Anika woke to the sound of crickets and an eerie howl in the distance. She didn’t know how long she had slept, but it was night, and she needed to find shelter until morning.
She picked up Otirik’s blanket and chose a direction to start walking. Not long after, she saw the warm glow of a little house, almost on the line between Aigon and the Forest of Souls. As she approached the house, she could hear the news on the television.
“Since this morning, there have been two earthquakes, killing almost five hundred and counting. A raging wildfire is sweeping across the countryside, and experts say, with the wind patterns, it looks to hit Aigon next, posing a rather alarming threat to the nearby village. Evacuation plans…”
Anika knocked on the door, and Otirik opened. “Hi.” he said, stepping aside to let her in. She walked inside, taking in her surroundings before turning to face him. “Thank you, for everything… Here’s your blanket.”
He set the blanket aside and embraced her, kissing her. She pulled away, and he backed up, looking at his feet. “I’m sorry. ” Anika was blushing. “I need a place to stay…” Otirik perked up at this. “You can have my room. I’ll take the couch.”
Slenderman kept staring at the ring he found in his pocket. How could it have gotten there? He didn’t know, he couldn’t remember. He did, however, know that the size of the ring was the same size Kitty wore.
They had been living together in the mansion for almost a year, without complication. She still had yet to meet his proxies, but he was certain she would be liked by them. She even turned the other way, ignoring when Slender killed periodically, understanding that he had to kill in order to survive.
She had recently started asking Slender to stay with her until she fell asleep at night. But last night, when she fell asleep, he didn’t leave. He couldn’t. He layed with her all night. He had never noticed how warm she was, or how beautiful she was when asleep, until then.
He knew she would stay no matter what, and it wasn’t like they were worried about “living in sin”, but the gesture mattered to him. He knew that that night was the night to make Kitty his wife.
Adrian paced back and forth across the Planning Room floor, gazing at the map of Aigon. Twenty-three hours before, he had decided to kill his own twin sister. But now he had his doubts about ending her life. Without growth and health, there was nothing to destroy, and therefore, nothing to truly gain from this great loss.
The door finally opened, and Nathaniel entered the room with his hand wrapped. He’d already helped himself to a highly decorated set of Plattian armor.
Adrian shook his head slowly. “I can’t do this…” Nathaniel’s smile was broad, but it didn’t reach his eyes. The tension in the room was palpable. “Why is that, love?”
“Can we really gain anything from initiating an apocalyptic war?” The laugh was subtle and menacing, and when Nathaniel’s voice rang out again, it was hoarse with contempt. “Not for you, but I will be King of All. And my son as well.” He approached Adrian with Sol’s dagger, an eternal prison, and struck him with it, sucking the young monarch into a prison lined with some of the worst creatures of all time.
“I’ll be damned if my lover will get in my way.” He smiled and walked out of the room, tucking Sol’s dagger into his belt.
Kitty and Slenderman walked through the woods leisurely for a short while, Kitty laughing as they talked for hours.
They ran across an old treehouse, but the ladder was long gone. “Slender? Is it safe to go up there?” Slenderman teleported up to the treehouse, taking a look around, determining it was safe. He had a feeling he’d been there before, but no recollection of actually being there.
“Slender!” Kitty called. “May I come up with you?” Slenderman teleported her into the treehouse with him. As they sat in the treehouse, Kitty picked up a journal that was laying in the corner and opened it to the first page.
After reading silently with Slenderman peering over her shoulder, she looked up into the blank faceless face. “You helped a little girl survive?” He shrugged. “I don’t remember.” She smiled. “There’s hope for you yet.”
“I don’t know. I do still love her. She’s my sister. I’d hate to kill her if I don’t have to.”
Nathaniel smirked. I hate it when he does that. “My love, you know that you can’t let her live. She is very resourceful and strong to top that. She can also heal all of her fallen soldiers, and you cannot scare her away from battle. She is every bit as stubborn as you.”
“More so.” I agreed.
“Now, Adrian, about the throne… I was thinking, maybe you would allow me to sit in the dark seat instead of the light one…”
“Why the hell would I do that?” I slammed my fist on the table and it crumbled with termites. He backed away a few steps, a wave of fear overtaking his features. For a mortal, his whole appearance could pass for a god’s. “It was just a suggestion… You know I’ll die if I attempt to sit in the light throne. And I know how much you loathe responsibility. But love, you know that I will serve your interests ahead of my own.”
I paused, contemplating the possibility. Every word made sense. Who was I to keep him from the crown, when I knew with all of my heart that he was trustworthy. Still… It made me a little uneasy. “I’ll sleep on it.”
Anika was tired from playing with Neko for days at a time. Neko himself was napping on a rock deep within the Aigon forest.
She started walking aimlessly, searching for a nice place to rest. She found a tree with a thick, soft patch of grass beneath it. To her surprise, when she started to lay down, Otirik appeared from behind another tree, and shouted at her.
“This is my napping place!” She sighed warily, and began to shuffle along. Otirik felt bad for this, “Wait…” he looked down as she turned her gaze to him; the emerald in her eyes caught a ray of sunlight that had penetrated the canopy.
“Y-you can rest here, if you like.” She paused, then nodded to him and layed on the soft grass. He gave her his blanket, and sat and talked with her for hours until she finally fell asleep. Then he walked off quietly toward his nearby house, wondering how it would feel to tell her he loved her.
Oracle paced the shack that Nathaniel and he had met in the week before, awaiting the arrival of his master. He knew he needed to brace himself for another order he wasn’t quite ready to swallow.
He felt sick to his stomach betraying Anika like that.
He heard the door open and close, and turned to greet his master. Before he could even kneel, Nathaniel hit him hard across the face, sending him crashing into the shelf, one of three pieces of furniture in the place. He slumped and cowered in the corner as Nathaniel stood over him. “Have you sealed her fate?” “Yes master…” he muttered weakly. “Good. But not good enough. But don’t worry. One day you’ll be repayed for what you’ve done to me.”
With that, he stormed out.
Oracle picked himself up off of the floor and watched from the window as Nathaniel ascended an invisible staircase, before he turned and opened a trap door, going down into the cellar. He walked toward a bubbling cauldron, allowing a drop of blood-from a gash that had opened on his face from the impact-to drop in.
“You’ve sealed your own fate, Nathaniel. If I must betray one, I must betray all.”