Author: Willow Watcher
Gilas led Tara into a secluded cave deep into the woods.
"You live in a cave?" Tara asked.
"It is more than it seems. Come, you need rest before you start training."
Leading down below the earth’s surface Tara had an uneasy feeling. "I do not know of any training. Certainly you have been living in this dank dwelling too long. And why do I fell so strangely."
"I concealed the entrance to the cavern to keep out intruders and such. I do not wish to be discovered." Gilas stopped when he came to a stone wall. He held up his hand and the stones moved, collapsing on top of themselves.
Tara stood there with her eyes wide. "How?" Was all she managed to say.
"I have power my dear but it is limited to what Joan was able to do and soon yourself." He led Tara into the room.
There a bed was placed in the middle. A fire burned in a hole in the wall. A caldron boiled on top.
"Is that some form of magical potion you have brewing." Tara said sarcastically getting a not so amused look from Gilas.
"If you call stew a potion then so be it." He removed his cloak and threw it over a wooden chair sitting at a table. Raising his hand and looking at the wall behind Tara, the stones moved back in the order they previously were in.
She walked over and held her hand up. Concentrating with all her might she tried to move a stone. It did not budge. She wiped the sweat from her forehead and tried again but nothing happened.
Tara turned around to a smiling Gilas. "I have no power. Perhaps you brought me down here to have your way with me?" She asked crossing her arms.
"If I wanted to have my way with a woman I certainly would not have chosen the likeness of you." He said stirring the pot above the fire.
"And what is wrong with me?" Tara asked.
"Why are you asking of such? You wish for me not to have my way with you and are insulted because I do not. Contradiction is not a woman’s stronger attributes."
Tara ignored his comment as her eyes were diverted to a chest in the far corner. Making her way over Gilas watched her.
"That chest belonged to your sister. It contains her most valued weapons." He said.
Tara’s approach became slower. Kneeling in front of the finely crafted piece, she traced her finger across the name: Joan d’Arc. Tears stung her eyes and she closed them.
Tara heard the words of the man that stood above her. She looked up into his saddened face and smiled.
Turning her eyes back to the chest, she flipped the latch. The top creaked open and fell back against the wall.
Tara found swords, knives, daggers, maces and flails among the contents. She picked up a sword and felt a jolt of energy. She quickly dropped it back and rubbed her hand.
"The first sword she battled with. It contains the soul energy of the numerous men she slain." Gilas told her.
Tara closed the truck and stood. "How is an object able to trap a soul?"
"Sit and I shall explain." He led her over to the table where he placed a bowl of stew. "Eat. You will need all the strength you can bear."
Tara took a seat. Her eyes set heavy as she watched the flames dance around in the makeshift fireplace. She ate as Gilas sat down across from her. "During the days of the tenth century in a land called Nosgoth, creatures and the living dead roamed the earth freely. A woman known as the Slayer was sworn to battle vampires and demons to save the world. One battle that she fought was almost took her life. The immortal creature called Kain wielded the Soul Reaver, which you have made the acquaintance with." Gilas pointed over to the chest. "The Slayer fought with sheer bravery and killed the vampire and obtained his sword, capturing his immortal soul with it. Throughout time, the Soul Reaver has been passed down to the most worthy of women to fight for justice."
Tara sat there with her eyes transfixed on his. She started snickering then burst out in laughter. "Oh sir, that is the most ridiculous tale I have ever heard!" She held her sides as her laughter continued.
"It is not a story." Gilas was agitated but patient. His constant dealings with Joan had brought the premature graying to his hair.
Tara took in a deep breath. "What you tell is outrageous in its own right Gilas. How am I to believe such things when I have not seen of what you speak? Vampires and demons never existed. You have been living down here beyond the time that you should. I believe the rats have infested your head with disease."
"You believe what you see with your eyes but not with your soul."
"Now you speak in riddles?" I questioned. I stood up and turned to walk out. "Remove the wall so I may leave."
"Tara, please allow me to show you. I do not speak of false things, I am not mad and there are no rats within my dwelling." Gilas walked closer holding his hand out. "I will let you see what you want to know. These are the revelations that were shown to your sister. The same discovery that made her the warrior she became. You will find the answers you seek."
"Very well then." Tara took his hand and he led her over to the bed.
"Lie down and ease thyself."
Hesitantly Tara did as she was told. "I am frightened."
"As you should be. You will experience the battle but you shall not die. That I can promise you." Gilas assured.
Tara took in a breath of cleansing air. "I am ready."
Gilas nodded his head and placed his hand on Tara’s arm and one on her forehead.
The darkness clouded my vision. I thought I might have been sleeping and waking up in a dream state. The stars came to view as well as trees and earth.
There she was. The warrior that Gilas spoke of. She ran over to me. As I thought she might go through me but she halted in her sprint.
"Ye need a weapon. Take this." She shoved a wooden stake in my hand.
"You can see me?" I asked.
"I see thee. Now prepare thyself." She looked behind her and I saw two men approach. As they came into view I saw the distortion of their face. The young woman lunged forward and with a swift kick to the creature’s belly, she knocked him down. As she straddled over him, the other creature approached me. I screamed and tried to flee but my legs would not move as fear kept them froze. I drew back the weapon that was handed to me but the man-beast smacked it out of my grasp. He bared his sharp teeth. I screamed again and held my hands out. "Incendere!" I spoke in a language that was foreign yet it rolled of my tongue as if it were fluent to me. I heard the man scream as his body was set ablaze. How was I capable of doing such acts? I looked at my hands. The smoke rose from my palms but they were not singed.
I heard an unusual sound and looked forward. The young Slayer stabbed the creature. He was there and then he was dust. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The oddest things come to mind when you are in a state of fear and confusion.
She wiped the remaining dust from her clothing and approached.
"Ye are the sister of the warrior Joan?" She asked looking up and down at me.
"I am. Who are you?" I asked looking at her in the same manner.
"I have no name. I am of the silent warriors. The one who walks with the night." She said.
"Shall I call you Slayer then?" I asked.
"Ye shall. Come, I have much to show thee." She strode forward not looking back knowing that I would follow.
"Answer me this, are thou ready to become a warrior?" She asked of me.
"I know not." I replied.
She turned to me. "Thou has to know. Ye must continue Joan’s fight."
"I cannot take upon legions of armies!" I exclaimed knowing that this was the truth. "I do not understand how I was able to set that man or creature on fire. The words I spoke are not of my natural language."
"The time will approach quickly for understanding however if ye aren’t prepared, ye will surely die." The Slayer told me.
I stood there with my eyes wide. "Death is not an issue. In order for me to find the answers, what do I have to do?"
"Open thy mind, soul and heart. Thou will seek out thy soul mate and together ye both will conquer all." The Slayer told me.
"I have no soul mate. There is no such being." I told her crossing my arms in front of me.
"If thou refuse to believe then ye will lose." She plainly said, dropping her gaze to the ground.
"If there is a soul mate for me then where do I begin to look?"
"Thy heart will lead thee." She plainly stated.
"The power that is to come to me, where do I search?" I asked.
"Thy soul will lead thee." She answered.
"And the understanding?" I asked.
"Thy mind will…"
"Lead me, yes as I figured you would say." I sighed knowing that this woman would not give me direct answers.
"Then why do ye ask of such?" She asked.
I looked at her with anger. "I was hoping for answers, not riddles."
"I will tell ye this. Thy heart is bigger than any army. Thy soul is brighter than any sun and thy mind is sharper than any two edged sword."
I cocked my head sideways. "Oh yes that clarifies it all."
She smiled. "I do apologize that my explanation does not suit thee."
I sighed. "If you cannot give me the answers I seek then who can?"
"Gilas." Her answer shocked me.
"How do you know of Gilas?" I asked.
"How do ye explain that I knew of thee?" The Slayer walked further on.
"This is maddening." I told her.
"If ye could hold to that thought." The Slayer turned to the direction over the small hill.
"What is happening?" I asked.
She put her finger up to her lips for me to be silent. "Stay here." She whispered out. She darted out of my sight behind some trees.
I stood there as I was told. I heard voices approaching and soon the faces to match. Three men stopped and smiled when they saw me standing there alone.
"Are ye lost?" The taller one asked. He seemed to be the leader of the crew. He wore black leather garb and a silver breast shield with an eloquent red dragon crest imbedded into the metal.
I shook my head to his question.
Before my eyes their faces altered.
I whimpered and took a step back. "Stay clear of me." I said weakly.
"Thou should not be frightened. In fact ye should be honored to be my final meal of the night. And when ye wake and become one amongst us, thou can attest to have been sired by Kain."
I heard that sound again. I looked and there stood the Slayer with a wooden stake in hand and the remains of one creature blowing away in the wind. "She will not be sired by ye or any of thy minions tonight Kain."
"Slayer!" He yelled as he quickly drew his sword.
"The Soul Reaver." I said to myself.
The Slayer threw her stake at the other vampire impaling him in the chest with precise accuracy and he dissipated as the other.
Both the Slayer and Kain stood in front of each other.
"Ye will not leave this fight alive Slayer. Instead of the girl, I shall feast on thy blood and tear ye from limb to limb."
"If I give thee a chance." She told Kain as she took her warrior stance.
He charged forward as the Slayer did. A swift kick from the young woman threw Kain back a few steps. He quickly held his ground. The young woman kicked his hand and the Soul Reaver flew and landed at my feet.
"Get the sword!" I heard the Slayer yell to me.
Picking it up, I felt the surge of energy flow through my hand and up my arm. I took in a deep breath as the power overwhelmed me. I twirled it around my body as if it were nothing.
"Kill him!" The Slayer screamed.
I looked and saw Kain hold her up by the throat.
I charged forward and Kain threw the Slayer through the air in my direction. I darted away and heard the sickening sound of her body hit the ground.
"Hand over the sword young one and I will leave thee alone." Kain said to me holding out his hand.
"I think not." I told him.
Not too pleased with my answer, he ran at me. I jumped up and my body flipped over his and I landed on my feet. I turned around quickly only to find him charge at me once again. I closed my eyes and drew the sword over my shoulder coming down hard. I knew the blade connected. I opened my eyes and watched as Kain grabbed his neck. I saw larvae squirm out from the gash. His head fell and rolled at my feet. By mere fright of seeing this horrific sight, I kicked it away.
"Stab him in the chest!" The Slayer shouted in a strained voice.
I drew the sword back and plunged it into the creature’s chest, through the beautiful emblem. Blood spewed forth covering me. I wanted to vomit at the putrid smell but I kept my composure. I placed my foot on his leg and pulled the sword from him. His body fell and before it hit the earth it turned into dust. All of a sudden the sword hummed loudly and shone a brilliant white then returned back to normal.
The Slayer rose from her fall. "Excellent!" She praised.
"How was I able to do those things?" I asked throwing the sword down.
"The sword temporarily empowered thee to fulfill thy mission."
"Mission? Gilas said nothing about a mission." I told her.
"Ye came to find answers. Ye found one." She said picking the sword up.
"Then perhaps you will tell me the question?"
"Thy soul found the power." She told me making me even more confused.
"I do not understand." I said.
She held the sword out for me. "Take this."
I took it and held it down by my side.
"Close thy eyes and listen to those that empowered thy sister with the same gift as they do for thee now."
I did as I was instructed. I heard the melodic sounds all around me. An array of colors danced behind my eye lids. I felt the warmth of my own blood crawl under my skin. I listened and they told me. They told me many magnificent things. They brought me knowledge and understanding of a new speech. I opened my eyes and saw the world in a new way. I held the sword above my head and began to chant.
"Mistress of the Universe! I call thee forth to cleanse and consecrate this sword. Empower this sword in the name of universal perfection!"
"Soul Reaver, I conjure thee in the name of the Mistress of the Universe to work all forms of magic for me! Ye shall conjure, banish, empower, or cast aside negative energies as I so dictate. Ye shall overcome all obstacles in the performance of these tasks. At my very touch ye shall awaken into life in preparation for any and all magic’s and respond with perfection to my every will and you shall retain your power in fallow days when magic is not required."
"As I will, so shall it be!"
A stream of lightening bolted from the sky and struck the tip of the sword. I felt the enormous surge flow through my body. I saw the moment I was conceived, born, and all my memories that lead up to this point flash before my eyes. My body convulsed as my knees felt the coolness of the earth. With the sword held high, I shouted out. "As I will, so shall it be!"
My body was jerked up from the ground and I was suspended in mid air. I tried to scream out, more from fear than of pain, but not a sound came forth from my mouth.
"So shall it be." I heard the voice of my sister ring through my ears. I looked around to find her, but there was nothing. I looked down at the Slayer and she bowed.
All became black.