Twice Upon A Sword

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Chapter 2- Where it all Began

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“Eleanora! Eleanora!”

An outraged scream could be heard echoing past the walls of the beautifully architectured palace followed by the loud stomping footsteps of Selene, the owner of the voice.

“Eleanora! Where in the world are you, young woman? When I get my hands on you-” Eleanora covered her ears with her hands to fade out the voice, a small, guilty smile on her face yet she didn’t look guilty at all.

“Look at what you did, Apollo. You scared poor old Selene and now she’s out to get me,” Eleanora whispered to the lion who sat beside her in their hiding spot.

The said lion didn’t reply and only nuzzled his head against her arm and with a huff, she stroked his long mane before peeping past the wall to Selene who was beginning to wander in the opposite direction of which Eleanora was currently situated.

“What are we hiding from?”

The sudden male voice erupted a scream from the young 11-year-old and she jumped, giving up her hiding space and falling back on her bottom.

Almost immediately, Selene began storming towards the two people and lion with an infuriated look plastered on her face.

“Papa! Look what you did?” Eleanora pouted up at her father who finally stopped laughing and breathed in a heavy sigh, ruffling the golden locks of his adopted daughter’s hair.

Holding her small hands, he effortlessly pulled her up into the sky, spinning her around and she laughed beautifully before being placed on the back of Apollo, her lion.

“What was it this time Selene?” Arturo asked the ageing woman who had more grey hairs than black, her face covered with the wrinkles of time, a constant frown marring her lips and her brown eyes narrowed into a scrutinising glare directed at his daughter.

“Did she fill your shampoo bottles with paint? Change your toothpaste with shaving cream? Eat dessert before the main meal? Run around the city with no shoes?-”

“Very funny... but no! That pesky lion of hers almost ate my sweet little Cleo!” Selene’s head jolted to an unfazed lion that carried an innocent-looking young girl on his back and with one pointy nail, Selene pointed at Apollo.

“We need to get rid of that lion! All it does it scare my precious Cleo, eat all my food and assist Eleanora in scaring the life out of me!” Selene’s face was very well turning a bright shade of red and if she held her anger in any longer then she was sure to burst.

“Cleo? That bird you took in a few weeks ago?... Nora, have you not been feeding your lion? How hungry must the poor animal be to wander into Selene’s room?” Arturo placed his hands on his waist as he stared down at the young girl.

“I have been feeding him... but it seems that Apollo simply loves bullying innocent creatures,” Eleanora explained to her father who hummed with crossed arms.

“I apologise, Selene... Don’t worry, something like this won’t be happening again, will it?” Arturo turned his blue shining orbs to the orange ones of his daughter.

“No, it won’t,” Eleanora smiled at him in assurance and he ruffled her hair once more.

“I am an old woman, Arturo. I have little patience and my magic is fading. Please, Arturo, as the head of the mages of Andreas, do something about your girl. Everyone knows how much you treasure her but she is out of control! How many wild animals has she brought into the palace!? 50?-”

“Don’t be silly, Selene. Only 25. 26 if you include Ronald,”

“That Rooster keeps me up all night with its constant squealing so 26 animals. Arturo!” Selene desperately turned to beg the head of the mages.

“Alright, alright. I understand. Nora...” Arturo sadly turned to look at his daughter who innocently blinked up at him, knowing what was to come.

“If I can’t keep control of the animals then you’ll have to take them away and I’m not allowed to bring any more animals into the palace, right?” She hit the needle on the head and he nodded in answer with a small, almost non-existent, grin.

“I apologise, Selene. From now on, Apollo will stay away from your bird, right?” Eleanora looked down at the lion and he grumbled his reply.

A few hours later, Eleanora was sitting on the back of her lion as they both wandered around the palace grounds, greeting the other mages when they stumbled into them with a bright smile.

It’s been 8 years since Eleanora moved to the city of mages.

After giving birth to her, Eleanora’s mother passed away after naming her child and a year after that, Eleanora’s father died in battle. Despite having no parents, Eleanora grew up with a beautiful smile in an orphanage filled with kind and loving people. She didn’t remember much of that place though since, at the age of 3, she met Arturo.

Arturo is the head of the mage’s of Andreas and when he was travelling the human world, he stumbled onto Eleanora whom he discovered was a mage. Transfixed with the young child, Arturo adopted her and brought her to Andreas with him where she currently resides.

However, as it currently stands, the number of mages being born is falling. The mages are dying and none are being born. Currently, Eleanora is the last mage that was found in the human world and none have come after her.

“Hey, Apollo. What’s going to happen to us? I heard papa say that there aren’t enough mages being born these days... If that’s true then who’s going to keep Andreas afloat? Will we fall into the human land?... Will we die?”

“You’re not going to die, I’ll make sure of it,” A voice said and Eleanora almost fell off Apollo.

“Papa! Why do you keep sneaking up on me!?” She grumbled up at the man and he only laughed at her. “It’s your fault for daydreaming so much,” He poked her nose and she pouted, turning her head away from him as he leaned down to kiss her chubby cheek.

“Don’t worry my daughter. No matter what will become of the mages, I will make sure to protect you. Today and always,” He smiled at the girl and she didn’t miss a beat to smile back at him before leaning in to hug him around the waist tightly.

“Papa, I’m bored. Teach me how to control my magic?”

With a zestful laugh, Arturo picked his daughter up and spun her around in the air, he loved doing that. Placing her on the ground, he ruffled her hair and nodded.

“Yes, let us do some training,”

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