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Authors: Lisa Mears

Tags: #fantasy, #magic, #gods, #portal

Chosen (3 page)

BOOK: Chosen
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‘Mmminerva and . . .’
‘Hush child.’
She sat the crystal in her lap
and placed her hands on either side. The colour drained from her
eyes and they began to glow a milky white; a light emanated around
her body, pulsating softly in time with the mauve wall behind her.
Daria heard a tinkling sound like a crystal goblet breaking and
then two columns of light appeared either side of Dolmay. Daria was
so startled she jerked backwards hitting her head on the wall
behind. The columns of light took on human forms; one male, one
female. The female was tall and slender, waves of night-black hair
fell about her shoulders, her skin was milky white and her eyes
were the colour of a stormy sea. She was wearing a golden, gossamer
gown that moved around her body like a living entity. The male was
taller than his companion and had the body of a warrior, strong and
muscular. His skin was ebon black and his eyes were the colour of a
summer-green meadow, he wore a golden tunic belted at his waist,
his long muscular legs were exposed, golden sandals covered his
feet. Never had Daria seen such beautiful creatures. They shimmered
and wavered, coming in and out of focus.
The female spoke first, her
voice smooth and silky as honey. ‘I am Minerva and this is Apollo,’
she said indicating her partner, ‘we are the Guardians of Elaxier
and we are here to offer whatever assistance we can. We are the
ones who have been sending you the dreams, as a warning. You must
heed us if you are to save your people Daria.’

Apollo spoke,
his voice was deep and rich. ‘Our
brother
Anubis
,’
he said with contempt, ‘ has been
interfering in things he has no right to, Timus has been corrupted
by him, I do not know everything that has been said, but I advise
you to take great care, stay away from Timus, he is not to be
trusted.’

‘I don’t understand, High Elder
Timus has always been like a father to me, why is he not to be
trusted?’ Daria was becoming upset. ‘What is happening?’
‘Be still child of Elaxier,’
said Minerva softly, ‘and we will explain.’
Daria listened to Minerva and
Apollo, what they told her was more frightening than her vision
dreams; death and destruction were coming to the people of Elaxier.
They explained about portals in other worlds and how they must be
opened by the ‘chosen’. They explained how each world had its own
Guardians. They told her she must leave Elaxier with her friends,
Gilster and Haven. They must open the portal of this world and find
the next ‘chosen’ continuing on until all the ‘chosen’ were
assembled before the last great portal.

‘Timus will
know the dreams you have been experiencing have been sent by us.’
said Apollo. ‘Anubis has lied to him, he has told Timus if the
portals are opened the worlds will be destroyed, but the opposite
is true, the portals
must
be opened to save all the worlds. Timus will try
to stop you, he has his suspicions you may be the “chosen”. He
believes he is saving his world so he will stop at nothing to stop
you, his mind has been polluted by Anubis’ twisted
lies.’

‘I’m so sorry,’ said Daria,
‘this is my fault, if only I’d kept my mouth shut. But I thought I
could trust him, he was my mentor.’
‘Do not blame yourself child,
if the blame belongs anywhere it belongs with us,’ said Apollo
kindly, ‘we should have known Anubis was not to be trusted, let us
hope we have acted early enough to thwart his plan. We know he has
only been able to talk to Timus telepathically, he has not been
able to physically come to Elaxier, if he had we would know. But
even that proves he has found a power source unknown to us. Be very
careful in whom you place your trust Daria, there will be spies of
Anubis looking for you. Tell no one except your companions of what
we have said.’
‘One last thing before we take
our leave of you,’ said Minerva, ‘ask Dolmay for the scroll, you
must take it with you and it will also be her confirmation that we
have spoken. Written on the scroll is the name of the chosen from
this world. You will not be able to read it, but it must be read
out loud when you reach the last portal, you will find a person
there who can understand the writing, it must never fall into the
hands of Anubis or his spies. Now go child, collect your friends
and leave this place, heed what we have said and you will find the
portal. Good luck on your journey and remember it is not just this
world you will save.’
The tinkling sound echoed
around the room again and Minerva and Apollo were gone. Daria sat
in stunned silence, trying to remember everything the Guardians had
told her. ‘I don’t think I can do this,’ she thought, ‘but what
choice do I have, I must find the strength.’
Dolmay slumped forward, still
clutching the orb. ‘Dolmay! Are you alright? Here let me help you,’
said Daria reaching for the crystal.
‘No, you must not touch the
orb’, said Dolmay pulling it close to her body, ‘you have no
training in its use, it will kill you.’ Daria snatched back her
hand.
‘Then let me help you stand.’
She helped Dolmay to her feet and held her arm as they walked over
to the wooden box. Dolmay wrapped the orb and placed it back inside
the wooden box. When she had finished locking the box, she turned
to Daria.
‘You spoke to the
Guardians?’
‘Yes,’ said Daria, ‘I am to ask
you for the scroll.’
Dolmay nodded. ‘The scroll is
proof you have spoken with the Guardians for only I know of its
existence.’
‘They also told me ---’ Dolmay
raised her hand for silence.
‘Tell me nothing child, that
way I cannot betray you. There’s only one thing I need to know, was
I right about Timus?’
Daria hung her head. ‘Yes,’ she
said sadly, ‘you were, he is not to be trusted. But I don’t
understand when you speak of betrayal. Why would you betray
me?’
‘It may not be my choice child.
If the Guardians have given you any advice I urge you to take it,
do whatever must be done. Now I think it best you leave this place;
I know a secret exit from the temple, you can leave unobserved.
Help me move this table.’ Together they managed to drag the table
into the centre of the room. Behind it Daria saw gems embedded into
the wall. Dolmay pressed them a in sequence and a door sized panel
slide open exposing a dark and musty smelling tunnel. She removed a
piece of rolled up parchment from the folds of her robe and handed
it to Daria.
‘Here is the scroll, now
quickly child, go, this tunnel will lead you under the temple and
out into the forest. I must leave, we have been missing too long
and Timus will become suspicious.’ She hugged Daria tightly and
kissed her cheek. ‘Good luck Daria, and may the Guardians watch
over you.’ She turned and left the room without a backwards
glance.
When Daria finally reached the
end of the tunnel, cobwebs clung to her hair and dust and dirt
covered her robe. Her hands were scraped bloody where she had run
them along the wall in an attempt to find her way in the total
darkness. It took a while for her eyes to adjust to the sudden
light after being in darkness for so long, but when they did she
noticed the sun was sitting low in the sky and big, black rain
clouds were forming on the horizon.
‘Great, a storm is coming. On
top of everything else that’s just what I needed,’ she thought
miserably. ‘I must get to Gilster’s as soon as possible.’
Getting her bearings, she
headed off in what she prayed was the right direction. Keeping well
away from the main paths so as not to be seen, it took much longer
than she expected to reach Gilster’s home; the storm hit before she
arrived. Lightning flashed jagged streaks across the sky, closely
followed by huge, booming rolls of thunder; the storm would soon be
directly overhead. Rain fell in sheets, drenching Daria from head
to toe. Still wearing the temple robes she found the going tough.
Tripping and stumbling her way along the track she fell many times,
her robes became thick with mud, the weight dragging her down,
making it difficult to walk. Twigs grabbed at her hair and
scratched her face and arms as she pushed her way through the muddy
undergrowth, and all the while the constant flashing and booming of
the storm surrounded her. By the time she reached Gilster’s it was
almost dark and she was utterly exhausted.
Gilster had sung his own home
many years ago when still a novice; it was made of rock and stone.
Not being fully trained in the art of singing at the time, his
house was oddly shaped and strange looking. Windows were
off-centre, rooms strangely shaped with lumps and bumps and nooks
and crannies, but it was cosy and inviting. He could have fixed the
problems in later years but chose not to, he said it was unique and
interesting, just like him and he preferred it that way.
Stumbling to the front door,
relief flooding her, Daria knocked and entered without waiting for
a reply. The sudden warmth of the room compared to the freezing
rain outside caused her body to shake uncontrollably. Two men were
sitting in large, wing-backed leather chairs in front of a blazing
log fire, steam rising from cups cradled in their hands. Both
turned as she entered. The look on their faces was priceless. Daria
would’ve laughed if she hadn’t felt so miserable.
‘Daria? --- my darling, are you
all right?’ said the dark haired man rising from his chair and
rushing to her side, ‘we didn’t expect you to come out in this
storm, are you mad, look at you; get out of those wet things and
I’ll go and get you a towel. Help her Haven.’
‘I’m sorry,’ said Daria, ‘look
at me dripping all over the floor.’
‘Don’t worry about that,’ said
Haven, ‘just get those wet things off, you’ll catch a chill.’ He
helped her out of the sodden robes and Gilster wrapped her in a
large, warm towel. Leading her over to the fire, he made her sit
while he went to make a warm drink. Haven rubbed her arms briskly
through the towel trying to get the circulation going and dry her
at the same time. ‘You silly thing,’ he said smiling.
Gilster returned, handed her a
steaming cup and sat down opposite. ‘Whatever possessed you to come
out in this weather?’ he asked, ‘you could have got lost, or worse,
been killed.’
Daria looked from one concerned
face to the other, desperately trying to hold back the tears; these
were her best friends. She found it hard to make friends, it was in
her nature to be brusque and aloof but these two had seen through
her tough exterior to the soft heart beneath and they loved her
like a sister. And now she would repay their love by putting their
lives at risk. Daria knew nothing she could say would dissuade them
from coming with her, they considered themselves her big brothers,
they were a team.
Gilster was a tall, slender
man, elegant of dress, polite of manner and refined of speech. His
hair, the blue-black colour of a raven’s wing, hung down his back
with not a trace of a curl or wave; his eyes were the green of an
ancient forest with silver specks that sparkled when he was
angry—which was very rare—his features were sharp and defined, high
cheek bones and a thin nose; his complexion was pale and his lips
were quick to smile, exposing even, white teeth.
Haven was also tall, taller
than normal even for an Elaxi, he stood six foot six with broad
shoulders and a strong body. He had the craggy good looks of a man
used to spending his time outdoors; his eyes were pale blue chips
of arctic ice that twinkled when he laughed, but it was his hair
that was his most striking feature, it hung in thick waves, down
across his shoulders and was the silver colour of mercury.
Daria burst into tears; no
longer able to hold them in, her words came pouring forth in a
torrent, as if from a suddenly uncorked bottle, and once she
started she couldn’t stop until everything had been said. She told
them of Timus and his betrayal, of Minerva and Apollo and also of
Anubis, of the portals and the Chosen and of the journey they must
make together to find the other Chosen. She held nothing back and
when she was finished it felt like an almighty weight had been
lifted from her shoulders.
‘Are you sure of this?’ asked
Gilster, ‘I’m not saying I don’t believe you, but perhaps it’s not
quite as serious as you believe. Maybe if we go and see High Elder
Timus tomor . . . ’
‘No,’ shrieked Daria rising
from her chair in panic, ‘we must stay away from him, he mustn’t
know about our plans to leave. Please Gilster, I don’t want to go
back there.’
‘All right, all right, calm
down,’ said Gilster, gently pushing her back into the chair, ‘I
won’t make you do anything you don’t want to, just relax, you know
you’re safe here.’
Haven was standing with his
back to the fire, warming himself and listening to the
conversation. ‘Maybe we should sleep on it and decide in the
morning what’s best to do,’ he said, ‘ things always look better in
the light of day and you look exhausted Daria, I’m sure you could
do with a good night’s sleep.’

She
was
exhausted, ‘all
right,’ she said wearily, ‘I am tired, but my story won’t change
with the passage of time.’

‘Let’s get you into bed,’ said
Gilster hustling her along, ‘we’ll talk again in the morning.’
Daria made her way to Gilster’s
guest room and climbed into bed. Gilster patted her hand
reassuringly and left. She was asleep in seconds. The two men sat
discussing all what Daria had said.
‘What do you think?’ asked
Haven after a time, ‘if it had been anyone else saying those things
I would’ve thought them mad. But Daria believes in what she is
saying, I caught some of her thoughts, they were a bit disjointed
but basically everything she said was true.’
BOOK: Chosen
4.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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