The lake water is still and foreboding and the darkness does not suit the realm of Salud. It has become ugly and uninviting.
A darkened stranger stands in front of Paz, floating several inches from the sandy shore. He is unsmiling and his eyes are curved down with hatred. His strong chin houses a thin layer of facial hair and a star outline has been shaven in to show his alliance. His armored arms are long and tightly gripped together behind his back. A long scar strongly drags itself down his left cheek and his short black hair is swept to the side sharply.
Paz stands with one foot directly ahead of him and the other behind, slowly digging into the sand. "Who are you?" His face is in shadows and his tattoo is glowing red in the darkness.
"I'm Gabrielle. You must be the last Faerie." The man answered smoothly, never removing his bright yellow irises from the slightly annoyed Paz. "Frankly, we all thought that we had killed any chance of you fulfilling your destiny, but then again we were wrong weren't we?"
Paz looks around him without moving his head, remembering when he used to play fighting games with Sarah before she had gone off to her fighting school. The attack moves that she had taught him float, unseen to anyone else, in front of his eyes.
Sarah always preferred to fight with the wooden sword that her dad had left for her before he had died. Paz had always favored the long, sturdy wooden stick that he himself had prepared. Long intricate symbols had been carved into it when he had first created it and the place that his hands always occupied had been worn down to fit the contours of his urgent fingers.
The image of when Sarah blocked his attack, leaving him defenseless with no weapon flashes before him and he remembers how effortless it had been for him to still attack.
"Don't do too much thinking hero," Gabrielle warns, "your tattoo gives you away."
"So it was you who was asking for me." Paz asks.
"Maybe it was; that human woman would still be alive if she had been co-operative."
With an angry puff of breath, Paz easily finds himself weightless as he performs a swift frontal aerial kick. That passes right through Gabrielle.
"Easy kid," he responds to the attack while the hologram recovers from being disturbed. "You think I, the leader of the Luna Army, would actually come in person to see a weakling like yourself?"
"I would say otherwise if you fear coming here in person." Paz answers and feels a knot forming in his stomach as he recovers from his failed attempt.
"You know, there is a prophecy that says that you will conquer us, but every prophecy is double sided--I think you're destined to fail, and your weak demeanor proves my theory."
"Well," Paz yells as the hologram begins to rise once more into the black clouds above. "Not every destiny has to be fulfilled!"
The coldness barely touches him anymore.
The darkness barely blinds him like it would any other human and his hearing is exceptional, unlike other humans from the Land of Luna. With a slingshot in hand and wearing the light boots that he had created out of blue fox fur that he regularly hunted, Peter is prepared for his regular morning hunt.
The cold forest of Bosque Azul, just outside of the realm of Cielo, gives refuge to elusive creatures that thrive in the darkness of Luna. The blue fox is Peter's favorite. Its sleek body, quick feet, and extra sensitive ears mimics his own unique features. Though he feels guilty for killing such an impressive creature, the rush he receives during the hunt is worth all of his guilt.
This morning Charlie sits quietly in the deeply shadowed snow beside Peter as they watch a blue fox, larger than any other fox, tread steadily across the forest floor. The quarter moon that inhabits the place of the sun almost all year round casts a tiny sparkle of light on the scene, giving it a magical aura.
Peter has been watching this particular blue fox for the last few months. He watched it detach itself from its mother and then quietly grow to such gigantic proportions, that it could have challenged a horse if it felt the need. Beside him, Charlie draws out a hollowed out stick and several poisoned pellets. His moves are smooth and no rustling can be heard.
No, Peter mouths at his younger brother, not this one.
Charlie looks dejected and lowers his weapon. He wordlessly grumbles and Peter suddenly stands.
Charlie watches on with surprise as Peter walks towards the blue fox. It hasn't recoiled, which is unusual behavior for blue foxes, but then again, Peter isn't a normal man either. So Charlie watches his brother quietly.
"Hey," Peter says cautiously, "you've gotten big. I know that you have seen me watching you. You know I won't hurt you."
The blue fox steps timidly towards Peter and lets him pet its fur. From behind the log that he and his brother had been occupying during their hunting, Charlie watches the needle like fur of the fox almost glow blue in the twilight of Luna.
Before any of them could move, an arrow flies quickly through the cold air of the lonely morning and strikes the large blue fox in the side. Peter quickly turns around and sees his father quietly walking towards them. His heavy feet dig into the snow and his gruff red beard makes his ruddy cheeks more prominent. His powerful arms hold a thin bow and several arrows are tightly gripped in one of his gloved hands.
"Best not stand around making friends with our dinner Peter." Bernard announces, almost near his sons.
"Not this one father." Peter argues, while pulling out the long arrow from the side of the fox."Stay away from him."
Before the argument increases, the blue fox rises, as if unharmed, and gives Peter a quick glance before sprinting away.
"When you are older, will you catch big animals for our supper?" Peter could hear his father talking to Charlie through the cracks in the worn wooden walls.
"Good, I don't think we can do much with your brother."
"He can go around making friends with the Luna creatures, but you will become the best hunter around."
Silence enters Peter's ears and he throws his slingshot against the wall in anger. He grabs several garments off of his bed and throws them around as well. He forces himself to control his anger and grabs a bag that he had made out of a blue fox's needle-like fur.
Garnishing his strongest coat and putting on his thin boots on once more, Peter straps on his bag over his shoulder. A map of Melia is firmly placed under a large piece of bread and cheese that he had swiped from the kitchen moments before. He places his slingshot back in his bag after picking it up off of the floor and he puts a wide belt over his coat. Quietly, Peter enters his father's dark room and snatches a blue fox bone, strong as steel, sword from beside the window. It is his prized possession.
Several minutes later Peter is crunching through the deep snow heading towards the exit portal of the realm of Cielo. The clear portal up ahead mirrors his reflection and he feels the same electrical pull as every other time in his life.
A howl interrupts his determination after exiting the portal and he turns swiftly, his bag rustles against his movement. Several feet from him, outlined in the moonlight, a large figure is running towards him.
Without thinking, Peter jumps as the blue fox gallops by him like a horse and pulls himself up onto its back. With his arms wound tightly around its neck, Peter barely acknowledges his final departure from the darkness of Luna.
His shadow stretches long behind him as it stays behind in the land of darkness.