I stood in place in the thick of the eye of the storm. I could feel the whole world trembling. The world was collapsing as the earthquake broke apart the very ground in large fissures, ocean waters swayed back and forth, creating large tsunamis that could engulf a whole city in one roll.
Even the sky turned unearthly black, red, and gray, tornadoes forming in rapid successions that were tearing apart the very buildings.
Fear rang across the whole world.
Nobody understood what was going on, but they all felt the immense fear, the end of the world coming, and it was happening now.
Buildings, trees, and even the rivers were being torn up as the tornadoes sucked them up into the sky.
Hurricanes blew across the port cities, causing the buildings to start tearing apart.
Everyone tried to hide, running for shelter.
Death was apparent, and hundreds were dying as time quickly passed.
I felt my chest bubbling, realizing what was happening before us. I looked up, seeing dark energy coming from the very ground, escaping upwards into the very sky.
A large dark and green energy formed, causing elemental change throughout the world.
It was becoming bigger and bigger.
I knew that if the dark energy in the sky erupted, we would all die.
I could intuitively feel this in my gut, and I knew Phil knew.
“Berry!” Phil shouted in the howl of the storm. “We need to stop that energy from exploding!”
“I know,” I spoke firmly, my gaze cast upon the raging storm.
“What are we going to do? Do you have something in mind?”
I nodded, still casting my gaze into the sky.
The wind howled even stronger, blowing him slowly backward.
Phil stabbed his sword into the ground, trying not to get pushed away.
I looked at him.
A well of emotions stirred inside of me as I looked at him. There was something about him that made my heart swell. His gaze made me smile as I felt a torrent of emotions that grew inside of me.
“Berry?” Phil asked again. He was wondering why I was just staring at him.
“I love you, Phil.” The words came out of my mouth so easily.
Phil was shocked to hear those words that he froze.
“Keep the city safe for me,” I spoke. Then, I turned around and started to shift. I could hear the wind howling at me to stop with each step I took. But, instead, I felt more powerful than before. Every step brought my confidence and swell of emotions. I wasn’t going to stop.
Magic light started to surround me, buffering the wind, allowing me to start taking flight.
“Berry!” Phil was trying to get to me.
I flapped, picking up wind underneath me. My mind was clear. I gazed forward as I was lifted into the air.
Phil could not advance further. The wind berated him to the point where he stumbled backward and rolled a few times. Then, finally, he pulled out his dagger, stopping himself from rolling away.
I, on the other hand, took one last look. I could see the plea in his eyes not to leave.
I shouldn’t have looked, but I couldn’t help it.
Phil pulled himself up.
I tore my gaze away. Ignoring Phil as I lifted into the air.
Quickly, Phil summoned up a magic rope, and he flung it at me. It wrapped around my foot.
I felt a tug. I looked down, noticing that Phil was hanging off my feet.
“Berry!” Phil cried out again. “I’m going to go with you! You’re not going to leave me behind if it’s the last thing I do!”
I chuckled underneath my breath, a warmth spreading in my chest.
My body was light as the magic helped me climb higher and higher. The wind blew harder the higher I went, but I did not mind and kept moving, heading straight toward the mass of dark energy in the sky. Each beat of my wings got me closer. My heart pumped with vigor in a steady beat.
The rough push, pull, and even movement of the wind did not bother me.
Phil dangled in midair, swaying back and forth. He slipped a couple of times as the wind was rough on him, but he held on and slowly climbed up.
The world was in chaos, and I was in the center of it.
I floated in midair. Something in me kept my mind sharp and at peace. I welcomed it with open arms.
The closer I got, I could feel the pulsating energy that resonated deeply in my core. Whatever the horrible energy was, it made my stomach twirl.
I cursed underneath my breath. I was annoyed at my aunt for bringing such atrocity into this world. Her greed and jealousy had created an ugly twist of emotions that ate her alive and created a disastrous problem before us.
“Berry!” Phil finally reached my toes, pulling himself up. He then climbed up to my back. He sat in between my spine and shoulder, tapping my neck, trying to get my attention.
“Yes?” I asked. A hidden smile erupted on my lips. Happy to see him here.
“This is stupid.”
“There are other ways about this.”
“And you have a plan?” I replied back, hoping he did.
Phil didn’t say anything.
“I thought so.”
“Still, this isn’t the way, Berry.”
“All we can do is try, Phil.”
“This could be your death!”
“Argh!” Phill cried out in frustration, throwing his fist in the air.
“We got this,” I assured him.
Phil sighed, shaking his head at me.
“The Demon King and the Dragon Maiden are off to save the world. What do you think the history will write about us?” I jokingly asked. “I believe it would leave an everlasting legacy.”
Phil looked at me strangely, shaking his head. “I’ll be in your care.”
“Let’s go save the world, partner.”
“Will do.” A smile broke out of my lips.
I ascended up into the sky even higher than before with a powerful pump of my wings. Phil leaned forward, holding onto my scales.
The world around us thundered and roared. Anyone who was up here would have felt the swell of nature completely trying to overwhelm us.
Eventually, I came as close as I could to the black swirl of energy.
I hovered in the air.
“What’s your plan?” Phil asked.
“I don’t have one,” I replied.
“What?!” Phil bulked as I leaned backward.
My chest started to shine with power as it swelled in size. It suddenly became larger and larger as magic became stronger. Finally, it traveled up my neck, and a blast of energy shot outwards, straight towards the giant ball of ever glowing mass of energy.
The stream of fire smashed into the very ball of void.
In that instant, both energies clashed. One trying to overpower the other to the point where they were trying to match the other.
I kept firing, shrinking the size of the giant ball a bit smaller and smaller.
Phil pulled out his arrow, endowing it with his own dark energy. He shot. It bounced off.
The giant ball of chaos became half its size.
At that moment, the giant ball vibrated even harder, and a blast of energy skyrocketed outwards, completely swallowing us up in one go.
Darkness overwhelmed me.
I could not see anything nor tell if I was up, down, flying, or even upside down.
Where was I?
I flapped, hoping that I was getting my bearings correctly.
I looked around.
“Phil?” I called out.
“Phil!?” This time with a bit more force.
Still, no answer.
Something felt off about this void.
A horrible screech followed as if it nails running down a chalkboard. It shook my mind and body.
I didn’t know where it came from, but the sound reached deep in my core.
Whispers started to chant.
I snapped my head to the right as it tickled my ears.
“Berry, come here darling, why are you out there by yourself?” A familiar woman’s voice spoke out loudly.
The world around me started to shift and change.
Color swirled, bringing with it a different sense of energy that I had never felt before.
A vast land of golden wheat was laid out before me. The sun was shining down, giving it a golden glow. A giant tree was situated in the middle of the field with a small open land.
I landed, wondering if I was hallucinating.
It was too sudden.
I wasn’t sure what was going on.
“Berry!” A young woman stepped out from behind the tree, waving her hand over her head. “Berry!”
I looked over. Something about this woman was familiar.
Gliding over, I landed a bit softly.
She smiled brilliantly, giving me a feeling of warmth, peace, and happiness.
“It’s good to see you.” Her golden eyes seem to glimmer with a response. Even her white hair swayed behind her gently, accentuating her hourglass figure. She wore a simple summer dress and a large hat.
“Who?” I towered over her.
She looked up. “You don’t know who I am?”
I squinted, trying to remember who this woman was. It then hit me, “mom?”
The woman gently nodded her head.
I shifted into my human form, heading straight to her.
Was this all a dream?
Maybe this was, the last thing I remember was being swallowed up by darkness, and this place
was a trick.
“Don’t think too hard about it.” My mother laughed. Her laughter reminded me of bells, and the beauty of her soul was mesmerizing.
I wasn’t able to say anything and just stood still.
My mother looked at me and shook her head.
I was wondering why.
“Berry, a nickname that I called you when you were just a small little girl. A name you took upon yourself and lived on a different planet. I’m quite proud of you, little one, to come so far.”
“Yes, this world is where I brought you for a moment to keep you safe. But, unfortunately, you are still inside the void that means you do more harm than good.”
“For how long?”
“A couple minutes.”
“That short?” I didn’t want to leave this peaceful place.
“Yes, that’s all I have time for. Right now, you are floating in the abyss. Your soul was about to be devoured and destroyed.”
“Is there anything I could do?”
My mother sighed; she looked away. Unable to say anything.
“What is it?”
“I don’t want to say this….”
“Just say it. I want to save the world. It’s my home.”
My mother nodded. “I understand.”
“What must I do?”
“To use and give up all your power to destroy the void.”
“Give up all my power?”
“I’ll gladly do that. It’s not something I’ll need. I still have a few skills I could do for myself.” I chuckled. It didn’t seem like much, nor did I have an attachment to it as I thought.“
“You will lose your dragon maiden status. Are you sure?”
“Yes,” I spoke with reassurance. “It’s not something I’ll be attached to like I said.”
My mother nodded her head. “There is more, though.”
“The cycle of the Legendary Monsters and the DRagon Maidens will end with your line. From there, the obligation for the final Dragon Maiden will be fulfilled with the Goddess of Light.”
“I’m good with that.”
“But, it also means your death.”
My mother shook her head.
I gaped. I didn’t expect the outcome to be so drastic. Of course, death was the last thing on my list, but I did go headfirst into the crazy dark void to combat against it with my life on the line.
“It’s the only way.”
I took a deep breath. Thinking about what I would dearly lose, but at the same time, what I would save. The hundreds of thousands of lives and their future generations were to come. This was something more, and I knew it was a terrible price to pay.
The life of one for many.
My heart hit rock bottom.
What was worse was that I would lose a chance to start a wild love life with Phil. That would never happen. A sense of heavy sadness washed over me, knowing the amount of lost pain I would have to sacrifice.
I wanted to be selfish and run away from all of this, but I knew….what my selfishness would
I was no hero. I was just Berry, a human who lived in the world called Earth and now a Dragon Maiden.
With a deep sigh, I stood up straighter. My gaze sharpened, and the wash of emotions was swept away.
I knew what I needed to do. But, it was not what I wanted to do.
“It seems you have come to a conclusion of what you have decided.” My mother looked at me with sadness.
“Yes. How must I do it?”
She came over, handing me a small white stone. “This is the first dragon maiden’s stone that has been passed down through generations. Each maiden had kept it with them for last resort, and finally, it has come to you.”
She motioned her hand.
I took the dragon maiden stone, wondering if this was a trick. I even pulled out my own magic to sense for any ill intent, but there was none. Instead, it had the same feeling as when the goddess had come to visit me, and this sense of peace was real.
Pulling back my head, I swallowed it.
The dragon maiden stone burned down my throat and down my chest. I felt it even bubbling up in my stomach and, moments later, a rush of exhilaration. It was so primal that I couldn’t help but be shocked at how strong the very first dragon maiden was. I felt so small compared to what this stone gave me.
All the information of the past dragon maidens flowers inside, giving me a sense of pure enlightenment.
I knew what to do.
“Time is up, Berry.” My mother’s voice spoke, bringing me back to attention to her. “I can not hold your soul any longer.”
I nodded. “I’m ready.”
“Good. May the Goddess of Light bless you on your endeavors, Berry.” She came over and hugged me tightly.
The warmth that I felt from her was heart-melting. How long has it been since I felt a mother’s
warmth? I didn’t know.
Eventually, we broke apart.
The world around me started to shift and change.
Darkness quickly swallowed away the light, leaving me in pitch darkness again.
This time, I knew where I was, floating in a sea of darkness.
I was back in my dragon form.
The light inside of me swelled, shining around me with brilliance.
Even Though the darkness tried to push back, it couldn’t. So instead, it quivered and silently retreated.
Phil was pulled out of the darkness as he was unconscious. I flew over to him, cusping him in my hand.
A swell of love erupted inside of me as I looked down upon him.
I covered him with a giant bubble with the magic I was given. Then, I looked at him one last time when it was down.
“Thank you, Phil,” I replied softly. “Thank you for everything.”
With a push of my magical bubble with a rush of power, sending him out towards safety.
I faced what I needed to do with him out of the way.
“Let’s get the show started,” I smirked.
A powerful swell of magic swirled out of me. Light of different colors glitters in the air with a twinkle of brilliant energy. It was as if an aurora of lights swirled all around me. Each color was a color that I remembered from each chosen hero.
Green for Cathy. Red for Phil. Don and Ginger were orange and yellow. Khor was blue, and
Stryd was Indigo. Finally, mixing it was my own white light that combined them all.
Each mingled, becoming larger until they all merged together into one.
The darkness shuddered, shifting and changing from one moment to the next. Then, it became a terrible swing of tug of pull, where the shapes from the darkness shifted.
Enormous monster shadows were being formed one after another in all different shapes and sizes. Anyone in my shoes would have wavered, even I could not help but feel my heart drop as they were heading straight towards me.
I felt small even in my dragon body.
It was as if I was against the universe as it tried to swallow me whole.
But the energy that was created before me held true. The light did not waver or extinguish. Instead, it pushed back the darkness from swallowing me whole.
The energy separated from me, heading slowly straight towards the middle.
I could feel all the energy that I had in me quickly dissipating from my body. My wings felt heavy, my arms and legs started to feel like lead. Even my eyes drooped as I was trying to stay awake.
Slowly spinning straight towards the middle of the source of darkness.
It collided together in one hit. A terrible shriek of unearthly wail resounded, giving me chills.
The darkness rushed toward me, wrapping around me like a blanket.
Every inch it touched my scales, I could feel it burning, crushing my muscles, symbolizing in midair. Then, finally, I could not fight anymore. I did not have the energy either.
Suddenly, the ball of light exploded.
The darkness around me completely disintegrated. But, then, the pulse of energy spread out even further, wiping out the whole darkness in a blazing fury.
The sky cleared up, bringing back the blue sky, calming the weather around the world.
I felt myself falling, staring up at the sky.
My senses were becoming weaker and weaker.
I knew the life out of me was disappearing.
I slowly closed my eyes.
I felt at peace for the first time as I heard my mother calling my name.
A smile escaped my lips, and I let out my last breath.
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