Look through a reflection of a reflection, see how warped it is!
Evan bought a hotel room, very tired from travelling and ready to sleep. Mir immediately threw himself onto the bed and went to sleep, his soft snoring filling the room. With a groan, he went to take a shower before hitting the bed himself. It definitely exciting to go on an adventure and help out people, but nobody mentioned how tiring it was! He could barely keep his eyes open.
"Goodnight Mir." He called out sleepily as the huge dragon curled closer to him.
Tonight the dream was strange. He felt as if he were awake-what were those dreams called? Lucid dreams? Regardless he looked around. It looked to be a temple of some kind, but in terrible condition. The pillars were broken and the floor dirty. The once red carpet was a dull rust color and raggedy. A man seemed to be sleeping on the podium, under the broken glass-window. It was really dark and hard to see.
"Master!" A girl rushed in, the marble door creaking from her efforts. She had long hair with short bangs the shade of lemon with red eyes. The man on the podium twitched to alertness, yawning. "Is it true? You are sending us away?"
"Beta? Why are you here so early?" Groaned the man in an oddly familiar voice.
"It's afternoon, you should already be awake." Frowned Beta. "Were you planning to go back immediately to your old sleeping habits when we leave?"
"No, no, it's just-I'm tired." Replied the man sleepily. "Where's Alpha?"
"Right here, old man!" Another person, this time with short spiky hair with the same hair and eye colors as Beta. Their faces looked similar, probably twins. "Did you get tired of us already? You barely taught us anything! And Will is starting to become a real annoyance, you know that!"
He was definitely more aggressive than Beta who was staring at him with a frown. Alpha shrugged off the girl's disappointment like water on oil. The strange man only watched Alpha rant amusedly. There was a strange aura around him, a distinct sense of being untouchable, like one of the statues of the ascendants.
"You are both terrible at magic, and too impatient to learn." Drawled the man once Alpha had stopped screaming.
"That isn't true." Muttered Beta looking too guilty to be telling the truth.
"It doesn't matter if I'm impatient to learn, I have to know it." Sniped back Alpha.
"Says who?" Evan could practically hear the smile in the man's voice.
"Rhinne!" Alpha growled.
"Did she really?" Beta seemed to opt for silence and just watched the two men talk.
"Yes! She said to learn under from you-"
"There is no time limit. You are Rhinne's children and I will be here forever. You have time." Said the figure soothingly.
"Will is mortal and can die. He cannot bend time and space and he cannot harm you. If you must, just avoid him." Shrugged the man.
"He causes trouble!" Snapped Alpha.
"And why do you care?" Alpha stared at the figure, shocked.
"What? Of course we care! It makes sense to care! No wonder they call you the Undying curse of the Temple of Time!" Growled Alpha, leaving just as dramatically as before.
Beta and the man watched the other boy leave, Beta with an apologetic expression. Tense silence filled the two, Beta was watching the man with anxiousness. It was clearly a touchy topic. The man sighed and shook his head and immediately Beta relaxed.
"Children." The man sighed. "Well, you should go with him. Go have an adventure. Every citizen in Mapleworld has gone on an adventure before. You'll learn things I can't teach you, and it might just be better this way."
"Really? I don't mean to doubt you, Master, but-" She sighed.
"I know what you mean, but really. Adventuring and helping out other people make you want to take things slow and easy. Trust me, I've been there."
"Stopping a war between ascendants?" Beta asked curiously. The man didn't reply. The girl nodded in understanding. "Alright, I will defer to your judgement. But, I have to tell you, I disagree with your standpoint on Will. If there is someone causing other people harm, it is obvious we should intervene."
With that the girl left, leaving the strange man alone. Evan watched the twins go, wondering who they were. Hesitantly he approached the man to take a closer look of his face. The face-it was his own face! Well no, the face was slightly different. It was leaner, older, and much wiser. This person's eyes were a much clearer shade of sky-blue while his own was greenish-blue. The man seemed to smile at Evan, but that would be strange.
"And who are you?" Asked the man.
"Ah? You can see me?" Squeaked Evan. "I'm, uh, Evan! I'm in a dream right now."
"Oh? So you somehow dreamt of an alternate universe." Mused the man. "My name is Freud."
"It's nice to meet you, Mister Freud." smiled Evan politely, almost offering his hand to shake but then rethinking of it. "Alternate universes?"
"I don't ever remember being like this. Yes, alternate universes. It's possible that dreams can indeed peer into alternate universes, foresight is just a highly concentrated version after all. Either way I can't prove if I'm the dream or if you are." Mused Freud, curiosity burning in his bright blue eyes. "Tell me about your world, what are you doing right now? If this is a dream, it's the most entertaining one I've had in years."
"Oh!" Evan got the basic gist of what Freud was after. "Okay. My world is pretty nice, um but you aren't really interested in that, are you? Well I'm travelling the world with my friend Mir! He's a baby dragon. When I first met him he was only the size of my hand, but these days when we share the bed I get pushed off. He grows too fast."
"What type of dragon is he?" Freud's eyes were sharp and his the gentle smile was gone. Evan hesitated, unnerved by how cold the room had gotten from just a change in expressions.
"An onyx dragon apparently?" Evan laughed nervously, but Freud didn't laugh along. If anything his face got darker.
"Show me your hand, the one with the mark." The voice was ice-cold, completely order-like. For a brief and wild moment Evan felt fear run up his spine. Evan lifted his hand, showing Freud the mark. Something hardened in Freud's face and Evan felt scared that Freud would attack him. But the man calmed down and the sharp edge turned watery. He looked tired, and leaned against his hands. "I see. I see. Does the Black mage exist in your world?"
"Black mage? I don't know about him, but the Black Wings exist. They cause a lot of problems, stealing stuff and causing havoc. Nobody knows why they're taking so much energy, but people are getting worried. Why, do you have something like them?" Wondered Evan, relaxing once Freud stopped looking like judgement personified.
"No, not as far as I have heard, we don't have anything like that." There was a strange and bitter smile on Freud's face.
"Oh okay. So, are you saying I might be an alternative version of you?" Evan asked gently, trying to distract the man. Seeing people in pain wasn't his thing, and Freud seemed to recognize Evan's kind escape.
"No, I don't think so." Smiled Freud with the more mysterious but kind smile. "You might be a descendant of mine."
"Really? Wow, we really look alike." Marveled Evan. "I thought that were an older version of me for a second."
"We really do, don't we? What a strange coincidence." Something merry and secretive glimmered in Freud's eye. "I think it's time to wake up."
"Really? But it was getting interesting." Complained Evan.
"Thank you for coming." Freud smiled, his gentle smile becoming something more radiant and real. "Thank you for proving that I haven't done everything wrong-"
The dream faded away as Evan woke up, seeing Freud looking at him with unshed tears. Groaning, he felt the hard floor beneath him and Mir's black scales poking off the bed incriminatingly. As he prepared to yell at Mir, something small-soft-sad flashed in him when he looked at the dragon.
Alpha and Beta are in the desert and are completely lost. They had already argued who's fault it was an hour ago and stopped screaming in favor for survival. Alpha hates the desert heat and the way the sun burns down his skin. Beta is alert, looking around like a bloodhound on the trail. She murmurs. "I hear screaming."
"What are we waiting for then? Let's go!" The twins rush off into the desert. They see a girl in a plain dress, cowering before a giant monster.
Beta reacts before thinking, throwing her heavy claymore at the monster, distracting it. Alpha rushes in with his sword and slices the monster in several areas, drawing blood. It roars in pain and Alpha retreats as Beta takes over, grabbing her claymore and cutting the beast in the areas where Alpha already wounded it. The beast growls, but seeing how outmatched it was, it quickly retreats into the desert sand.
"Are you alright?" Alpha asks in his sweet scammer voice, the one he uses to charm girls and the people he wants to steal from.
"Yes! Thanks you." The girl nods, sighing in relief. "I thought I was going to die. I was looking for cactus fruit, but it seems like everybody already picked them. And monsters don't usually come, but today. . ."
"It's no problem, us heroes love to help." Alpha trills. "In fact, we'd be glad to walk you back to town, ah but we're so hungry. Do you think there's any way you could?"
Alpha is practically sparkling at the girl, oozing fake pity and wounded pain. The girl stares at him with sympathy, already lured into his trap. She frowns a little, but clasps the necklace around her neck.
"Alright! I can take you to the city, but I don't have anything for food, but-I have this." She takes out her necklace. At the end of the pendant is a black stone, iridescent and beautiful. Beta could practically hear Alpha screaming in his head about how useless a stone was when they needed food.
"What is it?" Beta stepped in before Alpha could do something extreme.
She fingers the pendant thoughtfully before taking it off, looking at it longingly. "It's my mother's heirloom. But, if you sell it at the bazaar and tell them that it's an onyx dragon scale, you'll get a lot of money."
"Are you sure about this?" Beta asked softly. The girl seemed very attached to it. She bit her lips and nodded.
"It's only fair, you saved my life." She gave Beta the necklace. The magic, as faint as it was, felt familiar. It felt like Freud in his more depressed states, like something whole that was ripped to shreds and never healed. It was so similar to Freud, she had thought that Freud had imbued magic into the scale.
"Oynx dragons?" Asked Alpha as they started walking to the village, giving Beta strange looks.
"Yes. There was only one oynx dragon left in the world, and this is where that scale came from. Apparently it was very insane with they finally put it down, destroying kingdoms and killing thousands! It said the name 'Freud' in it's dying breath. We don't know who Freud is, or what it is! Maybe it's the name of an ancient artifact, or maybe it was the name of someone it loved." The girl innocently told the legend. Beta and Alpha both stiffened at the mention. "And that's why it's so rare. Entangled with mystery and rarity. It'll buy you a lot here."
Beta griped the stone. No, it was too valuable to sell. They didn't know anything about Freud. Only that Rhinne had told them he had committed an unspeakable crime to save the whole Mapleworld from destruction and a war between ascendants. When they had went to Elluel to meet the elves, they had met one of the descendants of Freud and Mercedes.
His name was Cain and he looked a lot like Freud, apart from his elf ears and slightly greenish-blue eyes, although they didn't know it at the time. Cain was kind and worried about them.
"I know you are destined to learn about time magic from my great ancestor, but there are things you should keep in mind." Cain told them over the peaceful Elluel afternoon.
"So, is this Freud human?" Alpha asked bluntly. Cain winced.
"I believe so. There are matters which only Rhinne knows." Alpha curses. "I will tell you about the Undying curse of the Temple of Time." Beta looked worriedly at Alpha. "No, it's not like that! It's just that curse is Freud, more or less."
"Explain." Demanded Alpha, and for once Beta was wholeheartedly with him.
"Well you see, a long time ago a group of heroes fought against an ascendant. And one of them was cursed to stay in the Temple of Time. That hero never let any of the priests clean up or enter. He would always lash out violently with magic." Sighed Cain.
"That's our magic teacher? What kind of legacy is Rhinne leaving us?" Gaped Alpha. Cain only winced.
"I heard that he was good to Queen Mercedes. They did have children after all." Cain shrugged, touching his golden headband with wings on the side.
The girl stopped in front of the town, returning Beta from her memory lane. It was a small and neat town, but bustling with people. The bazaar sounded like people laughing and arguing, and the smell of fish was overwhelming. Jewelry, fruits, and all sorts of pottery was all on sale. In the middle was a giant statue of an warrior, carved painstakingly from marble. If Beta remembered correctly, it was a statue of Aran, the legendary warrior who downed Hilla.
Somehow the two managed to hide away in the quieter streets. Alpha had even stolen food, to which Beta looked disapprovingly at but accepting. She was hungry.
"So, teach is hiding some incredible secrets. Which makes sense, since Rhinne knew him personally." Alpha muttered in-between bites of the bread. Beta nodded. "Well, we can always confront him when we get back, right? He can't leave."
Beta nodded, enjoying the cool breeze despite the stifling heat.
The story about Afrien downing kingdoms and killing thousands is an over-exaggeration to make the scales seem more valuable. Also I did major edits to chapter 1 and minor edits to chapter 2! Go check it out.
This story is finally wrapped up.
Here is the bonus chapter I promised! I hoped you enjoyed. If you like, remember to review.