ATTORAND’S SWORD preview

book preview of ATTORAND’S SWORD


 


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


HOME PAGE

Efim Shmakov 


Biography
 

Efim Shmakov
is a nineteen year old student at the Russian State Central University of

Physical
E
ducation,
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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