Elizabeth and Leon couldn’t afford to spend more than a day on their detour, as the world would be fading away quickly. That meant Nefeline’s time with Elizabeth was limited, and she made the most of it as she possibly could. She couldn’t teach Elizabeth to master her magic in a single day, but she could help her understand it — and understanding her powers meant learning where they came from.437Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ8kMZdN08yH
“You are not Eloise,” Nefeline started, “but she is still a part of your spirit, your soul, where your magic originates.”
“My magic originates in my soul?” Elizabeth echoed inquisitively.
“Indeed. All magic comes from the power of one’s spirit — the elusive fifth element. The four elements comprise the earth: Air, Water, Fire and Earth. But we are composed of greater things beyond the physical and tangible world, all life is imbued with a spirit — even the tree in which we stand.”
“How can the tree have a soul?”
“It doesn’t have a soul, or consciousness as we know of it, but it has a spirit — it has life energy that we cannot perceive, but we can feel it if we try.”
“How does this help me?” Elizabeth was confused.
“To understand your power, you must first understand how it came to be,” Nefeline explained patiently. “To do that, we must look at Eloise’s history — as she was your incarnation that became an Enchantress.”
“How did she do that?”
“That is what you must learn,” Nefeline said as she flew over to her bookcase and pulled out a large tome. She dropped the book onto a clear spot on the table, careful not to break any of the precious baubles sitting there.
“How? Leon won’t speak about her,” Elizabeth protested as she walked closer.
“Come here,” Nefeline beckoned and Elizabeth complied. “We here at the Great Life Tree collect the life history of every magic user to roam this world,” Nefeline explained.
“How?” Elizabeth asked, skeptical.
“Faerie magic,” Nefeline replied. She began to skim through the ancient, leather-bound book. “I presume, since you know about Eloise in the first place, that Leon did speak about her at one point.” Elizabeth nodded.
“He read one of his journal entries to me, and I’ve dreamed of her,” Elizabeth explained and Nefeline looked up with an expression that conveyed surprise.
“You dream of her?” Nefeline echoed. It was her turn to be dismayed.
“Well, not of her, per say…” Elizabeth trailed off but Nefeline beckoned she continue. “I dream that I am her. I see through her eyes, feel what she felt. I think I’m reliving her memories. Somehow,” Elizabeth explained slowly, as though feeling each word roll off her tongue tentatively.
“I seem” Nefeline replied and seemed to ponder this revelation, “I didn’t expect such a thing.”
“Is that bad?” Elizabeth was worried.
“On the contrary, my dear! This is excellent news!” Nefeline exclaimed as she began to flip through the book again.
“How?” Elizabeth asked.
“Because it means you are already familiar with the type of person Eloise was,” Nefeline replied. “We don’t have to cover all the reading material then.”
“Indeed. We must help you recover your memories of Eloise, if possible. I believe then you will further learn to control your power. Leon said they manifested when your life was in danger?”
“We can’t rely on that happening again — if your life is threatened, you may not be able to control whether or not your powers manifest, which means they’re unreliable,” Nefeline explained, echoing the concerns Elizabeth herself had.
“I’m scared of hurting someone…” Elizabeth trailed off, leaving out the part about almost killing Leon when her powers went out of control.
“That is why we will access those hidden memories, and reveal to you how to control your powers,” Nefeline replied. “How much of her life do you remember, or rather dream of?”
“Just bits and pieces,” Elizabeth admitted. “They don’t really make sense.”
“We will make sense of them, given time.”
“I don’t have time,” Elizabeth protested, “we have to find The Dreamer’s Daughter.”
“Ah. Azalea.” Nefeline didn’t even bother to look up from the text.
“Azalea?” Elizabeth echoed.
“Her name. Eloise’s sister. The Dreamer’s second Daughter. Azalea,” Nefeline explained.
“I didn’t know her name.”
“Is she dangerous? Can she use magic?” Elizabeth asked, growing concerned. She looked over at the bookshelf and wondered if Leon or Azalea were somewhere in a book there. Nefeline paused and looked up at the sky, pondering her response for a long moment.
“Maybe? That’s it?” Elizabeth was dismayed at how little the fairy would sometimes give her to work with.
“Maybe,” Nefeline repeated with conviction, “I’ve never met her before, so I couldn’t say if she were dangerous herself. Her ally, however, Jahan, is a powerful and dangerous, blood thirsty man. While she possesses magic, it is of divination.”
“Divination? What’s that?” Elizabeth asked.
“She can foresee the past, present and future,” Nefeline replied, “I imagine she knows you’re here.”
“Wait, she knows I’m coming?” Elizabeth asked worriedly.
“I imagine it was she who sent the assassin to kill you — possibly to test you,” Nefeline explained and then noticed Elizabeth’s alarmed expression, “however, she is unlikely to try the same tactic twice.” This didn’t reassure Elizabeth — they were going to find the person who may or may not want Elizabeth dead. After a long moment, Nefeline spoke up, pulling Elizabeth from her worried thoughts. “Read this,” she commanded. Elizabeth complied, moving closer to the tome. As she began to quietly read, she felt the familiar tingling sensation occur just behind her eyes a moment before she was blinded by a flash of light and her consciousness faded away.437Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡgvthAUepRJ
Elizabeth awoke in the softest bed she had ever been in. She could feel herself sinking into the plush mattress, squishy like a marshmallow, and imagined that must be what it felt like to drift in the clouds. She rubbed and opened her eyes, realizing that the light orb above was out — and wondered briefly if it had something like a light switch somewhere. She sat up and squinted through the darkness, barely able to make out the shapes of furniture. She recognized the layout of the room and realized she must be in the first bedroom where Leon had left their things before going upstairs to meet Nefeline. The memories came rushing back to Elizabeth: meeting Nefeline, learning about Eloise, and her vision of Eloise’s childhood. Eloise had controlled her magic through her emotions, and so Elizabeth must also learn to do so — that was the only way to master her power without hurting someone by accident.437Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡzb4Hj9xBUF
“Leon?” Elizabeth meekly called into the darkened room.
“Hm?” he barely responded with more than a groan and Elizabeth felt stirring beside her. She looked over and realized Leon had been asleep next to her the whole time, perhaps watching over her again.
“Sorry, I just want to know where you were,” she apologized. Leon sat up slowly to address her face to face.
“Nefeline said you passed out when she was teaching you about Eloise — you had another vision, I assume?” he asked. Elizabeth nodded.
“Yes. I saw Eloise as a child, learning to use her magic in the first place,” Elizabeth replied. Leon didn’t say anything for a long time and Elizabeth wondered what his thoughts were of.
“What was she like?” Leon asked finally, his weak low and weak.
“She was… curious and inquisitive. She asked a lot of questions and marveled at the beauty in the world,” Elizabeth told him.
“Much as you do,” Leon replied quickly.
“I thought you said I’m nothing like her?” Elizabeth countered.
Leon didn’t answer. Elizabeth fell back asleep, at the least feeling secure that her protector was nearby.437Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡbcQkBJ7bEv