Chapter One: Bikari
Segra’s absence had been the only topic among the Engras for the past 500 years. The Engras, Segra’s main and most powerful henchmen, sat in the temple as they always did from sunrise to post-midday. Brown and ivory marble floors reflected the stained glass dome. And upon midday, the temple filled with a yellow glow from the two suns of Raiz known as the Twins of Segra. Beryl, the larger of the twins, was a fierce yellow, burning with passion and life. Amberine, the smaller but still just as bright, shined her warm, orange light onto the old planet. The light from the twins’ main focus was Segra’s large gold and marble throne inside this old but still frivolous temple.
To the left of the throne was Runo, the most vicious and powerful of the Engras. He had a stern face, and long pointed ears. The King of Light was of a bronze skin tone, with dark brown hair. A small patch of brown hair moved beneath his lips as he spoke of dangerous power, emphasizing every word he spoke. Burnt orange eyes struck every soul within the temple. All souls, except one: The King of the Twin Suns, Bikari; a man with a masculine body, but a feminine physique. He sat to the right, dazed as usual. And to his left was the almighty Allest: the Queen of Spring. She was a beauty, and everyone knew her to be so. To her left was the King of Lightning, a white haired man with burns overtaking one side of his face. The lightning king’s name was Cirtek, and although he was loved by those who knew him, Bikari thought him to be the lonely type. Come to think of it, Bikari never really saw the electrical angel with anyone… not even friends. Cirtek’s neighbors name was Samoda. Bikari liked Samoda but she had a temper problem. Probably because of her monstrous appearance. The half human, half dragon stood taller than the tallest man. Her feet were reptilian, her hands were reptilian, and she had a long tail of scales. And while she sat with a pretty glowing face and shimmering pink lips, Samoda’s gargoyle like dragon wings distracted anyone from seeing her natural beauty. Bikari figured life must have been really frustrating for her, but her girlfriend never seemed to mind. And then there was the other side of the throne. To Runo’s right was Naraj, the Dragon King, who dwelled in the depths of a volcano. He was said to be the second largest dragon on Raiz. One would think of him to be frightening, but really his human form was short and scrawny. Totally not Bikari’s taste, anyway. He was really tan, his skin bordering on a milky chocolate brown. He had this… fluffy dark hair that Bikari couldn’t decide if it was black or dark blue. It covered part of the kid’s face, and Bikari figured it was to hide the obscenely large scar that dwelled beneath one of Naraj’s amber colored eyes. And then… there was the cat. Cats. Ugh. Bikari hated cats. They smelled. They were lazy. And Lato was all the above. Seriously, the girl could comb her hair. Her hair was a bright red rat’s nest. Bikari liked the idea of Lato’s red hair being neat, fluffing next to her pierced ear. But no. It was. Disgusting. And Bikari figured Lato hadn’t washed that hair in years. Ironically enough, the cat was the Queen of Fire, despite her always indifferent facial expressions.
Bikari was a lean, golden-tanned man, and he stared away at the colors in the stained glass dome; Runo’s voice was but a faint echo to his pointed and pierced ears. He sighed a light, feathery sigh though full mocha lips, and ran his claws through pale blond, angled hair. Blah, blah, blah. That was all he heard from Runo’s words. Actually, the powerful dog beast had been long away from the conversation at hand. Not only during this meeting of the Engra’s, but for many sunrises passed. See, Segra’s absence caused chaos. All of the Engra’s, at first, argued for what felt like eons. Before Runo was on the council, Bikari’s sister sat in his chair. And she was a lovely elf, but of course time passes, and the kind yet strict Akhlurè was no more. That was shortly after Segra’s disappearance. But after Runo joined the Engras, things became boring. Boring, boring, boring. Every meeting was exactly the same. Runo would talk, and talk, and talk and for whatever reason… all the Engras would actually sit and listen. Bikari’s mesmerizing eyes gazed off into another world; one very far away from where he was now… and far away from the arduous elf. These eyes were different from all the rest. Even Bikari was aware of how special the eyes he held were. Deep orange rings hugged the irises of yellow and warm red pupils flared just like the rays of the suns. These red bursts grew larger in darkness, and smaller in light as pupils normally would.
Runo’s voice echoed around him. An echo that was so faint, he barely heard it. But it interrupted his thought, and began to bring the dog’s floating thoughts back to the reality he was trying very desperately to escape. Bikari thought about how amazing it was that this always happened to him. One moment he would be lost in a world of his own; off some place warm, maybe basking in the illusion that this world was what it was meant to be. And another moment, there would be an intruder. Perhaps someone that looked strikingly similar to the bulky elf that had nothing better to do with his time than boss people around that didn’t actually give two shits about what he was talking about. Bikari wasn’t heartless. Okay, maybe he was. He stopped caring about nonsense and politics the moment Segra disappeared. And Bikari hated Runo, because Runo seemed to think that he was the new Segra. Why was this so complicated? Raiz is the planet. Raiz chooses who Segra is. Did Runo have Segra’s symbol on his forehead? No. Bikari didn’t think so. And he wasn’t sure how the rest of the council seemed to think so. This entire council was made up of a bunch of imbeciles.
“BIKARI!” Runo’s voice rose, but was hardly a surprise to Bikari, who shook his mind free of whatever thought he had. Seriously. His lack of propriety was incredible.
“Hm?” mumbled Bikari’s high pitch voice, hardly asserting himself into a state of passive-aggression. Bikari didn’t even care. Runo knew Bikari didn’t care, so why was he asking him?
“You’ve been a part of this congregation longest,” Runo stared at him with his narrow, orange eyes. Bikari wondered exactly where Runo was going with… anything, really.
“What say you?”
“Mmmm…” Bikari groaned, “About what?”
“The proposal.” Runo’s voice became exceptionally stern, and Bikari was aware that Runo was already enraged by his apathetic behavior.
“Er...” Bikari stumbled, “Sorry, but you’re not really my type.” Like a young boy, which was something Bikari was not, the blond fidgeted with his fingers. He wasn’t nervous, but impatient to leave. And Runo was really starting to piss him off. Bikari had other things on his mind, and Runo was not one of them. And neither was whatever it was the Elf decided was important.
Runo huffed, “Bikari! This is the 80th sunrise now that you have been…”
Runo’s voice faded again as Bikari’s attention returned to the world outside the temple windows. Was Runo seriously counting? Bored again, the dog sighed silently to himself, and stared towards the main continent of Stella Mensus. But his eyes widened as they were drawn to a faint beam of light beaming from the sky. He tracked the light to the dead center of his desert. Great, as if he wasn’t impatient enough to leave already, holy lights had to bring themselves to his homeland. What day was today, anyway? Bikari had lost count ages ago.
“Do you understand?”
Cautious, the tan, day-dreaming blond slowly looked back to Runo. He was careful not to lose site of the radiance, but also careful not to give away where his eyes were actually focused. If Runo were to find this illumination prior to Bikari, there would be problems that the dog beast would just not be willing to resolve. And, the council loved Runo. So Bikari figured killing him would only risk his unimportant position on the useless council. Runo stood before him, glaring at him as if he were supposed to care about the things the elf said. Bikari figured, though, the only way to get Runo off of his back was to pretend he cared. But he was still careful not to give away the desired destination of his eyes.
“What?” He snapped quietly.
“Do you understand?” Runo’s armor reflected off of the metallic finish of Bikari’s eyes. Seriously? Runo’s armor could blind an army. And he was covered head to toe in that silver metal that Bikari wished would fall off just in time for an arrow to penetrate the elf’s nonexistent heart. What a wonderful day that would be for Bikari, anyway. But then again, as he thought about it… he’d probably be blamed for the tyrant’s death anyway.
So the blithe dog assumed Runo’s lecture, apologizing for his distracted behavior as of late. Assuring Runo that he would be more involved in conversations pleased him, and the elf (finally) dismissed the congregation. Although Bikari did wonder who the hell left Runo in charge of everything. The dog beast stepped from his chair, levitating a moment before letting his clawed toes touch the cool, white marbled floors. Bikari watched as the Engras exited the temple, scattering all about Segra Isle. Some of them went home. For instance, Allest would go to her lake. Lato would go to the harbor of Disana. Naraj to his volcano. So on and so forth. Actually, Bikari wondered where the fuck Runo lived. Maybe he lived somewhere dark and dreary, and that’s why he was such a pompous jerk all the time. But Bikari also knew Runo kept a close eye on all of the Engras. He knew this because Runo was responsible for breaking up the loving couple known as Lato and Garlet. See? Tyrant.
By the time Bikari made it outside, the beaming light from the sky was gone. He stood atop the plateau on which the temple was constructed and stared off into the distance. He looked towards Raiz’s main continent, Stella Mensus. The slender man had a tattoo of a green and gold dragon that spread from his lower right abdomen. It stretched to the back of his left shoulder, wrapped around the back of his neck, and came just above the dog beast’s pierced nipple. Around his hips that hugged his white skirt was a large chain made of silver. The silver chain held an emblem: a large, bright yellow stone that rested on the side of his hip. This stone was one of the accessories Segra left behind when he disappeared. Bikari kept it as a keepsake, and as proof that it was inevitable that Segra would return. Why leave something behind should you not come back to claim it? Opposite this emblem was a machete covered in multicolored jewels. A useless object, really. Its main use would be to brush tree branches out of his way, but Bikari really wore it because it held a very special spirit inside of it.
Bikari’s lips parted slightly as the machete began glow a cool, vibrant aqua. His tattoo lit up with the same ambiance of the machete, and began to move. He hissed quietly in a pleasurable pain as it fed off of the light from within the knife. The moving ink let out a slithering sound as it began to protrude from Bikari’s built body, and took on the form of mint green scales that weaved in and out of his smooth and moist skin. The sound of bones cracking and grinding together as the tattoo slowly crept about the dog’s finely chiseled torso didn’t faze the dog in the least. In fact, the dog enjoyed the gentle stroke from the dragon as it finally took on a form of its own. Binding the dog’s ribs as a snake would bind its prey, the tattoo took upon scales of a minty emerald, and its underbelly took scales of solid gold. As the dragon’s eyes gleamed a burning ruby red, the red flares within Bikari’s eyes grew to overpower his yellow hues. It felt like flowing water: the coolness flowing about Bikari’s clean and vibrant skin. The caress caused his muscles to tense in excitement, and the dog closed his eyes and tilted his head towards the dragon as it rested its silver talons upon Bikari’s shoulder. The green reptile set its horned head upon its green hands and a golden spined tail brought with it the bliss of tickling chills as it coiled around Bikari’s chiseled arms. The dog’s claws closed gently on a like colored spade end resting within his palm. And as the new creature stretched its golden webbed wings, it let out a soft and gentle yawn. Bikari’s body was now bare and plain. It didn’t hurt. Not in the least. Actually, Bikari felt a significant amount of pleasure every time Jafyr came out from hiding within the machete.
This dragon was a special dragon, one of which was rare and hunted. Rare because of his breed: companion dragons were like small human children. They had fragile hearts and unstable emotions. Beings always wanted one. They were loyal and forever bound to the master they chose; however, the thing most people did not know was that if a companion dragon was separated from their partner, they wither away and decay from the inside out. They could only feel one intense emotion at a time, and it caused their minds to shatter if their heart was broken, or should they become disappointed. Companion dragons were so temperamental, in Bikari’s opinion anyway. Jafyr sometimes felt like a burden. Companion dragons were not pets. They were counterparts; another side to one’s personality. And Bikari considered this little dragon his life’s partner; his soul mate; his life, and his world. Bikari wasn’t in love with Jafyr. No, that would be ridiculous. Bikari hadn’t any sort of desire for emotions like love, nor did he desire the physical affections of another being. He was a lone dog, and Jafyr had saved Bikari from loneliness and sorrow; there was nothing Bikari wouldn’t do to protect the dragon from harm. And companion dragons were hunted for their scales. See, if you pluck the scale of a companion dragon, it turned into a valuable stone. Emeralds, gold, silver, and rubies were the most valuable and beautiful stones on the planet of Raiz. Bikari was not surprised that when he first saved Jafyr from thieves and gypsies, the poor dragon already had missing emerald scales, golden spines, and a broken silver talon. Luckily no one tried to slay the dragon for his eyes. Not yet, anyway. These dragons were the smallest breed of dragon. Jafyr was no higher than Bikari’s hip with his neck fully erected. And they lived forever. These dragons lived as long as their intended companion lived. And Jafyr was old, just as Bikari was old. A dog and a dragon: probably one of the most farfetched partners Raiz could ever know.
Bikari’s normally boyish eyes were narrowed and solemn. He knew the dragon did not mind as his body temperature rose while taking slow and steady movements down the stone steps of the plateau. Golden anklets jingled with every step he made. White cotton draped from his hips, and slits on either side revealed his long tan, muscled legs. Bikari remembered when beings called him ‘beautiful,’ but the dog was never fazed by sex appeal. Sex, he felt, was a pleasure enjoyed by beings on Raiz, and the process of reproduction for humans and elves. The dog found more pleasure bathing than he found in sexual acts. Perhaps his skin wasn’t sensual, or maybe it was just that he hated everyone so nobody’s touch sent him swooning. He figured that sharing his body with someone meant trusting them. Trust was something that was not in the Engra’s emotional network. Except for Jafyr, who seemed to coo as he pet the scaled head. Jafyr was the only being that could make Bikari smile. That’s what mattered to him. Dogs needed an emotional connection before they could even begin to instigate a physical one. Jafyr was already sharing Bikari’s body. The dragon sealed himself within the dog ages ago, a memory Bikari wished more than anything to forget.
“Sir,” the dragon hissed.
“Yes, Jafyr?” The blithe voice was flat and stern.
“There was a light in my desert.” Bikari felt a jolt inside of him, one that he was far too familiar with. It happened when Jafyr came out. He remembered things. These things were a far distant memory, and all he truly remembered about it was being within roaring flames and surrounded by boiling water. The next thing he knew, he was upon a shore he never recognized. And within the water he could see a demon that he always tried his best to suppress; a demon that looked a lot like himself. While most of the time he fought these memories and won, sometimes he became outwardly indifferent and apathetic towards guilt. And now, this surge was eating him from the inside out. He could feel his heart go cold, and his vision appeared as a tunnel, and he was trudging through it like a horse crossing a deep river. Sometimes he could even swear as if he felt the ground shake. Where was he? He always seemed to run away from himself. It was like he was in a dark room with bars and lost debris; a dungeon. A prison. His mind was blank and far from righteous or clean. In fact, he felt filthy.
“Oh? The prophecy, you think?” snaked Jafyr.
Prophecy. This prophecy was just a story that Runo wrote. Some kid would be born bearing the symbol of Stella Mensus. But everyone knew Segra was the ruler of life. And Segra was gone. There would be no newborns until he came back.
When they reached bottom of the steps, the dragon moved his long, green neck closer to Bikari’s ear, “Will you have us walk the whole way, sire?” the humble dragon sarcastically requested new means of transportation with a gentle whisper, his split tongue letting out a small whistle with his words. The breath of the dragon within Bikari’s pointed ears sent a chill down his spine.
Bikari’s eyes lit up to a blood thirsty red, the red pupils’ flares extended themselves one by one, until his whole eye was overtaken by crimson. His body became engulfed in a golden ball of light, one that was far from warm, and far from cold. It wasn’t comfortable, either. He shot into the sky, and his fingers grew and fused to form wide paws no smaller than Bikari’s human body. Fur grew from beneath his skin, and his nose formed a gigantic snout, and drooling canine teeth showed beneath a sneer. Cracking and expanding, his spine lengthened, and a large tail could match the length of a river any day. He was the greatest dog alive; that was for damn sure. His height was only a little shorter than a mountain. But all Bikari thought of his dog form was that he was a monster. A big, long haired furry monster that needed so much fucking food he never could have enough to eat. And, for the record, transforming from human to dog form felt much like what would happen if one was put into a taffy puller. The only difference was while being pulled, shards of glass would fill the gaps between bones and tendons. Bikari did not enjoy his dog form, nor did he enjoy the transformation. Especially since after he became this big, bad golden retriever, the power pushed him back to the ground. Why did this suck? Well. To put it simply, his form was so large that it altered landscapes wherever he went, which is why Bikari was thankful that he learned to levitate.
He took flight to the sky, Jafyr flying swiftly in front of him. They arrived in the desert at dusk, which meant Baby Diamond moon was just rising, Giant Sapphire moon was already shining its deep blue light on Raiz, and Ruby moon had yet to rise. The sand sparkled from the light of the rising Baby Diamond, and made the fine sands glisten like dancing lights. Giant Sapphire moon painted the desert blue. Had no one known better, and had they not already crossed over the plains of Disana, one would think they were still passing over Raiz’s large sea. The great dog was invisible among the stars, a power he had also learned rather quickly. See, humans hadn’t any idea that Engras actually existed. That’s the funny thing about humans. They believe in things that don’t actually exist. They build statues, temples, monuments, and even pray to the Engras as if the Engras were real, without even having seen one of them with their own eyes. Why worship an Engra anyway? If they knew what Bikari knew about the Engras, they would be running. Especially with Runo pulling strings left and right.
Bikari found himself in the middle of his desert. Bikari’s Desert had one mountain in the middle. And it was a mountain that seemed to reach farther than the stars. From the foot of it, at least. The great dog turned back to his human form. This transition was just as painful. Ever wonder what it would feel like to be that piece of paper humans crumble and throw away without a care? Yes. It felt a little something like that. His bones crushed together and everything merged like attracting magnets. Bikari looked to his shoulder at his companion dragon. The demon that was resting inside of him most certainly won. He couldn’t see the beauty of his desert, nor the color of his friend. Everything was black and white, and this happened every single time he stepped foot in this forsaken desert. He hated it there. Memories poured into him of days that he would tell everyone never existed.
“Jafyr.” Bikari spoke, still solemn, and his eyes still as red as Ruby Moon, who was just starting to make her way into the evening sky.
“Shift. The night time desert is too cool for your cold blood.” And even the dog was cold.
Obeying, the dragon closed its eyes, becoming a red ball of light. And Bikari watched as the light floated to be just in him. It took upon itself the shape of a human body, and when the red light faded to reveal a chestnut skinned man, Bikari’s heart throbbed and the blood red of Bikari’s eyes wilted back to their natural flares. Bikari welcomed the yellow hue back with a thankful sigh. Jafyr’s human form was enticing.
Bikari stared almost blankly at Jafyr’s black turban that was decorated with a large amethyst jewel in the middle. Jafyr wore this turban because companion dragons are still recognizable by their strange, two-toned hair. Beneath that turban, Bikari knew, was a golden layer beneath a mint green layer. Companion dragons were always this way. The first, lower half of their hair reflected the scales of their belly, and the top half layer reflected the scales of their body. Bikari quietly gazed at deep red human reptilian eyes that seemed humble beneath thick black eyelashes. He admired a long nose that sat perfectly in the center of an oval face, and full, plump lips that Bikari always tried his best to never notice. He hated this feeling; this feeling of admiring someone else for their physical physique. And Jafyr had quite an attractive one. His body was large and broad, with muscles that looked as if they could lift a horse by themselves. And around his thick neck was a thick collar necklace as wide as Bikari’s human hand. It was beaded with many different valuable jewels, and it sat just above the dark purple nubs on Jafyr’s chest. This huge chunk of jewelry once belonged to Bikari, but he gave it to Jafyr the day the small dragon gave his life to protect the normally bubbly blond. Gazing at the frosted ground, Bikari focused on dark ankles beneath a black skirt of silk. He knew that the silk caressed Jafyr’s legs, and he wondered what Jafyr’s human skin felt like. If it was hard, cool, and smooth like the dragon’s scales, or if it was soft like a regular human’s skin. That was a question Bikari longed to have answered, but didn’t care enough to do anything about. Bikari stood somewhat jaded as Jafyr turned. Emerald scales shined down Jafyr’s spine, from the base of his neck, to the curve of his back, and became hidden beneath the waist line of the purple sash Jafyr wore to keep the skirt on his hips. The curve of Jafyr’s back was unlike any Bikari had ever seen. So deep and statuesque. Bikari had a thing about backs; even for his own, if anyone were to touch him they would probably win him over if they scratched up his spine. He shivered and shook his head. He didn’t want to think about that.
It wasn’t that Bikari disliked his own body. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Bikari prided himself on his thin frame and masculine figure. He loved that his own abs could match Runo’s. He loved even more that he didn’t have to try as hard as Runo to keep them. He loved that men and women both stared at the valleys just above the white cotton skirt’s waist line. But the thing was… Bikari wasn’t looking to really attract anyone. He was attracted to himself. He did love himself, really. Narcissistic as they come. That was Bikari. But Jafyr’s body was bulkier, and Bikari liked that about him. Even if he had absolutely no plan of touching the man’s body, he still thought about it. His mesmerizing eyes stared at Jafyr’s stout stomach that seemed ready for anything, and it was. Bikari reflected upon all the times Jafyr had saved him from danger. The dog did have a notorious reputation, but he doubted that he would have obtained that title had it not been for Jafyr.
Nobody, however, knew of Jafyr’s importance. As a matter fact, to the rest of the world, Jafyr was as good as dead. The thought haunted Bikari, who now stared blankly at Jafyr’s strong back again. How did those green scales seduce the dog so? The amethyst jeweled belt holding up the black skirt shimmered with the light of the moons, and Bikari sighed and watched as Jafyr dug his toes into the cool sand.
Bikari took a deep breath. He was struggling to fight off the demon giving him these lewd and racing thoughts, and it only got worse when Jafyr looked at him. Those gorgeous red eyes sparkling beneath his full and vivacious lashes.
“Better, my lord?” And now Jafyr was taking the part of the masochistic slave, a part of Jafyr Bikari had once loved, but now hated.
Why? Why did this always have to happen to him? Bikari’s heart was ripping at itself, his body was heated and blood was racing through his veins like they were attempting to win some trophy Bikari did not intend to give. He was now some place between winning over his inner demons and fighting them again, so he let out a loud and frustrating whine as he yelled at Jafyr.
“When will you stop calling me that?”
Bikari knew that Jafyr was careful not to fall behind him as he began walking. ‘Protect your master from danger,’ that was the companion dragon way. What. Ever. Somehow over time companion dragons became slaves to their owners. They were always ordered to walk before their owners, or behind them. Companion dragons never flew, walked, trotted, or ran beside their masters. Bikari practiced this once upon a time, as well. But the aftereffects of this action destroyed the relationship between Jafyr and Bikari. But throughout the years Bikari learned to confide in Jafyr. And he remembered all the times that Jafyr was his shoulder to cry on. And, like a lock, the dragon never repeated a word. This memory began to warm Bikari’s heart, and he felt the racing blood slow. His lips lifted slightly. He wondered what his smile looked like. But he only smiled when he remembered… Jafyr would always be there. Jafyr was more of a friend to Bikari than a slave; he had been for a while. And the dog wondered if Jafyr knew this. He never told the dragon any of it. He mentioned nothing of his disgusting, racy thoughts nor those of his affections for the dragon. No. Never. He would never, they were thoughts that he will forever keep to himself. He began to feel like himself again, and he gazed with fanciful eyes at the dragon being so courageously stupid. Walking in front of him like he was some sort of knight in shining armor. Bikari chuckled quietly to himself, imagining the typical ‘knight saves the damsel in distress’ story. Jafyr was quite a bit shorter than him, and Bikari was already a short human as it was. The dragon’s human form was as tall as his waist. If even that. So thinking about Jafyr saving him caused him to laugh.
“AND!” Bikari shouted with a buoyant snicker to his voice. He could tell that he startled the dragon, “You could walk next to me!” Bikari demanded with a friendly tone.
Jafyr smiled, and fell back to his friend’s side, “Welcome back.”
Bikari sighed once again, “The light was directly in the middle of my desert. We should be getting--”
His sentence was cut off by his gaze to the sky. Ruby had finally made its way to the sky. All three moons were in perfect alignment, stacked in a vertical line along the horizon. It wasn’t the alignment that had Bikari in a state of shock. Alignments were more or less a normal part of the moon’s paths. Eclipses, however, were ominous and unwanted. And Runo wrote that the eclipse during a moon alignment would bring about the prodigious child. And as if the crazy alluring beam of light coming from the stars wasn’t weird, enough, Bikari watched with wide eyes as the moons were being swallowed by darkness. The eclipse left three large holes in the blanket of stars, and his desert in complete darkness. The dog closed his eyes, and he held his palms out in front of him. A gust of wind blew gently from beneath him, and he concentrated on the energy within his palms. He quietly asked Amberine and Beryl for a drop of their power, and his hands began to glow. The light swirled in the center of his hands, creating a small yet bright yellow orb that heated his palms to an almost uncomfortable temperature. When he was finally satisfied with the size of the orb, he opened his eyes. The orb rose to his shoulder and floated beside him like a large, loyal firefly. He had realized that Jafyr was ways ahead of him. Oh. There was that, too. Jafyr was a reptile. He saw in heat variances, so he was able to navigate in darkness. Lucky lizard.
“KARI!” Bikari heard Jafyr call him from the desert dunes. Kari. Only Jafyr was allowed to call him that. And if Runo ever decided to be cute, Bikari would have a lot to say.
Padded feet dashed towards the dragon. Sand splashed around him as he ran, and when he finally got to Jafyr, the dragon was kneeling with his eyes fixated on a purple light in the ground. Bikari stood beside his companion, his gaze gawking at the illumination. The light began to spin in place among the sand. The sands within the circle seemed alive, small grains jumped as if they were reaching for the sky. It was beautiful, like watching many romantic couples dancing from the sky. And Bikari looked to the sky as the moons began to show themselves again. The dragon jumped to his feet as the desert went from being black to being visible. It was some extravaganza, Bikari thought to himself. The prophecy could not be real. And if it was, Bikari most certainly wasn’t telling Runo. Aside from the fact that if this boy were to be alive, it would also mean that Bikari would have to admit to Runo being right. And that was the last thing on Bikari’s bucket list.
The sands beneath the violet light began to climb higher. Bikari blinked at the strange movements of the fine particles. They were lifting, taking on the shape of a small human boy. The dog began to back up from the shifting sands as the grounds beneath him began to gently shake. And just as quick as someone could miss lighting, the purple light vanished. A lump of sand stayed in the shape of what appeared to be a young boy with his arms and legs tucked in towards his belly. Bikari looked at Jafyr from the corner of his eye. His confusion and amazement were blatantly obvious within his eyes, and Jafyr shifted his eyes to meet Bikari’s eyes with the same confused gaze. Bikari looked back to the cluster of sand. He stuck a clawed toe out to poke its existence, and flinched back as he realized the formation was rock hard. The two friends were both in complete awe. What the hell was going on? How in the world was this possible? Bikari’s confused thoughts were interrupted as the orb floating aside his head began to rattle.
“What the…” Bikari whispered to himself.
The sands that sheltered the formation cascaded towards the ground, each absent particle revealing a new portion of fleshed skin until a naked boy was revealed from beneath the shifting sands. Eyes were peacefully sleeping beneath serene lids. Bikari ran his claws through stick straight hair that felt like powder. He admired the dark hair with golden strands, playing with them between his fingers. The boy’s skin was so pale compared to Bikari’s; ghostly, and nearly translucent. He could feel the heartbeat within a small chest, and he petted the soft skin with the back of his hand. When he got to the small fingers of the boy, the child curled them around his larger finger.
Bikari tilted his head, “Jafyr?” he asked. And he could feel it again. The burning rage from beneath his heart was roaring.
“…do we even know which temple the last being to emerge from Raiz belonged to?”
Birth paths defined what temple a child belonged to in terms of the beings born from Raiz. It alternated beings between Sen and Segra. Should the last being had been born to Sen, it would mean this young child would belong to Segra temple. But Areodatus and Deìuco crossed Bikari’s mind: the two feathered winged angels that were born the exact moment Segra disappeared. Areodatus, the white winged angel now belonged to Segra temple; and Deìuco, the black winged angel belonged to Sen temple. Bikari couldn’t remember which one was born last.
“No. Come to think of it, since Segra has been gone, I don’t believe any new beings have been born from Raiz.”
Bikari hummed in confusion. He’d known that Segra’s absence would cause a deficit of beings on Raiz. But if Segra was not around to give life, how, he wondered, was this boy given life?
“Kari.” Jafyr stated calmly.
Bikari did not lift his gaze from the boy. He was becoming possessed again, “What?”
Bikari felt Jafyr nudging him, and he turned to find Jafyr pointing to the yellow light Bikari had created by his shoulder. It was spinning, vibrating with vigor. The small orb began to take on a larger size, and Bikari, the King of the Two Suns felt that his babies were waking. But it was the middle of the night, and the sisters should have been sleeping peacefully. But he squinted towards their resting place behind the mountain, and he noticed them flickering in the night sky. The orange and yellow flashes shot beams of light, piercing Raiz’s atmosphere to give more life to the growing orb. The orb spit light to the young boy’s forehead, and Bikari and Jafyr lifted their arms to their brows, protecting their eyes from the blinding light. Peaking from beneath his arm, Bikari noticed the orb growing even larger, and change from yellow to blue. The grounds were shaking violently, and Bikari new that he no longer had control of his miniature sun. The larger this orb grew, the bigger the explosion would be once it died. And without warning, the rays dispersed. Bikari’s eyes grew as he quickly transformed into his dog form. He grabbed Jafyr within his jaws and the pair took cover behind the colossal mountain.
The explosion was silent, but left a large crater by the young boys sleeping place. The mountain did just as Bikari expected it to. The pair was safe from harm, though Bikari wondered about the well-being of the boy. Out of breath and lethargic, Bikari shifted back to his human form. He dragged his feet along as he peered from behind the mountain, making sure the chaos had passed. Once he learned it was safe to trespass back onto the shimmering sands, the dog jumped to the ground. Jafyr followed not too far behind him.
“You really need to learn to control your suns better.” Jafyr joked; a joke that Bikari hardly appreciated at the current moment.
Bikari moved cautiously towards the newborn. The three moons were now peacefully shining in the sky, and the twins were sleeping serenely as they were meant to. The boy was completely unharmed. Tiny lips gently sucked on a tiny thumb, and Bikari, almost lovingly, tucked the young being’s dark hair behind its ears, admiring the pointed tips, “he’s an elf.” The dog stated bluntly.
So it was true. Here Bikari was, standing in front of a boy that he did not think was going to exist. And the boy was fascinating. He had a striking resemblance to himself, and so tiny and fragile. If Runo found out about this, this child was dead. Bikari vowed to protect him, but he wanted to make sure that this was the notorious ‘child of prophecy.’ His claws pushed the boy’s bangs back. Sure enough, the light from the orb still swam in the burn it created on the young one’s forehead. The burn graced itself in curves and lines that created the ancient symbol Bikari knew all too well. The demon was there, whispering to Bikari about how much power he could obtain by adopting this child. Keeping this child. Possessing this child. This child was to be his and his alone. His eyes began to flare to red again as he admired the ancient symbol on brand new flesh: The symbol of the forgotten temple of Stella Mensus. Yes. Eclipse was now Bikari’s son.
“Now that I think about it…” Jafyr observed, interrupting Bikari’s thoughts, “…isn’t this the part of your desert where Stella Mensus temple is?”
Yes. The three of them were standing on the ruins of a temple long destroyed. Bikari’s eyes gleamed in possession at the sight of the symbol. They lit up as the light within the burn of the symbol faded. He stared in awe at the young boy, bringing the small and cool face within his hand. He was simply beautiful; a blessing. And this time, Stella Mensus was going to be done right. Yes. He will be powerful. Accepted. Loved. Adored. Not like the last Stella Mensus, the brat that had destroyed Bikari’s beloved desert that held the temple. The disgusting and tainted beast that burned living civilians alive, not giving a damn as it smelled the burning skin of its victims. Bikari’s skin was crawling with delight as he thought of this boy becoming the almighty Stella Mensus, the King of Raiz. And the power and the violence were beating in Bikari’s heart and brain. He felt it engulf him, and his suddenly power hungry self could only answer Jafyr with two words…