Winter Vandelann

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The Web of a Spider

Aion walked with loud footsteps through the Land of the Forgotten. Glass crunched beneath this shoes and he carelessly disposed of the shadow folk that charged toward him. Blake roamed around within his own mind, watching Aion operate his body. The first thing Blake noticed was that Aion saw things much differently than he did.

Aion's vision consisted of black and white outlines of objects and people (with the occasional glitter here and there). He assumed the sparkling lights he saw were reminiscences of magic left behind in the wasteland.

'Randy and Simon would never believe me' he thought with a sudden realization. If they ever saw him again- that is.

Aion was going off of strictly what the Forgotten had told him. That the void was weakest within the Mill. But that meant Aion bringing a powerless Marian into a sea full of Forgotten, thirsty to steal their life force and magic. Aion kept his face expressionless and tilted his head back to look toward where they had first entered into the Land of the Forgotten.

It was completely sealed. The thin slice of light still trailed down from the ceiling and hovered over the mill.

"We'll get out of here, don't worry sir." Marian's chipper voice clipped into the silence. Her long locks tousled down her back as she walked and she offered him a weak smile.

Aion nodded. "I know we will .. .it is just a matter of time. Asmodian cannot be allowed to possess the Prime Crystal." He raised a brow and halted in his footsteps when they rounded another corner within the maze leading up to the mill.

"Why doesn't he wait in line like the rest of us?" A Forgotten hissed. It's long black spine hung out in odd angles as it watched the pair go by. Blake felt a shiver run down his neck, and Aion reacted to his fear. Several Forgotten within the long line stared at them with blank faces as Aion strode by them through the maze. The maze was fabricated from more memories. Pieces of glass, metal, iron bars, the occasional bike, and a dolly here and there caught Blake's eye.

"Aion. . ." Another voice caught his ear, but Aion seemed to ignore everything as he turned another corner. Blake felt a soft twinge of dread steadily increasing in his mind.

"Are you afraid Aion?" Blake asked as they strode through the dirt and ash.

"Nonsense." He responded and peered down at Marian. The little constellation had pressed herself as close to the wall as possible as they maneuvered through the Forgotten. The Forgotten seemed to ignore them, potentially due to the field of light that encompassed Aion, or out of fear.

"Something isn't right." Aion whispered out loud. Blake agreed with his statement. The pair erupted from the maze and the mill stood proudly in front of them.

"At last." Aion breathed, and began to make his way toward the staircase to the Mill. The Forgotten held things like wooden rocking horses,chairs, photo books, dishes, or the stuffed versions of their animals from their prior life, and urns of ashes.

"We made it without any extra delays." Blake's voice sounded rather impressed within Aion's consciousness.

"I would beg to differ!" A woman's voice sprung through the repetitive sound of the shuffling Forgotten and the clanging of metal. The Forgotten seemed to take that as their cue, and turned and dispersed. The last handful retreating into the mill to avoid the light that hovered around Aion.

Aion's lips folded into a straight line and he crossed his arms.

"Irena." He tilted his head and narrowed his eyes.

"You've looked better."

"Ex Girlfriend?" Blake laughed before he became silent once more.

She snorted in response to his comment. With a toss of her hair, the Castress descended the steps. Her long blonde locks hung down around her hips and drifted around the revealing red gown that clung tightly to her frame. Her extraordinary eyes stared straight through Aion, and Blake felt as though she was looking at him.

"I could say the same to you, you have dressed yourself as though you are a child, not the Caster I once knew." Irena laughed and drew within ten feet of Aion before she froze.

She eyed him up and down before glaring to the straggling Forgotten- who turned and ran.

"Speaking of humans. . .you have a little one hiding within you, or is it the opposite?" She pointed toward him with a long pointed fingernail. Blake felt his heart thud and he looked down at his consciousness. The feeling of fear encompassed him and he couldn't hide it. The feeling of lust tempted his mind, he brushed it away quickly, but it was there. He stared back at the woman curiously from his consciousness in interest. He saw Irena smirk at him.

"How have you enjoyed your last hundred years?" Aion asked and his stern attitude returned, Blake felt his chilly exterior.

"Oh you know. .. I've remodeled, found out the Forgotten are just as tasty as Casters." She smirked and turned her body away from him.

"Asmodian has made advances on the Prime Crystal, it's only a matter of time before it's taken." She responded blankly, her two irises shifted within her unusually bright green eyes.

Aion remained silent as she continued to talk.

"I can get you out of here." Her sharp teeth were revealed when she let a sickly, wide, smile grace her lips. Blake felt revolted.

"So you're the one who let him out." Aion came to a conclusion, he narrowed his eyes again.

"Why did you do it, Irena. . .you've doomed yourself to a lifetime when the others discover you've helped him escape. I've spared you from this fate multiple times only for you to do this?"

She rolled her eyes and wandered within a few feet of Aion. The smell of roses invaded his nose and he wished he could brush her away. Marian cowered behind Aion, but Irena did not yet address her. She glanced down at her briefly before extended a hand out to Aion. "The other Casters?" She laughed and rolled her eyes. "I have them wrapped around my fingers."

She paused and glanced to him. "I did all this . . ."

"To win you, Aion." She whispered and extended her fingertips out gently to grasp onto the thin material of his shirt. She ran it over her fingers and Aion did not stop her.

"The idea of a mortal being with a Casters is just. . .preposterous. .. you would be much better suited to me, don't you think? But, if your body has already abandoned this world then your Spirit would do." She tilted her head and examined his face for a reaction. If Aion had one, he did not let it show.

"That girl has been gifted with the Prime Crystal, it's her destiny to become my companion- that's something you cannot change Irena." Aion glanced at her out of the corner of his eye as she stared at him.

"Now I will ask you again, what motivations do you have for releasing Asmodian from his cell?" Aion drew to his full height and glared at Irena. She gasped and backed away from him, hurt brushed across her face as she was turned down. Blake watched the scene in horror.

"I have always loved you Aion." She confessed, her face drew back into sadness. She clutched at her chest. "For hundreds of years I have waited for you to realize the error in your ways and come back to me. We were promised to one another- lest you've forgotten that already." She let her gaze fall to the dirt.

"Then you fancied the idea of mortals when you have perfection right in front of you." She hissed, her eyes narrowed as she watched him. She strode away from him and back up the steps.

"Your magic is weakened in this realm, and due to your human, your power barely scratches the surface of mine. I would choose your next words carefully Dear." She threatened, her apparel mutated into just scraps of black material. A thick scaly armor meshed with her pale skin and rose up like the hide of a dragon. Her irises rotated within their sockets as she waited Aion's final answer.

He smiled at her as she prepared for battle.

"Irena, you are fairest, but only of body and not heart." His words rung throughout the empty land. Blake felt himself internally cringe at the Caster's ill placed insult. The atmosphere became tense as she shook in anger.

"If you will not come with me Aion... I will take your soul by force!" She screamed and squeezed her hands together. One by one the Forgotten returned, this time a glittering green color.

"Try to subdue me Aion!" Irena laughed and strode to the top of the steps. The army of Forgotten trudged froward toward them with outstretched hands. Marian screamed and covered her ears as several of the Forgotten let out blood curdling cries.

"Aion, Do something!" Blake panicked within his mind. He wanted to run. Everything in his body told him to run. But he remained trapped within his own mind as Aion held the reigns. For the first time in his life, Blake felt as though he was helpless. He struggled against the bonds that Aion held over him and felt himself hyperventilate.

Aion shook his head and pushed Marian behind him. He tilted his hands out to the side and muttered a few words that sounded all around the Mill. A brilliant light swarmed his hands and the air around him. A brightness that the Forgotten struggled to move forwards against. Aion strode forwards toward Irena. His eyes narrowed into slits as his clothing dissipated and his own body was in turn covered in heavy black material. The orb on his chest glittered and removed itself from the chain. A golden, plated, armor wound its way up his knees and trickled across his chest and spine. The armor twirled around his wrists and to his fingers as the orb drifted in front of him.

It spiraled within the air above him and cast beams of light into each of the Forgotten that attempted to attack. Aion was not short on strength, but endurance would be his downfall. And there were thousands of the Forgotten to combat.

"Are you to afraid to fight me yourself Irena?" Aion challenged as he grasped a Forgotten by the throat. It kicked until it fell still and dissipated from his sight in a cloud of ash.

"That you would send an army of brainwashed souls against me?"

The Castress frowned and crossed her legs from where she sat upon the stone. "I am afraid of nothing." She spat and glanced toward him. "Why waste my own energy when yours will soon run out?"

"She's a coward. . ." Blake whispered, and Irena shot up.

"What did that human just call me?" She snapped and growled toward Aion.

"Wait. ..she can hear me?" Blake's eyes widened and he looked the opposite way.

"Of course I can you fool!" She shouted toward Blake's subconscious. "I am the Caster of energy, I hear all desires and emotions of humans!" She crouched down low to pounce, the Forgotten taking a hint and backing up slightly. Aion let his shields drop and he held his hands out as they illuminated with a bright light. He raised his fists as Irena rocketed toward him. Glass exploded all around them from the energy.

Their contact resulted in bursts of light, with attacks so quick Blake could not keep up with their movements. Aion would throw a punch and Irena would block and bend to sweep his feet while Aion jumped and rebounded with a kick to her head.

Marian yelped and leapt up into the sky where she hovered for a few moments to avoid the conflict. Her partial use of magic allowed her to hover harmlessly while maintaining her energy. She watched on with worry.

"I'll teach you to mock me!" She hissed and raked her nails across his face. Pain shot through Blake's temple and he reached up to hold his eye. Aion blocked her next attack and kicked her away with a burst of light that erupted from his body.

Aion watched blood trickle down into his hands and on to the ground. Blake shook his head. His left eye wasn't seeing clearly. Had she damaged his eye?

"You're starting to look pretty rough." Irena laughed as she pulled herself from the rubble. With a wave of her hand, green magic drifted all around her.

Aion raised an eye brow. "Asmodian's magic?" He narrowed his eyes. "So that's how you got him out of here." He let his gold magic tumble all around him. He panted and grabbed at his crystal for more energy.

"Have you tired yourself out Aion?" She tormented and strode toward him. She released several orbs of green magic which he struggled to block. A fifth orb drilled him in the shoulder when his shield faltered and forced him back.

"Aion!" Marian cried out and covered her mouth in fear. Aion lowered himself to one knee, his breath escaped in raspy drawls as the green magic wound around his body and crunched him into a hold.

Blake wheezed as he felt his body being pinched as though he was constrained in a straight jacket. His hands were forced against his chest and his knee gave out as he lay upon the ground. It became harder to breath and Blake felt his vision fading. Marian hovered helplessly above them before Irena motioned for a few of the Forgotten to take hold of her. Blake glared. Aion wheezed and let out a frustrated growl.

"Aion!" Marian shrieked and jerked against her captives.

"Silly little human." Irena knelt before the pair. She brushed her fingertips through Aion's wild hair. She stared through Aion directly to Blake. He stared back at her wide-eyed. Aion's eyes were furious and he stared at her with hatred as she touched him without his permission.

"Did you honestly think Aion could beat me without his full abilities? You hold him back."

She laughed and pushed Aion onto his side. He grunted as glass pushed into his back from the shattered memories. Irena knew it to. She ran her fingertips across the open wound above his eye and brought her bloodied fingers to her lips.

"Should I keep you here with me Aion?" She knelt next to him and studied him curiously. "But we should get rid of that human. . .he makes you. . .mortal." She glanced down at his shoes with a smirk.

"You won't. . .keep me here forever Irena." He hissed and let his head droop against the ground as the last of his magic faded from his hands and he submitted from fatigue. The green magic tightened around his throat and forced him tighter into a ball.

"Um. .. actually I will." She smiled and with a twirl of her finger the green magic scooped up Aion and forced him to walk after her. Aion frowned at the inability to move his feet independently.

"Come see my home." She invited the pair inside. The Mill was dirty and unkempt, but the more they maneuvered through it, you could tell magic was at work. The ceilings lofted abnormally high and staircases appeared where they shouldn't be when they walked by. She motioned for him to follow her up the stairs- though he didn't have much of a choice.

Aion had to admit, she had done wonders with the place. The second story of the Mill ,that never used to be there, was spacious and welcoming. Wide rugs and open areas, tables and chairs, and a large bed hung within the open ceiling room. Stars cradled the open ceiling, moving when the pair entered into the room.

Aion stared at her suspiciously, wondering how she had learned to trap stars.

"So now what, you'll just keep us here?" Aion frowned. Irena sat on the edge of the bed, the green crackling magic surrounding Aion illuminated the room.

"I suppose, until I figure out something else for you to do." She sighed and closed her eyes. Aion remained silent but turned to look up toward the trapped stars. He frowned.

Blake finally spoke up. He had chosen to remain silent for most of the duration of their 'tour'.

"You're the one that started all this. . .in the bathroom?" He questioned. She smiled and did not answer his question.

"Isn't it funny how the Caster of Fate can't even fulfill his own Fate?" Irena questioned. She stared up at the ceiling toward the stars.

"In comparison to the mortals, we are impossible to defeat. But if a Caster gets in the way of another Caster- well the chances of defeat are high."

"What's your point Irena?" Aion snorted. The magic compelled him to sit beside her on the bed while she stared up at him. Her ribs flailed under her revealing clothing.

Aion had to admit that Irena was beautiful, but as he had said before, she was beautiful only on the outside and not on the inside.

"I drained Asmodian of his powers for quite some time, he resisted at first, but his desire to destroy you overcame him... made him weak. He hated you for banishing him here over such a small incident." She paused for a moment and reached out her finger to point at a star that drifted too far from the group. She flicked it back into place with a small burst of energy.

She turned her head to stare at Aion lovingly.

"I wonder if I should do the same to you." She sat up slowly, Aion jerked his head back when her fingers touched his chin. Blake raised a brow in alarm.

"With my help you could defeat Asmodian and return everything to normal."

"Is she moving in on us?" Blake panicked and his consciousness pounded against Aion's barriers to let him out and protest this action.

"My, my, that human is mighty shy." Irena laughed, she ran a sharp fingernail down the collar of his shirt before tearing it down the middle. A thin line of blood appeared where her nails touched his skin.

"That was a good shirt. . ." Blake sighed and gave up protesting as Aion took over. His bare chest seemed to please Irena and she pressed her cold hands against his chest and forced him back onto the bed.

She showered him in kisses- which Aion rejected.

But he did not have much of a choice. Whenever he resisted the magic it decided to shock him or begin draining him.

"Don't worry, my love." She breathed into his ear as she continued to fuss over him.

"We'll be together eventually."

Winter stepped over the piles of burned debris and rubble. She frowned as she admired her home and remembered the beauty it was at one point. She thought back to what the old woman had told her and glanced through the mess.
"How am I to find something that is important?" She paused and laughed to herself.
"I must be fricking nuts." She sighed and pushed aside the remnants of a book case. As soon as she had blinked, a soft light seemed to appear in the blackened ash. Curious, Winter crept toward the yellow blinking aura and brushed aside some of the rubble. A thick red book that seemed untouched by the fire stood out among all the other destroyed things.
She picked it up tenderly within her hands and cradled it close to her chest. She glanced both ways before retreated back toward the gates and on the path that returned to school, leaving behind the mess that was her family home.

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