Chapter XXXVII

Created on 27/12/2011 19:18:00

Dedicated to AraSly, for being my only reviewer after months of silence ^_^

Echo PoV

Now, Echo, Onima said as he sat down across from me at the small table in my carriage, I believe you had some questions for me?

I held my right hand out toward him with my palm facing toward the ceiling, baring my wrist so that the black bars that branded my skin were clearly visible. Tell me about them, I said simply, gazing into his large sapphire eyes. He had told me that all of the monks could read minds, and that I didn't need to use a Saykala crystal to speak with him.

He tilted his head to the side, regarding me with his large blue eyes. Then he smiled. I think you are ready to know. He said, inclining his head toward me, But first—tell me, do you have any understanding of the written word?

I shook my head, slightly embarrassed. No, no one in my Clan knew how, and they wouldn't have taught me if they did. I realized that my words were slightly bitter, and I frowned.

But Onima simply smiled again, and said softly, Do not fret, Princess, many are those who do not have the ability; it is a hard skill to master, even for the most intelligent of people. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and it does not matter much, I only wondered.

I leaned forward slightly, propping my arms up on the table. So the answers I seek are in a book? I asked, widening my eyes in dismay.

He nodded, his large ears swinging. Yes, they are in a book, and I will be happy to read it to you. I have it right here with me now. He said, pulling an old, battered tome with a metal clasp on the front out of one of his large pockets, I brought it with me because I thought that you would be interested in knowing what it contains. Would you like me to begin immediately? A great many things are explained in the beginning, and it should not take long, maybe two hours at most.

I raised an eyebrow skeptically. Two hours isn't a long time? He merely chuckled.

To one such as I, two hours is nothing, but it is your decision, of course, and we can stop any time if you would rather be somewhere else—

No, I said, interrupting him, It's fine, please, read it to me.

Onima smiled again and nodded. As you wish. He said, unclasping the book. Then he turned to the first page, and began to read aloud

To whoever is reading this, I greet you with palms open and weapon-less. To whoever is reading this, let it be known that the time in which this tale is written to page is the second day of the week, Kiiraj the 90th, and 4,652 years have passed since the demi-god Pandora and the Dark Mother Krende created the first Pardral, Du'Kolrow, and Dru'Kada, using the Lake of Mirrors as their catalyst.

Of the species above, I am the Dru'Kada, and my name is Danoda. For those not familiar with my species—there are very few of us, and those of us that do exist prefer the solitude of the mountains rather than the crowds of the cities and towns, of which, I am the exception—we are similar to the more widespread Du'Kolrow in the fact that we both have fours arms and large eyes. One of the main differences is that we have wings separate from our arms, and can fly, rather than simply glide, as the Du'Kolrow do.

We both descend from Jaltenroeliis, the first creature born from the mixing of the souls of Sarrja's children in the legendary Lake of Mirrors, a curiosity that I will go into greater depth later on in my narrative. All that you need understand as of now is that it was the only lake created by Sarrja's blood on the First Day that did not transform anything it touched into a water-living version of itself.

Rather, two creatures are needed to work its magic. All they need do is swim to the very centre of the lake, and instantly, their souls are combined, creating an entirely new entity (or more than one) that is/are a mixture of them both.

As for stories of those created from the Lake's magical waters there are many; some of the most well-known are Ramtha and Syril, created when Adano, the first wolf, and Lamos, the first cat, fell into the lake, and also the Adrazalian monks, born of Kroldiin, the first rabbit, and Leirenji, the first man.

There is also Venlentaria, the raven-wolf, and Zirenma, the fire-bird. There are, of course, countless others, but I have not the time or knowledge to record the entirety of the list.

But I digress, so please, forgive an old man's wandering thoughts. As I said before, I am a Dru'Kada, but, unlike my brothers and sisters—whose skin is as black as coal, and whose eyes are as red as rubies—my skin is as white as freshly fallen snow, and my eyes as blue as the sky above our heads.

The leather of my wings is translucent and frail, so I am incapable of flight, which, most likely, is a boon rather than a bane, considering my condition, which I will elaborate on later.

Upon seeing my strange coloration after my birth, my mother and father immediately took me to the temple on the Mountain of Wind—or Caersiph's Throne, as many call it these days—thinking that I must be deathly ill.

The kind Adrazalian monks—Or the Children of Kroldiin, as they call themselves, for they forsook their spirit-father when he betrayed Kroldiin and set his dogs after her, intent on stealing her fur, which would grant him immortality if he were to eat it—were quite baffled when my mother and father brought me to them, begging for a cure to whatever deathly disease had taken hold of me.

When my mother pulled back the blanket that shielded me from the sun—for they feared Sarrja's light would harm my pale skin—the monks grew still, and starred. Then the Kyrobii, the head monk, who was ancient—he was one of the first of Kroldiin's children—and whose name was Tamsilren, came out to speak to my parents, while the Kyrondii, who is the Healer, and had no name of her own, took me in her arms and sang softly, for I had started to cry.

The Kyrobii spoke of many things with my parents, many of which I will explain later, but the important thing is that my parents decided to leave me in the care of the monks. They left soon after, requesting only that the monks name me Danoda, after my grand-father, and that they tell me when I had grown up enough to understand that they loved me more than anything and that was why they chose to give me up.

'They would not interfere with my destiny', they said, before leaping off of the mountain and into the air, their great wings sending up clouds of smoke as they winged their way back to their home, leaving me behind forever.

But do not mistake my tone for that of regret or sadness; I feel no resentment toward my parents for their choice. I grew up with the monks, and they were good—if strict—substitutes. They had taught me all of the major languages of the world before I had turned ten, and before I turned twelve, I was able to write in all of them too. And I was never without care and attention. I had friends, the children of the monks, and the orphans that lived at the temple.

On my fifteenth birthday—the time when a Dru'Kada is considered an adult—the monks performed the coming of age ceremony just as my parents would have if they had been there. As the other residents of the temple sang the Song of Age, I painted my body with the sacred blood of the earth and repeated Krende's mantra in the ancient tongue that had no translation.

"O rildunai, xylenzer lam krel roelika, kavu hen lam tiirm hiirnen, piyr ceron Lim nima dultiir kre kail krel shynen." I said, reading the ancient, incomprehensible words from my heart alone.

That was when I received my first vision. Suddenly, I was not standing in the temple, but in a bleak, barren landscape of rock and dust. The sky overhead was the color of human blood, and the ground beneath my feet burned me as if I stood on hot coals. I spun around, my heart filled with a dread that was not my own, and came face to face with a human female.

Her hair was as black as night, and she starred back at me, only one of her startlingly emerald eyes open. "Piyr, kre vaa celtim, alind kre myr-monel." She said, speaking in the old tongue. But before I could reply, to tell her that I couldn't understand her, her eye widened and she rushed past me, her feet touching and leaving the ground so fast that it looked as if were flying, instead of running.

I hesitated not a moment, and followed after her. As she ran, her bare feet cut on the sharp, hot ground, leaving a trail of bloody footprints. When one of my feet touched the puddle of her blood, it sent pain flashing through me, as if it were freshly-spilled dragon's blood, instead of that of a human.

For a moment, I thought I caught a glimpse of another figure running beside the woman, a girl, but then a rushing sound filled my ears, and the world around me disappeared, leaving me standing—or possibly floating, for I know not if I had a body—in a world of silence.

The darkness was total, and I tried to move forward, to speak, but I was unable to. I could do nothing to affect the stillness around me.

And then I heard it; the howl, rising from somewhere in the darkness ahead of me. I blinked…or atleast it seemed as if I did…and in the next moment, the world around me came alive. The sky above me was filled with colors, reds, purples, greens, every shade in existence shone there, and the ground around me came into focus as soft sounds became audible.

Trees, rocks, the trickle of a stream, and there, just a few paces away, stood a wolf, his muzzle raised to the sky, and it was from his throat that the howl, the song, poured forth. His eyes were open, revealing ruby-red irises filled with fear and wonder. It was Adano.

Once more, I tried to move, to call out to him, to do something, anything, but once more, I was unable. It was as if my body did not exist, as if I were a spirit trapped in the air, able only to watch, but not to interfere.

That was when the moon appeared, at first only a shadow that blotted out the stars behind it, but then it was there, in its full and shining glory, illuminating the forest—for that was what it was—with its soft, silver glow.

Adano's song died in his throat, his ruby eyes widening in awe, as he starred in silence at the great, luminescent sphere that hovered high in the sky. Colors—brighter than those I had seen before—writhed like flames around it, shinning, for a few seconds, brighter than the stars around them, before fading back, and brightening once more.

I starred up, mesmerized by the dance of light and darkness, and completely forgot about Adano. But then his howl shattered the night, and it was full of fear and horror.

I would have leapt into the air if I'd had a body, and I starred at the young wolf—for he was still young then—my heart full of dread, as he howled his terror to the heavens, his eyes clouded over as if he were seeing something far off, as if he too, were having a vision.

With a silent, almost sigh, the moon above wavered, and then vanished, leaving only the stars to light the night sky. But then they too winked out, one at a time, plunging the world back into darkness.

Adano's Lament was the last thing I heard before a rushing sound once more filled my ears like the roar of a great river.

When I opened my eyes again, aside from finding that I once again had a body, I saw that I was standing high on a cliff, the sunlight shining down bright and welcomingly warm after the chill of the night.

So, you have come, as you said you would. The thoughts that were not mine rippled across my mind like a pebble dropped into a pond. I slowly turned around. There, perched on a rock high above my head, with scales as deep a blue as the depths of the ocean, and eyes as clear and white as the clouds, was a dragon.

"Yes…" I said in the same tongue (He spoke Kirondolian, the language native to the northern-most regions of Snowfell.) as I nodded slowly, "But where exactly have I come to?"

He snorted, white steam trailing from his nostrils, and reared himself up on his hind legs before he spread his wings—the sunlight lighting up the thin membrane between his bones a light, sky blue color—lifted his head to the sky, and let out a loud, thunderous roar that rose to the heavens and made the ground beneath my feet tremble.

I crouched down, trying to keep my balance, and covered my hands with my ears as I starred up at him, and suddenly realized that adorning his head were not only two, but three sharply curving, ivory horns. "Y-you have a soul!" I cried, unthinking, my mind spinning from the revelation.

The dragon bared its teeth in what I assumed to be a smile and stretched its neck toward me, leaning over the edge of the rock so far that I thought for sure that he would fall. But he did not. Instead, he perched there, perfectly balanced, and spoke again, smoke rising from his nostrils as he cast his thoughts toward me.

Indeed, lamr Kyrunr, indeed. It thoughts were hissed and low, You should know this, and yet you do not. Which means what I was told was true. You do not know me. You do not yet know your purpose, and so it appears that the task of telraswik tiirn ronedulfen has fallen to my shoulders…

It trailed off, tilting its head to the side so that the sunlight sparkled off its scales like ice, So, lamr Kyrunr-kalika, Danoda, he-of-the-white-wings, are you ready?

"Ready for what?" I asked, taking a small step back. Though I knew no harm could come to me while I was having a vision, my body apparently didn't quite believe my mind. I was almost afraid he was going to attack me.

The dragon spread its wings and reared itself up on its hind legs, its forepaws crossed over its chest as it regarded me. For knowledge, of course, it said, letting a puff of thick black smoke roll from its open mouth, That is the reason you performed the Ceremony of Age, is it not? To learn of your future?

Slowly, hesitantly, I nodded.

The dragon snorted and, without another word, launched itself forward and into the air. It circled once, its wings spread wide, before diving down toward me. Not even a moment later, it landed, wings folded, a few feet away from me, the ground shaking slightly from the impact.

It smoothly lowered itself to the ground and snaked its head to look at me expectantly. A mixture of anxiety and excitement boiling in my mind, I slowly approached it and—after a moment of confused hesitation—climbed up its side, using one of the black spikes that ran along its back to pull myself up.

I quickly moved myself into the dip in between its shoulder blades, which was the place that dragon riders customarily sat. As soon as I was secure, the dragon—and I realized then that I did not know its name—unfurled its wings and moved to the edge of the cliff.

It stopped there for a moment, letting the warm wind wash over us. Then, without even a word of warning, it bunched its muscles and threw itself over the edge.

We plummeted straight down, the dragon keepings its wings pressed tightly to its sides. The wind rushed past so violently that I could see nothing, and had to close my eyes. We fell for what seemed like forever, and I began to grow nauseous.

I cracked open one eye and immediately shut it again after seeing what he were heading toward. With a sound like an explosion, the dragon smashed into the large body of water that we had been falling toward. Thankfully, the dragon broke the surface of the water, sparing me from the jarring impact that would surely have broken some—if not all—of my bones.

The surprisingly warm water rushed over me, tugging on my clothes and making them billow out about me. We sank down beneath the black waves, my mind growing clouded and foggy. Then an overwhelming darkness seemed to rise up toward us, and wrapped its tendrils around us, dragging us down into the deep, as a bodiless voice whispered in my ear, "This is only the beginning, my child."

End of chapter Thirty-Seven.

Finished on: 3/31/2012 1:49 PM

Word Count: 2,942.

PS:

Sorry. I had planned on finishing this chapter after a few days, not months. But I got distracted by a Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Doctor Who crossover plot bunny that wouldn't leave me alone, and I've been focusing on that, instead of this, I am sad to say.

I got the idea while watching BTVS Restless, where Tara/the First Slayer, said "You think you know, what's to come, what you are…you've only just begun." The quote was later repeated by Dracula, in the S5 premier, Buffy vs Dracula.

I was upstairs in the living room, writing an outline for my OC's past regenerations and how they died (Won't make sense if you don't watch DW) when I suddenly realized that it was the 31st of March, the day that I first published Silent Echoes two years ago.

Ashamed with myself for forgetting about all my now two-year-old characters, I came down here, sat at the computer desk, and finished writing this chapter. Now it all just depends on if I can convince my mom to turn the internet on, and if our computer will connect to it.

As I said before, this chapter is dedicated to -AraSly- (TYSM! =D) for being my only reviewer for months. Seriously guys, your reviews are what keep me writing. Please, even if you like the story so much that you can't wait to read the next chapter (I don't think my writing's that good, but I can hope) please, just go back and review them when u get to the last updated chapter.

I don't even care if it's a few words long, just so long as I know you're there, and that you care about the people I'm creating, 'cause I sure do. I literally almost cried when I re-read chapter 24, and Adano was howling at the end because he was so sad. There were tears behind my eyes because of what I've got planned for him, and what I haven't yet written about his past.

Because if I'm the only one that cares, then what point is there in me publishing it or working to get the chapters done?

Oh, PPS: For some reason when I tried to upload this to the Doc. Manager on April 1st, it kept saying that it couldn't load the page (I really hope it wasn't an April Fools joke, now that I think of it…). I tried like ten times and it still wouldn't work.

Also, as of April 2nd, the Runescape Easter Event is going on, and me and my twin are working to get the permanent versions of the "Eggsterminator" or whatever it's called, and that will be my top priority when I'm connected to the internet. I should have it by the end of today (4/3/12) though, so I might be able to update this chapter by today or at the latest tomorrow.

If for some reason I can't use the internet, I'll have to take my flash-drive to school and see if I can sneakily use a computer in my Bio class before the first bell rings.

Hoping that you don't hate me,

Yours willing slave,

Rjalker.