Status: Will be updated once to twice a week, until I catch up to what I have written.

The Quest

Chapter Twenty - Translation

Tess walked along the graves by the house, her heart filling with sadness. They had given up their lives to not only save Tom and herself, but to protect a prophecy she did not know existed. She felt a hand on her shoulder, making her look up at the person. “Take all the time you need, but make sure you’re inside before dark.” Tom looked towards the graves, then went into the house. Most likely to start translations for Destru.

Tess kneeled down by the closest grave, breathing out a shaky breath. “Mama... Papa,” Tess whispered, envisioning them in her mind. “I don’t know what to say, but I wanted to thank you for taking care of me. I’m sorry I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye.” Tess’ hand glowed as tears streaked her face. She raised it, not sure why it was shining. She hadn’t intended to do a spell. Tess placed her hand on the nearest grave, flowers grew where she placed it. She moved on to the next grave and did the same thing, ending with Theo’s grave.

“You were a wonderful little brother, Theo. It’s too bad you weren’t able to have a full life and get to make potions with me. I’ll keep you in my mind every time I brew your favorite,” Tess whispered. Her hand stopped glowing. She leaned over the ground and cried, allowing all her feelings to release into the earth.

Destru watched Tess from inside the house, a worried frown forming on his face. “Is it okay for her to be out there by herself?” he asked Tom.

Tom pulled a chair out from the table, finally finding the book he had been looking for. “She’s got some things to work out. I’d much rather she got her feelings sorted out now rather than later. Her magic gets unstable when she’s holding a lot of stuff in.” He flipped open the book and began comparing symbols to the tablet, writing the matches.

Destru turned back to the window, watching as Tess grew flowers on the graves, then cried. “How long has she been able to do magic?” Destru asked, not talking to anyone in particular.

“Her whole life,” Tom answered, not looking up. His tail was slowly swishing from side to side as he concentrated. “This is nothing compared to what she’ll grow into. Her real magic won’t come in until she’s sixteen.”

“Why’s that?” Destru asked, becoming intrigued. It was rare that witches weren’t born with their full power.

Tom shrugged. “Mom always said it had something to do with her heritage. Never explained it more than that.”

“Interesting,” Destru continued to watch Tess. The winds of fate definitely had something in store for the two kids. “Well, who’s hungry?” Destru turned and clapped his hands, his crew cheering at the mention of food. “Do you mind if I go through the pantry?” Destru asked Tom, before moving into the kitchen.

“Feel free,” Tom mumbled. The translation was going to take longer than he had hoped.

-----

Tess curled up in the chair in the living room after dinner. She had taken residence there, next to the reading lamp, pouring over her spell book.

“Anything good in there?” Tom asked, glancing up from the table he had yet to move from.

“I still can’t rush my studies,” Tess answered with a slight smirk.

“Why’s that?” Tom laughed, putting his pencil down and looking towards her.

“Your mom wrote in the margins, yelling at me every time I decide to skip a few pages.” Tess showed him the book to see his mom’s scrawling handwriting on the margins.

“She knew you too well,” Tom chuckled, turning back to the tablet, scratching his head.

“Any luck?” Tess asked, turning the book back to herself.

“I’ve got the first few lines.” Tom rubbed his eyes. It was getting late.

“How many lines are there?”

“Seven,” Tom answered. “And the inscriptions aren’t the easiest to read either. How about you? What are you supposed to start with?”

“Protection spells,” Tess leaned back over the armrest of the chair, throwing her hands in the air in exasperation. “It’s so boring!”

Tom smirked at Tess’ exasperated figure. She always liked to do things that could show what she could do. He knew protection magic didn’t always have a way to see that it was working. “It’s a good starting point. You can make sure you’re protected against spells that want to blow up in your face.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Tess grumbled as she went back to reading.

Tom went back to reading his dad’s book. He could see Tess attempt to do a few spells as sparks would come from her hand. He wasn’t sure if they were successful or not, but he didn’t hear her groaning about it too much. The moon peaked above the trees, as he looked out the window. Looking back at his paper, he sighed. He hadn’t gotten much farther, but he needed some sleep too. “Tess, I’m going to bed,” he called towards her.

He got up when she didn’t respond. Shaking his head when he noticed she had fallen asleep in the chair. The book propped against her chest like a blanket. “You’re going to hurt tomorrow,” he whispered, as he found a blanket and covered her with it. “See you in the morning.”

-----

The next morning, everyone gathered around the table as Tom finished the translation. Tom smirked as he watched Tess rub her achy neck, then turned his attention back to his translations. “There’s seven lines. The rest appear to be washed away over the years. So hopefully, this sounds complete,” Tom explained as he waved his hand over the tablet.

“Well, what’s it say?” Destru asked, his tail wagging so fast it was almost like a windmill.

Tom chuckled, picking up his translation and began reading from it.

“In a time of invisible unrest

The high priestess will be sought

By a group in distress

A hero emerges 

the last of their kind

a noble sacrifice

For peace to be found,”

“That’s it?” Tess asked. “That doesn’t sound complete.”

“There’s a possibility there were a few more lines, but I can’t even make them out.” Tom pointed towards the bottom of the tablet where the symbols had nearly washed away.

“Invisible unrest,” Destru mused, pacing. “How do you know there’s unrest when you can’t see it?”

“The Lass could be the High Priestess,” one of the crew members suggested. “That’s what that siren called her.”

Tess shivered at the mention of the siren. She had no desire to relive that moment. “Doubtful,” she put in her own two cents. “I barely know how to do any spells, let alone what a high priestess would need to know.”

“Aye,” Destru agreed, turning towards Tess studying her. “When will you be sixteen, Lass?”

“In two years,” Tess replied. “Tom turns sixteen-“

“Today,” Tom finished for her.

Tess’ eyes went big as the realization hit her. “Oh, you’re right. That’s today.” She was silent for a moment. “I don’t have anything for you.”

“That’s okay.” Tom slung an arm around her shoulders. “Hanging out with you has enough surprises in it.”

Tess stuck her tongue out, making him laugh.

“Well, what are your plans now?” Destru asked the pair as he donned his coat and hat. Tess knew they would go their own separate ways eventually, but it seemed so soon.

“We’re not sure,” Tom admitted. “But we’ll look you up when we figure out where we’re going.”

Destru nodded his head, motioning to his crew to head out. He gave an exaggerated bow, much like the one when he had met Tess for the first time. “If you’re ever in trouble, howl at the moon. I’ll come find ya.” With a wink, Destru turned and left.

“What trouble could we get into?” Tess teased Tom, who grinned back at her.

“Oh, I wouldn’t be surprised with you around,” Tom teased back.