“Owen, Cameron, Evan. HellReaver told me that you should choose your swords tonight. Lady Aeden, would you come with us?” Thomas asked after dinner.
Lady Aeden’s left eyebrow rose in surprise. She glanced at the sword sheathed at Thomas’s side. “Tonight?” she asked.
It is the night of the new moon, a fitting time for new beginnings, HellReaver replied.
“Ah,” she responded. “I’d not paid attention. So it would.”
The boys’ eyes were huge.
“Come on. Let’s get this done,” said Thomas.
The boys, Thomas and Aeden rose from their tables and made their way through the tower, out across the receiving area behind the kitchen to the salle.
Night had fallen and the air was crisp and cold. Clouds crowded and darkened the western horizon, promising a storm by morning. They walked through the salle and into the hall that led to the armory.
The armory doors stood unguarded and locked. Lady Aeden frowned. “Lord Thomas?”
With a gesture, Thomas sent his magelight over the group.
Lady Aeden opened her left hand and magelight glowed within. “Isn’t there supposed to be a guard?” she asked.
“Yes, there is,” Thomas responded.
Shadows shrouded the ends of the hallway. Something didn’t feel right.
“Get behind me,” he whispered to the others. Darkness rustled and scraped to the right.
Thomas drew HellReaver from his scabbard. The sword flamed. Lady Aeden raised her hand and OathKeeper flared into being. Sword light threw the corridor into sharp relief.
Crouched in the corner was indeed a terrifying creature. Scales covered a grey and black form that stretched up and up until the tips of its folded wings nearly touched the ceiling. Blood red eyes gleamed at them. Claws at the end of impossibly long fingers reached out as if to rake them over bodies. A ridged muzzle filled with triangular teeth opened wide as a husky laugh filled the corridor.
“You have come to ME,” it rasped. “How delightfully ironic. I do not have to invade the Tower itself!” Thunder boomed in the corridor as the monster spread its wings and slammed them down, racing toward the group.
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