The Darwin Chronicles, Book Three: The Blackfire Meadows

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Chapter 32

The old woman sat at her table, looking into her magic sphere. There was a cave, with a dead spirit laying near the entrance. It was a beautiful cave, with crystals hanging on the ceiling and walls, and stairs on the other side, leading to another cavern. The decaying spirit appeared to be a young man's. His hand(or what was left of it) reached towards a crushed shadow serpent fang. On his rotted fingers was an exquisite ring, unlike any she'd ever seen before-a gold band with a lovely fire orb. The fire orb bore the crest of Blackfire. It wasn't part of the spirit, wasn't transparent like the rest of it. It was solid and real. This spirit had a purpose, and lingered on this earth to fulfill it.

"Oh dear, oh dear," the Advisor whispered. Despite her promise, her predecessor many times over had told her apprentice about this special orb, who had told her apprentice, who had told her apprentice, who had eventually told her, the current day advisor. No, actually. She hadn't told her apprentice about the orb she'd created, that one. She'd told the apprentice of her sin.

The sphere changed scenes-an elaborate drawing of another young man, this time alive, discussing this particular sin with a girl.


Amelia sat outside a cafe, reading a book and sipping coffee. Norie ran up to her.
"Amelia! Can we join you? We were going to come here for lunch too!"
No, no, no! Emmett internally cringed, feeling sorry for acting up at Amelia before. He could tell she was sorry too. For what, however, he couldn't tell.
"Go ahead," Amelia said, putting down her book. Norie sat, thanking the older girl, and immediately began to cheerfully chatter away. She viewed Amy as an older sister, which Amy appeared to like.
"I don't like grammar, but math and science are great!" Norie said. "I think I'm going to be a doctor or something. Do you think that'd be possible for a girl to do?"
"Absolutely. Emmett, aren't you going to sit down?" Amy asked, finally looking at him.
"Uh, sure." Emmett pulled up a chair and sat.
"Norie!" A younger boy, around Norie's age, one of her friends waved from across the square. Emmett recognized him as Brendon, who lived only a few house down from them. "Come check out these bugs we found!" A small squad of their friends had already gathered around.
"I'm going to go look!" Norie stood and ran to her peers.
How convenient, Emmett sighed. Of course. So, uh, have you found out anything about that orb dream yet?
No,
Amy said in his mind. She sighed. But it's got to be somewhere in Blackfire. Unless it was on one of the people in the Reilene Desert.
So, this Rodale dude was from Blackfire originally? That's where the Ciis originated from?
I guess.
Can you think of anyone you know who had an orb like that?
She thought for a few minutes about everyone she'd ever known from home.

None of my family ever had an orb like that. I think Aaron found it when we were kids, but dad tried to crush it. When he couldn't, he buried it back up, saying he hoped that one day, someone else would dig it up and figure out how to destroy it. My brothers and I didn't know what it was, and he refused to tell us, saying we were too young. Eventually, we forgot about it. Until now...none of my friends at school had anything like that either. Still, I feel like I've seen it before, after that time when we were kids. Recently...
What's happened recently? In the past year or so....a lot's been happening. First was that attack from shadow serpents...Aaron and a load of other people died. We moved into Briarlight. Isaac moved in with Emmett. I took Emmett out into the woods to perform the Awakening on him. Isaac followed. Then I got that shadow serpent fang and was possessed. I attacked Briarlight as a dragon and burned Norie and killed Darren. I healed Norie. Andrew got married, and Emmett got possessed by another fang. I healed him, and his fang was destroyed. He didn't have the strength to cure me-that takes years of practice. I gave him my fang for safekeeping and to help his abilities if he ever needed it. Mom disowned me, and we went to the mountains. Emmett somehow healed me from that poison I got from the shadow serpent, and we left together to stop the Ciis ourselves. We found out Isaac was working with the Ciis. We separated. I went to find Isaac, and Emmett went to meet the Advisor. Isaac was waiting for me in that cavern and tried to convince me to join him. Emmett found me. I turned into a phoenix and destroyed Isaac's shadow serpent fang killing him. Emmett and I left and went back home. I remember looking back into the cavern before we left. What was left was Isaac's belongings. A small sack with some currency, some food, a canteen, and some clothes. Also his accessories...some wristbands, some stud earrings, and....
Oh my god. How could I forget before? No, it's more like I tried to forget him.
When I looked back, he had a ring. On that ring was a fire opal. I didn't think anything of it at the time, I just wanted to go home. I didn't remember that damned orb until we all had that dream. Which means that the ring must be in...
"The cavern!" Amy shot to her feet.
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