Weaving Moonlight

The first in the Tales of Terrahgonia series.
Lux Robertson has a destiny.
Prince Stefan wishes to shape his own.
Jamie Cooper just wants to belong.
What do these three teens have in common? They all have a legacy to uphold. But to do this means braving a war against the tyrannical false queen of Terrahgoina, a mystical land long ago forgotten by mortals. But with hidden secrets and traitors in their midst, they may not survive to save the kingdom.

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13. Playing with Fire

Lux was in a dark, deep abyss. It might have been an unlit room, but it might have been a cave or a chasm. She walked around but found herself going nowhere. The place was infinite. Flames burst before her very eyes and a distant figure was revealed for the briefest of moments before the flames went out. The figure reappeared again, illuminated by glow in the dark clothes. Music blasted out of nowhere, and the glowing girl began dancing.

            The song was one of pain. It appeared to be modern, with synthesisers creating distorted sounds, but there was a distinct eeriness to the song that gave it a serious tone.

            The girl was dancing some sort of street dance, with an infusion of contemporary ballet. Her movements were slick and precise, yet often fluid and flexible. Her triple pirouettes were flawless and her leaps were extraordinary. Then, she was on fire. She was the fire. Clone copies of the dancer appeared, all made of fire and they encircled Lux in a deadly, suffocating ring. They were bright, and so very hot. Lux noticed that only one of them was violet, whilst the others were mixtures of orange and yellow.

            He violet dancer stepped out of formation and approached Lux. “So you’re the Guardian of Light,” she stated.

            “Yes, I am,” Lux replied. “I take it that you are the Warrior of Fire.”

            There were four elemental warriors— fire, water, earth and air. Legend had it that the first Elemental Warriors had been bestowed with these powers by ancient beings long ago forgotten. The Warriors had once worked side by side with the three Guardians.

            “It would seem so.” Her voice seemed to crackle like fire. It was otherwise vibrant and unreal. Lux was not certain if and how this could be real. She stared at the other dancing copies, still in awe of them.

            “Do you like them,” the Fire Warrior asked.

            “Yea, but how did you…”

            “It’s a dream, isn’t it?” That made sense, though Lux was disappointed.

            “You can’t really do that?”

            “I can dance, sure, but setting myself on fire like that? I get burned just like every other person,” she explained. “I’m only human. Sort of. Besides, fire is unpredictable and dangerous. But in dreams, anything can happen.”

            “So how is this dream working?” Lux asked. “Are you real?”

            “I think so. I’m aware that fire and light are linked and that we’re supposed to have some sort of link.”

            “So this is our dream.” Lux couldn’t quite fathom the enormity of it all. Who had contacted whom?

            “Yeah. I initiated this dream because I need to talk to you. I want to join your cause but I can’t.”

            “What? Why?”

            “Personal reasons,” the warrior stated. It was hard to make out her facial expressions through her resplendent flames. “But you need to know that Prince Stefan is not all that he seems. Do not trust him.”

            Lux blinked for a moment. So all these pyrotechnics were her to tell her that her new ally was evil, or something? Lux knew that she would have to work with this prince to save Terrahgonia form Yolanda’s clutches, whether she wanted to or not. It was quite obvious that she needed to keep her guard up at all times.

            “Look, I’m not dumb. I know to watch my back,” Lux insisted.

            “Good. I am glad of that, but it’s more than that. I have sensed a growing evil is on its way. Something so ancient and powerful, it could put the entire realm of Terrahgonia in dancer, including Nisyros and Faery. I sense that Stefan is somehow connected to it, but I’m not sure how— just that a phoenix feather was recently used to awaken this great evil.”

            “Big Bad Evil on the rise. Got it. I’ll make sure to watch out for it.”

            “This is no joke!” Fire erupted from her hair, several feet high.

            “Okay, I’m sorry.”

            “Lives are in danger here.” The more angered she became, the stronger her Brazilian accent became. “This whole Guardian responsibility might not be your thing, but you have to accept it if we are to save anyone. That includes your father”

            “Wait. I didn’t tell you anything about him. What do you know?”

            “More than you. Yolanda didn’t have him kidnapped. That was all a clever ruse to hide the truth from you,” she explained.

            “Then who?” Lux asked.

            “I’ve already said too much.”

            “Wait. If Yolanda didn’t take my dad then who did?”

            “There are dark forces at work, Guardian. Now, I must be on my way.”

            “Wait! There is still so much I need to know.”

            But like a phantom, the Warrior of Fire was gone. Her doppelgangers followed, disappearing in a plume of smoke.

 

            Lux woke up in panic, gasping for air. She coughed viciously as if she had really been surrounded by smoke, all hot and sweaty. She found herself questioning the nature of her dream, and yet, it had to have some semblance of reality. Still groggy from her sleep, Lux turned the light in her room on. She heard footsteps and realised someone was going downstairs. Lux put her nightgown on and decided to follow. When she reached the bottom of the staircase, she saw Zelda drawing something in the air out of what appeared to be black fire.

            “Zelda, what are you doing?” Lux asked. But she already had an idea of what her little sister was up to.

            “What does it look like?” Zelda replied. Lux barely stopped herself from rolling her eyes. She hated it when Zelda replied to her questions with a question of her own. Dressed head to toe in black, she looked like some sort of bandit. Is she wearing my leather jacket? Lux wondered.  “I’m going to rescue dad,” Zelda stated.

            “And how are you going to manage that on your own?”

            “I have resources of my own,” she said. Zelda’s voice had a determined edge to it and everything about her body language suggested hostility. Her rigid stance and narrowed eyes caught Lux off-guard. Why was her little sister mad at her?

            “You mean you have an ally? Who is it?”

            “None of your business.” Zelda snapped.

            “I think you’ll find that it is. You’re my little sister and whoever it is giving you this magic, letting you use runes, I want to know about it.” Lux saw the half-completed rune in the air smoulder even further. It seemed to grow tentacles and latched onto Zelda, causing her to squeal. “Stop yelling. You’ll wake mum up,” Lux warned.

            “It’s attacking me! What do you expect me to do?”

            Lux ran towards her sister and tried to swat the rune with her glowing hand. She hoped that the power of her light-infused ka would be enough to destroy the rune, but instead she felt a spasm of excruciating pain surge through her arm.

            “Lux, you have to fight a rune with a rune,” Zelda yelled. But Lux didn’t know any runes. Their father had specifically forbidden it.

            “But it’s not even a completed rune,” Lux replied. “And I don’t know any to counteract it.” The rune wrapped it’s dark tentacles around Zelda’s torso, pulling her towards it.

            “Lux, help me!” she screamed. Lux heard their mum run down the stairs.

            “What’s going on?” their mum asked. “Oh my god!”

            “Zelda, finish the rune,” Lux yelled. It was the only way she knew to help. Though Lux didn’t know any actual runes for herself, she knew the risks of using them. An unfinished rune could end up causing great harm to the one who used it, and those surrounding. It could also end up actually being an entirely different rune that could have an entirely different function than that which the user had intended.

            “I can’t!” Zelda screamed. “It’ll kill me if I get too close.” That only left one option. Lux had to figure out what rune Zelda had tried to use.

            Legend had it that runes had been created by the three gods of Faery. These three entities, whether real or imagined, were the symbols of Order and Chaos. The knowledge of runes were thought to come from these gods and so Lux would have to meditate long enough for a rune to come to her mind. Unfortunately, considering the circumstances, finding her ‘centre’ was impossible with the amount of pressure she felt. A few moments passed and she still had nothing.

            “Zelda, I’m so sorry,” Lux said. Tears fell down her eyes as she watched Zelda dragged closer and closer to the dark rune that threatened to engulf her little sister. If only she knew what the rune symbolised.

            “Just promise me something.”

            “Anything,”

            “No,” their mum said. “Not my baby. You can’t die.”

            “I’m sorry mum,” Lux said. “I couldn’t stop it.”

            “Just promise me you’ll be the hero Terrahgonia deserves,” Zelda yelled. “Promise!”

            “I…” Lux wanted to promise this for her sister but it was naïve to believe that she could make a difference.

            Lux watched as the rune consumed Zelda, leaving only her eyes in full view. Her dark eyes were widened in fear and although Lux wanted to reassure her that everything would be alright, she knew better. This was it.

            Zelda began to dissipate with the shadows, and once again, it was her terrified eyes that disintegrated last. Zelda was gone and Lux blamed herself. She couldn’t stop it and she had been too scared to even assure her younger sister that she would carry out her dying wish.

            Lux landed on her knees, screaming a broken note.

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