Chapter 4 – Swift Saber
The runes flickered on the floating cubes before her. The air seemed to sizzle and hiss. Hanna’s ears popped as the dark sword came out of the air and fell to the side. Instinctively, she pulled it back up toward her for a better look. Hanna could see the handle now in her hand.
It felt connected to her. Part of her. As if somehow it was an extension of her body. It was a strange sensation, yet at the same time felt natural, as if it had been made for her.
Hanna stood there, breathing heavily. The echoes of a silent blast continued to reverberate through her body. She could feel the rise and fall of the same silent hum in her bones as it matched the slow flickering of the light from the runes. It almost felt as if they had connected to her pulse and her breathing. The runes got brighter with each inhalation, and then dimmed slowly when she breathed out. At the same time, it felt as if each beat of her heart caused the runes to brighten for a brief instant.
She felt as if the sword connected her to the floating runes. Hanna tried to let go of the sword to see what happened, but she was unable to unwrap her fingers from the handle. It spooked her, and she shook her hand to get rid of the sword. It remained stuck in her palm.
Panic flooded through Hanna’s mind and body as she tried to pry her fingers open with the help of her other hand. But the buzz shooting through her body only intensified the more she tried to get rid of it. She finally paused to catch her breath and stood there, panting. The buzzing seemed to diminish and slow down.
Another misty figure began to take shape before her. It was much bigger than the sword. Hanna backed away. There was no way she was going to touch this thing. If she got stuck to it, movement might be impossible. But she continued to watch it carefully.
The form grew larger until it was almost the size of her father. Perhaps even a little larger. It stood tall and dark, with a hood over its head. Hanna heard the sound of whispering around her. Soft at first, but steadily growing louder as the figure standing there began to solidify.
“Welcome, young man. You alone have been chosen from among your people to carry Swift Saber, The Mystery of the Empty Void. As you prepare to set out on the adventure of a lifetime, know that victory is not guaranteed. Many before you have tried and failed. Actually, come to think of it, all of them have failed, because, well, frankly, none have succeeded. But fear not. Great adventure lies before you as you set out across the land to defeat the Two-Faced Titan. You will face grave danger. If you are successful, however, you shall reap glorious rewards. Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to head north till you come to Akstrond. There you must present yourself at the gates as the Bearer of Swift Saber and Defender of Akstrond. Then you will receive further instruction.”
Hanna’s head spun as she tried to shake the saber loose. She had given up trying to pry it loose with her free hand. So, she held onto her wrist while trying to force her fingers to loosen their grip on the handle.
“No, I don’t accept this mission,” she cried out. “And I’m not a young man. I’m just a girl. Let me go.”
“We found her,” Hanna overheard one of the Bragi brothers shout. “I think she’s over this way.”