“Whitestar, are you coming?”
“Wait, what? Where are we going?”
“We’re not going anywhere sweetheart, but you are.”
I ran to our front door and saw mother with my baby sister and my stepfather. I frown. Something was not right. “What’s going on?” I ask weary.
“You’re going out to town today, here is a list of all that we need,” my stepfather said and handed me the paper.
Something. Was. Not. Right.
I bit my lip and stepped out the door without any clue that my life would change that day. I walked to the town, or more precise, the village. We no longer had a horse, thanks to my stepfather. Carefully I roamed the shops where I needed to buy something. I was almost finished when I walked straight into someone. My head was down reading the list and I was simply not looking. I fell back and I lost the basket, which contained pretty much everything. “Great, typical my luck,” I muttered and got to my knees so I could gather what I had lost.
A hand rested all of a sudden on my left forearm and I looked up in surprise. A tall man with light blonde ruffled hair, piercing blue eyes and a slight tan, looked at me. I almost let my jaw fall, but I managed to resist.
“Please, let me help. I did not see where I was going,” he said and I gaped.
“You’re kidding. I was the one looking down,” I said and shook my head. “No, you don’t have to help. It wouldn’t be right.”
“I insist.” His tone was firm but I could see his eyes twinkle and I wondered what this man really was after.
I sighed as the last item came back into the basket and then I was ready to go once again. I was about to step away while I muttered a silent thanks when he stopped me. Again.
“It was nice to meet you Miss?”
I paled. He did not know who I was? Who exactly was this man? “Whitestar,” I answered with a raised brow.
“Whitestar? The best priestess in the Light lands?” he asked. “The one who can resurrect any dead and heal even greater?”
I flinched and backed away. “Yeah, that’s me,” I said nervously. “Though I cannot resurrect any person, it depends on how long the soul is present near its body…” I trailed off and took yet another step backwards. “Sorry, but I must go. Thank you for helping me.” I turned and started to run. The wrong direction. I would certainly get a longer way home later. Yay. Just what I needed. I did not look back, and when I felt safe enough I turned and I no longer saw the man. “Relax Whitestar,” I told myself. “He did not follow you. You may go home.”
My problem was that most people kept their distance. My stepfather was not the most fan of that of course. My mother, well, she was another case. She was fine when my father lived. Then we became practically best friends, and look at us now. A strained relationship. She nearly kissed the ground my stepfather walked on. I wondered if they kept me just because I was the one mainly looking after my little sister. Stepsister. Though I never considered her such. My real father died in battle. He was a true hero. He was fighting the evil king of the Icy lands for our king. Though I would say that was hopeless too. Because our king died as well, and his evil wife became queen. I would say she is as bad as the old king of the Icy lands, but no one truly believed me.
I would say I am pretty normal, except of being a priest and all. I never stand there when couples say I do, neither do I follow a god. However, I believe in a goddess and I do rituals for her in a pavilion with other people from the village. Some are not afraid of me, they believe my powers to be gifted to me from the goddess herself, however, they still keep quiet and no one ever speaks to me. They used to, although that was a long time ago.
My long white hair is bound most of the time in a ponytail, so it is out of my face. My eyes are always a different shade of purple, but still purple. Whitestar. My eyes are twinkling like the stars, and my hair is pure white. Or that’s what I was told when I asked why they gave me such a name. I have high cheekbones that most of the time are covered in a slight blush. My lips seem to always have color, they are full and the corners are always slightly lifted, so it looks like I am smiling. Most of the time. My teeth are perfect and white, which is not very normal either in our village. I am taller than most and I am always pale. My skin never tan from being so much outside. Also my ears are slightly pointed like an elf’s ears. I got better sight than most, better reaction, better hearing, better strength to keep going and better stamina. That is why the people are even more determined that I am sent from the goddess herself. But what does it matter when I am not welcomed? What does it matter when I barely have a home?
I see the familiar beach and our little house. We live not too far from the borders, and in the distance I can see the icy mountains. I hurry inside with the basket and place it in the kitchen. I hurry to warm up a bottle of milk before I find my baby sister in her crib, and I feed her.
“Whitestar?” I hear my mother call.
“Yes mother?” I ask.
“I need to speak with you, right now!”
I sigh and put away the bottle before I tuck my little sister back in her crib. “I will see you soon,” I whisper and kiss her forehead. “I got everything!” I yell and walk into the living room. There is a very familiar man sitting in my father’s old chair. My stepfather is not present and I cannot help but wonder why. “What is this?” I ask carefully. Or rather, who?
“This is prince Dragon of the Icy lands. Your father requested him to come.”
He raises a brow and wink at me.
I feel confused. Prince Dragon? Of the Icy lands? This man, I had met him (obviously)! That is why I did not recognize him then. He had come a long way to simply visit us. Something was up.
“My daughter can be quite stubborn,” mother starts and I pale. Yep, definitely up to something.
“Do not worry Mrs. Afridon. You know my mother was a friend of Mr. Afridon and she told him that if he ever needed help, he would get it. I had to come in person since she died just some few days ago. To be honest I am quite glad your house is so close to the border.” He laughed, but it sounded a bit forced. So what did my stepfather need help with?
“I do not know why my husband requested you to come, prince Dragon.”
“Please, Dragon is enough.”
I look out the window and I can see him on his way. Well, I would certainly get to know now. “Mother… He’s here,” I said, and in that moment the front door opened, I turn on my heels and I walk out of the living room. I sit down in the kitchen and I start to work on fixing one of his holes in yet another shirt. I hear him throw off his shoes, and then he look in to see what I am doing. He walk away and I briefly hear him greet the prince. I finish quickly and I sneak closer to the living room to listen in.
“…daughter is a priestess. One of the greatest in our lands, but she is a bit of a problem now that we got little Amilia.”
“We can’t afford to have her here anymore and you know I’m more faithful to your land than this lands and our so called queen,” I hear my stepfather say.
“What? You want me to take her away from here?” The prince is surprised. Well, well, well. He does not know my “parents” very well. Wait, what?! They want me to go with him?
“You know your mother and I was really close and she would do anything for my children.” He said children with disgust. Yeah, I do not like you either! “Whitestar can be very useful in battle with her powers. What some of the guards told us is that her powers are better than any priestess they have ever seen!”
“You do know the risk, right? Priestesses and priests are the first to be aimed at in battle! Your daughter will be in danger!” The prince sounded panicked.
“I’ll go,” I said and walked into the living room.
“What?” Mother looks at me with big eyes. “What about your sister? She needs you!”
“She does not. She has you! I cannot be your babysitter all the time. Was that why you got another baby? So I could take care of her and you could live happily with your husband? Well, I’m taking this while I can. I’m leaving!” I started to walk out but looked back for a second and said, “If you need me I’m upstairs packing.” And with that I left them in silence.
I left a bit of an argument. Soon shouting was clearly heard. The prince, Dragon, tried to calm them down and I leaned back against the door in my room. For some reason I felt relieved. However I could not explain why.
It did not take long before I heard steps coming up the stairs, and soon someone knocked on my door. I could feel his soul and I did not need to guess who it was. “Whatever you say I will not change my mind.”
“I’m not exactly here to change your mind,” the prince said. I turned. “I had to escape your parents.” He laughed a little. I opened the door.
“Mom is my parent, yes. Don’t call Mr. Afridon my father, because he is not. My name is Whitestar Starsun and I won’t change that, Mr. Prince.”
He held up his arms. “Hey, calm down. I did not mean to offend you. And please go by my name.” I rolled my eyes and finished folding the last piece of clothing I was bringing. “You know, I still need to apologize for earlier today. I had no idea that you were living here. The famous Whitestar.”
“You don’t need to apologize.” I sighed. “Most of the villagers do not know where I live. They think I am sent from the goddess and when they see me in the pavilion, they do not have sight. They make up their own stories. No one truly talks to me. They listen and they pray to Erina. Sometimes they bring gifts to me so I can bring it to her, but I am not sent. I was born. I grew up. I got powers. That is only a fact.”
He looked thoughtful and a small smile was tugging at his lips. “You do have a purpose and Erina trusted you. What it is I do not know. But I believe your powers are to be life changing for many,” he said followed by a shrug. So he was just playing around?
“They come to the pavilion to be healed of silly things. I can heal injuries, but I cannot save one from illness or cure the blind. Whatever godsend they believe I am, they are wrong. I cannot do much.”
“You look down upon yourself. If you want to unlock your powers you must believe in yourself.” My head shot up and I stared at him. For a moment I could swear I saw his pupils change and become slanted before they became normal again. “I too have powers, but they are different. More destructive.” He grinned and I smiled.
Together we walked down the stairs and Dragon carried whatever I chose to bring with me. My mother stood by the door, begging me not to leave. Well, she brought this upon herself.
“It is for the best,” I heard my stepfather mutter and I narrowed my eyes. Oh yes, I heard him.
Outside I was met by two horses. I went straight for the darkest. The black female, while the prince was left with the white one. He raised his eyebrows to my choice and I smiled at him.
“You do not know what you just got yourself into,” Dragon says and my smile widens.
“You shall see that I have a good connection with horses. Not better than the elves, but better than most. She will not cause me harm. Oh, and I must not forget that I would let you live up to the prince on a white horse expression,” I said, followed by laughter.
“It is a good thing I am not an elf or a dark elf for that sake. I think anyone would be scared of you right now. You give off such power.”
I pretended I did not hear him. The dark elves lived in the Dark lands. The elves lived in the Sunny lands. While humans with and without magic power lived in the Icy- and the Light lands. The four countries were often at war. Always disagreements. Never peace. What we had now was as close to peace as we would ever get.
Dragons and wyverns also lived in the Icy and the Sunny lands. In the Dark lands you had dark creatures, while in the Light lands you only found the so called normal. If lions you could use as a mount counted as normal. We had the “peaceful” creatures. Fairies were in all the four lands, and they were neutral. They could care less of who they bothered as long as they could bother someone. They were truly wicked and liked to cause trouble.
“Are you ready?” Dragon asked me and I nodded.
I did not look back as we made our horses walk. I had to put the false family behind me, no matter how much it hurt to leave Amilia behind. She deserved a chance. Maybe, just maybe could I come back for her later? It would all depend on my path and my choices.
I had a deep feeling that I was in for quite an adventure with Dragon at my side. He was truly tall, dark and mysterious, though maybe not so dark. Handsome he was for sure.
Oh Whitestar, what are you thinking about? When did you ever care about the opposite sex? I shuddered. I would not become like most women in the presence of handsome men. So stupid. So silly. Nevertheless, I could not help myself but look at him now and then. Several times I caught him looking straight at me. What was it with this prince? What was his motive? What did he truly want with me?
“We should camp in a cave not too far away from the border,” he said and startled I jumped in the saddle. “Sorry, I did not know I scared you,” he then said and smirked.
I rolled my eyes. “Deep in thought. Anyone would be startled,” I responded and left the reins in my right hand while I stretched the left above my head. Then I did the same to my right arm. “Much better,” I murmured and sighed.
“It looks like you enjoy traveling.” He waited for an answer and looked me straight into my eyes. After a short moment he gasped. “Your eyes change color,” he said with wonder.
“No, they are still purple,” I said and felt the blush rise.
He nodded. “True. But still they changed. I wonder why.”
“Many wonders,” I whispered, but it seemed like he heard for he nodded in agreement.
“Indeed,” I heard him mutter.
“They are afraid of what they do not know, but still they worship the unknown.” I looked up at the sky. I was ever as thoughtful and I had a feeling that something had been started.
“They worship you.”
“I heard it. In the village. Many of the villagers worship you. They believe you are Erina.” He looked at me with a firm gaze and I felt myself grow cold.
“They are stupid,” I said. “Erina would never come here and live as a human. She is good, but not stupid.”
“You defend the goddess quickly. Have you never thought her to be wrong?”
“Why would she be wrong? People or elves, no matter who, would not hesitate to kill the unknown. She is kind. She would not kill. Not even to defend herself,” I said hotly.
“And how do you know that?”
He had me there.
“I do not know, because I simply just know,” I whispered. And that was the truth. I had always just known. I had known what I needed to. I had gotten warnings when it was needed. And I had experienced happiness when it was turn for that. But I knew. At least before it happened. Maybe that is why this scared me so. For the first time in a long time I did not know what would come my way. What adventure I might experience. It frightened me and I understood why others felt as they did when it came to me. The unknown was a frightening thing.