Wednesday, 7 July 2010
05:43:37 PM (GMT)
I have heard tell of a great golden city called Iona. Born in Galia, a small town
atthe tip of the peninsula connecting two realms together, and a commoner, it is an
impossible dream to find it. You see, it has been turned into a dark palace by the
Nariads. And never will I, Ereya Chloris approach such a deep and foul place.
It was a talkative morning when I woke up that particular day. The streets were
bustling with additional merchants, the housewives gossiping more than usual. I
wondered if the festival was coming early this year.
Thundering down the stairs, I called out, "What's going on?"
I knew that Mother was used to my unusually loud morning greetings but I wasn't too
surprised when I heard a spoon clatter. Rushing down, I gave her an apology which she
responded to by nothing more than a mere nod.
Father laughed merrily. "Ereya, you are almost at the marrying age. You must learn
how to greet in a ladylike manner." He set his work tools down, and patted my head as
if I was a little girl. Which, according to him, I will forever be.
I gave him a mocking curtsy and repeated, "So what is going on? Is it the festival?"
Destiny, my older sister who had probably been practicing Herbology in the garden
came inside and answered, "It's a competition." She was covered in grass dew and dirt
was splattered all over her work skirt. I was about to open my mouth but she
interrupted me, "Do not comment."
I ignored Destiny's cold stare and turned to my mother who was setting down the
morning soup. "What kind of a competition is it?"
My mother, who looked exactly like me and my sister gave me a strict and pursed look.
She knew my curiosity usually did not land me anywhere good. "A competition to see
who will be the next Apprentice." I must say, it was a success for my mouth to drop
so low. That didn't take my mother by surprise. The Disciplius Competition only
happens four times in a century. Each High Mage, or High Enchanter is allowed two
apprentices, a male and a female.
Two years ago, a male apprentice was chosen by High Mage Astro (no, not the continent
that lies northwest of Lire). He was of high family rank, a group of nobles called
the Valiennes. The Disciplius Competition is not based on rank, wealth, or looks.
They say that the High Mage, blessed with the spirits of the Winged-Ones themselves,
choose their next apprentice through the heart. Those who bear only good intentions
and selfless regard to the land are the only people to be chosen.
I honestly have no real or descriptive knowledge of how the apprentice is chosen, but
I had always dreamed of being one. They say that the apprenticeship takes place in
the topmost tower of all Teruma; The Vitaista. There you can see the abundance of
life in all of Teruma, the stormy deserts of Deria, a glance of the roaring rivers of
Sater and the flying realm of Winora.
I immediately closed my mouth as I heard Destiny's unnoticeable chuckle. "When is it?
Why in Galia? Is the High Mage actually here? I have to tell Talia!" My tongue began
rushing words in and out of my mouth. Father gave his usual gaily laugh and merrily
went out the door to his carpentry work.
Destiny patted me on the back and said, "Nobody really knows anything. You know how
we Galians are." I glared at her, knowing that she did know something; she just
didn't want to tell me. My mother only handed me a cup of milk which I took a sip off
and suddenly noticed something. I sniffed. There was the definite smell of room
Destiny noticed it too and she was the first to question it. "Mother, what is that?"
I know she didn't mean it to sound so rude but Destiny had always been bad when it
came to oral speaking. She had always buried her nose in piles of books over books,
educating herself in the way our parents couldn't.
Mother raised one slender eyebrow and crossed her arms; my sister responded with an
apologetic smile. I made a tutting sound as I quietly drank my cup of milk. It was
frightening how identical the three of us were. Each one had slightly pale blond
hair, due to my mother's Winoran descent. My mother had sapphire blue eyes that
always lit up whenever she smiled; my sister had also inherited these eyes. I had
inherited my father's hazel-brown eyes, which were perfectly Terumian. My mother had
a beautiful heart-shaped face, which I was glad me and my sister did not inherit.
It was quite a Terumian myth that if you had a heart-shaped face, you would die
young. My mother is at the ripe age of forty two, and she states that she "does not
believe such nonsense." My sister and I had inherited the Terumian traditions such as
myths and legends, and while Mother married at the age of twenty-three, she agrees
with Father's wishes for us to be married by the age of twenty-one. This was the
usual marrying age for Terumian women.
His wishes have not yet been fulfilled; Destiny is turning twenty-one in a month's
time and I have no intention of being pursued by suitors of any kind. This was the
only Terumian tradition that Destiny and I went up against. Destiny wishes to be a
scholar, then later, a medic for the upcoming wars. I wished to be a free enchanter,
fighting for Teruma.
But there we stood in the kitchen, talking as if there were no cultural differences
between us. Mother replied, "Talia's parents are coming here to have tea this
afternoon. They've said that Byron had just been promoted."
"Has he, now?" Destiny asked, as if uninterested in the topic. Truth be told, she was
still hurt by Byron's betrayal. It all started five years ago, when Talia and I met;
I was consistently arguing with the boys while Talia was the perfect example of a
"popular." She was pretty with her green emerald eyes and her strawberry-blond hair
and all the boys loved her. She was always the topic of gossip between all the other
female students in the school.
She'd always been bullied because of her popularity, although she could do nothing
about it. One time, rumors spread that she did not know how to swim. Several
hardhearted girls lied to Talia and told her that a bunny was drowning in the nearby
river. Talia, as wussy and kind, as she was tried to swim for the nonexistent bunny
and almost drowned.
Fortunately, I was under the nearby trees cramming for a quiz that was to be held the
day after and heard the commotion. I saved her while she kept crying out, "Mr. bunny,
Mr. bunny!" The girls who tricked Talia began throwing stones and sticks at me,
saying that I was a traitor and all their other garbage that I personally did not
I walked her home, bruises and all and we pinky-promised, right on the third stone
step of her porch that we were always going to be best friends. Her brother, Byron
who was five years older than we were opened up the door, and was shocked to find two
wet and bruised eleven years olds waiting outside his door.
I had to admit, I had a sort of schoolgirl crush on Talia's older brother, but it
lessened more and more as days went by. I treated him as my own older brother, and
explained to him that since Destiny never spent any time with me, he was also gonna
be my official sibling (Talia and I swore that we would treat each other as sisters a
month after I saved her).
It turned out that he was friends with Destiny and her best friend, Cerise. They were
one of the best enchanters and mages of the school at that time. Until three years
ago, when the three officially separated. Byron declared that he was going to join
the army, as a soldier. Destiny and Cerise were saddened by the sudden news, but
could not stop Byron from going to the capital and training there.
Soon, Destiny began Herbology classes, and admitted to herself and to Cerise that she
wanted to be a medic. Cerise, who have always been confident that she and Destiny
will be pledged enchanters together, drew away and practiced her enchantment without
Destiny. Talia and I saw the separation through our own eyes and said that no matter
what, such a thing will not happen to us.
A year after the separation of the three, the real rigorous magic classes began and a
new student came to the school. His name was Jace and was an adopted son of Ms.
Treayon, a practitioner of enchantment and a local healer. He soon became part of the
pact due to the fact that he told Talia and I that he was going to be the next High
Mage. Just that one sentence led to a budding friendship between the three of us.
It was like deja vu for Destiny. She said that it was like seeing an echo of the trio
she used to be part of; I had responded that hopefully, we wouldn't end up the same
way. Jace, Talia, and I became the top practitioners of magic in our school. Soon, we
were being tutored under the strict policy of Ms. Treayon, Jace's adopted mother.
Destiny didn't seem it, but she had always wanted to mend her trio back together. She
told Cerise once that they should take an example from us, but both agreed that the
chasm that Byron left was too great to be filled. He hadn't been back for two years
after the separation, and only came during the holidays, although his visits usually
were just two days at the maximum.
Destiny and Cerise ignored him, and sometimes I hear Destiny call him "a betrayer." I
saw the three of them arguing once and I thought that they would finally be able to
bring their old friendship back. Apparently and most frankly, I was wrong. Destiny
seemed more independent, more mature and less social after the separation; it was sad
seeing her like that, but it seemed that she had placed all her intentions into her
study, nothing more.
Of course, Talia, Jace and I were still friends. We've always been bonded by our
strong desires to become practitioners of magic and show Teruma that Galia really is
still on their side. It was a fine mid-spring day and I was excited to see the
Disciplius Competition happen through my own eyes. My father had gone to his own
work, my mother brewing her best tea and my sister continuing her strict rules of
studying. Everything was fine.
I was a teenage girl in the small town of Galia, perfectly safe from all the harm
happening outside our borders. And even though I was happy with I had, one look over
to the distant sturdy walls of Teruma, brought back that feeling I've always had. To
be free, and not caged up. To experience what life really had to offer. I was in my
sanctuary, and most people would love to be in my place. But I would give up all of
that to see the sand dunes, the Winter Isles and the Saterian waters, exploring Lire
with all the freedom a person could have.
No, I wasn't a caged bird. I had already pecked the lock enough for it to open. All I
needed now was the shooting star to tell me that my wings were ready to take flight.