Within the city, tension was rising. A small arena was host to young travelers as they learned new tricks. A teacher looked on as his students learned to control their mind and body to move simple objects. Ecco held a glass sphere, a blue gas dimming within it. The other children had their own, but theirs were brighter. Yelling and laughing, they tossed balls between each other. The other children weren’t letting Ecco get near them, expressing utter disgust at her every attempt to jump in. Unable to avoid her persistence, they could only use words to throw her off. She would have stood up against them, but ,being the youngest, she let them take advantage of her. At first she goes on with solo training, but she soon found it hard to concentrate with them there. In a fury, she left the arena. A strong gust of building power trailed behind her, catching everyone’s attention. The teacher, shocked, hurried the others out a different exit, leaving them in a resting garden. He rushed to the castle to call upon Nemul, begging her to find the troublesome child. It wasn’t hard to find her, sitting at the bottom of the great waterfall. Staring up at the world above her, she didn’t notice Nemul coming.

At this point, Nemul well knew that the child repelled personal questions more than anything. But, she did have an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
“Have you ever been up there?” She asked as she sat on the edge of the pool.

Unsure of what her mother -whom she hadn’t seen for half a szn- wanted of her, Ecco said nothing.

“Of course not, no one goes up there.” with a smile she turned her head up towards the majestic island. “Not even the most powerful peragro.”
Now Ecco turned around, not quite believing her smug mother.
“Oh, you don’t believe me?” Nemul looked down, but as always, it was impossible to tell if she was lying with the blind.

“I’ll go up there right now!” Ecco jumped to her feet with a cocky grin.

“…I could say that it’s prohibited…” She sighed.

“But you know that never works.”

With a frown, Nemul got up and stepped away from the pool. She looked down at Ecco, crossing her arms behind her back.”Now it’s time to listen though. Because I didn’t say your overlookers have prohibited it.”

Ecco jumped down, rushing to Nemuls side.”Then it was keepers of Propriss? Or of Yeroqui?”

“Oh Crea, no! This is from an ancient creed. And you…” She lingered for a moment, “have been training far too much to know better.”

“But…the other kids…” Ecco stuttered, unable to look at Nemul. “They have all outranked me yet I am forced to drag on their heels. If I study laws and religions and orders…I’ll never catch up!”

Nemul listened, grinning as she tried not to laugh. “Ahh child, the universe doesn’t revolve around power.” She started walking into the city, with a graceful calm Ecco couldn’t understand.
“Now come, it’s time for a different kind of lesson.”

Do you know why this city is empty, child?

It’s training grounds, why would anyone want to be here?

You mean…this entire city…is for you and your peers to play in?
No, you never see mature peragros here, except for in the palace and as teachers.

But you’re here now!

And for that I am thankful. Ancient spirits lie here, and I’m sure watching my every step.

Do they trust me?

Mhmm.

But not you…why is that?

I might destroy it, like the people before me tried to do. When this planet was first settled, this city was the first to rise. The results of their labor is exactly what you see right now. Only the natural growth of nature has changed the land. The spirits of those who poured their life into the soil are still here, up keeping the pristine beauty before us. Of course, change was something they wouldn’t give into…in life or death.

When new generations came, they tried using the grounds as a stake in their gambling. They would take down this to make room for that, bring in hundreds of these to hide those. And so it went on. Spirits are strong fighters. Especially in their numbers. And their willpower. Not to mention, the natural strengthening balance of the city. Or, it was. That balance was slowly being sucked away as high rollers saw gold in their eyes, not in their hearts.

Naturally, war had broke out. Luckily, it lasted a mere cycl before the newcomers gave up. They moved on, forgetting their mistake. The spirits were content, the land was content.

Wait…

Hmm?

That explains nothing about why I can’t go up the falls. I get that I’m too young to do any harm down here.

Precisely. As for up there…it’s a mystery. After the emptying of the land, anyone that tried to go was immediately forced back down. All we know is that we aren’t wanted up there. It’s enough we still have the palace.

Hmph, I’ll show them. One day I’ll see what they’ve been hiding.

Long after life you will.

Uh-uh! I’ll have plenty of life. Not only that, but I’ll use these grounds. Not for wagering, but for what I use them as now. These spirits are right wasteful if we can only be here for a short time of our lives.

Ambitious child. You live in a big realm, there’s an endless ocean of stars left to see.

: Ecco leaves Aeripacis :

Ecco and Nemul get to the front door of the castle. Regno is leaving again for more traveling. Ecco and Nemul proceed inside. (This is an important event- but not the time when Mark, Bali and Lucis/Cali as ancients are there, that’s Ecco’s birth) Bali is trying to find Ecco. Someone is warning Nemul of her child’s abilities and that she’s a monstrosity. A supposed very formal event was ruined. After all passes, the two are in a hallway at the top. Daylight floods into the long empty hallway. Nemul is sitting on the floor, Ecco standing in front of her.

Nemul wishes that she had taught Ecco how to travel, without saying it outright. She thinks Ecco can only go from one end of a building to the other-which is a lot and very difficult for her, peragros don’t travel even to other worlds until much older.

Ecco looks sad, but plays it falsely. She stops Nemul at a point, saying she’s sorry. Where would she wish that Ecco was? (asked in a way that expects any answer.)

Nemul smiles and states a realm, which she doesn’t expect Ecco to know. She goes into a dream stance, and Ecco beckons her to lean closer. She puts her small hands on either side of her mother’s head, sharing a moment. Still playing it false, she traces one cheekbone and up her nose bridge, sneaking her fingers under the blind. Nemul pulls back slightly, as light spills over Ecco for a moment. She pulls back and smiles.

Ahh, I’ve been there. She cocks her head to the side and grins, bringing down the facade she put up. Nemul doesn’t know how to respond.

No goodbyes are said, Ecco turns and runs towards the sun, a large tear almost invisible against the light.

Immediately a tear opens behind Nemul, as she is frozen in awe. Shadows come up and grab her arms, lifting her up to her feet. Others come in, staying behind her and not saying a word. A loud footstep comes in, breaking the silence. Nemul straightens and all eyes are on her. Bali marches past her, rushing down the hall.

Did you send her off? His angered voice boomed down the hall, as he reached out both hands, searching for where the tear had been.

When she saw his hands searching, she slowly brought her hands up to her face, trying not to make as if she was running away. The soldiers eyebrows twitched but she kept an unknowing expression. Bali impatiently drew closer to the light. She slide one hand over her temple, then yanked off her blind.

Outside the palace, all that could be seen was white.