by Zech Zupancic
The days flew by since she last met with Ara and learned of the assassination plot. Terror and guilt built inside her as the days passed by, causing her deep anguish. Should she believe the stranger and try to stop the assassination plot, or is it all a rouse where Ara plans on setting a trap for her.It didn’t make sense at all what happen, the girl looked like something from a dream or a lost fantasy but Kenna knew it was real and she wasn’t just seeing things.
She replayed the whole situation over and over again in her mind, hoping that the hundredth time she did it would reveal some hidden message or something that would possibly make sense. Kenna was teaching Aaron how to defend himself because knowing them they would end up in another dangerous situation and next time Kenna might not be able to protect them.
Since they helped Everlyn escape, Kenna made it her life goal to teach Aaron how to defend himself so next time he may be useful. They stood six yards apart facing each other with swords drawn. Kenna was using her usual short swords that her uncle made specially for her. The longer one she held in her left hand, it’s ponnel was wrapped in black leather and at the top of the ponnel came off two hooks on each side of the sword. The steel was freshly polished and glistened in the light as it shown through the trees of the outskirts of Castle Norian. Her other sword in her right hand was a little shorter with a curve ponnel so its easier to switch the sword from Horizontal position to vertical position.
Since Aaron hasn’t ever fought with a weapon before, Kenna took a few spare items from her uncle’s forge to find out what weapons he liked better. So far he used a spear and two swords and that didn’t go well at all. Next up on the list was a basic one handed wooden swords that soldiers typically used to learn swordsmanship.
“Are you ready, Aaron?” Kenna asked as she finished up tieing off her bon keeping her golden blonde hair together.
Aaron nodded and raced forward swing the sword with both hands in a sideways strike. Kenna easily rolled forward having the sword cut the open air above her. As soon as she landed she spun around on her knees bring the flats of her blades to make both of his legs causing him to lose balance. He fumbled forward and landed on his stomach causing dirt and dust to shoot upwards in a spinning heap.
“I give!” Aaron shouted as he laid against the cold earth, letting the sword go and placing his hands against the ground.
“Come on now Aaron you’re not even trying now, it’s really not that hard!”
“Say’s the person who been training since she was a child, I’ve never used a sword before!”
“True enough, but at least you can do is tr—.”
Kenna’s words were cut short as a arrow with silver feathers flew out of the trees and landed only a few feet from Kenna. Kenna jumped back in fright looking at the direction the arrow flew and in the bush behind a tree stood a slim figure with a bow in her hands. As soon as Kenna looked at the stranger, the stranger took off back into the surround forest.
Kenna raced after the stranger leaving Aaron behind as he tried to get up and follow after Kenna. Kenna ran as fast she could but the stranger was gaining distance, soon Kenna would lose sight of her. The pursue seem to last for ages as they twisted and turned, dodging and jumping over the loose branches or fallen trees. The stranger athletic skill was beyond compare, the stranger easily flipped over a slanted tree and swung on a nearby vine to change directions.
Kenna tried to follow her quick change but was blocked by trees and thorns. Kenna climbed over the tree and then mimicked the strangers movement and swung from the vine. She landed with a loud thump and rolled and continued after the stranger, but she lost it’s trail. Kenna looked around for crushed vine or snapped twigs to reveal which direction the stranger took off in.
She paced around the clearing until she saw a piece of the stranger silver cloak hanging on a branch. She took off in the direction and ran into another piece of cloth from the cloak. There was a trail of little piece that rounded here and there until she came upon a small opening with a little hill overlooking a small creek. The golden light of the sun shined brightly through the small opening making this clearing seem like a fairy tale.
The stranger sat crossed legged on the top of the hill with it’s back toward Kenna. The cloak that seemed colorless at the time was now silver like the piece of cloth that led her here. Kenna held her swords ready in her hand and left the shelter woods to the open grounds.
“Took you long enough, I thought I was going to have to wait awhile!”
Came a feminine musical voice for the stranger that now was slowly standing up and turned to face Kenna. She pulled off her hood to reveal silver hair that was pulled back to the point of her back with silver eyes. Her ears came to a curved point, and a light silver tattoo was from the middle of her forehead all the way down to her making a almost completed heart if it would only have touched her chin. Her bow in her hands was the strangest thing she’s ever seen, in stead of having wood she had curved swords and at the very time of the sword came a wood hilt where the string was tied around the complete the bow.
“Don’t just stand there staying Kenna, it’s weird! Come up here and let me see you! Oh wait I forget my manners, I’m Ara.” replied Ara cheerfully.
Kenna did was she was asked but kept her weapons out and ready for any tricky. Thoughts raced through her mind as she wondered how Ara knew her name and why she was out here looking for her. Maybe she’s part of the assassins who killed her parents, or maybe she’s a friend, who knew!
“How do you know me?” Kenna asked
“Because I know your parents, gosh you look so much like your mother, but your hold your father’s prowess and confident. You took your mother’s beautify and your father’s skill, I’m highly impressed. They would be extremely proud.” Ara answered
“My parents are dead.” Anger welled up in Kenna as this young lady who was about her age prent like she knew her parents.
“What are you talki– oh right, sorry forgive my manners. You have my condolences, I’m sorry about their passing, they were good and loyal people. But let’s move on to more urgent matters. I came to warn you that the assassins who killed your so called “parents” are planning now to kill the Prince, you must stop them! They’re meeting in three days time across the creek in that small open land on the opposite side of us. The Prince’s life is now in your hands, do with it what you will!”
Ara turned and started walking away when Kenna’s hand reached out and grasped her arm. Ara turned with a shock expression and with unnatural speed fixed her expression to the smiling one she had when they first started the conversation.
“What are you talking about? Who are you? How do you know this? And what the solvin kings us going on?” Kenna asked with a annoyed tone.
Know this and hear me well for if you accomplish this then you’ll yet keep the future on the same path, or well at least we’ll have a similar outcome. Who knows who will perish and who will live through all these events, but none the less I advise you to save him. For what I’m talking about is that your Prince is about to be assassinated, save him or doom us all. With who I am, I already told you but for your knowledge I’m called Ara Slivertongue and if you must know I’m a Slyvin. I hope you keep that a secret because you’ll put both of us in danger. Now the final questions, I know this because I heard it, if you don’t believe I’m telling the truth then come back here at mid-night three days from now and see for yourself. If you believe this is trickery then don’t come, but be prepared for the consequences you will unleash if you do so. Now good luck Kenna, I’ll see you soon enough.”
Ara pulled away and continued away, her silver hair blowing softly in the breeze as it came to life rustling the trees. Kenna was even more confused at the Slyvin reply, what’s a Slyvin, and what does she even mean!
“Wait I have more questions!” Kenna yelled
“So many questions! Another time though, I must go. Farewell my young Dragomoricdottier.”
Ara disappeared and left Kenna standing on the hill lost in confusion at all that just transpired and all she just learned. Next thing she knew Aaron came rustling out of the woods with two daggers in his hands ready to fit. He looked around trying to find someone to fight but soon realized that Kenna was alone.
“What happened? Where’s the stranger?” Aaron asked
“I don’t know, I’m as lost as you. I’ll try to explain it on the way back.”
Kenna walked and took Aaron’s hand and led the way back towards her uncle forge in the castle inner walls. Through the whole rip Kenna recalled her event with Ara, but kept out her name and similar stuff. By the time they made it home Aaron was as puzzled her Kenna, and every time he asked questions Kenna who shrugged and the conversation became pointless. All they knew is in three days they will return to see if there was any truth to what Ara said.
Jeffersonville High School, 2019