The Northern lands lacked much when it came to picturesque landscapes and beautiful scenery. At first glance, the region would seem breathtaking, with the vast flatlands, high mountains and enormous forests, all covered with white snow that glimmered beautifully under the light. There were also a frozen sea and many rivers, forever encased in ice, which were exceptionally interesting to new tourists. But, the longer one stayed there, the more bored would one get with the environment, as apart from that, the place had nothing else to offer what so ever.
The weather was ever so gloomy and Ulte’s Suns rarely were able to show their presence from behind the thick clouds and even when they did, most of the light would get reflected by the snow and ice, blinding the eye. The architecture wasn’t anything extraordinary. Building in such conditions was a task both expensive and energy-consuming. Without the continued support of the elven Grand Mage Tern Yigh Qermen, who had been practically holding the region together on his own since times long before the kingdom of Trelos-Agapi was established until these days, the Northern Lands would be an uninhabitable region.
Any traveler that happened to visit the Northern Lands would get bored out of their mind in this domain of snow in half a day. Any, except for two particular individuals that came there two days ago and had been on the road to the Laras duchy ever since. Those two were Lachersia Luster, currently the youngest and most powerful Grand Mage in the kingdom, and Jennifer, the summoned heroine of the kingdom, chosen by its patron-goddess herself.
Jennifer was a person with a state of mind that was much out of the ordinary and not only had she not gotten bored of the repetitive landscape, her interest has only increased and her eyes were firmly locked on the surroundings that were flashing-by.
Lachersia, on the other hand, also was not of an ordinary state of mind. Not for her, anyway.
She couldn’t quite think straight. The presence of the person in her arms was not letting her.
They were flying many meters above the ground at high speeds and there was nothing around them. Just two people alone together in the world. It reminded her of the time that both of them sat in the carriage when they moved from the Royal castle to Lachersia’s tower and yet the feeling was much more intimate than back then.
It’s interesting how time can fly by so quickly. It has only been about a month that they first met together but Lachersia already could only see blurry images when she tried to recall her life before she met Jennifer.
An empty life. A life where she simply went along with the flow with no purpose or desire to seek out one. She wasn’t alive but living. All of it was already buried deep within her memories, hidden behind a fog. Those memories seemed real but they were about as real as a story told by another person. It seemed that the moment Jennifer was summoned, a new life began not only for her. A hero saves people. Saving can come in many ways. A person can be in need to be saved even when they themselves aren’t aware of it. Lachersia now understood this truth.
Jennifer’s head was laid on Lachersia’s shoulder and the latter was very much aware of Jennifer’s steady breathing as she looked at the forests below. That breathing near her ear made Lachersia more flustered than she was willing to admit to herself.
Her thoughts roamed.
She strengthened her grip just a little. It gave her a feeling of reassurance. Jennifer was real. She was there. Lachersia could feel Jennifer’s warmth and hear her heartbeat, she could feel Jennifer’s breathing. She was there, in Lachersia’s arms. And she would never disappear.
Lachersia could feel a strange but pleasant feeling in her heart. At this moment, she felt especially fragile and vulnerable, she felt human. And she didn’t mind feeling this way as long as Jennifer was with her.
They flew and flew, Lachersia took no notice of time. She wished that they could fly like this forever.
It wasn’t hard to find the village. It wasn’t far from the Duchy’s Capital city, though, in comparison to the kingdom’s Capital, it was just a big town.
Jennifer observed the village for a while. She could see the people going about their lives and their usual routines. She looked at their houses and the roads. Everything told a story. She walked in the village, hidden behind Lachersia’s spell, and felt like she knew the whole village from inside out. Somehow she felt sentimental. She remembered the place and all of the sentiments it carried with its continued existence.
The village was innocent, therefore deserved at least this much, was how she felt.
Finally, she found the two kids. They were very small, both about five or six years old. Well, that was how it seemed to Jennifer. She wasn’t familiar with humans or other creatures but the two children looked even smaller than her but were big enough to reach her shoulders, so she concluded that they were five to six years old.
She was quite surprised at how innocent they looked. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it but they looked pure, innocent, naïve. There was something in their eyes that told her this. She looked straight at their eyes for three whole minutes but couldn’t quite find it. Maybe it was an illusion, but their mumbled speech and uncoordinated behavior were also proof enough.
They played with some kinds of sticks. It was very strange and was certainly something only a child could understand. Very mystifying.
She turned to Lachersia and gave her a nod. The latter waved her hand and both children fell asleep.
Jennifer crouched down and took those sticks, looked at them, waved them around, causing Lachersia to laugh. She put down the sticks. She didn’t want Lachersia to laugh at her and she didn’t understand it anyway. Then she picked them back up and put them in the children’s pockets.
Soon the fire and the screams reached them. She looked at the people who were running all over the place, some had fire on their clothes, some had fire on their skin. The village burned and all the sentiments burned with it. It was a good thing she stored them in her memory. Un, the village was innocent and she could do so much.
She looked at Lachersia and grasped her hand.
“Are you afraid?”
“Do you feel sorry about it?”
Lachersia made a reliable smile and looked at Jennifer’s eyes. She could understand these eyes a bit better than other ones.
“No… But it… feels like a waste”
This was how she could describe it. She has walked the streets of this small village and has seen its history etched within the small details. It was a very quiet place, a peaceful place, a safe place. She loved peace, quiet and safety and destroying this place felt… wasteful.
She looked at Lachersia’s eyes and knew that Lachersia understood her feelings. They both stood and watched as the fire burned and for the first time on their journey Jennifer felt that she saw something that wasn’t beautiful.