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


7. Chapter 7

Saphira walked down the streets in Katil, trying to figure out what other reason there could be for Shadow Knight to agree to Jiro's proposal. One of the things she thought about was the rumors about the weapons. If the weaponry here was really as good as she heard, then it would be vital for Shadow Knight. Then it might actually make sense that they would agree to something as absurd as marrying a spoiled girl. Just getting an Aolis didn't seem reasonable enough to marry someone. As she closed in on the palace, she saw two women standing by the entrance. The two noticed her rather fast and jumped over the stairs and landed in front of her.

"Welcome, nyan~!" they said in unison, Saphira almost dropping her bag to draw her katana in shock. She didn't expect them to jump that far just to welcome her. She exhaled and tightened the grip on the strap of the bag. "This is the Palace of Kathinia, nyan~! Our Goddess and Protector, nyan~!"

'Kathinia is the first feline Spirit, isn't she? I read that she was known for her wisdom and helped the Dragon Circle by given them information at times.' She thought, waiting for Flarenix to confirm or deny her thought.

"She was more than an information source, she was the adopted child of the oldest member of the Dragon Circle. She lived around us since she was a kitten, and believed every word her father told her. After I left, I heard rumors that she also began to doubt what the Dragon Circle stood for. Other than that, I don't know what happened to her," Flarenix explained, Saphira unaware of the adoption part. Her thoughts were brought back to the present when she noticed the girls began to dance in front of her.

"Would you allow us to give you a tour of our beloved Palace, nyan~?" they asked as they continued to dance, Saphira giving them a simple nod. She needed to get inside if she wanted to stop Shadow Knight. She followed them up the stairs and into the palace, and noticed some murals on the walls on the inside. They depicted a large cat handing over a crown to women in different times, and one single one that showed a man instead of a woman.

"What do those murals mean?" she asked as she pointed at them.

"The Great Kathinia chooses the ones who shall ascend to the throne, nyan~. And every woman she has chosen over the years has become Queen, nyan~. The only man she has chosen to this day is the current King, nyan~," they answered in complete unison, Saphira a bit scared of how in sync the two were. They lead her through the palace and continued to talk about Mariallie like she was the Queen of the world. They also mentioned that she was completely in love with Erik. They lead her into a room where they said she could stay until she was ready to go, Saphira placing her bag on the floor as she tried to think of her next move.

"Getting Mariallie to voluntarily call off this wedding sounds impossible. So we'll have to interfere," Saphira sighed, pulling her cloak out.

"Not only that, but I took the liberty to check the weapon of some of the guards we passed by. The materials used are forged by using gems filled with Leot. It makes normal weapons just as strong as Rektos," Flarenix told her. Saphira clicked the cloak on as she carefully made her way out of the room and to the higher level of the building. She could get to the third floor, which was like how the castle was formed, a circular room that looked down into what seemed like a ball room. But she couldn't see the entire room. A rope hang from the rails over to the opposite side of the room below her, flags hanging so she would be hidden if she was on it.

"I'm going to regret this," she sighed as she went over the rails and began to walk on the rope. It took some time for her to gather her balance, but she was quickly able to get the hang of it. As she reached the center of the room, she crouched down on the rope so see past the flags. The room had numerous cat statues and paintings in the room, and it looked like it was more for worshiping the Spirits than balls.

"Oh it's no nice to see you again, Erik!" Saphira saw a girl around her age bounce around as Erik and Zach entered the room. She assumed that the girl was Mariallie, considering how she reacted. Her curly, golden hair bounced along with her, but she stopped as Zach stepped in front of Erik. "Although they could've left you in the jail cell, Zach,"

"We are not here for your little fantasies. We need a word with Lord Jiro," Zach said in his usual monotone voice, Mariallie completely ignoring him. She instead walked past him and grabbed Erik's hands and held onto them in an affectionate manner.

"Oh, I'm so looking forward to our wedding! It's going to be such a huge success!" she said, Saphira feeling a bit annoyed. She had met a few girls that acted like that before, and didn't like any of them. Mariallie pulled Erik with her further into the room, Zach following them reluctantly. Saphira stayed as still as possible as the two of them were a lot more aware of their surroundings than Mariallie.

"Let's just get this over with. We have work to do," Zach said, Saphira noticing that Erik lowered his head. She heard someone else walking behind her and looked down to see Jiro. There was an armed man next to him, but he seemed a bit different from the others he had seen before.

"I am well aware of that. Everything has been fixed," he said, Saphira surprised he didn't mention anything about Zane. Which meant they hadn't figured it out yet. She noticed that he held a piece of paper in his hand, and he showed it to Zach once close enough. "Here's the contract," Zach took it and read through it, Erik reading it as well.

"Everything seems to be in order," Zach said, Erik looking more and more depressed by the second. Saphira felt the rope loosen a bit, almost making her fall down. She looked over to the sides and saw that the knot was starting to untie under her weight. Knowing she didn't have any more time, she snapped her fingers and created a small bird of fire that flew down towards the paper, which Zach was just about to sign it. The bird touched the paper and singed it in seconds. Mariallie let out a scream as she clung to Erik, both Zach and the man beside Jiro drawing their weapons. Saphira jumped from the rope and landed on one of the cat statues in the room.

"What do you think you're doing? How dare you ruin my perfect day!" Mariallie screamed at her, Saphira ignoring her.  Jiro and his guard glared up at her, yet Zach still expressed no emotions. Every time Saphira saw him it made her more unsettled.

"I must admit, I am amazed that you find out about our deal with Lord Jiro," he complimented her, Erik looking at her. She knew that he didn't expect her to be here, since all he had asked her to do was get Zane out of the facility.

"That doesn't matter. You know what my standpoint in this war is already," she answered. The man with Jiro jumped up to attack her, Saphira skillfully evading him. She used his head as a spring to get herself higher up so she could get back to the room she was given before. Once back on the rail floor, she made her way down and entered her room. She grabbed her bag and left in case they began to search the place after her. She quickly left the town, using the rooftops to get to the woods and as far away from the town as she could. After a while she stopped to catch her breath, taking the hood off her head as she tried to figure out where exactly she was right now.

"It seems you are fulfilling your role," Saphira's eyes shot open as she turned to look behind her, Faith standing there like nothing was wrong. "But if you are to continue this fight, then you must become even stronger,"

"You're the last person I want to see right now," she said, Faith only smiling at her. "And what do you mean that I have to get stronger? You act like you know exactly what's going to happen,"

"I have seen the events that you will follow, and know what you must do to reach that point. You must learn of your final role, the role you must continue to follow once this war has ended," Faith explained, none of it making any sort of sense to Saphira. "I will train you for a week myself, and then I shall send you off to where you must go to train further,"

"Hold on, train me for a week? What are you going to train me in?" Faith didn’t answer her questions. Instead, she gestured her draw her blade. Letting out a frustrated sigh, Saphira dropped her bag and pulled out her katana and held it so Faith could see it. The fortune teller moved forwards and grazed the metal with her fingers, stopping at the engraved dragon.

"I shall train you so your blade becomes a perfect Rektos. That is the first step to continue your fate," she said, Saphira not understanding. Before she got a chance to ask, the engraved dragon began to glow a faint red that soon enveloped the entire metal part of her katana. "By the end of the seventh day, you will have created a perfect Rektos,"

"You're serious about this, aren't you?" Saphira said, Faith moving her hand from the blade. As she did, the glow disappeared and Saphira examined the dragon. She could see that it was a bit clearer than it was when she created it back in Katorels.

"You are the key piece to this war finally coming to an end. And I will be the one that leads you towards that path," she said, Saphira still not understanding why Faith was so sure that she was the one that would stop this war. She said so back in Sektories, and while Saphira has done some things that have made the war less bloody, she hasn't done anything that will directly end it. She let out another sigh and dropped her armed hand to her side.

"Alright, I'll take you up on that offer," Saphira gave in, knowing that she wouldn't get anywhere if she kept asking Faith the same questions. Faith smiled and gave her a short nod, leading her towards where they were supposed to train. They didn't walk for too long before they came to a small training pen of some sort, Saphira surprised to see something like this so far into the woods. "How did you know about this place?"

"I have trained others like you in the past. And this is where I trained them," Faith explained, Saphira examining the surrounding area to see if there was anyone else nearby. "To awaken your Rektos, you must learn to control the Leot that surrounds the blade, as well as the Leot from the flames for your Spirit,"

"Wait, they're two separate things?" Saphira asked, having never heard any of that before. Faith nodded as she entered the pin, Saphira following after her.

"The training consists of you meditating for a long period of time, and channel your Spirit's Leot into the metal blade. After that is done, you will spar with a dummy that I will create once I see that you have good enough control," Faith explained, Saphira sitting down on the ground and placed the blade on her lap.

"I just have to meditate?" she asked, Faith nodding as she stood at the opposite end of the pen. Saphira closed her eyes and began to channel the Leot into her blade, the process being easier than she actually expected. It didn't take long before she felt the Leot in every part of the blade.

"You are more skilled than I thought. That is hopeful," Faith's word made Saphira open her eyes, confused by Faith's words. "Now, you will fight against this dummy to enhance your blade," Before Saphira could react, a white, ghost-like dummy was created in front of her. Saphira tensed up and moved back so her back hit the fence behind her. "Is there something the matter?" Faith asked, a curious expression on her face. Saphira kept looking at the dummy, a sigh escaping her as she relaxed a bit.

"Sorry, it's just…I have some trouble with ghost," she explained, Faith looking back at the dummy. She touched the white entity and it went from a ghost-like form to looking like a white wooden doll.

"Does that make it better?" she asked, Saphira nodding and thanking her. "Then you can commence your training. You will spar with this dummy until you have completed the Rektos process of your blade,"

"Just have to fight until I can control both the Leot in the blade itself and the Leot from my Spirit, right?" Saphira asked, making sure she understood what she was supposed to do. Faith nodded, Saphira walking closer towards the dummy. "Then let's get this started,"

Saphira leaned against the fence of the training pen, feeling completely exhausted from her training with Faith. The past week Saphira had been fighting against Faith's dummies non-stop to get a good control of both Flarenix's Leot and the Leot in her blade. And during the last sparring session, she had finally perfected it.

"It seems you have completed your training. Earlier than I expected, to be honest. I thought we would be here for the entire last day," Faith complemented her, Saphira too tired to really say anything. "I would recommend you rest up for the rest of the day before you head out to your next objective, which you should go back to Katil,"

"Go back? Why?" Saphira managed to asked, feeling ready for a proper nap.

"You will find out when you arrive there tomorrow," Was all Faith said before she exited the pen and left.

"She really is something else," Saphira said as she let out a tired yawn. She slumped down against the fence and fell asleep right there, not caring if she was open for attacks right now.

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