The Curse of the Pirini Lilapa
Guardians of the Core Book 2
by Michael Thies
Genre: Futuristic Fantasy
The Trials have concluded. Coronation has elected a new apprentice to Guardian of the Core. Since, Zain Berrese, Prince Hydro Paen, and Eirek Mourse have gone their separate paths, thinking each other a distant memory. But, it seems that fate has other plans. As the three travel their paths, they find that their lives are not so separate after all. The persons who they thought they were at the end of the Trials are now tested even more as the suns draw closer to their convergence. To an event known to bring only bad luck, sorrow, and pain. To an event that occurs every 150 0years. To an event known as Pirini Lilapa.
Some look to the sky in superstition, others look to the sky in fear, and yet, some look to the sky in contemplation. For in the weeks and days before the suns converge, plots perspire, deities die, and families are fractured as no one is safe from their harsh and heinous gaze. . .
“What are we practicing? I have training with the sages at noon. I need to eat and run before I get taken out to the valley.”
“Then I suggest we not waste any more time. Vesi.” Tundra twirled her right hand, her wristlace sparkling in the glow from the light.
Eirek watched water gather from the stream nearby and form a pool ten feet above him. It dropped. Eirek hopped to the left, avoiding some of it, but not all. His right side took a hit from the water. And it was cold. Much colder now that he was outside in the open air before dawn.
“I . . .” Before Eirek could finish, another pool formed overhead and dropped, this time completely soaking him.
Eirek wiped the water from his eyes and looked at Tundra. She had stopped for the moment, her arms folded across her chest. Did Eska put her up to this? Do the conseleigh see me as a failure too?
“Either move quicker, or combat me using water, Apprentice Mourse.”
“I . . .” Eirek slumped his shoulders. He sighed. “How?”
Tundra smiled. She let her arms down and walked over to him, her crystal heels clacking on the stone floor. “Use your imagination.” Tundra put her finger to his head.
Eirek didn’t realize his jaw was open until Tundra continued.
“Do not seem so surprised. You are intelligent, Apprentice Mourse. You succeeded in my Trial, after all, and solved my riddle. Use your brain to conjure the solution to the problem at hand. This exercise is nothing different, only wetter.” She laughed a little at that.
“But how can you and I use water at the same time?”
“Many times a battle with Power will involve using the same spell, Apprentice Mourse. The element chooses to obey who is more deserving of it.”
A silence lingered before Eirek asked, “How does it know?”
“Because it senses your emotion and your want and your drive. It’s in your intonation.”
“It has nothing to do with how strong you are?”
Tundra chuckled. “It does. But the strength you are thinking of is physical, and the elements do not care about that type of strength. The elements obey only those who are emotionally and mentally mature and strong enough to handle them. Now are you ready to begin again?”
Eirek gulped. “I think so.”
“Good.” Tundra turned and walked back a few paces.
Before she stood still, a pool of water came from the stream and doused Eirek.
“I thought you were ready.”
“I . . .” Eirek shook himself like a dog trying to fling off as much water as he could. “I was waiting on you . . .”
“I do not need to see you to cast a spell.” Tundra narrowed her eyes on Eirek. “Now, again. Match me. Vesi.”
Eirek saw water form above him. He turned to the stream and focused on water. “Vesi.” He uppercut the air and formed a circle of water above him. Pitter patter of rain drops fell from above, and he noticed water trickling down the sides of his makeshift water umbrella. I did it.
The scene above him engrossed him until a splash of water hit him in the face. What the . . . Water fell and soaked him.
As Edwyrd Eska approaches his two-hundredth year as Guardian of the Core, he must find an apprentice to train under him. His title and role compel him to safeguard and govern his universe, Gladonus, as each Guardian before him has done and those after him shall continue to do until relieved of such duties by will of the Ancients. Prince Hydro Paen, Eirek Mourse, and Zain Berrese—amongst other contestants—receive invitations to compete in a quest of Trials intended to determine who will become Eska’s apprentice. An old adage goes: “The toughest trials test you truest” – and these events challenge their fortitude through tenuous partnerships, intellectual rivalries, and battles of weapons’ mastery. Along the way, each contestant must attempt to overcome personal demons that haunt them. In this tale of ideal dreams and lucid aspirations, these competitors find theirs threatened by deceit, betrayal, sabotage—and even flesh—as all become vital to success…
Even past midday, Freyr didn’t have much bearing on the stone court. Lord’s Keep was too tall, and the sun was not even at its zenith yet. In its current position, the two sparring figures managed to produce two slender shadows dancing in rhythmic beats of one another.
Hydro Paen’s younger brother, Aiton, looked on closely from the shaded portion of the castle walls. Aiton sat in a longchair, held tight by his mother. His mother’s friends were there too—marchionesses from different provinces of Acquava. Elias Ward, his father’s adored, had also taken a spot amongst the crowd, waiting to tend to any injury. Hydro tried not to focus on them, but every so often he caught himself stealing a gaze, watching for his mother’s eye, which never seemed to look. Mostly Hydro focused on the man in front of him: Korth.
Korth swung his sword upward, forcing Hydro into a backflip. Upon landing, he ducked to avoid another stroke. Using his momentum, Hydro propelled his body forward, lance in front, attempting to pierce Korth’s seachrome armor—the front and back pieces attached by strong fishing lines, and instead of chainmail covering any openings on his side, rows upon rows of tightened clam shells protected him. Upon the breast was a droplet of water pierced and shattered by a sword. It was the Paen insignia, the pride of Hydro’s house.
Hydro missed. Now his back was exposed. He tugged on the golden chain attached to his sapphire lance and spun around, ready to block an incoming attack.
“Good reflexes, Prince,” said Korth. His thick moustache bobbed up and down beneath the gap of his seachrome helm.
“I do not need your praise, Korth.”
Hydro jabbed his lance forward, but it was batted away. A heavy boot struck his stomach, causing his chest to heave inward. Defeat rang thrice as the lance clattered on the court.
“You may not need my praise, but you certainly need my help. Your lance skills are still only mediocre.” Korth grinned, extending his sea-leather glove, dotted in brine, down to Hydro.
Hydro looked toward the crowd and saw his mother smirking at him.
I will show you I am not a failure. Hydro ignored the hand and returned to his feet by himself. “I do not need my lance when I can best you with a sword. Shall we practice that?”
Michael Thies graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in Creative Writing and Advertising. After a year in the marketing and sales field he realized that it wasn’t his calling, so he went back to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for his second bachelor’s degree, this time in English Education. Now, he is a wanderlust traveler and global English Educator. Shortly after receiving his English Education certificate and his TEFL certificate, he spent one year living in Santiago, Chile interacting with the people and the culture there. Currently he is 28 and living in China, on the other side of the world, still interacting with the locals, still adopting their culture, but more importantly, still writing. It is these experiences that fuel the imagination of his mind.
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