Chapter 49: The Moonlit Figure

The elf was woken before the sunrise had a chance to spread its amber fingers over The Sistren. As her head span and her eyes tried to make sense of the dark haze in her vision, Aliryia spotted the reason for her break in sleep: a girl stood concealed in the window-way. The last of the moonlight dappled her short, dark hair, but caught the pretty glimmer from her eyes.

“Who goes there?” Sense told Aliryia to first determine friend or foe.

“My name is Calea, and I was just looking for somewhere to stay for a couple of nights."

That was a good sign; generally foe attacked without introductions.

Aliryia removed herself from her bed and wandered closer. The girl’s eyes were already large, but seemed wider still in her shock. Judging by her way of entrance, this new one hadn’t expected there to be a building such as The Sistren in the middle of nowhere, although with those shabby garments, the girl looked as if she was in need of a place to stay. Aliryia’s wary exterior softened.

“Come. I’ll take you to Eru.”

***

Aliryia located Erulastiel, awake, in a corridor near her bedroom. The former had not noticed how deeply Eru was in thought, and so was surprised in startling her. Erulastiel held such an authority that disturbing her peace seemed to need to be accompanied with a bow.

Eru’s confused expression lit up when she saw the new girl, Calea. Aliryia imagined that the Black Leader was proud of every girl who made it to her Sistren.

“Welcome to The Sistren,” she said with a little smile.

“I’m Calea,” the other said.

Then Eru yawned, tilting her head right back.

“Perhaps you should go back to bed, Sister, the morning and its tasks are yet to come.”

“No, thanks, Aliryia,” replied Eru, “I’ve got things to do myself, even in this early hour. If you could show Calea around, I would appreciate that. Calea, I’m sorry, but we’ll have to sort out your living arrangements in the morning.”

With a nod to Erulastiel, Aliryia led Calea back to the vast hallways of the building. Seeing the girl’s yearning look into the garden, Aliryia decided that it was probably best if they headed there first.

The girls walked in silence through the hallways and rooms of the building.

“The kitchen,” Aliryia pointed out as they wandered through it to the garden.

“Wow,” Aliryia heard Calea whisper to herself; the garden was so immeasurable that she knew not where to first put her gaze. Most of the garden was shrouded in darkness, but parts were bathed in the constant moonlight. The rope-swing hanging listlessly at one corner at the garden caught Calea’s eye, and suddenly, she was leading the two of them to that place. She still remained silent, not even when she gazed at the large oak tree, seemingly observing what was inside it.

She sat down on the swing and her eyes bored into Aliryia.

"What's wrong?"

Aliryia started. Her mind had been concentrating on the subtle beauty of midnight nature.

"Calea, I am not sure what it is that you mean by those words."

Calea held the elf's gaze for a second longer. To Aliryia, it seemed chillingly like she was trying to 'read' her.

"You have something on your mind. What is it that's bothering you? It's okay to tell me, you are okay to trust me." Her eyes narrowed, "You're not in correct form, are you?"

Aliryia tried to refrain from staring, but her pupils kept flickering back to those of Calea's. There was no way to hide from this Sister.

Therefore, as Fate would have it, Aliryia sat upon the dew-damp grass beside Calea and told her all the woes that had born down upon her this year. She could not help but tell Calea about the foreign warriors who had destroyed her past, destroyed her home and destroyed her family. Bringing about the tale of arriving at The Sistren refreshed her aching heart, as did reciting the journey into town.

When Aliryia reached the part of the tale about the book and her realisation of her illness, Calea gasped and was sympathetic, respectively. She nodded and laid a hand on Aliryia's shoulder to comfort her.

And so began Calea’s stay at the building known as The Sistren of Randomness. Aliryia did not know it yet but she felt safe around the girl, as though it was right for them both to be here now.

There was something of the mysterious that meant that Aliryia didn't think twice about trusting Calea.

The End

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