Authors Note: Apparently I had more story to tell and it didn’t all fit in this chapter. That means there will be an extra “New Year’s Day Special” also known at Chapter 13.
Chapter 12: Have bard will travel
Ezekiel stood outside the Princess’s room in borrowed pants. He’d always dreamt of going to her bedroom and now she just dismissed him.
Why wouldn’t she? They were in the middle of an emergency situation. She wasn’t some shrinking violet who needed saving. She didn’t need someone to take care of her.
What did she need? He sighed to himself and headed back to the courtyard. His parents had probably mobilized the Apollo guards to help protect people, but they’d been at home. He could mobilize the guards at the shipping yards and maybe get an airship into the fight.
Hurrying down the stairs, he rushed from the castle. As he was leaving, the gates started to close. “Why are you closing the gates? What if there are more injured?” he asked a guard.
“Princess’s orders. The castle will be sealed to defend their royal highnesses.”
“What? That’s not like her.”
“I agree, but I also have orders.”
This was odd; what was she thinking, he wondered. He sighed again and headed towards the shipyards. The streets were filled with demons and he had no weapons; he did his best to avoid them but the shipyards were on the other side of the city.
He managed to get most of the way when all of the demons collapsed and started screeching. It was more war cry mixed with anger than pain, so he doubled his pace.
A large portal opened and someone came out of it. It looked like Didi. He ran towards the opening, only to run into a circle of very angry demons. In the middle of the circle seemed to be Didi, Arty, and the royal physician. Picking up a discarded sword he prepared to go in and save his friend. He knew Arty could take care of himself, but the physician and Didi were sitting ducks.
The sword was larger than the epee he’d been trained with and he wasn’t sure he could do anything but swing it wildly. He was about to charge in when the closest demons exploded, others froze in place, and even more fell to the double blades Arty was holding.
Didi stood with both pistols out and smirking, her eyes scanned for more opponents. When she saw him she smiled and said, “Mr. Apollo. Glad you survived the attack in my workshop.” Why was she wearing the same thing as the princess?
“Didi, what are you talking about?”
“Oh for the goddess’s sake, Ezekiel. I’m Princess Diana of the house of Cillian. I also go by Didi.”
It shook him to the core that the princess he’d lusted after and his nerdy best friend were the same person. More than that, he felt like a fool that he’d escorted an imposter into the castle.
“I went after you and I found you, or someone who looked like you. Oh Goddess, I’m sorry. If I hadn’t been so blind…” He trailed off and dropped the sword.
“That was my brother’s plan? To impersonate me? I sure hope he tries to access my weapons. He’ll get a surprise.” Turning to Ezekiel, she added, “I’ve been stockpiling Gabon venom in case of an airship war. We’re headed to the airfield. You coming with us?”
“Absolutely your highness,” he bowed low.
“Cut it out Zeke. Oh yeah. I’ve been working on this. Try it out.” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small guitar case, the size of a fork. As she gave it to him it grew until it was full sized. Inside was an electric guitar.
“What?” he asked.
“It’s self-powered and the amp is built into the body. It’ll convert your playing into magical effects. Mostly it should create a sonic attack but I’m not trained enough to test it.”
The guitar felt right in his hand, like it was made for him, which he supposed it was. He felt extremely fond of Didi at that moment; but as a friend, not romantically.
They walked on in silence, it didn’t take long for another demon attack. He played a power cord and all his rage poured out into a single blast of energy that threw a demon into a wall. If it wasn’t for the royal physician they would have died from acid burns really quickly. If it wasn’t for Didi the princess, still sounded weird, they wouldn’t have had the firepower to kill the demons fast enough.
They made it to the airfield with little trouble; Ezekiel was enjoying his new weapon/guitar too much to notice how easy it was. “This has been too easy,” Arty said.
“What do you have planned, brother?” whispered Didi.
“Wouldn’t you like to know…” The false princess was waiting for them inside the royal hangar. She was flanked by a hundred royal guards. “I’m so disappointed that you three have thrown in with this pretender.” The false princess looked smug.
“You know what? I’m not even angry, just annoyed. Who’s the ranking officer here?” No one reacted. They stood at attention staring blankly ahead.
“They belong to me, Sister. You’re out of luck.” With that he melted back into his real form.
Looking at Ezekiel, Didi said, “Help them.” He was going to argue but instead he started to play a rousing ballad. He improvised words dealing with fighting for one’s mind. It worked and the soldiers’ eyes sparked with self-determination.
“I need two airship crews ready in ten minutes. The rest of you get to the city and protect the people.” The soldiers may have their freewill back but they were still conditioned to listen to their superiors.
“You think this matters to me, Sister? I will rule Cillian or I will destroy it.” He laughed as he walked into a portal and disappeared.
The airfield was close to water and they could see through the hangar windows that the sea was churning and purple.
Screams echoed through the hangar as those closest to the windows saw the monstrosity outside. It looked like the demons, but was over a hundred meters tall. It had eight arms, each armed with a sword.
“Looks like he’s leaning towards destroy,” snarked the royal physician.
- 2020 – Point Zero (Superhero, Sci-Fi)
- 2019 – Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station (Sci-Fi Adventure Mystery)
If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?