Delilah paced the floor of her room in the med tent, her heart was pounding. Just when she thought she could rest, the news that the Dark Master had survived the explosion that collapsed his fortress. Luckily, Delilah was on the mend from the same explosion, but that was very little it could do to put her mind at ease. Not only had her heart been shattered, but her two best friends were being hunted by the same person responsible for all that she and all of Alanthra was going through. Now that Max and Hector were gone, she was on her own. She felt compelled to stay and help the compound with taking in the fleeing fairies, but something the Hector had said was tugging at her mind.
“What if there was a way to bring Jeffrey back?”
He hadn’t gotten the chance to finish his thought because he’d been struck with a sudden pain in his chest. That was before they found out the Dark Master had destroyed the fire tree. Even though they didn’t know they didn’t know they were dying, instinct told Max and Hector that they needed to find each other. Without conveying their feelings, Hector took Max’s hand and Delilah witnessed something she never thought could happen. Surrounding the two fire fairies was a ball of red hot flames. Not affecting them, but protecting them. The flames diffused into Max and Hector. They saved each other by combining their life forces, and now they were the only fire fairies left.
Delilah was overcome with emotions by everything that had transpired over the past few days. Losing Jeffrey, then getting him back only to find out he’d been consumed by his stone powers, the death of General Rick Hilliar, news that the Dark Master was still alive and on the hunt to murder her two best friends.
What would become of the fairy race now? Would they retaliate? Alanthra as a whole had taken a hit, there would be no choice but for the council to do something. But Delilah wasn’t sure it was her fight, her mind kept on going back to Jeffrey. Hector had been onto something, and now it was up to her to finish it.
Christiana seemed to have a very good understanding of what went on with Max and Hector. When the fire tree was destroyed Max and Hector’s survival instincts took over, somehow Christiana knew this. Delilah needed to confront her, and she was determined to get her answers.
“Christiana,” Delilah tried to keep her tone under control, but she couldn’t help the slight hint of desperation in her voice. “I need to talk to you.”
She found the headmistress of the Southern academy in the med tent, she was helping tend to the injured fairies who had fled after the destruction of all four academy campuses.
“I know why you’re here Delilah, and I will help you.” she said, her usual airy, friendly tone absent and instead sounded tired. Christina was an elegant woman, but she had also lost a lot since the Dark Master began his reign of terror. It showed now how much it had taken a toll on her. Instead of having her hair tied back in long flowy braids, her hair simply hung off each side tangled and unkempt. Her mouth that usually held a smile, even when she wasn’t thinking about it, was not gone, replaced by a constant furrowed brow.
“We’re going into the mountains. Go and pack light, we’ll leave as soon as you’re ready.” Christina said then turned back to her patient.
“Thank you.” Delilah said awkwardly. Not only was she not used to seeing Christiana like this, but she didn’t expect to go on a mission with her.
They set off within the hour. The base that they had set up was just beyond the mountains borders, Delilah wondered if it was a coincidence, or if Christiana wanted somewhere private to talk.
“I know you’re wondering what happened with Max and Hector. I know you’re not satisfied with the answer I gave you initially. It’s because you sense that there’s more to it than instinct.” Christiana said after they were well into their journey. It was night now, but they travelled on with the light from a torch.
“While it’s true that pure instinct is what saved your friends, there is something called Ceremonia Vitae. The Ceremony of Life. Long ago there was a fairy who discovered the ability to share their lifeforce with another. His wife was dying, her power was killing her. However, the ceremony nearly killed both parties so he had to stop the ceremony. His wife ended up dying, but he devoted himself to studying Ceremonia Vitae. Finally, when another subject presented himself, he was ready to try again. This time it worked, he shared his knowledge with other healing fairies. But only those strong enough to use Ceremonia Vitae- well” Christiana didn’t finish.
“Why only healing fairies? Max and Hector don’t have healing ability, but they survived.” Delilah said in protest.
“It has never been done with another element, I suspect it’s because no element’s life force has been in danger before. The ceremony is very dangerous, but I know of someone who can teach you. If she is willing.”