Tigra and I followed mum, as we went I told her all about what had happened down in the caverns, the beauty, the taste, and the sadness. She listened with intent, fascinated by the stuff I was telling her.
“Wish you took me with you,” she commented, only being able to imagine what I had seen there.
“I’ll take you some other time, I used this trip to make sure it was safe,” I responded.
“Safe?” she glared at me. “You don’t think I can handle myself do you?”
“Of course not,” I gulped, she’d taken it the wrong way.
“I am just as capable of a warrior as you,” she snarled.
“I know,” I cried. “I just mean…I would have needed permission or something to take you with me.”
Tigra let out a sigh. “I guess you’re right. It can be a real drag being a princess.”
“Everyone is born into the rolls they are destined to fulfil,” said mum hearing us talking. “Each Animalia plays apart, some are small, others are big, but each part is just as important as any other.” Mum stopped as we reached the training grounds. “Those who have big parts to play, cannot play them without those who play the smaller ones. A king would have no kingdom with no subjects, we wouldn’t have a bakery without those who grind wheat into flour.” Tigra and I had gone completely silent as she spoke. “As long as you always move forward, you will understand the part you are destined to play.”
“What has all that got to do with me being a princess?” questioned Tigra as mum turned to face us.
“This maybe how you feel now Tigra, but in time you will understand your part to play,” responded mum.
“You know, she’s just as bad as dad with not giving you a straight answer,” I whispered to Tigra.
“You both have so much to do before you are ready, but even then, perhaps it will be too late,” she looked away. “But her light will always win.” Mum looked back at us smiling. “Shall we begin.” We both nodded.
Mum’s words had me confused, nothing she had said today had made any sense, there was a part of me that felt perhaps some of them came from her clairvoyance, I couldn’t help but wonder how much stronger it was within her than me.
“Where do we start?” I smiled.
“First hold out your weapons,” she instructed. We did as we were told. “This will be tricky for both of you as the feeling for it will be different for you both. Tigra, yours being a natural ability will simply flow through you and into the blade. Alex, for you it will be slightly harder as first you’ll need to connect with Larana, then transfer her power through yours then into the sword.”
“Sounds complicated,” I commented.
“It will be hard at first, but the more you practice, you’ll eventually come to the stage where you won’t even need to think about it,” said mum. “Now let us begin, close your eyes.” I did as instructed, if she had seen dad train when he was younger, than she knew what she was talking about, I would put my faith in her, like I did in dad. In darkness now, I only listened to her voice. “You must first sense the sword in your hand, not feel it, but sense the energy from the crystal, see the form it takes within your mind, tell me when you see it.”
I focused on nothing but the sword in my hand, picturing its shape in my mind, focusing more, deeper on the crystal at the heart of the hilt. I felt nothing at all from it, tightening my grip trying to feel it more.
“Sense it master,” whispered Larana. “This has nothing to do with its physical form.”
“Alex it will be a little like when you connected with Larana for the first time,” I heard mum. “You need to listen, to hear its will and form as the crystals essence can take on many forms, this is the essence of its power.”
I allowed my mind to go blank, letting the flow of energy circle around my body as I did I sensed my power, then Larana’s, then Mila’s, and finally a fourth. It didn’t take on any form just a mass of energy, pure and ancient just like my talismans.
“I…” Before I could get the words out I saw a hand reach out grabbing hold of mine, I gasped in surprise opening my eyes. What was that?
“Alex, everything okay?” asked mum.
“I think I sensed it,” I answered.
“Same here,” said Tigra. I looked at her to see her eyes were still closed. “It looks like a winged white tiger, amazing.”
“A winged white tiger?” I repeated, finding the thoughts a strange one, apart from the twin winged lions from Fang’s legend, I’d never heard of other winged creatures.
“Do not fear whatever form the crystal takes,” said mum.
“I’m not scared.” Tigra shook her head. “She wants me to use her power.”
“Mum what are these crystals really?” I asked.
“Some are just crystals; others are rumoured to carry the memories and feelings of those long gone from this world.” Hearing her words, I thought back on those who had once lived within the caverns, in the giant crystal city Crystellia. The remains of the crystal must have held what was left of them. “Come on then, try again.”
“Right.” I nodded, closing my eyes again.
I quickly found the energy from the crystal again, just a mass of energy, then the hand reached out grabbing hold of mine again. I flinched but kept my eyes closed and focused on it.
The mass of energy changed into the outline of a Feles, but who it was I could not identify as he held no features, just energy. ‘Who are you?’ My thoughts called out to them, but I got no reply.
“Once you have found the light from the crystal, you must take the next step,” informed mum. “Tigra allow yourself to reach out to it, to let your lightning flow into the form of that light.”
“Got it,” responded Tigra.
“Alex, you must make a connection with yours, then call forth Larana’s power, fuse a portion of both your energy and Larana’s into the form of the light,” instructed mum.
I struggled concentrate as the figure of light stared at me, it said nothing. I felt a spark of fear, but it also held a sense of familiarity.
I pushed through this fear I felt and did as mum instructed, feeling a pulse of energy come from my hand. I opened my eyes to see the sword glowing, then Larana’s bracelet glowed. Was this the connection that mum was on about?
Larana’s bracelet and the sword glowed in sync but nothing else happened, had I done something wrong? Perhaps the strange fear I felt towards the spirit that grabbed hold of me, had prevented me from making the correct connection.
“I did it.” I looked at Tigra to see her sword sparking with lightning, it glowed with her power, forming into a powerful beam of light, concentrated, and felt just like her.
“Well done Tigra,” smiled mum amazed, clapping her hands. “I wouldn’t expect anything else from Alton’s daughter.
“Why are you so good at this?” I looked back at my own.
“No clue,” she laughed happily. “This is awesome.”
“Some pick up things faster than others, Tigra takes after her dad in that respect,” smiled mum. “Using something as a conduit for a talismans power is much harder to grasp, it takes patients and practice, you’ll grasp it eventually.”
“Sure,” I sheathed the sword. “At least I mastered something.” I really wanted to show off I could fly with Larana now, well almost fly. I manifested Larana’s wings, ascending off the ground by a few inches. I held myself steady.
“Wow.” Tigra’s face lit up. “You finally got it.”
Mum held a proud smile. “Oh, how proud your dad would be.”
“I’ll show him when he gets back,” I smiled. “And I’ll be even better too.”
“Can you take a passenger?” asked Tigra.
“No,” I shook my head, quickly landing as I was starting to wobble a little.
“Yes,” responded Larana.
“What?” I looked at her as she appeared on mum’s shoulder.
“How we’d fly together,” she glanced at Larana.
“Master you can actually carry at least one passenger, but I wouldn’t recommend it, until you get the hang of flying,” she smiled.
“Promise you’ll take me flying with you when you do.” Tigra’s eyes sparkled.
“Sure,” I nodded.
“How about we try again,” said mum.
“Yeah.” Tigra and I cheered, practicing with mum until dinner time.