The Sapphire of Zellria

Submitted into Contest #43 in response to: Write a story about an unlikely friendship.... view prompt

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Fantasy Adventure

I hold out my hands and shoot a beam of glowing, blue light at the monstrous creature in front of me; as I do, I remember the day- I remember her-Alani- vividly; I would know her face in the rain, in the sun, in the darkness- and I would always, always hate her for what she had done. She had been horrible to my friends, and even worse to me. And yet, now, I find her to be my only hope at survival. 

I remember what you did to us. I remember what you did to my friends, to my world, to me. I remember the words, thoughts, actions, that you used to throw at us. They were like glass, and they cut deep into them, my friends. But not me, even after everything. I held my ground and stood where I was, not swayed by your actions, not pushed around by your wind. And yet, now, I find you to be my only hope at survival. 

“Xandra!” She heard a voice scream desperately; but when she turned around, her violet eyes met darkness. Xandra lifted her hand, forming a small flare above her palm, tucking a strand of night- black hair behind her ear. She couldn’t see anyone, plagued by thoughts of creatures and beasts swirling in her mind. But she was not afraid, despite that she had been Chosen by the Council for this task- she was to steal the Sapphire of Zellria back from the Keepers, who had been holding secrets and sacred objects in their grasp for over 100 years. And now, when the third moon of Relldaan was at its zenith, Xandra was there to take back what was rightfully belonged to them. 

As she neared the chamber where the Sapphire was being kept, Xandra touched the stone in the center of her pendant necklace, becoming invisible to the eye. The Keepers had many ways of detecting intruders, so she would have to be careful not to get caught. Creeping into the large, high- ceiling room, she pressed herself against one of the black pillars, murmuring words of encouragement to herself. 

Spinning around, she sent a beam of light towards one of the guards, and another to the second. Silently, Xandra inched towards the intricately designed, metal doorway, looking behind her to make sure that no one had followed her. 

She stared at the crystal in front of her; it was held up by spiraling, metal vines, in the shape of an intertwining helix. Xandra’s eyes flickered around the room, looking for hidden passageways or places where guards could potentially hide- nothing. She lifted her arms, a misty, pale violet sphere growing between her hands. She placed it over the crystal, beads of sweat glistening on her forehead. She was containing the Sapphire, driving anything that could pose an alarm. This was challenging for anyone who tried and was not usually taught to people her age because it was too advanced. But after years of watching her mother do containment spells like these, she had gained the ability, and was ready to do it on her own. 

She reached into her pocket and produced a small, silver, drawstring bag, in which the containment spell would remain intact. Xandra, cautiously, took the crystal in her hand. She gazed at it for a moment, transfixed by its vibrant, otherworldly color; she blinked, placing it inside. 

“Xandra.” said a voice. She quickly turned around, coming face to face with a pair of light blue eyes- a gaze she knew, and hated. “WHAT are you doing.” Alani hissed, stepping into the half- light of the chamber. 

“The Council didn’t choose you.” Xandra said, clenching her teeth. “Stop trying to steal my glory again- you've done it enough.” 

“You shouldn’t be here...” whispered a bodiless voice suddenly. “Return the Sapphire of Zellria, and there will be no need for...anything extra.” 

“Like I'd ever bow down to you!” Yelled Xandra, forgetting the flaring argument, swiveling around again as the wall parted open; guards streamed in, surrounding the two of them by all sides. She held up her hands, a blue light growing between them. “I suppose you’re going to fight me, as well?” Xandra hissed to Alani, glaring. She rolled her eyes, unsheathing her double swords.  

“Idiot.” she mumbled, the silver blades taking on a glowing white hue.  

 

They managed to escape alive, unlike many others chosen by the Council years and generations before. They were both unhurt; the Defenders had well trained them. Though Xandra had a cut in her upper arm, Alani had bandaged it with cloth cut from her black cloak. The bleeding had stopped, and the only sign that she had been hurt was now a slightly swollen bruise- nothing that she couldn’t handle.  

“Thank you, I guess.” Xandra said, giving a slight smile. Alani just looked ahead as they neared the outskirts of the Council’s territory, nodding to acknowledge that she had heard that Xandra had spoken. 

When some people are forced to work together, whether it be on a project or against a common enemy, sometimes, the situation between them becomes worse. Other times, amidst whatever fighting, friendships are created, and severed bonds start to knit back together.  

“You know, you’re not the worst fighter.” Alani admitted, glancing at Xandra. “What you managed to do was pretty cool.” 

“Thanks.” she smiled. “What you did wasn’t half bad either.”  

------------------- 

“You’ll never be good enough for this- for any of this.” Blue eyes glared down at her, full of rage- fury- hatred. “I don’t know why the Council even kept you here. You don’t deserve to have training from the Defenders. You don’t have the skill or talent to be a fighter, Xandra. So just give up already.” Alani turned around, flipping her blonde hair over her shoulder. “You’ll never be good enough.” she hissed, strutting away, followed by two others, Thepheme and Tauriel.  

Xandra stood there- fuming- hands clenched in fists. Alani was officially the worst person in all of Zelara; she would never, ever be forgiven.  

-------------------- 

Xandra closed her hand around the pouch, glancing at Alani whose gaze was still focused straight ahead. She smiled to herself, fondly thinking of what her best friends, Adrazelle, Lyris, and Emilia, would think of her quest.  

“You have acquired the crystal.” said Council member Rennyn, nodding in approval. “We chose correctly.” He turned to Alani, who was awkwardly standing next to her, fidgeting with her thin, silver bracelet. “Alani Theynor- you were fully aware that Miss Orawen had been Chosen to retrieve the Sapphire. You disobeyed the Council’s direct orders-”  

“Administrant,” Xandra started, interrupting his sentence. “Sorry- sir.” she said quickly. “But Alani practically saved my life. We wouldn’t have been able to bring it back if she hadn’t helped me defeat the guards. We didn’t face Her, luckily,” she explained, referring to the voice. “But there were many guards that I couldn’t have faced myself.” She glanced at Alani, who looked absolutely shocked, offering a small smile. “Alani brought it back just as much as I did.”  

Rennyn studied Xandra for a moment; after a brief consultation with the rest of the Council, he nodded. “In that case, Miss Theynor, we thank you for your help. You are both dismissed.”  

 

“Thank you.” said Alani, not a hint of disregard or insincerity in her voice. “You know, for that.” 

Xandra smiled, holding out a hand. “Friends?”  

“Friends.”  

 

May 29, 2020 20:26

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4 comments

Elias Murra
22:03 Jun 03, 2020

It has a strong opening but I was a little confused in the first paragraph. The concept is great, I would suggest giving the first paragraph a more narrow focus. Both, the action and the backstory are quite interesting, use one idea to catch the reader and then follow up with the second. Overall, very enjoyable!

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Mira Caplan
17:20 Jun 04, 2020

Thanks for the feedback! I'll work on the beginning when I can, and completely agree with what you said. :)

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Rhondalise Mitza
18:08 Jun 27, 2020

:D I like this one too! I like the fantasy tone it's got going on without being hoaxy or overdramatic. You have nice balance, you know?

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Mira Caplan
19:11 Jun 27, 2020

Yeah, I get it! Thanks again!!! :D

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