Log entry #8:
The Council of Elders passed jurisdiction over the Order of the Black Guard yesterday. The mission – the rescue of thirty Merleinans, including myself – was such a success that they have decided not to shut down the Order. It will, however, undergo re-evaluation. They have appointed my foster father Sola to oversee the Black Guard’s operations. Reno has been suspended from service for five years and will report directly to Sola for another five. There is a rift between them though they do not speak of it in front of me. No one has yet noticed and I hope it will not affect their Orders. I suspect Sara had been a major influence in the Council’s final judgment. She told me that our people were dissatisfied on how the Elders’ addressed the issue regarding the disappearances. Letting Reno’s Order continue was a political move to regain Merleina’s support. Whispers of the forest have reached Merleinans. It sung of Liyanna’s recent deeds. Through her involvement, Devatas and Merleinans have once again worked together to save our people; a feat, considering the fact that it has been eons since anything like this, has happened.
I woke two days after I was retrieved from one of the enemy’s laboratories. Sara had been attending to me that day. She looked so weary and old. It was the first time I saw her openly shed tears in front of me and her staff. It was then that I vowed never to voluntarily place myself in danger. She had called me Arty, just like my mother used to and a friend whose face remains shadowed in my muddled memories. That is where my problem lies. Try as I might, I cannot remember the past three years leading to the present. Sara reassures me it will come back in time but I sense her relief that it has not returned. I am keeping more secrets again, hence this journal. I do not share the dreams that haunt me at night knowing Sara would fuss if she discovers it. So, when a particular nightmare keeps me wide awake, I take the path to Sinta, the Lake of Mirrors.
Last night, I found myself in the most unlikely company. Liyanna stood on the shores of the lake with her bespelled falcon and cat and the mythical chimera. The last news we have had of her came in the form of a Devarian courtier announcing her engagement to the mysterious Prince Kelor. It was a strategy to strengthen the relationship between fourth-dimensional humans and Devatas. Yet, when I saw her looking at the distance, I felt her longing. I rather wish that I had remained unnoticed for I was close to deciphering the puzzle she presented, but Liyanna turned and looked at me with silver eyes. The connection I felt with her was abruptly severed. Her falcon took to the skies as she walked towards me. Her four-footed companions stayed where they were.
She spoke to me in Merleinan, mostly questions about my foster family, Reno, and the Council. I answered as best as I could while suffering her unrelenting gaze.
Arturion lifted his stylus from the rectangular crystal tablet. He was unsure if it was alright to put into writing something which felt very private. He gazed outside the window in the direction of the lake. What was it he said to her again?
“Do you know me?” Arturion asked, frowning. It wasn’t the proper way to address a Liyanna, but he felt unbalanced with the intensity in her eyes. She also seemed to know a great deal about him.
Suddenly realizing what she was doing, Liyanna looked to the stars. Smiling, she said: “You are Reno’s friend and Sola’s foster son.”
Those were details that most people in Merleina knew about him.
“Do I know you?”
She did not speak immediately and fiddled with her necklace. Liyanna removed it from her neck and stretched out her hand to him. The necklace dangled between them. “I believe this is yours. Reno found it when he was searching for you. He gave it to me for safekeeping.”
Taking it from her, he examined the crystal. It was his mother’s. “Thank you.”
“No. Thank you.” Liyanna embraced him, catching Arturion off guard. The moment soon passed and she stepped away. “Farewell, Arturion.”
She rejoined her friends and made their way towards the forest. As they neared the edge of the woods, she looked over her shoulder and smiled at him. Then, she was gone.
Arturion took out the necklace from his pocket. The shaft of light from his window illuminated his mother’s crystal. He had not unlocked its secrets yet. Perhaps, it was time for him to know who his real father is, see if it held answers to his mother’s death, and maybe – just maybe – understand the connection he had felt with Liyanna.
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©MC Babasa 2014
A/N: Feel free to post your feedback as this is the first book. Your comments and suggestions may influence the second book.
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