Nine and a half years later:
“Thomas, are you sure you wouldn’t want to marry someone like me? Or at least go on one date please?” The young elven maiden stared at him hopefully. “You are seventeen and it is about time you wed.”
“I’ve already told you Jasquavez, I don’t want to marry anyone but her.” Thomas pulled out the steel band and stared at it sadly. “Oh come on Thomas, I can’t beleive you’d choose a dead girl over me. Well, if you want to die old and alone just because you are in love with a dead girl that’s fine with me.” Jasquavez ran off angrily.
“It is quite foolish Thomas.” It was the familliar voice of Charon speaking. The dragon had barely escaped the fire at the castle. She was now a fully grown dragon so large that she merely had to raise her head to see above the trees of the forest. “Great, now even you don’t beleive me. Coriana is alive and I am going to find her...some day.” Thomas rubbed the ring feeling it’s every curve and remembering everything about his friend. He remembered everything from her soft blonde hair to the way her giggle sounded like a trilling flute. He began to think with all his hope and with all his sould quietly to himself over and over. “Coriana, if you are alive please come back to us, we need you...I need you.”
Norra awoke with a start. Much like Thomas she had only grown more attractive through the years. The young magician in training looked up only to see the figure of an elven boy calling out to her only he wasn’t calling her name, but rather to someone named Coriana. She got out of bed and ran to her parents. “Mother, Father, who is Coriana?”
Sheena turned pale at the sound of Norra’s former name as did Isaac. “Where did you hear that name Norra?” Norra stared at her mother trying to figure out why she had suddenly turned so pale. “I saw an elve’s lifeforce projected into my room. It was like he was calling for me except he wasn’t using my name, but the name Coriana instead. What does it mean Mother? What haven’t you told me?”
Sheena fingered for Isaac to come over to her and they began whispering. All Norra could do is watch. Isaac then dissappeared into a closet and came out with a box and a scroll. “Norra, these will explain everything for you but you musn’t use either of them until you reach the Naraphreck forest. Remember that the elves and the humans are at war right now so be careful with them. You must go now and help the elf that called for you.
“But he didn’t call for me, he called for Coriana...and how am I supposed to help an elf if he’ll kill me on sight for being human?” Her parents just told her to go and that everything would be explained later. She obeyed and went on her two day journey to the forest on the other side of the kingdom. When she reached the very outskirts of the forest her curiousity got the better of her and she opened the box. Inside was the tiara she had once owned. “Wow how beautiful it is.” She reached inside the box and as soon as she touched the memory stone memories began to flow back into her mind. She put the tiara on and a few of her memories returned to her slowly. As soon as the peice of jewelry touched her forehead her conceiled elven ears reappeared and she ran quickly into the forest.
Tears began to run down her cheeks as the last of her final memories re-entered her head. She could still see her mother’s look of terror when she was stabbed clear through and what McCarthy had said to her as she ran into the forest. She found herself so consumed by her memories that she became completely lost. Suddenly she heared a rustle of leaves from behind her and out jumped two elves one with a cross bow and one with a sword.
“Who goes there and what are you doing in our forest?” He looked at Coriana whe before had simply figured that if the elves saw she was an elf they’d help her. The elf poked her slightly with the sword. “I said, who are you and what is your business here?”
“I am Coriana queen of the elves. I am here because someone called for help.” The elves burst out laughing and forced Coriana to follow them to the elven city which was now much more like the elven lands of legend. Holes were cut out in trees, houses were made out of sticks and flowers and things of the sort. It was indeed a glorious city full of color except for the castle which was dark and dreary. It was cut out of an old dead oak tree. This is where Coriana was forced to go.
“Queen Badoka, what should we do with this imposter. She claims to be Coriana but we all know that she is dead. She could be a spy or much worse. What do you suggest we do with her.”
“Imprison her. She will have one full day in jail and tomorrow she will be executed. We can’t afford to have spy’s in our company.” A look of terror came over Coriana’s face as she realized what was happening. The two elves who had captured her forced her into a prison cell which was cold and damp.
“What did you do to end up in here?” an old voice questioned from down the black hallway. “I stole money from the treasure room and so I was sentenced for 20 years plus both my hand’s were cut off. So what’s your punishment?”
Coriana tried her hardest not to cry as she replied. “All I did was say that I was Coriana which I am and now they are going to kill me tomorrow just because of that. Nobody beleives me though and I just don’t understand why. I didn’t even know I was her until I got my memory stone back and I came here because someone was calling for me.”
“Wow, I thought my punishment was bad. You poor child...but still I don’t understand how you could be Coriana. She was killed in the fire when the castle burned to the ground.” A slight chuckle came from the cell down the hall and Coriana began to cry even harder. Even the old criminal didn’t beleive her so what was the point in living.
Two elves came in to give her food but were very rood to her calling her an imposter and traitor although she had done nothing wrong. She felt even more terrible than before. “Don’t worry, the next one is much nicer and you’ll probably be happy to see a kind face before you die ne?” Coriana had run out of tears so all that remained was the feeling of wanting to. She was beginning to feel sick from lack of eating for she had flung the trays of food into the other guard’s faces. Soon she again heard the dungeon door open. She couldn’t see the figure though who stopped at the old man’s cell first.
“So I have a new prisoner to feed today huh?” He asked the old man. “So what did they do wrong and how long they in for. I heard they did something really terrible but you know how rumors go, for all I know he just stole a loaf of bread from the royal kitchen right?” Thomas was somehow always happier when he was in the prison talking to the old man and the old man was always happy to see Thomas...but he didn’t really enjoy this conversation.
“The poor girl,” Thomas looked startled at the old man’s words considering he was expecting a boy, “She thinks she’s Coriana and so they are going to execute her tomorrow. I just don’t understand it though. She didn’t do enough to be killed.”
“What was that you said? She thinks she’s Coriana? Can you hold this for a moment?” Thomas asked the old man handing him Coriana’s tray. He fingered through his pockets until he found the old steel band wich except for a few smoke stains was in perfect condition and set it on the tray. “Thank you so much for your knowledge.” He left the cell and mad his way to the new prisoner. “Hi!” he said cheerfully yet nervously. It was so dark he could barely see her shadow and she his.
“Are you here to call me a traitor and an imposter too?” she asked stenly but Thomas simply replied “No, I’m just here to give you your last meal.” Coriana stared at the shadow angrily. “What’s the point in eating if I’m going to die tomorrow anyway?”
“Can you at least do me a favor Coriana? All I ask is that you tell me if this ring reminds you of anything.” Thomas pulled the steel band off the tray and handed it to his childhood friend. Coriana eyed it closely feeling it’s every texture hopeing to feel what it looked like and squinting to see it the best she could in the dim light. “It reminds me of a secret. A secret thing that happened a long time ago, the night before my parent’s were murdered. It was a present for my fifth birthday and there was something special about it but I can’t say because it was a secret between my best friend and me. We snuck into the secret passage and saw my pet that nobody knew about and...”
“Played with Charon until it was time for the banquet.” Thomas finished the sentence. Coriana caught a glimpse of light reflected off Thomas’ ring and suddenly realized who she had been talking to. “Thomas?” she asked. He was at a loss for words so all he could do was reach his arms around his dear friend. They both began to cry and he only hoped that he could hold her like that forever.
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