was just glad he did.

The other woman soon recovered from her surprise and gave him an appreciative glance. “I was about to get rid of this outsider before she does any damage.”

“How did you know she is an outsider?” Valaki asked, curiously.

“Her aura. No matter the race, all Leveniens have a common…feel. Hers is totally different,” Belle explained, glanced back and forth between Allison and Valaki. Her glance softened when it landed on Valaki and hardened when it landed on Allison. It would have been funny if she hadn’t been threatening her.

“So you are a Psychic?” Valaki ventured.

She literally beamed at him. “That’s right. It’s a good thing I was able to identify her as an outsider. She looks so harmless otherwise. She tried to lead me away from the crowd to kill me, but I saw right through her.”

Allison gasped, then angrily walked toward her. “I was just asking for directions!” she shouted, bringing the attention of the few people that were around. They quickly turned away and continued their way. Valaki’s presence seemed to give her courage.

Valaki sighed and stepped between them. “She has no intention of doing any harm to our world. Believe me.”

To say Belle was shocked wasn’t enough. She almost looked devastated. “But…she’s an outsider! She-“

“She’s the Chosen One,” Valaki said in a low voice, so only she could hear him. It wouldn’t do if someone overheard him. This information was too important to be known by too many people. Too dangerous. But he believed he could trust this woman. She seemed to hold Leven’s interests at heart.

“T-that skinny little girl is the Chosen One mentioned in the old legend? How can an outsider save us? We’re doomed if she’s our only chance!” Belle declared, once she got over her shock. She glared at Allison, as if it was all her fault.

Little? Skinny? She really was mocking her. Allison gave Belle her best glare. How frustrating that she seemed to believe every word Valaki said now. She couldn’t wait to leave this town, to get away from Belle and her mocking voice.

“You’re helping her? That’s good. She looks too young and innocent to handle it on her own. She needs parental guidance,” Belle continued, totally ignoring Allison. “I’m Belle, by the way. A decent Psychic, I must admit in all modesty. I’d like to help you. It’s also my world, after all, and I want to make sure she won’t do anything to harm it. Furthermore, my abilities could be handy and might save your ass more than once.”

Valaki looked amused. “We already have another traveling companion, but if you really want to join us, I believe you will be a useful addition.”

Belle gleamed. Allison fumed.

What was he saying? Why did she have to come with them? They both would never get along. Besides, Belle seemed more interested in making lovey-dovey eyes at Valaki then saving the world. And now, she wasn’t evil, but innocent?

“All right! Then let’s go meet that other companion of yours and off to adventure we’ll go!” Belle declared, showing her smile for the first time. It gave a darker coloration to her already dark blue eyes.

“He is at the tavern, “ Valaki said, answering Belle’s smile with a small grin. He took the lead and the two girls followed him in silence, ignoring each other presence.

They soon reached the tavern, and Allison cursed herself for not finding it on her own. She probably passed close to it a few times. They entered, but stopped short at the entrance. In front of them, Beskytter, the calm and quiet Beskytter, was in the middle of a fight. The patron and the rest of the customers were observing the fight as if that sort of thing happened regularly.

Belle blinked. “Which one is your friend?”

“The one who just crashed a chair on the other one’s back,” Valaki calmly answered, although he did seem surprised at the man’s behavior.

Two other men were lying on the floor. One seemed unconscious. The other one slowly got up on his feet. He looked around him and took a jug of ale from the counter. With a scream that promised vengeance, he threw it toward Beskytter’s head.

Beskytter turned around at the sound of the scream to see a jug coming in his direction. His reflexes took control, and he threw himself on the ground to avoid it. But the sound of the jug crashing never came. He got up, perplexed, only to see the jug floating in the air.

A few customers ran off at the peculiar sight. The others stood immobile, too shock to move. The man who threw it was shaking, and backed off toward the wall, making whimpering sounds.

Beskytter then noticed Allison and Valaki near the door. He felt a little ashamed that they witnessed him in such state. He had been on his way to leave in search of Allison when those guys had said something that pissed him off. He couldn’t clearly remember what they said, though.

“Are you ready to leave?”

Valaki nodded, then gave him an amused smile. “Were they being insulting toward the forest?”

“They were very disrespectful toward the Nature, although I must admit I don’t remember in which way,” Beskytter replied, relieve that Valaki seemed to understand, to a certain degree.

“Well. I’ll remember not to say a word against nature.”

Beskytter looked at the woman who stood behind Valaki and frowned at her.

“This is Belle. She’s a Psychic. She expressed her desire to join us and I believe she’ll be useful.”

Beskytter glanced at the still floating jug of ale and snickered. “I believe you.”

Belle smirked. She liked the guy. With a wink directed at him, she moved her hand slightly and the jug went flying right in the face of the one who first threw it. The force of the hit sent him on the floor. She then glanced at the patron. “I’m sure he’ll be happy to pay for all the mess.” She smiled sweetly, turned around and left.

Beskytter cracked a smile. “I think I’ll like this girl.”

Allison shook her head, but followed Valaki and Beskytter out. Useful? Right.

<><><><><>

Outside, the smallest sun had set, leaving only the huge yellow one in the cloudless sky. It looked almost like her sun, and Allison felt better than she had since they set foot in Wolke. From her observations, she learned that the green sun set first, and the bigger one remained a few hours alone in the sky. They both raised at the same time though, making the sky a beautiful spectacle of colors.

This was her favorite moment of the day, though. Too bad she now had to spend it in Belle’s company.

They sat just outside the town, on a grassy corner. They had just finished eating. Belle had told them that she was traveling, never staying at the same place for too long. Her belongings were all packed in the small bag they went to retrieve earlier. She had been looking for something to do and had jumped at the occasion of joining them.

“What can you do, as a Psychic?” Beskytter asked, out of curiosity.

“Besides moving things, you mean? I can levitate myself or people, but just one at the same time. I can also teleport myself, but not too far away. It takes a lot of energy and gives me a headache for the rest of the day.”

“Can you read minds?”

Belle frowned at him. “No, I’m not strong enough. Maybe a stronger Psychic could do it, but not me, although I never heard of a Psychic being able to do that.”

“That’s good. I don’t think I would’ve liked traveling with you if you could.”

Belle grinned, but refrained herself to comment. “Are we leaving, now?”

Valaki nodded. “We have time to reach the waterfall before the night falls.”

“Why are we going there?”

“That’s where the first stone is hidden,” Valaki explained. He had told her earlier about Geevar and the stones. She had found funny the fact that the only thing keeping him locked was five little stones. He wasn’t really surprised she found that funny.

“How do you know it’s there?”

“I had time to search during 17 years since it would’ve been too dangerous to bring the Chosen One here as a baby. I waited and searched for the stones during that time. I found the location of two of them.”

Belle gasped. “17 years and you just found two? Well, I hope it won’t take as much time to find the three others or I’ll be old when the time to face Geevar will come!”

“It is not as easy as you think to find them. They are well hidden,” Valaki explained. “We will have to find them soon, and we won’t have another 17 years to find them. Less than a year. Otherwise, I cannot guarantee what might happen.”

Allison shivered at his words and noticed the dark expressions of her two other companions. But Geevar was sealed. He couldn’t break the seal, could he? One year… it seemed so short compared to the time Valaki spent searching for them. Would they be able to do it?

“I think we’ll be able to do it,” Allison started, trying to sound cheerful. “Valaki was alone searching for them, but we’re 4 now. We’ll find them all in time. And we should leave now for the waterfall. Earlier we get those we know where they are, the sooner we can start searching for the others.”

“Right she is,” Beskytter said after a moment of silence. He got up and the rest soon followed. He winked at Allison, a smile dancing in the corner of his mouth and took the lead. Belle followed him, throwing a frown in Allison’s direction.

“Nice speech,” Valaki said to her as they closed the rear.

Allison bit her lips as her gaze fell on the Archer and Psychic in front of her. “I hope I wasn’t lying. It seemed like something like that needed to be said. Guess since I’m the Chosen One, I should be the one saying it.” She shrugged.

Valaki observed a long moment. Then, he ruffled Allison’s hair teasingly, surprising her. “You might be more fit to be the Chosen One than you think.” With those words, he left her behind to join Beskytter in the front.

Confused, Allison brought her hand on the top of her head, absent-mindedly replacing her hair. What he meant exactly, she wasn’t sure. But he seemed to believe in her. She’d do her best not to disappoint him. Or any of the others.

<><><><><>

Marian hit the bell, biting her nails anxiously, and impatiently waiting for someone to answer. Allison hadn’t been in school for two days. The first day, Marian had thought that she was sick and decided not to bother her by calling. But she was worried now. Her friend rarely got sick. Besides, she sounded fine the evening she called her. That was the last time she had heard from her. They usually talked to each other every day.

The door suddenly opened, making Marian jump. She gave a small smile at Allison’s grandmother, Rose, who looked surprised to see her.

“Marian? Aren’t you supposed to be at school? Is it already over?”

“Well, no, but I had math in last period and I was worried about Allison since it’s been two days she hasn’t been in school, and I wanted to see her, so I decided to miss math to see how she was…”

Rose sighed, but gave Marian a sad smile. “I knew you would. Please come in.”

Marian frowned, but followed Rose who led her in the kitchen. She sat down on the chair Rose pointed her, and started biting her nails again.

“Would you like something to drink? I don’t have any juice fruits, but I have some iced tea and –“

“Where’s Allison? She didn’t run away, did she? Or is she as the hospital? Is that it? She isn’t dying, is she? I mean –“

“Marian, please calm down,” Rose interrupted, stopping Marian’s babbling. “Allison is fine. She’s in perfect health. She hasn’t run away, but her location…will be hard for me to explain to you and will probably take awhile. So, would you like anything to drink?”

“Just…water will be fine,” Marian finally answered. She hadn’t expected that in the least. If Rose was this calm, it had to mean that Allison was fine, because if she wasn’t, Rose wouldn’t be calm at all. In all her years of friendship with Allison, she had grown to know Rose well and had seen her worry over Allison many times. And while there was a look in Allison’s grandmother eyes that Marian couldn’t explain, she wasn’t worried.

Rose placed a glass of water in front of Marian and sat across her. She also placed an old book on the table. A very old book. Rose absently traced the book’s cover with her finger.

“I could try to explain to you what happened, but it might be hard for you to understand and accept. Therefor, I want you to read this book and only after, I will answer your questions. This book will tell you where Allison is. I only ask you to take great care of it. It is… an important family treasure. You could say it is…a sort of diary mixed with an autobiography.”

Perplexed, Marian carefully took the book and observed it. It was old, dusty and looked far from the kind of book she liked to read. An image of a book she’d seen Allison read only a few days ago passed in her mind and she wondered if the two books were somehow linked.

“Yes…I’ll read it,” Marian softly answered. “It sounds all pretty mysterious though… why would a book have the answer to Al’s location? It’s too weird… but I’ll read it. And I’ll definitively come back with questions.”

Rose nodded. “I know you will.”

Marian took the book and let Rose lead her to the door. She already knew homework wasn’t going to be her priority when she’d get home.

<><><><><>

Belle whistled. “What a view.”

Allison had to admit that she was right. The sight of the waterfall was breathtaking. She had only seen a few pictures of them in the past and none of them were as impressive as this one. From where they were standing, they couldn’t see the top and the lake at the bottom seemed very far. Which mean there were very high.

She gulped, taking a deep breath. Being near water like this…she felt her knees weakening. She gritted her teeth, and managed to remain straight. The last thing she wanted was to alarm the others. She didn’t want to explain.

She carefully remained at a safe distance from the edge, and threw a curious glance at Beskytter who seemed to avoid looking down. In fact, he was leaning against a tree, far enough that he probably didn’t see the lake at all. Scared of heights? The thought was funny. She couldn’t imagine Beskytter being scared of anything, let alone of heights.

But she wasn’t going to ask. Don’t ask a question you wouldn’t be willing to answer yourself, her grandmother always told her.

“There’s a cave that leads behind the waterfall. That’s where the stone is,” Valaki said, breaking the silence. He was already moving forward, not looking to see if the others were following or not.

“I wonder…how did you know it was there? I would have never guessed there was a cave there,” Beskytter said as Valaki pushed some bushes and branches away, revealing a smallish entrance.

A distant look appeared in Valaki’s eyes, and he seemed to freeze. It only lasted a short moment, and Allison almost thought she imagined it, but seeing Beskytter’s frown, she knew she wasn’t the only one who saw it.

Valaki blinked, a strange smile appearing on his lips. “I’ve…been here before,” he answered. “The passage has been dug and built by dwarves, ence why it’s so small and low. We’ll have to walk on hands and knees, and for awhile, crawl.”

A disgusted look replaced Belle’s questioning one. “Crawl? B-but that’s… we’ll get all dirty!”

“Well then, when we’ll come out, you’ll just have to jump and you’ll be all clean.” Beskytter said dryly to her. “Or you could always stay here, all alone in the dark, and guard the entrance to make sure no strange creatures get in after us.”

Belle glanced at the entrance, then at the woods around them. And soon came to a decision. “If my cloths are ruin, I’ll expect you to buy me new ones.” On those words, she kneeled down and waited for Valaki to get in.

“You go next. I’ll close the rear,” Beskytter said to Allison.

She nodded and waited for Belle to completely enter, and soon followed. She could hear Belle cursing every now and then. Soon, she could see nothing at all around her as they advanced further in the tunnel. Belle’s curses then became reassuring to her, for they meant she wasn’t alone. She was now crawling and her head bumped on the hard rock quite a few times. She knew she would have a good number of bruises.

Allison then remembered Valaki’s strange smile, and shuddered. She had seen him smirk, grin, but never saw a true happy smile on his face. That smile had been nothing happy. It had sent shivers down her spin. It also made her realize that she truly didn’t know Valaki. She didn’t know any of them.

It made her feel lonely.

She didn’t have time to dwell longer on those thoughts, for the tunnel finally came to an end. She happily got up on her feet next to Belle and looked around. The tunnel had led them to the middle of a cave. At one end, there was the waterfall, and the dark of the night. On the other side... an altar.

“My hair is all messed up. Couldn’t they have build it larger?” Belle whined as she tried to rearrange her red hair. She suddenly stopped. “Why is it so clear in here? It’s nightfall outside.”

“It’s the rocks,” Beskytter answered as he, in turn, got to his feet. “It’s a rare kind of rock that shines in the dark. That’s probably why the dwarves built this tunnel in the first place. It’s rare, so they could sell it for a nice little among of gold.”

Belle snorted. “Sounds like something dwarves would do…” She then noticed the altar. “Well, there’s the stone. Say, do you know who put the stone here? It seems like a strange place to put a stone that could free that bastard.”

Valaki tensed at the question. “I…forgot.”

Belle frowned. “You forgot? But what-“

Beskytter clapped a hand on her mouth. Belle, furiously, was about to give him a piece of her mind when she saw the urgent look in his eyes. She questioned him with her eyes, but he only gestured her to remain silent.

Allison wrapped her arms around herself, as she glanced around nervously. Valaki had his sword in hand, although his eyes remained on Beskytter. Had he heard something? She was about to ask when a low growl stopped her. She jumped and her eyes frenetically scanned the cave, but she saw nothing. Only their shadows dancing on the walls.

“What the hell was that?” Belle whispered.

“The guardian,” Valaki answered.

“The guardian?”

He nodded. “There is a reason why dwarves, after awhile, never returned here to get more rocks. By digging a tunnel, they awoke…it. The guardian of the waterfall. An elder man I talked to before leaving Wolke told me about it. Sometimes, in the night, the villagers can hear it scream. He screams for revenge.”

Allison shivered. She felt like she had fallen right in the middle of some horror movie. She didn’t want to come face to face with that…thing. Apparently, Beskytter didn’t want either. He had already started walking toward the altar in a fast pace.

He had only taken a few steps when a huge shadow jumped out of nowhere, between him and the altar, and roared. Allison unconsciously backed away to the wall, for support. She was sure her heart had stopped beating for a few seconds. Trembling, she noticed that Valaki was already next to Beskytter, in a fighting stand. Even Belle had a determined look in her eyes, looking nothing like the woman that whined about her hair moments ago.

Between Beskytter and the altar stood a red-skinned horned demon, who was now roaring angrily. He was towering over Beskytter and Valaki, his clawed hands trying to grab Beskytter, but he jumped back in time. Valaki charged to attack him, while Beskytter backed away to be at a good distance to shot his arrows.

Belle stood motionless next to her, but her eyes were glowing in a yellow light and a soft wind had started blowing in the cavern. She raised a hand, a deep frown appearing on her forehead, showing her concentration.

Allison shook her head and turned her attention back to the fight. One of Beskytter’s arrows had touched the demon in the arm, but it didn’t seem to stop him in the least. Valaki was blocking the demon’s claws with his sword, but didn’t seem to be making any sort of progress in the offensive area.

Her hand went to the sword on her back. She hadn’t used it yet. She’d need to ask Valaki for sword lessons soon. She felt useless. She didn’t like that feeling. She was the Chosen One. It was her job to fight, right? But because she was weak, they had to fight for her. They were the ones to get hurt instead of her.

Her fists clenched when the demon hit Valaki, who hit the wall hard. Another of Beskytter’s arrow hit the demon, this time in the middle of his chest. But like the last one, it didn’t seem to hurt him at all. In fact, the demon started laughing as he easily removed the arrow. The guardian’s laughter was a disturbing sound to her ears, and she had to grip the fabric of her pants to refrain herself from placing her hands on her ears, to block the sound.

At the same moment, Belle let out a frustrated sigh. “It’s not working. A lot of demons are immune to psychic power and this one seems to be among them. Look, try to get the stone. If it starts getting messy, at least we’ll be able run away with the stone. If the demon notices you, I’ll try to distract it with those,” Belle said, taking two little throwing knives between her fingers.

Allison nodded, finally happy to be able to do something, even if it wasn’t joining the fight. The demon was busy with Valaki and Beskytter, who had traded his bow for a short sword. She advanced, her back to the wall, as if it made her smaller and less noticeable. But the demon never gave her a second look. He probably thought she wasn’t a threat.

How right he is. He or she. Oh, who cares about the gender of a stupid horned-demon.

She let out a sigh of relief as she passed the demon. From where she was standing, she could now see where the guardian had come from. There was another tunnel near the altar, this one a lot larger than the one the dwarves had dug. Had the demon build it?

Without another glance at the dark tunnel, she reached the altar and observed the small blue stone lying there on a little black pillow. She stopped breathing as it started glowing, illuminating the cave in a blue light. She didn’t dare touch it, fearing she might break it, drop it, put dirt all over it. It was so pretty. Shinny, pretty stone…

“Take it! Hurry!”

Valaki’s voice made her jump. Glancing over her shoulder, she realized that he and Beskytter were now close to her, preventing the demon from moving toward her. She immediately grabbed the stone. It was cold to the touch, but somehow soft.

She then froze.

I bring love to my children, to give them a happier life. I love them all, with their mistakes, defeats, sins and weaknesses. To you, Chosen One, I lend you the ability to protect their love from Evil. I shall purge the pure dark hearts.

The voice that spoke to her was soft and warm, like her mother’s voice used to be. She blinked back the tears, and raised her free hand, her palm facing the demon. The blue stone in her other hand shone brighter, encircling her with its blue light.

Evil Demon, begone.

“Evil Demon, begone,” she repeated the words aloud in a whisper. Blue bubbles appeared in front of her palm and flew to hit the demon on his chest. He screamed in agony and fell on the ground, his arms trying to send the bubbles away. Soon, there were enough bubbles to cover him completely, his screams muffled. With a small noise that made Allison jump, the bubbles disappeared.

The demon was gone.

Shaking, Allison fell on her knees, breathing hard. The stone had stopped shinning, but she couldn’t move her stare away from it.

Use my power only in absolute need. Pure, dark hearts are rare and only those I will destroy. The rest, I will continue to love and I will never hurt the ones I love.

The voice then faded away, leaving Allison confused, with a ton of questions. As she got up on her feet, she realized that her three companions were all looking at her, surprised. She felt her cheeks reddening. She wondered if they had heard the voice too.

“Well… that was…very interesting…Couldn’t you have done that earlier?” Belle asked, observing her with a new interest.

“I…no. I-I think it was the stone. It…spoke to me.”

She blinked. “Spoke to you? You’re saying that a stone spoke to you, and that’s why you were able to…do whatever you did to that demon?” she asked, incredulity in her voice.

“Of course…I should’ve… The stones are directly linked to the Gods. They were the ones to give the Chosen One power. One ability coming from one God stored in one stone. Five Gods, five stones,” Valaki explained.

“Huh? You’re not making any sense…” Belle said.

“Yes, I agree. It brings up many questions,” Beskytter continued. “Like why giving their power to Allison through stones? Why making her waste time searching for them?”

Valaki didn’t answer. He looked lost in his thoughts…like he wasn’t really standing there with them. A flash of his strange smile popped up in Allison’s mind and she again came to the realization that she knew nothing about him. She also wondered why he kept her so much in the dark while he seemed to know a lot more than he had told.

Beskytter shrugged, and Allison could see he too was frustrated with Valaki’s lack of sharing. But what could they do? She didn’t think forcing him to speak would be a good idea…

“Well. Are we going to stand there longer? I, for one, am all in favor of leaving this place right now,” Belle said, breaking the tense silence.

Valaki nodded, slowly returning to the present. “Right. We should find a place close by to set the camp for the night.”

Seeing that he wasn’t going to answer any of his questions, Beskytter sighed and took the lead of the small tunnel. Belle followed.

When Belle’s feet had passed, Allison bent down to enter, but Valaki grabbed her hand. His fingers around her wrist sent shivers through her arm, and she gulped.

“The stone. Keep it somewhere safe where you won’t lose it, and no one else can see it. At the next town, we’ll look for something to put them all in.” He then let go of her wrist and motioned her to enter the tunnel.

She sighed as she entered the dark tunnel. Although Valaki’s behavior was weird, she refused to let it ruin her mood. She had felt good. It had felt right. Like she had found a part of her that had been missing for a long time. She wasn’t useless anymore. She, Allison, had killed a demon.

She grinned. She was finally starting to think that she could help this world. That she could really be what Valaki wanted her to be.

The Chosen One.

*~*END OF CHAPTER*~*

<><><><><>

Written: July 22, 2003
Last revised: November 01, 2004