"Know them? Know them as in...?" Liza trailed off.
Axil's excited eyes glanced up at us, "these are my people. I remember them as if it was just yesterday! That's Lizzy and Danny, Justin. Lizzy and Justin were mates. We all used to hang out with each other when we were pups and h-"
"Wait wait wait," I interrupted, my mind trying to keep up with all the confusing pieces of information, "so the founders of this human settlement were all werewolves? How the hell does that work?"
Axil furrowed his brows as he considered my question, "I can't understand why they would create a human settlement either and if they did, what happened back then and why weren't they turned to stone as well?"
"Maybe they betrayed you?" I voiced.
Axil shook his head, "they would never. I know them like I would my own siblings, they'd never betray our pack."
"So what if this is still a werewolf territory but the werewolves are being kept hidden away somewhere?" Liza offered.
Axil and I glanced at each other and I quickly looked away, "I don't think so, if they were kept hidden, they would have already came out due to the return of their Alpha, right?" I asked Axil.
"Right. Not only would I have sensed the members belonging to my pack, they would have sensed me as well. I haven't found anyone since I came here. "
Haven't found anyone...
I thought back on when he thought for that split second that Ms. Belvis was a pack member and frowned.
This was the most difficult situation I've dealt with since I was adopted.
Maybe he did find someone?
When I casted that magic detector, the entire village was surrounded in magic residues, meaning that magic was active in the village. Knowing that there was a possibility that the people beneath the stone could be freed, why wasn't anyone there to guard against that?
Unless... there was no need to guard against them if there was a detector or magic barrier that would alert them of any breaches...
I thought back to the energy that had caressed my body when I entered the cave as the realization dawned on me.
"Axil, was there a barrier at the cave when you left it?" I asked.
Axil nodded, "yes, I assumed that you weakened it to allow me to leave... was I wrong?"
My mouth opened in the shape of an 'O'.
"That's why you assumed I freed you?"
Axil nodded, "that and the fact that I sensed your presence while beneath the stone, calling to me, urging me to break free..." he trailed off as his eyes glazed over as if remembering a distant memory.
I really didn't like the sound of that. I thought back to when he mentioned us being soul mates and grimaced. Are you telling me us being soul mates pulled him from his imprisonment? Don't tell me we're reenacting sleeping beauty?
Liza giggled beside me, "awww, it's almost as if you guys were meant to be," she teased us, touching a subject that I really wasn't interested in hearing.
I glanced at Axil, who's staring at me as if probing for a reaction before I turned my gaze away, frowning deeper.
I ignored Liza's teasing, "there was definitely a barrier at the entrance of the cave. I felt it when I entered but I didn't know what it was at the time. I'm still inexperienced after all. I must have unconsciously weakened the barrier by mistake."
"So if that's the case, doesn't that mean that the enemy have already been alerted of our presence this entire time?" Liza asked.
I silently contemplated, "looks like it. That could explain why Axil and I felt so on guard when we went for a walk. It felt as though we were being watched."
"But there was no one around besides the villagers." Axil pointed out.
I had my suspicions for a while now but I didn't want to speak on it without getting confirmation first, but this seemed to be the case the more I thought about it. How could I have missed this?
"That's because whoever it was... was using the eyes of the villagers as their surveillance cameras," I concluded aloud.
Liza's mouth fell open in disbelief, "are you saying the villagers are puppets?"
I shook my head, "not necessarily, it takes a lot of magic energy to actually turn someone into a mindless puppet, let alone the entire village that's about four thousand 5 hundred and thirty one people. There have to be another spell interlacing that one to actually have this effect."
"So Tiana's still residing in this village?" Axil asked, a sharp glint in his eyes as a contemplative look crossed his face.
"Possibly," I said, running through my memories for any spell that could help me unravel the one that could possibly be on the villagers.
My mind came up blank, which meant that I'd have to ask for help from my ancestors... but then the crystal had a limit... so it's either that or I had to increase my knowledge on magic... which meant I had to...
My thoughts stood still as a method appeared in my mind.
I knew what to do.
"So what do we do?" Liza asked.
I glanced up at them, "I'm going to go upstairs and try something that I think might work."
Liza's eyes brightened, "Can I come?"
"No," the reply left my mouth without hesitation.
"What? Why not?" Liza whined.
I got up out of the chair and patted her head, causing her to push my hand away with a scowl, "because I said so. I'll be back."
She rolled her eyes and turned away from me.
I left the room, aware of Axil's heated gaze that stuck to me like a shadow until I was out of sight. Goosebumps gathered on my arms as a shiver ran down my spine.
I ignored the feeling and went up to my bedroom. I closed the door behind me and took my crystal out of its hiding place.
There was a particular spell that I've never used ever since I've heard of it from my mother. I could still remember the words she had said to me clearly that day.
"You're the future of our clan, little Mira. When the time is right, I want you to chant this mantra in our family's sacred circle and accept the powers passed down through generations upon generations of witches. We are the guardians, the protectors and the motherhood of all witches. Accept your birthright and you'll finally know what true power is. Only do this, when you feel the time is right."
Actually, I never planned on doing it at all in my life. I didn't need the power nor did I want to acknowledge it. I viewed it as being something of my past, something not worth treasuring. I had no idea what my mother meant when she said to do this when the time was right, but I was only doing this now because I knew it would speed up our progress in helping Axil free his people.
I couldn't wait to get all of this done and over with.
With that thought said, I grabbed the razor that sat on my dresser and grazed it across my hand, drawing blood. Next, I took my bleeding hand and placed it out in front of me, watching as the blood dripped down and began forming a large circle.
There was no time to think. I had to get this done and over with.
After the circle was made, I quickly formed five inner circles inside the large one, interlacing each of them together. Once that was completed, I drew the five symbols of our clan.
♧ - will
◇ - courage
♡ - life
♤ - death
☆ - knowledge
Once I was finished, I went to sit cross legged in the middle of the circle, placing the crystal right in front of me.
I placed both my hands on the crystal's smooth surface and began to chant.
"Hear my cry
I call to thee
From beneath the graves
Unchain my soul
Set me free
Make me whole
This is my plea
Show me the secrets
Of our line
Show me the darkness
We've conquered through time
Show me the way
Help me see
I acknowledge my birth
In this cursed family."
I closed my eyes as I chanted these words over and over again, aware yet distanced from the major effects that was occurring around me.
The ground trembled beneath me, as if there was an earthquake, causing items from my dresser to tumble onto the floor, shattering.
The wind came out of nowhere as it began to howl and surround me.
You could hear the loud screeching as the bed slightly slid from its original position.
The huge shock to the earth must have alerted Liza and Axil because throughout all the chaos, I faintly heard them entering my room.
My head began to throb as words upon words appeared behind my closed lids. Confusing me at first before they slowly began to fall in line and made sense.
It was like a tower of lines surrounding me, circling me and gently brushing against me. Teaching me, urging me to remember them, to take in their importance, their power.
My knowledge expanded as I began to learn the true abilities of this power I possessed. The infinite amount of spells that was learnt through all the generations before me greeted me with warm arms, caressing me and urging me to accept them.
I tilted my head back as my body trembled, beginning to feel overwhelmed at the burst of information that entered my mind.
I couldn't stop, however. This was important and something urged me to hold out until the end. I had to do this.
I continued to chant the spell, unfazed by the crash that was heard beside me as the area still trembled and groaned in protest.
I couldn't tell how long I sat there, absorbing everything slowly and surely, making sure no information slipped away.
These spells were mine.
The words around me brightened and pulsed a purple light, almost blinding me. I slowly fell aside as my vision blacked out.
Back at the mayor's office, a certain individual tensed as an enormous magic wave slammed into them, almost causing them to topple out of the chair, startled. Their head began to throb slightly as their heart trembled in alarm.
Their deep black eyes darkened threateningly.
"It seems I've underestimated this witch..."