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“What the hell have you done?” asked Bevern, brandishing his sword and walking up to Tyght. Gaian tried to stop Bevern, but he only caught hold of him by the time Bevern had grabbed Tyght’s neck.

Tyght still had his staff in his hand, and instinctively hit out at Bevern. As the staff hit him it emitted some blue sparks, and Bevern flew backwards, taking Gaian with him.

Whilst they were picking themselves up Sianna looked at Tyght’s staff and said, “You found the Water Crystal. You restored it, didn’t you? And now you have its power...”

Tyght nodded, “The troll was a test. Only one person can restore each Crystal, and as I was the first one to try the door again after we defeated the troll I was the one that was given the opportunity to do so. If we reach the other two Crystals, you and that oaf,” he gestured towards Bevern, who had now walked back over to him with Gaian, “will be able to restore those. And then we can set the world to rights.”

“I still don’t trust him...” said Bevern.

“But I was able to restore the Water Crystal! How could I have done that if I can't be trusted, if I am not truly one of you?” Bevern was silent.

Gaian then said, “Lisa made him a Warrior of Light, and he’s now restored the Water Crystal. That is that, and we should move onto the next Crystal, there’s nothing else to be done. Right?” He looked at Bevern, who simply sighed, resigning himself to the fact that Gaian was right. Gaian looked back at Tyght and said, “Where to now?”

Tyght nodded at him, and started to ready himself to go into the semi-trance that would tell him where the next Crystal was. But then they heard a cry of “There they are!”

They turned round, and about five soldiers were heading towards them. Gaian shouted, “The Imperial Guard! Run!” He set off and the others followed him.

As they ran down the street with the soldiers behind them, they saw some more running towards them in front of them, and so they turned down a side street.

Gaian kicked open a door of a deserted house, “Quick! In here!” They all hurried inside, and Gaian quickly, but silently, shut the door. Fortunately all of the soldiers ran past.

Bevern whispered, “Looks like the Empire survived then, and they’re after us!”

Gaian said, “We need to stay calm and try and figure a way out of this.”

Bevern looked at Tyght and said, “You probably had something to do with this!”

“I assure you I did not. What would I have to gain from this?”

“Maybe you’re working for the Emperor.”

Gaian cut in, “That’s enough! For what it’s worth, I don’t have any reason to suspect Tyght of working for the Emperor. But the Imperial army is here, and that’s our immediate concern.”

Sianna then said, “We could try and wait here until nightfall. They hopefully won’t see us in the darkness and we might be able to slip away.”

Bevern said, “Yeah, they won’t be able to see us, but we won’t be able to see where the hell we’re going! In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a great wall of cloud up there. I don’t think we’ll be getting any moonlight tonight!”

Sianna thought for a moment and then said, “We could get some wood and some cloth and I could use a fire spell to light them as torches...”

“Great! As well as a beacon why not shout out to them as well to get their attention!”

“Well I don’t see you coming up with any ideas!”

There was silence for a moment, before Tyght said, “I can lead us.” They all turned to look at him.

“How?” asked Gaian.

“Ever since we met Lisa I’ve somehow been able to see in the dark. I don’t know how it works, I just can.”

Bevern then said, “How do we know if he’s telling the truth?”

Sianna said, “Oh, will you please just give it a rest, Bevern! He did lead us to both the Fire and the Water Crystal, which he was able to restore and it imparted its power on him. How could he have done that if he wasn't genuine? I say we follow him out of here. I admit my torch idea was flawed, and the only other option appears to be to allow ourselves to be captured. So even if he isn’t being truthful, we’ve got nothing to lose.”

Gaian said, “I’m inclined to agree with Sianna.”

There was a pause before Bevern huffed, “Oh very well then!”

They could still here the soldiers running around in the streets outside, but so far they didn’t appear to be checking the buildings. Gaian said, “I suggest we move upstairs. If they decide to start searching this place it will give us an advantage should we have to defend ourselves.” The rest of the party wordlessly agreed, and they made their way up the stairs.

Bevern went and sat underneath the window, peering over the top of the window sill to keep an eye out for the soldiers. Tyght went and sat cross legged in a corner, his staff in front of him horizontally. Gaian and Sianna sat next to each other by a wall, Gaian with one arm over her shoulders.

They all sat silently, with only their thoughts for company. Gaian was still finding it hard to come to terms with all that had happened. He preferred to block as much of it out as possible, and to just concentrate on the here and now. He was aware that, sooner or later, the enormity of what was going on would hit him, but, for now, he just had to stay focussed on the goal. There were two more Crystals to find and restore, and he presumed that after that there was likely to be more work to do, probably to do with confronting the Emperor himself. But he just had to take everything one step at a time. First they had to get out of Port Klempt, and as far away from the Imperial Guard as they could, and then they could work out where the third Crystal was.

It was only a couple of hours until darkness fell, during which the sound of the soldiers slowly died away. It wasn’t a total darkness as there was a lot of lightning in the dark sky above them. Gaian stood up and broke the spell of silence, “I think now is the time. Is everyone ready?” Sianna stood up, and rubbed Gaian’s arm, with a look on her face that showed her concern for the stresses that Gaian was under, that they were all under. Bevern slowly stood up and nodded, whilst Tyght stood up and started to lead the party down the stairs.

He cautiously opened the front door of the house. There was no sign of the soldiers, and the only sound was the wind and the thunder. He led the party out, and they quickly but quietly made their way down the street, staying to one side.

They reached a crossroads, and Tyght brought the party to a halt and looked around. He turned to the party and said, “There are some soldiers patrolling the streets. We’re going to have to tread very carefully.” He turned back to check on the soldiers, but they had moved on. The other streets were also clear, so he cautiously led them across.

They turned a corner where they could see the exit from Port Klempt, but Tyght could see that it was heavily guarded. They would have to find another way out.

He led them down a side street, and when he felt they were sufficiently far away from the main exit, he led them to the town boundary. The town was surrounded by a tall wooden fence, and there was a narrow gap between it and the buildings. They walked along this gap, getting further away from the main exit, when to their relief they found a gap on the ground that they could crawl through. Tyght went first, followed by Gaian, Sianna, and then Bevern.

Outside there were no sign of the guards. “We made it!” said Bevern.

“Not quite,” said Gaian. “We’ve made it out of the town, but the soldiers are still nearby. We’re not safe yet. We’ve got to get well away from Port Klempt before we can consider ourselves safe. Tyght, you continue to lead us. There may still be patrols outside of the town.

Tyght nodded, and proceeded to lead the party once more. There was a hill about four hundred metres away from the town. They wouldn’t have to climb it as they were by the side of it, they could easily walk around it. Tyght thought that if they could just get to the other side of the hill they should be safe and it would be plain sailing from there.

He quickly led them across to the hill, and then around it’s side. But once they got around towards the other side they did not expect to see what they saw.

Parked on the ground was a giant airship, its propellers motionless and silent. It bore the markings of the Imperial Army. There were a number of soldiers standing guard. The airship looked like it could carry an entire battalion, which would explain how there were so many of the Imperial Guard over here so soon after the catastrophe. They had all heard talk of the Empire building airships for military purposes, but none of them had expected that they had actually succeeded in their plans.

Before Tyght could turn around and lead the party in the opposite direction they heard a voice say, “Wedge, look, quick! They’re over there!”

From around the corner two soldiers came running towards them with swords in their hands. Gaian and Bevern quickly drew their swords, but as they did so one of the soldiers shouted, “Everyone! They’re over here!” They could hear more clanking of armour headed towards them from the direction of the airship. Within seconds they were completely surrounded.

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