I held my head high as a guard led me through the twisting corridors of the palace, even as my eyes were scanning, taking in every single detail. He was the silent type, so of course I had yet to receive any information on where he was actually taking me. Instead I did my best to follow along.
At long last we reached a door made of twisted cast iron, mahogany and crystals. "You're the last to arrive," the guard said in a gruff voice. He pulled open the door, and I stepped inside.
The room was round, a single table surrounded by nine chairs, two of which were empty. I swallowed hard as I looked at each of them in turn, ending on an aged man with a grim expression. "The spirit mage, I presume?" He nearly whispered. I could only nod. "Please, have a seat."
I moved around the table to one of the other empty chairs, avoiding the gazes of the others seated there. Everything about the room felt cold, hollow, heartless. I had to wonder if maybe I'd made a mistake in thinking I could handle this. There was a visible aura of gathering blackness creeping in around the walls.
Once I was sitting, the man cleared his throat and took his time making eye contact with each of us. "So," he began. "Seven mages once again gather around this table."
A dark-looking boy interrupted him, speaking in a tone that seemed too harsh for the setting. "What's going on?"
The elder man narrowed his eyes. "Raphia-Paria is in terrible danger. The great fairy Evangeline has been taken hostage, and her sister Alexis has claimed the throne. Darkness will soon overcome the lands. That is," here he paused to fully allow his words to sink in. A chill crept up my spine. Evangeline had been the only thing holding the kingdom together for all these years. She was a master of light and therefore could ward off any shadows in her path.
"That is, unless the power of the seven elements cannot come together and defeat Alexis and her army. That is where you come in."
I couldnt help it; I looked to the others to see their expressions. Some looked scared, others fierce. Some looked perfectly composed. I myself was feeling sort of shaken. Yet there was still a part of me that was crying out to be released. The spirit part, I thought.
"So...you want us to save the world?"