Book 2

Book 2 Introduction

Date: Many Passes Ago “It’s Daddy!” SaRa announced with a squeal. The first sprouts of green made their way up through the receding blanket of snow outside the mouth of the little cave. The sky took on a friendly color as the winter weeks passed into spring. The two children blinked their way into the …

Book 2 Chapter 1

  “I sure hope he knows where he’s going,” SoYa muttered, half to himself, half to the plume of white that tracked his breath in the cold air. It felt like the temperature had plummeted at least ten degrees with the last five steps the Apprentice took. Tall stone loomed far above his head, walls …

Book 2 Chapter 2

“Zento,” Kudako muttered with a grimace. “Stop pacing.” The winged man paused in stride to retort, “I’m not pacing!” “You’re nervous enough to make the trees shake.” As if on cue, a whisper of breeze swept in and sent the branches above the two warriors swaying. Zento’s eyes darted towards the little clearing in the …

Book 2 Chapter 3

What is this place? TsuYa peered around the strange chamber cautiously. His limbs felt suspended and his motions, even walking, odd and under-water. Light flickered from above through draping veils of various color, casting skittering shadows on the wall. The floor under his feet, looking to have once been polished to a shine, was far …

Book 2 Chapter 4

“Where did Mister Kudako go?” AsaHi questioned, taking note of twilight’s arrival. “To change,” Zento answered plainly. “It takes him that long to change?” the girl asked in an incredulous tone. And SoYa thinks I’m bad? The winged man didn’t answer. His expression was lost to his own rising worries, as he had been for …

Book 2 Chapter 5

SoYa and AsaHi sat in silence once Father and Kudako left. The forest around them dripped with twilight mists brought on by strange heat that rose from the mossy floor. The fading sunlight streamed down in small pin-prick patches, dappling the ground around them. His head was growing clearer as the day passed. Still, he …

Book 2 Chapter 6

“So, what’s got your scales out of whack, ‘Dako?” Zento’s eyes flicked over to where the Dragon was crouching upon a low-rising spike of stone. A gruff sound was the only reply. “Don’t give me that,” he fanned his wings, undeterred. The flight felt good even if the company wasn’t as enthusiastic. “Something’s going on …

Book 2 Chapter 7

“SoYa,” AsaHi folded and unfolded her hands in her lap. “I’m really worried.” The Apprentice was taking his turn at the afternoon meal, cooking small slabs of meat on a wide, flat platter. The color was returning to his face after another night of rest. The morning found him able to move around with only …

Book 2 Chapter 8

‘When people are bored, a little something of their true nature comes out.’ That’s what Father once said, long ago. Maybe that’s why TsuYa rarely allowed himself to become bored if he could help it. He sat on the lower slope of a hill, as far away from JouKa as he could. Every now and …

Book 2 Chapter 9

“You think it’s that weird that I can talk?” the huge crimson Dragon chuckled. The vibration shook every bone in AsaHi’s body from where she lay flat against the massive beast’s neck. “I guess not, now that I consider it,” the girl answered slowly. “I’ve just never talked to a Dragon before.” The second Dragon …

Book 2 Chapter 10

“Zemi made all of this?” AsaHi slipped from Brunswik’s back into the light of the Great Chamber. For a moment, she was far too dazzled to even think, the prismatic embrace wrapping around her in a symphony of warm light. “Well, he pieced together a bit of this and a little of that, but overall, …

Book 2 Chapter 11

“Can I look yet?” “Not yet! Keep walking!” AsaHi shuffled SoYa along, covering his eyes with her palms. He managed a full ten steps before he asked again, playfully, “How about now?” “SoYa! Keep going. I’ll tell you when!” the girl nudged him in the back. She wanted the Great Chamber to be a surprise. …

Book 2 Chapter 12

“Ah, so you’ve found your way to the Outlook, have you?” the gentle, melodic voice came from somewhere behind. SoYa peered back over his shoulder, realizing that someone was following him. He wasn’t startled by the Lady Dragon’s sudden appearance — there was something about the kindly woman was too serene to startle anyone. “Yes, …

Book 2 Chapter 13

An early afternoon walk with Zemi was now an everyday habit for AsaHi. Sometimes he showed her through the deep caverns of the expanses of Wyndor. Other times, he introduce her to the tall mountain ranges and sparkling waterfalls. On the days when they planned to picnic, they hiked down into the valley below. Something …

Book 2 Chapter 14

AsaHi’s mind unfolded for Zemi like a map. A map to vastly extraordinary things. AsaHi spent with the Dragons in Wyndor, here abilities unlocked easily. All it took was a small nudge. It was for that reason that Zemi sent his Servants to bring the girl there to begin with. Enough exposure to the Dragons …

Book 2 Chapter 15

TsuYa found himself trapped inside the dark chamber of his dreams once more. The same dull grime blanketed the floor. The same dark lumps of decay slumped in the far corner. The scent of stale blood and suffering filled his senses, making them writhe. The same eerie mechanism stood in the center of the room. …

Book 2 Chapter 16

“Guess this isn’t your lucky day, friend,” Zento told the pale-faced Spiral warrior as he tied the man’s hands behind his back. Then he secured the man to a branch of a tree so that the man had only enough slack to stand. Kudako found the tracks of the Spiral warriors earlier that day, leading …

Book 2 Chapter 17

The whole thing reeked like one big set up, and it really put ZenToYa on edge. Am I just expected to be used to this sort of thing by now? After all, Zento’s whole life was shaped and steered in the direction that the Dreigiau felt was most beneficial to their world. From the moment …

Book 2 Chapter 18

-They steal souls, Kudako. Suck the heart right out of people. Then, they send the shells of men out on the battlefield. All in the name of their idea of perfection…- His brother’s words haunted him here, in the homelands of his ancestors. The sound of the voice faded in Kudako’s memory with the passage …

Book 2 Chapter 19

“You cannot be here!” a woman’s high-pitched voice squealed, like fingernails on slate. Zento couldn’t help but wince, stopping his advance more because of the ear-shattering sound rather than the demand itself. Shoulders back, hair tied away from his face in a battle-knot, bhinod ready at hand – the warrior stood firmly at the top …

Book 2 Chapter 20

Zento could hear the hollow sound of his breath expanding and contracting around him in the narrow corridor. No matter what he did, he couldn’t make the sound any less nervous. No matter how firm his footsteps sounded as he strode toward the lit archway, he couldn’t ease the thundering of his heart. I must …

Book 2 Chapter 21

The silence after the storm fell over the lands of the Spiral. Zento could feel it shiver through the forests, a whisper of change sweeping on the sooty wind. The same shiver rippled over his own body as he strode out the Keep’s ornate doors. As they grounded shut behind him, ZenToYa quite unceremoniously flopped …

Book 2 Chapter 22

“Truth or dare?” JouKa prodded him. “This again?” TsuYa grumbled, eyeing her from where he sat, back leaning against the base of smooth white building. The afternoon sun was growing warmer as summer came on. Not so warm as to be uncomfortable, but warm enough that they prefered sitting in the shade of the compounds. …

Book 2 Chapter 23

“He’s not responding to anything,” AsaHi’s worried eyes lifted as SoYa entered the room. “What do we do?” “Still?” the Apprentice frowned, setting a tray down on the stone wall-table. He brought in a small bowl, the scent of warm herbal soup rising with the shifting steam. He also had a pitcher of drink. Though …

Book 2 Chapter 24

“Alright, how’s that feel?” ZenToYa asked as the blue healing glow faded from the edge of his fingertips. He drew his hands back away from the creature’s leg. A pair of bright golden eyes shown down at him from the face of the young, green Dragon. Shaking out his dark mane, the youthful voice replied …

Book 2 Chapter 25

“Zemi,” KaiShi’s voice drifted up quietly from somewhere just behind the Dreigiau, “I think we need to talk.” There was importance in the statement. An irrefutable solidity to her voice. Zemi recognized the sound when he heard it and knew it was best to allow whatever was about to happen follow through. He felt a …

Book 2 Chapter 26

AsaHi was laughing easily, curled in the giant coils of the big crimson Dragon’s tail. Brunswik, she had said his name was. And though SoYa had been somewhat shy of approaching most of the Dragons in Wyndor, the Apprentice had early discovered that this particular Dragon was actually really easy to talk with. He reminds …

Book 2 Chapter 27

The burning in his chest tore TsuYa from the darkness of his sleep-haze with a sickly choke, his breath wheezing between his lips in labored gasps. Again… this dream…nightmare… whatever it is… He didn’t need to open his eyes to know where he would find himself. Part of him wanted nothing more than to remain …

Book 2 Chapter 28

“Your spirit is in great turmoil, ZenToYa.” The warrior startled in surprise at the unexpected sound of the voice, his own tone reflecting his puzzlement, “Aur?” Despite the amount of time that Zento spent there Aur’s small room, they spoke very little. This was the first time that the golden-eyed man initiated a conversation on …

Book 2 Chapter 29

“SoYa, talk to me! What’s going on?” Father’s face rippled in a blur of worry and fatherly concern. The winged man placed a hand on both of SoYa’s shoulders, pulling the Apprentice to face him. “Father,” SoYa’s voice was strangled as his hand waved with an exaggerated motion, “It’s Zemi… he’s…” Maybe it was true …

Book 2 Chapter 30

“Don’t go that way!” a small green Dragon squeaked as SoYa walked by. The creature scuttled the opposite way, finned ears pinned back against his skull. “Why?” the Apprentice asked, stopping in his tracks. After the long talk with Aur and all the heavy, doomful things that were revealed, SoYa needed a nice long walk. …

Book 2 Chapter 31

“Dragons on the horizon!” a voice called from the hall outside of TsuYa’s door. “Lord Zemi is coming!” A great stirring followed the sound of the call, the Cyngan all in a flurry to rush from the compound and greet the Dreigiau’s return. The dim halls that were usually still and calm suddenly sprung to …

Book 2 Chapter 32

“So you are TsuYa, the son of ZenToYa?” the deep, calm voice intoned across the expanse of the Gathering Room. Now that the welcoming festivities were over, sound seemed to carry and stretch through the open space in an unusual way. “Yes, that’s right?” TsuYa gave a startled glance up from his thoughts and lingering …

Book 2 Chapter 33

“Girls? What are you doing here?” Zemi asked, realizing instantly that he wasn’t alone upon arriving at the Host Gate. -We could ask you the same thing,- Zazo gave a thin, wolfish grin. Not very far away, the small bird-form of Zeni perched on an outcropping of stone. The tiny beaded eyes observed her brother’s …

Book 2 Chapter 34

“What are we supposed to be waiting here for again?” TsuYa asked, shivering into the depths of his robes against the bite in the air. His breath clouded out in great puffs of white as he spoke. Everywhere Zento looked, the land drooped under unnatural freeze. The trees, once lush in the summer light now …

Book 2 Chapter 35

TsuYa led them into the cold under chambers of the Spire, picking his paths with seemingly little forethought. The path was a good one, out of the ranging sight of the Marked creatures that probably filled the upper halls. I didn’t realize Tsu even knew about these chambers. Then, it occurred to Zento that maybe …

Book 2 Chapter 36

“Hedd-ynad!” SoYa exclaimed for the fifth time in the space of ten minutes. He clung tightly to AsaHi from behind, head ducked down, eyes clamped shut in the howling face of the wind. Their cloaks snapped around them in the frigid air, made all the more cold by their altitude. The motion of the huge …

Book 2 Chapter 37

“It felt more real in my dreams,” TsuYa murmured as the door to the chamber fell open to Zazo’s command. There, stretching before him was the room of his nightmares, which was, much to his surprise, a place that was locked deep within the lower vaults. How TsuYa knew where to find it, he didn’t …

Book 2 Chapter 38

The voice echoed through the dark recesses of TsuYa’s mind, slicing the thick curtain that obscured his awareness. His body felt heavy, as if it was no longer his own. -TsuYa, open your eyes!- The voice prodded him again, a dull pulse within his internal ear. Every instinct shied away from it, fearing to answer… …

Book 2 Chapter 39

AsaHi’s scream was sharp in the air as SoYa felt himself thrown, scattered across the floor. Then he began to slide. The entire Spire was leaning, groaning as the two Arweinydd locked in on each other in the throws of silent mind-battle. Jolts of energy crackled through the structure, the forms of both Zerom and …

Book 2 Chapter 40

A dull, pounding numbness filled Zemi’s being. The heaviness of Chaos hung within the back of his mind. His eyes flicked down as a strange pulse rippled from the ground, tremulous through his wavering form. Everything within him responded with a terrible, stricken shock. The realization of what he had just done. AsaHi sat cradling …

Book 2 Chapter 41

For a long time, there was nothing but wavering darkness behind SoYa’s eyes. A stiffness hung over his body as his limbs refused to acknowledge his mastery over them. The feeling of time passing in long, deep sleep. But then, something changed. A shift of consciousness within his mind. There came a stirring within him, …