“What?” Delilah asked fearfully. Not only was healing her worst ability, but water and nature were a part of her. She’d practised the two powers simultaneously since her Fae manifested. “You mean just until I learn Ceremonia Vitae, right? I can’t forget my other abilities forever.”

Ginger sighed as if she didn’t like the idea any more than Delilah “You must not feel any connections with your other powers, else the result may be fatal.” Ginger turned her back to Delilah, her hand propped under her chin as if she was deep in thought.

Delilah could not move, nor dared to for fear of losing her powers immediately. She felt tears already welling up in her eyes, she wasn’t sure how long she could hold them back for. For the first time Delilah wondered how much she wanted to learn Ceremonia Vitae, was it really worth losing two powers for one? She thought about Jeffrey, he ran from the Dark Master’s service to be with her, knowing he would eventually turn to stone without treatment. He sacrificed himself.

“I’ll do it.” Delilah said in a small voice. Ginger turned on Delilah, wide-eyed in surprise. “Too many people have sacrificed themselves for my sake, and it’s time I give back. Even if it means losing something as precious to me as my powers.”

Ginger smiled, it was a kind and out of the blue smile. It had been hidden behind Ginger’s usual grumpy persona, but Delilah now realized this must be her natural attitude, it wasn’t practised or fake. It was a genuine fondness and relief. “My dear, you may not have to. Here, come with me.” She said, taking Delilah by the hand and dragging a very confused Delilah deeper into the forest.

“This will make good practice for you when you try Ceremonia Vitae again.” Ginger said once they came to a grove of walnut trees. Ginger took a nut from it’s outer green husk and handed it to Delilah. “If you can take your power out of you to heal a dead tree, you may be able to store your Fae in one of these.”

Delilah looked at Ginger like she was crazy, then examined the walnut, it was a perfectly closed shell. She was familiar with the plant, she had grown them many times before. “Store my Fae?” she asked Ginger in disbelief.

“Exactly. The tricky part will be finding something similar for your water ability. Water is something that cannot be contained by itself. But I’m sure if you can contain your nature ability, we can find a way to contain your water ability. That way you can take them with you when you need to perform Ceremonia Vitae.”

“Where are you going?” Delilah asked as Ginger ducked behind a tree.

“The next part is up to you. I won’t be far, but I’m giving you space so that you can concentrate.” Ginger said, and then she was gone.

Delilah couldn’t believe Ginger would leave her alone with no more instruction then ‘store your Fae in a walnut’. Wide-eyed in fear and doubt, she began to take shorter breaths, her heart was pounding in her chest. Finally, she fell to her knees on the soft grass that covered the forest floor and wept into her hands. With the nut still in her hands, she placed them over her aching heart. She had no idea how painful it would be to give up a part of herself. The pain that now struck her erupted from her chest, unlike anything she’d felt from loss before. When she took her hands away from her heart there was a soft green glow, like the one she’d seen when Ginger performed Ceremonia Vitae. It was her Fae connected to nature, it was glowing from the walnut just like Ginger had told her it would. Delilah let out a satisfied and very surprised breath, tears still streaming down her cheeks. She had done it. And she had an idea how to contain her water power.

She had seen an ice pixie in the clearing she and Ginger had just visited it’s wing had been crippled, Delilah hadn’t felt up to the task to help it then. Without another thought, Delilah made her way back there and found it within minutes. Her sudden presence sent all the clearings creatures into hiding. Delilah remembered how to summon a pixie from a class she had taken at the academy. She closed her eyes and concentrated. She whistled a strong note, then raised the pitch suddenly, just like she’d been taught. Pixies only had a limited amount of control over their elements, but Delilah was confident this pixie would be able to help her. However, pixies only lended their assistance in exchange for something in return.

A pixie, only about four inches tall emerged from behind the sacred rock, walking due to it’s broken wing. She was beautiful, her hair looked done up and held in place solely by freezing, and her dress was brilliant white and a-symmetrical. She threw her arms at her sides, showing Delilah that she couldn’t be much help without her wings.

“I want to help you, if you’ll allow me?” Delilah said, kneeling down and still towing over the small pixie. Most pixies didn’t talk much, which is why Delilah wasn’t surprised when the pixie didn’t reply. Instead, she walked closer to Delilah and held out her tiny hand. Delilah returned the gesture by placing her index finger in her palm. The ice pixie climbed into Delilahs hand, which rose into the air, closer to Delilah’s face.

Delilah placed her hand over the other and took a few deep breaths. She felt the pixie flutter her wings, indicating she had been successful in healing the wing. It lifted into the air, did a few spins to test them out and returned to Delilah’s hand.

“What can I do for you?” it asked in it’s high pitched tone.

“I need something frozen for a long period of time.” Delilah said, without giving too much information. “Can you do that?”

“Glad to.” the pixie smiled.

Delilah hesitated for a moment, she didn’t want to feel that pain again, but knew it was the only way. She closed her eyes and thought about the water ability inside of her, placed her hands on her heart and when she felt the tug on her heart as she felt a few moments ago she pulled her hands away from her heart. This time her hand glowed a brilliant blue. She held her hand out to the ice pixie as the glow swirled around like a pool of water.

“Do it.” Delilah said weakly. She felt as if she would faint at any moment.

The Fae froze well, shaped like an orb and small enough to fit into Delilah’s pocket. She looked down at the orb in her hands and smiled.

Delilah didn’t think she could stand after that, but she felt someone beside her pulling her up to her feet. It was Ginger. “You were successful!” Ginger’s tone was surprisingly friendly. She no longer seemed like the closed off hermit Christianna made her out to be. “Now, you should get going, that orb won’t stay frozen for long, who knows what will happen if you let it escape.”

“Right.” Delilah said, concealing it in her pocket with the walnut containing her nature Fae. “Thank you Ginger. For everything.” Delilah said, she was still weak in the knees, but she knew she had to make it back to the compound before the sun rose.

Ginger nodded then stopped Delilah before she could leave. “Delilah, before you go I must tell you something. Your abilities, all of them old and new, you will be a big part in saving Alanthra from the Dark Master. Remember that.” Ginger said drawing Delilah into a warm hug.

Delilah felt her strength return to her as if Ginger had given her some of her own strength. They walked back to Ginger’s cabin together, and Christianna bade her sister farewell despite their feelings for eachother. Delilah was anxious to get going and fueled with determination to succeed in her mission.


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