Memories Of Ice

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Araneia

Araneia was sat in her room at the Imperial Stronghold in Imperistia, the sound of reconstruction echoed through her windows, she wasn't wearing her armour, and her pitch black skin was exposed. She looked at her hands and sighed, and thought back to the old days

In the Ancient times, before the cities had all been constructed, Celestia, the Celestial Harbinger, sat in her temple, on the grounds of what would one day be, Lumina Academy. In the temple, she had a throne, from which she ruled over all of Crystalla. To most, she was known as benevolent. In reality, she had a very cruel side to her.

She would often lash out at random, at people who had wronged her. Their punishments would far outweigh the crimes. Araneia back then appeared as pretty much any other human, she had long red hair, and a pretty face. Araneia had been forced to see these cruel punishments over and over again. She could no longer bear it, she had to do something drastic.

Under the guise of travelling Crystalla to see to the construction of the Elemental Temples and Academies across the world, she slowly recruited several of the Keepers of the Crystals, in particular, her strongest ally was the Mystic Keeper, Treleva.

Treleva had devised a plot to sunder Celestia’s soul into two halves, one dark, one light. The dark side of her soul would naturally be weaker than the light side, with the light side of her soul commanding a strong bond with the elements. The day came that Araneia and Treleva would finally confront Celestia and carry out their plot.

It was a normal day in the Celestial Temple, Araneia and Treleva stepped into the large white marble halls. Celestia was sat on her throne, as she so often was, she raised her head to see the two approaching.

“Araneia! My friend, it is good to finally see you again! How goes the construction of the temples?” Celestia greeted Araneia with open arms.

“It goes according to plan, your Grace” Araneia nodded. Celestia nodded, then turned to Treleva.

“And, Treleva! I must say, it is nice to finally meet you in person, your understanding of the mystical element is far beyond the knowledge of most of mankind” Celestia smiled, and embraced Treleva.

“I am sorry your Grace” Treleva said, as he plunged a small metal blade, crafted from a shard of the Dark Crystal. Celestia went to move away from Treleva, but felt a second blade plunge into her back. Araneia was holding a blade crafted from the Light Crystal, which itself sat above the throne.

“N... no!” Celestia screamed. Divine Knights moved to charge toward Araneia and Trevela, but a blinding flash of white, followed by a boom of darkness momentarily blinded the room.

As everyone regained their sight, two women stood where Celestia had once stood. Lumina and Abyssia. Abyssia screamed and instantly cast a huge bolt of darkness at Araneia.

Araneia flew backwards and screamed as the darkness overwhelmed her body, seeping into her very soul. Lumina quickly pushed Abyssia aside and ran across to her friend. She quickly infused Araneia with a small burst of light, stabilising her condition. Araneia now was covered completely in darkness, aside from her white eyes.

Treleva, noticing Abyssia was distracted, went in for the kill. Upon noticing this, Lumina fired a burst of light at Treleva, he backed away, struggling as the light overtook his very soul, he collapsed to the floor, screaming in pain, before passing away.

Abyssia gazed around the room at the Divine Knights. She summoned a blade of darkness and took them all down in the flash of an eye. Lumina was still looking down at her friend, mourning the damage that Abyssia had done to her.

“I’m so sorry, Araneia...” Lumina said, as a tear dropped from her eye.

“It was retribution for my betrayal...” Araneia stuttered.

Abyssia turned back to Lumina and Araneia, she approached and looked down at Araneia.

“No one must learn of the events that happened here today” Abyssia began, “The official line will be that the ‘Celestial Harbinger’ has returned to the gods, to face retribution” She added.

Lumina nodded, and cradled Araneia, Abyssia knelt down to Araneia and sighed.

“I... I apologize, Celestia... we felt that you had begun to... that you had gone too far” Araneia frowned.

“I understand friend, I apologize too, for striking out at you” Abyssia nodded.

“I deserved it...” Araneia sighed.

“Do you remember the day we met, Araneia?” Abyssia asked, Araneia nodded. “Do you know what made me spare you, that day?” Abyssia smiled.

Araneia shook her head.

“It was your defiance, your determination, your kindness, your beauty, the light of your soul is what stopped me in my tracks. That is why I spared you, and ceased following the will of the gods. To this day, you remain the same, not afraid to challenge me even now...” Abyssia smiled. Araneia smiled back. “Even your beauty still shines, through the darkness” Abyssia added. “I am the one who apologizes, friend”

Lumina and Abyssia helped Araneia up, and they left the temple.

In the following years, Abyssia took the glamour of a leader of a far away nation, to spread darkness across the land. In doing so, she hoped to light the flames of rebellion in the hearts of mankind. She hoped that she would never turn to cruelty like she had, as Celestia, but on certain days, it felt inevitable.

Lumina however remained at her Temple, she crafted the surrounding area into an Academy, with her own hands, she built a city of light, and freedom. In this city, mankind and dragonkind came to live together in harmony. Around the city was a gleaming crescent waterfall, white doves often flew over the city, and the waters were always clear as glass.

Araneia remained by Lumina’s side. She held true to what she believed and took her place as her everlasting protector. The darkness had the side effect of making her seemingly immortal, whenever asked by Lumina how she felt about it, she maintained that she deserved it, for stabbing her in the back. Araneia promised that she would never again turn against her. She hoped the day would never come when she needed to do so.
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