The Legend of Gotai
Long ago, over the high hills and vast seas, a large stone tablet sat crushed next to a large cave. The tablet spoke of a very famous legend, that all witches and wizards, kings and queens, men and women knew about. It claimed that there shall be one who will be granted great power and wealth if desired if they prove themselves worthy.
Now, many men and women died trying to fulfil the legend to be true to them. Thousands had tried, but none had succeeded. No one truly knew what the pitch black cave contained, except for the fact that the legend spoke of great battles between men and his challenges with only one possible way of winning. Many people, from far and near, claimed it was them who could claim the great treasure that sat in the cave’s depths. But however hard they tried, each one ended up failing. The cave, it’s interior as black as midnight, still stood challenge to four champions who were on their way to either victory or death.
The first champion was a knight. He had a mighty sword, and was tall and ambitious. He worked for the king, but he planned on using the power of the great treasure to overthrow the king and rule the land himself. The second champion was an archer. He was slick and cunning, and tended to brag a lot. He had won many tournaments in his kingdom’s arena, and was claimed to be the greatest bow bearer ever. The third champion was a mage. She herself, wore a long, graceful dress only made of the purest silk to ever been wove. She was an elf, not to mention the elf king’s daughter. She longed to get the treasure to prove to her father she was worthy of being queen, and become the richest, most powerful ruler in the land. However, the last champion was different from all the rest. She was a small maiden from a small town that was built on the edge of the Great Elven Forest. She, unlike the others, did not wish for great power. She was only after the treasure to cure her sick mother, who was her only caretaker and was the women who inspired her.
So that night, the four champions gathered around the large stone tablet, getting ready for the large task ahead of them. And at about midnight, they began to venture into the cave.
“Just so you all know, I wouldn’t get your hopes up, for I will be claiming the Great Treasure!” cried the knight.
“Is that so? Well, I’d be a bit careful before you go charging into the obstacles that lie ahead, for one of us might outrun you,” the mage snapped.
The other two glanced at the knight, who was going red in the face, but said nothing. But just then, all four of them stepped into a dark forest, surrounded by large stretching veils of fog. The trees moaned as the wind weaved through their rotten branches. All four champions gazed around themselves, and then looked back at each other.
“I suppose we should split up?” the archer suggested.
“I shall claim the Great Treasure!” roared the knight, dashing straight into a thick cloud of fog.
“That settles it then, may the best win, I suppose,” the mage snorted.
And so they all set off in different directions, making sure to keep well away from each other. As each champion slowly made his or her way through the forest, each thought they were getting nowhere. And just as the archer was about to turn back, a scream echoed through the forest, making the trees shake. He spun around on his heels, bounding towards the sound. A horrifying sight awaited him. He looked at the blood splattered ground, to find a glistening ruby sword, with blood crusted upon it. It was the knight’s sword. The archer staggered backwards, realizing what had happened. Crunch. The archer wiped the sweat from his forehead. Crunch. Wind swerved through branches, making the trees begin the moan even louder. CRUNCH. The archer looked up and gasped. Standing before him stood a large, black dragon. It’s black beady eyes burned down upon him, and it stretched its wing, revealing a sparkling black inside wing that shimmered like the night sky. The archer instantly jumped back, drew an arrow, aimed, and shot the dragon right at his chest. The dragon let out a mighty roar, and drew a claw down to where the archer stood. The archer swiftly pulled out a knife and stabbed the large claw bearing down upon him. The dragon roared in agony again, and snapped at his opponent. The archer swiftly once again, dodged the attack, only this time, he drew three arrows and shot them at his face. One of the arrows happened to hit the dragons glossy white eye. The dragon screamed in pain, sharply shutting his eye. The archer gasped in astonishment, at how lucky he had been. And so with that, he struck the dragon a few more times with the weapons he beared, until he had the dragon at his feet. Just as he was praising himself on how he had managed to take down such a beast, he turned to face a cave full of glowing mushrooms, guiding the way to the next challenge.
“I’m not sure if you heard the sound of a dragon thundering about in the forest, but I heroically slayed the dragon myself,” boasted the archer, raising his bloody arrow, “See? Proof.”
“I’m not sure you actually read the tablet, but we all face the same challenge each time,” the mage said, “So technically, we all faced a dragon.”
The archer glared at the mage, as they continued through the cave.
“Looks like we’ve reached the next challenge,” the mage announced.
They had reached a beautiful meadow. Moss climbed up trees, and vines hung down from their branches. Rain water sparkled upon the leaves in the bright sunlight.
They glanced at each other for a while, then looked back at the exoctic senory. And with that, they went off to find their next obstacle.
The archer walked past tall willow trees, and green mossy patches of earth. He slowly walked up the the edge of a large pond, filled with sparkling water. The archer was very thirsty, so he bent down to take a drink of water. But just as he scooped up a handful of the sparkling water, his eyes darted up to see a magnificent creature rising from the waters of the still pond. It had a long neck, and blue glossy eyes. It had two horns stretching out beyond its head, and it’s sharp, spike-like scales fluttered with colors, like dye falling into water. A shaggy spiky mane snaked around its neck, and it had a snout with a beak almost likes a birds’. The archer gave a gasp, clutching his bow. This creature was truly beautiful and magnificent, but still extremely dangerous. He jumped up with a sudden jolt, and drew his bow, aiming straight at the beasts eye, like he had done with the last dragon. But before he could release his arrow, the creature rose its head, and made a hissing sound. It puffed out it’s mane, and spat a large glob of poison out of two sharp fangs. Then, it shrank back into its pond peacefully, leaving the archer dead upon the grass, poison splattered across his face.
“Looks like it’s either you or I,” the mage said, “And it will certainly be me. You’re lucky you made it this far. In fact, I’ve been wondering how a midget like you made it past all those horrible beasts without getting killed.”
The maiden didn’t reply back. She only looked down at her shoes that were covered with dirt and mud. Why did the mage have to be so rude? Did she have to always act like this? She had heard back at her home about how the elves complained loudly about their princess. Just as she pondered these thoughts, they reached a sudden cliff. A burst of fire suddenly erupted from below the cliff. Both champions peered over the edge to reveal a horrifying, yet along enchanting sight. Lava spewed from small volcano like funnels, while fire burst into flame into strange spots. Heat surrounded both of them, and they suddenly heard a loud cry. A phoenix flew over head, singing a sweet song, and flame bursting behind it. It’s feathers fluttered with colors of scarlet, gold, and orange. It’s beak and talons were small, but it’s eyes almost too sad to even bear looking at.
“Well, this is very obvious,” the mage smirked, “You have to have magic to cross to that small little island. And you don’t have magic.”
Sure enough, there was a small island right below them. The mage smirked at the maiden, then lifted off, hovering above the ground, and then flew over to the small island below them. The maiden stared down to the little island, but didn’t lose hope. She looked up at the blazing bird, then let out a cry, replicating the one the phoenix had sang a few minutes ago. The bird gazed down at the small figure, then swooped down to where the maiden stood. And from there, it simply landed next to her, and looked up into her light blue eyes. She crouched down, then stroked the bird’s feathers. The phoenix cooed thankfully. And as if taking orders, the phoenix slowly hovered just above the maiden, and gently grasped hold of her dress. The maiden immediately understood what the bird was trying to do, and relaxed in its grasp, for she knew phoenixes can carry even the heaviest loads. The bird slowly lifted her from the ground, and flew her over to the small island, where the mage was practicing her magic, waiting her next challenge.
They landed with a thump! and the bird let go of maiden. The bird bowed its head, then took flight once more, leaving her alone with the bright fires leading a path towards the arena. As she walked down the aisle of burning fire, the mage spun around and sneered, “You think you’re going to win? Ha! Watch and learn girl… watch and learn.”
The maiden quickly hurried to the other end of the clearing. Suddenly, fire burst around the edges of the arena, like a wall of fire, imprisoning them inside its walls. The mage put her hands up in a ready position, and gazed up. Wings of fire suddenly lashed above the clearing, flakes of ashes falling from the sky. A phoenix was levitating above their heads and it almost seemed to be made of fire. It turned its blazing eyes towards the mage, as if it were blazing with anger.
“A bird? HA! The lords think I will be outwitted by a bird? Well, they shall be wrong!”
She raised her hands, and magic swirled around her, Suddenly, a streak of magic blasted towards the phoenix. It swerved, dodging the blast. Its eyes lit up, and let out a screech, spreading its wings. Magic began to swirl around the bird, then a catapult of light blasted at the mage. There was a bright flash of light.
Ashes fell from the sky. Fires flickered, and lava spewed from small mounds. Upon where the mage stood, sat a small pile of ashes. The phoenix sat on the ground, looking up at the maiden, its feathers slightly ruffled. It dipped its head, and small tears began to fall from its ash-sodden eyes. He looked at her for a minute while she stroked his feathers, then turned his head, as if he were looking at something. She followed his eyes, then saw at the other side of the arena, a cave opened up, light fading out of it, with its earthy mouth stretching out of the ground. It was the gateway to the treasure. The maiden stood up, and smoothed the phoenix’s feathers down upon his head one last time. Then she began towards the cave to claim the treasure the legend spoke of.
A whispering meadow shone in the sunlight. Moss climbed up trees, and water droplets shone gold in the sunlight. A small golden pond rippled as the rising sun cast its rays upon the water. Everything seemed pleasant and peaceful. The maiden peered around a moss-covered tree, and stepped on the soft, squishy ground. The small pond lay ahead, as if filled with pure gold. She walked over to it, and gazed down at the glowing liquid. The meadow stayed silent for several moments, until the pond gave a small ripple of motion under the water. And all the sudden, a giant, golden, maginicient dragon rose from the water. He flared his shiny gills, and looked down on the maiden with warm glowing eyes. His neck rose at least five feet out of the water.
“Child,” he whispered, “You’ve past the lords of The Legend of Gotai. You must be waiting for your reward...”
“Y-yes, sir… I’ve only come this far for a cure to treat my mother. She is gravely ill, and she might die soon. I promised I’d come back with a cure, sir…”
“Of course,” the beast whispered in a warm voice, “But I ask one thing. Do you know why the others failed and you succeeded?”
“Yes, I do,” the maiden stood up straight, “They tried to kill the lords. They were
all greedy, and wanted this prize for their own.”
“That is correct…” the dragon murmured, “Peace is more powerful than violence. Perhaps the world shall learn that one day…”
He looked at her with wistful eyes, and a warm smile.
“Before you… grant me my wish, why is the legend called The Legend
Gotai?” the maiden asked.
“Oh, yes… of course… my name is Gotai,” the dragon said, “I am the great treasure all those people have been fighting for all these years… but now, it is time for your reward…”
The dragon suddenly lifted two giant, glowing wings out of the water, and rose them into the air.
“I bestow upon this young girl, the power of Gotai, for all the peace and respect she has given us!” the dragon cried.
Magic and sunlight swirled around the meadow, and a flash of light filled the meadow.
The maiden suddenly found herself back at her cottage, finding her mother full of health and strength. She ran over and hugged her mother, fighting back tears. And after a few moments, she looked out the window, and saw a clear outline of Gotai slide into the forest. The maiden knew that deep in those woods, Gotai would be there waiting, peacefully.
“Thank you…” she whispered, peering out the window.
And with that, they lived forever with happiness, and the lords of Gotai settled in their caves, as immortals.