Dedicated to: Reavean.




(Ana's POV)

We walked across the meadow, children running ahead to see the new visitors. The women were walking slowly after the kids, while the men just stood and looked on with tools slung over their shoulders or on the ground next to them.

The castle gates opened as we drew near. The farmland that we walked through ended a few yards from the wall and people rode out on horses to meet us.

Surrounded by children and animals, we walked to meet up with the people. The population wasn't supposed to be this big. I was guessing that it was probably an illusion or a spell that created puppets to work the farms.

Morgan ran ahead, going straight to the girl in front. The children disappeared along with the people in the farm as soon as we reached the bridge.

"Morgan. Who are these people?" The girl in front demanded.

Morgan stood on her tip-toes and whispered in the girl's ear.

"What?!?" She yelled. "Impossible!" She whispered in disbelief.

She looked at me in surprise. I stared back, blinking in confusion. She wasn't one of the girls I had known when I was here.

"Come inside. Quickly!" She told us, glancing around suspiciously.

We followed her inside, the rest of the group looking around in awe, and the guardians looking smug at them.

I watched the girl carefully. She didn't look relaxed until the gate had closed of the second wall.

The girl led us through the courtyard, into the castle. I didn't really recognize anything past the doors. The inside was completely changed.

"Follow me." She told us as she led the way into a room just off the front door. The room was large, but empty except for a few things that told me exactly what the room was. Two chairs stood at the end of the room, led up to by a few steps.

We didn't stay in the throne room though, as the girl led us to a side room, which was empty except for a large round table that I didn't recognize either.

"This is the room we use to make battle plans and stuff. Strategy and Tactics. Come here." She ordered, motioning us to stand around the table.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"My name is Octavia. I have been first in command since no one else would be." Octavia answered.

I studied her. Her light skin and straight blonde hair framed her blue eyes. Her red uniform fit in the image perfectly. The sword at her belt and the headband she wore weren't from Avalon as far as I could tell.

"Where are you from?" I asked.

She raised her eyebrows and answered. "From the North. I came down with Aia as soon as we heard that Avalon had a civil war."

"Then how are you still alive? That was centuries ago!" I asked.

"You have been gone too long, princess." She answered. Sighing, she continued, "Over the centuries I have been feeding off of magic. Aia actually found a way so close to immortality, that we can still live. I've never been given actual immortality like the people who were here before the queen died, but the magic had slowed my aging by thousands of years. I already lost count of my actual age."

"Who is this Aia character?" Kate asked.

"Aia is the mage I was traveling with when we came down here. It was with her help and the help of those here who know magic that saved the castle." Octavia replied.

"I know you guys have so many questions, but you're going to have to hold them for a bit. We need to get down to business." She ordered.

I frowned, not liking her taking control, but she was right. I had been gone too long. She had been here for centuries. I had only been here seventeen years, skipped a couple of centuries and then popped back up for a few hours.

"First of all, we know that you haven't come here just to take your place as queen." She said. Before I could protest, she held up a hand and continued. "I know that you are about to have your own little war back in your world, but I'm not sure how much help a few more of us will do."

That was right. I had only come to seek help to get rid of an Alpha who was prophesized to kill Aiden.

"Bring back those faithful and free those under the tyrant Alpha."

We had to go back home eventually.

"What you do after your fight is totally up to you. We can't make you do anything. So stay for however long you want. Than you can go, stay, come back, it's up to you." She said. "If you come back, you know what will happen and we'll be grateful. But try not to get our hope up by telling us that you'll come back. We aren't exactly at peace here, you know."

"What happened?" Sarah asked.

"We are at war with the very land around us. Aia said it is a mage's work, probably one working with the man who took Adrianna. The man himself isn't a mage, he can't use magic." She said.

"But for now you guys shouldn't worry about us." Morgan said, nudging Octavia.

"She's right. For now you should get some rest and relaxation while you're here." Octavia said.


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