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She left her mark everywhere, as if it were a footprint in the sand or even a kiss on the lips. Shakaia struck fear into the hearts of all evil. In battle, if she went down, all her enemies did too. Many loved her, but she had eyes for none. Now she was no more. Slain by her own brother Katan, she lay on the cold stone floor, her six souls wondering why.
Soul One: Friendship
“Shakaia! Let’s play a game!” Three small children ran around a tree, laughing as the youngest, Katan, tripped over a root.
“Ow! My knee is bleeding! I cannot even feel it now!”
Shakaia rushed to his side. “Brother! Dian and I will carry you home.”
Shakaia and Dian played by themselves for the next few days. They grew closer and became the best of friends. Little did they know the loneliness Katan felt, the resentment and anger that would overcome him someday.
Soul Two: Courage
“Mother, I am going to the forest with Dian and our other friends!” A twelve year old Shakaia stood in the doorway, awaiting her mother’s reply.
“Well, I suppose you are old enough. Do not stray too far, and take Katan with you! He has not been getting enough air and sunshine lately.”
Shakaia’s purple eyes lit up. “Alright! Thank you Mother, I will get Katan now!” She ran to Katan’s room and told him the plan.
“Ah, I guess I should go.” He looked down, hiding his wide smile. Shakaia took his hand and practically dragged him all the way to the forest.
“Dian! We are here!” Dian, Mae, and Tsukasi jumped out from some nearby bushes. “Boo! Hi Shakaia! Hi Katan!” Shakaia and Katan just smiled. “Hi.” The group started walking through the trees. There was no path; no mark had been left on the forest by mankind. “Katan! Do you want to see something cool?” Dian asked with a grin. Katan did his best to look bored. “Okay.” Dian led Shakaia and Katan to a cave. “Uh, we shall wait out here.” Mae and Tsukasi watched the others walk into the eerie cave, their smiles hidden behind scared expressions.
“What? Are you too scared?” Shakaia laughed and strode into the cave. Dian went in the front, leading them through a series of twists and turns. Suddenly, he stopped. “There!” He pointed to a green, glowing orb. “What is it?” Katan stepped towards the orb. “Ahh!” He let out a cry as his foot dropped down into a small crevice. The orb scattered; it was only a crowd of fireflies!
“Dian! That was mean!” Shakaia scolded him.
“Hehehe!” Dian only laughed.
As Shakaia helped Katan out of the crevice, they heard a low growl… A monstrous creature leapt out from the shadows. “AHH!” Dian ran. Katan stood there, frozen in fear. He stared as Shakaia screamed and grabbed a large, sharp rock, readying herself for a fight. “Katan! Run away!”
“I cannot…” He replied. She pushed him to the floor as the creature jumped at them.
“Ahhh!” Tears filled her eyes as he fell to the ground, dropping the rock, her stomach bleeding from a deep slash. Shakaia picked up the rock and rushed the creature, slashing at it blindly.
“RAARG!” It tried to hit her again, but she dodged this time, and stabbed the creature. It fell to the ground. Katan stared at it in shock. “You killed it!” Shakaia dropped the blood-covered rock, and walked away slowly, her wound still bleeding heavily. Katan followed her, his eyes full of envy.
Katan fell to his knees, laughing maniacally, staring at his sister. He convulsed suddenly, and screamed in pain. Something… was inside of him. Shakaia stirred slightly, not dead yet. Tears streamed out of Katan’s eyes, falling onto her face. A dark aura lifted from his body; and he fell to the stone floor, screaming out his pain, anger and woe to no one. There was one other person who heard.
“Katan!” Mae whispered. She ran, following the sounds of his screaming. She arrived, and was appalled by what she saw. He looked up at her, into her eyes.
“Mae…what have I done?” Katan picked Shakaia up, and hugged her to himself, weeping as if it was him dying, not her.
“Katan…why? Why did you kill her?” Mae ran towards them, but was blown back by a black and red barrier aura. Even in the darkness of the aura, there was still a small light.
Soul Three: Love
It was the Eve of Lovers, the first one in eons to take place during a full moon. Shakaia gazed at the night sky, thinking about the Legend of the Eve. It went something like this.
Two lovers, separated by class, social status, and species meet with each other every night. The man, a fox demon; was a ruffian and a poor man. He was called Takara. The woman was a human and the lord’s daughter. Her name was Akisha. One night, Takara proposed that they should run away and love freely. Akisha delighted with the idea; agreed without thinking of the consequences. “In three nights, my love. After the grand ball has taken place, we shall be able to escape!” Takara agreed with this, and they went their separate ways to prepare for their escape.
Three nights later, after the grand ball, Takara and Akisha met up at the edge of the forest, giggling in anticipation. They had packed provisions, and a few extra clothes. “HALT!” Someone had spotted them! Arrows whistled by their ears, missing by only a few inches. Takara and Akisha ran right to a dead end, and they were soon surrounded. Arrows aimed at them, from all directions, they could do nothing. The Lord Jenrius walked over to them, and just stared. “I heard rumors about you, Aki! How could you love this foul creature?” He jabbed a finger at Takara. “Shoot him!” All arrows were now trained on Takara. “Father! You cannot do this!” Two guards held Akisha back. The arrows were loosed. Takara closed his eyes. “I love you Aki.” All the arrows hit him. His arms, his legs, his torso, but he died with a smile, knowing that Akisha was safe. She fell to the ground, cradling Takara in her lap. “Takara!” Akisha looked up at her father, tears filling her eyes. “Father, I am sorry to do this, but I came prepared. She drew a knife out from under her cloak and stabbed herself. Akisha held Takara’s hand tightly as the pain shot through her body. ”Takara, I’ll meet you there.“
After that day, once a year people everywhere would have a festival celebrating love.
Dian sat down next to Shakaia. “Ah, hello Dian!” Katan hid behind a tree and watched as Dian whispered something to Shakaia. She blushed, and looked away. Katan’s eyes widened, and he ran away, not aiming to go anywhere. Shakaia now gazed at Dian, accepting his love and returning it. They walked back to the festival hand in hand
“Katan! Wait!” Mae ran after him, hope strong in her heart. He stopped and waited for her to catch up.
“What do you want? Shakaia and Dian have gone all lovey-dovey on me, and Tsukasi, he just disappeared!” He looked at her angrily, deaf to what she was trying to tell him. He failed to see the shining light of hope in her eyes, how she was blushing deeply.
“Katan I wanted to say that I-I think I am in love with you!”
He stared at her, speechless. “No! This must be some kind of joke!” He glared at her. “I hate you! I hate you all!”
Katan ran off into the deep forest without stopping to look back. Mae walked slowly back to the festival, tears seeping out from her eyes, but she still hoped that someday, Katan would love her.
Where was Tsukasi?
Dian was calling him, “Tsukasiiii! I need your advice!” Tsukasi emerged from behind the bushes in which he was hiding. “Yeees?”
Dian jumped. “Ahh! Do not scare me like that!” He smiled. “Okay what was it you wanted, now?” Dian looked down and blushed.
“Well…I was thinking about telling Shakaia how I feel! Should I?”
Tsukasi stared at Dian unnervingly. “I dunno.”
“What a great help you are! I shall just steel myself and tell her.” Dian ran off in the direction of the festival. Tsukasi waited for a while, then walked slowly towards the festival.
“Tsukasi get over here!” A group of girls beckoned to him, entranced by his charming manner. Tsukasi smiled at them and walked over. “Will you dance with us?” They asked coyly. Eyes sparkling, he joined in the group dance. Girls literally fought to be beside him! “Haha! Easy now ladies!” He said as one of them attempted to choke another.
“NO! I saw him first!”
The girls surrounded him as he told stories of his adventures and fights. There was one girl who caught his eye, though. However, she COMPLETELY ignored him. He grabbed a nearby groupie who nearly fainted. “Who is that girl over there?”
“Uhh… Oh her? That is Neko. She is a real snob. Now, dance with me!”
He smiled. “Maybe later.”
About ten minutes later, Tsukasi walked over to where Neko was sitting.
“Hey…Neko is it?” Tsukasi flashed her a smile. She blatantly got up and started to walk away.
“Huh?” Tsukasi ran after her and grabbed her wrist. “Why did you walk away?”
She looked at him, her golden eyes full of loathing.
“Because you are an idiot.”
“What? How so?” He hung on to her wrist still.
“Let go of me!” She began to cry.
“What?” Tsukasi let go of her. “What is wrong? Did I hurt you?”
“N-no you did not. But… I just do not want a relationship right now. I have had problems before.”
He looked at her suspiciously. “Cat demon?”
Her eyes widened. “H-how did you know?”
Tsukasi smiled gently. “How couldn’t I? I am one as well. Your parents named you rather literally did they not? Neko means cat in Japanese, right?”
She looked up at him, her eyes sparkling brightly. “Yes, it does.”
He took her hand gently and asked, “May I escort you back to the festival?”
She smiled, lighting up her whole face. “Of course you may!”
Tsukasi has been found!
Soul Four: Happiness
“Dian, stop that!” Shakaia laughed as Dian splashed her with water. It was their second day at the beach with Mae and Tsukasi.
“Aww…Why did Katan not come?” Mae sat at the edge of the water, and stared at the horizon.
“Ohh Mae, cheer up will you? He just did not want to.” Shakaia tried to reason with her. “You can try to have some fun while we still can, right?” Mae tried to smile.
“Hahaha! That looks more like a grimace!” Tsukasi was rolling around in the sand, laughing.
“Tsukasiii!” Mae threw a clod of mud at him, which splattered against his chest, some going into his mouth.
“Heehee!” Mae giggled as Tsukasi tried to catch her and throw her into the water.
“Aaah this beach is so nice!” Shakaia lay down on a towel next to Dian.
“Yeah, too bad we are leaving tomorrow,” He agreed.
“OH I do so!” Mae was yelling at Tsukasi the next morning, he did not believe that she owned a two-piece bathing suit.
“I just do not like to wear it!”
Furious, she stomped off to her room to change her suit.
“Now what are they yelling about?” Dian walked into Shakaia’s room.
“I have no idea. Something about a three piece suit? I was not really listening.”
Mae walked out, beaming. She was wearing a shirt and shorts.
“I am not showing you until we go to the beach!” She grinned impishly at Tsukasi, who looked disappointed.
When they arrived at the beach, which was only a five-minute walk away, someone was at their spot! Mae took her outer clothing off, revealing that indeed, she owned a two-piece bathing suit. Tsukasi stared. Shakaia and Dian were off in their own world.
“Wow… Mae, I did not realize you had…”
Mae looked at Tsukasi intently.
Tsukasi laughed hysterically, tripped, and fell flat on his face. Whoever had taken their spot was just sitting, staring at the sea, as if watching for something. Mae walked silently to him, and stopped behind him, pondering what to do. She laughed silently to herself as she grabbed his shoulders and put her face right in front of his. “KATAN?”
Mae jumped back, and almost fell over. “Mae!” Katan got up, and held on to her before she actually did fall over.
“Katan, what are you doing here?” She looked imploringly into his eyes.
“Why did you change your mind?”
He smiled broadly and replied, “I came because of you!”
She smiled back at him and took his hand. “Let us go swimming!” They ran over to where everyone else was.
“I decided to come after all!” Katan exclaimed.
“That’s great, Katan!” Shakaia gave him a hug. “Glad you could make it.”
Katan smiled. “I was busy, but at the last moment, I told Mother that I was going, and even though you are leaving today, I wanted to have at least a bit of time to spend here.”
Mae looked cutely curious. “What were you so busy doing?”
“It is top secret.”
After they had spent the whole day at the beach, Katan and Mae running around and swimming. Tsukasi was looking for cute girls, and annoying people. Shakaia and Dian taking long walks, talking quietly. They left for home, dead tired.
“The forest! It is afire! Somebody set the forest on fire!” Villagers scurried about, trying to put out the fire, which was quickly spreading, almost reaching the village.
“Oh no! Who could have done this?” Shakaia ran right ahead and started helping.
Mae, Tsukasi and Dian followed her. Katan just stood there.
“The plan worked perfectly, Katan!” An unknown voice.
He grinned. “Mission accomplished, my dear friend!”
Soul Five: Faith
Shakaia sighed, reading an old piece of advice her father had written before she was born. “Have faith in yourself, have faith in your loved ones” “Still,” She thought, “It does not specify ”loved ones“ does it? I do not have to trust Katan completely, do I?” Her brother was away a lot, saying he was visiting some friends. However, he came back sometimes, bleeding from wounds that he would make up very unreal stories about, saying that he fell, and that was why he had such a long scratch on his legs or his arms. Or that he was burnt because he strayed too close to the fire. Shakaia knew that the cuts and burns were to clean and exact to be mere accidents. Her mother had too much faith and trust in her brother, though. Shakaia forced herself to believe her mother and put up a wall of fake worry and sisterly care towards him.
She trusted completely and had complete faith in her friends and Dian. Mae had been looking sad lately, saying that Katan was probably with another girl, but she always kept her hopes high and worries buried deep. Tsukasi was his regular flirtatious self; he had not found a wife yet. Dian was himself also; he would work, and spend time with Shakaia. Katan was the only one out of character. Since he was a small child, he would hardly ever laugh, but now, everything, even the death of someone in their small village seemed amusing to him.
One dark night, Shakaia decided to follow Katan to wherever it was that he went when he left for a day or two. It was almost too dark to see. Shakaia strained her eyes to find her brother; he kept slipping in and out of her sight. He came to a sudden halt at a cave and called out someone’s name that Shakaia just missed. An old, bent-over looking man hobbled into sight. As he stepped into the moonlight, he changed so suddenly, the wind whipping around him. He then emerged as a beautiful young man.
“Wind, Fire, Earth and Water!” The man chanted, “Sesha, Togaro, Zaku and Ubiro! I call on your spirits! Aid me now make me young, strong! This boy is the sacrifice!” Suddenly, four beams of different lights struck Katan! He screamed in pain and fell over. Shakaia stared in horror as the lights struck her brother again and again. Sesha, Togaro, Zaku and Ubiro? Were those names for the elemental spirits? She could only wonder, not daring to go out into the open, where a stray light might hit her. What kind of magic was this? Something ancient and forgotten? Or something new and unknown? She snapped back into focus when the now young man began to speak, “Thank you Katan, for your help. I feel as if this is the last time we will do this! It could have gone faster if your sister were the sacrifice and not you, but your magic is adequate enough.” Katan could barely move. He looked up the best he could and replied thus, “Just remember, I am not doing this for you. I am doing this for myself! I cannot trust anybody, and nobody should trust me! One day, they will feel my wrath!”
Shakaia gasped and took a step back. What was going on? Who could Katan have such a grudge against that he would go through so much pain to be stronger? How could it even make him stronger? She turned, and ran silently, tears streaming down her face. Afraid of what her brother was doing. Who was that man? Why was he doing this? Thoughts and unanswered questions ran with her, all the way through the forest, back to the village. She thought of her father’s advice, written at least five years before she was born… about twenty-one years ago. “Have faith in yourself, have faith in your loved ones.” He must have been a very wise man, but Shakaia found herself thinking of her brother’s words, “Nobody should trust me!” “I cannot trust anybody!” Shakaia tried to understand what both thoughts really meant, but she could not. She could only wonder.
Tsukasi mini story
Ahh… Let us go back about, well a month after the trip to the beach.
”Neko asked me to see her today, she said it is important.“ Tsukasi explained to Dian. ”I cannot help you at work today! Sorry!“ He ran off, towards the forest. Dian was now a high level ”Village Guardian,“ basically someone who either patrolled, or stood, guarding their village. It was a demanding job, as there had been many demons and monsters attacking the village. It was unsafe to go beyond the borders without at least a middle level guard.
Tsukasi arrived at a quiet clearing in the forest, far enough from the village to be private, but close enough to be safe. Neko was already there, waiting.
”Tsukasi!“ She ran over to him, her eyes puffy and red from crying.
”Neko! What is wrong?“ He embraced her, and she shook with tears, and held him. ”What is wrong? Did something happen?“ She tightened her grip on his shoulders and looked up at him.
”I just-I-I… My parents told me… that I am betrothed to a demon lord!“
Tsukasi stiffened instantly, his arms dropped down to his sides. ”S-since when did they promise you to this lord?“
”Since before we were born. They never told me until now!“ Neko sat down on a log, and Tsukasi sat next to her, a sad smile on his face,
”Do you know anything about him?“
She stared at the ground.
”W-well, he is a cat demon, a year older than me, he is very handsome according to my parents, and supposedly he has a great personality. He is the ruler of the East Kingdom, so he is very far from here.“
Tsukasi lifted Neko’s head up and looked at her. ”I am sure you shall be very happy, Neko. If this man is as great as he seems, then I am sure he shall make you happy. Let us stay friends, please? Maybe, if it is possible, we can still visit each other. I shall write to you, and you can write to me!“
Neko smiled feebly back at Tsukasi. ”I am leaving very soon… Oh, Tsukasi! I will try to be happy for you, maybe…in another world, things turn out differently, huh.“
”I hope so.“ He embraced her. ”Goodbye Neko. I shall miss you a lot.“
She held him tightly. ”G-goodbye, Tsukasi. I will miss you more than you will miss me!“
He looked at her strangely. ”That is an old joke, Neko!“
She smiled and kissed him softly. ”The old ones are the best ones, Tsukasi!“ Neko stood up, and walked away from him.
He stood up, watching her go, and wept openly after she had left. When he stopped, he looked up at the cloudless blue sky. ”Old endings, they lead to new beginnings.“ He smiled to himself and walked back home.
End – Tsukasi mini story
Soul Six: Eternity
Katan had been missing for four years now, and since he had disappeared, an evil tyrant named Cravir strived to take over the whole West Kingdom. The village warriors, from each village kept everyone safe. Only the weakest villages were destroyed. Demons and monsters roamed everywhere, not even avoiding the larger cities. Shakaia was out on a quest, gathering as much information about Cravir and his armies as she could, and teaching the enemies a good lesson… Her wanderings brought her to the cave where she had last seen Katan. Shakaia was never ready to explore it before, but the warriors decided that the whole Kingdom was in extreme danger if they did not find any new information to help them with the struggle against his huge forces. She ventured in slowly, tensing up with every step.
There was a series of winding, twisting turns, until Shakaia reached the central cave. ”This feels familiar.“ She commented to herself, ”Have I been in here before?“ Up ahead, there was a glowing, green orb. ”Fireflies.“ She smiled to herself, walking slowly, reaching out towards the orb. She stumbled, and nearly fell, right into a huge crevice! It all came back to her, the little crevice, the creature, Katans’ face after she had killed it, the orb of fireflies… She looked up. The orb was still there!
Shakaia looked around for a way to cross the crevice. A log stretched across it, in a section almost hidden from view. She crossed it unsteadily, holding her sword out in front to keep her balance. The green orb just floated there, almost defiantly. Shakaia reached the other side, and cautiously moved towards the orb. It was making a high-pitched humming noise, and it appeared to be spinning. Once she had arrived directly in front of it however, it stopped. Everything just…stopped. She reached out slowly towards the orb, and everything shifted and became distorted. Shakaia closed her eyes, and when she reopened them, nothing was there. She was standing in a vast, white expanse with random objects flying past her. “Hello, Shakaia.” A voice that seemed to be coming from everywhere. “Welcome to Eternity.”
“You have reached Eternity, my dear.” There was a patch of air in front of her that shimmered and moved. “Who are you?” Shakaia gripped her sword tightly, staring at the shimmering patch.
“I am Fayoraan the Forgotten One, my dear.”
The patch lit up brightly, then died away. Shakaia now found herself staring at a man who looked neither young, nor old. He smiled ruefully at her, his pale brown hair falling into his eyes.
“Forgotten, left behind, they used to call me Fayoraan the Fearless.”
Shakaia looked at him sadly. “Please, continue!”
He sighed. “A huge demon, a very powerful one, he attacked our city. Everyone expected me to fight him, and I did. When death was looking me in the face however, I ran.” His ageless face sank with self-pity. “I ran, and ran, screaming. All along, even though I fought all the evil that threatened everyone, I was always afraid. Afraid of dying, and leaving everybody sad. Afraid of leaving this world. So much for being fearless, huh?”
He looked down, awaiting her response. Shakaia looked at him.
“What happened next?” She was not looking down on him for admitting such feelings, She was genuinely interested.
“Well, I came to a hidden valley where silence reigned. I ventured far into the deep recesses and I found a glowing, white box. When I opened it, I felt like I was being lifted up high, then I fell asleep, only to find myself here when I had awoken.” He paused, Shakaia was still listening. “After wandering for a long time, I met a woman.” Fayoraan’s face lit up. “She was so beautiful! She cared for me and talked with me. I found out that she was an unnamed goddess. She called this place Eternity, and when she was here, she told me what was going on in the outside world. One day, she told me I could become a part of Eternity if I did not want to go back. I agreed right away, and it was done.”
Shakaia looked at him quizzically. “Where is she?”
He looked away, his eyes dull, his face expressionless. “She said she had something to do, something important. I was used to her comings and goings, so I merely waved goodbye as she left. However… she never returned. I can see what goes on in the world, but I can never find her. It is as if she vanished off the faces of all the worlds! Hundreds and hundreds of years have passed, everyone has forgotten about that hero who ran away. I suppose, that on her errand, she forgot about me too…”
Compassion and pity filled Shakaia’s heart as she looked at Fayoraan. She told him, “I hope that someday she shall return.”
Outside of Eternity, Lord Cravir’s far North Fortress
“Lord Cravir, I have answered your call. What is it that you require of me?” The bowed figure raised her head, red, gleaming eyes, which simply shone evil, venomous death looked out from under a hood. Cravir held her gaze without looking away.
“I require that you raise an army and crush all those who oppose me! You would do such a thing for an old friend, would you not?”
The demon queen rose, her hood falling from her head, revealing a terrible scar from her forehead to her neck. “I shall do this, not out of friendship, but for power. The great Queen Tivra needs not friends to play with, but enemies to kill!”
Cravir looked up at her, for she was taller than he. “So be it Queen Tivra, now gather your army and let the final attack begin!” She gave him a quick nod, and left the room, putting her hood up once more.
Cravir walked slowly towards his bedchambers, thinking deeply, strategizing his next move. When he arrived at his room, he locked the door behind him, and picked up a book from his shelf. Life it was called, here it was the story of his own. The book wrote itself in a thin, slanted font every day. Cravir opened it up to the first page, and lay down on his bed.
North Dirvorr, Erabius Sesha, Harvestfeast year three of the third Era. “It is harvesting time and a baby is born on the Festival of the Dark Moon. The child is destined to be the greatest king of the Third World. He was born under the sign of the Raven, so his name was to be Cravir, (luck) for his mother gave her life so he could be born. Sesha (Wind, for he is of the Wind Clan) Rindraiv (Ravendark.)”
Cravir skipped ahead, flipping the pages until he reached:
Year 24, Era 3
“I do not understand what is happening. Cravir is no longer a part of the clan; he is no longer the Sesha Rindraiv. They shunned him; I think he shall be executed. Cravir is in his twenty-first year, and he has done some unmentionable crimes in our city. He was overpowerful, and no one could stop him. If I take a look through his eyes, I see nothing. Have they killed him? All I see is darkness, nothingness. I see a raven. He is flying towards me. So is Cravir merely slumbering? I shall not write until he reawakens.”
Cravir closed the book. “Who are you?” He wondered out loud. He had tried many times before to destroy the book, but it never burnt, scratched, frayed or anything! He had even tried dipping it in acid! Nothing could destroy it, he was sure of that now. What were the unmentionable crimes he had committed? Lord Cravir could not remember anything between chapter one and twenty-one. His eyes slowly closed and the book fell from his grasp, with a “thump” to the floor. He fell back onto the bed, fast asleep, with dreams of ravens and wind.
Cravir has awoken! After many, many years of being bound to the otherworld, his soul has broken free. Everything is so new and confusing to me, but it is as if he woke up knowing everything. Truly, he is destined to be the greatest king the world shall ever know. According to him, it is now Era eleven, year six. It has indeed been a long time since I last wrote. Cravir says that what he has to do now is build up his power, and wait for something…a boy, he said, with the same destiny as himself. The child is still unborn, and we do not know how long we shall wait, but when the time comes, Cravir will know. Shared destinies…He also said something about a girl, who shall supposedly defeat him if he did not find the boy. After that, the prophecy is very hard to decipher. Something about evil and good, something strange and disturbing to Cravir. He has blocked the very thought out of his mind, therefore I cannot see it. I hope it is not important, as Cravir shall lead himself to his death if he does not heed a warning.
Year 45, Era 11
We have found the boy! It is indeed a day of jubilation for Cravir. The girl from the prophecy is the sister of the boy. Their names are Katan and Shakaia. Cravir is putting thoughts and feelings in the boy, to make him feel lonely, or envious, so when the time is right, Cravir shall steal the boy’s powers, completely strip him of his destiny and banish him to the otherworld! Unless the girl can divert the path of destiny, Cravir shall rule over all. He is now the master of all the elements and his power grows stronger every day. Like all mortals however, Cravir is growing older. He steals strength and life from Katan whenever he can, so he shall hold out until the time is right to take everything from the boy.
Suddenly, the sound of footsteps could be heard. The sound came from all directions, for Eternity is a strange place of mystery. Shakaia and Fayoraan glanced around in all directions. Nothing, nothing was to be seen in the vast white expanse. Even the objects that had been passing by, they were no longer there. “What do you thing it was?” Shakaia asked in a slightly frightened tone. Fayoraan shook his head madly, denying that anything was there. Shakaia grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him in anger.
“There was something! We both heard the footsteps! Something is there…something!”
“Something, something, something.” Only the echoes replied. Fayoraan was staring straight ahead; a bright golden haze was floating towards them. As it moved closer, they noticed a light at the centre of the haze, twinkling and swirling.
Then, they saw her. “Goddess! Oh, my beautiful goddess! Thou hast returned to me!” Tears sprang unbidden into Shakaia’s eyes as she watched in awe, the reunion of the goddess and Fayoraan. She felt alien and out of place as the two hugged and kissed, their overflowing joy exposed as they cried in each other’s arms.
The goddess was indeed, beautiful. He waist length hair of light gold shimmered and swayed, her eyes strangely enough, were of a pale pink colour which shone vividly. Wearing a dress of virginal white… in the eyes of mortals, she was perfect. Shakaia glanced at Fayoraan, she was shocked by what she saw. He seemed so… bright! Youthful and strong, he was smiling so, so happily as he gazed at his goddess. Fayoraan did not ask the goddess any questions, he just held onto her tightly, wanting to never let go. She released him gently, and looked at Shakaia. “Thank you.” She said gracefully, with a small smile.
Before Shakaia could say a word, the goddess continued, “Your hope and determination brought me here. If you had not wished for my return, if you had not insisted something was out there when Fayoraan did not believe you… I would have never been able to come. Shakaia, you are a special person. I went on a journey to find my name, and when I returned, I could not enter Eternity. I tried and tried, but in the end, even I had given up. You came here, purely by accident, but now I have realized that perhaps…it was not merely happenstance. Everything has a meaning. The cave where you found Eternity, was it not a place from your past? Such things are not happenstance.”
She took a breath, and continued, “When you summoned me, I felt a great power emanating from you! Now, I sense this power more strongly than before. Please, allow me to find out why you have such power and destiny.” Shakaia, in awe of the goddess, could only nod.
“Close your eyes now, Shakaia.” She did so, and the goddess put a hand on her forehead. Memories flashed through Shakaia’s mind, herself and Dian playing, the monster she fought when she was only twelve years old, many things, precious to her in different ways. She saw herself crying at the sight of the reunion between the goddess and Fayoraan. A sudden flash of light, and she opened her eyes. Five glowing orbs, each a different colour floated in front of her.
“Green for friendship, rusty red for courage, pink-flecked red for love, bright, vibrant yellow-orange for happiness and pale pearly blue for faith.”
Shakia stared at the spheres of swirling colours with wonder. “But… I-I do…not understand!” She said in such a way so anyone could guess that there was a lot of turmoil in her mind. Guess, but not completely understand.
The goddess smiled so suddenly, it appeared to be a violent action. She raised her arms towards Shakaia, fingers outstretched. A glowing, plain white orb issued forth from her hands to join the others. Shakaia looked at is closely. She was surprised to find that it was not plain white at all! It was really a swirling myriad of colours! She smiled at it and looked up at the goddess calmly. “Now, would you mind explaining all this to me?”
The goddess looked slightly startled at Shakaia’s calm demeanour, yet she continued talking. “You see, Shakaia… you were born with six empty souls, and one main soul. Only a fabled few mortals have more than one soul. The main soul does not really count, for it is your mind and brain. Your extra souls had a strong sense of destiny; so the choices you have made throughout your life filled those souls with happiness, love…all of those. If you had made different choices, you would have turned out to be a different person, and you would have different souls.” The goddess paused, and looked sadly at Shakaia. “One with such a strong destiny… You may not survive your final battle for our world.”
She looked up at Shakaia, expecting tears, or some other form of sadness…but she could not believe it! Shakaia was smiling fiercely. “There is nothing left for me in this world. If I did, I will join father, mother and Dian! I am just…so happy that the last thing I do will be saving this world, for even if there is nothing left for me, there are so many memories, I still love this world and I shall do anything to save it!”
The goddess smiled, tears in her eyes. “You truly are the one destined to save our world.” Shakaia smiled fearlessly. “One question though, goddess…what is your name?”
She laughed, “Well, it turns out that, I do not have a name! So, I am simply called ”Goddess.“ I never had parents, I was born from Eternity.”
Shakaia’s and Fayoraan’s expressions rivaled each other’s in surprise. “Fayoraan.”
“Yes, er, Goddess?”
“You may name me, if you please. The other gods and goddesses wanted to…but I wish for you to name me!”
Fayoraan blushed deeply, and thought for a while.
“Hrmm…hm…well.” Goddess smiled sweetly.
“Anything you like, dear.”
“How about…. Evra, or Eternal? I-I mean, if you like those names! After all, you were born from Eternity?”
He looked flustered, and it seemed like he was confusing himself.
Shakaia spoke up. “Evra means Eternal in the old language, right?”
“Yes, and I would love both names!” Goddess, now Evra replied. Fayoraan stopped fidgeting and gazed at Evra.
“And I er, love you!”
They just laughed as Fayoraan blushed deeply again.
Shakaia left Eternity, after Evra had given her provisions enough to reach Lord Cravirs’ North Fortress. She would not be returning to her village, she needed to go directly to the fortress. For an ordinary mortal, it would take weeks, even months just to reach the north border. Shakaia however, had knowledge from Evra of a secret way that would bring her to his fortress in a matter of minutes. She walked deeper into the cave, Eternity a mere glimmer in the darkness behind her. She arrived at a dead end, and smiled to herself. “North Fortress of Lord Cravir.” She said clearly. A red and black portal opened in front of her. Shakaia stepped in, not knowing what awaited her on the other side.
After a few strange moments of nothingness, she arrived directly outside the fortress. Luckily, the guards were sleeping soundly, so nobody noticed. She examined the fortress for a way in. “Interesting. Everything, the sculptures, the stones in the wall, they are all ancient. Made of a stone called ”Shadowstone,“ or ”Shakai-ran“ in the old language.” Shakaia muttered to herself, remembering her history lessons. “Once, it was thought to be the greatest, strongest stone in the world.” She walked to the north side of the wall, and found a small wooden door. “I guess they were expecting nothing to attack from the north, hm.” She pushed the door lightly, and to her surprise, it swung open noiselessly.
After some walking on the cold, barren land, Shakaia reached the main castle. Another small door she pushed open easily. “Something is wrong if I can get in so easily.” She said quietly. Nobody seemed to be there. She walked quickly through the long halls, finally reaching the throneroom. Shakaia heard footsteps behind her as soon as she entered the room. She turned around slowly. “Cravir!” She took an involuntary step back as he strode over to her, smiling brightly, his black-red irises shining as if he was meeting an old friend. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Shakaia-Sesha-Hekkaisiyinn. You certainly know your history, do you not?” She stared at him… “Shakaia Wind Hawk of the Half Sun? Why do you call me that?”
He looked at her reprovingly. “Do you not know your own name? Half-shadow of the Wind clan, born under the sign of the Hawk, on the Day of the Half-Sun. That is how infants were named when they were brought into this world, a long time ago anyways. I envy you being born on such a day, when half the sun was missing. When your father was born, the same thing came to pass. Only two times in history has that ever happened. An important symbol, to be sure!”
Shakaia’s eyes narrowed. “I do not know what you speak of. My mother never said anything like that about me.”
“Your mother was too afraid to tell you! If you knew what kind of destiny you would have, you would have killed yourself! A mortal cannot handle such a destiny! Your father certainly did not! You are of the Wind clan, for your village, once called ”Erabius Sesha“ The Everblowing Wind, is the very village I was born in, roughly eight eras in the past!”
Shakaias’ eyes shone, an eerie purple glow. “I can handle Destiny! My father’s death was accidental! I know that he would have never killed himself! I have something he did not! I have my six souls!” Light suddenly filled the room, colours glimmering and flashing. Shakaia clenched her fists.
“Now, die! Die, you foul spawn of Darkness!” The lights concentrated into one beam above Shakaias’ head. Cravir, frozen where he stood, had no time, even to utter a scream before the lights flew through him.
Shakaia gasped, and fell to the floor, watching as the lights fluttered about, as if worried for her well-being. A pair of tall, black, steel-toed boots walked towards her. She lifted her head weakly. “Ka-Katan?”
“Katan!” Shakaia tried to stand up. Katan looked down on her with much contempt. “Do not attempt to get up, Half-Shadow. That will only serve to make you weaker.” She kept trying, and after a while, she succeeded in forcing herself into a sitting position. Shakaia gazed at Katan, her eyes a dull dark purple, almost black. “Katan, please explain to me, what is the meaning of it all?” He laughed and began to pace, her eyes following him. Back and forth, back and forth. He turned, facing her, and spoke. “There was a prophecy. Darkness and Light in their eternal war, The Shadow and The Sun. A child was born, born from darkness but destined to be king of all. The Light did not want this, so it thwarted the path of Destiny and Cravir’s plan to rule over all. He was to be King, the Light was never on his side…so they planned to destroy him. The Darkness countered this by saving Cravir, but to do so, they needed to create me. This made a prophecy which could not be undone or thwarted by the prying hands of the Light.” He paused.
“I shared Cravir’s destiny. The prophecy was that Cravir needed to find me, and I would somehow help him in his conquest. If he should die, I would simply carry on what he started.” Shakaia stared at him with disbelief. Tears filled her eyes, and they were dull no more. Bright, purple light shone as her tears fell, as it seemed to her, into her heart. Each tear brought more pain than she could possibly imagine, “What do I have to do with this? Why am I still alive and not Mother, Dian or Father? I never wanted this power! Why was I chosen?”
Katan knelt in front of her, and took her face in his hands, smiling tenderly at his sister. “Half-Shadow, you were born of Light and Darkness equally. The hawk symbolizes the Light; it is the messenger of the Sun. The half sun symbolizes loss, and it is also a symbol used frequently by the Darkness. The prophecy continued on, predicting your birth and warning Cravir of you, the twister of Destiny! You, with the favour of the Light and Darkness. The Darkness began to resent you however, when your souls remained untainted. You, Half-Shadow, you became a hindrance to the works of the Dark. I must kill you now!”
Katan struck Shakaia hard on the face, a black aura trailing from his hand. She fell to the stone floor, the Darkness spreading like some horrid disease.
She closed her eyes…souls she could see with her mind they were floating, floating away. Suddenly, a voice. “Katan! What have you done?” Shakaia felt arms around her, tears falling onto her face from above. She was aware now of the sound of screaming; she opened her eyes to see that it was Katan screaming. Mae was rushing at the barrier. Chaos. Wait a moment…what barrier? Shakaia’s mind was closing down. She pushed Katan away gently, and stood up. Walking, as if in a dream, she smiled as she saw everyone. Tsukasi had joined Mae, in trying to destroy the barrier. Shakaia touched it softly, dispelling it immediately. Tsukasi, Mae and Katan stared at her in shock. Her body was bathed in a weird light. Her eyes glowed brightly, purple light filling the room. The light glowed softly now, and suddenly, a golden haze pierced through. “Evra!” Shakaia called out in a strangled voice. Evra and Fayoraan walked silently towards them, their expressions dead serious.
The Darkness, it was spreading quickly. Shakaia stumbled and fell, only to be caught by Katan. He held onto her, crying, his eyes pleading, begging for her life and her forgiveness. Evra was now at her side, Fayoraan not far behind. Mae and Tsukasi joined them, looking at Shakaia, their faces ashen and pale. Shakaia stood up again. “It-it hurts!” She was scratching at her back, because two lumps of flesh were forming between her shoulder blades. No one could see them yet, for her clothing covered it. She screamed as the lumps broke, and two long, thin, fragile bones came forth from her back. “Shakaia!” Evra rushed forward, suddenly the bones glowed, and there was a flash of white light, which blinded everyone for a few moments.
Feathers, falling, floating. Blood and feathers, feathers and blood. Everyone stared at Shakaia as she stood there, two wings fluttering softly as if creating music. The Darkness, it was spreading, still. Even faster than before, it completely enveloped her right side, including the wing. Nobody did anything. All of the loose feathers had landed, and were quite still, floating in puddles of blood. Shakaia sat down suddenly, and began to cry. “Shakaia! Please, do not cry, t’will only make us cry, too!” Mae sat down with her, and hugged her, everyone else followed suit. Shakaia tried, she tried to smile through all the tears, the pain, a feeling of relief and happiness washed over her, in her mind. She saw her souls returning to her. She saw Dian, Mother and Father, they were smiling with her and waving. Waving, to say what? Hello, or goodbye?
They faded away slowly, and she felt something else within her. A powerful sense, the Light? She opened her eyes and looked at her right hand. A white aura. She smiled. The Light was working some sort of magic on her. Everyone smiled at her, but suddenly she felt a sharp pain in her right wing. It was still black. She reached for it, and took it in her hands, caressing it, hoping, wishing the Darkness away. Nothing happened. Shakaia let one tear escape her eye before falling to the floor, fast asleep.
Strange dreams. A bird, flying high towards the half-sun. The wind was blowing softly, much more like a breeze. Shakaia woke up calmly, everyone else was still asleep. She gazed at them all, and walked on the feathers to the other side of the room, where there stood a grand, golden-framed mirror. She was not admiring the workmanship, however. Shakaia was looking at herself, her reflection. Her eyes. She gasped, which woke Evra. “Shakaia…we were about to tell you, but you had already fallen asleep.” Shakaia looked at the mirror again.
Her eyes, the one on the left was it’s normal bright, purple hue. Her right iris however, was swirling with her soul colours. Shakaia stood there for a moment, then smiled softly. “This, it is strange. I suppose I will have to become used to looking like this.” Her wings fluttered a little. She shifted the black one slightly; the pain, the Darkness was still there. The curse of the Shadow remained.
Everyone else had awoken by now, and it was time for Evra and Fayoraan to return to Eternity. “Shakaia, I hope that you will soon adjust to this new form. All the best to you, but I must return to Eternity, for it will die if Fayoraan and myself are not there.” She hugged Shakaia tightly, and stood by Fayoraan as he bid his farewells. A golden haze filled the room, and they disappeared.
Shakaia, Katan, Mae and Tsukasi stood there, unsure of what to do. Shakaia impulsively grabbed Katan’s hand, Mae took his other hand, and Tsukasi still unsure, walked beside Mae. The cool spring breeze blowing softly on her wings, Shakaia smiled brightly, so happily at them all. “Let us go home now, my friends!”