Written by Epicstu Wyyvernwriter
twenty-one years ago
Eleven-year-old Tirela ran through the streets of a fair. There wasn’t much, a few improvised games, a carousel, and the B.M.I. Discount Petting Zoo which was one miniature T-Rex mount. The town Tirela lived in could not afford much but the people had been good to her. She skipped around the corner and past a closed tent.
“Tirela.” A voice, resembling an elderly lady, whispered.
Tirela turned around towards the closed tent and, slowly, it opened.
“Yes, yes you” the voice beckoned. “Come in. Yes, please come in.”
Tirela entered the tent and the door closed behind her. The room was dark except for a lit candle on a small table with a single chair. “Hello?” Tirela said in a frightened voice as she looked around for anyone else but she could see no one. “Is anyone in here?”
“Welcome child,” the elderly women voice finally responded. “Please, come and sit down. Yes, yes you are safe here and now. Come and sit,” the voice beckoned.
Tirela looked back at the closed tent door and then back at the table and chair.
“Do not be afraid, child.” The voice returned. “Please, come and sit. I have a story to share with you.”
Tirela perked up and her eyes widened. “A story?” she asked excitedly. Then she backed off a bit. “What kind of story?” She questioned, “and firstly, who are you?”
Tirela watched as down from above the table a Naga uncoiled and fell down around the table. The Naga had not been seen or heard from in years. They were believed to have gone extinct. “I am Karen.” The Naga replied getting up slowly.
Tirela, a human, was scared but knew to recognize when someone needed help. This snake lady was no different. Tirela rushed over to help Karen up.
“Thank you, child,” Karen said strenuously. “This is an eternal gig?” She thought to herself. “I’m already too old for this.” Karen coiled her massive body around rafters and poles within the tent which was much larger on the inside than it was on the outside. Tirela was in the chair awaiting her story. “Pay close attention, child.” Karen began. “For everything, I am about to tell you is the truth. You see this story is about the one who will put an end to the tyranny of the dragons. A Fox Knight who can shake the earth like an Earth Shaker.”
Harley growled and Cruk turned his attention away from Gabriel and towards Edward. Cruk let out a mighty roar and charged full speed at Edward. Edward, still locked in combat with Harley, stabbed Zesrial, blade first, into the ground and pushed her forward sending Harley sliding back. He tossed Zesrial into the air, took one step towards Cruk, and with an “Iron! Ram!” head-butted and stopped Cruk in his tracks. Cruk stumbled for a moment before falling to the ground, his skull cracked down the middle. Harley pounced at Edward as Zesrial fell from the sky on a bolt of heavenlightning and struck Harley. Edward pulled her from Harley’s skull and turned to the human girl on the cliff.
Jain remembered her mother telling her about the, so called, Soothslayer and the story she had told of a Fennec Fox Knight who would save them all from the dragons. She remembered what her mother told her had happened. How the town had been in cinders when she left the tent. How the mysterious Soothslayer locked her doors again. Tirela had lost her family that day. “If you ever meet such Fox you must take him to the soothslayer in the old wood where the town I was born into lays in ruins.” Her mother had always told her, “She will know what you must do next.” Gabriel let out a roar at Edward. “No Gabriel!” Jain interrupted. “We need him.”
Edward whistled loudly at Gabriel as he walked towards her. Gabriel roared angrily at Edward but Edward just put his paw on Gabriel’s nose. Gabriel snapped at him but Edward kept his hand out.
“What are you doing?” Zesrial questioned concerning “That thing can eat you.”
“I know” Edward replied as he kept his hand out.
Gabriel sniffed Edward’s hand, sneezed, and turned her back to Edward. Gabriel wasn’t too sure about this Fox but he had only helped so far and gave no indication of hostility towards Jain. So she would tolerate him for now.
Edward laughed “I think she likes me.”
Gabriel jumped back up on the cliff face and allowed Jain to climb down her back and tail. Jain ran up to Edward. “Please come with me and help.” She grabbed Edward’s hand and pulled.
Edward raised an eyebrow.
“Don’t look at me like that.” Zesrial replied. “My job is informational. The decision making is your job.”
Edward looked at the girl. “Lead on.”
Jain gestured for Gabriel to come over and then gestured for Edward to get on. “Come on, we’ll make better time riding her.”
Edward looked up at Gabriel who wasn’t too keen on the idea of this Fox riding her. It’s what Jain wanted, however, so Gabriel lowered herself to allow them both to get on. “She has rather a light step for such a large creature,” Edward remarked as Gabriel walked through the woods.
“Gabriel is an Earth Shaker class dragon slayer’s mount, The Empress Rex. She was designed, genetically, to be able to redistribute her own weight and even alter her center of gravity at will. Jain directed Gabriel towards her mother’s hometown. An abandoned town burned to ash by dragons years ago. “Our destination isn’t far. I was heading there myself before you came along.”
“So what’s such a young Lass doing out here in such a dangerous place?” Edward asked.
“And where are her parents?” Zesrial added. Jain could not hear Zesrial and thought her to be just Edward’s sword.
“My mother went missing out here,” Jain replied. “She was hunting a dragon. Many dragon slayers have gone missing hunting it, so we need to stop it.”
“And you set out to defeat this dragon on your own?” Edward questioned her logic.
Jain’s cheeks turned red with embarrassment. “Yeah, my Father said this was a bad idea. I guess he was right.” She sighed.
“Probably,” Edward replied, “but if you hadn’t your friend here would most likely be picking me out of her teeth.” He laughed. “She is quite impressive. I wish I had one.”
“She’s one of a kind,” Jain added, “and my Mother’s closest friend.” Gabriel stopped. Jain looked around. “We are here.” Gabriel lowered herself and let Jain and Edward off before moving to patrol the area. Jain pulled on Edward’s arm again. “Come on, there’s the tent just like Mother used to say.” Jain lead Edward to a closed tent with a sigil like the mark over his eye.
Edward’s mark glowed bright as did the sigil on the door and the door opened. “That was weird.”
“You’re a Wyvern Knight, Edward” Zesrial replied. “You have clearance to go places other’s cannot. Places like this are all over the multiverse.”
The tent was much larger inside than out and on the floor laid many old snake skins. “She said it was a Naga who spoke to her.” Said, Jain. The skins were bigger than her.
“That would explain the snakeskin,” Zesrial added.
“What’s a Naga?” Edward asked.
“Hold on” Zesrial replied as she downloaded everything she had on Nagas into Edward’s head. “There.”
Edward’s eyes went wide and he put his hand on his head. “That hurts more than head-butting that thing from earlier.”
“As it should.” An elderly woman’s voice came from the rafters above them as the ageless Naga slithered down to them. “Careful when you do that.” She slithered around Edward and looked at Zesrial. “His head might explode.”
“Good to know.” Zesrial made a mental note of this. The Naga could Zesrial and even see the spectral image she projected for Edward.
“I am Karen, the Soothslayer of the realm of Hersoas.” the Naga began. “I have been waiting for you for twenty-one years. Your Wyyvern, the source of your power, is here and it is consuming the land and all who dwell in it, bending all living things to its will.”
“My Wyyvern?” Edward questioned. “Victor never said I’d be running into it and what’s Soothslayer?”
“Victor has a nasty habit of not explaining things before throwing you into them,” Karen replied. “You are on trial, Edward. The both of you are. You get three and for each one, you must solve a problem within the realm, face your Wyyvern, and follow it to the next realm. The third and final trial is a fight to the death with your Wyyvern. Knight’s are expected to perform the impossible. It is quite impossible to defeat an impossible creature.”
“Then how can we defeat it.” Zesrial inquired.
“Very carefully,” Karen replied turned to Jain. “You are very important in all this. For you must aid them in this, his first trial.”
Jain looked at Edward and Zesrial. Karen had revealed Zesrial to Jain, allowing her to see her. “How can I help them? I’m just a little girl.”
Edward laughed. “You can keep Gabriel from eating me.” They all laughed at the joke.