Chapter 20

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Picture of Ava above
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Chapter 20
Saphira's point of view

I opened my eyes, after passing out for what must have been the fifth time. This time however, I wished I could go back to being blissfully unaware of the state I was in. My body was chained between two wooden poles. Deep red welts formed around my wrists and ankles from pulling against my metal bonds. My vision was hazy and my world was out of focus. Something wet and hot trickled from a serious slit above my brow. My lip was split in two and the metallic taste of blood filled my senses. I groaned in exhaustion and I longed to fall into Death's blithe embrace.

"Ah! My pet is awake," A muffled voice said.

I barely identified the voice and I flinched when a cold hand gently caressed my cheek. Something strange followed suit. I felt as if my energy was slowly returning, almost like a battery was being recharged. My vision began to focus and the silhouette in front of me began to register in my brain.

"Why are you torturing me Nicolas? This is not love. Not by far." I wheezed. I hacked up more blood and spat it on the floor next to me. My eyes closed briefly as a wave of nausea engulfed me.

"Torture? Oh Saphira, my sweet, naïve Saphira..."

Nicolas walked over to a large chair. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a throne. Opulent ivory cushions embroidered with jewels clashed with the horrific skulls that bordered the edges. It was terrifying as well as mesmerizing to behold. I shuddered, suddenly feeling a cold chill pass through me. My eyes widened by a fraction when I vaguely heard tormented screams fill the room. I looked at Nicolas (he was too busy being self-absorbed to notice I wasn't even listening to his egotistical rant) but he showed no indication that he heard anything of the sort.

How strange. Before my brain could further process what was happening, Nicolas's malevolent cackle caught my attention.

"The silent treatment huh? Come now my love, you cannot still be upset. You have to admit, behavioral training was an ingenious way to get you to succumb to my every whim. Soon you will be eating from the palm of my hand."

I mustered up my most disgusted look, "Yeah well, in the meantime, you can eat this," I said arrogantly whilst flipping him the bird.

"I think a higher voltage ought to paralyze your pretty little fingers,"
With that said, Nicolas zapped me with a bolt of lightning. The electricity shot through my system like adrenalin and I howled in pain. My throat was raw from screaming. I looked at Nicolas but my vehemence only seemed to increase exponentially. I was breathing heavily now, and I knew my body will not be able to withstand his cruelty much longer.

The room we were in was adorned with various torture devices. I scanned my surroundings in hopes of finding a way to escape and tried not to cringe in fear from the shadowy figures I saw in every dark corner. I had a feeling that only I could see them. If only I knew what this all meant! I spotted a door to my left and a window in front of me. The door had biometric security and I mentally scratched it off my list. I did not have any energy to attack Nicolas so that left the window. The bars on the window gleamed merrily at me and I knew I was doomed. I could barely lift a finger.

Nicolas came closer to me and scrutinized my face. "You're stronger than I anticipated. I thought for sure that the voltage would have knocked you out," He backed away, clearly not finding what he was looking for.
He gave an instruction to one of his minions who bared 3 sets of wickedly sharp teeth at me, in what I think was a grin. He took out a mechanical spider from his tattered pocket and activated it. It jumped to life and scuttled over to me. The hairs of the back of my neck pricked up and I eyed the arachnid warily.

Nicolas took out a polished whistle and gently blew on it. The spider twitched involuntarily and crawled up my left leg. I shuddered in disgust and fear, not knowing what it was going to do. It came to a stop at my belly, turned 3 times and then sank its steely legs into my abdomen. My mouth opened in a silent scream. The spider retracted its legs and made its way to my shoulder. I wriggled and wrestled, trying to throw it off me but it was no use. My wrists and ankles cried out in protest and my muscles were exhausted. It sank its knives into my back and this time I unleashed an antagonizing wail.

"The spider was a nice little surprise, don't you think? My own invention of course. I know that you will never love me Saphira, so I have to do what is necessary. You need encouragement and that's what you will get! The spider injected you with lethal poison that will kill you in an hour. Only I have the antidote. All you have to do is say 3 words and I will let you live." Nicolas all but sang whilst smiling at me adoringly.

"I hate you"

Nicolas's expression turned cold, "Then you will die. If I cannot have you, then I am afraid no one will." He turned away from me and blew the soundless whistle again. The spider pricked my arm before it jumped off me and ran into the shadows.

The effects of the poison began to coil around my life force rapidly. My vision waned and I felt feverish. As the world began to fade, my thoughts had turned to Thanatos. I wish I had the strength to save him. I know how ridiculous it sounds- he left me here to die after all- but the feelings I seemed to have unlocked in the dark crevices of my mind filled me with nothing but love.

Nicolas fulfilled the prophecy. I am going to die and the human race will be annihilated.

"Oh look, we have guests. Roan, get Celeste. It is time"

I must have been hallucinating because I swear I saw Aira.

I blinked.

She was fighting a daemon.

I blinked.

Celeste had levitated Aira into the air.

I blinked again, barely opening my eyes this time.

Aira was unconscious.

The ground began to shake violently and the ceiling caved in when a supernova blasted through it. A giant plume of smoke and dust temporarily blinded me. When the dust began to settle, I realized that someone had unchained me and laid me on the floor. My battered head rested on something soft. A warm, calloused hand gently caressed my swollen cheek. Power flowed through my weakened body and I focused on the figure above me. I sighed.

"I hope I'm not too late pumpkin..." a deep baritone voice said.

"I knew you would come Thanatos. My heart wouldn't let me give up hope."

Someone began to clap mockingly, "The star crossed lovers finally reunite. Unfortunately, you are too late."

"I can kill you, Nicolas, irrespective of whether you are immortal or not," Thanatos growled, "I know you have an antidote."

I stared at Nicolas unwaveringly. I was still extremely weak but I cannot afford to let my guard down. I could feel Thanatos' concerned gaze on me and Nicolas saw a golden opportunity.

"NOO!!"

I used the last vestiges of my borrowed strength and threw my arms around Thanatos. Nicolas's cursed blade penetrated my heart. Time seemed to slow down and I drifted slowly to the cool tile floor

The last thing I remember before I died was the grief that was tangible in Thanatos' heartbreaking scream. His power washed over me and I closed my eyes in peace. Shadows slowly obscured my vision but I did not fight it. I was relieved when it finally devoured me one last time.






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