The golden afternoon sun streamed in through Evander's
window like colorful shreds of confetti. The lightness decorated his walls with
bright colorful stripes causing Evander to strain his eyes in order to see the
things he was packing. A few weapons, some food, and maybe some good books would
be all he would need to take for the journey. After zipping up his bags and
packing up, Evander took one last glance at his cottage room. It was a shame,
he was hardly ever home anymore. Evander was always off attending to business,
fighting in wars, or guarding the Riverence borders. Sometimes it was an exciting
life. Each day would be filled with thrilling adventures and excitement. But
sometimes Evander wished he could just be normal. He had never had many friends,
and he had certainly never talked to any girls.
The white Draik strolled through the rolling
meadows and glanced at the beds of flowers right outside his home. The red roses
seemed to sparkle in the sun with scarlet beauty. Evander reached to pick a
bouquet of the beautiful roses. He wrapped them up carefully and placed them
inside his bag to give to Appolonia once he rescued her.
Evander was almost at the gate door when he remembered
Faunus. Where was he? He wanted so much to tell his friend where he was going
and when he planned to be back, but the Shoyru was nowhere to be seen. After
thinking about it, Evander took out a small scrap of paper and scribbled down
a few things.
I tried to find you this afternoon, but you were
nowhere to be seen. I am off to a new quest... to rescue the king's daughter!
I should be back in a few days. Please keep watch over my cottage while I am
away. I shall miss you.
He folded the letter in half and stuck it neatly
between two bars of the gate. After a slight sigh, Evander opened the gate and
entered the new land. He was off to conquer the hardest quest he had ever attempted.
The quest of his true love...
Evander walked along the path for what seemed
like hours. He stumbled over a few rocks in his way which he gently brushed
aside. The road was completely empty and it winded narrowly through the green
land. Evander tried to follow his eyes to where the path met the horizon in
the distance, but he eventually gave up and just continued to stare at the ground
After awhile, the sun began to sink just below
the mountains edge and the soft shadows of darkness began to slowly cascade
over the Knight's shoulders. The burning rumble of hunger tugged in Evander's
stomach so he slowed down and found a comfortable spot by the trees to make
camp. The huge pine's offered a small clearing where he could light fire and
relax under the branches. Evander ate a piece of bread and some warm carrots
hungrily without stopping once. Once he was finished, he lied down on the ground
and closed his eyes for a few moments. At first Evander rested peacefully under
the trees, but soon dreams began to invade his eyes. It was actually just more
like memories- things that Evander tried so hard to forget. The sharp scream
of the Aisha girl, the Black Thieves raiding her home and taking everything
in their sight, the crash of a teacup... Evander tossed and jerked in his sleep,
why couldn't he just forget? But then the one thing that had haunted him most
of all... the eyes of one of the Black Thieves. He could remember the orbs with
its pulsing violence and hatred. Yet the eyes were so very familiar... but Evander
just couldn't see who they belonged to.
With a sharp gasp, Evander awoke startled. He
panted heavily as he looked around himself to be assured that he was still safe
under the trees. Dusk had swallowed the land many hours ago and the sky was
full of celestial stars. With a reassuring breath, Evander got up and brushed
off the bread crumbs and dirt that had fallen on him. He was so shaken that
he didn't know quite what to do. But instead of curling back to sleep, Evander
decided to pack up his bags and be on his way, with the cloak of night on his
The Black Pteri Caverns loomed ahead of Evander like a great wall of darkness.
The craggy precipices of the cavern entrance looked as sharp as knives. Cold,
hard stones and rocks were piled in great stacks like an ancient shrine. One
touch of the rocks would send the entire heap tumbling down its sides causing
death to any in its path. Evander carefully tiptoed around the corner, being
cautious as to not take any wrong steps.
As soon as Evander stepped inside the cavern,
his eyes were lost in a chamber of darkness. Even the small lemon sliver of
the moon outside barely gathered enough light to reach the place. Evander shivered
with coldness. He felt alone... alone in the midst of shadows. He slowly glided
through the narrow tunnel, feeling the prickling ridges of the rocks pierce
his fingertips. The air was thick and warm and it choked Evander's breath. He
began gasping for the slightest bit of pure and clean air. Evander's head burned
and ached. He was feeling dizzy and nauseous at the same time.
But at last, he entered a larger chamber where
cooler air pressed through the cave walls. In the center of the place was a
large bonfire. The fiery pit painted the rocky wall with lightness. Evander
watched the fire lick its chaotic tongue in the depths of the emptiness. He
could feel its pulsing rhythm and its blazing power. It was almost as if the
fire was magical. But there was something strange about the magic that made
the fire impure, dark and dangerous...
Suddenly, a violent rumble vibrated through the
cavern chamber. It shook the cave walls causing small jewels and rocks to tumble
from the ceiling. The noise was getting louder and angrier as it traveled closer.
Evander reached for his sword by his belt and held it in the darkness. He watched
the wall that glowed from the burning fire. There was a shadow coming closer
and its dark outline was menacing and hideous.
The Monoceraptor stampeded into the chamber and
pounded the earth with its gigantic feet. Its body was black and leathery like
a dragon and its head and shoulders were crowned with sharp spikes. The beast
opened its mouth wide to reveal pointy incisors dripping with blood. It belted
out a deep roar which filled the room with a blast and made Evander tremble
in its presence. The Monoceraptor stumbled about blindly in the darkness. If
there was any weakness the monster had, it was definitely seeing.
Evander had no time to think, but he had a plan.
In a split second, the beast lunged towards him and tried to gorge him with
his hungry claws. Evander missed it just in time and jumped out of the way.
He held his sword high above his head without faltering the slightest bit. He
than ran in and out of the Monoceraptor's steps, chancing his luck inches away
from the monster's feet. The beast got easily confused and lost Evander for
a moment. It started to hop around foolishly and just as it lowered one of its
massive legs towards the ground, Evander speared his knife through the bottom
of its foot. The Monoceraptor let out a yelp of tense pain as the blood trickled
on the ground. It crumbled on its knees and roared with fury.
Despite the Monoceraptor's pain, it did not surrender
to the battle. While crawling on the floor, the beast snapped its jaw at Evander's
legs, hoping to bring the Draik down. But Evander flew out of the Monoceraptor's
reach just before it got close enough. He flew some feet up to where a pile
of huge boulders and rocks lied and breathed a sigh of relief. While wiping
the sweat off of his brow, Evander glanced ahead of him for a safe escape route.
Little did he know, that the Monoceraptor managed to sneak up behind him. With
one great swipe of his claw, the monster ferociously knocked the Draik out.
Evander tumbled to the stony ground and winced
in pain. He closed his eyes for a second, swallowing the hurt that had just
befallen him. Evander didn't want to look at the damage on his body, but he
could feel its searing pain. Deep inside of him, he knew that he had to keep
going and not give up. So with a courageous glance, Evander looked at his wing.
It was worse then he expected. The white skin was torn, leaving three long,
red scars on the inside of his right wing.
Evander tried to stifle back the tears, but he
couldn't help but let a few silver drops glisten in his eyes. Out of the corners
of his sight, Evander realized that the Monoceraptor was coming back again for
another swipe. In that second, Evander grabbed his sword and flung it towards
the beast. It struck the monster right at the center of its heart and with one
last screaming howl, the Monoceraptor fell on the ground and died.
Without looking back once, Evander weakly stood
up and raced out of the chamber. He ran through the twisting tunnels and dark
corners without even stopping to rest and soothe his tattered wing. Each path
seemed to be calling to him. They whispered him secrets... dark and beautiful.
But Evander tried not listen. He had his mind focused on the one thing that
mattered the most to him... Appolonia.
At last he rounded the corner and entered the
passage behind it. Evander could just sense that it was the right one. There
was an essence of pure beauty and an aura of magic surrounding it. He gently
pushed the door open to discover a room filled with sparkling flowers. The blooms
were scattered all over the place and lush green vines were draped high above
the ceiling. Each wall was plastered with grand jeweled mirrors. A streaming
waterfall rushed fresh water through a trickling stream that circled around
the room. The chamber smelled like a perfume of lilac drifting in summer air.
It was truly one of the most enchanting places Evander had ever seen, and it
lifted his senses and brightened his eyes with passion.
There, in the center of the chamber lied the
fair and golden Appolonia. She rested peacefully on a royal bed with flowers
strewn across. Her beautiful white Uni hair sparkled like snowy mountain caps.
She had her eyes closed in a sort of magical trance. Nervously, Evander stepped
closer and placed a soft sweet kiss on her rosy lips. Appolonia's eyes fluttered
open and she smiled delicately. Evander knelt low to the ground and bowed graciously
before the princess.
"Sweet and fair Appolonia, I have come to rescue
you," he whispered. Without another word, Appolonia took Evander's hands and
was led out of the chamber and into the world outside.
To be continued...