The Ceremony

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My soundly slumber was broken by the sound of bells. Church bells. They echoed through the silent corridors and eventually hummed at my bedroom. I had been around 5 days since I had arrived at the Kingdom and already I feel at home. The gentle knocking of a door made my head crane upwards, my long hair draping over my face like curtains. "Can I come in? It's Melissa." I sighed in relief as I agreed to her entry. She bowed at my presence, her ginger hair falling out of place. "Am I late for something?" I asked, my eyes adjusting the bright light piercing through my curtains. She smiled. "No, it's just the ceremony bells. They basically tell everyone to get ready and head down. We have a special ceremony today!" I cocked my head to the side in confusion, dragging my legs over the linen of my bed. Melissa beamed as she bowed like I was some sort of royalty. "It's your testing, Aurora. We need you looking perfect for this."

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The dress I wore was extravagant. Ebony fabric hugged every curve in my sculpted body. Intricate lace bordered the huge skirt and Daemona was engraved within its elegant tassels. I brought the hood towards my face, hanging it loosely so it wouldn't obstruct my porcelain features. My hair, once brushed, was like pastel silk. It cascaded down my back like a waterfall. "Come on, Aurora." Melissa called, "The King would want to see you."

Whispers poured into my ears as the detailed door was gradually opened. The ruins were shrouded in darkness and had some sort of bridge connected to a circle. Ancient Astrali and Daemona symbols were engraved in the stone, slightly glowing a dim white. The high ceilings swallowed all of the sound coming from the immense crowd lined up in the seats above us. "Who is that?"
"Is she the one everyone has been talking about?"
"I don't trust her."
Angels and Demons alike stood within these spectator seats, overlooking us like predator and prey in a full circle. They wore white dresses and suits if they were Angels and midnight gowns if they were Demons. "Here we go..."

The low mumbles of the shrine slowly came to a halt as the sound the door cut through the noise. Whipping my head around, I saw a man dressed in ebony robes, white details swirling within its fabric. His hood hung low so his face was covered in darkness. Melissa, who had followed me, got one knee at the sight of him. The spectators did so as well, the moving of dresses and suits creating a chorus of noise. Shadows coiled around his body like snakes, one tendril resting within his palm. After a couple of seconds, they stood. Caleb spoke in Daemona to him.

"My Lord, we have someone you would like to meet." Caleb said confidently, his r's rolling off his tongue. The King merely smiled beneath his hood, his teeth shining through the shadows. The dull glow of scarlet eyes stopped my breathing for a few seconds. "It can't No, it's not. Don't think that."

We stood in the middle of the circle, symbols glowing beneath my feet. The King cut me off from my thoughts, dismissing Caleb and Melissa. He got straight to the point. "There's something strange about you, Aurora." he spoke, so quietly that nobody else could hear it. "It's familiar and yet so different. Are you sure you are a Demon? You are very powerful from what I've heard." I quickly nodded, regretting that I hadn't admitted to my Angel powers to anyone. Suddenly, shadows wrapped around the King, lifting him up into the air like he was a feather. They contorted to form steps, leading him towards a seat within the spectator area. A smirk crept upon his covered face. Daemona spilled from his lips. "Let's see how powerful you really are. Summon!"

All of the Demons in the room lifted their hands and a giant warping mass of shadows spun at least 10 metres away from me. They twisted into the shapes of people, growing limbs of darkness. Once the transformation was complete, there were at least 20 shadow figures staring at me with their blank faces. "What is this?!" The King called down from his grand seat. "Kill them Aurora. Use your shadows." "They are only shadows..."

My breath lifted in the bitter air as the world around me froze in time. Vibrations pulsed within my porcelain fingers as I felt the shadows grow around me, gasps pouring in from the sheer size of the tendrils. "Oh Gods have mercy!" I heard someone say. The blue in my eyes shifted to a blazing red and fangs crept onto my perfect smile, my horns curling around my head. " I can be as brutal as I would like...."

I thrusted my hand out and the tendrils flew at the shadows, piercing them like skewers with a deafening crack. Stares of shock burned into my body, the obsidian robes still on my skin despite the shift. I didn't notice at first but normally it would be replaced with my normal shadow dress. Something about it wasn't right.

Within a couple of seconds, all of the shadow people dropped to the cold floor, the bodies dissolving within the stone and retracting back to their creators. I shifted back and stared at the King with cold eyes.

Silence clogged the thick air of the ruins.

"I'm done." I mumbled. A laugh broke the silence as I continued to look at the hooded man. Shadows quickly wrapped around him as he descended to my level, his hood still intact after all of his movements. White fangs shone from his smile. "You are all dismissed!" He called in English, the spectators quickly exiting the ruins. "It's just you and me now, Aurora." Discomfort writhed through my body at the comment.

Suddenly, he cupped his hand around my face, his pale thumb stroking my cheek. He angled his head towards me and showed off his scarlet eyes. "Do you know who I am?" He whispered in Daemona. "Amnesia doesn't really help here." I shook my head, his hand still around me. "Let me introduce myself then, Aurora..." He lifted his hood, the light shining onto his familiar face.

"I'm your father."

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