It was first light, when Dastan and the Witch walked out from the mansion doors and beyond the fog barrier. Everyone else was still asleep besides Gwaine, who stood watching them leave until he couldn’t see them no more. Reluctantly he walked back side, locking the door behind him. They walked quietly for a while before she stopped, and held onto his shoulder and shut her eyes. Dastan felt his insides twist and turn, his head spun.
His body felt like it was being ripped from every end before he felt the comfort of the ground underneath him once more. He opened his eyes to see he was standing outside a large grey wall. He went to take a step forward, only to stumble, losing his balance, drunk with a headache, before the Witch steadied him.
“Careful, teleporting can take this sort of effect on people. Which is why we won’t be able to teleport back when we find your friend” She warned him as he frowned at her, as he regained his balance.
“What do you mean?” He gruffed as she just pursed her lips.
“You will see” Was all she told him as they started making their way forward. Just before they walked in through the gates the Witch turned to him once more.
“Now understand this, you have no magic which means they won’t want you there, so you won’t be seen.” She whispered to him as he nodded and followed on after her as he noticed it was dark, yet light. He looked around him to see the place was alight with a silver fluorescent light before he looked to the sky. It looked nothing like the moon he was used to, it was hard to look at as he squinted his eyes. It was like a sun, but made from pure silver and swirled with black clouds like a ring.
“It’s called the Sïæξ. It means Silver sun” She explained not looking back at him. Dastan just nodded as they kept on walking. Loud music was blazing through the streets as he saw Witches running towards the music laughing. He saw Wizards in long black cloaks walking solemnly, just liked she said. They took no notice of him like he wasn’t there. Dastan paused as he saw a woman, dusting the streets, her eyes were pale, fogged as if clouds hovered over her eyes. She had scars running down the sides of her cheeks and that crossed over her eyes. Witches chuckled and hissed when they walked past as Dastan frowned.
“She’s a broken witch, blind and powerless. If you break the law or seen as a threat they break you, unless they want to torture you as a Ęnbt witch” She hissed in his ear, as he couldn’t break his eyes away from her, she was dressed in bright red, before he followed on after his guide. They made it across the empty square before Dastan was pulled behind a wall, he would have yelped but he saw it was the Witch who pulled him behind as he frowned and followed her gaze.
The men he had seen dressed in long black cloaks were coming out from a door ahead of her, on held a chalice that was bubbling and steaming, that made the witch beside Dastan gulp. Another man taller than the others, with patterned markings on his cloak, walked in front.
“She must be very important to get the Warlocks involved!” The witch hissed in Dastan’s ear causing him to frown. Warlocks were seen in the highest regard, powerful men and woman of the parliament court. They were often seen as ambassadors to other realms, but under all their honey coated words and smiles, they all had their own selfish ambitions.
“Anything yet?” The Warlock asked with a thick accent, as they listened.
“Nothing! She won’t last much longer though, we will break her, prepare the ïolped.” They spoke as Dastan felt the witch grip onto him with fright.
“They’ll kill her” She whispered horrified.
“That will make her give in. The council won’t wait much longer” They nodded and walked off as Dastan turned to the Witch who looked terrified.
“What is that ïolped?” He asked as she looked at him, before pulling him after her, as they raced towards the door which the men had just left. Dastan was blasted with a cold breeze, that made him shiver, as he gazed at the dark dungeons before him. It smelt damp, the torches flickered to life when you passed them, as they walked silently down the stone corridor.
They came to the end cell, she opened the door as they carefully walked down the steep steps, towards the room. Dastan stopped, he felt everything freeze when he saw Em lying in an awkward position on the floor not moving and hardly breathing.
The Witch went over to check her pulse, once her figures connected to her skin Em groaned slightly, as Dastan ran down only to get a stronger look at her back. His hand flung to his mouth to prevent a gasp. It was worse than anything he had ever seen, at first he had to look away before he drew a deep breath and walked over beside her, brushing a piece of her hair away from her forehead.
“Em” His voice was breaking as her body relaxed slightly to the sound of his voice.
“The poor child” The witch whispered. She felt the burden she carried, she saw her pain. They gently turned her over allowing Dastan to frown at the jewelled necklace around her neck. He had seen glimpses of it in the past, but never the full thing. It was beautiful, sparkling in the darkness. He wondered why the warlock hadn’t had it removed.
“Don’t touch it!” The witch snapped, slapping away his hands. Frowning he glanced at her, unaware of the possible consequences.
“It’s a family heirloom, magically bound to her neck!” She warned. He nodded realising what she said was true. There had been no clasp to take it off.
“I know a place we can take her for healing.” She whispered him as he nodded and looked back down towards her.
“Be careful with her” The Witch whispered as he nodded and ever so carefully picked her up as her head lazily rested perfectly in the crook of his neck as he was carefully not to brush against any of her back wounds. The Witch grabbed hold of her belongings as they raced out of the cell. They had to be more cautious to escape, they knew it wouldn’t be long until the Witches were aware she was free.
When she opened the door that leads out to the square she smiled to see how drunk the Witches were passed out in the street. Dastan was ever so careful to ensure he didn’t hurt Em, as his heart was breaking seeing her so weak and fragile. They made it to the gates before Witches were aware of Em missing, but being so drunk when they went to ring the bell they passed out giving the others an advantage.
“Send us back” Dastan hissed at the Witch as she glared at him.
“Em is not strong enough!” She hissed as she guided him towards the fog that surrounded what he thought was a forest. It was extremely hard to see where he was going, as the Witch who was only two steps in front of him was nothing more than a black figure. They kept going until the fog cleared and they found themselves at a cave pool.
The white water bubbled from the silent waterfall. The grass was perfectly green, all the same length. A blossom tree was in full bloom, its roots sinking to meet with the water from the pool. The blossom was a soft pink on the outside and white and a bright en-capturing pink on the inside. Dastan noticed a medical sort of bed resting beside the waters, as he gently placed Em on the bed, her wounds facing up towards the cloudless sky.
“These will forever scare her. Not even her body healing can prevent that” The Witch whispered sadly as she just stared at Em’s face.
“Can you help her?” Dastan asked desperately as she looked at him and nodded.
“I can try” she put simply. Dastan took off his fur coat as he rested against the grass, feeling exhausted from travelling to the Witches realm. He watched as the Witch, kneeled down to the waters, scooping it up in what seemed like a clear bottle. She gently poured the water on Em’s back, at first nothing happened as the water seeped into her wounds. The Witch drew back, knowing what would come as Dastan sat up confused.
They just waited before Em shook violently. Dastan jumped up but the Witch held her hand up to stop him as he hesitated. Em cried out, her eyes tightly shut, her hands clawed at the sheet of the bed as it ripped before she sat bolt right up. She met the eyes of the Witch, jumping back, though her body didn’t have the strength to support herself, as her knees just broke, to have Dastan hold her.
“Dastan?” She asked her voice hoarse as he couldn’t say anything knowing his voice would fail him as he just nodded. Deep down he was rejoiced to see Em alive. As he held her up, he took this time to let his eyes wander over her body. He loved her figure. Her flat stomach, she was thin, yet she had curves. Em couldn’t draw her eyes away from the Witch before her, as Dastan picked her up and gently placed her back on the bed once again.
Em turned her head painfully towards Dastan, her eyes pleading him not to leave her, as he wanted nothing but take her pain from her and protect her. The witch walked forward as Em whipped her head round towards her and gasped in pain that shot through her body. She paused before she put her hands up in surrender to prove she meant no harm, but Em was frightened, she had been scared.
“Em, I am Cyrena. I’m here to help you” She told her, only then did Dastan know the Witches name, as he hadn’t asked her before. Em gulped, as she felt weak once again, the pain started to flood her back once more as she was beginning to bead with sweat.
Cyrena took a step back as Em began to hyperventilate, as Dastan ran forward, kneeling beside her carefully holding her wrists trying to get her to calm down. It wasn’t working as she was scared of being hurt more, as he cupped her face in his hands as she opened her eyes as their eyes locked.
“Em” He whispered as she stopped, her breathing shaky.
“You’re safe! I promise you’re safe with me,” he whispered to her as she nodded and tried to calm down her breathing.
“We need to get her into the water! The healing magic is the only thing that can help her.” Cyrena informed slowly to Dastan. He nodded as he glanced at the pool. Em doesn’t have the strength to hold herself above the water. Kicking off his boots, coat and throwing him weapons towards the ground, he hesitated for a moment before removing his shirt and walking into the pool.
It was slightly warm, his muscles began to relax as he swam towards the edge. Em had tears down her face, she knew this would hurt, but it was the only way she could get better. Cyrena helped ease her into the pool, into Dastan’s arms.
Once the water connected with her skin, she screamed and cried out. Dastan felt his blood going cold and tears brimmed his eyes. He saw the pain Em was feeling. Her arms clung to his shoulders, as he had one hand clinging to the edge and another around her waist.
He let his thumb rub soothing circles against her hip, his head dipped into her neck whispering soothing words. Her sobs died, as he looked to see Em must have passed out from all the pain. He continued to hold her as he noticed the magic slowly working. The bandage that was wrapped around her chest slowly began to be washed white. Any signs of dirt and blood washed away.
He saw a few wounds on her back begin to stitch over and fade away. Soft scars against her skin, a permanent mark to represent her pain. A past she wouldn’t be able to forget.
She rolled onto her side, as Dastan saw a small scar, new, faint and fading just over her right cheek. He gently traced the scar with his thumb, against her soft skin. He sighed when his hand dropped the scar was gone. A peaceful sigh escaped her lips as she relaxed into his warm embrace. A small smile escaped on Dastan’s lips as he looked back down at Em and brushed a piece of hair from her face, as she leant into his hand.
When the colour started to return to her face, Cyrena instructed Dastan to carefully carry her out. He placed her upon the bed, before getting changed once again. He felt stronger and more energised since leaving the pool. Cyrena instructed him to rest as he happily dozed off on a second bed that had appeared.
They were awoken by the first light of the gold sun. Cyrena handed Em and Dastan a cube, that was an orange pink colour. They were hesitant to take it but once they ate the sugary cube their stomachs filled for the entire day.
Em was able to walk for majority of the way. Getting used to the familiar feeling weight of her clothing, cloak and weapons. But her healing body soon grew tired as she reluctantly allowed Dastan to carry her the rest of the way. Her head resting in the crook of his neck as he carried her easily. The fog around them started to clear as they came upon a familiar sight once more. Cyrena’s mansion, she was right the sky was darkening, as they made their way towards the door and inside before the moon would come out.
“Your back!” Dastan heard Edvard shout from one of the rooms. He was sitting in an armchair with a book in his hand. Cyrena walked in behind him and waved her and a bed appeared, as Dastan set Em down, on her side. Shooing all the men out from the room, Cyrena carefully took her cloak off her shoulders to check the wounds were all healing fine.
She smiled happily to see the drastic improvement, almost as though nothing had occurred a day ago. Dastan returned with a plate of food and goblet of ale. Sitting in the armchair beside the fire, he did not say anything but sat keeping and eye on Em as she slept.