• E. Paige Burks

The Story of Gladianima - Part 20

Welp, this is it guys. The last chapter. Thanks for sticking it out with me! Now time to start on a new adventure! I hope you've enjoyed The Story of Gladianima!

Thyra followed Doran as he led her toward a stump in the middle of the field. She looked around, her eyes squinted against the bright sun, trying to orient herself. "Why did you bring me here, Doran?" she asked, still feeling confused.


"It is time to pass on my knowledge," Doran said as he eased to sit on the stump. "It is time for you to take your place."


Thyra frowned at him. "My...place?" she managed. "I'm not sure what you mean."


Doran turned his head to look over the field and into the distance. "The Estrella clan used to rule Gexalatia," he said. "Did you know that?"


Thyra's frown deepened. "I've never heard such a thing."


Doran nodded. "For a time, after the Priorae were forced out," he said. "I led my army into battle." His eyes shifted to Gladianima. "At her behest, we claimed the continent. But by then the Priorae had disavowed Gexalatia, and moved on to a new home."


Gladianima crossed toward Doran, placing her hand on his shoulder. "We owe your lineage a great debt," she said, her eyes turning to Thyra. "And you are the one we've chosen to claim it."


"Why me?" Thyra whispered, staring at them. "I'm no one."


"You are the last of us," Doran said. "And the only of our blood who bears the strength to do what must be done."


"And what must be done?" Thyra asked, feeling her body tense.


"You will take back Gexalatia," Gladianima said. "You will unite the kingdoms and bring an era of peace."


Thyra was surprised when magic suddenly swirled before them, forming into a vision of a battlefield, bloodied with bodies.


"It is time to claim what is rightfully yours," Doran said.


"And how will I do that?" Thyra asked sharply, feeling overwhelmed. "You're asking too much of me."


"We will give you a tool," Doran said, looking up at Gladianima. "But once you have claimed it, you can never come back here."


Thyra looked like she would protest more, but Doran held up his hand. "This is your fate, Thyra," he said. "You will do great things, as will your children and your children's children."


"I still don't understand," Thyra said quietly.


"You will in time," Gladianima said, turning her eyes back to Doran. "But our time here is ending, and you must claim your gift." Her hand was still resting on Doran's shoulder. "Do you accept?"


Thyra realized that the portal behind her was rippling then, as if it would collapse at any moment. She could feel the cold air behind her beginning to ease away, and she knew there wasn't much time. She looked at Doran and Gladianima. "I accept."


Doran rested his hand over Gladianima's and smiled gently. "You will do great things, Thyra," he said. "And we will help you."


Thyra watched in surprise as magic began to engulf them, a bright light mingling around them. It became so bright that she had to shield her eyes as it hid both of them from her sight, but then it started to fade, and Thyra felt her heart skip a beat. On the stump before her, where Doran and Gladianima had once been, was what appeared to be the hilt of a sword. She slowly reached for it, surprised further when it suddenly came alive, a guard spiraling around her hand and the grip molding to fit her fingers.


She felt a pulse of magic against her, filling her with comfort and strength, and she realized that Doran and Gladianima had sacrificed their energy to create whatever this was. Softly in her mind, she heard a voice whisper that it was time for her to go.


Thyra saw that the portal was closing, and she raced toward it, leaping through it just before it sealed shut behind her. Once she was alone in the cave, she looked down at the hilt in her hand, wondering what the heck she was supposed to do with it.


Just then, Kegan called out to her from beyond the stone blocking the entrance. His voice was muffled and sounded far away, but inside her, another voice spoke softly, telling her what to do.


In a fluid motion, she raised the hilt and a shimmering blade formed, beaming gold in the darkness. She looked toward the boulder. "Back up, Kegan!" she yelled as loud as she could. She hoped he'd heard her because she drew her arm back and gave a mighty swing, causing magic to ripple across the cave like water. It crashed into the boulder, shattering it into pieces.


Kegan was surprised as he watched her climb slowly over the rocks, and he ran twoard her. "Are you okay?" he asked, breathless. "How did you do that?"


Thyra looked down at the hilt, now still in her hand. "I have a new mission," she said, looking up at him. "Do you wish to accompany me?"


Kegan seemed taken aback, but then he nodded slowly. "I will follow where you lead," he said gently.


Thyra offered him a smile. "Let's go."

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