How great! One of my novels is a fanfiction! How hard is to imagine the already existing characters!
The link of my e-book “The Priestess of the Four Gods”
The Priestess of the 4 Gods
“I bestow upon you a blessing and a curse”, she said with trembling voice, “travel to the end of our world without resting until you find the one who will free you and punish you at the same time, but that person will also give you my blessing…”
“What are you talking about?” he shouted with pain, looking at the same time the only woman he ever loved dying in his arms, holding her tightly fearing that she will vanish in a moment.
“Goodbye my love…” were her last words. The fire around them became violent and covered them leaving no trace of them behind. The only thing anyone heard about that unforgettable night of blood and death were the screams of a demon which fell in love with the forbidden. That night was known lately as “The Battle of the Holy Land”.
Chapter 1: Lily and Monica
“Lily, wake up! It’s time for school”, “ok Monica I’m up already!”. Both of them woke up in an instant as the rays of the morning sun hit them through the curtains of their room. The twins were getting ready for one more day at the Williams house, as both of them grew in this mansion for the last 12 years. After their parents died in a car accident 12 years ago leaving them behind in the age of 5 their aunt Elizabeth, a woman who surely in her past life according to Monica was a man and a duke, took them in and allowed them to live at her huge mansion until their adulthood. But their life would have been a lot better if they didn’t have the pranks of their cousins John and Emily, because they always considered the presence of the twins as a nuisance to their family. But anyone could tell that the two girls were really beautiful, tall with long blonde hair and a really cute face. Their only difference was the color of their eyes, Monica had brown eyes, but Lily’s eyes had the color of the amber and sometimes under the sun they were shining bright, something completely different with the reality because Lily was born blind. Yes, and because of that fact she was the center of attention for her ‘dear’ cousins as she called them.
“The breakfast has already been served” murmured Lily as they were going down the stairs,
“Well, I don’t mind if they start without us, they shouldn’t make it so early”, Monica answered,
“But whose fault do you think it is? We are late because I couldn’t take you away from the mirror!” Lily said and they both laughed. They couldn’t get angry with each other anyway and that’s why they we always able to overcome all the difficulties they have faced so far. “You are late!” said with a voice Emily and John as the girls came into the dining hall. “Lily, Monica please refrain from happening this again!” aunt Elizabeth said strictly “Yes aunt Elizabeth this will never repeat again” Lily answered instead of her sister, which was already eating her cereals quickly, and sat next to her taking with slow moves her fork in the one hand and with the other she searched for the pies. “Good a little more right from the salt and left from the pepper” Emily said with a joyful expression in her face. The truth was that the only thing the cousins of Lily and Monica had in common was their bad and selfish behavior. Spoiled from the riches their mother had obtained from her business and living in the best house and of course going to the best schools, owning the best technology ever, from the cars to the clothes and much more. Generally they were plain in their appearances with black hair and brown eyes, “clones of each other” as Monica always was saying about them with a tone of irony written in her face. “It’s time for you to go I believe” Elizabeth said without looking anyone of them “Yes mother.” Emily and John answered together and left leaving the twins alone with their aunt. “Come Monica, we must go too” Lily said and got up slowly, taking her cane from the other chair. “Wait you two” Elizabeth said “today I’m leaving for a business trip at Australia and I want you to know that I will be away for a month” “We understand your worries, so now if you can excuse us… come Monica” and she headed to the door leaving her aunt staring at her as she left the house. Lily always knew that her aunt became distant from them in the last years. The death of her younger sister was a shock for her and moreover she took in 2 children without knowing what to do about them. Her children grew in a different environment and she was always busy. Lily didn’t believe that they were burden. Elizabeth loved both of them but in a different way, as she could feel.
“We are going to be late! Ok Lily, are you holding me tightly?” “Yes you can begin!” and Monica turn on her motorcycle rushing quickly out of the gate of their mansion. Today Lily had practice until evening and Monica would stay at school in order to help for the cultural festival their school was preparing. Elizabeth, in order to help Lily becoming easier a part of her new school, she donated a huge sum of money building a new gym near the old one because Lily early showed she possessed a remarkable talent in dancing. She couldn’t see but her moves in her feet and arms showed the potential of a graceful young dancer. Monica from the other hand, was organized, well-co postured, like a leader of a football team someone of her classmates could say. “Later shall we go for dinner out? I don’t want to return home early.” “Ok Monica after you pick me up we can go to that restaurant with the crepes, I love their chocolate and her flavor!” Lily answered with a smile in the thought of the sweet crepes “Ok see you later!” and left from the entrance of the gym.
Later that day both of them returned at the mansion while the sun was already setting behind them and the fragrance of the garden’s flowers were coming from all over the place. Suddenly Lily stopped walking and turned her head to the left were the garden was ending and the edge of the forest was starting. “Lily what’s wrong?” “Something is inside there” and pointed to the forest “Yes it’s the woods” “No, it’s not that, it’s…” “Come, come to me” a voice echoed in her mind and Lily held her head with her hands “Lily what’s going on? Are you alright?” Monica said afraid when she saw her, her face was white from fear and she was trembling. “Can’t you hear the voice? It’s coming from there!” and she ran to the direction she pointed early inside the woods. “Lily, wait! Where are you going? How can she run without seeing where she is going?” and she followed her deep inside the woods. They went really far from the mansion when they discovered something unexpected. A giant white cherry tree was standing before them with its branches bare of leaves, shining under the moonlight which was started to shown slowly behind the clouds. “What is that thing?” Monica murmured, “I don’t know but it’s really sad” and Lily touched the tree’s bole with her eyes staring at it intensively. “Lily, no matter what this thing is I don’t like it, please let’s head back home before…” but her words were in vain because suddenly the tree started to bloom and pink flowers covered it all over. “Monica run, run now!” and she started towards her sister’s side grabbing her hand but the wind blew to their side creating something like a barrier blocking their way back. “What is this thing? Why we can’t move” “It’s the tree, the tree doesn’t want us to leave!” and running back to the tree she shouted “Why are you doing this? Let us go home!” “Lily you are talking to a tree, are you mad?!”
“QUIET!” a voiced echoed from the tree’s bole, leaving the two girls stunned from surprise, “I have called you here because my time is running out.” ,the tree continued, “You must travel to my homeland, everything is dying by the time we speak and no one can stop this expect from you!” “Everything is dying? Who are you?” Lily asked touching the tree softly with her fingers, in a effort to calm it, “I have no time, prepare yourselves!” and the blooming flowers were casted away from the wind and started to cover Lily’s and Monica’s bodies making them slowly disappear. “I am really sorry but my home needs a new priestess again, please forgive me” were the last words of the tree which the girls heard before the tree withered behind them as they disappeared in that night, a night which would determinate the future of a whole world and the fates of its people.
Chapter 2: The merchant boy, the dragon and the puppy
“Seriously, how long will it take until we reach the next town?”
“We wouldn’t have to go though the Plains of the Lost Warriors if someone weren’t bargaining until the sunset!!”
“Hey, is it me or is it awfully quiet?” And he was right, there was no sound, no air blowing, not even a cloud in that starry night.
“Something is coming.” And he hit the reins heading towards the plain which stretched in front of them as they were running. And then they saw it, a huge comet was falling from the sky but instead of fire he was enveloped in light heading with incredible speed directed toward the ground. “Did you see that? It can’t be!” “Yes it can be!!”
Lily opened her eyes and found herself sitting in something soft. She shook her head trying to listen something; anything that could possibly make her not feeling so alone. “Monica? Monica where are you?” she shouted and started crawling on the ground searching for her. Then her hand touched the tip of her head and she hugged her covering her head wither hands, she was alive that’s for sure as she could hear her breathing softly “She has just fainted” she thought and stood upright in a attempt to ‘feel’ the new environment she was in.
The footsteps made her turn quickly toward the direction they were coming “Who’s there?” she said. The answer was unexpectedly strange, she could hear someone speaking but she could understand the language. From the voice she thought that there were two people, two men perhaps, but her fear made her kneel and hold Monica’s unconscious body in her hands. “Lily?” she murmured “Lily where are we?” “I don’t know but there are two men staring at us right now talking in some strange language”. Monica rubbed her eyes as she was getting up from the ground and looked in front of her.
A boy, around 13, or 14, was looking at her intensely, with his dark brown eyes. He wasn’t really tall with brown short hair and clothes in dark colors with a cape covering his body. Next to him there was a black puppy with red eyes sniffing at them. “Lily those are no men, it’s just a boy and a dog” she murmured
“A boy and a dog you say? Please help me stand up” and she turned to them looking at them at the same time
“How do you know where they are?”
“I can smell a strange fragrance coming from them, how do they look?” but before Monica answers the boy approached them and blew a strange dust at their faces “What is this?” Monica said as she coughed loudly, “It is a special dust which comes from the Northern Islands, it allows you to understand the spoken language of any place” the boy said as Monica and Lily shocked from the explanation looked at him “We can understand you now!” Lily said
“Of course you can understand now! I would be inconvenient if you talked in that strange language like before!
“The dog talked!” Monica shouted from the sudden surprise
“So you were the second voice I heard early” Lily said and smiled to the puppy
“Hey, where are you looking at I’m here!” and the puppy barked trying to get her attention
“I am sorry but would you mind explain to us where are we?” and she turned at the direction the boy was standing.
“Well before that we must go somewhere safer, follow me this way to the woods” and they all started walking with the boy guiding them though the plains. The night was quiet as the only light they were seeing were the stars and the moon glimmering upon them. Lily was holing Monica’s shoulder while they were walking but the truth was that she was really worried about that strange boy who appeared before them and the last words of that tree before they disappear. “Monica I don’t know if we can trust them” “Me too but he is the only one we know and besides we don’t have any other choice.” And she looked at the back of the boy “but I have to admit he is a little cute” “You are kidding me right? Besides I didn’t know you had interest for old men” “Old!? He is a 14 years old child to me” “What?” and she felt for the first time that they were in great danger as the feeling of fear started to grow stronger inside her.
“Here we are.” The boy showed them the campfire at the end of the woods as they emerged at the clearing of the forest. “Hey, Limon we have returned” the boy shouted to the wagon which lied near the fire. It was quite big, with a wooden stair placed in the ground leading to the inside, windows on the right and the left and the top of this strange caravan was a white cloth which was covering the upper half of it making look like it will collapse in any time. But the strangest came out from the wagon holding a cauldron on his mouth placing it on the fire. “You finally came, and I was wondering if you have found anything yet.” “We did found something” and he moved aside showing the girls behind him. The golden dragon with the violet eyes stared at them with surprise and curiosity at the same time wondering if he was drunk or not. “Are you sure they are not illusions from the plains? Because I see two girls” “I don’t know what you are saying but we are not illusion. We were born twins in the first place” Monica answered right away. For a moment Monica thought that that strange beast could eat her alive but instead of that it laughed with her bold answer opening his mouth and showing his white teeth. “Very interesting loot you got there! I like her!” and he continued laughing as the boy offered seats for the girls putting them around the fire. “I believe it is time to explain the situation we are in now” the boy started first. “My name is Darth and I am a merchant. Those two are Limon and Dings” showing the dragon and the puppy respectively “we travel at these parts of our land this time of the year selling anything you want and you can afford to buy”
“If you have money because Mr. Darth from here is really expensive!” Dings said with an angry look
“That’s because you insist on eating anything you find around you!”
“Because I am hungry, that’s the truth” and he barked to Darth
“Please excuse the impoliteness of my friends, the truth is that we didn’t have any companions with us for a long time” Limon said to the girls, in an attempt to calm them down and because he noticed the awkward look of Monica but he was surprised Lily’s smile.
“It is fine really” Lily said “; I believe we are lucky you found us first. I was really afraid when I first heard your voices but I feel that you don’t look so bad. As for us, my name is Lily and she is my sister Monica.” “We were returning from school when Lily said that she could hear a strange voice and then…”, Monica started to recount everything that happened from the voices to the tree they found. Darth was looking at Lily intensely after he heard that only she could hear the voices, while Dings and Limon were listening carefully to Monica’s words. “That’s new” Darth said, as he was pouring soup in the cups around him, “are you sure that tree said that our world needs a new priestess?”
“Yes I am sure, and it also said that this world is dying. What does that mean?” Lily answered but she couldn’t take the cup he offered her and it fell from her hands making her trousers dirty. “I’m sorry” she said “Don’t be Lily” Monica said “it’s ok” and with a towel she had on her bag she tried to clean her clothes
“Why she doesn’t look at us?” Dings asked
“Because I was born blind and I can’t see you.” Lily answered with a smile while Monica dropped her spoon. She knew that her sister had a lot of trouble back home but now it seems that she became accustomed with her situation, as if she didn’t care anymore.
“We are terribly sorry about his attitude but”
“But you could feel that we were there when we found you” Darth said with an exploratory look holding on his left hand a pipe stuffing it with tobacco.
“I heard your voices, that’s why I could tell that you where there, but Darth the tree also said that this world is at the edge of destruction. What exactly is happening here?”
“That was not any ordinary tree to begin with, it was an Ebu tree. The Ebu trees are spirits of this world which begin their journey from Nebolia town far at the South. Their purpose is to travel in many different places and collect information about the places they traveled. But some of them, in their spore phase, can get lost and end up in a different world. I believe Monica that you saw a white tree with pink petals”
“Yes but before we disappear they became black”
“That was a sign of its death. It seems that it sensed something in you two and it decided to bring you here” and he smoked from his pipe, while Lily and Monica were listening carefully, analyzing his words.
“It’s not the first time” he continued “sometimes people appear in various places and the start to live with us”
“There isn’t any way to return?” Lily asked
“No, I’m afraid not” Limon said “only if you go to the Holy Capital of Selemir you will find perhaps someone who will send both of you back”
“But that’s impossible, anyway” Dings continued
“Why?” Monica said with indignation
“Because since the end of the “Battle of the Holy Land” Selemir has been conquered from the Darvil and they rule since then, so I doubt if there is left anyone who could sent you back.”
Monica and Lily where trying to understand everything they heard: Selemir, Ebu, Darvil, battles. “What will happen to us from now on?” Monica thought and looked at Lily. She looked really calm holding her empty bowl and looking at the fire, but her eyes were showing her real emotions: fear, fear about tomorrow and where they should do or go from now on. Darth finished his smoking and stood up “There’s no use talking at this hour” he said and looked at the sky “it’s already late, so guys pack everything back on the wagon and you (pointing the girls) come with me” and he walked into the wagon. Monica stood up and took Lily’s hand guiding her inside the wagon while Limon and Dings were tucking the chairs.
When they got in the wagon they were surprised∙ there was nothing inside the wagon expect from a trap door on the floor, it was just an empty room. “There is nothing here” Monica said
“That’s because this is the space we use to put all our products, the rooms are downstairs” and he opened the trap door, jumping inside the darkness. “Come on, it’s ok to jump” they heard him from the bottom, and they both jumped inside. They felt dangled inside the darkness but they were still falling. Suddenly Lily felt Darth’s hands holding her from her waist and she rattled “It is ok I hold you” he whispered to her ear and she felt her feet touching the soft ground “Where are we?”
“We are inside the wagon at the central hall” was Darth’s answer and he threw a gold stone high in the air. The stone exploded and the shards flew in all directions lighting all over. They stopped on the walls and when they touched him they transformed in lamps. “Are they fireflies?” Monica asked as she walked toward them after her ‘landing’. “It’s a light stone, you throw it and it explodes giving its light. Now we need a room”, and he walked followed from the girls. They were in a completely different room the so called ‘Hall’. It was a central room with 5 doors in different shapes and sizes spread around the room. The three in front of them were the rooms of Darth, Dings, and Limon but the one with the double doors behind them was their storage (“Don’t you even dare pass these doors without my permission” were his only comment about the storage) in which all their fortune, and products were stored. “Let’s see” and he walked close to the wall letting the girls behind and he touched the wall. Suddenly a clang was heard and a door started to appear. It was a wooden one with carved birds and flowers around the edges. “Alright, this is your room” and he opened the door “It is not much but it is comfortable” and they walked in. There were two beds on the right side of the room, with a wardrobe at the left side and a small table with two chairs on the back. The walls had the color of the night sky with small dots glimmering around them. “It’s the night sky as we can see it right now, but if you want I can change it” No, it’s really beautiful” Monica said as she was walking around the room checking the wardrobe (she found clothes inside in their number!) while Lily sat on the bed near the door “You arranged it pretty good Darth, thank you” she said
“That’s true, it is easy to move and really cozy” Monica said
“I will let you stay here but on one condition: you will have to work for me be it errands or sales any job would be good. The food is included in your salaries and I will give you a silver coin for every successful sale you make”
“Agreed” Lily said but Monica was astonished with both his words and her answer “Lily are you serious? We don’t know anything and we will work now?’
“Exactly, I know nothing about commerce but it is the only way to travel and find information about how we can return home. Monica please.” And she turned to her waiting for her answer Monica looked Lily and Darth and decided to follow her sister’s decision, she had a point after all, and Darth pleased with their answer closed the door wishing them a good night’s rest. Monica went to the wardrobe and took off her clothes putting them inside. Lily did the same and she stood up walking slowly to the wardrobe. They changed and they lied down watching at the ceiling. After a while Monica said: “I can’t trust them after all. Especially that Darth, he acts so high and all mighty, like a selfish brat”
“I believe he is a nice person, I can say the same about the others Limon was really polite, the complete opposite from Dings” and they both laughed as the stars were shining around them. “How can you be so calm after all this?” Monica asked her, “I am not, in fact I am terrified, but we can’t show that can we?” she answered with a sad expression on her face “we must be strong as always am I right Monica?” “Yes Lily” and they fell asleep falsely hoping that tomorrow will find them back home.
“You gave them a room and work here? Geez you really are bad with women” Dings said after Darth explained them the situation
“Personally I don’t have any problem we need more workers anyway and…” Limon said with a wicked smile on his face “Monica seems to be really a tough girl”
“But the strange one is the blind girl. Did you see her eyes? They had a strange color”
“The color of a loved one” Darth said as he was sitting at the stairs “that color is the same as the stones our people give to their loved ones, but it seems she doesn’t realize that.”
“Darth, do you really think we should take them with us?’ Limon asked him.
“Only the Elder can decide if they are worthy or not. Until then we will keep them with us for their own safety. Agreed?”
“Agreed” Limon and Dings answered, as the silver moonlight started to give its place to dawn of the new day and to a new destiny.
Chapter 3: Working and dancing
“Are you sure it appeared? The falling star?” he asked with rage and suspicion. It has been five hundred years since the end of The Battle of the Holy Land and now the prophecy has started to fulfill.
“Yes my lord without any mistake, a falling star has appeared at the Plains of the Fallen Warriors and they are moving to the east as we speak” the diviner answered to King Nevol. It was past midnight when the diviner started to act strangely creating a commotion about the long forgotten prophecy until he was summoned by the king explaining his visions. Nevol knew that if the rebels of the North learned about it the war would be taken into a whole new level he had to exterminate them as sooner he could. He turned to gate soldiers shouting with anger: “Gather the three Generals; I don’t care if you have to drag them back into the palace. Call them back immediately!” But that was not the only thing he was worried about, he knew that he would appear sooner or later in order to fulfill his purpose. “Let him come” he thought “I will welcome him with the heads of the promised ones hanging up on my gates” and he laughed as the Holy Palace of Selemir welcomed the new day.
“Are you sure that these are enough Darth?” Monica asked as she was carrying the last boxes of fabric outside from the storage and placing them under the opening of the trap door. “Yes we must get rid of these at some time” and after he closed his catalog he started to move toward the boxes “when I say three jump” “ok” “Three!” and they both jumped along with the boxes going though the opening outside at the empty room. As they were floating in the air the room around them transformed into a shop with many shelves and a big variety of items: from clothes and fabric to toys, jewelry, pipes, tobacco and magical items for daily use.
They arrived at the town of Felimer that morning. It was a quiet town with stone-made houses and many trees at the central square. Darth told them that in order to book an inn they had to at least obtain 2-3 silver coins, “and if we don’t we will have to sleep outside again” was Limon’s answer to Monica’s thoughts about the night. The two days it took them to arrive at Felimer Lily and Monica learnt a lot about Denmor the world they were, a land with many natural destructions, due to the abnormality of King’s Nevol rule, and the rebellion there was at the Northern Mountains. “We need to be extremely careful when we travel, we don’t know who or what we can come across to.” Lily at the same time used the time they traveled to learn more about her companions like how was Ding’s fur and the dog spent quite a time in her arms enjoying her caress, and Limon toughed her how to saddle him at the wagon. They took their breakfast, bread and some kind of cheese, at the front of the wagon while they were traveling, with Darth and Dings sitting at the front and the girls sitting at the two seats behind them. “The last time we were at Felimer there was a nice fountain at the square, if it is still there we can set up the shop there” Dings explained “Is Felimer a nice town?” Lily asked
“Certainly, you can’t compare it to Nebolia or even the Capital but the people there like trading” was his answer.
“So, how do you think we can earn those money if no one comes?!” Monica said with anger at Darth when they have passed the last two hours with no customer in the middle of Felemir’s square.
“I can see it” Limon said with a tragic look on his face “we will sleep on the countryside again!”
“Oh, shut up!” Darth answered, even if you couldn’t understand for who his words were, and sat near the cash register. Meanwhile Lily was sitting near the boxes with the toys and was listening to the footsteps of the people passing though. And then it came to her, she stood up and turned to the others: “I have an idea” she said with a smile on her face “Monica I need your help and Darth will you allow me to borrow some of the fabric?”
“Why do you ask?” he asked with a worried face
“Please trust me, please?”
“Give her some, don’t act like she will burn it” Limon said
“Alright but I want it back into the box ok?”
“Thank you Darth you will not regret it!” and with Monica she went down into the Hall.
Few minutes later Lily came out from the trapdoor dressed in strange, for the rest, clothes, a short dancing skirt, leggings and a blue leotard. She took the long fabric Monica gave her and with slow steps she walked outside of the shop into the middle of the square. “Alright Monica, turn it on!” and Monica started to play a piece of music in her Ipod. Lily closed her eyes and slowly she let the music become one with her movements as began dancing around the spot she was standing making the people notice her, as they were passing. Quickly the square was full with mothers and their children, old people and some young men as everyone were enjoying the dancing of the girl with the golden hair. Monica smiled in the thought that Lily actually allowed so many people watch her and she turned to the others. Dings and Limon were left with their mouths wide open from surprise, “How can she dance like that?” Dings said “Not only that, if she can’t see how does she knows that she is dancing so well?” and Limon followed without taking their gaze away from Lily. “Well I don’t know either but that is something that only she can do. You see since we were small she always danced like that in order to cheer me up when I was sad, that’s her own way to express her feelings making everyone around her fell comfortable too”. From the other side Darth was looking at Lily enchanted by her movements without saying anything. He felt like Lily was trying to make everyone notice their presence with the way her whole body was moving, from her arms, which on her left hand she was holding the fabric, to her feet which were making circles and making soft moves as if she was floating in the air. “How can she…” he thought “How can she use such a power without realizing herself?” but before he realize it the music was over and everyone applauded Lily as she waved her hands and bowed to the crowd and with loud voice she said “Thank you everyone for your attention! The fabric I hold cost only 1 silver coin, you can get anything you need from our shop behind me!” and she bowed again falling back to the shop with slow steps. Suddenly the shop was full of people asking for clothes and fabric, toys and utensils. Quickly, Darth took over and in two hours the wagon was empty, a complete clearance. Monica approached Lily, who was standing surrounded from children laughing at them as they were asking her many questions. “Are you a Nymph lady?” they were asking again and again but Lily was making fun of them saying she was a witch moving her hands keenly and touching their heads. When she felt Monica near her she stretched her hand and took hers as they went near the fountain to drink some water “How was it?” “It was amazing Lily, everyone were looking at you dazzled from your dance, especially Dings and Limon! They were shocked!” and she laughed
“That’s good enough to give plenty of work to the others, I hope” and she washed her hands. Suddenly she felt something strange and looked at the people which were gathered in front of the wagon. In the darkness of her eyes she could see some strange lights appearing and moving with different colors, she stood up and turned around to see if the lights were moving, “Lily, what’s wrong?” she heard the worried voice of her sister and turned to her. Surprised she could see a light in the color of silver standing near her glowing strongly, but quickly it disappeared. “It’s nothing, I must be a little tired” and she sat on the marble edge of the fountain wondering what those strange lights were.
“Cheers everyone!” Dings said as Lily and Monica drunk from their cups. Later that day, after the sunset, they were left with the amazing sum of 30 gold coins. Limon and Dings were excited from this outcome and Darth was able to book at the best inn of the city. Now they were enjoying their meal inside the warm restaurant the inn had in the hallway as Dings was eating roasted chicken for the third time. “Mark my words, you will become a really fat dog when you grow up” Monica said “I am still in development so it doesn’t count” and they both laughed loudly. “Why can’t Limon join us” Lily asked “Because he is a dragon, dragons stay outside at the night but we will let him come inside later at night.” Was Dings’s answer. “I think I will take some of the food to him.” And she stood up taking in a plate some roasted meat along with hot potatoes and some orange juice with rosemary in it. After making Monica calm down, because she was worried of leaving her alone, she walked outside from the inn slowly touching the wall until she arrived at the stables.
“Lily I’m here!” Limon’s voice came from the right corner, “Oh, Gods I am so hungry! What did you bring?”
“Some leftovers I was able to gather before they disappear from the table” she said and showed him the plate “Dings has really amazing appetite!”
“That damn dog! Thank you very much lily” he said, and started eating.
“Limon, have you seen Darth? I need to ask him something.” Lily started, playing at the same time with Limon’s ears and cleaning his wings with a wet sponge.
“I think he went to the square, you can follow the path straight and then turn left to the tree on your right hand” and he turned her to the direction he explained “You can’t miss it, if you are not sure you can ask for more instructions, the curfew has not started yet.”
“Thanks Limon and goodnight” and she started o walk though the dark roads of the town following the sounds of the peoples quicksteps, the smells of the night flowers, and after sometime, the familiar scent of Darth’s tobacco.
He was sitting at the fountain’s marble thinking about today’s events∙ Lily had magical powers he was sure about that, but could she be able to become the one he was waiting? It was a quiet night with no disturbing sounds and a clear night sky “So quiet” he thought, “just like before a storm” he murmured as he tilted his head back to stare at the sky. “There you are!” he heard her voice “I was looking for you” Lily said as she walked toward his direction, “may I sit?”
“Why not?” he replied and helped her sit near him at the fountain
“You know Darth, I was wondering, why did you become a merchant?”
“No special reason, I just like travelling and I enjoy my companions fighting’s” he said and Lily laughed
“Where did you learned to dance like that? For a person like you shouldn’t be hard to learn the steps?”
“Being like me has its own benefits, I can extremely sensitive senses, including hearing, I can determinate a new step, I can hear even the slightest change on the song’s rhythm, so I learned to dance on my own”
“The crowd looked captivated when you danced today, it was the second time I felt so… enchanted”
“Second you say! Oh Darth you sure have a fan club! But if you were a little older, 5 more years perhaps, I am sure the girls would go wild!” Lily said smiling. Darth sighed saying that he was older than he looked and he had no need for a fan club. “Then let me take a look of you” and Lily touched his face slowly crossing her fingers from his cheeks and his forehead to his eyes and his chin, ending on his lips. Darth stayed completely still as Lily touched him with her soft hands· he even held his breath for a moment afraid that she would stop. “You look so sad Darth, why? What happened to you?”
“Well, well what do we have here, a couple?”
“Bah, just kids playing around while the curfew has already began” the soldiers said while they were standing before them. They were wearing the King’s symbol on their armor’s chest (the red moon crossed by a spear and a sword) and their red eyes were glowing in the dark. Darth stood up and helped Lily too by taking her hand, without looking the soldiers at all. “We are really sorry” he started, “we didn’t realize that it was late. Please now excuse us” and he started to walk without leaving Lily’s hand at all.
“Hey brat, where do you think you are going?” the one soldier said but when Darth didn’t answer the other soldier punched him knocking him down “Darth! Are you alright?” Lily said frightened while she tried to help him stand up, but quickly one of the soldiers grabbed her from the hands and with the other hand crossed his fingers inside her hair “Check this out! She has golden hair! Do you think she could catch a good price at the slave traders?” “She sure will!” said the other one and gave a strong kick on Darth. “Let me go! We didn’t do anything! Darth please answer me, can you hear me?” Lily struggled desperately, trying to avoid their touch.
“Let her… go”
“He can still speak? Kick him harder, teach him a lesson.”
“Let her go!!!” and a double edged axe appeared in his right hand making the soldiers draw back in fear. “He is a weapon wielder?!”
“No way it takes years to master only the basics!”, they said letting Lily’s hands at the same time and she rushed to Darth’s side. Again, the same lights appeared, she could see two brown lights stained with black dots inside them, flickering in front of her. “Darth stop you are scaring them to death!” she said and she touched his shoulder, “Then they shouldn’t have challenged me on the first place!” and he tightened the axe in his hands, watching them darkly.
“What are you?” the soldiers said but none of them was sure to whom their words were referring to. Darth made his axe disappear and without saying anything he started to walk back, followed by Lily. He didn’t realize that one of the soldiers ran toward them wielding his sword but before he could counteract a golden light covered them and the pressure pushed him back, throwing him down. Lily was standing before him holding a strange-shaped stick from which a golden line of light was coming. He saw the soldiers fall back unconscious and then Lily fell in her knees holding her left hand screaming from pain. “It hurts! HELP!!!” were her only words before she passed out, as the golden tattoo started to appear in her palm.
Chapter 4: The Library of Namur
Felimer: 5 days later
The First Troop of the Imperial Forces entered the town in the evening, General Elemor was leading them according to the orders he received from the King. He was ordered to pursue and capture two girls who fell from the sky two weeks earlier but although he was ordered there was no description of how they looked “Damn diviners!” he thought “so many powers but no useful at all! How will I be able to find them?” and with that thought he entered the city. The soldier who was sent earlier to collect the stationery reports came back at night, he entered the tent saluting his lord “My Lord I have brought the reports of the last two weeks” “Very well read them now” and the soldier begun but when he reached the reports of the previous week something strange came up. “The report says that 5 days ago a merchant caravan came and checked in one of the inns inside the town, their passengers a boy, two girls a transporting dragon and a cargo of clothes and toys. Also my Lord later that day some kind of street dance was held in the square, many villagers said that a beautiful girl with golden hair danced that day, and I also gathered reports from the medical center.” “The medical center you say?” “Two soldiers while on patrol saw a boy and the girl with the golden hair sitting on the square’s fountain while the curfew had started, they report that they tried to catch them but the boy seemed to be a weapon wielder and the girl used some strange power which left them unconscious for three days.” Elemor could believe in his ears He was so close only five days difference! A girl with strange powers and a boy weapon wielder? He turned to the soldier and ordered him to gather everyone “I want them all ready in 1 hour! We must not waste any more time and there is only one city ahead and close enough for them” “Namur sir?” “That’s right Namur. Do you understand what you must do?” “Yes Sir!” and Elemor went out of his tent followed by the soldier “Sir, there is also one more thing I must tell you” “What is it?” “The two soldiers after they woke up they claimed that their actions were wrong and they decided to quit the town’s army. What should we do to them?” And Elemor drew his sword and cut the tree near him saying
“What else do you think traitors deserve? The penalty of death!”
Lily woke up before they enter the city of Namur. She could only remember Darth’s voice calling her name again and again before she faints. Monica was sitting near and she hugged her softly as she tried to sit on her bed, “Oh Lily I was so worried you were unconscious for 5 days!”
“Can you bring me something to eat please? I am starving!” and Monica rushed out and came back with a plate full of food and a cup of juice. She started to feed her and Lily explained her everything that happened that night.
“Darth was really worried too, he came and woke us all while Limon was watching over you outside, we carried you down and we have been traveling non-stop since then. Now we will soon enter Namur, Dings says there is the biggest Library in that city and also a friend of theirs who will help us”
“Monica after the meal, will you help me take a bath?”
“Of course”. Lily could understand from her voice that Monica stayed up all night watching her but she was really worried about her hand
“Monica something happened in my hand. Can you tell me what is it?”
“I can’t do that. Darth bandaged it and said that he will show it at the so-called Elder when we arrive” and they headed to the bathroom.
When they came up to the front side of the moving wagon Dings welcomed them and sat on Lily’s lap, while Monica was asking Limon about the time they will arrive at the city.
“How are you feeling?” Lily heard Darth’s voice low and soft in front of her
“Much better, I am sorry for the trouble you have been though” she answered with a weak smile.
“But it was amazing, how quickly Monica got dressed that night” Dings commented.
“At least did you see anything interesting?” Limon said with a sneaky smile but he never took an answer because Monica grabbed Darth’s whip and gave him a strong hit on his back telling him to drop dead.
The city of Namur was known at the Old Times as one of the greatest cities, center of culture, arts, and economy. There were records of the city’s rich history all over the central square, from the majestic statues to the Library who stood above all buildings inside a park with huge trees and small ponds in some parts. The wagon entered the city not from the central gates but from the small ones from the back used, as Dings said for the funerals. Darth was trying to avoid the crowdie places; he knew that after what happened in Felimer the Generals would pursue them for sure. That’s why their meeting with the Elder couldn’t wait. They entered the Library though the northern corridor which was leading to the inside yard. After settling their wagon a young girl dressed in yellow with ribbons on her hair welcomed them:
“I have come to meet the Elder” Darth said to the girl,
“He has been expecting you, this way please” and she walked into the small wooden gate. Monica followed Darth having Lily’s hand on her shoulder while Dings was sitting on Limon’s back. The passage took them into a huge hallway with windows from above where books where flying from one window to another:
“This time of the year we arrange the sections for the new entries” the girl explained them while Monica was watching them fly ecstatic. Limon whispered to Lily why her sister was so fascinated and Lily said that her sister always loved books, she could read them all day without resting.
“Someone doesn’t seem to like the idea of reading” Monica said without turning her head behind,
“I didn’t know that you were a nerd! It’s surprising” Limon answered and Dings laughed.
After the hallway a wide room opened before them to reveal a study with big reading desks, books in piles and bookcases placed at the walls on their left and right. The girl climbed into a pile and got lost for a while calling someone.
“Master your guests have arrived! Where are you?”
“Don’t shout like that! You are in a library for Azure’s sake!” and the man appeared behind a pile of notes which collapsed when he stood up from his chair. He looked like a fifty years old man, tall with black hair, with some of them already white and piercing green eyes.
“Darth!” he said “It’s been a long time since your last visit”
“It sure has and I see that this place is as untidy as before” he said waving his hand, trying to cast away the dust from the collapsed books.
“And, Limon, Dings how have you been?”
“Very well my Lord as you can see”
“Your appetite is as huge as I can remember my friend?”
“Just as you remembered” applied Dings while the Elder patted his head.
Then he realized the presence of the two girls behind Darth, Monica stood near Lily when the Elder approached them. “What do we have here? The ladies are with you?”
“Elder Fin let me introduce you Monica and Lily. They are Outsiders and they arrived with an Ebu tree two weeks ago.”
“Nice to meet you Elder Fin” Monica shook hands with him
“Just Fin for you Miss Monica, it’s always a pleasure to be blessed with so much beauty” he answered looking her blond hair.
“And you must be Miss Lily” he said turning to Lily
“Nice to meet you Mr. Fin” Lily replied, but Fin looked her bandaged left hand and continued offering them tea as they walked thought the piles of books to the oak table while the girl from earlier had already prepared cutlery. When they were all settled down Fin begun: “May I ask, how did you find the Ebu tree?”
“It called us” Lily said “I heard it calling me and after a while we were there standing before it”
“But only Lily could hear its voice, I only realize its presence when we found it in the middle of the forest” Monica continued
“But it’s not only that” Lily said and explained to everyone what happened at Felemir that day, about the lights inside her darkness and Darth completed her explanation about what happened that night with the Darvil soldiers. Fin stayed for a while quiet with his eyes closed, trying to think everything he heard∙ when he opened them he stood up and went to the closest self and picked up a big book placing it in front of everyone on the table: “Allow me to tell you a story about Denmor, the world we belong”.
“In the beginning of time the four children of Light created Denmor, a world loved by the wind, blessed by the pure water and the fertile earth with the power the fire was blowing from the ground. But no matter how beautiful their creation was the Four Gods found it empty, so they decided to give life in Denmor. They took the Stars of the sky and placed them into the bodies of humans, creating their Heart Stones and giving them life. And that’s how life in Denmor begun. For many millennia the world was peaceful thanks to balance kept from the Royal family resided on Selemir, the Holy Capital, and from the most powerful being of our world the Priestess. She was chosen for her kind, generous Heart Stone and her strong sense of justice. She had the strength to wield the powers of the Four Gods together and giving their blessing upon the creatures of all Denmor human or not. The one who would be chosen to become the Priestess obtained eternal life and youth in order to accomplish her duties together with the Royal family of Aimilians in Selemir. But the peaceful times never last forever. From the southern parts of our world a new race arisen: the Darvil. Human with the power to wield both weapons and magic at the same time capable for a great good but also for the most tremendous disaster. Having lost their home they entered Denmor and requested a negotiation with the King. The King of the Darvil Ruben the Second and our King Amberforth the Third tried to negotiate the terms of their co-existence but Ruben’s sudden death was the cause of the Great War. General Nevol took command of all armies and destroyed the Holy Capital, the Royal Family was executed and the Priestess died fighting the Nevol’s Armies. That day was known as “The Battle of the Holy Land” and since then five hundred years has passed. Only the Rebels of the Northern Mountains, descendants of the Royal Guard, are fighting even today hoping that a new Priestess will be born and free them from the tyranny of Nevol’s rule.
“But that’s not the end of it” Fin continued “since there is no Priestess the Gods have concealed themselves away from Denmor and in combination with Nevol’s rule the world has started to perish” and he moved his fingers toward a tall self. Then two maps started to fly toward them and they opened the one near the other in front of them. The one on the left was showing a single huge continent in the middle of the sea with many strange names written on it, but the other on the right was different∙ many parts of the mainland were covered from the sea creating islands on the north and the south while the names on the map had already changed.
“You mean…” Monica started “that the whole world will sink?” she said with terror “Then why doesn’t that King do something?”
“He can’t” Darth said
“And he doesn’t care” Limon continued “Only the Priestess can restore the balance”
“And that’s where you appear” Fin said “Miss Lily could you please show me your hand?” and Lily puzzled took of the bandage.
What was on her hand left them speechless∙ in her left palm there was a tattoo on the shape of a golden star and the base of her wrist was covered by a line with strange letters.
“What is that?” Monica said to Fin holding her sister’s hand,
“I believe that is the ancient writing of the Selemir Records” Fin said
“Selemir Records? You can’t possibly mean the ones who talk about the Four Gods?” Darth said clearly worried about the turn of events.
“But that’s impossible” Lily said “There is no way me having this kind of power, how could I?”
“Believe it my Lady you have the qualifications of becoming a Priestess and besides, you came with a falling star, you have no idea what will happen if Nevol finds out about you”
“There is a prophesy about a falling star in the Darvil Clan” Limon begun “That when the falling star appears the two will bring peace and restore the balance in this world, well you are two Outsiders, those who come from other worlds with the Ebu Trees, and Nevol fears that”
“The only way to save this world is to find the Gods and kick Nevol’s ass!” dings said with excitement
The girls were trying to understand this new reality, but no matter how hard they tried the result was one: they had no other choice but to search for these Gods and find more answers about how they could be able to return home.
Lily stood up: “Mr. Fin if I become the Priestess will I be able to find a way to return home?”
“Well… it is said that the Priestess holds the knowledge of all things but I don’t know more”
“That’s fine with me” and slowly she turned to the others: “I don’t know about you Monica but I will try this out, I believe that this tattoo (and she showed her hand) didn’t appear out of nowhere. Besides we can’t stay behind after that story.”. Monica stood up with a smile on her face “Protector of Justice Monica Williams, hmm I like the sound of that”
“You have totally lost it didn’t you?” Limon came to her side laughing.
“Very well my children, I will give you all the information I have about the Gods, maps and communicator Mirror. Mimi the bag!!” and he left followed by Darth.
“Darth I have a request to made∙ protect them with your life and maybe you will find the answers you are looking for too” and he gave him the bag.
“Thank you Elder, I appreciate your help”
“Don’t forget for whom I am doing this. I promised her. That is my purpose do you understand?” he said with a serious look and Darth bowed to him from respect.
“Mr. Fin” Lily shouted “the lights I saw on Felemir, can you tell me what they are?”
“Oh, these lights are the Heart Stones of the people. Each one of us has a Heart Stone with a different color on them. They represent the souls of our people as they are carved in the stars of our starry night. They say that when one of us dies or is born a star falls or starts to shine.”
“Will I be able to see them again?”
“If you concentrate enough on your powers you will. Unfortunately I cannot show you how”
“My Lord!!, My Lord!” Mimi appeared from the room’s door.
“What’s wrong Mimi?” Fin answered obviously angry
“The General of Air has arrived. He is coming here right now!!!”
Chapter 5: Let’s search the Gods!
“You are kidding! How did they find us so quickly?” Darth screamed as they were running back at the wagon
“I can’t be sure but the fact they are here means they have already spotted the girls!” Limon answered flying near him with Dings on his back
“But what will happen to Mr. Fin? I hope he will not suffer the consequences of his choices!!!” Lily sounded worried running together with Monica. Suddenly, fear consumed her and she stopped running
“Lily we don’t have time to waste we must flee now!” Darth sounded behind her
“Someone is here, he has so much darkness in his Heart Stone.” She said with trembling voice “It’s really scary but sad at the same time”
But Darth took her hand and they continued running ignoring Lily’s voices as she tried to make him turn back.
Elemor entered the Library from the front Gates and he spotted Elder Fin standing at the entrance without a single change on his apathetic face. “Surround the whole building, free the scout dragons for more observation from above!” and the soldiers freed them. The scout dragons were small in size but extremely quick on flying. They had the ability to camouflage themselves using their magic wings, adapting in every environment. Fin looked the dragons as they flew but he tried to cover his trembling hands inside his tunic. “So Elder Fin I suppose you did expect us to come didn’t you?” Elemor said with irony. “”Rumors spread quickly my Lord. So how can our Library be of any use to you and your troops? I don’t suppose that you all came here to study, isn’t that right?” Fin responded with impudence
“Not today old man, today I am looking for two girls with golden hair. Have you seen any of them?
“My Lord if I paid attention to each one who entered our Library I would completely gone mad from so many names and faces. I only live in order to attain and preserve knowledge. And I am sure that if you ask my employees they would say the same.” But Elemor was not satisfied with his answer,
“Don’t mock me Elder, I can easily put fire to your dusty books and destroy them!”
“You wouldn’t do that General Elemor, because you would lose both you and your King anything that could be useful for the ones who will come! So let’s stop playing now shall we?” Fin answered as he no longer cared about formalities.
“Sir!” a soldier said.
“What?” Elemor applied furious
“We have searched the area but there was no sign of the suspects!”
“Damn the Gods!”
But the searching signals of the dragons came to Elemor’s ears, they had found them. “Gather all forces, pursue them quickly! I want the girls alive! Kill anyone stands on your way!” and he left riding his flying black dragon followed by his troops leaving Fin alone as he prayed to the Gods, begging for their protection.
“Run Limon! Run!” Monica shouted to the dragon when she spotted the strange flying creatures.
“Scout dragons!” Darth said and he pulled the lever on his right. A strange sound came from the inside of the wagon and the wooden surface started to transform into steel. Lily, from the inside of the wagon, looked from the window; she could sense the Heart stones coming. Their light was defiled, but there were some which they were flickering from fear.
“Darth they are coming closer!” Lily shouted to him.
Limon was running at full speed but the attacks from above were getting intense.
“Darth we can’t get away like this, let me get them!”
“Are you sure Limon!?” Darth asked worried about the disadvantage on the numbers.
“I will go too!” Monica shouted from the inside
“No you have no weapon anyway” Darth stopped her with his hand.
But Monica jumped on Limon’s back ready to loosen his wagon saddle. “Darth try to escape with Lily and Dings. Well hold them as much as we can!” Limon told him and with a jump he flew with Monica on his back transforming his size three times bigger.
“No Monica!” Lily shouted but they were already gone, screaming from fear about her sister’s carelessness. She felt Darth’s hand on her head
“Don’t be afraid Lily, she will be fine, and Limon will definitely protect her. Now you must concentrate and sense the presence of the Heart Stones, do you understand me?”
“All right Darth, I will try” and she closed her eyes concentrating on her tattoo which started to shine
“Dings use the levers and bring more ammunition!”
“I am on it now!” Dings answered as he was jumping inside the trap door and back again carrying pistols and small cannons, placing them on the back of the wagon.
“I am ready Darth!”
“Lily hang on from the handles from your right I am opening the back!” and pulling a lever the back wall of the wagon started to drew down making a clear opening from the back. The troops were running behind them aiming at the same time with spears and arrows. Dings then started to fire “fog bombs” creating artificial fogs in order to cover their traces.
Meantime, Monica and Limon were trying to avoid the scout dragon’s attacks.
“Don’t you have any kind of weapon with you?” Monica shouted while Limon was trying to avoid the second wave of attacks.
“I do but I can’t use it now!” and then the idea popped up.
“Monica I will let you use it.” But before she realized Limon shouted: “Bow of the Bloody Tears obey to my call!” and a longbow materialized on Monica’s hands. I was covered with rubies and its silver bow string was shining when Monica touched it.
“Limon this is…”
“I don’t have time to explain. Just concentrate and fire an arrow!”
“But I have no arrows stupid!”
“Imagine you are firing one! That’s the bow’s power!”
But when Monica tried to stretch the bow string it became harder making her fingers bleed. “Please” she thought “lend me your power!” and she tried again. The arrow she created was burning, its flame was purple, and when she fired it found its target hitting one of the dragons making him drop to the ground.
“Amazing, Monica! You found their weakness! Try it again!” But he didn’t realize the presence of the one who came from their bottom. The dragon bit Limon’s shoulder of his front left leg making him scream from pain.
“Limon!” Monica shouted and fired one more between the dragon’s eyes making him disappear. The others then suddenly retreated leaving them alone on the sky. “Limon, answer me!”
“It’s just a scratch, I’ll be fine. Besides we must go to Darth and the others.”
“But your wound… Limon” and she grabbed the dragon’s neck.
“Stupid” he said smiling “It will take more than this to kill me” and they flew toward their wagon’s direction.
“Darth, I think they lost us.”
“No!” Lily screamed, “Someone is coming at full speed, he will catch up with us soon!!” she said sensing the dark Heart Stone drawing closer and closer. Darth pushed the levers and the wagon started to run faster, leading them to the Foggy Cliffs. It was a part outside the city of Namur where there was always foggy and if you couldn’t know how to get down you would surely fall to your doom. But no matter how fast they ran the black dragon appeared from Dings’s fog screaming at them.
And then General Elemor saw her. Her golden hair was shining under the sun’s light and he clearly could see the star-shaped tattoo on her hand. “It’s her!” he thought, and then her eyes turned on him. They had the color of a Love Stone and they were staring at him with anger and sadness. Those seconds seemed to last for eternity as the wagon became faster and was lost inside the Foggy Cliffs. Suddenly Elemor saw the golden dragon with the other girl on him diving at full speed disappearing from his sight. He landed his dragon at the edge of the Cliff and he remained silent as he was trying to regain his composure, realizing the powers of those beautiful eyes.
“I must admit Dings, you are really good fighter for a puppy!” Lily praised him.
“I had remodeled the weapons for him” Darth tried to show himself off. But Lily also worried about Monica and Limon. Darth warned them to hold on tight as he jumped into the thick fog, it seems he knew the ways in and out, and a little, before they disappear, she felt someone looking at her with intense. It was the dark Heart Stone who was really close to them, but she quickly lost him. Now she could fell the two lights calling her and she asked Darth to help her as a guide. They quickly found Monica beside Limon trying to stop the bleeding from his wound.
“Stay here all of you I will bring the first aid kit” and he ran into the thick fog. Monica was still holding the “Bloody Tears” on her hands when Darth came again.
“I will tend his wounds, take Lily back, and we will follow soon.”
“Are you sure you are not injured Monica?” Lily asked worried “I can smell the blood”.
“It’s not my blood don’t worry” and she patted her head as she left with Darth’s help.
“Thank you for lending me your weapon; it’s really a strong one.” Monica said cleaning his wounds and bandaging them at the same time.
“Bloody Tears was my clan’s heirloom, it always passed down from the previous leader to the next one and each time one of them placed some of his power inside the bow making it stronger each time… Damn that hurts Monica!”
“I’m sorry Limon, you got hurt because I wasn’t careful” she said with a sad face. But Limon instead of answering he licked her injured fingers making the wounds disappear. He stood up and Monica followed him surprised by his move.
“And by the way” he said “I will let you keep “Bloody Tears” for now”.
“No Limon I can’t accept something so precious!”
But Limon licked her cheek saying: “Trust me you will use it much better than me” and he continued walking smiling while Monica was left blushing behind him.
They were sitting all together while Dings was placing spells around the wagon in order to keep the mist away creating barrier thinking about what happened earlier. The Imperial Forces had just discovered them and they were already pursuing them. Darth didn’t expect them to catch up so quickly but he was sure that the King’s diviners had already informed him. Their silence was stopped from Lily’s question: “There was…” she begun, “there was someone with a really dark Heart Stone, he was really close before we fall at the Cliff”
“That was General Elemor the Wind Commander” Dings said “he is one of the King’s Three Generals”
“There are three like him?” Monica asked with horror
“You do realize that this was just pursuing and not an open attack” Limon said “if that was a real fight we would be doomed”
“They were chasing us, you got injured and how the hell will we be able to find the Gods?”
“By tomorrow your faces will be on the Bulletin Boards of the Wanted people in the whole Denmor”
“That means we will have to stop using the central roads from now on” Darth said “and also we will have to plot a new course” and he left inside the wagon. Lily was sitting near Monica thinking about Elemor “If he is so strong why is he so sad?” she thought∙, when she rose her head she watch the changes of the light’s radiance on everybody’s Heart Stones. She touched Monica’s chest and surprised she asked her what she was doing, but then something started to shine from her chest “What is this light?” she said with curiosity
“This is the light I see Monica! Can you tell me the name of that color?”
“It is a silver light” she answered
“Silver” Lily repeated and took of her hand from Monica’s chest and the light disappeared. Limon and Dings looked at Lily’s hand for a moment and then they asked her to do the same thing on them. Lily then repeated the same: she placed her left hand on Limon’s and Dings’s chest revealing a violet light for Limon and a green one for Dings.
“I thought that if only I could see the light perhaps I could try showing it to you too.”
“That’s how you could tell where me and Limon where inside the fog?”
“And that’s how we will find the Gods!” Darth said behind them
“How long have you been standing there?” Dings asked angrily
“Long enough realize how to find the locations of the Gods. Don’t you see?” and he opened the two maps Fin gave them in front of them.
“I remember now!” Lily said, “Fin said that the Gods gave life to Denmor though the stars! So we will look for the strongest light!”
“So strong it could create life!” Monica said, understanding Darth’s thinking.
“But from where we should begin?” Limon continued “The whole Army will be searching for us now!”
“And don’t forget that Denmor is huge! How will we find them?” Dings said as he jumped on Monica’s lap and sat in front of the table they had place near the fire.
Lily touched the maps with both hands and crossed them around the map’s surface. She could feel the rough paper under her skin but also she wanted to look for clues, if she could sense the people’s souls she could also be able to sense the true power behind them. Her left hand started to become warmer when she crossed it from the bottom of the map and it stopped there·, her tattoo became brighter and everyone stooped to see where it was pointing. “These are the Mountains of the Earth Golems” Limon said worried.
“What are the Earth Golems?” Monica asked seeing his expression.
“They are beasts living on the mountains throwing boulders or creating sliding to anyone attempts crossing though them. So no one even dares crossing them.”
“That’s pretty convenient for us” Dings added “We don’t have to worry about the Army”
“I don’t think so Dings; let’s not forget that the Selemir Records are on King’s hands.” Darth said and everyone became quiet. Lily on the other hand stood up and said: “Even if he hadn’t them we will still go. I decided and I have made my resolve, I will fight not only for our sake but also for the stars who are falling right now” and rose her head to the sky seeing thought the thick mist the lights which were falling that night. Later that night Monica prepared the beds and tried to fall asleep but she couldn’t as she constantly was observing the tattoo on her arm.
The bow was carved on her arm creating a tattoo making her a “weapon wielder” as Darth told her. It seems that anyone in this world who was able to master that art was a strong competitor∙ “Perhaps I can become stronger after all, not just for me but for her too” and with that thought she fell asleep. Lily then woke up and slowly headed to the wardrobe taking out their school bag. Inside she found her trousers and her athletic shoes and she wore them together with a dark colored T-shirt Monica had inside for her. She walked out from her room and she felt Limon’s and Dings’s Heart Stones beating slowly as they were sleeping. “Darth is out again” she murmured and jumped. When she got out from the Hall she felt the wagon’s movements as it passed over the small dirt road heading to the south. Darth was driving using the wagon’s levers and when he heard her he invited her for a warm drink. She sat near him in the front seats staying quiet for a while, drinking the flavored water Darth offered her. “It’s really good.” She said.
“Yes, there was so much tension today, that I could afford for a whole lifetime!” and she tried to look at him, but she couldn’t sense any light coming from him.
“You must have noticed by now” Darth said “there is no light coming from me am I right?” and when Lily shook her head positively he continued: “One day when the time comes I will tell you a story. Promise me that you will listen no matter how hard it will be.” And he looked at her eyes waiting for her answer. Her faint smile made him feel at ease as she promised him and he pulled the levers making the wagon run faster. “I want to thank you Darth.”
“Why are you saying this?”
“Because you called my name that day on Felemir, I felt so scared when I burst out my power; I thought I would lose myself for a moment. But you called me and I regained myself.”
“Stupid there’s no need thanking me, I was just…”
“The strangest thing is that when I first met you I thought you were a little hostile but now I can tell that you are not what you really seem to be.” Lily continued while she has lowered her head playing with the T-shirt’s point.
“Then I must apologize.” Darth said “Indeed I was a little hostile. You see my life so far showed me that I can trust no one but only my closest companions and myself. When you arrived I started to believe that things can change and even scars from the past can be healed. I want to…” but Lily was already asleep leaning on his shoulder breathing slowly. “I want you to save me Lily. Only you can.” And he kissed her softly on the top of her head.
Chapter 6: The Earth Golems and the Sky Temple
Elemor was standing in front of the Mirror. He placed his left hand on its surface and whispered the name of the Capital. Then colors appeared, melted together, inside the Mirror and after awhile resonating and creating a clean image. The throne room appeared and King Nevol was looking at him from the other side.”Greetings my King” he started bowing. “We have the images of the girls you have been looking for. Two girls with golden hair and the one of them have eyes on the color of a Love Stone.”
“Tell me Elemor, how long have you been under my command?” Nevol told him with no particular expression written on his face.
“Five hundred years my Lord” he said with respect.
“Did I ever tolerate failure Elemor?” Nevol said and scars started to appear on Elemor’s back tearing off his clothing making him want to scream from pain but he refrained from even moving an inch from his position.
”No my Lord, you haven’t”
“Then you will take the Sky Fleet I sent two days ago to your location and head to the Earth Golem’s Mountains. Do not disappoint me again Elemor” he continued with not even a blink on his cruel eyes “and about those who follow them kill them all expect from the young boy. I want him alive chained in front of me. Am I clear?”
“Yes my Lord!” and the image disappeared leaving Elemor breathing heavily from pain.
“You were really harsh with him your Majesty” the woman whispered to Nevol’s ear. “Do you really believe he can make it?”
“If not he will simply join all those who failed to serve me until now.” He said fondling her waist.
“My Lord, please don’t act so harsh. If he fails I will bring them to you”
“Then I will be counting to you from now on my sweet General Nagia” and he kissed her with lust.
“But I must admit that you were really lucky escaping in such a flashy way my Ladies.”
“Hopefully we jumped into the Foggy Cliffs and then wandered inside the fog for three days”
“Foggy Cliffs? Are you serious Miss Lily? That bastard sure needs a good punch on his pretty face!” Fin said. What are you doing right now?”
“Limon is outside training my sister on archery with Dings and Darth is repairing our wheels, one of them broke.”
It had been one week since they lost track of Elemor’s troops and now they were heading south to the Mountains of the Earth Golems. Lily used the Communicator Mirror (Dings showed her how) and now she was talking with Elder Fin asking his advice about the way she found out the first location. “If you are heading there then that means that you will meet the first God, the Ruler of Wind Azure”
“Yes the information I gather speaks of a God strong enough to create a typhoon and gentle enough to cast a tailwind into the summer’s heat. I know no more than that.”
“Please don’t worry, the help you have offered us is really too much. Also… also I would like to ask you if anything happened to the city after we left” Fin thought he was lucky because she couldn’t see him. He was feeling uneasy telling her about the massacre the city experienced that night.
“Elder Fin I “saw” stars falling later that night. Did anything happen?” Lily asked with agony.
“Retaliation” he said after a while and Lily’s face distorted from fear and grief.
“How… and why? The people were not at fault!”
“That’s how Nevol works. Elemor’s troops destroyed half of the city’s shops and they beheaded half of the city’s Elders. Ironically I was saved because the king needs me alive.”
“And the victim’s families?”
“We took them under our care for now providing them with the necessary. Elemor also said that this action was a result of the rebels who dared to oppose the King’s rule and he showed your images to the whole city.”
“He did that? How dare he?” Lily was now shouting from anger and tears were flowing on her cheeks.
“Please remain calm my Lady. Also I would like to tell you that he is using his propaganda pretty effectively, but the people of Denmor have started to believe that the time has finally come for the new Priestess to awaken. Don’t forget those beside you Lily; they will always help both of you. Now please excuse me but I must close. We will speak again, until then good luck to all of you.” And the image was lost. Lily was sitting in front of the Mirror inside the wagon crying silently, she didn’t want anyone seeing her like this. The pain and the sadness she felt that night of the falling stars made her realize that she was needed: not only by her sister or her companions but from a whole world. She stood up, cleaned her face and got out from the wagon only to find Monica trying to shoot with her bow Limon who was flying with incredible speed above her with Dings barking from excitement and a really angry Darth shouting at them. When Monica noticed her sister she stopped immediately and headed to her direction “Lily what happened? You seem like you were crying, did anything happened?”
“Nothing at all, I’m totally fine” she answered thinking that Monica could notice everything “So how is the training go?”
“If she will be to shoot me down then she will be ready” Limon answered for Monica.
“And that will happen right now!” and she ran toward his direction chasing him while he flew again duping her “If you fly perhaps you will catch me!”
“Come back you… you pervert dragon! I will make you my purse and my boots!” she shouted to him while she was in vain jumping around trying to catch him. Lily and Dings laughed with them but Darth wasn’t laughing sitting near the broken wheel “Alright that’s enough, how about helping me with the wheels here?” and he showed Monica and Limon the tools. Together the fixed it quickly and by the noon they had already crossed the Double Rivers through the floating crossings and by the night they stationed at a small lake near the entrance of the Golems Forests.
“Wow the lake is really beautiful!” Monica mentioned when they were preparing dinner and a thought crossed her mind “Hey Darth, is it allowed to use the lake’s water?”
“Of course it is but why do you…”
And Monica quickly headed to the wagon, coming out later with towels and the shampoo she had on Lily’s bag. She took Lily’s hand and saying that they will be there before dinner they headed to the lake’s shore. Dings tried to follow them but Darth caught him from the tail staring at him with a murderous look.
“I want a bath too!” he said with an innocent look. Then Darth dropped him into the bucket with the water they had gathered earlier saying that this was his bathtub. Limon was preparing the fire breathing fire to the gathered wood when Darth asked him why he gave his bow to Monica.
“Because she has the potential of a weapon wielder” he answered
“Is that the only reason?”
“No not only that” he said after a while “If I don’t have the bow’s tattoo on me I can use my powers at their full extent when the time comes.”
“So, in short, you say that you used her and loaded the strongest weapon of your clan on a human girl” Dings said when he got out of the bucket and tried to warm himself up.
“That girl recognized a scout dragon’s weakness and fired a purple arrow. Do you understand how much willpower it takes just to stretch the bow string? And she did it in one shot! She does have the power to become a great fighter if she really wants.” And the three of them continued their work lost in their thoughts.
“How come you are learning archery Monica?” Lily said while her sister was standing behind her making her hair into a strand after their bath.
“Well Limon borrowed the weapon to me when we were fighting the scout dragons at Namur. He said that I could use it better than him.” And she looked at her tattoo. For the “kiss” she said nothing, but Lily felt her Heart light (she came up on her own with that word) started to grow stronger and she smiled.
Suddenly her tattoo started to fell warmer and she stood up. The small golden light on the lake’s surface started too multiplied and came closer to them.
“Monica do you see this?” and she pointed to the lake
“I can, can you?” she answered without taking her sight from the small lights
“they look like fireflies” she said amazed from how beautiful they were. Lily walked slowly to them and the lights started to gather around her touching softly her skin, her hair, and her feet as their shape started to become clearer. They were butterflies, golden butterflies which were coming from the waters gathering around the girls gracefully moving around them. Lily closed her eyes and smiled:
“They are singing Monica, they sing for the sun and the moon, for the night and the day. Do you want me to dance you say?” she responded to the butterflies.
“I can’t hear them Lily” Monica said as her sister started to move around the butterflies swinging her body.
“No one can hear them Monica” Darth said behind her. He was together with the others looking at the butterflies
“It’s been a long time since we last saw something like that” Limon said.
“What are these butterflies?”
“They are Heart Stones which are waiting to be born”
“You mean they are… children?” she said holding gently a butterfly inside her hand and she release it softly, excited from the warmth of the butterfly’s light.
“Since Nevol polluted most of the water around Denmor they became a rare sight. It is said that those butterflies are born inside the pure waters and, with the blessings of the Priestess they become newborn stars, indicating the newborn children in all Denmor.” Darth continued.
“Guys, look at Lily’s hand! What is that?” Dings asked troubled.
Lily’s left hand was shining materializing something inside her fingers. A golden stick appeared with a short ribbon on its edge swinging gently around her. She moved her hand and the ribbon started to form circles around her while the butterflies were following her lead. Then with a strong movement she threw the stick in the air and the ribbon became a straight line, showing the direction to the sky, and all the butterflies flew high transforming into strong rays of light and disappeared from their sight. Then the night sky became brighter as new stars started to appear and Lily caught her stick wishing to the newborn stars good luck.
“Did you see that?” she said smiling “I am sure they will have a happy life when they will be born”
“How did you know what they were?” Monica asked her puzzled
“They explained me how to help them and how to create this” and she showed them the stick.
“What is this thing? Is it some kind of weapon?” Limon asked Monica
“It’s a ribbon, it is used in our world from athletes and performers, but Lily you never learned how to use something like that” Monica explained to them.
“I know but it felt logical to me when it appeared, it’s like an extension of my body”
“That’s how anyone feels when he finds his own weapon” Darth said while he examined carefully her hand, “did you feel anything Lily? Like pain or sickness?”
“No it feels normal to me, I feel like I am holding something I must own.”
“Then there is no doubt. You have found your Heart weapon. A weapon forged from your own feelings and powered from your Heart Stone. A quite unique power I would say” Darth told her with a smile of approval, as he watched the stick disappearing from her hand and the tattoo reappearing.
“This is my weapon?” Lily said with look of relief on her face “I am not weak anymore?”
“You never were weak. You just didn’t realize your own power” Darth told her touching her shoulder
Monica approached her hugging her softly, asking her how she knew the shape of a ribbon.
“Our dance teacher explained us back at school” she answered.
“Who’s there? Show yourselves!” Darth said suddenly and he got in front of the girls holding a sword on his hands. Quickly Dings and Limon did the same creating a circle around them. The men appeared from the bushes completely surrounding them.
“Everyone stand by immediately!” a woman’s voice came behind the men’s backs. Although she was young, she was tall with grey hair and blue eyes just like all the other men.
“You have trespass our territory. The penalty for this action is death. Explain yourselves or suffer the consequences!” and she pointed her sword to them. Limon showed his teeth growling and Darth took a stance ready to attack.
“We didn’t trespass on purpose!” Monica said loudly trying at the same time to calm down Limon “We are just looking for… someone”. The woman noticed that Lily wasn’t looking at her and suddenly she took of a red piece of paper from her belt and looked at it, staring at Lily too, trying to compare something. Her eyes became wider when she finally realized and ordered everyone to lower their arms. “I am really sorry, please forgive me for not realizing sooner” and she pushed away Darth making him trip a little and she bowed in front of Lily
“I am the First Princess of the Golems Clan Fiora. It is an honor meeting you my Lady.”
“How do you know who I am?” Lily asked her puzzled
“That damn King has made you look like an outlaw and a criminal but our Clan has always waited for your arrival” she replied.
Lily made her stand up and she said: “Thank you Princess Fiora. My name is Lily Williams and this is my sister Monica. Also our friends Darth, Limon, and Dings are traveling with us” she said introducing them all “I would like to ask you what you know about…”
“Not here my Lady it’s dangerous, please let me escort you to my father and he will tell you everything you need to know.” And they start walking inside the deep forest followed by her soldiers who were carrying the wagon together with them. Darth approached Lily and Monica, who were walking together, asking them how he could trust her so quickly. “She is not corrupted her Heart light showed me that, besides if she was hunting us we would already be dead, am I right?” Lily answered
“She did take out that piece of paper and took a good look. It seems she couldn’t tell us apart” and she laughed secretly.
But Darth was restless and Fiora could see that as she was looking at Lily’s and Monica’s companions with suspiciousness. When they were deep enough in the forest they stopped in front of a big rock, then Fiora took her necklace out from her clothes and placed it on the top of the rock. The rock then started to transform into a stone gate with closed door. Fiora opened the door and moved inside and so did the others. Everyone then noticed that they weren’t inside the woods anymore but they were transported into a stone square full of people, everyone at the same pattern as Monica noticed, who started to step back as their princess was passing bowing to her. Everything where from stone·, from the houses which were built inside the rocks to the walls and their weapons. It was an invincible fortress built deep into the mountains invisible from the outside world. Lily felt the peoples Heart light encircling her making her feel their feelings, hope, anxiety, fear, and most of all expectation. She leaned to Limon and touched his neck feeling his hard scales under her fingers:
“They are feeling nervous around all of you” she whispered to him, “I can see that.”
“And I thought that only Darth was standing out!” Dings commented and he received a kick from Darth who was walking behind him.
The stone Palace was located at the end of the Stone City carved and built inside the hard rock of a huge cliff. Under the moonlight it sparked like pearls with a slight glimpse of blue on it. Fiora guided them inside until the door of the Throne Room.
“From here my father will welcome you” and she opened the doors. Lily and Monica went in first followed by the others and stood before the King of the Earth Golems. He was sitting on a silver throne with his deep blue eyes looking at his unexpected visitors with great expectation written on his face “Blessed the day that the One appeared before me!” and he stood up “I welcome you my Lady and I deeply apologize for my daughter’s rough behavior. I am King Hamel Ruler of the Earth Golems and now your humble servant my Lady” and he bowed before her
“I am honored meeting you your Highness but please, I prefer calling me by my name Lily Williams. I and my friends have traveled from afar and after searching with the help from the Library of Namur we believe that somewhere around here there are clues about the Wind God Azure.”
“I would gladly tell you everything but first…” and he clapped his hands. Suddenly Darth, Limon and Dings were arrested from the king’s guards pulling them away from Lily and Monica.
“What’s the meaning of this your Highness?” Monica said angrily “they have done nothing wrong!”
“In fact there is something wrong with them.” He said with no expression on his face “their existence in this world is a sin itself!!! Guards take them into the underground dungeons!” he shouted to the guards who started pulling them against their will no matter how hard they resisted. Suddenly a golden line shined in the whole room casting away the guards from both three of them and Darth turned around only to see Lily holding her ribbon swinging it gracefully creating something like a barrier around them
“Lily…” he said amazed
But Lily wasn’t responding, her eyes were angry looking at the King Hamel, thanks to the direction his Heart Light was coming from, and walking slowly to his direction: “Your Highness, I would prefer not even lay a finger on my friends. They have been helping us since we arrived in Denmor and they even risked their lives trying to escape from General Elemor’s troops. May I trust your judgment and let them stay by our side?” she said calmly without a single tone of anger. “Truly words of a leader” Monica thought proudly and moved to the direction of the others after they were freed by the King’s commands. “If the Priestess wants it I will obey to your decisions.” King Hamel concluded still looking intensely Darth and the others. “I will allow you to stay by their side but my guards will still follow you. That is an order”.
“Even at the bathroom?” Dings whispered.
“Tonight you are my guests, fell free to use the rooms of the Palace, Fiora will help you with anything you will need and tomorrow I will show you what you wish to know.”
“We were lucky enough that we can stay all together” Monica said when they were left alone
“Luckily our rooms are close and the food is great too!!” Dings continued while eating his fifth roasted steak barking happily
“But that King sure seemed scary although he was really gentle with Lily “I will be your servant” and sappy idiot attitude!” Limon made fun of him.
But Darth didn’t seem like taking part into their conversation, he was sitting near the window lost in his thoughts remembering her words when she protected them “I don’t need protection” he thought but her hand touched his hair making him jump from surprise “You don’t seem to be fine Darth. What’s bothering you?” Lily asked as she was taking a sit near him
“I never asked for your help before Lily.” He begun with a tone of annoyance
“Offering your help even it is not asked is not something bad either, am I wrong? Besides it seems that the King knew you. How does he…”
“SHUT UP! You know nothing and it’s none of your business!” he shouted at her making her freeze from shock.
“Hey why are you shouting Darth?” Monica and Limon turned to him looking with question.
But Darth left an angry sound and left from the room with no word. Monica turned to her sister asking her what happened but she couldn’t answer. Something was bothering him, something that he doesn’t like to remember again she thought and turned her head worried toward the way the sound of a closing door was heard.
Darth went out at the veranda trying to clear his mind when Fiora approached him staying near him looking at the cloudy sky.
“You know” she said after a while “our Oracle always used to tell me the same story when I was small. I t was the story of a noble woman, strong, kind, loved by everyone determinate to sacrifice even her life for her people. But she fell in love with the only man she was not allowed to have.”
“And what happened to them?” Darth asked as if he waited eagerly to know the end. But Fiora laughed with his face:
“I never learned the end. But you see, none of the stories we know, or hear from the others have the same ending, maybe they all die, or they live happily ever after. Lady Lily seems to be good human and I can tell that she cares deeply for all of you. No matter what your past is or what decisions you will make, she will still care for you.” And she walked away wishing him a good night’s sleep leaving him alone with the battle that was occurring inside him.
The next day they were guided from King Hamel and Princess Fiora personally into the highest part of the Palace. Expect from Limon and Monica, who were trying hard to “break the ice” Lily and Darth seemed to be really quiet (“spooky quiet” as Dings said). They walked though forgotten corridors, seeing statues of those who ruled the Golems carved with white marble decorated with small precious stones, until they reached a huge opening with two silver gates having it closed completely. Everyone observed the details of the construction but most of all, the extraordinary mural that decorated the gate. It had the shape of a giant bird with its white wings stretched to the two sides of the gates shining all over with the help of the diamonds that glimmered decorated in various spots all over the gates. It looked like it was flying into the starry sky searching into the unknown.
“This is the entrance to the Sky Temple. Beyond those gates resides Azure the Wind God.”
“How long has he been here?” Monica asked as she examined the details of the doors, they seemed to be quite old to her, almost ancient.
“For the past 500 years our ancestors have been guarding the gates from the King’s forces.” He replied.
“Even to the point spreading rumors about being violent and barbaric my Lord?” Lily asked and made everyone around her look troubled. “You are not bad people and you must have endured for a long time” she said answering to their inner feelings making their Heart Lights shine from recognition, and she walked to the doors.
For a moment she stood before them and she placed her left hand on them. Then the doors shined brightly making everyone step back closing their eyes because of the light. The bird for a moment it seemed like it flapped its wings and the doors opened just a little creating a violent current of wind, pushing everyone behind. Lily, who seemed not to be disturbed from all this massive power, walked through the doors and they closed again with a strong sound.
“Lily!” Monica shouted and she ran to the doors hitting them with strength, but it was hopeless; Lily was gone behind these doors and no one knew what was behind them. Monica was ready to cry from fear but Darth pulled her from the shoulders making her stand up and she forced her to look at him:
“She will be back, Monica look at me. She will definitely be back, so please don’t worry” and Dings came closer whimper around her feet. Darth touched the door’s surface at the spot Lily had touched her hand earlier whishing for her safe return. “I hope the God will recognize her” King Hamel said with a worried voice. “What did you say Father?! What do you mean by recognize her? Isn’t see the Priestess?” Fiora said and everyone turned to him.
“The old scripts talk about the obstacles the One must succeed if she wants to wield the powers of the Gods. I don’t know anything else.”
“Your Highness, your Highness!!!” a soldier appeared from the back running at full speed
“What’s wrong?” Fiora asked as the bowed quickly in front of her
“Three dragon fortresses have been spotted coming from the south! It’s the King’s Imperial Air Forces and the Air General is leading them here!”
Chapter 7: The Phoenix of the Four Winds
“Where am I…? I see I am into the Sky Temple… I am flying… Who… a voice he is calling me. I am here. Where are you? I can’t see you.”
“Rise human girl, you have been summoned.” A voice echoed to my ears, I stand up and I am trying to concentrate into its source, but I can’t’ find it. Neither can I sense Monica, Limon, Dings, or even Darth’s warmth. A figure is appearing into my darkness like a drawing on a blackboard, tall, powerful with his hands touching my face. It’s the Wind himself. “Are you Azure?”
“You have travelled a long way in order to find me. How do you call yourself human?” he asks me with his gentle voice
“Lily you bear the star-shaped mark of the Priestess, do you understand what that means?”
“I do, I can become the Priestess.”
“Why do you want to become the Priestess?”
“Do you want power, immortality, eternal youth, limitless possibilities forever, the power to change fate and create life? What do you desire Lily?”
“I want…” but the voices are coming stronger. I can hear them shouting, “attack… who? Elemor? No, it can’t be” and I try to move my legs but I feel paralyzed as if Azure holds me with the winds.
“Answer me Lily, what do you desire?”
“Prepare all possible weapons, catapults, and gunfire we have!” Fiora was giving her commands nonstop as Elemor’s troops were reaching at any minute their location
“Your Highness we have secured the women and the children underground”
“Good go to your position and wait for further orders!”
“Fiora!” Monica’s voices came to her and she turned to see her followed by Darth, Limon and Dings “let us help you!”
“No my Lady you must not involve yourself in this” she said with a protective tone as she prepared her weapons
“Lily is my sister! If I can’t protect her, then who will? Please allow us to assist you!”
Fiora looked for a moment Darth behind her and everything were shown on his eyes. “Very well then. Monica I allow you by my command to assist us. The same goes for the rest of you! The cliffs on the east side are a good location for our archers. You can help them there.” And before she leave she wished them good luck and ran to guide the remaining troops to their stations. Darth guided everyone to the opening of the Palace toward the sky “Monica I and Limon will delay the dragon’s course and you will assist us with the Bloody Tears”
“But how will I be able to help you? The soldiers you said will be falling from above. I am not that fast.”
“You don’t have to worry about that” Dings said and a black cloud covered him transforming the puppy into a huge dog (or wolf?) having the height of a human “You will ride me and we will catch up really quick with them.” Monica looked at Dings thinking that you can expect much more from those with a small size. Dings leaned in front of her, telling her to get up. When she climbed the bow appeared in her hands, while Darth was already on Limon’s back, ready to take off. “All right everyone our first priority is to delay their arrival and protect the Sky Temple at all costs! Monica you will help us from the ground and we will deal with those from the sky. Do you understand?”
“YES!” everyone answered with a voice and ran off with Limon and Darth disappearing at the sky, flying at full speed, and Monica with Dings running at the east gorge jumping from cliff to cliff. “You remind me a werewolf Dings!” Monica said with a smile on her face holding tightly from his fur
“No fair! I am a noble Darvil from the Wolf Clan!” and Monica remained silent astonished from the revelation. She saw the soldiers with Fiora ahead of them aiming at the incoming dragons and she turned to see them. They were black, with the King’s crest on their foreheads, carrying on their backs fortresses looking just like castles floating on the sky. Monica asked Dings how they could carry so much weight. “They were trained to do so, and that’s why they are so gigantic. But you must fear those on the dragons. They are all of them soldiers who specialize on mid-air fighting.”
“So they must be archers right?”
“But also swordsmen and alchemy wielders all of strong enough to wipe out an entire kingdom in 10 minutes!” and Monica looked at the sky to the direction Limon flew.
“Incoming!” Fiora screamed and Dings quickly ran under the rock shelters trying to avoid the falling arrows.
“Concentrate, Monica! Find their weakness and fire!” But Monica couldn’t see them as they were flying with incredible speed almost invisible to all of them∙ and then it came to her “Dings, how fast can you run?”
“How fast do you want me to?”
“Fast enough to draw their attention to us”
“You do understand that all the arrows will follow us right?” he said with a scared expression on his face. Monica patted his head and climbed on his back holding him tightly “I must become stronger Dings, my family is in danger.” And Dings found her determination on her voice
“Limon will definitely kill me” he murmured and ran outside ignoring Fiora’s voices calling them back. Monica saw the upcoming cliffs and quickly turned back firing a red arrow to the sky, just before they jumped. Her arrow hit something on the air and they saw a man falling down on the woods. Fiora realized their plan; they had to aim for the wings, and ordered all possible archers to aim at the sky. Their arrows became a cloud of piercing birds as they started to fall on the dragon’s sides hitting the flying soldiers. In the mean time the catapults tried their best shooting the dragon’s heads but with no result. Monica then saw something golden shining as it flew to the central of the three dragons passing inside the soldiers, who now were visible to everyone after Monica shot a couple of her arrows. “Please be safe” was the last thing she thought before she concentrates on those in front of her.
Limon realized that they were not followed anymore and flew toward Elemor’s direction. “It seems that he has no intention to spare their lives” but Darth was appearing and disappearing many kinds of different weapons on his hands, from daggers to swords and axes. Elemor spotted them on the sky and summoned his dragon taking off toward their direction “Darthorian!!!” he shouted with hate toward them and their swords crossed with power. “Finally, finally I am fighting you!”
“Elemor, you haven’t changed at all” he said with bitterness while Limon was trying to avoid the attacks of Elemor’s dragon making their fighting even harsher.
“Why Darthorian, why did you betray us?? Everyone had many expectations from you!”
“Because I found the only thing I was missing in that life!” he said with anger “Don’t you see Elemor? How long will you fight? Until you die? Or until you will be killed by Nevol?”
But Elemor left a scream of hate and rushed on them.
“Choose Lily what do you desire?” Azure was repeating to me again and again. But everyone’s voices came to my head screaming from fear and death. I could “see” their Heart Light dying in front of me and I felt their pain ripping me off.
“No!! No let me go Azure!!” and I tried to move but his winds were holding me tightly
“Why, would you leave? Would you abandon your duty to fight with them? For those who defiled the lights of my children and destroyed the world my brothers and I created?” I heard him saying with anger and his winds became colder making me freeze.
“I am going to fight for the sake of those I want to protect! It doesn’t matter if they are Darvil or Denmorian I will protect them all! Don’t you see Azure! I want to become strong for their sake!” and finally I broke free from his binding. I felt the wind current leading me inside a building as I could sense it from the wind’s movement and I felt the ground under my feet. Someone walked toward me and he touched my face with his hands.
“Truly a remarkable determination, I praise you for this. Your courage will inspire the people around you to search for their freedom. But be aware that you must always be merciful even to those who have lost against the darkness of their Heart Stone.” I felt him hugging me tightly and he whispered to my ear: “I shall grand you the power of the 4 Winds: the courageous North, the noble West, the elegant East and the brave South will be under your command” and I sensed the air filling me whole as I started to fly free and strong as the wind who guided me.
“You will not pass anymore than this Elemor!” Darth said as he was trying to push him back. But Limon could see that the battle was obviously going to be won from Elemor. Monica with Dings also had shot down many of the remaining soldiers but they were still coming at them.
“Why do insist fighting for them Darthorian? Do you still believe that you will be saved? And that Outsider will help you?” and he attacked for once more
“I know that I will not be saved no one would save me. But she… she can be strong enough to save Denmor from Nevol! And perhaps save you too”. But Darth didn’t realize that one of the dragons was heading to the Palace ready to crush it down
“Darth! He is heading to the Palace” and Darth ordered him to fly straight there but Elemor was blocking their way leaving them no escape route. Monica rode back with Dings following the dragon, jumping from cliff to cliff trying to shoot the same arrow as before but it repelled back to them making the big wolf to jump high but Monica to fall down. She thought that she was dead already but she felt a strong wind current holding her and letting her down gently on the ground.
“Monica! Monica, are you alright?”
“Dings the dragon… the Palace… NOooo!” and the dragon crushed it with its head.
And then the wind blew toward all directions pushing him back violently and the dragon begun losing its concentration to his driver’s orders retreating more and more. The wind came from all over the directions as the giant white bird with the silver wings appeared on the top of the ruined Palace. A strong scream came from its mouth and all the troops paralyzed on the floating incapable to move.
“Yes! The bird from the Entrance of the Temple! But how…?” and then she shouted to the bird “LILY!!!”
“It’s the Phoenix of the Four Winds!” Fiora said when she finally caught up with them.
“Phoenix?” both of them asked
“It’s the most powerful transformation of God Azure. Finally the God has taken our side!” and their war cries became louder. The Phoenix was standing still on the top of the Palace looking down of everyone. Then his wings flapped and strong currents of wind surrounded them all.
“Stop… stop… stop fighting” a voice came from the wind. It was Lily’s voice echoing inside everyone’s minds. It even came to Darth’s and Elemor’s side, who had stopped fighting and were looking at the bird. Darth could clearly see her amber eyes shining and she also turned her head toward them. She moved her wings and flew to them. Elemor retreated only to see his troop’s confused flying here and there without knowing what to do. Fighting the Golems could be easy but a god was too much for them. “You don’t have to fight anymore” her voice became much clear “Are you satisfied fighting for a King who wouldn’t even care if you died in vain? What about all those who were killed by you? Didn’t they have families just like you? All wars only become a continuing circle of bloodshed in the end” were her words as she flew near the dragons making them obey her command and bow their heads, as a sign of obedience.
“Don’t listen to her attack!” Elemor screamed to his army but they had already dropped their weapons bowing before the Phoenix shouting and begging for her forgiveness.
“You shall all live together with the Earth Golems, helping them restore their lands, atoning for your sins” and the dragons started to deplane near the mountains.
“She stopped them only with her words! What a charisma!” Darth thought and he turned to Elemor. He was furious, no he was full of hate and he suddenly pierced with his sword his own dragon killing him in an instant. Then a dark cloud covered him and howls started to come from him.
“Darth he is going to merge with him!” Limon shouted as he flew away from him
“I know that! We must let them know and run away! Lily!!” And he flew toward the stupendous Phoenix seeing his majestic wings moving with grace under the already dark sky. “Get out of here he is going to transform into something really dangerous!”
“No.” her voice echoed only to him “I will fight him and make him realize his own darkness.”
“Stupid you have just obtained your powers! You stand no chance again him!”
But she turned her head looking at him directly as if see could really see him “Let me save him Darth. You realize too his own suffering and… I when I will become stronger I will do the same for you too.” And she watched his astonished face as she left a loud cry, like a pray to the stars and flew to him. “Darth, Darth what will we do?” Limon was asking loudly without realizing their previous words, it was like telepathy, only he could hear her∙ did she allowed that? Or was it an effort to learn more about him? “Let her fight Limon, it’s her own decision. But if things get worse we will attack him too” Darth answered him leaving no space for him to talk back.
Lily flew to the black dragon making circles around him. He was enormous with black scales in the color of the onyx and red eyes staring at her with malice “Why do you fight Elemor?” she asked
“To kill all those who stand on my King’s way”
“Is that the only reason?” and she avoided his fire breath flying higher. It was like dancing as they both flew high on the sky. “The Heart Stone I felt that day on Namur was the crying of someone who is tormented between his duty and his self. You are suffering Elemor and you also make the others suffer because of your own dilemma. Let me help you please!”
“Who told you I need your help?” and he attacked her again but she also was quick “You come here with those cheap feelings of yours talking about peace and co-existence. You might have eyes in the color of a Love Stone but you too are suffering! Yes I heard those men’s report. That girl couldn’t see anything! That’s the most interesting information I could get for you!”
“Yet you looked at me directly back then why? Weren’t you looking for someone to help you?” and she dodged again his attacks, making strong winds to blow on him holding him still without letting him escape. The Phoenix flew and her wings covered him whole like a hug. “Elemor, everyone feel sometimes the darkness in our heart growing stronger, it is only our decision to let it consume us or fight back. I too, can be consumed by it but I have friends, family who I want to protect. They had always protecting me and I can’t let their efforts go to waste. That’s how I stretch my hands to light I have never seen and keep moving forward. Don’t you have someone you want to protect?” she said holding him with the winds and her wings. For a moment Elemor felt her heartbeat pounding strongly shining on her chest. He felt at peace and warm all over his cold body. But before he could be able to say a word the scars on his back became hotter making him mad and screaming from pain. His red eyes became black as if he was possessed and bit the Phoenix on the base of his right wing. Lily instinctively took his left eye out with her long beak making him scream from pain. Then both of them started to fall from the sky coming closer and closer to the ground. Lily on her pain could sense Elemor’s light fighting the darkness around him disappearing from her sight, now she could only feel herself transforming back into her human form, the wings becoming hands again and the light of her ribbon shutting down. Warm hands grabbed her, holding her tightly as she fell into the woods, landing softly on the warm soil. Someone was trying to stop the bleeding firstly by covering with something soft and then licking the wound. She couldn’t feel the Heart light and she smiled faintly as those big hands were holding her gently.
“Darth…” she whispered and fainted.
Chapter 8: Beauty and the Beast under the red moonlight
Monica’s diary: Date unknown (anymore)
Today we left the Earth Golems relieved for some reason. After that battle it was clear that it would become more difficult, especially for Lily. That night we found Lily and Darth collapsed near and old tree deep into the forest. Limon and Dings carried him into the wagon telling me not to worry while I followed Fiora with Lily. She woke up two days later smiling at me when she opened her eyes. I knew that it was thanks to her powers and I am glad for that, because she can almost see her surroundings. Now with the powers of Azure she can command the winds even knowing where someone is standing just by the wind passing though him. I explained to her what happened and together we visited the Stone Square. It was full of people who came closer to us wishing and praying for our protection. I noticed also some of the soldiers I fought working together with the Golems determinate after my sister’s words. I must tell that the men of this Clan are really straightforward (they even proposed to me), but Dings and Limon were always making a mocking face as if I could ever get married! The night before we leave there was a feast to everyone celebrating our victory, and that’s when Darth appeared. He looked exhausted and Limon was saying that he needed rest because of his injury. But Lily offered him a glass of mead smiling and he looked at her gazed for a moment (Love is in the air…).
Now we are heading west where the guarding stations are few and perhaps we find something new on the map.
“Girls, do you know any stories?” Dings asked them as they were driving to the west three days after they left the Southern Mountains.
“Stories?” both of them said at the same time.
“Hmm, I know some but Monica I the best story teller!”
“Well now I am trying to translate this paragraph, why don’t you say one instead. And where did Darth go?”
“Why do you think that we will lose our way Monica?” Limon said in his usual place, pulling the wagon alone even without Darth’s guidance.
“He went to speak with Fin about any new clues, he’ll be back soon. So now the story!!! Lily!”
“Alright, alright, if I had to say one that should be…”
“You look well Darth.” Fin was looking at him though the mirror, obviously mocking him.
“Quit the chat Fin, I must know the next location. Have you learned anything from your side?”
“Mimi was able to locate some clues but it seems that our dear King is leaking false information about the Gods. He is trying to make you appear.”
“So now we must wait for Lily to get better before she…”
“Get better? I thought that she was alright after that battle. Did you do anything to her you pervert bastard?”
“Of course not!” (He could never say that he licked her wounds) and in that thought he lowered his head.
“Also Darth, Limon contacted me about your lack of power the other day. You do realize that the red moon is approaching”
“I am aware of that.”
“Well then say hi to the girls from me and I will contact if I find anything new” and his image disappeared. After that battle with Elemor he started to fell weaker. Was it because he overused his powers trying to save Lily or was it…? “No if the red moon appears it will be trouble for all of them” and he stood up and went up to the others.
“And so they lived happily ever after” Lily finisher her story when Darth appeared taking his usual place in front of them holding Limon’s bridles. Dings and Limon were crying after that story Lily told them and he could easily kick them both but he wasn’t on the mood for that. “Why are you crying guys?” he said bored
“But that was such a nice story It made me cry!” and the puppy went to Lily’s dress whipping his tears. Lily took him on her arms and Monica put the book back into the bag “Don’t cry Dings, it’s just a fairytale.”
“What fairytale?” Darth asked
“Beauty and the Beast.” Lily answered for her.
“And guess what! The beast dies fighting for Belle and she tell him she loves him and the spell is broken! And then…”
“And then what Dings?” Darth asked feeling a weight on his chest.
“He kissed her and everyone was back on their original forms.” Limon continued without looking back at them.
“Is something wrong with that story? You all seem to be depressed” Monica asked them. They said it was nothing but Lily felt pain on their Heart Stones, pain for a lost one.
They came across a small village and they decided to rest for the night. They weren’t able to find not even a decent inn and so they decided to stay on the abandoned barn near the old well outside the central square. With Monica’s help Limon boiled some water and they prepared some tea for everyone.
“Where is Darth? He was here just a while ago.” Monica asked when she looked around as Lily and Dings moved the hay preparing “beds” for all. “Alright let’s drink some of this” and Limon poured the flavored tea into the cups offering them to Lily and Monica “You will not drink?” Lily asked them but they kindly refused. Monica had already drunk hers and went to bed followed by Lily who still was holding her own cup. They lied together on the bed and the lights went off as they all slept peacefully.
Lily woke up when there was still dark outside. Monica was fast asleep so were Limon and Dings. She stood up and went out of the barn walking to the direction the wind was coming “Azure” she whispered and his voice echoed from the wind “What is it my Priestess?”
“I need you to search for a boy around thirteen in this area. Will you be able to do it?” and Azure flew together with Lily on his arms at the sky using the wind currents. The scream made them stop and then get back to the ground only to find the villagers running away from the village
“Stay alert Lily something is coming” Azure warned her and she materialized her ribbon on her left hand ready to attack. She walked slowly to the direction the Heart Lights she could feel were running for and she stopped. The smell of blood came to her, but she couldn’t sense anyone hurt. She turned her head left and right but before she decided to leave strong hands grabbed her from the neck and the shoulders pressing her with strength. Lily quickly nodded her ribbon creating a strong wind cutter forcing the one who held her pull back growling Lily turned her back and tried to sense him. The only thing she could sense was a slow beating sound with no light coming from it. “Be careful my child!” she heard one of the villagers behind her “It’s a beast that appears every time the red moon is on the sky!”
“Kill it, kill it!” the villagers were shouting behind her and they threw their spears injuring the beast which was still behind her. “Stop right now!” she shouted
“He will kill us if we don’t kill it!”
“Quiet! Everyone abandon your village now. I will deal with it!” she shouted at them angrily and she felt them disappear from her “sight” running away. She could hear their footsteps and the wind carrying them away. Only two breaths could now be heard. “You could easily kill me with one strike, why did you hesitate?” she asked the one in front of her although Azure was constantly warning her to flee. She heard footsteps and he stood before her, he stretched his hands bringing her closer to him leaning his head on the base of her right shoulder. “Beauty…” he whispered as he hugged her close to his body. Lily could feel his heavy breath, his strong brawny arms covering her body, sticky from the blood on his body, he lifted her and they flew away from the village into the forest. Lily could smell the trees and the wind carrying them until they reached a small pond. He let her down and he fell into the pond. She ran near him and tried to help him get up but with no result· he was really heavy. He pushed her away and he crawled into the nearest tree placing his back on the trunk. Lily approached him and she put her wet hands on his face. He seemed to be hurt, there were bruises all over his lips and his head, his hair was long falling freely into his shoulders. His hands, instead of nails, they had claws and his body was hard like Limon’s scales in some places. She placed her left hand on his naked chest but no light appeared “I am sorry that… you had to… learn it this way” a man’s voice came to her ears
“D-Darth… How…?” and she fell back shocked from the voice she heard. It was Darth’s voice but it seem to be different, a man’s voice not a child’s. “This body is something that used to be my true form”
“You are not a child? Then why…?”
“It’s because of my curse. I have lost all of my powers and my true form, the only that remains is a shadow in the form of a child and the strength of a weapon wielder. Every time the red moon rises I become like this thirsty for blood and killing.” And he covered his head with his hands. He couldn’t feel more disgusted and pitiful in front of her. “Forgive me Lily for what I said back at the Southern Mountains. I yelled at you with no reason, knowing that you weren’t at fault”. But she kneeled near him and hugged him, crying: “Don’t speak anymore. I am so sorry I didn’t realize your pain sooner, you were struggling all this time but still you helped me knowing that you are not strong enough, I knew that when you caught me after the battle with Elemor, so please don’t be sad” and she cried holding him. He cleaned her eyes from her tears and he looked at her face: “Don’t cry you look more beautiful when you smile”
“Is that the reason why Limon put something on our tea?”
“How did you?…”
“When you are blind, olfaction becomes really sensitive, I knew that something was wrong with the tea and also Limon and Dings didn’t drink it at all” she said with a faint smile.
“I will make sure they have enough work for the rest of their lives” he said with a vengeful tone. “Now Lily you must go back, I can’t move for a while until my wounds heal completely, and also it’s dangerous when the red moon rises” and he helped her stand up. Lily stepped back a little and with her ribbon she moved her arm creating a shining blue line drawing more and more circles around
“Melur!” (Protect!) she whispered and the blue line surrounded the area around the tree creating a perfect circle around them. She returned and sat beside him “I promised that one day I will listen to your story, but until then… don’t make me leave and… and let stay by your side” and she leaned her head on his shoulders “I will speak to Monica when the time is right as for the others… I will let them to you. For now rest and I will protect you”.
Darth smiled tiredly and leaned his head on the tree’s trunk. “Hey, Lily.”
“Could you please tell me that story you said today?”
And he slept peacefully for the first time listening to her calm voice.
The next morning they walked back to the barn taking the long way outside the village without speaking to each other, when after a while she asked him if he was angry about finding out his secret he said that he felt a little relieved about that. “But you must understand that I might lose myself again and kill you, so when that happens run away from me.” But she hit his head calling him stupid. “Why did you do that?” he said angrily touching his head
“Don’t say that again! If that time comes you must not run away from me! I will help you no matter what it takes!” and she continued walking taking Darth’s small hand inside hers until they reached the barn.
Limon and Dings were sitting outside near the wagon obviously worried. When they saw them they felt relieved but Darth’s angry gaze looked sinister for them. “Good morning Limon, Dings!” Lily waved her hand to them when she sensed their scared Heart Light.
“Morning… Darth, Lily” Limon greeted them
“Did Monica wake up?
“No she is still sleeping” Dings answered.
“Ok I will be going then” and she went in. Darth hugged the puppy speaking in some bizarre language that wasn’t really pleasant for the others but he calmed down quick and Limon asked him what happened. He replied saying that she found out and she helped him calm down. “It seems that her blood from the last time restrained me from harming other people. I knew what was happening around me most of the time” and he remember last night making him blush and hide his face into his cape. Monica’s voices made them jump from the shock and they ran into the barn. “What happened to you Lily? You look really worn out!”
“I went outside for a walk and I fell… a little” she tried to explain
“On your nightdress, and also barefoot! Are you an idiot?”
“Well Monica can really be scary sometimes!” Dings commented and Limon agreed waving his head as they started to laugh with the scene.
Chapter 9: The three Captains of Melba
Elemor woke up from his slumber feeling his head heavy. How long has it been since that night? He couldn’t remember clearly. His left eye was covered with an eye-patch and his hands chained. “And I thought I was already dead” he spoke to himself and looked around the dark, cold dungeon he was in. He heard footsteps and the gaze of someone familiar staring at him from outside.
“It took you quite some time to wake up. I started to think that you were done for”
“Well it’s an honor for me to see you around here Nagia.” He tried to make fun of his situation and he looked directly on her, she was dressed ready for campaign, with her black hair tied back and her two-colored eyes (one red and one blue) looking at him with pity. His vision was still blurred but her voice was clear.
“Tell me what you have learned from your battle with the Priestess” she asked him serious. He smiled bitterly· she just came for information he thought:
“You stand no chance against her, she is strong and her companions will help her always”
“I will decide that!” she said angrily and she turned her back to him leaving, but before she disappears behind the door she turned again:
“General of the Air Elemor you are removed from your duties and your position. You will spend the rest of your life locked here as a punishment for your betrayal. Think about your actions and when you decide to whom you must place your faith let His Majesty know” and she left from the dungeon leaving him praying to that girl’s actions wishing that she could make Nagia realize her true self, just like she did to him.
“I found it!”
“You found it!” and they both started to yell and dance from joy inside the wagon between the stored boxes. Lily’s tattoo was shining under the map revealing the next location of the God. Darth, who left the driving on Limon took the map from her hands and looked at the spot. He gave the map back to her and he jumped into the trapdoor.
“Show me Monica the place”
“This is it Dings, it says Bone Desert” and suddenly the wagon stopped abruptly.
“Limon what happened?” Lily shouted from the inside on the top of Monica’s body
“Stupid why did you stop? Monica continued
“He is just shocked from the word don’t worry” Darth answered them helping at the same time Lily get up and Monica pulled Dings from the boxes that fell on him. They got out and they found a shocked Limon petrified on his position “Darth you know what we must do if we have to travel to the Bone Desert”
“Yes I know” and he started to count his money
“Why are so worried? I can see that this place is in the middle of the ocean so we just need a ship”
“No one travels there Monica” Dings said “They say it’s cursed and it is also protected from the mermaids”
“Mermaids!” Lily and Monica said excited
“Flesh-eater mermaids” Dings corrected and their smile disappeared in an instant.
“The only ship that can travel though that part of the sea is at Melba a commercial port not far from here, I would say two days in a row, but our problem is the Captains” Darth explained
“Captains? That ship doesn’t have only one?” Lily asked and she felt the violet color of Limon’s Heart Light becoming a deep purple.
“Anyway our money deposit is enough to buy everything we need but we can’t enter Melba like this” and the idea came to him
“Why don’t I like his smile?” Monica told Dings and he hid behind her feet.
They entered Melba disguised as a poor family. Lily and Monica wore black wigs and they were walking covering their heads with hoods. Dings was hidden inside a basket on Lily’s hands while Darth shrunk the wagon using one of his potions which were hidden inside his room (still no one was allowed to enter) and he was carrying it inside his cape’s pocket. “It’s the worst idea you ever had Darth!” Limon scolded him as he walked near him “Quiet Limon you are transportation and you can’t speak!” Darth shut him. Limon was painted brown in order to cover his golden scales (Monica enjoyed painting him all over his body before they enter Melba) and was carrying some bags on his back while Darth was holding his bridles. Melba was the only port that survived the War and now it was a commercial center for traders, merchants and for ships capable to travel nonstop all over Denmor. After they passed the main gate without being noticed from the guards Darth asked Lily if she could trace a voice from the wind “I can do it, I think”
“Try and find anything you for Minto, a man called Minto” and Lily placed her hands on her ears like she was trying to listen the conversations around her “Fowl!” (Find!), and a strong sea breeze rushed all over Melba. None paid attention to that, they thought it was normal and they continued their business, while Lily was trying to find her breath again. Monica held her from the back blowing into her face. “I used that spell for the first time, but I found him. I heard a man’s voice coming from a place called “Hook” not far from here.”
“Thank you Lily, I will handle from here. When I am done I will let you know. Don’t let your guard down and Monica… I leave her to your care” and he left following the crowd into the busy roads, disappearing from their sight. They followed Dings’s directions and they reached a small shop which was selling pies and they sat at the benches near it eating together. Dings ate his inside the basket and Lily fed some of hers to Limon, who still couldn’t speak. “Lily is it me or Darth has become… you know… more kind to you? He used to be harsh and a little rude but now he seems to be gentle and protective”
“Is that so? I didn’t notice that. Perhaps he decided to change on his own” Lily said and on her mind came his words on that night his strong holding his head lying and sleeping peacefully on her lap and she felt embarrassed, embarrassed she allowed herself to remember and even more when she thought what she told him that night. “Are you feeling well Lily” Dings’s head appeared from the basket “Your face is red”
Darth entered the pub “Hook” and looked around. Expect from some small changes the place was still the same as he remembered all those years, with the smoke from the pipes and the strong smell of alcohol. He went to the bar and ordered a glass of rum. “Your taste never changes” a man’s voice was heard behind his back and Darth turned to see him. The last time he saw Minto he was a small boy crying behind his father’s back and now 20 years later he has grown into one of the most fearsome captains in Denmor. He, together with his brother and his little sister managed to control a great part of the trading stations in Melba and become respected from all the other captains despite their young age. “It’s been a while, my friend and they shook hands as Minto guided him into a quiet table away from the crowd; they took their glasses and sat. Minto offered some of his tobacco but Darth refused kindly “You changed my old friend” he said surprised on a good way.
“Minto, I need your ship.” He said when they were settled down
“And straightforward as always” and he laughed “May I suppose that it has to do with the battle in the mainland? Yes I heard from some merchants when we reached the port last night” he continued when he saw his expression changing.
“I must reach the Bone Desert before Nevol sends any other than Elemor. And if my premonition is correct Nagia will be on her way soon”
“Firstly, you said Bone Desert, you know how dangerous it is and I am not speaking only for the mermaids. If you, and I repeat if, you reach the Desert the heat is so strong that can even set you on fire. How do you expect to survive there?”
“I have already bought the properly transportation, and besides, I am sure that you are dying to meet the One from the Old Myths. If I remember correctly you were a bookworm when you were young!”
“And I still am, as I have gathered many goods from the Ebu trees, which were discarded around Denmor. I have a lot questions about her too” he said with a scientific look making Darth think that he could easily treat Lily and Monica as experiments and not as humans.
“So do we have a deal?” and he placed a heavy pouch near his hand under the table
“I am always happy making business with you my friend!” and they got up walking outside from the pub, heading to the dock. “Lily” he whispered and the breeze blew though him: “Meet us at the dock, on the 5th platform. I will be waiting there.” And he followed Minto.
Ten minutes later Lily and Monica arrived at the 5th platform where they saw crew members loading a big cage with some strange birds inside: “Lingies!” Dings whispered with excitement but they soon reached Darth who made them signal to come closer. A man was with him looking at them with curiosity and excitement: “Oh no it’s Minto” Limon commented with fear
“That’s Minto?” Monica asked when she saw the sunburned man with eyes at the color of the sea greeting them
“Nice to meet you my ladies, I am Captain Minto, one of three Captains of our “Dimitra””.
“What’s with the Greek name?” Monica answered puzzled
“That was the name of a girl who came with an Ebu tree long time ago and married our father” a woman’s voice was heard behind her and Limon froze on his position. Same eyes as Minto but red haired and carrying some boxes with her Clyone was staring at Limon’s back. “Ah my sister, Captain Clyone, second in charge after me. Clyone those are our passengers. Please guide them inside and I will join you after I finish with the rest; and they followed her inside the ship, entering the captain’s central Room. The ship was big enough (someone might call it a caravel) but at the same time its angles and its masts were designed to survive even the most violent storm built with silver instead of wood. When the door closed behind them Darth became more relaxed and allowed the girls to take of the hoods and the wigs. Clyone was startled from the color and the length of their hair as also their identical faces. “It can’t be… Minto I will kill you!” but Lily approached her touching her with her left hand showing her Heart Light: “Captain Clyone I understand that we are putting you in danger but at the same time we are deeply grateful about your help” she told her smiling. Clyone stared at her turquoise color until Lily took her hand. “Well I always wanted to meet the Priestess, but at the same time” and she looked at Limon “I want to punish someone for his actions!!” and she started to hunt Limon inside the room while he was begging for help from the others, but Dings, Lily and Darth laughed at him while Monica looked at him with annoyance. “That’s enough Captain Clyone!” Minto entered the Room followed by his brother Edolem. He had brown eyes but his physique was making him look twice bigger than his older brother; he was holding maps which were unfolded on the table. There were routes beginning from their current position spreading though all Denmor. “Well now, all we have to do is to find the safest route to the Bone Desert” Minto begun
“I suppose going though the small islands from the west would be safer, plus we will be able to hide if we have trouble” Edolem continued and looked at the girls.
“Clyone take the ladies to the lower decks, and show them to their rooms. We need to discuss with the others” Minto told her and she guided Lily and Monica though the stairs lower to the ship. There were many doors when they arrived and as they were passing Clyone explained them the rules of the ship and their dining hours. They entered the room which belonged to them; simple with a small window from which you could see the night sky with a bunk and a small desk. “When you are settled I will come again. There is something I need to show you!” and she closed the door smiling.
“Lily are you ok? You look tired”
“I just need to sleep for a while, and I will be ok” and with her sister’s help she lied down to her bed and closed her eyes.
“My Lady beware of your surroundings, you must never be tricked by them!”
“Azure, why, why do I must be careful? I do can see into their Heart Stones but there is no danger at all!”
“Learn to fight, be strong for those you want to protect! Never lose to the darkness”
Lily opened her eyes and got up. Her head was spinning from the headache; the past weeks Azure has been teaching her all kinds of spells that could be useful to her but she was lacking sleep because of that. Monica was already dressed and helped her change while she was informing her that they had already left Melba and Clyone came to escort them. When they finished they met Clyone outside and she guided them to a big dusty room, under the main deck. “This is our storage, here we keep everything that comes with the Ebu trees.” And she opened boxes with anything you didn’t expect to see: teapots, self phones, Victorian dresses, kimonos, guns from the Dark ages and even computers and the destroyed parts of airplanes and spaceships. “But the most strange is this” and she showed them a gramophone. “This was used to be a gramophone” Monica told her “It was used in order to play music”
“Clyone do you have any vinyl disks?” Lily asked her
“Big black round circles with a hole in the middle” Monica said when she saw Clyone’s puzzled face and she brought them a smaller box containing ten disks. Monica took one and placed him on the gramophone making it play. The sound of violin and the piano filled the air making Clyone jump from excitement. She left the room quickly grabbing Lily from the hand and followed by Monica and took them to her room. ”My brothers are going to make a feast on the deck tonight, celebrating your arrival, and I also want to take out that gramophone thing too!” and she opened her wardrobe taking out dresses, trousers and jewelry boxes like a maniac. “Clyone, how are you acquainted with Darth and the others?” Lily asked her while Clyone was choosing earrings for her.
“Years ago, my father went bankrupt. He lost his fortune because the King’s Army ordained everything in order to prepare for a mission against the Northern Rebels. At that time Darth helped him overcome his difficulties and invested a great sum of money for my father helping him built everything from the start. That’s why we own him a lot, and that’s why we help you. Partially my brother is interested on the Myth of the Priestess so he is really curious.” And she gave a blouse to Monica. Lily was holding the earrings touching them unable to wear them. “Lily why don’t you wear your earrings!” but Monica’s angry face made her realize her mistake: “I am sorry Lily, I didn’t know”
“It’s ok that way you will choose the best clothes for me. Also… what’s your relationship with Limon?”
“He used to be my pet, but he burned my room and since then I haven’t forgive him!”
Monica and Lily started to laugh even when Clyone told them to stop making her feel embarrassed
“And I thought that he was your boyfriend or something!”
“How can a dragon become a boyfriend Lily?”
“That’s right! Even if he was the last man on Denmor I still wouldn’t go out with him!”
Darth sat near Limon when their work was over. Minto agreed to let them travel with them but only if they worked as crew members. He carried ropes, cleaned the deck, even climbed to the sails in order to replace them. Now he was trying to eat something while Limon had already eaten “You don’t seem to be hungry Darth. What’s wrong?”
“I am worried about something, but I hope I am mistaken”
“Well at least you were not used as a sponge!” Dings interrupted him when he sat near them. The puppy was wet and water drops were falling around it: “Minto said I should help in the kitchen but they used me for cleaning the dishes!” But before he could have an answer Minto welcomed his sister and the girls on the deck guiding them to their seats. The crew members were amazed from their appearance and whistles of excitement were heard. Monica was wearing brown trousers together with leather boots while her white shirt was tied beneath her breasts, leaving her waist exposed, and her hair were tied on a strand; Lily on the other hand, after Clyone’s pressure was wearing a skirt together with a strapless blue blouse which was covering slightly her shoulders, her hair were falling on her shoulders while the tattoo’s golden line could clearly be seen making circles, starting from her palm, around her arm. “Why do I feel like everyone are staring us?”
“They are Lily” Monica whispered to her ear and they sat near Clyone in a different table from the others.
Minto got up and he introduced everyone to the crew. Soon the whole ship was partying as the music and the food were coming nonstop. Minto and Edolem danced together with everyone while Monica was trying to cheer up Dings. Clyone was bugging Limon and Lily was discussing cheerfully with everyone. After a while Darth sat near her offering a glass of water: “Are enjoying yourself?”
“Very much! Is it always so lively?”
“When there is a good reason. Hey, do you want to rest for a little?” he asked her when he saw her pale face
“That would be great, thank you” and they walked to the prow. Although it was cloudy the wind was blowing softly and the sea’s waves were like a song to Lily’s ears as they were crashing on the moving ship.
“You seem to be more tired these days”
“I can’t rest enough; someone has been tutoring me every time I fall asleep”
“You mean Azure?”
“Every time I close my eyes strange letters and spells appear inside my head memorizing one after another. At school there was less homework to do!”
“Do you regret it? Coming all this way from the Valley and the Golems in here traveling into the second worst place, after the Capital, knowing that it would be dangerous?” and he looked at her shining amber eyes.
“It would be a lie to say that I am not afraid; but I have done things that no human would ever do, meet so many people and… perhaps, if I will be able to discover my powers, as a Priestess I will give you a blessing.” And she patted the boy’s hair smiling. “Oh I almost forgot” and she took out from her pocket a necklace. It had a silver small chain holding a silver butterfly with small diamonds on the one side. Lily took Darth’s hand and gave it to him. “What is this?” and he pried it carefully.
“This necklace was a memento from my mother; I want you to take it”
“You know I can’t accept this; it belongs to you”
“You will take it because I enchanted it” and the necklace became warmer on Darth’s hands
“When I am close it will become warmer and warmer, the same goes conversely if I am not.”
Darth saw her waiting for his answer with impatience; he smiled and wore it under his clothes: “I will treasure it, I promise”
“Lily!” and Clyone approached them “Lily please help me with your sister, it seems that the rum was too strong for her!”
“You gave her rum?! Monica can’t stand alcohol”
“Same goes for Limon!” and they watched the drunken dragon flying on circles around the ship’s sails.
“Sorry Darth but I am taking her” and Clyone took Lily from her hand heading back to the others.
Darth took off his pipe ready to smoke but he, instead, threw her on the sea. He touched the necklace Lily gave him looking at the sky: “A blessing you say?” he murmured but only the sky and the sea heard him.
Chapter 10: The Mermaids and the Safari at the Bone Desert.
“It’s so hot! And it’s been only a week since we left Melba! How did the weather change so quickly?”
“It’s because we a getting closer to the Bone Desert; the whole weather will change when we will arrive”
“I only hope the wind will not stop”
Monica, Clyone and Edolem were discussing about their course at the ship’s bridge trying to figure out how to travel faster. Monica noticed that Edolem wasn’t really talk-active around her and Lily but he was reliable and hard-working. Meanwhile Lily and Dings were taking a stroll at the storage together with Minto, showing them their cargo. Clothes, weapons, and spices everything was packed on hard boxes, or was hanging at the walls organized perfectly. They passed the cages of the Lingies, strong birds with huge wings capable to run quickly and even fly at the most harsh climates “Darth bought them, I am sure they cost a fortune” Minto commented and they moved
“That idiot he is cutting from my food!” Dings said angrily on Lily’s hand and they went upstairs to meet the others.
“So my little toys have already sailed huh? Too pity this will be your last journey. Let’s see what our little Priestess can do” and Nagia touched with the tip of her toe the water’s surface as she was sitting on her sea beast, a monster which looked like a prehistoric animal, which was leading her to the Bone Desert followed by a whole army of beasts and sea monsters, all creations from Nevol’s malice, suited just for Nagia. She turned to them ‘My beloved! We will soon meet our enemies! Feast to your heart’s content but The Priestess is MINE!!!”
“From where the hell did this storm come?”
“Reef the sails! Quickly!” Minto and Edolem were trying to sail the ship though this crazy storm. Limon was flying with difficulty, against the strong winds, trying to help the crew gather the sails as the waves were hitting the ship from all directions trying to tear it apart. Darth was helping them checking at the same time if anything could appear from the waves, he couldn’t let his guard down, at least not now. He shouted to the others to tie themselves with the safety ropes and stay close to the gunwales.
Lily and Monica were inside their room together with Dings trying to hold on from anything they could find; they could feel the ship going up and down swinging them without mercy. “Is everyone alright?” Monica shouted to the others trying to hide her seasickness.
“Don’t you even dare to puke in here!” Dings answered while he was slipping to the left and the right of the room’s walls unable to hold on. Lily wasn’t speaking; she was trying to figure why the winds had gone mad, she didn’t do anything: “Azure could it be possible someone control the wind like me?”
“No Lily, only strong alchemy wielders can create storms but they can’t control the wind”
Then Lily started to run to the main deck ignoring Monica’s voices calling her back. If she could calm the winds perhaps the storm could stop, she thought. She got out side feeling the slippery floor and the rain hitting her face strongly. She raised her left hand, transforming her tattoo into her ribbon and started swing it dancing at the same time, whispering into a strange language. But the storm became wilder and a huge wave appeared, coming at full speed from the east ready to crush them: “Everyone hold on!” Clyone shouted and Darth saw Lily standing in the middle of the deck, still dancing and swinging her ribbon. He shouted her name but the thunders were so strong and made his voice disappear.
“Winds of East and West cease your fury! Calm the sea and obey my command!” she shouted to the stormy sky and the winds calmed down just a little before they begin again with more rage pushing the ship and destroying the prow. “Stop right now! Who angers you?” and inside her a sapphire light appeared making her feel like swimming at the depths of the cold sea. “Say the spell my Lady, quickly!”
“Hantu!”(Vanish) and the storm stopped, the sea calmed and the sky became clear again. “Who called me before and what was that Heart Light?” Lily was wondering but the crew’s voices and joyful screams made her come back to reality. They hugged her and lifted her on their arms dancing around the deck while Monica and Dings were puking near Limon. The Captains were amazed from her powers and Minto started taking notes. Darth approached her and pulled her from the hand “Stupid! What were you thinking? What if the waves had thrown you at the sea?” But before she responds a melody filled the air and Lily walked to the right side of the ship and stared at the sea. “Can you hear it? They are speaking” Lily said
“I can only hear a song” Monica came near to her
“Melur!” (Protect) and the blue line popped from her ribbon covering the ship, protecting it from the song as Lily, using her ribbon, dangled to the gunwale and stepped on it. Everyone on the ship then saw heads appearing from the sea with their red hair and coral eyes shining on the morning sun. They were staring at Lily but none of them spoke. Only the sweet melody was lingering on the air and everyone on the ship trembled from fear, saying that the mermaids came for them. “These are mermaids?” Monica whispered amazed but they weren’t like she imagined them. Instead their colors and expressions were angry and full of hatred. “They weren’t like that at the Old Times.” Limon told her. “Their hair and tails change color reflecting their feelings.”
“That’s why they don’t need a Heart Stone.” Darth continued while he lifted Dings on his arms. “I suppose Lily “saw” them swimming toward us and casted her protective spell”
“How do you know this is a protective spell?” Monica asked puzzled but Darth lowered his head and murmured something about a logical explanation.
“We are not trespassing; we just want to reach the Bone Desert.” Lily said and a pillar of water appeared in front of her; a man with red hair and tail was inside the pillar at the same height as her and bowed. “I welcome you Lady of the Wind, we the Mermaid Clan welcome you at our waters.”
“Were you the ones who created the storm?”
“No, my Lady! This was the power of a strong alchemy wielder, the Sea General Nagia. A ferocious woman, who destroyed almost our entire home, cursed many of the sea inhabitants, making them her slaves.” He said with bitterness
“Are you the ruler of the mermaids?’ she asked with sympathy.
“The only and true ruler of our Clan is the Sea Goddess Clomin, who resides somewhere at the Bone Desert. Our Clan has always protecting her guarding the shores around the land.”
“Is that the reason you are called flesh eaters? She said with sadness.
“I was the one who led them in that path of killing. My name is Arion and I take full responsibility of my decisions. Please my Lady, forgive me for taking away the life you protect!” Lily touched his face stretching her hands inside the water pillar. She could feel the scales on his cheeks and his long hair softly moving into the water. “You must swear to me and to your Goddess that you will never kill again, and you will always help the sailors reach their destination when they are lost into the sea, be it Darvils or Denmorians. This will be your punishment for as long the Gods rule Denmor.”
Everyone then saw the man’s hair becoming blue and his tail pure white as its scales shined like diamonds inside the water. The man together with the pillar disappeared into the sea and all the mermaids bowed in front of her as their hair color changed color. “We shall lead you to the Bone Desert with safety. Let us repay you for your kindness.” And the mermaids started to pull the ship into a different direction from what they had scheduled. Lily undone the spell and stepped into the deck’s floor transforming her ribbon back to her tattoo. “Did you hear it everyone? They will lead us to the Desert!” But Monica said that the only thing they could hear was the song of the mermaids and Lily singing back into a different tune. She headed to the Captains saying that the waters from now on will be safe for all the ships and they gave orders to the crew telling them to return to their posts and repair the prow. “Darth I must speak to Fin. I need information about the Goddess.” And he led her inside the ship. Clyone helped Monica and Dings overtake their seasickness with some of her medicine. Edolem returned to the steering wheel looking at the sea and he threw a bottle.
“You spoke with the mermaids? You never stop to amaze me Lily” Fin praised her for her achievement
“But that idiot ran into the deck while raining and started to dance! She could easily get carried away by the waves!” Darth said informing him what happened.
“Anyway, Elder Fin do you know anything about the Sea Goddess Clomin?” Lily asked and Fin almost got drown with his tea when he listened the name
“C-Clomin? Wait here a moment” and Darth saw him though the mirror running between the books pulling notes and scrapped papers and he came again. “Clomin is not only the sea Goddess but also she is called the Water Goddess. She can control the water in its all forms and, together with Azure can be a terrifying combination. If the mermaids are guiding you make sure to ask them the exact location of her residing place. Also, it is recorded that her temple used to have Light carvings and murals. If you find any trace of them then it will be easier for you and their communication ended. Lily and Darth got out from their wagon and Darth shrunk it again into a miniature hiding it inside his pocket. “Your steps sound heavy Darth… are you angry?”
“Very angry. And you know why”
“I am really sorry. I know I was reckless but if…”
“Then control you recklessness! You always get in trouble this way Lily; the battle with Elemor even that night you were in danger! Do you realize how much people are expecting from you? You the only hope they have against Nevol!” he said with one breath bursting out his worries.
“Do you think I don’t know that!? Do you have any idea how it feels to sense the death of every single person on Denmor? Every time you see a falling star it is also a scar in my heart!” and crying now she continued “when we escaped from Namur Fin told me about what happened at the city. I cried for a long time before I come out again. I promised myself that, no matter what it takes I will stop Nevol, even if I must be reckless as you say. So please… let me fight my own way!” and her sobbing made her fall at the floor holding her crying face. Darth hugged her fondling her hair: “I never saw that, I never saw your pain and worries. But Lily, never hold your tears again for yourself, when you want to cry you can cry, when you feel like smiling you can smile. Not only me but Monica, Limon, even Dings will support you” and he cleaned her face from the tears smiling at her “come on didn’t I tell you that a smile fits you better?” and he helped her get up. They didn’t notice Edolem staring at them behind the storage’s gates.
“Hold them tightly; they are now ready to ride them!” Clyone and Minto were preparing the Lingies for the others while Limon was taking a flying stroll around the sky. After the mermaid led them to the Bone Desert they disappeared into the sea. The heat was unbearable and Lily together with Monica changed their clothes according to Clyone’s instructions. Thick leather boots, t-shirts and shorts together with hats (everything from Clyone’s giant wardrobe) constituted their general preparations when they finally landed on the Desert. Now they were ready to ride the Lingies, although Monica thought of them as mutant ostriches with three eyes and big wings. Clyone and Minto would accompany them while Edolem would remain in charge back. Clyone sat behind Minto on the first, Monica together with Dings on the second and Lily together with Darth on the third. Limon would inspect from above and everyone begun their search inside the hot Desert.
Four hours later and with the sun starting to set they decided to stop for the night. Just like any desert the temperature was falling at night, and making even more difficult there were many sand storms. Minto and Darth set up the tent while Lily was checking one more time the map together with Clyone. “You should rest a little Lily. It’s no use if you are tired the next day”
“I can still continue, just a little more. Why am I feeling like I miss something?”
“What’s you miss is sleep” and Darth took the map from her hands asking Clyone to take her into the tent “Limon and Monica went for a sky patrol, they will come back soon before the sand storm breaks out.” And together they went inside. Ten minutes later Monica and Limon also returned without finding anything and sat near the fire. “Tomorrow we will continue at the same course. That’s where the mermaids pointed us.” Minto said
“I only hope they didn’t tricked us” Dings said while eating his dinner
“No, they didn’t I’m sure for that” Monica said and looked at Lily’s sleeping face and covered her with the blanket, passing the bottle with the water to Limon.
Later that night the winds were raging outside the tent and Lily woke up. She could hear them calling her, carrying the messages from all Denmor and opened the tent’s door slightly. Suddenly she felt someone grabbing her foot and left a startled voice: “You are careless again. Where do you think you are going?” she heard Darth telling her sleepy
“The winds are talking. I will try to find anything I can from the information they have gathered. Will you let me go?” and she felt his hold lifting from her foot. She headed out followed by Darth and lifted her ribbon to the sky drawing circles: “Melef!” (Appear) and the winds gathered near her ribbon at the form of white pigeons, flying around her flapping their wings around her and Darth “Is that what you see?” he asked amazed
“Only a part at the form the wind indicates me. It’s like a mass of lines blending together creating a shape. Wait what did you say? Are you sure?” she said to a pigeon which was sitting on her left hand; her tattoo started to shine and Lily yelled to Darth “Wake them up! I found her temple!”
Chapter 11: The City under the water and the Sea Temple
The sun had just started to set when they arrived at the location Lily directed them, following the light of her tattoo. “It’s just a sand hill, nothing special” Dings said
“Back at that storm I felt like swimming at the sea, or to put it better I was one with the water. This same vibration I’m getting from here”. Lily explained.
“That means we are close, but from where should we start?” and Clyone looked at the sand hills around her
“I have an idea” Limon said “if Lily can create and control winds why not creating a sand typhoon? Perhaps she could clean the sand from a specific spot and see what happens”
“Yeah and then we should ask her to clean the whole desert! Are you stupid Limon?” and Clyone pulled his left wing while Monica was giving water to Minto and Lily.
“That’s not a bad idea” Monica said and pulled her sister from her hand and together they climbed on Limon’s back
“But I am not sure if I can do it”
“Just try and see what happens, ok?” Monica told her with exhortation. The dragon took off and they started to fly around the sand hill; Lily begun gathering the winds around the spot she could feel the strongest vibration and she waved her ribbon creating a typhoon which pushed away all the sand revealing under the sand hill a statue. Everyone then approached it taking a better look. It was a woman’s statue dressed with royal clothing holding on her left hand a flower and on the other hand an opened shell with a pearl on it. Minto examined the statue as Limon, Monica and Lily reached them
“This statue is Clomin the Sea Goddess!” he said with surprise
“How can you be so sure?” Darth asked him.
“She holds her symbols: the sea flower with the 20 petals and a shell with a pearl!”
“Why do I think I am listening to Fin right now?” Dings commented and Minto looked at him annoyed.
“But sure it is really old, perhaps hundreds of years” Monica said touching its rough surface.
Lily came closer and with her left hand she touched the spot where her heart was. Suddenly the ground under their feet fell and they started to fall deep inside the darkness under them. But instead of dying from the fall they reached the ground softly falling on it. It was dark and no one could see the other. Lily called their names and felt Dart’s hand holding hers. “Are you alright?”
“I am fine but I can’t see the others”
“Don’t worry I can “see” them” and she guided him following their Heart Lights. Limon had fell on Monica, Dings was covered with dirt while Clyone and Minto had found each other. They gathered together and tried to find a way to see into the darkness. Darth took out from his small bag some Light Stones and threw them at the air. They exploded into tiny pieces and flew into all directions; what they saw was beyond their imagination. In front of them there was an underground sea surrounded from old destroyed buildings, a whole city could be seen inside the water while the water’s surface was still without moving, creating the thought that it was a mirror and not water. Small golden butterflies were flying imperiously near the water’s surface briefly touching it. The scenery left them speechless and when Lily started to walk toward the water they came back to their senses: “There is a song coming from that direction” and she showed them the other side of the crystal sea
“We can’t hear it, what does it say?” Minto asked her
But instead of answer Lily started to walk on the water’s surface without sinking. “Come” she said with calm voice and with hesitation they followed her, walking on a line. “Darth, does she realize where we are?” Monica asked him while she walked behind him
“It seems she knows where she is going.” But he couldn’t answer truthfully.
“She looks like hypnotized” Clyone said and Dings agreed with her
They walked on the water following Lily’s lead; they saw the city under their feet, completely covered with water, fish and giant whales swimming under them. The butterflies surrounded Lily and she with no expression on her face moved her ribbon releasing them and their lights flew to the roof of this giant cave
“Look at that! They passed though the stone wall!” Clyone said amazed
“Does that mean that we are now walking under the Desert?” Minto said
“Really clever decision: they hid her temple under the ground, where no one could find her.” Limon said
“Look at the murals! They are shining!” Monica commented with excitement.
“These are special murals; they are created from the paint the creators made from their Heart Stones.” Darth told her.
“What? How can they create something so beautiful?”
“They extract their feelings and creating inspirations transforming them into glowing paint. When the mural is complete the carvings and the colors remain eternal on the walls in order to remind the next generations about their glorious past”
“The last time we saw something like that was at Selemir wasn’t it Darth?” Limon asked him but he looked at Lily.
Lily had stopped walking and came back to her senses; she turned to them looking with a puzzled expression. They told her that she guided them here walking on the water
“That’s strange I don’t remember walking here but I feel like this is the right place” she said
“That’s because I guided you here” a voice was heard and big bubbles trapped everyone expect Lily, floating mid air. Then a small building emerged from the water made of corals, decorated with pearls and murals showing mermaids swimming and many sea creatures portrayed at the Temple’s walls. A woman came out from the Temple’s entrance; she was wearing a beautiful dress covered with pearls, her blue hair was decorated with sea flowers and her eyes had a deep sapphire color.
“I welcome you to the Sea Temple Young Priestess. I am Clomin Ruler of the Seas, Protector of the sea life.”
“I am Lily Williams, and I have come to borrow your strength Lady Clomin.” Lily introduced herself “Please release my friends they have done nothing to you.”
“I cannot do that. They are going to pay for what their kinds have done to me!”
“The actions of their kinds have nothing to do with them!” she shouted to her “Everyone worked hard in order to come here! Can’t you be merciful?” and at the same time she tried to free them but without result.
“It’s no use! My Brother’s powers cannot reach this place but I can be merciful young Priestess.” And with a move from her hand the bubbles came closer to Lily creating a circle around her. Monica was shouting to her, begging her to flee, but she couldn’t hear her neither could hear the others, only the voices of Clomin and Lily could be heard inside her head like telepathy. Dings was trying to bite the bubble but it was impossible, Clyone, Minto and Limon were shouting at Lily too; only Darth was sitting calmly inside his bubble holding a dagger and trying to pierce the bubble but no matter how many times he stabbed it the bubble was becoming thicker and thicker.
Lily could feel their Heart Lights; fear consumed them and worry about her safety.
“Two choices my Priestess: Kill them with your powers and then my strength will be yours or die at their place!” she said with calm voice.
Just for a moment everyone became silent at the hearing of her words and immediately they started shouting with all their strength. Lily heard her words and lowered her head. She bowed before the Goddess and tears started to fall. “I can’t do that Clomin. I would never sacrifice my friends for your power. I promised…I promised Azure that I will always protect those around me, Darvils, Denmorians even mermaids. And I never break my promises.”
“Is that your choice?” Clomin said and Lily responded by moving her head.
“So be it then” and she moved her hands the waters became wild as a pillar of water created; it covered Lily’s body and together they disappeared underwater. Clomin dove into the water leaving the others inside their bubbles speechless as they witnessed Lily’s death.
Monica screamed crying at the same time, Dings and Limon had lowered their heads murmuring prayers while Clyone and Minto remained silent. Darth was still looking at the spot Lily disappeared and rage consumed him. He remembered her words back at the ship, her tears of sorrow and the courage with which she decided their safety over hers. He materialized a sword and begun stabbing again and again the same spot∙ the others saw him and begun doing the same; Monica summoned “Bloody Tears” and fired as many arrows as she could think. “There’s no way I will stay here” she thought and looked at Darth. “Wait for me Lily!”
“I can’t breathe! My lungs are filling with water! I should already be dead but then why… why am I still alive?”
“It is a great sin to kill my own children, but they leave me no choice. Why Lily why did you choose your friends lives instead of yours? Are they so precious to you?” Clomin asked me with anger and I felt the water around me pulling me deeper and deeper. I knew that feeling! It was the same when I was into the storm back at “Dimitra”! I stretched my hands and I started to swim back at the surface as long as I could still hold. “It’s useless!” and Clomin pulled me back. When I felt something like a hand grabbing me a turned and hugged her tightly. I could feel her Heart Light; calm and at the same time wild like the sea. “Had you always been alone inside that temple haven’t you Clomin? Did you know that the mermaid in order to protect you became flesh eaters keeping away all those who tried to find you? But you see no matter how strong you are, you can’t be alone. You became angry with every single person in Denmor trying to release your own sadness and solitude.” And I felt hands, slim gentle hands holding me tightly. “Will you take me away from my solitude?”
“Come with me Clomin, let’s go back to those who are waiting for us!” and I smiled at her.
“Thank you Lily, thank you”.
They managed to break free thanks to Darth who broke out first, then Monica used her arrows and now everyone were looking for a way to dive into the water. Monica tried to jump from the air falling from Limon, but she just fell softly on the water without sinking, and Dings tried to dig the water only to douse himself. “It’s hopeless! It feels like we are standing on an unbreakable mirror!” Minto said and Clyone punched him.
“Don’t give me this bullshit! We will not leave without Lily!”
Darth had put his ear on the water trying to listen what was happening with his eyes closed. Suddenly he felt his neck hot from the enchanted butterfly and a tremor shook them and huge waves carried them away. The waters started to move to the stone floor breaking free outside and flooding the whole desert. They were all carried on the waves but they could feel like leaning on a soft bed. They couldn’t understand how they were swimming on a moving sea until Darth’s hand was grabbed from Lily as she pulled him and made him stand up. His shock and happiness left him speechless; “Come on Darth, let’s run!” she said laughing and they started running on the waves heading to the direction their ship was. Lily was swinging her ribbon creating loops, curves and hitting the waves just like a driver uses his whip driving his horses. “How… how did you escape?” he shouted at her
“Did you really think I was done for? Come on I always keep my promises don’t I?”
“For a moment, YES!”
They caught Monica, who was holding Dings on her arms, they found Limon trying to stay on the surface with Clyone and Minto on his back and everyone together they reached the shore from where they begun their journey. The waters became one with the sea and, the now longer string of Lily’s ribbon, transformed back, leaving everyone behind standing at the shore. “Lily!” and Monica hugged her sister and they fell on the ground
“It’s ok Monica I am here now, hey, don’t cry” and she patted on her back. Clyone and Minto were frozen from the shock and they asked Limon if it was always this way “Most of the times” and he went to Lily licking her cheek and receiving a punch from Monica and Darth at the same time. They turned at the side their ship was only to find it surround it from sea beasts. Clyone left a scream and a gunshot was heard.
Chapter 12: The Mermaid of Sorrow
Elemor entered the throne room chained from his arms to his feet. He saw King Nevol waiting for him in front of a big communicator mirror who was lying at the room’s floor. He called him to come closer and he took a closer look at the mirror. There was a ship, surrounded from sea monsters and Nagia was standing at the deck’s bridge. “She has done well, don’t you think so?” Nevol asked him. “So he called me in order form me to observe the Priestess’s death. What a sick person” he thought and he got angry with himself allowing serving a person like him. He saw Darth and the others surrounded from the crew heading toward the ship and he leaned to observe better.
“Why is the crew against us?” Monica whispered as they walked to the ship while the crew was aiming at them.
“Is it mutiny? Or perhaps…” and Darth looked at the creatures which had surrounded the ship. The gunshot earlier startled everyone as the crew members told them to freeze.
“No someone is making them, they are afraid Darth… oh God what is there?” and Lily terrified turned her head at the ship. She could feel hatred and a truly corrupted heart. Darth, held her hand making her calm down a little and he looked at Clyone and Minto; they were walking quietly, believing that this stupid situation could be solved once they had returned on board.
When they embarked at the ship they found Edolem standing near a woman, who looked at them with disgust, her two colored eyes were making her even more frightening, and Darth stood in front of Lily and Monica: “Nagia” he said with anger looking at her straightly.
The woman moved toward him and smiled: “My dear Darthorian, it’s been a while” and she looked at Lily and Monica “So which of those two is the Priestess? I have wasted enough time away from my dear King trying to catch you”
“How did you find where we were?” Minto asked her “We never informed anyone about our course”. But Nagia laughed and turned to Edolem “Well my dear Edolem, will you explain them your treason?” and everyone looked at him shocked. “How could you brother? Why did you side with her?” Clyone shouted and Minto held her as she had gone berserk from anger.
“No my sister I didn’t betray you! If we give her the girls we will be able to use the imperial routes! I was only thinking about our family safety!”
“And now you will get your reward” and Nagia stabbed him with her sword pushing him and threw him at the sea as her sea beasts devouring him in front of everyone. Clyone screamed and Minto held her having his eyes closed. Lily felt his Heart Light disappearing and tears started to fall “You bitch!” Monica shouted and she aimed her with her bow. Nagia turned to her and moved closer “I wouldn’t do that my dear, you see if you try to kill me my babies will crush your ship, so put it down now” and Monica hearing her words she lowered her weapon. She observed her and then she turned to Lily; Lily raised her head and looked at her with anger “So you are the one” and she grabbed her from her hair pulling her away from the others “Let her go Nagia!” Darth screamed and raised his sword. Lily felt her hatred and rage and she understood: “You are the one who created the storm!”
“What a clever girl! Well done! But that was only a greeting. You know Nevol wants her alive, Darthorian, but what about you? Why do you still keep her alive?” and she turned to Lily “What are you to him, weak human?” and held a dagger near her neck.
“What am I, you wonder” Lily said and she moved her hand as her ribbon created a strong wind and pushing her back, running to the gunwale diving into the sea. “Get her back! I want her alive!” she screamed to her beasts and she turned to Darth who had already charged against her holding a sword and a spear on his hands. Nagia’s red eye became brighter and shadow warriors appeared attacking at the crew members “Everyone battle positions!” Minto shouted and the crew members no more afraid of Nagia’s threats begun fighting her warriors. Limon had already grabbed Monica and they were flying above the ship aiming at the warriors. “Be careful not to harm anyone else!”
“I know Limon!” and she started firing.
Suddenly the sea became wilder and a storm broke. The rain was falling heavy as the battle on the ship became wilder. Nagia was trying to avoid Darth’s hits but he was faster than her. “Does she think that this will stop me?” and her blue eye shined creating two hands consisted from water, grabbing Darth and Monica, after hitting Limon and dropping him at the sea. Nagia rode the waves with the huge watery hands holding tightly Monica and Darth. “Priestess can you hear me? Be a god girl and come out! If you care about their lives!” but the melody on the air made her freeze from fear. The mermaids were coming toward the ship riding the waves, hundreds of men and women holding spears and swords attacked Nagia’s monsters, killing them at the spot, and helping the others defeat her warriors, jumping from the one side to the ship to the other. She felt a presence behind her and turned; in front of her there was standing a huge body of water in the form of a woman with huge hands and long hair, everything consisted from water, and only a spot on her left side of her chest was shinning∙ if you could look closer you could recognize a human body swinging a golden ribbon controlling this huge body. She was looking at Nagia who was left terrified, still holding Darth and Monica who had also were looking at her startled. “Release them at once Nagia! It’s all over” but Nagia left a furious scream threw Darth and Monica at the cold water and she too transformed herself into huge body water fighting Lily fiercely. Lily saw them falling at the sea but she couldn’t help them because Nagia’s attacks left her with no choice.
Monica felt someone grabbing her from the water; she coughed loudly and felt Limon pulling her to the sky making a great effort not to pass out: “Limon!” and she climbed from his neck and sat at the base of his wings. She could feel him flying unstable and she held him tightly, she turned but only to see her sister transformed into a huge body of water fighting Nagia as the thunders were sounding wilder and stronger around them. “Limon… we must search for Darth!” but he didn’t answer; his first priority was to secure her safety before he passes out, the sea water made him really weak because he struggled enough to swim to the surface. “He will be fine, he must be” he repeated continually to himself and Monica hugged him from the neck.
Nagia and Lily were still battling but with no winner yet. Lily felt, though her power of sensing anything that was into the water, Limon saving Monica from the raging waves but still no sign of Darth “Are you worried about him? Don’t be he will soon drown deep into the cold ocean!” and her water hand hit her once more. Lily couldn’t find a way to beat her, she couldn’t hold on for long and also with every minute passing Darth’s chances were becoming few. “When Azure and Clomin are fighting together they become a tremendous combination” Elder Fin’s words echoed on her mind. She waved her hand to the sky “Wind raging at North answer to my call!” and a frozen wind started to blow surrounding Nagia’s water body starting to freeze her, the more Nagia was trying to escape more her body was becoming colder and colder transforming into ice “Don’t you think I am done with you! You will pay for the humiliation!” Nagia screamed to her before she freeze completely and called desperate Nevol’s name.
“This is your punishment Nagia” and the ice broke into pieces destroying her completely, but Nagia herself had already escaped her grasp. Her water body dissolved and Lily dove at the sea.
“Well I must say this was an interesting fighting don’t you think your Majesty?” Elemor asked him ironically. Nevol was furious and from his anger he broke the mirror into tiny pieces. A thunder was heard and Nagia appeared before them falling at the floor holding her bleeding shoulder. Elemor ran to help her but she pushed him away “Don’t touch me you filthy traitor!” and she turned to the King “My King, please forgive me, I will succeed the next time!”and she crawled to Nevol’s side. Nevol turned to her and she took her on his arms: “I know you will, because you gave me the Priestess’s weakness” and together left the throne room leaving Elemor behind watching Nagia succumbing more and more into the darkness.
Darth fell into the sea when Nagia saw Lily. He tried to swim at the surface but the currents and the waves pulled him deeper and deeper. He cursed his body, his limited powers and started to lose consciousness as he sunk into the dark water, he closed his eyes wishing for his death to come quickly. That way she would be safe, she wouldn’t cry again, she could from now on smile more often. But then he felt hands holding him from the neck and his arms, something warm touched his lips again and again as air filled his lungs making him able to breathe again, and he opened his eyes. The mermaid was trying to look at him but her eyes couldn’t meet his, her blue hair, decorated with coral hairpins, were shining like sapphires under the water while her white tail was sparkling like crystals spread everywhere on her scales. Darth thought he saw for a moment Clomin but the mermaid’s eyes at the color of amber corrected him. The mermaid started to pull him with her swimming with incredible speed holding him tightly. “She is worried” he thought “silly girl, always caring for the others” and he smiled as they were swimming following the waves currents.
“We must find them! What if Nagia defeated them?” Monica was begging Limon to take her into a sky patrol in order to find Lily and Darth. They had finally reached the ship and they found Minto and Clyone trying to save anything they could; the ship had taken quite big damage and it needed urgently repair. Thanks to the mermaids help they managed to defeat Nagia’s warriors and her beasts. Limon got up and called Dings “Monica, I and Dings will search for them”
“No buts Monica! You will help here and also… help Clyone, she is worse than you think” he said looking at Clyone who was sitting covered with a blanket crying.
“Very well, but” and she grabbed him from his head “make sure to bring them back!” and Limon took off with Dings on his back. “Try to sense Darth’s presence! I hope he is not far” Limon said to the puppy and Ding’s started to sniff the air.
Darth was lying on the soft sand. He tried to stand up but he felt dizzy. He looked around him; he was at the bay of the Bone Desert. He called Lily but he got no answer from her. He got up and started to walk at the shore calling her name. He found the mermaid trying to crawl outside the water, she was breathing heavily and her tail was shining still outside the water. He took her on his arms holding her outside the water. She was shivering and her eyes were tired “Are you alright Darth?”
“I am the one who should be asking that! And he took of his coat trying to cover her shivering body “It’s wet but it’s better than nothing” and he looked at her “What were you thinking? Diving to save me after you fought Nagia”
“I returned the favor” and she smiled
Darth couldn’t understand that girl, he held her trying to make her stop shivering “that is something amazing transformation you have”
“Clomin told me, every time I transform I become the Mermaid of Sorrow, I grief for the destruction of the sea and I fight her enemies but with a great cost”
“What cost?” but he soon saw her tail being torn apart at two transforming back into human legs and Lily screamed from the pain holding Darth tightly. He saw her scales ad her gills transforming back into human skin and her blue hair becoming shorter and blond again. When her transformation ended Lily was still holding him trying to find her breath again. “Two more to go” she said and sat near him trying to cover her naked body: “Don’t you even dare to look” she said as her head was looking at the sea while the sun had started to set. “I wouldn’t!” he replied and together they remained silent as the night made her appearance. After a long time and with no sign of the others Lily was resting on Darth’s lap; it was quiet as the only sound they could hear was the waves were breaking at the sand. “Lily”
“Thank you for saving me.”
“Also there is something that is bugging me”
“How was able to breathe under the water, I felt something touching my mouth before I see you, do you know what happened?” But Lily had already stood up and started to walk without knowing where she was going. Darth started to walk behind her asking and asking again. He stopped for a moment and he got a wicked smile “Lily did you kiss me perhaps?”
“No I didn’t!! I just gave you air mouth to mouth! That is not considered a kiss!” she shouted trying to explain herself and running at the same time following the sound of the sea away from Darth.
“Oh, really? Because, I know when people do that it counts as a kiss!”
“Then you are stupid Darth! Stupid, stupid, stupid” she shouted while blushing and they were still running when Limon and Dings found them late at night. “And I thought that they were in danger” Dings said
“Here goes the couple!” Limon said and they both laughed.
Chapter 13: Lily’s lullaby and Monica’s abduction
Monica’s diary: Somewhere at the west shores
We were able to survive Nagia’s attack but with casualties also. Edolem was gone and the ship was in bad shape too. We couldn’t survive, moreover return to the main land but thanks to the mermaids help we managed to repair it a little.
That night Limon and Dings returned with Lily and Darth, I helped her get down from Limon’s back when I realized that she was naked, covered only with Darth’s coat. When we returned back to our room together with Clyone who was much better when I spoke to her, we helped her take a bath, wear clean clothes, and lie to her bed. She told me that her feet were hurting and I touched her hair. Why does she have to suffer so much? It will become more painful for her if she continues like this, but every time i look at her she seems to be more and more determinate to continue.
Now we have finally reached a secret shore were our ship lies and it is repaired from all of us. The mermaids are guarding the waters and it seems that everything have returned to normal. But still I wonder: how did Nagia Know Darth? And why did she call him Darthorian?
Minto was giving his orders nonstop to the crew; they were cutting the trees making them into lumber repairing the sails, the prow and the broken windows at the back of the ship. Limon together with Lily lifted the sails and Darth together with Clyone tied them up. Dings and Monica helped with the preparation of their dinner, as the mermaids brought fish, limpets, crabs, even special seaweeds for their salads. Lily was the only one who could communicate with them and when the night came everyone gathered at the beach to honor those who died and thank the mermaids for their support and help. Lily was standing near the water, slightly touching it with her feet holding her ribbon and translating Minto’s words to the mermaids. They answered bowing in front of everyone and with their melodic voices invited the Priestess to sing with them. Lily walked on the sea’s surface and turned to the rest at the beach who were watching her “Let us honor those who fell and sing for the hope of tomorrow” and she started to sing. Her voice was soft, clear and filled the night air as she sung together with the mermaids songs of bravery, hope, trust and love. A little before they end harps started to hear from the mermaids and Lily sung a lullaby. Her voice echoed on everyone’s minds and heart’s as they watched her moving softly on the water’s surface followed from the harps the mermaids were playing. Monica, holding Dings who had already fallen asleep, and Limon were watching her sitting together near the fire but Darth, when he heard her song, his face deformed from pain and left the others walking to the dark part of the beach feeling the memories overwhelm him. Everyone applauded her when she finished and returned to the beach, the mermaids disappeared into the dark waters and everyone returned to the ship. “Limon, can I ask you something?”
“Sure Monica what is it?”
“How did Nagia know Darth and why did she call him with a different name?” The dragon stopped walking for a moment and looked at her. His eyes seemed to be darker than their usual violet color and he leaned his head. “Could you please wait until we reach the mainland again? I will explain you everything when the time comes” and when Monica agreed they continued walking.
The next day they sailed to the north until they reach a small port near an abandoned village. Darth transformed his wagon back to its original form tied Limon at his usual place, pulling their wagon while Lily and Monica were saying goodbye to Clyone and Minto “It has been a great honor for our family meeting you my ladies” Minto said and bowed “The honor was all ours thank you for your hospitality” Monica said and hugged Clyone “Clyone I am sorry, I couldn’t save your brother” Lily said and Clyone hugged her “Stupid, don’t ever think that way. Besides, my brother paid fro his sin. We will always remember him and grieve him.” And she gave Monica a big white box tied with a yellow ribbon telling them to open it when the occasion demands it and not any other time. They got on the wagon and they saw for the last time the “Dimitra” sailing into the sea. “Let the spirit of Clomin always stay by your side” Lily whispered and a strong wind gave them more speed to their sails.
They started again traveling through destroyed villages and burned forests to endless lands full of fields. The scenery was really depressing; sometimes they could see people traveling those endless lands, carrying their belongings “Refugees” Darth told them, they had lost their homes due to the natural disasters and now they were heading to the other cities trying to find a shelter. Lily could feel their sorrow, sadness, but also a small glimpse of hope in their Heart Stones. They continued their course following for a while quietly the local roads until they reached a rocky valley. . Limon said that the rocks could work protective for them and so, they decided to rest. While Darth was preparing dinner Dings was sniffing the air “Berries! There are berries somewhere around!” and he started bugging Monica going and gather some for them. “Alright, alright I will go!” and she took a basket with her
“I will escort her” Limon said and together they started to walk toward the direction Dings told them.
“All right that was really strange” Dings said when they had left
“And I thought that he didn’t like her” Darth said but Lily smiled because she saw the violet and the silver Light drawing closer and closer shining bright. “Let’s continue with the preparations until they are back” and with Ding’s help the opened the small table.
Monica was walking behind Limon; he was trying to locate the berries and he was moving his head right and left. Monica started to look at him better: his eyes were bright violet, each one of his golden scales were shining even under the evening sky, his wings were close to his body with soft feathers, truly a beautiful creature she wondered “Did you come with me in order to be alone?”
“Truly a clever human aren’t you Monica?” and he smiled
“That’s not our point. You said that you would tell me about how did Nagia knew Darth and why she called him with a different name” Limon for a moment looked at her directly at the eyes; eyes full of pain, and loneliness. Monica came close to him and instinctually she hugged him from his neck “I know that I am a little tomboyish and pushy but I can really care for those around me.”
“Don’t be like that stupid.” And he pulled away from her just to see her face “It’s a punishment… Darth’s condition” he said after a while and Monica looked at him puzzled
“What kind of punishment? Did he do something that bad?
“He was punished from Nevol for treason and since then me and Dings have been accompanying him.”
“What?” now Monica was astonished
“We used to be a long time ago at the Imperial Darvil Army and from the powerful ones too. But everything changed since then and here we are now traveling to save Denmor from him and perhaps save Darth from his self.”
“How did that…” but before she completes her sentence a giant net fell on them paralyzing Monica and Limon. Suddenly men started to appear from the rocks surrounding them. “Monica are you ok?”
“I think…” but her voice was weak
“Bandits” Limon said and tried to tear off the net
“I wouldn’t do that little dragon” one of them said and pulled Monica away from him
“Let her go! Don’t touch her” Limon said angrily and left a strong scream. He felt something heavy hitting him and he fell unconscious while the bandits carried away Monica who faintly continued to whisper Limon’s name and passed out.
“Quick! The scream came from this area!” Lily was guiding Darth and Dings as they both were running passing though the rocks. Lily was using a faint wind jumping quickly from rock to rock using her ribbon to sense the winds. They found Limon lying at the ground and quickly Darth gave him first aid. Lily was standing near them trying to sense Monica’s presence but she was nowhere to be found: “Monica! Monica where are you?” she shouted again and again and Dings tried to calm her.
“I am so sorry Lily” Limon said when he regained consciousness and he lowered his head
“What happened to you, Limon? There’s no way to have lost into anything” Darth said while he bandaged his injured wing
“It was an ambush, we were walking and then a electrified net fell on us and they hit me on the head. It was bandits Darth and they took her with them!”
“Those bastards!” Dings said and barked from anger.
“Then why didn’t I sense their Heart Stones?!” Lily said with anger
“They were wearing camouflage mufflers and that cloth has the special ability to hide your presence even your own Heart Stone”
“Did you say camouflage mufflers?” Darth said and stood up “Pack everything! We are heading to Lenounta!”
“But Darth Monica…”
“Don’t worry Lily we will take her back, I promise” and he held her hands on his. He turned and looked at Limon; anger and fury. He had almost forgotten how angry Limon’s face could be.
Monica opened her eyes; she was inside a cage, like those the circus carries its animals. Her head was spinning from dizziness. “Are you alright?” a gentle voice was heard close to her and she saw a pretty girl with brown hair and blue eyes chained sitting next to her, she was chained too and so were many other girls who were sitting inside the cage. “Where are we?” Monica asked her.
“Where we are heading you should better say” another girl told her; she also was really beautiful with red hair and green eyes. “We are going to the city of Hantuner to get married” she said with a tone of boredom.
“What? Who’s going to get married?” Monica shouted and they heard the driver from the front shouting to them to be quiet.
“Please keep your voice down; they will kill us if one of us is talking!”
“Let her shout, at least it will be one candidate less” the one with the red hair said. Monica had already disliked her. She turned to the other and asked her name “Ermin, Ermin from the fields of the East. And you?”
“Monica Williams, currently traveling with a merchant caravan” she said, she knew that now it would be more dangerous than any other time. Luckily she could use “Bloody Tears” if there was a need and touched her hand where the tattoo was, feeling really unsafe away from her friends (“Lily would surely die from her worries” she thought). Ermin became fascinated with Monica’s job and started to ask her about many different things. She even learned how she was abducted; her family sold her because they couldn’t afford feeding her. “But why are we going to the city of Hantuner? Why there are so many girls?” But she didn’t answer her because their guard came into their cage feeding them with something that looked like bread. Monica and Ermin didn’t touch theirs and they remained silent as their cage continued to travel to the next town and in three days they would reach Hantuner.
They arrived at Lenounta at night after two days nonstop traveling. They left their wagon outside the town and walked together to the main streets. Lenounta was just a station for all caravans and also a unofficially black market: potions, cursed items, animals and even Newborn butterflies were sold in here. Lily was walking near Darth holding his shoulder while Limon had Dings on his back walking behind them. They reached a door behind a building and Darth spelled something like a code and the door opened; the strong smell of tobacco and alcohol came to Lily as they entered the bar. Darth waved his hand to the barman and he showed them the available table. It was a small bar with slow music and singers. “Don’t misunderstand the place Lily” Dings said “in here we will find everything we need” and they sat together. The music changed and a familiar sound was heard. The two girls on the stage started to sing the lullaby Lily had sung on the beach “How do they know that song?” she asked
“It’s a common myth around these parts. It’s about the hope of rebirth and peace between the Gods and Denmorians.” Limon told her. Darth came to their table holding drinks and a man who followed behind him. Limon and Dings drunk with pleasure and Lily slightly touched hers. “So why did you call me Darth? You know I am busy” the man said
“Only some questions Doba. Did you sell any camouflage mufflers around this time?”
“Who knows? Maybe yes, maybe no.” and he took the glass on his hands. Lily slightly manifested the drink which exploded and the glass broke
“Do you see Doba? The Gods will be angry if you lie” Darth continued with no change on his cruel voice. It seems that he was really afraid of the God’s wrath and explained that the orders were for the guards of the Lord who ruled Hantuner. Limon almost broke the table from his anger when he realized the trouble Monica and they were in.
“So what do we wait for? We should head for Hantuner.”
“It’s not that simple Lily, by the way thanks for the help before, it seems that your sister is getting married to the Lord of Hantuner” and Lily was left startled without moving a spot.
Chapter 14: The bride’s Colosseum
“Ok now I have seen it all!”
“No it’s paradise! Just like a queen should live!”And the three of them sunk into the hot water of the huge marble bathroom.
The girls arrived at Hantuner at the morning and their caravan entered the back gates of the palace. It was like diving into the middle Ages with the stone coordinators, the statues of warriors and the tight guard. Their guardian was a old woman, probably from a noble family, who was in charge for all their expenses, the clothes, the jewelry, even their meals. They were told that in two days Lord Krow would decide his future wife through the outcome of the Local Matches, until then they would enjoy and wait for that day to come. Monica didn’t like the sound of “Local Match” and also, nobody had made even a comment for her blond hair, she should be wanted into the whole Denmor then why? After their bath Monica together with Ermin and Dian (the red hair’s name) entered together with the other girls the bedrooms. A big round room with soft layers and pillows, for every girl, was spread around them. They had a small veranda with curtains covering their windows. It was really beautiful but it was still some kind of jail. She took the bed near the veranda and next to her came Ermin. She had become her only friend and together they were thinking of escaping. Ermin sometimes would look outside the window gazing at the night sky lying on her bed until she fall asleep. Monica went out at the veranda when all the others were sleeping and looked around her. The town seemed quiet with the night lights turning off one after another and the sound of a melody filled the air. Monica recognized the voice and she saw the white dove flying toward her direction. She stretched her hands and caught it; it was soft and had the fragrance of Lily’s favorite shampoo “Monica, Monica are you alright? We are coming to get you! Are you injured? They are worried about you! I love you Lily” Monica held the dove inside her arms, she kissed it and let it fly again “Go back to your master and carry out my message” and the bird disappeared as suddenly it had appeared.
They arrived at Hantuner in a busy day. The whole town was preparing for the new Lord’s coronation. Hantuner was not a part of Nevol’s territory; the whole town and the area belonged into one family for generations and they offered their support to Nevol when he needed it. In exchange the King never touched that area and so there were no stations of Nevol’s soldiers. That fact gave Darth and the others a relief when they entered from the main gate to the small city which was surrounding the old castle, built at the Old Times as Limon said to Lily. They checked into an inn and they started to search for information about Monica. After three hours and partially thanks to Lily’s powers they came into a registration booth outside from which many men were waiting: “What is going on here?” Darth asked one of them. The man saw the little boy asking him and smiled with sympathy “This year’s contest is about the chosen candidates for the Lord’s wife. Those who wish to take them back must apply here and take part to the Matches which will take place to the Colosseum behind you son. But a kid shouldn’t play with this stuff” and he pushed him away. Darth returned back to the others “So how did it go?” Dings asked impatiently
“How dare he calling me a kid?”
“You look like a kid, perhaps?” Limon said
“We must participate into the Matches if we want to take Monica back” and he explained them the situation. At the Matches could only take part men with or without magic creatures, weapon and alchemy wielders were allowed and the battles would begin tomorrow
“But none of us can fight.” Dings said looking at Limon and Darth.
“I will go” Limon said “I am a magic creature so I can participate”
“Only if you have a human or Darvil participator with you” Darth said
“Then I will go with him” Lily continued but Darth was against it saying that it was really dangerous both for her safety and her identity.
“Then what do you suppose we can do? Monica said that she is alright but for how long? And the red mo…” and she stopped talking realizing her mistake, she knew that that part of discussion was a taboo for him, “anyway if there was away to disguise myself as a man and enter the Matches with Limon? What do you think of that?”
Darth remained quiet, thinking of her words, and Dings looked at Limon “Darth let her fight, she is her sister after all” Dings said and he was right. Darth stood up and followed by the others they walked back to the booth. “I will go and register your names, Limon you will be Sezou and Lily you will be…”
“Jack, Jack Williams, my father’s name” she answered with confidence.
“Ermin, Monica, leion…”
“Why is she calling our names?” Monica asked puzzled
“No idea” Ermin said a little frighten.
“Those who have heard their names will immediately follow me to the other chambers.” And the old Lady started to walk to the exit followed by those who had heard their names. Only Monica and Ermin left, Dian didn’t even said goodbye and continued changing her jewelry one after another. Their caretaker led the ten girls she had summoned into a different chamber that was at the side of the Colosseum; it was big and a little different from the one Monica saw on pictures back home. “Tomorrow you will present yourselves in front of the people of Hantuner and Lord Krow. You have been selected because there are some of your families who will fight to get you back. But I warn you; only one will be able to leave the palace, the rest of you will return to the main chamber and serve the new queen (when she will be crowded) as her ladies of honor. Am I understood?”
“Yes ma’am!” everyone answered and she left locking the door behind her.
“Did you hear that Ermin? They came for us!” she said happily but Ermin looked surprised and sad at the same time
“But only one will be able to leave Monica…” and she hugged her
“Ermin we will leave together, I promise. You will not stay in here forever. There is someone who came for you didn’t he?”
“Yes and I didn’t expect him to come. I thought her never thought of me this way”
“So you must be strong for him and cheer him with all your strength tomorrow” and they both prayed for tomorrow to come sooner.
“Absolutely no, there is no way!” Lily was shouting behind her room’s door while Darth and Limon were outside trying to convince her to let them change her clothes.
“Come on Lily, don’t be stubborn” Dings was scratching her door with his paws.
“Give them to me and I will change myself”
Darth place the clothes in front of the door and stepped back “Let her change on her own, we will be next door if she needs us” and he walked back to his room. Lily opened the door took the clothes and closed it again. After 10 minutes Dings and Limon entered her room and found her wearing the clothes Darth gave her, but they were big for her athletic, slim body. “It wants a change I think, especially on her waistline, what do you think?” Dings said
“Limon, bring me the tailor box and Dings I want you to find the belt I had inside the sack” and both of them went outside. Lily was standing still with her hands stretched while Darth was making the clothes fit on her. “Are these clothes yours?”
“They used to be, they were a good armor, the best I had, now it will protect you” and he tighten the sleeves on her arms, smiling briefly. Lily felt the clothes on her body becoming a part of herself, like a personal armor just for her.
“On the outside it looks like a simple clothing but” and he hit her with a sword while she covered her head with her hands and the sword broke “it can repel any attack and like that there’s no need for shields or metal armors”. Limon and Dings returned with the requested items and they finished her tailoring. Lily was wearing black leather trousers, with leather boots, a red blouse which shined like a ruby on her body with a leather jacket on the top. “We will need to change her hair”
“And cover them at the same time”
“What about a hood?”
“It would be better if I tie my hair up and wear something like a hat or a face shield?” Lily asked and Darth wore the one he had with him around her head leaving only her eyes uncovered. “That should do it, now the belt, Dings” and the puppy gave him a golden belt with small crystals covering the chains around it. . Darth wore the belt around Lily’s waist while Limon putted a long black cape on her shoulders. “Alright now we need a mirror!” Darth said and he walked Lily to the whole body mirror who was hanging on the wall and they stepped back.”Well, how do I look?”
“Scary!” they said at the same time because the figure the mirror was showing wasn’t Lily anymore but a tall muscular man with his face covered from the black cloth leaving his amber eyes shining angrily and his cape was making him even scarier as it waved between his legs. Limon and Darth did a really good job and Lily left a small cry when Dings explained her how she looked. “Is it that bad?”
“Well that’s the purpose of the chain you wear”
“But at the same time you have the disadvantage Lily”
“Disadvantage? What do you mean Darth?”
“You will not be able to use your ribbon neither most of your powerful spells”
Lily walked toward Limon and touched his head, patting him gently; she turned to Darth and Dings saying: “I might look like a terrorist but that’s not the only strength I have. Limon we will make it. Promise me only that you will not kill anyone and I will support you with everything I have”
Monica sneaked out from her room late at night. She was trying again to find a way out from the palace from the day they came here. She walked though the long corridor until she reached a big balcony and walked out; she could clearly see the Colosseum and her heart pounded fast, surely Lily and the others came with a plan to take her out but what about Ermin the other girls? “What are you doing here?” a man’s voice came from her back and turned with surprise; a man at the age of 25 was standing in front of her, he was not too tall but he had black hair and green piercing eyes that made Monica shiver from fear “I-I was just wanted took take some fresh air, it’s really hot inside” and stepped back while the man walked into the balcony “Is that so? Now that you feel better get inside now!” and Monica almost ran inside without looking back. A man appeared from the shadows and bowed: “Lord Krow everything are prepared for tomorrow”
“Good, you can go now” and Krow stayed at the balcony thinking of the apparition he had just saw.
The First day of the Matches had already begun. Lily, Limon together with Darth, disguised as a servant, and Dings were waiting for their turn to come. Ten participants had been registered and the matches were two vs. two. The second match was already over and they were preparing the stage for the next battle. They heard that they weren’t just fighting but also they had to overcome obstacles which were popping in front of their way “Sadist, sadist with all the meaning of the word” Dings said when Darth told them the information he had gathered. Limon didn’t answer he was preparing mentally for his battle, while Lily was sitting near him holding her head trying to calm down.
“Lily what’s wrong? You are not feeling well?”
“She’s been like that since we came” Dings said
“So many… so many Heart Stones, Lights I can’t keep up with all this. It’s like my head will blow up at any time”
Darth took her hands from her head and placed his forehead on hers “Concentrate to the one you are looking for. I heard that the candidates also watch the matches from their galleries. Look for her and focus only on her. Can you do that?” Lily steady found her breath again and opened her eyes looking at him straightly; their faces were so close and he could see clearly the amber color of her eyes, he stepped back awkwardly and turned to Limon arranging his metal armor. “All set” he said and looked at him “Don’t get too carried away Limon. This is no battlefield”
“I know that, besides I promised” and looked at Lily.
The signal bell rung and both of the started to walk to the exit, followed by Darth and Dings; they could hear the voices, the laughs and the screams of the people who were sitting upstairs waiting for their entrance at the arena. They stepped at the iron gate and everyone behind them went back at their watching posts curious about how such a big man would fight at the Matches. The gates opened and the cries of the crowd created havoc. “Are you ready Lily?” Limon whispered
“Ready Limon, let’s show them our strength” and they walked in.
Monica, together with other girls, had already watched 2 Matches and felt like playing at the parody of “Gladiator”. Not only that but they were dressed in such a way that everyone on the crowd were shouting comments for their beauty, and not only that. The most surprising was Lord Krow; when she saw the man with the green eyes introducing them to the crowd she felt like hiding behind Ermin’s throne. Now the third Match was ready to start and two girls had already left their galleries disappointed. Now the gates opened and the next participants’ entered:
“From the right side, I give you Vantorm, warrior of the East Plains! From the Left side Jack Williams and his dragon Sezou!” and Monica shouted from her surprise and fear when she saw the big man and the golden armored dragon entering the arena. Their opponent was a tall barbarian with many tattoos on his arms and he was followed by 4 strange lizards which were looking at Limon ready to rip him off. Monica heard from one of the girls that he was her fiancé and he was really brutal. But the only thing she could do was watching them and shouted with all her strength trying to cheer them.
The battle begun and the lizards attacked “Jack” but she quickly jumped avoiding them and moved his hands creating wind cutters. Out of nowhere the lizards fell down injured unable to move. Limon was trying to avoid Vantorm’s arrows (it seems he was a weapon wielder too) while flying above him and breathing fire to him. Quickly a shield appeared out of nowhere and a spear flew to Lily’s direction but she waved her cape repelling his attack. Limon flew to her side and together they attacked to him, but the ground became muddy all of sudden and they started to sink into the heavy sand. Limon pulled Lily out of the sand and he saw Vantorm disappear into the sand while they were flying above him.
“And our winner is Jack Williams and his dragon Sezou!!” and the crowd became crazy from excitement shouting their names together. Limon turned to the galleries and bowed to her. Monica applauded them and sent a kiss moving her hand. Only one wasn’t excited for their victory and looked at them with deceit.
Chapter 15: A prince for Monica
Lily, Darth, Limon and Dings were eating at the inn’s restaurant together with most of the people who traveled from far in order to watch the Matches. Most of them were talking about the powerful man and the golden dragon who cleared their battle really quick and they were wondering what will happen tomorrow. “It seems that we made a good impression” Limon murmured to Lily who, in her true form, was trying to cut her steak without result. “Yes, but I’m worried about something”
“About what?” Darth asked while cutting her steak into small pieces.
“I couldn’t sense our opponent’s Heart Light after he disappeared into the sand, almost as if…” and she stopped her phrase only at the thought.
“There’s no reason for the Lord to kill the participants, it’s forbidden from the arena laws, so don’t think about it” Dings said and looked at Limon and Darth; both of them were thinking the same thing, they were in danger if Krow had laid eyes on Monica.
“Lily tonight we will return to the wagon, the beds in here are really bad”
“You don’t have to pretend Darth. Your voice is lying” and she looked at Limon’s and Dings’s Heart Lights “the same goes for you, I don’t want to stay in the dark while you are making some plan without counting me in.”
“We believe that Krow will try to take us out of the Matches, so we were thinking about changing our location” Limon explained to her and Darth looked at him angrily. Lily turned her head to the exit, she felt someone looking intensely at Limon “Someone is watching us from the exit!” she said and the three of them looked straight outside but there was no one there.
That night a scream came from the inn because someone was murdered with no mercy in the room Lily was staying. Luckily they had already left and now they were hiding outside the town inside the protective barrier Lily had created around their wagon. Lily was sitting into her room on Monica’s bed holding her pajamas tightly. She heard a knock at the door and Darth came into holding a plate with pieces of fruits and a cup of tea. He took the chair and sat beside her “Eat, it will help you relax”
“Thanks, but I’m not hungry” but he put the cup on her hands saying that at least should drink the tea “And don’t forget that the barrier takes a great amount of power, you must help your body regain its powers quickly” and Lily gave him the empty cup and lied on the bed. Darth covered her with the blanket and sat again “I will keep you company until you sleep”
“Thank you…” and she fell asleep breathing softly like a small bird. Darth touched her hair and closed the light, leaving the magical wall show the night sky, and headed upstairs.
“Did she sleep?”
“Yes she was really tired”
“She will need her strength for tomorrow’s Match. And also, perhaps we will have to threaten Krow’s life if we want to save Monica”
“Don’t get too carried away Limon! We will think of something. Dings you will make the night shift. I don’t know if Lily’s barrier will last for long” and the three of them started to prepare for the Finals.
Monica was worried; not only they had won but what will happen if they had to face Ermin’s boyfriend? Trement won the second Match by pure luck, and Ermin was really happy, but Limon and Lily were stronger than him. Besides she had to save all the girls. And then she decided it. They would escape tomorrow with the help of “Bloody Tears” when the winner would be announced, and with that hope she tried to rest sleeping near Ermin.
The next day the five finalists were standing before Lord Krow’s gallery ready for their final battle. The rules were simple: the participants had to fight each other inside the arena and at the same time avoid all the obstacles there were placed on the arena at the morning. There were moving axes and falling boulders, poisonous ponds and swinging knives, chained dragons that were belching fire and logs which were falling from all directions. Limon looked their arena with a sinister look and turned to where Monica was sitting. He saw her trying to tell him something, by moving her lips but he couldn’t understand her. Krow seemed to be more raged than ever and he gave the signal to begin the “game” he himself had created. Limon flew and tried to stop the two dragons which had gone berserk from anger while Lily tried to avoid Trement’s hit and stepped on the poisonous pond purifying it with Clomin’s help. “Lily behind you!” Darth’s voice echoed on her head and she fell on the ground, avoiding the axe which flew just some centimeters above her head. But not everyone was so lucky; three of the participants found a cruel death but Trement survived. Lily could smell the blood coming from everywhere and tried to hold her breath, she heard footsteps and someone standing above her ready to kill her “I’m sorry but I must save her!” Trement said and lifted his sword. A scream came from the sky and Limon flew with incredible speed and swept Trement away from Lily falling to the ground holding him down showing his bare teeth. The trumpets were heard and everything disappeared leaving behind only the two remaining participants behind. “Our winners! Jack Williams and the dragon Sezou!” and the crowd screamed their names with excitement. Limon went near to Lily who was still trembling a little and leaned his head to her arm touching her, trying to calm her. Trement was standing behind them looking at Ermin with love and sadness. Darth was looking with Dings at them from the backstage with suspense waiting for the outcome. Suddenly guards surrounded Limon and Lily and Krow stood above on his gallery looking at them “Participants of the Matches. I congratulate you for your victory. No one has ever won the Finals and gave so much excitement to the people of Hantuner… but I will not return the young girl to you” and the guards showed their swords ready to execute them. Darth and Dings appeared arrested and joined Lily and Limon inside their circle. Now they had been completely surrounded. Monica appeared with her hands chained near Krow and he hugged her while she struggled to avoid his touch. The crowd was angry with his Lord’s decision and they were deprecating him. Krow ignored them and continued: “Not only you participated with valid identities but you are also not the ones everyone thinks you are!” and Lily’s chain broke transforming her back to her true self. “That bastard, he knew all along!” Darth said with rage
“Now you will be punished as the law commands for traitors!”
“No! Let them go!” Monica screamed and Krow slapped her
“Silence my dear; you will learn to obey your master and not talk! Just like everyone must obey the Lord of the Dragon Clan!”
“Lily, I want you to create a fog. Can you do that?” Limon asked her
“Concentrate on helping Darth and Dings. I will take Monica” and he moved toward Krow’s gallery: “You said Lord of the Dragons. How insulting you can be dirtying the name of my people! I will show you how the REAL Lord must look like!” and with a scream he flew high to Krow’s direction while his wings became larger and covered his body creating a strong violet light which blinded all.
Lily waved her ribbon holding tightly Darth and disappeared inside. Monica opened her eyes looking in front of her the man with the tawny hair and the violet eyes staring at Krow with hatred “Bloody Tears answer to your master’s command!” and the bow appeared on his hands breaking Monica’s chains as it transferred to his owner’s hands. Limon armed his bow aiming at Krow’s head “Release all the girls you have kidnapped now! Monica, come to me.” And she rushed to his side without realizing that her feet moved from their own when she heard him calling her name.
“So the rumors were true. The last of royalty traveling together with the traitor and the Priestess. Nevol’s information were accurate”
“You knew we were coming? And that’s why you planned to kill us?”
“Only when I saw that young beauty with the golden hair.” He said looking at Monica with desire.
“Didn’t you hear the news? This one belongs to me!” and he jumped inside the fog holding Monica on his arms. The crowd was trying to escape seeing the thick fog appearing suddenly. And then the melody filled the air as the white Phoenix with the silver feathers flew to the sky calling every single person on the town: “People of Hantuner, a Lord who doesn’t even care for his people’s needs and is devoted to his personal enjoyment will never be worthy of guiding you” and it disappeared flying to the east. Krow looked at the flying bird and went back to his palace following the secret passage under his throne. When he arrived back to his bedroom he started to pack his treasures and belongings when he felt a quick movement and something hot running on his body. He fell down screaming from pain and looked at the eyes his killer. “Death to the traitors” the man’s voice said with a smile on his face and his sword moved with speed.
“Are everyone all right?”
“Yes, continue to the east, as much as you can still hang on”
“I’m fine, how is Monica?” and Darth turned behind while holding the panicked Dings on his arms. Limon was still holding Monica on his human form and he was looking at her straight at her eyes. After a long way and since they had gone far enough the Phoenix landed inside a deep forest and after everyone had got off, the feathers disappeared on the sky, leaving behind Lily who moved her hands and created a protective field around them. She headed toward Monica and Limon and she stopped after she felt them. The silver and the violet light were merging together shining more and more brightly as they were drawn to each other. Darth saw her expression changing into a sweet smile and turned to Limon’s and Monica’s side. “I am sorry I couldn’t help you Monica”
“How? How can you be… while you are…”
“Didn’t I tell you? I am helping my friend with everything I have” and leaned his head closer to hers, closer and closer until… “Who belongs to YOU? How dare you saying something so cool in such a hard time? Are you completely stupid?” and Limon turned back into his dragon form arguing with her
“She completely ruined the moment.”
“Yup, she did”
“What are you talking about? What moment?” Dings asked them and they laughed with him and with the arguing Limon and Monica.
Chapter 16: The Forest of the Nymphs
Outside the forest’s edge
“I am sure they will appear Nagia. I have placed all possible guard stations and scouts around the forest”
“Very well Semer, you can go now” and Nagia waved her hand and he left her tent. Outside Elemor was sitting near the entrance looking at the mark of the slave Nevol had placed on his right arm: a snake with red eyes staring at him intensely. When Semer got out he looked at him with disgust and moved to the central operation tent ready to use any possible means in order to get in his hands the Priestess, because he is General Semer High Commander of the Land Imperial Forces.
“You know that it’s going to hurt”
“I don’t care; I want to get over with it quickly”
“Alright here we go!” and Darth pulled the leeches from Limon’s scales and he shouted from pain.
“Stupid! Didn’t you know that we are inside a dangerous forest?”
“Darth calm down your voice upsets the silence of the trees” Lily said while looking around her trying to sense the presences of the living creatures inside the forest. A week after the incident with the Matches they tried to contact Elder Fin but the Mirror didn’t respond to their call. After that Lily spotted the next location inside the Forest of the Nymphs and they headed to the most ancient forest in all Denmor. Untouched by human’s or Darvil’s hands this forest with the giant trees which covered the sun’s light, the beautiful rivers and the soft sounds of the birds was also a deadly trap for anyone who dared to violate its terrain; poisonous leeches, flesh eating flowers and packs of wild wolves were only some of the inhabitants of this forest. “Also it has always been the home for the Nymphs followers of Goddess Bener” Monica summarized everything she had translated with the help of Fin’s books and notes.
“That’s good but did you see all those soldiers?” Dings said and he lifted his tail from anger
“Those were General Semer’s soldiers” Darth said when he finished bandaging Limon
“You mean that sadist man who prefers slaughtering than talking?”
“Yes him Limon” and he noticed Monica’s expression changing. They had to pass though the swamps when they realized the army’s presence (that’s why the leeches) and now they were already inside the forest searching for anything could give them a clue about Goddess Bener. Lily was standing quiet, with her hands on her ears, searching for sounds and movements. Suddenly she turned her head to the right saying there was something there. Dings and Monica approached the bushes and made their way. A small girl not older than 7 was sitting inside the bushes looking at them with frighten eyes. Monica lowered her bow and approached the child smiling “It’s alright we will hurt you” but the little girl run off and grabbed Lily’s legs hiding behind her “It seems she is afraid of you Monica” Limon said
“But I didn’t do anything to her!”
Lily touched the girl’s head and smiled at her “We do not belong to the forest’s enemies, I can assure you for that and she showed her tattoo on the girl. The child clapped its hands from happiness and took Lily’s hand and they started walking. “Wait! Where are you going?” Darth shouted
“She knows someone who can help us! We must follow her!” and they packed again quickly and walked behind Lily who was guided by the little girl. They walked though giant tree roots which were outside the ground, they passed many small ponds with uncountable colorful flowers until they reached the edge of the deep forest. In front of them there was a giant waterfall falling into a small lake without overflowing the water from her. Around the lake there were many flowers and a bunch of kids playing around the lake. When they noticed the presence of the strangers they ran behind the waterfall scared. The girl pointed the waterfall and pulled Lily’s hand. “She wants us to follow her” Monica said
“But those kids…”
“Yes they were not Denmorians, nor Darvil” Darth said skeptic.
A woman’s figure appeared for the falling water and stood softly on the lake’s surface. She was shining under the sun’s light wearing a silk mantle while her brown hair was decorated with leaves and flowers. She had green eyes, which looked at them shining like emeralds. She smiled when she saw Lily and opened her hands welcoming them “Let it be blessed the day, our Priestess has finally arrived!” Lily walked carefully looking at her Heart Light (“Green like Dings’s” she thought) “You are a Nymph!”
“Yes my Lady, I am Lefenia humble follower of Lady’s Bener teachings. I had been expecting you.” And she turned to the little girl looking at it with a motherly affection: “And you run off again? How many times will I tell you that?”
“But thanks to her help we managed to come here” Dings told her standing near the girl. Lefenia looked at him and smiled “Come, tonight you are my guests” and she clapped her hands; roots appeared from the ground, merging together creating a long table and many chairs. Animals from the forest brought to them fruits, honey, colored flowers and many edible goods. The children from before had already come out from the waterfall and now they were playing together with Limon and grabbing Dings from the ears and the tail. “It’s really peaceful” Monica commented looking around enchanted.
“Not for long, the trees informed me about the movement of the Army outside the forest and I am worried about the children.”
“Are these children yours Lefenia?” Darth asked
“No, they are all orphans.” And her face darkened showing the pain and the sadness, and with courage she continued “There used to be a village at the other side of the forest. There lived Darvils and Denmorians together in harmony for a long time. But the King was not pleased with them, so he ordered the annihilation of the village and its people. That night I saved most of the children and brought them here using my powers to create a safe place for them” and together with Monica and Darth they looked at the children who now were putting wreaths of flowers on Lily’s head while Limon was flying around carrying on his back two boys. “Let me tell you a story!” Monica said and sat together with the others. Dings was left alone with Lefenia watching at the girl from earlier who was sitting on Lily’s lap. “That child can’t speak.”
“Since she saw the death of her parents she shut her own speaking away. But Lady Lily can understand her” and she smiled to him “You know I think that you are not just a small puppy am I right?”
Dings looked at her emerald eyes “You will have to find out by yourself” and he continued eating.
That night everyone slept together at the cave which was behind the waterfall on soft leaves under Lily’s protection. She herself, together with Lefenia, was sitting near the lake. Lily wanted to know more about Bener and she was asking her for more information “My people died trying to protect her Temple, they used their last magic creating this lake.”
“What is inside?”
“A labyrinth of tunnels and murals which describe the directions of reaching Bener’s Temple, I don’t know anything else” and Lily got up taking off her clothes
“My Lady what are you doing?” she said surprised
“I will swim into the tunnels and I will find the Temple”
“And you are as simple minded as ever” she heard Darth behind her
“You will stay here, the Army might attack and we don’t have enough time” and she covered her underwear with her dress.
“As for that I talked to the others, they will protect this place, besides… I don’t want to leave you alone” and he continued taking off his clothes staying only with his trousers. Lily waved her ribbon creating a bubble around Darth’s head which would provide him with air and turned to Lefenia “I don’t want you to take part in this fight. Please take the children away and flee somewhere safer”
“Is that an order?”
“It’s a request from a friend” and she held her hands
“I will assure the safety of the children but what I will do is my decision” and she turned to Darth “Take good care of her!”
“I will” and he took Lily’s hand guiding her into the water. When her feet touched the water’s surface a blue light enveloped Lily’s body transforming her legs into the white tail and her blond hair into blue; she dived into the lake, followed by Darth. “Lefenia, please be careful”
“I will my Lady, good luck” and both of them disappeared under the water.
“Are they gone?” Dings said after a while when he saw Lefenia sitting near the lake waiting patiently for their return “Yes. But I must admit that your friend really cares about her.”
“He is stupid, that’s my opinion”
“Why do you say that?” but the puppy didn’t ask and sat near her
“Have you ever fall in love?” he asked her
“No, but I have read many stories of love. It must be an amazing feeling” and she looked at the sky
“Dings, Lefenia come quickly!” Monica shouted outside from the waterfall. One of the children was screaming while sleeping. Lefenia touched his forehead and held the little boy on her arms; it said something into a strange language and she ran outside from the cave. She saw black smoke coming from the east and the south edge of the forest, while Limon got out together with Dings. “Monica, come here quickly! They are attacking the forest!”
“Lefenia the children are afraid! Go to them!” Monica said coming out from the cave, holding her bow and wearing the protection cape Darth had given to her. She got on Limon’s back and they both got ready to take off. “Dings take care of Lefenia and the kids, we will try to stop them from the outside of the forest” and with incredible speed he disappeared on the sky. Dings transformed into a big wolf and turned to the Nymph. “Don’t worry, I will protect you all” and he instructed her to gather them all deep inside the cave. “That boy from before has the power of a diviner, I will ask him for the future”
“Don’t you know? The future always changes according to our choices” and he looked at the lake whishing for Lily and Darth to return quickly.
They were swimming into the deep dark waters, following the tunnel in front of them. Lily’s tail was shining even in the darkness with her scales glimmering like diamonds into the dark waters.
“Can you keep up? Or am I going fast?”
“I can still keep up, but how do you know where we are going?” they spoke to each other through telepathy.
“I am following the water’s course, it seems that there will be an opening ahead” and indeed they reach a huge round opening but it was really dark. Lily moved her hands making the golden string shine and in front of them the underwater room was lighten up. Murals, created from Heart Painters were decorating the walls of this round chamber making Darth and Lily look at them really amazed. For Darth it was already a fact that these murals were clues for their next move but for Lily, who could see the outlines of each drawing shining in front of her although she was blind, thanks to her ability to sense the people’s Heart Lights, was something completely new. “They are beautiful!” she said and touched with her hands the wall.
“Let’s try and find anything that could be useful for our next move, take the right side and I will take the left” and they started observing carefully each mural. Lily saw forests, lakes and Nymphs dancing into festivals, celebrating the spring, around flowers and trees and at the center of this festival a woman was sitting on a throne holding on her left hand a flute and with her right was showing at the Temple which was consisted of trees and flowers. Lily touched the drawing with the woman and she felt the morning breeze and the sound of the leaves as the winds pass though them. She turned her head to the right and the same feeling came to her. She swam back to Darth by seeing his shadow covering the light of the murals. “I have found the path, it’s from that side, we should…” but Darth didn’t answer to her, because he was looking at the mural in front of him: a woman with her head covered from a hood was standing on an altar surrounded from people who were praying to her. “Darth are ok?” and she looked at the mural he was looking and tried to touch the drawing with the woman, but Darth pulled he hand back preventing her from touching it “Darth…”
“It’s nothing, it is just a memento, nothing else, let us continue now” and they swam to the direction Lily had found. She looked for the last time the mural he was watching before their Light disappears again. They found a small uphill opening, which led them to the surface. They had found it, the Statue of Goddess Bener was standing before them.
Chapter 17: The Black Fire and the Flute of the Time Flower
“Fly around their perimeter! We must destroy those war towers!”
“Concentrate on shooting them down and I will deal with the flying!”
Limon and Monica were flying over the army’s camp, trying to buy some time by destroying the power sources which were creating the fire. Five war towers were placed around the forest’s edge and in the top of them big black pipes were launching a black liquid which when it touched the tops of the trees was transforming into a violent fire, burning everything on her way. But the fire wasn’t spreading throughout the forest but it was steering into one direction, leaving everything burned behind. The trees were moving toward the fire trying to stop her spreading but they too were burned. Limon and Monica saw this horrible spectacle and the dragon made a loop on the air diving down shouting to the girl on firing more arrows. Monica pulled the bow’s string creating two arrows of different color firing on the ground. “Aim for the towers!”
“Watch out Limon!” she said pointing to the soldiers who started firing arrows with fire. The arrows flew to their direction, like black birds seeking their prey, and Limon headed to them flying with incredible speed. “Hold on tight Monica!”
Dings was standing alert guarding all possible entrances to the hideout of the children. Lefenia had gathered them all inside the cave, instructing them to remain there until the fight was over. Now, having sealed the entrance to the cave, she was scouting together with Dings the space between the open small field and the beginning of the deep forest. She was looking from time to time the lake praying for the safety of Lady Lily and Darth. Dings noticed that and touched her hand with his muzzle trying to comfort her. Lefenia patted the head of the big wolf smiling with relief.
“Your presence here is reassuring on a strange way”
“Of course, it is you have the best fighter in whole Denmor on your side” he said boasting himself.
“Then you don’t mind if I kill you” a man’s voice came from the south side appearing though the dark woods. Firstly, it looked like a shadow, but his figure cleared revealing General Semer who was followed by a small troop of ten people armed with swords and black shields, bearing the crest of King Nevol.
“I didn’t expect to find you here brat. You have grown a little”
“And I thought that you should have become an old man by now” he requited with anger
“Leave this forest at once. You have already angered Lady Bener. Leave before her curse befalls on you!”
“That’s too bad my little Nymph. I don’t think that we should be going so quickly. You see, we are looking for something really valuable, something only a Goddess could posses, and that’s why we need you to show us the way” and his soldiers surrounded them ready to capture Lefenia. But Dings rushed on them, breaking their shields, just like a wooden stick, biting and pushing back the soldiers. Semer took off his armor and wearing only his tunic and his leather boots attacked to the big wolf with bare hands grabbing him from the neck and throwing him back. Dings hit his head and felt dizzy but he stood up again and ran to Semer showing his teeth, full of anger and agony for Lefenia’s safety.
“Something is not right; I can’t feel Bener’s presence”
“Perhaps this is not the right place?”
“No it is, but everything is dead”
I touched the ground outside the water and I felt the dry grass; the feeling I had earlier was faint but still existed around this room. Darth described where we were. It was a small room with a woman’s statue standing inside a small garden with many wilted flowers around. We were still inside the water when Darth decided to get out but I prevented him.
“Let me get out first, perhaps only the Priestess can stand on the ground”
“Very well, but I will keep an eye for any suspicious movements” he said with his worried voice.
I placed my hands on the ground and tried to step on; I felt my tail changing back quickly and my naked body was covered with a soft tunic, created from leaves and flowers. I walked around the garden, guided from Darth, who was instructing me from the water, , and then I felt them; the thorns popped from the ground grabbing my legs, covering my body and piercing my skin. I heard Darth’s voice calling me but I told him not to get out from the water no matter what happens. The pain was unbearable and I could feel the blood flowing on my skin; the feeling I had earlier became stronger and I heard the sound of water, Darth shouted something to me and he disappeared.
“Darth, Darth can you hear me?”
“He is no longer here, now we are alone” a woman’s voice came to me.
“Dear Priestess, you managed to come in time”
“What do you mean in time?”
“The forest is dying and you must use the Flute before it too late”
“What Flute?”And I felt something on my hand; it was smooth on touch, with some strange carvings on its surface.
“The Flute of the Time Flower: created from the first flower that bloomed on Denmor. It has the power to restore time on earth’s flora and create powerful earthquakes. But for that reason you must always sacrifice someone who loves my domain”
“A living sacrifice? Why Bener, why do you always have to gain power through the living? It is supposed that the Gods created Denmor from their love for life!” and I felt the thorns disappearing from my body setting me free.
“Life must always come to an end, that’s the vital rule of existence because life and death cannot exist separately; they will always bring happiness and pain to those who have someone dear to them but people will continue to live with the memories of those who have gone. Now, go my child my powers will always be by your side”
I thanked her for her words and I moved back to the water, ready to transform again when I heard Bener’s voice calling my name: “Beware of the one closest to you, his sins cannot be easily forgiven” and with those words in my minds I dived back into the water heading back.
Darth swam to the surface and managed to get out of the water, he looked around and realized that he was back to the forest but not to the place from which they had begun. They had found Bener’s statue and before he could do anything Lily had been captured and was bleeding before his eyes “And I couldn’t do anything” he thought and cursed his weakness. For another time she had to bear all the pain and the difficulties as the future Priestess of Denmor, and he looked at the water. He tried to dry himself and then the smell of the burning wood came to him. “A fire?” and he ran following the smell and the smoke that started to appear in front of him. Animals were running away and the trees were moving toward the fire trying to stop her from continuing burning the forest. He saw the black flames burning the wood, a living fire demon consuming everything before him: the Black Fire, a murderous weapon which would not stop until it finishes its mission. He understood where it was heading and stepped back, falling into the ground. The fire noticed his presence and turned to him; Darth started to ran as fast as he could, trying to avoid the touch of the fire, the trees covered him but he fell into the ground as his leg was trapped between some burned roots. The fire surrounded him and just before he burned alive a shining ray of light hit the fire turning her into black smoke disappearing before him. Monica and Limon were standing near him both of them in a bad mess, covered with ashes and with scratches on their bodies.
“Seriously, why do I always have to save you?”
“Who do you think fired the arrows?” Monica said and pulled the dragon’s horn annoyed
“Where is Lily?”
“She was left at the crypt of Bener’s statue, it seems that I was casted away after we found it” and he explained what happened
“We were able to destroy only two of the five war towers which create the Black fire”
“It took me a while before I realize its weakness, it seems that it can’t stand light” and the three of them looked at the dark sky.
“We must destroy the towers and head back quickly to Dings and Lefenia; Semer will surely pursue them!” Monica said with intense, thinking the children at the same time.
“You will destroy them and I will head back to them”
“And what about my sister Darth? Where will we find her in this big forest?”
Darth hesitated for a moment, he couldn’t think a blind person wandering into a burning forest alone but Lily was not an ordinary blind girl, not anymore. He turned to Monica and held her blackened hands
“We will believe in her, we must believe that she will make it back to us, as she always does” and he ran extremely fast ahead following the direction of the fire.
“Come on Monica let’s continue” and Limon leaned helping her to get on “Let’s finish this quickly and head back” and when he didn’t heard her answer he continued “Well perhaps I will have to change back and go on a date what do you think?”
“LET’S GO LIMON!” and laughing the dragon took off heading back to the army’s camp.
I got out from the water, still holding Bener’s flute on my hands, and changed back. This wasn’t the lake from which I began with Darth; it was another part of the forest. I tried to sense the environment around me, only the scent of smoke came to me “A fire? From where?” and I felt my head hurting, it was like someone was hitting me with a hammer. I heard footsteps coming from my left and a familiar feeling consumed me; a Heart Stone with a faint light, a desire to protect, and the feeling of responsibility and one more Heart Stone; this one was dark, full of hate, malice and jealousy, a horrible combination. I turned my head to their direction and the footsteps stopped and the voice I heard made me shiver from surprise: “If it isn’t our little Priestess! Long time no see little brat!”
“Nagia… and… Elemor too?”
“Still as sharp as ever but too bad you are alone now” and I heard something coming from the right; I jumped dodging it and I held my ribbon on my left hand. Elemor ran to me and I heard the sound of a blade cutting the air, ready to hit me but something repelled it throwing him back. His presence filled the air as he came to my side and held my right hand whispering my name: “I finally found you”
“You are late”
“Sorry about that” and I heard him smiling
“So Darthorian you always want to ruin my fun!”
“Nagia, why is the Army attacking the Forest of the Nymphs?”
“For Bener’s flute of course, such a strong weapon should be really useful for our dear King”
“But only I can wield it properly, so it is useless to you!”
“On the contrary, there is one more Priestess who can!”
“What?” and I felt her power rushing through me, as I “saw” a black, like a shining onyx, ribbon appearing on her left hand.
Chapter 18: The price of power
Dings was lying on the ground unable to move from Semer’s multiple attacks. Lefenia was standing in front of him casting spells around the grass field creating flesh eating flowers and calling forth creatures of the forest in order to aid them
“Dings, don’t die on me! Get up please!”
The big wolf got up with difficulty and stood beside her; he saw Semer’s soldiers fighting against her powers, he was impressed. But Semer moved his hand and everything, in an instant, caught fire in front of them burning them all.
“Such small tricks won’t work on me. Come on, you are supposed to be the Priestess’s allies, are you that weak?” and he attacked them violently forcing Dings to grab Lefenia from her clothes pulling her with him. They fell to the right avoiding him but not for long because he was ready to charge again.
“Lefenia, get away from me” he whispered
“Just do what I say!” and she got away from him, seeing him transform in front of her into a young boy around sixteen years old with black hair and deep golden eyes, wearing a cloth armor created from the skin of the most savage beast in whole Denmor. She closed and reopened her eyes again making sure she was not mistaken: the puppy became a wolf and the wolf transformed into a Darvil, the youngest Darvil who ever served the Army, Dings the Beast Commander. She looked at him with fear and awe while he charged attacking Semer with his hands transformed into big claws. Lefenia saw some of the soldiers moving to the waterfall and left the two fighting each other, rushing to the place she had hid the children. She didn’t realize that the fire was coming closer and closer to them.
Darth was running following the fire trying to make her stop at all costs; he stopped when he felt Lily’s presence, thanks to her necklace, and ran to the opposite direction finding her on the ground while Elemor was ready to slice her at two. He repelled his attack and stood beside her
“I finally found you”
“You are late” she said smiling at ease
“Sorry about that”
Now both of them were encountering Nagia’s and Elemor’s attacks. Nagia all of sudden had the same weapon as Lily while Elemor was controlled by the slave tattoo on his arm. Darth had already noticed that and was trying to find a way to turn him back to normal, but how? He knew that those who were possessed from the snake tattoo would never be themselves again, not until their master dies. He took a glance on the other side. Lily was doing her best avoiding Nagia’s ribbon while using the nearby water and with help of the air she had transformed the ribbon’s string into an iced line shining like a diamond. She moved her hands trying to capture Nagia into her ice ribbon but she was too good enough on dodging her.
“Tell me Nagia, did Nevol also give you that power?” she said jumping above her flying with the help of the tree’s branches attacking her again.
“Isn’t that great? Now I am connected with my dear King forever! We will rule over Denmor, he as the King and I as his own Priestess!” and she laughed enjoying herself.
Lily repelled her attacks again and quickly she grabbed Nagia’s foot, while she was mid-air, dragging her on the ground; she secluded her into a big water bubble and took her ribbon from her hands breaking it into pieces
“A Priestess you say? Don’t mock me Nagia, you are a fake and fakes will never win over the original!”
“Shut up! What an outsider knows about being isolated from other, always struggling alone? Do you have any idea what I had to do in order to serve my beloved King?”
“No I don’t but I know how it feels to be alone, without no one understanding you, but I still continue on believe in my powers and try to help those around me. Don’t you see Nagia? You too have someone to depend on, he had always been on your side although you haven’t realized that” and she turned her head following the sounds of sword fighting between Darth and Elemor. Nagia looked at him for a moment seeing him in that miserable state.
“No!”She screamed “The only ne I want is my King!” and she broke free breaking Lily’s bubble falling on her grabbing her neck
“I will kill you! And then I will become the true Priestess!”
“Lily!” Darth shouted and he ran towards her
Elemor followed him and attacked him again, he understood what he had to do in order to break Elemor’s spell and moved his sword, piercing his arm destroying the tattoo. Nagia then was pulled back screaming from pain as her hand was bleeding just like Elemor’s was.
“Damn you Darthorian!”
“You were using Elemor’s life in order to gain power over you fake identity, but now it’s over Nagia. I destroyed his curse and you have no more power left!” and he ran to her ready to kill her
“NO! Darthorian don’t kill her!” Elemor’s desperate voice sounded from his back and he stopped. Nagia disappeared using her remaining powers just before Darth stab her. He turned back and helped Lily take deep breaths as she was coughing loudly.
“It’s ok now, breathe deeply” and he touched her head helping her calm down.
“Elemor” Lily said with deep voice, still trying to breathe normally “I couldn’t change her Heart Light”
Elemor stood up and leaned in front of her bowing deeply
“Allow me to apologize for attacking you, also I have cut my ties with the King and from now on I request only one thing”
“What is your request?”
“Allow me to join you on your travel and your battle against Nevol, I will help you with all my powers, please I beg you”
Lily stood up looking at his Heart Light; it was shining and she smiled
“Lily?” Darth looked at her suspiciously “You don’t think that he says the truth right? After everything he has done!”
“Darth, he wants to repent for his sins and besides he is not lying” she said holding his shoulder.
He looked at her eyes; she was not lying, not even showing pity, no she had made up her mind. Lily moved her left hand and asked Elemor to take her hand, he touched the shining tattoo and a golden light covered his body healing his wounds and create a golden bracelet on his left hand.
“This is your mission from now on; live, live and repent for your sins, help those in need and find someone to protect. You will meet many obstacles and when you will feel alone or desperate look at the sky and pray to the Gods”
Elemor stood up looking at the golden bracelet and turned to Darth asking for his forgiveness for all this time.
“It is not in my hand to forgive you, live as the Priestess has requested and when the time comes, we will fight again side by side like the old times” and he exchanged a handshake with Elemor
“Thank you my Lady, thank you for everything and don’t worry anymore about her” he said as he casted a spell, disappearing from their side.
Lily sat on the ground covering her body, she had overused her powers and now she was feeling weak. Darth was standing near her, watching at her puzzled; Elemor had hurt her, and pursued them but she forgave him and gave him a mission. He leaned in front of her and helped her get up
“You don’t speak; may I suppose that you are confused about before?”
“A little but I begin to understand your motive of helping him”
Lily raised her head looking around her
“If you are looking for Limon and Monica they are fighting the army, trying to destroy the war towers which create the Black Fire”
“We must help them!”
“No! The fire is heading to the place Lefenia and the others are. They have priority!” and he took her hand guiding her to the other direction. He started to feel really tired and fell to the ground
“Darth!” and she touched him, feeling his naked skin under her fingers, she helped him stand up while he continued breathing heavily “Someone is overusing magic power”
“We must go to Dings, quickly!”
“Then leave it to me” and she moved her ribbon creating an emerald line on her string. Lily told him to hold on her and they started to run into the forest on the trees, passing through the big roots, which were creating a path for them, guided by the birds, climbing on the branches. The powers of Bener were taking effect leading them to the right direction.
Dings could feel the fatigue overtaking him; he was tired of fighting and, at the same time being on his human form. He saw Lefenia fighting with the remaining soldiers trying to protect the children which were taken out of their hideout and the soldiers were pursuing them. Semer was unstoppable and without a sign of tiredness he continued attacking him until he threw him into the air making him fall back, crushing on the ground. He stepped on him, smiling with joy, joy for killing; he saw him with his blurry vision be thrown away by something that looked like a tree brunch and a familiar voice calling him
“Stand up Dings, it is not over yet!” Dart’s voice was coming from afar
“Darth? You came back!”
“Of course I came back and, as always, you have created a big mess!”
Together they fought and casted away the soldiers, who when they saw Lily retreated frightened, leaving Semer behind, screaming to them furious. Lily was standing in front of Lefenia and the children, still holding the Flute on her right hand. A dragon’s roar was heard and Limon together with Monica landed near them.
“We finally destroyed the war towers” Monica said, getting down from Limon’s back
“Give it up Semer. It’s all over” Darth spoke with confidence.
But Semer laughed happily and looked at the south; the fire was still burning and was coming closer and closer to them
“So what will you do I wonder! The Black Fire will not stop until it burns even the last tree on this forest!” and he turned to Lily “So what are you waiting for Priestess? Use the Flute to save the Forest! Isn’t that your mission?”
But Lily knew the cost of this power and brought the Flute close to her chest begging for Bener’s advice: “Remember, life and death cannot be separated, always a price must be paid” she heard her soft voice on her mind, but she didn’t notice the flying sword that was coming to her. Everyone screamed at the same time running to her but someone pushed her, making her fall down. Lily felt the green Heart Light flickering and screamed Lefenia’s name. The Nymph fell to the ground and Dings rushed to her side holding her injured body, trying to stop her bleeding. Semer was gone from their sight, escaping through teleportation, leaving behind wreckage.
“My Lady…” Lefenia’s voice was weak from pain “use… my life… to save the forest”
“No! You will be fine; I will not let you die!” Lily was holding her hand while Dings was looking at her with agony.
“Please… I lived in… that forest my whole l…life I love my h…home, please” and she took Lily’s right hand with her bloody fingers and covered the Flute’s surface with her blood. Lily felt tremendous power flowing from the Flute and she cried saying that she would not do that.
“Lily! Save the forest! For her sake!” Dings shouted at her with sadness and anger. Darth, Limon and Monica were standing behind them holding the children which were crying loudly. Lily stood up and with her face covered with tears she walked towards the direction she could feel the fire; she put the Flute on her lips and took a deep breath. A blast overtook the Black Fire, which just stopped moving right in front of her, forcing it transform from black to white. The white flames moved back to the way they came from, restoring the trees, the animals and the birds, healing at the same time everyone’s injuries; all the life that was taken was given back into its original form. The Flute’s melody made the dying Lefenia smile with ease and looked at Dings. She placed her hand on his cheek whispering something that made him cry and kiss her softly on her cold lips. The melody transformed into a whirlwind which lifted her dead body, transforming it into a giant oak tree with big branches and green leaves at the color of her eyes. Everyone looked at this miracle with great surprise and the children started to dance creating a circle around the oak, dancing at the Flute’s rhythm. They looked at Lily; she was dancing on the whirlwind, still playing the flute making all the trees join into her singing by moving softly their branches. When she finally stopped she returned to the ground and the Flute was carved on her left arm together with the golden sting of her ribbon which was extended above her elbow. She walked towards Dings and bowed in front of him begging for his forgiveness. The boy had transformed back into a puppy and licked her fingers saying that it was not her fault and that Lefenia had already made her choice by the time she took Semer’s attack. She hugged him and together they walked to the oak tree followed by everyone.
“Everyone, place your hand on the trunk” and she placed her left hand too on the tree. Suddenly a heartbeat came from the tree’s insides filling everyone with a calming feeling.
“I transformed her into a tree. The Nymphs are born from the trees and when they die they change back. But I turned Lefenia into a tree until she will be reborn” she explained and the children around her started to laugh and hug the tree’s trunk singing with joy.
“How long, how long will it take Lily?” Dings asked
“I don’t know but she will come back to us someday” and she fell on the ground, still holding the puppy on her arms.
They left the Forest of the Nymphs the next day taking the children with them until they find a new home for them. Lily was sleeping completely tired from overusing the powers of the three Gods at the same time, under Monica’s care, while Limon and Darth were dealing with the arrangement of the new rooms on the Hall. Dings was standing in front of the oak placing his forehead on the trunk
“I will find a good home for them; I promise I will come back to you one day” and began to walk back to the starting wagon when he felt the falling leaves from the oak tree touching softly his fur; he turned back and looked at the tree for the last time: “I love you too” he whispered and rushed back to his companions.
Chapter 19: Countess Permer and the Last God
The intruders tried to escape by following the secret passages of the castle; they had to return back at all costs, together with the stolen items. The soldiers pursued them following the underground passages which were ending at the edge of the city, leading to the forest. The robbers ran as fast as they could without looking behind, while a huge thunder made the sky completely dark, the sign of anger was clear to them.
“Alright everyone! Let’s do the laundry!” and Monica carried the baskets, full of clothes to the river. After three weeks of continuing traveling they had reached the boundaries between Nevol’s territory and the Independent Feuds; a part of Denmor which survived from the expansionary of the King and it was ruled by the remains of the old aristocracy. Some of them were Darvil, others were from Denmor; even so they were cooperating in order to maintain their independence at all costs. Darth thought that part of the land as a great hideout until Lily and the others could be able to move again. But that was not his only problem; the children, which were traveling with them, were a pain on his head. They would always mess with their rooms, sneak into the storage, playing with his cargo, and still when Lily or Monica was near they would behave with the highest respect. Now, he was calculating the remaining products that he could sell but the truth was that he needed new in a short time. He got out of the wagon and went to the river; everyone were cleaning their clothes trying not to get to wet themselves but Limon had already splashed water on Monica and they were fighting into the water together with the kids. Some of the girls were helping Lily to carry the fresh washed clothes back to the river’s bank and he helped them carry them out.
“Are you feeling better?”
“Much better and I thought I could help you with the kids” and Lily smiled
“Seriously we can’t have them with us for a long time. They will soon have to stay behind, you know the danger we are facing” and he suffused the clothes on the ropes they had tied on the trees.
“By the way where is Dings?”
“He is sitting over there” and Lily pointed to the direction she could feel the sad Heart Light. Dings was sitting on the rock near the water daydreaming quietly. Since they left the Forest he barely was eating but he was giving his best entertaining the children. Darth advised Lily to let him stay like this; eventually he would be his old self
“Besides” he continued “you saved Lefenia. I am sure he will see her again”
“Do you believe that?”
“Trust me, a Darvil’s lifespan overcomes that of a simple human” and he took the baskets from her hands and walked to the wagon. He placed them near the wheels and sat on the fallen trunk near the river. Lily followed him from his steps and sat beside him.
“Tell me Lily, how old are you?”
“I am seventeen” she answered sincerely
“I will be seven hundred and thirty two next month” and Lily almost fell from the trunk from her surprise
“You are kidding me right?
“No, a Darvil can even touch eternity if he wants but in the end we will die just like everyone else.”
“Who will die?” Monica said behind them when she overheard their conversation while drying herself with a towel.
“Don’t tell me that you are talking about age Darth” Limon said behind Monica
“Why? How old do you think he is?” Monica asked puzzled and when Lily answered her question she turned to Limon asking his age.
“Don’t be rude to me Monica! I am younger then him!” the dragon said with flamboyance
“How much younger?” the girls asked with one voice
“I will be six hundred on the following three months” he said with pride and the twins lowered their heads
“Let’s not speak about ages anymore” Monica said and everyone agreed. They heard the kids fighting over the food they had already prepared and they went to the dining table, eating together with everyone. That night Lily was sitting outside the wagon near the fire, trying to contact Elder Fin through the Mirror. Monica found her covered with the blanket sitting outside and sat near her.
“It’s been a while since we were like alone like this” and hugged her from the shoulder”
“Indeed” and she put the Mirror on the table
“No the Mirror is not responding, as if Elder Fin is not with us anymore” and he voice sounded full of worry
“Lily, he is a stubborn old man, I am sure he will be fine no matter where he is”
“WHO ARE YOU CALLING AN OLD MAN?” an angry voice came from the Mirror and Monica grabbed it quickly looking at its surface. Fin looked angry at first but when he saw Monica his expression relaxed and greeted her with kindness.
“Where have you been Fin? We were worried about you!”
“I apologize for my delay my Ladies but many things happened”
“So did here” Lily answered and Fin understood the hardships they’ve been through.
“Well now at least I have good news for you! We will meet soon enough, so Monica go and bring me that brat. I need him.” and Monica rushed into the wagon.
“Fin did you find anything regarding the last God?”
“Everything on their time my Lady, please be patient”
“Finally! And I had started to wonder where you have been old man!” Darth came out from the wagon wearing his night cape quickly.
“Same goes to you! And I have been really busy for your information! But now I need you to cast a teleportation spell”
“There is a friend of ours that wants to meet the Priestess” and Darth’s expression changed completely from surprise
“Her? Don’t tell me that you are with her?” and he quickly went into the wagon
“To whom are you referring and what does she wants with Lily?” Monica asked Fin. But Darth returned quickly, followed by Limon and Dings who were still sleepy, holding three tree brunches. When Monica saw them the memory came back to her and when Lily felt the radiance of their power she hands started to shiver. Darth created a circle with his sword and placed the three Ebu branches on the ground. He turned to the others and advised them not to move as they teleport and started to whisper something non-understandable. The branches bloomed quickly and the pink petals covered everything making them disappear from their location. For a moment it was like floating into the air until they felt again the ground under their feet. They were standing in front of a huge garden with all kinds of flowers blooming around them, each one with a different color and a different fragrance, making the scenery look like a painting. Someone was running towards them and they realized that Fin was coming to them. They greeted him happily and he bowed before Lily, hugged Monica and helped them to move to the huge mansion that was spreading after the garden. It was a mansion consisted from four different buildings all connected by corridors, small gardens and bridges that were crossing small ponds, decorated with water lilies. They passed the long corridor, after leaving the wagon and the children in the care of the women who greeted them, and entered thought the gate into the hall and after that into the main auditorioum. They saw a woman, around thirty, sitting on a throne in front of them surrounded from her ladies of honor. She stood up and she smiled:
“I welcome you to the Third Independent Feud. I am Countess Permer de la Darviliana and this is my home and my land. I welcome you Lady Lily, the future Priestess of our land”
“Thank you for your warm welcoming Countess Permer.” Lily said as she walked closer to her, feeling the gentle light of her Heart Stone at the color of the rose quartz. “May I ask why you have called us?”
“I have found where the last God is Lady Lily” and everyone remained speechless from their surprise. “I understand that you have been through a lot and that’s why you will be my guests. I will protect you as long as I rule these lands and everything you will need, don’t hesitate to ask.” And she clapped her hands calling her servants. “Take them to their rooms, help them have a bath and change into new clothes. We shall dinner into the main dinner hall and there I shall answer all your questions”
“Thank you Countess Permer for your hospitality” and together with Monica left Darth and the others, following Permer’s servants into their rooms deep into the mansion.
“You are looking well all of you. I must tell that your adventures are told all around Denmor”
“It’s been a while Countess, and I must tell time has been good with you” Darth said while bowing with respect. Permer walked to him and touched his shoulder. She took Dings on her arms patting the puppy’s head and bowed to Limon.
“Please rest in here, I will explain the details on the dinner” and they moved to the other building following her attendants.
After a nice bath and a relaxing massage with herbal plants, aromatic herbal oils and an arrangement on their hair, the girls were now heading to the dining hall guided by their attendants. Dressed with light dresses made of soft silk, which was leaning their shoulders open, and wearing beautiful earrings and necklaces, all made from precious stones, amethyst and topaz for Monica, amber and sapphire for Lily they entered the main dining Hall and they found Limon and Dings already on the table waiting for the others. Limon made a compliment for Monica’s dress but she sat on her chair without answering or looking at him. Lily laughed and she heard footsteps as Lady Permer entered the dining Hall followed by Darth and Fin. She sat on the top of the table, having Lily on her right and Darth on her left and they began their meal. Fin then stood up making a toast wishing the best luck and he sat again. When they finished their lunch and the desert was served together with tea, Permer began:
“The children who came with you will be staying from now on with me, I will take good care of them and teach them everything the need to know in order to survive” and Dings thanked her with relief “Now Elder Fin if you wish” and she gave him the right to speak.
“I would like to announce something. Three days ago there was a robbery at the Royal Palace of Selemir”
“What? How did they get in?”
“No if they managed to get in how did they get out?” Darth asked correcting Limon at the same time.
“What did the steal?” Monica asked him
“The Selemir Records” and everyone almost got drown with their tea. Lily remembered Fin referring to the Selemir Records as information about the Priestess’s role and the Gods when they were on Namur, before everything begins.
“But isn’t that strange? Why Nevol allowed something so dangerous and precious to him get stolen?” Dings said with skepticism.
“The robbers were no ordinary people but Rebels of the Northern Mountains. The news of your success has reached them and they took action on preparing the path for an open attack after Lady Lily requires the last God. I personally sent Mimi to write down everything she can find by studying the Records and she sent back her results through the teleportation spell. I would like to discuss them with you Lily tomorrow”
“Of course Elder Fin, but why did you leave the Library? I thought that there was your home” Lily asked and Fin’s expression became dark, making him look older than he really was.
“The Library was closed by Semer under the order of investigation. They believe that I gave information to the Northern Rebels about the Palace and its secret passages” and everyone heard his words astonished
“Luckily he contacted me and from that time he is my guest” Permer said smiling and Fin thanked her for her hospitality. Lily asked Permer how did she knew Darth and the others and she said that they helped her a long time ago with a personal problem of hers
“And that’s how I open the next important topic: the location of the last God. Thanks to Fin’s investigation and through the studies of the ancient texts we found that the God’s name is Menfor the Fire Emperor. He has the power to create volcanoes at will even whole continents. His Temple used to be the Black Volcano at the North but now he has disappeared.”
“Truly the most frightening of them all” Lily said while she could hear the voices of Azure, Clomin, and Bener on her head telling her stories about their brother.
“And if his residing place is gone then where is he?” Darth asked and everyone looked Permer waiting for her response.
“Marciant, Duke of the Fourth Feud, is an amazing weapon smith, his talent overcomes that of any human or Darvil. His weapons sell really high on the Imperial Army and he has the favor of the King. He says that his talent is a gift given from the Fire God; and I wonder how he got that talent, what do you think?”
“He made a pact with God Menfor!” Lily said realizing her thoughts and everyone turned to her
“Exactly Lady Lily, that’s what I thought too. Marciant owns a precious stone, a ruby that has the color of blood. He boasts about being a family memento from the Old Times but I think that this stone is the God himself!”
“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s steal it!” Limon said but Permer moved her head disagreeing with him
“Unfortunately he carries it with him all the time, I have seen that stone too. Besides I don’t think that the God himself would be touched by anyone except the Priestess”
“Then what should we do?” Monica said summarizing everything she heard until now. Taking Lily to see that Duke was impossible since he had the King’s favor and also if she obtained the stone his business would get down.
“There is one opportunity to meet Duke Marciant. There will be a gala on his mansion hosting all the Lords and Ladies on the Independent Feuds and I will be going.”
“And? How would that help us” Dings asked
“We will sneak into the mansion, create a fuss. While Lily will take the Stone” Darth said continuing Permer’s idea
“That’s the plan generally. I shall present Lily as a gift for Marciant while Darth and Limon will keep an eye on her and create a difficult situation in order for her to escape.
“Wait a second! Present her as a gift? Like slaves or, even worse, concubine?” That’s insane Monica said protested on their plan
“Of course she will not be given away! She will just have to present a talent amusing the guest, and when the chance allows it, she will steal the Stone” Permer answered to Monica.
Lily stood up and looked at everyone’s Heart Lights gathering their feelings and thoughts. She turned to Permer and smiled to her “Then I shall present them the only talent I have: my dance”
Monica lied near Lily on their bed; she was angry with her sister, angry because she accepted that dangerous plan.
“Don’t be angry Monica, your Light becomes really bothering” Lily said already covered with her blanket and with her eyes closed
“Why wouldn’t I? You decided that yourself, without even thinking. Also Darth protested that idea, insisting that it would be better if we just steal that Stone from that Duke”
“And then what? Marciant would call the Army and we would be pursued again, leaving behind someone who would die defending us. Monica Lady Permer is already in danger only by providing us the means to operate that plan. I don’t want any more human losses” and she hugged her sister crying quietly on her arms as they slept together under that hazy night.
Chapter 20: The dancing Lily under the Red Moonlight
I spent the following days learning all the ways of seducing men. Lady Permer said that she would present me as a dancer from the Northern islands, so my manners, speech and movements had to be like I truly was from there. Monica helped me a lot by correcting my mistakes and listening to Permer’s advises. What made me most worried was the meeting with Elder Fin that happened two days ago. I still remember that when I got out from the room the two of us had discussed I felt really weak and I wanted to forget everything he said; also I begged him never to reveal anything to the others. Now Lady Permer said that she wanted to meet her at her room. Together with Monica we entered her room and sat to the couch she had prepared. I heard the sound of the cutlery as fresh juice was served and the smell of the fresh baked cookies made me hungry. I heard Monica asking Lady Permer about her life and how she came to be the Countess of her Feoud.
“That’s an old story, but I would be happy to tell you” and with a voice that was full of the sadness for the past and the love for someone forgotten she began recounting about her life.
Permer was born into the glorious city of Athens at the 5th century BC. At that time she was not called Permer but Nausicaa, daughter of Euagora, one of the richest merchants in the Aegean Sea. As the society demanded that time she learned from a young age everything a woman should know: doing the house chores, educated on music, writing and reading Homer (that’s how she got her name from) and preparing for the time she would be married and bring honor to her family. Then the city prepared to celebrate the most important religious festival, Panathinaia, and she was also prepared with her family to attend the procession of the maidens which would lead to Parthenon. When she was waiting for her parents to come she noticed a strange tree on their garden she had never seen before; when she touched it the Ebu tree teleported to Denmor dropping her in front of the mansion of Count Jahor Darvilian, aristocrat and Ruler over his land. At that time Nevol had already been a king for one hundred years and he was fighting the Northern Rebels. Jahor saw Nausicaa appearing in front of him and fascinated by the Outsider beautiful girl with the curly brown hair and eyes he took her in and helped her overcome the difficulties of the loss of her home and family. He taught her how to write and read as also the ways and the history of this world. The sympathy became friendship and friendship became love. They got married and she became Countess Permer de la Darviliana and together with Jahor they lived happily for thirty years. But the good times didn’t last as General Semer found through investigation that Count Jahor was helping the Northern Rebels against the King. He was taken away leaving Permer alone for ten days. Semer personally returned him; his head inside a silver box as he was beheaded like a traitor. After that Permer inherited the Feud and lived grieving for her love for a long time. That’s when she discovered his research about the Priestess of the Four Gods and then she met Elder Fin as also Darth, Limon and Dings.
“And that’s how my life was” she concluded while Monica was crying near me.
“If you lived at the 5th century BC that means that you are at least 2000 years old!”
“How can be so young yet so old?” Monica asked surprised after me.
“That is something my husband taught me before he dies. The Spell of Willpower; when one person has a purpose or someone he or she wants to protect, the will can become so strong that can also be transformed into life-force” I heard her saying, thinking at the same time Darth’s and Limon’s ages. Willpower to life-force, what an incredible magic! And she lived that long waiting for the Priestess to come. I “saw” her Heart Light changing slowly, as if she wanted to reveal something. I heard her standing up and walking and again walking towards me.
“Monica, I want you to hold Lily still” and I felt Monica’s hands holding my shoulders. Fingers held my eyelids open and something wet fell on my eyes; I shouted from pain as my eyes were burning and then I felt really strange. Slowly but steady the darkness disappeared revealing an image full of many new to me things. I closed my eyes because of the strong light and I reopened them; I heard Monica calling me and I turned seeing a girl sitting near me.
“Monica… is that you?” I said surprised and she hugged me laughing and crying at the same time
“The drops were tears of a dragon. They can provide the sense of sight even to the blind” the woman in front of me said “but only for a short time; I would say around 48 hours”
Two days! For two days I would be able to see! And I laughed from joy.
Lily and Monica followed Lady Permer to her beautician; they had to change her hair into that of an island girl which means that she had to cut her blond hair short and dye them black. But before that Lily saw for the first time herself into a mirror memorizing every detail of her face; her eyes were now red and her blond hair were falling on her shoulders. After three hours her hair was short, close to the base of her cheeks and black, she had been completely transformed. Permer instructed them not to get out from the mansion before the day of the gala comes and leaded them back to their room. Lily was watching everything around her, every detail, color and shape touching things that she could only imagine before. At the dinner time Darth, Limon and Dings didn’t appear; they went to scout Marciant’s mansion looking for many ways to enter secretly and they would return later. When the girls returned to their room Monica slept right away while Lily sat near the window watching enchanted the night sky, full of many stars but from time to time she could see some of them fall.
I walked out from the room without being noticed and headed toward the main Hall. The fireplace was still burning and as I was looking for him; I wanted to see him after all this time I had spent with everyone. I sat in the couch and watched the flames as they were dancing burning the wood. Suddenly I heard voices coming from the outside and went to the gate which was leading outside, opening the left door a little. Something small and black was sitting on the ground barking loudly
“I am hungry! Why didn’t they leave anything for us?” Dings said whining around the golden beast near him
“Stop already Dings, I am sure Darth will find something in the kitchen for us” the dragon said as I recognized Limon’s voice which sounded tired. Suddenly I heard footsteps behind me and I hid behind the columns near the gate. I saw a boy walking to the exit holding a plate with food. He had black short hair and red eyes sparkling into the mid-dark room. He stopped walking and put his left hand on his chest taking out a necklace, kissing it softly. I recognized the silver butterfly I gave Darth back then and I held my breath as I hid behind the column trying to remain as quieter as I could until I heard the door closing. Quickly I ran back to my room and closed the door behind me feeling my heart beating fast.
The day of the gala finally came. Lily was already dressed with the local clothes of a dancer and was waiting patiently in her room together with Monica as the last details on her makeup were over. A red dress which was really revealing on some parts, dance flat shoes and many precious stones on her hair and her neck were making her appearance really exotic to everyone. Lady Permer came into their room repeating again the parts of their plan: Lily would draw attention and try to acquire Marcient’s stone while Darth, Limon and Dings would try to find more information about the Duke’s actions with the King and also keep an eye on her; Monica would be one of Permer’s ladies of honor and so she was also dressed as one of them. They moved to the exit ready to get on their coach when a man’s voice made them stop “Darth!” Permer said and turned to him discussing the final details. Monica looked at him and then she turned to Lily. Her face was covered but her eyes, although they were red, were betraying her feelings. She was surprised and at the same time relieved seeing the tall man with his hair tied back and his red eyes glimmering in the dark.
“I didn’t know that he could transform too” Monica said to her sister and Lily explained her about the red moon
“He is still cute” and she smiled moving to the coach and getting in.
Lily also got ready to get in but she tripped and she felt strong hands grabbing her waist and lifting her again
“Are you alright?” he asked her and she turned to him. Darth took off the face covering and looked at her without speaking. Lily was looking at him straightly: the lines of his face, his forehead and the red eyes wanting to touch his face again like she did back then at the day she found out about his true form.
“Yes I am” she answered and he put her face cover back, helping her get on the coach.
“Good luck to all of you” and the driver began taking them away from the mansion. Lily looked at him as they were moving further and further until she couldn’t see him anymore and sat back on her seat.
They arrived at the mansion of Duke Marciant after a half hour driving. His servants led them into the big dining hall which was decorated with diamond chandeliers and the tables were scattered around the huge room leaving the central Hall open.
“Countess Permer! It is an honor having you tonight with us!” Duke Marciant greeted her kissing gently her hand
“The honor is mine Duke. And to thank you for your hospitality tonight I have for you and exotic gift” and she introduced to him Lily, who bowed without looking at him but at the same time sensing the radiance of God Menfor coming from his decorated necklace, and he looked at her with interest.
“Where is she from?”
“From the Northern Islands; I found a great talent on her and I would be delighted if I could show her to the guests tonight”
“Of course Lady Permer! She will amuse us after the dinner!” and he left welcoming the other guests.
“Until now everything’s fine” she murmured and guided the girls into their own table telling them to wait here until their time would come and she left to her own table. Lily was looking at the people who were coming into the dining Hall enchanted from their dresses, their wealth and their aristocratic ways. But her “insight vision” was telling her the truth: jealousy, evil thoughts and even hate were the feelings of the most guests for their surroundings. She didn’t realize that the time had passed when Monica told her that it was time for her to move. She got up and with slow movements she walked to the central dance Hall, together with Lady Permer. She introduced to everyone as the “dancing flower” and the music began. Lily closed her eyes and let the music become one with her; the feet, the arms and her mind were one under the sweet melody which filled her body. She moved in circles covering with her movements the entire dancing floor, without caring about her surroundings, like she was dancing for the eyes of one person only. When the music was over she opened her eyes again and accepted the appluse of everyone, bowing to them with grace. Marciant got up from his seat and moved towards her
“Excellent performance “dancing flower”! Tell me what you want as a reward for your amazing dancing. You can ask anything you want!”
“Anything I want my Lord?” Lily said moving her eyes with innocence
“Then I wish for that beautiful stone on your neck my Lord” she said with determination
“That’s the only thing you will not have!” a voice came from behind and everyone bowed immediately as the guard was announcing the entrance of King Nevol into the dining Hall.
Chapter 21: A sunrise just for us
Darth, together with Limon were searching Marciant’s room for anything that could be useful to them. Dings was staying alert outside the room ready to warn them for “company”. Limon looked at the desk while Darth was looking at the walls for secret openings until he found a briefcase which contained blueprints of something that looked like a machine, parts of them were describing how that machine would work and he made copies using a magic glass that when it touched the surface of the blueprint it copied exactly all of its contents.
“We have found what we want. Limon lets get out…” and he felt an intense pain on his chest and the man leaned to the floor holding his chest and breathing heavily.
“Darth what happened?” the dragon asked worried. Only one thing could make him feel so much in pain. He got up and ran to the exit, following the corridors
“Limon, Dings he is here! Hurry up! Lily and the others are in grave danger!”
Lily had bowed just like everyone on the Hall making room for King Nevol to come in. She didn’t have to see in is Heart Stone. Everyone’s Heart Lights were flickering from fear when they saw him.
“Your Majesty! It’s an honor to have you with us!” and Marciant bowed smiling
“I believe that the fun has started without me” Nevol said and looked at Lily suspicious
“My Lord everything has been settled” another voice came behind Nevol and Lily recognized Semer who came in bowing with respect. Only one Heart Stone filled with hate for him and Lily started to shiver. She knew that Permer could possibly create uproar and started to call Dart’s name through her telepathy more and more. Marciant ordered her to stand up and he introduced her to the King. She bowed seeing the man with the violet eyes and the black hair looking at her intensely.
“Tell me dancer, why did you ask for Marciant’s Stone?” his voice was serious with a tone of demand.
“Your Majesty, the Duke said that as a reward I could have anything I want. I like that stone that shine like the eyes of my tribe, that’s the reason I wished for it” she said and felt her voice trembling.
“Well then Marciant, why don’t you give her your Stone? It is after all her reward” and Marciant with hesitation took off his necklace giving it to Lily. When the Stone was placed on her hands it scattered into pieces which flew over the room breaking down the chandeliers making the whole room dark. Screams of the people, movements filled with haste transformed the gala into a furious crowd which was trying to get out. Lily ran back to Monica and Permer, feeling their Heart Stones in the dark but a strong hand grabbed her and pulled her back
“Where do you think you are going little Priestess?” and she felt the cold blade on her neck
“Let me go Nevol!” Lily said angrily trying to hide her fear
“Not before he comes to your rescue” and something sharp cut off his arm freeing Lily who fell on the ground, making her ribbon appear. Someone was standing in front of her, while Nevol took his right arm and placed it back on his body like it was a part of a broken toy.
“Well, well Darthorian it seems that you haven’t changed much. Tell me how does it feel to protect the one you must kill at some time?”
“Nevol you bastard, after all these years you still like to play with human lives!” Darth said while Lily got up, trying to sense Monica’s and Permer’s Heart Lights; it seems that they were able to escape and felt relieved. Now she was focused on the man who stood before her and Darth ready to attack to them, but he didn’t make even a single move. He was just standing there looking at the girl in front of him
“Why do you think that he protected you all this time, Priestess? I am sure you have realized that he has no Heart Stone and he is reduced into a savage beast thirsty only for blood.” And a fire appeared burning everything and trapping the three of them inside a circle.
“So what if he is a monster? I will turn him back to the way he was!” and she moved her ribbon attacking him but he avoided easily her attack. Darth rushed to him and their blades crushed moving with incredible speed that even Lily wasn’t able to catch up with them. She looked at the fire and touched it with the edge of her ribbon. Suddenly the string caught fire without burning it and Lily felt Menfor speaking to her
“Give me blood, fight and victory Priestess! I have been waiting for you to come!” and the fire covered her body.
“Lily!” Darth shouted without being able to help her or even escape from Nevol’s murderous attacks
“What did you tell her Darth? That you would protect her? That you would remain by her side? Are you that determinate to kill her!?” and laughing he attacked again
I could hear their blades crushing together and Nevol saying something to Darth about killing me but the heat made the sound disappear. Only Menfor I could hear repeating again and again his desire to kill; I saw a man with red hair and a firing armor standing in front of me.
“You danced really beautiful, enough to make even a God desire you” and I felt the flames becoming hotter around me
“I will give you the red of my eyes, the color of blood, and you will grand me power to defeat my enemies, but I will not kill them! Mercy is a virtue even the Fire God must have!” I said and I opened my hands calling him to come to me
“I accept your offering my Priestess, let the Light be your guide forever” he said after hearing my answer and he hugged me filling my body with the strength of the fire and the passion of the burning flames while at the same time I felt my world becoming darker and darker again.
Darth was bleeding all over after Nevol’s attacks. He raised his sword ready to cut his head but a flying dagger broke his sword. Both of them turned to the direction the dagger came; Lily was standing not holding her ribbon but a burning sword that was emitting fire, her body was covered with red cloth armor at the color of the red roses while her hair from black had turned back into blond, still short through. Nevol walked back, looking at her with hate.
“Do you really think that you will beat me like this? You who had been used from him (and he showed Darth) from the beginning? I will tell you then! In order for him return back to normal he must consume your Heart Stone after you have gained the powers of all Gods!”
“NEVOL!” Darth screamed with hatred and stabbed him right though his chest, but he disappeared into a black cloud laughing with wicked joy
“I will be waiting for you at Selemir my Priestess! If you will still be alive until then” and he disappeared from their sight. Darth stood up and looked at her; her face was expressionless as she was still holding the burning sword on her left hand. She moved it and the flames covered both of them making them disappear from Marciant’s burning mansion.
Monica and Permer ran outside from the mansion dragged by the frightened people, who when they saw that the lights went off they thought that Nevol would kill them, and now they were watching the mansion burning in front of them. Monica was shouting her sister’s name but Permer held her on her arms trying to calm her down. She noticed that Semer was looking at them intensely and she hid Monica into the crowd, telling her not to come out from there until Dings or Limon find her.
“Don’t worry, Lily has Darth with her, she will be fine. Do as I say please” and she hugged her “I wish that you would be my child Monica. You and your sister have such a gentle soul. Thank you” and she disappeared leaving Monica alone into the crowd looking for her and at the same time looking for Limon or Dings. She found the puppy running around trying to avoid the feet of those who were standing outside the burning house
“Dings!” and Monica grabbed the puppy tightly
“I finally found you Monica! Limon is searching from the sky for any danger and for Lily and Darth”
“No tell him to come back! Permer left to Semer’s direction!” and both of them headed to where Permer had gone.
“So it was you after all. You helped them sneak into the Mansion”
“It is Semer indeed true, but I didn’t tell them about Nevol, you see I have been waiting for you to come!” and Permer attacked to him creating magic fireballs from her hands. Semer avoided them and revealed his sword, at the form of a katana*, and attacked her. Limon flew with speed and burned the sword with his fire landing in front of Permer while Monica and Dings came to her aid, Monica aiming Semer with her bow and Dings made a strong angry sound, like a wolf ready to attack its prey.
“Everyone stand back!” and Permer got in front of Limon “He is mine!” and she created, through her spells, a spear with a shaft made of a sparkling citrine and pieces of moon stones appeared. Semer smiled sadistically and attacked again; their weapons swatted together creating thunderous sounds making Monica lose the flow of the battle. Permer was fast but Semer was faster; he broke her spear and threw her into the ground, stepping above her ready to kill her, but before he makes any move Permer crossed her hands and started to speak into a lost language making Semer stop immediately just before he stabs her. She got up and looked at him:
“You were fooled Semer” she said with sarcastic voice “the spear you broke had moon stone pieces from the red moon. Whoever dares to touch them he will become a living stone statue for all eternity!”
“W-what? Y-you… How d-dar-re…!” Semer tried to speak but his body had already started to transform into stone making him unable to speak anymore. The stone statue was standing in front of everyone, who were seeing it without speaking. Monica caught Permer before she collapses; she stretched her hands to the sky screaming her husband’s name, crying from her pain and for her victory. Dings was standing in front of the statue, looking at it with hatred; he turned his back and pissed on it.
“That’s for the Forest” he murmured and turned to Limon asking him if he had found anything about Lily or Darth.
“I will come with you Limon” Monica said
“No you three will return back to the mansion and I will search for them” and before he receives an answer he flapped his wings and the dragon flew to the sky.
Darth opened his eyes and realized that he was inside a bubble; his body was in pain but he noticed that his injuries were healing thanks to the small water drops that were inside the bubble. “The red moon is still on effect” he said looking at his body and tried to look outside but there was no sign of Lily. Nevol had revealed the worst reason about his condition and sadly it was true, he had to explain to her the reasons and his decision but he couldn’t see her, neither could feel her presence close enough to him on her necklace. The bubble around him disappeared and transformed into a shining water line, the enchanted string of her ribbon, and began moving back. Darth stepped out from the small opening he was in and started to walk following the string until he reached a small cliff and on the top of the rock Lily was sitting staring at the east sky waiting for the dawn. The string disappeared on her left hand, transforming back into her tattoo, but Darth couldn’t find the words to begin.
“Was that true?” Lily said with calm, but trembling voice “do you really need the heart of a Priestess in order to return to your real self?”
“Yes, it is true” he said, hesitating in the beginning and Lily started to tremble even more. Darth pulled her into his arms, ignoring her tries to escape from his touch, and held her in front of him:
“This was the only way I knew! But this world can’t survive without a Priestess! That’s way I cooperated with Elder Fin in order to find the new Priestess, restore her into her position, and perhaps she could know something, anything that could save me.”
“Did you do all that just to solve your curse?” and he let her go from him; she was standing right in front of him, but he couldn’t see he r face clearly, like two warriors ready to fight each other. She was looking really small and fragile in front of him, a girl who out of nowhere bears the responsibility to save an entire world.
“In the beginning, yes. I even thought about killing you back at the Foggy Cliffs and take your Heart Stone but then everything changed! You defended us; you tried to protect me so many times, even if that meant that you were on the brink of death. In the end I couldn’t even think about killing you and so I decided to stay by your side until the day you will be the Priestess, protecting you and atoning for my hateful thoughts” he kneeled in front of her, without daring looking at her face, unable to hold his pain and sorrow. He felt her hand touching his hair just a little and then he saw her moving again to the edge of the cliff looking at the dawning sky.
“I will become the Priestess and fulfill my role in this world. You spoke the truth Darth and I appreciate that even if it hurts. Promise me one thing only: don’t forget, no matter what the price is, don’t forget even if it takes you a whole eternity.”
“I promise.” And he stepped near her looking at her left arm; her ribbon’s string was now at the height of her shoulder, creating a perfect curve around her hand until her palm where her star-shaped tattoo was.
“What a beautiful dawn” Lily said looking at the sky, holding Darth’s hand
“A sunrise just for us” he said while his body was turning back into that of a kid’s. When the transformation was complete he turned to her and he remained surprised.
“Your eyes…” he said, looking at her amber eyes, which had turned back, in order to obtain Menfor’s powers.
“The price has been paid and the dream has ended” she answered looking straight, as her tears were flowing on her cheeks.
Chapter 22: Nebolia
Monica pulled together with Limon the doors and the storage finally closed. They moved out from the Hall to the upper inside of the wagon and got out. Finally after two days of resupply they were ready to travel again. Lady Permer gave them everything they wanted, considering the fact that she used them for her revenge, and she was apologizing even now, as also some new Ebu branches for instant teleportation into any direction. Monica saw Limon returning the next morning with Darth and Lily. They didn’t spoke to each other until now; Darth was busy with the cargo and Lily had concealed herself together with Fin reading and learning everything about the Selemir Records. The atmosphere was really awkward and when she asked Limon he too was worried about them.
Now Limon was ready to pull the wagon again, Dings was seating next to Darth on the driver’s front seat and Lily, together with Monica, were saying goodbye to Countess Permer and everyone who helped them. Fin instructed them to travel to Nebolia; the most neutral area and the safest:
“Also this time of year there is held the Ebu Festival on the city. You will have some time for you and also you will be able to pay your respects to the Mother Ebu tree on the Topaz Temple.” He said while looking at Lily
“That would be great! Thank you Fin” Monica said and hugged him.
“Where will you go from now on?” Lily asked him
“I will join the Northern Rebels and wait for your arrival, my Lady” and bowed to her
“Girls, you can come anytime you wish. I will be waiting for you” Permer said and hugged them tightly.
“You would be a great mother Countess, I am sure of that!” Monica said and Permer held her tightly.
Nebolia was a city located at the South of Denmor, South-East for accuracy. The city was surrounded by the largest number of Ebu trees, which were used as transportation inside Denmor, and all the houses were built on the roots of the Ebu trees. The central square was a huge lake which had on the center the Topaz Temple, the proud and joy of the whole Denmor, because inside that Temple was residing the Ebu Mother Tree, the only one which could create the small golden spores of the newborn Ebu trees and sent them across time and space, traveling through numerous worlds. This time of the year, stone bridges were connecting the Topaz Temple with the rest of the city as all residents from around the country were visiting the Temple, praying to the Great tree, for anything an Ebu tree could bring them. For the rest of the year the entrance to the Temple was forbidden for everyone, except from the Priestess.
Monica was looking at the pink flying petals enchanted as they were moving inside the city in order to find an inn for the night.
“Yes they are, and their songs are echoing everywhere!” Lily said having her hands catching the petals on the air, although she couldn’t see them.”
Monica realized that her sister was acting more noble than usual, as if her powers had started to change her character. She held her hand and gave her a kiss on her cheek. Lily laughed and together with the others they moved into an open air camping.
“The rent for the night is 3 silver coins, a good price I could say” and Darth gave the coins to the Manager.
“It’s good and the weather will remain sunny for the next days. So what do you want to do?” Limon asked everyone
“I want to eat at the best restaurant!” Dings said happily
“I want to look at the stores!” Monica continued
But Darth and Lily agreed with everyone by simply moving their heads.
“I can’t stand it anymore!” Monica said and grabbed Lily’s hand getting inside the wagon, going down to the Hall
“What’s wrong with you Darth? You are not your usual self” Limon said looking at him with observation.
“I don’t feel like having fun, that’s all. There are more important things to settle now”
“And you are a completely idiot man! Don’t remain too focused on your purpose Darth! At the end you will lose the most important moments” and Limon looked at the wagon’s entrance
“Monica we don’t need to change! We are fine like that!”
“No, we are going to a festival! When was the last time we had been into one?” Monica said while searching their wardrobe quickly
“With mum and dad” Lily murmured sadly and Monica placed in front of her the big white box Clyone had given to them the last day before they continue their journey.
“The card said to open it when the circumstances demand it. Now is the best time!” and she opened the box.
“Sorry for the delay!” Monica said while getting out from the wagon
“You are late Monica! We…” but Limon’s words disappeared with the wind when he saw Monica and Lily getting out from the wagon.
Monica was wearing a tight dress, knitted with golden thread creating shining small golden birds at the ending of the dress, with short sleeves while her naked back was showing from behind together with red flat shoes, comfortable for both walking and dancing. Her long, blond hair was tied into a single braid tied along with red string at the end; her red earrings were shining while her lips were painted red.
On the other hand Lily was wearing a dress at the color of blue with the pattern of pink petals spread on it, leaving her shoulders naked but with long sleeves which covered her hands completely. Her shoes looked like those of a ballerina’s with the blue string tied tightly on her feet. Her short blond hair was decorated little crystal hairpins and her eyes were shining even more after the little makeup Monica had put on her.
“Hey guys we should be moving. The crowd…” and Darth stopped walking, gazing at the twins, after returning from the Manager’s office.
“We are ready now Darth!” Monica said happily “why don’t you begin walking to the Temple together with Lily? We will follow you from behind” and pushed gently her sister to Darth’s side and the two of them awkwardly began walking, following the crowd which was also going to the Topaz Temple. Small lights were hung on the trees creating a general feeling of festivity to the people; shops with food, markets with jewelry and clothes, even small orchestras were creating a different feeling to the people driving them away from the sadness of the war and the loss for a little.
“What are you plotting Monica? This is your doing right?” Limon whispered to Monica’s ear while they were following Darth and Lily from behind.
“I don’t plan anything.” She said with a sneaky smile while holding Dings on her arms
“Yes you are!” both of them said with a voice.
Finally their turn to enter the Temple had come. They passed though the big gate of Topaz Temple and entered the main room staying petrified for a while. In front of them there was a giant white tree with pink petals which was spreading its giant white roots inside and outside the lake’s water creating many curves around it. You could walk close enough to the tree’s trunk by stepping into the small stone steps, which were on the water’s surface, one by one. The cleric who came to guide them told them to walk one each time close to the tree, make their request by praying and return back to the entrance. First went Monica, after Limon and Dings went together. Darth touched the tree’s trunk and Lily felt a strong vibe coming from the tree. When her turn came, she stepped on the stone steps, guided by Clomin, until she arrived close to the tree; she placed her left palm on the trunk and a joyful voice welcomed her.
“Welcome my Lady! May the Gods bless your life and the lives of your friends! What is your wish?”
“Great Ebu Mother, I pray only for my companion’s safety and health as also for the success of my mission.”
“That is very brave of you my child, but do not forget to look sometimes around you except from your mission. There was once one who lived like that and at the end tragedy was fallen. You know what to do when the time comes, so don’t forget to smile and live your life to the fullest”
“Thank you for your words Great Ebu Mother”
“Also I forgive you for my child’s rude behavior and from now on you are receiving my blessing young Priestess” and a wind blew from the tree’s branches as the pink petals touched Lily’s skin while she walked back to her friends.
“I thought that we wouldn’t be able to escape from there! Now what should we have for dinner?” Dings said excited after they got out from the Temple.
“Do you always think about food Dings?” Monica asked him while looking at Darth and Lily
“Of course! It comes after supper and before breakfast! The best meal of the day!”
“There is…” and everyone turned to Darth’s side “there is still that shop at the small dancing square. There are making some strange sweets with thin crust and chocolate inside them”
“Crepes!” Lily shouted amazed “Don’t tell me there are crepes here!?”
“Regarding the fact that Ebu trees make people travel from world to world there’s no need to wonder why…” but Lily was already dragging Darth telling him to take all of them there.
Limon turned to Monica; an expression of satisfaction was written on her face and she walked with the others:
“I think that you are sneakier than me.” He said smiling and with his wing he covered her naked back
“What do you think you are doing?” Monica said annoyed and pushed his wing back
“It irritates me when others are looking at you dressed like that” he said looking her straight at her eyes, making her blush from his bold answer.
“Sadist…” Dings murmured smiling and followed Darth and Lily.
They ate together sitting at the small square’s benches when the orchestra from before began playing many dancing songs. The people who were gathered started to dance together creating dancing circles, hopping and clapping their hands under the music’s guidance. Lily’s face was covered with chocolate when she stood up ready to join the people. She felt someone grabbing her hand, lowering her head and cleaning the chocolate from her face
“You are like a baby from time to time” Darth said while looking at her lips, cleaning the remaining chocolate.
“Sorry but I couldn’t stand it. I want to dance!”
“I know, come” and he pulled her into the crowd making her hear the steps according to the music changes and before he realizes it, he was dancing with her all around the square, either on pairs, either together with the rest of the people. When the song was over, a slower rhythm began and Lily realized that it was a different song. She felt the people’s Heart Stones around her merging with each other and slowly she started to walk back but Darth’s hand held hers tightly.
“Where do you think you are going?”
“I am not good on these songs. Besides I have never danced one like that too!” she admitted, lowering her head from shyness.
“To tell you the truth, neither have I” and together they found their own pace inside the square, without caring about steps.
Monica saw Lily dancing with Darth and relaxed, while Dings had fallen asleep on her lap. She said that the girl who was slowly dancing with a smaller boy was definitely a cute sight and Limon laughed too with her comment and he stood before her asking one dance from her
“Don’t underestimate my form; I am quite a good dancer” and stretched his wing to her. Monica placed Dings near her and covered him with a small fabric they had bought earlier and placed her hand on Limon’s right wing. His left wing covered her back and they started to make circles slowly becoming one with the music’s rhythm. Lily felt again Monica’s and Limon’s Heart Lights merging and laughed
“Why are you laughing?” Darth asked
“I just felt something that made me happy” and Darth saw behind Lily’s back Monica and Limon “dancing” and smiled
“That’s good for him. He has been alone for a long time”
“And you Darth? How long have you been alone?” Lily asked but she closed her eyes when she realized what she had said. Darth told her to open her eyes again and looked at her directly
“Until this day I was alone. I am not anymore…” and he stopped moving, touching Lily’s left cheek softly. She placed her hand on his and lowered her head slowly. But then the darkness covered them and the only thing that Lily could remember from that night of joy and love was Darth’s unconscious body on her hands and her screams that could even make whole mountains crumble.
Chapter 23: The Northern Rebels
I was floating into the air; the only thing I could remember was his hand on my cheek and his breath close to mine. But then, why? Why did that happen? Why didn’t I foresee the incoming attack? I felt him pulling me to the ground and I felt my face hitting on the stones. Screams and many dying Heart Stones were around me. I moved my hands and felt someone near me; his face was cold and he wasn’t moving. I took him in my arms feeling his hair, the lines on his face, the lips I wanted to touch so much and the next thing I could remember were my screams and the Ebu petals covering me and Darth completely.
Dings and Limon woke up and found themselves into a small, tidy room. Limon’s body was itching when he tried to move and then he realized that his wings were bandaged and he had lost some of his scales on his back and legs. Dings was sitting near him with his left pawn bandaged too and was looking at him with dizziness.
“Where are we?”
“I don’t know Dings, I only remember a great sound and a strong flash and suddenly everything became dark.”
“If we are here, then where are the others?” Dings asked and tried to walk on the floor hobbling around.
“I can’t sense Darth nearby, neither Lily nor Monica!” he realized frightened and tried to move but he fell on the bed again.
The door opened and Monica entered the room. Her face was bandaged in some parts, while her eyes were red from crying. She went to Limon, hugged his head and started to cry.
“Monica calm down, shhh its fine now, don’t cry”
“Limon… Darth… he…” and more tears started to flow.
“Where is Lily?” Dings asked her
“She is fine, she has only some bruises but she is fine. She is together with Fin trying to…”
“Wait a second. Did you say Fin? But he was supposed to…”
“Join the Northern rebels on the Northern Mountains?” a man’s voice came from the door and Limon and Dings saw Elemor standing before them, dressed ready for battle
“It’s been a while” he said and smiled briefly, walking close to the bed
“How the hell did you end up here?” Dings asked surprised
“After the Forest of the Nymphs, I traveled to the North and I got caught by the Rebels. I was sentenced to death but they realized the Priestess’s bracelet (and he showed his hand) existence and since then, I provide information and lead some of the troops to the battles. We were the ones who stole the Selemir Records”
“Elemor what happened to Nebolia? It was peaceful when we arrived and there were no enemy troops there” Limon said with serious and worried face.
Elemor’s expression became painful and he advised them to follow him.
They walked through small corridors into deep tunnels and passed many stairs until they reach a clear opening. They were inside a mountain, in fact three different mountains connected together through three different Ebu trees and three long tunnels which were leading underground from the one mountain to another. Elemor told them that during the change of the night shift all of them appeared in front of the Ebu tree of the Third Mountain in a bad mess. They were taken away into different rooms: Limon, Dings and Monica in the Second Mountain, Lily on the First where Fin and the most of the researchers were staying and Darth on the Third for his medical care. They were now going to the First and Elemor placed his hand on the Ebu’ trunk; they teleported quickly to the other Mountain and now they were standing in front of the entrance of a library.
“Fin, I have brought them!” Elemor said and they entered the library.
“Lily! You are fine!” Dings said happily and ran towards Lily who was sitting in one of the studies and climbed on her lap, licking her cheeks. She was looking fine but it was obvious that she was tired, reading, through the Gods help, every book on the library.
“Please have seat” she said and everyone sat on the round table
“First of all I must say that it is a relief that you have finally arrived my Lady” Fin said
“We know for the Rebels plans! What we want to know is what happened to the Nebolia and where the hell is Darth?” Limon said with rage and Monica placed her hand on his head asking him to calm down.
“The city was attack by the Army, two days ago. Luckily the Topaz Temple survived, thanks to the magic of the Ebu Mother Tree, but there were many casualties… One of them was Darthorian.” Elemor said summarizing what had happened.
“You mean he is…”
“NO! He is not dead Limon!” Lily shouted and held her head on her hands, while Monica was hugging her.
“He got hit by a Soul Arrow” and Limon’s face became petrified from fear and Dings lowered his head
“What is a Soul Arrow?” Monica asked.
“It is a special arrow created by the claws and the scales of the strongest beasts in the Darvil Clan and it’s applied with the poison of Nevol’s blood. Only the best of his warriors can wield such destructive power and anyone who gets hit even from one of these is destined to die.” Elemor finished his explanation and Monica looked at her sister; she was ready to pass out from her emotional load and she held her tightly unable to say anything to calm her.
“Darthorian got hit by three arrows and he still managed to survive, the lucky bastard, but he can’t wake up although we treated his wounds.”
“Since then we have been looking for a way to wake him up, but we haven’t found anything.” Fin said and he looked at Lily worried.
“Elder there is way. I can…”
“No! You can’t Lady Lily! It’s really dangerous!” Fin shouted and everyone looked at him puzzled
“Lily what does that mean?”
“It’s simple Monica. There is a spell the Priestess can cast in order to save someone’s soul, but that requires the Priestess’s soul to leave her body and travel into the depths of the victims body.”
“So in general, you will search for Darth from the inside!” Dings concluded and Limon turned to Elder Fin.
“That’s not a bad idea. She will be able to…”
“Traveling into a normal person’s consciousness is nothing, but Darth has no Heart Stone to begin! She might even disappear and when he wakes up she will be dead!” Fin said hysterical from anger and worry.
“I want to see him.” And Limon turned to Elemor “let me see him Elemor”
“He is resting into the medical faculty but he is guarded too”
“Guarded? Why?” Monica asked angrily.
“Because he is dangerous” he murmured and lowered his head.
Lily got up and walked to the exit, holding Monica’s hand. She asked her to lead her to the Ebu tree and they began walking back the way they came from. As they walked Fin explained to everyone that the Ebu Mother teleported them here, it seems that “she” had sensed the coming danger and thanks to her help they managed to escape.
“But that does not change the fact that they attacked innocent people. The sky will have less stars tonight” Lily said and placed her left hand on the tree’s trunk teleporting them all into the Third Mountain.
The Third Mountain had been transformed, through many spells and accommodations, into a giant connecting network of tunnels, chambers and many storage rooms. Here every injured on battle was able to recover and relax before the next battle. Elemor and Fin guided everyone into the room Darth was; two guards were standing in front of the door and bowed with respect when Elemor and Lily appeared, opening the door for them. Darth was lying on the bed, bandaged all over his half-naked body with his eyes closed.
“He looks like he is sleeping” Monica said and touched his head. He was frozen and he was not breathing; Lily sat near him on the bed and touched his hand, while Dings barked at him waiting for his usual answer, but it was in vain.
“And you say that he is alive?” Limon said indignant to Fin and he took a blanket and covered his body.
“That’s how the situation is. There is no hope for him” Fin said and felt his body heavy, losing his oxygen, and fell on the ground trying to breathe. Lily was using her ribbon angry from his words
“Lily stop!” Monica shouted and grabbed her left hand making the ribbon disappear. Fin got up with Elemor’s help and got out from the room. She sat on the bed again and started to cry.
That night Lily walked outside from the room where she and Monica were sleeping and slowly she headed to the library. She found Fin and Elemor sitting on the study, looking at maps and notes. They saw her standing on the entrance and Elemor called her to come. She sat and looked at Fin’s Heart Stone.
“I apologize for my behavior, Elder Fin.” She said with hesitation
“The fault is mine. In a way I hoped for him to die, everything was his fault to begin with. But my Lady your proposal is dangerous. If you fail you will…”
“I will not fail, because he would never harm me” and she got up heading to the exit
“My Lady, when do you plan to…”
“When I return from my mission, I will carry out my duties. If you are asked by Limon or Dings, you can tell them, since we have come to this. I am sure that Limon will explain the details to Monica better than me.”
“Be careful Lady Lily” Elemor said and she smiled as she walked outside.
She felt Limon’s presence when she reached Darth’s room. She opened the door and the dragon got up when he saw her.
“I knew you would come”
“I had decided that from the beginning Limon” and she sat on the bed. The dragon headed to the exit and before he closes the door behind him he turned to Lily:
“I know there are some things you don’t want Monica to know; I can feel it on you. When you go into his mind you will see many bad things. Please promise me that you will judge him after you see the whole truth”
“I will, thank you Limon”
“If you need anything I will be outside” and the dragon closed the door behind him.
“My Lady, I insist that you should not use that spell. It will be dangerous for your existence.” Azure said to her worried.
“He protected her, even against us all this time. Doesn’t he deserve to be saved?” Clomin said to her brother
“We believe that it would be good to learn the extend of her powers” Bener and Menfor said together
“You gave me all this knowledge. It would be a waste if I would not use it to help others” Lily said with determination and touched with her left hand Darth’s chest, whispering the words. Their bodies were covered with light and shining pillar of light traveled from Lily’s body to Darth’s, as Lily’s soul traveled into Darth’s consciousness.
Monica was running with Dings to Darth’s room; she knew her sister would probably be there. She saw Limon standing outside the room and shouted to him
“Limon! Did you see Lily?”
“Yes she is now traveling to the past…” and showed the locked door.
“What? Don’t tell me you left her do that!” and she tried to open the door but Limon blocked her way.
“Come Monica, let me tell you a story from a long time ago” and he looked at Dings, realizing that the time had come.
Chapter 24: Chain of the Lost Memories
I felt the radiance of the light covering me and I flew with it; it was like swimming, I was swimming into Darth’s consciousness, searching for him. I heard voices coming from afar, familiar voices like the sounds of the sea, Limon’s wings flapping strongly, the music of Nebolia. I was passing through his recent memories diving deeper and deeper. Suddenly I felt my eyes hurting and I rubbed them, I could see again! Like the last time on Permer’s mansion! I looked around me and a disguising feeling made me want to puke. I was standing into a battlefield completely covered with corpses; someone was there too walking and I walked towards him, as I already knew that this was the past so my presence here was invisible. When I finally caught up with I realized that the hideous man before me was Darth, standing in front of a mount of corpses wielding a strange weapon. His armor was covered with blood and he was smiling, smiling from the pleasure of killing.
“Darthorian! I have finally found you!” I heard Limon’s voice coming from behind.
The man in front of me was nothing like the dragon I knew but I recognized him from his violet eyes. I stepped a little away and listened to this discussion.
“That battle ended quickly, I could say”
“Just small fry, weaklings, no one is a match for my scythe, personal present from his Majesty himself!” and he showed the weapon I saw with pride.
“Come on let’s head back. King Ruben said he wants to speak with us” and I saw them leaving together.
Quickly the scenery changed again. Now I was inside something like a tent where many men were sitting together discussing loudly with intense.
“My Lord! Why don’t we make an attack and take over the Royal Palace at Selemir? We are stronger from them!” one of them said
“No! We will die if we try that. Their weapon is more deadly than all of us!” and someone lifted his hand and everyone calmed down. A man stood up and started to walk around his council
“Leaders of all Darvil Clans your opinions are all right. But this war with Denmor had lasted for more than two hundred years. We and they have lost many of our people. But I have decided to begin negotiations in order to attain peace and live together with them” but quickly everyone started to shout rejecting his words
“Silence you old men!” someone shouted behind King Ruben and I saw frightened Nevol walking near the King “His Majesty is speaking! Watch your manners!”
“Nevol stand back!” King Ruben said strictly and he moved back.
“As I was saying I decided to attend the negotiation conference which will be held on Nebolia, a city of the South, in order to discuss with the Denmorian King Amberforth the Third about our future. The three Generals with come with me and since the time I will return no one will go on battle. Punishment will befall to those who will disobey! Dismissed!” and everyone left the tent talking loudly. It seems that some of them agreed with the Kings words but some others didn’t. Ruben sat on his throne tired and then a boy appeared from somewhere holding a disk with a glass of wine.
“Commander Dings, thank you for your help”
“Not at all your Majesty, but do you really think that there will be peace between us and them?”
“Later my child, now call the Three Generals to come here.” And the boy left the tent and came right away followed by three men who kneeled in front of their King.
“General of the Sky, Prince of the Dragon Clan Limon, General of the Sea, and Commander of the special troops Nevol and also, General of the Earth Darthorian. You will travel with me to Nebolia in order to negotiate with King Amberforth. Also Commander Dings will prepare everything we will need. After that…”
“Excuse me your Majesty but may speak freely?”
“I believe that it would be dangerous to leave the army without a leader. Also I don’t see any good reason why we should negotiate at the first place” he said clearly annoyed, I could tell.
“He will not be alone Darthorian. The Priestess will also be with him” and I saw everyone’s expression changing from surprise to fear.
“The Priestess? She will live the Capital just for that?” Nevol said with hesitation
“I heard that she is not even human and that she is almost one thousand years old!” Darthorian began
“Is she still a woman. Only that counts to me!” and everyone laughed.
I felt the scenery changing again moving me further and further. Now I was standing around many Ebu trees and I heard them singing just like that day. I walked into the crowd, passing through the people like a ghost, without being noticed. I found Darth and Nevol walking together, disguised like normal townspeople. They were heading to the Topaz Temple from what I heard from Nevol and I followed them. We entered the Temple and they stood waiting for their turn.
“I heard that this tree can grant you a wish” Nevol whispered to Darthorian
“If that’s so I want to become the strongest warrior in whole Denmor!”
“Can’t you wish for anything else?”
“There isn’t anything else for me” and they both became quiet when they saw the woman walking to them. She was dressed in white and her head was covered with a hood leaving only her nose and her mouth visible. They made room to let her pass but she tripped and she would have fallen if Darth hadn’t caught her.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes, thank you for your help” and she leaned her head thanking them and she left.
“What was that Darth? I didn’t know you were a gentleman!” Nevol teased him
“Shut up and let’s get over with it!”
Later I followed them when they got out from the Temple to a big marble building built at the edge of the city’s boundaries. They found at the central room Ruben, Limon and Dings already on their positions waiting for the arrival of the Denmorian King. They took their positions on the big round table and they stood again when the guard announced the entrance of the King
“I present you His Highness King Amberforth the Third and her Holiness the Priestess of the Four Gods!”
Darth’s expression changed dramatically when he realized that the woman who sat right opposite from him was the same woman he helped back at the Temple. I heard them discussing for quite some time agreeing and arguing at the same time until it was too late to continue. They all returned back to their residents but I followed Darth as he walked into the city which was preparing to rest and I saw him sitting on a bench. I think he was trying to understand about what happened before but suddenly I heard someone singing a familiar melody and I saw Darth walking to the direction the song was coming from. That song was the one I sang back at the shores of the Bone Desert and I saw the Priestess singing in front of a dying Ebu tree. Its petals were black and its branches were falling one by one leaving at the end only a black trunk.
“You must wonder why I am singing into tree” she said
“I heard your song; it’s one of those we say honoring the dead” Darth said and walked closer to her.
“You are not afraid of me? Your men say many stories about me”
“I am the scariest person woman. Don’t blend with our matters!”
The Priestess moved her hands and a long, golden, stick appeared. It had four stones on its top, placed on a golden disk which represented the sun, shining like the day.
“This is my Heart weapon. Every Priestess has one of her own. The Stones on the top are the Four Gods which bear the powers to hold Denmor into balance”
“Why are telling me all these? I could easily use them to destroy you.”
“I will not be destroyed that easy General. I lack the only thing that makes me human”
“And what is that? The pleasure to rule over the Darvil Clan?” he said ironically.
“Love?” and he laughed with her answer “You and I are warriors, we don’t need those things! You protect a world and I protect my Clan. Those with feelings like love are destined to die one day”
“I see, so that’s how you have survived all those years of war” and she smiled. For some reason her smile made him stop talking and he was left gazing at her with curiosity.
“Take off that hood. It’s annoying”
“I can’t. Only when I die anyone will be able to see my face” and she started to walk back leaving Darth astonished behind. Before she leaves the small park and walk back she turned to him and with her gentle smile she wished for a good night’s rest:
“Let us talk again sometime General; you are a really interesting person”
“Darthorian… you can call me Darthorian if you want” he said hesitating for a moment
She bowed and disappeared into the night leaving him behind with a strange feeling appearing for the first time inside him.
The next days passed before me like flying images. It seems that at some point the two Kings were able to agree and decided to sign the declaration of Peace between the two nations. At the same time Darth spent many nights with the Priestess walking into the city and visiting from time to time the Topaz Temple. She liked walking and jumping up and down on the Tree’s roots while Darth was looking at her. His face had changed, his expressions became calmer and his eyes were not that cold anymore.
“Hey Darthorian!” she shouted from afar.
“What is it?”
“When I die I want to be buried inside that tree, I want to become one with the Ebu Mother and bear her children for eternity”
“That’s a stupid wish Priestess. Don’t ever say something like that!” he said angrily grabbing her hand bringing her close to him. He touched her face and kissed her on her lips. She pushed him back and started to run outside the Temple.
“Don’t follow me Darthorian!”
“Why not?” and he grabbed her again hugging her tightly.
“I will make you suffer if you are close to me… I don’t want you to bear my weight too”
“I don’t care, I have already shared your pain since the day I heard you sing”
They were standing alone into the dark square wondering about their future and their feelings without realizing that someone was watching them from the shadows. I saw Nevol’s face transforming into an expression of hate and jealousy.
Suddenly I felt a tremor and started to fall deeper into the darkness. I saw Nevol murdering King Ruben and declaring to the army that he was assassinated by the Priestess. I saw the army heading to Selemir destroying everything into their way, burning the forests into ashes, killing everyone on their way until they reached Selemir. I saw the giant crystal Palace being beleaguered by Nevol’s troops who were leading the way in while Limon, Dings and Darth were fighting fiercely too. Why Darth was fighting so hard? Didn’t he care about her? I saw him breaking into the Palace and I followed him passing through fighting soldiers and climbing on mounts of dead bodies. I ran into the corridors until I reached something that looked like a Temple. There were four columns which were placed around a crystal floor creating a perfect square. On the columns were paintings created from Heart painters, telling forgotten stories from the past. There was a woman who was holding a baby on her arms. I realized that she was the Priestess and I saw her placing the crying baby on the floor and stabbing it with an Ebu branch. Then the baby disappeared into a cloud of Ebu petals vanishing to the skies.
“Escape my Princess, might the Gods protect you forever” and she stood up looking directly at me. But then I realized that she wasn’t staring at me and I turned around. Darth was standing before her holding that scythe I saw before.
“Why Priestess, why did you betray me?” he shouted with anger and pain
“Look at your Heart Stone Darthorian! You will find the truth really soon!” and moved to his side holding her magical stick. They were fighting each other right in front of me! Why? What happened that made them fight like that. I noticed Nevol standing at the entrance looking at them with satisfaction and he threw with really great power a poisonous spear. I screamed Darth’s name as the spear flew to his side but then I was petrified when I saw the Priestess taking his attack, standing in front of Darth, protecting him. She fell on his arms, bleeding and breathing heavily. The heat from the fire was intense and then I heard her saying:
“I I bestow upon you a blessing and a curse”, she said with trembling voice, “travel to the end of our world without resting until you find the one who will free you and punish you at the same time, but that person will also give you my blessing…”
Her voice became weaker and I could barely hear her. Darth shouted to her, holding her tightly
“My name… is… Freya.” And the hood fell from her head. She was beautiful, the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I recognized the star-shaped tattoo on her forehead, which had started to disappear slowly and her long white hair were covered with blood from Darth’s hands.
“Goodbye my love…” and she stopped breathing.
Darth screamed from pain and sorrow. I couldn’t stop crying seeing them like this. He was still holding her when Nevol grabbed him and ripped off his Heart Stone taking away his life.
“This is your punishment for betraying our Clan. Now I am the strongest warrior in Denmor!” and he threw him back, leaving inside the flames which had already started to surround them.
Limon and Dings took them out of the Palace and together they hid into the Forest. I saw them giving to Darth’s dying body a great amount of their magical power reducing their forms into those of a dragon and a puppy. They saw the next day Nevol’s crest on the Palace’s walls realizing that the worst era on Denmor’s history had already began.
“What will we do now Darthorian?” Dings asked the boy who was still holding the Priestess’s body on his arms. He wiped his tears and stood up.
“First we will go to Nebolia and then (and he looked at the Palace) we will search for a way to destroy Nevol!”
They traveled into Nebolia and I saw them into the Topaz Temple. Darth softly left Freya’s body on the water’s surface and the roots of the Mother Tree slowly covered it making it sink completely into the blue water.
“Take good care of her” Darth whispered to the Tree and a gentle breeze, which carried some Ebu petals, touched his face
“Goodbye my love” he whispered and the image disappeared.
The tears couldn’t stop falling, my heart was in pain as I saw Darth, Limon and Dings wandering into Denmor for the next years searching, meeting many people on their way, consulting Fin from the Library of Namur although he knew the whole truth about what happened, until the day they saw a star falling from the sky.
Suddenly a new image appeared before me. There was a road that scenery was not from Denmor. I heard a familiar sound and I recognized the sound of a car running on the road and the people inside it were laughing. Suddenly the car caught fire and tripped from its course making loops on the air and at the end it exploded to the ground. From one corner I saw Nevol smiling with pleasure and disappearing into the Ebu petals and at the next moment Darth, Limon and Dings appeared and ran to the burning car. I followed them as they searched for survivors but I couldn’t see anything from the smoke.
“I can hear someone crying in there! Someone is still alive!” Dings said and Darth together with Limon jumped into the fire, coming back after a while holding something covered with Darth’s cape. Two girls were inside the cape, one unconscious but still alive, and the other was crying calling her mother’s name. They were twins, with the same color of hair, and my heart was ready to burst when I realized that the crying girl was me. I couldn’t see anything, judging from my awkward movements, and I was hysterical; my body was covered with ashes and Darth held me on his arms, trying to calm me down
“What is your name, child?” he asked the small girl whipping the tears from my amber eyes
“Lily… my name is Lily. Where is my mummy? My daddy? Monica?” and she started to cry again
“Darth we don’t have much time” Limon warned him while he was creating a passage with two Ebu branches
“Lily, descendant of the last Princess of the Aimilians, you shall forget about us and live your life peacefully.” And he touched the child’s forehead with his finger putting her to sleep. He kissed her on her forehead and put her near her sister covering both of them with his cape, and disappeared from their sight inside the Ebu petals.
I shouted Darth’s name when that last image disappeared, and I started to run into the darkness. We already knew each other for so long yet we lived so far from each other. How can fate be so cruel with us? Why has destiny drawn us together and at the same time it wants us to lose each other?
“DARTH! Where are you?”
“Li-ly…” a voice came from my back and I saw a man completely trapped inside a tree of thorns. His body was bleeding and I could barely see his face from where I was standing.
“I have finally found you Darth…”
Chapter 25: The Decision and the Altar of the Four Gods
Monica listened to Limon and Dings carefully telling their stories about their past patiently and with astonishment, when she realized their common past. Their faces were tired from all the mental pressure and now they were breathing heavily, sitting near the locked door of Darth’s room. Everything started to get connected on Monica’s mind and she hugged the dragon crying from both sadness and happiness
“Thank you, thank you Limon, Dings for everything… I don’t… I can’t’ find the words…” and she cried louder.
“It is ok Monica, you can calm down now. But it is strange; that small child from that time would return back as a princess and her sister would become the new Priestess. I must admit that fate can play really dirty to all of us.” And with his wing he covered her body like “hugging” her.
“So what can we do now?” she asked both of them
“We can only wait for our friends to return and hope for the right decisions that they will have to make” Limon answered and Dings turned to the other side of the corridor seeing Elder Fin looking at them with a worried expression.
“Darth… I have finally reached you” and I looked at the tree of thorns which had almost covered completely his body.
“You saw everything…” he said with weak voice while the thorns tightened more and more on his body.
“That was the story you wanted to tell me all this time?” and I tried pulling the thorns from his body but it was impossible. Only with my powers as a Priestess I would be able to free him but that would also means that my time in here would be shorten quickly.
“Five hundred years, I have been waiting for you all this time. I realized that you were the child from that time when I saw your eyes. I would never forget that color”
“Come back with me Darth, please we can find out a solution to this together! Together with everyone!”
“Don’t you see Lily? Every time you are with me you are suffering more and more! Eventually I will destroy you too! Exactly like that time!”
“This is my choice and I have already told you that I would save you!” and I started to pull the thorns making my hands bleed. I ignored the pain and I climbed that strange tree, and I finally found him inside the tree’s trunk; he was covered with thorns and his face was completely distorted by the pain and the sadness he had been carrying all these years. He lifted his head and looked at me. I tried to touch his face but I could barely reach him.
“Let me go Lily, its painful being close to you…”
“For me it’s more painful when you are not by my side! Why Darth? Why are you denying the good times too? Everything we have been through with everyone, are you going to abandon us so easily?” and the brunches of this monstrous tree threw me back and I fell on the ground. I summoned Menfor’s fire sword on my hands and I started to cut the thorn brunches, burning them at the same time
“Wake up Darth! I will take you back with me! You can’t remain here forever! You loved her didn’t you? Do you think that she would like you to die like this? She put that curse on you in order to teach you about the value of life, she sealed your powers making sure that you find one day a new purpose on your life, away from the killing and the battlefield!” And when I finally made my way through the thorns I found him looking at me with his eyes wide open from surprise. I was breathing fast exhausted from cutting all of the thorns, until I realized that my body had started to fade away, while Bener and Clomin were warning me that I had to return back immediately.
“Darth… come back to me…” and I felt my body falling back, back into the darkness. I heard him shouting my name and his hands grabbed me, holding me tightly. I held him tightly too and shouted the spell of return and both of us became one with the light.
Limon and Dings felt Darth’s presence again and the room’s door exploded, as the shining light got out from the room. All of them entered the room and found Lily and Darth hugging each other, crying out loud. Lily’s hands were bleeding and Darth licked them with love and compassion making them heal faster. He turned to the others and everyone hugged each other, uniting their spirits and Hearts again. Fin saw them from the door together and looked at Lily. How could she still smiling while at the same time she had to make the worst decision of her life?
When everything had finally been settled and Darth fell asleep after the medical care he had been provided, Dings and Limon left together with Elemor in order to organize the training of the rebel’s troops, while Lily together with Fin were discussing at the central Hall back at the First Mountain. Monica was at the Library, trying to find a way in order to break Darth’s spell, and together with him help Limon and Dings. She tried to move through the many books which had been thrown on the ground or they were placed on stacks near the walls but she tripped and fell on one of them burying herself under the books.
“Damn it! That’s great…” and she began gathering the books and the fallen notes, until she noticed a small notebook that had Fin’s name on it. She took it on her hands and sat on the chair besides her opening it with curiosity, reading the notes inside it.
Selemir Record number 50
Apparently the translation on this part is difficult due to the long time they have been used. But the most important parts are still readable. It seems that there are more conditions in order the ritual of the coronation of the New Priestess to be complete.
Firstly, it requires the One to gather the powers of the Four Gods (Lily has already done that).
Secondly, a blessing from the Mother Ebu tree is important in order for the Priestess to use freely the powers of time and space, if is needed.
The third requirement seems interesting: the Chosen must enter the Altar of the Four Gods and merge with them and become a full-fledged Priestess. But she must deny her own existence and forget everything about her past life; her memories will be deleted and her only thought will be the mission of the protection of Denmor, which is followed by the teachings of the Four Gods.\
Selemir Record number 60
The Phoenix of the Four Winds
The Mermaid of Sorrow
The Flute of the Time Flower
The Fire Sword
Each one of them holds the greatest power of the Gods, but when they are united they can even create new life and restore the balance on the Land.
Selemir Record number 63
The remaining phrase is the follow:
“The powers of the Previous Priestess disappears when her heir is born”
Perhaps this part has something to do with the spells the previous Priestess had cast. If Lily becomes the next Priestess then Lady Freya’s spells will be broken.
Monica got out of the library and headed to the Ebu tree; she teleported and went to the Third Mountain, holding the notebook she had found tightly. She pushed violently the door of Fin’s room and entered his chamber shouting:
“What’s the meaning of this?” she said and threw the notebook on the table.
“Monica calm down, please…” Lily said with calm voice and instructed her to fit next to her.
“As you can see Lady Monica, these are the detailed steps into completing the ritual of the Coronation. The only thing that remains is for Lady Lily to enter the Altar of the Four Gods and merge with them.”
“And then forget everything about us? About her family and her sister? Everything we have been through?” and then she turned to Lily “Why don’t you deny everything Lily?”
“Elder Fin, could you please leave us alone for a moment?” Lily asked with calm voice and Fin left the room leaving the two of them alone.
Monica sat at the opposite side of the table and tried to explain what on earth was happening on her sister’s mind.
“Monica, let me speak and don’t answer until I am finished. Can you do that?”
“I will try.”
And taking a deep breath she began.
“Freya, the previous Priestess, was accused from Nevol for the assassination of the Darvil King Ruben. He tricked Darth saying that she betrayed him and he too thought that he was betrayed. Nevol took the chance to kill them both but she instead died, protecting Darth. Before she dies she placed a curse upon him, sealing his magical powers, making him unable to save himself and lose his Heart Stone. Limon and Dings are the ones who saved him, providing him with a part of their magical powers. But Monica, they will not be able to continue like this anymore. At some time Limon and Dings will literally turn into a dog and a dragon for the rest of their lives! And Darth will no longer have someone helping him with his magic. On the other hand the red moon works only as a boost for the three of them but that’s all.
That’s why when I complete the Coronation his curse will be broken and the others will return back to their true forms. Then Darth will be able to use the Willpower Spell and gain enough lifeforce in order to survive by himself. All this… I have known everything since the time we were on Lady Permer’s mansion.”
“What? And you never said anything? But with what price will you acquire this power Lily? Your memories and your existence?” Monica said, crying out loud “are you going to leave me alone? You promised me that we would never abandon each other!”
Lily “saw” the sadness on Monica’s Heart Stone and slowly she stood up and went to her. She placed her hands on her shoulders and touched her head whispering softly on her:
“I would never abandon you silly. You are not alone anymore; look around you, look at the friends we made, the adventures we had, the people we fell in love with…” and she closed her eyes, trying to hold her tears
“But you will forget! You will even standing in front of me but I will be nothing more but a stranger to you!”
“I am sorry Monica… I can’t be selfish either. There is a whole world waiting for my help. For me is more painful…” and together they cried, hugged tightly as if they would never see each other again.
Dings and Limon were walking together with Lily, following an underground tunnel which was leading to the small valley in the gap between the Three Mountains. There the Rebels spent many years building the new Altar in order for the ritual to be complete. The Altar was built on an artificial lake, representing the crystal floor, with four big columns, which were creating a perfect square, inside the lake. Each one of the columns had the mark of every God and the whole lake was surrounded by a marble giant round wall and a glassy dome on the top. There was only one entrance for the Altar and that’s where Lily, Dings and Limon were standing now together with Elemor and Elder Fin.
“It is almost midnight my Lady. When your tattoo touches the gates, they will open and you will be able to enter” Fin said explaining the process.
Dings rubbed her legs with his fur and Lily took him on his arms patting his head
“Even if you forget we will always remember” he whispered and she kissed his head
“Thank you Dings…” and left the puppy on the ground
“Limon…” and she touched the dragon’s face, feeling his hard scales “take good care of her. She is my only family” she said with trembling voice
“I swear to you Lily, I will protect her with my life for ever” and she hugged the dragon’s neck. “What about…”
“Let him rest Limon; I would be really hard for me to face him now. I don’t know if I have the power even to listen to his voice.”
“Lily!!” Monica’s voice came from behind. She was running to them and she hugged her sister ignoring everyone around them
“Do you want me to say anything to him? He will be mad with you of course.” She whispered to Lily’s ear.
Instead of answering Lily took Monica’s palm and with her finger she “wrote” her answer on the Braille language.
“I understand.” Monica said and Lily with a smile started to walk towards the gate.
Before she touches the gate she turned to Elemor and smiling she said that his Heart Light was brighter than any other time
“That’s because you saved me many times Lady Lily! And I hope that you will save the same way Darthorian one day!”
Lily smiled sadly and touched the marble gate. The doors opened slowly and she walked inside, leaving everyone behind her. They watched her disappearing as the doors closed again with a thud, indicating the end of her existence.
I am standing inside the Altar now. It is surprisingly quiet and I can hear only the soft sound of the water. I hold my ribbon on my left hand and I can hear the voices of the Gods. Their presences are close to me and, although I can’t see them, they are looking at me with a worried expression
“Lily, are you regretting this?” Azure said and I felt a soft warm breeze on my shoulder
“There is still time if you want to turn back” Menfor said while Bener and Clomin were taking my clothes off.
“I will never regret my decision; neither abandon the task I was chosen for. Please guide me to the path I have chosen and give me your power and wisdom.”
“Then you are ready my child” Clomin said with calm voice and, together with Bener, they guided me to the center of the Altar.
“Now, throw your Heart weapon and let us become one with you” Bener said and I threw my ribbon to the air. I could feel the string flying around my body, creating a perfect circle, while from four different sides the powers of the Gods were becoming stronger and stronger. I opened my arms, as if I was ready to hug them, and I surrendered myself to their warm feeling. Only his name I repeated again and again on my mind while everything else were disappearing
Chapter 26: The Mechanism of Destruction and the amber lily
Nevol felt the tremors shaking the whole Palace. He ran to the big veranda and he looked at the sky. A new star had been born; it was the biggest of them all and it was shining right above Selemir.
“So she has been born… the new Priestess.” He said smiling and he headed to the underground dungeons of the Palace. He opened the heavy gates and entered the research faculty. In front of him there was standing a giant machine, with onyx columns stabbed on the ground and a throne on the middle of it, which had slowly started to operate, and all the workers around him were running around, in order to prepare for the first operation of this horrible machine.
“How are the preparations going?” he asked one of the workers
“The sealing spell of the previous Priestess has been broken and finally we can operate your Majesty”
Nevol looked at the machine and laughed with pleasure and evilness
“Finaly!” he shouted “Denmor is mine!”
He left the research faculty and headed to the prisoners dungeons. The guard opened the door for him and he went inside.
“Nagia…” he said and the chained woman woke up from her slumber and looked at Nevol with desire
“My beloved King! You finally came! Give me another chance; I am sure I will succeed!” and she moved towards him trying to touch him, but the chains were preventing her even from moving.
“I will give you the most important mission, when the time comes and the final battle will be held in here” and he touched her face, eager to exploit her for one last time.
I could hear her calling me, but her voice was becoming weaker and weaker like she was drawing further and further from me, disappearing from my sight. I felt a strong earthquake and I wondered how an earthquake could be so strong on a dream. I opened my eyes and I sat on the bed; no the earthquake was real! I ran outside and then I saw a giant pillar of light coming from the small valley between the Three Mountains. Suddenly I felt stronger, like my magic powers had returned to me, and I looked at myself; my hands were bigger, so was my height. I looked at the light again and the idea crossed my mind.
“No she couldn’t have…” and I started to run with all my strength.
The earthquake made them lose their balance and move awkwardly from side to side. Monica saw Limon and Dings transforming back into their original forms and she turned to the Altar. The glassy dome had been smashed to pieces and soon the marble walls would too been destroyed. Limon grabbed her and held her close to him protecting her from the falling wall parts.
“Everyone step back quickly!” Elemor shouted and they moved back.
The earthquake stopped and they heard Darth’s voices coming from behind
“Limon, Dings you… where is Lily?” he asked with impatience.
“Darth… she… went to the Altar…” Monica began.
“What Altar?” and Monica pointed to him the artificial lake.
On the water’s surface and on the center of the four columns was now standing a white dressed girl. Her hair was long and was also falling in front of her shoulders but her head was now covered with a white hood, covering her face just a little above her nose. The valley now was crowded by all the Northern Rebels, who came to pay their respects to the newborn Priestess. She then started to walk back to the ground, moving slowly and gracefully. When her foot touched the ground the grass disappeared and it was replaced by flowers. They were lilies, which instead of white, were made of amber. Monica took one of her flowers on her hand and looked at it closely.
“It’s a lily. But it is made from amber?” she said looking at the shining color, as if it was made of glass.
“Lily? She has the name of a flower?” Limon asked her while he was looking at Darth at the same time.
“Our mother’s favorite flower…”
Everyone then bowed in front of the Priestess and she raised her left hand saying with loud and clear voice:
“Children on Denmor, we shall protect our precious home everyone together united. Do not care about races or power but become one under the guidance of the Four Gods and fight for your home!”
Everyone then shouted with excitement, full of confidence and hope for the coming days. The Priestess then walked towards Monica and bowed before her, leaving her speechless.
“I hereby offer you my greetings Princess of the Aimilians. If you ever request my help or my guidance I will listen to your words.”
“Li… I mean… thank you for your words Lady Priestess. My name is Monica and these are my friends and companions: Limon Dings and… Darth” and she introduced them to her. They bowed and they stepped back, except from Darth; he remained still, looking at her with eyes full of complaint, until she passed right next to him and disappeared inside the crowd as everyone were rushing to greet her and welcome her.
“Darth she has a message for you… she told me that before she enters the Altar”
“What kind of message?”
“ “Don’t forget”. That’s what she told me.” And Monica completely fatigued leaned to Limon’s side and he held her softly taking her to her room.
“What does that mean Darth?” Dings asked puzzled.
But Darth’s mind was traveling to that time when the two of them were standing in front of the sunrise looking at the colors of the new day, while she had promised that she would save him.
“Why didn’t I understand at that time, Dings, why?”
“No one did. Not even Monica” he tried to comfort him.
But what was scaring Darth the most was the fact that although she was next to him, the necklace with the silver butterfly on his neck didn’t become warmer.
The next days passed with military preparations and many types of council in which they tried to test all possible attack plans in order to conquer the Royal Palace at Selemir. At the same time Elder Fin together with Monica and Mimi were able to complete the translations of the blueprints that Darth had given to him from Marciant’s mansion revealing something unexpected.
“This is a drawing of a type of machine” Fin said to all the leaders of the Rebels at the council they were holding under the Priestess’s presence. Together with Elemor Limon, Dings and Darth were watching Fin explaining the purpose of the machine, while Monica was waiting outside the council room.
“This machine was built at the time of King Amberfoth the Second. He requested a weapon that could use the Priestess’s powers as a power source and destroy the Darvil Army in one blow, but the previous Priestess sealed it under the Palace, ending the project. It is called “The Mechanism of Destruction”. But in these blueprints there have been some changes into the power source and the acceptor. King Nevol is trying to absorb the powers of the Priestess and use himself as the new power source in order to wipe out the whole Denmor!” and after his words everyone began discussing loudly, fearing for their lives and the fate of their land.
“Calm down, please!” the Priestess moved her hand and everyone stopped talking “Elder Fin, are you certain about this weapon’s identity and purpose?”
“I have triple checked my notes together with my assistant and thanks Lady Monica’s help we organized them from the beginning.”
“Thank you for your explanation Elder Fin. Now leaders of the Northern Rebels we shall continue our preparations for the upcoming battle and when I decide that everything is ready we will begin our journey to the Holy Capital. I have only one request: be merciful and don’t kill anyone out of hatred or enjoyment. Those with such evil thoughts will be banned immediately from the army troops! Understood?”
“YES!” And everyone stood up and bowed as the Priestess ended tonight’s council.
Monica was waiting outside observing her right arm. Since Limon had returned to his original form the bow he had entrusted her with, the “Bloody Tears”, had disappeared from her arm. If she hadn’t a weapon she wouldn’t be able to join the attack forces and travel together with everyone. On the other hand the Priestess taught her many new spells that only the Royal family could use. She warned her to use them only when the conditions demanded it and since then Monica has been repeating the words, trying to memorize them. She heard the doors opening and she stood up when she saw the Priestess coming out. She wished her a good night, while passing near her, and left to her chamber which was located at the top of the First Mountain.
“Monica! Don’t tell me you waited this long!” she heard Dings behind her and she turned.
“A little, but it’s alright. I heard that you will be leaving?”
“Yes I will travel with Ebu branches in order to gather more allies.”
“Be careful on your trip.” And she hugged him.
When Dings left, she saw Limon coming out from the room and went to him.
“I wanted to talk to you Limon”
“To me? Why?” and he took her away from the men who were coming out from the room
When they were left alone Monica looked at Limon’s violet eyes and said with confidence:
“I want a weapon”
Limon was left speechless for a moment and then laughed loudly
“Ok let’s go to the next topic”
“Don’t laugh with me Limon! I want to fight! Please give me a weapon, anything that will allow me to come…”
“I said no!” he said with loud, angry voice and hid his face with his hand “I will not take you to the battlefield Monica. I will not put you in that danger”
Monica leaned her head on his chest and he touched her hair
“Please Limon; I want to be with her! I have a bad feeling about this battle and I can’t stand the thought that something will happen to her and I will be unable to help her! So please… I beg you…”
“I promised Lily that I will protect you”
“You better will!” and she smiled.
Limon took her from her hand and they headed to the weapon smith. There they found all kinds of weapons but Monica chose a longbow, smaller than Limon’s, with silver edges, decorated with raspberry quartz and arrows made of citrine. They headed back to the First Mountain walking slowly while Monica was holding her bow tightly.
“When all this is over, you will go on a date with me.”
“Don’t be so bold with your decisions Limon! She said embarrassed
“Don’t blush so easily. You will make kiss you”
“I love you” he said with calm voice looking at her wide open eyes and leaned his head kissing her on her lips and Monica’s bow fell from her hands.
Darth knocked twice before entering the Priestess’s chamber. He opened the door slightly and then he went in. The room was big and wide open with an opening on the left, leading to a spectacular view of the other two Mountains. The Priestess was sitting on a couch singing with soft voice a lullaby for the golden butterflies which were flying above her head. The butterflies flew around her veranda and then they disappeared to the sky, indicating the birth of the next generation.
“Come in Lord Darth” she said after the butterflies disappeared.
“I didn’t mean to intrude” he said and walked slowly to the big balcony
“I heard you knocking” and she smiled briefly “So what did you bring? It smells beautiful”
“Tea with flavors from the spice of the northern Islands, fruit cakes, made from the east shores and… chocolate crepes”; everything were Lily’s favorite foods and drinks. He had made his mind; he would try to make her remember again. And so he poured some tea and offered it to her. She slowly touched the cup’s edge and brought it on her lips.
“It’s really nice, and the flavors are excellent. Thank you Lord Darth” and she placed the cup on the small table in front of her.
Darth offered her some of the cakes and crepes but for some reason she didn’t react. He sat on the other chair and he looked at her; the hood was really giving him on the nerves, he wanted to take it off from her. It was as if her true form was hiding behind that. “True form?” he thought.
“My Lady, if I am not wasting your time, would you mind listen to a story?”
“A story?” she said with interest
“It is called “Beauty and the Beast” and it speaks for the true self everyone has inside.” And he closed his eyes and began retelling the story on the exact way Lily had told him at that time, when she found out about his hard and dark fate, as the two of them were leaning to each other on the tree’s trunk, unaware about fate’s plans. He remembered the sound of the leaves, the water of the pond shining like a mirror at night and her beautiful long hair touching his shoulder as she was telling him that story.
When he finished and opened his eyes again, he felt the necklace on his neck becoming warm, just for a second. He looked at the Priestess. Under her hood and on her cheeks tears were flowing and that made her mystify
“That’s strange” she said “Why am I crying?” and she wiped her tears from her face
“Who’s Lily?” she asked puzzled.
Darth’s necklace became cold again but for one moment he was definitely certain; his voice had reached her. He stood up, gathered the disc and headed to the room’s door.
“I wish you a good night’s sleep my Lady”
“Thank you Lord Darth… for everything” she answered when she heard the door closing.
She leaned her head on the soft pillows and tried to sleep; a voice started to appear on her mind saying again and again:
“Wake up… wake up…”
Chapter 27: Selemir, the Holy Capital
I met her at the Plains of the Lost Warriors. Her scared face, her eyes at the color of a Love Stone and her bravery left me speechless. She was holding her sister tightly, afraid of the alien environment she was in. Now she leads the Northern Rebels into the battle which will determinate the existence of our world. She has forgotten… Lily… where are you?
“Push! Push harder!”
“Come on, just a little more!”
The women were helping one of the refugees to give birth. Monica and the Priestess were also helping them. The woman screamed loudly and then another cry came from the bottom of the bed
“It’s a boy! A healthy boy!” the midwife said and showed the small baby on her arms. Quickly they covered it with a clean towel and gave it to his mother. She cried from joy and the Priestess came close to them and touched the baby’s head.
“What a strong Heart Light; full of life and happiness. May the Gods bless you.”
“Thank you my Lady” the child’s mother said and together with Monica they got out from the room.
“That went really smooth, don’t you think?” Monica said with relief.
“Yes, it is a good sign” and she continued walking.
Monica had noticed the past two days that the Priestess was not really talkative. She preferred to speak only when it was necessary and also it seems that she was avoiding physical contact, as if she was really fragile. Sometimes Monica caught herself thinking about saying everything to her if that would make her remember again. “And then what?” she thought, “She would lose her powers and everything we had accomplished together would be in vain” and she saw her heading to the alchemy section in order to check the preparations.
“You were with the Priestess now? I heard that there was a baby born at the refugee’s section”
“Yes a healthy boy” she answered while spacing out to the direction the Priestess had followed.
Limon saw her depressed face and hit her softly on her back
“I know it’s difficult but we can hope that one day she will remember again right?”
“You are not trying enough Limon…”
“Then how about a kiss? That should calm down!” he said smiling and Monica started to chase him around the corridor embarrassed from his boldness.
“We are finally ready my Lady. We can launch at any time you wish” the Manager of the alchemy section informed her.
“Thank you for your help. I will announce the date at tonight’s council” and she got out. She walked far enough until she reached the Altar, which was still standing in the middle of the artificial lake.
“I didn’t expect to find you here… Lord Darth”
“Lady Priestess…” and he bowed
“Everything is ready. I believe that tomorrow would be a good time.” She said and stood near him with her head turned to the Altar.
“For the attack at Selemir? But you do understand that Nevol will use the Mechanical Destruction in order to absorb your powers. What will you do then?”
“I will secure the safety of the city’s people and then destroy the machine” she said with calm voice
“You being reckless again!” and then for a moment he felt the necklace becoming warmer
“What did you say?” she asked puzzled and then she touched her head “Please excuse me. I think I will retire for now. Please inform me when the council begins.” And she left him wondering if she was alright or not.
The sun had already started to rise when everyone gathered in front of the Altar of the Four Gods. Weapon wilders and magical creatures, Darvil and Denmorians, everyone had been united with the same purpose. The Priestess was standing into the Altar singing a lullaby for the chance of winning and everyone was looking at her with excitement and awe. Monica, Limon and Darth were looking at her from the crowd without speaking. After a hard negotiation with Fin and the Priestess Monica was allowed to follow but she had to be close to someone who could protect her properly. And now, wearing her silver light armor and holding her new bow, she was standing right next to Limon holding tightly his hand, while Darth would escort together with Elemor the Priestess leading the troops.
After she finished her singing she raised her left hand, holding her ribbon, to the sky and she shouted Azure’s name; a strong cry was heard from the sky and the Phoenix of the Four Winds flew to her landing on the water’s surface, slightly touching the water. Everyone looked at the majestic bird amazed and then they climbed on their dragons or Lingies ready to take off when the signal would be given.
“Comfortable?” Limon asked Monica when the two of them were on the blue dragon, ready to take off.
“I am fine” she answered and pressed her head on Limon’s back holding tightly his waist.
“What an irony…”
“What do you mean?”
“We were once the ones who invaded and conquered Selemir and now I am fighting to take it back from my ex-comrade”
“You are not alone, we are together and we will get through this with everyone”
“I know, thank you Monica” he said with soft voice and touched her hands, which were still holding his waist.
“Today we fight for our freedom! We fight for those who have fallen before us! Fight with everything you have but remember to show mercy, even when it’s not requested. Let’s go!” and with a hit of her ribbon on the air the Phoenix took off, flapping his giant wings, soaring to the sky, followed by Elemor and Darth, who were on their fighting dragons, and then by the whole army of the Northern Rebels, all of them flew to the sky heading to the Holy Capital.
“Good luck…Lily. May you find the right path and win this battle” Elder Fin murmured when he saw the Phoenix flying to the sky.
“Your Majesty there has been spotted movement from the North! The Northern Rebels are heading here!” the messenger said to Nevol, while he was preparing for battle wearing his armor.
“Very well, place the Army to the vital parts of the Palace and prepare for battle”
“What about you my Lord?”
“I will be waiting her to the place everything began” and he headed outside from the throne room.
They were flying with incredible speed, thanks to the winds which were blowing to their direction, as the Priestess was swinging her ribbon again and again calling for their assistance. She was communicating with everyone through telepathy, giving them formation orders and assigning them their objects and missions.
“Lord Limon you will dispatch a small part and together with Lady Monica you will secure the exit of the city’s people. Evacuate everything around the castle’s perimeter and make sure they will be safe.”
“Certainly my Lady” and Limon moved his hand to the right and the light-armored troops created a formation around his dragon.
“She wants to have me outside the battlefield” Monica noticed.
“It’s for the best. Let’s work hard for the city’s people and I promise you, when we are over with this we will go back to her” the man said to her and he shouted the orders to the flying Lingies around him.
“General Elemor, use the rest of the army in order to enter the Palace. I will head to the Mechanism of Destruction and destroy it. Lord Darth you…”
“I am coming with you! I am sure that Nevol will be waiting together with the machine. Please I have a score to settle with him.”
“Very well…” and she moved her ribbon creating a protective field around the army. After an hour of non stopping flying the Holy Capital started to appear at the horizon; although the city had lost its formal beauty and glory, the signs of a glorious past still existed on the streets, the buildings and most of all at the Royal Palace, which stood at the middle of the city, surrounded now by big walls full of catapults and archers. It was used to be called the Crystal Palace or the Holy Castle due to the crystals which were merged within the white marble, making the whole Palace shining like a crystal: a pillar of power and prosperity of the formal Royal Family. Now the colors had been darkened and the gigantic building had crumbled into decline, full of the darkness of its King. The troops of Limon were separated from the main army body and flew to the direction of the city, leaving the others who were now trying to avoid the incoming attacks. A formation of Lingies, led by Elemor, made a loop at the sky and dived into the catapults destroying them and attacking at the soldiers. The Phoenix flew to the highest parts of the Palace, followed by Darth’s dragon, until it reached an opening on a big veranda, which was decorated by small flowers. The Phoenix dissolved into shining silver feathers as the Priestess was setting her feet on the ground, while Darth ordered his dragon to assist at the battle.
“Now we must look for the machine” Darth said
“I have an idea of where it should be?”
“A place of strong magic which should be able to be used for the machine” the Priestess expressed her opinion and Darth shivered when he realized where Nevol was.
“I…I know where he is”
“I have been in this Palace before a long time ago” and he started to walk guiding her deep inside the Palace heading to the Altar of the previous Priestess.
“Wake up… wake up…”
“Who… who are you…?”
“Wake up… Lily… he needs you…”
“Who… who is Lily… who am I?”
“You shall bless him but at the same time you will punish him too. Open your eyes and face the truth”
The girl opened her eyes listening to the woman’s soft voice; she could see nothing but she could feel that she was trapped inside deep darkness. Her hands and feet were chained with golden chains and her head was falling heavy on her shoulders. She lifted her head and “saw” the beautiful woman standing in front of her looking at her with a smile of sympathy.
“Are you the one who has been calling me?”
“What message did you left before you disappear?” the woman asked her
“I… don’t know… I can’t remember…” the girl said with tired voice
But the woman repeated her question again and again, until at the end the girl was trying to find out the message she had left behind.
“Hold your positions and fight back!” Elemor was screaming as he was making his way through the main gate of the Palace. The catapults had been destroyed but now special trained alchemy wielders were throwing bombs of poisonous gases, which when they came in contact with the air, they were exploding. Elemor ordered them to pull back and called forth the armor scaled dragons. They absorbed the bombs and threw them back to the enemy’s soldiers with triple strength.
“Arm yourselves!” and they finally entered the main gate. The soldiers were retreating, fearing for their lives, until there was no place to run. Elemor stood before them and raised his hands making the symbol of peace in the army code: his left hand was united with his right creating a punch. Then he freed his hands and bowed to them.
“We request your surrender. We do not wish the death of the children of Denmor, only the annihilation of King Nevol. Your lives will not be in danger and you will be forgiven for the actions the King has made you to do. That is the will of the Priestess.”
All the soldiers then dropped their weapons and kneel before the Northern Rebels. The battle was over.
“Darthorian now is up to you…”
“I think the battle is over!” Limon shouted to Monica
“It took them a while, but thank goodness, it is over now” and she helped an old lady carry her items on the wagons they had prepared. They were not sure if the King wanted to destroy the city or not but they were now helping the civilians to escape in the forest following the soldiers. Slowly the city was abandoned by its citizens who were fleeing to all directions outside the city’s gates.
“Quickly! We don’t have much time!” Limon ordered them and he looked at Monica. She was staring the Palace from afar holding her hands tightly, like praying.
“Please. Please let them be ok…”
They were walking into the long corridors, without letting their guard down. Darth with every step he mad he could feel the memories flowing back to him. A big fire, his scythe is clinging with her staff and then the blood on her hair, his screams and the loss of his Heart Stone.
“Lord Darth?” he heard her voice and came back to his senses
“I think we are getting closer. I don’t know why but I feel something that makes me uncomfortable”
They passed the corridor and they turned right. They climbed the stairs and then they reached a big round room with glassy roof and in front of them there was a big closed gate.
“That’s strange, there wasn’t a gate here before” he said suspicious and then he heard the footsteps.
Black armored soldiers were surrounding them holding long spears and aiming them with Soul Arrows and Darth quickly stood in front of her.
“Nevol’s special fighting troop” and he looked at their weapons “damn, they have Soul Arrows too.”
“Soul… Arrows. Why, why are… no… Noooo!!” and the Priestess screamed holding her pain from pain behind Darth’s back
“LILY!!!” he shouted with all of his strength and the golden light enveloped them throwing back the soldiers.
Chapter 28: The amber Heart Stone
“I can’t remember, what message did I…”
“You will be able to find the truth and free yourself”
The chained girl raised her head and looked at the woman. She had white hair and her eyes were sad.
“Did you lose someone too?” the girl asked her
“I did a long time ago, but I still love him and I will always be, just like you”
Suddenly she heard a voice, someone was speaking; it was a man’s voice and it was so calming hearing his words. Then inside the darkness a light started to appear and the girl got up.
“I know that voice… how much I have missed this sound…”
“Who is he? Tell me his name…”
The chains on her feet and hands became tighter, as they tried to hold her back, but she moved again and lifted her hands trying to touch the light
“D-D-Darth… Darth… Darth!! I am here Darth!” and the girl moved again violently trying to break her chains
“That’s it continue… more and more”
Then the voice shouted the girl’s name and it felt like it has been an eternity since she has been called like that.
“DARTH!” and her chains broke and she flew to the light.
“Go Lily, but you will soon have to complete your mission.” The woman said and disappeared
The light covered them both and pushed the soldiers back throwing them to the ground. The strong light started to fade away after it made the whole room shine with the golden moss that was left behind.
Darth had closed his eyes in order to prevent the strong light from blinding him. A soft voice was heard close to his ear, like a nightingale, and he felt like he was waking up from a long dream.
“Lily… is it you?” and he opened his eyes and looked at her. She was smiling, with that adorable smile he loved so much. The hood had fallen from her head and her face now could be seen clearly. Her amber eyes were trying to focus to the source of his voice and her long blond hair were shining.
“You changed back.” She said with low voice, touching his chest, moving her hands from his neck to his face.
“You came back…” he said with trembling voice
“You didn’t forget… you called my name in the end” she said with tears on her cheeks
“How could I?”
Lily touched his lips and raised her head kissing him. Their lips became one under the rage of the upcoming battle; there were no words, only their actions could reveal what they were feeling for each other. She pressed her left palm on his chest and Darth felt his body become heavier. He fell on the floor and then with a piercing noise the doors started to open and Lily began walking to them.
“Lily wait where are you…” and he tried to get up but his legs were weak all of sudden and then he felt it; the long forgotten sound that was beating on his chest *bump, bump* that was the sound of a beating Heart Stone. But that was not all, with each beating a phrase was repeated again and again on his head:
“I love you… I love you…”
Darth looked surprised at Lily; she had already passed the doors and now they were closing again. He got up and he ran to her but he didn’t make in time. The only thing he managed to see was her smiling face looking at him directly and the only thing he heard was
“So that’s the color… beautiful”
“No, you couldn’t have…”
The doors closed with a strong sound and Darth was left alone together with the soldiers who had regained consciousness and now they were charging to attack again.
“Stupid, reckless Lily! You are not getting away with this!” and the scythe appeared on his hands more powerful than any time and shouting her name he attacked the soldiers.
Lily walked the corridor which was leading to the Altar. With every step she made the pain on her chest was becoming more and more unbearable.
“I have to continue. I must…” she murmured and she felt the pain fading away a little, “So that’s how Darth has lived all these years… so painful”. Suddenly she felt a vide coming to her. It was full of darkness, hate, anger and a murderous intention. She entered the big chamber and she realized that this was the Altar of the previous Priestess; traces of their magic were all around the Altar and her ribbon was resonating with them, shining beautifully.
“You finally came, dear Priestess!” Nevol’s voice came from above. If Lily could see him she would realize that he had almost transform his body into that of a monster’s and he was now sitting on a throne in the middle of the Altar. The Altar itself had been remodeled in order to fit the machine’s measures.
“Nevol… so you have managed to turn yourself into a complete monster” she said with angry voice
“Don’t be so harsh, besides you will not live to see the world I am going to create!” and he moved his hands creating a thick black smoke which came from the machine’s walls and with incredible speed it covered Lily’s body completely.
She moved her ribbon and with her golden string she made the smoke vanish. Nevol looked at her surprised and angry; she had just repelled an attack that should absorb her powers as a Priestess. She smiled and raised her head, following the traces of his dark Heart Stone.
“You sure expected much from me didn’t you? You could have easily destroyed me and my friends, by the time we entered Denmor.”
“Curse you!” Nevol screamed and continued to stack her with the dark smoke but she repelled it again and jumped into the air, standing on one of the columns.
“You waited for the chance. You left me gather the powers of the Four Gods in order to use me for the Mechanism of Destruction. You even tried to kill Darth back at Nebolia. But you have been fooled Nevol!” and she laughed loudly mocking him.
Nevol’s face was distorted from anger when he realized what she had done before she enters the Altar. He got up from his throne and jumped into one of the columns, smiling with evilness.
“I have underestimated you human girl. For someone who can’t see, you acted really clever. I couldn’t imagine that the Priestess could have the power to cast away her own Heart Stone! You killed yourself and at the same time you abandoned the Four Gods! How stupid and foolish of you!”
“Someone would definitely call me reckless but that was my decision. I almost lost myself to the massive power the Gods have given to me but I managed to return. Besides, I didn’t cast away my Heart Stone! I gave it to someone really precious to me! Now, how about leave the small talk and fight me seriously Nevol?” and she got ready to attack, moving her hands, swinging he ribbon and creating loops in the air.
“Do you really believe that you can win over me, only with your willpower?”
“I will win! Because everyone’s feelings and hopes are together with me. No matter what happens I will protect everyone!”
And the two of them jumped from the columns and their weapons crushed making the whole room shake from their massive strength.
Monica felt the tremors coming from the Palace. It was as if the whole Palace was the center of the seismic action. The whole ground was shaking from time to time and she couldn’t easily stand still and fell to the ground.
“Monica! Are you alright?” Limon’s worried voice was heard from behind and he lifted her again
“Limon I don’t like those tremors. Something must be happening to the Palace”
Limon took her hand on his and they moved towards the castle’s direction. She saw him transforming into a majestic golden dragon with violet eyes shining like amethyst.
“Let’s go to them Monica.” The dragon said smiling and she climbed on his back.
“You are fighting in vain girl!” Nevol tried to hit her with his sword and she made a loop in the air and she moved her ribbon, making its string surround him.
“Nothing is in vain. I was summoned here in order to stop you!”
“A mere human would never survive in here! How did you managed to come here?” he said while trying to escape from her ribbon.
“You should be more careful with your victims Nevol!” and Lily hit him with violence “That’s for my parents!” and Nevol looked at her with wide open eyes
“You are… Aimilian?” he said unable to believe her words
Lily moved again, dancing around him, giving more strength to her ribbon’s movements and looked at him with angry, yet sad eyes.
“Why Nevol? Why did do all these? For who? You are destroying a whole world, you have killed so many people, you have even torn apart beloved ones! What do you expect to accomplish!?”
“The creation of a new world… my world!” he responded to her “Don’t worry, when the Mechanism can’t find a power source it turns to the power of the land! It will absorb all the life force in Denmor and hen a new world will be born! And I will be its ruler!” and then the machine started to work; the pipes which connected the Altar with the ground under the Palace made and awful sound and they started to pull forcibly out all the life on around the city. Lily was trying to find a way to stop the machine but it was impossible; the machine was already beginning to destroy the area around the city, making the trees wither and the water from the rives and the lakes dry out.
She felt a strong light coming with speed from behind and turned relieved to the direction he was coming.
“Lily!” Darth shouted to her
“Darth! I can’t stop the machine!”
Darth looked at the trapped Nevol with disgust and then he tried to break down the machine’s metallic parts.
“It’s impossible! Now that it has absorbed enough power it can now produce its own army!” Nevol said with pleasure and laughed loudly.
“What the hell is this?” Limon said when he saw the black giants, made from black smoke and tar, rising from the ground around the Palace. They were pursuing the Army around them; whoever touched them would completely be annihilated and disappear like smoke.
“Limon I can see Elemor down there!” Monica shouted and pointed to the troops that were running, trying to escape the smokes and the tar of the giants.
“Elemor!” Limon shouted above the man’s head
“What are those things?”
“We don’t know! Take the men away, we have already secured the citizens” and the dragon flew to the direction of the giants.
“Ok Monica let’s try to shoot them down!”
“I am on it!” and the girls stretched the bow’s string ready to fire her arrow. The arrow hit one of them but when it came in touch with the giant’s surface it disappeared.
“Limon, it didn’t work!”
“Then try this!” and the “Bloody Tears” appeared on her hands.
“Just shoot them!” and the dragon made a loop in the air, avoiding the hands of the giants who tried to catch them. Monica fired many different types of arrows but none of them work. Now they were surrounded and the giants deadly touch was coming closer. Monica grabbed the dragon’s neck and closed her eyes, believing that this was their doom.
Suddenly and strong sound was heard and a bomb pierced the giant’s body making them turn around slowly. Monica and Limon escaped and they flew higher; what they saw left them astonished: a giant round portal made from Ebu petals, which were making circles quickly, was standing in the air. In front of the portal a ship, which was flying with the help of many Lingies, which were pulling it, was firing unstoppable against the giants
“It’s “Dimitra”! It’s Minto and Clyone!” Monica shouted from relief and excitement and they flew to the ship. Dings was waving his hand to them and they landed on the deck and Limon transformed back.
“Monica!” Clyone ran to her and hugged her.
“Clyone! How… how did you get here?”
“You should thank the Lingies and the Ebu branches. We were able to travel from the North Sea to Selemir in one day!” Minto told her and he greeted Limon.
“Limon where are Darth and Lily?” Dings asked him
“They are at the Palace, but I don’t know if they are…”
“They will be fine! Shouldn’t we now deal with them?” Clyone said and she pointed to the giants who were now following them.
Nevol was still trapped inside Lily’s ribbon, unable to move. Darth had tried to destroy the Mechanism but it was impossible; no switch off button, neither a lever nor anything that could stop this hideous machine.
“There is no way we can stop that! Nevol do you know how to stop this?” Darth asked him
“I don’t know and it doesn’t matter anyway! As long as the darkness exists within me, I will continue to control the Mechanism of Destruction!”
“That’s it!” Lily said when she heard his words. “Darth can you contact Limon? I need him to bring Monica here”
Darth used his telepathy and found him fighting the giants together with Monica outside the Palace. They would be there soon. But the tremors became stronger and Lily lost her balance and fell, releasing Nevol without noticing. Darth ran to her side but instead of attacking her Nevol crawled back to the machine and sat on the throne.
“He gave up himself completely to the darkness, now he can’t live without the machine” Lily said while holding Darth’s shoulder.
“Priestess! Darth!” Limon’s voice was heard from behind and they saw him together with Monica running fast and trying at the same time to keep their balance.
“Monica…” Lily said and searched for he sister’s hand
“Lily… it is you!” and she hugged her tightly.
Limon noticed something different on Darth and looked at him frightened.
“Later Limon, now we must focus on destroying this or else Denmor will crumble”
“Monica do you remember the spells I taught you?
“All of them”
“I want you to use the one called “Eternal Light”. Can you do that?”
“I guess, but that spell is…”
“Monica please…” and she touched Monica’s face waiting for her response.
“Very well… but you must come back!” she shouted to her and Lily walked into the Altar and stood near the columns.
“Hear me Gods! I request for your help!” Lily shouted and the four columns shined brightly and covered her body while at the same time Limon, Darth and Monica were pulled out from the Altar and the gates closed again. Monica was whispering the spell without stopping, having her eyes closed, trying to hide her tears, which were already flowing.
The Palace was already falling apart. Limon carried them on his back and the three of them escaped in the air flying around the castle. They could only see the Palace falling apart and a giant pillar of golden light rising to the sky.
Chapter 29: Denmor’s rebirth
The sky has gone black. The earth is dying, the stars are crying. I can hear their voices screaming from pain and sadness. The Gods are standing around me and they are looking me with sinister face; I can feel it.
“Lily, are you sure you want to do this? The chances are…”
“I will do it Menfor, because I love this world, I love its people, its nature… I will protect everything!” and I felt the light becoming stronger and stronger.
Everyone could see the giant pillar of light rising from Selemir. Darth, Limon and Monica were standing on the deck of Minto’s and Clyone’s ship together with Dings looking at the pillar without speaking. The earthquake shook the earth and the sky became darker. A dark pillar started to rise from the bottom trying to consume the light. The earthquake became wilder and from four different directions they appeared: a Phoenix with silver wings, riding the winds, a woman with blue hair and eyes, a woman who was holding a magic flute on her hands and a man, wearing his red armor and holding a sword of fire in his hands. All of them fused themselves with the pillar and it slowly took a certain shape and form; it was a golden bird, similar to the Phoenix, but bigger and more majestic than before. It opened his wings and golden feathers started to fall on the earth, making the ground green again and the trees grow back with vivid green leaves. It flew to the sky soaring to the air and the earthquake became louder and stronger than before shaking the whole land. Land that had been covered from water, started to rise again as the waters were subsiding; fields that were poor on crops for centuries, became fertile again and the polluted earth was alive again full of trees and flowers. The burnt lands were reborn again and the seas became full of life. The golden bird flew all around Denmor and returned back to Selemir. It flapped its wings, leaving a cry, like a dying song, and disappeared to the sky. Then a golden rain started to fall, healing the people’s dark Heart Stones and blessing the earth. A sound of crumbling metal was heard and the Mechanism of Destruction, together with Nevol, was destroyed forever.
Darth ran into the Palace’s remains searching for Lily. He and Monica, together with Dings, Limon and the ship’s crew, were scattered to the area searching for her, shouting her name. He saw something glimmering under some fallen rocks and he pushed them away. It was the remains of the Altar and on the fallen columns and the destroyed Heart paintings was a golden moss that was shining like her eyes at the faint color of amber. Darth felt the necklace becoming a little warm and then it was cold as ice around his neck.
“Lily…” he whispered and he felt the presence of another and turned around. The woman was standing on the golden moss wearing her white dress with her hood falling on her back.
“Darthorian… that child sacrificed so much” she said with sad face.
“Why Freya? Why did she have to suffer so much?” he shouted to her angrily and his voices draw the attention of the others who came close to him. Everyone could see the woman and when they realized who she was they bowed with respect.
“The spell her sister used was the “Eternal Light” an ancient form of magic which combines the powers of the Four Gods with the Priestess’s body into one, creating Light itself and restoring Denmor into its original state.”
“Why my sister hasn’t come back? The spell is done and now she has to come back!” Monica shouted to her
“She could have returned if she had a Heart Stone…” she continued expressionless and everyone remained speechless hearing her words. She turned to Darth and continued
“Do you remember my final words at that night?”
“How could I ever forget?”
“Lily saved you from the Soul Arrow, she blessed you, by giving her own Heart Stone to you, and she is now punishing you with her own death”
“What?” he said with wide open eyes, full of pain and despair.
“And thus, my last mission in this world has finally completed” she said and lowered her head.
Monica was crying, unable to believe her words, on Limon’s arms, while everyone were praying for the resting of her soul in their language.
“Why Freya? You used her! She had nothing to do with this!”
“On the contrary, Darthorian. The day we met each other for the first time on Nebolia I foresaw everything. I saw myself dying on your arms, I saw the birth of the Aimilian twins which would return back to our world and I saw the girl, with no light on her eyes, guiding you to the light of a new life. When she saw your memories she understood her mission. She acquired the powers of the Gods, gaining the knowledge she needed in order to teach her sister the spells but she lost herself in the way. Your voice called her back and she offered you the greatest gift a Priestess could give… her own life; and then she used the final spell in order to save Denmor”.
“She… she offered her Heart Stone as Lily… not as a Priestess! She was Lily at that time!” Darth shouted to Freya, remembering her lips touching his at that moment when the two of them recognized each other’s feelings. He touched his chest with his hand, feeling the beating. His Heart Stone was pounding softly and his Heart Light had the color of her eyes; she was alive inside him.
“She is still alive!” he said to everyone and Freya smiled. She rose her hands to the sky showing to everyone what was happening. The stars were shining brightly not on their white color, but each one on a different one. They were indicating the will of all people around Denmor who were wishing for the return of their Priestess. Monica raised her hands too and so did everyone. All the stars then gave a single ray of light and all of them gathered to the center above Selemir creating a shining big star with the color of amber. The star created a pillar of light connecting the ground with it; and then a body of a girl started to descend. She had long, golden hair and her body was slowly coming lower and lower to the ground. Darth entered the pillar, raised his hands and caught her body. The light around them disappeared and she took a deep breath, the breath into new life and opened her eyes, looking at him. She touched his face with her hand staring at his eyes, as if she couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
“This… is not a dream?” she said with tremble voice and Darth enclosed her in his arms, hiding his face on her hair. Lily hugged him from the neck and smiled happily.
“Don’t cry Darth…”
“I am not crying, something got into my eyes”
“You are ruining the moment…” and she kissed him on the cheek.
Lily saw the beautiful woman with the white hair standing further from them and she smiled
“Thank you Freya…” she said through telepathy and the woman smiling disappeared to the skies.
Darth helped her stand up and she turned to the others. They were left dazzled looking at her without speaking.
“Monica…” Lily said and run into her sister’s arms. They hugged each other and cried loudly from both sadness and happiness.
“You are here! You are alive!” Monica said touching her sister’s hair, arms, face, hugging her again and again.
“I can see you…” she said looking at her brown eyes and she laughed.
Dings rushed into her arms and Lily hugged the boy recognizing him by the constant smell of fried chicken, which was his favorite food, and he lifted on the air. Limon bowed to her and he kissed her on the cheek receiving after that a punch from Darth and an angry gaze from Monica. She met Minto and Clyone, seeing them for the first time and Lily felt like she was reintroducing herself for the first time. The ship’s crew lifted on the air and they started to sing full of joy for the end of the war and the beginning of a new era, full of peace.
“But I must say, the Palace is in bad mess” Dings said and everyone looked around them at the remains of the glorious Crystal Palace.
“We will build it again, and this time it will be more beautiful than before!” Lily responded and everyone looked at her and at Monica and they kneeled before them, showing their respect to the princess of Denmor.
“Monica I think we must do something about this continuing bowing”
“You have a point Lily, it is a little embarrassing”
“Well you are a princess after all stupid” Limon said to Monica and she tweaked him strongly on the nose.
Darth took Lily’s hand on his without looking at her
“Are you mad at me?” she said with soft voice
“I heard you… you did call me reckless after all…” and he looked at her as she was smiling.
The woman appeared out of nowhere, she ran with incredible speed and she stabbed on the ground the branch with the black flowers. Their petals flew into the air covering the bodies of Lily and Monica disappearing them from everyone’s sight completely. None was able to react fast enough, neither anyone was able to say anything; they saw Nagia falling to the ground breathing heavily whispering constantly:
“I did it my King, I sent them back… they will never return… they are gone” and she left her last breath lying in front of everyone. Their screams echoed at that day as the dawn to the new era began with a loss.
Monica and Lily were standing in front of the withered tree. Its trunk had turned black and its roots were also withered. They couldn’t realize what had happened until they felt the night’s breeze on their skin. They were back, back at the forest near their aunt’s mansion, back to the place from where everything began. They saw the black petals on their feet and remembered Nagia’s voice and figure taking them away from everyone. The night had already ended and a new day was beginning, but for the two girls everything was gone and they cried together near the dead Ebu tree.
Chapter 30: Two worlds, one love
5 years later
“Come on Emily, how long are you planning to stay like this?” John said to his sister
“But John why do I have to go to her performance? She is already known to everyone! We have already gone to five of them already!” she said with stiff face and sat to the sofa.
“Are you ready? The car will arrive in 10 minutes!” Elizabeth said to her children who were still getting dressed while she was holding the tickets for the theater’s best box.
They were going to Lily’s tenth performance. She had managed to become one of the best dancer’s in the country, and Monica was her manager.
After they returned back to their world they realized that they had been missing for five days. Elizabeth had canceled her business trip and had used everything in order to find the girls, from the police to the secret agencies… When they found them they realized that Lily’s blindness had been mysteriously cured and both of them had small scars on their bodies, dressed on strange clothes and, on Lily’s left hand, there was a strange tattoo with the shape of a golden star. They were both crying for two days until Monica realized that perhaps if they could search enough perhaps they could find another Ebu tree. Since then Lily dedicated herself into expanding her possibilities as a dancer and Monica earned a scholarship into management. Now after five years they had both grown into fine women and at the age of twenty two they had managed to complete their ambitions and be respected by everyone, even by their cousins.
One year ago their mother’s will opened and they discovered that their mother had been adopted into Elizabeth’s family. She was found into the forest near the William’s mansion and since then she grew up together with Elizabeth. The girls knew already the truth behind their mother’s true identity but still they felt deeply grateful to their aunt’s family.
Every day after the sunset the sisters always spent some time near the withered Ebu tree inside the forest. Lily would sing one of the many lullabies the Gods had taught her, or dance around it. But there was no sign of a new Ebu tree.
Elizabeth, Emily and John left their box and headed to the backstage. Everyone was praising Lily’s tonight performance and how deeply she had touched the audience.
“Amazing Lily, it was splendid as always!” Elizabeth praised her when they entered her changing room.
“Thank you aunt, I did my best” and Monica looked at her sister’s determinate expression: for the last five years Lily, through her dancing, was trying to communicate with anyone she could find; sometimes she could feel her voice reaching Denmor but mostly her efforts were in vain.
“Aunt, how about having dinner tonight together?” Monica asked her and saw the faces of her cousins become stiff.
“Of course! After you change let’s head together back home.”
They walked through the garden, heading for the mansion. The night was quiet and only the sounds the crickets were making were disturbing the starry night. Lily stopped walking and she headed to the forest saying that she will be back, and Monica followed her.
“Why do they always go to that place?” John said puzzled
“Because it’s sentimental for them” Elizabeth said and walked to the mansion.
Lily was standing near the trunk and had already taken of her high-heeled shoes; she started to dance around the trunk barefoot and Monica began singing.
Denmor, Third Feud 100 years later
“Would you like some more tea Fin?” Lady Permer asked the Elder
“No, thank you, everything is perfect, please sit down” and Permer sat on the other chair beside him
“So how have you been after your retirement from the Library of Namur? I don’t suppose you became depressed.” She said cheerfully
“A little I must admit, but Mimi had been a great help all these years and a capable successor as a Protector of the Library.”
“I heard she got married?”
“Yes to the First Captain of Melba, Minto who is also helping her with the translation of the rest Selemir Records. They are a really good team, those two” and he took a biscuit, looking at her beautiful garden, until he observed the statue of Semer, completely covered with ivies, standing between the flowers
“Anyway, where I was left? Oh yes. His sister, Clyone, is still running the family business and has become the most respected captain around Denmor.” And he smiled on the thought of the female captain riding the sea waves.
“That’s really good for them, but I also heard something strange about the Earth Golems. Did their princess get married too?”
“And guess who she got married with!”
“Who?” Permer said puzzled
“To Elemor! Yes don’t make a face like that! He visited the Mountains three years ago in order to apologize to the King for his actions and he almost got killed by Fiora. When they saw his bracelet they understood who he had met and slowly the connections between the Northern Rebels and the Earth Golems became better. Well I was surprised to when I heard about their wedding. Everyone were there, even those three.” And his eyes became darker from sadness.”
“How are they, Elder Fin?” Permer asked worried
“Your Highness, you shouldn’t spend so much time in here! It will be bad for your health!”
“Mimi, how many times have I told you not to call me “Highness”? It’s true that I’m aristocrat but definitely not from royal bloodline!” and Limon placed his brush on the working table.
He had been working on the murals of the new constructed Palace for three years. Now he was completing the last details on the curved ceiling of the new Alta of the Gods. Starting from the wall from the up side of the entrance it was painted with golden and in some parts violet color, a falling star and a small wagon and continuing to the right there were paintings of a dancing girl around many people, a dragon and a big bird fighting in the air, a ship into a storm, a girl with a ribbon riding the waves, followed by her sister, the dragon, a puppy and a boy and it was continued until the part Limon had just finished: the two girls disappeared into the petals.
“You have spent much time into completing these” Mimi said and Limon got down from the scaffolding.
He headed to her and took the papers she was holding reading at them carefully.
“Indeed and I will make a good and safe world for them, until the day they will come back.” And he raised his head looking at the mural of the man and the girl who were flying together with the others on the bird’s back.
Limon for the last 100 years he was working on the restoration of the balance between the Darvil and the Denmorians. Although both of the races had suffered at the time of Nevol’s rule, and they decided to walk together on the new path of peace, there were still some parts that were denying the co-existence. Limon, together with the Rebel’s help and Elemor rebuilt the Palace and they were managing the political affairs.
“Where is Dings? He has disappeared since yesterday.” Limon asked Mimi puzzled
“The last time I saw him he said that he would travel to the Forest of the Nymphs” and she saw Limon’s expression become relaxed.
“Let him be. I hope he will be satisfied this time” and they headed to the council room.
Dings finally got out from the dense part of the Forest and sniffed the air, just like a dog. In the last 100 years he worked hard on increasing his powers and growing from a teenaged-look like boy into an adult with strong magical powers. He remembered the path and continued his course until he heard the falling water; he walked faster and then he reached the waterfall and the small field. He looked around with ease; nothing had changed since the last time. The flowers were in bloom and the scent of the morning sun on them was really relaxing. He turned to his left and saw the big oak tree. He walked slowly to it and placed his hands and his ear on the trunk feeling the heartbeat inside the tree.
“Hello Lefenia” he whispered and he felt the heartbeat becoming faster and faster. Dings moved back surprised and then the oak’s trunk was torn of in the middle, making an opening and letting fall from the inside the body of a young woman. Dings quickly caught her and gently he held her on his arms, unable to believe what had happened. She opened her eyes and looked at him with a sleepy expression.
“You came back, just like you had promised” and she touched his hair.
“You sure know how to make others waiting” and he smiled kissing her at her nose, her cheeks, her forehead, her eyes until Lefenia pulled him and kissed him on the lips.
Darth entered the Topaz Temple while the final sun rays were making the sky look like a palette of many colors. He passed the stone steps and put his hand on the tree’s trunk, closing his eyes.
“Hello Ebu Mother.”
“I welcome you my child. You seem to be troubled”
“One hundred years… and they still haven’t come back…”
“The branch that was used at that day was a defiled one. As a result their presence here was banned forever. But can’t you still hear her? Her voice sometimes travels many worlds and reaches everyone’s Heart Stones.”
“I do, sometimes I can feel everything she feels: her happiness sadness, determination for something I can’t see and also lo…”
“I know your feelings my child. Besides it is the wishes of people who give me the strength to send my children afar. Do you wish for something Darthorian?” and Darth opened his eyes when he realized that the Tree’s voice had changed.
He smiled sadly and closed his eyes again
“I can’t be selfish. Perhaps she has made her life back at her world…”
“Then we can simply find out if that’s true” and from one of the Tree’s branches a small shining like a diamond spore flew to air, outside the Temple and disappeared to the sky.
“Thank you… Freya”
Lily had just finished her dancing and Monica her singing. They looked depressed the rotten trunk and they decided to head back home.
“Let’s try again tomorrow, right Lily?”
They walked outside the forest and now they were heading to the mansion through the small pond that Elizabeth had placed inside the garden.
“Lily…” a voice echoed into Lily’s mind and she turned around with her eyes wide open from surprise.
“Lily… did you hear something?” Monica asked her suspicious.
“Darth… I heard Darth’s voice!” and she started to run back into the forest, followed by Monica. They were back at the glade; but they couldn’t see something unusual. Lily heard his voice again and started to search around the glade but she didn’t find anything
“Lily, look up there!” Monica said and she lifted her head.
At the beginning it looked like a falling star, which was falling from the sky with speed, but as it was coming closer and closer to them they realized that it was just a small round diamond, in the size of a seed. Lily caught it in her hands and the tattoo started to respond.
“Monica… it is the spore of an Ebu tree.” And she smiled
“What? Then we can…”
“Yes!” and she placed the small spore on the trunk, starting to move slowly around it. Her movements became more graceful and elegant as her hands and her feet were moving synchronized together.
“Sing Monica… sing the lullabies” and Monica began singing, guiding Lily on her dance. The small spore started to shine and it fused with the trunk. The trunk started to grow back until it became a big tree with a white, now, trunk, big branches and pink flowers that were moving with the night’s breeze. Monica and Lily were standing in front of the tree and together they looked back at the forest, saying goodbye to their old lives, and they placed their hands on the Ebu’s trunk wishing to go back. The petals touched softly their bodies and they disappeared.
Darth got out from the Topaz Temple and he took a scroll to the city. Nebolia was livelier than ever with the shops working again and the lively people. Without realizing he was standing at the same spot they had come the last time together, eating their lunch. He smiled at the memory and he headed to the rental area. He paid the fee and he found his wagon rotting away from disuse. He touched the door and it transformed back into its original state, as if not even a day had passed. He got in and headed to the Hall, jumping into the trap door. He was inside the Hall standing in the center of the many doors. He opened the door of their room and a faint scent of perfume mad him dizzy. The room was a mess; clothes were thrown here and there and a white box was open on Monica’s bed. Darth stepped inside and the magic wall turned into a forest of Ebu trees. He remembered that they liked it when they saw the room the first time, and smiled. He walked for a while around the room, afraid to touch anything until he noticed a notebook. He opened it and he saw the small holes carved on the paper. He took out the translator ink; he always carried it with him, and dropped some of it in the pages. The holes became words and the words sentences. It was Lily’s diary as she wrote it on the Braille language. Their adventures, their times together, her fears, her emotions, everything was written here. He read it all and closed it again, getting out of the room, and out from the wagon, unable to stop thinking of the time they spent together with everyone. He took a deep breath and looked at the night sky.
“I really need to smoke” he murmured but he remembered Monica shouting that smoking would ruin his health and himself throwing his pipe in the sea the day Lily gave him her necklace. The butterfly started to become warmer and he got up surprised looking around him. A tremor shook the earth and a falling star appeared in the sky, heading to the forest of Ebu Trees around the city. He ran to the direction he could see the star falling; he passed the trees around him until he reached the location where the star had fallen. The Ebu trees merged together and created a huge one, where on its branches were hanging two women. Darth stopped running, unable to speak when he heard their voices.
“Firstly we fall into the Plains of the Ghosts and now we are hanging from a tree. Why can’t we land on a normal place?” Monica said angrily
“We did land anyway! But we are on an Ebu tree” and she looked around, only to see the pink trees around her singing and welcoming her back. Lily felt a Heart Light shining more and more from joy. She recognized the color immediately and looked down. She saw Darth looking at her with surprise and she let herself fall from the tree into his arms. They both fell into the ground and they hugged each other tightly.
“You… came back”
“Of course I did” and she looked at him smiling
“You have grown”
“You didn’t… old man” and Darth pulled her hair away looking clearly ay her face
“Excuse me love birds, do you mind helping me getting down?” Monica said with a teasing voice from above.
A dragon’s roar was heard and they saw Limon and Dings appearing from the woods looking at them surprised.
“Monica, Lily!” Dings said happily and he ran towards them. They didn’t recognize him at first, he was really tall, and they hugged him.
Limon run to Monica and lifted her on the air making her shout from surprise.
“Put me down Limon!”
“No you came back! You finally came back stupid!” and he kissed her.
That day would mark a new journey for all of them; the journey of a new life.
Lily is standing in front of the Altar. The Gods are greeting her back offering her their powers again.
“You shall live forever my Lady protecting the land we all love and cherish” they said with one voice and the columns shined.
She got out from the Altar; Darth was waiting for her patiently, and he took her hand as they walked back into the coronation room. Dressed in their formal clothes they were heading back in order to recognize Monica as the new Princess of Denmor and Lily as the new Pristess, Protector of the Land.
“Are you alright? You don’t talk much.”
“If I would say that I am not nervous that would be a lie Darth”
He placed his finger under her chin and he kissed her softly.
“Everything will be alright trust me” and he smiled to her with confidence.
At the feast after the coronation the twins saw everyone again. Fin greeted them and bowed and they hugged him, they saw Minto together with Mimi, Clyone who offered them a chance for a trip on the sea. They discovered with surprise that Elemor and Princess Fiora got married and Lady Permer offered to them gifts from all over Denmor. Dings and Lefenia were dancing slowly and Monica was dragged to the dance floor. Lily sneaked out from the ball room and got out to the balcony. Her dress was moving softly from the wind and her hair, tied up into a bun, decorated with hairpins, made he feel uncomfortable. She untied them and they fell on her shoulders. She felt a hand from behind taking a tuft of her hair touching them gently. She turned around and with a bow from him they started to dance together slowly. They were moving around as the music from the inside became slower, until he stopped and looked at her into her amber eyes.
“Will you stay by my side?” Darth asked her with trembling voice
“Forever…” Lily answered and she placed her head on his chest. She felt his Heart Stone pounding fast with the color of amber, the same color of her own Heart Stone and smiled.
And thus, the myth of the Priestess of the Four Gods remained alive into the end of time.