“The Knight of Xeo” – part 60: “My Verdict”

by Brianna G. Harte

With the confidence of Lytos and others at my back, I closed my eyes and waded through all that I had come to know. Initially, they tried to trick me into thinking that they were human doctors. That is, until I began to see them for what they were: dwarves. They kept me strapped against a table against my will. They used fear against me, showing me Lytos in his lamentable state to persuade me not to try to escape. They experimented on me. I was willing to believe that the glowing stone was used to manipulate me, somehow. They did something to Lytos, whatever it was. I was sure of it. It was too convenient that he would forget so much. I wasn’t sure what weapons that had electricity arcing through them did, but it was just too convenient. Even with all of that, they tried to convince me that all was well. While young, I was willing to say that I had to get away from the dwarves. I was going to escape. And if I could somehow manage it, I was going to help the others escape too.

I began to formulate a plan. The hallways were out of the question. I would only be quickly caught, and I’d be back at square one. Or worse. I turned my eyes toward the ceiling. The vent. It was fairly high up, but if I could jump as high as I could far in the other world, then I would be able to make it easy. Trying would be better than just laying here. What after the vent? I knew nothing about them. Then, I realized that very small strands of hair very lightly brushed across my face, constantly flowing up and down. The vents were carrying air into the room. It had to be carrying air from somewhere, right? If so, I could try to go toward where the air was flowing from. It made sense. At least, it would if the dwarves didn’t somehow make it fake. I couldn’t put it past them. Not with the fact that dwarves exist, that I could communicate through nature speak far away, that I could go to another world. I didn’t know enough about the dwarves to figure that out. However, I believed that I knew someone who did.

Copyright © 2018 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

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“The Knight of Xeo” – part 59: “Lytos’ Trust”

by Brianna G. Harte

I sighed. I wish someone would tell me what’s going on.

I may not. . . be able to clarify. . . what happened, but. . .  I would not trust. . . the dwarves, young lady. Lytos paused. If they wished us. . . no ill will, why. . . do they draw inform-. . . -ation from us? Perhaps they will. . . not kill us here. . . but our people will. . . suffer if we tell all. Perhaps they intend. . . to find our weaknesses. . . or secrets we hold. . . firm for our people. That is why. . . I ask you to not. . . give in, young lady.

What do you suggest I do? I asked, though he could probably tell I was exasperated. You couldn’t escape. How could I? I’m just not powerful enough. Anyway, I don’t have any information. I’m probably not even the princess you’re looking for. My memory is gone, so why would they try to get any information from me? And can’t you ask others to try to escape?

I didn’t sense any thoughts from Lytos for several moments. In that time, I began to wonder why I was still kept in this dark hospital anyway. Ad’juk had said a while ago that he wanted to do experiments on me. But what could he find out from me? I still knew nothing. Not since I woke up here. I wondered what happened before I woke up. Did he gain information before that? If he found out what he needed or if he was done, then why was I still being treated like I was back then?

Young lady. . . try to make your own. . . conclusions. Whether you are. . . the princess, whether. . . you have what they. . .seek, whether. . . you can escape. I wish I could. . . help more. But you are. . . our princess, whether. . . or not you believe. . .it, so I believe. . . in your decisions.

Why do you have so much faith in me? I asked, feeling lost, but somehow strengthened by his words. I haven’t done anything special. I haven’t helped you.

Slow, even waves radiated from Lytos’ body, seeming almost. . . peaceful. The royal family. . . has always helped us. . . young lady, you were. . .not an exception, despite. . . your age. We trust. . . in you.

Even though there were so few answers to the boundless questions I had, even though I didn’t have a plan at all, even though I wasn’t sure who I really was, Lytos’ trust in me was like a trove of berries to my starving body that had been seeking nourishment for a long time. Thank you.

Copyright © 2018 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

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“The Knight of Xeo” – part 58: “Lytos Continues His Tale”

by Brianna G. Harte

It was sounding like Atikana wasn’t the only one paranoid about information. I began to wonder if every xeonia I came across would be like this.

There came a day, or night – I am unsure. . . when it was as the suns’. . . lights were far from our. . . reach – that I overheard a dwarf. . . talking to another. It was terribly disturbing news. I cannot remember. . . exactly what was said, but I knew that I needed to. . .to tell someone. Whatever information I learned. . . it would affect other xeonia and. . . perhaps others. I apologize for not remembering. . . correctly, young lady.

It’s okay, I assured Lytos. What happened next?

I believe I relayed. . . the information to other xeonia nearby. . . but I was not, am not. . . strong enough to reach out to. . . those of our kingdom. Knowing that I needed to. . .to reach them, the other xeonia and I concocted. . . a plan for me to escape.

Why not all of you? I would have –

Young lady, this was. . . just not feasible. With so few of us. . . but not enough to be. . . a force to be reckoned with. . . against however many dwarves there. . . were, it was not possible, Lytos explained. Additionally, it is easier. . . for one drop of water to breach. . . through cracks unnoticed than. . . a flow of water. I was selected to. . .to go because I was the fastest of us all. . . and best at hiding. I certainly was not the. . . most skilled, so when I was caught. . . there was little hope of escape.

I sighed. How did they find you? And what did they use against you?

I do not know. . . how they discovered my location. . . but they must have used something. . . that made me unconscious and. . . immobile. I wish I could tell you more. . . but I simply do not know.

That’s okay. Thank you, Lytos.

Were you. . . able to learn from. . . my attempt?

Mostly, I admitted. Though I hoped to learn more of their attack on you. It seems that you cannot recall much from that.

No, young lady. I am sorry.

Copyright © 2018 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

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“The Knight of Xeo” – part 57: “Lytos Begins His Tale”

by Brianna G. Harte

As my heart fell, Lytos quickly changed the subject. You had. . . another question, young lady?

I fought with myself, desiring to and not to dwell on the fact that new developments that I didn’t understand could not be helped. Yes. Ad’juk had told me something that I wanted to check on. Can you tell me again how you attempted to escape and were then captured?


I narrowed my eyes. Is there something wrong?

It seems. . . that my memory. . . has become faulty. . . as though something. . . partly erased it.

You don’t think the dwarves did that on purpose to you, do you? Shivers ran down my back at the very thought.

I don’t recall. . . much harm by them. . . in the past.

What do you remember? Specifically when you were trying to escape?

No thoughts directly came from him for a few minutes. In this time, I vaguely sensed others attempting to use nature speak with each other. Was this a new development too? It couldn’t be a coincidence that soon after receiving the bracelet permanently attached to me, I’d been developing new abilities, if that was the right word for it. I wondered what else I could do now and if I could use it to our advantages, provided that I found out how to even use what I’d been discovering. The thought brought me both hope and frustration.

Young lady?


I can recall pieces and am ready to tell you them. I apologize for the gaps.

Thank you.

Sensations of wistfulness and annoyance radiated from his being as he told his tale. A short while before. . . I began to sense your presence. . . I lay in a cavernous room with a. . . very low ceiling, chained to the wall. Around ten other xeonia were. . . there as well. I cannot recall. . . how we got there. I just know we were there. They monitored us. . . using strange technology I had never. . . seen before to analyze us. What they gathered, I don’t know. We knew that. . . the dwarves had become a very cautious. . . kind after a great war. They would not act. . . without a great deal of caution. I knew, and all of us knew, was that the longer we stayed, the more information the dwarves had on us. And they would not. . . hesitate to use it to their advantage.

Copyright © 2018 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

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“The Knight of Xeo” – part 56: “More Mysteries”

by Brianna G. Harte


A few moments passed before anyone responded, and doubt crawled into my mind. But why would the dwarf lie about a name? I saw no motivation for such a deception, though I wasn’t sure anymore what any knowledge or deception thereof could do.

You know my name. . . young lady?

A sigh of relief rang free. Ad’juk told me your name.

Peculiar. Then what is it. . . young lady?

I want you to tell me what really happened when you got hurt, if that’s alright. I need. . . I need to check something. I glared at Ad’juk. Something doesn’t feel right. You said that you tried to escape and found yourself in the state you are in.

Of course . . . young lady. But I must. . . wait. Some are. . . watching closely. My apologies. . . young lady.

“Perhaps one day, you’ll realize that what I say is true.” As his footsteps echoed on the stone floor, I sighed.

My eyes closed. Each second that passed, I allowed my mind to expand further and further out into the void. Slowly, presences such as Ad’juk’s appeared, along with the sensations that came along with them. The more I reached out, the more feelings of hopelessness or loneliness seemed to appear. There were several things I found strange. Ad’juk. . . It’s hard to describe. I think he was ambitious or confident. It seemed powerful, strong. While depressed feelings seemed sluggish and weak, the waves that came off from him were entirely the opposite. It was like a tidal wave was crashing out with him at the center. Was he confident of deceiving me or of his work on me and the others that were in the underground hospital? A second aspect I found strange was that, unlike before, I could somewhat tell slight differences between the energies that figures gave off. In concentrating on what I released, it seemed very different, but I wasn’t sure what it meant. I couldn’t recall being able to do this before. Perhaps it was some new development in my abilities. Then again. . . I looked at the bracelet getting warmer on my skin. Could it be aiding me?

Lytos, do you know how to read energies between different people?

No answer came immediately. Seeing as he was being observed, it made sense it he never responded at all. I can.

What does it mean? What people give off?

Several moments passed.

Sorry, you said you needed time. I just want to figure everything out, and it’s. . . frustrating.

I understand, young lady. Please, just a little. . . longer. Only jittery feelings emanated from his being. I think I could sense those around him, if I was focusing correctly. I was unfamiliar with them. No waves coming off of them seemed to be hostile, but they’d been studying Lytos. Could they possibly know what to mask to deceive? It seemed that Ad’juk was able to read me fairly well, know what to say.

Once those around him no longer surrounded him, Lytos seemed far more relaxed. Expressions and thoughts they have.


What people give off.

No. It’s something different. Almost like it’s. . . I don’t know how to describe it. It’s mostly constant for each person, unlike thoughts and feelings.

I am. . . unfamiliar with this.


Please understand. I am not . . . advanced in nature speak, Lytos explained. What you sense . . . it is beyond me.

Who can I ask to help me?

Waves of regret radiated. There is no one. Only the royal family. . . could understand such things.

Copyright © 2018 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

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“The Knight of Xeo” – part 55: “A Mystery of Truth”

by Brianna G. Harte

As Ad’juk flipped through pages on his clipboard, I tried to take a closer look at the bracelet. At least it wasn’t the ugliest thing to have stuck to me. Whoever made it had an eye for aesthetics. In a word, it was elegant. Simple curves and curls that reminded me of vines branched off as though to welcome leaves. It didn’t add up, though. Why would something that made me think of nature be of any interest to someone comfortable with dimly lit, underground buildings?

“You didn’t make this, did you?” I asked.

“Why do you ask that?” he asked in return without looking up from the papers.

“It’s too nice to belong in a place like this. It’s like. . .”

Ad’juk looked up and seemed slightly interested. “Like what?”

“Nature. This isn’t actually yours, is it?”

He smiled. “You don’t think that my kind like the outdoors? We used to enjoy being outside, but that was a time long past. That was when times were much kinder.”

“But it isn’t yours, right?”

“Not mine.”

“Then who made it?”

Ad’juk locked his writing utensil on his clipboard. “In short, those who understood the souls of others far better than most of any living being. Since you are a xeonia or xeonian, as some may call your people, it would work best with your kind. We are simply attempting to understand it more, and who better than the princess of them?”

“So you’re not trying to hurt me.”

“I have yet to attempt to hurt you in any way since bringing you here.”

“Being strapped to a table and being held captive isn’t treating me well,” I asserted. I held back telling him about my heart and brain aching when I traveled between the two worlds and how I thought it had something to do with the large stone.

“But it isn’t hurting you,” Ad’juk returned. “As I said before, my goal is to learn.”

But what will he do with what he learns? “What about that other person? The one who seemed to be in a lot of pain?”

“Oh, Lytos? It seems that he had a much more adverse reaction to electric charge than we anticipated. We shall see how he fairs, but not much progress has been made.”

I couldn’t tell if he was lying. In a way, I wanted Ad’juk to be telling the truth, but I couldn’t trust him. I wanted to trust others, but I tried to trust Atikana, who wouldn’t even try to help me. I hoped that Lytos, if that was really his name, had not told me lies. But how could I tell? I wanted to be told the truth, but too many pieces were missing.

Copyright © 2017 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

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“The Knight of Xeo” – part 54: “A Gift I Can’t Remove”

by Brianna G. Harte

I couldn’t figure out how to respond. Was it really that no one tried to rescue anyone or was there something preventing anyone from coming? What was out there? Was there any hope for me to ever escape? I stopped myself before the thoughts destroyed me. I couldn’t rely on Atikana to come, that was true. However, that didn’t mean that I couldn’t escape.

Ad’juk released the clipboard he held onto, placing it on the pedestal. “Since you’ve been such a good child, I’ll give you a little gift.” As he reached into his pocket, I strained my eyes to try to figure out what he was even recording. To my dismay, I had no idea what it said. His writing was composed of various symbols connected through dots it seemed. It could have been an art form as it seemed rather interesting to look at, honestly, but the thought of what it could be about put a darker tone to it.

The dwarf pulled out a canister that fit nicely in the palm of his hand. When he opened it, gas curled out slowly and carried with it an unnerving chill that caused the hairs on my arms to rise. He placed a thick glove on one of his hands prior to reaching in with only two fingers. What came out seemed to be a bracelet or something similar to it, made mostly of a green-tinted metal that curled around and away from a stone that looked exactly like the glowing stone beside me. As beautiful as it looked, I wanted no part of it.

“What is that?”

“A gift. A beautiful accessory created from a special metal called gnaittikrough that will better connect with your soul.” Ad’juk seemed rather interested in the bracelet, which probably was making me feel even more repulsed by it. He placed the canister on the floor, and a clanging on the floor reverberated through the room. From one of his pockets, he produced a tool a little bigger than his hand, though much thinner. Once he flipped a switch, the tip caught fire. “Now, when gnaittikrough interacts with fire, especially after being kept in very cold conditions, it expands and becomes quite malleable. However, it will retain the heat without burning its holder, a nice feature that most metals don’t possess.” As he spoke, he brought the bracelet in contact with the fire. He slowly turned it so that eventually, the blaze licked each part of it. Ad’juk turned off the flame with another flick of the switch. Quickly after, he pulled the beautiful bracelet apart as though it was a claw and then immediately pushed it on my forearm. He was right; it didn’t burn. I could still feel the heat inside it, somehow. He continued to press it on my forearm until it essentially wound around my arm.

Something felt very wrong about it. My heart began to ache as though needles were shooting toward it. “Stop it!”

“It shouldn’t be too painful,” Ad’juk said calmly. “Almost done.” With that, he brought the canister back up and pulled my arm toward it. His strength was unbelievable. There was no way to pull back my arm, despite all my efforts. I had no idea what he was trying to do, but that just made it worse.

He waved the canister and its freezing cold air below my arm until he seemed satisfied. Chills ran up my arm.

“What did you do?”

“Why does it matter, Kasha?”

“Because you’ve never told me anything, and I’m sick of it! I want to know what you’re doing to me!” My frustration was probably greater than what he was probably expecting because he seemed taken aback.

Ad’juk smiled, though. “If you insist, I heated up the metal to expand it, then I molded it to your arm so that it would be fit well and not jingle around. The cold essentially removed any left over heat. The accessory will no longer change shape without heat being applied to it, which you won’t find anywhere nearby.”

“You meant it’s stuck to me? Why?”

“I think you’ll see why soon enough. I can’t give you all the information you want,” he declared as though I was a very young child. “Perhaps you’ll find out on your own.”


Copyright © 2017 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

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