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Chapter 16: The ritual II


The wind howled like a savage beast, tearing at my skin with its frozen fangs, relentless and unforgiving. Its cold touch left me raw and burning, as if I were prey for a hungry predator. The darkness ahead only added to the sense of dread that consumed me.

My feet strained against the treacherous mountain path, every step a battle against gravity and the rustle of brittle leaves beneath me. Despite the fear coursing through my veins, I refused to give in to the mountain’s will, determined to reach the ominous peak where a cruel destiny surely awaited me. With each breath I took, the air grew thin and foreboding, as if even nature itself warned of the dangers that lie ahead. But I pressed on, my muscles screaming with exhaustion and my mind clouded by doubts and uncertainties.

My aunt, Queen Absinthya, led the way, her blood-red robes swirling in her wake.

Rohan, my secret protector, followed close behind her, his sculpted features usually so calm and composed, now marred by worry. His piercing eyes, like stars in the night sky, silently begged for my safety. He danced a dangerous dance, balancing loyalty to the queen and his unspoken vow to protect me.

Walking beside me was a mysterious witch I had never seen before. Her presence was as elusive and enigmatic as a wisp of steam rising from a cauldron and, despite the treacherous terrain, she moved with an effortless grace, as if borne by unseen forces. Her long black cloak hung around her like an ominous shadow. Her face was a twisted mask of scars, and a metal device covered one eye, emitting an otherworldly hum with every step. A necklace of finger bones adorned her neck in a gruesome display, each bone carefully polished to a glistening white.

The path grew narrower and darker with every step, the looming mountain swallowing us whole. The moon’s pale glow provided the only light, while the distant stars offered little comfort in this desolate place. My heart raced in my chest as we pressed on, each step feeling like a leap into the unknown.

Finally, we reached the top–a vast plateau swept by fierce winds and illuminated only by a blazing bonfire at its center. Its flames danced wildly, casting eerie shadows on the gnarled trees that surrounded us like twisted, grasping fingers. Strange symbols were carved into the stones surrounding the fire, their meaning a mystery to me.

The strange symbols, illuminated by the dancing flames, seemed to come alive. My senses sharpened, tuned to the faint harmony of the night. The smell of smoke blended with the earthy aroma of fallen leaves, while the cold wind murmured secrets that caressed my skin like ghostly fingers. Every rustle of foliage, every distant echo, seemed to herald an unknown revelation, a truth waiting to be exposed in the depths of the darkness. I couldn’t shake off the sense of dread that weighed heavily in the air, as if something hid just beyond the reach of the fire’s light, waiting to show itself in the darkness.

My throat tightened, dry as the scorching desert winds. This was it. The moment that would determine my destiny.

Queen Absinthya halted at the edge of the blazing bonfire, her icy stare piercing me. “It is time,” she declared in a voice as sharp as shattered glass. “Step forward, Aerin.”

My legs were heavy as lead, but I forced myself to move towards the crackling fire. Each breath I took was shaky and shallow, my chest tight with anticipation and fear. As I approached the fire, its intense heat licked at my skin but did nothing to ease the icy grip of terror that held me. My dress swirled around me like a ghostly dance as I stopped next to the fire, unsure of what fate awaited me.

The mysterious witch stepped forward. Her piercing, one-eyed gaze remained fixed on me, as if she could see into the depths of my soul. As she began to chant in a voice that seemed to echo from the depths of time, I could feel the air around us crackle with ancient power.

The symbols etched into the rocks began to glow, their intricate designs pulsating in time with the rhythm of her spell. A strong scent of jasmine and sandalwood enveloped us, as if Mother Nature herself had been summoned by this mysterious force.

And high above us, the stars seemed to dance and twinkle, reflecting the tumultuous emotions surging through me. Caught between wonder and fear, I couldn’t tear my gaze away from the witch and her powerful magic.

The witch’s figure danced in perfect rhythm with her chanted incantations, arms raised towards the sky as the symbols on the rocks glow brighter and brighter. The flames crackled and soared higher, casting a hypnotizing blue light that painted the mountaintop in an otherworldly hue, reflecting in Rohan’s intense gaze.

The High Lord stood at the edge of the shadows, his posture rigid and his jaw clenched as he struggled between duty and an ever-growing desire to help me. Though surrounded by magic and mystery, his inner turmoil burned just as fiercely as the flames blazing before him.

My heart was a wild beast, beating against my chest with the power of a thousand storms.The winds shrieked and moaned around us.The flames of the bonfire leapt and writhed, their fiery tongues reaching towards the sky. In the flickering light, shadows seemed to come alive and move towards me, their movements both alluring and daunting.

A chill crept into my bones, but at the same time, a warmth spread through my veins like liquid fire, pulsing with a supernatural force that both terrified and invigorated me. The symbols etched into the rocks glowed with a pulsating intensity, matching the newfound radiance within me. It was as if I could feel the weight of ancient magic pulling me into its grasp, drawing me deeper into its secrets and mysteries. Though part of me wanted to resist, I couldn’t help but feel drawn towards this mystical force, ready to discover what awaited me within its embrace.

The winds whispered dark secrets, each gust carrying a revelation that echoed in the depths of my soul. The air crackled with energy, and reality twisted into a kaleidoscope of colors around me. I was engulfed in a radiant blue glow, mesmerized by the sight of my own hands shimmering before me. Did I dare believe that this was all real? Or was it just a trick of my mind?

The Queen’s eyes widened with a mixture of awe and greed as they met mine. The prophecy, long foretold, was finally unfolding before her very eyes.

I stood at the center of a supernatural revelation, my power surging within me. The mountain trembled beneath my feet,sending a violent wind whipping through my hair. My heart raged like the storm around me, ready to embrace the fate that awaited me.

Caught between fear and destiny, I closed my eyes, surrendering myself to the celestial forces coursing through me. The witch’s voice faded, leaving only the rhythmic pulsing of the symbols and the distant echoes of the mountain’s heartbeat. I felt weightless, suspended in a moment of transcendence, and connected to something beyond my understanding. It was as if time had stopped and I was floating in a space where anything was possible. My senses were heightened, every nerve tingling with energy as I became one with the mysterious forces surrounding me.


[I really enjoyed writing this way in the first person. I hope you liked it. ^^ The next part will have more dialogues, I promise. =D]

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