The ancient magic was coursing through her veins even now and every inch of her felt like it was on fire. From the tips of her hair to the ends of her toes. Guttural sounds escaped her as she tried to catch her breath in between the waves of pain and dizziness. Crowds of people were surrounding her now at the base of the mountain ledge where she had lodged herself; making their way up the small recess in the side of the mountain to get a glimpse at the girl they all knew.
But they didn’t know her anymore did they? Her head snapped back and her eyes closed of their own accord as she grit her teeth to keep another scream from escaping. She never expected the transition to feel this way. But she wasn’t given a whole lot to go off of either. The fading memories of her mother before she died, when Elena was still too young to really understand, had her grasping for a small piece of something her mother had said before she suddenly died.
ab intus illustrant
Within the Verullus family this was an eternal greeting between those that carried the fire within them. It meant ‘illuminate from within’ and reminded all of their ancestors about the deadly power they all carried within them and that every few centuries one of them activated.
Elena was that one.
More people were filing in to watch the transition and Elena realized how afraid she now was. For all the childhood memories had not prepared her for this experience and she wasn’t sure if she would survive it or not. The last few fire breathers didn’t make it as their transition came on late in life and their bodies crumpled under the torturous transition.
Her golden brown hair started to fill in with blondes and reds of every shade and her eyes turned to a golden red. The final transition was approaching and she would have to breathe her first fire or perish under its weight. Every citizen of Veril was now there awaiting the final stage. Tears streamed down her face when she realized he was out there somewhere. His face was somewhere in that crowd and she couldn’t bear to see the torment he was sure to be showcasing at this moment. It had been centuries since the last fire breather arrived and no one really knew what to expect after everything was said and done.
The earthquakes started and a low rumbling seeped through the cracks around the village creating an eerie display of power. Smoke was billowing through the mountainside where Elena was touching it and she felt the flame building within her. She dug her hands into the hard rocks beneath her and held on as hard as she could until at last the flame was ready to emerge.