Quest for the Treasure, Chapter 6

Fiction By Jackie West // 7/17/2010

“The Xolo snake!” Farren gasped.

“Back up!” Zanorm ordered. “Now1”

Everyone obeyed immediately. Nadezda had never been so scared in her life!

The snake turned at the sound of Zanorm’s voice. It hissed angrily and flicked its forked tongue, striking at Sanole’s leg and missing.

The travelers backed up even farther as the snake slithered forward.

“Don’t run,” Zanorm said in a hushed whisper.

The day passed slowly with the travelers and the snake in their positions. The travelers built a fire to try and scare away the snake, with no success. They set up their tent, while Jaremiah kept an eye on the snake. They prepared and ate a meal, then prepared to go to sleep. Jaremiah continued to guard, until he grew sleepy, then Dacinia offered to take over. However, after a while, she, too, grew sleepy. Her eyes closed, and she fell asleep. She was awakened for one brief moment, giving a shriek as the snake rushed forward and sank his fangs into her leg. Then it left.

Nadezda thought that it was all part of a dream she was having and did not think to go see what was wrong.

 

Dacinia felt her life being sucked from her as the snake’s venom did its work. Before she drifted away, she felt a tender touch and the whisper of a girl’s voice.

“Stay still and don’t move. You’ll be alright.....”

 

 

Dacinia woke the next morning, not remembering what had happened during the night. She got up and straightened herself. Then, it all came back in a rush as a blast of pain shot through her leg. She fell with a cry of pain.

Zaeleigh awoke and came to see what was wrong. He called for help when he saw that Dacinia could not walk because of the bitten leg, though he did not know it at the time. Jaremiah came to his aid and carried Dacinia into the tent. Then he went into the woods to try his hand at making crutches.

Nadezda, Farren, and Valora came out to make breakfast. Zaeleigh's had told them what Dacinia had told him, so they were a little frightened, but Zaeleigh told them not to worry.

Soon, they had set off again, and Jaremiah and Zaleigh helped Dacinia along on her crutches.

“I hope we reach Nachshon’s house soon,” Farren said. “Maybe he can help us.”

“She just needs to heal,” Jaremiah said. “Though it’s rather odd, because of that snakebite, she should be dead right now.”

“Well, she’s not. Now, we just need to keep her alive,” Valora said, “just in case something happens.”

Dacinia was not well aware of what was happening around her as a side effect to the snakebite, so they could talk about the incident freely.

“I wonder who came and healed her... mostly, at least?” Sanole wondered. “I don’t know of many people who have been cured of a bite from a Xolo snake.”

“Me neither,” Jaremiah admitted. “It’s good that the person did come, or else we’d have to bring the bad news to Dacinia’s family.”

“That is good, “Nadezda agreed. “We’d all be upset, and our parents would probably call off the whole quest, and I don’t really want to do that, unless we knew that another person would get in great danger.”

 

 

They traveled all day and soon saw a sign that said:

 

NACHSHON’S FARM. NEEDS GRANTED HERE.

 

There was a path leading to a tiny cottage. They went up it and knocked on the door. The door opened, and a man who looked extremely ancient looked out, peering through glasses that were perched on his nose.

“Yes?” he said in a voice that sounded older than he looked.

“Nachshon?” Sanole said uncertainly.

“Yes. What d’you want?” Nachshon said, squinting.

Zanorm explained all that had happened on their journey, and Nachshon ushered them inside, locking the door behind him.

“Let me have a look a’ the girl,” he said. “Put her on the table there.” He pointed a shaky finger in the direction of a table with a sheet on it. “Bit by a Xolo snake, eh? And miraculously healed?”

“Yes, sir,” Nadezda replied.

Nachshon thoroughly examined Dacinia, who was still unaware of her surroundings and deaf to what they were saying.

“This is a side effect of the bite,” Nachshon explained. “I have seen it in patients such as this one, but they all died. I find it very unusual that she was healed.” He continued bustling around as he spoke. “You can sit at the table and have some food. I’m always prepared for visitors.”

The travelers sat at the table, which was filled biscuits, fruit salad, and ham. Jaremiah said grace, and they dug in, every now and then glancing over at Nachshon and Dacinia. When they finished, they set up beds on the floor and fell asleep.

 

 

Nadezda woke in the middle of the night, and immediately remembered the events of the day. She got up and walked over to where Dacinia was lying on the sheet covered table. She put her head on her friend’s chest and heard the thumping of a healthy heart and regular breaths. Puzzled, she went back to bed and fell asleep.

 

 

Jaremiah got them all up the next morning, and they packed quietly and left, leaving Dacinia with Nachshon, as they were not sure what they would do. They ate a quiet breakfast as they walked, all of them buried in their own thoughts, which were suddenly broken by the sounds of running footsteps. They all whirled around to see Dacinia running toward them, as happy and healthy as she had been before she was bitten!

“Hi, Dacinia!” Nadezda said joyfully. “How are you feeling?”

“Great!” Dacinia replied. “And he gave me this to show

to you, Nadezda.” She handed a slip of paper to Nadezda, who read it over and then handed it back to Dacinia. A rough voice startled them, and they turned around.

“Aw, don’t it make ya wanna cry? Hey, Stein, ya listenin’!”

The speaker was a man with jet black hair and black eyes He was casually leaning against a tree. Farren noted that he had a long sword at his side.

“Good day to you, sir,” she said politely.

“Nice ta see some ‘un with manners,” he sneered. “STEIN! GET OVER HERE NOW!”

“ I’M COMING, PAL!” came an equally impatient voice.

A large man with gray eyes and black hair strolled out. “Whatcha’ want, Qadan?”

“Oh, just be quiet, idiot!” snarled Qadan. “We got ourselves visitors. Be p’lite.”

Nadezda tried not to show that she didn’t trust them. “Hi. Nice day, isn’t it?”

“She sure talks purty,” Stein said.

“Be quiet, idiot!” Qadan looked at the travelers. “So sorry. He ain’t right in th’ head.” He grinned. “I did that. We’s still pals, though, ain’t we, though?”

Stein nodded. Grinning, he whistled.

Time passed so quickly that it seemed to Nadezda that they were on the ground in a millionth of a second.

Qadan drew his sword. “Yeeheehee, we c’n have more fun!” He nodded to Stein. “Let ‘em have th’ ropes.”

Nadezda turned her head and saw a group of people surrounding them, the tallest, obviously the leader, was armed with nothing but a dagger.

“Yo, Zev, what’s up? Don’t ya wanna kill ‘em?” one asked.

“No, not right now, Odgerel, we’ll let the big guy do his bit. He’s the leader, ya know,” Zev answered. Inali, Haldis, tie ‘em up. Kishi, Tahmores, blindfold ‘em. Odgerel, help me with the packs. Good work, Qadan and Stein.”

Qadan bowed. “My pleasure, Zev. Anytime.”

The six companions were marched off.

“What did we do?” Zaleigh whispered to Nadezda.

“Ya, be quiet,ya idiots!” Zev’s voice could be made out. “No talkin’!”

 

It seemed as if hours had passed before the blindfolds were taken off.

“Master,” said Zev ,” we have the prisoners.”

“Good,” growled the voice of a relatively young man. “No one trespasses on Ulysses’ property and lives to tell about it!”

The travelers gulped. The leader did not sound nice.

“Lock ‘em up,” Ulysses growled. “Leave the leader here, and lock the rest of ‘em up. I’’ have fun with ‘em when I want to. No food for ‘em at all. Put them in separate cells. Take the packs to the kitchens.”

There was scurrying of feet as everyone ran out, pushing the prisoners ahead of themselves. “Yes, Master!”

“Do you know how good I am with weapons, young one?”

Nadezda gulped as a young man with sword in hand appeared out of the gloom. “Look at me, girl! Look at me!”.

With no choice, Nadezda looked at him and was immediately hypnotized by the eyes that she stared at.

“Only I have this, of all my people. I was born with it, and I killed my father with these very eyes. I will not kill you right away, maybe bit by bit, basking in the music of your screams.”

Nadezda’s heart almost stopped.

Then the man turned away. “Ah, yes, such sweet music. Only I can enjoy it.” He paused. “Mayhaps you will join my army. Wonderful training, you know.”

“I don’t want to and I won’t!’ Nadezda yelled angrily. “Not even if you release my friends!”

“You have heard of Ulysses LaserDoom, have you not?”

“I have not.”

“Guards!” Ulysses called. And before Nadezda could blink, he had turned upon her, and Nadezda fell to he ground.

Ulysses laughed like a crazy person. “Yes! Yes! My eyes are wonderful! Say hello to Ulysses LaserDoom!”

 

 

It was a painful thump that woke Nadezda. Groaning, she slowly came to a sitting position and tried to clear away the fogginess that clouded her head.

“Who are you?” came a voice.

“Who are you?” Nadezda asked.

“I’m Ondraya.”

“My name is Nadezda.”

A figure appeared out of the shadows and helped Nadezda to a bench. “So you’ve benn captured by Ulysses, too.”

“Yes, me and my companions. Five of them.” Nadezda rubbed her eyes and yawned.

“Ulysses is extremely nice, isn’t he?” Ondraya said sarcastically. “He must have knocked you out with those laser eyes of his. He doesn’t feed us, and he kills prisoners at his leisure. You can hear the screams, and it’s horrible!” She handed Nadezda a ragged blanket before continuing. “No one knows what he captured all these prisoners for. He kills people who refuse to join his army. He’s not nice.”

“Obviously,” Nadezda commented.

“Just about the nicest things he’s done to us are: 1.) Let us live. 2.)We have stuff to sleep and sit on and with.” Ondraya stood up. “Come on, I’ll show you where to sl-“

“No talkin’!” a rough voice called roughly.

“Oh, shut up, Tahmores!” Ondraya hollered. “Come on,” she whispered to Nadezda. She led Nadezda to a hard cot. “Lie down and sleep,” she said.

Nadezda lay down and looked around. Aside from the cot she was lying on and the bench she had beem sitting on, there was a cot for her cellmate. Both cots each had a ragged blanket. “For such a mean leader, he treats his prisoners well,” she said to Ondraya.

“Mm,” Ondraya murmured in agreement.

The girls gradually drifted off to sleep

Three figures appeared in Nadezda’s dreams. One she recognized immediately; it was Ulysses. The other two she could not identify, though there was something about Ulysses and the other male that she could not make out.

The third figure’s face she could not see, although she knew that it was a female from the swirling dress. Mist covered her face, making it invisible.

The dream turned to the two men fighting. Ulysses used his laser eyes to cut into the other.

Then, with a flash, it all disappeared.

Nadezda sat up, sweating hard. The cell was cold, and after a while, she was not so hot. Rolling off her cot, she went to Ondraya’s cot and shook her cellmate. “What was the name of Ulysses father?”

“Uhhh... Judren, or something like that. Would you mind letting me sleep?” Ondraya rolled over.

Nadezda went to her cot and lay down, thinking. What was similar between the two men in her dreams? Could the battle Ulysses had told her about be the one in her dreams in which he had killed his father? Had he really killed his father? How did Ulysses get his laser eyes if he was lying about being born with them? Why is Ulysses so cruel?

And who was the girl in her dreams?

 

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“The Xolo snake!” Farren gasped.

  “Back up!” Zanorm ordered. “Now!”

  Everyone obeyed immediately. Nadezda had never been so scared in her life!

  The snake turned at the sound of Zanorm’s voice. It hissed angrily and flicked its forked tongue, striking at Sanole’s leg and missing.

  The travelers backed up even farther as the snake slithered forward.

  “Don’t run,” Zanorm said in a hushed whisper.

  The day passed slowly with the travelers and the snake in their positions. The travelers built a

fire to try and scare away the snake, with no success. They set up their tent, while Jaremiah kept an eye on the snake. They prepared and ate a meal, then prepared to go to sleep. Jaremiah continued to guard, until he grew sleepy, then Dacinia offered to take over. However, after a while, she, too, grew sleepy. Her eyes closed, and she fell asleep. She was awakened for one brief moment, giving a shriek as the snake rushed forward and sank his fangs into her leg. Then it left.

    Nadezda thought that it was all part of a dream she was having and did not think to go see what was wrong.

 

  Dacinia felt her life being sucked from her as the snake’s venom did its work. Before she drifted away, she felt a tender touch and the whisper of a girl’s voice.

  “Stay still and don’t move. You’ll be alright.....”

 

 

  Dacinia woke the next morning, not remembering what had happened during the night. She got up and straightened herself. Then, it all came back in a rush as a blast of pain shot through her leg. She fell with a cry of pain.

  Zaeleigh awoke and came to see what was wrong. He called for help when he saw that Dacinia could not walk because of the bitten leg, though he did not know it at the time. Jaremiah came to his aid and carried Dacinia into the tent. Then he went into the woods to try his hand at making crutches.

  Nadezda, Farren, and Valora came out to make breakfast. Zaeleigh's had told them what Dacinia had told him, so they were a little frightened, but Zaeleigh told them not to worry.

  Soon, they had set off again, and Jaremiah and Zaleigh helped Dacinia along on her crutches.

  “I hope we reach Nachshon’s house soon,” Farren said. “Maybe he can help us.”

  “She just needs to heal,” Jaremiah said. “Though it’s rather odd, because of that snakebite, she should be dead right now.”

  “Well, she’s not. Now, we just need to keep her alive,” Valora said, “just in case something happens.”

  Dacinia was not well aware of what was happening around her as a side effect to the snakebite, so they could talk about the incident freely.

  “I wonder who came and healed her... mostly, at least?” Sanole wondered. “I don’t know of many people who have been cured of  a bite from a Xolo snake.”

  “Me neither,” Jaremiah admitted. “It’s good that the person did come, or else we’d have to bring the bad news to Dacinia’s family.”

  “That is good, “Nadezda agreed. “We’d all be upset, and our parents would probably call off the whole quest, and I don’t really want to do that, unless we knew that another person would get in great danger.”

 

 

 They traveled all day and soon saw a sign that said:

 

   NACHSHON’S FARM. NEEDS GRANTED HERE.

 

  There was a path leading to a tiny cottage. They went up it and knocked on the door. The door opened, and a man who looked extremely ancient looked out, peering through glasses that were perched on his nose.

  “Yes?” he said in a voice that sounded older than he looked.

  “Nachshon?” Sanole said uncertainly.

  “Yes. What d’you want?” Nachshon said, squinting.

  Zanorm explained all that had happened on their journey, and Nachshon ushered them inside, locking the door behind him.

  “Let me have a look a’ the girl,” he said. “Put her on the table there.” He pointed a shaky finger in the direction of a table with a sheet on it. “Bit by a Xolo snake, eh? And miraculously healed?”

  “Yes, sir,” Nadezda replied.

  Nachshon thoroughly examined Dacinia, who was still unaware of her surroundings and deaf to what they were saying.

  “This is a side effect of the bite,” Nachshon explained. “I have seen it in patients such as this one, but they all died. I find it very unusual that she was healed.” He continued bustling around as he spoke. “You can sit at the table and have some food. I’m always prepared for visitors.”

  The travelers sat at the table, which was filled biscuits, fruit salad, and ham. Jaremiah said grace, and they dug in, every now and then glancing over at Nachshon and Dacinia. When they finished, they set up beds on the floor and fell asleep.

 

 

  Nadezda woke in the middle of the night, and immediately remembered the events of the day. She got up and walked over to where Dacinia was lying on the sheet covered table. She put her head on her friend’s chest and heard the thumping of a healthy heart and regular breaths. Puzzled, she went back to bed and fell asleep.

 

 

  Jaremiah got them all up the next morning, and they packed quietly and left, leaving Dacinia with Nachshon, as they were not sure what they would do. They ate a quiet breakfast as they walked, all of them buried in their own thoughts, which were suddenly broken by the sounds of running footsteps. They all whirled around to see Dacinia running toward them, as happy and healthy as she had been before she was bitten!

  “Hi, Dacinia!” Nadezda said joyfully. “How are you feeling?”

 “Great!” Dacinia replied. “And he gave me this to show

 to you, Nadezda.” She handed a slip of paper to Nadezda, who read it over and then handed it back to Dacinia. A rough voice startled them, and they turned around.

  “Aw, don’t it make ya wanna cry? Hey, Stein, ya listenin’!”

  The speaker was a man with jet black hair and black eyes He was casually leaning against a tree. Farren noted that he had a long sword at his side.

  “Good day to you, sir,” she said politely.

  “Nice ta see some ‘un with manners,” he sneered. “STEIN! GET OVER HERE NOW!”

  “ I’M COMING, PAL!” came an equally impatient voice.

 A large man with gray eyes and black hair strolled out. “Whatcha’ want, Qadan?”

 “Oh, just be quiet, idiot!” snarled Qadan. “We got ourselves visitors. Be p’lite.”

 Nadezda tried not to show that she didn’t trust them. “Hi. Nice day, isn’t it?”

 “She sure talks purty,” Stein said.

“Be quiet, idiot!” Qadan looked at the travelers. “So sorry. He ain’t right in th’ head.” He grinned. “I did that. We’s still pals, though, ain’t we, though?”

   Stein nodded. Grinning, he whistled.

   Time passed so quickly that it seemed to Nadezda that they were on the ground in a millionth of a second.

   Qadan drew his sword. “Yeeheehee, we c’n have more fun!” He nodded to Stein. “Let ‘em have th’ ropes.”

   Nadezda turned her head and saw a group of people surrounding them, the tallest, obviously the leader, was armed with nothing but a dagger.

   “Yo, Zev, what’s up? Don’t ya wanna kill ‘em?” one asked.

   “No, not right now, Odgerel, we’ll let the big guy do his bit. He’s the leader, ya know,” Zev answered. Inali, Haldis, tie ‘em up. Kishi, Tahmores, blindfold ‘em. Odgerel, help me with the packs. Good work, Qadan and Stein.”

   Qadan bowed. “My pleasure, Zev. Anytime.”

   The six companions were marched off.

   “What did we do?” Zaleigh whispered to Nadezda.

  “Ya, be quiet,ya idiots!” Zev’s voice could be made out. “No talkin’!”

 

 

  It seemed as if hours had passed before the blindfolds were taken off.

  “Master,” said Zev ,” we have the prisoners.”

  “Good,” growled the voice of a relatively young man. “No one trespasses on Ulysses’ property and lives to tell about it!”

  The travelers gulped. The leader did not sound nice.

  “Lock ‘em up,” Ulysses growled. “Leave the leader here, and lock the rest of ‘em up. I’’ have fun with ‘em when I want to. No food for ‘em at all. Put them in separate cells. Take the packs to the kitchens.”

  There was scurrying of feet as everyone ran out, pushing the prisoners ahead of themselves. “Yes, Master!”

 “Do you know how good I am with weapons, young one?”

  Nadezda gulped as a young man with sword in hand appeared out of the gloom. “Look at me, girl! Look at me!”.

   With no choice, Nadezda looked at him and was immediately hypnotized by the eyes that  she stared at.

   “Only I have this, of all my people. I was born with it, and I killed my father with these very eyes. I will not kill you right away, maybe bit by bit, basking in the music of your screams.”

   Nadezda’s heart almost stopped.

   Then the man turned away. “Ah, yes, such sweet music. Only I can enjoy it.” He paused. “Mayhaps you will join my army. Wonderful training, you know.”

   “I don’t want to and I won’t!’ Nadezda yelled angrily. “Not even if you release my friends!”

   “You have heard of Ulysses LaserDoom, have you not?”

   “I have not.”

   “Guards!” Ulysses called. And before Nadezda could blink, he had turned upon her, and Nadezda fell to he ground.

    Ulysses laughed like a crazy person. “Yes! Yes! My eyes are wonderful! Say hello to Ulysses LaserDoom!”

 

 

    It was a painful thump that woke Nadezda. Groaning, she slowly came to a sitting position and tried to clear away the fogginess that clouded her head.

    “Who are you?” came a voice.

    “Who are you?” Nadezda asked.

   “I’m Ondraya.”

   “My name is Nadezda.”

   A figure appeared out of the shadows and helped Nadezda to a bench. “So you’ve benn captured by Ulysses, too.”

  “Yes, me and my companions. Five of them.” Nadezda rubbed her eyes and yawned.

  “Ulysses is extremely nice, isn’t he?” Ondraya said sarcastically. “He must have knocked you out with those laser eyes of his. He doesn’t feed us, and he kills prisoners at his leisure. You can hear the screams, and it’s horrible!” She handed Nadezda a ragged blanket before continuing. “No one knows what he captured all these prisoners for. He kills people who refuse to join his army. He’s not nice.”

  “Obviously,” Nadezda commented.

  “Just about the nicest things he’s done to us are: 1.) Let us live  2.)We have stuff to sleep and sit on and with.” Ondraya stood up. “Come on, I’ll show you where to sl-“

  “No talkin’!” a rough voice called roughly.

  “Oh, shut up, Tahmores!” Ondraya hollered. “Come on,” she whispered to Nadezda. She led Nadezda to a hard cot. “Lie down and sleep,” she said.

  Nadezda lay down and looked around. Aside from the cot she was lying on and the bench she had beem sitting on, there was a cot for her cellmate. Both cots each had a ragged blanket. “For such a mean leader, he treats his prisoners well,” she said to Ondraya.

  “Mm,” Ondraya murmured in agreement.

  The girls gradually drifted off to sleep

  Three figures appeared in Nadezda’s dreams. One she recognized immediately; it was Ulysses. The other two she could not identify, though there was something about Ulysses and the other male that she could not make out.

  The third figure’s face she could not see, although she knew that it was a female from the swirling dress. Mist covered her face, making it invisible.

  The dream turned to the two men fighting. Ulysses used his laser eyes to cut into the other.

  Then, with a flash, it all disappeared.

  Nadezda sat up, sweating hard. The cell was cold, and after a while, she was not so hot. Rolling off her cot, she went to Ondraya’s cot and shook her cellmate. “What was the name of Ulysses father?”

  “Uhhh... Judren, or something like that. Would you mind letting me sleep?” Ondraya rolled over.

  Nadezda went to her cot and lay down, thinking. What was similar between the two men in her dreams?  Could the battle Ulysses had told her about be the one in her dreams in which he had killed his father? Had he really killed his father? How did Ulysses get his laser eyes if he was lying about being born with them? Why is Ulysses so cruel?

  And who was the girl in her dreams?

 

 

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