Months passed like antelopes running through an open field and Edgar had kept true to his word. He had gradually taught her all she needed to know about magic. She was beginning to fall in love with that side of her much to her own surprise. Although they had to keep it concealed she could not help but sneak in one or two magic tricks when no one was looking.
“Cleo”, he handed over to her a basket of leaves, “Help me lay this out to dry, I’ll crush the powder and I will add to the new potion I am working on. There has been an outbreak recorded in Molvania and although we are yet to trace the origin of this strange disease, we must be able to curb the spread and treat the symptoms before it spreads into our lands”
She took it from his hand and nodded in understanding.
“Hopefully the scorching heat of the sun will dry them by evening”
She took the baskets with her and a mischievous thought crept into her head. They seemed to be finding their way into her heart every time…
“Okay Pa”, she took the baskets of leaves and proceeded to the back of the house. She spread them on a mat outside and casually watched them. She closed her eyes briefly and drowned out the constant tapping of the carpenter a few yards away, even the light chirping of the birds. In her head it was still as the early morning, by the time she opened them again, the leaves had shrunken, she had dried them by merely thinking of doing so.
She smiled to herself, proud of what she had done. She was getting better at establishing utmost concentration. She packed them back into the basket and rushed to Edgar excited to show him what she had achieved on her own.
“Grandfather”, she called out excitedly, her dress billowed in the breeze as she ran towards him.
“Cleopatra, what is the matter?”, he asked, he placed the lid securely over the bottle in his hand and turned to look at her with great difficulty.
“Here”, she handed the baskets to him, “Here are your dri…ed leaves”, she laid emphasis on the word dried.
When he took the basket from her and peered at it, his reaction was nothing like what she expected, he looked utterly displeased, “You used your magic?”, he asked the obvious question.
She nodded, “I figured it would save time and speed up whole process and look it did, my concentration is a lot better now”
“Come sit here my child”, he said, patting the stone that served as a chair besides him. And she did.
“There are no shortcuts to life at all, my child”, he began, “Those who use shortcuts sometime have had to pay dearly for it”
“I know you are yet to get over the excitement of your new found powers…”, he continued, “You are not to misuse it my child.
“I was not misusing it father, I promise”, she explained, “I was only helping, trying to make our jobs less tedious. On my side I was putting to practice all I have learnt from you about magic in these past months”.
He looked intently at her, “C…le…o”, he drawled out.
“Gra…nd..fa.. ther”, she did same.
They stared at each other for a while then they burst into laughter.
“Okay pa, I have heard all you have to say”, Cleo said in between smiles still not fully recovered from the sudden outbursts, “I will never misuse my powers again, I promise you” Edgar smiled at her revealing missing teeth, “I know I could count on you, come here”, his arms were spread wide.
“Pa, you have lost another tooth?”, Cleopatra asked in surprise.
He nodded, “I am aging quickly”, he said.
She walked towards him, “Let m have a look, there is nothing a little magic can’t fix”
She tried not to stare at him, she was not sure she would be able to keep from laughing.
“You do not have to worry Pa, I would fix your teeth and…”, her eyes trailed to his greying hair, “And you hair of course, your hair…what color would you like your hair to be?”
He did not answer,
“Green?, Blue?, Yellow?”, she rambled on, “Whatever you want father, this grey makes you look old and I could change…”
Edgar reached for her, bringing her rant to an end, sending her dashing in the other direction
They burst into another round of laughter.
“When I was your age Cleopatra, no one could outrun me. You would not have been able to I promise you”
“Maybe”, she shrugged, then she broke into a wide smile, “Or I could just use magic?”
“You know what?”, he said after a while, “Come closer and give Pa a hug”
“I love you so much grandfather but I do not want a hug right now”, she replied still smiling.
“Are you sure?”, he asked.
“I could teleport to where you are standing”, he said.
“That would be misuse grandfather”, she replied confidently.
“Exactly, I just want you to be good and safe at all times”, he said.
“Saddle the horses and get them ready for a ride, the king and I would have need of them”, Cedric barked orders to a servant standing besides him, his head bowed.“Yes sire!”, he scurried off immediately. Not long after the door to his large chambers opened up and Aileen strolled in.“Cedric?”, she called out to him.“Yes my dear sister”, he answered dryly, not sparing a glance at her, he looked into the vanity mirror and arranged his hair with his fingers.Aileen's large brown eyes took in his appearance, “Are you going somewhere Cedric?”“Yes as a matter of fact, father has asked me to go on a short trip with him”Her eyes lit up, “Really? And what would you two be doing there?”&n
Javaid smirked.He moved to the center of the field, he looked around the forest intently. He took a deep breath and began to twirl his hands in a rhythmic motion, his eyes were shut. It was as if a folk song was playing but only he could hear it. He stretched his hands towards a part of the forest and drew his hands towards himself. Out of that part of the forest came a man and son, holding their throats struggling for breath. They crawled on the ground towards them.Javaid looked on in admiration at his son.The man and his son were pushed forward by a force they could not control. Cedric brought his rhythmic dance to a halt as he brought them before the feet of his father.“Look here father”, Cedric smiled with pride, “It was nothing to worry
“How was your hunting trip with father?”, Aileen rushed towards him the moment he arrived at the stables.“Good”, he said in a cryptic manner.“Just good?”, she inquired, “Surely there’s more?”He didn’t say a word to her, he continued to tend to his horse Buckley. He unsaddled it and meticulously brushed his body.Aileen was having none of it, “Come on Cedric, spill the beans already do not ignore me. You and father rarely go out leisurely, if it is not a war or…”“Why is that?”, he cut her off harshly.She stared at him surprisingly, she knew he merely tolerated her but never had he raised his voice at her, “Cedric…”, she called out in a whisp
***“You know what it is like don’t you?”, she rambled on, “It is like he is a different person. Like I don’t even know my own brother…”Kalliste merely nodded. The walk had her listening to Aileen’s pathetic monologue and her nodding in understanding or rather pretending to nod in understanding. If Cedric had treated her badly for any reason it was most likely that she deserved it. She was not one to wish ill on anyone but Aileen deserved all the ills that came her way. She was a wicked…“I am such a sweet person, I do not deserve to be treated like this, not by anyone let alone my own brother”, Aileen’s high pitched melodramatic voice cut through her thoughts.
“…she has not had anything to eat the whole day your highness. She has been tucked in bed all day, refuses to speak to anyone and we are worried. This is not her usual behavior and so I…”Ceric waved a hand at the maid to stop her from talking, “Let me see her”The guard at the door, knocked briefly, announced Cedric’s presence and opened the door to him.Cedric strolled into the chambers, his hand behind his back. His eyes strayed for a while before they settle on Kalliste who was curled up in a ball under the sheets, “Leave us alone"The maids scurried out leaving the room.Cedric walked towards the dresser and studied the candelabra, he ran his fingers tip over the smooth golden surface. He had picked it out with his mother many years ago. He managed a small smile, “What is the matter Kalliste?”She did not reply.“Wh
“Edgar! Edgar! Please you have to help me. My child has gone missing please!”Cleopatra thought she was hearing voices in her head again or it was one of her visions that appeared real. It was not until she heard a loud bang on the door did she realize the cries where coming from the real world. She swiftly shot up from bed, this was not an unusual occurrence in Averna. She was used to waking up earlier than usual because Edgar was Averna's physician. Most emergencies happened at night but this was different, she thought. She has heard something about a missing child. She stared out of the window and it was so dark outside, she groaned, it was not dawn yet.Cleopatra walked to the mirror and stared at her reflection, her hair was ruffled courtesy of a cold bad night sleep. She quickly put on a woolen sweater over her long night dress so she wouldn’t freeze to d
***It had been a while since the volunteers set out in search of Priscilla. Cleopatra sat on the floor next to Edgar, a blanket draped around her shoulders as she gingerly sipped from the cup in her hands. It was nearly dawn, the people gathered around had increased.Not too long after it happened, the story of how she had been in Priscilla’s head was on the lips of everyone. Many people stole glances in her direction but when she turned to meet their gaze they would turn away. She hope Priscilla was found, maybe their attention would be diverted she thought to herself.“Are you alright Cleopatra?”, Edgar asked.She nodded.“
***After the talk with his mother Cedric had left feeling dirty and disgusted with himself. He took a shower and scrubbed thoroughly hoping to wash away the guilt he felt but he had come out sore and the guilt still weighed heavily in his heart.He opted for archery, anything to get his mind off his current dilemma. There was a dummy target a few yards away form him. On a normal day he was a good archer probably the best there was in all of Salvador. Today however was not a normal day and today he was not the best. He had shot a host of arrows and save for one that had hit the outstretched arm of the dummy, the arrows had flown in to the forest. A couple of guards ran back and forth fetching the arrows but his aim seemed to worsen more and more after every shot. He tried one more