- 16 Sep - 22 Sep, 2023
Verse of Estoria Ballad of the Heavens
- 12 Nov - 18 Nov, 2022
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 unison, 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 zoom overhead as their roars quickly vanished into the distance.
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 from 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 top. Dinner’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 savoury fish."
"Okay." Kevin said as his chair squeaked from sitting up in it.
He takes his fork and knife and digs in to the savoury fish.
"Hmm," Kevin said. "It’s 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, it’s okay" 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."
"It’s 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 herself. 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 sees 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. "What’s going to happen to everyone here if this keeps up? How can we possibly fix a problem on this scale? I thought 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. It’s 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.
Okay 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 gathers 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.
to be continued...
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