Chapter 2:

Vol 1: Ch 1: Sylrillia

Realms of Destiny

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As the Citadel bells rang, Miraina opened her eyes to a bright new day in Sylrilla; her thoughts on last night’s dream. It was the third time she had a dream of that childhood incident, and though it made her smile, she couldn’t help but wonder what have become of that red-haired human boy.

Today is her 125th birthday, the day she will finally be made the crowned princess of Sylrillia. At the moment, Miraina spends her time as a Sylrill of Destiny. When her mission reaches the Reality of Null Earth, she may be able to find Flare again, that day has come. As a Sylrill of Destiny, she is a part of the Destinasia and travels the different Realms of the Universe in order to ensure that Destiny stays its course. All her life, she had been educated, trained, prepared to the best of her tutors’ abilities in order to become a respected Sylrill of Destiny as well as the Queen of Sylrillia.

From the vantage point of her bedchamber’s window, Rain could see Sylrilla before her. The peacefulness of the scenery, the sweetness of the atmosphere, Sylrillians going about their businesses on land and in the sky, makes it impossible to imagine that this is a Realm that had been at war for millions of years. The last war which broke out was before she was born, and the Period of Peace had been in place for 155 years, nothing to the Sylrillians of course. Yet they all know that this will not last.

Everyday Miraina prays that the peace will stay this way, at least until she finds Flare. If the nation is at war, the Sylrills of Destiny will be removed from their posts and make up the elite force in the army, and she, as the Princess of Light will have to lead that army to war. Although she remembers nothing of her various missions from one Reality to the other, the emotional wisdom remains, and so she knows that war is a sad thing, where no one ever ‘wins’, and one which she never wishes to befall her very own kingdom.
Lost in her thoughts, Miraina was startled when there was a knock on her door and one of her servants opened it.

“Your Royal Highness, Captain Commander Phoenixdawn is here to escort you to the Royal Quarter. His Majesty the King wishes to see you there.”

“Tell him I’ll be right there Tiama.” As she answered her maid servant, Miraina walked to her dressing room, brushed her long ash brown hair and tied it up in a pony tail. That done, she moved to the clothes which had been prepared, the best attire for the coronation ceremony. She pulled on her undershirt, put her arms in her skysilk robes, buckled that with her jeweled belt and secured her cape with the royalty brooch, cast in the shape of a silver dragon. She walked to her accessory shelf, put on her bracers, intricately decorated with Sylrillian sapphires. Finally, in the altar highest above the rest, Miraina picked up her circlet, itself symbolizing her status as the heir to the Sylrillian throne. Right below the altar where her circlet was placed, she held out her hand and picked up what looked like the hilt of a sword, made in the shape of a silver dragon with magical blue gemstones lodged firmly on the dragon’s back and eyes.

She lay her hands on the dragon’s back and spoke to it. “We’re going out Elaenor, you can wake up now.” At those words, there was a flash of static blue. The blue light danced along Miraina’s arms and onto her shoulders where the Minute Granadia in a form of little silver dragon came to life and placed itself there. Miraina lovingly stroked Elaenor’s head before she closed the door of the cupboard.

Fully dressed, Miraina let herself out to the corridor, where one of her Four Guardians, Captain Commander Solarus Phoenixdawn was waiting with his own Minute Granadia Cypher, a fiery Phoenix which, surprisingly enough, does not emit as much heat as it looks like it would, but is instead giving off a warm welcoming glow. Solarus had been her Guardian for as long as she could remember. Him and her other Guardian Sephiron had been raised together in the palace grounds so one could say that they were her childhood friends, Solarus having known her the longest. He is tall with straight, long, dark brown hair that is tied in a pony tail that hung over his left shoulder. He has a handsome face, and beautiful green eyes. If anything, he was the most beautiful and graceful Sylrill she had ever seen, save for perhaps her mother. She couldn’t help but marvel at how impressive he looked in his full ceremonial gear.

“Sorry to have kept you waiting Solarus, got to look my best today.” She said with an apologetic smile.

“It is part of my duty Princess Miraina, there is no need to apologize. It is fit that you look your best on your 125th Birthday.” He bowed to her. “Now that you are here, I believe we should be on our way.”

Together, they walked from her chambers, down the East Spire, past the Central Court. As they passed, Miraina noticed the palace servants either smiling at her or blushing at the sight of Solarus; or whispering and smiling among themselves, however, there are also some who are shaking their heads and sighing. She knew full well what they were talking about, so did Solarus but he walked on with his head held high, pretending not to notice, although she couldn’t fail to notice that under that feigned ignorance, he is blushing slightly.
“As popular among the girls as ever I see.” Miraina commented, noticing him blush. “Although, you don’t usually handle fangirls very professionally, what’s the matter this time? You’re blushing.”

Solarus was startled that she had noticed amidst the warm glow of Cypher. “I do not know what you are speaking of Princess, I’m not blushing!”
“Well, you’re not anymore, but I’m pretty sure you were just now.” She stopped walking and moved closer to his face to inspect it closely, causing him to draw back. “Why? Someone you liked back there?” She jested.

More like here. He thought, before saying. “No…we turn here Princess.” Brushing her comment aside.
While they were walking through the Long Corridor from the Central Court to the Royal Quarter, Miraina brought the same matter which she always had with her Guardians up again.

“How many times do I have to tell you to call me Rain. You guys have been my guardians and best friends since we were kids, we practically grew up together. Just because I’m ‘officially’ going to be made crowned princess today doesn’t make it any different.”

“But you are the Princess, and you will become Queen, the one who will end this Great War which had been going on since the beginning of time. I am merely placing myself where I should, and so should you.” He answered her as all of them always do, but with a smile, indicating that he understands what she means. Miraina likes it when he smiles, it is warm and genuine, always genuine, like the warmth that is coming from Cypher flying closely by Solarus’ head.

“So what does father want with me? If he wants to wish me good luck on my next quest, he can do that at the gate.”
This time his handsome face was troubled.

“I’m afraid you will not be able to depart today Princess…”

Miraina stopped. “What is that supposed to mean?”

With his back to her, the Captain Commander said to her in a grim voice. “The Rathnorians have a new Head, Prince Flaros Zephyren of Rathnoria. He will lead them to battle against us in a week.”

The war has come at last. Rain had feared this day, but she did not expect it to come so soon. This morning she woke up, having waited for this day for the past 119 years. Not like this. She wanted to become a Sylrill of Destiny, not this. Yet her duties are so clear before her and there is nothing she can do about it.

“Wait..did you say a week?” She said suddenly.

“Yes, Princess…a week.” He replied solemnly.

Neither said anything after that remark. They continued to walk, heads down, to the Royal Quarter. Rain can already imagine what it would be like. Her father would be there, so would her other Guardians, head of armies now that there will be a war. The Celestial Model will be brought out, clearly showing the terrains between Sylrilla and Rathnoria. There will be pieces indicating troops: ground troops, air troops, dragon troops, and pieces symbolizing the Sylrillian guardian beasts: the Granadias. And when she gets there, they will discuss war.

Sure enough, everything was exactly as she had expected. The Celestial Model was there at the centre of the room surrounded by her father, the King, and her other three Guardians: Sephiron Dragonblight, Head of the Dragon Army; Grantig Shieldfall, Head of Magic and Defense; and Byakuron Stormkeeper, Head of the Ground and Sky Troops. She could feel the tenseness in the atmosphere which she had never sensed in any of their presence before. However, the atmosphere was lifted as a familiar voice piped up, in his characteristic cheerfulness.

“Happy birthday Princess.” Said Byakuron as he quickly walked up to her to greet her, his amber eye as bright as always. This cheered Rain up somewhat. Byakuron is the youngest of all four guardians, he is 10 years younger than her, and had been introduced to her as her guardian from a very young age. As a boy-genius he was assigned as the Third Guardian. He had been with her for almost a hundred years, and sees her as a sister figure as well as the most important person whom he had to protect. Despite this, his small form is not to be taken lightly. He is after all the leader of ground and sky troops. An experienced fighter, second to none, or so he claims.

“Ahem”. Grantig cleared his throat while adjusting his glasses, reminding Byakuron that this is a war meeting. Byakuron gave a final bow before he scuttled back to his place around the Celestial Model. Miraina gave him a thankful smile as he walked back.

“Based on your look, I believe that the Captain Commander had informed you of the situation.” said her father, straight to the issues at hand.

“I do not want to lead the Realm to war father…” she began.

“You know as well as I do that you are the only one who can do this. Your skills and abilities are much greater than my own or any others in the whole of Sylrillia, Miraina. The Grand Design has blessed us with you, the Princess of Light, and your Class 0 light aura are beyond any Sylrillian alive. With you leading us, perhaps we can finally defeat the Rathnorians and end this war for good.” This of course, Rain knows is true. She had been born with a once-in-several-thousand-years rarity Class 0 aura and trained by the best masters making her an expert in the arts of war.

The mystical systems in the Reality of Celestia can be divided into three major categories: aura, power, and magic. Each Celestial possesses innate auras of Light, Darkness, and Neutruality; each being specific to a certain race. The stronger one’s auras, the more life force one has in order to manipulate the other two branches of mystical powers before one tires out. Auras usually serve as a good indicator of the inner strengths of an individual Celestial and are categorized into 6 different levels starting from Class 5 – the lowest – to Class 0. Due to their polar nature, the Rathnorians and Sylrillian auras are harmful to one another. As the Princess of Light, with her aura unleashed, her touch alone would burn any Rathnorians who happens to come too close, they cannot touch her. Placing her at the head of the frontlines will therefore weaken the enemy’s aura, in so doing, weakening their overall attack strength.

A Celestial’s ‘power’, is their ability to control and manipulate certain elements that they are born into. Ordinary Rathnorians and Sylrillians command a single element each; the nature of their elements is indicated by the colour of their heartgems, while those with strong royal blood have two powers. All Ulnorians only command water-related powers. However, their auras neutralize the other two auras, and are therefore, unaffected by them. Auras can be converted into powers, to be used for offensive or defensive purposes.

The third and final branch of mystical system, known as ‘magic’, is a Celestial’s trainable ability to manipulate laws of nature to stretch beyond ordinary realms of possibility. Unlike auras and powers, not all Celestials are born with the required talent, to successfully practice magic. Magic brings about endless potential once merged with auras and powers. However, it takes time and absolute dedication to develop past the basics. Magic Maesters and their equivalent are both rare and respected in all Realms of Celestia.

Met with a silent response, the King continued, “War requires sacrifice, and we all know what we had to sacrifice the last time they slipped through our defenses. They killed your mother Miraina.” Those final words were said slow and clear, and each of them cut into her heart like a knife. “The Ulnorians will be helping us in this fight. Your engagement to the Prince had made them our valuable ally.” At the mention of the engagement Miraina noticed a swift expression-change in her Guardians: annoyance on Byakuron, pride on Sephiron, worry on Grantig, and on Solarus…sadness? She couldn’t tell. “Your fiancé the Prince Ultima himself will lead their troops. They will take care of the ground troops, and they will be bringing the Sea Granadias as well. This way, Byakuron can transfer the ground troops to the skies, they have more mythical beasts than we do, we will need higher numbers.”

Yes, Miraina thought to herself. Based on what her father just outlined, they would have a great advantage. When the war first started, the Merrpeople of Ulnoria have been on the side of the Rathnorians, but since the great betrayal five thousand years ago, they have kept themselves out of the war between the other two realms since. Only recently had they had improved relations with the Sylrillians due to the arranged engagement between Miraina and Prince Ultima. This is why Sephiron, being half Ulnorian and half Sylrillian, supported this.

They continued to go over the defensive strategies and when all the plans were made, each left to prepare themselves for the coronation ceremony.

The coronation proceeded smoothly. The royal consorts and military officers were invited to the Grand Hall, and the people were free to gather at the White Courtyard. Despite the applause and cheering, Miraina’s heart was heavy with matters of war. If the Rathnorians were going to attack them, there was nothing she could do but defend her realm. If someone must die, she’d rather it be them than her own people.

After the Ceremony, Rain returned to her room. She sat on her bed and picked up a picture on her bedpost. It is one of herself at the age of five with a beautiful woman who has ash brown hair like hers and clear green eyes.

“I know you would never support this war if you were here mother. Yet, I have to lead the army to war. If you were here you’d know exactly what to do. But don’t worry mother. I shall put an end to this war once and for all.” She put the picture down to its rightful place and walked over to the window.

As the heir to the throne, Sylrillia is her homeland and the Sylrillians her people. Her duty as crowned princess is to make her people feel as safe and secure in this time of crisis as possible and her duty as the head of the army is to increase the morale of her troops. She knows that her four Guardians would be busy preparing their own troops, and she should not sit idle in her bedchamber while everyone’s busy preparing for war. Finally she made up her mind and walked to the open window.

“Elaenor, let’s take a short trip around the Palace and the city.” Having said that, Miraina called forth her white angel wings and leaped into the sky. The little dragon, accustomed to this transferred its location to her back, and together they flew out of the Eastern Spire, into the Sylrillian skies.