"How long will we be out here?" Davina inquired. We were setting up our tent for our training session within our camp. This training session for most of my students lasted at least a week and they were held during their week long breaks from school so that way they weren't missing out on their normal education.
Since we were training out here, Sirius was staying with Violet and her family for the time being. This meant that by the time we were done, he would be even more spoiled rotten to the core by Sarah and her family. In addition to Sirius being taken care of, my store was being watched over by Gloria Harding, another trusted friend within the community like Violet, and her three daughters that are also my favorite students, like Davina. I appreciated these five helping me out while I was training because it let me know that I had people that I could rely on.
"At least a week. Thankfully, it's Thanksgiving break for you," I responded. Davina chuckled softly.
"It's funny how you say this is a convenient way of training for me, but in all reality I'm still doing some type of school work," She smiled.
"You're right, but at least you won't have any homework assignments to turn in," I murmured.
"That's true," She nodded.
"Not only that, but at least you get to experience only part of what I went through when I was your age," I said.
"Part of it? What do you mean by that?" She furrowed her eyebrows in confusion.
"When I was training, I was in the woods for thirty-six months," I informed her, "And I was at least fourteen or fifteen years younger than you are now."
"Nine months?" She asked in surprise.
"Uh-huh and my training was much harsher than what you faced, especially since I was pushed to my limits every single day," I explained.
"Ohh," She responded, "But wait, why did you shorten it to one to two weeks?"
I began to contemplate how to word the answer I was going to give her for a moment before responding, "We came to the conclusion in 1929 that it would be best if we shortened the training due to the changing times. Not only that, but it was important that you guys got an education like normal humans."
"I can see why our leader came to that decision," She nodded.
"One thing I will say that you're missing out on is the training from Haitian Vodouists," I added.
An amazed expression formed on her features, "You trained with Vodouists from Haiti?"
"Well I trained with Nadège Declesiaste, a friend of my mother since childhood, for at least twelve of those thirty-six months and then I trained with the voodoo queen herself, Marie Laveau for another twelve," I replied. She blinked in surprise at the information I gave her causing me to chuckle.
"Not many witches within this community can say that they trained with Marie Laveau of all people because she barely took on anyone as a student. I'm very lucky to have trained under her," I smiled, "She was a strict teacher that wanted-no-need perfection from each and every one of her students."
"You said she barely took on any students, but how did she take you on?" She inquired.
"She respected my grandmother and mother very much so she decided to take me on as her student," I explained.
"Was she impressed by you?" She asked.
"No, but do you want to know what she said?" I inquired with a humorous smile on my face.
"Sure," She nodded.
My back straightened and my throat was cleared before I imitated the voice of my teacher, "You may be the granddaughter of the most respected witch in the world and the daughter of your leader, but to me you are nothing more than an inexperienced avorton."
She laughed at my imitation of the voodoo queen's accent while I chuckled.
"I was a little taken back by how she spoke to me, but I got over it an proved myself to her within those twelve months. She still treated me like a nuisance, but she took note of how much of a good student I was along with my skills."
"Wow. To be acknowledged by the voodoo queen is a feat within itself," She said.
"It is a great feat and many within our community and the voodoo community respect me for it, although I'm far from being respected," I sighed. Davina frowned at my statement, but it was true. I was someone who was far from being respected, especially since I gave up my role as leader of this coven to Sarah and her family. Of course my family will make people respect me, but for what? I'm not as great of a witch as my mother or grandmother. I'm just me.
"That's not true," Davina shook her head, "You are someone that should be respected despite who your mother and grandmother are. You are someone who has done a lot for this community like training each generation of witches, taking care of everyone in need, and watching out for us."
A small smile was brought to my face at her words, even though I didn't agree.
"Thank you, Davina," I smiled.
"You're welcome and just remember that even if Sarah is our supreme, you are the true supreme of this coven," She explained.
"Now aren't you sweet," I giggled, "However, don't let anyone else hear you say that."
"Why? Everyone thinks it, even though Sarah is our leader. You're a natural leader," She told me.
"Hm. You and my other students seem to think that way every single time," I smiled faintly.
"Because it's true," Davina chuckled.
"Anyways, enough talk. The sun is about to set," I informed her. She looked at the sky and took note of the sun that was beginning to set.
"Okay," She nods.
"My camp has been set up," I informed her picking up one of the sleeping bags.
"Your camp?" She looked at me in confusion.
"Yes. My camp," I nodded.
"Wait. Where is my tent?" She questioned.
"There's only one tent," I answered.
"Only one tent?" She knitted her eyebrows together.
"Mhm," I hummed.
"Then that means I'm going to be sleeping in the woods?" She asked.
"Yep," I popped the 'p'.
"Ohh-kay," She said.
A small flame danced in the palm of my hands as I looked at her with a mischievous smile on my face, "Your training begins now."
Her eyes widened in realization at the situation at hand. Without warning, I threw the flame at her, but she narrowly dodged. She scrambled to grab the sleeping bag while I continued to throw fire at her.
"You better hope that I do not find you, Davina! This training session is going to be a very harsh one that pushes you beyond your limits. Your mind and body will be worked so hard that your mind and body will be on the verge of breaking down mentally and physically. The only instinct that will matter is survival, especially from me and this forest."
Before the words could even leave her mouth, she was swatted like a fly into a nearby tree. She quickly used her magic to soften the tree so that it wouldn't do any major damage to her body. This time I threw a sharpened icicle at her before she even had time to relax. She narrowly dodged, but it did manage to cut her cheek before embedding itself into the tree behind her.
"You better up your awareness, Davina! I'm aiming to kill," I yelled throwing another sharpened icicle at her.
Our training session continued on for a couple more hours until I managed to chase her towards the most dangerous and deepest part of the forest, which was my main objective all along. Once she was deep within the forest, I placed a barrier that stretched all across there that would only keep her from getting out of there. Using my magic, I placed my hand over my throat so that my voice would reach her wherever she was.
"Davina! Our training session together is over! After this, you are on your own," I boomed. A flare like signal went up in the air letting me know that she understood what was going on. Hopefully, she survived that part of the forest because I've lost many students who could not handle it. However, I'm sure that Davina will survive the forest no matter what. She's just like her mother. A survivor. She will prevail.
My fingers snapped simultaneously and soon flames danced in the air to light my way back towards camp. Each flame disappeared with every step I took so that I wasn't being followed by the creatures within this forest.
A raven flew down from the sky and landed on my shoulder letting me know that someone was sending me a message.
"Sofia," Violet's urgent voice came from the bird. A deep frown formed on my face at the sound of her voice.
"What happened this time?" I inquired.
"It's the witches from Romania," She informed me, "Ioana and her entire family, except for her son and daughter, have been slaughtered. Their entire coven was eradicated within one night by the Hunters."
"What?!" I exclaimed. Ioana, who was the same age as Violet and I, was a very powerful witch that was very well known and respected. She was a very fair and just leader that took care of her coven and did everything she could to fight against the Hunters organization. To hear that she had been killed was a very surprising and upsetting fact. Our community has lost a very powerful and valuable leader. As for me, I've lost a very close and trustworthy friend that could be considered family. It upset me greatly to hear about someone that was family to me being slaughtered like an animal by those bastards.
"Violet, what about the children?" I inquired. Ioana's sons were my godchildren and I would do anything to protect those two no matter what. As much as I wanted to grieve my dear friend's death, her sons were my top priority right now.
"In her last moments, she sent them to my home. They are shaken up badly," She answered, "Joanna Raleigh's husband says that they're going to be on the lookout for those children."
"What did your mother day?" I inquired.
"She wants to take them in herself," She informed me.
"Tell your mother not to worry about it. I'll take care of those two," I replied, "Ioana would want them in my care."
"Are you sure?" She asked.
"I'm positive. I'll protect those children and do whatever it takes to make sure that they grow up to be as strong and powerful as their mother," I assured her.
"Alright. I'll create their new birth certificates," She said.
"Thank you. Make sure to teach those two their new names before I get back and comfort them as best as you can," I explained.
"Will do," She said.
"I'll see you when this is over," I murmured.
The raven soared into the sky away from me before bursting into flames. A loud sigh escaped my lips as I looked into the night sky.
"Ioana, I swear on my life that I will make those bastards pay for their heinous crimes and their existence," I promised. With my finger pointed at the sky, an emerald light was sent upwards in tribute to my fallen friend.