That moment between being awake and drifting away feels like a reality from another time and place. A part of me feels like it doesn’t exist, yet another part knows it does. I know something but how?
“Hey prince charming, are you still dreaming? You’re like sleeping beauty at this point who needs a kiss from your one true love to wake you up.”
“No I don’t.” The awakened dreamer moves away, pulls his friend’s hat off and tosses it across the room.
“That was uncalled for Yozora!”
“Are you two done playing around?”
“Relax Aegis, we have plenty of time.” Yozora takes off a pair of googles and steps out of a pod.
Aegis pushes his glasses up and frowns at them. “Hopefully you did decent on the written exam or all your efforts in the Gigas stimulator would be for nothing.” He whips around to face Magia. “And you! You were nearly late to the exam!”
Magia ignores Aegis’ death stare and continues to fix his hat in front of the mirror. “I had a fashion emergency.”
Aegis crosses his arms. “Luckily my high scores should be enough to bring our team average to passable levels. If it weren’t for you two, team 14 wouldn’t be one of the lowest ranking teams.”
“Don’t you worry, once they see us in the Gigas, we’ll shoot up the ranks to prime! This is why I’m dressed for the occasion. Gotta make sure they get my good side for our photo op.” Magia winks at the mirror and spins around to face them.
Yozora chuckles at him and tries to knock his hat off again. “In your dreams.”
Magia manages to dodge and keep his hat on. He spins around Yozora. “By the way, what were you dreaming of?”
Magia looks at him knowingly and puts his arm around his shoulder. “The mysterious blond again.”
“In a world of Gods and Kings?”
Yozara looks up at his friends and nods.
“You’ve been listening to crazy old Cid too much.” Magia pulls away from Yozora and hops onto a table. He hunches over imitating the look of an old man and begins talking in a wheezy voice.
In ages past, Gods and mortals lived side by side, working together. There came a time when they had to part ways. As a sign of their friendship, the Gods left behind a crystal that held their powers for the people to call upon it in times of need. The crystal blessed one of pure heart and soul with the power to summon the strength of the Gods from the crystal and bring it to life. What should have been a blessing from the Gods ended up being a curse for the chosen priestess and her beloved, the king.
A neighboring empire grew jealous of their favor with the Gods and sought to claim the crystal as their own to harness the power of Gods. They waged a fierce war but the priestess refused to have her kingdom fall. She used the crystal to summon the greatest of Gods and brought forth Bahamut. She directed Bahamut to her beloved’s side on the battlefield, as the enemies expected she would. While the majority of the kingdom’s forces were occupied at the frontline fighting alongside their king and the power of the Bahamut, another force was able to sneak into the citadel in search of the crystal. The priestess did what she could to keep the enemy away from the crystal, but she was overwhelmed with focusing on drawing upon the crystal’s strength to keep the Bahamut’s form alive and dealing with the unceasing force of the enemy. Only when the Bahamut’s form wavered did the king realized that his beloved was in trouble. He left his men on the battlefield and returned to the citadel in haste to find his beloved covered in blood and stumbling down the hall.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t keep them away from the crystal.”
“You should have escaped.”
“And let you become weakened in battle.”
“The crystal is useless to them anyway. They can’t control it.”
“Not yet, but they’re doing something to it so they can.”
“Once I get you to a healer, I’ll take care of those bastards.”
The priestess shakes her head sadly. “It’s too late for me. But while there’s still time, we can transfer the power of the crystal and leave them with an empty shell. I just need to find something to contain it.”
“Use me as a vessel.”
“You can’t! Its power is too great, it’ll destroy your body, and you’ll die!”
The king brushed the tears streaming down her face. “I can’t let you go alone.”
“But our children will be.”
“Would you rather they join us in death? If we don’t put this to rest now, we’ll lose them too. Don’t worry; they’ll be well taken care of, as long as we keep them safe and protect them from this.”
As much as the priestess hated to admit it, with time running out there was no other choice. She guided her king into a chamber away from the enemy but still close enough for her to feel the presence of the crystal.
“Doesn’t this bring back old times when we use to sneak around to get some time alone.” The king gave her a boyish grin and set her down gently.
The priestess couldn’t help smiling. The king never failed to bring a smile to her face, even on their darkest day. No wonder she fell for him. She couldn’t believe their end would soon come. But they must do this, for their people and most of all, for their children, who were still too young to remember their faces. She shook away the thoughts that threatened to weaken her resolve and set to work. With shaking hands, she proceeded to trace symbols on her king’s face using her blood. The king watched her lovingly, brought his lips against hers and whispered of his love. She closed her eyes in an attempt to stop her tears and tried to keep her thoughts from drifting away to impossible dreams and tomorrows.
Shouts in the distant disrupted their silence and pressured the priestess. The priestess began chanting with haste, praying that there was enough time. A warm glow filled the room and grew brighter until the form of Bahamut stood before them.
The king knelt before it and announced. “I kneel before you, requesting that accept my offering as your vessel.”
The Bahamut faded into light and floated into the king’s body. The king clenched his teeth to keep from crying out as he felt the heat of the light burning him. Suddenly, the doors burst open and the enemy flooded the chamber.
“Well look what we have here boys, the bitch is still alive and getting in the way again. Make sure she stays dead this time.”
Despite the tremendous pain that kept him pinned to his place, the king found the strength to reach the priestess’ side.
The priestess shook her head at him. “You shouldn’t, the ritual isn’t complete.”
“No one insults you and gets away with it.” The king looked to the leader. “I guess I have something you want, but you’ll have to kill me for it.”
The king drew his sword and charged forward. The light continued to flow into his body and weaken him, but he still held his ground. The priestess put up shields around him but neglected to protect herself and she was struck. The king turned his back on the enemy and dashed to the priestess.
“What was it you said earlier? I have to kill you, to get what I want?”
Just as the king was about to turn and face the enemy, a sword went through him and into his priestess. The light that was concentrated around him went scattering.
The king bent his head and rested his forehead against the priestess’. “I’m sorry, I thought we could do it.”
“But you haven’t lost what you’ve gained. Don’t you feel it, it hasn’t vanished. We can bring this to an end now. Let the blood of my blood, bring thy power within to an eternal slumber.”
With their dying breaths, the king and the priestess sealed what remained of the power of the Gods. A light exploded from them and when it faded their bodies disappeared, leaving a crystal in their place. For years, the empire was unsuccessful in unsealing the power from this crystal. In time the seal weaken and the empire was able to harness its power to create weapons of mass destruction. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to control their creations. The power of Gods became tainted and gave birth to creatures of nightmares. Only the bloodline of the last king and priestess can tame the power of the Gods and seal it away from the hands of the empire.
Yozara groaned at Magia’s performance. “Now I know why I have weird dreams.”
“You dream of me.”
“That would be a nightmare.”
Aegis brought his hands together. “I believe you found your true calling. You can replace crazy old Cid.”
“I do play the role of the dashing king to perfection.”
“Are you kidding, the priestess suits you best. Who knew you could pull off such a feminine voice.”
“You my friend need to be introduced to more women if you thought that was feminine. It’s a shame your dream girl only exists in your dreams. The lost princess of the king and the priestess is more real than your dream girl. So real, that we can actually go searching for her.”
“If only we lived in your fairy tale world, we would go out looking for your make-believe princess. Besides, since did that story have anything about their descendant being a princess, for all you know it’s a prince.”
“We should get going; we wasted enough time discussing such tales of treason.”
“How was that tale committing treason Aegis?”
“That silly tale puts the blame on our empire for the existence of those monsters. If our empire didn’t create the Gigas, we would have no means to fight.”
“Where do you think those monsters came from anyway?”
“No one knows, it’s been lost to history.”
“But crazy old Cid seemed to know.”
“He knew some folktale that probably originated from the countryside where they hold a grudge towards the empire. And if we’re even one minute late, I will hold a grudge against you, your children and your children’s children!” Aegis grabbed Yozora and Magia by their collars and practically dragged them out.
“Do we really have to get there now? It’s still so early; we’ll be the only team there.”
“It’ll give us time to warm up and go over some strategies.”
“With all the reviews you’re making us do, I can recite them in my sleep.”
The boys continued to bicker on their way to the training fields, unaware of a presence hidden in the shadows.