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WHEN WE ARRIVED at the training circle the next day Elena explained her intentions for the session. 'Today I want to teach you all to create physical manifestations of your gifts.'

That surprised me, 'Won't we use the energy the way it is?'

Elena shook her head. 'No. You'll find it more useful in its physical state. The energy itself you can throw out in a wave, but I still feel you will find learning this just as useful.'

We listened as she explained. Over the next few hours Elena coaxed us into creating our physical elements.

ELENA WATCHED SIAN, delighted with her success. At first she'd used water from the nearby stream but once she had a feel for it and how her body responded, she'd figured out how to create the element from her energy. Elena watched as water gushed from Sian's extended palm. It wasn't strong yet and she knew the girls would be exhausted by tonight. More practice, she thought to herself, they're going to be incredible.

KASSIE FROWNED WHILE she attempted to blow the leaves of the bush in front of her. It frustrated the heck out of her. Just when she'd felt she'd started to master the energy raising technique Elena had taught them, now she was back at square one. She sighed and watched as her breath moved the leaves.

Urrgghh. Look how easy that is! It should be that easy. Rolling her shoulders then her head, she drew in a deep breath and let it out slow. Relax. Try again.

LOI SAT ON the dirt near a tree. Her hands pressed to the ground, eyes closed, she allowed her energy to move down her arms into the earth. Strands of her long hair tickled the back of her hands and her eyes snapped open in irritation. Thrusting the hair back over her shoulders she relaxed back into her original position, closed her eyes and took several deep, slow breaths. Her energy moved through the ground, brushing past tree roots, rocks, even a skeleton (not human, although she suspected it wouldn't matter here). The earth beneath her felt alive and the sensation thrilled her. With her eyes closed she knew the precise location of all the trees and plants in the vicinity. She knew which ones needed more water and which were fine. As she brushed past their roots with her mind she suddenly realized she could hear them. Her eyes snapped open in shock when the delicate and resonate voices touched her mind in response to her energy.

ELENA COULD HEAR the murmur of the trees around them and she spun, looking. There sat Loi with an astonished expression, hands pressed to the ground and her head cocked to one side while she listened.

'Well done, Loi,' she breathed, not wanting to break her attention. Loi gave her an absentminded smile as she continued to listen.

I'D MANAGED TO get the tips of my fingers to flame and I worked at creating a ball of fire, like I had with my energy. Even though it was really the same thing it felt so much harder to do. I went back to my meditative breathing and practiced forming the ball in my mind. Extending my hands, eyes closed, I followed the energy down my arms and pushed the sphere out between my palms. FLARE! I shouted the word in my mind. Heat burst from my palms and I opened my eyes to see a sphere of fire, fed from fire that flowed from my palms.

ELENA WATCHED, PLEASED with Cat's progress. The redhead's eyes were wide while she watched the flaming ball she'd created. It was nearly time for them to leave and with reluctance, Elena spoke up. 'Please draw your energy back into yourselves. It will be time to leave shortly.' The expressions of surprise on the girls' faces amused her.

'Has it really been that long?' Kassie sounded bewildered.

'It has. You've all done exceptionally well for a day's work. I am sure you must be tired and hungry by now.'

The Arrival, Book one of the Birthright TrilogyRead this story for FREE!