You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…
The creature glared at me. His teeth, which looked like oversized fangs, stuck out from his mouth like a rhino, only from the top of his mouth.
He had a pig’s nose with a purple ring through it. Ouch. The rest of his face looked sort of human.
And his body—well, maybe.
It was covered with some kind of silver armor. Only, it was darker than silver. And it shimmered with a little bit of green.
I stumbled back and fell on my already super sore butt. It kind of looked like that Barbarian Boy we’d met.
Oh, crud. This was his family, wasn’t it? They were going to squash me like a fly.
“You,” the creature grunted. “Strange being of no origin. Come.”
“Um, no thank you, sir. I—”
He fisted the front of my shirt and yanked me to my feet.
Not too easily done considering my size, but he made it look easy.
The concrete floor fell out from beneath me, and in a blink of an eye we were at the far end of the soccer field, near the trees.
A massive being stood before me, holding a cane of some sort. He wore armor, like the creature that’d grabbed me, but his was shinier and had tons of decorations on it.
The creature released me and once again I fell on my rear end. That was getting really old.
“You traveled to the Realm of the Barbarians. That is forbidden,” a voice boomed, and I ducked as I looked at the three people on each side of this massive creature.
He wasn’t quite as big as the Barbarian Mother I’d met, but pretty close. He wore a crown made of gold leaves on his head. It sat on a pile of matted hair.
His eyes were like fire. Actual flames for how orange they were and how much they flickered. Maybe he could shoot fire from his eyes like dragons could breathe it.
Wait. He wore a crown? Kings wore crowns. Crap, this was that King-guy the Barbarian was talking about. And yep, he had reason to be a little scared. This guy was huge. And scary!
I was in so much trouble right now.
I looked around and just about freaked out when I saw Coach talking to a parent on the sidelines. Wait, there were several parents still around. Probably waiting for the kids to be done cleaning up.
How could they not see us?
“Coach!” I yelled. “Coach!”
“Imbecile.” The creature standing beside me said.
The King’s black beard swayed at the bottom as he took in a deep breath and his eyes flared. “Akaewan was right. He reeks of Barbarian. How can this be?”
Great. I stunk?
“Human, but not.” A tiny creature with a collar around its neck inched toward me. He had beady eyes, a long nose, and two teeth protruding from his upper lip. “Jumper. Jumper. Jumper.”
“Quiet!” The King-guy yelled. “The abomination will speak.”
“Sir. What do you want?”
“It has been many moons since my gaze last fell upon a human. Let alone this Realm. It still stinks of greed. Its evil.” A low rumble came from his throat. “Realm Jumping is forbidden. You violated—”
“It was an accident, sir.”
“You will tell me how it happened.” He growled. “Or I will squash you like the bug you are.”
“C-c-coin.” I coughed and rubbed my sore arm.
The King, with his fire-eyes, glared at me. “Tell me of this coin.”
I showed him my palm, and he stepped back. The Guard beside me sucked in a breath so hard I thought he might choke.
“What does this mean?” I asked, showing him my palm.
He grabbed my hand. “How did you get this?”
“The same coin that brought me to that Realm, sir. We didn’t mean for anything bad to happen. It was an accident.” I tried to pull my hand away but his hold remained. “Like this mark. It just appeared.”
The King pulled a little bit of his robe to the side and there was the mark. Just like on my hand and in the cave.
“What is it?”
He tossed my hand down. “Who did this to you?”
“The coin. I said the coin—”
“No. This!” He pointed to me. “You reek of Fairy, Barbarian and something else. I can’t place it.”
I tried to step back, but that big creature stood so close I could barely move. “Um. I—we don’t know. I mean, I don’t think we do. I was rescued from scientists. They were experimenting on me.”
The King’s beard twitched. His hands fisted. And that had to hurt because he had long nails. Black nails, actually.
“I will kill them all.” He bellowed. “Every. Last. One.” He whirled around. “Remove him from my sight.”
“Wait!” I yelled. “What’s happening?”
He whipped around, the armor he wore clanked. “War.”
“War? What do you mean? With us?”
“Humans.” He growled again. “Their time is done.”
“Wait. What? No.” I reached for the King-type-guy.
The guard beside me knocked my hand down before I made contact. “No one dares touch the King of the Realms.”
“King of—As in King of the Realms?”
So yeah, he could probably squash us like bugs. “Please. No. I—we—it was an accident coming to your Realm. I’m sorry. Please don’t—”
“How can you defend them? The very creatures that did this to you. Spawn of the Realm of Darkness, that’s what they are. Pure evil.” He grunted. “And you. You’re an abomination. Boy of no origin. Tainted.”
Ouch. “They’re not all bad. Humans rescued me. They’re helping me. I—please. No War.”
He put his hand up and clicked his tongue against his massive teeth. I think he was grinning. Hard to tell with the big teeth protruding from his upper jaw. They were like vampire fangs, only bigger, like a tiger’s.
He didn’t have a ring through his nose like his guard did, but the crown in his matted, black hair was enough. It was huge. Pointy ends. And the hair. Looked like it hadn’t been brushed in…ever.
The guard creature and the little thing stood there, staring at The King. Nobody moved. Nothing did. The trees behind the King were still. I glanced over my shoulder and realized the people in the field were frozen, too.
Maybe we were in a time bubble or something.
“You have three days. Find the scientists who made you.”
“What? How—what do you mean?”
“Find them, and bring them to me.” He turned around.
“What if I can’t?” I glanced around. “Um, sir, what if I can’t find them?”
“Then the Realm of the Humans will exist no more.”
Join us Wednesday for Chapter 22 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.
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See you soon….