Majeh had been wandering for several weeks and lost himself in the comfort of the forest that stretched for hundreds of miles in all directions, the starting point having been the village he used to call home. Early evening crept through the branches and Majeh took this time to rest beneath a tree, tending a small fire as he did to keep the cold at bay. Phobos and Demos also rested in the tree above him and little did the three know that they were soon to have company.
Conrad had been travelling for some time. He had long since left the woods he had known for all his life. He had past the borders of his family and was now in unknown territory, at least to him. Conrad wasn't sure what he had expected, but it certainly wasn't the fact that the woods outside his relm looking EXACTLY like those he had always known. Still, he was happy to be travelling.
After night had fallen, Conrad still continued through the thick forest, stopping only when the scent of fire reached his nose. He stopped and silently took in the situation. He didn't think he was near anyone, but he was certain the fire was small and thus made by someone. He rested a hand against the tree near him to see if there was any distress from the woods, but there was nothing. Another sign it had to be a made fire. He smiled, wondering who he might come in contact with. Hurridly, he made his way towards the smoke he could now see.
Majeh continued to watch the fire he created as the flames flickered between red and black. His rest was uninterrupted for over an hour before he could hear Demon above him, her wings flapping in the night air as a warning.
Conrad heard the disturbance in the air, but continued towards the fire he could make out. It didn't take long before he was upon the little makeshift campsite. He stood near by, not at all afraid that the person he was to meet could be an enemy. "Hello?" he said into the night air, as he saw a man leaning against a tree, relaxing.
"It's alright Demos," Majeh called out to the Phoenix before he stood, allowing the flames to increase two fold in their intensity before he looked up into the eyes of the intruder before him on the otherside of his demonic fire. Majeh simply regarded the man out of curiosity, not realizing how the fire made him appear.
Conrad took a step back, but more to gauge the man's actions than anything. He had never seen someone like the man in front of him. Nor had he been so dismissed. He stared a moment before he finally decided to speak. "Are you a traveler? Are you human?" he questioned.
"Are you?" Majeh replied, not answering the stranger's question out right.
Conrad frowned a bit, but answered, "No, but that wasn't the question." He figured that the person before him didn't exactly want to be bothered. "Forgive me. I did not mean to intrude," he said before turning a
"Then before you leave, answer me one question... does it matter to you whether or not I am human?" Majeh was curious about this stranger. What the other didn't realize is that if Majeh had truly felt himself in any danger, he wouldn't be alive.
"I am looking for humans," Conrad stated. "I have never met one and would very much like to," he continued. "I did not mean to interupt your evening. I just have not ran into anyone since I left my village and was curious as to who the first person I might have met would be."
"Then to answer your question, I was once human..." Majeh replied. "And you haven't inturrupted anything," He smiled softly at the other before returning to his spot beneath the tree, the flames also died back down to their previous levels. "You're welcome to rest here if you wish."
"You were human once?" Conrad asked curiously. "What are you now?" he questioned without thinking. He walked towards the fire not feeling threatened by the man. He took a seat near the fire. "Thank you for the offer. I am tired from travelling all day."
"I am a reincarnation of curse I guess you could say..." Majeh replied, unsure just how to explain just what it was he had become.
"That doesn't sound good. Is it harmful?" Conrad questions continued. "But you were human. You're the closest thing I've met to one. Can you tell me about them?"
"Whether or not I'm harmful I suppose depends, but I won't say that I can't be." Majeh played with the flames of the fire, causing them to swirl into the air and also cause some of the red flames to encircle the stranger and even pass through him. The heat and flame didn't even scorch the other as was Majeh's will. He was testing him to see how he would react. "Other than the humans in my village, I haven't met many others myself, but those I know are very kind people."
Conrad was curious as to the flames and even reached out for the flames that passed through him. "How did you do that?" he questioned as he reached for the fire. "You're fire is so beautiful."
It was at that moment that Phobos and Demos returned to Majeh's side. "It's part of the curse." Majeh replied. "I had been killed in a house fire with my family, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I realized why I was still alive." Majeh paused a moment as the red flames continued dance around them.
Conrad looked at the creatures near the man's side. "May I ask why that is?" he questioned. "Dear me. I appologize. I never introduced myself. My name is Conrad. What is your name?"
"There was a legend among my people that spoke of the twin demons who would bring about a great change in the world." Majeh sighed, figuring that it would be best to just give the shortened version. "And because I am the reincaration of these twin demons, most people call me the Mori no Akai Honou, or the Red Flame of the Forest, but my name is Majeh."
"It's good to meet you Majeh," Conrad said with a smile. "I'm happy to have met someone like you. I didn't know what to expect when I left my village. So far, everything looked the same, until I ran into you."
Majeh smiled at Conrad's words. "It seems that no matter which direction you travel, these woods never change." Secretly, Majeh was glad for the company. It had been several years since he had been so close to someone that he almost forgot what it was like to even talk to someone, even if he was a complete stranger.
"Well, I hope that I can reach a human village soon. I'm looking forward to meeting one. I have so many questions," Conrad said with a soft smile. "Do you mind if I ask you some questions. You may know the answers."
"Not at all." Majeh replied, curious about what questions the other before him wanted to ask.
Conrad sat forward, watching Majeh. "Well, I want to know more about humans in general. Mother never spoke much of them, but said they were a lot different than us. That they were more frail and most very weak, but there were some really strong ones out there too." Conrad ran his fingers through his hair. "Is there something special that human's are known for? Like do you have powers or strengths?"
"Nothing that I was born with, if that's what you mean." Majeh replied as he stood, drawing out his sword from behind his back and admiring it as the flames reflected off the steel. "Most humans must learn whatever skills they possess or train to increase their strength. I was trained in swordsmanship and even now, I still train to heighten my skills."
"I see," Conrad said. "So there's nothing special about humans? Everything they do they have to learn?"
"Is that not how your people learn?" Majeh asked curiously, suddenly very interested in the man before him.
"Well there are certain skills we learn, but we also are born with certain abilities. One's that are usually inherited. Those we don't have to learn," Conrad explained.
Majeh nodded, realizing that he could relate to Conrad's words. Since he had been reborn, not only had he retained the skills he had learned, but also found that he knew spells that involved the flames of the Twins. "So why are you so interested in humans anyway?"
Conrad looked down a moment. "My father was human. I never knew him. Mother said he was a wandering soul but she fell for him. I know nothing of anything but my people and the woods I grew up in. I wanted to find out more about myself."
Majeh couldn't say that he wasn't traveling for the same reasons. He figured that if he was to be die only to be cursed and condemed in new life that there must be some purpose to his existance yet. "So you travel alone on this journey?" Majeh asked, Conrad intriguing him enough that he'd want to follow him if he could.
Conrad nodded. "Yes. I couldn't ask anyone in my village to follow me. They have no reason to find the human relm and so it's just me. I don't mind it so much," he replied, but looked up with a grin. "So where are you headed?"
"No where in particular." Majeh shrugged as he allowed the red flames from the fire to crawl across the ground and all around them. "I can't go home so I figure there must be a reason for me being alive. Just have to search for that reason."
Conrad nodded. "So we're both sort of looking to find where we fit in? That's pretty cool." Conrad gave Majeh a smile. "It's funny you can do that with fire. But you're frightening the trees when you do that."
It was at that moment that Majeh snapped his attention fully to Conrad, looking deeply into the other's eyes as the red fire returned to nestle within the black flames within the ring of fire Majeh had created earlier. "You can talk with the trees?"
Conrad looked up to Majeh. "Sort of. I can hear them. Not just them. I can hear boulders and other things. Like everything has a voice, speaking softly. Mostly they just sing. Like the flowers and trees around our village. It's my gift. No one in the village is able to do it," he tried to explain.
Majeh remained silent for a moment, wondering about something. "Hey, have you ever heard of the legend of the Elemental Knights?"
"Elemental Knights?" Conrad asked back. "Sorry, never heard of it. Is it a human legend?"
"Somewhat," Majeh replied. "My village is the last known place that speaks of the legend. It tells of five warriors who are chosen by the elements," Majeh began to explain.
Conrad listened to Majeh. "Chosen by elements. That would be interesting. What do they do? Protect elements or make sure things are right?"
"Each are masters of their elements - one darkness, one of light, one of water, one of fire, and one of earth. When the world is to befall a great evil, these knights are supposed to band together to save it." That was the legend in a nutshell.
"I see," Conrad replied. "Well, that's very interesting." He wasn't sure why Majeh was telling him that. "Is that what you are?"
Should he tell him? "Do you fear Death?" Majeh asked suddenly, needing to know Conrad's answer before he told the other what he was.
Conrad looked confused. "No, we shouldn't fear death. It's part of life. We become part of the earth and renew it."
"Then yes, I have been reborn as the Elemental Knight of Fire, known in my village as the harbringer of Death and Resurrection" Majeh stood and unsheathed his sword in a manner that would not be threatning to the other as he turned the hilt of the sword to face Conrad. "This jewel is the proof." He replied, indicating the ruby upon the sword's end.
Conrad looked at the sword. "It's very nice." He was a big fan of swords and the weapon itself was beautiful. "It sounds like you have a big responsibility. How did you find out you were an Elemental Knight?"
"They told me." Majeh replied, refering to Phobos and Demos, both of whom were still hidden nearby. He cold feel their energies and could tell that Demos was angry. However, he would not let her control him. After all, Demos was supposed to answer to him, not the other way around.
"Who are they?" Conrad asked. "And what do they have to do with you? This is all really confusing," he said with a laugh. "Things are much simplier where I'm from. But maybe that's why I wanted a change."
It was at this moment that Phobos decided to show himself for the first time to the stranger as he flew down and landed upon the ground near Conrad. The red flames of the fire grew as Phobos stood near it, but Majeh kept the flames low. Demos refused to come near the stranger and hid in the shadows near her master. "They are the twin demons of the fire element, Phobos and Demos."
Conrad smiled. "It's nice to meet you," he said to Phobos in front of him, giving the demon the respect it deserved as if everyone did so. "So you don't travel alone. That is nice. It can be lonesome to do so."
The red flamed phoenix came closer to Conrad and Majeh smiled ever so slightly. This had been the first time that Phobos had gone near anyone other than himself. "You're the first person he's ever gone near." Majeh spoke to his companion.
Conrad smiled sweetly, offering his hand out, palm up to show no aggression. "Well then I'm honored. And what is your name?" he asked the little demon. "You're very beautiful."
Phobos neared closer to Conrad before he bowed and spoke his name. "My name is Phobos."
"It's wonderful to meet you Phobos," Conrad replied, bowing his head a little in response. "It's an honor. I have never met a fire element demon." conrad gave a big smile, pleased that he had met such interesting people so early in his travels.
Inwardly, Majeh was secretly glad that Demos had stayed hidden. Malice was slowly building within her and Majeh couldn't blame her. It wasn't just because she was a highly feared demon of legend, but also because anything she came into contact with would burn. It had been Phobos that insisted to her that it was time for them to live again and that they should choose Majeh since he and his family had perished in a fire that had destroyed their home. Demos had reluctantly agreed, but as time passed, she realized that Majeh didn't fear her and accepted her. That is why Majeh was the only one who wouldn't burn when her flames of ebony touched him. "Forgive Demos," Majeh spoke, just as much to console Demos herself as it was to let the other know that she wasn't very trusting with other people.
Conrad simply smiled. "There's nothing to forgive. Having strangers intrude on your territory is odd enough, but it's not easy to trust those same strangers." Conrad felt relaxed and if Majeh had known him, he would know it took a lot to offend him.
After a few seconds, Majeh stood and stretched. As he did so, the red and black flames of the fire quickly disappeared, leaving both him and Conrad in the light of the flames that came from Phobo's feathers.
Conrad took that as a sign. "Forgive me, I have over stayed my welcome. I had not realized it had gotten so late." Conrad stood up and bowed. "It was nice meeting the three of you. I hope that your travels take you to where you need to go and if fortune should have it, maybe even cross my path again."
"Not at all," Majeh replied as he took his sword and sheethed it once again behind his back. "We will meet again." With that, Majeh smiled at the other before he disappeared into the shadows of the forest with Demos, leaving Phobos behind as a beacon of light for the other. It had been Phobos' unspoken wish to after all, so that was how Majeh knew that they would meet again.