Avariel finishes his briefing by lifting both hands. Suddenly, light emits from several crystals and creating holographic images surrounding the hall.
The heroes are shocked. The holographs are displaying the murders committed by minions of the Heir, from the very first until just recently. Squire Kelba, Larson Warthorn, a palace attendant, a maid... Even the killer was killed by another to cover their tracks. Carolyn’s face turns ghostly pale when she sees a recent murder and gasps, ‘... Sister Solnii...!’
Chris, Andreas and Iris turn and see the freckle-faced nun whose testimony was the key to clear their names being stabbed with MacLair’s dagger, the Ultimatum by a hooded monk. The champions are stunned, realizing that Avariel is right all along. Of the eight, only Viscount Adler looks somewhat indifferent. This catches Avariel’s attention.
‘Viscount Adler, is that Kraal’shazar you’re wielding?’
‘Yes, archangel. Is there any problem?’
‘Let me take a look at this sword, then I’ll tell you.’
Adler doesn’t seem mind and holds up his sword to the archangel. Avariel takes the sword, and it begins to vibrate – a reaction of resistance between two opposite forces – light and darkness.
Avariel tightens his grip, and the sword vibrates harder and harder. Now he applies some force, a pressure with his divine aura. The sword emits a dark aura, trying to shake itself off Avariel’s grip. The stronger the pressure, the stronger the resistance also. However, at a certain level, Kraal’shazar’s dark energy gets weaker and weaker, and it finally stops vibrating, staying nicely on the archangel’s grip at last.
‘Very well,’ says the angel, returning the Deathblade to Adler. ‘I see this sword is deprived of Vordac’s spirit after all, so I could suppress its aura. Still if it its wielder has strong dark power, I must use full power to suppress them both. You may bring this sword, Adler, but you’ll better off destroying it. Kraal’shazar is not good for you.’
‘I’ll destroy this sword if I can find its replacement,’ Adler responds. ‘But, to my knowledge, so far this Deathblade is the most powerful great sword in the world, and nothing can replace it. It’s the jewel of my collection.’
‘If that’s so, what is your motivation of entering this contest?’
‘I’m helping out my friend, Prince Alexis to get what he deserves. Then together, we shall unite all nations to fight the Dark Forces, and with Deathblade and Sword of Justice side-by-side, we shall win!’
The archangel doesn’t respond to Adler’s answer. He just turns around and leaves the room. Adler stares at him with a puzzled look on his face. Then he snorts, turns around and walks out of the room to join the other champions.
Interview with John Hornor Jacobs (Interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo) - *Official Author Website* *Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Twelve-Fingered Boy* *Read Fantasy Book Critic Interview with John Hornor Jacobs* *Joh...
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