"Be-betrayed?" Aden stuttered, clutching his stomach where he had seen himself be stabbed. He closed his eyes and listened to the Forestmaster's whimsical voice change to a somber, sorrowful tone.

"Yes. I have seen it, though I know not whom it will be." She looked to the ground, her striking green eyes flickering towards his face. "You are strong Aden, but you cannot bear the burden alone. You need

Amina. We are doing what we can, but it has been so long, and the poison runs freely through her veins now." She spoke softly. Aden looked at her as he sank to his knees, then covered his face with his hands.

"What am I doing here?" He sobbed wretchedly, his words muffled from his hands. "Why have we come here? Why?" He asked through his tears. The Forestmaster looked mildly surprised.

"Because, Aden, Amina who holds the key. She is the only one who can save us all from the evil that pursues in the darkness of the night. Only Amina can defeat this evil, and only you can save her from what she could become." The Forestmaster knelt beside Aden and rested a comforting hand upon his shoulder. "Do not despair, Aden. She will survive, I have seen it, though what Davon did to her may never leave. Somehow, most likely by mistake, he transferred some of his magic to Amina. His dark magic," She added carefully, watching as Aden lifted his head, his eyes meeting her own.

"Dark magic?" He said, his voice smooth and calm. "What do you mean by that?" He asked. The Forestmaster looked at him, concerned at his sudden calmness.

"His magic to summon demons, beings of the underworld. He can command the foulest of the beings to do his bidding. Even I do not know the depths of his powerful magic." She said quietly.

"Amina can now do these things as well?" Aden asked slowly. The Forestmaster nodded.

"Indeed she can. Though I'm sure that this transfer was quite unintentional. But transfer it did, and we must teach her how to work it, otherwise she could become a very dangerous woman. With these talents in her procession, she could cause great destruction and chaos unintentionally. And of course, there is the possibility that she will be corrupted by the power, despite our efforts to prevent that. You must be her support and keep her from doing that." The Forestmaster spoke softly as she chose her words carefully.

"The dark arts are not necessarily dark, it usually depends upon the caster. Amina has the capability to do harm with her magic, when before she could not, though perhaps with time she could have. Ultimately, the deep, true intention of the caster is what makes the difference. That caster is Amina." She continued, folding her hands and looking down to Aden, who was still sitting on the ground, stunned.

"What kind of harm can she do?" He asked cautiously, not sure if he wanted to know the answer.

"With the right equipment, she can kill, and even cheat death. She can call dark creatures, called demons, to do her bidding. An Egerth is such a creature, because its nature to kill for pleasure, instead of to survive. She will be able to harness her powers and could possibly level a city. As of now, she is our only weapon against Davon, because our powers could not possibly match his. Hers can, now. She must be very well protected and kept away from temptations of evil. You must be her bodyguard." The Forestmaster said, holding out a hand to help Aden up. He gripped her hand and pulled himself to his feet, crossing his arms and shuffling his feet in the dirt.

"But what did he do to her?" Aden asked as he watched the Forestmaster carefully, looking into her eyes as if to unmask some sort of strange truth that she may be keeping from him. She looked at him, then away and into the distance.

"We don't know. We don't know how he transferred his powers, we don't know how he did any of it."

"Its my fault she was even hurt, and its my fault that she is in the predicament. I should have been with her instead of letting her walk alone." He said angrily.

"What is done is done, Aden. The past cannot be changed. It is best that this happened, because had it not, we would be defenseless against Davon, since we could not possibly equal his powers." The Forestmaster said. "Everything happens for a reason." Her voice echoed softly off the trees. Aden nodded slowly and rubbed his eyes.

"Amina is in need of you now. You must go to her and comfort her, though she will not be able to respond. She is terrified, and still in pain. You all may stay the night, but tomorrow you must be on your way to Renault. We will give you what provisions we can to help you on your quest." She said, taking Aden's arm and leading him away from her reflection pool. They left the clearing, and she guided him through the many halls and passages of the marvelous castle. His eyes watched everything around him, taking all of the magnificence in, he had never seen such beauty.

Aden lowered his eyes to look at his shoes as the Forestmaster led him to where his beloved Amina lay sleeping. As she pushed open the large oak door, Aden caught a glimpse of Amina, her face gray. He pushed through the door and flew to her side as he clutched her hand in his own.

"I'm so sorry Amina." He whispered. "I should have been there for you. I would have never been able to live with myself if anything had happened to you." He gently kissed the back of her hand as he sat next to her. He stroked her hair and ran a hand down the side of her cheek. Her eyelids fluttered and opened. Her usually bright green eyes were dull and sad. She said nothing, but simply let out a long sigh and closed her eyes again. Aden gripped her hand.

"I will have revenge for what was done to her."