Steel and Spell

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Chapter 22

"Why does my life have to be a constant disgrace?"

"Why me?"

"Why is the universe so against me?"

No, it’s wasn't just me. Everything around me gets affected. Its like I’m a huge black cloud that pours rain over everything in its path and destroys the happiness.

Because if I hadn’t arrived in Cassius life, he would have been long gone from the cabin and in the safety of his kingdom, with his family, which he hadn’t seen in ten years.

Somewhere in the sky, I was flying with Lucy, still trying to process what happened. I was crying for dear life, because the thought of Cassius being hurt because of me, it just drove me mad.

But I couldn’t give up so easily, not without a fight.

I had promised him I was going to find him, and I’m going to, even if it’s the last thing I do in my life. Not just because I had a huge debt towards him because of everything he did for me, but because I cared for him, as much as I do for my sister, my best friend, or even my mother. Somehow, he found his way into my heart and became such a vital aspect of my life that at that moment, thinking of being without him was just... unimaginable.

Did I love him?

I didn’t know, but on the other hand, it wasn’t my priority. I could ask myself for a hundred years if I really love him, but after I found him.

I lifted my head from Lucy’s neck, with the feeling we were descending. My vision was blurry for all the crying and my eyes burned when the wind hit me with full force. The clouds were low, and the coldness took me by surprise. I couldn’t see anything, the fog was too dense and I could barely see a few meters ahead of us.

The more we descended, the more it started to clear up. I rubbed my eyes in an attempt to see clearer and when I opened my eyes I saw trees beneath us. I looked up, trying to figure out where it was the mountains that Cassius has said, but the clouds made the task impossible.

Suddenly, there were no more trees beneath us, and slowly, Lucy descended until we were on the ground. I took a deep shaky breath, knowing that the moment I stepped on the ground, that was it, I was on my own.

Lucy knelt, and without giving it another thought, I stepped on the wet grass beneath us. Lucy stood up as soon as she no longer felt my weight on her. She turned to look at me, and I could feel her sadness. I looked behind her and saw the end of the forest. I turned around and saw in the distance what looked like a village. For the first time, in all my stay in that world, I was finally out of the forest, and for the first time, I was going to interact with more people than just Cassius. That made me feel all sort of feelings, anxiousness, and dread taking over everything. What did I expect? Nothing and everything at the same time.

“Common Lucy, let’s go.” I said with a raspy voice. I started walking and when I didn’t feel her steps behind me, I turned around to see she hadn’t moved an inch. I looked at her in confusion until the realization hit me like a cold bucket of water poured over me.

She couldn’t go with me. The moment they saw her, they were going to kill her.

“Oh...” My vision turned blurry with tears, but I swallowed them with all my might.

I walked fast up to Lucy and hugged her neck. I caressed her with shaky hands, trying to get rid of the avalanche of sadness that hit me with full force.

“Thank you, Lucy, I can’t be more grateful.” My voice was so small, I had my doubts if she had heard me at all.

I loosened my grip on her neck and looked up. She bowed her head, and I took this opportunity to give her the last caress on her forehead, imprinting in my mind that so special white spot on it.

“Who knows, maybe we are going to see each other someday.” My voice broke, and a rebellious tear rolled down my cheek. I took a step back, not daring to look at her. Without saying another word, I started walking towards the village.

A burst of wind hit my back, and when I turned around, Lucy was going high into the sky, disappearing of my sight.

I wanted to cry so bad, but I needed to resist it. If I broke one more time, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to continue with this. It was just too much.

I started walking at a fast pace towards the village at the distance. I needed to do a plan.

At that moment I didn’t know where I was; if I was near Lux Novum, or a thousand miles away from it. One way or another, I was going to get there. I needed to, for Cassius. My thoughts once again hopelessly went again to Cassius. How couldn’t I, when his scent, a mix of fresh pine and dirt, could be smell from his cape? How couldn’t I, when his sword was beside me and his necklace over my chest? How couldn’t I, when inside my waistband, I had the letter for his mother?

Suddenly, curiosity started to itch me. What was inside of that letter? I debated inside my head if I should open it, but the promise I made Cassius was there making its presence inside my conscience. I never broke promises, and this wasn’t going to be the exception.

I kept walking, the soft wet grass beneath my feet resonating around me with every step I took. All of a sudden, I felt something falling softly over the cape. I looked up to see snowflakes falling everywhere.

Finally, after so much wait, it was snowing. But I couldn’t care less.

My steps hit the wet stone beneath me, and I hugged myself to have some warmth.

After hours of walking, which I thought it was going to be less, I had finally arrived at the village, which it was called Weeping Willow. Yeah, very cheery. The snow had started to fall heavily, and my feet and hands were going numb.

I rubbed my hands together to unfreeze them, but it didn’t do much. Everything was dark, the dark clouds covered the sky and the snow fell heavily on me. If I didn’t find refugee, I was going to probably die of hypothermia.

I started walking quickly further into town and saw a deteriorated house, the windows lightened up with light. A cold shudder made its way through my body, and without thinking it twice, I went towards the house. A small wooden sign hanged over the door, the writing worn off and difficult to understand. After some seconds of analyzing what it said, I read “Misery Bar.”

“Oh, what a lovely town. The happiness is so overwhelming.” I thought sarcastically. Just at the moment, I needed positivity, I enter this hole of depression. “Well, I could definitely use a drink.”

I opened the door, and a small bell signalized my entrance to the bar. Warmness engulfs me instantly and the smell of alcohol and other unknown substances hits me like a truck. I scrunched up my nose in disgust, but of course, didn’t say anything. I rubbed my hands together, finally sensing warmth in them, and I could somehow feel my feet.

The bar was packed with men drinking and laughing loudly, and women with clothes that showed a little too much in my opinion. Others were sleeping drunkenly in the corners, some of them even with vomit all over their clothes.

“Welcome to civilization.” I greeted myself bitterly.

I looked more at my surroundings,

I hung my head low to avoid attention and went straight to the bar, where the bartender was serving beer. I sat on a stool and sighed heavily. The bartender looked at me warily and with my head, I signalized the beer. He understood the message and in a few seconds, I had in front of me a metal cup with questionable beer.

“How am I even going to pay this?”

I said a quick thank you and without thinking more, I grabbed the cup of beer and sipped. The taste of old and rotten beer filled my mouth and with all my might I restrained myself from spitting it.

“Holy crap, that was awful.” I thought while literally pushing the cup away from me as far as possible.

I rested my head between my hands, feeling exhausted as ever. I wanted to give up, to cry and shout at the world for making me miserable, to run away and not know about anything the rest of my life. At that moment, I felt like everything was against me. I felt impotence, anger, frustration and above all, sadness. My heart constricted and broke every time Cassius image came into my mind.

He was supposed to be there making me company on this journey.

He should have been there with me when I entered the bar, making negative comments about the place, glaring at the person who even dared to look at him.

He should have been there when I tried the disgusting beer, and we would have laughed our asses off and tried to drink it anyway.

Tears were threatening to spill from my eyes, but with the back of my hand, I wiped them off and sniffed.

Suddenly, the bar went terribly silent. All the voices and laughter were turned into a sickening silence. I heard steps from behind me and a presence stood a few mere inches from my back. A putrid smell mixed with alcohol made its way to my nose, making me gag in disgust.

The alert sirens went off in my head, and every sense in my body was waiting for something to go down.

“Black Knights are not welcomed here.” The man behind me said, slurring embarrassingly.

“I’m not a Black Knight.” I said in a monotonous tone, not moving one inch. I didn’t want to fight. I didn’t have the energy for that.

Suddenly, taking me by surprise, the man pulled roughly my hood, revealing my face to everyone. I turned around in anger to look at the man.

He was taller than me, with a long black beard. Who knows if he cleaned it because the smell he expelled was disgusting. A scar traced his forehead to his left eyebrow. His huge arms were crossed in front of his chest and his shirt seemed it was going to rip at any moment because of the extra pounds. The odor was even worst when I faced him.

“Have a problem, dude?” I said harshly, glaring at him. I didn’t move back even though he was invading my personal space. I wasn’t going to back down.

“He’s asking for it.”

I looked from the corner of my eye to see the shocked looks of everyone. They were probably not used to see a girl with a sword.

The man smirked at me, checking me out.

“Well, aren’t you a beauty.” His tongue wettened his lips suggestively, and my blood was boiling.

“Back off. I’m not saying it twice.” I lowered my voice threateningly. My fists were tightened by my side, and my whole body was itching in anticipation of the upcoming fight.

“Aw, common. We could have a great time.” He stepped even closer and that was it. I was angry.

“I warned you, asshole.”

My fist collided with his nose taking him by surprise. He took several steps backward, leaving me space to jump from the stool.

“You are going to pay for it!” He sneered, covering his bleeding nose that was staining his clothes even more than what they were.

I cracked my neck. “We’ll see about that.”

And all hell broke loose.

He lunched for me and just before he got to me I stepped to the side, grabbing his arm just when his body collided with the bar and in one strong movement moved it backward and a pleasant crack was heard when his arm was dislocated from his shoulder. His painful scream made me smile and with the control I had over his arm, I bent him over and knee him in the face. He fell to the ground, blood spluttering from his nose and tears of pain fell from his eyes. He grabbed his arm and kept screaming in pain.

Noises of fights and glasses breaking resonated around me. I looked around to see everyone getting in a fight. Women were screaming and running everywhere while all the drunk man started to fight.

Suddenly, I see two men charging towards me.

“Oh boy.”

I move my head to the side, avoiding from mere inches the fist of one of them and with all my strength, I punch him in the ribs and my other fist hit him directly under the ribs, in the liver.

He fell to the ground writhing in pain, his hands grabbing his side in a desperate attempt to get rid of the pain. His groans and slurred threats were almost funny.

Forgetting about the other guy, he launched and it was too late. I fell to the floor, his weight crushing me. I groaned in pain, and with my elbow hit him square on the jaw and my knee went straight to his balls. He groaned and glared at me furiously. I hit him a second time but this time went for his neck, leaving him out of breath. I pushed him off me and stood up. I kicked him in the ribs twice to make sure he didn’t forget his ass was kicked.

“This.- I took in a sharp breath before continuing- Is what happens when you don’t listen. If a girl says no, it’s FUCKING NO.”

I looked at my surroundings to see everything was a disaster. Tables were upside down, chairs were flying across the room, and shouts and punches were thrown everywhere.

“This is probably my cue to get out of here...” I muttered, feeling pity for the owner. The entrance was blocked with a table, so I had to go through the back door.

I put my hood on once again, and without looking back, I jumped the bar and head for the door. The bartender was at the door, looking at everything desperately.

“Where is Lux Novum?” I asked him harshly. He looked at me as if I was crazy. “Please. I need to go and is extremely important.” I decided to go for nice.

“Follow the path towards the second town, Red Rock and from there you can take the path that takes you straight to the capital. It’s a day or less.”

“Thank you!” I thanked him loudly over the increasing noise. “Sorry for the mess.”

The moment I opened the door, the cold wind lashed my face harshly. My teeth started to chatter almost immediately. The snow was falling heavier, and I knew I needed to head to Red Rock fast. I look at my left to see some horses tied up to the house.

“I hope no one misses one.”

I went towards the first horse. It was brown and very tall and calmed looking. I loosened the knot of the rope to free him.

“Hi horse, sorry to intrude your rest, but is an emergency.” I caressed his neck to give him a sense of comfort and trust before riding him.

I jumped and with the boost of it, I sat over the saddle. I took the reins and directed the horse towards the main street of the town. Just when we were a few meters away from the house, the man I broke his nose opened the door furiously. He looked at me, rage clear on his face.

“Hey! Give me back my horse!” He screamed furiously running towards me.

“Hell no.”

I moved the reins in a quick movement and slightly put pressure on the horse sides to indicate him to accelerate, and in no time, I was riding full speed through the main street, away from all the disasters of that day.

Ten minutes later we were out of that awful town on our way to Red Rock. Thank God, it had stopped snowing, but the black clouds were still in the sky as if they were mocking my sadness and frustrations of that day. As the horse advanced, I couldn’t see not one tree, making it more difficult to keep the warmth in me since there was nothing to protect me from the cold wind. I sighed, watching my breath coming out of my mouth, signalizing how cold it was. I rubbed my hands together and my arms to have some warmth, not doing much.

I started to think about what had happened earlier, and I was proud of myself I had put those disgusting chauvinist in place.

But, was it going to be like that everywhere? If that was going to be the case, I was going to prove them very wrong. I will win their respect, and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I needed to have faith because that was all I had left. For me and more importantly, for Cassius.

My mind went back to the fight, and a thought made me smile.

“When did I become so violent?”

I chuckled out loud, knowing it was all Cassius fault. I was such a softy before all this, and at that moment I felt empowered and strong. Never again I was going to let someone go over me.

Once again, my thoughts went back to Cassius. I couldn’t stop thinking about him, and it killed me knowing that he was suffering somewhere.

“I promise you, Cassius, you will get out alive.”

Hello, my lovely readers! I don't usually write on the chapters, so I'll make this quick.
I'm really surprised this story has gotten so many reads and is all thanks to you:) I'm very grateful for your support, your reviews and likes. I'm sorry if I don't post that often, my school has me loaded with a ton of homework and tests. My final exams are soon, and after that, I promise to post chapters more often.
Love y'all!
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