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-Anael-

The sun rose beautifully in the sky above the Shaman Ground. Elite Dragon was the first one to leave his tent, followed by the other few minutes later. Ixtab was already waiting for them near an enormous campfire in the center of the Ground.

There were some tapestry on the grass, in which the Knights sat. Mr. Zelaya was next to the Shaman, playing with his cards and waiting for her to give him any command. As she saw them sitting down, she smiled and grabbed her staff in order to stand up.

"Good morning, Knights...Or should I call you Shamans?" Greeted the elder Shaman. "Well, I cannot call you Shaman... Yet. For this to become reality, I must take you to a place you think you know, but you have no idea of what it bears: your own mind."

They looked at her with a confused countenance. She laughed discretely and lit the campfire, throwing some powder on it. The flames changed colors, from red to light turquoise.

"Anael, you are the first." She announced. "This first step is quite simple. Tell us about... Your life."

"My life?" Asked the Welsh Guatemalan, surprised. "Well... I don't think I have much to say..."

"I don't think so..." Replied the Shaman mischievously. "If your color was displayed here, it means that your past, your historical, holds secrets and answers which you need to unleash. This is the time; if you want to tame your powers, you have to do this. Just take your time, I am in no hurry."

Anael looked into the turquoise flames; deep inside them, he could see what appeared to be a scene happening right in front of his eyes in rapid flashes of light. He widened his eyes and looked to the Shaman, who was waiting for him. Elite Dragon then took a deep breath and started speaking.

"Well, my full name is Anael Nathaniel Moon'Seeker, but I do prefer people to call me only by my first name. I was born in Guatemala City; I am the child of a Guatemalan diplomat, who happens to be my mother, and a Welsh firefighter, who happens to be my father..."

As he talked, the smoke above the flames started to make scenes exactly the same as Anael's speech, which surprised all of them. Elite Dragon's eyes were getting full of tears; he then took another deep breath and continued the speech.

"A father with whom I lived only until I was five... In this half decade, he taught me about his homeland, Wales, and how he would really like to see me studying there... I chose Elite Dragon as my identity in his tribute, for Dragons were his favorite creatures since I can remember."

"What happened to daddy, hermano mayor?" Altagracia asked with sadness.

"Well, uhm... He..." Anael hesitated, looking to the ground with his eyes half-closed "He..."
He took a deep breath before proceeding. The images came into the fire, showing Altagracia the truth she never knew.

"He died fighting against the monster he knew very well..." Anael said almost crying. "Five days after you were born, mi rayo de Sol, our first home was caught in flames... I can remember exactly how they were... It seemed as if a demon of some sort was commanding them. Mother got the two of us out of the house I don't know how... Dad, however..."

Anael closed his eyes and let the flames speak for him. It showed all of them how Anael's father died; the fire had surrounded him, leaving no escape for the Welsh firefighter, who had no other option then surrounding to the imminent death. Tears fell from his face, forcing the Guatemalan to hide his eyes with his left hand.

"You have been carrying this grief with you for a long time, my child..." Intervened Ixtab with a sad countenance. "And for that, I am truly sorry. No child should pass through something like that... You are a strong person indeed, Moon'Seeker."

Anael raised his head up, looking at the Shaman with a serious countenance. She them put her hands on the flames, moving them with her will.

"Tell us more about you, Elite Dragon." She said. "I know your life is not made all of sadness. Though your beginning was not a happy one, I bet your storyline is much happier than that."

"Indeed" Anael said after taking a deep breath and wiping the tears on his face. "Though I reckon the dangers of such profession, I want to become a firefighter, just like my father. His department was known as Raging Dragons of Guatemala, and I want to join them. "

"I assume your mother doesn't approve that." Ixtab said, looking to the flames "She wanted you to become... Something else, am I correct?"

"Yes..." He said "Well, I admit I have other interests than simply firefighter - see, I like Biology, specially studying the amphibians. My favorite animal is the Salamander, which recalls my name..."

"'King of Salamanders'..." The Shaman said with a smile. "This is what 'Anael' means."

Anael nodded affirmatively. Then, he kept talking.

"Also, I am a Capoeira adept; I've been up to this martial art since I was six. I met my master, Madam Thunder, when I was coming back home. I have never told anyone about that... And this includes you, Thalas..."

"What do you mean with that?" The French Guatemalan asked, confused.

"Well, truth to be said, I never told you how I've met Master properly..." Anael explained. "Ready to listen?"

They nodded affirmatively, eager to know. Anael then took a deep breath and continued to speak.

"Well, Master saved my life." The Welsh Guatemalan said. "I was coming back home, alone; I believe it was about 6 p. m., for the sunset was on its beginning. I was doing my regular path from school to house when some weird folks appeared on my way.  I think it was 3 or 4 strange guys staring at me. One of them pulled out a knife and ordered me to give him my backpack. I didn't want to die, so I did it. Then, one of them pointed a gun to my head; he was about to shoot when Madam Thunder appeared out of nowhere! I was completely paralyzed; I was just out of my body, watching a Capoeira Master beat the hell out of all that men, which happened to be knocked out. Then, he gave me my backpack and told me to be more careful. He took me home and talked to my mother, who allowed me to learn Capoeira with him. He stays on our home from time to time... "

"You never told me that!" Thalas said with a worried countenance. "Your life was endangered at such young age! Have you ever gone to the police to report that?!"

"Luckily, I never needed." Anael replied. "Madam Thunder took care of everything for me, for he brought those thugs to justice.  I believe they are already behind bars at this time..."

"You were quite lucky, man." Commented Melchior "I've seen people who weren't as lucky as you were, for they haven't had a savior to stand up for them..."

His countenance got slightly gloomy, yet he had a smile in his face. His eyes were half closed as he was finishing his speech.

"He came from Rio, in Brazil, I believe." He said "He was once a military man, but he gave up of this life and became a physical education teacher. Plus, he fell in love with our country... And decided to stay. He was married once at the age of 20, he said, but his wife died of leukemia two years after they got married. Then, he unleashed his 'Madam' side, discovering himself as a transvestite... He is in his fifty-something, but lives with true teen spirit!"

He looked at the Shaman, who had a smile in her face.

"That's one of the reasons you became a hero, right?" She said. "For those who stand up to defend others never die; they become immortals in their accomplishments, in every single good action they make. And Melchior is right - there are people who needed and still need heroes to come for their aid."
The flames then became two different creatures - a winged Salamander and a Quetzal, which were flying around them.

"My nephew made some predictions to you, I am aware of them." Ixtab said, controlling the creatures. "These creatures represent you. The Salamander refers to your double life as a hero and person, because of your Dragon powers; the wings are a proof of it. Also, the Quetzal represents who protects you - the almighty Kukulkan - and your ideals of freedom and strength. Though you seem balanced here, when you get emotionally instable, they tend to attack each other, as if they were about to overcome one and possess you..."

She then concentrated the flames in her hand, making the creatures disappear; on the following, she transformed the flames in a single card, which she gave to the Welsh Guatemalan.

"Taming your feelings, controlling your inner dragon and embracing the quetzal within, Elite Dragon. This is your Shaman path - the Control Path. This card shows the god which will give you the way - Kukulkan. Never lose this card. Never. Did you understand?"

"Si" Anael said with a smile. "I understood. I'll do my best to follow your hints, Ixtab, so that one day you will able to call me Shaman."

The elder lady smiled at Elite Dragon. She then lit the fire once more, repeating the same ritual done to give Anael's Shaman Card.  The fire behaved differently; this time, the flames were not so intense as Anael's, for it was almost fading. Its color, however, seemed brighter - it was an intense tone of dark-blue.

"This color belongs to... Thalas." She said, looking to the French Guatemalan with a smile. "Ready to know your Shaman Path?"

To Be Continued...

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