PAPERBACK BOOKS

ATTORAND'S SWORD


 

This is an enthralling book, where three heroes fight the dead and other weird creatures, which are taking over their land.  

Artborg, a thirty-five year old dagger, with his two dagger girlfriends Kate and Kelly, wage war against  creatures from another world.  

They also calm down cemeteries, and are sent on a   mission to bring home Attorand’s sword. The sword will help their city from the total annihilation caused by the dead. Artborg saves a young lad, Dmitry, from certain death and the three daggers help him enrol in the military academy.  

The conflict between the daggers and the inquisitors is action packed! This is a well balanced story and the author Efim Shmakov is a keen observer of  society’s makeup.   

Although the subject is serious, he often makes us laugh.

In Store Price: $35.00 
Online Price:   $30.00

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ISBN: 978-1-921574-62-7    Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 410
Genre:  Fiction/Fantasy
 

By the same author:
THE RETURN OF HEZZORD

 


 

 


Author: Efim Shmakov
Imprint: Poseidon
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published:  2009
Language: English


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Efim Shmakov 

Biography
 

Efim Shmakov is a nineteen year old student at the Russian State Central University of Physical Education, where he started his studies at sixteen. 

He lives in Moscow, where he has finished the Music School. He plays accordion and likes sports. His favourite kinds of sports are skiing, sambo, archery, and dancing. He obtained a first class rank at chess. He likes playing computer games. He also works as a social worker helping elderly people.  

He was seventeen, when he wrote and published his book.  The original version is in the Russian language.

Foreword

 

In a city, where above all, the ability to own a sword, and do magic, is appreciated, where every day, one is uneasy about the spilt blood and horror, the people who have a bit of strength left, try to wage war against the zombies.

However, besides the awful opposition from the dead, the main heroes of this story have to fight to the death, against the evil creatures Zelenogobs (Earth-scorching creatures) and Kozloscorps (Goat-scorpion creatures) and the hated Inquisition.

Attorand’s Sword is the first book of a series called ‘Daggers and Inquisitors’

 

CHAPTER I

THE RESCUE

 

Tired and exhausted, people were on the move. They were running away from their city. Among them were old men, and mothers with children. And who wasn’t there? Everyone was there. And everyone was chased. No, these people weren’t at all refugees. They didn’t escape from aggressors that had attacked their city. Nor did they get away from the police.

Just a day before, some of them went to school or to work, following their daily routine. And nobody has thought of any danger. But today they were in real danger.

Among all these people, there was the Balynov family. Like the others, they too ran from the dead. It repeatedly caught somebody. And it was tearing him or her apart in a beastly way.

Sometimes people had tried to keep the dead at bay. But nothing good came out of it. However hard, people had tried to throw stones at them. However hard they’ve tried to fight with them it had no result.  It was all the same for them if they were beaten or not.

Someone even tried to fire a gun. But this too, didn’t bring even the slightest harm to the dead. The bullet simply bounced off from the body of the dead. And the one who tried to shoot, he got trashed. Oh, God!  He was in a worse mess than anyone else.

The Balynovs had three family members: the father, the mother and the son. His name was Dmitry. With every moment the number of those who ran would dwindle. And now, at last, it was this family’s turn to be on the run.  Zombies caught up with Dmitry’s mother. She already had some scratches on her back.

The dead man was already going to strike the woman and finish her off. But at this moment Balynov the husband attacked the dead man. The dead man’s hand went down just on Balynov’s waist, thereby having split the man in two.

“Mum, run!” Dmitry shouted.

“Max,” she screamed, while her tears were rolling down her cheeks.

“Quickly, run away,” Dmitry shouted even louder then before.

The woman hesitated. Next instant another dead man attacked her, and began to tear her delicate body.

“Run, Dmitry!” these were her last words.

Dmitry looked back. There was nobody on the street. It meant that his parents were the last people who had died.

He hesitated. Like his mother did few moments ago, it was painful to lose people so close to him, especially his parents. In no way could he decide what to do next. Should he run away from here as hard as he could? Or he should stay and wait at this spot where his parents have vanished, while he would be finished off too.

And at last, he gathered his last strength. And at once he rushed headlong through the bushes. The prickly stem of a bush scratched his hand, but he didn’t take any notice of it. His injured hand is nothing in comparison to the death of his parents.

He looked at his hand: the blood turned brown. And he was exhausted. But maybe, it wasn’t because of this. Perhaps, the dirt from a bush got into the wound. Or simply he stumbled, and a bit of soil got into his wound.

Bit by bit, the dead men are catching up with Dmitry. And a ruthless hand reaches for him, tries to grab him. He expects the last blow. But this time, the dead man screams loudly, and something not very heavy fell to the ground. Dmitry turned back in panic. The zombie howled angrily, and nearby in the bushes there was the zombie’s chopped off hand. And a bit further away, there was a diamond shaped throwing disk in the form of fire.

The lad hesitated again. And as he hesitated, the hand of still alive dead man went down precisely on Dmitry’s shoulder, leaving on that place five bloody scratches. This time Dmitry screamed. His entire body wasn’t only in pain, but the dead man’s cold touch was too much for him. Indeed, a newborn baby’s cry would seem children’s fun in comparison with his scream.

Dmitry began to run at hasty pace again. And in few moments he was already ten metres away from his foe. The dead pursued him, but it was already too late. From the nearest abandoned house, arrows, asterisks, and flying disks were thrown at them. The zombies nervously moved back.

Some dead men fell. But soon the shooting has ended. And a man of about thirty-five came out of the bushes. He had black hair, long to his shoulder. He had green eyes and white like snow skin. He was dressed in a black raincoat, despite the fact it was summertime. On his abdomen, there was a big belt with knives, asterisks, throwing disks, elixirs. In his hands he held a long silver sword, which had extra long handle that he mastered so well.

All the dead men, which were dead for the second time, thanks to the mysterious man, would hardly touch the ground, going up in flames with a green flame. The dead men, that understood what was going on, moved back, not wishing to fight with him.

“Well, come to daddy!” said the man in a deep voice.

In the hands of the dead men suddenly appeared swords. But the man wasn’t frightened. On the contrary, he felt certain self-confidence.

He began to whirl around, swinging his sword to the right and to the left.

The man battled with the dead men with more than just precision. They could not push him back. And he slaughtered the dead men one by one. Soon it was all over. The last dead man was slaughtered in the fight.

“Come with me,” the man said to Dmitry.

Dmitry complied with his request. They went to a small wooden house, which was rotten through, and was surrounded by different kinds of wild bushes. It was so old. It seemed that the Mother-Of-The-Woods, who was an ugly witch, was a young and beautiful lady in comparison with these woods.

Having squeezed through the dense bushes, they came out at a menacing door, which seemed to open and close at any breeze. The man kicked the door with his foot and entered. Dmitry followed him. It was strange that from such a strong blow, the door didn’t fall apart.

They stood in a small house, the size of which was just three by three metres. It had only one tiny window. There was no ceiling in this house. The roof leaked. Some of the house’s iron bars were badly corroded by the weather. Old roof beams were rotten long ago from side to side. And it was strange, why the roof didn’t fall yet. In a word, it was unsafe to be in this house. In the most distant corner there was a wooden container, which rotted through so much, that it was terrible even to breathe close to it. At the window there was a similar chair, and some more chairs. All this was so ugly, that even the inveterate homeless people would prefer to sleep in the street, and not in this house. The manhole to the cellar was opened. The wooden ladder, all turned black with age, led to the cellar.

“Close the door,” said the man coldly.

Not clearly what for, Dmitry came close to the door and closed it with a huge rusty hook. It was so rusty, that after closing it, his hands were all covered with a thick layer of rust.

Balynov didn’t understand. Why was he told to close the door? After all at any attempt to rush into the house this door wouldn’t stand even two kicks, or something similar. Any youngster if he wanted, could knock it down with a blow, after which it would probably disintegrate into small pieces.

Everything was covered with a thick layer of dust. It was so thick, that in some places it reached several millimetres, despite the fact it constantly got wet. And where it was a bit dry, there were cobwebs. There were so many cobwebs that by seeing it, anyone would faint.

This once blossoming village was abandoned, long ago. There were many houses here, but with time people began to leave their villages, moving into big cities. And gradually houses were being illegally demolished. And after a while the houses that weren’t demolished yet, became not fit to live in. In the house there was a smell of dampness in the air.

“Duck for cover,” said the man suddenly. “Anyway we’ll have a lot of trouble because of you...”

“What for? Where?” the fourteen year old lad asked with a surprised voice.

“Come with me,” the man insisted.

Dmitry shrugged his shoulders.

“Don’t fidget,” said the man. “And don’t ever think to escape. Come.

“Who are you?” asked the lad in a quivering voice.

“There is no time to sob. We’ll get acquainted later.”

The man grabbed the lad by the shoulder and dragged him down the ladder. The rotten ladder squeaked, and it shook under the weight of the man. But it didn’t break in any way. At last, the man relaxed his fingers. And in doing so he let Dmitry free.

“It’s dark in here,” said the frightened lad, but at least he could stand to his full height. And it wasn’t usual for a cellar of a house to have such a high ceiling.

Hardly had the man waved his hand, when all the candles flared up at once. The room was lit with dim light. The candles were inserted in the special holes dug in the foundation.

“Now that’s something weird”, Dmitry had thought.

“This is better,” the man sighs with relief.

The sand crunched under his foot, but Dmitry really couldn’t understand how the river sand got there. 

And this time the man had attracted Dmitry’s attention further. After he had cast his spell, a wooden door appeared in front of them in the wall.

“Oho!” Dmitry couldn’t help saying.

“So,” answered the man and then he knocked at the door.

“My name is Artborg,” the man spoke softly.

“I am Dmitry,” said the lad.

“Nonsense,” said the man. “Once we all had such names. But after you get into Zondon, all will change. Believe me.”

“Excuse me?  Where?”

“Into the castle.”

“Excuse me, but I heard the name Zondon being mentioned.”

“That’s right. Zondon is our castle. After all, it should have a name.

The man opened a secret door and they went inside. The lad entered following him.  Numerous silver crosses, absolutely identical in form and size, covered the walls of this room. Somehow these were joined and placed in rows, in the way Dmitry hasn’t seen before. Of course, it was the work of Zondon’s artisans.

Dmitry stood and looked at the walls, never had he seen anything more beautiful. But Artborg looked unconcerned at these walls.

In the room there were two nice blonde young women, working with magic computers.

He looked first at the young women, and then at the computers. Dmitry was surprised even more, than when he first saw the walls. Nobody had such machines. Everything was constantly moving, spinning, turning, and transforming.

The sides of the monitor were transparent. And however hard Dmitry examined the monitor and the whole computer, he didn’t find a single wire. But even that wasn’t the most interesting. Unlike all other machines, there were no sockets. And it was interesting how all this technology worked.

 

 

And the blonde young women were dressed in an absolutely usual way, except for an unusual weapon on their belts. They had high-heeled boots, ladies’ jeans, which all females had worn for the last ten years.

They had bright T-shirts and usual leather jackets, in a word, nothing new. No, I am not against it. Let them wear what they want, but not the same style. Otherwise it becomes a depressing society if everyone wears the same clothes.

In nature, for example, there is nothing exactly the same. Everything is different. The people are different. People’s ways of life are diverse. Even twins are different, if you look closely.

“Hi, my name is Kate,” said the first blonde.

“I am Kelly,” said the second young woman.

“And I am Dmitry,” he said, puzzled.

“Glad to meet you,” smiled Kate.

In the low light, Dmitry barely noticed the faces of twenty-year-old blondes. Kate had long, magnificent blond hair. She had innocent blue eyes, expressing simultaneously pity, understanding and pride. But Kelly was quite different. And with all these they had much in common, regarding their appearance: the hair, and the eyes. But their inner world was different. At first sight it was possible to consider them twins. But it wasn’t so. They weren’t even sisters. They were only girlfriends.

“Why are you so sad?” asked Kate.

“These… these, zombies, had killed my parents,” the tears rolled down on his cheeks again.

“And what for have I asked this question?” thought Kate. “I’ve just upset the lad again. I could’ve guessed.”

“Well, don’t cry. Shall I make you some coffee?” asked Kelly.

She pressed certain buttons. She had no desire to get distracted by the computer. Then she entered the long computer code. To her right there appeared a small white glass, rectangular in shape.  Inside the glass was heard a certain noise. It was hardly audible. Just in approximately few seconds, a part went back and forth, and a hot cup of coffee, smoothly came up from the slot.

Kelly took the cup and she stretched her hand to Dmitry.

“Drink, drink, don’t be afraid.” And Dmitry stood there and looked at her amazed. After all, in his world, such things weren’t invented yet.

“What were the names of your parents?” Kate asked cautiously.

“My mum’s name was Masha. My dad’s name was Max,” answered the lad.

It was a good answer. It would’ve been impossible to call his dad Masha, and his mother Max.

“I see.”

“At first they attacked my mother. But in the last moment, when a dead man was going to strike my mum, and kill her, my dad rushed at the dead man and he was killed. And my mum lived few moments longer. In few moments another dead man began to torment her, striking her.”

“Yes, your daddy is a real hero,” said Kate.

“You don’t understand. If my dad hadn’t charged ahead, he would be alive now.”

“Then Max loved your mum very much, if he had sacrificed his life.”

 

“Yes, but he could have simply grabbed mum with his hands and run with her for some metres. In this way they would be both alive now.”

“Most adult people are at a loss. In a panic situation, they are worse than children. And it’s not for you to judge them – what happened, happened.”

“I’ll go on an assignment,” said Artborg.

And, having closed the door, he entered the other room. No, he didn’t leave the house. He simply went into the next room, which was to his left.

“What will happen to me now? Where to go?” sobbed the lad.

“We’ll try to make a dagger out of you” Kate said seriously.

“What is a dagger?” asked the lad.

“It’s a soldier,” answered the girl shortly and finished working at the computer.

“We’ll sit here for few hours. It’s very likely that a replacement will turn up. And we’ll go home, to Zondon, our castle.”

“And what is there in your Zondon?” asked Dmitry.

“You’ll come and see,” she answered.

“Oh, these zombies! Earlier we struggled with them somehow. But this year they have worried us a lot,” Kate yawned sweetly.

“Well, there are so many problems now. And this is to say the least. Earlier we could stop their invasion. But now they are roaming among the defenceless people. They’ll not seek a fight with a dagger.  After all, he can strike back. So they attack normal people.”

Dmitry listened. And slowly he came to his senses.

“Kate, are you sure, that they’ll accept him into Daggers’ corps? He is just fourteen years old. And it seems, they only recruit from eighteen years old up,” said Kelly.

“They’ll accept him. Don’t you remember we were recruited when we were sixteen?”

“But we were talented girls.”

“And he?  Isn’t he a talented lad? He’s just six years younger.”

“You love children.”

“I remember you, when you were sixteen. You couldn’t stand talking to a novice.”

“If it weren’t forbidden to have children in Zondon, I bet you would have up to ten children before long. And where would so many children live?

You didn’t think that in Zondon there isn’t much living space.”

“Yes, they’ll find where to live. As a last resort, the children could live with us.”

“Kate!” Artborg’s voice was heard from the computer.

“Check if everything is all right on the western side.”

“Just a minute,” answered Kate.

She entered the program again, put some figures. And after that she said: “It’s all right.”

“I cannot understand why you don’t like to link up your brain to the computer,” said Kelly. “It’s easier and faster.”

“I don’t know. Is that the norm here?”

“And are you his girl?” asked Dmitry.

“You mean Artborg’s woman, don’t you?” said Kate.

“Well, yes. Are you?” said Dmitry. “I asked for no particular reason. And Kelly, does she have a man?

Kate was confused, she didn’t know, how to answer to his question.

“Yes, she has,” she answered.”

“And what is his name?”

“Artborg.”

“Wait. But isn’t he your man?”

“Well, he is her man too. Listen, it turned out, that we got into Zondon in the same way as you. The difference is that our parents weren’t gone. It happened four years ago. We were sixteen years old. We walked with our girlfriends into the town — the kingdom of heaven to them. And we were attacked. The same story like yours, it happened to us too. All my girlfriends were devoured by dead men. We stayed together. And suddenly in the dead men’s track, Artborg come out of nowhere only half-an-hour later. Then, of course, we still didn’t know him. He rescued us. However, unlike you, we didn’t run. Because of that, the dead men became even more furious, and like dogs started to tear human flesh even harder. To tell you the truth, we didn’t know what to do.

Dead people surrounded us from different directions and began to attack us, like dogs. And at this time just by accident, Artborg passed along in his car. Other girls, as I have already told you, weren’t rescued. But he saved us, so we got into Zondon. Later, some relationship started to blossom between us. But I’m not going to tell you about it. Ask Kelly. I’ll tell you only one thing. At that time he’d lost his dearly beloved wife, while she was on mission. He’d grieved for a long time. But then we replaced her. And his life returned to its course,” finished Kate.

“Bastard Abbot!” screamed Kelly. Having snatched out a knife from her shoe, she threw it back. It flew by, at few millimetres from Dmitry's ear, without touching him.

“You could have killed me!” Dmitry was indignant.

“I could say that I didn’t want anything. You’re not in your element here. Everything is upside-down. If I threw this knife at you for example, I might kill you. But I don’t want to. Yes, live and let live. Earlier I’ve got angry. I’m tired to beg you.

Full of anxiety Dmitry stood up from the armchair, which Kate had recently tidied up for him. He took out a knife from the wall and gave it to Kelly. It was strange, but in this silver wall a dent from the knife appeared. And after Dmitry pulled out the knife, the dent disappeared before his eyes at once.

“Thanks,” said Kelly.

“This Abbot is such a swine. And besides he is an independent representative.

“Be more accurate with what you say,” warned Kate.

“Don’t pay attention to her. She’s kind. Today she has a bad temper. Am I right?

Kelly kept silent. Apparently, she didn’t like those who were younger then her.

“The second week we cannot cope with these dead men. Kelly, doesn’t it seem to you that it became a little bit hotter here?” She unbuttoned her leather jacket, and from it a small gold cross with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was seen.

“Are you a believer?” Dmitry asked candidly.

“To tell you the truth, no. Crosses protect us from evil spirits and from other creatures. If you saw, how the Inquisitors fought with the help of these crosses in Zondon. Such good emanates from these crosses, that all the dead men hide. Kelly, and Artborg, we all have such crosses. Kelly and I, we have identical ones. These are Artborg’s gifts. He’s got a big silver cross. Now these crosses are in fashion in Zondon. So, where was I? Yes, I remember. We spoke about dead men’s raids, didn’t we?” Kate looked at Dmitry.

“That’s right,” answered the lad.

“Ah, if the Necromancers were here… It’s a pity that in this country they are not loved. But they are good guys. I know them! It’s a pity that day by day their number is getting fewer. And in any case, who would like to have such a destiny? When you’re pointed at every day… When you’re laughed at… When everyone says, you’re not one of us, and what are you doing here…” said Kelly.

“I know one of these guys very well. He is a nice guy. He is much better than others. In few hours we’ll be replaced. So, don’t fail. We have to go to Zondon.

I don’t understand why you pull a wry face.”

“I don’t know.”

“And who knows?”

“Hell knows.”

“A good answer.”

“I know.”

“Let’s play cards. Anyway, there is nothing to do. By the way, can you play cards?

“A little. Sometimes I played with my friends.

To tell you the truth, I don’t play very well either. Well, let’s play!”

She didn’t ask. She gave orders.

Kate took out from a back pocket a big pack of cards, and she began to shuffle the cards.

“Well, what game do we play?” asked the lad.

“Let’s play the usual game.”

At last the cards were shuffled.

“I have the seven of hearts,” said the lad.

“Deal the cards.”

He opened with the eight of diamonds. She deals him the ten. He throws the ten. She beats him with an ace.

“You’ve lost!” says the lad.

They deal the cards again.

“That’s it. Take the six of clubs.”

Dmitry looked closely at the pack. He had no clubs. And Kate obviously has noticed it. There was nothing he could do. He pulled out from the pack the only eight of hearts. And he threw it on the table.

The following card, which Dmitry had was the seven of clubs.

And he had nothing to do but to take more cards. The game continued in the same way. And in a few minutes Balynov sat with practically full pack in his hands.

“You’ve said that you play badly,” said the lad being puzzled.

“Indeed, I play badly. Almost any Zondoner will beat me. Well, if you don’t want to play this game any more, let’s play Zondon poker. In fact, this game gives you few chances. Well, do we start?” And she quickly explained the rules.

“Let’s play,” agreed Dmitry with ease.

“Shuffle it,” said Kate, taking the pack of cards while she held it out to Dmitry.

Dmitry took the cards, and began to shuffle without hurry. Then he dealt the cards

“How many times can it be changed?” asked Dmitry.

“Let’s say… three. The more cards there are, the better combinations.

And again Dmitry started the game without having any luck from the very beginning. He had such bad cards, that to find something wide ranging was a hitch. He put aside all the cards and took new ones. The second combination wasn’t very good either. And, he put back all the cards. He left just two fours. However hard he tried to make the game interesting, nothing came out of it.

“Show me your cards,” said Kate.

“Here,” said Dmitry and showed her his cards.

“So, you have two threes, two fours and the five. These aren’t good cards. It’s bullshit! Look what I have now: four aces and a joker,” said Kate, showing him her cards.

“That’s likely to happen in any game. Oh, Dmitry, if only you knew, what I did. By means of magic I looked at your cards. I looked through your brain. I’ve read your thoughts. I’ve shuffled the cards. Everyone from Zondon has an insight when playing cards. Well, shall we play once more? In spite of everything there’s nothing else to do.”

“All right. I promise, that I won’t look any more at your cards, or through your brain. I won’t read your thoughts or shuffle the cards. But all the Zondoners have a knack at playing cards. And no matter where I go, I can’t get rid of it. Let’s play!” She dealt the cards to Dmitry again. And she waited while he was shuffling and dealing the cards.

“Are we playing the ‘fool’ game?” asked Dmitry.

“Yes,” answered Kate.

Yet again, the game was unlucky for Dmitry from the very beginning.

And all this was thanks to what? Thanks to Kate’s insight at playing cards. So Dmitry lost the second, the third, and the fourth time. And now at last, he surrendered definitively and irrevocably, flatly answering: “No!”

“No? Ok! You don’t have to shout?” Kate was indignant, after this game, She was in an excellent mood. Dmitry on the contrary, lost his temper.

“Well, don’t be upset. We’ll arrive in Zondon, and I’ll teach you to play cards.”

“I don’t care. That’s all right.”

“That’s fine. And for now I should have a rest.”

“Where are you going?” asked Dmitry.

“To my bedroom. I want to have a rest. If you want, you can come with me.”

Kate opened a timber door, and they came to a small hall. In front of them there were three doors. More precisely: one was in front of them. The second door was on the right hand-side. And the third door was at the left.

“To the right,” said Kelly, opening the door.

Dmitry made a step forward and there was a spacious room. To be more precise, they were in her bedroom. Kate followed him. Here the walls were covered with silver crosses like in other rooms. In the room, there were exotic indoor plants in the corners.

There was only one mahogany bed, a large TV set, and a folding armchair.

Kate came to the armchair and pressed one of the buttons. The armchair began to unfold into a bed. Soon the process of unfolding the bed ended, and Kate started talking again.

“Lay down,” she said. And she tumbled on the next bed, without removing her dirty boots.

As it’s known, when one is fourteen, one cannot fall asleep in broad daylight. And Dmitry was no exception. He rolled a bit in his bed, and then he felt bored. He didn’t know what to do. Thoughts about his lost parents came into his mind again. And he couldn’t get rid of these thoughts in any way.

“Why are you fidgeting? You see that I have a rest.”

Dmitry kept silent.

“Go down to Kelly. She’ll give you a book to read.

“What book?” Dmitry became interested.

“You’ll choose a book, yourself. Go to her and tell her what you need. And then she’ll print it for you, in hard cover. I give you hundred percent guarantee that you won’t find any difference from those books on sale in shops. So go. What are you waiting for?  Or you’ve got plenty of time? Soon there won’t be enough time. And you won’t have time to read anything at all.

Dmitry stood up silently. He put his boots on, and left the room. He found himself again in a small hallway where there were four doors, one on each side. The hallway was square. All four doors were identical. And it seemed that if one wasn’t so familiar with the place, it was possible to mistake the rooms with ease, and enter for example in Artborg’s place of duty, or in the toilet. Or enter again in the bedroom, from where, as a matter of fact, Dmitry just came out.

He turned the handle and he walked to the very first room, where Kelly sat.

“I would like to choose the book,” Dmitry began cautiously. “Kate told me, that I could choose the book here, can’t I?”

“You can come here, don’t be afraid. I’m not going to throw a knife for the second time,” smiled Kelly. “So what do you need? Tell me again.

“A book.”

“Yes, it’s clear, that you need a book. But which one do you want?

“The book called ‘Born in Ebitory’,” said Dmitry.

Kelly connected her brain to the computer again, and she entered the right program.

“Just a minute,” she said. Then she had entered all the commands. The computer had only to carry out her commands. “Don’t show displeasure. I didn’t want… In any case I wouldn’t have killed you.”

“I don’t sulk,” said Dmitry. “It would be better if at that moment you would’ve killed me. I would have met my parents again. Why didn’t I appreciate them before? Why?”

“I cannot answer this question. It’s necessary to ask yourself, why you didn’t appreciate them.

Tears streamed from his eyes again.

“Well, don’t cry. You cry like a little girl.”

“Aha, I cry! You never lost relatives! It’s easy for you to say that. Nobody understands me, nobody… Everyone only strives to mock me so that I feel even worse. I know it. I know everything.”

“Well all right, all right, stop crying.” Kelly had tried as hard she could, to calm Dmitry.

By that moment, the book, which Dmitry had ordered, was there already. And there weren’t simply printed sheets of paper. It was a real book in all its beauty.

“I see. Your book is ready,” Kelly said, taking the book in her hands, and then giving it to the lad. Dmitry quickly snatched out the book from her hands.

“When you read it, come and see me again,” Kelly pretended to be funny, and give the impression that nothing happened.

“Thanks,” he said. And smiling, he left behind the door.

“You’re welcome,” said Kelly to him while he left.

“Well, have you got the book you’ve wanted?” asked Kate, as soon as he came in his room.

“I’ve got it,” answered the lad. “Your friend Kelly, she is a good young woman.”

“Here, you’re all very good people, you and Kate, and Artborg.”

“I am glad, that you could find a common ground with her. It’s not easy at all, because she’s an over-sensitive person.”

Dmitry took off his boots. He lay down on the bed. He opened the book and began to read. However, he had no time to read. Behind the wall was heard a knock at the door, and then Kelly’s conversation with the two daggers.

“Dmitry,” Kate said to him. “That’s all. Our shift is over. Get your boots on, and let’s go out of here.”

Without getting up, Dmitry began to tie up his boots. Meanwhile the conversation with the daggers went on. They couldn’t hear what the daggers said. But it wasn’t difficult to understand, what they were talking about. Dmitry moved his ears closer to the wall and tried to hear if they talked about him. But however hard he’d try he didn’t understand a single word.

At last Dmitry laced up his boots. He took his book, and he went to the exit.

By the moment, when he came into the room, where Kelly sat, the conversation had unexpectedly stopped. And all looked at the lad at once.

“Well, hello,” he said being unable to find other words.

“Hi,” greeted him one of the daggers.

“It’s him,” said the second, considering, that it was unnecessary to greet the lad.

“Yes, it’s him,” said Kelly. “But someone here has not greeted the others yet.”

“Well Kelly, don’t pick on me.”

“I have said: greet the lad. And orders from a higher rank should be carried out.”

“Well, greetings.”

“Say only greetings,” Kelly corrected him. “Say it! It’s an order.”

“Greetings,” said the man through his teeth.

“That’s better,” announced Kelly. “Well, are you ready?”

“Yes,” answered the boy.

“Then go upstairs. We’ll soon come. It’s necessary for us to talk.”

Dmitry glanced through this room for the last time. He opened the door and he went out.

It’s weird. But on the other side of the door, he looked as a new person. And after going through the second door, it seemed, even if he would slightly huff at it, it would fall down. Such things could only happen in Zondon, and to its personnel.

Slowly, Dmitry moved back and forth, and he went upstairs. He didn’t have to wait for long, as Kelly said. Hardly two minutes passed, and the three of them, Artborg, Kate and Kelly came upstairs.

“Well, let’s go,” said Kelly, opening the door.

The fresh summer breeze blew into the room. They could see before their eyes abandoned houses, trees, bushes, the sun, the sky and all other… the other… the other things.  Dmitry inhaled a lungful of fresh air, which entered the room. Artborg, Kate, and Kelly did the same. Downstairs there wasn’t such fresh air, despite all the air-conditioners.

They went to the garage where their car was parked. The first in the group was Artborg. Dmitry followed in his footsteps. Kate and Kelly closed the procession, repeatedly exchanging remarks with each other.

They stopped at the first garage, if one could call it a garage. At first sight it looked no better than the house, from which they had just come out. As the saying goes, leave a car in such a garage, and nobody will touch it.

“Come in,” said Artborg.

“I wouldn’t like to go there,” answered Dmitry.

“Oh, yes, sorry, I’ve forgot to switch off the alarm.”

“Oh, what happened to you?” grinned Kelly.

“Teboro,” said Artborg with authority, and slammed the door.

In this dusty garage there was nothing. The floor rotted long ago, and through it the grass grew. A small window in the most distant corner of the garage was broken. And everything on the left hand-side, it was covered with a thick layer of certain mould. But gradually all this changed. It became better. The old brick walls, at which it was terrible to look just several instants ago, now looked wonderful. The rotted floor had changed too. All the decay disappeared. And instead of it, new floorboards began to appear. The broken window unexpectedly became intact. Besides, in that place, where even an instant ago there was nothing, now there was a brand new military American jeep.

“Oho,” Dmitry’s mouth opened in amazement.

“Did you say something?” grinned Kelly.

“You like it?” grinned Artborg. “It’s very beautiful, isn’t it?”

“And the people don’t know about it,” Dmitry couldn’t abstain from saying.

“They don’t know much,” answered Artborg. “It’s magic, my lad! magic!”

“Keep moving. Don’t just stand there,” said Kelly.

“Move along! Why are you standing there? By the way, in an hour we should be already in Zondon, and you’re still standing here,” insisted Kate.

“Dmitry,” said Artborg, “I just want to make sure that you know. To enter the garage, it’s necessary to say ‘Teboro’, correctly and clearly. And to enter into a staff’s room, it’s necessary to say ‘Taboro’, not ‘Teboro’. But saying ‘Taboro’ or ‘Teboro’ in the garage, it will hardly be useful to you. You get it?”

Dmitry nodded. His eyes zoomed when at Artborg, when at the garage. And he stared at the garage much longer. Meanwhile, Artborg came to the car, he said a password, and the car’s door opened. He got into the car. He closed the door, and he said some password again. Certainly, nobody heard it. No one has heard the first password either. Dmitry, Kate and Kelly didn’t hear it either.

Through a layer in the bricks, something looked through.

Dmitry came closer. Isn’t it silver? But it wasn’t clear, why Zondoners hid it. It’s so beautiful. Perhaps, they got used to it.

“Dmitry!” The already familiar Artborg’s voice was heard. “Get into the car. We are going right now. Girls, it concerns you as well. You reproach the lad, but you stand still, not knowing why. Kelly, it seemed that you said about two minutes ago, that we had to be in Zondon in an hour. And now you just stand there.”

Kate and Kelly came closer to the car in a classy manner, and they sat down on the back seats. They wanted to sit close together on the back seats. So Dmitry had no other choice, but to sit near Artborg on the front seat.

“Why do you keep quiet?” asked Artborg. “Don’t you want to know where we are going?

“Oh, no. I have simply been distracted with other matters,” answered Dmitry without taking his eyes off Kate’s big breasts.

“I don’t understand. What are you looking at, all the time?” the man was interested.

“At nothing special,” said the lad taking his gaze off Kate.

“There isn’t any ‘nothing special’. So, really, why aren’t you interested about the place that we’re going to?”

“Artborg, please tell me, why do you think that the spot I was looking at is so uninteresting? Why have you decided so?” Dmitry’s sight turned back again.

“That’s enough for you to look there,” said Artborg, turning Dmitry’s head. “Let’s talk as usual. Or do you prefer to be left alone? For sure, I understand that it’s very difficult for you to lose your parents. But it doesn’t mean that you have to be so withdrawn.”

“Ok. So how does your Zondon look like?” asked Dmitry.

 

“It’s a big white-stone castle, with gates and towers. Now Zondon has big worries, you understand. It’s always attacked by the dead men, and other evil spirits, like Zelenogobs and Kozloskorps. Yes, in Zondon there are only three buildings. There is an academy and an inquisition building. Certainly it hasn’t got a large church. Oh, how many problems we have because of the inquisition. And why has Queen Abellin just allowed them to settle down here?”

“No, my lad! This inquisition isn’t at all what it was earlier. It has disbanded completely during last century. Sometimes even then, there were some revolts between inquisitions. But all the inquisitions came to an end, a dreadful end. All who had searched for the faith and for the truth have died.”

“And where is your Zondon?” asked the lad.

“In the area south of Moscow. And where it’s exactly, you’ll find out soon. It’s not far from here. At a very slow speed, as Kelly said, it’s possible to reach it in an hour. But twenty minutes will be enough, I think.”

“And who is this Abellin?” asked Dmitry.

“She’s our queen. Unlike you, we choose kings in a totally different way. In Zondon we choose simply by means of magic. The one who is the best, that one becomes the king or the queen. It depends on gender. Oh, Abellin, Abellin, what should we do without you? Probably, our world would be already governed by dead men.”

“And this Abellin, what does she look like?”

“She is so beautiful, exceedingly beautiful. She has long blond hair, even nicer than Kate’s or Kelly’s hair. And she has green eyes. Her skin is so white, even whiter than snow. Her waist is so thin, that even you, probably, without problems will be able to hug it with two hands. And she looks so smart,” said Artborg.

“What are you talking about?” asked Kate.

“Nothing interesting. I was just telling the lad about Zondon.”

“I am not worse looking than the queen.”

“Nobody argues. I was just telling Dmitry what she looks like.”

“And, in my opinion, you very much went off the point,” said Kate.

“I even think that you have nobody else, except us.”

Meanwhile Artborg started the engine, and he drove off. It turned to the right and went on a rural road covered with lush tree canopies. Well, if this could be called a road… The car drove ahead, frequently skidding through mud. Following yesterday’s heavy rain, the road didn’t get a chance to dry, as it should. And the road was muddy.

“What a road,” murmured Kate. “Isn’t it possible to use magic, to reach faster to the asphalt?”

“It’s impossible, Pussycat. It’s impossible,” said Artborg, addressing Kate.

“I asked you never to call me pussycat or other cat’s names.”

“All right, my kitty cat,” said Artborg.

In the meantime the car approached the asphalt road.

“And why do you build such computers, when you can’t build a good car?” asked Dmitry.

“Why, the jeep is a cool car,” answered Artborg.

“If you had looked carefully at our computer, you would have understood, that’s all magic.”

“All magic?” asked Dmitry again.

“Well,” answered Kate. “Haven’t you ever asked yourself the question, what does this sizeable engine run on?”

“Yes, I ask now. What does this engine run on?”

“It’s well thought-out. I won’t tell you. I’ll say only one thing.  It runs on magic.”

“I see.”

“No you don’t. You don’t know anything.”

“But you didn’t answer my question. Why can’t you make a normal car?”

“I’ve tried to give you an answer. But you’re constantly interrupting me. You’re not able to listen at all.”

“So, perhaps we do have such cars. Then tell me the truth, why aren’t many cars like that. Just imagine, what will people say when they will see the car made completely from silver or gold and with all these crosses. And sooner or later they will see it. And if one would cast a spell for a windscreen, just think, what will happen to the people. If such cars will drive around every day in the city. And besides, many people are able to use teleportation. I don’t understand why your people haven’t found out how to extract silver or gold yet.”

“What do you mean?”

 

 

“When you’ll arrive in Zondon, there you’ll be told everything. Then you’ll commence studies after a year from your arrival, or maybe even earlier,” said Artborg.

“And, do you know how to extract gold?” asked Dmitry.

“I know that even ancient people were able to extract gold naturally. And now your computer is considered to be at a top-notch. Well, that person that invented the computer is a genius, of course. But except this computer nobody could invent anything else.”

“And during fights do you often use your silver cars?”

“To tell you the truth, we seldom use silver cars. Do you know why a dead man can’t be killed with the usual weapon?”

“No.”

“Then you’ll learn. You should understand that it’s impossible to kill dead men with any weapon, except the magic arrow. And one cannot cast spells on bullets. That’s why it’s necessary to use bows to shoot arrows. A Zondoner sits in our car and shoots a bow from there. His target will be killed. Then there will be another target, and a third… Besides it’s very tiresome. Therefore we use bows and arrows very seldom. And these jeeps could be changed every day. It’s cheap and convenient, especially when you know how to extract gold or silver, synthetically,” Kate summed up her story.

“And do you have any other way to get money?”

“Certainly we have invented a way with the help of magic lottery tickets, and similar things,” said Kate.

 

 

“Yes. I haven’t finished telling you, that at Zondon it’s impossible for anyone to get teleported — although you’re welcome to do so in the nearby area. But during military actions, all enemies would use tele- transportation into Zondon and would undermine us from within. So it’s just for personal safety.”

“I see,” sighed Dmitry.

The next fifteen minutes elapsed so slowly. And in front of Dmitry's eyes Zondon appeared in all its beauty.

It was enclosed with an eighteen metre high stone wall, which screened everything. There were two towers and two gates. And the walls here were so wide, that it seemed, two lorries could park on top of the walls without problems, without scratching each other.

Behind all this, there was a huge five floor house, Academy and Inquisition building. But these couldn’t be seen yet, except for the house, which was hardly seen from afar.

“Oho,” Dmitry opened his mouth in amazement at the sight of the castle.

“Welcome to Zondon,” said Artborg.

 

 

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