SS) The Heaven Sent Sword
Aiden takes his sister to a large tower in the exact center of the academy. Back when the academy was still a kingdom, the first Merekara established that tower as his seat of reign. Many of the surrounding buildings were built soon afterward. While those structures have been repurposed over the change of time, the central tower remains relatively untouched.
Kairi places her palms against the tower’s large wooden doors. Then, as she exhales, she leans forward to also rest her forehead against it. She adopts solemn tone, “The first Merekara established his throne, ruled the art of magic, and died. The world discovered his descendant a failure and revolted. He fled, but they found and executed him. No one wanted to risk him spawning a second Merekara to shackle them.”
Aiden makes a face that questions his sister’s sanity at her sudden monologue. Doubt laces his words, “That was over half a millennia ago.”
Kairi chuckles as she continues, “Yes, like you say my venerable brother, this world is a different place now. Kingdoms have given way to nations. Kings have been dethroned by chosen presidents.”
“Most places use prime ministers.”
Kairi ignores Aiden as she says, “This world wants a new Merekara, to see the miracles wrought by that sacred blade. This delay has gone on much too long…”
Aiden, starting to get uneasy from Kairi’s words, says, “If anything, Merekara would be an honorary title. Even if a second were to appear, no one would bow down and prostrate themselves.”
“Has not this place been kept unchanged since those days? Has not the Seven Star Sword been awaiting a new master? Has not this academy been established for the sake of finding the second Merekara? The bloodline of the first Merekara has not been extinguished. His descendant ran, but to say he never begot children of his own is the epitome of foolishness.”
Kairi steps back shout to sky for everyone to hear. “The Dragon has come to claim her seat as the new Merekara!”
Yep, she totally convinced…
She flings the two doors open with a push of her arms. She pauses and breathes deep to relish the moment. She exhales and sets her gaze forward. Before her lies a massive rocky protrusion. In the center of the protrusion is a cave entrance; carved out along the outside of the protrusion are stairs that lead into the entrance of the tower.
A minute passes, but Kairi remains rooted. Aiden leans forward to get a better look at his sister’s face. Her lips tremble as she tries to keep her expression flat. Long gone is the over flowing confidence she radiated on their walk there from his dorm room. A sly grin spreads across Aiden’s face. “What’s wrong? Aren’t ya going in? The Seven Star Sword is waiting for you.”
“Do not rush the Dragon! She comes and goes as she pleases, when she pleases!”
Your legs are shaking…
Kairi takes a breath and marches inside. “The time is now! Come!”
Aiden wishes she had instead turned around and said, “This place offers nothing of interest to the Dragon!” He can now only sigh, also take a breath, and step through the door. Without sparing anything else a glance, he follows Kairi into the cave.
She waits for him just around the bend, shifting in place with clear hesitation towards continuing. “How dare you keep the Dragon waiting? This is her most glorious moment. More than anything, you should be beside yourself with joy!”
Aiden gives her a blank stare, raises an arm, and gives a lethargic, “Yay.”
Kairi stomps her foot. “Don’t mock the Dragon!” She then grabs his arm and pulls him deeper into the cavern. Their path is illuminated from a faint glow given off by the stalactites. “Even the stones know their new Merekara has arrived.”
“Those things never turn off in the first place.”
Kairi goes, “hmph,” and pulls him along at a faster pace. Her briskness and bravado only lasts seven steps before she slows down. With each step slower and smaller than the previous one, she’s soon walking behind Aiden. A bit more and she will be hiding behind him.
Aiden stops walking and Kairi crashes into his back. She rubs her nose as she circles around him. “You dare anger the Dragon? Such insolence will not be tolerated!”
“Why am I in front? This is your self-imposed quest.”
Kairi places her hands upon her hips and laughs. “And you call yourself the Dragon’s true family? My venerable brother, you have been given the privilege of leading the way! No greater honor exists! Dragons are brave and majestic, rarely do they follow the trails blazed by others!”
I just can’t get used to this. She used to be so timid and reserved.
Kairi pouts at Aiden’s sigh. With a slightly teary face, she storms ahead of him. “Fine, then you can just cower behind me!”
Aiden wants to laugh at how hard Kairi is pushing herself, but also recognizes the mental fortitude needed to progress forward. He too is starting feel an odd discomfort. Back when he descended with his class to look at the sword last year, he was the only one who felt it. The way he descried it to Camillia after the tour was, “It’s like when your skin feels like it’s on the verge of being ripped off, only it’s your whole body.”
Is this another side effect of the ascension ritual?
According to the legends, the Seven Star Sword was forged through the power of seven stars. It grants its true wielder absolute domination over the magical world. That’s the true reason everyone revolted against the first Merekara’s descendent. The world wanted him gone before he could grow too powerful. Magical beings were at the forefront of that hunt. I’m technically a magical being now too. Could this feeling be why they were so eager to do away with him?
Kairi’s earlier comments about the world wanting a new king weren’t entirely wrong either. Pounamu was able to become such a powerful academy because the Seven Star Sword rests at the bottom of that cave. Many talented magicians gathered there in an attempt to pull it out only to fail. All of them refused to give up and therefore decided to habitat the island’s former empire. Families were started and a community built itself up. Their children needed an education and there was an abundance of powerful magicians.
Pounamu Academy developed over the past 200 years by drawing in those coveting the sword and those wanting to learn under them. Actually, what would everyone do if the sword was pulled? It being here made Pounamu a Mecca for the world’s magicians. Would they just bail once it’s gone? Or would they flock around whoever ends its crystal sleep?
Kairi’s piercing scream echoes throughout the cave. She dashes past him a few seconds later in a mad escape from the cave. All she wants is to put as much distance between herself and the Seven Star Sword as possible.
He watches until she’s out of sight. The sword clearly has a much stronger effect on her than him. “Did she try touching it?”
Aiden continues forward and after a few minutes, reaches the deepest cavern. Encased within a stalagmite in the center of the chamber is a Chinese Dao. According to the legends, the first Merekara established himself in the middle of the Pacific Ocean because of some prophecy. The contents are something he never disclosed to prevent anyone from acting against it.
Aiden continues towards the sword despite his body’s frantic warnings and only stops once the blade is in clear view. The last time he was there, he tried grabbing the hilt. His fingers had just brushed against the pommel when he yanked his hand back. I thought I was going to die…
Seven crystals of varying colors break the blade’s smooth surface. They weren’t embedded within the sword; the blade itself was forged around them. The current leading theory is that each one behaves as one of the body’s seven chakra points, the body’s source of mana. The Merekara is only so amazing because the Seven Star Sword offers an unlimited source of mana to its wielder.
Aiden himself leans towards a different theory. One that states each crystal governs a yet undiscovered law of magic. That really would make them like the stars of the night sky. A true gift from the heavens. His evidence for those thoughts is the way his body reacts to being around the sword. His sister potentially being traumatized by it only reinforces his thoughts.