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Chapter Two
Sep 12, 2017
19 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!fewPnK5v3FXv6K1A0SyNposted on PENANA

      As I stepped through I felt slight tingling sensations all over my body, it felt weightless and I could no longer sense anything solid around me.  In a flash it was over, when I came back to my senses I could feel the ground beneath me and the weight of my body.  I opened my eyes and lost my breath at the sight I saw before me.  Sunshine brightened the sky to an almost painful extent, the beams shone through the colossal hills as green as my eyes in the near distance.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky to ruin the picturesque colour blue that expanded as far as the eye could see.  The air felt fresh and warm, the gentle breeze was the only sound to be heard.  The stillness was peaceful, it calmed my heart in a way I had never experienced before.  Crouching down, I felt that the grass beneath my feet was unbelievably soft.  I imagined this was what clouds felt like, it made me want to lay down and forget all my troubles.  Surrounding me were flowers of every possible colour, I had never seen anything like it.  It was spectacular.copyright protection39PENANAcO232Ti5Th

      Though it had been night on the other side of the barrier here the sun showed no signs of setting any time soon.  A herd of deer suddenly rushed past ahead of me and came to a stop to the far right, grazing.  The more I took in this place the more my excitement grew.  Why had I never been here before?copyright protection39PENANAX8vuXTf3oj

      “Welcome to Eithreal, Capital of Aldonia.” Alec stated.copyright protection39PENANAJlOP5Qq6IY

      My lips formed the word silently, Eithreal, it sounded as beautiful as it looked.  Staying here and laying in the grass, basking in the glorious light the sun was giving off was a perfect dream.   However, it was short lived.copyright protection39PENANAUVMWYPQhVJ

      “Okay let’s move.”copyright protection39PENANAySS4nPYCTm

      I glanced at him about to tell him what a killjoy he was until I became distracted.  He had removed his cloak and stood in a form fitting black t-shirt and dark jeans, this flattered his physique.  What was truly marvelous to look at were his eyes, in Mortalis they had been beautiful, here, they were magnificent.  It was as if the sunlight itself were being reflected into them turning them a pale lavender.  He pointed ahead of us and his lips moved but I didn’t hear anything he said.copyright protection39PENANAVCIKrOBRVk

      “What?”copyright protection39PENANAQPfDMesCvn

      Alec scowled and rolled his eyes. “There’s a path just up ahead, in between the hills it’ll take us through the town nearby and to the Academy.”copyright protection39PENANAm4ge8D36gX

      “That’s where we’re going?”copyright protection39PENANAtczcX10yTW

      “Yes.”copyright protection39PENANASJL8nxmQaR

      “What’s the Academy?”copyright protection39PENANAewVuK48Oap

      “When we get there, you’ll find out. At this rate we might never make it.”copyright protection39PENANAMDBmPynQ7g

      It was my turn to roll my eyes.  He walked ahead towards the path and I followed.  As we strode through the town I had a hard time keeping up with Alec, my concentration was on the people and how vibrant it was here.  There were stalls set up everywhere with market traders bargaining and selling goods.  The town was bustling with people; some rushing, some taking their time and eyeing up the produce.  I was sure I could see every colour of the rainbow and more in their clothes, their hair and even in the some of the quaint little houses dotted around.copyright protection39PENANAM00y8o6ueh

      Back in Mortalis I had been the only one to stand out with my unusual white hair, green eyes and rich tawny skin.  Everyone else had brown, black or blonde hair in different variations and deep brown eyes that almost looked black.  Here I fit right in, there were people with hair and eyes every colour I could imagine.  Skin every shade of tan, brown and ivory there was.  People were riding on horses or in carts dragged by them, children were running around the market their laughter echoing down dirt roads and cobbled streets.  It was like I had been transported back into a different century.  I found myself unable to stop the smile that spread across my cheeks.  When I turned back and saw that Alec was several feet in front of me I rushed to catch up.copyright protection39PENANAmsNhXym6nw

      “Why didn’t we take a horse and cart?” I asked.copyright protection39PENANAvaa7w0GTRN

      Alec continued ignoring me so I huffed and trailed him silently, his mood was like a dark cloud over this wonderful place and it was maddening.  We must have walked for at least a mile before we finally came to a stop in front of a slight hill, atop the hill we reached a huge iron gate.  There were two knights stationed in front of it each carrying long silver swords and in black armour.  Alec spoke to one of them briefly then the gates were opened and we were being motioned to go through.  Inside the previously grassy ground became cobbled stone and we were surrounded by stonewalls and four towers on each corner of what seemed to be a front courtyard.  To my left I saw a well and a young girl retrieving a small bucket from it, on my right were stables and I could hear a few horses neighing.copyright protection39PENANAaENacWziqN

      At the end of the courtyard another set of iron gates led us to a trench filled with water and a flat wooden bridge, across it was an enormous castle.  Stunned by the beauty of it as I had been with everything else I’d seen so far, I stood enthralled.  The castle had a huge oak door with black iron bolts, four high towers on each corner.  Green ivy crawled up the front and sides of the castle, up the towers and stopped at the edge of the cone shaped roof.  We walked across the bridge and I looked down at the clear water between the courtyard and the castle.  Pebbles layered the bottom of the river.  Colourful fish were gliding quietly through the water.  The castle doors opened with a loud creak as we approached them.copyright protection39PENANAANgn5dWrjk

      Inside was darker than I thought it would be, the doors led to a long and wide hallway, we walked further down and I saw a number of passages on the right and down each of them were several doors.  On the left I only saw two doors, one were double doors about halfway down and the other was a single door near the end of the hallway.  We continued until we reached the end where there was another door that led to the back of the castle, but we didn’t go through there instead we turned to the right, the last passage that branched off from the main hallway.  At the end of that was another set of double doors, Alec knocked loudly and the doors opened shortly after.copyright protection39PENANAXPu8W08CUZ

      It looked like I had walked into someone’s study, the floors were carpeted and there was a dim golden hue from the torches attached to the walls.  In front of the stained glass window was a large red velvet chaise lounge and laying on it with a big and old looking book was a beautiful woman.copyright protection39PENANAq4DefQaO8B

      She looked up when we neared her and gave us a dazzling smile, as she stood, I drank in her beauty.  She was tall and slender, but her muscles were toned.  Her skin was a smooth alabaster, her hair a luminescent blonde that reached down to her waist, and her eyes were a blue which at the moment were glowing with the warmth of her smile though looked like they could turn icy at a moment’s notice.  She was wearing a simple white dress that reached just above her knees with long lace sleeves and a patch of lace at the bottom, on her feet were white sandals with small heels.copyright protection39PENANACJoS6t63Vq

      “You must be Anya, welcome to the Academy. My name is Phaeora.” When she spoke, her voice sounded like the wind, cool and calming.  All I could do was nod in return yet her smile never faltered.  She looked at Alec who I now noticed was tapping his foot impatiently beside me.copyright protection39PENANAnSfS0bT9ON

      “You can go now, thank you.”copyright protection39PENANA8eSMs8CCXL

      Alec spun on his heels and walked out without so much as a glance back; irritated I glared at his back until I couldn’t see him anymore.  When Phaeora laughed my attention returned to her, it sounded like wind chimes clinking softly in the wind, I couldn’t help but smile along with her.copyright protection39PENANAezuCsB6yE1

      “I apologise on Alec’s behalf, he is quite a…guarded young man. Please have a seat.”copyright protection39PENANAY2UeVVpO4e

      She gestured towards the chaise and followed behind me as I sat down.  When she joined me she stared at me for a long while, I began to feel uncomfortable and shifted in my position.  Phaeora shook her head and glanced down at her hands in her lap.copyright protection39PENANACdsuZUDBxB

      “Excuse me.” She looked back up at me. “I just cannot seem to get over the liking you have to Amara. It is quite uncanny.”copyright protection39PENANAmLaRoDsvc6

      “Who’s Amara?” I asked.copyright protection39PENANAxb9rp4nPSs

      Phaeora got up, elegantly, and walked over to her bookcase.  She pulled out a book that looked almost as old as the dragon on her stained glass window, brushing dust off the book she returned to the chaise.  She opened it near the middle where there was a picture, as she turned it toward me I gasped at what I saw.  It was me.  At least, it looked like me.  The same white hair, emerald green eyes, skin like the desert sand, but this woman was older than I was, probably in her early twenties though she looked like she would be forever young.  Her white hair was longer than mine, more like the length of Phaeora’s and her eyes were glowing, literally glowing the way fireflies glow in the dark, almost as if she was angry.  I imagined that was what my eyes looked like on a normal day.  The woman was barely covered by white cloth that I supposed were meant to be clothes yet they didn’t leave much to the imagination, her hair flowed around her and arms stretched to each side of her, she had an ethereal glow about her.  She looked stunning and terrifying.copyright protection39PENANA3uFvZFqDhY

      “She’s beautiful.” Was all I said, I admitted that she and I did have an unusual resemblance but I didn’t look nearly as good as she did.copyright protection39PENANAeEKpv82XEf

      “Oh she was, probably the most beautiful woman in the world when she was alive.” Phaeora said as she returned the book back to its place.  When she sat back down, she launched into a story behind the myth of a woman, Amara.copyright protection39PENANA4bqdCPh0E9

      “Amara is something of a legend in Eithreal, and in all of Aldonia in fact.  She was the Queen of the Gods.”copyright protection39PENANAsHE7dEMDh4

      “Queen of the Gods? You mean she was an actual Goddess?” I interrupted.copyright protection39PENANACvImUdvXa9

Phaeora merely nodded.copyright protection39PENANAcekCrXrJX6

      “Not just any Goddess, like I said she was the Queen.  Of course this meant that she was the most powerful, that kind of power soon became a burden to herself and the rest of the world but that comes later in the story.”copyright protection39PENANATqOxx2ckGt

      Before she continued Phaeora grabbed some more books from the shelf and settled down on the floor, each book spread out and open before her, she signaled for me to join her.  When I sat beside her in front of the books, she spoke again.copyright protection39PENANAoiY6ETkaQu

      “At the beginning she ruled over all of Aldonia brilliantly.  She was kind, fair, smart and practical. She ruled over all, Gods, Goddesses and even humans; though she treated them all the same, with fairness but not everyone agreed with her. In fact, the other Gods and Goddesses called Ceteri saw everyone but themselves as beneath them, especially humans, they saw them as the lowest of the low. So evidently when Amara fell in love with a human this caused an uproar amongst the Ceteri.”copyright protection39PENANAj2JEEbC6UA

      Phaeora paused and showed me more pictures of the Goddess and a few of the Ceteri.  She showed me some pictures of what their world look like, it was all in the books she had arranged before us.copyright protection39PENANAdN02ly4xTK

      “So what happened?” I asked.copyright protection39PENANA1i20pHTJRJ

      “The same thing that still happens today. Where there is a conflict, there is war.”copyright protection39PENANAebMXQr8sy3

      “The Ceteri went against Amara by herself? That hardly seems fair.”copyright protection39PENANA3LR3NcCSKv

      “You would think so.  However not for Amara, it was unfair for whoever opposed her. At first, she did not want to fight, she resisted only defending herself when necessary.  The Ceteri were not achieving much in any instance, Amara was too powerful. Therefore they resorted to much less noble tactics. All to force her to relinquish her title.”copyright protection39PENANACLNFLdnFWf

      Phaeora paused and stared blankly at the books, probably imagining what it must have been like the same as I was.  A war between Gods, it must have been frightening.copyright protection39PENANAoarb8hChKa

      “What did they do?” I asked when my curiosity got the better of me.copyright protection39PENANAkNWbQJotC8

      “They targeted her lover. Which was quite possibly the worst decision they could have made. However, they could not swallow their prides. Initially they only meant to bargain with Amara, but they underestimated the connection between the two. Or something to that effect because for some reason she still refused to give up her title.”copyright protection39PENANAYfUMVGZilV

      “You don’t know why?”copyright protection39PENANAyJ6ZUfgxw1

Phaeora smiled. “I may know a great deal of the Goddess but not everything, unfortunately.”43Please respect copyright.PENANATTuBsrPz1r
“So what happened next?”copyright protection39PENANAHQOD2Fnq8Z

      “Well, once the Ceteri realised that they could not force the Goddess off the throne they did something even worse, something that decidedly changed the course of the war and the rest of the world to this day.”copyright protection39PENANAz6ftTa9Stu

      “What did they do?” I asked, feeling like I was sitting at the edge of my seat about to reach the climax of the story.copyright protection39PENANAO1eV19aiGG

      “They killed her lover. Murdered him in cold blood. It is safe to say that Amara was well beyond furious. She turned against the Ceteri in a bout of rage and hurt. Caused chaos amongst the world, killing and infinite number of people; humans, Gods and Goddesses alike. Understanding their fatal mistake the Ceteri knew they had to kill her. But this would be quite a feat, she was the most powerful being in Aldonia, the only way they managed to kill her was by combining all the powers of the remaining Ceteri, psychics and magicians, delivering a fatal blow.copyright protection39PENANAjox71AMp1V

      “Psychics? Magicians?” This was beginning to feel like a fairy tale.copyright protection39PENANApA2E4VPeNi

      “It shall all be explained soon, let me finish the story, it is an important part of why you are here.”copyright protection39PENANAJCkYxl8IDP

      I nodded and she continued.copyright protection39PENANApXdX5fxRFy

      “Though the Ceteri succeeded in killing her, it is possible they also underestimated her power, for she also had abilities of a spirit wizard. So instead of just dying, her spirit transferred into a young woman, ten years later that young woman gave birth to the first ever humana in Aldonia. This humana carried out the rest of the Goddesses will, destroying everything and effectively ending the reign of the Gods. Once the Ceteri were destroyed and there were no more Gods or Goddesses, the magicians rebuilt their world and began to take charge.”copyright protection39PENANAN49PJeKyty

      We both sat in silence for a moment; I was letting everything she’d told me sink in.  It was quite a sad ending to the story, Amara lost the one person she cared about most.copyright protection39PENANAQdabbIwkra

      “This was thought to be the end of the war and anything to do with Gods and Goddesses, however they were wrong.”copyright protection39PENANA9Q8nNdDl5i

      “There’s more?” I asked incredulously.copyright protection39PENANATSn3H6hrEL

      “Yes. Though Amara was gone, her spirit was still very much alive. And it manifested itself in the forms of reincarnations.”copyright protection39PENANAZvYaHaTeul

      At the mention of the word reincarnation chills went up my spine, I was getting another one of my hunches.  This time it was a terrible sense of foreboding.copyright protection39PENANApDbx1ZKEkP

      “Unfortunately none of them lived past their sixteenth birthday, Amara’s power was too great to contain so at sixteen they all flamed out. In the process, they each caused a massive amount of destruction before dying. Then you came along.”copyright protection39PENANAWeHjhpqzQ5

      I gulped. “A-are you trying to say that I’m one of those reincarnations? That can’t be true, they all died at sixteen, and I’m eighteen!”copyright protection39PENANAkQBj1itVwX

      Panic seized my heart.  Promises of discovering the reason these strange occurrences were happening to me was losing its grandeur.  Instead, terror eclipsed.  Sweat moistened my hands, my chest constricted.copyright protection39PENANAgVBssDsdhM

      “You are not a reincarnation.”copyright protection39PENANA2e0Kyi9YS0

      Hearing those words did nothing to ease the tension in my body.  The real blow was yet to come.copyright protection39PENANA3dRFwTX0Ot

      “You are a humana.”copyright protection39PENANAY5pAySd05u

      “What is that?” I asked.copyright protection39PENANAM8INTg63fY

      “Well, a humana is the physical form of the Goddess.”copyright protection39PENANA4jbVYIOVID

      I could only respond with silence.  Trying to process what she had just told me only made my discomfort worse.  My head pounded as I searched for answers yet found emptiness, I had no idea what this could possibly mean.  Understanding how I was a humana was just as difficult.copyright protection39PENANApGIPghHthN

      “What do you mean?” I asked, when I finally calmed down enough to form a reasonable question.copyright protection39PENANAY3VGRPXXSd

      “Amara had the ability to transform her spirit into a physical presence; she never did this until she met her lover. Remaining in her true form would prove…impractical, so she would use a human body as a vessel to interact with the man she loved, it was called a humana. The first one appeared after she was killed, and she destroyed the Ceteri.”copyright protection39PENANAVWw7SvPHrx

      Bile attempted to make a quick exit from my stomach, I forced it down.  I couldn’t fathom why I was so scared now, was I not the one that wanted more excitement in my life?  Just goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for.  As for believing this extravagant story, I was of two minds about whether I should or not.  Though I reasoned it would explain the things that had been happening to me since I turned sixteen, when I was supposed to die.  Shivers grasped my body at that thought. copyright protection39PENANAkRe3GukoYC

      Wasn’t what I saw in the meadow with Alec not proof enough that there was something more out there, something magical?  Was it really that far of a stretch that if there was magic there were also Gods, Goddesses, reincarnations and humana?  Yet I still couldn’t wrap it around my brain.copyright protection39PENANAbWF7DxXBuQ

      “Why now? Why me?” Of all the questions I had to ask those kept making themselves known in my head.copyright protection39PENANAOqNlxFQmni

      “We do not really know that. Maybe it was just meant to be this way, meant to be you all along.”copyright protection39PENANAUH98LQD6eB

      “Who was the man in the story, the one Amara fell in love with?”copyright protection39PENANAIqxoybVwMq

      “No one knows of his identity either. I am not sure why.”copyright protection39PENANAmAR9WoPNLc

      “What’s the difference between a humana and a reincarnation?” I asked.copyright protection39PENANA5GTeOF5rLj

      “Reincarnations only inherit Amara’s powers, however she is the only one that could control them therefore no reincarnation could, as they were not Amara. They were merely, natural people with supernatural powers. Humana on the other hand, you could say are the Goddess themselves. They are born with the spirit of Amara as well as her powers, therefore have a much higher degree of control over them.”copyright protection39PENANA3uKBSjMOPy

      Somehow, that didn’t make me feel better about it.  I continued with the important questions.copyright protection39PENANAeb96l5uaSg

“What’s a spirit wizard? What’s the Academy for?”copyright protection39PENANAmYWgcLVhdH

      “All that will be explained soon. For now, let me show you where you will be staying. Later on, we will have dinner in the main hall where those big double doors are. Tomorrow you will meet your mentor Kaii, he shall answer all your questions.”copyright protection39PENANABgbmS4FESu

      Nodding, I watched as she put all the books away, I still sat on the floor not quite sure I was strong enough to stand yet.  Weak and drained, today seemed to be the longest day of my life, then again I figured the day had started all over when I crossed the barrier; everything I had discovered had really taken its toll on me.  There was still much more to come, the thought made me shudder.copyright protection39PENANAc7Gmd1rIbk

      When Phaeora finished what she was doing, she led me down the various hallways in the castle, as she arrived in front of the room I would be staying in she opened the door and let me through.  Inside was plain, a simple timber framed bed with white bed sheets, a window opposite the door with deep indigo curtains, a large rug that covered most of the stone floor, a small maple wardrobe and a door that presumably led to the washroom.  As I stood in the middle of the room I was unsure of what I should do.  To think I had come home from school and entered an entirely different world was overwhelming.  Not even taking a minute to pack or perhaps let my mother know, though the first, and last, conversation we’d had in a while gave me a good idea of how she would react once she discovered I had gone missing.  At the present moment, I was more concerned about my utter lack of clothing.copyright protection39PENANAZxiWNvHJMV

      “I can see that this trip was unexpected, I will get you something to wear for tonight and sometime tomorrow we will go to the market in town.” Phaeora said.copyright protection39PENANAqocCK4GqIz

      I thanked her and she left to get me some clothes, while she was gone I sat on the bed.  The feeling of the soft mattress alone tugged at my sleep deprived mind, I relished in the thought of falling asleep in this comfortable bed.  Phaeora came back shortly with a small pile of clothes, she set it down beside me.copyright protection39PENANAUVGBhTCJCN

      “You do not mind having company do you? It is just that I need someone to keep an eye on you, make sure you are safe.”copyright protection39PENANA3Bllx9RfSE

      I shrugged. “I guess not.”copyright protection39PENANAaj2nVNrCda

      She smiled then left me on my own, I didn’t move immediately, just sat and tried to make sense of what was happening.  This morning had started off the same way it normally did, with dreams of the night Willow disappeared.  Continually frustrating me since said night but I failed to see a point in dwelling on that now.  Eventually I did muster the energy to have a bath before going to bed.  Dinner in the main hall wasn’t tempting so I decided to skip it, I was sure Phaeora wouldn’t mind.  Whatever else she needed to tell me could be mentioned when I saw her.copyright protection39PENANAb86RJnLl6n

      Inside the washroom was a large and round tub, made of a dark and smooth type of stone, I didn’t know what kind it was but it was beautiful.  Hanging on the edge was a fluffy white bath towel, attached to the same edge was a wooden platform, on it were several bottles of what I assumed were bath soaps and whatnot.  The floor in here was marble, there was a mirror hanging on the wall and below that a long wooden shelf also attached to the wall.  I sat at the edge of the bathtub running my hand along the edge, feeling the smoothness of the stone; it had quite a calming effect on me.copyright protection39PENANA9aZvwxEnMw

      “It’s hematite.”copyright protection39PENANA1XQ3kLRMn4

      I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard Alec’s voice; as it were, I did fall off the tub and land on my backside.  Alec stood in front of the door, directly opposite mine in a towel wrapped around his waist, his arms crossed and a scowl on his face.   As I noted his expression I gathered that he always looked at me as if whatever precarious situation we had ended up in was my fault.  The thought rankled.copyright protection39PENANAWzc2qWqchx

      “What the hell are you doing here?”copyright protection39PENANAArHzWe6ABT

      “I’m your company as Phaeora put it, believe me I’m not happy about it. Since you were here first I’ll wait.”copyright protection39PENANA7CQXGaJyX7

      He left, closing the door behind him; I wasn’t entirely sure how to feel about him being in the adjoining room.  Perhaps the proximity would warm him to me and I might see something other than that frown on his face.  Upon returning to my room, I wore the night dress Phaeora had acquired for me.  It looked like something she would wear; a burgundy and light silk dress with thin straps reaching mid-thigh.  With it came a red lace robe that stopped at my knees and had strings I could tie it with.  As I lay in bed that night, thoughts of Gods, Goddesses and war plagued me.  Amidst the illusionary destruction was Alec with his resident scowl.copyright protection39PENANACTGPW6Lmj3

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