Friday, December 31, 2004

Return of an Emissary.

Episode for Dec 29, 2004, Wednesday. Reborn from the ashes, Aguiluz marveled at his new body, and the strength and power that came with it. The magical beings watched as he tried his new wings above them. When he had grown accustomed to his new frame, Aguiluz rejoined their company. The queens congratulated him and so did Mulagat. “You are a special individual with a mission,” he told the Mulawin. “It is only right for you to return to life.” “Thank you all so much,” Aguiluz said to them. “Thank God for bringing me back.” “Before you go to your destination,” said the Queen Mother, “you must see your past. You must know what happened to them.” She was alluding to his parents. “My father died defending our people,” he said. “And your mother died defending you.” Then the Queen Mother waved her hand and revealed the past to him. The scenes recalled to Aguiluz’s memory his father’s dying moments, when he had obtained a promise from his son to guard a Mulawin egg and the child that would be born from it. But what were wholly new to Aguiluz were the scenes showing his mother. Rasmus had come to Avila seeking plunder. “But why should I steal only the Balasik and green binhi?” he asked himself. “Why not the next generation of Mulawin as well?” He had found a nest where several un-hatched eggs were gathered together. With wicked glee, the Ravena king raised his arm and began cracking the shells with his talons. Before his bloody intentions could be carried out the fullest, however, one of the mothers arrived to defend the nest. Rasmus drove his claws into her stomach and thus slew her. Aguilar came to her rescue to late. As this scene faded from Aguiluz’s sight, the Queen Mother of the Diwata admitted to him that she had appeared to his parents once. When Aguiluz was still in his mother’s womb, the queen paid a visit to his expectant parents to foretell the good news. The Mulawin couple gazed wonderstruck at her radiant beauty. “I have to come to tell you brining a message from Bathala,” she told them. “You will have a son unique among others. His bravery will become known in a time of war and violence.” “That time has now come, Aguiluz,” said the queen. “Your parents knew that you were special, but they chose to hide it. You are very special Aguiluz. But danger is your twin." Aguiluz’s voice was barely audible. “My mother died because of me,” he said to himself. “If not, she would still be here.” Now the queen admonished him to return to his mission. As a parting gift, she presented him with an enchanted wand. “In times of need, you can use it,” she told him. “You may strike it upon the ground to bring salvation.” A keen observer of events, Vultra was very pleased to have Ravenum’s incense. Now Alwina materialized in the smoke, and she said, “At last, we meet again, Sugo.” The next scene startled her, however. Aviona’s milky white countenance filled the “screen” and her eyes were ablaze. Alwina had come to offer her friend some food, but Aviona spat at her face and said, “I don’t need that; I need Aguiluz!” “What!” Vultra exclaimed at the sight. “Aviona is alive?” “What about that girl, Vultra?” Ravenum asked her. “I know nothing about it.” “We asked for Perena’s help to take possession of her so that we could use her against the Sugo,” Vultra explained. “I thought she died. But here she is, fierce as ever and still has the flame of Perena. So I know she still has Perena’s evil within her.” “I do not think that Mulawin girl is of any use to us. I have a better plan for the Sugo. I know somebody who can surely bring her down!” “Who are you talking about, my lord?” “The time has come!” Ravenum cried triumphantly, and showed her the image of Gabriel Montenegro. Vultra – who had probably expected some kind of monster from the foulest pits of hell – found this quite ridiculous. “Him?” she said. “The son of a mere lowlander? My lord, I don’t see how this boy could help us at all! Please show me Aviona and at once!” How rude and stubborn she was. “It seems that we disagree in our plans once again,” said the spirit, “and…” “And what, Lord Ravenum?” “What is that shining object that you wear?” Vultra looked down on her bosom and realized that he was referring to her necklace. Her ordeal in the quicksand flashed back to her mind. Just when she had been suffocating in the loose soil, she had grasped that necklace quite by accident, and felt power return to her. “It’s a necklace,” she said. “I only know that it saved my life from the quicksand.” Ravenum was having a flashback of his own. He had seen a fragment of that gem in the Queen Mother’s hand before. It was known among the Diwata as a gem of power, healing and eternal youth. “We take with us a fragment of the Hiyas whenever we leave Encantadia so that we do not lose our strength,” she had told Dakila while Ravenum listened. “It can do many things. It can cure the sick, preserve youth, and lend a physical body to the dead, but only temporarily. But its powers are nothing compared to that of the Mulawin tree. So we choose to give the tree to you. Come, Dakila, let us plant the tree now.” “That gem can do a lot more,” Ravenum said to Vultra. “You should have told me sooner that you had it. Give it to me. I can use it to escape this form and assume a human form again temporarily. I will leave you the incense in return for it so you may observe whatever you wish to.” Aguiluz was very pleased with his newfound powers. He had been flying all day without tiring. And even when the sun rose, his wings stayed with him. “This only means that the red binhi has lost its effect on me,” he said to himself. Surveying the earth with the powerful scope of his eyes, Aguiluz espied Mayi lost in the forest. She had been sent to follow Gabriel, but somehow, the messenger had lost sight of him. Now the child wandered here and there not knowing where to go. Lourdes had a surprise visitor in her lonely cell, where she was holed up in together with Pagaspas and Lawiswis. Ravena guards ushered Rusing into the same cell. “Aling Rusing!” Lourdes cried, and the two women tearfully embraced. Rusing recognized Wis and Pagaspas. “Where is Gus?” she asked. “Gus and Pagaspas are the same,” Lourdes told her. “Gus and Wis become owls when they are apart.” It was not too strange to tell her that now; not with all the bizarre and tragic events that had happened in the past months. Rusing did not look amazed; only puzzled. “But they are not apart right now,” she said. Now that Tierra Fuego was no more, the surviving citizens fled to the woods where they met the unfortunate Yolly. So incensed were the crowd at this traitor they cried out for her blood. “She betrayed us!” they shouted. “It’s all her fault!” But they were not the only ones fleeing from the Ravena that night. Bagwis’ troop was there, and Lucio was with them. He stepped forward in Yolly’s defense. “Don’t hurt her!” said Lucio. “The Ravena are our enemies, not one another!” “She’s a traitor!” the people argued. “It’s her daughter who sucks up to the Ravena!” “Lowlander!” Bagwis shouted impatiently. “Nothing good will happen if we let distrust prevail among us. Time is running out. Now whoever among you wishes to join us, join us! Whoever does not want to, stay behind!” Old as he was, Dakila still had a good fight left in him. And nothing pleased the Taguba chieftain more than a good fighter. As they sparred with their quarterstaffs, Maningning was defeated. It was a close match, of course, and she good-naturedly acknowledged his superiority. “This is the first time I’ve been beaten,” she said. “Congratulations, Dakila! You’re a good warrior!” Their merry mood was interrupted by a most stunning phenomenon:. All eyes turned toward the sky as a bird-man approached. It was a Mulawin; his wings were lit with an unearthly glow, and he wore a splendid armor that told them he was a warrior. Dakila was speechless. Aguiluz folded his wings and set foot on the ground. Mayi appeared beside him. “Good thing he found me,” she told her friends. “Aguiluz, it’s you,” Dakila said. “You’re alive!” “Yes, Dakila. The Diwata brought me back.” “But you look stronger than before. If this is real, then Aguiluz, son of Aguilar, you too are a Sugo!” Eager as he was to take possession of the hiyas, the Ravena lord relented and let Vultra take over. She spoke to Aviona: “Now you cannot disobey me. Force Alwina to tell you where the Mulawin tree is.” Now Alwina was preparing to renew her journey. “I have to keep moving,” he told Aviona. “I know it’s hard, but I’ll take you with me.” Aviona had been discreetly loosening her bonds all this time. She felt the ropes come away as Alwina was busily stoking a fire. She sprang upon the Sugo and thus began a brutal wrestling match. But Vultra cautioned her medium not to be carried away. “Don’t kill her before you have obtained the information that we need,” she ordered. “Go for her ugatpak, and then force her to tell you where the tree is.” “Aviona, we’re friends!” Alwina shouted. “Stop this! Let’s not hurt each other!” As if obeying her word, Aviona did stop, and the bird-women stood there leery of each other. Aviona’s brows met as she watched for an opportunity to seize Alwina’s ugatpak. Then with blinding speed, she deftly yanked off the plume from Alwina’s back. The Sugo hollered in pain, and then collapsed powerless on the grass. “Tell me where the Mulawin tree is!” demanded Vultra.


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