Nadia paced around the hall apprehensively, she tensed as she heard the light patter of the feet on the floor. Her heart pounding as the footsteps grew closer. In a swift motion she was beside the crib, and scooped the toddler into her arms. She knew it was her time, a stopper to her reign but she never wanted it to be the end for her daughter who barely lived to see this mystical world. She was counting on her friend to save her child but it was too late to await for the listed help.
Nadia sighed and closed her eyes, determination swift in her eyes. Deciding on all the possibilities of tricks that would avert threat.
“Queen Nadia.” Aiden laughed notoriously as he saw the water figurine of Nadia, “You and your tricks can’t save you and…” his gaze fixated on the Lila.
Realization hit her, she was planning on ways to avert the threat while there is no point, and the threat as she was thinking was here. She had to save her child if that would mean sacrificing herself.
Nadia snapped her fingers, her entire frame along with little Lila transformed into an ice sculpture. The sound of water gurgling sounds brought a cackle from the toddler, for a second she memorized every bit of her loving daughter. She knew it was going to be her last memory of her.
Aiden enjoyed the show, he would give a minute to the losing queen. After all her sister deserves a moment, before he crushed her legendary powers to nothing. She broke into million pieces of water droplets, re-forming into a stream of water and started to seep through the gaps between the doors. “Not so fast…” He conjured the trident and threw it in her direction. The walls echoed with her scream, the trident sucked all the water, every last tiny droplet of it. In a flutter of eyelids, the mighty queen was brought down and the evil brother won.
The trident fell down with a rattling sound as it sucked in the last of the water droplets. Aiden open his palm, and bent his fingers in a moment of gesturing to come to him. The trident appeared in his hands surprisingly not wet at all. The deep sea blue diamond flickered off with a bright light. Aiden peered at it, tapping the diamond and said “I hope you like your new home, Sister.”
“Now… The world is rid of your filthy elementals. My children will have a great life in ruling the world that you took away from us.”
Lila slammed the door with a thud, the pictures on the wall rattled at the force. She slumped on the bed, hitting the bed to showing her frustration. She heard her mother hollering, plugged her ears and buried her head in the pillows. After a few timed, long breaths, she calmed down. “I’m going no matter what.”
“Lila, you are here?” Exclaimed Erin. She pinched herself, she couldn’t believe that Lila made it. “I could’ve done that for you.” Lila said slightly pinching her on the arm. “It’s just that you always had a last minute excuse to…”she stumbled.
Lila wrapped her arms around her friend’s shoulders and dragged her to the group gathered around the vehicles. She was greeted by exclamations and shrugs from her classmates. “What’s the plan?”
“Lila, you made it.” Lila startled as she didn’t see him approach. “You are going to enjoy every moment I promise.” He pulled her towards his car.
“Why cars?” “We’re going through a real world territory, my magic will exhaust if I have to glamour you all. Besides, I’m longing for a long drive.” He grinned opening the car door for her. She was cut off before she could ask for more, like from whom he borrowed the cars, when he learnt driving, what about license. Erin like an excited child squeezed in, watching everything with eager eyes.
Kyle cast a spell and the car surged forward as if it is driven without manual intervention that explained one of her many questions. “You ask too many questions…”Erin scowled when she heard her questions.
“Everything is taken care of … with a few spells...” Kyle assured but he knew that didn’t stop her from worrying about the details. Thankfully, Erin grabbed her attention by saying something about a sale in merchant’s street of Madira.
Lila couldn’t keep her eyes open, the cold breeze and the music lulled her to sleep. “Really? How can you even doze off?” Erin said throwing her arms in disapproval. “Kyle, change the music, you are sending her to sleep.” He changed to punk rock, Erin started to sing along and nudged Lila encouraging her to sing. This was the only thing that the regulars and the mystics had in common. The children of Maya appreciated the regular music but not in the open, they were not gracious in accepting that the regulars are good at something.
The ride was fun, after few minutes of singing at the top of her voice, she felt more awake. As the orange lights splattered across the dark night skies. She enjoyed the view as they plunged and raised on the roads. It was a roller coaster ride only in the sense of exaggerating. “There…” she followed the pointing finger of Erin and found something glimmering in the distance, beach she realized. The sun’s golden rays reflected on the blue waters. She leaned forward to take a good look at the beach, which she dreamed and saw in the movies.
She saw excited faces all around, a boat docked at the bay. “How?”
“Kyle is a class 3 warrior now, he can conjure up anything as long as it’s existing.” Erin boasted. Lila nodded disapprovingly not because Kyle is class 3 warrior now but because Erin is being so obvious about her love.
“Yeah! Yeah! your Kyle is one of the strongest and bravest warriors now.” Stressing the “your” part to let Erin know that she understood. She blushed and pointed “The youngest.” Kyle was talking about the arrangements, flashing a smile lovingly at Lila and Erin.
Erin sighed. “Hope, he feels the same way someday.” Lila brushed off the comment, she knew Kyle likes her. They were always together, whispering all the time. If only, Lila knew what Kyle liked to talk about was ‘Lila’ maybe she could’ve thought otherwise.
“You should talk to her.” Erin had insisted when Kyle talked about this plan. Though she meant it sincerely, deep down her heart she knew Lila would say ‘no’ and if that were the case he would fall back to her. That’s a big ‘maybe’ and she knew her mind was conniving.
“Come on, girls we don’t have much time before some other warlock conjures it up. We should be on the island.” Lila nudged her friend, who was staring at Kyle, non-responsive.
“Tell me again, how does this work?” Kyle’s face lit up. Lila always knew how to draw his attention. Erin liked to pretend that she is interested in Kyle’s work but she never got to the part where she should ask right things to spark his interest in the conversation. She was not excellent in academics, she was only a class 1 warrior. “Lila too.” Her wicked mind pointed it out to her. “Lila has no interest in learning things that were taught. She is always searching for something new to explore, I doubt she would be in class 1 if she had any interest in the academics. She has always been a quick learner.” She snapped that thought across her mind, trying to keep the wicked thoughts at bay.
“Before you conjure up, class 3 objects. You have to check their existence and do a hold spell on the object for the time you wanted to use it and until another warlock requests a hold on it. “
“It works like the public library system of the regulars,” observed Lila. Kyle and Lila were part of the regulars before they were moved into Madira. They were friends since childhood, they went to the same school and lived in the same building. Things were different back then, Kyle had parents and he was a regular in all sense. It wasn’t until he was involved in a car accident that things started to take a dramatic turn, his parent’s death, the keepers of Madira practically dragging him away from Lila and his regular life. Lila moved into Madira a year after that when she was discovered by a keeper.
Erin remembered the day very well. That was the very first time that she realized that he loved someone else. Kyle running to her, sweeping her up off her feet while she gaped at him unwilling to believe. He escorted her to the table where they were sitting. It took him more than an hour to realize that Erin was still here. He gushed over every word that she uttered, holding her hands all the time, stroking them gently. They shared their insane childhood stories and many regular’s adventures that only they were privy to.
“What if we are still in it when the other warlock conjures it?” She asked, bringing back Erin into the conversation.
“You’ll be right where you are except for the boat.” He smiled. “I don’t know how to swim.” Lila glared at him. “Don’t worry, I have a hold on it for enough time.” That didn’t assure her from thinking of the tragedy that would befall her if something to happen.
“Besides, your best friend is an awesomely talented warlock just like Harry Potter.” He winked. “Who is this Potter guy that you always talk about?” Erin had never been to a regular world. Though their existence was known, the pretension was mutual. The regulars brought up their children portraying the magical world as myths and bed time stories for children. The children of Maya however ignored their existence treating them as petty and cursed ones.
Kyle launched into a full length explanation of his favorite author while Lila averted her eyes towards the orange sky, mom would be seething, crumpling the note she left and taunting dad for making this bad choice of bringing them here. Mother was a regular while dad was a class 3 warlock before he decided to move to the regular world. He fell in love with Anna and decided to start his life anew. Through years, he learned how much he missed his old life, the love he had for his wife wasn’t sufficient for him to fight the endearing callings of his old life. And when the opportunity knocked in the form of his daughter. They were in Madira, before her mother could even comprehend the idea of her husband being a man whom she considered as myth, moreover her daughter being a prospective witch.
Anna was counting on her daughter to move out into the regular world and she never blamed her for that. She knew how much she hated it during the first days of her life in Madira and then Kyle came along. In a couple of days she began to love everything about Madira,
Lila’s flickering gaze fell upon a white cloth that waved in the early morning breeze, the blurry vision from watching the sun cleared up and it’s a white shirt that caught her attention. She gasped as her eyes trailed on the wearer of the shirt. She could feel the presence of toned abs as the breeze stuck the fabric to his body, chiseled jaw, sun kissed complexion, Roman nose, full lips, hooded eyes. He flashed a half smile as he walked towards her. Lila’s heart thrummed against her chest, in all her life, she could swear that she never saw a guy looking like that.
“Lila…” she was broke from her reverie when Kyle decided to break the spell by shaking her shoulders. “Earth to…”
“Are you still worried about the swim? I told you that won’t happen. I’m here for you.” He snaked his arms around her shoulders and brought her to his side.
“I want you to meet someone.” He said opening his other arm, like a show host announcing the arrival of their guest.
“Jesse…” Lila watched the hot stranger as his glance swept through her entire frame. A slight tremor swept across her frame as he assessed her.
“Jesse… does that ring a bell?” Lila averted her eyes away from him and frowned at Kyle.
“Remember that time, we fought?” Lila looked at him incredulously. They fight every time for everything. Lila made it a point to fight with him at least once in a day. She would miss if they didn’t, at times when they were fighting she would forget all about not having a sibling to quarrel with. To her, Kyle was the brother that she would never have.
“Okay, the time when we hardly spoke to each other for a month?” She punched him squarely in the chest. “I get that you remember it now.” He smiled. “How couldn’t I? Isn’t it because of the boy next door to your house, the one who magically disappeared after a month?” she said. She had no clue why Kyle brought this up after so long. She remembered that it had taken her a whole month to forgive him.
“Meet the boy next door, Jesse.” He said with a twirl of his hand, like the magician’s would do in the regular world when they conjured up something.
“Jesse meet Lila, the girl I used to talk to you about.” Lila sheepishly met his gaze, he was 6 foot tall towering above her. Lila wasn’t short she stood somewhere around 5’7 and yet she felt small in front of Jesse.
She took his extended hands, she was hit by static too strong. She pulled her hand away, her gaze resting on his full lips. She craned her neck a bit to see if he felt the same. His intense gaze made her uncomfortable in her own skin. “There we are.” Kyle said pointing to a canopy of trees that arched above them, hiding them from the direct sun. Rays of light seeped in through the canopy. The air is filled with mystifying scents of flowers which Lila couldn’t even name. Twitters of birds somewhere in the trees, called her to imitate them.
“You guys have like 20 minutes before this boat is gone. Gather your things and head down to the beach.” Kyle shouted over the excited chatter of his crazy friends.
When the last of them was accounted for, the boat vanished into thin air, leaving a thick glimmer of fading magic in its place. It’s been over a year since she moved to Madira, but this world never ceased to amaze her.
“We’ll have refreshments and start on our quest. We’ll be back at this very camp tomorrow evening sharp 6, the boat doesn’t wait for anyone. Remember that.”
“I thought this was a party and we are supposed to enjoy.” Erin looked at her skeptically, she never understood why the regulars treated academics and fun differently. She would’ve understood if she sat working out endless hours of calculus or which country started which revolution or even better chemicals and energies.
“This quest isn’t like the other one’s that we have at Ashram(A word for school in Madira), this is a real life adventure. Somewhere in this island hidden is the palace of Samudra. It has been lost to our world as the generations of elements went extinct.”
“I thought the elementals went extinct two centuries ago.” Kyle nodded. “It’s been 200 years and no one found it? Wasn’t there some spell to uncloak the hidden objects?” she asked.
“You have to understand the person who hid the palace must be someone who was more powerful than any of the class 5 wizards that exist now. Besides, the point of this quest is not just finding the palace, it’s about team work and doing a fun quest for the Siksha(A term loosely used for teaching and training in Madira).”
Lila rolled her eyes, she would never get these theories. She is a regular from her upbringing, if she were brought up here may be she would see a point in this. She thought wistfully.
She enjoyed the breakfast in the open sunlight, sinking sands, warm morning breezes. She couldn’t remember when it was, the last time she ate out of her family kitchen. Her family is not big on outing. She corrected her thought with a nod of disapproval ‘never on outing.’
“Thanks…” She whispered to Kyle. He winked at her and pulled her close to him. “An adventure awaits for you in the most mystical islands in the world.”
Lila watched Kyle, as he grouped the people into teams of four. Instructing them all the safety guidelines. While Lila watched him with a casual sort of interest, Erin watched his every move; the way his muscles moved when he flailed his arms to explain things, chiseled jaws, unruly hair that covered his slightly wrinkled forehead. As if he felt her lingering gaze he waved to her. Erin felt a jolt of shock, she averted her gaze away from him.
She could hear footsteps in the crunching sand, she was sure that it was Kyle his muscular frame cast a shadow on them. Kyle met her honey brown eyes which seemed to look at him, yet not really focused on him.
“Is everything okay? You seem so distant.” He said slumping beside her on the beach. Erin frowned and noticed that he was right about Lila. “Are you worried about your mother?” Lila nodded. She was still not sure how her mother would react to such insolent behavior. She had gone through all the possible scenarios in her mind and none seemed to explain the silence from their end. They hadn’t sent a howler or force hasn’t’ been here to drag her back home.
“I haven’t set a wind message to her that you are safe and with me.” Kyle said standing up, he rubbed his hands and held it towards her. “What? When?” He smiled.
“Now, you enjoy the time. You mayn’t know if you’ll ever be able to step outside the house from now on.” Lila knew that’s how things are going to be but not before listening to her furious mother rant.
Kyle shouldered her backpack as well and nudged her, tilting his heard forward, a gesture to come along. “Come on, man.” Erin fell a step back allowing room only for two of them to talk.
“Do you know the story of this island?” Kyle said conversationally. Lila shook her head ‘no.’ her mind was elsewhere, worried about facing her mom. She wished time would stop right where they were, so she couldn’t face the adversities.
“Queen Nadia, one of the most powerful water elements built this island as a gift for her daughter who is turning one year. But it was said that she disappeared on this island, along with her daughter and the palace.”
“One thing that I don’t understand is why we are so adamant about finding this palace, I mean aren’t elementals our rivalry clan.” Erin couldn’t help overhearing their conversation, or expression her doubts out loud.
“Queen Nadia, is a collector and her husband being the greatest warlock ever. It was said that she had collection of many magical items that even our great grandfathers had never seen. And it is our right to have what’s ours back.” Kyle said it with a slight derision in his tone. Lila couldn’t help roll her eyes. She never understood this hatred for the Elementals, I mean what was the point of hating something that doesn’t exist anymore.
“Do we just keep walking?” Their small party had been walking in the narrow path of the jungle for hours, having small talk and sometimes everyone in their own thoughts. Kyle’s gaze drifted from Erin to Lila. Both the girls, looked tired from walking all the day in jungle. They could use rest and the whole point of this quest was to spend some quality time with Lila
“We’ll find a camping ground and settle down for the night.” They walked to the higher grounds, where they found small clearing and Jesse started on setting the camp.
“Can’t you just snap your fingers and save the time and energy on building the camp?” Lila frowned sitting on a stump, her look involuntarily drifting towards Jesse.
Kyle slumped on the ground beside her, his one arms resting in her lap and the other gesturing as he talked.
“Magic is a form of energy and the more you use the more it drains, I thought at least you leaned this in all the while you have been here. He launched to an explanation of basic magic for beginners guide.” Lila zoned out. It’s not that she doesn’t know about it, it’s just a habit of thinking like a regular that doesn’t go.
Jesse finished up setting two tents by the time Kyle came back with some wood, Erin and Lila grilled the food. They had survived the whole day munching on fruits and cold sandwiches. The rich taste of the grilled food and spice, elevated her spirits. She even started humming by the end of their dinner.
Erin sang along as Lila hummed. The boys watched them with mild interest. “So, how do we do this thing? I mean is there any particular place we could start?” Lila whispered laying on her sleeping bag, gazing at the night sky, sprinkled with stars.
Kyle shrugged, even though he knew that she couldn’t see him. “It’s so beautiful!” She turned towards Kyle. “Thanks”
Kyle winked at her. “Good night.” He fell asleep watching her.
“Salila…” Lila jerked in her sleep, the voice was so beautiful and calling, yet somehow she was scared. “Salila…Salila…Salila…” Every time she uttered her name a jolt of shock ran through her body, didn’t Kyle say that people hear voices on this island who then turn crazy. She wanted to wake up, but couldn’t open her eyes, If only she could wiggle of the blanket wrapped around her, the cold air would definitely wake her. She felt paralyzed unable to move. After what seemed to be like many long minutes, she could finally feel the control over her body.
She woke up with a startle. The pleasantly cold breezes, twitter of birds in the woods soothed her nerves. She wiped away the sweat and saw that Kyle and Erin are still asleep. With shaking legs, she stood up and followed the sounds of a stream, the smell of wet mud was intoxicating. She scooped up the water in to her palms, splashed it over her face. As the cold water kissed her face, she felt a sudden surge of energy coursing through her. All the sounds switched to background, the only noise was from the flowing water, and she could sense that the water is dropping after what seemed to be like a mile away.
“Salila…” Her heart raced as the voice called to her. She saw the reflection of a young woman flickering in the pool. Time seemed to stand still, as she summoned courage to turn around and see her caller.
“Salila…” Every time she heard her, she felt the jolts of shocks passing through her body. Lila gasped when she finally saw her; she was wearing a skirt with two shades of green silks overlapping the other, roughly cut hem as if someone ripped it off with hands, a sleeveless crop top with same color combination, a crown made of flowers was arranged to the side on her unruly wavy hair. She was dressed in austere style yet there was something about her presence itself that commanded attention and radiated strength. She beckoned her, Lila found herself following her soft footsteps that seemed to be kissing the ground slightly, green grass cropped out where her feet touched.
She stopped abruptly, even her slightest movements seemed to Lila like she was dancing. Her smile was sweet but never reached her green eyes.
“Your destiny awaits, little sister.” She said, glancing at the mouth of the waterfall. It was then that Lila realized where she walked into and understood why her feet felt cold.
“See you soon, Salila.” “Wait! I don’t even know your name.” Her smile broadened. “Ash…” Her name, her sweet scent lingered in the air as she disappeared. It was only seconds before Lila came to her senses and understood that she had no clue of how to get back to the camp.
“Ash… how do I get back to the camp?” she felt like an idiot talking to nothing but the wind. The sky is no longer painted in orange shades, which meant her friends are awake and probably freaking out. They would eventually find her though, after all Kyle is a warlock. She decided that she would walk down the hill and meet them halfway.
“Sometimes, all you need is a push in right direction.” She heard Ash whispering in her mind.
“Ash, where are you? Please help me.” Lila did a full circle to find the green maid.
Two things happened at the very moment, she heard someone calling her from the bank, a strong gust of wind smelling much like Ash pushed her, the green mossy stones weren’t much helpful either, she fell and the currents were suddenly strong enough to push her towards the edge. Lila found herself, shrieking at the top of her voice. The wind tugging at her strongly, her ears suddenly felt dysfunctional. Her heart weighed too much, her whole body feeling the impact. She endured that whole sickening feelings for few more minutes, before she splashed into the water. She drank a mouthful of water and panic seemed to kick in. She tried to flap her arms in a desperate attempt to swim. The more she did it, the more she sank in. Exhausted, she gave up trying.
“Kyle, wake up. I can’t find Lila anywhere.” Erin jerked him awake. He sat up rubbing his eyes, Erin felt that he is totally adorable; with his messy bed hair and the child like scowl on his face. Erin mentally slapped herself, this is not the time or place.
“Lila is missing. Jesse went to find her.” He sat up abruptly.
Jesse watched over his shoulders to make sure that none of them was looking. He changed into his paws, he has better chances of finding her in his animal form. When he was finally able to part her scent from all other scents. He let out an involuntary howl, it was nothing like the scent of the children of Maya, while they smelled like magic and herbs. She smelled more ancient, strong and something that he couldn’t quite figure out. His paws carried him faster than his legs could do.
He smelled something of woods as he bounded towards her. He changed into his human form as he walked towards her careful not to scare away her company.
“Your destiny awaits, little sister.” Jesse gasped. The wood scent, nymph!
“See you soon, Salila.” Salila? Hm! That must be her full name but why does that name sound so familiar. He frowned in deep thought. A wood nymph appearing out of nowhere, risking the exposure of her race just to talk to a normal girl from her rivalry clan.
“Wait! I don’t even know your name.” He perked up his ears, that’s what he wanted to hear.
“Ash…” He smiled. Nymphs are tricky, how could he forget that. They wouldn’t easily give away their name. Ash is probably her clan name.
“Ash… how do I get back to the camp?” The nymph vanished, he stepped out of the trees to see Lila talking to the wind. He doubted that Ash would even reply to her, they are concerned about what they wanted to do and once they are done with it. They have no care about anything.
“Ash, where are you? Please help me.” Lila did a full circle to find the green maid. Jesse saw her panic stricken and he was sure that the nymph was playing mind games, scaring the poor girl. Was she really innocent? If she is a regular witch how come a wood nymph found her? Why does she smell so different? Jesse felt a tingle in his spine as he groped for the memory of the scent in his mind.
“Lila…”He called setting all his thoughts apart. One second, he saw her standing there and the next he heard her screaming as she fell down. Without further ado, he jumped in after her, he changed into his animal mid-way in the air, and he never got a control on his animal instincts kicking in every time they sense danger.
“Salila…” It wasn’t Ash this time, this voice was warm and affectionate. Her eyes peered open, she felt her breathing was normal, her blurry vision felt something swimming towards her in the water. A dog? She shook her head little which hurt more than she could bear. Wolf? Panicked she kicked her legs to move away.
Lila was floating in the water as if she was on a water bed, not fighting for breath like he expected her to. That brought a horrific thought to his mind, was he too late? Is she dead? Kyle’s image popped in his thoughts, he would be devastated. He swam more hard to reach to her.
When he saw her kicking her legs, trying desperately to move away. He felt relieved that she is still alive but how? His enhanced vision now caught sight of the blue water bubble wrapped around her head.
He changed into his human form realizing what’s setting the panic in her. When he grabbed for her, she was still kicking trying to get away from him. It was becoming harder for him as well, he needs air. He caught her both hands and jerked her awake trying to get her to open her eyes, actually see him. His hold on her released when her eyelids fluttered open, he caught his breath when he stared at the deep blue pools of eyes, her gaze flitting past him and beyond, He followed her gaze, it took a while for him to adjust the vision and see what she was staring at, a wide opening like a cavern.
The burning need for oxygen, reminded him to get out of the water soon. When he finally brought her to the shore, Kyle and Erin were hovering over them to help.
A cup of hot cocoa, helped them. Lila was recounting the story to them. Kyle had many questions about this lady that Lila mentioned but to which Lila had no answers, all that she could give was her name. But that wasn’t enough for him to confirm anything. On the other hand, Jesse sat silent, he glared at her when she mentioned about the wolf in the water. He was falsely hoping that she would forget or dismiss that as a mere imagination. Obviously, she showed no signs of doing that.
“Wolf? Did you see one?” Erin asked turning towards Jesse. Jesse shrugged his shoulders, though his heart was racing.
After what seemed to be an hour of sharing their stories, Kyle obviously had to do a locator spell, he then teleported himself and Erin to the place. They went to pack the things up, but it was almost mid-day and they had a long walk down the hill.
“Thanks for saving me.” Lila felt bad that she wasn’t able to thank him earlier. Jesse’s mind was pre-occupied by many thoughts. Her eyes, the charm bubble and the wood nymph, who is she? He knows that he can’t share it with anyone not without risking her life. Children of Maya are mortal enemies of anything unknown and powerful. He shook his head, here he was thinking about the girls’ safety when the girl blabbered his greatest secret. “She didn’t tell you were the wolf,” his human half advised. “That is because she doesn’t know you are, if she did, she would go blabbering to her minds in a second. It wouldn’t take Kyle long to figure out if he believes that she saw a wolf.”
“But he didn’t. He thinks that her brain was muddled from almost drowning.” His human-half retorted.
“The cavern.” He heard her gasp. He didn’t want anyone to know about the cavern as well. It was their secret and she had no right to tell them about it just like the wolf.
“Can’t you just keep quiet about the wolf part?” He growled as the other two were out of their vicinity. His reaction scared her, he almost looked unrecognizable with that glare he directed towards her. She backed away and ran towards Erin.
Lila frowned. “Lila, come on. We don’t want to miss the boat.” Erin called.
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 28.02.2015
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