YGT1’s “Experimental Entry”
I had a thought a few days ago. Part of the “Lost Dragon Empress” should be in “Young Guardian Trilogy #1” as it is part of the Draconian Storyline. I wanted my new readers to see that Ariana Moon is indeed the same being as Adellandra Dranna, Aluna Star is the same as Adarramena and Antony Gregory is the same as Anton Dranna.
You tell me: Does it work, or should I leave it out and work with it as-is?
**Experimental Entry**Book One: A Whole New World Part 1: Lord Guardian Prologue One:
Lord Guardian O’Dell felt it hit like a ton of bricks. In his Pegasus form, he flew down to his Castle Chambers, ready to take on evil. O’Dell was angered as he took on his Immortal form. When he barged in the door, he saw the Inner Realms’ Sphere glowing intensely in the corner.
“What sort of trouble are you hiding, Orthos?” He grumbled roughly, waving a hand over it once.
The vision in the Sphere gave him the creeps, the image weighing heavily on his mind. O’Dell did not [LA1] want to see the Immortal form of his twin brother Orthos, who declared himself the Dominionite Master. It never bode well for anyone involved, especially him. This time, the image told him the Master was again up to no good.
O’Dell waved a hand over the Sphere again, changing its image to one he could tolerate. The image of a beautiful forever-young woman named Enchantra melted his angered thoughts. He smiled. Her sparkling black hair was long and flowing around her like a cape, stars seemed to twinkle in her bright silver eyes, and her ruby-red lips tempted him like no other. They declared their love for one another long ago. He took a deep breath as the vision of Enchantra turned to give him a smile. His heart skipped a beat and he sighed, losing himself in memories of years after the Origination of the Mystic Realms.
Enchantra and her three sisters, Sibylline, Jezebel, and Challandra were separated during the War for Province. Jezebel went to Orthos’ side to be his wife, leaving a heartbroken Maxwell, O’Dell’s younger brother, to follow their lead and mourn for the love he lost in Jezebel. Maxwell wanted her back, but the only way to do so would be to turn evil. Challandra stuck by her twin Enchantra once her own love of Lord Byron, O’Dell’s youngest brother, fled the battles between his elder brothers with their four young children. The youngest sister, Jezebel’s own twin sweet Sibylline, became a common villager of the Province, blending into Dream Realm society. The elder twins were the only ones to stay and help O’Dell with the fight against his brother over the years.
During the Wars for Power, both younger twins had perished. Even now, O’Dell still blamed himself for Sibylline’s death.
Before she died, Sibylline and her Balinese mate bore a pair of twin kittens, their elder son Braken Joel taking care of them until the end.
The end had come and gone. Braken Joel returned to his Lord Guardian father’s side with the kits, pleading for release and forgiveness. The Ancient Mystic Sisters, who stood beside O’Dell throughout the Wars, granted it.
Knowing the true relation between them, O’Dell made a pact with his brother to take the young kits, Katherine and Kitten’s Claw Hawk, as cousins to his own children, Damian and Sabrina, since they no longer had a home of their own.
O’Dell shook his head of the memories and stared into his Sphere, focusing his attention on its image. The image was the same, Orthos hovering over a black cauldron as his granite Throne stood empty behind him. He ordered Dominionites to do his bidding. Though O’Dell could not hear him, he knew Orthos was planning something. He could Feel it. Knowing his brother the way he did, he knew it would be something so terrible, O’Dell’s very life would be at stake.
O’Dell did not want to die; at least, not until his successor could take over. There was just so much that needed accomplished in both Realms first so life in the Mystic Realms would be peaceful.
Unfortunately, O’Dell did not have a successor in mind. His own son Braken Joel did not want the job, it was too much for him to take care of his younger twin sisters without help from the Elemental Goddesses, Dana of the Earth, Brianna of the Waters, Hestia of the Fire, and Aria of the Winds. Who would be powerful enough in time to take care of the Inner Realms should he perish?
He thought again of his younger brothers, Maxwell and Lord Byron. Since the end of the Wars for Power, both brothers had long disappeared. O’Dell knew Maxwell Banished himself to the Outer Realm using his powerful Spellbook, renaming himself Maximaniac. Lord Byron was still in hiding somewhere with his and Challandra’s four children, unaware of the fight about to take place.
O’Dell could think of nothing but the Dominionite Master. Orthos lived in a dark, secluded area of the Mystic Realms called the Dominion, and was the main reason the younger brothers fled during the Wars for Power. It was this vision of Orthos that made Lord Guardian O’Dell wish to seek revenge for his evil brother’s dirty deeds, before it was too late.
O’Dell was the Lord Guardian of the Mystic Realms, living in the Realm of Dreams. It was his job to watch over Dreamers of the Mortal Realm, also known as the Outer Realm. In front of many Dreamers, he was a kind Unicorn-Pegasus, a Unicorn with large white feathered wings. That was his favorite form to take, as he had so many to choose from.
Being the Lord Guardian was never easy. It was a life full of hard aches and magical drains, of troubled souls, Companion followers and Dreamers plagued with nightmares. It was rewarding, though, watching those same Dreamers laugh and smile as they enjoyed themselves in their Dream Worlds. Companion followers were able to relax long enough to raise their small families, and the dwindling members of his Provincian Army reported peace and prosperity in the various cities of the Dream Realm.
O’Dell sighed again, this time in worry for his life, and lack of a successor to take over should he perish before his time.
The glow from his Sphere caught his attention once again. He looked at it, trying to make sense of the various images in front of him. It did not show his brother this time, but the image of a grown dragon-winged wolf woman, unconscious on the floor of a make-shift home. He could sense this woman was special, and his mind was already forming a plan for her.
Could this DragonWolf woman be the answer to my worries? He asked himself in his mind, a smile creeping on his face. He looked further at her features.
She had red-blonde hair that was plaited and grown down to her knees. Grey dragon’s wings were covered in dark grey almost-black fur and her long grey tail had chipped spikes at the end, a sure sign she was part-dragon. Atop her pretty head were tiny horns, just inside her wolf’s ears that were in the shape of a small “V.” She was dressed from head to toe in rags, but her wild aura and the jewelry around her neck suggested she was, or used to be, a member of high society.
The magic this one must carry! Certainly she will help me defeat my brother someday!
There was a necklace at her throat that twinkled in the sunlight from a nearby window. He waved his hand over the Sphere and was able to look closer.
Thirteen different colored crystals surrounding a pair of twining dragons, and the crossing blade and mage staff behind them. It is unlike anything the Mystic Realms have ever seen. He thought to himself, recognizing the Royal Crest of the Dragon Nations.
He smiled, knowing instantly who this unique DragonWolf woman was, and how she would help them with his brother.
[LA2] He shifted form, taking flight as a Unicorn-Pegasus above the Mystic Province. O’Dell decided it was finally time to take care of the Dominionite Master Orthos, the Merchant named Damian, and seductive Maiden named Sabrina.
Those exempt from this Dominion revenge would be Orthos’ nieces Katherine and Kitten’s Claw Hawk. He was not surprised the twin Balinese kittens wanted nothing to do with their evil uncle Orthos, despite living in the Dominion. Each had kind, caring hearts, though only Katherine dared to be her gentle self in a land of unforgiving darkness and evil.
The Dominionite Warriors, Sabrina’s clan of fighting zombies, were just innocent pawns in her deadly, seductive plans. They were fooled years ago by the false promises of a seductress, and were still more than eager to please her. Their minds were too warped to notice what was going on around them, besides Sabrina training them to kill whoever got in her way. They used to be good, each with their own minds and Companion powers. Once their powers were stolen away, they had no minds of their own, or choice in becoming Sabrina’s slaves.
Even so, O’Dell thought as soared through the air. Should they battle against us, they will perish as well.
Not all Dominionites would suffer. Along with the Hawk twins, a select few with kindred souls would have their minds and Magic returned. Those Dominionites alone would survive. Only time would tell which Warriors would prove worthy and just.
O’Dell surveyed the ground of the gloomy Dominion until he found Dark Tower, where Orthos lived. Heaving a sigh, he swooped down and appeared in front of his brother’s Immortal form. He could tell Orthos was not very thrilled to acknowledge his bossy brother’s presence.
The thought made him smile.
“Why, hello brother.” O’Dell replied, shifting form once more as his hooves touched the Dominion ground. In moments, he too was an Immortal.
Orthos turned, groaning once he set eyes on his brother. “Oh. It’s only you. I thought it was somebody important.” He muttered sarcastically, not hiding his lack of enthusiasm. He rolled his eyes, groaning. “Why have I the pleasure of your royal majesty this time, brother?”
Though the brothers were nothing alike; Orthos a grotesque and evil creature of the Darkness and O’Dell a kind, caring creature of the Light, O’Dell felt it was his duty to keep a close eye on his twin brother’s actions. He knew exactly what was coming next, and decided to stay silent, letting Orthos continue.
“I have no currency, for monies are futile in our world.” Orthos replied. “I have no time, for time means nothing here, and I have no personal items, for material possessions hold no value.”
O’Dell rolled his eyes, looking around. He shook his head at the filth of Dark Tower. “Orthos, I never knew you cared either way. Be careful not to come off as soft.”
The Dominionite Master scoffed, offended. “How dare you suggest such a thing? I certainly am not soft!”
O’Dell laughed; glad he finally annoyed his brother. Then again, he thought to himself, that was never a hard feat.
They heard a pair of giggles coming from the den door, and each turned to see who was there.
Two timid young Companion kittens, half-Immortal form and half Balinese, stood in the doorway. The one with longer hair nudged her sister, holding her hand as she urged them ahead. The twin kittens walked slowly toward them, unsure what to make of the scene. Each sister knew Lord Guardian and Master Orthos were brothers, with O’Dell visiting often. They also knew each time Lord Guardian visited, trouble was not far behind.
Orthos frowned upon the sight of the Balinese sisters. He loathed the fact his nieces, especially Katherine, were slowly growing up like his brother. He never wanted them to begin with, but where else would they go? Their parents were destroyed in the Wars for Power and they were left alone to fend for themselves when they were barely two summers old. In Orthos’ opinion, which he kept to himself, they could join their parents.
O’Dell ignored the scowl on his brother’s face as he walked over to the girls.
“Good evening, dears. It’s quite a pleasure seeing you again.” He supplied affectionately. Turning to the twin with long hair, he took one of her hands, kissing it. “Mistress Katherine, you look radiant in the twilight, as usual.”
Katherine hid a blush as she curtseyed, her eyes not meeting his. “Thank you my Lord Guardian.” She purred.
Kitten’s Claw, commonly known as Kit, rolled her eyes at her sister. She kept her jet-black-and-snow-white-peppered hair short to rebel, and considered herself the more beautiful twin. She folded her arms and grunted as she watched, saying nothing aloud in protest.
O’Dell acknowledged her with a smile as he reached for her hand. He took it for only a split second before she snatched it away in rejection. “Kitten’s Claw, my darling Balinese, the twinkle in your eye could only mean one thing: Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.”
“The name is Kit.” She snapped with a sneer. “What are you doing here anyway, O’Dell?”
Katherine stared angrily at her sister. It was normally rude to address an Originator so informally. She turned to O’Dell, kneeling at his feet for forgiveness. “I extend my deepest apologies for my sister’s behavior my Lord.”
O’Dell nodded, putting it behind him with a smile. “All’s well, Katherine.”
Orthos, on the other hand, returned to the subject. “Yes, Brother.” He put the emphasis on ‘brother.’ “What are you doing here?”
O’Dell frowned, standing at attention and getting down to business. “I have come to warn you, as I often do, and you had better listen to me this time!”
Orthos shook his head and laughed. “Or?”
“Or else be Banished out of Dark Tower — and even out of the Mystic Realms — forever!” O’Dell yelled in his brother’s face.
Orthos laughed again at the thought as he stood and paced. “Putting me where, eh?” He gestured around the room. “I have been here for more than a century of centuries.”
O’Dell did not say anything, his arms crossed as he listened in patiently. It was another rant to gain power and attention. Knowing what his brother was about to say, and nothing would stop him from saying it, O’Dell let him.
“Each time I have a scheme, you seem to ‘sense’ it.” Sure enough, Orthos continued. “Then, to make matters worse, you barge into Dark Tower — my private domain, even — and interrupt my life with pathetic garbage I have no need for! Can you not leave well enough alone?”
O’Dell was irritated, tired of his brother’s constant stalling. “I know you all too well, Orthos.” He paused. “Your whole perspective is backwards. You say things you do not mean, do wicked things to my Companions, who you have seen fit to turn into your Dominionite Warrior slaves, make promises you never keep, and have absolutely no feelings for anyone but yourself.” He slammed his fist on the table, making his brother jump. “You are a self-centered, heartless being, Orthos, and I still call you ‘brother’ out of respect, not that you deserve it.”
“Get on with it,” Orthos cried in a huff. “Why do you darken my doorstep this time?”
“I saw you in a vision,” Guardian lowered his voice, facing him.
Orthos laughed. “What did you see, pray tell?”
Katherine held her breath, waiting for Guardian to speak. Kit, who usually cared less what was going on around her, stood silent, listening in.
O’Dell debated telling him. Orthos would wish to change the vision in his own way if he did and that was never a good thing. Instead, acting as Lord Guardian of the Mystic Realms, he ordered. “Behave yourself in Dreamer’s Worlds, Orthos. I am always watching your actions, so be aware of that. Also,” he continued, “never let your children out of your sight.”
“Just who do you think you are, telling me what to do?” Orthos yelled, exasperated.
“Lord Guardian of the Mystic Realms, which includes your Dominion, so dare not cross me further!”
Katherine and Kitten’s Claw held each other in fear, silent. It was apparent neither male remembered the twins were still there.
The Dominionite Master, who usually had a comment for everything, said nothing. He only huffed, “Well — I never!”
“–And you never will, either, Master!” A boy’s voice from behind them quipped. When O’Dell and Orthos turned around to face the boy, the feline’s voice grew serious. He bowed to Guardian with respect. “Pardon my disrespect, my Lord Guardian, but I must steal the lovely Hawk twins away, if I may.”
O’Dell smiled, sensing the tiger Companion meant no harm. “Of course, Mr. White-Snow.”
Mr. White-Snow, as O’Dell had called him, was now named Warrior Tobias. He would be one of his brother’s Dominionite Warriors that would be saved from destruction. O’Dell was glad to see the jungle tiger Companion rebel against Orthos in his own way. It gave him hope for the battles to come.
“Thank you, my Lord.” Tobias stood and faced the girls, nodding for them to follow. “Ladies?”
Katherine took one last anxious look at O’Dell.
I will be fine, Katherine. O’Dell thought to her mind, nodding his farewell with a smile. Try to have fun.
Katherine pasted on a smile before Kitten’s Claw and Tobias whisked her away by the arms, leaving the brothers to their conversation.
Orthos glared at O’Dell, the look of contempt on his face irritating him more with each passing moment. “Enough is enough!”
“I have no idea what you are talking about!” Orthos feigned innocence. “How dare you make accusations?”
O’Dell never let him finish. “Hear me out.”
“Very well, if you must,” Orthos sighed, rolling his eyes. “Go ahead.”
“I want you to stop whatever you may be planning for the Young Guardian and her friends.” O’Dell commanded.
He never knew when his successor’s title came through his mind, but it sounded good.
As O’Dell expected, Orthos was confused. “Excuse me? What are you accusing me of this time?”
“Never mind. Just be aware of what happens around you, especially in the Province.”
Orthos laughed, “I do whatever needs done however I wish.”
Before giving Orthos a chance to say anything else, Lord Guardian O’Dell of the Mystic Realms disappeared. Orthos was left with an evil smirk on his face.
O’Dell reappeared in front of the Mystic Palace, where Enchantra and Challandra lived. Glad for the pleasant distraction, he pulled the hanging chime, which played the romantic melody of Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
“Coming!” A female voice sang from the other side. A moment later, the door opened and a gorgeous belle greeted him with a bright, sunny smile. “My Lord! What a nice surprise!”
Was this the face of his love, Enchantra?
No, he thought sadly, looking into the belle’s eyes. They were not the soft silver of his beloved, but the hard grey eyes of her sister.
“May I come in, Challandra?” He pleaded, desperate.
Challandra could sense the urgency in his voice. “Certainly. Come in.” She watched as his hands shook, with nerves bulging. Challandra took his hand, leading him inside. “Would you like something to calm your nerves?”
O’Dell shook his head, holding it. “Thank you anyway.” He followed her to the living quarters. “Is Enchantra around by any chance?”
“Right behind you O’Dell,” Enchantra’s voice came from behind him.
O’Dell never took offense to the greeting from her. Both Mystic twins Enchantra and Challandra were Originators as well. Companions, like Katherine, Kitten’s Claw, and Tobias, were raised to respect the Originators.
Enchantra saw the worried look on his face and placed an arm on O’Dell’s shoulder. “Is there something bothering you, my love?”
Sadly, O’Dell nodded. “I have reason to believe Orthos is up to his tricks again.”
“Did you have a Vision?” Enchantra asked.
“I Saw it in my Sphere.” O’Dell nodded again.
The sisters exchanged a glance and Challandra gasped.
Enchantra was worried for him now. “What can we do for you?”
“The Mirror.” He commanded, searching the Palace. “I must see the Mystic Mirror.”
His mind was whirling with thoughts of his brother, and what had to be done about him.
Challandra replied. “Right this way.”
With her sister behind her, Challandra led him to the Mystic Mirror Room. She opened the door with a short melody and the trio stepped inside.
The sisters watched and waited patiently as their Lord Guardian stared into the Mirror.
“I see. . . I see. . .” O’Dell muttered under his breath, waving a hand in front of it. “I see it’s time for Other Realm assistance against my brother.”
“You do not mean–?” Enchantra asked, unsure.
“Aye,” Lord Guardian looked from one twin to the other.
Challandra sighed. “Have you not fought with him before, without our help?”
O’Dell glared at her. “Please, Challandra. It’s a matter of life and death.”
“My apologies, my Lord,” Challandra bowed her head.
“O’Dell, certainly you do not mean your own?” Enchantra asked gently, worried for him. She put a caring hand on his. “Do you?”
O’Dell closed his eyes and nodded sadly.
“Not to worry.” Enchantra assured with a nod. “We know what to do.”
“We will help.” Her sister said, reluctant to go along. She knew the importance of O’Dell’s visions.
“Thank you, Sisters.” O’Dell replied, giving each of them a kiss; on the cheek for Challandra, and the lips for Enchantra. “I knew I could count on you!” He grinned and took Enchantra’s hands. “First, send one of our best Companion fighters to the Dragon Nations. Have them search for a hutch-cave just east of the capital city.”
“What is there?” Enchantra asked. “I am confused.”
“My successor,” O’Dell smiled. There was a certain magical twinkle in his silver eyes that told the Sisters he had a brilliant plan. “A DragonWolf we all knew as the Lady Empress of Mal’estar.”
“The Empress has survived her Lord’s chaos?” Enchantra asked, interested in his story.
O’Dell nodded. “Aye, and according to her aura, so have her sister and brother.”
After a moment, Enchantra was curious. “What are you planning, my love, and what does it have to do with Orthos?”
O’Dell kissed her again, “In time, my dear. It will all be revealed in time.”
Challandra cleared her throat and pressed. “Who shall we send?”
The question turned his attention back to the subject.
O’Dell thought for a moment. “Chase Moondancer knows about the Nations, aye?” The sisters nodded. “There is much to do and not enough time in which to do it!” He turned to leave. “I will soon return with more details.” O’Dell gave Enchantra another kiss as he exited the Palace. He changed from an Immortal to a Unicorn-Pegasus and flew away.
[LA3] “Do you remember what must be done?” Enchantra asked as she watched him fly away.
Challandra nodded, reluctant. “Yes, Sister, I remember. Find Dixilynne and explain the plan. Well, which one of us shall go to the Outer Realm?”
Enchantra could tell her sister was neither happy about nor interested in O’Dell’s suggestion. Since Originating the Mystic Realms centuries ago, Challandra never liked what they now called the Outer Realm.
“I will go to the Outer Realm.” Enchantra announced. “After all, Dixilynne is my daughter.”
“Thank you, Enchantra.” Challandra exclaimed. She placed a hand on her heart and smiled gratefully.
Enchantra sighed as she disappeared.
Heaving a sigh, Challandra left for the Province Underground to find Chase Moondancer.
Challandra huffed as she left the Palace to find the Mountain Wolf Companion named Chase Moondancer.
She knew Chase was hidden in the Province Underground with his mate Celeste. After moving the knot in the Elder Tree, the passageway that led underground opened up and Challandra entered.
The first to greet her was Braken Joel Hawk, the Balinese feline in charge of those Elder Companions in the Underground.
“Lady Aunt, what can I do for you?” Braken Joel asked.
“Have you seen the Province Warrior named Chase Moondancer?”
“Aye, my Lady.” Braken Joel said, nodding his feline head. “What do you need him for?”
“Your Lord Father has found his successor.”
Braken Joel’s silver eyes widened at the news. “Do tell, please.”
She explained to him what O’Dell told her about the Lady Empress surviving her mate’s Chaos and what he wanted Chase to do.
After listening, Braken Joel nodded his head seriously. “Wait here; I will fetch him.”
She waited for more than a few minutes, and she grew impatient. Challandra was about to leave when a Mountain Wolf Companion who had been one of their greatest soldiers walked up to her and bowed.
“What is thy bidding, Mistress?”
“You did not tell him?” Challandra asked Braken Joel, irritated. He shrugged and she sighed. “Very well. Sir Chase, do you remember the Dragon Nations and its capital, Mal’estar?”
Chase thought for a moment and nodded. “Aye, Mistress.”
Challandra explained what O’Dell wanted him to do. “We need you to retrieve her, and bring her to the Palace.”
Chase saluted and said. “Aye, Mistress. I will do Lord Guardian’s bidding.”
Challandra nodded tightly and returned to the Mystic Palace.
Chase returned to his cave and told his mate to wait for him. She was heavy with his second child and he did not want anything to happen to her should she join him.
“I will send one of the Stargazers to look in on you, my love.” Chase told her, kissing her Dweller-kin Immortal lips. “For now, Rest. I will return soon.”
“Take care, mate.” Celeste nodded, laying down and closing her eyes. “I will be awaiting your return.”
It felt good to know just how much she loved him, despite being so far away from her own kind, the Dweller kin-Clans.
He left the Province Underground and headed to the Dragon Nations as swiftly and quietly as he could. When he arrived at the Borderline, there was a wall of fire blocking his path. Knowing his journey to find the lost Empress for Lord Guardian was an important one, he stepped back and took a deep breath before using the Dweller-kin Stealth and his Wolfkin speed to jump over the wall.
He landed on the other side with enough adrenaline in his system to race to Mal’estar in his full-Wolfkin form. The ground beneath his feet was hard and hurt his paws, but he had to go on. When he thought he had found the hutch-cave the Mistress told him about, he stopped and shifted to his Companion form to investigate.
The old wooden door was ajar. All he had to do was push to enter. He looked around the building until he saw the DragonWolf laying unconscious on the floor of what could have been the living quarters.
How was he supposed to pick her up and take her back to the Realm of Dreams when she was unconscious? The answer came to him in a flash as soon as he reached to touch her.
Was he not a Dweller-Companion with the powers of Stealth and an ability to blend into the mists? He knew it was risky, and draining on him, but it was the only way he would be able to take her to the Mystic Palace.
He had to try.
Chase picked her up and carried her like she was a sleeping child and he was taking her to bed. Only, she was not a child, and he was taking her out of the Dragon Nations. Closing his eyes he used his Dweller-kin Magic to blend both of them into the mists.
It did not take him long to run out of energy, but he did manage to make it to the Mystic Palace before reshaping his form to his Wolfkin Companion.
Enchantra found Dixilynne and floated herself over her daughter’s bed.
“Dixie, honey, wake up. It’s Momma.” She whispered, using the magic in her voice to gently wake her.
Dixie woke up slowly, sat up in bed, and looked around sleepily. “What’s going on?” She whispered to herself, though Enchantra could hear her. Dixie looked up and gasped. She saw the worried look on her mother’s face and asked. “What’s wrong, Mother?”
“The Dominionite Master has done it again.” Enchantra replied with a low voice.
“Oh no!” Dixie replied, horrified. She knew all about him from the stories Enchantra and her sister told her through the years. The news of his return frightened her. “What has he done this time?”
Enchantra looked at her Earthbound daughter, who had become lovelier as the years wore on. “We need to talk to Shannon, Dixilynne.”
Dixie gasped. “Will he harm her?”
Sadly, Enchantra nodded. “Along with a few others who will be named later.” She continued by telling O’Dell’s plan and how they were both in danger.
Before turning to leave, Enchantra replied. “I will return once you train her as your replacement.” She smiled.
“My replacement?” Dixie asked, confused. “Where am I going?”
“It is Destiny.” Enchantra told her simply. Willed by the Ancient Mystic Gods, Destiny was one thing even Enchantra was unable to control or understand.
Her daughter knew what the word meant and thought for a moment. “I understand.”
Enchantra disappeared and Dixie went back to sleep, knowing what she had to do in the morning.
Lord Guardian heard a thump at the door, finding both Chase and the wolf-woman unconscious at the step. He signaled to Enchantra and told her to wake Chase while he gathered the wolf-woman who was going to be his successor and put her in a separate room.
Dracora, the Dweller-kin’s Countess who was also Lord Draconis’ sister was still waiting for him when he returned to the spacious living room.
“Well?” Dracora asked. “Who was at the door, Lord O’Dell?”
“Chase Moondancer with my successor.” O’Dell told her. “Enchantra took him to rest in another room. He may need to Feed.”
Dracora understood, nodding. “Aye, thank you.”
With that, she left the room and Enchantra joined him.
“Does Dixie know what must be done?” O’Dell asked her.
“Aye, she knows and will follow your lead, as always.” Enchantra wrapped her arms around his waist and laid her head on his chest. “The Empress is resting and under deep enchantments to stay that way.”
Challandra came into the room and cleared her throat. As her sister was detangling herself from O’Dell’s arms, she asked, “So, what do we do next, my Lord? Just sit and wait?”
O’Dell sighed. “There is naught much we can do, Challandra. Destiny will take care of its own when it is good and ready.”
“Destiny is such a strong word, do you not think?” Dracora walked in and announced. She stared into space, her smile fading when she said “Uh oh.”
“Countess?” Enchantra asked.
Dracora pointed when a brilliant flash of light appeared, revealing her older brother Drakkar and another DragonWolf woman identical to O’Dell’s Chosen Successor.
Drakkar looked around the room and spotted a couch in the far corner. He set his mate’s unconscious body on it and felt her forehead. “Dare not die on me now, Adarramena.” He croaked.
A voice broke his thoughts.
“What are you doing here, Bratton?” It was female and familiar.
Drakkar turned to see his sister Dracora standing beside another female and a male. The other female’s name was Enchantra, and she was an Ancient Mystic Sister in the Realm of Dreams. The male was Lord Guardian O’Dell of the Realms himself.
Drakkar bowed to the two Mystics. “I do not know, Brattona. I just grabbed her when she fell and disappeared from the battleground.” He rose. “My apologies, Sister Enchantra and Lord Guardian.”
“No apologies needed, Prince Drakkar Dratianos.” Enchantra smiled. “How did you know which Sister I was?”
Drakkar smiled. “The same as how you knew which Dratianos I was. A twin always knows the differences between other pairs.”
“What can we do for you, Prince?”
“It’s my mate, Lord Guardian.” Drakkar supplied.
Enchantra went to examine Adarra. “She overexerted both herself and her duo.” She supplied, than looked to Drakkar.
Dracora shook her head. “Now you know why I took some of our people to the Mortal Realm. Your duo has gone chaotic, and there is no end to his destruction.”
“There has to be a way to save Adarra from him.” Drakkar agreed.
“I believe we can help with that.” Enchantra looked to O’Dell. “My love?”
O’Dell took a moment to stare at Adarramena’s silent form before responding. “Bring her in and set her beside her sister.”
Dracora blinked. “You knew! All this time?”
O’Dell shook his head. “I could sense her, aye. One of our soldiers found her unconscious in the old hutch-cave that used to belong to their parents. I asked them to bring her here until we could figure anything more.”
“What are you going to do with her?”
“Them?” Drakkar echoed after his sister.
They watched as a Dragonwolf identical to Adarramena was brought in and laid down beside her.
“There is something about those girls, O’Dell.” Enchantra stared at the twins. “Something that screams magic.”
“They are Draconian.” Drakkar said, hoping it would explain it. “They have great power.”
“Nay, something else.” Enchantra supplied. “They are worth saving. They must live, but not here. Not now. Not while many wars are being fought.”
“For once, I agree.” Dracora supplied. “But what are you going to do with them?”
Enchantra smiled. “Give them another destiny.” She looked up to O’Dell. “Find Susan and bring her here.”
O’Dell nodded, and smiled once knowing what she was thinking.
“Who is Susan?” Drakkar and Dracora asked at the same time.
“My Granddaughter.” Enchantra smiled. “She has five children already and enough room in her house and heart for three more.”
“Three?” Dracora asked.
“Do you mean Anton?” Drakkar inquired.
Enchantra nodded. “He is resting in the other room. I had to put him under a spell in order for him to stay that way.”
“He is a fighter.” Dracora said. “What are you going to do with them? They are not dead, just weakened. How are you going to give them another destiny?”
“They will be reborn as Earthbound Ancient Mystics.” Enchantra said simply. She turned her attention to the silver-glowing Empress. “This one is different; even from her twin and brother. I cannot place it.”
“Adellandra has always been different.” Dracora supplied, smiling. “Kind, loving, gentle, and good, yet a fierce fighter and honorable Empress.”
“Only she knows why she left our bratton.” Drakkar said.
“It was to save the children from destruction.” Dracora now stared at her Empress-Sita.
“Gramere?” A female voice asked from the doorway. “What’s going on? Why did you send Granpere for me?”
“Fetch the Dragonwolf male for me, Susan, and set him down beside his sisters.” Enchantra stood when she obeyed.
Susan stared at her Gramere once returning with the male DragonWolf. It took a moment to dawn on her, but her heart skipped and she exclaimed. “I know who they are now! The Lost Empress of Mal’estar, Lady Adellandra, her twin Princess Adarramena and younger brother Sir Anton Dranna.”
Enchantra only nodded, confirming. “Do you know what I wish you to do with them?”
Susan stared, her silver-blue eyes shifting from one silent sibling to the other. “I don’t know.” She looked to Enchantra.
Susan was confused. “I’m sorry, ‘raise them?’” She shook her head. “They are already fully-grown. How?”
“The time rift between the Mortal Realm and this Realm is different.” Enchantra began. “We wish for you to keep them safe and raise them as your own children. They will be significantly younger when we blood them.”
“’Blood’ them?” Drakkar asked, speaking up. “I mean no disrespect Mistress, but, surely there must be another way?”
Enchantra shook her head. “Not if you want them alive to see Mal’estar once again.”
“But blooding them as Ancient Mystics will –” Dracora began but was cut off.
“I know what it will do, Countess.” Enchantra supplied. “I assure you, there is no other way around it. They must be blooded as Ancient Mystics in order to survive your brother’s chaos.”
Drakkar growled. “If you hurt her, I will know of it!”
O’Dell shook his head and held up his hand. “No, you will not. Once the ritual is done, the three of them will have no memory of who they once were.”
“They will have their powers,” Dracora said, “and their forms. The Mortal Realm is not ready for DragonWolves just yet.”
“All will be well.” O’Dell said sternly. “They will resume Immortal form and be taught of whatever magic their minds believe they are ready for.”
Dracora and Drakkar looked at each other, unable to answer. What else could they say about it?
“Shall we begin?” Susan spoke up quietly.
Enchantra and O’Dell nodded, holding hands.
The Dratianos siblings of Dracora and Drakkar only watched as the three DragonWolves changed form to become young Immortals. The only thing that showed who they were was the armor and their reddish-golden blonde hair. Each form grew younger and younger until they were mere children. Adellandra and Adarramena were young girls and their brother Anton was an infant.
Susan picked up the infant and held him. The silver in his eyes mixed with the Mystic’s silver-blue for only a moment before he closed them to sleep once again. She knew what she had to do. “We must rename them.”
“We will leave that to you, Susan.” Enchantra supplied. “Rename them, and raise them well.”
“The time will come when they are Called to this Realm once again.” O’Dell responded. “Until then, their true-names and lives must remain a secret.”
“Yes, Grampere,” Susan knelt to the still-sleeping twins. She placed her hand first on Adarramena. “You will be Aluna Star Woods.” Next, to Adellandra, “You will be Ariana Moon Woods.” And last, the baby. “You will be Antony Gregory Woods.”
With brilliant flashes of silvery light, the ritual was done, and the four of them were gone. Drakkar disappeared to grieve the loss of his loving mate while Dracora stayed behind.
“What do you have planned for them, O’Dell?” Dracora asked.
“Just as your destiny has brought you to us in the past, so will it return them in the future.” O’Dell announced. “In time, one of them will be the most powerful Wizard of the line. One will be the most gifted of Mages, and the other? Well, they will be my successor.”
Dracora could only stare at the space her Empress-sister had disappeared, hoping she, too would return to the Dragon Nations and the Empire of Mal’estar.
“I only hope you know what you are doing, O’Dell.” Dracora whispered sadly, disappearing from his sight.
In his own mind, he thought, So do I.
When Dixie awoke the next morning, she called Shannon to her office first thing. Thirteen-year-old Shannon Ryan walked in, yawning.
“Yes, Aunt Dixie?” Shannon asked, stifling a yawn behind her hand. “What is it?”
Dixie stared out the window, refusing to meet Shannon’s innocent eyes. This will be hard to explain, but it must be done. Dixie thought to herself before beginning. “Do you remember your last birthday, when I explained you were a special young lady?”
Shannon nodded. “Yes, ma’am, and I still don’t understand.”
“Well,” Dixie started, taking a breath. “You are an Earthbound Ancient Mystic.”
She could sense the girl’s confusion, so she tried to explain.
“I am a daughter of a Realmbound Ancient Mystic, bound to this earthly Realm for my own safety, hence the word Earthbound. My two sisters came with me, twin Dorianne and your mother, the frail Sarabeth.”
Shannon only knew of her mother by the stories Dixie told her when she asked. Sarabeth died of cancer just weeks after she was born.
“Go on,” Shannon replied softly.
“Earthbound Mystics hold magic in the colors of their eyes, an exotic silver-blue.” Dixie supplied. “I have noticed lately that are able to tell what is on people’s minds, and in their hearts. The first is called Telepathy, the second is Empathy.”
Shannon stared, credulous.
“That is not the main reason I sent for you, but it is part of it.” Dixie replied with a sad sigh. “My father, the Lord Guardian O’Dell himself, came to my mother and aunt, wishing for their assistance.” She paused, wiping a tear from her eyes. “He told them he saw a Vision in his Inner Realm’s Sphere. It was a Vision of mass-destruction of the Mystic Realms’ Palaces and Kingdoms, for the Master’s Dominionites destroyed it all, leaving only the Dominion standing.”
Shannon stood silent, trying to let it all sink in.
She continued. “Mother came to me last night, beckoning me home to her in the Dream Realm. I know not when, but it will be soon.”
Shannon questioned her aunt. “What will happen to the System, and where will we go?”
Dixie finally faced her adopted-daughter of a niece. “You will be in charge, Shannon. I must train you to take my place.”
Shannon was shocked. “Why can’t you just stay here?”
“It’s not up to me, but my Lord Guardian Father.” Dixie continued. “For now, continue your morning routine. We’ll start whenever Enchantra deems you ready. You are excused.”
Shannon nodded, leaving her aunt staring out the window once more. She headed back to her own quarters in silence.
Ancient Mystics? Never heard of them. What does Realmbound and Earthbound mean? Dream Realm? Where, or what, was that? There’re so many questions bouncing around in my head! I only wish I had half the answers. Shannon thought as she opened the door, sighing.
What about the Empathy and Telepathy I have? What did that have to do with what Lord Guardian told her? Why do I have the feeling I’m getting into more trouble than I can handle? What does it all mean?
Shannon put it out of her head until she could question her aunt further. She plopped on her bed by the balcony of her quarters and placed her hands under her head in thought. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and fell into a deep trance.
“Shannon.” She heard someone softly call her name.
“Who’s there?” Shannon asked, looked around unfamiliar surroundings. “Where am I?” She asked into the air.
Funny, her voice was frightened, but she actually felt safe in this unknown place.
“You are in the Dream Realm, Shannon.” A woman’s gentle voice replied. “Turn around and meet me.”
Shannon obeyed and a saw a lovely woman with dark black hair. She could almost see stars sparkling within the woman’s raven locks along with a friendly twinkle in her strange-colored eyes.
“I am Enchantra, one of the Ancient Mystic Sisters.” Enchantra introduced herself, looking into Shannon’s brown eyes.
“Are you Aunt Dixie’s mother?” Shannon asked, curious.
Enchantra nodded and explained in more detail why Dixilynne had to leave her. Shannon slowly understood everything both her aunt Dixilynne and Enchantra were explaining to her about the Ancient Mystics. She even gave Shannon the special locket that would help her travel to the Dream Realm using her Mystic magic and a chant.
“What do you wish of me, Enchantra?” Shannon wondered as she placed it around her neck and held it. Somehow, she felt less afraid than before and more mature. “What is my role in all this?”
“I am glad you asked.” Enchantra smiled, her eyes twinkled. “Your role is to be friend, confidante, and authority to your new recruits.”
Shannon pondered her words. She opened her mouth to say something, but all that came out was a yawn.
“Return home for now, Shannon.” Enchantra replied, placing a hand on her cheek in assurance. “You will need the strength and energy for the journey.”
Shannon Ryan knew little of the excitement and danger her first set of new recruits as Chief of Detectives would bring.
Lord Guardian of the Mystic Realms was the only one who knew.
Dream Realm Crusaders
The Outer Realm, two years later.
O’Dell went to the Outer Realm in his Immortal Wizard form that closely resembled what he called an Earthbound, a Mortal human.
He was silent as he watched the young Earthbound form of the one he called his successor. It took two of the Outer Realm’s years to gather what was needed and prepare his great plan against Orthos. It was complicated, but the girl who lay in tears below his floating form, along with her twin sister and younger brother, were now Immortal children. He and the Sisters used a magical spell to blood them as Ancient Mystics. Their combined Mystic powers would be the only way they would eventually win against Orthos and his offspring.
When they were blooded, all three DragonWolf bodies lost their dragon-like and wolf-like qualities. Since time flowed differently between the two realms, they were now younger. The twin girls were five Outer Realm years old and the brother was an infant. The Royal Crest that had hung around the Empress’ neck was given to the Countess of the Dragon Nations for safekeeping until the day the girl grew into a woman and remembered her true-self. O’Dell assigned them to his granddaughter Susan Woods to parent, but it was not for long.
Orthos struck again, as O’Dell had seen in his Sphere. There was going to be another battle. Somehow, Orthos knew of the DragonWolf children and the plan to defeat him.
His newest target was laying below O’Dell now. O’Dell told Susan to separate the girls and use a special potion to wipe their memories clean of one another and their short year in her care. The next morning, Susan sent the one she named Ariana Moon to an orphanage and her twin Aluna Star to her mother, O’Dell’s own daughter Dixilynne Ryan. The baby Antony, the twins’ brother, was a mere infant, and saved from harm.
O’Dell turned his attention back to the girl below him, his thoughts returning to the present. Ariana Moon was still beautiful as a seven-year-old Ancient Mystic child living in an orphanage. Her silver-blue eyes were red and puffy, but they still held magic and hope for the future. Her reddish-blonde hair was cut short against the nape of her neck, but it still shone in the moonlight. The magical aura that surrounded her body was losing its beauty as it sadly pulsed around her.
A glint of blood from a cut on her cheek told him the sad story. Her orphanage master had beaten her again for being a kid and playing around.
The bruises would disappear by morning, thanks to her special self-healing ability, but the memory would take years to fade away.
He watched her many times within the past two years, staying in the shadows and off her empathic radar. There were many times she curled up in a ball and fell asleep by the sound of her own tears. That night was no exception, and it saddened him.
Summoning up his courage, and speaking softly so she would not be afraid, he said, “Hello, Young Guardian.”
The girl sat up, wiped the wetness from her cheeks with the arm of her sleeve and looked up, saying nothing aloud. Since she knew how to send telepathic messages, she timidly asked in her mind. Who’s there?
She could not see him, floating like a spirit over her bed? He touched her hair and revealed himself to her mind and magic.
Ariana Moon did not see anyone for a moment, but she Felt someone there with her Empathy. When she stared at the spot she Felt him, the vision of a tall male with silver eyes and long silver-almost-white hair smiled at her. There was a glowing white light around him, almost magical. Somehow, it comforted her.
“I am called the Lord Guardian of the Mystic Realms, and you will be my successor.” O’Dell told her.
Why did you call me, “Young Guardian”? She asked in her mind so she would not awaken the sleeping girls around her. My name is Ariana Moon.
O’Dell smiled and explained. “You are a very special girl, Ariana Moon, doing things most cannot. You know this already, or I would not be here.”
Using what little Empathy she felt comfortable with, she opened her mind to sense his intentions. She smiled when she Felt his endearing sincerity, and O’Dell’s very words soothed her.
I do not know why. I just can. Ariana reflected, relaxing. She wrapped her arms around her knees, sensing his joy as she smiled in the darkness. I can read minds, feel people’s emotions and tell futures. I do not know if I can do anything else.
“Ah, but you can; all you have to do is summon the courage and try. You can do anything your heart desires.” O’Dell closed his hands, opening them again to reveal a necklace. “I come from a place called the Dream Realm, and you can go there anytime to escape.”
Ariana looked away for a moment. She thought of her Mistress, Helen Gertrude. Each day, the children of the orphanage would be beaten. It seemed Ariana and her twin friends were Mrs. Gertrude’s favorites, so escape from this hell would be perfect. She only hoped Aaron Theodore and Amethyst Theresa would be able to join her.
It seems so unreal! Is this kind man a dream? She thought to herself, staring at the necklace in his hands and gathering her thoughts. Would he really help me escape this wretched world, or is he another breaker of promises like all the others who wanted me for slavery?
She took a deep breath and accepted the trinket he offered. It was a silver locket shaped like a crescent moon with a star-shaped jewel hanging from the tip. The opalescent jewel was made of a kind of crystal she’d never seen before. The crescent moon itself was surrounded by a dream catcher’s webbing. It was beautiful in a magical way as it hung from its silver chain.
Can anyone else see or hear you? Ariana thought to him, looking up from it. The warmth of his gift gave her some hope for the future ahead.
O’Dell shook his head. “For now, only you can see and hear me in your mind and heart. Others will join you when the time comes.”
Ariana smiled. I can go to the Dream Realm any time I want?
O’Dell nodded, smiling. “Come. I will take you now.” He pointed to the necklace. “Close your eyes and I will do the rest. I will teach you a special chant that will take you there on your own.”
Ariana Moon placed the locket around her neck and clutched it as she lay down.
As he promised, O’Dell took her to the Dream Realm and showed her things she never experienced before.
Finally, she thought to herself as she rode on the back of his Unicorn-Pegasus form in the Realm of Dreams. I am safe.
Katherine Hawk sat thinking on her favorite rock in the Garden. Kitten’s Claw and her beau of Toby White-Snow left her alone to find their friends once she made it clear she was in no mood for celebrating.
In the middle of meditating, she heard the rustling of leaves coming from the bushes behind her. She dared not look; for fear of whatever it was disappearing on her. Katherine was still, tuning her feline ears to listen for noises in the bushes. Using what little Empathic power she knew, she could sense some Companion watching.
In seconds, whoever they were went away.
She returned to her meditating, only to be frightened by a voice.
“Sulheya, M’Lady Katherine.” It was the soft and gentle growl of a male.
Turning, Katherine saw a Timberwolf Companion she recognized as one of her cousin’s Dominionite Warriors. He was smiling at her.
“How dare you sneak up on me, Warrior?” Katherine held her quickening heart. “You nearly scared me half out of my wits!”
“I apologize, for I meant no harm.” The Companion said softly. “I was only trying to start a conversation with you.”
“There are others here.” She told him gently.
He stared into her eyes and she heard his thoughts.
What beautiful emerald eyes!
Katherine gasped, blinking away and blushing.
“They do not concern me.” He announced with a light growl. “I saw you sitting all by your lonesome, and wished only to speak with you.”
She turned her eyes back to meet his when he continued.
“Allow me to introduce myself, my dearest lady.” His words were polite and sincere as he bowed. She could sense his words rung true; he meant her no harm. “I am the Warrior known only as Wolf, but my Companion name was Wolfton Stargazer. I lived in the Stargazer Castle deep in the Canine Valley until the Wars, when the Merchant claimed me for his Warrior Armies and killed my Parentada, destroying my home.”
“I am sorry to hear that, Wolf.” Katherine replied, purring sadly. “Should my cousin sense you speaking with me, you will be severely punished. It will do no good to defy him.”
“I care not about the Merchant, or the Armies.” Wolf said, smiling again. She noticed he could not keep his eyes off her. “I am interested in you.”
The statement startled her. “Why me?”
He looked her in the eyes. “I happen to like you, my lady Katherine. That is all.”
Katherine smiled, blushing. “You really mean it, Warrior Wolf?”
“I would prefer you call me Wolf.” He smiled again, nodding. “Aye, dear lady; I really mean it.”
“Call me Kat.” She tapped the empty space beside her on the rock. “Please, sit. Tell me more about yourself; such as, what do ‘Sulheya’ and ‘Parentada’ mean?”
“It is Ancient Wolf-Speak.” Wolf sat beside her. “My Matéré and Pérat were from the Mountain Wolf Forest Packs up by Wolf’s Head. ‘Sulheya’ is a common greeting, and ‘Parentada’ means ‘parents’.”
“I see.” Katherine couldn’t help smiling at him. Her heart was pounding at those eyes of his. It made her feel warm inside. “That would mean Matéré and Pérat are your words for mother and father. Ancient Wolf-Speak is a very beautiful language.”
“That is true, but not half as beautiful as you.” Wolf took her hand and made her blush. “Will you let me teach you all I know?”
Katherine could not stop the smile that spread on her lips as they talked. It soothed her that this Warrior was not like his brethren in the Armies. He was actually nice! He sounded and acted more like her sister’s beau Toby White-Snow than a mindless Warrior slave.
He soon retured to his patrols with the Armies.
Now disheartened at his absence, she found her sister in the crowd of Companions. She changed from a common Balinese cat to an Immortal girl, conjured a hairbrush to her hands and brushed her long, black-and-white striped hair.
I wish Wolf and I could be a pair! Kat thought, purring sadly. She recalled her life at Dark Tower before Wolf came along, and how sad it was before they spoke. How I would love to have someone like him to call my own? I was so lonely before he spoke to me!
No one paid attention to her in the Dominion. She was known not only as a tender Companion in a dimension full of hatred, but strange for being a loner.
She thought dreamily about Wolf, the first Companion to speak with her in sincerity, second to Kitten’s Claw’s Warrior beau of Tobias. As they talked, she found herself falling in love with the Timberwolf. She cared not for the rules of their society, which told her it would be a mistake if she pursued him. She now believed love was waiting for her in his heart. She knew her feelings for him were returned, but if they were to explore them, the relationship had to remain secret.
She sighed, entwining a small clump of hair around her fingers. She daydreamed of what it would like being loved by Wolf without interference from her evil cousins or uncle.
Katherine heard a giggle coming from behind her. She shook out of her wonderful daydream, turning around to see her twin and Toby smiling down at her.
“What is your problem this time?” Her sister sneered with a spiteful grin. “Lonely?”
Kitten’s Claw seized every moment to humiliate her twin, but Katherine was always afraid to stand up for herself against her sometimes-awful sister.
Ignoring the rude comment and not wanting another scene with her, Katherine nodded.
Toby rolled his eyes at his girlfriend and smiled compassionately at Katherine. “Keep your chin up, Katherine.” He replied, patting her on the back. “Someone will come to your rescue.”
“Thank you for your kind words, Toby.” Katherine’s voice trailed.
“Come on, Toby. Let us get out of here!” Kit replied nastily, grabbing his arm.
Toby shrugged it off. “Wait a minute Kit, okay?” Without waiting for a reply, he turned back to Katherine, smiling. “I do believe Wolf has had his eye on you lately.”
For the first time in months, Katherine’s face lit up as she smiled happily, excited. “Oh, really?” She asked, interested. So she wasn’t the only one to notice! “Tell me more! Please?”
Kitten’s Claw was fuming beside him, eyes narrowed and arms folded in anger.
Stop flirting with my beau! Katherine heard the telepathic demand.
“Come on, Toby, let us go swim in the pond!” Kitten’s Claw frowned at her as she tugged Toby’s arm. “I want to have fun while I still can!”
“I better go, while I still have all nine of my lives. See you later, Katherine!” Toby called over his shoulder as he was tugged away by a very angry Kitten’s Claw Hawk.
Katherine sat on her small boulder under the large tree at the Garden, smiling. She imagined a small notebook and reached into the air to retrieve it. It was locked like a diary so she bent her Mortal index finger to open it. She stared at her palm until a pen appeared.
Sure, these things were easy to find anywhere in the Mystic’s Province of the Dream Realm; but where she lived, in the Dominion, they were illegal. She had to be careful with the little power and luxuries she had now. If her evil uncle caught her, who knew what he would do to her? She did not want to find out.
Katherine wrote her ultimate dreams on paper until she sensed someone over her shoulder. She looked up after making the diary disappear.
It was one of her evil cousins, Sabrina.
“Hello, Sabrina,” Katherine replied softly, standing up. She turned to Sabrina, who sneered mischievously at her.
“Better tend to your duties, Kat. Daddy will be ever so mad if you do not.” Sabrina sneered, tracing a finger along Katherine’s shoulders.
Katherine pulled back before Sabrina could catch her in another chokehold. “I always finish my duties long before you.”
Sabrina scowled, raising her arm and preparing a spell under her breath, but nothing happened.
Katherine smiled at her cousin, knowing Sabrina’s father Orthos had bound Sabrina’s powers for her outrageous behavior with the Warrior Armies. “I am leaving now, cousin. If you wish to come with me, you may. Otherwise, I will see you at Dark Tower.”
Katherine walked away, but Sabrina caught her in a chokehold.
“Just because I have lost my powers,” Sabrina whispered, tightening her hold around Katherine’s neck, “does not mean you can disrespect me.”
“Stop!” Katherine managed to gasp, struggling for freedom. “Let go!”
Sabrina spoke again, holding Katherine’s ear to her mouth. “Your new Dreamer friend Ariana Moon told me some interesting things about you.”
“Leave her be!” Katherine feared for her new friend’s safety. Whenever Sabrina took interest in a Dreamer, it never ended well.
Sabrina laughed. “I have seen her nosing around Witches Grove lately, testing what little power she thinks she has.”
Katherine gasped, and Sabrina released her. Her breath caught up with her as she rubbed her neck. Ariana Moon was going to be in trouble soon. She could sense it. Not only by what little power she had, but by the way Sabrina spoke so ill of her.
“I bet you are the demon-girl in her nightmares.” Katherine deduced, facing her with anger in her eyes. “Leave her alone!”
“Or—.” She gasped, trying to think. “I will have her use her magic against you.”
“The weakling.” Sabrina scoffed, shaking her head and rolling her eyes. “Rumor has it she will succeed Lord Guardian one day. If that is true, Father is sure to stop her before that day comes.”
Katherine’s eyes were blazing, just thinking of what Sabrina might have planned for Ariana Moon. She had to find her friend before Sabrina did.
Katherine disappeared to Dark Tower, shortly followed by Sabrina. When they reappeared, she heard her uncle’s condescending voice yelling at Kitten’s Claw with her sister’s mean and sarcastic voice yelling back.
Sabrina shoved by her with a sneer, marching into the parlor. Katherine followed, curious as to what she was up to.
“It is not my fault you hate me so, Uncle!” Kitten’s Claw screamed. When she saw her sister, she replied. “Why, I bet you hate Katherine even more!”
Katherine scowled. “Dare you say such things, sister?”
The twins stared at one another. “Well?”
“It may be true,” Katherine surmised, “but that still does not give you reason to disrespect your elders,” She glared at Orthos, who was sneering at her just as his daughter had. “No matter how despicable he may be.”
Kitten’s Claw was silenced.
“Sabrina,” Orthos finally noticed his daughter’s presence. “So glad you make it.”
Sabrina nodded, smiling at her father as if she were the cat that swallowed the canary.
Katherine gulped, sensing her uncle’s nastiness. There was something behind that evil sneer this time, and she had a feeling it had something to do with her dear Dreamer friend.
Kitten’s Claw watched the interaction between them, curious as to what was going on.
“Sabrina, leave.” Orthos replied, keeping an eye on the Hawk twins.
“Father!” Sabrina whined.
He glared at his daughter, his eyes turning red with anger. “Now.”
“Fine.” Sabrina huffed, leaving.
Orthos’ eyes returned to their incandescent yellow when she left. “I have a surprise for our little kittens.”
“I love surprises.” Kitten’s Claw cried happily, clapping her hands.
Katherine was not as enthused, standing her ground and staring him in the eye. “I need nothing from you, Uncle.”
Orthos grinned nastily. “Very well then, but you will be passing on the chance of a lifetime.”
“What sort of chance, uncle?” Kitten’s Claw was interested now.
Orthos smiled at his only obeying niece. Katherine now feared for her sister as well, for Orthos was worse than Sabrina when it came to inflicting pain.
“Do not dare hurt her!” Katherine demanded, but the Master sealed her mouth shut with an iron bar.
“Katherine, Katrina. Kat, I would not dare do such a thing to your precious sister.” Orthos replied softly. “I love her as my own.”
Katherine scoffed, frowning in disbelief.
Orthos turned back to Kitten’s Claw, who was awaiting his offer.
“Tell me, or I will scream!” Kitten’s Claw demanded, stomping her foot in annoyance.
“Patience, Kitten’s Claw.” Orthos held his breath, letting it out slowly. “Have you ever wondered what was beyond this world?”
Kitten’s Claw nodded. “We all do.”
Orthos rubbed his hands together and chuckled to himself. “There is indeed another world beyond our Dream Realm, and I know exactly how to get to it.”
Katherine gasped, frightened. She shot them dirty looks, but they ignored her.
“Really, uncle?” Kitten’s Claw asked. “Tell me more.”
“You will find out in time, I assure you.” Orthos shot Katherine a dirty look.
Kitten’s Claw smiled. “You tease me so, uncle. You tease me so.”
Orthos nodded, smiling as he released the bar from Katherine’s mouth and sent her to her room.
She was afraid of more than one thing now, thanks to Sabrina’s and Orthos’ taunts. Most of all, she was afraid for her twin. Who knew what he was up to this time?
Oh, well, Katherine thought to herself on the way. Maybe it was not all that bad? He could not do that much to her, could he? I do not even know how we are related to him.
Katherine sighed and shut the door behind her. She changed back into a cat from her Companion form and leaped onto the bed. She curled up into a ball and stared into space. Looking around, she saw many of the things that had often made her miserable as she grew up.
Kit never seemed to mind as much, Katherine thought to herself. Then again, she was never much of a kind, loving kitten. Her mind wandered as she cleaned herself with her paws.
Was Uncle Orthos telling the truth? Was there really a world outside of our own? There had to be if Dreamers were able to come and go as they pleased. Even Ariana Moon spoke of her world often. According to her stories of it, I would not want to go anywhere near there.
It was at that moment she heard the familiar scream of her twin in danger. She jumped off the bed and bounded to her sister’s rescue, quickly shifting to a cheetah form.
Hold on! Kat sent to her sister’s mind.
Based on that scream alone, she knew immediately they both were in deep trouble.
Visions of pain and evil went through Katherine’s mind. She could feel her sister falling further and further away from her; she could see it. Her head began to ache as she drew closer to the Master’s dungeon. She bit her bottom lip as she ran so she she would not make a sound.
Katherine found her sister in the dungeon where the Master kept his Lab. She also found her uncle, chuckling away viciously. His full attention was to his work rather than his surroundings.
That was a good thing, Katherine thought, shifting back into a Balinese Companion and quietly standing aside. She watched the scene closely and listened to his every word.
Katherine surveyed the lab until her eyes met her sister’s motionless body lying on the lab floor. She held her mouth so her gasp would not distract her uncle.
“Finally, my plan has begun!” The Master of the Dream Realm’s Dominion called into the air. She did not know who he was talking to, so she shrugged it off as ramblings from a madman. His eyes were open, and she saw the color.
They were blood red and glowing intensely!
“Soon, I will show my brother who is boss around here!” Orthos waved his arms around a large, black cauldron. He grabbed the wooden spoon from a table and cackled as he threw the ingredients into the cauldron, one of which was Kitten’s Claw’s whiskers. “I will take over the Outer Realm just as I have taken a kitten’s life. Easily!”
Katherine shifted her position, knocking some glass bottles to the floor. She moved to race out of there, but it was too late. She was caught, trapped in position by the Master’s magical power.
“Well, well, Katherine Hawk; what a surprise?” He replied nastily. “Come to join your sister in death?”
All Kat could think about was her dead sister. Frozen in place by Orthos’ magic, Kat shouted as loudly as she could, “How dare you? How could you?”
“Very easily, my young kitten,” He chuckled. “I am the most deceitful of all the creatures in the entire Dream Realm. I am also the most influential. It was a piece of cake, as Dreamers put it.”
“Why?” Kat asked, tears flowing from the corners of her eyes. “Why do this to us? Why kill my sister for your own selfishness?”
Orthos stared her down. He tweaked her nose and spitefully quipped. “Because I can.”
Kat closed her eyes when Orthos’ red eyes began to flame. He chanted in an ancient tongue, and she braced herself. She felt herself falling into oblivion without any control over her body. Kat did the only thing she could think of.
Katherine Hawk screamed, disappearing into darkness in an almost-dead faint.
Twelve-year-old Ariana Moon, tossed and turned in her small orphanage bed. She was uncomfortable, hot, sticky, and troubled. There was no air conditioning at the Shore Point Home for Children, and the Head Mistress, Mrs. Helen Gertrude, could care less. Something more serious had her troubled, if not a bit confused.
Ariana Moon had constant nightmares night after night, with the dream repeating itself in her mind each time. She awoke in a strange, unknown world. Lord Guardian came to her every time she awoke there, explaining more about this fascinating world. Ariana felt no pain from beatings and no hurting inside emotionally. She felt as if she belonged in this world more than the one she lived in, the one he called the Outer Realm.
Then the horror began. Ariana saw terror in the Dream Realm, and didn’t know what to do. She never did. She sensed danger out of her control, and not knowing what to do about it, she felt helpless.
Ariana always witnessed a fight from the sidelines. She was in it, defending the good side. Others were behind her, but she could never see their faces. She could only sense their loyalty toward both the world and its inhabitants, respecting her as their leader. She recognized the Unicorn-Pegasus creature fighting against the evil dragon, losing his life and soul.
Ariana knew of the Unicorn-Pegasus well. He was Lord Guardian O’Dell of the Mystic Realms, and someday, she would take his place.
What’s going on? She often wondered to herself after she woke.
This time, she got the answer from a very strange source.
Ariana sat up from her bed, thinking about the nightmare. She quietly headed to the nearby window, staring out at the night sky through the bars. Stars twinkled above her in the nearly-cloudless sky.
It is the Dream Realm, and I am from it. A familiar voice answered with a purr.
She looked around to make sure no one was awake. Sure enough, each of her orphanage siblings was fast asleep.
Who said that? She asked in her mind. Somehow, she knew she could trust the harmless voice. Perhaps she was in trouble?
My name is Katherine Hawk. I am a Companion from the Mystic’s Realm of Dreams.
Ariana recalled the many times Lord Guardian took her to his world. She met a Companion by that name. Katherine claimed that every morning a Dreamer would awaken; they would forget their dream, which included people and Companions met there. The more Ariana visited, the more she remembered the Companions.
I am Ariana Moon. She introduced herself, sitting on the bed and staring into space. Do you not remember me?
Katherine’s voice purred in Ariana’s mind, and she remembered. Aye. Young Ariana Moon, I remember how much power you have in my Realm.
Ariana smiled. How are you, and how did you find me from so far?
Uncle Orthos Banished me here, once I found out about his laboratory. I thought of you as he called the spell, hoping I would be sent to you. That is why I am here.
Ariana was silent as Katherine explained what happened to her.
How awful for you, Katherine! Ariana replied.
Tell no one about me. Katherine said seriously.
Okay. Ariana then thought of her best friend, Aaron Theodore.
I know how much you care about him. Go ahead, but be careful those you trust with your heart.
In the darkness, Ariana nodded, thinking of Aaron’s love for her, and what happened just hours ago.
I will. Please, Katherine. Tell me more about your world.
By this time, Ariana had laid down on her bed and closed her eyes.
Katherine told her stories about the two main territories of the Dream Realm, the Province and the Dominion. The Province is the most wonderful of places, Ariana! How I wish you could see it! Whatever you wish to happen, will happen! Anything you want will be yours. You just have to dream.
That made Ariana smile. What about the Dominion?
The Dominion is full of evil. Katherine growled lowly. Unfortunately, that is where I am from.
How did you get there, if you’re good? Ariana asked.
It is a long story. I will explain everything I know to you later on. For now, rest, and I will try to take you to my Realm in time.
I would like that. Ariana whispered in her mind. Thank you, and good night, my friend.
Ariana laid her head to sleep, clutching the Dream Locket around her neck with a smile. She dreamed about the Dream Realm and reuniting with Katherine.
The Warrior Wolf Stargazer found himself in the Garden, sitting on the rock where he met Katherine Hawk. He closed his eyes and thought about her until he heard something behind him.
“Well, well, if it is not the Warrior who calls himself Wolf?” He heard a familiar female voice cackle.
Wolf opened his eyes and turned to see none other than Sabrina, the Dominion’s Maiden. “Go away, Sabrina!” He snarled, nearly snapping her head off.
“Impudent hound!” Sabrina scolded with a frown. After a moment, her black lips were smiling innocently. “Are you not sick with worry over Kat?”
How cruel of her! Wolf thought to himself, standing. “What business is it of yours?”
She cooed with an I-know-something-you-don’t smile.
“What do you know?” Wolf growled.
“I know she is no longer here.” Sabrina said coyly. “I also happen to know that she and her sister were Banished to the Outer Realm.”
Who could have done such a mean thing? Wolf thought to himself. He already knew the answer. “Your father did this, did he not?” He asked, his claws so clenched with anger, he could feel blood.
Sabrina smiled. “I have to run, Wolf.” She gave him a wink and was on her way.
Wolf wanted revenge on Orthos and he wanted it bad.
Wolf found him at Dark Tower. “Master Orthos!” He growled. “I demand you speak with me. Now!“
“How dare you show such disrespect, Dominionite?” Orthos yelled. “Who do you think you are?”
“I am Wolfton Stargazer and I demand you tell me what you did with Katherine Hawk.” He told him, keeping his gaze.
“Oh, so you were the one to steal her heart.” Orthos deduced with a grin.
“I need not steal what is freely given!” Wolf barked.
His retort was ignored. “For that, I must punish you.”
Wolf was brave as he bore his fangs and growled. “Do your worst.”
“If you insist.” He replied with a nonchalant wave of his hand. “You may search for her on your own.” Orthos lifted his arm and called the same spell he’d called for Katherine and Kitten’s Claw. “Out of my sight, you insolent creature!”
Wolf Stargazer stood his ground, but it was too late.
He was already falling into darkness.
Twelve-year-old Aaron Theodore tossed and turned in his make-shift cot-of-a-bed. He could hear the other boys in the room sleeping, either snoring or breathing loudly. He was wide awake with the days’ past events running through his mind.
He and Ariana Moon escaped yet another beating from Mrs. Gertrude and were hiding in the attic, their special spot. Amethyst Theresa, his twin sister, ran in the opposite direction to save herself.
It was hours later, and he was wide awake, thinking. His strange dream woke him up in wonder and sadness. Their unicorn friend, Lord Guardian of the Mystic Realms visited him, taking him to the Mystic Palace.
“Come, Aaron Theodore.” Lord Guardian O’Dell beckoned once Aaron called the Dream Chant. “The time has come. You must know your Destiny.”
After telling Aaron to hop on his back, Lord Guardian grew feathery wings and flew to the Mystic Palace. Aaron never visited there without Ariana Moon before, and wondered why Lord Guardian would want to see him.
Enchantra greeted them at the Mystic Palace door as soon as Lord Guardian’s hooves hit the ground. It only took a moment for him to shift to his Immortal form and embrace her.
It made Aaron smile.
“Why, Young Aaron.” She addressed him, eyes sparkling. She held a hand out for him to kiss, which he did. “Where is our Ariana Moon?”
“Ariana Moon is sleeping peacefully.” Lord Guardian answered before he could get a word out. He gave Enchantra a look, to which she nodded. “It’s time, Enchantra. Show him the Mirror to see his fate.”
Aaron gulped. “Fate? What’s going on, Lord Guardian?” He looked to Enchantra. “Mistress?”
Enchantra smiled and wrapped an arm around Aaron’s shoulders, letting him relax. “Have you seen the Mystic’s Mirror before?”
Aaron shook his head. “Never. Has she?”
Lord Guardian nodded. “Aye, and now it is your turn.”
They entered a room once Enchantra sang a series of seven notes to de-spell it. In the corner was the most curious mirror he ever seen. He started at it in awe, entranced by its magnificence.
“It’s beautiful!” Aaron announced, going to it. His hands explored the fine texturing around the mirror.
“It was a gift from my youngest sister, Sibylline.” Enchantra explained. “Careful not to touch the glass, for it will take you to the actual place of the image.”
“Wow.” He was awed, staring.
“We brought you here to see a certain image.” Lord Guardian waved an arm in front of it, chanting softly in a language Aaron never heard before.
As the trio watched, an image appeared.
There was a girl with long, reddish-brown hair in pig-tails. She was playing with a group of children her age. She seemed to sense them watching and looked up to smile. Aaron knew there was something familiar about her. What was it?
“Who’s that girl?” He asked, staring at the image’s silver-blue eyes.
That’s what was familiar, he realized. It was the eyes. She has the same colored eyes as my Ariana Moon.
“That is your daughter.” Lord Guardian replied softly. “She is the Enchanted Child of the Dream Realm; or at least, she will be when she is born.”
Before he could ask, Enchantra grinned, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Soon, Aaron Theodore.”
“That would mean,” Aaron’s voice drifted off, recalling what happened in the attic.
“Ariana Moon is pregnant with her at this moment.” Enchantra supplied.
“That also means she is training to become my successor.” Lord Guardian told him. “For now, drift off into another part of the Dream Realm until it is time for you rise for the day.”
Aaron was confused. He didn’t know what to think, or what to say. “What about Ariana Moon?”
“When the time comes, she will leave you to fulfill her Destiny.” Enchantra told him gently, knowing how hard it was for him to hear those words.
“Will she be okay?” Aaron wondered quietly.
“She will survive.” Lord Guardian replied, trying to ease his thoughts. “You must keep this knowledge from her.”
Aaron took one last look at the image before Lord Guardian’s dark cape was pulled over his eyes, sending him back home to the Outer Realm.
He woke up then, wondering about the dream. He could not believe the news. In their act of trying to feel safe, they had created a baby. He was barely thirteen, and was going to be a father.
He thought of what Enchantra had told him. In one way, it was noble. His precious, special, Ariana Moon was going to run away to save the baby’s life. No way could a baby survive a day in the Shore Point Home for Children.
He thought of Ariana Moon, a tear coming to his eye. Everyday until the time came he had to live with the knowledge of her leaving him. It hurt Aaron’s heart just thinking about it. He was going to lose her one day.
Aaron Theodore had fallen in love, and he did not want to let her go.
[LA1]Go through and take care of contractions. Remember what we learned? No contractions outside dialogue and/or character’s personal thoughts. [LA2]Draconian Entry #1 Added. Go thru and add as needed to weave the Draconian part of Young Guardian Trilogy in the story. That way, the Pre-Prologue will make more sense. [LA3]Added more of the Draconian part of the story. [LA4]Added in part of the Draconian storyline, in O’Dell’s PoV. [LA5]Rewrote the 2nd half