PART THREE: TRUTH
Flint took a deep breath before knocking on the door to Aisha’s room. He realized that this simple ritual had become part and parcel of his daily routine for several weeks since meeting her. He hated to admit it but Sybil’s warning of the dangers of getting too close to Aisha were really starting to get to him but he just couldn’t help himself or his reaction to her.
“Come in,” she responded politely. He hesitated. Why should her voice or how she pronounced her syllables even matter to him? Must he be so willing to fall- could he not fight her natural hold on him? He was a Healer but like all other fairies, he had some measure of the warrior skill. Why not bail himself out by calling the skill out to help himself?
He opened the door and without hesitation smiled on seeing Aisha. As always, she was a vision even dressed in plain clothes. She smiled back and ushered for him to join her where she was seated on her neatly made bed. He tried not to think too much about where she’d proposed that he take his seat as he shut the door behind him and walked slowly toward her, his heart beating even faster than usual.
“Aisha,” he called out her name dramatically as if he were reciting lines for a play.
“Healer Flint,” she responded smiling, putting stray locks of her hair behind her ears.
“How are you feeling?”
She smiled and replied, “Very well, thank you. How are you?”
“I’m… um… okay. I’m more concerned for you,” he said. He asked if she’d mind him sitting on the bed with her and she smiled and shook her head indicating that she didn’t mind at all. He thanked her before taking his seat next to her. For several breathless moments, he could not help but ogle at her ethereal beauty while resisting the urge to catch a few lose strands of her hair between his fingers.
“Well, I’m okay now. It’s been hard accepting all what… you told me but I… I see now that I was deceived,” Aisha said.
“You are so brave for having accepted this news this well. Not many would have embraced the truth so readily,” he praised her. She beamed at his compliment.
“I’m trying my best to keep it together but I have a feeling that the worst is yet to come,”
“Come what may, I have complete trust in you. I am certain your inner strength will enable you to accept the truth. You are so, so brave…” he complimented and then got lost in her eyes, consequences be damned. She did not look away from him but instead also got lost in his eyes. The chemistry between them had undeniably grown over the past two months Aisha had been living in the spare room of one of the rented homes Flint had spent his time living in while visiting Vanuatu. Unlike in his past, Flint actually had a reason to want to vacation here.
The door was knocked breaking them from their reverie and Aisha ushered the additional guest, Sybil into the room. Sybil seemed to notice Flint first and hesitated before exchanging the usual pleasantries with Aisha. It was amazing to Sybil on just how strong Aisha had been despite finding out that a malevolent person had been manipulating the latter through her dreams under the guise of an ‘Angel’. And yet Sybil had withheld the greater part of the story from Aisha afraid of overloading her with too much information at once. She thought that finally, after two months, Aisha could stand to learn the entire truth.
“Aisha, how are you?” Sybil asked in her usual motherly manner.
“I am well, your holiness,” Aisha responded respectfully.
“Oh, no need for such honorifics. You may refer to me simply as Sybil,”
“I find that highly inappropriate, your holiness, but shall carry out your wish, on my honor,”
Sybil noticed how Flint was looking at Aisha and worried for her old friend. She had forewarned him not to get too close to Aisha given his fairy nature that was especially susceptible to Aisha’s natural charm and beauty but it seemed that the more one resisted something, the more persistent it became. She knew it was pointless then to try and get Flint to see reason. He appeared to be too far gone.
“I am certain you are eager to get more of the puzzle pieces and I shall be happy to provide them, if you’ll allow me, Aisha,”
“Yes of course, Sybil,” Aisha said paying rapt attention to her despite her fingers, seemingly of their own accord, slowly entwining with Flint’s and she began to feel sparks fly between them.
“Well, I think an appropriate beginning would be to first explain how I was able to assist you to break free from the hold of your supposed Angel. In addition to being a Mystai priestess, I am what is known as a Curse Breaker and as the title suggests, I help people overcome the effects of curses and other dark influences. You now understand that your ‘Angel’ was influencing you through dreams and that she twisted all facts about your life she could find and made them malevolent. It is safe to assume that all information that was fed to you were all lies,”
“Even… even about my parents?” Aisha asked confusedly. Flint’s hands then fully covered her own providing her with strength and emotional support.
“It’s safe to assume so though there are no memories in your mind I could find about them, it is safe to assume that they are either alive or didn’t really die in the way the ‘Angel’ claimed they did,”
“Could they… could they really still be alive?”
“It is a possibility though I’d hate to give you false hope, Aisha,”
Aisha nodded and smiled feebly.
“I suppose the next problem to resolve is why they’d want you dead which is a complex question to answer considering we have very little information other than who you are. Aisha, I have waited two whole months to tell you this but I never felt any time was appropriate to let you know until now because you were still struggling to come to terms with the truth,”
Aisha nodded. ” I am ready to learn the whole truth,”
Flint appeared to be worried and squeezed her hands tighter, his natural warmth seeping through to her veins.
“You, my dear, are a very special girl and to assuage your doubts, yes, you are indeed a caster, in fact, a powerful one, if I might add but not just any plain old caster. You are a specially gifted caster referred to as a Vila. This means that you are part witch and part Moon Fairy,”
Aisha gasped. Flint and Sybil had filled her in on the Magical Realm and of the fascinating races that lived there and across the Mortal Realm. Flint had been especially forthcoming with information about Breanna, his homeland and Aisha had longed to see the Fairy Kingdom for herself. To learn that she was a part of that world was a bit overwhelming in itself but actually learning that she was a Vila was almost certainly the last thing she expected. Of course Flint had gone into detail about that particular type of caster and it was suddenly clear to Aisha why he’d expounded so much on the topic.
“Are you- are you certain that I’m Vila? I’ve never been able to practice magic before,”
“I am certain that that isn’t true and that you have indeed inadvertently used your abilities somehow even if you didn’t know the truth. Think of the effect you have on people- the men in your life particularly and sometimes even women. How do people react around you?”
Aisha looked at Flint and suddenly it made sense. They had grown very close since the day she came to realize that her Angel was actually not a Heavenly Being after all. Flint had told her that nymphs and fairies especially, were susceptible to the charms of the Vila. He told her people theorized it was because of their Moon Fairy Blood as Moon Fairies were well known for being the most beautiful of fairies and their beauty even charmed their fellow fairy counterparts. The way Flint was looking at her like he was hypnotized made Aisha feel powerful.
“Now that you mention it… I- I’ve been- attracting people- drawing them in. The village claimed that I was bewitching their men. I have no true friends because their partners inevitably come running to me and that makes the women jealous and angry and when I- I kiss men, they- they seem to lose their minds,” Aisha confessed ashamedly looking down.
“You have no reason to feel ashamed, Aisha. That is simply a part of who you are. Embrace who you are and love yourself and the special things you can do. Being Vila is rare and beautiful; you are fair-folk like the fairies and nymphs of the world. The Creator has blessed you with this gift. So long as you accept yourself, you can learn of your strengths and weaknesses and learn to control each one,”
“Can I- can I cast spells?” Aisha asked.
Sybil smiled and nodded. “I shall be glad to teach you a trick or two, if you’d like it,”
“Oh please do, Sybil,” Aisha said excitedly.
“I could teach you too, if you’d like, Aisha,” Flint offered. Aisha smiled at him and nodded and he beamed with happiness.
“Would you like to know what other special abilities you have, Aisha?”
Aisha smiled and nodded.
“Well, you already know you’re fair-folk and your beauty and charm are enticing to the senses of all creatures particularly those without protections. In addition to your natural beauty, your breath is especially captivating. It is a well known fact that the Vila’s kiss is ensnaring to the senses like nothing else is. It is why the men you kissed went crazy- it creates a rush, an addiction that one cannot soon forget but it can be lethal in large doses. Some Vila have taken this ability to the end of creating mindless addicts willing to do whatever it takes to get their fix, as drug addicts would do. There is no known protection for it either. You must therefore, be very careful when you are intimate with someone or else you’ll cause their mind to rot,”
Aisha nodded, mouth ajar and she breathed out and immediately regretted it when she saw Flint shut his eyes as he took a whip of her breath.
“Healer Flint?” Aisha called out to him. He breathed in and out several times through his mouth and then opened his eyes and smiled at her. “I’m over it. One advantage of my kind is we are able to get rid of the effects of your breath faster than all races, well, except for nymphs of course,”
Aisha turned to Sybil who nodded, confirming Flint’s statement. She then breathed a sigh of relief.
“Aisha, you can also perform some complex spells that can only be cast by the most powerful casters. You possess strong sensory powers- in time, you will learn to differentiate between the races. You have quick healing and regenerative abilities therefore will rarely succumb to disease or age quickly. Sometimes, some Vila are born with the special skill of healing and can use it to help others. And finally, your natural charm and beauty allow you to be able to compel anyone of your choosing provided they do not have protections. You are even able to manipulate dreams,”
Aisha gasped suddenly understanding. “So you mean that my Angel was actually Vila? Can Vila influence each other?”
“They can if they are very powerful and evidence from your mind shows that the person who influenced you was very powerful and yes, they were Vila. You see, each race’s magic is highly unique and leaves traces. The same is true concerning all types of casters. Your magical imprint is as unique to you as a fingerprint and only the very powerful can mask their powers.”
“However, it is difficult to trick a Mystai with masking spells and charms especially if this Mystai happens to be a powerful caster on her own and of course, if she has help…” said Sybil nodding appreciatively to Flint who smiled at her and nodded in acknowledgement “… I was able to determine your attacker’s unique magical imprint as much as they tried masking themselves. I have forwarded this information to a sub-division of the Department of Inter-Realm Cooperation known as the International Magical Transgressions Squad who take such attacks outside the Magical Realm and particularly to casters such as yourself that are unaware of their abilities and could begin resist any assistance from the Magical Realm thus complicating relations between the two Realms of the First Plain of Existence, very seriously. They have already began the investigation and I am certain that they will find whoever it is and put an end to their wickedness,”
Aisha smiled and nodded. “I hope they get caught and punished to the greatest extent of the law,” she said unrepentant.
Sybil and Flint exchanged a look and after a long, awkward pose, Aisha had to ask, “What is it? What more is there to being a Vila?”
Sybil hesitated and then nodded to Flint who responded, “It’s nothing but a silly stereotype, mere superstition we should have outgrown by now. It is claimed that Vila are naturally ambitious, determined and sometimes vengeful and vindictive creatures and enjoy the suffering of their enemies and often work towards complete ruin of their enemies to achieve this end. Very few things are feared in our world than the wrath of a Vila, infamously known as the Vila’s Vendetta. Pay no heed to it, Aisha. We all desire revenge on all that wrong us and given an opportunity, we would all succumb to its temptation.”
Aisha doubted it was that simple. She knew that it was called a Vila’s Vendetta for something and was terrified at its implications. Aisha now knew the truth of who she was. She knew she was a powerful caster and was determined to get to the bottom of her parents’ true story. Whatever it took, Aisha would live up to the determination and even vindictive nature of her kind if that was what it took to find out what happened to them.
TO BE CONTINUED…