Five years later
“Yil, I just ask of one thing,” SLAM! “To look kindly upon my old, feeble physique,” ANOTHER SLAM! “And to remember that I am only filling in for your Measer who happens to be sick” THWACK! Measer Fern’s shrill plead carried in the air.
“Don’t be such a bore Measer, it’s just target practice,” replied a giggling Yil. I couldn’t help but chuckle. She reminds me so much of my younger self.
At the ripe age of fifty-five with jet black hair, icy blue eyes and a six-foot tall, lean muscled physique. He was anything but weak and feeble but against the cheeky and mischievous Yil, he didn’t stand a chance. He was a man of paradoxes, a kind timid voice belonging to a hard face chiselled to perfection, a meek demeanour concealing a strong force of power and a playful character shielding his wise nature.
He had been the head druid and Measer for as long as I could remember and he would occasionally talk about his plan to retire fully, so he could go around the world in disguise studying and learning about its history and people. However, his great love for children and zeal to impart knowledge won every time.
I finally reached the Airian training grounds which was situated on a hill overlooking the packs orchard and flower garden. The cherry blossom tree branches swayed in the spring breeze and with that the flowers shook loose and filtered around the hill and to the end of it in an organised orchestra. It was very magical. The butterflies were flying around in swirl patterns and the snowshoe hares frolicked in the small pond below occasionally tackling each other into the water. A great feeling of euphoric reminisce washed over me and I closed my eyes and inhaled the sweet smelling air deeply.
“Yil its target practice not Measer substitute sabotage. I would not like to be in your teachers exhausted state.” SLAM! Fern tried to reason with her.
“No fun. This is more fun. Look out!” Yil screamed, excitedly.
I turned to the practice area and noticed that Yil had been air targeting paint balls at Fern instead of the large target plank which was still clean. Fern was in front of a class of six children, contorting his body in different positions as he tried to escape the air controlled paint balls that were hurled rapidly at him. The children backs were turned to me and Fern was too busy concentrating on the task at hand to notice me standing there. Before, I could make my presence known, a boy by the name of Rae, moved to grab Yil’s wrists.
“That’s not nice, is it? You’ve had your fair share of spotlight and show of skills. Now you have to stop,” he stated coolly.
He was the son of Sess, the Airian and Lint, the head Nyrlian and this made him a controller of both the elements of water and air. The white-wolf clan was different from the ordinary Lycanthrope in that the pack was full of wolves who were either element controllers or Ortions. Then we had the hybrids who were the result of a union between two different element controllers as in the case of Rae and the Seers who were the result of a union between an element controller and an Ortion as in the case of Measer Fern.
“I’m the princess, I can do whatever I please,” replied Yil with a tap of her feet and raise of her eyebrow. Okay this was definitely from Tyon. She proceeded to remove her hand with a twist of her body but Rae was faster and counterattacked, trapping her wrist gently behind her back. Courtesy of his father’s training. He was the oldest in the class and taller than most of the children, so it made sense that he was stronger as well.
“Yes, you are the princess,” He said and Yil beamed brightly. “But you must also be rational and fair in your thinking. Giving reverence to your Measer’s equips you with the necessary knowledge, skills and wisdom that you will need to rule this pack one day. But your arrogance and hot-headedness isn’t going to get you anywhere,” he smirked.
Yil couldn’t comprehend what he had just said but the laughter from the once silent children was enough to infuriate her. Even Fern couldn’t help but crack a small but noticeable smile.
Before the encounter could escalate any further, courtesy of my hot-headed child, I cleared my throat loudly. The whole class turned towards me and from my peripheral vision I noticed Fern exhale a sigh of relief as I narrowed my gaze to Yil. Rae immediately released her and as if on cue he and the children bowed to me.
“Welcome Luna, to our training ground,” they chorused
“Yil has been causing a ruckus and putting everyone through the absolute worse, right?” I said, smiling in response to their greeting
“No I haven’t mummy. I was just....” Yil started but was cut off by one of the children, a seer named Zena.
“Yes Luna, the absolute worse,” she countered. “Maybe Yil should have her private princess training centre complete with servants and maids before we all lose it,” She huffed and stuck her tongue out at Yil. This caused another round of laughter and by now Yil was bright red with embarrassment.
“Maybe she should, what do you think Yil? Your classmates are put-off by your naughty behaviour,” I asked waiting for a response from the suddenly shy Yil who attempted to hide her face behind her long silvery-white hair. I crouched down to her level and continued. “Where’s the obedient, sweet and loving Yil who makes mummy smile?”
She lifted her head and pointed to her chest, “Here”
“Then why is Yil naughty today? Because you’ve hurt your Measer and classmates by acting mean,” She looked around me to peer at her classmates who looked back at her quietly. Without a word she went around me.
“I’m sorry everybody for been so naughty and mean,” the children stared back at her with wide-opened eyes. “Friends?” she asked unsure as she stuck her hand out. Suddenly, they all cracked a smile, moved towards her and enveloped her in a group hug.
I smiled at the scene and didn’t notice when Fern came to stand by my side.
“This is why I still teach even after all these years,” he said watching as the children giggled and chattered.
“I know. I mean after what I put you through, I was so sure you would quit,” I said as I remembered those times I had been a student of his.
“I thought so too,” he chuckled. “But it’s so unfortunate that even after the ordeal you put me through, I can’t still pre-empt Yil’s next move. You’d think I’d already be a pro at this,” he mused to which I just laughed. I was once as naughty as Yil. I guess an apple never falls far from the tree.
Still entrapped in my musing I barely heard his voice.
“Yes, Yil,” he said, drawing out each word. At first I was confused but when I followed his gaze, I noticed that Yil had been tugging on his toga to get his attention.
“I’m so sorry for been mean Measer,” she apologised, looking up at him with big doe green eyes.
“That’s alright Yil,” he said smiling back at her. “But at least I got a good day’s work out,” he added quietly, much to my amusement and laughter.
“So can we take a break down at the pond?” Yil asked and behind her were the eager children who awaited Fern’s response.
“Yes, of course,” he said to which they all squealed. “But watch your steps as you go down the...” It was too late as the children had already sprinted far away from us. “Hill,” he added with a shake of his head.
“Their pretty fast aren’t they,” I smirked.
“That they are,” he said still fixated on their receding figures. “But without further ado and before they come back let’s talk about what you are here for,” he turned towards me with an intense stare.
“Did you see this moment in your crystal orb?” I probed. “Because then you already know my question and I’m hoping you already have the answer,” I continued, hoping that finally all would be revealed.
I was aware of the fact that the orbs didn’t work in that manner. They showed only what the Sky Lordians wished to reveal. However, ever since he had made the revelation that Yil was a controller of all the elements, I had always wondered why. This phenomenon had never happened before in the white-wolf clan. Even offspring’s emanating from a union between hybrids ended up with only two of the combined four elements. It was said that when the powers met to form the zygote two of those elements would usually cancel the other. However, despite this natural law of nature it so happened that Tyon and I begot an offspring who has control over all the elements.
“Are you even sure about this? It’s been five years since she was born and the only powers that have manifested are that of water and air. She could just be a hybrid,” I reasoned. “Maybe you read the weather change on that day wrong, because the only answer I want is why she has incessant nightly headaches.”
Fern looked at me for a while without saying a word. The calm breeze swirled around us and settled to soothe the state of unease that I was in. He was trying to calm me down. He would always say that trying to make a turbulent weather storm see its own destruction would never work because it failed to see the beauty of the world it was about to destroy. But the calm breeze saw the beauty and was wiser in nurturing the earth.
In other words, if I was anxious and resistant to listen I would never understand what he was trying to explain but if I was calm and receptive, I would come to learn. Lesson 1. That was probably the reason I only told him of the headaches yesterday night.
“The rest of her powers are beginning to manifest,” he said those words so quietly that I would have missed it had I not read the movement of his lips. “Our body is not able to contain that much power and that’s why the Sky Lordians balanced each white-wolf with a maximum of two talents.”
“Then why can she control all the elements if it’s only going to cause her pain?” I asked trying to remain calm and not give into my anxiety
He stared intently at me once again, gauging my state of mind. He was preparing me for bad news. He wanted to know how I would react and so I stood taller and stared straight into his eyes. It was a futile attempt against a Seer but nevertheless I refused to appear weak. He began to speak but the glint in his eyes showed that he knew what I was about.
“She is the prophesied one, the promised white-wolf,” he replied coolly.
It felt as if the world had frozen in place and the only sound that I could hear was the hammering of my heart. No, no it couldn’t be the prophesy that I had seen when I was a young pup. Fern had warned me countless times to keep out of his study but been the stubborn child that I was I had not heeded his warnings and seen the orb of prophesies. It was one of a white-wolf who had committed the forbidden and faced the tremendous consequences. At the time it was unknown if the white-wolf was male or female, but after that traumatic experience I hadn’t dared to go into his study ever again. And we had also never talked about what I had seen.
“It’s not what I think it is, right?” my voice wavered and I tried hard to stay erect. Fern did not reply and just kept staring at me.
“Measer, now is not the time to stay silent hoping that I would come to accept it because it’s never going to happen,” I said my voice rising.
“It is what it is Luna, we can only accept it and trust the fate of the Sky Lordians because...” I cut him off because I couldn’t bear to listen to him anymore
“No, I’m not accepting this,” I screamed backing away. “You saw what the white-wolf went through, you saw it didn’t you? Do you wish that on Yil, your future Luna?” rage was building up in me and my wolf fought to break through. “You know what I went through to have her and so I won’t... no... I can’t,” I said shaking my head. “accept their fate. Never.”
With this I turned around abruptly and made my way down the hill. I was in need of a run. Now. I couldn’t stand to hear whatever he had to say. I had a foreboding feeling ever since Yils’ headaches started three days ago but I thought if Tyon and I kept absorbing them it would finally stop. I was so wrong because now my worst nightmare was actualising. The elements were battling for space in her small body.
I was drawn from my thoughts by Yil who ran excitedly towards me.
“Mummy, meet Snowball!” she said motioning to the small white snowshoe hare who bounded right behind her. “He’s my new pet. Isn’t he cute?” she squealed.
I wiped away my tears hurriedly, crouched down to her level and felt the hares’ fur. “Yes he is darling, he’s a beauty,” as I said this I signalled to Kiba, a pack guard. “Why don’t you follow Kiba to the Pack house, then you can show daddy your new pet.”
“Okay mummy, but are you alright?” she stopped patting Snowball and looked up at me. “You look sad. I don’t like it when you are sad,” she pouted as tears gathered in her eyes
“No mummy’s not sad,” I replied reassuringly. “I’m just tired from coming down that big hill, that’s all,” she giggled at this and I heaved a sigh of relief. “So off you go, hmm Princess.”
“Okay mummy, come on Snowball,” she gave me a quick hug, carried Snowball and went to walk alongside Kiba. As they moved farther and farther away I could still hear her chattering.
“He has one nose, two eyes, furry cute feet and he can dance as well....”
I tuned her voice out and set for the forest. I needed to vent out my fury at the Sky Lordians because it would be a cold day in hell before I let that fate befall my treasure.