"(souls are not meant to live more than once — death was not meant to be temporary, and she is so sure that every time her heart starts to beat again that irreversible damage is further inflicted)" -- Anonya, written by Colby
06-13-2020, 07:01 PM (This post was last modified: 06-13-2020, 07:05 PM by Nashua.)
The winged boy is staring out at the sea, watching the gray ocean as it continues to crash against Taiga’s rocky western shore. Nashua likes this part of the redwood forest. He’s found a small peninsula and the pegasus likes the sound of the ocean as it breaks on three sides of craggy coastline. There is Magic in that number, he’s been told. (His mother would have told him that there are three parts to a story: a beginning, middle and end. Three wishes from a genie. Three trials to overcome.)
He doesn’t know what parts of this peninsula makes up its story but he likes to come out here because the waves can be louder than his thoughts.
Only today he hadn’t been alone. His maternal aunt had followed him after Nashua had limped off from a particularly hard sparring session with his paternal one. His flaxen tail had whipped around in frustrated circles (the flies, he told himself) and the growing yearling had stalked off to his preferred part of Taiga. He found a piece of shore and tried to lose himself in it. The winged boy considered the ocean and it paid no attention to him.
I should find Yan, he thinks. His twin knew how to settle his mind when he couldn’t. It was usually Yanhua that he sought out or would come to find him. Today, though, it was Elaina and her kind words. The borders of the northern forest seemed to crowd closer lately; the bigger that Nashua grew, he felt like the trees huddled closer. Intent on reminding him of his missing mother, on the increasing absence of his sister Celina, on the complete disappearance of his sire.
It seemed intent on reminding him that his wings belonged to the wind, not to Taiga.
That he was a creature of the sky, not the ground.
His guardian had heard it all before. Nash’s frustrations weren’t kept to himself and so his palomino aunt had smiled (a little sadly? he had wondered, realizing that it seemed smaller than usual). "Did you know your mother often felt like the black sheep of her family?” Elaina had said and that had caught the adolescent off-guard. Shockingly quiet and shaking his head, Nashua listened as his aunt explained some of the things his mother had once shared in childhood confidence.
"You are more like her than you think,” Elaina had said tenderly. Did that make him feel better? The copper pegasus wasn’t sure. It wasn’t as if his mother was here to ask.
"I know I should want to stay here,” Nash admits, feeling guilty for it. How could he think of leaving? His duty was to his family and his family was here. "It’s my duty to stay,” he adds, thinking of Elio and how it seemed his older brother was always capable of making the right choices. His green eyes look up between two towering redwoods to the open sky, "but I keep wishing...” Nash’s voice trails off.
Elaina had offered: "We have a duty to ourselves, our kingdom, and our family, Nash. While I’ve given it to all of them, I’ve found that only one has offered to share the burden.”
Coming back down to Earth, feeling the soft loamy ground of Taiga finally firmly beneath him, Nash nodded. He had (innocently) thought at that moment he understood. Heavy things for such a young mind to consider. A full weight that he might not realize until he’s had a few more years to carry it around.
"It’s a lovely day,” his Aunt offered, changing the subject suddenly. "The wind seems fair,” said the once-airbender. Nash hadn’t caught on at first. Why was she talking about the weather? It wasn’t until he caught her smile and he grinned back at her that he understood. Flaring his wings and spurring into an enthusiastic gallop, Nashua tested them on a summer breeze and took off with it.
Just for a bit, he told himself. Just a small adventure, he thought while still wildly grinning with each enthusiastic stroke of his wings. Higher and higher he climbs until he spies the distant green of the Isle looming ahead of him. Thank the Winds, the boy thinks. By the time he reaches the southeastern shore, his gleaming copper hide is covered with sweat and his body is almost shuddering with the exhilaration of the journey. Nashua is still grinning, though. The smile is almost raving but Nash uses his voice to cry out instead: "Leilan?” he shouts, catching the frigid scent of the Dragon King blowing by him as he draws his tired wings close.
"I did it!” he says with beaming excitement and the adolescent is literally glowing with pride. "I flew all the way from Taiga!” he echoes on a beach that glitters with dark glass.
He wouldn't ever say it, but sometimes when he looks at Alcinder, he gets mixed feeling about the boy's stay here. Obviously, Leilan adores him like he was his own, but he also knows he is not, and most definitely, knows that Oceane can't be happy to have her eldest stay here - he should know, having met the kid on his escape from Pangea.
But then, the Isle is not Pangea. The dragon stallion does his best to make sure Alcinder accompanies him on trips to the mainland, most of the times through the air, but often enough he encourages that he swims the part. Not because he wants to see him struggle the way other Icicles might, but because one day he might experience a time where his wings might not be able to carry his weight, and well - a lot of swimming sure helped Leilan keep and gain his muscle back in the day. What better training?
Of course, the winged young adult obviously doesn't always like this kind of training. That's when the scaled stallion would shrug and remind him that he promised Loess to bring back a fully trained, capable young adult, and not a whimpy sad boy. He'll grin at it, of course, and more often than not expose sharp teeth when he does instead of normal blunt horse ones - a left-over from when his draconic abilities were not optional but constantly there, perhaps.
Today, they're making a round over the Isle. He'd started north, knowing not much would happen there all day (and Gilgamesh stayed there too, and the giant male is good enough at spooking others with his sheer size), and also because a good shake of snow would wake Alcinder up. They're travelling over the southern, black glass ridden beach, by the time the dragon spots a small figure on wings in the distance. "We'll halt here. Tell me what you see on this beach?" It could easily be a reference to the burning, as well as one to warn him about the sharpness of the shards once broken, and as he waits, green eyes dancing towards the opalescent colt, he wonders if he'll notice either - or the approaching boy. He's never truly sure about what others see though, what with his own hawk-eye vision, so he'll forgive him if he doesn't see the approach.
It's not overly long however, that it takes for young Nashua to come close enough to be seen. Tired but glowing, and shouting nonetheless. Leilan cocks his head at Alcinder, and smirks a bit; then, he wordlessly nods towards the chestnut figure in the distance and approaches the yearling colt himself. "I hope you've saved some for your way back?" he asks almost cynically, but he's grinning at the young colt. "Or was your plan to stay?" he stops short from bumping into the glowing kid, but pulls on his ear anyway. Boy, the stories he'd have to tell Lilliana now! Or, well, whenever she made it back. It wasn't autumn yet.
nothing burns like the cold
Two things I know I can make: pretty kids, and people mad.
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