Hey, I’m almost caught up!
Previously: Twain traveled back in time and discovered Ghost Dragon as a trapped spirit inside a hidden temple. And now…
“What is that?” Twain asked, although he expected no answer.
“That is my prison,” said the Ghost. “That cylinder holds the master scroll of the secret techniques of the League of Dragons. They say a man who has mastered the techniques written upon it can control life and death itself. His gaze will hold lightning and his voice will be a whirlwind. I tried to steal the scroll myself once, long ago, but I failed. The man who was the master of the scroll made me its keeper instead, trapped within the stone cylinder. If it is ever broken, my spirit will be released and will fade to nothing. So even though I hate this torture, still I must fight to maintain even this fraction of life.”
“The League of Dragons,” Twain said. “It’s that old?”
“Older,” said the Ghost. “But I grow weary of this half-life. And you, blue one, you are a worthy man who obviously possesses the strength to take the scroll and master its techniques. Break the cylinder and claim it for your own.”
“Yes,” Twain said. He reached out a hand to touch the cylinder. It was white as alabaster, but smooth like steel under his fingers, with none of the granularity he expected from stone. He drew back his hand and punched the cylinder once, with his crystal-enhanced strength. The surface cracked, but did not split open all the way.
The Ghost sighed with pleasure. “Yes, once more. Claim the scroll as your own.”
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]He reached out a hand to touch the cylinder. It was white as alabaster, but smooth like steel under his fingers…[/blockquote]Twain drew back his fist once more, but paused. “Why?”
“If breaking the cylinder will destroy you, why do you suddenly want me to do it?” Twain said.
“Because I can sense truth in your words,” the Ghost said. “Which makes me think the old man lied to me, or else perhaps even he didn’t understand the full import of what he was doing when he sealed me in here. Perhaps if the seal is destroyed, I won’t cease to be. Perhaps I can preserve myself by seizing upon the nearest person. In which case…”
The Ghost seized Twain’s arm and tried to yank it forward to strike the cylinder. “I would much rather have the strength of a man like you than some unknown woman.”
“No,” Twain said and tried to pull free, but his strength seemed to be fading and his skin was definitely growing less blue and more pink. The residual effect of the crystals from the City of the Moon was fading.
But the glow of the crystal embedded in the cylinder caught his eye. Twain opened his mind to the River’s flow and felt a pulse from the crystal. He let the power flow through him, and strength flooded his limbs as his skin became a brighter blue. He pulled free of the Ghost’s grip and stumbled back to the entrance.
“Yes,” sighed the Ghost, as the crystal’s glow faded almost completely. “I can feel the seal weakening. My freedom is almost at hand.”
Is it possible? Could the Ghost possess and control Twain? What sort of power could the two of them wield together? Don’t miss our next episode!
To read from the beginning, click here…