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Calytrix's Journey

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The Evil King II

As I expected, the guards knocked on my room the first thing in the morning. Thanks to my meditation I was able to get at least some rest. I opened the door just at the moment when their knocking became obnoxious.

“Lady Calytrix, the king wants to see you. He is waiting for you in the treasury,” a guard said.

“I don’t have a choice, do I?” I couldn’t help myself not to say anything bitter.

The guards grabbed my hands again and led me quickly. I could have walked myself without their pulling but they didn’t give me any other choice. I wished that they were a bit more sensible and gentler.

I was taken aback by the thought that the king called for me in the treasury. I thought it would be a different place. Not the throne room. I didn’t think it would be the other most important place in a palace. I overheard the guards last night saying that the treasury was empty. This will be my chance to confirm the things they said. The demon might have called me there because it wanted me to be a part of his disgusting schemes. I decided to exorcise it as soon as possible. The guards stopped in front of a massive wood door. Similar to the one in front of the throne room, but this one didn’t have any carvings. They pushed me inside and closed the door leaving only the king and me in the treasury.

Emptiness as far as the eye could see was the proper way to describe the enormous space. What the guards said was true. I could hardly believe my eyes. The room didn’t have anything in it. Not a single gold coin, important paper or jewelry was to be seen. The king possessed by the demon was waiting for me as he stood in the center of the room.

“You’re here little witch,” he said looking down on me again.” As you can see I’ll be needing some of your cooperation, as the last witch helped me.”

I gave him a cold glare. The last witch was involved in this demonic activity. It pained me to hear another witch was involved in something so bad in my birth territory.

“Don’t look at me with those eyes. It isn’t a bad deal. I’ll profit and share some of the wealth with you,” he continued.

“Does cooperation involve doing some bad things to children?” I asked.

“Yes, among other things- But think about what you’ll gain. What luxury you’ll be able to live with,” he said. “You probably can’t even imagine all the fun you’ll have since you lived in a small, poor village with nothing in it.”

“Don’t insult my village!” I said in a louder voice then I planned.

It was true that my village was small and not wealthy, but it was my precious birthplace and I couldn’t stand anyone badmouthing it. The only ones allowed to do that were the villagers.

“Do you like that dirty village? ” The king asked. “By accepting my offer you’ll be free to invest your rewards as you please. You could even make that village look like a place for people to live.”

I wasn’t in the mood to talk anymore. The anger was bottling inside of me and I was ready to let my flames out.

“Dona mihi mala auferte potestaem spirituum sunt. Colligat ignem sacrum,” I started the incantation.

“You dare to turn against me?!” said the demon angrily.

“Spiritus ignis malignus eras,” I continued.

The fire spirit heard my call. I felt a burst of energy inside my body.

“Hunc liberum hominem. Mitte malum quo pertinent illud.”

The demon directed some angry word towards me but I couldn’t hear him because I was focused on my spell. He couldn’t come close to me because of the purifying flames I called forth. That’s the reason why I wasn’t bothered by his behavior. Anything he said to me was more or less an insult and that wouldn’t change with this situation. The insults probably got worse.

Time was needed for my spell to activate fully. I stood there calmly as the spell started to work. The demon’s shadow was getting bigger and my purifying flames were getting closer to him. They completely encircled the shadow. I didn’t have to use the smokescreen potion. Everything was going smooth. The shadow slowly disappeared with a terrible non-human shriek echoing across the empty room. I managed to successfully exorcise the demon. It went better then I planned. The king was free. I was sure he would stop the demonic plan and figure out another way to collect funds.

I might be more talented then I gave myself credit for. Maybe the witches guild will want to reward me after this good deed I have done. As I was lost in the happy thoughts about my bright future, the human king came back to his senses and spoke to me:

“Are you the one who freed me from the demon?” the king asked looking refreshed.

His eyes color changed. They were sky blue instead of black.

“Yes. I’m a great witch. My name is Calytrix,” I said proudly.

“I don’t know how I could thank you. You can ask for anything. I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to get rid of the demon for a long time,” he said as he looked around. “Ah, the treasury is empty at the moment but once I sell some organs I’ll give you a hefty reward.”

“O-o-organs?! As in human organs?” I asked shocked.

“Yes,” he said with a smile. “They make the biggest profit.”

Everything I did felt pointless. Exorcising the demon didn’t help. The financial situation will be solved the same way.

“I- I can’t,” I said quietly as a fire slowly started burning around my right hand. The fire showed up on its own in response to my emotions.

“CALYTRIX,” I suddenly heard a stern adult female voice.” STOP YOUR ACTIONS NOW!”

My magic was canceled and I lost control over its creation. There was no one in the room but I heard the voice from above. I didn’t feel anyone’s presence. The voice was magically transmitted from another place. We couldn’t see anything special or new in the room but we could hear voices.

“The witches’ guild?” the king said surprised.

“Dear King, you tried to stop one of our witches from advancing her journey and tried to break the taboo. You wanted her to stay in the area of her birthplace which is strictly forbidden,” the female voice said. “And you Calytrix! Don’t think you won’t get punished. It’s strictly forbidden for a witch to mess with the politics of non-magical humans.”

“But I wasn’t meddling into politics. Haven’t you heard what he planned?” I explained. “I couldn’t let it go. As a human being, I couldn’t stand to watch it. Wasn’t what I tried to do something every good human would do?”

“Try to look at the bigger picture- This is why young witches are such a pain,” said one of the guild witches. “We will continue to observe you so you don’t make another mistake. You’ll be free from observation once you get the right to get pardoned.”

“But even with looking at the bigger picture, wouldn’t the people be better off with a different king. A kinder one? “I asked.

“That is not for you to decide! Now get going on your journey unless you want to get a bigger punishment.”

I realized it was pointless to argue. I had to obey. I didn’t want to make enemies of the witches’ guild. They guild maintained order among witches. It’s been said that only the best witches were invited to join the guild. It was an elite place but also a one filled with a big veil of secrets. Young witches like me had only common knowledge about it. Their location was unknown. The members were secretive, only two witches were publicly known to be official, permanent members. It was unknown how they dealt with witches that disturbed the order, but the witches that did get punishments seemed to disappear after it.

The king didn’t have any power to stop me now that the witches’ guild was watching. I left the treasury and a guard led me to the exit. This time they didn’t grab my hands this time. They weren’t pushing me. We walked slowly. With a normal pace, they led me towards the exit of the palace.

It was sunny and lively outside. Everyone was doing their business as though nothing happened. The king lost his demon, but his methods will remain the same. I wondered how many people knew the truth. Was it just me who was in the dark?

I read in a book a long time ago that when demons possess humans they would do things you wouldn’t think that person would ever do. But actually, the power of the demon extended only to the degree of the things that a human would do even if he or she wasn’t possessed under certain circumstances. For example, if a person was strongly against murder, but he or she was faced with a situation where he or she would do it then the demon possessing the human would have no trouble with killing anyone because the person would do it in a certain circumstance. The demon would amplify that desire many times to make it possible, but if that person would never commit murder no matter what circumstance he or she was put, the demon wouldn’t be able to kill anyone. I guess that was true. The demon possessing the king did everything the king was already capable of. Demons only acted as an amplifier of the bad things a person was capable of. The extreme things a person would do only in certain special circumstances became possible in everyday situations.

It was creepy to think that the witches’ guild was monitoring whatever I did and I didn’t know anything about it until now. Maybe they weren’t such great moral witches as I imagined them. Their yearly pamphlets distributed in towns over the world about magic bringing prosperity and peace to people could have been just a lie.

I entered the main road towards the north, where my next destination lay. I passed by the haunted forest, but now I knew the truth. It was just a normal forest. All the kids that were supposedly lost there, in reality, were captured by the kings’ guards. With a heavy heart and a slight regret, I started my journey.

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