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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Amadea and the Divinity Blade - Chapter 23

Chapter 23

The group was greatly subdued when Amadea next opened her eyes. They were still camping inside the protective circle, but the atmosphere was thick with worry. Amadea sat up quietly, and accepted a bowl of food from her husband.
She wracked her brains to come up with a way to lighten the mood, but nothing seemed likely to work. Pointing out that she was right about them winning in the end just didn’t seem reassuring enough. Notus and Boreus were non magic users after all, and as such were practically helpless in a fight with a demon. Kyle was simply not strong enough to do more than scratch a demon, and it was obvious that he was beating himself up over this fact.
It was Luna who finally broke the tension. “Amadea… This may sound… odd, but… When was your first kiss?”
“Why do you want to know?” Amadea wondered.
“Uh… various reasons. Mostly, I’m curious.”
Zephyr shrugged. “It was when she realized I wasn’t dead after all, and she was so happy to see me.”
“Actually,” Zira held a finger up as if to say wait a minute. “I think it was before that.”
“What?!” Zephyr demanded, suddenly a bit jealous.
Amadea blushed, and looked away. She cast Zira a curious glance, wondering how Zira knew that.
Zira laughed. “Before I died, while we were chasing the Warlock, we came across a strange town shrouded in darkness.”
Amadea nodded slightly, confirming that Zira was on the right track, but she was content to let Zira tell it.
“We thought that the Warlock might be blocking out the sun in that town for some nefarious purpose, but we were wrong. In any case, even at noon, when the sky should be its brightest, there was barely a dim haze to indicate that the sun was even shining.
“Shortly after we arrived, we were stumbling our way through the town market, looking for a place to eat – when Amadea and I started bickering. I begged her to stop with her annoying shrine maiden act, and someone gasped.
“Five minutes later, the town elder appeared before us, and dragged Amadea away to speak in private. When she came back, she was pale, as if she had just seen a ghost. We decided to eat at an inn, and get some rooms for the night.”
Zephyr chimed in. “I remember that. Amadea wouldn’t eat, and refused to tell us what was wrong.”
“Exactly!” Zira continued. “She seemed worried about something, and I noticed that she now had a knife shaped object hidden in her clothes. She went to bed early, and we all tried to figure out what could possibly be wrong.”
“I noticed the knife too,” Zephyr admitted.
“Nearing dawn the next morning, I fell out of bed,” Zira said. “I immediately started to yell at Amadea for tossing and turning so much, but she wasn’t there. I saw her outside the window – sneaking away. She was dressed in a plain white dress that glowed slightly despite the complete lack of light.”
Zephyr nodded. “I wasn’t able to sleep well either that night, and actually heard Amadea leave the inn. I followed her out of concern, and frowned when I realized that she made such an easy target dressed the way she was.”
Zira nodded in agreement. “By the time I caught up with her, she had stopped to pray at the edge of a cliff. I immediately noticed that she held the knife in one hand as she prayed, and I honestly thought she was about to kill herself.
“Zephyr was closer to her than I was, and he pulled her to her feet. I heard him demand, ‘Are you seriously going to sacrifice yourself in an attempt to help this town?’ Amadea smiled a bit sadly, and placed one hand on the back of his neck.
“I thought for one insane moment that she planned to plunge the knife into his stomach, but she kissed him. I was so surprised that I couldn’t utter a sound! I had been prepared to cast a spell to stop her if necessary, and my mouth was open to shout it out, but I was speechless.
“Then… the knife began to glow, and Zephyr fell to the ground. I am pretty sure he was unconscious. I watched as Amadea held the knife out to the sky, aiming it for the tiny dot that should have been the morning sun. She cast some sort of spell, and the darkness vanished,” Zira finished her explanation.
“I don’t remember that at all,” Zephyr stroked his chin as he searched his memory.
Amadea chuckled softly. “When I was in the town, the Elder pulled me aside, and explained that their town had been cursed to eternal darkness unless a very specific set of circumstances occurred to break the curse, and set them free. They needed a pure young woman who had dedicated herself to the Gods to go to the nearby cliff at dawn – after taking a purifying bath. While at the cliff, she needed to use the sacred ceremonial dagger to,” she paused, and smirked.
“Well, before using the dagger, she needed to experience her very first kiss with the one she loved. If the one she loved felt the same for her, the dagger would fill with the power of their love.
“My stomach turned with anxiety and fear. I wanted to help the town, and agreed to give it a try, but I had no way of knowing whether all of the conditions could be met. I finally decided that I didn’t want to know, after all, if I kissed him and the knife didn’t glow… well, it was too horrible to think about.
“So, I woke before dawn, completed the cleansing bath, dressed in a pure white gown, and went to the cliff. I thought that maybe just maybe my own love for justice would be enough. I sat to pray, and cleared my mind.
“Then Zephyr surprised me, and I thought, ‘I did promise to try after all,’ so I kissed him. It worked, and as the knife filled with the power of our love, Zephyr passed out from the unexpected energy drain. I held the knife out, and shouted, ‘with the power of our love, I hereby banish this darkness and bring back the light!’ Then I plunged the dagger into the large waiting stone.”
Amadea blushed a little, and then finished her story. “We were all much too busy chasing the warlock and trying to prevent him from releasing the source of all evil. I knew this, and I didn’t want to be distracted by thoughts of ‘Can I kiss him again?’ ‘Will he kiss me?’ So, I cast a spell to seal his memory of it.”
Zephyr looked confused. Part of him wanted to get mad at her for hiding something so important from him, and the rest of him knew that such a distraction really could have been fatal back then.
“I wish I could remember,” he finally mumbled.
Amadea nodded slowly, and reached over to place one finger on Zephyr’s forehead. She closed her eyes, and concentrated for a moment, and her finger glowed lightly. Zephyr gasped at the unexpected sting, and forced himself not to slap her hand away.
“Oh…” he groaned as the memory played inside his head. “I remember thinking… that was some kiss!” He smiled, and snatched her close. “Any other kisses you’ve hidden from me?”
Amadea grinned, and replied with a hint of mischief, “Maybe.”
Luna held her hands to her cheeks and smiled as she watched them kiss. “Aww!”
“I never would have pegged him as the romantic brother,” Boreus muttered to Notus, who laughed, and nodded in agreement.
Zira would have exhaled in relief if she had the ability to breath. For a few moments earlier, she thought that the group would actually give up on their mission. Now that everything was back to normal, she couldn’t wait to get moving again!
             She snuck a peek at Kyle, who was watching Luna nearly swoon. He was contemplating something confusing, and Zira smirked. It won’t be long now, I’m sure.

Go To Chapter 24 

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