The howling of the wind was loud. So loud that only it could be heard, even over the wailing of a tiny babe. A dark, cloaked figure wandered about the devastated village, as if searching for a lost treasure. It headed toward a peculiar house... the home had not been entirely burned to the ground during the fire. There was but one wall left standing. The wall was upright, yet it had two large, oddly shaped holes in it--burned out by flames. They were exactly like a sun and a moon; a sun and a moon of the elves; the sun and moon of Ven Drulan Forest; a sun and moon that only the elves are capable of seeing. The moon is always a crescent, with another smaller crescent beside it. The sun is very strange. It is almost clear, a yellow transparent ball. Within the ball is fire, unlike Emberstain's sun, which had fire outwardly.*
The cloaked shadow moved toward the wall, slashing at it wildly. The wall still held strong. The shadow produced a glowing, green ball of fire and pummeled it at what was left of the building. It did not burn.
The shadow shrieked in frustration and turned into a hazy, wispy smoke-like a black fog. It vanished into the night before it found the treasure it had been looking for. A baby lay in a bundle underneath the sun and moon burnings, silently crying in fear. As dawn began to break through the clouds, the child was lulled to sleep by the sounds of birds singing him lullabies. But an unusually colored, black snake slithered toward him. The snake raised his shining black head, fangs poised for the kill, and-Sarana woke up panting in fear and exhaustion. Once she had composed herself, she thought hard about her nightmare. When she concentrated, she realized that the baby, as well as the house, looked familiar. With a start, she recognized the house as the one her mother had died in, and that the baby was now her own. Now something else working and nudging its way into Sarana's thoughts. The bundle!
Not only was the baby wrapped in a bundle of cloth, but so were certain stones that Sarana had been appointed to keep by Queen Jaror. I wonder what their importance is, anyway? She thought. All the same, she was concerned.
The soft hands of dawn had just grasped at the trees outside of Sarana's window, and its cool breath stirred the birds into joyous singing. Sarana knew that she would not be able to sleep now, so she decided to find a kitchen somewhere in the hallway maze of the Tower of Spells; she had not eaten yesterday at all.
As the got up to leave the room, a mirror and a wardrobe seemed to pop up out of nowhere. She cautiously opened the door of the wardrobe, and peeked inside. It looked like there was an entire houseful of clothes inside! Magic must have done this!
She got dressed and combed her hair, and left the room to go into the labyrinth of hallways. She was lost within a matter of minutes. Sarana wandered about helplessly, until a young man turned around a corner and bumped into her. She fell down, and instantly the man reached out a hand to help her up. Sarana took it. She studied the man and recognized him as the young man she had seen when she was first in the Tower of Spells and recovering from her trauma at Satryburn.
The man had brown-blonde hair and frosty blue eyes. He seemed to be the picture of perfection--he looked strong, handsome, and he appeared to be kind. But he was also… mysterious. He wore simple clothes, yet he had an air of elegance. He seemed perfect, all except for one thing--his attitude. He was gruff and solitary. What made him the strangest, though, were blue markings that were underneath his cheekbones.
"It was nothing." He said, roughly. "Who are you?"
"I'm Sarana. Umm, do you know where I can find a kitchen?" You're not very friendly are you? And where are your manners?! Isn't it only fitting that I know your name? Sarana thought.
"Yeah. Follow me." He took her down a winding staircase. Right at the middle of the stairwell, the boy turned onto a hallway. Not long after, they were in an enormous kitchen, with a large breakfast already made.
Sarana turned to thank the quiet boy, but he was gone. "Strange…"
She ate, and was about to leave the room when she thought better of it. I don't want to get lost again. Sarana wondered when someone would come. I wonder if I could try to do magic… she mused. She decided that she could at least try to mindspeak.
She tried saying things in her head, such as, "Hello!" or "Can you hear me?" and other such simple phrases. When this appeared to fail, she tried to think about one contact--Gantrodr. Sarana firmly concentrated on the man and said, Wizard Gantrodr? She felt a sharp prick in her thoughts, though she had no idea how it could have happened.
Hello? She began again. This time, instead of a prick, she felt something like a sharp sword ripping and cutting its way not only through her mind, but through her heart and her soul as well.
Stop it! Please!
She was being poisoned with spells. Sarana was writhing with pain and agony on the floor. No! Stop! Gantrodr! It's me! Sarana! Please, stop! Yet her excruciating pain continued. It was as if the person was incapable of hearing Sarana. That single thought sparked an idea in her head. Even though he can't hear me, maybe he can see me. She immediately conjured a picture of herself in her mind, and threw it out of her mind and into the other person's with all the strength she had left.
All of Sarana's pain was vanquished when she heard a voice say, 'Sarana?' She was desperately trying to hold back tears, not necessarily of pain--without much success--but she was able to mutter, Yes.
'Sarana… I am sincerely sorry! Where are you?'
I'm in a kitchen… how do I get back to your room?
'You just wait there. I'll come and get you, my mischievous little one.'
Since there was no more danger of being forgotten, Sarana began exploring the kitchen. She found that if you even speak what you want, the appliances would start working by themselves and make what you wanted. It was a lively room, full of bright colors and sunlight. There were Dawns Roses by the window, and a Frost Lily on the counter.* Throughout the room there was a tinge of ginger and peppermint that hung in the air. Just being there made Sarana want to bake something or make a feast fit for kings. It gave her a feeling of needing to do something, to be important.
As she was running her hand along the smooth mahogany counters, she noticed a strange plant that she had never seen before--and, being a florist's daughter, she figured she knew just about what any plant was. It was dark green at the stems, but turned into a minty green towards the ends of the leaves. It had a gorgeous magenta flower, and the most heavenly aroma. It somewhat resembled a Frost
Lily, but without the lily pad. It had a single flower, which was not yet in full bloom. A small crystal bud lay in wait for its time of blooming underneath the magenta flower. When Sarana admired the beautiful coloration of the flower, its petals opened up to reveal a tiny crystal on a silver chain. Sarana was mesmerized. She picked up the necklace, and the flower fell apart. Instantly, the bud grew, turned magenta, and took its place; a new crystal bud replaced the old one. Sarana was again in amazement--especially when the new flower opened up. This time, there was a small figure inside, looking as though she was sleeping. She was wearing a plain yellow dress, cut short right above the pinhead-sized knees. She had blonde hair and small, transparent, butterfly-like wings. The small person then moved. She raised up her arms in a stretch and yawned. She threw her gaze upward and saw Sarana. She immediately pushed her body off of the soft flower petals and began flying around Sarana, her wings flittering rapidly. She flew towards the crystal that was now around Sarana's neck. The small girl had a necklace exactly like Sarana's. The moment the two crystals touched, they seemed to fuse together. They could not pull apart. The little thing was desperately trying to free itself, balls of light being thrown from her hand onto the chain.
Without knowing how or why she did it, Sarana held up her hand and said, "Krina." Her hand burst with a golden flame of light, which went towards the crystal and defused them. The person fluttered there for a while, then seemed to be aware of something and hid behind the Frost Lily, some claws away. Sarana turned around to see Gantrodr behind her.
"I see that you've discovered the Bud of Miracles."
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