The Adventures of Rothus, page 15 [D-53]

Tarenvale, outside the Inn:

We go back to town to get supplies for our new club house and find that the Harvest dance has begun. Whoa, we almost missed it! We all join the dance to the tunes of Roran. That instrument of his really is wonderful. Aeryn and I try dancing together, but were not as good as when we danced alone.

Roran takes a break and lets Tyler take the stage. Tyler changed into his fancy clothes so he could tell a great tale about a band of gypsies who got caught in a forest fire because they angered some evil witches. Lily helps him out with special effects. It was a really great story, and a good lesson to not anger a witch.

Roran pick up his baliset again and begins to play. Aeryn dances with my brother Zeil. Ya know, they are the same age and Zeil is very responsible and a good dancer. I wonder if they’ll kiss.

Lily tries to get Dalton to dance with her, but he doesn’t know how. I go to help her out by pushing Dalton, but he still doesn't budge. Tyler says Dalton doesn't like girls, just like Evan.

As the sun sets, the bonfire is lit again and the dance stops again. Roran puts away the Baliset, done for the evening. We all gather around for the second (and last) part of Mr. Dragos' story! Tyler gives the intro to Mr. Dragos' tale. Aeryn, Evan and I sit in the front row again. At one point, Mr. Dragos throws up his hands and huge fireworks explode behind him! Awesome!!

Aeryn and Evan hear screams of pain! A woman has been shot by arrows!! More are getting hit! Dalton and Roran run off to battle… something. Aeryn ducks under her chair. I follow suit. Evan does nothing, so I pull him down under his chair. One arrow lands near us!!! AAAAAHHHHH!!!! More people are hit all around! I grab a random arrow off the ground, my only weapon. Aeryn and I run to the club house, Evan runs to the forge. We tell Travis to run to the club house, too.

Goblins, orcs and other monsters are swarming the town. Aeryn and I change plans since we can’t get to the club house. We run to the Inn instead. Ma`ud leads Tyler, Lily and Travis to the Inn. Much of the town is hiding in the Inn, since it is the largest and sturdiest building in town. Ma`ud runs out of the Inn. “Come back!” I call.

Through the window we hear Dalton calls to someone, “Get the kids! Get them out here! Their destinies are too great to end here!”

A moment later Roran comes into the Inn and collects us, ordering us to come with him. He says it with a weight to it that we can all feel the finality of it. If we follow, we won’t return for some time. We all look for our families. I find Mother and Father, Odette, Miriam, Cynthia, Ziel, Josette, Cade, Milo, Lorayne, and even little Traubon. I hug as many as I can. To Father I say, “I should have just listened to you and fed the pigs.”

“No matter, son. You would still be leaving now, even if you had listened better. Go with Roran and be safe so you can come back to us,” he said. “If you find Uncle Erik, tell him to come back home and visit. I miss him, just as we’ll miss you.”

We leave the Inn, following Roran. I grip the arrow, never having time to grab a better weapon. As we leave, we see Dalton getting swarmed by all the monsters. Roran and Dalton share a nod.

Dalton throws a fiery ball to the ground, causing an explosion! All the orcs are knocked back or killed. Some of the littlest goblins launch through the air, their burning clothes look like shooting stars against the night sky. Dalton was right in the center of it. There’s no way he could have made it.

As the smoke clears, we see Dalton standing for a moment.

Then he collapses.

Dalton is dead?

Why did he have to die?!

I stand in horror. He killed himself so that we children could escape? Poor Dalton, you are so stupid to think that we are worth that. Roran pulls us away from the scene. The buildings that pass by are a blur. I don't know where we are going. I don't care where we are going.

We arrive at a camp, somewhere in the woods. There is no tent, only a fire pit and some supplies. Who set up this place? Roran says we are to rest here. He says it will be quite a while until we return home. He says that something really dark is behind this attack. “If the old stories are true....” Roran starts to say. He doesn't finish his thought, like the words were too much to say.

Tyler wants to return. So do I. Roran says that if we succeed in our training, we will be able to return someday. We want to go back today, but Evan says that we’ll endanger the town if we return now. Then he gives us bedrolls so that we can sleep. I curl up in mine and embrace the nightmares that are to come.

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