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The Dragonstone Defenders Series: Book 1—The Dragonstone
The Purple One, who goes by The Robed Ruler as well, created this land. He is dressed in purple robes; and owns a majestic staff with the glorious pink Dragonstone in its center. Purple represents royalty. Those who wear purple and possess purple hair and eyes have the same powers as the Robed Ruler by birthright. The Dragonstone sustains life to this world, Aranthalas.
Aranthalas isn’t gigantic enough to be a continent, it's simply an oversized island that sits in the middle of the ocean. No one has ever sailed off the island to discover what lies beyond our ocean. Yet there’s really no need, because Aranthalas self-sufficiently manages and that’s what matters, right? After all, with nearly every biome you can think of right here, with a large variety of climates, we’ve been busy exploring our Aranthalas. Speaking of which, Water Clan sits on the west side of Aranthalas in the middle of these vast Plains with Natural Springs River swimming right through our clan. Plant Clan is immersed in the middle of the Jungle. Fire Clan is in the middle of Firewood Forest. Why they decided to make a fire hazard out of that forest, I don’t know; but that’s where the forest received its name, because all that wood burns up eventually. Lightning Clan is practically mirrored from us on the east side of Aranthalas, except they don’t have a river running right through them. Ice Clan stands in the middle of the frozen Snow Peak Mountains. Lastly, Earth Clan lies in between Firewood Forest and the Jungle surrounded by the wide Plains. We truly live on a gorgeous island!
Everyone has different colored hair and eyes depending on what elemental you own. If you have fire powers, you’re born with red or orange hair. Plant Clan has different shades of green, Lightning Clan has shades of yellow and golden. People from Ice Clan have white or silver, people from Water clan have different shades of blue, and Earth has brown.
Everyone’s goal in life is to discover their true potential and fulfill their destiny. When people unlock their true potential, their powers become stronger and they sprout wings of their elemental power when they realize their purpose in life. For example, say someone decided that they represent the personality trait diligence, if that’s not a phase they’re passing through, the Dragonstone would enable them to unlock their true potential. That means that they are to be diligent in everything they do in life because that is what they excel at and diligence reflects that person and makes them who they are. Their purpose in life is to be diligent. Often, people go through a deep reassessing of their lives or think deeply about who they are. After all, who are we? What are we meant to do? The sooner you find out what your purpose in life is, the better off you’ll be.
When we unlock our true potentials, we receive wings; so the shirts we wear are sewn in a way where there's no cloth on your shoulder blades and upper back. This is to make room for your wings. If you are near or at the age where most unlock their potential, then you wear this type of shirt. The age most people discover their true potential is when they’re teenagers. Those who aren’t teenagers wear shirts with cloth on their back. Each clan uses a different fabric, such as Fire Clan. Their body temperatures reach 118 degrees Fahrenheit, so they need to wear material that doesn't burn or absorb heat easily. Ice clan body temperatures are 78 degrees Fahrenheit; they wear clothing that keeps heat in. Both clans can't touch each other because they'd injure themselves. For example, people from Water Clan can touch Ice people safely, but will still get a little cold. However, they can't touch people of Fire Clan because it would burn their elemental water skin.
Even though wars are rare, all the clans are on edge and so we train for battle. Bows and swords are handy for certain people with the right element. If you’re new to Elemental Clans, it can be hard to understand what everyone can do and not do. Let me break it down for you: Ice women can freeze their arrows so that once it pierces you, you freeze up. Our arrows can go through water just as quickly as they can in air, which is exceedingly quick. The main difference is that instead of freezing the opponent, it will drown their insides. It's really scary to watch, and I never want to behold the sight. Fire Clan can light their arrows on fire, but the arrows don't burn themselves up. However, if it impales you, you burn up. Other clans have perks as well, but I don't know their abilities.
Thousands of years ago, the Robed Ruler sent his six sons to start the six clans. Each clan is made up of people from the same elemental power, and is protected by its Elemental Stone of the same power as its civilians. The six elements are: Fire, Water, Earth, Ice, Lightning, and Plant. After he created Aranthalas, The Purple One hid the Dragonstone and sealed it away. We are to use it if we are in a time of need. However, it is a well known fact that if you touch the Dragonstone, you will die instantly. That is, unless you were chosen to wield its power. After sealing away the Dragonstone, the Purple One ascended into the atmosphere and continues to watch over us from his dimension. Over time, the six sons passed away, and the clans began to fight and dislike each other. Earth clan, power of earth and stone, tried to keep the peace. Plant Clan considered themselves the weakest of all the clans and therefore decided to isolate themselves. However, three hundred years ago the other four clans waged a war, which raged for many years. It killed thousands, including people from Plant and Earth clan. Since the casualties were atrocious, it was called the War of Endless Death. The populations decreased drastically that the war was called off because there were hardly any people left to fight. Even though the clans never forgave each other, they were pusillanimous to fight again, because their scars never healed from all the loved ones they had lost.
Lightning and Fire Clan joined forces, yet Lightning Clan only allied for the resources they might attain from Fire Clan. Everyone except Earth Clan, thought Fire Clan was the most evil because spies had reported that they wanted to rule the world and wipe out every other clan. Yet Earth Clan never believed it. Little did anyone know how right those spies were….
Now this is where I come in.
My name is Geyser Tidalwave, but for short, my family calls me Gey. I live in a family of sixteen, which means I have thirteen siblings. We live on the outskirts of the clan. We've had financial problems ever since I can remember. In case you haven't guessed what elemental clan I'm from, I'm from Water Clan. The name gives away which power you have, no matter what clan. However, spies have to change their names to go undercover.
I’m average height for my age, with dark blue hair and eyes. I have pale, fine skin, but it's not impossible for me to tan. I have a crew cut hairstyle, you know, buzzed all around but longer hair on top of my head. I even brush that hair upwards so it sticks up. If you were to look at me from the side, my hair would resemble a small wave, because it curls up at the front.
I'm the 10th kid in the family. What's embarrassing is that my younger sister, Rainfall, received her true potential before me at age thirteen. I still haven't unlocked it yet, and I'm sixteen.
When you discover your potential, your hair obtains the ability to glow. Your elemental power will also become stronger. Right now, all I can do is shoot water from my hands, but when I unlock my potential, I'll be able to create floating spheres of water that burst when I think they should. I'll also be able to swim in the water without paddling or kicking. In order to unlock your true potential, you have to discover what you were born to do. In other words, what your destiny is.
My best friend, Rockstorm, is from Earth Clan and is one of the three sons of a traveling merchant, Rockdust. I see Rockstorm every two months. We're the same age, but he's a few months older. He has light brown hair and hazel eyes. His nose and cheek bones are covered with freckles! He’s got a thicker, sturdy build and is at least four inches taller than me. He’s pretty strong and flexes to himself sometimes when he thinks no one is looking. He's a very nice, practical, down-to-earth kind of guy. We’ve been friends for years.
The story starts when I walk outside to meet him when he arrives once again with his father and two older brothers. Two days after Rockstorms' father trades with my clan, I will get to go with them on their travels. Their next stop is Plant Clan. I have never been outside Water Clan in all my sixteen years; which is why I was thrilled when I heard I could travel with them. It was almost as if the sun was shining just as brightly as my face was. I just couldn’t wait to explore and be away from the noisy and crowded house that never gave any privacy!
Let me tell you what I know of Plant Clan. For one, they live in the Jungle. Nowadays, they only trade with Earth Clan. It’s the only clan they're NOT isolated to. That’s it, no one knows much about Plant Clan because they keep to themselves.
When the Rockdust’s wagon was pulling up, I ran to greet them. I saw Rockstorm waved back. He jumped off of the wagon and we ran toward each other.
We completed our secret handshake: A high five, a low five and lastly a fist bump with an explosion at the end. Then we helped his dad unload his wagon. I helped with advertising, cleaning, and selling items at the window in the wagon. Rockdust gave me some cash for helping him sell items. Afterwards, we all dined in my backyard. Yes, my family was there, so it was crowded. Yet even with only eleven of my family siblings living in one house, was enough to drive anyone crazy.
Rockstorm's mom had died giving birth to his sister Glissanstone, so Rockdust left her with his sister while he continued his career with his sons. He decided that once Glissanstone was eight, he would take her and they could travel the world selling goods as a family. Rockstorm couldn't wait, his sister barely knew him at five years old because he rarely saw her. Like me, Rockstorm hadn't received his true potential, yet we hoped that when we did, it would be together.
That night, I slept out under the stars with his family.
"Hey Geyser?" whispered Rockstorm.
"Yeah?" I replied.
"When we get going and arrive at the jungle, there's something I'd like to show you."
"Ok," I agreed.
We talked about the adventures Rockstorm had gone on and what to expect. Eventually, sleep captured us not long after the conversation ended.
The next day dragged on because I was so excited to go on a journey. When the day finally passed, I helped Rockstorm and his family pack up and waved good-bye to my family.
Along the way, we played in the river, saw wild animals, and slept under the stars. The journey to Plant Clan is 225 miles from Water Clan and at the rate we were going, it would take us five and a half days to reach it. The five days went slowly, since I was eager to discover what another clan looked like. Rockstorm said he had seen it about twenty times, because he saw it four times a year.
Eventually, we reached the jungle, crossed the swollen river, and arrived at Plant Clan. The Jungle was humid and damp and there were countless plants and animals I couldn’t identify. For one, there was this animal that hung upside down and moved super slow. Then there was enormous plant whose leaves were the size of chairs! The residents lived in large trees as big as a small mountain. They traveled from tree to tree on bridges sewn from vines, wood, and plant fibers. Ladders led up to certain trees with shops. There was also a lift made of wood, ready to carry our cargo so we could sell it. Crushpebble and Duststorm, (Rockstorm's older brothers), and I loaded the cargo while Rockdust talked with a storekeeper about sharing property for a few days. Crushpebble cranked the lever as we slowly rose higher into the trees. The view was amazing! We could see the tops of all the trees in the jungle.
"The people grew these trees themselves," Rockstorm stated calmly. "That's why they're this unnatural size."
"Whoa," I breathed.
I thought my eyes were going to fall out, there was so much beauty to take in.
Once we arrived at the top, someone announced that the merchants had arrived. We took turns cranking the lever as loads of supplies came up. It was sunset when we had brought everything up, and Rockdust told the crowd that business would open tomorrow morning. That night, the clan had a feast to celebrate our coming. It was a big deal when someone came, since they practically lived in isolation. What was even a bigger deal, was that it had been many generations since they had seen someone from Water Clan. Many people came to talk to me and asked what it was like over at Water Clan. It was almost midnight when Rockdust finally persuaded the crowds to stop following me so I could get some sleep.
After two days of being treated like a celebrity and selling goods to the people, Rock took me around to explore the village. I'd noticed over the past three days that he'd been eyeing the volcano southwest of Plant Clan. It was about fifty miles and still active. Yet an eruption from its top wouldn't endanger the clan. You could see it from our view high above the jungle. The question was, why was he looking at it? I felt suspicious, like he was keeping secrets from me and we never kept secrets from one another. Later that day. We were walking and he whispered to me;
"Now is the time when I'm going to show you that thing I was talking about."
"Is the thing, the volcano?" I asked.
"But how are we going to get there? We can't fly," I admitted.
"Don't worry, I told my dad, he knows," replied Rockstorm.
"So he'll take us?"
"No, he's busy with selling merchandise,"
"Are your brothers taking us?"
"No, because this doesn't involve them,"
Now I was incredibly interested.
"Why do we need to go to the volcano alone anyway? We can't fly, so it's going to take us all day, and probably into the night," I argued.
"Umm…I think the fate of the world depends on it," Rockstorm stated casually.
"WHAT?! Fate of the world?! You think?!" I gasped.
"Yeah, I'll tell you more when we get there,"
"Ok? So we're keeping secrets now, cool," I sighed sarcastically.
We walked the rest of the way in silence, even though my mind was buzzing with questions. I was so lost in thought that I barely realized we had gotten separated. I tried to be brave because I knew we were both heading to the volcano. After a while, being alone made me frantic, especially with the thought that I might have to travel alone, at night, in the jungle with wild animals which I barely knew anything about. Out of fear, I ran as fast as I could through the brushes and thickets. I didn't care how scratched up and sweaty I was.
After twelve hours (well past sundown), and absolutely exhausted--though I didn't run the entire time, I reached the volcano. It was a mysterious and intriguing place, lava and water flowed out of a hole near the top, it was separated by stone. I'd figured that the lava and water had created the stone that parted it. A stone stairway led up the volcano and behind the water and lava falls. I saw light coming from behind the falls, I smelled the calming aroma of burning logs. I realized that Rockstorm was here and rushed up to meet him. Just as I reached the last step, I saw orange hair and discovered that it was a girl from Fire Clan, which is Water Clan's arch enemy. I quickly ducked behind the bushes.
I began to panic and think, "Oh no! Fire Clan has sent a secret army to the jungle! The war is going to start all over again!" Just then, I felt a hand cover my mouth. I jolted, and then realized it was Rockstorm.
"Rockstorm!" I gasped, "Fire-"
I followed him up the steps.
"Firesong! Sorry I'm late,"
"Hey Rockstorm!" smiled the girl.
They did the same secret handshake that I did with Rockstorm.
"Oh no she didn't!" I thought, and felt my face grow hot.
"This is Geyser," Rockstorm said gesturing towards me.
I walked up to them. Firesong gave me the stink eye, and I scowled back at her. She had orange, wavy hair and orange colored eyes. Her skin was the color of hot cocoa. I guessed she was something around 5 ft 5 inches. I would later find out that she is sixteen. She put her hands on her hips and her eyes bore into mine.
"What's a fiery red doing here?" I blasted.
"Fiery Red?!" she gasped. Her hands shot sparks of fury. "You're a clammy-"
"That's enough!" interrupted Rockstorm in annoyed tone. “You’re not starting a fight, not on my watch.”
We were quiet.
"How long have you been here?" asked Rock, turning to her.
"I arrived last night," she spoke stiffly, turning her back towards me.
"Why is she here?!” I exclaimed impatiently to Rockstorm, “Why are any of us here? You said you'd tell me when we got here!"
Firesong pointed to the wall. A picture of crystal was carved in the stone wall of the volcano. It had a circle engraved around it. Three hands with circles carved around them were underneath it. Each hand had a different symbol above it. The left hand had a symbol of water. The middle hand owned the markings of rock, and the right had a fire symbol above it. Lines connected each circled hand with the circled crystal. There was also some runes to the right of this hieroglyphic.
"I showed my father this," explained Rockstorm, "He put his hand on the one with the rock symbol, but nothing happened. Then I put my hand there and the circle around the hand glowed white. Yet it disappeared after a while."
"We think that the three elements of fire, earth, and water can unlock this door," suggested Firesong.
As soon as she said that, I noticed there was a door carved into the stony wall.
"Do you know what the runes say?" I asked.
Both shook their heads. It was dark, but the lava gave us some light to look at the runes. We stood there thinking.
"So that's why you brought me here? To try and figure out how to open a door?" I groaned.
"I felt bad keeping the secret from you. Honest. I just feel we ought to do something about it. Are you in?"
"I feel like we're not supposed to open it, like we'll unleash something horrible," I admitted.
“Well, I have a feeling that if we don't open it, we're going to regret it," Firesong replied coldly.
"Please?" pleaded Rockstorm.
"Oh ...oh alright," I sighed.
"Yes!" he cheered.
Firesong smiled. I noticed she had a very beautiful smile. We all put our right hands on the appropriate places with matching elements. White light began to glow from the circles around the hands in the wall. The circle around the crystal above all the hands glowed white too. Soon, the light was so blinding that we had to shield our eyes. We took our hands off. An extremely loud grinding sound filled the air and the ground began to shake and tremble. It's a good thing we were already kneeling on the floor, or we would have fallen.
Suddenly, the light and the noise died away. I looked, the hieroglyphics were gone and where the door had been, was a dark stairway.
I stared in disbelief when I saw a stairway that led down into the treacherous darkness. The others were all just as stunned. We arose and dusted ourselves off.
"Well, it's settled then, we were destined, we're the only ones in the world that can open that door," spoke Rockstorm.
"What? Why?" I asked.
Firesong was overflowing with questions, and she told us every one of them: “What do we do now? Why were we chosen? What's down there? What made us open this door?"
So many questions….
"Calm down Firesong! I don't have all the answers. All I know is that we have to do something. I had a feeling come over me to go to the volcano one day. Once I saw the hieroglyphics, I grew curious," admitted Rockstorm.
I didn't want to admit it, but now I was really curious too. It's not every day that you find out you were destined to open a door, let alone one that leads to a mysterious underground passageway. I looked, but saw no wings had appeared.
"Well?" I inquired excitedly, "Shall we go in?"
Firesong stepped up. "I'll go first and the light the way." As soon as she said that, her fists turned into balls of fire.
So the three of us walked down, first Firesong, then Rock, and I pulled the rear. We traveled through tunnels, and saw more hieroglyphics. It was an eerie place and I wondered if maybe we weren't the only ones down here. I stayed close to Rockstorm, who stayed close to Firesong's light.
After a while of exploring, we saw a light up ahead. It was a pink light, just around the corner. We went around, and there, sitting before us on a stone pedestal, was the legendary Dragonstone itself.
"You don't think that's the-"
"Oh yeah Gey, that's the Dragonstone," assured Rockstorm.
I felt drawn to it and reached out to touch it, when Rockstorm pulled my hand away. He shook his head, and I nodded. I had forgotten the well known fact: Those who touch the Dragonstone will die.
"Now what?" insisted Firesong.
The pedestal had three different symbols with a hand under each one engraved in it. We knew what to do. I put my hand on the left, Rock in the middle and Firesong on the right. The circles around the hands glowed the same white light. I was expecting to see another door open. Instead, a voice arose from the Dragonstone.
"Who is it that comes to seek the Dragonstone?"
"It is I, Rockstorm,"
"And I, Firesong,"
"And I, um, Geyser."
There was an awkward silence.
"Oh, yes, I was only joking, I need to keep my reputation as a powerful, solemn stone. However, I almost forgot you were coming!"
I looked at Rockstorm.
“Did that magical stone just joke at us?”
The stone spoke again: “What do you seek to do with the Dragonstone?"
"We don’t seek the Dragonstone," I admitted.
“And how did you know we were coming?” asked Rockstorm.
“I am the Dragonstone who wields magical abilities to see into the future and the past...obviously,”
Rockstorm blushed and turned away.
“Now back to the first boy, if you’re not seeking me, then what ARE you doing here?" spoke the voice.
“We felt like we had to open the magical door at the entrance of this volcano,” stated Firesong.
“Correct! I was testing you, because that is what mystical, magical stones do! Since you answered correctly, I will answer one question of yours," The light faded.
We took our hands off.
“But it’s been answering all of our questions this whole time,” I muttered.
"One question!?" gasped Firesong, "I have so many! How am I going to choose just one?"
"What's the most important question?" pondered Rockstorm aloud, but mostly to himself.
I had an idea. I put my hand on the pedestal again. The light glowed, and the stone shone pink.
"What is your question?" came the voice.
"No!" screamed Firesong.
There was another dreadful silence, and it felt even more awkward, because I could tell Firesong was angry. I could tell by the smell of smoke. I turned around and sure enough, smoke was billowing from her ears! She had a murderous look in her eyes, like a girl wears when her little brother has just annoyed her.
"Why were we chosen to open the door?" I asked.
"That was our only question and you ruined it!" she flared.
Then the voice answered my question:
"It is you three, that were chosen to unite the world. The Dragonstone will guide you. The runes on the entrance wall say: Three must unite the world, by traveling to the six statues and combine those that are inside into one. But be warned; the world will hate you and try to break you. One will be taken away and one shall have to make a great decision. Remember these things and all will be well for the tremendous amount of peril you shall go into,"
The light faded and I took my hand off.
"Ok, maybe that was a good question," sighed Firesong.
"One will make a great decision, the other will be taken away?" wondered Rock as he thought this over.
"Isn't it obvious? Geyser is the one to be taken away and I will have to make a great decision," announced Firesong.
I rolled my eyes. Rockstorm began writing down what the Dragonstone had said to us.
"Whatever it means, you two are going to have to get along and work together. Because I'm sure that the Dragonstone wanted all three of us to be in on this mission," declared Rockstorm.
"No, remember outside? Lava can't touch water. The rocks had to separate them," I stated.
"But the lava and water once were together. The rocks, or barriers, formed over time," argued Rock.
"Come on, let's get out of here. It's late, and I'm sure we’ll think better after a good night's sleep," suggested Firesong.
Once again, she lit her hands on fire.
We walked back up to the surface. We made camp, and went to sleep. The next morning, Rockstorm gave us some fruit for breakfast.
"So what now?" I wondered.
"I don't think this situation can wait," admitted Firesong.
"You think?" I glared at her.
She stuck her tongue out at me.
"I know, I know, but we're only sixteen, what can we do?" sighed Rockstorm.
"Well, you're dad's a merchant, so you travel to each clan already," I reminded, "But what did it mean when it said we must get that which is inside and combine those into one?"
"Each clan has a statue that represents the son of the Purple One that started their clan. Each statue possesses a magical crystal that has the same element as the citizens," explained Firesong, "I'm positive that that's what we're after."
"So we just walk up and ask for the crystal that protects them? Nobody is going to agree to give someone that, especially not to us kids,"
"Right...so we're going to have to steal it!" decided Rockstorm.
The two of us looked at him, clearly appalled.
"Excuse me?!" gasped Firesong, "But what happens if you're caught?"
"Aren't you coming?" I inquired.
"I'm from Fire Clan. Anyone besides those from Lightning Clan are going to flee in terror at the sight of me, or attack me.” She frowned, musing over the terrible outcomes. “So you guys do it, and come back for me on the way back. Now back to my question, what happens if you're caught?"
"Umm… I don't know, but it won't be pretty," replied Rockstorm,
"It'll probably hurt your father's reputation," remarked Firesong.
"Oh that's true," agreed Rockstorm, "Man, now what are we going to do?"
"I know it's a long shot, but we had just better not get caught!" I decided. "Asking for it is not going to work,"
It was decided.
On the way over, I enjoyed my time alone with Rockstorm again.
"So?" I asked casually, "How did you two meet?"
"Don't worry, I don't have a crush on her. You and I are still best buds. She won't get in the way," sighed Rockstorm,
He clearly was my best bud to know what I was actually inferring to. I sighed a sigh of relief.
"Ok, but I'm still curious,"
"That's reasonable. It was when my family and I were trading with Fire Clan. I met her and…."
"She doesn't like people knowing about her past," he admitted, "She's not bad. She just refused to agree with her clan that Fire was the best and that they should take over the world."
"I knew it! They are evil!"
"Geyser! Stop it! I told you she wasn't evil, she disagreed with them and they made her an outcast. Her own family disowned her. I found her outside their walls, almost dead. That takes an enormous amount of courage to stick up for something you believe in when you know your own family and clan will disown you."
"No wonder she was chosen, because she doesn't have it in her to be evil, even though I sure got the impression she did," I remarked.
"She's really nice. You just have to get used to her, she's still getting used to you. I could tell she was showing you her tough side. Promise me you won't tell Firesong I told you about her?"
"Yeah, I promise."
We continued to travel for the rest of the day, and arrived at nightfall at Plant Clan. We went over to Rockdust and explained to him what had happened. To my surprise, he took us seriously and listened. He gave us a pickaxe, which excited me.
At midnight, Rockstorm and I walked up to the statue. I was afraid people would wake up from the noise of mining and find us.
Each magical stone representing each clan was about the size of a pineapple. Have you ever tried to pick something the size of a pineapple quietly. Let’s just say that it's not a quiet operation.What made it even worse was the fact that each stone glowed its respective color, so Plant Clan's stone glowed green and at night we could be easily spotted.
Rockdust and his two other sons, Crushpebble and Duststorm, were leaving tomorrow. They intentionally stayed longer. Once Plant Clan woke up and found their beloved stone missing, they would check Rockdust and his wagon and be able to see we hadn’t stolen it. Then if needed, Rockdust would explain our purpose. This way, we would not be accused of stealing the stone, and a war would not break out. Instead, Plant Clan would think someone committed treason, and search their own clan after checking Rockstorm’s family.
I brought a dark bag to put the Plant Crystal in, that way the glow wouldn't attract anyone’s attention.
The statue was posing with its legs crossed and in a butterfly position with its elbows resting on its knees. The glowing green crystal was placed where its heart would be. I looked to make sure no one was around. I began to quietly chip away the stone while Rockstorm used his powers to create a rock and peacefully mined on the other side. After half an hour, the Crystal began to get loose. When it finally was loose, Rockstorm pushed it into the bag I was holding. We told Rockdust that as much as we'd love to travel with him, the two of us had to leave, because we didn't want to be around when Plant Clan found out. Yet he wouldn’t allow it because he said two teenagers wouldn’t be traveling the dangerous world alone. So we hid the bag with the Crystal outside the village. Sure enough, when morning came, Plant Clan was furious and searched us. When they found nothing, they suspected treason, and began to search their clan. We stayed a few hours so we would not look suspicious, then set off for the volcano again. On the way, my mind was whirling with questions, so I asked with Rockstorm.
"Hey Rock? Can I ask you something?”
“What?” he asked absentmindedly.
“Weird, why do we need to combine all six stones?"
Yet Rockstorm still wasn't listening.
"It's obvious that we were the ones who stole the Plant Crystal. Now Plant Clan is never going to trade with my father again," he moped, ignoring my question. "Plant Clan might attack us and when our clan finds out, they'll banish us! We'll have to live in the wilderness."
"Oh," I sighed realizing the consequences.
As if the weather sensed Rockstorm’s feeling, it rained, which made the journey unbearable. I wondered if we had heard the Dragonstone correctly. No, I knew we were supposed to have all six Crystals because those were the only objects in the statue. The rest was all cement. The Dragonstone never said how we would acquire the Crystals.
At the end of the day, we reached the volcano where Firesong had been waiting. My clothes were super wet and uncomfortable. We explained to Rockdust the prophecy The Dragonstone has told us. Rockdust still did not want to let us go, because he didn’t know how he was going to explain this to my parents. Yet I reminded him that they expected him to take me to all the clan except Fire Clan, so I wouldn’t be home for a long time. We suggested that he could drive us to each clan so we could steal each Crystal. He didn’t agree to that, because he did not want to be part of stealing each clan’s Crystal. Then there was Firesong, we didn’t have to worry about her parental status. She said that driving to each clan would attract more attention. She had a point, and I reminded him that the prophecy said the three of us had to go, not the six of us. The Dragonstone knows what it's doing. At last, Rockdust consented, grudgingly, because he was still extremely worried. We felt relieved, because we did not want to go against the Dragonstone’s commands.
"Yep, I see, there's no other way to do it. If the Dragonstone wants it, then we better do it. I think we should leave the Plant Stone here with the Dragonstone, and then get the others and bring them back here. No one ever comes here, and we could seal the door and make sure no one goes and finds the crystal," Firesong suggested.
"Sounds like a plan," I agreed, even though it was painful for me to admit Firesong might actually have a point. Firesong took the Crystal down while we studied runes and hieroglyphics with the torches she had made for us. Later, I met up with Firesong again to see where she had placed it. When I arrived, I realized she put it right next to the Dragonstone’s pedestal.
"Should we take the Dragonstone with us?" I asked.
"No, but we may need to later. I feel like once we combine all six Crystals, we're going to move onto the next step in this mission." she replied in an obvious tone.
"Ok," I said stiffly.
There was an awkward silence. Firesong looked at me. "Did Rockstorm tell you about me?"
"Uh…." But my face gave it away.
"He did! He did! Oh that Rockstorm!" she erupted.
"Firesong, it's my fault, I asked him,"
"Sorry, but I thought it would be better to get to know you since we’re going to be working together."
"You could have just asked me."
"I didn't think you'd want to talk to me," I admitted.
Another dreadful silence. Firesong took a deep breath.
"It's ok, I get it.” she sighed. “So what about you? I should get to know you better too."
I told her about my family and how I had met Rockstorm. I talked about my younger sister unlocking her true potential before me. She didn’t light up at any of those mentions or share anything about her family and friends. I also noticed Firesong didn't have wings or flowing, glowing hair either. Soon, we walked back to the surface, where Rockstorm and his family were waiting.
"So, what supplies do you have?" wondered Firesong.
We dumped everything out and studied it all: the pickaxe we had used yesterday, the clothing Rock and I had brought, blankets, and some food.
"What do we do now?" asked Rockstorm.
"Next stop, Water Clan!" I announced.
"But Earth Clan is closer," reminded Firesong.
"I don't think we should go there yet," admitted Rockstorm.
"Besides, I can get more supplies from my house," I added.
"We can use the river," Rockstorm suggested.
"We could build a raft?" inquired Firesong.
"That's a bit time consuming, we were just going to walk around it," stated Rockstorm.
"But we could use the river to go down to Earth Clan afterwards," she replied.
"I was thinking we would go to Ice Clan afterwards," I spoke.
"Fine, but I'm building a raft," decided Firesong.
"You'll burn the wood," reminded Rockstorm.
She sighed, thinking.
"What if Rockstorm and I built the raft? We already know how to make one,” I suggested. "And you could use your fire power to propel us since we're going against stream,"
"Ok, so let's pack up and head towards the river," declared Firesong.
So we sealed the tunnel. Rockdust, Crushpebble, and Duststorm said goodbye to us. Rockdust was still weary of this, and wanted us to go straight to my clan, no distractions.
We reached Deep Dish River the next day and began building the raft the next day. I wove the logs together with sap and vines. Firesong cut the trees down with her fire, while I made sure the forest didn't burn down. Rockstorm made the mast with leaves and sap. I also made a steering stick.
The next day we set the raft down into the water. We planned on sailing up Deep Dish River, into Natural Springs and up to Water Clan. After Water Clan, we planned to go to Ice Clan and hide the two crystals with the volcano up there. We all had a feeling that we should check out as many volcanoes as possible; assuming we might find magic there too.
While we were sailing, Rockstorm sighed. "I can't wait until we unlock our true potential, because then we could just fly and save time."
"Is anything dangerous in these waters, I can't swim," spoke Firesong.
"Nope, we're safe.” I replied. “But how come you can't swim? No one ever taught you?"
"No, remember! I’m from Fire Clan. If I touch water, I’ll injure myself."
"Oh right," I mused.
Rockstorm stared at the water as he spoke: "I just have this sinking feeling that something is going to spring-" Suddenly a huge fish leapt out of the water. It overturned the boat. Rockstorm and I tried to save the supplies. Firesong used her fire power to fly into the air, yet the ginormous splash quenched her flames! She plummeted into the water, but before she touched it, the fish jumped out again and swallowed her.
"NO!" screeched Rockstorm. He shot rocks out of his hands at the fish's stomach. It spat her out on the shore. I stared in horror at the slimy, unconscious Firesong. I knew shooting water would be useless against the fish, so I left Rockstorm to solely use his powers against the giant fish. Feeling defenseless, I washed all the slime off of Firesong using water I created with my powers. Her skin was turning red when my water touched it. However I knew I had to clean her off. She'd thank me later. Her fire power would be the most effective against the fish, so the sooner she awoke the better. I looked over at Rockstorm. He was blocking up the water to make the fish wash onto the shore. I shot water behind the fish, and it sailed onto land. Then Rockstorm and I broke the wall and let the river flow again. The fish became stranded on land, yet it was still alive. Rockstorm began to shoot rocks at it, but it only ate them. We were beginning to panic when all of a sudden a beam of fire shot at its chest and killed it. I looked behind me to see Firesong sitting up.
"Are you ok?" Rockstorm asked after rushing to help her up. As soon as I realized that Firesong was alive, I jumped into the water and swam over to where the dead fish lay.
"On the bright side," I smiled as I shouted over to them, "I know what we'll be having for dinner!"
"I'm just glad we're all alive," sighed Firesong.
"Well, the raft is broken, and the only supplies I could save were two blankets and the pickaxe," stated Rockstorm.
Firesong warmed the blankets up. (We were all soaked, and so were the blankets.)
"I thought you said the water was safe?!" Firesong blurted out.
"Oh brother," I thought. She was definitely hot-headed. "I thought it was, I didn't know we had fish that size in here, and I swim in the river all the time," I admitted. "I don’t know how it got here."
"Maybe from the ocean?" suggested Firesong.
"Natural Springs River isn't that close to the ocean," disagreed Rockstorm.
"Perhaps it swam upstream from the jungle? The tropical part of the river houses big fish. Plus, Plant Clan doesn't go fishing, so there would be a large population of giant fish down there," I thought aloud.
Rockstorm took the pickaxe and did his best to use it to cut the fish. The fish was twelve feet long. We wrapped the remains up with the salvaged mast.
"Now that I think of it, where are we?" inquired Firesong with an annoyed tone.
Rockstorm and I had been up and down the river plenty of times.
"Why don't you fly up there and see?" I replied smoothly.
"Well maybe I will," she said sharply.
I knew where we were, but I wanted her to find out for herself so she wouldn't get in the habit of asking me. The two of us packaged the meat. When Firesong came down, she reported:
"We're not that far from Water Clan, I'd say twenty miles to go. We made great headway in that raft."
"It's already noon. How are we going to carry all this fish? I think we’ll make it to Water Clan at night. Maybe by eight o' clock if we're lucky," explained Rockstorm.
"We should catch a ride when we reach Water Clan, that way we'll get up the Snowy Peaks, we can hike up the snowy mountains easier," explained Firesong
"Yeah, but how are we going to carry all this fish?" reminded Rockstorm.
"We’ll just have to carry it," I sighed flatly.
We continued to travel. Yet from all of our fish, we only traveled ten miles that day. We camped, Firesong cooked the fish, and we ate dinner. It wasn't that great without seasoning, but I was thankful for food at all. I would be happy to see my family again, even though it would be sooner than I thought. I began to feel guilty because I was afraid of what my family would think. Or even worse, what would my clan think?
"You ok Gey? You look pale," questioned Rock.
"Oh fish bait!" I exclaimed (This is a common exclamation for us Water Clan folk) "I thought the fire would hide my expression... I can't hide anything from you, can I?"
"I know you too well," smiled Rock.
"I'm afraid of what my family and clan are going to think," I admitted.
"At least you're not an outcast in your clan," stated Firesong.
"But what if I become one?" I moaned. "They may punish my family because of what I'm about to do,"
"Speaking of punishments, you two need to be the ones to steal the Crystal again. If they see me, they’re sure attack me,"
"Is there any clan you actually will help us with?!" I questioned indignantly.
"Of course, I'll help you when we reach Lightning Clan and Fire Clan," she replied in an obvious tone.
"Even when you're an outcast?" I questioned.
"Yes," she sighed
"If they see me steal the crystal, they'll never trade with my dad," admitted Rockstorm.
"I could be a distraction while you mine out the crystal," I suggested.
"Hmm… ok, let's do it!" Rockstorm agreed
The next day, we finished traveling the last ten miles, but we were careful to stay out of sight until dark. Finally, when it was pitch black outside, Rockstorm and I snuck into the clan. As we were drawing closer, I noticed some people guarding the statue. It was time for a distraction. I casually walked up to the statue. The Water Crystal was in its hands.
"Hey! Who goes there?!" shouted a guard.
Trying to keep calm, I answered smoothly, "It's just me, Geyser Tidalwave."
"What are you doing up?" asked the guard.
Everyone in Water Clan knew each other, even though the size of the clan was fairly large. I walked over to the guard.
"I wanted to make sure that the Stone was alright," I said truthfully.
"So you heard? Someone in Plant Clan stole their Crystal!"
"What?!" I gasped, pretending to be surprised. "How did you find out? I thought everyone keeps to themselves?"
"We do, but our spies returned and reported the incident. So Chief Riversand ordered us to take precautions,"
"Oh, interesting, when did you hear the news?"
"A few hours ago. Say, weren't you traveling with Rockdust and his sons?"
"Oh yeah, um-I was, but they had something urgent come up, so I swam back up Natural Springs."
"You don't happen to have the Crystal do you?" asked the guard.
"No, no, of course not! Someone in Plant Clan did that! Besides, even if I did, why would I bring it here?"
"Because you live here?"
"Oh yeah, well, I can assure you I don't have it. So... do you want to know what it was like at Plant Clan?" I asked trying to change the subject.
"Of course!” he agreed, then shouted to the other guards, “Hey guys, you want to hear what it's like at Plant Clan?"
Yes! This was great! Others were coming over.
"Well, they all live in really large trees that they grew themselves," I explained.
"So they live in tree-houses?" inquired one.
"Yep, I got to stay in one…"
I looked behind me and saw Rockstorm mining the Crystal. I continued to tell everyone what Plant Clan was like. They all had dreamy looks and wide eyes. I kept peering back at Rockstorm to check if he was ok. Once he was finished, I talked to the guards a little longer to give him time to escape. Then pretended to be sleepy and told the guards that I needed to get home and rest. Shortly after I left the village, I heard an uproar. I dashed into my house, and ran into my room, which I shared with three of my older brothers. Thankfully, they were all sound asleep. I quickly packed my things, wrote a quick note and left to join Firesong and Rockstorm back at our camp. The note read:
I know this sounds crazy, but The Dragonstone called me to do a special mission with Rockstorm and another person whom you’ve never met. I don't know when I will return, but if it was The Dragonstone's plan, then I know this is important. Sorry I can't give you many details, but this needs to be secret. I just don't want you to worry. I promise that I'll come back and explain everything.
I ran toward the camp, only to find the guards all around it, seizing Rockstorm. Panicking, Firesong took everything we had, gave the Water Stone to me and proceeded to blast all six guards with a ginormous flame. Some fell to the ground, others clutched themselves in agony.
"Come on guys, let's run!" she screeched.
We ran and walked and ran and walked some more until it was nearly eleven at night. It didn’t appear that anyone had followed us. However, when I looked behind me, I realized that Rockstorm was nowhere to be found.
"Firesong," I inquired, "Did you see the guards take Rockstorm?"
"Yes, but after that flame-oh! I was panicking and didn't think to check if he followed us."
I had been in the lead, I thought all that panting from running and walking was from the two of them.
We had run away for at least an hour.When we finally stopped, I realized we were in the Plains. The Plains is a vast biome with nothing but grass, fields, and hills. He stopped at a hilltop, from this view I could see that the guards had departed from our old camp. Rockstorm wasn't there.
"Do you think they still have him?" I asked.
"I-I don't know," stuttered Firesong.
There was an awful silence.
"We should go back," I suggested.
"No! We can't risk getting captured!"
"I know!" she flared as sparks flew from her hands. Then she took a deep breath. "I know," she said calmly. "Let’s not worry. He knows that we’re headed for Ice Clan. I’m sure he’ll meet us there. We can’t take a chance going back there, everyone will be looking for us by now. We have to move on.,"
"But what if the guards still have him?" I argued.
"It’s possible. It's your clan, you would know better than I would about what's going to happen to him."
"Let's see,” I said thinking back sadly. “The punishment for stealing a crystal is-"
"Please don't say death!" pleaded Firesong.
"I told you-"
"I'm not going to lie, Firesong, it’s death. That's why I want to go back!"
"Okay, okay, let’s not panic,” she breathed, even though she was speaking more to herself than to me. “Isn't there a prison that your clan locks criminals up in until morning?"
"No. For a serious offense like this, they’ll kill him then and there,"
"Great, so there really is no hope!" sobbed Firesong bitterly.
Suddenly, the words from The Dragonstone flooded my mind.
"And one will be taken away, and one shall have to make a great decision," I remembered.
Firesong looked up.
"That's right," she sighed, "This was part of the prophecy." She began to steam. (Everyone from Fire clan steams when they cry for the simple reason that water and fire create steam.) I felt really awkward, I wanted to make her stop, but with girls I had no idea what to do. Whenever my little brothers would cry back home, I would tell them a joke to try to get their mind off the problem. But girls? What are you supposed to do if a girl cries? I was also devastated that my best friend was going to die, or had already died. That made me feel emotional, but I didn't want to cry in front of a girl, especially Firesong. So I walked behind a bush and cried for a brief moment. When Firesong stopped, to my surprise, I stopped too. I gathered as much manliness as I could and strode up the hill again, someone had to take charge.
"Let's make camp and get some sleep," I decided.
So we did.
It took three days to reach the snowy mountains. Firesong and I traveled most of the way in silence. We were still getting over Rockstorm's death. The fact that we had to travel together, since we were still a little ridged towards each other. Why did there have to be a prophecy where someone dies? Rockstorm was supposed to keep Firesong away from me, and now I was stuck with a girl who not only drives me crazy, but was also my clan's arch nemesis. How were we supposed to unite the world when we couldn’t even work together?
On the journey up, we caught a yak. We rode on its back and it climbed the remainder of the mountain. One of Firesong's weaknesses was snow, which to me is the definition of cold and wet. She wore a cloak to keep warm. It snowed while we were riding up the mountain. Firesong, even with all the warm blankets, started shivering. I could tell she was weakening fast.
"Are you ok?" I asked.
"Y-Y-Yeah, I'm f-f-freez- I m-m-mean fine," she stammered.
I could tell she certainly was NOT fine. I could barely see where to lead the yak because the snow was turning into a blizzard. I could just barely make out a black spot in the distance. When we got closer, I realized it was a cave. I led the yak through the storm and into the cave, where we got out of the wind and snow. Thankfully, we had so much fish that we could use it as fuel for fire from the oil.
"Can you use your fire?" I asked cautiously.
"I'll s-s-see," she shivered.
A few sparks flew out of her hand. She didn't look so good. She was pale and her lips were blue, if that's possible. I was freezing, yet her body temperature for someone from Fire Clan is naturally hotter. So the fact that she was shivering more than me meant she was sick.
"I think you're sick Firesong, or something's wrong, not that I know much about that," I spoke.
"I d-don't have f-f-frostbite,"
"But I need to see if you're sick, you look like you're-"
"I'm not a weakling!" she said and passed out.
This wasn't good, she could die at that rate. I began to look for flint and steel. I had to travel far into the cave, but I eventually found some. After a few tries I managed to get the fish on fire. We still had plenty of fish to last us for months, especially since we had less mouths to feed. I pushed Firesong closer to the fire, she opened her eyes. After sitting there a while, she got up, thawed our water bottles, and drank some water.
Thanks," she spoke feebly,
I nodded, and stared out the mouth of the cave.
"Do you know where we are?" she asked.
"Near Ice Clan, in a cave,"
"Not near enough for them to find you,"
"I know I said I'd sit this one out, but I want to come,"
"What?! But you have a fever----and you're from Fire Clan! How will you help?"
"So? I'm part of the team, and after Rockstorm-uh, well, I prefer we stick together,"
I thought it over.
"Fine! But I warned you!"
We ate our fish silently. Firesong didn't bother to look at me, and I returned the favor. It was difficult falling asleep in this weather. No matter how many blankets I had on me, I was still freezing.
In the morning, the storm had died down, and Firesong stared at the cold outside wearily. Her fever was gone, and we had to move. It wouldn't be long before Ice Clan found out about us, if they didn't know already. Besides, the sooner out of this cold, the better for both of us. Water Clan thought they had caught the only culprit, so perhaps Ice Can would let their guard down thinking all was well.
"Come on!" Firesong declared coldly, "Let's get this over with."
We packed our belongings and mounted the yak. On the way to Ice Clan I spoke:
"So? Do you have a plan?"
"I wonder if their statue is made out of ice?" I wondered.
"If it is, then I could melt the Stone out of it,"
"But what about the fire you shoot out?"
"Who says I'm going to shoot fire? I can melt it simply by touching it."
"Yes!” I smiled. “But we need to find a way where you can melt the Crystal without getting spotted,"
"I'm bundled up, remember?"
She had a point. However, I was still less than optimistic about her being there in the first place and my mind had its doubts.
"Wait, what'll we do if it isn't made of ice?" I asked.
"I brought the pickaxe."
It was a good plan, but I didn't want to admit it. Perhaps Firesong was right to have come along?
"Alright, there's Ice Clan," I pointed as we dismounted and I tied up the yak.
"Okay, you can sit and watch,” decided Firesong, “I should only be half an hour."
"W-what?!” I stammered. “But that's-"
"Sit and watch!" she insisted sternly.
"No!” I protested. “I'm going to follow you and make sure no one stops you."
Firesong rolled her eyes at me.
“Fine! But don’t make me regret agreeing to this!”
Well, at least we both agreed on something: We both didn’t want each other here on this mission of stealing Ice Clan’s Crystal. We bundled up. when we reached Ice Clan we tried to act natural. Meanwhile, our eyes searched for their statue. Everyone was bundled up, though in different seasons, the amounts of layers differed. Every season except for Summer snowed. However, although the freezing temperatures were not as harsh during the Summer season, it made up for it with lots of rain. The surrounding buildings were made of wood, stone and ice. Which is not surprising considering that the highest temperature only reached 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
After a while, we made it to the frozen village square, where their statue sat. I looked like I was staring at a sign while Firesong went to go touch it. It was boring while I waited for her. I understood how she had felt both times when Rockstorm and I had acquired the Crystals. I watched as a snowflake fell on my hand and melted. I looked over at Firesong, thankfully, the Stone was close to the ground. This was because the statue was in a sitting position. It looked like it was trying to warm itself over a fire. Only the fire was the Ice Stone instead of a fire made of cement. Firesong was almost done. I continued to pretend to look at the sign. It wasn't much longer before I heard a scream and saw Firesong running away. I followed her back to the yak.
"Did you get the Ice Stone?" I inquired breathlessly as we arrived where I had tied the yak.
"Yeah!" she said sliding it into my bag. "Come on! They're after us!"
We mounted the yak and charged up the mountain.
"Who's after us?"
"I don't know! People from Ice Clan?"
We were now on our way to Lightning Clan. We managed to go a long way, but as you can imagine, yaks aren't the fastest creatures. After only an hour, the yak got tired. This was unfortunate because at this point we were still going uphill. I kept nervously looking behind us, expecting to see Ice Clan rushing toward us with weapons in hand. Thankfully, they weren't in sight and I felt relieved. We traveled for a few more hours until noon. Then we began to go downhill. Downward, we journeyed much faster, and by three in the afternoon, were nearly down the mountain. Of course it helped us speed up the pace when the yak slipped on the ice, and we all fell off and began rolling down the hill! I couldn't see anything with all the snow flicking into my face. Firesong caught herself and the supplies.
"Geyser! Watch out! There's a cliff!" Firesong screamed and began to run towards me.
“Cliff!?” I screamed internally as I tried to stop myself, but I hit a rock, flew into the air and over the cliff!
"Geyser!" cried Firesong.
It looked to be about a three hundred foot drop. Even though I realized I was probably going to die in a matter of seconds, I couldn’t help but imagine as I was falling just how happy Firesong would probably be when this was all over. She had probably hoped for something like this to happen! Just as I was ready to accept my fate, something caught me.
"No way!" I exclaimed.
Slowly, I looked up. To my surprise it was Firesong. Her feet had caught my arm while her hands were shooting fire so she could fly. I began to get burned as we slowly descended. When we landed I exclaimed:
"I thought you were-"
"Well, you know, with the attitude, and I-"
"Look, I'm not evil, in case you didn't know," she smiled. I realized that she had an extravagant smile, and I grinned too. She looked expectantly at me.
"Oh!" I said catching the hint. "Right, uh….thanks,"
"For what?" she snapped.
"Ugh! For saving my life! Do I really-"
"That's better!" She smiled sweetly. "Now we're even. After all, you saved my life yesterday."
She flew up and got our supplies and we continued trekking.
By nightfall, we had managed to discover that the North Volcano was forty miles away. There were five volcanoes in the land of Aranthalas, (Two were not discovered at this time). So At this point in our journey, we only knew of the North, Middle and the South Volcanoes. The Middle and South Volcanoes were both located in the Jungle. The Middle Volcano we had discovered was magical. Later in time, we discovered two other volcanoes that are in the far south region of Aranthalas. However, no one but Rockstorm’s family and us knew that the Middle Volcano was magical.
I lay awake that night in shock that Firesong had saved my life! I could have died! Rockstorm had said that she was really sweet, and that she was just showing me her tough side. The fact struck me, I had to have been rescued or our mission would have failed and the prophecy wouldn't have been true. The prophecy only stated that one of us would be taken away.
Firesong broke the silence: "Ssssoooooo……three Crystals down and three more to go. Tomorrow we should hide these two Stones in the North Volcano."
"Okay, and we need to make a plan for what we’re going to do when we get to Lightning Clan,” I agreed.
"Lightning and water don't mix,” stated Firesong. “I bet if you just get near the statue, an electrical explosion will occur!"
"What?! Electrical explosion? How big? Like fatality kind of big?"
"Yeah, probably," she sighed, as though she didn’t have a care in the world.
"Hahaha! Just kidding, Gey!"
Oh, so this was how she joked? I for one didn’t think it was very funny.
"So, no explosion?" I asked hesitantly.
"Oh, there’ll definitely be an explosion. The statue won't make it, but if you run at least twenty feet in next two seconds, you'll be fine," she stated casually.
"Hahaha! Gey! Come on! I'm being sarcastic again!" she giggled.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I must be really gullible.
"Could you stop with the jokes and tell me what’s really going to happen?" I asked in an annoyed tone.
"Ok, so an electrical explosion will occur. You should stand back, everyone should. Then we take the Stone and run for it," explained Firesong.
"Will the Stone make it through the explosion?"
"It should, elemental Stones can't be destroyed that easily,"
"How will we get past the guards?"
"No one trusts Lightning Clan, so they don't have much of a militia since no one interacts with them, except Rockstorm's dad and sometimes Fire Clan,"
A couple tears welled in my eyes at the mention of Rockstorm.
"No one warned them about us coming either. So they should be sitting ducks!" continued Firesong. She noticed I was quiet. "You ok?" she wondered.
"Yeah," I said, holding back my tears. "I'm going to go to sleep, see you tomorrow."
"Oh! Ok, well uh…goodnight I guess," replied Firesong.
Today was the first time Firesong had treated me as a friend. This made me feel better and less lonely. Maybe being with Firesong wouldn't be so bad?
In the morning, we voyaged to the volcano. I missed riding the yak, it was much slower without it. I also wanted my wings, we could be going so much quicker with a pair of wings.
It took three days to reach it.
"How do we even know this volcano will be magical too?" I asked as we looked for any sign of runes or a door. Then another thought struck me.
"Wait! Since Rockstorm is dead, how will we open the door?"
Firesong shrugged. Another thought occurred to me. "Hey, we should make a burial for him?"
Firesong looked up.
"Yeah, we should," she agreed.
We piled rocks into the shape of an 'R'. I found a sharp rock and carved the following words into a tree:
Here lies Rockstorm Granite, son of Rockdust
He was well loved in the United Trio.
Lived to be sixteen.
Died October 25, 1243
Firesong asked if I could put flowers next to it. After all, she was afraid they would wilt in her hands and turn to ash. Then we both said a touching statement about him.
"Rockstorm, I remember when I met you that day when I got lost in the vast Plains. You helped me get home. In fact, you did everything with me. I've never had a better friend, or any friend, other than you." I began to get teary, but for Firesong's sake I stayed strong. I also didn’t want to embarrass myself. Firesong was going to say something, but she began to steam so hard that her mouth dried up. So, we watched the sunset while we ate our fish and went to bed.
The next day we still couldn’t find a door, which made sense, because there was only one Dragonstone.
"I know the Dragonstone is what powers true potentials, but why do we need them?" wondered Firesong.
"They boost up our skills and tell us what our destiny is," I stated.
"I thought we had to discover our destiny and then it shows up? Still, there's got to be more to it than that?" mused Firesong.
"But that's how it's been all this time," I stated.
"We're already changing how the world is, Gey, maybe we'll change true potentials too?"
"Yeah, who knows?"
We were silent for a while, each lost in our own thoughts.
"So? Should we just hide these two Stones here and come back for them?" I suggested.
"Yeah, but we better hide them superbly, because I'm positive that people will be looking relentlessly for their Stones,"
"Even if this volcano is out in the middle of nowhere?" I inquired.
We searched around for an exceptional location. Eventually, we found it: a small crevice behind a rock. If you were to slip into it, you'd find a small air pocket in the volcano. We placed the Water and Ice Stones inside. Then covered them with twigs and leaves.
"Shall we go?" asked Firesong.
"To Lightning Clan?"
"To Lightning Clan!" cheered Firesong.
The journey would take a few days, so to pass the time and forget about how much our feet hurt, we talked:
"I don't think we need Rockstorm to get along," I admitted several days into our trip.
"Yeah. It took me a while to realize it too, but I don’t actually think Fire Clan is really any better than any other clan.”
“I hear that,” I agreed.
“Can we start over?”
"No! No! No! No! No!" I exclaimed.
"What?! What's wrong?"
"When we first met, you were all harsh and mean and-"
"Ok! Ok! No starting over, got it," she smiled.
I was beginning to notice the pleasant feeling that swept over me whenever Firesong smiled. I beamed. Come to think of it, I guess I can’t help but smile when I see her grin.
Suddenly I realized that Firesong was looking at me and I immediately snapped back into reality. I remembered what Rockstorm had said: "Lava and water were together once. The rocks, or barriers, formed over time," All of a sudden, I understood what that meant!
"I think if Rockstorm had been here, we wouldn't have ever learned to get along by ourselves," I stated.
"How so?" questioned Firesong.
"We wouldn't have communicated or interacted with each other,"
I wondered if the clans used to be allies with each other in the past before the War of Endless Death. When it came to Fire Clan and Water Clan, perhaps our clans used to be friends, or neutral to each other at least? Then what caused the rift between clans?
When it came to Rockstorm’s statement, I think he was really giving us a metaphor for our situation. I was the water, Firesong was the lava, and Rockstorm was the rock. Although unintentionally, Rockstorm had intervened too much when he was with us. This made it difficult for Firesong and I to learn how to get along. We continued to talk along the way to Lightning Clan, and before we knew it, we accidentally passed Lightning Clan, and reached Bolt Lake. Lightning Clan had named the lake because they were the closest clan to it. Something caught our attention; It was a band of Fire Warriors, and they were carrying a prisoner!
"We need to rescue that person they have!" I declared.
"We can't just intervene with their affairs,” argued Firesong. “Then we'll really cause a wa- hey! Let's go save that person!"
"Seriously? That's what I just said!"
"Geyser! It's Rockstorm!"
I took a closer look.
"What?! But he's-oh my dew drops! How?!"
Without thinking, we ran towards them and shot fire and water. One guard was hit and fell over, the others were merely surprised. They were about to fight back when their leader called out: "Wait! It's the rest of them! The Crystal Thieves!"
"Crystal Thieves?!" I asked myself. I decided I liked the name, but we already owned the name: The United Trio.
"I want to bargain!" announced the leader.
We walked up to them.
"We will exchange Rockstorm, for the Dragonstone," he spoke slyly.
"What?!" sputtered Firesong, "That's completely unfair! You're gypping us!"
"Ouch!" said Rockstorm sarcastically. "Come on, am I not worth that much to you guys?"
"Come now, I know you know where the Dragonstone is. Shall we be reasonable? If you say no, then I'm afraid we'll have to kidnap you all and force you to take us there," the leader stated coldly.
Firesong and I talked it over in a group huddle.
We wanted Rockstorm back, but we didn't want to risk getting kidnapped. Yet what would the Fire Warriors do with the Dragonstone?
"Firesong, they're from your clan. What would they do with the Dragonstone if they had it?" I inquired.
"Probably something evil, like taking over the world," she said matter-of-factly.
Our job was to keep the Dragonstone safe. Yet we needed Rockstorm. We finally came to our decision: "Fine, we'll go get the Dragonstone," I declared.
"Gooooood, goooood…” spoke the leader.
I felt like we were getting somewhere. Firesong looked serious.
“Don’t get too excited, I don’t trust them,” she muttered.
I looked back at the leader. Was it going to work?
“Men-seize them!" cried the leader.
All of sudden, metal chains roped around us. The men quickly tied our arms up.
“You already thought your friend died once. Imagine the pain you will feel if you decide to run from us...then we will make sure you see him die in front of you! This is your only warning; do not cross me.” spoke the leader.
I was nervous now, I looked over at Firesong. She was busy thinking of a plan to escape.
"Alright Red Blood, they're ready," announced a warrior. "Shall I take them?"
"Yes," replied their leader. “A little birdie told me that you'll need all three to open a special door,"
We all had to fly to make the journey faster. Firesong was commanded by the warrior to fly with her fire power, the warrior used his wings and carried Rockstorm and I. It was awkward being carried by a Fire Warrior, I won't explain how he did it, because it would make you feel awkward too.
We traveled for many days. I thought I would die of boredom or pain, whichever came first. Firesong was drained and kept burning herself because of her fire power. On the sixth day, she felt so tired that she plummeted out of the sky. We had to walk from the on, which we preferred. At this rate, it wouldn't take us long to fall asleep either.
"Hey! How are you doing?" I whispered one night.
"Exhausted," Firesong spoke quietly.
I looked over at the warrior, he had been staring at us. I felt creeped out, so I stared back. After a while, I stopped to look at Rockstorm, he was fast asleep. I looked back at the man watching us, he was still staring.
"Why are you staring at us?" I asked.
"Why are you concerned about her health? Do you have any idea who she is, or anything about her past? You shouldn't care about her! She's not even one of you and she's certainly not one of us either,"
"Just because she isn't from my clan and no longer yours doesn't mean we should shut her out. Your careless attitude is-"
Suddenly I realized something; his attitude towards Firesong was causing disharmony. Perhaps this was why the had clans slowly drifted apart? It was as if the Dragonstone wanted the three of us to bring unity back. But what could we offer? We were just teenagers!
You know what?" I said as I looked up at the Fire Warrior. "She is one of us, sure, sure, we might not be part of the same clan, but she’s part of the United Trio and because of that, you bet I’m concerned about her!"
The man fell silent. I went to sleep and the next day we realized he had gone.
The three of us looked for him as we gazed upon the vast Plains.
"Why did he go?" asked Firesong, "That's the real question."
"Maybe it was something we said last night," I suggested.
"Hey guys! No guard! No obstacles! We can just continue retrieving the Stones," piped Rockstorm.
I was still getting over the fact that he was alive.
"How did you escape? We thought you would be beheaded for getting caught," I admitted.
"You didn't come back for me either," argued Rockstorm.
"I'm sorry Rock. It was my idea, I figured you were already dead by the time we realized you weren't behind us," confessed Firesong.
"So how did you escape?" I questioned.
"Well, they were going to behead me, but since I was underage they decided to let me go. They warned me that if I were to ever come back, I would be severely punished. They recognized me as Rockdust's son, I told them my father had nothing to do with it. Thankfully, they believed me, but they sent a squad of warriors searching for you two. Hoping of course to find the Water Stone we stole.”
“What happened next?” I asked
“Geyser!” said Firesong in an irritated tone, “It’s rude to interrupt while someone is talking,”
“Sorry, it's just he paused and then I thought it was over,”
“Please continue Rock,” sighed Firesong.
“So I went searching for you, but I didn't find you at Ice Clan when I arrived. So I traveled to Lightning Clan, but a band of Fire Warriors found me. Their leader, Red Blood, had a vision that the Dragonstone had been found. I'm positive that he's working with some dark art, because how else would he know to take a band of men with him and search for me, aiming to find the Dragonstone?"
"That is strange," I agreed, "Maybe the Dragonstone has sent him to work with us?"
"Sorry Gey, but anyone who chains us and marches us back here isn't a friend of mine," huffed Firesong.
"Well, there's that," I muttered.
"We should check on the two Stones we hid. I know that only we can open the door, but something tells me they could open it another way...like with dynamite," suggested Firesong.
"Red Blood is after it and I'm sure someone working for him will be sent to retrieve it," spoke Rockstorm.
So we continued to journey to the volcano. However, when we arrived, Red Blood and his band of Fire Warriors were already there.
"Noooo!" I groaned.
"What?!" gasped Firesong.
"Thanks to questioning your dear friend Rockstorm, we found out that we need you three to open the door," glared Red Blood.
Suddenly, the warrior who had carried Rockstorm and I grabbed us from behind. He shoved us to the door, even with our arms chained, we were forced to place our hands in our designated areas. I was disappointed Rockstorm had spilled the beans to them. Now they would find the crystals, Dragonstone, know where our base was, and how to open it! No doubt Firesong felt the same way. I looked over to see smoke trailing from her ears. Rockstorm felt extremely guilty, his face showed it. We opened the door and Red Blood pushed us aside; "Out of the way!" he ordered. "I've wanted to see the Dragonstone for years!" Yet as soon as he stepped in, a wave of wind pushed him out!
"What?!" he screamed. He tried again. He was blasted back by another gust of wind. His warriors tried, and they flew back as well.
"Wait!" cried Red Blood, "It's them!"
My heart jumped and chills ran up my back. I knew he meant us...I had a bad feeling about this. Red Blood grabbed Rockstorm and had his warriors guard him. He pointed his fiery sword at his neck.
"You two! Go! Retrieve the Dragonstone! Or your friend gets it!"
What were we supposed to do? We were only sixteen. It didn’t take long for us to agree on what to do. We thought we had lost Rockstorm once, we weren’t going to risk losing him again.
“Ladies first?” I suggested to Firesong, who was the only girl here.
She rolled her eyes at my weak attempt at manliness. She could tell I was actually scared of what was going to happen. Thus, Firesong lit the way and I followed behind. We walked downstairs. It wasn't long before we found the glowing, pink Dragonstone. I remembered how I had wanted to touch it, but Rockstorm had held me back. I wanted to discover what would happen if someone or something touched it. Firesong seemed to be thinking the same thought. After all, how were we supposed to bring Red Blood the Dragonstone without touching it?
"Uh…. How about you do the honors?" she suggested.
"Not a chance...and you’ve already used that line."
"Fine," I huffed grimly.
I reached out and gave a quick tap on the Dragonstone. To our surprise, nothing happened.
"But it is said that the Dragonstone will kill anyone who touches it on the spot," recalled Firesong.
She reached out to tap the Dragonstone. Once again, nothing happened. We touched it for a longer amount of time together.
"Well," I remarked, "I guess it's totally-"
A white light began to glow from it. We were lifted off the ground a few feet in the air with the Dragonstone. The light encased us. I felt a tingly energy run through me. Were we unlocking our true potential? Then a voice rang from above. It sounded deeper from when the Dragonstone had spoken before. Yet it turns out it was Captain Red Blood.
"What is taking so long?!" he thundered. I took my hand off the Dragonstone and we fell to the ground.
"Let's go!" I decided as I picked up the Dragonstone.
As we were walking up the staircase, I heard a voice in my head. I could tell by the look on Firesong's face that she heard it in her head too:
"The Dragonstone heals the pure of heart and destroys the wicked."
I wondered what that meant. Soon, we reached the Captain and his warriors.
"Yes!" he grinned wickedly. "Now I can rule Aranthalas! You there!” He commanded a warrior. “Carry this for me!"
A warrior walked up and took it. Instantly, he cried out in agony and disintegrated before our very eyes. Firesong covered her face at once and I turned away. Rockstorm was so horrified that he gazed at the sight in frozen fear.
"I knew it!" muttered Fireong.
"Shall I have to carry it?! Or shall I have these pesky children carry it?" Red Blood thought aloud.
I realized that we had to go---now!
"Get Rockstorm and run, I'll hold them off!" I whispered.
Like lightning, I shot showers of water from my hands at Red Blood and his Fire Warriors. They all cringed and some fell back. They all were suffering, yet since I wasn't malicious, I stopped and let them live. I was about to retrieve the Dragonstone when one of the warriors grabbed my hand. I pulled back and the three of us closed the door to the cave. Red Blood staggered up and was about to slice me with his sword. I ran to the others and we decided that we'd be back to retrieve the Dragonstone.
After running a long way into the jungle, we stopped under a rock so if Red Blood and his men were to fly around looking for us, they wouldn't see us from above.
"That was close!" I exclaimed, breathing a sigh of relief.
"I wonder what they're going to do next?" wondered Firesong.
"Conquer the world, the question is wherein Aranthalas would he go?" replied Rockstorm.
"I wish we had watched which direction they flew off in so we'd know where they were going," I admitted.
"Wait a minute! What if Red Blood and his army were so busy conquering the world, that there would be few people left in Fire Clan?!" suggested Firesong.
We nodded in agreement.
"Or not," she continued, "They know we want their crystal, so they may stick around to protect it."
"One thing's for certain," spoke Rockstorm. We all looked at him. "The Dragonstone gave us this mission, and we’re going to carry it out," he said looking grave.
We all did. The sky was blocked by the rock above our heads, yet some sunlight leaked through cracks in the stone. Yet I was certain I could hear birds singing somewhere.
"So, what's the plan?" I asked.
"Umm...." Rockstorm trailed off.
"I have a plan!" declared Firesong. "We need to go to Lightning Clan, because other clans who don’t have their Elemental Stones will be who Red Blood and his men attack first.”
"Oh no!" I cried.
They looked at me with concern.
“Well?! Spit it out! What’s wrong, Gey?” demanded Firesong.
"You just reminded me...my clan doesn't have their crystal, they're doomed!"
"Ok, change of plans. We're going to defend Water Clan, since we're the ones who stole their Stone. After that, we’ll retrieve the Dragonstone!" explained Firesong.
"And how are we going to do that?" inquired Rockstorm.
Firesong shrugged. Rockstorm's and I sighed and our shoulders drooped. Suddenly, a Rockstorm’s eyebrows were raised and I could tell a thought had come to his mind.
"Actually, I have a dagger from Earth Clan. It's what I train with before I get my sword," admitted Rockstorm.
"And I have a Fire Clan slingshot, it's what I train with before I'm going to get my bow," added Firesong.
"And I have….nothing," I sighed.
"Don't worry Gey, since we're defending your clan, I'm positive you'll get a dagger there," reminded Firesong.
"But they saw us steal their Crystal, I'm afraid to go back, especially after what the guards said to me," shuttered Rockstorm.
"But we need to go back and save my clan!" I argued.
"We're just three teens Gey, what can we do?"
"We've stolen Elemental Stones," I replied, "Fought grown men and a large fish, traveled hundreds of miles-"
"And got kid-napped, nearly died, fell off a mountain-" reminded Rockstorm.
"Rockstorm!" I cried. "Are you my friend or not?"
There was a long silence. This was extremely important to me. If Rockstorm wasn't in on saving my clan--which is my life---then that meant he didn't care about me and friends care about that sort of thing.
"Alright, let's get going," decided Rockstorm.
On the trip, Firesong caught Rockstorm up on all he had missed. Even though some of it he had guessed. I filled in the parts she forgot, which were few.
"Wow!" exclaimed Rockstorm, "You saved each other's lives!? What's it like in Ice Clan?"
"Cold," Firesong muttered darkly.
"Their storms can become so strong and turn into something called a blizzard. The mountains are difficult for even yaks to climb," I recalled.
"I see you got rid of all that fish," smiled Rockstorm.
We were all tired of eating fish. When we had finished explaining, Rockstorm thought it over.
"I had a vision a while ago, it said each one of us represented something that had to do with uniting the world," admitted Rockstorm.
"Who was it from?" asked Firesong, whom I could tell was very intrigued.
"I don't know, I couldn't recognize its voice."
Firesong looked at me inquisitively.
"I bet you represent caring, Gey," she blurted out. "You're always asking if I'm ok and saving my back. Come to think of it, it's not just me you look after. You’re always helping everyone."
"What?! No way! Caring is some girl thing. Guys don't---care…"
"They can," piped Firesong.
"Caring just sounds---mushy," I argued.
"Fine, how about thoughtful? Or thinking of others?" asked Firesong.
"I don't represent caring! It's just a dream Rock had!" I shouted.
"I don’t think so, Gey, I think the sooner you accept it, the better. Don't lie to yourself, I think you should really think it over," advised Rockstorm.
"Look," I sighed, regretting I had raised my voice, "I may have been---thinking of others---more than you two recently, but it doesn't mean that's what I represent in the United Trio."
"But thinking of others takes a large amount of uniting. How can someone unite the world if they don't care about it? Let alone the people in it?" pressed Firesong.
"Well, maybe one of you two have it? Besides, I'm good at other things."
They shrugged and switched the topic. I began to think about the battle we would be in, it would be our first one too. Fire Clan would probably attack Water Clan in two weeks. It would take three days to fly back to Fire Clan from the Volcano, then a few more to gather troops and plan. Then it would take four days to fly to Water Clan. I figured they would attack Water Clan first, because they were against us more than any other clan, we were opposites. Fire and Water never mix, right?
It took seven days to reach Water Clan on foot from where we were. We didn't take the river because of what had happened last time, you know, the fish incident. When we reached it, we were all a bit hesitant.
"Ok, you two should probably hide, since Firesong's from Fire Clan and Rockstorm stole the Crystal," I explained. "Yet I don't know if they'll trust me,"
We made some good hiding spots that day. The next day, I took a deep breath, and walked into my clan. Someone spotted me, and exclaimed:
"Oh my dew drops! Gey?! Is that you? Your parents are going to be so relieved. Come on! I'll take you home. I hear some Fire Warriors have been stealing children from each clan. Is that what happened to you?"
"Uh… I went with my friend on a trip, and I just got back," I lied.
When I reached my house again, my mom shrieked and my parents ran to me and hugged and kissed me. Then they pulled me inside.
"We read your letter son," spoke my father. "Is your mission over?"
"Uh….well, no. Fire Clan is coming to attack, and so Rockstorm, Firesong, and I came to help defend."
"Who's Firesong?" wondered Mom.
"She's the other friend in the letter that I was called to do the mission with," I explained.
"If what you say is true, then I'm going to warn our clan leader," replied Dad.
He left. There went my family reunion. When my siblings found out, they wanted to know if I was going to fight. Mom said that if I could handle what I went through, then I could fight in the war. So my parents gave me my very own Water Clan dagger! They work the same way as swords do, just smaller. I trained with the other boys as days went by, yet at night I would return to my friends with food, supplies, and to talk to them.
"I can't stay here," I said one night. "They're watching me like a hawk, but thankfully they don't expect that I was part of stealing their Water Crystal. Also, I'm supposed to fight in battle with my family,"
"That's ok Gey," sighed Rockstorm patting me on the back."
"Yeah, don't worry about us," Firesong smiled weakly.
I could tell that they were bored and lonely.
"We have everything we need. Besides, we're training too," reported Rockstorm.
We all did the special handshake. I left wondering how long they'd survive boredom.
Two days later….the moment we all had been dreading arrived.
The Fire Clan army had arrived.
Scouts reported that it looked like there were at least nine hundred to a thousand men. Some women and all the children went to hide at the beach in the sand dunes. There was a nearby cave that they sheltered in, which was west of the clan. They had left three days ago, which left those who were fighting to defend the clan. I had watched all my younger siblings and mom leave: the twins, my little sister who had received her true potential before me, and my little brother. I wondered if I would ever see them again. The boys who were old enough to fight would back up their fathers. Some of the battle women were with us. Most of my sisters were going to back them up. I was backing up the eldest sibling in the family, Splashcanon, whose wife and son were with the others in the cave.
I was nervous. What if some of my family died? What if I messed up and that cost someone's life? What if I died, then what would happen? My team wouldn't be able to unite without me. Yet I didn't have time to think about that right now. I had to be watching my brother's back. I also had to keep an eye on Firesong and Rockstorm, they might need me. Then what about Splashcanon?
I saw the Fire Warriors line up for battle. I recognized the captain: Captain Red Blood. He held up the Dragonstone. People gasped when he didn't die. We were the only others who could touch it without dying, so why was he still alive if he wasn't chosen? The fact Red Blood could touch it made me wonder. Maybe Rock was right, perhaps he was working with some dark art?
The Captain uttered a few words: "Attack!!! Slay them all! We will rule Aranthalas!!! Wha-ha-ha!"
Captain Red Blood commanded the Dragonstone to destroy the land between the two armies when he touched it. To our amazement, the Dragonstone obeyed and a giant ravine was cut into the earth. Suddenly, Fire Warriors took into the air, with our Water Warriors soaring up to meet them. I had to stay on the ground, since I was wingless. I felt awful that the ravine was partially my fault, since we were the ones who gave the Dragonstone to Red Blood. What was my main concern was: "Why did he create a ravine?" and "How am I going to help Splashcanon from down here?" All of a sudden, I watched in horror as someone from our side was knocked out of the sky and plummeted into the ravine. I looked over the edge and instantly wished I hadn't for what I saw. My first question had been answered. A fall from that high to that low results in death. Usually warriors live because they don't fly that high above the ground, like in this battle. Yet the fall into the ravine, was enough to kill someone from a fall, and create a huge dent in our numbers. Captain Red Blood was a crafty man, yet I saw his weakness. We had to turn the tables on them and knock them into the ravine, and of course--retrieve the Dragonstone. I doubted that I was the only one who had thought of this, yet it was easier said than done. Then a thought hit me; I was supposed to unite the world with my friends, not fight it. If I wanted to unite, I couldn't fight Fire Clan, even if they were Water Clan's arch nemeses. However, how was I going to defend Water Clan, we were losing, and I couldn't forget my duty to my brother. I looked at Rockstorm and Firesong, they were standing back to back fighting off two Fire Warriors. I ran over to them, since I couldn't help Splashcanon at the moment.
I shot jets of water at the two warriors and knocked them out. We fought for two hours, with blood in the dirt and streaked all over us. Then I saw Splashcanon hit the ground, thankfully not in the ravine. I rushed over to him.
"Are you alright?" I asked hopefully.
He gasped and nodded, there was an arrow in his gut, which meant his insides were burning up. I helped him to the healing tent, where the arrow was taken out and he was fed herbs. I washed my face. I was relieved off duty, since Splashcanon wouldn't be able to fight. I walked out wondering how the rest of my family was doing. Maybe some of them were already dead? Perhaps they were scared, injured, or helpless? I shuddered at the thought, yet I didn't know where they were. Besides, I had a new job now: to protect my friends, they meant everything to me. I hurried back to my friends to see them behind a boulder and Rockstorm creating a rocky wall. This time, three Fire Warriors were attacking them. Apparently Red Blood had told them of us, and we were his only threat. In conclusion, Fire Warriors were to kill us on sight, and Firesong and Rockstorm were sighted. The warriors were taking down the wall quickly, it was only a matter of time. When I was a few yards away, the barricade crashed. Rockstorm and Firesong split up and ran as fast as they could to escape. Two warriors ran after Rockstorm, while another ran after Firesong. I knew I had to help Rockstorm since he was outnumbered, but Firesong was in greater danger since she was near the edge. So I ran after her only to see her use her fire power to start flying over the ravine. My heart leaped, this was a risky game Firesong was playing. If she lost, since the odds were in the warrior’s favor, she would die. I could only watch in terror as seconds flew by. Not long after Firesong took off, the warriors grazed her arm with her sword. That cut off one of her fire sources. Sure enough, she plummeted into the ravine. I panicked and before I knew it, I had jumped in after her.
"Firesong!" I cried as I fell hopelessly through the air.
What was I thinking? There's no way I could save her, I couldn’t fly and neither could she.
She opened her eyes. "Geyser!?"
"Well…you're not going to die alone!"
"Oh, well that's good, any last words?!" she screamed sarcastically over the noise of air whooshing.
I thought back over all that had happened with the United Trio. The times when I had hated Firesong, and when Rockstorm was taken away, hearing the prophecy, traveling, the huge fish incident, fooling guards, riding a yak, finding Rockstorm, hiding some Stones, making a funeral, stealing Elemental Stones, healing Firesong, falling off a mountain, making a deal with Red Blood only to be deceived, meeting Firesong and Rockstorm at a volcano that turned out to be enchanted, being a team again—only this time we were all friends, and fighting to save other lives. Then it ended with a war. I realized that I really did think of others, why else had I jumped off this cliff, even if it was pointless. It hit me, you needed to care in order to unite, not just with the world, but with your friends. That's how Firesong and I had become friends, it started with me saving her life in the Icy Mountains. If I had been heartless, I could have easily let her die. By helping others and being—ok, ok, caring, I could live with this.
"Yes! Firesong!” I shouted. “I realized that I do represent caring, and if it hadn’t been for you, I wouldn't have realized that!"
Suddenly I stopped falling and Firesong did too. An orange light radiated off of her, and a dark blue light off of me. I felt a weird power go through my veins. As a result, I felt more powerful. My energy was renewed. We gently landed on the ground, then stood up.
"I can't believe it! We unlocked our true potential!" exclaimed Firesong.
She was right, and I couldn't help but smile. Her wings were made of fire, and I had to be honest, she looked awesome. I wanted to see how I looked. I shot water at the ground to form a puddle, and peered over it. My wings were made of water, they were in the shape of large water droplets. Sweet!
"I discovered that I'm a thinker, you know, someone who works it out with others?" explained Firesong.
At the mention of others, I remembered Rockstorm.
"We should probably go find Rock," I suggested.
We flew to the pile of rocks that had been a wall, and tried to see where Rockstorm had gone. We heard someone land behind us, and expected to see a Fire Warrior. We turned around, ready to fight, only to see Rockstorm, with wings of his own!
"Oh phew! I thought you had died!" sighed Firesong.
"I got my wings around the same time as you two did, I watched you receive your wings and everything," explained Rockstorm.
"What happened to the two Fire Warriors?" I asked.
"What do you represent Rock?" wondered Firesong eagerly.
"Loyalty. You can't unite without that," admitted Rockstorm.
Suddenly, a fiery arrow landed near my feet.
"Maybe we should talk later?" I suggested.
"Let's do this!" shouted Rockstorm.
We set off to fight. We weren't the best at flying just yet, however, we knocked out Fire Warriors by testing out our newly enhanced powers. I called one, the Water Slap. It's where my hands are gloved in water, except they're huge 'water gloves'. In this way, I can get a close range to my opponent and still do a lot of damage. I realized that while I can't fight if I want to unite, I can't just stand by and do nothing while my clan fights either. I had to defend them. Firesong found a new move she called her Flame Circle. A ring of fire surrounds her while she shoots bullets of fire out of her hands in a matter of seconds. During that, her body can heal by closing the gaps of injuries so she won't bleed. This proved very useful in battle. Rockstorm could create a huge sand tornado that is controlled by him. All of these powers aren’t necessarily ‘normal.’ You see, when people unlock their true potential, it is almost as if their preexisting power’s are upgraded. The longer an individual hones their skills, the more tricks they will be able to do. As a result, we made a difference on the battlefield. This made Red Blood furious. You could even see the smoke pouring out of his ears from a distance.
"There must be more power I can wield from this Dragonstone," he muttered, "This is ridiculous! I'm trying to win a war, and I'm stopped by three sixteen year olds!"
He paced for a while, deep in thought. Then he walked up to the Dragonstone, its power radiated off of his face.
"Oh Dragonstone! I want you to give me more power than ever before!" he ordered as he touched it.
Instantly, he was lifted off the ground and a pink light encased him. He laughed wickedly as magical electricity coursed through his veins. He grew larger and larger and when he stopped, he had transformed into a dragon! This caught our attention.
"Did he just-" I gasped.
"Yep," gulped Rockstorm.
"How are we going to stop him now? Instead of having dragon-like powers, he is a dragon! Not to mention, he has the Dragonstone!" panicked Firesong.
"Well, we've unlocked our true potentials, so that'll help," I said positively.
"Yeah, we need to get that Dragonstone in the right hands again," decided Rockstorm.
Red Blood roared: "I no longer need this Dragonstone! I am the most powerful being on Aranthalas!"
With that, he cast the Dragonstone into the ravine. Then he flew off, destroying everything in his wake, even his own men on accident.
"Retreat!" cried the leader of squad B. Other squadrons followed. Fire and Water clan were leaving the battlefield. The war is over! My friends and I started flying. It was a wobbly start, yet we slowly and carefully descended into the ravine. The Dragonstone's pink glow helped us locate it. When we found it, I touched the Dragonstone and nodded towards my friends who followed my example. Instantly a pink glow encased us as it had for Red Blood. We began to levitate and felt a ticklish energy run through us. I know it wasn't the fact that we were getting our true potential, were we being healed again? No, we too, we were growing larger and larger. We grew until we reached the roof of the cave and caused an avalanche!
When the dust cleared, I saw that we had become dragons, though smaller than Red Blood, probably because we weren't adults. I saw that I was a dark blue dragon, yet I was also black and light blue too. Firesong was mostly orange, but also red and yellow. Rockstorm was mostly brown, but also green and yellow. It seemed like we had gotten an even greater boost of power. Dragon powers.
"Now this is more like it!" Rockstorm growled happily.
"Time to take out the other dragon!" I roared.
We whooped and cheered with renewed energy and took flight.
When we reached Red Blood, he was trying out his new powers in the Desert Plains. We all blasted dust, water, and fire at him, yet he shot a stronger beam of fire at us. So the fight started; clawing, flapping, shooting, roaring, and dodging in mid-air. The battle raged on for hours but eventually he retreated to the north. We saw from above that what was left of the Fire Warriors were returning home too, they were nothing without a leader. We landed.
"That was the best thing that has ever happened to me!" Firesong flared.
"Nearly dying?" I said shakily.
"No—the dragon part,"
"Can we turn back into people?" inquired Rockstorm.
"Maybe if we concentrate our power?" I suggested.
Soon, after centering our powers. (To our surprise), we were three sixteen year old teenagers again. However, there was something different this time. The parts of my hair were black and light blue. I figured it was from when I was a dragon, because before my hair was only one color: dark blue. Firesong's hair was orange, but now had bits of yellow and red, and Rockstorm's as partially yellow and green.
"Of course!" shouted Rockstorm.
Firesong and I jumped!
"What?!" I moaned.
"We have touched the Dragonstone and turned into dragons. Our different hair colors are what symbolize that we touched and lived because we were chosen to have the ability to touch it. It shows that we can turn into dragons!"
"And I LOVE my new hair!" added Firesong.
Rockstorm and I rolled our eyes; girls are always into those kinds of things. Yet I had to admit, we did look outstanding.
We flew back to the battle field and were horrified to see dead bodies lying everywhere. Without hesitation we searched for survivors and brought them to the healing tents. Men, women, boys and girls that had been in the war were dead. People counted the bodies, our army had 1,800 people in it not including the boys and girls, now we were at 1,340. Yet we had won!
After I had helped the last injured man into the tent, I realized that I was tired too. I sank down onto the ground. The moon had already risen hours ago, and it had been a long day. Before I knew it I had drifted to sleep.
The next day I found myself being treated by nurses. Scouts had reached the rest of the women and children hiding out in the dunes and told them that the war was over. The three of us rested all day and even the next. On the third day, our chief, Riversand, pardoned Rockstorm for stealing the crystal. Firesong was also allowed to come to the clan anytime she liked, since she had proven trustworthy. Yet she was forbidden to touch us and our things, since we were weak against fire and she could easily burn up our possessions. My mom cried at how proud she was of me. My family was overwhelmed and happy to be back together again. Yet it was time to tell the truth, and Rockstorm, Firesong, and I explained on day to the entire clan what our mission was. The chief understood, and said that he trusted us, yet if we hadn't proved ourselves in the battle he wouldn't have entrusted us with the clan's Water Crystal.
For the next two weeks we perfected our flying abilities, and also tried out our new powers by practicing. I have to admit, swimming without needing to paddle is quite useful, not to mention relaxing.
After training, it was time to go. We had done a great deed, yet we were only halfway done with our mission.
As we were leaving Water Clan, we saw an enormous hand come out of the sky and take the Dragonstone right out of the ravine. Then it waved its hand over the ravine, causing it to close up. We stared in disbelief as we watched the ground become as good as new. Then we saw the Dragonstone fly through the sky towards the jungle. The hand disappeared. I knew whose hand it was. It was the Robed Ruler's, or the Purple One's, and my spirit was renewed. We had just seen Aranthalas's creator's hand put the Dragonstone in its place. We didn't have to do anything. So we started out once again on our dangerous journey, and I shouted for all the world to hear:
"Bring it on!"
To Be Continued...
"Just because she isn't from my clan and no longer yours doesn't mean we should shut her out. Your careless attitude is-’
Suddenly I realized something; his attitude towards Firesong was causing disharmony. Perhaps this was why the had clans slowly drifted apart? It was as if the Dragonstone wanted the three of us to bring unity back. But what could we offer? We were just teenagers!”
"It is you three, that were chosen to unite the world. The Dragonstone will guide you. The runes on the entrance wall say: Three must unite the world, by traveling to the six statues and combine those that are inside into one. But be warned, the world will hate you and try to break you. And one will be taken way, and one shall have to make a great decision. Remember these things, and all will be well for the great peril you shall go into," ---Dragonstone