"We'll have to get involved eventually."
The woman turned from the pearlescent mirror to face the person who had spoken. Her cold silver eyes darkened to a deep gray as she shook her head. Her deep black hair was interwoven with small braids, each one dotted with glistening blue stones. A thin circlet held the hair away from her pale, sharp- featured face. Silver strings that branched from the circlet tied into her hair.
"We don't have to, Ember." she said curtly. "I wouldn't mind leaving it for the mortals to sort out themselves."
Ember sighed, pushing a strand of scarlet hair over her shoulder, the stray curling around her finger like a small flame as she touched it. "But...why? Wouldn't that just lead to excess death?"
"What role are we playing now?" Her voice was sharp, though it
broke at the end of her sentence. Her eyes shifted from silver to blue, like they were unable to choose what color to land on. "Who are we?"
"Well, the obvious answer would be that we're all-omniscient Spirits who have control over the worlds who know us."
"No. Who am I? Who are you?"
Ember didn't have an answer.
"Exactly." she hissed. "We're pawns, just like all of the contestants. I don't care if the others deny it, but it's true."
"No one could ever replace you, Adriya."
"Well, obviously, but-" The Spirit cut off, appearance flickering to one of an elderly woman, then of a child, and back to her original state. "What am I to you?"
Ember reached out of to take Adriya's hand, glowing orange veins pulsing under her skin as their fingers entwined. "Sister, lover cousin...whatever it is, It'll work."
"Whatever the mortals choose us to be, you mean."
"Maybe. I don't know."
"You can't charge in and join the upcoming war." The male with stylishly disheveled brown hair shook his head, strays falling into his eyes. He looked up, a disobedient smirk playing at the corners of his lips as he raised a brow. Green energy danced around his fingertips as he rested his elbows on the wide armrests the tall, throne-like chair. A leg was propped up onto the seat, his other arm resting on it as he twirled the magic between his hands.
The young woman across from him glared glared, clutching the hilt of her flaming, golden sword, momentarily shifted into a staff with three, triangular blades in the general shape of a crown sitting on the top. "What do you know of war?" she spat.
"No weapons at the table, Rhona." He apprised with a chuckle, glancing to his left as someone slid into the seat next to him.
"You, too." The young man rolled his eyes as he shrugged innocently. "I know you have at least four devices to wreak havoc on one of the throne rooms. Actually, scratch that- all of the throne rooms. Again. In the inside pockets of your cloak."
"Me? Fyjun?" Thick sarcasm layered his voice as he twirled the green energy. Fyjun lowered his arms and leg, setting his elbows on the long, white table as he clasped his hands together. "Never." He said with a smirk, earning a sigh from the male. "You don't know what fun is."
"I know that fun isn't completely altering the state of something's matter or density. Or making random things float and drop in the direction of other Spirit's heads." He muttered, smoothing a lock of purple-tipped white hair back in a very official manner.
"You all act like a bunch of teenagers." A young, brown-haired girl wearing a simple white tunic and long gray cape mumbled.
"You choose to look like a six year old." Fyjun retorted, shaking his head.
A woman clothed in a flowing white gown nodded as she sat down to the right of Rhona, running her fingers through her wavy black hair. "You could have at least chosen a slightly older body, Marais. Something... prettier, maybe."
"That's exactly why I didn't." she said calmly, crossing her arms. "People need to learn that attractiveness and age doesn't define character." Marais shot a knowing look over at the woman next to Rhona, turning her dark brown eyes to Fyjun. "And I'm not six, I'm ten. It's very different."
"Well, this meeting much be important." The young man next to Fyjun said as he eyed the woman in white. "Seeing that it isn't just the Five Elementals."
Fyjun smirked. "If it was just the Five Elementals, you wouldn't be here." He murmured, voice barely audible. "Keydove would take your place. She is the primary Wind Spirit, after all." A woman wearing a dress and cloak in different shades of purple stifled a laugh.
"And if you have something to say to me, Kemva, please do so." The Spirit in white said with a smile, turquoise gaze not afraid to meet his. His face reddened the slightest as he failed to form full words, and she hummed in content. The blush vanished a moment later, his face flickering back to normal. "Or wait for later."
"You all are teenagers compared to me."
Everyone stood and silenced as a woman clothed a deep purple, blue, and silver robe entered the room. Small gemstones glittered on the fabric like stars every time she took a step towards the seat at the head of the table. The throne moved out as she neared, the Spirits sitting as she did.
"Akasha." Ember said in acknowledgement, dipping her head the slightest.
She nodded in acknowledgement, turning her eyes to the rest of the Spirits assembled. "We all know why we're here." Everyone nodded. "This year's competition is different than all of the others. The enemy has used her time well, and will soon complete her mission."
"Then, why didn't we do something before?" Rhona asked, clutching her staff tightly. "We could have ended it a long time ago- why now?"
Akasha was silent, eyes narrowing as her gaze met Rhona's. "I agree- we could have done something in years past, before everything with Nevara Castor or the Emrys siblings began. We could have spared The Five Kingdoms of those events and the conflict that will follow them. But we didn't, and now we all bare the consequences."
What do we do, then? Adriya's voice drifted through the minds of everyone in the room, speckled at the edges with a sharpness like ice.
"We wait." The Spirit's clamoring ceased as Akasha stood and held up her hand. "Remember- we should not abuse our power. The people of the Five Kingdoms are like a us, but without the vast range of magic or long lives we have." Her eyes trailed from Spirit to Spirit.
"The event discussed in our last meeting has not been compromised as of yet." Akasha sat down, clasping her hands together as her eyes glowed a bright violet. "The trials have begun."
"Whatever you're planning, do it. But not with me as your pawn." Lady Castor hissed. No other figures stood in her study. "What has Raya done to deserve what you're doing to her...? Don't make my children suffer and have them think it's their mother's doing."
But it is you, isn't it? A bodiless voice whispered in her mind. They don't see the person doing all this as me. Whoever I am.
The noble sharply turned as she felt a cold hand on her shoulder, looking around wildly to find the source. But no one was there. "You're Adrazelle." Lady Castor spat, rage flashing through her eyes. "The one who destroys and brings death wherever she goes."
"But... is it just me? Or is it all of us, everyone part of the same consciousness that controls all?" She didn't answer. "Exactly." Her voice was sharper, cutting into the Sinistrian's mind as she tried to block it out. "Don't try and resist." Adrazelle whispered as she crumbled to the floor, chest heaving a she gasped for air. Her movements stopped.
Lady Castor slowly stood, limbs straightening and eyelids shutting as her body stiffened. Her eyes glowed a bright green, the color swirling to a dark brown.
"Good." The voice that came out of the noble's lips wasn't her's. "Now we can continue."