Dream Walker

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Chapter 34 Sigils

Leo refused to let go of me though he did shift so I had more room to move and feel free I was okay with keeping in contact with him. I knew for him he’d been away from me longer, but I’d been through a lot myself and now that I could feel him bonded to me again I still needed the physical contact. We ended up sitting on a couch, his parents across from us in another, and Aki took up the chair I’d left. Richelle had brought finger sandwiches, and Pai had been kind enough to move his books over so we had rooms for the snacks and drinks she’d brought. Thankfully they seemed to know I’d want water, and I was good with that. Once we were all settled, sorted, and my shock was at a manageable state Daddy Pai spoke up. “Now Sarah. I know the last few days have been a nightmare for you. And the news today has given you a few good shocks. But with that ticking clock on your arm, we really need to push through the next bit.”

Leo looked at my marked arm, and he wasn’t pleased in the least a tick twitching in his jaw any time he looked at it or it was mentioned. I knew he’d be a hell of a lot more pissed off when I tell him why I had to get it. “ So Leo’s aware of my hidden collection. But they consider themselves prisoners, well-kept prisoners, but captives none the less and short of torturing them which I’ve prevented so far They do not wish to tell me their secrets. So you will have to figure out how to get the summoning spell from them. Once you have the proper ritual, you and Leo can start the hunt. Aki”

Aki sat up and forward in his chair. “Will be helping you with anything you need. I have no intention of letting Nyx get ahold of you to cause you pain because it’s not just you that would be in pain.”

I frowned a little. “If it came to that we could block the bon-.”

Leo cut me off with a growl. “No. Not ever again. Anything you suffer, I suffer from now on and forever.”

Richelle made a little sound and hugged Pai’s arm tightly before speaking. “Sarah Dear. “

He reached up to tug the neckline of her shirt slightly to the side and down to reveal a mark exactly like mine and Leo’s but the color was tinted red where Leo’s and mine had a golden edge to it. “Very few witches have a binding mark, and most are only the five points, a few have the seven, you and Leo have a Nine pointed Star which is a full binding. The only reason the block remained is that it was done so before your soul was shot across realms Leo is unable to cross without you. If the silly boy had kept it open when your third mark hit he’d have gotten the full transfer of that ability.”

I blinked wide eyes. “ Wait, what?”

Pai spoke then. “Your other abilities when your magic hit bled over into Leo so fast and strong he was overwhelmed. Your third ability he blocked before it could though I don’t think he realized what was happening or he wouldn’t have.”

Leo cleared his throat. “No, I wouldn’t have.”

Pai nodded and I looked to Leo and he leaned in to kiss the side of my head. “ Exactly. Now he will still gain such an ability the more you use it and it bleeds into him. He’s crossed realms once and will be able to again the more often you both do so. I recommend you never travel to the dream world without him again.”

I leaned in against Leo fighting back memories from the recent trip. “I won’t go without him.”

Pai nodded and Richelle smiled. “Good. So let’s go take you to the dream Walkers.”

We all got up and once again went through the Magic doorway. This time it opened into a huge garden I would have thought was outside except for the shimmer of glass far overhead. It was like a huge greenhouse. We walked about three minutes down a footpath which was packed with trees on either side. The sound of laughter and running water was getting clearer until we stepped out into a clearing. I stopped in awe of what I saw. Witches of all factions were scattered about the clearing, some working spells to help with chores, others teaching children, a few children were running and playing. But it looked like a medieval settlement, small cottages, homes, and a large hall could be seen in the distance of the village, and the only difference was the modern clothing, some of the tools, and electronics they had laying around. “Wow.”

The way I could tell about the factions were some of them still had the old markings on their body, Sigils, one of the men near the water was shirtless, An Elemental who favored in water magic from the marks on his skin, was teaching two other children how to tame the water to the will of the spell. One of the older male witches walked towards us. The marks on him were nothing I had seen on any other elder. Under his right eye across his cheek was like someone had started to draw a crescent moon that was turned so the dip of the center was northeast and a K was slashed across the unfinished bottom in the middle connecting it all with one more line southwest of the bottom slash of the K. It was lovely. Above the other eye, it was like someone had put a decorative Hashtag with a dot and an S that was highly stylized. I was so busy studying the unknown marks on his face I didn’t realize Pai and the Marked man were speaking until Pai interrupted me. “Sarah?”

His tone was amused. “Welcome back.” I felt myself blushing. “Sarah this is Alwold. The elder of the Dream Walkers.”

My full attention went to Alwold and I took in the full features of the older man. His hair was tied back in a tight braid, the gray of his hair the more prominent color but some black still remained mixed in. His eyes were so similar to mine it was almost creepy. He was about six feet tall and highly muscled from top to bottom. His clothes were a simple t-shirt and blue jean shorts, with flip flops. His expression was not amused, however. “This demon spawn claims you are a Dream Walker hidden until now when your coming of age hit.”

I nodded moving slightly away from the demons and offered my hand to him. “My name is Sarah Stone, My mother was an Elemental, my father a physical Magic user, and the Dream Walker blood was mixed into my father’s line, lying dormant until I was born. They have no other living Dream Walkers in the outside world.”

Alwold snorted. “So the Demons claim. How can you prove it?”

I dropped the hand I had offered as it had been my right and instead held up my left arm exposing the Goddess calendar. “The Great Mother has granted me a quest to find those that killed her children and bring them to her.”

Alwold’s eyes widened and it took my wrist gently before pressing a thumb to the last large moon nearest the center of my wrist. I hissed as magic shot through the mark and black swallowed my entire forearm the moons and stars no longer black but white against the black background. He let go of my wrist and I stared at my arm. “What did you do?”

Leo not at all pleased and moved up behind me taking ahold of the arm to look at the mark. Alwold watched us a moment then replied.” It recognized my energy as another Walker. Only the Goddess marks have that ability to alter and recognize another Walker.”

He lifted his own arm than of the hand that had touched my quest and he now had a matching mark. My eyes went wide and he sighed. “Now it seems we must aid you or suffer Mother’s wrath.”

Other people began to come to the center of the clearing frowning as they also had the black armbands. Nearly fifty people stood in the clearing with the mark now, including a few children huddled near parents. “My family.”

Alwold turned to face them. “Our Great Mother has tasked this child not of our blood to avenge the rest of our faction that were murdered off. To see if her story was true I tested her mark... “

He rubbed his forehead. “ And I guess Mother decided we all get to help now instead of hiding.”

A few people grumbled, and others hugged their children tightly. It seems they all knew such quests were risky. Alwold continued.” We will teach the untrained Walker, and send with her our best warriors to help her hunt down those the Goddess seeks to appease her. “

A woman’s voice came out of the back. “We can not teach the Demons our ways! It would anger the Great Mother!”

I spoke up. “You will be teaching me! Not the Demons.”

The same voice called out through the speaker was moving forward through the crowd. “You stand with the demons and have no shame showing the mark that binds you to them.”

I felt anger filling me inside and it wasn’t from Leo. “Who taught you how to find the Mother? To speak with her? Did she come down herself to play with us? Or were we taught by another to seek power from the Gods and demons of the world?”

That Silenced the woman and it was Alwold that smiled and replied. “Smart child. It was Paimon himself who told us which gods to seek out for power. Taking only two willing members of each faction as payment for the information long ago.”

Paimon bowed behind us and many talked among themselves in the crowd. “Many do not know that part of our history. How did you, child?”

I answered Alwold without hesitation. “When my father realized I was a Dream Walker the first thing he did is seek out any and all remaining information on them, though almost all was lost. But the origin story of all the factions was not. Which demon it was wasn’t mentioned.”

Alwold nodded. “My grandfather was one of the original witches to seek out Paimon and the power he could offer us. Part of the first Coven. Paimon gave us all time to make families, to teach them our ways before making his requests of each faction. I offered to go as I had eight siblings it seemed only fair.”

I blinked. “Wait that means you are….”

I trailed off my eyes going wide as the Oldest Dream Walker ever laughed. “Paimon has altered how time affects us here. It was rather kind of him.”

Pai grinned. “But of course old friend. If you need anything more of us let us know. We will leave you to teach Sarah your ways, though I know Leo will not be parted from her again. He will soon be a Dream Walker himself so you might as well teach him what you can.”

Alwold grumbled. “ Fine.”

Protests came up behind him and he turned on his faction. “You did just hear that it was Paimon that Introduced us to the Great Mother. She told us her ways, granted us Powers, and looked after us only after he arranged the first meeting. The first gifts to appease her, and now we all have to help this Walker and her Bonded to keep all of us alive and unharmed by her wrath.”

The grumbles were less but a few continued, Another elder walked up to the group, stars in the shape of constellations decorated her body all over exposed arms, legs, chest, and face. “One day A child born of pure magic, and the elements themselves will awaken as a walker of the realms. The birth of the child will bring discord and chaos to many but when a bond is sealed and the crown once more adonning the head of a true heir, peace will be found within all races. The Immortals and mortals alike will fear this, try to stop fate from ever turning this wheel. For if the crown once again graces the true heir war will be no more.”

We all let the elder woman speak. I had a sinking feeling. “I don’t want to rule anything.”

She smiled at me. “The prophecy does not call the Walker the heir child do not worry so.”

Leo placed a hand on my shoulder and I reached up gripping it. “The bond is me and Leo?”

She chuckled. “ The only part we know for sure means is that you will be born, and discord, and chaos will come. Which is already happening. From what Paimon has told us the Immortals and Mortals are already responding with fear by trying to kill off our lines. The seer’s may not hold the mark as your walker clan does but we will aid in anyway we can to be sure you pass.”

I gave the woman a nod. Alwold called out to those around us. “We Welcome Sarah into our ranks for now and until her last breath as one of the dream Walkers!”

A few claps rang out but of course, since they had all just been cursed along with me I wasn’t expecting too many happy folks. Pai, Richelle, and Aki gave farewell hugs and headed out as Alwold insisted we stay with him during the training. We spent all evening sitting around the main area with all the mixed groups, talking in general about the village, the different factions, what the symbols or sigils as most called them meant. Each Walker had variations of the sigils, some were tapped more for safe travels, others for combat, but the one they all shared was the first one I had noticed on Alwold under his right eyes that spoke of his devotion to the Great Mother. After a while, I finally got around to my first question.

“What is the ritual to summon the Mother in a respectful way? For when I have to hand over the people she’s seeking?”

Alword smiled. “Well we have a bit of prep work to teach you, some more ritualistic basics, but it boils down to having this…”He tapped the sigil under his right eye. “Displayed clearly on your body, even if it’s only temporary for now as I know you are hunting down those that wiped out our bloodline, and a moonstone as a gift. The moonstone you must keep against your Skin to a week before use so it soaks up part of your energy as a gift to her. It gives her a clear view into the soul of the person who presents it. I’ll teach you the rest of the words you need when we start training.”

It sounded easy and I let out a breath and gave him a smile. “Thank you.”

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