Disclaimer: Grand Chase, Ryan & Lire belong to KoG, but the plot, Xander and Alyssa belong to the authoress herself.
Two figures strolled through the forest fields, brightened by the sun's rays. The ground was covered with a blanket of verdant grass, and birds chirped as they spread their elegant wings and landed on the branches of robust trees. Various flowers were in full bloom, providing places for the butterflies to perch on and suck on their nectar.
"Ok, Xander, just where are you taking me?" the female elf asked with a questioning look.
"Just wait and see, Alyssa," the male elf replied.
They went until they finally stopped at their destination. A huge tree stood out from the rest, its height the tallest one so far. In front of it stood two wooden crosses, markers of the two elves who had been buried there, the dirt mounds now adorned with plant life.
"Don't tell me
" Alyssa Skysilver couldn't utter another world.
"Today's the death anniversary of our predecessors," Xander Lionheart replied. "In commemoration of their greatest sacrifice to defeat Kaze' Aaze."
At that, the real purpose of the trip finally sunk in the archer's mind. Both Xander and Alyssa had been appointed as successors of Ryan Woodsguard and Lire Skyarrow respectively by the elders. The first time they heard of the two of them, they were still training to improve their skills, Xander as a druid and Alyssa as an archer. They have been friends with them for a long time, with Ryan and Lire sometimes assisting them as they learned the ropes. Unfortunately, the heroes had to part ways with them when the teachers were appointed to the Grand Chase. But still, they fulfilled the promise of returning to them when they had some free time.
Now, both Xander and Alyssa had obtained the highest ranks that were also given to Ryan and Lire. From being a Druid, Xander was now a Xenocider, with the Storm Blades as his weapons, which could also be merged into one Storm Pike. He also possessed the ability to transform into a Magnus Dan. As for Alyssa, she was proclaimed as Eryuell Island's second Nova, being able to wield the schematic weapon designed for the elite archers, the Composite Bow.
They smiled faintly as the sight of their predecessors' graves, though there was also a trace of sadness of their expressions. Both Ryan and Lire had become lovers throughout the course of their journey together with the rest of the Grand Chase, with a bright future ahead of them. It was truly tragic that they died in the epic battle against Kaze'Aaze, the root cause of destruction. But still, it was also a sweet moment, for they didn't let death stand in the way of everlasting love.
"Yo, Ryan," Xander greeted Ryan's grave with a grin.
"Hey there, Lire," Alyssa smiled serenely to Lire's grave. She sat down and placed bouquets of white flowers on the grass near their resting places, one of each of them.
"What's with the white flowers?" the male elf asked curiously.
"Don't you see? They're the ones Ryan usually gave to Lire every time they go on dating," the archer replied, slightly annoyed. "And I admit, it did look beautiful as adornment on Lire's hair." The frown was later replaced with a smile. "I believe it has become a symbol of eternal love for them, so I decided to pick these flowers and offer them to both of them as a reminder of how much love can conquer all, even in death."
The recent Xenocider nodded in agreement, finally understood with what she was talking about. "I see."
The current Nova stood up and gazed at him. "It surely is memorable having them as friends, isn't it?"
The male teenager approached her and smiled, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Yep, it surely is."
- Flashback -
man, it's so difficult," Xander complained with a battered breath, wiping the sweat off his forehead with his arm. He had attempted to chop down the training dummy with Titan Axe, one of the druid's signature attacks, with his training weapon, yet he was already worn out before he could successfully take it down.
"You have to force more power into your chopping action," Ryan advised. "You have to strike harder."
"Oh, ok," the trainee commented, understood with the advice. "But please, let's have a break first. My muscles are killing me right now."
After a short break, the training session resumed, with Xander taking the suggestion in his mind.
He closed his moss-green eyes, clearing the mind of distractions and focusing on his goal. When he reopened them, he charged at the target right away, striking the seasoned wood a few times before slamming down for the final attack.
The finale was the loud thwacking sound of the axe, its blade finally slicing the wooden post clean. The dummy flew away a few centimeters into an arc before it plopped down onto the grass.
Seeing that he had finally accomplished what he was looking for, he growled in joy. "I did it! I finally did it!"
"See, what did I tell ya?" the mentor grinned, latching an arm around his friend's shoulder. "Just make sure your axe strikes hard on where it's supposed to hit, and you'll get it."
Meanwhile, Lire was busy guiding Alyssa on her archery training. The blond elf had noticed her friend's difficulty in mastering Shooting Star, one of the archer's special skills. Her arrows just ended up scattered everywhere, missing the bull's-eye of every target board.
"You just have to adjust the aim a little more," the Nova said, gently positioning the hands of her trainee until it turned out just right. "Concentrate on the spot, and visualize that you're going to get the targets spot-on."
The archer sighed, taking a deep breath and exhaling before focusing back on where she was supposed to hit. Once she was ready, she pulled the string of her training bow, holding the arrow steadily between her fingers, and she yelled.
With a twang from the string release, the arrow flew and multiplied, spiraling outward towards the target boards. The sharp tip of each arrow finally landed on the bull's-eye.
The short-haired elven girl couldn't believe she accomplished it. "Wow! Just as I wanted!" She smiled at her friend. "Thank you."
Lire smiled back at her. "You're welcome."
- End of Flashback -
"It's really sad that we had to say goodbye to them, because they had to go on a journey with the Grand Chase," Alyssa couldn't help but to feel lonely as she recalled the moment.
Her companion nodded in reply. "Never thought it would be the last time we see them alive and well."
- Flashback -
"You're going already?" Alyssa asked as she and Xander watched their mentors pick up bags filled with the essentials for the quest.
"Yes, Alyssa," the Nova replied with a sad smile on her face. "But I promise you that by the time we come back, we'll bring home something for you."
"Wow! Can't wait!" her apprentice cheered.
"I wish you good luck on your adventure with your girlfriend, dude," the druid said, bumping knuckles with Ryan.
"Thanks. Just continue honing your skills, both of you. They may come in handy someday," the Xenocider spoke in gratitude.
"Don't worry, we will," his trainee assured, a grin plastered on his face.
"See you later, guys," Lire waved at then goodbye, her lover doing the same.
"Bye, have a safe trip," their friends waved back at them as they watched their mentors walking away from the forest, the orange-haired druid wrapping an arm around his significant other's waist.
- End of Flashback
"Believe me, their tragic death after the epic battle was a great loss for us," the current Nova's pale green eyes started to water at the memory of their demise.
The present Xenocider simply nodded, tightening his grip on her. "I know, but what mattered the most was that our world is now safe."
- Flashback -
Kaze'Aaze was finally defeated by the Grand Chase, biting the dust. They used the last ounce of their strength to take her down, and every one of them had sustained severe injuries and no longer had the power to stand up anymore.
"How are you feeling?" Lire asked, crawling closer to her boyfriend, wincing at the pain screaming inside her.
" Ryan replied, blood trickling from his mouth, groaning from the torturing feeling. "Damn, I couldn't even stand up."
" she murmured in a frail voice, attempting to move her hand to his shoulder. It was hard work because of the cacophony of lacerations overwhelming her body, but it was successful. "It's one tough fight, isn't it?"
His moss-green eyes met her emerald ones warmly, his crimson-stained lips pulling into a sad smile as he reached out to her, pulling her close to his arms. "Yeah, it is."
After a moment, their gaze was set at the sky above them, light cracking through the obscure clouds, bringing life to such a cold, dark place.
"I wonder how they are right now. How will they react to the fact that we can't go back to them?" the elven archer asked.
"Don't worry, they'll soon accept it," the druid answered. "We have already done our part to make sure our world is safe for all of us, and now, it's their turn to do the job."
"I agree," she understood. They could feel their vision growing darker with each passing second, their skin slowly becoming cold to the touch.
"Looks like Gaia called out to us," her words were soft. "Our life force will soon be taken away from us and we'll be warmly welcomed into her arms."
He nodded in reply, knowing that their end was coming near. "I know, and this time, we will surely go back to her, together, with you by my side."
Her lips slowly curled into a faint smile at his words. "I love you
He smiled back at her, his last words forming out of his mouth like it was a swan song. "I love you, too
And with that, they took their last breath, their faces calm and peaceful, their souls welcomed into the heavenly realm of the goddess herself.
- End of Flashback
Alyssa had clamped her mouth with her hand as she sobbed, tears cascading down from her closed eyelids.
Xander didn't need to ask or speak about the reason why. Everyone had grieved for the death of their elven heroes, a great loss to all of them. Yet, it provided both him and Alyssa an opportunity to continue their legacy.
- Flashback -
The forest elves gathered in front of the biggest tree to witness the burial of Ryan and Lire. Two graves were dug up six feet below the ground. Their bodies were shrouded with white cloth, bundled up like babies, each secured with a rope knotted tightly with a long tail at the end to act as a handle.
"May those two souls be welcomed to Gaia's celestial realm," one of the elders spoke in prayer. "And may their bodies be one with the rich soil that will always provide life to the forest, our humble adobe, our habitat."
The druid and the archer just stood in silence as their watched their friends' corpses being gradually lowered to the dug-out ground. Each one of the elves had to throw up a mound of dirt to conceal the bodies, and they participated.
But before the ceremony was finally over, another elder was there to speak. "Xander Lionheart and Alyssa Skysilver, please come here in front."
The mentioned elves wondered why they were called as they approached the elders. They thought in their minds, What's going on?
"These two shall become the new guardians of the forest," the old elf declared.
Mouths hung open as if they've seen a ghost, the shocked expressions evident on each face.
"Wait, what?" Alyssa couldn't help but to feel astonished, too.
"Ok, can you please tell us what's going on?" Xander questioned curiously, searching for any reason for that shenanigan.
The third elder came to them and explained, "Before Ryan and Lire left on a journey to defeat the evil queen, they had asked us a favor. Since they had done excellently in protecting the forest, we granted their request. They had chosen both of you to be their successors, and it's our duty to appoint both of you as such. They believed that one day, once they depart to the other side, you'll carry on the mission of protecting the forests dutifully."
"And to signify the start of your occupation, they had left something for you," the first elder gestured them towards a wooden chest.
The chosen ones looked at the chest with interest, inspecting for any lock or keyhole, but there was none. It was just a simple chest with a lid that could be easily opened with a flip, but it was once protected with a magic force acting as a barrier. The elders had already broken the seal right before they transferred the chest to the burial grounds for the appointment.
And so, they took a deep breath and opened the lid. What they saw inside made them catch their breath.
Inside the chest were brand-new outfits specially made for the new guardians, as well as their own set of weapons. For Xander, it was an axe forged by blacksmiths, designed after Ryan's signature weapon, yet adjusted to improve its attack strength whenever the druid wielded it. As for Alyssa, her bow was patterned after the design of the one used by Lire, its handle tweaked to fit the present archer's hands. Also included in the chest were quivers for her arrows, mission scrolls for job advancement, and even a letter signifying the last will of their predecessors.
Curious, the orange-haired male picked up the envelope, opened it, and showed it to the girl so that they could both read it.
Dear Xander and Alyssa,
If you have read this letter, this mean we've already departed towards Gaia. It was really a painful choice, but we have to make sacrifices to save the world, including our place called home.
And so, with that, we entrust you with the possessions in this chest, and the task to safeguard the forest. We believe that you both continue to grow and improve your abilities as you combat the evil plaguing the world, and to carry on the legacy that we've left behind.
We wish both of you the best of luck. May the Goddess bless you and guide you on your journey. Our sprits will endow you with strength whenever you need it.
Your comrades and mentors,
Ryan and Lire
"So it's true. They've done so much to ensure safety and peace of this forest," the blond-haired female said, reflecting on the letter's message.
"And now, it's our turn to accept the baton they passed," Xander smiled confidently. Their gazes were now settled on the crowd before them and he started voicing their declaration. "Fellow elves, it is an honor that we're chosen as successors of the legendary elven heroes of the Grand Chase."
"And as guardians of the forests, it is our job to protect our home," Alyssa added. "We will make sure that nothing will harm our habitat."
They raised their joined hands. "We shall continue the legacy and not let their sacrifice be in vain! We are now the new heroes!"
And with that, the crowd cheered, together with a few whistles and cat calls, spirits lifting in ecstasy.
- End of Flashback
"And now, here we are, becoming who we are right now, the current generation of forest watchmen," Xander commented, his moss-green orbs meeting his partner's emerald irises.
"Yep," Alyssa agreed. "We sure do."
Suddenly, a gust of wind swept over them, whipping their hair and washing their skin with its coolness. They both set the gaze to its direction.
"Look like our mentors acknowledged our presence," she spoke calmly.
Her companion simply nodded in reply. "Let's just say it's their way of speaking their gratitude for visiting their resting place here."
The recent Nova loosened the Xenocider's hold on her. "By the way, we must go back to the castle. If we do, we may arrive there by sunset."
"Yep, better get going now." He turned away from the graves, but not without casting one last glance at them. "Goodbye, Ryan and Lire. We must go now."
"See you later," she greeted them farewell. And with that, they walked away.
As the elves strolled through the trees and the overgrown grass, the butterflies landed on the white flowers, ready to rest there.
May we see each other again, our friends.<i>