We were innocent.
Such clichés are often difficult to take seriously, but even the most overused phrases could sometimes be used to shield a meaning deeper than any combination of words could hope to explain. The right to use such wordplay is not so much a gift as it is a curse placed upon those with the greatest potential for destruction. The burden of power could be placed on anyone, whether they worked for justice or evil, if such things even existed. Of course, such a heavy burden plants the seeds of madness, and chaos soon consumes everything in sight.
Every being is vulnerable to such insanity. The innocent are no different.
It is through bearing the responsibility of power that brings to light this world’s villains and its heroes. These beings are what define our history, a history born from the legends and tales that lay the foundation of our principles. Over time, these stories are clouded with deceptions and exaggerations that their historical value dies along with the tale itself. That is how a legend meets its death, leaving the world open once again for another group of pure hearted fools to stumble across the consuming burden of power.
The cycle continues.
My tale starts out like all the rest. As I had said before, we were innocent.
I would have done nearly anything in my power to hold onto that innocence, if not for myself then for those that journeyed with me. It was one thing to know that I was dragging myself down, but it was another thing to know that I was ruining the lives of those I cared for most. I always ask myself if there was ever a different way, but I could never answer that question. Perhaps there may have been, but now it’s too late to go back.
I once said that the greatest flaw in any being is regret. One should never make a decision they may later regret, but if that were to happen, then it should be dealt with rather than dwelt upon. A mistake does not become an error until a person refuses to correct it. I promised myself that I would never make a decision that I would regret or regret a decision I had already made.
It’s amazing to see myself break my own promises.
Maybe it was because I changed so drastically after it happened; we all did, I guess.
This world was once a peaceful place, as they are at the beginning of nearly every tale. Unlike the seven continents that the recent generations seem accustomed to, Earth, whose true name was Gaia, was actually one large supercontinent united under one kingdom: the Jade Kingdom. Of course, this kingdom had a wondrous ruler known as King Emrick. The Jade Kingdom prospered for many generations and allied itself with two other worlds. The three worlds of Gaia, Elzia, and Polaris were a powerful alliance although their strength wasn’t truly required during such a peaceful time.
However, as all things do, this peace would soon come to an end. Gwydion, who would later be established as the most feared being in the galaxy, had his eyes set on Gaia, having no problem with the idea of crushing its sister worlds in the process. A great war was fought and many lives were lost. Because Polaris was so far away from the other two worlds, which were barely a stone’s throw from one another, it was the first to be in immediate danger. Although Elzia and Gaia wished to help its sister world, they knew that stretching their forces so far out would create a fatal disadvantage. With heavy hearts and mournful prayers, the two worlds cut themselves away from Polaris to tighten their own defenses. It wasn’t long before Polaris fell.
It wasn’t until Gwydion reached Gaia that we truly saw what we were up against. Commanding hordes of ghastly beasts known as Cardin, Gwydion easily overwhelmed Gaia’s and Elzia’s combined forces. The abomination was only a breath away from ruling the planet.
Normally, that would be where the tale ended, but just because this legend begins like all the rest doesn’t mean that it ends as such.
In a last ditch effort to save the humans of his Kingdom, King Emrick cast a powerful spell, sealing his people in an Illusion. It was an ingenious and complex spell, not only protecting them from Gwydion’s wrath but also relieving them of all the memories of their past lives. It was a new world, free of outside influence and soon to be brilliant technologically. Although Gwydion was easily able to take over the planet with no one defending it, his victory was hollow because its people were safe from him even in their dreams and memories. This Illusion world lasted for a century, slowly building its own history, the one that its generations would be accustomed too. However, in order to give them a head start, King Emrick gave them a false history. It spoke of great empires in places called Rome and Greece and leaders such as George Washington. Although they are in our minds and our history books, they never truly existed. The Illusion world, nicknamed Earth, was built on a false history, but it prospered far better than anyone could have expected.
A new legend was born, but the one before it had not yet died. The shattering of a once-continuous cycle meant that anything was possible and nothing was foolproof - not anymore.
An older legend would soon come into play here. The most famous tale throughout Gaian history was that of the Guardians. Their souls were as ancient as the planet itself and were born to protect it under any circumstance. A few noteworthy heroes rose during the Ancient War with Gwydion, and it was believed that those beings were the Guardians raised to protect its planet. Although the Illusion confirmed their defeat, it did not mean that they were never to rise again.
How do I know this? I was in that war, and I was the one who awakened those noteworthy heroes. I, too, was a Guardian, but through inexplicable means, I was able to sever that bond with the planet but with great sacrifice. Now is the Age of the Illusion and I should not remember any of this, but unfortunately, my mind recalls every moment of the Ancient Age as well as the brutal war that ended it all. The Guardians are here as well, although they remember nothing, and, being close friends with them, I intend to keep it that way. They should not have to live another life with blood on their hands.
Sadly, though, Fate seems to disagree with me. I can feel it; I can feel the Illusion slowly wearing away. Thoughts and memories are slowly appearing in my friends’ dreams and minds, and it is obvious that the King’s Illusion has little time left. My goal was to avoid bringing my friends into bloodshed once again. I had done that once before and regret it even to this day. Fate is giving me a second chance, it seems. This time, things will be different even if it means having to stop Gwydion single-handedly.
A legend had been born before its predecessor had died. A new beginning was formed without the first one ending. A cycle was broken only to be trapped in one too complex for mortal minds to comprehend. This twisted tale will come to an end by my hands; I swear it.
My name is Jayden Owens, and I am one of a few trapped in an undying legend. My sole purpose in life is to put an end to it one and for all.