As the day of the Olympics, I decided to post a chapter. Not because it's the Olympics ('Cause, you know, this chapter has nothing to do with athletes) But here you are:
Life itself was what Greygnarl yearned for. It's what everyone in the world wanted, needed. The Celestrian on his back, the one that helped him fly, was doing this because the Hero of Heavens had let him. But Greygnarl knew at that moment that sometimes life requires sacrifice.
“I can't let him do this...” the dragon whispered, audible only to the hero on his back.
He lifted his head, the Celestrian on his back looking at him, that determination to destroy Barbarus still in his eyes. Greygnarl simply looked at him with sad eyes. The dragon knew what must be done.
“It's been short but sweet, kiddo,” Greygnarl finally said, “See ya round.”
As the dragon said this, he flipped his head up. The warrior flew upwards off Greygnarl's back, the armor he was wearing glistening despite the gloom and dark clouds around the battlefield.
The Hero of the Heavens looked at the falling warrior, seeming not to notice the great orb of energy Barbarus had released at Upover, the home of the dragon for generations. The wind flew around the unnatural blast fired from the dragon's enemy, breaking away windmills and blowing away stones, the light emanating a deep purple.
“We can't have you carkin' it just yet,” Greygnarl said to the Celestrian, “Guardian of Angel Falls.”
The dragon then turned towards Upover, at the evil blast falling towards it. He flew, easily overtaking the orb's descent, flying between it and the people and mountain that had housed him.
“But I've got a village of me own to protect,” Greygnarl whispered. He knew the Celestrian couldn't hear him, that the hero was panicking because the dragon had abandoned him to free-fall.
But Greygnarl finally let out a roar at the orb, that great eye staring at him, falling. The roar cracked and shattered the pupil, as energy was released.
Everything went white, as the attack shot by Barbarus exploded upon the Hero of Heavens.
The Celestrian saw it, saw his new-found friend die. Then falling, falling away...
-Excerpt from Corvus
, by Oreh of the Angelborn
* * *
Ventri awoke. He was lying on a bed, his spikes folded onto the mattress. Above him were the faces of humans. One was wearing armor, his gray-brown hair over his eyes somewhat. He was murmuring, small spell circles enveloping his hand as he cast a heal spell. On the other side, on his right and closer to him was a girl the boy's age, around 20 years old. She had dark blue hair, cut to her shoulders somewhat choppily, an orange bandanna tied around her forehead. She wore a white apron that overlapped a lighter blue dress, the apron somewhat dirty from work. Finally behind the boy was a larger man, around 30 or so, armor-clad, with jet black hair that was tied back in a pony-tail, a small beard on his face, and his skin was pale blue, as if he were frozen. His dark eyes blinked however, when he saw that the Mouse Pokemon was awake.
“Welcome back to the world of the living,” the warrior in the back, the frozen one, said, “We thought you would be in the Underworld for a while.”
“About five days,” the girl said, “I'm Erinn, innkeeper to the Quester's Rest.”
Erinn... Ventri remembered Litai's words...
“There's Erinn at Stornway, who's very easy to get long with!”
The Charizard had continued roaring at the Sandslash, until Ventri drove her out. Where was she anyways?
“Litai..?” was all the Mouse Pokemon could speak out, as his mouth wasn't working properly.
Then the worst possible thing happened. All three of them lowered their heads. A small tear fell from Erinn's eye. Finally the warrior in the back spoke.
“She was slain by the Wadget.”
The giant snake. It had killed his friend. His only friend.
Oreh noticed as the realization of death came upon Ventri, something happened. The Pokemon started shaking, nothing else. Finally the trio heard a small, shrill cry coming from the Sandslash. It was barely audible, but just loud enough to pierce their ears. The sound was becoming louder, not by much but just enough that it would be loud soon.
“We should leave,” the Angelborn said, “I think he needs time alone.”
They left, the cry already wailing, customers staring at them, at the open door that was swiftly closed. It seemed nothing to them, however, and they went back to their work.
“How long should we wait?” Erinn asked.
“However long it takes him to overcome grief,” Calais replied, “We will give him all the time he needs.”
So they waited, Erinn working at the inn, and Calais and Oreh joining in on cards. Ginny looked at Oreh with a sort of apprehension, backing away slowly whenever he drew near, the brown ringlets in her hair bobbing a bit.
“I don't know,” Ginny said when Erinn had asked what was wrong, “I never really trusted him. He's just... strange. There's always this sort of aura around him.”
Erinn had noticed that Oreh seemed preoccupied as of late, the way he seemed to fidget when he played cards, when he walked he walked quickly, far from the relaxed steps he took when he was calm. Something was bothering him. She didn't want to bring it up (a rule she followed in the inn, somebody's business was their business) but soon Oreh came to her when Erinn was taking a break in the room next to the bar.
“Hard day?” the Angelborn said.
“A regular one,” Erinn replied, walking to wash her hands after a quick meal of cheese and bread.
“Yeah...” Oreh stood there awkwardly, then he finally said, “Can we talk?”
“Sure,” Erinn sat down on a stool, smiling.
Almost like a doll, Oreh thought, And I know dolls.
“I'm going to be leaving soon, Erinn,” Oreh said, “And I probably won't come back for a while. Maybe a year. Maybe more.”
“You're point is?”
“Well, it's hard to explain... but I need your help.”
“Sure, anything,” Erinn looked at him with eyebrows raised, though she was still smiling.
She doesn't know what to say, Oreh thought, She's getting a bit worried.
“I need you now, Erinn. I'm going to Jiltaria.”
“The capital of the West?” Erinn said, “That's great, but why do you need me?”
“Because I need your talent with people, Erinn,” Oreh said, “I want you to come with me.”
“What?” Erinn was flustered. She had lost that calm demeanor now, “Why would I do that?”
“As I said,” Oreh said, “I need your talent with people. I've been looking for... a friend.”
“That's nice, but-”
“And the information I require is in some hard-to-crack people. I need your help getting that information.”
Erinn looked around, as if considering. Oreh knew she probably wouldn't. Erinn had spent so much time working on this inn, the Quester's Rest. Four years had passed since Patty had come to Angel Falls, had invited Erinn to Stornway to take over. Erinn had no regrets. Oreh knew she would regret it if she joined him.
But the Angelborn had to try. The person he wanted to contact was dangerous, aggressive, and violent. Erinn had experience dealing with those kind of creatures. This morning, even, she had managed to calm down an angry Ogremon, a common customer, whom she had dealt with multiple times. It would be hard to find someone else. Ginny couldn't calm anyone down (on the contrary she enraged them further) and Patty would just stare at the enraged person. Only Erinn would have the ability to act, and act without further angering the person she was trying to calm.
“Please, Erinn,” Oreh said, “I need you now. If I don't get this information...”
“What?” Erinn said sharply, “You'll be sad?”
“Yes,” Oreh said, “I'll be sad. The friend I'm looking for helped me. She- no, they- helped me across my quest.”
“To write a book?” Erinn said, “'Corvus'? That book about Celestrians? About that fallen Guardian?”
“More than that,” Oreh replied, “I traveled the world, Erinn. I helped people. Throughout my entire quest they were there, helping me.”
“Well...” Erinn sighed, “What happened? I mean to you, Oreh? You've seemed so... different.”
“It's a long story...” Oreh grew a bit hot, lowering his head a bit. He didn't want to tell Erinn everything that had happened, about the celestial battles that had transpired, the deaths, the near-destruction of Upover, the annihilation of Greygnarl. The Bowhole, and Wormwood, and awakening Celestria, who once was a tree.
And finally that duel with Corvus, alone. He had forced his friends to stay in the train once they flew up to the Realm of the Mighty.
And watching the Observatory crumble away, Oreh's brothers and sisters flying as stars, away into the night.
Then losing his friends. Watching them fly away, the train disappearing.
The enormity of the loss finally hit Oreh. His breath went away. He gasped a bit, but caught himself. He started breathing normally again. He looked back up at Erinn. She was staring at him, a look of concern on her face.
“It's a long story. A very long story.”
He stood up.
“I don't expect you to come,” Oreh said, “But if you do, I leave in a couple days.”
He left, opening the door, he stopped for a moment, wanting to say something, but he decided to not. He went through to the main room, and closed the door.
Erinn sat there, looking at the door for a couple moments. The moments turned into minutes, as she thought of what Oreh had said.
It's a long story, eh? She thought, There's always something he's been hiding, ever since the stars fell from the sky... No, ever since he fell from the sky into the lake at Angel Falls.
She got up, walking up back to the counter she always stood at, waiting for customers. The room was full of them, as usual. They didn't notice how she wondered about her choices, wandering a bit. Sitting down at a chair, Erinn didn't notice Patty walk up to her.
“Problem?” Erinn's friend asked.
“Well...” the innkeeper said, “Oreh says he wants me to accompany him to Jiltaria.”
“Why?” Patty said, smiling slightly. It was impossible for her to frown, it seemed.
“Says he wants me to help him get information to find a friend he lost.”
“Ah,” Patty said, “And you can't decide whether to accompany him.”
“Yeah,” Erinn said, “I don't know, Patty... On one hand, I want to join him on his quest. I haven't gone on a little adventure since I found myself in Athens. On the other, this inn has bloomed, and Stornway is my home. I've worked on this inn, and I don't want to abandon it.”
“Abandon?” Patty said, “Even if you leave, you're not abandoning us.”
Patty smiled broader, “You could always advertise the inn on your travels.”
“Wait,” Erinn said, “I never-”
“Explore the world, Erinn,” Patty said, “Find new friends. This little inn will get on without you. Do what you want to do before it's too late. Before something happens, or worse,” Patty sighed, a small twinge of sadness seeming to go over her, “You get old.”
“I'm not going to get old anytime soon, Patty.”
“Then go out, into this new world, Erinn. Experience it while you're still young.”
So there you guys are. Chapter four