Born in Chaos Part 2
Blue eyes snapped open and the young blonde fell to his knees gasping.
"You let your concentration be broken," Spoke a man leaning idly against a wall, his ice-blue eyes watching the boy catch his breath.
"I'm sorry, Master."
"Sorry isn't going to bring you back if you die because you can't keep a simple barrier up, Quatre."
"I understand." Quatre got to his feet and put his hands together, closing his eyes.
He opened them again when a gentle, but firm, hand grasped his shoulder. "I think you've been beaten up enough for one day, let's find some food and tomorrow we will continue."
Quatre nodded silently and followed his teacher from the gardens.
Later that evening, after the sky had faded from grey to black, the man found his young student sitting back out in the gardens.
"Care to tell me what's bothering you?" He asked sitting beside the boy.
"I don't know. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. Something's changed yet everything remains the same." Quatre frowned.
His teacher stood and held out his hand, a small smile on his face. "Come."
It never occurred to Quatre to question the man as he rose and followed him inside. Entering a large study, the man went to a bookcase and withdrew two silver bowls from one of the shelves.
"Does it mean something to you, Master?"
"No, but it does to you." He laughed when Quatre frowned. "I'm only a man who has studied the arts, I have no natural skills. Only what I've been taught." He filled one of the bowls with clear water. "You, on the other hand, are a healer born. You have a connection to all living things, which enables you to sense things that I cannot."
Quatre considered what he had said as he watched the man add some herbs to another bowl and set them aflame. Letting the burn for a few moments, he then lay a plate across the top of the bowl and turned to his pupil.
"Now, I'll teach you something new. I can do this but, not to the extent that you will be able to. Remove your cloak and follow my instructions very carefully."
Quatre nodded, removing his cloak and laying it over a chair. At his teacher's instructions, he removed the cover from the bowl of herbs, smoke rising out from the recently snuffed leaves. Leaning over it, Quatre breathed deeply of the sweet, pungent smoke. His teacher then led him to the silver basin of water, his voice low and soothing.
"Lean over the water and place your hands on either side of the basin, you must be connected to it. Slow you breathing, relax, and let the herbs help to clear your mind. Then gaze into the water, don't think of anything, just let what you seek come to you."
Quatre did as he was told, he could feel his body relaxing as he gazed at the mirrored surface. Suddenly, the water shifted and images began to slide across its surface. In what only seemed like an instant, his teacher lay a hand on his shoulder, calling him back.
No He cried silently. I want to see more. I need to see more!
But, he was too well trained and his body followed his teacher's words. Breaking contact with the silver he gasped for air, falling backwards.
The other man steadied him and led him to a chair, pressing a steaming cup in his hand. "Drink this, it will help counter the effects of the herbs."
Quatre sipped the bitter brew, feeling the strength returning to his body, warmth slowly creeping into his icy limbs.
"Thank-you," He murmured. "Is it always like that?"
"For most. There a very few that can accomplish that without aid. Most need the herbs to help completely clear the minds. A single stray thought can upset the balance. It's dangerous and should not be done frequently. Those herbs can clear the mind but, they can also destroy it."" He pulled a chair around to sit in front of Quatre. "Now, tell me what you saw."
Quatre closed his eyes, recalling the images that he'd seen in the water. "I see a being of pure light encased in a tomb of black glass. She struggles to escape but the shadows just bind her tighter. She cries out for the sacred stars to aid her.
A Dragon walks the land like a beacon, searching for something but, not knowing what he searches for. The shadows track him and will destroy him, if he's not careful. Only a forgotten crown can save him.
A Gryphon and a Phoenix are locked in mortal combat, neither winning or losing, and the stars weep at their battle. They will eventually destroy each other.
A Couaqtl winds itself around a winged horse, searching for comfort. The horse, unafraid, lends the light in its soul to the winged-serpent and the two are bound in ways that can never be broken.
A crown is wrapped in shadow and shatters. The last stars flicker and disappear, plunging all into endless dark."
As he finished he looked at the older man, his sapphire eyes full of question. "I don't understand."
"Someday, you will be able to interpret such visions. I can only understand part of it myself.... mostly because it wasn't my vision." He replied, turning Quatre's words over in his mind. The being of light must be the lost guardian and the shadows are holding her prisoner. She's trying to awaken her celestial warriors from her prison.
The winged horse, more than likely represents Quatre... it is the symbol he carries in the pendant he wears. Somewhere he's going to bond with someone or something else, possibly to strengthen his powers.
The shattered crown can only be one person... "Quatre, I want you to prepare our things for a journey. We'll be leaving at dawn... or what's we have of it."
The blonde nodded and left to do as he was asked, leaving his teacher to stare glumly into the fire.
No one noticed the slender boy as he ducked into a deserted alleyway. Stopping, he chuckled as he withdrew his prize from his shirt.
"Stealing again, Duo?"
He jumped and turned to glare at a small black-haired girl. "By the light, Hilde! You scared me!"
She crossed her arms in front of her chest and frowned. "You didn't answer me."
He held up the dagger. "Isn't it a beauty?"
"What?! I have to eat, don't I? This will catch a fair price and it beats the alternative. I'm not much for working the taverns." He replied, turning and walking swiftly towards the outskirts of town.
Hilde walked behind him, fighting down the temptation to grab his swinging braid and pull him to a halt. "I told you to talk to my father!" She stepped in front of him as they stopped at a river outside of town. "Duo!"
"And I told you that he'd say the same as every other merchant around here. They have no use for street trash, like me. We're all either thieves or whores, neither one of which can be trusted. Now," His fingers found the bottom of his shirt. "If you don't want to see more than you should, I'd suggest you leave. I'm going for a swim." He said jerking the garment over his head.
Tossing it aside, he stopped. "Hilde?"
She was staring at his chest, her face drained of all color.
He reached out and poked her. "Hilde? You act like you've never seen a bare chest before."
She blinked and looked up at his violet eyes. "That pendant... where'd you get it?"
"This?" He held up the piece of amber, a phoenix etched deep within its heart. "Don't know. I've had as long as I can remember." He started to ask why...
But, she was already gone.
"Well, that was strange." Duo muttered, rubbing the back of his neck.
Then, shrugging, he unbound his long chestnut braid and shedding the remainder of his clothes, he dove into the frigid water.
Hilde burst through the door to her house and ran to her room. Her chest heaving as she struggled to catch her breath she started pulling books off her shelves. Behind them there was a small door in the wall, opening it she pulled out an old worn book.
With trembling hands she scanned over some of the last pages in it... words entered there by her mother when Hilde was just a baby. Images she had seen in the flames before she had died.
Clutching the book to her chest, Hilde ran from the house.
In a large stone keep, filled with the undulating dark, a woman knelt before an altar, her brown hair streaming down her bare back. Her pale arms glowed softly in the firelight as she raised them to the stone.
"It's happened, milord. A slight break in the power. A celestial warrior has been found. I've sent our shadow warriors into the world to find him and soon I will awaken you." She spoke in a soft voice. "Then, side by side, we shall banish the light for good."
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