Chrono Crusade Fan Fiction ❯ Soar Above ❯ Transformations ( Chapter 1 )
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Teneth and Sehk'met
For eons, the mountain stood silent and alone, bound by the unfathomable depths of the great oceans and chalky sands. Now the soul of the once dormant volcano had come to life, it became a haven to an injured creature spoken of only in whispers. The awakening had begun…
A single drop of moisture trickled downwards from the pool collecting on the overhanging stalactites, trailed by a silvery shimmer as it slowly moved like the wheels of time. Moonlight slanted across the dusty floor of the chamber, continually forged by the formidable forces of the oceanic swells. The beams encountered an armoured sleeper, curled up with rawhide pinions flung limply over a golden frame, strung with gems of scarlet. Flecks of this liquid encountered the wayward droplet, swirling together to become misty crimson as it finally impacted with the silty ground. This place was a sanctuary, harbouring the wounded leviathan, Dragon, away from prying eyes.
Weary slumber had long since overwhelmed her grieving heart, but with it brought nightmares, a succession of confused visions. Memories of the lives destroyed on the battlefield, for the animosity of enemies for the other side was enough to butchered entire armies, marching onwards with single intent. These directed her, robbing precious moments of dreamlessness that would be the only asylum from the devil's torture.
Suddenly, a shudder rattled through the volcanic stone, pitching the dreamer forwards, crashing brutally into the roughened buff wall. Azure eyes flared wide, recognising with distressed horror as an earthquake tilted the whole site madly around her. Righting herself, her talons gripped deep into the soil lining the cavern's floor to keep her erect. Abruptly the trembling subsided as if it had never been, letting the pools of life-blood become covered by a thin film of fine dust, still progressively cascading in hazy puffs outwards from the domed ceiling.
As frail moonshine pulsed into the broad recess, it flashed off elongated slashes arrayed over the honey-hued scales of the magnificent beast. Splinted hafts of arrows and tiny daggers littered the kicked up grit around her forepaws, which were swathed in grime from her battle for survival against the villagers. Great lungs drew in a sharp breath, releasing it as a thunderous roar of anguish, sent whipping through the nigh to become a cacophony when mingled with the consistent beat of the sea on the outside cliffs.
Like a new star at birth, a blinding radiance painfully white flashed through her refuge, forcing her to hide her eyes from the unexpected illumination. Whispers accompanied that bright, speaking of the heavens that held fantasies within their intricate designs. Above all the utterances, there was one that spoke, resonating outwards from the very stone itself, as did the brilliant luminescence, its origins laid inside the condensed layers of ruddy bedrock.
Believe in all that's seen,
Sorrow warred with desperation, spurning her on. Spinning wildly about towards the gateway to the exterior, the jaws of the cavity clamped shut with a grind of stone on stone in front of her tapering muzzle. A flare of anger blazed into roiling life. Subjugated to imprisonment by the spirit of the mountain, the fires of confined hostility sparked within her. The titan reared back, claws smashed down on the barriers preventing her from achieving her deliverance from this prison and the burning agony of the previous attacks of mankind upon her blood clan that had compelled her to seek protection there to begin with.
As the gloom enclosed her, the austere glare was extinguished by the closing off of its source, the lunar sphere high in a cloudless blanket of navy. The voices arose to claim their place over the encompassing hush immersing the giant.
Where the heart comes to rest.
The huge heart slowed its racing vibration, whilst an alien tranquillity descended over the russet reptile. Quivering with the onrush of screaming emotions, the thud of flesh on the freezing surface echoed out into the pitch black. Apprehension fled as an encumbering exhaustion clung to her body, gradually swarming over and into her lacerations, halting the flow of blood onto the swarthy sands. A sighing hiss filtered amongst the sounds of language, none listened but the spectre.
Ashamed by both her terror and helplessness, the dragon's mind fought to regain control of her haphazard limbs. Bitter snarls finally stilled the murmurs in the dimness, making them dart back into those hidden places within the dark cage.
Don't fear this…
Passing away these endless days,
Her furious temper made itself known, pushing past the boundaries of her endurance coercing her up onto her feet, though dizzy and starving. Stumbling forwards, she pressed ear to stone and heard…
No seas crashing on worn headlands or distant eagle calls. Where there should be night sounds flittering about as the sun slept within its earthy cradle just beyond the horizon was naught, for it had been devoured by adamantine. Softly from behind, an argent glow cast itself about, reflecting in the eternal inner-matrix of crystalline facets of compressed rock.
In memories painted on the wall.
Reptilian eyes expanded when she glanced over her shoulder, yonder, mirrored in the polished obsidian poised a creature believed long extinct by the betrayal of mankind. Ghostly pale, cloaked by vibrant strands of icy silk was a stallion, a solo spiralling horn rose out of the equine head to grace the air before it like a newly forged sword, unstained by the blood of slaughtered opponents. The behemoth cautiously approached, senses raised in alarm, core pulsating in the absolute silence. With her gaze never leaving him, gingerly she lifted a talon to touch the image, which resulted in ripples flickering across the mirror-like surface that separated them. Doubt rolled across her thoughts at his appearance, casting distrust over reality that had seemed to become an imagined figment, parts of earlier dreams persisted.
Don't say goodbye to a turned back,
A sharp whiney startled her, sending a shiver though muscle and bone. Made bold, the grim truth twisted and dissipated within her. Clicking claws marked her short withdrawal, a gnarled warning turned into a dank curse upon the Unicorn, considering it was he who had trapped her here in the mountain's keep. A cell, metaphysically and corporeally alike, for the dwindling contact with the actuality outside was lost between the two.
No. This is real…
From beyond this chaos heard is a voice.
Dull light played across archaic features, a derisive, huffing snort answered him with no other response forthcoming. There were lies in every word spoken by him. Faith vanished, forfeited in the douse of evening rains, magic abandoned her clan to the hatreds of the malice of human souls. With her liberty condemned, she, alone in the night watched as terror took flight on wings of demons and hellions.
The shrill agony spun about, weaving a tangled web around her, stranding the mighty predator within the control of another. Neither, the victories in war or the interference of others could save her; both shuttered out by the barricade at her back. The bars of this enclosure won't bend or snap under the strain of her indomitable will, there was only one key to the stout lock on that door. Yet, the price was just too high.
Quickly she averted her gaze, for if he met her eye to eye, this Unicorn would witness the suffering caused by her own stubborn pride. Too much to bear, abhorrent tears stung, searing hot just under the skin, but they were not allowed to fall. Though struggling against her emotions, an inhalation jammed in her throat, when his stormy ashen eyes came upon her. Without another second passing, her last defences deteriorated, bowing to the awesome sovereignty that the Monoceros commanded unparalleled in this world.
Gone was the dread, leaving behind an empty courage. No battlecry shook the foundations of this domain in her support. All her thoughts sent this dimension reeling to gain a hold in the pitiful values the sun taught. The reign of logic was bitterly ended by the change in powers, for all his perfection, he was just like man, keeping her captive. All has been crumbled into ashes that shall never raise the Phoenix.
Although she was immured, the surrender of the mastery of her own destiny wasn't the sign that her free will was usurped. She eagerly sacrificed her vain nature to domineer a new course, unfettered by the bottled up vehemence, which already ignited within her. Still the cold sheet of utter isolation draped over her, cutting off the warmth of her ancestry bloodlines.
Loneliness, one amongst the constellations,
Denying him, she shook her head in tempered patience. Wrong was this bestial phantom of the staggering peak, chewed away over the epochs by the dogged waves of the washing tide, its rise and fall, a single constant in a discordant passage. Enmity was not in her nature, yet all her fury was directed at him, her glare revealed as much to him as did her sudden composure.
Reach out again…
A simple touch of freedom to mind.
Furrowed brows knitted heavily over dusky bluish orbs as she scrutinised him with an avid curiosity. The clarity of the counterpart was so flawless it was as if he posed in her place amongst the ruins of hand-made weapons and footprints in the powder. Still the colt, pure in the furred snow of innocence, unmarred by the knives surrounding the sleek hooves. Immaculate temperament brought bitterness down upon the auric firedrake, whilst he, an angel amongst the children of mythical descendent, lacked.
Lacked the ability to love or regret, while these brought sorrows, what he could not feel, helped shape the joys found in the simple pleasure of being. Immortals shone down upon this equine breed, though they may have vanished from sight, they were not gone.
Recalling the mystic sun's birth,
With a strength that shocked the male, she sprang, massive wings flared out to full length. Teeth bared in a feral grimace, her serpentine frame smashed into the mirror, throwing thousands of tiny shards of translucent glass out into the dismal cave as her body rammed through to the other side. Where the surface had once been almost liquid in quality, now it was cracked like fragile porcelain, never to be whole again. A moment of weightlessness followed, as if everything had suddenly receded to leave a vortex of absolute nothingness behind. Suspended in one place, her limbs were gripped by invisible hands that dug into the gaps in her dented and scorched scales. A fluid, hybridised halfway between smoke and sticky resin fused into the hideous fissures amid the charred remains of what was once a gleaming coat of plates. Steam erupted from the combining of the two, yet pain didn't come, nor did she voice her agitation at such an alien invasion of her body. A clear mutation consumed the vastness of bleached nullity, composed it into a divergent state.
In the space beyond, a kaleidoscope of shifting shades of every colour imaginable contorted around each other in a dizzying array of configurations. As they melted together into a landscape of a precipice overlooking the vast expanse of shimmering ocean, subdued by the grasp of nightfall, she continued forwards, her momentum carrying her over the edge…
Catching you when you fall…
Away and flying past the far horizon.
And her outstretched extremities were captured by a steep up draft, pushing her high into the chilly ether. Arching hard into the flow, the Dragon turned into the air currents, peering down at the solidified plains of lava that breached the interim mid the apex of the heights and undulating breakers below.
Upon the upper sweep of the ridgeline, running in a diagonal sprawl over the slope, poised a single figure. The ancient leaden eyes of this mammal pursued her track across the glistening backdrop of flaxen stars dusted over a mantle of unlit turquoise. Somehow through all this time he had yet to question her on why she would not speak. Beneath the shield of her fatalistic expressions, there was a secret still to be revealed. He was waiting for her, waiting for her answer to the unspoken controversy lying between them.
Returning to the earth before the sovereign beast, her face twisted into a soft smile, however impossible it seemed to be made. In great strides the leviathan advanced upon him, pinions settling against the curve of her back, she outsized him by double height and length. The slender tail lashed the air with a booming crack shook him hard, forcing him to rearing up, baying in dismay, his horn came down sharply towards her chest, near to piercing her heart if she didn't move or retaliate.
The source of all pain…
Spirits within, spirits without, tomorrow is,
With a lone swipe of a massive forehand she could have sent him flying, however she restrained herself. No fang or claw would be raised to harm him even with the danger to her life so obviously at hand. Neatly pulling up before striking with flailing hooves or razor-sharp horn, his sleek physique uncoiled, bringing him into a light trot around her on the uneven terrain. Circling within arms reach, he flung his head high, mane swirling about his arched neck in a cascade of wintry fibres, a pose of confidence in each step.
No more dismay or malice rose out of her, it was gone, shattered like the reflector in the chamber. But the sorrow evoked its rights over her emotions, conquering easily the sway of her heart. The grief of loss weighed her down, collapsing her to earth as choked sobs broke the pealing howls of wind and waves. For it was the loss of loved ones that had produced this grave remorse that darkened the core with such violent fury and scorn.
He came then, head nuzzling her face, his velvety fur soaking up the small crystal droplets that escaped her tightly closed eyelids. Carefully as not to panic her, the colt dropped to his knees beside her and shared in her pain.
Time seeped past them.
The sky in the east softly began to brighten, splaying tendrils of pale emerald, fawn and sapphire across the shoreline and tide. The moon hidden in a spot behind the substantial apex was replaced with the solar luminary awakening from a long rest.
And it comes with the dawn…
When the sorrow will vanish forever.
Silent orbs waited until the first brilliant sunbeams caressed the highest point on the rugged peak, looming above them, before rising gracefully his cloven feet. The slight clicks of his marbled hooves on craggy ground roused her from the hallowed depths of slumber. Sleep-filled features stirred to wakefulness, sky-azure eyes held a newfound light at seeing him, warmth rekindled from scattered cinders. Quiet thanks slipped between them, yet as the brush of heat skimmed over him he didn't dissipate into the air like a shadow at high noon as she had thought he would.
Twilight rested across the surrounding panorama, a flicker of pain danced in his open youthful traits. The healing of the female Dragon was complete, yet a bridge had been built linking them through this trial of the heart. The Unicorn finally understood what he himself had forsaken in his long sleep, the value of companionship.
Polar opposites, known is that,
No pity, only compassion for him, a saviour, a captor, though flawless, there are also truths not of virtue in the essence of his breed. Legends were mistaken. The colt felt them all. The immense variety of feelings, but not hate. That evil had been exorcised when the naive world gave birth to a race of ageless ghosts.
Soundless laughter spilled out into the fresh salty air that breezed by, he blinked back his astonishment at her abrupt humour. Somehow she know of his concealed terror, however this didn't explain her reaction. A taloned forepaw stretched up from her place before the bronco with tenderness belying her strength, she tapped the very tip of his ivory horn. Saying in that single movement she was not afraid of his powers or authority. Bowing his head, the fall of feather-soft strands played across the knuckles of her paw, transmitting a little shiver the full length of her wiry frame. There was no superior or inferior being here, there was peace.
For the first time, her melodious tenor voice drifted on the fledgling winds for only him to regard.
I will stay.
This love felt will not die with me.
As the solar luminary rose aloft, it fell upon the two mythical creatures, as different as night and day, yet with a common purpose between them. Both Dragon and Unicorn melted into the silhouettes of the rocky outcrops that overhung that particular part of the ridge. While the shifting rainbow of hues ranged higher into the shallow band of clouds floating just on the edge of sight, a haunting call cast out into the seascape. A lone testimony to a new alliance forged from the sorrows of lost hearts.
Two voices joined together to brighten the future of that new day.
Together… Let this world know we no longer fear the darkness!
Dawning yesterday in such beginnings,
The sleeping reflection sings of the faithful.