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Branded – IV [ FINAL ]

Rohan was in the grand hall of the palace, the eerie strains of fey music weaving through the air. It wasn’t the kind of music that filled hearts with joy or melancholy; instead, it echoed with an otherworldly symphony devoid of rhythm. The hall was filled with guests—Absinthya’s chosen allies. Grotesque common fae mingled with monstrous soldiers, and even corrupted beautiful high feys who had traded their nobility for promises of greater power.

Absinthya reveled in being the center of attention, engrossed in conversation with her select invitees. The dark palace was under an ancient spell to conceal it, allowing only those the queen permitted to see and enter.

Rohan leaned against one of the towering pillars, a jeweled goblet clutched in his hand. His eyes, the color of winter frost, scanned the room with a detached boredom. He despised the pretense, the false camaraderie, and the lingering stench of ambition that clung to the air like a noxious perfume.

The festivities were nothing more than a charade, a macabre carnival that mocked the very essence of the fey realm. He took a sip from his goblet, the liquid sliding down his throat without a hint of satisfaction.

The entire affair, the place, and its people were detestable to him.

Amidst the throng, he caught the gaze of a female fey who seemed to be eyeing him. Their eyes locked, but Rohan’s interest remained as absent as his amusement.

The fey glided toward him, her gown shimmering like liquid silver. She locked her sapphire eyes with his, a hint of challenge in her gaze. He felt a flicker of curiosity, but his expression remained cold and aloof.

Her skin, fair as moonlight, was accentuated by striking blue eyes. Her golden curls were meticulously entwined in an intricate braid atop her head. “High Lord,” she purred, her voice as sweet as honey, “I’ve heard tales of your wit and charm. Won’t you honor me with a dance?”

Rohan’s lips curled into a sardonic smile, and he inclined his head ever so slightly. “Tales tend to exaggerate, my lady. As for a dance, I find the rhythm of deceit in this hall more to my liking.”

She didn’t back down, but moved closer, her fingers brushing his arm. “A dance is harmless, High Lord. It might even be a welcome distraction from all the troubles that weigh on your mind.”

“Distraction?” He laughed, a cold and bitter sound. “This whole event is nothing but a distraction. A waste of time and energy. But I suppose I can’t refuse a lady’s request.” He took her hand and led her to the dance floor, his movements graceful and precise.

They spun and swayed among the other dancers, but Rohan felt nothing. His mind was elsewhere and his gaze wandering over the spectacle. The female, however, was intent on capturing his attention. She leaned in, her breath warm on his ear.

“Lord Rohan,” she whispered.

“Yes?” He asked curtly.

She smiled seductively at him.“Why do you resist? Why do you deny yourself the pleasure of the moment? Many would find solace in the dance.”

Rohan’s eyes bore into hers. “Solace?” He repeated mockingly. “That’s not something I need or want.”

He saw a flash of confusion in her face, but he didn’t care.

As the female fey continued her attempts to engage Rohan, he played along, his responses as elusive as the moon’s reflection on a rippling pond. Despite her charms and graceful movements, she couldn’t seem to penetrate the layers of indifference that surrounded him. The music swirled around them, a dissonant melody to Rohan’s ears.

“My lord,” she said, a note of frustration in her voice, “are you always so distant? Is there something or someone that occupies your thoughts?”

Rohan’s lips curled into an enigmatic smile, a play of shadows and moonlight. “Distant, my lady? Only as much as the stars above,” he replied, his gaze drifting momentarily toward the celestial expanse visible through the grand windows. “As for someone…” His gaze wandered momentarily, an enigmatic glint in his eyes. “No, there’s no one who commands the entirety of my thoughts. But fear not, the night is young, and perhaps someone will catch my eye.”

They continued to dance to the dissonant rhythm of the music, the fey persistently trying to get Rohan’s attention. Yet, he remained distant, his thoughts seemingly wandering elsewhere. Then, at the far end of the hall near the entrance, a ball of blue light flickered into existence.

Rohan’s eyes caught the anomaly, and a subtle shift in his expression revealed his curiosity. The fey, bewildered, followed his gaze but saw nothing. Apologizing abruptly, Rohan ceased the dance, leaving the puzzled female fey in the midst of the dance floor. Without a backward glance, he navigated the edges of the grand hall and slipped into the shadowed corridors beyond. The ballroom’s lively melody faded into distant echoes as he pursued the enigmatic blue light, his steps confident and purposeful.

It wasn’t just curiosity that propelled him forward. It was as if an invisible force tugged at his core, a compelling need that whispered in his mind. The knowledge, or perhaps instinct, urged him to follow the radiant trail of the mystical glow, an undeniable pull that intensified with every step.

As the ethereal blue light danced ahead, leaving a trail of shimmering stardust in its wake, whispers began to weave through the air. Voices, neither distinctly feminine nor masculine, enveloped him from all directions, their softness, like a gentle breeze, caressed his senses.

“High Lord… follow the light,” the voices murmured, a chorus that seemed to echo from the celestial realms. “She needs you! Hurry!” Each word was a tender plea. It was as if the very air pulsed with urgency.

Ascending the stairs and winding through labyrinthine corridors, Rohan felt the pull intensify. “Hurry!” the voices urged, their collective tone taking on a note of desperation. “Quick!” The ball of light ascended the stairs, and more stairs, leaving a spiral of twinkling particles in its ascent. “Hurry!” The voices grew more insistent. “He will find her!”

Rohan’s steps quickened. The disembodied voices, whispered around him. “Hurry! Hurry!” The urgency intensified. “She’s in pain.” The plea resonated in his chest. “You need to find her!”

Emboldened by an inexplicable connection, Rohan strode through the corridors, the ball of light leading him with firm purpose. The echoes of voices surrounded him, pulling him deeper into the corridors. His heart quickened with every step, responding to a call he couldn’t fully comprehend.

The ball of light surged ahead, leaving trails of stardust that sparkled in the air like a thousand fireflies.

Driven by an urgency he couldn’t deny, Rohan broke into a run, his footsteps echoing through the stone passageways. He leaped up staircases, his movements agile and propelled by an unseen force. The corridors, with their myriad turns and entrances, resembled a labyrinth of both stone and emotion.The stardust left by the radiant ball of light sparkled like celestial breadcrumbs, marking his hasty journey through the strange labyrinthine expanse.

The whispers persisted, their urgency fueling his determination. “Quick! She’s in pain… You must reach her!” The voices seemed to swirl around him, ethereal guides in this otherworldly pursuit.

With each step, Rohan felt the pull of destiny, the threads of fate weaving around him. The voices, a symphony of cosmic guidance, led him onward. Whether he was racing against time , he couldn’t be certain. All that mattered was the pursuit of that elusive light, the beacon guiding him to a destination unknown but inexorably tied to his very essence.

Occasionally, Rohan caught glimpses of grand tapestries and cracked paintings on the walls, hinting at the palace’s ancient history. The atmosphere was thick with a palpable energy, as if the very stones held memories of centuries long past.

Rohan emerged into the oldest, most desolate wing of the palace. The air hung heavy with the scent of ancient dust and memories long forgotten. The stone corridors, worn by the passage of time, echoed with the hushed whispers of bygone eras.

The dim light filtering through narrow windows revealed tapestries faded with age, depicting scenes from a history lost to the annals of time. Dust motes danced in the air like ethereal spirits, caught in the spell of some long-ago enchantment.

As he trod the old red marble floor, each step seemed to reverberate with echoes of the past. The intricate patterns on the walls, once vibrant, had now eroded into mere traces of their former glory. That hidden corner, shrouded in darkness and neglect, whispered of a time when the palace had been a place of warmth and beauty. Rohan felt drawn to the mystery of this forgotten corner, curious about why it had been abandoned and what secrets it concealed. However, a part of him questioned if he truly desired to uncover the truth veiled within these abandoned corridors.

One of the ancient door, worn by the passage of countless years, stood ajar, revealing its intricate carvings, which had weathered into mysterious patterns. The High Lord approached, and the creaking hinges seemed to groan with the weight of forgotten tales. He pushed the door gently, revealing a chamber shrouded in the stillness of time.

The luminous ball of light, having guided him through corridors and entrances, hovered momentarily at the entrance before dissipating, leaving the High Lord in the muted darkness of the room. The air inside was heavy with an ageless quiet, broken only by the echoes of his footsteps against the old and dusty floor.

As Rohan ventured further into the old chamber, his keen gaze sought out the faded paintings that adorned the walls like silent witnesses to the passage of time. Brushstrokes of forgotten artistry depicted scenes of battles, ethereal landscapes, and faces of beings long gone, their colors muted by the embrace of centuries. Their details blurred, yet their essence vivid.

The air was thick with the fragrance of aged parchment and the mustiness of antiquity. The moon’s rays, filtered through the crevices of time-worn curtains, painted faint patterns on the dusty floor. Shadows danced as if paying homage to the narratives immortalized in the artworks.

In the quiet corner of the room, a faint, pale blue glow caught Rohan’s attention. Intrigued, he approached with a mixture of caution and fascination. The celestial light resembling a sprinkle of magic dust, creating an ethereal display around a glowing core.

As he drew closer, the luminescence converged into a captivating dance of shimmering particles, illuminating the surroundings with an otherworldly radiance. In the center of the celestial spectacle lay a figure, delicate and broken, like a fallen star. It was Aerin.

Rohan’s breath caught as he beheld her unconscious form, her face marred by the pain carved on her features. The radiance around her flickered and sparkled, lending an almost divine aura to her battered figure. Her arm, marked by a vicious wound, showed the torture she had faced.

A surge of conflicting emotions tightened Rohan’s chest. Concern, anger, and an undeniable tenderness washed over him. He knelt beside her, the dust of ages sticking to his knees, and gently brushed a strand of hair from her face. The glow around her began to dissipate, leaving only the soft moonlight to cradle her fragile form.

Aerin’s eyes fluttered open, a haze of uncertainty clouding her gaze as if the world around her was an elusive mirage. She blinked hard, trying to clear her vision and make sense of her surroundings. Her eyes locked with a pair of piercing gray-blue ones, staring at her with a mix of curiosity and concern. Aerin gasped, feeling a surge of fear and panic. She instinctively recoiled, seeking refuge in the corner of the cold, stone wall. A sharp pain shot through her wounded arm, making her cry out of pure agony.

Rohan, sensing her fear like a cold knife in his chest, lifted his hands in a gesture of reassurance.

“Stay away from me,” she begged, her voice quivering with terror and pain.

“Aerin, I will not hurt you,” Rohan reassured, his tone gentle yet firm. “I promise.”

A wave of anger swept through him. Who dared to hurt her? The shadows in the room grew darker, a manifestation of his growing rage and power.

Aerin’s gaze dropped to her own shaking hands, seeing no trace of the blood that had stained them before. Confusion clouded her mind – was she losing her sanity?

“Who did this to you?” Rohan’s voice, normally calm and composed, now boomed with a thunderous intensity. The sound of his words carried the weight of ancient mountains, vibrating with a fury that could only be compared to a storm on the horizon.

His eyes, once a serene pool of tranquility, now blazed with a tempestuous fire, reflecting the shadows that seemed to wrap around him like protective tendrils. The blue hue, evoking a clear summer sky, darkened into stormy shades of gray. As if mirroring the storm within him, they became as turbulent as the raging waves of an angry sea.

“Who?” The word roared from his lips, not just a question but a statement, a promise of retribution. Each syllable was a burst of primal energy, reverberating through the dimly lit old chamber with a menacing resonance. It was the voice of a protector, a warrior-king seeking justice for a wounded mate.

“Why do you care?” Aerin retorted, her voice hoarse and raspy.

“Aerin,” Rohan whispered softly. He reached out to her, but she pulled away, slipping from his grasp like fading grains of sand, her awareness drifting away.

“I’m tired,” she whispered, the exhaustion in her voice mirroring the weight of her pain. She had fought for so long… Her vision blurred, and a cold numbness crept through her limbs like tendrils of frost. With a sigh, she closed her eyes, hoping to find some peace in the darkness.

Rohan’s intense gaze swept over the enchanted cuffs binding her wrists. Made from a blue stone infused with ancient sorcery, these handcuffs were designed to subdue even his formidable powers. Intricate runes adorned their surface, emitting a faint red glow that seemed to drain her life force with each passing breath. Understanding dawned in his stormy eyes, a realization that her delicate condition was intricately tied to these mystical shackles. Anxious lines furrowed his brow, silently promising to find someone skilled enough to unlock the magical handcuffs.

Rohan’s eyes tensed with concern as he called her name, a soft plea laced with urgency. He gently touched her, his fingers tracing a tender path on her cheek, a gesture filled with both care and concern. “Aerin,” he murmured, his voice carrying a hint of desperation, “you cannot succumb to this darkness. You’re stronger than you think. Fight, just a little longer, for yourself.”

But there was no response from Aerin. Her eyes remained closed, her face pale and lifeless. Rohan felt a surge of panic, fearing he had lost her forever. He cursed himself for not being able to protect her from the evil that lived in that place. He knew he had to act fast. With gentle care, he lifted her up in his arms, feeling her soft curves and silky hair against his chest. She was so light, like a feather, and he wondered how such a delicate creature could have endured so much pain and suffering. He invoked his power, a wave of shadows swallowing them, and they vanished from the room.

Rohan whispered a prayer, hoping that she would wake up and look at him with her beautiful blue eyes.




Lirael, Elara, and Thistle, emerged from a dark corner of the corridor, near a timeworn, headless statue. Their faces beamed with satisfaction, celebrating the success of their plot to lead Rohan to the princess.

“Thistle, your ball of light trick was pure brilliance,” chuckled Lirael, her tinkling voice filled with amusement.

Thistle blinked in confusion. “Ball of light? I didn’t create any light trick, Lirael. I thought it was you.”

Perplexity clouded Lirael’s features. “Me? No, Thistle, it wasn’t me. Elara, did you do it?”

Elara vigorously shook her head, her eyes wide with surprise.

A profound silence settled, interrupted only by the soft flutter of Lirael’s wings. Thistle scratched his red beard thoughtfully.

“I believe… it was the princess,” he uttered hesitantly. “Subconsciously, of course.”

His words hung in the air, drawing shocked stares from the other two.

“But,” he added, “if the princess possesses such innate power, what will Absinthya do if she discovers?”

“Perhaps she already knows. That witch is smart.” Lirael remarked.

“It doesn’t matter now,” Thistle whispered. “We need to get out of here. If we’re caught, the punishment will be severe.”

Elara reached for Thistle’s hand, and in a flash of light, they vanished. Lirael wasted no time, darting through the corridors with the speed of a silvery blur, seamlessly blending into the encompassing night.



[Chapter 14, closed. ^^ I hope it wasn’t a ridiculous way for him to find her (The blue ball of light) lol. I wanted to do something like a fairy tale, but I don’t know if it was bad. Sometimes I have really bad ideas. ^^’ But it was the way I found it, and that’s why I created the three fairies at the beginning of the chapter. 😀 (more to save her from Maeglor)
I no longer have a beta-reader. She would look at the text willingly, I’m sure, but I don’t have the patience to wait. XD
So the solution is to leave it in the hands of the fae gods. 😀 ]


4 Comments on “Branded – IV [ FINAL ]”

  1. That was so good and not ridiculous at all! The fairytale elements are always good in a fae tale 😉

    I love how the fey tempted Rohan to dance :> “You are always so cold”… haha <3 Rohan is a troubled man! He wasn't like that all the time, after all.

    1. Thank you Lorian! ^^
      I’m really relieved to know and glad you liked it. I swear I have some really crazy ideas every now and then. 😀
      Sorry for the delay in answering. ^^’

    1. Thank you! 😀 In fact, I imagine beautiful music, like elven music (you know, like in The Lord of the Rings),here the music is not nice to make everything more sinister. ^^

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