prologue

  Yue paced back and forth, mind racing. Her maid would wake from the sleeping potion any minute now. Violet eyes darted from the mountain faintly outlined outside her window to the moonstone staff propped up against her bedside table. Which to choose?
  Screams jerked her from her reverie. With one last look at the staff, she took off to find the source. Her tiny feet made no noise as she flew through the twisting stairwells of the palace, taking her closer to the Queen Mother, who she knew would be praying in the Moonstone Courtyard.
  The Queen Mother was kneeling towards the moon and Yue felt a wave of relief. As long as Mother was safe, there probably wasn't anything bad happening. The older woman turned to look at Yue as she approached. "Why are you here? You should be getting to the…" she froze, fear paralyzed her face. "Go. Now. Take the staff and go far away now."
  Yue blanched. "Mom, what-?"
  "Run!" The Queen Mother said fiercely, pushing her youngest daughter back towards the door. "I love you, Yue. Buna fera tseyri. May your Spirit live on." It was the traditional death prayer of their people. That's when Yue saw the dark figure advancing on her mother, red eyes glowing. She squeezed her eyes shut.
  She had to protect the staff; without it, she wouldn't survive the night. She ran as fast as she could away from the Courtyard, but the shadow was following her step by step. Oh, please, Yue prayed silently. Do not let them get to the staff before I do…
  Yue burst into her room, eyes lighting upon the staff. She started to unwork the protective spells, all the while fervently praying that she would make it in time. Open for me, open for me…
  Just as the man with red eyes burst into her room, Yue punched through the last of the spells and swung the staff at her would-be attacker. A bright flash of light illuminated her room, not unlike the lightning that had filled the formerly peaceful skies above the castle. The wraiths had felt the energy, Yue saw. Shadows were swarming in her direction, hundreds of glowing red eyes searching hungrily for the source of the bright moonlight that had ended the shadowy monster.
  Yue's maid, who had been lying unconscious on the floor, started to stir. As she opened her eyes, she nearly screamed at the sight of the shadows rapidly approaching. With no time for goodbyes, Yue leapt out of the window with the staff, hurtling towards her doom. Her maid had only time to scream, "Yue!" before the shadows descended and the castle burst into black fire.

about Yue

name: Yuellai Xxeri
age: 16
likes: dancing, stargazing, gossiping, her put bunny
dislikes: the dark, her "friend" Briette Seamoss, other people's expectations

Yue grew up in a world of privilege, with doting parents who wanted her to follow her dreams and had the means to indulge her. She's less than thrilled when they decide that she needs to gain some "practical abilities" and ship her off to Stregoneria, a shadow-hunting prep school, along with her childhood best friend Briette.
At school, Briette quickly takes advantage of her wealth and beauty to gain the favor of her peers. Yue is left behind as Briette decides that a shy, giggly girl who is good at dancing but not much else doesn't fit with her image. Then Yue meets Lyla Versailles and Kari Pavlova, and things get a lot more interesting.
After their first shadow-hunting practice mission in which the wraiths seemed especially focused on Yue, it becomes clear that she is more than she seems. With the help of her new friends, she is able to tap into her Moon Faerie powers - those that were thought to be lost in the fall of the Lunar Palace hundreds of years ago.

penultimus

  She was walking back from classes with Lyla and Kari when the alarm sounded. "Great, another training mission," Kari groaned. "We just had one last week! I really needed the time to work on my final project for Poisons and Antidotes."
  Lyla scoffed. "If you hadn't been spending all your time with Ares then you would have finished that days ago. Honestly, you're only mad because you had plans to see him again tonight. They should be giving us more missions now anyways, seeing as we're about to graduate and are going to be doing this full-time soon."
  Yue silently agreed but was still doubtful that she could ever make it as a real Shadow Hunter. As they approached the auditorium to receive their briefing, a feeling of dread swept through her. "Guys... I think that... something is actually wrong this time," she murmured, swaying a little on her feet.
  Lyla's head snapped around to her, eyes full of concern. "Is it the... faerie thing?" she whispered. Yue nodded, unable to shake the sense of danger lurking just out of sight.
  Seconds later, shadows flared and dark figures appeared all along the corridors - and their red eyes were pinned on Yue. Kari and Lyla immediately pulled blades from their sleeves, eyes daring their attackers to come closer. Yue gulped and pulled her small dagger out of her boot. She had barely passed Armed Combat last semester and wasn't liking her chances in this fight, no matter how good Kari and Lyla were.
  They fended off the shadows for as long as they could, but it seemed like there were thousands of wraiths and everyone else in the school had suddenly disappeared. Yue's eyes darted back and forth between her friends and the shadows, but when Kari took a blow to the head, and she saw Lyla falter, she knew that she had to make her choice.
  Grabbing the moonstone necklace that her great-grandma had given her, she whispered, "buna fera tseyri," and stepped forward to meet the demons who had destroyed her ancestors.

epilogue

  Yue woke to find two familiar faces standing over her with identical looks of anger, pride, and love. "Did you really have to go and scare us like that?" Kari said first. "You could have told us that you were gonna go full Moon Faerie - I didn't even know that you could do that."
  Lyla, always the perceptive one, snorted. "I don't think she knew either, Kari. Calm down for a hot sec and let the girl breathe. Yue, do you even know what happened after you performed that spell? Which, by the way, I know is your death prayer and therefore you definitely thought you were sacrificing yourself for us and I am very angry with you?"
  Well, that explains some things, Yue thought privately. To Lyla, she said, "No - well, yes, I did think that I would have to... do that... to keep you all safe. Honestly, I had no idea what was going to happen, I kind of went on instinct. There's a story that my nanny used to tell me about a woman whose love protected those she cared about, even after she was gone. That's kind of what I was thinking about, and then I said the prayer because it just felt like the thing to do."
  Lyla nodded. "Well, I guess this all really worked out well for you, then. When you did that, you kind of pulsed with this weird flash of light for a second, which vaporized all the shadows around us. Right after that, a few professors rushed in; they said they were blocked from the corridor by an unseen force up until then, and they had dealt with the rest of the shadows outside. But you were very much unconscious at this point - I think it was some kind of wild magic but you drew on your own energy to feed it since you didn't have a very big power source - your moonstone doesn't really hold that much since it's so small."

  When Yue woke next, it was to her parents' worried faces. "Yuellai, darling. We were so worried - and so sorry that we didn't tell you sooner of this danger. The wraiths have never before come for a faerie not yet of age, and your school did not see fit to inform us of the other... incidents you have had with them. Had we known, we would have given you this much sooner." Her mother handed her an ancient-looking staff with a large moonstone set in the top. "This was passed down for generations, always given to the youngest female in the line at her coming-of-age ceremony."
  Her father smiled sadly. "We should have been more forthcoming about your heritage, but wanted to give you a normal childhood. It is complicated, these days, to be one of a lineage thought to be dead for centuries."
  Mind racing, Yue started putting everything together. All the weird things that had been happening over the last few years were making a lot more sense, and the frustration of her professors and mentors about her lack of magical knowledge and combat ability was slightly more understandable, since she was (apparently) descended from the greatest warmages of all time.
  But in a moment, she accepted her strange and beautiful life and smiled at her parents. "Hey, thanks. Wish I could have found out in a different way, but it happens. But tell me - just how jealous is Briette that I can do something that she can't?"

credit

Layout template coded by Apartment Nine.
Yue's story is based on a story written by a real-life friend of mine. Some ideas and words on this page are hers.



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