I shake my head and rub my eyes. A bitter taste in my mouth. I ignore it the best that I can but there’s no denying these memories. They follow me even in my sleep. The stranger leaving behind the book that leads me to saving a beast. The more I think about it the beast is an elemental of darkness. He’s never far from the light, he trails behind objects, and he appears in the night.
I reach my hand to feel the silky black fur. A light nearly ghostly feeling flows against my hand. The circumstance of our friendship. He feels my presence yet never senses a threat unlike the villagers. They exiled us. I still don’t understand why or how I could use mist alchemy without ever practicing it. A strong desire burns to rescue a misunderstood creature. In that desire the fires from within found their way. My fingers fusing with the beast’ s wispy, cold coat. The past few days seem to fade away.
After a few more minutes we stand up and look towards the sun. We walked and walked for the first two days leaving familiar territory far behind. The further we go the more hostile creatures become. Goblins, trolls, skeletons, and other creatures I only heard about in books. They stalk the low lands at the base of the Gorundin Mountains. Every time I nearly walk into a threat the black dog steers me away. I rely on him as much as he relies on me. That much is evident.
“We should start up the mountain today. I’m not really sure where else to go. The oceans are never forgiving and the villagers block us from heading east or south. And the lands to the north are far too frigid for us. So we headed out west. Our culture says those who break any law must atone by following the sun’s path to the Crystal Cathedral. I’ve never seen it with my own eyes but heard the elders speak about it.
The village oldest elder left for it a few months ago. Nobody has heard from him since. Maybe I’ll figure something out by the time we reach the Cathedral. He’s probably just relaxing up there never wanting to return to the village. I wouldn’t blame him. Our elders excluding him seek to further isolate us from the other provinces. A great hatred stems from our inaction in both politics and trade. Oh well they’ll hold to those ideals until the end of time. Me? I’ll figure it out but first there’s a mountain to climb.”
I begin walking up the elevating terrain and keeping my pace with the black dog. We listen for anything that might warn us of danger. Nothing. Until today a steady wind brought the chill of the mountains to the lowlands. This silence makes me uneasy. The black dog picks up on my feeling and perks up his ears. Something’ s coming. But what?
Suddenly the ground begins to shake. I stumble around getting my footing back. The dog begins backing up and whimpering slightly. I see it. A large object rising from the forest floor hidden behind a large tree. It yawns so loud that the birds fly out of every tree for miles around. I realize that the creature is a giant. They typically live in the valleys between the great mountains except during times of flooding. I stand there shivering, hoping he leaves in the other direction.