Tale of Valru and the Scheming Banfuku Page 2

(Continued from Tale of Valru and the Scheming Banfuku)

Valru headed south past the old creaking willow and crossed the gargling stream. When he got on the path, he noticed the beasts of the forest were following him. He could hear their growls and see their eyes in the night. Valru was not frightened, but taking the spider’s advice, he continued quickly on his way. Eventually he came to a clearing. At the center of a clearing there was a giant tree with drowsy-looking pink flowers. As Valru approached, he noticed a beautiful elven maiden was asleep at the base of the tree. She held a foul-looking book to her chest with one hand, and an ornate key in the other. Valru knew he was not supposed to stop, but he could not bear to leave this breath-taking creature to be eaten by the beasts of the forest.

Valru knelt at the girl’s side. He tried shaking her awake, but she did not wake. As he did so, the key flashed brightly three times. Always curious, Valru took the key from her grasp. Fearing it would get lost, the hero put it in his pocket. Valru contemplated taking the book, but merely looking at it sent waves of chills up his spine. The crafty gnome frantically looked about for another way to wake her. It was then that he noticed her long, golden hair was tied to the blade of a fierce-looking sword embedded in the tree.

She’s been put under some sleeping curse, Valru realized. With heave, he removed the sword from the tree.

The air about Valru whipped around viciously. A long, mournful wail came from the tree. Suddenly, Valru could no longer hear the beast of the forest or see their hunting eyes. It was then that the trickster realized he had been tricked.

The maiden stood, but she was no longer a maiden. Her beauty and youth had faded, leaving the creature little more than a skeleton in a husk of greyed skin. Its eyes burned with an arcane fire. When it spoke, the earth shook and fire ruptured forth.

“Mortal! I am the Great End (in Gnomish: Banfuku)! Hinder me no longer!” The creature held out its skeletal limb, and Valru felt a tugging in his leggings. The key flew from his pocket and into the creature’s hand. Valru stood in shock as the creature open the bindings on the book with the key. The book snapped open of its own accord and the sound of a million screams issued forth. Its pages flipped rapidly, and within them Valru saw a million different unspeakable evils.

Knowing he had no other choice, Valru lunged and the creature and slashed it across the eyes with the sword. The book fell to the ground, and Valru fell on top of it. With all his might, he forced it shut, and locked it once more.

The creature picked Valru up. He was able to grab the key, but not the book. The creature whispered a few words in a dry voice, words so horrible and unnatural they made Valru’s ears bleed and vision swim just hearing them. Valru was wracked with a million pains, but tenaciously he held onto the key and the sword. With a frantic slice, Valru severed the thing’s arm. He fell to the ground, and stabbed the creature through the chest.

“You may be able to slay me once, but you will never be able to kill me,” the creature wheezed. As it fell, fifty more creatures issued forth from the Great End, each taking a different form. Unable to bear his wounds any longer, Valru fainted.

When Valru awoke, it was morning. He still had the key, but the sword had been fractured in two. The book was nowhere to be seen. Knowing the evil he had brought out on the world, Valru vowed to make it the duty of him and his descendants to destroy the evil he had released and prevent that book from ever being fully opened.

Tale of Valru and the Scheming Banfuku Page 2

Banfuku Must Die! KMcCollam