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The two children breathed in as they took in the circle of statues. They stood in the breezey mountain pass, taking in the gargantuan henge of figures circling the clearing. Cold, dreary mountains rose jaggedly from the sparse, greyish-green grass. A light rain befell upon the children, the sky weeping as if regretful that they found the secret location of the statues.
The figures in black robes spilled out from their spot behind them. They had assisted the children during their mountain journey, saying little. They appeared to be sorcerers; hidden behind black hoods and holding tense and unchanging expressions.
The smaller child's eyes flickered the the stone giants. A female with billowing hair and a thin sword with snakes coiling up the blade... two children, a boy and a girl, with arms linked... a thin male with stitches and fabric over his eyes and guarded poise... she gulped.
As they approached one statue, a burly male with a fierce mane and long horns, they saw that each statue had a silver plaque on its base. They were written in loopy and intwined Eirurufan script, and although they had to be ancient, they were untarnished by the damp fingers of time.
The oldest child skimmed his fingers over the plaque... "The Lord Necrosis"... He saw his sister reading the plaque of the tallest statue, the statue in the center that stood just a bit taller than even statues of taller males and females. He saw the reason why: The base was taller, inscribed with many more sketchings and blessings.
So this was Selena.
The black hooded sorcerers each revealed a glinting silver key from their robes. They traveled as a flock and went to the statue of the fallen queen. Her hair was choppily cut and flew, frozen in stone, in flairs about her neck and ears. A noble and determined look made her mouth set in a thin pursed line and her eyebrows furrow as if locked on a target. She stood proudly, dressed as a general with delicate Eirurufan robes billowing out from under the bold jacket and overskirt of a female warlord. Her right arm raised halfway above her, fingers poised in the position teachers were portrayed in.
The leader briskly approached the base of the figure. He bowed slightly and inserted his key into a keyhole below the silver plaque. It clunked heavily as he turned it. A raking and shuffling like shifting gears thudded through the air. But no: it came from the earth. The ground shook with the pulsing of grinding gears. He backed up, arms out to push his fellow sorcerers and the small children back.
A large rectangle of ground sank below the surface, revealing some wet, dark stone walls. It slid under another layer of dirt and grass, fully exposing deep, stone steps that led into the shadows to an uncertain amount of depth. The gears twisted in a final groaning thud and stood still.
The children struggled to keep up as they quickly and silently descended the dank stairway. The air was moist and smelled of fresh mulch and slightly of incense. As they made their way halfway down, a blue, faded light shone from below. Reaching the bottom, they found that flickering blue torches lined the walls into a black corridor. Curious.
The children hung closely to the robed males ahead of them, casting glances nervously behind them. Now the moist stones turned drier, and the air sweetened to a bitter perfumey smell. They met a few more stone passageways, and a white glow along the floor greeted them. Now the robed males in black circled this source of light. The children squeezed in slightly, enough to see a large rectangle carved into the floor. White, clear liquid filled this pool, and silvery fog rose from the edges of the indent. But this was not the strange part.
The body of Selena lay within the pool, just a thin layer of water seperating them. Her eyes closed and her mouth open slightly, this ancient body looked as if she were only sleeping. Her robes fluttered peacefully in the water, her hair twisting and curling as it drifted freely. Her chest rose and fell slightly, giving the sign that she was still alive. A chill went down the childrens' spines.
Now the robed figures began a soft, low chanting. Their heads bent low above the surface of the swirling white pool. The children watched anxiously as Selena remained slumbering.
For several minutes, the incantations continued and their hearts hammered in their chests. After a while, the chanting died down to a murmur and sputtered out. They all caught their breath. Their eyes widened, watching intently.
Her mouth opened slightly more, her chest rising as if breathing in a gulp of air. Bubbles formed as her fingers twitched. Her eyelids flickered open, revealing eyes shades of pink and black.
Slowly, she shifted upward. Her face broke the surface and she sat upward, legs still submerged. Water evaporated into white curls of smoke, automatically drying her. She pumped her legs, springing upward. White fog twisted at her feet, and she looked about the robed males, who were now pressed to the floor in respect. An inch of air remain between her and the foggy white water. The oldest child went faint at the sight of her towering over them, standing as proudly as her statue in mid-air.
She flipped her head upward as to get her wild lavendar hair from her eyes. She eyed the two children, who clung to each other in wonder.
"It feels as if it has only been a few hours...." Her voice was young, but sad as if she had seen more of life than she had wanted. She rolled her shoulderblades, white fur gleaming in the glow of the pool. Vibrant pink pupils gleamed in the flickering glow of the pool.
The black figures remained pressed in deference to the stone floor. Selena clapped. It was a harsh sound, and they jumped, drawing in a sharp breath.
"What are you waiting for? We must wake the others!"