Odeya now alone as she entered the busy streets once again, walked to down into a narrow walkway into Ayalet’s tavern. Belvel was the best known tavern in Arydress and was filled with people drinking and laughing. Lively music kept the noise level just below a roar. As she walked in she glanced around at the familiar surroundings; taking in the numerous round wooden tables and high-backed chairs, the long scarred and stained bar, and a large fireplace with a welcoming fire. A staircase led up to several rooms which were rented to travelers. As she examined the patrons for familiar faces someone shouted. “Odeya! Is that you?”
“What have you done with your hair, you look amazing!” he said.
“Clytius, what are you going here? Where is Ayalet?” asked Odeya.
Clytius was Ayalet’s older brother, he was also a good friend to Odeya, always giving her advice, and he was more like a brother to her, very protective. She frown when she looked at his scar on his left cheek. Some years ago before Odeya could go for training, she was attacked by a group of thieves, Clytius saved her but both of them were badly wounded. The thieves got away with the Royal shield of Arydress, it was the symbol of the Empire. Avril send her Royal guards to search for it but there was no luck. Clytius, although injured himself, never left her side until she was fully recovered.
“So are you working here?”
“Not really just helping out my little sister” he said.
“Ah yes, the spring festival, it gets really busy this time, can’t wait for the fireworks” said Odeya.
“Can’t wait for the feast” he said.
“So you heading for the Royal Palace?” asked Clytius.
“Later! May I have a glass of water” she asked.
“Just water?” he said in surprise.
“We have the best wines in Arydress and you asking for water!” he said.
Odeya smiled as he poured her a glass of water, she missed the company of friends and dinking wine at the Palace. Its been many years and she has forgotten the taste of all the rare wines. She know this tavern was stocked with all the wines but wasn’t a good time to have wine, she just needed more rest and some peace.
“So sister! Would you like anything else?” he asked.
“Yes please, I would like to rent a room” she said.
“I will arrange one of the finest room in this tavern, I think my sister was saving this for you, she just stepped out a while ago but she should be back any time now” he said.
“Alright then, I will be waiting for her in my room, oh and would you mind to please send some food up to my room later and I also need a hot bath”
“Sure thing Odeya, your meal will be ready in no time; give me a minute I will find the key” he said.
Odeya handed over hundred Silver Drachmas but he refused to accept money from her. It was Ayalet’s request that Odeya will not be charged for anything that she requested. Odeya sipped the water, it was heaven to her. She felt the cool water go down her throat. She then gulped the water down. As she placed the glass back on the table, Clytius returned. “I hope you will like the room” he said.
She gladly took the key from him and without a word she made her way to the room. It felt like an effect to climb up the stairs. With each step she took, a small part of her energy was left behind. She made it to the door but she felt she could pass out any minute. The door was made solid wood with gold handles and it had some tiny paint flakes peeled off at the bottom. Ayalet hadn’t repainted the door but who could blame her, she hardly had to time, the tavern was also busy and there was lots to do to prepare for the evening guests.
Odeya quickly took the key to open the door. The room was small, airy and clean. The walls were the colour of the sea, a light sea blue. The wooded floor creaked when she walked across it. A small square table near the bed had only three chairs around it and an empty bowl in the centre. It was somewhat cozy and perfect, she didn’t care about the size of the room or the colour, all she cared about was getting some sleep. It was not long when there was a knock at the door, she quickly opened it hoping it was Ayalet but it was just a servant holding some fresh towels and three bath robes, one was of pink silk.
“I’m Lenna and I’m here to help you prepare a bath.” she said.
“yes a bath! I really need it! Thank You” said Odeya.
Odeya gladly let her pass and she quickly got to work, Odeya sat on the bed and watched her pour the clear water into the round wooden tub. She placed a red crystal into the water to bring it to a perfect temperature, she then put five drops of some-kind of white liquid into the water and it slowly turned into a shiny white colour. “Your bath is ready, let me help you” said Lenna.
Odeya was never shy when it came to revealing herself to others. Lenna gently loosens the belt from the dress. “This is a beautiful design, who made it?” she asked.
“I wouldn’t know and it’s a long story” said Odeya.
“I will take your dress to be cleaned and will give you some time alone” said Lenna.
Odeya finally alone in the empty room, she tested the water, it was a perfect temperature so she stepped into the hot bath. She submerged her entire self in the steamy water. She remained under the water for a minute just to clear her mind, the assassin she encountered troubled her. She tried so hard to remember what had happened and who was the mysterious little girl at the Palace of Helios was. So many questions needed to be answered. She surfaced and wiped the water from her face.
“Helios, divine God of the Sun, I call upon you to guide me to the truth. Let your radiant light fill me”
Odeya waited for something to happen but nothing, the room remained silent. She was fooling herself, Titans don’t appear often. Her tummy rumbled from the lack of food, maybe that was the reason why she felt so weak and drained. She wanted to spend more time in the bath but she had to get something to eat before she faints. She used the sponge to rub her body before she stepped out. She heard a knock on the door, “Odeya! It’s me Ayalet”
“I’ll be there in a second” she grabbed her bath robe covered her naked body before she opened the door. The joy she felt was overwhelming when she opened the door to greet her friend. “Odeya!”
“Yes it’s me” said Odeya.
“Why is your hair black?” asked Ayalet.
“It’s good to see you, friend” said Odeya.
“Where is the tray with the food, I’m starving?” asked Odeya.
“It’s right here!” said Clytius.
He walked in and placed the tray on the table, “I made your favorite, hope you like it” he said.
“You made Lintro chicken for me? How sweet of you” said Odeya.
“We really missed you” said Ayalet.
They both hugged Odeya, a single tear rolled down her cheek, having friends by her side really made her feel loved. All her fears, her grief, her pain vanished when her friends were near. “Thank You!” said Odeya.
“Hey… no tears, we will always be there for you” said Clytius.
Odeya wiped her tears while Clytius poured the hot spiced tea. The tea was a good combination with Lintro chicken and hot buns soaked in a creamy potato sauce. “Here drink this, it will help take the stress away” he said.
“Afraid I have to leave, got some stuff that needs taking care of” he said.
“Wait, you are not staying? Was hoping you would share a meal with me”
He could see the disappointment in her eyes, he had a good heart and couldn’t say no to a dear friend. “I want to hear everything about your training” he said.
All three take a seat and listened to Odeya’s story until the very end while she enjoyed her meal that he had prepared for her. “Tell me, what do you know about the Black Rose?” asked Odeya.
“Black Rose? It’s just a mythical story told in ancient times. That’s all I know” said Ayalet.
“So tell me why are you so interested in this black rose?” asked Clytius.
“I forgot to mention why I was attacked by an assassin. I think he was guarding an ancient black box and I think it belonged to Helios, I have stolen something from the Gods. I remembered the assassin’s blade struck deep into my chest, I was sure to die but something strange happened, I fell into some-kind of semi dream like sleep and when I woken there was no sign of the assassin and my wounds had healed” said Odeya.
Clytius became concerned for her when she mentioned the assassin. “I heard rumors that the Royal Palace was attacked by an Assassin but not sure if it’s true” said Clytius.
“It’s just rumors Odeya! Don’t get too worried” said Ayalet.
“Could it be linked to some kind of darkness?” asked Odeya.
“I wouldn’t know anything about that but the Palace defenses are impossible to penetrate and the queen’s soldiers are well trained. Oh and the Leader of the elite soldiers is irresistible handsome, love his smile and my God his eyes…” said Ayalet.
Both stare at Ayalet with worried eyes. Odeya knew that she was talking about Atreus and this was his favorite place to eat. It was a hot summer day when a group of travelers stopped at the tavern for a drink before they pass through. It was packed with lively people and Ayalet was running low on drinks, her food and suppliers where delayed so she decided to close the tavern for a few hours but the group refused to leave. They demanded for Ayalet to entertain them and refused to pay for their drinks. Then a tall muscular man entered coming to her rescue, he was huge, his eyes so mysterious, he wore the black Royal outfit. He spoke and the entire tavern become silent, this made the group pay and leave. Ayalet wanted to thank him but no words came out. From that day she was been dreaming about him but when he visits the tavern she was too shy to say hello even if she summoned up the courage she could never approach him.
“Ayalet, my dear friend I know about your feelings for Atreus but I’m afraid his off-limits. Forgive me if I sound hush” said Odeya.
“I know but wish I could have just one kiss” said Ayalet.
“There is something I could do but Avril cannot find out. It needs to be done in secret. I will speck with Atreus as a friend” said Odeya.
“Please, just to look at his handsome face again, it will give me joy” said Ayalet.
“My sister has truly lost it, anyway I need to go back to work, will see you down later” said Clytius.
“Will meet you down in a second” said Ayalet. Clytius left the room. Odeya stared at the closed door as if the assassin could come busting through the door, she still couldn’t get him out of her mind. She looked down at her plate hoping the nightmare will vanish. A smile on her face to hide the pain from her dearest friend.
Odeya was finally alone in the room, she needed rest from the nightmare she had encountered. She flopped on the soft bed, the tiredness took a toll on her body. She felt like she could sleep for a week. It wasn’t long until her heavy eyes closed and she falls into a deep sleep. Dreams filled her mind, dreams of the stranger in the forest whispering her name. Odeya slept for hours and when she was awoke she realized that it was already night, a warm fire lit up the room. She sat up on the bed and looked around, she felt a Godly presence near her like the feeling that she felt in the forest. A warm feeling inside her, like someone from her past life was close.
“Please if you are there, please show yourself?” said Odeya.
She thought it could be Lenna but she was only a mortal. She closed her eyes and tried to force on the feeling to linger but the feeling disappeared the moment she heard a knock on the door. She took in a deep breath before opening the door. “Hello again I’m sorry to disturb you but I thought you would like a hot meal before bed”
“I must have slept the entire day” said Odeya. The servant walked passed Odeya to place the tray on the table, she poured a glass of cold water and handed it over to Odeya. She then left the room, closing the door behind her. Odeya could sense something different about her but she brushed the feeling aside as if it was nothing. Odeya took a seat next to the raging fire, she felt relaxed so decided to read the Lexicon. She summoned her book, flipped to the back of the book and found drawing of some unknown pattern. She touched the drawing and it started to glow and words appeared:
Forbidden Ancient Gates of Aveileya
All gates lead to the ruined cities of Aveileya.
Reopening the Gates that was once sealed by two powerful Gods after darkness consumed worlds.
The blood of a mortal God is the key to open all gates.
The five gates are:
The Sky Gate
If the gates should open then darkness will consume other worlds.
Odeya closed the book in horror placed it on the table but it magical opened again. She looked at the page it opened to and she found markings that matched the ones on her hand but she was unable to read it.
りゅう かつりょくかげ やみ あらし
She closed the book again, Odeya decided it was best to study the book in Avail’s Library, it will be quiet and peaceful. Odeya touched the cover of the book and it magically disappeared. She turned to look at the food, a fire stone was placed near the copper stone pot to keep it warm and fresh. She opened it and found venison stew with freshly baked rolls on the side. Odeya was not so hungry but the stew was so delicious that she empty the bowl. She then relaxed on the comfy bed listening to the fire and hoped that she could fall off to sleep again, she needed to get as much rest as possible.
Sunlight brighten the room as Odeya slowly awakened fully recovered and refreshed, all her energy returned. She slowly climbed out of bed, she felt her bare feet sink into something soft and grainy and she felt the heat the moment she stepped on it. She looked down at the floor, the entire floor was covered in hot desert sand. Her dreams and visions could cause her power to be uncontrollable. Drawing wind energy from within and slowly the sand dispersed. She closed her eyes and tried to remember her vision. She used her dream energy to recall her vision. She finds herself in a dark passageway and the torches on the wall provided little light. The floor was covered with hot sand which explained the sand in her room. She was in shock when she noticed that her outfit was full black and a hood was up, the skirt was short and her top was a komono style, her boots where heavy like it was meant for a warrior. She had her bow and quivers strapped across her back. She continued to walk down the dimly lit passage unaware of what awaits her at the end. As she walked, she could feel a slight breeze, the air was coming directly in front of her and the light got brighter. She soon came to a slightly opened door, she bravely opened it and walked in. The colossal chamber had a massive God imprisoned in chains, his muscular body bound in Crystal. Then it occurred that he could be a Titan but who could have imprisoned him and why.
His voice sounded powerful and shook the entire chamber, her vision ended the moment he opened his eyes.
Odeya could feel his power and he was definitely a Titan but she couldn’t make sense of her vision so she decided to write it in her book so she could get a better understanding of it. She spent an hour writing her vision. She slowly closed the book, a relief filled her. She didn’t notice before but her dress was ready and hung on the wall. “Maybe its time I leave” she whispered to herself. She had been in her bath robe for too long. She quickly slipped it out revealing her nakedness, a cool breeze blew from the opened window. She gentle stepped into the bath and closed her eyes calming her mind. Thoughts of herself lying on the soft grass in the Royal Gardens in Avril’s Palace and the sound of the water fountain in the centre. The trees all around provided shade from the burning sun. Odeya spent most of her time in the Gardens in her young days, reading books from the Royal Library.
Odeya prepares herself before she heads down but noticed that the same gold boots she wear at Helios Palace or Temple was placed next to her dress. “well this is truly the work of God” she whispered.
Ayalet’s tavern wasn’t so busy in the mornings, only a young woman occupied a table at the far corner as if she didn’t want to be disturbed. “Please tell me if your have Lintro Chicken” she asked.
“yes we do but it will take about 20 mins to prepare so would you like something to draing while you wait? “she asked.
Apple juice would be nice”
“alright, I will be back shortly”
“good morning Ayalet, need some help before I leave, I could spare an hour?” asked Odeya.
“oh yes please! Take this to the young gentlemen seated in the far table to your right ”
As Odeya place the meal on the table a young woman came storming into the tavern holding a weapon looked more like a samurai sword. Her stormy grey eyes revealed a mysterious side within her. Her long black hair reminded her of the shadow warriors while in training. She did looked a little pale but sensed her boundless energy. Her clothes she wore revealed that she was different and not from this land. Similar to Kimono style.
“I am Lafera, I am looking for the Daughter of War! Odeya! She yelled.
“what’s going on?” said Odeya
“we need to leave now, the Goddess has found you!
“what are you talking about?
“oh no, its too late! The darkness is alright here” she yelled.
Odeya turned towards Ayalet but noticed a sudden darkness brought a chill in the tavern. A pool of black ice formed on the floor. Three dark shaped about the pool released a burning smell as if they were created in the depths of hell.
“don’t move!” said the mystic women.
As the three dark figures took shape, she could see their black ash coat and their blood red eyes scanning the room. Fear consumed her when it let out a howl, their razor sharp teeth that could rip out flesh in seconds. When she stepped back accidental bumped the table next to her. One of the beast raced towards her. She stood frozen in fear. A mysterious warrior materialized just in time to save her from a fatal attack. “Kuso!” he yelled.
“Don’t move just remain where you are, I got this” said the young warrior. He slowly removed his katana from its sheath.
Somehow the sound of his voice brought a calmness to her soul but she could not relax, not yet; she was still in a dangerous situation. The young warrior glanced at his Katana, the hell hounds also feeds off fear, one of the hell hounds stepped closer to Ayalet. She closed her eyes but dared not scream, it felt her fear. Lafera distracted them with her shuriken that appeared in her hands. Five more hellhounds bolted towards them while the third one moved passed the warrior with speed and pounced on Odeya from the back, she fell violently to the ground and lost the grip of her dagger, its sharp claws ripped through her dress tearing deep into her flesh. Loud screams escape her lungs. She felt its large jaws that gripped onto her shoulder pinning her down.
She held out her hand using the power of telekinesis, the dagger moved straight into its eye. To her relief the beast released her from its grip. Odeya managed to crawl away but still she was not out of danger. The shadow warrior could see she was in serious trouble, rushed in to save her despite their recent encounter.
Ayalet stood frozen against the wall, watching the horror unfold. Who was this mysterious person battling the hounds, he moved with incredible speed, she watched as he took down the hell hounds with just one weapon. Ayalet now free, she rushed to Odeya’s side, slowly turned her over but still aware of the hounds that were near. To her relief Odeya was still alive but barely holding on. She needed to get Odeya away from the hounds, she hoped for a little help from her brother but he stepped out not knowing when he will return. Ayalet dragged Odeya behind the bar table. Just as she let go of her arms, she noticed Odeya slowly slipping away. “No Odeya! Stay with me!” yelled Ayalet.
Ayalet held onto her hand, her wounds were so deep it was impossible for her to recover. Lafera came to her aid, and dropped down to her knees in seconds. “Quick! Get me a tavozin leaves and alofon paste, I know you have the ingredients stocked” said Lafera.
“There is no need for that, clearly you losing your gift” he said to Lafera. The shadow warrior kneed down beside Odeya, gently lifted her up slightly and placed his one hand on her chest.
“Odeya! Guardian! Listen to my voice! Let my shadow guide you back into the light!” he said.
Ayalet was in shock when Odeya’s wounds slowly began to heal. She never witnessed anything like this before. Odeya slowly opened her eyes and glanced up at the shadow warrior. “Jin! Your name is Jin” whispered Odeya.
Odeya held onto him but slipped back into an unconscious state. “Quick! Take her back to her room” said Ayalet.
She guided him up the stairs, forced the door opened in panic, almost stumbled when she stepped into the room and the warrior followed behind. He gentle placed Odeya onto the bed. “Will she be okay?” Ayalet asked.
“Yes! You are brave young warrior” he said.
Lafera stepped into the room, all thoughts were forced on Odeya. “we not save yet” he said.
A Goddess materialized, her blade struck him straight through his chest but it seen to not effect on him. He vanished in a shadow mist and re-appeared behind the Goddess. “Persephone!” he yelled.
Persephone whipped around to attack but he blocked her with his katana. “You have become very persistent” he said.
Persephone responded by brutally forcing him against the wall. Ayalet had never seen a Goddess so focused in destroying the warrior, Ayalet bravely slammed the Goddess with a wooded chair but she shown no sign of defeat. Persephone grabbed her by the throat choking the life from her. The strength of the Goddess was no match for her. Lafera grabbed onto the Persephone’s face, lightning energy passed through her into the Goddess which caused her to let go of Ayalet. Persephone breaks free from Lafera and let out a raging scream.
The Goddess was now distracting by two brave woman, the warrior quickly got to his feet in no time. He realized that this could end badly so he grabbed Persephone and held her close. “It’s time you feared the Guardian line” he said.
His mask was removed, revealed his face but only to the Goddess. “Jin! I will not stop until I have him” Persephone yelled.
“they will destroy you!”
He held onto her face and captured her lips but not in a passionate way. Weakening the Goddess with his shadow ability, draining her of her divine power with just one kiss. A rare gift that only a male Guardian can possess, they could draw energy from any mortal, Goddess or female Guardians… a kiss so powerful not even a Goddess could break free. Persephone was drawn into his lustful energy as the shadow mist swilled around them and both Persephone and the warrior disappeared into the mist.