Note: This is the final chapter of a small novel I wrote.
Tides of Magic - Dragon Tears
Chapter 29 - Farewell
What had happened? Why was she laying naked on the back of a dragon? The last thing she remembered was being shot by Bradley. She had seen him advancing on Yukiko. And why were there two Bradleys? As much as she tried, she just couldn’t remember.
Something else had changed, too: The mark that made her into a dragon priest had vanished and … she could feel everything once again, how her right arm wound around her body, desperately trying to keep her warm.
Something soft and velvety landed on her arm. It felt like the petal of a flower, but it looked differently.
The dragon below her grumbled making her feel the vibrations all over her body. “What has happened?” The deep voice of the dragon sounded familiar somehow. “I know that you are lying on my back, Lia!”
Lia gulped. Was that the dragon that had been within her? What should she do? Did he want to have revenge?
“Have you eaten your tongue?” The dragon growled once again. “I want to know what happened after you have let yourself being killed by that … worm.”
Lia got up, moving more to the back of the dragon. He has seen all of that? So it was the dragon that had been sealed within her. Aeris’ brother. “I don’t know”, she answered in a whisper.
“What is it? Do you think that I would eat my niece?” He raised his head and turned to look at her.
Lia scrambled a bit deeper in response, trying to hide.
“I have seen everything. I know your body as good as you do. We share the same memories for the past years.” He snorted a bit of smoke into the sky while looking upwards. “Maybe she knows what has happened.”
Lia followed his gaze. About half a mile above them was Yukiko floating slowly downwards to them, landing in the courtyard of the castle. She started climbing down the back of the dragon.
“Now, tell me, little Yukiko. What has happened?” The dragon lowered his head to her.
“I corrected a mistake made by the dragon priests, even if it was an accident.” She waved making her chest appear and sat down on it. “The first of the black dragons sealed within a descendant of the first white dragon.” She shook her head. “I have never even considered that that could happen.”
“Don’t stretch my patience, little girl”, Yargyuu growled.
“I see you do not know, who I am.” Yukiko got up from the chest, opened it and searched for things within. As she found what she was looking for, she tossed it to Lia. It was her old dress. “It doesn’t matter anyways.” She closed the chest again and sat down on it once more.
The dragon looked on her quietly, as if in judgement, while Lia put on the clothing.
“What happened today”, Yukiko's voice sounded strange, as if she was serene but serious at the same time, “started a long, long time ago. I think it was about ten thousand years, but who waits that long easily loses count.”
“You claim to suddenly be older than we?” The dragon snorted a cloud of smoke on Yukiko.
“Many of my memories are even older.” Yukiko looked onto the mark of her right hand. “The eye of flows showed me who I truly am, or it made me into …” She shook her head. “I am not the human I used to be.”
The dragon fell silent once again, waiting for Yukiko to continue. Lia joined him while she finished dressing. She had noticed the change about Yukiko as well.
“It was a long, long time ago, that I had to fight the dragon of chaos for the first time. I do not know where he came from, as well as I cannot tell you how I came to be. Still I found several things I loved about this world, why I wanted to save it from destruction. So I managed to split his might into two aspects: One of light and one of darkness.” Yukiko looked onto the dragon. “You are the dark part of his and Aeris the light part. You came to be because of what I did, you came from the same egg because of that, and you are brothers because of that.”
“So you claim to be the one that created us?”
Yukiko smiled. “It was a long, hard and taxing fight. Our powers were evenly matched, and in the end I wasn’t the one who survived triumphantly. Just before I managed to create the egg and enclose him within it, he hit me with one last roar. One of those cracks”, she nodded into the sky above, “happened to appear within me. Somehow it ripped my power from my body and I died.”
“Your power was the eye of flows?” Lia came a bit closer to Yukiko.
“Yes. My power and my memories were hidden within the eye of flows, waiting for someone to appear that could be my successor until, after a long, long time, Yukiko appeared.”
She was smiling, but also showing signs of sadness.
“She was still a child, parts of her innocent and others already corrupted. I stopped time for her body, changed her so that she wouldn’t age, as I knew that destiny had led her to me. I am certain that she was my other half, my body reborn.
“Are you … not Yukiko?” Lia came close, stretched out her hand but stopped short from touching the girl.
“I have all her memories, so in part I am her. But to a part I am not.” Yukiko stood up and took Lia's hand into her own. “I will always see you as a friend, but I am afraid that I can’t stay with you all the time.”
“What do you mean?” Lias voice felt rough all of a sudden.
Yukiko let go of her hand and stepped backwards. “The dragon of chaos can return at anytime. I can’t undo what I did ten thousand years ago; I cannot destroy the dragons I have created from it. They might be a bit grumpy, but they have grown to be compassionate.” Her gaze wandered to Yargyuu. “We either had pure luck that his rebirth happened roughly at the same time as mine. Either that or we are destined to clash.”
“You claim you have the power to destroy us?” The dragon growled.
Yukiko smiled in answer and looked back to Lia. “I have to say farewell to you. I need to go the way that lays before me alone.” She went around her chest, opened it and got something else out of it. “I am sure you will be fine on your path of life.” She tossed her a bag. Lia opened it and saw the five dragon tears within it.
“How did …” Lia looked up. Yukiko and the chest had vanished. She looked to the dragon next to her. He still stared at the place where the girl had been and shook his head.
“I’ll bring you to your father”, he said. His voice had gotten softer. “And then we will bring the astral diamond back to where it belongs.”
Lia held her tear close to the others as well. She was skeptical, and Nina seemed fearful as well. Only Felix smiled. “Nothing bad will happen”, he assured them.
The tears touched within the middle and nothing happened. “You have to want it”, she explained once again and looked to Nina. “Those tears are not meant to be in human or half dragon hands.”
Nina frowned and closed her eyes. Without looking she crossed the last few inches and the tears started to melt into a fist-sized clear diamond that fell to the ground.
“I thank you”, Yargyuu picked up the stone. Lia smiled nervously to her uncle. He seemed to be the complete opposite of her father. He looked neat, had hard, red eyes and black hair. “I have to apologize to you all. I was in sorrow. After the diamond was stolen from us, I could only feel two tears, the third one coming in a bit later. But then years passed without the tears moving close to one another. I had to assume that they were already in the wrong hands and being misused.” He closed his eyes. “I now know that they were in the right hands all along, waiting for their chance to reunite. A mother wouldn’t leave her child just like that, a child bound to it couldn’t make the journey and the wise wizard knew that the time hadn’t come.”
“I can’t forgive you!” Dikon stood far behind Nina. He had joined the battle at one point and killed at least half of the soldiers within the castle, which explained why no weapons were being fired at the dragons. Despite that act and the changes that had happened, he still feared Lia. Or Yargyuu.
The black dragon didn’t answer him. “I shall hide the astral diamond once more.” He jumped into the air, transformed and flew away.
“There is one question that is left”, Felix looked to Bradley. “I wonder where he got those fake tears from.”
Phobos and Ray both stood before the fallen imperator, asked him questions again and again, without him answering.
The black dragons had accepted his defeat on the hands of Yukiko, but since she had disappeared, they reinstated Yargyuu as chief.
They went closer to Phobos, who stopped his questions after he noticed them. He shook his head to indicate that they hadn’t gotten a single answer.
“What do you want to do with him?” Felix stepped closer to them.
“We’ll imprison him”, answered Ray, “maybe he will have some answers for us after a few month of just water and bread.”
“Have you thought about our offers, Lia?” Phobos asked.
“She shook her head. “I don’t think that I am ready to marry any of you.”
“That’s just too bad”, Ray sighed theatrically. “We just wanted to know, if you would take over Richards spot and rule over Eien. You are entitled to that.”
“And we can’t leave the people of Eien without anyone to lead them. Otherwise someone unqualified will take over”, he nodded towards Bradley.
“I don’t think that I am qualified to do that”, replied Lia. “I don’t have any idea, how to lead a nation.”
“Then tell me, what would you do, if someone needed your help?” Phobos came a bit closer to her. “Would you hear him out and help him? Or would you deny it?”
“Of course I would help.”
“If you keep that in your heart, then you are qualified.”
“To be honest”, Ray interjected, “you don’t have any choice in that matter.” He smiled, but it send a cold shiver down her spine. “Except you want to marry one of us, of course.”
“Well”, Felix put a hand on her shoulder. “You aren’t a dragon priest anymore. The order won’t take you back and you can’t live with your father for all eternity. Just accept the offer and I am sure they would help you with difficult decisions. You can also count on me.”
Lia had to smile as she realized that this was an opportunity to be free. “I accept then”, she answered.
“You can’t just …”
“Be quiet, papa!” Dikon's protests were silenced easily by his daughter.
Ray came closer and whispered into her ear: “And think about our offer. Riko and I would love to welcome you in our family.”
Lia rolled her eyes and sighed. She shook her head and smiled sadly. At the moment she couldn’t marry any of those half-dragons, as the space in her heart was still occupied and even if Jan would have to make space for another man, she would never forget him.
Note: I currently don't think I will be revisiting this story (although there are a few things that could be expanded upon in a sequel), so I have licensed this Work under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. That means that you can basically do anything with this story as long as you provide my name or alias.