Categories > Original > Fantasy > Oblivion0 Reviews
"Laska!" shouted Alysia. Startled, Laska released the arrow suddenly, and it skimmed the top of the target and landed in a nearby tree with a wooden twang. She grimaced and tore the blindfold off, glaring at Alysia. The girl shrank back in fear.
"Sorry, I didn't know it was you." Laska stalked over to the arrow, examining the point where it entered the tree. She internally cursed the fact that the bow was so strong; the long, razor-sharp points were completely embedded in the wood.
"These arrows are quite difficult to find. I am not happy about this." Alysia walked over with a curious look.
"Can't you just pull it out?" she said quizzically.
"And risk bending the metal? Hardly." She removed her cloak and quiver and placed them on top of the bow. Her hands began glowing with purple sparks. "Something this delicate will require magic."
"Magic?" Alysia asked. Laska sighed.
"Must we go over this again? That ridiculous- I mean, Aier-Tal gave you magic when you received your wings." She placed one hand on the tree and one around the shaft of the arrow. The purple sparks formed a glowing bubble around her hands, growing in strength as she focused. Alysia watched as the tree began to splinter and bend.
"Uh, Laska, maybe you should-"
"Shh," said Laska, eyes changing to a shade of amethyst. The tree started shaking.
"No, really, it's too much-"
"Quiet," she said through gritted teeth. Alysia crossed her arms and pouted.
"Okay, I think you need to stop."
"And I think you need to shut up!" she finally shouted. The poor tree exploded into innumerable pieces, and purple magic blasted Alysia away from the scene. When the dust cleared, she coughed a few times and fearfully stepped toward Laska.
"I'm sorry. I got carried away. It won't happen again," she said sadly. She picked up the arrow, which was miraculously still in one piece, and placed it back in the quiver. She grabbed her bow and cloak and flew away, back to the stables. Alysia stared after her sadly. She looked around at the destroyed tree, then back at Laska's fast-disappearing silhouette. 'I wonder what's wrong with her?' She cast a solemn glance at the shattered remains of the tree before returning inside the castle.
Laska left everything in her room except the cloak and flew down to the barn with her now brown eyes full of tears. She put on the cloak with its hood over her head and opened Vaika's stall door. He leapt out of the stall like a deer. Laska mounted him and raced out of the barn, carefully channeling her power through him. He began to glow a light shade of purple, easily leaping over the kingdom's stone wall. Vaika looked back at her with a concerned face when they landed lightly on the fresh grass.
"Run, my friend. Run home." The horse took off into the wind, Laska's tears getting caught in his silky mane. She knew he wanted to return home as much as she did. She tried to enjoy the feel of being on horseback again, but she could not. Her thoughts shifted to the last time she had lost control of her power.
Nexis stared at her with frightened eyes. Laska had become cold and unfeeling, attacking everyone in sight except him. Her eyes glowed silver, the same color as the flames exploding from her hands. She sat astride a dark horse with a long, wavy mane and tail.
"Laska?" he shouted. She turned toward him. "Don't you see what you're doing? These people are not fighting in the battle! You have to stop hurting them." She thrust one glowing hand towards him. A silver flame lashed out and cut his face, right through his right eye. He held both hands to his face and screamed in pain, looking at her as if he had been betrayed. This was too much for Laska. The silver glow left her eyes, and she collapsed to the ground. Though Nexis was still in extreme pain, he was instantly at her side.
"Are you okay?" he asked with difficulty. Her eyes filled with tears, and she screamed in pain. White light blinded him as she fell unconscious.
A young bay horse wandered over to her some time later. It sniffed her and nudged her shoulder. When she didn't respond, it lay down beside her and whinnied mournfully. A few seconds later, two of Lat-Reia's guards found her clinging to life. The last blast of power had drained most of her energy.
"What should we do with this one?" asked one guard. "Leave her?"
"Didn't you see that flash of light? This one's going straight to Lat-Reia." They placed Laska, who was barely breathing, on the back of a large draft horse and walked back to the castle with the young horse trotting alongside. She opened one eye and saw Nexis stand and look after her. She was too far away to tell what he felt exactly, but she had a feeling he was glad to see her go.
'I will never trust anyone again,' she thought silently. 'Because I hurt the last person that trusted me. And I will never bring that kind of pain upon anyone again.'
Vaika whinnied at Laska suddenly. She realized that they had reached the walls of Vion. They were a deep purple in contrast to the plain white ones of Obli.
"The Shadowed Rider has returned! Lower the gates," called one of the guards. She heard several shouts behind the walls as the metal spikes were raised out of the ground. Vaika neighed happily and pranced forward. Laska smiled and removed the hood from her head. It was good to be home. United with Obli or not, she would forever be a proud citizen of Vion. Unlike Obli's close-knit design with the castle at the center and surrounding towns, Vion's citadel lay at the northern end of the kingdom in Vion City. It was a day's ride from her current location, but she didn't plan on visiting the great city. There was a smaller city, Zeria, a few miles away where she could rest for the night. Though Vaika did not act tired, Laska knew better. He needed rest as much as she did.
They reached the city an hour later. Laska dismounted Vaika and watched as he trotted off to his hiding place. She smiled after him and turned to enter the city.
"So, our infamous Rider returns," said an unfamiliar voice in an almost mocking tone. Laska turned around and saw a man leaning against a wall. Short black hair covered part of his face.
"Who are you?" she asked, stepping toward him curiously. He laughed darkly.
"You amuse me. Have you forgotten me quite so easily?"
"How could I have forgotten you when I don't even know who you are?"
"But you do, my friend. You have known me for many years." He swept the hair behind his right ear with one flowing motion, catching Laska by surprise. A long scar crossed through his eye, changing the pupil to a milky white and the iris to a deep black. There was no hint of the cobalt blue it should have been.
"Nexis?" she asked cautiously. He smirked. "But...I thought you never wanted to see me again, after...well, you know."
"That was the last thing I wanted. But since you joined up with Lat-Reia, it has been impossible for me to find you." Laska felt warm tears fill her eyes as she hugged him.
"You don't know how long I've waited for this," he said smoothly, trying not to cry as well. Laska pulled away, smiling.
"Not nearly as long as I have."
"Where has she gone?" asked Aier-Tal. Alysia shook her head.
"Vion," said Lat-Reia. "She must have returned home."
"She is home now. We're one kingdom, remember?" said Aier-Tal.
"You can explain that to her yourself. Vion's citizens are proud of where they come from and who they are. She will surely return in a few days, if we do not find her there first."
"I think she needs some time alone," Alysia piped up. "She seemed really upset when the tree exploded."
"She lost control of her powers, didn't she?" asked Lat-Reia. The young Quartz Knight nodded.
"It was my fault. I kept telling her not to use so much magic and it annoyed her to the breaking point." She crossed her arms. "She wouldn't even tell me what made her so upset in the first place."
"No doubt this is about Nexis," Lat-Reia whispered to itself. "She will tell you when she feels she can trust you." Alysia was miffed, but left the crystals anyway.
"Now, shall we get started on the project of joining these two kingdoms?" said Aier-Tal happily.
"We shall," agreed Lat-Reia. Both crystals floated outside with a protective barrier glowing around them. A brown-cloaked man watched them from the shadows. "Your time will end, Wish Crystals," he said in a deep voice. "And when it does, my rule will begin."