Dad knocked on the door at morning, asking if he could come in. I took a deep breath before shouting yes, and he opened the door in the morning sun. Apparently, the clock had been around two hours in seven when I fell asleep. I could hardly hold my eyes open. Dad asked how I was feeling and I said the truth. “I’m tired”.
He talked about letting me off the hook for today, letting me skip this advent. I talked him into letting me come. I could sleep after – it was despite everything only one battle she would have to fight, and after that, I could go to sleep. He kept checking on me during the set up. I was sitting down staring into the field, then I turned towards the noble, I think is named something around… onimo… Something like that. I took her hand and asked her name. “Simone” she said smiling “You are the crowned prince, Jaime” she noticed smiling.
“I was wondering something” I told her and leaned closer so my dad couldn’t hear me “When… when the nobles interfere in things like… when the vampires was made… how does it happen?”
She took a deep breath and shrugged her shoulders. “Usually more peaceful than when you kings take care of it. But sometimes it is more cruel”
I nodded, she didn’t ask why I asked her. I guess that is for the best anyway…
“Who are you cheering for?” she then asked me “The fifth best lighter in the kingdom, or Rachael?”
I smiled and looked out at the field. “Rachael” I whispered. She nodded and said something that sounded like me too.
The arena opened up and Rachael and the lighter came out. The lighter, I never can remember the name on, had red short hair and was covered in brown and black clothing, with knives all around his clothing.
“For this battle” Dad shouted “You will still only make the other person unconscious, but you are allowed to use weapons, and magic”.
Rachael started to smile. The guy followed her lead and started to laugh. The alarm rang and both parts lifted their right arm towards the other. What kind of lighter is the other? Rachael is wind and ferike, which powers does she have? I can’t remember it!
I could see little water bubbles leaving her body. He looked confused at first, but then he smiled. She started to laugh and turned around, but disappeared in thin air in the next second. He looked confused around, the silence and excitement was in the crowd was killing me. Where is she?
A leg got visible, and kicked him hard in the stomach; he rolled away and fell a few times. She got visible and was smiling for herself.
Ten seconds went by, but nothing happened. Slowly he got up, his nose was bleeding and small wounds could be spotted on a long distant.
His arms raised at the same time, and a wave of water rose from nowhere. Before it hit her, she was up in the air, looking patiently, and waiting for him to show himself.
He slowly walked on the water, getting higher and higher before reaching her.
“This is an equal match” he noticed to her.
“No” she started laughing, “I’m just having fun”. Playing with him?
“Tell me… would you rather be beat by a wind lighter than a ferike?” We stared at her, he started laughing. “I don’t care, either way I’m going to kick your ass”.
“Okay” she smiled to him “Good trip” she raised her hands and led the water above them, leaving nothing for him to stand on, and making him hit the ground in 15 meters height. He wasn’t knocked out, but badly wounded.
“So do you give up?” she asked smiling. He got up from the ground, “No”.
“Okay” Her skin became weird, looking like fish scales. After some time I recognized the dragon scales. How is she doing that?
She took a deep breath before blowing fire out of her mouth. She was doing it on the water, making it vaporize.
I bit my lip. I never knew she could do something like that… she really is dangerous.
She got down on ground, looking at him trying to stab her. She just jumped backwards again and again with a big smile on her lips.
He suddenly raised his arms to the heavens. A cloud was big and gray – looking like it was going to rain. He forced the rain forth, and on its way down, it was more like ice cycles. She couldn’t avoid all of them, so she used her wind powers to make it avoid her. He made the ice go higher up in the air around her, trying to hit her. But by the time they would hit – she was covered in dragon scales again.
They just broke into a billion pieces. The lighter could barely stand, blood was running out from his ears and nose, and from wounds all over his body, he couldn’t lean on the left leg, and his eyes was watery and red. I started to feel sorry for him. She on the other hand was fine. She was smiling, looking patiently, and didn’t have a single wound.
“Giving up?” she asked him again.
“NO!” He charged forward with his knife, I fell into two pieces, and the only thing that happened to her, was a little push backwards.
“You should give up before you get to badly hurt” she noticed smilingly “That isn’t healthy for your body”.
He ignored her and tried stabbing her with another knife. This time nothing happened.
“Rachael… by the way… no… mental powers” Dad noticed “Stay out of his mind”.
“I weren’t going to go into it” she answered smilingly. Her skin turned normal and she turned around a few times before lifting her leg and making him hit the arena wall.
We waited for the alarm to sound, but he got up again. He humped the way to her, but before he had a chance to do anything, she kicked him again. The same thing happened three times more, before the alarm sounded. Healers ran out to the arena, most of them went to the lighter, while one ran to her. Thirty seconds with her, and the healer ran to the other lighter also.
“You win” Dad noticed “You get your freedom. Find somewhere you can stay”.
“She can stay with my family,” Adrian noticed from dad’s side. Dad nodded and she left the arena. Dad followed me back, something he has never done – not even when I was a child. It felt strange and weird, there was an awkward silence. At my door, he stopped, looking like he didn’t know what to do.
“I’ll be going in then” I said.
He stopped the door and looked at me confused. “Are you sure… you are okay?”
“I’m fine” I answered “Just… tired”.
He nodded and closed the door closely for me.
I wanted to go down and hug her, tell her thanks, and that I’m happy she is out of the prison.
The door opened and the silence was awkward. Vergile was staring angry at her, but she didn’t seem to notice at first, she kept yawning.
“Rachael!” I ran to her and hugged her, half way through I could feel someone pulled me back, I stared up to see Vergile looking angry.
Rachael looked confused for a moment, then she smiled to me.
“Don’t mind it” she said to me “Not everyone trust me”
Adrian walked in and looked tired at him. “I thought mom had talked to you…”
“She did, it doesn’t mean I’m happy about this” he pointed a finger at her. “You and him aren’t sharing bedrooms!”
Rachael blushed and walked in. “Why would we?”
“Drop it” Adrian said “They know… we kind of…”
She took a deep breath, but then smiled to Vergile. “I have no interests in having sex with anyone from this house right now” As she said it Adrian looked surprised at her, and she blushed.
“Adrian doesn’t seem to be in the same bane of thinking,” Vergile noticed irritated. Mom came in and hugged her. Dad did the same shortly after.
“Are you okay?” Mom asked her “I didn’t know you could do all that! Are your powers healed?”
She started shaking her head. “All the powers haven’t returned yet. It takes time. Besides that Jeremy usually train it with me. He told me I wasn’t ready for the … more difficult stuff, before I left” she told and starting messing with her hair “Besides that… I’m sorry I ran off, I guess I was a bit more homesick than I realized”.
Mom hugged her again, like she needed to be cheered up. Dad just smiled. “You Ferike-Wind lighters really are strong! Nice to know you can beat us in battle”
Vergile looked like dad had said something really inappropriate
“Most ferikes don’t fight” she noticed “They stay out of it from birth…”
“Doesn’t want to show The Natrona blood in their veins I guess” Vergile noticed “Black blood is terrible”
“Ferikes doesn’t have black blood” Rachael noticed while smiling “It’s red like other peoples”.
Vergile looked offended. I don’t know why, it doesn’t make sense. She is so nice!
“The king seemed distracted today” Adrian noticed as he sat down “He didn’t really pay attention to the battle”.
Rachael started to smile. “He thought he had family problems”.
We stared at her, but then she smiled. “Sorry. Noble stuff”
Adrian got closer to her and started whispering something, but she just shakes her head and smiled. Mom started to cook dinner.
“The guard will be staying with me at all time” she noticed “Bramai isn’t her now, but that is because Adrian followed me up here”.
“Bramai?” Adrian laughed “Since when did you get on first name bases with the guards?”
She shrugged her shoulders before smiling. “We have had so many hours alone, people talk”.
“Really? Like a noble like yourself would worry about anyone else than yourself” Vergile commented.
“HEY!” Adrian got up, but Rachael pulled him down again. “Don’t worry, I don’t mind”.
“It’s my roof, and I decide who lives under it” Vergile said “So you better!”
Adrian got up again. “It’s okay” Rachael noticed. I walked to Rachael again and put my drawings in front of her.
“I can’t catch your eyes” I noticed “I can’t get them right”. Dad started to smile, and Mom couldn’t hold back a laugh, as Vergile stormed out the kitchen.
Adrian didn’t laugh. Rachael looked at me and smiled. “Let me see” She started to smile, I tried not to look impatient.
“They are beautiful” she noticed “Drawn”.
I nodded happy, and started going into details.
“I love them” she then hugged me.
Quinn told me about the beginning of her stay. She didn’t seem to mind, and every angry comment from Vergile seemed to go in one ear and fly out the next. Adrian on the other hand kept getting angry, and letting his emotion run with them.
“Why don’t we all go outside and fight for fun?” Dad suggested after dinner. Vergile looked like he had told a joke, Rachael actually started laughing.
“We can’t bring-“ Vergile started.
Bramai went forth and took his hand on her shoulder. “she aren’t allowed to fight”.
Vergile suddenly smiled. “Then why don’t we go outside?”
We walked outside, and left her inside, with the guard. Adrian got his anger towards Vergile out with a little scar on his arm, and Vergile seemed to be in a better mood even then.
During the afternoon, after dinner and the fight, we walked inside, and left one by one. Suddenly it knocked on the door. I walked to it and stared at a little girly face trying to hide under a hood from a cape. Behind her to large men was standing like statues making me feel uneasy.
“Rachael?” she asked.
“Rachel…?” I yelled to the living room. She came in and the girl jumped in and hugged her. “Nicely done! I’m sorry your bracelet broke though” I looked at her wrists and no bracelet could be seen.
“Hey Simone, what are you doing here?”
“Gerimon and Verimon got enough of during your work. Sorry, here” The man behind her was holding a suitcase, he handed it to Rachael, who took it with a tired look.
“It’s fine” she said and shrugged her shoulders “Maybe it will take my mind off things”
Simone sighed “This thing is really killing you aren’t it? Why do you always have to hide things like this. To have feelings is great”.
Rachael laughed “I know, I know. Jeremy already gave me all that “
“He’s right you know” Simone hugged her again “To show your feeling more would be great. Then you wouldn’t do impulse things so often. Yeah I heard the stories. You should be more careful”
“I will. Have a safe trip home” Rachael leaned in a kissed her gently on the forehead, while Simone hugged her. “Try to get some sleep”.
They left, and Rachael walked in on the couch again.
Bramai was still sitting with us, but he was half a sleep.
“How are you?” I asked her smilingly. She started to chuckle. “I’m fine”
I tried looking deep. I tried searching for signs she isn’t sleeping, isn’t feeling well, but not a simple thing told me she wasn’t. How could the girl know?
“Why did she think you weren’t?” I asked. She opened the suitcase and a bund of papers that couldn’t possible be inside that small suitcase appeared. She took the first paper out and started reading.
“huh?” she said halfway through.
“Why did she think you weren’t fine?” I asked her once more. She yawned and shrugged her shoulders. Her head turned towards me and I felt crushed. I could see so many emotions in her eyes. Mostly sorrow and fear. She blinked and like a snowflake hitting skin, it disappeared.
“Simone just guesses” She said “She is kind of… a good guesser”
“So you aren’t?” I asked. I know she aren’t, I could see it in her eyes. Why sorrow? I get the fear, there is so many things to fear here for her, but sorrow? I don’t get it.
“I’m fine” she said “Maybe a bit tiiiiiiiired” halfway through a yawn appeared and she started to stretch. “Get some sleep then” I pointed at her guard “He seems to love the idea”
She laughed, and looked at the papers. “I got a lot of work to do”.
I sighed and wanted to pull her to her bed, and get her a sleeping pill. GET BETTER! I can’t take people who torment themselves, just because they don’t want to face their emotions.
“How deep in the pit are you? You keep saying you are fine, but I know you aren’t… you are like all women, but at the same time I think you have a good reason, why can’t you just get better?” I asked her confused. She looked confused at me, but then she smiled.
“Often I wait to the moment when I can’t postpone it anymore.. Jeremy mostly finds a way to bring me there, or mom…” she suddenly bit her tongue. “…Or mom gets angry, and we fight about it…”
“Often I wait to the moment when I can’t postpone it anymore… Jeremy mostly finds a way to bring me there, or mom…. Or mom gets angry and we fight about it” the girl said. I had a feeling she was on the edge to crying.
“Do your mom know you are here?” Crish asked her.
Rachael must have nodded, since she didn’t answer.
“Is she fine with it? Doesn’t she have anything to say?”
Rachael started laughing. “We can’t stay in the same room for more than a half hour without fighting. She says I lack emotions” Rachael started to laugh, but it sounded like she was crying. “that I aren’t lighter or human”.
“The race noble is a horrible race” Rachael made a deep voice, surely not resembling her mother, but painting a picture.
“Do your dad know she treats you like this?” Crish asked “Does he really allow it?” Rachael sighed.
“Mom betrayed him so bad… he can’t ever forgive her. He have offered many times for me to stay with him, but I can’t as long as Silencia is in the picture”. I saw the picture of Rachael and Quinn hugging again. It seemed so strange. So normal.
“I see” Crish said “but can’t he do something too… make her be kinder?”
Rachael started to laugh. “Even when they were together she was a nightmare. I guess I can understand it. Her family promised her away to him, and she said yes. As soon as she got married to him, they went into hiding, and she lost connection to the rest of her family”.
Crish stretched I could hear. “Then why don’t you get in connections with them, while you are here?”
“They are a bunch of… “ she then sighed “They only let her marry my dad because they knew he was rich. Mom could have gone back into Amalion long ago and found them, but she didn’t. I guess she doesn’t like them after what they did”.
Crish left her not long after that. The dumb guard had fallen deep a sleep, but no matter what, she didn’t run off, she just kept working with the papers.
I left her to herself and got to sleep. I wonder when she’ll fall a sleep.
She came finally down for breakfast with a book in her hands.
“You look tired, couldn’t you sleep?” I asked her confused. She smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “I’m fine”.
“She hasn’t slept” Bramai told me “She was awake when I… fell asleep, and she was awake during every time I woke up”
Rachael shrugged her shoulders again. “I had work to do”.
“You really are like your dad” I noticed. She looked surprised at me, then she smiled. “I don’t like unfinished business”
I nodded and let her have some breakfast.
After the breakfast I brought her up to the king. The weather was terrible and when we arrived our clothing was soaking wet.
“Rachael” “King” she did her amazing bow.
I sat down and tried staying calm.
“We have to discuss your powers” The king noticed “Ferike lighters are very mystical lighters, so do you care to enlighten us on your powers?” Rachael smiled “I’m sorry, but I’m sure you can understand. Since you have scared most Ferikes to hide themselves and never use their powers, exposing the powers official would make a lot of ferikes think they can do it, and therefor try. Like all other magic, you have to learn about it”.
As she smiled, the king look irritated.
“Are you saying we don’t respect ferike as lighters?” Dad asked her. She opened her eyes and started to laugh. “If you are a born ferike, you are not allowed to do anything, you can’t go to school, you can’t get friends, and almost every ferike couple gets hunted down by other lighters!” She took a deep breath “So yes, that is what I am saying”.
“Ferikes are born evil. Just like Natrona was”
“Natrona wasn’t evil” She said “He was a genius! He loved his family more than everything else, and that makes him and the rest of his family the best gods there ever were”
“NATRONA WAS EVIL!” The king yelled loud and angry “AND YOU KNOW IT!”
“You think Ferikes are born with a dark cloud in their heart, making them unable to see the bad things they do, and how they hurt other people. I disagree. In every ferike lighters heart there is a wish to protect and take care of everyone around them. Why else should ferikes be the only lighter race able to heal themselves and others? Every ferike in this country would much rather than being hunted help other lighters. Instead of taking warlocks to battles, you could take ferikes – be sure they would do a better job than a Warlock. Every ferike contains the same love for their family as Natrona had. That is why not only Natrona was sent down. His brothers and sisters was as well. Because they knew he weren’t evil!” she talked to fast, like she was trying to get it all out before she would explode.
“Ferikes are evil. Not a single ferike is good!” The king declared.
Rachael sighed. “Look at the people in the kingdom. Right now, there are not a single ferike lighter aside from myself is in this room. That is because they knew they could get killed every second they are in here. Guards or no guards. If you look at the different jobs in this city alone. Most ferikes is in the health department. Most of them work as doctors here in the castle, but because they are ferike, they are not allowed to help on the battle field. Other ferikes works minor job in the city. Bakers, house builders, so on. All those jobs other people doesn’t want to have because the pay is bad, but it needed to be done. Ferike is the mother race of this country, who take care of the rest of us”.
The king took a deep breath. “That is false”.
“For example. The healers on the arena yesterday. Seven out of eight of them was Ferike. They don’t know it, but they instinctively take the job of healers”.
I wanted to hold around her mouth. I wanted to make her stop talking. I too have been told since birth that Ferikes are evil. That they all just screws up everything they do. I have met a few. As she said – the baker is a ferike, and he is despite his race a loved man. He is so happy, and he always smiles when people come and buy stuff from him. His name is Jerry, and he remembers every name on every person that ever have come to visit him. I heard once that as the end of night, if something hasn’t been sold, he gives it to one of the orphanages. Almost every day, there is something left. So he walks without a horse around the kingdom to all the kids he can find and gives them free food.
“It’s not for the money” he once said “I get paid a small amount, to give the children it. But not for the bread. They say it’s for the kindness”. And he is so happy every day. The shop is bright, and the bread is amazing. He sells it so cheap, that I can’t believe his still in business.
I met one at the yearly tournament too… they year I won for the first time. In the last round, I finally knocked him out, and I was badly wounded. I was bleeding, and could die any second. The healers was so calm, and tried to calm me down. I don’t know how they did it, but the day after I could walk and show off a little scar on my stomach. The man and woman that took care of me was both ferikes. They treated me so nice. Then why do I want her to stop talking? She is right – I have only met Ferike lighters who was evil – when they were dark lighters. But all dark lighters are evil.
Ferike lighters takes care of our world. I have never visited one of the other four kingdoms, but I’m sure ferikes are just like here.
“Beside that, even though most ferikes could be the best fighter here, they don’t” Rachael noticed “Every part of my body can be a weapon. I am a weapon and a healer at the same time” Her finger started to change. It got smaller and shinier until you could see a little knife that was stuck to her hand. She lifted her arm and made a deep cut, making blood come out.
“A great warrior” the blood ran down her arm, but in the next second her wound was gone. “That can die”.
The king looked horrified. “And you wonder why the people hates you?” I looked at her. I don’t think anyone who knows her can say they hate her.
“I don’t care what other people think about me” She said “As it have been said a few times. I’m a noble. Since the start of our time we have taking care of all the things that had to be done”.
“Leaving many sleepless” The king answered.
Rachael suddenly smiled. “Call me cold if you like, but the things the nobles in our time have had to do, has never left me sleepless”
The king looked at the Guidion, who nodded and approved of what she had said.
“A cold ferike lighter, like Natrona”
Rachael shrugged her shoulders.
“What about the things you dad does when you are a sleep?”
Rachael stopped smiling, and shrugged her shoulders once more.
“Really? Not a single comment? Not a single sorry?”
“I wasn’t the one hurting those people, therefor I can’t apologize”
Dad sighed. “Don’t you ever feel sorry about anything? Haven’t you ever done anything that you regret?”
“Of course” She answered.
“Let’s hear it”
Rachael started to laugh. “You are asking a teenage girl what she regrets?”
“Yes” The king nodded “You are not any ordinary teenage girl”
Rachael looked up into the ceiling thinking deep about it.
“Come on” The king said.
She smiled. “I regret a birthday wish”.
“What was the wish?” The king asked confused. I stared at her. She didn’t even tell me when her birthday was. I wonder how she would regret a wish?
“That will remain between my dad an me, and for the matter. My dark light protector”
She was smiling for herself. Like it was a good wish – but why do she regret it ?
“Why do you regret whatever you wished for?”
She shrugged her shoulders. “Because I always get what I want. And sometimes a child should never have so much power”
I stared at her. So it’s when she was with her dad. That was around her age… 1-2 right? What can she have wished for, that she would regret.
“There must be something else than that you regret?”
Rachael looked up into the ceiling again, she suddenly smiled and turned her face down into the ground, blushing wildly. “Perhaps”
“It’s a yes or no” the king noticed.
Rachael sighed. “Yes… but at the same time no. Short: I’m not talking about it, and no it’s nothing around ‘killing’ or hurting other people”
“Other than that” The king let it go “I want to talk about your dark light protector”
“Sure” she said.
I have never really met him. He was kind of a jackass on the phone that one time, but he has never been around while I was there. Irritating me.
“How old is he?” The king started.
She shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know actually”
“Really? How old do he look?”. Rachael started to smile.
“In the twenties”
But he has watched over her since she was born! How is that possible? I bit my lip. Does he often go to warlocks or something?
“How long has he been with you?” The king asked and wrote the answer done.
“Since the day my mother discovered she was pregnant” Rachael answered and shrug her shoulders.
“That’s impossible” The king noticed and looked at her.
“I’m not lying” She looked at the Guidion, who nodded and agreed with her.
“He is a lighter right?” The king asked her confused.
The king kept writing down, and the advisor kept looking through the law books. The people seemed so quiet that they might as well not be there. Goldilocks was smiling next to his dad, starring happily on her.
“Does he has a special condition of some sort?”.
Rachael smiled bright. “He’s a lighter trapped on the threshold to death”
The king was staring at her confused. “What do you mean?”
“It’s a long story, but shortly: He can’t die”.
“Or age?” the king questioned. She nodded and shrug her shoulders. “He isn’t a dark lighter. He was just marked as such”
“That means he is one”
“He did nothing wrong”
Rachael looked irritated. “He is sweet. And part of my family”
“So he is in your family?”
“No. But he is like a father to me”
The silence was absolute, even I stared at her.
“Since birth, I have had three dads” She explained “The one that taught me that to be different, doesn’t mean you’re bad. My second dad is my real dad, he taught me that sometimes you have to do necessary things, even though they hurt” She took a deep breath. “Then there is my last dad. He will be my rescue, my teacher and my best friend. My dad found him, because he thought, that even though he himself will someday die, and my whole family will die. I’ll always have at least one, that will never leave my life. That way I’ll never be lonely. And that way, I’ll always have one to turn to, if life gets rough”
The king didn’t feel as moved as I did. Somehow I felt bad. The lighter who had tried to make me jealous was her ‘dad’ who will never leave her side.
“Your first dad” The king noticed “Is your uncle isn’t it?”
Rachael nodded smiling. “Living in your prison currently”
“He’s a monster who sucks the happiness out of others” The king noticed “And you are calling him ‘not bad’? “
Rachael took a deep breath and nodded. “He don’t want to survive that way”
“I have heard that you have other family members too” The king said “Your grandfather who has – despite declaring himself dark – have never touch a fly. And you Seer grandmother”
“Yes” Rachael said.
“How many of these lives with your dad?”
“My granddad” She answered. I remember the old guy – he seemed nice. Doesn’t hurt a fly is wrong though – wasn’t he one them who tortured me?
“Why not your grandmother?”
“She saw my death; therefor she couldn’t look me in the eyes anymore”
People started to talk in the background. The king didn’t look surprised, but I felt it, and so did the golden boy.
“Why couldn’t she look into the eyes of her one granddaughter after seeing her death? Because she would see it every day”.
Rachael didn’t look like it bothered her at all.
“Do you know what happened in the seers eyes?” The king asked smiling.
“Of course I do. I’m a ferike. As soon as I felt something was wrong with my grandmother I checked it out”
She looked annoyed. “You want to know how old I am, don’t you?”
The king smiled and nodded “To get your death on paper would be nice”
“19” She answered “I’m 19 the day I die”
People went silent. She turned eighteen the other day. She has one year left and she knows it. Maybe two at last.
“Really? That soon?” The king started to smile.
“Do you father knows that?”. Rachael nodded, without uttering a word.
“That’s why he has been planning my nineteens birthday since the day my grandmother had that vision”
Her eyes was so cold, while talking about her own death.
“Doesn’t it bother you that you are wasting your time in a place like this?” The king turned his hands to the walls. She suddenly smiled. “Why should it? This is my marking. If I turn dark, I’ll have to live in hiding the rest of my life. If I turn white I have so many opportunities, where sleep will be forgotten, and work will come first” She is going to work herself to death isn’t she? She seems like the hard working type.
I could barely hold the tears back. So that means… if he breaks her heart… my eyes turned to look at Adrian. If he breaks her heart, she will waste her time on him. She would have wasted so much time with him, and use some of her last time to cry over him. Will he even remember her, when she dies? Will he even cry over her?
I bit my lip and took a deep breath.
“The marking is over for today, tomorrow you will be tested”