Desire to Fly
It was late afternoon in the town of Kalmari, and all classes have come to an end for the day. This meant it gave a certain group of warriors the rest of the evening to relax and play. Bate and Gordon, who were also enjoying the cool, autumn evening, watched the five warriors play on the outskirts of Kalmari. After a few hours, Gordon noticed that only four of the five were playing. Forming one of his specter hands, the Gordo lightly nudged his tired friend who dozed off a while back.
"Hey, Bate?" He called out, continuing to nudge him, "Bate, could you get up?"
The elder slowly opened his eyes and glanced at the one responsible for waking him. Surely this must be important, the elder thought to himself as he slightly lifted his sliver mask to rub the sleep from his eyes. He knew Gordon was wise enough to never disturb him in his sleep, though he can recall the Gordo using poor judgment in some cases. A tired sigh escapes his mouth as he finally speaks up.
"Yeah, what is it?" His voice, quite sharp.
The Gordo ignored his sour behavior from the wake and pointed to the group of warriors playing. "Notice anything wrong?" He'd hope this would show Bate the reason why he had to wake him.
Bate looked over and saw the warriors playing and chasing each other in the sky, that is, except for Nonsurat. The elder frowned when he saw the lone puffball watching his friends from afar.
"Oh....I see," He looked back at Gordon. "Nonsurat. He can't play when they start flying...."
His spiky friend nodded and watched the little Puffball. "All he can do is wait..." He softly whispered.
Nonsurat watched his friends soar through sky, chasing one another. Since he didn't have wings anymore, all he could do is watch and wait. He secretly envied his friends, wishing that he'd still have his wings so he could be able to play in the sky. 'I wish I could fly and have fun like them...' He said to himself. The tiny Puffball was so absorbed in his thoughts, he didn't notice the elder warrior now sitting next to him.
"Nonsurat...." Bate's tone was low so he wouldn't startle the pondering Puff.
Nonsurat looked over and quickly fell back when saw his teacher was beside him. He let out a soft yelp and backed away.
'Skittish little thing,' Bate thought to himself as he watched the warrior gain composure.
"T-teacher Bate?" Nonsurat slowly made his way back and sat besides him again. "What's wrong?"
Nonsurat watched as the elder pointed to the sky, then at him. He swallowed a lump in his throat. The tiny warrior knew what he was going say.
"It must be lonely at times when they start flying."
And he was right. Nonsurat flinched when he mentioned the topic. He looked away and focused his eyes on the floor before slowly nodding. Even if you try your hardest, there was no way you could lie to Bate and get away with it scot-free. He saw Meta try numerous times before and was unsuccessful. Nonsurat knew there was no point in lying, especially if he was woken up just to talk to him about it.
"You wish you could fly, don't you." He continued.
"Ummm....." He softly whispered, "Y-yeah...a bit."
Meta saw Bate and Nonsurat talking to each other from below. He stopped playing with the others and flew towards them.
"Teacher, you're up!!" He smiled. "We're gonna have a race, wanna play with us?"
Bate noticed how sad Nonsurat became when Meta didn't ask him. Bate knew the other four were still young, and don't tend to sense how others may feel when they say something unintentionally hurtful. The elder hugged the trouble warrior with his wing and declined Meta's offer.
"Maybe some other time, Gumball. As you can see, I'm talking to Nonsurat."
"Talking?" Meta questioned as he tore his attention from Bate and looked at Nonsurat."Talking about what?"
Nonsurat became flustered and frantically shook his head. "I-it's nothing, Meta," He gave him a false smile. "I was, ummm...I mean...we were...."
"We were just talking about his classes with Gordon." Bate answered for him. "It's nothing important, so run along and play with the others."
"Oh...well, okay." He waved to the two and flew off to join the other three.
Nonsurat softly thanked Bate for what he did. "You didn't have to do that..."
"I sensed how uncomfortable you were." He stated. "I didn't know you were embarrassed about it."
"I'm not...." He lied.
The little Puffball sighed at his failed attempt. He looked at the four playing and laughing with one another. "I feel different. They all have wings, except me." He reached behind and felt where his wings used to be, "I just want to be able to fly again....I just want my wings back."
"Does anyone know how you feel about it?" Bate asked.
Nonsurat nodded. "I told Dragato a while back. But, ummm...I didn't want him to stop having fun just because I can't fly like the others. What kind of friend would I be if I made him sit and wait with me?"
Bate patted Nonsurat on the head. "You have a kind soul, Nonsurat."
Nonsurat slightly blushed from the praise. Both watched the four play for a while before Bate spoke up again.
"Do....you want to play with the others?"
"I do, but..." He looked at him, "We already know I can't."
"I know you can't." He continued to gaze at the sky, "It must be hard watching all your friend play while you're sitting and watching from below. You don't want to be a burden, so you cloak your feelings and tell the others you're okay when, in fact, you're not."
Nonsurat didn't say anything, but Bate knew he was agreeing with everything he said.
"As much as I wish, I can never give you back the feeling of flying through the sky with your own wings, but if you want.....I could give you the feeling of flying through the sky again."
"Huh?" Nonsurat looked at the elder. "R-really? How?!"
Nonsurat couldn't believe it. Not only was he going to fly, he was going to fly now- right this very second! He jumped for joy, his wish of flying came true.
"Are you ready?" Bate asked.
Nonsurat nodded. He watched the elder kneel down and lower both his wings. The tiny Puff tiled his head, not knowing what to do.
"Nonsurat." Bate placed a hand over the young child's head. "Until the day comes where you find another way to fly, I, Sir B. Bate, will be your wings."
The little Puffball stood there in disbelief. Was what he heard true? The grouchy teacher that never wanted to be bothered was willing to do this just for him? Really? He looked at Bate and saw him patiently waiting for him to climb on his back. A smiled formed on his face as he dashed towards the elder, gently scaling the massive wings to reach his back. When he finally reached the top, he clutched onto the leather strap of his mask and held on. Bate felt it and started flapping his wings.
"Hold on," He said as he shot off the ground and into the sky. He soared through the air at a reasonable speed so Nonsurat wouldn't fly off, but soon gained momentum when he felt the Puffball was comfortable enough.
Nonsurat was flying again. And although it was not with his own wings, the feeling on not being bound to the earth below gave him a feeling of, well....freedom. It was a feeling he thought he'd never have again. Another smile formed as he let go of the strap and raised his arms in excitement. A small shout of joy echoed as the pair flew though the vast sky of West Nova.
Arthur looked behind his three friends and saw Bate flying in the sky.....with Nonsurat? He mused at the sight, and dashed towards them, leaving the other 3 behind. When they eyed where he was going, the three quickly followed behind.
"Teacher?" Meta called out, but soon realized he wasn't alone. He spotted Nonsurat perched his back. "Nonsurat! You're flying!"
The tiny Puffball sheepishly nodded. "W-well...with Teacher Bate's help."
"That's great!" Meta chirped, "So, do you wanna have a race with us, then?"
Bate looked up and saw Nonsurat nod. The elder accepted and slightly smirked under his mask. "I suppose you think just because I'm your teacher it means I'll go easy on the lot of you," He winked at Nonsurat. "Sorry to disappoint, but I never lost a race in my life, and I'm not planning to give up that title anytime soon."
Nonsurat muffled the giggles escaping his mouth, he didn't know the old flight instructor had a sense of humor. The elder counted down as everyone began to prepare.
Everyone propelled through the sky in a haste. Bate didn't bother moving from his spot, however. Nonsurat looked at him, and then at the others.
"T-teacher Bate, what happened?!" He questioned, "They're ahead of us now!"
"Don't worry, Nonsurat." He simply said to hush him. He looked at the four and waited a bit longer before responding again, "Let's give them a 20 second head start, shall we?"
"Oooh, okay," Nonsurat said as he started laughing. He completely forgot the elder was a prodigy of flight. "Yes, we'll wait."
Nonsurat mentally counted down and tapped Bate when the time has passed. The elder nodded and took a deep breath. "Hold on tight."
Nonsurat quickly wrapped his arm around the leather strap and held on for dear life. He closed his eyes and felt a strong force of wind hit his face. It lasted no longer than a few seconds, but when Nonsurat opened his eyes again, he saw the four warriors far behind the two. 'W-what?!' He glanced at the elder, 'H...How in Nova did he do that?'
"Huh...maybe I should've given them a minute," Bate said out loud.
Both quickly finished the race and waited for the others to finish. When they arrived to the edge of the hillside, Meta stomped his foot and angrily pointed at the pair. "Hey! That doesn't count! You've been flying far longer than we have!"
"Then why did you ask me to race earlier in the day knowing this information beforehand?" He said, knowing this question would likely stump him.
Meta blushed in embarrassment and headed back to the group, not speaking a word. Bate grabbed Nonsurat and placed him down with the others. He saw the four crowd around the teal Puff, asking questions of how it was like to fly again, or how it felt to ride on Bate's back. He slightly smiled, glad the lonely Puff was getting the attention he deserved. A few minutes passed before he had to interrupt the group.
"Alright, you five, I think it's time for you to head home," He looked at the sky and saw a few stars starting to show. "It's late, and your caretaker must be worried."
A wave of disappointed groans filled the air. Bate hushed them and pointed to the dirt path which lead them to their house.
"No complaining," He ordered, "Now go."
All of them nodded and headed off, but not before Meta quickly sneaked a hug and thanked the elder for playing with them. Bate could've sworn he heard Gordon coo behind him, but he denied it. Once they left, Bate headed back to Gordon who was waiting next to the large oak tree they were under.
"I see they had a good time." He says, smiling.
Bate shrugged, not saying a word. He looked at the stars and sat back down. Gordon stood next to him and gazed at the sky as well. Both continued to do what they were doing before the incident with Nonsurat occurred, until....
Bate looked down and was surprised to see Nonsurat timidly standing in front of him. He searched around and noticed none of the other students were with him.
"Nonsurat, what are you doing here?" He stood up, knowing he'd have to take him back on his own now. "Why didn't you go with the others?"
"I...." He started to stutter, "I just......."
The little Puff ran up and hugged him. Bate froze in shock. He looked at the figure and saw the Puff's smile, accompanied by small tears trickling down his cheek.
"Thank you for everything," He said, still latched on to the elder, "Thank you for making me feel normal again."
Bate's eyes softened and hugged him back. He didn't know Nonsurat could be just as caring and appreciative as another student he could think of. "Of course, Nonsurat." He picked him up and started walking to his caretakers home. He looked back at Gordon and motioned him to meet him back at his house, which was replied with a beaming smile and nod. Once the pair reached his caretakers home, the elder rung the doorbell and bid farewell. Nonsurat called out before the door was answered.
"Can....can I fly tomorrow?" His voice, hopeful, "P-Please?"
Bate looked at the warrior and gave him a nod. "I will see you tomorrow, then."
Nonsurat gave a nod back and smiled, whispering a small 'thank you.' With that, the elder took off into the night sky, a small gust of wind rattled the door before it was opened to let the little warrior in. Bate watched from below as the warrior entered his home, the lights shutting off a few seconds later.
"Until tomorrow, young warrior." The elder said to himself as he flew to his home to rest and prepare for tomorrows flight.
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