The Spirit Garden

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The Delegate of Bermuda eyed me closely as we walked through the portal, the swirling circle of light partially blinding me as we went through. The amount of power to summon one was incredible, the ancient symbols pulsing with a sense of pride.

"Why am I here again?" I mumbled to my father awkwardly. Truth be told, I hadn't slept for the last couple days after I went into yet another overdrive, let alone with the crushing loss of my friends. The start of a headache clung to my temples.

"You're here for the Rebirth." He said bluntly, tightening his jaw as he fidgeted with the gold "control" talisman dangling from his usual dark robes. I guess it brings back bad memories for him."

The portal started to clear, the sight of green and mist piquing my interest. Lush forest covered the mountains in the distance, a film of haze flowing on the top of the trees. A huge body of water stretched across my vision, the most blurring the horizon. The silence was thick and suffocating.

"We will arrive shortly." The Delegate mumbled bluntly, his small, ageing body faster than it looked. I had to jog a couple of steps to catch up with him, my cheongsam tight around my body. The wooden boards of the pier creaked as we ventured far into the mist, not knowing how far we will go. The eerie silence sent chills down my spine. It felt like people were watching me.

The mist retracted further away until I saw the faint glow of blue light. Similar blue mist floated are around it. "What is that? That doesn't look like Angel light..." I thought as the light got brighter to reveal a man. No, not a man.

A Spirit.

Every feature on the man's body was some shade of glowing blue, his eyes a piercing white as he stared emptily at us. Robes of aquamarine dissolved into the fog around us, an ordinary oar standing at his side. "I have come to collect you." His voice echoed within the empty landscape and several other unknown voices spoke with him. "It's like my Demon voices a couple days ago."

We all got on the boat, my father sitting next to me to block seeing the Delegate. I could see him trying not to shift and gouge the Delegate's eyes out. "He didn't want to come here. I can see why he hates the Delegate. Then again, the Delegate doesn't get a day in anything."

The boat rocked as we were pushed off the dock and straight into the mist. "Why are we in a boat to go to the Garden, father?" He slowly turned his head and spoke slow. I could see the faint dark circles under his eyes. "The Spirit Garden is surrounded by humans. We need to be far away to not attract attention."
Nervousness settled in my stomach. "Humanity isn't as bad as you think. I doubt he has seen a human before. It's not like anyone within the Kingdoms will listen." I stared into the mist, the sound of the oars the only saviour within the deafening silence. The faint lights of society flickering within the grey mist.

After rowing for a couple of minutes, the lights faded and the mountains stood as tall as the sky. The exotic calls of birds fascinated me, racing each other through the pillars of rocks. Compared to Crystal, this looked like another world. Within the distance, in all its mysterious glory, was the Spirit Garden, a huge temple standing proudly as other Spirits wandered the lush forest surrounding it. "It's so beautiful... I wonder how many Spirits are here..."

There were a lot of Spirits. From the moment we got of the the boat to walking up the lengthy path, at least 100 came to bow in respect. Some floated in the collection of mist whilst some looked more like a person, walking along the cliffs with elegant robes and dresses. Many colours flowed through the Garden, Angels being a light blue, gold or green and Demons being a light red, purple or grey. I stared at them in fascination, their blank expressions making me uneasy as we trekked up the path.

The Delegate turned around to us, his white beard and ageing skin shark against the browns glowing blues of the Garden. "We are quite early today. They have planned the meeting later than expected."
"What do we do now?"
"I have arranged for us to go through some of the Garden. Please follow me."
"Okay then... These Spirits are making me nervous. They need to stop staring..."

Tall bamboo shoots crowded around me

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Tall bamboo shoots crowded around me. They were as tall as the sky, the sunlight filtering through the ocean of green. The distant birds called and flew, specks of black flying between the plants. I didn't know how far we were but I didn't complain. A wave of sensations poured over me like water, the crisp, refreshing air making my muscles relax. Dirt crumpled under our feet as we walked, the ancient Delegate walking too fast for a seemingly 80 year old. "If he looks old in human terms, he must be as old as dirt in our terms. I thought Angels and Demons couldn't age..." I thought as the old man slowed down, extending his hand out as light glowed from his palms. Scrolls were pulled open and once he found the one he wanted, he dropped the others, dissolving in light before they hit the ground. "I must warn you... your Highness."
"Back at it again with the sarcasm..."
"Some Spirits are known to have ill intentions so I advise you watching yourself."
But I knew my father wasn't listening, instead walking behind us and his head hung low. His eyes were fatigued, ruining his handsome face. "It's really starting to hit him. I need to calm him down before he does something..."

I looked at the Delegate to see if he was looking and I wasn't shocked to see him racing along the path. "What a strange man." I thought as I turned around to go to my father. Lifting my cheongsam to avoid ruining it, I looked at the dirt and carefully stepped with my ivory shoes. "Father," I mumbled, looking up. "Are you—"

My eyes instantly panned to the Spirits behind him.

Blue, white and grey Sprits had gathered around us, their cold, blanks expressions piercing my body. I stepped back and I felt my fangs involuntarily pierce my gums, causing me to cover my mouth in a panic. "No! No! Don't! You're not a monster!!!" I thought but every part of me screamed at me to shift and survive. "No, stop. Not today. Calm down." Blurs of blue and white spiralled in my tunnelling vision. The Spirits' echoed within my ears, multiple of voices bleeding into on another.

"Come with us..."

"Let your life go..."

"You will become a star..."

"Just like her..."

My eyes widened. "How do you know her?! Tell me!!!" I knew I had shifted, horns blocking some of my peripheral vision. Adrenaline pumped through my veins as I fought back the tears coming to my scarlet eyes.

"I'm so sorry... Luna..." I thought. I remembered her weak hand on mine, eyes no longer shining as they lifelessly stared at the star-dotted sky. How her platinum hair was now heavy with her own blood. How her skin had started to go pale and blue. How I could of saved her... "It's all my fault..."

"Of course it's not your fault..."

I turned around to see the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.

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