Story: Selena's Daughter (The Prophecy)

Written by Ifeoma Isabella Okeke

    Introduction

    ”Come closer to me my child”, a lowly voice slowly said. At a corner of the dark hut, a young female child barely 5 stood up from where she sat and went to meet her mother, getting close to her she put her little ear close to her mother’s mouth, somehow she knew that whatever her mother want to say will be the last word she would hear from her.
    “I am here mama”.
    “Listen and listen very carefully to what I am about to say. We are not like the others, we are different”.
    “We are different? How are we different mama?” the little girl asked her mother.
    “You are too young to understand my child….” A cough stops her from continuing and the little girl rushes to get her mother water to drink . After she had made sure her mother had drank the water she then sat very close to her again.
    “Grace, there are a lot of things that are out there which you don’t know about. I don’t have much time, but, I am going to tell you something important”.
    “I am all ears mama”. Grace told her.
    “A day is coming when I will no longer be by your side, when that day comes I want you to be very strong for me. This world we are in is so full of evil do not be a victim.
     Grace there will be two path you will be asked to choose in future, one paths leads to your destiny and the other part to your doom, be wise to pick the right path. I want you to look around Grace, what do you see?”
    Little Grace looked around their poorly hut, at one corner of the hut was a family mouse hole that has been her friend, and finally her gaze fell on her mother. “It is not much in here mama but it is what we call home, where we lay our head to sleep when the day has finally gone to sleep”. Grace replied her mother after a while. Her mother smiled a little.
    “Then no matter what will happen in the future, do not forget where you came from. Always remember you are also your mother’s child. Come and place your head on my chest, I want to sing you a song. May you always remember it in your darkest days”.
    “Okay mama”. Grace said then placed her head on her mother’s chest. “Mama, why do I have this strange feelings that this is a goodbye?” Grace asked.
    “Grace my beloved daughter, it has to be so for the prophecy to come to pass and for you to choose the path you will follow.

    When it’s time they shall come for you”.
    “They? Who are they?”
    “When it’s time, you shall know them. Now you have to listen to the song”.
    Walk proud, walk strong
    When the world starts to string
    Remember where home is
    Never forget your ways
    Walk proud, walk strong
    When the pain is too much
    Remember who your family is
    Never forget your ways
    Walk proud, walk strong
    I will be gone one day
    But fear not
    For there you will always have someone
    When your love comes
    That’s where your line begins
    Never forget your ways
    Walk proud, walk strong
    My sweet young child
    He is there waiting for you
    He waits for you alone
    The time will come to be with him
    And so your line will begin
    Remember where your home is
    Remember who your family is
    When the world starts to string
    When the pain is too much
    Go home to him
    My sweet young child
    I will be gone
    But not my soul
    My sweet young child
    Be strong my child…..
    Grace felt within her that something was wrong when she began hearing her mother’s voice faintly, she tried her possible best to open her eyes, but couldn’t. After a while of battling with her eyes it gave way and she opened her eyes.
    When Grace opened her eyes she noticed that she was no longer in her hut with her mother but in an open field with other children of her age. They were being chained in their necks and hands and were being lead to an unknown destination. Grace looked around her trying to find her mother, but she didn’t see her mother, she started crying calling out. “Mama where are you? Mama”.
    A solider on a horse rode to her side and flogged her with the whip in his hands and shouted down at her. “Shut up, and don’t let me hear any word from your mouth. Now start moving you dirty thing”, the solider barked at her.
    Grace slowly stood up from where she had fallen when he had hit her with the horse whip and started walking with the kids in lines. Silent tears were running down her cheeks. She turned to look back at her village and she saw her little village on fire, every hut on the village was on fire she wondered if her mother will be in one of the huts being roasted alive, again she wondered how she had gotten outside and being chained and being lead to an unknown destination, one minute ago she was with her mother who was singing to her and now she was been tried up like an animal. She cried and turned to face the other prisoners and wondered where they were taking them to.
    The prophecy has just begun.

    Episode 1

    15 years later
    “Grace! Grace!!”
    Lily shouted searching and looking everywhere for Grace, and finally, she saw her at the back of the castle, stroking a deer that lay it’s head on Grace lap.
    “Grace there you are, I knew I would find you here.... again”.
    Lily said as she approached Grace. The deer suddenly stood up, spun and ran as fast as it's legs could, into the shadow of the forest that was at the back of the castle . Lily sighed.
    “Why do they, the animals, always run away whenever they saw me? Uh Grace?” Lily asked as she stood in front of Grace.
    Grace shrugged her shoulder a little bit. “I don’t know why they always do that Lily”.
    “How did you mean you don’t know? Don’t you know that animals are never scared of you? Don't you see it? I still don’t get what they see in you to make them like you. Tell me Grace are you in anyway hiding something from me?” Lily asked Grace who had a smile on her face.
    “No, I am not in anyway hiding anything from you Lily, and besides I don’t really know why the animals are never afraid of me all my life, but I still think it is a gift……”
    “Any way”. Lily said cutting Grace off from what ever she had wanted to say.
     “Least I forget, I came here to remind you that Princess Mary is celebrating her birthday today, and you know what that means, don't you?”.
    “Oh my, I have forgotten that Princess Mary will be turning twenty thrice today and that also means she will be holding a ball. Thank you Lily for reminding me”.
    Grace left Lily and rushed into the castle she did not want to be dealt with by the princess if she arrives late. With that thought, she ran as fast as she could passing her fellow servants that were going about their daily works. As soon as she got to the Princess door, she stop and turn to face the mirror the princess placed on her door. She wanted to check if her clothes were in their right places, thank the gods, her clothes were. Her eyes were of two colors, one was Gold and the other Black. Grace had always wondered why she has two different pair of color eyes. She was always ignored by her fellow servants simply because they see her as a cursed child, because to them no normal human being would have different color eyes, so they ignored her and said hurtful things to her. She could have committed suicide has it not been for Lily’s intervention. Lily then talked sensed into her after she had saved her from committing suicide, telling Grace that ending her life isn’t the best option that the best way for her to live her life is to ignore whatever the other servant’s tells her. And since then Grace took the advice of Lily and truly things had really changed.
    She sighed as she took a last look at her hair, her hair was so long that it nearly touched the ground but she had it braided. Feeling she is now presentable to be in Princess Mary's room she knocked on the door.
    “Come in”. A beautiful lady voice was heard behind the close door as Grace opened the door and entered the room.

    Three young sisters, who looked alike, sat down beside each other on a wooden stool facing one another, a fourth stood that was empty was also beside them forming a circle, their eyes were closed and meditating. The sisters were triplet and they were born blind, it came as a shock to their mother who was a seer, that her daughters will work for the Dark Goddess in years to come. she tried all she could to prevent her daughters fate. but it was too late, they had sold their bodies and hearts to the Dark Goddess. Their hearts were filled with darkness. And they have been working for the Dark Goddess for thousands of years, till they were assigned to the Prince of Darkness. In their middle stood a fountain of crystal water, that never runs dry. The the door to their cave opened and someone who they were expecting entered and sat down on the fourth empty stool in the cave. “Well, I am here”.
    The three young sisters opened their eyes at the same time, their eye balls were white. “We have send for you Darken, it is time for you to strike”. They said together.
    “You mean to say, if I eventually attack the kingdom of Eleanor, I shall come out victorious?” Darken asked to be sure.
    “Yes, you shall conquer Eleanor, but, there is one thing you have to make sure it’s being carried out”.
    “And which is?” Darken asked.
    “You have to make sure that everyone in Eleanor is killed”. They answered him.
    “Why is that, if I may ask?”
    “The one born to end you is in Eleanor, you have to clear off that person from the surface of the earth”. They told him.
    “But that’s impossible, Selena’s daughter died by my sword, I killed her by my own sword in my hands which makes the prophecy not coming to pass, so that can’t be true”. Darken said confused.
    “You were deceived that day. The child you had killed wasn’t Selena’s daughter. What you didn’t know was on that night when Selena gave birth to her daughter a servant girl also gave birth to a baby girl. In other for her to let her daughter live she exchanged her daughter with the servant girl own child, who then took the baby and ran away never to be seen again. So you had killed the wrong child”.
    “So Selena betrayed me? But what can I do wise ones?” Darken asked.
    “You and your armies will march to Eleanor and kill every soul living in it, make sure no one escape from the kingdom. Remember if she eventually escapes from you this time, then she will be the one to end you. Isn’t that what the Great Book Of Omen says, that the one to end you shall be your destiny and your doom”.
    “But how would I know Selena’s daughter when I see her, I need to know so that I will be sure I have kill the right person. i don't want to make the same mistake again” Darken said.
    “Not everything is revealed to us, she is been hidden from us by that which we must not mention. You had better hurry up with your plans Darken, before her gifts reached its peak and you know what that means to you. The prophecy do not lie. You are the king of the underworld and you have the powers to change the prophecy.
    We are with you in spirit, do not forget that Darken”. They told him and closed their eyes at the same time, a few minutes later they turned into a statue.
    Darken stood up from the stool and then walk up to the door and stop. “You are always right Malarias. I am Darken, the King of all Kings, the King of Darkness, the Prince of Hades. I will not be scared of a little girl the prophecy spoke about. I will make sure I have the whole world to myself and I will kill whosoever that will stand in my way and also destroy the other ones which we must not mention. As long as I have the Malarias and the Dark Goddess to myself, I am unbeatable. Selena where ever that you are, know this, I shall kill your daughter then find you and kill you myself even though you are the Goddess of the Old Region”.
    Darken came out of the cave and disappeared into the shadow of the night.

    The door to a throne room opened and General Groh walked in closing the door. “You send for me your Lordship”.
    “Yes I did. Selena’s daughter is alive and somehow she is in Eleanor, prepare your armies we are going to visit the kingdom of Eleanor”, Darken said, he was standing and facing the window, he turned to look at General Groh who bowed.
    “Yes your Lordship, I shall go now and prepare the immortal beast armies to get ready”, General Groh said as he straightened up to his full height and went out of the throne room to do as he was told leaving Darken to his thoughts.
    “Run little ange

    Episode 2

    The first thing Grace saw when she walked into the princess room was the clothes been thrown onto the ground by a very angry Princess.
    “Where have you been since morning?” Princess Mary angrily asked.
    “Good morning my Princess, I was out at the back of the castle. I am sorry I am late your highness” . Grace answered.
    “Oh, let me guess, talking to your animal friend again. You seem to have forgotten what you are assigned to do every morning. Should I always remind you the rules?” Princess Mary asked.
    “I am sorry my princess I promise it won’t happen again”.
    “Well thank your stars that I am in a very good mood today, because I will be celebrating my birthday and also be betrothed to the Prince of Gash so I don’t want to soil my hands into a dirty thing like you, but, I am going to let this slip away and not punish you. Now find me a dress that will be befit for the new Queen Of Gash”.
    “Thank you, my Princess”.  Grace said and went to do her task. Soon Grace find the perfect dress and gave it to the princess. “Will that be all you want me to do my Princess?” Grace asked her as she dresses the princess.
    “Yes, just one more thing. Once the ball starts I don’t want to see you around the castle, so you are given a permit to go outside the castle walls with Lily till the ball finishes.
    Do not try to run away, you know what happened to those that tried. So you have my permission to go outside. Well that will be all”.
    “Yes my princess”.
    Grace left the room in silence.

    Grace and Lily went outside the castle once the ball had started Unlike Lily who had been outside the castle walls and into the village of Eleanor, Grace has never step her foot into the Village of Eleanor. She had been sold into slavery immediately the soldiers that had attacked her village got to Eleanor. Grace smiled at everything she set her eyes on, she hasn’t seen the outside wall palace before, so everything else looks new to her.
    Lily saw Grace, as she was smiling her heart out, and asked her the reason why she was smiling. “Well, this is my first time of being outside the palace walls. And I didn’t even know Eleanor has much people living in it”, Grace answered her and Lily also smile down at her and told her “Yes, it does”.
    The two girls walked around the village for a while before Lily told Grace to wait for her that she was coming and went to a shop opposite them. As Grace stood, waiting for Lily who hasn’t come out yet, she heard a voice that called her name, and strange enough it looks as if the person was standing close to her, so she turned around looking for the person that called on her but she couldn’t see anyone “Where are you?” She asked. “Beside you Grace. I am beside you” The voice replied back.
    Grace then turned, at her left arm side she saw an old lady who sat down by the road side begging for alms, the old lady then look up at Grace and smile. “Here I am Grace”. Grace suddenly realize that the old lady didn’t open her mouth to speak and she then move closer to the old lady with caution and asked her at once. “How did you know my name? Who are you and how can I hear you when you didn’t even open your mouth to speak?”
    The old lady smiled “I know who you are child and you can hear me because I am speaking to you through your mind”. The old lady said and again she didn’t open her mouth to say a word. Grace looked surprise. “You said you know who I am, right? Then please explain who I really am”, Grace said. “I can’t tell you who you truly are. You will be the one to find out who you truly are. You were born for two reasons: you either become evil or you become good”. “I don’t understand what you just said now” Grace told her.
    “The Great book of OMENS once said, the first child of Selena will be born to destroy the world or save it. A prophecy was then seen and was tore into two parts, a half of the prophecy was given to the forces of darkness and the other half was given to the forces of light. Now it is up to you to choose the path you will pave on”.
    “My mother once told me about I will have to choose in the future but still yet, I still don’t get it, what path was she talking about?” “That is because you do not listen with your ears, I don’t have much time explaining to you Grace but when it’s time they will be the one to tell you what you really need to know. Now look inside my bowl, what do you see?” the old lady asked.
    Grace looked into the old lady’s bowl that was filled with water instead of money and was surprise to see two colorful fishes swimming round the bowl, one of the fish was gold in color and the other one was silver in color. She was a little bit confused “There are two fishes inside the bowl” Grace replied after a while. “Good. This two fishes represent the path you will choose. Now you are going to choose one of them, do not forget that sometimes our appearance can change. Look at the fishes carefully and choose your destiny”. The old lady told Grace.
    Grace then looked into the bowl again, but this time she was very observant. She noticed the two fishes swimming about without a care, but she couldn’t help but notice the silver fish swimming at a slow pace, as if it wanted to die, as if the fish could read her thought it die. When the silver fish rise up slowly to the surface of the bowl, Grace without a single thought put her hand into the bowl and took out the silver fish from the water, immediately the silver fish started bleeding in her hand.
    The old lady smile as she shook her head. “You have chosen your destiny Grace”. “But how can I know if I have picked the right fish?” Grace asked anxiously. “You will soon know the path you had chosen. I wish you good luck as you will walk this path soon”.
    “Where have you been since Grace. I have been searching for you everywhere, and I thought I had lost you but thank the gods that I have found you”. Grace was startled to hear the voice of Lily behind her then she turned to face Lily. “I was talking to a new friend of mine……. She was telling me some things. Let me introduce you to her”. Grace turned around to point at the old lady but was shocked when she saw no one, no old lady nor a bowl. “She was sitting down here and was talking to me before you showed up”. Grace said still looking around to see if she could see the old lady. “Hmmm, Maybe you didn’t see anyone, you know this is your first time coming out so I won’t blame you. Come on let’s us go back to the castle by now the ball might have finish”. Lily said as she gave Grace an apple she had brought when she went into the shop. And they left there.

    Grace and Lily soon reached the castle, true to words of Lily the ball has finish. Lily immediately went inside while Grace went to the back of the castle, looking at the forest behind it and sat down on a rock. Her mind went back to what the old lady had told her. She was so lost in thought that she was startled when she heard a voice barely whispering “Help me! Somebody please help me”. Grace stood up and looked around her to see if it was the old lady again, but, it wasn’t the old lady’s voice she heard, the voice felt different. She then realize that the voice was coming from the forest, she immediately stop, she has never set her foot inside the forest before, she was still deciding whether to go into the forest or not when the voice came again and without a second though ran into the forest and soon came out in an open clearing, she look around and saw where the voice was coming from.
    A rabbit with a beautiful coat of white fur was in a trap set for bigger animals which the rabbit had mistaken stepped on. Grace knelt beside the rabbit and release it from the trap. “You came and save me, thank you Grace”.
    “Who told you my name? I don’t remember telling you that”. Grace asked surprised. The rabbit limped a little bit away from Grace and sat down facing her. “Yes I do know your name, you are Selena’s daughter, the one the prophecy has spoken about long time ago”. The rabbit told her.
    “Selena’s daughter? Wait, is that my mother’s name? And why do you strange people keep telling me about the prophecy, a prophecy which I don’t even understand. What this prophecy says?” Grace asked. “I am sorry my child I am not permitted to tell you. When it’s time they shall tell you all you need to know and yes your mother name is Selena”. “I have been hearing of this “They” since I was little, please can you tell me about them”. “I myself don’t know who they are, the prophecy did not mention who they are, it only said they will come for you when it’s time”.
    Grace nodded her head and then looked up at the sky and saw it was getting dark. “Uhmmm…Mr. rabbit, I better be going before the princess starts looking for me. It was nice speaking with you”. “No, I should be the one thanking you. I can perceive that your destiny is about to unfold, no matter what happens you should remember in you lies the lives of many people. Be careful of your friends not all are what they seems to be. When the time shall come you will know who truly is your friend.

    I shall take my leave now Grace. I hope to meet you again and when we do I hope it will be for the better” the rabbit said and turn to leave. “It will Mr. Rabbit, good bye my new friend”. Grace said. “My name is Geo, call me Geo”. The rabbit said and ran out of sight leaving Grace all alone in the forest then she slowly made her way to the castle.

    Darken stood at a mountain top over looking the kingdom of Eleanor. Behind him were his armies of inhuman immortals ready at his command. General Groh rode on his horse as he made his way towards Darken. “Sir, we are all ready”.
    “Very good then. Get ready Groh we are going to strike the kingdom of Eleanor tonight”.

    Episode 3

    Grace  suddenly  open  up  her  eyes,  as  she  has  fallen  asleep  when  she  came  back  from  the  forest. The whole kingdom had  gone  to  sleep  left  for  only  the  guards  who were guarding the  kingdom. She  then  look  around  her  little  room adjusting her  eyes  in  the  dark;  someone  or  rather  something  had  woken  her  up.  But what was it?  It  was  like  the  person  was  telling  her  to  wake  up.
    She  stood  up  from  her  bed  and  slowly  made  her  way  to  the  only  window  she  had  in  her  room.  When  she  came  close  to  the  window  she  quietly  opened  it  a  little  bit  to  look  outside  but  saw  nothing.  She  sigh  and  was  about  to  close  her  window  and  return  to  her  sleep  when  her  eyes  saw  some  movement  slowly,  without  making  a  single  noise,  making  their  way  into  the  castle.  Her  eyes  widened  up  a  bit  when  they  silently  killed  the  10  knights  station  at  the  east  side  of  the  castle  where  her  room  was  located.
    She  quickly  but  quietly  shut  her  window  and rush  up  to  her  room  door,  she  opened  hurriedly  not  caring  if  it  made  a  sound  or  not,  then  rush  to  Lily’s  room  to  inform  her  of  what  she  saw,  but  when  she  opened  Lily’s  room  she  couldn’t  find  her.  So  she  rushed  out  to  the  Princess room to report to her what she saw outside the castle . When she got to the Princess room and  was  about  to  knock  on  her  door  when  surprisingly it  opened  and  she  was  dragged  into  the  room.
    Grace,  about  to  scream  when  the  voice  of  the  Princess  hush  her  down  immediately.  “Do  not  scream  idiot”.  That  shut  Grace  up  completely.
     “Now,  why  are  you  awake  by  this  time  of  the  night?”  The Princess  asked.
    “My  Lady,  I  saw  some  human   figures  silently  making  their  way  into  the  castle.  That  is  why  I am here for  we  to  inform  the  King  your  father of it”.  “Oh  don’t  be  ridiculous  Grace,  this  castle  is  heavily  guarded  by  our  best  trained  Knights,  no one  I  repeat  no  one  can  get  pass  through  the  knights,  so  go  back  to your room and have a good night rest. Tomorrow you will be punished by disturbing me in my chambers”.
    “But  I am serious my Lady, we are under attack. You can take a look outside for yourself”.
    Giving one last irritating look throw at Grace she went and open her window a little bit. She stayed  glue for a moment at the window and said. “We are under attack. They are coming to the south wing of the castle, which is here”. As if on cue the giant bell that is usually rung anytime the king wants to announce something to the people or if there is any danger lurking around the kingdom, rang. She turned to look back at Grace “Lets go and inform the castle that we are under attack by some invaders”. The Princess said just as a knock was heard. The princess and Grace quickly find the nearest thing next to them, the Princess took her pen knife that was sharp and hold it tight in her hands, her thought was to use the pen knife to kill whosoever that is behind that door out.  Princess Mary then ask “Who is that?”
    “It’s me, knight Leonard.  Your father ask me to escort you back to the throne room where he is with the rest of the royal family. We are under attack my Princess”.
    Princess Mary and Grace quickly rushed out and followed the knight back to the throne room. “Father, what is going on here, why are we under attack” Mary asked once she sighted her father. “I don’t know why we are under attack but with what I  see now, we are not the only one being attack. Come on, lets hurry up and go into the ball room where it is more safer the throne room”.  The king then told Leonard to inform all the servants they should all come to he ball room before the invaders reached here. The King, Princess Mary and Grace left the throne room to the ball room.
    Soon enough, all servants came into the room and the ball room door was closed and locked. Some knights were outside the ball room while some others are with them in the ball room, they were all ready to die for their king as they draw out their swords. They didn’t have to wait for too long as the invaders came and fought the knights guarding outside the ball room. Soon enough, silence suddenly came and the door of the ball room was pull off its hinges by one kick from the invaders. They started coming inside the room, blocking the door.  Grace gasp and went backward when she saw hem. They weren’t a normal human beings, each and everyone of them had a tail glue to their back with horns resting on their fore-head, they were creatures she had seen. But where?
    Within a twinkle of an eye all the knights were dead and the creatures started coming slowly to them.

    A  footstep was heard coming nearer to a door, it got to the door and pause a little bit before the door was opened. “You send for me Mother”.  A male said to a hooded female figure who was holding a ball of light in her hands. “Yes my son. I told you to come because She is in danger and you must go and save her. Remember no matter what happens you must make sure she do not die today. You have to hurry up, Darken is already in Eleanor as we speak, destroying it. You will go there and rescue her”.
    “Yes mother”
    “Have I, Diana, ever lied to you?” Diana asked
    “No mother”. He answered.
    “Then you must make sure she is no harmed, she must not die today. Go now to Eleanor and bring her”. Diana said as the unknown male bowed his head and left, shutting the door behind him.

    As the creatures drew closer to them, Grace quickly look around to see if she could still see Lily, but she didn’t. Where on earth could Lily be? Grace ask no one in particular.  She turned in time to see one of the creatures aiming at her. As the creature came closer, it was so fast that Grace couldn’t see when it raise its sword to strike her, when the creature was throw back  with full force to the ground by an invisible force; the creatures gave out a hideous chilling scream before it turned to ashes. That immediately draw all the creatures attention towards Grace, who started going back. They all left the others and ran so fast  like the wind.
    A mighty roar sounded right outside the ball room as the ceiling gave way and  big Dragon head appear from the opening. Everyone started to scream and they all find places to hide away from the dragon. The Dragon gave another mighty roar and half of the castle gave way; making way for some of the servants that had started running towards the forest, thinking that will be their safest place, but alas they were wrong, they all ran to their deaths by some of the Darken creatures that are in the forest.
    Grace slowly turn to look at the Dragon and saw the Dragon looking around as if it was looking for someone. Then the Dragon finally glanced her way as it’s reddish eyes landed on her. It happened so quickly, the Dragon suddenly was in her face and she slowly moved backward. The inhuman creatures attacked again, the Dragon then roared at them sending all of them to the ground. It turn to Grace. ”We are going”. And the Dragon  carefully took Grace by its claws and flew away with Grace.
    A mighty roar, much louder than the Dragon’s sounded below them. Grace looked down to see a man hidden by the dark the only color on him were his two pair of golden  eyes looking angrily at them. Grace saw hatred in those eyes.

    Drake was quietly watching the movement of an angry lady that was pacing in front of him. “You know pacing around won’t help you Lillian”. Darken told the lady, Lillian, who grew angrily at his words. "You made me lose a plan that I have been preparing for years in a twinkle of a eye. You made me lose her Darken and I AM NOT HAPPY". Lillian shouted. "Oh please, how could I have know that you are there.
     You disappeared for so long that I had thought you have gone out of the world dead". Darken replied her in the same way she had to him.
    "Me dead? I can't die so easily. You seems to have forgotten so soon the daughter I am". "I know that, and that is why you still have your head. Now, lets us think of a way of bring out Selena's Daughter out of the Drakings kingdom so that we can eliminate her". Darken said. "I have a plan a good plan that can make Grace to come out from the Drakings kingdom". Lillian sair after a while.
    "You do?".
    "Yes, just give me a few days more and Grace will be in my palm".
    "How are you so sure this plan of yours will work?" Darken asked anxiously. "Yes it will, just say the word and I shall deliver her to you in a platter of gold". Lillian said to Darken who nodded his head slowly. "Then you have my word Lillian".

    Episode 4

    Grace didn’t know how long they flew, but to her it seems like days and the worst part of it was she didn’t know where he Dragon was taking her too. After a while she remembered that the Dragon had spoke to her earlier on at the castle before whisking her away, she decided to ask the Dragon some question. “Uhmm hello, please I want to ask you where you are taking me too?”.
    The Dragon ignored her and didn’t acknowledge her question . When Grace finally realize that the Dragon would not answer her question she kept quite.
     After a while of flying in the clouds, Grace couldn’t contain her anger. “Listen Mr Dragon, you have been flying for sometime now and I want to ask have you not reached where you are taking me too or are we going to fly forever up in the sky?”
    The Dragon didn’t answer, rather it flew downwards, moving so fast making Grace to hold on tight to its claws. As the ground drew nearer to them, magically a Portal made of pure gold opened and the Dragon went into it. The portal closes once and disappeared.
    Light blinded Grace that she had to raise one of her arm to shade her from the light. When she had felt the Dragon had truly land she opened her eyes to see where they were.
    She noticed that they were standing by the lake.  The Dragon carefully let go of Grace and suddenly flew up, leaving Grace behind. Grace was suddenly afraid of her surroundings “Hey!!” She yelled  as she scream her lungs out looking up. “Where did you think you are going leaving me behind? Where on earth is this place, please come back I don’t even know where I am?”
    The Dragon didn’t pay any attention and flew out of sight.
    Grace watched until the Dragon became very tiny and was seen no more. She sat down looking around her, everywhere looks strange to her, she pull her legs until it touch her chin and lay her head on it before she let out the water that has been building up. She cried.
    “Grace!” She heard someone calling her name but ignored it and wept harder. “Grace!” she heard the voice again in her head, she sighed and lifted her head. She looked around the clearing for whoever called her but couldn’t see anyone. She heard someone calling her again, the voice was closer  now coming from the direction of the water. She looked out across the lake. There were several tiny lights gliding across the surface of the water. She rubbed her eyes once more but they were still there. One of them broke away from the rest and moved towards her.
    The light coming towards her became brighter and she once again lifted her arm to shade her eyes. She could feel the light surrounding her, it was warm and gentle and she felt no fear. As the light receded she lowered her arm and opened her eyes. In front of her, hovering just above the surface of the water stood a tall woman. She was wearing a white robe and her face was hidden. Grace walked towards her without thinking until she stood at the edge of the lake. She lowered her hood and her silver hair fell in soft curls down her back, she tucked loose strands behind her ears. Her skin was light blue and as smooth as the water beneath her feet. Her face was unlined but her large eyes were deep blue, faceted like crystals and Grace knew this lady before her was ancient. Her gaze was piercing but she looked at her with pity. “Hello Grace”, she said smiling at her, her voice was deep and although she spoke out loud she also heard the words echo within her mind. “Who are you…? Where am I?”  she asked looking behind her at the lake. She saw a glimpse of another world and for a moment she felt disorientated. “We are Drakin and I have been sent to take you with me to our kingdom”, she replied. “How can I believe your words. A Dragon dropped me here and flew away without uttering a word to me, and now you came out of nowhere and then ask me to come with you!” Grace shouted. “Come you are weary and full of grief, In Drakin everything will be explained to you. That which you seek will be revealed to you. My name is Isadora, come”. She beckoned Grace to come with her.
    Grace hesitated for a moment then walked towards her, she has nothing to lose after all. Isadora turned and moved towards the centre of the lake, she seemed to fly but Grace could see no wings. Grace looked down wondering why she wasn’t wading through the lake and saw that she was walking on the water. Her boots left little ripples but did not break the surface. The lake was dark and smooth like glass. Looking back she could just make out the far bank through a grey veil. She had left her world behind and had entered the immortal world of Drakin.
    Grace followed Isadora to the kingdom looking around her. They were standing in a small inlet with steep embankments on two sides. A white chalk path wound it’s way through the grass between them to the crest of a hill and disappeared out of sight. She held out her hand to Grace, Grace hesitated then took her hand and stood nest to her. Isadora led Grace up the bank, following the path between the grassy slopes. There were small blue and yellow flowers in the grass. Here and there flowering bushes climbed the bank, their sweet fragrance filled the air. As they climbed she saw the branches of flowering trees appear along the top of each bank, she looked around her in wonder. Everything seemed so alive; the colors of the grass and flowers looked bright and vivid. Even the sky seemed to be a hum coming from everything, as though the land was singing to her. Isadora turned and beckoned her to follow her once more. They had reached the top of the hill, the path continued through a vibrant forest. The trees were unlike any she had ever seen, these were far more beautiful. The leaves were the richest shades of green, red, silver and gold, each one was perfectly formed. The trunks of the trees and the branches seemed newly made but ancient. The whole forest seemed to vibrate with a hidden energy.
    “Come just a little further, there is something I must show you”, Isadora said leading her through the forest. She followed her through the trees until they came to a clearing with large standing stones in the centre. Grace realized that they were taller than she first thought as they were set in a depression in the ground like a huge bowl, with grassy slopes all around them.
    They were positioned in two semi circles separated by the path that ran between them. The stones formed three doorways on each side of the path. In the very centre of the circle there stood a stone table holding a huge crystal. It was split into seven spurs, each one pointing at the doorway, the central one pointing to the sky. The path widened a the top of the slope and led down between the stones. It split into two around the table in the centre on the far side of the table. The path joined again and continued up the bank on the far side. Isadora walked to the edge of the bank and stopped waiting for Grace.
    As Grace got closer, she felt the crystals power, it hummed and the air around it shimmered. It shined with a white light but as Grace stood beside Isadora it turned dark and the air around them seemed to darken. For the first time since she had set foot on Drakin she felt afraid. The humming faltered and became screaming voices, she covered her ears with her hands trying to block out the noise. She stared at the crystal as though mesmerized and could not look away. The dark cleared and the crystal shined white again, the screaming faded, the humming returned and the air around them brightened. No longer afraid or paralyzed she turned to look at Isadora. “Here is the heart of Drakin and the source of our power. It is a secret known only to those that live here and those we choose to show. Each doorway is a gateway to another world born of magic. Each of these worlds like your own draws on the power of the crystal. These worlds and the crystal hold the key to the balance”.
    “The crystal. It went black…….why?” Grace asked not sure if she really wanted to know. “The crystal is the source of all magic and magic can be light or dark. These forces are always fighting to control the crystals power. For now light is stronger and good prevails. If the dark becomes dominant then evil will prevail. Whether good or evil rules, the balance will remain”. “So why am I here?” Grace asked. “You are far more powerful than you realize, you have the power to walk in many worlds. Even I, an immortal can not do so”. “Why have you brought me here?” She asked again. “I will show you, so you can understand why you were brought here”. Isadora said.
    Some Drakins brought them two stones which they sat on.
    A large shallow stone basin was set on the floor between Grace and Isadora. One of the Drakins poured clear water into the basin and then bowing to Grace and Isadora they left them alone. “Water from the lake of Drakin has great power and can be used to help those who see”, explained Isadora. “I’m not a seer, or someone that has powers”, Grace said, looking at the water. “Your powers are great but unless you believe in yourself they are useless. Your power of prophecy is second only to your power of sorcery, you do not know what you can achieve unless you try”. She said, Grace looked up at Isadora and nodded. “Show me”, she said moving closer to the basin. “Look into the water and you will see the three sisters of Memo Goddess”.
    Grace looked into the water and heard Isadora’s voice in her mind. She saw each sister as she describe them.  “There are three aspects to their nature, three sisters that are very different from each other and are always fighting to dominate the others. The eldest sister, Selena, is the light and she fights for all that is good”.

    Episode 5

    "There are three aspects to their nature, three sisters that very different from each other and are always fighting to dominate the others. The eldest sister, Selena, is the light and she fights for all that is good. She gave mortals the gift of magic as she believes in the goodess in the heart of men. She chooses those who show promise the chance to learn her secrets . She tries to help those that will bring peace to the earth and allow life to flourish. Those with magic are servants of the light and earth. They were given magic to continue her work, to fight the evil in the heart of men, to heal wounds and bring peace to the lands".
    She saw Selena in the basin, a white light that turned into a human figure, similar in height and have the face of Grace. She saw her healing humans and animals with the same care. She watched as she tended the earth, she watched over all living things, keeping them from harm. "But she looks like me... I have been told that Selena is my mother.... is she the Selena I have heard so much about?"
    "Yes, she was banished and was cast out by the higher forces". Isadora replied. "But why was she banished, if I may ask".
    "She fell in love and gave birth to the one who will end Darken and unite the kingdoms just as the prophecy has foretold.... don't worry, you will soon met her...
     for now, look into the bowl", Isadora said and Grace once again looked into the bowl. The water became cloudy and she was once more aware of Isadora's voice. "Her sister, Lillian, is the dark, she dark Goddess, she fights fir all that is gr. She is full of hate and spite and despises men who she believes are weak and not worthy of the world they walk on. She encourages evil thoughts and deeds in mortals so they will bring about their own destruction. She was furious with her sister for giving magic to immortals and punished her by corrupting those her sister had carefully chosen; like the Malarias". Grace saw a dark shadowy figure, small and twisted bit the face was hidden. She saw lands ruled by dark magic. The water cleared again and she saw a young child running through the trees. She became aware of Isadora's voice in her head once more.
    "The youngest sister, Lydia, is ignorance, she does not care for any one at all, she only wishes to follow her path and do as she pleases. She is mischievous but can be cruel and likes to play games for her own amusement. She will help Lillian when it serves her purpose but she will also help Selena too". Although the child looked innocent and carefree her face was older and full of mischief. Grace then saw all three of the sisters, the light, the dark and the ignorant. They were woven around each other. "Why are you showing me all this?" Grace asked. "The white Goddess strives to keep her sister from destroying the world of men. And you, will be needed to save all", she said looking at Grace. "This is your destiny Grace, this has been written long before you were born. You alone are the one that will unite the powers of the old religion and the new bringing about the time the great book of Omen spoke of". "I think I am beginning to understand my purpose". Grace said after a while. She looked down at the bowl and saw that the water had gone. Isadora stood up and held her hand out to Grace. "Is all this still possible or am I too late?" Grace asked taking hold of Isadora out stretch hand and rise to her feet. "There is someone else that wishes to speak with you". Grace nodded her head as she followed Isadora. They had returned to the entrance of the standing stones. "I can't go no further, if you wish to save the world, you must speak with the white Goddess, your mother, alone".
    Grace turned to walk along the path between the stones. Isadora touched her and she turned and look back at her. "It is an honour to meet you Grace". "Thank you Isadora". She replied back. Grace turned back to the path, the crystal was glowing and to the right of the stone table she saw a white light forming. She took a very dead breath and walked towards the light. Isadora watched Grace until the light swallowed her. She sat on the grass by the entrance, waiting for her return.
    As Grace approuched the stone table the light grew, it became so bright that she had to lift her arm to shade her eyes. Once the light had faded she saw Selena, the woman she had seem in the basin, her mother. Grace was standing very close to her. Above her, Selena close up the crystal towered above her.l, she could hear the humming all around her, the ground beneath her feet vibrated. The tone changed and although the crystal shined white there were dark shapes moving across it, the hum became unpleasant and set her teeth on edge. Selena stretch out a arm and to touched the crystal. The dark shapes faded and the hum became pleasant once more. Although she took the form of a woman she seemed to be made of solid white smoke, a soft light radiated from her and Grace felt the gentle warmth of the sun. "Mother". Grace said and knelt before Selena. "Rise my child, we have much to talk about", her voice seemed to come from all around her. "I have caused you so much grief and evil is ancient and it has always been that either the dark or the light prevails. And you my child had chosen the right path to follow. I am so proud of you Grace". Selena said with sadness written on her cloudy face. "How I wish to hold you Grace, but as you can see I can't because of my form. I have seen what has been done to you since you were captured... I can only watch and do nothing about it. I am sorry Grace but you have to understand that it is for your own good. If I had come down to your rescue Lillian and the Malarias would have find you and they will kill you". Selena told Grace, wishing she could hold her child.
    "I understand you mother. I should be the one thanking you instead for saving me. If you had not save me when you gave birth to me I would have been long dead. So don't get the thought that I am angry at you mother". Grace said wanting Selena to know that she wasn't angry. "I know Isadora have brief you some things already, right?" Selena asked. Grace nodded her head confirming. "Good".
    Selena waved her hands and a chair made of Gold appeared "Sit down Grace, we have a lot to discuss starting from the beginning".
     Grace sat down and Selena continued "You see a prophecy was given to us that I will give birth to a girl who will end Darken and his evil ways. When Darken heard of it, let's me say that things didn't go down well With him so he set out and the seek the help of the Dark Goddess, Lillian, who then introduce him to the Melanias. The Malarias are the ancient ladies who were born blind. They were my followers before Lillian corrupted their minds and then left the ways of the white Goddess to follow the Dark Goddess. Having them to his command Darken then decided to kill you once you were born. Unknown to him Lydia had informed me of their plans and then I did what I did to save you. And that same night my soul was banished and I fled to seek refuge in Drakin. And I have been here ever since".
    "You never made mention of my father, who was he?"
    "I can't tell you Grace. When it's time you shall know the full truth". Selena said then changed the topic "Have you been told of the prophecy of the great Omen?"
    "No I have not be told, although I was only told that I have to choose between the two paths that leads to good and evil".
    Selena held her hand above her head, her eyes glowed deep white and a piece of parchment appeared with the prophecy written on it. She gave it to Grace who read it aloud.
    "Let loose the hounds of war,
    Let the dreadfire of the Dark Priestess rain down from angry skies
    For brother will slaughter brothers
    For friends will murder friends
    For mothers will turned against their children
    And father against their blood
    For men will lick the dust which the Dark Goddess match
    As the great horns sound
    The prophets do not lie,
    There, Selena will give birth to thier saviour
    Upon that mighty mountain
    Her child will put an end of all the evil ones.
    She will be the destiny and doom of Darken
    She will be asked to choose her destiny
    The child of Selena will be powerful
    Only she can bring the end of the evil ways and unite the region".

    Episode 6

    "Let loose the hounds of war,
    Let the dreadfire of the Dark Priestess rain down from angry skies
    For brother will slaughter brothers
    For friends will murder friends
    For mothers will turned against their children
    And father against their blood
    For men will lick the dust which the Dark Goddess match
    As the great horns sound
    The prophets do not lie,
    There, Selena will give birth to thier saviour
    Upon that mighty mountain
    Her child will put an end of all the evil ones.
    She will be the destiny and doom of Darken
    She will be asked to choose her destiny
    The child of Selena will be powerful
    Only she can bring the end of the evil ways and unite the region".
    Grace read it carefully then look at her mother. "This has already happened . I have chosen the right path making me to choose my destiny. Is this all the prophecy says or is there more?"
    "There is more, the great, great, great grandson of Omen who had wrote this prophecy was shown a terrible vision. He became ill and although he was a vates, a gifted seer, he believed his sight was failing and was unsure of the mean. On his death bed he entrusted this second prophecy, which he gave it a name 'The Prophecy Of Omens' to the Drakins.
     Even though he was unsure he believed it might be a warning and did not want to take it to his grave". Selena used magic to make a second parchment appear. It was torn, dirty and old with many scrawls and crossing outs. Grace looked up at Selena but shewas staring at the parchment, she seemed remote as though she was no longer really there. Grace read out loud.
    "My beloved Anya, I have seen a terrible vision, it is a warning I am sure but it is confused and unclear. I have very little time but I have written as much as I can. Keep this safe though it's not finished, I fear the words will have meaning in the days I will never see.
    'Night will threaten Day when shadows fall across lands
    Two souls will join consumed by hate,
    And unkindness of darkness will covered across the land.
    At Darkin she will come
    The once and everlasting saviour,
    With Selena at her side she will stand, for freedom and for peace.
    In all lands, song will be sung of the savior and the white Goddess.
    I fear the everlasting night, when Mary walks again.
    Can love prevail against such hate?
    Courage, Magic and Strength combined could hope to make a stand.
    But what hope is there against such a terrible fate?"
    At the bottom of the Prophecy was another scrawled note.
    "My gift fails me, I cannot see past the terror that awaits us all. Anya, my dearest love, take this Book of Omen to your kin and remember me always".
    Grace read aloud and look back at Selena, a little bit confuse.
    "Do you understand what is written?" Selena asked.
    "No, not all but I think the Night that will threaten the Day is you and the Dark Goddess, Lillian, I don't know know what the two souls consumed by hate is all about, and I am here with you, though am not sure about the songs. And lastly of Mary walking again. I still don't understand that". Grace replied thoughtfully.
    "When it is time you will understand. You will have to find the meaning of it by yourself, I am sorry I can't help you".
    Grace nodded in understanding and after a little moment later she yawn.
    "I know you must be tried with everything that has been revealed to you. Go back to the way you came in before, Isadora is waiting for you. When you have rested well, there is something important that I want to tell you, a secret that has been hidden from you". Selena said. Grace bowed her head and walked back the way she came in. When she came out from the light she saw Isadora sitting by the grass at the entrance, waiting for her. Immediately Isadora saw Grace, she stood up to her feet and smiled at her. "I can see that Selena had told you some of your answers". Isadora said as Grace approach her. "Yes, she told me and also about the Prophecies too". Grace answered as she and Isadora made their way into the innermost part of Drakin where caves were made with gold. "Once we have reach where I am taking you too, you will be given food and then get some rest".

    Diana stood facing a wall and was starring at it as if she was being shown something on the wall, but nothing was on it. She slowly turned to face the young man kneeling in front of her, his head bowed. "Why is she not with you my son?" Diana asked the young man kneeling in front of her. "Before I could get there the Dragon of the Drakin has gotten there before me and left with her. As I speak with you she's with the white Goddess". The young man spoke.
    "Oh I see". Diana muttered to herself.
    "If you would permit me mother, let me go to Drakin and bring her here". The young man said.
    Diana looked at the young man in front of her that was half of her age. His eyes ball were pure white , strapped on his back was a Twin blade swords. His hair, purely white and impossibly long, obscured any of his features he might have was braided haphazardly with beads.
    Diana slowly nod her head, "Yes my son, when it's time she will know the ancient truth being hidden away from her". Diana told the young man.
    "But won't they tell her the truth?"
    "No, my daughter won't dare. It isn't her place to tell. Summon me Erica now".
    "Yes mother". He stood up and was about to walk to the door when Diana words stopped him. "When Erica comes I want you to be here also Lucas".
    The guy now known as Lucas nod his head and went out of the room.
    "Hmmmm, I hope everything works out this time in our favour". Diana thought. "I think it is time for Grace to know the truth".

    The blind sisters being refer to as the Melarias, were chanting out some spells as the crystal water before them began to bring out some dark smoke. Their chanting increases as so was the smoke a moment later the water started boiling. They then placed their hands into the boiling water , not bothered about the hotness as it boils faster than ever. Their chants increases the more. Then all of a suddenly they withdraw their hands out of the water and the water went back to it's original crystal water.
    Darken who had all along been standing and watching them cleared his throat. "What were you showed?" He asked as he studied their faces.
    "There is a lady who can help you to defeat the other ones". They told him together.
    "Okay, where can I find her? I don't have much time here I need to destroy Grace".
    "She is the Princess of Eleanor but you and your men had killed her".
    "But you all told me to wipe out everything breathing in Eleanor, I did as I was told. But still yet Grace escaped again".
    "We told you that but didn't see that one of them needs to be alive".
    "Okay, so how do you intend to use a mere mortal to fight alongside with me?" Darken asked.
    "She's a mere mortal Darken. She comes from the lineage of the Sidhe, sisters to to the Elves. Her great grandmother was the Princess of the sidhe. You are to find and bring her dead body here and leave the rest to us". Darken nod his head and left their presence.

    Lucas returned with Erica closely behind him and they entered the room Diana was. They both bow as Diana turned to face them.
    "Erica you know the time you have been patiently waiting for has come. It is time for the world to know of your existence".
    Erica nodded slightly and Diana continued. "You know what the Third prophecy says. When the great great great grandson of Omen was shown this last prophecy he was on his death bed. Erica you know that this day would come, the question is, are you ready to face it".
    Erica, a young lady of 20 years nodded her head slightly. She was wearing a dress that is white that came to her thighs and a black and red tunic that was tied around her waists with a white sash, the open side-dress reached her knees exposing a fare amount of her fresh legs and sides.
    Her flaming reddish orange hair reached past her knees and was held in thick onyx black ribbon, criss-crossing several times before coming to a bow at the end. Flicking a flame coloured bang from her golden eyes, Erica muttered.
    "Yes mother".
    "Go and bring back Grace. My daughter Lillian is up to something, I can feel it". Diana said and held her hand in front of her and a piece of parchment appeared with the third hidden prophecy written on it. She made an incantation, sealing it, no one expect Selena knows how to unlock the seal. She gave it to Erica who collected it and immediately left the room.
    "Lucas, make sure my two grand-daughters are safe. Bring both of them back in here in on piece. I trust you Lucas you have never let me down in the past neither will you now"
    "I will mother".
    "You know Lucas, at times I wish that I was the one who gave birth to you. If only I have given birth to only Selena and you then the qorld will be balanced, but that is only a wish Lucas. A wish that can't come to pass no matter how hard I try to redo the past. But no matter how one try to change the past you can't change it you only have to look at the future because that is where your powers is. You can change the future. Go now and take Erica out of here. I can feel Lydia close and I don't want her to meet the both of you here".
    Lucas nodded and started making for the door when Diana said once more. "Oh, Lucas be careful son".
    He shut the door.

    Episode 7

    In the dark cave where the Malarias stays, Mary was laid on the ground, the three blind sisters, Malarias, stood before her corpse. One of them then stretch forth her hand and placed it on Mary's forehead. Her wound which was afflicted on her closed and stopped bleeding. Mary gasped and sat up, she looked around her not knowing where she was, her face changed, not of fear it feels like she had know them, as she saw the three ladies hovering around her.
    "Where am I?" She asked as she was in a unknown place.
    "At the cave of death". Said a voice in her mind.
    "Who are you?" She asked.
    "We are the Melarias Princess . We did as were asked to have you brought you back. You have the Sidhe blood running through you".
    "I don't understand you and who asked you to bring me back to life?"
    "The Dark Goddess, she was the one who had asked us to bring you back for the role that you will partake. The Dark Goddess still has work for you". The Malarias told her.
    "Okay, I am ready to do anything she ask of me. She brought me back to life and I will gladly serve her. Thank you"
    She said looking down at her wound. The wound had healed leaving a small red scar.
    "You know everything comes with a price. You must do something for us in return".
    "What do you want?"
    "You must promise us that you will do all in your power to kill Grace and those who stood behind her. You have a Sidhe blood in you, your powers will soon surface. You are the great witch of old. Your Destiny is to kill Selena's Daughter and make the Dark Goddess rule the kingdoms of the old Region it has been written long before you were formed in your mother womb. Your Destiny is to kill her and we will help you". The Malarias said.
    Mary eyes flicks a golden spark at the mention of Grace. She had hatred for Grace since she met Grace when she was captured and brought to her kingdom, she was the one who had influence the servants to talk ill about her so that she could kill herself but no matter how hard she had try to get rid of Grace the stupid girl always survived it. "You have my promise. Now all my family are gone, there is nothing left for me in this world than to serve THE Dark Goddess. I will do as you have said".
    "There is more". One of the Malarias broight out a Jewel box that was sealed. A dark smoke was in it trying to break free from its cage. "This is the prison of the great Raven. He was imprisoned by the White Goddess herself and placed in tomb of the Raven but our Dark Goddess herself took the jewel box and kept it here for the right time, your work is to get a body that the Raven soul will go into".
    "I still don't get what you are saying. Who is this White Goddess and how am I even going to get someone that the Raven would take?"
    "You will understand everything and know who you are. You will be shown what to do but you must promise us that you will go.through with it. That is the price for your life. The Dark Goddess will show you how to release the Raven's soul from it's cage".
    After saying that they started making some incantations on Mary's body and immediately Mary fell down, asleep. A white She Dargon, Aithusa; although small and nothing to be compare with the Dragon of the Drakin, appeared. The Dragon came forward and took hold of Mary still form. The Malarias communicate with the Dragon in their language and soon the she-Dragon nodded her head.
    "The witch had been told what to do. She is now your mistress. Take her to where we had told you help will come there and everything would work as planned".
    WITHIN THE OUTSIDE WALLS OF LOTS KINGDOM
    Ralf sat by the base of a tree, his leg was bleeding again. He had managed to hid when he saw to riders but he was not fast, they saw him and one of them had shot him with a arrow before he quickly hid and they passed him. He had removed the bolt but the wound was deep and he feared it was infected. Even if he survived the wound Lot would kill him if he returned to the fortress. He heard horses approach and sat still hoping they would pass him by. As they drew closer he recognised Lot's daughter, Lily and the physician's apprentice Armin. They might help him, Armin would know how to stop the infection. If Lily was in a bad mood then he would die but he was going to die anyway if the wound wasn't treated. He called out as they passed and they slowed their horses. They both dismounted and Lily drew his sword as she handed his reins to Armin.
    "Who's there?" She asked.
    "Over here My Lady," he said and they looked towards the tree where he was hiding. As Armin tethered the horses Lily walked towards the wounded man, she did not sheath her sword.
    "Who are you?" She asked looking down at the injured man but making no move to help him. Armin knew better than to offer his assistance unless it was asked for.
    "My name is Ralf, My Lady, loyal soldier to your father," he replied.
    "What happened?" Lily asked as she looked down at the man's leg.
    "I was attacked by some two unknown horse rider," he replied, his leg was bleeding badly and he struggled to stay conscious.
    "And you didn't make out their faces or who they were or where they were heading too?"
    "I ... I was injured My Lady I was trying to save my life and I didn't make out their faces. I..."
    "Enough of your excuses," She  said sheathing her sword as she walked back to her horse. "We will continue to the cave, if we can find the treasure it will please my father. We won't stay long then we must return to the castle. I suppose I will have to tell him about this idiot," Lily said, her father would blame her for this fools mistake. He was fond of killing the messenger. Ralf sighed, then realised that they were going to leave him there.
    "My wound is infected perhaps Armin could..."
    "You want my physician to heal your wound?" Lily asked as she turned back to look at him.
    "Please My Lady," he said.
    "Your news may get me killed and you want your wound treated?" She asked.
    "I cannot walk, I ..."
    "There's no point my father would have you killed, you're a dead man Ralf you just don't know it," Lily said. She walked towards him, drawing her sword and stabbed him in the stomach.
    "My Lady?" Ralf said just before he died. Lily walked back to her horse sheathing her sword. Armin said nothing after all Lily had been much kinder to the man than her father would have been.
    Lily wasn't who she said she was. She was the only daughter of the ruthless King that has set his eyes on ruling the Kingdoms of the Region. She went into Eleanor in a disguise as a servant girl. She had know about the prophecy and befriended Grace to kill her when she least expected. The day that Mary had granted Grace to leave the castle that was the day one of her father's soldier came to inform her about the attack that will be carried out that night and told her to return. Of course she did. Lily father wasn't just a mere mortal he was a god king, a king that all kingdoms are afraid of a king who loves money more than his own kingdom. Lily hated the ground her father walks on- No she loathed his very existence. If she had a means to kill him she could have done so a long time ago. But as fate would have it her father isn't someone that can be killed, something always protect him.
    She was going to get help from the Witch Mary, she had know who Mary was and her role in this. Her father wouldn't see what hit him.

    Lucas and Erica, The two horse rider were going fast, they had followed the lost woods in their haste of not meeting with Lydia and came out of a road that leads to Lot Kingdom. They had met with a man who was trying to hid from them, Erica had shot him with her arrow and when they drew their horse closer to where the man had lay they didn't see him. When they had scanned the whole place and couldn't find him they left there going to the Magical world of the Drakin.

    The She-Dragon gently laid Mary on the grass at the entrance to the cave. She stood over her mistress waiting for help to arrive. She doesn't have to wait for long before she hears horses approaching, she watched as two people a man and a woman on horseback appeared through the trees.
    Their horses reared up when they saw the dragon. They managed to get them under control and then dismounted. Aithusa watched them closely if they meant to harm her mistress she would kill them.
    They were both dressed in black armour, one of them had white hair cut short he drew his sword and stepped back, the other had long dark hair and a short beard.
     She walked towards her and she recognised her immediately. She was Lot's daughter she would help her mistress. The malarias had told her so.
    Lily immediately recognize the figure laying at the feet of the Dragon.
    "It's the witch my lady do not go near her. The Dragon will kill you". Armin said
    "The Dragon won't kill us, my father would be happy should I bring the witch he had so much heard in story tales. Think of it my good Armin".
    "How are you so sure that it might be a trick?". Armin asked, had been told of the great witch by his father, after all he was the son of a sorcerer.
    "No, my father is not stupid, he has ways of dealing with the kinds of her. If she try anything funny she will be killed. Pack up and lets return to the castle with the witch it should please my father".
    Armin took Mary and placed her on his horse while Lily climbed hers. She turned to face the white Dragon who had been quite all along.
    "Thank you Aithusa".
    And they rode off with Mary.
    Aithusa watches a while and leapt at the air following them closely so that they would know she was following them.
    The plans of the Malarias and the Dark Goddess are playing out well. Aithusa hopes that her Mistress plays her card well and put the Raven soul into the body of Lily.

    Episode 8

    Mary was sleeping in a guest room. She slept uneasily, tossing and turning, images flicked through her mind.
    She saw herself as she looked down upon herself kneeling in a small room full of candles. She watched as she removed a large blue jewel from a wooden box. Her vision darkened and she saw rows of dead soldiers that turned into ravens as they took to the air, spreading sickness and death across the land wherever they went. The scene changed and she then saw herself again standing on the battlements of a great fortress, below her are thousands of soldiers . The sky darkened and she looked up to see a great woman with wings flying towards her. She landed beside her and took her hand, her face was hidden. She turned to face the room behind them and she saw her father asleep on a bed. Then she remembered he was not asleep, he was dead and she groaned in her sleep.
    She woke suddenly and opened her eyes. A serving girl entered the room with a tray of food. She placed the food on the table then noticed Mary was awake and looking at her.
    "I hope I didn't wake you my lady," she said.
    "No, you didn't," Mary said still feeling the horror of her dream.
    "The king asked me to bring you food and see if there is anything else you need," she said.
    "Where am I?" Mary asked sitting to look around the room.
    "In King Lot's palace, his daughter found you and brought you here. The king wishes to speak with you when you have eaten".
    "Okay, tell him I will come and see him once I am through and have taken my bath".
    Mary said.
    "Of course my Lady, I will ask the servants to prepare your bath my Lady".
    "What's your name?"
    "My name is Safa".
    "Okay Safa thank you".
    Safa was taken aback, no one had ever thanked her not even Lily. She smiled at Mary.
    "Of course my Lady".
    Safa than left the room.
    Mary stood up going to where her food was placed. She immediately grab the soup and started eating. The Malarias had told her everything she needs to know in her dream.
    In the dream, they had unlock her powers and had taught her all that she needs to know. She isn't the Mary everyone had know she is now different.
    A strong witch.

    Erica and Lucas reached the lake that Grace met Isadora and soon enough Isadora came out to meet them still wearing her white robe. She stood at the edge of the lake.
    "Lucas, it has been so long I had seen you. Do you bring a message from Diana?"
    "Yes. We are here to see Selena and Grace. It is very urgent". Lucas said.
    Isadora nodded her head before turning her eyes to the second figure whose face was hidden behind a mask. "And who is this with you?"
    "Someone that Selena would love to meet. Don't worry about her Isadora".
    "Okay if you say so. I trust you Lucas. Follow me".
    Together they walked into immortal world of Dragins.

    After Mary had bathed and eaten, she sat at the table thinking about her vision. The jewel with the Raven soul that was with her. She had to think fast.
    Sefa returned to clear the table. There was a knock on the door and King Lot walked in, leaving his guards at the door. He was a big man both tall and broad he had to duck to enter the room. Mary looked up as King Lot entered her room she noted that he wore well fitting black armour with a sword hanging from a large leather belt around his waist. On Lot the sword looked more like a dagger. His long black hair fell in plaits down his back.
    "The Lady Mary", he said walking towards her and holding out his hand, his voice was loud and deep.
    "King Lot," Mary said, standing and taking his hand. The Melarias had told her what to say and had told her a lot about him 'Be careful with him young one. He is a strong one, but there is a way you can kill him'. Mary smiled at Lot. "I thank you King Lot for your hospitality towards me".
    "Well I'm hoping that you will be able to help me. I'm not known for my kindness," he said laughing. Sefa excused herself and left the room.
    "Of course," Mary said, sitting down, "I will help you my King".
    "We have much to talk about," he said moving to the other side of the table and sitting down facing her.
    "We do," she said smiling.
    "I can't find where Grace is being hidden..." he said.
    "Grace is at the immortal world of the Drakins. She is with Selena as we speak," Morgana said interrupting him.
    "You are sure of this?" he asked looking at her. He poured himself wine and held the jug out towards Mary's goblet.
    "I believe so," she replied passing her goblet across the table towards him.
    "Then I do believe you know why I am helping you. We are going to watch each other backs". The king said leaning back in his chair, which creaked under his weight.
    "We're going to join forces," she said getting up from her chair and pacing the room.
    "That's more like it". The king said looking at Mary.
    "I can make you an army that will not only take Grace and Selena out but her allies as well," she said sitting back down and smiling at him. That smile left him cold but he did not fear anyone and he would deal Mary once she had done what he had ask of her. He will put an end to her.
    "What you don't know Mary is that Grace has many allies that if we sound the horns of war they will come to her side, haven't heard of the Prophecy that was written a long time ago by Omen great grand son. Even you my lady are not powerful enough to defeat them all," he said.
    "I was mortally wounded but I was saved and sent back so I could destroy Grace and those who stood by her. The ways of the old religion will return and you can help me build and rule this new world if you have the courage," Mary said as her eyes flashed red. Lot blinked and shook his head thinking he must have imagined it.
    "How?" he asked, leaning across the table towards her.
    "I will soon have the power to raise the dead. Wherever this dead army goes they will destroy all that they touch," she said smiling at him.
    "The dead?" he asked. The dead did not bother him they were just meat but he would prefer to leave them where they fell.
    "Yes, many soldiers who had died in many battles. You bring their bodies to me and I can bring them back to life," she said.
    "How are you so sure if I send my men to dig up the graves of the fallen ones, what guarantee you are giving me that this your army of the dead won't fail us?"
    "This army will be far greater, and cannot be stopped," she said.
    "Hmm, what if Grace find a way to stop them?"
    "Do you doubt me?" she stared at him and for a moment her eyes flashed red again, he saw that she meant what she said. He was still not sure if he had really seen the red in her eyes.
    "No my lady," he said.
    "I will send men to bring the dead back here."
    "Good. It will be good if you start it now".
    "I will send messengers straight away," he started to get up but Mary grabbed his arm. Her eyes were red and he could not look away, he sat back in the chair.
    The Malarias could feel the force of the amulet that Lot wore and it angered them. It kept him safe from mortal magic and if the witch tried to harm him her spell would be reversed, hurting her instead and their plans would be ruined. They won't let that happen, such trinkets would not keep him safe from their magic.
    The Malarias held Lot's gaze and with Mary voice told him exactly what he must do. Lot's eye's glowed the same deep red as Mary's and he listened carefully to all they told him.
    The Malarias was satisfied that he would do as he was told and once he had served his purpose they will ask the witch to put an end of his very existence after they might have depose him of the amulet. They released him from their gaze. He shook his head wondering what had just happened, Mary seemed to be in some sort of trance.
    "My lady?" he asked.
    "So we have a deal?" she said looking up at him, her eyes were no longer red and she seemed the same as always. He shook his head wondering if she had put something in the wine, but no she had been drinking it too.
    "My lord?" she asked wondering why he was looking at her like that.
    "Of course, we have a deal," he said standing up. She held out her hand and he took it and kissed it. Then turned away from her and left the room.

    Episode 9

    THE IMMORTAL WORLD OF DRAKINS
    Erica and Lucas followed Isadora as she took them into the crystal stones where Grace had been a few hours ago. "I can't go further Lucas. It is now up to you". Isadora told them as they stopped at the entrance of the crystal. Lucas nodded and he and Erica walked towards the light. Isadora watches them until the light swallowed them . She immediately turned and started going into the innermost caves of the Drakin to call on Grace, something in her gut told her Lucas and this Stranger were here for Grace. If it was so then she had to go and wake Grace up.

    After Lot left Mary, he went straight to his daughter's chambers. He paused outside the door and turned to the guard.
    "Have the captains Bernard and Tarn ready their men, they will ride tonight. I will speak to them in the throne room within the hour make sure they are not late," he said.
    "Yes sire," the guard said as he turned and hurried along the corridor. Lot walked into the room without knocking. Her daughter was with Alain, the king's own advisor. They were looking over a map of the kingdom, many areas were circled and crossed out. They both looked up when the king entered the room.
    "You did well by bringing in the legendary witch of the old to my kingdom" he said walking to the table and looking down at the maps.
    "She will help us?" Lily asked.
    "Oh yes, she wants the throne of the Nine kingdoms for herself and she will build me an army to take it," he said looking at Alain laughing
    . Alain walked to the dresser and poured the king a cup of wine.
    "What about the Grace and Darken?" Mary asked she was not really interested in thrones, she wanted to get rid of that stupid Grace and Darken. Why didn't the god-forsaken Prophecy didn't say she would be the one to end Darken and rule the Nine kingdoms and bringing back the old religion? Why? Well she was going to change that prophecy once she had Grace out of her way.
    "The Lady Mary believes she has the power to raise the dead, she intends to build us an army to take not only Grace but her allies as well. She has offered to give me the pick of the five kingdoms."
    "You believe her sire?" Alain asked.
    "Of course not, I expect she plans to kill me as soon as I have done her bidding. Thanks to this little trinket she will only succeed in hurting herself," Lot said looking at the amulet he wore around his neck.
    "Won't her army die, if she dies?" Lily asked.
    "I don't expect her to die, I just want her to knock herself out," Lot replied.
    "You plan to shut her in the cage don't you father?" Lily asked.
    "Will you be able to control this army if Mary is out of the way?" Lot asked Alain ignoring his daughter.
    "I should think so sire, it is beyond my powers to raise the dead but controlling them once they have been called is far easier," he replied.
    "Good, make sure you are ready when the time comes," he said.
    "You still plan to take all the Nine kingdoms and the old religion sire?" Alain asked.
    "I plan to rule them all," Lot said laughing as he left the room.
       
    THE NINE KINGDOMS
    All the kings of the Nine kingdoms sat down together to look into the matter at hand.
    All of them were staring at the woman in front of them who had summoned them.
    "So you mean that Darken wants to rule the whole NINE kingdoms all to himself?" Bellowed king Conrad, he was the second king of the nine kingdoms.
    "Not only does he plan on taking the whole Nine kingdoms to himself he plan on ruling the old religion. As we speak he has the legendary witch to do his abiding. The witch is within the fortress of King Lot and both are planning something big".
    "Diana you have been the seer, when your daughter Selena gave birth to her daughter we became blind and cast her away believing Lillian when she came and told us that the child was a evil child. She woven into us and makes us to believe her story. And we order for her daughter which she had given birth to, to be killed and then cast her away". King Reed said, he was the first King of the Nine kingdoms.
    Diana shook her head. "There is more that you all need to know. Selena didn't gave birth to one she gave birth to t........".
    She was cut of by the opening of the door where their secret meeting was held. Every one turned to look at the intruder, it was their personal messenger Maynard.
    "May I have permission to speak in your presence?" Maynard asked his cloak was travel stained and he looked tired as though he had ridden far. His hair was not left out, it look as if he has ridden through hell to get to them.
    "Of course," Diana said.
    "I have strange news and rode through the night to get here," he said standing up.
    "Has there been an attack?" The fifth King of the Nine kingdoms, King Leon asked.
    "Mot yet your majesty, the lands are strangely empty and I met no-one on my journey here," he said looking at King Leon then at King Robyn, the last king of the Nine kingdoms. "My news is far stranger. As you know all know my kings. When someone dies at the battle field we took those who had fallen on the battlefield and buried them on the plain."
    "Yes we all know that, has there been a problem?" King Robyn asked.
    "Yes, but something happened and we are not sure. As you know we left a patrol of ten men to usually watch the field but when the new patrol went out yesterday evening they couldn't find any of them of the fallen ones that had died in a battle. Their gaves were dug up. They had vanished and the whole field had been raided."
    "What?" Queen Gwen asked standing up; she was the only Queen amongst them, she looked very pale and Diana was concerned about her.
    "Grave robbers, they often dig up the dead to take their armour and weapons. Why can't they leave the dead to lie in peace?" King Robyn said clenching his fist.
    "They were not after their weapons," Maynard replied.
    "What did they take then?" King Leon asked.
    "The bodies," Maynard said he looked pale himself, as did most of the Kings even Queen Gwen was not left out.
    "They took the bodies?" Queen Gwen asked sitting down.
    "No-one at the camp heard anything?" King Leo asked. He was the seventh king and a twin to King Leon.
    "They wouldn't, the burial mounds were nearly two leagues from the main camp," King Robyn said.
    "There is more," Maynard said, "all the bodies of the fallen Saxons, our enemies who we had buried before, had been taken as well."
    He looked at all the shocked faces around the table.
    "Who would do such a thing?" Queen Gwen asked.
    "We do not know, there were signs of many men in the area, the ground all around had been trampled but we could not follow any trail through the mountains. We do not know where they came from or where they went. Scouts were sent out to gather news but those who returned before I left found no sign," Maynard said.
    "That's not surprising," The sixth King, Percival said, "The area all around is mostly solid rock, even a large patrol could move through the area and leave little trace.
    The place is desolate and very few people journey in the area."
    "The patrols did meet a few people on the roads and they saw several of Lot's men in the area," Maynard said.
    "You think Lot took the bodies?" Queen Gwen asked.
    "We don't really know". Maynard said
    Everyone turned to look at Diana
    "What do they need the dead bodies of the fallen soldiers for. Do you have any idea on that?" Queen Gwen asked Diana.
    "To build the armies of the walking dead my queen". Diana replied.
    "But how, King Lot doesn't have that kind of magic to bring back the dead. How will he do that?" King Leon asked
    "The Dark Goddess, my daughter Lillian, is strongly behind it. Lydia came and inform of their plans. Get prepared, all the Nine kingdoms should get prepared for a heavy war is coming".
    "But how are we going to fight the armies of the dead?" King Leo asked
    "I have send a message to my other daughter Selena. And they will soon be here with Grace. There is a secret which I know and I have kept it hidden for years. Time isn't on our side and it is time for you, Nine kingdoms to know the truth".
    "And which is?" Queen Gwen asked.
    "That night Selena gave birth, she didn't give birth to only Grace, she gave birth to Erica. Grace and Erica are twins and Selena knows.
    Everyone even the messenger had a look of shock written all over them.

    Episode 10

    KING LOT'S KINGDOM
    Mary was taken straight to the throne room where Lot and his daughter were waiting for her. She was surprised when she saw Lily when Lot introduce her as his daughter.
    "Excuse us Lily", Lot said, "The Lady Mary and I have much to talk about."
    "Okay father", Lily said staring at Mary, who gave her a little smile, before she left the room, her father instructed the guards to wait outside and to let no-one disturb them for one hour.
    "I have sent men to collect the dead from Camlann, they should return tomorrow," he said once he was sure they were alone.
    "That is good, I shall be ready for them," Mary replied.
    "We will need to be quick to attack the nine Kingdoms".
    "We will not be attacking yet," Mary said smiling.
    "Why not?" Lot asked.
    "I want them to suffer a lot, without Grace and her helpers the whole nine kingdom is nothing. We will attack Caerleon first, and then move west to Nemeth and south to Queen Gwen's Kingdom . Once we have taken out her kingdom, we will control the south, men and supplies will be unable to move without our knowledge," she replied.
    "And your army will destroy everything in its path?" Lot asked.
    "The lands and their armies will be destroyed, but many of the people and their leaders I will allow to escape. They will flee to the head of the Nine kingdoms as the only refuge left.
    Queen Gwen will watch as her kingdom and lands around her fall into ruin and she will be powerless to do anything to help."
    "What if Grace and her helpers destroyed this plans of yours". Lot asked.
    "That can never happen I can assure you of that. I will soon be far more powerful than she ever dreamed of and I will enjoy watching her suffer, she will be powerless to stop the ruin I shall create." Mary smiled and Lot once again felt uncomfortable, the woman was completely mad and the sooner he was rid of her, the better.
    "I must prepare my men, it is a long march to Caerleon," Lot said getting up from the table. Mary immediately touched his hand and Lot sat back down. His eyes were red and he stared ahead.
    The Malarias had taken over Mary's.
    "Now remove your amulet and place it on the table." Lot stared ahead but did as she said and pulled the amulet over his head and put it on the table.
    The Malarias looked closely at the amulet and carefully removed the stone in the centre. She replaced it with the one Mary had took with her. They commanded Lot to put the amulet back on and put the stone they had removed in the pouch at Mary's waist.
    The Malarias released their hold on his mind and retreated. Mary blinked then looked at Lot sitting across from her staring into nothing.
    "What are you waiting for?" she asked.
    "I...Nothing... I ... Are you trying to enchant me?" Lot asked full of suspicion.
    "Enchant you! Of course not, why do you ask?" Morgana replied feeling uncertain herself, there had been something the Malarias had done to him when they had taken over her body. Had they done something to Lot's amulet? She couldn't quite remember and it looked the same as ever.
    "I'm sure I felt something," he said looking down at his amulet. Then he remembered that any enchantment she tried would be reversed so he must be mistaken. "Never mind it's gone and I have things to attend to." He got to his feet and left the room.
    Mary turned from the room and returned to her chambers.
    THE IMMORTAL WORLD OF DRAKIN'S
    Erica and Lucas sat down facing Selena, her white Smokey form staring at them.
    "Your message is from my Mother, Lucas?"
    "Yes Selena. Mother told us to come and inform you that Grace Presence and yours are need. We were told to come with Grace and you. The war has started and Grace needs to be trained when facing Darken, the legendary Witch, Malarias and your Sister. As we speak, they are already planning something big". Lucas said
    "I see, well that's not a problem". Selena said and turned to face Erica. "You are safe here Erica. You can remove your veil, after all I want to introduce you to Grace".
    Selena smiled as Erica did as she was told. Erica removed her mask and stares at Selena who then gave her a smile which she return with hers.
    Selena briefly closed her eyes for a moment and then opened it "I have send Isadora to call Grace here".
    Erica nodded her reddish hair and placed one of her hand into an inner pocket of her cloak bringing out the third hidden prophecy that Diana had given to her to give it to Selena. "Mother, grandmother gave me this and told me to give it to you. She said you will know what to do".
    Selena took the paper parchment from Erica. Selena had know that there was a third prophecy written, but she did not know what was written in it her mother had told her that the time had not come for her to know what was in it. And now her mother thinks that now is the time.
    As she stares at the parchment waiting for Grace to come, Selena hope whatever that was in it will be for their good.

    Isadora had almost reached the cave Grace was when she heard the voice of the white Goddess telling her to bring Grace back to the crystal stones. She only hope that whatever it is Grace will be able to handle it.

    Grace was having a dream. In the dream she saw herself and her late mother holding hands together. Little Grace was laughing at what her mother was telling her, they were facing a lake but when Grace take a closer look at the lake it looks like the lake where Grace had first met Isadora.
    "Grace my little angel, this lake is where your beginning will start, where your destiny will take a tune".
    "I don't understand you mama". Little Grace said not understanding what her mother told her.
    "You are too young to know this, but I have to tell you. I won't be with you for long..." A cough stopped her as she coughed for a while then spitting out some blood. Grace saw the blood, this was not the first time she had seen her mama cough out blood it pained her when her mama is sick and she couldn't do anything to help her mama.
    "Mama are you okay?" Grace asked as she used her little hands to wipe out the blood in her mother's mouth.
    "I am fine my angel your mama is fine".
    "Okay if you say so. I want you to sing for me mama. Please sing for me".
    The lady laughed out a bit louder "Okay my angel I will sing you a song".
    'I would do just about anything you'd ask
    For you there's nothing I wouldn't do
    I would walk with my bare feets to the end of the earth
    I would give up on anything I had to,
    I would hold your hand every minute of every day,
    But I won't because I know you need to find your own way
    Sleep now, my angel, and rest your eyes
    Mama must say her last goodbyes
    Please don't be sad and please don't cry
    Mama will give you the wings to fly
    Life is not fair but please understand
    Mama is not far, I am holding your hands
    I am never too far from you
    My time spent with you will be forever treasured
    Mama must go, it's time for me to fly
    Find in your heart to be brave
    No matter what happens, I am there with you
    Do not forget where you came from'.
    "Wow, mama that was nice, but, the song was a sad one. It makes it look as if you are telling me goodbye. Are you going somewhere without me mama, because if you are I won't let you go alone. I will follow you". Grace told her when she had finished the song.
    The lady only laugh out again "Oh Grace if only you know".

    Grace opened her eyes when she felt someone waking her up. When she opened her eyes she saw Isadora looking at her strangely.
    "What is it?" Grace asked as she saw Isadora staring at her.
    "Your eyes... well never mind. Your mother told me that your presence are needed".
    "Oh".
    Grace stood up from the rock made bed she fell asleep a few hours ago and stretched herself yawning in the process. Isadora had given her some clothes to change into before she was given food and slept off.
    "We can go now". Grace said. Isadora nodded and started leading the way to the heart of Drakins. When they got to the standing stones Isadora pauses and look at Grace.
    "You know I can't go further from here". Grace nodded "But I must tell you Grace things are about to change and I hope it is for good".
    Grace smiled and entered the standing stones.

    DARKEN FORTRESS- HIS KINGDOM
    Darken sat down on his throne looking at Lillian who was staring back at him.
    "Do you think Mary will succeed with this plan of yours?" Darken asked the Goddess
    "Yes, the Malarias are keeping their eyes on the witch. Don't worry everything will go according to my plan and soon enough we will have the Nine Kingdoms to ourselves and put Selena and her stupid daughter to their place. No one not even a mere prophecy can change that".
    "Well I believe you Lillian, but you know my patient is wearing off and I need to rule all the kingdoms. Tell the Malarias and the Witch to hurry up with whatever they are planning".
    "Like I have told you Darken, just a little more longer and you will have that which you desire. "



    LOT'S KINGDOM/FORTRESS
    Mary sat quietly at the table with her head in her hands. She heard a noise outside and then raised voices. Lot and his daughter were arguing in the corridor outside her room. Mary looked at the bed and then at the door and smiled. She walked to the door and opened it.
    Lily was standing just outside her room, watching her father walk away. She was a beautiful lady but the hatred in her eyes, as she looked at her father, made her ugly. She hated her father but she also feared him, she knew she was no match for him and never would be. She turned and saw Mary standing in the doorway to her room watching her. Her face cleared and she smiled at her.
    "Sorry to disturb you my lady," Lily said.
    "Is everything alright my Lady?," Mary asked looking in the direction Lot had gone.
    "Yes, yes, my father is off to check that I really did put some treasures in the vault," She said following her gaze.
    "He doesn't trust you?" she asked.
    "He trusts no-one," Lily replied looking back at Mary.
    "Would you like a drink?" Mary asked moving back into the room a little and smiling at her. "I never got the chance to thank you properly for saving me."
    "Well you don't have to my Lady". Lily said.
    "Well I insist and I have kept something back for you," she said moving further into the room and holding the door open for her.
    "Why thank you my lady," she said walking into the room. She glanced at the bed with the curtains drawn around it and felt uncomfortable. Then she saw a blue jewel on the table and forgot everything else in the room
    Mary closed the door and returned to the table, she poured wine into two goblets and passed one to Lily who was still staring at the jewel.
    "Beautiful isn't it?" she asked.
    "It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen," Lily said taking the goblet from her.
    "It's yours, take it," she said.
    "Mine?" Lily asked still staring at the jewel.
    "Yes, to thank you for saving my life, and for me treating you bad in my kingdom," Mary said.
    Lily placed her goblet on the table and reached out to touch the jewel gently running her fingers over the surface. She picked it up carefully, it was a lot heavier than she had expected. Mary stood back and chanted quietly. Lily's hands went rigid and she dropped the jewel on the table where it broke into two pieces.
    "Oh..." She said as Raven's soul left the jewel and swirled around her. She gasped as Raven took control of her body and her mind, she grabbed the table to steady herself.
    "Are you alright my Lady?" Mary asked placing her own goblet on the table and moving Lily's out of the way. She pulled the chair closer and helped her to sit down. She sat in the chair, keeping her head down and resting her arms on the table, she groaned and held her head in his hands. Her breathing became strained and she groaned again, she laid her head on the table covering it with her arms. If Mary hadn't known better she would think Lily had fallen asleep, the occasional groan and ragged breathing could have been caused by bad dreams. Outwardly there was no sign of any change but she could not see her face. She sat down in the chair on the opposite side of the table and watched her get her breathing under control.
    The Raven had been released.
    Mary opened her eyes and sat up, her neck was stiff. She must have fallen asleep again waiting for Lily to wake up. She looked at her closely she had not moved but her breathing was steady. Mary stood up and stretched.
    She walked slowly towards the bed then changed her mind and turned back to the table. Lily was now sitting up, as she turned to face her, she understood it was not Lily anymore. Although she looked just like the princess, her eyes were black.
    "You released me from my prison?" She asked looking at the jewel now in two pieces on the table. Her voice was beautiful and melodious to the ears, much more beautiful than Lily's.
    "Yes my Lady," Mary said, she walked to the sideboard and filled two clean goblets with wine. She passed one of them to Raven before sitting in the chair opposite her.
    "You know who I am?" She asked taking the goblet.
    "You are the great sorceress, Luciana, also known as The Raven to those of the old religion. The Dark Goddess gave me the power to remove the binding spell that held you," she replied.
    "Then I am deeply in your debt lady Mary," she said looking at the wine in her goblet before taking a sip.
    "You know who I am?" she asked.
    "Princess Lily knows who you are and as I now share her mind and body I have access to her memories. You are the legendary Witch, high priestess of the Dark Goddess and the last of your kind."
    "She's not dead then?" she asked taking a sip of her own wine.
    "No, she will be useful to us. She hates her father and will help us take his throne."
    "I thought she was just scared of her father". Mary said.
    "That was then, this is now," she said, standing up and stretched herself. Mary watched as Luciana walked towards the window and opened it. It was still dark outside as she stepped out onto the balcony and looked around.
    "You released me to help you take over the Nine kingdoms, Grace and her allies according to the Princess," Luciana said walking back into the room, closing the window behind her.
    Luciana passed her as she walked over to the mirror on the wall and looked at her new reflection.
    "You will join with me and have Nine kingdoms bow before us?" She asked.
    "The Malarias healed me of a mortal wound.
     The Dark Goddess gave me the spell to release you so together we could take the Nine Kingdoms, Grace and her allies. I believe it is my destiny to bring the old religion back to reign once more."
    "What of Selena, the White Goddess, It was her magic that bound my soul to that jewel," she replied walking back to the table.
    "That was Selena?" she asked.
    "What became of her, she was powerful all those years ago but she refused to join with me. She has such power, I could feel it when I tried to take her body once, but with my soul that connects with Lily I now know what had happened to Selena and about her daughter, Grace". Luciana said sitting back down opposite Mary.
    "Nevertheless Selena is a powerful enemy and I doubt either of us or the Malarias have the power to defeat her." Luciana's head moved from side to side as though she was listening to something. The movement reminded Mary of a bird and she wondered if that was how she got her name-Raven.
    "I have a better idea, if we can lure Selena and her daughter here then there is a cell beneath the throne room, they call it The Cage. Lot had his advisor Alain create it so he would never be at the mercy of a sorcerer or sorceress. Magic cannot pass through the sunscind stones that line the walls. Trapped in the cage they would be powerless and we would have more time to encourage Selena to join us once again", Luciana said.
    "Lily told you of this cage?" Mary asked.
    "Yes, she believes her father intended to trap you there. Her father wears a sunscind stone on an amulet around his neck, if you had tried to harm him with magic it would have been reflected back to you," Luciana said looking at Mary she had gone pale.
    "I...I removed the stone and replaced it with another similar but harmless jewel," Mary said, removing the sunscind stone from the pouch at her waist and putting it on the table.
    "How did you manage to get the amulet?" Luciana asked looking at the stone on the table.
    "The Malarias, they helped me". She said as she picked up the sunscind stone and returned it to the pouch on her belt.
    "I owe you a debt for bringing me back to life", Luciana said.
    "Yes, and that is why you will help me to rise the army of undead". Mary told her.
    "Okay, I will do that but you know what the old religion says". Luciana said
    "Yes, the guardian of the spirit world demands a life for a life," she replied.
    "The princess suggests her father's life should be sacrificed for the life of the walking dead," Luciana said smiling at Mary.
    "You were right, the princess is useful," Mary said smiling back at her.

    Episode 11

    THE IMMORTAL WORLD OF DRAKIN'S
    When Grace approached Selena she noticed that her mother was not alone, two more unknown people were with her discussing quietly to each other. Her mother was the first person to notice her presence and beckon her to come. Grace moved to them and Selena made another stool to appear for Grace to sit on it.
    When Grace had finally settled down Selena began to speak.
    "Grace, I told you that there was something that I had wanted to let you know, right?"
    "Yes mother". Grace replied.
    "Do you know them?" Selena asked as she pointed to the visitors who sat opposite of Grace
    . Grace stare at them briefly before shaking her head to the side way.
    "No, I don't know them" She replied.
    "Okay, the young lady sitting next to the young man is Erica and the young man himself is Lucas. They brought a message from my Mother, someone who you are still yet to meet. They came here to take you back with them. A war will soon be upon us and you need to get prepared for it".
    "Okay".
    "Grace what I want to tell you is important, Erica here is your sister".
    "My sister? How? What do you mean?" Grace all but rushed at her question, she was confused.
    "Not only is she your sister but your twin. No one knows of this not even my two sisters nor Darken knows about her.
    In their eyes I had only gave birth to one". Selena replied as her eyes moves from Erica to Grace, they didn't look alike at all while Erica somehow look a bit of her and their father Grace look more of her father with her two color eyes, if only they know who he was. Selena sighed as her gaze rested on Grace.
    "My twin?"
    "Yes your twin. When I gave birth to you, I was a little bit unconscious and when I regain myself I was only given you. My mother had taken Erica away, no one knows that I had given birth to two girls. I only got to know some few years later when she told me". Selena answered
    "If she is really my twin then who among us is the prophecy talking about?" Grace asked.
    "It's you Grace not me", Erica said, this was the first time Grace was hearing her contribute on the matter.
    "But how did you know it's me?" Grace asked feeling confused.
    "Well, Erica doesn't have any form of powers. At first we had thought that it was her the prophecy spoke off, but later on we got to know it wasn't Erica but you Grace. You have within you the four major elements, Earth, Fire, Air and Water. You will be taught all that you need to know by my mother". Selena said.
    "Okay, what about Erica at least she must have a gift in her, right?" Grace asked.
    "You are right, Erica is very skilled in swords. In all her years in fighting no one had ever defeated her before. You will need her in this war as she will need you. You are but one side of a coin, Erica is the other side, you complete each other, well that was what the third prophecy said". Selena told Grace.
    "In all you have just told us, you never made any mention of my father, who was he?" Grace asked.
    "Yes mother, I have been dying to know who he was". Erica said supporting Grace.
    "All you need to know is that it isn't my place to tell you. You will know when it's time for now just focus on the path ahead of you both". Selena's said.
    Lucas cleared his throat then all eyes fall on him."The Journey is too far Selena, we need to go now". Lucas said as he got up from where he sat.
    LOT'S KINGDOM
    The morning bell rang out through the castle. Mary looked to the window and saw the sun had now risen and a new day was beginning.
    "I am hungry, I need to eat before I start," Luciana said walking back towards the table.
    Mary followed her walking past the table to look out of the window. There were many soldiers in the courtyard below. They were preparing for war, cleaning weapons and packing provisions. From her vantage point on the balcony she could see many men taking shrouded bodies from carts and placing them in rows on the hillside beyond the castle walls. Mary looked back down into the courtyard below. Although it looked chaotic she could see the purpose with which everyone moved. She could see Lot talking to some of the captains with an older man at his side.
    "There is my father," Lily said standing next to her. She looked around quickly and realized that Luciana was no longer in control. It was Lily who stood next to her, her voice had changed and her eyes were now a muddy brown.
    "You're back?" she asked, waiting to see her reaction to what she had done.
    "Lady Luciana has agreed to let me help, I will have food sent here and will find out what is happening," she said still watching her father shouting at his men.
    "You're not angry?" she asked.
    "At first I was but Luciana can be persuasive and with her help I no longer need to fear my father. I cannot change what you have done but I can either stay trapped within my body or help you rule the new world. Luciana has agreed to let me kill my father if I join with you," Lily said still looking out of the window.
    "You really do hate him," she said following her gaze.
    "You have no idea," Lily said, watching her father order his men to do his bidding.
    "Who is the old man walking behind your father?" Mary asked.
    "That is Alain, his advisor. He's a sorcerer, he created and built the cage that you were supposed to be held in. There is a lever next to throne that opens a trapdoor above the cage," she said.
    "How did he discover the sunscind stone?" she asked. "I have never heard of it?"
    "I told him of the pit I find it in and he was curious. I believe he went to look at it and found the stone naturally embedded in the walls," she replied still staring at her father.
    "Where did he get the stone from to create the cage?" she asked anger building in her against lot.
    "Ruadan found a vein in Rodna. My father sent men to retrieve enough to create the cage. He also had a piece polished and put in the amulet he wears." Lily moved away from the window.
    "Does Alain know that your father intended to trap me in the cage?" she asked still looking at the old man trailing behind Lot.
    "Yes, he told my father he would be able to control your army once you are out of the way," she replied.
    "Really, then perhaps he should get a chance to show me just how his creation works," she said moving away from the window.
    "I must go and find out what is happening, but I will return," she said moving to the door and sliding the bolt.
    "I will wait for you here, my Lady," Mary said bowing her head.
    "My lady," Lily said bowing to her as she left the room.
    Lily had not been gone long when there was a knock at the door.
    "Enter," Mary called.
    Sefa entered with food on a tray, two more servants who Mary had never seen before brought in water and a basin. They put the basin and jug of hot water on the sideboard and took fresh towels from a small cupboard near the wardrobe and placed them next to the bowl. They bowed to Mary then left.
    "Lady Lily said she will be joining you for breakfast my lady," Sefa said as she placed the tray on the table. She set two places taking plates and food from the tray and putting them on the table as Mary paced the room. Once the tray was emptied she cleared the table of the broken glass, all that was left of Luciana's prison. She tidied Mary's vanity table and pulled the curtains at the windows. The curtains to the balcony windows were already open. She picked up the empty wine pitcher on the sideboard and replaced it with the one she had brought from the kitchen. She glanced at the bed, it was her job to make it but she did not want to anger Mary.
    "You can leave the bed for now," Mary said watching her.
    "As you wish my lady," she said returning to the table to pick up the tray.
    "Are you fond of your uncle?" she asked as Sefa put the empty pitcher on the tray.
    "He has been good to me, my lady," she replied pulling the tray towards her.
    "He is very loyal to the king," Mary said sitting back down at the table.
    "Of course, my lady, he has been King Lot's adviser for many years. King Lot accepts his skills as a sorcerer and rewards him well for his services." Sefa felt uncomfortable under Mary's gaze. She picked up the tray intending to take her leave.
    "I wonder if he would serve his daughter, once the king is dead." Mary said quietly as though she has forgotten Sefa was there. Sefa backed slowly towards the door. She was sure it was treason to talk of the king being dead, she does not want to get involved.
    "I asked you a question," Mary said before Sefa could get to the door.
    "My lady?" Sefa asked, she was terrified of Mary and did not want to anger her after all she was the Legendary Witch that was spoken off in tales.
    "What does your uncle think of princess Lily?" she asked.
    "I... I don't know," Sefa replied, her uncle had never discussed the princess with her. Mary stared at her, holding her gaze, then looked away when she was sure that the girl was telling the truth. She stood up and walked towards the sideboard that held the hot water.
    "Very well you can leave. Do not tell anyone what we talked about and make sure you destroy that broken glass. Take it to the blacksmith and put it in his furnace. Tell him you were asked to do so by princess Lily," Mary said pouring hot water into the basin and dismissing her.
    "My lady," Sefa said, bowing her head and leaving the room as fast as she could walk.
    Sefa took the tray to the kitchen, when she was sure that no-one was watching her she wrapped the two pieces of glass in a cloth. She hid them behind a stack of plates so she could take them to the blacksmiths once she had finished her chores. Perhaps she should show her uncle first but Mary had told her not to tell anyone. She jumped as she heard another servant call her name.
    "Sefa, are you alright?" the other girl asked, she was carrying a basket full of fragrant leaves.
    "Yes, yes Greta, I'm fine you just startled me," she said.
    "I have so many things to do today, I wish I had time to daydream. Would you be a dear and take these to your uncle for me?" she asked holding out the basket.
    "Of course I will," Sefa said taking the basket.
    "Thank you, you're an angel," Greta said. "Now I can go and collect Lady Anna's laundry." She grabbed a large basket and left Sefa holding the smaller basket of herbs.
    Sefa retrieved the broken glass still wrapped in the cloth and hid it beneath the fragrant leaves. She took another look around the kitchen then went to find her uncle. As she made her way to her uncle's chambers she saw Armin the physician's apprentice and personal friend of princess Lily. She couldn't avoid him and recently they had become friends, he would be suspicious if she didn't speak to him.
    "Hello Sefa, where are you going in such a hurry?" he said walking towards her.
    "Hello Armin, I'm looking for my uncle. Have you seen him?" she asked.
    "Yes, I've just spoken to him, I believe he was returning to his chambers."
    "Thank you," she said.
    "Have you seen the Lady Lily this morning?" he asked her before she could walk away.
    "Yes, she ordered breakfast to be sent to Lady Mary's chambers. She told me she intended to join her but had not arrived when I left."
    "Thanks," Armin said, though his face had gone pale.
    "Is everything alright?" she asked.
    "She was supposed to accompany her father this morning. It's not like Lily to disobey him, she knows what her father is like."
    "Perhaps she forgot," Sefa said, wondering what was going on between Mary and the king's daughter.
    "Perhaps, I'd better go and remind her before the king finds her there." He turned and walked away in the direction of Mary's chambers.
    Lily ordered breakfast, then she went to the courtyard in search of one of the captains. She had found Tarn taking his horse to the stables.
    "Where have you been my Lady?" the captain asked as Lily approached him.
    "That is no business of yours Captain Tarn," Lily said.
    "Of course my Lady, it's just that your father was expecting you to join him this morning."
    "What is going on?" Lily asked, seeing many soldiers moving about the courtyard gathering supplies.
    "We returned from Camlann with the dead as the lady Mary requested. They are being laid out on the hillside just beyond the city walls," Tarn said.
    "Where is my father now?" She asked.
    "He has just left. I believe he went to oversee the muster of the troops that are gathering near Fulhar forest and to pay the mercenaries that will join us. When all is ready here we ride to join them," he said.
    "Good. How many men do we have?" She asked.
    "I'm not exactly sure, My Lady," Tarn said, not sure how much he should say, Lot was not at all happy with his daughter.
    "Make a guess," Lily said touching the hilt of her sword.
    "Your father's army is around eleven thousand strong, with three thousand on horseback and the rest on foot. This is the last of us, we are preparing to ride to the weapon take. I do not know the number of the mercenaries but I would guess about two thousand."
    "When does he plan to leave for Caerleon?" Lily asked.
    "Tonight, as soon as all is ready, we are to reach Caerleon before nightfall tomorrow and be ready to attack with the rising sun."
    "Very well," Lily said, turning to leave. "If my father asks where I am, tell him I am dining with the Lady Mary."
    "My lady," Tarn said bowing. It was not his place to say anything but he quietly wondered if the princess had a death wish. Lot expected everyone to follow his orders including his stupid daughter.
    Armin overheard Lily talking to one of the captains and waited for her to finish before approaching Lily. As Lily turned to leave the courtyard Armin ran after her.
    "Lily, I've been looking everywhere for you," he said as he caught up with the princess.
    "It's Lady Lily, who do you think you are talking to," she said. "You show me some respect or I will have your head."
    "Uh, Lady Lily, it's me, Armin," he said.
    "I know who you are, Armin. Your father is the Court physician and you are his apprentice. I understand that you saved my life many years ago but with your ridiculous views on a physician's duty you are only still alive thanks to me."
    "I thought..."
    "I hope you never thought we were friends. Tell your father I need some poison that is strong to be made," she said turning to leave.
    "Alain makes the poison," Armin said.
    "Alain will be busy with other matters, if your father refuses, I will kill him and you can make the poison," she said walking away. Armin stared after her wondering what had just happened. He had been Lily's friend for years and he had never seen her like this. There was only one explanation, Mary. He turned back the way he had come and went in search of his father.
    Lily returned to Mary's chambers and sat down to eat.Lily told her what she had found out. After Lily had eaten she locked the door and went to the bed, opening the curtains.
    "We must be ready when my father returns," she said turning to Mary. She watched as Lily's eyes changed colour and became as black as ink. Luciana had taken over.
    "Now we need to wait, we cannot complete the spell until the price has been paid," she said moving back to the table.
    Luciana then allowed Lily to take control of their body and they sat in silence waiting for Lot to arrive.
    Armin left Lily and returned to the physicians chambers that he shared with his father. A young man Armin didn't recognize was standing in the doorway about to leave.
    "Ah, Armin we were just talking about you," his father said as he entered the room, passing the young man.
    "This is Gregory, from, where did you say you were from boy?" his father asked. His father called everyone under the age of thirty 'boy'. Armin guessed the 'boy' was probably in his late teens.
    "Eald, my lord," he replied.
    "I'm no lord, and wouldn't want to be. My name is Asher, and this is my son, Armin," he said laughing quietly as Gregory blushed.
    "Eald, that's one of the outlying villages, west of here and close to the head of the Nine kingdoms border," Armin said walking further into the room.
    "You know it?" Gregory asked.
    "I know where it is. What brings you so far from your village?" he asked.
    "There has been an outbreak of the sweating sickness." said Asher. "I'll prepare a remedy and we were hoping you could accompany him to administer it."
    "You want me to go to Eald?" he asked looking at his father.
    "Run along lad, tell the nice lady in the kitchen I sent you and show her that note. Return here when you've eaten," Asher said to Gregory. The young man nodded his head and left shutting the door behind him.
    "You should go with him," Armin said, wondering if he could get his father safely away from the castle.
    "Me, you know I can't ride anymore, I can't even get into the town without your help," he said. Armin sat on the bench by the table and sighed.
    "What's wrong with you, I thought you would enjoy getting away for a couple of days," his father said going back to his own desk and sitting down.
    "I'm worried about you," Armin said.
    "Me, there's nothing wrong with me, except old age," he said.
    "I've just spoken to Lily, sorry Lady Lily," he said looking at his father.
    "When did you two ever bother with titles?" Asher asked.
    "Since I spoke to her a few minutes ago and she told me to show her some respect," Armin said resting his head on his hands.
    "Well, Lily treats everyone like that," Asher said putting the books he had been studying in a pile.
    "Not me, she told me herself that I am her friend and I should never call her anything but her name."
    "She's been spending a lot of time with the Lady Mary", Asher said quietly looking at his son over the papers and books on his desk.
    "I think they are planning something," Armin said.
    "Planning what?"
    "To poison the king," he replied quietly.
    "What are you talking about?" he asked getting up and moving to the bench next to his son.
    "Lily wants you to make the poison that Alain has been making, but a stronger one" he said turning to face his father. "If you refuse, he said he will kill you and I will have to make it."
    "Alain deals with things like that, not me or you," he said.
    "He said Alain will be busy, but I think he knows Alain would go to his father," Armin said taking his father's hand. "What will you do?"
    "I have no choice, I will have to make this poison," his father said, he put his other hand over Armin's
    "You can't, you taught me that a physician's first duty is to heal not harm. You said that law is sacred and should never be broken, even the king respected your oath," Armin said.
    "I will make it, but I will not take it to Lily, I will take it to her father and explain his daughter threatened me."
    "Will the king believe you?"
    "I think so. I need you to gather some supplies to make the sweating sickness cure. You know what's needed?" Asher asked, patting his son's hand before standing up and going back to his desk.
    "Of course, are you sure the king will listen to you?" Armin asked.
    "Yes, he distrusts Mary and he has very little love for his daughter." Armin took a bag from the back of the door.
    "I won't be long," he said opening the door and shutting it quietly behind him.
    Sefa hurried to her uncle's rooms, he was sat at the desk going over some old books when she arrived. The door was open and she walked straight in.
    "My dear Sefa," he said as she placed the basket on the table.
    "Hello uncle. Are you busy?" she asked.
    "I'm never too busy for you my dear," he replied getting up and looking in the basket she had brought with her. Sefa walked to the door and looked out into the corridor. There was no one around so she closed the door and pulled the bolt across.
    "Whatever is wrong my dear?" he asked watching his niece. She looked scared to death.
    "I have to tell someone," she said, then burst into tears. Alain helped her to a chair near his desk and passed her a handkerchief. He waited patiently while she got herself back under control.
    "Now what is it that has upset you?" he asked bringing his chair closer so he could sit next to her.
    "I ... I think lady Mary and princess Lily are planning to kill the king," she said once she had calmed down.
    "Why would you think such a thing?" her uncle asked. He spoke gently but she could see he was worried. She told him everything Mary had said that morning and gave him the two halves of the jewel. Alain was quiet for some time after she had finished talking. He examined the broken jewel carefully with a magnifying glass.
    "You found this on the table in Mary's chambers?" Alain asked, moving towards the window so he could see better in the morning light.
    "Yes Uncle, I thought it was just a broken trinket until she told me to destroy it in the forge," she said.
    "Hmmm," Alain said deep in thought.
    "Do you know what it is?" she asked.
    "I'm not sure, it is very strange, you can't see them without the glass but the surface is covered with small holes," he said.
    "Holes?" she asked.
    Alain passed her his magnifying glass and one of the jewel pieces then moved away from the window so she could have a look.
    "They are so tiny," she said. "Why are they there?"
    "Well they would allow something to pass through the glass if the jewel was not broken," he replied.
    "But they are too small for anything to pass through them," she said passing back his glass and putting the jewel half carefully back on the table.
    "No, they are not that small. Watch," he said going to a table at the back of the room. He selected an incense burner and put it on his desk. His eyes glowed and the incense started to burn. Fragrant smoke spiralled up from the dried sticks. He took the larger half of the jewel and held it above the smoke. The smoke gathered in the curvature of the glass but then started to stream through the many holes in its surface.
    "So, it's some strange incense carrier?" Sefa asked, watching the smoke drift lazily up to the ceiling.
    "No, I think what it held was far more dangerous than incense," he said removing the jewel half from the smoke and wiping it on a damp cloth. He wrapped both pieces back in the cloth Sefa had taken from the kitchens and placed it at the back of one of his many cupboards.
    "What do you think it is?" she asked watching her uncle's quick movements as he hid the glass.
    "You were right to tell me Sefa, but I do not want to say more until I am sure," he said sitting next to her and taking her hands in his own.
    "What should we do?" she asked glancing nervously towards the door.
    "You should return to your duties, I will speak to the king," he said helping her to stand.
    "But Mary will know I told you," she said.
    "Don't worry I will not tell him that it was you who told me. The king will deal with Mary and his daughter," he said leading her to the door and unlocking it. Sefa hesitated at the door as Alain looked out into the corridor.
    "Go now, you have to trust me Sefa," he said.
    "I do, be careful uncle," she replied, checking that there was no one around, she hurried back to the kitchens. After she was gone Alain left his chambers, locking the door behind him. He set out for the throne room in search of the king.
    King Lot had been out with his men since early that morning and had been furious when his daughter had not joined him. He had returned just before noon and went to his chambers to eat before looking for Lily. He had just finished his meal when Alain knocked and entered the room. His advisor told him that he believed Mary had enchanted his daughter to help overthrow the king.
    He had been angry at his daughter before but now he was livid. He would kill both of them. He ignored Alain's warning not to confront him in Mary's presence. He threw the table across the room and stormed out leaving the guards and Alain staring after him.
    Lot stormed towards Mary's chambers, guards and servant's got out of his way or he knocked them flying. He pushed the door open with such force that its hinges broke and fell into the room with a bang. Lot drew his sword as he entered the room.
    "Hello father," Lily said standing up as he approached her.
    "So it is true, you have joined forces with the witch," he bellowed ignoring Mary as he advanced on his daughter.
    For the very first time in her life Lily stood her ground and for a moment Lot felt uneasy.
     Then he was flying across the room as Mart pushed him back using her magic. He had no time to react as his daughter stood over him holding her sword.
    "Goodbye father," she said as she thrust the sword deep into his chest. Her father just stared at her unable to speak, then the life left him. A few minutes later Alain rushed into the room followed by the king's guards.
    "I killed him in self defence," Lily said, wiping her sword and standing back from the body.
    "Of course," Alain said looking down at the king.
    "I am now the Queen of this great kingdom, have the court meet in the throne room in one hour," Lily said to the guards.
    "Yes My Lady," they replied bowing to their new Queen.
    "Send someone to fix the door and get rid of that," she said pointing to her father's body.
    "Yes my Lady," the guards said taking their leave.
    "Alain, I want to speak with you after the coronation, make sure you are there," she said.
    "Yes My Lady, I am happy to serve you as I did your father," he said bowing and leaving the room.
    Mary had returned to her seat after pushing Lot across the room. Lily now went back to the bed pulling the curtains open her hands raised upwards
    "The price had been paid".
    DARKEN FORTRESS
    "I told you that my plan will work, now we have the witch doing our bidding with the king daughter, Lily. It is just a matter of time before we have Grace and the others within our palm". Lillian gloating to Darken.
    "We haven't kill the most important one here, but I believe you Lillian soon we will have the rest begging for my mercy which I won't give". Darken said laughing a bit then his laugh turned into a big scowl.
    "Send for the Malarias here, I need them to look something for me".
    "I hope there is no problem?" Lillian asked all of a suddenly.
    "No there is not. I just have this feelings that Selena is hiding something and I need the Malarias...... why haven't ever had this thought before, why now?". Darken asked no one in particular
    "You need the Malarias to do what Darken?"
    "I need them to look into the past for me, when Selena went into Labour".

    Episode 12

    After Lily has been crowned Queen, she addressed the court. The court of Essetir, Lots Kingdom, was not large, her father's temper and strength had seen to that. Anyone who crossed him was banished or killed and their lands taken and given to someone who would do as he asked. Mary stood by side of the throne watching the resigned faces of those who stood before their new Queen. They listened quietly as Lily told them she planned to unite the south under her rule and those that were loyal to their Queen would receive rich reward.
    "The Lady Mary is with us and I have pledged my allegiance to help her bring back the ways of the old," she said turning to Mary and bowing . There was a scattering of applause as everyone in the crowd looked at each other. Mary was known to all of them, she was the Legendary Witch after all, and they feared her more than they had feared Lot. Mary walked forwards and held up her hands until they were quiet.
    "The head of the Nine Kingdoms is a plague on these lands and without intervention that plague will spread. Their influence with others who adopt their laws hold these lands in fear. Fear not only for those who practice sorcery, but also those that harbour them or seek their help. It is the Kingdom of Crescent (The head of the Nine Kingdoms) that has spilled the blood of so many innocent people and tried to wipe out the old religion.
    I am a high priestess but I will not be the last of my kind. Together we will put right the evils Crescent have inflicted on those they are supposed to protect," she said bowing to them. The crowd applauded not daring to look around at each other this time. The applause died out as Mary went back to her place at the side of the throne and Lily came forward.
    "Crescent is powerful and has many allies. If those allies refuse our terms they will perish. No-one will stand in our way. The Lady Mary will lead my army to victory and once more sorcery will be welcome throughout the lands," Lily said.
    The court once again clapped as Mary came forward and stood to either side of their new Queen. No one spoke out against her. They had followed her father because they feared him. They would now follow his daughter for the same reason, for the people of the court very little had changed. As they started to leave the court room Lily asked Alain and the captain of the guards to wait, she wished to speak to them both. Captain Tarn stiffened then turned to face his new Queen bowing his head.
    "Captain Tarn, I would soon like to speak to you about the new battle plans," Lily said.
    "As you wish my Lady," Tarn said trying not to let the relief show on his face. The courtiers left leaving Alain alone with Queen Lily and Mary. Alain did not know how Mary had managed to use her magic on Lot but he knew she must have, Lily could never have defeated her father without help. Once the guards had closed the doors Mary turned to Alain.
    "I believe this is yours," she said throwing the amulet at Alain's feet. He bent down to pick it up and wondered if he would leave the room alive.
    "I made this under the king's orders," Alain said looking closely at the amulet. "The sunscind stone has been removed and replaced with a similar jewel." He understood now how Mary had been able to help Lily. But how had she managed to swap the stones was a mystery, as far as he knew the king never removed the amulet.
    "Was it you who told him of my allegiance to the Lady Mary?" Lily asked, she sat on the throne. Alain knew the throne had been specially made for a man of Lot's size, he was surprised that Lily looked perfectly at home sat there and possibly even more threatening than her father.
    "I do not know what you mean?" Alain replied. "Your father was angry that you had not joined him this morning."
    "Don't bother concealing the truth," Lily said. "We know you were plotting to take my army and use them for Lot's benefit."
    "I... I was only doing as my king asked. Now you are my queen and I will serve you in the same fashion," Alain said looking at Lily. His eyes flicked to the lever set near to the throne, then snapped back to look at Lily. Mary walked towards him across the floor waiting to see if he would try to open the hatch.
    The doors to the room opened and the guards brought in Sefa, half carrying her as she struggled in their grip. Putting her on the floor in front of the Queen the guards bowed and left the room.
    "What is the meaning of this?" Alain asked moving towards Sefa.
    "Stay where you are," Mary commanded. "Sefa knows why she is here don't you?" She walked towards the girl who was still kneeling on the floor crying. Mary was almost stood over the trapdoor, if Alain could reach the lever while she was distracted he might be able to persuade Lily to spare Sefa's life.
    "No my lady," Sefa said keeping her eyes on the floor.
    "I told you not to tell anyone what you heard this morning but you ran straight to your uncle. Where did you put the broken jewel case that I asked you to destroy?"
    "I took it to the forge as you asked," Sefa said keeping her head bowed.
    "The blacksmith did not see you though he was there all day making shoes for the horses," Lily said quietly from her throne.
    "He was not there, he must have left for a moment," Sefa said, she did not want them to hurt her uncle, he was all she had left. Alain was still moving towards the lever. Mary was now standing right over the trapdoor. He reached out to grab the lever and as he did so Lily grabbed his arm and started laughing.
    "Alain the lever does not work, did you think I would let you use your toys on our honoured guest?" She asked.
    "I..." he does not know what to say, he had thought that perhaps Lily had been forced to kill her father, but it seems that she was actually working with her.
    "Where did you put the jewel case?" Mary asked again bending down and lifting Sefa's chin so she would look at her.
    "I destroyed it like you asked," she replied. Mary slapped her across the face, hard.
    "Do not lie to me, where is it?" she asked again.
    "Please leave her alone, she said she destroyed it. I'm sure she would not lie to you," Alain said going to Sefa.
    "It doesn't matter Mary, as long as they are unable to tell anyone where it is I will be safe," Lily said. Alain wondered why the jewel case would be a threat to Lily.
    "Please let the girl go. She will leave the castle and tell no one what happened," Alain said standing up to face Lily.
    "Yes she can go, I need someone to take a message to Crescent", Mary said.
    "My lady," Sefa said. "Please I do not want to die."
    "You will when I have finished with you," Mary said laughing.
    "Please let her go, I will take your message," Alain said.
    "She can go," Mary said moving back towards the throne.
    The Malarias took over Mary's body.
    Alain helped Sefa to her feet and hugged her. As she turned to go she heard Mary say something quietly then she felt a searing pain in her head. Sefa screamed and fell over, holding her hands over her face. Alain went to her and held her while she cried. It felt like hours but only a few minutes had passed when she stopped struggling and sat up with her face hidden behind her hands. Alain moved her hands away and gasped.
    "What have you done?" Alain asked looking in horror at his niece.
    "I told you she was to take a message to Crescent, Their almighty Diana will know what it means," she said smiling.
    "My god," Alain said staring at Mary.
    "What are you waiting for?" she shouted at Sefa who was still sat on the floor.
    "Go," he told her helping her to her feet. Sefa walked slowly towards the great doors. She wanted to turn and face Mary making her kill her but if she angered her anymore she may do something worse to her uncle. She pulled open the door and ran. Alain walked towards Morgana forgetting where he was. Then he was falling, he must have stood directly above the trapdoor. It did still work he thought as he hit the floor and heard his leg break.
    "You can have your trinket back," said Mary throwing the amulet after him. She kept the sunscind stone it might come in handy. Slowly the doors above him closed, leaving him in darkness.
    Armin walked quickly back to his chambers. He had rode out to the woods to collect the herbs his father needed and it had taken him longer than he had expected. He pushed at the door but it remained shut, his father only locked it if he was treating a patient. Armin knocked on the door. There was no answer.
    "Father, it's Armin," he called.
    He heard a noise then the door opened and his father pulled him into the room locking the door behind him.
    "What's wrong?" he asked.
    "Haven't you heard? Where have you been?"
    "No I haven't heard anything, I've been picking these for you," he replied holding the bag up.
    "The king is dead, his daughter killed him. She's in league with Mary. They plan to take Crescent and her allies and bring back the ways of the old religion," he said talking quickly.
    "How..."
    "I don't know how, something about a great army. I've just got back from the council meeting. Alain was asked to stay behind I think they are going to kill him."
    "What are we going to do?" Armin asked then froze when he heard a noise from behind the screen at the back of the room.
    "It's alright, it's that boy, from the village. I told him to rest while I finish making the potion."
    "We can go with this boy to Eald then get across the border" Armin said putting his bag on the table.
    "You are going with the boy, I will stay here," Asher said.
    "No, I won't leave you," he said going to his own bed and taking a large bag from underneath.
    "You have to, the journey would be too much for me. I would be dead long before you reached the village. I will be alright. I'll make this poison and if they have killed Alain I may still be useful to them if you are not here," he said grabbing his son's arm. "It will be the death of me to see you hurt."
    "I won't leave you," Armin said with tears in his eyes.
    "You must, I may live if I stay but I will certainly die if I go with you. I will gather some supplies for you. You will have to make the potion once you get to the village there is no time now," he said picking up the bag from the table, trying to ignore his son's tears. "Can you go to Alain's chambers first and find some henbane I do not keep such poisons."
    "Alright," he said wiping the tears from his eyes as he walked to the door. "Lock the door once I've gone, the guards might not disturb you if they think you are treating a patient."
    Asher nodded and unlocked the door checking the corridor is clear. He stood back to let Armin leave. Armin squeezed his arm as he left the room. He waited outside the door until he heard the bolts slide home.
    Alain's chambers were not far and Armin paused outside the door. This part of the castle was usually quiet but today he had not seen a single soul. He knocked on the door and entered just as he would have done on any other day. He was surprised when the door opened, he had expected it to be locked.
    "Alain," he said as he entered, although he could see the room was empty. He carefully closed the door behind him but didn't lock it. If Alain returned he would not be able to explain why he had locked the door. He went to the small cupboard at the back of the room where he knew the poisons were kept. He sorted through them until he found what he was looking for then he noticed something wrapped in cloth at the back of the cupboard. He looked inside and saw two pieces of curved broken glass. He was just about to put it back when he heard a groan coming from the other side of the room.
    "Who is there?" he asked putting the glass on the table and drawing his sword. He might be the physician's apprentice but he had trained with Lily often and he was skilled with a sword. Unlike Lily he would never kill without reason but he was capable of defending himself if necessary.
    There was another strange noise coming from behind Alain's desk and Armin wondered if a wounded animal had got into the sorcerer's chambers. He approached the desk cautiously and quickly moved to the side of it.
    "Sefa?" he asked, recognising her though her face was hidden in her hands. He sheathed his sword and knelt on the floor next to her. He reached out to touch her on the arm but she flinched and pulled away from him keeping her face hidden. He noticed a broken mirror on the floor beside her and wondered if she had cut herself.
    "Sefa, it's alright. It's me Armin, I won't hurt you." She made a strange snuffling noise and Armin realised she was crying.
    "What's wrong? Is it your uncle?" he asked putting his hand on her arm again. She didn't pull away this time but she still wouldn't look at him.
    "Sefa, I can't help you if you won't talk to me," he said turning her to face him.
    Her whole body shuddered then she slowly lowered her hands. Armin sat back on the floor still holding her arms. Sefa's eyes were the same as ever but the rest of her face was twisted beyond recognition. Armin's stomach lurched and he felt like he was going to be sick but his father had taught him to never show disgust or revulsion, no matter what he should witness.
    "Who did this to you?" Armin asked quietly as the tears poured down Sefa's twisted cheeks.
    "Mary" she said slowly, her mouth was lopsided and she had difficulty speaking.
    "Mary? Why would she do this?" he asked. Sefa made writing motions and Armin realised she wanted to write something rather than speak. She winced and more tears fell from her eyes.
    "Does it hurt?" Armin asked getting up and helping Sefa to her feet. She nodded looking for pen and parchment on Alain's desk.
    "You are not safe here, I will take you to my father he might be able to help."
    Sefa shook her head, she dipped the quill she had found into some ink and wrote Crescent on a piece of parchment.
    "You want to go to Crescent?" he asked. She nodded.
    "You can come with me I've got to go to a village near the border," he said picking up the hensbane and walking to the door. Sefa picked up the glass and wrapped it carefully passing it to Armin.
    "You want to take that?" he asked. She nodded again and he's glad to see she has stopped crying. He took it from her and moved towards the door. Sefa hesitated and put her hands over her face. Armin looked around the room and saw Alain's cloak hanging from a hook near the door. He carefully put the glass on the table and took the cloak to Sefa. She was still standing in the middle of the room with her hands over her face. He gently touched her arm and showed her the cloak. She nodded and let out a sigh, looking up at him gratefully. He put the cloak around her shoulders and fastened it for her. She pulled the hood up letting it fall to hide her face.
    Armin passed her the glass so she could hide it beneath the cloak. He put the hensbane in his pocket. He held his hand out to her before opening the door and looked out into the corridor. A guard turned the corner into the corridor and he quietly shut the door. He heard the footsteps pass the door then continue along the corridor. He waited a few more minutes to make sure the guard had gone. He could feel Sefa shaking and wondered how anyone could do such a thing to another person. He opened the door again and checked to make sure the corridor was clear. Still holding Sefa's hand so he could guide her and offer her some comfort, they walked quickly to his father's chambers.
    "Father, it's Armin," he said quietly once they were outside the door. He heard the bolts sliding back and the key turn in the lock. He put his arm around Sefa's shoulders and guided her into the room.
    "Lock the door," he said to his father helping Sefa to a bench.
    "Who is this?" his father asked. Armin looked to the back of the room and saw Gregory watching them.
    "It's Sefa," he said getting the screen that his father used for patients.
    "Is she hurt?" Gregory asked.
    "Oh yes, she's hurt," he said looking at his father as he placed the screen around the bench. He threw a blanket over the screen just to make sure the lad could not see. "I thought you might help her but we need a little privacy."
    "Of course," his father said looking at Gregory.
    "We will be ready to leave soon," Armin said to the boy as he went to the desk and picked up parchment, ink and quill. "I will come to your village to help you once my father has helped Sefa."
    "Thank you," Gregory said looking tired but relieved. Armin went behind the screen and put the writing implements on the table.
    "You wanted to write something," he said to her and she nodded. She turned to face the table keeping her hood over her face. She placed the wrapped glass next to parchment then began to write.
    "Sefa I just want to speak to my father for a moment," he said kneeling down next to her. She nodded then carried on writing.
    "What is wrong with her? Why doesn't she speak?" Asher asked quietly as they moved away from the table.
    "Mary has done something terrible to her, her face is disfigured and she is in a lot of pain. She can just about speak but it obviously hurts her to do so," he said quietly.
    "She told you it was Mary's doing?" he asked.
    "Yes," he replied looking at Sefa who was still writing. "She said she wants to go to Crescent, she may have family there."
    "As far as I know Alain was her only family," Asher said looking at Sefa with pity in his eyes.
    "Can you help her?" Armin asked.
    "I doubt it, I may be able to give her something to ease the pain. But if what you said is true, Mary has used magic to hurt her and only magic can cure her."
    Sefa finished writing and pushed the parchment across the table so Armin and his father could read it. They read in silence about everything that had happened since. She had quickly described everything that had happened since she had found the glass in Mary's chambers right up until Armin had found her.
    This glass was in Mary's chambers earlier today, she asked me to destroy it but I took it to my uncle and he's probably dead now too, because of me. Mary asked me to take a message to the great Crescent and also see their almighty Diana. I must go.
    "What is the message you have to take to Crescent?" Asher asked. Sefa removed her hood then looked up at the old man. He sat down on the bench on the other side of the table. He was as skilled as Armin at hiding his thoughts but at the sight of the poor girl his legs had given way.
    "My poor child," he said taking her hand across the table. She tried to smile at him but she knew what she looked like and a tear fell on her cheek burning her skin. He squeezed her hand gently then looked up at his son.
    "You must take her to Crescent, you can pass through the boy's village as it's on the way. It shouldn't take you long to make the potion and show one of the elders how to administer it," he said.
    "I do not know why Mary has done this and I have no idea what this glass is for or why it is so important. Mary told you Diana would understand?" Asher asked. Sefa nodded then grimaced as pain seared across her face.
    "Who is this Diana?" Armin asked as his father went to the shelves by his desk.
    "Well, she is the court physician of Crescent but she is knowledgeable about the old religion and will know far more than I do and also she's the mother of the Goddesses. Diana isn't just the court physician she's from the lineage of Anthea, the Moon Goddess, Diana is the last of her kind," he replied taking down two bottles and checking the labels. He walked across the room to his work bench. The young lad from Eald was asleep again, gently snoring, oblivious to everything going on around him.
    "Will the king let us speak to this Diana before?" he asked as his father mixed the content of the bottles in a beaker then poured the yellow mixture back into another larger bottle on his work bench. Sefa touched Armin's arm and pointed to the parchment where she had added another note.
    Asher walked back towards his son and moved the screen a little so he could sit next to Sefa.
    "These eye drops may help to ease the pain a little," he said to her showing her the bottle. She nodded and held her head back so he could administer them. Her eyes watered as he placed one drop in each eye. She felt the tightening across her cheeks ease a little, the burning was no longer so intense and the pressure on the back of her head lifted. Her eyes widened in surprise she hadn't expected it to work so quickly if at all.
    "It helps?" he asked. She nodded and grasped his free hand.
    "I'm afraid the effect won't last and these must be applied no more than four times a day," he said passing the bottle to Armin. He went back to his shelf and found two more bottles. "Here when that has run out mix in equal measures and just one drop in each eye. That should be enough until you get to Crescent."
    "Thank you," Sefa said quietly, it no longer hurt to speak but the disfigurement made it hard to talk.
    "You are more than welcome, we have waited too long, you must go." Sefa stood up from behind the screen then stepped back when she saw the sleeping boy.
    "One minute," Asher said. "Now where did I put it?" He checked several cupboards and drawers. Sefa looked at Armin but he shrugged, he had no idea what his father was looking for.
    "Here it is," his father said, holding up a piece of plain black silk. "It's a veil to hide the lower face. I had it made when a patient of mine had a particularly nasty injury to his face. He was rather vain but once the scar healed he seemed quite proud of it and no longer wished to conceal it."
    He positioned the veil just below Sefa's eyes and secured it with the ties at the back of her head. She got up and went cautiously to the mirror. Her forehead looked like it had melted and she pulled the hood of her cloak up to hide it. With just her eyes showing she didn't look too bad.
    "Thank you," said Sefa hugging him.
    "Are you feeling better Lady," Gregory asked sitting up.
    "Yes, thank you," she said looking at him and feeling grateful when he didn't flinch.
    "What's wrong with your face?" he asked looking at the veil.
    "The lady has suffered a rather bad accident and my son is taking her to someone who can help her," Asher said.
    "You can't come to Eald then?" he asked looking at the floor.
    "Yes, luckily our path will take us past Eald, I can help your village before we continue on our way," Armin said. Gregory smiled at him and got to his feet.
    "You better go before Lily comes for her poison. I will tell her you will be gone for a couple of days to treat a sickness in a village north of here," he said.
    Asher passed Armin two full bags and Sefa took the bag of herbs placing the glass carefully inside.
    "I wish you would come with us," Armin said to his father.
    "You know I can't," he replied opening the door to let them out. The corridor was empty and the castle strangely quiet. Sefa and Gregory walked out into the corridor.
    "Look after yourself," Armin said hugging him.
    "And you, I love you son," he said.
    "I love you, father," he replied then turned and walked away so his father wouldn't see his tears. They saw no-one as they walked to the stables and Armin wondered if Mary had enchanted the entire castle. As they approached the stables they heard voices. Armin recognised the stable master's voice but not the other. He moved quietly into the shadows behind the stables, then beckoned Sefa and Gregory to follow.
    "Wait here," he said to Sefa, he looked at Gregory who seemed only half awake. "You come with me."
    "Hello Peter," he said walking into the stables with Gregory following him.
    "Hello Armin," Peter, the stable master, said. The other man was a captain of the guard but Armin couldn't remember his name. "What can I do for you?"
    "The boy's family has the sweating sickness and my father has asked me to go and have a look," he said.
    "Oh that's horrible, I had that a couple of years ago. Don't you worry lad Armin here knows his stuff," he said.
    "Will the boy ride with you?" he asked.
    "We'll take Asher's horse as well, I've got to carry all this stuff just in case the diagnosis is wrong," Armin said saddling his father's horse while the stable hand got his own horse ready.
    "No problem, they can't use your father's old horse for their soldiers anyway," he said looking at the guard who had not spoken.
    Armin put his bags on his father's horse and then lifted the boy into saddle of his own horse. He walked the horses out of the stables saying goodbye to Peter. The guard started talking as soon as he had left. It appeared the army needed more horses.
    Sefa came out of the shadows and took the reins of his father's horse. They met no-one thanks to Armin's knowledge of the castle and were soon outside the city walls. He helped Sefa on to his father's horse making sure her veil was still in place then he climbed up in front of the boy and they rode for Eald.
    THE KINGDOM OF CRESCENT
    Diana sat silently in her chambers she had just returned from the meeting which was held when the door to her chambers suddenly opened to reveal Lucas, Erica and Grace. They had just returned from the journey they had gone for.
    "I can see she's with you", Diana said as soon as Erica and Lucas bow to her.
    Grace had been staring at the strange woman who is her grandmother. When they had left the comfort zone of Drakins Erica and Lucas didn't say a word to her until they got here and now she's facing her grandmother she heard of not some hours ago.
    Diana stood up and embraced Grace surprising the younger one, "Welcome Grace, let me introduce myself. My name is Diana and I am your grandmother. I already know who you are Grace, Welcome to your new family". Diana said as Grace stare at her.
    "Okay" Grace said as she did not know what else to say again.
    "Erica will show you your room. When you have settle yourself down I will introduce you to the King of Crescent, he will love to meet you".
    "Thank you Mother", Grace said and Diana smiled pleased with what she heard.
    "Good after that, you will be introduced to your teachers. They will trained you to get you prepared for the coming war. We don't have much time my dear".
    "I will be trained too soon?"
    "Yes, to defeat Darken you must learn the four elements. But first of all to get Darken, we must defeat Mary and her allies", Diana said deciding not to mention Lilys too.
    Grace nodded in understanding.
    Erica quickly left with Grace leaving Lucas and Diana.
    THE KINGDOM OF LOT (Essetir)
    Lily herself knocked on Asher's door less than an hour after Armin had left.
    "Where is Armin?" She asked as the physician opened the door to let her enter.
    "He has been called away to treat a severe case of sweating sickness in the north of the kingdom sire. He will be back in a couple of days," Asher said walking slowly to his workbench.
    "I doubt it," she replied
    "My Lady?" Asher asked, Armin had been right, the lady in his chambers may look like Lily but everything else about her was different.
    "I'm sorry Asher but the North will soon be suffering from a lot more than just sweating sickness. If Armin had waited I could have saved him the trouble."
    "It's never too much trouble for a physician to help the sick," Asher said pouring the poison he had prepared into a large bottle.
    "No physician can cure this sickness, he will fall under its spell himself," Lily said.
    "You think my son will get ill?" Asher asked, he was trying hard to stop his hands from shaking. The Queen's voice sounded odd, much deeper than usual. She was also far more assured of herself than the young princess who had been in constant fear of her father's anger.
    "Never mind, he's gone. Even with all his strange ideas Armin was loyal, he may have been useful," Lily said. "Did he give you my message?"
    "Yes my Lady," he passed Lily the poison he had prepared, his old hands shaking just a little as the Queen took it.
    "My Lady, do you think my son will get ill?" he asked again.
    "No Asher, if he has gone north, he will die," she said leaving the room. Asher hoped that whatever plague the Queen was talking about would not reach Crescent.
    \\
    Lily entered Mary's room and announced. "We will be matching in three days time".
    "Three days, three days? It's too far," Mary said as she pushed the chair she had sat on away from her and started pacing.
    "You do not like to wait?"
    "Yes, we need to attack them now".
    "Okay, how far can you transport yourself?" Lily asked looking at her.
    "Not far, certainly not as far as Gwen kingdom," she replied.
    "I can help with that," Lily said standing up and walking towards her. Her eyes were now black and it was Luciana speaking, although Mary had noticed it was getting harder to tell them apart. She was holding a small jet black raven. She stopped pacing and took it, looking at it closely. It was completely black, except the eyes, which were as red. She took it from her and spoke quietly. The raven came to life moving in her hand then jumped to Mary's dress and gripped it with its tiny talons. It stopped moving and became an ornament once more attached to her dress.
    "What is it?" she asked not sure she should touch it.
    "It will give you the power to transport yourself wherever you wish to go," she said walking towards the window. "Hold your hand over the raven and say afaran and think of the place you wish to go, its power is strong enough"
    "Do you not need it?" she asked.
    "I have other ways I prefer to travel," she said smiling. "At noon tomorrow you can join me as we give Queen Gwen her message for Crescent."
    "Well thank you, my Lady," Mary said returning the smile and looking down at the raven on her dress.
    Mary and Lily walked in silence to the throne room. Lily sat on the throne but Mary continued to pace.
    "Is there a problem?" She asked watching her walk back and forth. She noticed she avoided the trapdoor every time. Mary trusted no-one.
    "No, everything is ready," she said quietly.
    "The captains were not happy with the change of plan?" She asked wondering what was bothering her.
    "I've no idea, they are used to obeying orders, they will do as they are told. Do you see your plans failing?" Mary asked.
    "Do not doubt me Mary, I am far more powerful than you know. Crescent will lie in ruins within a week."
    She sat down on the chair near the throne and sighed. There was a knock on the door and the guards allowed Captain Tarn to enter at Lily's command.
    "Is everything ready?" She asked the captain.
    "Yes my Lady, the first army has left to march to Caerleon on your orders, my Lady. The other two armies are ready and waiting for your word," he said.
    "Here," Lily said passing the bottle of poison to the captain, "The enchantment on this poison is far stronger. Set up archers to stop any aid or supplies reaching Crescent"
    "Yes my Lord," Tarn said taking the poison.
    "We will be ready within the hour, remember the soldiers are to keep out of sight of Nemeth and Meredor until I give the word."
    "Yes my Lady" Tarn said, bowing to Lily then Mary before leaving the room.
    It was getting dark when Mary and Lily returned to her chambers.
    Lily went to the large windows and opened them stepping out onto the balcony. Mary joined her looking out on the soldiers that stood below them. It was a mighty army, a thousand on horseback had already left for Caerleon and there were the two thousand that were gathered at the eaves of the forest waiting for their word.
    Lily spoke to the soldiers gathered below him. "I am Queen Lily of Essetir and you have sworn your allegiance to me, you will be richly rewarded for your loyalty. This will be the greatest battle we have ever fought and I would not risk your lives if I did not think we could win. The Lady Mary and the Malarias will lead you to victory in the days ahead. They will have help and I will prepare the way to make sure victory is certain."
    The soldiers below cheered raising their swords. Once they had quietened Lily spoke again but this time the voice was deeper and although it was too dark to see Mary knew her eyes would be black.
    "I am not just Queen Lily any longer but also the sorceress Luciana. I have returned, and once again I will be feared across the land." She rose into the sky turning into a large bird as she did so. The raven, thought Mary understanding at last how she had got her name. Mary and the soldiers watched as she flew across the courtyard to the field where the dead had been laid out.
    Storm clouds gathered in the sky and lightening streaked across the castle walls but no rain fell. Luciana appeared again flying straight towards the castle but now she was followed by hundreds of ravens. The dead had been turned to Ravens. Their wings sounded like thunder as they flew around the fortress but they made no other noise. Luciana flew back to the balcony, changing in to a lady as she landed next to Mary. The ravens perched around the walls, black as night and silent.
    "No-one can stand in the way of your sorceress Queen and the high priestess," she shouted raising Mary's hand before turning back into the room. The soldiers kept quiet, the birds made them uneasy and they didn't want to spook them.
    Luciana once again took to the skies and the ravens followed, they flew in silence until they reached a forest to the North of Essetir. She flew over the great forest and turned west towards Caerleon. She intended to fly across the North of Crescent, avoiding the great city. That would come later but for now she could make their people suffer. The ravens following her are no longer silent, their deep cawing could be heard for miles.
    Their wings were like thunder as they flew low over the villages and towns. The people who lived below their path cowered in their beds, even the bravest among them trembled in fear.
    Mary gave the order to the soldiers on horseback to ride towards Nemeth and Meredor. They were to keep their approach as secret as possible until the Raven was ready. The soldiers at Essetir prepared for the coming march on Crescent.
    Luciana in her raven form reached Caerleon at midnight. Her ravens were quiet now and they roosted in a forest not far from the city walls. Luciana landed on the floor just outside the forest and turned back into a Lady. She held up her hands to the night sky and started to chant. It was almost a song and her voice became louder then quieter as she turned on the spot with her arms outstretched. She spoke faster and lightning flashed across the sky. She dropped her hands and turned to look in the direction of the great castle. She stood still, waiting for the dawn.

    Episode 13

    Erica had shown Grace to her room, she left her for her to settle down leaving her to her thoughts.
    Soon afterwards, Diana called on Grace to follow her, she will first of all under go some test to determine which elements she could control. The high king had requested for her presence later and told Diana to take Grace where she will undergo the test. They walked in silence until they got to a door painted all black with different symbols on it, "Grace, be focus once you are in there . Erica had gone through her test and now you will do the same, remember the safety of the world is in your hands". Diana said and gesture Grace to open the door.
    Grace opened the door not knowing what to expect she walked in and jumped almost out of her skin when the door close by itself. She turned to look around to see if she would see anything but she could barely see anything because of how dark the room was. Out of nowhere she heard the creek of a door. Turning around her eyes widened as she saw a dark figure standing but couldn't see his face since he was covered by a dark cloak
    The person turned and signal Grace to follow him. Curiously, Grace followed him until they entered into another dark room which was like the first room she had been before. The only difference is that this room has a blue line color attached to it while the main room doesn't.
    "This is your air test.
    If you know how to control air then it's one of your elements". The dark cloaked figure said in a deep voice. Grace was about to ask him how she could control the air but stopped when he raised up his head and looked at her with glowing blue eyes.
    One minute Grace was on the ground and the next she found herself floating in the air. A startled scream left her mouth when some sort of tornado engulfed her. She looked for an escape but found none.
    "Concentrate! Close your eyes and think of the tornado gone. All you have got to do is to concentrate". His booming voice adviced. It took Grace a few seconds to close her eyes and think deeply of a way out. She can do this, she has to try. She clenched her fists and started sweating as she looked straight into the tornado and tried to make a hole in it. Slowly she started seeing a small opening. She can do this, it started to get bigger and bigger.
    A loud thud echoed through the room as her body hit the floor painfully. Standing up to her feet with the pains all over her body Grace only got to see the stranger leaving the room. Why is he leaving the room?
    "Hey where are you going?" Grace shouted following him outside but stopped in her tracks when he disappeared. A light shone underneath the door. Taking hesitate steps forward, she followed the light till her foot near the edged of the door.
    There was a plant placed on the small table in the middle of the room. Grace looked around and saw similar drawings to the one she had seen in the first room, they were a mixture of green and brown.
    "The drawings of the wall represents earth. Earth usually stands for soil and nature. You can do anything with the earth element such as changing soil into rocks or making plants grow".
    Grace stared at the man who was touching the coloured drawings. Unlike the other person she saw he was wearing a normal clothes. He turned around letting Grace to see his face. He has blazing blue eyes, shoulder length blonde hair and was standing tall.
    "To pass this test you have to turn the soil into rock". He pointed to a table that has a glass on it. "Concentrate is the key. I will not tell you what to do because if you are a real earth bender then you will know what to do". He finished his statement by this. If she was a real earth bender? She doesn't even know what an earth bender is and now she will have to earth bend a soil to turn into rock.
    She didn't know what to do
    But she has to give it a try
    Concentrate is the key.
    She has to concentrate.
    She looked at the glass of soil and imagine it crumbling until it became a rock. But nothing happened. She tried again, this time glaring at the glass but like the first time, and yet again, nothing happened. Frustrated, Grace gritted her teeth and tried once again, this time she closed her eyes thinking of it turning into a rock.
    Imagine yourself lifting a huge rock.
    She pictured herself in a huge green field looking at a huge rock in front of her. Grace imagine herself bending down, took it her hands and trying to lift it. Putting so much efforts in lifting it, the work finally paid in. Grace, feeling physically exhausted dropped the rock and opened her eyes only to find herself staring at the broken glass.
    What the-?
    Look at the floor, she gasped as she saw what she had accomplished. Finally!! After all this work, she had eventually pass this. A smile made the way to her face. Looking up to talk to the person that was there, she frowned when she saw no one.
    He just disappear like the first man did. She got out of the room knowing that she should open another door. There were two doors, one to the left and the other to the right.
    Deciding to follow her instincts, her finger landed on the left door. She shrugged and walked in its direction. Opening the door she went in and gasped out at the beautiful waterfall in front of her. Unlike the other two dark rooms, this one was full of light and energy. She loved it already.
    She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Everything in the room was so relaxing. The waterfall calm down down her nerves. The smell of roses was so refreshing. The amount of wind around her was so incredible. She opened het eyes and sigh. She wish she could be allowed to stay the entire day here.
    "Water can be so relaxing. It brings you to life. Makes you relax. The sound of it can be symphony but it can also be deadly". Grace turned when she heard a feminine voice behind her. She gasped when she looked at her.
    The lady before her look so young. She had a light silkyblond hair that reached her waist. Big blue eyes making het look like an angel. She had a petite but pointed nose, red full lips and flawless white skin reminding Grace of a snow.
    Mesmerized by her beauty, she couldn't help but stare at her. When Grace saw the lady lips twitching trying not to break into a smile, Grace looked away embarrassed. Her hand touched Grace cheek making Grace to look back at her. The lady gaze was so intense but at the same time soft. A big smile was on her face as she let her hand fall. Turning around, she walked a few metres away.
    "Tell me child, see the waterfall right there?" She asked Grace, her back still facing Grace.
    "Yes"
    "I want you to stop the water flowing. Freeze it in place". Grace swallowed nervously...
    How can the lady expect her to freeze water?
    "Let me see if you are a water bender". Her sweet soft voice turned hallow.
    "Make it stop". She ordered.
    Grace nodded quickly and faced the waterfall.
    Concentrate
    A tiny voice said to her.
    "Raise your hands child, open your hands child and imagine yourself pulling the current towards you. When you do that, freeze yourself. Your brain. Don't think of anything else expect for the water frozen".
    Grace did as she was told. She extended her arms forward and closed her eyes. She started pulling the current in her direction. She bent her fingers and pulled them backward. She did that for a minute till she felt energy pulsing through her veins.
    Don't think of any else expect for the water frozen.
    Grace thought.
    Opening one eyelid, Grace was stunned to see that the water was frozen in place, not moving. Grace kept staring at the scene for a while and finally broke out of her gaze when she remembered that the lady was still there with her. She looked in direction and saw her walking out of the room, frantically. But the lady stopped and turned to look at Grace.
    "Well done child".
    The lady had a small smile on her face as if she knew something that Grace didn't.
    Grace shook her head and continued on. She still have one room left. Opening the last door and expecting everything to happen. It was like a battle field but with flames.
    "Fire is the hardest element. It is very rare for someone to control an element such as fire". A man said. He was wearing a big black hoody, hiding his face.
    "That is all I have to say. I am not here to create a chitchat". His voice was so deep.
    "Create a flame". That was all he said.
    Creating a flame is very hard. It took Grace ten minutes to create a tiny flame. The man just nod his head and walk out of the room without uttering a word to Grace, at least to congratulate her.
    Grace came out of the test room and saw Erica waiting for her by the door.
    "How was it?" Erica asked
    Grace was shocked, this was the first time Erica had spoken to her.
    "It was fine, I learned all elements today". Grace reply.
    Erica nodded her head. "Okay, that's good. The real training starts soon. This was just your first test and now that you have passed it, you will be trained on how to control and use all your elements". Erica said.
    They started walking away.
    "I heard you passed all your tests, was it the same with mine?"
    "No, mine was swords training and I passed all".
    "Okay".
    "Mother sent me to pick you up after your test. The high king of the Crescent kingdom has request for our presence and that is where I am taking you too".
    "Have you ever seen this high king before?" Grace asked.
    "No, but I have heard tales of him. No one has seen his face before. Let's hurry up, I don't want us to keep them waiting".
    They hurried up, Grace looking forward to meet the High King of the Nine Kingdoms.
    They soon reached the Iron door which lead to the throne room, without knocking Erica opened the door and went in, Grace followed closely behind.
    Diana was already waiting for them, a man who had a mask covering his face was with Diana.
    "Mother we have come as you said", Erica said bowing to Diana and the man, Grace followed.
    "Sit", Diana motion for them to seat as she made two stool appear in front of them. They both sat down on the stool "There is something which I have tell the both of you". Diana said. "This is the high king of the Nine kingdoms". Diana said Pointing at the mask man who had been staring at Erica and Grace since they had walked into the throne room.
    Diana continued. "And he is also your father".
    Grace and Erica stopped breathing as they both looked shocked to their bones. They had np idea that the High King of Crescent is their father
    "But how is that..."
    Diana interrupted Erica
    "He is your father and he is the brother to Darken".
    Darken and Lillian watched silently as the Malarias dancing and chanting. They stopped immediately and said in one voice.
    "Selena truly gave birth to twins". The Malarias said and after a while they turned into stones.
    Darken didn't show any sigh of the news affecting him, it looks as if he already knows the answers.
    Lillian look a bit shock that even left her speechless. How come she didn't see it. This must be the hand work of Selena. Well, two can play a game.
    "This changes everything". Lillian said
    "Yes, it changes. We have to tell the witch to hurry up with whatever plan she have". Darken said "I believe that sooner or later, they will be told who their father really is".

    Episode 14

    After Grace had left the presence of the high king she immediately went to her room, and collapse on her bed.
    She started thinking of what her new found father had told her and Erica.
    "Well, I know the both of you are surprised especially you Erica, you have been living in this kingdom your all life and you didn't even know that I was your father. I apologized to the both of you especially you Grace", he looked at both of them and continued. "I am sorry". The high king said, pleading to his twin daughters.
    "I have to think about what you have just said", Erica said and stood up then walked out of the throne room.
    "Well, I guess I will also do the same, sorry", Grace said and also left the throne room. She heard when Diana told the high king.
    "Don't worry, they will come around, let just give them time to digest what you had told them".
    Back to present, Grace sigh and closed her eyes tightly, "Oh mother, how I wish you are still living, you would have told me what to do". She was still thinking about it when she fell asleep and soon had a dream.
    In the dream, she saw herself running and running through a thick forest, someone was chasing her and she didn't know who it was.
    At the other end of the forest she saw a river, she ran straight to the river and saw a boat beside it, as she was about to enter the boat she noticed something was unusual with the water and had a closer look. She realized to her horro that it wasn't a river as she had thought.
    The river was blood. In it were dead people in it, their blood had turned into a river. She heard the footsteps halt in her back and a hoarse male voice said in a mockery way.
    "The people who had depended on you are all dead. And now it's time for you to join them. No one will come and save you now".
    Grace turned to look at the man as he raised his sword and was bringing it down when the dream changed to see herself at the lake she had dreamt before.
    The lake was humming a unknown song to her when she heard her name. She quickly turned to look at who had called her only for her to see her dead mother.
    "Mama, is that really you?" Grace asked, when she had been here before in her previous dream she had been a little girl but now she was grown up. She ran up to meet her and hug her.
    "Mama". Grace said as she sobbed on her shoulders.
    The lady started humming a song Grace had heard once when she was little, when the soldiers had came and destroyed her little village.
    Walk proud, walk strong
    When the world starts to string
    Remember where home is
    Never forget your ways
    Walk proud, walk strong
    When the pain is too much
    Remember who your family is
    Never forget your ways
    Walk proud, walk strong
    I will be gone one day
    But fear not
    For there you will always have someone
    When your love comes
    That’s where your line begins
    Never forget your ways
    Walk proud, walk strong
    My sweet young child
    He is there waiting for you
    He waits for you alone
    The time will come to be with him
    And so your line will begin
    Remember where your home is
    Remember who your family is
    When the world starts to string
    When the pain is too much
    Go home to him
    My sweet young child
    I will be gone
    But not my soul
    My sweet young child
    Be strong my child
    It will all be fine in the end.
    When Grace had cried her eyes out finished, she slowly looked up to her mother who give her a little smile.
    "I know that you have so many questions which some of them have been answered. Grace, the people depend on you. They have heard about the prophecy of you and Erica. A great war is coming and I want you and your sister to be ready". The lady said.
    "Yes mama, we are preparing".
    The lady pauses and listened as she closes her eyes, it was as if someone was telling her something on her ears after a while she opened her eyes and and looked sadly on Grace.
    "I have to go now, but do not worry I will call on you again. Walk proud and strong my child. You know the daughter you are". The lady said and began to fade out little by little.
    "Wait Mama, I have been meaning to asked you, of all my years I had know you, I still don't know your name. When you were still alive what do they call you".
    The lady was was merely a shadow smiled a little.
    "My name is.... Selena", she said and faded.
    A knock woke up Grace from the dream she was having. When she woke up her thought went back to what her mother had just told her.
    "How can her name be Selena? I don't get it, how is that possible?", Grace asked no one in particular and the knock once again came and Erica voice broke through.
    "Grace, the king had requested our presence".
    Grace immediately left her bed and quickly made her way out of her room and saw Erica a few feet away from her and she hurried up to met her. When she was walking the same pace with her she asked.
    "I hope there is no problem?"
    "No, just that we have a visitor, I think they said her name was Sefa". Erica replied and they walked in silence to the throne room.
    As soon as they entered the throne room, they saw Diana with someone behind a curtain and also some of the kings of the Nine kingdoms were there.
    "What is happening?" Erica immediately asked.
    "Diana is examining a patient, she will tell us what it is when she's ready," Leo said.
    The door opened and Lucas stepped into the throne room closing the door
    "Who is Diana treating?" He asked.
    "A girl that came from King Lot kingdom, Diana is treating her". Erica said.
    Diana stopped what she was doing and introduced Armin as the apprentice court physician of Essetir. A screen was placed around the cot hiding whoever was there from view. Armin quickly explained what had happened in Essetir and how they had left Eald yesterday and rode straight for Crescent
    "So what had happened to her?" Grace asked.
    "She said that back in Essetir her job was to wait upon Lady Mary". Diana said.
    "Mary?" Grace asked.
    "Yes. She unfortunately did something to upset Mary and she was sent here with a message."
    "What is this message?" Lucas asked.
    "This is distressing for all of us and Sefa is in a great deal of pain. She has agreed to show you the message Mary sent if it will help us," she said and continued. "You need to prepare yourselves, Mary has become more twisted than ever."
    She went to the screen and removed it. She was sitting on a stool with her hood covering her face. She took it down and looked up at them. Erica sat down on a chair by the table with her hands over her face. Grace looked away.
    "Mary did this?" Lucas asked looking at her and trying not to show any disgust or revulsion. Her face was completely twisted, it looked like it had been melted, Sefa nodded, tears falling from her eyes.
    "Does it hurt?" Erica asked, she nodded again.
    "My father gave her these drops, they help, but she can only take them four times a day," Armin said.
    "What does this mean?" The high king asked asked putting his hand on Diana shoulder.
    "Remember the knight with skin over his face. This is a similar warning but given when the high priestess wants to cause as much suffering as possible. Mary has once again declared war on Crescent."
    "Can you help her?" Grace asked.
    "I don't know, I will have to do some research. This is powerful magic, only powerful magic could remove it."
    "But you can help her?" Erica asked.
    "Yes I can. But I don't think I can remove the curse, I don't know how, but I might be able to ease the pain," she said kneeling down beside her.
    " Sefa, I don't know how much I can help, but would you like me to try?" Diana asked. She nodded looking down at her hands in her lap. The pain was bad, it felt like someone was trying to split her head open.
    Diana stood and put her hands on her head and closed her eyes. She located the swelling and pulsing magic in Sefa's head, where her skull and flesh were twisting. She opened her eyes, concentrating on the area she had found and her eyes flashed gold. She closed her eyes again. She had managed to stop the movement, dispelling the magic that was working on her. She then found other areas that were causing her pain and soothed it until it was gone. She could see how the skin was twisted but she couldn't seem to find a way to get it back. She opened her eyes and they glowed again, before she removed her hands.
    "Is that better?" Diana asked.
    She touched her face, drawing her fingers away quickly when she still felt the melted skin. But she looked at Diana and nodded.
    "The pain has gone, thank you," she said tears running down her cheeks.
    "I'm sorry I couldn't do anymore," she said.
    "You didn't speak," Grace said. "I thought you had to say spells and stuff."
    "Most sorceress have to draw their power from the earth," said Erica. "The spells help them to direct that power. Diana doesn't need to, her magic is within her. Of course she can still draw on that power to add to her own but she doesn't always need it".
    "Thank you so much. Armin, where's the glass?" Sefa asked.
    "Here," Armin said passing her a wrapped package.
    "This is what angered Mary, she asked me to destroy it but I didn't. I don't know if it will help," she passed the package to the High King. He opened the cloth, revealing the broken jewel.
    "It's Luciana's prison," Diana said.
    They talked for a bit longer, Armin told them they had arrived at Eald yesterday . He had administered the cure for those suffering from the sweating sickness and they were recovering when they had left yesterday. Those that wanted to seek refuge in Crescent would have left there this morning to meet with the patrol within the Crescent border.
    "Lucas, take the girl to one of our empty chambers and let some servants attend to her". The high king said and Lucas and Armin helped Sefa to her feet and they lead her away.
    The king turned to the rest of them "Sit, we all have to discuss our next plan".
    Eventually they all left the throne room and Diana told Grace and Erica to come with her to her chambers. It was almost midnight and a servant brought them some hot tea and left them. Grace and Erica sat down at the opposite of Diana. The broken jewel lay on the table before them.
    "Can you fix it?" Erica asked. Diana picked up the pieces, fitting them together, her eyes flashed gold and she put the whole but empty jewel back on the table.
    "Yeah," She said and looked up to see Grace looking at her with her mouth open. She grinned at the expression on Grace's face.
    "How do you do that?" Grace asked looking at her
    Diana shrugged, "it's not hard," she said.
    "Not hard, fusing glass with magic without leaving a mark, is not hard?" Grace asked studying the glass and finding no flaw on its surface.
    "Not for me, obviously" Diana said looking at the jewel. There was no mark or crack to show where it had been broken.
    "I wanted to tell you something".
    "Okay", Erica said
    Diana brought out a silver ring with gold engraved on it. "This where the story of this ring start".
    "We are listening". Grace said.
    "Well there is not much to tell, so it shouldn't take long. When Bruta's great grandson became king he had no son but three daughters. The eldest was destined to become queen when her father died. He did not want her to rule alone so he was always on the lookout for a suitable husband for her. Luckily for his daughter she fell in love with the son of a visiting noble, he was a skilled warrior but also kind and honourable and the union went ahead.
     Queen Anabella married Luther Dragon, his brother was a powerful sorcerer and he came to Crescent with him as his advisor."
    "His advisor?" Grace asked.
    "Yes".
    "Sorry, I interrupted your story," Grace said, stifling a yawn.
    "Yes you did, now where was I?" Diana asked.
    "You said Luther Dragon's brother was a powerful sorcerer," Erica said grinning at her.
    "Ah yes, his name was Abra and he became the Court Sorcerer of Crescent and helped the kingdom to flourish. A few years later a plague wiped out many and Abra and his wife Gwyn managed to find a cure and healed those who would have died, including Queen Anabella. Luther then had this ring made and gave them to Abra and his wife, now I will want to give it to Erica, she can keep it safe". Diana said
    "That's a nice story but why would it be important now?" Erica asked yawning .
    "Well Abra had an apprentice by the name of Luciana," Diana said, Erica and Grace sat up straight in their chair but they didn't interrupt. "Abra taught her many things but Luther never trusted her. Many years later Crescent was attacked and almost fell. Abra and Gwyn gave their lives defending Cerscu and Luciana became the new Court Sorceress.
    "She helped Luther to rebuild Crescent but was never trusted enough to sit at his right hand. They faced many magical enemies during Luciana's time and Luciana would defeat them. Still the king did not trust her enough to give her the seal or name her advisor.
    "Eventually Luciana was executed when it was discovered she was behind most of the attacks and had defeated them to try to win favour. As I said, there are some stories that say it was Luciana that killed Abra and Gwyn all those years before, so she could take their place and rule Crescent with the king. Luther never trusted her though, so he never got the one thing she desired, her place at the right hand of the king and the seal of Crescent, which is this ring."
    "And you had now given them to me," Erica said, understanding at last how this might be relevant.
    "Luciana will be even more dangerous once she finds out that you have been given the honour she had always craved," Diana said to them.

    Episode 15

    It been weeks since Grace and Erica had their discussion with Diana. The past week had been hell for Grace, going through all sort of trainings, preparing for the battle. As the days passes she started developing new powers to add to the elements.
    Erica on the other hand had been preparing as well.
    One morning they had woken up to see everywhere was dark, soon it was gathered that it was Luciana doings. Ever since that day, they had been living in darkness, only the the giant clock that made them know if it was day or night.
    They had all come up with a plan, their first plan was to kill the witch and the sorceress before dealing with Darken and the Dark Goddess.
    Grace was being summoned by the high king to come to the throne room . When she got there she was surprised to see her twin, Diana and Lucus in there.
    "Grace, your teachers had told me how impressive they are about you learning your elements quick, but, am afraid that we have to strike the witch and the sorceress before I take down Darken". The high king told Grace immediately she walked into the throne room.
    "I don't understand you father".
    "Well since your teachers had recommended that you are now good and can be able to control your elements, plus the new ones, I think it's time for we to strike our enemies".
    Grace agreed and that had been few weeks ago and now with her training going smoothly she felt ready to face their enemies.
    She had just came back from the training ground and was about entering her room when Erica came and told her she was being summoned by their father.
    She went with Erica and when she got there she was surprise to see Queen Gwen. Diana was checking on her, Queen Gwen kinda look sick to her.
    "What had happened to her?" Grace quickly asked.
    "Luciana and the Witch"

    . Diana responded.
    "What did they do to her?"
    "It could be best if the Queen tells you herself". Diana replied and turned to face Queen Gwen "Tell her what you told us".
    "Luciana came into my Kingdom with the Witch and demanded I pledge my allegiance to Darken and the Dark Goddess which I bluntly reject and then she told me she will only give me one day to vacate my kingdom. I was surprised she didn't try her magic on me or my soldiers, Luciana said something about you facing her on the fortess of Essetir  outside Lot's kingdom, in her words 'To end things' then she turned into a raven and left soon the witch disappeared. But their hideous raven birds were left behind". Gwen spoke slowly coughing out a little bit before continuing, "After they had left one of my soldiers took his arrow and shot at one of the Ravens but the raven didn't die rather something strange happened".
    "You never told us that part Gwen but never mind, what happened to the man who had shot the arrow?" The high king demanded.
    "When he saw that his arrow couldn't penetrate the raven, he left to join the rest of my armies. I don't know how it happened but he was soon clutching his neck as if something was choking him, he fell down and died. I was there when some of my soldiers confirmed him dead, but as soon as we turned to leave the dead body, he stood up spread out his hands upwards and turned into a raven. The strangest thing of all is that whosoever or where ever the raven feathers touches dies".
    They seems shocked.
    "Am sorry I lost my kingdom", Queen Gwen said.
    "That is okay at least you are here but what about your people, where you able to get them out of there as the witch had said?" The high king questioned.
    Gwen nodded her head "Yes, my sons and soldiers took my people to the nearest mountain. I left them immediately to tell you what had happened".
    "Grace, Erica get prepared. You are going to face the witch and the sorceress once and for all". The high king said.
    Soon Erica and Grace left the throne room.
    "What are you thinking?" Erica asked, the past few days had made the twins closer than before.
    "I don't know, I just have this feeling that Mary will try all in her powers to separate us". Grace responded.
    "Well she might, but we have faith in ourselves".
    As they all went to back into their different chambers Grace looked out from her room window towards the fortress of Essetir, wondering what tomorrow would bring.

    They were all up early the following day. Around mid-morning they rode out of the castle towards Essetir.
    The high king of Crescent's forces were ready and with Lucas leading them, they set out to meet with Mary and Luciana.
    Lucas, Erica and Grace rode in front of the soldiers.
    The darkness seemed heavier as they rode towards the fortress. They could not see far ahead, even with the torches the leading knights carried.
    As they approached the standing stone Lucas told his men to wait. Lucas, Erica and Grace were to go the rest of the way on foot.
    They could see the shadowy figures of an army stretching across the plain towards the fortress. As they approached the standing stone Mary appeared on the other side of it.
    "Well, look at you," Mary said looking at Grace, taking in the chain mail and the red tunic Grace was putting on.
    "Hello to you, Mary," Grace said standing up straight.
    "Its been a while slave, isn't it?" Mary asked mockery to Grace.
    "Well I thought we are all here for a different reason than calling someone one names bitch". Erica replied for Grace.
    Mary turned to look at Erica and smiled a little "Well I can see she brought some dead walking people with her". Mary said raising up her hands towards Erica, Grace quickly raised her hands ready for any attack, Mary smiled again and lowered her hands.
    "What are your terms Mary?" Grace asked lowering her arm. She could feel a strange force coming from her, like an invisible hand pushing her away from her.
    "Oh, I thought we could have a little chat first, you know, like old times," she said.
    "And you have changed a lot, this isn't the Mary I know back then in Eleanor". Grace said.
    "Well sometimes such changes are necessary," Mary said dropping her voice. "Sacrifices have to be made when you fight for a just cause."
    "What cause justifies such a high price?" Erica asked.
    "One that you of all people should be helping me fight, Erica. To bring back the old religion and to allow those with sorcery their right to live free. To allow the Dark Goddess rule the world" Mary said looking at Erica as though she was stupid.
    "You don't know what you are talking about witch". Erica said.
    "You are more of a fool than I thought," Mary said scowling at her.
    "No I am not and will never be".
    "Come and serve the Dark Goddess, she will make you more stronger than you can ever imagine. She will give you more gifts and we will use it to change the world". Mary said turning her attention back to Grace
    "No, Mary, our gifts were given to us to serve others, not rule over them, the dark goddess has twisted your mind to serve her own purpose," Grace said.
    "What would you know of the dark goddess?" Mary asked looking at Grace with disgust.
    "I know she hates all of those with magic and uses people like you to make others hate and fear magic," Grace said quietly.
    "You are wrong, what she hates is weakness and those without magic are weak," Mary said.
    "Do you really believe that?" Erica asked looking at her.
    "I am far more powerful than Grace will ever be," Mary said taking a step towards Grace. "The Crescent throne should be ours. We will rule everything."
    "Being fit to rule has nothing to do with power and strength. It is about honour and courage, you have done nothing to good". Grace said.
    "Surrender to me now or face the consequences," Mary said. "The consequences will be severe, Gwen will be begging me to kill her by the time I have finished."
    "Mary there has to be a good side of you. This is not you". Grace said.
    "That wasn't the answer I was expecting. Very well," she said lifting her hands and chanting quickly but Grace had been waiting for it and blocked her spell before it reached them.
    "Don't do this Mary," Lucas said, "If you surrender now, no harm will come to you."
    "I don't believe you," she said sending a ball of fire towards them.
    "I'm sorry you feel like that," Grace said blocking the fireball so it fell harmlessly to the ground before reaching them.
    "Very good," she said looking at Grace as she stepped in front of Lucas.
    Mary raised her hands again to try a more powerful spell but Grace easily blocked it. She looked up at the black sky and screamed another spell, lightning flashed overhead. Grace directed the lightning to hit the standing stone where it left a black gash down its length. She tried again and this time Grace made it hit the ground in front of her, causing her to step back. She tried a different spell sending another ball of fire at her which Grace caught and threw it to the ground. Her instinct told her not to attack her, so she didn't, she just kept blocking everything she sent towards them.
    "You cannot beat me Mary, we are on the same page. You fight for the Dark Goddess and I stand with the White Goddess, my mother". Grace said as thunder cracked in the sky above them.
    She didn't reply but sent another fireball towards her which she defused as easily as the last. Lucas and Erica had been moving back behind Grace when Mary attacked. She tried to blast her backwards but she blocked it easily. Grace had just realised that she was distracting her when she saw a black shape out of the corner of her eye making straight for Erica.
    "Get down," Grace yelled over the thunder.
    Grace raised a shield between them and Mary, she turned just in time to see a huge black creature with wings try to grab Erica just before she ducked. Lucas ran towards Erica with his sword drawn and creature grabbed Lucas instead, flying off with him towards the fortress. Mary quickly disappeared.
    "They have got Lucas, we must go and bring him out". Erica said as they went back to their horses and their soilders.
    "Lucas is with them, we are going into the fortress. You will stay here and protect each other from her armies. Help is on the way". Erica told their army as they approached them.
    They left them as they made their way into the fortress

    They rode their horses hard, circling the army to get nearer to the fortress. For once they were glad of the black sky, as it hid them from the enemy. As they got close to the fortress walls they let their horses go free.
    They ran in single file, following the castle wall, looking for the postern gate. According to Armin there was a hidden gate in the southern wall. They soon found it, exactly where they expected it to be. It was locked but not manned and Grace was able to open it easily. They didn't expect to have any trouble getting into the fortress, they were sure Mary would make it easy for them. The gate opened out onto a small courtyard surrounded by high walls. In the far wall was another gate that was already open.
    "Wait," Erica said as quietly as she could as they stepped into the courtyard. She used her mind's eye to see what was happening beyond the far gate.
    She could see another small courtyard. It was a little bigger than the one they were in but still surrounded by high walls. In the wall to the right of the gate there was a raised portcullis that seemed to lead to a storage room of some kind. There were several carts and crates inside and in the far wall was a closed door. The wall opposite the open gate contained a large wooden door that was closed. To the left was a smaller wooden door that was open, inside the small room was a covered well. Lucas stood in the middle of courtyard, surrounded by three of the strange winged creatures like the one that had carried him off. They were circling him but not attacking, Erica guessed they were waiting for the rescue party. Erica quietly told Grace what she had seen. They kept close to the wall as they approached the open gate. They could hear growling and snarling coming from up ahead.
    "What are you waiting for?" they heard Lucas shout but they couldn't see him. They heard the sound of a sword hitting stone and another growl. Erica and Grace looked at each other understanding that Luciana was up to her old tricks. She had enchanted the statues around the fortress to attack them.
    Grace and Erica walked through the open gate first, blasting two of the statues. Erica then got the other one and Lucas ran to meet them. More of the statues came crawling down the walls, jumping into the courtyard. They tore at them with their long claws. They attacked.
    The creatures kept coming out the more Lucas seeing a passageway gave a signal to them and they rushed in shutting the door.
    The passageway was narrow and dark, Grace went in front with a light in her hand. Every now and then they would pass a closed door. These doors were always on their left and they would move over to the right side of the passageway as they passed them. Up ahead they could see a flickering light, as they got closer they saw a torch on the wall ahead of them marking the end of the passage. They looked out into the corridor that held the torch. This one was much wider and lit with several torches at regular intervals. There were tapestries hanging from the walls and statues in alcoves. To the right of them the corridor ended in stone steps leading to the higher levels. To the left the corridor continued around the corner, they could hear voices coming from that direction, though they were too far away to hear who was talking.
    They walked quietly in the direction they had heard the voices but now all was quiet. As they turned the corridor they saw more stairs leading up to another level. They climbed the steps finding themselves in a large antechamber. Beyond the two huge double doors in front of them was Mary. She sat on a huge throne in the centre of what could only be the throne room.
    "Don't be shy, I've been waiting for you," Mary said as they stood in the antechamber at the top of the steps. They walked towards her until they were standing in front of her. There appeared to be no-one else in the room with her.
    "Still think you can beat me Grace?" she asked with a smile. Then she vanished and appeared right behind Lucas with a dagger at his throat. Erica grabbed at her and she pushed Erica away, keeping hold of the dagger that was now drawing blood.
    "Try that again and I'll rip his head off," she said as Erica got to her feet with her fist clenched.
    "Let him go Mary," Grace said looking at her and not at Lucas.
    "And if I do not, what will you do?"
    "I will kill you".
    "I would love to see you try".
    Grace lift up her arms to sent the spell but as it rebounded back to Grace it also hit Lucas and Erica, sending them flying through the air.
    Lucas hit her head on the stone steps of the dais and Erica landed near the door. Grace was thrown back across the room and she heard Mary laugh as everything went black.

    Grace woke up feeling sore and bruised, she wanted to sleep for just a little while longer. She felt someone shaking her,she thought it was Diana and tried to tell her she wasn't well enough to work, she had a headache and wanted to sleep.
    "Wanna sleep," she said, trying to drift off again.
    "You must wake up," said a voice by her ear. She didn't recognise the voice, it definitely wasn't Diana. Grace groaned and tried to sit up, then everything came flooding back.
    "Erica?" Grace said opening her eyes. It wasn't Erica that was trying to wake her but an older man. He had long grey hair and his face was thin with dark circles under his eyes.
    "Thank the gods you are awake," the man said moving away from her carefully.
    "Who are you?" Grace asked sitting up slowly, she had a headache but she didn't think anything was broken. There was a horrible smell in the room and Grace gagged. She looked around the room they were in, it was similar in size to a cell. The walls were covered in a dull metal and there was a single door covered in the same material. There was a slight recess in the top half of the door and Grace guessed it could be opened from the outside. Above the door, high up on the wall, was a small window that let in a little light. Grace guessed the light was from a torch or a fire, it flickered, creating moving shadows around the walls. The room was at least three storeys high and the ceiling could not be seen in the flickering light.
    "My name is Alain," the man said as he tried to make himself comfortable. "I know you are Grace."
    "How do you know?" Grace asked trying to clear her head.
    "Mary brought you here about half an hour ago. She dragged you inside, told me she'd brought me a friend and that your name is Grace then she left."
    "Hang on, you said your name is Alain, Sefa's uncle?" Grace asked looking at him again, she could only just see him in the dim light.
    "You know Sefa?" Alain asked taking a sip of water from a large water skin.
    "Yes, she came to Crescent with a message from Mary," Grace said touching the back of her head to see how badly she was hurt. Her head felt tender but there was no blood on her fingers.
    "She made it," Alain said with a sigh. "Is she alright?"
    "She's fine, Diana managed to remove the pain and reverse some of the enchantment," Grace said bringing her legs up to get ready to stand. She looked down at Alain and noticed his leg was bent at a strange angle.
    "I know it smells," Alain said looking at his leg. "There are also no proper toilet facilities just a hole in the floor."
    "A hole?" Grace asked wondering if she could use it to escape. The thought of escaping through the sewer was not pleasant but better than nothing.
    "You can't get out that way," Alain said as though he knew what Grace was thinking. He indicated the corner closest to him and Grace went to look. There was a small round hole in the ground, hardly big enough for her hand. There was a slight breeze coming through the hole and a horrible smell.
    "It is cut into three feet of solid rock, and even if you could get through the rock there is a long drop and razor sharp rocks to break your fall. You can't escape from the cage, I should know, I built it," he said with a sigh.
    "I'm sure I'll think of something," Grace said more to herself than Alain.
    "The walls are four feet of solid stone, it would take months, even with a pick axe," Alain said looking at her.
    "I don't have a pick axe, I'll have to manage with my bare hands," Grace said smiling at him, as she knelt beside him to examine his leg.
    "There is nothing you can do," Alain said looking at his leg again. Grace held out her hand, making a light appear so she could see the damage better. She guessed a lot of the smell was coming from Alain's leg which was obviously infected. It was no longer bleeding but it was badly swollen and the area around the break was covered in yellow pus.
    The leg was crooked and Alain would never walk again if it set like that. Grace put her hand out but didn't touch him hse could feel the heat radiating from the wound. She would have to clean it and reset it if they were to get out of there. Shee looked up at Alain to see him looking at her as though she had two heads and a tail.
    "What's wrong?" Grace asked turning quickly to see if anything was behind her. There was nothing there but still Alain was looking at her with something like awe.
    "You can't use magic in here," he said quietly.
    "Sorry, what are you talking about?" Grace asked following Alain's gaze to the light in his hand.
    "You can't use magic in the cage," Alain said again, a bit louder this time.
    "Why not?" Grace asked, wondering if the old man was completely sane. She was obviously able to use magic, as the light she was holding proved that.
    "The lead and the sunscind stones," Alain said glancing at the walls.
    "The what?" Grace asked.
    "I will tell you, but please if Mary returns, don't let her know you can use your magic," Alain said.
    "Alright," Grace said, "but let me remove the infection from your leg. I can bandage it afterwards and Mary is unlikely to notice, the pain must be unbearable."
    "Alright," Alain replied, the pain wasn't so bad as long as he didn't move but the slightest movement was agony. Grace put her free hand over Alain's leg and her eyes flashed gold. Alain felt the swelling start to go down.
    "Is that better?" Grace asked tearing a long strip of cloth from her tunic.
    "A lot better thank you," Alain said, he was able to move a little now, to make himself comfortable, without his leg feeling like it was on fire. It still hurt but nothing like it had before.



    Continuation
    Grace wrapped the makeshift bandage around the open wound carefully. Then sat next to him to hear his story, she let the light go out in case Mary appeared.
    Alain quickly told Grace how he had helped Lot to build the room they were in. Lot had not wanted to suffer in the hands of any sorceress or sorcerer, he had ordered the cage to be built to trap any sorcerer that may try to harm him. He explained the nature of the sunscind stone and how it made any spell rebound onto the person who had cast it. The cage had sunscind stones imbedded in the walls at regular intervals, so magic could not be used to escape. Any spell that was cast would just rebound against the user. He told Grace that Lot used to wear a polished stone in an amulet and that Mary now had it. Grace had seen a stone bound in leather that Mary wore around her neck, she had thought it was for decoration. At least now she knew why her spell had rebounded, she would have to get that stone somehow.
    Alain went on to tell her the lead covering the walls reinforced the security of the cage, stopping magic from passing through from the outside. A sorcerer trapped inside could not draw on the power of the earth, once any magic they had within them was used, they would then be powerless.
    "You shouldn't have been able to hold that light for more than a couple of minutes in here," Alain said looking at her closely. Grace sighed and now she knew why she couldn't hit Mary.
    "Mary didn't properly introduce me did she?" she asked with a smile. "I am Grace, Selena's Daughter".
    "You are Grace of the prophecy?" Alain asked staring at Grace.
    "I am and I've got to get out of here to find my Twin and Lucas," Grace said looking at Alain. "Any ideas on how I can get out of here?" she asked standing up again and looking around the room.
    "As I told you the cage was designed so no-one could escape," Alain said.
    "Well I'm not no-one," Grace said, "So any ideas?"
    "Do you have anything sharp on you?" Alain asked looking at Grace's, hoping to see a dagger. Grace sat back down and lifted her tunic dress up, revealing a small dagger strapped to her leg. She remembered telling Lucas it was completely unnecessary but she was glad Lucas had insisted.
    "Will this do?" Grace asked.
    "The wall behind me leads directly into my workroom," Alain said looking behind him. "The walls really are four feet wide but as you said you don't need a pick axe. If you can remove the lead then you will see the sunscind stones and you can remove enough of them to blast a hole in the wall. No other sorceress would have that power after being in here for more than ten minutes. I will replace the lead once you have gone and feign ignorance if Mary arrives, it should give you a head start."
    Grace started to cut through the lead where it joined the floor, the lead was soft but thick and it would take a while. She tried warming the dagger to help her but it created nasty fumes so she gave up. While she worked Alain told her how to get to the dungeons from his workroom.
    She had sliced through a large enough area near the floor and was just starting on the first cut in the wall when they heard noises outside the door. Grace quickly slipped the dagger beneath her tunic and sat on the floor next to Alain. Alain closed his eyes and put his head on Grace's shoulder, hoping Mary would think he was sleeping. He did a lot of sleeping, so hopefully she wouldn't think it strange. Grace understood what he was doing and silently thanked him. The window in the door opened and Mary looked in through the opening.
    "Ah, Grace, I'm glad to see you are awake," Mary said smiling at her.
    "What have you done with Erica and Lucas?" Grace asked looking up at her.
    "None of your business, it's you I want to talk to," Mary said looking at her ripped tunic and the bandage on Alain's knee. "I see you've made a friend already."
    Grace got to her feet, carefully holding onto Alain's shoulders, then lying him down gently to cover the marks in the wall.
    "How could you do that to another human being?" Grace asked looking at Alain then straightening her tunic as she got to her feet.
    "He would have put me in here if I had not stopped him," Morgana said dismissively. "You were asking about Erica and Lucas."
    "If you have hurt them....." Grace said.
    "You'll do what? Even the most powerful sorceress the prophecy had spoken of, is powerless in the cage," she said laughing, but she still stood back as Grace walked towards her.
    "Princess Mary why are you fighting a loose battle, why are you doing this?" She asked.
    "To rule the world with the Dark Goddess. Just think Grace, of what we could achieve if we were to join forces," she said smiling at her.
    "I will never join with you Mary," Grace said looking at her with pity. "What happened to you Mary, you used to be so kind and compassionate even when you are not directing it to me, what had happened to you Mary?"
    "I was weak, I see that now, being kind is for fools Grace," she said with a grimace.
    "What do you want?" she asked looking at her with sadness. The Mary she had once known was long gone, devoured by her hatred and twisted by her desires.
    "You know what I want. I want every soul to bow down to Darken and the Dark Goddess," she said.
    "And after that?" Grace asked.
    "Then those with magic will take their rightful place and we will unite the kingdoms under the power of the old religion," she said. "With our joined power we can unite the whole Kingdoms and no force on earth could stop us."
    "I have no desire to rule, magic is a gift and it should not be used for our own ends, even my Twin won't agree to it" Grace said moving closer to the window.
    "You really think Erica won't agree?" she asked.
    "I know she won't. She loves the ways of the White Goddess more than you think" she replied.
    "Oh really? Well let see how she will believe me and join forces with me when I tell her how you had insulted your White Goddess," Mary said starting to close the window.
    "She will not believe you," Grace said.
    "The top of the cage is a trapdoor set in the floor of the throne room. When I tell Erica what you have done and create a magic showing how you had cuss the White Goddess, you will hear every word. You will see how quickly she curse your very existence," she said slamming the window closed.
    Grace stood by the door and put her hands over her face and sighed. She just hoped Erica wouldn't believe a word the Witch will tell her. She turned quickly to see Alain trying to sit up. She went to his side and helped him to sit upright. She grabbed her dagger and started to work on the lead. She had to get out of there fast.

    Erica and Lucas woke at the same time to find themselves in a small cell. The walls were of stone, with no windows, so they guessed they were below ground level. The door was made of wood but the top half consisted of metal bars. Inside the cell were two straw filled mattresses along each wall. Each mattress was covered with a thin sheet and blanket. Just outside their door was a torch, it gave them a little light but they couldn't reach it. Neither of them was badly hurt, Lucas had a small cut just above his eyebrow where he had hit the steps and another on his neck where Mary had cut him. Their swords had been taken and Lucas groaned at the thought of Mary wielding his sword.
    "What the hell happened?" Erica asked as she tried to sit up, her hand was still clenched into a fist and her fingers hurt as she tried to open her hand.
    "It was Grace's magic that knocked us flying," Lucas said, .
    "Yeah, but she meant to hit Mary. She must have used some kind of reversing spell that Grace wasn't aware of". Erica said.
    "So what now?" Lucas asked getting up and putting his hand on the wall to steady himself.
    "Let's see if we can get out of here," Erica said.
    Half an hour later Erica sat down on the one of the beds as Lucas kicked the door, unfortunately for them the door was made with strong magic. They had tried everything they could think of and they were no closer to getting out. Lucas turned to give the door another kick when they heard Mary's voice coming towards them.
    "Temper, temper dear Lucas," she said as she stood in front of the cell.
    "Where is Grace?" Erica asked getting up from the bed to face Mary.
    "Grace is fine, I will take you to her but first we should have a little chat," she said as the guards unlocked the door. "Sorry Lucas you will have to stay here." Two guards pushed Lucas back into the cell and two more grabbed Erica.
    Lucas struggled against their grip but they were armed and they both held their swords to his chest, there was nothing he could do. He watched helplessly as Erica was dragged behind Mary the two guards holding him released him and pushed him back against the wall. Then they left the cell locking the door behind them. Lucas kicked the door again, then yelled. He was supposed to be strength yet he couldn't even get out of a tiny cell.
    Erica managed to get her feet under her, so she could walk instead of being dragged. The guards did not let go of her arms though and held her in a death grip as they followed Mary. They came to a narrow flight of stairs where only one guard could keep hold of her. With Mary just in front of her, and the other guard behind her, Erica knew it was useless to try anything. At the top of the stairs the guard behind her came forward and gripped her arm once more. They walked along several corridors. They came to another flight of stairs but this time there was plenty of room for the guards to stay at his side. At the top of the stairs there were large double doors. Mary said something and the doors opened. Arthur recognised the throne room immediately but they had come from a different direction this time.
    On the throne sat Luciana. She looked around the room but there was no-one else.
    "Princess Erica nice of you to join us," Luciana said. "I don't think we have been properly introduced. I am Queen Lily and the sorceress Luciana."
    "Where is Grace?" Erica asked as the guards made her stand in front of the king.
    Mary went to stand at Luciana's side and dismissed the guards. "All in good time Erica, but I told you first we need to talk," she said sitting on a chair by the side of the throne.
    "Then talk," Erica said looking at her and rubbing her arms where the guards had held her.
    Mary leaned forward in her chair watching her closely. "I'm not sure how to tell you this, but Grace insulted your White Goddess and even cuss you",she said quietly.
    "What are you talking about?" Erica asked staring at her.
    She stood and picked up the chair she had been sitting on and placed it in front of the throne. "Here I think you had better sit down," she said. Erica looked at her and shrugged, then sat on the chair.
    Luciana removed her gloves placing them on the arm of the chair. "I have spoken to Grace and she insulted your kingdom and mocked you not having powers like hers". She said.
    Erica laughed at her and shook her head. "Is that it?" she asked.
    "What do you mean?" Mary asked looking at her with a frown.
    "You just expect me to believe you?" Erica asked still laughing.
    Luciana stood up and stepped down from the throne."Is it really so surprising, after all what she said is the truth". Luciana said.
    "My poor, dear Erica, you really don't know Grace at all, do you?" Mary asked.
    "My dear Mary" Erica said mimicking her use of the endearment. "I know Grace more than you think".
    "Well, you see Grace had agreed to join forces with me to defeat you and your stupid White Goddess". Mary said.
    "Where is Grace I need to hear it from her. Where is she?" Erica asked slowly, not taking her eyes from Mary.
    Luciana stood up from her throne and went to meet Erica, her magic keeping Erica from getting up from the chair. "Didn't you heard what Mary said, Grace insulted your Goddess and join forces with us".
    "Grace would never betray us," Erica said quietly.
    "Shut up, just shut up," Mary yelled, pacing again.
    "Grace will never betray us" Erica said again, smiling.
    As she did so she felt the floor beneath her move. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion after that. Erica felt herself falling, then she was slowing down, the chair continued and she heard it smash on the floor below her. She straightened her legs, getting ready to hit the floor. She felt someone reach out to her but it was too dark to see anything.
    She heard Mary screaming in the room above her. "If you have such faith in your twin, then you can die with her." Erica saw the trapdoor starting to close as her feet gently hit the floor.
    They left them there.
    Erica then saw a light appear and looked up to see Grace standing in front of her, with a big grin on her face.
    "Are you alright?" She asked looking at Erica.
    "Grace", She said pulling her into a hug, the light went out as Grace hugged her back. "I'm fine what about you?"
    "I'm fine, where's Lucas?" She asked as she stood back to make the light again but she kept one hand on Erica's shoulder. Grace used magic to push the remains of the chair to the side of the room.
    "As far as I know he's in a cell in the dungeons," Erica said looking around the room. "You were right, she tried to make me believe you had betrayed us."
    "I heard, she told me you would believe her but I knew you wouldn't," Grace said grinning at her.
    Erica blinking as her eyes adjusted to the dark. She realised that although it was dark in the room, she could see well enough by the light coming in through an opening above the door. Erica noticed the man propped up against the wall for the first time. She also noticed a faint smell of decay and saw the bandage around the man's leg.
    "Alain, I'd like you to meet Erica my twin," Grace said picking her dagger up from the floor, where she had dropped it to slow Erica's fall. "Erica this is Sefa's uncle Alain."
    "Nice to meet you,," Alain said, "I apologise for not getting up."
    "Nice to meet you, Alain," Erica said.
    As Grace continued to cut through the lead she told Erica what she knew. How she had removed the infection and why she couldn't help Alain anymore just yet. She explained all about the sunscind stones and how Mary had reversed her spell. As far as Mary knew, Grace was supposed to be powerless in the cage. Although she couldn't use magic against the walls, she didn't seem to realise she could use her magic inside the cage. Grace had let the chair fall, hoping that Mary would think Erica had fallen with it. She then told Erica how she planned to escape.
    Grace had managed to cut three sides of the lead already. She stopped to flex her fingers which were sore from gripping the dagger.
    "Where did you get the dagger?" Erica asked.
    "Lucas made me wear it, strapped to my leg," Grace said grinning.
    "They took Lucas's and mine but didn't think to search you," Erica said shaking her head.
    "They probably thought I wouldn't bother, I don't usually need a weapon, am not the warrior" Grace said still flexing her fingers.
    "Lucky for us you are not so arrogant," Erica said moving closer to the wall.
    "Well, Lucas was insistent," Grace said with a grin.
    "Here let me have a go for a bit," Erica said and Grace gladly gave her the dagger. She stood up so she could sit in her place and stretched.
    "Let's hope we can get out of here before she discovers what we are up to," Erica said, making quick work of the lead.
    "The guards only bring me food once a day, in the morning," Alain said. "I doubt you will be missed for a few hours at least."
    As Erica worked, Alain told them more about the layout of the castle. Armin had never visited the lower levels but Alain knew them well. Grace found it all a bit confusing, but Erica was able to create a reasonably clear plan in her head. She had finished cutting the lead and was using the dagger to lever it away from the wall. Once she got a corner free she could get a grip with her hand. It came away from the wall much easier than she was expecting, causing him to fall backwards.
    Grace put her hand out to steady Erica and they both looked at the wall. There was now a three foot, square section, of exposed white stone. They could see the rough orange stones embedded in it quite clearly in the dim light. Erica grabbed the dagger and started to dig them out. When she had finished Grace created the light again, to check the area was definitely clear of the stones. Erica picked up all the stones she had dug out and dropped them down the hole in the corner.
    Alain offered them some water and they both accepted. They only drank enough to wet their dry mouths, as they weren't sure when Alain would get anymore. They were no longer going to leave Alain in the cage but hide him in his workshop. They all knew that once Mary realised they had escaped, she would kill Alain if she found him, but there was nothing else they could do, he was far too weak to go with them.
    Grace took a deep breath, and then blasted the rock away, quickly slowing time around the stones as she did, so she could control the noise. Erica watched as the stones hung in mid air, then slowly and quietly, fell to the ground. She clapped Grace on the back and grinned at her. Grace grinned back then helped to move Alain closer to the opening. Grace climbed through the hole, which was a foot above the ground in the room behind the wall. She looked around and lit two candles, so they could see what they were doing.
    She grabbed Alain's shoulders and they carefully lifted him into the room while Erica quickly climbed out.
    There was no point in trying to put the stone back in the wall, the hole would be discovered as soon as a guard looked into the room. They just had to hope Mary was too sure of herself to bother checking on them for a while.
    "Let's go and rescue Lucas", Erica said walking to the door.
    She unlocked the door and opened it a little, they stood still, straining their ears to hear any sound.
    When they were sure the way was clear, Erica opened the door and looked out into the corridor. Torches flickered on the wall outside the room but the corridor was empty. Following Alain's directions, they turned right towards the dungeons. Erica could use her mind's eye but it didn't work so well inside. She couldn't see through walls or doors but it came in handy for seeing around corners. The way was clear, it seemed Mary was so confident that they could not escape, she had left no guards in the dungeons, as far as they could tell.
    They arrived at Lucas's cell and they both looked through the bars at Lucas, he was sitting on one of the beds with his head in his hands. Erica put her finger to her lips to tell him to be quiet as Grace whistled softly. Gwaine looked up and almost yelled until he realised Erica wanted him to be quiet. Erica moved away from the door as Grace broke the lock. Lucas ran to meet them and hugged them both.
    "Thank the Moon Goddess that you two are okay". Lucas said.
    "Now we need to find Mary", Grace said quietly as they made their way out of dungeon.

    Episode 16

    My Thanks to everyone that is reading this story.
    We are almost reaching the last chapter of Selena soon.
    Thank you once again

    With Alain's directions in her head, Erica led them to a winding staircase, which would come out onto a balcony above the throne room. Mary seemed to like the room, and if she thought they were still trapped in the cage, she would probably want to taunt them with news of the battle . The stairs led them to a small wooden door that was slightly ajar. They could hear nothing in the room beyond, Erica pushed it open.
    In front of them was a narrow passage, between rows of seats that overlooked the throne room on three sides. There was no-one around, they had the whole area to themselves. They moved quietly towards the front seats and looked down into the room below. The throne was directly below them, but the room was empty. There was a raised ledge all around the balcony, with wooden railings at regular intervals. They were more for decoration than anything else, as they wouldn't prevent someone from falling from the balcony. They sat down behind the raised ledge which hid them from the room below. They quietly told Lucas all they had learned while they waited. Lucas shook his head as he heard how Mary had tried to turn them against each other.
    "So we need to get that stone?" Lucas asked looking at Grace.
    "While she wears it, I can't hurt her," Grace said in a whisper.
    "Leave the stone to me, I will get it," Lucas said quietly.
    "How?" Erica asked.
    Lucas explained what he planned to do, and how he'd need Grace's help.
    They stared at him like he was crazy, but in the end agreed, it was so crazy it just might work. They didn't have to wait for much longer, the doors swung open and in walked Mary with Luciana following her.
    "That blasted dragon," Luciana said.
    "Silence," Mary said looking at the floor in front of the throne room.
    The battle between the Crescent army and Lots army have begun while they were still in the cage.
    Lucas smiled, Drakins Dragon came, which will mean Selena is in Crescent kingdom.
    "Ah," Luciana said following Mary's gaze, "Don't worry Mary, the battle is going well and we will soon put an end to Crescent's army."
    "You have done well Luciana," Mary said, though she was pacing and they guessed her words were lies, intended to make them despair.
    "Thank you, my lady. Now Grace and Erica are out of the way, nothing can stop us," Luciana said loudly enough for anyone in the cage to hear her. She moved away from the trapdoor to stand behind the throne, so they could talk without being overheard.
    "What are we going to do to that Dragon with the Dragon fighting against us our chances of winning is thin". Mary said.
    "I can use my power to contact someone that may help us," Luciana said quietly, in the cage they would not have heard her. "We don't need an army to defeat them. We only need someone powerful enough to get rid of that dragon."
    "Who can help us defeat a dragon?" she asked.
    "A dragon lord," Luciana said looking at her.
    "I know a man who claimed he was a dragon lord," Luciana said still talking quietly.
    "But you were in that jewel for thousands of years do you think he is still alive?" Mary asked sitting on the throne.
    "Yes that's true, but he has magic that keeps him alive and I believe he still lives and I'm sure I can reach him. When I was still alive we both planned to take Crescent kingdom but failed. He hated Crescent and everything it stands for and would be happy to help us. I can reach him through my mind" Luciana said walking towards her.
    "You can reach him with your mind?" Mary asked
    "Yes"
    "But It will take him too long to get here anyway," Mary said tapping her fingers on the arm of the throne.
    "He is a master of the elements, he can travel on the wind," Luciana said. "If I could reach him, he could get here within the hour."
    "Have you summon him?" Mary asked
    "No, it has been long but I have sent him a message before telling you and I think he is already on his way. I better hurry up to meet him at the east gate".
    "What his name, this dragon lord?" Mary asked
    "He was known as Joan of the wind," Luciana said.
    "Well you had better go now, he won't like it if you keep him waiting when he arrive". Mary said smiling.
    "I need to eat something first," Luciana said returning her smile. She gave Lucas sword to Mary and took Erica sword with her as she left the throne room
    "Alright but don't be long," Mary said holding the sword as she left the room. They had kept their voices low, if they had still been trapped in the cage they would not have heard a word.
    Mary sat on the throne and rubbed her temples. She stayed where she was for ten minutes. Grace, Erica and Lucas waited patiently for her to get up and start pacing. Grace had been shocked to hear of a dragon lord but a plan was forming in her mind and she smiled.
    Mary sat for a minute staring at the door then stood up and started pacing again. As she got her feet, Lucas edged along the balcony, swinging his legs over the edge. He lowered himself slowly, watching for Grace or Erica to warn him if Mary should sense him. Lucas carefully lowered himself, until he was hanging from the balcony, with his arms outstretched. He felt the pressure on his arms lessen and knew that Grace was taking some of his weight.
    Erica watched Mary pace backwards and forwards, oblivious to Lucas hanging above her. She looked at Lucas, then back at Mary, she held up a finger, then another, as she lifted a third finger, Lucas let go. Grace helped to break his fall, but he still knocked Mary off her feet. He grabbed the stone and and the leather thong around her neck snapped and quickly grab the sword on the floor. The sword was his. She screamed at him as he got to his feet, holding the stone in front of him. Grace and Erica ducked down behind the parapet, so Mary couldn't see them. Lucas ran to the door they had come through earlier.
    "Give that back!" Mary screamed.
    "If you want it, come and get it," Lucas said holding it up in front of him as he pulled open the door. Mary raised her hands, then remembered herself and dropped them again.
    "Guards," Mary yelled, but Lucas didn't wait for them to appear, he ran back down the steps, along the corridor, then down the narrow passageway to were Alain is, placing the old man on his back he ran towards where the battle was taken place, fighting the statues.
    As soon as Grace had seen Lucas snap the cord holding the stone, they had left the balcony. If Lucas had the stone, Mary couldn't hurt him and they had no time to lose. Grace had to be outside to get the things She needed, after hearing Mary and Luciana she now had a plan.
    Erica took her a different way this time and they came out of the castle near the stables. Grace with her powers summoned the glass jewel.
    If they knew Mary, she would be now on her way to check that they were still imprisoned. But this might be their chance to get Luciana out of the way.
    Mary decided to use the spell her grandmother had taught her, the spell of aging and changing into another gender.
    Grace used the aging spell to make herself look old, like an old man and changed her clothes to a man own. It had been so long that Luciana had seen the Joan man so they believed she would mistake Grace for him. Erica checked the stables were clear then passed inside and brought out a horse. There was no time to saddle it but she knew Grace was quite capable of riding without a saddle.
    She helped Grace to get on the horse then passed her a staff Grace had made and hid the jewel in her pocket.
    "Be careful," Grace said.
    "I will and good luck," Erica said as Grace turned towards the gate and rode out to meet Luciana. She circled around the fortress to the main gate where she knew Luciana would be waiting. She could see nothing under the black cloud, so she used her mind's eye to locate her. She was further from the gate than expected, dead bodies lie everywhere but the fighting seemed to have stopped for now. She got off the horse and let it go, then walked towards Luciana who was waiting.
    "Who is there?" Luciana asked as Grace walked towards her.
    "I am Joan, Joan of the wind, I heard you needed help," Grace said approaching her. Luciana smiled at the old man
    Though the old man looked different but Luciana didn't mind as far he did what she tells him.
    "You will join with us my old friend to take over the Nine kingdoms?" Luciana asked looking at the staff he carried suspiciously.
    "What will you give me in return for my services," he asked.
    "Can you defeat the dragon?" Luciana asked. After that bloody dragon had attacked, the men it hadn't killed, had run off, leaving them without an army. She was right, the man was old, older than she had expected but his staff at least looked like it contained some power.
    "I can control wind, fire, water and earth. I can defeat the dragon," Grace said. "What will you give me for my services?"
    "What do you want?" Luciana asked looking at him. She'd agree with anything the man asked for, she would kill him as soon as he had done what he wanted.
    "I want Crescent," Grace said.
    "You will get what you want, if you defeat the dragon. Can you truly control the elements as you said because if I can vividly remember you don't have such elements?" She asked frowning at him. A slight breeze looked as if it would knock her of her feet.
    "Would you like me to show you then old friend?" Grace asked.
    "Go ahead," Luciana said walking towards him.
    Grace wave her free hand in the air turning it around the air and a wind picked up in front of her, she lifted her hand and the wind increased. Luciana could see it circling around her and could feel the pull on her cloak. She stood still and smiled at her old friend, someone who could control the elements would be very useful. She could now feel the wind pulling at her and she tried to step back.
    "That's enough," Luciana shouted trying to make herself heard over the wind. The stupid man had his eyes closed and was probably deaf as a bat. The wind was still increasing and Luciana tried to lift her hand to knock the old fool off his feet, but she couldn't move.
    She was being lifted by the wind now, turning faster as the wind picked up speed. She saw Mary trying to run towards her with the sword she had given to her ealier on draw out, but she was being pushed back by the wind. She started fighting against it, slowly getting closer. Luciana could hear Mary screaming but the wind was drowning her out.
    "Grace," she screamed and she finally understood and turned back to look at the old man only to see Grace in its place. She had returned back to herself, Grace opened her eyes and smiled at Luciana. Luciana was spinning faster now, catching a glimpse of the girl in front of her, she fought against the wind but she only succeeded in knocking Mary flying. The lady in front of her didn't even flinch.
    "Time to go back," Grace said as she placed the jewel on the ground in front of hee. The wind picked up speed and Luciana could feel the body she was in dying. This could not be happening, but she was powerless, she couldn't even open her mouth. She was now held in the wind several feet above the ground, she could feel the body around her sag as her soul left it. Grace directed the wind over the jewel on the ground and watched as Luciana's soul filled it once more. Grace bound the soul within the jewel so it couldn't escape.
    The black cloud broke as the wind reached it and a red sky was revealed. Grace let the wind die down and Lily body fell to the ground near the jewel. Grace turned her over and checked her pulse, she was dead. She looked around her and spotted Mary not far from the gates, she could see r easily now the black cloud was gone. Mary was kneeling, blood pouring out from a wound, she must have been hurt when they were thrown back. Grace sighed and picked up the jewel, she put it in her pocket as she walked towards her.
    There were dead bodies everywhere and she had to pick her way slowly, making sure she stepped on no-one. She saw raven's flying around the bodies but they were just birds, Luciana was gone. The shredded red and black banners of Mary's army, swayed in the dying wind. There were many men she recognised as soldiers of Crescent though and she sighed. She wished she could have stopped the war before so many had lost their lives.
    As she approached Mary she guessed what had happened. Mary had been holding Erica's sword, Mary had been thrown back on it and now once again she was dying. The sword a few feet away from her. Grace looked towards the fortress and could see Erica slowly making her way towards them. She looked back down at Mary until she stood before her.
    "Help me, Grace, please," Mary said holding out her hand towards Grace.
    "Is this really what you wanted Mary, I pleaded with you but you didn't listen, so I asked is this what you had wanted?" Grace asked looking at her as she lay there dying.
    Mary said nothing, tears flowing freely from her face.
    "Please", Mary said looking at Grace. Grace looked up again as Erica approached them.
    "What do you want from me Mary?" Grace asked as Erica came to stand next to her.
    "Are you alright?" Erica asked as Grace passed her the jewel.
    "I'm fine," Grace said and they both smile at each other. Mary stare at them and smile a little bit.
    "You really do care about her don't you," Mary said as she watched Erica put her hand on Grace's shoulder.
    "Of course," Erica said passing the jewel back to Grace. "We are sisters and twins in every way that matters."
    "I'm sorry for all I did to you Grace and Erica. I hope you are strong enough to fight Darken and his demons warriors, you know the battle isn't over even if I die. I am sorry" Mary said with a sigh as she closed her eyes her last breath leaving her.
    Erica shook her head and knelt down beside the cold body, placing her hands on Mary's forehead she began to chant. "La seut etur siry eouis epytb amvertu vsjhgdr majusrugv- Moon Goddess receive this innocent soul". Erica opened her eyes and it flash gold, soon Mary's body began to fade away till there was nothing.
    That way no one would be able to raise her back to life again.
    Lucas came and touch Grace and Erica "The war has ended in our favour. It is time to go home".

    Darken stood facing the window, Lillian was pacing around.
    "How did they succeed in killing the Legendary Witch?" Darken asked for the sixth time.
    "I have told you, I don't know how". Lillian replied.
    "You don't know? But you are the Dark Goddess and you were suppose to know if your plan will work out".
    "I thought it would".
    "But it did not, I guess I will have to do it in my own way". Darken said and left the throne room angrily.
    "I underestimate Grace and her twin, Selena would be laughing at me now but this isn't the end". Lillian said to her self and disappeared into thin air.

    Back in Crescent, the sky now cleared, Grace, Erica and Lucas were celebrated. The people came out of their various homes singing songs in their names. After every one had gone home, the high king called them.
    "Well, I want to thank you three for your brave deed you did today. But also there is something Diana has to tell you".
    Diana smiled at them and began "For a thousand of years Selena's soul was cast into the lair of the Drakins and her immortal body taking away by the high king. Well, when you all were battling with Mary and Luciana I was battling with mine here too".
    "I don't get you grandma", Erica said
    Diana smiled again and told them. "Well, the king had removed the curse he had placed on Selena and had bond her soul back into her body. What I am trying to say is Selena is back in flesh".

    Episode 17

    The world of the warrior is like a long and deep tunnel
    With the threat of death forever looming in the darkness
    A constant struggle one fight after another
    Each of them ending with a death
    Must that be the warrior's way?
    To kill or to be killed........
    Grace took a deep breath as she heard those words.
    Again....
    She was dreaming, she opened her eyes and realized that she was in her chamber, someone was knocking at her down rapidly. She got up from her bed and opened her door to see her personal female servant, Flora.
    "Yes what is it?"
    "Your presence are needed my princess . Your mother seek of you". Flora said
    "Okay, tell her I will join her soon".
    The servant nodded and left Grace presence.
    As Grace left her chambers to her mother's, she recalled her dream.
    In her dream, she found herself, no, she was dead.
    Must that be the warrior's way?
    What did that even mean?
    Having no answers to that without knocking she walked into Selena's chambers.
    She wasn't surprised to see her twin and grandmother in her room, after all since Selena had regained her earthly body they spend more time with her.
    "You called me mother".
    "Yes I did, please sit down, there is something we have been keeping from you". Selena said.
    "Okay".
    "Well as you know, there is a third prophecy that was given to us by Odin, the great seer of the old".
    "Yes, you've told me before".
    "Well there is more to it my child", Selena said smiling a little bit.
    Diana made a parchment appeared in her arms as she gave it to Grace.
    Grace took the the third prophecy and read it out.
    "To bring balance to the world an ultimate sacrifice must be made, a life will be taken for others to live". Grace looked up from the parchment towards the silent figures. "I thought killing Darken would end everything, why this?" Grace asked.
    "I made a vow to Odin not to reveal the third prophecy to anyone expect when it is time, who ever the prophecy chooses will have to follow the path". Diana spoke
    "And you believe this is the right time? Then why are you telling me this now and the most importantly who will be the sacrifice?"
    "They choose you. You Grace are the sacrifice. It is your destiny, this is the main reason why you were born. Get prepared, Darken had just sent us a message. We are to meet with him and his immortal army in a week time. The real battle is the end of the a new beginning". Diana said.
     
    The D-day arrived. Grace dressed in a simple white cloth, same as Erica as they rode out of the castle towards the battle field.
    The high king of Crescent was at the front riding a white horse, Selena, Lucas, Diana, Erica and Grace, riding a snow white horses like the king himself. Grace horse hair was braided. Her horses legs were surrounded with white flame and with each step she took, the grasses and trees turn greener and healthier. The armies were behind them, immediately the king came to an halt and the rest followed.
    Grace looked forward and saw them.
    The Demon army was there and right in front of them was Darken and a young lady beside him, Grace had seen her before, Selena had shown it to her, the Dark Goddess. She was dressed in all black and her eyes so dark that they speak of evil, she smirked when she saw them. Darken unlike them he was riding a dark horse, what triggered Grace attention was that his horse hair was made out of flames, real flame, it's leg was surrounded with flames as well.
    Behind them were his demons immortal army. They were all dressed in black clothing. They weren't ordinary army, they were death demons.
    Grace couldn't see the face of her father but she was sure her father wasn't worry about the fight.
    "So you brought the little girl of prophecy with you brother, how sweet of you". Darken said and looked at Grace with such wickedness and hatred.
    "Brother, this is my last warning, depart from us". The high king said ignoring his brother statement.
    Darken laughed.
    "Then give me what I have been fighting for. You may have walked the path of light but you and I know you belong to darkness. You can't run away from that nor can you remove the blood that flows in you. Whether you like or not you are hades son Dugan". Darken said.
    "I know, but all is in the past now. I have know and love the world of light and you can't change it so again, please I beg you depart from here with your soldiers", the high king known now as Dugan pleaded again.
    "Well, too late for that now", Saying that he waved his arm towards them and a huge dark flame came out of his arm, moving towards them.
    The minute Dugan saw the fire wave he swung into action, a wall of water blocked the fire and it soon began fading, only for another ball of fire to come.
    Lillian swung into action, the malarias appeared at her command and started their chant. Soon both of the armies started fighting. Grace father was fighting with his brother, both of them were using their elements. Selena and Diana on the other side were fighting against Lillian and the malarias. Lucas, Er and Grace and their soldiers faced the demon army.
    It was a bloody fight, with both side losing a lot of men.
    The world of the warrior is like a long and deep tunnel.
    Grace focused her sight on the five demons heading at her with balls of fire each on their arms, but Erica quickly came to her intervention and fought all five of them at once, killing them.
    A lot of dead bodies were laying on the floor in their own puddles of blood. Someone cried out in pain, Grace turned and saw it was her father, she raced forward towards her father.
    Wherever you turn
    All you find is the threat of death in the darkness.
    Dugan was kneeling on the floor with his hands on the ground. Lillian injured him by shooting fire on his back and leg when he was fighting with Darken.
    He was gravely wounded, the fire wasn't a ordinary fire. They were made from the tears of the malarias.
    She reached him just in time to see a fire tornado coming towards their way but before it will hit them, Grace quickly got in front of her father and summon water, blocking the tornado from hitting them as she stare at the smirking prince of darkness.
    "Oh, this is just the beginning". Darken said.
    "You are going to pay for that", Grace snarled.
    A jolt of energy went through her veins, she tightened her fists.
    "So princess Grace, the girl from the prophecy". He started walking towards Grace the same way a predator would wound its way around its prey. "You are going to defeat the Prince of darkness, am I correct?" He asked Grace who didn't reply him.
    "I don't know why but I hardly believe that", Darken said then continued "I hardly believe that a mere girl like you would save the world from darkness and and evil magic. If you think about it logically, you will find it impossible, right?" Darken asked.
    "Spit it out already", Grace demanded and she saw a trace of anger in his eyes but he hid it well and he smiled.
    "You don't actually believe you can save the world from me, oh Grace, you will agree with me the moon goddess chose wrong". He let out a humorless laugh when Grace didn't respond "Oh you actually think that you can save this world from me, sorry to burst your bubbles but that can never happen". Grace felt her closely fist turning icy blue as she stare angrily at Darken, the icy blue won't hurt her but she knew it will hurt Darken. She raised one of her hand as if she want to throw something and swung forward, a ball of ice flew from her hand, soared through the air and hit him in his chest, her eyes grew wide when Darken smirked and wave it off.
    "Ouch, that hurt princess", he mocked "Such a shame, I thought you were trained well".
    And while there is light at the end of even the longest and darkness of tunnels.
    The next thing Grace knew was huge branches of dark fire making their way towards her. Reacting promptly, she surrounded herself with ice but it didn't work. Her eyes widened up a bit when she saw her ice started turning black.

    Episode 18 (Final)

    Grace used fire to break the ice and quickly attacked Darken with her own fire balls. Grace was getting frustrated with time especially with Darken avoiding every balls she shoot at him.
    But Grace knew she had to beat him.
    She had to defeat him in order to save the world, and that is what she was planning to do.
    The fight went on and Grace was getting exhausted. King Darken had a smirk on his face and it anger Grace.
    Grace was about to make a wave torrent around him there when she felt something hot spread around her ankle.
    She let out a loud scream and fell down to the ground looking at her red swollen ankle that was burnt badly . It was burning and she let out a loud hiss when the burning sensation increased.
    "First rule princess, keep your eyes open for everything around you", he grinned wickedly, Grace shut her eyes in pain. Darken laugh out, he enjoyed seeing her in pains. Grace grind her teeth hard and put her hands above her ankle, she relaxed a bit when water covered it.
    Darken raise his two arms up and the cloud darkened. "Still think you can defeat me princess?" He asked mockery.
    Lillian, Selena and Diana weren't too far from them. They were both engaged in their fight.
    Lillian stronger than the two, with her dark powers, she made a cage out of dark magic and put them in, she turned and face Grace.
    Lillian and Darken attacked Grace at the same time, running towards her together. Grace not knowing what to do followed her instincts. She felt something trying to come out, trying to break free from her body and she let it. The next thing she heard was a roar, a dragon's roar. She opened her eyes and realized that she was on fire, literally on fire. She looked above her and gasped out when she saw a huge dragon hovering above her.
    The Dragon was made of fire. It had water and air surging through its arms and legs and its tail was made of elemental earth. She felt secure, Darken and Lillian was fast approaching her. Grace felt within her that her time is up, this is her end. Lillian body was quickly covered with fire and her inner beast emerged, a fire bird, made with dark fire.
     Darken was the same only that his own inner beast was a fire serpent with three heads. Grace ran towards them using her Dragon beast.
    The impact of their blast that came when the three of them met was enough to throw every soldiers and demons, everything away.
    When the air cleared, Grace saw Darken and Lillian on the floor not moving.
    The cage holding Selena and Diana fade away and the Warrior demons of Darken faded into sands.
    Victory is theirs.
    Dugan smiled sadly when he saw his brother cold eyes.
    Erica heaved out a big sigh when she saw Grace standing over the still body of Darken and Lillian, she ran to meet her twin. When she got to where Grace was she halted in her steps, and her eyes grew wide. A sword made of fire was struck at the heart of Grace.
    Lillian knew that this was her end for both she and Darken, already they know they are no match for the child of prophecy, so they came out with a plan. If they are going down, Grace will follow. Lillian made the knife with her blood and Darken's. Grace won't survive at all.
    Lillian and Darken started fading away leaving nothing.
    Grace fell down but before she could reach the ground Erica caught her in her arms, blood dripping out of Grace mouth.
    "I am sorry Erica" Grace spoke out slowly
    "Shhh, don't say a word. Try to hold on Grace, you won't leave me. Not yet".
    "I am sorry. You know, my mother use to sing me a song whenever I am in pain. I want to sing you a song", Grace said slowly, fresh tears was flowing freely from Erica's eyes.
    Grace spoke out slowly:
    Leave all your sorrows and defeat to yesterday
    And remember all your victories today
    Only when the sparrows return
    Can I admire the wind and moon
    The poems in the light of the blade
    The shadow of the sword
    By the time they're sung
    I've long been devoid of grievances
    Ignore the whitening hair and life
    Ignore the years flowing past like water
    Once the fire in your heart is Extinguished,
    The Flower will emerge
    Long ago, life has already doubled upon itself
    Completed itself
    Hearts tied to one another, lives connected with other
    Feelings belong between love and hatred
    This life, whether complete or flawed
    I belong within your heart.
    Grace finished and finally allowed darkness to take over her as her eyes closed in death forever
    Erica cried out in pains.
    Lucas cried
    Diana cried
    Selena cried
    Everyone cried
    They had won the battle but they lost someone dear to them.
     The End

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