JB Lacaden’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: Hex 3 - The Sorceress
She woke up screaming. The pain in her hand was as intense as it was sudden. She rolled out of bed and on the floor on her knees. The flesh on her palm sizzled as the spell rune of incineration burned itself on her skin.
Outside her bed chambers, rushed footsteps could be heard followed by the loud pounding on her wooden door.
“Sorceress, are you alright?” Shouted one knight.
“Please open the door.” Shouted another.
She tried answering but was able to only utter another scream. That was when the knights broke open the door.
One of the knights rushed to her side while the other one ran to the balcony doors, quickly inspecting for signs of a break-in.
“What happened?” asked one of the knights.
The Sorceress, shaken and hurt, got to her feet. She went to the balcony, shoved the guard aside, and opened the doors. The biting, winter wind howled its way inside her room. The Sorceress stared hard at the horizon.
“Romen,” The Sorceress said, “go and find Saber and bring him to me.”
“At once,” one of the knights, Romen, said.
“Yvar, I want you to round up your Hunters; every single one of them,” The Sorceress said.
Yvar answered with a nod and a bow before leaving.
The Sorceress found herself shaking but not due to the cold. Her body shook because of a feeling she thought she had long conquered. The Sorceress was afraid.
Half an hour passed before Saber arrived. The knight arrived wearing his full armor sans the helmet. The armor was made of red steel with the insignia of the Rord Clan painted in black on his chest.
Saber stood seven feet tall and had a lean body like a blade. The knight had a comely face—clean shaven, red eyes that matched his fiery red hair, and always a smile on his lips. Saber walked inside the room with had one hand on the pommel of his sword and eyes which continually scanned the room.
“What’s so important that you had to have me summoned in the middle of the night?” Saber said, stepping out into the balcony.
The Sorceress ignored the insolence of the young knight. As powerful as she was, she knew Saber would still give her troubles in a fight. Warriors from the clan of Rord were considered to be the perfect soldiers—the Sorceress saw Saber proved that statement many times.
The Sorceress turned around and showed Saber the palm of her hand. The spell rune had left a grotesque looking scar—immune to all of the healing spells in the Sorceress’ disposal.
Saber bent down and leaned in close. With squinted eyes, he scratched his chin and said: “If you want pleasure, you don’t have to do it by yourself. Look at you, you burned your hand.”
The Sorceress could ignore the knight’s insolence…but only up to a point. She raised her unwounded hand; her nails black and long sparked with electricity. She let out a ball of electrical energy that sent Saber flying backwards. The young knight crashed on the wooden door and fell coughing and laughing on the carpeted floor.
“Temper, temper,” Saber said in between coughs and laughs.
“You insolent fool,” the Sorceress calmly walked towards the downed knight; her hand filled with another ball of energy. “You need to grow up, Saber.” The Sorceress fired the electrical ball on Saber’s back. The room shook as Saber’s body bounced off the floor.
“Do that again and I might not be able to help myself,” Saber said. The knight pushed himself up on all fours.
“You look good that way, Saber,” The Sorceress said, “you’ll fit in with the other dogs out in the yard.” The Sorceress lifted her hand and allowed energy to gather within.
In one quick motion, Saber did a leg sweep and pinned the Sorceress on the ground.
She opened her eyes to see Saber’s face looking down on her with a smile.
“Your head should be rolling on the floor but, lucky for you, I like you.”
The Sorceress struggled to be free but Saber had her firmly held down. She opened her palm to fire another electrical energy.
“Tut, tut,” Saber said. Then he leaned down and planted a kiss on her lips.
The Sorceress, wide eyed, struggled at first but then gave in—the lightning ball in her hand slowly dissipated.
Saber broke off the kiss and stood up. “Now, wasn’t that much better than shooting me with magic?” The knight stretched out a hand to help the Sorceress stand up.
She wiped her lips fiercely and stood up without Saber’s help.
Saber shrugged and sat down on the bed. “Now, you were showing me your scarred hand earlier?”
The Sorceress wanted nothing more than to cut Saber’s limbs one by one with her array of spells…and at the same time to kiss those lips again. She did neither of the two.
“I woke up earlier to find this spell being seared onto my skin,” she said. “Do you recognize it?”
“This is the rune for an incineration spell,” The Sorceress started explaining, “a spell singlehandedly crafted by one man.”
Saber frowned and said: “Surely, you do not mean Hex?”
The Sorceress answered with silence.
“But I thought the arcane transference was absolute and cannot be reversed?”
“It hasn’t been reversed. I’m still overflowing with magic,” The Sorceress answered. “I do not know what’s happening but I am certain it involves Hex.”
“Or maybe you are just being paranoid,” Saber stood up and walked towards the Sorceress. He smiled and was about to give her another kiss when she pushed him away.
“Enough with your disrespect! This is not paranoia. I was there when Hex crafted this rune. I know no one else who utilizes this spell.”
“You are forgetting yourself,” Saber said. “You have stolen Hex’s magic, or are you forgetting that part?”
The Sorceress was silent once more.
“Maybe your powers are just growing some more and that burnt mark’s the effect.”
“Maybe. But I still want to know. I have asked the Hunters to be gathered. I’ll give the task of finding Hex to them.”
“And what do you want me to do?”
The Sorceress smiled at his young knight. “You’ll be joining them. Ever since the day we stole Hex’s powers, I’ve always thought that leaving him alive was a mistake on our part. I want you to correct that error.”
“The Hunters are more than enough for that job,” Saber said.
“I don’t like taking chances when it comes to Hex,” she replied.
Saber gave a shrug and planted another kiss on her cheek before walking out of the room.
JB Lacaden dreams of someday being a published writer. He currently resides in Manila, Philippines. He's a lover of comic books, science fiction, and high fantasy. Check out some of his works at http://www.jblearnstowrite.com/ and follow him at @jblearnstowrite.