The rain will never stop
The rain will never falter
The thunder will shake the earth
While lightning lights the world with white light.
And in Hostrich
Every wolf, person, and entity.
Has a bit of Stormy Skies within them.
The thunder rolls across the clouds
Causing the earth to shake.
The noise as calming as the lightning
That comes after.
Our story takes us to Hostrich,
Hostrich has many names to every living thing, to us, it's the kingdom of Hostrich.
To Wolves... The Lightning Skies, or, by pups, The Stormy Kingdom.
To the fates, and spirits.
They merely call it the raging path.
Erik was born in Hostrich, many of Hostrichs inhabitants have surprisingly fiery tempers. And yes, that includes seemingly fearful and small Erik
When in reality, he could protect his friends easily, with his eyes closed, without thinking, because he was was born that way.
Because every person in Hostrich has a little bit of that ever continuing storm within them.
Making them the best allies, and the worst of enemies.
Because you never want to get on they're bad side, as Erik had shown with the dire wolves, he's not what he acts.
Actually, in truth, he's with them, but he's also hiding his own secrets about his home, and his intentions, and why he was in Grealach.
Maybe we'll find out...
The land of storms.
And an old god.
Lillian followed Erik through the forest leading to Kraylak, and she asked, "So Kraylak is pretty much the trading village in Hostrich?"
Erik nodded, "Yep, Kraylak is known for it's wool and strong woods, many of the nearby villages and kingdoms trade with us, we're very stable." he barked.
"And their animal relations?" Aris asked carefully.
Erik shrugged, "As long as we don't bug them, they won't bug us." he muttered.
Markus asked Erik, rushing up to him, "So what's the story with Hostrich.. I-Er.. Didn't pay attention in my History lessons, all I know is the major civil warm," he then added, "Sorry!"
Erik hesitated, "Not many people truly know the raging, sea-like land Hostrich is, after all, we are known for Lake Twister, which is more of an ocean then a lake..." he said.
"Why do they call it Lake Twister?" Lucan asked, in an almost funny voice.
Erik twitched his tail, "Because every month, a twister touches the ocean, and turns into a water twister, it's quite a sight.. If you.. Of course, are brave enough to watch it." he barked.
Lillian asked, "So anything we should know about this land?"
Erik tipped his head, "Um.. Let's see.. Oh yeah! We should stay away from the forts, everyone is afraid that the old god is close to being awoken." he barked.
"E-Excuse me?" Lillian stammared.
"The old god, the god of this land, sure, the Fate of Tradegy usually is around here, but even he isn't as old as the old god of storms..." Erik muttered.
Lillian hesitated, and asked, "And.. What would happen if said old god... Awakens?"
Erik hesitated, then barked, "I have no idea, but I'd imagine storms worse then the fates.."
Lillian just stared at him, but they continued walking, and she asked, "So.. Where is Kraylak?"
Erik hesitated, "A bit of a walk, we have to go over a ravine to get there."
Markus muttered, "No wonder any of the kingdoms didn't dare attack Hostrich, the land is like a moving fortress..."
Lillian just rolled her eyes as they continued to walk and climb over fallen trees, and Lillian shivered when the wind picked up.
Erik must have sensed her fear, because he turned around, and barked, "Oh, don't worry, that wind is nothing, it's when you're blown off your paws is when you have to worry about it."
Lillian looked up, and saw a mountain looming over them, "What's that?" she asked.
Erik looked up also, "That would be the ruins of Gurasia, one of our old cities, well, it was, until the civil war. It's also believed that's where the old god is." he barked.
Lucan muttered, "The only danger Hostrich ever had was itself..."
Lillian couldn't help but silently agree, this land was a liveable wasteland, torn up by storms and civil wars, No wonder Collin likes it here..
Hostrich, also known as the land of storms, was pretty much destroying itself on the inside, the king and queen were always holed up in the castle, and left their people to lead their selves after the Civil war, so Hostrich was split up into two separate parts.
The first part, the side that wanted to unison with Nixsan, isn't united with Nixsan, but only because Nixsan refused to hold a court about the matter, the other side, which wanted to attack Ishari, ended up attacking the other side out of feelings of betrayel.
Lucan is right. Hostrich's only danger is itself.. Lillian thought, but didn't want to hurt Erik's feelings
The people at Hostrich were fiery tempered, but Lillian was confused at Erik, he always seemed to hide in Aris's shadow, but she remembered when he took on all the dire wolves... And won.
Something told her he wasn't the one that needed protecting.
She looked at Lucan, "Ever been here before?" she asked.
He seemed to think, and answered, "Once, right before the Civil war, a day before I mean, mum thought it'd be a good idea to visit the king about the unison, but the king stayed holed up in his room all day, so we ended up talking things out with the steward, and while going back, we saw people actually fighting, and not with words..." he muttered.
Lillian shivered, the only major battle Grealach ever had was the War of Orskola, against Ishari, Orskola was shared by the two kingdoms then too, ut tensions were high after the Solar war, and now, Grealach and Ishari have an uneasy friendship, but a friendship none of the less, but Orskola had too many deaths for the two kingdoms to easily forget.
They were finally stopped by Erik, who was standing over a huge ravine, and at the end of the ravine, was a huge water-fall, the rushing sound was almost calming, Lillian looked down, and saw that at the bottom was a river.
"Wow..." Lillian gasped, staring down, amazed at the sparkling water, it loooked so pure and untouched. The waterfall's mist almost blocked the river from their sight.
Erik finally called, "Hey!"
Lillian looked up, and saw that he was half-way across the make-shift bridge, he waved his tail, and jumped across, and looked at them.
They took turns, but Markus and Lillian argued on who should go first.
"You go, we can see if it'll actually stay!" Lillian growled, swishing her tail back and forth.
Markus growled back, "Ladies first."
Aris, who was waiting for them, pushed them both on the bridge, "How about you both go?" he snapped, and jumped on after them.
Markus and Lillian scrambled to the other side, looking at the bride fearfully, "I think it shook." Lillian whispered.
Erik barked, "I doubt it shook, that tree has been there for over thousands of years, it was your imagination." and he turned, and continued to walk.
Lillian muttered, "I swore it did..." she looked back, Aris was half-way across, while Lucan was right behind him, but Lucan seemed nervous, his ears were back, and he was staring straight ahead.
Markus muttered, "Maybe it was your imagination."
"It wasn't." Lillian growled back.
But she jumped when Erik suddenly had his ears back, and whipped around, and snapped at the two wolves on the bridge, "Don't move!"
They froze, ears twitching in confusion. Erik looked nervous, and he growled, "Don't move a muscle."
Lillian and Markus just stared at them. Just as confused as they were.
Lucan was frozen like a statue, but Aris asked through gritted teeth, "What's wrong, Erik?"
Erik slowly padded up to the tree branch, and sniffed the air, he twitched his ears, and growled, "I guess Lillian was right."
Lillian gasped, and Erik growled, "Aris, slowly make your way to us, be light on your paws."
Aris nodded, and slowly put his paw down, but even Lillian could hear the ominous creaking that the bridge made as weight it couldn't hold made it start to fall.
"Take it slow, Aris." Erik muttered.
Aris seemed to get it, and soon he was on the other side, he jumped down lightly, and looked at Lucan. He was slightly shaking, and his tail was flicking in nervousy.
Lillian barked, "Come on, Lucan!"
Lucan looked at her, and started to make his way forward, keeping low to the ground, but he didn't have much time, because either way, the tree was going to fall.
Lillian looked at Erik, who shrugged.
Lucan froze, and he barked, "It's about to break."
Lillian seemed confused, and asked, "How can you tell?"
"It's the same with mountain rocks.. You can feel it, you don't know how many times I broke a bone messing around with my friends on some of the lower hills." Lucan muttered.
Lillian walked up to the tree, and placed her paw on it, concentrating hard, but still couldn't feel what Lucan could tell.
But Erik must have known anyways, just by hearing it, because he snapped, "You've got to hurry, Lucan!"
Lucan nodded, and stood up fully, but even then, Lillian could hear it, she heard the tree cracking, she could hear it scratching the rocks.
Lucan made his way to the other side as quickly as possible, and just as he jumped off the tree, it had finally snapped into two.
Lucan was somewhat shaking, and wagging his tail back and forth, "Great, now we're stuck." he growled.
Erik looked down the ravine, looking sad, and sighed, "We'll have to find another way, this ravine does end..." he barked.
Lillian hesitated, and asked, "And where would that be?" looking past the mist, where it blocked the rest of the ravine.
Erik hesitated before answering. "Erm... If my memory serves me correctly, the end of the ravine would tear right through the castle, it's like a moat to the castle," he added, "Which means, to get to the correct path, we're going to have to walk through the ruins."
"There goes the plan to avoid the castle then." Markus joked, standing up, and stretched.
Erik didn't seem to find it as funny, because he just ignored the comment, and continued to pad onward, and he said, "We still need to get to Kraylak by nightfall."
The others had to rush to catch up with him, and she asked, "Why the rush?"
Erik hesitated, thinking while he walked, and said, "The blood spirits."
Lillian froze, knowing instantly what he was talking about, she didn't know why, but she remembered what Flynn had said to her when they were in the lower spirit world.
Don't let those spirits touch you, it hurts more then getting here.
Lillian murmured, "It hurts more..."
Markus, who was beside her, just looked at her curiously, and shrugged, and rushed to catch up with Erik, while she decided that a rush was needed.
Markus and Lucan though, didn't seem like a rush was worth it, and spent most of their time looking around, much to the annoyance of Erik.
"Can we please hurry up, the blood spirits always come out near sun-down! And it's almost sun-down!" Erik barked, even though it was more of a snap.
Lucan and Markus looked up from their sniffing around, and stared at Erik.
Erik sighed, "Please? Blood spirits are dangerous!" he then continued, no longer paying attention to them.
Lillian waited for the two to catch up, and she growled, "He's serious guys, blood spirits are dangerous!"
"And how do you know?" Markus sniffed, flicking his tail in annoyance.
"Because..." Lillian hesitated, not sure what to say, and finally growled, "Because I just know, I know what they are, I've read books about them."
Markus hesitated, then decided that it wasn't worth bothering over, but Lucan asked, "So... What are blood spirits?"
Markus had padded away, leaving Lillian and Lucan at the back of the pack.
Lillian hesitated, and Lucan pushed, "Well?"
"I-I'm not exactly sure... Someone told me that they hurt when they touch you." Lillian muttered, looking at her paws.
Lucan seemed suspicious, but at that point, like Markus, he decided it wasn't worth fussing over, and went to catch up to the others.
Lillian continued to look around, the dunset casting long shadows of fallen trees, and she jumped when Erik muttered, "We're out of time..."
They all stopped, looking around, and Lucan barked, "Well, we should keep going, maybe the spirits will leave us alone."
Erik seemed doubtful, but they continued to walk, but Lillian felt the fur on her back bristle up in hidden fear. She wasn't sure why, but something inside her told her that something was wrong.
She stopped, and Markus bumped into her, and he asked, "What's the hold up?"
Lillian didn't answer, she only looked around. The path under their paws was covered in shadows, and the trees gave off a menacing darkness, and she swore that in the darkness they were being watched. She shivered, almost sensing the eyes of a hidden spirit.
Erik must have felt this too, because he murmured, "They're out."
Lillian looked up, and gasped when she saw red like fire-flies, but they were in one place, and they were all around them.
"Well..." Markus muttered, looking around also.
Aris seemed calm about the whole situation, Erik on the other hand, looked ready to run.
Lucan asked, "What do we do?"
Erik hesitated, but before he could say anything, the red flies rushed at them.
All of them jumped back in the nick of time, even though one missed Lillian's flank by an inch.
"Not let them touch you!" Erik howled, and started to run, with Aris following behind them. Lucan, Markus, and Lillian were too caught up.
Two red spirits were rushing toward her, and she jumped back just in time, but wasn't so lucky when the second one went for another attack.
It went right through her flank, and her eyes widened, the pain was as worse as when her soul was seperated from her body, she whimpered in pain, and twisted around to look at her flank, and she gasped when she saw it was bleeding.
She closed her eyes tight, It hurts!
She opened them again, and gasped when the blood was gone, she thought, Huh... But it was bleeding moments before.
She looked at Lucan and Markus, who were dodging the red spirits left and right, and Lillian called, "We've got to run!"
Lucan and Markus looked up, and nodded, and ran towards her, then they finally started running to where Erik and Aris had ran.
but she felt a sudden pain in her paw, and she tripped, "Ouch!" she whimpered, and looked down.
Her paw was blood red, and she whispered, "N-Not again!"
She blinked, and the blood was gone, but it still felt too sore to walk on.
Lucan and Markus stopped, and looked back at her, she tried to stand up, but couldn't, and she could tell the red spirits were going to run her through.
She gasped when a big shadow was standing over her, and she heard someone say in her mind, Don't you know about these things.
She looked up, and saw a huge, stormy grey wolf, and his expression was full of amusement.
"It's not funny, are you going to stand there and laugh at me or help?" Lilllian growled.
The wolf rolled his eyes, Usually, when you want someone to help you, you say please, well, from what I saw from the humans that wander around anyways.
She whimpered, "Okay! Please!"
The grey wolf twitched his whiskers, Much better.
She saw him to turn to the blood spirits that were going to run him through.
Lillian felt a rain frop fall on her head, she looked up, the sky was a stormy grey, and it was starting to rain. She looked at the stormy grey wolf, who didn't even look bothered.
The red spirits started to disappear into a soft white light.
When they were all gone, the stormy grey wolf just twitched his whiskers, and in a lightning flash, he was gone as fast as he appeared.
She snapped, "Hey! At least say hello!"
But as she said that, a lightning bolt flashed across the sky, and she jumped, bumping into Lucan.
"Sorry! What a way to say hello..." Lillian murmured.
Lucan just shook out his fur, and barked, "We better hurry up and find Aris and Erik, they just ran off without us, and I'm getting a bad feeling."
Lillian nodded, and followed Markus and Lucan, they scented the air, but the dampness the rain had left had wiped away any scent trails.
And Lillian was starting to get a bad feeling too.
She finally managed to scent Aris, and she called, "Aris?!" and got more alarmed when there was more then one wolf scent.
Lucan and Markus gasped when they all fell down a hill, and landed on top of Aris.
"Get off!" Aris gasped in shock, and pushed them off.
Lillian looked around, and realised that they were surrounded by dark pelted wolves, who were snarling and growling.
"More of you? Interesting..." The wolf in front of the pack growled.
Erik was once again hiding in Aris's shadow, and they gathered around each-other, with Lillian staring at the wolves, whose eyes were narrowed.
"A pack? And a nomadic one by the scent of you..." Another one growled.
Aris seemed too shocked to say anything, so the wolves padded closer, and growled, "This is our territory, and we're busy, so you better clear out now."
One wolf perked it's ears up, and padded up to the dark wolf, and whispered something in it's ear, and it seemed to get a thoughtful look on his face.
"Hm, actually, we won't hurt you, but, in return, you've got to help us with something." the wolf growled, keeping a straight face.
Aris seemed hesitant, then asked, "What is it?"
"We want to awaken our great spirit, too long has this land tore itself apart with the fate of tradegy at it's head." the wolf growled in anger.
He couldn't possibly mean the old god... Lillian thought, but Erik snapped, "That's crazy! The fate of tradegy is the reason this land isn't torn apart by war already! He's the cause for stopping it!"
The wolf snarled, "Oh, you must be one of the other landers, you were apart of Storm pack, your scent smells of Storm pack."
Erik seemed confused, but snapped, "It's dangerous! Waking up an old spirit, it'd tear this land apart!"
The wolf stood straight, and growled, "Look around you, Storm pack, isn't this land already torn up fromt he neverending storms? The wars the hunters have?"
Erik said nothing, and the wolf twitched, "Thought so."
Lillian realised that they were closing in, and she got an idea, might not be able to work, but it was something. "We'll help!"
The wolves looked up, cautious and confused, and Erik stared at Lillian, very confused.
"Really? Hmm.." the wolf sniffed the air, "You smell of the forest... Are you from the Gray Lock?" he asked carefully.
Lillian seemed confused, "Yes." she answered with caution.
"Hm, you may pass." he muttered, making a gap. "But, the next full moon, meet us at the ruins." he growled.
Erik padded through them, almost giving them a glare that would turn even the hardened wolves to stone, Lillian followed, ears back.
Worried that she had just did Erik a problem.
What have I done?! Lillian thought, looking up to the stormy grey clouds for an answer.
An answer.. That's it! Lillian gasped.
The old god
Was the reason
The wars began
In the first place...
The land torn up by grief and pride
Would learn a lesson
From Tradegy, for destroying what should have been
A peaceful land...
Erik snapped, "And exactly what you were thinking when you told them we would help?" his tail was high up in the air, and his teeth were bared.
Lillian put her ears back, and asked, "Well, it was obvious it was do that, or be killed, and I don't feel like dying." she bristled.
Erik stopped baring his teeth, yet he still had an angry gaze, and his ears were straight up, and he glared at her.
Aris stepped in front of the two bickering wolves, "Is there really a need to fight? Lillian, you obviously were thinking of something while answering that question." he growled.
Lillian sighed, putting her tail down low, "I was, I was thinking that maybe... We could put the old god go dormant for a long while again." she whimpered.
Erik seemed even more angered, "That's crazy, no one can do that, not even a fate, and if they tried, they would surely die!" he snapped.
"What about two?" Lillian asked.
Erik just stared at her, and growled, "Listen, you don't know what the old god is like, I don't either, but my great grandparents do, they told me it was almost as bad as the Day of Darkness! And trust me, that's pretty bad!"
"I know! I've seen the day of darkness, nothing, and I mean nothing, can be as horrible as that!" Lillian snapped back.
Erik flinched back, and Aris, Lucan, and Markus all seemed very confused.
Lillian hated remembering what it was like, but she said it anyways, "I was shown by a fate, and Nixsi, and both were horrifying, to know.. To know that can happen! To think people would blame it on the fate of Death... When... When they caused it! And they want to kill him! Why? We're the ones that always cause it!" she took a breath, "I can't even explain what it was like, it was terrible, the skies were.. full of stormy black clouds, yet.... They looked like they were on fire... The sun... The sun was as black as the night, and... And the land looked like it was on fire also! Maybe it was! And... The moon..." she hesitated, starting to shake.
"What about the moon?" Markus asked carefully.
Lillian didn't look at him, "The moon, the mooon that we enjoy for light in the darkest of night... The day of darkness... It's called the day of darkness because for once.. The moon no longer lights the darkness, but makes it more horrifying.. The moon... It looked like it was bleeding! It was blood red! It casted the fiery glow on the clouds! On the land! It was chaos!" Lillian said.
Everyone was silent, and Lillian can't have imagined how Flynn felt when he starts the day of darkness, but knowing Flynn, it doens't make him happy, in truth, Lillian thought the the thought scared him a little bit. Even though he's good at hiding it.
Lillian turned back to Erik, "Now, nothing can be just as horrible, or just as bad, as that!" she snapped, tail high up in the air.
Erik said nothing, but only flinched from Lillian's angry gaze, "You wouldn't understand! You haven't seen it! You don't know what it's like! It's not the fate of death that causes it! It's us! It's us with our wars! Our unneeded bloodshed! All our deaths! It puts so much pressure on the fate.. That... That he has to show us what would happen if we continue on! And it scares him just as much as it scares us, maybe even more!" Lillian snarled.
It was silent, Lillian was bristling, and her tail was wagging her tail furiously, her ears were straight forward, and she glared at Erik.
Erik stayed silent, looking away from Lillian, and finally she started to realize, Flynn didn't actually hide his feelings, he just showed them a different way. When he first showed her the day of darkness, his eyes turned a bit darker, as if in fear and anger, and they lost all warmth they held, he just hid his feelings in plain sight. In reality, he was much like his brother.
She jumped when she heard Markus ask, "Is it really that scary, Lily?"
Lillian looked at him, his eyes were full of curiousty, yet he looked unnerved, and she nodded, "Yes, it's scary." she muttered.
Markus looked down at his paws. He said, "I'm sure they're equal."
Lillian and Erik looked at him, confused, and he continued, "The old god has powers that even the fates together don't have, while the fates have powers that the old god probably doesn't even know off, so in the end, one is not powerful then the other, and in the end, they're both the same."
He realised that it didn't make sense, "It's like this, Lily, I don't know everything about you, and you don't know everything about me, and Erik you know this land better then any of us, yet you don't know anything about Nixsan or Graelach, and we do." he muttered quietly.
He looked at Lillian, "Thhe fate of death is an old god, all the fates are, they just aren't as old as the god of Hostrich.. They called this god the World Eater...." he muttered.
Lillian looked at Erik, whose eyes were darkened, "World Eater? Can he really-?" Lillian asked.
Erik shook his head, "It's not to right to say he can eat entire worlds... But it's right to say that in a way... He does, he feeds on the fear that he brings, but something scarier and not as understood as him comes along.. What does he have left?" he asked quietly.
Lillian just stared, World Eater... she tought blankly, now realizing what Markus had figured out, both The Day of Darkness and the World Eater probably brought fear, it just depends on how it is brought upon, the World Eater has a choice... Flynn doesn't, he has to, or the humans would cause the everlasting darkness Garous talked about in the runed book.
Markus looked at Lillian, "I don't know about you... But having the world 'eaten' by an old god doesn't sound very nice, but.. neither does the Day of Darkness, from what you described." he muttered.
Erik finally added, "The Everlasting Darkness, written by a prophet, a prophecy set by one of the oldest gods known, Garous... God of the earth and skies..."
Lillian jumped, Everlasting Darkness! Erik lied! He said he couldn't read runes! Or.. Maybe it's a translated book?she thought carefully.
Markus didn't ask, but Aris and Lucan looked suddenly concerned and confused, and Erik shook his head, "Nevermind me, Kraylak is near, and Lillian, whatever you planning to do at the ruins of Gurasia, I hope it works." he barked, looking at Lillian. And continued to walk.
Lillian nodded, hoping herself that it would, she followed Erik, kind of sad that she snapped, she jumped when Markus whispered, "I lied, I did pay attention that one History lesson..."
Lillian rolled her eyes, "Since you aren't one to pay attention much anyways, I'm surprised," she muttered back, "I always paid attention in my History lessons.."
Markus laughed, "Yeah well, lot of good it did you, you must not have been paying attention that lesson." he barked.
"Not cool..." she muttered.
She realized that Lucan was looking around nervously, like he didn't belong, she let Markus pad ahead, and walked beside Lucan, "Is something bothering you?" she asked.
Lucan hesitated, and barked, "I don't know, I'm not used to the climate of Hostrich, it's weird," he flicked his tail a bit, and put his ears back, "Something isn't right about Hostrich.. Like a ticking time cannon, just ready to explode..." he murmured.
Lillian looked at him, "That's what Nixsan felt like to me, like something was off." she muttered.
Lucan just stared at her, "I know that, but this is worse, I can sense it, it's like somethings waiting to explode!" he started to get frustrated.
"I'm sure it can't be that bad.. And what are you sensing?" Lillian asked cautiously.
Luucan flicked his ears, "I can't explain it.. I just know that there's a very... Very angry and old spirit, and wherever it is.. It's nothing like Nixsi... It has way more power." he muttered.
Lillian seemed confused, Twice now, that he's explained about spirits, he told me in Nixsan how a spirit was watching them... Maybe it's because he's the descendent from Flynn that his soul has some connection to the spirit worlds? So he can sense spirits? Even though he's pretty vague about it... She thought carefully.
Lucan finally gave up, he just huffed away, and Lillian was to busy to realize that something was following them.
She felt herself pulled into the bushes by a huge wolf, she was ready to scream, but didn't after the wolf growled, "Shh!"
She struggled away, and stared at the wolf, but he just signaled above them, and she realised that a tree was leaning precariously above the path, and she growled, "Can't you fix that?"
Collin looked at her, "Seriously? No, I can't, they fall on their own, now, did I hear you correctly?" he snapped.
"Hear me correctly?" she mused.
"That little spat you had with the little one, you've seen the day of Darkness? And a couple of wolves want you to awake the world eater?" he asked.
Lillian seemed confused, "Yeah, your brother and Nixsi showed me it, and yes, a couple of wolves want to awake the world eater!" she snapped.
He stayed silent, and Lillian asked, "Why?"
He hesitated, "Now, you listen, I know what your planning, and you have no idea how dangerous it is!" he snapped.
"How dangerous?" she asked carefully, narrowing her eyes.
He sighed, and growled, "The World Eater is not just a angered spirit like Nixsi, it's an old god! And it's going to take a lot more then just my power to put it back to sleep! Especially when it's not in a good mood! What you're planning might kill you and me both!"
She stayed silent, sitting on the grass, and sighed, "Listen, I know that the gods powers overwhelm yours? But what if you and one of your siblings help you?"
He seemed to get a thoughtful look on his face, "It can't be Flynn.. He's a bit preoccupied at the moment, maybe my little sister will help, she's good at putting people to sleep," he muttered, then shook his head, "Ach! It doesn't matter, he's an old god! One that's probably really hungry right about now!" he snapped.
Lillian countered, "Aren't you an old god?"
Collin laughed, "Not as old as the old god, Lily. His spirit has been part of this world since the beginning, and now that I think about it, god and fate are different things, so no, I'm not an old god, I'm a fate, read up some more. Actually, I'm the only fate of Tradegy, since I can cause fear of me, not of the world eater." he said, smiling.
"Is that what Erik meant when you took away the old god's fear of it?" Lillian asked.
"I pride myself in scaring people, especially on Spirit night, that's when I can get mischievious and my brother can't say anything about it, because he gets a bit like me around that day, it's pretty fun, especially all the scaring the humans do to each-other!" Collin laughed, "So yes." he added.
Lillian rolled her eyes, "Wonderful, so.. How else are we going to put the old god back to sleep?" she asked.
Collin looked nervous, "You're way is the only sensible way... I will have no choice in the end..." He muttered, looking at the ground.
Lily just stared, a bit unnerved by Collin's nervousy, she wish she could reach out to him, but she couldn't, not in this form, she then perked her ears, and asked, "Can't you change me back?"
Collin looked up, and said, "I don't know how..."
Lillian gasped, "But you and your siblings were the ones that made me a wolf!"
Collin looked up. "Are you sure about that.. Lillian?" he asked quietly.
Lillian wasn't sure what to say, so Collin continued, "We didn't make you what you are... We do have control over living spirits, but not in the way you did.. No... It was you that changed you into what you are."
Lillian just stared, and Collin muttered, "It's the soul of the person that decides what form it deserves, you killing that mother wolf was too much for your soul, so it changed you, to show you, not to make you suffer, so technically, you made yourself a wolf."
Lillian sighed, and looked at her paws, and snapped, "I don't want to be a wolf!"
Collin looked up, "That's a lie, your soul was already animal-like in nature, it just took something major to make you into what you're supposed to be." he smiled.
"Then how can I change back?" Lillian asked.
Collin tipped his head, "You already should know the answer." he said.
Lillian thought, but before she could say anything, Collin had disappeared, and she was left alone. Until she heard her name called.
"Lily! Come on!" Markus called, confused on why Lillian was hiding behind an almost fallen tree.
Lily laughed nervously, "I'm coming!" and she ran out from under the tree, catching up to the group.
Markus looked at her confused whens he laughed, but he just dismissed it, and continued walking. She let Lucan pass, who looked in deep thought.
As they continued walking, the storms continued moving, she looked up at the mountain, which was getting a menacing shadow.
Lillian gulped, and looked around, she wasn't sure what she was looking for, but she knew she didn't want to run into that cruel pack of wolves.
Lucan also looked concerned, he looked up at the mountain also with a searching look.
"We're here!" Erik called from the front.
They all looked over the ridge, and Lillian gasped when she saw the town, it was bustling with activity, people were talking peacfully, ignoring the loud storms.
"That's Kraylak?" Markus asked, sounding skeptical.
Erik nodded, "Yep, that's Kraylak." he said.
Lucan was silent, but finally answered, "Looks nice." he said in a flat tone.
Aris nodded, and Lillian tipped her head, "Are you sure wolves are welcomed there?" she asked in concern. Remembering what happened in Nixsan.
"Yes, I'm sure." Erik said reassuringly, and started bounding down the ridge, giving the others no chance to recover.
They nodded, and followed quickly.
But Lillian got a sinking feeling in her stomach, something was hanging on the air, as if there was ahidden danger.
She didn't want to know what the danger was, but she had afeeling it was tied to Collin and the World Eater.
Something bad was coming, but how could she know when.
She looked at Lucan, remembering when she dismissed his warning, and she wondered if his feeling was actually accurate more then she actually thought.
For everyone's sake.. She wished that he was wrong, but she knew that he wasn't.
How could he be?
They entered the village slowly, eying the villagers curiously, but like the storms, the villagers ignored them, so they relaxed.
Lucan commented, "Nice place."
Markus scoffed, "You're only saying that because it's not like Nixsan." he laughed, pushing Lucan heartily. And continued to walk.
Lucan just rolled his eyes, and said, "Don't get too hyper, you're going to make the villagers uncomfortable."
Lillian was about to agree, before she saw two teenagers jump over the boxes in a stall, and yell in delight, and run past the wolves.
Lillian raised an eye-brow, "Make the villagers uncomfortable, huh?" she said in a friendly tone. Lucan just rolled his eyes again.
A wolf followed after them, jumping on the boxes, getting extra height, and landed on Lucan by accident, who gasped.
The wolf seemed confused, and gasped, "Oops! Sorry, my friends like to run around!" the wolf jumped up, putting it's tail high up in the air, staring at the new comers curiously.
Lucan shook out his fur, "Mmph.. It's okay, it's happened before..." he muttered, glaring at his friends.
Markus stared at him, "What did I do?" he exclaimed.
The wolf perked up it's ears, and asked, "You wouldn't happen.. To be humans.. Would you?" she narrowed her eyes curiously.
Lillian jumped, "Yes! Why?" she asked.
The wolf looked around, and indicated for them to follow her, they were led to somewhere outside the village, and she sat down, and looked at Lucan.
"My name is Arti, yours?" she asked first.
Lillian padded up, "I'm Lillian, this is Erik," she flicked her tail to Eri, who nodded his head, "Aris," Aris just stayed silent, "Lucan," Lucan also stayed silent, so she continued, "And Markus." she finally indicated to Markus, who looked like he wanted to say something.
Arti nodded, "Hm, so you are humans?" she asked.
Lillian nodded, "Yeah... How did you know?" she asked.
Arti shrugged. "I could just tell, your movements are too human-like to be a wolf's..." she muttered, then shook her head, "Besides, I'm human too!" she added.
Lillian asked, "And how did you turn into a wolf?"
Arti seemed to give it some thought, "Erm.. I forget, all I know was there was this blinding flash of light, and it was silent for a while.." she said, looking at Lucan.
Lillian's memory seemed to flash, she remembered when she first turned into a wolf, but all she heard was a voice, no flashes of light.
Arti then broke Lillian out of her thought by saying, "What are you guys doing here anyways? You don't seem like you come from Hostrich."
Erik finally spoke up, "Er.. I am, the rest of them aren't, Lillian and Markus are from Grealach, Aris is from Ishari, and Lucan is from Nixsan."
Arti looked at Lucan, "Nixsan." she asked with curiousity.
Lucan nodded, "Yes." he muttered.
Lillian felt tense, because how it got silent, because she asked, "Is there anywhere where we can get food? We haven't eaten in a while..."
The others looked down, and Markus piped in, "Yeah-" but he was shut up by Lucan shoving his tail in front of his face.
Arti giggled, "It's okay, let him say it."
Lucan looked at her, and put his tail down, and Markus was ready to talk again, but he seemed confused, and said, "I forgot what I was going to say.." he looked down sheepishly.
Lucan rolled his eyes, and Arti said, "That's fine, it must not have been that important anyways if you forgot it!" she looked at Lucan, who looked back at her confused.
Arti looked away, and looked at Lillian, "So, where are you going?" she asked.
Lillian tipped her head, "The Mountain." she said flatly, when she saw a look came across Arti's face, Lucan piped in, "The mountain of fates, not the mountain with the ruins." he said quickly.
Arti just looked on, "The Mountain of Fates? There's only one way to there, a short way anyways, and the shortest way is in Ishari, as far as I know, to get a straight path, you need to go through the ruins..." she muttered.
Lillian turned around when she heard a noise, she realized that none of the others heard it/ She decided that her curiousity was too much. And she followed the strange noise. As she followed it, she realized she was getting ever closer to the mountain.
She felt her ears itch, and aloud ringing was all she could hear now, she was deafened to what she heard before, she knew something was wrong.
She gasped when she saw the mountain seem to darken with clouds, and her sight went black. All she could see was a hazy glimpse of a huge and towering creature, ripping up the land of Hostrich. While Hostrich was stuck in along the battling of wolves.
She thought, W-What is this?
She gasped when there was a blinding flash of light in the sky, and not only did the clouds turn stormy grey, but they started to swirl menacingly around the flash of light, the towering creature fell into the mountain. While more blinding flashes of light came from the huge storm, causing the creature to weaken it's ripping grip on Hostrich.
Lillian gasped when there was one final blast of light rip through the clouds, and the storm in Hostrich stilled. No clouds moved. No rain fell. No thunder sounded.
Just like it looked like when Collin was stuck in a dream, Was this what happened when he stopped the dragon from tearing up Hostrich? Is he the obstacle that keeps the dragon from waking? she thought carefully, when the vision started to dissolve, she found herself staring up at the mountain.
She thought, Is the dragon still up there, waiting for Collin to finally weaken his grip? she stared up, and didn't realize that her friends were walking up to her, she turned when she heard them, and they were also staring at the mountain curiously.
Markus muttered, "Do you think that dragon is up there?"
Arti answered, "He's always up there, waiting."
Lucan asked, "For what?"
Erik answered this time, "Every person, animal or human, knows about the World Eater. He's capable of ripping up entire lands, and ever since the fate of Tradegy stepped in, he's been stuck in an endless sprial of darkness. But everyone knows that he's about to wake up. Hungry for revenge, he won't stop until Hostrich is no more." he looked at Lillian, and flicked his tail.
"There's an old text, called The Secrets of Storms, at the end of the book, there's an inscription that says, Let the land torn by hate and pride, suffer a fate worse then death, and never be able to repair again." Arti muttered, looking up.
"Spooky." Markus muttered.
"That's not the point, it's a warning," Arti muttered.
Lillian suddenly remembered the rune book, and her telling the brothers while Arti continued to talk. And her vision of the white explosions in the clouds when the World Eater first attacked.
"It was a warning, that if we continued like we are now, hating each-other because of the Civil war, we would end up literally torn apart by the World Eater. And we would not be able to repair the damage that has already been done, we would be faced with darkness..." Arti said ominously.
Lillian murmured, "Collin..."
Arti looked at her, confused, and Lillian looked up at the clouds, Is this what will happen if you fail? Will this land you care for so much, just push you away to fall? she thought.
Lillian didn't look at Arti, but was only faced with a horrifying truth.
When some couldn't face the ugly truth
Some would just close their eyes...
And try and remember their happier days
Lillian muttered, "No way..." while remembering what Collin said, and finally realised what he intended to do. And what was he about to do, for the second time, it could kill him. All that for a land that was scared of him, and regarded him as a curse placed on him.
Markus asked, "What? What 'no way'?" he stared at her.
Lucan must have gotten it though, because his eyes widened. And he looked shocked.
Markus was still confused, "What? What's so shocking?" he asked, he walked up to Lillian, and poking her repeatedly.
"Collin..." she murmured.
Markus asked, "What was that?" but she already turned away, and ran off, jumping over dead trees, determined to reach Collin.
Markus called back to her, but Lillian didn't hear him, she had to stop Collin from doing this, he was doing it for nothing. This land would just push him back.
She looked around, and called, "Collin!" she jumped around the clearing, and called, "Collin!?" and she jumped when there was a crack of lightning, and heard Collin's voice, and he snapped, "Is there something important you need?" he narrowed his eyes, and he looked tired.
Lillian whipped around to face him, and barked, "I can't let you face the World Eater!"
Collin seemed confused, and laughed, "What other choice do I have, Lillian? Hostrich needs to stay together."
Lilliam asked, "But is it really worth it? Hostrich fears you, thinks you're a curse, the World Eater came because of how they treated each-other, it's the same with your brother." she murmure softly.
Collin seemed to be in deep thought, and finally sighed, "Me and my brother may seem similiar.. But in reality, we are as different as the sun and the moon." he looked up, "My brother doesn't have a choice when it comes to his raw power, he has to guide the spirits to the mountain, and when all humans start warring too much, he has to cause the Day of Darkness," he added, "I always had the choice, I know my full power, he doesn't, that's why people fear him, and he's so nervous about the subject."
Lillian then remembered the vision, of the white blasts that flashed across the sky. She said, "Then let me help you."
Collin laughed, "Right, and Flynn will be asking me why he's sending you off to the Spirit Path." and he continued to laugh.
Lillian, however, was frowning, and she asked, "The Spirit Path?"
Collin frowned, "That's where Flynn sends the spirits to the mountain, or, to your mortal eyes, they're better known as the Northern Lights." he said, looking up at the darkened sky.
Lilllian murmured, "You shouldn't face that... Thing alone," she added, "This time around, you would never wake up again."
Collin smiled, "I've been fighting alone for a very long time." he said, looking up, "Fighting alone is what I'm best at," he looked down at Lillian.
Lillian asked, "But what will you do when your power isn't enough?"
Collin frowned, "I can't ask my brother, I'd be asking too much of him, I can't ask my younger sister, she doesn't have that type of power, and my older sister doesn't like me that much, no.. I'm alone in this fight." he said.
Lillian said, "Then let me help you, I know I might not be much help, but please, let me try."
Collin didn't answer, but instead stared into space, and Lillian added, "If asking Flynn would be too much, then why can't I help instead?"
Collin snapped, "Because you're only mortal, and you mortals can die so easily, it's like breaking a little toothpick in half! With just one snap, I could kill you in a second! Your souls are too fragile to just throw in the face of the World Eater." he said, looking clearly annoyed.
"Then why won't you let Flynn help you? Isn't he the fate of Dreams also?" Lillian asked.
Collin laughed, but it was humourless, "Flynn is too human, sure, he might have more resilience then your normal soul, but even then, even his own power could kill him, let alone the World Eater's power, but, his power over kills the World Eater's, he just doesn't know it." he said.
Lillian was now speechless, and Collin said, "I know it's not worth killing my brother just so a land can stay in one piece, but it is worth it when it comes to my own life, because this land is supposed to be peaceful, but instead.. Look around you, doesn't it tell you enough, that this land has already been ripped apart, I know what's not worth giving up." he looked at Lillian.
Lillian just looked down at the ground, unsure of what made Collin so angry, but he seemed to be remembering something, and he snapped, "My brother knows what will happen, and he knows he can't stop me, he's tried before... And-" but he couldn't continue, he just looked down, and shook his head, and murmured, "It's all my fault..."
Lillian looked up, and asked, "What? What's all your fault?"
Collin didn't answer, his eyes were closed in thought, and he finally said, "Don't ask me to force my brother to help me, he won't, I know he's still mad... And maybe with... Finally keeping the World Eater stuck in a dream, he'll forgive me."
Lillian took a step toward him, and she murmured a bit more firmly, "That doesn't answer my question."
Collin looked up, "Why bother answering? It won't change what happened," he laughed nervously, "I'm not sure my brother has forgiven me yet, it was all my fault..."
Lillian finally barked, "What was your fault?! What was so bad that would cause Flynn to hate you?"
Collin smiled, "It was a while ago, before you were born at least, and Grealach and Yapry were at war..." he faltered, and shook his head, "That war... It ruined a lot of lives, that they just erased it from mortal history, if a war was that bad, it never existed." he said.
Lillian waited for him to answer her question, and he sighed, "I... Well... Near the end of that war... I... Inadvertadly killed someone Flynn was close too, I didn't mean too, it was more... The spirit that killed her then me, but I was told to protect her, and I failed at doing that, she died... And I was to blame just as much as the spirit." he said.
Lillian then remembered the tale Lucan told her, back in Nixsan, about the caves, and the legend. And she remembered what Nixsi said.
"Was it worth it? We both lost someone we loved..."
"Wait, but Nixsi said-" but she was cut off by Collin, who snapped, "Nixsi didn't know I was tasked to protect her, so she thought it was all her," he looked down, and said, "I'm sorry, this is too much for you to ask of me, you're asking to die just by coming with me, and if you die, Flynn would never forgive me."
Lillian said, "But he's your brother..."
Collin laughed, "Yeah, that doesn't change the fact that we both don't usually get along, who do you think put me in that dream in the first place?" he asked.
Lillian said, "He did it.. To protect you, your soul was weakened by that fight, and ten years you had to heal it, so he trapped you in the storm, so no one could hurt you," she added, "He wouldn't have done that if he hated you..."
Collin stood up, and turned away, "I never said he hated me, I said he probably wouldn't forgive me if you died." he said.
Lillian said nothing, but jumped when there was a blast, she whipped back, jumping behind Collin, who seemed confused.
"What was that?" she asked.
Collin stepped forward, and looked around, he gasped, and pushed Lillian back, who grunted, and barked, "Hey!"
Collin continuedto look around, and he murmured, "Follow me!" he shifted into a drak grey wolf, and started running into the under-groth, and Lillian scrambled to follow.
She finally caught up to him, but was blasted with immense heat, and she looked down the ravine, to see that it was a forest fire.
She looked at Collin, and she snapped, "How did this happen?"
He looked up, and said, "He's awake."
Lillian's eyes widened, and she looked down at the fire. And she asked, "Can't you stop this?"
He muttered, "This is not a normal fire, this fire was caused by a greater power, it'd be hard to stop now." he looked on.
She realised that that was the forest she had left her friends in, she jumped down the path to race into the fire. She dodged falling trees. And called, "Lucan? Markus?" she dodged another tree, "Aris? Erik? Arti?" she didn't see another tree start to fall, and she gasped when something pushed her out of the way.
She whipped back to see Collin looking a the tree annoyed, and he snapped, "Lillian! Get out of here!"
She snapped back, "Not without my friends!"
Collin rolled his eyes, "Come on!" he snapped. And pushed her out of the way of another tree, "If you stay here any longer, you won't get out!"
Lillian shook her head, "Not without my friends." she yelled, but before she could run off, Collin ran past her, and stoo tall, he seemed to be bracing himself for the fire, Lillian realised a white outline of a circle started forming around them.
Lillian asked, "What are you doing?"
Collin didn't answer, but Lillian realised that the circle was starting to pulsate, and she faintly recognized it, she whipped to face Collin, "Wait!" she barked.
Collin turned to look at her, and she gasped when his eyes were a swirling stormy black, and she backed up, and he muttered, "Wait.."
The circle finally died down, but the white line pulsated away from him, almost seeming to douse the fire as it ran the course of the trees.
She gasped when the fire stopped entirely, she turned to face Collin, who was now human, and he was looking down at the ground, he turned to Lillian, and asked, "Are you alright?"
Lillian looked around, "What-What was that?" she asked.
Collin laughed, "I don't just cause tradegy, when, in the case, it wasn't caused by nature, I can stop it."
She remembered how Flynn told her about the different aspects of the fates, and she realised that with Tradegy, comes with healing for new growth.
She looked around, the trees that didn't fall were badly burnt, but even she could see some green growing under the ashes of the old grass.
"Wow..." she murmured, looking up at a tree that was still standing, and still had some of it's leaves.
Collin sighed, "What humans fail to realise, I don't just destroy, I change. Like the storms, they're never the same, they continously change their course, causing a different aspect of the storm each time," he looked up at the sky as he said this. "They fear what they don't understand." he added.
Lillian looked around the burnt forest, and she asked, "Will all this regrow?"
Collin smiled, "Of course." he sat down, and took a deep breath, "That last one took a lot out of me." he laughed.
Lillian asked, "Have... You ever seen your brother use too much of his power?"
Collin looked up, "Yeah, a few years after our friend died, humans were still battling, and.. He couldn't take all the spirits anymore, so there's only one way to get all the wandering spirits to the mountain when there's that many..." he murmured.
"The Day of Darkness..." she murmured, as she looked at a tree.
"Yeah... I was there to see him lose it, I know I couldn't stop him when he snaps, he was already hurt enough over the death of our friend, and all the battling humans weren't helping. The only reason the Day of Darkness didn't last longer is because Flynn found out she didn't die... Not at that moment anyways, she was back at her home in Nixsan, close to death, when I told him this, he broke out of it, and it ended." Collin said, and shook his head, "Not that it changed anything, I just gave humans a couple more years of peace."
Lillian frowned, and she asked, "Flynn isn't bad..."
"I know he isn't, but like I said, people fear what they don't understand, Flynn just has a whole load of power that he can't control, not when he's mad anyways, the small power he has, the stuff he can control, usually has to do with guiding spirits, and what you saw, with Nixsi, fighting them if need be, he can protect himself, but he can only use so much." Collin muttered, "It gets hard when you start getting emotional with his kind of power, when I was young, it was the same for me, got too angry, I could cause a 3 day earthquake, got too sad, it would rain for months, causing floods."
Lillian just listened as he continued, "So, that's why Flynn tries to avoid humans when possible, that's why if you die Lillian... He knows you, you know him, you're friends, it'll be just like when our friend died, it'll be too much for him." he said.
Lillian sighed, "The thing I've realised... People don't notice what they have until it's gone... Maybe, I haven't noticed the history of my own kingdom, and now it's lost, if I knew more,I probably would still be human, but I was ignorant to everything. To my own homes history, and to The Fate Of Death. I guess I didn't know the ugly truth of my home." she laughed, "Funny... When I was a young girl, the walls of Grealoch used to make me feel... Secure."
Collin looked up, "See, that's the reason us fates aren't supposed to socialize with humans, you guys are too fragile, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and in more ways then one, it's slightly sad to watch you ruin each-others lives over nothing. But as old scripts say, fates don't interfere, not unless someone gives something to us, that's when the real fun begins, when we start getting involved with your people's petty fights, is when you've really got to worry for both sides."
He sighed, and continued, "The Great War was the worst we were involved in, but we only got into it after Nixsi sacrificed her friend to stay with her love, and her love ended up dying, love is a big price to pay when there's a war going on, and also when you decide to get the fates involved."
"How did The Great War end?" Lillian asked.
Collin perked up, "I'm glad you asked that!" he brought out a bag and searched through it, he finally brought out a huge book, and passed it to Lillian, and he laughed, "Your history books are so weird, well, actually it's the writers... If there was was a horrible event that tarnished your kingdoms reuputation... It never even existed, and thus, it was wiped off the face of your history, like it was never even there." he looked up, "Not knowing your own history makes you ignorant of the ulgy truth about humans."
She opened the book slowly with her claws, the pages felt crisp and were almost yellowed with age, she asked, "This is a really big book..."
Collin laughed, "Scribes wrote that, usually they hang around the base of the mountain, writing books that tell stuff as it is, not prettying stuff up," he grimaced, and shook his head, "That's the real problem with all these wars, no one ever learns because they don't know their past." he looked up now smiling, but he frowned when he looked back at Lillian.
"What I'm trying to say is, you humans are fragile in every way, you take things said the wrong way, take things done the wrong way, it's like every way to you is wrong, but every path you take to get to your future just ends up repeating the past. And you may think it's the right way, but some others don't think so." Collin said, finally standing up, and taking the book back.
Lillian just listened, and he said, "Well, I better get going, the more time I waste talking, the more the World Eater wakes up." he looked down at Lillian, "I'm sorry, but you can't come with me, I'll be fine on my own." he then disappeared in a flash. And Lillian was left completly alone.
Lillian stayed where she was, staring up at the sky, it was too late to go after Collin, whatever he was planning... She hoped that he was at least taking precautions, she shook her head, Probably not, he's too reckless, this time around, he won't make it, not without help at least. she thought.
She finally stood up, reaffirming her desicion to go to the mountain, but not without another fate, Collin already said that Flynn is already too busy, and the Fate of Life doesn't usually talk with her brothers, from what Lillian read. But if peace is well... In peace, she probably wouldn't move where she was, so the Fate of Life is the last fate that isn't really known to Lillian.. But how to contact her was the real problem.
Lillian decided to find her friends, and she stumbled upon Erik, who seemed confused, he said, "We all seperated when that fire came out of no where.. I don't know where the others are..."
Lillian said, "Well, I guess we just have to find them..." and they started walking, looking and calling, but got no answer.
Erik looked around confused. "They couldn't have gotten far..." he muttered, looking up to the sky as if it was a guide.
Lillian thought she heard something, and she asked Erik, "Do you know anything about the Fate of Life?"
He tipped his head, "Very little..." he muttered.
Lillian was about to say something, but a heavy weight landed on her, and said, "Why did you go running off?"
She pushed hte large animal off her, and turned to face Markus, who looked confused, and she said, "Just.. Neeeded to take care of something, where are the others?"
Markus shrugged, and Lillian asked, "I need to do something, Markus, did you learn anything about the Fate of Life when you were younger?"
Markus seemed to be thinking a bit, and soon, his face brightened, "Oh yeah! I know that one can only contact her through the Waking Dreams, not sure what that is, maybe it's like day-dreaming? Oh! And another way is by sitting alone and thinking about living things. I also learned that her powers aren't very known, since she doesn't show herself, just like the other fates, the difference is, she also doesn't interfere with mortal life, only when it has something to do with a human being born, that's the only time she even has interaction with humans." he said in a matter-of-factly tone.
Lilian stared at him, surprised that he just recited that at the top of his head, and she muttered, "Thanks..." she turned to Erik, "Is there somewhere near where I can be alone? We'll meet up where I am."
Erik nodded, "There's a clearing with a whole load of flowers near here." he said, and flicked his tail for Lillian to follow him.
They entered the clearing, and Lillian said, "Perfect, you guys try and find the others and come back here."
The other two nodded, and soon disappeared into the bushes, she looked up at the darkened grey sky, she thought,So... I can contact her through the Waking Dreams, problem is, I don't know what those are... But I think thinking of flowers are too silly... she jumped when she heard a noise, she whipped around, but didn't see anything. But she did hear a voice.
Interesting to see a human in animal form wanting to talk to me... Lillian gasped when a tall girl stepped out, she had the same stature as Collin, she looked tough, someone you don't want to cross with, only difference was that she had long straight brown hair, and her eyes were a deep moss green, she was wearing bluish white cloak, and she asked, "Now is there a reason you're thinking so hard?"
Lillian was speechless, and the girl just laughed.
Life and Death run the same path, the same course, and rule the same thing.
The only difference, is who is what, and that Life and Death can only ever go one way.
What humans percieve.
And what they actually are.
Are they spirits? Or merely a vision of our minds? Or do they actually have a form?
But one thing some humans refuse to believe.
Is that they are jsut as human as the rest of them.
The girl asked, "Why so speechless? You're the one that called me here! What did you expect? Some small wolf? or maybe, the great earth god? Hah.. The Earth god is safely asleep." she said.
Lillian just stared, and the girl seemed confused, and she asked, "Well, is there something you wanted to ask me? Better make it quick." she added.
Lillian finally stammered, "It-It's your brother..."
The girl held up her hand, '"My name is Anima, for future reference, and don't even talk to me about my younger brother, I know what he's planning to do, his mind is so easy to search through, it's weird, simplistic in a way." she grimaced.
Lillian piped up, "But he doesn't know what he's doing! He's not going to make it!"
Anima was more interested in a rose though, and she said, "The Waking Dreams, when your concious mind dreams when you're still awake, it's like a... Limbo between the dream world and this one, and the most dangerous for a soul to be in, my other brother can be very touchy about it, he doesn't like it very much, says that the souls can be trapped there, so you're body is just like a lifeless shell, while your spirit wanders the break between reality and dreams." she examined the rose as she said this.
Lillian asked, "Are you just going to let your brother face that thing alone?"
Anima looked up from the rose, and she frowned, "Isn't it his choice? He's not usually one to admit defeat, and not usually one to ask for help," she looked down, and smirked, "No... He's too stubborn to die." she said.
Lillian barked, "But he's your brother..."
Anima looked up again, "I know that very well, I almost wish we weren't siblings..." she turned around, "We have this sort of.. Sibling connection to each-other.." she turned back, "How do I say this... I'm one of the fates of time right? That means that whatever of my powers have to do with time, my brother, who's also another fate of time, can easily match my power, and take some of it if he needs it. But usually, he doesn't know his own strength, being as young as he is." she said.
She continued, and said, "Heh... Freedom... Peace... Tradegy... Change, you'd think with very two different Fates, they would share no connection, but peace is the state of change, along with tradegy, it's like that with Collin and my younger sister, Collin's powers are powerful, but my sisters powers are only limited to making someone feel at peace, and healing." she added, "If one of us were to go into the state where we would no longer wake, all of us would sense it."
Lillian remembered the first time she met Flynn, and when he had suddenly jumped up in confusion and slight concern. Is that what Anima is talking about? Did something happen that made Flynn so confused that involved his siblings?
Anima looked up, "It's not that I don't care for my brother, but it's like a mutual agreement between us, if it's our problem, it's ours, not anyone else's, we set down this rule so we didn't get each-other hurt that wasn't even our problem." she said.
Lillian must not have looked convinced, so Anima said, "Heheh, Flynn would agree with me you know, and those two are close." she looked closely at Lillian, "I see you don't believe Flynn would agree. So why don't I have him tell you himself." she asked, even though Lillian knew it was rhetorical.
She snapped her fingers, and Lillian gasped when a black mist started appearing beside her, but Flynn must have been forced, because he landed on the ground, and looked confused, "What now, Anima!?" he snapped, and stood up, Lillian realized he looked different, he was wearing a pitch black cloak, and his eyes were now a dark black, Lillian was confused, since the Flynn she had seen in the past seemed like a sweet person.
"This girl here doesn't have faith in Collin, I'm sure you know her." Anima said calmly, looking at Flynn.
Flynn looked at Lillian, "Oh yeah, I wouldn't worry about him." he said in acold voice, Lillian was taken aback, but couldn't say anything, This can't be Flynn! I know him! He'd never say something like that! she realized Anima was smiling a cold smile.
Anima laughed, "Hmm, she doesn't believe it's really you Flynn." she looked up.
Flynn turned to look at her, he smiled too, Lillian suddenly stood up, "You're tricking my eyes!"
Both Anima and Flynn looked at her, and she yelled, "You're tricking me! You're testing me to see if I truly know what I'm doing! You don't trust me with your brother's life! So you're trying to see if I wouldn't recognize Flynn if he was different!"
Anima smiled, but it was cold, Flynn was just loking down at the ground, he looked at Anima, "Can I go now?" he asked in a cold voice.
Anima shrugged, and Flynn disappeared in a black mist. Anima stepped towards Lillian, "Your spirit is stronger then I originally thought, but I wonder if you can handle..." she muttered, and Lillian felt her heart clench, like when Nixsi was trying to take control of her body.
Lillian started to shake, and Anima laughed, "Hm, life, a funny thing for you humans..." she muttered.
Lillian snapped, "Pets!"
Anima looked up, and Lillian yelled, "You.. You all treat us like pets! You give us life, but you let us do something with it, and don't help us when it's not our time to die!" she looked up, "That wasn't Flynn, I know your brother, he'd never say something like that!" she felt her heart get rid of whatever was choking it, and she snapped, "You can't trick me."
Lillian saw mist form behind Anima, but instead of being black, it was a misty white, and she heard a voice, "I do have to wonder your intentions Anima." Flynn stepped out of the mist, and he looked concerned, but he was also back to his normal self.
Anima turned to face him, Anima laughed, "Isn't that what you do, show humans visions of what they truly fear? I'm only doing what you're doing." she shrugged.
Flynn said calmly, which calmed Lillian, "It's not actually the same thing, why are you twisting Lillian's mind instead of answering her question?" he asked.
Anima frowned, and didn't answer, and Flynn turned to Lillian, "There... Really is nothing we can do about Collin, he's made his choice, and we can't interfere." he said.
Lillian was shocked, and she stammered, "So-So you're just going to let your own brother die? Are you letting him go through with this because of what happened so long ago?!" she yelled, and Flynn flinched, "He's your brother! He told me! He did his best on protecting your friend! Do you think so much that to repay for his mistake, he needs to die?!"
Flynn looked down, "She.. Was much more then that." he said, turning away.
Anima seemed to find a barrier of weakness and she smiled, "Poor thing, dying that way must have been bad to watch, especially for the two of you." she said.
Lillian snapped, ignoring Anima, "So, you will really just let your brother die because of something that was a mistake? He tried his best!" she yelled.
Flynn turned around sharply, and Lillian got knocked back on to the ground, and he snapped, "I don't like to think that he will die! But I know I can't stop him! So why bother, I know him dying won't bring- Won't bring her..." he faltered, and stepped back, looking like the vision Anima made.
Lillian tried to stand back up on her four paws, but Flynn must have done something to her, but she had to remember what Collin said, that Flynn didn't know his own strength. She shook, and sighed, trying to ignore the pain. She said, "Collin thinks it's his fault, and won't listen to me when I say it's not."
Flynn said nothing, and Lillian asked, "Do you think it's his fault?" she continued to ignore the pain, but it was hard, and she couldn't move.
Flynn finally looked up, Lillian relaxed when he seemed less angry, but she could tell he kind of was, and he said, "Either way, it's a little it of his fault, more Nixsi's then anything, but if he stopped her, she wouldn't be dead."
"But you would be." Lillian pointed out. And she knew she hit a nerve when Flynn seemed to back away, "Your friend knew this too, it's obvious you meant more to her then her life, she made the choice, just like Collin is doing now, knowing what would happen." she smiled.
Anima frowned, and Lillian said, "Let me help your brother, I'm not like other humans, I'm not even human anymore."
Flynn said nothing for a while, he then realised Lillian was in pain, and muttered, "I'm sorry..." turning away from her.
Lillian finally managed to get up, flinching from the pain in her side, and she laughed, "It's fine." she smiled, Maybe he has a chance to control the power he has... The fact that he didn't snap while doing that shows that his control is more stronger then Collin thought. she thought.
Flynn stepped towards her, unsure, "I could have really injured you." he said in a mutter.
Lillian flicked her tail, "It's fine." she muttered.
Flynn didn't seem convinced, but backed away in submission, and Anima said, "Well, even if you help Collin, you're actually just going to be more bait then anything."
Lillian flinched again, wondering what Flynn did, whatever it was was affecting her more then she let on, and Flynn must have serached through her mind, because he stepped forward again, and said, "I can help you, Lillian."
Lillian shook her head, and flicked her ears, "No... That's quite alright... I don't need..." she faltered, running out of breath.
Flynn seemed horrified, but Anima shrugged, "If she says she's alright, then she must be," she shrugged, and looking at Lillian, "I don't have many defensive spells, I do have one powerful one, but you need to be in full health for it to stick." she said.
Lillian nodded, and sat down, Flynn didn't move, and she sighed, "My side really hurts..." she muttered.
Flynn pulled something out of his cloak, and Lillian recognized it as the liquid he gave to the dying pup, Lillian saw a faint smile on Anima's face.
Flynn let Lillian look at it, "This is a healing mixture, it can only be made by me and Anima." he said, and put it in front of Lillian.
Lillian looked at it, and she asked, "Is it going to taste bad?"
Anima commented, "Well let's see, we make that mixture by drawing nature's power from within ourselves, so yes, it tires us out to make it, no, it's not going to taste bad." she scowled.
Lillian lapped it up, and she was amazed, she felt as if a healing energy was running through her, as if chasing away any negative energies. And it tasted amazing, like the best cooked piece of pork, or something else unnatural.
She looked up, "Whoa!" seeing the world more brightened, it's as if someone put more colour and detail to every tree, and leaf. As if her senses were heightened to the max.
Anima laughed, "Was that such a good idea, Flynn? Now her senses are more like a wolfs, and soon her mind will slowly turn into a wolf's." she said.
Flynn just smiled, and looked at Anima, "Then what better reason to put that defensive spell on her?" he asked.
Anima sighed, looking bored, and walked up to Lillian, "This shouldn't hurt." she said.
She made a small green orb of light appear out of her hand and she looked at Flynn nodded, he nodded back, and brought out his scythe, Lillian wondered what he was going to do, Anima let the orb of light float away, and Flynn slashed it with his scythe, and Lillian was showered with green light, she felt something within her clench her very soul, as if creating a barrier around it.
Her vision went in and out of focus, and she realized Flynn was doing something too while her mind was open, she felt as if her mind was being put on a spell block.
She realized her vision was put on a spell block, and she realized Anima was poking her head, "Now don't you let my brother die!" she snapped, and disappeared with the wind.
Flynn just nodded his good-bye, and disappeared into the darkness, and Lillian was left alone.
She sat there, waiting for her friends, she stared at the mountain, and she thought, You're not stopping me.
She jumped when she heard pawsteps, she turned around to see Markus Lucan, and Arti, but no Erik and Aris.
Lucan said, "Erik and Aris should be coming soon." he hesitated, then narrowed his eyes, but said nothing, and instead looked somewhere else.
Lillian looked Arti, and asked, "Can you show us the way to the mountain?" she flicked her ears when Aris and Erik re-joined them.
Arti nodded, and flicked her tail to follow her, "It might take a while, because of all the fallen trees." she said.
Lillian just shrugged. "That's fine." she said.
Arti nodded, and soon they started to trek through the never-ending forests of Hostrich, and Lillian got a worried when it started to turn night, giving the trees a menacing shadows, and the storms a eerie glow from the moon. She looked up at the mountain, which was eerily silent.
She continued to follow Arti, looking around the shadows cautiously, and when Arti stopped, she looked up, and asked, "Is something wrong?"
Arti didn't answer, and looked around, and sniffed the air. She finally said, "Let's keep going." and continued walking.
Lillian followed her, but started feeling weird, she flicked her tail, staring around cautiously, and narrowed her eyes at the slightest noise, and she jumped when their was a bird. And looked up at the mountain.
Arti looked like she was about to say something, but gasped when there was a large shaking, and she immediately jumped to where Lillian's friends were, and Lillian heard Markus yell, "Lily!" as a huge tree fell, blocking the friends from each-other, and the way back.
She looked around, and she called, "Arti! Get the others to the mountain! I'll meet you there!" and she walked away from the tree.
She thought she heard her name called, but she ignored it with ease, and followed her own path, under the mountain's shadow.
She looked up, and thought, Collin... she looked on, and continued to follow the sun.
She looked back, feeling alone, she sighed, Is this what loner wolves feel like? she wondered, and jumped when there was a loug bang, she lokoed up quickly, but saw nothing, it had went silent once again.
She decided she had to hurry.
She just didn't know how much time she had left.
She stopped in front of a river, she drank some water, while staring up at the mountain with cautious eyes, she soon continued on, swimming across.
She continued on, as the storms got stronger, more stronger then what she thought Collin was capable of. So she decided that she had to hurry.
I hope I'm not too late, but I still have the mountain to climb... she panted, trying as hard as she can to run tot he mountain's base.
But would Collin or the old god let her come to him so easily?
She didn't think they would, but she kept going anyways, not ready to give up, since she got this far, she looked back one more time, and soon continued the trek.
But she dearly hoped she wasn't too late, and that Collin still had a chance.
This was not worth dying over. But Collin was too stubborn to admit it.
The shadows from the sun
Give off a more calming aura
Then the shadows of the moon
Lillian continued to run, following the shadows, but stopped when it turned to nightfall, she looked up, facing the great mountain, and the only thing blocking from her and whatever was going on up there was a winding path, leading up to the ruins.
She sighed, and shook her head, That's an impossible climb for a human. she thought, and looked back up, Good thing I'm not human... and she padded forward, looking up at the mountain once again, she grimaced, and started to walk on the path.
She tripped on a rock, and gasped when she found herself looking down a gorge, but she knew she had to keep going. If she didn't, who knew what would happen.
She sighed, and continued to climb the tall mountain, she loked up, and she knew she still had a ways to go, she sighed, and looked around, the mountains of Nixsan were visable from here.
She sighed, and looked up again, and continued going, she looked down at the path, and she looked up, the moon was high in the sky.
After a couple hours, she knew she must have been getting close, because she started seeing steppes coming out of the ground, they looked old, older then most of the kingdom, she followed the steps, and she got a creepy feeling when she headed into the first part of the ruins, pillars were leaning on each-other, looking ready to fall. She looked up, and gasped when there was a point portruding out of the mountain, but it seemed to be crumbling.
She saw a cave, and shivered when it was dark, there was no noise coming out of it, so she decided to look around.
She looked down at the small clearing on the mountain, it was a bunch of rubble. She tipped her head, starting to feel a chill going down her spine.
She looked around, feeling like she was being watched, she looked down again, and gasped when she saw misty spirits, watching the land below, they looked calm, but unhappy, as they were frowning, she tipped her head confused, as they seemed to not notice the rubble and crumbling pillars around them.
She called, "Hello?" her voice echoed around the mountain, but none of the spirits except one seemed to notice, except one, the spirit looked about her age, if not a year older, he looked around, and stood up, confused.
He backed away from the group, she gasped when she realized who it was, when he walked towards her, she realized it was a younger Collin, he looked upset, and he looked around where she was standing, but he didn't seem to see her.
He sighed, and just looked around some more, but he stared up at the mountain, Lillian was caught off guard when he looked sad, but determined none of the less.
She looked at the cave, where he was staring, she gasped when she saw red eyes, she backed up. Looking at him again, he was now holding his two daggers, and was unmoving.
The red eyes didn't move either, Lillian gasped when there was a large noise, and looked up to see the spirits had disappeared from the noise.
She looked at the cave again, and she gasped when the red eyes were still here, and she heard a voice in her head,It's not every day a mortal dares walk up my steppes, the voice was deep, and it sounded like it was growling.
She wasn't sure what to say, and was forced to back us as the red eyes headed toward her, she gasped when a lean body stepped out of the cave, it's tail whipping back and forth, and the teeth looking poisonous, it stared down at her and she thought, No way...
What she was staring up at... Was a dragon.
He sneered, You seem surprised, us old gods are powerful beings.
She still didn't say anything, and it's scaly body seemed to shiver in excitement, How many years has it been, since I was put to a supposed eternal slumber? he asked.
She hesitated, but he said, Ten years, ten years I've been starving. It opened it's mouth, baring it's teeth.
She backed up some more, feeling very alone against this beast.
My name is Orias, I was the old god of storms. He seemed to laugh, And you mortal, you made a grave mistake by coming here, and very alone.
She wasn't sure what to say, it was like she was frozen in the spot, the dragon padded forward, it's little beady eyes narrowed in a scary curiousity, it flicked it's tail again, Hmm, you are mortal, but why are you a wolf? he asked.
She still didn't answer, he shrugged, Oh well, any mortal that has climbed up these steps, have never gone back down again he said in a cold voice.
She backed up when he padded forward again, and she was backed up to the edge, unsure what to do, she just looked around for a means to escape.
But before she could do anything, and when he was about to lunge, a huge ball of light smashed into the back of his head, and he roared in pain, and he whipped around, almost knocking Lillian of the cliff, but she kept her balance.
"You've got some nerve, Orias." Lillian looked up, and gasped when Collin was standing there, looking angry.
Orias seemed even more excited, The Fate of Tradegy, once again we meet atop this sacred mountain, but this time, you will not win. he sneered.
Collin didn't seem fazed, and Orias sneered, What's wrong little one? Have you no words to say? No venomous words to snap back? he stood up to his full height. And sneered some more.
Collin said, "I highly doubt it was worth snapping words at you, since you're mind is too old to understand today's language." he sneered also.
That seemed to anger Orias, and he smashed his claws into the ground, Mortals ignorance! he snapped.
Collin smirked, "I'm far from being mortal, Orias." he said calmly.
Then why don't you show me your true form... Or are you too scared on who you might hurt in the process? Orias sneered.
Collin shrugged, "Because I like this form so much better, a lot less hassle." he said.
This only seemed to make Orias more angry, and he smashed his tail to the ground, For ten years I slowly starved to death in this ruin because of your ignorance! he roared.
Collin asked, "Are you sure it was my ignorance that was the problem?" he looked up, but Lillian saw that nervous flash in his eyes.
Orias seemed to be thinking, and he laughed in an angry fashion, Why so confident? It's like you're asking to die!he laughed, and smashed his paws to the ground, casing what felt like the mountain was shaking.
Collin didn't seem affected, and he asked, "Can't we have a fair and square fight this time?" and he sneered, "Are you scared or something?"
Orias laughed, and Lillian gasped when Collin stepped in front of her while he transformed, Lillian looked from behind Collin, and gasped at what she saw.
It was an older male, his hair was an icy white, and his eyes were an icy, menacing blue, and he was smiling in an amused manner, and he looked older then Anima, and his arms were crossed.
"Surprised I could look like this?" he asked, smiling, "I have new tricks." he laughed, and brought out a sword, Lillian shivered when it was a poisonous green.
She whispered, "I think that's poisoned, Collin."
Collin laughed, "Poison? Neat trick, but an old one!" taunting Orias.
Orias just rushed forward, and Collin pushed Lillian out of the way of the edge, and jumped away, and turned to face Orias.
Orias laughed, "I see you have new tricks too!" and rushed forward again. Ready to deliver the first blow.
Collin just dodged nimbly to the side, as if this was second nature, and he laughed, "Is that the best you can do Orias?" Collin brought out his own sword, and pushed Orias away with it.
Lillian hid behind a pillar, watching the two powerful beings fight.
Collin just continued to dodge Orias's powerful attacks, and Orias called in frustration, "What are you planning?"
Collin shrugged as he dodged another blow, and laughed, "Who said I was planning anything?" and slashed Oriasacross the chest with his sword, who flinched in pain.
"You've grown faster, Collin, but your mortal friend can die so easily." Orias turned to Lillian, pointing the sword at her.
Collin wasn't sure what he was doing, but Lillian gasped when she heard the pillar she was hiding behind starting to crumble, she jumped out in the open.
Orias rushed forward, and Lillian was surprised at the speed he moved, but Collin was faster, he pushed Lillian out of the way, and blocked Orias's attack, but his attack managed to graze his shoulder.
Orias backed up, and Collin looked up, he laughed, "Think your poison was an instant type of thing? How simple."
Orias seemed taken-aback, but continued to attack anyways, Collin's sword met with his, and it sounded like thunder, Lillian was shocked that the poison wasn't working like it should have been, but she noticed he seemed alot weaker then he was at the start.
Collin dodged a couple attacks, and Orias must have sarted getting annoyed, because with powerful force, he knocked Collin back into a pillar, Collin had to roll away as the pillar fell down where he was moments before.
He stood up quickly, narrowly missing Orias's face.
They both seemed to be getting tired,and realized Collin's plan, He's trying to tire him out... she gasped, and knew the fatal flaw in that plan.
She called, "Wait! Collin! It won't work!"
Collin seemed distracted by her call, and grunted in surprise when he was knocked into a pillar again, and was unable to move, Lillian realised her mistake, and was ready to rush over, but Orias snapped, "Don't move mortal, this ain't your battle, and the Fate of Tradegy shouldn't need the protection of one!" and rushed forward.
Lillian ignored his words, and smashed into him before he could reach Collin, and he grunted in surprise by her defensive power.
He looked up, standing up slowly, "I see... You have one powerful defensive spell around you." he laughed, but he looked tired.
He laughed, "You wish to fight me, fine, I'll get down on your level." he started to transform, and he turned into a snowy white wolf, and he looked down at Lillian, a sneer on his face.
Lillian looked at Collin, he seemed to be trying his best to stay concious, but was slowly failing at it.
Lillian stared down Orias, and she called, "This ain't your land anymore!"
Orias was about to say something, but another voice interrupted him, As much as this was fun watching, I feel I now I have to intervene.
Anima appeared in a breath of wind, standing in front of Lillian, and she laughed, "You may take on my brother with the same power, but my power exceeds yours." she got into a defensive stance, "Are you so confident to face me?" she asked.
Lillian heard a voice in her mind, Go check on my brother, and don't worry about me, unlike him, my power exceeeds Orias's, thus I don't need the protection of magic.
Lillian nodded, backing away while Anima started to attack Orias.
She padded up to Collin, who look weakened, and he failed staying concious. And he was shaking from the poison.
Lillian nudged him, Collin... Wake up, I think your sister is too over confident... she thought sadly, knowing he won't wake up, not yet.
She tried her best to wake him up, but to no avail, while Anima fought with Orias, both powers evenly matched. Diffenence was, Orias was already weak from his battle with Collin.
Lillian was worried about Collin, he looked like he was dying, but Lillian assumed, being a fate, that possibly could mean something else.
Lillian heard Anima's voice again, He's not dying, he's just sick, he'll be fine, as long as he's not weakened anymore then he is.
Lillian nodded, and could only sit defensively with Collin, as Anima faced Orias alone, and she was winning.
She tried to wake up Collin again, but to no avail, it's as if the poison was taking control.
She looked up when there was a bang, Anima yelled, "Now!" and Lillian gasped as a black mist appeared from behind Orias, who was forced back into his dragon form, and Flynn jumped out, and slashed his chest.
Orias gasped, and his eyes turned into a pale white, but Lillian was confused on why Flynn's eyes were a pale white too, Orias walked back into the darkness of the cave.
Flynn's eyes turned to normal, and he seemed tired, but he nodded to Anima, and disappeared into the shadows.
Anima nodded as her brother disappeared, and walked up to Lillian and Collin, she sat down, and checked her brothers pulse, she seemed slightly concerned, and sighed, "He'll be fine, he got knocked around a bit, but he should be fine."
Lillian nodded, and backed away as Anima stood up, a orb of green light formed out of her hands, and she let it float away, it burst into a million sparks, causing the rubble around them to start growing moss and grass, and Lillian realised Collin has stirred.
He looked up, "Eh? What happen'?" he said in a slightly slurred and weak voice.
Anima shook her head, "You never change do you?" she asked, in an almost soft voice. She leaned toward her brother again, who seemed out of it, and flicked him on the head.
"Ow." he murmured.
"Real enough for you?" she murmured.
Colin said, "Yes, thanks." he sat up, but still looked weakened.
Anima said, "Don't rush yourself."
Collin argued, "I'm not."
Lillian asked, "Erm, do you know the way back down?"
Collin smiled, and stood up shakily, "Of course, but maybe you should wait for your friends first, Orias won't be bugging Hostrich no more..." he smiled, Anima backed away from him, he turned to face the stormy land, and Lillian gasped when the sun started to break through the neverending clouds, casting sunlight on dark patches of the land.
Wow... I didn't know Hostrich was like this... as she stared at the land that was wracked with storms, and was surprised when it looked like it was healing already from it's terrible scars of Orias's never ending tradegy.
Collin seemed back to normal, "Yeah, Hostrich was like this before Orias woke up." he laughed.
Lillian could only stare at the beauty of the real Hostrich.
She waited for her friends, and she asked Collin, "What's taking them so long?"
Anima had already left, saying she had 'other business' to attend to, and he shrugged, he was sitting down again, "Mortals and animals have a hard time with climbing the mountain, you're lucky you made it, the path can be treachourous." he said.
Lillian just stared at him, he looked tired, but not as weak as he did before, Lillian turned to the over look again, and stared at the land. The villages looked busy.
"Are you sure you're alright?" Lillian asked him.
Collin nodded, and laughed, "Never better, just like the good old days, fun times."
Lillian asked, "That reminds me, what happened the first time? Do you remember?"
Collin seemed to think, and looked up, "Er... it's a bit foggy, but I remember hearing blasts, like cannons, except louder, and white flashes of light that seemed to span across, and flash away, and then darkness." he said, and shivered, "When I was in that dream, I honestly thought Orias won."
Lillian recognized it, because that was the vision she saw, and she said, "That was you..."
Collin looked at her, "I have power, but not that much power, Flynn has that level of power." he said.
Lillian shook her head, "No, that was you, I'm sure of it." she said,
Collin asked, "You weren't there, how can you?"
Lillian looked up, "I.. I think I saw it, I was staring up at the sky, and I remember a large shape fall towards the mountain, while huge white flashes like lightning weakened it, pulsating circles that flashed across the land, but also caused destruction, and then storm clouds surrounded the area where it happened, and spun around it." she said.
Lillian almost laughed at Collin's face. Since he seemed shocked and confused.
She just smirked, and continued to look up at the sky.
Change happens everywhere
Even in the oldest places
Where no change appears to be happening.
Lillian was sitting down, wagging her tail back and forth impatiently, she asked, "What could be taking them so long."
Collin didn't answer, he seemed more interested in the ruins, he was looking around with a distant look in his eyes. As if he was remembering something far away.
Lillian decided not to bother him, he stared at the ruins with a saddened look, he sighed, and turned to Lillian, and she asked, "What?"
Collin turned back, "I wish I could change you back, but I can't." he said suddenly.
Lillian muttered, "It's fine, really, you said yourself, I need to change myself back." she looked up, "But you would change me back if you could, right?" she asked.
Collin nodded. And continued to stare around the ruins, even picking up a shard of pottery or something like that, he looked down.
Lillian asked, "Was this a busy place?"
Collin seemed to ponder how to answer, and he said, "You could say that, this was the main city of Hostrich at one time," he examined the pottery shard, "It was a pretty artistic place, it was quite peaceful, slightly boring I guess, but I didn't expect it'd soon be this rubble and ruin." he sighed.
Lillian asked, "Did you use to be close to this place?"
Collin didn't answer right away, and he sighed, "You could say that, this used to be the pace I would go to if I left the mountain." he said, looking around.
Lillian asked, "Did it used to be a nice place to be around?"
Collin nodded, and said, "Yeah, these people were neutral in the civil war, so I knew I would be safe up here, but ever since the Orias woken up, this land has been chaos, and I wasn't safe anywhere, Orias turned this place to ruins, and tore apart Hostrich."
Lillian looked around, it seemed a lot more sunnier ever since Collin called off the never-ending storm. But it seemed... Hollow, unfeeling, as if there was no life in the land without the storms.
Lillian said, "I don't know Collin, it seems different without storms, it's like Hostrich was made for the storms you can create." she looked at Collin, who turned around.
Lillian turned back, and was about to say something, but she felt something wet and cold hit the back of her head, and she whipped around, soaking wet.
Collin looked on innocently, and shrugged, "I didn't do it." he smirked, turning away.
Lillian made a face, but knew she couldn't do anything, she flicked her tail in annoyance, and growled.
"Wow, you're so scary." Collin mocked, and laughed. And looked up, "Storms can form on their own, I was more like a block from Orias's power." he said, and laughed, "Well, I could also block out any outside dangers." he stared on.
Lillian asked, "Outside dangers? You mean from Nixsan?"
Collin shook his head, "Not just Nixsan, but from Ishari or anything else that.. Well, let's just say that these days, Ishari has been in a cloud of unrest." he crossed his arms, staring ahead.
"What do you by a cloud of unrest?" she asked, confused.
Collin didn't answer, not right away anyways, after a couple minutes, he said, "Ever since the king died and his son disappeared a few months after, Ishari just hasn't been getting the peaceful energy that my little sister has worked so hard to keep there, it's like something about the king disappearing is causing anger, which is why the battle of Orskola happened, because the new king disappeared, and the army didn't get called off." he said.
The battle of Orskola! Lillian thought, That's the battle were Rinshaw died.... So, that happened because Aris couldn't face becoming king?
Lillian felt something inside her go off, like it was waiting for this moment, If Aris had never ran away, Matthew would have never died...she wasn't sure why, but she felt angry, and Collin must have sensed this and turned to her, "Is something wrong?" he asked.
Lillian shook her head. "No, nothing." she growled.
Collin didn't seem to believe her, but being a laid-back person, like Markus, he easily dismissed it.
After a couple minutes, they both heard paw-steps, Lillian and Collin turned around, Arti was leading the group up the steppes, and Markus and Erik ran toward Lillian, jumping up and down in front of her, whil Arti, Lucan, and Aris held back.
Lillian finally made the group back up, and she asked, "Now, the problem now is... Getting down."
Collin said, "Oh, that's easy!"
Lillian whipped around, "That doesn't involve broken bones or worse." she said.
Collin looked at her with mock hurt, and asked, "Who said it had to have broken bones?"
Lillian rolled her eyes, "Alright, what is it?" she asked.
Collin smiled, and walked up to a fallen down pillar, Lillian gasped as a light mist started enamating from it, and it lifted up slowly, revealing a path.
The pillar leaned on the cave, and Collin turned to them, smiling.
Lillian was slightly impressed, but didn't show it, she just nodded, taking the new path with her friends, but looked at Collin, "Erm, is there anything we should know about the path?" she asked.
Collin had suddenly appeared at the front, "Without me you'd walk off the edge." he said in mock exasperation, and turned into a wolf.
He turned to them, "Now, say you guys do fall, I wouldn't worry about it." he said, and took the lead.
Lillian made a face, and followed him, while her friends stayed as far away as the edge as they could.
Collin looked around, "Okay, this part is a little bit tricky." he said, and precariously jumped over a small ledge, landing neatly on the other side.
Lillian looked at the edge, and asked, "Can't you just float us over there?"
Collin asked, "Where's the fun in that?"
Lillian rolled her eyes, and decided to go last.
She let Arti go first, she jumped easily, but slightly skidded, and she turned to look at the others.
Lucan and Markus looked down, Markus shivered, while Lucan just rolled his eyes, and jumped over, as if it was his second nature.
Markus had to be nudged by Aris to finally go, but he almost slipped, nad scared himself, and walked away from the edge, fur on end.
Aris finally went, he looked back, and joined the others.
Erik looked at Lillian, confused, and Lillian indicated for him to go, and he nodded, being small, he didn't have alot of jumping power, but he made it none of the less, and finally it was Lillian's turn to go.
She padded forward, but Lucan called, "Wait, Lillian!" he crouched down close to the rocky floor, and twitched his ears, he narrowed his eyes, while Collin was looking at the mountain with the same cautiousness.
Lillian decided to take this moment to jump, and she landed safely, but she saw the edge's rocks start to slowly crumble.
She backed away, and it stopped, and asked Collin, "Was that the only jump?"
Collin looked down the edge, and said, "Yeah, I think so."
Lillian was about to pad forward, but she felt her back paw slip on the hanging edge beside them, she jumped, which made it worse for her, as she felt herself slip.
Collin must have sensed the change, because jsut as Lillian thought she was going to fall, she felt something stop her.
She found herself staringdown at the land below her, and she felt nausous as she was pulled up by the strange force that stopped her.
She looked at Collin, who was rolling his eyes in amusement, "Watch where you step." he said.
Lillian nodded, but stopped when Collin stiffened, he suddenly looked up, but looked confused.
Lillian asked, "What's wrong?"
Collin looked around once more, and said, "Hm, weird." and ignored Lillian, and led them away from the edge, Lillian noticed the path was getting wider and wider, and soon, they were at the bottom of the mountain. Lillian looked up, she asked, "Are you sure something's not on your mind?"
Collin looked at her, and didn't answer her question, and instead said, "You guys better start beginning the journey to Ishari, you've got a long road ahead of you." he turned back into a human, and looked at Lillian for one final time, and he said, "Good bye!" and he disappeared.
Lillian called, "Wait!" but it was too late, he was gone. And she couldn't explain why she felt sad, as if this wasn't the first time this has happened to her.
She thought, Collin.... she stared at where he was moments before, ears flopped, as if she had lost her best-friend.
Lillian sighed, and her tail drooped, she looked back up again, and said, "We should keep going."
She knew Lucan and Markus sensed the change in her, but they thought better then to ask as they followed her. She stopped on a path, and looked around.
She just followed it, but stopped, and looked back at the mountain, she frowned, and continued walking.
Markus finally spoke up, "What's eating you, Lillian? What happened at the top of that mountain?" he asked.
Lillian turned around, "Nothing happened." she said, and continued walking.
Markus called, "You're so easy to read, something happened, why are you so... Sad?"
Lillian stopped, and she she looked up, "I.. I don't know, something is missing about Hostrich."
Arti finally spoke up, "It's the storms."
Lillian turned to her, and Arti said, "It doesn't matter wether you're an outsider, or you were born here, sooner or later, you start to get used to the storms, maybe even start to care about this land, as if it is your home, it has that menacing outside, but on the inside, it's like protection, protecting you from the terrible dangers outside of Hostrich." she turned to look at the over cast sky, "Hostrich is not evil, and niether is the fate that roams this land, they work the same way, him and the storms, continously changing, unpredictable, but once you're used to it, it makes you feel safe." she twitched her whiskers.
Lillian nodded, and continued walking, Change... she looked at Aris, and narrowed her eyes, but turned back, and sighed.
Why did she feel so sad and angry all of a sudden?
They continued walking, but they decided to rest, but Lillian told them she wanted to be alone, she decided to lay on a rock in a clearing, staring up at the over-cast sky, where the moon managed to shine through, along with the stars, breaking through the clouds dark, yet calming centre.
She sighed, looking up. She stood up, and howled to the moon, she kept her ears pricked, listening for other wolves to answer her call.
She stopped, and listened, and felt happier when she heard other wolves answer her call. And soon music had spread all over the Hostrich. Signaling that the wolves of this land were missing the storms too.
She howled again, wanting the storms to come back. It's obvious the other wolves agreed with her. As they continued howling, she watched the slow moving clouds.
Can't you hear their cries Collin? They miss the unpredictable storms, they felt protected under them, they don't feel safe under this almost clear night sky. She looked around.
As if an answer to her plea, she started hearing thunderous booms in the distance, she looked back, and saw a huge storm heading her way, she almost leapt in excitement, and the howls got louder.
She looked at the storm, You did listen to me... she thought happily.
She waited until it started raining, finally feeling secure and safe, the howls stopped, and it started to rain a little harder.
She almost laughed when Markus burst into the clearing, wet to the bone, and he asked, "Ah! Too quick!" and he suddenly got chased by Arti, who looked angry at him, and she yelled, "Why'd you wake me up?" she was followed by Lucan, who had a rare amused expression on his face.
Lucan looked up at the sky, the moon finally blocked out by the clouds. She twitched her whiskers as her friends chased each-other around in an angry and annoyed fashion, with Markus laughing at his fun.
She twitched her whiskers, finally understanding the point of the storms, they brought people and animals together, to learn how to survive together, against all odds.
She looked up at the sky, I finally understand what you've been trying to tell me all along, Hostrich is a nice place with the storms. she thought.
As if the storm heard her, it turned into a light rain, but the calming sound of thunder sounded above her. Erik seemed alot more hyper, following the others.
She looked at the darkness, and jumped off the rock, heading into the undergrowth, she laughed, "Come out, Collin!"
She felt cold water hit the back of her head, and she turned around to see Collin, who shrugged, and said, "Hey, not my fault, you were such an easy target." he smiled.
Lillian was about to say something, but just sighed, and he nodded, and he smiled at the storm, and he disappeared.
Lillian went back to the clearing, Arti had finally caught up to Markus, and was procedding to poke his head repeatedly while Lucan watched amused.
Lillian twitched her whiskers as the rain got heavier, she padded up to Arti, "Are you coming with us?" she asked.
Arti looked at Lucan for a minute, and nodded, "I guess so." she said, looking at Lillian.
Lilllian laughed, "Well, since we're all awake, I guess we should start moving, we're not going to get any sleep under this rain."
Arti asked, "Who said the rain woke me up?" and she eyed Markus angrily, who laughed, and stood up.
Markus shook out his fur, "Alright! To Ishari!" and he started to pad off, with the others following him. Lillian suddenly remembered something, "Wait!"
The others turned to her, and she said, "Collin, the fate of Tradegy, told me that something is happening at Ishari, like unrest, which is making peace slowly fade in the land, causing the people of the land want more then what they have."
She thought she saw Aris flinch, but she thought it was the wind, because he was as still as stone.
Lillian nodded, "We have to be careful, lets's go."
They began to walk again, fighting with the storm to stay on track, Lillian felt that this was Collin's way of warning them, to the dangers they face in the land of Ishari
The land that used to be peaceful, after the battle of Orskola, it was obvious something was causing unrest.
And the fate of Peace couldn't stop it.
Not knowing that their journey, even though close to ending, and finally turning back, was about to take an ugly turn.