The Hero from the Mountain

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Chapter 1

In the Realm of Humans, parallel to the Realm of Spirits, there was one rule that every Human and Spirit had to follow. Not to choose a Master before the Human of their choice was 10 years old. This has been a rule for centuries. And no one has broken it. Or, that’s what everyone thought.

There’s one Spirit who has broken this rule, but has been able to choose her Master wisely. Because of where the Human lives, no one has discovered her. In a small village in the mountains, and a place that’s almost never bothered by the Royal Family or any other big group. It’s very rare, but it has happened two or three times.

The Master of this Spirit is a girl who is now 16 years old. She just turned 16; and was therefore she’s travelling to the nearest town down the mountain. In this village, there was a tradition that when the child of the leader became 16, he or she would travel to the nearest town outside of their own to learn how other people think.

There was another rule which the young girl found out last year. That if she misused her Spirits power, she would turn into a power hungry monster. And that goes for anyone wanting to use their Spirits power. Some go insane and die because of the nature of the Spirit is kindhearted, others get stronger because its nature is the opposite. The young girl would die if she became that.

She was walking along side her guardian, who had been protecting her from a lot of things ever since she was a baby. From pranks by other kids to the Royal Family itself. Although he was with her, she didn't like the idea of leaving the safety of her village. She was a strong fighter, though.

She had a sword strapped to her back, in case they were attacked. Even though her guardian was with her, she wanted to feel a little safer. She also had a bag slung over her shoulder with a few things in it. She sighed like a little child would when she had to do something she didn't like, and caught his attention.

“Lady Saphira, you must act more grown up. You’re going down here because you need to know what other people think. This is accentual to becoming a leader of a town. You should know this by now,” the man said, making her sigh again. She didn't want to be a leader in the first place. A small breeze of wind blew from behind them, making her brown hair fly in front of her eyes. She stopped up and brought out a hair band, using it to put her hair up in a pony tail. "You should keep it down. Makes you look more refined," the man pointed out, making her a little angry.

“Give it a rest, Jacob. If you were me, you would’ve done the same. Besides, having my hair down is just a pain," she said, making a little tighter. "As for growing up, I’m not annoyed because I have to take responsibility. It’s because I have to take Nate’s responsibility. Why did he leave anyway?” she asked, Jacob staying silent. His blond hair was moving a little because of the wind.

“He wanted to avenge your mother, so he thought joining the Royal Army would be the best way to start,” he explained, Saphira’s expression turning into anger.

“Then he’s an idiot. Fighting in a war just to get back at the people who killed mom isn’t the right thing to do. Besides, mom would want him to stay out of any war and lead the village,” she said, Jacob’s expression seeming very sad.

They lost their mother when they were both very young. Saphira had a hunch of who killed her, but didn't have any proof to back it up. She's actually forgotten who she thought the killer was, since she only cared about making her mother happy by living on.

“There’s nothing that can be done. For now, do what your father asked you to and try to be on your best behavior,” he said, patting her on the head. Saphira looked up at him and sighed, not really eager to do what he asked her. Sure, behaving is one thing. But behaving how they want her to was another story.

They arrived in the town of Sektories, which was known for its training in leadership, big hopes and fulfiller in dreams of the people around it. As well as a stopping point for many travelers from all around.

There was something going on everywhere, people juggling, some singing, playing interesting instruments, contest, games, and some were even gambling. Everywhere you looked, there was life in one form or another. Quite the opposite of the small village Saphira was used to. Her eyes were already hurting from all the things happening at one time, and her head was pounding slightly from the noise.

“It’ll take some time to get used to, but you’re going to be staying here for a couple of days until you’re done with understanding the different people from different places.,” Jacob said, not helping her in the least. She tried telling him she was already hurting from the sound, only greeted by a grunt in disbelief. She couldn't blame him, she's been complaining about this day for weeks.

“Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Gather around and watch the beautiful Flower Empress and be in awe of her glamour and beauty!” she heard someone say form the center of the town. she started to move a little faster before Jacob could stop her; curious about what was going on. She was able to get in the middle, accidently bumping into a girl same age as her.

“Oh, I’m sorry about that. Are you OK?” she asked, the girl nodding.

“Yeah, I was expecting someone to bump into me. And I can’t really blame them either. I mean, the Flower Empress is well known throughout all of Savia!” she said, making her very confused. She hadn’t heard of this Flower Empress before, so she wasn’t known all over Savia. But she didn’t bother to care, hearing the man talking again.

“People of all ages, young and old, I present to you the lovely flower blooming as she walks. The Flower Empress!” he yelled, everyone cheering. On the stage, came a beautiful woman, her hair the same color pink as cherry blossoms. Her eyes were clear green like a grassy meadow and there was a scent of many flowers in the air when she appeared. Calling her Flower Empress is an understatement; it almost seems like she' nature itself! Saphira thought, looking up in awe. She could hear men yelling in desperation, and woman cheering in awe of her beauty. She herself wasn't too into being beautiful. Just protecting the ones she loved.

“Thank you all for showing up, it really means a lot to me!” she said, throwing roses out in the crowd. Everyone tired to get one, and a few did. The girl next to Saphira tried as well, not succeeding. Saphira looked up, noticing something about them. They were all moving in a pattern, like a track that had been set up before she threw them. It wasn't a coincidence who got the flowers. Like she's trying to locate something, or someone. She thought, feeling something land between her fingers.

One of the roses landed neatly in her hand, like some kind of magic trick. She looked at it, trying to figure out what it really was. It looked like a normal flower, but she couldn't help but feel like it was something else.

“Aw, you’re lucky. Not everyone gets a flower from her. And they smell wonderful!” the girl next to her said, in a very jealous voice.

“I would think you’re luckier than me, seeing how you didn’t get one,” she whispered to herself, looking at her as she hoped she didn't see her. She looked around and tried to see other people that had gotten to flowers. There were a few people that looked ordinary, but there were two people she noticed which made her a little suspicious.

There were two people wearing some strong armor leaning against the wall, and they seemed to have gotten flowers as well. They both had a sword strapped to their side, and Saphira didn't feel safe about having the flower anymore. Maybe that girl isn't as innocent as she looks and these flowers are supposed to find her enemies or people that could be a threat to her. She thought, looking up at her.

“My, seems my flowers have found new friends. All of you, who have gotten one of my flowers, please take good care of them. Or they might just treat you like you treat them,” she said, everyone just cheering. Saphira looked back down on her flower, feeling someone tapping her on her shoulder. She looked back and saw Jacob.

“You'll have to see this done some other time, Lady Saphira. We must be get going to get you settled in,” Jacob said, Saphira sighing and not too sure if she should leave just yet.

Just as she thought that, she heard the man who was talking earlier screaming and looked up towards the stage again. She saw the two men who had the heavy armor on them, standing in front of the lady on the stage. Everyone gasped in shock, some even screamed. She could hear Jacob muttering something, but wasn't able to make it out.

“We’ve found you, Flower Empress. Or maybe we should say May, Commander of the Shadow’s Knights,” one of them said. The lady on the stage smirked slightly, a pillar of rose petals surrounding her. When they disappeared, her outfit had changed and she looked like she s ready to fight in a war. Everyone gasped again and started muttering about what the men had said.

"My, you had to ruin my fun. No matter, I’ve done what I was going to,” she said, snapping her fingers. As she did, the flowers petals of all the flowers went into the air, covering every inch of the town. Saphira looked up, noticing something odd about the petals. She could see something shinning on the edge, her eyes widening as she figured out what they were.

“Jacob, those petals are as sharp as a sword. If anyone touches them, they’re in a world of hurt, especially that many!” she whispered. Jacob looked at her with a unbelieving look, not sure if he should believe her. "I know a sword's edge when I see one," she added, Jacob having nothing to say back. He looked around, seeing that more and more people started surrounding the area because of the ruckus.

“There are more people coming. No one would be able to leave even if we did find a way to get them out,” he said, Saphira biting her lower lip. She looked around, seeing some men hidden in the shadows with hoods over them holding stilts from the roses. Those two had some as well? Does that mean they are considered a threat to that girl? What did they call her, May? She thought, narrowing her eyes. She heard screaming from the group of people, hearing blades meeting. She moved her view to the stage, seeing both of them were ganging up on May.

“You dare use innocent people as hostages? You and the rest of the Shadow's Knights are cold hearted to the core. The Royal Army shall show you what happens when you use our people as a threat,” he warned her, Saphira getting angry. She hadn't seen anyone who was a member of the Royal Army before, but she got angry whenever she heard that name because of her brother. She saw something move above them, looking up and saw someone standing on the roof.

“Dark Nightmare,” the person said, everyone starting to shake in the crowd except for Saphira. His voice sounded like a male, so she assumed it was a boy. She tried getting a better view of how he looked, seeing that he was about her age. His coal black hair covered his right eye, his other, brown eye looking at everyone in the crowd. “That's what you get for interfering,” he said, keeping a calm look. Saphira looked up at him, narrowing her eyes. A Dark Master. That’s not good. She thought, looking around. She looked down and noticed one of the men in armor was gone. She heard a loud sound where the boy was, looking up again.

She saw the man in armor was up on the roof, holding a big hammer. Where did he keep that thing? She thought, seeing that their mouths were moving. Though she could hear what they said. After a while, she was able to see right eye, and felt a shiver up her spine. Dark gold, looking almost like a dragon’s eye. She froze up, feeling the fear starting to affect her. However, it wasn’t the same way as it was for the others. It was how strong all of these people were. The fact that these kind of people were trying to take control.

“If they start a fight here, I don’t think anyone could get out. Even if they did, it only is by a hair," she said to herself, looking around. She noticed everyone started falling to their knees. She quickly went down as well, making sure no one suspected her. She felt her emotions building up in her chest, making it burn.

She narrowed her eyes, her head heating up. If I am going to do something about this, I should at least hide myself. She thought, going into her bag. She pulled out her cloak, which her father had given her in case she needed it when traveling from one place to another.

“Hahaha! You think you’ll be able stand against the Dragon Scales? Both you of Shadow’s Knight and the Royal army are going to fall along with all these people. Observe!” another voice said, making her look up. She quickly put on the cloak and went into a small ally way. She made sure she was able to see what was going on, feeling a strong wind from above. She widen her eyes, and put the hood on before anything else.

The wind was pushing down the petals. May tried to stop them from hitting the ground, but her efforts had little effect. The man who had talked earlier was standing behind May and was controlling it, and was laughing like a maniac. Saphira narrowed her eyes and lifted her hand. Her hand started emanating warm air and it went up her arm. She held it towards the petals and a huge wave of fire was summoned from nowhere and burned all the petals.

She could see the man talking about something, not hearing what he said. She swiftly moved up towards the roof, jumping one of the men's heads to get to the roof where the Dark master was so she could help the people. As she did, she could hear them talking.

“Not one of ours, I know that much,” the boy said, the man next to him nodding. She guessed they were talking about what that man said that she couldn't hear.

“Not from the Army either. I’ve never seen such good control of fire,” he said, as he readied his hammer to strike the boy. Saphira's eyes widen as she quickly made her way over to stop him.

“Erik, watch out!” she could hear May cry, the boy, who she called Erik, trying to move. She went in front of him and put her hand up, blocking the hammer. She could feel her arm sting in pain, but she kept her ground. Her arms were trained to be as strong as a shield, but they're not so strong that she can withstand anything. The hilt of her sword was sticking out behind her, and she noticed that the man saw it.

“Are you an ally of the Shadow’s Knights? Or just someone who has a grudge against the Royal Army?” he asked, trying to press her down. She didn't waste time talking to him, trying to keep her ground. Her arm started aching a lot, pushing him off and kicked him. Her legs were stronger that her arms when it came to attacking, so she didn't have trouble kicking him away.

“Thanks I guess, but who are you?” he asked, making her look back at him. She quickly drew her sword and held it towards his throat. He's still hurting people. She reminded herself that, making sure he couldn't see her face underneath the hood. She looked over at him, unable to keep her eyes hidden. She still felt some fear from looking into his right eye.

“Let everyone go of your ability. You’re causing them pain. The only reason I helped you is because if you feel pain, they feel as well in their nightmares,” she said, going off from what she learned from her father when she was younger. Erik looked surprised, Saphira guessing he was wondering why she was point a sword at him then.

“And if I don’t?” he asked, both of them hearing the fighting continuing underneath them. She looked down, seeing the newcomers and the Royal Army both going against May. Who was having a hard time holding her own, despite the fact that she was a really skilled close ranged fighter. Saphira looked back at Erik, who looked worried. Maybe, if I offer to help her it'll be enough to make him stop. She thought, giving a shot.

“I can help her, if you do what I asked,” she said, making him skeptical. "Look, all I want is to end the people's suffering. If helping her does that, then I'll do it," she added, making him look at her with a more trusting look.

"Fine, but only after you've helped her. If you go back on your word, they're gonna get it," he threatened her, Saphira just sheathing her sword and jumping down. She noticed the one who controlled the wind earlier was attacking her, and used the wall to get down faster and land right between them. She drew her sword again and stopped his attack.

“Hey, what the heck do you think you’re doing? Are you an ally of these morons?” he asked, Saphira pushing his weapon off her sword and kicked him away. She quickly turned and swung her sword at the one from the Royal Army, who was trying to attack her.

“Not really. I don’t really know what’s going on to begin with. I’m just helping to get something in return,” she answered his question that he asked earlier. She once again pushed the weapon off hers, but this time swung at his armor and broke it slightly. She heard something above her, seeing the one that she fought earlier had regained consciousness and landed beside his comrade.

"We should retreat. This warrior is not someone who should be taken lightly," he told him, Saphira only standing her ground as the two left. The one from Dragon Scale went as well, without any of them noticing. Saphira sighed slightly, hearing Erik behind her.

“May, you alright?” he asked, Saphira seeing that she was nodding. His eyes locked with hers, and she hoped he knew what he was going to do now.. He closed his eyes, and everyone fell to the ground. “As promised,” he said, Saphira looking at everyone. They seemed to be sleeping, very peacefully as well.

"Thank you," she said, bowing to him in gratitude. She jumped up and made sure it looked like she was heading out of town before heading back to the alleyway. She crept along the walls, noticing Jacob in the crowd. Forgot about him for a second. She thought, feeling a little stupid.

"Honestly, that girl can't sit still for two seconds. Well, maybe it was for the best she left before she was affected by the Dark Nightmare. Who were those people to begin with?" she heard him say to herself. She went into her pocket and found a small piece of paper. She closed her eyes and used her flames to write a letter to him.

'Dear Jacob,

You should just head home. I've got a few things I'd like to take care of. There's a lot going on in this world of ours that I've never known. As one of the few people who has a very strong sense of honor for the Spirits, I'll take care of it myself.

Oh, and tell dad I'm sorry. I'll most likely not come back home for quite some time. I hope he understands and lets me do this by myself. Take care of yourself, and make sure you tell dad or he'll kill me later.

From Saphira,'

She folded it a few times before going into a small patch she had attached to her belt. It was a bag filled with Kunai, weapons Ninja used. Jacob was from an old Ninja Clan, so he had taught her to use them. She made sure it didn't make anything unreadable and stabbed it into the paper, throwing it at him.

He caught it without problem, and folded the paper open again to read it. Saphira kept an close eye on his expression, hoping he wouldn't get mad. To her surprise, he just sighed and smiled. He turned around and left, not really saying anything.

"He left without even thinking twice about what I wrote. Does he really think I'll be OK on my own. He used to be so overprotective. Well, better like this anyway. Now, where should I even start? This is my first time out of my village in 16 years," she said to herself, hearing footsteps walking towards her from behind. She quickly turned around, her hood still on and hiding her face. She saw a young girl, probably older than her. Her white hair made her seems as bright as a star. She had white robes and some small tiara on her head. She was holding something similar to a mirror, but she didn't think it was a mirror.

"Hero from the mountains," the person said, making her narrow her eyes. She had just been in a fight, and now a person was suddenly talking to her about some Hero from the…Just as she kept thinking, something struck Saphira as a little odd. Wait a second, how does she know I'm from the mountain? She could've just heard me while I was talking to myself, but that seems a little too obvious. Besides, she wasn't close enough to hear me unless she has very good hearing. She thought, turning completely towards her.

"You sure talk odd stuff. I'm no Hero, or from a mountain," she lied a little, noticing something different. The mirror-like thing started glowing, making her look more closely at it. There were a few symbols on it, resembling different animals. Spirits? She kept looking at it, just noticing the look on the girls face.

"Lying won't get you out of a situation. You are from the mountains, I know you are. And even though you might not know that you're a hero yet, you were the ones who allowed the Humans here live for another day," she said, Saphira looking at her and narrowing her eyes.

"Who the hell are you? And what's with that mirror?" she asked as the woman stepped closer. She backed off a bit, not too sure if she should get closer.

"Why not gaze deeply into it and find out? I'm sure the truth will come to you if you look hard enough," she said, holding the mirror thing so she could look at it better. Being curious, Saphira did was she suggested and moved a little closer. She looked into the mirror for some time, before a blinding light shot out and made her eyes burn.

"Gha!" she yelled in pain, falling on her knees and held her left arm over her eyes. Hoping it would ease the pain a little. She could hear the girl walking towards her. She growled lowly, trying to sense where exactly where she was. She felt her hand on her shoulder, and she instinctively shook her off. As she did, it made the pain worse and made her yell again.

"You shouldn't make such rash movements. You'll only hurt yourself," she heard her voice near her right ear, making her feel unsafe. Her arm was getting tired, since it was still injured after the fight she was just in. She put it down and tighten her eyes, feeling something over them. It was a blindfold, with something she thought was cream on the inside. "This should ease the pain a little," her voice was soft and comforting, like a mother.

"Just who the hell are you? And why are you helping me after giving me a world of pain?" she asked, sounding very rude and disrespectful. Which wasn't how she usually was. She's usually respectful to her elders. Or people a few years older than her unless they're siblings.

"People call me Faith, and I did do at the same time was give you a small gift. That will aid you in your travels," she said, Saphira feeling something warm on the ground. She started feeling, her fingers going into small holes around her. Wait a sec, a Spirit powered Teleporter? So this girl is a Master. She thought, seeing a white flash through the blindfold she was wearing. As the flash disappeared she felt something odd underneath her feet, for some reason feeling drowse. She closed her eyes for a second and felt herself lose consciousness.

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