The Missing Unicorn in the Land of the Zombie Fairies—Part Ten
By: David K. Montoya

DEDICATED TO MY GIRLS, ZOIE & LILY

There was silence and darkness once they entered the real of the Darkland. It was Billy who led the way through the shadows of nothingness while his sisters, Emma and Olivia, their friends followed behind. It was a different sort of darkness compared to that of SwampWorld, it was solid, unmoving just black with a small square of light that came from the ground that navigated in a single file line through the lost void.

"Try and focus on the light globes in the ground," Billy said with his arms out in front of him for protection and shuffled his feet. "You stare at the dark long enough it will make your head is about to explode."

"I cannot believe that I am here in the dark forest where all my grandfather's stories took place the light warriors would come here to keep the Gnomes from leaving," Theo rambled. "One time the dark Gnomes covered the light to trap them but summoned a light from above which lit the forest and destroyed half of their people."

"Uh, girls, he's doing it again," Billy said sarcastically, then blindly grabbed a tree branch in front of him. "Maybe we can use him as a sacrifice if a time comes where we need to spare someone."

"Right," Olivia said excitedly. "See Em, Billy gets it."

"Have you noticed how pokey this forest is," Kén asked. "Maybe we should turn back and get torches."

"You are wise like your clansmen," Billy said, then paused and continued sarcastically, "No wait you are from the House of Tauros…wrong folks."

"Jerk," Kén said under his breath. "Is it just me or is the planets super pokey?"

"Pokey? Yep, definitely not from the Clan," Billy said.

"Actually Kén, for me it still feels like I am walking on a stone path," Emma said softly while she pressed her hand against her older brother's armor to follow his lead. "Me to, Em," Olivia said while she herself tugged at her sister's dress.

Billy stopped and looked down at the light globe beneath him, I think I know a way you like the forest, but it might be dangerous for you guys."

"How," Emma asked with a touch of fear to her words.

Billy knelled down and knocked on the light globe. "It made of Pharyes' Glass."

"You know of Pharyes' Glasses, Mister, sir knight, Billy," Theo asked. He was genuinely surprised that anyone outside of Paracelsus. "My mother was a Pharyes, before she was named queen."

"Indeed, I do, Prince Theophrastus von Hohenheim of Paracelsus," Billy said as he knocked harder on the light globe. "My armor was forged by Gnome and Goblin sorcery and blacksmith skills; I think I can break the glass cube."

Theo gasped at the thought. "But Goblins are the sworn rivals of the Gnomes, never would one work with the other."

Billy chuckled. "They would if they were husband and wife."

"What? How?" Theo roared.

"A Goblin blacksmith fell in love with a young gnomid who studied a natural magic," Billy explained softly. "And they created a special suit of armor for a Gryphon's apprentice with a combination of skill and magic as long as they swore to protect them."

"Did they live happily ever after," Olivia asked swoon by the thought of a real to life love story.

"That I know of, yes," Billy said and removed his sword and clanked it against the globe. "The sword won't do…it will have to be my gauntlets…everyone get behind me and cover your eyes."

Billy placed his helmet over his head and begin to slam his fist into a light globe. As he slammed his gauntlets down, he felt small hands grab on to his until…

WA–FOOOOOM!

The globe light exploded and barely illuminated a small area of the woods, but to everyone's horror they were surrounded by Dark Gnomes with their tiny swords drawn ready to attack, other than the few that followed Kén who caused the poking feeling ago is blind journey.

They were smaller than normal Gnomes and were ghostly white both from the lack of sunlight. Their eyes large and black as the pupil consumed more of the oculus to be able to see in the darkness, and razor like teeth which allowed them to feed on animal and plants alike.

"Everyone remain calm," Billy said softly, but his words were unheard as Kén stumped frantically at the dark creatures and like a person who stepped into an anthill the Centaur was covered by the unfriendly inhabitants.

Like a flood gate which was lowered and water free to flow, the others too were covered by their enemy. With the power of Billy's magical armor, he swiped the Dark Gnomes away with ease, but there were too many to rid all of them. He tried to free his sisters, but as soon as he pushed them off, more were right back on.

"I think I know what I can do," Billy said as he stepped of the stone path.

"Hurry! Please Billy!" Emma cried out as she struggled to keep the Dark Gnomes away from her face.

Foyn once told me the tale of the Maxima Light Level Globe…but even he said it was just legend, Billy thought. I have to find the blueish glow in the middle of the forest…I know this dimension is small, so it shouldn't be that difficult of a task to achieve.

Billy traveled blindly through the black forest and felt the Dark Gnomes while they grabbed at his metal shoes called sabatons. They did not want him going in that direction, which in response caused him to move faster—until he crashed into what felt like a brick wall.

Billy ran his gauntlets over the surface and knew it was smooth, he banged his knuckles against it, and it clanged like glass. This is it Billy thought. But where is the soft light? What if it is covered…in a nontransparent glass like cover.

Billy removed his sword and swung with all his might toward the direction of where he thought the target was. It crashed into the large mass, the blade rattled in his hands and it sounded as if a mirror exploded. He paused for a moment and noticed through the cracks a soft blue light which swirled around inside.

"There it is," Billy said under his breath. "But it is going to take more than my gauntlets to crack this globe open…Wait, I have an idea."

Billy repeatedly swung wildly into the solid darkness until the thick coat that blocked the contents power was no more.

"Now here comes the hard part," Billy said and ran toward the glowing swirl of light.

To be continued…

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