Halkin Estel

In a kingdom hidden from human and demonic eyes, the unique peacefulness of a warm summer night is disrupted by a sudden invasion.

Faervel Halkin, has now been dragged out of her slumber and into the corridors and the alleys of her own homeland; with only one request from her family. To leave, live, and never forget.

Leaving everything behind her, she must find her own path towards her destiny and towards the only solution that will help her save her beloved kingdom.

Because Faervel Halkin will not forget, and will certainly not forgive.

*First, rough draft*

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5. Chapter Four ❄ Intruders

 

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher” – Dalai Lama

 

 

In all of her eighteen and a half years of life, Faervel never thought she’d get so frustrated towards a dead object.

 

She had spent most of her night trying to figure out how to make her ice necklace work, but to no avail. She had talked, whispered, shouted; she had even tried singing at it but the necklace had remained as it first was.

 

Cold, silent, and emotionless.

 

During her brief moment of defeat and utter madness towards it, Faervel had thrown the necklace at the other end of the room and had staggered her way to her green-silk covered bed. She looked at the ceiling and let out a frustrated sigh. Her mind flew to the hand-written letter she had given to Mirtian; the young woman whose flame-colored hair, and pointy ears had given Faervel a feeling of trustworthiness and hope; as if she had known the girl for more than a mere couple of hours.

 

Maybe it was foolish of her to trust her with such an important task, with a letter that could either mean her destruction or her salvation. Faervel shook her head and closed her eyes. She had already given the letter to her, and there was no going back now. Besides, she had already set her mind. Even if something terrible were to happen, she would not be here to witness it. For she would already be on her way to another kingdom.

 

Yes, another kingdom. Yet, Elfrine was such a vast place, full of forests, mountains, and small towns, she doubted she’d be able to outrun the danger surrounding her. It would take her weeks, maybe even months to reach a place where she could feel safe. Where she would be able to think and to make a plan; Maybe even to figure out who was behind this devastation. But she’d try. She had to.

 

Faervel sat up on her bed and looked towards the open window, and at the now golden like city. Yes; her night had been frustrating, and the rise and dawn of the twin moons hadn’t really helped her calm her rather tingling nerves. She closed her eyes and breathed. There was one thing that could ease her mind, and that could not be found in this rather stuffed – liked chamber.

 

So she rose to her feet, fastened her twin swords, wore her cape and covered her silver hair with her hood. She walked to the other side of her chamber and picked up her fallen necklace. The frozen snowflake twinkled in her palm; teasing her, as it had done all night. Faervel shook her head in disappointment and locked its chain around her neck; just as she had done all these years.

 

She took a long look at her chamber, and seeing that everything was in place or hidden, she walked out and towards the stables.

And was not surprised when she saw Acorn playfully licking the stables’ boy golden hair.


 

                    ***

 

Mirtian stared at the floating hill in amazement. Even though it had become an everyday sight for her ever since she moved to Elfrine, it still created an uncanny feeling of awe. Yes, the golden aura that surrounded the castle, and the amount of magic used to support and prevent it from collapsing, had always created a sense of respect towards those who wielded that kind of power.

 

She shook herself out of the trance her mind had escaped into, and narrowed her eyes towards the castle. It was beautiful, indeed; but it was also rather impossible to penetrate. Mirtian had accepted the Lady’s quest, but she had absolutely no idea on how she was going to complete it. The only way for her to enter the academy was to ask the council, but since her quest was to be kept a secret, as asked by the Lady, she could not simply ask for access nor could she hand this letter to someone else.

 

She had to find another way in. So she did the only thing she could think of. She called for help.

 

        

 

  ***


 

Mirtian reached one of Hertila’s fountains and sighed.

 

“She’s going to murder me” she mumbled and threw a golden coin on the fountain. And as the water slowly started shimmering, she reached and shyly touched the surface. Her palm connected with the crystal water and she closed her eyes.

 

“Helena Candife”, she whispered and slowly withdrew her hand as she saw a rather watery figure immerge from the fountains crystal waters.

 

“I honestly thought you’d never communicate with me” grumbled the watery figure. “So you remembered me after all?”

 

Mirtian took a breath and prepared herself mentally. “I kind of need your help” she said, looking at her feet and expertly avoiding Helena’s gaze.

 

The figure, which by now had taken the form of a young woman, stared at Mirtian and smiled sarcastically.

 

“You need my help?” she asked and rolled her eyes. “Why, yes! And I thought you called to see how I was fairing, or at least if I were still alive. You know most people tend to ask, if one's friend has not been seen for a while.” By now she had stepped out of the fountain and had sat on its very edge. “But no! I should have known! You my dear, never really cared now, did you? You just liked pretending to be m-”

 

“Oh shush you, you absolute drama queen” whined Mirtian. “I never forgot about you, you sly human. I just felt really uncomfortable chatting with someone who was accepted by the academy… while I was not.”

 

“So in other words, the only reason why I haven’t heard from you in the past few months, was because you were absolutely jealous of my unbelievable charm and luck?”

 

Mirtian shook her head and smiled. “You could say that” she said, accepting her fate. “Now then. Will you help me?”

 

Helena smirked and rose an eyebrow.

 

“What do you need, love?”

 

            

                    ***

 

“Are you bloody serious?” asked Helena, her mouth hanging open. “You want me, a rather popular and fantastic student of Nethel, to open a portal inside the academy, so that you can give a bloody letter to someone?”  

 

Mirtian rolled her eyes, and silently prayed that she would accept her request. “Yes.”

 

“And why, might I ask, can’t I give that letter to that person? Is it a love letter?” she asked, her eyes widening.

 

“Dear Gods, Helena! How should I know? I didn’t write it!” Mirtian looked at her friends’ pale face. Her long raven hair fell on her shoulders effortlessly, creating small waves and emphasizing her unique violet eyes. Beautiful and irritating as always. “I was just asked to give this letter.”

 

Helena smirked at her friend's rather impatient attitude. She had always known how to annoy her, and since she hadn’t seen her for a while, she was trying to mess with her as best as she could. However, for her friend to ask so earnestly for her help, it must have meant that something rather interesting or maybe even dangerous would happen soon. Or had already happened. And Helena certainly did not want to be excluded from it.

 

“Fine. I’ll help you. Even though it might mean my death or even worse…” she sighed. “My utter embarrassment.”

 

“Gods, you’re impossible.”

 

                    ***

 

Mirtian followed rather unwillingly her friend into one of the darkest alleys of Hertila. Her footsteps echoed on the cold hard stone of the path she and Helena had followed, and while her eyes remained grounded on Helena’s back, her mind was focused on her surroundings and on the many possibilities of being discovered. For as long as she lived, she had never disobeyed any rules and therefore was instantly horrified by the thought of being found doing something that she should not be doing.

 

Helena, sensing her friends’ uneasiness, frowned and turned around to face her.

 

“Mirtian, you need not worry. If we are indeed discovered, the one to take the blame will be me. For I am the one who is actually enrolled in the academy, and not you.”

 

Mirtian grunted and slapped Helena’s hand. “Don’t insult me. We’ll both take the blame. Besides what could they possibly do to me? Hurl me out of a window?”

 

Helena did not respond and Mirtians’ eyes widened. “Wait they wouldn’t do that, would they?”

 

Helena stood silent and pointed to the wall. “Láta fenna” she whispered and blue sparks flew from her hand. As the sparks touched the wall, it shimmered, and a small courtyard appeared in front of Mirtians’ eyes.

 

Mirtian stared at the small courtyard before her, her mouth slightly open. From where she stood, she could only see a small part of it, however, she could clearly distinguish its flawless architecture. The courtyard was circular and on the very center of it, there stood an old oak tree. Its leafs were as green as Elfrines forests, and each one emitted its own small light, which contributed into lightening the whole courtyard. Its roots sunk deeply into the dark stoned ground that surrounded the whole courtyard. Around it, small columns supporting the marble ceiling were raised. And on its very own corner, disrupting the sequence of marble columns, there stood proudly a small arch, offering an entrance to the academy halls.

 

Helena looked at her friend one last time before she left and smiled. “I’ll see you on the other side.” And with these last words, she touched the wall and vanished.

 

Mirtian stood silently in the dark alley. She sighed and slowly raised her hood. With her fiery hair concealed, she hesitantly reached for the wall. And as she closed her eyes and touched the wall, she no longer felt as if she were standing on Elfrine grounds. For when she opened her eyes, she stood directly under the old oak tree.

 

“Took you long enough” said a voice, and Mirtian quickly turned around and watched as Helena smiled sheepishly back at her. “I thought I’d have to come back and help you, yet again.”

 

Mirtian shook her head and smiled. “Alright then. How do I go to this Lacus’s office?”

 

Helena stared at her friend in amazement and sat under the tree, her portal no longer activated, and her power returned to her hands. “You never told me you had to give the letter to the headmaster. That “Lady” of yours must be really important then.”

 

Mirtian stared back at her. “Headmaster?” she whispered. “Oh dear me.”

 

                    ***


 

Under the cool shade of the old oak tree, the two figures chatted as if it were impossible for anyone else to hear them. The first one, with long curly fiery hair, had her hands on her tiny face, and her elbows propped on her knees. The second one was moving around with such velocity, as if she wanted to create a small hole with her pace.

 

“Impossible” she shouted, and quickly looked around alarmed. “Mirtian, it is not possible for you to reach the headmaster… And even if you do, he will know that you’re not from around here. And I cannot guarantee for your safe arrival back to Hertila if he does.”

 

Mirtian stood up and looked at Helena. “I will be okay. I have to give this letter, no matter what. I promised. And I cannot simply defy my promise.” She smiled and kissed Helenas’ cheek. “Thank you for everything. I won’t forget.”

 

As Mirtian slowly made her way toward the arch, and the entrance of Nethel’s halls, Helena shook her head and smiled. “Impossible” she mumbled, for she had just seen Mirtian spreading her hands on the ground, and instantly knew what she was about to do. Red sparks flew around Mirtian, and slowly covered her body, just as Helena had suspected. When the sparks subsided, there was nothing to be seen. “Of course she’d master the one spell I never could.”

 

Mirtian smiled sheepishly at her friend's reaction and made her way inside. It had taken her years to perfect this spell, and she thought she’d never use it but... Her body now invisible to hostile eyes, she walked and waved around students and teachers alike. No one turned around and no one paid attention to her slim silhouette, twirling around and looking at doors and windows alike.

 

And as she reached one of the highest towers, voices of students shouting filled her delicate ears. Her legs reached the last step, and her body turned around to face the disturbance. What she saw made her cringe, and pale. For under the hand of a student there lay another one, a small trickle of blood making its way under his crooked nose.

 

She would have left right then and there, had she not noticed the smirk on the mans face stretching, and taunting her to make a move.

 

“I might not be able to defeat that one arrogant prodigy, as you all like to call him… But Gods forbid will I let you outsmart me in Lady Cassidy’s class.” His grin widened as he moved his hand towards the student once more, and he found himself falling on the ground, with a bloody nose to accompany his rather callous face.

 

As Mirtian made her way to yet another door, she clutched her red knuckles and smiled mischievously.  Been a long time since I last punched someone.


 

                    ***


 

“What is this?”

 

“Oh, dear”

 

“Lacus. What is this?”

 

“I’m afraid you were not supposed to see that, dear Akkarin” said Lacus, and closed his eyes. It had been rather unpleasant to enter his memories, only to find someone else standing next to him. Luckily, he was able to seclude certain parts of them, before Akkarin was able to pry any longer; and thus he ended the memory a tad faster than he initially intended to.

 

“Why, pray tell, did you ask for me, Lord Lacus?” asked Akkarin, his tone urgent, and his facial expression grave.

 

“Well then… I’m afraid that Corhen has been… infiltrated.” He sat down and waved for Akkarin to follow his lead. “And I asked for your… assistance. For you are the only person I can confide in, right now.”

 

Akkarin sat down and pushed his long hair out of his eyes. “There is more than what I’ve already seen then”

 

“Indeed.” Lacus sighed and looked solemnly at Akkarin. “I’m afraid there were no survivors… But one.”

 

Akkarin perked up in his chair and looked at Lacus with newfound interest.

 

“I do not know where she is, nor am I willing to trace her steps; for I am too afraid for her own safety.”

 

“So she is alive…”

 

“Indeed.”

 

“And yet you refuse to find her?”

 

“She’s my only niece, Akkarin. Of course I want to find her. But circumstances have not allowed -”

 

Akkarin pressed his hands on his forehead and snapped his head towards the door. A dagger had made its way on the very spot he had looked, and a small, fragile head of a young, red-headed woman appeared on the doorway.

 

“It seems we have yet another intruder” he mused, and beckoned for the woman to move forward. “What brings you here, miss?”

 

Lacus stared at the small figure for a while, noticing her rather bloody hand, and the shimmering around the edges of her delicate head. “Tell me, dear. What do you wish from us - I mean me?”

 

Her voice trembled, but her structure remained upright. “I came here to give you a letter, Lord Lacus.” She looked at Akkarin suspiciously. “It’s of… utter importance...”  She then handed the letter to Lacus and stood near the door, ready to take her leave.

 

Akkarin watched as Lacus opened the letter the petite woman gave him, and as his eyes scanned the first few words, Lacus’s eyes widened and his skin paled.

 

“Lacus…? What is it?”

 

Lacus gripped the letter with his hands, the paper crumbling under his fingers.

 

Nányë sissë.

I am here.

 

 

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