They rode for a few minutes before Sir Elthered stopped the horse next to a camp. There was a large tent that looked like it was made up of several rooms. Another pure white horse was tied up outside the tent, and a small caramel coloured Shetland pony.
Outside the tent, a tall young woman was sitting by a campfire and sharpening a gleaming sword.
The woman looked very pretty, her long silvery blonde hair was plaited into a half-up, and her eyes were gleaming as brightly as the sparks from the fire. She wasn’t wearing a dress or a long skirt, but a pair of well-fitted trousers and a long-sleeved white shirt.
If it wasn’t for her heart-shaped face, and slight figure, Emma might have thought she was a man.
As Emma looked at the woman’s face, she saw her ears, which her hair was tucked behind. Her ears were sharply pointed, and she was unnaturally tall for a woman, over six feet. That’s when Emma realised, this wasn’t a human, this was an elf.
‘Did you find any of King Gryffyn’s knights?’ asked the elven woman not looking away from sharpening her sword.
She had been listening out for Elthered’s horse, who had been out on a scouting mission.
‘No,’ said Elthered getting down off the horse and helping Emma down.
‘But I did find someone else.’
‘What?’ she asked sharply whipping her head away from the sword she was sharpening.
That’s when she saw Emma, the beautiful woman’s eyes glared at Emma. The elf charged at Emma faster than a bullet, and before Emma knew it, there was a huge sword being held to her throat.
‘Who are you and what do you want in my camp?’ asked the elf threateningly.
Emma had a sword being held to her throat, and she was terrified one wrong move and she could be dead. Her hands started to feel strange, and red sparks started to fly from her fingertips.
‘Put your sword away Eirwen,’ sighed Sir Elthered shaking his head, ‘she is but a child.’
‘She could be a spy,’ said Eirwen eyeing Emma suspiciously, and lowering her sword a fraction of an inch.
‘She is a child Eirwen,’ said Sir Elthered.
‘She was brought to this place through a force unknown, and look at her hands.’
Eirwen lowered her sword slightly and looked at Emma’s hands. Emma was still shooting the occasional gold spark from her fingertips.
As Emma looked down, one of the sparks hit a leaf on the forest floor, and the leaf was burnt to a crisp.
‘The prophecy,’ breathed Eirwen dropping her sword to the ground in shock.
Emma was beyond confused. She had been confused before, being pulled into this world without a moment warning.
And now this elf, Eirwen or whoever she was, had just tried attacking her with a sword that was bigger than she was.
And what this prophecy, that Sir Elthered and Eirwen kept on going on about?
‘Look I’m sorry,’ said Emma, ‘but could one of you please explain to me what is going on?’
Eirwen shook her head in disbelief and paced around in front of the tent, muttering to herself.
Elthered chuckled slightly as he looked at Eirwen. He sometimes forgot that however much Eirwen had been through the young princess was only sixteen and was still a teenager and even if she was a princess, Eirwen was no stranger to a teenage strop.
‘You are in the kingdom of Aeolgoyryn, and I am Sir Elthered the Brave. I used to be a knight in the court of King Gregor and his elven Queen Arianwen.’
‘The fair maiden who just held a sword to your throat,’ chuckled Sir Elthered, ‘is Princess Eirwen, the rightful heir to the throne of Aelogoyryn.’
‘I would have the throne right now if it wasn’t for Uncle Gryffyn,’ seethed Eirwen her eyes almost shooting sparks.
‘Or to use his proper title, King Gryffyn the First, Usurper, Known Magic Hater, and Murderer.’
‘Wait a second,’ muttered Emma trying to piece things together in her mind.
Aeolgoyryn, Eirwen, Arianwen, Elthered. These were all obscure names that she had never heard of before until today. But she had read them somewhere, in that book earlier, The Hero’s Journey or something. The same book where she had found the amulet.
But wait. Was she inside the book or something?
But she couldn’t be, that was ridiculous. She was probably just dreaming or something.
But whether she was dreaming or not, it was really exciting, and fun, apart from of course when Eirwen tried attacking her with a sword. So, she’d just play along with it for now.
‘So, let me get this right,’ said Emma, ‘Eirwen’s parents were the king and queen, but her Uncle Gryffyn killed them?’
Eirwen muttered some well-chosen words darkly under her breath at the mention of her Uncle’s name.
‘He tried to kill me too,’ said Eirwen, ‘but Elthered helped me run for it. That was two years ago.’
‘My oh so charming Uncle has been rushing around Aeolgoyryn with his black knights for the last two years, looking for me, and killing any Wizards and Sorceresses he finds along the away.’
‘But they haven’t found us yet,’ smirked Eirwen.
‘Why does Gryffyn want to kill the Wizards and Witches?’ asked Emma.
‘Because he hates magic and anyone who wields it. Like you,’ explained Elthered.
“What,’ stammered Emma, ‘but I’m not magic, I’m just normal.’
‘Great just great,’ muttered Eirwen under her breath, ‘just what we need. She’s not the child the prophecy spoke of, and now she knows where we live.’
‘Have patience Eirwen dear,’ said Elthered.
‘Emma,’ said Elthered gently, ‘if you are not a Sorceress, then why did sparks fly from your fingers when you were in danger?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Emma looking down at her fingernails.
‘It’s because you’re magic!’ said Eirwen raising her eyebrows.
She was magic? Like Harry Potter?
No, she didn’t have a wand. Maybe the magic was from her hands?
She was amazed that she had extraordinary powers. But then her heart plummeted as she remembered that King Gryffyn wanted to kill anyone with magic. She had magic powers, but now she couldn’t use them.
‘But I can’t control my magic,’ said Emma still looking at her hands, ‘it’s never happened before today.’
‘Give it time dear,’ said Elthered patting Emma on the back, ‘you’ll get used to it.’
‘All the other Wizards and Sorceresses that are left have gone into hiding,’ sighed Eirwen, ‘so that Gryffyn won’t kill them.’
‘This used to be a very happy kingdom,’ said Elthered, ‘but now the people are scared to leave their farms in case they get accused by the Black Knights of using magic when they haven’t been.’
‘That sounds horrible!’ exclaimed Emma. Not wanting to leave your own house, because you didn’t want to get accused of witchcraft!
‘But you can help,’ said Elthered.
‘How?’ asked Emma.
‘The prophecy,’ said Eirwen.
‘There was a prophecy,’ said Elthered, ‘that a young girl shall come from a distant land. She shall have great magical powers, and she will unite the Wizards and the Sorceresses. She will defeat the Usurper and restore the rightful heir to the throne.’
‘What?’ asked Emma.
‘You two think that I’m supposed to unite the Wizards and Sorceresses? I can’t even do magic!’
‘Says who?’ asked Eirwen smirking again.
Emma was starting to find it annoying how Eirwen would smirk at her like that as if Eirwen was her superior, and she knew better than Emma.
Emma looked at her fingers and saw they were shooting sparks again. But this time they were blue sparks. They landed on the grass like drops of water.
‘You’ll get the hang of it,’ chuckled Sir Elthered jovially, ‘it just takes practise.’
‘Emma!’ called a voice out of thin air.
Emma’s amulet began to glow warmly against her chest.
Emma began to look around for the source of the noise, where was that voice coming from?
‘Emma!’ called the voice again.
‘Can you two hear that?’ asked Emma.
‘Hear what?’ asked Elthered and Eirwen.
‘Emma!’ called the voice slightly louder.
The forest around her was starting to fade away, and the next thing she knew, she was standing by her bed in her bedroom, and Sam was standing by her bedroom door.