Categories > Original > Fantasy > Oblivion0 Reviews
The horse's wavy mane and tail lightly grazed the ground, rippling like silk over each rounded stone. He wanted to run again, but patently waited for the rider's signal. They reached the castle within a few minutes, and the rider gracefully dismounted, never letting go of the bag. A stable hand automatically approached, knowing to take the horse to the barn. He reached for the reins and found none, glancing at the rider with a confused look. The rider brushed aside the mane and let it fall back into place across one delicate hand, placing it between the horse's mane and neck, and began finger-combing the silky strands.
"Follow him, my friend. Rest well," the rider whispered in his soft ear, motioning for the young man to return to the barn. He cautiously started walking, the massive horse following like an obedient dog. Again the rider smirked, knowing that a tackless horse was bound to confuse anyone.
The cloaked rider stepped toward the wooden doors, which the guards immediately opened. The rider entered the well-lit hall, almost cringing at the bright light of Aier-Tal's presence. It was sickening.
"So, you are the infamous Shadowed Rider," said Alysia in a clear, commanding tone. The rider looked up. Even with all her skills and experience, Alysia could not see past the shadows of the twinkling fabric to the rider's face.
"I am indeed. You are Alysia, and that is Aier-Tal. That is what I seek. This," said the rider, drawing out the spangled bag, "is what I bring." The rider dropped the bag, and the glittering cloth fell to the marbled floor. But the object it had held was now free. It was a near replica of Aier-Tal, with a few changes. Bat's wings replaced those of a bird, and a violet glow filled the inside of the crystal. It, too, had a halo, something that startled both Alysia and Aier-Tal. It hovered next to the rider like a protective dark fairy.
"My name is Laska. And this," said the rider, lifting the hood off of her head and motioning toward the crystal, "is Lat-Reia." Alysia studied the girl's face. They had to be about the same age. But her sharp vision saw that they were completely different.
"Hello, my old friend," said Lat-Reia's spirit, voice dripping with evil. "It is simply wonderful to see you again." The purple orb began floating over to Aier-Tal, and Alysia stepped in front of it protectively. Both Laska and the crystal laughed darkly.
"You believe this little Quartz Spirit can be protected by someone like you? Please."
"Now, Laska, we must be patient with them," the spirit reprimanded gently. "The girl knows nothing of the ways of Quartz and Amethyst." Aier-Tal floated out from behind Alysia to meet Lat-Reia.
"Why have you come here?" the white spirit asked the purple.
"Our purpose will be revealed with time. For now, I believe Laska is quite weary from her journey and needs rest. We will continue this in the morning." Alysia glanced warily at Aier-Tal, a look of distrust in her bright eyes. The white crystal let out a sigh.
"Alysia, show Laska to the guest chamber. Lat-Reia and I will remain here." Alysia bowed and walked out of the room, expecting Laska to follow. The auburn-haired girl respectfully nodded to the purple crystal as she gracefully walked past it, following Alysia with an air of royalty. They walked down a dimly lit hallway, arriving at the room in a minute or so. Alysia stepped forward to unlock the door, and heard the sound of thin wood being bent. She turned swiftly and almost cut herself on the three blades of an arrow's point that was aimed directly at her face.
"Give me one reason why I should not kill you right now," said Laska monotonously, holding the tall, black recurve bow at full draw effortlessly. Alysia tried to step backwards, but instead flattened herself against the wall.
"I haven't done anything to you."
"You do not trust me."
"And why should I?" she said, holding her chin high. "You attack our kingdom for no reason, you bring pure evil within our walls, and you and that thing insult me! I have no reason to trust you." Laska's brown eyes narrowed, but she slowly lowered the bow to the ground and dropped the razor-tipped arrow into the narrow quiver on her back. She replaced the bow across her back as well. Alysia unlocked the door and stepped aside for Laska to enter. She walked inside and looked around, then glanced back at the black-haired girl, watching and waiting for her to leave. Alysia slowly closed the door, quietly knocking on the wall once to make it sound like it had closed completely. In reality she left it open an inch. She knew Laska was hiding something. She watched quietly as Laska removed the star-covered cloak and placed it on the bed, laying the bow and quiver beside it. Alysia saw that she wore crystalline, sleeveless amethyst-colored armor with a short metal skirt and laced knee high purple boots. She stretched her arms toward the ceiling.
Alysia stifled a gasp as a pair of enormous purple bat wings unfolded from her back. Laska yawned and sat on the floor, and the wings wrapped around her protectively. Alysia took off down the hall, back into the room where the two crystals rested. She heard their voices and carefully listened to what they were saying.
"Tell me why you are here, Lat-Reia. It has been quite some time since I last saw you."
"We come with a proposition. My kingdom, Vion, has few alliances, as I am sure you are aware."
"That does not surprise me, looking at your kingdom's history of war." Lat-Reia floated away from Aier-Tal to look out over the town.
"Others fear power. My people embraced it. However, many kingdoms are rising against us. Their combined power will surely conquer us. You are our last hope." Aier-Tal sighed.
"I'm sorry, but I will not ally with evil." Lat-Reia laughed darkly.
"I should have expected this from one of the light. If you do not aid us, I will be forced to destroy your kingdom." Alysia gasped, drawing the spirits' attention. She stepped out of her hiding place.
"You may as well be here for this, Alysia," said Aier-Tal sadly. Alysia asked if she should go get Laska.
"I suggest you do not interrupt her rest. She already knows of this, anyway," said Lat-Reia. The black-haired-girl nodded solemnly.
"I suppose you have presented us with no other option, Lat-Reia. I accept it."
"Excellent," said the amethyst crystal. "From this day forward, our two kingdoms merge into one. What shall we call it?"
"Oblivion," said a new voice. Laska had entered, wings spread out in all their glory. As much as Alysia disliked her, she admired the strange feature.
"A fine name for a fine kingdom," said Lat-Reia. Aier-Tal floated over to Alysia, who was thoroughly shocked.
"I have a gift for you. I have a feeling you will need it soon." Two sharp pains in her back brought her to her knees, though Aier-Tal's soothing white light surrounded her in an attempt to ease the pain. It was too powerful, and Alysia ended up fainting. Laska picked her up as if she were as light as a feather. She almost felt pity for the girl; she remembered the experience and how much it had hurt. Her heart had been strong enough to keep her from falling unconscious, but it had hurt just the same.
"Take her to her room. She will probably be asleep for at least a day." Laska nodded in acknowledgement and proceeded down the hallway, wings protecting her.
"When did she receive her gift?" asked Aier-Tal.
"That question can only be answered with a story." Laska smirked as their conversation faded out, though not for long. She planned on returning to hear her own tale.
"Unlike your Alysia, who was raised in this castle, Laska was brought to me a few years ago. She had been injured and was near death."
"So you infused her with your magic."
"Yes. She received her wings, armor, magic, and weapons. She did not faint, but I believe she wishes she had." Aier-Tal agreed. Laska entered at that moment, wearing the cloak over her wings.
"I wish to visit Vaika," she said in the familiar ancient words.
"You speak the tongue of the ancients, Laska?" asked Aier-Tal in surprise. The auburn-haired girl nodded with a small smile.
"It comes easiest to me, as it is the common tongue in Vion." Lat-Reia dismissed her, and she stepped outside to go to the barn. Though she did not know exactly where it was, she could feel Vaika's energy and followed it. The barn was dark but warm. She found Vaika as though it were daytime, and he eagerly greeted her.
"How are you feeling, my friend?" she whispered. The horse nuzzled her shoulder affectionately, and she stroked it in response. "Do not be troubled. We shall be rid of this horrid place by tomorrow and return home. In the meantime, try and rest." Laska pet his ears as a farewell and quietly left the barn. Though the night air was cold, she removed the cloak and folded it across one arm, allowing her wings to be free. She ran for a few steps and took off into the air, flying up to her room and opening the window. It was much more efficient than walking, and a lot more fun. Again she sat on the floor and wrapped her wings around herself, falling asleep not long after.