◈ A Wandering Heart
My memories of my original home are filled with smoke and blood. Calpheon’s soldiers were quick and ruthless in their assault. The death cries of the men rang out, and the shrill cries of the women and children being slaughtered in the streets still haunt my dreams. I hid, fearing that my life would be the next to be extinguished.
A foreigner who would eventually become my teacher helped me escape. He led me through the fire and the blood, past the guards and scouts and to my eventual safety. Everything about him was different, from the way he dressed to the way he talked. Slow and methodical, as if he needed to ponder each individual word before announcing it. He asked me to follow him and learn his teachings, and without anything left for me in my homeland, I agreed.
We traveled to the Far East by boat, back to his homeland. My blonde hair and blue eyes caused those who lived there to stare at me. They watched my every move, and would often stop what they were doing to talk about the strange girl with the yellow hair walking by. Yet my master told me to pay no mind, and focus on martial arts. I hated it back then. The training, the exercising, the fighting. All of it was too much for me, yet my gratitude to my master forced me to continue, for him. As I grew, the local people started to look at me with disgust and envy. I had no idea why, but that made me feel even more isolated than I felt before.
Then one day, as I started my daily training routine, I saw a man like me. My master walked him into our compound, and instantly his blonde hair and blue eyes captivated me. I could not take my eyes off of him. My master walked him through the yard, and pulled me over to talk. I could barely talk, each word felt like it was tumbling out of my mouth and I was making a fool of myself. Yet the pleasantries soon turned to training, as he was only going to be there until after the Martial God Tournament.
And so we sparred. His speed and power were phenomenal, whereas my moves felt slow and sluggish. Yet he never complained about being stuck with me. I felt I learned so much in the short amount of time I trained with him, yet when he left after winning the Martial God Tournament I felt empty. I realized I had feelings for him almost immediately, but I never realized how empty everything would feel when he left. A void had opened up and it consumed everything within me.
And so I left and took a boat back towards the west in search of him. A voyage that would take me back to the smoke and blood, but also to find the man who captured my passion.
Three trees with strangely twisted bodies were floating in the middle of the ocean.
As everyone, including myself, rushed to the side of the boat to get a look, people began to speculate. Some said it was a kind of mirage created by the fog, but one of the sailors tipped his hat and announced that it was not a twisted tree, but an omen. He then proceeded to tell those of us nearby the rumor of a story that had been spreading around the world.
“A long time ago,” he started, “the three dragons came together to create the world. The golden dragon, who flew to the skies above and embroidered the heavens. The night dragon, who laid the foundation for the earth beneath our feet. And the water dragon, who granted its water to become the lifeblood of the world and complete paradise. The dragons now only appear to warn people of impending doom, or an immense change which will alter their creation.” That last sentence still haunts me, because shortly after a deafening noise cracked from below, and the ship was torn asunder. Landfall was far away, so many perished to the waves.
I remember the darkness and the chill through my bones as I sank beneath the powerful waves. The pain in my chest continued to grow as I held my breath beneath the waves as I tried to swim to the surface. The darkness made it almost impossible to tell which way was up.
Suddenly a piercing bright light pierced the darkness. It was so bright that even with my eyes closed I could see clearly. I felt my mind awaken at the light, and as I opened my eyes I saw the light coming from a gem that I was given before I ever went to the east. It was given to me by a mysterious gentleman on the docks of Epheria, his hood covering his face as he placed it in my hands. Could he have been a manifestation of Banha, the Azure Dragon who created the water I was about to perish in?
Before I could finish the thought of the man on the docks, I felt a powerful energy surge inside of me. My mind was opened, and a voice was echoing in the back of my mind. I concentrated on that as I eventually fell unconscious deep beneath the ocean. When I awoke, I was on the shores of the west, and the energy that flowed through me in the water remained. Banha had spoken to me that day. Did it choose me as its champion? As I concentrated on the energy inside me, I remembered the final words before I passed out in the ocean.
“The blue eyes, whose fate entwined, will meet again in Banha’s Tears.”