Chapter 3 - Problems with Prophetic Words
"Bloody Darkness, Noin, why are the stars so damned confusing? Why can't they just TELL us where these blasted warriors are?"
Sally was really losing her composure. After nearly a month of traversing the continents looking for these prophesized warriors, she was near her wit's end. Noin didn't blame her. She was ready to give up also.
"All right, Sally, tell me what the stars said again about the first warrior. Maybe we missed something."
Snorting indelicately, Sally pulled out a piece of paper from her voluminous sleeve. Her white robe had no stains on it, despite the constant travel the pair had gone through. It was a true testament to her meticulous nature. Unfolding the paper, Sally repeated what she had said about a thousand times in the last month.
"Warrior Mage of the Air comes in the night. The Warrior is a wall of silence. The Mage is a seeker of peace. The Warrior Mage is the Air Slicer."
A brief silence followed Sally's recital. Then Sally crumpled the piece of paper in her hand and hurled it onto the ground.
"The bloody thing doesn't tell us anything about where to find this warrior! Couldn't the stars say 'go to Charliane and turn left after the main intersection' or something? Darkness be damned, we are never going to find this guy!"
Sighing, Noin picked up the paper from the ground. It was their mission to find the five warriors, but they hadn't even found one. And the Light sure wasn't going to wait around for them to get their act together.
"Calm down, Sally. We'll get some dinner at the next village and then think some more, okay?"
Having nothing to say, Sally trudged along side Noin, grumbling the whole way to the village. Sighing once more, Noin quickened her steps. Only if Sally hadn't objected to horses..
When the village came into view, Noin let out a quiet breath. Finally, they would eat and rest before running off again. Sometimes, it all seemed so futile.
Noin ate heartily while Sally poked at her stew. It wasn't the tastiest fare they had encountered, but it was warm and fresh. It was better than the field rations they had to eat when there were no villages nearby. Several people in the inn's common room gave them gloomy stares, noting their white robes and the mark of the Dreamers on their right hands. Noin had suggested to Sally that they cover up their star tattoos but had been met with vigorous opposition. Sally was proud to be a Star Dreamer, even if the rest of the continent did not like them. Trying to ignore the hostile stares directed at them, Noin spooned her stew faster. She did not like these people's eyes.
"So, what are you two doing here in these parts? Got tired of looking up at the sky?"
Noin looked up at the man who was standing by their table. When had he gotten there? Sally pointedly sniffed and went back to poking at her stew. Sally did not deal well with idiots. Noin, however, was slightly more diplomatic. Sometimes, politeness got you farther in life than outright hostility.
"We are just traveling, good sir."
The man showed his ugly yellowed teeth at that. His sneer was disgusting and Noin's fingers itched to smack it off his pig face. The man obviously did not notice Noin's disgust or Sally's growing anger. He adjusted the broadsword at his hip situated just beneath his massive gut and leered at them. Noin could see Sally's eyelid twitch in extreme annoyance. If this situation did not end soon, she would be dealing with a very dangerous Sally. Noin was about to tell the man to leave them alone when a nasal voice broke into the tension.
"Leave them alone, Alec. You're being an ass."
Noin looked over to the young man who had spoken to this unfortunate excuse for a human being. He seemed to be a fifteen year old boy with messy brown hair and blazing cobalt blue eyes. However, he carried himself with such confidence and maturity that he seemed older than his actual age. He was rather impressive, even if he was dressed in a faded green shirt that had seen better days and a pair of black pants which could have used a wash.
"Damn it Heero, you are no fun. I was just leaving anyway."
Grumbling, the pig man excused himself and went away to sit by the fire. The other occupants of the dining hall suddenly looked away, trying to look everywhere but at the young man who now stood before her.
"Thank you, Heero. Heero was your name, correct?" Noin was in a bit of shock so her question came out in a slightly squeaky voice. Why were these people afraid of this boy?
"No problem. Just ignore the oafs. They won't bother you anymore."
He turned to leave when one of the spectators yelled out something that made Noin and Sally lunge for the boy.
"Yeah," said a coarse voice, "that's Heero. Damned peace seeker."
Heero eyed the two women curiously but warily. They had practically dragged him into their room from the common room after the incident with Alec. There had been a few catcalls and blatantly suggestive comments as he allowed himself to be dragged by these weird females. Now, they were staring at him. It was very unusual.
"What do you want? If you want sexual favors, I'm not the guy."
Noin nearly got up and slapped the boy. From Sally's expression, she was just barely restraining herself from doing the same.
"Heero. Didn't your mother teach you to be polite?" All Noin received as a response was a low grunt that sounded suspiciously like 'hn.' Ignoring his rude behavior, she continued.
"We are Star Dreamers, sent out by the Oracle to find the Elemental Warrior Mages. We believe that you are the Warrior Mage of Air, Air Slicer."
Noin and Sally looked at Heero expectantly, waiting for a reaction. They got nothing.
Heero, who had his stoic mask on, was actually laughing in his mind. These crazy women, they thought he was a what?
"Well, don't you have anything to say?"
Sally's annoyed voice made Heero tilt his head in confusion. What did they want from him?
"Excuse me," began Heero, "but what is a Warrior Mage of Air?"
Noin and Sally simultaneously buried their heads into their hands. By Darkness, this boy did not even know what a Warrior Mage was. This was going to be difficult. Sally decided that she would talk since Noin looked like she had had enough for the day.
"Do you know about the prophecy of the Light?"
Heero inclined his head in mute comprehension. Only a complete moron would not know about that prophecy. Sally continued with her questions.
"Then you must know that the Darkness has Children of Prophecy to fight the Light, don't you?"
Again, silent acquiescence followed. Controlling her growing temper at this silent boy, Sally plowed ahead.
"Well, the Children of Prophecy for the Darkness are called Warrior Mages. There are five, according to the elements. Air, Water, Earth, Spirit and Fire. You are the Air Mage. You are one of the chosen Children."
Heero said nothing, made no movements. Then he asked a question when he saw that the women were getting extremely annoyed.
"How do you know I'm this.. Warrior Mage?"
Rolling her eyes, Sally answered, keeping her voice mellow and steady.
"Because the stars said so. They said the Air Slicer would be a wall of silence. And let me tell you, Heero, you are a damned wall. Second, the Air Slicer would come to us at night, and you did. Finally, the Air Slicer is the seeker of peace. Since the people down there think you are, who am I to argue? You fit the bill. You are definitely the Warrior Mage of Air."
Heero mused over this new revelation and asked yet another question that made Sally bristle in annoyance. "What am I supposed to do then?"
Heero watched in amazement as the woman named Sally with the twin braids began turning interesting shades of red. He had never known anyone who could become that red without passing out, but here she was, getting redder and redder as time passed. Then she exploded.
"YOU DO WHAT WE TELL YOU!!!!! Darkness, we spend all this time looking for you and all you do is aggravate me! I swear, if you weren't a chosen Child, I would pull out your liver through your nose!"
Heero sat back in his seat, absolutely stunned at the ferocity of Sally's temper. Noin, who knew about Sally's temper, tried to calm her down by patting her on the back. Sally would have none of it.
"Stupid, stupid boy! Star Dreamers tell you that you are the Warrior Mage to stand against the Light, the first, last and the only defense against the Light, and you have the nerve to question us?"
Finally, Sally ran out of steam and breath. She slumped in her seat and started mumbling into her robes. It was a fairly pathetic sight and Heero actually felt guilty even though he didn't think he had done anything wrong.
"Okay, Sally. I am the Air Slicer. I don't know what that is, exactly, but I guess I am. Breathe, for Darkness sakes."
Noin looked at Heero who was smiling apologetically at the two of them. He was trying to alleviate the situation the best he could. He truly was a peace seeker.
"Do you accept that you're the Warrior Mage of Air, then?"
Heero nodded at Noin's question, hoping that his response would calm Sally down. Noin responded immediately.
"Fine, then, Heero. You are coming back to the Dreamer's Dome with us."
Heero opened his mouth to say that he would do no such thing when Sally looked up and gave him a glare that literally frightened him. He just could not win against these crazy Dreamers.
"Lead the way. I'll go."
His surly concession was accepted. Noin packed her bags while Sally regained her color. The next morning, three began their walk towards the far off Dreamer's Dome.