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The Legendary Garden: Amnesia (Training)

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Lestacia

Lestacia
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A gust of wind blew cold night air from the garden, carrying with it enticing scents of overripe fruit and blooming flowers. Lestacia stood before the garden's entrance, where stone transitioned to soil and narrow labyrinthine caves opened to the sky in a deep caldera. Thickets of trees and brambles grew wild beneath the moonlight, while flowers bloomed in lush abundance. Lestacia hesitated, knowing well the twin nature of danger and beauty. She had heard legends of the sacred grove since childhood, but had never before traversed the southern caverns to find it. According to the stories, those who stepped over the threshold of the garden began as one person and left as someone else entirely, or did not leave at all.

Whatever the truth might be, Lestacia had made up her mind. As she stepped into the garden, the back of her neck prickled as if someone were watching her. No figure was visible amongst the trees, but the garden was far from still. Everywhere Lestaacia looked, new flowers bloomed with each passing second. Lestacia walked a winding path through the tangle of plants, stepping over roots rumbling beneath the soil. She ducked under hanging vines that reached out to her as if clamoring for affection. She could have sworn she heard a hush from the soft rustling of leaves.

Moonbeams shone through the canopy above, revealing trees bearing leaves of silver and gold. Flower stalks entwined around their trunks, curling to display dazzling buds brighter than any gemstone. Plump cherries coated in a layer of frost chimed softly as they swayed amid an untamed thicket.

A snow lily stretched toward Lestacia's face and caressed her cheek gently. It was too alluring to resist. Lestacia pressed her face into its petals to inhale its heady scent. Her nose chilled and she took in the faint smell of oranges and the summer breeze. The blossom trembled as it blushed with color, and Lestacia's breath caught in her throat. She swayed, dizzy at the flower’s perfume.

Snip.

The snow lily fell to the soil, severed at its stem. A viscous liquid seeped from the cut. Lestacia let out a breath, her body twitching as the magician's head cleared.

Lestacia was startled as a woman with wisps of gray-white hair stood before her, shears in hand. She was wrapped in colorful shawls and her eyelashes sparkled with dew.

As the woman turned her sea-green gaze to Lestacia, Lestacia felt a strange unease, as if this woman could slice through her gut just as easily as a fibrous stalk. The woman’s face, wrinkled like tree bark, was impossible to read. But Lestacia was no longer concerned for her own safety.

"I'm sorry miss you startled me! I was just so entranced by your snow lily."

"Ah!" She replied examining the remnants of the flower. "The most beautiful and colorful of flowers always turn out to be the most dangerous. The flowers want something from us, just as we seek something from them. It would be wise to keep your nose to yourself. I would know. I have to feed these hungry babies myself.”

“So you are the Gardener,” said Lestacia.

“One of my kinder names, yes. But quite beside the point. I know why you’re here, child. You seek absolution. Freedom from your pain,” said the Gardener.

She stepped over a shrinking fern and beckoned to Lestacia.

“Come.”

As they walked through the moonlit garden, flowers turned to face the old woman as if she were the sun itself, warming their leaves and helping them grow. Or perhaps the flowers did not wish to turn their backs to her.

The old woman waved Lestacia to a bench in front of a gnarled star fruit tree, and sat opposite her.

“Let me guess. You were in love,” the Gardener said, a smile crinkling the corners of her lips.

Lestacia’s brow furrowed.

“Don’t worry, you’re far from the first,” said the old woman. “So, who was he? A soldier? An adventurer? A warrior in exile?”

"He was a soldier..." Lestacia said a little embarrassed. "He didn't want to see me hurt so, he had me escorted from the battlefield forcefully.

“Ah. A romantic,” the Gardener said.

"He seemed to dislike me at first but slowly we started warming up to each other and before we knew it, we were in love."

The Gardener did not answer. She stood and picked a ripe star fruit from the tree and peeled it slowly, carefully, so the rind remained in one piece. The flesh fell into six vermillion segments, which she offered to Lestacia.

“Care for a slice?”

Lestacia stared at her for a bit.

“Don’t worry, this one doesn’t want anything from you. Not like the flowers. Fruit never does. Fruit is the most generous part of a plant - it strives to be luscious and juicy - and tempting. It simply wants to attract.”

Lestacia would partake in the fruit. She placed one of the Star fruit segments into her mouth, and chewed before making a face.

“Tart!"

The Gardener laughed. "In all my years in the garden, I’ve never gotten used to the tang.”

The old woman ate the remaining pieces while Lestacia sat in silence. When she was finished she wiped the juice from her mouth.

"So you fell in love with a soldier...?"

"And I'm worried for his safety. I wanted to find him so desperately. But no matter how hard I looked, I couldn't track him down."

"And so you're magic has taken a hit because of it?"

Lestacia looked at the woman startled. How did she know she was a Magician?

"Ahh child! You think the flowers look up to me by coincidence? No young one, I am like you!" The gardener smiled before continuing. "You came here to forget initially but these experiences are all apart of life. The trials setup by life are there to make you stronger!"

Lestacia heeded the woman's words. She was right.

"People come into your life for a season, or a reason. Stay here for about a weeks time. The accumulation of Magoi here is strong. You are sure to show some growth while staying here."

Lestacia would nod in agreement. The magoi population her was dense. Almost as if the very ground was saturated in it. The Gardener would lead Lestacia up the wooden steps too a nearby bedroom.

"You shall sleep here. For the next week, we will meditate every morning at dawn, then tend to the flowers into the late noon."

Lestacia was a bit taken aback by the schedule they had planned but she was prepared. The training would surely bear fruit, in some way at the end.

"If you need anything my room is right down the hall. Furthest one on the right."

With that the gardener left Lestacia alone in the moonlit room. She crawled into the bed overlooking the garden and smiled. It was so beautiful and serene. The Magoi seemed to love this place. It was enchanting. It wasn't long before the girl nodded off to sleep.

The next morning Lestacia would be woken by the sound of bells. The chimed so softly and soothingly but, nonetheless they woke her up. It was dawn and the first thing she needed to do in the morning was meditate. She had gotten dressed and retrieved her wand before heading out to meet the Gardener.

"Ah there you are child. Sit down and join me." Lestacia sat down and copied what the gardener did. They crossed their legs and closed their eyes only letting the sounds of nature enter their ears. The Magoi fluttered around in the shape of butterflies  for 5 hours until the sun was high enough in the sky.

The week of training was arduous and waking up in the wee hours of the morning to meditate was a test of mental fortitude. Mornings weren't always her thing but if it meant learning something she couldn't before then she'd do whatever it took. Between the gardening and Meditating, Lestacia could feel her competency for Magic growing intensely. During this week she was able to focus on creating two different types of magic combination. It was the first time in a long time she had been focused on her studies like always.

The Magoi that was saturated into this place made it easier to cast spells, and such spells were released. She casted and created. Theorized and hypothesized, until finally the fruits of her training produced something sweeter than any honey. She took advantage of the fact that lightning is a product of heat and used it to her advantage. She set weeds ablaze, and choked the life out of harmful thigns to the garden, she meditated amongst the lillies and became one with Nature. She'd cast more and more magic Cleansing the garden of it's impurities and imperfections everyday for the next week.

After the week of training Lestacia awoke on her last morning for meditation with the Gardener.

"You have come far child. You have exceeded my expectations."

"Well I couldn't have done it without you!" Lestacia Replied. "I want to thank you, ma'am. You helped me clear my clouded mind and helped my improve upon myself."

"Well Lass, it is about time for you to go, but do not be afraid to come back and visit me for training once more."

Lestacia nodded and hugged the gardener before departing.

*(words: 1383) Training for Magician C->B*


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The Legendary Garden: Amnesia (Training) 6ouumjD
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Lestacia

Lestacia
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The Legendary Garden: Amnesia (Training) 6ouumjD
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