Chapter V

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"Hi, Pandora," I said when I was close enough so nobody else could see us.

"Alynne, I wasn't expecting you." She said as her body started to appear in front of me, but remaining as a blurred image. "Has something happened?" Her voice was still deep and melodic, not affected for the curse yet.

"No, not at all," I walked and came closer to where I thought she was, but the witch was still back to me, taking something from the floor, "but I wanted to know if you could help me with something."

"You know how much I dislike using magic in this place if it's not to defend or heal someone," she laughs.

I looked around. She could be a witch, one of the best ones, but there was always a chance to make a mistake, and if someone saw me with her it could mean the death for both of us. Even in Dreamare it was strange to see two people together, and the two of us were strange enough on our own...

After making sure nobody was around, I spoke to her again. "Why don't you come out? I don't see anybody here and I don't sense any danger either." Her silhouette started to become clearer, but she was still focused on those plants she was taking, and it was after a while that she came up that I could see her again.

Pandora was still as I remember her, with a black and red robe covering her body, a hood above her head and long sleeves to hide the black marks in her arms. Every inch of her pale skin was completely covered, only showing the upper half of her face, as the other half was hidden behind a black scarf.

"Hi," she smiled at me. "How are things in Sel?" To hear the name of my house made me shiver a little for seconds, but I managed to recompose myself and talk about it.

"Still the same, nothing has changed. My parents are still prisoners in the dungeons and no one seems to care about that." My hands turned into fists because of the memories. "But somehow I'll set them free, you can swear it."

"I know, I know," she speaks with a shy smile in her face, "you don't need to worry about it, I am going to help you, as always."

"Thank you, Pandora. It's hard see your own body sleeping under a curse, but at the same time I am happy that you're here with me." I said. And it was true, because she was the only friend I had in Dreamare; the only one that was a real person.

We started to talk about anything to avoid those memories, as none of us wanted to go over those images again. A little bit wasn't a problem, we needed them once in a while to keep our goals in mind, but they could also make us lose power and energies, leaving us weak against Dreamare's beasts.

The shadows were old creatures that used to hide under beds and in the closets, terrorizing children so they could lose their innocence. All those tales I thought were only stories to scary me as a girl became real as soon as I came into that land, inhabitated by the shadowy, meat-eaters ghosts.

Until then, I had been fortunate enough to avoid any injury, for Pandora had told me well that if any of those beasts hurt me in any way, they would all appear in my body the moment I woke up.

Suddendly, we both heard a noise coming from the right side of the forest, turning our heads and trying to see if there was something we didn't see before. The air was still cold, but the night was nearer this time. The sky was now a mix of purples and pinks we were just discovering.

"Something's not right, something's not right," said Padora, walking sideways. Her fingers started to draw different signs in the air, barely moving the rest of her hand, and leaving thin, white lines in the process.I

Just as if thinking would be the same as if calling them to come, two shadows came down the threes. One, a gigant, black snake with feathers around her head, was facing me, and the other, a bear with the head of a hawk, was in front of Pandora.

I took out the daggers hidden under my dress, focusing on the dark beast that started to hiss. Pandora was also drawing different signs with her fingers and whispering old words I couldn't understand, as many red light circles started to appear arund her arms.

Fighting wasn't something I would enjoy, despite I knew it was mandatory to survive. Pandora thought otherwise. I could even see the ghost of a smile in her face when I turned my head towards her.

"You already know, no mistakes," she told me, without losing sight of the corpulent creature she would fight.

"I know..." If I liked it or nor wasn't important. I tried to focus my mind and think only in how to end it soon, with as little mistakes as I could. "But you will help me after this."

"Deal," was all she said.

My skills were good, I knew how to do it properly, but it still was a nonsense, even somewhat degrading, but that land didn't leave any other choice.

My skills were good, I knew how to do it properly, but it still was a nonsense, even somewhat degrading, but that land didn't leave any other choice

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