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8/29/2020 20:46:45   
Kellehendros
Eternal Wanderer


Lunas knew he couldn't save Micol. He was too far away, and Mori's chain was too swift. But the Etsija raced after the revenant all the same. He stumbled, agony flaring through his wounded leg, and the Hirii snarled, tail lashing as he forced himself back into an all-out run. The pale woman had been a foe; they had tried to kill one another in the Vortex Trial, but the young man didn't care. He would try - he would walk his own path.

From now on, I choose who I am.

Micol stepped into the chain with open arms, and the Etsija hissed as the weapon did its deadly work. Very well. The Paragon of Water - wingless and broken - collapsed to the sand. Lunas kept moving, resolved to close with the revenant. Even if I can't fix everything, I'll be better than I was. He drew in a breath to cry a challenge, but the skeletal figure turned its empty gaze to him first. For a moment the young man glared into those empty sockets, before Mori dismissed him yet again and surged in Mia's direction.

Lunas’ eyes narrowed against the spray of scarlet grit, and he half-smiled beneath his helm. What's one more sprint in the end? The Hirii Zen followed as Mori rushed Mia, pushing himself on despite the aches of his battered body. Fire raged along his arms, across his back, clawing up his neck and snapping the last thread holding his armored jack together. Scorched plate and seared fabric fell away as he hounded Mori's trail, shedding weight and doubt as he closed the gap. This time was different. This time he was running to something worth fighting for:

To the future, and a chance to make things right with his foster-mother and uncle.

To his home, and a chance to make good on the oath he had sworn without truly understanding what it asked of him.

To himself, and a chance to be Lunas Kal - the son of Footnit Kal and Kennek Telan. To stand in the sun, to see and be seen, and to decide for himself what that meant.

He let the trident dagger fall from his paw and took a firm grip of the estoc’s hilt with both hands as Mori whipped the death-black chain at Mia. For everything yet to come. Lunas lunged, driving his blade into a high, rising thrust at the Dark Paragon’s heart.

Silmat auki, Etsija!”
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 51
8/30/2020 10:26:54   
Sylphe
Member

And the crowds cheered when the light ignited a blaze, the flames discolored by her previous potion throwing sunspots all across the arena’s walls, pillars and spectators.

They screamed along with Mori and his furious lashing.

And they cheered again when a life had come to an end, a message that came to her through the thick scent of salt and rust that reminded Mia of things far beyond this sunbaked battlefield.

Mia couldn’t afford to look up now. Her goal was within reach, and as she stalked through the dunes, she had to use every moment of Mori’s gaze turned.

Or she’d have his attention.

Or the soothing aura would overtake her.

She knew all of this.

And yet, as she heard the sound of the air’s whistle turn into a disgusting crunch of bone, she could not help but turn around.

She had seen death countless times. And yet, when it was someone she had time to get to know, even in disjointed calls, challenges and the swinging of aer blades, it was so, so different than an unknown sailor’s candle flicking out.

The sheer difference between the fighter reaching for the skies with a glint in aer mismatched eyes, and the way ae just lay there now, lifeless.

And she wavered.

For what a second’s worth.

But it was enough.

It was enough for the aura to lull her in with its feelings of tranquility, of acceptance not too different from the body that lay so close to her.

Moving now was like moving through water. Even as she noticed movement and the blackened bone and chain of Mori heading for her, she had underestimated the breakneck speed of his heavy thumps, and assumed that just because she had been wading through a current, that he was too.

He was not, and neither was his weapon.

A protective bottle just pulled out was not enough to stop the deep black motion blur. It fell into the sands, harmlessly, its orange light pinging as if eager to get out, before getting lost somewhere in the sand.




And in the stands, a shark flew in an erratic circle in a voiceless, fearful frenzy.




The strike cut deep, and as hard as it was to realize through the sharp pain, Mia knew that she had just narrowly avoided Micol’s fate by turning her shoulder on the attacker. She grit her teeth, and her eyes rose up to Mori with an air of fury.

This paragon, just like R’Thazz had done before, was going for nothing but slaughter. She might not have been able to read his mind, but the killing intent behind his chaotic, ferocious strikes was easy to discern for her.

And yet, he dared to take on the ghost of a man she had felled to pay off a debt he had refused, as if her kill was a mere whim of the restless sea, as if her taking of lives was in any way comparable to his rampage.

As if it was in any way enjoyable for her.

Was that really what appeased his god?

Mia’s arm faltered under the injury as it reached into her pocket one final time. Her fingers disregarded the thin glass of a jellyfish ichor and the heavy bottle full of the sun. They stopped on a velvet ribbon.

She trusted her Lord to not be the same.

One challenging glance at the translucent image of a long lost captain, and even more so, at the heart pulsing beneath the bone.

One last arc of her arm that had every reason to falter and yet she trusted it completely. A flash of glass and red, so different from the crimson shade of the sands beneath.

You may have torn the Moon itself from the heavens, but you will not take the Sun.

Her last Reflection Flask broke with a blinding flash and a chime of glass. And even as all she could see, even through her glasses, was a blue tinted whiteness, she reached Helia, spinning its handle as its blade formed.

Celeritas. Not-Scarescale. Lord of Light.

I’m sorry for cursing you when all you did was set me on the path to find my light.


I forgive you for the pain that came with it.

And she struck, with one last strike, to puncture the dark paragon’s heart.

And I thank you, for listening.
DF  Post #: 52
8/31/2020 18:17:25   
  Starflame13

Gryffin Warrior of DF & RP


A bloodcurdling scream, a whisper of malice, and the Pillar of Darkness decayed, tendrils of shadow stretching out hungrily across the sands.

A heart-stopping howl, a current of despair, and the Pillar of Light crumbled, rays of brilliance leaping forward to contest the shade’s claim.

And where they joined, Fire
bloomed.

Like the comfort of settling down next to a well-tended hearth - the warmth of being welcomed home with open arms. The Pillar of Fire turned a graceful pirouette and leapt out across the sands. Embers trailed from the fairy’s fingers, shedding light and shadow in her wake. She danced and twirled her way to the Arena’s center - wings aflutter - as the flames about her grew from steady flicker to raging inferno. Heat seared away the carnage that lay below, the force of its blaze enough to drive the crowd to their knees. Alone unphased by the intensity, the criers raised their arms skyward, and declared the Lords’ verdict for all to hear.

“And so has favor been given to Lunas Kal, Champion of Fire! By the Will of the Arena, and the Judgement of the Lords, he has claimed Victory! We now bear witness to his final decision: the boon of the Elemental Lords!”
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 53
9/15/2020 19:10:42   
ChaosRipjaw
How We Roll Winner
Jun15


There is a great shudder and he jerks in the womb.

<Mother?>

There is no reply. Fear mounting, he calls out once more.

<Mother?>

Sounds touch his ears.



Sinak heard the voice he had been dreading to hear.

He had been judged unworthy.

<Impossible.>
<<Inconceivable.>>
<<<Intolerable.>>>


So it was over, he thought. He thought he had seen the Way, that it had shown him the path to the future. All of it for naught.

Rage filled him. All for naught. He wanted to spite. He wanted to launch an all-out attack against the arrogant Neeaa called Mori, even as the Paragon of Darkness dissolved into a monstrous form unlike anything seen under the sky or sea.

But deep down he knew: if he struck back, he would die.

So what? Sinak thought. It was over anyway. There was no future.

<No,> said a voice in the back of his mind. <There is always a future.>

Was that the Way speaking to him?

<Everything ends if I die.>
<<Fear and pain, hatred and rage.>>
<<<But also hope.>>>
<<<<In death, there is no hope.>>>>


Sinak ground his teeth. Fleeing from battle again? Teeth loser---

No. He was no longer truly a Shha’rarken. For his goals, he would do anything.

<Concede.>
<<Dishonor.>>
<<<Heresy.>>>


With decisiveness, he turned tail and sped toward the exit.



Vasily Jarishnikov stood up from his seat and promptly headed for the exit.

The Shha’rarken had failed. It --- he --- would not receive a boon. Humans as a whole were spared of a horrible death by teeth and fin.

Vasily squinted his one good eye warily at the hanging sun.

Then why, he wondered, did he feel so uneasy?



Dao Yulan huddled on the railing and peered down the arena. The mixture of elements permeated the air, which both soothed and irritated his ---

Feathers.

It was probably an excessive precaution, Yulan thought to himself, but he would prefer for Vasily not to spot him in this crowd, whether by chance or predetermined fate. The casual observer would see a small bird, about the size of a sparrow --- or rather, a Starling --- with feathers that glistened like fresh obsidian and gilded edges that gleamed in the sunlight, perched on the railings that lined the rows of seats in the stands of the Grand Arena.

A close observer on the other hand, even if they didn’t find it odd for a bird to indifferently stand next to large, intrusive humans and/or extraspecies, would surely notice its legs, which were blades rather than clawed feet, daintily balanced on the cylindrical rail. And only the keenest of vision would notice the Starling’s eyes; its right eye possessed a jade-green sclera with swirling cloud designs along with a blank red iris orbited by three smaller such irises, while its left eye was black as tar, so dark it seemed to pull in the light around it. This was one of Yulan’s seven summons, the Starling. Through the Starling did he see what it saw, feel what it felt.

Both he and Vasily had arrived in Bren too late to spectate in the initial “paragon” matches (though Yulan was pretty sure spectators weren’t allowed in the first place). He’d somehow lost track of Vasily during the intermission but as expected, the Ender of Beasts was present for the final.

The third pillar fell, Yulan observed, and the voice of the Lords announced its decision. The Shha’rarken had failed. He inhaled sharply; so this would be where the journey ended---

No wait. Curiously, it turned to leave instead of launching itself at the Paragon of Darkness. It . . . submitted?

A few rows away, Vasily stood up and promptly headed for the exit. Yulan watched him leave. That would be a story for another time, Yulan thought. The Shha’rarken would not be easy to track, and it would be some time before more Hunters arrived. He would deal with Vasily and the Shha’rarken --- no, Shinjri’shakraphrjat’shu’Sinaken --- later.



Sinak found himself back in the underwater chamber for the third time in a single day.

It was over, he thought. What was he to do now? He’d seen how flawed the path of revenge was --- the current to mutual destruction.

But he couldn’t exactly surrender himself to the Hunters either. Sledaristan had suggested he try to make peace, but the Hunters would never believe (or even conceive) of a show of good faith.

That left one last option: to return to the ocean, and disappear forever.

<Live the life of a corpse, without a purpose.>
<<Remembered as a monster.>>
<<<Heresy.>>>


He swam for the exit.



Sinak’s fin knifed the water as he sped through the canals. It was a path he was quite familiar with by now. And yet, the uneasy feeling grew. It pricked at his electrical field. Definitely some sort of presence but it lacked a number of characteristics--

Sinak turned and peered at the bottom of the canal.

There.

It was hidden in the debris and rotting carcasses, nearly concealed from view. Most creatures would have missed it, but not Sinak. It set off every instinct in his psychically enhanced brain.

It was a small, featureless metal ball, spotlessly clean. At exactly one point on its surface, it glowed red.

And as Sinak moved, the ball swiveled so that the red dot was pointed directly at him.

Like an eye.

A low whine cut through the dark water as his brain glowed.

ZAAAAAPPPP!!!

The electrical charge surged through the water, dramatically enhanced by the detritus. The ball that was no ball at all, but an electronic camera, sizzled and the red dot vanished.

Such devices had never been used by the Hunters before, Sinak thought. Were they equipped with some new weapons . . . ?

Fear snaked through him like a burrowing hagfish in his flesh. He plowed through the canal at a frenetic pace.



Yulan winced. Blood dripped from his right eye. He knew the Shha’rarken would eventually pick up the numerous Countless Eye cameras he had deployed throughout Bren, but he hadn’t expected Sinak to take the thing out with an EMP blast.

The red iris in his right eye rotated like a camera lens. Unseen by all except for Yulan, flicked the camera feeds of the Countless Eyes.

Vasily had headed for an inn. He seemed to be waiting for someone . . . more Hunters?

No matter. His target had been acquired.

Yulan spread his wings and dropped from the roof. He caught a thermal and soared into the sky.



Sinak had not forgotten the map of the canal pathways. It served him well, and within hours he had reached the edge of the city.

The eyelike device had rattled him. He knew about how the Hunters possessed eagles to spot their prey from the sky. He knew about traps, alarms, and mines, which surrounded every fortress and stronghold in a near impenetrable forest of death and destruction. He’d seen wolves and dogs let loose to track scents, and the strange beastly “pureblood” Hunters, altered in body and mind, on the prowl. And of course, he’d been shot at by greatbows and crossbows and sniped unaware by rifles and cannons.

All of these things were ostensibly more fearsome than a simple metal bead, yet none of them inspired such dread. The featureless ball, small and insignificant as it was, exuded a strange electrical signal consistent with biological beings, and only that.


Sinak hefted himself out of the water. It would be a short path to the city’s borders, after which he should be able to lose his trackers--

<Shinjri’shakraphrjat’shu’Sinaken.>

Sinak froze. His mind had conjured the thought, but the thought itself was not his own.

Someone was thought-speaking to him.

Thoughts flashed through his mind like a scattering school of fish. Already tracked down? Undoubtedly the wielder of the eye device. But then why did this Hunter decide to wait till now to reveal himself?

<Come out Hunter,> Sinak rumbled.

<I am no Hunter,> the voice replied conversationally.

Not a Hunter? <Who are you then?>

<A friend,> the voice answered. <One not unlike the Way of the Water.>

Sinak started. <You know the Way of the Water?>

<The Hunters have been tracking you for a long time,> the voice informed him. <Even as you entered the Elemental Championship, the Ender of Beasts has followed you. He was watching you fight.>

Sinak shuddered. Ssaatw’ppa was here?

<At the same time, the Dragonslayer in the Purple Dress had discovered the entity you refer to as the Way of the Water.>

The Dragonslayer in the Purple Dress was a name Sinak recognized. He had never encountered her before, but the master of sea combat Hae Iseul was not to be trifled with. If even she was tracking him---

<The Ender and the Dragonslayer have long determined your true intentions,> the voice continued. <Confirmed by the Way.>

<Then--->

The voice seemed to sigh. <The Dragonslayer knows and the Ender might as well,> it said. <But you have too much blood on your teeth. You have failed the Championship, and the Hunters will pursue you to the ends of earth.>

The voice’s statements echoed exactly what Sinak suspected. He had failed, and there would be no escaping the trench he had dug out for himself.

<Then let them come,> Sinak said resolutely. <I will accept my fate. They will not kill me so easily . . . but I will never harm an innocent again.>

For a full beat, silence hung in the air. <Truly, you are one of honor,> the voice said, “sounding” almost . . . satisfied? <It doesn’t have to be this way you know.>

<You said it yourself,> Sinak rumbled. <I have failed. There can be no chance for peace, for they will never accept me. I am Shha’rarken, and they are human. They have a duty to protect their own. I cannot wash my teeth of this blood.>

<No, you cannot,> the voice conceded. <Even if they know your intentions, the Ender will be bound by his duty. He cannot help you. The Dragonslayer is strong, but she and the others are already on thin ice with the Five Schools as it is.

<However, there is one last option.>


Sinak didn’t respond, but that statement had caught him off guard. A glimmer of hope---? Abruptly, the voice that seemed so coldly indifferent erupted in a stream, as though . . . desperate?

<I have also been watching you. Do you think I don’t know about the voices you hear? I see the truth. I see all. The Yyranaiads whisper to you. The Swarm is coming. It is drawn to you . . . and if you exist, then perhaps others do as well. I won’t let you throw your life away for nothing. This is no longer your journey alone. I need your help.>

Sinak was expressionless as ever, but inside, he reeled. This individual . . . wanted his help? It wasn’t just empty promises; they clearly knew a great many things that Sinak had thought none above the sea would be aware of.

<But know this,> the voice warned threateningly. <I am not giving you a choice here. As it stands now, the Hunters are fools, but they are powerful. I am taking a great risk bringing you in. If you force my hand . . . the Ender alone might not be able to stop you, but I can help him. You will never escape.>>

Sinak frowned inwardly. They were willing to sever their ties with the Hunters, just for him? <Who are you?>

A small bird suddenly dropped from the sky, landing daintily in front of him. In a snap of the jaws, there was a flash of smoke---

---and in its place now stood a dirtwalker of medium height, dressed in a dark purple overcoat embroidered with silvery designs, armored forearms, baggy pants, and black boots. His hair was tied in a short high ponytail. A great nodachi in a white sheath along with two sabers --- one crystalline and one cloaked in ragged black --- hung on his back.

And most of all, his eyes blazed --- the right with a green sclera lined with swirling clouds and a blank red iris orbited by three smaller ones; the left blacker than tar, so dark it pulled in the light.

“I am Dao Yulan,” the man said. “The Jadedaomon Nalion.”



A distant point in the future.

Nakai Reishi dropped through the vent and landed in the Tencorp Archive. Not for the first time, she thanked Master Daaxos for his rigorous training regimens. Even though this facility was long abandoned, Tencorp security was not to be underestimated.

Her gaze flicked across the rows of files. Spotting the correct one, she pulled it out.

quote:

Name: Shinjri’shakraphrjat’shu’Sinaken
Rank: Associate Doctor and Science Officer; Shock Trooper Commander
Species: Shha’rarken
Affiliation(s):
[FORMER] Squadron Dao Yulan [Designation: Jadedaomon Nalion];
[CURRENT] Squadron Hae Iseul [Designation: Purple Dress Dragonslayer];
[CURRENT] Crimson Hexagon;
[CURRENT] Squadron POLAR SWORDFISH;

Specializations: Yyranaiad mutagen research; undersea exploration & combat

Last recorded location: Toethe/4th Quadrant/Sector 32


Yyranaiad mutagen research.

Reishi closed the file resolutely. I have to find him.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 54
10/30/2020 20:14:56   
Kellehendros
Eternal Wanderer


Lunas flew at the Dark Paragon's back, but his cry of challenge went unheeded as Mori carved into Mia. It doesn’t matter. Glass shattered and light flared - raking at his eyes and stealing the Etsija's sight. Pain lanced through him as the flames that sheathed his arms and shoulders whuffed out, but none of that mattered either. His blade was steady; it would not be so easily ignored.

Lunas could picture the strike: The slender, lethal tip of the estoc slipped between two ribs, angled just so. Its widening length rasped over bone, the vibration humming up the blinded Hirii's arm. But that warning came too late for Mori, and the Etsija surged forward with the thrust and tore through the revenant's dark heart. The dead muscle seized, pulsing a pair of frantic, failing beats before it at last stilled. Find peace, Mori.

That left one. Only Mia.

Lunas' ears swiveled, straining for a hint of the Paragon of Light - a footfall, a breath, anything. Injured as she was, the older woman couldn't have gotten far. There was no guarantee she would surrender, but he would at least offer her the choice of a swift end. She deserved no less- The Hiiri flinched and stumbled back, sand shifting beneath his paws as a scream - ear-splitting and fur-raising - rippled over him. An answering roar - raw and tangible as any combatant - threw him forward. The estoc was ripped from his hand, but the young man hardly noticed it amid the din as he tumbled to his knees.

And then everything was heat. The crackle of advancing flames blurred across his bleary vision, and the Hirii had no time to react before the wildfire cascaded over him. A breathless scream was torn from his mouth as the remnants of his fur blazed amid the greedy tongues, the heat-maddened wind keening in answer. Motes whipped off his exposed skin, snapping and cracking in a corona of dancing sparks as he fought like a drowning man to crest the tide of Fire that cleansed and anointed the Arena.

Did I... Mia?

Knowledge blazed like a stroke of lightning: The Trial had been decided, and the force - the weight of that fact, seared through Lunas like starfire.

It was over. Not… yet… Not… over yet. The Etsija rocked forward and gasped, heaving shuddering breaths through his clenched teeth as the knowing concentrated, crystallized - and spoke.

We are pleased, little spark.

Could they hear it? Lunas wheezed, struggling to lift his head, to see through the cavorting flames. Did Mia hear the Voice? Did the crowd hear it? The Chanters? There was no one to ask, and suddenly he was giggling, bracing himself on his hands and knees in the incandescent sand as half-hysterical laughter brought tears to his eyes. After so much time… After everything that happened, now you’re wondering if the voices are in your head?

Maybe they were and maybe they weren't, but Lunas was inclined to think this one was very real. Rise. And the Hirii rose, lifted by tongues of fire that curled about him, seethed over his skin, and bore him into the air in a bobbing dance of torrid heat. You burn fiercely, and so we give you our blessing.

"What does that-" The Etsija jerked and flailed as he was whirled about in the cyclone of fire. Heat cascaded along his back, prickling over his flesh as he was spun and tossed and... scrubbed? Disoriented - and more than a little nauseated - by the jouncing, spinning motion, the Hirii grit his teeth and squeezed his eyes closed as fiery bristles scraped along his flesh. He tried to gasp something out, but his words were stoppered when the strange sensation flooded into his mouth.

For several seconds everything was mercifully black, and then Lunas found himself face-down in the sand. Coughing and sputtering, he staggered up as the world spun around him. The Hirii Zen fumbled at the straps of his helmet, pawing numbly at its buckles before he tore it off. His stomach threatened revolt, and the young man spat a globule of some flaming substance he didn't really like to consider onto the crimson grit. Panting, he ran the back of his hand across his mouth and opened his eyes warily. "Uh... thank you?"

Fire purifies, little spark, it cleanses. There was… something like amusement in the Voice, albeit on a scale that shivered through the Etsija’s fur - Fur? - and threatened to reduce him to another bout of crazed tittering. You blazed for us, and so we have… fed your flame.

Lunas looked down at his hands, turning them over slowly, taking in the sight of his dark fur, whole and unmarred. “Oh…” He paused, not quite certain what to say, and so he settled on the obvious: “Thank you.” He peered into the curving sheets of flame that rose like strange walls about him, searching. “This isn't what I expected."

Few things are, little spark.

That did make the Hirii laugh; and he curled his tail about his waist as he swiped at his golden eyes with one paw. “What do I do now?”

That depends entirely upon you, Champion of Fire.

“Could you… explain that? Please, I mean. If you’re allowed to?”

We grant you the Boon. It is yours to use as you see fit.

The Etsija bit his lip, looking down at his hands, slowly flexing them open and closed. The Lords' Boon. A wish that can change everything.

That was what his stolen book had said; what had driven him so very far from home. Lunas shuddered, and suddenly he was ten long cycles again and burning, burning with the understanding that he was different. His age-mates looked like their parents; they had parents. What would he have given then to be able to wish for his parents - alive and at his side?

He was thirteen long cycles again and burning, burning with the knowledge that his mother had been murdered. In cold blood, the Red Butcher had betrayed the Seekers and struck down Footnit Kal. What would he have given then to be able to avenge himself for his parents - to have the blood of Kennek Telan on his blades?

He was seventeen long cycles again and burning, burning with truth and despair. The Etsija understood that he was an abomination - a child that never should have been - sprung from the union of a martyr and a madman. The young Hirii had fled his homeland with a stolen book as slender as his hope, as misunderstood as his nightmares. What would he have given then to be able to erase his past - to remake it all and carve reality to fit his desires?

What have you done to deserve it? Lunas swallowed hard, the dry heat wicking his tears away before they could fall. “I… I was wrong, about so many things.”

For a long moment - long enough the Etsija thought there would be no answer - the Voice was silent. So are many who come here, little spark. Some more than you, some less.

“Does it ever get any easier?”

Would knowing the answer to that make you happier?

Lunas’ notched ear flicked in surprise and he chuckled quietly. That was just the sort of question Ravel had always asked during their debates. The sort of query that the old wolf already knew the answer to. Taking a deep breath, the young man exhaled slowly as he wiped at his eyes one last time. “I’ll need my gear.”

No sooner had he spoken than he felt a familiar weight against his leg. His pack, left behind - ages ago surely - somewhere in the depths of the Vortex Arena. The Etsija lifted the bag, slinging it onto his shoulder with the ease of long practice while reflexively running a hand over his belt, finding each weapon in its place - down to the last ceramic orb.

He knelt to retrieve his fallen helm, wiping away the crimson grains that coated it, and then gasped. Lunas rose slowly, gaping at the skull. The old bone - proof against any force he had yet encountered - now showed traces of marvelously delicate etching. Beginning along the eye sockets and twining elegantly up around the pitch-black horns, stylized flames were incised into the helmet, their points accented with minute flecks of ruby, citrine, and garnet. Well, ema used to tell me stories about Lohikaarme breathing fire... Lunas lifted the skull, fitting it snugly over his own. His ears flattened to the helm for a moment before perking slowly back up, feeling a gentle heat as the fiery embellishments sparked to life, crowning him in flames. The Etsija laughed, doing up the straps of the helmet as he shrugged his shoulders and settled his pack more comfortably at his back. “Thank you, truly. I think I’m ready now.”

There was no answer, but Lunas knew that the Power was still there, still watching. The flames about him subsided slowly, not guttering so much as focusing. Lunas drew in a deep breath, suddenly aware not only of the Power, but of the crowd, the cosmos, as if Creation itself held its breath in anticipation. "I wish for a chance. The chance to speak to him - face to face - the way it should have been. I wish for the chance to hear his side of the story."

Let it be as you say, little spark.

The Seeker ran his fingers down the warm bone of his old companion - the wisest gift his foster mother had ever given him - and smiled. "Then it's time to go home." Before him, the blaze upon the sand unfurled like a carpet, and he took the first step.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 55
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