CHAPTER ONE

There were four ages that had come and gone in the diverse and mysterious world of Alcoria. From those four ages sprouts the greatest wars in history. The first age was the clash between the gods and the ancient spirits of the lands. Enveloping the world in magic and the beginning of teaching spells to the Arcusnians. The second was the battle between Arcusnians and dragons. The war nearly brought the two sides to extinction. A feud between one side of Arcusnians and the other is the war of the third age. It destroyed the old ways of magic for the spellweavers. The current age of Alcoria, the fourth age has risen two hundred years ago. Where humans have relentlessly fought against Arcusnians -the spellweavers faced their greatest adversaries. With the humans overpowering and out numbering the spellweavers, the Arcusnians have been forced into hiding. Till this day.

Our story begins at the time of the greatest shifts of power in Alcoria. Years before the rise of the Fifth age began.

Cyrus Celes never really wanted to cause an explosion during their training, nor did he wish to meet a living glass bird-man. His night starts out like most of his night out in the field. Mostly, with his sergeant barking at him and the other cadets with his, "words of motivation". Standing up straight, Cyrus's breathes turns to mist in the air. The frigid night marks the change of seasons. Although snow is still far off for another month, the weather is inconsiderably getting colder by the day. Hands behind his back like the rest of the cadets, none of the teens moves, twitch, or even turn their heads. Even after the sergeant walks pass them. Their expressionless faces and stillness unnerve Cyrus. The climate hasn't makes them uncomfortable as he is feeling. He on the other hand constantly rubs his palms together to keep them warm. Masking his rising discomfort with almost everything about tonight's hunt. With nothing better for him to do, Cyrus watch his sergeant explain the activity for tonight. Silently hoping he won't be under the sergeant's radar tonight.

Sgt. Grimmer shouts, while walking down the line of young soldiers. "It's a simple exercise, so I expect none of you to show mercy."

The sergeant, Grimmer, is your stereotypical drill-sergeant from hell. His buzzed cut hair and beady black eyes like a bull dog can intimidate anyone with his line of sight. Grimmer's albino pale skin almost makes him look like a living corpse. A long scar that runs half an inch down the side of his neck, like a knife was dragged in front of him. Grimmer's cold eyes scans the small group of his students, looking for anyone to step out of line. When no one speaks out, he turns his back on them. And hungrily gazes upon the prey they are about to kill.

"At ease," Grimmer commands.

The cadets relax in their stance. But the nervous tension is in the air, under Grimmer's authority. Controlling and with a firm grip in teaching. Grimmer is the nightmare of the whole training program within the army. Everyone, but Cyrus completely fears the sergeant's tyrant rein. Ignoring Grimmer's presences, the young cadet's focus is more on their given targets for tonight's field training. A small group of Arcusnians -spellweavers in his native tongue- had been captured a couple days back within Haigen City's vicinity. Gem colored eyes, paled skins and animal-like features. Cyrus is mesmerized by their alien beauty. Creatures of magic, their language is hard to understand. Communicating between them is nearly impossible. Five Arcusnians in total was captured. Two children -both female- much younger than he is, an elderly man with a bruise by his right temple, and a man and woman that Cyrus had guess must be the children's' parents. Rather a small group of Arcusnians. Their shirts and breeches are tattered and their worn-out animal hind boots have holes on it. All caged and bound by their hands. The man is gagged in precaution, but they still post a threat if the cadets aren't careful.

Grimmer walks up to the Arcusnians and one of the two children whimper in fear. The woman speaks up in a language Cyrus can't understand in words. Fast pace, yet filled with desperation that makes him uncomfortable. The sergeant however isn't fazed, but placed the panicked Arcusnian in line. Using the end of his rifle, Grimmer gives a heavy blow on the side of the woman's head.

"Quiet!" He commands her. The woman only wails in pain and her partner glances at her in concern before glaring at the sergeant. Grimmer points his gun towards their children. The girls' eyes grow wide in pure fear. They desperately try to push themselves farther to the edge of the cage, away from the gun. "Step out of order right now vermin and I might eliminate you here." Grimmer warns him. The man's eyes blazes from liquid silver to black. Cyrus almost thought he is about to cast a spell. However, the man relaxes and the sergeant smiles, Grimmer walks towards his jeep to get the weapons for the cadets to use.

Letting go of a breath he didn't realize he is holding. Cyrus hears his friend Raylem shuffling closer to him.

"He's on a roll," Raylem whispers at Cyrus's left.

Raylem is one of Cyrus's only friends since he was enlisted into the army four months ago. At the age of fourteen, Cyrus was placed into the army a week after his birthday. "To serve the human race and rid them rise of the fifth age." Or so did the pamphlet said. It was either this, or three years in finishing school. Which Cyrus thinks is much worse. The thought of constantly serving his city for the survival of humans against beings of magic, might have sound heroic in paper. But deeply depressing when he realize that chances of him dying in combat are highly against him. His only comfort is that Raylem might have his back during the entire training program (If they both lived through it). "Let's win this for the warm showers," Raylem says as motivation before they headed out earlier.

Much like any nights out in the field, Cyrus starts to feel uneasy again.

"I just hope that he beats them up good and we can get this over with already." Cyrus admits. Watching the sergeant return with a crate that might be full of hand guns, rifles, or at special occasions when the sergeant is feeling generous; grenades and snipers.

Raylem smiles, turning to him and raises an eyebrow. "Where's the fun in that?"

"Lockrick quit that blabbering!" Grimmer barks at Raylem, stopping both of them for any further discussions.

Opening the crate, Grimmer brings out sleek black handguns. As well as a dozen stun guns at their disposal. Cyrus tries his best to block the sobbing cries from the Arcusnians. He turns his attention to Grimmer. Which isn't too hard since the sergeant is just a step away from his face.

This is the work you picked, suck it up. He reminds himself.

When Grimmer places both weapons in his hands, Cyrus holsters it around his belt.

"In T minus five minutes, I will let you all loose to capture, and -or kill the given targets." Grimmer explains. Bringing out a small controller from his pocket and presses a button.

The gate on the cage springs open, and the family made their way out in uncertainty. The two children in front followed by the elderly man, and lastly the couple, without a backward glance even with their hands still bound. They sprint to the trail head of Wolvrik Woods, the only untamed part of northern Haigen. The group silently goes into the mysterious forest, not making a single sound. Cyrus is astonished by their stealth; Wolvrik Woods have dense tall trees with grounds littered with dried leaves and twigs. Autumn hunts are more active, being able to light thread through the undergrowth is getting harder as winter fast approaches. Cyrus wonders how they are making their way through without causing a fraction of a noise. Grimmer on the other hand barely gives them his attention, and brings the controller back in his pocket.

"Now, remember all that you know about Arcusnians." He reminds them, and Cyrus feels his stomach churns in anxiety. Topics on how to effectively kill Arcusnians always made him sick.

Raylem thinks he is being a softie on the matter. He may have as well accepted it. The spellweavers appear so much like a human. It is hard for Cyrus to imagine them as a treat to the human race. Whenever the two races clash, blood is always shed. Grimmer looks to his watch, and all around Cyrus; excited grins crosses the faces of many of his fellow cadets.

In a swift motion, Grimmer raises his hand up to his head in a balled fist. "Stand ready."

Everyone hustles to their preferred route to the woods. Raylem and Cyrus walk up to the small deer path a few steps away from the Arcusnians initial trail. His hands in his army jacket, Cyrus peers through the small path ahead. Between Raylem and him, Cyrus has the better senses in the dark. Already, several yards away he sees them. He can make out the silhouette of a small hunched group making their way between the trees.

Was it five minutes already? He silently thought while Raylem bents down beside him.

"Well?" Raylem asks quietly. Nudging toward the trail they chose.

Biting his lower lip, Cyrus exhales. Thinking of lying, but he knows that it wouldn't help them either way. "They're up ahead, heading at the same direction they took when they entered the woods."

"Northwest," Raylem says in confusion. He is leaning against the tree trunk near Cyrus, when both of them snap into attention as Grimmer blows the whistle.

At the corner of his vision, Cyrus sees the other kids ramming their way through the thickets and some marshy areas like a bunch of loose hounds on a rabbit. They aren't making loud noises like shouting or their old hunting calls from their first month -Grimmer ranted about it an hour long afterwards- but Cyrus still winces with the noise they make from trampling through obviously badly picked ways through Wolvrik. Raylem is about to sprint right into the path himself, when Cyrus pulls him back in place.

"Up and jump," He said to Raylem, pointing at the branches above them, "those guys will herd them where we want them." Cyrus explains his plans, and Raylem is uncertain at first. Though with Grimmer shouting at both of them to get moving, the boys nod their heads and runs straight to the trees.

Being the tallest in the class, Raylem climbs up the tree in a heartbeat. Cyrus on the other hand has to jump just to reach the lowest branch and hoist his entire body up. Cyrus, being leaner than the other boys in the training camp, is almost scrawny in built. With cat-like facial bone structure that has the girls think of him as a prince -if princes are short- and unlike the typical fairytale blond charming guys in books. Cyrus has dark brown hair cut short enough that only those at home know is wavy along the ends. His amber eyes always makes the other boys laugh at him. Teasing him for his deer in the headlights expression, Cyrus is constantly nervous and on edge that sometimes he thinks it is because of his upbringing. Doing as plan, both of them jumps from one redwood to another. Occasionally, having Cyrus takes the lead for them to stay behind the family; he comes into a familiar pattern: jump, then grab, and then jump again.

Combing through the woods faster than those on foot, Cyrus will sometimes look back and rolls his eyes as Raylem will show-off. Doing aerobatic flips along every jump, or landing in a thicket of bushes and sprinting below.

"Focus on the hunt," Cyrus reminds him.

Moving like a human spider-monkey. Raylem fully enjoys the thrill of the night. "We only go outside the camp on these hunts, might as well enjoy it while it last."

When they stop on a thick branch of a large juniper tree, Cyrus bents down to catch his breath. Everything beyond his field of vision is nothing but sheer darkness, his internal map tells him that they are almost at the center of Wolvrik Woods. Rumors of ancient curses of the dying spellweavers still linger in the air the deeper they go with Wolvrik's domain. The place has long been the training grounds of the army. Raylem stands guard with his back against the trunk. Loading ammunition into his gun, he waits for Cyrus to recover. Near their right side, both boys turn their heads to hear loud laugher and giggling. A couple of the guys fumble far below Cyrus with some female cadets on their tail. Lumbering their way through the dense bushes down below, Cyrus notices how squirrels and rabbits rush their way to escape them. "So much for stealth" he thought while shaking his head. Cyrus can hear their booming laughter and exchange of puns to each other. Sighing, Raylem returns his attention to his task at hand. Cyrus breathes deeply through his nose and exhales from his mouth to relax his body.

"Young love," Raylem says sarcastically, making Cyrus laugh quietly and turns toward him. "What?" Raylem asks, making Cyrus laugh harder.

Straightening up, Cyrus stretches his arms. Grinning at Raylem, "Don't play dumb with me hypocrite. I know about how you tried to sneak into the girl's barracks just to talk with Raven Alcantrey."

Watching his friend Raylem blush and utterly shock in embarrassment under the moonlight, is almost enough for Cyrus to holler in laughter. If they aren't training, Cyrus would have teased him all night. Raven Alcantrey is a really cold, really beautiful girl in their class. Smart, athletic, and with an oriental origin, many had fallen head over heels for her. Even Raylem, who is most likely to rise faster among the ranks in their class, both of them are always pitted together. Raylem, being the son of one of the army's generals. And Raven being Raven, the top notchers in the class. People expect them to be a couple sooner or later.

Personally, however, Cyrus never liked Raven. She was too stiff, too serious, and someone that he can't imagine Raylem will ever date. Though they both joked about how it seems ridiculous that guys like her. When Cyrus saw Raylem sneak out of their barrack last night to go to her. He had a hunch that Raylem might actually have feelings for her.

Scratching the back of his head, Raylem looks ashamed than humiliated in front of Cyrus. With his head down, and his golden brown hair, darker in the moonlight, Raylem won't meet his eyes. "I went to the girls' barracks, because of her." He said honestly.

Patting his friend's shoulder, Cyrus grins at him. "No need to be shy about it. I won't tell anyone that you two are now a couple-"

"I told her off, I didn't like her that way." Raylem quickly interjects.

That isn't what Cyrus expects to hear from him, but it does shut him up. Slapping the safety off the gun, Raylem holsters it back around his waist. He gathers his breath and smiles nervously at Cyrus. "She likes me Cyrus, always had since the first day." Raylem starts off, and Cyrus nods.

During their first day, he remembers how Raylem was sitting beside Raven. She was her usual self –being stiff- though now. Cyrus thinks that maybe she is a girl and was actually shy around Raylem. "Raven's quiet a girl, but she's too serious for me. I mean, this war," He motions towards their surroundings, "Everything is a serious matter. I like how she takes things in mind, and what the risks are for slacking." Struggling with words, Raylem isn't much of a talker but more like an activist. Explaining isn't one of his strong points.

Cyrus crosses his arms over his chest. Understanding exactly what Raylem is talking about. The long war between humans and Arcusnians has been quiet for nearly a decade already. Ten years ago however is a different story. The human race almost lost from the attacks of the Arcusnians. Haigen City, once known as the powerhouse of the metropolitan city-states suffered heavy losses during the sudden siege. Nearly a quarter of the city is destroyed and most of the barricades are half its original size or durability. His own family was part of the casualties back then. Making Cyrus an orphaned and raised by his family's trusted guardian.

"You fight because you're worried about your father. I fight to avenge my family. But Raven might not have anything worth fighting for, or is that what you assumed?" Cyrus guesses, and Raylem stares up into the sky from between the branches.

"Exactly," Raylem says solemnly. "After dad retires, if this ever ends. I want to relax and never worry about fighting through the next age. Raven on the other hand. She seems too focused on a future that might not happen in her time." He explains as best he could. And Cyrus realizes that even he feels bad for Raven.

Not because Raylem broke her heart. Rather, Raven will be fighting a hopeless battle that she unconsciously placed upon her shoulders.

Raylem's midnight blue eyes look almost distant and lost. The same look that Cyrus sees whenever he stares at his own reflection in the morning. That feeling of never really belonging anywhere is what scares Cyrus the most every day. He can't see himself living a quiet life in the city; he can't seem to fit in, even after months in the army. In fact, he can't picture a life behind Haigen's tall barricades that separates them from the outside world.

If I don't belong here, where will I belong?

Both of them are quiet for a minute. Just as Cyrus is about to suggest on moving forward, his ears picks up on a faint, yet distinct sound coming from their far left. Closing his eyes Cyrus tries to pinpoint the exact place of the sound. There are too many distractions -that include his own heartbeat- and Raylem isn't making it easier with his deep breathing.

Hearing Raylem zips his army jacket up. Cyrus briefly catches the same sound again. Quick yet fast crunches of dry leaves against shoes, he tenses. One of his hands inch towards the grip of his gun, but the sound is much closer. The hairs at the back of his neck stand on end.

Not realizing the danger they are in, Raylem pats his back. "Come on man, let's get going already."

A low sound of crackling, like a rattle snake is all he hears. Cyrus only has seconds to react. "Hit the deck!" He tackles Raylem, both of them fell off the large juniper; landing hard on the thick blueberry bushes.

The tree they were once standing on explodes in a fiery blue explosion, sending debris in all directions along with small tongues of fire. Some catches on Cyrus's sleeves, and he quickly pats it down and is about to sit up to see the cause of the attack. Raylem pulls Cyrus down hard on the ground.

Eyes intense, Raylem gives Cyrus a quick shake of his head and flattens himself onto his stomach. Cyrus following his action lies down beside him. The blueberry bush still sizzling around the edges making Cyrus gag on smoke. Pushing through his discomfort, the smoke and bush gives them a good cover for any more flying projectiles. Excluding the fact, they are also practically in pointblank if the Arcusnians attack them again in the same place. They need to move. Though, Cyrus trusts Raylem when it comes to tactics.

His voice, calm yet controlled. Raylem whispers, "How close are they?"

Shifting his position, so that his arms are folded in front of him, Cyrus peeks between openings in the bush. Quickly, his eyes adjust to the darkness of the woods. The small glow of little forest fires around them becomes his light. Cyrus makes out a tall figure, just ten feet in front of them. The figure's hand glows ghostly blue that light up the tree near it. He can distinguish the half melted shackle around the figure's wrist.

"Cyrus," Raylem hisses urgently. Lowering his head, Cyrus turns to his friend.

Motioning for Raylem to stay quiet, Cyrus holds a finger close to his lips. Raylem nods and raises an eyebrow towards him. Placing all his senses on high alert, Cyrus motions Raylem with his thumb towards the nearest cluster of trees, just several steps behind them.

Nodding once, the two of them sits up and Cyrus keeps his eyes on the figure in front of them. Waiting for any slight movement or disturbance before Cyrus says a word. The two of them dashes towards the cluster of trees. Immediately pressing their backs against the solid bark of the tree trunks, although Cyrus doubts it will be enough to shield them from another explosive. His heart hammering against his chest, the reality of the danger sinks in Cyrus. Grabbing for his gun, Raylem places his arm over Cyrus's shaking hands and eyed him to stay still.

Risking a glance around their temporary camouflage, Raylem keeps a close eye at the scene of the mayhem. "How many are they?" He asks again.

Collecting his wits, Cyrus almost feels like throwing up. But he needs to be calm like Raylem, and help each other out of the situation. "Only one, I think it's the man Grimmer provoked."

Grimacing, Raylem leans his head back and mutters under his breath. "I thought they were knocked up enough to not cast a spell."

A sudden piercing pain at the back of Cyrus head makes him wince. Raylem turns to him in concern.

"You better not get sick on me now. We have an active spellweaver to deal with here." Raylem says in exaggerate irritation.

Gritting his teeth, Cyrus pushes through the pain. For Cyrus to go soft isn't an option, knowing full well that it isn't the best time with their lives on the line.

"I'm fine, honestly." Cyrus insists, even though Raylem looked hardly convinced.

A short laugh escapes Raylem's lips. "First time for everything." he says, voice a bit shaken. Cyrus hears the same rattle-like sound again; this time, from both sides, like a double attack.

"Be ready to run." Cyrus tells Raylem gravely, and Raylem dangerously looks out from the side of the tree he is hiding behind. Cursing, Raylem isn't told twice to run. He runs ahead of Cyrus.

Reacting slower this time, Cyrus sprints. Yet the second explosion throws him off balance and he rolls down hill, hard. Losing all sense of direction, Cyrus desperately tries to slow down his descent. Grabbing on moss, weeds, or upturned logs to slow him down until his back hits a huge rock. Knocking the air out of his lungs, the corners of his vision flares red along the edges for an instant. Cyrus pushes himself to stand. Smoke enters his lungs, and Cyrus does his best to keep moving forward. His survival lessons kicks in as he remembers the rules of escaping a forest fire.

"Stay low to the ground; more air and less smoke. Follow the animals. They want to escape as well and have better bearings than humans. Find water."

It is easy to remember the first rule. Though Cyrus is unsure whether the other things he learned will work. Considering that the fire is a work of magic. His senses are still on high alert, and now that he is separated from Raylem. He is in much deeper trouble now. For all Cyrus knows, the Arcusnian is tracking his friend rather than him. On a much different circumstance; he would have preferred it that way. Raylem can take care of himself, but a part of him wants the Arcusnian to leave Raylem alone.

Time to be an idiot, he thought. Cyrus starts to speed his way through the forest, making as much noise as he can. Shouting at the top of his lungs, Cyrus takes whatever tricks he has to make him the center of attention. To the point of firing his gun to the night sky every several yards, just to catch the arson Arcusnian to follow him, and not Raylem.

When Cyrus is rewarded by the trampling sound of feet far behind him, he doubles his pace, and fires blindly towards the sound's direction. A sizzling blue fireball the size of an apple flies towards him in return. That he jumps to his side and nearly lost his balance but Cyrus keeps on trudging ahead.

Lungs' burning from both exhaustion and lack of air; Cyrus surveys his surroundings. Trying to find the Arcusnian, and swears under his breath for staying still. It takes him a millisecond to move when the fireball hits the ground he is standing on. Pivoting to escape the extremes of the explosion, the fireball nearly burns the soles of his boots. The blasts throws him five feet into the air, and lands on a muddy puddle -scaring some frogs out of the water.

Still daze and disorient. A strong arm grabs him from the neck of his jacket, jerking Cyrus out of the water. The fires around the forest suddenly die with a single motion of the male Arcusnian's hand. He readjusts his hold on Cyrus, and locks Cyrus in a headlock. His vision is a bit fuzzy, and none of what he sees makes sense. The small Arcusnian family gathers near the large puddle. They watch with fear in their eyes at Cyrus, no -at the man, the girls' father that has flames dancing along his arm that hasn't burn his clothes or skin. Cyrus hears the male Arcusnian speaking in their alien language, but all Cyrus understands is the pain in his voice.

He wants to fight the Arcusnian off. He has to. All those time that he swore to his guardian that he'll avenge his family. That he will fight till the end. It will all mean nothing if he dies now! Desperation sinks into his mind. And with the last words of the male Arcusnian, a lot of things happen around Cyrus. He is even amaze to absorb it all. The young girls are screaming for their father. The father snarling and add pressure around Cyrus's neck. From the pit of Cyrus's stomach, he can feel fire burning deep within. Blue flames, which are almost scorching his face renewing his fear of burning alive.

Cyrus tugs at the pressure he feels inside. Like a needle popping a balloon, he releases it. A loud roar fills his ears and his vision is engulfing in a pure golden light. He passes out completely.

When Cyrus finally comes back around, he is in a completely different place. He always pictured heaven to look more angelic, him sitting on fluffy clouds, dressed in white and thinking that since he might have died in combat that a bunch of cherubs will bandage and feed him, finally relaxing –literally- in cloud nine.

Boy is he completely wrong!

The part about standing in the clouds is real, but when Cyrus sees almost a hundred or so, dragons soaring around him leisurely, even he can't cough up something that wild. He examines out his surroundings. Everything Cyrus sees has a light orange glow. Like the clouds are bathed in the colors of the rising sun. Looking down, he is partially glad that he still wore the same clothes he is wearing during their hunt. Except, his dark green army jacket has several holes in it, and part of his left sleeve is charred off.

Hallucinating, slightly brunt, and in the clouds. Cyrus sits down and places his head in his hands. "That's it," Cyrus shakes his head. "I'm dead, I must be."

Someone laughs behind him, making Cyrus jump and quickly turn around. What he finds however, nearly gives him a heart attack.

A large, twenty feet tall wall stands proudly in front of Cyrus, the marble walls, isn't the intimidating part that Cyrus takes a while to get use to. Rather the castle found within. Seven towers stand high above the wall. Each tower had a different tiled roof, and the more Cyrus focuses on the castle. The more details he notices. Like the wrought, black iron gates and the smaller details of houses and buildings deeper in. Then Cyrus remembers that he isn't fully alone as he thinks he was. Though no matter which way he turns, he finds no one else but him.

"Hello?" Cyrus calls out, but the only response he gets is the howl of the wind.

Confuse, he rubs his temples, and manages a small laugh. "I'm going insane in heaven."

"Oh? But you aren't dead in the first place young lad." The same voice he hears earlier points out.

Turning around, Cyrus finds himself face to face with a large human glass sculpture. It stands nearly twenty feet tall. With smooth obsidian black eyes, and wearing only a piece of cloth below his midsection and down his knees; the sculpture is obviously a male. Although it definitely isn't fully human, his hair is short. Cross cropped but longer near his forehead. And features that are more hawkish than human. Cyrus notices how the man has large talons than hands. Plus the lower part of a lion's body minus the tail; where the man's midsection should be, is an oval gap. A burning bright orange flame burns inside in the hallowed surface of the sculpture.

Cyrus is tempted to examine the weird work of art. Whoever made it, really took the time to let his crazy, artistic mind, craft it on fragile glass.

Walking around the statue once before standing in front of it again, it is impossible for him to have such a weird dream than this one."You are one really freaky dude," Cyrus comments, when the head suddenly turns to face him.

The statue frowns, and points at his chest. "Well, you certainly don't have the right to judge a freak, if you are one yourself."

Jumping back in surprise, Cyrus stares at the glass statue. Wide-eyed and stunned, "Did you just talk?"

"Oh, what a scholar you must be," The statue says sarcastically and claps his hands -claws- whatever, while rolling his eyes. Clearly more annoyed than please by Cyrus' presence. "Usually, whenever one makes a house call for me, they usually say, 'oh thank you Mr. Falkur' or if they are feeling the need to please me, I'd hear 'spare us great Falkur'. No! You had to call on me, and haven't had the slightest of clue as to who I am!" The statue -Falkur said in irritation, before crossing his arms over his chest.

Still shell-shocked, Cyrus finds it difficult to form words. A talking, sarcastic, dramatic statue is really something that can shut him up on a normal circumstance. Pinching the bridge of Falkur's fragile nose and turning his head away from Cyrus. Falkur goes into his own little conversation with himself. Opening one eye to Cyrus he exhales loudly. Like Cyrus is one member of his fan club that he never taken great interest in until now.

Forcing a smile on his face, Falkur clears his throat. Dramatically bows in front of Cyrus. "No need to be shy, or humble about it. The great Falkur, ancient Alcoric spirit of knowledge is at your service." He looks up, thinking that maybe the intro might make Cyrus know who he is.

But Cyrus just shakes his head at him. "Sorry, but your name doesn't ring a bell."

The glass man appears to have a hard time to comprehend what Cyrus just said. Thinking that maybe it is the first time. Someone doesn't know him. The glass statue Falkur, completely lost his politeness. The spirit glares at Cyrus.

"How can you, not know me!" He demands, but instead of giving Cyrus the time to answer. Falkur goes into a ranting rampage that Cyrus knows full well from days Grimmer has put him through.

Confuse by the turn of events, Cyrus couldn't believe that he is having an argument with a dramatic human-lion hybrid. If this is an annoying part of heaven, Cyrus hopes that the good side is on the other side of that wall.

The Falkur guy continues to throw a fit at him. Calling him names for being the stupidest of the worms to even call for his aid. Not liking the fact that he is being scolded at by a chicken-lion glass man. Cyrus holds his hands up in a placating gesture.

Managing a smile, he finally gets Falkur to stay still, and glares at him instead. "Look, I didn't really 'summoned' you," Cyrus points out, and Falkur snorts at him.

"Well, you can play dumb all you want, little mixed breed but even I can sense the work of magic whether it is unconscious or not. And you." Falkur jabs his index finger at Cyrus to make a point. "have summoned me for answers to your questions young lad."

"What now?" He asks, more bewildered than ever.

Falkur drops his hands like he given up on explaining. For a moment, Cyrus notices his black, pit-like eyes, begins to glows like a burning coal.

He gazes at Cyrus intently, before a flicker of a smile crosses his lips and he throws back his head laughing. Dream, heaven, or maybe a messed up virtual reality test, it isn't the first time that Raylem or any of his fellow cadets would prank him by strapping him onto a virtual simulation chair inside the camp. Even he had his fair share of doing it to them once in a while. He'd give Raylem and the rest some perks for making this virtual setting feel too real for his own good.

Slowly coming to an idea that it really might be a virtual reality simulation, Cyrus looks up into the sky and shakes his head to Raylem, or whoever it was that set him up and is probably watching him -laughing their butts off behind a monitor at Cyrus's actions.

Pointing to the sky, Cyrus shouts loudly. "Alright, show's over. We all had a laugh. Ha-ha, now get me out of here!"

No response from above, Cyrus is really giving them credit -and already planning on throttling Raylem or whoever sets this scheme up. Once he's off the simulation- he runs his fingers through his hair. Hearing Falkur walks up next to him. Falkur gazes up into the sky. Trying hard not to crack up laughing, he pats Cyrus on his shoulder.

"I'd say that you, my dear young lad have lost it."

Great, even the chicken dude thinks he's crazy. Cyrus slumps his shoulders. He might as well play along with the simulation.

With Falkur silently observing him, Cyrus puts the glass man to the test. "Alright," Clasping his hands together nervously. He still finds it weird that he is talking to a twenty feet tall glass statue.

Noticing his discomfort, Falkur waves his claw. He shrinks down to a much normal height, but still slightly taller than Cyrus. "Go on," Falkur encourages him.

Okay, shrinking glass egoistic sculpture, why not? Cyrus thought. He doesn't dwell on the oddity. Anything can happen in a virtual reality simulation. Cyrus just needs to keep his active imaginations down. "Um, since you said that you will answer my questions."

"Three questions to be exact, three questions per summon, and only to be called once a year." Falkur corrects, and Cyrus is really getting impatient with him.

Taking a deep breath, he will not let a talking statue of a chicken-lion get the better of him. "Three questions huh," Cyrus thinks hard for a minute. "sorta like a genie right?"

"I beg your pardon! I am no genie!" Falkur exclaims, fully offended and if glass sculptures can go red in rage. Cyrus can picture Falkur doing it. "Those half-brain humans thought of that myth once they see my believers contented with their three answers." He explains, and Cyrus looks at him in suspicion. The way he said humans, makes Cyrus think that he refers to him as something else entirely.

"You know something about me, do you?" Cyrus asks and for once. Falkur isn't being a smart-mouth bird about it.

Waving his hand dismissively at Cyrus, he stares at him in warning. "I won't accept that as a question if all you seek is to fill your suspicion. Give me a genuine one." Falkur finally answers him, but meets Cyrus dead in the eye.

"Since you put it that way, mind explaining where exactly I'm at?" Cyrus gestures to his surroundings. When a dragon swoops down from behind him, Cyrus has to press himself to the ground.

Falkur on the other hand, merely moves a step sideways. When the dragon glides pass them. A bit disappointed from his question. Falkur heaves a heavy sigh, and gives him a look that goes like is-that-all-you-can-think-off. "Frankly speaking, you are still unconscious. After that stunt you did. The whole, sending a heat flare, on a fire user, thing you accomplished." Falkur shakes his head at him. "You might have just slapped the man with a feather. That was a sorry excuse for a wizard's duel!"

"Whoa-whoa, time out," Cyrus cuts him off. Making a capital T with his hands, "Are you saying that this whole time? I'm still knocked out cold?"

Raising an eyebrow, or what Cyrus thinks the statue is doing. The glass man leans down at Cyrus and grins. "Is that considered your second question then?" He asks, and Cyrus quickly shakes his head.

"Ha!" Falkur exclaims, and briskly walks pass him. Pumping his fist in the air and shouting in joy to the clouds. A gleam of excitement shines in Falkur's eyes. He returns to Cyrus and examines him again, with renewed interest. "Smarter than I thought then. Well, you certainly do carry the blood of the heavenly bodies. Just for that, I'll answer your first question. And I hope. Afterwards you will begin to ask questions that will entertain me."

With a flick of his claws, the surface above Cyrus and him flickers. Bending light into a swirling vortex before Cyrus can make out a solid object floating right at eye level. Falkur moves to his side, and snaps his claws again. The object takes a circular shape, until Cyrus realize that he is staring at a polished mirror. But instead of seeing his owe reflection. The mirror shows him nothing but pitch blackness.

"I don't really see anything." Cyrus said. The glass statue remains motionless, staring intently into it.

Having no further instructions from him, Cyrus gazes into the mirror himself. The scene in the mirror ripples again. Slowly, like a distort image on water. Cyrus is shock to find that he is watching himself sleep at the center of a large crater. He hears the rushed orders of several soldiers cautiously trying to make their way toward his unconscious body. Nothing about the crater is natural. It is perfectly symmetrical in shape. Polished like the world's largest deep bowl dish Cyrus has ever seen. He is glad to see he is still breathing.

Pointing at the image, and snaps his claws again. The mirror vanishes and Falkur smiles toward him smugly. "I believe that I have answered your first question."

"I guess so," Cyrus agrees, watching the dragons fly pass his field of vision. "But you never did explain where I am -I mean this place. From what I read in books before, you dreamt up places you've been to. But I really don't remember this place." He explains, and Falkur shakes his head at him.

Tapping a curved talon under his chin, "Suppose, I did forget to tell that." Falkur looks back at the castle. A look of longing is on his face to enter the place. "That is far from your answer Cyrus Celestia." He said, but Cyrus feels like he is suckered punched to the stomach.

He never introduces himself to Falkur before, nor does he use his full name in introductions.

"How did you know my full name?" He asks, but quickly regrets it. Using his second question for a stupid and he knows it.

Falkur look disappointed again, but gives Cyrus a wicked grin. "Don't let your tongue slip, but it still counts as an honest question." He reminds Cyrus and places his hands behind his back. "I know all things. Besides, your name is the talk of two races if you know your history -which I doubt."

Before he is about to demand the glass man about what he knows. Cyrus caught himself and tries not to get mad. The guy is obviously taunting him to ask a question that will be first to come out of his mouth. Falkur may be the great spirit of answers. He can tempt others to ask questions they don't really want to be answered seriously.

"You're one good trickster." Cyrus points out. Falkur gives him a sly smile and a wink.

"People's curiosity to know all, always fouls them to stray away on what is truly needed to be answered. That is why one must value a chance to have their three questions solved no matter what tempts them to ask what is trivial." He explains, and then crosses his arms over his chest.

Cyrus can't really put a blame for having an annoying, not-so-helpful spirit tricking him out of his first two questions. The glass man has a point. All throughout the entire conversation he had with him. Some of what Falkur told him sticks to his mind and Cyrus wants nothing more but to have his curiosity be satisfied. However he only has one question left.

Squaring his shoulders, Cyrus places his hands in his pockets and takes a long deep breath in. "I have a ton of questions actually. About my past," He said, "about what you recently mention about me." Cyrus nods toward Falkur, who still watches him intently. "and most importantly, what I don't know about myself."

For once, Falkur looks at him in a sympathetic manner. Looking up to the sky –ironically- like all the answers are written up there, Falkur turns his back on Cyrus. "Young man, knowing all without finding the answers yourself means nothing but half the experience you missed when you worked to get them. Your answers will come when the time is right. I only answer the call merely to set you on the right journey. That is the hint as to why people still call on my name." Falkur explains sincerely. It did make Cyrus think clearer on what exactly should he ask to him.

"Then tell me Falkur. Who exactly am I?"

Cyrus's uneasy feeling of not really belonging anywhere always makes that question nag at the back of his mind. He could have just asked Falkur where he should belong. Though the question seems too vague for him, oppose to asking who he was. It might also shed some light as to a past he can never learn. Like who were his parents?

A satisfied smile spreads on Falkur's lips, and he leans closer to Cyrus. "A spellweaver born, but walks amongst humans, retrace your roots young Celestia. Your destiny affects both worlds, and the answers you seek shall be revealed the further you remember."

When the last word left Falkur's lips, Cyrus feels lightheaded. Several other voices ring near his ears that don't make sense. The place he is standing on is becoming more and more like a blur, but Falkur's image starts to shimmer. The orange flame in his midsection starts to engulf him like a large flaming sculpture. He is satisfied by the answer. A part of him knew the answer all along but never fully accepted it. Somehow, as the voices around him increases and everything became dark again. Cyrus imagines hearing Falkur's speaking in his mind.

"Sometimes the answers you seek are not always pretty."

It definitely isn't pretty. For all he knows. If anyone finds out that he is an Arcusnian. His head will absolutely be on the chopping block.