What?! He thought.
He was awestruck. Not only was this masked figure not an underworld creature, it was a girl. And not only a girl, but it was the same beautiful girl from his vision.
She interrupted him, “I’m hungry…” she said casually.
“Um…” It took him a bit to grasp what she said.
“Yeah, air travel takes a lot out of you,” she said relaxing her posture a bit.
He looked at the path she made. It made sense that it took up a lot of energy to fly like that.
He looked down at his net and the fish he’d caught with his spear, “well, i do have some stuff…but i was saving it for when the group got back… how about this -I’ll let you get first dibs.”
The others would have to suck it up.
“Ok!” she said happily. She got in ready-mode to help him set up the campfire and other things.
“Uh, so where did you come from?” Narice spoke, trying to strike up a conversation.
“I’m from the guardian council,” Elera responded.
Narice was shocked again. So it DID exist- after all this it was real?!
She continued, “Actually they sent me to have you join us..”
He wasn’t sure what to think about that. How did they know what he was trying to do?
“How did you know that I wanted to join?”
“Huh? I’m only doing this because there was a prophecy about it,”
“What was ‘it’?”
“A way to counter the dark.”
“My father said I’m immune to a lot of magic…”
“I believe there is more to it…” she said setting down the objects that she got ready for the group, “let me test something…”
She lifted up her hand and around him a great force began to exert itself on his being.
She began to explain as she put more effort into it –
“A standard Ancient would probably have this much strength,” the landscape turned a frozen tundra already again but it was continuing to change, “but the element’s strength is attuned to personal relationship and understanding of it.”
Suddenly the force became more intense as he felt pressure emit on his core. It felt like the gravity itself began to surge upon him.
His eyes began to droop as his body began to weaken to the chill. He was about to slip unconsciousness.
“This is so much!”
“You need to defend yourself!”
This was a lesson. He felt a little bit of something inside himself fighting to stay up – like a little ball of light wanting to remain and fight back the suppressor.
Suddenly the cold began to wane as the ball grew and pushed the cold and pressure.
Around him the ball grew until it surrounded his whole body- then it stayed there.
She still held up her end- exerting as much or maybe even more pressure-
Narice felt the warmth coming from the core and walked up to the girl and put his hand out till it touched hers.
For a moment she looked at him while their fingers touched and she moved her hand back.
“Okay, that’s enough for now,” she let down her arm and the cold ceased.
The aftermath of the experience was extreme in the least. A torn up beach, slowly dissolving ice, and a peculiar path of untainted land that stretched from where he walked along to get to her.
“You have something else in your core.”
She laid on the ground exhausted.
His light dissipated and he sat down with her.
“So what do you want to know about?”
“Everything!” Narice responded abruptly, then noticing her exhaustion, “Hm…” he thought, then spoke, “how did you make the dreams?”
“You mean the one with the warning about the wizards?”
“You also told me to meet you in the tree of time… uh about that to… ”
“Wait- no I didn’t, or… hm…” she paused and then slowly got up, “maybe I haven’t told you …yet…”
“Uh,” Narice wasn’t really sure how it worked, “Anyway- the plan was to figure out where to get the last stone.”
“Right, I bet the finder points to the tree…right?”
Narice shook his head in agreement.
“I can help you get to the tree,” she said.
“Okay,” Narice spoke in happy to have her assistance.
They both took a chance at a breath in a peaceful moment.
Romani and Johna came back first. Initially they were both talking together not really paying attention to the campground. It seemed they had a slew of different foods in a small satchel and a shirt-made bag between the both of them.
“We decided that we would-” Romani said looking up. “Oh… hello lady.”
“Yeah we were going to split the amount fifty-fifty.” Johna said not realizing the reason for Romani stopping.
He looked up, “so…” he paused, “…oh, hi.”
“Hi,” Elera responded with a small wave.
“Who’s the girl, Narice?”
All of the sudden, they heard a shout, “I got the biggest!” Nick said joyfully running across the beach. Slung across his shoulders was a wild elk looking animal.
Nick ran towards the group where he proudly placed the elk in front of the group not realizing until a moment after.
Narice interjected, “guys, this is Elera, the girl from my dream, and sorry, but Elera’s getting first dibs…lady’s first, good job Nick.”
“Of course,” Romani said.
“That’s fine,” Johna looked a bit upset.
“Wow,” Nick was awestruck still looking at her.
They were all eating together.
“So, this girl from your dreams- huh?” Nick spoke. “You never told us how pretty she was.”
Narice smiled and tilted his head down a bit.
“Hey… he’s turning red,” Nick spoke.
“Anyway, where do you come from?” Romani spoke.
“Err… I lived with my dad while he was on the council.”
“Where’s that at?” Nick responded.
“Uh, I’m not allowed to say, sorry.”
“Do you have any sisters?” Nick said.
“I had an older brother…”
“What happened?” Romani spoke.
“Well… he died in an accident when I was four…”
“I’m sorry.” Romani spoke.
“I had a sister once…” Narice said.
“What, you never told us that!” Nick interjected.
Romani stared attentively, Johna even looked up from his gloomy look.
“It’s not a story I really like to tell; her name was Airi. She was cute, she was pretty curious and energetic…” he paused for a bit reflectively, “Ka’atra killed her… along with the rest of my family. I guess she would be around my age now,” Narice mused seeing as how he’d been sent to the future by five years or so.
Everyone looked pretty grim.
Elera tried to break the silence, “…watch what I can do!” she started floating and making a little ice circle around herself that spun in a sort of spherical design.
“Ooh,” the team was impressed. It was quite beautiful in the firelight.
She sat back down after she was done, after which the rest of the team all did their separate tricks and abilities, Nick showed off some card tricks that he did with a pack of cards he’d brought. Romani sang an old song. Johna did some acrobatic stuff with the wind jewel that he had. Narice showed off some of his sword skills flicking away anything thrown at him by cutting it with his sword.
They ended up all laughing and sat back down in a circle around the fire pretty relaxed.
Romani got up, “I’ll be back.” and walked off.
As Johna and Nick were in a casual conversation, Elera leaned in and whispered to Narice, “uh, i have to talk to you soon,”
Narice looked at her intently, “ok.”
“Excuse us,” Narice said to the two still at the fire.
“Uh, ok,” Nick returned. Johna nodded from his leaned position in the sand.
Elera walked ahead of Narice into the edge of the jungle.
Elera started, “He may seem alright, but Johna is a wizard right?”
“Yeah,” Narice spoke… “I wanted to tell you about him but it was hard to find the right time. Initially we weren’t going to but the wizard council kind of insisted we have one of theirs to protect the wind jewel.”
“I don’t know about all of them, but some of the wizards are owned by Ka’atra already, that’s how the old council head was killed… and why I was put in charge of the remnants of our order.”
“I’m sorry… we’ll leave him here tonight and try to sail away…”
Suddenly a voice was heard from behind the two,
“oh you will, will you?”
Narice turned to Johna, “Johna…”