Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Four

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Four

~~~~~~~~~~

Like watching a movie filmed in super slow motion, Jonathan was aware of every frame while falling backwards towards the floor.  He watched as heads turned suddenly to see him, saw the looks in the eyes growing wider of those who had been watching him all along, and felt the sensation of speed picking up as his body raced towards the floor while clutching Sammy.  This was the end, he thought, for while holding Sammy tightly to his chest, he was unable to brace himself for the impact.  Cringing, he could feel the stone floor striking his head even before he reached it – and then – nothing…

He wondered if this was what it was like to die, but he hadn’t felt the impact of the stone floor, any pain or the sensation of dying – only an unchanging stillness and silence.  It was like he was between worlds, not only in a physical sense, but also in a sensational sense, for he didn’t feel anything at all.  Yet, Jonathan realized he was acutely aware of his thoughts, which were separate again from both the physical and sensational responses of the body.  Perhaps his thoughts were carried out of his body by his soul, becoming an independent entity not restricted by either time or space.  Perhaps, dying was simply a new adventure to experience, but then, there came a gradually increasing awareness of sensation.

After it took Jonathan so long to retrieve the eight potatoes and three onions from the root cellar, his mother went to investigate what could have caused the delay.  She knew her son only too well, especially how distracted and absent minded he could be.  Rarely did Jonathan accomplish anything right away or on time, because he seemed to always be lost in his thoughts.  She wondered how he would ever finish school, because while his teachers told her he was a brilliant child, he often wasn’t able to apply himself to anything that really counted as far as school was concerned.  Oh sure, he passed his classes with minimal effort on his part, but everyone agreed he could do so much better if he only applied himself.  His reports often mentioned the fact that Jonathan’s daydreaming was a major distraction to not only completing his assignments, but also to the entire class, because at times it appeared to others that he was lost in another world and not able to relate to what he was being asked to do.

As she entered the cellar and saw Jonathan and Sammy sprawled on the dirt floor, she let out a scream of ‘Oh, no!” and rushed to revive him, placing her hands gently under his head and kissing his forehead in despair.  Sammy rolled over and somehow managed to get his paws beneath him in order to stand, and then began licking his Master’s face to wake up.  Jonathan’s foot was caught in an overturned apple crate that he appeared to have been stepping on, as a broken slat caused his foot to penetrate the crate, no doubt resulting in his fall.  His mother was overwrought with emotion, while crying and pleading with her son to wake up.

Jonathan’s silver medallion of an oak tree within a sun and the sapphire pendant had tumbled out of his shirt collar, and beside his pocket lay a golden coin with the same image of the medallion cast in it.  Suddenly, she saw Jonathan’s eyelids flicker and watched his eyes moving behind them, all the while pleading for him to wake up and be okay.  Then, after a quick shake of his head, he reached out to wrap his arms around Sammy.  Jonathan then opened his eyes and smiled, saying, ‘Hi, mom, I’m back – I missed you!”

She was overjoyed at seeing her son awake again, and realized while what he said hadn’t make any sense, it must have been attributed to his fall.  “I missed you, too, Jonathan.  What happened to you – are you okay?  Why were you standing on the apple crate, and why is the horse collar sitting in the dirt?”  After she helped her son to his feet again, she lifted the horse collar and hung it back on the floor joists above the cellar where it belonged.  She didn’t notice the metal plate door in the stone wall of the cellar’s foundation though, because it wasn’t there anymore.

As Jonathan got up and steadied himself on his feet again, Mrs. Spencer picked up the golden coin from the cellar floor and handed it back to her son.  “One thing, Jonathan, these things you’ve said your Grandfather had given to you – he’ll be here in the morning to visit, and we’ll ask him if they really came from him.  I have my doubts, but we’ll see.  I know you miss him, and the two of you seem to have a special relationship that I don’t understand, but it seems to be very important to you both, so I won’t interfere.  Just realize that your father isn’t thrilled with it, so please don’t mention anything about these things or your plans around him, because he doesn’t want to know or understand.  All your father knows about is work, and taking care of his responsibilities to us and the farm.  You know he doesn’t have any interest in or understanding for adventures…”

“I know, Mom – oh, by the way, don’t forget the eight potatoes and three onions!”

(The End of Book Two)

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Three

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Three

~~~~~~~~~~

Sammy saved the day even before it began, as King Jonathan would have slept past the breakfast reception for his guests, if his adventure companion wouldn’t have woken him up.  He was awake now though, and realized that everyone would be getting an early start on the day, and he couldn’t waste any more time.  After all, he was King now, and Kings have responsibilities – even if they were tired from tossing and turning all night long and not getting much sleep.  His dreams hadn’t been lost on him though, and he remembered everything he had contemplated and wrestled with the night before – even during his turbulent dreams.

Today would be a difficult day he realized, as saying goodbye was always hard for him to do.  After all, once you say goodbye, will you ever have a chance to see the person again?  That was the problem he pondered as he readied himself for breakfast, because goodbyes would be easier if you knew you’d be able to say hello to the person again.  That was also the problem he realized with saying goodbye to his Grandfather Spencer because he visited so seldom, and Jonathan never knew if and when he’d ever see him again.  He missed his Grandpa.  Hopefully, if he ever made it back home to the Spencer Family Farm, there would be another chance to see Gramps again.

King Jonathan made his way down to the breakfast reception to find he was right on time, thanks to Sammy!  His special guests were only just arriving for breakfast as well, and it was a great opportunity to relax and talk with the very people who had been so important to him during his two visits to Myllanthar.  Everyone congratulated King Jonathan on his coronation, and wished him great success in returning the Kingdom of Talgar to its former glory – and even surpassing it.  It was such a heartfelt time for not only himself, but also for his guests, as they all realized how special this time together really was.  A boy from across the heavens had come to fulfill an ancient prophecy of their land, and not only succeed in turning back and defeating a spreading darkness across the land, but he was also instrumental in helping crown his good friend Dijia the King of the Kingdom of Pengarth, defeating a terrible dragon that had been terrorizing the land, and assuming the Throne of the Kingdom of Talgar to return it to its former glory as the Sparkling Jewel and Light it had once been.  It had been a series of remarkable accomplishments!

The breakfast reception was a great success, and Talgarth Palace had never looked so festive, nor been so honored to host the very best leaders and individuals the Land of Myllanthar had to offer.  It was a onetime occasion that would probably never be repeated again in anyone’s lifetime, and it had all culminated with his coronation.  That alone caused King Jonathan to reflect again on everything he had pondered the night before and experienced during his visits to this wonderful land.  He was surrounded by his good friends, and couldn’t have been happier – but how does one share themselves between two separate worlds – especially when they both meant so much to him?

As the time approached to begin saying goodbye, King Jonathan felt very sad about his friends departing, homesick for his family and friends in Hampton, and daydreamed about whether he could actually live in both worlds at the very same time – The Spencer Family Farm and Myllanthar.  His eyes filled with tears, and he really didn’t want anyone to see him cry, so he picked up Sammy to give him the biggest hug while trying to bury his face in his best friend’s fur to wipe away his tears.  The palace’s waiters were clearing the breakfast dishes and glassware from the table, and King Jonathan waited for one of the waiters to pass behind him, before stepping back to go over to the terrace to say goodbye to all his guests as they left.

Once the waiter passed behind him, King Jonathan stepped back and accidentally caught his heel on the waiter’s heel who hadn’t quite stepped away yet.  Clutching Sammy ever tighter, King Jonathan felt himself falling backwards as if in slow motion.  Princess Jyulia shouted out a panicked cry of “Oh, no!” from somewhere nearby, and attempted to prevent his head from hitting the stone floor – but in that moment, King Jonathan and Sammy were gone…vanished!

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Two

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Two

~~~~~~~~~~

King Jonathan spent the rest of the day hosting everyone at the reception following his coronation ceremony, inviting his guests into Talgarth Palace for food and refreshments afterwards.  He, Princess Jyulia, Lord Mayor Thomar, and Arrydor received their guests at the head of the receiving line, making the point to shake everyone’s hand.  It was especially wonderful for him to connect again with the Distinguished Visitors who were the first to greet him.  His special guests were then invited to gather in the palace’s ballroom, as they were all provided individual rooms for the night in the palace.  It was a welcoming time for King Jonathan, for these were his friends who had helped him achieve all that he was today.

He was especially glad to talk to King Dijia again, as they had shared so many experiences on their journey across Myllanthar together.  Eventually the evening wound down, and his guests all retired for the night, needing to get early starts in the morning for their return trips.  King Jonathan reflected on what everyone had said to him during the day and evening, along with the discussions he had had with Princess Jyulia, Lord Mayor Thomar and Arrydor.  It was indeed a new day and a new age in the Kingdom of Talgar, but the effects of this day would also ripple across all of Myllanthar, as news returned with the travelers of the renewal and rebirth of the Kingdom of Talgar.

It was a late night for King Jonathan, as he stayed up long past the time his guests retired for the evening.  He first spent time with Princess Jyulia, Lord Mayor Thomar, and Arrydor, discussing the work that still lay before them in governing the kingdom, and how to make permanent the day’s announcements.  It wouldn’t be an easy process of going from a land terrorized by a dragon and cloaked in the darkness that had been Vyanthal’s evil usurpation of power, but while the past couldn’t be completely forgotten, the course ahead could be made straight and corrected, so as to undo the damage that had been done to the kingdom over the past 37 years.

It was in the quiet hours of the night, that King Jonathan reflected on his many journeys and adventures within the Land of Myllanthar, and his travels back and forth to Southern Ohio.  He missed his parents and the Spencer Family Farm, he missed Trooper, he missed his favorite cow Lucy, and he missed his friends as well.  As he continued to reflect on the totality of his experiences, he realized that most of all, King Jonathan missed his Grandfather Spencer – David Alexander Spencer – and the thought overwhelmed him.  It seemed like ages ago since his Grandpa had last visited, and he wanted to reconnect with his hero and this adventurer who traveled the world.  If it was at all possible, Jonathan wanted to grow up to be just like Gramps, even if he had no idea of how it was possible for his Grandfather to seemingly be everything, do everything, go everywhere, and be the inspiration that Jonathan had always looked up to.

A breakfast reception was scheduled the next morning for all of the Distinguished Visitors to attend prior to their departures, and in the wee hours of the morning King Jonathan finally fell asleep – lost in his dreams and reflections of his Grandfather, his experiences in Myllanthar, the homesickness he was experiencing from being away from his family, and the realization of just how much everything in his hometown of Hampton really meant to him.  However, he was now King of the Kingdom of Talgar, and responsible for everyone and everything within his kingdom.  It was an immense responsibility he had willingly accepted, and clearly understood he would have to focus on the task at hand, in order to nurture and create the best future for his kingdom.

It was during the troubling turbulence of his Master’s dreams, that Sammy woke King Jonathan up prior to the first light of dawn, understanding intuitively they needed to get ready to attend the reception and say goodbye to their guests.  This would be a difficult day for King Jonathan to face, for once he said goodbye to his friends, he realized he may never see them again…

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part One – Reflections

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part One – Reflections

~~~~~~~~~~

“Our lives travel a meandering course along a single thread from the moment we’re born to the day of our very last breaths, punctuated by the continuous beating of our hearts.  This journey of our lives – the very lifeblood of our existence – allows us the opportunity to reflect upon this wandering path, so as to understand important lessons and truths we’ve learned from this road of opportunity we’ve traveled.  For reflections from this adventure we call life, illustrate to us both who we are, and who we hope and desire to be…” – Mark D. Jones

~~~~~~~~~~

Jonathan now stood before the gathered crowd as King of Talgar, wearing the Sword and Crown of Talgar, and holding its Scepter – very much aware of how important this moment was to everyone assembled.  He paused in thought, as the crowd’s chants died out and a silence settled over the audience, wondering what their new King would have to say to them.  A hushed stillness permeated the grounds of Talgarth Palace until it grew almost uncomfortable, as Jonathan took in the moment, scanning the faces and relishing the joy that had overwhelmed him during the ceremony.  In that moment, he opened his arms as if to gather in the crowd, and said, “Thank you.  Thank you for your generosity, your faith, your loyalty, your energy and your love.  Sammy and I have been overwhelmed by the kindness you’ve treated us with, and we will never forget your hospitality here in the Kingdom of Talgar and the Land of Myllanthar.  I especially want to share with you how blessed I feel to see all my dear friends again in the front row, and I appreciate your being here more than I can say – thank you all!”

The audience cheered wildly at Jonathan’s remarks, and once they quieted down again he continued saying, “As your King, I have a number of important decrees to announce this morning, so as to provide the foundation for your prosperity in the years ahead.  First of all, the dark years of Vyanthal are not only over, but his every action over of the course of the past 37 years is now declared null and void, and to be stricken from the historical record of Talgar!”

Again the crowd cheered in approval, and resumed their chanting until finally quieting down and allowing Jonathan to continue.  “Secondly, I call Jyulia, a descendant of the last Queen of Talgar to come forward before the Throne of Talgar to become Princess Jyulia, Knight of Talgar, and heir to the Throne of Talgar.  Jonathan then proceeded to both Knight her, and bestow upon her the Title of Princess Jyulia, heir to the Throne of Talgar, in a similar manner as Arrydor had done for him.  Arrydor had earlier taken the third seat to the left of the throne, and Princess Jyulia then took the first chair to the left of the throne.

Jonathan went on to say, “Thirdly, I ask Thomar to come before the Throne of Talgar to become the Lord Mayor of the City of Talgarth.  Thomar’s father was the last Lord Mayor prior to the arrival of the darkness.”  Again, Jonathan ceremoniously made Thomar a Knight of Talgar, and Lord Mayor of the City of Talgarth using the Sword of Talgarth, and then gave him both the sword and the ceremonial pendant previously worn by his father.  Thomar then took the second seat to the left of the throne between Princess Jyulia and Arrydor.

“Fourthly, for the assistance given to me and my friends during our first journey, I award Daylla, Laythur and Pyllur, honorary citizenship of the Kingdom of Talgar, and the means to provide not only for themselves, but also for their neighbors in the Land of the Slejuv, and Kingdom of Pengarth, who all suffered terribly under the previous spreading darkness across the Land of Myllanthar.”

“In addition, I declare Talgarth Palace and all its grounds, to be open to the people of Talgar to visit and enjoy whenever they wish, as a tribute to their solidarity, loyalty and suffering during the years of darkness.  Every citizen of the Kingdom of Talgar is now afforded the opportunity to live their lives as they wish, to provide for themselves and their families, to follow their dreams, and no citizen of our kingdom will ever be allowed to go without.”

Concluding his remarks in front of the joyful audience, Jonathan said, “It is I, your King, along with Princess Jyulia and Lord Mayor Thomar who serve you – the citizens, friends and guests of the Kingdom of Talgar – as does our most important guest today, Arrydor.  It is in serving you, the citizens of Talgar, that we are fulfilled and made whole.  Long may the people and Kingdom of Talgar flourish in peace, prosperity and happiness!”

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Ten

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Ten

~~~~~~~~~~

“We have one more special guest with us to announce,” continued Arrydor as he turned to the side to look down towards where Sammy sat patiently beside Jonathan.  “Jonathan’s adventure companion, his best friend and loyal dog, Sammy!  Sammy has visited Myllanthar three times now, and has crossed back and forth between our world and the distant land called Southern Ohio, more times than even Jonathan – who has only visited us twice to date.  We in Myllanthar are both fortunate and blessed to have received them both as our own.”

Continuing, Arrydor said, “The ancient prophecy from the earliest days of the First Age of Myllanthar reads as follows:

~~~~~

In the days,

Of the dragon,

In a City,

Of Sparkling Light,

Arrives a boy,

To become king,

And a dragon to fight…

~~~~~

 From across,

The horizon,

He comes,

From afar,

A knight,

To do battle,

A soul,

From the stars…

~~~~~

A people,

To rescue,

A kingdom,

To rule,

A boy,

Becomes king,

A dragon,

To fool…

~~~~~

A boy,

Is no match,

For a dragon,

Some say,

But wait,

For one day,

 A dragon,

He will slay.”

~~~~~

“Jonathan is indeed ‘a soul from the stars’ for his world of Southern Ohio is not associated in any way with the Land of Myllanthar, or any world I’ve Created of my own hands.  Their visiting us is due to a convergence of counter-rotating waves, or ripples in the fabric of time where a time and space shift occurred in the Year 3287 called Pulthar Bokkan, within the Great Forest of the Nether Realm, in the Forlorn Crescent Mountain Range or Nefyanll.  It was this precise location, or Seerlyth Cullyan, that allowed Jonathan and Sammy to transition between our two worlds.  These ripples or waves in the fabric of time are never static, but rotate along their leading edges like the curl at the leading edge of a wave.  It is this swirling effect within the very nature and substance of time itself, that fuses these waves in place.  We don’t know how long they will stay fused together, which means we don’t know if Jonathan and Sammy will ever be able to return home again – or if they are able to return to Southern Ohio – if they’ll ever be able to visit us again.”

Arrydor continued saying, “Jonathan was also the one, along with his trusted companion Sammy, who led the dragon to its demise in the subterranean maze of corridors and rooms within the ancient abandoned Fortress of Skulvarr Fell.  His being from a distant world within the stars of the heavens, and having defeated the beast that had been terrifying Myllanthar that resulted in the death of our fellow Light Bearer, Captain Pallamar, makes him the one person who is entitled to be King of the Kingdom of Talgar today.”

Turning towards the table beside the Throne of Talgar, Arrydor asked one of the Palace Guards to bring him the Sword of Talgar.  Arrydor, holding the Sword of Talgar vertically with two hands in front of him, then stood before the throne and asked Jonathan to kneel on the kneeling bench before him.  Once Jonathan knelt before Arrydor, he was asked if he was ready to assume the Throne of Talgar and be its King, to uphold the historic values of Talgar, to be chivalrous towards all, and to support and defend the people of Talgar against all foes within and without the Kingdom – to which Jonathan answered, “Yes.”

“Bow your head Jonathan of Southern Ohio, fellow Light Bearer and Knight of Pengarth.  Your knight’s vow to the Kingdom of Pengarth remains in full effect in allied friendship and support, so long as Dijia remains King of the Kingdom of Pengarth to the south, but you will also become a Knight of Talgar, which supersedes all other titles.”  Jonathan bowed his head and Arrydor recited the following pronouncement while touching Jonathan’s shoulders three times in turn with the Sword of Talgar, and then resting it upon his bowed head, “Jonathan, Dragon Slayer, Light Bearer, Knight of Pengarth, Loyal Friend, and Master to your beloved Sammy, I do hereby and forthwith declare you to be King of the Kingdom of Talgar and Knight of Talgar – rise now, and accept your Crown and Scepter.”

One of the Palace Guards then handed the Crown of Talgar to Arrydor who placed it upon Jonathan’s head, and in turn handed him the Scepter of Talgar.  Arrydor then said, “I personally wish to hand you the solid gold Coin of Talgar as well, a personal token of our friendship, Jonathan.  This coin matches my own, which I received when I was Crowned King of Talgar at the beginning of the Second Age.  It is my personal gift to you, which you should treasure always.”

With that, Jonathan turned to face the crowd as they cheered and chanted, “All Hail, King Jonathan the Dragon Slayer – long live the King!”

(End of Chapter Nine)

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Nine

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Nine

~~~~~~~~~~

The sheer majesty of the opening minutes of his coronation ceremony took Jonathan by complete surprise, with his realization of knowing it was important for him to be part of something so much larger than himself, listening to the inspiring fanfare of the herald trumpeters, and now seeing the first of the distinguished visitors entering the palace grounds.  It was beyond his every expectation, especially as he had no idea at all of what to expect beforehand.  To think he was the sole focus of this ceremony didn’t compute in his mind, but he realized that everyone here had a personal stake in his coronation.

The people of Talgar and the City of Talgarth saw the chance for a new beginning, and a fresh start with unlimited potential in the future.  Arrydor saw a culmination of a lifetime of work in shepherding his Creation from the very beginning to its present state, with the future riding on Jonathan’s success.  Thomar and Jyulia saw the possibility of a flourishing Kingdom of Talgar and City of Talgarth, that not only lived up to their former glory, but would go on to surpass it.  The invited guests themselves would see a realization of potential, both within the Kingdom of Talgar and the greater Land of Myllanthar – but also in Jonathan himself.

Jonathan saw this moment as his opportunity to live larger than himself, while serving others in a cause that was far more important than anything he, or the rest of the gathered audience, could do individually.  Together they could be so much more, and he was determined to fulfill the promise of the moment, and do everything he could to make the future all that everyone hoped it could be.  Although he realized that he was just a boy from a farm called the Spencer Family Farm, just outside Hampton, Ohio, he knew he could make a difference in this Land of Myllanthar, the Kingdom of Talgar, and the City of Talgarth – and he felt humbled to be part of it all – even if he wasn’t even nine years old yet.

The next invited guest to enter the grounds of Talgarth Palace was then introduced by Arrydor as the great horse Majeka who carried Jonathan to safety at the beginning of his first adventure to Myllanthar; followed by Daylla, the peasant woman from the Land of the Slejuv; Laythur the barge driver and his wife Pyllur from the Kingdom of Pengarth; and his good friend, King Dijia and fellow Light Bearer of the Kingdom of Pengarth!  Dijia was wearing two black armbands – one for his late father King Tyijar, and the other for the late fellow Light Bearer and beloved Captain of the King’s Guard, Pallamar – who lost his life in the defense of others while attempting to battle and defeat the dragon.  King Dijia had a small entourage with him, who took up their positions to the side of the audience in the area designated for them, while Dijia was escorted to his seat beside Thomar, Jyulia and their children Miylia and Danyar.  Jonathan was so proud to have his friend Dijia in attendance, because it meant so much to him – and although Jonathan didn’t know it at the time, Dijia wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

Arrydor then announced the entrance of fellow Light Bearer King Errayllan of the Kingdom of Errayllor in the west, with his entourage also taking their positions to the side of the crowd.  Next, it was fellow Light Bearer King Kulthar of the Kingdom of Kardune to the south along with his entourage, followed by fellow Light Bearers King Ellberron and Queen Allantyss of the Kingdom of Ellberron with their entourage.  As the invited guests all took their seats, the crowd turned to see who might be next.  Arrydor then announced the following Light Bearers: Juyall of the Island of Ayall in the north, Rulyan of the Sojar People in north central Myllanthar, and Siyth of the Slejuv People in the high Tregarron Mountains of central Myllanthar.  Accompanying them was also Siyall of the Slejuv People – and while not a Light Bearer, she was a warrior of the Slejuv.

At this point a hush settled over the crowd, as Arrydor introduced fellow Light Bearer Sylth Llaylann of Sylthar Wood, along with his entourage of about fifty fellow members of their community – and it was the first time most of the audience had ever seen these beings of light – so beautiful in their translucence and otherworldly appearance beyond male or female in their wondrous glow.  Immediately afterwards, Arrydor announced Miylia of Myullar Wood – virtual cousins of Sylthar Wood – with the same ambiance, glow and translucence as her fellow beings of light.  She had a similar entourage accompanying her, and as with the Sylth of Sylthar Wood, the audience had neither seen them before, or even known of their existence – only hearing rumors of beings cloaked in invisibility existing in certain enchanted forests.

Finally, Arrydor introduced King Amroth, fellow Light Bearer and King of the Rhayander, the leader of the great golden-brown eagles with their fifteen-foot wingspans of the Glandwr valley.  Arridor let out a shrieking cry in the eagle’s own language, and Amroth and his convocation of one hundred fellow eagles descended from the heavens and made a high speed pass low over the assembled crowd, before rising high into the sky again on their enormous wings.  It was once all the invited guests had taken their seats, and the Rhayander were mere specks in the sky above them that Arrydor continued, saying, “I, Illandor – Of the Wind, Arrydor – Warrior King, Myllanthal – Caretaker of Life, Gramps to Jonathan, fellow Light Bearer, First King of the Kingdom of Talgar at the beginning of Myllanthar’s Second Age, Shepherd of all living things created by my hand, and Creator of all Myllanthar and distant Lands and Worlds beyond what we see here.  Pallnarr, Carrithall, Solltharr, Illanthyl Dynalli – which means Peace, Gratitude, Hope and Godspeed Friends for your arrival and departure journeys.  I welcome you to the coronation ceremony of fellow Light Bearer Jonathan, of the Spencer Family Farm in Hampton, of the region known as Southern Ohio in a world far away, to become the King of the Kingdom of Talgar…”

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Eight

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Eight

~~~~~~~~~~

“Good,” replied Arrydor, “The people need you to do the right thing by them.  They’ve struggled on their own for 37 long years without any support, while suffering under the oppressive rule of Vyanthal, and they need you – probably more than you need them.”

Jonathan didn’t reply to Gramps’ last remark, instead wondering to himself if that comment was really true, when in fact, Jonathan had never given a thought to whether he needed the people of Talgar more, or if they needed him more.  He clearly understood how they needed him to create the atmosphere within the Kingdom of Talgar that would lead to their personal success, but how did he need them?  This was all the doing of the ancient prophecy after all, and wasn’t he designated ages ago as the one who would fulfill the prophecy?  How could that be interpreted as having needed them?

Arrydor led him out onto the stone terrace of Talgarth Palace, where they stood side-by-side on the red carpet in front of the Throne of Talgar and the kneeling bench, looking out across a great sea of townspeople all the way back to the castle’s perimeter wall in the distance.  As Jonathan took in the vast crowd gathered before him, he could feel the excitement of their anticipation as they all murmured and whispered among themselves.  Perhaps some of them were quite surprised to find a boy standing in front of them, questioning how he could ever lead them into their bright future.

It was while standing on the terrace in front of the vast sea of faces looking towards him, that he began to understand something about what Gramps had mentioned to him just moments before.  In the eyes of the people, Jonathan could see a reflection of his own eyes reflected back to him – figuratively of course – realizing that they fulfilled something in him that was very important to him personally.  These folks gave Jonathan a purpose of being, one that he hadn’t even realized until now.  It was the ability to be part of something larger than himself.  Yes, he was just a boy, and not even nine years old yet, but their support gave him a reason for being – one he hadn’t even considered before Gramps had mentioned their needing him more – and now he knew that wasn’t true at all, although it was when it was first mentioned.

Six herald trumpeters shook Jonathan from his thoughts and brought him back to reality, as they marked the start of his coronation ceremony.  Shivers ran up and down his spine with their fanfare introduction, and he could see how the crowd was just as moved by their performance as he was.  Arrydor then motioned widely with his arms and welcomed everyone to the coronation ceremony, asking them if they supported Jonathan to be their new king.  The crowd erupted in a roar of “Yes!,” that almost knocked Jonathan over by its intensity, as their combined voices reached the terrace – followed by, “All hail King Jonathan, the dragon slayer!  Long live the King!”

With that, Arrydor raised his voice to announce, “Please invite our distinguished guests to now enter through the castle gate, and usher them to the front before the terrace.”

With that, at precisely noon, the guards who manned the gate in the castle’s perimeter wall stepped aside, and ushered the invited guests into the palace grounds – led by Jyulia’s nanny she had as an infant, and Thomar’s tutor from when he was a boy – as Arrydor announced them to the crowd…

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Seven

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Seven

~~~~~~~~~~

Arrydor arrived at the Lord Mayor’s house after breakfast, and once everyone was ready, he led Jonathan, Thomar and Jyulia over to tour Talgarth Palace and Castle Talgarth in the heart of the city.  The palace was an ornate building within the castle’s perimeter battlements, separate from the castle’s keep, cathedral, great room, study, library, living quarters, guest quarters, staff quarters, kitchen, armory, barracks, outbuildings, barns and storerooms – it was a huge complex!  Jonathan couldn’t believe how beautiful Talgarth Palace was with its wonderful architecture, furnishings and artwork, and noted to himself a few ideas to incorporate later on.

The interesting thing was, that while the castle’s exterior wall also surrounded the palace, the palace itself remained separate in its own extensive grounds of lawns, gardens, a tranquil lake, and a forested parkland of ancient oak trees – which seemed to be acres and acres of green space separate to itself away from the main castle.  Castle Talgarth’s main gate had been opened for everyone to enter, and quite a crowd had already gathered in front of the palace where the coronation ceremony was to be conducted.  The castle proper and all of its associated buildings apart from the palace grounds, were closed off to the general public behind great stone battlements and towers.  A large number of volunteers to form the kingdom’s new army were being interviewed in a separate area beside the castle’s battlements away from the palace, and it seemed to be quite an undertaking to process everyone and get them situated.

Arrydor explained everything as he took them on a tour through the palace and castle, not entering every room and building, but covering the details by reviewing intricate architectural drawings of both the palace and the castle in their respective reception and great rooms.  It seemed as if everything had to be organized, arranged, stocked and filled at the same time – not only concerning Talgarth Palace and Castle Talgarth – but in regards to nearly everything within the city – in order to establish commerce once again, and allow the free flow of goods and services to be made available to the people.  It was quite an undertaking, and Arrydor seemed to have orchestrated it all behind the scenes, as if for the opening night of a great play – and Jonathan was cast as the main character!

The tour came to an end, and the four of them gathered behind the scenes inside the palace, as Arrydor began reviewing the details and orchestration of how the coronation ceremony would unfold.  The public would continue entering the palace grounds throughout the morning, and then precisely at noon, the invited guests would enter through the castle’s main gate and make their way to the front of the grounds just in front of the palace’s outdoor terrace where the ceremony would take place.  The Throne of Talgar had been carried out onto the terrace for everyone to see, and a red carpet and kneeling bench were placed before the throne.  A table beside the throne was covered by a cloth of fine lace, with something atop it covered by another intricate cloth with an exquisite lace border, guarded by a number of guards in the uniforms of the Kingdom of Talgar.

It was now eleven-thirty in the morning, and the coronation ceremony was scheduled to begin in about 25 minutes, just before noon.  Arrydor showed Thomar and Jyulia where their seats were located in the front row of the chairs set up in front of the palace’s terrace, and then took Jonathan inside the palace to have a chat before the ceremony started.  “You know, Jonathan,” began Arrydor, “This is a big responsibility you’re taking on, and I want to know if you’re sure about what you’re about to do.  I think you’ll make a fine King of Talgar, but we have to make sure your heart is in it, because the people are depending on you.  I will always be able to advise you as you like, but I can’t tell you what to do – that will be your responsibility, and no one else’s.  Is your heart up to the task, Jonathan?  You need to be absolutely sure before we begin the coronation ceremony.”

“It is, Gramps, my mind is made up.  The people of Talgar and all of Myllanthar are counting on me to provide a better future for them and their families – I will not let them down…”

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Six

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Six

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Jonathan was unable to sleep that night, torn between the two extremes of nervous excitement and foreboding thoughts of what the day would bring.  He was excited for the coronation ceremony, because it meant he’d be crowned the King of Talgar in front of the assembled townspeople of the reborn City of Talgarth, but he couldn’t help but think he wasn’t up to the task.  There were a number of initiatives he wanted to implement right away as king, though they weren’t his concern.  How could he possibly be king?  He wasn’t even nine years old, he thought, wrestling over and over again with the situation in his mind, as he tossed and turned the night away.   Gramps had thought he was up to the task, but even he agreed one could never really know before the time arrived.

As Sammy quietly slept at his feet, Jonathan couldn’t turn his thoughts off that night.  He was lying in a bed that hadn’t been slept in for 37 long years, in a city that had once been the Sparkling Jewel of Talgar, and to top that off, he was to be crowned king the next day.  What an amazing turn of events for the people of the kingdom he thought, finally returning home after so many years of wandering, never knowing when or if they they’d ever be able to return home.  Even he had to admit that his participation in turning back the spreading darkness over the Land of Myllanthar, and his vanquishing the dragon, were instrumental in this new day and new age emerging in the kingdom and in Myllanthar itself.  How long would it last, and what if as king, he made mistakes that resulted in this new opportunity unraveling right before the people’s eyes?  How could he possibly be sure the decisions he’d make would be the right ones?  It all seemed to be too much for him to carry atop his shoulders alone.

It was early fall, and the night air now had a chill to it, as Talgarth was located in the foothills of both the Tregarron and Talgar Mountain Ranges.  The Inland Sea of Talgar was nestled between the two ranges in what could only be described as a picture-perfect location.  Both mountain ranges drained into the Inland Sea of Talgar, and the overage flowed into the River Khyll, that flowed northeast to the City of Khyll, on the northern coast of the Sea of Tollvar.  The City of Talgarth was indeed the Sparkling Jewel of the Kingdom of Talgar, and he would do his very best to make it so again.  His only hope was that he’d be up for the task.

The rest of the night was at best a fitful sleep for him, as he tossed and turned in self-doubt and anxiety as to whether he could do the job successfully.  In the end, he finally convinced himself all he could do was his best, and it would have to be good enough.  The ancient prophecy was convinced of his abilities, as were Gramps, Thomar and Jyulia.  As he finally drifted off to sleep in the wee hours of the night just before the sunrise, Jonathan had a list in his mind of what his initial actions would be, satisfied they would be welcomed by everyone in the kingdom – but, only time would tell.

He was fast asleep when the knock came to his door, and Jyulia poked her head in and reminded him that this was his big day.  The sun had already risen above the eastern ridge where they all had spent the previous night along Talgarth Road, and he thanked her for her reminder.  Sammy was alert at Jonathan’s feet, and gave himself a shake and a stretch, before jumping off the bed to follow Jyulia towards where he hoped breakfast would be waiting.  Jonathan smiled, knowing Sammy had his priorities in the right place, befriending anyone who had the possibility of offering him something good to eat.  That realization gave Jonathan all the confidence he needed to face the day, as he realized people really weren’t any different and just wanted to be happy – and enough food to eat and a roof over their heads, was all it really took for them to be happy.  He could certainly make that happen as king, and much, much more…

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Five

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Two, Chapter Nine, Part Five

~~~~~~~~~~

The rest of the day went smoothly, as everyone either claimed the ancestral homes they had been forced to leave 37 years ago, or were provided with an unclaimed one that suited their needs.  There was no turmoil within the people, for everyone was overjoyed to be returning to the City of Talgarth once again.  One after another, insisted others had the higher priority over their own personal needs, when it came to being assigned a home to live in.  Food stalls had been set up in the central market area of the city, freely distributing food and water to whoever needed it.  Meanwhile, Arrydor took Thomar, Jyulia and Jonathan to the Lord Mayor of Talgarth’s home, and they did the work required to make it clean and livable inside.

The city’s homes had been abandoned literally overnight, giving the residents no time to prepare before being forced to leave with only the clothes on their back.  The remarkable thing, was that once the city had been cleared of its population, it lay undisturbed for all these years, and everything was still there in the homes as they had been abandoned – furniture and all – except for a layer of dust and a few instances of weather intrusion and decay.  There were a few homes that had been damaged by the dragon, but it was believed that once the beast realized the city was abandoned it lost interest, seeking instead to terrorize the nearby Kingdom of Pengarth where it could hunt people at will.

Not everyone had been given the opportunity to depart Talgarth by force, as the Royal Family and the Lord Mayor and his family were assassinated by Vyanthal’s minions.  The only saving grace that day, was that the infant Jyulia was on an excursion away from the palace that day with her nanny when the attack occurred, and that Thomar as the son of the Lord Mayor, was with his tutor that morning studying the architectural details of the city’s gates – and the thugs didn’t notice they were missing.  It was Arrydor who rescued both children along with their nanny and tutor, and whisked them away to Castle Penmaryll for safekeeping under King Tyijar.

Jonathan would spend the night with Thomar and Jyulia in the Lord Mayor’s residence, as the next day would be the coronation ceremony at the palace for him.  The ceremony was a mystery to him, although he had been there for Dijia’s hastily prepared coronation at Castle Penmaryll under extremely trying circumstances.  Jonathan expected a similar situation would occur in the morning, as when he queried Gramps as to whether his friends across Myllanthar would arrive for the ceremony, Gramps had told him there was little time to make those arrangements in light of all that had recently happened, but hoped they would arrive soon at a later date.

With Sammy by his side, Jonathan stood in the Lord Mayor’s courtyard as the sun set over the Talgar Mountains, and he wondered about all that had happened leading up to his coronation ceremony in the morning.  His head was dizzy with the speed, danger, urgency and responsibility of it all, taking the time to think through his having confronted the dragon and lead it to its own demise.  It was all so fast, too fast he thought, and he let himself feel sorry for a moment as a wave of homesickness washed over and through him.  But this wasn’t the time to get all wishy-washy about stepping up to his responsibility to the Kingdom of Talgar and of all Myllanthar, he thought.  After all, an adventurer must stand by his decisions – but in reality, he really missed his friends in this adopted world of Myllanthar he was in, and he missed his family most of all…