TCoE: Backstory Blogs Pt. 4 - Cythia
** SPOILERS **
Initially introduced in the form of a farm cat, Cythia is presented as a character who has held a close bond with Eva for a long time. Despite their history, Eva knows close to nothing about Cythia's past, while Cythia knows about Evaleana's life far more than she knows.
The Journey Begins
Pages: 23 - 25
Suddenly Evaleana heard a sweet meow coming from the stables. The next thing she knew, she saw her cat trotting to her. The feline was a female with mystic green eyes and tortoiseshell fur, little white paws, light orange-red patches mixed in with her light browns, and a little pink nose.
“Cythia,” called Eva with a smile. Cythia began to purr, and she raised her tail as she trotted to Eva. The cat rubbed against Eva. Eva petted her gently and still smiled, but soon it faded when she looked back to the sun.
“I wonder what it is like out there. In the world, far beyond this small town, far away from here,” murmured Eva to Cythia. Cythia stopped and looked at Eva. Eva returned the look.
“What? Don’t you wonder what is over that horizon? Aren’t you interested at all? Never mind. You’re just a cat,” Eva continued. Cythia continued brushing against Eva and purring.
“You just enjoy yourself, don’t you?” teased Eva. “Well. We need to go to bed soon. Well, I do anyway; I have a big day tomorrow.”
Eva picked up Cythia and walked back to the cabin. Once inside, Eva carried Cythia up the wooden staircase in her arms. Upstairs there was a small hall stretched out before them. Straight ahead was a locked door. To the left and right were closed doors. Eva turned right and entered the room.
Her bedroom was made of wood panels with blue rugs and curtains on her open window beside her bed. She decorated her bed with a collection of blue blankets with white pillows. As she closed the door behind her, she let go of Cythia. She walked across her room towards her dresser. After grabbing her long white nightgown, she stepped behind her dressing screen.
Once she changed, she came out and plopped into her bed. Cythia leaped from the floor and stood beside her. The feline sat down, neatly wrapping her white-tipped tail around her paws. She looked at Eva, and Eva looked back. She lifted her fist and opened it to reveal the sapphire jewel necklace.
Moments passed before Eva broke the silence. “Should I put it on? I mean, after all, mom and dad didn’t want me to before, but I feel like something is telling me to. Like it is almost—calling to me,” Eva said. Cythia only meowed in return. “Well, I don’t see why not try it on? It’s just a necklace,” Eva declared. The young girl quickly latched it on. Everything went quiet, and the sapphire gem began to glow.
“Whoa,” Eva breathed, taken aback. “It’s very nice,” she then rolled over and closed her eyes. Before she could begin to fall asleep, she heard a girl’s voice.
“Well done, young one,” praised a strange girlish voice. Eva jumped into a sitting position in her bed.
“Who said that?” she whispered. “Where are you? Show yourself!”
“Here,” it replied. Eva looked around her room but didn’t find the source.
“You’re looking too high,” it commented. Evaleana stopped and looked over the edge of her bed to find her cat, Cythia, sitting neatly on the ground.
“Cythia, did you hear that?” Eva asked, her voice quivering.
“Yes, I did,” the voice replied. Eva’s eyes grew wide, and she looked over the edge of the bed again.
“Did you just... talk?” demanded Eva, disbelief edging her tone.
“Yes. What’s wrong with me talking?” answered the cat; this time, Eva saw her mouth move.
“Impossible,” gasped Evaleana. “I’ve lost it! I think my cat is talking to me; this must be one heck of a dream!”
“Please, Mistress, stop worrying. You aren’t crazy, and this most certainly is not a dream. To prove it to you, I shall go ahead and shed my disguise. I have wanted to show you who I am for years,” mumbled Cythia. Eva looked puzzled but waited. Suddenly, Cythia transformed into a young woman.
“My cat is human? Oh my, I must’ve hit my head hard,” moaned Evaleana.
“No, you didn’t. I am a Razi. Razis are beings with magic, and most of us have the power to shapeshift. Generally, I just become a cat to protect my true identity,” explained Cythia. Eva finally took the chance to take it in. Cythia had long red hair, pulled into a braid, and mystic green eyes. She wore a tight brown leather full-body outfit with knives in her belt and a sword attached. She looked to be about twenty-five years old.
“What?” Eva asked, completely confused.
“We don’t have much time; he should be here soon,” Cythia implied.
“He? Who is he?” interrogated Evaleana.
“Look, I know you’re confused, but right now is not the time,” pressed Cythia. “I am you’re Guarnimal. I have been with you as a cat for these past few years, protecting you, watching over you,” explained Cythia swiftly.
“Guarnimal? What is that? And why would I need one?” quizzed Eva, narrowing her eyes.
“We Guarnimals are assigned to a person who needs us, and we are loyal to those whom we protect. We are mostly shapeshifters, but some are known to be plain old animals. But for your safety, someone like you needs a shapeshifter Guarnimal,” continued Cythia.
“But what would you need to protect me from?” urged Evaleana, worried.
Cythia knows the man who is coming, but she refuses to explain anyting to Evaleana except that she is no longer safe.
* Violence disclaimer ~ Trigger warning *
Pain of the Past
Pages: 295 - 301
The sound of girls laughing echoed all around. Light beamed down through the treetops and shone brightly down on the forest floor. A young girl with long red hair was running along an old deer path, chasing after a younger blonde-haired girl who had her hair in a braid. Both were wearing simple white sundresses with small sandals on their feet. As they ran, they giggled and taunted each other.
"You can’t catch me!" teased the younger girl as she continued to run as fast as she could.
"We'll see about that!" retorted the other who was soon gaining ground. Suddenly, a scream erupted in the distance and resonated. The young twelve-year-old girl with red hair stopped dead in her tracks and scanned the surroundings. She snapped back toward where the other little girl had gone. "Stop! Wait!" the young girl shouted. But the golden-haired girl kept dashing away, still laughing. The older girl shook her head as fear gleamed within her green eyes.
She swiftly dashed after the young blonde girl after a few moments of thinking. She sprinted even faster down the old deer path as she followed the other girl’s trail. She already knew where to go and had a feeling she knew that something indeed was wrong. She raced down a small hill, and then the trees and forest around her faded away to incredibly tall green grass. She was in a grand meadow that had a few hills within it. In front of her was a path of the trampled grass.
She had stopped for a moment to think again, and then she shook her head as she took off running into the grass that was about five-foot, taller than she, which didn’t help her at all. Without warning, she was tackled to the ground, making the nearby grass sway. She swiftly whipped around to see a young boy getting off her and sitting back on his heels as his knees touched the ground. The boy had short brown hair and blue eyes that sparkled with worry and concern.
“What was that for?” she snapped.
“Shh! Cythia, you can’t go out there!” the boy demanded.
“Birin, if this is some joke, you’re going to regret it,” Cythia grumbled.
“No, it is not a joke! You have to stay here and keep quiet,” Birin, the young boy, replied.
“Who screamed?” Cythia asked softly.
“What? N-no one screamed, Cythia,” Birin stuttered, a puzzled look now conquered his expression.
“What do you mean, no one screamed? I heard them! So, did—wait—where is she? Where is Navian? Where is my sister?” Cythia pressed sharply.
“She… what? I haven’t seen her,” Birin declared.
“She ran right by here! That’s why there was a path before I came—never mind. There is no time to talk. I can feel it—something is wrong,” Cythia stated firmly. Cythia started to jump up and leave, but Birin leaped to his feet and grabbed her arm, holding her back.
“No! You can’t!” he countered.
“Why not?” Cythia spat.
“Something… someone—they…” Birin mumbled, not sure what he should say.
“I don’t have time for this,” Cythia grumbled, pushing him aside, and heading for the path. She tore off, following the way that her younger sister had darted. Suddenly, another scream rippled throughout the meadow, making Cythia burst into a sprint as she sped through the tall grass. Soon, she found herself on top of the small hill. All around, the grass was crushed and pressed against the ground. She saw her mother and her younger sister right in front of her. They both were lying on the ground, their hands bound, and their mouths now had a cloth in them to keep them from talking.
“Mother! Navian!” Cythia screeched as she dashed forward to help them, but something caught her arm. A very tight grip lashed onto her arm, and no matter how much she struggled, she couldn’t get free. She whipped around to see a tall woman with long red hair falling over her shoulder in a braid. Cythia gasped when she realized that it was a Sithmora. The woman shoved Cythia down, making her crash to the ground.
The woman smirked as she placed her foot on Cythia’s chest; the sharp point of her shoe had a ragged edge to it. The woman held the blade’s side close to Cythia’s throat. Cythia showed no fear. Instead, she swiftly smacked away her boot and rolled to her right to jump back. She held her right hand toward the Sithmora. On her palm was her magic symbol, The Flora Emerald. She had only had her magic for two years, but she had practiced night and day.
“You think you can stand a chance against me?” chuckled the woman as she stood tall before Cythia, her hands on her hips. Cythia held her chin high as she lifted her hand higher. “Oh please,” the Sithmora grumbled, rolling her eyes. Suddenly Cythia flicked her wrist, sending a green ray of light right at the Sithmora, but the woman didn’t even flinch or hardly move. She lifted her right hand and held it in front of the ray. The ray crashed to the ground in the form of a green blob. Cythia eyes grew wide with shock at the Sithmora’s calm and jaded demeanor; she barely moved.
“What do you want?” snapped Cythia, a sudden feeling of strength washed throughout her.
“Ha-ha! Oh, please. Like we can gain much from a few peasant low lives like you?” sneered the Sithmora. “But, I guess there is something... we need more... strength. More, team members,” answered the Sithmora.
“You think I want to be a beast like you? I know of your kind! Vicious murderers! That’s all you monsters are!” Cythia spat.
“Really now? And just what makes you think that?” quizzed the Sithmora calmly.
“One of you killed my father! And trust me; I won’t mind killing a few of you!” Cythia snarled.
“Really? Then why don’t you give me your best shot?” smirked the woman again. Cythia’s rage slowly faded away when she caught her mother’s gaze. Her mother’s long red hair was all spread out on the grass as she laid there, tears forming within her green-blue eyes.
“My mother taught me to never fight with rage, but with courage. She said fighting with rage will make me become like you, a cold, heartless beast that kills for fun,” Cythia retorted smoothly, a smirk now on her face. The Sithmora’s grin faded away quickly, and she narrowed her eyes.
“Your mother hasn’t taught you how to show respect to those who are superior and whose blood is far more precious than your own, you pathetic pig!” snarled the Sithmora. Suddenly, the woman began to transform into a large dark cat. A panther, its eyes an icy blue. It growled as it prowled closer and closer to Cythia, ready to pounce. Something made the Sithmora stop dead in her tracks and transform back into human form. “You’re very good at letting people’s anger control them... aren’t you? You see, that is why you are a perfect choice to be my apprentice, unlike your weak sister and your old, silly, and pathetic mother,” pressed the Sithmora as she stood before Cythia.
“I would rather die,” Cythia declared sharply.
“Oh, Cythia. One thing you need to know about us, Sithmora. We believe that death is an escape, not a punishment. So, I won’t kill you; I’ll break your spirit,” the Sithmora replied coolly.
“I’d like to see you try,” Cythia spat, spitting in the Sithmora’s face. The woman slowly backed up and whipped the saliva off her face. Once she finished, she shook her head.
“The recruits are always such a pain. After it’s all over with, you won’t even remember any of this; you won’t even remember or even think about fighting your mentors,” the Sithmora grinned. Suddenly the Sithmora thrust her right hand forward, using magic to make Cythia fly backward. Cythia found herself crashing into the tall grass outside of the clearing. She swiftly lunged up and dashed back into the clearing only to stop dead in her tracks. The Sithmora forced her mother to her knees in front of her. The evil woman held a ragged dagger to her mother’s throat. The Sithmora held her head back by yanking on her hair.
“Let her go!” Cythia demanded. But the Sithmora only unleashed a low maniacal chuckle.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Cythia,” the Sithmora stated flatly, her eyes flashed with cruelty as she glared at Cythia. The woman pushed Cythia’s mother to the ground on her back. The Sithmora sat down beside Cythia’s mother and held the dagger high above her gut. Cythia saw the Sithmora whisper something into her mother’s ear, but Cythia couldn’t catch what they mentioned. The Sithmora started to thrust the dagger into the body of Cythia’s exhausted mother but suddenly stopped short.
Cythia commenced to run forward and help her mother until another Sithmora came out of nowhere, grabbed Cythia’s arm, and threw her to the ground. Cythia jumped up and swung a punch at the advancing newcomer, but it swiftly sent a blow to the flat of Cythia’s forehead with the heel of its palm. Cythia abruptly fell over; her head turned toward where her mother lay still on the ground. The first Sithmora was out of Cythia’s sight, which made Cythia feel a strike of fear slip throughout her body.
The second Sithmora picked up Cythia and dragged her over into the clearing again, and made her sit back on her heels. She held her head up so she could see the first Sithmora sharply yank on her sister’s ropes. Navian’s bright blue eyes were crowded with fear as she stared at Cythia as if she was begging her to do something. But what could she do? She was about to fall over and slip into the darkness of unconsciousness. They restrained her, so even the slightest movement would earn her a guaranteed knockout. Soon she saw what was happening; she wished she had moved. The first Sithmora devilishly smirked as she glared at Cythia, switching places with the second Sithmora and holding Cythia by her hair.
“Watch my apprentice closely,” ordered the first Sithmora with long scarlet hair. The second Sithmora had long blonde hair pulled into a ponytail. The girl was young, only a few years older than Cythia. Locking gazes with Cythia, the young Sithmora suddenly cut Navian’s wrist, her heels, then the back of her knees, sending Navian crashing to the ground. This horrifying sight made Cythia’s mother try everything to move as she cried.
“Good, Lyren,” the first Sithmora snarled. “Now, finish it.”
Promptly Lyren held the bloody knife to Navian’s throat and slowly slit it. Navian drew in one last painful breath as she bled to death on the ground. Her blue eyes stared into the sky, forever gazing into the distance. Cythia’s mother had managed to rip the cloth from her mouth and screamed her throat raw.
“No! NO!! You monster! How dare you?! Oh, please! My gods! My goddesses! Show mercy! Please! Don’t let this slip by and do nothing!” screeched Cythia’s mother. Suddenly, as if the divine heard her, clouds began to appear and cover the sun. Dark storm clouds shrouded the whole meadow. The winds picked up and roared. The grass all around swished and swooshed violently. Rain began to fall. The rain started to pick up speed, and soon it was pouring. Large raindrops fell from the sky and collided with the ground and faces of the people below.
“I fear no gods,” the first Sithmora spat. She walked over to Cythia’s mother. She kicked the woman in the jaw, flipping her over on her back again. Cythia started to scramble to help, but Lyren held her back with her hands drenched in her little sister’s blood. “This will show you how I feel about your precious powers!” shrieked the Sithmora. The Sithmora leaned back on her heels as she sat beside Cythia’s mother so Cythia could see well what was about to happen. She held her dagger above Cythia’s mother again.
“No... mother,” Cythia whimpered silently, her voice cracked, and her strength was fading faster and faster. “Mother!” Cythia cried out. Suddenly Cythia’s eyes opened. She was in the main tent again. She lay still in the bed; her fever was still there and continually gave her nightmares. Sacrina was by her side again. Cythia knew that her dream must’ve lasted since last night into late sun-high by the light inside of the tent.
Cythia's flashback of her past haunts her as her sickness remains to overwhelm her body. As she fights to recover, her nightmares get worse and worse, replaying visions of her dark childhood over and over again.
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Mel E. Furnish
I'm a self-published author, raised on a family farm in Indiana.
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