The Forbidden Village

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Chapter 14

I felt a hand land on my shoulder as I stood just outside the doors to the dining hall. I whipped around to defend myself, heart pounding in my chest. Avin was standing right behind me with his hands up in surrender. He looked slightly apologetic for half a second, and the stony face came back, and he dropped his arms. He was starting to tick me off, like a lot. The whole not wanting to show anything on the outside thing was starting to become a slight pain.

Although Avin wasn’t my biggest problem anymore. He was Amavin’s problem now. I sighed, turned around and started walking away. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but Avin didn’t say anything, so I just kept on walking. I felt like I knew where I was going, but nothing looked familiar to me. I passed door after door and went down a couple of different corridors.

I eventually wound up outside the doors of what appeared to be an indoor greenhouse. I used to have a small one back on Earth. I had grown my herbs and flowers in there. My mother used to say that I had a green thumb because I could grow just about anything in that little greenhouse.

Looking at the greenhouse and thinking about my mother made me want to cry. But not in the way that I had thought. I wasn’t thinking about my mom back on Earth. I was thinking about a different woman. Someone who didn’t look like anyone that I knew but at the same time, she looked so painfully familiar. I took a deep breath and swallowed back my tears. Why was I crying over a woman that I didn’t even know? I had a strange feeling though that she meant a lot to me at one point.

I quickly wiped the tears away before they could leave my eyes. I wonder what I was thinking to come here. I didn’t even know that they had a greenhouse here. But I could see Sally on the other side of the door tending to some of the flowers. Perfect. I needed to talk to her about some things.

I glanced at Avin, who was standing behind me. He didn’t seem to be all there right now. Not again. I sighed. This was not going to be easy with him shadowing my every move. I couldn’t very well try to get him to wait out her because I’m fairly sure that he would just follow me in anyways. Well, there wasn’t much that I could do about that, so I just walked into the greenhouse through the front doors.

When the very fragrant scents and aromas of the flowers hit me, I could feel myself calm down and loosen up. I may not be good at relaxing when I’m around people, but I loved working with plants. When I work with the plants, there is no fear of being betrayed, hated, judged or even hurt. The same goes for when I’m working with animals. Well sometimes they can get a little feisty when they don’t like something, but usually, they are easy enough to work with. People, on the other hand, are much harder to work with.

I’ve felt weird around every single individual that I’ve met until I came here. Or I guess to be more specific until I met Avin. I still didn’t understand why I didn’t feel weird around only him.

I walked over to Sally as I pondered my odd social habits. When I got a little closer, Sally looked up from her work and smiled at me. Okay, this wasn’t the reaction that I had been expecting. Especially considering how she had just disappeared from the dining hall. I thought that she would’ve been a little bit upset about seeing her brother after hearing about his engagement to the princess of the night. Especially since he didn’t fight back or say no to the engagement. Then again Sally might just be mad at her father for setting the whole thing up.

I smiled back and relaxed a bit more as I walked over to see what she was doing. But as I walked I felt like I was missing something and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was.

“Come,” Sally said as she grabbed my hand, “I want to show you something that I’m sure that you are going to like.”

Sally practically dragged me to the back of the greenhouse, through a set of doors and into a different greenhouse. But there weren’t any flowers or floral fragrances in this part of the greenhouse. This section had a more earthy smell to it.

“This is where we keep our herb gardens,” Sally told me as she tugged me forward. I turned around as I heard the doors shut behind me. That’s when I noticed what was missing. Avin wasn’t behind me anymore.

I felt my heart rate pick up, and panic started to swell in me. Sally didn’t see all that concerned about it, though. Which helped me to relax so that I could think more clearly.

Avin never entered the greenhouse, did he? That explains my weird feeling when I had first entered the greenhouse. I hadn’t felt his presence behind me because he was never behind me, to begin with.

Sally tugged at me again, and we walked forward towards a couple of young ladies that stood around a long rectangular table. On the table were beakers, flasks, Bunsen burners, and sidearm flasks with different colored liquids inside the containers. Scattered around the table were books of all different colors and sizes. There were a couple of ceramic containers that were filled with some dried leaves and flowers also on the table.

Sally tugged me over to one of the young ladies at the table. She was very pretty with black hair and bright gold eyes. She wore a dress that went all the way down to her ankles but hung around her neck in a halter style strap. The dress was a dark red. It was dark enough that it almost looked black. The lady was swirling a light blue liquid inside of a flask. She was staring intently at the liquid through the glass as if waiting for something to happen.

Sally let go of me but made a gesture to me as if to say “don’t move from there.” She turned her back to me and started to speak to the young lady with the flask. The young woman continued her work, but I could hear her reply to Sally. Of course, I couldn’t understand what they were saying to each other, but I can listen to the attitudes in their voices just fine.

However, when Sally mentioned something after what the lady had said, the girl looked up at Sally and then over in my direction. She raised an eyebrow at me and then returned her attention back to the flask that she had been working on. But I could hear her say something snarky to Sally. A couple of the other ladies at the table stifled giggles but quickly quieted down when they happened to glance over to Sally.

Sally was all tense and had clenched her fists at her sides. She said something in a voice that gave me chills. It was filled with controlled rage and was very commanding. The young lady whipped her head up to look at Sally. The terror in her eyes was like looking at a deer in headlights.

The other ladies were now staring at me and whispering to each other. I didn’t like this at all. My nervousness began to feed the flames. I could feel my arm start to warm up. I took a deep breath in through my nose to try to calm myself down. The heat subsided slightly, but I could still feel it in my hand.

Then a lady that I hadn’t noticed came up to Sally and said something that made everyone in the room go quiet. All of the eyes were focused on the new girl now. But the attention didn’t even seem to faze her. In fact, I think that she didn’t even know that they were staring at her.

Sally smiled at the new girl. To my surprise, I could see the new girl relax. I hadn’t even realized that she was tense. But that might also be because of the already very tense atmosphere. It did appear that the stares did bother her more than she let on.

Sally linked arms with the new lady, and they walked towards me. As they got closer, I got a better look at the new woman. She wasn’t much taller than I was. She even looked to be about my age. She had electric blue hair that was tied back into a high ponytail. Her skin was perfect kind of like the skin of a porcelain doll.

On Earth, she probably would’ve passed for a human model, well sort of. The one thing that gave away that she wasn’t entirely human was her eyes. Her eyes were an eerie light green.

“Kris, this is Aquaphira,” Sally commented seeming very pleased with something. “She will be your healing tutor.”

Aquaphira smiled shyly at me as Sally introduced her. I smiled back feeling a little sympathetic for the girl. She seemed so shy but so confident at the same time.

“Now that we are all acquainted with…” the lady with the blue flask started and then glanced at me with a look of disgust, “the new brat. Can we get back to work?”

Oh, so she could speak English. I was starting not to like her at all. Sally glared over to the lady with the flask. The woman instantly dropped her eyes and lowered her head.

“Yes you many,” Sally replied with a voice that pierced the air like ice. All of the girls took a step away from Sally, even Aquaphira. But I didn’t feel the need to. I just didn’t feel like Sally was a threat to me. I didn’t understand that what so ever.

I should be terrified right now. Instead, I felt relaxed and comfortable. The only thing that scared me was all of the weird thoughts and feelings that I had towards things that I didn’t quite understand. It’s like I know the answers, but at the same time, I just can’t quite grasp what they are. It scared and frustrated me to not understand what exactly was going on inside of my mind.

Sally started walking and led us back into the main part of the greenhouse, away from the table with the ladies. I couldn’t think of what to call them. Scientist maybe? It sounded right because of all of the equipment that they had at the table.

“She just loves to get under my skin,” Sally muttered once the door shut to the other part of the greenhouse.

“I’m sorry about her, Zasal,” Aquaphira commented to Sally. She sounded rather embarrassed. “She’s just still upset about what happened.”

Wait Aquaphira called her by her first name? I thought that people would call her like your highness or something like that. Sally reached for Aquaphira’s hand and squeezed it tight in her own. Oh…she’s…they’re…oh okay. Well, I didn’t expect that.

I blushed and looked away as I realized that I was staring at them. I didn’t even realize that I was being so rude.

Aquaphira must’ve taken my reaction the wrong way because she carefully pulled her hand away from Sally. Sally looked at her confused, and I think that she might’ve been a bit hurt by Aquaphira’s reaction. I could see Aquaphira look from Sally to me and then back to Sally. Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. Seriously? You would stop caring about your partner just because someone else looked at you funny?

“Sorry about that,” Sally murmured. I could see her glancing at me out of the corner of her eye. That just frustrated me to the point where I could feel my arm start to heat up. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath in through my nose to try to calm down so that I wouldn’t blow something up. I hadn’t realized that I could be this touchy-feely. I thought that I didn’t care about this kind of stuff. Apparently, I was wrong.

“What are you sorry about?” I asked once I had regained my composure enough to speak. I tried to sound as confused as I possibly could, which wasn’t all that hard since I was still pretty confused. Sally and Aquaphira exchanged a look and then looked at me slightly confused. But I could see a sliver of hope in both or their eyes.

“About, you know…” Aquaphira gestured to Sally with her head. I cocked my head to the side and raised an eyebrow. I was trying my best to show her that I didn’t care. They both just stared at me for a second. Then suddenly they were on me, hugging me.

“Ooh, you are a keeper,” Aquaphira crooned as she and Sally hugged me tightly.

“I know, isn’t she?” Sally commented proudly. I felt a little squished in between the two very muscular women. However, at the same time, I don’t think that I’ve ever felt so loved in all my life. I could feel my face heat up, and my eyes fill with tears. As much as I tried to fight back the tears, I felt one slip down my cheek.

“Oh hey, are you okay?” Aquaphira asked me concerned. She let go of me and turned me around to face her. I quickly wiped my eyes to push back the newly forming tears. I forced a smile, which was easy enough, and nodded. Aquaphira and Sally looked at each other and exchanged a couple of words while glancing at me occasionally.

It frustrated me that I didn’t understand what they were saying, especially when I was pretty sure that they were talking about me. Sally sighed, shook her head and said something to Aquaphira that made her eyes grown to the size of saucers.

“Well we’re going to have to make some changes to that, now aren’t we?” Aquaphira commented sneering at Sally. Sally appeared thoughtful for a moment and then smiled devilishly back at her.

“You bet,” Sally replied and high-fived Aquaphira. “Now I better go so that you guys can get down to training.”

Sally kissed Aquaphira on the cheek and then walked over to the exit of the greenhouse, and out of our sight. Once we heard the door close, Aquaphira dropped the smile and became somber.

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