Chapter XXX

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"What do you mean? Do you live here, Wiese?" I asked them looking at the place. It was completely in ruins, and not like the ones where Pandora found her book, which was always floating around her.

All of the buildings were covered in grey dust, the structures were collapsing, and the streets were more like freshly done wounds on the ground than anything else. The whole environment felt oppressive, like a giant trap.

"Not anymore," they said, completely terrified. "I was cast out of this place, I cannot be in here, please, let's go." Wiese took me by the hand and tried to make me move, but before I did anything, Pandora got ahead of me.

"Wiese, there's nothing else we can do. The spell took us here, and something needs to be done. Also, remember we said you'd return to your house, you've already been through a lot of danger." She tried to speak as calm as possible when she knelt to look at them..

"Yes, your parents will be very worried about you." I said, but another, different voice cut me off.

"I have no child to miss, such a disgusting creature didn't come from my womb!"

Wiese's face paled at the sound of that voice, paralyzing in the act. I stepped forward in an instinctive act, only to meet a woman in rags, her face stained with soot and mud, gray hair matted on her head and cracked skin. Her entire body was battered, almost skeletal, and she walked slightly stooped.

"Take that thing out of my sight and I'll spare your lives!" She shouted pointing a dirty finger to us. Pandora had taken a step forward, right in front of Gail, who was looking at the woman with fear in her eyes.

"Answer this and only this, woman," said my friend. "The child with the name of Wiese was born from your blood and from your husband's? Does the same blood run through the veins of the three of you?"

"There was a time when I had a child with that name," responded the woman, whose voice had attracted the attention of other villagers.

"Alynne, let's go, please," Wiese begged behind me in the lowest voice they could, but I kept listening to the woman.

"But that child is not mine anymore!" Said the woman with total anger in her eyes.

"Why?" Pandora wasn't drawing any rune, but the book was uneasy, spinning around her in a psychotic way.

"I gave birth to a child, not an abortion of nature that claims to have no gender. Such a despicable thing did not come out of me and will not set foot on this decent land again!"

My and searched for Wiese's, who was already in tears, trembling like never before. "Let's... go... please." It was all they said. However, I wouldn't leave things like that.

"I think you owe your child an apology. After that, you will know nothing about us anymore."

"We owe nothing to that creature! Get out of my city!" Someone shoot a gun to us, but the book interposed between the bullet and us, opening and creating an invisible shield in time. "A witch? Is there a witch in your group?" Asked a man, the same that spoke before. "Get out already and never come back with that piece of garbage!"

He was walking behind the woman, dressed in the same way and covered in mud and blood, just like her. My mind told me it was her husband. So these are Wiese's parents.

"You shouldn't have done that, man, as we've done nothing!" Shouted Pandora, clenching her fists.

"Do you think that insulting our face, all of our town, the entire neighborhood and remembering us the shame of this thing is nothing at all?!" The man practically spat the words. I just listened stunned, keeping myself in front of Wiese, just like Pandora remained in front of Gail. "This is a crime! You can not leave now that you have caused the disgrace of my entire family, a pair of heretic prostitutes! We will not allow it!"

I looked around and saw at least ten people, all, of them with sticks, stones, and only one with a long knife. The situation, despite completely insane, was ridiculous!

"And you are dump enough to insult and threaten a witch," said Pandora. Her voice was different this time, and when I saw her, noticed that all of her skin was green and had some scales covering certain zones.

I could detail her any more because she ran right to the man. Instinctively, I took Gail and used the little magical knowledge I had to invoke a shield, although Pandora's book had stayed with us. Everything happened very fast from there.

Pandora threw the man to the floor with a simple gesture of hands, just as she did with the woman, and although a corner of me writhed at the thought that they were older people, Wiese's parents, I knew I couldn't regret what was happening. Not after what I had heard.

I wanted to participate, to do something, but needed a sword, my daggers, arrows and a bow, any kind of weapon, but there was none to be seen. However, the two crying kids in my arms, protected by an invisible shield and a book from the shoots and blows, only needed someone to be with them, especially Wiese, who was shaking uncontrollably.

The next time I looked at Pandora, she had knocked down both adults, and her skin was completely covered in green scales. I could even see some snakes in her hair, but it was her voice which surprised me the must, which didn't even sound human.

"The clock will stop from now on. Both your hearts will start to rust. What was alive will be no more. Hearts of stone, take control and spread my words!"

As soon as she finished saying the spell, both the man and the woman started to turn into stone, and hen they were only statues, the rest of the villagers, those who were still around the kids and me, started to transform as well.

Neither Gail nor Wiese poked their heads out, and she was sure it was because of the terror that the whole scene caused them just by listening to it, and I could not blame them. For the first time, looking at the eyes of Pandora, which were red then, made me feel afraid.

 For the first time, looking at the eyes of Pandora, which were red then, made me feel afraid

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