Amelia silently walked alongside her four sisters in the wake of the goddess Chryrie and her companion. She thought she heard him called Calix, but she wasn?t entirely sure.
They were walking through a forested area in a new land. Chryrie was planning to build a new temple in this land of Arcadia. Welcomed by the leader, Aja, they were to start a small temple on the outskirts of the land. She and her sisters were along to assist in this new endeavor.
Amelia was one of nine clones. Back then she had no name. She was just one of multiple copies. A number. And then the original woman came with men who liberated her and her clone sisters from the man who made them and abused them. After the fighting was over, she watched them summon the goddess. Amelia thought she was beautiful in an alien way with her slanted eyes that swirled many colors and long black hair that trailed along the ground. She seemed delicate and incapable of harming anyone. And then she watched the goddess reduce her former captor to a pathetic mess that could barely function.
The goddess had taken her and sisters to her temple where they were taught to think for themselves. They were encouraged to find their own identities despite being clones. Each one picked out new names. Some cut their hair or changed it?s color. Amelia had shorn her hair short, but was letting it grow back out now. All of the girls were offered schooling in whichever vocation they wished. They were all allowed to stay, but they could also leave if they wished. Four had left the temple to pursue their own lives. Amelia was one of the five that chose to remain and tend to the needs of the temple and those who sought refuge there.
Phoebe, one of her sisters, leaned over to whisper softly to Amelia. ?Isn?t he handsome? I wonder how he knows the goddess.?
Amelia blinked out of her revere to look at Phoebe, then to Chryrie and her friend. She silently contemplated his long black hair and pale features before she shrugged and whispered in return. ?I suppose he?s alright. They look like they?ve known each other a long time.?
?You don?t think he?s married, do you??
Amelia shrugged again, indicating she really had no idea. What she did know was if he was associated with the goddess, it was probably best to observe with caution. Not all of those who associated with the temple were like the Head Priest, Khoom.
It wasn?t too much longer before they stopped traveling the worn path and turned into the forest itself. Chryrie had warned them all to wear comfortable travel clothing before they left. Thankfully all of them had listened. The forest wasn?t treacherous, but fancy clothes and slippers wouldn?t have held up well as they went through brush and hopped over roots and rocks.
The one with the long dark hair that her sister was apparently enamoured with held up his hand to indicate they had reached their destination. Amelia looked around to try and see what was so special about this place.
Unfortunately for her, she really couldn?t make out what made this area any different than any other cluster of trees. She could make out water just beyond the treeline, but as far as she could tell, it would look the same either direction along that waterline.
Chryrie motioned for the girls to gather near her. Amelia carefully picked her way toward the goddess along with the rest of her sisters. Phoebe, however, was so busy making eyes at Calix that she bounced off a tree. By the time she joined her sisters her cheeks were bright pink.
Chryrie looked at Phoebe with lifted eyebrows. The tone of her voice indicated she was greatly amused with the situation. ?Careful. Those trees can sneak up on a person.?
Amelia fought back a snicker by clearing her throat as she joined hands with her sisters around the goddess. Chryrie didn?t have many followers in this land, so their presence was what would give the goddess the power to start the temple.
Calix had remained rather quiet during the long walk, though he had followed the conversations between two of the sisters. Not really giving any hint one way or the other if he had noticed that both Phoebe and Amelia had been talking about him. Something that he had long since grown used to when it came to some women pondering about him, or talking about his looks. It wasn?t until they reached the area of the forest that he had deemed perfect for Chryrie?s newest temple that he finally spoke.
?I am not married, Phoebe,? without looking to the pair as he closed his eyes to try and channel his own energies to align with Chryrie?s to help in the building.
Chryrie let out a laugh as Phoebe?s eyes went round as saucers. The acolyte?s cheeks turned an even deeper shade of crimson as she ducked her head down. Amelia giggled as well, but she squeezed her sister?s hand in silent support.
?Alright girls. Time to get down to business,? Chryrie?s voice flowed over the gathering. Each of the five girls in turn closed their eyes and focused on the goddess.
Chryrie closed her eyes as well as she dug her bare toes into the dirt beneath them. Soon Amelia could feel the wind picking up. This was always her favorite part. She could feel the power of the goddess flowing around them in that wind. Soon it was more than she could withstand and Amelia cracked open one eye just a small bit to see what was happening.
The trees were moving. Not pulling themselves up and walking away, but they would fade out of one location, only to appear in another. This continued until they were surrounded by a wall of trees. The only opening appeared to face toward the water.
Amelia took a deep breath and felt her belief in the goddess grow and fill her as she watched vines, stones, and wayward sticks fly up to fill in the cracks between the trees. Before she knew it, her eyes were fully opened as she looked upward to see the branches weaving together to make a thick canopy.
As she felt the wind die down, she lowered her head and closed her eyes once more to relish in the last few seconds of the power that flowed around them.
?Alright girls. Set the stones,? Chryrie?s voice came to her ears once more. Without question or hesitation Amelia, Phoebe, and the rest of the sisters scattered to the new tree walls. Each girl carried a small satchel that held a handful of glowing amber stones. These stones were carefully placed along the edges of the large room.
?They regulate the temperature and ambient weather in and around the temple,? Chryrie explained to Calix before he could even so much as quirk a brow. She then extended her hand to him as she walked to the new temple?s doorway.
?Let?s go talk of means to eventually work in more permanent construction...?