Fade - Chapter 18

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The snow bursts around them in beautiful flurries of light. The air is peaceful, and the aura of the world seems quiet, as if mourning the leaves that fell long ago.

"You know where we're going, yes?"

"Of course. I used to visit this spot often."

One can only imagine what the area will hold, now... as they continue walking along the whitening ground.

"I see."

As they step through the balcony of skeletal trees, the dead wooded forest seems to still breathe a life that should've laid dormant centuries ago. The blackened wood twists up in gnarled knots and cadences... giving the impression of death and decay. Yet they walk through the ominous forest of fallen trees and broken branches, their minds still thinking of what may lay ahead in the path.

The forest grows darker as they walk, the wood seemingly closing in on their bodies, encasing them in suffocating darkness. There are bones of deer and elk on the ground, half buried among the dead moths and butterflies, with their wings eaten off by the beetles who still mingle.

Ciel draws closer to Sebastian, looking upwards through the ever-thickening canopy of leafless branches and fog. The path grows narrower as it continues... though looking back, it seems the same through and through. Ciel grabs Sebastian's arm, looking back frequently as he stumbles along.

"S-Seba- ah!"

He exclaims, tripping on an overgrown branch.

"Watch your step. And keep an eye out... we don't know who or what could be lurking in the shadows."

The boy nods slightly, watching as the sharp and angular branches close in behind them, blocking them from going back.

"I-is that-"

"Yes. It's fine. We'll still be able to leave."

Sebastian takes a step forward, muttering the words he hopes will not be heard,

"I hope."

They continue to walk through the dark, their eyes adjusting to the thick atmosphere. The path widens once more, leading out to a snowless circle surrounded by moss and greenery, the ground stained black with nothing growing inside. There are thorny branches rising up around the area, doming at the top to form a roof.

"Where are we?"

Ciel whispers, his breath shaking slightly. Sebastian continues to walk towards the circle as the boy follows, almost tripping again to catch up. Sebastian's aura grows darker, his fists clenching tightly; knuckles white.

He doesn't respond right away, opting to stop at the edge of the soil, breathing in in a deep sigh.

"This is where I- we all... used to go to..."

He breathes in again, his breath shaking slightly.

"to feast."

He finishes, his voice sounding deep and animalistic; full of an anger Ciel does not understand. Ciel wants to reach out to Sebastian... to grab his coat and turn him around, but he cannot help but admit that he is afraid of the elder demon.

Through he reaches out still, his small hand fisting in the black fabric.

"S-Sebastian..."

He says,

"are you-"

"I'm fine."

Sebastian replies, his voice firm yet gentle.

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