Maureen found her teacher in the kitchen preparing Tea. “Good morning,” He greeted her.
“Morning,” She said. “Thank you.” She accepted a mug of tea. “I hope I didn’t burn you in the dream.”
“No, I cannot be harmed there,” He said with a smile. “However,” He laughed. “Be gentle with me in this world. Here you are master not I.”
“Master of what?” She asked. “An empty castle? A mountain where none but my sister and I reside? A master of nothing I think.”
“No,” said her teacher. “No, your mother, who mastered the stars, gifted you more than just that.”
“You mean my magic?” She asked.
“Yes, and more,” He said. “This world needs you and your sister now.”
“What happened to our parents?” Maureen asked as Xenia entered the kitchen. He snowy I lashes perked up in curiosity as she heard her sister’s question.
Their teacher paused.
“Do you know?” Xenia insisted.
“Sit down, daughters of Lunaria,” He said to them. They did so, and the teacher passed Xenia a cup of tea. At her touch she pulled the heat from it. She broke its frozen surface and drank its cold contents.
“Your father is dead,” He said. Both had somewhere within themselves expected this, yet it still brought out tears.
“What happened?” Xenia asked.
“His name was Corian Addle. Now you can simply call him, betrayer,” Their teacher said. “He tricked your father. He led him into a trap. Your fathers forces where crushed. None where left to live.”
“And our mother?” Maureen asked.
“They could not kill Lunaria,” Their teacher said. “But what became of her? Even I cannot be sure. I know who would though. I know this enemy.”
“Who?” asked Xenia.
“Narabus, the Arachnoid King,” He said.
“Narabus?” Xenia asked. “I’ve read stories with that name.”
“I’m sure you have,” Said their teacher. “He is not unknown.”
“Where can we find him?” Maureen asked. “He lives in the deep, far beneath the surface doesn’t he? Where can we get in?”
“If I show you now, you will both be slain and this world will be poorer.” Their teacher said. “You will receive this knowledge when you are both ready.”
“Then lets us get ready,” Maureen said. Eager now that her rage had a target and a direction.
Xenia’s eyes turned to cold steel. “Yes,” She said feeling the dense hate within her, “Let us get ready!”
“Peace children,” Their teacher said. “Let peace be in your hearts, but yes I will ready you. That is why I have come.”
That winter was long harsh and unpredictable. It was partially fueled by the Sisters trainings. Mountain’s, never meant to know fire, erupted and tormented the landscape with showers of molten earth and currents of barely controlled fire. Maureen’s practices would inspire tales of ancient gods returned. This word would spread across the local villages.
Storms came down from the northeast and stalled out over the mountains and the castle. The storms had never none power like that which Xenia handled and fueled them with. Storms coalesced around the castle, hungry and tempted by the lady of the cold.
By winters end the girls had grown. They were children still but wiser of mind and stronger of body.
“Are we ready?” Xenia asked.
“You are much stronger now,” Their teacher said.
“We can handle our powers,” Maureen added.
“Yes ,” Their teacher said. “You are ready. It is time to begin.”
“So sisters,” Their teacher said. “Tell me what you have learned about Narabus?”
Xenia spoke first, “He lives in Aracabus, the Spider city.”
“Where is Aracabus?” Their teacher asked.
Maureen answered, “Three thousand miles below the surface. We must enter the passage of Wyx: a cave by the Coral Coast.”
“Can you defeat him?” Their teacher asks.
“He fears water,” Xenia spoke. “Our powers together will trouble him.”
“How will he fight you?” Their teacher asked him.
“His arachnoid guard will fight us. They were a bear sized breed of Tarantula; armored with inch thick steel and carrying poison tipped spears.” Xenia answered.
“How will you fight those?” Their teacher asked.
“I will burn them inside their steal! I make the city an inferno if it will bring us closer to our mother,” Maureen nearly hissed.
“I will shield us and pull away their will with my cold,” Xenia said.
“Emotions must be controlled. Remember it is Narabus’s knowledge we seek. If we kill him it is lost,” Their teacher warned.
“We will remember,” Maureen said turning to leave the castle and to begin their journey. Her eyes were hot and her hair showed like amber fire.
“We will succeed,” Xenia said before joined her sister. Her hair was snow white and thick; her eyes could drain the heat from your soul.
Across mountains they journeyed, till they reached the first town. There they paid for a ride in carriage to the coast.
The driver found the girls curious and in their fine clothes and odd looks. Young, no older than his fourteen year old girl, yet they carried themselves with command. He thought about talking to them once or twice but could never work up much more than a, “Hey lasses,” or “I’m sorry for the bumps.” They would smile sweetly at him and say little more.
Something followed them. Something they did not know. Something that they had never seen yet knew them well. Its nature was shadows and its task was to follow. To intervene only if the girls got to close, and they were getting to close.
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