From fear to hope
Ryu sat in the grass staring at the mid-night sky. The cold wind blew his blue hair around freely. The campfire next to him sparked as it was almost out. Everyone else was inside the tent asleep, or so he thought.
The warrior closed his eyes and sighed. It was a long and hard battle. I wonder where Peco could be? He thought. Fighting against Myria was harder than he expected. Ryu still didn't understand why she wanted the Brood gone. All he could understand was that she feared the dragon clan. He understood why she wanted to protect her so called 'children', but to kill his people? It was outrageous. She could've done it differently. He said to himself angrily.
Suddenly, he felt something soft and warm against his cheeks. His eyes shot open only to find Nina's hands holding his face.
"You scared me." Ryu aside a little startled.
"Sorry. You just seemed dead. What are you doing out here alone and in the cold?" Nina asked as she shivered.
Ryu shrugged. "I guess I just wanted to think. I thought you were asleep."
"I was. But I had a bad dream." she told him. Nina moved beside him as Ryu sat up on his elbows. The winged princess of Wyndia sat next to him with her knees to her chest.
"Oh, nothing really. Ryu... hold me." Nina said as she looked down at him. She laid down next to Ryu and graved his waist. Ryu's eyes widened when Nina suddenly grabbed ahold of him.
Why was she acting like this? It isn't like her to just suddenly want him to hold her. Sure they grabbed a hold of each other before but that was when Nina's life was in danger. He sighed softly and held her in his arms, careful enough not to touch her wings. Ryu remember she told him it hurt when someone would touch the base of her wings.
"Nina, whats wrong?" Ryu asked as a sob escape the girl's lips.
"I had a dream that you were killed by some kind of a beast... it was horrible." Nina buried her face into his stomacher. The sob came again.
"Nina, nothing is going to happen to me." Ryu reassured her as he grabbed her chin and brought her face up. Tears were streaming down Nina's ocean blue eyes. The dragon rubbed his thumb across her cheek and wiped the tears. He brought Nina's face close to his.
To Nina's' surprise, their lips met, giving her the most romantic kiss she had ever received. Ryu slowly pulled away. His cheeks were red but not as red as Nina's. She was beat red.
Did I just do what I think I did? Ryu thought. He didn't even blink be for Nina came to his face and kissed him back. This time, she had her hands cupped in his face. Ryu fell back while she kissed him.
"Hold me Ryu." Nina said as she let go of his face. She placed her head on his chest. Ryu held her gently as she fell asleep. He looked down at her and then at the stars. It would be morning soon. His thoughts went into the dream Nina told him she had. Was he really going to die? He has to speak with Ladon. Ryu's eye lids became heavy and he slowly drifted off to sleep.
Ryu awoke an hour later by Rei's voice. "Hey Ryu. Wake up. We gotta catch up with the girls." The male woren shook Ryu harshly. Ryu pened his eyes and yawned.
"What do you mean we have to catch up with them?" he asked as he rubbed his eyes.
"I told the girls we'd catch up to them a little later. Come on. They're probably already in Dragnier." Rei told him. Ryu stood up and stretched.
"You mean you let them get ahead of us? they could be in trouble, this isn't exactly a prefect place to be traveling in alone." Ryu said a little annoyed.
"Yes... listen we gotta talk... about last night." Rei said as Ryu grabbed his sword. Ryu slowly looked at him.
"What do you mean, about last night?"
"Don't think I didn't see you two last night." Rei had a smirk on his face.
"Okay... what is there to talk about? So we kissed, it's not like we did anything else." Ryu said as he turned to the burning pieces of wood. He mumbled a little spell then froze the last of the burning wood.
"I didn't think you had a thing going on with Nina... you dog." Rei laughed.
"I do not. Nina just had a nightmare and she was scared. You know how I'm when Nina is scared." Ryu said calmly.
"Are you sure about that? Cause I could've swore it was you who pulled in the first kiss."
"Rei, we didn't do anything else but talked and kissed. So, what is it that you want to know?" he was starting to get angry.
"Do you LOVE her? That's all..." Rei asked. Ryu was silent for a while before giving an answer.
"I... I'm not telling." Ryu said. Rei's tail fell down as he stumbled his toe in the dirt.
"What?! Is that a possible yes?!" Rei shouted. Ryu didn't speak. He just continued to walk and pretended to ignore Rei's laughter. "What...what was it like? Kissing a girl?"
"... well... it was rather sweet." Ryu said as he remember the sweet taste in Nina's mouth when she kissed him. It was like honey and cream with hot chocolate.
"Sweet?!" Rei chuckled.
"Yes. Now shut up if you know what's good for you." Ryu glared at him.
"Okay... okay. We'll save this talk for another time. On the other hand, what do we have to do when we get back to Dragnier?" Rei stopped his teasing and changed the subject.
"Well, I have to ask Ladon something. Then we're going to use the transporter to get home." Ryu told him.
"Yes. Home." Rei sighed as he looked toward a ruined town of the ancient dragon clan, the Brood.
Ryu and Rei arrived in Dragnier to find Momo fighting with the elder and Nina standing by trying to calm the outraged scientist.
"Whats going on?" Ryu asked Nina.
"Oh, they're fighting over the laws of Motion. You don't look so good, are you feeling all right? You did get enough sleep, right?" Nina noticed how pale and tried Ryu looked.
"An hours worth. Rei, help Nina collect the supplies to get back to Wyndia. I need to speak with Ladon." he told the two.
"But, what about Momo?" Nina asked.
"Let her talk with the elder. I'm sure she'll learn something new. I'll meet you in a bit." he told them and walked through the old city to a spot where a wall stood. A frame of stone was in the center but had no picture. Ryu walked up to the frame and placed his hand in the middle.
"Master Ladon, I need to speak with you, sire." Ryu spoke softly. He removed his hand and a dragonic picture appeared in the frame.
"What can I do for you my son?" the dragon spoke.
"I need to know of what's to come of me. Death? Glory? A friend had a dream that I was killed by a monster. Is this what's to come of me?" Ryu asked.
"Dragon Prince Ryu, you know I can not tell you your future. But, I bid you a fair warning. Be very cautious. People you trust may become your enemy." Ladon told him.
"Yes my lord. Thank you." Ryu bowed his head as the dragon disappeared. Ryu sighed then started to walk back to the entrance. When he arrived, Momo was jolting something down in her book while Nina and Rei waited for him. He stood before them. The tried dragon gave his friends a weak and cheerful smile.
"Lets go home." he said to them. The three smiled back and looked warier but happy to hear those words. Ryu led his friends up a set of stairs and into a room with a huge machine that glowed. Ryu, Momo, Rei, and Nina all stepped onto the platform and in a minute, they were gone.
"You see?! This is your future! HA!" Ryu could hear a cruel and bone chilling laugh.
What was happening to him? Why was he bleeding? His head hurt and his senses were making his head throb. A monster. A monster was tearing him up, starting with his heart.
"Ryu! RYU! Get up!" Rei screamed in his ear. Ryu suddenly jumped up and withdrew his sword barley missing Rei's nose. "Whoa!"
The dragon boy was breathing heavily and sweat was dripping down his face.
"What? It was just a dream?" he said as he dropped his sword and started to check himself. He wasn't bleeding and his heart was beating faster. "Where are we?" Ryu asked as he dazed around. He noticed he was inside his sleeping bag in the tent.
"We were about to arrive in Wyndia when you suddenly collapsed outside of Eygnock road. You all right?" Rei told him.
"Yeah, yeah. I'm fine. What time is it?"
"It's a quarter til three. Can you stand?" Rei asked. Ryu stood up a little shaky. He nodded his head and started for the door. Rei closely followed behind to make sure he wouldn't fall over.
"Ryu. Are you feeling better?" Nina asked as she looked up at him from the fire. Ryu shook his head
and sat next to her. "Are you ready to go?"
"Give me a minute."
"Can we have two rooms? One for the ladies and one for my friend and I?" Ryu asked the Wyndian hotel manager.
"That'll be two-hundred and fifty zenny. The ladies have room twenty-four and you gentlemen have room twenty-three, honey." the hotel manager was a woman.
She handed Ryu two sets of keys and winked at him. "How 'bout you have lunch with me, suga?" She gave Ryu a look that made Nina feel like her ears were burning.
"Uh... I... erm." Ryu shuttered as she tried a move on him. He looked back at his friends for help.
"Sorry. He's taken. Come on sweetheart." Nina graved a hold of Ryu's arm and tugged on him. They walked up the stairs followed by Rei and Momo.
"Gee Nina, I didn't know you two were a couple! HA!" Rei smirked.
"Shut up Rei!" Nina yelled as she pounded him on the head with her wand.
"OUCH!" Nina went into hers' and Momo's' room and after Momo walked in, she slammed the door in Rei's' face. Ryu looked down at Rei, who was sobbing as a big, red bump appeared on his head. The dragon sighed and walked into their room.
It was evening when the group was down stairs eating dinner and talking about their journey they had together. "The thing I'll always remember is that when Ryu was younger, he use to cry at small little things but when it came to ghost and big, scary monsters, he'd be a big, tough boy!" Rei said as the girls giggled.
"I'll always remember the time he saved me from Balio and Sunder." Nina said.
"You guys talk like I'm dead or something. I'm still here you know." Ryu told them. A smile couldn't help but creep upon his face.
"We know. We're just remembering how much fun we had while traveling with you." Momo reassured him. Rei nodded and went on with his jokes.
Ryu couldn't sit still though. That dream he had. He stood up and left the table towalk outside. Was it a warning? What was going to happen to him? This were the thoughts stuck in his head.
Nina noticed him leaving and wondered what was wrong. She got up while Momo laughed at one of Rei's' jokes. The Windian Princess stepped onto the porch with Ryu. "What's wrong Ryu?" she asked.
"I don't know. I can't say. I don't want to worry you Nina." he said to her. His arms were crossed on the railing and he was looking out at the dark town. Nina walked up next to him.
"You can tell me Ryu." came her soft voice.
"I had this dream... a monster was ripping my heart out and he was laughing. He told me something but I don't remember what he said. I'm a little worried..." his voice trailed off.
"It sounds like the dream I had the other night. Do you think it means something?"
"I don't know. Master Ladon told him to be careful. I'm going back to Dragnier to find out what is going on. I don't want you involved." Ryu told her.
Nina looked at him fearfully. Her heart racing at the thought of what could happen to him. She could feel the tears threatening to burst out of her eyes. No. I'm going with him. "Ryu. I'm going with you." she said sternly.
"But I don't want any harm to come to you like before. Please you mu-" but he he was cut off when he saw Nina was clinching her dress and tears flowing down her rosy red cheeks. It hurt him to see her like this. "Nina..." Ryu spoke softly.
"I want to because I, I..." Nina started when she found herself drawing into his arms. She felt safe in his arms. Nina sobbed in his chest as he spoke,
"I know. I love you too. And that is why I don't want you to come with me. I love you too much to have you hurt. Please?"
"No. I want to to be there for you like you were there for me. I don't want to leave your side." Nina gave him a reply that his heart did and did not want to hear. It was true he loved her more than anything but he also did not want her to become hurt because of him.
"As you wish."
The winged princess looked up from his chest into his eyes. She couldn't help but admire his deep blue eyes. Nina started to rise on her tippy-toes and close her eyes as she came closer to his lips. Ryu leaned forward holding onto her waist.
Just as their lips touched, Rei came bursting through the door yelling, "Blow the men, hiccup, down! Hey whadda you two doing out here alone?" Nina and Ryu quickly separated, blushing brighter than ever.
"Rei, have you been drinking?!" Nina snapped. Rei staggered to the side and hiccuped once again. He gave her a toothy, careless smile.
"No, I haven't." he said.
"Yes you have! I can smell it over here. Come on big boy. You've had enough for one night. Time for bed." Nina said as she turned the drunken worren around. Ryu chuckled a littler as she pushed him through the door.
But just as he started to walk inside, Ryu thought he saw a shadowy figure out of the corner of his eye. He looked around alarmed but saw nothing. After giving one last look, the warrior walked back inside.
Ryu threw the rod back into the water in hopes of catching a fish. He waited a few minutes then pulled the line back out. "I guess the fish are upset today..." he sighed in disappointment. After putting the rod back into his bag, the dragon warrior looked up at the dark clouded sky. He let out a big sighed then started back for the camp site. The wind that day was oddly still but the air was warm with humidity. The clouds above Ryu's head threatened to bring rain as a low thunder was heard.
By the time he had reach camp, which was in a near by opening close to the lake that he was fishing at, it started to sprinkle. He noticed that the others must be inside the tent, so he walked in. Momo was reading one of her books while Nina was taking a nap. Ryu didn't see Rei in the tent though.
"Where's Rei?" he asked.
"Oh, he said he had some business to take care of back in Angel tower." Momo told him. They could hear the rain drops starting to pound on the tent. "Hmm... it seems this storm is going to get worse than I anticipated. We really should go to Urkan Tapa. I bet Rei'll know to find us there." Momo suggested.
"Hm... your right, this tent won't be able to hold up against the rain. Wake Nina up and I'll see if I can't find Rei. You girls go ahead to the town and I'll meet you there. I'll see you then." Ryu told her the directions then walked out of the tent holding his arm above his eyes so that the heavy rain wouldn't blind him.
The rain came down faster than Ryu expected. He splashed through puddles of water as he ran down the muddy road. Soon, he came up to an old pyramid like structure and walked up to two men who wore white robes, and had umbrellas over their heads. One started to speak but Ryu couldn't tell what the words were due to the rain hammering in his ears. Ryu breathed heavily as he watched the man on the right moving his month. Then, Ryu spoke, "I need to pass. Did a male worren just pass by you minutes ago?" the man answered but once again, Ryu could not hear. He just shook his head and ran past them, ignoring anything that he heard. The thunder roared just as Ryu entered the temple on its right side.
The temple was pretty dark as Ryu walked through it. At least he wasn't getting wet. His clothes were already soaked as it was. He walked down a long set of stairs only to come into a long tunnel. Ryu knew this place pretty well. After spending a tremendous time in here with Garr when he was young, trying to find out who he was. The dragon knew that the left way was a dead end so he went to the right.
Though the rain was outside, Ryu could still smell and hear the rain. Droplets fell into his face when he walked underneath a leek. The tunnel was getting darker and darker as he walked on, so he use his fire spell to use it as a light while holding it in his hand.
When Ryu came to the stairs that led to the dragon graveyard, he got a strong sniff of rotten blood. His head started throbbing as he walked down the stone stairs. He started hearing voices as he walked down deeper into the temple. Voices that sent a chill up his spine.
After a long walk, Ryu finally arrived in the open area that had dragon skeletons everywhere. When he stepped on a slap of the platform, it suddenly went blue, and spirits of the Brood came out of the ground. One particular spirit rose that made Ryu feel uneasy. "You..."
"I'm getting worried about him, Rei." Nina said sadly as she looked through the window of the Urkan Tapa hotel. The rain was beating on the glass.
"Don't worry Nina, I'm sure he'll be all right. Out there... in the rain... alone... CRAP! I gotta go find him!" Rei started for the door, but was pulled back by Momo.
"You go out there and there is a very high chance that you will get struck by lighting or hurt. Stay. I'm sure Ryu will come back here safely after he doesn't find you in Angel tower." Momo told him. She let go of his arm as he back away from the door. Rei looked at the ground.
"I didn't think he would come after me in the tower... I just wanted to pray for Teepo..." Rei said lowly. Nina looked at him then at the window.
"Teepo? Is that really you?" Ryu asked as he looked at his ghostly friend.
"Yes Ryu. It is I. I have come to warn you. Warn you of an awaking evil. An evil greater than Myria." Teepo told him.
"What kind of evil?"
"An evil that leads the darkness into the living. One who was terrifying years ago... before the dragon war. He's coming back Ryu, and he is after you." Teepo said as he pointed his finger at Ryu.
"What is this evil? When is it coming? Why does it want me?" Ryu asked all at once. Teepo shook his faintly head slowly. He looked back at Ryu tearfully.
"I wish I could answer that Ryu... but he won't let us. He has us trapped here. You must free us Ryu! Help us! Oh no... he's here! Quick, take the back exit through that pillar... hurry now before he finds you here! Go Ryu!" Teepo yelled. He led Ryu to the giant pillar in the center of the room and opened a hidden door. ryu looked at Teepo then looked at the door.
"I'll help you Teepo. take care until I get back." Ryu told him as he ran down a dark tunnel. Just as he ran forward, the ground started to sink in, making him slided down a slope. When Ryu was at the bottom he was flushed out and landed on his bottom outside of Angel tower inside the church in Urkan Tapa. The priest looked down at him and shouted,
"OH GREAT GODDESS MYRIA! THANK FOR BRINGING THIS MAN HERE TO US! Stand lad, stand. Tell us how are things..." Ryu looked up and stood up. He looked out at the people who were staring at him.
"Uh... it's very... wet." he stuttered. Everyone yelled in joy as Ryu walked out of the church getting a few pats on the back as he went.
He left the church and ran through the rain into the hotel. There was so much to tell the others.
"Momo! Nina! Rei! I have..." Ryu stop dead in his tracks as he say the man he once knew standing there with his huge, muscular arms crossed and a smile coming to his lips as Ryu walked in their room.
"Hello, Ryu. Nice to see you again..." the man said. He stretched his huge, dragon like wings out and looked at Nina as she offered him a cup of tea.
"Ryu. Long time no see. I'm sure you're wondering why and how I'm here." Garr said. Ryu stood there speechless. Not too long ago, did Garr turn to stone and went down with the station of Myria saying that his mission was complete.
"so, how did you come back?" Momo asked as she pushed her glasses back on her nose.
"Ah yes. that is what we need to talk about. ryu, my mission was to kill all of the Brood. After that, I was to fall into a deep sleep and turn to stone. Well, apparently, a very dark soul is regaining its strength and soon it will try to destroy the world. Goddess Myria woke me up and told me to help you kill this creature." Garr told him.
"Ryu, this creature sounds like the same monster from our dream... do you think?" Nina looked at him.
"Yes I do. Garr, did Myria tell you anything else about this creature?" Ryu questioned him.
"She only said that he would use the dead and dark, restless souls as his army.He has the ability to consume your heart into the darkness. This creature sounds like a demon..." Garr stated.
"A demon?!" everyone spoke at once.
"But demon's hasn't roamed the earth since, 1,000 years ago. How could they-" Momo stopped. She ran to her bag and pulled out a book. She rushed through it's old pages then stooped. The scientist read out loud,
"1,000 years ago, a demon king brought fear and terror to the world. He used his dark powers to use the hearts of innocent people as his army of demons. But thanks to. The rest of the page is missing..." Momo sighed deeply as she closed the book.
"I think in Windian history, a 1,000 years ago was during the age of the Black wings. A princess who was born with black wings, would bring ruin to Windia. But, at the time, she was on a journey to save the world with a man and his friends." Nina said.
"Do you think history is repeating it's self?"Rei asked more to his self.
The rain stopped pouring sown and the heroes stretched out.
"I guess we should go to Dragnier and see if Ladon knows anything about this." Ryu said.