Chapter 48

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*Sorry this chapter is a bit short*

"Winter?"

I knock on the door several times but there was no reply. That's weird cause Winter normally answers even if she was mad at me. I knock again but it was still dead quiet. Did she go somewhere?

"Winter, it is Duke. Are you there?" I asked out again but silence replies to me.

I press on the handle and the door opens, strange. Winter always keeps the door lock no matter what happens. The door creaks open when I slowly push the carved door. A rush of cold wind hits me making my teeth clench.

Why is it so cold? My eyes shifted from her desk to her bed. She isn't here. I step inside her room and close the door behind me. Fog floats out of my mouth as I breathe as I pull on my jacket closer to me.

My eyes linger on the wall where Bertha opened for me to go to the basement. Maybe Winter is inside there? I walk toward it and press the same combinations of stone that Bertha pressed but it didn't open. I try again and again but it didn't budge.

"Why isn't it working?" I press again but doesn't budge.

I eventually give up and turn towards the window to see the field. You could see everyone and everything from here and yet no one could notice you from here. It's like being a shadow and never seeing the light but someone else's.

I move into Winter's art studio, it's the first time I have been in here. Broken pieces of ice lay on the floor like when Elder Bertha and I were in the room downstairs. Something happened to Winter but what?

I walk over to them and pick them up, they were made from a different type of ice. They didn't seem to be melting and the texture was peculiar. This whole ice thing was very strange, Winter would have clean all this up.

When scanning the whole room once more, only one artwork of hers were still standing. I walk towards it to get a closer look. It was a portrait of me. I stare at the work in awe, Winter was very talented but why didn't this break. Why didn't the portrait of me broke and everything else that Winter love did?

Taking a seat on Winter's bed, it sink under me as I lay down with my hands behind my head. Above me, the ceiling is carved with beautiful flower ornamentals but in the middle is a painting of stars.

"You have always had a view of us and our training regime but we never seem to notice that you were here all this long. Stuck here near the Elders and the rest of the Elementals. We were just a few steps away or a call but you never did. How did you feel watching us? Disappointed? Ashamed? or maybe worse despair? How long did they put you in this prison, Winter? How long did you suffer?" I said out loud staring continuously at the ceiling.

I close my eyes, feeling sleepy from all the active work I have been doing. When I was about to take a bit of a nap while waiting for Winter.

Suddenly the door opens. 

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