On a small island in the middle of the Pacific, there is a girl named Artemis Ligeia. Her destiny was written long before she was born, into the twinkling stars that Zeus had given to the people of Calliope Island. Before her eighteenth birthday, she must purify each of the four villages Nature Symbols. If Artemis fails, the island will perish. Since the moment she was born, she has been trained to be prepared for any obstacle that comes in her way on her journey of salvation. Some natives believe that she should fail in order for the island to start anew, to wipe away human mistakes while others support her fate and want the island to continue to thrive. Artemis comes across the mixed opinions every day and even though she has remained strong, she found a place on the island that gives her peace.
Artemis sat at the edge of the cliff that overlooks the sea and like clockwork, she watches the sunset. A light breeze cascades her brown locks across her face and it snags in between her parted lips. Too entranced by the view, she doesn’t move the hair. Two fingers brush across her delicate cheek and move the hair for her, breaking her attention away from the scene.
"Hey Hero." Her soft tone speaks of familiarity and a light smirk stretches across Hero's chiseled face. He gracefully sits himself besides her and rests his muscled arms on his knees. Hero is just as skilled as Artemis since he was her 'training buddy'. So at least then Artemis would have fun in her youth and he will be joining her in her journey.
"What are you thinking about now, Artemis?" Artemis pulls her bottom lip in between her teeth and lightly nibbles on it and then scrunches her eyebrows in thought.
"I am thinking about the prophesy and the long journey we have ahead of us, I think we should start with the Winter Village because it is the closest and head south from there." She looks over to Hero and he is staring at her in thought. "We will do whatever you wish." Silenced rained upon the two and they finished watching dusk turning into nightfall together before departing to their living chambers.
In the morning, both had their packs filled to the brim with supplies and the book of purification in tow as they set out for their journey. Heading north east, they set off to the winter village. Artemis could only think about the welfare of the island and about her shimmering love for Hero, rendering her into silence. Through her hazel eyes, she could see the looming village ahead and with her thoughts stirring, she hadn't realized how long they walked or how much colder it became. The guards didn’t even question who Artemis and Hero were and just let them pass through the front gates. Everyone knows of the duo, no matter if they are young or old and the streets became crowded. Some to say kind words while others were mean and abrasive.
"Follow me, I'll take you to the Chief." An elderly woman with a hunched back lightly grabbed onto Artemis's wrist and began to lead her to the Chief. After a block down the main path, a wooden cabin came into view that was significantly large; as if the front doors had a mind of their own, they opened wide for the duo's entrance. Hero thanked the lady and they entered into the building.
"Hello, welcome to the Winter Village! Would you like to rest or start to head over to the Frozen Waterfall, which is our Nature Symbol?" Artemis looks over at Hero and without even looking at her he says, "rest." The Chief claps his hands and starts to walk down a long corridor. Artemis was placed in the room next to Hero's and she puts down her heavy pack onto the floor beside the bed. The chief walks away and Hero immediately walks into the room.
"We could have gone to the Frozen Waterfall now and get the purification over with so then we can move on."
"You need to rest after the long walk we've had and you need all of your strength." Hero brings his hands around and cups her face and gazes into her eyes. It is moments like this that make her think that he might reciprocate her feelings of love.
"Tomorrow we will begin our journey, okay?" Artemis replies with a nod and Hero's hands slowly move away from her face. He looks at her one more time before walking out and closing the door behind him. Heading to Hero's advice, Artemis lied down and began to sleep.
Artemis awoke to the sweet aroma of breakfast and bolted out of bed, running down the hall to see Hero sitting at the table, already eating. "I cooked your favorites this morning." Hero said with a crooked grin and his words muffled from the food in his mouth. Artemis smile was beaming as she eagerly sat down and did a wiggle in her chair before she delved into the food with her fork. All too soon, they finished their breakfast and had to grab their things for the trip. Before they left, the Chief handed them a map so then they could get to the Frozen Waterfall.
Using the map, the two found themselves on the outskirts of the town at the entrance of a winding path through the frigid woods. A dark mist coated the floor making the beautiful snow a terrible sight. Artemis only took one step through the threshold before Ammon jumped out. Their claws are sharp and act as scythes while their bodies are only mist without a true form and have neon blue eyes, the kind of eyes that runs a shiver down your spine and haunt your nightmares. No one is sure where the Ammon's came from but they are creatures to not mess with.
Artemis and Hero unsheathed their swords and began to fight every foul Ammon that came into their way. The Ammon's numbers were decreasing quickly because they could not keep up with the duo's skill. When the final Ammon was slaughtered the pair stood breathing heavily and continued to glance around their surroundings. Artemis started to walk forward again and Hero followed.
They had only walked around a bend when another creature landed in front of them from the sky. Hero jump in front of Artemis with his sword up and ready. This being looked more human but he was coated in frost and ice. His hair was pure white and his eyes were a blinding silver, his fingers were blue and he had a long staff. He seemed no older than twenty years old.
"In order for you to pass you must complete the riddle." His booming voice was three octaves lower than what anyone would expect and he spoke with a purpose. Artemis had read in her training that each Nature Symbol was guarded by a creature with a riddle and if you answered incorrectly, you would die.
"The riddle is... I fly when I am born, lie when I'm alive, and run when I am dead. What am I?" The being smirks as if he has done this before and he had won. Artemis thought about the words and looked at her surroundings. Nothing but trees and snow. She then looked back at the Creature and studied him. It would make sense to create a riddle about the weather your surrounded by, especially since he has never left his post in all of eternity. Therefore, the answer has to be a limited amount of options since the creature doesn’t know much. Artemis calmly answered with, "snow." The Creature's eyes widened in surprise and with hesitation, he stepped away from the path. Hero and Artemis passed him without acknowledgement and that was a mistake. In a blinding flash, the Creature's staff came down and hit Hero's sword by the hilt this shocked him and it caused him to drop the sword.
"I cannot let you pass for Mother has to finish the plan." He seemed so young when he said 'mother' and Artemis raised her hands to placate the Creature.
"We answered the riddle correctly and it is your duty to allow us to pass."
"I am sorry but I cannot allow you to do that." He swings he staff and knocks Hero back by twenty feet. Artemis grabs her sword and stands in fighting position watching her opponent. Hero had hit a tree on his descend and he was unconscious. Artemis held her own for a long while, longer than what Creature expected but she was getting tired against the mortal being. His movements never slowed and he was finding her weaker spots. If she was fighting a human, there was no doubt that she would be victorious, but she wasn’t fighting a human. The Creature made a sharp left turn with the staff and came down hard into Artemis's side. A piercing scream echoed out into the woods and Artemis's breaths became rattled.
The Creature slowly removed his staff from her side and whispered, "the chosen one has fallen, and soon Calliope Island will as well." He reeled his arm back and struck his staff down and pierced Artemis's skin on her neck; decapitating her head from her shoulders. Immediately, the island started to rumble and shake. The trees began to fall and explosions erupted from the soil. There were screams in the distance, young and old, male and female. Hero awoke and saw the destruction happening around him and then found Artemis's mangled body. He sat, frozen in despair. He never saw the tree collapsing towards him until it was too late and Hero, too, had fallen.
After many years, everyone has forgotten about the small island in the pacific and the story in the stars about the chosen one.