Tale of Sea

This was a very, very long time ago, when the Alatien were a strong people, and we could spend days riding the hot winds above the seas. We hunted fish, then, and we were at war with the Maerum... the Wettails.

Akalas was admired by everyone in his clan, and because of this, he was cocky, and arrogant. Akalas was one of the strongest warriors there was -- his claws were sharp and long, his beak pointy, and his teeth strong. So one day, the Teller of Akalas' city asked him to perform a very important, and very special duty -- to bring a sacred jewel to the Teller of an Alatien town across the sea. This particular jewel was very important because it signified a union between the two towns, and it would benefit the people of both that it was delivered safely, and promptly. Akalas grinned, and told the Teller that he would deliver the jewel both quickly and safely, and that she was not to worry. But the Teller did worry, because Akalas was young, and too sure of himself.

So Akalas set out across the sea on his flight. It was on the fourth day that he spotted something in the water that caught his attention, and forgetting his duty, and following his curiosity.. ...Akalas dived towards the water to investigate. When he came closer, he saw that there were Maerum in the water, foolishly hunting close to the surface, and Akalas saw an opportunity to again prove his might... as a great warrior to his people, and to capture the fins of a few Wettails.

But this time, Akalas' arrogance got the better of him, because the Maerum had set a trap! As he dived towards the Maerum with his claws, a spear shot up from the water to hit him. Akalas struck the water, and dropped the jewel he was carrying, and it was all he could do not to drown. Akalas was bleeding, and the Maerum were grabbing on to his wings and his legs, but he fought bravely, and finally he managed to escape. But even though he now lived, he was dead inside... because the shame of losing the sacred jewel would always be with him. Akalas could not return to his village, because he had neglected his duty to his Teller and to his people, and so he went away to a small island where he could be alone. To himself and his people, Akalas now became the Lost One, he who had been on a sacred mission, but had failed in his arrogance.

A year passed, and one day Akalas met with human traders from a ship that came close to his island. From the traders, Akalas heard speak of a hideous creature that lived in the sea -- the Octa'wo. The Octa'wo was said to have a third eye, like a jewel, and that this eye pulled hapless sailors into its deadly eight-armed grasp. Akalas knew immediately that the Octa'wo's third eye had to be the jewel that he lost in the sea a year ago, and he now saw the opportunity to redeem himself. But Alatien were not used to water, and the thought of submerging himself in the cold, harsh ocean chilled Akalas to his heart. But he was the Lost One, and if, in his death, he could at the very least redeem himself... to his own heart, then it would be worth it. So Akalas fashioned himself a spear, because in the water his claws and his beak would be too slow, and he flew out to where the Octa'wo was last seen... and then Akalas dived into the sea.

The dark water closed in on him, and his wings and legs went numb, but still Akalas kept pushing down until he saw the lair of the Octa'wo. Spotting Akalas, the Octa'wo attacked, and Akalas saw the monster's third eye, his sacred jewel, shining bright in the darkness, and his heart was filled with a sense of duty and courage that he had never felt before. But as he began fighting the eight-armed monster, Akalas realized that, if he were to fight like he usually did, he would not stand a chance. He would have to think differently. And so Akalas tricked the Octa'wo into following him through a tight chasm, where the monster got stuck, and then he swam above it, and using his spear, tipped a rock on top of the Octa'wo. Swimming back down again, the Octa'wo was flailing helplessly. Now, almost out of air, Akalas took the sacred jewel from the Octa'wo's head, and swam back up.

Finally, Akalas could deliver the sacred jewel to the town across the sea, and upon returning to his village, he went to the Teller, bowed his head, and said "Forgive me, Teller, for in my arrogance I thought I could do everything. But I could not, and I became the Lost One because of it."

"You were lost," said the Teller, "but you are no more..because now you see the limits of your own strength, and you will know that a warrior must be careful, and wise, in addition to being strong, and fierce."

But she wanted to test him, and to teach him that sharp claws, a pointy beak, and strong teeth are not all a warrior needs -- that a warrior must also be wise, and careful.

ruСказание Моря
CategoryThe Longest Journey