New Cursed Lord book, because the previous one had no plot and, frankly, the writing was just embarrassing.
Luckily, the leave I've taken from this story has given me time to work out a plot.
And said plot is going to need a lot of chapters and books, so...yeah. Updating won't be easy.
The names in this chapter AREN'T just stupid made up names. They are of Basque origin, so yes, they're a little weird.
Moonlight filtered into the otherwise shadowy cavern, casting a sparkling reflection upon the pool in the center that seemed to ripple and swell in the wake of a nonexistent wind. The cavern was deep and vast, with only one opening, the one far above the cave floor that let in only the light of the moon, leaving the stone walls inside the cave ice cold to the touch, having never seen the light of the sun that would never rise in this place.
The pale light gave for to small shadows, flitting and weaving in between the stalagmites that looked as though they hadn't taken years to form, but had merely erupted from the ground itself on their own accord. One by one, six shadows, varying in size, took shape as they padded silently to the shining pool at the center of the cave. Sitting on the jutting stones that surrounded the pool, each shape gazed at the stars for a moment before the largest shape let out a long, chilling howl.
"The meeting begins now." The wolf was the first to speak after her call to attention. Her mottled brown fur shone almost unnaturally in the light, most noticeably her muzzle, on which the fur had turned silver with age.
"I had not expected another disturbance like this, not so soon after the last." She continued, "I worry this will become a common occurrence."
"We've no time to ponder that, Ainhoa," a small black cat spoke up from beside her, "not now. Now we must take care of this and worry about the reasons as we go."
"Uftzi, be reasonable," Ainhoa said, only a hint of a snarl in her voice, "we cannot let this go on."
"With all due respect, Ainhoa," Edur, a white rabbit, chimed in, "Uftzi's words are not unfounded. Whatever the reason, this must be dealt with."
After other murmurs of agreement from the other three animals present, Ainhoa bowed her head, "very well. Let us begin."
"The spirits of the cursed warriors have been awakened, much sooner than we had hoped," Uftzi began, "their vengeance threatens our home of Inaki Island, the nearby island of Bikendi, and possibly the entire world. Their bitterness has not been forgotten after centuries of banishment from our island, and with that rage and hatred of all those who inhabit it, they will not stop until this place is wiped off the face of the world. The six spirits, though possessing incredible power of their own, can be stopped if the powers we possess now are given to those who are capable of saving this world."
"Aintzane, Alazne, Kerbasi, Bakarne, Itsaso, and Kepa, your anger will not be fueled, and your bloodlust will not be fed," Zuria, an ivory white dove, continued, "because it is time for us to choose who will stop you."
"Have you all decided on who will receive your powers?" Ainhoa asked.
"We have chosen," was the unanimous reply.
"Very well, I will begin."
Ainhoa reached out a massive paw to graze the water of the pool lightly. The water rippled out from where contact had been made, and the image of a young, sleeping boy was now featured in the center. Ainhoa raised her head to view her comrades.
"I see potential in this one," Edur lifted his head, so that his gaze rested on Ainhoa rather than the boy, "you've made a good choice."
Ainhoa bowed her head, "thank you. Does this council approve?"
Murmurs of assent echoed throughout the vast cavern.
Edur then touched his paw to the pool, and the image of the boy shattered and was replaced by a sleeping girl.
"That one?" Etor, the russet colored fox asked in his gravelly voice, "I've watched her, Edur. She will be a challenge. Such ambition will need careful channeling."
"Are you implying that I have chosen wrong, Etor?" Edur said testily.
"Of course not, I was merely pointing it out," Etor conceded. Edur nodded, semi-satisfied and yet irked at the fact that Etor seemed so smug.
"Does the council approve?" Ainhoa was quick to interrupt any sort of conflict. After one moment's hesitation, murmurs of approval once again sounded.
Zuria stepped forward next, touching her beak to the water so that it swirled as the picture morphed into that of another girl, much fairer and thinner.
Uftzi spoke up first, "are you sure, Zuria? She seems a bit…" he trailed off.
"A bit what? Uftzi, by all means enlighten me on the flaws of my decision." Zuria's voice was hard, her beady eyes glinting in the pale light.
"I was merely saying that, well, her will is rather…weak." Uftzi stated bluntly.
"I have chosen." Zuria's voice had such a sharp edge that Uftzi bowed his head in assent.
"Very well. I approve."
"As do we," Etor nodded to his allies. He himself reached out a paw, and the picture rippled into that of yet another sleeping girl, her skin much darker. Many of his allies looked ready to object, but no one dared to argue with Etor when he had made up his mind. It would be a waste of time.
Suddenly the water rippled from underneath, and a black and white fish rose from the depths of the pool. Had Dabi had a face capable of expression, she would have been smiling sheepishly.
"Nice of you to grace us with your presence at last, Dabi," Ainhoa's tone was disapproving, "I hope you've made a decision as well, you've kept us waiting long enough."
"I do, I do," Dabi plunged back into the water, her tail flicking Uftzi and Zuria with water, the former letting out an irked hiss. The pool formed the image of a pale boy, sleeping as soundly as the others. After all of the others had gotten a good look, Dabi resurfaced, shattering the image. "Well, well? I watched him, I chose him. Approve, approve?"
"Yes, Dabi. Very well." Ainhoa nodded, then turned to the cat next to her, who was busily washing his ears, "well, Uftzi?"
Uftzi casually reached out one paw. The image that formed from that contact caused a collective gasp from all those present.
"That one?" Zuria was the first to speak, "you criticize my choice and you choose this?"
"He's not been on the island for more than two weeks!" Etor stuttered.
"Save that talk, Etor, I know the true reason that you reject him." Uftzi snarled, "my choice has been made."
"But he is--"
"I know very well who he is, Edur!" Uftzi voice rose to a shriek of defiance, "I've right to my choice."
After this, there was only silence.
"Have you no trust in me?" Uftzi asked.
Another pregnant pause, and Uftzi could feel the tension crackling in the air.
"I trust your judgment, Uftzi," Etor finally spoke. "I've no idea why you have chosen this boy, but I have known you, and I trust you."
Dabi bobbed up from the water, "I do, I do!"
Slowly all agreed but one.
"Ainhoa," Uftzi rasped, "I know how you must feel, but I have watched this boy. He shows no signs of ever knowing about the blood that runs through his veins. You, out of all others, should know the significance of a second chance."
Ainhoa finally bowed her head, and Uftzi let out a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding.
"Very well," her voice was almost silent.
"Then it is done." Uftzi announced, and slowly the others vanished into the shadows.
A new war had started, and they only hoped the chosen ones would be ready for it.