Fallen Saint #2

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|6.| ▪The Broken Soul▪


Mila

I’ve roamed the empty hallways of the castle with no signs of Zion anywhere.

After yesterday’s odd behavior and fleeing the room, I haven’t been able to see Zion at all.

I knew he was somewhere close by, hiding in the shadows, behind the empty walls of this broken place.

I head the opposite way from Zion’s bedroom. The only place I knew that maybe some clues could be hidden. I needed something, anything. Just a hint that would tell me what happened all these years ago.

Something that could tell me what happened.

As I make my way down the halls, I turn and head straight to Noah’s office.

I halt suddenly, staring down at the door handle in my hand. The memories I had of this place played on my mind.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. It was not the right time to feel weak, guilty.

Opening both double doors, I peeked into the darkroom.

A strange stench reached my nostrils which made me gag and cover my mouth.

What was that rotten smell?

Letting go of the door handle, I took careful steps until I found the enormous windows.

I tug with force on the drapes that covered the place.

This room needed some ventilation.

As I opened the windows, I coughed and turned around. But my body went cold when I saw the rotten corpse behind the desk.

My stomach flipped as I reached for the wall and vomited. My full breakfast was now on the floor.

Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand, I glance sideways at the horrendous thing.

It was the first time I’d seen a rotten corpse so close.

Reaching for my shirt, I lift it and cover my nose. Flies and worms surrounded the body.

I looked away, unable to glance at it for more than a minute.

I gasped for air, but this was too much for me. I needed to leave this place.

As I made sure not to bump with it, I frowned. What was that?

Confused for a second, I took a step back and looked down at hand were a golden ring lay.

My body shook as I recognized the ring. Gasping, I run out of the room in complete shock.

Once I reached the end of the hall, I leaned on the wall. Head against the concrete walls and eyes closed.

I took several deep breaths to calm my beating heart.

That was the body of Noah’s assistant. Did Zion kill him as well?

Tears brimmed down my face as I muffled a sob against my hands.

My heart broke at the sight of this whole place.

It was my fault that this happened, my fault they all died. I should have never left this place.

***

I cried for a while before composing myself and getting up from the same spot I was.

If Zion saw me, he would know I’d been crying.

Wiping my snot, I cleared my throat and fixed my clothes. I needed to find Zion. We need to talk about this.

There had to be a way.

Moving my hair strands away from my face, I suddenly hear a loud bang. I frowned for a second before I heard it once again. It was coming from downstairs.

Wiping my last tears, I decided to head down. I was curious to know what it was. Was it the fog? Or was it Zion?

My shoes echoed on the silent castle as I descended the stairs.

The sound continued, so I followed it. Where was that coming from?

I tried to follow it, but the more I got closer, the farther it sounded.

It sounded like it was coming from somewhere I didn’t know off.

Gripping the door frame of the kitchen, I looked to both sides. There was no one.

I patiently waited for the sound again, and there it was.

I snapped my head to the side, where a black door with some bars was wide open. My eyebrows furrowed. Has that always been there?

I remember I once stepped into the kitchen, but I never saw this door.

The loud bang continued, but this time it was faster and louder, like someone was desperate.

I approached the door, feeling afraid that something would spook me.

Staring inside, I noticed the wooden stairs that lead deep down, but to where?

My heart beats on my ears; my body trembles as I take a deep breathe and muster the courage.

“Okay,” I whispered and grasped the door frame.

I took my first steps before I groaned and shut my eyes. It was too dark; I could barely see a shit.

Raising my arms, I move them from side to side. For anything, I could hold on and not break my back.

Feeling something wet on my hands, I suppressed a yell and balled my hands.

“Damn you and your fear,” I grumbled breathlessly.

Finally, I touched what felt like a wall. I made my way down with a nervous heart. My mind didn’t stop making up horrible things.

I shut my eyes and cursed under my breath.

Remembering I had my bag, I stopped and quickly rummaged between my things until I finally found some matches.

Ripping a piece of my skirt, I quickly lightened it.

I looked around before I noticed there were torches on the walls. Grabbing one quickly, I lightened it.

I let out a sigh of relief.

As I looked around, I noticed the musky walls that dripped with water.

My hands moved to touch it, but then a louder banging sound made me jump in fear.

Forgetting about it, I descend the stairs.

***

It must be around an hour, and I still hadn’t reached the end of these stairs. I was starting to get scared, not knowing where this was taking me.

Was it dangerous? Was it Zion, the one down there?

Shaking my head, I walked in silence.

It must have been a few more minutes before I finally reached the last stair.

As I set my foot down, I looked down at the enormous hallway.

My eyes grew the size of a saucer. What was this place?

There were barred doors, torches, chains, and some stools with old weapons laying along the hall.

It didn’t look like a cellar but a dungeon.

Something was telling me it was a bad idea to be here. I should have stayed up there and waited for Zion to come. I was sure he wouldn’t stay away from me for that long.

Making a turn to head back, I stopped when a strange sound like a groan reached my ears.

My breathing quickened as I looked over my shoulder. Was someone down here?

“Damn it,” I whispered as my eyes looked down at the darkness of the hallway.

I lowered my eyes and looked at the floor full of dirt. I had to stop being a pussy and see what was down here.

Raising my head, I wiped one of my sweaty hands on my skirt and started to walk down the enormous hallway.

My hands trembled slightly as I walked down the path.

Moving my eyes to the sides, I glance at each door. You could see a few of the things inside each room.

Stopping, I peeked inside one of them through the barred door. A few strange things lay scattered. With no light, it was hard to distinguish certain things. Then, suddenly, the banging sound started again.

I snapped my head down the hall. The sound echoed around me.

Nodding, I rushed down, forgetting about the rooms around me. I had no time to waste. First, I needed to see who it was.

As I make another turn down the hall, I suddenly halt. A set of stairs were before me. Where do they take you?

As I squinted my eyes, I noticed a small light and a tapping sound in the far distance.

Confused by the tapping sound, I looked around until my eyes stopped on the water dripping from the ceiling and walls.

How far deep was I?

Another groan distracted me. It was someone, and it sounded like Zion now.

Gripping the torch in my hand, I walked down the small set of stairs.

I made sure no sound reached the ears of the person down the end of the stairs. What I least needed was for some stranger or whatever was down to scare the hell out of me.

Finally, I reached the end, but before I continued, my eyes widened at the sight of the place.

There were several enormous cages on the sides which surrounded the room.

I gulped as my eyes studied the place.

Noticing a shadow, I crouch and turn the torch off. Then, quietly making sure no one could see me, I set it aside where I could grab it once I left this place.

I didn’t think there was a place like this.

Deciding to crawl my way to see what or who was down here, I looked around the few weapons that hung from the ceiling. Some were rusty, while others seemed new.

I frowned while I stared at them.

Why do you need weapons for? There wasn’t a single soul here.

I shake my head and continue crawling my way as I stop to check my surroundings, something cold touches me.

I gasped and tried to scream, but something covered my mouth.

I tossed around in panic while fighting my way out of whatever was holding me.

“Calm down, Mila,” a voice I never expected to hear again whispered behind me.

I stopped moving and froze on the ground. My breathing was erratic, no way.

Letting go of me, I slowly turned my head.

“Noah?” I called while a shiver ran down my body.

What, he was alive?

My mouth hangs open while I shake my head. This was impossible.

“Noah?” I repeated, stunned.

The man before me smiled weakly. I blinked while staring at his dirty and skinny face.

“You’re alive?” I said. I reached for the barred cage and looked at him.

A nervous chuckle left my lips.

Reaching for his face, I smile in disbelief. It was Noah.

“How?” I asked, looking down and then up.

“I can’t explain, but you need to leave,” Noah whispered.

“No!” I said a bit loud. Thankfully my voice was suppressed by the banging sound. “I can’t leave you!”

“You have to leave. If Zion sees you, he will kill you,” Noah explained.

“No, he wouldn’t,” I retorted. “I’ve been here two days already. He would have killed me since the moment he saw me.”

Noah backed away. His face contorted as he was confused.

“He didn’t hurt you?” Noah asked, getting closer. “No, that’s not it. You need to leave this place, Mila, Zion….”

“Noah,” I called with a smile. Noah raised his eyes as I grasped his hand.

He looked skinny, weak. This wasn’t the man I once knew.

“I will get you out of here,” I assured him.

“You can’t,” Noah said, pulling my hand away from his. A sad smile played on his face. “You can’t save us.”

“Us?” I asked, blinking.

Noah nodded and looked behind him.

I gasped, covering my mouth as the familiar faces appeared behind the shadows. But I had no time to say anything because a painful scream made me stop.

Worriedly, I looked behind me.

“Zion needs you, Mila,” Noah said. I faced him. “If you really won’t leave, then save my brother.”

“But I don’t know how,” I said, looking down. “I don’t know what happened to him.”

I moved my hands away from the bar cage and fell on my buttocks. My hands ruffled my hair.

“Mila,” Noah called. I glanced his way.

There was a smile playing on his lips. The same smile I remember.

“You can do it,” Noah said with reassurance. “Zion, he is struggling with that being, that soul.”

“Who is the soul from?” I asked curiously now.

I glanced sideways before looking at Noah. The banging sound was still echoing.

“It belonged to a gypsy. I don’t know too much, but you can find some clues on the library,” Noah explained. I nodded and kneeled. “Mila listened.”

I looked at Noah, who worriedly studied my face.

I reached for his hand and patted it.

“Noah, I will get you guys out of here,” I promised. “I just need to find the chance.”

Now I was looking down where the banging sound was coming from.

“Trust me. I promise to save you all,” I said and looked at everyone.

“No, Mila,” Noah said, chuckling. There was a sadness that pained me.

“Have hope, Noah,” I said and squeezed his hand. “I will stop Zion.”

Noah just shook his head but didn’t utter another word.

Giving him a firm nod, I crawl away to leave. But before I reached the stairs, I decided to look down where the sound was coming from.

I crawled to a nearby pillar; leaning, I peeked down while hiding from view. Flames engulfed the surrounding space. At the same time, someone’s shadow moved around.

I stayed behind the pillar and just moved my head to look. Eyes wide, I stared at Zion, who was like crazy hitting some metal.

His chest was bared as sweat slid down his body.

I gulped at sight.

“Zion…,” I whispered. Then, to my surprise, he stopped banging and looked over his shoulder.

I hid quickly behind the pillar. Did he see me?

I tensed when I started to hear a rustling sound approaching me.

Covering my mouth with my hands, I tried to stay hidden behind the shadows. I didn’t know what Zion would do if he found me here.

Seeing something from the corner of my eyes, I glanced sideways and saw one of the captured guards doing me signals.

I nodded and started to flee the place before I heard Noah’s voice.

“Let me out, Zion!′ Noah started to beg. “Zion!”

Some cries from the prisoners made my chest ache.

Reaching the stairs, I once again grabbed the torch and, using the lightened ones. I turned mine on.

I ran up the stairs in speed, forgetting what I saw down there.

As a piercing scream reached my ears, I stopped running. My nails dug into the wet concrete walls. The scream sounded louder as I took a wobbly step.

What was Zion doing to them?

I bite my lip and shake my head. I need to get out and think straight.

It was not the time to hesitate and do something stupid. Mistakes were something I couldn’t afford right now.

***

I sat on the small wooden chair, staring out the eerie forest.

My mind is still on Noah and the prisoners. The way they looked at me, so lifeless and with bottomless eyes. It pained me knowing all this was because I left that day.

With a sigh, I leaned my head on my knees.

So Zion lied to me? Why would he tell me there dead when I saw Noah alive?

I sighed again when the bedroom doors to Zion’s room opened with a bang.

Scared, I stood and looked at him.

His eyes were unfocused while his face contorted.

“Zion?” I called nervously.

Zion approached me with long strides. Taking a step back, I nervously looked at him.

What was wrong?

Before I could say a word, Zion reached for my neck and slammed me against the wall.

My hands moved to his arms that were firm as a rock.

“Z-Zion!” I said, panicking.

My hands were hitting now his arms.

“Zion! Stop it!” I pleaded, but he tightened his grip. “Zion!”

I struggled with him, but he was too strong.

My vision started to blur. At this rate, I would lose consciousness.

“S-stop!” I begged.

Zion wasn’t going to stop, he wasn’t listening. Was he going to kill me like this?

Scared for my life, I mumbled and summoned my powers.

Raising my hand, I covered Zion’s face, which made him scream in pain. He loosened his hold on my neck, making me coughed while he kept screaming in agony.

Stumbling backward, I hear a loud banging and a groan. I looked up and found Zion shaking his head. His hand over his eyes.

I kneeled as my body trembled. My throat ached from the strength Zion put on it.

“Zion?” I mumbled.

Zion had his hand over his face still.

“Zion?” I called again with a hoarse voice.

Zion slowly lowered his hand. I sighed, slouching down as I finally checked his eyes. They were back to normal.

“Mila, I’m sorry,” Zion said with confusion on his face. “I-”

“You fucking wanted to kill me?” I growled. I should be feeling scared, but right now, all I felt was anger. “You could have killed me!”

“Mila,” Zion said, standing. His body swayed.

I moved up and grabbed him, helping him steady down.

“If you want to kill me, say it!” I snapped.

Zion looked at me. His face was in pain.

“If you want to kill me, do it.” I took a step away from him and raised my hands. “If that’s what you wish, so do it!”

Zion looked speechless.

Groaning, I move and hit him on his arm and chest.

Zion didn’t retort, just moved his head away.

“Kill me, Zion! Kill me!” I angrily punched his arm. I felt so angry but it was with myself. “Don’t fucking torture me!”

“It’s not me!” Zion snapped. I could see how troubled he was feeling.

I stopped halfway with my arms raised.

“It’s not me,” Zion repeated in shame. “I… I tried to control it, but it wants you.”

“Wants me?” I retorted. “Sure.”

I moved away and pulled on my hair. Then, laughing, I shake my head.

“You have to control it, Zion,” I whispered. “You can’t let that thing control you.”

This time I was looking at him.

“It doesn’t own you!” I yelled.

“But he does,” Zion said dejectedly. “When you left, it was like it was all it took for it to be free.”

“What?” I asked. Different things crossed my mind right at this moment.

“What do I leaving had anything to do?” I questioned him. Zion raised his head.

“When you left, you broke me, Mila,” Zion chuckled. “You broke my heart, with it my soul.”

I stood there stunned. Was he serious?

“So that’s why you turned into this?” I asked, baffled.

Zion chuckled.

“What could I do?” Zion scoffed. “You ran away.”

I didn’t!” I snapped. Gritting my teeth, I cursed under my breath and turned my back to him. “I had no choice.”

“No choice, huh,” Zion scoffed again. “I gave you a choice Mila.”

I snapped around.

“A choice?” I said, bewildered. “My father wanted to take me away, Zion. He wanted to hurt you!”

Zion’s jaw clenched as we both stared at each other.

“I did it because I wanted to protect you and everyone else!” I retorted. “It was all I could do.”

“No, Mila,” Zion said. “You could have trusted in me.”

I bit on my lip hard until I felt the metallic taste of blood.

“But you didn’t trust me,” Zion barked. “You left like a coward, leaving me all alone.”

“I WAS NOT A COWARD!” I yelled. “You’re the coward.”

Zion’s eyes squint. I know my words were harsh, but I wasn’t thinking straight.

“Forget it,” I said, turning to leave.

“You’re my light in all this darkness, Mila,” Zion whispered while I reached the doors. “You were my light, and you left me that day to my demons, my own darkness.”

My hands gripped my dress.

“You think I wanted to do this?” Zion said as I looked over my shoulder. “I wished I had another choice.”

I slowly turned to face him.

“And though you’re here,” Zion mumbled. “It feels empty.”

I shook my head, processing all his words.

“It feels empty,” Zion repeated.

“So, what do I have to do?” I asked.

Zion approached me, tugging my arm. He pulled me into a hug.

His chin was resting over my head.

“Just stay, don’t leave me all alone in this fight,” Zion said as his voice broke.

I could feel his body trembling slightly.

“I’m not going anywhere,” I said, hugging him. “I’m not leaving you ever again.”

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