"So tell me Zero, what story do you want to hear today?"
"Mom, I want you to tell 'The Tale of the Heros!!'" The kid said with excitement.
"But I told you that story yesterday, didn't I?" Mother asked with a sigh.
"Still, I want to hear that story ...."
Zero was adamant about his decision, she had no choice left but to go along with it. Kneeling down, in a gentle voice she said, "Ok, now you go to your room and wait for mommy, I will come as soon as I finish my work okay?"
He was overjoyed, with a wide grin on his face, he ran along to his room. She glanced one last time in his direction, letting out a sigh. She began finishing up the household chores.
Upon entering Zero's room, she saw him all wrapped up in his bed and eagerly waiting for her to tell him a bedtime story. The room wasn't big, having barely enough space to fit two grown men. It was lit by a crystal, sparkling brightly, sending light to the corners of the room. She drew a stool that was nearby and began narrating.
"The world we live in is a wonderful one, full of wonders that span across the entire globe and filled with Mana. Can you tell me what it is?" she asked.
Without wasting a single breath, he answered, "'Mana' the life force of all living beings and also the world."
"Correct, well done! Now let us continue. Thousands of years ago it was discovered that Mana in the world gathers up in one place, it hardens up and forms crystals having various powers, like the one in your room. It glows brighter than any flame, making them very useful. Seeing its usefulness, people began buying and selling them. Out of all the people who desired the crystals the Prince was the greediest of them all."
"Why was he the greediest, mom?"
"Well, dear, the Prince wanted to be a powerful man, he wanted to show his father and brother that he should be inheriting the throne and ruling the kingdom. That's when something terrible happened.
A mysterious phenomenon started to occur, all the plants turned black, the animals in the forest transformed into something dangerous and the surrounding area became ominous. People called this demonization and the animals, demon beasts.The forest came to be known as the Black forest by the people.
The Citizens asked The King for help; seeing this opportunity, the Prince rose to the challenge. He took his troop of soldiers along with him to defeat the demon beasts and clear the forests.
Months passed but the Prince never returned. Unable to solve the problem, The King sent out requests to other nations asking for their help. Out of all the requests he sent out, only three people accepted the request. First was the Prince Ithir Eanwedran of the kingdom of Elves,' Elvendom.' Next was Aznal Lindan, a master bladesmith who hailed from the Land of the Dwarfs, and lastly a Human Adventurer, who was also knighted..."
"Sir Siege Inghalph!!" Zero cried.
Surprised, she let out a chuckle. "Yes, Siege Inghalph was his name," she said.
"Can you please tell me more about him, please..."
Letting out another chuckle, she said, "Fine, I will tell you more about him."
Zero looked at her with pure earnestness, expecting her to say more. Seeing this somehow made her feel happy.
She continued, "Siege Inghalph was the only human to accept this request; some called him a fool for taking on a task that even the Prince failed while others called him a Hero. He not only had mastered the use of mana but also was a master of weapons."
"I want to become like Sir Siege when I grow up," Zero claimed.
His mother smiled at him, looking pleased with his statement, and said, "Maybe you can."
Hearing it, he was overjoyed.
His mother then continued the story, "The king assembled the three of them, asking them to come up with a solution to this problem. They accepted. The answer to this problem was not an easy one, after countless arguments, they finally came to an agreement.
An order was built, there they would search and train students to defeat the demon beasts and keep the demonization at bay. They called themselves: 'Guardians.'
They had one important job: to destroy the demons and protect the kingdom."
“Mom, do you think I can join the Guardians, and become a hero like Sir Siege?” Zero asked, unsure, what his mother would say.
With a pleasant smile she said, “Only if you work hard, will you do it?”
Zero’s glowed even more brightly than the manastone in the room.That was enough for him to believe that he would be a hero like Siege Inghalph from the legends, but still there was a question that bothered him.
“Mom what happened to the three of the heroes?”
“Nobody knows dear, some say that they died on the battlefield while others say they went into hiding after an utter defeat against the first prince who became a demon in the black forest, where some say he still resides. Maybe you could be the one who finds the truth right?”
She took a glance at Zero, expecting a scream of excitement but there was none. He slept quietly wrapped in his blanket like a baby. His mother looked at him with a peaceful smile, she bent down to give him a goodnight kiss and then quietly left the room.