Continuing Tales

The Debt

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 22 of 24

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The Debt

A mystery uncovered...

Jareth held Sarah's hand as the healer carefully worked her magic to heal the wound.

"Almost as good as new." The healer said after 15 minutes. "There will be a scar unfortunately. Humans scar easy and don't heal completely."

Sarah nodded and thanked the healer. Her arm was stiff but felt much better. The healer was an older woman with long silver hair. She had a kind face and obviously a kind heart to share her healing powers with others. Sarah wondered how she ended up in such a place as Darkwood.

"We will need to cut through the throne room to escape. Farris' chambers are on the other side. You would be able to kill him easily." Cyla told Jareth.

"Why do you have to kill him? Isn't there another way?" Sarah asked.

"Compassion. That's deadly." Cyla told her.

'There is no other way Sarah." Jareth replied, ignoring Cyla's previous comment. "It's nearly impossible to keep a Fae as powerful as Farris prisoner. It would only be a matter of time before he found a way to escape and seek revenge. Let's go and get this over with."

The trio entered the hallway with Cyla leading.

The castle was quiet, too quiet for Jareth's liking. Farris had to know that he was there. As a master of his own castle, not much escaped Jareth without his noticing. He doubted that much escaped Farris either.

There were no guards stationed outside the throne room and this worried Jareth. This was all too easy.

"Something doesn't feel right." He whispered to Sarah as they crept quietly across the room.

"That's because it isn't." Light flared out from all directions in the previously darkened room. Farris stood, dressed in black with a cape flowing behind him. His cruel eyes were filled with bitter amusement. "Splendidly done my dear. Just as we planned." He said casting a glance at Cyla.

"You!! I knew I shouldn't have trusted you!" Jareth cried out. Cyla shrank away from him. She looked frightened.

"I had to Jareth. I'm sorry." She looked ready to break down and cry.

"You haven't changed a bit. You're still a heartless traitor!" Sarah clutched his arm and glanced down at her own that had been healed. If Cyla was truly heartless she would not have brought her to the healer. Something didn't seem right about this whole situation.

"Once a fool, always a fool, eh Jareth?" Farris stood one hand on his hips, looking at Jareth with complete arrogance.

Jareth pulled Sarah behind him and drew his sword. It glittered in the harsh light.

"So you want to play games do you Goblin King?" Farris threw his cape off behind him and pulled a sword from the scabbard that was tied to his side. "Two can play. What do you suppose we make a little deal?"

"I don't make deals with the devil." Jareth shot back arrogantly.

Farris let out a laugh. "Oh Jareth, you're still so utterly amusing. Still the same little orphan who made himself the joke of the entire High Court. But let's leave the past behind us, shall we? Here's the deal. No use of magic on each other. I plan to kill you Goblin King and I plan to do it without magic. It will be so much more satisfying."

"Fine." Jareth told him gripping the handle of his sword tightly. "No magic." Not much magic could be used in the presence of iron so Jareth felt he wasn't losing much if he didn't use his. The two powerful Fae stood a moment looking at each other trying to find a weakness, or anything that would let on where a weakness could be found. Farris' eyes left the Goblin King and moved briefly to Sarah.

"I must tell you Jareth. She's very pretty for a mortal. After I've killed you, I look forward to breaking the spirit of your little lover." Jareth lunged forward and two swords clashed. "Ooh I do believe I have hit a nerve. Tell me how is she in bed? She must be good with that spirit of hers." Jareth raised his sword once more and let it come down hard on Farris'. Farris dodged his next attack easily. Jareth's anger was getting the better of him and if he kept this up he would surely lose.

Sarah knew this to be true. "Jareth, don't listen to him! He's trying to get you angry so you will lose your concentration!" She cried out.

"I never liked women that talked too much!" Farris raised a hand at Sarah and she went skidding backwards on the black tiled floor. Cyla watched for a moment and then rushed to her side helping her to her feet.

"You said no magic." Jareth said through grit teeth.

"And I haven't used any magic on you. I never agreed not to use any on the mortal." Farris circled to the left and Jareth mirrored his movements. " So tell me, what is it like to live with Goblins? I hear they are uncivilized, filthy creatures. Did you sleep with any during your 400 years as King? I hear the females are particularly interesting once in bed." Jareth took a deep breath and ignored the insult. "I don't hear you denying anything. Goblin King." Farris seemed pleased with himself.

"So how did it feel to be beaten by a mere mortal child?" the insult went no where. Farris didn't know that Sarah beating him brought the first hope into his life in 400 years. "Oh you're no fun at all." Farris raised his sword and it came down hard, but Jareth was prepared and deflected the blow.

For 10 minutes the two men tried to get the sword out of their opponents hand and neither had been successful. They were evenly matched without magic.

Farris raised his sword one last time and when it came down the force combined with his dark magic sent Jareth crashing to the ground. He landed hard on his back and his sword slid to Farris' feet.

"You said no magic!" Sarah cried and Cyla tried to hold her back.

"Sarah don't, you'll only get yourself killed!" Cyla told her.

"I'd rather die then live without Jareth." She began to sob and Cyla took her into her arms.

Farris laughed at Sarah's little display and picked up Jareth's sword, tossing his own behind him. He looked over the sword like an animal looked over its prey. "How perfect." He purred. "Get to your feet!" he ordered and he took the sword and cut the side of Jareth's face as a warning. The blood gushed from the small wound on the Goblin King's pale cheek.

'No!" Sarah cried out. She couldn't let him kill Jareth.

"Guards, seize her and Cyla too. I won't risk her betraying me as well." Guards entered the room and seized Sarah and Cyla. Neither of the women were a match for the strong men. "Get up Goblin King!" When Jareth didn't move, Farris let the sword swing forward to cut the other side of his face.

'No please." Sarah sobbed. Farris snickered at her plea.

"Get..up." He ordered again. This time Jareth got to his feet. He stood tall, with anger and arrogance in his eyes.

Farris positioned the sharp blade of the sword horizontal to Jareth's heart. "How completely fitting this is."

"What?" Jareth grunted. He tried to keep his wits about him. He couldn't use his magic to escape because of the iron so close to him. He didn't want to die, not like this, not in front of Sarah, leaving her alone and at the mercy of this tyrant.

"Nearly 900 years ago, a situation very much like this one. A king, at the other end of my blade. His lover and Queen held by my guards. " Farris let out a devious laugh. "How fitting that it should be now that his son is at the end of the blade that belonged to that man. The very same blade that was left on the battlefield after it was plunged into its owner's heart!"

Jareth's eyes widened and the color drained from his face. Farris laughed louder.

"It was you! You killed my father?!" Jareth's mismatched eyes burned with fire. He loathed Farris before, now it was beyond that.

"It only took you 800 years to figure it out!" Farris was laughing as if this was all a joke.

"Why?!" Jareth demanded. He ignored the blade so close to him. He wanted answers.

"For his land, why else! I would have had it all too if Aiden's father had not intervened. King Varian and his damned justice and honor. Instead of giving me the land I rightfully claimed by law he convinced the court that it should be split amongst the nobles there. No one suspected me of anything but greed for having more land. I was too young then to be thought as a murderer and too young to be cut my fair share of the land."

"So what do you hope to claim by killing me now?" Jareth cocked his head, regarding the dark lord.

"Because you've been a thorn in my side for years. You are all that stands between me and the land! Varian managed to convince the nobles to tend the land until the day it's rightful heir would return. While some will no doubt want to keep the land, many know that the rightful heir will show one day, even though no one knew who it was. No one but King Varian and myself knew. And when he finally died only I possessed the knowledge of who would become king. I can convince the court the true king should be me. With Varian dead, you soon to be dead, and Varian's son no longer in court, I can take what is rightfully mine."

"All that is rightfully yours... is hell." Came a familiar voice. Jareth's eyes widened in surprise. Standing behind Farris, with a sword pointed at the Dark lord's back, was Aiden.

The Debt

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 22 of 24

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