War of the Spirits

Saphira is the future leader of the isolated mountain village Natallian. However, just as she left to being her training, an incident takes place in the naboring town that changes her course of life forever

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1. Chapter 1

Humans and Spirits once coexisted in harmony. Helping each other through trials that faced their everyday lives.
However, it was not meant to be. Soon, the Humans greed and thirst for power created the Darkened Spirits, the ones who bring harm to all Humans and Spirits alike.
Since it became too dangerous for the Humans to live alongside the Spirit, the Dragon Circle created a separate Realm for the Humans. The Realm was filled with resources that they would need to survive, and the Humans were able to adapt to their new lifestyle.
However, the Darkened Spirits continued to feed off the greed of humanity, and even gave some Humans their power to create despair in the new Realm. To counter this, the Dragon Circle choose their own partners, and fought of the Darkened Spirits and their Human partners. Once they had won the battle, the Humans used the powers of the Dragons to repair their world after the destruction caused by the battle. The Humans used the powers with great skill, and the Realm was restored to its former beauty.
This was the birth of the Humans that wielded the power of the Spirits, dubbed the Aolis. Soon, other Spirits along with the Dragons found their Human partners. And the Humans once again adapted to the new way of life.
However, the Darkened Spirits were not completely destroyed. With the new powers given to the Human, their strong greed nurtured the Darkness within the Spirits, and once again created the suffering that still lingers in our world.

 The 16 years old Saphira let out a sigh as Jacob, her guardian and teacher, read the pages of the book he held. She had already read the book through time and time again when she was younger, so she couldn't understand why she had to hear it again. Her study room was bland, but that made it easy to study in. The large bookshelf behind Jacob was filled with different kinds of literature, though most of them were history books. She looked out the window near her desk and was distracted by the children running through the village, acting like soldiers. The mothers followed behind them and giggled at their children's behavior. There weren't many who lived in this village, and no one came to visit, as they had completely isolated themselves from the rest of the world.

"Lady Saphira, please pay attention," Jacob's harsh tone pulled her from the window, and all Saphira could do was look at him and smirk. Jacob had a short fuse, so she always liked to test his limits.

"I still don't see why I have to go through that book for the hundredth time. Maybe even more since I've read it since I was five," Saphira asked, a bit more serious now. Jacob closed the book and placed it in the bookshelf before he answered her.

"I am well aware that you know the book page for page, but Lord Flint asked me to go through it before you ventured to Sektories. Just in case," he informed her, and Saphira just let out a sigh. Her father, the leader of their small mountain village, had decided that it was time for her to begin her 'leadership training', as she was the next heir. Well, she was now, since her older brother decided to leave without a word.

"Going through a book I know by heart won't make me any more eager to go," she stated. "Stupid Nate should be the one going, not me," Jacob didn't answer her once she mentioned her older brother, Nate. Saphira stood up from her desk, strapped her katana to her back and pulled her bag over her shoulder. "Since I already know how it ends, I'll start the journey down the mountain,"

"Milady, please wait a moment," Saphira was tempted to just continue out the room, she didn't want to listen to one of his lectures. But this would be the last time she sees him in a while, so she didn't want to leave with bitterness towards him. "I have something that might be useful to take with you. As you do not know where this training will take you," Saphira turned to face him and saw that he held a cloak, a small knife and a bag of gold pieces. The cloak was made from the fur of a vicula, one of the few animals that live together with them on the mountain. They were well known for their soft and durable fur, but they were nearly killed off by hunters in the past. They are one of the reasons the mountain village closed itself off. Saphira had never touched a vicula before, so she wasn't sure whether it was true or not. "One of the older viculas died recently, so I used its fur and made you this,"

"This is quite the farewell gift," Saphira said as she took it. She placed her bag down and the coin bag inside of it, hung the knife on her belt so she could put it on, and the fur really was as comfortable as everyone had made it out to be. She also made sure she was still able to get to her blade. The last thing she needed was being caught off guard and unable to defend herself. Once she was done, she picked her bag up once again and gave Jacob a grateful bow. "Thanks, I appreciate it. Anything else before I leave?"

"Other than I wish you a safe journey and that you remember to take yourself?" he said once he straightened himself up, a sly smile on his face. Saphira let out a small laugh and gave him a wave in farewell. He would always do that whenever she left the house. Even if she went right outside of the door. Tell her to be safe and take care of herself, not talk to strangers, so on and so forth. Just like an overprotective parent. Then again, Jacob had been with Saphira since the day she was born, so it's natural that he would act like that. Saphira exited the house as she reminisced about the past, a cool breeze blowing her ruby red hair into her face. She tugged a bit on her cloak as she moved through the village. The children had left, as had their parents. So the place was pretty much empty while she walked through. She reached the exit and looked down the steep mountain trail. She had gone up and down about half of it multiple times, but this was the first time she would go the entire way down. She inhaled deeply as she began to walk down the mountain.

After Saphira used about ten minutes to travel down the mountain, she arrived at the entrance to Sektories. She stepped through the gates and examined her surroundings. There were multiple stands along the main street, some of them sold food while others sold accessories. There were also some stalls that seemed to deal in weaponry and armor. Saphira was tempted to stop and look at some of them, but she thought it would be best for her to get settled in first.

"Ah, are you perhaps Saphira?" A voice pulled her gaze from one of the stalls, a woman clothed in white and long, golden hair. She almost seemed divine. "My name is Faith. I was asked to escort you to your room and give you any assistance that you might need," She bowed her head as she introduced herself. Saphira was a bit taken aback by how polite she was towards her, she didn't expect it. She gently bowed her head in return. "The Mistress would have met you herself, but she is a tad preoccupied at the moment. The Flower Empress has come to our town for a visit, and the Mistress has gone to see her,"

"The…Flower Empress?" Saphira asked, a bit unsure of who she was talking about. Faith nodded at her and turned to face the far end of the town. Saphira followed her gaze and noticed a large group of people. They all had their backs to her and faced a elevated platform, where a woman Saphira assumed was the Flower Empress. She couldn't see her too clearly, but she could make out a bouquet of roses in her hands.

"Yes, she is quite well known throughout the land. There are very few places that have not heard of her at least once," Faith told her. Saphira knew she would encounter certain people and places that were well known for most people. But being isolated on a mountain her entire life hasn't helped her keep up. "Anyway, I will escort you to your temporary room. Please follow me," Faith turned away from the crowd and began to walk towards a inn of some kind. Although Saphira was intrigued by the Empress, she did feel a bit worn out from her travel down the mountain. She turned her back to the crowd as she followed Faith towards the building. A piercing scream from the crowd made both of them stop as they turned towards the elevated platform again. There were more people on it now, and they held what Saphira assumed was swords.

"What's going on?" she said to herself, and felt a slight tug in her sleeve. She turned and saw that Faith had walked up next to her.

"Miss, we should take shelter in the inn. It seems the situation has grown quite dangerous," Despite her words, Faith was completely calm. Saphira couldn't even see a hint of worry in her eyes. Saphira looked back at the group of people, and noticed that all of them had fallen down to the ground. Without a second thought, Saphira ran over to the closest person to ask what was wrong. But the words never came out when she saw the people’s expression. Their eyes were wide, filled with fear. And their entire trembled. Saphira thought she might feeling scared just by looking at them.

"What in the name of the Spirit Realm is going on?" she said to herself. She looked back to where she had left Faith, who was nowhere to be seen now. Saphira was about to go look for her, but shook her head. "I can worry about her weird behavior later. I need to do something about this first," Saphira left the person and dashed into a small street that was out of view of the elevated platform. She followed the path and was able to get close enough to finally hear what was being said by the people causing the commotion.

"My, you soldiers are always ruining the fun and good mood," the Flower Empress said, Saphira unsure what she meant. "I'm only doing a little performance, what's the harm in that?"

"You are Lieutenant May of the Shadow Knights. That alone make you a threat to all of Savia," The one Saphira assumed to be the soldier said as he circled around the Empress, or May as he spoke. "As a Captain of the Royal Army, I cannot allow you to roam freely. Neither you, nor the second Lieutenant, Erik," he finished as he moved his gaze up towards the roof. Saphira followed his gaze and saw two more people on the roof.

"Aw, but my lovely flowers have found themselves some new friends. It would be such a shame if they had to say farewell right after their meeting," May said as walked around the soldier. "But, if you insist, I can call them back," With a snap of her fingers, thousands of petals rose from the crowd and began to cover the sky. "But don't think I will go with you quite that easily. These petals are just as sharp as a blade, and will kill all of these people with just a second snap of my fingers,"

"You Shadow Knights have not changed. Using innocent people as hostages to get your way. How low are you scum willing to go just to get your way?" The Captain held his hand on the hilt of his sword, but Saphira could tell that he was torn on what move to make next. She looked back up to the roof and saw that the two she saw earlier were locked in combat. "Not only have you entrapped the people with Lieutenant Erik's Enigmare, but you are also threatening to kill them,"

"Enigmare? So the other guy on the roof is a Dark Aolis," Saphira said to herself. She had only heard rumors about how terrifying the powers of a Dark Aolis was, since they were the lost arts of the original Dark Spirits. But she had never met one before. She placed her bag on the ground and pulled out a journal she had written multiple arts that the different Aolis could learn. She had originally planned to use it to make herself more informed about the different Aolis, not to figure out what was happening during an attack. She came to the pages where the Dark arts were listed and searched through the lines to find the art that the Captain said. She finally found the art and read the passage.

Enigmare; a Dark art that very few Dark Aolis are able to perform perfectly. The victims of this art are thrown into a trance where they witness their darkest fears. This art is mostly used for torture or to immobilize someone. It is viewed as the most dangerous art that a Dark Aolis is capable of using, as it can drive Humans insane to the point where they commit suicide

Saphira vaguely remembered writing this, but it sent shivers down her spine as she read through it. She closed it and placed it back in her bag, and noticed that her hands were shaking. Vague images flashed in her mind as she froze for a second.

"Damn, it can still affect people?" she whispered to herself, the sound of a maniacal laughter from where the Captain and May were before. She had completely blocked out any and all sounds while she read, and had not noticed the newcomer that now stood on the platform.

"You idiots really think you can stand up against Dragon Scales? Not even the Shadow Knights and the Royal Army combined will be enough to destroy us! Especially when we use your own tools against you," Before anyone could react to what he had said, a strong gust came from above them. Saphira looked up and noticed that the petals May had placed above the town before came down towards the people that were still affected by Enigmare. "Now, let's see some bloodshed, shall we?"

"He's absolutely insane," Saphira muttered to herself. "If what that Flower Empress said about those petals is right, this is going to end really badly," She formed a circle with both her hands and a small ball of flame began to form. She made the circle bigger and the fireball followed. Once it was the size of normal ball, she threw it towards the petals. The ball burst and made a blanket of fire that burned all of the petals in the sky.

"What?" the maniac from Dragon Scale said after Saphira's interference. She pulled up the hood of her cloak and began to work her way towards the roof. The people of Sektories were still under Enigmare's effect.

'I've already gotten involved in this, might as well go all the way.' She thought to herself as she found and easy way up the roof. She saw two men in heavy armor charge at each other, while there was another man with a lot less armor that seemed about her age. One of the armored men wielded a large hammer, while the other had an axe. The one with the hammer had the emblem of the Royal Family on it. So Saphira assumed he was with the Captain on the platform. The last had a double-edged sword

"She's not one of ours, that much I know," the man with almost no armor said, and pulled Saphira out of her thoughts. She hadn't even realized they had noticed her yet. She noticed the one from the Royal Army had taken his attention off the one Saphira guessed was from Dragon Scale and had his hammer right above his head. She heard a voice that sounded like May scream, but Saphira wasn't able to catch what May said.  Who Saphira assumed to be Erik turned around and saw the soldier. Saphira dashed over to him ad drew her blade. She used it to block the hammer. She felt the shock throughout her arm as the hammer hit her katana, but she was able to stand her ground.

"Are you an ally of the Shadow Knights?" he asked her as he put more pressure on her. Saphira gritted her teeth as she tried to keep her ground. She used all the strength she had to push his hammer off her blade and kicked him in the stomach to create some distance between her and him. The soldier stayed on the ground and held his stomach, so she had definitely kicked him hard enough. Before she got a chance to turn around, though, the man she had just saved had placed his blade at her throat.

"Who are you? And what do you gain by helping me?" His voice was a lot deeper than she had expected, but still sounded like a teenager. She wanted to turn so she could look him in the eye, but was a bit afraid that the blade would cut into her throat.

"Are you the Lieutenant Erik the Captain down there talked about? The Dark Aolis?" Saphira heard a click of his teeth behind her, so she assumed that was a yes. "Then stop. If they're under its effect for much longer, they'll go insane,"

"You seem to know a lot about an ability that you can't use," Erik moved the blade, just enough for Saphira to be able to feel the cool metal against her skin.  "Give me a good reason as to why I should listen the request of a stranger who hides their face," he demanded. Saphira took a quick glance at the platform below them, and noticed that both of the men had gone after May.

"If you promise to release Enigmare, I will help your ally. She looks like she could need it," she offered him. Erik kept quiet for a bit, and suddenly removed the blade from her throat with great haste. The sound of metal clashing against each other made her turn to see what was going on. The other man who wielded an axe had tried to strike at Erik while he had been occupied by Saphira.

"If you're going to help, get to it already," Erik grunted as he threw the axe off his blade and charged at his attacker. Saphira gave a quick nod as she ran to the edge of the roof. She saw the one from Dragon Scale about to attack May from behind while she blocked an attack from the Captain. Saphira leapt from the roof and landed between May and the man.  She used her katana to block his claymore sword. She wasted no time pushing his blade off hers and swung at him. He dodged skillfully and created a bit more distance between her and him.

"Where the hell did you come from? Are you a friend of these scumbags?" the man asked, but Saphira kept quiet. She stood sideways so she could keep an eye on the Royal Army Captain in case he attacked May as well. "Heh, not much of a talker, are you? Well, I'll just kill you to be safe!" The Dragon Scale soldier charged at her. He swung his claymore at her, and Saphira used her katana to block to. She looked back at May, who had gotten the upper hand against the Captain now that she was fighting him one-on-one. Seeing how she was able to hold her own, Saphira shifted her focus to the one attacking her. However, as she was about to disarm him, a shadow moved over their blades. She wasted no time creating distance between the two as the figure landed on the ground. It was the man that wielded the axe. Saphira looked behind her to a brief moment, and saw that the soldier she had kicked earlier was also on the platform now.

"We should retreat for now. I have seen this stranger fight, and is not someone we should take lightly," the one from Dragon Scale said, though the one Saphira was just fighting seemed rather annoyed. However, they both left soon after. She turned to see the members of the Royal Army, and they had also disappeared. The only ones left on the platform was her and May. The Flower Empress began to walk towards her

"Thanks, I guess. But who exactly are you?" she asked as came closer to her. Saphira kept quiet, not sure whether she should really tell them her name or show her face for that matter. It might come back to bite her in the future. Erik soon joined them from the roof, but didn't say a word to either of them. Instead, he walked towards the crowd of people and snapped his fingers. As he did, a cloud of dark smoke emerged from them and disappeared into the sky.

"There, I kept my word," he said as he turned towards Saphira. She just gave him a short nod before she jumped off the elevated platform and disappeared into the alleyway. She removed her hood and let out a sigh of relief as she leaned against the wall.

"Why did I get involved?" she asked herself, still unsure if it was really a good idea for her to intervene. Then again, if she hadn't, a lot of people would be dead by now. She took off her cloak, worried that someone might recognize it and link her to what just happened. So she placed it into her bag and swung it over her shoulder. She took a quick peek to make sure everyone was OK, and it seemed they had all recovered from their little nightmare experience. Satisfied, Saphira began to walk back to where she left Faith earlier. She made her way to the entrance of the inn, and saw her standing outside. Which was odd, considering the situation just now. "Have you been out here the entire time?"

"Yes. I wanted to see your skills for myself," Faith told her. She walked from the entrance and towards Saphira, the calm expression she wore before still present on her face. Saphira noticed an object in her hand that he hadn't seen before. It looked like some kind of mirror, but she couldn't see it properly. "And it seems my suspicions were correct. You are the one I have waited for. The one who will end this pointless war,"

'What the heck is she talking about? The one that will end this war? What war?' Saphira thought to herself. She had heard that there was a large-scale war going on right now, but could something like that be ended by one person? None of this made any sense to her.

"What are you going on about? I'm not someone important, and I don't know anything about a war. I just came here for the leader training," Saphira told her. Faith shook her head as she held the object in front of Saphira. It was a mirror, like she thought. But there were some patterns around the glass. Multiple animals that were engraved in a way that made it look like they were dancing. There was a dragon, a wolf and multiple other animals.

'Wait, are those animals supposed to resemble the different forms that the Spirits can take? And if so, what kind of mirror is this?' Saphira thought to herself. She continued to look at the mirror, and noticed that her reflection wasn't visible in the mirror. The surface was dull and gray. Faith moved it up a bit, which pulled Saphira's attention away from the mirror and to Faith.

"This mirror is a gift from my partner, and it reflects a person future. It does not matter what one does, this mirror will always find the true future that lies in store for that person," Faith explained. Saphira was about to ask her more about it, but a light emanated from the mirror and drew her gaze downwards. The dullness present in the mirror before had disappeared, and Saphira was able to see her reflection. She looked the same, but there were a few scars and fresh wounds on her face. And she was covered in dirt. Not only that, but she seemed pale, drained of life. Almost like she was dead.

'What the hell? I didn't get that messed up earlier, did I?' She thought to herself. She touched her cheek where one of the wounds were, but there was nothing. Her cheek hadn't been injured. There wasn't any dirt either

"The reflection is not what you are in the present, but what you will become in the future: The Hero that ended the war," Faith informed her. Saphira looked back up at her, just to make sure she was being serious. Faith's expression stayed the same, but something in her expression said she was completely serious about this. "And to set you off on this path, I must ask that you come with me,"

"Hold on, I'm not going anywhere. And weren't you the assistant or something of the one who was training me?" Saphira pointed out, but Faith seemed to ignore her completely. The mirror shone even brighter than it did before. Saphira covered her eyes with her arm so she wouldn't be blinded by it. But her arm quickly lost strength, and the strength in the rest of her body followed. She was soon on the ground, trying her best just to stay conscious.

"As much as I would want you to make a choice, I cannot risk the lives of all Spirits and Humans alike," Faith's words were the last thing she heard before she passed out.

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