Chapter X

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The sound of running water helped a lot to relax and forget about the madness and pandemonium we had lived hours ago. So did the light games of the sunset on the vegetation and water inside of what was left of the building.

I was laying inside a little lake, surrounded by flowers and mushrooms, keeping my mind focused on the endless song the water sang near to my ears, slowly sliding into a dream, dancing at the very edge of consciousness, while my dirty clothes were drying next to me under the sunlight.

As soon as we found something to eat the last night, we fell asleep, the three of us feeling like almost dying because of everything that had happened. And that had been the kind of rest we needed: to practically die and resurrect at sunrise. There had been nothing in my dreams that alarmed me, only same images as before, the day when I was cursed, replaying again and again.

When I woke up, still trying to catch my breath, I saw Pandora far enough of Wiese and I, cooking what appeared to be two squirrels and a small bird in an improvised campfire. "Good morning," she said with a smile, "it's almost midday, seems we were really tired." I couldn't but agree with her.

When the three animals were ready to serve, my friend said she had already eaten something and wanted to check a library that looked promising. As a witch, she was always searching for new spells, new knowledge. The idea of lost books in a ruined library, located in a dark world, should have been very tempting and juicy for her to refuse.

I wasn't interested in those kind of situations, but I couldn't deny the romanticism, much less after looking at the appearance of the place, now under the light of day. Almost all of it was covered in plants vines, white and purple flowers, many mushrooms on the edges, and a stream of fresh air blowing in our direction, bringing with it the scent of roses and sandalwood.

I had forgotten when was the last time I had a little time for myself, to relax, rest and recover from all the fights and daily carnage to survive. To be in silence, with nothing around that tried to kill me, made me realize how much I missed the days when everything was simpler, when all I had to do were my classes, diplomatic travels and social balls.

The music, the food, the comfort, the calm... The warmth of my mother's hugs, the wisdom of my father's words... I wiped the tears that started running down my cheeks. I could break, not yet, not until I were free and could feel again Sel's wind in my face.

It was one of those moments when I realized that I missed my home more often than I would want to admit even to myself. Despite I tried not to let my emotion to take control of me, it was a chimera I couldn't run from, no matter how much I tried...

I came out of the water, shivering when the fresh wind of the morning caressed my naked skin for the first time, and sat down on a rock, waiting for the sun rays to dry the water that was dripping from my body.

It had been a long time since I felt that exposed, that relaxed and vulnerable. It was even harder to remember when was the last time that I didn't need to be a killing machine, a wild princess that was covered in blood most of the time.

The landscape helped me to forget about all of those things, making my mind focus on the marvels Mother Nature had done in such a dangerous and mortal land. Countless hills formed in the distance, as the ground bent, giving me to understand that we were on mountainous terrain. There were not as many trees as before, this was a zone barely decorated by something else beside the high grass, emerald green, and many white rocks as the one I was sitting in.

Beside me, an incomplete ark was covered by plants vines with roses and dahlias, contrasting with the almost colorless wall, which lead to a wounded hallway with arks as the first one and broken stained glass windows.

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