For the next two days, Anna was in an agony of not knowing. She hated the feeling that she had let her parents die, and could not shake off the idea that maybe they were waiting for her. Would they understand her decision, or would they go to their deaths without knowing why she had not come for them. She sighed.
“I’m sorry, Anna,” Matt had said, but it was not enough. Anna couldn’t bear it any more. She was only human, well, half-human. Even her lessons with Aelvyn did not help, because she frequently got distracted by the thought of her parents, bound, gagged and unconscious, as they had been in the video that had brought the Celryn’s demands.
“You must be strong, fairy child. You are being based on truth and justice, and you will not rest until it is achieved,” said Aelvyn, breaking into her thoughts as she struggled, again, to form the Air in the way that he wanted her to.
“How did you know?” she asked, the Air going back to its original form as her mind lost concentration.
“Know what?” the ghost replied, looking at her curiously.
“That’s what a Telcontar said to me, the day I found out what I was,” she replied, puzzled. “Surely you must have known that, to say such a similar thing?” Aelvyn shook his head slowly.
“No, but it is something that was said to me, many years ago. You are what I was in my generation – one with strong Gifts, and a strong desire for what is right.” His milky eyes looked back through countless generations. Anna waited with baited breath. “You will go far, child,” he said at last. Anna smiled, but her heart was not in it. She had expected more – maybe information as to what he had done in his day, or advice – not a prophecy as to what may or may not happen in her future!
“Thank you,” she replied. Her mind was already far away, with her parents. She wondered where they were, whether they were unhurt or whether the Celryn had beaten them. She wondered what the room that they sat in looked like, and whether they will still tied up.
“You are not focusing,” Aelvyn reprimanded her gently. “How will you learn if you do not concentrate?”
“I’m sorry, Aelvyn, I’ve got a lot on my mind…” Anna knew that her apologies were feeble. She would never defeat the Celryn if she did not learn to use these powers properly.
Was that what she was trying to do? Anna caught herself at once, stopping the thoughts of glory. Did she really believe she was strong enough to do that?
With the help of the Telcontar? Definitely. Irritated, Anna tried to ignore the little voice in her head that seemed to return at the most annoying moments.
“Go away!” she said aloud. Aelvyn looked at her, affronted. “Not you,” she added. “My conscience.” He nodded understandingly.
“Is it moaning at you?” he said humorously. She replied in the positive, and he smiled. “It is no secret that a conscience can sometimes be a pest,” he quoted.
“Hey, I’ve heard that before!” Anna exclaimed, forgetting where she was. “I just can’t remember where…”
“I daresay you have,” Aelvyn responded. “It’s quite a famous quote.” She nodded absently, then her face lit up.
“I know! They had it written on the wall at my school, years ago!” she said suddenly, remembering. Anna laughed. “I’m sorry, I get excited like that.” She looked down at her hands, entwining her fingers, because that was what she always did when she embarrassed.
“Ignore me,” she said. “Let’s get on with this.” She and Aelvyn went back to practicing with Anna’s powers, but her mind was not on it. She was still thinking of her parents: unable to put the thought of their suffering out of her mind, it haunted Anna and would do for a long time.