“Would all students and Hunters please report to the dining hall for an important announcement RIGHT NOW.”
Professor Spriggla’s voice boomed through all the hallways and room of the school and Rhea looked over at Alexia. They were sitting in their room, reading before getting ready to sleep.
“What could this be about?” Alexia asked as she got up and walked to the door. Rhea followed her and Myst and Araminta joined them in the hallway. Nevara and Zendaya were already fluttering away.
“I think it’s about being put into the three different groups,” Araminta said.
“What team do you think you’ll be on?” Alexia asked Araminta.
“Probably the fighting one. I’m not much of a plan maker, and VP knows that,” Araminta replied.
Alexia nodded. “Same here.”
As they entered the dining hall, Rhea saw that the tables were all crowded and students and Hunters were standing in the back areas of the hall. She stood with Alexia, Myst, and Araminta.
Baramore clapped his hands to stop the talking. “We have called you all here in order to place you all into the three teams we told you about earlier.”
“The professors have the teams for their home rooms andGriffin, Drey, Baramore, and I have the teams for the Hunters,” Berret informed them. Students began walking towards their professors to get their team assignments. Myst, Alexia, and Rhea exchanged glances.
“So what are we supposed to do if our homeroom teacher is dead…?” Alexia asked.
“Vaiko’s homeroom, get your teams from me!” Berret called out.
“There we go,” Rhea said with a smile as they waded through students and Hunters to get to the front of the hall.
Berret handed each of them a slip of paper and turned to hand papers to the Hunters crowding around her.
Rhea looked down at her sheet. Crescent Moon. She would be helping with the plans for the fight. She sighed. She wasn’t much of a warrior, but she had almost hoped she’d get to be in the front lines. She glanced back at Berret handing out slips of paper with a smile and wondered if she had been placed on Crescent Moon on purpose to keep her out of danger…
“What’d you get?” Alexia asked. “I got Rising Sun!” Myst nodded to say she did as well.
“I got Crescent Moon,” Rhea told them. Alexia frowned, then smiled again.
“That sounds like it’ll be a ton of fun!” Rhea nodded, trying to feel happy.
“Hey, what did you get, Rhea?” Rhea turned to see Jay and Neytiri walking up to them. “I got Rising Sun,” Jay told them with a wide smile.
“Hey, so did I!” Alexia said, high fiving him.
“I got Crescent Moon,” Rhea said to Neytiri.
“Awesome! I got Solar Eclipse.” She smiled sweetly as Alexia, Myst, and Rhea all stared at her in shock.
“Isn’t that supposed to be the best one of the three?” Alexia asked.
Neytiri shook her head. “Of course not. It’s just the third category. No big deal.”
“Princess of Modesty over here!” Jay said, slinging an arm around her shoulder.
Neytiri smiled. “It’s really no big deal, guys.” She shook Jay off and grinned. “Anyways, I have to get Taki.” Jay nodded and followed her away.
“Who’s Taki?” Alexia asked.
“Their apprentice,” Rhea replied.
“Rhea,” Berret came over to them, done handing out papers, “when Neytiri and Jay get back, would you tell them to join you and come to the audience chamber soon?”
Rhea nodded. “Sure thing, B.” Rhea waved to Alexia and Myst and ran out through the hall doors to stop Neytiri and Jay before the left for training.Who trains in the middle of the night anyways? Rhea wondered as she caught sight of them exiting the large front doors with a little girl.
“Neytiri! Jay! Hold up!” She caught up to them and bent over to catch her breath. She straightened up and smiled. “Berret and the other want to see us in their audience chamber.”
Neytiri’s blue eyes lit up. “Seriously? Right now?”
“Soon,” Rhea replied. Jay was grinning. “What’s with you?”
“That’s how he looks when he has an evil plan up his sleeve,” Neytiri informed her.
“As if. I’m just excited to finally get into this secret audience chamber is all…”
“Yea, and hook it up with all your little spy gadgets, right?” Neytiri asked with a smile.
“Hey, if you guys are going to spy on them, I definitely want in,” the little girl, Taki, said.
Rhea grinned. “She’s definitely your apprentice.”
Neytiri and Jay laughed.
“So no training then?” Taki asked. Neytiri and Jay shook their heads sadly. Taki’s eyes lit up. “That’s fine by me!” She dashed off back into the dining hall.
Neytiri looked after her. “How couldGriffinlet her be on Rising Sun? That’s going to be dangerous!”
Jay placed a hand on her shoulder. “That’s what we’ve been training her for, remember?” As Rhea looked on, she could easily see the pair of them as a married couple talking about their daughter.
“What are you staring at?” Neytiri asked. She began walking in the direction of the audience chamber. “Might as well get the early, right?” Jay nodded with his usual grinning face.
Rhea followed them. She wondered what her mother and the others might want with the three of them. As they neared the audience room, Rhea caught sight of Zendaya standing in front of the door, leaning back against it.
“You three as well?” she asked in a bored tone.
“Us three as well what?” Jay questioned.
“Berret wants to talk to you all?” Zendaya asked.
Rhea nodded. “Why are you here?”
“Berret wants to talk to me, too. Got a problem with it?”
“No, but I have one with the way you’re talking to my daughter.” Berret came up behind Rhea. “Please talk to each other with respect, children.” She unlocked the door and led them inside.Griffin, Drey, and Baramore came in shortly afterwards.
“Please, have a seat,” Baramore indicated the four seats that had appeared around the round table. The four older teachers and Hunters took their own seats facing the younger students and Hunters.
“We have called you four here today because you are all vital in this fight,”Griffinbegan.
“You have all been trained by one of the four of us since the beginning,” Baramore said.
“You know, except for me, of course,” Drey muttered, leaning back in his chair with his arms crossed.
Berret glanced at him with a frown. “That can be explained later.” She glanced at Jay before continuing. “I know you will object to what I am about to say, but I need three of you to go on a journey to find something.”
Rhea, Neytiri, and Jay began immediate protests.
“We can’t leave the school!” Rhea cried.
“I’m not leaving you guys here to fight alone!” Neytiri announced.
“You can’t just send us away like this!” Jay said.
“What is this something?” Zendaya asked calmly.
Berret looked at her for a moment before replying. “There are three somethings. They are objects that three of you will need to complete your destinies.”
“What objects?” Rhea asked.
“What destinies?” Neytiri inquired.
“Which three?” Jay demanded.
Berret held up a hand to stop the flow of questions. “Neytiri, Rhea, and Jay are the three. You three must find these objects and return to this battle as soon as you can.”
“And me?” Zendaya asked.
“You will remain here until it is time for your destiny to reveal itself,” Baramore replied, eyeing her. He and Berret exchanged looks.
“For now, Zendaya, dear, would you mind leaving us to discuss these objects with these three? Remember that you are important to this battle and we will call you back at a later time. For now you should get some rest and be ready for training tomorrow,” Berret smiled.
Zendaya left the room in silence.
“What happened?” Baramore demanded as soon as she was gone.
Neytiri and Jay stared at him in surprise and confusion, but Rhea leaned forward and whispered, “Something is going on with her. We can’t figure out what it is, but she’s been changed.”
“I had noticed the eye and wing color change, but assumed that was just some faerie fad…” Baramore said.
Rhea shook her head. “Alexia, Myst, and I think there’s an intruder in her body.”
“Why didn’t you mention this earlier?” Berret asked.
“Didn’t get the chance,” Rhea said apologetically.
“Can’t only ghosts and spirits intrude upon faeries?”Griffinasked.
Neytiri and Jay exchanged glances. “We found a summoning circle in the forest,” Neytiri said.
“And you did think to mention that either?” Berret questioned, exasperated.
“Sorry, there’s been a lot going on,” Jay explained.
“Can we get the intruder out of her?” Rhea asked hopefully.
“Baramore and I will deal with that,” Berret replied. “Right now we need you three to know about your mission.”
“What are these objects we’re supposed to find?” Neytiri asked. Rhea was still thinking about Zendaya, wondering if the intruder had only been there trying to find out what their plan was. What if the intruder reported directly to the Darkness? She shook her head. That would mean Nevara was also working for the Darkness. Nevara might be a lot of things, but she was definitely not a traitor to her own kind.
“Rhea, did you hear that?” Baramore asked.
Rhea shook her head. “Sorry, I totally zoned…” She could feel her face heat up as six pairs of eyes fixed on her.
“That’s fine. Baramore was just explaining how the three things you need to find are crests. There is one for each of you and you will need them to empower you when you get back here to fight the Darkness.”
“Empower us? What kind of crests are these?” Rhea asked.
“They will manifest and look and mean different things for each of you,”Griffinanswered.
“We don’t know exactly where to find them, but we can give you the general locations,” Drey said.
“Locating, activating, and utilizing them will be up to the three of you,” Baramore told them.
“Wait, if you called Zendaya in here, then why isn’t she going with us? You know, apart from the fact that there’s an intruder in her body. Shouldn’t she be coming if she’s a part of this prophecy of three?” Rhea looked at Neytiri. Prophecy of Three? How long had she been zoned out for?
“Zendaya is part of a different destiny. She does not share the prophecy with you, as there are already three of you,” Berret replied.
“Then what is she a part of?” Jay asked.
“That will be explained when you three get back,” Drey said.
“Right now we want you to get ready. You leave in the morning,” Baramore said.
“That soon?” Neytiri protested.
“The sooner the better,” Berret said.
“What about Taki?” Jay askedGriffin.
“I will have Silver take over her training until you get back,”Griffinreplied.
“And Zendaya? You’ll get her better?” Rhea asked Berret.
Berret nodded. “Baramore and I will find the counter curse and fix her up as soon as we can.”
Rhea nodded. She followed Neytiri and Jay out of the room. Baramore closed the door behind them.
“Well, that was…different,” Jay commented.
“Prophecy of Three?” Neytiri asked. “sounds a tad bit out there for my tastes.”
Rhea nodded. “Prophecies are delicate things. You can’t go around claiming you’re a part of one or karma may just come back to kick you.”
Jay laughed. “Says the witch.”
“Better listen to her,” Neytiri said, elbowing him.
Rhea smiled. “Ready for an adventure?”
Neytiri’s eyes sparkled. “When are we not? But areyouready for hard work and all the fun stuff?”
Rhea grinned. “We’ll see tomorrow, won’t we?”
“That sounds pretty suspicious…” Jay muttered with a grin.
Rhea laughed. “Well, see you guys in the morning, then.” She left them and headed for her room. As she passed the dining hall she could see that it had emptied out and everyone had already gone back to their rooms for the night.
As she tiptoed into her own room she could see Alexia was already fast asleep on her bed. Rhea made her way to her own bed and lied down, staring up at the ceiling. What was this Prophecy of Three? And why was she a part of it? What was different about her? Could Baramore and Berret really fix Zendaya?
The next morning she would be leaving on a journey with two Hunters.
How the fates could turn on you.
Make friends with the enemy and it would always come back to kick. Now you were stuck going on a mission with two of them. And who knows what they would do if they got bored. Would Neytiri and Jay hunt and kill Rhea if she ever got on their wrong side while away from the school? Would they still function under the truceGriffinand Berret had put in place?
Rhea sighed. She couldn’t spend all her time worrying about whether her traveling partners would kill her or not. She needed to focus on these crests and what they could be. Were they a part of the prophecy?
Berret had said they would empower them. How could that be? Rhea had only ever been able to use empowering spells to increase strength. But those things depleted you of so much energy they were hardly worth it.
Rhea thought back to how Neytiri and Jay had come upon a summoning circle. Could the spirit that was summoned be the one that was intruding upon Zendaya’s body?