After Grace was cleaned up Will showed her around the whole entire house. They stopped in the library last and Grace thought that she was in heaven because she loved books and there were so many that you couldn’t read them all in a life time. The next day or two and all the days she could spare were spent in the library, which was not many considering that most of her time was spent learning spells from Estelí and sword fighting from Will.
On Monday she went down for her first lesson.
“Today I want you to concentrate on moving this flower petal from one hand two the other and when you have accomplished this come tell Me.” said Estelí.
“You’re not going to watch me? And what are the words to move it?” said Grace.
“The words are, aster moa.” said Estelí. For the next two days Grace worked on it but with no luck, but on her third day she was tired and she was trying to calm herself. When she did she tried to lift it again and it floated up in front of her and then quickly fell into the other hand. She ran and found Estelí,
“I did it!” she said.
“Will you show me?” said Estelí.
“Ok, but I can not hold it up for long.” said Grace. Then she showed him.
“Nice work, now you can move on.” said Estelí with a pleased expression. A couple days when she was training she saw Will staring out the window at her.
The next year and a half went like this. One morning Estelí said she was done with her training and she could do what she wished.
“Before you leave I want to give you a reminder that you are different and special.” said Estelí.
“Please come.” Grace walked up to him, he laid his hand on the upper part of her arm then he closed his eyes and muttered something. A sting started in her arm then it was a pain, then it stopped. Grace lifted her sleeve and there was a beautiful arm bracelet, it was all different colors. Grace tried to pull it off but it was now part of her skin.
“Thank you, Estelí.” Grace said quietly.
“This bracelet is called Hyra and it will tell others that you are a great warrior. Also you are never to tell anybody where you got it, not even if your life depended on it.” When Grace went inside Will stopped her and said,
“I have something for you to.” Then he pulled a sword out from behind his back.
“I made this for you.” he said.
“Oh, thank you it the most beautiful thing every.” said Grace.
“It’s made out of the blade that was in you after the witch tried to kill you.”
Then they stood there in silence and as if a force pushed them together they kissed. After that Grace didn’t see a lot of Will.
Even though Grace didn’t have training she still worked on perfecting those things that were still a bit hard. One morning Grace remembered that two years ago on this day she had been tricked by the witch and stabbed in the stomach, and today was her birthday at this she started crying she missed her mother and her home. When she was done crying she got out of bed and went to get dressed. She chose a lit weight summer dress that was sleeveless and then went to take a walk in the garden. She sat down on a bench and realized that she was now 14. sad and amazed at how old she was she didn’t know that someone was behind her. Then there was a snap of a branch, Grace whipped around in time to see the witch walking up to her from behind. Grace jumped up from were she had been sitting and drew her sword.
“You thought I wasn’t going to come, well you were wrong.” said the witch.
“Aren’t you going to fight or shall I just kill you now.” said the witch. “WAIT!” said Estelí coming out from the house along with Will who gave Grace a small weak smile.
“Witch let the girl at least get into more reasonable clothing for a battle.” he said.
“Fine, but you better dress fast.” said Aikanaro.
When Grace was inside with Will she said, “I am so scared Will, what if she kills me then I won’t ever get to see my mom again or you.” she said turning pink.
“Don’t fret I’m almost sure you are going to live through it.” said Will. “But how could you know that?” said Grace.
“I just have a gut feeling about it, that’s all.” said Will. Before Grace and Will went outside Grace kissed Will and then said,
“I love you, if I die please don’t tell my mom.” she said.
When Grace was standing in front of the witch, Estelí said,
“Let the battle begin.” And it did, the witch took no time for waiting, right away she said something and then a blue ball of Fire came hurtling towards Grace but she ducked just in time as it wised right over her head. Then Grace got a chance to stab the witch in the arm, and she did. The battle went on like this for many hours and Grace was tiring from all the blows that the witch was distributing to her. Then the witch found a chance to stab Grace in the stomach again and Grace fell over bleeding a lot and Grace closed her eyes in appearance of being dead so the witch would not stab her again to really kill her. Grace heard Will say a low, noooo. Then the witch thinking she had won turned her back to Grace and walked toward Estelí, but really quick Grace got up even though she was in so much pain, she had a chance to kill the witch. Grace did and then the witch fell and disappeared into the ground. After that Grace hurt and bleeding badly, fell forward and passed out.
When Will saw that Grace had passed out he ran to her and turned her on her back so that she could breath. Will saw that Grace’s breathing was not very much.
“Estelí what do I do she not breathing very much!” said Will.
“Quickly get to her room.” Estelí said. Will carried Grace to her room and gently laid her on the bed.
“Marie, please bring me some water and clean rags.” said Will.
“Ok, just give me a minute.” said Marie. When Marie brought the clean rags Will thanked her and asked her if she would dress Grace in a shirt and pants so that he could clean her wound. Marie agreed and Will left the room to give them privacy. Later he came back and pulled a chair up to the side of Grace bed and started to clean her wounds. For the next few days Will nursed Grace back to health. On the third day Grace opened her eyes and looked at Will and smiled.
“Thank you.” she said in a quiet voice. Then she fell asleep again.
Later that day Estelí came into Grace’s room and told Will to get packed because they needed to take a trip and to ask Marie if she would watch Grace and tell her that we would be back in a week. So Will did those things and found Estelí waiting for him in the front of the house.
“Were are we going?” said Will.
“We are going to let Grace get better.” said Estelí.
“We will come back when she gets well enough to travel with us.” So they left.
Grace woke up the next morning and didn’t remember anything then she remember what had all happened to her and she felt sad. After a while Grace tried to sit up in bed but she was really weak and she had a hard time lifting her arm. Then Marie came in.
“Oh good you’re awake, I’m suppose to tell you that Estelí and Will went to take care of a few things and they be back soon. In the mean time you need to rest.” After a couple days of being in bed Grace was able to sit up, then she got out of bed. That day she was able to go to the library and read. On the second day of being able to walk Grace was reading in the library when the door opened. Grace looked up expecting it to be Marie but nobody was there. So she went back to reading again.
Then somebody came up from behind and put a knife to Grace throat and covered her mouth so she wouldn’t scream.
“Get up, Now.” said the voice. Grace got up gingerly with her back to the person and her small bag in which she always kept a knife.
“Walk…now!” said the voice in a ruff tone. Grace could feel the knife at her back as she walked toward the door. When they were through the door the person directed her toward her room.
“Don’t move out of line or I will cut your throat.” said the person. Grace tried really hard not to but she was not fully well and her legs gave out on her more than once on the way. They got to her room and the person opened the door and then quietly shut it and locked it. The person sat Grace down in the bed and tied her to it. Grace couldn’t tell who it was because the person had on a mask. Then the person took off the mask to reveal Aikanaro. She smiled a sly smile then took the knife from under Grace’s chin.
“What are you going to do now that nobody is here to save you and I have a full right to kill you.” said the witch. Oh no thought Grace.
“But first I will make you feel all the pain you caused me and then I’ll kill you.” said the witch.
With that the witch started sharpening her knife. Then the witch came over to Grace and lifted her sleeve to reveal her arm bracelet and the witch gasped and started back.
“Where did you get that?” said the witch.
“I don’t have to tell you.” said Grace.
“If you tell me I’ll spare your life.” said Aikanaro.
“No, and you can’t bribe me either so just get on with what you were going to do.” said Grace trying not to sound scarred.
“Fine, I will.” said Aikanaro surprised that Grace didn’t plead for her life. Then without warning the witch came to her and sliced her arm. Not too much but it hurt a lot. Grace just clenched her teeth so she wouldn’t scream.
“See I can cause you so much pain. But if you tell me what I want to know I’ll let you go.” said the witch.
Between clenched teeth Grace said, “I will never give into you.”
This went on for awhile.
The witch now very angry and said, “You will tell me NOW! Or I will kill you and no more delaying.” said Aikanaro.
“I don’t care if you kill me, I will NEVER tell you.” said Grace bravely. “Fine then suffer for it.” said Aikanaro. Then as if back in that room the witch targeted her stomach and threw the knife. What the witch didn’t know was that at that very moment Will and Estelí were running to Grace’s room. But they didn’t reach her room in time to stop the witch from throwing the knife.
“Noooo!” said Will. When the witch saw them she disappeared before they could reach her.
When Will got to Grace he saw that her hands were tied to the bed. When he untied her hands she fell into his arms wounded and bleeding.
“Any time I leave you alone you always seem to get into trouble.” said Will. Grace looked Will weakly then groaned in pain.
“I just want to go home.” said Grace weakly and in a small voice. Then Grace collapsed in Will’s arms.
“I think we should heal her and return her to her house.” said Estelí. “Sounds like a good idea.” said William kindly but in sad tone.
When Will started to clean Grace’s wound he found a lot of bruises and assorted cuts inflicted by the witch. He was sad to see this and think about how much pain she had gone through and for what? Then he remembered the arm bracelet that she had and wondered if it was because of that, that she was still living. He knew that the witch couldn’t kill Grace if the witch didn’t know where the bracelet had come from, but she could torture Grace until she told the witch. Will wished that he could have been there to make sure that Grace was safe. Will also wished that Grace could stay and live with him and Estelí because he loved Grace very much and he knew that he could keep her safe if they were together. But as promised he healed as well as he could but one thing he couldn’t heal was her stab wound and the wound on her arm that were becoming scars. Will realized that she would remember this place because you can’t take scars away. At that he thought that one day much later she would come looking for him and they would live together happily.
Will and Estelí traveled to the place were they Grace and Will had come in before and Estelí said,
“upan na.” and they came up in the witch’s palace were Will had first met Grace. When they were sure that nobody was there Will showed Estelí to Aikanaro’s room and they looked for the stair but couldn’t find them. Then Will tripped and dropped Grace. She landed on a button and there was a sudden jerk and there was the stairs.
“Well there’s nothing against it.” said Will. So they went up and up but the stairs seemed never ending. Will was sure that they had been climbing the stairs for a good three hours before finally reaching the top. Will was surprised because there was no roof.
Finally Will jumped to see if he could see the other side but instead he was sucked up and it felt like going through water. Then all of a sudden he was standing in another stairwell, and there was Estelí right next to him.
“Well, there’s only one way might as well try it.” said Will. So for the next hour or so the walked down the stair. Will was starting to tire so Estelí took Grace and they kept walking. Will felt like the stair would never end so like so long ago he took to counting the stairs like Grace did. When he reached the number 200 they were at the bottom. Will looked around and there in one corner of the room were his parents. He slowly walked over and then he started crying because he saw his baby sisters as they were the night the witch took them from him. After while he quit crying and got to his feet,
“We should return her to her mom.”
When they walked outside it was dark and the stars were bright.
“Let’s try the house over there.” said Estelí guessing. So they walked to the house to the left and found a room on the bottom floor. It was the most beautiful room you would ever see. Will thought this room was hers because he had spent a lot of time with her and to his surprise it was. Over the bed there was a sign that said GRACE. Estelí used an opening spell and they opened the window to her room Will took Grace and laid her on the bed. He look at her for the last time and kissed her on the forehead and slid a note into the book sitting on her nightstand then he left.