Disclaimer: I don't own Lunar…*weeps*
Author's Note: I'm back! Like I said this chapter is much longer than the prelude! *applause*…Thank you, thank you…*applause grows louder*…You can stop applauding now *even more loudly*…okay that's enough…*an earthquake of applauding* THAT'S ENOUGH! *silence* Really, people…anyway now onto the story! *applause starts again*…Why me?
Lunar: Infinities Strife
Chapter One: Path of White
As morning broke, a rapidly flapping Lazuli rushed into Delilah's room. One of the things the baby dragon had learned while living with her for thirteen years was that if no one woke her up she could very well sleep past noon. He found the seventeen-year-old wrapped up in her pale lavender blankets. "Delilah!" he called and waited for a response.
When she failed to answer his call, Lazuli repeated her name…no response. Fed up with her not waking up, he took a deep breath and squirted out water at her sleeping form…
Sputtering the blond sat up in her bed. Catching sight of the blue dragon, the soaking wet Delilah yelled, "Lazuli!" before chasing after him.
The rest of the Lapis household did not miss the ruckus. Delilah's mother, the petite blond widow Rachel commented, "It's so nice that they're such good friends!" as she swept.
Her son Mark snorted in disgust. "That hairball does nothing but eat and sleep."
"Mark, bite your tongue. Lazuli is a blessing from Althena," reprimanded Rachel.
"Anything from Althena is a curse," he shot back.
Rachel's brown eyes widened in surprise before narrowing. With a mother's fury she popped him on the mouth, hard. "I'll hear no disrespect of the Goddess of our world in this household, young man!" She glared at him. "You best keep your mouth in check," she seethed.
A small noise alerted them to the two arrivals. Standing in the doorway was Delilah with Lazuli perched on her shoulder. She wore a relatively practical sea-green and sea-glass blue dress in the style that all maidens of Burg wear, even the Great Lady Luna before she married over five hundred years ago. A sea-green bandanna held her knee-length hair away from her face.
Delilah broke the awkward silence that followed their entrance. "Umm…Lazuli and I are going to the Heroes Memorial now."
"Absolutely not!" burst out Rachel, "to reach the memorial you have to go through the mountain pass. I t might have been safe when I was young but monsters now inhabit the pass. I'm not letting my daughter become some monster's dinner!"
"Come on Mrs. L," pleaded Lazuli, "Delilah promised she'd take me to see it."
"Well…" she said before glancing at her son, "Only if you allow Mark to go with you."
"Mother!" protested Mark.
"Don't mother me!" she said, whacking him upside the head with her broom, "You go through the Weird Woods all the time by yourself and it's almost as dangerous as the mountain pass! I've already lost a husband, I'm not about to lose a daughter!"
The young man heaved a heavy sigh of defeat, there was no arguing with Rachel when set her mind to something. "Fine, I'll go."
"Yes!" Lazuli cried, before launching into the air and doing an aerial somersault and landing on Mark's head.
Shooing Lazuli off his head, Mark said to Delilah, "Just keep that flying cat away from me!"
"I am not a cat!"
"Then what are you?"
"None of your business!"
"So you are a cat!"
"I am not!"
Delilah giggled into her hand to muffle the sound. She didn't know why Lazuli just didn't tell Mark that he was a baby dragon. But it was his secret and she wasn't about to spill.
While the dragon and man continued to argue, Rachel approached her daughter holding a sword in her hands. "What's that, Momma?"
"This sword has been in the Lapis family for centuries. It belonged to your father and it now is yours," she answered, handing the sword to her daughter.
"How come she gets the sword!" demanded Mark, "I am a far better with a sword then she is!"
"Because you would abuse the privilege of its power!" she shot back. Mark shut his mouth at her outburst. Turning back to her daughter she began to explain, "This sword is incredibly strong, but weights almost nothing. I also believe there's some kind of hidden power besides its strength."
"A hidden power?"
"Yes, but what it is remains up to you to discover."
"Mark, wait up!" cried Delilah, running in pursuit of her brother.
"Hurry up, I want to get this out of the way."
"Well excuse me for not wanting to rush!" she shot back.
The brown-haired man glared at her. "You would rush too if you'd ever seen the monsters in the pass. Trust me, we don't want to fight them."
"I think your full of it, there's no monster's here," mocked Lazuli.
"Believe what you will, personally I hope one eats you," snorted Mark.
A loud roar interrupted any reply Mark would have made. Heading in the trios direction at a galloping speed was a monster so huge and looked like some kind of demented hell hound. "I told you!" he cried.
Cutting off Lazuli's denial, Delilah commanded, "Shut up and get ready to fight!"
She unsheathed the sword that was hung across her back. Lazuli hovered protectively above her while Mark readied his sword. With her heart beating wildly, Delilah waited. The hound stopped about a foot away, glaring and growling at him. Lazuli gulped at the sight of the drool dripping down the beast's sharp teethed mouth. "Delilah, I really don't want to be dinner!"
"None of us want to, cat" growled Mark.
"I am not a cat!" he denied. The beast launched at Lazuli, who barely managed to move out of the way in time. "Yikes!"
Determined to not let her friend end up in the pit of its stomach, Delilah swung her sword at it. The blade caught the beast in on the side, but it didn't even break the skin. "Shit! It's invulnerable to physical attacks!" yelled Mark.
"What do you mean!" cried Lazuli.
"What I mean is our swords won't work," Mark explained while avoiding the charging beast, "Only magic can destroy it."
"But none of us know magic!" exclaimed Delilah.
"I know that!"
Launching another strike to keep the beast at bay, Delilah asked, "Then what do we do!"
Almost as if to answer the question a blast of white light hit the beast, knocking it to the ground dead. "Who…?" she questioned.
Mark narrowed his eyes to something behind her. She turned around slowly and gasped. The one who had created the blast was a young man maybe a few years older than she was. He had long hair of blue and silver and diamond eyes that gave him an exotic appearance. The man wore the robes of a priest of Althena, white and baby blue with yellow and black linings.
"We didn't need your help," seethed Mark.
"Mark!" cried Delilah before turning to their rescuer, "Thank you for helping us. I'm Delilah Lapis, the one with the attitude is Mark, and this fur ball is Lazuli."
"Hey!" Lazuli protested.
The blue and silver-haired young man smiled slightly. "It is my duty as a Priest of Althena to help those in need," he said with humility. "My name is Artemus."
"Artemus? So what's a Priest of Althena doing here?" she asked.
"Umm…my class is doing reports on memorials to historical figures. I elected to take the one on the Heroes Memorial."
Delilah smiled. "Well what do you know we're going there too! Maybe we should travel together, it seems like a safer option."
"That's a good idea!" commented Lazuli.
"I would be honored to travel with you," Artemus said respectively.
"Don't I get any say in this?" asked Mark, frustrated.
"NO!" shouted both Lazuli and Delilah.
Mark began to mumble things about pushy sisters, annoying fur balls, and interfering priests.
Delilah stared at the delicately crafted statue of six figures. The first two figures were of Dragon Master Alex and Lady Luna, the next two of Vane Magician Nash and former head of the Magic Guild Mia Ausa, and the last two were of the leader of the Nanza bandits Kyle and Priestess of Althena Jessica. "Wow!" exclaimed Lazuli.
"An intriguing depiction," commented Artemus.
"It's just stone," muttered Mark.
Delilah ignored her brother and took a closer look at the inscription, which named the figures. Under the inscription were symbols that she didn't understand. "Artemus, do you know what this says?" she asked.
He moved next to her and looked at where she pointed. "It's an ancient language that's only used by our scholars in the priesthood."
"So you can read it?"
"Yes, let's see it says…The path of white is revealed by the language of the Goddess."
"What's that suppose to remain," Mark asked rudely.
Artemus gave an appearance of thinking for a minute. "I can only think of one thing, singing."
"Singing?" Delilah asked.
"Yes, the goddess is reported to manifest her powers through song."
"So if one of us sing it will reveal this path?" Lazuli wondered.
"Maybe…there's only one way of finding out," Delilah said quietly.
A silence fell over them for a minute. Then a song began to rise in the air from Artemus. With an unexplainable feeling, Delilah joined him with her eyes closed and her ears blinded by everything but the song. Their voices carried an air of mystery and power. Caught up in her singing, Delilah didn't notice the glowing circle of white light that had appeared in front of the statue.
"Delilah look!" shouted Lazuli.
The duo's singing cut off. "What the?"
"This I believe is the path of white," commented Artemus.
Cautiously, Delilah approached the circle of light with Lazuli flying beside her. "Delilah, don't!" cried Mark.
She didn't listen to him and stepped into the light.