The eve of battle was always a deadly silence. The warm, brisk air of summer blew in her face. The sun set over the Mustang Mountains, leaving a trail of vibrant colors in the evening.
Selena looked out her window. She thought of all the training that she and her dragon Thor had spent almost six months doing in preparation for this. She saw a couple of dragons patrolling the perimeter of Tronheim to watch for the Sorcerer's massive army that was soon to come.
She thought of her dragon and how he would act in battle. She recalled that he seemed a little enthusiastic earlier about being able to take part in real combat. She wished that she felt the same. Selena feared battles more than anything because of all the deaths that would result. She had never killed anyone and the thought of it made her sick to her stomach.
She then thought of the Sorcerer, which made her feel worse. Venexus was powerful and he knew how to use and control all of the elements while she knew only one. Even though Thor was the Divinity Dragon and could summon any element he wished, he was still too young.
She quickly glanced over at her sword lying on the floor in front of her bed. Feeling uncertainty, Selena was not exactly thrilled for tomorrow. She understood that eventually, she would have to face the Sorcerer. She knew that she would have to take her sword and thrust it into his chest.
She quickly made herself some green tea, her hands shaking uncontrollably. If only Silver were there at that moment to help her feel better, but she hadn't heard from him since the creation of her weapon. Instead, she wanted to go and see Thor before battle.
She made her way towards the training grounds in her robes with a cup of green tea that she sipped on to help keep her calm. Although this helped to some degree, Silver and her dragon were, in actuality, her only sources of comfort.
"Little one," he said after a while, lifting his head to greet her as she walked to him.
She sat down beside his talons, keeping a hold of her green tea. "I am not looking forward to the battle that awaits us," she said.
"I am afraid this will be one of many," Thor replied. "We have been training for this."
"At least in training, I didn't have to kill." Selena buried her head in her hands. "I just can't stand it. I hate the thought of what the Empress, and of Armageddon, wants me to do."
"Little one, remember that he is trying to kill you, unless you kill him first." Selena did not respond; she knew that Thor was right. It was just only a matter of time of when. "Do not let this upcoming battle disturb you, little one."
Selena nodded and wiped her tears. It was of no use to keep dwelling on the unavoidable. She took another sip of her green tea, tasting the hint of honey she added when she poured it into the cup earlier. The aroma of the green tea filled the inside of her nostrils. Selena took a deep breath, allowing the fumes to relax her.
The moonlight shone high in the sky, illuminating all of Tronheim. Armageddon sat in quiet and disturbed peace.
The battle against the Sorcerer was tomorrow. She had to face him, even though she still did not know where Ragnarok was. Selena felt a few tears form behind her eyes and she took a sip of her green tea. She may die tomorrow if she was unsuccessful. Her hands shook with fear and almost dropped her cup of green tea. Tears trickled down her face and landed in her beverage.
She looked up and noticed that along Tronheim's wall were the catapults with archers keeping watch for any sign of the Sorcerer's army.
"Selena." She quickly turned around at the sound of her name. Maria gradually walked over to her, holding some pieces of parchment in her hands. She almost looked like she was concealed by shadows because at first Selena didn't see her. Thor lifted his head and nodded towards Maria. "I've been looking everywhere for you. I need to talk to you about something important."
Selena blinked and nodded as Maria sat on the ground beside her. She took a deep breath and handed her the pieces of parchment. Selena grabbed them and shifted through, her eyes gazing over the small handwriting. Some of it was illegible. However, some of the scraps looked to be letters while others were research notes. One piece she saw that it was written to someone called, 'My Fair Maiden' while signed by 'The Black Fox.'
"What are these?" Selena asked as she continued to shift through the papers. "Where did you get them?"
Maria looked down. "I found these a long time ago when I was little," she said quietly. "My mother kept them hidden in our house. After Rahim told me of how you were always interested in reading the works by Gundisalvus, I thought I could give these to you." She took another deep breath. "I was always told that I should be ashamed to say this. My mother dropped our last name for she feared persecution." She paused.
Selena was slightly confused, but then realized what Maria was trying to say. Her eyes widened as she became lost for words.
"You?" she asked. "Y
you're his descendent?"
Maria nodded. "Don't tell anyone," she whispered. "Gundisalvus's name isn't welcome in Armageddon. He's still considered a traitor, as proclaimed by the Coven."
"I understand," Selena began, "But that is incredible! I am truly honored!"
Maria smiled. "These are all of his research notes. Much of what he wrote, even though they were dated over two hundred years ago, he still addressed Vidar as the Coven's leader."
"You mean after the Sorcerer stepped down?" Maria nodded. "That means that Vidar Helios is over two hundred years old."
"Exactly," Maria said. "Not sure how unless you're an elf or a half-elf."
Selena pointed at the nicknames on one of the letters. "Who is 'My Fair Maiden?'"
Maria shrugged. "My great-grandfather wrote many letters to her, but I don't have the faintest idea as to who it could be. But I found this interesting." She reached in and pulled out one of the scraps of notes Selena held. "Much of his research included Ragnarok. He kept claiming he found it and that it hides underneath the starry skies. I know that doesn't make sense, but look at this." She pulled out another. "He had other research notes on ancient dwarven ruins. There was one in particular that was abandoned shortly after the slavery of the elves ended. Since they were abandoned, they were sealed off; for it was rumored they contained hidden technology that they purposefully locked away." She took a deep breath. "There was one that he found in the Hinterlands just outside of Tronheim. There is a rumor that there is a strange device inside that can chart the starry skies."
Selena's heart raced as she scrambled through the pieces of parchment. Her mind then shifted towards the cavern she saw when she first arrived to Tronheim.
"I know where it is," she said. "I saw the entrance before! Ragnarok has to be in there!"
Maria's eyes widened with amazement. "Are you sure?
"It has to be," Selena whispered as she looked through the notes. "Look at this one." She pointed to one with a drawing of what appeared to be a map of the cave next to a river. "That's the Raging River that flows through the Hinterlands. That was the cave that I saw a few days ago."
"But when will we be able to go into the cavern?" Thor asked. "We cannot go now, not at the eve of battle!"
Selena looked at Maria, who nodded in return.
"The decision is left up to you, Dragon Rider," she said.
Selena gazed into her cup of green tea and gazed at her reflection. "We would have to go and find the cavern in the Hinterlands sometime during the battle."