• Chapter One

    The day outside was typical for that of the beginning of Shienregan. Shian and Gren where burning high in the blue sky, two orbs of burning flame driven over the Light Nations giving light to those who deserved such a gift from the Gods. Like Two watchful eyes The Twins sat lazily amongst the clouds concealing Arlania from the watchful and probing gaze of those on Earth. None on the hidden planet wanted the power-crazed, greedy, destructive humans discovering the World they had taken such care over masking with Leoni.
    Shian and Gren made special care to give the majority of their light to Vicall where the Sprithan Flower Festival was coming to a close after a month of celebration for the New Year, The Year of the Soaring Bird. The Gods who lived upon the twins Shian and Gren watched in fascination as villagers from all over the country congregated around the great harbour of the Capital City with the fruits of their labour for the first month of the New Year.
    Garlands of all shapes and sizes were laid on the clear blue surface of the Ocean as waves lapped over the lilies they sat prettily in the little wooden and paper boats that where set to sail from land to land guided by the spirits that where sealed inside the tiny paper sails. Thousands of these little boats where laid gently in the sea and the waves gladly took its cargo away.
    Esmeralda looked down from the burning surface of the Gren where she had been carefully trimming the clouds into any shape that took her fancy at the time. Her long white hair was tied back by a long black piece of ribbon which fluttered around her shoulders as the wind caught it and pulled it this way and that. Her white silken dress flapped around her ankles in the light breeze but she ignored it. Having spent 1,641,000 years on Gren she had gotten used to living in a dress every day.
    She watched as a light blue figure made her way through the crowd passing through the odd person who got in her way, she had to give them credit though, they didn’t know she was there. Esmeralda smiled. Her dragon was right on time.
    Down in Vicall Jean floated through the crowd of people making sure not to pass through too many of them because she realized, after thousands of years joyfully spiriting through as many people as possible, that when you passed through people they never forgot the feeling. Most became blithering wrecks and never got over it and others it made them mentally insane having a spirit pass through their body. It wasn’t a nice experience anyway. In the pubs and taverns of Vicall and Xennel there where stories of men’s souls being ripped out of their bodies by angry and vengeful spirits and ghosts who loved nothing more than torturing the living to satisfy their everlasting lives.

    Of course ghosts don’t really rip the souls out of people’s bodies. Hi, if you are wondering who is talking to you I am the writer, not the main character, the writer. I will be here to randomly talk to you and point out any mistakes that may come up thanks to stupid humans. Humans are stupid and don’t argue our case. You’ll be fighting a losing battle. Anyway…

    Jean was completely the opposite of the ghosts that drunken sailors talked about. For starters Jean had once been a dragon and a faithful servant of the first ever ruler of Le-Ari, Esmeralda. When Esmeralda died after 359,000 years of service creating and shaping the land that many creatures now call home Jean lived on as a dragon for a few thousand more years but realized that as a dragon she was trapped inside a useless but powerful body.
    Jean swapped her body with the spirits of Shian and Gren and also Canori and Samson, the twin moons. In return they gave her the body of a beautiful young girl but she was condemned to either be chained to Shian and Gren forever or to walk the Earth as a spirit. So she chose spirit.

    I hope this has cleared up who Jean is for you.

    Jean ventured as far towards the edge of the water as she dared. Dressed in a long white dress her hair was almost invisible as her wavy locks tumbled down her back to her waist. The young girl looked at the crowd’s reflection in the water. She missed looking at her reflection. She hadn’t seen what she looked like ever since she swapped bodies to become a spirit.
    Women and children along with men, elves, dwarves and fairies along with an assortment of other creatures lined to docks either side of the invisible little girl. Alone she looked into the rippling water below her ghostly feet and focused on the gap in the crowd where her reflection should have stood. Her solemn blue eyes filled with non-existent tears which fell noiselessly into the water below her making no ripples, not even a drip. ripple
    Jean looked up at the clouds and spotted Esmeralda watching her. Esmeralda had sat down on the burning surface of Gren with her legs dangling over the side of the orb. Jean waved up to her master and Esmeralda waved back, tears stinging her eyes. It had been a long time since she had been able to talk to her loyal dragon and yet although the spirits of the suns and the moons sensed their pain they did not lift the condemnation upon her.
    So Esmeralda could do nothing more than wave back to the lonely little girl she had once called an equal and while she was to forever lead the perfect life high in the clouds she was to live with the guilt that her poor friend had to walk the Earth alone.
    Jean looked back to the water and moved slowly away. She had made the mistake once already when she was younger. She could only travel around one hundred miles away from Lake Cani now that she had came in contact with the water. That was her home now and she could never leave it for more than a day. If she touched the water in the sea then Lake Cani would never be her home again; and she would never be close enough to the Princesses to protect them.

    The life of a ghost is a lonely one as you can see. But I would never be mean enough to never give my characters some joy in life now would I? I’m not that kind of person. And since Jean was such a nice dragon/person I’ve given her a chance. Don’t blame me for all of the suffering in this world have you seen ours? I rest my case.

    Jean wanted to be amongst a crowd of people for a short amount of time, even if she could only speak with the living Chosen. Every year she travelled to Vicall for that one time of year when all of the creatures came from across the lands to celebrate the New Year and the beginning of the new season. It was the highest travelling time during the year and nowhere were there bigger crowds that a ghost could be amongst and pick up the latest news.
    People knew she existed but they couldn’t see her but she could see and hear them. She could smell the smells of the harbour, the salt on the weed and she could still just about feel the spray on her translucent skin. She was more of a legend to people than someone or something that walked among them.
    She was known as the Mother of Souls, the Mother of the Dead, the Mother of Life. She made friends of the creatures that died who came to her lake for refuge from all the pain they had suffered in the outside world. She wasn’t truly alone but the souls had to be reborn again as living spirits to find their way into the newborn creatures. Then she lost her friends and had to make new ones.
    The only happiness Jean had was when the Princesses came to meet with her. One of them would always become her best friend. It was usually the first of them to come to the land, whether it was fire, water or earth. The children of Air always made friends with her because she was the servant of the Great One. The Starter. But they were always too busy with their lives to visit her often. It was only when they needed powers or beasts or advice.
    So every few 100,000 years or even 10,000 years, if that Princess was unlucky, she would await the return of the monarchy and the return of a new permanent friend. Then she would be there to help them through any troubles they had and they would be there to talk to her.
    She remembered the arrival of the Princesses very well. The first being Fire which was how the cycle went, Air, Air, Water, Fire, Earth, Air, Earth, Water, Fire, Air and now Fire, Water and Earth. This was the first time the cycle had been totally completed because the Princesses had such long lives. A trump card had also been thrown into the equation but that is a story for another day.

    I know it all sounds very confusing but trust me you will get it when our main characters have their lessons in class about Arlanian and Le-Arian history. But I’m not going to tell you who the main characters are yet because I’m mean. So ha!

    Jean floated slowly back through the crowd. It was about time she went back and talked to the Fire Princess, her new best friend. The Water Princess and the Earth Princess were both out on missions with their Chadori and Cetahi Teams so Lady Cetak was probably back at the castle. The other Princess was spending some quality time with her apprentice.
    Deep in thought Jean didn’t see the young man walking towards her and he walked through the worst part you can ever walk through a ghost… her heart. The sheer freezing temperatures of the inside of a ghost sent this poor man crazy and he was found the day after floating in the sea. He of course was another soul that would have been added to the collection in Lake Cani. Jean wasn’t a bad spirit, she was just clumsy. The man’s family didn’t share this opinion though. An investigation was opened over the man’s death but no evidence could be found. Then again a ghost had killed him and what evidence can you have against a ghost?

    See, I have care fully stepped around the naming part of the story because there’s a twist coming up and I don’t want you to know who people are, that would just spoil it. You only really know two people’s names. See, I’m good at this.