Child of the Seas

Ebony and Merry live two very different lives in separate worlds. Neither has ever considered the possibility of the other's existence. But now the bridges between the worlds are weakening.
An ancient prophecy snatches Merry from her world and brings her to Ebony. Now, the two girls must save Ebony's world from a terror as old as the prophecy, which is destroying the world and the worlds connected to it.
Countless lives and worlds are resting on the girls' shoulders... but will Ebony and Merry be able to save them?

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11. Ebony - 6

"Follow me, Merry! This way!" Earth speech still sounded funny on my tongue. I could tell it was having no effect on Merry, who seemed to be paralyzed with fear.

"Come on, Merry!" I grabbed her arm. She squealed, but followed me obediently. I pulled her through the rain, towards Mendrakar's home.

Mendrakar is the oldest man in our village, at 99 years old. We think that he will be the first in Ertis' history to get to 100. Old age has made Mendrakar wise. I knew that he would definitely have the answers to our questions.

With Merry shivering in my grip, I knocked on Mendrakar's door. "Let us in!" I screamed, trying to be heard over the sound of the wind. "It is the Aglaia!"

The door opened. I tugged on Merry's arm and we sprawled onto the ground in the house. The wind blew the door shut with a thud, and I scrambled to my feet.

"So..." said a hoarse voice, "...the Aglaia has finally come."

I looked up to see a frail old man sitting on a rocking chair. He was smiling at us with his remaining teeth, and his last few strands of hair were uncombed. Everything about him suggested helpless, but his eyes were fiery with the kind of spark that only wisdom can bring. I had never seen him-- he rarely ventured out-- but everyone in the village knew his name.

"Mendrakar," I said humbly, bowing my head as Merry, following my lead, stood up and did the same.

"Oh, there's no need to do that. You are much more powerful than me now." His eyes twinkled. "I had my suspicions, about you being the Aglaia. Now they have been proven correct." He smiled. "Say, Ebony, do you notice anything strange about me?"

I thought about it, then shook my head.

"No? Not at all?" His smile grew wider.

Beside me, Merry's eyes grew wide and her mouth gaped slightly. "You're speaking English. The English of my world, I mean."

"Precisely."

My mouth dropped open as well. "How?" I asked. "How is this possible? Thou-- I mean, you, couldn't have learned it from Merry... could you?" I glanced at Merry, who was looking just as puzzled as I.

"In way, I did," said Mendrakar. "You, Ebony, know that I can see the future."

I nodded. The whole village knew, but Mendrakar never gave away his secrets on how. In the hands of someone other than him, the gift of seeing could be dangerous.

"I merely studied the piece of the future-- which is now in the past-- of when you were taught English by Merry. I found your language... curious, so I learned it."

Something thudded against the door, and I heard a scream of pain.

Merry tensed. "Er, Mendrakar... sir, I don't mean to interrupt, but-- well, if we have to battle this thing, then--"

Mendrakar looked grave. "Of course. I do apologize. What a fool I am, twittering on when there is a battle to fight. Yes, Sea Child, of course. I will tell you what you need to know. Also, there are some things I need to give you both.

"Here, Ebony." He handed me a spherical package, about the length and width of a tangerine.

"And Merry, this is for you." He handed Merry a rectangular box, made of a strange material-- like paper, but tougher, and brown.

"Open them."

I tore open the wrappings.

Lying in my palm was a perfectly spherical gray stone. As I watched, its color darkened to black, then faded to white and back to gray again.

As I looked at it, strange things began to flicker in my mind.

I saw all kinds of what I assumed was magic. Potions, spells, rituals... I saw what my own powers could do. I saw myself using them. I saw myself defeating the Terror. A smile began to grow on my face. This is possible. We can defeat the Terror. We will defeat the Terror.

"Merry--" I began.

"Ebony!" she cries. "I saw it. I saw how we will defeat the Terror!" She held up her gift: a tiny bottle with drops of a swirling magical liquid inside. Some had been dripped onto her hand.

"Excellent!" cried Mendrakar. "Any more questions?"

"I have one," said Merry. "When this is all over, how do I... I mean, how could I..."

"How do you get home?" said Mendrakar gently.

"Yes."

"Do not worry about that. I will help you when the battle is over." Mendrakar looked at us intently. "Go now," he said, switching to Inglian. "Gwynethe Village, Karbia... indeed, Erbis as a whole, needs thy help. Thou hast seen what thee must do. Now, myriads of lives need thy help. Go forth, Sea Child. Go forth, Aglaia. Save us!"

And with that, the roof tore off the house.

Merry and I were blown into the sky, to meet what could well be our doom.

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