White Dragon Courage

by Mickey Gao

It has been nearly eighty years since the defeat of the Magic Emperor. Lunar is at peace and the goddess seemed to smile everyday. The courageous heroes who defeated Magic Emperor Ghaleon have led a terrific life. They have families and watched them grow with much enthusiasm. The once insanely strong Nanza thief, Kyle, is still very much insanely strong. His enchanting wife, Jessica, became governess of Meribia, and earned the name, "Mother of Meribia." Her efforts made Meribia a very well known and famous port city; not for its thieves, con artists, and pick-pockets as it once was, but for its great business, supply, and interaction with other towns. Speaking of con artists, Ramus, still plump and money-hungry, has maintained a successful business in Meribia. The hardest thing to do is tear him away from his work, but if given the correct amount... The cocky Nash hasn't changed much, except that he's a little wrinklier. His magic was always based on thunder and he perfected his thunder magic with each passing year. To keep him from getting his face bashed in by people like Kyle, Nash's wife Mia is there to keep things under control. With their efforts, Vane's Magic Guild was rebuilt partially. Vane is still grounded, but they haven't given up just yet. The Guild now rests in the hands of their children and grandchildren. The faithful Goddess, Luna, recently passed away. Once the Goddess Althena, she lived on Lunar as a human since the final battle with Ghaleon and died as one. The last faithful Dragonmaster and husband of Luna has been left to his thoughts. Ever since the death of Luna, Alex's friends have been visiting more frequently to keep him company, but one little friend does just enough.

"Alex!" cried the furry white creature. This was Nall; the devoted White Dragon of Althena still resides with Alex. Nall had been watching over Alex ever since they were young and na´ve. He got Alex into a lot of trouble, but also helped him out of the trouble he got him into. Nall has not aged a day ever since claiming his position as the White Dragon of Althena. "Alex, where are you?" called the little fuzzball. Oh, where could that boy be? Why am I always searching for him? Nall thought. For once, I wish it'd be easier to find him! An adventurer to the end, that boy! Nall found Alex at Dyne's Memorial, the same place Alex visited everyday in his youth. "Alex! There you are!"

"Hello, Nall. Yes, here I am. Where else would I be?"

"Alex, what are you doing here at Dyne's Memorial? You haven't come here for a long time now."

"Well, Nall, when I'm here, it feels like I can talk to Dyne, like I'm on another adventure almost. It was great adventuring with him and everyone. I just wish it didn't end so quickly. I also pray to Dyne to watch over Luna for me." There was a solemn look on Alex's face. Alex looked to his left side and pulled out Althena's Sword. "Nall, can I ask you a favor?"

"Anything, Alex."

"When it's my time, promise me you'll be the keeper of Althena's Sword. Keep it with you until a hero arises to save Lunar once again."

"But, Alex, I'm a Dragon! I have no need for a sword or any weapon. I've got dragon breath!"

"Nall, I'm not kidding. I want you to guard Althena's Sword for me... and Luna."

"How can I? I want to, but I don't know how."

"That's okay, Nall. You don't have to." Alex walked away, back down to the village leaving Nall at the memorial and to his thoughts.

Oh, now I've upset him. I really want to safeguard Althena's Sword for him, but I'm not human. I can't wield this weapon. I can't even hold it! Nall returned to Burg, still pondering on possibilities and guilt.

Burg celebrated the anniversary of their founding that night. Nall remained distant from Alex because of uneasy feelings between them, at least those feelings that Nall felt. Nall was still contemplating whether or not to be the guardian of Althena's Sword. He wanted to say yes, but he didn't know how he could. He didn't know if he deserved it. That night, Nash, Mia, Kyle, Jessica, and their children and grandchildren came to Burg to celebrate and to catch up with Alex. Nall sought out each of them to ask for advice.

"That's a great honor for him to ask you to hold onto it for him, pip-squeak," Kyle, the former Nanza bandit, exclaimed.

"It is truly a great honor, Nall, but you are a Dragon, and you really have no need for a sword, however, this is the Goddess' sword. I guess you don't have to be able to use it, you just have to hang on to it," Jessica responded.

"But how can he do that? He doesn't exactly have the limbs required to even pick it up, let alone protect it!" Nash teased.

"Oh, hush, Nash!" Mia snapped. "Nall is in a tight spot. He needs to learn how to wield a sword as a human would, but being a Dragon, his options are limited. I've heard of Althena's Dragons having a human form, but it was only a story. Mother used to tell it to me. I never thought it was true, though, and I'm sorry to say, I still don't."

"Mia!" Jessica jumped in. "Those are some nice words to leave with Nall!"

"Well, I can't exactly lie just to make him feel better! If it's not true, it won't help!"

"But if it was true, he would have no possible way of achieving it because of your opinion! Although, it might be pretty pointless, but that's beside the point!"

"See? Even you doubt the story!"

While they bickered, Nall sought out Ramus. Yes, Nall was desperate enough to ask even Ramus for help. Ramus came back from Meribia and his shop to celebrate the founding of his hometown as well as to catch up with his old friends.

"Well, Nall, if you don't want to be burdened with it, you can always give it to me! I'll put it on display at my store! Althena's Sword is worth a town-full of silver! However, don't you worry, Nall, I'll put it up for 5,000,000,000 silver! That way, I can watch it for you and keep my image! No one can afford that price, so I'll be able to keep it at my store forever! And I'll make sure my son doesn't sell it either."

"Ramus, you idiot! Be serious! I'm not giving Althena's Sword to anyone! If I'm to protect it, I'll protect it. The only way it'll ever leave me is if that hero Alex spoke of does arrive to claim it."

"Well, there you go! You just answered your own question."

"What?! What the heck are you talking about?"

"Well, you asked me if you should safeguard Althena's Sword or not. If you're so passionate about it, sounds like you're up to the job description." With that, Ramus walked away.

Well, I'll be a gorgon's uncle! Ramus was actually right for a change!

Nall's faith was reinvigorated. He decided to seek out Alex to tell him. Nall looked up and down the festival, and flew in and out of the houses to find his old friend, but came up short.

Oh, that boy! He must be at the monument again! Nall flew up to the monument, and sure enough, he found Alex sitting in front of the monument "conversing" with Dyne.

"I promise the sword will be in safe hands. I know that Nall hasn't been cooperating with the matter, but I'll find a way to keep the sword safe. I don't know where yet, but I'll find a place. You have my word, Dragonmaster Dyne. You have my word..."

Nall wanted to tell Alex that he did want to keep the sword for him, but he decided not to bother Alex at that particular moment. I'll talk to him later tonight. Nall flew back to the festival where he caught up with the rest of the Heroes and told them his decision.

"Terrific, Nall! However, how do you plan to keep it safe? You can't even hold it," Mia asked.

"I haven't figured that part out yet, but I will. The important thing is that I will be its keeper for as long as it needs to be with me. Alex wants me to give it to the next hero who is worthy of it," Nall answered.

"Good decision, pip-squeak," Kyle said. "Just wing it! Ha-ha! I taught you well!"

"Well, Nall, I'm glad you came to this decision so swiftly," Nash intervened, ignoring Kyle. "Alex needs this sort of cooperation in this time. We'll be right behind you, of course, to make it easier; just make sure you know what you're doing."

"I know. Don't worry, Nash. I'll protect it like I would protect my friends. It'll never leave me," Nall promised.

"That's good to hear, Nall. We'll be right behind you when you tell Alex. He'll be so happy!" Jessica said.

"Thanks, everyone."

Nall sought out Ramus to thank him. I can't believe I'm going to say this! "Hey, Ramus! Uh... you helped me out with the decision and... umm... I guess what I'm trying to say is... uh..."

"'Thank you, Ramus,'" Ramus finished.

"Yeah, Ramus. Thank you. Thank you very much."

"You're very welcome, Nall."

Nall and the group enjoyed the rest of the festival. When the celebration came to a close, they waited for Alex to reappear, but he didn't.

"Where's Alex?" Mia asked. Everyone chattered.

"I don't know. Where could he be?" Jessica questioned.

"He must still be at the monument, that boy! I'm going to go to him!" The little White Dragon sped off to Dyne's Monument to find his friend. When he got there, he saw a horrific sight. "Alex! What happened?" Alex was propped up against the monument, clutching his chest and breathing heavily.

"Nall... don't worry... I'll be fine..." Alex's breath was short. He gasped for air.

"No, Alex... don't leave me... please... I can't bear to be without you. You're my best friend..."

"You're my best friend, too, Nall. Don't worry about me. I'll be okay. I can finally see Luna again."

"Make sure you tell her hi for me..."

"I will, Nall. Nall, my time is short. I want to leave knowing that Luna's sword will be in the safest of hands. Will you guard it for me?"

"Yes, of course, I will, Alex! I'll guard it with my life! Don't worry, Alex. I'll make sure it's safe!"

"Thank you, my friend... Give it to the next hero that will arise to protect this world... until then, I entrust it to you, old friend..."

Nall was crying hysterically. He tried to control it, so Alex could leave in peace, but could not stop the tears from pouring out.

"Don't cry, Nall. I'll be at peace, and I'll see Luna once more... and I'm happy to know that her sword will reside safely with you."

"Oh, Alex. I can't believe the time has finally come! I prayed, hoped, and wished that this day would never come... even though I knew in my heart that I couldn't stop it from coming. I never wanted you to leave me because now I'm going to be alone. I don't know if I can bear to be alone, Alex. I'm scared. I'll be lost without you."

"Nall, wherever I may be, I'm always with you. Just keep me in your heart as I have with you all this time. You are my best friend, and you always have been. Thanks for all the memories, Nall..."

"Alex..."

At this point, the rest of the Heroes have gathered and watched the emotional disjoining of two friends.

"Oh, Nall... Alex..." Jessica wept. Kyle held her and she sobbed uncontrollably in his arms. "It was great to have known ya, pal. Thanks for everything, Alex," Kyle said.

"I can't believe it's come to this..." Nash pondered. "It seemed like yesterday that he pulled that trap off of me in the forest."

Mia's tears fell quicker than she could recover. She buried her face in Nash's shoulder and let the tears freely fall.

"Alex... thanks for the memories, buddy..." Ramus said. He walked up to Alex and knelt down. "Say hi to Luna for me, okay, buddy?"

"Of course, Ramus. Thanks for being such a great friend all this time. I'll be sure to say hi for all of you. Thank you, everyone. And Nall..." Alex unsheathed Althena's Sword. "Take care of this for me..."

"Okay, Alex. You can count on me..."

At that moment, Alex's eyes closed and his hand fell limp. Althena's Sword fell, and Nall grabbed it. Alex laid there, a shell of his former being, as the rest of his old group shed their tears.

"Alex... Oh, Alex..." Nall's tears shimmered as they trickled down his face. "Alex..." Suddenly, Nall's tears began to glow. His body was engulfed by a light so pure that it seemed the Goddess herself sent it to him. Nall's body began to change. His paws became hands and feet. His body grew to become that of a human's. His face was shining every moment, and he transformed. Standing where Nall had been hovering was a boy dressed in a white gown, looking to be no older than sixteen. He had white hair with a brown streak down the center. His hair was the only physical remnant of his dragon form. Nall achieved his human figure, and could now wield the weapon he was asked to protect. Nall continued to cry, but he knew that he had to be strong. "Alex, I'll protect Althena's Sword. Thank you for giving me the ability to do so. I know that you did. You're still watching over me. Thank you, my friend... thank you." Nall picked up the sword and held it tight in his hands.

"Nall!" everyone exclaimed. "By the Goddess! You're human!"

"The stories Mother told me were true!" Mia exclaimed.

"Thank you, everyone, for being here. I know that the departing of Alex was hard, but we'll get through it together. By keeping his story alive, we will keep him alive."

Everyone nodded and smiled. Alex was buried the nest day, and a monument was resurrected for him next to Dyne's. The remainder of the Heroes returned home and Nall was left in Burg. He now walks in Alex's shoes, visiting the monument everyday and talking to Luna, Dyne, and Alex. When he was there one day, he heard Luna's song in the wind, and smiled. He felt Alex's power within him, and felt an energy surge through his body.

He looked into the Blue Star and somehow knew; everything was going to be okay. Nall smiled to himself, and left the monument.

Back to the Library of Vane.

Back to the Shrine to Ghaleon.