༺ XXVII ༻

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꧁༺࿅ིཽ• -- •❈• -- •࿅ིཽ༻꧂

⊹⊱ Mingxia ⊰⊹

     "Come now, Mingxia. Don't be so downtrodden, you have company after all," Cerai commented, throwing me into an icy cage. He had wasted no time throwing me in as soon as we arrived. However, I wasn't prepared to see Ariella and Cellisse sitting in the prison with me.

Their lips were tinged with blue, as they shivered uncontrollably. How long had they been in here? Avians were not meant to withstand cold temperatures; it was amazing that they were still alive. It would force them to lose their feathers and prevent them from shifting ever again. How could he do something like this to his own people?

"Let them out, they have nothing to do with this. It's me you want," I demanded, fighting back the persistent chatter that tickled my teeth.

"If I were to let them out, they would ruin the rest of the plan."

"And what exactly is that plan?"

He clicked his tongue at me in disapproval over something that I was not yet aware of. "Shen—, no Fang Mingxia, daughter to the adoptive humans Shen Guiying and Shen Jingyi of the village of Shangzihua. Village yaoguai." The word rolled off his tongue in a menacing hiss, threatening to rouse the caged dragon within me but that's all it ever amounted to. She lingered just below my subconscious, never able to fully ascend and take control of my body due to the freezing temperatures.

"However, you're not a yaoguai! You're the Last Celestial! You're purer than anything in the Realm of Naestrirea. Such power and potential and yet you do not know how to use it properly," he continued.

"You don't know anything about me or my parents."

"I know only the important pieces, young Mingxia. I have been around far longer than you, I have seen things that even your mate's father hasn't seen."

"Vermin. You're nothing but vermin. You were his friend! How could you betray the Crown so easily? And now you stand before me speaking of him with no respect."

"He was a weak man. It is true that the Tarot is not something that should be toyed with. The Tarot are more than pure energy and power, they're symbols. Cards like Fourth Major Arcana are too volatile even for the King of the Dragons to wield."

"And how do you know about the Tarot's true meaning?"

"He's a fool," Ariella muttered. Despite being cold, she somehow managed to shoot a deathly glare at the avian. "And a liar."

I couldn't help but blink in confusion; I couldn't understand what they were hinting at. When it was clear that I was unable to deduce the hidden message, Cellisse came forward, her voice as quiet as a shrew. "Cerai has formed a contract with The World and Judgment of the Major Arcana."

"How is that possible? Hena ensured that no being could bond with more than one Tarot. The darkness would be—"

"Overwhelming?" Cerai interrupted. "Yes, well aside from its constant murmuring in my mind, it is nothing compared to what I will achieve." Both of his eyes glowed like the night sky, and black like the void.

"Whatever you wish to achieve will not be accomplished by the Tarot. Surely you understand that after hearing what happened to Liwei's Father," I replied. "What could you possibly want so much that you'd be willing to jeopardize the lives of your offspring, country, and the Realm?"

A Celestial Requiem (Book 1, The Secrets of Tarot series) ✔Where stories live. Discover now