Certo lay quietly beside Pip's egg, a bored and restless expression on his face. He had gotten little sleep the night before, partly due to the fear of seeing his nightmare again, as well as his extreme anxiety about Crona being alone.
The black dragon had been staring at the shell of his niece's egg, watching the patters of light from the lanterns dance off its shiny surface. He had not moved for a good three hours when Kia poked her head in, a bowl of dried meats and fruits cupped between her talons. She placed the bowl in front of the bed and eyed the young male curiously. Her burns from the battle were still healing, but now they were little more than a nuisance when moving.
"Something on your mind Certo?" She asked sincerely. It did not take much for anyone who knew, when the Black dragon was deeply troubled about something.
Certo did not respond right away. He continued to stare at Pip's shell before sighing again.
"If you don't wish to talk about it, I understand." The green dragoness stated thoughtfully. "But you know I am always here to talk to if you need someone." Kia turned to leave, but then Certo spoke.
The guardian stopped and turned to look over her shoulder. "Excuse me?"
Certo lifted his head but did not take his eyes away from Pip's egg. "I told her
I wanted her to go home
Where she'll be safe. So I'm trying to help her
find a way home." He turned to look up at Kia with a dejected expression. "But I don't know what I can do to help her. It's like she knows what all to do and I'm just useless to her."
Kia stood in shock at the news. For a moment her mouth hung open in dismay before she shook her head, blinking several times to wake herself up. "What? When did all of this come about? Leaving? What for?"
"We've been talking about it for some time." Certo murmured, laying his head down on his paws. "And after
this recent incident
I realized how much she needed to go home." Certo's eyes drifted back up the guardian who continued to stare in stupefied silence.
"I'm afraid I still don't quite understand the reason why she has to go home, Certo." Kia stammered. "You have been very secretive of what really goes on between you two
"And it's going to stay that way!" Certo interrupted, getting to his feet. "I made a promise to her!"
"Settle down right now." Kia shot back. "I'm not accusing you of anything; I'm just stating the fact. But even you can surely see where I, as well as my colleagues, am coming from when we say things like this."
"Like it wasn't any different, if not the other way around when I first arrived here." Kia was silent as she watched Certo leer up at her in an almost defensive manner. "She doesn't belong here." He continued. "She has a father who I'm sure is worried sick about her by this point. We're
just trying to figure out how to get her home safely."
"Why don't you just ask Captain Cytros to have a small guard escort her?"
"Because I don't want to." Certo growled. "Everyone is still recovering because of Titanus. I will be the one to escort her home. Or
at least as far as I can."
For several minutes neither dragon spoke. Kia could feel a lump swelling inside her chest as her heart bunched itself into knots. After overcoming the initial shock of the black dragon's news, she spoke up. "Have you told the others?" Certo cocked his head curiously. "Ampus, Terra, Nitrus
I believe they all have a right to know. They have been an incredible influence in the lives of you two. I think it would only be respectful if you allowed them to say their goodbyes."
Certo could only hang his head. The guardian was right, without a doubt. But how could he just tell them. There would be more questions to answer, none of which he could give the answers to. "I'll think about it." He replied, inciting a somewhat startled gasp from Kia.
The air dragoness gave a disapproving glare before getting to her feet. "Very well Certo, have it your way." She turned to leave. "But if it were Crona leaving without saying goodbye to you, how would you feel?"
The black dragon sat in silence, not caring to notice how much time had passed before he got to his feet. A wave of nausea swept over him as he stepped out into the cool midday air on the balcony. He felt sick to his stomach and sick in the head. How was he going to be able to tell others to be able to say their goodbyes when not even he was prepared for such a task. Even still, the guardian of air had brought up a crucial point. Without even thinking, Certo launched off the balcony and powered towards the home of the ice guardian. If he had to break the news to everyone, he would want it to be quick.
"Certo," Thundra nearly squeaked in surprise upon seeing the young male at their front entrance. "What a nice surprise to see you here. How is Pip? Is her egg doing well?"
"So far," Certo nodded. He glanced past the healer, half expecting to see Maya charging out to meet him. "Is Amp or anyone else home?"
"Not at the moment. Terra is helping in the library, and Amp and Nitrus are both at the temple with the other guardians."
"They won't be back until this evening, so if you wish to come back, you're always welcome here."
"I understand." Certo nodded before turning to walk away.
"Certo." Thundra called after him. Her gentle, motherly tone seemed to stab at the young dragon's heart. "Is there something going on with you and Crona?"
Certo could not answer. He grit his teeth and ran as fast as his legs would carry him. He did not stop running until he reached the upper gardens of the city. There he ducked into the farthest corner away from the eyes of anyone who would happen to pass by, behind the pine tree he and Crona had slept beneath weeks before. Certo could not bring himself to cry. He had to be strong. He had let himself get too attached, and right now he hated himself for it.
"Stupid Crona." He growled, digging his claws into the soft earth. "It would have been easier if you hadn't followed after me that night." Certo breathed heavily, rustling the pine needles over head. "I never asked for friends. I never wanted any." He growled, softer this time; a tone of sorrow in his throat. The more his thoughts piled up in his mind, the more exhausted he became. Before long he had fallen asleep.
When Certo awoke, the sun had almost completely set. Nitrus and Amp would be home soon; hopefully. He got to his feet and stretched his limbs, wiping some water from his face. Had he been crying in his sleep? No, he never had before, so why would he start now. Even if he had been, he had dragons to walk to.
Thundra's home was fairly well lit as he approached from up the street. Inside, Amp had lit the numerous lanterns, providing ample light and warmth for that time of year.
"Are you alright?" Thundra asked as she invited him inside.
"I wish I were." He thought to himself. Once all the family had gathered in the central chamber, and Maya had taken her place beside him, nuzzling his shoulder affectionately, Certo sighed before speaking. "I really don't have any way of saying this easily. But
Crona is going to be leaving."
The family looked as if they had all been slapped. "Leaving?" Thundra gasped. "You mean as in she's going home?" Certo nodded.
"But why now of all times?" Terra asked. "Couldn't she have gone back at any time?"
"It's not that simple." Certo growled, immediately taking the defensive position to prevent any unneeded questioning. "She's been staying around because she felt that she could help do some good for this city." He looked up at Nitrus who looked more serious than concerned. "Would you agree?" The ice guardian nodded. "But after
this past incident. I've grown to realize that I
I can't have Crona stay here any longer. It's far too dangerous and things will only get worse from here on out."
"If extra protection is what you two need, then I don't think that will be feasible." Nitrus spoke up.
Certo fixed Nitrus with his crimson eye which began to glow, covering the chamber in a deep crimson light. "I'm not asking for anyone's help or approval to do what we are to help her get home. I'm just telling you so you have a chance to say goodbye." He hung his head and stared down at Maya who was beginning to doze off beside him. "You've been like family to her. Giving you a chance to say farewell is the least you deserve under short notice."
The room became silent for many minutes. Certo continued to stare at the floor. He could feel everyone's eyes on him. Thankfully no one had asked many questions which he was grateful for.
Amp was the first to speak. "When will she be leaving?"
Certo could only shake his head. "Unsure at this point. We're still trying to figure some things out."
"Is there anything we can do to help you both?" Thundra asked, shifting her paws and leaning forward thoughtfully.
Again, Certo shook his head. "No. We're
working in private."
"Don't you think having more helping you out would be more beneficial to you?" Terra asked with a raised brow. She personally did not know what to feel. She felt somewhat betrayed due to the shock of the news. She had not talked to either the black dragon or white dragoness since they had left to track down Titanus. And now she was expected to say goodbye to one of them without any sort of explanation.
Certo noticed the disapproving tone in her voice but chose to ignore it. "We have our reasons for working alone. I'm sorry. But I promise to let you know when we have a plan."
"You don't have any idea what you're going to do?" Nitrus growled, showing his surprise.
"We have an idea, but
if anyone knows Crona, she likes to think a lot. She's going over every possible idea on which is the safest way to get home."
"It sounds like you two have been thinking about this for some time now." Nitrus pointed out, narrowing his eyes at the young male. "What made you wait so long to mention it to anyone else?"
Certo stared back down at the floor. "I don't know. Maybe because I'm not ready to say goodbye either."
"I'd imagine so." Terra half scoffed. "For someone who doesn't like Crona the way they say they do that is."
"Terra, mind your manners." Thundra scolded. "This isn't any easier for him either I'm sure."
"Easy for you to say, mom!" Terra snapped. "He get's to see Crona far more than we do, and we're the ones who originally took her in." Her green eyes leveled with Certo's. "Both of you for that matter and this is how you treat us in return?"
"Terra!" Amp and Nitrus snarled but the ice dragoness would hear no more. She gave a curt turn, sweeping her tail out, just missing Certo's snout and stormed out of the room.
"I'm sorry." Thundra apologized, watching as her daughter disappeared behind her bedroom curtain.
"But she does have a point." Amp continued. "I do feel like we have been sort of given the short end of the stick here Certo."
"I'm aware. And I wish it didn't have to be that way. In all honesty, I do. But there's some things that need to stay secret. It's for the better."
"Better for who, Certo?" Amp squinted suspiciously at the older male. "You?"
"For all dragon kind, Ampus!" Certo was on his feet, teeth bared and scars flashing angrily. Amp's heart nearly burst from his chest in fright and he cringed, expecting an assault at any second.
"That is quite enough both of you." Thundra barked, gathering Maya up who had just been knocked over by Certo's sudden movement. The little yellow dragoness whimpered at having been woken so rudely and sidled up to her mother's foreleg. "Amp, Certo has acknowledged that he is being unfair, but he too has his share of unfairness to deal with, lest of course, you have forgotten." The guardian lowered his head in shame, unable to forget the injustices against the black dragon.
Thundra leaned down next to Certo and gave him a loving nuzzle. "Go on Certo. Help Crona as you need. But please, let us know when it's time for her to leave."
Certo would have smiled if he felt that he could have. Instead he nodded graciously and gave a slight bow as he had seen other dragons do out of respect. "Thank you." Thundra, Amp and Nitrus watched him leave, vanishing almost immediately into the dark streets.
After a moment of silence, Thundra turned to her mate. "What do you think?"
Nitrus could only stare blankly. "I don't know. I suppose that for the time being I will sit aside and see how this plays out."
"It may be for the best." Thundra sighed, taking the time to give her life mate a gentle kiss on the end of his snout. She gathered maya up off the floor and carried her to her room before putting her down for bed. As she stroked the youngling's back, Maya drifted off again and Thundra found herself shedding a tear. "It may be the best for all of us."
"I think we're ready to give this a try again." Crona announced almost too cheerfully. It was nearly a day after Certo met with the ice guardian and his family, and now Crona was ever more excited to test out her theories. Certo continued to remain silent as he followed her along to the farthest outskirts of the city. No sooner had they landed, when Crona immediately took up a seated position in a small clearing. "Alright Certo, are you ready?"
"For what?" He muttered coldly. "I'm just an observer. You're the one doing all the work."
Crona was quiet for a second before giving an amused chuckle. "I guess that's true. Alright then, stand back just in case."
"Way ahead of you." He muttered privately as he paced a couple yards away before lying down to watch in a cool cluster of grass.
As the times before, Crona closed her eyes and focused on the blue mist. Certo watched with an air of expectancy about him. It was not long before the blue mist had been gathered forming into a much larger ball of energy than before. The black dragon raised his head, genuinely amazed at how much stronger the dragoness had gotten in the past couple days.
All at once, the ball began to warp and deform before exploding in Crona's face. The black dragon shielded himself from the dirt and sticks flying through the air before seeing Crona picked herself up off the ground. An exasperated sigh escaped from his maw and he lay his head down again.
"Figured I'd try again." Crona spoke up, noticing the way the leaves rustled overhead. "Maybe now I can try and use some of my own active power to make this work."
"If you say so." Certo mumbled, still looking just as disinterested.
Crona ignored his remark and took in a deep breath. On instinct she filled her lungs with the blue mist, refreshing herself. She closed her eyes and began to concentrate.
"Just one thing Crona." Certo interrupted, throwing the dragoness off her mental balance. "How will you know it worked?"
"I'm only planning on moving forward by a little bit." The chronicler answered in an irritated tone. " At most I want to make it an hour, just to know I am doing the right thing."
"Just curious." Certo grumbled, laying his head back onto his paws.
When everything was silent again, Crona continued to concentrate. She could imagine herself, swelling with power, given to her by her grandfather. The power to pass through time and even control it was going to be her key to get home. 'To make a portal home, it should be enough to visualize where I'm going.' She thought to herself. Her brow furrowed as she forced herself to concentrate harder. 'Think! Think of where you want to go! Where you want to be!'
Off to the side, Certo watched anxiously, hoping that the dragoness would be able to make at least something happen. When she started concentrating even harder, he raised his head high on his long neck. A single spark had appeared before her. It was not much but enough to get his attention. Minutes later another spark appeared. Certo soon noticed that the dragoness was glowing in a soft white aura, like a cloud of snow was swirling around her. The sparks were gathering from around her body and converging on the spot where the first had appeared. The black dragon got to his feet, mouth hanging open in awe.
The cloud of white energy was growing larger, going from the size of a small ball to the size of a dragon's egg. It began to turn in a slow spiraling motion, as if the currents of wind were propelling it to do so. As it continued to enlarge, the intensity of its glow increased as well.
'I think she's got it.' Certo pondered, making sure not to speak aloud. However, Crona was beginning to reach her limit. She was beginning to turn red and blue in the face as she held her breath. The more she struggled the more the energy continued to dissipate. As soon as she could not take it any longer, the white dragoness let out a loud gasp, and the white cloud disappeared. Feeling dizzy, Crona flopped onto the pile of dead leaves at her feet. She was gasping heavily and her head rocked in small circles as if trying to balance itself on her neck.
"Are you alright?" The black dragon asked, taking a step towards her. Crona raised a paw to him stopping him in his tracks.
"I'm fine. I think I got a bit farther that time. So I'm pretty sure I'm on the right track."
"I'd say so." Certo nodded, showing a bit more enthusiasm than he had been for the past week. "Give it another try. Maybe you can get it this time."
Crona continued to gasp heavily, but managed a momentary smile at him. "Thanks for the encouragement. Once I catch my breath, I'll do that."
It was nearly half an hour before Crona felt rested enough to attempt using her active power again. As before she concentrated hard, her face scrunching up tight, looking as if she had smelled something fowl. However, despite her trying harder to summon up her own power, the results did little to vary from the first try. This time it took her an hour to recover enough to try again. And as the day dragged on, both dragons were finding themselves becoming more and more frustrated with the situation.
"How is it that you were able to accidentally send yourself back in time, but not forward?" Certo thought aloud on their late flight back to the city. "It just doesn't make any sense to me."
"Well I'm trying all that I can!" Crona snapped, not intending to sound as harsh as she did. "If you think you can do better, then by all means, be my guest."
"I'm just saying!" The black dragon shot back. "Unless there's a limit on how much magic you can use at once, I don't see why you're having such trouble with it." Crona gave Certo a heated glare. "I just thought it would be easier since
you're as powerful as you are
Seriously, you should have seen what you did when Neros had you captive. I
" An agitated sigh rattled in his throat. "I just want you to get home safe! Is that too much to ask?"
Crona studied the intense expression on his face. She had been dragging him along, making him sit and watch her as she went about her business, not paying attention to him in the slightest. Not once had she asked his opinion on any of the methods she had come up with, nor had she informed him on what she was learning about specifically. "This is really killing you isn't it?" Certo looked up at her, a forlorn expression on his face. Crona frowned and sighed herself. "I'm sorry. I'm sure it must be hard for you, not being able to help out directly. It's just that
you know. You can't use magic like I can."
"Thank you for that obvious statement."
"But you know, just being there is more than anyone has ever done for me." Crona had to turn away, hoping to hide the blood rushing to her cheeks. "It's comforting; to me at least, to know you're still there even though you're not able to
" She cut her sentence short and glanced back at him. "But do you see what I'm saying."
"I do." Certo nodded honestly. "But it's just not enough for me Crona."
The black dragon banked in front of the young chronicler, causing her to squeak in surprise "Because you're my friend! I want to help in any way I can, but at the same time, you're not from here! I'm trying to do my part to make sure the world is the way you remember when you get home!" He looked down at his own forearms and the scars that lined them. "I want to be part of the bigger picture
I just want to know that what I'm doing will make a difference in the end."
Crona hovered before him, trying to think of a way to put her friend's worries to rest. She admired his desire to help make a difference in the years to come, and adored him for his compassion for her; as cold and hard it usually came across. But even she did not know if she would be returning to a home she recognized, and the idea frightened her. Still, she felt confident that when she did return home, everything would be as she had left it. But simply telling the black dragon would not be enough for him. However, if someone else were to shed some light on the situation, he might at least calm down a little.
"Follow me." Crona said, brushing by him, almost in a inciting manner. "There's someone who might be able to help put your mind at ease."
Certo's heart rate spiked for a split second as she brushed by him. A chill ran up his spine, breaking him from his momentary trance and he followed after her. Crona continued leading him back to the city with a noticeable urgency in her wing beats. "Who are we seeing?" Certo called ahead. "Your grandfather?"
The idea had not crossed her mind until now. Was Certo able to see her grandfather? Probably not. Not even she knew for sure how she arrived at the palace before. "No," she replied. "But someone just about as reliable."
Certo cocked his head to the side. Was there another entity here that she knew? If so, then who?
Crona came to land in the central courtyard before the guardian's temple. The city was still settling down, despite having been dark for a some time now; lights were still on in many of the pavilions, and stragglers were escorted home from several of the night watch. "Hurry." Crona whispered, extending her tail towards Certo. The black dragon took the spade in his jaws, letting his teeth rest in the grooves made from their pact. Crona brought time to a halt and lead him inside the temple.
The couple of dragons slipped down the halls to the main conference chamber. As Crona had expected, the white dragon and city oracle, Sin, was sitting patiently on his crystal pedestal. Clearly he had been expecting them.
"We're alone." Sin spoke when he saw Certo glance around the chamber. His voice startled the black dragon whose jaw fell open, freezing himself in time. Crona glanced back at her friend and gave Sin a disapproving look. She let time resume its course and Certo gave a startled grunt.
"An entity like Crona, yes." Sin nodded. "Though I do not have the ability to travel through time as our young chronicler here. That has been a gift strictly reserved for her."
"I see." Certo stared at the oracle with widened, uncertain eyes before turning back to Crona. The dragoness continued to keep her eyes locked on Sin.
"So seeing that you're here Sin, I can assume you know why I'm here."
"Indeed." Sin nodded, his hollow eyes moving between the couple before settling on Certo. "Though it's rather unfortunate, the terms of your visit. I wish we had more time to talk before now Certo." The black dragon could not answer as he found himself dumbstruck being in the presence of not just one, but two entities whose knowledge and abilities surpassed any he had imagined.
"Come with me." Sin rose off his cushion and entered the hallways, leading towards the back of the temple. Here was a soft white curtain, covering a large doorway. Crystals outlined the entrance to Sin's private study and basking the hall in a delicate, white light. Sin held the curtain open for his two guests and followed after they ducked inside.
The oracle's chamber was very neatly kept. More crystals illuminated the room and only seemed to intensify their glow as soon as Crona entered the chamber. In the middle of the room was a pool of water, no more than a foot deep. Certo eyed it suspiciously whereas Crona immediately recognized it.
"A vision pool." She gasped almost silently.
Certo raised a skeptical brow. "What's that?"
"Certain dragons have...unique abilities Certo." Sin spoke up. "Like you can harness the powers of karma, or your twin with convexity. Although you two have gained your powers by accident, some dragons were born with the ability to see visions." Sin took a seat on the opposite side of the pool and looked at Crona, making her feel uncomfortable. "Chronicler dragons are known to possess this special ability."
"When you say by accident," Crona started, shrugging the discomfort away. "Do you mean Certo and Neros were randomly chosen to wield their powers?"
"I suppose that's the easiest way to look at it." Sin bobbed his head. He waved a paw over the water's surface and the fluid began to glow. The surface shimmered before a sense of hypnosis swept over Certo. His eyes were still looking at the water's surface but in his mind he could see forests, dark and withered scenery, closely resembling the territory the apes lived in. In the midst of a patch of underbrush, he could see Neros. The albino dragon stomped through the underbrush, smashing the brittle branches around him with his claws and tail. He was talking to himself but no words could be heard.
"Neros stumbled upon the power of convexity when he left your family." Sin narrated as the visions flooded Certo's mind. "His depression, hate, anger and sorrow reached their peak and manifested into a form of pure negative energy." Neros stopped, trembling with rage as tears trickled down his cheeks. In a whirl of motion, he turned and opened his jaws wide, intending to use the signature sonic blast that was customary to their family. Instead a blast of purple fire exploded from the back of his throat, engulfing the trees before him. The forest became petrified and Neros jolted back, looking shocked and terrified at what he had just done. His ruby-red eyes were glowing with negative energy, and wisps of convexity rose from the edges of his jaws. Certo watched as his twin unleashed another burst of purple flames, destroying more of the forest around him. He suddenly felt heat rising from his body as he watched the needless destruction continue; a smile spreading across Neros's muzzle.
"However," Sin interrupted. "Certo's power of karma may have been bestowed upon him because he is the exact opposite of his twin. Both share the same blood, but their hearts could not be more different than day and night. Neros possesses so much hate towards the world that his power of negative energy engulfs any opposing force alive."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Certo growled, not realizing his scars were blazing with angry karma.
"It means that Neros's karma has thrown the world off balance." Crona answered in a strict tone, hoping it would get her friend to calm down. "The magic of this world is positive energy, convexity is negative."
"And you, Certo, are the bridge between them." Sin pointed out. "As I'm sure Crona has told you, this world is based around the bigger picture and the balance of power. Because Neros possesses so much negativity, he overpowers the positive energy of our world. Thus, forcing you to dwell on positive emotions to harness your karma properly."
"Wait," Crona raised a paw, silencing the oracle. "Are you saying that if the positive energy outweighed the negative, Certo would have to turn to his negative karma?"
Sin nodded. "Balance is the way of the world Crona."
A chill ran up the dragoness's spine as she thought about that statement. The memory of what Certo's negative karma had almost done to him would most likely haunt her for the eternity.
"That being said," Sin continued. "Neros has started a spiraling burst of bad karma throughout the world. The uprising of species will bring the strong together and the wicked to destroy one another. Crona, you know what will become of the apes one day. But as far as everyone else, that will be determined by the legendary ones."
"The legendary ones?" Certo raised a brow as he waited for more visions to fill his mind. After a momentary pause, Sin frowned as he looked into the pool.
"You've had a vision yourself Certo." His brow furrowed as he concentrated on the water's surface. "A black dragoness, attacking the dragon army, fighting on the side of the apes." Certo was silent, keeping himself as composed as possible. Sin reached out over the water's surface and let his claws tap the surface. The water rippled and a ringing noise filled the room. The sight of the black dragoness appeared in the glowing pool and Certo's limbs locked up in defense.
"Cynder." Crona gasped, astonished at the sight before her. The black dragoness swooped down on the guardians, surprising Ignitus and the others in their regiment. She remembered hearing of this incident from the council in her home city.
"Does she look familiar?" Sin asked the black dragon, as the vision played out before them. Certo remained stiff as a board. All of a sudden, the black dragoness opened her jaws wide as a sonic roar burst from her throat. Certo's eyes widened in horror.
"Your descendants, Certo, will fight in this war to come. And Cynder, your many generations great niece will be the one to bring dragon-kind to its near downfall. Because she is corrupted by the Dark Master, she will lay waste to everything, everywhere."
Certo could not bring himself to deny the oracle's words. He could see what was happening right in front of him. Had he not known Crona and who she really was, he would have never believed the images flashing through his mind. Yet something still seemed off to him.
"Wait, isn't the world supposed to end though? I thought Crona survived it!"
"The world does come to an end Certo. It's all thanks to your family and your descendants that this comes about." The white dragon looked away and back at the pool. "At this point, Crona has a chance to return to the world she knows. But ultimately that all depends on you."
"Depends on me?" Certo recoiled and curled his lips.
Before he could verbally pounce on the oracle, Crona spoke up. "Sin, do you see anything in Certo's future? Is there a choice he has to make in order for all of this to right itself?"
Sin closed his eyes as he listened to the whispers of time speak to him. After a moment he frowned and shook his head. "I'm sorry. But I cannot see Certo's future."
"What? Why?" Crona gasped in shock that he would even answer with something so outrageous.
"I cannot say." Sin sighed. "I have never been unable to see the future of any individual before."
"What in blue blazes does that mean?" Certo demanded. "So just because I have no future I'm just made even more inferior? What am I supposed to do to help Crona get back to her world? I can't help her in any way that would be considered useful! And I'm pretty sure you know that! I'm useless to her! As far as anyone is concerned I am of no help what so ever!"
"Certo that's not true!" Crona protested, seeing that the oracle's words were getting to him.
"It's pointless Crona! Nothing I do will stop what's going to happen! Nothing I do will help make it better!"
"There's nothing you can do to make the war better Certo." Sin murmured. The eerie tone in his voice settled in the black dragon's heart, putting him in a state of great discomfort. "But you can help Crona. Just do as you have always done until now."
"What good is that going to do?" Certo snorted, sending a gust to disturb the pool of visions. "All I ever do is sit and watch as Crona fails, over and over to get her powers working again!" Crona felt a pang of guilt in her heart, but knew he was right. She had made steps towards finding a way home, but they had been baby steps taken by a newborn hatchling learning to walk.
"Certo I'll find a way to get home." Crona spoke up, extending a paw to rest it on his shoulder. "We've already made progress today; we just need to keep at it."
"What good is that going to do if you only return to a world that's not your own?!" Certo shouted suddenly, startling the white dragoness. "It's because of my family that all of this is going to happen! And my niece and descendants are all going to suffer and die unless I put an end to it all!"
Crona wanted to protest but Certo stormed out of the oracle's chamber. The young chronicler watched him go for a moment before turning a heated glare back on Sin. "Great work. I brought him here, hoping you'd give him comfort in knowing everything would be alright in the end. But I should have known you would only make him feel worse than he already does."
"I know what you want for Certo, and I'm sorry I had to make things worse for him." Sin apologized in a monotone voice.
"You had to?" Crona hissed. "What good will it do him? What was the point?"
Sin lay down and crossed his paws and fixed the dragoness with his snowy eyes. "Come now Crona. Have you been so preoccupied with yourself that you've failed to notice that Certo is slowly losing hope? For himself as well as the future? For the past months you two have relied on each other so closely, you've practically become soul mates in your own right. But because this is an area of expertise that only you can handle, he feels like he's falling farther and farther away from you.
Crona 's talons dug into the floor angrily. "Well in case you haven't noticed, Oracle, we are going to have to part ways soon enough. He's been trying to separate his feelings from me ever since we got back to the city. I can't say I like it, but I understand where he's coming from."
"That's beyond the point Crona. Irrelevant in regards to the big picture here. He needs this extra motivation. If you wish to return to the time you remember, he needs to be even more motivated than he is now."
"Isn't he motivated enough? He's been there every step of the way, trying when he knows he can't do anything to help me master this ability! How else could he be more motivated?"
Sin sighed. "You'll understand once you return home."
"So I will return home?" Crona raised a skeptical brow, expecting another riddle to slither its way from his mouth.
The white dragon nodded. "That you will
but if you wish to return to a time you remember, I would strongly advise you go stop Certo right this minute. Before he destroys his lineage and upsets the balance of the world."