Son of the Goddess

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Eclipse, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    My Apologies
    First off, I apologize because I decided to discontinue that series I started not long ago. The way it was intended was rushed and I don't like posting rushed stories since I tend to discontinue them because rushing things has never been my style. I like taking my time when writing, and I sure as hell like to put my deep thoughts into the chapters I deliver, that's why some are very long. But like I tend to say, "What must be said has to be said."

    Story Info
    Anyway, I am not gonna say much in regards to this story, just that in my attempt to put something together when it comes to my created Phydoria world and some creatures, this was a failed attempt. The story is finished, and it's a good read imo, but it was not to my liking for the simple fact that I did not get to explain much of what is going on in Dragiria. The other story I have going, which is close to being put out in the market, actually goes very deep in that regard, deep enough to have given me many roads/options for a series before the grand finale takes place. Anywho, in the past I let many of you down by starting a few stories and dropping them. Most of you are gone now, but not forgotten. I intend to honor most of you signees through this story; I turned it into a ZD-style story for that matter, actually.

    Warning

    SotG
    is around 10 chapters long, not including this intro, so more like 11-12. I warn you that this intro and perhaps chapters 1-2 are taken from A Dragir's Tale, but I have reworked them for this story, so they are really not the same, I recommend that you read them again if you are gonna follow the story. Oh yeah, and please excuse any mistakes/typos you might find; I'm not perfect in my writing, and neither are some Pro writers, believe me. But I do keep working hard to avoid as many errors as possible.

    Thanks!
    Thank you in advance if you read the story. ~Eclipse

    Rated PG-13

    Honored ZDers:
    Mases, Mr. Mosley, Zeruda, Anubis, Ninja13, Tony


    Son of the Goddess
    By: Eclipse

    Prelude: A daughter’s Sadness


    The Bog, 3rd of July, Year 300

    The huge bog was her realm, a well-hidden large stone temple was her main residence, and the whole world of Phydoria was hers to protect. For the latter, that is what the goddess Zeruda had strongly believed in her mind and heart ever since humanity had lost its perfection in the early dawn of time.

    Not a day had gone by since her arrival to the bog nearly five hundred years ago without her venturing out of her hideout to keep an eye out on many things. Yes, many different things, for her entire bog was always bustling with some form of activity or other.

    One main thing that the deity had been keeping a wary eye on lately was an invisible magical seal found underneath the earth’s crust, a seal that only she could feel via magical readings, for she had been granted the power to do that by her own Father, who had been the one that had placed the seal over the entire earth many, many years ago. The sealing of her own brother—an entity known as Mosley—had happened exactly five centuries ago. With much of that span of time already long gone, the seal’s powerful magic had dwindled considerably.

    With her eyes closed and her hands surrounded by holy-based reading magic, Zeruda could feel the seal’s power dwindling a bit more that early rainy morning. She knew that for every day that passed, the seal became weaker. Through the use of her innate magical powers, she easily knew that the seal would remain strong at least for the remaining five centuries that still needed to pass before it finally expired.

    To a human, or a lesser being gifted with a short span of life, perhaps those many years would have seemed like a lot of time to wait on, an eternity! But not to the deity Zeruda. She had already lived several chiliads and knew quite well just how fast time really passed.

    Feeling troubled within as she stood in the middle of that tree-infested jungle that she called her home, Zeruda knew those five centuries would come to pass in a snap, just like a sudden gust of wind passing through an open field. When the thousand-year seal finally ended, her brother would be coming out from that dark place that he had been confined to. He would not be coming out just to greet her or admire the world where he had once walked upon. No, Zeruda and the whole world of Phydoria would be in for terrible, dark times. For coming alongside her brother would be his dark minions: hosts of demons and other macabre living beings that he, himself, had created long ago.

    The last time that Mosley had been on Phydoria soil, he’d had in mind destroying the same beings that he had been assigned to care for and watch over alongside with Zeruda and a host of Celestials. Mosley, who had been the first ever son to be created directly by Mases, the one true god, had been given great power; enough to be known as the second most powerful being alive, just second to his father. Mases All-Father had given his son great knowledge and wisdom to go with that power, as well as many visions of great things that were to come later in time for the entire universe that he had created. But Mosley’s heart and mind soon became clouded with avaricious dreams of obtaining overall power from his father and for himself. The son loved all that his father had come to create and his plans for the future, but he wanted all that for himself. He'd wanted that all credit be given to him and no one else, not even the rightful deserver.

    And so knowing that he had been given great power, perhaps enough to even challenge his mighty father’s divine authority, Mosley disobeyed his father’s wishes when the time to obey came. He, and the many celestial creatures that had gone down with him to the then-perfect world of Phydoria, had done the opposite of what they had been ordered to do. Instead of watching over the humans and animals, and maintaining the earth in favorable conditions for their thriving existence, Mosley ordered many of his celestial brethren to expose themselves to the earthly creatures and to kill many of them. Fearing the All-Father’s son wrath, the celestians saw no other option before them but to obey his wishes. Not knowing what killing was all about, the celestians had hesitated. But Mosley sent a dark, magical wave forth, a power that invaded the celestians’ minds and showed them what they had to do. So they did with their bare hands as he had commanded them, to strangle the humanly creatures, thus ending the ever cycle of life and bringing death into existence. After many of the humans were killed that fateful day, Mosley and his minions took the women—who were beautiful and enchanting to the eye—and had coitus with many of them. These actions would have consequences for humanity in later times, for from the union between celestial beings and humans sprouted forth the Gigants, colossal creatures of tremendous power.

    Zeruda, who had been sent alongside with Mosley as a co-leader of the operation, had been betrayed right from the start. Upon arriving to earth, she had gone in another direction with a great group of helpers, willing to get started with her caring duty. Soon, though, news arrived to her of what had happened. Terrified, shocked, and feeling heavyhearted at what Mosley had so unexpectedly done, she tried to return to Celestia and inform her father of it. But Mosley and a host of his followers stopped her from doing that before she could leave. They appeared out of thin air, surprising her and the many celestial sons and daughters that were there. His followers disposed of those that did not bend knee and offer their services to him, but only a few were killed, as most chose to live instead of dying. Zeruda was alone before a multitude of betrayers, killers, cruel beings with no honor, all led by her own brother.

    While having her surrounded, Mosley stepped in the middle of the wide circle that his followers had formed around his sister. He proceeded to offer her a place at his side, but Zeruda refused it immediately. Her brother, knowing that Zeruda was very powerful herself, tried to convince her to join his side so he could see his ultimate plan for total supremacy come true. The beautiful goddess literally spat on his face and slapped him so hard after Mosley had assured her that those plans included getting rid of their mighty father, whom they were subject to obey probably for all eternity.

    “I am offering you freedom from his constant watch,” Mosley had said back then. “Side with me and you no longer will have the necessity to remain tied to his will. You will be free to do whatever you want. You and I can be the masters of the universe...”

    “You fool,” Zeruda had replied angrily. “We are free to do as we please, always have been. You are witness to this yourself with these perverted actions you have taken. Now nothing good will come out from all this. You have disobeyed our father and have started a chain reaction that will be the end of all that is good and perhaps of us all in the end.”

    Zeruda had slapped him hard again, hoping that with that slap she would make him come back to reality. When Mosley had turned a menacing glare upon her, she had bellowed at him, “I will never join your evil plans, brother.”

    Mosley, of course, had not taken his sister’s refusal very well. Before Zeruda was able to use some of her powers on him, he’d proceeded to place a sleeping spell on her that forced her to lose consciousness for a long while. Some of Mosley’s lackeys rushed towards her, eager to dispose of her as they had done with the human males, but Mosley detained them from doing that by saying that she was of real value to him.

    “I have better plans for her,” he had said with a wry smile upon his face.

    While she was asleep and at his mercy, Mosley told his lackeys, “That doesn’t mean we cannot have our fun with her.”

    He used his dark magic and placed upon her a strong, vile curse, which turned his sister’s incredible beauty to sheer ugliness. Since they had been in a beautiful forest during their confrontation, Mosley had been able to get his hands on a black serpent that had been dangling inoffensively from a branch of a nearby tree. Using his power, Mosley fused the serpent with his sister’s body, turning them both into one new being right in front of a host of his followers, who had watched in both admiration and great fear. Zeruda’s beauty had ended that day, replaced with sheer ugliness. Her once beautiful face became filled with warts and bumps. Her radiant, long reddish hair became menacing, dark-colored living serpents. Mosley had allowed her to keep her alluring upper body, but he had not been too merciful with her lower part, which the curse turned into nothing but the long body of a serpent.

    When Zeruda had woken up many hours later, she found out that she had lost her God-given beauty and that she had been transformed into a grotesque-looking serpentine monster. Mosley had only placed the curse on her hoping that she would lose heart and come to him begging to be turned back to her own self, for in the confines of Celestia, Zeruda had been well known to be overly proud of her God-given beauty.

    But Zeruda never did that. She never went to him seeking to be restored. Surely heart broken and feeling very miserable, she returned to Celestia and informed her father of all that had transpired in the world of Phydoria, though her father had already been well aware of all that had happened.

    He had bid his daughter to have patience. He let her know that he had already been working on a solution ever since the problem had taken place. With the most comforting voice that Zeruda knew, he assured her that everything would be fine.

    After Mosley’s horrifying events in Phydoria, humanity lost its innocent state in which they had been since god had created them and came to understand good and evil and right from wrong. Mosley the unwise and his minions had brought them much misery. Mosley had not only brought death to them on the first day of his rebellion, but he had also unveiled their eyes to see the truth of existence. Mosley and his followers not only continued to oppress and dominate humanity through wicked acts, but the Disobedient Child—as he later would come to be known as—created a unique realm underneath the earth’s crust. Cocytos was the name he chose to give that place. There it was where he and his many minions resided. Within that mighty realm, Mosley gave his most devoted followers a portion of land to rule, as well as many gifts, such as magical weapons, slaves, minions, very valuable items, and many other things.

    With the power of creation at his command, Mosley had created Cocytos for a single purpose: to rival his father’s realm, which was benign Celestia, and also his very will. Every living soul became tied to Cocytos in a way. Every being that perished was to end in Cocytos, at least in soul form, which was the essence of life within a living being. There they were to suffer eternal torment, which went opposite of his father’s will, which had been the contrary: ever lasting life and peace for all the creatures he had created.

    All those actions and atrocities performed by Mosley did not go unnoticed by Mases, who grew very disappointed with his son for every evil action that he took, for every little bit he changed of his grand design. The lord almighty responded in a harsh way soon after, but because he loved his son as he loved everything else in existence, he did not go as far as to kill him. The Supreme God was not involved directly in what came to happen next, rather he issued orders and these were carried out by his faithful servants.

    What ensued was a terrible, long and bloody war on Phydoria soil, a war fought between Mases’s forces and Mosley’s own. Mases had not wanted to start a war, for he abhorred violence and chaos. But his son had gone too far, and if left unchecked, he could go even further. So Mases had ordered his forces to bring his son alive without fighting. Four sons of the Supreme God, of the most powerful kind, went down to earth, two of them carrying mighty, magical chains, which they were to use to bind Mosley. But Mosley had not planned to come along nicely. He and his followers began the war by attacking and killing those mighty beings that had gone seeking to entrap him so he could face justice before his father. Things got out of hand then. Seeing how Mosley and his forces had killed their heavenly brothers without just cause and no remorse, driven by sheer rage, other mighty beings disobeyed their heavenly orders and soon descended down upon Phydoria and fought Mosley and his forces head on. The battle was brutal and bloody, and though Mosley and his forces took quite a beating, for it had been a great number of celestians that had come down, they ended up winning the first major battle and sent the invaders retreating back to heaven, where they also faced the Almighty’s disapproval. Though they were chastised for disobeying high orders, the celestians were allowed to remain in Celestia under tight measures. Mosley, though, erred in continuing the war by sending his forces to Celestia in an attempt to invade it. There, Mosley’s forces took quite a beating. The dark-sided beings were defeated easily and sent back to Phydoria with their tails between their legs.

    Mosley vowed revenge for the many that had fallen. He soon began using his power of creation in an attempt to top his father once and for all. Mosley began creating an assortment of other creatures for what would be an all-out attack upon the heavenly realm. He used the elements and even humans in his inventions to create new beings, an action that really upset his father. Soon, many new creatures and monsters were bred to life.

    Knowing about his evil plans, Mases All-Father knew that the time to take the power of creation from his son had come. Before he had stripped him of those powers, though, Mosley had managed to create quite an impressive army.

    Furious at having lost his power, Mosley did not hesitate in sending his massive army against Celestia once again. This time, though, he led them to the celestial realm himself, leading the way and cutting down foes with his powerful dark sword Nefarious. Their numbers were many, so they put up a good fight against the forces of good, but they would not prevail. Mosley led his main forces to Fimia, the region where Lord Mases was said to reside. This place was beautiful beyond imagination. Seven suns were visible during the day on a clear blue sky. At night, three large moons would shine their light down upon Celestia and its many residents. Green fields could be seen all over the region, as well as tall, craggy mountains in some areas, and crystal clear lagoons and rivers ran all over the vast region. A mighty crystal palace stood in the middle of it all, with many smaller structures standing all around. This was Lord Mases’s main residence, the place where he took care of watching over his many creations, the heart of the universe, it was said it was.

    Mosley and his minions came to that holy place seeking to dethrone the Almighty. Believing that they were just days away from achieving total victory and seeing their king crowned, the forces of darkness fought on with tremendous ferocity. Though strong and numerous as they were, Mosley and his minions put up a good fight but would not prevail. In the heavens, Lord Mases never joined the battle. Instead, he gave his daughter Zeruda his great sword of power, a weapon known as Excalibur, and he ordered her to deal with Mosley and his invading forces. Soon enough, Mosley and his followers were dealt a severe blow. They were put on the retreat by Zeruda, other mighty gods and goddesses who were brothers and sisters to both Mosley and Zeruda, and the remaining elite army of Celestia.

    Victory belonged to the Celestians, but it had not come before Mosley had damaged the heavenly realm, Phydoria, and had changed the cycle of life in the entire universe. The gods and goddesses that had fought in the name of the All-Father pursued Mosley and his minions back to the world of Phydoria. The remaining dark legions fought the pursuers there once again, while Zeruda and Mosley fought it out in a nearby planet known as Esspolion. Mases's siblings fought a great battle there, both hurting each other and the planet terribly with their power. So much power did each other use against the other that Esspolion exploded and remained as one half, with many debris from the other exploded half visible all around it in outer space. Despite putting up a good fight, the dark god was not able to win. Down to Phydoria he went, seeking to escape his sister's wrath, who, after what he had done to her, had been full of rage. Zeruda gave pursuit. On Phydoria soil they fought again, and there his forces tried to come to his aid, but they were soundly beat and forced to disperse. Their king and god fought against Zeruda with his dreaded dark sword, but wielding Excalibur and through the use of her God-given powers, Zeruda was able to thwart Mosley’s attempt on her life. They both put a good hurt on each other again, but it would be the dark-souled god that would have no choice but to retreat and descend to his own dark realm. Soon after, Zeruda, the leader of Mases’s forces, sealed Cocytos’s main gate with a powerful enchantment.

    At Lord Mases’s call, the celestians left the human realm and returned to the heavenly realm, their place of origin, where they received new orders. They were to rebuild Celestia, for the war had left too much damage in many areas. As to Zeruda, who had been transformed into that grotesque monster, she had not gone back to her original homeland after the war concluded and the sons and daughters of the great god had been called back. She chose to remain behind in the human world, in that place that had witnessed the last tough battle between Mosley and herself.

    Many of her brothers and sisters came to believe that she had been ashamed to return to Celestia looking like the ugly, serpentine monster that she was, but the real cause behind her decision to remain in Phydoria had been another. Mosley had not been defeated completely, he had only been made to retreat and Zeruda had sealed him in his dark realm. He would be back. Lord Mases knew that too, and so when he heard his daughter’s call coming to him through prayer from the world of men, he was quick to attend her call.

    “Give me time, father,” she had plead. “And I will make sure that Mosley is brought before your presence to face your justice.”

    The All-Father, ever pleasing and comprehensive, conceded his daughter that privilege, but only because of two reasons. One was because he saw in Zeruda the tremendous love that she had for the humans and even her own brother Mosley. Deep down, Zeruda was much like her father. She had not been able to kill Mosley in the last battle that they had fought, Zeruda had wanted to capture him alive. Somehow, he had eluded her powers and managed to escape to his realm. Zeruda had had no other choice but to seal him there, hoping that another chance would come in which she could attempt to capture him and then take him to her father.

    The other reason was simple. The All-Father had the power to kill or undo anything that he had created. He was a god of power, of love, of life and not death. He was kind, benevolent, all-knowing, and overly patient. Mases was good to the extent of the word, a being unlike no other. Mosley was his son, the first ever to have been created by his hand. The All-Father would never take life with his own hands from any living being, though, not even his disobedient child’s, for it was he who had given it to begin with. He was a god of life, not death. This is where Zeruda had come to play an important part during the war. Having been the first daughter to be created, and second child over all, she had been given the authority to defend Celestia, to kill its enemies when the time had come. And now she was asking to become an intermediate sanctioned by the All-Father to fix the problem in the world of Phydoria that was Mosley.

    “You have the time, my daughter,” the All-Father told Zeruda through the use of loud thunderclaps, for there was no need for the All-Father to be visibly present in the world of Phydoria—as the omnipotent being that he was, he was present, yet invisible and not in his old man looks, a form he cherished and used mostly when he did decide to show himself to his sons and daughters. “But keep in mind that the humans and all other species residing in this world will be in the midst of it all during your conflict with Mosley. They will suffer much, and in time you may, too. But I know what lies in your heart, my child. You want to bring me Mosley alive, and I do believe in you. I believe that you can utilize your strength and courage to make it happen, else I wouldn’t have named you my armed arm. Excalibur will be of great help to you, keep it. Use it to protect yourself from harm if you must. But be warned now: Mosley has the right to deal with you too. I’ve taken away his power of creation, but his other powers remain intact, so be cautious. He will have to wait until that seal that you placed upon his realm expires. What’s more, my daughter, I will place a magnetic field over the earth so as to prevent him from escaping through other means, such as magical portals or by self-teleportation.”

    “Yes, all that sounds fine, father,” Zeruda had said back then. “But what are we going to do about his realm? Cocytos is a perverted place, one which contradicts your established laws and your high standards. Surely you won’t allow it to stand! Besides, no soul deserves to go there and suffer at the expense of my brother. Enough trouble, misery, and pain he’s already caused not only here, but in Celestia as well. Will you allow his dark realm to stand after what’s come to happen?”

    The All-Father was hurt, had been ever since his son had rebelled and disobeyed him that fateful day. More had Mosley hurt him when he had created Cocytos and had tied every living soul to it. But during that time as he spoke with his daughter, Mases already had a temporary solution to that.

    “His realm will stand,” he said, his voice solid. Zeruda heard it well and knew that he had left no room for debate. “For the time being, that is,” he had added. “When Mosley falls, so will his realm come crashing down, every little stone that composes it. Only after you bring him to me so he can face justice, or until he perishes, will that dark place cease to exist. For now, Cocytos remains as he remains.”

    Tough words to swallow and believe, but after those words, Mases sensed a deep sadness within his daughter’s heart, for she felt bad for every soul that would have to go to that place when their mortal bodies died. Knowing that within her, he spoke again, willing to alleviate that pain and sadness.

    “However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t have a say on the matter. I will create a special place in another planet that the meek shall inherit, a place where gentle souls from this world can hope to go to when they die, instead of that dark, hellish place. I shall call it Elysium.”

    “Hm,” Zeruda surely had felt a huge satisfaction within. “Not bad, father. Not bad at all. A world reserved for those who persevere through the rough times. But...how would the humans and the many other creatures living out there hope to achieve reaching it?”

    “Simple, my daughter,” Mases had replied to that. “Their good deeds must outweigh their bad ones. So long as the scale tips in their favor will they have the right to go to Elysium instead of Cocytos. In order for them all to know this, I give you this now.”

    A ray of light shone from the cloudy sky above all the way down to where Zeruda had been standing in place. With that light came a thick book, which remained floating a few feet away from her.

    “What is this, father?” Zeruda took it with her hands and her emerald eyes saw the white cover and the huge symbol on it.

    “A gift from me to the humans and the many other races now living in Phydoria,” Mases had replied. “Its content not only speaks about how they can find the way to Elysium, but it will also bring joy and hope to many beings in the dark times ahead. As to you, my daughter, I leave you in charge of this troubled world. Phydoria is yours now. Watch over it.”

    “But...” Zeruda had found it hard to believe his words, she had found it hard to believe that he had given her this once-paradisiac world. “If so, what am I to do with Mosley’s minions? Not all scrambled back to Cocytos. Many remained on the surface world and could later be a problem. They are out there, father, dangerous creatures, monsters, abominations...evil doers.”

    “Those creatures will be allowed to reside in the world,” Mases had spoken in regards to that. “For to me they are living creatures as well. I won’t raise my hand in anger to destroy them when they already have been marked to die in due time. No, as living creatures that they are, they have the right to live until they die. Though there will be trouble, the humans will be able to cope with that trouble, I believe. Without my son to subjugate them, the world and its many residents will settle down and move on. As to Mosley, dear daughter, listen to me now and listen well, because these words of mine are genuine and truthful. If you succeed in bringing him to me, alive or otherwise, I will make sure that everything that he ruined is made right again. If you fail to bring him down, I will allow him to remain alive and do as he pleases down there until someone else delivers him to me. Is this clear?”

    Zeruda had thought on those words for a long while before agreeing to those terms. She understood that through the chance that he had given her, he had also given Mosley an opportunity to defend himself and live on. Zeruda had suspected that there was more meaning to it than what she understood, but she never really could figure it out. From that day on, she had really wondered why her father had let her know that if she failed, someone else would have to deliver Mosley to him. But the answer to her dilemma was quite clear: The All-Father would never stain his hands with blood. Mases would never use his righteous power to kill a being, be it human or god. That is why right from the moment that Mosley had disobeyed him and challenged his supreme authority, Mases had not destroyed him, because he loved all his created sons, daughters, and all other lesser beings equally. That is why if she failed in her mission, someone else would have to deliver Mosley to the Almighty, because as the loving father that he was, he would never be able to get directly mixed up in chaos; he would never be able to take evil actions, even though he rightfully could if it meant that he would solve a problem. Knowing that, Zeruda took heart in her mission. If she managed to deliver Mosley to him, then her father would surely keep his word and make everything right again.

    And so it was that Zeruda had remained in the troubled, imperfect world of Phydoria. It was hers now, the goddess now had to watch over it. As she would be doing that, she would be waiting for the seal to expire so that she could once again attempt to bring Mosley down. Zeruda had kept her grotesque figure, despite her father offering to remove the curse the day that they had made their final pact. Zeruda had refused his help that day and also the very day when she had returned defeated from Phydoria after Mosley had disobeyed their father. Mases had wanted her looking like herself once again, and he could have removed the curse easily, but Zeruda had refused his help. The first time she had because she believed that she would be making her brother remove the curse. The second time she had refused believing that her monstrous form would only inspire her to complete her mission. It would be a reminder to her of what her brother had done to her and the world so many years ago: he had changed them. In time, though, her monstrous form only brought her trouble with the many species residing in Phydoria.

    Many things, both good and bad—but mostly the latter—had come to happen in Phydoria during the passing of the centuries. Zeruda had successfully delivered the book of life onto the hands of Anubis, a righteous man that she found amongst the remaining living humans, which then numbered at least twenty thousand strong. That fair man had been the one who had led the human army against Mosley and his minions during the last war fought on earth. He became king of Rambolia, the first-ever established human realm, and he was the one who started it all; the movement to have the content of the book of life spread out to every creature residing in Phydoria. It all began anew with him. As king and leader of Rambolia and its people, he made copies of the tome and soon the book’s content spread out to nearly every living creature in Phydoria throughout the passage of time, even to non-human species that were not part of Rambolia. All these other races had built their own realms and had lived in harmony with the humans for the most part, but there were times when they had their fights over measly matters. Regardless of all the creatures’ differences, some took the book’s content to heart, others did not and just focused on living their lives. As time went on, many of the races destroyed their copies of the book, choosing to come up with their own invented gods and beliefs.

    Zeruda was glad and very pleased with Anubis’s work. He had done as she had requested: to let every creature know of the book’s content.

    As the years went passing by, Phydoria’s population began to grow reasonably, and soon, the first ever human-established realm split up into sections a few months after its first ever king died. Many were the humans that craved Anubis’s crown, and that only led to chaos. The sectors of the realm soon began to war against each other because they wanted their chosen leader to become king. Zeruda, who had her own small portion of land and was friends with the humans, was unable to quell the conflicts that followed. She sided with the Anubis's clan, supporting that Ninja13, Anubis’s son, should inherit the throne. That only angered the other sectors’ would-be kings, and one of those men took it as far as to order a hit on her because he really despised her. That man was actually a devoted follower of Mosley, and like him, there were many amongst the humans, but laying low. That sector’s leader’s name was Tony, and most of his close followers had been forced to serve Mosley. That is why they hated Zeruda, knowing that she had been one of the many who had defeated their master.

    After the attempt on her life, which Zeruda survived, all hell broke loose and Zeruda had even had to abandon her small realm, for Tony’s followers pursued her there. She could have killed the problematic humans and even their leader, but she chose not to kill the species that she had been given to watch over. Sparing their lives, Zeruda fled away from them in order to not get involved in the fighting and hoping that they resolved their issues. But the fighting continued amongst the humans until the strongest sector, Ninja13’s clan, which had enlisted the aid of outsiders, (lycans and rixacor, as well as other species) emerged victorious. After the war ended and young Ninja13 ascended the throne, many were the human lives that had been lost. Peace returned to Phydoria, but it would not last, as the losing sides were left unhappy. The losing sectors split from the realm of Rambolia for good. Their leaders drove their followers to new unclaimed land, which became their new realms. More kingdoms rose, both human and non-human, and after twenty more years had come to pass, the flames of war were ignited again. Several kingdoms, led by Tony himself, marched against Rambolia and laid it to waste in a couple of months. The invaders left no one alive, not even children or animals, for Tony and his followers were profoundly blood thirsty. With them in charge, soon the earth was filled with violence.

    Zeruda watched the chaos from afar through magical windows that she created with her own magic for that purpose, to see what was happening in the world. Feeling hurt in her heart, she knew things were bad. The race that she had sworn to protect apparently had their own visions. Few were the creatures that observed the book of life’s word, the rest were inclined to committing evil deeds. It only got worse as the years kept passing, for Tony wanted to establish one kingdom under the same banner, a kingdom that included all races. This only led to more wars. Before she realized it, Zeruda had already lost her firm grip on humanity and her vision of keeping peace in the world until she dealt with her brother.

    There were a few humans who were friends with her, but even those had turned their back on her when things got really bad. Tony, who was main king of the land, decreed that any who sided with the Serpent Lady, be it human or non-human, was to suffer death. Because of that tough decree, Zeruda’s friends ceased to exist. But not only that, in secret, Tony kept sending forces against the deity, wanting to kill her in order to please his master, who was sending orders to him via followers who were able to leave the sealed realm whilst he couldn’t.

    The attempts on her life forced Zeruda to retreat to a secluded place in the far eastern reaches of Phydoria. She came to reside in a jungle-like terrain that saw rain most of the year. There, in that jungle-like area, she hid from Tony’s assassins, but she knew that she could not hide forever from them, nor hold her armed hand back much longer.

    One stormy night, as she had been hiding within a profound, eerie-looking lagoon, so as to not harm those that had gone there to kill her, even her father told her to fight on, to defend herself from Mosley’s minions. His angry, thunderous voice was what really snapped Zeruda back to reality that night.

    I have watched in rage and disappointment as you have left the humans do with you as they please, Mases had cried bitterly in her mind that night. I gave you Excalibur to fend off any kind of danger or attempt on your life. Why haven’t you lifted up a finger to defend yourself?

    Mases knew the answer to that: it was that Zeruda had not intended to become like her brother, who had laid a finger on the humans long ago. She loved the humans, how could she hurt something that she tremendously loved? That is why she had been retreating instead of fighting, but she had erred. Because of that, Phydoria was in chaos, had been since the clan wars had broken out. Sealed in his realm, Mosley apparently still held power on earth, thanks to the servants who were taking care of business for him.

    Feeling so sad and unsure of herself, Zeruda had not replied a thing.

    Your brother has taken advantage of your kindness toward the humans and the rest of the species, Mases had said to her. Now his disciples hold power in this world instead of you. They will continue to prevail only until you decide to do something about it.

    I... Zeruda had replied to him via telepathy with her eyes closed and feeling very disappointed with herself as she kept on swimming within the dark waters of that lagoon. I...love them, father. I could never bring myself to harming them...

    “This I know,” her father’s reply had come through a booming thunderclap. “But you must understand that not all humans and beings from other races deserve your love and kindness, my daughter. Even as we speak, hundreds of assassins scour the jungle looking to find and kill you. They hate you as you can’t imagine, and they are nearby...”

    Hearing that, Zeruda had shivered in those dark, cool-felt waters.

    “Believe me when I say that they will kill you if they get the chance. Their true master has ordered it.”

    Mosley, Zeruda had suspected, and she was hurt in her heart knowing that wickedness was retained still in his heart for her.

    Yes, your brother’s hold on them is strong, Mases had let her know in her thoughts. They have been brainwashed, blinded by strong dark magic and thus cannot be saved. They have come to kill or be killed. I could send legions upon legions of my sons and daughters this night to defend you from them, but it is you who will have to defend your own life. You asked me to give you an opportunity to bring Mosley down, and I gave it to you. You are at war with your brother. Will you let him win over you this night, then? Or will you brandish your weapon and fight on for the ultimate greater good?

    Zeruda had waited within the dirty waters of the lagoon, hoping to hear more words from her father, but he had spoken to her no more. The seconds had gone by with just the nasty storm continuing to pound the region with water and a mighty show of its terrible lightning and thunder. Zeruda understood then that she would have to break her code of honor. Her father was right, she was at war with her brother. She would have to raise her armed arm and kill enemies to defend Phydoria. That saddened her so much, but in the end, she knew that it would be for a greater good.

    It was on that stormy night that Zeruda finally spilled human blood for the first time. It was the first time she lay a wicked hand on the humans, much to her disgrace. But not only humans, many other beings belonging to other species were killed by Excalibur, her deadly glare, and through other means that night. When it was over, she remained standing on her serpentine form surrounded by all the carnage she had left, but crying in rage as she stared at the stormy sky above. Bloody and feeling miserable, she was very hurt within, very hurt. During the hour or so that she had spent killing those many assassins, she had suffered many wounds, but though those had hurt her a lot, she had felt more hurt due to the foul deed she had committed in her own defense.

    “Please forgive me for this atrocious act, father,” she had cried toward the heavens as the rain had continued to pound down on her. And feeling so miserable, the Serpent Lady had retreated into the comforts of the bog knowing she would never be the same.


    ***


    Time and life had carried on relentlessly in all existing worlds. Hours had turned into days, days had turned into weeks, weeks into months, the months into years, the years into decades, and decades to unforgiving centuries. Zeruda had slowly adapted to life in the bog, and the Phydorians and Celestians had done likewise in their own realms. After two centuries had passed since Mosley had been sealed, the Phydorians began to keep track of time, dates, months, and years. Peace graced the land for a long while, but the races were many in Phydoria and their differences were many as well, thus the troubles between them all continued.

    The existence of Zeruda wasn’t forgotten either. Warriors seeking to kill her continued to pester her in the bog. The goddess became a prize, her head a valuable trophy that many a warrior had wanted to obtain, particularly those who venerated Mosley and wanted to please him by slaying his sister. Many were those who went to the bog seeking personal glory, human warriors and fighters belonging to other species sought to bring the Serpent Lady down. All perished in that bog, if not at the hands of the ferocious monsters that lurked there, then surely at the hands of the mighty goddess, who’d had to defend herself from the threats. Through slaying and turning warriors to stone via her God-given powers, Zeruda had made her name be respected and feared. The number of warriors seeking to slay her dropped drastically as time wore on, until few were the souls who dared to attempt what so many had before and had failed at. But even in this new current era, in this running year of 300, (500 in Zeruda’s yearly count since the time when she had sealed Mosley) curious warriors still ventured into the bog every now and then seeking the famous monster known as the Serpent Lady that they had heard so much about through rumors and twisted tales. In the current era she was nothing more than just a myth, and there remained no living soul on the surface of Phydoria who could claim that she was real. But knowledge about her had remained from ancient scriptures, tomes, and through the whispers passed on from one dying generation to the next in line. Tomes, notes, and tales that spoke about her had survived the passing of the centuries, though as time had passed on, these relics had been mingled with untrue facts and had lost their authenticity. Now there were many twisted tales and rumors about the Serpent Lady, also known in the current era as Medusa by the humans and other species. Though Zeruda had remained unseen and unheard of after she had been forced to retreat to the bog, the Phydorians who truly believed the tales heavily alleged that if she existed it was somewhere in the far eastern reaches in a very dangerous jungle that few brave souls frequented now a days.


    ***


    That early morning, as she'd been studying the seal’s magic at the foot of one lonely mountain that stood at the northwestern part of her realm, Zeruda felt so depressed, so lonely, and even sad. The latter was mostly because of the many warriors that had come to perish under her name throughout the passage of time. She knew that she was not at fault, humans and other lesser beings were stubborn creatures, but she still blamed herself for the loss of so many lives at her own hands. Picturing those many souls—and the many other souls from living beings that perished every day—being tormented day and night in Cocytos made her feel worthless and really made her feel sick in her stomach. It stuck in her craw. Her latest thoughts about the seal being halfway spent never helped her calm down, either, rather they made her feel much worse knowing that the time to face her brother once more was nearing. Though five centuries still had to pass before she would get a chance at confronting Mosley once again, Zeruda could already picture the dark times in store for the world—a world that was already dealing with so many of its own troubles—and she felt her heart heavy and sad because of that.



    ***End of Prelude***
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  2. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Notice: I decided to break up this chapter into several parts and turned it into other chapters because I thought the original one was too long. I will probably do the same thing with other chapters that I deem are too long. That means that the story will be longer than 10-11 chapters, so we might even reach 20 Chapters before all is said and done. :P I also decided to change my created months into the real ones used in our world, so as to avoid unnecessary confusion. The map is the same as that one in the other series I cancelled. If anyone needs the map here in this thread, let me know and I will add it to the first post.

    *Eve, in case you don't know, is February Eve.

    Honored ZDers:
    February Eve, Jetter, Epwna, Twili Kid, 43ForceGems, EnemyTracker, Eclipse




    * Chapter 1: Running Scared

    * Northwest Dragiria, 18th of September, Year 301

    *A year later*​


    Eve Primrose was hurting badly but she did not care. Ignoring the awful, painful sensations that she felt due to every cut, gash, and bolt-caused wounds that she had suffered so far in her attempted escape from sure death, the horned creature continued running scared through the thick of the jungle, all the while making sure that she did not drop what she was carrying in her arms. Wrapped in a dark cloth was her only son, whom she had given birth to just six months ago.

    Her lungs were asking her for a much needed break, but the dragiress knew that she could not stop to have a breather, for to do so would mean sure death for her and her son. Coming right behind her was the enemy, a group of four dragir that had been pursuing her through that thick jungle. Knowing that they were gaining ground on her, she forced herself to continue running, despite the weariness and pain that she felt.

    Eve knew that the enemy would not be letting her get away, not if they could help it. Her House had been attacked by surprise hours ago by House Ingrenam, a dragir House that had been feuding with House Primrose since three months back. When a House attacked another, the whole battle usually ended with one of the two houses getting completely wiped out. House Wars were a common thing in Dragiria. Houses tended to fight it out just to gain more power, the other House's wealth, or just for the terrain. The attack on House Primrose had come after its leader had accused House Ingrenam three months ago about harboring jyy spies. Jyy were also dragir, but they were renegades who had turned their back on the dragir *Daelden (*Queen) and the dragir way of life nearly two centuries ago. They had gone south of Dragiria and had taken that territory as theirs, dividing in half the once-mighty Dragirian realm. Ever since they had been branded as cowards and traitors by the queen for having sided with demons and for practicing many other degrading acts for them, the jyy had been waging a long, bloody war against the dragir. The dragir loved life; the jyy loved death.

    For the most part in this new era, dragir were honorable and peaceful creatures. They had been created by the hand of the Disobedient Child many centuries ago. They were only one of many races that he had given life to for a war that he had fought against the forces of good in the early dawn of time. Back in the day, his creations had served his evil will, but ever since his banishment from the world, the many creatures that had survived had moved on and had adapted to the world as time continued to pass by.

    Dragir resembled humans in most aspects, but there were several notable differences. To begin with, dragir had dark spiraling horns on their heads. They also had long pointy ears and dark, dragon-like scales showing on random parts of their body, such as on their arms, legs, neck, torso, and sometimes even on their face. The scales could be attributed to their origins, for Dragir had been a creation of a mixture between dragon and human beings. And finally, dragir were blessed with the gift of long life. Unlike the humans, who would come to live a little over a century at most, dragir could live up to ten centuries, perhaps more! Ever since they had been created, no dragir still had the privilege to see a thousand years of life, for their history said that they had been created barely six and a half centuries ago by Mosley. Now then, most of them also had the ability to cast magic, for being creatures that had been created long ago by the disobedient child’s hand, they had inherited some of his magical powers, even his own blood, it was said, which was what allowed them to live those many centuries. Back when he had finished with his creations, Mosley’s favorite race had been the dragir. Those warriors of old he had used on the front lines, and though they had fared well against Celestia’s elite, many had been killed, but a quarter of their numbers had survived and had remained in Phydoria after their master had been sealed. They had gone east and had made their place of residence a huge jungle-like terrain that later would become known as the Realm of Dragiria. There, the dragir race remained isolated from the rest of the world, keeping mostly to themselves. When they had been a single united race, they had built a long stone wall that divided their realm’s western boundary lines from those realms of the west. Soon after, the dragir began having in-realm problems with Dragir Houses that in secret had been still venerating the Disobedient Child and practicing degrading acts that they had known whilst being under Mosley’s mighty rule. Those cowardly dragir had lost the battles that followed after having been found out. Under the pardon that the dragir queen granted them they had gone to the south of Dragiria, taking with them their immoral acts. The benevolent dragir and their queen remained in the north section of the realm, and till this day their brutal wars continued, both against the Jyy and at times against themselves.

    Most of the Primrose House servants had been killed during the very first hours of the invasion launched surprisingly by House Ingrenam and its group of unknown allies. Only Eve and her husband Jetter had been able to escape through a back door that had been specifically designed for emergencies. Jetter had been able to lead her through part of that jungle, but he had fallen about half hour later when he’d had to stop and confront their pursuers, who had quickly gained ground on them. Jetter had only sacrificed himself in order to give his spouse and his newly-born son time to get away. Ten enemy dragir he had engaged on his own, and he had killed seven of those with sword and magic before succumbing to the rest.

    Eve had continued on, even with the inner pain that she felt knowing that her husband had died while giving her a chance to put distance from the enemy. So far she was not letting him down in the promise that she had made to him earlier when they had stopped to discuss the situation. She would flee Dragiria and be safe somewhere else, along with their son. That had been her promise to him.

    With tears streaming down her cheeks, she knew that she was close to making it to a region where three boundary lines belonging to different realms intersected. If she could only get there and climb the thirty-foot stone wall perhaps she’d have a chance at fulfilling the promise that she had made to her husband earlier before he had stayed behind.

    Her heart skipped a long beat when a thought crossed her troubled mind, for the dragir knew that she was not heading toward safety at all. For either realm that she would cross to, if she did, was also filled with trouble of its own. To the west laid the human realms, but one in particular was neighbor to Dragiria: Pancracia. This big piece of land was embroiled in a series of uprisings and civil war among its people, not to mention other problems that they were having with wild monsters that roamed the land freely. Moreover, Pancracia had problems with its northwestern neighbor realm, the realm of Lothis, which was governed by a child prince who had recently ascended the throne, a child that was said to be a descendant of Tony. Heavy rumors spoke of how the young prince apparently wanted to take Pancracia for himself in order to expand the size of his realm. The Pancracians did not want to fight a war, much less against fellow human beings. But if they were to defend the land that their ancestors had inherited them, they were going to defend it with sweat and blood. In other words, with their very own lives. So war between the realms was imminent. Pancracia, being one of several human realms in existence, was really no ally to Dragiria. The humans had a fair understanding that the dragir existed in the east in that amazon-like jungle region, and the dragir knew too well of the existence of the humans and the many other races out there, but the two races had kept to themselves on each of their side of the border dating at least three centuries back, holding each other to trespass under pain of death. To the north of Dragiria stretched out the realm that was believed to be the deadliest of them all: The Bog, also known as The Serpent Lady’s Domain. It was a place rarely frequented by sane folks, mainly because of the grave danger that lurked there. If Eve did not go west to try her luck with the unfriendly humans, then going north into the bog was her last option, but she really did not want to set foot there, for she knew well that it was madness, that the bog was worse than the human realms when it came to danger. It still had not been confirmed officially by any races, but the bog was not home to any well known race. The bog was just a region covered with creepy forests, a thick jungle, a few mountains, and a handful of deadly marshes and other unimaginable sights. Thirty percent of its land was already submerged under several feet of murky water, this perhaps due to the much precipitation that fell there in the region yearly. An official race that could claim the territory as theirs perhaps had not been confirmed, but it was well known that a multitude of wild beasts and monsters did reside there. It was also heavily believed in the entire world of Phydoria that the Bog’s premier ruler also called that place her home. According to word and tales that dated back to a long-ago past, this creature supposedly was a huge slithery monster that had an alluring upper body of a woman and the lower body of a serpent. Eve, herself, had heard countless of the stories that spoke about Medusa, the Serpent Lady. The humans had given that mythological creature that name in the past, but the dragir just called her the Serpent Lady due to claims from a dragir who had supposedly laid eyes on her some two centuries back in time. That dragir had been known to be of the crazy type, so his tale had not truly been believed by those who had heard it, yet it had confused many sane dragir and had made them wonder. Eve had believed the tales to be just that, tales and twisted rumors about something that did not exist out there. Like that tale, there were so many other unbelievable ones in the world that spoke about humongous creatures or monsters, but as she ran for her dear life and that of her child’s that day, the thought alone about the Bog’s ruler actually existing was what had made her think well about setting foot there.

    The group of dragir continued to pursue their victim, knowing fully well that there at least remained one more member from House Primrose that was still alive. True victory for a House could only be achieved if all enemy House members were confirmed dead. The winning House would then have no worries about survivors coming back to take revenge against them in the future.

    Eve had been the matriarch of House Primrose. Yes, had been, as in not any more. Her House was gone, destroyed, laid to ruin, bound to be lost from the history of the world forever. She now was just a fleeing dragiress looking to survive along with her only begotten child. Eve had light skin, short, blonde hair that fell past her ears, and sparkly blue eyes. She was six feet tall and kind of stocky, though not fat at all. Eve was in top shape for a two and a half century old dragiress that she was, but she was fast tiring now, for she had covered nearly two miles in her desperate run for salvation through that thick jungle. Eve suddenly came upon open terrain where barren ground was visible all around—a change from the leaf-riddled jungle floor that she had been traversing through.

    When her blue eyes noticed the thirty-foot tall stone wall rising in the distance to the west, a light smile appeared on her face. She was close to making it! But that smile fast disappeared when she remembered that the members of House Ingrenam were still after her. She glanced down at her baby and noticed that he was staring right back at her, his little hands grabbing the cloth tightly with what few strength he had for a baby. Oblivious to the danger his mother was going through, the baby dragir giggled wildly, which made Eve’s heart tremble with a mix of emotions. So happy did the dragir child look in her arms, and though she was very troubled with her current predicament, the mother smiled at her son in a tender, loving way and was encouraged to go on.

    “We will be safe, Atsuma, you’ll see,” she promised him.

    Quickly, she kissed him on the forehead, and then proceeded to run toward that dragir-made stone wall. As she ran, Eve dearly hoped that they would make it to the other side unscathed.

    The dragiress gave it everything she had. She put the last effort into her lungs and tired legs knowing that she was very close to reaching the boundary lines that separated Dragiria from Pancracia and the northern deadly bog. But four House Ingrenam pursuers suddenly appeared at the place where she had stopped just minutes ago. When they saw her running ahead, one of them shouted and pointed at her with his hand, “There she is, fools!”

    That shout alerted Eve and made her take a quick look over her shoulder as she ran, but she never stopped. She frightened the more and swallowed hard when she saw them and recognized one of them, a dragir that she had always believed to be an arrogant, cocky bastard. The dragiress kept going on knowing that she could not afford to stop, let alone slow down, though she just wanted to stop, put her baby on the ground, and confront the bastards and make them pay for what they had done.

    “That damned guich is trying to make it to the wall,” another of the enemy dragir cried. This dragir, like two others from the group, was young and completely bald, with only their dark horns adorning their heads. Guich was the term that the jyy used to call the dragir, and if that dragir had used the word, indeed House Primrose’s accusation against House Ingrenam had been true; they were indeed jyy sympathizers. Guich meant unworthy and **** in the same Dragirian tongue, while Jyy meant traitor and coward. Both sides had their own usage of special words for each other, those few samples were just a few.

    "Go get her, all of you," the dragir leader of the group said.

    The one who had just spoken was a stocky dragir who had short brown hair and a pointy nose. He seemed to be the most tired of the four, for his breathing sounded harder than that of his comrades. The reason for that had probably been his three and a half centuries of age over the younger three dragir that flanked him, who were just around seventy years of age each; still pretty much in their teen years.

    "All of us?" one of the young dragir spoke up with concern. "And leave you unprotected out here, Captain EnemyTracker?"

    “Go!” EnemyTracker ordered, pointing a finger forward. “I will be alright. Bring her to me alive or dead.”

    The three young dragir nodded at him, for he was actually a captain and brother to House Ingrenam’s ruling Patriarch. They were just soldiers that belonged to his squad, servants to House Ingrenam and its circle of crazed leaders. The trio moved to obey their leader, but the captain grabbed one of them by the shoulder and said, “I prefer dead, but if you lot do kill her, bring me her head as proof.”

    The dragir nodded with a malicious grin at his commander and then went after the other two. As he reached them, he noticed that one of them was fitting a bolt onto his crossbow.

    "She's my kill," the crossbow-wielding dragir smiled at him.

    "Do you think you can bring her down?" the dragir that had caught up asked him. "You've missed several times already, Twili Kid."

    "But he's also hit her twice," the other dragir came in the defense of Twili Kid, who was his friend. "So shut it, 43ForceGems."

    "I was just saying it as means to pump him up, Epwna," 43ForceGems said. "Damn, no need to get all offended with me."

    "I promise you she'll be dead meat soon," Twili Kid laughed wickedly. "You know what they say about the third time being sweet lime."

    Twili Kid had shot and hit the dragir twice earlier. The first bolt had hit his victim at the back just below the right shoulder blade. The second bolt had nearly missed the fleeing target but had barely grazed the dragir’s left tricep, counting as a hit. Twili Kid would once again use that crossbow of his in an attempt to bring her down for good now that there were no trees or large bushes involved.

    While running, it was hard for just about anyone to fire a five pound crossbow and strike the target true, specially when the target was also moving. Only the best of warriors could do that. Twili Kid was an alright crossbow-wielding warrior, but he wasn’t that good. He lifted up his weapon and aimed at the dragiress running from them in the distance. It was time to end the chase.

    Eve barely escaped getting hit with the newest fired bolt, which zipped by just five inches or so away from her right ear.

    “Damn!” Twili Kid cursed angrily when he noticed that he had barely missed again. 43ForceGems laughed at the miss, making Epwna glare at him as they ran.

    "How lucky can that guich be?" Twili Kid cried in rage. "She was supposed to have gone down."

    "Just try again," Epwna barked. "You'll eventually get her."

    "That, or my own daggers will take care of the job, fools," 43ForceGems teased. "Earning me great praise and prizes from our leaders and the entire House. Can you see yourselves now calling me Lieutenant 43ForceGems? Because an advance in rank is surely to come with that kill."

    Twili Kid licked his lips wildly after having heard that. He wanted the glory, that is why while still running fast after the dragiress he began to reload the crossbow immediately, drawing a bolt from the quiver that hung at his back. Bolts were longer than arrows, wider, and with a wicked arrowhead that resembled two crossed anchors. The damage that they dealt to a living creature was staggering.

    With just twenty yards or so before she made it to the wall, the next bolt hit the dragir on the right side of her lower back, surprising her and sending her stumbling forward with much pain. Eve nearly tripped after the wicked hit, one of her knees grazed the ground, but she maintained her equilibrium knowing what was at stake. Ignoring the sharp pain, she regained her balance and kept running.

    Into the northern jungle she went without a thought, crossing into dangerous territory; all the while bleeding badly from her newest wound. What made her make the decision to turn north instead of keeping her westerly route had been the pure thought that perhaps the tales and The Serpent Lady’s territory would keep her pursuers at bay, not to mention the fact that going over that wall would have given her pursuers great chances of killing her while she levitated upwards.

    Indeed, with her sudden action, Eve had made her three pursuers come to a sudden stop just a few inches from entering the awaiting jungle that she had entered. They knew about the danger that lurked within, for it was well known that those who ventured deep into Medusa’s territory were never seen or heard from again. It was no lie, Phydoria had many regions where danger lurked, but Medusa’s Bog topped them all ten times over. Nervously, the three young dragir stared at each other, fearing the many rumors that they had heard about the place throughout the years, especially those of the Serpent Lady who ruled it. Dragir and Jyy tales said that she would steal the very soul from a being before turning it to solid stone.

    “I must be a crazy fool to go looking for trouble in there,” Epwna spoke his mind. “Call me a coward, Twili Kid, but I am not going in there after that damned guich. Let the ***** rot in hell in there for all I care.”

    Hearing his companion's words, Twili Kid shivered and swallowed hard. He knew what going after the guich meant; they were going to put their lives at risk. The calls from birds and roars and hisses belonging to other creatures that were nearby did not help much in encouraging him or his comrades to go on. To make matters worse, from behind them they suddenly heard their Captain shouting at them in an angry tone to go on. The trio of dragir hesitated and looked at each other, all surely afraid. Twili Kid, who was holding the crossbow, even shook his head in rejection.

    "I aint gonna die in there," he said, backing off a step. His close friend did the same as he said, "Me neither."

    "You do know that the captain can kill us all for this?" 43ForceGems reminded them, sweating it badly. "For refusing to go after that guich?"

    "Screw that fat coward," Twili Kid spat on the ground close to 43ForceGems, who was quick to remove his boot before the spit fell on it. "I rather take my chances with him than going in there."

    "So you two are going to give up?" 43ForceGems smiled at Twili Kid then at Epwna. "Does that mean I will be the only one going after her and all the glory that's involved? Will my daggers and not your crossbow or your sword be victorious this day, fools?"

    "Suit yourself, chump," Epwna barked. "I can't promise you that I'll be able to take flowers to your grave because there will be none to visit, you're going to die in there, just like so many others have..."

    43ForceGems thought on that for a short while. He was about to listen to reason and back off like the other two dragir had, but then their captain shouted at them that he would personally kill them all if they did not obey his word. The trio had a quick change of mind.

    "I'm going in," 43ForceGems said. "You two sweethearts can stay here talking all you want, but I promise that guich will be my kill this day." He drew two long daggers from their holsters at the waist before taking off once again, leaving the two close friends staring at each other.

    “Screw that fat dimwit,” Twili Kid made his decision as well, a forced one, but still a decision not the less. “I aint getting killed by that fool today. Come on, Epwna, let’s go. We'll be alright so long as we stick together.”

    "But…"

    "I aint letting that little ***** 43ForceGems steal my glory," Twili Kid said heavily. "Are you coming to back me up or what?"

    Epwna's response came in the form of his eyes dropping to see the ground, his head lowered in shame.

    "You coward," Twili Kid spat. "Fine, stay right there, let the captain have his way with you later on."

    Unsure that he had made a wise decision, Twili Kid motioned towards the jungle up ahead, and Epwna didn’t know whether to follow his comrade’s lead or not. The awful tales he had heard about the place kept him frozen in place, shaking wildly.

    Seeing him hesitate but wanting him to come along, Twili Kid turned around and said with an urgent tone, “She isn’t far, Epwna. We can catch up to her and deal with her before we go any deeper into this hellish place.”

    “Alright, I'm coming,” Epwna nervously said but did not appear too convinced, but he knew that the Captain had always kept his word, so that thought alone had spurred him to go forth.

    Epwna caught up to his friend and the two dragir went after 43ForceGems, who was not too far ahead of them.


    *End of chapter 1*
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  3. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Chapter 2: First Signs of Danger

    The excruciating pain—and the unknown place before her—had forced Eve into a careful walk. She had bravely clutched at the bolt’s shaft and had pulled it out slowly but carefully, shouting over the terrible pain that it brought her. She stared furiously at the bloody bolt before tossing it far off to the side. A swooning sensation came over her, and she felt finished, done for, too weak. The pain was too much to bear now. But Eve swallowed hard and moved on, ignoring the first settings of the jungle. She knew this was nothing compared to what she would encounter further in. Eve kept her wits about her, though, knowing that she could not worry about Medusa or the many stories about her place. She had to look for a way to survive, if not for her own good then for her son.

    Some fifty yards into bog territory, the dragiress stopped when she laid eyes on more than a few snakes dangling from the branches of trees. The snakes were quickly alerted of her presence. They were fat and hissed wildly and menacingly at her, letting her know that she did not belong there. Those were guzamangas, a type of poisonous snake that could kill a being in minutes with its venomous bite. What was worse, those serpents were very aggressive; they would go after an intruder in a snap, even if the intruder did nothing to unsettle or anger them. Being seen by one of those fat, slithery serpents always meant a confrontation.

    Knowing that fact well, Eve winced, realizing the first signs of grave danger in this god-forsaken place. The good thing was that she had dealt with these types of snakes before, but right now she was injured, tired, and holding her baby. What was worse, her enemies could appear behind her any given moment.

    Holding her son tightly in her left arm, the dragiress did good in bringing out her sword, a beautiful master piece that she’d found on the floor of a forest fifteen years ago while being out on exploration with a patrol that she’d been part of. The sword was long but not heavy. Its double-edge blade had many weird symbols carved onto its both sides, and that blade—as Eve had experimented with it—could cut through anything, even stone and iron! The crosspiece was of a golden hue and had four gemstones of different colors attached in the middle on both sides—red, green, pink, and blue. The hilt was also golden, with shades of black and silver. It had a reddish orb for a pommel. The sword had been forged in Celestia many years ago and it had served a brave celestial god in the past. It was a blade that had been used in the confrontation between Mosley and the four celestial entities that had come down to earth seeking to seize him, though Eve had not known that.

    Just as she had known that the serpents would do, Eve noticed how the slithery creatures came sliding down, never taking their eyes off of her. That was alright, the dragir did not take her eyes off of them, either. Eve was ready for them, her mighty sword clutched tightly in her right hand.

    The dragiress's beautiful sword proved to be a good ally when those snakes touched ground and came sliding fast towards her, seeking to bite her—seeking to kill and make a meal of her—and her baby!

    Though very hurt and weak, Eve was able to slice them apart using that long blade of hers. Through her centuries of life she had been an excellent sword fighter, so her skills with the blade had come handy there, especially with a sword as light in weight as the one that she wielded, a sword which had been designed to fell anything!

    She sighed in relief when the four serpents lay dead on the ground, split in half. Soon she put the sword back in its silvery scabbard, but before the dragiress could savor the victory, the calls from creatures echoing all around her scared her even more than she already was, more so when most of those calls sounded as if the animals that had issued them were in deeper trouble than she was. In the distance she even saw as the top part of a crowd of trees swayed wildly, and she even felt the ground underneath her shaking lightly. Then, a very loud roar in the distance made her take back a few steps. She knew what the creature that had issued such a roar was, for she had even had the privilege of having hunted a few of those great prehistoric monsters down in the past.

    “I shouldn’t have come here,” she said scared, fearing that the gigantic predator would show its ugly self any given moment and give her hell. Eve followed her words with a gulp and shivered, wondering whether she and her baby would be able to remain alive in this forsaken place.

    The rumbling died and the ground settled down as the huge monster that she had not seen appeared to have gone in some other direction. Tense and scared, she felt grateful at that. She stared wildly about at the trees but saw no more guzamangas about. That was a relief for the dragiress as well.

    Despite the good news, Eve knew that she could not waste time there, there was just too much danger everywhere. She quickly laid eyes on her son and couldn’t help it but smile at him, the tenderness of her baby actually lifting her spirits a bit. Seeing her son so alive was reason enough for her to continue, for she would not have him die that day. Maybe she would die today, her wounds told her as much, but she would not pass from this life before taking her son far from danger and to a place where he could be safe. But what if she failed? What if she was caught by her pursuers and was killed? Her baby would surely suffer the same fate, and just thinking about that made the dragiress burst out crying. She cried for several seconds, she couldn’t really help it, for she also remembered her dear husband, who had bravely sacrificed himself just to give her and his son time to flee.

    “Now is not the time to feel weak with negative thoughts, Eve,” she scolded herself, believing that those would be the words her husband must be telling her from wherever it was that he had gone to. Eve used her hand to wipe her tears away, and she nodded to herself, knowing that she had to go on.

    Not too far from where she was, she heard a mild roar, but not of an animal, this roar had been perceivable to her ears ever since she had entered the jungle. A rampaging river was close by, Eve understood. She knew that perhaps it was the Seoco River, a large river that serpentine its way from the Eastern Sea all the way into the human lands. This river was wide and wild, and its rampant waters ran through parts of northern Dragiria, but just barely before going into Medusa’s territory and then onto human lands for good.

    The dragiress proceeded to head forward knowing that her pursuers would catch up to her soon if they had decided to brave it into the jungle as she had. She feared that the place had not scared them away. She had a plan in mind for losing them for good, but if this plan was going to work or not she could not know. Eve Primrose would try it nonetheless, because she knew that she did not have many other good options available anyway.


    ***
     
  4. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Chapter 3: Struck True

    The three young [fools] dragir were not late in catching up to her. They tracked her position well using her boot prints and the blood that had spilled on to the ground from her very wounds as she had been moving on. 43ForceGems even found the bloody bolt that she had tossed aside earlier.

    “She went through here,” he informed his partners, who nodded. The dagger-wielding dragir rose from his kneeling position and took the lead once again. Knowing that 43ForceGems was a good tracker, Epwna and Twili Kid followed him without asking any questions. About ten minutes later, they came upon view of their escapee, who apparently had run out of places to go and seemed to be standing just near the edge of the riverbank. The female dragir was not taken by surprise, though, she had seen the enemies emerging from behind the foliage. Upon seeing her, they smiled wickedly at her, with those smiles promising death. She just stared at them and turned around, eager to put her plan in motion.

    Just a few minutes ago before the three dragir had caught up to her, Eve had been able to make it to the river bank, with the rampaging waters of the Seoco River just a few feet away from where she stood on a large flat rock that stuck out from the ground. Eve swallowed hard before her enemies. Young they were, she noticed. Looking over her shoulder to the waters behind her, she was able to see just how ferocious the river really ran.

    The roar of the water as it sailed on its northwesterly route was deafening before her, loud enough that it had made her reconsider her plans about jumping into it and let it take her and her baby to freedom, to safety—anywhere else but there. Beyond the river at the other side, Eve had seen that the jungle just spread out, making everything all around just a messy green for her to see. When she had seen just greenery at the other side of the Seoco, and a large mountainous terrain to the west and northwest beyond the foliage of the trees, she knew that she wasn’t even close to the center of that jungle, just on its southern edge. Going over to the other side, if she could make it, would be a nightmare. She knew at heart that it was in that area where the real danger of Medusa’s Bog lurked. Tales in Crystal City—the dragir’s capital city—told that it was in the heart of Medusa’s jungle where the real danger prowled; creatures of assorted sizes and looks ruled that place. Eve had seen a few wild monsters during her patrolling life near the border, but she had never ventured beyond the river. She had known that her best option was to jump into the river and hope that this one took her far away from this dangerous region.

    When the trio of dragir had shown up behind her, they didn’t leave her much choice anyway. Eve was tired from all the running that she had done so far, and she was feeling very weak from her wounds. She knew that she would run no more.

    "Stay where you are," one of the dragir told her with a wicked smile while he tossed a nasty dagger back and forth in his hands. "I promise you that I will end your miserable life quickly, guich!"

    One of the other dragir used his comrade's words as a distraction and lifted his crossbow slowly. Eve was not fooled, she plainly saw that dragir's action. That is why she was barely able to elude the bolt that the dragir had fired at her. She avoided getting skewered in place, but she lost her balance and fell to the stony ground on her rump, nearly letting her baby fall because she had used her right hand to break her fall. She held on to him, though, and was quick to scramble to her feet, for she saw the angry dragir fitting another bolt onto the crossbow, and the one with the dagger was already rushing at her with an evil grin visible on his face. Eve wondered whether she'd be able to get up to a standing position and put up a solid defense against the oncoming enemy, but those thoughts did not go far when all of a sudden something awful happened right before her eyes. As the dragir with the dagger ran towards her, the ground underneath him was suddenly disrupted. Dirt rose in a large circle and began spilling this and that way, as if giving way for something that was coming out from underneath. The dragir stopped and eyed the ground underneath him in disbelief, but even as he did that, he, his partners, and even Eve knew what it was all about.

    "****," the dragir cried in horror when he realized that he was dead meat. Eve took many steps away, and the other two dragir did so as well, their faces surely horror-struck when two thin and long, dark tentacles rose from the very ground before the surprised dragir.

    "Run, you fool," Eve heard one of the dragir telling his comrade, but it was already too late. The tentacles suddenly sprang to action. They were longer even than the horrified dragir, and for a moment they appeared to scrutinize him. But almost instantly, they were quick to wrap themselves around him, making him drop the dagger to the ground when his arms were forced against his body. He was going nowhere, not with those tentacles wrapped around his body. 43ForceGems knew that he was a goner, and the dragir even cried in pain when the tentacles begin to squeeze hard against him. Then, from underneath the ground, a blackened large mouth filled with razor sharp teeth came out and swallowed the dragir fully in one gulp. All that was heard of him was a final scream he managed to let escape before the mouth closed fully. Eve, horrified, saw as the monstrous maw disappeared back into the hole, leaving a dark crater for her eyes to see. The monster was underneath the wide opening, but though she worried about it coming out in an attempt to eat more possible victims, Eve noticed that the remaining two enemy dragir had not left. They had stayed put in their dismay, fear, and curiosity, just far out of reach in case the monster came out.

    "Damned namarasas," Eve heard one of them say from his place as he considered the hole then at her. "They sure can surprise anyone. But don't think you've won, guich. Perhaps my partner and I might not find it in us to go forth after you with that hole there, but I will still get the job done from here and avenge my friend's death in the process."

    Eve saw him lift the crossbow, again aiming it at her.

    With her heart beating wildly, Eve knew there was no more time to waste. This was it. The namarasa coming out to take care of one of her enemies had just been a lucky, unexpected happening and had given her better odds at surviving. Knowing that, she turned around and ran toward the river. She embraced her baby as strongly as never before and jumped in, her eyes tightly closed as if getting ready to feel the cold water.

    But before she touched any of the water, Eve suddenly cried in pain when she felt a stinging, sharp pain at her middle back. Her enemy's fired bolt had struck her, and the dragir who had shot her appeared in his place as if he couldn't believe he had actually struck true. The sharp pain Eve felt almost made her let go of her baby—almost—but she held on to him. Then, the deafening roar of the river took her, and she shivered wildly knowing that her newest wound on her back was grave.


    ***
     
  5. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Notice: This chapter marks the end of the original chapter 1. The old chapter 2 starts with chapter 5, and I think that will be broken up into 2 parts, but we'll see. After that, the rest chapters are all new.

    Chapter 4: The Argument

    Twili Kid had been able to fire his crossbow one last time before the dragiress had jumped into the river. With tremendous satisfaction he had seen that he had hit her right in the middle of her back. That was clearly a grave wound, and he'd smiled with much pride as he had remained at his place awestruck at his shot.

    “Oh crap! You got her, Twili Kid!” his companion shouted in a very happy and disbelieving way. Moving gently and courageously toward the large hole, he peeked inside. There was no monster for him to see, the namarasa, being a flesh-eating creature that made its living underneath the ground, was long gone through the very same tunnel it had created many days ago in that area. Namarasas usually just ate a huge meal and called it a day, they weren't known to eat more than they could handle.

    "Epwna, what are you doing, you fool?"

    "Checking," he replied as he moved around the hole. He headed quickly toward the riverbank, his fear of the namarasa long gone. He stood near the edge of the large flat rock protruding from the ground close to the river; the very same spot where the female dragir had been standing on just seconds ago. He made sure to stand on it, for fear that a namarasa would get him if he stood on open ground.

    "Checking for what, you fool?" Twili Kid cried, surely surprised that his friend had had the guts to go past the hole.

    "For the guich, of course," Epwna looked over his shoulder to him. "I want to see whether I can get a glimpse of her before we go back."

    Twili Kid, who dared to rush past the hole on the ground as well, was standing next to his companion in a few heartbeats. As he fit another bolt to his crossbow for good measure, his brownish eyes saw the red tint on the water as the river took the wounded dragir away.

    "Look there," Epwna pointed at the spot on the water. "Do you see her?"

    “Aye, she’s surely dead meat,” Twili Kid grinned, the dragir feeling very proud of himself. “Our task is finally done, eh Epwna?"

    Epwna was not even listening to what he said, his attention was in the distance, where he thought he heard crying. Seeing the dragiress's head in the water far in the distance, Twili Kid also heard the crying.

    "Stupid 43ForceGems got eaten for wanting to steal my kill, but we can't do anything about that now," Twili Kid continued, wanting to grab his friend's attention. "We should get the hell out of this place, unless we both want to end up like that fool, or worse.”

    “Hold on,” Epwna raised his right hand up. “I hear crying out there. And I also noticed that the guich was holding on to something, and that's what I am trying to find out what it was.”

    “What the hell are you babbling about?” Twili Kid asked as he finished reloading his weapon, giving his companion a brief glance before returning his stare to the river.

    Epwna held his response, and his eyes caught the dragiress’s head visible in the far distance as the wild waters continued to take her away.

    “So what was it that you saw?” Twili Kid asked, wanting to know for sure. He had an idea, but he wasn't telling.

    “I have no idea,” Epwna turned to regard him. “What do you think it was? Did you see it?”

    “Beats me,” Twili Kid shrugged. “Thanks to that damned monster, I didn’t have as good a look on her as you did,” Twili Kid added. “Perhaps she was carrying her House valuables or something?”

    “Could have been the case, but it seemed to me more like she was holding on to a baby,” Epwna disagreed, making Twili Kid regard him with curious, angry eyes. "That would explain all the crying."

    “What is this rubbish that you speak of?” Twili Kid lied with an upset face visible to Epwna, for he had clearly seen that the guich had been holding on to something similar to a baby. “I saw nothing of the sort and heard no crying. Must have been your imagination...”

    “Over the thundering noise that these waters make, I swear that I heard cries!” Epwna insisted with a raised tone. “Like those of a newborn.”

    “You’re one crazy fool, you know that?” Twili Kid spat, the dragir obviously lying, for he had seen and heard the child as well, he just wanted for this chase bull**** to be over. “I heard nothing but the loud noise of the river. You look pale. This place has made you delirious, or was it 43ForceGems's death, perhaps?”

    “Fool, I am telling you!” Epwna shouted, feeling angry due to his companion’s mockery. “I heard something. It must have been her child or something.”

    “Heh, child or no, that guich is finished,” Twili Kid said with a sly grin. “The river will probably take care of her if she isn’t already dead. It is said to run through a large portion of the Serpent Lady’s bog, you know? And it is riddled with more than just crocs and water serpents.”

    “I know,” Epwna nodded all confused. “I’ve heard enough tales back at the House.”

    “Then she’s pretty much a goner,” Twili Kid grinned. “She’ll probably get eaten or something if she doesn’t bleed to death first. If it indeed was her baby she was carrying, it too will get eaten, so that means our job here is done.”

    Epwna remained silent for a while, thinking about his companion’s words. They rang true, but he just wondered what the hell made him so positive that it would be that way?

    Suddenly, Twili Kid surprised him when he said, “What? You don’t believe my words, Epwna?”

    “I’m just not too sure, but what do we do now, then?” Epwna seemed pale and confused before his partner. “We have no body to present to the captain. Do you think he’ll believe our words when we tell him?”

    “That fool will have to when I tell him,” Twili Kid was quick to snap, pointing at himself. “Besides, you saw the last shot I took. The Primrose line has been completely wiped out, and I was the one who did that. I was the one who killed that guich, so I will be the one getting that honor later today. Or what, will you do something to ruin this glorious moment for me?”

    The dragir proceeded to lift his crossbow and pointed it right at Epwna’s face, who swallowed hard and even took a step back.

    "Well?" Twili Kid pressed on.

    Being a coward to a fault, Epwna just lowered his head and shook it several times before his partner. He knew that Twili Kid had killed other dragir before just because, so he decided not to be included in that list.

    “Heh, I thought so,” Twili Kid smiled in satisfaction and lowered the crossbow. “You better keep that trap of yours shut, if you know what’s good for you. We’ve been good friends for a while, you and I, Epwna. So long as you don’t say ****, you’ll be fine and I won’t have to kill you. Do you understand me?”

    Epwna just nodded, too afraid to even regard Twili Kid.

    “Come on, let’s get out of here before we come to regret it,” Twili Kid’s tone changed back to his normal voice. “I’m getting wild shivers just by standing here.”

    Epwna took a deep breath and glanced around, reminded of the danger of the place. His kin’s threat on him had already been forgotten.

    “Wait,” Epwna made the archer stop and turn around to consider him.

    “What now, fool?”

    “Just want to tell you that it is you who will deal with the captain. I will just be backing up everything you say.”

    “I’ll just tell him exactly what happened out here,” Twili Kid countered to that, feeling so good within for his kill. “There’s no reason for me to lie.”

    “What will you be telling that fool?” Epwna asked, concerned but knowing well that Twili Kid could handle the Captain.

    “I’ll say, ‘the ***** tried to jump into the river, captain, but I managed to fire a bolt and hit her right on the back. Her body fell into the river, so we couldn’t retrieve the body or her head for you.’ That is what I will say. Any more stupid questions?”

    Epwna shook his head, liking the response. “I hope he’ll believe us, for that is nothing but what happened here.”

    “Even if they torture us to find out the truth of what happened, we have nothing to fear since that’s exactly what happened.”

    “Right,” Epwna felt a shiver coursing through his back at the thought of them two getting tortured by the leaders of House Ingrenam.

    “Look, Epwna,” Twili Kid knew that his companion was troubled over nothing. “I know you’re worried. But the captain is not going to be making a fuzz over it. His brother ordered him to go after the escapees and to make sure they died. It’s his fault, if you ask me, for not coming along with us to make sure that ***** died. After what he did, you think he’s going to be clouding his family’s minds with worries and uncertainties about a Primrose remaining alive? If we were to speak to them about what he did, they’d kill him right in front of us for his failure, and we would surely follow...”

    “That’s what worries me,” Epwna said, feeling afraid. “That we get killed because of that fool’s incompetence.”

    “It’ll be alright,” Twili Kid said. “That’s not going to happen since I did nail that *****. I know the captain well. He’s a coward, and you saw that today when he couldn’t continue along with us after that guich. A breather to him was more important than seeing his mission through.”

    “You’re probably right,” Epwna laughed nervously. “Why should I be afraid of that idiot? We do have him in our grip.”

    “That’s it, see?” Twili Kid laughed. “You're beginning to sound a little like myself. Now you just leave that stupid captain of ours to me, I promise everything will be alright.”

    Epwna nodded, but just then a loud wild roar in the not-so distance startled them both. Knowing they had spent more time there then they should have, Twili Kid rushed away saying, “Come on, let’s get the hell out of here before we meet 43ForceGems's fate, too.”

    Before following him, Epwna hesitated for a brief second and turned to stare north, his eyes following the wild river’s run. He could not see the dragir floating in the water anymore because the river actually sloped down farther up north. But he turned around, believing in his heart that his companion was probably right. Besides, he had seen as the bolt had struck the dragir’s back. He knew that she surely was done for, for the dragir had seen other dragir and jyy get hit in that same spot and not survive long.

    Before he reached Twili Kid’s side, though, the sole thought of the dragir baby remaining alive made him stare back to the north in an uneasy way. What if he survived and in time came back to lay waste to those that had caused House Primrose’s ruin? What if every attacking House’s fears of leaving a single member alive from an attacked House came true and played a role later in their own downfall? It had happened several times in the past.

    Nah, that child is dead meat, too, Epwna believed in his troubled mind. If it was indeed a baby, it most likely will drown, or get eaten by those many creatures out there.

    As he joined his companion’s side, he chose to believe that's what would happen.

    ***
     
  6. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    This chapter is actually new. I forgot I had rewritten it, that I had changed most of the old one to meet the new story requirements. So from here on out all chapters of this story you have never read before.

    *Honored Zders are those whose names appear during the chapter. On the previous chapter, which I split up, I did not include this option since I did that at the beginning of the chapter. I will include the Honors at the start of every chapter.

    Honored ZDers
    [February Eve, Jetter, Atsuma]

    * Chapter 5: Left to His Own Luck

    * The Bog, Same Day, Year 301



    February Eve had never lost consciousness after she had jumped into the savage river. As soon as she had felt the pain of her newest wound when the bolt had pierced her back, she knew that it was a mortal wound and that she would be dying soon. Still, despite feeling a bone-chilling fear she had never felt before, she had done a good job of fighting those rough waters and had done even better by maintaining herself and her baby afloat near a large log that she had been lucky enough to get her hands on further along the way. On top of that log she had placed her crying son, through so much pain that it had caused her just to do that.

    Nearly fainting, she grabbed on to the log for dear life with her right hand, while she kept her baby safe with the other. Surely out of energy, the dragiress had let the river carry her and her baby downstream to wherever it led them. During the ride through the river, February Eve’s weak eyes had seen several unnerving creatures on the riverbank. Those had been large spiders, large scorpions, and other foul creatures that would have undoubtedly killed or eaten her and her baby had they gotten the chance. The dragiress had seen more than just overgrown spiders and scorpions, she had also seen carnivorous beasts and monsters on the riverbank, some of which had been feasting on other unfortunate creatures. Then there had been several large water serpents in the water, one of which had risen out from the depths and had set its eyes on the dragiress as the river took her by. The large predator went after its would-be meal in an instant, and how the dragiress became scared after realizing what was about to happen. But The Bog was crawling with so many types of predators. The long monster never reached its intended prey, for something more powerful and bigger in that river had simply pulled it down never to be seen again, to February Eve's much relief.

    The dragiress felt grateful that they had avoided that trouble and many others, but she had been losing blood and strength with every passing minute. The river, despite being very rough, miraculously had not hurt the dragiress or her young one, rather it had helped them in their escape and had taken them to a safer region deep in The Serpent Lady’s deadly bog. Yes, a much safer region, for the river actually split up into several veins during its run, and so February Eve and her son had been led by the river via one of those veins to a calmer region where the river did not run so rampant and where predatory creatures could not be seen. The ride to this new, calmer area had only taken around twenty minutes after February Eve had jumped into the Seoco.

    And so it was that the dragiress and her child had made it safely with only minor scratches from the bumpy river ride to this new area in The Bog. The jungle and its deadly ambient were still pretty much present, but the waters of this vein of the Seoco ran serenely in this region for a few miles before ending in a great marshy lagoon surrounded by other marshy holes.

    Not knowing where they really were now, a weak February Eve became worried of the murky, mossy waters that she and her son had come to. Floating gently along with the large branch, February Eve glanced all around and saw her surroundings well. Her eyes noticed that the riverbank was covered with greenish shrubs, grass, and moss, most if it, that was. Further still, huge trees lined both sides of the river till the eye could see. Up in the sky, a bunch of white clouds had gathered and were transiting slowly, one of those keeping the sun covered entirely behind it, but February Eve did notice some of its rays behind it. As she had taken notice of her surroundings, everything to her ears was eerily quiet. Not a single noise from creatures could be heard, just the trickling of the calm river waters. It was as if no one was there, as if the place was abandoned, save for the multitude of trees and shrubs.

    February Eve welcomed the quiet place. It was better than being in an area where roars, shrieks, and other weird noises were heard most of the time. However, knowing fully well that this river was probably infested with many deadly creatures, both small and large, February Eve was quick to drag her battered self and her child toward the nearest bank. The poor dragiress barely managed it, for her wounds stung too much and she had been very weak by then. She did not have that much strength left in her, the wounds and the fight with the river had drained her of much of her strength, so when she did manage to get to the riverbank, she could not stand up and walk. Ignoring the foul pain, the dragiress dragged herself out of the water, carrying her crying son along with her. She managed to drag herself and her baby near a rather large branch that lay nearby on the river bank. The branch was humongous and already covered in moss, and February Eve believed that it had fallen off from one of those large coniferous trees in the past, perhaps cut off from it after lightning had struck the tree. She did not care how the branch had gotten there, but in front of it, using it as some sort of cover from any danger that might come their way, she felt thankful for it and nestled herself in a sideways lying position and remained there trying to calm her crying son down. February Eve was worried that his cries had probably already alerted the nearby residents of the place, but what could she do? She knew that he cried because he was wet from the river ride, and he probably was hungry, too, since when the attack on her House had happened he had been sleeping. February Eve, much in her sadness and fear of death began to remember all that had happened up to that point. But suddenly, she was rattled when she heard a faint shriek in the far distance, so she weakly brought her sword out and kept it close. Alarmed after the shriek, for she knew those shrieks usually involved something getting eaten or killed, she focused on keeping her child tightly secured in her arms during those moments. February Eve could only hope that danger did not come their way. That thought spurred her to action, but the dragiress realized that she could go no further, that her legs would not obey her now, despite her wanting to get up and move on and continue in her quest to put her child to safety. February Eve was going nowhere, this large branch was her last form of defense. She was in tears then, because she believed that her efforts in the end had been all for naught. What made the pain she felt within even worse were the mere thoughts of what would come to happen to her child if she died all of a sudden and left him just there to his own luck? What horrors would he go through in this awful place before he joined her too?

    Imagining the worst, the dragiress gulped hard, putting those sick, troubling thoughts aside. She knew that her wounds—especially the last one on her back—would claim her life soon. With tears streaming down her eyes she swallowed hard realizing that, and she felt so awful not knowing what would come to happen to her baby, who was still crying loudly during that time. She rocked him back and forth gently in her arms, trying to calm him.

    “Ah, Jetter, my love,” she lamented in a very low, weak voice, with the taste of blood in her mouth. “I managed to get away from our would-be killers. Your sacrifice was not in vain, but I don’t know w-where we are now...wish it was h-human lands, but it doesn't seem like it...”

    Her baby quieted down then, as if intrigued by her words, but the gentle rocking had helped as well. From the side where she had set him close to her, he glanced up at her with his sparkly, dark brown eyes and smiled gleefully at her. Seeing him do that, February Eve managed a very faint smile. Without moving her head, she took her sight away from her son briefly and looked around the area by moving her eyes instead, for the shriek she had heard was still ringing danger in the back of her mind. In front of her, tall, green-coated trees—some with red or yellow leafs—swayed gently with the mild breeze that blew that day, but no monster or rare-looking creatures were in sight. February Eve distinguished the low trickling sound of the river again, which wasn’t an annoyance at all, rather formed part of a serene, peaceful feeling found in this area. Ignoring then the sounds and the vista before her, she inclined her head and looked upon her baby, giving him all her undivided attention.

    “Atsuma,” she whispered on to her son and gave him whatever strength she had left in her arms in what would have been a tender hug. “I love you, my son. I want you to understand that now, even though you can’t. But you must hear my words. I’ve loved you since the moment I conceived you. I wish that both our lives could have fared better, and that of your father’s as well. We did not deserve this, nor did anyone from our House deserve to die. We were wrongfully put to the sword. Things played out that way, there was nothing we could do to stop it. I...I wish that this had never happened, my dear boy, because it ruined your life, a life you will probably not get to experience as much as I have. Please,” she closed her tearful eyes. “I ask that you, in your very young life, can forgive me for failing you so.”

    She kept talking lowly to him in the most tender tone she could muster. She mostly told him how much he loved him, but a few minutes later, she experienced a horrible dizzy spell which was accompanied by a cold shiver that coursed all over her body. February Eve knew that her life force was leaving her, for even her surroundings had turned all dark all of a sudden, and she had her eyes wide open. Feeling as afraid as ever, she tried to fight that feeling away, but was defeated immediately. She convulsed for several seconds and spit blood out from her mouth, avoiding choking herself with it. She felt so cold within and sobbed only once, and for a fleeting second she felt the greatest of fears, but only because she was going away and leaving her son behind and without her care. In her last seconds of life, February Eve smiled then, realizing that if her time had come to leave the world it wasn't as painful as she had believed that it would be a long time ago. The worst had been the dizzy spell, which had felt to her as if someone had attempted to tug her soul out.

    The dragiress had endured much pain throughout her journey, but now it all seemed peace to her despite the grave thought lingering in the back of her mind about her baby, whom she was leaving behind.

    “Atsuma, I love you, my son–” she attempted to lean and kiss her son goodbye, and she managed it, but soon afterward, her life force abandoned her, and February Eve could do nothing but let herself go. Her watery eyes closed slowly for the final time in her life, and her head hit the moss-covered ground as she left her son to his luck.


    ***
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  7. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Back from the holidays. Hope you all had a good one. :) Well, the story continues.

    Honored ZDers
    Zeruda

    Chapter 6: The Serpent Lady

    The Bog

    Zeruda had been out and about in the surrounding areas of her temple looking for a wild beast to hunt so she could later roast it and then eat it. Many centuries ago when she had arrived the place and had adjusted to the boggy area that she had called her home, Zeruda had learned that her mere presence and godly aura had scared most of the residents away and had sent them far from that area, leaving her main terrain a desolate haven for her. Because of that, she often had to venture out quite far in order to find prey that she could kill in order to eat and survive. Every day she went out hunting at least three times, for she liked her meals fresh and never hunted more than she needed. Often she had killed large predatory beasts, but she only took what she needed and left the rest for other creatures seeking a meal in that jungle. There were many hungry, hostile creatures in that green land; from giant-sized crocodiles to prehistoric creatures. During her many centuries there, Zeruda had tasted just about every kind of meal the place had to offer. Her favorite type of meal had become chimera flesh, but so long as it was cooked wild beast or monster meat, she'd really not cared when it came to eating. Going out to hunt also had its risks and dangers involved. The goddess Zeruda had encountered so many ferocious foes to fight over the passing of the years. Besides prehistoric beasts and wild animals, The Bog also saw the presence of so many other deadly creatures—beings such as dryads, mandragoras, four-armed nymphs known as gwüibres, among many others—Zeruda had even killed several succubae and incubi, which had surprised her so much because those creatures were rarely seen in the world. Those creatures she had believed extinct after she had sealed her brother, but apparently there had been survivors that had remained on the surface. The succubae and incubi were just several of his darkest creations, and Zeruda abhorred them because they were evil creatures that were very cruel with humans.

    Now then, Zeruda’s female form from the waste up was pure beauty, except of course, for her face, which was indeed ugly-looking thanks in most part to the dark living serpents that she had for hair, as well as some warts and small lumps on her forehead. If there was some beauty to be found in her semblance, it had to be her pair of emerald eyes, which glistened strongly. She was owner of a busty and lean body, her skin color being a light tan. A golden, light-weight plate covered her entire torso. This armor she had fabricated back in Celestia many centuries ago. Many years had passed, but the goddess had kept it well cared and it still looked as if it had been recently crafted, though the armor did show many scratches here and there, for the Serpent Lady had waged many battles in The Bog. Her wrists were also covered with guards similar in looks to the armor, and around her neck she wore many amulets and necklaces that had found their way to her from dead warriors that had gone to meet death in her domain. Her serpentine form from the waist down was humongous, both in girth and extent. Her serpentine body reached twenty feet in length from the waistline to the tip of her tail, which ended in a nasty stinger. Her serpentine skin was of a dark color with silver diamond shapes on the back. The lower side, which usually slid against the ground and other surfaces such as trees and stones, was a true golden hue, with small dark spots on the edges.

    Indeed she was a frightening-looking monster on the outside, on the inside, however, that was another matter.

    Zeruda had a personal weapon that she was an expert when it came to using it. It was Zephtus, her long black, stringless, magical bow, which was made of pure Orihalcon, a sturdy, many-colors glittering element found only in Celestia. Besides firing off magical arrows made of pure crystal, it could fire regular arrows as well, all through the use of magic. During the time she'd spent at The Bog, Zeruda had not used too many of her crystal arrows, she had saved those, for she did not have a way of getting them, unless one of her celestial brothers or sisters was kind enough to come down to earth and deliver them to her. But they had not come since she had decided to remain in that mortal world, so she was out of luck. Thus, the Serpent Lady had used normal arrows for most of her hunting. The warriors that came seeking to kill her had provided her with many weapons and arrows, but when she ran out, she’d had to create them herself. Being all alone in that part of the bog gave her enough time to do that and much more. Many days had seen the Serpent Lady crafting arrows from wood, as well as other utensils for her personal use.

    In order to surprise her prey, Zeruda had a tendency of climbing up to those long, coniferous trees, coil her fat slithery form around any strong branch or the tree's main trunk, and wait patiently for any form of prey to appear either below on the jungle floor or on neighboring trees. Her domain was filled with so many a variety of monsters and creatures that she did not have trouble finding something, the trouble was going out there and getting it, really.

    That sunny day, she was about to climb up the fat trunk of one tree that she had selected, but she was detained from doing that when all of a sudden she thought she heard a faint cry in the distance to the northeast. With one of her hands already against the trunk and the other already grabbing on to a fat branch as if ready to climb, she turned her head over her right shoulder and looked toward the northeast, to where she believed the faint cry had come from. She waited patiently, her ears perked up in an attempt to hear once again what she had heard before.

    Then there it was once again, this time a little clearer than before. Zeruda rose her eyebrows in more than surprise when she thought she knew what kind of cry it was..

    ***​
     
  8. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Honored ZDers
    Zeruda, Mases, Atsuma

    Chapter 7: The Gift
    The faint crying kept reaching her ears again and again, and Zeruda became confused, for she had not heard that kind of cry in her boggy domain before. Without a doubt, she knew that it was the cry of an infant. Zeruda let go of the fat tree and slid away toward the northeast quite rapidly, her serpentine form gliding rapidly over the damp ground. Though Zeruda was big and weighed more than 300 pounds, mostly due to her long and heavy serpentine form, she was very agile.

    She was the ruler of this place, the creatures that inhabited and shared this bog with her had come to respect her, yet Zeruda always had her senses working strong, so even though she slid through that wetland as if there was no reason to be afraid, she did so with much caution.

    The cries led her back northeast into a large cluster of trees that she had traversed half hour ago as she had come to this place seeking a meal. After five minutes of slithering rapidly through that tree-infested region, she began to feel suspicious about the cries, and only because she had been far away when she had first heard them and she still could hear the cries far away even as she went. Was this some kind of magical trick perhaps from a foe inhabiting The Bog? The goddess did not know, but that thought made her bring her bow out. Moments later, when she peered out the other side of those trees, a calm, murky river flowed before her eyes. This river Zeruda knew all too well, it was just a mile or so away from her temple, so the sight of it did not surprise her at all. What did surprise her, though, were the cries of the infant, which were now stronger there. She knew the infant was somewhere close.

    Zeruda curiously stared all around the moss-covered area, her green eyes searching for the crying source. Soon, her eyes found something. A creature laid close to a large, fallen branch, and in her arms was the source of the crying: an infant. That surprised her even more and was cause for her to furrow her eyebrows, for never had any living creature that had ventured into the bog gotten this far in the last few centuries. From the looks of it, the large creature appeared to be a female dragir. Zeruda knew of the dragir race. She knew of their existence despite not having laid eyes on them for many centuries after the last war that Celestia had fought against Mosley and his minions. She knew that they inhabited the southern neighboring land, and she knew all about their war with their ex-brothers too. For the most part, they had kept away from her bog, and those that hadn’t had suffered terrible deaths here, none at her hands, though, all to the beasts and monsters.

    Zeruda noticed right away that the dragir appeared to be dead, for there was no movement whatsoever from her part. If she was not dead, then Zeruda believed that she had fainted, but just by seeing the dragir’s pose, she strongly got the sense that she was dead. The infant, she observed, was crying loudly. At least the baby showed signs of being fully alive, but if the babe kept it up with that ruckus, Zeruda knew that some creature would surely get to it and make a meal out of him or her—what was it? Was it a male or a female?

    Wanting to find that out, Zeruda tentatively slid away from her position and toward the baby. Her serpentine form submerged into the edge of the murky river and agitated that water as she swam through it, but she never let that foul water touch her upper body. She used her long serpentine form to navigate across the river. She crossed through it fast, with no fear of being surprised by some sort of water monster, there were none there to worry about since this calm, murky river was very close to her main residing zone. After a minute or so, she loomed before the dead dragir and the crying little one, her massive shadow covering them as she had approached. Many of her questions and doubts were answered right away just by looking at them. It indeed was a female dragir that lay lifeless there, Zeruda's eyes clearly saw that when she noticed the huge arrow sticking on the female’s back. There was also a small pool of blood underneath the dragir, and the goddess made out several other wounds on her. Deeply saddened at the scene and still feeling utterly surprised about how the dragir and the baby had gotten there, Zeruda put her bow away on her back and licked her lips. She leaned forth and reached out for the baby right away. She took the creature in her bosom and stared kindly at it for a while.

    “There, there now,” she spoke to the beautiful horned creature, who kept crying loudly despite having been picked up. “You’re safe now, little one. No harm will befall you.”

    Hunger-driven, the baby cried on, but having felt her arrival and the soothing touch of her arms, the baby dragir began to quiet down just a little. Zeruda used her right hand to caress the baby’s forehead gently, hoping that her touch would help calm the baby down. That action helped a little, as the baby began to calm down.

    Suddenly, Zeruda looked from the baby to the nearby surroundings wondering whether there were any other “visitors” close by. She saw nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual sights. That made her return her attention to the baby, and the question then hit her like a cold bucket of water falling over her. What was she going to do with it?

    She looked at the dead dragir for a while and wondered why it was that she had come here. She was dead but her baby had survived. Was she even the baby’s mother? Zeruda wondered about that and so many other questions. She was lost in those thoughts trying to find an explanation, but it came to her mind via the voice of her Father, who had not conversed with her in a long while, in fact, they hadn’t spoken to each other since he had warned her about the many assassins that had gone to kill her on a stormy night many, many years ago.

    Zeruda, since you know of what things occur in the south, is it really too hard for you to understand how those dragir got there?

    Hearing his voice inside her head really caught Zeruda unaware and gave her such a startle.

    “Father!” the Serpent Lady said and turned to regard the sky. Hearing his voice always cheered her up, so she smiled gladly, for it had been centuries since last she had heard his voice. Zeruda saw her father’s old man’s face in a cloud, and how that made her feel warm, for it had been a very long time since she had seen him. To any creatures looking up at that cloud, the cloud would have seem like any normal cloud, but not to Zeruda, who could easily make out her father’s face in it.

    After settling down, she asked him as she stared up at the cloud, “You knew he was out here alive and made his cries reach my ears, right? Why?”

    I could have done nothing about it and left him there to die, Mases replied. His cries would have surely brought along a crocodile, or another predatory beast of your bog in due time.

    “Those things don’t come near here,” Zeruda protested. “Nothing does. The foul beasts and monsters are too afraid to even think about coming near, for they know who resides in this zone: me.”

    Believe me, my daughter, Mases replied softly to that. Such creatures would have braved it out if it meant that they would have a chance at an easy meal. Your jungle is infested with predators, hunger is the motor that drives most of those creatures to do what they do: survive. Anyhow, I could have let that be, could have left the dragir babe to die, but I had pity on "him". Thus I chose to alert you of his presence by raising the volume of his cries to reach your ears.

    There. Zeruda had her answer to her previous suspicions just like that. Her father had just declared the baby a male.

    “Fine, but what do you expect me to do with him?” Zeruda asked, keeping calm. “I’ve...many other matters to concern myself with. You know this well, father.”

    The choice is yours to make, the All-Father replied in her mind, his mouth in the cloud barely moving. Do what you must with him, Zeruda. He’s in your possession now. He is officially yours now...

    Zeruda paled and felt so confused.

    “M-Mine?” she stammered, staring down at the dragir babe, who began crying loudly again just then. “You mean he’s mine to keep?”

    His mother behind you is dead, Mases explained, once again clearing some questions from her head about whether the dead dragir was the baby’s mother or not. The young one's name is Atsuma, and he's got nobody now, my daughter. His House was wiped out by another Dragir House hours ago. His mother escaped that fate but suffered wounds along the way. She was able to make it to the river, where she jumped in, but not before suffering that terrible wound on her back. You can probably imagine what happened next.

    Zeruda imagined that the river had brought them there to that region close to her temple. If that was the case, it had not been an easy feat at all, what with her domain bustling with so much activity and danger. Her sympathy and respect for the dead dragir augmented quite a lot there.

    His mother died in her attempt in seeing him to safety. She achieved that task despite dying believing that she had failed. Knowing how you hate injustices and death, I saw myself forced to act. The dragir and her husband are already in Elysium, enjoying another kind of life, but their son now lies in your hands. From the feelings I read from you at this very moment, I know my actions will not be in vain. I know fully well that you will honor those dead dragir and look after their baby.

    A long silence ensued in which Zeruda remained thinking about it all while staring at the baby, who would not calm down. Her father was right, for as soon as she had taken the baby from his mother's arms, she had felt so much pity for him and had felt a strong urge to look after him.

    “Fine,” Zeruda finally smiled up at the sky, from whence her father was watching her this very moment. “I know what I have to do, father.” She lowered her sight to the crying baby and began rocking him gently in her arms. “If it pleases you, I will keep this child and raise him as my own. If one thing I really needed badly out here, it was a change from all the usual stuff that happens here all the time. I am sure that having him around will provide me much of that...at least till the time comes for me to face my brother...”

    The time to face him approaches, Mases spoke in his daughter’s mind. But I think you’ve thought too much about him and what will come to happen when that seal breaks.

    “And?” Zeruda wondered, staring up at the sky.

    You need to clear your mind from all that, her father calmly replied. Calm the raging storm residing within you, the things that will come to happen in the future will surely come to happen.

    "I know."

    You do, no doubt about it. But let me tell you that you must enjoy the time with the child
    . I am sure seeing him grow up will bring you plenty of joy, which you need lots of, really, my daughter.

    "Father? Why do you sound so sad?"

    Because for too long I have seen you living in solitude and suffering in many ways. I’ve felt heartbroken for such a long time knowing that. I hope my gift to you this day is able to fix all that pain, for the both of us, that is.

    Tears fell from Zeruda’s eyes after she heard her father’s words. All this time that he had been away from her he had been thinking about her, had been seeing her from his own place--so he really hadn't been away as she'd thought.

    "I believe it does," Zeruda nodded understandingly toward the sky only once. Then she lowered her head, cleared her teary eyes, and felt grateful with her father knowing that she indeed needed lots of joy in her life.

    Since young Atsuma is now yours, you can either choose to let him keep that name, or you can give him a new one since he's starting anew at your side. The choice I leave to you, my daughter.

    Zeruda only remained thoughtful about those words, but she did nod understandingly up at the sky.

    I am glad we’ve shared this talk, but now I must leave you, my precious daughter. You should know that I am always close, attentive of everything, and watching...

    His precious, kind voice faded into nothingness within her mind, a sign that he was gone. In the past, when her father had spoken to her and when he had left, Zeruda had felt so alone and very sad. As she remained there holding the crying baby in her arms, she did not feel too alone or sad.

    The goddess did not remember when it had been the last time she had felt overly happy as she did just then, but she understood that it had been a long time.

    Forgetting about her past misfortunes, Zeruda secured the baby tighter in her arms. He was hers now, given to her by her own father; and who could dispute that decision?

    The ancient goddess gave the baby a heart-warming smile, then she leaned her head a bit and touched his small nose with her own.

    "You are my child now," she told him. "I will take great care of you, little one."

    As she finishing saying that, new tears she shed, but of pure joy. A few of those tears fell on the baby's face, but the goddess laughed warmly and cleared them away from his face by using her right hand. She believed then that she understood why he cried, and she was not late in breast-feeding him.

    ***
     
  9. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    This is a dwarfy chapter. I broke up the original into several parts because it was kinda long.
    **I might post the next one later tonight since this chapter is small, if not, past midnight or early the next day.


    Honored Zders

    Eclipse


    Chapter 8: Eclipse
    The Bog, 2nd of April, Year 317

    The horned being had often ventured to an isolated area of the bog, an area that had fast become his favorite spot to spend some alone time the last two years. It was a place where the ground was not as humid as it was in most of that jungle, rather it was sturdy and somewhat dry, with bushes and shrubs of all sizes and colors sprouting from it here and there. There were not that many trees to be seen nearby, either, nor swamps, rivers, streams, or lakes. There was, however, a reigning overwhelming silence, and an overabundance of grayish stone statues. The young dragir had become aware a few years back that these statues had once been real live warriors. The statues could be seen scattered all over the place. Most stood uncannily in place, but there were many that lay on the ground, a good handful of them broken in many pieces. This was the main area where his mother had fought so many foes over the passing of the centuries that had come seeking to take her head as a trophy. The statues were what remained of most of them after Zeruda had used her mere sight to turn them to stone, a godly power that was all her own. To the north of that place there was a huge lagoon, but the young dragir rarely went there, as there was nothing much to see except for the murky waters of the lagoon and the copse of greenery surrounding it. No, the dragir’s favorite place had become that statue-riddled area.

    The dragir had come to call the place “The Tomb” due to all the statues. There were so many for the eyes to see, thousands of them, perhaps! The number alone had amazed Eclipse—which was the new name the dragir had been given by his second mother sixteen years ago.

    Eclipse was sixteen now, and he had turned out to be quite the handsome fellow. With a pair of noble brown eyes, a thin nose and a few dark scales showing on his face, neck and arms, he stood just two inches shy of six feet. He was lean, yet his muscles were strongly shaped, but nothing that made him look overly strong. He had inherited his original mother’s brown eyes, and oblivious to it, he had also inherited his father’s silvery hair. Eclipse's hair was long, falling halfway down his back, but he kept it tied in several braids.

    Unbeknownst to him that he was being watched from afar, the young dragir went on ahead to do his thing, which was to play a game using the statues as foes and he acting as a warrior.

    ***​
     
  10. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Dang! Chapter 9 already? We are still not at the halfway point, though.
    Honored ZDers
    Zeruda, Eclipse

    Chapter 9: Guarding Her Treasure

    From a fair distance, Zeruda kept a watchful eye on her beloved treasure from atop a tree. Though she respected her son Eclipse and allowed him some privileges, the Serpent Lady knew of the dangers of the bog and the rest of the world, and so she did not practice carelessness when it came to her son’s well being. She would always be his guardian.

    So many joys and good laughs had the dragir brought to Zeruda’s sad life and had changed it with each passing day that she had spent taking care of him. Little Eclipse had become her most beloved treasure ever since the very first day she had met him, and though he was already of the same age of what a young human male would be called a man and not a child any longer, he was still Zeruda’s little treasure.

    The cursed goddess smiled contently as she saw what he was doing: playing that he was a warrior and those many statues his enemies—and those of his mother as well, whom he had to protect. Zeruda had seen the same scene play out many times over the past two years. A week ago, though, Eclipse had taken his game farther. Now instead of fighting those warriors with make-believe weapons as he had for most of those two years, he now used two old rusty swords that he had taken from the ground from fallen warriors as his own weapons. Wielding them in his hands that afternoon, he moved from one statue to the next, touching them slightly with the swords, which signified a score, or a kill. The dragir even rolled on the ground, ducked underneath a statue's held weapon, flipped expertly over backwards from another that might have been turned to stone while in the midst of executing a dangerous blow, (that backwards flip move really amazed Zeruda whenever her son performed it) and performed other defensive maneuvers and did other things that warriors supposedly did while in the midst of battle. He even used his magic, but only to make his playing battles look a little more real. At times he would fire small fireballs to the statues, but since they were small, like the size of an apple, they didn’t really put a hurt on those statues, just left a smoky mark on them. Had the dragir really wanted to, he could have summoned forth a large fireball with explosive power and destroyed any statue there.

    Though apparently he knew what he was doing, Zeruda had yet to teach him how to battle, how to defend himself, and even how to properly wield a weapon. If she still had not taught him any of that, it was not because she did not want to, but because the goddess had been letting him reach a certain age. From what she saw that afternoon, though, she was quite amazed of what Eclipse had learned on his own so far. Eclipse was the name that Zeruda had chosen for him that fateful day in which he had become her son. In the god tongue that she knew, Eclipse had several meanings, and it was even a word that described a celestial event in the mortal world. In the god tongue, though, it meant wonderful gift, beautiful, and special. That is why Zeruda had chosen that name, because she'd thought it fit him perfectly.

    Sixteen years had passed since she had collected him from his true mother’s arms. Her gifted son already knew about the past, about how it was that he had ended there in that dangerous jungle. Zeruda had told him all that. Eclipse knew of his real mother, too, who was dead and resting close to the temple underneath the shadow of a large avarpago tree, which was a large type of tree that sprouted and let fall to the ground pink and purple heart-shaped leaves all year long. Furthermore, Eclipse also knew of the existence of his race down south, of their bitter wars, and of the existence of so many other races and monsters that inhabited the world. He was also well aware of the many problems that the whole world was going through. He knew there was a way to achieve eternal happiness through good deeds, but most importantly, though, he knew of the ancient past. He knew of Mr. Mosley and the seal that was keeping him in check, as well as the dark days that were to come when that seal expired. Zeruda had revealed all those things to him as he had been growing up. She had not fed it all to him in a snap, mind you, she had told him bits on occasions and when he had asked her about something. At age six, the first thing that he had asked her was why it was that they were so different from each other. If she really was his mother as she said, why didn’t he have the serpent body that she had? Or the serpents for hair? He had asked why he had horns and dark scales and she did not. Zeruda had sighed deeply on that day and had replied with nothing but the truth, because she had known well that she would have to explain all that to him and much more when the day came. It had come and so she had told him. Eclipse, of course, had been deeply saddened when he had come to know that he’d had a real mother who looked much like him, with horns and scales. Zeruda had told him all about her during a stormy night, about how she had found him lying beside her and crying loudly. When Eclipse became aware of the truth, when he'd learned that his mother and father had been murdered by another dragir House, he had rushed out of the temple crying and wanting to be alone. Zeruda’s heart had hurt just by seeing him leave like that. She had gone after him right away, for she knew that he needed love and support in those hard times, not to mention her protection. Despite knowing the truth of his origins at an early age, the dragir had told Zeruda under the harsh rain that had been falling on them that night that he loved her as his real mother. The deity had told him that she loved him as if he was her genuine son. That love between them, which was already strong since Eclipse had been but a “kid”, blossomed even more after that. As his childish years had passed and he turned into a teenager, Eclipse understood more about life and the things he had learned as a child. One thing that had never frightened him were his second mother’s looks. When his mind had come to understand that she looked ugly, he had asked her why she looked like that. That is the day Zeruda had revealed to him all about the ancient past and the troubles with her brother. After he had learned how it was that she had ended the way she was, in silence and in his inner thoughts he had promised himself that one day he would make the one responsible pay for those vile and atrocious acts.

    That is why Eclipse went to the statue-filled area nearly every afternoon, because he was learning how to fight and defend himself and his mother for when that time came.

    Zeruda did not bother him that day, she just continued watching in delight as he fought those imaginary adversaries. The Serpent Lady came to understand that day that perhaps the time had come for her to teach him many other things.

    ***​
     
  11. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Honored ZDers
    Zeruda, Eclipse

    Chapter 10: Done Deal

    A few nights later, after they had finished dining on cooked chimera meat inside the temple, Zeruda decided to casually ask Eclipse some questions, which she believed would lead to her training him for battle.

    “Why do you carry those weapons with you, Eclipse?” she asked. “I’ve been wanting to ask you that for days when I saw you carrying them around, but I had my mind on other matters that I forgot.”

    From his place where he sat around a fire that they always built in one spacey room where they mostly kept logs for the fire and cooking utensils, Eclipse gulped and regarded her timidly. Seeing him hesitate in responding let Zeruda know that he had not been expecting the question.

    “I...” the young dragir stammered under the pressure of her stare. Eclipse had always feared her eyes, for he knew what she could do with them. He had not seen her in action, but the many statues at the place where he played at and the tales that she had told him had been enough to scare him.

    “Look,” Zeruda took over from her place, the fire causing a mix of shadows to dance all over her face and upper body, giving her a mystical, scary look. In return, so too, did Eclipse look mysterious to her thanks to the fire and the surrounding darkness that hugged the dark walls of the stone temple. “I will be frank with you, son. I’ve followed you most of the time that you’ve gone out to Warriors Grave.”

    If he was hurt after learning that he had never had privacy out there, Eclipse did not show it, but he did blink several times, though.

    “You will have to forgive me for that,” Zeruda said in true apology, her tone kind. “You’ve grown a lot, and from what I’ve been seeing you do out there, you probably can take care of yourself already. You surely have impressed me with some of your moves, but I must remind you that this place, this bog that we call home, is still too big and very dangerous.”

    Eclipse nodded at her, surely knowing that at heart.

    “Thus why I've been following you, so I could keep a watchful eye on you. After all, you are my greatest treasure and joy, and you know that if something terrible befell you, I would never forgive myself.”

    “I have nothing to forgive, mother,” Eclipse said in his crispy, young voice. With his head lowered, he went on, “In fact, know that I am grateful for your care, I really am. As to the weapons...” he looked off to the side, avoiding her stare. “I...just thought that they could come handy, that's all.”

    “Show them to me, please,” Zeruda bade, and she even extended her right arm, as if asking for them.

    Right away, Eclipse stood up in his place and brought the swords out from their respective hard leather holsters. He went around the fire and offered the blades to her, who took them from his hands.

    Zeruda gave the old swords a good revise.

    Not bad weapons, she thought to herself as her emerald eyes scanned them. But they are rusty and have lost their sharpness.

    “These weapons once served their masters greatly,” she declared, to what Eclipse nodded in an agreeing way. “But their masters met their match when they came here seeking to take my head as a prize. I don’t feel elated after what I’ve done to them and to those many other warriors and monsters out there on that lonely field, Eclipse. I only turned them to stone because I had to, and no day goes by in which I don’t ask my father in heaven for forgiveness.”

    “I know, mother,” Eclipse said with much sadness in his voice, and he lowered his head. “If I was out there playing that they were my enemies, there were no bad intentions in my heart towards them. I was just...”

    Zeruda gave him an understanding, caring glance, and after grabbing both swords in one hand, she lifted up his chin using her free right hand. Eclipse glanced up at her.

    “Playing, right?” Zeruda asked. “Having fun?”

    Eclipse nodded twice, but there were some words he wanted to add, he just didn’t find the courage to say them.

    “Do you wish for me to teach you how to battle properly?” Zeruda asked then. “I could teach you lots of things that you still don’t know. I could make of you a great warrior, my son.”

    “You...would do that?” Eclipse seemed shocked before her.

    She smiled at him and threw the swords behind her, these making a loud clanging sound when they hit the stony floor.

    “Isn’t that why you have been going out to Warriors Grave? To learn how to fight?”

    “That is exactly why I have been going out there,” Eclipse confessed, and he relaxed before her sturdy gaze. “Because I want to be able to...to learn how to protect you...and myself.”

    Zeruda’s heart vibrated with much joy after hearing his words. She kept her beautiful eyes on him for a while.

    “Then we will begin with new lessons soon enough,” Zeruda said at length.

    “New lessons?” Eclipse was taken aback.

    “You already know more than the basics,” the goddess explained. “No need to start from the very beginning as other amateur warriors might when they begin their training elsewhere. I will teach you what you still don’t know, and I will hone all your known skills further. I will make of you a true warrior, like myself.”

    The dragir pondered on those words for a while.

    “Yes, that is what I want to be,” he said excitedly a few seconds later. “A warrior much like you. I want to be able to bring down Nebrakuses all by myself.”

    Nebrakuses were actually T-rex-like monsters, but with spiky plates on their back and tails. Eclipse had never killed one, nor had he ever killed any living creature, but he had seen his mother do it.

    “Right," Zeruda said. "Then know now that we won’t be going out to Warriors Grave to train, though, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

    “We won't?” Eclipse raised his eyebrows, surely surprised. "Then where will we train?"

    “I will train you here, close to our temple. No need for us to go out that far just to train.”

    Eclipse nodded, surely understanding her words, but he felt sad because she had tossed the swords away and had not given them back to him.

    “What about the swords?” he asked in a casual way. “Or is it that you will teach me all these new things without the need for weapons?”

    “Forget about those rusty swords, my son,” Zeruda said. “They had an owner once, and in my opinion they deserve to rest as their owners currently are resting. I will get you new weapons after you complete your training. Now how does that sound to you?”

    A grand smile spread on Eclipse’s face, and Zeruda enjoyed that, however, her smile fast disappeared when Eclipse asked, “Would any of those weapons be Excalibur or Zephtus by any chance?”

    Even when he had asked the question, Eclipse’s eyes had fallen on the beautiful sword, which Zeruda carried on her left side in a beautiful golden scabbard.

    “Oh, Eclipse, come here,” Zeruda invited him over. He was fast to get to her. She took him in her arms, and he hugged her slender waist in return and looked up at her.

    “Excalibur is a special weapon that was handed down to me through my father,” she explained as kindly as she could, so as not to hurt his feelings. She caressed his hair and his dark horns and went on to say, “And my bow belongs to me. Though I would be so honored to hand either of them over to you, it cannot be so, my son. For you see, Zephtus knows no other master but me, and Excalibur has one final task to help me with, and you already know what that task is.”

    Eclipse did know what that task was. Excalibur was the weapon that Zeruda would be using against her brother. It was the only weapon that could harm him, what with him being a godly creature like her.

    “Excalibur, as you know, has immense power,” Zeruda went on. “Enough to slay deities. It was created by my own father. If you were to wield it, I don’t know what it would do to you, what with the sword being so special and so powerful and you...well a dragir and certainly no god like me."

    Eclipse nodded up at her, understanding her words.

    "I don’t wish to take my chances," Zeruda went on, the goddess surely enjoying caressing her son's hair. "I don’t want to see you get hurt. Just wait till I get you your weapons, alright?”

    "Alright," Eclipse said.

    She then touched him gently on his chin. "I promise that once you have them in your possession, you will forget all about Excalibur and Zephtus, which rightfully belong to me.”

    “Agreed,” Eclipse said, and Zeruda could tell that he had not been hurt, rather that he had understood. “But I do hope those weapons are as pretty as those swords you took from me.”

    Zeruda laughed lightly, but she said no more. If only he knew what she would craft for him.

    "So it seems to me that we've come to an agreement about your training," Zeruda said. "You have no further questions?"

    Eclipse began to shake his head, but he suddenly nodded twice and said, "Yes, I have only one."

    "Only one, son?" Zeruda smiled at him. "Let's hear it."

    "When do we start?"

    "In a few days," the goddess replied. "I'll need to get some things ready before we can begin. Hope you understand, my little treasure."

    "I do," Eclipse said. "But, will I be able to go back to Warriors Grave during those days?"

    "You surely can," Zeruda nodded. "No weapons, though," she even shook a finger at him. "If you feel the need to do your thing, do it without weapons till the day comes in which we start."

    "It's a done deal, then," Eclipse felt glad.

    They even shook on it.

    ***​
     
  12. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Honored ZDers
    Zeruda, Eclipse

    Chapter 11: First Lesson

    Excitement rushed through Eclipse as he stood before his mother. They were about to begin with their training, so butterflies were sure dancing in his stomach that early morning. The sun was out and only a few clouds hung around the region. A light breeze was blowing from the west—a perfect day for training.

    Zeruda stood about five feet away from the dragir, the deity fully equipped with her sword in its holster and her bow at her back. Her eyes and those of a few of the serpents she had for hair were staring seriously at Eclipse, who was unarmed but standing quite ready, yet she could tell he was nervous and anxious.

    Before he had even stood before his mother when she had called him to do so, Zeruda had brought some wooden-made weapons for their training, weapons that she had made sometime during the last couple of days. Eclipse had not been able to get a close look at them, but every once in a while he darted a gaze toward the weapons, which lay on the ground on top of a squared leather piece off to the side some twelve feet away.

    “We will be using those wooden weapons soon,” Zeruda told him after she watched him take another quick peep at them. “But surely not this day, son.”

    Eclipse felt down after hearing her words, but he nodded at her. To not get to use the weapons this day surely saddened him, but he believed that his mother had other matters to teach him prior to them getting to train with the weapons.

    He was right.

    “Being a great warrior not only requires us to know all about weapons and how to use them efficiently against any and all foes,” Zeruda spoke, her tone as serious as her facade. “There are other important things that you must be aware of as well, Eclipse. That is, if you wish to live long in this harsh, traitorous world."

    Eclipse was all ears, surely listening with care to her words.

    "These things that I want to teach you this fine day, this advice that I want you to learn at heart, you must always remember. Know that under my guidance you will become a great warrior in due time, but one trained by me to always be on the good side of things, not the bad side. This means that all that I will teach you is to be used for a greater good and not for any wrong means.”

    Eclipse seemed a bit befuddled before her, but he did understand and just continued listening to her words.

    “I know you well, my son,” Zeruda spoke again, but she did it while she encircled him as he remained in his spot, always facing forward and just paying great attention to her. “I know what kind of heart you possess. I know that everything that I will teach you that you don’t know of yet, you will not be putting to bad practice. Or am I wrong in my beliefs about you, my son?”

    “No,” Eclipse replied serenely just as she slid back in front of him where she had been prior to encircling him.

    “Then fall on your right knee before me and make an oath on that.”

    Eclipse did so right away. He knelt, closed his eyes, lowered his head, and rested his tightened fist upon his chest.

    “I give you my word now, mother,” he began, his voice very serious, as serious as Zeruda had ever heard it. “With your teachings and your blessings, I will become a warrior much like you; A warrior who will always fight for what’s right. A warrior who will always fight for justice. A warrior who will fight to defend and protect the weak, those who are unable to defend themselves. A warrior become enemy of all that is evil. Heed my oath now, heavens and earth, and everything in them. Heed it as well, mother, for today I name you all witnesses to this oath, and may I break it, your rage and justice be done upon me.”

    “Let it be so,” Zeruda said in full satisfaction. “I shall not forget your oath. Rise now, Eclipse, and be proud of yourself, for this day I pronounce you my pupil.”

    Eclipse rose, and he did indeed feel mighty proud of himself. Seeing his mother smiling at him made him smile in return.

    “I want you to spend the rest of this day thinking about the oath you made, so that you will never forget your roots. This is today’s lesson, therefore your first lesson.”

    In his place, Eclipse nodded and remained very quiet, already thinking about his mother’s words.

    “You can spend the day as you normally do,” Zeruda told him. “You can frequent the places you visit, but be careful and delve deep in your oath, for it is indeed a serious matter to think about. Tomorrow, come sunrise, we will begin combat training.”

    Zeruda left soon after, taking the wooden weapons with her. Eclipse also took his leave, heading toward the great lagoon. There he spent a few hours sitting on the bank and launching stones at the murky water, but his mind recalling the words of his oath nearly every five minutes or so, sometimes consecutively. Eclipse knew it was simple: he would become a warrior trained to do the right thing, trained to stand against evil.

    He took his mother’s words seriously and kept thinking about his oath throughout the day. After a few hours out there, he went back to the temple to share a meal with his mother, which Zeruda had prepared whilst he had been away. After lunch, he went outside of the temple.

    He went back to his lesson right away. The dragir thought about his oath during the next hour that he spent tending his real mother’s grave. He even spoke to her in his thoughts, let her know about how it was that his second mother had agreed to train him as a warrior. After a while, he left to Warriors Grave, where he also thought deeply of his oath while walking amongst the statues and pondering how much of a great a warrior he would become under his mother’s guidance. The dragir also thought of his oath when he went back to the temple to have dinner with his mother after the sun had gone down. Before he fell asleep that night, Eclipse had still been thinking about his oath. So, his oath had stuck all day with him in his thoughts, and somehow it had imprinted itself in his mind and would remain there for a long time to come, a memory impervious to forgetfulness.

    ***​
     
  13. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Honored ZDers
    Eclipse, Zeruda

    Chapter 12: The Treaty

    Two days later

    Eclipse held two wooden swords, one in each hand. His mother had chosen to go with a long lance that was around Eclipse’s size.

    “I know you are happy to begin this kind of training,” Zeruda told him under the sunny day that blessed them. “I will leave the basics out since you already know a great deal, right?”

    “I know bits,” Eclipse was sincere. “You have seen me out there playing with those stone statues, mother, so if you think we can skip some things, I don’t mind.”

    “Right,” Zeruda replied, gripping the lance lightly. “Alright, right now, Eclipse, nothing else should matter to you. Understand now that you and I are foes, for training purposes but foes nonetheless. Are you alright with that? Do you accept that?”

    “Foes for training purposes...I do.” Eclipse was not so certain.

    “Good, today’s lesson will be...”

    Zeruda suddenly threw the wooden lance off to her right side. Eclipse followed the lance with his eyes, taking his sight off of his mother and erring badly to Zeruda’s reasoning. The Serpent Lady was upon him in a flash. Zeruda’s arms led the charge forward in an attempt to shove him to the ground, but Eclipse had anticipated the deception when he had seen that lance flying away. He easily side stepped and avoided her strong, feminine hands.

    Standing in place quite confused after her failed move, Zeruda felt the tip of one of Eclipse’s wooden swords on the side of her torso.

    “If this was a real battle, I think you’d be quite dead,” Eclipse smiled at her as he began to lower the wooden weapon.

    The serpents the goddess had for hair hissed angrily and some even snapped at him, knowing what had happened, but Zeruda was smiling in plain satisfaction at the mere fact that Eclipse had not fallen for the cheap trick. She knew that he was serious in his training.

    “Well done, my little treasure,” she congratulated him. Eclipse did not see an inch of embarrassment on her face, but he knew her eyes were gleaming with much pride for him. “You have made me very proud this day," she added. "I thought that you’d fall for my cheap deception and I would get an easy strike on you in order to teach you another lesson.”

    “Was that lesson supposed to be: never take your eyes off your enemy under any circumstance?” Eclipse grinned at her. “Because if so, I learned that some time ago on my own. I learned that any little distraction on the battlefield can cost you your life.”

    “Superbly done,” Zeruda slid away to pick up her lance. “Indeed, I had in mind teaching you that lesson to begin our weapons training, because I’ve always thought that lesson was the most important one you’d need to learn. You see, my son. You can win many battles, but you cannot afford to lose even a single one, because the one you lose will be the end of you, of your life.”

    “I understand that,” Eclipse nodded, understanding the implications of a lost battle quite well, specially a battle lost because of some mere distraction.

    “Listen, had I been successful with my strike, as chastisement, you would have spent all of this day thinking about your costly mistake, perhaps even the whole week.”

    “Glad I won’t be spending those days thinking about it, then,” Eclipse said, quite seriously. “Are you?”

    “I am glad about that, too,” Zeruda was right before him already, lance again in hands. “It seems to me you know how serious a battle to the death is, and how important and valuable one’s life is. We only have one life to live, Eclipse. Always remember that you cannot lose a single battle.”

    “I understand that perfectly, mother.”

    “I see. So, let me ask you this, then. Do you think yourself ready for a good no holds barred fight against me?”

    “What do you mean?” Eclipse was perplexed.

    “Only through fighting a real opponent will you be able to improve with your skills.”

    “I wouldn’t say I am at your level,” Eclipse said dryly and with much respect. “But I’ve been going out there to Warriors Grave for several years now. I’ve learned some things out there, and I think I am ready to show you what I can really do.”

    “I’ll tell you what,” Zeruda said. “Lets make a treaty here and now."

    "A treaty?"

    "Yes," she replied. "If you are successful this day, or any other, in hitting me anywhere on my body with those wooden swords of yours, I will declare you a fully-ready warrior.”

    Eclipse remained thoughtful for a long while, his eyes always on her, though.

    “Really?” he asked incredulously. "Just like that? Just a hit?"

    “Just like that, and just a strike,” Zeruda replied coolly and with a nod. “I have been seeing you, Eclipse. You are a fine fighter as it is, so see it as your final test.”

    “Just like that?” Eclipse repeated himself, his eyes focused on his mother, the lad trying to find out whether she was only kidding or not.

    “Yes,” Zeruda gave him a genuine smile.

    “So anything goes?” Eclipse asked, his grip on those wooden swords was strong. “Weapons, tricks, moves, etcetera?”

    “Anything and everything goes,” Zeruda nodded at him. “For really, Eclipse, I will judge your skills and will know if you are ready or not. But, fail to do so, fail to land a hit on me and we will continue to do this kind of thing over and over until you succeed. It doesn’t matter if it takes you days, weeks, months, or even years to hit me. Once you agree, we will be going at it till you succeed, and there shall be no excuses from you to quit.”

    “I doubt it’s going to take me years,” Eclipse chuckled, really believing in himself, in what he could do. “A few minutes, maybe...”

    Zeruda rubbed her chin and had to wonder whether he was speaking the truth. Could it be that his positive attitude was going to help him strike her as he'd said? She doubted his words but said nothing about it, instead, she replied, “I don’t know how long it will take you, son. It could be a few minutes as you say, or it might take you a long time. Thus the warning, so you know of it prior to agreeing to our treaty.”

    Eclipse really put thought into her spoken words.

    "But if you don't feel ready for this, you can just keep going out to Warriors Grave and train on your own for a little longer till you feel ready," Zeruda gave him the chance to opt out.

    But Eclipse was determined.

    “No, I agree to it, mother,” he told her.

    Zeruda's eyes gleamed with pride and respect for him.

    “Fine," she replied. "We'll do this. Only when you do manage to land a hit upon me, will I declare you a fully-ready warrior, one as good as me, and that is saying a lot. In fact, I will consider you my equal, and that carries many privileges for you as well.”

    “Then lets do it,” Eclipse told her serenely, but he did swallow lightly for several motives that ran through his mind then. What if it took him many years to accomplish his goal as his mother had just said? She was a goddess after all, the second created child of her father, of the god that ruled it all: Mases. That sort of scared him, because he knew well that he was just a mortal creature. Despite that, he did not back away from the challenge because he knew that his mother was right, that only by training in real-like battle situations could he become a great warrior as her.

    "Are you sure?" Zeruda asked, wanting to make sure that her son was really alright with the deal.

    For Eclipse, there was nothing much to think about.

    "I am sure," he said. "I tire of waiting, so let's get this training going."

    He saw his mother nod and then take her fighting position. The dragir then swallowed hard and felt a shiver coursing up his spine, and he could only hope during those moments that it did not take him years to accomplish his goal.

    ***​
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  14. Eclipse

    Eclipse Story Teller

    Rupees:
    ◊338
    Honored ZDers
    Eclipse, Zeruda, Mases

    Chapter 13: Training

    Eclipse felt tense, but focusing on the great task ahead, he took his warrior stance, which was a very simple one: swords dropped down in front of him forming an x, the sharp tips nearly kissing the ground. From her spot in front of him, Zeruda could tell how tense and serious he had become. He was indeed ready to begin.

    “Wait,” Eclipse said as he watched her get ready. “How will I know when I’ve struck you true?”

    Zeruda bade him to go to her.

    He did.

    She asked for the weapons, which Eclipse let her have.

    The goddess called forth her magical abilities and placed a light-blue glowing effect on her wooden weapon and those that her son would use.

    “I’ve enchanted our wooden weapons with magic,” Zeruda explained as she gave the weapons back to him. “Should you manage a hit upon me, the swords will glow in a red color and remain flashing. The same case goes for my lance. Once I hit you, it will glow and flash.”

    “Ah, perfect,” Eclipse said, looking at the swords. “I’m ready to begin, then.”

    “A final word of advise,” Zeruda said as she gave the lance some nifty spins in front of her. “Give it your all, son, because that is what I will be giving in return. I’m not going to go easy on you. I will make of you a great warrior before all is said and done.”

    Eclipse nodded twice, then he gulped again, hoping that it did not take him many years to best her, to hit her even once.

    “Now come,” Zeruda teased him with her right hand, inviting him in. “Hit me...if you can.”

    Eclipse waited for a bit, as if he was all of a sudden unsure. His mother awaited in her own spot, the lance at the ready and her hair serpents hissing at her son, as if daring him to charge.

    The dragir smiled lightly and charged ahead toward her, wooden swords out in front.

    Zeruda was not taken by surprise, her son's well placed slashes were defeated by the lance, the goddess slapping each one to one side. And how quickly Eclipse had to jump back and duck after his mother brought that lance in a sideways sweeping motion as a counter attack after having bounced the second sword’s attack aside. Then Eclipse had to roll away when the lance came back at him almost as fast as he had ducked. The tip of the lance hit the ground where he had been standing just a second ago. Eclipse jumped up to his feet after his successful side roll, and he immediately attacked Zeruda again from the side, the swords seeking to strike her ribs. The Serpent Lady was no novice to battle, long ago she had fought deadly creatures in heaven, and so she easily deflected Eclipse’s wooden swords to the side and counter attacked yet again, only to miss hitting him by a mere second or less. That time, Eclipse had avoided getting hit by the lance by successfully launching himself away in a series of twirls, the dragir landing perfectly on his feet afterward. Zeruda had seen him perform those kinds of moves many times over near the statues. Seeing him easily get away from harm from her basic fighting moves made her wonder if his athleticism and acrobatic moves was going to make it hard on her to hit him. She understood that he was very agile, but so was she despite her ancient age and heavy serpentine lower body, and she had a lot of weapons and moves available to deal with him.

    Oblivious to the fact that up in heaven they had many eyes watching their spectacle, even Mases's, Zeruda went after her son, willing to take the fight to him.

    Even as she saw him flipping away backwards several times from her newest sweeping attack, Zeruda smiled knowing that she would make of her son a great warrior, and perhaps he would hone her own skills in the process.

    About an hour later, Eclipse lay flat on the ground, his back kissing the soggy ground and his breathing somewhat fast and difficult. He was sweating too, for his body had been very active during that training session. Zeruda loomed over him off to the side, her eyes staring down at him, and the tip of her wooden, flashing lance touching his chest. She had just brought him down from the air from one of his twirling moves after he had tried to avoid getting hit. He had not been too fast on that ocassion, perhaps he had tired by then, Zeruda did not know, but she had finally hit him.

    “Are you alright, son?” the goddess asked, worriedly. Even after Eclipse had hit the ground somewhat hard, the Serpent Lady had rushed towards him feeling quite concerned that she had hurt him with her strike.

    “I’m fine,” Eclipse slammed the ground with one of his tightened fists, for he had lost one of his wooden swords after he had landed on the ground. Zeruda nodded and relaxed, knowing that he was fine. She knew that he was just disappointed with himself.

    The goddess removed the tip of the lance from his chest and offered him her right hand, which surely Eclipse took a hold of right away. Giving her a quick glance, Eclipse felt really embarrassed, but only because he really had thought as the battle had progressed that he would be striking her soon.

    “Does this mean our training session is over then?” he asked as he headed to pick up his lost weapon, his free hand slapping his back as if wanting to remove the dust and filth that had glued on to his black, chimera-hide-made tunic.

    “I am willing to train so long as you want,” Zeruda offered with a smile. “By what you have shown me so far, you are not a bad warrior as it is. You are definitely in great shape and you know what you’re doing with those wooden swords. But you know what you have to do in order for me to bless you with my final approval.”

    “Then let us keep training,” Eclipse urged. “I have indeed learned a lot this day. And I will learn more thanks to your guidance. So let us continue on.”

    “Then come at me,” Zeruda prepared herself, willing to keep going with the training.

    Mother and son went at it again as the sun above continued to shine over them. They kept on fighting in their training for nearly five hours straight until the sun was nearly down. The many eyes in heaven continued watching them do their thing, many of the celestial entities really enjoying the action that they even forgot their duties. The mighty god Mases, clearly knowing of this, just chuckled and let them watch on, and he, himself, kept his eyes on the action below.

    Zeruda and Eclipse did not dissapoint them, the two warriors gave it all they had. The dragir, for going up against a goddess, really showed determination and left many of those heavenly eyes in admiration with what he could do with his mortal body and pair of wooden swords. But would he be able to strike Zeruda, the one who had been given great authority over the earth? That's why many of those deities were watching intently and wondering if a mortal being could best one of them, particularly Zeruda, the eldest daughter.

    The show went on, till a defeated dragir admitted from the ground that he'd had enough for the day. Four times had his mother landed him on that soggy ground as the hours had gone by. One of those times he had landed face first in a nearby muddy hole. That had really embarrassed him, and up in heaven even several goddesses and other celestial beings had covered their mouths feeling sorry for him. But Zeruda's son had cleaned his face right away and had stood up demanding another go. Zeruda was only too happy to oblige. An hour later he had been pocked in the tummy by the lance’s tip, and he had thrown his swords aside and had fallen to the ground as his lungs within had asked him for much needed air. He had not been able to hit his mother a single time, he had not even come close, but knowing of her past and just how mightily she looked, Eclipse had been expecting a hard day. Still, motivation and the will to succeed had pushed him to fight on.

    Side by side, they both returned to the temple. With a hand resting on one of Eclipse’s shoulder, Zeruda told him that she was very proud of him, mostly because he had fought well despite having been defeated.

    “You might have not struck me today, Eclipse,” she said as they went. “But you came somewhat close several times. I could have let you hit me, but I want for the both of us to do this right. I want you to succeed on your own and not by me letting you have your way. If I did that, that would make me seem as a poor teacher, and I would really be angry with myself. One day you will achieve your goal, you just have to be patient and work hard. Remember, practice makes perfect, my son.”

    “I will keep that in mind,” Eclipse told her, and Zeruda just rocked him gently with her hand to make him feel good.

    “Get some rest within the temple after you start the fire,” Zeruda ordered. “I will go get us supper.”

    Eclipse said with a nod, “You be careful out there, mother.”

    "I will," she said.

    After she delivered him close to the temple, Zeruda slithered away and was soon lost from his view.

    Feeling most of his body sore, Eclipse went into the temple and went to light up the fire as he always did. His thoughts were all about the hours of battle he had shared that day with his mother. He smiled proudly knowing that she had not held anything back. She had fought him skillfully and had not let him hit her. They both had been good opponents on that soggy battlefield, and he felt glad that night because he knew they would continue to train every day until he was successful.

    ***​