Sleep did not come easily in this place. There was no day or night, which was exceedingly frustrating to Cerise. The wolf within her itched to be released so that she could explore, allowing her legs to run as fast as she could, as far away as she could get.
For once, Cerise was glad to have the wolf. It was a fierce, predator-like side that was actually comforting in this dangerous place. She got up from her bed, opening the door quietly as she slipped out.
Everyone was antsy, hating how confining it was to be within the stone walls. But Cerise suffered the most, having only ever lived in a forest where she could roam as she pleased. Granted, she had lived in a cave, but she could always leave the cave whenever she wished. The castle she could not.
They had not been brought before Madame Rose since their initial encounter. Everything about her made Cerise wish to both snarl and flee. She was no ordinary human, that was the only fact she was certain about. Well, that and the fact that Denthlire could turn deadly.
Aura had staggered back inside the castle the night before, the fear and resignation all that Cerise needed to know that Denthlire was all she had imagined. When she went to bed at night--her eyes fastened on the mural above her head--she could hear the mournful howls and piercing shrieks that seemed to echo through the empty and forlorn castle.
Whatever creatures prowled through Denthlire were creatures that were no longer in Allegora for a reason. It was the dumping ground for all evil, and those that managed to survive the first day were not the sort of creatures Cerise had any intention of meeting.
Wandering through the halls, her muscles tired from training, Cerise stopped to inspect the engravings. They were everywhere, invading each and every part of the lonely castle.
Some told stories from Allegora, stories Cerise's father had used to tell her. Of the dragon who had betrayed her kind to tell the mages of their plan to destroy Allegora with fire and ice, or of the dwarf king who had set out to conquer Allegora, but was thwarted by the elf princess who had just inherited the throne. Cerise's favorite had always been the story of how the mages first began.
Before Allegora was turned into a thriving country, it was constantly bathed in the blood of countless creatures. It was the battlefield for many a war.
One day, a Seer dragon flew over the land and noticed how the land was red from so much carnage. Alighting, it took in the landscape and noticed that it would make a beautiful kingdom. Then came the vision, the vision of all creatures, both magical and not, living in harmony.
Evoking a spell that shook the universe, the blood was removed from the land, forming the first mages.
These new and powerful beings were the first to turn the wasteland into a habitable place; Allegora. The Seer, known as Lyol, ordered that the mages protect Allegora, making it a safe haven for all. As news spread of the new land that was inhabited by new and strange people, others flocked to it, thus bringing about the true birth of both mages and Allegora. With those mages were created humans, lesser mages with no magical abilities.
Cerise trailed a hand along the engraving for the story, marveling at the size of Lyol. Dragons had long since disappeared from Allegora, though there were whispered rumors of sightings.
The Ancient Ones, the very first of the dragons, were said to live deep underground or so high up that their wings would graze the stars. Of course, no one knew for sure because no one had actually ever seen one. They were only stories, and even the stories differed from person to person.
"Studying the carvings? You are the first to do so in over a millennium, besides me, of course." Cerise whirled around, heart hammering in her chest. Pan was standing there, hands folded across his chest. He always appeared so silently. Cerise didn't doubt that he had considered slitting her throat on more than one occasion. She definitely had herself.
YOU ARE READING
"Have you ever heard Red Riding Hood howl at the moon?" When Cerise, Verre, Blanca, and Aura are captured and forced to complete a near impossible task, it seems certain that their loved ones' lives are as good as over. "Or seen Cinderella kill a m...