Squinting in the dim light under the cover of the orchard trees, Bella struggled through the undergrowth, desperate to catch up with Pacifus and learn of his knowledge. He knew of the war, of this she was now sure. She was not alone! The fear in her heart still threatened to overwhelm her, but the burden felt lightened; as if by revealing his knowledge to her, Pacifus had taken part of her responsibility and could assist her in this massive task.
Breaking through the final layer of trees, Bella found herself in a small, rounded clearing. Pacifus was sitting on a fallen log to her right, his handsome face troubled. Taking a deep breath, Bella lowered herself down to sit on the log beside him, and took his hand in hers. "I'm ready, Pacifus," she said softly, excitement and dread for what was to come causing her heart to pound erratically. "Tell me what you know."
Pacifus squeezed her hand tightly, before rising swiftly to his feet and running his sweating hands through his already tousled hair. Then, pacing agitatedly back and forth through the clearing, he began to recite his tale.
"I have known about this war a long time, Bellator. Ever since that year with the Shaman, I have dreaded it's arrival. The prophecy was not abstract, it's dreadful meaning was crystal clear. Terra Pax and it's people are to be eradicated; unless the chosen ones can save them."
"The land of peace shall be no more,
Within these years, there shall be a war.
The Chosen Ones, they must fight,
To save the people, and prevent this plight.
Together they must work to free
Their land, their people, and themselves- all three."
"The Shaman never told me who the 'Chosen Ones' were; he said that time would make them learn of their destiny themselves. I knew that I would have to fight- but I prayed every day that the Shaman would be wrong, that Terra Pax would remain as it was- but it was not to be. Every day I waited for signs, searched the faces of every villager inside the palace, desperate to discover who the other Chosen Ones would be. I went to your father, and to mine- tried to warn them of what I had learnt, tried to convince them to train the people of Terra Pax, to be ready for battle. But they refused. They feared for the peace of the land if combat training was provided; and dismissed the words of the Shaman as those of an elderly man, desperate for attention and recognition.
This was why they assigned me to be your minder. They could see your tendency to be wild, and they thought by having me mind you they could keep an eye on us together. Their disbelief disheartened me, and I tried to forget about the war; but my reminder came sharp and unwelcome. The morning following your first dream, I knew that it was you; you were one of the Chosen. I could read the fear in your eyes, and my suspicions were confirmed when you confided in me. I went to your father, and that is when he tightened your security tenfold- I was to be with you from the moment you left your chamber in the morning to the moment you retired there again at night, and you were not permitted to leave the palace grounds under any circumstances; the boundary guards were given descriptions of you, along with strict orders never to let you past them.
I knew he would not let you leave with me to fight- and I didn't want to have you fight either. I considered leaving alone, trying to fight off this war alone- but I knew this would not do. The prophecy mentioned three Chosen Ones- I could not fight alone. I had to wait for you, until your destiny was revealed to you and you were determined to follow it through. However, that... that is the other problem. I am Chosen, as are you- but who is the third? I have searched everyone within the palace; not one has shown signs of knowledge of the war. And as much as we may wish to belive we can do it alone, if the final chosen is not found, Terra Pax will be eradicated by the war- and we will have failed our people, our land, and our destiny."
Finishing this speech, Pacifus threw himself back onto the log, burying his face in his hands to hide the exhaustion and weariness that resided there. Bella reamined silent, staring at her companion in wonder. He had known of this war for years, had held the burden alone- and had stayed strong throughout. Bella had been having her dreams for only a few months, and already she was driven out of her mind with fear and worry. She could not imagine the strength it took Pacifus to hide these emotions within himself for so long; and, upon an impulse derived from the feeling in her heart causing it to almost skip right out of her chest, she gently pulled his hands from his face, and turned him to face her. Forgetting briefly the war, the prophecy, everything- she focussed solely on his face, his eyes, his lips; and throwing caution to the wind, pressed her lips to his.