Short story I’m currently writing, which would take place after the defeat of the Dark Horn….
A Chance to Represent
Nina watched the men from deck toss thick ropes down to the docks. It was fascinating how quickly they secured the ship. She heard the scrape of metal plank settling against the wooden docks as they prepared to disembark. Journey across the Sea of Sages was just the beginning. Looking beyond to the misty mountains filled her imagination with this strange new world… and questions.
The port itself peaked her curiosity with its many merchants and wares lined down the streets, and packed with travelers going either direction. There was already a line forming to board arriving ships – those of well-dressed quality, and all human. That much she could tell.
“They’re not accustomed to your kind yet,” she said to the robed figure standing close by. “Not even a harpy in sight.”
Those white-tufted ears slightly laid back at her words. A sapphire gaze glanced her way. If the ears did not give away his identity, the jeweled eyes would. Although his albino appearance amidst everything else usually turned heads in any new city. He gave her a warm smile.
“You wouldn’t here. And Healers generally don’t deal with non-magic destinations,” was his reply. “Normally, I wouldn’t myself. But this new role requires passage through all types of locations. Astra just so happens to be the central point for the next meeting.”
“And everyone who is magic will be there.” Nina turned to her second companion, a fiery-haired girl with gold streaks curled down around her face. The young Ember Mage smirked. “Except I’ve heard rumors that they’ve started checking for Dark Magic here.” Her gaze trailed past Nina to the prince. “So how are you planning to get her in, Embassador?”
“Wisdom doesn’t have to do anything,” Nina replied calmly. “He’s done enough to get this far. I can sense things, remember? I’ll know if someone’s coming.” With a sigh, she returned to staring out toward the mountains again. It helped calm her acute awareness of rushing crowds below. Control. Being a Dark One was all about control. She had learned that as a child. Now in her late teens, she felt compelled to accompany the prince and early Ember Mage appentrentice. The disturbance in Magic was stronger here than expected, as though a whole slew of people were about to experience Change.
She must have had that blank stare too long, for the she felt the prince’s hand on her shoulder. Nina turned her opal gaze to find the prince motioning to someone below.
“Our guide has arrived,” he said.”
“Will she accept Nina?”
“There’s no negative feelings yet, Kendra.”
The girl folded her hands in a huff. “Yes, but does this guide know that you’re here with us?”
“I did mention it to Kris once,” Wisdom said. “Should be fine. She’s not unaccomstomed to Dark One’s appearances.”
To be continued…