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Nightburn Dialectical Journal

“All right then, contact your people and please keep this between you and me. Let’s keep Balthazar unaware of our arrangement for now. ” “As you wish. ” Sara bowed and left. Feelings of foreboding flooded his senses as the hair on the back of his neck stood out. Someone had listened to his conversation, and was residing in the shadows of his room. How had he not sensed this before? “Whoever is here, step forward. Do so quickly or face my wrath. ”

A tall, muscular man stepped forward. A knight, he surmised, wearing jade colored armor with a coat of arms on his chest plate that he did not recognize, figures of two fighting dragons adorned his gauntlets, and in his hands, he threateningly held two daggers. “Why are you here? ” Nightburn asked. “I’m here to end your life. ” He replied. “May I ask why? ” Amused by his threat. “Leaders of certain organizations, which I shall not name, are aware of who you really are and if they wish to stop you, now is the time before you become too powerful. They asked for a volunteer to perform the task, and I gladly accepted.

Standing too far away for his daggers to be effective, although easily remedied very quickly, Nightburn could only smile and laugh at this simplistic attempt on his life. Why he felt so confident, he could not answer, but he knew if the man approached him, the man would die. Agitated by Nightburn’s demeanor, the man stepped forward, daggers raised. Instinctively raising his hand, everything froze, and totally incognizant of how he accomplished such a feat. Rising from his chair, he walked around the room and observed that nothing moved, even the flames of the oil lamps stood perfectly still.

He walked to the door and opened it to see Sara stopped in mid-stride halfway down the corridor, then turned back to his room, noticing the clock pendulum had also stopped in mid-swing. Most curious, he thought, time had stopped and he didn’t know how he had achieved this or how he would correct it. Walking over to the would-be assassin, he studied his armor more closely, certain that he had not seen the emblem he wore or the knight in the castle before tonight as he carefully removed the daggers from his hands.

With a swift slash to the neck, he ended his life, although no blood flowed from his wound nor did he fall or feel the fatal strike. As mysteriously as it happened, the event was over with the sound of the pendulum moving back and forth and the candle flames again flickering. The assassin screamed, clutched his throat and fell to the floor, the time lapse lasted no more than seconds. Appearing at the door, Sara was unaware of anything happening out of the ordinary other than the sound of a man’s scream, and that was what brought her back to his room. On the floor in front of her, a man, his knives next to his body.

Recognizing that he attempted to kill her lord, Sara immediately apologized for her failure in not preventing the encounter and begged that he not tell Balthazar of her embarrassing mistake to protect him, for she feared that if he told Balthazar, it would give him more influence with the Order of Vilgoth followers. Reassuring Sara that he was unharmed and that she need not worry since he would not tell Balthazar. Mangus found the encounter very enlightening because evidently, he had enemies that already knew more about him and what his destiny was than he did.

Disappearing for a few moments, Sara returned with several of her followers and took care of getting rid of everything, again thanking him for keeping the attempt on his life secret. For the first time in weeks, Nightburn was walking down to the feasting hall to join the others for breakfast. An unusual occurrence since for the last few weeks his routine was to eat all his meals in his room, but Sara had come by earlier to inform him that Balthazar had requested his presence this morning at breakfast.

When he arrived at the feasting hall, he noticed an abnormally large number of guards present and Balthazar and Sara already seated, as well as Captain Bishop sitting next to Balthazar. In fact, surrounding most of the entire table were people he had never met before. The only seat remaining was at the head of the table and he made his way there. He sat down and looked to his left to offer his salutation to Balthazar and Captain Bishop and turned to his right, repeating it to Sara.

A sizable feast sprawled out before him, although he didn’t know what they were celebrating, but Balthazar, when seeing his puzzled look, took it upon himself to explain that it was a great day for the order because they had found the amulet of Vilgoth, an item that they had been searching for these many centuries. He further explained that the amulet of Vilgoth, its origin unknown, was responsible for amplifying Vilgoth’s powers tenfold, allowing him to quash a person or being’s free will, and forcing them to follow him with enthusiastic devotion, completely unaware that their wills were not their own.

However, the bad news was that the amulet was located within Cormyth, the capital of Parsis, a city impenetrable to attack, surrounded by high walls, fortified with enough food and supplies to withstand a siege for decades, but still there was good news, within the city and currently in reach of the amulet was his spy and if everything went as planned, he would find it in his hands shortly.

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