On the mountain peak, a young man leaned against an old tree with his arms folded across his chest. The fluttering sound of his pristine white robes is wiped away by the howling of wind. His phoenix eyes scanned the area beneath him. From his point of view, it seemed as if the entire range of lush green mountains are enveloped in white silk like clouds. But, not many things could escape his sharp eyes...
Beneath the canopy of white smoke like clouds and between the serene mountains a bright red structure stood proudly, like a magnificent image spitting flames from every corner. It was a majestic sight to behold but not even a trace of awe could be seen on his stoic sculpted face.
" It's time I grace them with my presence..." he mused absentmindedly as his eyes were locked on the red colored palace with his thoughts haywire.
Meanwhile, in front of the towering gates two pitiful guards are playing with the pebbles to relieve their boredom. Their home is more than just peaceful, making their job of guarding rather boring and dull. The whole atmosphere was enveloped in an eerie pin-drop silence the only exception being the screeching sound of the stones across the glossy red floor.
" Feng Yi... Say, when will our lord return? Our race is prospering, there have been no wars since thousands of years the only void being the unknown whereabouts of our leader." Feng Er sighed dejectedly.
" Our lord will return at the right time." the guard called Feng Yi replied in a stiff voice. His voice coupled with his scarred face gave him the vibes of a cold-blooded freak, which was anything but his inbuilt nature. Knowing this traits of his, the other one did not stop his blabbering.
" I think our lord will return if another war breaks out..." Feng Er's eyes widened at his blunder and he shut his mouth as he became aware of what he said.
" Don't speak so casually about another war. The casualties of the last war are still a source of many of my nightmares. " Feng Yi rebuked the fool sternly.
The two guards bowed their heads and an awkward silence descended around them. At this time, the same train of thoughts are going on in both of their minds.
' It's due to our incompetence that we lost our princess and our lord left this realm in search of her. '
Both of them were brought out of their daze when they noticed the sparks of light in the fire crystal embedded in the gate. The tiny sparks morphed into a blinding light making their eyes widen in trepidation.
" S-someone entered through the barrier." Feng Er broke out into a cold sweat as he muttered.
The fears in their hearts are not baseless. It has to be known that there has been no breach of barrier since the last war. It is not known if the ones who entered their land are friends or foes. They could only pray for them to be friends as they are in no position to fight a war, specially without their lord.
" Let's see who it is. Be on guard and be prepared to strike in case of any dubiety of the person's identity." Feng Yi braced for the worst as he spread his wings and dashed forward against the wind.
" Ok." Feng Er nodded his head before following his fellow comrade.
Feng Yi scanned the green carpet like land with his narrowed eyes and they slowly widened at the sight of a man dressed in white robes walking towards the gate. At close inspection of the man's features, Feng Yi felt as if his heart was going to stop at any moment.
He turned his head abruptly and found the similar expression of shock on Feng Er's face.
They have to make sure if the person was who they thought to be...
No more words were needed between them as they both descended down to land in front of the white robed man.
Lidan's brows twitched as he eyed Feng Yi and Feng Er who were now gawking at him as if they are not able to believe their eyes.
" Did everyone forget me?" Lidan glared at them making both of the guards go weak in their knees.
Feng Yi and Feng Er fell on their knees with their eyes still lingering on Lidan's face.
" I am neither an illusion nor a phantom." Lidan smiled slightly on seeing their bewildered faces.
Tremors passed through their nerves as their bodies swayed and it took a while before getting a hold on themselves.
" Lord, you have returned." Feng Yi and Feng Er rasped at the same time.
" Get up. How are our people?" Lidan questioned unhurriedly as he paced forward, making it difficult for Feng Yi and Feng Er to keep up with his long steps.
" My lord, stop jesting us. What else could go wrong with the barrier protecting us. Everyone is fine and happy." Feng Er humored only to earn a glare from Feng Yi.
" En, everyone is fine and happy just as she wished..." Lidan's whisper did not escape their ears and those words made them feel as if a heavy rock was weighing on their hearts.
Knowing who Lidan was talking about, Feng Yi's eyes trembled and lowered his head speaking in a low and unsure voice " My Lord, did you find the princess?"
Feng Yi and Feng Er felt their heart beat erratically. There were many things that they want to ask, but they found no words coming out from their throats. They did not protect her properly and they had failed their duty. So, what right or with what face can they question their lord. Ashamed, they lowered their heads without speaking further.
" Don't be hard on yourselves. She never has or never will blame you guys. As of now, she has no memories of her past. It will be a while before she steps into this place." Lidan comforted them. He knew the pain of losing his precious sister and he knew that these fellows blamed themselves for her death.
After all, they are her personal bodyguards and it was only natural for them to blame themselves. But, he knew better than anyone that she herself was responsible for her own death. It was her own decision and it was this decision that haunted Lidan all these years. If only he had been by her side at that time, if only...