Five years.

I've been wandering around Lore for five years, surveying and guarding the world I created with my untimely death. I've grown from a homebody whelp who couldn't even look at the sun, to a somewhat decent Hero. It's been hard work, with trials and tribulations aplenty with every step I take, but I don't think I could ever regret surrendering my life to that Dragonslayer. Not after everything I've been through to get this far.

If anything, I celebrate this new creation. For once in my eternal lifetime, I became part of something bigger. Something grand, if you will. Not just as an observer anymore, but also as a catalyst for things to come. It's quite exciting, actually, to see history unfold before your very eyes, shaping it with your own hands. No wonder our creations have a love for their fantastical tales of old.

Speaking of, mortals are strange beings. Which is ironic for me to say, considering I AM one at the moment. They are fickle and ever-changing, but somehow, they remain the same as ever. Unpredictably predictable. They live their life according to my design, aware of the currents of time and setting their entire being around it. It was amusing, to say the least, when people put emphasis on their arbitrary schedule, when I know for a fact that time does not give a damn about them at all. It just is, cruel as it may be. We dragons aren't known for coddling our creations with miracles and such. It keeps everything in order.

But I digress. Even for a being as old as myself, I can say for certain that this world has taught me more than I can ever give it credit for. Learning how to love, hate, anguish, and rejoice in such a short time can give a god some new perspectives in life, which is a feat all on itself. Like teaching an old dog new tricks, as they say. It was exhilarating as it was terrifying, and I felt the need to return the favor in kind.

So with what remains of my former abilities (which is, unironically, future vision) and a blade crafted by an old friend of mine, I ventured into the unknown and became the Hero that I am now. Albeit a nameless one, but I'm still a hero in the people's eyes.

Of course, my path in this world was all planned in destiny. I knew what I had to become right from the beginning of my birth. I knew that the world would fall into disarray once the tides of war between Good and Evil has shifted into climax, and I knew that I had to fight for the sake of my new home. Violence is the near constant in this world, it would seem.

What I cannot see, however, is 'why' I have to fight. Strange, isn't it? Never once in my entire life on this realm did I ever ally myself to a singular side. Whether it be Good or Evil, they both have the same value in my eyes and to the universe. So I wonder if this meant that I would be fighting for a senseless cause, or if there is something out there more powerful than the whims of time and fate that will make my involvement unavoidable.

Now that is a thought I do not wish to entertain in the future.

Whatever it is, it would not matter soon. Tomorrow would mark the beginning of the end of this ongoing war. Sepulchure would die, and Alteon would succumb to his wounds in a few years. Their daughters would take their place, and the cycle continues. It is as fate intends, and my visions haven't failed me yet.

Still, I cannot shake the feeling that something terrible is afoot. My visions have been rather weird these past few weeks. I've noticed inconsistencies in the time frames in between scenes, and some don't even logically align with each other! They're subtle, yes, but it's still jarring to see. It's almost like they're getting 'blocked off', in a sense. . .

My future-vision may be strong, but I know my gut feeling is stronger. I have every reason to worry about this predicament. And if THAT wasn't strange enough, I started feeling uneasy around the color purple of all things—

"Hero?" I paused from my writings and glanced back up to the inn counter to the curious face of Yulgar. The kindly innkeeper unabashedly stared down on the pages of my journal with a puzzled frown, before his eyes widened in what I could assume is wonder.

"I didn't know you speak another language! Those are some of the most elegant texts I've ever seen!" He exclaimed in awe, and I could see him admiring the swirls and and complicated figures of my handwriting. I grinned back at him in barely concealed amusement.

"Ancient Draconian scriptures. I learned it from a long lost tribe during my travels up north." I replied coolly, passing off professionalism despite knowing full-well that my handwriting is disgraceful in godly standards. Of course, I couldn't tell him that it was the language used by us gods, that would just be plain silly. I foresee him getting confused and spreading rumors that I was getting delusional.

Thankfully, he didn't seem to notice my bluff as he hummed appreciatively.

"Wow, that's very impressive! You'll have to tell us that story at some point." He said as he picked up a stray tankard from the counter and putting it aside to clean.

"But it's getting late, Hero. If I were you, you should probably get some sleep soon." He emphasized his point by gesturing around the room, which was nearly devoid of any patrons except for the regular drunkards in the area. With great timing, I involuntarily let out a loud yawn.

"Yeah, you're right. Thanks for reminding me, Yulgar." With one last smile at the innkeeper, I stood up from my stool and grabbed my trusty journal and quills, setting them under my armpit securely. I pushed the stool back under the counter and grabbed my gold bag to place some gold coins on the counter for Serenity and Hans,

"I'll be leaving early tomorrow, so don't expect me to stay for breakfast. Have a good night, and tell Serenity that her bacon and eggs are still the best!" At that comment, Yulgar let out a hearty laugh.

With a final, friendly wave, I walked up to the second floor of the inn and into the room I rented for the night. It's a quaint little room, with a single bed by the window, a small bedside table with a lamp on top, a somewhat unused closet placed on the wooden wall, and a carpeted floor that has seen better days. At the foot of the bed in a neat little pile sat the rest of my gear. There is my rustic armored coat made out of scavenged parts framed specially with whalebone, my vambraces that I use as inefficient shields, and my knapsack.

My trusty blade, however, is always attached to my back with leather strips for easy unsheathing. Even now, I could feel it thrum with magic that is sealed in the red crystal at its hilt. That energy combined with its general weight pressing down on my back gives me a comforting presence. It's almost like having a companion on my journey.

That sounds almost sad, actually.

After shutting the door behind me, I kicked off my boots and sat down on the edge of the bed. The lamp by the bedside is still bright enough for me to see what I am writing, so I opened up my journal once more and continued where I left off.

—I know this all seems too ludicrous to be considered sane. Maybe all this traveling and battles have rendered me slightly mentally unhinged, but I know deep down that it's something I should consider listening to at some point.

But not now. My visions haven't shown me anything out of the ordinary yet. It's all just standard procedure so far, so I'll hold off on my decision to take more precautionary actions in the meantime. Besides, I have a war to attend to tomorrow, and I do not wish to hinder my mind with these lines of thoughts.

I hope the tides of fate will be in our favor when that time comes.

Yours Truly,

Ezyra

As I signed my newest journal entry, I felt my eyelids grow heavy by the second, and my mind muddled with the need for sleep. With one last yawn, I placed my journal on the bedside table. But just as I extinguished the lamp fire, my arm brushed against the journal and swept it off the surface, making me curse under my breath as I sat up to pick it up from the ground.

But as I did, a piece of tattered paper fell from the leather covers. Despite my confusion, I opted to grab it gently and hold it up to my face and against the moonlight. Upon closer inspection, I realized to my surprise that it was a burnt photograph of some sort. As I finally processed what I was seeing, my face slowly morphed into a frown.

"Ah, I forgot you were in here. . ."

I mumbled, my surprise turning into bitter nostalgia, as I gazed longingly at the faded visage of my younger self. In this picture, past me had neatly braided brown hair cascading past my shoulders, pale olive skin from being indoors and frail for almost my entire life, wearing that Devs-forsaken black blindfold that was meant to protect my blue eyes from natural light. And lastly, a light gray tunic dress reminiscent of the one I'm wearing now. I chuckled as I remembered the days where even the dimmest of lights would send me puking up a storm in our bathroom because of the extreme headache it gave me. Even now, it's hard to believe I actually spent half my life blind and sickly.

Gods, I was so weak back then. Compared to now, I can't even recognize myself.

Beside me were two other tall figures, but much to my disappointment, their faces were both scratched off. The only one who even had a chance of showing distinguishable features simply had his head burnt off along with the photograph's corners. But despite the lack of facial recognition, I can remember from a time long gone the ghost of fingers combing soothingly through my hair, the soft treble of two distinct voices cooing and shushing me back to sleep whenever I had nightmares, and of course, the singing.

Sweet, melodic, and oh so sad, I never knew why my siblings held such deep melancholy whenever they would sing me a lullaby. It was always in different language, each night held new symphonies and dialects. Some were soft, lilting, reminiscent of a fae's wings, and some were sharp and guttural, like the purr of a mother tiger to her cubs. But no matter what language they use to sing with, it always held so much raw, unfiltered sadness.

I may never know their faces, but at least I still have their songs. . .

A stabbing feeling of guilt shot itself into me as the memories seeped into my mind one by one. Memories of a childhood long gone, spent in perpetual darkness. Memories of cold, lonely nights spent praying for familial warmth I've been deprived from for months, maybe even years. But at the end of the day, once that time has muddled over and their voices come back home, the happiness is present in the laughter of a completed family.

But now they're gone. Gone with the years that seem to pass me by like a summer breeze. Gone like the promise of peace and happiness of childhood naivety;

Gone with the house that burnt down with them.

Gritting my teeth, I folded the photograph and roughly shoved it back into the hidden compartment of my journal. All the while, trying my hardest not to care about damaging the last piece of my connection to the only ones I could ever possibly call close to family.

They're mortal, Ezyra. You're not.

I heeded no mind to the burning sensation on my face, nor the tears that started dropping and staining the linen bed sheets.

They were meant to die from the beginning. They served their time protecting this world, but now it's your turn.

Rubbing my face roughly, I bit back the noises that are slowly crawling up to my throat. Even when I felt like I'm drowning, I forcefully stomped down any and all remaining tears that are threatening to leak out from the corners of my eyes.

You have no time to be dwelling on the inevitable. You're in charge of this world, whether you like it or not, and that means making sacrifices on behalf of the entire world.

You're a hero now.

Act like one.

And in the total darkness, I laid down and buried my tear-soaked face into the pillow, muffling my own cries. Eventually, after much tossing and turning I drifted off into a deep, restless slumber.

Everything will be fine, as long as I follow destiny. What's the worse that could happen?