Happy 20th, Kallie!! :D
*hands her 20 birthday cupcakes*
Hope you have an epica day filled to the brim with balloons and purple, and, of course, cake :D
Aliandra smiled as well. "We'll start as soon as possible," she said. "But first there are some questions that we need answered."
"Like who sent the monster thingy?" Alice said, and Aliandra nodded.
"Things have been put into motion far too early, so we can only assume that whoever has started this has malevolent intentions." She said.
"I'm still not clear on what you mean by 'started things too early'" Alice said, raising her hand. "You said that before, at the clearing, what does it mean?"
"It's none of your business." Malark said.
"Malark, it's no use trying to keep it from her anymore, she is involved now, and it will do us no good to keep her in the dark, so we may as well tell her, even if it is too soon." Aliandra said, cutting off Alice's sharp reply.
Her mother walked towards them, a concerned look on her face. "Alice, are you alright?"
"I'm ok mo-" She corrected herself. "Pria."
She instantly regretted it when she saw the look of pain that crossed her face, but before she could say anything, she turned to Aliandra.
"What do we do now?" She asked.
"We don't have any other choice, we have to start her training." Aliandra said.
"Training?" Alice asked.
Malark laughed. "She's not ready to start training, she's barely grasped what's happening."
"Hey!" Alice said, glaring at him.
"Enough!" Aliandra said. "She has to be prepared, and in order for her to cross into our dimension, she has to have some training."
"Yeah, but she's-" Malark began.
"Malark, drop it." Aliandra said. "We have to begin as soon as possible."
"When is that, exactly?" Alice asked.
"Wow, that is soon." She said, suddenly feeling reality crashing down on her.
Malark rolled his eyes. "We'll have to take some precautions tonight."
"Yes," Aliandra agreed. "Malark, can you handle that?"
He shrugged, which she took to be a sign of agreement.
"May I suggest we go inside now?" Pria said. "Unless you want to stand out here and freeze until you're limbs fall off, I hear it's going to be cold tonight."
"Sorry, Pria." Aliandra said, and they all headed inside save for Malark, who set off to begin setting the protective sigils.
"Breathe in." Aliandra said, her eyes closed. "Breathe out."
Alice did as asked whilst giving her teacher a withering look.
They had been doing this exercise for the past hour and she was anxious to begin her actual training. "You do know that I already know how to breathe, right?" She asked.
"Be quiet." Aliandra replied, continuing to direct her on breathing.
"Ophelia, we have been doing this for the past hour." She pointed out. "When are we going to get to the actual training?"
Aliandra finally opened her eyes. "This is one of the most important aspects of your training."
"Controlling your breathing as we have been doing allows you greater concentration." She answered. "By calming your thoughts, you will be able to grasp more of what we will be doing later on."
"Okay, I understand that." Alice said. "But why have we been doing it for an hour?"
"Because you're not good at it." Aliandra said, smiling to take the sting out of her words.
Alice laughed. "Okay fine, let's try again."
"Focus on the paper," Pria said. "Picture what you want to happen."
"Okay." There was a pause. "What do I want it to do again?"
"You want it to move, shift, or blow away." She replied. "If you can make it burst into flames, that would be all the better."
"Make it burst into flames?" Alice asked, and Pria shrugged. "Well, you've certainly given me a lot of options, haven't you?"
"Just try it."
Alice took a deep breath and focused on the paper, controlling her breathing like Aliandra taught her (she was trying to think of her as only Aliandra now, not Ophelia).
She pictured one corner getting folded back by a great breeze. The page stayed still.
She pictured the whole thing getting blown away. The page didn't move.
She pictured it bursting into flames and burning to a crisp. The page mocked her.
Frustrated, she gave it one more try.
She pictured the page getting soaked. It continued to mock her and she wanted to scream in frustration.
"Why won't it do anything?" She demanded.
"Did you clear your thoughts?" Pria asked, infuriatingly calm.
"Did you picture what you wanted?" Pria asked.
"Yeah." Alice said, getting more and more frustrated.
"You have done everything, it would seem."
Alice paused, shocked out of her frustration. "You're saying, I can't do this?"
"Not at all." She said. "I'm saying let's take five."
And she walked back to the house, leaving Alice standing there, staring after her in disbelief.
"I said your left!" Malark yelled.
"That was my left!" Alice screamed back.
They had just spent the past half hour together, him trying to teach her some of the fighting styles from their dimension.
He had just told her to do a complex moved that involved a pivotal point where one has to spin on their left foot, kicking out with their right, swinging their fist, and then landing on their right foot and kicking out with their left to finish the move. Theoretically.
Alice had spun onto her right foot and kicked out with her left, then tried to punch Malark, something she had been wanting to do since she'd met the guy, then promptly landed on her butt.
It didn't help matters that she was still TO'd from not being able to move the paper.
"Then your other left!" He yelled. "How hard is it to tell your left from your right?"
She stood there, arms crossed, glaring daggers at him.
She didn't need this right now, she turned on her heel and started walking back to the house.
"And just where do you think you're going?" He demanded.
"To find a compass." She replied over her shoulder.
She tried and tried and tried some more, but that damn page wouldn't move.
She sighed. "What am I doing wrong?" She asked it.
"I'm imagining what I want, but why won't it happen?"
She put her head in her hand and groaned.
Everything was happening so fast.
Aliandra was training her, Pria was training her, Malark... well, she was pretty sure Malark just went along with training her so he'd have an excuse to yell at her.
She was being trained for... she didn't even know what she was being trained for. A war? Just how dangerous was this dimension? Did she even want to go there?
And the more she thought about it, the more she realized that she did.
She wanted an adventure. She wanted to find out what was happening. She wanted to be involved.
And more than that...she wanted this page to move.
She looked at it, more determined than ever before. It would move.
She glared at it, daring it to defy her again, after all, if she failed to move it again, she had a paper shredder with it's name on it.
"YES!!!" She screamed and jumped out of her chair, jumping up and down in joy.
Pria and Aliandra came in, wondering what the commotion was about, Malark ran in, sword drawn.
They all stopped in their tracks as they saw the cause for her celebration.
The paper was on fire.
The cloaked man walked with purpose down the hallway, his eyes seemingly fixed on the door at the end, his destination. Unseen by any who may observe him, his eyes never stopped moving, roaming constantly like a vermin.
He approached the door and knocked, a voice immediately answering. "Enter."
He did so, to find himself in a beautifully decorated room.
A fireplace dominated the western wall, a fire roaring inside; a elegant couch sat on the opposite wall, trimmed in gold; a massive desk took up most of the room, sitting against the northern wall, and carved into the wood were intricate symbols, flourid and beautiful. It was a desk fit for a king.
The man walked up to the ornate desk and bowed, his movements easy and graceful.
The figure in the massive chair barely acknowledged the man, his eyes scanning documents.
"Her training has begun, my lord." The man said, straightening from his bow.
The man behind the desk smiled.
"Excellent." He said.