''Oh! Brinn, what do we do with it?'' before he could answer though, a silver book appeared out of thin air. ''What's that?'' mused Brinn.
''Can't you read? It says, 'The Silver Book'.'' Are you blind? Hmm, or-- could it be?-- is it because you're a boy?'' said Sarana, tauntingly.
''Ha-ha, very funny, but I can't read a single word on that book.'' What does he mean, 'I can't read a single word on that book'? That's just a lie! Isn't it? wondered Sarana. ''Brinn, how could you not understand it? It's as plain as day.''
''I know why!'' snapped Brinn. ''It's the Lost Language. Only elves, Tridens and magic users can read it. To others, it just looks like a jumble of symbols.''
''Oh. Wait, then how did you recognize it in the first place?''
''Simple. It's called, 'watching other people read the language and learning some symbols'. Check into it.''
''Oh, the poor little dragon is hungry!''
Brinn raised an eyebrow. ''How do you know that?'' he inquired.
''I...um...I-I don't know. I feel. It's hard to explain.'' she looked at the small dragon intensely and said, ''And now she wants me to open the book.''
''Why?'' asked Brinn. Sarana turned her head sharply. ''I don't know! Why do you always expect me to have all the answers?''
''I don't!'' shouted Brinn. ''I only thought that since you can obviously contact the dragon, she could tell you!'' Sarana blushed. ''Oh, I'm sorry then.'' she paused. "Siava won't tell me why.''
''Siava?'' said Brinn mockingly.
''Yes. Siava. Don't even bother asking 'why', I just know, okay?'' Sarana's patience was running very thin. ''And you want to know something else? I am tired of you pushing me arou-'' before she could finish, she choked-- for apparently no reason at all. She hadn't even stopped choking before she collapsed. Brinn stepped forward just in time to catch her before she fell onto the ashy ground.
''Sarana! Sarana... Sarana, what happened?''
Brinn didn't receive an answer from the unconscious Sarana. ''Aaghh! What is going on here?'' exclaimed Brinn. 'What am I supposed to do?'
''Do nothing, Brinn, son of Crynin. There is nothing you can do for the pathetic girl. She is pathetic, don't you agree?'' Brinn couldn't see where the eerie voice was coming from. ''Where are you? Show yourself!'' The voice laughed. ''I do not need to show who I am. You know. It pains you to know, but you do. This poor excuse for a human girl will make a perfect field worker, don't you think? Working all day, bruising those delicate hands of her's.''
''What do you want from me?'' demanded Brinn.
''Want? Oh, nothing in particular... Of course, there will be a price for me not taking the girl...''
''Take anything you want.'' 'I know her importance in ridding Emberstain of evil.' Just then, Sarana slipped back into consciousness.
"Brinn... the darkness... it's coming from over there. I can feel it.'' then she fell back into unconsciousness, pointing at the farthest end of the stream that ran close by. Brinn set Sarana down by the small dragon and the heap of other 'stones'. He walked over to the welcoming stream, when it turned to dust. He remained calm, showing no emotion whatsoever.
''And what sort of trickery is this, Dorvagor? Some sort of illusion?''
''No. Not an illusion, dear Brinn. It is your own mind that causes all of this. Ah, I see that you... don't understand a word about this. Well, I suppose it's only natural, you being of the Agin lineage. Your ancestors must be ashamed of having brought such a poor creature into this world. Perhaps I should do them a favor and end the poor whelp... not now though; his time has not yet come. I have plans for him to carry out-- whether he would like to, or not.''
What, in the name of Tanziler, is he talking about? The dark Dorvagor laughed.
''We will meet again, Brinn, son of Crynin, of the Agin line. But I must go now; my master awaits in anticipation for my return.'' the dark clouds left the sky, and birds began singing again. Sarana regained consciousness and started stroking Siava's silver head.
''What were you thinking?! Why didn't you say there was someone attacking you? Aaghh!'' Brinn slumped. ''It's pointless trying to teach you to do anything when you can't even communicate properly!''
''What do you mean, pointless? I'll have you know that I'm very skilled in all sorts of weapons.'' Or at least, a few. Sarana turned to walk away, but tripped on the Silver Book and fell face first on the ground. "I meant to do that...'' she muttered. Brinn laughed. "Oh you did? Well, of course. I should've known better than to insult the great and powerful Wizard Sarana.'' Brinn was stressing the sarcasm so much, that he sounded sick. Sarana simply flicked her head away from him and started down the road towards the Tower of Spells saying, ''Come on, Siava. We need to get back to the Tower. Hurry up!''
Two days passed and Sarana learned to use magic defensively. She had found her way around the Tower of Spells and the hallways were now familiar grounds that she felt comfortable in. She practiced in the training arena all day and late into the night. It was another one of those long days of endless hours of practicing, when Antriak burst through the doors. ''Sarana! You must come, come, come!''
"Alright, I'm coming.''
''Ah, I see you made it here without getting lost. Thank you for escorting Sarana, Antriak.'' Gantrodr paused. ''Where is Brinn?''
''I'm not sure.'' said Sarana. ''He wasn't in the training arena, so I thought he must be with you, or else wandering.'' He does do that a lot... he's so quiet; so peculiar; so mysterious... ''Is he in the gardens? Or by the ocean?'' Gantrodr frowned, then raised an amused eyebrow at her. ''Are you actually concerned?'' he said, surprised. ''And yet you two are always quarreling.'' he muttered softly so as not to arise Sarana's bad temper.
''I'm going back to my room to get some things, and then... do you want me to start looking for him?'' Gantrodr nodded. "And when you do find him, drag him back here by any means possible. I have something to tell you two."
"Right then.'' Sarana left to go to her room, while Gantrodr left for Vextrilla's for guidance.
''So she has grown.'' voiced Vextrilla, even before Gantrodr had closed the door. He closed it and then walked across the room and sat down next to Vextrilla. He nodded thoughtfully. ''Yes, she has.'' he looked at his wise teacher and saw her gazing intently on her pool of crystal water. He peered over her shoulder. His left eyebrow raised slightly. Interesting... he thought. He saw Sarana in her room looking in a book and saying a spell.
"Uhh... vencira ser liec kimgorae. Did that work?'' asked Sarana. Siava jumped into the air and began chirping loudly. ''It did?'' asked Sarana excitedly. The chirping grew even louder. "Yes!'' the girl waved her hand and concentrated. The Silver Book started to wobble and then to rise in the air off of the table it was on. It floated into one of the pockets of Sarana's cloak. She had found out that all her eight pockets were, in fact, quite a lot bigger than they appeared. They were not infinite, but she could fit quite a lot of things in each one. She put the Silver Book, a beginners spell book, and a map of the Tower of Spells in the first pocket and took the twelve eggs that hadn't hatched yet out of their individual pockets . I suppose they must need all that space because they need room to grow... maybe even after they've hatched. thought Sarana. She looked affectionately at Siava. The Silver Book has taught me a lot about you. How you're not really a dragon at all, but a dragon nymph-- a small cousin of dragons. I can flip through all the pages mentally, recalling everything. And she did quickly. 'The silver dragon nymphs have powers related to the moon and stars which have many unknown properties. Silver dragon nymphs can overcome almost any feat known to mortal or immortal kind, seeing as the current generation knows little about them.' Yes, I remember. ''Siava, do you want to come with me? I'm going to be looking for Brinn. You do?''
'Well, of course I'm going to come!' Came a voice in Sarana's mind. ''Oh, I forgot. You mind-speak with the one person you've had a bond with. Wait, when have you had that kind of bond with me?" Siava cocked her head. 'I haven't yet.'
"Then how are you talking to me?"
'I can complete almost any feat, remember?' Siava inched her head towards Sarana's upturned palm. She touched her snout to Sarana's middle finger, and a silver spark fell through her skin and into her bloodstream. Sarana felt a shiver run down her spine. She had a sudden impulse to put her finger on Siava's neck, and she did. Another spark, gold this time, slid under Siava's hide and into her own bloodstream. 'There. It's done. We've bonded properly now.' Sarana looked at her hand and felt the shivers die down. ''Wow.'' was all she could say. She felt as if she was no longer 'Sarana', but a 'Sarana-Siava'... thing. "I'm not... you, am I?'' 'No. I would be very upset if you were me, anyway.' Sarana suppressed a giggle.
"We'd better go start looking for Brinn.''
Sarana and Siava went down the winding stairways to the bottom entrance of the Tower of Spells. ''Where should we look first?'' asked Sarana.
Vextrilla turned around and faced Gantrodr. She spoke to him. ''If I am correct, I believe that she is not even allowed in that level of spell book yet. She has just performed a spell far beyond her years... this is most intriguing. Has she read all of the Silver Book yet? It is incredible if she has." Gantrodr grunted, then took a few steps backwards. "Ridontra." A dull haze came over the room. "I'm going to enter her mind and see what and why she is doing this from her perspective."
"Has she learned the techniques of bonding and blocking yet?" Vextrilla calmly asked. No response. "Has she or hasn't she?"
"She has not... to my knowledge."
"Then it is not for certain. Let us watch and listen to what she does and says, anyway." she smiled. "Don't worry. I will be helping you throughout the... search. You need not worry." The smoky haze turned a dull lavender, and then a pale, light, yellow. Suddenly, it became a cross between a silver and fiery orange. A shadowy picture began to form in the mist and soon created a vivid scene. A scene that included Sarana and Siava walking down the halls, towards the rose gardens. But then, it was blurred.
The picture was suddenly taken over by an overpowering darkness. Dark, red eyes scanned the room--or what appeared as the room. They came upon a figure in the moving, wispy picture. Brinn. He was running, continually running away from those terrible eyes, but unable to move aside. The boy eventually gave up and drew his sword, content to spend his last few moments of life fighting for his own freedom. He calmly closed his eyes and swung his sword in the air, when… nothing. The dark figure and the piercing red gaze had stopped. They looked out of the picture, out of the fog. The eyes saw beyond the magic, and into the one who cast it.
Those blood-red eyes, those dark red pools of power and craving lingered on one thing. One person. Dark magic hung in the air, as well as death, and a distinct blood-lust that belonged to but one person.
"Dorvagor. It's him!" gasped Gantrodr.
The black figure with the piercing gaze and deeply imbedded blood-lust spoke. "Yes. It is I." The voice sounded unusually smooth and silky. "You must not interfere!" It rushed forward and lunged at Gantrodr and Vextrilla. Vextrilla quickly stepped aside, but Gantrodr was not so lucky. He was hit with all the force Dorvagor could muster. But Dorvagor was not really there. He was simply a conjurance--even if by accident--a simple representation of his true self. He could not hit anyone or anything with his true power.
"No!" shouted the slightly transparent Dorvagor. Dazed, Gantrodr got up and went over to the terrified representation-Brinn. He shook him, and Brinn, in his real body, woke up.
"Ahh, the garden. I just love it, don't you, Siava?" the small dragon nymph bellowed out a happy, "Sree-ee!" Sarana breathed in a large waft of sweet, rose-scented air and sighed. "It's so beautiful…" Then, there was a rustle behind a bush. Sarana turned around instantly. "Who's there?" she demanded. No answer, but a convenient silence in the bushes. "Come out right now. I have multiple weapons with me, and I know how to use them." Still, no answer. "I know you're there, so there's no point in hiding!"
"Don't you tell me I'm imagining things! I know what I heard. And I know that there's someone there. So just stop asking 'why'! You're starting to get just like Brinn. And, in the name of Tanziler, I don't want that!" Another rustle. A figure stood up from the bush.
"Are you making fun of me?" it said. Sarana squinted her eyes. She gasped. "Brinn? Is it you?"
"Who else would it be?" Sarana ran over to him, almost hugged him, but stopped herself. She looked at him. He turned away. Then, she slapped him hard across the face! "Ow! What was that for?!"
"You made us so worried. Why'd you do that?" To her astonishment, Brinn didn't get angry like usual. She widened her eyes. "Brinn… is there something wrong?" he looked at her. His eyes look so mysteriously dark. They're not the same. In fact, he doesn't seem the same at all. Then she realized it."Brinn, what did you do, take coals and rub them on your face?" Sarana asked, teasingly. His markings-- instead of their normal blue-- were pitch black. Brinn looked surprised, then upset. Sarana stopped frowning playfully and stared at Brinn. "Hey, what's wrong?" Brinn shook his head, as if trying to cast out a distant thought.
He's not himself.
'You might just, oh, I don't know... talk to him!' Mind-spoke the silver dragon-nymph. Sarana glared.
You might-- and should-- just mind your own business!
'Just making a suggestion.'
Well, keep your suggestions to yourse--
"Are you two having a conversation?" they both looked at him, not realizing that they had been staring at eachother for quite some time. Brinn arched an inquisitive eyebrow. "Am I missing something? You're both giving me the Dark Queen's evil eye." Siava flew off of Sarana's shoulder indignantly and into the brush to search for a meal. "The weather's nice, isn't it?" Brinn said cheerily, with a smile on his face. "I'm going back to the Tower now." Once he was out of sight, Sarana headed towards a circle of rose bushes, thinking about his strange behavior.
"I don't remember this being here..." she mused. "Siava!" The little dragon scampered out of the brush smacking her satisfied lips. She cocked her head. 'What? I was having a very delicious meal of crickets.' Sarana gestured towards the ring of roses.
'Oh, that? It's a fairy ring.' she said dryly. 'It looks like it's a fire fairy ring. It might have a portal.'
"How do you know that? You're not even a month old!"
'Remember the book, Sarana?'
She thought about that. 'All dragon nymphs grow extremely quickly. They may be as intelligent as a ten year old human while they themselves are only a few weeks old. Even so, much is unknown about the true intelligence of dragons.' -the Silver Book. She groaned. "Why is it that everybody I know seems to be so much smarter than me?" she nudged Siava playfully. "What ever shall I do?" Siava churred in response, but then she stiffened. "Is something wrong?"
'There's an intruder coming. He seems... unstable and dark.'
Thanks for the warning. I'll keep my eyes open.
"Hello?" came a voice. It was... different; cold--without human warmth. Yet, still... so familiar...
Does he intend to harm us?
'I can't be sure... possibly.'
Sarana prepared a spell for paralyzation. As the figure revealed itself, Sarana began to mutter the short incantation, Siava perched herself upon a branch, looking at the person confusedly. Sarana stopped.
"Oh, there you are! You have no idea how worried Gantrodr is."
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