My skin tingled as droplets of sweat slid down my nose. I could feel every inch of my body burning under the harsh sun that stung every time I moved. It was one of those days where the summer heat was like the baking oven that was left open momentarily, but this was worse. It lingered in the air, dry and disgustingly hot, where even breathing made me want to cough. I had to take small, short breaths. I felt like I was in it, melting under the summer heat.
With a squint, I looked around, hoping to find a shade to cool down. I needed something. Something to help counter this dreaded heat. Scanning from right to left, I saw two young girls wearing their simple pink and purple summer clothes. Each one of them was laughing and giggling, waving their hands at people who would come by to buy their bronze copper lemonade stand next to the flower shop.
Their mother watched over them through the window, ensuring they were okay as she did business.
I couldn’t help but rub my eyes. Was this my oasis? I tilted my head, hoping that this was true.
Quickly, I ran over. The heat on my skin was now scalding as if tearing into my very own skin. I needed it. The Lemonade.
Rummaging through my pants, I fumbled for the copper, stuffing my hand into the pocket until I could feel that metal on my finger.
I stopped, looking down crazily at the Lemonade. My mouth was dry, parched, and every swallow made it worse.
With a slam, I placed the quarter on the table, which startled the two. The girls looked at me funny for a brief moment. I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. However, when they looked down and saw my quarter, a smile erupted on their angelic face. My saviors.
“Thank you!” one of the girls wildly smiled, handing me a cup of Lemonade.
I reached out, taking the cup in hand. A shock of cold tingled against my hand. Then, with a deep sigh of relief, I tilted back my head and drank. It was then when a wash of sour lemon made my toes slightly curl, and the sickly sweet sugar that would make anyone think twice of drinking it, but I didn’t care. Each guzzle of cool Lemonade brought a breath of life into me.
Eventually, I came upon the last gift of life: Ice.
The cold ice touched my very lips, wetting every inch of my lips as I moved it back and forth with my tongue. The coldness only lingered on the tip of my tongue as I tried to pick it up and get a bite of it. But every attempt failed. Frustrated, I tilted my head back. The cubes of ice that had the lingering taste of sickly sweet Lemonade were still left as a bunch of them slid down into my mouth.
I coughed, trying not to suffocate myself. It took a moment for everything to be under control as the ice started to rapidly melt into my mouth. Each crunch, a wash of relief of coldness crunched like pop rocks, giving me momentarily shivers, but I did not care. I did not stop. Each crunch, each bite allow my temperature to lower. A relief I wanted, no needed, as the tingle of cold traveled throughout my body and even to my toes.
It didn’t take long for it all to disappear. I swallowed the last gulp of icy water.
With a deep sigh, I let out a cold breath that dissipated in the summer heat.
The battle still raged on as the day was not over.
Walking through the city and checking the yearly inspection was not something I wanted to do, but I was forced to. Unfortunately, we were low on personals to assist, and they have asked me for help.
I couldn’t say no. So this was the city that I have protected. I knew I was busying my mind with distractions, and I welcomed it. The more, the better, as it kept certain unwanted thoughts out of my mind.
“Young mistress,” Coco came over as if she appeared magically out of thin air. She looked at me, worried. For some reason, even in the black maid outfit that she was wearing, she didn’t seem to sweat in this wretched heat. How was she even doing it?
I didn’t know.
Even Tart and Moca seemed okay in this weather, but I was smoldering in this heat for some reason. Was I not a dragon?
I couldn’t help but sigh. Maybe it was stress that was getting me.
Coco handed me a towel.
“Thanks.” I took it from her. The beads of sweat continued to stream down my face.
“Is this normal?” I asked. Looking over toward Coco.
“The weather?” Coco tilted her head.
Coco shook her head. “This is the first time in a hundred years that I know of where the weather had risen to such high levels.” She commented. “I think something is happening that is causing such a drastic change of weather. Last year wasn’t ever like this at all.”
I agree. It never was.
“What do you think that might be causing it?”
Coco cleared her throat. “I believe it’s the appearance of the legendary creatures.”
“That could be a possibility.”
“I am sure, young mistress. Not only that….” Coco’s voice trailed off. “The appearance of a demon king has begun many things.”
The demon king.
Such a word had become taboo around the city and especially around me. It was only Coco who would speak her mind about it and not care what everyone else thought.
“Young mistress, you shouldn’t let this get to you.”
“I know.” I sighed. It wasn’t easy. If only I could let it go….I shook my head to clear away my thoughts.
Coco was concerned, realizing what she had said had caused a sense of pain in my heart. “We should go home, young mistress.” She quickly said.
“We should.” I nodded, knowing full well that she was trying to change the subject, which I let her. I didn’t want to dwell on it anymore.
We headed back home.
Six months have quickly passed since the disappearance of Phil and the Legendary creatures. Yet, not a single news has cropped up about them. It was as if they completely disappeared from existence.
I felt betrayed that Phil had left with my aunt.
The heavy feeling of a twisted knot that wouldn’t go away. My chest was hurting. It felt as if my heart was made of stone, unable to beat properly. Breathing wasn’t as easy as grief seemed to shorten my breath. I even didn’t want to go outside.
If it wasn’t for Coco’s intervention asking me to go out and help the city, I wouldn’t have moved from my bed and moped for a while longer. Six months was nothing as time quickly flew by.
The memories of the past were like a haunting shadow. The death of Cathy still weighed heavily down on me. It was something that I could not forget or ever forget. To see one of the wielders of the legendary weapon die before me made my heart clench.
Was this the faith of all the others?
Such dreadful thought continued to cross my mind over and over again.
I didn’t want to forgive the monsters or ever forget the memories of Cathy. But, I felt responsible for her death, nor could I ever forget what these monsters were doing to these people.
The twisting and turning of anger bubbled inside of me.
Even if the Hydra was dead, I could not bring back Cathy. This one of my biggest regrets is I could do nothing but watch Cathy bleed out and die.
Even the weapon, Mockingbird, had come back into me. Yet, I could feel it silent as if it was sleeping, unable to summon it out even if I wanted to.
My shoulders hunched, I felt sad all over again.
“Young mistress, everything is going to be alright.” Coco came over next to me, tapping my shoulder as she rubbed it.
I couldn’t help but tremble.
My mood swings were all over the place, and it was getting annoying. The pent-up anger, rage, sadness, and depression were all compressed into my mind that there wasn’t much I could do to release it.
“I know.” Reassured by her gentle approach, there was something warm about Coco that I could destress around her without too much trouble. It was a natural knack that she had.
I was glad that I had her and the others still alive with me.
Moca, Tart, and Coco were badly hurt, and they took months to recover back to their full strength. When I saw how badly they were injured, a silent rage rang throughout my body.
They were all going to pay. Mark my words, I wasn’t going to let this slide, especially for harming my family.
On the other hand, Stryd and Khor were injured a lot worse. It took them three months to heal, but they were still alive. Even still, my magic could not heal any of them.
I felt useless to help my friends.
Don and Ginger had arrived a few weeks after they had heard what had transpired. They rushed over, and since then, they have not left.
When they heard that Cathy had died, they all became serious, realizing that they were still mortal. Even with the legendary weapon, they could die, especially now that they knew that I could not heal any of their serious injuries if they got harmed against the legendary being.
Who knew this job entitled such a heavy burden? I couldn’t help but worry about the rest.
Coco took a few steps toward me. She stopped, looking at me with a concerning gaze. Then, reaching over, she gave me a hug.
I didn’t realize the weight I was carrying was heavy. The swarm of emotions surges into me, spilling out of my eyes. Droplets of pent-up water were flowing downwards.
When was the last time I cried?
Six months ago?
It has felt like ages.
I couldn’t stop. The swarm of emotions that came out was unending. It was too much to take in. Almost unbearable that I just let loose.
There were things that I could and could not do. I knew this deep down in my guts.
It was disheartening to know that my wielders and friends had to fight against the legendary creatures that could spell their death.
I continued to cry on her shoulder. Over and over again, until my eyes were puffy red and snot was covering her shoulder.
Coco patted my back, telling me everything was okay.
Eventually, I had to hold back my tears, allowing them to slowly stop over time.
I took in slow breaths. My breath felt heavy, my chest winded as if I went out running for ages.
Even my heart was still heavy, pounding erratically as if it got crushed with one hand. It took a while for me to calm down.
“Thank you,” I spoke in a soft voice. So embarrassed that I showed Coco such a side of me that I wished to never show anyone else.
“It’s okay, young mistress. It happens.” Coco gently rubbed my back.
I nodded, sniffling.
Coco pulled away.
“Let’s go inside,” I replied, wiping my nose a few times. I felt embarrassed as I cleared up my
“Yes, mistress.” She gently bowed her head. “There are a few places I would recommend you
“The new shop that has opened a down the street. They are known for their….so called Ice Cream.”
“Oh?” My eyes lightened up. The thought of sweets made me excited, mostly because of my
sweet tooth. I finally remembered about the store.
The city had drastically changed. The once-rural village had shifted into a more modern world, especially after using the magic stones, new technologies, and ideas that burst forth from different people.
I couldn’t help but be proud of my people, growing over time in a short span.
There were now ten to fifteen-story buildings, even topping close to twenty. Don was bent on creating a fifty-story sky scrapper, working with other people to make this happen.
I looked up, seeing how far the sky scrapper was being built. From how tall it was, it was about forty floors, getting close to completion.
Walking over, we came upon a small shop. There was a line growing that wrapped around the building. Even in this hot weather, they were waiting.
“Young mistress, this way.” Coco motioned me.
I was about to go and line up behind the others, but Coco wouldn’t let me. I hesitated.
“Young mistress,” Coco spoke out even harder than before. This time gave me a stern look.
I walked over. Coco pushed open the door for me to enter.
A cool breeze swept through, hitting me. I sighed.
Escaping this darn heat made me smile. I was happy that I was out of it.
Everyone stopped, looking over.
I couldn’t help but feel a bit embarrassed at the number of stares I was getting. Still, I ignored
them and walked forward with confidence.
“Oh?! It’s the great white dragon!” The people started to whisper out loud, looking at me with awe.
They were pointing, and even some of them were getting up.
The waitress came over in a hurry, realizing who I was.
“Ms. Dragon!” The waitress spoke up a bit too loudly. “What a pleasure to see you. What can I do for you?”
“I would like to try some of your delicacies,” I replied curtly.
“Oh!?” The waitress seemed excited; she had started to head toward an empty spot, clearing away the table.
“Quickly!” She motioned her hand for the other waitress to help clean up the place. She even placed a beautiful drapery over the table.
It didn’t take long for them to set everything nice.
“Ms. Dragon! Please, this way.” The waitress motioned her hand over.
I walked over. Coco pulled the chair back for me to sit down.
“We’ll be bringing you all the best.” The waitress said in a hurry. She motioned for the people to quickly come over and start bringing out trays.
It didn’t take long for the first dessert to arrive.
Looking down, I couldn’t help but start to drool.
The pretty leaves and colorful design gave the slice a cake a very beautiful design. The green vine twisted and turned, giving it a nice green spine.
I picked up the fork, a bit reluctant, wanting to eat it as it was a bit too pretty. I could stare at it forever.
Eventually, I was able to pick up my fork, reach over and push down as I took the angelic-looking fluff of cake.
I ate it in one bite.
A burst of flavors erupted, giving me a tingle.
I slowly chew over and over again, allowing myself to enjoy every flavor of a fruity taste. It was like a blast of flavorful colors of texture burst in my mouth.
When I gulped, I went into the next bite. This time, I gobbled it up. Then, just when I was about to finish my last bite, the next dessert arrived.
Even that desert was beautifully made with intricate flowers and designs. It wasn’t a cake this time but a couple of cookies. The waitress even brought over a cup of hot chocolate with a creamy design of a leaf.
I picked it up.
Hot steam rose up from the cup. I blew it a couple of times, trying to get it from burning my tongue. Then, slowly, tipping the cup, I sipped it. A sweet taste of cinnamon and hot chocolate slipped through my tongue and down my throat. I enjoyed every taste.
Reaching over, I took a bite of my cookie.
For the next hour, the waitress kept bringing out more and more different deserts. It was like my stomach was a black hole as I continued to eat nonstop until finally I sat back and relaxed.
“Young mistress,” Coco spoke up.
I looked over.
“Would that be all?”
I shook my head up and down, waving my hand to pay for the service. I knew I ate a lot, and I didn’t want this store to go out of business because of how much I ate without paying.
Coco pulled out her purse filled to the brim with gold coins. She counted a total of ten, handing it to the waitress.
The waitress looked at the gold coins and back at Coco, shocked at the amount that she was given.
“The rest is for the staff,” Coco spoke.
With a gaping mouth, she opened and closed, unable to say anything.
The chairs scraped back. I got up.
I started to walk out.
“Wait!” The waitress came over, stopping us. She breathed heavily.
Coco stepped forward from getting any closer to me. “Yes?”
“You gave us too much?!”
“Too much?” Coco tilted her head, not understanding what she was saying.
“Yes! You gave us enough to cover the food twenty times over!”
“That’s too much?!” the waitress looked at Coco and then back at me, wondering if what Coco did was wrong.
Coco cleared her throat, bringing the attention back at her. “Young mistress is a generous being. I am quite sure she would have given you the same amount.”
The waitress’ eyes became bigger, she looked at me. Hoping that what she said was true.
“I would have given more,” I replied without much care. I knew that all the golds would circulate and come back to me, so I didn’t mind giving a bit more.
The waitress opened and closed her mouth, unable to say more.
Coco dug out her wallet, pulled out another coin. She handed it to the waitress, who hand unconsciously reached out, shaking.
“Wh-?” The waitress asked, confused.
“The mistress said more.”
Coco stared her down into silence.
“Let’s go, Coco,” I spoke out loud, trying to give the waitress some breathing space. The air around them was already heavy enough, and any more, I had a feeling she would suffocate her.
“Yes, young mistress,” Coco spoke; she straightened up and turned around.
The door was pushed open as I headed out.
The blazing summer heat welcomed me. I couldn’t help but start feeling uncomfortable with sweat again. It sucked, but we headed back home.
A floating carriage appeared before me. No horses were pulling it anymore as it was getting closer to a car. Tart jumped out the door, waving me over.
Coco glared at Tart. Tart froze up. He quickly changed his demeanor and became professional. He straightened his body, looked a lot more regal than before, and bowed. Then, reaching over, he opened the door.
I stepped out and headed straight into the castle.
It was nice going back home.
The temperature around the castle was well maintained. It was a lot more comfortable, which I have personally used the stones to create such an atmosphere. I thought about doing it throughout the whole city, which I had honestly forgotten until today.
Coco had already taken notes to give Don to work on a few more things to combat the weather like today.
“Young mistress, the others are here,” Coco spoke, snapping me back to reality.
We were inside, heading through the winding hallways as we ended up in front of the guest room.
“Who?” I asked, kind of confused as to who she was talking about. There wasn’t anything that I could think of that we would have a guest around at this time.
“My father?” I looked over my shoulder, confused that my father would be here. Honestly, I did not expect to ever see him again.
Moca opened the door for me to enter.
Entering through the door, I noticed Elcro. His gorgeous silky silver hair gave his handsome face an angelic glow. It has been a while since I have seen him, and to see him next to my father was quite unexpected.
Next to Elcro was another person with a clean-shaven beard. He looked to be around his early fifties as there was a heavy set of regal air around him. He looked quite handsome for his age, and there were noticeable similarities between us, especially our odd-colored eyes. Finally, it was my father: Olivio.
“Myrin, Olivio spoke with a deep tone that would have attracted anyone’s attention. However, there was a powerful force behind it.
“It’s Berry.” I countered back unconsciously.
Olivio was dumbstruck by my sudden outburst of words that it took a moment for him to compose himself.
“Berry,” Olivio said a bit more forcefully than I would have liked.
“How have you been doing?”
“Well,” I spoke nonchalantly. My mind was racing with hundreds of different reasons on why my father was here now of all times. “I guess?”
“Have you been eating well?”
“What about your health?”
“I have been taking care of it as days progresses.”
The awkwardness in the air got heavy. It definitely was not easy to talk to my father, who I barely remembered.
Moca pushed in a cart of tea and cookies for us to eat. He started to spread them outward for the others. Then, gently, he handed me a tea, which I gladly took upon myself. It felt a bit lonely without anything in my hand.
“I heard you were ill for six months.”
I shrugged. Those months were a torturous month of emotional swings that I did not want to revisit again.
“Was it the Demon King?”
I squinted, looking at him with a dead expression.
“So, it is true,” Olivio spoke slowly.
“What are you talking about?”
“The demon king’s awakening was your lover.”
I flinched. How did my father know? Was this what you call a parent’s intuition?
“How?” I spoke with a stutter.
Olivio looked at me with a stern gaze. I thought I saw a hint of disappointment in it, but it was quickly covered up. “It has been foretold.”
“Foretold?” I tilted my head slightly to the right. The tea in my hand slipped a little, burning my legs.
“Yes, the dragon that will become the queen of the demon king.”
I was baffled by what I heard.
“Wait. Wait. Wait.” I placed my cup down, looked at him strangely. “I have never heard of this
before in my life.”
“Well, you wouldn’t have known.” Olivio picked up his cup of tea, blew it, and took a few sips. He then proceeded onwards, “It’s kept in the secrets of our Drakel history that we knew.”
“And, why wasn’t I told of this?”
“Because you have forgotten, and I believe you aren’t the dragon that the demon king was looking for.”
His words were like an ugly stab in my heart.
“It’s your aunt.”
“Yes, she is a black dragon and a powerful one at that. But, unfortunately, we didn’t realize she had turned to a black dragon until recently, and during this time of crisis, the demon king had taken upon himself to wed her.”
Such words completely threw me off. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“Excuse me?!” I shouted, spilling the cup of tea onto the floor as it clattered.
Olivio looked at me for a moment. “Calm down, Berry. Its not the end of the world.”
“How am I supposed to calm down with such news?!” I fumed. It was the most unexpected news I have heard about Phil in six months. Especially to hear that he was going to marry himself off to my aunt.
It’s too weird! And disgusting! Ugh!
“It’s what it was foretold.”
“Foretold my ass. Phil’s is not that type of person!”
“Oh? He has left you, hasn’t he?”
I couldn’t retort back.
“Exactly. This is more of a serious problem than you think, Berry.”
“Apparently.” I sat back down with a slump.
“If she marries the Demon King in two months from now, I assure you that this world will not be safe.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your prince charming is going to die.”
My mouth dropped open. This was getting crazier and crazier. The more I listened to it, the more outlandish it felt. “What are you talking about? Phil doesn’t just die like that. He isn’t….” I caught myself short. I knew I couldn’t say anymore. Even though I had known him for a while, I didn’t know everything about him.
He had hidden other things from me, especially when he decided to leave with my aunt.
I eventually was able to control my breathing, looking at my father. “Could you tell me more?”
“The legends state that when the demon king is born, he will take upon him a dragon wife. From their union, chaos and destruction will reign upon the lands of this world. All six legendary monsters will be awakened, causing death and destruction everywhere they go. If the dragon lives, she will kill the demon king for his power, using it to bring five hundred years of darkness.”
“You’re kidding me….right?”
“Do you think I came here to kid with you?”
“Then take my words for what it is.”
Olivio nodded his head. We sat in silence for a little longer.
It was very uncomfortable as even Elcro didn’t say anything else as well.
“Are there anything else you came here for?” Wondering why he wasn’t leaving. I already had enough bad news as it was.
“To be with my daughter.”
His words stunned me. What was he talking about? Why now of all times?
“Why wouldn’t I? I have been your father since birth.”
“Yes, but why come now?”
“Because I thought it was needed.”
I took a moment to understand him, but nothing had come to mind. It didn’t make any sense as he didn’t make any effort during the other times to connect with me.
I got up.
“I’ll talk with you later,” I spoke, heading straight to the door. I didn’t want to continue the conversation.
Even my dad didn’t say anything else, but I did hear Elcro get up. He was stopped immediately by Coco, who gave him a glare as I escaped from reality.