The Orb Part 3
By Alanna Tieschmaker
Image Provided by Elaine Ching
Editor’s note: This piece goes along with the previous two pieces I have written. All three are part of the same series.
Despite the task at hand, Richard could not help but gawk at the room before him. His hatred for the king flared as he took in the grandeur before him. It was grander than anything he had seen in his life, and it was only one room. Yet despite this, most of the people of the kingdom lived as peasants, with only the top 10% living in comfort.
A huge statue of Jerry Movius, the famous merchant, was centered in the room. Jerry was a huge part of developing the kingdom’s economy. The legends say that with his cloak, named the Cloak of Tharion, he was able to travel through time and space allowing him to know what and when to buy and sell. One day he never showed up to his stall and he was never heard from again. The kingdom, however, continued to prosper from the information left behind by Jerry.
Richard shook his head, clearing his thoughts of ancient legends. He had a job to do, and no time to look at all the things he couldn’t have. The bandits did not give him a list of what he needed to take. All they had said was ‘something expensive’. Knowing that it was his brother’s life on the line, Richard endeavored to take the most expensive seeming items he could.
Heading through the door to the right, Richard entered a display room. There were exhibits lining the wall, minor artifacts in everyone. The main piece of the room, however, was the circular display case that displayed a rather unassuming shield. It was red and circular, with a metal rim and obvious signs of wear.
The description read “The Shield of Ragnor - An artifact from XXXX. It is said to protect its owner from fire and harm.”
Richard eyed it warily. It seemed that it wouldn’t be used, but it seemed risky to take something in a central display case. Taking a last glance around the room, he moved on to the next room.
He had been through multiple exhibits now, and he still had not found something he could steal. The amount of time was dwindling, the longer he stayed the higher his chance of being caught.
The current exhibit displayed a beautiful sword. There were intricate designs along the pommel and grip, yet they were burdened by rust. The improper care was obvious, despite the beauty of it. Once he looked at the display case, he understood why.
“The Sword of Elora - A sword reclaimed by the king after stopping riots caused by a rogue princess.”
Richard scoffed at the description. The lack of date and the poor quality of the sword made it obvious the king had nothing to do with ‘reclaiming’ the sword or stopping riots. The sword was not even used in recent years but in history.
The whispered tales told from village to village did not talk about a ‘rogue princess’. The legends told of a princess who was beloved by her subjects but the daughter of a cruel tyrant. Elora sided with her people and personally led the rebellion and overthrew the cruel ruler. Once they reached the castle, she took on her father but was dealt a fatal blow by him before he died. The people buried her body under her favorite willow tree, which had withstood the fires that burned throughout the day, and her sword was hung above the throne, as a reminder of their princess and what she did for them.
The story of Princess Elora was his favorite legend. He aspired to have the courage and bravery she did. Some courage he was showing now…
As tempting as it was to take the sword and hold a part of his favorite child story, the security wouldn’t allow an easy escape. Additionally, he wouldn’t want to give the sword to the thugs. They did not deserve to hold it. The king didn’t deserve to hold it either, but at least here it was safe. Uncared for, but safe.
Richard was about to move on to the next exhibit when something caught his eye. Turning back towards the corner of the room, he saw a door that he had previously missed, hidden from view. Richard crept closer, taking note of the faded label on the door.
‘Staff only?’ he pondered, weighing his options. ‘Maybe I can find something here that won’t be missed.’ He pushed the door open and entered the room.
The room itself was rather unassuming, with grayish-beige walls and a ceiling of a similar color. A dingy window let in just enough light to see the room, but not enough to be considered proper lighting. The light displayed the main focus of the room, boxes stacked on top of each other. Most were covered in layers of dust, indicating the length of time they had remained untouched in the room. The floor was also coated in a light coat of dust except for a long trail of the floor, where something must have been dragged over recently.
Richard began his search for an object of value he could steal. With the amount of dust, nothing would be reported missing for weeks.
He couldn’t explain why, but he felt drawn to the back of the room. He followed the clearer floor and found another box. Unlike the others, there was barely any dust covering the box. Despite this, Richard felt compelled to open the box. He looked around and found a crowbar hanging on the wall. He grabbed it and put the end underneath the top of the box. He pushed down with all his strength, managing to pry the top off.
Peering inside, Richard found an orb.