Leon, the Mighty Gale Chapter 5

Dreams and Discussion

By Samara Secor

‘How embarrassing...... Chided for my cleanliness in front of the whole priesthood. It’s not my fault that I was working in the garden when she called. What was I supposed to do? Stop and wash it off before I came? He could have died in that time!’ Chris thought, glancing at Leon out of the corner of his eyes.

After showing Raven to a room and Ember, Leon, and Arek to another, Chris hurried to a wash basin and dipped his hands in the water, scrubbing them until they shone. The water was a muddy brown when he had finished, so he picked the whole thing up, stand and all, and carried it out to the garden. Once there, he tilted the basin over, pouring the water onto some of the plants.

While he still had it upended, a voice behind him said, “You’ve really got a gift for healing. You know that?”

Chris almost lost his grip on the basin, but he managed to catch it just in time. He let out a sigh of relief and set it down, turning to meet the speaker.

Although Chris was fairly new to the priesthood, he had learned enough to know who Ember was. He was somewhat of a legend among the apprentices, always ready with his quick wit, and sometimes a gift or two. Until today, Chris had never caught more than a glimpse of him in the distance, being too busy each time he came with some task the High Priestess had set him to. After struggling a moment to find his voice, Chris said, “It’s not me that’s doing it. It’s Althena.”

Ember signed heavily and the look on his face said that he’d heard this many times before. He looked Chris straight in the eye and asked, “If it’s Althena, then how come not just anyone can go out and heal?”

“Because a lot of them aren’t devout. They... Wait a minute! I think you’re trying to trick me into admitting that it does have something to do with us,” Chris said. “Well, perhaps it does.. piety-wise, anyway.”

“Piety does play somewhat of a role, but that’s not it, either,” Ember replied. “You were able to heal Leon when no one else could, but can you honestly say that you’re the most pious person in this temple?”

“Well...” a guilty expression crossed Chris’ face, and he admitted, “No, I know for sure that I’m not. It always seems that the High Priestess finds something wrong with what I’m doing. She’s never satisfied. But if it’s not Althena, and it’s not piety.... then, what is it?”

“It’s what I like to cal the ‘Power of Humanity’. Although each human, beastman, elf, and all the other races are equal in worth, they’re not always equal in talent. Some are gifted with strength of arms and become warriors. Others have an eye for beauty and become artists or craftsmen. I could go on and on like this, but I’m sure you see the point by now,” Ember said.

“Yeah, I do, but why did you come out here and start a discussion in the first place? I’d imagine that you would be keeping watch over your friend that you’re so worried about. Oops! Sorry. I didn’t mean that the way it sounded...” Chris apologized.

“Don’t worry about it. I know what you meant. Leon’s fast asleep and in good health right now... thanks to you. I just came out here to say hello. I’m always eager to meet new people. Especially when others try to keep me from meeting them. Can you imagine that?” Ember chuckled. “Why would anyone want to prevent someone from seeing me? Anyway, I hope I’ll see you again before we leave. Goodbye for now.”

Even after Ember walked out of sight and beyond hearing, Chris continued to stare at the archway that he had gone through. “Keep me away... Is he trying to say that the High Priestess has been keeping me away from him? But why? She hasn’t prevented any of the other apprentices from talking to him. I’m nothing really special... Am I?” Chris asked the empty air with a troubled expression.


Deep in a cave somewhere in the Katarina Zone, Pyra flew into a large cavern and yelled, “Hey, Dad! I’m sorry that I’m a little late, but I’m home now!”

Silence was her only answer. “Uh... Dad? You’re not that angry with me, are you? Dad? Oh, Daaaad... Where are you?” Pyra flew around the cavern, looking behind rocks for any sign of him.

Finally, she perched on a ledge and panted tiredly. “He’s... not... here. Where could he have gone? “ she wondered. “Maybe... maybe he’s in the shield room!”

She rose back into the air and navigated the passageways until she came to the room where her father stored the Red Dragon Shield. The shield was there, but her father was not. “Aw, man! Don’t tell me I’m stuck guarding this dumb shield again,” Pyra groaned and flopped down on the rocks beside the shield, covering her eyes with her paws. “Why does he do this to me? It’s his job to keep an eye on it, not mine.”

Each minute that Pyra sat waiting seemed like an eternity, and she was not inclined to be very patient at the moment. She circled the shield, glaring at it like she held it personally responsible for her troubles. “If only I could make some illusion like Raven did and hide the real shield somewhere else. Then, I could be sure that it was safe,” Pyra wrinkled her brow in thought for a little while and suddenly smiled. “Maybe I can’t put a magical illusion in its place, but I can sure put something a bit more solid there.”

Pyra giggled and flew off in search of the items that she needed to carry out her plan.


Raven sighed and looked up at the stars, eyes never staying in one place for long, but always returning to the Blue Star. ‘I wonder how much I’ve missed in class over the last several days. master Loren had just started talking about water elementals when I was kidnapped. He’s probably half-way through lightning by now. How am I ever going to catch up?’ Raven wondered, watching as Vane temporarily blocked her view of the Blue Star before continuing its protective circuit around Althena’s Tower and, by extension, her temple. ‘So close and yet... so far away. I could just use the Transmission Spring to get up there as soon as possible, but I can’t just leave Leon to go through the Trial Cave alone. That wouldn’t be very nice after all that he and his uncle have done for me. I’ll just have to put off getting home for a little while longer. A few more hours won’t make much of a difference now.’


Leon awoke with a start, the remnants of a nightmare still clinging to him. A man holding a sword that oozed with darkness was chasing him and, no matter where he’d tried to flee to, the man was always there waiting for him. Eventually, Leon collapsed to the ground, too exhausted to run anymore. Grinning triumphantly, the man raised his sword. Leon braced himself for the blow, but none came.

Hesitantly, Leon had opened his eyes, and what he saw had horrified him so much, that it shocked him into wakefulness. A large red dragon was stretched out on the ground, blood pumping from a wound in its side. The dragon raised its head and weakly turned to lock gazes with Leon.

‘Those eyes... By all rights, they should have been full of pain, but they looked so peaceful. I’ve never even seen a dragon before, so why am I dreaming about one now?’ Leon asked himself.

He looked around the room and could dimly make out the forms of Arek and Ember, who were still sleeping soundly. ‘I’ve got a big job to do in the morning. I need to get some sleep,’ Leon shook his head and laid back down on the bed staring at the ceiling.


It seemed only moments later that Leon opened his eyes to find Ember shaking him. “Hey, come on, lazybones! It’s time we got going.”

“You mean... you’re coming with me? I thought you had to get home,” Leon said.

“Yeah, I do, but at this rate, another day won’t matter. Or at least, it shouldn’t,” Ember frowned. “My daughter should have been back before I left, but she wasn’t. She’s probably goofing off somewhere. She needs to get more serious about her responsibility, or she won’t be ready to take over when I’m gone.”

“You have a daughter?” Leon asked. “But you don’t look that much older than I am...”

Ember’s frown turned into a smile, “Ah, but I’m one of those people gifted with the appearance of eternal youth. You’ll never find a grey hair on my head. Not in a million years.”

When they made it out to the entrance, there were quite a few of the priests and priestesses waiting to see them off, but Chris was not among them. “Hey.... Do any of you guys happen to know where Chris is? I’d kind of like to thank him again for what he’s done,” Ember said.

“He’s not feeling too well this morning,” one apprentice piped up. “I think it might be something he ate for dinner last night.”

“Or maybe it was all the things he ate,” another apprentice snickered. “Healing must really work up an appetite. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone dispose of that much food so fast in my life.”

“All right, then. I guess I’ll just have to stop by some other time. Thanks anyway,” Ember waved over his shoulder as he walked out the door.


Chris had not, as the other apprentices thought, been eating all of that food. Most of it, he had been storing away. He knew that Vane wasn’t that far off, but he’d heard that some people had been lost in the Trial Cave for a pretty long time before they ever found their way out. Besides, if they thought he was being a pig, it just gave him an excuse to complain of a stomach ache so that he would be left behind in the dormitory when all the other apprentices went about their duties. However, the moment they’d gone, he’d leaped out of bed and dragged his cache of food out from under the bed and picked up a walking staff.

He crept silently down the hallways and out a little used side door. If he hurried, he might be able to beat Ember and the others to the Transmission Spring. Then, it would be way too late to try and send him back. He intended on going with them at least as far as the end of the trial. If Ember wasn’t able to give him any answers that satisfied him by that time, Chris would keep following him until he did.


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