My, what a lovely summer's evening this is. The last rays of sunlight are glittering off of the Abbey pond. The Dibbuns are picking the last strawberries of the season. I'm glad that all of the creatures that live at Redwall are safe now. Why is this thought in my mind, you may ask? Well it all started when Martin, our Abbey Champion, went out to take a stroll on an evening like this, about twelve seasons ago....
Martin the Warrior strode out of Redwall Abbey into Mossflower Woods. Sometimes he just liked to get away from everything and spend time alone with his thoughts. He breathed in the smells of the woodlands in summer, and sighed. He went on through the woods, sometimes meeting woodlanders who were on their way back to their homes. Suddenly he heard screams and wicked laughter coming from a short ways away. He raced over towards the sound and saw a big rat beating his club on an old, female mouse. The rat kicked at the old mouse, “What valuables 'ave ye got? Give 'em to me or I'll beat ya into the ground!” He swung the club down again and it hit the old mouse on the back of her head and she fell limp to the ground. The rat started to look through her belongings, when he heard a voice from in front of him, “Hey there, bully! Why don't you pick on somebeast that can actually fight back? Like me!” The rat looked up and saw Martin standing a few yards away. The vermin growled and said, “Get out of 'ere, mouse, or I'll make things all the worse for ye!” Martin shrugged, “Alright, if that's what you want...” Suddenly he charged at the rat, bulling him over. He grabbed the vermin by the back of his neck and threw him to the ground. He stood on the rat's back, preventing him from getting up, and growled at the rat, “Now pay heed, vermin! I'll let you go, but if I catch you attacking poor, helpless creatures again, then I won't be so merciful. Understood?” The rat gave a muffled groan and Martin let him up. The rat took off running into the woods. The warrior mouse went over to where the old mouse lay, and held her up. He shook his head sadly when he saw that she was already dead. Then he heard a soft crying noise. He looked down and saw a small bundle on the old mouse's back. He picked it up and uncovered it to see a baby mouse just a few weeks old. Martin smiled and stroked it's head, whispering, “It's okay little one. I'll protect you.” He picked up the small bundle and then dug a little grave under a beech tree, and put the old mouse to rest. Then he took the baby mouse in his arms and carried it back to Redwall, whispering to it, “Don't worry. I'll give you a nice home at Redwall, little Rylo.”
As I said, twelve seasons had passed from then, and Rylo had become like a son to Martin. He had grown into a fine young mouse, and he loved Martin dearly. He had also become great friends with Martin's best pals Gonff and Dinny, and he even started to picked up some habits from that feisty Mousethief. Yes, Rylo was very dear to us all. And he even had an admirer, a young mousemaid named Rosily. They were inseparable. Martin asked everybeast to not tell Rylo about either of their pasts, and we all agreed. Unfortunately that had some dire consequences.
Chapter 1-The Deal of Death
Vulpuz, the Ruler of Death, sat on his huge throne deep within the core of the earth. He was a huge fox, almost the size of a wolf, and his fur was literally fire red. Hot flames shot up from his body whenever he moved. His eyes were an eerie, burning reddish-yellow, and they blazed with malice. He sat at the entrance of lower Dark Forest, awaiting the souls of dead creatures to enter his black domain. Nobeast knew what lay beyond the gates. Except him. His guards were foxes like himself, and they too had flaming fur. They hardly ever spoke, and they obeyed their master's every word. Two of them came up to his evil, black throne that was in the shape of a skull, and bowed. Vulpuz stared at them, his red eyes burning, and he spoke in a deep, evil voice, “What is it, Infernax?” Infernax, the leader of the guards, bowed and spoke in a soft, raspy voice, “O Lord of Hellgates, I wish to tell thee that two of thy prisoners wish to speak with thee.” Vulpuz nodded, “Bring them in.” More guards came in, followed by the spirits of two creatures, a stoat and a wildcat. They were bound with heavy chains so as to keep them from escaping Dark Forest. Vulpuz glared at them, “What dost thou want?” The female wildcat spoke, “O Master of Darkness, we ask you to set us free for a short time.” The Ruler of Death's firey body burst out in a rage of flames, “Why should I let thee free to roam the earth among the living?” The stoat spoke next, “O great Vulpuz, we only wish to go to earth to bring back the soul of another creature and to cause chaos and hatred among the living.” Vulpuz growled, “Whom is this creature whose soul thou wishes to bring down here?” The stoat and the wildcat smiled evilly at each other, and the wildcat said, “The creature that we wish to bring here, O Emperor of Wickedness, is the spirit of a mouse. Martin the Warrior of Redwall Abbey!”
Martin the Warrior sat under a tree in the orchard of Redwall Abbey. With him were Gonff, the Prince of Mousethieves, and Dinny the mole. The warrior mouse leaned back against the tree, and closed his eyes. Gonff played a happy tune on his reed flute, and Dinny munched on a scone. It was a warm summer afternoon, and everybeast in the Abbey was in a lazy mood. Martin listened to Gonff play on his flute, and said, "I just love days like this. Don't you?" Gonff stopped playing and stretched, "Aye, it's days like these that make you want to do nothing. Although it seems as if Rylo is in an energetic mood!" Suddenly Rylo raced by, followed by a few of his friends. They ran by at full speed, and nearly ran over Gonff's wife Columbine, who was going to give Martin and his friends some cold cider. She dodged out of the way as Rylo thundered past, whooping and laughing. She shook her head and went over to the three friends, "That Rylo is such a young scallawag! It seems that he gets into more trouble than my Gonfflet sometimes!" Her husband took a sip of the cider and winked, "Nobeast gets into more trouble than my son!" Then he turned to Martin, "By the way, mate. I've been wondering when you're going to tell Rylo about his real past?" Martin sighed and took a cup of cider, "I don't know. I just don't want him to know that he is adopted because then he'll ask why I didn't marry and..." he shuddered, "I don't want to remember anything about that." Columbine sat down next to Gonff, "But you should tell him sometime. He can't go through life believing something that isn't true!" Dinny nodded, "Hurr aye. If'n youm just told 'im 'bout it when 'e were a little 'un, then 'e moight 'ave not arsked e about it!" Martin sighed again. He knew that his friends were right, but when would the right time be? He had told Rylo that he was his father and that his mother had died from a sickness. Rylo had never really inquired more about it but Martin knew that as he got older, he would soon ask. The warrior mouse turned to his friends and said, “Your right. I should have told him before, but I'll tell him soon. When the time is right.”
Rylo sat by the Abbey pond with his friends Rosily the mousemaid and a young otter named Cuffar. Rylo skipped a stone across the pond, sending it on three skips. He grinned at his friends, “Beat that!” Rosily tried and sent hers at four. She smiled at Rylo, “Hah! I got four!” Cuffar tossed his pebble in the air and said, “You guys are amateurs!” Then with a flick of his wrist he sent it bouncing across the water. His friends stared at him in awe. Rylo stuttered, “Seven times?!” Cuffar grinned and picked up another stone, “Aye, my uncle Skip taught me how to do that. I can do nine if you'd like!” Rosily shook her head, “No, I think that you're the winner paws down!” Rylo stretched and sighed, “So what else should we do?” Cuffar shrugged, “I don't know, there's not much to do on an afternoon like this.” Rylo sat watching Martin and his companions over by the orchard. He narrowed his eyes and mused, “I wonder what they're talking about?” Rosily smoothed her smock, “Who knows? But what does it matter anyway?” The young mouse sighed, “I don't know, but it seems as though everybeast has treated me differently. Like I'm not supposed to be here.” Cuffar raised an eyebrow, “What?! Of course you belong here! You're our best mate!” Rylo smiled at them, “Thanks, but I just don't know.” Rosily said, “Why don't you talk to your father about it?” Rylo looked at Martin for a moment and then said, “Yes, I think that I will.” Cuffar asked, “When?” The mouse replied, “Tomorrow.”
Down in lower Dark Forest, the stoat and the wildcat had told their whole plan to Vulpuz, Ruler of Death. The flaming fox sat on his throne, and did not speak for awhile. Then he said, “I will let thee both go up into the land of the living, but you will both be spirits and will not be able to harm any creature.” The two vermin stared at him for a moment, then the stoat said, “But Master, how then will we have our revenge?” Vulpuz smiled at them, “Thou will have thy bodies again, when thou gets another living creature to hate this mouse Martin as much as thou does.” Then he leaned forward and whispered, “A creature that he loves very dearly!” They glanced at each other and the wildcat said, “H-how shall we do that?” “Find a way!” Vulpuz said, “And thee shall have thy bodies again to have thy revenge!” The stoat and the wildcat nodded to each other, “Aye, we agree!” The Lord of Hellgates stood and with a blast of fire, melted the heavy chains that bound them both. The rose up and floated around, then they bowed and said, “We will do as you command, Master!” Then they went out of Dark Forest and into the land of the living.
It was late at night and all of Redwall Abbey was asleep and peaceful. In Mossflower Woods, the moon shone softly through the trees. Then the ground started to shank slightly, and finally broke open. The two spirits rose out and glided silently over towards Redwall Abbey. Badrang the Tyrant of Marshank and Queen Tsarmina of the Thousand Eyes, had returned!
Chapter 2-"You will know the truth!"
Rylo lay awake on his dormitory bed, thinking. He wondered about his father and why everybeast seemed to treat him differently. Rylo knew that Martin was a warrior at one time, but he had hung up his sword and was now peaceful. But it always seemed as if his father was hiding a secret. A secret that could be about him. But what was it? Rylo sighed and sat up on his bed. He glanced over at Rosily who was sleeping on a bed a little ways away. He smiled, he had always liked her. She and Cuffar and Gonff's son Gonflet were his best pals, and they were the only ones that seemed to not treat him differently. He got up and went downstairs and into Great Hall. He looked at the sword that hung on the wall and took a deep breath. The sword was long and beautiful, like fire reflecting on ice. From it's strong, double-edged blade, down the hilt to the red pommel-stone on the end, it was every inch a warrior's ultimate weapon. He gently picked it up and stared at the blade. If only the sword could talk, then it could tell him everything about his father and the secrets that he held. Suddenly he felt a chill, as if a cold breeze had blown by. He looked around to see nobeast there and the doors shut. He sighed, put the sword back on it's wall pegs, and said, “If only I could find out what it is about my father, then I could be at peace with this.” Then he heard a soft, raspy voice from behind him, “So, you wish to know the truth about your so called father?” He whirled around and gasped in horror when he saw the ghosts of Badrang and Tsarmina hovering above the floor. Rylo rubbed his eyes and looked again. The stoat spoke, “No, you are not dreaming. We are real.” Then the wildcat whispered again, “You want to know the truth of the warrior?” Rylo stuttered, “W-well, I-I uh, yes.” Badrang came closer and smiled at him, “Then you will hear the truth of him. For who better to know it than the creatures that he killed in cold blood!” Rylo stared in horror, “M-my father killed you?!” Tsarmina went on the other side of him and shook her head sadly, “Yes, he was a very harsh and violent creature, and he slew us without mercy.” “Even when we begged for mercy,” continued Badrang, “he slew us. So we have come back to tell you the truth about Martin the Warrior.” “He would tell you himself, but it would all be lies!” Tsarmina hissed. Rylo gulped, “So, you came to tell me the truth?” They nodded and he said, “But how can I trust you?” They looked at each other and the wildcat said, “Because we have been sent from Dark Forest just to tell you. So why not trust us?” Rylo thought for a moment. He longed to know the truth, and if these two spirits could tell him.... He looked up at them, “Alright, tell me the truth of my father.” Badrang leaned back, “Your adopted father you mean.” Rylo stared at him, “Adopted?” The stoat nodded, “Aye. You are not his true son. He never married after he slew his true love.” Rylo's mouth fell open, “What?!' Badrang wiped away an imaginary tear, “Yes, sad isn't it. He slew his true love, a mousemaid named Rose, when he attacked me. His anger was so great, that he killed her with that sword,” he pointed to the sword that hung on the wall. “when she tried to stop him from slaying me. I had no weapon to defend myself, and he attacked and killed me in cold blood.” Rylo stared at the ground. That would explain why Martin had never talked about his mother. He looked at them, his eyes already blazing with rage and confusion. Tsarmina spoke, “And not only is he a murderer, he is a coward as well! He ran away from his friends when they needed him most.” Rylo stared at her, “Tell me all of it!” The two tyrants smiled at each other and then Tsarmina said, “Aye, you will know the truth!”
Martin the Warrior lay awake on his bed, thinking. Should he really tell Rylo about his past? Would the young mouse be resentful and angry with him for not telling him before? Martin sighed and turned over in bed. He would think more about it tomorrow. But right now, he would get some rest.
Rylo listened with intense awe and horror as the spirits of Tsarmina and Badrang related the 'true' story of Martin the Warrior. Rylo stared at the floor, "So he ran away from his friends when they needed him?" The wildcat nodded, "Twice he did. Once when his woodlander friends were fighting against me, he ran off and just because I broke his sword!" Rylo started, "But the sword hangs on the wall over there! And in one piece!" Tsarmina shook her head, "That is the other part. He deserted his friends in their time of need, and went to get his precious sword fixed. Then after the Badger Lord fixed it, the badger went to fight some searats. But did Martin help him even when the badger was at death's gates? No. He ran away again." Badrang snarled, "So not only is this vile beast Martin a murderer, but he is a coward and liar!" Rylo sat silently thinking about all that he had heard. The stoat closed his eyes and leaned back almost lazily, "And who knows if he may get in that insane wrath again. If anybeast got in his way, then he would slay them." Tsarmina purred, "Even a young one. Like Rosily!" Suddenly Rylo jumped up and stared at them, his eyes blazing, "He wouldn't dare!" Badrang rasped, "But he already did! With his true love!" Rylo was breathing heavily. So now he knew the truth, his so called father was really a spineless villain that pretended to be a warrior. But then he remembered everything that Martin had done for him and he shook himself, "No! I don't believe it!" The vermin tyrants glanced at each other and Tsarmina said, "I know that the truth is hard to grasp sometimes. But you just have to believe it." Rylo slumped to the floor and closed his eyes. Whom should he trust? His adopted father, or the ghosts of his arch enemies. But at least they had come and told him. They had given him knowledge of the past. He sighed and opened his eyes. When he did, it seemed as if he had changed. His paws clenched in rage and his eyes burned with hate. He stood and stared at the two spirits, and said, "Yes, Martin, my false father is a liar, a murderer, and a coward! And I will slay him!" Badrang and Tsarmina exchanged smiles, then the stoat pointed to the sword that hung on the wall, "Then what better weapon to kill him with, than the very sword that he wields!" Rylo went over and picked up the sword. He could feel it's power course through him and his hatred grew even more. The tyrants looked down at their transparent bodies. Obviously this mouse did not have as much hatred as them yet. Rylo turned and started up the stairs to dormitories, the two spirits following. With every step that Rylo took, his anger and hatred grew. A vole that was coming down the stairs to help in the kitchens saw him and stopped, puzzled, "Where are you going young Rylo?" The mouse did not even stop walking. He swung the pommel of the sword and it collided with the vole's chest. The vole fell unconscious on the stairway and Rylo kept walking. The two spirits came up and looked at the fallen creature on the ground. They were both thinking the same thing: This mouse has the makings of a good vermin! Then Rylo came to Martin's room. The door silently swung open and Rylo's shadow was cast on the the sleeping warrior by the torchlight in the stairway. Rylo stalked into the room, holding the sword ready. He stood over Martin's sleeping form and raised the sword high over his head. Badrang the Tyrant and Queen Tsarmina were in the doorway watching. They grinned wickedly and rubbed their paws in evil anticipation. Rylo raised the sword back as far as it could go and gave a hoarse, rasping whisper, that slowly turned into a scream, "You will never slay Rosily or any innocent creature, murderer!"
At that moment three things happened. The sword swung down, Martin's eyes snapped open, and green streaks of lightening coursed over the figures of Tsarmina and Badrang, slowly bringing their bodies back over them like a flickering flame.
Chapter 3-The Battle
The sword slashed down through the air, straight at Martin. The mouse's warrior instincts and agility were what saved his life. He rolled off of the bed just as the blade sliced into it. Martin lay on the floor staring in shock at Rylo, “W-what are you doing?!” Rylo's eyes blazed hatred as he came closer and prepared to strike again. But before he could move, he heard the sound of evil laughter from behind him and turned. There stood, full in the flesh, Badrang the Tyrnat and Queen Tsarmina. The wildcat flexed her claws and purred, “Oh it's good to be back!” Badrang advanced on Rylo, “Give me the sword mouse!” Rylo turned back to Martin who was staring in complete shock and horror at his two foes. He stuttered, “W-what are y-you doing here?!” Badrang smiled, “That doesn't matter now does it, mouse?” Rylo stepped closer to Martin and raised the sword again, but Badrang grabbed him by the back of the neck and threw him to the ground. The sword went skittering across the room, and the stoat pressed his footpaw on Rylo's back. He leaped over and picked up the sword. Badrang smiled as he looked at the blade, “This one's even better than the other!” Suddenly Martin lunged at him, but a strong claw grabbed the warrior by the back of his neck and he was soon staring into Tsarmina's vengeful face. “It's nice to see you again, mouse!” She hissed. Then she spun him around and smashed him against the wall. Rylo lay on the ground, the breath knocked out of him. Badrang felt the edge of the sword blade and looked over at Tsarmina, who had Martin by the shoulders and was digging her sharp claws deep into them. The stoat said, “Hoi, Tsarmina! Turn that little wretch around and let him see me!” She turned Martin around so that he was looked right at Badrang. He glared at the stoat through swollen eyes, and Badrang laughed, “Not so strong now, eh? Hah! Hold 'im tight Tsarmina!” The wildcat twisted Martin's arms behind his back and dug her claws into his flesh. Badrang advanced, holding the sword level with Martin's throat. The Tyrant of Marshank lifted Martin's chin with the blade and grinned wickedly, “Well, well. If it ain't the bold and brave warrior! What are you going to do now mouse? There's nobeast here to save you now!” Martin looked pleadingly at Rylo, but the young mouse just stood, glaring at him. The warrior looked back at Badrang, “How did you get here?” Tsarmina answered, “That is something that you will never know!” Then she smiled at the stoat, “Until you reach Hellgates!” Badrang drew the sword back and looked thoughtful, “Now, how should we kill him? Swift and easy, or long and slowly?” Tsarmina giggled evilly, “Long and slow!” Badrang grinned, “Just what I would have said!” He held the sword at Martin's chest, and said, “Now prepare to die a long, painful death!” The wildcat hissed in his ear, “And while you die, think of this. When your soul is down in Dark Forest, I will conquer your precious Abbey and the reign of Kotir will rise again!” Badrang started to slide the blade across Martin's chest, “And I will rebuild Marshank! But this time it will be stronger and I will have twice as many vermin at my command! We will rule all of Mossflower!” Rylo suddenly was alert. This was their plan? To rule Mossflower and Redwall Abbey? He gritted his teeth. After they got rid off the fake warrior, he would get rid of them! Martin screamed in pain as the sword blade scrapped slowly across his chest and the claws ripped into his arms. Tsarmina laughed insanely, “Remember all of the times that you fought against us! Remember the times that you humiliated us!” Badrang's eyes blazed with evil intent, “No longer will you be able to stand against us, mouse! Nobeast will! For after this, everybeast that you love will be either dead or a slave!”
Something in Rylo's mind suddenly snapped. He ran at Badrang screaming, “Nooooooooo!” The stoat drew back the sword to give the final stab, but Rylo collided with him and the strike went off. The blade missed Martin and sliced into Tsarmina's arm. The wildcat yowled in pain and dropped Martin. The warrior mouse lay on the ground gasping. Rylo punched at Badrang's head, and the stoat screamed, “Get this brat off of me!” Tsarmina slashed at Rylo's back, but he dodged the blow and the claws scraped across Badrang's face. The stoat roared in pain and dropped the sword. Before Rylo could pick it up, Tsarmina had grabbed him by the throat and hissed, “Thank you for giving us back our bodies, fool!” She threw him across the room and reached for the sword. But Badrang had already picked it up, and he stood above Martin's limp figure, ready to give a fatal blow. Tsarmina bulled into the stoat and yelled, “The mouse's life is mine, stoat!” Badrang growled savagely at her, “Only if you can get to him first, cat!” Tsarmina lunged at Martin, but Badrang swung the sword, clipping into the wildcat's side. She turned and threw herself on the stoat, screaming. Rylo groaned and pulled himself up. He watched in amazement as the two tyrants fought. Tsarmina's sharp claws ripped at Badrang's body, and the stoat hacked and sliced at her with Martin's sword. Badrang roared into her face, “The mouse is all mine! You vile scumcat!” Tsarmina hissed back, “I had stoats that were better than you in my army, stupid filth!” She lunged forward and sunk her teeth deep in Badrang's throat. At the same time, the stoat stabbed out with the sword and it pierced her heart. They stood for a moment, their bodies supporting each other, then they crumpled lifeless to the ground. Rylo stared in shock at the two dead tyrants. Then a strange, green lightening came over their carcasses, and they disappeared, leaving only the sword of Martin lying on the ground. It took Rylo a few minutes to figure out what just happened, then he got up and went over to Martin's still form. All hatred and anger was gone from the young mouse, as he held up the warrior's body and whispered as he wept, “I'm, sorry! So, so sorry! Father.”
Chapter 4-Confessions of a Warrior
Martin groaned and slowly opened his eyes. He gazed up at Rylo and winced, “Rylo....what...happened?” The young mouse stroked Martin's head and sobbed, “I don't know, father. They told me things. Things that were all lies!” The warrior sat up and winced in pain, “What? Who told you lies?” Rylo buried his face in his arm, “Those two vermin ghosts, they told me about you!” Suddenly it all came back to Martin, “Badrang and Tsarmina!” he exclaimed, “How did they get back? Why were they here?” Rylo stood and went over to the sword that lay on the ground. He picked it up and limped back over to Martin. He sat down and gazed at the weapon, “I have always wondered about both mine and your pasts. You seemed so secretive about them and everybeast just treated me different. They were more quiet about the past around me. So I was really curious about it and I wondered...” He sighed and looked up at Martin, “That was when they came.” Martin looked back at Rylo, “They must have been released from Dark Forest somehow.” Suddenly Martin cried out and held his side. Rylo helped him up and onto the bed. He tried to cover the warrior's wounds as best he could and said, “Should I go get help?” Martin shook his head, “No, nobeast would understand what happened. I barely do. Except....” He looked up and said, “Go and get the Abbess or Bella. They would be the only ones that would understand!” Rylo started to shake all over. How could he explain about him trying to kill his father and his hatred against him? He shook his head vigorously, “No! I just can't let anybeast know about this... I just can't!” Martin laid back on the bed, “Now tell me Rylo, what happened with those two evil spirits?” The young mouse sighed, “While I was in Great Hall looking at your sword, I heard them speaking to me. They said that you slew them in cold blood, even when they asked for mercy and pleaded for their lives.” Martin frowned, “It is true that I killed Badrang. And I did partially cause Tsarmina's death, I think. But in cold blood? They were armed when I fought them, and if you only knew what they did...” Rylo gulped, “The stoat also said that you killed your true love in anger.” Martin stood stock still and his eyes began to water. He convulsed once and sighed deeply, “That evil, lying scum! How dare he!” Rylo looked puzzled, “So it's true then?” Martin glared at the wall, “No! Nothing could be farther from the truth! It was Badrang that slew Rose! It was he that killed her in cold blood! That filthy, lying....” Rylo stared at the bed and asked quietly, “And did you run away from your friends when they needed you? Just to get the sword fixed?” Martin raised an eyebrow, “So another foul lie, huh? That ruthless, conniving cat! No, I went to go to Salamandastron mountain to fix my sword and to get help from the Badger Lord, Boar the Fighter.” His gaze wandered off as he stared at the wall. Rylo applied another cloth to Martin's wounds and said, “And he died, right?” Martin looked at him, “Yes, unfortunately he did.” Rylo frowned, “But did you run away from his battle with the searats?” Martin sighed and smiled frustratedly, “My, those evil tyrants told you everything but the truth! No, I, Gonff, Dinny, and some others helped Boar in his final battle. He told us to leave when he was going to die, to leave and to save Mossflower. I tried to protest, but we did as we were told.” They were both silent for a moment, then Rylo asked, “So you're not my real father?” Martin sighed, “Aye, Rylo. I found you out in Mossflower when you were a baby, and I took you in. I'm sorry, I should have told you before.” Just then, two shadows fell across the room and Rylo leaped up, grabbing the sword. They looked up and saw Gonff and Dinny standing in the doorway. The mousethief stared at them strangely, “What's all the racket mates?” Dinny yawed, “Youm woked usn's up out of a good arnd restful sleep so youm did, hurr!” Rylo quickly put a blanket over Martin and said, “Well, er, we were, um, just...” Martin smiled and winked at his friends, “We were just having a 'father-to-son' discussion. Nothing to worry about!” Gonff scratched his head and looked around the room, “Well, if you say so, mate! But I thought that I heard some kind of fighting or something going on.” Rylo winked at Martin, “Oh, my ol' dad here was just battling away in his sleep!” The mousethief and the mole looked at each other and then left, with Dinny muttering, “Urr, we'm got out of our warm ol' beds fur nothin! Burr aye, them bee's crool owld creatures, aye!” After they had gone out of earshot, Rylo and Martin burst out laughing.
Martin the Warrior listened as Rylo told him everything else that had happened that night. The warrior sat stone-faced as he heard of the hatred the had built up in Rylo's heart and of the thoughts that the evil spirits had put in his mind. Rylo was sobbing again after he had finished. Martin placed a paw on his shoulder and said, "It's alright Rylo, I forgive you about the things that you did." Rylo gulped, "But is that enough? I caused you so much pain and trouble. You should have left me to die in the woods, I'm no good to anybeast!" Martin embraced him and stared at the sword that lay on the bed. His mind wandered back to that day far in the north at the Battle of Marshank, when Rose had been slain by Badrang. He had also felt the lose and guilt that Rylo was feeling right now. Martin sighed and shook the memory from his mind. Then he looked Rylo right in the eyes and said, "Now listen to me, Rylo. I will not tell anybeast about this, except for maybe the Abbess or Bella. But nobeast else! I completely understand how you feel, young one. And I want to help you." Rylo shook his head and broke out of Martin's loving grip, "No, I can't stay here and bring more pain and misery to the good creatures here. Tomorrow morning I am going to leave the Abbey and get away from my guilt. I'm sorry." Martin stared at him for a long time, then he whispered, "Alright. You can go, but always remember that you can come back here anytime, young Rylo." Rylo nodded and went back to his dormitory.
Martin lay on his bed, thinking. He winced as he reached over and grabbed his sword and peered at it. All of these events had got him thinking about his own far past. What had happened to the father that he had hardly known? What caused his mother's death? He pondered these questions before finally falling asleep.
It was early the next morning that Rylo, the adopted son of Martin the Warrior, left Redwall Abbey. Martin, myself, Bella, Gonff and Dinny were the only ones that knew of his departure. We watched him go off into Mossflower Woods, with a satchel of food and a gourd of water with him. It was a sad time for all of us, but for Martin it seemed to be very heart-breaking to watch the only creature that he had as his son to walk off into the world unknown. Shortly after that, Martin told me about his own quest and that he wished to find the truth of his own far past. So in just a few days, Martin, Gonff, Dinny, and some other friends will be going off to find the secrets of his past. And who knows, they may run across young Rylo wandering in the woods? By the way, Rylo's two best friends, Rosily and Cuffar, have sneaked away from the Abbey a few nights ago. We sent out search parties, but they weren't found. I do hope that they find Rylo, and come back here to Redwall. Oh well, such is life. Now I must go and have afternoon tea with Bella. I hope to come back to you soon. Remember that Redwall's gates are always open to travelers like you that come our way looking for peace and safety.
Germaine, Abbess of Redwall Abbey
Chapter 5-Many seasons later....
The spirits of two creature came and bowed before the throne of Vulpuz, Master of Darkness. The flaming fox sighed, "What is it?" The creatures, a rat with a very long tail, and a fox with a disfigured face said, "O Master, we wish to go to the land of the living to take revenge on a certain mouse." Vulpuz burst into flame, "No! Never will I allow deadbeasts to go to the land of the living again! It has failed in the past, and it will not be tried again! Get out of my sight!" The two spirits quickly left, and Vulpuz sat back on his throne. He needed a fool-proof plan to fill the world with hatred and evil. But what? He went over to a large bowl-like structure that contained a mass of swirling mists and flames. The Ruler of Death spoke, "Show me the future of all evil on earth!" The misty fire swirled faster and opened to reveal many scenes. Battles raged on land and at sea; Vermin warlords conquered and ruled, then were defeated. Vulpuz snarled and smashed his paw on the rim. Then he saw a strange, peaceful scene. It was of a male otter and his young one at a ford. Suddenly a big, archer ferret leaped out and fired. The adult otter fell dead in the water and a smaller ferret came out and picked up the young otter. Vulpuz smiled maliciously and the scene changed. A fox was strung up by the paws and the same smaller ferret stood in front of him, holding a knife. The young otter came into the scene and took hold of the knife. He raised it, and brought it down. The scene changed again, and kept changing rapidly. Vulpuz laughed insanely as he watched the creatures dying and fighting. A white ferret ran through an old squirrel with her sabre; A hook-pawed searat slashed his scimitar at a big badger's face; A huge, nightmarish creature tore apart a small group of squirrels; and two otters were thrown into a boiling, steaming lake by a large raven. Vulpuz reveled in the carnage and death that he saw, but then a voice spoke out of the bowl, "Evil shall not prevail!" Vulpuz stared in shock at the scenes that came next. Every warlord and evil creature that he had seen, died, their armies and hordes were wiped out, and the beast that did it, were.... Vulpuz screamed in anger, most of these creatures that ended this evilness were from the Abbey or a similar place! The Ruler of Death clenched his paws and went back to his throne. He knew that his evil reign could not win. But he had to try and conquer everything that represented goodness and justice. But that was impossible. Wickedness and darkness were destined to lose the war.