The little flame licks and
Crackles on the pine,
Singeing but not burning,
Glowing but not enlightening
He raised his finger and concentrated with all his might; his eyes screwed in sheer focus. It seemed as if he strained all his energy to achieve something – something of which he had great regard, something of which he fostered a yearning for. Of about twelve years of age, the child was unmistakenably one of that of a vampire – so startlingly beautiful, so immensely charming that it left no doubts of otherwise. No human child could lay claim to such absurd magnetism.
His blond tresses in disarray, the child maintained his meditation; the vigil rather than diminishing, intensified with every passing moment.
Though he stood alone in the center of the dusty, mud-ridden ground, he was being raptly watched by a teeming audience; some thousand vampires were settled in stands, surrounding the barren patch where the son of the Aurora Lord demonstrated his prowess; a sort of examination, the Revealing was one of the realm’s most anticipated ceremonies. In this vibrant event, young vampires, upon reaching the age of twelve, were initiated amid a crowd of the realm’s powerful vampires; the erstwhile congregation judged the juvenile vampires – so as to remove the chaff from the grain. The weak and incompetent were handed out menial tasks, while the strong and stout were placed under the elite Companions of the Realm, to polish their respective skills to perfection.
The Revealing, in question, had aroused much excitement amongst the masses of the Realm – as this time, offspring of three Lords participated: it was a matter of grave concern that who surpassed the ordeal of the Revealing as there existed great competition between the six constituencies of the Realm and Vampri, the masses were greatly divided – it being only natural that they should support the Lord of their own constituency and their progeny.
The nobles of the Order of Aurora watched in mute trepidation; not a word was uttered, not a single moment wasted in idle chat. They watched, silent and tense. The atmosphere could not have been more tangible as it was then.
Moments passed: the child opened his tightly shut eyes and released the energy he had been attempting to accumulate all this time.
A shower of scintillating sparks, emitting from his raised finger, greeted his stark grey eyes.
In uncertainty, the light
Dims and flicker;
Was it the moment of doom
Or the moment of rejoice?
Doubt sheared Neilson alike a jagged scimitar in his heart: he was afraid. Afraid not of the consequences that the failure might bring to his honor – rather he was afraid about the damage it would hurl on the Order’s reputation. Aurora Lord’s son was also expected to be as prodigal as his father; while Neilson was well-acquainted with his son’s abilities – he knew his son was not capable of following in his footsteps as the next Aurora Lord. Meek and submissive, Vidan had yet to unfasten his powers: of whose actual existence Neilson possessed much misgiving.
But then, the boy was of twelve years of age. Neilson could no longer have hid him at home. The Revealing was a ritual that every juvenile vampire had to go through anyhow. Avoiding it was not an option.
The anticipation was painful: would the crowd that had so generously given the nod of approval to the Lotus Lord’s daughter and the Mist Lord’s son, do the same for his meek son?
Aurora’s destiny as the most powerful Order of the Realm hung crucially on those few seconds.
Despite the overcast atmosphere, his statuesque face was somber and impassive; yet upon closely looking, one could perceive the lines of his chiseled jaw quivering in fear.
Neilson prayed feverishly.
And, then Vidan let go of the meager energy he had managed to amass.
Neilson’s shoulders sagged as he looked in disbelief at the pitiful spray of sparks.
Much does the lotus plot,
To unfurl its petals
Of poison on that light,
That threatens its ascend.
A gloating smile curled across Nelumbia’s visage – she did not know the boy had so little skill.
The boy’s ineptitude has certainly come as gilt over the edge … Nelumbia thought in glee, as she observed the expressions of shock portrayed by the nobles of Aurora.
The era of Lotus had begun with this sudden demise of Aurora.
Claws of mist sneak
In veil; clinging to the
Shadows that only seek
To agitate a new tempest.
The Mist Lord watched closely.
The flash of triumphant smile on Nelumbia’s face and the resigned sagging shoulders of Neilson were not lost on him: these quick chinks in character, though surfaced briefly, were noticeable to anyone whose observation was as shrewd as Ardui.
However, these momentary weaknesses did not cause him much anxiety. What did bother him was the presence of a silhouette lurking behind the main arched stand. Barely noticeable, the shadow had done much to conceal itself: and it was only through his acumen, that he had managed to perceive it.
For what ulterior motive, the shadow pried on the Revealing, Ardui could not fathom.
One thing, though was, quite clear.
Fresh trouble was astir.