It's been a long time.
A very long time.
I can still remember it though. I still remember those days.
I wish I could forget them, but at the same time, I never want them to leave.
They have great meaning for me. And if I share them with you, then you will know that meaning too.
And I am going to share them with you.
If you were to look at me, you would know I was no ordinary wolf. My very appearance signified that. I am a black and brown wolf with black flames. I wield a silver sword and wear a necklace made of pinecones.
If you were to look closer, you would certainly notice my eyes. They appear black, but many say they can see other times in them. Memories from past, present, and ones yet to come.
If you were to look even closer, you might even see Greely in my eyes. No doubt that wolf has changed me. Ever since I met him, nothing has been the same.
You will see a Greely as you've never seen him before. Not the traitor and liar most think he is. You will see Greely the hero, Greely the loyal, Greely the brave, Greely the giver. Even the other alphas don't see him as he truly is. Yes, he is mysterious, complicated, and strange, but he is more. More than just that.
The day I first saw him was a normal day. I was wandering around Sarepia Forest. That's very typical of me. I'm a loner, not really connected to anyone.
As I paced around, I noticed a flash of blue-grey fur. After a moment, I decided to see what it was. To my surprise, it was Greely. You know how he is, keeping to himself.
And he was alone. Beyond some thick trees, I could see him. He hung his head, and stared at the ground. It was clear he was crying. Despite him not being close, I could hear him.
"What's wrong with me?"
I took a step forward. Greely lifted his head and looked suprised to see me.
"I'm sorry, I thought I was alone." Greely said, wiping his tear-stained eyes. "It's not really proper for an alpha to cry, is it."
The sentence was not a question, but I silently nodded my head. Greely took a deep breath to steady himself. "How can I help you?" He asked.
"I wanted to see if you were alright. Usually when one cries, there is a reason behind it."
Greely nodded. "That's right." He paused, then took a brief look around. "Is it alright if I tell you something?"
"Sure." I said.
"I'm in a very bad situation right now. I know the other alphas distrust me, but I still continued to learn about the phantoms. I cannot rest until Jamaa is free from them. They cause so much pain."
"Well, during one of my quests, I discovered a horrible secret. The phantoms are holding Mira captive, deep in their filthy dungeons."
"Naturally, I try to tell the other alphas about it, but they won't even listen to me. Their ears are deaf to me. They still acuse me of being a traitor. Alas, I am not, and I suffer for it. But I need some to follow me into battle, in hopes to save Mira."
"I will join you." I said.
Greely looked very grateful. "I am in your debt. Please help me find others to help. If you cannot, we shall go together." Greely sets his paw on my shoulder. "For Mira." He whispered.
Hard as I tried, I couldn't get anyone to believe me, or join. They all crowded around the other alphas, acting strange, like their normal selves. All the alphas, especially Liza, stared at me with hard eyes, as if they knew I'd been with Greely. I tried to ignore them as I made my way back to Sarepia Forest. On the way, I pulled out my silver sword and began to sharpen it. This would be my best weapon.
I met Greely at the same spot I had before. He too had a sword, but it was made out of a dark unidentifiable metal. It shined in the light, and I began to wonder if it was made out of obsidian. "No luck?" Greely asked.
"Nope. No one even considered it to be true."
"This is Shruifen." Greely said, holding out his sword. "I found it abandoned in Mt. Shiveer. None were coming for it, so I took it with me. During one of my researches, I found a substance that allows anything with it on to penetrate phantom electricity. Naturally, I put some on Shruifen, knowing full well I'd have to use it against them soon." Greely eyed my silver sword. "Does your sword have a name?"
Up until this point, I hadn't even considered naming something that wasn't alive. But then I realized that I took this sword everywhere. It had been with me through good times and bad. Sildur, I thought. I should call it Sildur.
"Sildur." I said.
"A very nice name. I do have a question, before we set off. Would you like Sildur to have some of the phantom penetrant? I happen to have a vial here with me." Greely said.
"Yes, that would probably be for the better."
Greely took out a vial containing a clear liquid. He opened the top and put some on Sildur, then, using his paws, coated the rest of the sword with it.
"That should be good." Greely smiled. "Hopefully it doesn't wear off. I never wondered if it did. Hmmm, I should have thought of that. Well, should we set off? We can't keep Mira waiting."
I nodded. A rescue mission! This was a first. And someone so important!
Greely took the lead, guiding me through trees and bushes. Soon enough, we reached the ends of the forest. Before us was wild land, the forsaken land taken by phantoms. I never dared to go beyond. I knew it was dangerous by myself. But with someone else, I knew I could venture in.
Greely led me through vast expanses of rotting trees. Before long, I noticed a dark, tall tower ahead.
"Is that it?"
"Yes." Greely replied. "That tower was built by the phantoms. Do not judge them too quickly. They are crafty monsters. They can build all sorts of horrid mechanisms. Even Graham might be surprised by them. Though he would find their uses horrifying, as do I. Torture machines. My chest hurts just thinking of what they can do."
We were soon at the foot of the tower. "Be careful." Greely warned. "If a phantom sees you, don't hesitate to stab at it. We want to get Mira out as quickly as possible.
(to be continued)