Story Of A Young Fyros - part one

Night had just fallen. The last rays of sunshine had dipped below the horizon, taking their comforting warmth with them. Wrapped up in his cover, Aedon was cursing his boldness. He should never have trusted what the old fool had said. A new world being built in the west? How could he have believed such a thing? There was nothing but desert as far as the eye could see. Not even the slightest trace of civilization out here.

It had been almost five months now since he had left his clan. For five days now they had been wandering in no man's land searching for the path of the exodus towards the new cities. An old traveler who they had taken into their camp and helped regain his strength had told them the story.

"My Fyros friends, the world is healing. The Kitins are now under control. Our people are retaking their place on Atys, he had told them, once he had eaten his fill."

Scornful smiles had broadened on the faces of the fifteen members of the clan. Nobody could believe such a story. Everybody knew that nowadays the world was populated by nothing more than small tribes and nomads living a hunter-gatherer existence. There was not a single city that had managed to repel the invading monsters that had streamed up from the depths of the planet. Nonetheless, nobody challenged the words of the old man. It was very common for men of a certain age to begin to lose their faculties. In any case, even if nobody believed such stories, everyone loved to hear about them as they harked back to childhood memories of dreams of fantastic worlds.

Despite this, Aedon had taken the words of the old man quite literally and when the men and women of his tribe had turned in for the night, he sat with the traveler so he could ask more questions - and he was astounded by the answers he received. He had finally found a way to escape his dull and humdrum destiny, as he had always wanted. He would become a hero. He would show everyone what he was capable of. He would prove to his people that the world was blossoming once more.

At dawn, his parents pleaded with him to change his mind, but being as stubborn as a madakam, he was not about to change his course for anything. And so begrudgingly, but knowing full well that he would return very quickly, they decided to prepare a pouch of takoda roots for him by way of nourishment, as well as a blanket to keep off the cold of icy nights.

The jeers and laughter of his fellow youngsters was ringing in his ears as he left the camp. Only the old Fyros offered him a friendly gesture of good luck.

"I'll be the laughing stock of all of them, if I come back now! he said to himself, clenching his fists."

A strong wind had come up in the night, and grains of sand were buffeting his face, half-hidden under his blanket.

He had hardly any provisions left and knew that he would very soon have to decide to go back or else carry on. If he continued, he knew that he would not have enough food to make the journey back. Unless he managed to kill one of those lousy yubos with the knife his father had given him.

In the end he slept until early morning, when he was pleasantly surprised to see that the wind had died down and a glorious sun was shining overhead.

He climbed out from under his cover and had a long stretch. Suddenly he saw a yubo. He was rooted to the spot and hoped that luck would be on his side. He lowered his head and noticed a large block of amber less than a meter from him. He bent forward and grabbed hold of the amber, all the while making sure that the animal munching on a pine tree did not notice him. Once he had a good hold of the chunk of amber, he drew back his arm and threw it with all his strength at the yubo.

There was a sudden loud bang and the amber exploded in a thousand shiny fragments in mid-flight.

Aedon' jaw dropped and he was dumbstruck on the spot. With that, the yubo fled at breakneck speed.

Am I losing my mind? he said to himself, having just seen the impossible.

A shiver ran down his spine. It was the beginning of the end. The sun must have driven him crazy.

He heard a short laugh behind him. He spun round, but there was nobody there.

Fear mixed with a feeling of disquiet took hold of him. I've gone mad! he said to himself again, terrified at the idea of dying in this way.

Again, he heard the laugh behind him. Turning his head quickly, Aedon thought he made out a strange shape that vanished in an instant.

"Who are you?!, he shouted."

I have to keep calm, he tried to tell himself. There must be an explanation for this.

"Show yourself!, he roared."

One thing for sure, he had enough strength left to put up a fight. He could feel his heart beating in his chest like the drums of his uncle Denarius.

Then, out of thin air, a being hardly one meter high appeared, floating at eye-level.

"Well met, young Fyros, what is your name?"

"Aedon, he replied trying to fathom what has happening."

That's it - I've gone mad! Unless...? But that's not possible. Nobody in his clan had ever seen what he was thinking of. Believing in the world being reborn was one thing, but in legendary beings such as these?!

"Don't be afraid, I'm a friend of your people, he said before smiling at Aedon."

There wasn't a tooth in his head. How could he possibly chew his food? thought Aedon, who shook his head, rebuking himself for thinking such stupid questions at a time like this.

"You are a Kami? he said, hardly believing it could be true."

"This is indeed the name for our people in the language of homins, the Kami replied."

He disappeared suddenly. Aedon rubbed his eyes, believing that his reason had been playing tricks on him - but suddenly there was a tug on the sleeve of his jacket. He turned his head and to see the Kami had returned.

"How is this possible?! he said, astounded."

The Kami smiled again.

"There are many things that you must learn and many you must forget. Atys is much more complex than your people can imagine. We, the Kami, are capable of marvelous feats and are willing to share them with you, if you learn to trust us. Atys needs young men full of keen spirit. Atys is far from being fully cured. We are counting on the young generations to repopulate and bring life back to Atys."

"Can you teach me how to disappear and reappear again? asked an enchanted Aedon who no longer had any doubts about the truth of what he was seeing."

"That and many other things. But patience and hard work I ask of you. There are many young men such as you who I have brought to Kaemon to serve their apprenticeship only for them to become vulgar layabouts, hungry for wealth and power."

"I am not like that! I swear to you! he said before lowering his voice somewhat. I beg you not to leave me. I will do anything you wish so that you might take me to this town. I will prove to you that you were right to trust me."

The Kami floated up two meters in the air and looked down on him from this height.

"So be it, ready yourself then for a great journey. The nearest city is very far from here, said the Kami."

Aedon stuck out his chest and stared defiantly at the floating being.

"I am ready to follow you to the ends of this world. I will be able to face up to whatever dangers come our way, he said with genuine enthusiasm."

"Never lose this adventurous spirit, young Fyros, as you will learn very quickly that life can be just as dangerous in the towns as in the more remote areas."

The Kami came back down, floating near Aedon. He looked him straight in the eye and added:

"You will need all your strength for your apprenticeship. You are very lucky indeed that you came across me here, as you may have wandered for many years without ever finding one of us. I'm also going to save you a long walk and teleport you to your destination."

"Teleport? said Aedon."

He knew the term from fables, but a strange feeling was coming over him. Dissolve into nothing in one place and re-appear hundreds of kilometers away? Despite the heat, an icy shiver ran through his bones.

"Are you afraid?"

"No, said Aedon, unconvincingly. I am ready."

The Kami smiled and was in no way fooled by the bravado of the young Fyros. He made a single gesture and suddenly the ground all around Aedon seemed to disappear. Very quickly however, Aedon vision became perfectly clear again.

Tears welled up in his eyes and trickled down his cheeks.

A small village stretched out below. Buildings. Homins like him. It was unbelievable. He had done it! He was a hero.

A hand slapped him on the shoulder. He cried out in surprise.

A female laugh greeted him. A young Fyros girl was next to him.

"You're a newcomer and should learn to be more discreet if you want to survive, she said pointing to a capryni who was watching them menacingly."

"These herbivores can be very nasty when they sense hostility!"

Aedon nodded, momentarily dumbstruck.

"Come with me, you have to go and see Boethus Cekian. He will explain many things to you - there is a lot to learn before you can think about going to the great cities."

A light wind refreshed his memory.

"I have a whole new life ahead of me here, he said to himself, heading down towards the tower."

To be continued...

Also available in: HTML TXT