Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Lara blasted the wild Centaur with the last bit of white magic that she had.

The Centaur was prepared for it. But the ferocity of the white energy from Lara was too high as the Centaur could not even get back.

"Take him to the dungeons," Lara said calmly as she pushed herself back, struggling not to fall unconscious.

The soldiers dragged the moaning Centaur as Lara turned her attention to the General of her army.

"I think that is one of your list, General!" She said, walking away with the man and coming near the river.

Lara was washing her face as the General looked at her almost proudly. "With you as the warrior of the white light, the dark things do not have a chance princess." Lara said nothing as she was wiping her face as the General continued. "I think I can safely say that this is proof that there is not an inch of Dark Magic anywhere in you. Your parents would have been proud of you," The General said.

Lara stiffened but she said nothing.

"Though the queen is not here to see what you have become." The General said with sadness. The princess was still silent as the General was berating himself. He thought that Princess Lara saw her mother's disappearance as her own failure. Princess Lara was after all the one to whom the locket was given – the locket of the protector. The General wondered whether it was life's cruel ironies that the mother of the princess herself had been kidnapped by the dragons of the east.

"Where is Kira?" Lara asked one of the guards.

"Princess Kira said she wanted some time alone," The guard said hesitatingly.

Lara sighed not saying anything as she greeted the General and walked inside her room. She really did not know where to start looking for her sister. Though it was not really all that difficult. She could sense her sister if she was really that desperate. What really worried Lara was something else. Kira was becoming more and more stubborn. Lara remembered that her father had said the same thing about her.

Lara wondered whether it was time to tell Kira the truth and that was when she found Kira. Inside her room. Looking injured and bruised and angry.

"Oh my God!" Lara yelled as Kira was looking terrible.

"What were you doing...?" Lara asked looking horrified as she pushed her locket inside her dress, studying Kira's shoulder and forehead which looked like it had been bruised real bad.

"I did what girls searching for their mothers do!" Kira said her words slurring badly. "I went to the Forbidden Zone! I am going to meet the dragons and ask them what they did to mom. And I even visited the Tree of Death."

Lara was trying to channel her powers and try and heal Kira and stopped shocked as she heard Kira.

"YOU WHAT?" Lara demanded. "Why did you do that, Kira?" Lara asked.

Lara touched Kira's wound.

"I sense something dark...." Lara left her sentence hanging as she looked at Kira who was looking at her with slight defiance. "How many times have I told you not to go near that tree?" Lara shouted angrily.

"I need to know what happened to my mother!" Kira said in a fuming voice. "The Tree gives you answers!"

"IT GIVES YOU ANSWERS AT THE COST OF YOUR SOUL," Lara yelled. "OUR MOTHER IS A..." Lara shrieked again.

"Utter another word and, sister or not, I will kill you," Kira had not even raised her voice. But she was watching Lara with ice cold calmness which was almost terrifying.

"Kira!" Lara struggled to control herself. "Nothing other than the most evil, vile and wretched things in our realm go near that tree!"

Kira did not say anything as Lara yelled again. "It is the one part of the forests which is completely clear. Even animals, Orcs and the Dark Ones, themselves fear to go there!" Lara said panting.

"I need to know!" Kira said listlessly.

"You are going to get yourself killed for something stupid," Lara fumed.

"At least I am doing something. Instead of just believing what others tell me!"Kira said viciously.

Lara slapped Kira so hard, that Lara's palm stung badly.

Kira winced as she clutched her cheek and looked at Lara sullenly.

"This kingdom is daddy's pride!" Lara said with tears in her eyes. "We cannot let our darkness destroyed this kingdom!"

"Is that what you see mom as?" Kira snapped her hands trembling. "A darkness?"

"SHE CHOSE WHAT SHE WANTED TO DO WITH HER LIFE!" Lara shouted angrily as there were huge tears and years of frustration in her eyes.

"LIAR!" Kira yelled as she pulled the mirror from the drawer as she walked towards her sister.

Lara collapsed as she saw the mirror, moaning to herself.

"Why do you still keep this?" Kira demanded pointing at the mirror. "Isn't it because you cannot forget mother?"

Lara shook her head tiredly as Kira pulled Lara's locket angrily.

"Do you even know what the symbol in that locket stands for?" Kira asked. "It is a symbol of a protector. You are meant to protect us. You are meant to protect all of us. And you do not even know where mother is." Kira studied Lara angrily. "Do you even care?" she asked her sister.

Lara pulled herself her locket back stubbornly. "Think what you want!" She pulled Kira up and pulled her towards the door. "GET OUT OF MY ROOM!"

"Why?" Kira asked tiredly. "Why do you not go in search of mother? She loves you, otherwise she would never have given you that locket," Kira saw the locket with a pathetic expression on her face. "You are her first born! I think Mother gave this to you because she wanted to show you how much she loved you! That is the source of all her powers. And she wanted you to have it," Kira was crying unable to stop herself. "And you don't even care!" Kira said as she collapsed on the ground unable to continue anymore.

Lara hugged her sister tightly more out of pity than anything else. And Lara's heart ached.

"Mother did not give me this!" Lara said finally, taking a deep breath.

"What?" Kira asked confused. Kira studied the locket, "This is the mark of mother's kingdom. Of course she must have given it to you," Kira said.

"Do you know who is the most strongest Dark Magic wielder is our realm?" Lara asked her sister looking miserable.

"I do not know her name," Kira said confused. "But dad said that she was locked up in a place where she could never escape."

"Come with me!" Lara said helping her sister up.

Kira watched her sister uncomprehendingly as Lara placed her hands on the mirror.

"I did not want to tell you this!" Lara said struggling not to breakdown. "And forgive me for what I am about to show you!"

Lara placed her hands on the mirror as an Ancient letter appeared on it. Open? The words in the mirror asked.

Lara turned to Kira, "This mirror is the sole witness to a Dark Magic, which was performed, fifteen years ago."

"In our palace?" Kira asked confused. Her parents and Lara were all warriors of Light. There were dozens of Magi who swore by it. What dark magic could have occurred here?

Lara looked like she wanted to say something else and shook her head turning her attention to the mirror. Lara closed her eyes as Kira saw Lara use a powerful bit of her magic as something bright shot from the mirror.

Kira studied the images as her heart was racing and she saw the images recorded in the mirror from another time. Fifteen years back to be precise...And as Kira watched the images of her parents in the mirror, she realized that Lara had inherited her mother - Oura's high cheeks and eyes and all Kira had was her father - Loran's face and his height.

"Your lust for power is going to destroy you!" Loran told the younger Oura.

"At least it is more than what you can offer me!" Oura told her husband contemptuously, her face sneering in contempt. "A castle, gold and a rich life and two daughters!" Oura said fuming. "Is that all you can offer me?"

"Please!" Loran said in a pleading voice. "Do not be consumed by power. That desire can never be satisfied. You will just ruin the lives of all the people in and around you, if you follow this path. I have heard that you approached the Dark Tree today. For absorbing the limitless powers of the tree," Loran looked aghast shaking his head. "That Dark Tree marks all the evil desires of people ever existing in this realm. You chase after that, your soul would be gone. And it would be gone forever."

"Daddy!" A very young Lara ran towards her father looking scared of her mother.

"Please Oura!" Loran said again, "The lust for power can never be satiated. Be happy with what you have! It will give you some peace of mind. At least for the sake of your children."

"DO I LOOK SO PATHETIC TO BE SATISFIED WITH THIS?" Oura yelled loudly her hands shaking. 

"Daddy! I am scared." Lara pleaded looking terrified as she hugged her father tightly. 

Oura watched her daughter with utter contempt as Loran was trying to calm his daughter when something shot straight out of Oura's hands and would have hit Loran. 

Loran looked shocked unable to even articulate that his wife would even think of hurting him. 

But then the impossible happened. 

Suddenly Oura screamed. She screamed for a long time and then she vanished from the place.

"She is a bad mother!" The young Lara screeched loudly as her hands were trembling real bad. "She hits me when you are not around, father!" Lara said angrily crying as her father looked even more shocked hugging her.

"Sweetheart!" Loran said gasping for breath. "Where is mother?" He asked weakly trying to control his daughter.

"She kept telling me that I am not as pretty as her, father," Lara said as she turned her attention to the mirror. "She said that the people on the other side of the Mirror told her that." Lara said.

Loran walked towards the mirror looking steadily shocked.

"Daddy! She is a shape shifter! The other day the assassin who tried to kill you..." The younger Lara watched the mirror with hatred. "That was her!"

Loran was shocked.

"What did you do with mummy, baby?" Loran asked his daughter, looking scared

"She thought she was pretty daddy!" An insane smile came to the young Lara's face. "So that is where she is!" Lara said smiling at the mirror. "And she will stay there for eternity and not hurt others!" Lara said finally."You are right, father! And she is wrong and deserves this end!" The younger Lara fumed.

"Did you just open the realm inside the mirror?" Loran asked swallowing looking real scared of Lara. "Is your mom trapped inside the mirror?" Loran was finding it difficult to articulate.

"Yes, father!" Lara said slightly hesitating. "Is it wrong?"

"It is not wrong, darling!" Loran said looking like he was controlling himself with great difficulty. "It is impossible. Only the person with the greatest potential to be evil can open that realm!" Loran said studying his daughter.

Lara looked shocked and staggered as Loran hugged her tightly. 

There was silence. Complete and total silence. 

"Am...Am..I bad daddy?" Lara whimpered tightly.

Loran was silent as his daughter wept even more. 

He finally shook his head as he looked at his daughter, his eyes a steely gray. "No! You are not bad. You are my protector, baby," Loran said taking out his locket and putting it on the young girl neck. 

Loran looked at the mirror with slight sadness and sighed. "Your mother gave this locket to me when she was pure and genuinely loved me. She said only a true protector could wear this locket." Loran said ."You deserve to wear this and if anyone asks about mother, we will just tell them that mummy was kidnapped by the dragons of the East!" Loran said finally.  

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