The previous chapters can be found here

Regina looked questioningly at the Queen when she held the square out to her. Not breaking eye contact, she slowly turned her palm upwards and accepted the little buiscuitish looking piece of God knows what, and instantly regretted it. All the images that Amy had managed to keep at bay returned in full force, tearing through her mind. Clutching her head, she slowly sank to the ground, wondering how many times someone could black out in one day.

Then there was silence. No images, no noise, no searing headache. Her head was clear.

She looked up at the smiling Queen in wonder and mouthed, “How?”

“It’s your armour, Aurora”, the Queen said softly as Regina looked up into her eyes.

It sounded right. Aurora. Better than Regina, almost like that was her given name. Like something had finally clicked in place after all these years. Then the rest of the sentence registered.

“A little too tiny, isn’t it?”, Aurora replied a little uncertainly, keeping the square at arm’s length and slowly turning it this way and that to see if it would spring open from somewhere or not.

The Queen looked on, amused. Aurora realised what she was doing and quickly dropped her hand when she saw Amy’s pursed lips, trying to hold back her laughter. Rather red in the face by now, Aurora risked a glance at the Queen, silently asking for an explanation.

“You have to learn how to control it first”, the still snickering Amy replied,”It’s only shielding your thoughts right now, but once you’re properly integrated with it, it can function as a weapon too”

“Ok, so have to carry it around with me?”, Aurora asked, absentmindedly running her thumb over the slightly uneven surface of the armour.

“Till Integration, yes”, Amy replied as she slowly pulled her blonde hair to one side. There, elegantly etched on her skin in a ribbon of Azure blue were the words Et fideliori Amico.

“After the integration, the armour will fuse with your skin, leaving markers, sometimes words, sometimes pictures”, Amy continued to explain and nodded to the queen, who swept the sleeve of her robe upwards to reveal the marker on her arm.

Aurora’s breath caught. On the Queen’s forearm was the most breathtaking rendering of what looked like a picture out of “The Little Red Riding Hood”, except, Little Red was a grown woman with her arms around the wolf. The entire marker was in deep Red.

“It speaks of our purpose in life,only to be understood when faced with fulfilling it.”, the Queen said, reverently looking at her marker.

“So, you don’t know what the words mean?”, Aurora asked Amy, who shook her head to indicate no.

“It is supposed to be in the language of Antiquons, our predecessors”, Amy clarified, “The language was lost after the war of the Valiants, when the last Elder was killed in battle.”

“Ours is the age of Hodions, written in the Antiqua scrolls. It is one of the only scriptures the Elder was able to translate before his passing”, the Queen quietly said,looking out of the window sadly.

“Was he your husband?”, Aurora asked softly, mindful of the Queen’s mourning.

“The Red Lady must never allow a man to rule her heart, or else she will lead astray the wolf”, the Queen slowly quoted

“He was not my husband, he was our father”.

Aurora froze at her words. Slowly looking into the Queen’s tired eyes, she asked in no more than a whisper,

“Ours?”

The Queen sighed, “83 years I have waited for you to return as mother promised. 83 years I have presided over this land. 83 years it has been since I last heard my wolf howl. My wolf has returned to me now. Better days are coming.”

“The wolf protects the pack and feeds them. The wolf never gives up. The wolf will lead and one day, Light will conquer all else”.It was Amy this time, reverently quoting what Aurora supposed were lines out of the scripture that was translated.

The queen smiled slightly and then took in Aurora’s expression. “What is it?”, she asked her long lost sister.

“How can you say I’m the wolf? I don’t have any markers and I don’t even know where I am, except for the fact that it’s a castle called Lux….um Lux…”

“Luxsplendcastro”, Amy helpfully supplied, and Aurora shot her a grateful smile.

The Queen was unfazed, she slowly motioned for both the girls to sit comfortably before she began her tale.

“83 years ago, we were on the brink of losing a war. The War of the Valiants. ”

Both the girls nodded.

“The Light was fading fast and without it’s protection, nobody could have survived. Do you remember the lights in your dream, Aurora?”

Aurora nodded again.

“Tell me their colours”

Aurora closed her eyes and pictured the cave with the odd lights and began to speak

“Inside the cave there were 16 lights shining from the ground, in varying shades of Blue, green and purple and as I moved inwards, 7 lights shone from the ceiling in shades of red, orange and magenta.”

Opening her eyes, she continued, “I was drawn to the orange light shining from the ceiling”

The Queen nodded. “As I was drawn to Red and Amy to Azure. Each pool of Light is infact a lake. When we are of age and can withstand the Light in our minds, the process of Immersion begins.”

“The child goes into a state of meditation for the duration of the process and is transported mentally to the cave of the lakes. A certain lake beckons each person and the child is supposed to take a dip in the lake to be protected by the Light” Amy continued, “Our scientists have found that these lakes protect certain portions of the brain which are responsible for their purposes. Azure, which is the lake that chose me, is for Confidants of the King and Queen.”

“Then there are the 7 lakes overhead. They signify Royalty. Red chose me. It stands for Protection.” The Queen explained further,”Orange, which chose you, is Uninhibited. It means you are destined to free yourself of the reins of your kingdom and travel far and wide. Father had a Cyan knife on his chest. It stood for Mystery”

Aurora took the details in, slowly mulling over what she had learned.

“What about our Mother?”

Queen Arderine sighed softly at the tentatively voiced question.

The answer was equally soft.

“She IS the Light.”

 

So, I’ve explained a fair bit of the lakes. My next post will have much more. For better understanding I will be putting up all the 23 coloured lakes and their meanings tomorrow. I’ve also increased the length of the chapter. Should it be shorter? Longer? let me know!

 

©Sonali Mukherjee

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