Leap of faith
“Promise me …….that you would not fall in love.”
My grandmother had warned me to nip any emotions that might make my heart beat faster. I smiled at my gullibility. I fell madly in love with someone. I was foolish. I reneged on the promise. I forgot that my grandmother, my only relative alive today might have had my best interests at heart. Despite being new, despite knowing that I’d have to shoulder many responsibilities I allowed myself to be swept by love. I never knew when the dragon prince became my addiction. I realized that I wasted a lot of time fantasizing about him. Vern King……”he was a famous playboy when young”….I recalled Weare telling Fae about this when she was smitten by his looks. I did not care as I felt that he would have changed. After all Jake, the vampire prince, whose name was spoken in the same breath as his, was a very different person now.
“We grew up Emily.”
I remembered Jake saying when I asked him why he gave up his frivolous ways.
“Time changes Emily. With time, each one of us do not remain the same either. Moreover, we were not villains who forced ourselves on someone. None in our group were. The female supernatural beings were a willing party.”
“Emily you are still a child. Moreover, you have everything that might be envied by others. Many do. However, some men and women are never satisfied. For those young girls….well….none of them was shortchanged for the time we spent together. Each of us got what we desired.”
So what made you ‘enlightened’?
Jake caught the smile that was playing on my lips now.
“Huh….you are worse than an imp,, you know….. Stop fooling about.” Jake seemed flustered.
“Anyway you concentrate on your tasks at hand.”
I was back in the present moment again. I could not blame anyone. It would be wrong to say that the dragon prince took advantage. No he did not as I was equally eager. I looked at my puffed up eyes and the dark circles below them. The mirror did not flatter me much as the messy hair and the look of woebegone made me uglier than I actually was.
I washed up my face and took a deep breath. I promised myself not to wallow in self-pity anymore.
“You were born to rule Emily.” I said to myself.
It was time to give up on love and accumulate strength. The Sword Lady’s face flashed before my eyes. When I walked down for lunch, Weare and Fae looked surprised.
I sat down at my usual place next to them.
“You are adding extra chilli flakes and more lemon to your meal.”
I kept quiet. Fae too shut her mouth up as she realized that I was not interested in giving an explanation. I had always loved sweet food. My godmother the vampire queen had once remarked during my stay, “Emily you are as sweet as sugar.” Perhaps I was too sweet to begin with. Maybe, changing my food would change some aspects about my personality as well.
I finished my lunch quickly and left. Jake and the teachers did not have lunch with the students but had a separate place to eat. I was glad as I did not wish to acknowledge his questioning gaze for now. I was no longer interested in the fun that the School for Supernaturals had. ‘The Sword Lady’ had just finished teaching a senior class when I approached her. She must have sensed me as she spoke,
“Something’s up Emily….”
“Yes Sword Lady.”
She remained quiet and I continued after sometime.
“What is it Emily?”
“I want to become a very powerful warrior.”
The Sword Lady stared at me. Her gaze made me feel uncomfortable.
“A very powerful warrior …..Sword Lady.”
“Think carefully Emily.”
‘The Sword Lady’ and I stood facing each other for some time. I thought about the question again and finally understood
“I want to be the most powerful warrior of the Supernatural Dimension.”
“You overestimate your abilities little girl.”
She scoffed at me and left after that.
“No Sword Lady…”
I ran behind and tried to stop her.
“You can’t leave just like that. You asked me and I gave you an answer. Sword Lady I do want to become the most powerful warrior.”
Her face had an exaggerated expression which seemed to say ‘I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU.’
“Just what makes you think that you are qualified to be one.”
I was stumped I mean…..
“You are a weak girl Emily.”
This was a bit too much. I was the top scorer and hence I answered back.
“Little girl you care too much about marks. Yes, you are the best amongst your peers in my class. But, have you ever wondered why you are the best.”
I had always thought that I was naturally excellent.
“You are the best because the rest are trash Emily.”
The Sword Lady had made me speechless. I had previously learnt from the twins that the woman could spit venom at her will and being at the receiving end of her ire was unpleasant. Today I had experienced it firsthand.
“Go back little girl. You are not capable. The Sword Lady walked ahead and I stood rooted at the same place. This was my only chance and could not let it slip away.
“SWORD LADY’……….. I shouted. Iam weak today but it does not mean that I will remain weak forever.”
The Sword Lady was moving further away. I summoned my energies to fly toward her. She had to agree to train me. As I appeared before her she stopped in her tracks.
“What can you do Emily? How do you plan to become strong?”
I was very quiet now.
“Many students before you have been equally grandiloquent but in the end they failed miserably.”
“Let me ask you Emily. What are you willing to do?”
“What am I willing to do?”
“Hmm … Excellence demands sacrifices and many times a very high price. Are you willing to pay anything?”
“I was very quiet but, the cogs of my brain were moving I knew that anything was the key word here. It was a tricky situation. I was doomed if I accepted anything without question. But I was doomed if I chose not to accept anything.
“Could you elaborate on anything,” I asked.
“You want answers but there are none. The road to the most powerful warrior is filled with your worst nightmares Emily. A sentence can never describe anything. You will have to personally experience to know.”
The Sword Lady was quiet now and so was I. Love had already betrayed me and I knew that my future was never going to be a bed of roses ever. Instead of retreating it was better if I became used to dangers. I looked at The Sword Lady. I am willing to do anything. The Sword Lady looked at me and said, “You are very impulsive. Think about this matter tonight.”
“But Sword Lady……..”
“Emily, think about this very carefully. Once you embark on this journey you cannot return. Either you will emerge alive and victorious or you will die. Think over it tonight and answer me tomorrow if you are still willing. I will wait for you in my office at nine tomorrow night.”
The Sword Lady disappeared after that and I walked back to my dorm room slowly. As I drifted into sleep I realized that I was too tired. The next day was uneventful and by the time darkness fell, my restlessness increased. It took forever for the clock’s needle to show nine which was the time when I knocked the Sword Lady’s office door.
“Come in Emily.”
I closed the door upon entering.
“Did you decide?”
“I did. I am willing to do anything Sword Lady.”
She looked at me for a while before saying, “Come with me.”
We walked out of a side door and the Sword Lady took me to an open ground. The place seemed to be a vast expanse of land. It seemed very normal until the Sword Lady waved her right hand to draw an imaginary circle in air chanting some unknown spell.
A well materialized a short distance from where we stood.
When we reached the well I was surprised to see that the well did not contain water. A fire was burning inside the well. I did not dare to walk closer as sometimes a flame would leap out of the well.
The Sword Lady asked, “Do you see this well.”
I’d be blind if I could not. I quietly nodded my head.
“What do you seen inside the well?”
I was scared that a stray flame might burn me. As such I had not gone closer.
But now, I had to. As I went nearer and looked right inside I saw that fire burning inside the well was surrounded by a red liquid.
“Do you know what that liquid is?”
I shook my head. I had no clue but for some reason felt unpleasant.
“It is molten magma and that fire has a heat source below the earth’s surface.”
I was confused as to what it had to do with increasing my powers.
The Sword Lady answered me soon.
“Emily you have to jump inside this well. It is the Magical Well of Fire.
“I…..” The Sword Lady cut me off.
“You said that you could do anything. Then just do what I say. Jump in and our first lesson begins. If you don’t I’ll let you go.”
Time seemed to have stopped and I closed my eyes briefly.
Was I willing to take this step? The obvious answer was no. But, did I have the option of going back. The answer was no again. At that moment I opened my eyes and did the unthinkable. I jumped right into the Magical Well of Fire.
I had taken a ‘leap of faith’ and knew that nothing in my future would remain the same anymore.