Bound in Crystal

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Odeya awakened on the soft grass, her eyes slowly adjust to the light. As she lay on the cold ground she felt like a strange coldness within her blood like something awakening deep within her, something she could not explain. Odeya remembered the pain when the blade pieced her chest but she could not find a wound, had she been brought back to life she wondered.

She slowly picked herself up from the group in that moment she noticed that she no longer had her beautiful silver hair. She gasped in shock, her hair turned pure black like the mystic shadows that she trained with. What had caused this change, she could not figure it out.

She glanced at her surroundings, the forest was eerie silent not a bird in slight, the mist was unnatural like it was summoned by an unknown force. If she stayed here any longer it will drive her mad. A lot of unexplained magic filled these parts of the forest.

She heard a faint noise from behind, she turned to investigate. To her relief it was Kitara which brought a smile to her gloomy face. “Im so glad you safe” she whispered. An unbreakable bond she shared and couldn’t bare to lose Kitara. “We need to leave!” She examined the enchanted bag before she tied it to the saddle, the ancient box was still safely packed away. She glanced that the setting sun, she remembered rumors of a guardian wolf that stalks the forest warning intruders not knowing if it’s friend or foe. She didn’t want to stick around to find out, she mounted Kitara leaving fear all behind and rode off.

***

When she reached the boundary it was like shimmering wall of silver stars. Odeya dismounts and placed her right hand on the glowing wall and it opened up a circle allowing her to pass. She grabbed the reins and pulled Kitara through the boundary. It felt like a relief had been lifted but sleeping out in the opened could be risky knowing that the assassin is still out there. She looked at the last fading light and in the distance you could see the wheat fields this meant that she’s in Arydress its one step closer to the Royal Palace. She hoped for shelter and a decent meal after a long journey, just a simple freshly baked bread to cure her hunger.

She decided to rest for the night before her crossed the wheat fields. She found a large berry tree, they were known as blood berries a very sweet fruit but it was the only thing she could eat, hunting was not the best thing right now. She quickly filled a bottle with many round berries and sealed the bottle. A protection spell was needed before she could thing of making a fire. She could use the moonlight as a source of energy to make the spell stronger. She learnt many spells while in training, spells were not an easy task. Some powerful spells required light and darkness but elemental spells were the hardest to summon. She thought of one that will work at night but might be a bit tricky. In order for it to work she required deadly venom from a Olakin snake, it was one of the deadliest snakes in Eradonis. One bite can cause hours of intense pain before dead. To hunt one could be a awful task so placed her right hand onto the ground and she draw energy from within to attracted the snake towards her. “okay! I can do this” she whispered. She slowly took out her dagger ready to strake if anything goes wrong with her magic. She could see the snake slowly sliding towards her, she then sifted her energy to control the snake. She placed the dagger onto the ground and grabbed a bottle from the bag. She wasted no time and grabbed the snake by it’s head, extracting the venom using magic. She guides the poison venom into the bottle and sealed it. Odeya slowly released the snake. As she watched it slither away, it that crossed her mind that her magic had grown even more powerful with training.

Odeya summed a light orb and went in search of Moonlight lilies for this spell. There was a sudden drop in temperure, she need to find the flower before she freeze to death. She closed her eyes and stood for a moment, used her senses to location the mystic flower. She sensed one to her left, near a tree not far from were she is standing. She could see a few glowing and quickly pulls them from the ground but she noticed that the glow has not faded. She heads back to Kitara and gets to work on the spell. Removed the petals and placed them around in a circle and dusted the pollen onto the petals. She picked out a leaf and five drops of the venom onto the first petal and a red symbol appeared. She continued for each petals and mixed the remaining pollen into the venom still in the jar. She mixed it with a small twig and It slowly turned into a black liquid. She whispered a spell:

Let this be hidden from my unseen foe.

I summon the Blood symbol of binding

Come to me oh great serpent

Let your magic flow onto me

Give me immunity from this spell

She tool a sip of the black liquid which tasted like ash and she poured the remaining onto the ground. Black vines from beneath her feet formed a barrior all around her. The flowers that grew had a deadly poison, none will dare to enter.

She quickly gathered some twigs to make a fire, laid it onto the ground and sprinkled some of the fire dust that she found in the Temple and it was lit in to no time. Tiredness slowly seeping in and she didn’t care about the berries. She rested her back against a tree listening to the sound of the forest slowly drifted off to sleep knowing that the spell would keep her safe.

~***~

She was awakened by the warm morning sun, but her tired eyes could barely open from the lack of adequate sleep. Was it the battle what drained her magical energy she wondered. When she looked up and could see the city walls it was a moment of absolute joy for her.

“I’m home” she said softly. The weather was perfect, clear skies with a cool breeze, it was the beginning of Spring. She closed her eyes to embrace the sunlight, she was finally home after many years of training. She stepped onto the dried vines that served its propose and grabbed the jar of berries and stuffed a few in her month as she gathered her all belongs and mounts Kitara.

***

As she rode into the town, she took in the sights and smells of the crowded streets. People talked and laughed as they went about their daily routines, while children ran and played in the street. Several citizens greeted her as she passed, reminding her of how welcome she always felt when she was here. The years have passed but aside from folks growing older, not much else had changed. She dismounted and led her horse the rest of the way. She slowly made her way to a nearby stable and greeted the owner with a smile. “Good Morning Oresus” said Odeya.

“Odeya! Is that you? What have you done with your hair?”

“Where have you been all these years?” Oresus asked.

“It’s a crazy story” said Odeya.

“Ah! It’s a perfect morning to share your story with an old friend, don’t you think?”

“Maybe some other time, I feel like I just want fall flat onto a soft bed” said Odeya.

“I guess you need it, you look like just came out of the…”

“Please don’t say it!” said Odeya.

“I was wondering if you would keep Kitara for a night I will be very grateful” she asked.

“You don’t need to ask” he said.

He slowly raised from his chair, walked towards the horse and unsaddled Kitara. “Thank you Oresus”

“No problem”

“So have you heard any news about your father?” asked Odeya.

“Yes! They plan to release him in a months’ time but it’s been so many years” said Oresus.

Odeya’s memory of Oresus was a sad one. He lost his mother at a young age and it was not long when his father was taken prisoner in Siacodia for stealing from the Royal Palace.

“I never stopped thinking about my father, it was my fault that he is in prison so how do I face him after all these years?” Oresus asked.

“I’m sure your father has forgiven you and will be glad to see you. Don’t give up hope” said Odeya.

“Thank you for your kind words, much appreciated” said Oresus.

“Well! I should go” said Odeya.

“So where are you off to? Have you heard the news? There is some dark energy lurking in the in the shadows. Some say it came from the Scared Lands” said Oresus.

“That’s abandoned for many years, no one goes there anymore” said Odeya.

“Well rumors say it’s linked to the Lord of Darkness”

“That doesn’t sound too good but maybe I will see it for myself to believe it” said Odeya.

“Afraid you cannot enter, The Empire has it blocked” he said.

“Well! I should get going” said Odeya.

“Take care!” said Oresus.

They say their goodbyes and he turned towards the door which lead into the lower stables. She was also grateful for his years of a friendship. Oresus’s father taught Odeya and his son how to ride a horse when she was only ten years old. It was an enjoyable experience for the young Odeya. She learnt new things from him and a good friendship had started with Oresus.

~***~

She slowly strolled the streets and in a short distance she could see trouble brewing. Soldiers were escorting a prisoner, the chains around her hands were strongly bound. Odeya watched the young woman as she walked passed but the prisoner took no notice of her, the crowd started throwing stones at the prisoner. Odeya wondered what crime she has committed. She wanted to ask one of the soldiers but they will probably not recognize her. She then noticed the Royal symbol on their armor, it was the Empress’s personally group of elite soldiers, not Royal guards. Soldiers of Arydress that no one dares to mess with. They are known to be fierce in battle and never lost a war. They also have a strong will to protect those who are weak when they make their rounds throughout the city.

Odeya had known every soldier in the Palace and they will give their lives to protect the Empress but she had seen Avril fight to keep her Throne and witnessed the hardships of Royal life.

Odeya watched them drag the woman, they were heading to Avril’s Palace. She was curious but something else grabbed her attention. A mysterious figure brushed passed her and she could feel his power as if it filled her veins. She glanced at him as he stopped, he turned to face her. It felt like a powerful connection or a bond something that she could not explain. She froze when the cloaked figure stepped closer, his hood was up and she could barely see his face. “Odeya!” he whispered. His voice sounded so familiar. She stood in the middle of the streets bewildered until one of the solder bumped into her which brought her out of a daze, before she could realize what had happened. The mysterious figure vanished as if it was one of her visions. She glanced around hoping to find him but the streets were crowded and they were too busy to pay no attention to her. She asked a few people but none seen or heard about the mysterious figure.

~***~

The air felt heavenly when she smelled the freshly baked pies that made her mouth water. She was temped to try one, she spend a lot of time in the market as a child it was her passion with food draw her to this market, she loved to taste all different kinds of food. She stood for a moment staring at the pies, it was pure joy to see the market once again. She had forgotten what it taste like but she barley had enough to buy.

In the near distance she recognized a young girl, with a scar on her hand. She recognized her as Tayana so she approached her through the busy streets.

“Tayana!” said Odeya.

The little girl ignored the stranger that called her name. “I am Odeya” she said.

Tayana stopped to turn around. The child’s beauty reminded her of Avril, it was like she was part of the Royal line of Arydress. Her long red hair was the same length as Avril’s but she was the daughter of Ayalet. Although most people in Arydress had red hair, she looked into the child’s beautiful hazel eyes she sense there was something unique about her.

Odeya walked closer to her and rested her hands on her shoulders. “You are all grown up, you must be six or seven years old?” Odeya asked.

“Seven! Odeya I am so happy to see you. When I grow up I want to be just like you, a powerful and strong Archer” said Tayana filled with excitement.

“Hmm, your mother must be filling your head with tales of my adventures but you are too young to learn archery sweetheart” said Odeya.

Disappointed by Odeya’s words. She turned her back to Odeya, she could tell that she was frustrated and refused to face Odeya. She seem to let her down but Tayana could not handle a weapon that was larger than she was and anyway she would not have the strength to pull the taut string back far enough to send an arrow any further then a few inches. Odeya walked around her to face Tayana, she looked up at Odeya and gave her a smile.

“I will need your mother’s approval before I can teach you anything but first you must be a little older, training is not easy” said Odeya.

“Promise?” she said.

“Promise! So were can I find your mother, I would love to see her.” said Odeya.

An angry look crossed her face again. “She is in that stupid tavern and she is too busy to play with me” said Tayana.

“have you tried snow cream? how about we get some, I bet your mother doesn’t have time anyone” said Odeya.

“yes! lets go! I know were it is”

She guided Odeya leading her across the busy street into a wooded walkway. There was a large stall, many vendors severing snow cream. It had grown popular as time passed. Snow cream was very rare in Arydress and it was quite difficult to find the ingredients to make it and it requited a unique skill to add the finishing touches.

As they approached they were greeted with a warm smile. “Good Morning! What can I get for you?” he asked.

“what are the new favors?” Odeya asked.

“well! we have spiced lemon, cheesy chocolate, honey berry and blue iced chocolate”

“honey berry for me please!” said Tayana.

“these are very new to me so I will try cheesy chocolate” said Odeya.

“good choice!” he said.

“well I hope this is good! Haven’t tried this in years” said Odeya.

“you will enjoy it” she said.

They stood waiting for their snow cream, it was interesting to try new flavors. She needed something to distract her from the recent events that all most claimed her life. it wasn’t long when he brought two cups of snow cream, there was layers of chocolate and a icy mist floating on top, she gladly takes it with a smile and they found a shady place to sit. When Odeya took the first bite it was heaven in her mouth, the gooey chocolate melted in her mouth. “oh! this is really good” said Odeya.

“I knew you would like it” said Tayana.

“I used to come here when I was a child but I was always accompanied by Royal Guards even though I wasn’t Royalty” said Odeya.

“when will I visit the Palace?” she asked.

“I haven’t been home in five years but I will try and arrange a visit” said Odeya.

“is the food different?” she asked.

“I could sneak you in the Royal kitchen if you like and you can tell the royal chefs to make anything you like”

“yes! can I take some home?”

“you exited about the Royal Feast?” she asked.

“no! it gets busy I hate it!

“it’s not so bad, think about the delicious food”

“I barely eat but I am looking forward to a trap to the Temple of Asteria. It’s beautiful at night and should come with me” she said.

“yes I heard about it but I won’t have the time, I am sorry little one”

“you will love the pathway leading to the Temple, I have seen it in a painting” she said.

“am sure I will visit soon, I should visit your mother before I return to the Palace” said Odeya.

“I also should return home”

“will she be working late again? Asked Odeya.

“yes!”

“will you be okay?”

“yes! I know my way through the market”

“alright, will see you soon little one” said Odeya.

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