Chapter 1: The Sorceress
Cori struggled slowly back to consciousness, only to groan at the excruciating pain between her legs. She realized she had been raped, but was not sure how many times. She had passed out from the violence. All she knew was that she had been used many times. She slowly stood up, grimacing in pain. Blood covered her left side from a shallow stab wound.
After examining the wound, she looked around and noticed the family farm had been put to the torch. The bodies of her butchered family were scattered around the farmyard. Her dead father's hands still clutched the broken sword that had slain three of the raiders. His body lay in front of the burned remains of her home, with her mother's slain body beside him.
As she slowly moved towards her parent's bodies, she noticed that several of her younger sisters and brothers were missing. However, it was possible their bodies might lay in the burned our remains of her home. She stepped over the bodies of the raiders, noticing that they had been stripped of all their gear. She knelt by the body of her father, gently closing his now sightless eyes. Cori cursed this day, and asked 'why' of the Gods, that they would allow such things as this to happen.
"I demand my revenge, and I will have my revenge!" Cori screamed to the heavens.
Tears once more clouded her eyes when she found the body of her three-year-old sister, butchered and abandoned inside the burned out remains of their home.
"Athena, stop your crying, your family is dead, and your tears will not bring them back."
At the sound of the voice, Cori whirled around bringing her father's broken sword into a defensive position. Her tearful eyes beheld a beautiful woman wearing a lavender gown, sparkling like the morning mist that covers the pond near her home. It appeared that the lady was walking on the surface of the water. Cori called to the woman, as she got closer.
"My name is not Athena, it is..."
"Hold! Never tell a Mage what your true name is, for once you have given them that, they can control you for the rest of your life ... and into the afterlife, as well. Therefore, I will call you Athena and you may call me Star," the lady said as she stepped up onto the bank of the pond.
"I saw the smoke from far away, and rode quickly here to see what trouble was afoot. I feel your sorrow too, and your anger. You will need to put such feelings aside, if you wish to have your revenge." Star stopped talking and examined Athena with her Mage vision, and with a silent gasp, she determined the girl's fate, "My apprentices are usually younger than you are, but I am sure I can teach you ways to get your revenge. That is, if..."
Suddenly a gruff voice interrupted their conversation.
"Hey, I told you the skirt wasn't dead and look, now she has a friend."
"You can have the kid, I want the woman."
At the sounds of the male voices both Star and Athena turned and saw two scruffy looking men wearing leather armour, the armour was spotted with dried blood. With a shriek, Cori now named Athena darted behind Star's back in fear.
"Those are two of the bandits who raped me and did all this," Athena cried.
One of the men grabbed at his genitals and spoke to Star.
"Come here baby, I will make a woman out of you."
With disgust on her face, she responded to the man's comment.
"Ye think ye are man enough to teach me how to be a woman, when you must rape children to get your pleasure? I do not think you will die easily. In fact I promise that you won't."
At those words, Star raised her arms, and started speaking some words that seemed to slip from Athena's mind even as she heard them.
"Careful, she's a WITCH!" shouted one of the bandits.
They both charged at her with raised swords above their heads. One threw his sword trying to hit Star, and disrupt her chant. The sword spun through the air, and should have hit Star. But, just three feet from her, it hit ... something. It stopped, hung motionless for an instant, and fell to the ground.
Star didn't even flinch as the sword came flying towards her, nor did her chanting falter. As her arms lowered, magical energies streaked from her fingers, striking both men with unnatural magical fire.
Athena watched as the rapists were incinerated as she stood there.
In surprise, she gasped out, "My Lady, you are a very powerful woman. How did you do that? What stopped the sword from hitting you?"
"Athena, magic is a mystical and very powerful art that is very difficult to learn. If you are clever enough and smart enough, you will learn what I will teach you. It will make you a very powerful woman, but you must not use your powers for evil," Star said to the girl as she smiled at her warmly.
Noticing how she had evaded her question, Athena continued with more.
"Why not, my Lady? Would it be evil to want revenge?"
Shaking her head no, Star responded.
"No, child. But to use your magic for evil, will bring down the wrath of the Wizards Council. Even I, a powerful sorceress, must bow to their wishes; for combined, they can destroy me. Come, it is time to bury your slain family."
With those words, Star summoned a staff out of thin air, and struck the ground.
The ground rumbled as if it was alive, and then a head pushed up out of the ground.
Though Athena thought she had seen some surprising things this day, she stood there in shock as a huge creature appeared out of the earth.
"Athena, this is an Earth Elemental. It will help us bury your dead."
Star then turned and said something in a strange language to the elemental. The creature turned and flowed into the ground; as it moved along the ground, a trench was dug out of the hard packed earth.
"Come, we will bury your loved ones here," Star said.
Athena walked over to the house, and knelt beside the bloody remains of her little sister. Brushing the hair out of her sister's face, she kissed her sister's forehead.
Turning, she slowly carried her three-year-old sister's body to the grave, where she would be buried in for all eternity. As she laid her sister's body down, she realized that some of her family were still unaccounted.
"Star, my younger brother Kandris, and my sister Virisa are not here."
Stars eyes took on a faraway look and then her face returned to normal.
"Athena, those two have been carried off into slavery and there is nothing I can do at this time. I have many duties that I must attend to. One is a wedding that I must attend. I can guarantee you this, as soon as my business is over, I will track them down for you. This I promise to you."
With tears in her eyes, Athena responded without thinking, "No! Star, you must do it now."
Athena realized she was acting like a child, and felt embarrassed about it.
Star cocked her head to the side and saw the pain in Athena's face.
"Child, I do not have to do anything if I choose not to," she said. She stopped speaking for a second, and then continued, "Wait, I know."
With those words, Star started to cast another spell. At the conclusion, a huge grey dog, about the size of a horse, appeared out of thin air. "Quickly, go get me something that belonged to your missing brother or sister."
Athena ran back into the ruins of her home, where she noticed Virisa's doll lying on the floor. She snatched it up and ran out to Star.
"Will this work, Star?"
With a smile, Star said, "Yes, child, that is perfect. Now show it to Masferit, and tell him what you want him to do. He will do the rest."
As she looked at this huge dog, Athena swallowed and took a deep breath. This huge dog could swallow her in two bites. She slowly approached the great beast, holding out the doll. The beast reached out its nose and smelled the doll.
"Please find my little sister, Virisa, and bring her back to me."
Masferit raised his head. With a sniff of the air and then of the ground, he was off and running to the northwest.
"Athena, you should have told him to find your brother, too," Star said as she shook her head.
With fear in her heart, Athena asked, "Oh! I am so sorry. Can we call him back? Or can you cast that spell again?"
Shaking her head Star looked after the beast, and replied, "No, child, I can do neither of those choices. Once set upon a task, it must finish that task, first. Also, I can not cast that spell again until the task is done, for there is only one Masferit."
She stood there, and watched as Star took two vials out of her pouch, and sprinkled their contents on the bodies of her family.
"What is that, Star?"
"This is Holy Water. It will allow your family to rest in peace, and prevent someone from raising them from the dead."
Sprinkling the water on Athena's family, Star then turned to the Earth Elemental.
"Fill in the trench. Level the ground flat so no one can find them. Then go home. Your reward awaits you there."
When the Elemental had done as he was told, Star looked down at Athena, and said, "Come, Athena, we must be off to Kartland City."
"To the capital! I have never been there," said Athena as she marvelled at Star's words.
"Do not interrupt. Yes, it is the capital of your homeland. As I said, I must attend a wedding. You will need suitable clothes to wear. However, for now, I think this will suffice."
With a wave of her arm, Athena's torn and bloody clothes were transformed into a simple red peasant dress made of wool.
"Come along, we must be off."
With a shrill whistle, a white Pegasus flew around the farmhouse, and dropped down to the farmyard. Star smiled at her oldest friend. She reached up and patted his neck.
"Athena, this is Swift. He is my mount, and one of my dearest friends."
Swift was all white, except for his silver wings. His feathers seemed to shine in the sunlight, as had the silver coin her father gave her last year so she could buy a dress for her thirteenth birthday.
"He's beautiful, my Lady. I thought I would never see one. I have heard of the Pegasus. I thought the unicorn was beautiful, but beside the gracefulness of this animal, there is no comparison."
With a musical laugh, Star said, "Flattery will get you everywhere with Swift."
With those words, Swift turned to them and started nodding his head. "See what I mean." Star leaped into the saddle, and reached her arm down to Athena.
"Come, child, we must leave."
Athena started to reach up to take her arm, when she realized she had forgotten something.
"Just a second, my Lady, I forgot something."
Athena rushed into the ruins of her home, and into her parent's bedroom. She stopped and looked for a certain spot on the floor.
"There, that is the one."
With a quick stomp on one floorboard, another board opens to reveal a small box hidden beneath it. She quickly scooped up the small box. It contained her family's life savings. She then rushed out to Star and took her arm to mount Swift.
Reaching down Star grabbed the young girl's out-stretched arm and swung her up behind her, and said, "What do you have there, child? Up, Swift."
With those words, the great beast leaped into the air, and flew southwards.
Leaning close to Star she said, "Well, my Lady, this box holds all the money my parents saved from their adventures, plus our proceeds from the farm. I do not know what else is in here, for us children were never allowed to look."
Looking over her shoulder at Athena, she responded, "You do know that box is magical."
Athena looked at the box in a new light and noticed that it does feel very light.
"No, my Lady, I did not know that."
Smiling at her, she said, "Well it is. So, child, slip your box into the saddlebags, so that you will not lose it."
Reaching into her gown, Star pulled out a small vial.
"Athena, I want you to drink this. It will settle your stomach," with those words, Star handed her a metal vial.
"Yes, my Lady," Athena said as she took the vial and opened it.
She quickly drank the liquid, and she noticed the taste of cinnamon in the liquid. A feeling of warmth came over her body. The stress of the day, and the pain from her rapes, started to fade.
Star watched the healing potion work on the young woman and said, "Now, Athena, I want you to go to sleep. We have a long way to go."
Athena was terrified of the thought of falling asleep and falling off of Swift, and replied, "If I go to sleep, I will fall off. I am not that tired."
"No child, you are tired, and you will not fall off."
With those words, Star reached into a pouch, pulled some sand out, and sprinkled it over her shoulder at Athena. The sand drifted into Athena's face as Star whispered the words of the spell. Within moments, Athena was sound asleep. She leaned against Star's back, and began gently snoring.
Athena leaned against Star's back, dreaming of her thirteenth birthday. She had her new dress on, and her family made the day special for her.
Suddenly, a voice called to her, and she slowly woke up.
"Athena, wake up, we are here."
Athena yawned, opened her eyes, and realized that they were on the ground. After they climbed down off of Swift, he took to the air again.
"You put me to sleep, my Lady?"
Smiling, Star said, "Yes, I did. I knew you were tired, and your body needed time to heal."
Athena realized what Star was saying was true. All her pains were gone, including the pain between her legs.
"Well, I'm surprised. I don't hurt anymore between my legs."
"Yes, while you were asleep. The potion I gave you did its work. Your body has been healed."
Athena looked around and realized that they were not near a city, and seemed to be in a small valley.
She asked, "Where are we, I don't see a city?"
Pointing at a hill, Star said, "Kartland lies in that direction over that hill in front of us. You need a mount to ride, and Swift has gone to get you one, he will be back soon. Also, you need a meal in you, and a bath. You smell like a fire pit."
Star then turned and raised her arms.
Athena stood and watched as Star cast her next spell. A door suddenly appeared in thin air. What was even more amazing to her, was that there was no frame holding the door.
"Come, Athena. You need a bath, and I need to study a certain spell for the wedding."
As Star walked to the door, she asked Athena, "Athena, do you know how to read and write?"
Walking behind Star, Athena looked up at her and said, "Yes, my Lady. Our parents wanted all of my brothers and sisters to know how. I can even do some figuring, but I was never very good at that."
"Good!" replies Star. "Then I will not need to teach you reading and writing. Mathematics you will need to learn. I have a spell that will allow you to comprehend it better."
With those words, she opened the door. They walked into a room decorated in silks and mother-of-pearl. Three doors led out of the room, and a stairway went up. The banister was of a dark red wood that she had never seen before. Different coloured pictures were sparkling on the walls, seeming to move as if they were alive.
"Athena, welcome to my ... and now your ... new home."
Standing there in awe, Athena said, "Thank you, my Lady. It is very beautiful my Lady. My Lady, how do you make the pictures look so alive?"
With a musical laugh, she responds, "Children are all the same." With a smile on her face, she continued, "Athena, look up at the roof."
Athena looked up, and she saw they were under a crystal dome with many pictures in it. Each picture was of a different animal, all in different poses. There must have been hundreds of them.
Watching the young girl have some pleasure, she decided to start her training her with knowledge, and said, "Do you see the dragons near the top?"
Athena looked closer at the top, and she saw that some of the pictures were of dragons in different poses. Some were flying, some sleeping, and some even fighting each other.
"Yes, I see them. They are so beautiful."
With a smile Star continued, "Yes, dragons are beautiful, but they are also very deadly. They have many different attacks. One is magic and another is their breath weapon. Each dragon has a different type of attack. One may use poison gas, while another's breath could be fire. That is your first lesson for the day."
Lifting her head, she whispered, "Asirel where are you? Will you keep your mistress waiting here in the hall all day?"
As she stood there with Star, waiting for who knows what, Athena watched a picture of a unicorn chasing a young maiden on the wall. Suddenly the soft sound of footsteps came from the stairs. A girl about fourteen years old came around the bend in the stairs. She was wearing a beautiful blue embroidered robe. She had blonde hair and green eyes. She was one of the most beautiful people Athena had ever seen. As she moved her head, pointed ears peeked out of her hair.
Coming to a stop in front of Star, she curtsies to Star, and said, "Greetings Mistress. I apologize. I was studying, and I did not hear the chimes."
Smiling at Asirel, Star said, "Good, you should be studying, but you should keep part of your mind on other tasks like minding the door. This is Athena, my new apprentice. I want you to take her up to the Silver Room, and get her cleaned up. She has had a very rough day." Reaching into her pocket, Star pulled out the small box, and addressed Athena, "Here is your box, Athena."
"Thank you, Star." As she took the box, she wondered where Star had kept it the whole time, for it was too far big to fit in that small pocket.
"As you command, my mistress, I obey."
"Athena, go with Asirel. She will help you clean up, and get you dressed in the blue robes of an apprentice."
"But..." Athena started to say but Star shut her off.
"No 'buts'. Now go and get cleaned up. We must leave in three hours for the city."
"Yes, my Lady, I will do as you command," Athena said.
As she walked up to the young woman, she spoke to her, "Hello, Asirel. That is a very pretty name."
"Thank you. Please follow me."
Athena followed Asirel up the stairs, to a corridor that seemed to run forever, and looked to have hundreds of doors.
"How many doors are here, Asirel?" Asirel said as they walked down the hall, and came to a stop in front of a door.
"On this floor, there are ninety-two doors. Here is the Silver Room."
With those words, Asirel opened the door to a room that must have cost a fortune. It had a huge bed against one wall, a chifforobe, a chiffonier and a door against another wall, and a bookcase next to a desk against the third. The fourth wall was all glass, and gave a view of a snow peaked mountain range, where snow was falling. At the foot of the bed was a huge chest. All of the furniture was inlaid with silver.
Asirel suddenly got a whiff of Athena, and said, "Come, you need a bath, it looks and smells as if you were in a fire."
Athena hears those words from Asirel and tears start running down her cheeks, and her shoulders start shaking.
Shocked by the tears, Asirel looked at the girl.
"Hey there, what's the matter? Where you in a fire? If so you did not get hurt too bad!"
"No! That is not it. Bandits murdered my family and our farmhouse was destroyed and burned. I was raped by them and left for dead. If Star had not found me when she did, I would be dead now, for two of them came back. They were going to have their way with me again, but Star burned them alive."
With a look of horror and disgust on her face Asirel said, "That's terrible."
With those words, she reached out and pulled Athena into her arms.
Athena stood there with her arms around Asirel and tears came to her eyes. She finally let loose the tears that she had been holding in all day. With a start, she realized what she had done, and let Asirel go.
Startled that Athena had suddenly pulled away, Asirel asked, "What is the matter, Athena?"
"Look at your beautiful robes, I've made them all dirty."
"Oh! That is no problem."
With that, Asirel said a few words, and her robes were clean.
"Cantrips are so useful for small things like that. Come, let us get you a bath." Stopping for a second, she looked at the young peasant girl and then continued, "Athena, I think I will join you, if you don't mind that is?"
Shaking her head, she asked, "No! Why should I mind?"
"Well some people are raised that we should take our baths alone, but I find it easier to get your back washed, if you have a companion with you."
"On the farm where I grew up, I always took baths with my sisters."
"Well, let's get going. Grab a towel, undergarments and a robe out of your dresser. I will step over to my room and do the same, meet me in the hall."
With those words, she was out the door.
Athena stood in the huge room looking it over. She then slowly moved across the carpet to the chifforobe, opened it and found empty hangers. Shrugging her shoulders, she went to the chiffonier, and set her mother's box on top. Then, opening the first drawer, she found some brushes and combs, and other small items she would need to check out later. The second drawer revealed undergarments of a strange material, which was very smooth and cool to the touch. Picking up a pair of panties, she blushed as she saw that although they were like small pants, they were almost transparent. She had no idea what they could be meant for.
She quickly scooped up one of each, and opened the third (and last) drawer. In it were some blue robes, and some towels. She gathered those up, too. She grabbed her box, and put it into the third drawer, covering it with one of the robes. As she knelt there closing the drawer, she noticed a pair of slippers under the chiffonier. She gathered them up and hurried towards the door and the hall.
From the doorway, she heard Asirel voice, "Athena, did you find everything you need?"
Stepping out into the hall she looked at Asirel as she responded, "I think so, Asirel."
Walking over, Asirel said, "Here let me look"
With those words, she ran her hand over the items in Athena's hands.
"Let's see ... undergarments, towel, robes ... Oh, good. You even got your slippers. Come on then, let's go to the baths."
With those words, she led Athena down the hallway about a hundred yards.
"Here we are at the baths."
Following along behind Asirel, Athena asked, "How can you tell we are at the baths? The doors all look the same to me?"
Smiling, she said, "Well, Athena, as soon as our mistress teaches you to see waylines, you will be able to find any door in the house. Until then I will be your guide, that is, if you want me to be."
Smiling at her new friend, she said, "I would like that. But what is a wayline?"
Thinking back to when Star taught her about waylines, she said, "Waylines are what defines active magic. They range in colour from deep purple to very light powder blue. The closer you are to purple the more powerful the magic it is. Your box had one purple and twenty red lines on it. The purple one is probably ownership while the reds are the magic of the box. Do you understand?"
Athena though of what she had been told, and somehow, she did understand.
"Yes, for some strange reason, I do."
Smiling at her friend, she said, "Good, shall we go in?"
Asirel pushed her hand to the door. It opened on its own, to show a room about forty feet across. In the center of the room was a large marble pool.
Startled at the size of it, she said, "Asirel, that bath is big enough for twenty people."
Thinking of fond memories Asirel said, "Yes, it is. Sometimes, all the apprentices will gather here to soak, and to talk about what we have learned."
As they walked across the room to a marble bench, Athena asked, "How many apprentices does Star have?"
Setting her clothes down, Asirel said, as she separates her towel from them, "Our mistress at this time, has nine apprentices; but we have had up to sixteen, that I know of. I am sure she has had more than that. Come, let's get in the tub."
"Okay." Athena said as she raised her hands to the buttons on her dress.
As Athena slowly removed her dress, she could not help but watch Asirel get undressed. She was a very beautiful girl. She reminded Athena of her older sister Katrina before she got married to the mayor's son. With those thoughts, she slipped into the water. She was expecting it to be cold or at the least, cool to the skin. She was very surprised that it was hot, for no steam came off of the water.
Asirel walked over and jumped into the center of the pool. The splash sent water flying high up into the air. Quickly surfacing, Asirel swam over to Athena, who was sitting at the edge of the pool.
"Athena, doesn't this feel wonderful?"
Nodding her head, Athena said, "Yes it does, I was surprised that the water is hot for no steam is coming off of the water."
Asirel reached up into the stand and picked up a bar of soap, and said, "Yes, that is because the magic on the water will always keep it warm. Here is the soap to wash yourself while I do your back. After we are washed, we can soak for thirty minutes then I will need to do your hair, our mistress will want to leave on time so we can be at the palace for the wedding of King Sheldren to Princess Cassandra."
Startled by this news, Athena said, "I have heard the Princess is very beautiful."
"Oh, she is, I met her when Star had to talk with the King. She entertained me with stories of her homeland. You do know that she comes from Mirkove Island?"
Athena thought back to last year, just before her birthday, and replied, "Yes I remember hearing that. Our mayor pronounced it at the last festival. He also showed a picture of her, so we would all know what she looked like even though I could not see it."
Asirel washed Athena's back and she was shocked by the bruises, some old some new that were fading away as she watched, and said, "There, all done with your back. You have many bruises on your back but they are fading away!"
Athena loved the soft touch of her new friend's fingers on her back. The pain was fading as Asirel rubbed the soap into it. Unknown to Athena, the bars of soap had been mixed with a healing balm to remove bruises, and stiffness in muscles.
Athena looked over her shoulder and said, "Thank you. Our mistress gave me a potion that tasted of cinnamon. She said it was a healing potion. Here turn around and I will do your back. Here is the soap."
Listing to the young girl as she turned around, she said, "Yes, most healing potions taste of cinnamon ... and thank you. Here is the sponge. So do you have a mount to ride into town?"
As she washed Asirel's back, Athena said to her, "Star said Swift was getting me a mount."
Startled at her words, she turned and looked at Athena and then said, "He is? You must have made a good impression with him. Be careful, you never know what type of mount you will get."
With uncertainty, Athena asks, "Should I be worried?"
Shaking her head no, Asirel responded, "No! Swift will not get one that will hurt you, but be prepared for a surprise. When I first came here, he brought me a white stag."
Startled Athena said, "A stag, as in a deer?"
"Yes, he is a magnificent beast, swift on his feet and very graceful, I call him Dancer and I love him very much. Whatever mount Swift gets you, it will protect you from danger to the best of its ability. They all have magic in them, which you will need to discover."
"Does Swift do this for all the apprentices?"
"No, just for ones he likes. But just to let you know, he likes us all. Especially when we slip him some sugar cubes."
"All horses love sugar."
Startled by Athena's statement, Asirel quickly replied, "Swift is not a horse, he is a Pegasus."
Giggling that the young woman does not see it, Athena said, "Yes he is. The only difference is he has wings."
Startled by Athena's comments Asirel thought on them, and said, "You know I have never thought of it that way." Standing up suddenly, Asirel moved to the edge of the steps and said, "Be right back, I have something to show you."
Asirel dove to the bottom of the pool. As Athena sat there, she watched Asirel swim to the bottom and pick something out of a metal bowl and surface.
"Here, put this on and follow me."
She handed Athena a brass ring.
Looking at the ring with its inscriptions of different fishes on it, Athena asked, "What does this ring do?"
"It allows you to breathe underwater, it is fantastic. You can breathe the oxygen right out of the water."
Wary of the ring, Athena asks, "Is it safe?"
With a laugh Asirel continued. "Yes, perfectly safe."
"What do I do?"
"Just put the ring on and slide under the water. Make sure you breathe normally."
Trusting her, Athena slipped the ring on, and slid under the water. As the water went over her head, she remembered to do what Asirel told her to do. As she breathed in she could feel the water on her lips but none entered her mouth, only air.
Athena knew she had a very surprised look on her face, for Asirel started laughing. She could tell she was laughing even though she could not hear her, for her body was shaking and she had covered her mouth with her hand.
She sat there on the bottom of the pool, watching as the tiny bubbles floated to the top. Asirel leaned back against the gentle slope of the marble bottom, and closed her eyes. Her hair floated above her like a field of tall grass. Athena did the same. It felt so good to her, that she fell asleep within minutes.
The next thing Athena knew, she felt someone touching her arm. With a start, she jerked awake and saw Asirel leaning over her. She pointed to the top of the pool and she realized she must have been asleep for the allotted thirty minutes. Asirel removed the ring, placed it in the bowl, and then swam to the surface. Athena followed her example and surfaced. They broke the surface of the water and climbed out of the tub. With water running off of her, Athena walked to the sideboy, scooped up her towel, and quickly dried off.
"That was fun, Asirel. I could sleep down there all night."
Smiling at her new friend, Asirel replied, "I am glad you enjoyed it, and I have slept there all night, especially when my muscles were sore from casting spells. I figured you could use some happiness in your life. Now I must get your hair done and then do my own, so we can be ready to go. So ... come here!"
She cast a quick spell, and suddenly their hair was dry. She then produced a comb and brush and started to do Athena's hair.
"I think I will braid yours. I will do mine the same."
Twenty minutes later, they were wearing clean robes and their hair was braided. They descended the stairway to the main entry room, where seven other people were waiting. Five were female, and two were male.
Edited by TeNderLoin and Sneakysis