Myra moved to and fro in her chamber. She was anticipating intrusion any second. She knew what was going to happen, she even knew the intruders.
Since the time she knew of her powers, world had been a little different for her. She hadn't even told anyone about it. Only Carshian knew, and he had, somehow, figured it out on his own.
She was a member of the Shiam house, living in the mansion. Till four years ago, Carshian was the young lord of the house.
Why did they have to banish every men?!
Myra snapped her head towards the window, just a second before two hooded figure hurled themselves through the window, landing on their paws in her chamber.
The taller one of the two quickly rushed behind Myra and covered her mouth, in case she screamed. To her surprise, Myra didn't. The taller one cautiously let go of her, the other one too remained at ready.
The two girls removed their hoods. "Are you Myra?"
"Yup", Myra replied, enjoying their expressions. "It's great to finally meet you, Rumini. Hello Rheya, the last living titaness."
"Wait", Rumini retorted, "do I know you?"
"Oh no, no", Myra told them. "I am just a no body. But who doesn't know you two? Rumini Lashami, arguably the best archer in all of Tierra. And you, Rheya Titaness, the strongest woman in all lands."
Rheya looked sceptical. "Apparently, you aren't a no body. Or, he wouldn't have asked for you."
"Carshian? He just favors me over his other cousins."
"How did you know we were talking about him?"
Myra pointed to the pendant tied to Rumini's waist. "That pendant is not a mere coincidence, is it? He sent it for identification, didn't he?"
"Yes, he did", Rumini said. "He wants to see you. He said you would understand."
Myra nodded. "Give me a moment, will you? I shall meet you under the tree where you parked your bikes."
Rheya narrowed her eyes at her. "How did you know that?"
Myra chuckled. "If I were you, I would be more worried about the bird poop. Bye."
Needless to say, when Myra reached the two under the tree, Rheya was wiping bird poop from her forehead, looking terribly pissed.
"How did you know what was going to happen?" she demanded.
Myra offered her a tissue. "Can't we just brush it off as unwelcome coincidence? Let's leave, for now. We don't want to get caught in the storm, do we?"
Up above, the sky started rumbling.
Rheya looked at Rumini, "She is giving me migranes."
Myra felt tears well up in her eyes as she stared at the sickeningly familiar form of Carshian sitting on a log outside the cave.
Last time she had seen him, he was just 14. He had a tall, lean frame, long curly hair falling on his cute, innocent and scared face as he was forced to abandon the civilization.
Now, four years later, he wasn't a boy anymore. Standing up to 5'11", his tanned complexion complimented his strong muscular build. Several scars and bite marks proudly adorned his rippling V-shaped torso. He had chopped his hair short, but was sporting a thick beard hugging his survival-hardened face. His eyes, though, still had that innocence to it, shining in an irresistible lustre.
She ran and hugged him fiercely, burying her face in his chest, tears running freely down her eyes.
His strong arms wrapped around her thin frame. "How have you been, Myra?"
His voice had hardened in the years, his whole being had become much manlier.
"House Shiam is not the same without you all", she told him.
He chuckled, "We were that bad influence?" Then in a serious tone, he added, "But I didn't ask about the house. How have you been, Myra?"
She knew what he was talking about. "Still getting used to it", she said. "Fates never cease to surprise us, do they?"
"They don't", he agreed.
She stared in his eyes. His eyes seemed calm and captivating. She saw the sun being reflected in his eyes. His eyes were warm and soothing. She lost herself in them, staring unblinkingly. As the warmth started to increase, she realized she had lost all control over herself. The increasing warmth felt soothing, until it became unbearable. The mild reflection of the sun turned to an all-consuming fire, and in that fire, she saw the face she loved the most in its most evil form.
Myra didn't realize she was screaming, until Carshian shook her in panic, bringing her back to present.
She looked back into his eyes, but they were back to normal. The fire had vanished. She looked all around, afraid, expecting those cold evil eyes to appear any moment and incinerate everything to ashes.
She waited, her heart hammering in her chest, the pumping of blood echoing in her ears.
She looked back at Carshian, still afraid that he would turn evil any second.
But he remained the Carshian she knew: strong but caring. His voice seemed to be coming from a distance, until she realized that he had been screaming her name for a long time.
"What?" she asked. Her own voice sounded frail and alien.
"Are you fine, Myra? What happened?"
She searched for an answer. What had happened exactly?
"What did you see?" he asked her.
"I saw… you. I saw you", she told him, sobbing.
The three sisters were standing behind her, unable to comprehend what was going on.
"What exactly did you see?" he asked her in a soft voice.
"I- I don't remember. What did I see? Why did I see you?"
Carshian sighed. "Hey, don't worry about it. We'll figure things out, I promise. Everything is going to be fine."
"That doesn't reassures an oracle, Carshian", she pointed out.
Rheya and Rumini exchanged a glance.
"Maybe you are just imagining things about me, considering you hadn't seen me for years", he offered.
"Let's hope it is that simple."
Myra sat across from Carshian, sipping her tea.
Carshian brought the topic for which he had called her. "Myra, you had said that the plan of abduction was going to bring me closer to Kiadhra's whereabouts."
"It did", Myra said, calmly.
"Well, I can't see how. I now have three girls to take care of and still no faintest idea where Kiadhra might be."
Myra looked at Carshian. "Don't let go of hope yet, Carshian. It set things in motion."
"Well, I can't sit here and wait for things to happen!"
Myra chuckled. "You can't make a flower blossom before its time, can you, Carshian? You have to give in to the pace of nature. But, if you have something on your mind…" She offered him her right hand.
He bent down on one knee, taking her hand in his palms. He removed her glove and kissed on the back of her hand. He unbuttoned his shirt and placed her hand over his heart.
Suddenly he felt an invisible hand grab his heart.
Gasping, he looked back at Myra. Her head was turned towards him, but she was staring into nothingness, her eyes pure white. He looked around, but time seemed to have stopped. The wind had stopped blowing. The birds were frozen in mid-flight. The moon was in no hurry to roam across the sky, nor were the stars in any mood of twinkling. The rippling water had turned solid and even the steam rising from Myra's tea was unmoving.
'What do you want to know, man?' a voice in his head asked.
Carshian almost jumped. He could never get used to this feeling.
'Oh great Omniscient one. You know all that has happened. You know all that is going to happen– '
'I know nothing', the voice said, interrupting. 'I have forgotten everything. You must make me remember.'
'I love a girl called Kiadhra. She went missing two months ago. I need to find her.'
'And what do you need me to do? I remain asleep all the time. I can't look for anyone for you.'
'But you can look in all my possible futures. Advise me what to do.'
'There is no concrete future unless you make up your mind. Tell me, man, what do you plan to do?'
'I am going to find her, and punish who-so-ever is responsible. Can you look into my future and tell me who I face off?'
'It is a being from another wane.'
'What is a wane?'
'There are a countless things that you don't know, man. If I told you anything more than what you can bear, your brain will melt out of your ears, your body will fade into vacuum. Just know that this being is not from Tierra.'
'So how did he get here?'
'He was advised by a being of thirteenth wane. You can find her on Tierra.'
'Guide me, oh wise one. How do I find her?'
'My oracle will tell you. I need to sleep now, man. Stay safe.'
Carshian opened his eyes to see Myra's flaming eyes. Mist came from her slighted parted lips. And, from that mist came the prophecy:
Move against the wind to face the snow
Befriend the moon you don't even know
But hear this last advice, my friend
Don't let go of hope in the end.
With that, the mist disappeared. The flame in Myra's eyes disappeared. Everything turned back to normal. The time returned to normal.
He let go of Myra's hand, and the invisible hand clutching at his heart withdrew.
Myra too turned to normal. She stared at Carshian for a second, then threw her arms around him, sobbing uncontrollably.
"I won't let you go, Carshian. I won't let you do this", she was saying between her sobs.
Carshian realized what had happened. Myra had seen something again. Maybe it will help him get to that being of the first wane, whatever that meant. "What did you see, Myra?"
"I saw you, idiot. I saw you in hell."
"Seriously? Am I that unbearable for you now that you are killing me and sending me to hell already?"
"It's not a joke, asshole!" she screamed.
"I know. Tell me exactly what you saw."
"I saw", she started, "I saw fire, and I saw blood all around. I saw hell hounds and monsters. I saw bodies of demons and gods alike, piled together. I saw men with missing limbs, screaming their last breath. I saw headless bodies of women, spurting blood from their neck. And somewhere in the pile, I could spot their severed heads too. My ears are filled with dying whines and hopeless screams, and in front of my eyes is the giant pile with the hotchpotch of organs lying in a pool of still-warm blood.
"And trust me, that isn't the scariest part at all. On top of the pile, I see you, all clad in black and red. That red is the color of the garments or freshly sprewed blood from the inanimate body in your hand, I can't tell, but the black is unmistakable; the same black of your eyes. Those eyes, those damn eyes… they appear cold, evil and full of bloodlust, as if the deaths around you were nothing but a lazy warmup."
Myra held Carshian's gaze in her blurred, teary eyes. "It is like there is no sense of humanity left in you."
Carshian remained silent for a few moments, giving Myra time to calm down a bit. All three sisters were watching them from a distance.
"Every problem has a solution, Myra. I am not just going to give up. We will carve our way through every problem, I promise."
Myra looked at him with pleading eyes. "Why can't you be just some coward piece of shit who listens to some sensible advices? Why do you have to willingly taunt the fates?"
"I am who I am, Myra. And that's why you love me." In a serious tone, he added, "If the disappearances of those 3000 girls who were supposed to be temple prostitutes tell us something, Kiadhra wasn't the first girl to vanish, and she won't be the last. I don't know why the civilization hasn't spotted it yet, but I am not blind. And I can't accept being a bystander, doing nothing, watching everything unfold before my eyes."
Myra hugged him fiercely. "I hate you, idiot."
Carshian smiled, "I know." After a pause, he added, "So, about the prophecy, what do you think it means?"
Myra thought for a second. "Prophecies are complicated, Carshian. You never understand what it actually means, until it actually happens before your eyes."
"Then what should I do?"
"Believe in your instincts. Your heart will tell you everything you need to know, when the time is ripe. For now, what do you think your instinct tells you to do?"
"To go east. It is against the direction of the wind flow."
"Then go. You'll figure out everything else on your way. The girls are safe here, and I'll make sure they remain that way."
Carshian had been moving east for days without break through the woods to avoid the civilization. After the banishment, men wandering in civilization were dealt with harshly. He had found no traces of snow yet, as the prophecy had predicted. 'Move against the wind to face the snow.'
Of course, the Snow Mountains were in the north, miles and miles away.
But strangely, in the old man that he found standing before him, he felt hope.
"You are looking for the moon", the old man stated, his eyes completely white, just like Myra's were.
Carshian doubled over in surprise. But for some unknown reason, his instincts told him to trust the oldie.
"Go that way for a few miles", the old man said, his demeanour appearing hypnotized, "and you'll find an ancient house. In that house rests the moon you are looking for."