The Spells of Slumber: Part Two
The library of Averna was deserted, apart for the blue Aisha. The spellbook she had been reading didn't just look old, the very pages felt old, and filled with its own ancient magic. Jerdana knew she would never again find a book like this before. Nowhere else in Neopia, another spell book was kept that contained the same ancient magic as this book, which held the most powerful spells of Averna.
"Now I understand," the blue Aisha muttered. She remembered how long ago, she had asked Mirinam about the Fifth Spell of Slumber and how her teacher had refused her an answer. Now she was looking at the complete spell herself.
Mirinam had made her promise she would never use any of the spells she had been showing her lately. The spells were meant to be conserved, to be passed on to the next generation of sorceresses on Averna, so the ancient Faerie magic would be kept safe. Despite that, Jerdana couldn't help herself but wondering how this spell could ever be used.
Jerdana was almost gown up now. No longer a child, her strong magic had developed itself in the years that lay behind her and the blue Aisha knew none of the other students of Averna would be a match for her magically.
Jerdana had been Mirinam's special apprentice for several years now. Everyone expected her to become a teacher of Averna and follow in Mirinam footsteps as leader of the island community. The fact Mirinam had shown this book and its spells to her was an obvious sign Mirinam was expecting this too. Yet, Jerdana knew she had to disappoint her. When the blue Aisha was standing at the shores of Averna, looking over the wide sea and what would be beyond it, she knew she the life here was never meant for her. Her hands would clutch the red orb she had been wearing as an amulet as long as she could remember. She felt her destiny was lying somewhere else.
Jerdana looked up from the spell book when Mirinam entered the library.
"I see you've studied the Spells of Slumber. We need to talk," she said.
Jerdana looked shocked. She had feared this talk for a long time now.
"You're almost grown up now," her teacher started, "and there is little left here what I can learn you. You know I've been preparing you for this, soon you will be in my place teaching the students."
Jerdana knew magically, she could be stronger than Mirinam if she wanted, but now she had to gather all her strength of mind.
"I won't. I'll leave the island soon."
Never before had she seen the expression on Mirinam's face change this soon. When she entered the library, the striped Aisha had looked dignified and self-assured. Now, her expression had switched from being shocked to burning with anger.
"What did you just say?!"
"I'll leave, Mirinam. You've taught me everything you know right now, so I feel I'll have to leave."
Jerdana gave a deep sigh, and then continued talking.
"I know you'll call me ungrateful, that I owe you something for taking me in as a little child, when I was wandering alone, lost, only surviving by the use of my magic, but I've always been a wanderer and this world is calling me. I hope you can understand this. I will always be a sorceress of Averna, but my place is in the world outside."
The blue Aisha pointed at the spell book that was lying on the table.
"These secrets spells you've taught me the last few years, will anyone ever use them? Did you ever use the Fourth Spell of Slumber? Or the Fifth for that matter? I know you never did and you'll never do so. What's the point of knowing a rare ancient spell, but not having the strength to use it? I'm not a teacher; I want to use my magic to help Neopia, to actually do something that might help Neopians out there. Not the rich and the famous, but those average Neopians who really need my help. You've always said I'm powerful, Mirinam, but what's the use of having so much power and not being able to do anything good with it?"
"I've tried to explain this to you for so many times, Jerdana. This is ancient Faerie magic. It was never, ever meant to be used lightly, for it could cause a lot of damage. So it was decided on Averna long ago those spells would not be taught to the normal students. Only a few selected ones would ever learn them, not to use them, unless danger really called for it. Even then, one should always keep in mind these spells should not be used lightly. Most spells would require too much strength for an ordinary sorceress to use anyway."
She started pacing up and down the library, while she continued talking.
"You're the most powerful sorceress I have at Averna, the most respected place where one can learn about magic these days. I need someone worthy to follow in my path. You're still young and the power of the spells I've showed to you is so powerful it can go to someone's head. Once you grow older, you'll understand the importance of passing on the knowledge we have here."
"If I stay here, yes," Jerdana said firm. "But you know I'm leaving."
There was an angry glare on Mirinam's face.
"You're not leaving!"
Only then, she spotted the pained looked on the face of her best apprentice. There were tears in Jerdana's eyes.
"I can't stay here. The Island of Averna, it's beautiful, but it's too small for me. I can't live here my whole life, not without becoming crazy. I'm a wanderer, Mirinam. Please let me go."
The striped Aisha sighed and looked at the blue Aisha. She realised that how similar they both might look; they're so very different inside. She walked toward the door of the library and when she spoke it was in a formal voice.
"You'll always be a sorceress of Averna. I'll grant you that honour, Jerdana. You may return to the island whenever you like and whenever you'll find the strength to pass its magical boundaries again."
For a moment it seemed their parting would be in a peaceful way, with words always spoken whenever a sorceress announces she's ready to leave the island. Then Mirinam turned and glared at Jerdana with an angry look.
"Just don't come crying back to me because you've finally found out the real world is a whole lot harder to handle than the island's village!"
Many years had gone by and Jerdana, the Protector, was looking over the city of Altador from the high tower of the royal palace. She wasn't the young girl who had left the island of Averna anymore, but an experienced sorceress, one of the founders of the city she was keeping watch over. Jerdana had found out the real world was much harder to handle than the island's village and at many times she had enjoyed it. In time, she and Mirinam had crossed paths again and had made up. Although Jerdana knew, deep in her heart, Mirinam had never forgiven her leaving Averna.
Night was lying over Altador. The city was quiet, which was a large difference with earlier today, when a part of the army had returned. They had not been able to track down the Darkest Faerie, but did manage to repel an attack of a pack of Werelupes, most likely her minions, since Werelupes were not common in the mountains surrounding the city. The army had been able to drive them away, but during this charge Torakor had gotten seriously wounded.
Jerdana noticed how a white Eyrie was walking up to her.
"Fauna thinks Torakor will make a full recovery," he said.
"I'm glad to hear that, Herme," Jerdana replied.
"Those spells you used to put Torakor to sleep so Fauna could treat his injuries, what are they called? I don't think I've ever seen you using those before?"
Herme, Fauna's brother, was everything but a sorcerer on his own, but he had a strong feeling for what spells Jerdana was using. Although the white Eyrie was officially king Altador's esquire, he had been Jerdana's right hand for a long time.
A shiver ran down Jerdana's spine.
"They are first two of the Spells of Slumber," she answered.
"That sounds like there are more of them." Herme sounded curious.
"Yes, there are. There are actually five spells. These are the smaller spells; the others have some stronger effects."
"And they are dangerous to use?"
Jerdana nodded again.
"Not just dangerous. They are very ancient Faerie magic and should not be used lightly. You cast them in chains: you start with the first spell, than the next one will follow."
"Until you reach the fifth?"
Jerdana shook her head.
"I don't think the fifth spell has been used for centuries. If it's even ever been used, that is."
"Why did you use them in that case? Surely you could have used some other spell?"
"Yes, I could have, there are enough other spells to send the injured into a deep sleep, and even better ones too," she said. "So I'm not sure. I just had a feeling I had to use those spells. The feeling something is going to happen that will change our lives around."
To be continued...