Chapter Eighteen: Our Unlikely Hero

They say the evil man speaks and talks with his fingers – the evil man uses deceit to bewitch the unwary . . .

     The bloodless sunset turned to dusk, the dusk turned to night, the night . . . We ventured to find my friend Leon, to avenge his brother’s death . . . if only he were not in his sullen stupor, I thought, thinking of the various elixirs he had, in addition to the wines . . . those horrid women . . .
     It was easy enough to find him.  Our unlikely hero was charging about a wastrel’s bar, under the pleasure house he oft frequented.
     Raven shielded me from seedy glances and ignored various taunts coming his way, regarding the aspect of his heritage and noble visage.
     Leon, sitting at a table, drowned in his drinks, feeling sorry for himself once more, not even noticing our approach.
     “Say man,” said Raven quite directly, “put the foul elixir away, we have work to be done and you shall assist. Your lady friend here insists.”
     I smiled at him sadly.
     Leon, noticing me now, apologised and asked me to sit near him.
     “What, where . . . explain, as I do not know what you mean.  How goes it with the evil Lynoria?”
     Raven explained.  He also noted how his brother was now a captive of that vile sorceress . . . and that we needed his help desperately to beat our foes.
     “Ah, my poor brother . . . it should not have been him . . .”
     I lowered my eyes.
     “You see I am but a shadow of my former self as well; for Stephane though, for his sake, I will help you as best I can . . . I must . . .”
     “Yes, to free his soul, for he sleeps in a web of lies, a dreamland, but full of pain and fire,” said Raven.
     Leon looked at us both, one to the other and nodded.
     “Like Thomas, my brother has become captive to her – has become her lowly slave.  Let us go then.  Give me but a day’s rest, for I am not quite up to par at the moment, as that is plainly seen . . . but I shall help you.”
     “Thank you,” said Raven.
     “Yes,” I followed.
     “But, what of the Lynoria, she without mercy?” asked Leon, “Just how do you suppose we shall beat such a powerful opponent?”
     “We know what to do now.  We can put her dark forces to rest now and forever,” Raven assured.
     And so it was, our unlikely hero came to join our ranks.  And our number increased by three; we felt at least insured that it would be far less difficult to proceed with at least three of us gathered, and less difficult to fall . . . but Leon, yes, he did need some rest first, that was most definitely a must.

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