Part 3 - Riding the Tides of the Winds
Night was hanging over the travelers’ heads, weighing down the human half with its songs of rest and peaceful sleep.
"May I ask something?"
Duo looked over towards Trowa, tiredness ringing his eyes with a crimson shadow, "Ask away."
Deep in thought his green eyes scrunched together as if he was to ask the meaning of life, "Why did you name me Trowa?"
Nearly falling off his horse the violet eyed man laughed simply. "You made it sound like something of dire need." A ringing laugher escaped his through and touched the soft wisps of wind. "You remind me of someone I grew up with, he was a real prick on the outside- like you."
Not taking the answer gratefully, Trowa sped up on his current and took lead. "I am not what you think I am."
"Yeah," tugging back on the reins a bit, "you hide things inside and close off- act like people to expect you to be, and annoy those who are around you. Am I close?"
Duo stopped his mount and watched closely towards the floating figure in front of him, the swaying green fabrics haloed around his still figure.
"A bit too close." Holding his chest a bit, "our first master was harsh and cruel. The Heart god was destroyed because the evil of our master’s heart was too much to bear. To survive with the master we turned cold and embittered and either treat those with cold silence or kill them."
"I’m sorry." Jumping down, Duo walked next to the tall figure of Viento and touched the top of his knee, which floated at eye level. "If it helps any, I wish to set you all free to your own disposal when I save the Queen."
Trowa looked down with a soft bit of amusement in his face and then let his feet touch the ground. "We can never be free. When our master dies we go back to our spots on earth and enclosed there till the next adventurer. We are called gods, but you humans are more gods then we could ever be. To live, to die, to love-" His eyes shimmered softly. "I envy you."
His head went down only to be caught by agile fingers under his chin. Trowa looked surprise at the simple touch only to be silenced by the soft embrace and warm beat under his cloak. "Ma…ster?"
"I don’t know how long…but everyone needs to feel loved once and awhile. And the name’s Duo. Not anyone’s master." He looked up with soft cheerful eyes that melted away the Wind god’s coldness.
‘Can he really be?’ The warm beating and soft glow confused him as it gently melded with his green aura.
Letting go Duo looked up at the dark sky filled with speckled lights. "I guess we need to camp for the night, going to take a lot of my plans and we haven’t even crossed the mountains yet." He sat down with a groan; saddle soreness climbed up his legs to his back and throbbed around his feet.
Trowa crossed his arms and leaned against a large tree, "You could fly you know, not that hard to do."
"I could what?" A twist of confusion masked his face.
"Fly, you know, ride the currents of the wind- it is an acquired skill of the Wind keeper."
"Wind keeper?" Duo slumped against the tree and rubbed his right shoulder against the thick bark. "Wind keeper." His eyes went heavy as he fell into a soft slumber.
Trowa’s watchful eyes gazed on through the night till he felt the soft sweet wind sing him to sleep at his master’s side.
Morning came more harshly then the night, moving her fingers across the clouds and letting tendrils of light seep through heavily clinched eyelids.
"Wake Duo, we must journey so we can find Huo."
A small groan of protest found its way to the surface as Duo slowly stood up. "Damnable horse." He rubbed his backside as he lifted the reins off a nearby branch. "Come on horse, let’s find you someplace to hurt some else’s backside." Tugging slightly at the leather straps he gave Trowa a cheerful look. "Can’t leave the horse here right? It would be cruel."
They took to the old dusty trail leading into the next town. Being weary of the villagers who stared at Trowa with frightened eyes, they paced themselves slowly to not show any hostility.
Elbowing his companion, "what is wrong with them? You are not floating on the air and they still look at you like you are going to hurt them."
"They know who I am. As I told you before, my last master was very cruel and used us to pillage small hamlets as these. It is natural to show fear to one who killed their ancestors."
Dropping his eye level slightly, the longhaired traveler kept his pace as the tide of merchants hid behind the stocks of foods and goods. Children looked up with new eyes only to have a parent grab them and hide the tiny face of wonderment.
"How awful to live in fear." Looking back at the green-eyed companion he saw him stopped and looking at a little girl who held up a small yellow rose.
"Gracias." He gave a small sniff and smiled gently. Duo strode over with the reins in hand to see the simple gift blooming Trowa’s heart. The horse let its head go down and nuzzle the youth’s small neck causing her to giggle wildly. Kneeling down, he handed in the soft chubby hands the thick leather strap and stood up as he watched her confused face.
"Gracias senior." She petted it softly and grabbed a handful of weeds and lifted it towards the animal’s mouth and laughed as its lips grazed her palm. Other children gathered round her and petted he large creature as the parents watched the retreating backs of the strangers slowly disappearing through the trees.
Walking towards an open pathway, the sounds of the children laughing and playing with the horse died down the further the pair walked.
"That was kind of you to give the child the horse."
Duo looked over at the taller man with the small rose tucked away in a cloth crease. "Well, it was no equal to what she gave to you. Besides, it would have been bad for my conscious to get money for a horse that was given to me." Shrugging his shoulders and continuing on with his pack lightly thumping on his back, "Oh, may I ask when you are going to teach me that flying- trick?"
"What is to learn? You listen and feel the air and tag it."
"Tag?" He stopped and turned towards Trowa.
"Watch." Trowa held out his hand and let the soft green aura take over his body. The soft tails of wind whipped furiously, flapping his loose clothing around till it calmed, lifting him the process. "See now, not too hard is it?"
Rubbing his hands together, Duo concentrated on the air tides around him and picked one that flapped in front of his face, lapping his nose like a small dog. Gently he touched the feather like air strand only to have it grab his torso and drop him none to gently on the underlying current.
Laughing loudly, the green-eyed wind god nearly fell of his perch as he watched the longhaired man struggle to control the shifting balance of winds. "You must let go of one of them!"
"I didn’t even know I had two!" Hanging upside down with his left foot raised on a weaving thread of air he struggled to figure out where the winds held him and how to get back upright.
After an hour of practice, Duo for one was sick of the transportation but kept in mind it was far better then the horse. He looked out along the thick green covered earth with trees spiking the horizon with dots of colors and heavy lines. Crawling along his right side was a thick sash of blue, brilliant and softly kissing the pale sandy shores.
"Stop…the sea." His voice was soft and childlike.
Floating up next to him, Trowa looked in amusement. "Aye, the sea. Yet another element to control."
Hair disarrayed flapping in the wind like a wild animal, his eyes softened to a pale inner burning light. "All my life I have been moved around, from Ireland, Scotland, England further and so on, the lands and sky always changed; different every time I looked. But the water and the seas were always the same, my home and comfort." Duo looked up to Trowa with a bit of a flushed face, "Like I was meant to always be with the sea." He began to float on further towards the destination as the Wind god fell back in thought.
‘There is no mistaking it, he is the one.’