Guardian of Shirilda [howler/Erza]
The shadows of the Hallow were darker than usual that night. No sound came from those who lived in the woods. Only hours before, the forest had been alive with the sounds of birds and beasts as they began to make the transition from night to dark. But then something had happened. The dark branches of the trees had bent and twisted as a hot gust of wind flew through the pines. The oak trees withered from flames as black as tar, and the ground shook with the roar of beasts. Dragon fire had lit the sky for hours, before a final thud signaled the end of a battle. The whole scene had been watched by a single person. A young Ravala woman had seen the fight and had waited purposely for things to calm down. But the fear in the forest was evident by the lack of noise in the forest.
Naki'ra stood on the branch over-looking the scene near the river. The small river that flowed through the Hallow was flowing with blood from the bodies of the dragons that lay near its banks. The first was a strange looking dragon. Part of it was silver, but it was covered in blackened scales and looked as if some of its flesh had been rotted away. The second was a white dragon that lay unmoving and unbreathing. Kala's white hair fell to her waist as she floated to the ground, her size growing to that of a human as she landed near the dead dragons. She looked around cautiously, the smell of charred flesh and the wet slosh of blood soaked ground churning her stomach. Her eyes were strange for her race. She held one red eye and one gold eye. The dress she wore was spider-silk. Sleeveless at the bodice and cut short to allow for easier movement through the trees.
Her heart sank at the sight before her. She closed her eyes, shifting to prepare herself for the hard task of burrying the bodies of the dragons. At least, that's what she'd thought she would have to do. She took a step forward, only to step on something cold and solid. Looking down, she she saw a large sword, almost as big as she was. She shifted, lifting the sword off the ground, surprised at how light it felt in her hand. Without warning, a light shot from the sword, surrounding the area and blinding her. When the light finally faded and she could see, she was amazed to find the dragons gone. Confused, she looked down at the sword still in her hand, trying to figure out what had happened.
Last edited by Erza Rosealia; 01-28-2013 at 11:57 PM.
For many years, the Guardian of The Sword was protected by the Black Dragon. With silver skin and black scales, the two journeyed together, when the dragon moved caves, the sword and it's Guardian came with. The dragon found the weapon difficult to carry, but, it was bound to protect, with its life, the Guardian and the sword. Of course, this protection did not occur under the most peaceful of circumstances. Kingdoms, knowing the power of the sword, sent brave knights who attempted to slay the dragon, but still, it lived on, through swords that pierced its scales, to arrows, even managing to somehow survived one knight who attempted to collapse its cave. But, all of these threats paled in comparison to White Northwind Dragon.
Fierce in its own quest for the power of the Sword and the spirit that guarded it, the dragon attacked twice. First, many years before, more of a prodding at the defenders of the Sword. The black dragon had survived then, too, but less so. It spoke that day, to the Guardian, in its draconic tongue, "This cannot continue. Eventually, I will fall. The torch shall pass. Though, I will ensure it is to that one, Trust me in this, spirit. The Guardian had always thought on these words, but for many more years, nothing had happened to cause them to be true.
Until the White Northwind came back.
The Black Dragon fought bravely, but it had gravely wounded and only managed a short flight from the cave where its home was. The Guardian gotten the sense that this battle was not going to end well as both dragons battled each other, and both fell. But, being trapped or some might have said imprisoned in the sword, the Guardian could not aid his dragon friend and he quietly waited for the old beast's words to come true. Secretly, as the sword lay on the bank, he hoped it would be touched by a blacksmith; someone who knew how to handle such weapons. A knight would even do. But, the ancient prophecy the dragon often spoke of; one which said the first to touch the sword and lift it from it's resting place would claim it, meant that anyone could claim the powerful weapon and it's protector. For, though the dragon protected the sword itself, even he did not protect the real prize; it's power. This was the job of the Guardian.
As the young woman, a girl in truth, approached the Guardian sensed her curiosity at the sword. He also sensed sadness, as she viewed the remnants of the battle. Somewhat unexpectedly, she picked up the sword and light burst from it, setting the Guardian free. He was shimmering, glowing spirit, taller than she, and dressed in knightly attire, but his eyes were those of dragons. They glowed a dull yellowish red, seemingly plucked from some distant fire. He spoke to her in the only language he had ever heard and come to understand; that of the dragon that had protected him. He had some memory of learning another language, but it was long repressed. "Child, you now bear the sword and it's Guardian. The prophecy is fulfilled. Keep safe this sword, for many will attempt to take it from you. To some, it is of great worth, but other will use it for far more nefarious purposes. I am its Guardian, you wield the weapon itself, but I wield it's true power. It has been some time since one such as you has carried the torch and burden that comes with this weapon. Use the sword for good, however you define that in your time.. What you saw here was the remains of the last Protector of the Guardian, which you also take up now. Tell me Child, what name have you been given? What has brought you to this place, to this sword? This is so that the record of the sword's history might continued through the ages.
The Guardian called her Child, not to anger her, but because he had been called that by the last dragon, the Black Dragon. He, in fact, had been imprisoned in the sword for far too long and it felt quite wonderful to be free of those bonds. He did not tell her, and he assumed she did not know it, but there were ways of re imprisoning the Guardian if need be. For now, though, the spirit floated in front of her, on seemingly invisible wings.
Child, sword, guardian? The being that replaced the forms of the dragons was something she had not expected. Nor were his words. What was even more unexpected was that she could understand those words almost perfectly. She recognized the speech. Dragon tongue. How she knew what it was, she did not know. She had never spoken to a dragon. Indeed, she'd only heard rumors of them while spying on the humans in villages near the Hallow. She stared at the ethereal being in wonder, her eyes wide and the sword clutched in her hands. Even as she spoke, she subconsciously drew it to herself, as if protecting a child. Protector of the Guardian? How could she be such a thing? She barely even knew what she was, and had spent only a short time with her parents before their deaths and her own isolation. Sure, she could have sought others of her kind, but hadn't that been why her parents had taken her away? To keep her from prying eyes? To keep her from being "hunted"? As a child, she had been told that if others of their kind found out she existed, she would never have peace. She had often wondered why, but had never asked about it.
"My name is Naki'ra." She responded, her words flowing in dragon speech so fluidly that her multi-colored eyes widened in surprise at her own understanding of the words. She swallowed hard, gazing at the being in front of her with a mixed sense of wonder and fear. Fear of the unknown. Wonder at the shimmering spirit that held the same eyes as she did. Or, at least, the same kind. Her voice came quietly, gentle and smooth, though almost with a childish tone to it. Though her body was fully matured, and would look like a full grown woman, the Guardian was correct in one sense. She was a child. At least in the eyes of her own people. At only fifty-five, she was barely considered a teenager, though her appearance looked much more adult. Her eyes moved to look at the sword in her hands as she answered the Guardian, turning it with precision in her hands. It was as light as a feather to her. It barely weighed a thing in her hand. Again, she seemed to wield it subconsciously. With one hand, she easily twirled it around a few times, studying its weight, the fact that it was perfectly balanced. She'd not lived all those years alone and not learned some sort of protection, though her own sword had been lost weeks prior to this in a fight with a rather nasty goblin.
The sword settled in her hands again, the blade glinting in the moon light and reflecting her own image. Still, there was something not entirely right. Her eyes shifted to gaze around the meadow, and she suddenly remembered the dragons that had been slain near the river. The blood still soaked the ground, despite the bodies and bones now being nothing but small piles of ash. So engraved in her memory had that sight been, that she knew which ashes belonged to which dragon without having to give it a second thought. Yet...she had an odd sense of responsibility. Slowly, she placed the sword on the ground, careful not to do so carelessly. The one power that had come in handy most often, was used in that moment. A simple wave of her hand produced a shield around the sword. And while its presence could still be felt, the sword became invisible, shielded by the barrier that blended itself to its surroundings. She moved then, going to the first pile of ash. It had belonged to the white dragon. Carefully, her hands scooped the ashes from the ground.
Her expression changed then. Sadness fell upon her as she carried those ashes. Slowly, she glided to the river, hovering over it effortlessly. Her wings beat easily, only a faint breeze and a glint of shimmer giving a hint to the fact she was even using them. They made no sound as they fluttered. Her hands tilted, the ashes floating on the wind of her wings and settling over the river. "In death, may your spirit find peace." She muttered, silent until the ashes had been spread before moving to the other pile, that of the black dragon. She carried his ashes to the river as well, though her expression never changed. "Though you were enemies in life, join the river as one. My your spirit find peace." She whispered. When her task was done, and she had sent the dragons off the only way she could, she turned to the being with a sadden question about her expression. Once again, she spoke in dragon-tongue, having realized long before that the only language he might have known was Dragon.
"And by what name should I call you, Guardian?" She questioned.
The Guardian listened to the girl's pronunciation of her name, and repeated it, as if confirming what he'd heard,"Naki'ra. It is quite pretty. It fits you well. he watched as she gathered, slowly and respectfully, the ashes of both dragons, while at the same time, hiding the sword from normal view. Being a spirit, and it's protector, he knew where it was, he had not only seen her hide it, but he was still bound to the weapon, even though he was no longer imprisoned within it. He could literally feel the weapon and could still see it, despite her shield. He watched closely as she gathered the weapon in her hands, easily bearing the weight. She seemed to dance with it, effortlessly twirling it in the wind. In time, and with the proper knowledge...she could become quite the fighter with it.
She questioned him, as to his own name. The spirit responded,"I have no name. I am simply the Guardian of the Sword. but it paused, as if there was something more it wanted...well he wanted to say. He continued,"I was simply called Child by the last Protector or sometimes, Spirit, so either of those will do. It is, after all, what I am. He paused once more, his tone dipping a bit at the end of his last statement, reflecting his disappointment with not having a name. An identity, something to be called. Oh, sure, he protected a most powerful weapon, but nothing, and no one, had named him, officially. he added, after a moment or two of complete silence,"I have been named many things by the many that have wield the weapon you now hold. I am ... ever changing, ever adapting to the current age. Name me as you would name someone born in this era. this was a more hopeful, upbeat, and altogether excited statement. Names were something to be treasured, and he'd found that what one protector named him, another did not like or could not pronounce, thus he'd dispensed with whatever original name he'd had. Now, he placed that burden on those that picked up the weapon.
he floated once more closer to her and spoke again,"You handle the sword so well. You have handled them before then, yes? Perhaps you are indeed a Bladedancer. One who dances; with speed, precision, and power. She combines all three to slay her foes. yes, Naki'ra, Bladedancer. That is what you shall be, your Path is chosen. What knowledge have you of swords and fighting techniques? Usually, Protectors were more assertive, but the spirit could see the girl was perhaps frightened, and unaware of what she now held. None of this made sense to her, he was sure. But, in time, it would. After learning what knowledge, if any, she had, it would be time to test that knowledge. Of course, Bladedancer weapon of choice was far lighter than the sword, but if she could master the proper combination, and form her own style? The results could be quite devastating. This, if nothing else, spurred the spirit onward, and renewed his hope that this Protector might live even longer than the dragon had.
The spirit floated onto her shoulder and rested there, the constant flapping of his wings was tiring, and he wanted to rest a while, particularly so that he could get a get view for her first test. He said,"When you feel you are ready, Naki'ra, Bladedancer, inform me and your first test shall begin. You Prophecy states that Protectors pass the Three Trials, once done, their Guardians are granted more freedom. I do hope you succeed." He knew of no other weapons like this, with ancient spirits that guarded them and entrusted worthy individuals to protect them, but he didn't have to tell her that. The other important facet of these Trials? he would get to put on display one of his own powers, and an innate ability, both of which would be useful to her later, he was sure.
Last edited by howler01; 01-27-2013 at 10:03 PM.
Never having a name? The thought saddened her beyond what she had thought it might. And the longer she thought on the subject, the more she could not help but feel pity for him. As he floated to rest on her shoulder, she turned her head to look at him. After a while of thought, she shifted, taking him into her hands so that she could bring him in front of her and look at him fully. Her expression changed again, growing gentle, almost holding a fond sort of sadness. He wanted a name. And she would give him the best name she had ever heard. Her father's name. A small smile spread across her lips at that thought, and she nodded her head, as if determined to herself to keep some sort of sacred promise.
"No one should be nameless, Guardian." She spoke gently. "And so I give you the name of my father. While I live, you shall be called Azaeril." She laughed a little at that, her eyes closing lightly from the laughter. "Though I may call you Zaer for short from time to time."
When that matter was settled, she thought on his question about her skill. She placed him back on her shoulder, moving to pick the sword up. The easiest way for her to explain her skill was to show him, and to do that, she knew no better way than how she had practiced with her own sword. She shifted, raising to set him on a branch so that he could watch her as she floated back down to the ground. She stood, poised, the sword in her hand as light as anything she'd ever held, if not lighter. She brought it in front of her for a moment in a sort of salute, her eyes closed. Then, she began to move. Her entire body flowed as she moved. Her arms extended, her sword extending as if it were part of her. Bladedancer seemed to be a good term for her. Her motions were fluid as she spun and danced with the blade. Yet the motions were lethal in combat. She'd had it tested repeatedly over the years she'd been on her own. At all times, she was able to see the angles around her. It was easier to see which way her attackers were coming from. Her wings also came in handy, allowing her to raise into the air and spin, flipping over her unseen enemies. On the ground, she could go low, her momentum carrying her through multiple enemies, her body rolling and coiling to spin, lopping off invisible heads and dismembering arms and legs of ghostly foes.
While practicing, she grew in a sort of trance. Where there were no enemies around, her mind saw them. Orcs and goblins, men with evil in their eyes. She had killed, yes, but only ever for her own life. And never those who surrendered. Her "dance" lasted for a while before she finally stopped. In her mind, she had faced a band of orcs attacking for nothing more than to kill her. She'd faced such bands so many times that when she finally stopped her motions, her breathing was only just barely quickened. She looked up at Azaeril, watching for his reaction.
The spirit heard the name and saw the hope and happiness it brought Naki'ra. He smiled as well at hearing her name for him. He chose to repeat this quietly to himself,"Azaeril...or Zaer for short. I accept this. sh fluttered, well her wings did anyway, and they floated up to a nearby tree branch, which the psirit easily balanced on and rested upon. he watched her "dance" with the blade in her hand. he was smiling when she ended the performance and looked up to him. He spoke happily,"Good. your skills with blades are most obvious. Therefore, you have passed the First Test by default; the Demonstration of Skill. Now, for the Second and third tests. Since you are...so fluid in your movements, I will add some challenge to this otherwise easy Trial.
Then, the Guardian Zael made a gesture with his hand and a dragon egg, with a soft pulsing white light around it, making it easier to see, appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the field in front of her. It hovered just out of reach of her sword and , the spirit thought, out of reach her weapon swings. He said, simply,"Break the egg...if you can. and he made several more gestures, with both of his hands this time. The egg was set into motion. It still pulsed white light, but it moved, as if on on an invisible string. It would float close to her, but, at least with her first few swings, it would zip away before she could strike it and break it. The spirit watched, with some amusement, and wondered just how many swings it would take her to break the egg. he also wondered if she would figure out the egg's pattern or, put another way, use some strategy when facing this most fearsome of enemies. It was more a test of her mental abilities, as opposed to her physical abilities, but that would come soon enough. Of course, if she kept up the charging in and swinging, he might eventually slow down the egg enough for her to break it. This test demonstrated his innate ability to find and control dragon eggs. He'd done so with the last dragon, refining the skill, but he did enjoy a good game of keeping the egg away from her. He didn't wish to tire her though, as the next fight would prove more difficult.
When she finally broke the egg, because she was far too skilled not to eventually do so, a loud roar of anger was heard from the skies above. a young red dragon, male if it mattered, came diving hard and fast out of the skies. It roared in anger and frustration, as the Guardian demonstrated his power, which at this time, was slight. He could put up a "shied" of sorts and stop dragons, for a short while. he did so, by holding out his hand, much like a wall. It took concentration, but he could manage for a few moments at least. The dragon spoke angrily, glaring at both the girl and the spirit,"Who dares break the egg of my family! You shall die! First, the one with the sword, I will make your death slow and painful...then the one who hinders my flight. You shall die quickly.
The spirit responded, a look of concentration on his face,"Your goal is clear; kill him. Dragon, you are too cocky. You will kill neither of us. The wielder is a Bladedancer. and I am Guardian of that sword. If you kill her...then it is you who will die the slow and painful death." The dragon, ignoring the girl for the moment, focused it's attention on the Guardian and his tree branch,"Spirit, i will roast you as I roast knights for dinner! Do not mock me! You do not have the power to kill me! What weapon do YOU have the might even scratch my scales! The Guardian sensed the fireball coming and was off of the tree branch before it had left the dragon's mouth. He had dropped his shield and he let the girl act as she would with the sword. His only comment was,"We shall see. as he floated high up over the fight. He only hoped Naki'ra could indeed back up his bold words. If she was slain...then...he dragon might become more confident and dangerous...or, if it was smart, it might call for help.
She hadn't expected the second test. At first, she had tried to fight it as if it were an enemy. But it quickly became apparent that a pattern was in the movements and she fell still. Her eyes watched the pattern, and for a long while, she had made no movements at all. It wasn't until she had finally figured out the pattern that she moved. Rather than swinging where the egg was, she swung at where it would be, throwing the sword like a dagger and striking the center of the egg. It shattered. The angry roar that came almost instantly had startled her. Yet while the dragon and Zaer conversed, she felt a sudden anger swell within her. Her eyes flashed as that anger grew. She had thought the egg merely glass or some other meaningless object. She hadn't realized until it was too late that the egg had been real, and that she'd unknowingly taken the life of a soul that had yet to be born. Angry tears streamed down her face as she turned a glare to Zaer.
"Dragon!" She called, her voice heated as she looked up at him. "I deserve death! My crime against you cannot be undone." She spoke in the dragon-tongue as before, her heart angered and saddened at the same time. She shifted, putting the sword down. Her penance was not one that would be repaid easily. Yet she was fully prepared to make that sacrifice. Her wings fluttered and she rose into the air, twirling and spinning around blasts of flame until she was close to the dragon, her form unthreatening as she looked him in the eye. Her expression became sincere as she bowed in front of him, low, as a sign of the utmost respect.
"I did not know the egg was real." She spoke, her tears falling as she did so. "Had I known, I never would have so blindly followed directions. There are no words that I can say that will right my wrong. As easy as it would be for you to take my life, and it would, because my crime deserves my death... Perhaps I can convince you to allow both of us to live instead. While I cannot atone for my sin easily, I shall offer you something other than my life. I am a Ravala, and as such, dragons are revered among my kind. I offer you my services. Since the Guardian there seems to be able to summon you so carelessly..." She said the words loudly and angrily, again directing a glare in his direction for what he'd made her do. "Perhaps his talent can be used for a better purpose." She turned back to the dragon then, and once again bowed. She did not want to have to kill that which she held so dear in her mind, but she was not prepared to die, either. "I offer you my services, dragon. Should you, or your kin, have need of my skills, I shall answer the call."
She turned then, putting her shield around a large tree and hiding it even from the dragon's view to show her point. She would be very useful hiding a nest or more of eggs from enemies. And she had a feeling that over time, she would grow even more powerful. She turned to the dragon then, waiting his answer, and hoping he would accept her offer. The sadness in her eyes was unmistakable, even for a dragon filled with rage. She would fight if she had to, but she hoped she wouldn't have to do that. She would, one way or the other; however, be having a talk with Zaer when this was over. She wanted to make it clear to him that she did not kill without necessity. And what he'd made her do had not been necessary. He could have just as easily tested her with something else other than a real dragon's egg.
Naki'ra's action surprised the spirit. her glare was unmistakable. She was not the race he had expected her to be. All this time, the Guardian had assumed she was a fairy or pixie of some sort, but this race...they revered the dragons? The concept was foreign to the spirit and the look that he gave her was one of shock and pure surprise. He thought more on this. Perhaps the test had been a mistake. But, had he known her race, he might have tested her differently. The spirit floated down towards her, but landed on his tree branch, not on her shoulder. The girl had become positively distraught over killing the baby dragon she assumed was inside. The spirit remained thoughtful, choosing his words carefully, as he did not want to upset her too much more than he already had. he wondered if she realize she could not simply leave the sword somewhere; it was bound to her now, as was he.
The dragon saw the remorse of the girl and turned its rage softened, it spoke,"You seem sincere in your remorse. Though it is against my better judgment perhaps, I will spare you this once. However, if you destroy more of my eggs...you will die. I will have no choice. Understand that, tiny morsel." The dragon roared in anger once more and flew off. His wings flapped hard, slicing through the air.
The Guardian, knowing she was upset and angry with him, slowly floated over to her,"Naki'ra...I was unaware your kind revered dragons. most do not. I...assumed you were a pixie or a fairy, perhaps even a tiny elf I would not have tested you as I did, if I had known. Forgive me. hsi voice was quite full of guilt. She was curious case, this one. One who sought to use dragons, not as her enemy, but as her friend. A race that he did not understand. Most others...feared and hated the dragons, and thus were more than willing to kill them. He floated in front of her, so that she could see his face better, and continued,"Most...most protectors have feared and hated the dragons. They have willingly hunted them, when dragons have come for the sword. They will come, they seek it's power. Destruction of their eggs is the only way I know of in order to lure them out into the open and stop them. But, as it is, you have passed your trials. There is...something more that you mus know."
He made a gesture and brought up four glowing lights. Red, blue, green, and yellow. He let these hang in the air for some time. Zaer spoke,"These lights represent gems, which will unlock the true power of the sword. But, each is guarded. One, I am certain, by a dragon. Friendship and diplomacy may work with a young such as the one we called...but, it will not work with this dragon. I must ask you; can you have the courage to fight for this gem? Will you have the strength and the will to slay this dragon if necessary. I had hoped to capture this gem first, but...considering your... beliefs with respect to Dragons...perhaps it is better left for last. These gems represent four elements, fire, water, earth, and Light. Each will allow you to access an ability of the sword and will allow me to gain a new power. Perhaps this was not the best time for a history lesson, or a goal session, but Zaer wanted her focused, not on what he'd done, but on what could be done he'd already apologized for his mistake earlier. Though, he wondered how much of an issue she would make of it
he floated in front of her and patiently waited for her reactions, thoughts, and words on all of this.
Naki'ra was quiet for a long moment as he spoke, glaring at him as he gave his history lesson despite his apology. And yet she knew that he was sincere. Still, it did not ease the pain in her heart. Eventually, though, the anger subsided, and all that remained was the pain in her expression. She watched him for a long time, finally allowing herself to land on the ground once again. She took the sword in her hand, staring at it as if she were holding someone who had died in her arms. Why her? Why must she be the one to slay a dragon? Why must she be the one to take the life of something so powerful? Something so wise? Questions began to stir in her mind. Questions she needed answered. And yet there was something else that was troubling her even along with all of this. The Sickness had reached a part of the Hallow.
"Come with me." she said quietly, taking the sword and leading him out of the area. It was best they moved anyway, before someone decided to show up and try and take the sword. A sword she was quickly beginning to understand was part of the cure she sought to find. For a long while, she lead him through the trees, her body shrinking to the size of a small bird as she wove her way through the twisting canopy of the forest they were currently in. Finally, she stopped, settling upon a branch as easily as any bird would have. She bent the branches, and the sight in front of them was much different than the one they had left.
What had once been a glade, filled with flowers during the warmer months, and very beautiful during the day... Was now dead. What few remains of flowers were left were withered to the point that when the wind touched them, some of them crumbled to dust. It was a small area, near a cave that crept out of the mountain side, but it had an impact. The grass was a blackened color, and the ground oozed with a tar-like substance of devilish green. The smell in the air was rotten, like flesh and fruit mingled together. Even as she showed him the ruined glade, a rabbit wandered into the blackened soil. About half way through, it began screaming, causing her to look away as it began to flop around as if being shot multiple times with arrows. For several long minutes she cried as the rabbit thrashed and convulsed. Then suddenly, it went silent as it fell lifeless to the ground.
"...It is the sickness." She spoke, lowering the branch so that she would not have to see the poor creature's fate. "My father once told me of a terrible evil. One powerful enough to cause something like this. He called him Draga, the Death Dragon. You see... While they are largely misunderstood... Dragons are not born evil. Mostly. As you saw with the dragon that was your guardian. He told me of a terrible disease that plagued Shirilda long ago because of Draga. The evil dragon had poisoned the land, and had begun to rule with the rest of his horde. It wasn't until the Ravala banded together with the good dragons of the world, that a hero emerged and locked him away in a chasm."
She turned to face him then, sighing. "I do not kill without reason. That is why I was so angry with you. Even in battles I have fought before, I did not kill those who sought mercy. That is not who I am. I believe that, for whatever reason... You and this sword came to me, because I needed some help finding a way to stop this Sickness. I will do what is needed for the both of us to survive... but I will not take another life without a very good reason." She looked at him seriously then, her tone stern but gentle somehow at the same time. "I am guessing that you are bound to me, Zaer... and I to you. And because of this, I will protect you as I am sure you will protect me. But we cannot do this without understanding each other, and to do that, we must become more than Protector and Guardian. We must become friends. I do not know how you see this...but it is the only way we can truly be effective. When we can stand side-by-side and face whatever comes our way, planning with each other without words... Then, and only then, will we be able to go further than we think is possible now."
His speech and lesson had made their mark, for now anyway. her anger, frustration, and pain slowly subsided, but she made it clear by her expressions she was still not happy with him for how he had tested her. Weill, he'd apologized, for now, that was the best she'd get. He followed her easily, tracking her movements via the swords movements. He landed next to her on the branch, and watched, just as she had, as the rabbit slowly died...form some unseen force or poison. He did not grieve as she did, though. To him the small animal was merely an example. He had seen death far more times than he'd ever care to admit, and as a result, had been hardened by it. He listened still further as she described her own history, and The Sickness, caused by a death dragon, called Draga by her people. It was all very interesting information, as it explained her reactions to his Trials. He began, ever so slightly, to understand her people and their customs.
She then turned to face him, sighed, and explained still further. She had a moral code, it seemed; to not kill for nothing, or put another way killing's sake. She would kill to protect and defend, but only then and for her, ending life was not just a means to an end, there had to be a reason and a purpose behind it. he could accept her viewpoint, though he did not agree. He nodded, out of respect. Then, she suggested something more than Protector and Guardian...she suggested friendships between them. Zaer gave her a shocked look. he spoke, as if quite startled,"yes, Naki'ra, we are bond together, the sword to me, and now you to me and to the sword. That much is correct. This concept of friendship...is something new to me, though I suppose it has been used on me before...but more subtly, more indirectly. no one has been so...direct with their request for it. I must say, though, I respect how you feel about the prior events. had I known before, I would have acted differently. But, I cannot agree with your view that killing without purpose is unjustified. Perhaps it is my experience and perspective that guides me in this, but I would suggest that killing can be a preventative measure. it has other purpose than that, but say you gained knowledge of an enemy's position, before he knew where you were. Would you not try and kill him first? Or, would you wait until he attacked to fight back? I suspect you would kill him first. I also suspect we cannot defeat this Draga, if he lives, without the full power of the sword. Thus, we should perhaps try to capture the stone that lies in this region. I do not know what guards it, I only know of the one guarded by a dragon. perhaps it is Draga himself, perhaps it is some other dragon. But, the time has come for us to go find out more about this gem and where it lies within the region. Here, he paused and extended both of his hands towards her, palms facing upwards. Of course, she couldn't hold the sword and take his hands, but she'd figure some way around that.
He said softly to her,"take my hands Naki'ra. This shall serve as a sign of our friendship. he kept his hands out towards her. When she took them, some of the aura around him disparate and she would begin to see that he was not quite the spirit he claimed to be. he had, in fact, a human form. His long imprisonment in the sword, however, had repressed that. Zaer was smiling, though as he looked at his new charge...and friend. It was something he was going to have to get used to.