Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Chapter Eight, Part Five
“Now what do we do, Dijia?” asked Jonathan with a hint of fear in his voice. “We can’t travel anywhere in this waist-deep snow, especially here in the highest regions of the Tregarrons. Should we just wait it out and hope it melts just as quickly as it came?”
“I don’t have an answer for you, but I think someone else does, Jonathan,” replied Dijia, as he watched three hooded strangers approaching them on snowshoes from across the saddle. “I think they’ll answer your question directly, and hopefully in a friendly manner – or this is the end of the road for us.”
“Never give up hope, Dijia, you said so yourself. Remember, there’s always hope – right?”
As the three hooded figures approached them across what was now a blindingly white landscape surrounding the small pond and stunted pines, an avalanche of heavy snow broke off near them and slid silently away down the steep mountainside. The strangers didn’t flinch at the avalanche, simply continuing to walk a narrow line directly across the middle of the underlying mountain saddle towards Jonathan and Dijia.
Sammy boldly stuck his head out from between the boys, and while more than willing to run out into the deep snow to investigate, Jonathan held him back because of the precarious situation they were in. The last thing he wanted to do was have Sammy start another avalanche and slide off the mountain – or provoke the strangers who looked like they meant business.
Dijia and Jonathan stood up in front of the outcrop of rocks to meet the approaching figures, while Jonathan keep his hold on Sammy, not wanting an accident or misunderstanding to occur if Sammy suddenly lunged forward thinking he was protecting the boys. The strangers stopped at the distance of about five spans of a man in front of Jonathan and Dijia, yet they were unrecognizable in their layers of leather garments, robes, and cloaks with oversize hoods obscuring their faces.
For a moment, the silent standoff felt like it marked their fate, as the boys watched the two outer, and larger, figures draw their swords from underneath their layered garments. It was in that moment that Jonathan first saw the glint of their gleaming silver swords, and exclaimed aloud, “Look, Dijia, silver swords, just like ours!”
It was a burst of youthful exuberance, not the careful calculation one might take when strangers draw swords in silent confrontation – yet it was said, and couldn’t be retracted. At that Dijia replied, “We’ll show them our blades, Jonathan, and perhaps they’ll see as comrades, not enemies.” He and Jonathan then drew their swords, matching the shine of the strangers’ blades in reflective brilliance in the bright sunshine.
The middle veiled figure, in what was clearly a female voice, then addressed them saying, “State your names and intentions for entering our land, for this is the Land of the Slejuv. No one enters, or leaves, our land without our consent. Who sent you, and what do you want here?”
“I am Dijia, the rightful heir to the throne, and King of the Kingdom of Pengarth,” boldly stated Dijia, with a richness of voice that echoed off the mountains around them. Jonathan was quick to add, “I am Jonathan of Hampton, Ohio – Gramps sent us here for your help and assistance.”
The cloaked stranger to the left then threw back his hood, revealing youthful, blond locks atop his tall frame and exclaimed, “Gramps? Do you mean the one known as Illandor, Arrydor, and Myllanthal?”
“The very one,” quickly added Jonathan. “He told us to seek the aid of the Slejuv People under the snows, for they will help us reach Pengarth.”
At the speaking of Gramps, the second outside figure lowered his hood as well, and the two swordsmen sheathed their swords. He was solidly built, with brown hair cascading to his shoulders, contrasting with the looks of his thinner comrade – both of them appearing to be maybe twenty years of age.
The third, smaller figure standing between the two men, was clearly that of a woman, wearing a suit of leather body armor, over-layered with a traditional Slejuv robe and cloak, with her own sheathed sword hanging at her side. As she lowered her hood, she revealed a youthful, fair appearance, with a piercing determination set in her steely blue eyes, while her braided, blond hair cascaded down her back.
It was the young woman who stepped forward to speak saying, “I am Siyall, cousin of Siyth,” motioning to the tall, blond man beside her. “We are of the Slejuv People. This is, Ruylan, of the Land of Sojar,” motioning to the other man with flowing brown hair to his shoulders. “All four of you are Light Bearers, and it is our honor to assist you, Dijia and Jonathan, to bring Light to the people of Myllanthar.”