Verse of Estoria Ballad of the Heavens

By Octavius
  • 24 Dec - 30 Dec, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

“What’s wrong? He asks. “Why the sudden mood change?”

“I’m praying for my eagle,” she says. “He died protecting me.”

What happened?” Maria asks.

“I was attacked by the wyverns on the way to Salatia. Lately the kingdom hasn’t been getting a lot of eagles. It was strange as the eagles loved living near whistle top forest. I bet the dragons are trying to prevent us from having the power to challenge them.”

“Are they likely to attack us now?” Kevin asks.

“Yes,” Ura says lowering her head. “And I don’t have any weapons save for a few verses to stop them.”

I can help.” Kevin says as he sits cross-legged on the feathered beast. Its massive wings beat several times and Kevin flops on his back as the bird jerked forward keeping up with the flock. Ura laughs kicking her legs while she grips her stomach.

“Well, it looks like I’ll have to teach you how to be an eagle tamer.” She says.

“That would be very helpful,” Kevin says returning to his prone state clenching the coarse feathers.”

Ura stands, steps towards Keivn and squats placing her arms on her knees.

“The first thing you need to have if you want to be an eagle rider is trust.”

Kevin looks up at Ura’s waving hair as she reaches out to him with an earnest smile. He stares at her for a few moments, grabs her hand and she pulls him to his feet. Kevin’s knees bend and tremble in apprehension as the beast beats its wings.

“Eagles are proud animals and hate it when people riding them don’t have confidence in their abilities. This eagle knows we’re on its back and will take great care to not allow us to fall off. So whenever you’re on one, don’t be afraid to stand on its back. Doing so acknowledges your faith in it.”

“Easier said than done.” Kevin says as he grips Ura’s hand praying he doesn’t fall.

Ura smiles grips his writs pulls and slings Kevin towards the edge of the beast. Kevin’s feet trip near the edge and he nearly falls off.

“Kevin!!” Maria shouts in horror.

However, the eagle turns in towards Kevin and he lands safely on the creatures back. Kevin’s heart pounds in his chest as adrenaline course through his veins.

“STOP DOING THAT!!!” he shouts springing up to his feet huffing.

“It was just a demonstration, calm down.” Ura says waving her hand. “Did you notice how the eagle just saved you?”

Kevin allows his nerves to settle and his heart calms as he thinks about what just happened.

“Yeah,” Kevin says bobbing his head. “It’s pretty amazing, now that I think about it.”

“You can only stand on its back though” Ura says shaking hers. “If you want to command it, you have to get it to trust you because it works both ways.”

“How do I get it to trust me?” Kevin asks.

“You have to connect with it somehow, it’s the hardest part of becoming an eagle rider. Eagles have wills of their own and can understand what people are saying. If you talk to them I’m sure there’ll be a way for you to connect with them.”

“I… think I get what you’re saying,” Keivn says plopping back on his back. “Hopefully I won’t need to.”

Maria walks near Kevin and sits beside him, folding her arms around her knees.

“So tell us, she asks running her hand through her wavy brown hair. Who told you about Drake?”

Ura folds her arms as she tilts her head up in thought.

“I don’t really know.” She says. “But she talked as if she already knew him personally.”

Kevin and Maria shared confused glances before looking back at Ura.

“So it’s a woman then?” Kevin asks.

Maria leans in and wispers into Kevin’s ear.

“You think it could be his grandmother?” Maria asks.

“It can’t be.” Kevin says shaking his head. “He told me she died in his arms. Either way, we need to find him.”

“How long is the trip going to be?” Kevin asks Ura.

“Hmm…. A few days,” Ura replies.

“A few days? Without any food?”

Ura’s eyes widen in shock realizing her error.

“Oh no,” she shouts as she clasps her head and shakes it. “I fogot to pack for the trip!”

“Aren’t eagles supposed to eat?” Kevin asks his voice raised in panic.

“No, they eat enough food for the whole trip,” Ura replies.

“You brought us all the way out here without any food? Keivn shouts.

As the two start arguing, Maria leans to the side and notices several specks in the distance. Using her hand as a visor to shield it from the sun, she squint’s her eyes trying to make out what was ahead.

More eagles? She thought.

Then a red twinkle shines in her eyes and they widen in horror.

“GET DOWN!” She shouts as she lunges forwards and tackles the distracted two to the feathered base. Several red lasers swiftly hiss pass the two and tear through the eagle flying in their path. The eagle calls in pain as its body curves and descends below. The three looks up as a barrage of lasers tear through another unsuspecting eagle and the flock disperse. A loud roar tears through the air as several purple-skinned wyverns’ jet past the group, pursuing the dispersing flock. Lasers erupt from glyph on front of their wings, trailing fleeing eagles as they beat their wings to avoid the hissing projectiles.

“STOP IT!” Ura shouts in anger watching the wyverns follow hard after their target. She stands as Maria pushes off of her and runs towards the Eagle’s feathered tail. “They’re unarmed leave them alone!”

“Ura wait, what are you doing?” Kevin says still on his hands and knees. “I’m going to distract them?” Ura shouts following the wyverns.

“Can’t you use the one were standing on?” Kevin asks.

Ura shakes her head.

“She’s too old and too large to fly she’s going to fly high into the sky to stay safe. So lay low while I lure them away.”

“No wait,” Keivn shouts.

She leaps off the feathered tail arms and legs spread open as wind passes through her fingers. She lands on a young passing eagle and she wraps her arms and legs around her neck.

“Let’s save your family” She says clasping the feathers on its neck. She shifts her body right turning the open winged bird on its side and she pulls its white feathers shifting its yellow beak towards the wyverns. Ura’s eyes narrow as the bird speeds towards two wyverns while they pursue a fleeing eagle.

“Come on,” she says “Go faster!”

The winged-beast beats its wings several times increasing its speed. Ura’s head lowers close to the eagle’s neck trying to resist the powerful wind shear. The eagle, trailed by the two wyverns, makes a hard left and the wyverns follow. Ura shifts her body to the left and pulls her eagle hard turning it into the wyverns’ path. Flying on its side, the eagle opens its yellow talons and snatches the wyvern, sinking its black claws into its neck. The eagle spins, and flings the wyverns limp body down towards the ocean.

“YEAH!” She shouts pumping her fist into the air.

But red lasers hiss past her eagle as the other wyvern hones in on her. She leans to the right flipping the eagle upside down and pulls its feathers. The eagle pulls its wings back and dives to avoid the trailing projectiles. Ura’s upside down world turns right-side up as her eagle aligns and jets away from the wyverns. However, the wyverns turn and gives chase. Doing her best, she skillfully maneuvers her eagle away as bullets wiz past her. But a red bolt jets too close and grazes her arm, leaving a burnt mark. Ura wails in pain as she grips her new wound.

Kevin, on all fours, watches aghast as the red bolts nearly hit the fleeing bird.

“She’s not going to last if I don’t do something,” Kevin says. “Shira!”

“You won’t be able to help her if you don’t find an eagle to ride.” Shira says.

“How am I supposed fly an eagle?”

“Just jump when I say jump and you’ll be fine!”

I can’t jump off!” Kevin protests shaking his head. “I might not make it!”

“If you don’t jump, she won’t make it.”

Kevin looks down at the seemingly endless blue watching a cloud slowly pass beneath him.

“This is insane.” Kevin says.

“Trust me, Kevin” Shira says.

“Kevin!” Maria says watching the Ura’s eagle sore through the air with the wyverns tailing her. “She won’t make it if you don’t do anything.”

“Alright!” Kevin shouts as he slowly stands and walks towards the tail of the large eagle. He stands looking out to the open skies as he sees a few eagles flapping its wings following the largest eagle.

“Just tell me when,” He says.

Waiting in fearful anticipation his heart pounds, and sweat pours down his face and palms. His brown air waves in the air as he takes heavy breaths.

“Now!!” Shira’s voice speaks.

Kevin screams as he leaps off the bird and into the sky. His hands and arms flail and his body flips as he descends towards the ocean. However, his back slams onto a passing eagle just as it was passing by. He feels the soft feathers underneath him as he closes his eyes and thank the heavens for the close call. But the eagle calls out in shock pulls its wings back and dives. Kevin’s body lifts off the eagle and descends in a free fall near the winged beast.

“WHOAHH” He shouts reaching for the white feathered neck. He clasps the eagle’s white feather, shifts his body on to its neck and grips it tight with its arms and legs. The eagle calls out in panic again and it spins into a full barrel roll. Kevin’s world flips upside down and right side up unable to tell if the ocean was above or beneath him. His stomach churns and nearly vomits what little food he had in his stomach.

“Stop! You’re making me sick.”

The eagle opens its wings and flies upward performing several loops.

“What’s wrong!” Kevin says burrowing his face into the white feathers. “Ura said that they wouldn’t allow anyone to fall off?”

“Look at her, Kevin” Shira says.

Kevin carefully raises his head and sees the eagle’s yellow beaked face frantically shifts left, right up and down as its widened eyes scans the skies.

“She’s scared.” Kevin says.

The eagle zig zags through the sky as Kevin’s tense body clenches onto the eagle for dear life.

“Hey,” Kevin says as searing winds ruffle his brown hair. “I know how you feel right now. Watching the ones, you love die around you; unable to do anything about it. It makes you want to run away from it all. I know.”

The eagle calls as it halts its frantic flying and flies straight.

“Let’s work together.” Kevin says. “Alone we can’t do anything but together we can save them.”

The eagle’s call tears through the sky as it soars over the ocean. It slows its speed and Kevin sits up on the creature’s neck.

She accepted you Kevin. Shira says. Now you can fly her.

“Great.” Kevin says as he stares confusingly down at the feathered eagle. “How do I fly her.”

Flying isn’t difficult. Shira says. Ride her as you did earlier and grip her feathers on the sides of her neck. Shift left to spin her on her side, shift right to spin on her right. Push if you want to descend and pull to ascend.

“Okay,” Kevin says. “But how do I turn her?”

Shift your body either to the left or right shifting to her side and push or pull to have her go anywhere you want. Use my power to strike down the wyverns. Hurry Ura doesn’t have much time.

“Alright, Kevin says let’s see if I can fly her.”

Kevin shifts his body left turning the eagle on its side and pulls its feathers. The eagle opens its wings and turns about as its tail feathers flap in the wind. Kevin legs, now burning with exhaustion, tighten as he directs the eagle towards Ura and her eagle.

“Woah, this is pretty easy to get used to.” Kevin says looking down at the eagle.

“Alright, let’s get them.”

The eagle beats its wings and jets forward in a burst of speed. Kevin’s torso jerks backward as the eagle rushes towards its target. Kevin writes Shira in the air with his free hand and the verse burst into cloud of frost that forms into a crystalline halberd. Kevin clasps the cold weapon, spins it over his head and holds it at his side.

The two wyverns chase hard after Ura as she does her best to maneuver her eagle away from them. Clasping her injured arm, she turns the eagle away from a barrage of red bolts hissing through the skies but her eyes widen when she sees another wyvern flying towards her.

to be continued...