“Payton, please don’t do this,” Terran begged. “It’s too dangerous.”
“Then come with me. Aren’t you supposed to protect me?” she said. “Look, I’m going stir-crazy. There are things I’m allowed to know, and things I’m not allowed to know … yet. I need to train, but I’m not sure what I’m training for! Sure, I need to know how to protect myself, but …”“I’m coming with you,” Terran replied. “Let me grab a few things.”
“Thought warlocks didn’t need weapons – got your spells and tricks.” She smiled.
“Never know” he smiled back.
Lilith hit the floor with a loud thud.
“Come now, girl!” Orkat barked. “You must have more than that!” He was smiling now. With all the fire and anger in this girl, he expected more. More strength, more cunning, something! It was amusing him though. Again, he was smiling.
“Wipe that smile off your face!” Lilith screamed.
“Give me a reason, little girl,” he said. He was starting to laugh … Lilith flipped back on her feet, with quick darting movements, she grabbed a dagger, whipped around Orkat and stopped just short of Orkat’s eye. A shiny tip of steel was so close that if he blinked, the sharp tip would slice his eyelid.
“Bravo, my dear.” Lilith turned to see Vladok walking towards her, clapping his hands. Orkat backed away from the dagger tip still aimed at his eye.
“It appears that the real skill reveals itself when you are very angry. We must now concentrate that anger.” He said. Lilith, with the dagger still in her hand, let her arm fall to her side. She was staring at Vladok.
“Okay, wipe that stupid look off your face, girl!” he snapped. “I see I need to clarify. The only good results from you, in the art of combat, is when you are extremely angry. Use that anger. In every movement, every thought, every decision, in everything. Only then will you be able to fight effectively.”
“I hear you,” she said, “jerk” quietly.
“Heard you,” said Vladok. He turned, headed for the wall of weaponry displayed. He chose a spear. Double headed; one end, had youra typical shiny pointed end and the other end had a long, curved blade. He took the spear down, grabbed it with both hands, turned to face Lilith and said, “Defend yourself!”
Vladok lunged at her. She moved just in time to see the spear tip smash into the floor. She ran for the weapons, her anger starting to build again. “That bastard!” Lilith leapt straight into the wall, grabbed a sword, and flipped, somersaulting in the air, landing on both feet, facing Vladok.
“Come on!” she screamed.
Vladok lunged again, this time with the blade end. Lilith leapt straight up just as he swung it at her. It missed her, barely. Landing on her feet again, now she was dodging, darting, back and forth, evading the weapon in Vladok’s hands. Just as she was about to be cornered, she ducked; another swing of the blade. She darted, quickly, between Vladok’s legs. She jumped up on his shoulders, blade to his throat.
“Ha! Got ya!” She said.
“Very good, my dear,” Vladok replied. He could feel her grip relax slightly. He grabbed her arm and flipped her down on the floor with a loud thud.
“You let your guard down. Never let your guard down. The ones you fight will know how to fight. They will try to find weakness. You must not let them find any. Ever!”
“Now,” he said turning his attention to Orkat, “teach her properly. Stop this cat and mouse game. She needs to be prepared!”
“She should know combat already,” Orkat retorted. “This is a waste of time.”
“Orkat, she has no memory of it and we have to re-train her. Her skills are there; teach her how to use them.” Vladok said. He dropped the spear, turned and walked out of the training room.
Orkat turned to face Lilith. “Ok girl, let’s see what you got.” He lunged.
Payton and Terran were back in Egypt. “See, I told you, you could do it!” Terran said, smiling widely. He was impressed at how fast Payton was regaining her skills – at least some of them. He’d hoped, though, that it would be more gradual. She seemed to be doing more, even without the code words. This worried him. He could see the expression her face – the intense jabs of pain. Just for a split second.
“Yea, thanks” she said. “I feel a little weak.”
“You will until you regain all memory.” He told her.” You have power, but not all of it. That will come in time, and we can’t rush this. I let you try flash flight on your own, and it worked, however, I saw that look on your face. Hurt, didn’t it?”
“So, we’ll rest for a few moments; figure out our next move,” he said. Payton sat down on the hard granite bench. ‘We’re in Cleo’s crypt again,’ she thought, wondering why they came back. She rested her head in her hands. Still a little dizzy. ‘Rest’ he says. She wasn’t going to rest long. Whether he liked it or not, she was going to find some answers.
They left the ‘fortress,’ as Terran called it. She preferred ‘palace.’ That sounded more pleasant.
They left the palace in a hurry. Payton didn’t want the other gods to know what she had in mind. If they knew, she was sure they would try to stop her. She didn’t like defying her parents. She didn’t like that her parents were keeping important information from her. It must be important. Why were they all holding back? Surely the more she knew, the more she could help.
“So,” she started, “I know one thing. I need to find Lilith, whoever she is, and talk to her.”
“There’s no rush,” said Terran.
“No rush …,” she said, staring straight into Terran’s eyes. He quickly looked away.
“There’s something about this woman; which obviously has to do with me. Wish I knew what, but something in me tells me that I need to find her.” She said, still staring at him. He started to feel uneasy. Terran calmed himself. ‘Change your demeanour or she won’t stop,’ he thought.
“Payton, relax will you?” he said. “Your parents, my parents, all the others, are working on it.”
“Working on what? From what I can figure out, I’m supposedly this ‘chosen one,’ there was a battle, I get sent away, memory erased; you find me and bring me back, tell me you can bring back my memory – very slowly, I might add, and …”
“Alright already,” Terran interrupted. “I get your point. I know the story.”
“Lilith,” Payton said. “Tell me.”
Thirteen Guardians gathered in the meeting room, mulling around, murmuring to each other. Events were moving faster than any of them had anticipated.
Liesson went to the head of the table. “Everyone?” he spoke loudly, “please take your seats.”
The rest moved to their chairs and sat down. All eyes were fixed on Liesson.
“Liesson, what has Erean said? Do we move forward sooner than we expected?” asked Amachtera, god of sun and day.
Liesson sighed, “Yes Amachtera, we do. In fact, we must.” The silence was deafening.
“Erean has tried,” he continued, “to reason with Toros. It was in vain. Toros is determined. He is filled with so much confidence. Toros says that our reign in this world will soon be over. He has told Erean to prepare for the end. We cannot let this happen.” Liesson looked at Ardaria, his eyes sad and dark.
“We must prepare ourselves for possible sacrifice.”
Ardaria’s expression changed to shock. “No, Liesson, we can’t!”
Liesson bowed his head and said, “The Anords will be ready to strike soon, my love. If we don’t stop them, they will see to it Payton never becomes the god we all hoped for. That is her birthright.” Liesson looked up; looked at all the gods gazing back.
“We will have to have Terran speak the next code word to Payton and hope she is strong enough to receive it.” Liesson looked at Elrani, and moved his gaze back to Ardaria.
“Find Terran,” he ordered, “and Payton. Bring them here. Erean has ordered me to tell Payton her fate. We have no choice.” He ended in a whisper.
“My lords!” Myshana, servant to the Guardians, burst through the door. “My lords – forgive my interruption.”
“What is it Myshana?” Liesson asked. “A note,” she replied, waving the paper in the air, “from Terran. I found it on the door of the Cartlann room!”
Myshana ran over and handed the note to Liesson. He read it quickly. “Oh no!”
“What is it Liesson?” Ardaria asked.
“Payton,” he said “she found the archives room, and the ‘Leabhar’.” He read the note aloud.
Payton found the Ór Leabhar Caradiunn. I stopped before she could read too far. I’ve taken her away from here, where I can keep her safe. Will contact you as soon as I am able.
I’m sorry. I’ve failed you. I should have kept a closer eye on her.
Silence swept the room once again. Myshana broke the silence. “My lords?”
“Thank you Myshana,” Liesson said to her. “You may go.” Myshana left the room.
“Aronon” said Liesson. “Use your magic. Call for Terran. We must find them before the Anords find them. The rest of you, prepare for battle.” “Like it or not,” Erean said, “tomorrow … we fight, once again.”
‘Divine Goddess, Goddess divine,
Divine God, God divine,
If evil appears within these walls,
I beg you,
Banish evil for the protection of all’
Terran walked around the crypt chanting the same spell three times. When he was finished, he sat beside Payton on the stone bench, slipped his arm around her waist, and pulled her close.
“There,” he said, “that should do for a while.”
“Thought magic didn’t work on Ggods,” said Payton.
“Ah yes, but I am half god,” Terran replied. “My spells work to a certain extent.” Payton looked at him, not saying a word, expecting more of an explanation … “Okay, okay,” he said. “What I mean is, it takes longer for a full Ggod to break through my spells, because I am half god. Oh, they can break through, but it is difficult. It’s the one power my father doesn’t have.” Terran smiled. It took him years to develop his skills as a wizard. His father, Aronon, was stern. Made Terran practice for hours, almost to total exhaustion, every day.
The day Terran’s full power revealed itself was when he tried a small spell on his mother Elrani. She had walked into the training room, intending to observe her son as he practiced his magic. He was nowhere to be found. She saw Aronon standing alone in the middle of the room but no Terran. Searching the room, she suddenly felt a tap on her shoulder. She spun around. Nothing. It happened again and again. No one was there. She smiled and called “Terran …” No answer. She was waving her hand in a small circle in the air, a slight flick of her fingers. Nothing. The motion should have broken any spell instantly. She tried several times, when finally Terran fell from the ceiling, just a few feet in front of her, laughing. Aronon then broke his silence, laughing so hard, he fell to his knees. Finally, Aronon and Terran got up off the floor. Aronon put his arms around Terran’s shoulders. “He’s done it, my dear.” He said. “He’s surpassed me. I’m so proud!” Elrani smiled brightly. She too, was so proud of her son. “How wonderful!” She exclaimed.
Terran knew he and Payton couldn’t stay in Cleo’s crypt for long. The Anords and Guardians would be searching for them. But, where to go. Think man, think! He thought of asking the Egyptian god Horace for help, but knew it would be risky. Where Horace was, Anubis wasn’t far behind and the gods of other lands didn’t want to get involved with gods outside their realm. They didn’t want to believe that this war brewing between the Guardians and Anords had any impact on them. This was just the beginning, Terran knew. If the Guardians fell, it was a matter of time before the gods of all the lands on Earth – the good gods – would fall also. The Anords would destroy all the good in the world.
“Terran,” Payton said his name, breaking his train of thought. He loved it when she said his name, loved the sound of her voice. He loved her more than anything.
“I lost you for a moment,” she said. “Sorry love,” he said, bringing her closer to him and kissing her softly.
“You’re trying to distract me,” she said softly.
“Uh huh,” he said, going in for another kiss. He stopped just before their lips met. Froze.
“Terran?” Payton said.
He was frozen. He could faintly hear Payton’s voice calling his name, but he couldn’t answer. His father’s voice and image flooded his mind.
‘Terran, son, where are you?’ Aronon asked.
‘Safe, father.’ Terran answered, ‘for now.’
‘Terran, you must bring Payton back to the fortress. Erean has commanded we take measures to give Payton her memories now.’ Aronon told him. ‘Things are worse than expected. Terran, we go to battle tomorrow.’
‘Father, no!’ Terran pleaded. ‘It may kill her!’
‘I’m so sorry, son, we have no choice … Erean commands it. It’s a chance we have to take,’ said Aronon. ‘We’ll see you and Payton soon. Please Terran – bring her back.’
Terran moved, his father’s voice and image vanishing from his mind.
“Terran!” Payton’s panicked voice was now loud and clear. “Terran, what happened? Are you okay?”
“Yeah … yeah, I’m good.” He answered. “Payton, we have to go back home,” he said.
“Why?” She questioned, “we just got here. You’re supposed to help me get some answers.”
“I know, maybe this will help.” He said.
Terran leaned in close, whispering in her ear, “I’m sorry – I have to do this love, …. Urraim.”
Pain … so much pain. Payton slid off the stone bench to her knees on the floor. Stars, she actually saw stars, dancing, sparkling , a dark night sky, so dark, yet she could see clearly. There was a figure in the stars, larger than life calling her name. Who was this? Erean! Is it Erean? More pain. She collapsed to the floor holding her head in her hands. I hear you Erean, I hear you. Darkness.
“Payton … Payton!” Terran was almost frantic. “Wake up – come on, Payton, please … wake up …”
Payton stirred, moving very slowly, both hands went to either side of her head; moaning, mumbling “Erean …”
“She’d never had such a pounding headache, more like the mother of all migraines! She felt beat up, could hardly move. Get up, she thought. Terran’s freaking out and you don’t have the strength to answer. Payton gave him a faint smile, trying to reassure him. He calmed down a little.
“Oh, okay,” Terran said while lifting her up and sitting her back down on the stone bench. “We’re going, as soon as you get your strength back.” Now he was pacing back and forth.
“No” she said weakly.
“No!” she snapped.
Payton sighed, “We can’t go back. I won’t! Not yet!”
Flash! She was gone.
“Payton, NO!” Terran called out, reaching out to where she stood. “NO!!!”
Bright light! Flash!
Payton was standing. I’m still standing. Wow! She recovered from the last memory word quicker than usual. She thought. Alone. She was totally alone. Since the night she helped Terran recover from the attack on him, she’d never been alone. Now, she was on her own. But where to start?
‘Father!’ Terran threw his thoughts out to Aronon harder and faster than he’d ever done.
‘I’m here,’ Aronon replied.
‘Slow down, son. She left on her own? She’s not ready for what or who she might run into.’
‘I know. Help, please!’ Terran pleaded.
‘Yes, yes, give me a minute.’ His father said. ‘The after-burn – can you detect it?’
‘Good,’ said Aronon, ‘good. Now, concentrate – where did she go?’
Terran stood in the exact spot Payton had been before she flashed. A faint scent, he could detect it now. So soft and flowery – a scent that only she had. Every Ggod had their own scent in the after-burn left behind. Payton’s was one that Terran would never forget. It lingered. He sighed.
‘Terran,’ he heard his father’s voice again.
‘East’ Terran told him, ‘somewhere east, but I can’t pinpoint it. Argh, this is so frustrating!’
‘Good thing you are a half-breed my boy,’ said Aronon. ‘You must try to find her before the Anords find her. Start now. We have no time to waste. And Terran, .… don’t forget to keep me posted, often.’
Flash – he left the crypt.
Payton scanned the country-side. It was beautiful. Mountains, flowers, trees as far as the eye could see. She was in awe of it all. How could anyone, mortal or god, want to destroy such beauty?
The mountains, they looked familiar. Carpathians! She was in Romania! How could she have come here? Her thoughts before she flashed were of Lilith – she had to find Lilith. That must be it. ‘Whatever or whoever I think of before I flash, that’s where I’ll end up!’ Her thoughts were going faster. ‘What if she’s close? Has she seen me?’ Payton ducked behind a large bush. Peeaked out to see if anyone was watching. She scanned the area more closely. There was no one around. Whew. Good! ‘Now, something tells me I’m in the right place. Well, obviously not exactly the right place, but I’m close. I can feel it!’
She turned and started toward the mountains, somehow knowing this was the path to take. As she hiked along, her thoughts were racing. If there were witches, warlocks, and gods in this world, do other beings exist also? The fairy tales, were they just stories, or were they true events converted to fairy tales, to divert the mortal world? Ogres, werewolves, fairies, vampires … was it all true? She kept her guard up as she walked along. Scanning every tree, every bush, the long grass mixed with beautiful wild flowers. She kept a slow steady pace. Still weak from the pain she’d endured only moments before she flashed. She hated leaving Terran behind, but he would have dragged her back to the fortress, without the answers she so desperately wanted. Everything had happened so fast. She thought of the girls she left behind in the salon she thought she owned. Her mortal life. They wouldn’t know her now. She felt a twinge of sadness. She had to leave that life, forever.
Trinity by CJ Bolyne / Fantasy have rating 3.2 out of 5 / Based on16 votes