The grassy clearing had been cleared for my training session. Everyone else was resting by the river, fatigued from the day. I sighed in longing as I thought of the rushing water, cool breeze, warm food, and the shade of a large tree. Alas, this was the only time Lord Ido could train me. Oh, the life of an untrained Mirror Dragoneye…

As I approached, I saw Lord Ido crouched on the ground, back turned to me. I cleared my throat. "Lord Ido?"

"Come here, Lady Eona," he said without turning around. Curious, I paced over to where he was. Ido stood up carefully, then stepped back. I gasped. Streaming, silvery letters spelled "Rat Dragoneye." The letters were made out of Hua.

"How did you do that?" I breathed.

Ido smiled. "Hua is everywhere, Eona. We can draw it from the branches, call it from the lakes, or grab it from the wind. You can do anything with it."

I nodded, still transfixed by the shimmering letters. Ido flicked his hand, and they disappeared with a slight whoosh.

"Today, Lady Eona," Ido said, "We are going to work on your sword fighting skills." He held up a finger just as I was about to protest, "Yes, I know. You've been working on that for four years. But a big part of controlling the power of your dragon is to stream all that energy into your weapon. Only then will you have a fight worth for a Dragoneye."

I opened my mouth to tell him about Kinra's power in the swords, then clamped it shut. Ido did not need to know. Maybe using that, I could beat him.

"Here," Ido said, walking to a bush, "I had Jun deliver your swords. These," he pulled out two sinisterly beautiful swords, ornately decorated with black and silver and sparking with energy, "are mine."

I peeked beside the bush, looking for my swords, while Ido continued, "Just like yours, these swords hail from an ancient Rat Dragoneye."

I froze, my hand halfway to my swords. Did he know about Kinra's power in the swords? I gave my head a slight shake. I was being too paranoid. I picked up the swords, feeling the familiar surge of rage. I met Ido in the makeshift arena, which he had constructed by carving a circle in the middle of the clearing.

"Alright, Eona," Ido smiled maliciously, "Before I teach you how to divert your dragon's power, let's see how good your fight is."

I nodded, energized by Kinra's energy. "Bring it."

If he seemed taken aback by my boldness, he didn't show it. He crouched down in the starter's pose, and I did the same.

Snake coils to strike.

I lunged out with my swords at the same time he did, and out weapons clashed in a storm of sparks.

But something was wrong.

The moment our swords had connected, all the rage had vanished from my body. I held the swords limply in my hand, my eyes wide. What happened to Kinra's fury; her ancient knowledge? Ido's face looked as baffled as my own.

"That's strange," we said simultaneously.

I frowned. "You felt it, too?" we asked at the same time.

"But I thought—" we both stopped.

Ido smiled wryly, pointing to me. He wanted me to go first. I swallowed. I guess he would have to know sooner or later. "My…my ancestor, Kinra, she…for some reason, when I hold her swords, her rage and ancient knowledge become my own. That is why I am so good on the battlefield. I have Kinra's powers."

"Of course," Ido muttered, his fingers tightening on the swords, "No wonder…" he looked at me, "These belonged to Lord Somo."

Understanding flooded through me. Kinra and Somo had been lovers. No wonder the swords' energy diffused each other. They refused to battle with love.

"Maybe," Ido said, smiling, "the universe is trying to tell us something."

I rolled my eyes, hoping he could not see the heat that prickled my skin. "Yeah. It's telling us to hurry up and get back to the others."

"On the contrary," he said, "we should be training."

My stomach grumbled in response. "I'm hungry," I complained.

"We can satisfy each other," Ido said, smiling wolfishly. He laughed at my reaction. "Alright, let's go back to camp."