Fly Away, O’ Sparrow – Part 1
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Nepathya Lei.

The sorceress who was thought to be killed when she fought the frost dragon suddenly reappeared in the core chamber of the Crystal Palace, showing her mysterious crystal eye. What did it mean?

Maven shook her head, unable to believe her own eyes.

Meanwhile the sorceress simply laughed. “Hahaha, all of you are really naïve, very naïve. Youngsters who can only see the world in black and white. Let me tell you, there are still many more colors in this world, such as red,” Lei then pointed to her right eye, “and blue” then to her left.

“What are you talking about?” Sophia demanded an explanation. “That crystal… in your left eye… is that Cyrillium?”

“No, this is Malevium. The shape and color are similar indeed, but it’s charged with magical power of different nature. Thus both of them are a pair of twins that complete each other.”

Maven was just got struck by lightning. She stuttered, “Y-you mean, the cure we’ve been looking for all this time has been in your left eye all along?”

“Correct, elf,” Lei answered, clapping her hands. “This is one among the rarest magical crystals in the world that comes from Frei Val’shka’s own magical energy. This crystal in my eye is the only one I could find here. Now, I shall demonstrate its power.”

She calmly waved her staff. Suddenly Reyl was lifted from the ground where he stood.

“Reyl!” Maven who has just realized Reyl was still under the influence of the crystal immediately extended her hand and tried to pull that man down by his leg, yet Reyl only floated even higher. Maven was forced to let go of her grip.

“Eleviant!” A beam of light resembling a rope was fired from Sophia’s hooked staff, wrapping over Reyl and pulled him. It was the Levitation spell.

Yet Reyl kept floating closer towards the woman with a crystal eye, Nepathya Lei.

Sophia clenched her teeth, eager to muster more power. Declan immediately appeared by her side, reminding her, “It’s useless, Sophia, don’t waste your energy. We will see to it. You want to free Reyl from that cursed crystal, right?”

The energy ropes wrapping around Reyl disappeared instantly. The other three could stand still, unwilling to do anything rash to avoid harming Reyl. Slowly Reyl descended. Lei extended her hand, then grabbed the crystal pendant buried into the young man’s chest. Reyl screamed in pain even in unconsciousness.

“Hahaha! A little bit more and it will be all perfect!” Lei extended another hand towards the crystal obelisk, touching it right in front of the woman's silhouette inside. Dark energy began to flow from Reyl towards Lei's left hand, torso, crystal eye and right hand, channeled into the crystal obelisk. Then, from inside the obelisk a white energy emanated on Lei’s hand, flowing towards her crystal eye.

Lei spoke again, “Yes, just as you can see, inside this obelisk lies Frei Val’shka, the Ice Goddess herself. I have used my energy and Reyl’s life essence stored in the Crylionel, forcing the goddess' remaining magical energy out of her frozen corpse to enter and strengthen me.”

Declan snapped, “Strengthen yourself? What for? You’re already strong enough to beat the frost dragon alone!”

“You think that mustard seed worth of power is enough for me? No! I want more! I want to become the goddess, the strongest, the heir of Frei Val’shka!”

“Then, after you’ve become the strongest in the world, what’s next?” Maven took a battle stance with her two daggers at hand. Her next move will depend on this ambitious person's answer, which was most likely obvious.

“Certainly, it's to create the Third Ice Age over Everna. To become the queen of all Terra Everna and rule over it for a thousand, ten thousand, a million years... no, forever!”

“And to eradicate every life form that exists? Including humans, including me? Master, how could you…” Sophia began to cry.

 “Oh, of course not,” she answers in a wicked tone and smile. “You have done a lot for me. I shall make you my trusted general. Especially Reyl, who has done the most favor, he shall become the commander…”

A streak of white light flashed right on Lei’s face. A kind of protective shield in front of her deflected the light coming from a martial arts move, Illuminating Light of Faith.

Followed by a loud voice from the one who mustered that move, Declan. “Hell no! We will never let a lunatic like you destroy all life in Everna!”

Maven jerked to the front of Declan, raising her dagger. “One Frei Val’shka and two Ice Ages are enough. We as fellow creatures and inhabitants of this peaceful world have a duty to stop anyone who seeks to destroy our peace, including you!”

The redhead followed suit. “And you, Madame Lei, has tricked and fooled me, Reyl and everyone present in here. I, Sophia Wells am truly ashamed to consider a mad woman like you as my teacher.”

“Ah, so you dared to oppose me, Sophia?” Nepathya Lei gasped briefly, before returning to her usual wicked smile. “Well, no matter. Besides, I don’t need a stupid, cowardly crybaby like you for a disciple. You couldn’t even master the spell Avalanche. I could’ve replaced you with thousand of more talented pupils, but I’ve been keeping you around in order to manipulate Reyl!”

“Hngggh, you…!” Sophia became so furious that Declan had to stand right in front of her, preventing her from doing anything reckless.

Lei continued, “Indeed, I needed a very long time to master the power of malevium crystal in my eye socket here. That is why I’ve always maintained your relationship with Reyl, if possible for you to marry him early. But what has happened? Maven came as a gadfly to my plans. I have to convince Maven as hard as I could to back off and leave. Even the Crylionel, which I at first intended as a wedding gift, I have to gave it away earlier. So that Maven would go, you would be happy and Reyl entered my trap.”

“All of this…” Sophia’s entire body was shaking. “All of this… my relationship with Reyl… my happiness… all of them were part of your mad scheme?”

“Yes. One more thing, soon my plan will be completed, and I shall not let anyone get in my way! Rytsaried, Obsidian Army! Accompany these pests to play with you! When you're bored, crush them!”