❯ Thousand Arms – Chapter 5
« Well done boy. Alas, you wil lnever be as strong as I. We’ll see you again, in due time. » The Dark Master said. Blood trickled down from his cheek and arm. Once again, we dematerialized and went back to Emperor Medius. We ended up in the same dark hall we left from.
« Why didn’t you let me fight? » I argued. We walked briskly through the hall and into the throne room.
« Yes, Dark Master. Did you succeed? » Emperor Medius asked. The Dark Master bowed his head.
« Yes, Majesty. We obtained the Primordial Flame. The kids put up a good fight. But I overpowered them. » He replied.
« Very good. Excellent. Which sword has the flame in it? I see you’ve taken three swords? »
« All three, Sir. Jeala and I must forge it into one. May we be dismissed? » The Dark Master asked. I looked up at Medius. I didn’t understand why his form was this. He was only a shadow.
« Go. » He said. The lights flickered as Emperor Medius disappeared.
« Why didn’t you let me fight? » I asked again. I had to run to keep up with the Dark Master as we headed toward the smithy.
« For the same reason you want to fight. Because I love you, » He stopped and looked back at me, » Because I can’t afford to lose you. Because I cant have one of those… those robots, conquering it all with me. They’d ruin my plan. Now. Give me your sword. » He wiped his cheek on his arm. I gave him my shiny, untouched sword without a word. We entered the smithy. I knelt down next to the fire.
« We’ll forge it into this one… » the Dark Master said, as he laid his bloodiest sword on the cold stone table. He picked up his worn hammer off the ground. I bowed my head and put all of my energy into the sword. The Dark Master struck the sword with the hammer a few times, put the sword in the fire, and repeated the process. I began to feel weak and fatigued. I was running out of energy.
« Master… I ha… » I started. I felt as if I was to pass out. I struggled to stay consious.
« Jeala, are you ok? » The Dark Master asked, as he put down his hammer and came to my side.
« It’s just… that I have no more energy to forge swords… Please forgive me Master. » I replied. I leaned against him and rested my head on his shoulder.
« C’mon Jeala. Lets get you to bed. It’s late, and we – excpecially you – need rest. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have forged so hard. C’mon. » He said, helping me to my feet.I stumbled into the room across the hall. The large room was brightly lit, and too bright. We walked over o the bed. The Dark Master pulled back the covers for me. I was out before I even sat down.
* * *
I woke up alone. But voices were right outside the door.
« Don’t do this. »
« And who are you to tell me what to do? » I recognized the voices as those of the Dark Master and Bearing.
« Why do you treat her like that? She loves you. » Bearing said.
« Treat her like what? I do that for her own good.And you are just a machine… what woujld you know about love? » The Dark Master replied. I sat up slowly and quietly started for the door.
« I’ve seen the way she looks at you. I’ve heard the way she talks to you. I knwo more about love than you, even if I can’t feel it. » Bearing explained. There was a loud thud and the lamp fell off the wall.
« Don’t you ever say that. You don’t know shit, Bearing. Don’t tell me that I don’t love her, or that she deserves better. I’m all shes got! » The Dark Master said, nearly yelling.
« Get off me, bastard. » Bearing said. There was a slash and then Master yelled in pain. Bearing passed the room without looking in. I stood there, like a frozen statue. Then Dark Master walked in. He was holding his left cheek. He didn’t even notice me until he sat down on the edge of the unmade bed.
« Afternoon Jeala. You sure slept well. Did we wake you up? » The Dark Master said. His cheek had five huge cuts on it. It was bleeding really badly.
« Why were you fighting? » I asked, glaring at him.
« Oh… Bearing. He thought I abandoned Bolt and let him die. He’s just as stupid as Bolt too. Are you feeling any better than last nite? » He explained. He rummaged around in the metal dresser and pressed a black shirt to his face. I wasn’t about to help him, even if I vowed to stay by his side.
« So thast why you’re all I have? Thats why Bearing doesn’t knwo anything about love? » I said. I clenched myfists. Maybe, maybe Schmidt doesn’t love me, I thought.
« Look, Jeala. If you had something more, you wouldn’t have come. And Bearing is only a machine. Machines don’t have feelings! Don’t tell me you side with them! » The Dark master said. he stood up and walked up to me. I touched his cheek gently. Red sparks came from my hand and I healed his cheek. I looked up at him, and smiled, trying to hold back tears.
« Do you love me? » I asked.
He didn’t answer. he just looked at me like I spoke a different language.
« Do you love me, Master? » I asked again.
But he didn’t answer that time either. I looked down.
« LET ME FIGHT SINCE YOU DON’T LOVE ME! »
Then, he took me by the shoulders, flung me onto the bed, and leaned over me.
« Jeala, you know I love you. Don’t say I don’t. » He said. He let my wrists go and got off the bed. The Dark Master walked to the door and turned to me.
« I’ll treat you better. I’m sorry that I haven’t been doing so. The Emperor needs to see us. Come with me. »