SEVEN CROWNS | The Black Stone

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Chapter XI

Sparkling blue, piercing stare, two orbs shining like two stones, standing out in an artistry way like the most remarkable masterpieces. The sapphire eyes are mesmerising, their beauty lets her plunge into a world of wealth and pure elegance. Ashley is dancing barefoot on the gemstones which are shining like a thousand lights, she’s flying, feeling the gentle breeze caress her skin. The turquoise silk fabric covering only her intimate parts valses along with the rhythm of the gleaming jewels. The young woman laughs as the feeling of freedom reigns all over her body, then she turns around and loses balance when the mysterious blue eyed appeared.

Ashley wakes up breathless, she runs her fingers in her sweaty dark hair and closes her eyes tight for a moment to take long breaths. She leaves her bed minutes later and heads to the bathroom where she faces the mirror and looks at her face, one that’s probably a creation of the warlocks. Eamon mentioned before that their appearances may change a little when they go back to their kingdoms and it scares her because she might not recognize her friends, or worse, she won’t even recognize herself.

The last moments in her small studio are hurtful, but not as much as she expected. Her work at the faculty’s library helped her afford the monthly rent, it was the first thing she ever work for alone, the studio is one of her prides after she graduated from high school.

She thinks she should be crying or too sad to leave what she built for the last few years, but no, Ashley is determined to go to her kingdom and repair all the damage left after her parents’ death.

A strange strength haunted her heart since the day before, now she feels like she can face anything without fearing it. She guesses it might be something related to her power; diamonds are unbreakable.

The young woman leaves her place and heads to the subway station. She unlocks her phone to send a message in the groupchat to make sure that Nate and Ruby are ready to go. The moment she puts her phone back in her pocket, two leather shoes stop right in front of her. There a thousands inhabitants in Moon City and yet she’ll always recognizes her ex’s choice of fashion. Her chest tightens as she lifts her head to find the black haired staring at her with that annoying smirk that makes her want to smash his skull. She’s not even joking when she thinks about it.

“What do you want?” asks Ashley with a cold tone. She can’t even look at him for more than five seconds because his face makes her angry, his sole existence is hateful for her. “If you’re here to waste my time, you better g-” she was about to leave when he grabbed her arm and made her face him again. “I just want to talk.” he smiles. “With peace.”

“Peace?” she raises her eyebrow. “Oh, I’m sorry but this world doesn’t exist in my dictionary when you’re around me.” she rubs her chin and frowns.

Alex chuckles and rubs the back of his neck, “I missed your sassiness.”

The girl rolls her eyes, “For lord’s sake.” she shakes her head, not really disappointed because she’s used to his stupidity. She walks, ignoring his shouts and her displeasure grows when she hears his footsteps behind. She clenches her fists, stops, turns around and sends him a death glare. “Why are you following me? Leave me alone.” her voice is spiteful, releasing its venom.

Alex sighs and walks closer to her, “I know the things haven’t worked well between us before.”

Ashley pauses for a short moment before exploding of laughter, she places her arms around her belly because it hurt and looks at her ex boyfriend, “It didn’t work between us?” she scoffs and approaches him slowly, “Just in case you forgot Alex, you cheated on me.” she points her finger at her chest. “You are the reason why it didn’t work.” she gives him a fake smile. “And don’t you dare contradict my words.”

The black haired chuckles and looks away, “You seem busy lately, you haven’t worked in days or gone to classes.”

Ashley raises an eyebrow, “Were you stalking me?” she crosses her arms.

“Don’t be so full of yourself.” he scoffs. “You’re not that worth it.” Alex smirks. “I asked for you once at the library and your coworker told me so.”

Before Ashley could say anything, she got reminded that she has more important things to take care of instead of wasting her time with an ex boyfriend who doesn’t even deserve to hear her voice. “You know what? I don’t care if you ask for me or want to talk. I don’t want to see you anymore Alex.” she looks at him seriously, “You disappeared from my life the day you betrayed my trust.” those were her last words before she walked away.

Elliot is back to work after his day of rest, or rather, a day of unlimited confusion and headaches. He puts on the white coat and the toque before entering the kitchen to be greeted by the sous chef and the rest of the employees. The green eyed hands the saucier a recipe he’s been working on for a long time, the young man doesn’t need more instructions as he worked with Elliot for a long time, he knows exactly what he wants. His happy days are when he tries out a new recipe and waits for the customers’ opinion, but today is not like any other. He works quietly, ignoring the singing of his colleagues and their jokes. The headache still kills him despite taking an ibuprofen before leaving his apartment. He rests his elbows on the counters as he massages his head, trying to calm the pain down. The young chef struggles to find the utensils he needs, ones he has been using for years and knows exactly where they’re placed. He could blame it on the headache all day but he knows deep inside that it’s not just a mere health issue. Eamon’s voice is stuck in his mind and his words are not ready to leave.

“Hey.” he calls the kitchen porter with a simple hand gesture. “Get me the spatula.”

The young boy frowns when he sees the chef facing it with his back, “Sir? It’s right here.” he points to the utensil. The green eyed looks behind and groans when he realizes he just acted embarrassingly in front of his junior. He pretends to laugh and waves his hand, “Don’t mind me, I must have drunk a lot yesterday night.” he lies. He watches him go back to his work and sighs.

The young man takes a breath and starts his daily routine by giving orders to his sous chef and supervising the newbies. The receptionist shows up in the kitchen to announce that there is a reservation of twenty people for lunch, making everyone sighs from frustration. Elliot claps his hands loud to shut them up and tells them to get back to work.

Something is unusual about him today because he’s normally excited and joyful when there is a big reservation despite all the stress and work but he’s not feeling this way at all. He feels like something needs to be done, as if there’s a thing missing. The chef can’t concentrate at all, the kitchen staff’s voices become a background sound and everything feels so slow around him.

“Chef?” one of his coworkers touch his shoulder, waking him up from his reverie. “You don’t look good Elliot. Are you sure you can work today?”

“Yes, of course.” lies the green eyed. But what happens next betrays him; he loses balance, nearly falls and sends a large bowl on the floor while trying to grip the counter. The sauce splatters all around the kitchen, making everyone stop their work and look at the chef with wide eyes.

“You’re definitely not doing well.” the sous chef helps him stand straight and pats his back. “I’ll take care of the kitchen, and you go rest.”

Of course Elliot doesn’t go to rest. He gets on the car and heads to Bright Street where is Eamon’s jewellery shop. It’s a feeling he can’t control, the urge of going to meet the others is haunting him, his heart beats fast as he thinks about the warlock transporting him back to his place of birth, his real home.

The young chef gets to destination in no time, he parks the vehicle and crosses the road running. There is a closed sign on the door but he doesn’t hesitate to push it and get inside. There he finds Ashley who seems like she just arrived too. The dark haired woman smirks when she sees him approaching breathlessly. “I knew you would come.” she pats his back and walks with him to the back of the shop where the rest of their friends are already gathered.

“Ryul!” exclaims Eamon with a large smile, “Very happy to see you here.” The green eyed ignores him and stands between Ashley and her red haired friend.

“I haven’t slept during the entire night.” says Nate while yawning loud, making everyone but Elliot laugh. “This better be worth it.”

“It is, my dear.” Eamon smiles and leaves his couch to stand near the female warlock. “Now is your time Alexandra.”

Alexandra looks around her and frowns when she spots a dark skinned girl hiding behind Ruby. “She cannot be here.” she speaks with a cold tone. The red haired gulps and holds her girlfriend’s hand tight, “Please Alexandra, she won’t do any harm. Just let her come with us.”

“Princess Arlayna!” shouts the warlock, making everyone look at her with scared eyes. “This is not a high school trip, that’s a serious matter. Your friend will be in terrible danger if she accompanies you to the Kingdom of Ruby. Unlike you all, she has no power, no weapon to defend herself against Màvros’ soldiers.”

Lenna rubs her daughter’s back and looks at her with a sad smile to make her understand that Alexandra is not wrong.

I will defend her.” the red haired faces the female warlock with clenched fists. Ashley, Nate and Elliot widen their eyes when they realize her usual green eyes turned into a pinkish color. Eamon and Lenna share a look and nod.

“Are you sure you will be able to defend your friend when there is an entire kingdom, a thousand people who need to be saved? Can you do it all?” asks Eamon with raised eyebrows.

Ruby gulps and turns around to look at her beautiful brown eyed girlfriend. She gives her a smile and extends her arm to pull her toward her. “I will do everything to keep her safe.”

Ashley watches Eamon sigh as he looks at the ground, she knows that it’s not a good idea to have Sara accompany them in their world. The dangers and obstacles waiting for them are way worse than the warlock’s words, the poor girl might not survive but Ashley knows her best friend will never leave her in Moon City. The red haired can be quite convincing.

Alexandra shakes her head and sighs, she faces the four young royalties, placing her arms behind her back and raising her head high. “I will create a portal right here, it has the power to transport you wherever you want.”

Nate is the first one to talk, “Is it too much to ask if we can be transported to Disneyland?” he gives her a charming smile that doesn’t even make her flinch. Ashley, who usually laughs at his jokes, looks at him while shaking her head with disappointment.

“Let’s be serious now.” says Alexandra. She walks to a small table where a red velvet box is placed and adds, “I will give each one of you the stone or element related to you and you will repeat some words after me.” the female warlock first takes an emerald stone and everyone turns to Elliot whose eyes are already wide while watching the green jewel approach. Next is Ruby who holds the stone which goes by the same name as her and it makes her smile because she always knew that there is more to her than a simple waitress. Nate gets all excited like a child when a silver ring makes contact with his hand, the blue eyed looks at his best friend with a large smile before placing it around his index finger. And last but not least, the final shiny stone leaves the box ready to get to its mistress. Ashley’s body trembles when she holds the diamond gem, she closes her eyes and lets its power reign over her body.

“Everyone stand around her.” Alexandra points to Ashley with her chin. “The diamond unites all of the stones and elements.” she helps them stand in a circle and makes sure the gems face Ashley’s. “Now repeat after me.” the warlock looks at the dark haired girl, “I, Ashryn, daughter of Aywin and Kilyn, Queen of the Diamond Kingdom, Head of the Stoneline, will use my powers to unite the stones.”

Ashley gulps and repeats Alexandra’s words nervously, then gasps when a colorful light emitted by the gems surrounded them. Alexandra approaches and smirks, “Now, who wants to leave first?”

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