The wind howled causing the trees to lash out with such a force that they seemed to bow before the raging storm. The dark clouds swirled in their ballet of black and grey as a woman stood alone on a hill that seemed to be the only thing planted in the storm of chaos. Her body stood firm, her hair danced in the wind, twisting and twirling with the trees behind her. Her mouth was set with determination, her heart filled with purpose and her ocean blue eyes watched the woodline in ridged anticipation for the other figure that appeared before her.
He stepped forward and took in the woman with a smirk. In his hand was a weapon promised to be the death of anyone who dared to cross paths with the warrior. No words were spoken between the two as they stared each other down, both possessed by a power that neither of them could concieve. At that same moment, two Whisperers watched the stand off from a safe distance as Mia clutched her hands together and watched in horror at the events about to occur.
"What's happened to us?" She whispered as Skyner shook his head. He examined both Whisperers and didn't recognize either Winna or Kaden. It was like they were two warriors summonded from an ancient battle to continue their endless fight. Winna stood in a simple white dress, unarmed and pure, while on the other side Kaden was completely shrouded in black with a sword of darkness in his grasp. This was so far beyond both of them, this was no longer a battle for Rinsha, this was a battle for their very souls.
Winna stared at the man that was once her sweet, compassionate Kaden and didn't miss the figure that rose up behind him. Her eyes were given new sight by the elder's blessing and she could clearly see the spirit of nature controlling Kaden's movements. So this was Lumin's true form? Her gaze rested on the pale boy and the dark dragon that twisted up behind him and she broke the silence, "You are not Kaden."
The imposter smiled and laughed darkly, "No, I'm really not. Sad to say that your boyfriend lost the battle between us. I suppose any feelings he had for you or this village were not strong enough to fight for. How sad for you, my dear." She shook her head, "I have no intrest in fighting you, Lumin. I want Kaden, give him to me now." Her voice rang with an authority that Lumin hadn't expected from her as he tilted his head slightly, "My, my, look at you. All grown up. But I'm sorry, if you want your lover back, you are going to have go through me and I like it in this world. I'm not intending to leave any time soon."
Winna stood her ground and raised her chin, "This is your last warning Lumin, return to the spirit realm and give Kaden his mind once more." Lumin smiled a toothy grin, "Or what?" Winna raised her arm towards the intruder and narrowed her dark eyes, "Or I'll show you what true power is."
Lumin let out a full laugh, his influence sounding so corrupted in Kaden's voice as he pointed the sword in her direction, "And what power is that, little girl? I am a spirit of nature, I am chaos, I am destruction. What are you?"
"I am light."
With that Winna raised her arms and used all of the power the elders had blessed her with. She called up their energy and released a blast of light towards the very surprised Lumin. The force was enough to send him spiraling as his mortal body collided with the trees behind him. Winna felt a tingle in her fingertips as the elder's affinities rushed through her. Her mind was completely focused on the figure she had just sent quite literally flying into the forest as she rushed to continue her attack.
Lumin shook his head and tried to ignore the pain that pulsated through Kaden's body. When had she become so powerful? He knew that affinity and it wasn't simple healing, she was so much more than that now. Using the sword as a crutch, Lumin stood and faced his opponant with a new respect, "That's borrowed power." Winna felt a surge of electricity pulsate through her as she raised a hand and felt Elder Jin's affinity rush out her fingertips and hit Lumin once more.
He fell back to his knees, but managed to call upon Kaden's affinity as he twisted and unleashed a pillar of fire towards the possessed girl. Winna raised her arm to protect herself only to find a wall of wasps between her and the fire's deadly burn. Her eyes shot around and rested on Seto who stood about twenty feet away, calling upon his affinity to aid her. The buzzing of the wasps was drowned out by the sound of wings as a flock of every different type of bird filled the dark sky.
Winna saw her best friend and was amazed by the sight. Mie stood unshaking, her arms raised to the sky as the flock of birds came to her side. In that moment, the shy, timid girl appeared to be a goddess and the nasty, rude boy melted into a guardian angel before her eyes. It occured to Winna then that these were the faces of the new group of elders for Rinsha. She and her fellow Whisperers would be legendary one day, but Winna intended to have one more stand in their ranks as she turned her attention back to Kaden's possessed body.
"Be gone, Lumin. Return to your world." He shook his head as he sprung to attack her, "This body is mine!" Winna moved to defend herself when suddenly her attacker stopped mid-stride. The look on his face was of extreme strain as Kaden's face controrted with effort.
"Enough!" He suddenly yelled as Winna watched the inward battle raging before her. Kaden was trying to take control of his body again and she prayed he would win as Kaden yelled, "Get out of my mind! You won't hurt her!" He suddenly lunged forward and pushed Winna to the ground as a voice that was distinctly Kaden shouted, "Winna! Get away from here! The blade is poisoned! Don't let it get any where near you!"
Although her mind told her to run, her heart kept herself planted as she held out her arms, "Come on Kaden. Come back to me." He focused on her words and tried to keep himself whole as sweat began to pour down his face, "I'm not going to win. He has my mind......I can't get him out of me.....Winna! Please go!" She rose on her knees and called out to him again, "You are Kaden, you're Kaden. You're good and brave and I love you!"
Kaden's golden eyes ran over her as he smiled softly, "And I will always love you. Good-bye Winna." Her eyes widened when she realized his plan and suddenly it felt as if her movements froze as Kaden raised the poisoned blade and drove it deeply into himself. There was the sound of flesh splitting, a wet cough and then there was silence. Winna watched as Kaden's body fell to the ground and the figure of Lumin screeched with fury and pain as he disappeared from this world.
Time had stopped, everything had stopped and it wasn't until her throat burned that Winna even knew she was screaming. She lunged to the side of her fallen lover and took his face in her hands, "Kaden! Kaden! Look at me! Look at me please!" It took a moment before his eye lids flittered open, but once they did, his familiar honey-colored eyes stared at Winna with the same love she had remembered, "Winna....I'm so sorry."
"Oh Kaden...." she gasped as he coughed up blood on her hand. She felt the sickly red liquid drip down her pale wrists as she cried. Kaden placed a hand on her's, "I'm sorry for everything. I was out of my mind. I hurt you, I hurt everyone." Winna shook her head, "It wasn't you, it was Lumin. It's not your fault." He smiled softly, "He may have been controlling me, but I allowed the hatred to fill my heart. He lied and a part of me knew it was lies, but I couldn't stop the darkness from filling me."
"You know it was a lie? How do you know that?" She shook her head as he closed his eyes, "When you filled him with light, I heard the elder's voices, they told me the truth. They showed me everything and I was able to grip part of myself again. I didn't want to hurt anybody and I never wanted to hurt you, Winna. I love you too much."
Winna cried as the man she loved started to feel cold. She removed the blade and placed her hands on the open wound. Kaden looked at her with pain-filled eyes, "What are you doing?" She shushed him, "I'm going to save you." He shook his head and tried to push her hands away, "No Winna, you can't." She called upon her affinity and focused as tears poured down her face. I'm not going to lose him. I won't lose him. She prayed that her affinity would be strong enough as she focused on the poison that filled her lover's veins.
It wasn't like anything she had felt before, the poison wasn't of this world. It burned her to her core, but still, she fought to remove it from him as her light began to replace the damage the poison had caused. She closed her eyes and could see the lay out of his body as she raced with the deadly liquid for the claim of Kaden's heart. If she kept going, she would win, she would save Kaden, but to her horror, her body began to feel weak. This was draining all of her energy as she kept pressing on.
"Winna! Stop!" She could hear Mie's voice, but it sounded so far away. There was no way she could stop now. She was so close to saving him. Kaden had been there for her for as long as she could remember. In her heart, she always loved him. He just realized it before she did. If she had to live in a world without his light, then she didn't want to live in it at all. As the numbness began to take hold of her, Winna could feel a calmness in her soul. This was the hurt she would have to heal, this was the pain that would take her life.
"I don't think you could be a bad person if you wanted too." Kaden's voice filled her memory. That day was so long ago, when she worried whether or not she would be able to make that final choice. If she hadn't been so exhausted, Winna may have laughed at herself. Of course she would make that choice, this was the time and she felt at peace with it. She would save Kaden and she would die. It was easy, it made sense and Kaden would survive, that's all that mattered.
Finally, she had won against the poison's deadly race and she fell backwards limply, completely drained of life. Her eyes turned towards the sky that had cleared of the storm clouds. Was it always that blue? The balance was restored, Lumin was gone and she felt at peace. When Kaden's golden eyes came before her, Winna almost cried at their beauty. He held her tightly to himself, "Winna...please hold on......" She shook her head and motioned for him to come closer, "It's all right Kaden. It's all right. I love you."
He kissed her forehead and held her tightly, "Please don't leave me." She smiled softly and tried to squeeze his hand, "I never will. I am the Healer of Nature. I understand that now. This was my purpose and I achieved what I was meant to do. But it's time for me to go. Thank you for loving me, Kaden." He watched as her eyes closed and the fire Whisperer shook her, "No WInna! Please!" But there was no light left in her body. Her heart had stopped, her body became cold and yet, her smile stayed.
Kaden wept bitterly, clinging to the woman he had loved for as long as he could remember. Mie, Seto and Skyner came around them and placed hands on their fallen Whisperer. Mie cried softly as Skyner held her close. Seto couldn't hold in the tears that dropped down his face as he fell to his knees. Kaden held his love tightly as a voice interrupted them. Rita came upon the scene as the rest of the villagers followed her.
"Oh Winna....." Rita cried and began to sing softly, "Rest now, angel of light. Sleep now, you've won the fight. Dream now, our love most pure. Return to heaven our angel of light." As if her song had released the dam holding Winna's soul, her body began to glow a brillant shine as Kaden felt her become weightless in his arms. The light was blinding as her body began to disolve before them and sparkle light sunlight on water.
Kaden watched amazed, "What's happening?!" Everyone stared at the glowing woman as suddenly her dark hair sprouted white and her skin glowed with light. To their awe and joy, Winna's blue eyes opened and stared at the world around her, "Don't cry Kaden." He nearly dropped her as he yelled, "Winna? What's happened to you?" She sat up and looked around, "It was the Elders. The power that had given me before was still in my veins when I absorbed the poison. They gave me all of their affinities combined, they saved me." There was a cheer from the villagers as they crowded the couple.
In the days that followed, Winna adjusted to her role as the new leader of Rinsha. But along with the affinities and memories of the Elders, came the knowledge they held that concerned her. Winna stared out at the village she loved as Kaden laced his fingers with her's, "What are you thinking about?"
"Lumin will be back. He'll come for this village again." Winna said as she squeezed his hand. Kaden turned his bride around and brushed a hand through her white hair, "And we will be ready for him. I promise never to let anything come between us again. You will be there to stop him and we will all be standing with you." Winna glanced behind her lover at the faces of her fellow Whisperers. Yes, they would stand united against any evil that threatened to destroy the home they loved.
"I hope it will be enough." She whispered as Kaden embraced her tightly, "It will be and we will be ready. I will never let you fall again Winna. I love you too much." She smiled and nodded, "I hope I can be the leader the village needs." Kaden tilted her chin towards him, "You are everything they need and you are everything I need."
Winna closed her eyes and inhaled the scent of fire that never left Kaden as she whispered, "Will you promise to stay by my side, Kaden?" He smiled and kissed her softly, "Always."