Written by: Epicstu Wyyvernwriter
“Alright!” Edward shouted excitedly. “Let’s go save Jain and catch us a Wyyvern!” He was confident in his ability to complete the trials ahead of him. “Come on Gabriel, Let’s go save your friend.”
“Calm down Edward,” Zesrial insisted. “Let that Hellfire of yours cool off. You aren’t yourself when it burns like this.” Edward’s Hellfire was still blazing from his battle with the knightdrake.
Edward rolled his shoulder, cracked his neck, and limbered up for the climb ahead, “How far to Jain?”
“27.8416512 kilometers,” Zesrial replied.
Edward raised an eyebrow and tilted his head, “What?”
“17.3 miles,” Zesrial replied, converting the measurement into one Edward was used to. “Your people had the worst system.”
“The system worked for over 100,00 years,” said Edward as he started the climb.
“Your people weren’t big on change, were they?” Zesrial commented.
Edward smiled. “No. We weren’t.”
Young Edward Dimir, at age seven, made his way up Mount Conquest. Each stabbing of his six-inch retractable claws into the mountain’s rock and stone felt as though his claws were being ripped out. He was about halfway to the top and he had already broken off two of his claws but he knew they would grow back stronger, so he kept going. Every Fennec of the Northlands had to do this as a rite of passage at age seven for over a hundred thousand years. He slipped but caught himself before he fell, breaking another claw. Edward cried out in pain, but he kept going, telling himself the whole way, “I can do this.”
After another hour or so of climbing and young Edward came to a cave and rested there for a while. It was colder now than Edward had ever been. He shivered and his teeth chattered.
“You should put on a jacket or something son,” Tom Alvin Dimir said to his son.
Young Edward found himself sitting around a campfire with his father. “I’m fine,” he replied. He found himself angered by his father but could not remember why.
Tom signed, “You’re only half Northlandish son. Here, take this.” He wrapped a brand new chainmail scarf with a thick durable cloth-like material on one side for the wearer’s comfort around his son’s neck. “There,” He looked his son in the eyes and smiled. “They told me you could bring one item with you up that mountain. I still don’t like the idea of you doing this, but if you really want to, this will keep you warm. It’s chainmail. I forged it myself, just for you.”
“Wait, you don’t know how to work a forge,” Edward replied.
“Your mother taught me,” Tom answered. They both laughed.
“Thank you father,” Edward replied with a smile.
Most young Fennecs, during their trial by conquest, would bring a pouch for storing things they found or a cape to sleep under at night. Other than that one item the only thing allowed was a tunic given to them the day before the trial. On the bright side, it was a nice tunic and those who survive the trial got to keep theirs’.
Young Edward sat alone in that cave again, holding his scarf tight as he rested and thought of his father. He and his old man never did get along. Edward wanted to be an Iron Ram Knight just like his Uncle Vladso Dimir, but the Iron Rams were the roughest of the knight orders. They fought dirty and were sent on all the deadliest missions. Edward’s father didn’t like the Iron Rams at all. He wanted Edward to join the Opaque Dawn’s order or the Green Wild Order. Edward just wanted to be an Iron Ram. He wasn’t in this for they fancy rank or title. He just wanted to help others and the Iron Ram order was known for putting the innocent before their mission. This got them into trouble with the Council a lot, but they didn’t care. They followed their hearts over their orders and Edward admired that fact.
Young Edward stood back up and looked at his scarf one more time before returning to his climb.
“Whatever happened to Jonathan?” Edward asked.
“B.M.I. took him back with them,” Zesrial replied. “What are you so happy about?” She noticed the growing smile on Edward’s face as he made his climb, Gabriel not far behind him.
“Nothing, let’s bring Jonathan’s daughter back to him.” Each stab of Edward’s claws into the mountainside brought back memories of his past. It had been some time since he had climbed a mountain, even before he was executed, it had been years. It felt good to finally drive his icepick-like retractable claws into the mountain’s rock and stone again.
Edward suddenly began breathing heavily, his fur turned to Hellfire and slowly began to melt away. “Edward!” Zesrial shouted, concerningly. “Your flames are dying.”
“Huh,” Edward could barely breath, then alone talk. “So it is,” he said as he fainted and fell.
On Mount Conquest, young Edward Dimir pulled himself up slowly and lied there for a moment at the top. He had made it. He was colder now than ever before and he wasn’t sure how he was still alive.
“It’s said that those who reach the top of this mountain get to speak with God. Is this true?” A voice asked.
“That’s what I was told,” Edward replied. He wasn’t sure how he was so calm. A strange voice talking to him at the top of a mountain colder than an iced-over lake. It all seemed so unnerving, yet he was calmed somehow.
“I wonder then,” The voice returned. “What does that make me?”
“A god with no knowledge of its own divinity,” Edward replied. “Isn’t much of a god if you ask me.”
“True,” the voice replied. “But what is divinity, really.”
“I was taught that only one is divine and it is the divinity of the one true God that created both life mortal and life immortal,” Edward replied. Then he asked, “Are you that God?”
“No, just half of a creator.” The voice replied.
“Half?!” Young Edward questioned.
“I cannot create without my other half.” The voice replied. “I am not whole without my other half.”
“What do I call you?” Edward asked, curious as to who this half a creator truly was.
“Not important yet. Until then.” Young Edward was suddenly pushed off of Mount Conquest “Oh, I almost forgot,” the voice shouted as Edward began to fall. “Hellfire burns cold too.”
“Edward,” a voice called to him.
“Edward!” Zesrial called to him again.
Edward awoke in a cave near the top of the Mountain but found himself with no fur or fire. Only his bones and organs of Hellion Bedrock remained. He found it difficult to talk or even breathe.
“It’s too cold up here. Your Hellfire can’t handle it.” As Zesrial said the words Edward remembered what the voice had told him had told him.
“I never did get that guy’s name.” Edward got up slowly as his Hellfire returned cold and his fur then came back as it was. “What?” He smiled. “Never heard of a cold day in Hell?” Edward’s fire never burned brighter than when it was cold. He never felt better either. It was like he was himself again, a Fennec Fox forged in the cold traditions of his people.
“You are full of surprises Fennec,” Zesrial replied. “I’ll log that in the archive for future reference.” She said as they started climbing again.
As they reached the top of the mountain Edward peeked over the edge, looking for Jain. “There she is. If we get her out quietly first we can.”
Gabriel roared loudly, standing between the wyyvern and Jain.
Edward let out an annoyed grunt that slowly got louder, “or we can just run in and scream at it. Then it will give her back to us.” He shouted, breathing heavily. Then he calmed, then he smiled. Then he chuckled, then he laughed, “That’s the Iron Ram way.” Edward let out a roar of his own as he charged in, Zesrial in hand.