For an easier life Circulation: 100,597,592 Issue: 199 | 14th day of Swimming, Y7
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

EndingArrow: Part Four


by sara_mossflower

--------

A Visit to a Soothsayer

"Your mother?" I repeated.

     "Yup."

     "Your mom can tell the future and you never told us?" said Dayne, happy that her suggestion was going somewhere.

     "I knew his mom was a soothsayer," claimed Aly. "I just…forgot."

     "Well," said Terzin, "If you want, we could go and see her now."

     "All right," I agreed. "Where does she live?"

     "In the village. That is to say, she's not some mystical nomad wandering through mountains if that was what you were thinking."

     "Oh, uh, yeah." Actually, what Terzin described was exactly the image that had popped into my head.

     "I'll take you there."

     We strolled through the village paths, Terzin leading the way. He didn't say too much, and I never would have guessed that the person who could decipher the scene of Frey's death playing out in my mind would be one of his family.

     "How come you've never mentioned her before?" I asked. "Maybe she could have confirmed the prophecy when I first had dreams from Frey."

     "Truthfully, I don't see her much," replied the Lupe. "She's a little…weird."

     "How do you mean?"

     "For one thing, she's so serious about what she does, she almost never has time for anything else. When I was a pup, she would sit there for hours, staring into space when my brothers and I were going hungry. My father never seemed bothered by it. He just told us that our mother had a strange gift, and it was right of her not to waste it. Her hours of silence were how she listened to spirits and fates, according to her. And she'd never tell someone's fortune for fun. She'd be offended if my brothers asked her which of them would be the biggest and strongest when we grew up." Terzin let out a sigh. "Truthfully, this visit has got me a little nervous."

     "Don't be," I told him, giving him a nudge. "If she's as serious about this as you say she is, then she might be able to help."

     "I guess so. Apparently she's never been wrong, although I've never heard any of her premonitions before. Oh, here we are."

     We had stopped in front of a wooden longhouse, the roof sagging from the structure's long years of standing. Beaded wind chimes adorned with feathers fluttered by the door. Terzin entered the house without so much as a knock. "Mother," he called, "It's Terzin. I have a friend who would like to see you."

     The opened door revealed a wide, bare room. Terzin's voice echoed off the walls. Only a few candles of varying hues flickered in the dim house. From this room led a short hallway, which ended at a curtain fashioned out of an ancient, threadbare tapestry, depicting the faded image of a Lupe howling at the moon.

     Only silence answered Terzin's greeting. For a moment we thought that perhaps the soothsayer wasn't at home.

     Finally: "Come inside."

     We did, padding down the hall together. Terzin approached the tapestry first, and lifted it with a paw. Behind it was revealed a small alcove of a room, lined with old silken cushions and foreign-looking rugs. Strands of glass beads dangled from the ceiling, which was draped with loosely hung lengths of coloured cloth. Amidst all this finery was a huddled shape of an elderly Lupess, Starry in colour, although the stars on her pelt were not bold, five-pointed and yellow, but small white glowing pearls against fur the hue of midnight. A velvety hood hung over her muzzle, and her cloak enshrouded her small body. Jewellery of all kinds ornamented her wrists, ankles, neck, and ears. Wrinkles appeared at the corners of her eyes as she smiled mysteriously. "My son," she rasped, "Sit down. And I bid your companions to make themselves comfortable also."

     We each found a cushion and settled ourselves down. "Mother, these are my friends Sisslio and Dayne." He pointed at each of us in turn in order to show her who was who. "And this is my mother, Siersha."

     I tried to smile at my new acquaintance in a friendly manner, but the bizarre atmosphere made it awkward to do this sincerely.

     "You've come for me to divine your fate," she said. "That much is obvious. I sense that the strands of destiny have their hold on all of you. But you…Sisslio - the ropes ensnare you. You have become a prisoner of fate."

     Her amber eyes seemed to seep into me, as though she could examine every inch of my soul with ease. "Yes," I managed to say. "That's true."

     She looked around at us again, and turned to Dayne. "You also seem to be troubled by your surroundings." Reaching forward, Siersha cupped Dayne's chin in her paw and looked into the young Zafara's eyes. Dayne didn't squirm, transfixed by the seer's gaze. "Your eyes are a brilliant green, Dayne," said the Lupess. "The colour of envy. I sense that jealousy stirs within you, and a thirst you prove your worth. Green is also the colour of hope. Keep your faith in yourself strong, and your emotions will find peace."

     She withdrew her paw, and the bracelets girding her wrist jangled with a strange rhythm. Dayne looked away from the prophet as if pondering her vaguely foretold destiny.

     Siersha then turned her muzzle towards Aly. "SkyGaze," she said, "That was your ancestor's name and is now your name. You are proud, Alysoun, but your exterior is like a Bori's armour; built to protect the soft and delicate innards. You hide your emotions with fierceness. Bravery is to be admired, but shielding your true self is not. The stripes on your pelt are like slashes; wounds. You are wounded, Alysoun. Share words with others. Tell them what is painful, what is sad. Then you will be rid of the leaden weight on your heart."

     Aly looked a little embarrassed, and when I looked at her, she glared back as if snapping at me to mind my own business.

     She glanced at Terzin and briefly informed her son of what she thought of his fate. "I do not need to examine your destiny, my son. You know your path; loyalty has always been your best quality and you know that it will serve you well in all that you do."

     Finally, Siersha fixed her eyes on me again. "Your fate requires a more thorough analysis," she whispered. "Terzin," she said, raising her voice. "Take the other Zafaras and leave us."

     Terzin nodded obediently and with a flick of his tail, motioned for Aly and Dayne to follow him out of the room. Passing through the curtain, each one of them looked over their shoulders at me, wondering what secrets Siersha would not reveal to them.

     My palms were beginning to moisten with sweat. This Lupess had an all-knowing air to her, and although her previous words of wisdom had been brief, I could sense nothing but truth pouring from her lips.

     She turned her amber gaze on me once more. "You are the Windstorm of the West," she said. "I do not need to hear about dreams and visions to determine that. The Mage of Purity has set your course for you, and you have defied her."

     I nodded mutely. She stated things so simply, as though fate was not a mystery, but common knowledge. She had never met me before, and yet she knew the things that troubled me, the kismet I could never hide from.

     I was forced to ask the obvious question: "How do you know these things?"

     Siersha gave me a sad smile. "Not many ask, but I shall tell you. Mages use auras to detect magic and life forces. Soothsayers can read auras. The flow of spirit around a person tells much about them: who they were, who they are, and who they are to become. I could sense the strong hold of fate on you and your comrades, and so I was prepared the moment you approached this house to tell you all you needed to know.

     "I told them simple things, for compared to you they are ordinary, no matter how great their lineage, how loyal their hearts, nor how deeply they care for you. I must tell you now what the aura ensnaring you has revealed. It is a good thing Terzin brought you here; we do not have much time."

     I didn't question her further. I was shaking - the wisdom filling her eyes had made me numb. She knew more about me than I did, and now that knowledge was about to surface. Was I ready for it?

     "Frey KeenBlade chose you to provide her with a second source of life. You have thwarted her plans, and the grudge she now holds against you will not cease unless she dies again, as she was fated to. You know this. And you know that she is returning, coming for you. You dreamt of her friend who became her enemy, Tasson the archer. He has become a new link in your destiny. Find his resting place."

     "Why?"

     "It may reveal the reason he has begun to commune with you."

     "You mean he's starting to send me signs of his presence, like Frey did?" I let this sink in. Did this mean that he would be resurrected too, to kill Frey again? Would he take over my quest? I paused, and then realized something. "That voice…the night I stayed at Terzin's house…"

     "Tasson has spoken with you. He feels that your dilemma is the same as his once was. You both believed Frey to be good at one point, but she betrayed your beliefs.

     "Sisslio, your role as Windstorm was woven from not only Frey's death-cheating enchantments, but from her past. Discovering more about Tasson will help you in deciphering your fate, for I cannot tell you everything." She paused. "Unearth the secrets of the Storm."

     I felt an anxious rush. She knew of the strange power I had unlocked but failed to comprehend mere days ago, something even Terzin and Aly had never heard of.

     Suddenly, her eyes widened with a fearful gleam. "Go - now. Our time has almost diminished, and they will soon be upon you, for they have marked you."

     I stood up at the sound of her urgent tone. "What do you -"

     "GO!"

     The sudden danger that filled the room's atmosphere urged me to stumble towards the curtain, but before I had turned towards it, a sound behind the far wall bid me to draw my sword, which I did, just as a puissant paw, hook-like claws unsheathed, crashed through the wood of the house, sending beads of blood scattering through the room and onto both the silk-covered walls and me. I instinctively shielded my face with an arm, but lowered it just as quickly. Siersha lay gasping raggedly on the floor, her cloak and robes marred with morbid scarlet. Framed by the gaping hole in the wall was an all too familiar figure: Aillara the Shadow Eyrie, Rogue of the League of Purity.

To be continued...

 
Search the Neopian Times




Other Episodes


» EndingArrow: Part One
» EndingArrow: Part Two
» EndingArrow: Part Three



Week 0 Related Links


Other Stories




Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.