A New Legend Chapter 2

A Return of the Past

By Mich Etoile

He looked kind of strange in the forest, kind of out of place. He was a defensive tackle for his high school football team. He was big, but very aware and gentle, still, in football nothing got by him. He might have looked out of place in the forest, but he felt right at home, maybe it was because he used to come up here a lot. He still liked the city though, just not as much as his forest. As much as he might have looked weird in the forest, his girlfriend must have looked a lot more lost. She was a sophomore and he a junior, not too much age difference and there were few times when she acted immature. She could fit right in with the other cheerleaders, and she had as much pep and energy that they did. That’s where they first met each other, at a football game she was cheering at last year. He remembered her long red hair, her fair white skin and almost having trouble walking off the field normal. She had a great smile to go with her great body. It seemed to him that she could jump higher than the other girls, but maybe he was just watching too hard. He’d better stop thinking about that before he had to stop the hike. He looked back and saw her a few steps behind. He looked to where she was walking and two steps ahead, he saw a loose rock that might’ve looked secure from her side. He turned as quick as he could and grabbed her hand as she was falling from stepping on the rock. “You ok?”

“Garrett,” Sara complained between big breaths, “the water was back there. Where are we going and why?”

“I told you when we started off, that the B. C. Bay back there was for tourists, it couldn’t be as amazing as my scene.” Garrett said as he pulled her up. “The mountain hike will all be worth it trust me, I can’t wait to show you, you’re gonna FREAK.”

“As long as it’s soon. I’ve never been on the County trail and all this hiking and carrying this heavy backpack just isn’t working for me.” she said. Then she tried to walk some more and ended up stepping on the side of her foot, and going down. Without Garrett there to catch her she went down pretty hard on her hands which she had extended to brace her fall. Garrett bent down, picked her up and carried her some ways down the path as she hugged his neck tight. He passed a huge rock he recognized as a marker, wouldn’t be long until he could show her his favorite spot. He set Sara down on the rock and checked her ankle to see if it was all right. A short break and they left for Garrett’s surprise.

Seven minutes later, they reached the outline of Garret’s surprise. He hadn’t heard anymore complaints from Sara, she only complained a little but she toughed through a lot. Now all Sara could do was stare. She had never seen something so beautiful and natural at all. Sara was more used to the dance clubs and nightlife of Tarpon Springs. Most of the natural in Florida had been tarnished by the never-ending flocks of tourists. But here, the clear blue waters found there way by the source of a miniature waterfall, which crept its way from a miniature rock ledge the height of a two story home. Sunlight found its way through the surrounding foliage that had flourished beside the pool. Garrett watched a speechless Sara take it all in. “Been a while since I’ve heard nothing come from you.” he said as he started to take his shirt off.

“You better be careful or you’ll hear a lot of talking from my fists.” Sara joked back at him while she stripped down to her bathing suit. Garrett couldn’t help but stare, he had seen it all before but her body was perfect. The sunlight in Florida had done great things with her skin and her hair. Sara walked in first with Garrett eagerly following. Sara reached about a third of the way towards the center before she had to start swimming. After taunting her about it, Garrett walked twice the distance Sara did before he just got on his back in the water and directed himself towards her. With a little bit of flirting and actual swimming, Garrett and Sara stayed in the water close to an hour. Sara got out and laid out a blanket next to the bottom of the ledge so she could lay down and enjoy the sun. Garrett got out and put on some pants and shoes and went for a walk. Even though this was Garrett’s favorite spot, he didn’t know every surrounding thing.

Walking around, Garrett realized the sensation he had around this place of comfort. Garrett returned after a peaceful walk to find Sara close to asleep. He laid down a blanket and took a spot next to Sara and closed his eyes. He couldn’t remember the last time that he had felt so relaxed. Close to asleep, Garrett twitched, which brought him away from rest. He sat up and looked around. No time had passed since he closed his eyes and everything was the same. Before he lay down again, he picked up on a slight sound from high up. He looked around and saw nothing being disturbed. He started to lay back down until he heard it again. Looking around he saw a shadow on the ground in an odd spot. Looking straight up from the shadow he saw a rock that had fallen off the ledge. Thankfully its destination wasn’t injurious to Garrett or Sara. Garrett was starting to wonder why had the rock fallen when he realized more could come tumbling down. He turned to Sara to wake her and heard the sound of rocks striking other rocks. He looked up and saw a handful of rocks, a little bit bigger than the huge teen’s fist, falling from the ledge. Noticing that their pattern was straight for the two of them, Garrett leaned over to cover Sara. It was all he could think to do, after all he did play offensive and defensive tackle, he could protect Sara from a couple of rocks. He tried not to say anything as each rock hit him, but none got through to Sara thankfully. He counted and felt seven separate rocks. He’d definitely feel that later on. He stood up and looked up, saw no sign of anybody or any animal. Then he tried to fell his back. He didn’t feel any blood, which was definitely a good sign. Oh no, he heard more rocks coming. Not wanting to take any more hits, Garrett picked up his blanket, got down on his right knee, held the blanket as tight as he could above him and Sara and prayed it would hold. The next seven rocks (odd Garrett thought seven again) bounced off of the blanket and away from the two. Careful of more rocks, Garrett moved to wake Sara up now. Throwing the blanket aside, Garrett stood up and looked to look for more falling rocks. Seeing none, he once more went to wake Sara until one big shadow on Sara’s body caught his attention. He looked up to see a small boulder obeying gravity’s pull. Not wanting to take a hit from this boulder but stuck in his spot Garrett could only think of sports. He had planned to catch the boulder! “They always told us to catch with soft hands in football, soft hands” Garrett whispered to no one. Spreading his feet to shoulder width apart, raising his hands above his head and keeping a steady watch on his target, Garrett braced himself for the catch. The boulder met with Garrett’s hands and slowed as Garrett applied his force upon it. Gravity was hard to overtake but Garrett didn’t want Sara hurt. Applying all the force he had left that had mixed with his desire to protect Sara, Garrett raised the boulder above his head. He had stopped the boulder and saved Sara, he was relieved.

Closely overcome by fatigue, Garrett almost dropped the boulder until he felt it lighten. Confused, Garrett found the boulder floating above him. Staring in amazement, Garrett saw how the boulder started emanating a gold hue that grew brighter and brighter until he could see nothing but gold. As the light faded, Garrett noticed a marble sized golden ball floating in the air above him. It descended until it was even with Garrett’s chest and then towards him until it faded. Turning around he saw Sara had woken up in time to see this amazing gold stone. Both understood nothing, and couldn’t comprehend what had happened.

“Where is it?” Sara asked.

“I, … I feel it inside of me… I think.” Garrett responded. Sara started to ask another question but was cut off when the center of the pool caught their attention with its new luminescence. The pool’s light blue light started to glow as Garrett’s new gold stone from within glowed in time with it. “I think that there’s another one of these in that pool.” Garrett informed Sara.

“Well, lets get to the bottom.” Sara said.

“But, but what if its far down? I can’t make it that far.” He said.

“Then don’t go, I can make it.” She said.

Before Garrett could respond Sara ran towards the center of the pool. Garrett watched as she dove and swam down. Meanwhile he was taking his shoes off and the pants he had put over top his trunks. He ran as far as he could, took the biggest breath he could and went under. Following the source of the glow, Garrett swam as hard as he could. He could feel his air supply running down, no telling how much longer he could go. He wanted to turn around and see how far he had gone, but that would take up time, energy and oxygen. All he could do was swim, nothing but swim. He felt helpless, no other option but swim. Ignore the throbbing; ignore the want to go back, it was impossible anyway. That throbbing in his head, the result of lack of oxygen, was growing unbearable. How far down was this place he knew nothing about? How far? How … far? How …..

There was a distorted voice, “Is he alive? Oh, I should’ve never left him behind.”

“He’ll be fine. Water just isn’t his element.” came a second voice. From what Garrett could tell this one was aged, but there were still hints of youth in every word … she … spoke. Yes she. The accent was, in a category all it’s own. Wait, Garrett could move his eyelids. He was starting to get movement back with the addition of his hearing, which helped him wait.

“He blinked, did you see that he blinked. Oh come on Garrett, don’t let water stop you.” said the distorted yet distinct voice. As his hearing reached normal functioning, Garrett was able to recognize one voice as Sara’s. At least he had found her. Oh so slowly, it felt like every nerve from the top of his head down to the bottom of his feet individually woke up and announced their awakening. With every nerve waking up, Garrett could once again feel the still sharp pain of the bruises on his back from the falling rocks. He also felt cold, hard rock on his entire backside. He must be lying down in a cave, but how? He had been swimming; swimming after Sara and the glow.

“Ugghh…” was all Garrett could say as he slowly sat up and put a hand to his forehead. He hadn’t looked at what was around when he had opened his eyes; it had hurt too much. He still hurt a lot but this time he took a good look around. Yeah it was a cave, which he had no problem with until he looked up. The ceiling was moving like water because that’s what it was. His first reaction was to take cover before it fell down but then he realized it would’ve fallen down by now if it were going to. Garrett stared at the ceiling in pure astonishment until Sara called out to him.

“Garrett, are, are you OK?” Sara asked. “Garrett?”

“Sara, the ceiling is water. It’s water!” he replied.

“I know and Meru can explain everything.” she told him.

With his eyes still fixated on the ceiling made of water, “Who?” he asked.

Sara said “Well why don’t you take your eyes off the ceiling. It won’t come down I’ve been assured.” Finally, that got his attention turned away from the ceiling but know he was taking in the site of the cave. It appeared that they were in a small part of a maze of caves. The dim light was something Garrett couldn’t pinpoint, but the water ceiling did seem to have a sort of luminescence that revealed cave walls. The walls were decorated with tapestries filled with ancient writing and the faces of six people. Finding nothing else of interest, Garrett turned his attention to the strange woman whom Sara had just met. It didn’t matter that Sara had just met her, she felt very comfortable with her. She looked like a seventy-three year old woman with platinum hair and red eyes that held pure joy. She was short, even compared to Sara, but her robe seemed to bulk her up a little bit. The robe she wore was a beautiful clear water blue with gold designs sewn throughout. The strange woman met Sara with no discomfort at all.

“Garrett, you should be all right once the oxygen returns to your body. That was dangerous what you did but I believe that this brought you here.” Meru said as she took something from inside the robe she wore. Whatever she had, she kept it in her hand and nothing could be seen of it until a blue glow similar to the one they had been following shone from her fist. In response to the blue light, gold light shone from Garrett’s chest. The light subsided leaving Garrett, Sara and Meru dumbfounded. “Garrett, where is your dragoon spirit?”

“My what?” Garrett asked having no clue what she was talking about.

“The golden light we just saw, where is it?” Meru asked the rephrased question again.

“It was in this big boulder that was falling towards us. I put my hands to the boulder and stopped it from falling. It started shining gold then decreased in size. A gold pebble floated to in front of my chest and then towards it and disappeared.” Garrett said, recapping what had happened earlier.

Meru had a startled look on her face, “It seems that your dragoon spirit is inside you Garrett, and it sounds like it put you through a test first. That’s new to me.”

“How did you know my name?” was what Garrett wanted to know first.

“Sara and I were introducing ourselves when you dropped in. She kept saying your name and I picked up on it. By the way, my name’s Meru.”

“Thank you for your concern. All my friends call me Bug, please feel free to.” said Garrett, trying to be friendly.

“Bug?!? I don’t understand, you’re no where near the size of a bug. Why and how did you get that nickname?” Meru asked, having no idea what bug could mean.

“Actually, it’s Big Ugly Garrett.” He explained.

“How horrible,” Meru exclaimed as she looked Garrett over, “you’re not ugly at all.” A little embarrassed, he explained that it was just fun when they were younger and the name just stuck. After a long pause between all three, Garrett was the first to say something, “So can you explain this to us. We have no clue what is going on.”

Meru started to tell Garrett and Sara about her and the past. “What you have taken on is a part of fate. The golden light inside you is the harnessed spirit of a dragon called a dragoon spirit.” Meru started to explain.

“Hmmph” expressed Garrett’s disbelief. Sara hit him for that.

Ignoring him, Meru continued on, “I am from a time too long to remember. My friends and I, we used the dragoon spirits to defeat evil…” Meru started to tell the history forgotten by all but her. She started with the story with the Divine Tree, of its branches, it’s fruit and of it’s maker. She continued with the description of the creatures that were born of the fruits. Following her description, she told of the dominating Winglies, and the rebellion of Humans which led to the Dragon Campaign. She told them about the Dragon Campaign and how Human’s had used Dragon’s until it was found that the Dragon’s spirits could be harnessed and used by someone recognized by the spirit. She told of the Dragoon’s, Melbu Frahma’s and the Wingly oppressions end in the final battle. She then began the tale of the journey with Dart, Shana and Lavitz. She described as best she could the battles they had and when they met other Dragoon’s before Meru. Then, according to Meru came the most important part in the story, when she met Dart and the other Dragoons. Then she told about the places they traveled like Rouge and Mille Sesau, and all the enemies they came across like Lloyd and of Lenus and Regole. She told about the prime enemy, Zieg and the signets he kept unlocking, and she told of the Moon That Never Sets falling from the sky. She spoke of entering the moon and battling the past and finally about how Zieg was really Melbu Frahma inside Zieg’s body. She ended with the battle between Melbu and the dragoons. The entire time, both were intrigued but Sara was more believing than Garrett was.

When Meru had finished her story, Garrett and Sara had questions. Garrett was the first to ask, “How can we believe your story? I’ve never seen magic, how can it be real?” Directly after he had asked his questions, Meru shined her dragoon spirit and, before he could move, a plume of water came crashing down to a stand still above his head. Freaked out by the sudden onrush, he jumped to the side and rolled. Meru chuckled while Sara studied the new position of the water. Amazingly Sara found that the water came down in only the one spot above he and that it stayed there also. Meru’s dragoon spirit shone again and the water went back to its old position. “Why did you do that!!!!!”

“Do you believe me now?” Meru simply asked.

“I’ll believe anything you tell me as long as the ceiling stays up where it belongs!!!” Garrett exclaimed as he glanced back and forth between the ceiling and her.

“I have some questions.” interjected Sara quietly, afraid of the ceiling falling again.

Meru sensed how she felt, “Don’t worry about the ceiling, I’ll keep it up where it is as long as Bug doesn’t ask stupid questions anymore. At first I didn’t have that much power, but after my studies over the many years, I and the Blue-Sea Dragoon Spirit’s power have excelled.”

Considering that most people would consider Meru crazy, Sara believed what was said. “First,” Sara started, “how is it that you’re still alive? Your story was ancient yet you were apart of it”

“As I told you, there was a race born of the Divine Tree called the winglies.”

“Yeah I remember.” Sara replied.

“Well,” Meru continued, “ I am a wingly. My people were granted with the ability to use magic and we lived a lot longer than the other races.”

“I’ll accept that. I know I should probably have more questions but I listened to your story.” Sara said while glaring at Bug, “What have you been studying?”

“On our journey, my friends and I met a lot of challenges. I saw and felt the effect of a lot of magic. I wanted to perform what I had seen.”

“Understandable. Finally, are there any other winglies left?”

When Sara said that, she noticed the pain that crossed Meru’s face. “I’m sorry, did I say something wrong?”

“It’s been so long, I shouldn’t be sore about the subject still but…” Meru’s attention turned away from Garrett and Sara to a part of the past. Surprising the two, Meru spoke while still turned away. ”After the defeat of Melbu Frahma, my fiancee Guaraha and I took the first steps towards uniting winglies and humans. All of the winglies had been secluded and in hiding using magic. A lot of winglies agreed with our wishes. Ancestor Blano from my home village helped out a lot towards the peace. There were also many that wished just the opposite. A wingly group had been formed under the leadership of Tirst. Guaraha and I brought together leaders from both races and made tremendous advances towards peace and coexistence.” Dealing with emotions impossible to ignore, Meru inserted another long pause to visit the past. Sara took this time to reflect on what was just said. The name Blano was said very easily where as Tirst was said through gritted teeth and with hatred that could easily kill. “Guaraha, Blano, Albert and I were meeting with three other ancestors and two other kings in an open plain. The meeting had very little time to get started before winglies appeared in the sky. The formation that they came in resembled a dome. There was no way out, all the winglies just floated where they had first appeared. Everyone was observing the situation and planning ahead, until Tirst appeared in the middle right beside the meeting. He sneered at the humans and ignored the winglies he should’ve been paying respect to. He explained that he had been studying the dragon campaign and Melbu’s actions during. Melbu had planned on using powerful ancient techniques to write a powerful spell, one that would wipe out races. Before he wrote that spell, him and the Dragon Campaign ended. Tirst had found what Melbu achieved and finished it. I was the first to speak and I proclaimed fraud against him and his supposed spell. He told me that grafting his soul to the Red-eye dragon spirit took too much energy. Tirst informed everyone that Melbu hadn’t had enough energy, but that he did. I transformed into dragoon and with my hammer ready to strike, I charged at him before he could prove any theory. He easily pushed me aside, so I tried magic. Halfway between the dome of Winglies and Tirst, I landed. I began with snow, brilliantly colored, then I flew as high as I could and thrust down my hammer, head first. My hammer flew through the air, with me on the end, and it landed in the spot I had once stood, causing ice to erupt all around. My balance with my right foot on the end of the handle was exactly the same as my focus, they were both perfect. Ice cold fog vented from the ice under my handle and gathered around Tirst. The fog gathered around him and became ice trapping Tirst inside. My focus on my energy was complete, and all my energy formed in my hands. I spread my hands apart and the energy followed my movements. I folded my hand over my chest, and then brought down my hands, sending all of my magical energy towards Tirst, still trapped in the ice. The moment my energy hit the ice, it exploded and it was once again snowing. I grabbed my hammer, thinking that Tirst wasn’t a threat any longer. When the snow cleared, Tirst had already started his spell, although his feet had been spread apart to sustain the blast and blood was dripping from his hairline. The words spilling from his mouth, and his own energy gathering in his hands. Albert transformed and started his wind spell Gaspless, until a group of winglies transported him away. Tirst’s voice seemed to echo to me until I realized the chorus of the surrounding winglies joining in. Tirst raised his hands high into the air to a spot aimed at by the dome of winglies. Gathering in Tirst’s hands was a sphere of energy that was soon to spread throughout Endiness. Ancestor Blano and Guaraha were conjuring up spells to attack Tirst. The bottom level of winglies left there posts and surrounded the two halting their spell. Blano shouted to me that part of the spell Tirst was using was wingly, not human. I got up during the third to last word. The second to last I was charging towards him. The last word rolled off his tongue as I hit him in the stomach. We toppled over each other, Tirst wincing in pain. We crash landed and I bounced back up, glad to see him wincing until I noticed all the other winglies around me doing the same. The realization of not getting there in time set in and I looked down to see Tirst’s body become a gas. I turned to Guaraha to see him doubled over in pain and was at his side in no time and caught him as he fell towards the ground. I didn’t care about whatever had happened or if I was in danger. The entire wingly race would die but most importantly, Guaraha was dying in my arms. I never got to say goodbye… As he lay in my arms, his outline started to blur and his wincing slowed down. I saw the comfort of being in my arms in the last look his face would ever hold. And then he was the same gas that Tirst was mixing with the wind. I turned to Blano to see him fighting the spell Tirst had sent out. Hardly able to see past the tears, I hurried to him to see him give up. He told me that my dragon spirit made me something greater than a wingly, a dragoon. And then he too, was gone.”

Meru ended her story and detached herself from Garrett and Sara. It wasn’t too long before Meru spoke up, “I’ve detached myself from the world studying magic so that no one else has to lose a loved on.” Sara and Garrett tried to comfort this living legend that they had just met. “I’ll be fine,” Meru told them, “but we have to find the other dragoons.”

“I don’t understand.” Garrett said.

“Fate only calls upon the aid of dragoons when it’s needed. There must be others.” Said Meru.

“How will we know who’s dragoon worthy and who isn’t?” Sara asked.

“We won’t, they’ll be made known by fate in the future. Until then, I could help you with your dragoon skills and magic.” Meru told him. “I thought you’d never say something. I want to know what this thing does.” he said with eagerness.

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