Rise Of The Phoenix

The legend says that when the Phoenix rises from the ashes of a fallen wizard, six young heroes are ready to take on the honorable task of restoring the country's long lost greatness, but before that can happen, they must be taught the ways of their ancient heroes.

17 year old Beatrice leaves her home in the early morning, to fulfill her duty as one of the chosen ones, knowing she might not return.
For more than thirty years, the country has been ruled by an evil wizard, whose power lies solely in his ability to raise the dead. Now, his reign has come to a turning point, that will either mark the end of his terror, or grant him even bigger powers. Only six chosen youngsters have the ability to change the future.

Most likely part I of a trilogy

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5. Four

 

Chapter Four:

 

Bea made her way to the outskirts of the village well before the curfew ended, giving her just enough time to disappear into the woods before the village once again came to life. Still, there was more than half a mile of partly withered crops between her and the forest, so she would have to hurry in order to make it.

 

She forced herself not to look back as she pushed forwards into the field. It was the safest way to get to the woods, even safer than the road that lead right through the woods and to the city. The roads and paths were all heavily guarded, to ensure the emperor complete knowledge of any movement between the villages and cities. Traveling off the path would make her journey much easier, though probably not completely painless. There were still many dangers in the woods. The success of her journey depended on three things: That she stayed clear of the roadblocks and stayed out of sight of the patrols, and of course her ability to avoid the many dark creatures in the woods. Luckily, most of the beasts of prey, were night animals, so as long as she was in the move during the day and safely hidden over night she would be fine.

 

She kept a decent pace on her way towards the woods and made it to the forest's edge just as the morning bell sounded in the distance. Her family would surely have seen her letter by now and if she knew her father right, he would already be on his way out of the door to look for her, but by the time he would reach the woods, she would be far ahead. Already hidden somewhere between the trees, and trying to find her would be a lost cause.

She knew her father would be alright eventually, maybe he would even be proud. Her mother was a different story. She spent most of her time trying to soothe Bea and Jonathan, telling them that things would get better, they would be safe. Having her daughter leave to take part in the madness she was trying to shield her from, would crush her. Bea could only hope that her mother would push the worries aside and protect Jonathan with everything she had.

 

Sighing, she made her way into the woods. There was no time for doubt. She would have to make it at least halfway to the city before nightfall, if she planned on reaching the Elder Wizard's cottage in just two days. Of course she also needed daylight to find a suitable place to camp for the night.

She couldn't risk making a fire, that would make her far too visible, and there were already far too few hiding places among the dead and dying trees.

 

She remembered her dad telling her about green and beautiful forests with bright plants covering the ground, rather than the moss that was now the only sign of living plants in the woods.

She wanted to see that for herself one day, but she knew that the plants and the trees wouldn't just miraculously come back to life, even if her and the other apprentices that she had yet to meet, would succeed in defeating the emperor. The country would never be what it once had been. The emperor had brought too much suffering for anyone or anything to fully recover.

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