I just wanted to dedicate this to a few people before I start... because a while back I realized how incomplete my life would be without these people.
taught me so much on love and hate and how there
is such a thin line in between them.
taught me about true friendship and how rare it is,
so rare that it can just pass you by and you'd never know.
You don't know how many times I could thank you
and it still wouldn't be enough.
taught me to smile and live all over again.
Thanks; it was one of the best lessons of my life.
And for once there was no brainwork involved.
Crazy, a rebel and wild (and incredibly stubborn)
you had my back when I needed it.
comes at you fast,
I'm truthfully still grasping that concept.
But we live on, leaving things not understood behind.
Sometimes we wish life could go on forever,
Sometimes if it could end on an instant.
But we learn that doesn't work... and we move on.
You know you always want to thank people but you can't just walk up to them and say that... well you could but it'd bring awkward moments afterward. But occasionally they do read my stories so I'll write it here, and just write what I'll never say. So thank you guys.
And beyond that...
I'll get to it already.
Enjoy it, and review please!
The Hands of Fate
Chapter Four: Faithful
We are nonexistent, ghosts among shadows.
Merchants who met us tell of us as campfire stories, stories to tell little children, as if we were never really real but in fable.
They told of us with memories behind their words.
We were people in the mountains outside the city, inhuman as they were, helping them as they crossed the very mountains in which these inhuman people lived.
And until now, no one has ventured to find escape from life.
To be true of cause, it is one of the greatest things.
He had wanted to be free of the greed and power that he had left behind. We all knew this. We sensed it within him.
A stroke of just.
Because of that, we let him do as he wished, for we were peaceful despite the way we were once treated.
But no matter who came and stayed, went and left, we as the immortals were always together as six.
Mar was the leader, keeping us together. She had an aura about her that made you listen to what she said. But she was the only girl.
Derek, always at Mar's side, was the motivator of the group at times when things got really bad. He always knew the difference between right and wrong.
Raqu, though often rash, reckless and unpredictable, was a fearless warrior, and though he doesn't tend to show it, he watches out for us all.
Vain was always the one placating the group, breaking things up when things got rough. He was the support of the immortals.
Makeav always is the one that takes it as it comes. He's unlike all the rest of us, except perhaps Derek. He's laid back and is the last to try to pick a fight.
And me being of the logic of the group.
The six pieces of the arch.
Without one, the arch would tumble to pieces.
We are not whole without each other.
But one if one of us vanished...
What if the world as we know left us?
Would it really come tumbling down?
I guess that's what we're to find out.
Tides are turning, something is changing. The balance thrown off so long ago, but in true time maybe not as long as we think. Darkness is tearing at the corners, looking for a loose end. If it ever found its way in, nothing would stop its wrath. It would spread like a disease, a plague without a cure. A blanket of darkness.
War is like that too. The useless slaughtering of people. It solves nothing, sometimes even starting more problems. Murder is wrong and unanimously spoken against, but war is not always. A concept that I do not understand. It is the killing of others yet war can be justified no matter the casualties. That is what I fear this empire of class is coming to. War.
That's why we don't fight.
And hopefully, forever that will be why we never fight.
Faithful till the end.
"It's been near a week now! Isn't he supposed to be running back to his mommy with tears in his eyes?"
Mar looked up, her eyes unnaturally icy. "His mother is dead."
"That was not my point!"
Raqu glared at Mar, who glared right back, her eyes becoming darker and more murderous by the second.
Finally he gave up, knowing it wasn't any use arguing with her when her mind was dead-set on something.
The wind seemed to still for a second before a shadowy figure appeared not to far away from the campsite. The male immortal walked calmly across the fog covered clearing, greeting the present immortals.
Makeav grinned easily, the wind blowing again. "Hey..."
Mar looked up, her face a mask of calmness. "Hey Makeav. Your power of the wind decided to let itself be known."
Makeav looked puzzled. "Oh, it did? I'm sorry. I didn't ruin anything did it?" He asked with an apologetic note in his voice.
Mar smiled easily. "No it didn't. Seems as if our powers are reacting to the prince being here. Derek just went off with him to teach him a few things. It better if he went back able to control his abilities... and knowing about them. That's even more important."
Even Raqu seemed to agree at this, nodding once.
Mar glanced up. "Vain we need firewood."
Vain didn't even shift from his position, and medium sized branches flew over our heads and landed in a pile in the fire pit.
Mar rolled her eyes. "Maybe I should have said tinder instead... Well hopefully that's not a problem... Talon, can you drain away the water?"
I sighed. "Fine, fine."
I stood up and placed my hands on the pile of wood, concentrating on the fiber and atom structure of the wood. Nearly instantaneously, I held two large globes of water in my hand, and a stack of tinder.
I grinned at Mar, who sighed. "Hey, I'll use it for broth I suppose..." She pulled out a iron pot with one finger, her expression perfectly neutral. She put the pot underneath the globes and I let the water drop in.
Vain chuckled. "That's sanitary right?"
Mar sighed. "Well how about you check it then, if you care to question. Just use everyone's abilities why don't we?"
Vain sat up and shrugged, concentrating on the water. For a minute the water fizzed lightly, anything unsanitary dissolving into nothing. The ability to control parts of earth was his specialty... explaining how he changed the water's chemical composition.
Mar sighed when Vain turned away again, the water settling. "Really, that's why we boil water...?"
Raqu sighed exasperatedly. "I suppose you'll be needing specific ingredients for this soup of yours..."
Mar smirked, plopping down next to Vain, a look on her face that told you that pretty much she was going to give us hell.
"Yeah... I'm making an Amazon Kato Soup... Raqu, you like the dirty work. Get me two wild fowl and two shark fish... the ones that nearly ate Makeav... and before you object we all know you can catch them. Vain, I need five Perecnon Mushrooms, the purplish ones not the red, we don't want Derek poisoned again. And also some Raven leaves and Svart..."
Vain raised an eyebrow. They were all easy things to find, and we all knew it was because of his wound. "Svart?"
"The reddish vegetable that you like... kinda egg shaped with a sharp taste..." Mar said with a hard glare, knowing he knew exactly what it was. "Makeav, I need some Terk, just a handful or so, you know the clear mineral... I swear it won't kill you to help me."
"Will this Terk kill me?"
"You can't die."
"...It's like salt Makeav. And aren't we all going to eat this?"
Mar turned to me. "Talon, we'll both go and find Derek and the prince then all go and find Secretion Flowers."
No one had any objections have all four of them looking for the flower. Its fragrance was a killer, suspending the person that smelled it in a blank state, an endless abyss, and plus to the fact that there were a few mountains to climb to get there. We all guessed Mar was using this flower because its pedals contained healing properties and apparently the spike that had gone through Vain's chest had pierced some artery and wasn't healing properly.
Mar grabbed my arm and set into the direction of the mountains.
Mar let out a long breath after running steadily for a minute or so. "Where are they? Uh, this forest just gets thicker."
I looked up, and took a leap, easily climbing half of the hundred foot tree and pushing on a branch to leap the rest. Mar followed me with no difficulty, settling on a branch opposite of me.
We were already about a few miles from the camp.
"Do you see anything Talon?"
"Anything with a heart?"
"I see a monkey."
"Okay do you see them?"
Mar sensed it first. She turned towards the setting sun, her eyes dilated, attentively conscientious and surprised.
I felt it too, a building power.
A surge of fear filled my heart as I felt this.
The next second, a shock wave ripped through the Cannon valley, demolishing the land. For a second, nothing happened, but then another explosion and the forest was torn apart, the land ripped bare, like a wasteland.
The shockwave hit us, sending us flying off the tree with the power. I noticed the tree for a second, noticing it had been ripped from the ground and set aflame. For a second, I thought about life.
It was terribly sad.
I woke with a strange jolt of pain.
I was alive.
Of course, I couldn't die.
I noticed I was accurately swimming in ash. I fought it instantly and pushing myself out of it, realizing I was literally standing on quicksand.
From a distance I heard Mar calling.
I saw her running toward me, hardly getting leverage in the ash. For miles, it was a sea of ash, everything living now dead.
She paused and looked at me. "Force water over the ash... If we're going to get out of this pit of ash we're going have to wash this away... and if you expect anything to ever grow on this land again... for it doesn't seem like its going to be easy for anyone..."
"But you..." I pointed out dully.
"To get out of this mess. And no, I was trapped for a while, sincerely," she replied with a shrug.
I closed my eyes, focusing on the springs underneath us. They burst through the layers of earth and began tumbling over the ash, sweeping it away. Mar spread her arms and an ice globe formed around us both while the water carried away the coating of gray ash.
For several moments we stood waiting for the water to finish its tremendous job. Our breaths turned to mist even as Mar split the ice globe and we stood in the charred wasteland.
"Guess the monkey's gone..."
Mar sighed. "And everything else for at least a three mile radius."
It was Rane's dark voice. Instantly everyone was there, trying to understand what had happened.
Finally, Mar broke through everyone's words, created by the mind, her patience wearing out.
"Talon and I will go find out what is wrong. Apparently Derek was involved, since one, he is not here and two, I feel his power. I believe I might need double of everything. Keep hunting. It didn't reach anyone else or the came did it?"
Makeav's voice wafted in. "It didn't. We just checked. Good luck. See you back at the camp."
The mental conversation ended like that and Mar began running over the wasteland. Soon she stopped and I saw why. The land here had been burned as if it had been hit by gigantic force, leaving a crater.
She kneeled along the earth running her hand along the surface.
"This isn't Derek's power... It's something else. It's powerful."
No way now.
The ground here was burned to the layers of hard rock underneath, where it was a pure solid sheet of rock. It was smooth as glass, glistening in the setting sun.
Out of the blue, Mar let out a loud cry, bounding over the rock.
Just at that second I saw him too. He was limping toward us, his face a mask of pain. He greeted his twin warmly as she nearly knocked him over. She practically did, but Mar had enough sense not to actually knock him over.
Derek motioned, his eyes troubled. Mar let go of him and dashed over to the prince's lifeless body.
Derek tried to stand straight, moaning weakly. "He's alive, just unconscious."
Mar snorted. "He's immortal."
She gently pulled his head and shoulders onto her lap. His expression was peaceful, an unreal sense of tranquility.
She gently whisked away strands of his ash covered hair from his forehead, placing two elegant fingers against his temple.
I looked at Derek. "What did you do to knock the dude out?"
"I was teaching him some of our powers and I was trying to see if he was given a power, you know, like ours..."
"Take a look around."
"Okay I get the point. And?"
"I pointed my hand at his forehead and said the ancient powers to release... And then this... Can you believe it?"
Mar let out a cry, a slightly pained cry.
Derek slightly jumped. "What Mar?"
She had her eyes closed tightly, listening to both worlds going on in her mind. "His spirit is warring within itself. The concept of life. His mind is so filled with pain and grief, it's unbearable..."
"Then make her let go..."
Derek shifted uncomfortably. "She can't."
I was confused. "Why not?"
"If she does let him go now, she might accidentally release the spirit he's bonded with."
"Well, nice knowing you."
Mar looked up, her eyes clouded over with a thin line of mist.
"Go find the Secretion Flowers, Talon." I moaned. Thought I had gotten out of that. "Derek, are you well enough to go with him by chance?"
Derek winced, but nodded. "I'll manage."
Mar grinned, though otherwise not moving.
A tremor shook the earth, but settled again moments later.
"Look." We looked to Derek, who had a ghost of a smile pulling at his lips, and we looked to the ground at which he was pointing at.
The charred crater.
As we watched it as, slowly, the rock turned to soil and shoots came from the ground, grass forming. It seemed as if we were watching years go by.
Trees suddenly burst through as well, just seedlings at first but growing at a rapid rate. In seconds, they were as tall as they were before they had been charred to ash.
Sounds began to fill the new lush forest, and instants later it was a place on nothing no longer.
Mar stared for a second, her eyes still misty. "Uh... Well that leaves out the task of me asking him to do that?"
Derek chuckled. "Vain?"
The dark silver haired male appeared behind a tall thicket, in his arms the herbs and other plants that Mar asked for.
Vain raised an eyebrow, dumping his bundle in Derek's hands. He grabbed my arm and began heading in the direction of the mountains.
"Derek, give the prince some of the revival leaves and see if he'll wake up. A numb leaf wouldn't hurt for you to take either..."
Mar sighed. "Thanks Vain."
He sighed as he dragged me towards the mountain. "Don't worry; I'll get your Secretion Leaves." Through the wind I heard Mar yell her thanks. Vain rolled his eyes. "Sometimes I wonder why I listen to her."
"Because it's too hard argue and say no, making her hate you for a while. It's easier really just to agree and keep living this immortal life of ours."
"Can you just not complete my thoughts for once? I seriously liked that thought entirely uncompleted."
We walked quickly, partly jogging where the mountains smoothed out enough to without breaking a leg. The air was becoming thinner and we both knew we were nearly at our destination.
I suddenly stopped, sensing something.
Vain stopped, noticing that I had stopped.
I scented the air.
I nodded to Vain, and we both crouched down, crawling closer to the edge of the cliff overlooking where the scent was coming from.
I took in a sharp breath. Vain's eyes were wide as well.
Dragons. All of them, thousands, not seeming happy either, for half the area was lit by angry fires from their fights. Here, but for what reason?
"What are they here for...?"
Vain just shook his head, his eyes dark at what he saw.
Vain backed up finally, pulling me with them, though still able to see the dragons. "After we find the flowers we must tell the others. I just want to know why. Who would have called them?"
"The king might be going to war, and called the dragons... Or the dragons are attacking. Who are we to know?"
Vain glared at me for a brief second, and then looked back to the large valley where the dragons rested and warred amongst themselves. "Wait look." He pointed to a lone female figure I easily spotted about the dragons. "Her, she must be the dragons' caller. She called them." A pause, but I knew what he was going to say before he said it. "They're here to fight."
Dragons. This is going to interesting.
Take a guess on the plot? You probably won't be close but who knows, you might figure it out.
So, Fiction Press officially hates me because it won't send me alerts or anything. It's so sad, I swear! Agh. –Glares at crappy computer-
So please tell me what you think.
I won't take to much of your time here, but I just really want you to review. I know how many people read it, because since the update a week ago, they now show hit numbers for each of your chapters.
(It's actually pretty high!)
So, please review!