Section l: The Rise - Chapter 13 • The Horizon

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"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." -Arthur Ashe

12:06AM, March 26th, 2013

Boston, Massachusetts

It seems I come to this make or break decisions a lot more than your average person. True, your average Joe don't live past one hundred years, but even so, my road of life has too many forks. I impatiently bounced my leg as I sat on the edge of the bed, debating everything one last time, making sure each choice was exactly what it should be. As I took a deep breath, ready to make that final decision, there was a knock at the door.

"God damn it." I whispered to myself while I stood to answer.

Valkyrie stood on the other side, a blue fire in her eyes. She crossed her arms while she wordlessly stood there.

She sighed. "So, I take it you won't be going to the plant tonight?"

I glanced down to the ring resting in my hand, then looked back at her. "I'm sorry to disappoint you."

Before she had any time to place a bitchy comment, I slammed the door in her face and locked it, then let my back slide down the cold wood. I stared down the ring as the moon reflected off of its worn silver paint. Everything I've gone through in the past few days, the love I've found, the tears I've fought, it all rests in those three skulls lined up on a row, carved into an ancient ring.

I love Viona. There is no doubt, I love her with all my heart, but I can't live a lie. Viona, if you are really listening to my thoughts, taking away any security I had, know that I loved you years ago, and still do. Know I will always want you, but I can't live with you. I dropped the ring, and listened to it bounce on the chilling, dark oak floors. I'm sorry.

A deep breath went in my mouth, and as it left, I pulled my lighter from my pocket, the card right under it. In the silence, that even lacked the whistle of the wind, I lit the edge of the card, memorized by the way it burned. It was slow, unlike normal paper. The edge showed a glowing gold color, one I couldn't help but associate with Colton.

The last bit of the card disappeared, and as the final flakes fell to the ground, the shadow of a woman appeared in front of me. I examined her smiling face, making sure I didn't miss one flawless inch. She was beautiful, but not my type. More so, someone I'd like to have as a sister figure.

She had long, dark brown hair that worked its way into a braid. A stray piece of hair fell in between her silver eyes, along with a strand of beads that hung from her gold headdress. Several gold earrings pierced her pointy ears, and a beautiful, gold accent ran under her right eye. Her eyeliner was sharp, drawn out with wings, and her lips were a glossy tan. A snake looking tattoo peeked out on the upper portion of her arm, but it was mostly hidden by a support band, one that archers use. She sweetly smiled as she offered me her hand.

"Hi! I'm Bell, and I'm a part of the Shepherds."

Damn, she was hyper, but I like her. I grabbed onto her hand, and instantly realized she was much stronger than she looked. Bell yanked me up, forcing me to fall into her a bit.

"You ever been teleported anywhere?" She asked.

I had to swallow down a lump in my throat. "Can't say that I have."

Bell giggled. "Don't worry. It will be over like that."

She snapped her fingers, and no matter how terrified I was of a magical being playing pinball with my molecules, she was right.

5:15AM, 26 March 2013

Hexham, Northumberland, United Kingdom

I opened my shaky eyes to see a sun breaking the horizon, and a castle like structure towering over me. It looked similar to a Cathedral, but we're much too unholy to step foot in one of those. Bell released her grip on my hand so she could become my bubbly tour guide. She stepped a few feet in front of me and turned her back to the building, spreading her arms out like a sales man.

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