Chapter 24: The Lull in Silence

The thudding of racing footsteps echoed through early morning, mixing with the sounds of the waking forest. A figure darted through the thick brush, hurdling over fallen trees before sharply turning towards the forest edge. A warrior stood silently, watching and listening to her student as she hurtled out of the underbrush, grabbing onto a low hanging branch. Using her momentum she swung her body into the air, gracefully flipping over the stoic warrior, landing without a sound behind her. The warrior turned to face her student, lifting an eyebrow as her student stood to her full height. Her bronze skin glistened with sweat as her breath turned to steam in the early morning air. The warrior hummed as she met her students steady gaze. They stood in silence for a few moments, the sun continuing its path across the sky before the student's growling stomach broke their silence. The student grabbed her stomach, her cheeks reddening with embarrassment at the ruined serious moment, her cheeks reddening more as the warrior let out a chuckle.

"Let's get some breakfast" Mitexi laughed heartedly, smiling at her young charge as she smiled brightly in response.

"Thank the goddess" Ardere murmured, grunting as Mitexi clapped her hand down on Ardere's shoulder, letting out another chuckle.

"Count yourself lucky. My master made me wait until supper" Mitexi shook Ardere's shoulder good naturedly, ruffling the young woman's hair. Ardere paled at the thought of having to wait till supper for food.

"I would die" her horror still evident on her face as they started across the fields bordering the village.

"Yes I believe you would" Mitexi ducked away from Ardere's playful swing, tsking at her. "You know, if I wasn't your master I would kill whoever taught you to fight. I might just kill myself. You couldn't hit the broad side of an ox if it stood a length from you" Mitexi teased as Ardere growled at her.

"Really now?" Ardere growled loudly, her mouth twisted into a snarl, although her eyes betrayed her amusement.

"Really" Mitexi smirked back, motioning Ardere to take another swing. Ardere quickly swatted at Mitexi, who ducked easily out of the way. Ardere let out a series of attacks, grunting in frustration as Mitexi easily dodged each of the blows. Mitexi ducked under another punch, sweeping her leg out as she knocked Ardere to the ground. Kneeling over her, Mitexi grinned, poking Ardere in the stomach,

"You cannot let your emotions get the better of you lil one" Mitexi said softly, smiling at the defiant glint in Ardere's eyes. She laughed shaking her head as she stood up, pulling Ardere to her feet. Ardere huffed as she brushed the dirt off of her body.

"I just need to become better" Ardere muttered, looking away from Mitexi.

Mitexi sighed at Ardere, "As your master there is only so much I can teach you" Mitexi started out softly, but quickly grew stern when Ardere refused to meet her eyes. Mitexi growled, roughly forcing Ardere to look in her eyes, ignoring the panicked look that entered Ardere's eyes,

"A warrior needs to be able to control her emotions. To suppress them when need be, and to harness them. To know yourself completely, that is what you need to become a great warrior. All the training in the land would do you no good if you cannot control your mind" Mitexi said forcefully, pushing Ardere's face away.

"I understand" Ardere said softly, scuffing her feet on the ground. Mitexi smiled sadly at the young woman.

"You are a special young woman Ardere. You have passion and strength that even I lacked at your age" Ardere looked up into her mentor's eyes, surprised at Mitexi's words, "However..." Mitexi warned, "If you want to achieve greatness, you must first understand you will not always be great,"

Ardere nodded, following Mitexi as they continued to walk towards the village, crossing the bridge at the river. The sounds of the early morning bustle of the village greeted the two women as the walked into the square. The people greeted Ardere happily, while casting wary glances at Mitexi.

"Your people still are unsure of me" Mitexi commented as they walked towards the other side of the village.

"Well you are wearing your armor" Ardere pointed towards Mitexi's leathers. Mitexi looked down, smiling at her customary attire. Before Mitexi could comment a small whirlwind came blowing out of nowhere, attaching itself to her legs.

"MITEXI!" shouted the little blur. Ardere put her hands on her hips,

"What am I? Oxen dung?" Ardere laughed as her little sister's eyes widened.

"Ardy I love yoouuu too" Aria giggled as Ardere swooped her up into her arms. "You are getting so strong Ardy!" Aria giggled as Ardere tossed her into the air, laughing even more as her sister caught her in her arms.

"She has been working very hard Aria. She is turning into a fine warrior" Mitexi laughed, resting her hand against her leather-clad hip. Aria smiled up at the warrior.

"But Ardy couldn't hit the broad side of an Ox?" she giggled as Ardere growled at her, jumping behind Mitexi as Ardere started to chase her,

"I'll show you what you can hit!" Ardere growled as the sisters chased each other. Mitexi shook her head before putting her foot out, tripping Ardere as she lunged again at Aria. She hit the dirt face first, skidding a few inches away from the two women.

"What did I tell you about your emotions?" Mitexi stated sharply as Ardere rolled over, sitting up on her elbows as she blew her bangs out of her eyes,

"To control them" she muttered, glaring at Aria as she giggled behind Mitexi's legs.

"Good, then you will learn to do so" Mitexi glared down at her charge before turning to Aria, "Are you ready for some breakfast?"

Aria shook her head excited before tugging at Mitexi's hand. "Momma sent me to find you two! We are have wild berries and some eggs Momma was able to trade for" Aria answered excitedly as she turned and darted through the square towards home. Ardere stood up, dusting herself off. Mitexi looked at her charge's clothing,

"We should invest in some battle ready clothing" she said as Ardere put her finger through her black pants.

"These were my father's favorite" Ardere sighed as she let the loose fabric drop back down. "He was a woodsman. One day he was chasing a rabbit and he slipped on some loose stone"Ardere paused as she and Mitexi followed after Aria, "We found him a few days later. He had hit his head on a large stone. I was very young" Ardere finished as she continued forward, her eyes staring off into space as the memory of his bloody face filled her mind. Mitexi looked upon her charge, her eyes softening,

"Then we shall just simply add to your wardrobe. These pants are great for practice, but you must learn what it feels like to fight with armor upon your back." Ardere nodded absentmindedly as they reached the outer limits of the square, Ardere's home off in the distance. A small stream of smoke coming from the chimney as the sounds of Aria's laughter filling the air.

"You have good people by your side lil one" Mitexi said as they made their way down the dirt path. "The strength of a warrior does not solely lie within their own abilities. Yes, solitude can give a person power; however, the greatest power a warrior can ever wield is the love others bestow upon him or her. You are lucky lil one, to have a family that loves you with all their soul. That power will sustain you through even the darkest of moments," Mitexi said as Ardere walked through the gate surrounded the yard. Ardere's mother was bustling in the kitchen, humming and waving at the two women,

"But they are also a distraction aren't they? I mean if I was busy worrying about protecting them, then won't that make me weak?" Ardere asked as they walked through the doorway; stopping as Mitexi came to stand next to her. She looked up at Mitexi as she started to speak,

"You'd be surprised lil one, the strength one can possess when they have everything to lose. Yes it can be a distraction, but to only those who think upon themselves. Think upon the needs of others, of your friends and your family, and you will find yourself doing what you once thought you were incapable of" Mitexi clapped her hand on her charge's shoulder. "Anything else you are curious about lil one?"

"Nope, just a request" Ardere said, her lips twitching as they sat down at the table, greeting Ardere's mother as she placed bowls in front of them, still humming her tune,

"And what may that be?" Mitexi asked before taking a bite out of her eggs.

"Stop calling me lil one please."

Mitexi laughed, before nodding to her charge, "Okay lil one."

The group made their way slowly up the stairs, their shoulders straining against their load.

"How are we supposed to get these books out anyway if that demon dude couldn't get them out?" grunted Kennedy, looking over her shoulder to Eve.

"We have to break the magics of Atlantis" Eve said as they group made it out to the landing. Giles leaned against the wall, using his shirt-sleeve to wipe the sweat from his brow.

"But..." he panted as Willow came to rest next to him, a tattered tapestry above them softly swaying from their interruptions, "that would require destroying the magic that is currently keeping Atlantis preserved. Not to mention, uh" he huffed once more before cleaning his glasses, "uh well that we are still down here."

Eve smiled at him, gently laying a hand on his forearm. We will be protected, but it is the only way"

"You know I'm sick of this magic mumbo jumbo crap!" Kennedy growled, dropping her bag to the floor. "Just tell us what the hell is going to happen when we try to get these books out of here!"

Hecate started forward, getting in Kennedy's face, "I'm one second away from turning you into a toad you little brat!"

"STOP IT" Tara yelled as she jumped in between them, pushing against the two women's chests as they fought against her, "SEMOVEO!" a blue light shot out of Tara's hands and into the women's chests. Willow, Eve, and Giles watched in awe as Hecate and Kennedy flew apart. Both women thudding hard into opposite walls before slipping unceremoniously to the floor. Tara's chest heaved as she bent over slightly, struggling to control her breathing as her body swayed, sweat beaded on her forehead.

"Tara?" Willow said softly, starting towards the woman, but stopped when Tara held up her hand.

"I'm fine Willow" Tara gasped, taking in another deep breath as she straightened up, wiping the sweat from her forehead. "It's just been a while since I've had to use magic like that" she smiled weakly as Eve approached her, looking her dead in the eyes,

"If you keep this up, you will use up your resources before completing your mission" Eve thought. Tara sighed as she looked at the two women currently unconscious on the floor,

"I will be fine" Tara answered silently, shaking her head as she sat down on a dust covered bench next to a grand window. "We will continue once these two have gained consciousness. In the interim, we should bring Giles and Willow up to speed on how we are going to get these books out of here" Tara said wearily as she leaned against the wall behind her.

"Yes well I guess we all could do for a rest for a few minutes" Giles muttered , taking off his glasses as he sank down against the wall, resting his forearms on his knees; his glasses hanging loosely between his fingers. "I'm assuming we are going to have to create a field around us, and then channel Atlantis's magic into our own, thus taking away the city's last defenses. The city will be crushed under the weight of the ocean, but we will be able to remove the books" he said, looking over at Eve as she nodded as she gently lowered herself to the floor.

"That is correct" Eve answered, sadness hinting in her tone. Willow walked over to Kennedy, sitting down next to the fallen slayer and placing her head in her lap,

"But if we do that, then the library will be crushed as well. The chamber is under Atlantis's magic as well. That means there will be only one shot at the information we need. If we have forgotten something, or missed anything, there will be no way to access that information. All will be lost" fear lacing Willow's words as she tried to bite back her panic.

"The library is not under Atlantis's magic, just her protection. It was placed deep under the city because the city was chosen as its protector. The rulers of the city were then given the task of guarding the library at all cost. For millions of years, the library was kept hidden. Until my reign, the library was never discovered, and the city lived in relative peace" Eve said softly, tears building in her eyes.

"You cannot blame yourself Eve. Lucifer..." Giles paused as Eve started laughing; her shoulders jerking as tears rolled down her face.

"Yes I mustn't blame myself at all. The ruler who fell in love with The Destroyer" Eve chucked sardonically, her down as she picked at the fabric of her jeans. She looked up at Giles, her eyes shining with tears as she smiled sadly at him,

"The first night we met, I opened my eyes to Vera standing over my bed, a dagger in her hands as she prepared to slit my throat" Eve swallowed hard as her memories filled her mind, "But when I looked into her eyes, I saw something, a glimmer really. I almost doubted myself, since I was facing the demon who wanted to kill me. Her eyes were shining golden, but there it was, a hint of emerald, a glint of her human soul so suffocated within her that she thought it to be gone. But I saw it. I saw the good in her, despite the uncountable years she spent murdering innocents. I saw the champion in her." Eve smiled softly as she paused, looking up at a torn tapestry on the wall. It was of her and Vera, watching the Sun set over the ocean. Eve took a deep breath, bringing her eyes back to her lap as she continued, "So I led her to the library, and I showed her the possibilities, the opportunity she had to regain all that she had lost. But I underestimated her attachment to Lucifer." Eve choked, "Ten years is a short time in all sensibility. She fought through the darkness, and discovered the soul once ripped from her. But ten years in Atlantis, well you remember what I said in the library."

"Time moves differently" Willow interjected, " Ten minutes equal six hours. Although the days have changed over time, using today's three hundred and sixty-five days in a year, with five hundred and twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes in a year divided by ten and multiplying that by six..."

"Willow" Tara interrupted, smiling softly at her old lover. Willow blushed, muttering a sorry,

"Three million, one hundred and fifty-three thousand and six hundred years" Eve finished for Willow. "She was gone from this dimension for that long, so one can only think about how long she was gone from Beasthorn"

"But you would think, after that much time, Lucifer would have just given up" Willow said, looking between Tara and Eve,

"What is three million years to a demon who has been around for billions of years?" Eve answered swiftly. "Time is a fickle character Willow. Atlantis barely changed in the years it was in existence, but the entire cosmos shifted and evolved during the time it took for a young child to grow into an adult here. Lucifer would not give up so easily on what he thought was his. Vera did everything in her power to hide Atlantis from him, and in doing so, gave this land ten more years of peace"

"I..if I may ask" Giles interrupted, coughing as the three women turned towards him. "How did Lucifer know about the library then? You said you showed Faith the library. The only way for him to know about it would be for her to tell him."

"A part of me feared that she did. She left for a short while after I showed her the books in the library. But, then she would have returned with Lucifer. I will admit my surprise when she returned. But I never asked her. I just welcomed her." Eve sighed,

"What if she didn't tell him? What if they found out some other way" Willow interjected,

"What other way would there be?" Eve snapped,

"There is always a beginning." Willow said, ignoring Eve's temper, "The universe is thought to have started with a big bang, or that God created it. No matter the lore, it all comes down to a start. So whatever placed the library in your care, had to have existed at one time or another." Willow said excitedly,

"So what you are saying is whatever placed the library in Atlantis, must have left something behind to indicate where it was?" Tara asked, confusion masking her face,

"Not necessarily" Giles answered, leaning forward, "Willow is right that there is a beginning. But what" Giles muttered as he leaned back.

"What Giles?" Willow asked urgently,

"How long was Faith gone Eve" Giles asked, "I mean, before she returned to Atlantis."

"Um..a week maybe. I had all but given up on her when she strolled through the throne room doors" Eve trailed off, the memory of the day echoing in her mind,

Eve leaned heavily into the arm of her throne, having listened to the quarrels of the people that come to her for advice for hours. Her mind drifted to the warrior assassin.

"Are you okay Your Highness?" her guard asked after hearing her sigh,

"Wha? Oh yes Mikel I am fine" Eve smiled at the young guard.

"Is it about the warrior that broke in last week?" The young man pressed, hating to see his queen's bright eyes haunted.

"Yes and no Mikel, but nothing that should cause you any worry" Eve drifted off as she pondered the warrior. Shouting in the distance broke her reverie, causing her to jump to her feet in alarm. Mikel positioned himself in front of Eve,

"Stay behind me Your Highness" the young man said as Eve stood frozen in front of her thrown. Mikel cautiously walked down the short steps leading up to the thrown, pulling out his sword as he made his way towards the tall doors leading to the hall outside the thrown room. He yelped, leaping back towards Eve as the heavy doors swung open violently, slamming into the stone walls. A tall, pale woman strode confidently into the room, her blood red, sleeveless tunic, and black leather pants painting a stark contrast within the white marble room. Her heavy boots thudding against the granite floors.

"STOP RIGHT THERE!" Mikel shouted, his voice trembling as his sword shook in his hands. The warrior chuckled at the young man, stopping a few feet from the steps, the sun shining down on her through the glass roof over the thrown.

"You know that I can kill you before you will be able to blink young man." The demon smiled at him, her white teeth gleaming. Eve placed her hand gently on Mikel's trembling shoulder,

"It is okay Mikel" Eve said softly, "Stand down" she ordered softly as she moved away from him. He blinked twice as he looked at Eve,

"Your Highness?" Mikel's questioning voice caused the demon to laugh,

"She didn't stutter balatro" the demon chuckled again as Mikel tightened his grip on his sword, growling at her.

"Mikel, stand down" Eve ordered more firmly, her eyes boring into Mikel as he reluctantly lowered his sword.

"Yes, Your Highness" he replied, his eyes never leaving the demon. The demon winked at him before turning over to Eve.

"Stop mocking my guard" Eve stated, her lips twitching as she tried not to smile.

"But it is so much fun. Oh and again, you seriously need to work on your security around here. I mean your other guards were just too easy to get passed" the demon laughed as Aedan growled at her,

"You better not have harmed them" he glared at her.

"Don't get your knickers in a not kid, they are alright. Well..." she paused as Eve raised an eyebrow at her as her lips curled into a smirk, causing the demon to swallow hard before continuing, "they might have gotten a good smack to the head a few times, but they are alive...just slightly unaware of the world around them at this moment" the demon added sheepishly.

"You could have gotten in here without anyone knowing" Eve stated. The demon shrugged her shoulders,

"Figured I'd use the front door this time" she smiled slyly. Eve lost the battle and smiled widely at the demon as she stood directly in front of Eve. The demon raised her hand to Eve's face; her fingertips ghosting over her face.

"Yes, well, at least we know you have manners" Eve stated as she raised her hands, gently wrapping her fingers over Vera's, drinking in the demon's presence.

"I am sorry it took me so long to return" Vera whispered. Eve chuckled, "You have been gone for only a week Vera" Eve chuckled as she released Vera's hand, turning on her heal as she proceeded to a side door, pausing as she placed her hand on the handle. She looked over her left shoulder as Vera stood dumbfounded, "Well" Eve swallowed a chuckle, "Are you just going to stand there all day? Because I think a tour of your new home is in order" Eve giggled as she turned the handle, walking through the door as the sound of Vera's boots echoed in the chamber, "What do you mean I've only been gone a week?" Vera called after her, "And who are you calling Vera?"

"I understand what you are saying in regards to there being something that created the library, but the likelihood of leaving a trail behind that leads to the library would be improbable; impossible at its best" Giles' voice cut through Eve's memory as Willow's disagreement added to the noise,

"Not improbable. I mean, if the library is hidden, then Atlantis itself must have had some magical protections, otherwise it would have been too vulnerable and placing the library within its protection would have been unthinkable" Willow argued.

"Willow is right" Eve interjected, "It takes very powerful magicks just to locate Atlantis, let alone breach its walls."

"If that is the case then how did Faith find Atlantis?" Tara asked.

"Because she was once the Queen of the Amazons" a groan followed as Hecate sat up, grabbing at her head, "If you were not one of my favorites Tara I would be hexing you right now" she grumbled as she opened her eyes, rubbing the back of her head.

"If you weren't the goddess, then I would have just killed you for your stupidity" Tara coolly replied, causing the others to look at her in shock. "What? I'm already dead! There is nothing more she can do to me" Tara simply stated.

"I read something" Giles muttered as he dug into his bag, pulling out a notebook. "Here" he said as he flipped through the pages, "The ancient Amazon Nation was charged with protecting what was thought to be lost, but instead, was simply hidden. Only the Amazons know its whereabouts. Part of the Three, the Nation's strength and unity faltered when their young queen disappeared before leaving a successor" he trailed off as he looked up.

"Faith was the young queen. But she wasn't in power long enough to know about the Guardians" Eve said, shaking her head.

"She is a bajillion year old demon" came a gruff voice from Willow's lap. Willow looked down, smoothing down Kennedy's hair,

"Are you okay?" she asked softly. Kennedy grunted, pushing herself up; leaning against the wall next to Willow as she looked over the group. She ignored Willow's question as she continued,

"You really think that she didn't take the time to learn about the Amazon secrets and shit" Kennedy groaned, grabbing her head as it continued to throb. "I bet that is how she found Atlantis, and..."Kennedy trailed as she struggled to stand. Willow scrambled to her feet, reaching out to help her lover. Kennedy pushed away her hands as she finally stood up, "I bet before you two became lovers, before she came to slit your throat" Kennedy growled, "that she told his royal asshole, what she was up to and why."

The group stayed quiet for a moment, digesting Kennedy's words. Hecate finally broke the silence, "Well I guess you do know how to think, I thought I was beginning to smell smoke" she said snarkily. Kennedy glared at her, her fury at the goddess still present,

"Just be happy that Glinda over there is more powerful than she looks" Kennedy snapped back, grabbing her bag from the floor.

"A weeks time would mean years outside of Atlantis right?" Willow said looking back to Eve, who nodded slowly, "So what if she told Lucifer about Atlantis before she got here, not planning on meeting you the way she did" Willow paused as the group waited for her theory, "So what if she spent that week trying to figure out a way to hide her trail? What if she had sent Lucifer on a wild goose chase? I mean that is probably why it took Lucifer so long to find her again right?" Willow looked hopefully at Tara, who smiled softly.

"The only person who can answer that is not here" Hecate stated as Eve looked to the floor. The group was silent for a moment before Giles clamored to his feet, groaning as his stiff muscles stretched,

"Which means, in either case, that we would leave the Library unprotected if we try to take the books out" Giles said as everyone got to their feet. Eve looked up at the ceiling, grunting in frustration,

"There is one more way" Tara said, dropping her head down; her hair creating a curtain around her face.

"You haven't fulfilled your mission yet Tara" Eve said, standing next to the witch.

"What are you talking about?" Willow asked as Hecate dropped her head as well.

"It is the only way, we still have to maintain the magic" Tara thought. Eve's face contorted in fury,

"There are only a few Atlantean descendants left. I know you are already dead, but because you died before you were destined to die your power remains. If you do this, Atlantis will eventually fall" Eve growled.

"What do you mean by that?" Willow demanded, but was ignored as Tara and Eve continued to argue

"What other way is there?" Tara asked.

"I could do it" Eve stated.

"Could do what?" Willow demanded.

"There is no successor, the magic will fall completely" Tara gritted her teeth,

"Not unless I name one now" Eve said as she rolled up her shirt sleeves.

"Why do you need to name a successor?" Willow nearly shouted.

" Because if the Queen dies, the so does the magic around Atlantis, unless her successor is named, then the power is passed forward" Tara snapped at Willow before turning back towards Eve,

"Yes, but if I name an Atlantean descendant, then the power will remain, however, my so-called death will create enough of a ripple that will allow us to move the books out" Eve argued, looking Tara in her eyes.

"Then why didn't the shield come down before?" Giles asked. Eve turned to look at him,

"Same reason another slayer was not called when Buffy died after closing the Glory's portal." Eve shrugged at him,

"An unnatural death. Because your soul was torn from you, the magics did not recognize your death as a true death" Eve nodded in agreement with Giles' guess,

"And since I am here again, in the flesh, so to speak, then we have the opportunity" Eve said as she started down the hall. Tara rushed forward, grabbing Eve by her shoulder and spinning her around,

"If you haven't noticed, but we are both very much dead" Tara growled. Eve clapped her hands together, a smirk adorning her face,

"No just mostly dead." Eve started down the hallway, leaving everyone stunned behind her. Tara glared at Hecate, as she hung her head. After a minute of silence Willow spoke up,

"Um, I don't know if I was the only one to catch that..." she paused as everyone looked at her, " she just make a Princess Bride reference?"

Wind swirled around the blade as Faith continued to chant, her eyes clamped shut as the magic surged through her and into the sword. Red and blue light coiled around the sword, making it glow brightly in the darkened room. Suddenly the light shot straight into Faith's chest, her eyes shooting open as the magic screamed through her body before the world became dark. Faith's body slumped over the sword as the fire died, blanketing the room in darkness,

"Wake up Ardere" a figure spoke over Faith's prone body. Faith laid unmoving as the figure circled around, kneeling next to her head. "I will not ask you a second time Lil One. WAKE UP!" the voice bellowed. Faith's eyes twitched as she tried to push passed the fog in her mind.

"Mitexi?" Faith muttered as she opened her eyes, confusion filling them as she looked upon the figure above kneeling above her.

"Your insolence astounds me Lil One" Mitexi smiled softly as Faith groaned, bringing her hand to her pounding head.

"What is going on?" Faith uttered harshly as she looked around, the meadow slowly appearing in her vision.

"You hit your head" Mitexi said as she stood up, laying her hand on the sword on her hip, offering the other to Faith. "C'mon Lil One, up on your feet" she chuckled as Faith gripped her hand, hauling the demon to her feet. The world swayed as Faith fought back the nausea,

"I feel like I'm going to be sick" she muttered as she took a breath, stopping mid exhale as her words finally reached her ears, "Sick? I don't get sick" Faith looked down at her hands. Tanned skin greeted her as her eyes traveled up her tattoo free arms. She looked over at Mitexi, her eyes widening at the tall amazonian. "W..wwh..what?" she stuttered as Mitexi looked at her with concern.

"Are you alright Lil One? I only tapped you on the back of the head" Mitexi's light laughter snapped Faith's attention back to her. Faith took a stumbling step backwards, falling hard to the dirt as her mind scrambled to comprehend what she was seeing.

" died and I'm a demon. What is going on?" Faith yelled as she started to hyperventilate. Mitexi's face contorted in concern as she watched Faith panic,

"Ardere what in the stars name are you babbling about?" Mitexi growled out as a young voice called out to them. Faith turned towards the sound in disbelief, tears flowing down her face as Aria came running up the meadow, giggling loudly as a chuckling Celeste came up behind her.

"ARDY!" Aria laughed as she flung herself into Faith's arms. Faith instinctively wrapped her arms around the young girl, tears flowing freely down her face as confusion and fear settled into her eyes. Celeste laughter died as she took in Faith's demeanor.

"Ardere are you okay?" she asked softly as she knelt beside her, brushing Faith's bangs out of her eyes. Faith eyes darted between Mitexi and Celeste, her panic welling deep in her chest as she pushed Aria out of her arms, scrambling back to her feet and away from the women,

"No no this isn't possible! You died" she looked pointedly at Mitexi, "And I was called and a demon named Ronwe attacked and you both died in my arms" Faith struggled to breathe as her words flooded from her mouth. Celeste's face contorted in confusion and concern,

"Ardere?" Celeste made an attempt to reach her hysterical friend,

"NO!" Faith sobbed as she looked down at Aria, who was crying as well.

"Ardy? What is the matter" she sniffled as she looked upon her sister, never seeing her in this kind of pain before.

"NO! You all died and I couldn't stop it." Faith sank hard to one knee as her mind overloaded with disbelief and shock. Celeste turned to Mitexi, who stood there stoned face as Ardere looked helplessly at them, "I couldn't" Faith muttered as she fainted, slipping back into the darkness. Mitexi raced over, catching her young charge before she slammed into the ground.

"Ardere!" Aria cried as she scrambled to her sister's side as Mitexi softly laid her to the ground. Celeste stood in disbelief, her hand clutched to her chest as she looked to Mitexi,

"What in the goddess's name was that?" Celeste demanded as Aria cried over her sister, softly whispering her name as she held her hand. Mitexi stood up, looking down at her unconscious student as Aria wiped the tear tracks from her sister's face,

"I have absolutely no idea."


Like I said before I'm going through the previous chapters and I am trying to fix the mistakes in the story-line and things like that. Sorry this chapter isn't longer, I came up with a new twist so I want to see where this takes us,

Semoveo means separate fyi.