All Gale had heard before slipping into darkness was Mizu calling out to her and the faint murmuring of the others. When she awoke, she was lying on a strange circular slab of grey stone, with nothing but grey-white mist on all sides, above and below her. Am I dead? she thought. Is this heaven?
I suppose you could say this is a heaven of sorts, a calm voice echoed. Gale looked frantically around her, looking for the owner of the mysterious voice.
Hello? Who's there? she called out.
"Surely you recognize me? I have been watching over you since you left Hyoku. I warned you of the Jhen Mohran, I saw you collapse, and brought you here."
But... I don't understand. What do you mean you 'brought me here' ?
"This is an empty space, a void. I brought you here, but only in your dreams."
What's happening in the real world then? Where am I in reality?
"You and your friends are still in the Great Forest. The boy is carrying you."
Boy... you mean Mizu!? Why is he carrying me!?
"After the White Star imparted the prohecy to you, he cursed you. You are in a coma. Fire runs through your veins. They have a cure in Hikari, but if the fire reaches your heart..."
...I have faith in my friends. They'll get me there in time.
"You have a strong heart, and you speak the truth. You honour your kind. If only I could have such pride again..."
What do you mean?
"I brought you here... to confess."
Confess? Confess what?
"I have a role to play in the White Star's prophecy. It's a shame I cannot bear."
"The role of the Destroyer. I am the Wyrm of Wind. I have complete control over it. And it is I that must create the Divine Maelstrom, and annihilate your kind."
Don't you have a choice?
"It is written. I have no say in the matter. The raw power released when I enter battle with the White Star will manifest in the Divine maelstrom. Its occurence is inevitable."
Can't we do anything to stop it?
"You cannot stop it from happening. But if the White Star is destroyed before it reaches maturity, it will dissipate. Now you know the truth, and my shame."
A long pause followed.
I have a question. About Rakurai.
Where does his power over lightning come from?
"If he can manipulate lightning... why, he must be a direct descendant of the Wyrm of thunder!"
"When the first hunters killed a Wyrm, they would unwittingly absorb some of it's innate power. Most would die before reporoducing, but when they did, the power would be passsed on, growing stronger as it was passed down that hunter's family line. Rakurai must be the complete inheritor of the thunder Wyrm's power."
Another long pause.
"You must sleep now. The longer your brain is stimulated and active, the faster the fire will spread within you."
And then, before Gale could utter another word, she felt herself spacing out, and slowly closed her eyes on the misty limbo.
To Be Continued in: The White Star Chronicles X.2: A Great Sacrifice