Yanira opened her eyes with a roof over her head. She sat up from the floor with a groggy look, but then noticed Grian lying next to her. She shook him calling out his name. Grian sat up rubbing his sore neck and then looked at Yanira asking if she was unharmed. Yanira nodded and then looked around asking, “Do you know where we are?”
Grian nodded and answered, “This is the temple. The fairies returned us.” Yanira and Grian stood up looking around the temple. Grian smiled saying, “I only peeked in here once. This is my first time to see everything.”
“It’s my first time too,” stated Yanira as she approached the altar. She looked at the statue that sat on the altar and realized that it was the same statue of the man with the braid that was in the shrine she entered before, but it was made of solid gold. She ran her fingers along the statue, but pulled away when she heard Grian calling for her. She took one more glance at the statue and then joined Grian.
Grian and her traveled the halls of the small temple and then finally reached the sealed doors. Grian rubbed his hands together before pushing at the doors with a grunt. The rays of the sun leaked through the cracks between the doors and then a burst of wind came flowing in making them shield their eyes. The wind only blew for a moment allowing the two to open their eyes and see the familiar forest area in front of the temple. Yanira also recognized it as she took a step forward only to fall forward with a thud. Grian ran to her aid, but when he looked down at her, his face turned pale and screamed, “Lady Nira, get up now!”
Yanira was confused by his outburst at first, until she noticed the sticky residue on her hands. She glanced at her hands and felt her eyes widen when she saw dirt covered blood on the palm of her hands. She gave out a quick scream, but then noticed that the body of Priestess Sapphire lay next to her in a pool of blood.
“Priestess?” Yanira exclaimed as she began to shake Sapphire’s body. Sapphire gave a small groan making Yanira sigh in relief and then Yanira faced Grian saying, “Get help now.” Grian didn’t question her as he ran off in search of someone.
When Grian was gone, Yanira prepared to place Sapphire on her back until she noticed five deep bloody scratches on Sapphire’s back. Yanira cringed slightly at the sight, amazed that Sapphire managed to stay alive with such a deep wound, but she knew that it was not wise to pause for too long, since it was obvious that Sapphire had lost a large amount of blood. Yanira tore off fabric from her skirt and began to press it against Sapphire’s back in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Yanira prayed for the blood to stop as she put pressure on the wound, but her hands suddenly felt hot making her slightly cringe.
Yanira gasped looking around for the source of the voice, but then she paused as she realized that the voice sounding like Sapphire’s, but when she looked at the priestess’ face, the lips were not moving or showed any signs of moving.
“It’s OK, Lady Nira or should I call you Lady Yanira?”
Yanira blinked a few times noticing that the priestess’ lips were still not moving.
“You can stop staring, young lady. I am but a spirit right now.”
“A spirit?” Yanira muttered with a tilted head, and then asked, “Then how are you communicating with me?”
“You have met the fairies correct?”
“Yes, but how do you know that?”
“They told me not too long ago. They gave you a gift to see the unusual when needed.”
“If that’s true, then you really a spirit…does that mean you are dead?”
“I’m afraid so. This is not your fault. I was long gone before you came to my aid.”
Yanira looked saddened as she removed her hands from the blood covered wound, but her eyes didn’t leave the claw marks.
“Who did this to you?”
“I cannot say…my back was turned, but know that there is a cursed one in this kingdom.”
“A cursed one…people that turn into demons…I only heard of such people in books. I thought cursed ones were no more.”
“I thought so too, but it looks like the cursed ones’ family line still exists. Yanira, I know you were reluctant to accept my position as priestess, but seeing as I am dead, will you please take my place?”
“I know you want to go back to your kingdom…the fairies told me, but they also told me that you have the power to protect this kingdom from dying and you also hold the contract of the Kraken, so I beg of you, please become the priestess of this kingdom. At least until you find someone worthy to be the priestess of this kingdom.”
Yanira pressed her lips together as she pondered to herself. She was aware that a priestess was needed for a kingdom, but she was destined to be a queen of Azseldo Kingdom. Her mind was in a mess, until she felt a heat enter her body. She cringed and then noticed blue flames surround her. She was shocked at first until she saw a man with a braid and a flame symbol on his forehead standing before her. He smiled at her as he knelt on one knee.
“My name is Lalahono, the Fire Kraken and your devoted servant.”
“The Fire Kraken?”
Lalahono nodded and then continued to speak.
“I know you are hesitant to become priestess of this kingdom, but you hold the power to help this kingdom and its people. You are gifted and more than qualified to become a priestess. The previous priestess has already given you her blessing, so accept my blessing as well and become the priestess.”
“Please, master. I am asking you to do this just as the priestess has asked you. You have a kind heart and I can promise you that when the time comes for you to return to your kingdom, I will assist you, so please.”
Yanira was silent as she stared at Lalahono. She was still confused about where he came from, but when she looked into his fiery red eyes she nodded and stated, “I will become priestess of Rheolis Kingdom, just until I find a replacement.” Lalahono nodded and suddenly stood up with Yanira and pressed his forehead against hers with a smile.
“I expect great things from you my master.”
With those words, Lalahono vanished along with the flames. Yanira looked around in bewilderment and suddenly heard Sapphire’s voice once again.
“Be safe…I leave this kingdom in your hands…your majesty.”
Yanira felt a small chill and then everything grew silent. She looked around and then back down at Sapphire’s lifeless body. Yanira held her hands together before Sapphire saying a small prayer and then stated, “I will find the cursed one that did this to you and bring you justice. Now rest in peace.”
Yanira suddenly heard approaching footsteps and when she looked up, she saw Grian running forward with soldiers behind him. Grian reached Yanira and then noticed that Sapphire’s body was completely still this time and asked, “Is she…?”
Yanira nodded and stated, “Do not worry, her spirit has passed on.” Grian was confused by her words, but Yanira suddenly stepped forward and pushed aside her hair bangs to reveal the shining flame symbol on her forehead. The soldiers stared at her with wide eyes as she stood before them.
“Call over your king…I need to speak with him as the new priestess of Rheolis Kingdom.”