Trials of Darkness

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Riddles and Secrets


Dante woke the next day to find Morgan sitting cross-legged, hands on her knees; she had her eyes close and was sitting peacefully. "What are you doing?" he asked, sitting cross-legged like her. Morgan opened her grey eyes to look at the nineteen-year-old.

"Meditating," Morgan replied softly. "It helps me control my chi and keeps my chakra open."

"Can I do it?" Dante asked.

"I suppose I might as well teach you how to channel chi, it may come in handy. Since you don't know how to tap mana," Morgan sighed.

"What, tap mana?" Dante looked at her confused with the term.

"Tapping mana is when you draw upon mana and the Fountain of Magic. If you know how to do it, its easy, while learning to channel chi is then difficult, and visa versa."

"Oh."

"Now, to begin, you must find complete and utter tranquil calm. That is why elves meditate," Morgan said, closing her eyes. Dante closed his eyes, taking calming breaths. "Draw yourself within your body, feel the energy with in it. That's your chi it unlimited, hindered only by your own physical limits. Feel it pool in your body, that's your chakra. Feel the breath that tingle with energy? That's your prana. Concentrate on your energy, become aware of yourself and your surroundings," Morgan instructed. Dante took a deep calming breath and exhaled. Cold mist escaped his parted lips and the earth shook slightly. Morgan smiled as she watched him, then she noticed that like her, he had commanded of all the elements.

"Am I doing it right?" he asked.

"Do you feel your chi?" Morgan asked.

"Yes," Dante nodded.

"Good, now channel your chi and allow the energy to come out. Don't try to make it take a shape. Reach for the nearest element, your element that is strongest to you will come," Morgan said.

Dante channeled is chi, and reached out for an element. The earth shook when he waved his hand, while fire burst forth and the air howled and the water nearby sloshed. Morgan stared. Like her, all four elements were of equal strength within her. But that's impossible? She thought, the only way for that to happen if he's…Lancelot's father was never known…he could have dragonblood in him. Or…he could truly be an enchanter. Morgan thought.

"Is something wrong?" Dante asked.

"I think we better get going," she stood up fluidly.

"Am I suppose to always feel my chi?" he asked.

"Once you have touched your chi, you will always feel it." Morgan walked over to her white mare and gracefully mounted. Dante mounted his mount as well, though less gracefully than the elf-maid. They rode on.

"So…what can you tell me about yourself?" Dante asked.

"Why are you so keen to glean from me my riddles and secrets, when you have plenty of your own?" Morgan asked as they rode towards the Elfwood. The boughs of the oak trees tingled with magic, that of a more ancient breed, one old as the land itself. Dante wanted to reach out and touch it; he could feel it ripple upon his skin, guiding him to the source.

"Morgan," he whispered softly.

"Yes?" he looked at him.

"I feel magic," he said.

"That's odd, no human can feel the magic from our trees," Morgan said. "Whatever you do, don't touch the magic, only an elf, dragon, changeling or druid can summon the magic of the land. Let it wash over you, but don't call upon it."

"Alright," Dante said and rode to the edge of the forest. He dismounted along with Morgan, when an arrow landed near his foot. He looked up at the trees, can could almost feel the elven archer raise his loaded bow and aim for Dante's heart.

"Dogní ná dobidci! Mé Morgan!" she cried in the tongue of her people. From the green branches, Dante heard the reply.

"Fáilte dom Morgan," said the male voice of an elf.

"Addaim mé co Dante slán tairmthecht fo in caill!" Morgan called out to him.

"Ia, slán tairmthecht mé aidacht addaim!" he replied.

"We have been gifted safe passage through the Elfwood. Hurry," Morgan said, leading Dante into the trees.


As they passed through the trees, Dante was amazed at the ancient aura that filled his senses. He looked up at the emerald canopy. The golden light of the sun clashed well with the emerald of the leaves. He was filled with awe at the sight, for there were no farms or houses on the forest floor. He saw a few winding stairs that wrapped in a serpentine nature around the trunks of mighty oak trees that reached the lower branches. He saw the elvish houses there. "Come." Morgan said taking his hand and leading him up into the forest.

They walked along a bridge. "Why have you brought me here?" Dante asked.

"You are lost."

"Lost? How am I lost?"

"Simple, you don't know your own past, and therefore you don't know your own future, therefore you are lost," she smiled at him. "You are lucky in a way I can never be. For men have wills free as the wind. Alas, elves are bound to our fate. Doomed to live out our long lives wandering and seeking to learn about the magic that flows within our land. I am bound to this fate, 'tis my destiny," she said.

"Nay, 'tis not your destiny," Dante said taking her hands, resting them on his strong chest. She stared into those soft blue eyes. "Nobody is bound to a fate, we make our own."

"I wish 'twas so," Morgan looked away sadly, "alas 'tis not." Morgan felt his hand under her chin as he gently raised her head. He looked down upon her tenderly. He moved in for a kiss but at the last moment, Morgan pulled away. "I'm sorry," she said.

"Why?"

"Because…never mind, you will never understand. Come, we have lingered too longer already, we must get moving," she said.

They walked until the night fell, the forest lit with a gentle blue-green glow. Soon they came to a gigantic oak in the heart of the forest. "Welcome to the Heart of the Forest!" Morgan said, presenting Dante with the sight of the great oak tree. She led them onwards, until they stood before two elves.

"Presenting, King Gavin and his wife, Queen Ula!" the herald said loudly. Dante bowed to the king and queen.

"Welcome back Daughter," Gavin said. Dante looked at Morgan. She nodded her head. Dante's eyes fell on her mother. Her belly was a gentle swell like the sea.

"What brings about your return to the Elfwood, Morgandy?" Ula said softly, resting her hand on her swelling womb.

"My path leads me here, I don't know my reasoning behind my return nor do I care to explain my reasoning for leaving my birthplace," Morgan said.

"Morgandy?" Dante looked at her.

"Morgan, is just a nickname," Morgan said. Dante nodded.

"Well, we shall throw a feast anyways. And who is this?" Gavin asked.

"Dante the Lasting, he will be going to the Cliffs of Agnar to be one of the Dragon Riders there," Morgan said and walked off. Dante followed her.


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