Chapter Seventeen: A Comforting GriffinThis is a featured page

Everyone in the hotel room were tense and roaring with extreme anger. Cailehis was turning tables’ up-side down trying to find Ashaedia in his uncontrollable anger. Maylor and Mydia flew about the hotel looking for a trace of Ashaedia’s scent. Firoh had demanded that a battalion of Light Elf knights search for Ashaedia around the city. When they came back with gaunt faces and a report that Ashaedia was nowhere in the city, Firoh was enraged. Nalia turned into a wolf and tried to sniff out Ashaedia’s scent with Mydia and Maylor. She ventured into the grove that Ashaedia had wondered through the previous night and, with her nose low to the ground, found the silver and blue scale. Nalia sniffed curiously at it, and picked it up in her jaws. She trotted back to the hotel room.
“You guys, look what I’ve found.” Nalia said, turning back into a human. Malikinth picked up the scale off the ground where Nalia had put it and examined it.
“It appears to be a dragon scale.” Malikinth said. He handed it to Ashnero.
“Indeed, it is a dragon scale.” Ashnero said. He took off his left gauntlet and rubbed his bare thumb on the smooth surface and closed his eyes. After rubbing the scale’s surface for five minutes, he opened his eyes.
“Well? Any luck?” Tivarion said.
“This scale belongs to an unknown owner. I cannot find a trace of this owner’s presence here on Tellios. If I did, then the owner would be very far away by now.” Ashnero said, looking back down at the shining scale. He pulled on his gauntlet and sighed.
“What are we going to do now? We’ve lost Ashaedia!” Amidia cried. “And where’s Marikai?”
“He went on a walk around the city to try to shrug off his sorrow. This unfortunate event has taken a mighty blow upon him.” Sethos said.
“Oh, okay,” Amidia said, looking out the window. “But he shouldn’t be out walking by himself.”
“I know, but this is the time for him to be alone at the moment. Marikai mourned more than any of us of Ashaedia’s disappearance and he wants to be left alone.” Malikinth said.

Out on the quiet white streets of Mayu, Marikai walked alone with his hands in his pockets. He was shedding silent tears. The sky above him seemed to also react to Ashaedia’s disappearance as well. The gloomy dark grey clouds overhead would sometimes let off a small amount of rain and then stop again. Crows cawed ominously while perched atop large buildings; their echoing cries filled the city with sorrow. Now Marikai came upon an empty park. The white and gold benches were vacant and only occupied by a sparrow that had rested on it. Marikai approached a bench and sat on it. He stared up at the grey skies and spotted a very large golden-brown feathered eagle. Marikai squinted at the enormous bird and saw that its hindquarters were that of a golden-brown lion’s back legs and tail. The strange bird stopped in midair and looked down at him. And then flew towards him. It seemed to be soaring towards him! Marikai didn’t know what to do, so he jumped off the bench and ran for it. The eagle-lion followed him. Marikai weaved through a grove of tall sapphire trees. The beast came for a landing and bounded after him.
“No, please, child! Do not run from me! I am only here to accompany you!” Marikai heard the beast chasing after him shout. It can talk? Marikai stopped running and turned around. In all of his fright, he never noticed that the beast that chased and spoke to him was a large griffin.
“You can speak? How is that so?” Marikai asked the griffin. It was walking slowing towards him.
“Ever since I was raised by my master, I stayed very close to him. I would learn from his language and I soon learned how to speak to humans. It’s not so different speaking to an elf, correct?” The griffin asked.
“No, humans and elves have the same language.” Marikai said, eyeing the griffin cautiously.
“Good. Now, I’ve heard that your friend has gone missing. Do you mind if I lay next to you?” The griffin asked. Marikai shook his head and the griffin sat down beside him. Marikai sat down also.
“My name is Deathclaw. A frightening name, yes, but I am only frightening in battle when I soar through the air with my great master on my back slashing away at his enemies,” Deathclaw said, scratching at the grass. “And may I ask for your name?”
“I am Prince Marikai. I am a Shadow Elven Prince.” Marikai said.
“Ah, yes, I knew there was some royal air about you when I saw the symbol on your cape. You are from Aelia correct?” Deathclaw asked.
“Yes. My grandfather was Aenarion the Great.” Marikai said.
“Oh yes, that great elf. I’ve read about him, a brave elf. I am so sorry that he is not here today.” Deathclaw said.
“It’s okay, but anyway; we were talking about Ashaedia, right?” Marikai asked.
“Ashaedia? You mean the one that’s missing? Yes, yes, of course. What happened to her?” Deathclaw asked.
“We’re not sure. She was safely asleep in her bed last night but when we woke up this morning she wasn’t there. We looked all over the place, but we couldn’t find her.” Marikai said, crossing his arms. Deathclaw looked up at the swaying trees.
“Hmm . . . well, you haven’t looked everywhere yet. She could’ve been smuggled off to another nation or to a smaller world that’s connected to Tellios.” Deathclaw said, his brown eyes staring off into space.
“There are smaller worlds connected to Tellios?” Marikai asked.
“Of course there is! There’s a small world called Griffinclaw that’s made solely for griffins. Another is Drutla that’s made for satyrs and centaurs. Other worlds are made by a specific creature that has the power to create a world. There was one world called Phoenixheart, but that world is long gone now.”
“What happened to Phoenixheart?” Marikai asked again.
“Phoenixheart was destroyed by the residents of a sinister world called Darkfist. Darkfist was the home of a race of beings called the Xerain. The Xerain hated all powerful creatures, so they destroyed Phoenixheart because they knew that one day the phoenixes will rise into Tellios. They wanted to be the strongest of all creatures on Tellios. So the Xerain’s leader, Xryx, led a dark army to Phoenixheart and wiped out the phoenixes. The phoenixes were the second strongest of the creatures. The strongest was the dragons. Xryx was delighted to see the last of the phoenixes fall silently to the ground, bloody and lifeless, but little did he know that one phoenix escaped. That phoenix was a female and was the companion of the greatest phoenix to ever live. Her name was Fira, and her mate was Blazrux. Fira came to Tellios and gave birth to a baby phoenix boy. No one knew his name, but a legend tells that Fira’s child was able to transform into a human with pointed ears. An elf, the story says, and that elf found a lovely suitor and his wife had children also. A girl and a boy. The boy grew into a handsome Elven man and created many Elven kingdoms including Sapherial. He then called himself the Phoenix King, and to this day true Elven kings desire the Phoenix King role.” Deathclaw finished his tale, and looked over at Marikai. Marikai had his mouth slightly open.
“Did you enjoy my story?” Deathclaw asked. Marikai nodded.
“It was very interesting. Oh, and I have just recently learned of the Xerain. In another world called the Modern World, the Xerain had possessed that world’s greatest general and he’s trying to destroy Tellios. I think the general is possessed by Xryx.” Marikai guessed. Deathclaw looked up at the gloomy sky. He was very silent for a while, and then Deathclaw stood up.
“Pardon me, Prince Marikai, but my master is summoning me. But I will return one day. Prince Marikai, I expect great things from you, and I will ask you to do yourself a favor.” Deathclaw said, flexing his large wings.
“Sure, what’s the favor Deathclaw?” Marikai asked.
“Go to the Phoenix Temple here in Sapherial. It’s not too far, just travel to the north side of the city and venture into the Blueblight Forest. Keep going north until you find a large temple surrounded by the only orange and red maple trees in the whole forest and that’s guarded by two giant ruby phoenixes. There you will go into the temple and find three guardians. The first is a powerful hydra; the second is an unbeatable chimera, and the third is a Naga warrior.” Deathclaw said, getting ready to take flight. He was about to take to the skies when Marikai stopped him.
“Wait! What’s a Naga?” Marikai asked the griffin. Deathclaw floated there in mid air staring at him.
“The Naga is a type of serpentine people who are half snake and half human. Their upper torso is that of a human while their lower body is that of a snake. The guardians won’t harm you because you are a member of one of the three Elven races. The guardians respect elves, but not any other race and will be suspicious if a human wondered into the sacred temple. But the Naga is a very powerful and deadly species. They will stop at nothing to protect sacred items of power and will punish thieves by poisoning them with their poison-tipped spears, swords, axes, and arrows. The Naga are also able to inject venom into their enemies by biting them with their fangs. Tread lightly, Prince Marikai, for you are about to venture into a temple that houses the Phoenix Staff and the guardians will not look upon you with kind eyes if you touch the sacred staff.” Deathclaw said.
“Should I inform the others?” Marikai asked.
“No, King Firoh will never allow you to enter the Phoenix Temple, let alone go near it. You see, Firoh was repelled when he tried to touch the Phoenix Staff on his coronation day. The Phoenix Staff rejected him, and many Light Elves say that the staff’s ancient power needs to get used to its new holder. Also when he was getting marked with the Brand of Blazrux, the Brand did not appear on his skin. Shadow Elves have been spreading shocking rumors that Firoh isn’t the true Phoenix King. Stay hidden at the Phoenix Temple and rest in Fira’s Library, there you will learn of your destiny.”
Marikai looked away from the wise griffin. He thought that Firoh is the Phoenix King, but he also believed in Deathclaw’s words. Who should he believe? Firoh or Deathclaw?
“Okay, I’ll go, but how would I learn of my destiny in –” Marikai said, but stopped when he saw the empty space above him.
Deathclaw had flown away without making a sound.

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