A/N: In this story it's leaning more towards the Zelda theme; not on earth, sprites, faeries, and such.

x?x.X?X.iLlUsIoN.X?X.x?x.

Within the mist, which clouds hide all,

One will rise, and be secrets downfall.

So wait for prophecy to come true,

Until then...hope is all you can do...

x?x.X?X.iLlUsIoN.X?X.x?x.

Aurora stared quietly at the dangling crystal.

"Aurora? Are you listening? This is very important. " The 18 year-old snapped out of her thoughts.

"Yes." But she wasn't really. Her mind was wandering on the perilous journey ahead. Out of all the people she was the one chosen...and if she didn't go through with it all of her world would crumble. She watched the black crystal sway from side to side. To wear it was a sign you were willing to risk your life. So many times she'd admired her family members' pendants of different stones, but the black crystal that she was receiving was most beautiful. It was a miniature pendulum, mysterious-looking with its opaqueness yet giving a trance-like feeling with the fiery colored gem inside, the only visible thing within the gem. It was like it could be another key to a whole different world.

"Aurora!" Marlie yelled. Aurora looked up at the 20 year-old. "Aurora," Marlie began softly. "are you sure you can do this? It's understandable if you can't...but please tell me now." Aurora's eyes glowed with determination.

"I can and I will. Do you not believe I can?" She asked, a challenging tone tipping her sentence. Marlie smiled, she'd known Aurora since they were children, she was like an older sister to her. And as sisters go, she knew Aurora was going to stick to her vow.

"Very well. Jak will go with you." Aurora looked desperately at Marlie.

"You're kidding. He can't!" She argued. Marlie looked at her with one eyebrow raised.

"Oh? Why?"

"Because-because...he's a freak and a flirt!" Marlie laughed for a second before her face grew serious.

"Then what do you propose?"

"I can go by myself." Aurora said boldly. But in reply all she received was a disbelieving stare.

"Little Sister, have you forgotten? No one has made it on their own to retrieve all four element stones." Aurora scoffed the warning.

"So? Those people are not me, nor like me. Besides, they all went in groups." Marlie shook her head.

"Some did go alone though, and lost their lives because of their foolishness."

"But as you know, I train more than anyone else in this village." Marlie was quiet.

"As I did. But you must learn training with only weapons and self-defense techniques are not the only things that are put to the test. There's stealth, strength, slyness, and so much more than what one even like you can't practice and master like you think you can. Aurora, you must understand that this is a big responsibility you are chosen to take. So I beg of you, allow Jak to come, for not just this villages sake but for this worlds. Out of all villages, countries, continents, you were chosen. Why they picked you and no one else to at least accompany you is ridiculous, foolish, and dangerous. But-" Aurora cut her off.

"I have my powers, does that not count? To be able to do so much with the elements. Is that nothing? No one else, no one can do what I can. At least, from what I have seen."

"Aurora, I never said that, all I'm saying is that you need to be in a group. Just because you're stronger than others doesn't mean that you're smarter or wittier than others! Those hidden among the forests and forbidden places where you must tread may not be as strong perhaps, but they can be even stronger, and they're well hidden. They're agile and sneaky, they're filled with stealth and wisdom! You need someone with you!" Aurora opened her mouth but immediately shut it as a shriek rang from outside the house of Marlie.

"What...who was that?" Marlie asked. Her question was, obviously, directed toward Aurora, who's amber eyes seemed to glow beneath her silver hair that fell across her face. And that's when Marlie realized it.

"Aurora..." She said softly. "Is it...?" But she knew the answer. The only time Aurora stood as stiff, as silent, and as serious was when, as Aurora said, 'Shadow' was here. Though it was not his real name that's how he was known, and it suited him very well, for he was able to blend in so well yet still stay hidden. He had stolen so many things; teachings, items just for 'souvenirs', and Auroras dignity. How? Well, it's hard to forget. She'd 'gone farther then her legs could take her' 2 years ago, and got into a fight with him. Humiliated and mortified in front of her class mates she'd trained harder until she could fight him. Indeed, Aurora had known him...or thought so. But ever since the fight she'd looked at him differently, especially since he disappeared after the fight. Only to be seen on his rare occasions to visit his old home.

In fact, he disappeared just as he appeared. Right out of the blue. Aurora mumbled under her breath before bursting outside.

"Shadow!" She yelled. "Show yourself!"

Stupid move. Why?

1. She lost before, what makes her think she can win now?

2. He's called 'Shadow' for a reason.

"Afraid?" Aurora snapped. She was feeling so strong, so bold, and it all went away like water being let out of a dam as she heard his laugh.

"Aurora...so eager to save you take not even a second to think of who could've made that shriek." Afterwards Shadow mimicked the shriek he'd made moments before. She scoffed it off though, and watched as the cloaked figure stood there.

"So I've heard you're leaving for a 'mission'. That's funny, usually those in charge choose the strongest." Shadow taunted. "Not that it matters even if they did, I'd simply overcome them." Aurora glared at him.

"First of all it's not your doing on how we lost so many sent on the mission I am going to fulfill. What have you come for?" She hissed. Her fists growing tighter the more Shadow taunted.

"One thing." Shadow said. "To let you know that you," In the speed of sound he was face to face with Aurora so that his body was touching hers. "You're wasting your time." She could feel his breath on her face. "You'll never succeed, I've been there before and survived...but by a papers edge." She tried to push him away but he grabbed both of her wrists with one hand, while the other toyed with the pendant that hung around her neck. "This pendant is nothing, not a thing but a symbol of foolishness."

"Leave, you've no need here, Shadow. Leave Shaela and its people alone, including me."

Shadow smiled.

"Very well. But be warned, you're being nothing but stupid." He left a soft kiss on Aurora's lips before disappearing as he had the day he'd left his classmates after the fight.

"Aurora! Aurora! Are you okay?" A silhouetted Marlie yelled through the doorway. Aurora nodded, but stared at her wrists that seemed to be burning, and pursed her lips that felt like knives had pierced them.

"Shadow..." She mumbled. "Your warning gift will not be ignored. But it will never be cared for. Not by me..." She walked back to Marlie's house, toying with the pendant. She looked down at it as she heard a clinking sound.

Two pendants...

"Shadow..." She whispered. Her stride slow. "Ever since you left me I vowed not to love you again...ever since you hurt me so..." She unhatched the chain and removed the pendant given to her. "So do not try and seduce me, my love for you is gone. That, Old Love, is why your gifts are not cared for. The pain of warning is accepted, but the softness of warning me not to die because you care for me is not. I do not, and never will care for you again..." She approached Marlie's front door.

"Aurora, are you okay?" Marlie asked. Aurora nodded, still clutching the pendant.

"I should get home, my parents must be fearing whether or not I am alright." Marlie nodded and watched Aurora walk away.

...Shhh...

"I'm going to bed." Aurora informed her parents. They nodded, figuring she must be tired from training at Marlie's starting at 5am. They were proud their daughter was given such an important task. Some said they were naive, letting her go alone, but they were nothing but giving their child a chance to be strong. Unfortunately, strength is not the only thing needed for the task.

Aurora walked up the staircase to her room, it was like a tower. A realm where it seemed she could kiss the stars, moon, and sun when they appeared. But tonight Aurora only nodded at the moon. She opened her palm and stared at the pendant. It was night blue that looked almost black, it was like a miniature pendulum, mysterious-looking with its opaqueness yet giving a trance-like feeling with the amethyst gem inside, the only visible thing within the gem. It was like it could be another key to a whole different world. But it was Roy's...Shadow's gift to her. She held it ever so gently, though she said she cared for it not. She wanted to say it was parody of the crystal she was given to prove herself. But it was a gift of apology. She stared at it, and brought the other pendant next to it. In the dark it wouldn't matter what it looked like, but Aurora was the light and saw Roy was teasing her. She let the parody gift fall from her palm, put the other back on the silver chain, and put it around her neck.

"Roy..." She whispered. "Do not taunt me..." As she began to walk to her bed she could've sworn she heard the wind blowing through the wide windows say, "It is no joke, love...it is simply a gift of apology..."

But Aurora let it go, thinking she was just overtired.

Dear Love...will you not understand...? You hurt me...and even if the wound heals the scar is still there. Let me be, I have my mind clouded with mission strategies, I will be leaving in one week...do not make it anymore complicated. No matter how much you say sorry, no matter how much I say 'I forgive you', I cannot tell you I love you...again...

-Aurora