Child of Blackwen (An Artemis Ravenwing Novel Book 1)

Child of Blackwen (An Artemis Ravenwing Novel Book 1) by Melanie Rodriguez

Book: Child of Blackwen (An Artemis Ravenwing Novel Book 1) by Melanie Rodriguez Read Free Book Online
Authors: Melanie Rodriguez
and Jack stopped in front of one particularly large ash tree. He ran his hand along the rough bark, and felt the same sensation as when he had held onto the earth.
    “I will admit I’m rather impressed you found the gate,” Talisa said. “But the real question here is, can you open it?”
    That’s one damn good question
, Jack thought.
I don’t even know where to begin
.
    It was often said that elves could hear the voices of the forest. Jack, however, was not like the other elves. He was different, and he’d always known it. Jack never liked being different, but he also never made the effort to test whether or not he too could hear the forest. Now he wished he had.
    Shutting his eyes once more, Jack listened to the pulse of the tree’s life beneath his palm.
    Water
.
    Jack stumbled away from the tree after hearing the word.
    “What is it?” Talisa asked, while trying her best not to laugh.
    “Th-The t-t-tree! It spoke!” Jack cried. “YEOW!”
    Folding her arms after the smack, Talisa shook her head. “For someone with so much promise, you truly are dense! Of course the tree spoke.
All
trees can, Jack. People nowadays are just too stubborn to stop and listen to them for a change. A shame, really…”
    “Well, it wants water,” Jack replied, rubbing his head.
    “Of course it does.” Talisa ran a loving hand along the bark. “But as you can see, neither you nor I have any. How will you solve this part of the puzzle?”
    Jack huffed. “I have trouble manifesting the elements. Well, I have trouble controlling them.”
    “When you limit yourself, you are heading down the path of defeat,” Talisa berated him. “Think, just as you did when you grasped the earth in your hand.”
    Jack blinked. “I don’t have to. You just helped me find a solution.”
    “I did?” Talisa asked, puzzled.
    Jack dropped to his knees and started to dig a hole before the tree. He kept digging until he felt moist soil.
    “I learned this trick a few years ago,” Jack explained. “I can’t create water on my own yet, but I have been able to summon water from deep within the ground. Never really knew how it happened, but I can’t complain since it works.”
    Jack beamed as soon as he saw water fill into the hole. Moments later, enough water rose to cover the exposed roots. Jack felt another pull of energy from the tree, and he touched the bark again.
    Well done, elf mage. You may enter the Grove of Kiare’s Mirror
.
    The scenery changed before his eyes—there was no longer a grove of ash trees, but a small clearing surrounded by large oak trees. In the center of the clearing was a large rock wall with a well, constructed of multi-colored pebbles that were arranged to display a pattern of rolling ocean waves.
    Jack felt Talisa push his jaw shut. He hadn’t realized it was hanging in the first place.
    “It’s rude to gawk,” Talisa said while walking toward the well. “It seems I’ll have to instruct you in manners as well.”
    “B-But…”
    Jack couldn’t finish his sentence. He was in awe of the sacred ground he now stood upon.
    “You know of this place.” Talisa smiled. “Good. You’ll become more familiar with it during your apprenticeship.”
    “Talisa, this is sacred ground.
Kiare’s
sacred ground,” Jack noted. “How is this possible?”
    “You know the color of my robes indicate that I am a vassal of Kiare. Long ago, I was appointed the guardian of the Grove of Kiare’s Mirror,” Talisa explained. Her nails tapped along the edge of the well. “I have always brought my apprentices here, to test their heart as well as their spirit. If they successfully open the gateway and see into the mirror without being overcome by greed for power, then they are worthy of my tutelage.”
    “What happens if they fail?”
    “Are you certain you wish to know?” she asked.
    Jack gulped and shook his head.
    “Never ask the questions you do not want the answers to,” Talisa instructed.
    Fair enough
, Jack thought.

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