Nymphian Vol I: Tale of Two Worlds
Early the next morning, Silvia followed the sage into a small room in the back of the house. Inside the walls were covered in sutra charms. Many of them were torn and the symbols were fading. The sage stopped in front of a large bookshelf on the back wall. It was filled with books of different sizes. The sage turned and reached for Silvia’s pendant.
“I've read many books on the ancient arts in my time. This is the first time I have come across a curse like this one. This pendant was created to find the deepest part of a person’s heart and give them their heart’s desire.”
She held the pendant in her hand as she sensed the curse within it. Silvia still seemed a bit confused.
“It grants wishes?”
“No… It gives the possessor what the heart wants by using the victim of the matching pendant to grant it for them. People began to use it to fill their most evil desires during the last war so, the late Chief had it forbidden.”
Suddenly, a deep voice entered the conversation from behind them.
“That means that one of you had a wish that they wanted to be granted.”
They turned around and noticed Kye standing against the wall near the entrance. Silvia quickly smiled at Kye before she asked the sage her next question.
“What emotions make a heart most vulnerable?”
“Envy, greed, hatred…”
As she went through the list of emotions, Kye eyes widened. Silvia could see that he had remembered something important. His thoughts slipped off his lips.
Silvia moved closer to Kye with uneasy feelings about what she was about to ask him next.
“You think it’s your sister?”
He sighed heavily.
“On the night our mother went missing, the Chief sent a group of us to go look for her. When we found her… it was too late. I remember my sister’s empty expression when I told her. She cried for days without rest and she slowly became more distant. At night she would run off and wouldn’t appear until morning. Before I knew it she had changed.”
The atmosphere in the room grew tense. The sage shook her head as she pieced her thoughts together.
“Hmmm. Then this situation may be worse than what I feared. A vengeful soul is hard to change.”
Silvia's heart raced as she panicked. She was having a hard time trying to figure out how she began involved in this. The pendant, the curse, Kye’s mother, none of it was making sense to her. She snapped.
“I still don’t understand. What does that have to do with me? Why am I here?!”
Kye was irritated. He crossed his arms tightly as he tried to keep his calm demeanor.
“It’s simple if your father hadn’t killed my mother than we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
He watched as she stepped back in disbelief. She slowly narrowed her eyes. The heated conversation continued as her emotions exploded.
“My father? No, that can’t true. He would never harm another with a reason.
Your mother must have done something wrong?”
“What do you know about my mother? She was the pride of our people. She could do no wrong.”
“Well my father is no murder!
“Maybe you don’t know your father?”
“Maybe you didn’t really know your mother?!”
The two them were now standing face to face. Silvia had dashed up the wall where Kye was standing. His clenched fist was hidden behind him. He tightened his lip. The sage finally walked up from the back of the room. She raised her brow.
“Are you both done or do you not care what I have to say?”
The tension in the room slowly left. They both waited for the sage to continue.
“As of right now, I will not be any help to you. I need time to do bit more reading on this curse. I would suggest that you both try convincing the Chief to give you permission to pass through to Squestia.”
“With what’s been going on lately I doubt he’ll let anyone pass.”
The sage ignored him and directed her statements toward Silvia.
“Your best chance now is trying to find out what Nafliah knows.”
Silvia nodded in agreement. Kye smirked before heading toward the door.
“We’re grateful for everything you’ve done for us so far. We’ll just have to find someone else who can help us. Let’s go!”
He waved as he walked out of the room. Silvia looked back at the sage with an apologetic expression. The sage held out her hands and lifted up a small bottle filled with a clear liquid.
“Take it. I’ll be here if you need me.”
Silvia took the bottle and bowed her head before running out the door. She thought about the sage had suggested and she decided to try to persuade him again.
“I think we should go to Squestia.”
Her voice crept behind Kye as she caught up to him. He paused and glared at her.
“Are you insane?”
She tried again.
“Your sister may know more about this pendant. I have to speak with her.”
He was beginning to get annoyed with her persistence.
“No, you’re not going. It’s too dangerous.”
As he started to walk away, she grabbed his arm as she pleaded.
“Please, I need to talk with her.”
He snatched his arm back and huffed.
“You don’t get it, do you? The minute we cross that portal we’re dead! A Nymphian entering Squestia breaks the treaty that has been set in place for years. We’ll be dead before we even make to the gates.”
Frustrated with how the conversation was going, she tried one more time.
“What other choice do we have?!”
He turned his back to her as he shouted.
“I said NO!”
She found herself suddenly wiping tears from her face. Her voice choked as she tried to speak.
“Why won’t you listen to me?”
Kye had finally had enough.
“No, you listen to me! If you are truly who you say you are then I can’t let you die…”
His expression softened when he saw her weeping before him. He held her by shoulders and peered into her face.
“… you’re my only hope of ever getting my sister back.”
Her heart melted at the sound of his voice. He had managed to stop her tears. He watched as she lifted her head and smiled with confidence.
“Then let me do that.”
A rolling sound of thunder came at them from the distance. Silvia looked toward the trees in terror. Her heart dropped as she whispered.
“What is that?”
Chills crawled down Kye’s spine. He had only heard this sound once before and he knew what would come after. His face softened to the sudden sorrow that fell upon him.
“That… is the call for war.”