15 The Quest before Zell

"What do you mean?" Zell questioned, intrigued by Leon's statement. "What do you mean she predicted my arrival?"

"Well, I told you about being one with the spirits." Leon explained. "That is not only to increase one strength but can also be used to gain unique skills, we have such an instance in our village. Her skill is known as prophecy, it enables her to see possible futures and outcomes. She told me there would be a visitor from another world and that I should greet him with open arms, for the fate of the world will rest on their shoulders."

Zell just looked at Leon, trying to process what he had just been told. "What do you mean, the fate of the world?" Zell asked.

"The policies of your people have set this in motion." Leon said. "Due to the abuse, the other races have banded together and formed a union. At the center of this union is a teenage demon, who has been given the mantle of demon lord. Under his guidance those races are building a kingdom and are preparing for war. They believe there can be no peace in life until humanity is wiped from this world."

"How do you know all this?!" Zell asked.

"A recruiter came to us a few months ago, but we declined their offer." Leon said. "My tribe has always had peace in this forest and do not wish to be dragged into some foolish war."

"Still, why would you care what happens to the humans?" Zell asked. "It sounds like they are being horrible to your people."

"I do not care for them, no." Leon said. "In fact, I kill them on sight, mostly. However, genocide is evil no matter what and you cannot defeat evil by doing more evil. I fear what would happen to this world, should that happen. My people believe that the world itself is alive and has a soul. What would happen to that soul if so much blood was spilled in such an evil act? Would that soul still be able to produce the life that gives us the tree, flowers, and fruits? Or would it become blackened and never give us fertile soil again?"

"Still, it doesn't seem like the answer would be to just kill their kingdom." Zell said. "That would be wrong as well. They have reason to feel what they feel."

Leon smiled and walked over to Zell. He sat next to him and placed his large hand onto Zell's shoulder. "You are a funny human, aren't you?" Leon joked. "Normally a human does not care about the other races at all, if I told any other human, what I told you their first response would be that they must stop the demon lord to save the world. Instead, you view the problem from both sides and try to find a better solution than death, even with all your power."

Zell just sat there quietly.

"She was right about you." Leon said. "I think I finally understand what she meant by the fate of the world. She meant that it is up to you to lead the world down a better path, one of peace and understanding. First you must change the hearts of humans, who lust for power and despise all that is different from themselves. Then you must change the way the other races view humans and rebuild those relationships to establish peace. This will not be an easy task, but it is a necessary one."

Zell noticed that the sky was beginning to darken. "Oh man it's almost night!" Zell said. "I need to get back to the school or my sister will worry!"

"I just handed you a quest of epic proportions and that is what concerns you?" Leon said exasperatedly. "Young man, do you not realize that the fate of all life on this planet hangs in the balance? Your school is unimportant, your sister is unimportant. All that matters is your quest, you are the only hope."

"Yeah, I hear you." Zell said in response. "But as you said I need to change the hearts of humans, right? Well, I can't do that here, I have to go home anyway so why make my sister worry about me?"

"I concede your point." Leon sighed.

"So do you have any way to wake up the professor over there?" Zell asked. "He is my ride home."

"I do not, but I shall give you this stone." Leon walked over to a treasure box in the corner of the room and pulled a stone out of it that was wrapped in silk. He walked back to Zell and handed him the stone. "This is a way stone, if you focus mana into it, you will be able to use transportation magic, much like the professor did when he brought you here. Use this stone to visit us, we have much more to discuss, and you will need training."

"Training?" Zell asked.

"One must conquer their inner demons before they can conquer another man's." Leon said. "Come back and we will help you conquer those demons of yours, the ones that brought you to us to begin with."

"Alright!" Zell said. He walked over to the professor and put his hand on him. He then focused his mana into the stone and thought of the school. In an instant the two of them vanished.

Leon let out a deep breath and fell back down to his seat. "That young man has a presence I have never felt before, raw power but pure kindness behind it. He may be the only good soul amongst the humans, I wonder if he will succeed."

"Grandpa?" Kaitlyn came out of her room.

"Yes Kaitlyn." Leon said. "I am glad you made it back to me safe today, please be more careful in the future."

"Yes grandpa, I will." Kaitlyn said.

"Also, when that boy returns, I want you to stay by his side." Leon said. "You will assist in ridding him of his demons."

"Okay!" Kaitlyn cheered, she liked Zell, although she did not fully understand why.

Meanwhile back at the academy a portal opened directly above the entrance exam table and Zell and Donovan fell out onto the table. The women working jumped back in surprise as their table was destroyed from the impact.

"Sage Henroy!" Samantha screamed. "What in the world has happened to you?!" She turned her attention to Zell. "Boy what have you done to Sage Henroy?! He is covered in dirt, branches, and bugs! Is he dead?!"

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