written by Arcia (Esca), Xeipha’s Master
A sharp and familiar ping cut through the silence of her meditation, bringing her thoughts into the now. It was Arcia again. Opening her eyes, Xeipha retrieved the datapad before her and scrolled through the contents of the encrypted message. As usual, she was given orders without ever actually speaking with her Master, this time being summoned to Selen. With an annoyed and disgusted grunt, Xeipha lifted herself from her sitting position and made preparations to travel to the Arconan homeworld.
Some time later…
The structure was massive. Xeipha had only been to the temple once before, during her initiation into Clan Arcona and House Galeres, where she was assigned to the mysterious Arcia Cortel, but never had any reason to return until now. As the Hunter made her way through the massive doors and into a large courtyard, her datapad chimed again, receiving an update to her orders.
“Follow them…?” Xeipha muttered out loud.
“My Lady, please follow us.”
Blinking in disbelief, Xeipha looked up to see two heavily armored soldiers, one with their arm extended in the direction she was initially headed. Not knowing what was happening, Xeipha reluctantly nodded and followed the two into the temple proper. The sights, smells and sounds astounded the young woman as she continued on, one soldier in front of her and one behind, almost as if she were being escorted to a prison cell. Clutching the datapad tightly, she remained silent, but ever aware as she had been instructed to always be several encrypted orders ago.
Before she knew it, Xeipha nearly crashed into the back of the halted soldier before her and squeaked in surprise. The soldier took a step to the side to present a door leading to who knows where. This was a section of the temple that the Zelosian did not recognize, but the power emanating from it was peculiar. Cautiously, Xeipha reached a hand out towards the door when her datapad chimed again. With an exasperated sigh, she checked the contents.
You have come a long way in your training and I regret not being there for much of it…
‘Any of it, you mean,’ Xeipha thought to herself and read on.
What lies before you can only be determined by yourself, only with guidance from myself and the others of the Summit, as well as any friendships you may have developed along your journey. Once you step through these doors, your life will change forever. Are you ready to take on your destiny?
The young woman blinked a few times and re-read the communiqué. Looking up to the door once again, she took a small step away from it but was stopped by the soldier behind her. Xeipha turned to look over her shoulder but was greeted only by the black faceplate of the soldier’s helmet. No emotion could be displayed through such a cold piece of armor, causing Xeipha to question her place again.
“You shouldn’t keep them waiting, my Lady.”
Before Xeipha could respond the doors before her slowly creaked open and gave way to a pitch black room, void of sight or sound. Half trembling, Xeipha moved forward, step by step when a soft and cheery voice called out to her.
“Come along, Xeipha! We’re all friends – OW!”
Confused, Xeipha continued moving forward, recognizing the voice to belong to Atyiru, her Aedile. If she was here, who else was? And what for? The questions were soon cut off as lights quickly illuminated, nearly blinding the Zelosian. When the haze faded, Xeipha’s eyes widened at the sight before her: many of the journeyman she trained with as well as the Galeres Summit and Clan Rollmaster stood before her in ranks. Standing directly opposite of her, at the center of the ranks, was a woman with black hair and blonde bangs. Her arms were crossed across her chest, a look of boredom printed upon her face.
She spoke as Xeipha approached. “Xeipha, you were summoned here today as a means to an end of your training. For months you have dedicated your time and patience to learning everything there is to know of the dark side, and you have completed those tasks admirably. It is my honor as your Master…”
Arcia…? Xeipha thought to herself.
“…to declare you have successfully completed your training and are hereby known to all of Galeres, Clan Arcona and the Brotherhood, as a Knight of the Obelisk order. Congratulations, Apprentice,” Arcia finished with probably the only smile Xeipha would ever see from the woman.