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The Dragon's Heir
Author's note: The plot was originally a simple "boy meets dragon and goes on a random quest whee" started as a whim by my brother and I. But I started writing more and developed a more complex plot and discovered that I really enjoyed this story. So here's the product. Enjoy :)
It’s the best time of day, in my opinion. When the sun is still making its sluggish way up from the horizon and a cool, peaceful morning resides over the busy streets of Rhuana, a person can finally think. This was my relaxing time, where only the soft coo of pigeons penetrated the tranquility and silence. I arranged my legs into the lotus position and began to meditate, closing my eyes to shut out the rest of the world. Moments later, I opened them in annoyance when something poked my wrist. I glanced down and saw a common-looking pigeon with ash gray feathers staring at me, head cocked. It pecked my wrist again and that’s when I noticed the dark T-shaped marking on its head and the small silver, cylindrical container attached to its left foot. Excited, I sat up, nearly tumbling off my bench in the process, and glanced quickly around for bystanders. Seeing no one, I quickly undid the cylinder’s clasp, pulled out the roll of paper inside, and unfurled it. Written in a very familiar handwriting was the message:
Half past four is my usual time for morning meal and
Until you arrive, I can’t have breakfast, so
Read this letter carefully, like I’ve taught you and
Remember to buy some coffee for me on the way.
You better not get me caramel, you know I like mocha.
I carefully scanned the note again and easily found the hidden message. It was simple, really, actually being the first code I have ever learned. The trick was to read the first letters of each line, which spelled out the real message. This was a very simple code, and I was surprised that the professor hadn’t challenged me with a harder one, which probably meant that he was in a rush when he wrote this. This just made it all the more urgent to get there because if the professor was rushing through a secret message, then something was definitely wrong. With a final glance around, I sent the pigeon on its way, watching its ascent until it became a tiny dot in the sky.
I left my comfortable bench under the willows and briskly walked down the street towards the only coffee shop in town, at the corner of First and Second Street. Anxiously scanning the streets for suspicious looking bystanders, I gently tore the note into tiny scraps and nonchalantly tossed the scraps into a couple of different trash cans, also down a few drains.
Finally reaching the corner of First and Second Street, I glanced around for the familiar face of Professor Travis. He was nowhere to be seen. With a frown, I realized that the professor must be in disguise. After all, he was always telling me that I needed a “keen eye” to see through disguises. I carefully studied all the people on the street but found no familiarity. There was a teen girl talking eagerly to her friend, a mother with a baby stroller, a group of men discussing the news of a recent earthquake, three businessmen waiting for the bus at the corner, and a man reading a newspaper. Upside down.
Involuntarily, a grin spread over my face as I resisted the urge to chuckle. The professor was always a serious man, and the sight of him sitting cross-legged on a bench, reading a newspaper upside down was downright hilarious. I walked by him briskly, purposely bumping into him, and muttered a quick apology, before turning the corner towards the coffee shop. Only a few moments later, the man had joined me and we walked silently into the shop.
The inside of the coffee shop was quiet and only a few customers sat at the tables, sipping steaming espressos and scanning the headline news. The professor strolled casually to the “Employees Only” door and I followed him in. Inside was a small corridor lined with doors, ending at a solid brick wall. As we walked down the hallway, Professor Travis swiftly pulled off his fake beard, neatly stowing it within the folds of his suit in seconds. “Ah, that feels better,” he said with a chuckle. “The hair was itching like crazy.” Then, with a small spray bottle he produced from his sleeve, he sprayed his hair. A spray of powder shot out onto his hair and covered it with fine silver dust. Instantly, the gray began to fade, replaced with the professor’s natural dark brown. Within a minute, Professor Travis looked like himself again, a young man with a mop of dark brown hair and wise green eyes, inspecting me from behind his tortoiseshell spectacles. He studied me fondly. Nine years ago, he had taken me in as his apprentice at the age of seven and began to train me to be a secret agent. Being one of the most skilled, experienced agents around, he was the perfect mentor. During the nine years of his mentoring, the professor loved me as if I were his own child. He was the only father I’d ever known and the greatest teacher I’ve ever had. “Embroll, this is your disguise?” asked the professor, raising an eyebrow in amusement.
I bit my lip. I hadn’t taken precautions to disguise myself and if I had been being followed, an enemy agent would have easily recognized me. “Well, I was in the middle of… something,” I said tersely, thinking abashedly of how minutes ago, I was lounging in the park. “Anyways, isn't there something wrong? That’s why I got the “hurry” letter, isn’t it?” I said quickly, changing the subject.
Instantly, his amused expression faded, replaced with seriousness. “Follow me, Embroll. This is why you’ve been called.”
The professor led to me to the brick wall, where only an old, electric panel hung crookedly off to the right. I watched in amazement as the professor pressed a silver button on the electricity panel and the panel slid open to reveal a circular slot. With a wink at me, the professor slid a silver disk from his breast pocket and pressed it into the slot.
Suddenly, there was a faint humming noise and the next thing I knew, the brick wall had opened up into a round metal elevator. Professor Travis smiled at my stunned expression and we walked in.
The elevator traveled down for what seemed like, forever, before a resounding ding shattered the silence, causing me to jump in surprise. The elevator doors opened, and I stepped into the largest secret agent headquarters known in the history of secret agent headquarters.
I ran inside eagerly, drinking in my surroundings. I hadn’t been here in weeks and I was eager to be back in this amazing room. In the center of the room sat a glass table complete with a set of eight chairs, a cup of coffee teetering at the edge. Over to the left, a cluster of crazy gadgets and machines caught my eye and I dashed over.
“What is this stuff?” I marveled, examining the assortment of metal and glass objects that I could make no sense of.
“Some of our inventions. They’re a work in progress so be careful,” the professor said, waving me over to a massive computer that towered over my head. He sat down at the control panel off to the right and typed in some passwords. I sat down beside him as he typed code after code into the control panel, while glancing around in wonder, still mesmerized by the futuristic feel of the place as glinting metal machines winked at me from all around.
“Embroll, what do you see?” asked the professor, pulling my attention back to the large screen of the computer. I watched as the black screen fizzled to life and an image began to form.
“It’s a wheat field… and there seems to be a huge chunk of wheat missing from the center.” I said hesitantly, leaning in to look closer. “No, wait. Not missing, flattened. By something very large,” I finished confidently.
“Yes, “said Professor Travis. “This is the largest wheat field in Arphonage. Something has been destroying essential amounts of their crops for weeks. A few cows, pigs, and sheep have disappeared, too. Some of our agents went over to check it out but they didn’t find any leads. Until yesterday.” The professor began typing again, so fast that his fingers were a blur. “This is a picture taken from yesterday by one of our agents patrolling the field. According to him, he was pacing along the field when a huge creature fell from the sky and landed with an earthshaking thump. It proceeded to snatch away a few of the cows that were grazing and flew off again. But not before our agents got a picture.” Professor Travis clicked a button and a blurry picture of something large and gold appeared on the screen. “The monster attacked him before it left and apparently blew fire at him. Our agent is now being treated for burns but his pictures were put to good use.” I squinted at the blurry picture and suddenly realized what the large gold creature was. The professor saw my realization and nodded gravely. “Yes Embroll, what you are seeing is one of the last living specimens of the Draconis occidentalis, otherwise known as a dragon.”
I stuffed another pack of trail mix into my backpack and hefted it onto my back. It felt surprisingly light and I bounced it a little, glad that it was so comfortable.
“This is a communication device in case anything goes wrong,” said the professor, handing me a small metal walkie-talkie like machine. I clipped it onto my belt and stood up straight, proudly displaying my new look. The professor looked over me thoughtfully. “Embroll, though this is your first major mission and it is a pretty serious, not to mention dangerous, one. I believe you are ready for it. I have taught you all I can and you have done immensely well in the training I have given you.”
“Thank you, Professor,” I said, zipping up my black leather jacket which was coated in a flame-resistant spray. “Just in case,” the professor had said. “I promise I’ll find out what the dragon wants and get back to you in one piece.”
The professor beamed. “That’s my boy, “he said fondly. As I stepped into the elevator, the professor called after me, “Oh, and Embroll?”
I turned to look at the professor again, and my throat tightened with emotion as I gazed at the father figure of my life. He was sitting in the chair in front of his computer and strangely enough, he looked tired and old, though he was only in his late thirties. He smiled up at me, his green eyes twinkling behind his spectacles. “I’m proud to call you my son.” And with that, the elevator doors closed and the professor’s smiling face disappeared.
Could this train be any slower, I thought irritably. It was a twenty-minute train ride to Arphonage and I was getting impatient. For all I knew, the dragon might’ve already returned, scorched everything to cinders, stolen all the livestock, brought his hoard back home, and was already plotting out his next attack.
When finally, the train stopped and the doors opened, I was the first off, sprinting across the platform and up the stairs into bright daylight. I blinked several times and my eyes adjusted to the bright, sunny countryside of Arphonage, known for its beautiful snow-capped mountains and vast areas of golden wheat fields. It was very quiet as I jogged down the dusty lane towards the large expanse of golden wheat in the distance.
When I finally reached the field, a man was waiting for me. His handlebar mustache drooped down in imitation of his frown and worry wrinkles were imprinted in his shiny forehead. He looked up when I came over and his frown deepened even more.
“You’re the agent they sent?” He asked, disbelief written all over his face. “You’re nothin’ but a child!”
I decided to ignore that statement. “Sir, I am Agent Raxivir. And believe it or not, I have had nine years of intense training and I’m tougher than all your farm workers combined.” The man raised an eyebrow, still unconvinced. “Sir, please just show me to the section where the wheat has been damaged,” I said after an awkward pause, exasperated.
He led me into the waist-length wheat and I sneezed several times as insects buzzed around my face. “Here it is, young man. I hope you can help us,” he muttered, gesturing to the huge circle of flattened wheat. The man left, muttering, “Agents these days. Younger than ever.”
I sat down on the edge of the circle and inspected the ground. There were several long gouges on the ground. Claw marks, I noted grimly. I walked around the circle, looking for any strange things that could serve as clues for why the dragon came. Nothing. I sighed and sat back down at the edge of the circle. It was very warm out so I took off my pack and leaned against it, scanning the skies for the dragon. Nothing except a few fluffy clouds. The sun warmed my face and a light breeze ruffled through my hair. Slowly, my eyelids began to droop, and I dozed off.
I jolted awake as an earth-shattering boom echoed across the field. I jumped up, slinging my backpack on my back while looking around for the source of the noise. How could I have fallen asleep? I thought. Professor Travis would be so ashamed. Then, I saw it. A huge golden dragon sat just a few meters away, staring at me. Its scales were a pure metallic gold, the brightness rivaling that of the sun and lethal spikes trailed its spine down the contours of its huge reptilian body to the tip of its tail. But the most distinguishing feature of all was its eyes; large, intelligent, amber eyes that stared at me with much more comprehension a regular animal could have. My mouth went dry in fright and though my brain screamed at me to get the hell away from there, my feet felt like cement.
Then, I heard, Embroll Raxivir. We have been looking for you. I jumped in surprise at the reptilian voice that clouded my mind. No doubt it was the dragon. I gulped and forced my legs to move back, slowly. Stop, Embroll Raxivir, the dragon commanded in such a powerful voice that my legs turned to jelly again.
“Sorry dragon,” I muttered, “but I’m really not in the mood to become a shish kabob.” I took another step back and the dragon hissed, baring two rows of gleaming, white teeth at me. I did the only thing I could do; I ran. As I dashed across the field, towards the dark forest ahead, I heard the dragon roar. I ran faster and suddenly, a big ball of orange-gold flames shot over my head, singeing a few of my hairs. I yelped and dove to the side as another stream of fire burned a hole in the wheat where I was just standing. I jumped out of the way as another fireball raced past and my communication device, jarred by the impact, fell from my belt. But before I could pick it up, a ball of fire collided with my communication device, causing a loud boom and a lot of black, eye watering, not to mention smelly, smoke. “Stop, stop!” I yelled, hurling a fist-sized stone at it, coughing as I waved away the smoke. It struck the dragon right between its eyes and it stumbled, distracted. Surprise flitted through my mind as I realized the stone had hit with a lot of force, much more force than I would have been able to exert. But shaking the strange incident from my mind, I snatched the smoldering communication device, ignoring the red-hot pain, and ran.
Embroll Raxivir, we are not done with you. Only you can help us. It is your destiny. The dragon’s voice was strong and forceful and I shivered as I ran from it. A quick peek behind me showed the dragon pushing off on its hind legs and into the sky, gleaming like a second sun. But I didn’t stop running.
I ran towards the forest, the golden wheat tearing at my cargo pants. I almost tripped on a rock but regained my balance quickly, due to my quick reflexes and agility. If I ever get back alive, I’ll make sure to thank Professor Travis for his insisting on hardcore training, I thought, as I headed towards the forest. By the time I reached the forest, sweat was trickling down my neck and my chest was heaving. But I had to keep running, I couldn’t afford to stop.
Soon, the sun was beginning to set in a brilliant, orange sky streaked with pink and lavender clouds. I collapsed against a maple tree and sat there for a little, tossing my satchel to the ground. I looked at my communication device. Busted. I groaned; there was no way I could get help. I would have to get out of this on my own.
Suddenly, a pinecone dropped on my head and I jumped up, looking wildly around for my attacker. Nobody. Another pinecone missed me by an inch and I squinted upwards. A large russet and white eagle circled above, another pinecone in its claws poised to toss. It saw me looking up and I swear I saw it wink at me. As I stared, it flew lower and lower until it landed with an awkward thump and sprawled in a heap of feathers.
“Got to work on the landing a bit,” it muttered, fluffing its feathers. Then, it looked up at me, its bright eyes displaying an intelligence unlike any animal I’d ever seen. “The name’s Lukas. Been following you for a bit. Saw your little rumble with the dragon.” He shook his head. “You’re lucky to be alive, kid. I have to hand it to you; you run fast. So, how would you like to have a sidekick?” He beamed up at me.
I kept staring at him, my brain still in the process of registering the fact that an eagle was speaking to me. “Well, uh,” I said slowly, regaining my composure. “First of all, I don’t even know you. Second, you’re a bird and I doubt you’d last long in a fight with all the monsters I’ll be encountering. And last, I work alone.” I forced my voice to be confident and calm, acting as if I chatted with talking eagles on a daily basis. Which I didn’t.
Lukas cocked his head. “Listen, Embroll, I’m a friend of Travis, or used to be anyways, haven’t seen him in like nine years. And come on, I’m a talking eagle, kid. Give me some credit, I can do things you’ve never dreamed an eagle can do. Watch.” And with that, he opened his beak and the next thing I knew, a sphere of fire was spinning straight at me.
I rubbed my bruised jaw again and glared at Lukas, who was still chuckling to himself. “Oh, you should have seen your face!” He guffawed, ruffling his feathers in amusement. “Priceless, priceless.”
“Well, I’m glad you found it amusing,” I said dryly. Thankfully, due to my quick reflexes, I had easily dodged the fireball… only to instantly trip on a tree root and bruise my jaw in the fall.
“Well, now you know how amazing I am,” bragged Lukas, “so can I be your sidekick?” I ignored him, hoping he would just shut up and leave me alone. But to my annoyance, he kept jabbering on. “Y’know, you really do need a sidekick. Someone who’s experienced, strong, and not to mention, smart. I can’t believe you decided to take a nap in the middle of your stake-out, I mean seriously? Lower your self-esteem, kiddo. You were much too confident and didn’t think twice before taking on the dragon. Sheesh, kid, if you’d gotten yourself fried, Travis would’ve killed me.”
I was already annoyed from Lukas’ constant babbling, but now I was even angrier, because I knew he was right. I didn’t think plan ahead at all, I just dove in head first. Think before you act, the professor had always said. My face burned, partly because I was being told off by a mere eagle and partly because I recognized that it was my own careless error that caused the situation. “Fine,” I snapped, breaking Lukas off in a narration of his epic battle against a sphinx. “Fine, you can be my sidekick. But don’t expect me to slow down for you or anything!”
“Oh, trust me, I’ll be keeping you at a jog,” teased Lukas, lifting slowly into the air so that he was a few feet above my head. Then to my annoyance, he proceeded to fly in circles around my head.
I ignored him, gave my jaw another tender poke and stood up, hefting my backpack to rest comfortably on my back. “Let’s go,” I said tartly, striding deeper into the forest.
Lukas swooped down next to me, keeping up with me easily. “So, where are we going, Embroll?” He asked cheerily, as if traveling to “who knows where” to find a monstrous dragon was his idea of fun.
“The mountains,” I said, nodding at the snow-capped peaks in the distance.
“May I ask why?” Lukas asked slowly, his question tinged with surprise.
“Well,” I said, hesitating. How did I know? When Lukas asked me, I just knew to say “the mountains”, it just felt right. I hadn’t even realized that I had no reasons to say that. “I just know,” I said brusquely, a little unnerved at this strange feeling.
“Ok then, boss, lead on,” Lukas said, seemingly oblivious to my discomfort. “By the way, since I’m your sidekick, I think we should get to know each other.” When I didn’t respond, Lukas continued teasingly. “I don’t want you to feel mediocre to me so I just want to say don’t feel bad, because my people are just naturally superior.”
I snorted, but I had to admit I was curious about who this talking eagle really was. After all, the professor had never mentioned being acquainted with a talking animal. “Go on,” I muttered, trying not to sound too interested.
“My people, the Lynxalians, which means Royalty in Layle by the way, can control elements. And I-“
“Whoa! Wait!” I said, surprised at this announcement. “What did you say you were?”
“A Lynxalian,” Lukas said patiently, stretching the syllables as if he thought I were deaf.
“Lynxalian?” I repeated in disbelief. “But everyone knows Lynxalia and the Lynxalians are just a myth! A story!”
Lukas gave a haughty humph of disbelief. “Myths?! Us?” He scoffed. “You humans. You don’t understand something or forget about it for a while, and it becomes a myth. Honestly!” He flapped his wings in agitation. “I guess Travis never mentioned anything to you, so I’ll start from the beginning.
“Wait...” I said slowly, the gears turning full speed in my head. “So you’re telling me that this tale I grew up believing was a myth is actually true. And the professor knew about it?”
“He doesn’t just know about it. He’s totally involved in it!” Lukas said matter-of-factly, seeming to delight in my shock.
“I honestly don’t know what to say,” I muttered, trying to grasp what Lukas was saying. As much as I didn’t want to believe it, Luas was living proof that something was up.
“Then don’t say anything,” Lukas said with a wink. “Let me do the talking now.”
I slumped my shoulders in defeat, and Lukas took my silence as an invitation to continue.
“So, as I was saying. Most of you humans just think we’re myths. But you’re mistaken. We try to avoid human contact so we never come out from our homelands in the Lyx Mountains.” He gestured with a wing towards the mountains in the far distance.
“Wait, those are the mountains that I pointed at...” I blurted out in surprise, now eyeing the mountains with much more curiosity.
“Yeah, that’s why I figured you knew something about Lynxalia and the dragon.” He peered down at me from the sky, his expression calculating. “Strange how it was lucky guess though. Hm...”
His scrutiny began making me uncomfortable and I turned my face away. “Continue with your story, Lukas.”
Lukas obliged and cleared his throat, reading to launch into his tale. “My homeland, Lynxalia, is a wonderful place. Set in the bowels of the Lyx Mountains, it is a paradise with lush, green fields bursting with flowers of wild fragrances and animals with hides and plumages of the most wonderful colors. The fruits are the size of your head, juicy and sweet, and the weather is always warm and sunny. But that was before…” Lukas trailed off awkwardly and I glanced up at him to see his eyes squeezed shut, as if he were trying to block out a painful memory.
“Lukas?” I asked cautiously. “You okay?”
“I’m fine,” Lukas said quietly. He cleared his throat and forced himself to smile. “So, as I was saying, we are not a myth. We just stay in the mountains. And we have a very good reason for doing so.” I wanted to ask if that was the case, then why was he out here, but I didn’t want to sound obnoxious. He probably has his own reasons, I thought to myself, though I did wonder why he would choose to become my companion if human contact was so unwanted.
“So, you were saying. Lynxalia?” I prodded, very eager to know more about Lukas and this mythical species of Lynxalians that turned out to be not so mythical after all.
“Well,” continued Lukas, ruffling his feathers proudly. “We Lynxalians are, in a way, shape shifters. But our different appearances depend on our element power. A Water Lynxalian could be born as a fish but is able to transform into a seal, a whale, a serpent, a dolphin, any animal that is powered by water. A Fire Lynxalian could be born as a tiger, but could transform into a phoenix. And so on.”
“Wait, a tiger?” I asked, confused. “What does a tiger have to do with fire?
“Well,” said Lukas, hesitating. “I’m not exactly sure how the shifts work. I mean, there’s no specific rule to the shifting…” He trailed off. “But Fire Lynxalians are able to turn into members of the cat family, like tigers, panthers, bobcats, leopards, animals like that. There’s a whole story behind it,” he added, waving it off.
“Alright, continue,” I said impatiently.
“So,” Lukas continued, eager to explain. “There are five different elements to control; Fire, Water, Ice, Sky, and Earth. Each elemental type usually live together separate from the other groups, in their own little communities, but we’re still all united as one.” Lukas said, and for some reason, he was squirming uncomfortably, looking nervous and agitated.
“So, you’re fire, then, I suppose. Seeing that you almost barbecued my face,” I muttered, pointing at my singed sleeve which unfortunately, had not managed escaped Lukas’ fireball. “But you’re a bird and it would make more sense if you were Air, so...” I trailed off, waiting for him to explain.
“Um, w-well,” stammered Lukas, not meeting my eyes. “You see…” He left his sentence dangling and we walked in silence for a few moments. I assumed he needed some time to think, so I focused my attention on my surroundings. The sky was beginning to darken into a burgundy orange and the sun was lowering towards the horizon line, inviting the night to come forth. The forest was always more dangerous at night, every creak and shadow being the possibility of a hungry mutation, the monsters that roamed the wild. I shuddered. I had my share of encounters with mutations before, but I was always prepared and with a team of agents. Meeting one alone in the forest at night was something I hoped would never happen.
“Well?” I finally demanded, unnerved by the silence, especially since night was falling. We would have to set up camp soon, hopefully in a clearing near a stream, as mutations tended to dwell in deeper, darker sections of the forest.
“Alright, alright, I’ll tell you. I’m going to have to tell you eventually anyway. But first let’s find a place to sleep for the night, “Lukas said, sighing audibly. We continued traveling for a few minutes until Lukas spotted a grove of trees surrounding a small clearing. Further inspection showed that we could get water from a small spring nearby, gaining my approval immediately. I hastily started a fire and heated up some of the vegetable broth in my pack while Lukas left to hunt. By the time he was back, I was lying in my thermal, fleece sleeping bag and naming the constellations in the sky.
“I’m ready to listen. Spill,” I said eagerly, waving at him to land.
He sighed and flew down, landing awkwardly by my sleeping bag and settling himself by my head. “It’s complicated to explain so I’ll start with a story that is told to all Lynxalians. It is the story of the beginning of Lynxalia and its legacy.”
“I see,” I said thoughtfully. “So let me get this straight before you get me even more confused. You call your homeland Lynxalia and all the Lynxalians live in communities depending on their elemental powers, right?
“Yes, that’s the basics. But there’s a whole entire history you need to know.” Lukas insisted, though I didn’t see why I needed to know anything about this at all. “Here, I’ll explain. A long, long time ago, there were three magical beings by the names of Harizont, Vertic, and Dyagon. They were brothers and were strong, powerful warriors who used the powers of nature at will.
“Harizont, the oldest, had power over fire and earth and his animal was the sacred phoenix. The cat clan was bound by debt to follow him because once, he saved a whole clan from being killed by a volcanic explosion or something along those lines. He almost died from exhaustion but in the end, he came through, and the cat family was in his debt forever. Harizont is described in the stories as a tall, muscular man with flaming hair and eyes the color of coal. His fiery temperament always led him into fights and he was very hard to get along with.
“Now, Vertic, the second oldest, was a usually calm man with thoughtful periwinkle eyes and dark blue hair swept into a ponytail. The waters and icecaps of the world were under his command and all the animals that lived beneath the waves were bound to him. He was the complete opposite of Harizont and they often quarreled because of it, causing disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes to spread across the Earth, harming its creatures. The third brother was often the peacemaker and the one to cease their quarrels but still, the two brothers were like day and night.
“Dyagon, the youngest, was by far the kindest. The wind whispered its secrets to him and he knew the four corners of the world by heart. Though he had only one element to master, he was still just as strong, maybe even more, than his brothers. The sky was his domain and he is described as a carefree, young man with silver hair and intelligent eyes that change color with the sky. During his brothers’ fearsome quarrels, he did his best to protect Earth from harm but often, it was of no use and many animals and plants died. These three magical beings began the Lynxalian species.”
“Wait, as in they had kids and their descendents were the Lynxalians?” I demanded. “Then how are there animals too? Wouldn’t it make more sense if-” Lukas cut me off by sweeping his right wing over my face.
“Shush, listen. So, one day, Harizont and Vertic got into a huge quarrel about who was most powerful and this quarrel expanded to become a brutal war. Humans and animals were dying by the hundreds and the lustrous green lands were cracking open, flooding with seawater, and erupting with molten lava. Dyagon couldn’t stand to watch innocent creatures die and he did his best to protect them. Legend says he called all the birds of the world to carry humans and animals to his domain in the Lyx Mountains which was, so far, unaffected by the war. Many were saved, though many more perished. Dyagon tried to calm his brothers but they were too enraged and riled up to talk sense to. When he tried to intervene, he was injured in his left eye and had to wear an eye patch made from a piece of the sky itself. Finally, Dyagon managed to trick his brothers into making an oath. Nobody really knows how he tricked them or what the oath was, but in the end, the brothers retreated to their domains; Harizont into the earth and Vertic into the ocean.
Apparently, part of the oath was that each brother gives Dyagon some of their power so that in the future, they would not be able to wreak as much havoc. Dyagon went back to his mountains where he began to teach the people he saved. They were the only living creatures of the earth now since all the others had perished in the war. He gifted them his very own precious powers as well as the powers he gained from defeating his brothers, though in less extreme amounts of course; he gifted different people and animals with different powers. However, he did not gift all animals and humans, and this kind of exclusion would cause future conflict. I suppose the reason why only selected creatures received gits was because he distributed the gifts by their aura and the non-gifted ones didn’t have the right auras, but-”
“Aura?” I asked, interrupting him midsentence. I was thoroughly engrossed in this strange tale and I didn’t want to miss a thing.
“Yes, aura. Each person has an aura and your aura determines which element suits you best and what animal you are born as.” He paused, seeing my confusion. “Well, it’s kind of like your soul and what kind of a person you are. Like whether you deserve to have a power and if you were capable of using it for good. Nowadays, the Lynxalians are mostly animals but there are a few exceptions of humans. Humans were usually gifted with the power of air since Dyagon was a human himself. ”
“You still haven’t told me what type you are,” I said irritably.
“Patience. I will once I’ve finished the story.” Lukas said calmly, though his eyes darkened slightly at my question. “As I was saying, Dyagon taught his people many things and he named the valley in the Lyx Mountains Lynxalia, which means “Palace” in Layle.”
“Layle...?” I asked in confusion. “What’s that? You said something earlier too, about how Lynxalian means ‘royalty’.”
“Layle is the language of the skies.” Lukas explained quickly. “It’s a lost language to the world today of course, but every Lynxalian can speak and write it. Perhaps I can teach you later.” I nodded eagerly at his suggestion, and he grinned at my excitement. “So, this new gifted species became the Lynxalians. Dyagon told them to venture out and try to keep the Earth safe in case Harizont or Vertic managed to stir up trouble again. And they would in the future. But over the years, the Lynxalians began to die out. This was because children of Lynxalians weren’t always born gifted and Dyagon never created any more. So as time went on, the Lynxalian population dwindled.”
“What happened to Dyagon?” I asked with a yawn. The events of the day had definitely taken a toll on me and now I was beginning to feel sleepy.
“Nobody knows,” Lukas said simply, his voice soft and sad. “After creating the Lynxalians and teaching them their duties, he disappeared. Nobody knows where. Personally, I think he’s up in the sky, watching over the Earth.”
I yawned again, closing my eyes. “So, let me get this straight,” I mumbled. “So, the Lynxalians are not extinct, they’re just hiding in the Lyx Mountains in a land called Lynxalia that nobody knows of. And those three dudes Harizont, Vertic, and Dyagon were kind of like the founders of all the magical creatures. Oh, but mostly Dyagon since he actually distributed the powers. Is that right?”
“Precisely.” said Lukas. “If you’d like, I can tell you more about Lynxalia and the Lynxalians tomorrow, as we continue towards the mountains.”
I raised my head and looked at him accusingly. “You still haven’t told me what type you are,” I complained.
He sighed and flew up to the tree, perching on a low branch a few feet above. “Embroll, it’s late and it’s obvious that you can barely keep your eyes open. I’ll finish up tomorrow. Our history is incredibly complex and I think you‘ll need to know more if we’re going towards those mountains.”
“What? Why?” I squinted curiously at the mountains in the distance, shrouded by the darkness.
Because those mountains that you’re leading us to is Lyx, the exact location of Lynxalia.” Lukas answered softly.
“Oh. Right.” I said softly, lost for words at the moment, remembering the strange moment where I had felt the urge to head towards those mountains. But why? Before today, I didn’t even know the Lynxalians actually existed. I sighed, rolling onto my back and staring up at the stars, twinkling in the endless black sky. My eyes began to droop and I yawned again. “Hey Lukas,” I mumbled.
“Yeah, kid?” Lukas’ voice was soft.
“You know, it’s not that terrible having you here. You’re not that bad at all.”
Lukas chuckled. “You’re not that bad either, kid. Good night.”
“Night, “I mumbled, before my eyelids fully dropped and I sunk, exhausted, into a quiet, dreamless sleep.