The Legend of The Shadow Clan

In the north mountains of Arye, lies a temple. This temple houses some of the most dangerous and most feared warriors, known to Arye. They train from age three, and those who graduate, aren't fully trained before they're thirty years old. We follow Selina Rosemary, a girl with a mysterious past and a promising future. She and her best friend Luce, are both content on making it through the tough training. And with each other's help, they are ready to take on anything.


1. The Pond of Mirrors

This was nice, the feeling of flying, the strain of muscles, the stinging pain each time i breathed in more of the cold air, reminding me to stay focused. I landed on my feet, remembering to find my balance, before i my leg slide back, using the momentum from my landing to swing it around myself, hitting the cherry tree with the back of my foot, causing som of the pink leaves to fall form their branch, slowly falling towards the ground. I changed my stance, so my foot was placed flat on the tree, kicking myself backwards arching my body causing it to do a backwards flip. I hit the ground a few meters behind my initial position, landing in a crouch. I decided to take a few minutes break, catching my breath as i got up. I had been training for almost two hours, and the inside of my uniform was damp from sweat. Looking up at the sky, i closed my eyes, letting my other senses take over, creating an image of the area around me. I breathed out, letting my body relax, just as my martial arts teacher had taught me back in tier one, I let my mind flow, and let the breeze cool down my flushed cheeks. The sound of the wind rattling the leaves all around me, and the smell of cherry that hang in the air, like calming carpet, a birds wings were flapping far above me, a faint sound of people talking was coming from the temple, a person was running towards me from the right. I leaned back in the last possible second, before the silver dagger would have hit me, killing me on the spot. Instead it cut through the air, like a metal bird, heading for a cherry tree to my left. It stopped before it hit, seemingly stopping mid air, then it flew backwards towards the person who threw it, more precisely to her hand.
"I almost got you" she said, cheerily, as she caught the metal dagger, which was attached to her hand, by a tiny string, allowing her to retract it mid-air, so she didn't loose it during battle. "i hate that you say it like it's a good thing" i responded, rolling my eyes at my best friend Luce, or Luceyneia if you weren't her best friend. "it is" she said "it means I'm getting better". "Or maybe I'm just getting slower" i said, smiling. She was getting better, ever since she found out where she came from, she had been training constantly, she almost trained as much as i did, but not quite. She actually had a life besides training, a life she enjoyed, friends she could talk to, i didn't, I had one friend, and that was Luce, which allowed me to have these hour long training sessions in the evening, when everyone else was inside, enjoying these few hours of freedom, before the morning comes and training starts again. "We both know that's not true, you're the best student in tier three" she said, as though i had just stated an impossibility, which was more or less true. Since tier three started, i had been working harder than ever before, i was training as much as i could, and i rarely returned to the temple, before everyone was already asleep. Her statement wasn't exactly true though, "no I'm not" i said, she made face and started a sentence, which probably would have been something along the lines of, "yes you are, stop being so    modest", but her face froze when she realized what i was talking about, mouth half open, but the words stuck in her throat. Then she made this weird half admiring, half dismissing face "yeah ok, but Ethan isn't normal". 
Ethan was the best third tier student of this year, and most likely the best student the temple had ever housed. But he wasn't really a part of our tier, he didn't talk with any of the students, nor the teachers, and the teachers made no effort to communicate with him. He never trained in student hours, and no one had seen him train outside of obligatory training, and even then he mostly didn't do anything, even so, none of the other students were even close to him, not even me, and i was widely recognized as the second best student of tier three. I sighed, i had been trying to pass that guy ever since tier one, but, even after twelve years of training, it seemed as though i hadn't made any progress, it seemed as though he just got progressively better, regardless of if he trained or not, and It frustrated me to no end. "He's still in our tier" i said, my voice going flat. Luce made a sound like horse, "so what, no one cares about him" she said reassuringly, she grabbed a dagger from her belt, lazily tossing it towards the same tree the other one had been heading for, it flew in a straight line, and connected with the tree with dull sound, indicating a clean hit. I sighed again, maybe i should just quit training, it didn't seem as though i had a chance of catching up anyway. "Stop sighing and come with me to the spirit grounds, you need a break" she said, walking over to me dragging me to my feet, i let her, i didn't feel like arguing with Luce, she had a thing for taking charge, even though i was the strongest warrior of the two of us, she was a better leader. "God you stink, have you even considered washing your uniform, you know, so that maybe you can actually get to talk to someone else than me" she said, smiling at me, "not really" i answered, knowing that i would never make it to the top ten of future moms, hell i probably didn't even register as an actual girl. Luce dragged me through the gardens, the cherry trees watching passively, as the tall blonde girl, dragged the short redhead along towards the spirit grounds. 
The walk to the gardens was nice, the light wind caused, the cherry trees bright colored leaves to wave slightly, the effect calmed me, and a trip to the grounds started sounding like it might be a good idea. 
The spirit grounds were the most sacred place in the temple, it was where the spirit energies, that kept the nature in the temple alive, sprang from. It was located in the middle of the silent gardens, which was where the tier three warriors trained. It resembled a large circle of densely populated forest, which had an enormous variety of trees and plants, compared to the surrounding silent gardens, which were only populated by the sturdy northern cherry trees. In the middle there was a clearing, in which the pond of mirrors, this is where the energies spring. The waters surface was barely transparent when the water was still, and all you could see was the mirror image in the calm surface, but as soon as the water moved, the water became crystal clear, and when it was, the warriors who moved the waters, are said to be in the strongest connected with the energies, calming their mind and body, and allowing whomever to focus, on the things that troubles their minds. 
"Hurry up slowpoke" Luce said, tugging at the sleeve of my uniform, "the water is best right now". "The water is always the same Luce, the air just changes temperature, so the water seems warmer" i explained, feeling the urge to correct Luce's mistake, regardless of it's significance. "Keep killing dreams Sel, you're getting good at it" she said grumpily, and punched me on the shoulder. I chuckled, and bumped into her, hard enough to make her stumble. "Hey" she said, half chuckling half acting offended. We entered the spirit grounds, the tall trees rising around us, the silence of the sacred ground, closing in on us. "I love this place" Luce said dreamily, "it's so calm and peaceful". I agreed with her, the place was wonderful, it held a certain spell over everyone who entered the mysterious woods, the tall dark trees rose all around, the ground was full of plants, most of them set in the dark blue, black and purple colors. I recognized most of them from survival training, but some of them i didn't know, and they probably didn't exist anywhere else. After fifteen minutes of walking through the intriguing forest, the clearing in the middle of the ground came into view. It wasn't very big, ten meters across max, it was always in shadow, since the trees branches extended to cover the entire clearing, creating a cavelike feeling to the small open space. The clearing was lit by a green light, emanating from the pond, which took up most of the clearing, leaving a small path around the glowing waters. According to the tales, the light is the leftover energy, that isn't used to uphold life in the temple. There was an erie feel around the pond, the fact that you were surrounded by spirits, was both calming and unsettling at the same time, and the dancing green light didn't help. 
As we entered the clearing, Luce let go of my arm, and i let it fall down to my side. I unstrapped my uniform, and lifted it over my head, the smell was horrendous, and the skintight suit i wore underneath was still soaked, despite the time it had had to dry, i yanked it of and threw it on the ground along with my uniform. Luce was already heading down the small stone stairs, the green light illuminating her figure. I envied her, she was beautiful, her long blond hair fell down her back in a singe braid, ending in an elegant knot at her lower back, she was slim, without being skinny, yet her body was still beautifully curved. Her face was neat with sharp features, and her eyes were a bright blue, and were always fixed on a point on the horizon. She was a dreamer, although her dreams weren't always equally pleasant. I stared in an awkward admiration as her long slim legs entered the pond, the water bending around her like mercury. Her eyes closed, and she let out her breath in, with a tinge of pleasure. She had obviously wanted to go here, and had probably just dragged me along, to not be alone. 
"Are you coming?" she said, looking at me. I nodded and took off the rest of my uniform, walking over to the stairs, i agreed with myself that i definitely needed to go here more often, the green light calmed me, and my mind relaxed. During the day i spent all my time training, or thinking about training. Here i could let my mind flow elsewhere, my muscles relaxed and the tension in my shoulders disappeared. As my foot touched the water, shivers went through my body, and goosebumps appeared on my arms and legs. I quickly proceeded down the last two steps, and let the water engulf my body, flowing around me like a school of silk-like fish. Luce had already made herself comfortable at the opposite side of the pond, and only her neck and head were visible over the water, although i could just make out the obscured contours of her body, floating below the surface. I walked out into the middle of the of the pond, closing my eyes, letting the feeling of the water flow through me, feeling my breath slowing down to a whisper. I sat down next to Luce, the water laying itself around me like a carpet. This close to the water i could almost feel the energies, lying around the pool, protecting us from the outside world. I laid my head back on the stone, once again closing my eyes, and let my thoughts fly into the sky. A feeling of relief sprang at my heart, and started spreading throughout my body, but before it reached my fingertip, i disconnected from my body, and the darkness filled my eyes as i fell asleep, the gentle ripples of the water, encouraging me to let myself go. As dreams started filling my head, i realized that i hadn't been this peaceful for a long time.

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