Scarlet pulled out an ancient computer, the machine creaking to life in her home. She shot me a sweet smile, taking my hands. Warmth oozed from her eyes, a map appearing on the screen. Tilting my head in confusion, she zoomed in on a blinking red dot.
“What is this technology?” I queried oddly, poking the screen. “Is this a real computer? I thought they all died out.” Shaking her head, a soft chuckle tumbled from her lips. Shuffling uncomfortably, my trembling fingers grasped the rim of my hat.
“This is where Gizmo’s machine is.” She explained lightly, excitement blazing in my eyes. “This is the thing you need to destroy. Do you still have that soul stone?” My lips parted to speak, my companions chatting happily outside. A sense of danger washed over me, my heart breaking at the aspect of giving it up. It had given me so much comfort and warmth this whole time, Scarlet sensing my sadness.
“That is all you need.” She commented calmly, passing me a spell. “There is good news however. Since you took in both the darkness and the light, you won’t have to die anymore. Just a few drops of your blood, and boom goes the machine. So gather your friends, and get going.” Surprise widened my eyes, all the friends that I had made along the way were waiting outside for my word.
“Do you really think we would make you do this alone?” Viktor announced cheerfully, waving his arms. “This is something you can’t do alone.” Tears of joy welled up in my eyes, Lottie wrapping her arms around my legs. Shooting me a toothy grin, a black swirling portal opened up. People and creatures lining up to go through. One by one they went through, leaving only me. Scarlet’s hand grabbed my arm, her beautiful eyes gazing deeply into mine.
“You have only five hours, and the portal will close.” She warned me, dark concern flickering in her eyes. “It is of the utmost importance that you make it through. The moment you start the blast you all have to run as fast you possibly can, do you understand.” Nodding firmly, a vision of horrid death flashed in my eyes. Stepping through, Vinci wrapped her arms around my shoulder. Her black armor shimmered in the smoky brimstone filled air, orange flames licking either side of us. Pecking me on the cheek, a soft blush rose to each other’s cheeks. Faces fell, a flock of giant bat creatures flying in our direction. Vinci turned towards me, Etoile’s bright flames lighting up the red ominous sky. The black volcanic rock felt hard underneath my black combat boots, black armor appearing on my body. The Lord of Darkness’ voice echoed in my head, thorns sticking into my skin.
“This is a one time use suit of armor.” He explained in my head, everyone fighting around me. “It will take a good amount of blood, so you can die if you don’t finish this fast enough. This is my realm, and do not let him get you.”
Sprinting ahead of all my friends in their special armors, Viktor, William, and Boran popped up next to me. Boran was in his adult form, William shooting ice all around us. My phoenix scooped us up, my dual blades sliding into my eager hands. A golden glow surrounded them, the centaurs leading a herd of centaurs behind them. The older one who rescued me winked in my direction.
“You will be running into a wall where your fine feathered friend can’t get into.” He warned simply, shooting an arrow up in the air towards giant black birds. “We will take care of them for you, also we will take care of Lottie.” Unnatural howls rang out behind me, the first creatures dying behind me. Bats were twitching violently, blood coating all of my friends.
“You go girl!” Vinci thundered cheerfully, waving her bloody hand in my direction. “Go and bring us a brighter future.” I wanted to smile, but a jolt of pain shook my body. Blood was pouring into the armor, my heart sinking into my stomach. A black wall of energy smashed only me off of my phoenix, a soft caw pouring from its beak. Placing my hand on the opposite side of the force field, my hand met his talons. Viktor banged on the other side, their voices fading in and out. The air inside of this part of the realm was suffocating, almost as if there was little oxygen.
“I promise, I will be back my dear friend.” I whispered sweetly towards the crying bird. “I will never abandon you again after this.” Nodding in my direction, horror widened my eyes. A bronze machine throbbed in front of me. The blackness grew, a hundred Gizmos surrounding me. Scanning the copies, my quick wit noted they all had snake eyes. He shouldn’t have any eye at all, my mind flashing back to the two eyeballs at my feet. Slicing through his copies, a thin metal spike slammed into my armor, the metal cracking. Electricity jolted through my muscles, freezing my body. Horror gripped my eyes, chills running up my spine as my eyeless father approached me. Maggots squirmed in his eye socket, blood oozing the rotting flesh. Hot vomit flew up my throat, cloudy eyeballs growing into the holes. The blackness shifted, a field of flowers swaying at my feet.
“I love you with all of my heart.” My mother whispered sweetly into a teenage Gizmo’s ears. “I can’t wait to marry you.” A gentle smile warmed up his pale face, his aura almost angelic. A bolt of black lightning struck him, his eyes rolling back in his head. Terror widened my eyes, my body falling to its knees. His body rose in the air, his kind eyes turning into lizard eyes. A black dragon staff appeared in his hand, screams of anguish echoing in the sticky summer air. Floating back down, my mother hovered over him with tears welling up in her eyes. The man that was there before was now gone, his body sitting up slowly. A snarl curled on his lips, my mother stepping back slowly.
“Give me the child in your stomach.” A gravelly dragon’s voice demanded aggressively, growls tumbling from his lips. “It does not need to exist. Evil cannot exist without the light.” Shaking her head, my mother’s white dress billowed in the breeze. Her long hair flew all around her face, black energy forming a protective shield around her.
“I beg you.” She pleaded with tears in voice. “Let him go!” No words came through to him, his staff smashing against the shield. My eyes glanced between the two, the first cracks beginning to appear. Realizing that she didn’t even have a choice, she snapped her fingers. Rage burned in his eyes, black flames licking his body.
The feeling of electricity running through me snapped me out of the memory, the scene melting away from the field to the darkness of his mind. The armor clattered to my feet, blood dripping from the small wounds. A large black dragon with cloudy eyes towered over me, my father’s skin laying next to it. Cold sweat dripped from my brow, the leather of my blades creaking as I gripped them tightly. My skin grew clammy, a house sized claw coming down at me.
“I need you to get into the machine!” The gravelly voice from before thundered, green smoke curling from his lips. “You can bring the darkness that I so desire to the world.” Shaking my head no, air rushed around me as I leapt into the air. Black flames shot in my general direction, a scream of pain exploding from my lips. A throbbing red burn mark greeted my eyes, my whole arm beginning to peel. Swinging my blades down at him, Etoile knocked me out of the way. Tears swam in my eyes, understanding what was happening.
“Child, break the machine.” She ordered starkly, a smile growing on her face. “Then the blast will kill him once and for all.” The paper and soul stone felt heavy in my palm, tears streaming down my cheeks.
“But you will die.” I stammered in disbelief, not wanting to lose her. “I don’t want to lose you.” Slamming her body into my father’s, she tossed me in front of the spinning bronze machine. Hot air rushed at me, my paper fluttering in the wind. My trembling hand placed the black soul stone into the hole, Etoile howled in pain. Tears blurred my vision, blood dripping from a myriad of wounds on her body.
“Say it child.” She snapped weakly, Gizmo stomping behind me. “Be the light we need.” Cutting my palm, I smeared it all over the gem. A red glow blinded me, the paper fluttering in my quaking hands.
“Goddess of Light, Lord of Darkness bring this machine to an end.” I chanted, my voice cracking. “Take my blood, and bring a sea of peace.” The ground shook violently, numbness eating away at me. Her body was broken beyond fixing, a gentle smile on her face. Death, I wanted death. Etoile crawled over to me, her life force fading.
“Good job.” She whispered sweetly, snuggling into my arms. “I knew you could do it. Raise my daughter for me. Now go!” Kissing her on the top of her large head, Lottie ran towards me. She spit out her front fang, sliding it into my palm, this being her last gift from her kind soul. Seeing her kind eyes snapped me out of my trance, realizing that I had to save her. Wrapping her in my arms, my blades pressed against her back. Tears soaked the top of her head, the red glow growing behind me. The humming grew louder, my boots pounding out of the black space into the volcanic wasteland. Viktor wrapped his arms around me, only us remaining in the vast black rocky landscape.
“Call your phoenix and get us out of here.” He snapped urgently, noticing the tears streaming down my face. “We can deal with all of this later.” Nodding, my phoenix scooped us up. Hot air rushed around us, William shooting down creatures left and right as we flew through the closing portal. Red flames exploded through the final slit, eternal peace washing over the land. Intense pain shot through me, my burnt arm looking hideous in the morning light. Raw muscle mixed with dirt, Viktor holding me close to his chest. Pure anguish exploded from my lips in the form of a million screams into the lighter air, my blades fading away. Mina, the baby dragon toddled up to me, her golden eyes looking for her mother. Guilt ate at me, the tooth falling to the ground. Tiny tears glittered in the corner of the poor dragon’s eyes, the baby wrapping its scaly arms around my legs. Lottie bent down to the beautiful baby dragon, her arms wrapping around it. Small squeals of sadness erupted from its lips, everyone’s hearts shattering like the glass it was. Instead of joy, and happiness, depression and loss was all everyone felt.
“I am not lost forever.” Etoile’s voice rang out around us, her baby perking up. “I am forever grateful to the Living Lady of Light for freeing the world from darkness. Mina, my daughter, I know that you are in a much better world. I have lived a long time, and don’t shed anymore tears for me. Here’s my final advice to you all. Live life the way you want to. Love everyone, and always remember there is light in the darkness.” Her voice faded away, golden sparks snowing around us. The sadness was gone, a fresh sense of hope washing over the land. Oakley rushed over to me, her eyes brightening with wonder. A golden spark touched my arm, the skin forming back over it. However it wasn’t perfect. Slight wrinkles lined my arm, a small smile dancing across my face. Deep down I didn’t want it to be perfect. I wanted something to remember Etoile by, the great dragon who sacrificed her life to save the world.
Five years passed, my two girls running around with William’s children. Their long dark hair was up in a side braid, their green eyes glittering excitedly. Mina and my phoenix played around up in the sky, my small A-frame sitting behind me. White fluffy clouds passed by, my fingers wrapping around the tooth she gave me, Lottie and Boran playing in the field of daisies. Peace felt nice, a soft breeze blowing my long wavy hair.
“Isn’t this nice?” Viktor whispered into my ear, wrapping his arms around my waist. “You seem to be lost in thought.” Looking up at the sky, a dragon shaped cloud stopped in our views. Looking at the cloud, Vinci was running towards us. Her pregnant belly made her look so adorable, a paper fluttering in her hand. It was just five years ago today that we brought eternal peace upon the land.
“I am inviting you to the first annual Festival of Etoile.” She announced cheerfully, her black silk kimono blowing about in the breeze. “It is today. Do you want to come?” Nodding my head, I slipped the tooth into the pocket of my emerald green gown.
“Etoile and Midnight!” I called out, watching my girls come rushing in. “How about we attend a festival? That means you two, Lottie and Boran. Phoenix and Mina, come give us some rides.” Lottie rushed up to me, her eleven year old face gazing up at me. The golden locket swung on her neck, Viktor placing Miss Midnight’s hat on my head. The grass swayed violently, Mina landing in front of us. Her black scales reminded me of her amazing mother, a crooked grin curling on her snout.
“Did I hear right?” She queried softer than usual, excitement bubbling beneath the surface. “Are we going to celebrate mother?” Nodding my head, we all hopped on. Thank you Etoile.