Jack Poe in the Kingdom of Dreams
Once upon a time, in a faraway continent, there existed an enchanted land known as the Forest of Dreams, and in that place, there lived a young child named Jack Nathan Poe.
“This will be fun!” Jack declared at the very top of the largest sequoia tree in the forest, which stood nearly two hundred meters tall. Jack smiled as he prepared himself and leaped from the massive tree. The boy fell freely for several seconds and felt the wind going through his hair. He grabbed onto one of the vines of the tree, using it to swing around. Jack screamed like Tarzan. He let go of the vine and flipped through the air, perfectly landing onto the branches of a smaller tree. The kid leaped from branch to branch like a monkey, back flipping and landing on top of a large rock. “Talk about a leap of fate!”
Jack laughed. He back flipped off the boulder and landed on the dirty ground. Jack cleaned his dirty hands on his green jumpsuit. That jump had been good for a rush of adrenaline, but he should probably get going. The Ancient Master had asked the boy to pay him a visit, something he didn’t do very often, so it must have been important. Jack heard the sound of footsteps, followed by growling. He turned to see a massive leopard, as big as a car, looking down upon him with fury.
“Mister Spots! I was wondering when you would show up!” Jack greeted with a smile as he waved at the leopard. The animal roared and dashed towards the boy, who easily leaped over the leopard and landed on its head, sitting on it with his legs crossed. “You’ve gotten faster since last time. Have you been working out?”
The leopard roared in anger as it pushed Jack into the air with its head and tried to bite him, only for Jack to casually avoid it by flipping and landing on his feet. The animal roared in fury as it dashed towards the boy, who took a combat stance.
“Roshambo…” Jack commented as his eyes showed confidence. He closed his fist and punched the leopard right on the face. A sonic boom expanded out of his fist, as the leopard flew right through several trees. “Rock!”
The leopard shook its head and got back up, while Jack laughed.
“Don’t worry, I went easy with that one.” Jack explained with a shrug. “Didn’t want to hurt you too much.”
The leopard roared and began running towards Jack, only for the boy to get into his combat stance.
“Roshambo…” Jack whispered. He smiled and swung his open hand in the air. The high velocity of his hand created a large gust of wind, which struck the leopard and sent him flying several meters onto the side of the large rock where Jack had previously landed. “Paper!”
The leopard once again roared as he got back up and immediately dashed towards the boy, who easily avoided the animal with a causal side step, grabbing the leopard by the tail and spinning it around like a ragdoll. Jack smiled for a few moments and slammed the leopard onto that same large rock. The leopard shook its head and looked up, to see Jack had once again taken a combat stance.
“Roshambo…” Jack declared, as he held his middle and index finger up, raising his hand and swinging it downwards onto the leopard. The animal leaped out of the way right at the last second. Jack’s fingers struck the rock and sliced right through it like a sharp blade, cutting the large stone perfectly in the middle as it fell onto two pieces. “Scissors!”
The leopard stared at Jack in terror, as the boy looked down upon the animal with a serious expression.
“Just kidding.” Jack declared as he smiled and scratched the back of his head. “I only did that because I knew you’d dodge it. Even if you hadn’t been able to dodge the scissors, I’d just have stopped the attack before it hit you.”
The leopard screamed in fear, getting up and running away from the boy.
“Same time next week, okay?” Jack yelled as he waved the leopard goodbye. Jack laughed for a few moments, when his eyes widened in shock. “I’m gonna be later to meet the Master!”
Jack approached the side of the large mountain, and entered the cave. Jack casually jumped through the ancient ruins, back flipping and practicing his parkour as he hopped from destroyed building to destroyed building. He hopped from the top of a half-broken pillar, carefully not to trip on the overgrown vegetation, and landed right in front of the only building in the ancient underground city that was still operational.
The building was not a large palace, but instead a humble well-kept house. The boy approached the door and knocked.
He waited a few moments, and the old man opened the door. The old man was actually not much taller than the boy. He had a long white beard that went down to the ground, as well as long white hair that covered his eyes. The old man also held a walking stick that was about twice as tall as his own body, and was wearing long white robes.
“Good evening, Ancient Master.”
“You’re late!” The Ancient Master complained.
“Something came up.” Jack answered with a shrug. The master signed with his stick for the boy to follow him inside, which Jack casually obeyed. “What is it this time? You want to teach me another Roshambo move?”
Jack smiled and jokingly punched the air for a few seconds, which the old man ignored. The Ancient Master approached a large chest, opening it and reaching inside, to pull out an old looking scroll.
“When I found you abandoned on the forest all of those years ago, I promised that I would pass down upon you the ancient art of Roshambo. However, there was one thing I never told you about. The Sacred Prophecy.” The Ancient Master explained as he carefully unrolled the scroll. Jack sat on the ground in front of the Master with his legs crossed, paying complete attention to the old man’s words. “It is said that the terrifying Sagittarius will be reborn, and not only the Forest of Dream, but the entire world will be destroyed by the arrival of the monsters.”
“The bad guy’s name is Sagittarius?” The boy asked, laughing for a moment. “That’s so lame.”
“It is said the only thing that can defeat Sagittarius is…” The Ancient Master whispered.
“Is…” Jack repeated, expecting his master to continue.
“The rest of the prophecy has been long lost.” The Ancient Master declared, as he once again rolled the scroll and carefully hid it.
“Well, at least this Sagittarius fellow is just a legend, right?” Jack asked as he got back up. “We don’t have to actually worry about that.”
The ground beneath their feet began to shake, making some of the old ruins outside collapse. Jack struggled to maintain his balance for a few moments, until the earthquake stopped as suddenly as it had started.
“It has begun!” The Ancient Master declared. He made his way to the table, picking up a small envelope. “Child, I have an important mission for you. You must take this to the nearby Kingdom of Sonhara. We must warn their King of what is coming.”
Jack’s expression changed to one of purpose, as he took the envelope.
“I’ll make sure my training was not in vain, Master.” Jack declared. The two stared at each other for a few moments, and swiftly showed their hands. Jack’s hand was open in the shape of a paper, while the Ancient Master held two fingers up in the shape of scissors. “Ugh! How come I always lose?”
“Good luck, child.” The Ancient Master declared while nodding, as Jack made his way out of the house.
Jack leaped out of the trees and safely landed on the road. It was not a road of dirt, but instead one of bricks, which lead directly to the end of the forest, and the entrance to the Kingdom of Sonhara. Jack’s eyes widened in amazement as he looked around the place. The town was not big, but it was the first time he had ever left the forest. The closest he had seen to a city was the ancient ruins.
“Wow!” Jack whispered with a smile as he looked around the small wooden buildings. There were horse-pulled carriages passing by carrying boxes, merchants showcasing different types of fruits, and women with aprons walking around carrying wicker baskets. “Everyone in this place is dressed like an idiot! I love it!”
Jack kept walking through the streets, looking around excitedly, when he heard a familiar sound. He turned to see a horse locked inside a fence, right next to a small house. The horses in the Forest of Dreams could grow to be as tall as buildings, so the boy was quite surprised to see a horse of regular size. Jack could notice the sadness in the horse’s noises.
“Shut your mouth!” An old man declared as he came out of the house and approached the horse, hitting the animal with a whip. “I better not hear you making any more noise, or so help me!”
The horse almost shrunk in fear, as the man casually walked into the house. Jack approached the door of the animal, who stared at him with a sad expression. The kid casually reached for the padlock that held the fence door closed and easily broke it with his bare hands, casually opening the door. The horse stared at the scene in surprise for a few moments, and then ran away as fast as it could. Jack nodded with a smile.
“What was going on out there?” An old woman declared as the old man entered their kitchen and placed his whip on a hanger on the wall.
“Just the horse being stupid again.” The old man declared as he sat down at the table, which was right next to an open window. “So, what do we have for breakfast?”
“I baked a pie.” The woman declared with a smile as she placed the pie on the table, and the man stared at it hungrily. “Just wait a moment, I’ll go get the plates.”
“I love pie!” The man declared as the woman walked away from the kitchen. He heard a loud sound coming from the outside, which unknown to him was actually the sound of his horse escaping. “What in tarnation?”
The man turned away from the table and looked at the door in surprise after hearing the sound. Just at that moment, Jack passed by the window, noticing the pie on the table. Jack smiled and casually reached through the window and took the pie, taking it with him as he walked away.
“That was weird.” The man declared as he turned back, only for his eyes to widen as he noticed the pie had vanished. “What?”
“Alright!” The woman declared as she walked back into the kitchen, holding two plates in her hands. Her face then changed into one of shock. “You ate the entire pie and didn’t even leave a slice for me!”
Before the man could even finish, the woman hit him on the head with the plates, breaking them as the man fell to the ground unconscious. The woman crossed her arms and walked away, while the horse joyfully ran free on the other side of the window.
Jack ate the last piece of the pie as he approached the Sonhara Castle. The place was the tallest building Alex had ever seen. The gates alone were as big as the Ancient Master’s house. He approached the entrance, only for a pair of guards to block his way. They wore full body golden armor, and held golden spears in their hands.
“Please state your name and intention.” One of the guards declared.
“My name is Jack.” He answered. The boy reached for his pocket and pulled out the envelope. “I bring a message from the Ancient Master of Roshambo.”
“The Ancient Master of what?” One of the guards asked.
“Let him in.” They heard. They all turned to see a little girl. She seemed to be about the same age as Jack. She had black hair, almost identical to Jack’s, except her hair was much longer. Her skin had a darker complexion, similar to Jack’s own skin. She worn a fancy-looking yellow dress.
“Princess Daniela!” One of the guards declared as the two bowed, while Jack simply stared at the scene with a confused expression.
“My father, King Ricardo, has been waiting for you. Roshambo Warrior.” Daniela explained as she approached Jack. “Follow me. I shall take you to him.”
“Your dress is very pretty.” Jack complimented, completely unprompted.
“Hm?... Oh! Thanks.” Daniela explained. Jack nodded and began following her through the castle.
“Father, the warrior has arrived.” Daniela declared as the two entered a large throne room. There were six guards standing at attention, three on each side, as well as a large throne at the very end. Sitting on the throne was an old man, dressed in royal clothes and wearing a large crown. Jack stared at the king with an expression of amazement.
“Wow!” Jack declared, pointing at King Ricardo and smiling. “You’re even older than the Ancient Master! You’re the biggest geezer I’ve ever seen! That’s so cool!”
The guards stared at the boy with weirded out expressions, while the king and the princess both were taken back by Jack’s directness.
“So…” Daniela broke the silence. “Didn’t you bring a message from your master?”
“Oh yeah!” Jack declared as he took the envelope from his pocket, casually tossing it to the king, who caught it in midair and opened it. The king held the letter in his hands, reading it in silence for a few seconds.
“I understand…” The king nodded, staring directly at Jack. “Guards! Destroy the child!”
“What?” Daniela asked in surprise, as Jack turned around to see the six guards had surrounded him, all with their spears ready. The boy instinctively got in his combat stance, as Daniela turned to the king. “Father! This must be some mistake!”
“Shut your mouth, child!” The king declared. “Do not interfere with the decisions of the king!”
“The Roshambo Warrior is out ally!” Daniela declared.
“Destroy the child! Rip through the princess as well if she gets in the way!” The king ordered, as the knights all attacked with their spears.
“Roshambo Paper!” Jack declared as he waved his hand in the air, releasing a wave of wind that forced the knights to the other side of the room. “Six against one? That’s unfair… you’d need a thousand guards for this to be even!”
One of the guards got up and dashed towards Jack, thrusting with his spear, only for the boy to easily avoid it by jumping, literally landing onto the shaft of the guard’s weapon.
“It must be hot inside this armor, hm?” Jack asked, knocking onto the guard’s helmet twice, making a large metallic sound echo through the throne room. The guard tried to shake Jack off the spear, with no success. Two other guards ran in from the sides and tried to stab the boy, which Jack avoided by leaping upwards from the spear as if it was a diving board. Jack spun in the air for a few moments, closing his fist and smiling. “I hope so, cause I’m about to turn up the heat! Roshambo Rock!”
Jack dived downwards at incredible speeds and fell right in between the three guards, breaking right through the spears and striking the ground. Large cracks appeared on the throne room floor, as the shockwave from Jack’s punch sent all three guards near him flying onto the walls, knocking all three of them out.
“Really rock and roll!” Jack declared as he jumped and punched the air, a wide smile on his face.
“Guards! He’s making a complete joke out of you!” The king yelled angrily.
“Father! You must stop this madness!” Daniela pleaded. Two of the other guards ran towards Jack, putting down their spears and pulling out golden swords.
“Roshambo Scissors!” Jack declared with a smile, as he made the scissors symbol with his hand. The two guards began trying to slash at the boy, who casually blocked all of their sword strikes with his scissor hands, which was as hard as the toughest metal. Jack pretended to yawn, covering his mouth with his other hand. Jack spun around, striking both of the swords with his fingers. Nothing seemed to have happened for a second, then both of the swords fell to pieces in the guards’ hands. “I guess you could say I’m looking sharp!”
The guards reached for their spears, but it was too late, as Jack leaped to be on eye level with them, grabbing their heads and slamming them together like a cartoon character. A metallic sound echoed across the room, and the two guards fell to the ground unconscious.
“You little brat!” The king yelled in anger. “Who do you think you’re dealing with?”
“Not very good fighters, I can tell you that much!” Jack commented with a shrug. The king suddenly jumped up from his throne, grabbing Daniela and pulling out a knife, holding it to her neck. Jack’s expression suddenly changed into one of seriousness.
“Father!” Daniela yelled helplessly. “It’s like you’ve been possessed by the devil!”
“Shut your mouth, you little brat!” The king declared, focusing on Jack. “That guard is going to finish you with a spear! If you try to fight back in any way, the girl gets it!”
“My king…” The last guard still standing commented in disbelief. “She is your own daughter…”
“I am your king and you will do as I say!” The king yelled. “Attack now!”
The knight thought over the situation for a few seconds. He held up his spear and tossed it at Jack. The spear flew over Jack’s shoulder, aimed directly at the king’s head. Jack smiled and struck the spear in midair. The spear shattered, the pieces flying in several directions, one of which struck the king right on the head. The king fell over and his crown rolled across the ground, giving Daniela just the time that she needed to run away from him and towards Jack.
“Did you throw the spear at the king on purpose, or did you just miss?” Jack asked as the knight approached him.
“I never miss.” The knight declared as he took off his helmet, revealing himself to not be an adult, but instead a teenager, only slightly taller than Jack.
“You’re Mark Reins, aren’t you?” Daniela asked. “That child protégé who finished years’ worth of training in a few days and was allowed to join the Sonhara guard at a young age.”
“The one and only.” Mark declared as he bowed. “I would give my life to protect you, Princess Daniela.”
“I hope the old geezer is okay. I made sure to break the spear into small pieces so it wouldn’t hurt him all that much.” Jack commented as he approached the king on the ground. The boy stared at the king’s face, noticing what seemed to be a small crack on the exact spot where he had been hit, as if the king’s skin was made of some sort of glass. The crack suddenly got bigger, making Jack jump back in surprise, as half of the king’s face broke open. There was no flesh inside, but instead pure darkness, where a large yellow eye suddenly opened. The king’s other eyes also opened, but instead of his regular eye color, that eye was also that same glowing shade of yellow.
“What is this?” Daniela asked in surprise, as Mark placed himself in between the creature and the princess. “You are not my father!”
“Took you long enough to notice, dumb child!” Declared the monster. A strange black smoke flew out of the king’s body from the hole on his face. The body suddenly shattered to pieces like glass and disappeared, revealing itself to actually have been completely empty this entire time. The smoke came together, before taking the form of a large purple creature with yellow eyes. The monster’s body was round and fat, with its arms and legs being short in comparison. The most prominent detail, however, was the creature’s massive head, with his forehead being about as long as the rest of his entire body. “Did you really think we would wait for you to get organized? I disposed of the geezer last night. I was planning on using his body to weaken the kingdom before Master Sagittarius even had to get involved, but that old geezer in the forest sent in this brat to ruin everything!”
“My father!” Daniella declared in shock. “He’s… he’s…”
“Yes, and you are next!” The creature threatened as he approached the princess and the guard. Jack suddenly jumped in front of the two.
“Alright, Blockhead! Your fun time is over!” Jack declared as he got in his combat position.
“Blockhead? My name is–”
“I don’t care what your real name is, I’m still going to call you Blockhead.” Jack declared. The creature could tell by his tone of voice that the boy was not trying to tease or insult, but was instead just stating a fact.
“Very well, human! Then Blockhead shall be the one to cut off your head!” Blockhead declared, as the three humans felt themselves being pushed by a large invisible pulse of energy, which sent them flying across the room. “Behold, you insignificant pests! The unmatched telekinetic power of my superior mind!”
“Roshambo Rock!” Jack declared as he dashed towards the creature and threw a punch, only for his body to freeze in midair. It was not as if his punch had been blocked, but instead as if hundreds of invisible hands had grabbed his body and stopped his momentum, making so his punch couldn’t even connect to begin with. “Hey! What’s the big idea?”
“I have many ideas… such as this one!” Blockhead declared, pushing the kid away with his telekinesis. Jack crashed right through the wall of the throne room and fell several stories into the sidewalk outside.
“Jack!” Daniela yelled in surprise. Mark kept his eyes on the creature at all times, as he quickly reached for the spears of the two other guards on the floor. Mark tossed the two spears with great accuracy, one aimed at Blockhead’s heart, and the other aimed right between his eyes. The spears stopped in midair, turning around and flying back towards Mark, who pulled out his sword and deflected the two weapons, which jammed themselves to the ground.
“You’re bothering me.” Blockhead declared as he telekinetically grabbed Mark’s sword. The guard held onto the sword as he felt it pulling his body upwards. Daniela screamed as Blockhead’s telekinetic strength suddenly slammed Mark to the floor, making him groan in pain. Blockhead held the sword in the air, the blade pointed directly at Mark’s face.
The door suddenly exploded into pieces and flew into the room, knocking the sword away from Mark. Daniela turned to the door, her eyes wide in shock, as Jack casually walked in.
“You’re still alive!” Daniela declared in shock.
“Oh, please. You’d need a much higher fall than that one to hurt me.” Jack declared casually as he made his way towards Mark. “Are you okay in there?”
“I would have found a way out even if you hadn’t shown up.” Mark declared, half joking as he tried to ignore the pain all over his body.
“I’m sure you would.” Jack declared with a smile. He turned to Blockhead. “You caught me by surprise with your powers, but this time it won’t be as easy.”
“You fool! I can freeze your body in place the moment you even try to take a step towards me!” Blockhead declared, as all of the spears and swords around the room suddenly began levitating, all pointing towards Jack.
“Watch out!” Daniela yelled as the weapons flew towards the boy.
Jack opened his hands, making the symbol of paper on both, and quickly clapping them together in Blockhead’s direction. A massive shockwave flew out of Jack’s hands, and before anyone in the room could blink, the weapons had stopped moving and Blockhead was screaming in pain on the ground.
“W-what did you just do?” Blockhead demanded in agony.
“Roshambo Double Paper!” Jack declared with a smile, as a thick black liquid began coming out of Blockhead’s body, and his entire form evaporated into smoke, which then vanished into nothing. “Quake Clap!”
“He did it!” Mark declared, finally managing to get back up after some struggle. Jack turned around and smile, raising his fist in the air victoriously.
“Dad…” Daniela whispered, as Jack’s smiled dropped. The princess made her way towards the crown, gently picking it up as tears slowly appeared on her face. “My dad is… we don’t even have a body to bury…”
The two warriors stared at the princess for a few moments, neither of them wanting to break the silence. Mark turned to the letter Jack had given to the false king, which was now on the floor. He made his way towards it and picked it up.
“Hey, Jack, look at this!” Mark called, his voice a mixture of worry and surprise. Jack carefully approached him and began reading the letter.
“Ricardo, if you are reading this, I am dead.” The letter declared. “I sent Alex to you so he could be safe, as I will without a doubt be Sagittarius’ first target.”
“No…” Jack whispered, looking at the two with a shock expression. The boy quickly turned around and ran out of the room, making his way towards the castle’s exit.
“Master!” Jack yelled as he ran through the forest and into the cave. He could see an orange glow and feel an intense heat, as he realized the entire ancient city was in flames. Jack swiftly ran through the burning city and approached his master’s house, punching down the door and running inside. “Master! Where are you?”
Jack heard the sound of coughing, turning to see his master on the ground, with large bruises all over his body. Jack ran towards his master and took him in his arms, then running out of the burning house as fast as he could.
“He was here… Sagittarius…” The Ancient Master whispered weakly, as Jack ran through the flaming ruins. “I tried to stop him…”
Jack ran out of the burning cave and continued running into the forest, only stopping upon finding an open grass field near a river.
“I have to treat your wounds!” Jack declared in almost desperation, before his master gently placed his hand on the boy’s shoulder.
“Grow… beyond me…” The Ancient Master whispered, before closing his eyes.
“Master! Master!” Jack almost screamed as he tried to shake his master awake. The boy stared at the man who raised him, as the realization that it was too late slowly hit him. Tears began coming out of Jack’s eyes. He looks up into the sky and screamed from the top of his lungs, his voice echoing through the forest.
Ricardo, if you are reading this, I am dead. I sent Alex to you so he could be safe, as I will without a doubt be Sagittarius’ first target. Your first instinct might be to come help me, just as we fought together last time he awakened, but I ask you not to. That creature becomes stronger with time, so the two of us together will likely not be able to seal him in the stars as we did before. I am happy to sacrifice my life facing the monster that destroyed my tribe, but you must live and lead the Kingdom of Sonhara into the battle that is to come.
Fourteen years ago, you came to me with one of your twin children. You asked me to turn that newborn into a warrior. I now send you back that child, as the only one who can defeat Sagittarius. My death will be the extinction of my tribe, but the art of Roshambo shall live on through him. This boy is the last hope of this world, and I have faith that he will be the one to finally defeat Sagittarius.
By the way, Jack, since I know you’ll end up reading this without permission, I am sorry that I never told you about your family, but I had to make you the warrior we needed. I love you, never forget that.
Signed: Lamont Allard, the Ancient Master of Roshambo.
The three stood in the middle of the throne room, looking at the full moon through the hole Blockhead had made on the wall when he tossed Alex through it. Sonhara and the Forest of Dreams both looked very peaceful in the beautiful night.
“You’re the son of King Ricardo.” Mark declared, breaking the silence, before Jack slowly nodded. “I never knew he had any other kids.”
“My whole life, I thought my family had abandoned me.” Jack commented, not turning away from the full moon. “Did you know, Daniela?”
“Father would always tell stories about you. My lost brother, who would heroically return when the kingdom needed him the most, and save the world from a terrifying end.” Daniela explained. “My biggest dream had always been to meet you.”
Jack nodded as they continued to stare at the sky in silence for a few moments.
“The Sagittarius constellation is gone.” Mark noted, pointing at the empty spot in the sky where the stars should be. “Could this be because Sagittarius escaped?”
“They literally sealed him in the stars?” Jack asked in surprise. “That’s… really lame.”
Daniela cracked a small smile and laughed quietly, which Mark responded by laughing slightly louder. Jack was the third one to laugh, and before they realized it, the three were laughing together in the middle of the throne room.
“Very well! We might have lost important people today, but they gave up their lives so we can live! I will not let that go to waste!” Jack declared, as he turned around to look at the others and smiled with confidence. “The ancient Master spent his life teaching me my Roshambo techniques, and I’ll use all of them to defeat Sagittarius!”
The two stared at him in amazement for a moment, before Mark nodded.
“Then I shall help you!” Mark declared, pulling his sword out of his scabbard. “I shall fight by your side and protect you with my life, so that this land can once again be at peace!”
Daniela stared at her father’s crown, which she still held in her hands, before she breathed heavily and put it on. The jewels on the crowd glowed for a few moments, before the crown changed size to perfectly fit onto her head.
“I shall help you too! With my father gone, Sonhara will need a new leader for this battle, and with the power inherited to me, I shall help you on your journey…” Daniela declared. “As the Queen of Sonhara!”
“Alright!” Jack declared with confidence as he held his fist forward, before the other two fist bumped it.
“We shall be… um…” Daniela declared, before thinking for a few moments. “The Department of Dreams!”
The rest of the department nodded, before they once again turned back to look at the moon.
“Sagittarius won’t stand a chance!” Jack declared with a smile.
To be continued?
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