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[[{{SUBST:Garuda, The Queen of Birds-A Tale of Granted Wishes}}|   ]]
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Garuda, The Queen of Birds-
A Tale of Granted Wishes
[[{{SUBST:Garuda, The Queen of Birds-A Tale of Granted Wishes}}|   ]]
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SE-Garuda

In ages past, in a tiny country facing the Behheru bay, there was a young prince who dearly loved all kinds of birds. With a rather frail constitution, he was unable to venture outside for extended periods of time. Thus, he took pleasure in placing several birdhouses within the castle walls and coming to see some of the several birds that often took temporary residence within them.

In one of these birdhouses in particular was a tiny female bird whose feathers were the hue of jade. The prince had taken it upon himself to raise this bird from when it was a wee chick, naming it Garuda. Having had taken well to him, she was always found in his presence, either perching on his shoulders or flying by his side, which calmed his heart greatly.

One day, the young prince left the castle to go bird watching by himself. Like always, Garuda was resting her wings on his shoulders. It was in that moment when a viper lunged towards the two in a sudden, soundless attack.

The prince, who had barely noticed the attack, nudged off the viper with his arm, thus ensuring Garuda's safety; however, the young prince was bitten by the snake in Garuda's stead.

That night, the prince was nursed by the royal physicians within his chambers. It was the small bird Garuda who flew to the castle earlier that afternoon and alerted the vassals to where the prince's feeble and unconscious body laid.

Despite their best efforts, the prince became paler and paler as the hours passed . Already ill from the start, the prince continued to fall into the depths of sickness. The doctors were, in all truth, utterly unable to help the young boy as the type of snake venom by which his body was poisoned was virtually unknown to them.

Peeping in from outside the prince's window was Garuda, who rested on one of twigs of a small sapling. Upon seeing the doctors shake their heads in dismay, she flew hurriedly to awaken the other birds of the castle to consult them for advice.

"….The King of Birds, who lives between the stars and the clouds, seems to take the form of a handsome man. If memory serves me right, he has the ability to awaken the divine curative powers of the wind Vuychap. This special wind is said to be able to cure any malady……..but ,again, this is only a folktale…."

Without waiting for the rather knowledgeable Akbaba to finish his sentence, Garuda tore off into the night sky.

"I want to save the prince I love!" This thought was the only thing that race through her mind as she glided the skies.

Before she noticed, Garuda was engulfed in the light of dawn. Peering downwards, she could see the peninsula of the castle and the beautiful sea that surrounded her familiar home. Flapping one wing after another, she became gradually more tired, and in her exhaustion she felt as heavy as lead. Even breathing became a painful ordeal. Re-strengthening her resolve, she again continued to flutter her wings, flying upwards.

At the end of the second day, Garuda continued to fly until she reached a place higher than any cloud.

There, no matter where one looked, was nothing. It was a realm of pure, absolute sky.

With nothing in her field of sight, nothing but the sound of her own flapping reached her ears. The King of Birds that the Akbaba talked about was nowhere to be found.

Despair consumed her.

"Why have I flown to such a place?" While that sense of doubt flitted across her mind, all of the strength of her body left her. She was not only drained of her physical strength, but also her own willpower to continue on what she perceived to be a fruitless journey. She felt herself falling at terrifying speeds; even closing her eyes, she knew what was happening.

In the instant before her body smashed against the ocean, Garuda was about to give up everything. Suddenly, the smiling face of the prince who she adored so dearly flashed in her mind.

It was in fact that same prince's smiling face that met Garuda's young eyes in the moment she hatched from her shell. It was the first smile she ever saw. What she remembered next was the happiness of the idyllic days she spent with the prince, followed by the startling image of his body plagued by the high fever caused by the venom's poison.

"I want to save the prince I Love!"

With strength previously unknown to even herself, Garuda began to beat her wings again as hard as she could. Somehow, all of her strength had returned to her.

She sensed strongly this change within herself. Without her noticing, her wings had grown much larger, and her form now strongly a human's. She had taken the form of the Ruler of Birds.

After descending to the room where the young prince slept, Garuda flapped her wings slowly and awakened the wind of Vuychap, healing the child from the effects of the deadly poison.

Garuda had saved the prince.

However, she felt something within her heart. In her current form, she could never return to her place on his shoulder. In the moment that the prince opened his eyes, Garuda nodded sadly and flew into the dawn sky.

As her wings beat slowly, guiding her to the kingdom's outer limits, tears filled Garuda's eyes. Coupled with the subtle pain of a life of loneliness before her was the strong feeling of relief that the prince she cherished was safe once more. Garuda peered down towards the vast expanse of the ocean, and while she lost her focus, images of the boy's smiling face and of the happiness he would bring to many others filled her mind with sweet and silent warmth. Garuda then resolved to remember this very powerful happiness despite her loss of the prince's company.

Several years later, the prince, who from that time had become a robust and muscular youth, was unable to forget the figure of the mysterious woman that had healed him; for a great deal of time, he tirelessly searched the world for her. One day, he met once again with Garuda in a moment of fate. It is said that he then took her as his wife. For many years, they lived happily together, treasuring each other's company like a precious gift given at every coming dawn.

The Goddess, touched by Garuda's courage, called her to the heavens after her death and bestowed her with the position of the Queen of Birds. Ancient legends state that it is Garuda herself who guides every bird on their flights throughout Vana'diel.

[[{{SUBST:Garuda, The Queen of Birds-A Tale of Granted Wishes}}|   ]]
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Taken from: Vana'diel Tribune Issue No. 14



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Notes

Note: Vuychap is the brighest star in the Garuda constellation in Vana'diel's sky. It is a green-colored star.


Article in original Japanese

遠いむかしのこと。ベッフェル湾に面した小国に、鳥の大好きな幼い王子がいました。病弱だった彼は城内にたくさんの巣箱を置き、訪れる鳥を眺めるのを楽しみにしていました。

中でも翠色をした雌の小鳥は、王子が雛のときから“ガルーダ”と名づけて育てていたため、肩に乗るほどになついて、いつも彼の側を飛んで心を和ませていました。

それは、王子が城を抜け出して、ひとりで鳥の観察に出ていたときのことでした。いつものように、彼の肩で翼を休めていたガルーダに、音もなく毒蛇が襲いかかったのです。

間一髪、気づいた王子が腕で払いのけ、ガルーダは無事だったものの、彼自身は毒蛇に少し噛まれてしまいました。

その夜、王子は城の一室で薬師たちの看病を受けていました。城へ飛んだガルーダが、彼の倒れているところまで家臣を案内したのです。

薬師たちが手を尽くしたにも関わらず、王子の顔色は悪くなる一方でした。元々病弱だった上に、彼を噛んだ蛇の毒も知られていない種のものだったのです。

窓の外の小枝から王子の様子をうかがっていたガルーダは、薬師が首を横に振るのを見ると、巣箱の中の鳥たちを起こしてまわり、みなに相談しました。

「雲と星の間に住まう我らが“鳥の王”は、人に似た美しい姿をしているらしい。王は麗しき翼でビチャープという奇跡の風を起こし、病もたちどころに治すという話だが……」

物知りのアクババが語り終えるのも待たず、ガルーダは夜空に向かって飛びたっていました。

“大好きな王子を助けたい!”その気持ちだけが彼女を支配していたのです。

気がつくと、ガルーダは朝陽に照らされていました。はるか眼下には城のあった半島と青い海が見えます。ひとつ羽ばたくたびに、疲れで全身が鉛のように重く、また息苦しく感じられます。ガルーダは気力を振りしぼって羽ばたき続けました。

日が暮れて、朝陽が昇り、また日が暮れる頃、ガルーダはどんな雲よりも高いところまで来ていました。

そこは、見渡す限り何もない“空”でした。

視界には何ひとつ映らず、自分の羽ばたく音だけが耳に届きます。アクババの語った“鳥の王”の姿など、どこにも見当たりません。

絶望が彼女を支配しました。

“なぜ、こんなところまで飛んできたのか?”その疑念がガルーダの脳裏をよぎった瞬間、彼女の全身から力が抜けました。彼女は体力だけでなく、ついに気力も尽きてしまったのです。恐ろしいスピードで落ちていくのが、目を閉じていても分かります。

このまま海面に叩きつけられて死ぬのだと、漠然と悟ったガルーダが、すべてをあきらめようとしたときでした。突然、王子の笑顔が脳裏に閃いたのです。

それはかつて、卵の殻をくちばしで破ったガルーダが、最初に見た笑顔でした。次々と思い出される王子と過ごした幸福な日々。そして、最後に浮かんだのは、毒で高熱にうなされている彼の顔でした。

“大好きな王子を助けたい!”

我知らず、ガルーダは力の限り羽ばたいていました。するとどうしたことか、全身に力が満ちてきたのです。

彼女は、自分の異変に気づきました。いつの間にか、大きな翼と人に似た姿を手に入れていたのです。それは他ならぬ"鳥の王"の姿でした。

王子の寝室に窓から入った彼女は、その翼を羽ばたかせてビチャープの風を起こし、彼を侵す毒を癒しました。

ガルーダは王子を救ったのです。

しかし、彼女は気づいてしまいました。今の姿では、王子の肩に戻れないことを……。ガルーダは、王子が目を開いた瞬間、哀しそうにうなずくと、暁の空へと飛び去っていきました。

その後、たくましい青年へと成長した王子は、彼を癒した不思議な女性の姿を忘れることができず、長い歳月を費やして探し求めました。そして、ついにガルーダと再会し、妻として娶ったということです。

彼女の勇気に感心した女神は、死後、ガルーダを百鳥の女王として天に招き、鳥たちの飛行を導く道標としたと伝えられています。


Credibility of the Avatar Legends

The stories told in the Vana'diel Tribune might not be actually true. There are some points in the main storyline of FFXI that contradict the facts said in these stories.

It is possible that these stories are actual legends that are spread around by the people of Vana'diel. This becomes even more likely considering that most of the time the Vana'diel Tribune is being told from the point of view of people actually in Vana'diel.

Legends of the Constellations
Chapters: The Ice Queen Shiva-A Tragedy of Treason | The Hermit Ramuh | The Legendary Giant Titan
Leviathan, Guardian God of the Sea | The Transformation of Ifrit | Garuda, The Queen of Birds-A Tale of Granted Wishes
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