Chapter Three: Flying High
" In all things of nature there
" We cannot allow this to continue! Cladie, they are much to young to do anything of the sort!" Lila's father, Sami, had to hold Sita back to keep her from flying at him. " HOW COULD YOU TELL MY LITTLE GIRL THAT?! "
Cladie turned to face Lila's angry mother, along with several other fuming parents. " I didn't write destiny, Sita. It wrote itself. You have to except that. " He was amazingly calm in the view of many angry eyes and even angrier faces.
" SHE'S TOO YOUNG! BOTH OF THEM! " Rayleen's green eyes were narrowed and blazing furiously. " I won't let her leave! You can't do this! They can't fend for themselves on their own... There's things out there, horrors they can only dream about! Cladie, have you finally lost your mind?! "
He frowned deeply. " No, less so than you think. Sita, Rayleen, if you don't let them do this then the entire world will perish. Including yourselves. Let them go, they will be back. When they find Serenity, she will never let any harm come to them. I promise, I know her myself... " Cladie sighed, thinking of the golden days when Serenity was his student and he, her teacher. " Let them do the job they were born for. "
" N-noooooo!!! " Rayleen and Sita's howls of anguish echoed off the walls and up the chimney, mixing with the smoke and smolders of ash.
" Mommy? Please? " Lila, in her nightgown, was looking up at her mother with somewhat sad eyes. She tugged on the end of her dress, pleading. " Mommy -- let me save her. I have to do this. "
Despite the situation, Sita looked kindly upon her small daughter and managed a small smile. " Lila -- you have no clue what you're getting into. You can't just -- "
" Yes, we can. We have to, Sita. I'm sorry, " Lily had also heard the arguing going on and wandered into the room. At the moment, her face was sad, but determined. She rushed forward and rapped Rayleen, her mother, in a hug. The two looked exactly alike -- long, dark red hair and dazzling green eyes.
Cladie stepped forward and put his delicate hands on their shoulders. " You have to let them, this is the way it was meant to be. You can't deny fate. "
Rayleen and Sita both hung their heads, defeated.
" You'll leave tomorrow. "
Lila and Lily stood together, packing the next day. Two tan leather bags sat on their beds, filled to the brims with extra clothes, books, bottles, and other trinkets. Both were a bit nervous and apprehensive about leaving the safety and security of their village. But one thought repeated in their minds... Would they even be able to find Serenity?
" Lila, do we know what we're doing? What's going to happen to us? " Rambunctious Lily even looked a bit frightened. Lila shook her head.
" No, but I think we can do this. Even thought I have no clue what I'm doing, I know we can get through this... We'll find her. We can't let Cladie... and Serenity... down. Buds?" Lila held out her tiny pinkie finger, and Lily linked with her own.
" Buds. "
Cladie walked with the two girls to the edge of a small cliff, which he had said would be the perfect place. Place for what? Lila wondered. What in Mana is he thinking, leaving us here?!
" Now, have you ever heard of a white dragon? " Cladie's gentle voice broke the uneasy silence between the three. Lila and Lily both nodded. " That's what you need. A dragon. We have a small clue of where the third is now, but remember, this is just a small chance. We think the third may be in the Empire somewhere... but beware, their Emperor is sort of... strange, at the moment. Take care! "
Lila remembered something and gasped, then jumped to her feet and shouted, " How do we get the dragon to come here? "
" Matango had a white dragon once. The King took care of him... he made the dragon a toy. A drum, I believe. But no matter.. the drum came from the heart, use music to guide you! " And with a confident nod and a swish of the cloak, Cladie disappeared.
Lily nodded and rolled her eyes in sarcasm. " Great, so, how are we supposed to find this... dragon? What are we supposed to do? Oh wait! There was this one song that we used to love... Ack! How does it go?!" She sat down and thought hard for a few moments, Lila constantly looking around for any sign of danger.
" You have your instrument with you, do you not? Remember that song that we used to sing? Member'?! At that school thing, the Magic Graduations? " Lily said a few minutes later, looking at her quizzically. Lila smiled, nodded, then pulled out a small wooden flute what was a pale blue color. The flute had six holes, just big enough for Lila's tiny fingers to cover them. She began to play softly the song that they had sang so many times before.
Suddenly, a swoosh of wind surrounded the two children, frightening them both somewhat. They both looked around wildly, expecting something of the abnormal, but instead, they saw that a creature they had only heard about stood in front of them.
It was, in fact, a white dragon, looking at them curiously. Its white scales were glimmering in the sun, along with its gentle blue eyes. The dragon had large white wings with blue tips, and a mass of golden feathers on his head. He made a funny noise, as if questioning them both.
Lila and Lily both smiled at the dragon, then to each other, silently celebrating their success. Both went to pet the creature, which didn't move, but rather seemed to enjoy it. He lowered his back, signaling them to climb on. They hopped up, then soared into the wild blue yonder, deep into the unknown, all wondering what awaited them.
A few hours later, the three of them landed somewhere outside chilly Northtown, the dragon leaving with a click of a goodbye. Lila and Lily wandered the quiet, frosty streets, each marveling at the town's wonders as the whisper of wind played with their hair.
Soon a boy about their age approached them, his short, black hair messy and blowing in the wind. His grey eyes were smiling kindly at them and as he was taller, the girls being sprites and naturally short, he had to look down at them.
" I haven't seen you around here before. Are you new? " The boy's tone was curious, kind. Lila nodded shyly.
" We're not staying. "
" Really? Why? Oh, wait... I haven't told you my name. I'm James, what's your names? "
" I'm Lily, and this is my friend, Lila. Do you know where we can find the -- " Lila silenced her with an elbow in the ribs, signaling her to be quiet. She didn't want everyone to know what journey they were on.
" Uh, we, uh, gotta keep movin'. We'll treat you to a drink if you promise to take us to your Emperor... " Lila had a strange warming feeling about James, like they had been friends forever. She had just met him, yes, but this was how she felt...
James grinned. " My dad? Sure. Follow me. " He lead them into a tiny restaurant off the one side of the street, then took a seat at the counter. Lila and Lily followed suit.
The restaurant was a well kept, cozy little place, and chatter could be heard on the outskirts of the room, against the walls. Tables were illuminated by gently lit candles, the shadows of their flames dancing on the walls and floors. All the people were in cloaks and hoods, clearly still ruffled from the outside weather.
James ordered them all a drink, then excused himself, saying he knew one of the people in the corner. Leaving, he went over to say hello, while Lila drew out the quicksilver like bottle and popped the cork.
" Lila... what are you doing? " Lily was looking at her now, then went to take the bottle from her. " It can't be him! "
" Shut up and let me try! " Lila quicly poured some of the liquid in James' drink, stirred it around, then corked the bottle again and stuffed it back in her sack. James returned a few mnutes later, grinning and happy. He sat inbetween the two, took a sip of his drink, then looked at Lila.
" So what brings you here? " he asked.
" We have uhm... relatives! That's it... we have relatives here, " Lila lied, noticing that her lies weren't that good, in fact, they were transparent, one could see right through them.
James glanced at her pointed ears, then back to her face. " No offense, Lila, but no one here has ears like that. You must be here for the third messenger. "
Lila gasped -- Lily gasped, too -- could their ears be decieving them? Had he just said the words that they had traveled half-way around the world to hear? James, the third messenger, the one they had just happened to run into on the street? Or rather... he run into them?
" Wha- What did you just say? " Lily laughed, nervously, daring him to say it again.
" I said you must be here for the third messenger. Everyone knows about it, even my dad. " James took another sip from his drink and sat silent, awaiting an answer from one of the two stunned sprites.
" Well -- James -- show me your hand. " Lila had noticed a strange mark on her palm, and had seen that Lily had the same one. If James had it... then he was... he was the third, no questions asked. He held out his hand, a confused expression on his face.
It was there. The mark that had changed Lila and Lily's lives completely. A tiny scar in the shape of an 'M.'
" James... " Lila gasped, releasing his warm hand. She looked into his grey eyes, and saw more confusion than ever.
" What? "
" We are now one. You are the one we have been searching for. You are the Third Messenger. "