Once we reach the forest Jordan asks me, “So, what exactly does it mean to be an elf?”
“Well, some of it’s actually pretty cool. For example, I have some abilities that I never knew about that have been developing quite quickly now that I’m back here.”
“What kind of abilities?” he asks.
I try to decide which would be the easiest for him to understand and for me to show him. “Well, for starters, all of my senses are significantly heightened and will continue to get stronger. My hearing is the strongest so far. Want me to demonstrate?”
“Okay,” he says.
I find my friends in the courtyard and approach them hesitantly. I’m not sure what to say to them. I’m not even sure what exactly they know about my absence for the last few days.
Sylaera spots me first and immediately bounces up out of her seat to give me a hug.
“Oh Amanae! You’re back. Are you okay? We’ve been so worried about you.”
“Sorry. Yeah, I’ll be okay. It’s just been a difficult few days.”
Tryaethus won’t look at me.
Caelsah won’t tell me where he’s taking me, or what’s in the bag that he’d stopped to get from his house. We walk in silence listening to the sounds of the forest surrounding us. It’s so utterly peaceful. We come upon a clearing and as we walk further into it I see some figures. As we get closer I realize that they’re targets.
“Oh!” My eyes widen in surprise. “Really?!”
He smiles as he takes the bow and arrows out of the bag and hands them to me. I stare at them, then look at him and laugh. He raises an eyebrow at me.
“I have absolutely no clue what to do with these!”
He laughs. “Then allow me.” He gets another bow from the bag, “First, you want to hold the bow like this, then practice pulling back the string a couple of times to get the feel of it.”
Between Tiathal and Sheonna, I was able to get fully caught up on my much needed rest. In fact, I pretty much slept the entire weekend away and feel great for it.
I arrive at school early on Monday to ask Tryaethus to help me practice seeing Auras as students arrive.
Following the same general process for practicing other base abilities, I bring them into focus slowly and then fade them out gradually. Starting one at a time and increasing to several at once.
Tryaethus has to break my concentration a couple of times when a particularly strong Aura overwhelms me, but none of them are anything like Caelsah’s Aura and I feel confident that I’m getting the hang of controlling how much I see.
We’re taking a break when I feel a slight tug at my own Aura. It’s an odd feeling. I look around to find Shalar staring at me. I suck in my breath as I look at her and reach my hand out to Tryaethus.
Once everyone else is gone, Mom makes tea and we move to the kitchen with Kalian and Caelsah.
“Amanae, with the unexpected arrival of everyone else, I didn’t get chance to ask you if Tiathal’s meditation suggestions worked?” Dad asks.
“As a matter of fact they did. So much so that I’m pretty sure I could have slept right through until tomorrow. So sleeping may well end up being the extent of my day tomorrow.”
“That’s great news!” Mom gives my hand a squeeze.
I look at Kalian, “Thanks for staying Kalian. I know it’s getting late, so I’ll get straight to the point. I’m wondering if you can explain this?” I place the document in front of him that Dad gave me.