All current and previous chapters for Chains of Nect: Obsidian's Obsession can also be found on Wattpad. And for an easy to access list of all chapters that have been posted to Born to Write, please visit the Table of Contents.
A new chapter is planned to be posted to Wattpad every Friday, and that chapter will then be posted on Born to Write on the Wednesday after.
That was pretty much his job description. A thankless and lonely one, since his last five predecessors had died having never seen what they waited for. He'd only officially taken over about three years ago, and his mind was already numb.
No one, especially him, ever expected to see the day that his efforts and those before him would succeed. It had been centuries.
Bishop woke with a start, sweat pouring down his face, soaking his sheets.
It couldn't be.
He pushed off his sopped sheets and went outside, the cool night air chilling the sweat on his skin. But it wasn't just the wind. No. The hair on his arms stood on end and electricity tingled up and down his spine.
The gate was open. And it called to him more than it ever had before.
He'd visited it many times, feeling the vibrations of magic coursing through the stone arch, breathing in the power, and listening to its pleas to be released. He and his predecessors were chosen because they were especially sensitive to the magic--it was a job requirement.
Unfortunately, he couldn't fulfill the request. No texts existed on how to open it, not from this side. All the wretched Guardians had taken that knowledge with them so long ago, before they closed the gate for good.
The people of Turss hadn't believed the Guardians' threat real, that they'd be back eventually. Those unbelievers were now dust in their graves, and their descendants knew the Guardians had spoke true.
Bishop ran inside and grabbed a shirt, pants, and boots to throw on, then went back outside, picking his way carefully through the tall grasses and toward the portal. The magic raced along his skin, sinking into his pores. A rope of power wrapped itself around his waist and tugged him toward the island.
No denying it. Even if he didn't want to succumb to its pull, he had no choice. The magic was that strong. His mind raced on what to do next, once he reached the open portal. He might have to face Guardians. If he did, he'd make sure to take whatever book they had with them. They wouldn't leave him and his people stranded again.
Especially since they had taken from Turss--now it was time Turss took back. Anything to help squelch the war raging since the Guardians had left.
Bishop dreamed of the day he'd rise to the level of hero, saving his world, finally completing a job that so many before him had been unable to complete. Every drip of magic skittering across his skin mixed with his excitement, fueling it.
And then the rope severed just as quickly as it had twined itself around him.
Loss wrenched at his chest. Just a taste, that's all he had gotten. A tease. The true potential of the gate had been released--everything he had waited for, yearned for.
His dreams crumbled. The Eye giveth, and the Eye taketh away.
Either the Guardians who opened the portal had wised up and closed it, or someone had passed through, entering Bishop's world. No way to tell unless he checked.
So, he continued his cautious path toward the chain, his disappointment pounding through his body.
Those miserable Guardians. They'd pay for everything they'd put his people through, pay for kindling the War of Magic and Tech. It was all their fault--false gods with false promises. More like charlatans and thieves.
Shouts echoed from the distance.
Bishop froze. Had to be Guardians who had passed through the gate. No one else existed on this outer edge of Turss aside from himself. And his only visitors were those that delivered supplies once per month. One had stopped by a week out. Plus none of them would go near the portal, which is where the voice came from.
He heard another voice, this one quieter. Then he felt the slight vibrations under his feet. The chain trembled. Stupid Guardians didn't even know how to cross it without its anger descending upon them. He should leave them to their fate, hope the chain knocked them off into oblivion.
No matter how satisfying that would be, he couldn't. If they had a book, he needed to retrieve it.
So, he continued forward until he was close enough to peer through the grasses at the end of the chain. This close to the gate, he felt its call, its pleas. It sobbed to him, sad it was open for only a short time, urging him to ignite it again, to feed its desire.
Bishop took a deep breath and walled himself off from those cries--they would only distract him.
One Guardian hung from the second link out--looked to be a female. And the other, a male, was at the end of the first link, crawling on hands and knees toward her. The chain shook with pain and anger. They must have injured it. Her grip probably still pained it.
He'd have to save them, just to get what he needed. A few more steps forward and he saw it--right at the edge of the pit rested the book. Unattended.
Perhaps he didn't need to save them after all.
Bishop crouched and crawled forward, making sure the grasses hid his approach, though they probably wouldn't notice him with their current troubles.
The chain calmed for a moment, which gave enough time for the man to reach the woman. He grabbed her wrist. "I'm not going to leave you. What kind of mentor would I be if I let my dedicant die?"
Dedicant? Bishop studied them, and now that he was close enough to see more detail, he noticed just how young both were. Not the aging Guardians the histories of Turss mentioned, but mere babies. He knew he shouldn't think them as such--he probably wasn't much older than them. By the sounds of it though, as well as the inability to cross the chain properly, these two were ignorant whelps compared to the fearsome and powerful Guardians of lore.
No matter. The book was nearly in his reach. He inched forward a few more feet. Right there.
The chain shook again, and the woman cried out.
A cry so heart-wrenching, that it almost sounded like the gate. Magic burned inside that one.
Bishop glanced at the book, then looked back at the dangling Guardian. Her desperation called to him, just like the portal. Hard to ignore.
He should snatch the book and run, leave them to the depths. But part of him couldn't, part of him wanted to answer her call. He was programmed to respond to such magic.
Not to mention, perhaps if he saved them, he could gain some information. More than what he could glean from the pages of the book. With his training, and their youth, they shouldn't be able to overpower him.
Heck, they could have just been messing around and stumbled into Turss without truly intending to. Perfect prey.
No, he couldn't think of them that way. He hated Guardians as much as he loved Turss, but he couldn't ever bring himself to torture anyone. Especially people who looked so similar to him. All the histories made the Guardians out to be giants, creatures almost human, but not quite.
These two, they could be his cousins. Nothing odd about their features jumped out at him.
What was he doing? Debating the value of saving a couple of Guardians?
The book, that's what was important. As long as it was the text that got them through the gate to begin with, it would surely get him to the other side. Well, the armies of Turss once he handed it over. Now that he thought about it, unless he took more of an active roll, he'd probably become a footnote in the histories, not a hero.
Bishop crawled to the edge of the pit and stood, the book at his feet. Both Guardians were oblivious to his existence, dealing with the throbbing and rattling chain.
Time to make a decision, before it was taken from him by the oblivion below.