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Rated: E · Book · Action/Adventure · #2217001
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#979218 added March 26, 2020 at 3:00am
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Prologue and Chapter 1
         The sun shines high as puffs white clouds sail through the blue skies. The ocean waves beneath splash about as the warm winds collect its salty scent with each gust. Then a large balled eagle burst from a cloud with two wyverns emerging behind it. Spanning 64 feet long and wide, the eagle vigorously flaps its wings to gain speed as the two smaller yet agile wyverns tail the large bird. Just shy of 50 feet from nose to tail, the wyvern’s smooth purplish body gives the advantage of speed and maneuverability it needs to keep up with the power of the eagle.

         A young petit woman with short black hair, smooth olive skin and slim figure clings to the harness on the bird’s back trembling as the two wyverns hone in on her. She tugs the harness and the eagle turns right with its feathers flapping in the wind. In unision, the wyverns pull their wings back and turns to match the eagles fight. Pulling the harness back, the eagle’s beak points up towards the sky flapping its wings to gain speed. It disappears into the clouds as the young woman looks back to see if her pursuers had given up, but a green light shines through the white clouds and a gust of wind split the clouds open. The girl smacked her teeth in frustration finding it difficult to lose the wyverns.

         The wyvern’s eyes glowed red and two red glyphs appeared on the front of their wings. The girl, watching the incoming attack, grips the harness and makes the eagle take a sharp turn. Suddenly, a torrent of red lasers erupts from the glyphs as they trail the turning eagle. The lady rider glances behind her to keep the pursuers in her sights as her legs tighten around eagle’s back. One wyvern flies directly behind the eagle’s feathered tail and unleashes a barrage of red energy bolts. The girl ducks with her face buried in the eagles white feathered neck. The eagle turns upside down and a shower of red projectile whizzes past it nearly hitting the eagle as it zig-zags through the air. The eagle dives towards the ocean but the wyverns continue their pursuit, shooting endless bolts.

         The eagle closes its wings to increase its diving speed while the girl holds onto the harness. The sheering winds nearly causes her legs to lose grip of the harness as thousands of red bolts zip past her. The eagle opens its wings just before it hits the sea and jets forward dodging incoming fire.

         With the wyverns hot on its tail, they continue firing on the eagle as it sped along the sparkling blue ocean. Bolts splash into the water causing pillars of salt water eject from the surface as the bird maneuvers across the ocean. Water sprinkles on the frantic girl as she screams in terror. Several bolts punch holes in the wings and the eagle calls in pain. It’s wing dangles limp as the sizzling smoke trails behind the wounded animal.
NO! the girl shouts. In a last ditch effort, the eagle uses its beak to bite the harness from its mouth. It then spins the girl off its back sending her flying off the saddle and into the air. The girl pulls her knees to her chest and yanks a string releasing a parachute.

         The eagle uses what strength it had left and flies high into the sky drawing the wyvern’s attention away from the girl. Tailing the eagle, their pointed beaks aimed directly for their target. The girl holds onto their parachute as she watches her eagle soar into the sky.

         No! she shouts before both wyverns fire their red bolts from their wings piercing the wounded eagle multiple times ending its life. The girl cries as she watches the eagle’s body spins from the sky and splashes into the ocean. The two wyverns circle around and jet towards the parachute to finish her off. However, The girl pulls out a knife and starts sawing at the harness. She desperately glances between the ropes and wyverns as her as she slices one strap off. They fire their bolts and her harness snap just before they vaporize the parachute and she splashes into the ocean. The wyverns zooms overhead as their roars quickly vanished into the distance.


Chapter 1

         At the southern edge of Salatia’s shore, sat a village of fishermen with houses made of straw and wood sitting high on bamboo sticks. The sounds of rushing waves dominated the village as salt water rushes onto the sandy beach pushing crabs and shells onto the wet sands. Seagulls fly though the air with their mating calls over straw roofed huts. A bell rings in the shore town and a rush of shirtless men rush from the huts towards the sea shore. With a sense of urgency, they storm the shores, with the waves overtaking a few of them and knocking them down.

         Straggling behind, Kevin runs bare footed in the sand wearing torn brown shorts and a towel around his head. His skinny but muscular frame shined as the sun reflected off the sweat pouring down his body. He runs into the water and he swims out into the ocean where he and others cast their fishnets. Swimming in the salty blue, he dives underwater to grab his roped fish net. He emerges form the water shaking it from his head and catching his breath. He pulls his net onto the sands with two large fishes inside flapping about. Kevin sighed in frustration over the nimble catch and takes a bucket nearby and places the two fishes inside. He then casts his net back into the water.

         The other men haul their catches in and dispersed after they cast their nets back at sea. Kevin returns to his hut where he walks up the wooden stairs and entered the small hut. Inside, the hut was homely with rugs and a table near the window to allow sunshine and fresh air to enter. Kevin takes his towel off his head revealing his disheveled short brown hair. He tosses the towel onto the table and the bucket of fish underneath the table. He drops onto the wooden chair and leans back staring at the straw ceiling. After a few moments of resting, Maria walks in with two plates of hot cooked fish in her hands. Her dress exposed her creamy feet and long legs as she wore a brown bikini top with her sweaty flat stomach. Diner’s ready! Maria said as she placed both plates on the table. She grabs a chair and sits down next to Kevin.

         "Fish again today eh?" Kevin said slouching in his chair.

         "Mmhmm," Maria replied in a cheerful tone. "This time I used sea shells to make dry salt from the sea. It makes for some savory fish."

         "Ok." Kevin said as his chair squeaked from sitting up in it.

         He takes his fork and knife and digs in to the savory fish.

         "Hmm," Kevin said. "Its really good."

         "I thought you might like it." Maria said elated from the praise.

         "I don’t know if I ever said this" Kevin said. "But thank you for nursing me back to health. I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for you."

         Maria stared at Kevin and starts blushing. "Oh its ok" Maria laughed. "You’re a dear friend to me and I’m sure you’d do the same for me. I need to fetch some water, enjoy your meal." She said as she rose up from her chair.

         "No, allow me." Kevin said

         "No. No. You just stay there," Maria said. "I could use the fresh air right now."

         "Well What about your food?" Kevin asked "It’ll go cold if you leave it."

         "Its okay," Maria replied, "You can eat it." Then she rushes out of the kitchen and the door.

         Kevin sits back in his chair and pulls his plate of fish to himself and finishes it off.

###


         Meanwhile, Maria pours a bucket of fresh water over her head to cool herself off while on her knees. She throws the bucket down in the sand as she lets the cold water run down her curly brown hair and body. She then sits in a fetal position as she thought to her self. Her mind drifted back when she was a wife and mother with her late husband. The warm feeling she got from being with Kevin reminded her a lot of those times. A fear gripped her as she almost saw Kevin die in the same way her husband did. But Maria shook her head and stood to her feet. She takes a deep breath and return to the hut where she see’s Kevin lying on the rack at the opposite end of the room.

         "Your fish is still on the table." Kevin said. "You need to eat whenever you can. I only caught two whole fishes today. That’s less than what we had yesterday. I know we have a few pieces saved but if this decline keeps up, then we won’t be able to feed ourselves."

         "Your right." Maria said. "I noticed the other women were quite anxious they must be concerned as well. Especially if they have mouths to feed."

         "Ugh! This is crazy." Kevin said. "Whats going to happen to everyone here if this keeps up? How can we possibly fix a problem on this scale? I though Shira would help us fix the problem here, but she hadn’t told me anything that’ll help. All she tells me is to find Estoria. What’s the point in finding and protecting a hidden city when the world around it is falling apart. What’s worse is Drake."

         "He’s been taken by that dragon in the last battle." Maria said.

         "Yeah." Kevin said. "Before we can even get to Estoria we need to find him first and based on the direction that dragon was flying, there’s no possible way we can reach him. Its like all the dragons left the continent. This is too much to deal with." Kevin said as he rubs his temples with his fingers with a strained look on his face. "I don’t know where to start. I’m not sure if I can do this."

         Then Maria walks up beside him and sits in the rack nearby.

         "That’s not true." Maria said. "You’ve overcome many trials since we first met. I know you can figure something out."

         "That’s not the only thing that’s bothering me." Kevin said as he had a somber expression on his face. "It’s my parents."

         Maria was silent as she remembered what happened after Kevin was wounded.

         "I know that they are responsible for whatever’s happening." Kevin said. "and it frightens me to think what they are planning. Either way if we continue the day will come when I must face them in battle."

         "Will you be able to face them when the time comes?" Maria asked. "Fighting your mother and father isn’t something anyone could do."

         "That’s why we need to find Drake." Kevin replied. "I’m sure he can do what it takes to stop them."

         After a few moments pass, they hear someone shouting outside. Kevin stands up from his rack and rushes out of the door with Maria close behind. Outside they see a crowd of onlookers pointing towards the sea. Kevin used his hand as a visor and strains his eyes to look at what they were seeing. There, he sees a frighten girl on a make shift life raft with a pod of sharks circling her with their grey fins protruding from the water. The girl was frozen on all fours crying with tears running down her face. Then a large shark jumps over the life raft with water dripping from its white underbelly and splashes back into the water. The girl screamed as her raft shook from side to side as the wave nearly capsizes the boat.

         She’s not going to make it. Kevin said. Maria get a harpoon ready along with some rope.
Ok Maria said as she ran behind the straw roofed hut. Kevin then walks up to the shoreline and takes a deep breath. Shira! He shouted as he held out both of his hands. The white frost gather around his hands and forms his ice cold halberd. Kevin twirls his halberd over his head and a cold spinning disk made from frost formed above him. Winds pick up speed around Kevin as sand and frost circle Kevin’s body. He then slammed his halberd in to the water shore and a path of hard crackling ice traveled towards the trapped damsel. The sharks noticed the slab of ice approaching and separated to escape it. The ice formed underneath the raft and starts to crack under the moving waves.

         "Maria, Hurry!" Kevin shouts.

         Maria runs with her bare feet stomping in the sand with rope and the harpoon in her hand. She throws the harpoon directly towards the raft. The harpoon penetrates the raft and air quickly ejects from the hole. The girl shouts as she placed her hand over the hole and harpoon. Maria pulls the rope tied to the harpoon with her strength and yanks the raft and the girl towards the shore. The girl grips the harpoon for dear life as her deflating raft was pulled along the cracking Ice path. The trail of ice breaks apart in the ocean and the raft safely reaches the beach with the girl holding on the harpoon. Her face was planted in the sand as the deflated raft flew off in the winds.

         The girl’s bun wrapped hair was disheveled as she remained still for a few moments.

         "Um… Are you ok?" Maria asked. Then the girl springs up really fast startling both Maria and Kevin.

         "Wow! That was insane!" The girl shouted. She then springs up to her feet with uncanny energy and with a smile on her face.

         "Thanks for helping me." she said. "I thought I was a goner-those sharks were tailing me for three days I was adrift."

         "Whoa!" Kevin said motioning with both of his hands. "Slow down. I can’t understand you."

         "Oh, I’m sorry she said as she was panting its just… that… I get… excited when…"

         Then the girl faints and falls in Kevins arms.

         "Hey what’s wrong?" Kevin said shaking the little girl.

         Then he hears the girls stomach growling.

         "She said that she’s been stranded at sea for three days." Maria said as she knelt next to Kevin. "She’s starving. Poor thing. Quick! Bring her inside I’ll cook up the remaining fish we have."

         "Ok." Kevin said as he picks up the petit girl.

         He follows Maria inside the hut where he places her on his rack.

###


         That night, the girl regains consciousness and looks around the hut. Her head rested on a soft cotton pillow with a quilt pulled over her. She notices the smell of savory fish that made her mouth water. Maria taps on the girl shoulder holding a plate of steaming hot fish. The girl springs out of her prone position and snatches the plate out of Maria’s hand. She uses her fingers to tear up the fish and shove the savory bits inside of her mouth until her cheeks was full of food. She chews it all and swallows it with one gulp with a satisfying expression on her face. Maria hands her a cup of fresh water and the petit woman gulps it all down.

         "Ahhh! That was good."

         "Feeling better now?" Maria asked.

         "Yes thank you." The young woman replied.

         Then Kevin walks in the front door and closes it behind him.

         "You’re awake" Kevin said. "As he sits on the rack on the other side of the room. It seems you recovered quick." Kevin said. "Why were you adrift at sea like that."

         "My name is Ura." She said. "I’m a harpy from the Sky Kingdom Hembia. Please to meat you."

         "Hembia?" Kevin said under his breath. "I’m sorry. My name is Kevin Hale and this is Maria. What happened?"

         "Before I explain, do you know where I can find someone by the name of Drake?"

         Maria and Kevin both looked at each other with shocked looks in their eyes.

         "How do you know Drake?" Kevin asked.

         "That means you know him?"

         "Yes" Kevin said.

         "You know where I can find him?" Ura asked.

         "Sorry Kevin said as he shook his head. We don’t know where his is now. He’s been missing for a month now."

         "Oh." Ura said in a disappointing tone. Well do you know where I can find the Tengu clan? I heard that there was a clan living here.

         Kevin scratches his head hesitant to answer her question.

         "Yeah."He said, "A lot has happened here over the past decade or so. The war and famine that took place twelve years ago wiped out most of the races living here."

         Ura gasps as she covers her mouth with both of her hands.

         "The only people here are the humans and even that is going to change if the famine continues."

         "How?" Ura said shocked. "All of them?"

         "Yes." Kevin replied.

         Ura lowered her head in hopelessness. "You mean, I came all the way here and lost everything for nothing?" She said sobbing.

         "Don’t start crying yet." Kevin said. "Tell us how you know about Drake."

         Ura wipes the tears from her eyes with her forearm and sniffed before she began her explanation.

         "My country is in the sky and we share the lands with the dragons that live there."

         "Dragons?" Kevin asked.

         "You know about them?" Ura asked.

         "Yes." Kevin said. "They were the last other race other than us that lived here."

         "Well." She continued. "The harpies and tengus lived and tended our own lands with the help of a very powerful wind current known as Aplade Gusts. The wind current is what’s keeping our islands afloat in the sky. But the dragons were more private and possessive with their dwellings, so they tried to build a wall between their lands and ours. We were fine with the idea, but the wall would interfere with the wind currents causing our islands to plummet into the oceans. We tried to negotiate but they refused to listen. With little choice, our people went to war against the dragons. It was horrible many of our parents, including mine, perished and some of us became exile as a result. After much bloodshed, the dragons agreed to a truce and stopped from building a wall. It was sudden but it was a relief to all of us."

         "Why did the dragons agree to a truce all of a sudden?" Kevin asked.

         "I’m not so sure as the terms and conditions were secret. But from the rumors, The dragons was facing an epidemic of their own. Thousands of male dragons died off with the survivors becoming sterile and extremely ill."

         Maria folded her arms and placed her delicate fingers on her chin. "Come to think of it," she said. "I haven’t ran into many male dragons except for the one in cold town. I never really noticed until you mentioned it."

         Ura nodded her head and continued. "Their Queen departed along with her family to find a cure to the disease and we had a good respite from the war."

         "That’s probably when they appeared in Salatia just before the war started." Kevin said. "They were trying to find a cure to their disease."

         "But they returned a month ago and now they’re resuming the construction they started all those years ago."

         "Is the dragon King called Radius?" Kevin asked.

         "Yes." Ura said.

         "Well he was the one who kidnapped Drake and flew away from here. I fear that he is being held with nefarious intent for his well-being. That aside how did you find out about Drake and where he lived. From what he told me he was in the slave quarry for the majority of his life. How can someone from another country possibly know who and where he would be?"

         "I didn’t know who or where he was someone who we don’t know appeared to us out of nowhere and told us if we are to survive the calamity to come we needed Drake as our ally. She spoke with such authority and conviction…it seems as if we knew her all our lives. But we didn’t get a glimpse of who or what she was. But we trusted her words enough to highjack a mid-august eagle and try to find him here."

         "Mid-august eagle?" Kevin asked. "What are those?"

         "They’re just large eagles we ride long distances." Ura said. "We call them mid-august eagles because when they flap their large wings it reminds us of the cool winds of the fall season. We’ll need to get one if I need to head back."

         "How’s that possible?" Kevin asked. "There aren’t any here."

         "That shouldn’t be a problem." Ura said. "You see, the eagles don’t nest in our homeland. They nest in random parts of the world where they think they can be safe to raise their young. This can be anywhere in Endina. So its normal for some people to go their whole lives without knowing they exist. But our seer told me that they dwell here for their nesting season somewhere where there are a lot of mountains."

         "You mean Cain mountains? It’s the only place that’s possible for the eagles to nest in."

         "Then we must go there." Ura said. "We must reach it as soon as possible before they start to migrate to our lands."

         "Well it looks like we’ve found our lead." Kevin said. "Its about time. Waiting here has been killing me there are many questions that I don’t have answers to and the only way to find answers is to search far and wide for them."

         Maria smiled when she heard Kevin’s words.

         "Are you coming Maria?" Kevin asked.

         "Of course." Maria said. "There’s nothing for me here. Plus… Maria said as she walks up to Kevin and wraps her arms around his arm and cozily embraced him as he whispers into his ear."

         "You’re stuck with me."

         Kevin blushed at her words and bashfully laughs while rubbing the back of his head.

         "Well its decided then." Kevin said. "Ura lead the way."
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