Verse of Estoria Ballad of the Heavens

  • 03 Dec - 09 Dec, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

“This is nice.” Maria says holding Kevin’s arm.

“Yeah.” Kevin says. “You wouldn’t think that there’s a famine just by looking at this place.”

“That’s not what I meant silly.” Maria says smiling. “I meant you and me walking together on such a beautiful day.”

“I never had the chance to experience this with my late husband.”

“Really?” Kevin says.

“No. We had our moments, but we were too busy fighting to protect ourselves to have the time to enjoy each other’s company.” She says.

“Same here. Kevin says. I was basically on my own after my parents died and although I had my guardian, she was busy working for Ryzor in his castle. A day for me consisted only of training and studying.”

“I guess that all changed after you met Drake.” Maria says.

Kevin’s face turned somber as he reflected on his past actions.

“I owe him an apology.” Kevin says. “All this time I blamed him for what happened to my family and made him feel guilty for it. Only to find that my father was the real culprit. He’s been trying hard to fix his problems and all I’ve managed to do is nothing to help him.”

“Don’t say that. I’m quite sure if you were with him, you’d be fighting alongside him as well.”

“I just hope I have to opportunity to see him again.” Kevin says. “When we do we will fight father together.”

“Where close” Ura says walking ahead.

“How exactly are we going to find one of these birds?” Kevin asks.

“Look!” Ura says pointing at the river.

Kevin and Maria see a fork in the river that split away into the mountains.

“That wasn’t there before.” Kevin says.

“Mid-august eagles irrigate their nest by burrowing new paths from rivers I’m sure if we follow it we’ll find them.” Ura says.

“The new path leads into the mountain.” Maria says. “We’ll have to scale the mountain if we are to find it.”

“I guess this is where things get hard.” Kevin says as he opens his arms for a stretch. “Let’s go. We don’t want to miss this.”

Kevin, Maria start their walk up the mountain. The steep steps slowed their movement but managed to get high enough to find a path along the wall in between the mountains with a rapid flowing river beneath. The river curved between the mountains with the violent splash of the water echoing off the wall of the cliffs. Kevin looks down at the rapids and squats to grab a pebble. He tosses the pebble down the cliff and watches as it disappears into the water.

“Say Ura!” Kevin says. “Are you sure we’ll find them in all of this?”

“Of course.” Ura says. “I can smell them nearby.”

“Smell them”? Kevin asks with a raised eyebrow.

“Tehe.” She giggles as she pointed at the two holes at the sides of her nose.

“Harpies and Tengu’s have two extra nostrils so we can smell other birds in the area especially eagles. We also know when they are breeding because they carry a different smell.”

“Huh.” Kevin says. “I thought that was some sort of injury.”

Then Ura points down stream of the rapids. “If we walk along the cliff, we will be sure to find them.” Ura says.

“Okay.” Maria says as they cruise along. They cling to the wall of the cliff as they walk in a single file line as the path narrows. Loose rocks cascade from the steep cliffs above as the winds pick up speed.

“Say.” Maria asks as they find an open path to walk on. “What else can harpies and tengus do?”

“Well.” Ura says. “With her finger on her chin looking up. We can fly for a short period of time we have superior vision and a strong sixth sense. We notice any changes in weather two days away.”

“Wow that’s impressive.” Kevin says. “So, can you transform into a harpy’s true form? I heard they are quite beautiful.”

Then Ura suddenly stops and lowers her head in shame. Kevin and Maria stop as well and looks at Ura with an awkward silence between them. Then Ura turns her head and looks at them with a painful but earnest smile.

“I can’t.” she says before walking ahead in a sullener manner. Kevin and Maria continue to walk behind Ura without saying a word.

As they continue to walk, they reach the edge of the path leading down to the river ahead. Kevin walks up to the edge and looks down at the river and how it continues to flow deep between the mountains.

“It looks like it’s a dead end.” Kevin says.

Maria walks up beside him and looks at the white watery mist rising from the rapids.

“We have to back track and see if we can find a way across.” Kevin says.

However, Ura takes a few steps back gripping the straps of her backpack while Kevin and Maria stare down the cliff. She takes a deep breath and breaks into a full sprint with her feet rapidly pounding the path. She takes a leap forward and pushes both Maria and Kevin off the cliff. Kevin and Maria scream as the three plummet towards the river. Ura takes her pack from off her back and hurls it down to the river where it burst into a make shift raft that the three of them land on. Kevin lands on his face with Maria and Ura on top as the life-raft rushes down the rapids.

Kevin springs up from the lift raft livid.


“Hehe sorry.” Ura says scratching the back of her head. “But we’re running low on time and we can’t back track. So I simply took a shortcut.”

Maria places her hand on her own head as she shakes it from the light headedness.

“Oh dear, that was unexpected.” Maria says.

“Next time, tell us what you’re going to do BEFORE you decide to push all of us off the cliff.” Kevin says.

The moment was suddenly interrupted as the raft leaps about on the rapids and the three look down stream. The raft bounce off the walls as it continued downstream with spats of water raining down on the group.

“How far does this river go?” Kevin asks as he gripped tight of the raft.

“I don’t know.” Ura laughs, enjoying the ride.

“How can you be enjoying this!?” Kevin shouts.

Ura didn’t answer and continues to laugh as they wash down the river.

“Look!” Maria says pointing ahead at a mountain. There, they could see a large eagle standing on the edge of the mountain pecking at the water to drink and shaking its head to rid itself of the water around its white feathered main.

“Wow.” Maria says. “It’s beautiful.”

“That’s just an eaglet.” Ura says. “Look up.”

The three looked up and saw large eagles’ flying through the air between the mountains. Their shadows cover parts of the mountain as they flew over.

Maria and Kevin were awestruck as they peer into the sky. The large birds danced in the sky flapping their wings and calling out to each other.

“It’s starting.” Ura says as she shuffles around with her bag. “We need to find an eaglet soon or we’ll miss the ride.”

“How are we possibly going to get on an eagle?” Kevin says looking ahead.

Then he feels a strap wrap around his waist. Kevin looks down and see’s Ura fastening a black strap to him and Maria.

“W… What are you doing?” Kevin asks.

“Don’t hate me for this” Ura says. “But being that neither of us has wings, we have to improvise.”

Then she hunches over the floating raft and holds her hand over the water. She waits a few seconds then she quickly reaches into the river and grabs a fish out of the water with her bare hand.

“Alright,” she says as she takes the wiggling fish and ties a small rope around it. The small rope was connected to the harnesses that were wrapped around the three and Kevin’s heart jumped when he realised what she was about to do.

“No. Ura. Stop!!”

“No time.” she says as she stands up swinging the bait above her head.

“Alright little ones! Lunchtime!” She shouts before hurling the large fish tied to the string high into the air.

Kevin watches as the fish wiggles about tied to a rope. Then an eaglet swoops down and grabs the fish with its mighty talons and flies off into the sky with the black roped harness attached to it.

“Got it!” Ura shouts with elated look on her face. Kevin and Maria tremble as they watch the rope quickly unravel in front of them. The rope tightens and yanks all three of them into the air. Kevin and Maria scream as their bodies fly into the sky but Ura screams in sheer joy as she holds out her arms laughing aloud.


“Whistle top forest here we come!”

High in the blue skies sit floating landmasses a few miles apart from each other. Each of them totaling up to six are often blanketed by thick puffy white clouds and organised in a circular pattern with five islands encircling the sixth and largest island. The large land mass at the center had an outer wall at the edge of the island that enclosed the island itself with a large mountain towering at its center. There was also a lake of pure crystal water that sat between the large stone wall on the edge of the island and the mountain at the center. The island is considered sacred by both the Alterneans and the Avions and both agreed to leave it alone. The other five islands around the center most islands are divided amongst two primary races. The feathered Harpies and Tengus controlled the three eastern islands while the Dragon controlled only two of the western islands. Struggles between the two races have been sporadic but bloody. Most of which were over of the powerful wind currents keeping the islands afloat.

On the Eastern island of Whistle Top forest, Drake wakes up in a field of lowers, He rolls on his back to look at the sky aa a cool breeze brush over him. The fresh aroma of the colorful pedals filled his nose as he touches his face to see if he was dreaming. As he lay there, he feels something poking him in the side. Drake realises what had happened earlier and springs up from his prone position startling a harpy nearby. The harpy gasped as she covers her mouth with the corners of her colourful feathered wings. Her dark green hair rested on her shoulders and her radiant smooth skin shined in the sunlight. Her colourful blend of yellow and pink feathers blew in the wind as her curious dark green eyes gazed at Drake. Drake gazes at the strange female creature without saying a word long enough that the harpies face turns red in bashfulness.

Then, he hears men shouting in the distance.

“Princes Jasmine!! Are you okay!?”

Drake looks up and sees flying warriors with their brown wings on their back and talons for feet. They wore light armor and carried swords and shields in their hands. Scurrying to his feet, Drake takes off running in the opposite direction towards the giant trees but feathered man drops in front of him and points his metal spear at his nose. Three more warriors land side by side aiming their weapons at him as they rescind their wings into their backs. Drake pants as he raises his hands to give a non-threatening greeting.

“Look.” Drake says. “I was a prisoner that escaped, and I ended up here after riding the strong winds. I mean you no harm and I apologize for any damage done.”

“Do you now?” A haughty voice says behind the three tengu warriors. The centermost guard lowered his sword and stepped aside to make way for a black feathered warrior with black silky hair down to his shoulders. Carrying a rapier at his side, he squares off against Drake.

“How a land dweller such as yourself managed to make it all the way up here on our sacred lands.” He says as he points his sword at Drake’s throat.

“Speak! Intruder or I’ll end your life right where you stand.”

Drake stands silent looking to his left and his right trying to find the words to speak. However, a deep groan erupts from the pit of his stomach and his legs tremble in weakness.

“Look,” Drake says keeping his hands up. “I need help. I was captured and detained by the dragons for a month and I haven’t had any food or water.”

to be continued...