Shai'ahn Dysrae'il “Shai’ahn – awake; let’s get going.” A light stir under the fur-covered comforter only indicated a not so interested soul underneath, still slumbering at an hour when slumber was still required. “Come on! You said early this time. Well, it’s early. The sun will awake in exactly forty-five minutes. If you keep this up we won’t have time for swordplay this morning.” “Alright, alright…,” mumbled the thick hill and curves on top of the rounded bed. An earthquake gyrate the mountains before an eruption of amazing magnitude broke the countryside in half to reveal the monster underneath. Shai’ahn’s dark auburn hair was Medusa-ish, twisted and mangled with the fantasies that kept her chattering and twitting away throughout the night. All other Elves in the village slept peacefully and soundless; but Shai’ahn, on the other hand, was the only one Hael knew that slept silently rough and uncharacteristically restless. It was as if she was fighting demons in her dreams. She never understood why Priestess Shai’ahn slept differently than the others in their village, but it didn’t matter to her. She loved listening to her sing, and she held so much knowledge about animals and plants, and even things like the stars in the sky and mountains from faraway lands unseen by her young eyes. Besides, there’s never a dull moment around her. “You know, one day we’re going to get caught,” Hael noted without a scoff, holding her arms comfortably as she shook her head. “I should have not asked this of you, Shai’. It’s not right of me too…” The older of the two girls folded aside her sheets and pulled herself out of bed, stretched her arms as she strolled to the closet to put on her training gear. Hael, her impatient student, seemed to hop behind her like a little chuckling, anticipating the moment of their secret departure. “Patience is always a wise tool to use, even before the day begins. If we get caught, it will be because of your impatience.” Shai’ smiled to her young friend, tossing her sunlight topknot with her hand playfully. “And besides, I’m older and I accepted your request regardless of the attachments. If anyone is punished, it will be me; not you. Therefore, don’t fret. We only have two more days until the trials. You’ll be fine.” Shai’ahn sat down in a nearby chair to lace up her sandals before dressing in her practice robes. It was not uncommon for a Priestess to train with sword and staff, but Shai’ was not a teacher skilled in the art of teaching any young student any skills, for she was still considered a student herself. Nevertheless, Hael was preparing for the Solstice trials and refused to train with her older brother in swordplay. She wanted her dear friend to help her out, even after her parents forbade her to bother a disciplined student of Quessi with such things. Shai’, on the other hand, feared her young friend would injure herself if not properly trained – or, at least, taught enough to handle her weapons with a strong arm and mindful respect. So, knowing it was not well for her to teach her friend to disobey her parents orders, the two decided to set her practice sessions before the sun kiss the land. Hael jumped to the window while she waited, then her golden eyes shifted from the window, to the door, back to Shai, then returned to the natural landscape. It was a counterclockwise repetitive action that seemed extremely mechanical for such a natural, deliberate Elf who only did what was necessary and had an explanation for it. Shai’ahn knew what the young girl was doing – watching by all senses for the change of security pinpointed across the village, indicating their only window for escaping Shai’s home. They did not want to alert any guards, assuming a predator or enemy had slipped past their magical barriers surrounding Giyyora. “All clear.” Hael returned to Shai’ahn’s side to prepare for their departure. “Are you sure I’ll pass my trials this time? I’m ready to take the next step in my training, and about to pass the qualifying age to do so.” “You’ll be fine, and you’re doing well. Now, let’s get going. I have one other skill to show you today, plus I’ve got a lot on my roster to do as well. We must hurry.” And with that, a soft glow surrounded the two until they vanished, leaving Shai’s bedroom to reach the outskirts of the village. The girls headed towards the meadow hidden in the forest just cresting a huge lake. ***** The two successfully returned to the village after their session. Hael left her friend with a respectable nod of appreciation, heading back home to slip in through her window and dress for school. Shai’ahn, on the other hand, slipped back into bed. “Early risers should remain risen, for they miss out on the best part of the morning if they return to bed.” Shai’ahn lifted back out of bed, rubbing her eyes as her father stepped inside her room to settle on the end of her bed, giving her that particular look that wasn’t expressive to anyone other than her. She knew what he was about to say, but also knew he would hold his tongue because her lack of following the rules was for a good cause - besides, it was one of his daughter’s characteristics that was an innate habit she will forever have difficulty managing. “You have a meeting with the High Regent this morning to finish your preparations for your trip to Sedi’lar. Are you – nervous, or thrilled to be going?” Only he would ask her such questions about emotions, “I’m neither. What comes my way in this trial, to succeed in my testings, or fail; I will be quite content and continue my studies for the next season.” She stood from bed to dress for the day as her father nodded at her response and watched her. “Just keep in mind who will be judging you. The Holy Regents are not easily fooled by any veil you’ll have to place before your heart. You’ll do good to never forget.” She finished dressing without a hitch, giving her father a thankful hug for another one of his pep-talks before leaving for the Lumatorium for her morning meditations.