Chapter Thirty-One- GOLDEN MIRROR
The moment the sisters touch, thunder claps across the entire four kingdoms. All over people feel the ground shake. Most continue on with their activities without giving it a second thought. Others, however, know the meaning and weep.
Livia and Vera stand, hands together; mist, in brilliant shades of violet and blue, shrouds them. They look around, taking in their dream world from a common side.
Vera: What did you just do?
Livia: I believe we bonded.
Livia: Didn’t you feel it? Like something snapping into place the moment I touched you?
Vera: I did feel something. Yes, I feel complete, like I’ve discovered the missing piece to a puzzle.
Vera: Where’s the golden mirror?
The mist parts, revealing the antique mirror. The sisters look to one another, and their brows rise.
Livia: There has to be a connection in our minds that keeps bringing us to this place. What do you know about the magic of old?
Vera: Not much.
Livia: Well, I tried to find information about this mirror. Apparently, it’s a relic from Guardian Pynth that’s been handed down from ruler to ruler. The last to have acquired the mirror was Queen Bellflower.
Vera: Now her, I do know.
Livia: Well, when she and the magic disappeared, so did the mirror.
Vera: It seems strange that it showed up in a dream.
Livia: Well, no one knows where the mirror went. Wherever it was, it seems to have found us through the magic.
Livia tells Vera what the Scree said, and about the prophecy.
Vera: Our mother drank Bellflower’s blood? Why would she do such a thing?
Livia: She was barren, and desperate to conceive.
Vera: But to drink blood?
Livia: I know; I am not even sure I would be willing to do that. Anyway, soon after, the Enchanter must have planted that prophecy in the king’s ear, making it seem that magic would return through Queen Bellflower’s heirs. I believe the Enchanter had a plan and knew what he was doing. When the Scree confessed how magic came to us, it all made sense. The Enchanter can’t leave his temple, so why not use King Kgar to bring forth his plan--to breed for himself an army of the gifted.
Vera: But why would the Enchanter need an army? Why would he be willing to trust his fate to someone like King Kgar?
Livia: I don’t know. Maybe he thought it would help him break his curse. Using King Kgar was the only way for him to have someone do his bidding. He knew the Western and Northern Kingdoms wouldn’t help. King Kgar already wanted ultimate power, so why not use the king’s goals? The Enchanter has nothing but time on his hands.
Vera: And he started by planting the Scree at the king’s side to manipulate him. So he was able over time to guide the king to where he could collect us, and hand us over. The Enchanter is more cunning than the king after all. I should’ve known.
Livia: How could you? I’m sure the king didn’t give you time to think about what the Enchanter might be plotting.
Vera: No, he didn’t. My life has been spent trying to survive. It’s still shocking that he never told me of you. That’s why it was so hard for me to believe you.
Livia grabs Vera’s other hand.
Livia: Vera, I never knew of you either. I was furious when I found out. Especially after I uncovered the true identity of my parents. I thought that was going to be the biggest shock of my life. When I discovered where you had been the whole time, my heart broke for you. Our people abandoned you. I wanted you to know, Vera, even though I had never met you, that I hoped we would find one another and become the best of friends. To know I had a sister with the same blood as my own made me feel like I wasn’t alone anymore.
Vera feels something break inside her. This whole time she’s thought of her sister as this manipulative monster. But here she is, standing in front of her, and baring her soul for Vera to see. How could Livia have had an instant positive feeling about someone she’d never met? Vera feels a pureness from Livia that somehow feels familiar. She can’t quite put her finger on it.
Something moves inside the mirror.
Livia: Did you see that?
Vera nods. Still holding hands, they both go over to look into the mirror. A bright light flashes out from the glass. A woman with long, dark hair and pale skin appears; she stares out with the same bright violet eyes as the twins.
Livia: Queen Bellflower?
The queen doesn’t respond. It’s as if she’s looking beyond them, as if the girls are not there.
Vera: Isn’t she supposed to be dead?
Suddenly, the queen speaks in a distant tone.
Queen Bellflower: On the eve of Hellbore, they will come. Three shall perish, one must decide. Travel through the sands of time, or die. The one marked will set her free.
Queen Bellflower fades away and the mirror’s reflection stands empty.
Vera: What does that mean?
Livia: It sounds like a warning.
Vera: Well, to be honest, I don’t like the sound of it.
Vera looks down at their entwined hands. She sees the scars that line her own and the smooth skin of her sister. The scars Vera wears were to protect a small boy--realization finally dawns on her. Zyrik! Livia’s pureness is the same as Zyrik’s!
Vera: Livia we must get back to Zyrik! I was told your gift is healing--is it true?
Livia studies her sister with sad eyes. She can’t ignore the desperate hope pouring out of Vera. She sees the brutal scars on her sister’s hands and arms; she knows the nightmarish things Vera has had to endure in her life. Livia closes her eyes and pushes her gift into Vera.
Vera’s eyes widen as she feels the warm tingle of her sister’s gift. She watches as her scars slowly fade away, until all the marred flesh on her body is healed.
When Livia finishes, she opens her eyes and sees tears running down Vera’s face. Vera doesn’t realize they are falling until Livia reaches up and wipes them away. Vera can’t believe her sister has just healed her brutal scars. The wall that was built up inside her chest completely breaks away.
A flash of light reflects off the mirror and a whirling wind encircles the sisters. Their hair dances around them as the mist returns and trickles into their skin. The bond they felt earlier becomes unbreakable.
They can’t deny the bond that has formed between them. They embrace one another for the first time in their lives. The king had it all wrong. The bonding that needed to happen for magic to thrive wasn’t between man and woman, but between two sisters bearing the magic of old.
Vera: For so long I lived with those scars, letting them define me. I can’t believe they are gone. No longer do I have to be reminded of those painful memories.
Livia: Vera, I can’t promise that I can save the boy, but I will try. I will do everything I can as long as there’s a pulse inside him.
Vera: That’s all I ask.
Livia: It’s up to you to decide what to do with the king. I’ll support whatever decision you make. I know you are healed physically, but I also know you have scars deep within that I cannot heal. Only time can heal those.
Vera knows the king needs to pay for his tyranny and for the torture he doled out to her all these years. Her sister might have shown her love and helped break down the walls around her heart, but the anger that has been built up is still there, unconstrained.
Livia releases Vera’s hands and reality comes whirling back.