The Hero from the Mountain

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Chapter 4

Saphira slowly followed all the people inside the mountain, who kept stopping by every single stone or crystal they could see. I know this is a mountain made by a Spirit, but come on. All of the stones and crystals are the same in this place. She thought, trying to not let her frustration show on her face.

"This mountain, as most of you know, was created by the Earth Spirit Crystal. She was a very powerful Dragon back when only Spirits lived here. One of the strongest as well," the voice started, Saphira looking surprised at her. Yeah, she was strong, but nowhere near one the stronger Dragon in her time. She was very tempted to say it out loud, but thought it would be best to keep her mouth shut. Since they might asking her where she's from if she did.

"She became a Dragon Elder, didn't she?" one of the tourist asked, Saphira concentrating again. Just in case she heard something she hadn't heard before.

"That's correct. However, she wouldn't have become one if Flarenix, the mighty Fire Dragon hadn't left. I, unfortunatly, don't know the reason for her departure," she answered, Saphira hearing Flarenix growl with pride.

"I heard it was because she didn't like the ideas of the other Elders. She thought they were going against her and she soon teamed up with a Dark Spirit to help get her ideas out," a different tourist said, Saphira narrowing her eyes. And Flarenix's growl went from being proud to furious.

"I've also heard the first part. But the part where she teamed up with a Dark Spirit is a little different. It was born from her own heart, as it grew dark. Since she was known as a Pure Spirit, it created a Dark Spirit instead," another said, Flarenix still growling. But not as much now.

"Every area has their own twist on stories. It's hard to tell which is true and false nowadays. Now, let us continue," the woman said again, all of the walking again. After finally getting out, the woman started talking about the mountains origins. Saphira, who knew it already, just ignored them and started walking towards the village she saw as soon as she stepped out; Milline.

She smell of soil and material was all over the place. There wasn't much grass and nature around, but they really made a profit from selling all of the gold, silver, rare crystals and diamonds they found on their mining trips. The houses were built of bricks instead of wood. Saphira thought it was because of how easy it would've been for wood to catch fire. She walked towards the center of the village, hearing a loud noise to her left. She looked over in that direction, seeing a few people clothed for war walking around. She narrowed her eyes and walked closer.

"How long do we need to stay here before Dragon Scale makes their move? We've already been here since Sektories," she heard one of them say, hiding behind one of the houses nearby. She didn't want to get seen, at least not yet.

"I don't know. Lieutenant Erik thinks they'll start soon, so we need to keep our guards up. He asked someone in this town who knew about what they're doing. They couldn't say exactly what, but they did give him a time they should set their plan in motion," another one said, Saphira guessing they were part of Shadow Knights. She looked around a little more, the sound once again echoing in her ears. She looked past the soldiers who were talking and saw smoke coming up from the forest.

"Lieutenant Zach has been damaging one place after another recently. I wonder what's gotten him so pumped to fight all the time," the first one said, Saphira sweating a little. She ignored the rest of their conversation and looked around for Dragon Scale. Seeing how they were the reason she came here in the first place. She walked towards the edge of the town, hearing someone talking.

"Thanks a lot for your help," it was a male voice, one she recognized very easily. She stopped and saw Erik talking to one of the workers in the town.

"Sure, but I'd be careful if I were you. I mean, they're don't take lightly to people who interfere," the man he was talking to said, sounding very worried for him. He told him not to worry and left, walking towards Saphira. He didn't even look over at her.

"I'm guessing you're planning to do something to stop Dragon Scale?" she heard his footsteps stop and looked over at him from the corner of her eye. He didn't seem too surprised by what she said. He looked more angry than anything.

"What does that have to do with you?" he asked, turning his entire body towards her. She said that it didn't really concern him, closing her eyes and walking the opposite direction. However, she felt someone tugging her arm and forced her around. Another arm went up to her throat and pressed her back against a tree. "Tell me,"

"I told you it's got nothing to do with you!" she yelled at him, trying to push his arm off. When she did, he pushed even harder against her throat. She was at least able to stop him from choking her. "If you think I'm part of Dragon Scale, you're dead wrong!"

"Prove it," he said, Saphira asking how she was supposed to do that. "I don't know, show me what element your Spirit is," she growled at him, very against that idea. "Look, either you show me or I'll just let Zach take care of interrogating you," he threatened her, Saphira still growling. At least what Dick said was true. He doesn't seriously hurt people. He lets May and Zach take care of that. She thought, sighing in the end. She closed her eyes and focused her power into the hand he was holding her with. Flames started burning in her palm and burned his wrist, making him jump back in pain. "That's one way to do it,"

"You shouldn't try to force someone you have no clue about to do something for you," she warned him, rubbing her throat where his arm was a second ago. She looked over at him, noticing that he was wrapping a bandage around his burned wrist. "Now will you leave me alone?"

"Not quite," he said after finishing his medical work, Saphira narrowing her eyes at him. She didn't understand what else he wanted to know, and didn't bother asking since she knew he was going to tell her anyway. "Why are you here? You still haven't told me why you care that we're going to stop Dragon Scale," he said, Saphira rolling her eyes.

"Like I've said, it doesn't concern you. So why don't you just give it a rest already?" she asked him, getting pretty mad. Just as Erik was about to open his mouth, a loud bang from the other side of the town caught both of their attention.

"Seems like they're making their move. I'll take care of you later," he said, running off without another look at her. She stared after him, before running off in a different direction. She thought that he would have to meet up with the rest of his men, so she could take a shortcut and beat them there. She didn't want to risk the people of this town being injured.

"Still, he's very protective of his group. I wonder what his story is," she said to herself, jumping up into the trees to move a little faster. She heard people screaming in fear and confusion, most likely from the sudden sound she and Erik heard earlier. She still didn't know what that noise was from. So she was a little hesitant about going head-first into the situation. There screams are growing weaker, despite the fact that she was getting closer.

"Citizens of Milline! Please, hear my words as I speak to you!" a loud, deep voice echoed throughout the trees, making her stop. She guessed it was Dragon Scale, as she started jumping between the branches again. Though her paste was slower than before. "We are members of Dragon Scale! We have come here to bring peace to these lands and end the reign the Royal Family has over you!" Saphira came to a clearing and saw a wooden stage with a man standing alone in the center.

"He knows how to get his voice out, that's for sure," she said, looking around him a bit more. Something odd caught her eye, the woman she had answered the questions to before was standing behind him. "She's a member of Dragon Scale? Maybe she just wanted to see what I knew about Spirits,"

"Or she really didn't know. Out of all the people you see in the surrounding area, she's the most noble. So maybe she really didn't know anything about Spirits. You didn't sense her lying, did you?" she asked, Saphira confused. "That girl, Faith was her name, right?" she asked first, Saphira nodding. "She gave you the ability to tell when people are lying to you. So far, no one has really lied to you. So I guess you haven't been able to really learn about that ability just yet,"

"So you're saying I can tell when people are lying? How do I know?" she asked, Flarenix telling her there would be a bird in her brain tweeting at her. As soon as she said that, she felt a small sting in her stomach and heart, almost making her nauseous.

"That's how, it seems. Sorry, but I didn't really know myself. So I just tested it out. Though it seems like you'll have to get used to that odd feeling. Even I felt it, and it didn't feel too good," she explained briefly, Saphira telling her it was fine. She had a hunch that was the case. But at least she can expect something when people lie near her.

"What do you mean, 'end their reign'? They've never taken our supplies for granted, and have helped us in making more money for us to survive," one of the people in the crowed asked, the others mumbling. Saphira just stayed silent and looked around. She noticed one of the men was walking next to the man speaking, whispering something into his ear. His blue hair blocked his mouth, so she couldn't read his lips.

"Citizens, I assure you! If you chose to join us, you'll have more than you could ever wish for!" as soon as he finished speaking, a soft, flute like noise filled the air. Saphira quickly covered her ears, not trusting anything involving them. She looked at the people, and from what she could gather, were cheering for them. One by one. What the hell?

"That's a Dream Spirit. They're the opposite of the Nightmare Spirits than haunt the night in certain towns. However, they are more or less the bigger evil of the two. Since it can manipulate what people dream of," Flarenix told her, Saphira kind of understanding. Since they wanted them to dream of a world without the control of the Royal Family, they would want to join with the Dragon Scales.

"But if this keeps up, they're have resources that can make the strongest weapons known to Human and Spirits alike. And where the hell are those Shadow's Knights anyway?" she asked, looking behind her. She wasn't able to really see, but she thought she saw another group of people way in the back covering their ears. "They won't be able to do a damn thing from that far away,"

"Then let me take care of it," Flarenix said, Saphira expression shocked to say the least. "It's true that Dream Spirits have a strong effect on Humans. But they don't affect Spirits at all," she told her, Saphira shaking her head.

"That's not the problem! If you take care of it, people will know you have a Master. And seeing how Fire Masters aren't very common because of the extreme power of Fire Spirits, it'll be easier for them to pick out who your Master is. And that would makes things even more complicated!" she said, Flarenix letting out a soft growl as she reassured her that they wouldn't figure it out. Saphira was still skeptical.

"It's true that letting people you don't know, let alone trust, know who your Spirit is basically a death wish. But if we don't do something, those people might never recover from this," she pointed out, Saphira's eyes widening. "If a Dream Spirit controls the people's dreams for too long, they'll always think that is what they truly wish for. And I'm guessing that's their intention," she explained, Saphira looking at the people. They're eyes were blank and their smiles faked by the false dream that they were having she guessed.

"Fine, just don't hang around too long. I'm still not strong enough to keep you out for too long," she sighed in the end, Flarenix nodding. Saphira jumped down to the ground and landed on the grass bellow her. As she did, a red, glowing circle with symbols covering a lot of it. Saphira closed her eyes, a huge column of fire surrounding her. It shot out into the sky and soared above the crowed. Saphira was unable to see if people were even noticing it, since she could only see the fire around her. A loud roar echoed in her ears, the fire disappearing.

Once it disappeared, she could see the shock and fear on everyone's expression. She moved slightly from where she stood, sighing in relief. Both the Shadow Knight's and Dragon Scale were concentrating on the newcomer. She looked up, feeling the wind beating down to the ground.

A dark red scaled dragon was flapping its wings in the sky, its tail moving around a lot. It slowly descended down to the ground, its feet crushing the ground underneath them. Its amber eyes stared and its teeth showed as it growled at the people standing on the stage.

"You Humans are causing a lot of trouble around here, aren't you?" it said, it's voice deep and sounded like it belonged to a female. "You shouldn't change people's way of thinking without permission. That's just rude," she said in a very mocking voice, Saphira unable to hide her own smirk.

"Y-You're Flarenix, aren't you?" one of them yelled in sheer shock, Saphira looking over at him. It was the man who was speaking earlier. She noticed the woman she had helped before and the blue haired man were just as surprised as the rest by her sudden appearance as the rest of them were.

"So what if I am? Does it really matter to you?" she said, folding her wings. She wanted to play with them for a little while, at least that what Saphira got from her actions right now. She looked behind her as her Spirit said that sentence, noticing something odd about how the Shadow Knight's were acting. They weren't preparing to attack, even though she could very easily attack them. And they didn't really see her as a threat to them from the look on their expressions. Maybe they know more than they let on. She thought, Saphira turning her eyes to the circle.

The symbols on it were starting to disappear. Very slowly, but they were defiantly going away. You don't have all day, Flarenix. If there's something you want them to tell you, you'll have to hurry. The longer this keeps up, the more exhausted I'll be afterwards. She told her Spirit mentally, Flarenix's smirk disappearing as she did.

"Why would you interfere with us? We're doing this with your ambitions in mind! We know that the King is the Master of one of the Dragon Elders! Weren't you the one who left them because they were getting too serious about destroying Dark Spirits? Why should someone who discriminates Spirits be allowed to rule?" he asked her, Saphira's eyes widening. She knew that they were people who were exiled thanks to Dick, but she had no idea that the reason had anything to do with the Dragon Elders.

"Using me as a symbol of you goal? I couldn't feel more sick!" she roared at him, swinging her tail hard into the ground and destroyed it without much trouble. Saphira asked her not to destroy Milline, Flarenix telling her it would be very cheap to fix it. "Yeah, I might've left the Dragon Elders because I didn't like how they run things. But that doesn't mean I would go as far as to injure them! And don't give me the pathetic excuse of 'they started it'!" no one talked back to her after that little speech of hers, even Saphira was a little lost for words.

Flarenix raised her head, Saphira noticing fire starting to drip out of her mouth. She quickly turned away and only heard the gushing of fire as her Spirit let it out. She thought it was towards the stage, considering she was pretty pissed right now. She looked behind the dragon, noticing someone walking closer to Flarenix. She went into her bag and quickly pulled the cloak over her, the hood hiding her face. She ran towards the person and stood in his way. Only seeing that it was Erik once she got close.

"Don't take another step closer. You'll be burned to ashes if you get too close," she warned him, hearing the flames stopping behind her. She quickly glanced over, seeing a shield surrounding the men on the stage. She made sure to keep her guard up since Erik was there. She didn't know what exactly he wanted to do, but she knew it was something.

"I'm guessing you’re her Master. How long can you keep her out I wonder?" he said, though not in a mocking voice like most people would. He sounded curious, almost concerned for some reason. She was about to say that it didn't concern him. But she thought he would recognize the way she said it if she did.

"That is something I won't say. You'll have to guess," she said instead, Erik narrowing his eyes at her.

"Please, stop this right now," he started, Saphira caught off guard by his words. "Flarenix isn't a Spirit you can just use to force others to do what you want," his voice was harsh and almost sounded like a adult that was scolding a kid for misbehaving.

"I didn't force her to do this. She told me to let her to it. She's the one who told me to let her take care of it since a Dream Spirit was involved. And no Human could do anything to them since everyone dreams," she explained to him in a calm voice. She felt her chest getting heavy and her legs grew weak. I can't keep this up much longer.

"So you're saying that because she told you to let her take care of it, you showed them your Spirit? You're obviously not afraid to take chances. Considering the few actual Fire Masters there are left in this world," he complimented her, Saphira telling him it didn't matter much since no one had any clue how she looked. "That's something I guess,"

"Why do you care anyway?" she asked him, Erik hesitating to answer her. Her head started pounding, and she could hear Flarenix's loud roar echo in her ear drums again. Only it felt a lot louder now. Erik was about to answer her, but Saphira felt a huge jolt on her chest, causing her to scream and fall on her knees. Erik rushed over to her, a yell form a man behind her stopping him.

"Sir, I found the Summon Circle for the Spirit! What should I do with it?" he yelled to him, Saphira growling at him. He was standing on it, making the symbols disappear even faster. She heard Flarenix roar even louder, her tail coming up behind the man and sent him flying. The pain eased a little and she started gasping for air. She heard Erik rushing over to the man's side, making sure he was alright.

"I'm done. We can leave now," she could hear Flarenix say softly above her. She asked her if she was sure, her Spirit telling her yes. "They won't try this again anytime soon. They know you'll get in their way again," she reassured her, Saphira nodding as she released the Summon Circle she had created and jumped towards the forest. She didn't waste time trying to see how the villagers were doing. The Shadow Knight's could do that for her.

She kept going for a while before stopping in a very tall tree quite some distance from Milline. She sat down and gasped for air. She hadn't fully recovered from using Flarenix like that, so she was defiantly in need for some rest.

"I wonder…where we should go next. Got any clue…Flarenix?" she asked her Spirit between her breaths, Flarenix giving her a slight nod.

"We should head towards Castrelia. I can hear that it's close by," she said, Saphira a little confused by what she meant by 'hearing' it. She guessed it was because the town was lively or the people played music all the time. Either way, she gave her some directions to go in and Saphira followed them without hesitation.

"What kind of town is this anyway?" she asked, Flarenix telling her it was the biggest city in this world. And the city where the castle was. "Wait a second. Wasn't that close to Natallian?" she asked her, very confused now.

"It was close to Natallian. You'll see," she told her, Saphira nodding slightly as she kept walking on the direction given to her by Flarenix. She ended up on the edge of a small cliff. She looked around behind her, not really sure where to look. Just then, she heard a loud noise of something moving bellow her. She looked down, her eyes widening in surprise.

A huge city with a castle at the end of it was making its way through the fields bellow her. It took quite some time for her to even comprehend a city moving. She shook her head, knowing it couldn't be moving on its own. Just then, she saw something underneath it. The ground was acting as it's movers. Like when people use logs to get something heavy from one place to another and they don't have a cart.

"Whoa!" she exclaimed, more than impressed by the sheer fact that it was moving and how it was moving. Flarenix told her a great Earth Master lived in this city, and has given the residents a way to explore other areas without them having to go too far from their homes. "Was it always for that reason?"

"No. It was first used to the Royal Family could easily get from one place to another so they could help the people of that town of village. It was also used as a maneuver to keep them safe from people who wanted them dead. Since no one can really anticipate where they'll be next, it's an easy way to get them to a safe area," she explained, Saphira jumping down and slowly making her way down as she did.

"So it was first used to help the Royal Family, and now it's used to let tourist visit all over the place without walking too much or traveling too far from their homes. That's a big change to be perfectly honest," she said, Flarenix agreeing. She landed on the grassy field, the ground shaking a lot more than she was expecting. She looked at the city, seeing the ground underneath it slowly going into the grass. She looked where it had been before, and it honestly looked like nothing had made its way through here. "Whoever is doing this is good,"

"He was known as one of the strongest Masters during the War a long, long time ago. I believe you know which one I'm talking about," she asked, Saphira nodding slightly.

"The one between the Humans and Spirits a short while after we had arrived here, right?" she asked her, Flarenix nodding. She started walking towards the entrance of the city, hearing music playing and people cheering and shouting with joy. "Well, so far it seems nice," she said, walking around half the city just to get to the main entrance. When she did arrive there, she saw a huge crowd of people standing in front of the entrance. She walked up to the closest person she saw and asked what was going on.

"We don't like people coming into our territory. This area has been untouched by these people for decades, and we wish to keep it that way," the man told her, sounding very defensive of this area. She asked him if it was OK for them to be here as long as they stayed in the town. He nodded, and Saphira started making her way through the crowd of people.

"So you think you can make them stay put in this town?" Flarenix asked her, Saphira telling her she would at least try. She would've done the same thing as them if strangers came into her village. Especially because of the history the place actually has. "You can relate to them because you're from an area where the Royal Family doesn't even know where is," she pointed out, Saphira nodding.

"I'm sorry if we've made you angry. However, even if we wanted to keep moving we can't. Moving a city this large for a long period of time is not good easy for one Master alone. We ask if we can at least stay here until he has the strength to keep us moving," Saphira saw one of the guards say to the people, strangely politely. She wasn’t expecting something like that from an Army who has injured so many innocent people.

"We understand that it must be hard, but these are sacred lands for us. We cannot let strangers just stay here. We ask that you leave immediately," the one she guessed was the leader said, Saphira finally making it to the front.

"Why not make a deal with each other?" she said, everyone's gaze turning to her. "You say that you can't leave because the one moving this place can't do it for too long, right?" she asked, the guard nodding. "And you don't want the people to step on your land because it's sacred to you?" she asked the leader, who also nodded. "What if they stay here, but don't actually leave the town? The field won't be ruined just because a city is here for a while. Besides, it's the people you have a problem with, right?" she suggested, both of them thinking for a while.

"Very well. If they stay in this place and don't ruin our sacred lands, we'll allow them to stay until their Master has enough strength to keep them going," the leader said, leading his people from the city. The guard turned to Saphira and thanked her. She told him it wasn't much and headed into the city. She also warned him to keep the citizens inside once again. He nodded as Saphira made her way through the streets.

"I hear the young prince is going to have a party soon. We just have to attend! He might even chose his princess now!" she heard a very fancy woman say, looking over at her. She made her way behind a corner and eavesdropped on what she was saying. She didn't waste too much time trying to see how they looked.

"I'm sure he will. Though, personally, I'm more interested in his new bodyguard. He looks so handsome and he seems like a real gentleman," another voice said, Saphira staying silent. She looked around her to make sure no one saw her. Since it would look very suspicious.

"That is true. What was his name again? I've only heard of his good deeds and looks. But I've never heard the man's name," the first lady asked again. A third voice said that his name was Nate. As soon as she said that, Saphira froze on place. Her eyes widen, pictures of her older brother passing through her mind. She quickly shook her head and moved into a dark alley. She knew who the bodyguard of the prince was now. So she just had to make her way into the castle and get some more information.

She made her way behind the castle, trying to make sure she knew where all of the guards were. It was very light guarded, almost like they wanted people getting in. Saphira started wondering what the party was actually for. She double cheeked the area around her before she started climbing up the wall. There were vines everywhere, so she was able to climb rather fast.

When she reached the top, she quickly hid on the side of a big window so she wouldn't get seen. The area she had climbed up to was a small balcony. So she had enough space to hide. She heard a few footsteps, but they were very light. So she guessed they were maids or someone that wasn't a soldier. She looked through the window and saw the room was empty.

"Getting in here was a little too easy. What are they planning?" she said to herself, hearing voices in the room next to the one she was in. She looked around and saw a small crawl space above her. She used a shelf in the room and climbed up into the crawl space. She made her way slowly so she wouldn't make too much sound.

"Prince Marik, you shouldn't be wondering too long outside. The guards are all over the place and none of the entrances are heavily guarded. So you should just stay inside your room," a familiar voice said, Saphira stopping in her tracks for a second. She looked around and saw a small hole she could peek through. She couldn't see much, but she was able to see a blond haired boy and a very familiar figure.

"I know, Nate. And I appreciate that you agreed to being by personal guard. You're one of the newest recruits, but you've defiantly proven your loyalty and strength," the blond haired boy said, Saphira guessing he was the Prince. Both because of what her brother said earlier and because of how he was dressed. "By the way, what is the name of your younger sister now again? She must be worried," she was taken aback when he mentioned her, but kept silent.

"Saphira. And I highly doubt she's worried about me. She should know why I'm here and wants me to find our mothers killer," he said, Saphira feeling her anger boiling up in her chest.

"Just ignore what he said and pay attention. He could start talking about something that we need to know," Flarenix told her, Saphira calming down instantly and kept looking through the hole.

"Saph might even want to come to the party. If it wasn't for the trap we're setting up, I might've let her," he said, Saphira noticing Marik nodding. He said he would rather not get her into danger if it was possible, Nate thanking him for his concern for his sister. Saphira went out of the crawl space, though she accidentally hit her head and a loud noise rang throughout it. She made her way out quickly and went to the balcony she came up from again and saw a big tree in the garden. She used the rail on the balcony to her advantage and used it to get into the tree.

"If I know Nate, he'll be looking around the entire floor to make sure there's no one around. He was always the protective one no matter who it was he was going to protect," she said to herself, letting her nerves calm down a little. She had been a little scared of getting caught just then, but she hope they wouldn't be looking around here.

"Well, at least now we know that this 'party' is a trap for someone. But who exactly is something we don't know yet," Flarenix told her, Saphira nodding. She thought for a little bit, Flarenix doing to same. "Maybe it's for the Shadow Knights, Dragon Scale and the people of this place," she suggested, Saphira's expression changing from thinking to confusion.

"What do you mean?" she asked, Flarenix telling her they might want to try and fool the people into thinking they're the only good people in this war. That way, they'll get more support and become stronger. Similar to what Dragon Scale tried to do in Milline. Saphira understood what she meant now. "Then I guess we'll have to interfere," she said, trying to figure out a way to stop this from working.

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