As they walked, Deral posed a thought that was on the minds of the four of them. “Guardian Alandra, what exactly happened in the house? Why were the four of us glowing?”
“Damned if I know, Deral. I’ve never seen anything like it before.” Alandra shrugged. “Don’t you know anything about bonds and such?”
“Very little, so far. Mistress Lyta’s given me some basic instruction in bonds between twins, but nothing else.” Deral clasped her hands behind her back. “I could ask her about what happened when we get back to Haven House.”
Sharryl scratched her head. “I could ask Col and Sulnt about their twin bond. I know Guardian Lyta has worked with them during the past year to help them sharpen their abilities.”
“Aren’t there certain magic spells that can create bonds between people?” Raven asked, knowing that finding out what was going on was important.
“Yes, but from what I have learned over the years, spells such as those are only for a short time and those involved have to be within three feet or so of each other.” Alandra glanced at Raven. “Raven, you said that Siena had difficulty healing you this morning. Has this happened before?”
“Yes. Priestess Kiya can only do a part ial healing on me. She says I’ve always been like this, but I do seem to heal faster that others.” Raven paused at a bush to sniff the reddish-orange flowers that were in full bloom. “Mmmmm! A rosal bush! The aroma always makes me want to eat the flowers.”
Deral inhaled deeply. “You’re right. Do herbalists and healers use this?”
Sharryl nodded. “It helps a sick person get their appetite back and I think it can also be used in cooking.”
Alandra got a wicked gleam in her eye. “There’s a third use for the oil you can get from the flowers, but the three of you are a bit young to hear about it.”
Sharryl and Deral blushed a very deep red, while Raven merely rolled her eyes. “We’re not that young!” Sharryl protested.
“I wonder if Val should have the male trainees continue living in the village. Once they get to Haven House, you females will be concentrating on things other than your training,” Alandra said with a smile.
Deral gave a sly look to the older woman. “Mistress, I’ve heard some stories about when you were a trainee and your distractions weren’t caused by males.”
Alandra grinned broadly. “How true! And I can still get distracted like that without putting my mind to it.”
It took Raven a moment to realize what was just said. “Oh! Are you wylorn, Alandra?”
“Sure am, cub.” Alandra rubbed her right ear. “If you’re wondering why I don’t wear the gold dagger earring like the others, well, I don’t like the idea of having a needle stuck through my earlobe.”
Before any of the trainees could comment, the sight beyond the trees brought them to a halt. Raven slowly approached the three-foot tall piece of granite. On the front was a gold crescent moon and a silver sword with a dark blue shield background. The most unusual aspect, however, was the fountain of water spraying from the top. Alandra grinned at how carefully Raven was examining the stone without touching it. “Youngsters, this is a fountain of vision.”
Raven knelt before the block and touched the grass. “Alandra, why isn’t the grass or stone wet?” She glanced up at her mentor. “Is it an illusion?”
“The water’s real enough. If you held a bowl or cup in the fountain it would be filled. But since there’s no container, the water simply disappears.” Alandra knelt beside her. “If you touch Celena’s symbols on the front, whatever or whoever you’re thinking about the most will take shape in the water. Care to try, cub?” She saw Raven stretching out her hand.
Raven snatched her hand back. “No. Where did the fountain come from?”
“A bondmate gift from Tyor to Ellyn. El sometimes uses it for working on prophecies and such. Both are priestesses of Celena, but Tyor is also trained as a magic-user.” Alandra reached out her right hand, lightly touching the symbols. “Watch the water.”
Four pairs of eyes stared intently at the spray. At first nothing happened, then the spray began gathering until it formed a large circle above the granite block. The surface of the circle rippled and the image appeared of a young female half-elf wearing silver-trimmed leathers; a silver circlet rested upon her short black hair. What was most remarkable was the light of laughter and life in the half-elf’s dark grey eyes and the genuine smile on her face.
Sharryl stared. “Raven? Is that Raven?”
“Yes.” Alandra took her hand away from the symbols. “This is what she looked like after the Oath of Triunal Ceremony. Her joy outshone the sun that day. A sight I’ll never forget.”
Raven spoke in a low voice. “Triust Lodro could have chose any wulfin to be his heir but he chose me. I never expected such an honor.” She stared at the grass at the base of the stone. “When the silver circlet was placed on my head, I wanted more than anything to be a real wulfin.”