The Travelling Flames

 

“What?!” Ignatius exclaimed in horror. “You expect me to leave my home and go on a journey to round up these… legendary warriors?!”

 

“Yes,” Furon said, suddenly sternly. “If you rely on your family constantly, then you will not be able to develop your own strength. You are fourteen years old and still growing up. This is the perfect opportunity to develop your strengths, beliefs, experience the world and do much more as you travel.”

 

“But… I don’t know how to live on my own…” Ignatius said feebly.

 

“Do not worry and, more importantly, do not fear the unknown,” Furon said firmly.

 

“Life is like a mystery novel. You won’t know what is next if you don’t turn the page. Just like that, you won’t reach your goal unless you take the steps to get there. I will admit life can be difficult at times. It has its ups and downs, but that should spur you on and keep you moving forward. Never give up even in the face of defeat. Always keep on moving forward to achieve, succeed and be victorious in what you do. All you need to do is to put your effort and believe you can do it and you will. No doubt about it!”

 

Ignatius finally smiled at the strong and reassuring words Furon spoke to him with. He indeed felt he could do anything with the kind of confidence Furon had boosted into him. Just then something popped into his mind and he suddenly became uncertain about the possibility of life on his own.

 

“My parents might not let me journey on my own,” he said uncertainly.

 

“So? What’s that got to do with your journey?” Furon asked casually.

 

“Well, they may think this idea is stupid and everything,” Ignatius said in a disappointed tone.

 

Furon sighed as he realised what was concerning the young man. He smiled as he remembered his past when his parents opposed to his journeying around the world on his own.

 

“It doesn’t matter whether they think the idea is stupid or not. It is important to know your goal and doing whatever you can to get to it. So be it, your parents might think it’s a stupid idea.”

 

“So what?” Furon said as if he didn’t care less what they thought about the idea.

 

“You are growing into a fine young man and, as such, you must also learn to uphold your amount of responsibility in this world. Soon you will grow into an adult and if you don’t have much experience, then you will have difficulty surviving in this world. You are a living being, just like everybody else. You can make decisions on what you want to do without someone telling you otherwise.”

 

“I do however will give you an advice. Don’t fight with your parents if you can. Relationships are easy to break, but once they break, it’s nearly impossible to repair. Make them understand, make them accept it, make them believe in you and, most importantly, ensure they trust you. That way, when you finally embark on your journey, they will believe in you and be reassured you will be alright.”

 

Finally, a strong belief came over Ignatius as he realised he can do it.

 

“I can do it!” he said confidently and Furon nodded in satisfaction.

 

“That’s the spirit,” he said smiling. “Now, time for you to wake up, your family is very worried about you.”

 

“Ah, but wait, how am I supposed to find these legendary warriors?” Ignatius asked the now disappearing figure of Furon.

 

Furon simply smiled and he suddenly sounded as if he was far away like in a long tunnel.

 

“All will be revealed in due time. Now, wake up!”

 

As if a sudden shock had aroused him, Ignatius’s eyes flew open. For a moment he didn’t know where he was or what was happening to him. Then a great shout went off and people rushed over to his bedside. The pendulum broke at the noise, shouts and the garbled words they were saying to him. Mostly he noticed his mother and father, tears of joy in their eyes as they hugged their only son.

 

A few days went by and news of the attack of the dark riders at their village hit the newspaper headlines. Many were discussing the details of the attack and how the leader of the village had fended them off together with the village men. There was, however, a small rumour circulating the involvement of the spirit of flames, but since most are exasperated, it didn’t become too serious. As for the fact that Ignatius is the new legendary warrior of flames, it was a secret. Everyone in the village knew how important it is to keep him a secret and safe until all the ten warriors are gathered. Just until he was strong enough to control the spirit at will.

 

Later Ignatius spoke to his parents about what he discussed with Furon, the legendary warrior of flames. To his surprise it did not surprise his parents. They then explained how sage Ash had foreseen the day when he would obtain the spirit of the flames and become the next legendary warrior of flames. Ignatius then spoke to his parents and told them he will be embarking on his journey to unite the remainder of the legendary warriors. At first his mother, Amelia, was downright against the idea of her only son travelling around the world, unprotected and helpless. Ignatius didn’t give up and put up a valiant fight, which resulted in his father agreeing to his idea.

 

“He has decided what to do,” Adam, Ignatius’s father, said firmly to his wife. “He is growing up to make his own decisions. We must acknowledge that.”

 

“But…!” Amelia said in desperation. “He’s just a child!”

 

That was when Furon suddenly appeared before them as a spirit, shocking them all and caused Amelia to faint in thinking he was a ghost. Once she recovered, they discussed the matter and Furon reassured them, he will personally watch over Ignatius since he is tied to the spirit of the flames.

 

“How can a spirit protect a child?” Amelia burst out angrily.

 

She regretted those words a moment later though. The immense power Furon released caused the air around them to become thick with strain. For a second she thought she was going to suffocate before the feeling disappeared and all returned to normal.

 

“Please do watch your words in my presence,” Furon said in a powerful voice. “I may have become a spirit, but my power has not diminished! Do not forget, I was originally the Legendary Warrior of Flames.”

 

So, reluctantly, Amelia agreed to the idea of Ignatius’s journey. And so, plans and preparations were made for his journey. His father booked a ticket for Ignatius to travel to the nearest city by bus. Amelia packed food, clothes and anything else he might need in his journey. On the day of the departure, the sage of the village, Ash, performed some rituals before Ignatius can be on his way.

 

Ignatius for his part, was somewhat feeling sad. He was indeed excited about the prospect to journey and experience the world for him, but, he is also feeling slightly alone. Just then Furon spoke in his mind “Don’t forget me, young man. I am always by your side if you ever need a companion to talk to,” and he smiled in appreciation.

 

It was night as they gathered at the north exit from the village to send Ignatius of. His mother, Amelia, gave him a wallet, which contained some paper, writing pen and a reasonable amount of money.

 

“Take good care of yourself?” Amelia said, hugging him tightly.

 

“Yes mummy,” Ignatius said, breaking away from her embrace and turned to his face his father.

 

His father, Adam, pulled out a scroll and handed it to his son. Ignatius unravelled it to see it was a map.

 

“You will need it if you need to plot your way around the world,” his father said smiling. Then he placed a hand on his son’s head and said “Take care.”

 

“Yes!” Ignatius replied with confidence as the excitement and the thrill of adventure fired up his energy.

 

Ignatius then got on the bus to the nearest city which was Maradingus. He sat next to the window and watched as all the villagers came to send him off. He suddenly felt like crying, but he held them back after remembering he promised to himself, he will not cry so easily. So he simply waved back at them as the bus started. He looked out the window and continued to wave as the shrinking silhouette of his people and the village. Then the bus sped up and the village was lost to sight.

 

“Goodbye, village Saradinium,” Ignatius muttered in a sad voice.

 

“Aww, don’t be like that Ignatius,” Furon spoke in his mind in a stern voice. “You are making it sound as if you will never see them again.”

 

Ignatius sniffed softly before wiping the apparent tears from his eyes.

 

“Your right!” Ignatius thought. “We will meet again for sure!”

 

“Definitely!” Furon said in a happy.

 

As they spoke, the bus had gone over several deserted areas and is now on a smooth stretch. Ignatius pressed his face against the window and he could see the far distance ahead clearly. He suddenly realised how happy he felt at the prospect of spending his new life on his own. He can do things where he wants, when he wants. Ignatius became somewhat concerned about the problem of toilet, but he pushed it to the back of his mind, thinking he can worry about it later.

 

After what seemed like half an hour, Ignatius yawned. He knew the journey to the city Maradingus would take a while. He opened one of his bag’s side pockets and pulled out his bus ticket. It was written on it the starting time and the ending time of the travel. Calculating the time it would take from the time he started and the time the bus is expected to finish its journey, he knew it would take around three hours to get there.

 

“This is going to take a… a long… time… before we reach Maradingus,” Ignatius said while yawning.

 

“Why don’t you take a nap?” Furon suggested.

 

“Good idea!” Ignatius said, taking up the suggestion. “The scenery isn’t that interesting anyway. Wake me up when we get there, ok.”

 

“What am I, your alarm clock?” Furon asked indignantly.

 

“Yes…” Ignatius muttered before closing his eyes and quickly falling asleep.

 

After what felt like only a few seconds, he heard Furon’s voice.

 

“Wake up Ignatius.”

 

For a few moments Ignatius didn’t respond so Furon yelled “Wake… Up…!”

 

“Ok, ok. I’m up!” Ignatius said groggily.

 

He looked around him and noticed the bus wasn’t moving. Outside it was still dark with stars littered the sky. He liked the scenery so he unzipped his bag and pulled out a digital camera. After taking a few quick photos, he put it back in his bag and zipped it up again. Then he stretched and asked Furon “What’s happening?”

 

“It seems the bus driver and conductor went out to inspect the way ahead,” Furon said. “Apparently they noticed an unusual shape in the sand.”

 

The other passengers were muttering amongst themselves while the driver and conductor remained in front of the bus. Just then a mighty bang went off, causing the women to shriek in surprise. Next thing they felt the bus was pushed backwards by a tremendous force. Straightening up, he heard several of the passengers shout in surprise while others screamed in fright. Looking towards the front, Ignatius saw what that disturbance was; a huge black & white bear.

 

“A sand bear,” Furon said in an amused tone. “A big fat animal and it’s a stupid one at that.”

 

“Now isn’t the time for jokes!” Ignatius said sternly, getting off the bus and running towards the bear. “We need to know why its here.”

 

“Isn’t that obvious?” Furon said in an unconcerned voice. “It’s here to eat you. Well, the bus and its passengers off-course.”

 

“Say what?!” Ignatius said in alarm. “Why do sand bears eat busses?”

 

“Well, the sand bears tend to dig under the sand and trap unwary travellers so they become its next meal. This is why most travel in groups in the desert or if they are strong to feel they are safe from the animals of the wilderness.”

 

“But doesn’t it know this is a bus?” Ignatius asked in confusion.

 

“Do you seriously think sand bears are smart enough to tell the different between a person and a bus?”

 

“Probably not…” Ignatius said after a slight pause.

 

While he and Furon discussed, the sand bear was putting up a fight against the driver and conductor. Both of them were working together with their attacks in an effort to take down the huge beast.

 

“Looks like they need help,” Ignatius said, starting to feel excited. “Time for a legendary warrior act?”

 

Just then the conductor had spotted him and he shouted “What are you doing kid? Get back inside, we’ll handle this!”

 

“Easier said than done,” Ignatius thought, watching their battle with an exasperated expression on his face. “Should the legendary warriors of flames deal with this?”

 

“You seriously want to transform into the legendary warrior form, eh?” Furon said with a trace of satisfaction in his voice. “Ah… Very well… Though I can’t believe a legendary warrior will have to take on a stupid sand bear.”

 

“Yay!” Ignatius said. “So, what do I do to transform into the legendary warrior?”

 

“Repeat after me,” Furon said firmly.

 

“Spirit Merge, activate.”

 

“Spirit Merge, activate!”

 

A moment, nothing happened and he suddenly became rather embarrassed by the way he posed himself. Then a blinding light engulfed him and caused the fighters, sand bear and the passengers in the bus to cover their eyes.

 

“The light, it’s so bright, it’s blinding!” the driver said.

 

“What is that kid doing?!” the conductor exclaimed, covering his eyes from the glow of light emanating from the place the kid had been standing a moment before.
The light diminished slowly and in the place of the kid stood a tall person wearing red armour which shone with the light from the starry sky. The man was tall with his entire body covered in armour; he wore what looked like a mask on his head while metallic gauntlets and feet with claw shaped for where the toes go into.

 

“What the?!” everyone exclaimed at the sudden appearance of this unknown stranger.

 

The sand bear roared and raced towards him. Everyone shouted at the figure to warn him, but he took no notice. As the bear drew closer, he moved at blinding speed while dazzling everyone watching him. First, he stood still; next he drew back his right fist and took a launching stance before hurling the fist into the face of the beast. The impact of such an attack launched the sand bear into the air and it sailed for a few meters before crash landing on the sand. Then the warrior straightened up and stood still, staring at the sand bear some meters away from him.

 

For a moment, everything stood still as the audience couldn’t believe what just happened right before their very eyes. Then the cheers and clapping broke out for their mysterious saviour. They had observed the struggle the driver and the conductor were having with the sand bear. Yet, there stood a man strong enough to send the bear flying like it was nothing.

 

“Ah yeah!” Ignatius said, as he observed the distance the sand bear fell at from just his fist. ”This… is… awesome!”

 

“Good job using your fist,” Furon said in a satisfied voice.

 

Before they could celebrate their victory, the sand bear started to dig into the sand. Sand flew everywhere at the speed of its digging. Before long the sand settled down and the bear disappeared, leaving a large hold behind which it had used to get underground.

 

“It escaped!” said one of the passengers cheerfully.

 

“Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure of that…” Furon said thoughtfully. “Sand bears don’t run from a fight, their pride won’t allow it.”

 

Just then the ground beneath them shook violently, then the sand started to give way. Ignatius, as the legendary warrior of flames, jumped into the air. Not a moment too soon the sand bear reappeared and lunged at him.

 

“Want to eat me?” Ignatius said in high spirits. “Then, eat my fist instead!”

 

As the beast opened its jaws wide to crunch him in, he quickly placed his left hand on the bear’s head nose. Then he pushed against it which gave him some force, enough to make him roll in midair so he was on top of the bear’s head. Finally, he quickly gathered large portions of energy into his fist and landed it on the bear’s head. The sand bear roared, but the attack wasn’t finished there. Not stopping there, he used his feet to suddenly propel himself downward and towards the sandy ground. They hit with a quake, causing waves of sand to fly everywhere, buffeting the driver and the conductor along with all the passengers in the bus.

 

As the smoke cleared everyone saw the man standing on top of the now unconscious sand bear. Then he raised his right arm in the air as if announcing his victory. Everyone cheered and clapped at the amazing performance and skill the man had demonstrated. Feeling the no longer necessity to keep his warrior form, Ignatius transformed back into his human form.

 

The people were amazed and thrilled at the spectacle. More so than ever once they knew he was the legendary warrior of flames. Soon news of this will spread which will attract the attention of the good and the bad sides of the force. Little did he know, Ignatius’s life is about to get hyper from the revelation of the existence of him and the remainder of the legendary warriors.

 

“You’ve done a good job kid!” the conductor said brightly, clapping him on his back. “Seriously, we could’ve taken on that bear no problem, but you have our thanks.”

 

“Ah, that was no problem and I am not a kid!” Ignatius said cheerfully.

 

Ignatius did have one concerning matters to discuss with Furon.

 

“Furon?” Ignatius said. “How did I know to do all that stuff?”

 

“I told you,” Furon said. “The spirit of the flames became one with you. Meaning, you have inherited my skills, powers, knowledge and much more which have yet to be awakened and used.”

 

“Does that mean I am the most brilliant person in the world now?” Ignatius asked amazed.

 

“No way, you goof. It’s not that easy,“ Furon said sternly. “However, they will present it to you when you are ready and the right event is triggered.”

 

Ignatius became disappointed as the bus started to move. They were going to be late at the arrival by ten minutes but the passengers weren’t disappointed. The minor delay of ten minutes was really something totally unexpected. Now they all know the existence of the legendary warriors. It was not just them who had learnt something from the experience. Ignatius learnt to spirit merge into his warrior form and he can’t wait to do it again.

 

“Next stop, Maradingus the high-tech city!” the conductor said as he grinned and winked at the passengers.

 

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