A Witch's Love

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A Witch's Love

Post by Cross on Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:03 am

It was midday in a Kingdom far away from the Vallies. The sun was high in the sky, and fluffy white clouds sometimes covered the bright star's light, offering a temporary reprieve from the heat of the afternoon. On the porch of her home sat a blond haired woman with bright, serene blue eyes, peeling the outer leave off of unbloomed flower buds and separating them into bowls. The table she sat at was round and small, only meant for two people to be able to sit at. Since it was a beautiful day out, she'd supposed she'd spend it outside rather than indoors. It gave her a chance to talk with her neighbors as well, should they have ever left their homes. It wasn't like their houses would grant any kind of relief though. The heat penetrated everywhere, which was why Serenity had a small rag next to her on the table. She wiped her forehead with it when she saw someone approaching the steps of her home. It was a tall man with short purple hair and matching eyes. Dressed in all regal white clothes with blue lining, Serenity surely thought this man was a sight to see. She quickly stood from the table after wiping her hands and bowed low. "Your majesty," she addressed with a smile.

The man had a very charming smile. "Please stand up, Lady Healer, I'm not your majesty yet." When Serenity rose, her blue eyes were curious, and the Prince addressed her unspoken question. "I hear a lot about you, but I haven't yet had the chance to come speak with you. How long have you been in the Kingdom?" he questioned.

"Only a few months, sire." The Prince's smile made her blush lightly.

"You're making quite a splash in this little pond, you know."

"I'd hardly call this kingdom little," she muttered. When he chuckled, she bowed her head in embarrassment. She hadn't meant to say that aloud.

"Can I invite you to the castle for dinner later? My father would like to meet you."

Serenity's head shot up with her eyes wide. "M-me? Why?" She took a step back. "I didn't do anything wrong, did I? I just was helping those who came to me," she said with a frown, her eyes reflecting a bit of fear.

"Ahah, calm down Lady Healer, you've done nothing wrong," he chuckled. "People say that your medical skills are beyond even my father's doctor, and he's curious about you and your past." When he saw her frown deepen, his own facial expression became a small frown. "Is something wrong with that?"

Serenity fervently shook her head. "N-no sire, not at all," she said quickly with another bow.

The Prince smiled. "Good. And before dinner, I have a request of my own." When Serenity stood and tilted her head, she was a bit taken aback by the warmth of his gaze. "Would you join me for lunch?" He seemed a bit nervous, and the fact that Serenity looked shocked by this request and didn't answer made him even moreso. "E-er, perhaps I was too forward...I don't even know your name, Lady Healer. May I be graced to hear it?"

Blue eyes blinked several times. "It's Serenity," she said softly. "I'm...afraid I don't know your name either, Prince."

The purple haired man walked up to Serenity and took her hand to his mouth as he bowed lightly. "And graced I am, it seems." He straightened back up. "Amyric. Just, Amyric," he smiled.

Serenity smiled. This man was handsome, moreso than any other man she'd met in the kingdom thusfar. "Well Prince Amyric, I'd be delighted to go to lunch with you. Just tell me when, and I-"

"Right now," he said promptly.

Serenity blinked in surprise. "Right now?" Amyric nodded. "I...well, um...I'd love to go right now, but I'd much rather change into something more...appropriate."

"Appropriate for what? It's only lunch," he smiled.

"Lunch with a prince," she corrected.

The purple haired prince shook his head. "Lunch with a new friend," he chuckled. When Serenity opened her mouth to speak, he held up his hand and interrupted her. "Don't argue, just put your things in your home and come to lunch with me."

Serenity couldn't help but smile. This man was exceedingly confident, but not entirely unkind. Deciding to just go with the flow, the blond healer nodded. "Alright. I'll be right back out," she said, quickly taking her things inside.

_______________


"Haven't you been here before?" Amyric smiled happily at the look of awe on Serenity's face when they approached the brightly lit part of town. All the lights were powered not by fire, but by this strange new invention called electricity. It had come to the Kingdom from not too far away, through trade, and it didn't flicker and wave like fire did, and it was so incredibly bright.

The blue eyed woman shook her head, her mouth hanging open in excitement. "No, I haven't...it's so bright, and without even any help from the sun or fire," she said. When she reached up to touch one of the closer ones, she quickly pulled her hand back with a light yelp of pain. "O-ow!" Putting her finger in her mouth, she gave a small look of pain. "But it's sure as hot as the sun," she huffed, to which the Prince heartily laughed, giving an apologetic smile when Serenity glared at him. Taking her hand, Amyric lightly blew on her finger before kissing it softly, trying not to chuckle. "Would you like to go get something to put on the burn? I could take you to the castle and the doctor there could take care of it," he offered with a smile.

Serenity shook her head softly, giving a smile. "I have something at home for burns." When the prince gave an embarrassed smile, the young woman giggled.

Amyric's face lit up. "You have a beautiful laugh," he smiled.

Serenity blushed, but smiled softly, taking the Prince's arm fondly. It had been less than seven days since the two had met, but not one of those days passed without them spending time together. The blond immortal thought she might've found a second love after all these centuries. "So my Prince, did you take me just to see the lights?"

Amyric looked mock offended at her question. "Think not so little of me fair healer lady, I would not drag you into this part of town at night if I hadn't a safe and beautiful place to bring you as well. Of course, the beauty of this place pales in comparison to yours," he chuckled. When Serenity rolled her eyes, he took her arm in his and started walking with a smile.

_______________

At midday, a brown haired girl in a priestess' robe wandered the streets, and caught the Prince just as he was heading towards the blond lady's house. "Excuse me, your highness," she called hastily, running up to catch him. He looked at her with curiosity.

"Ah, Juliana, right?" When she nodded, Amyric, continued with a small smile. "Is there something I can assist you with? It's not another patron bothering you, is it?" When the brunette shook her head, the Prince was surprised. Normally she would blush at his smiling words or be embarrassed. Now he knew something was serious. "What is it then?"

Juliana reached into one of the pockets of the robe and pulled out a folded piece of paper, quickly unfolding it. "There's been another witch sighting, your highness," she said gravely.

The Prince quickly snatched the paper. "What? Another one?" When he looked at it, he nearly dropped it in shock. It was a sketching of Serenity. His Serenity. "This is incorrect," he told her immediately.

"No sire, there's many people in the village who say she's using witchcraft and disguising it as simple medicine," she protested, shaking her head.

"No, I know this woman. She's kind, and she does nothing witch-like in the slightest," he refuted.

The priestess was silent for a few moments. "Your highness...you are in love with this witch?" The moment she saw the look in his eyes, she knew her fears had been true. He was in love with that blond woman, and not in love with her. She had prayed for forgiveness every night since thinking about doing this, and she would not stop now. "She has only just been here, your highness. Not nearly long enough for someone to fall so deeply in love with her as you are. She has tricked you, and used her witchcraft to gain your heart, sire..." When he shook his head, his eyes wide in disbelief, she continued. "Yes, your highness, you know why people would want to do something like that. She wishes to rule over your country."

"I-I've seen no magic of her," he spoke hoarsely.

Juliana would have never guessed that the Prince was in this deep. She was almost starting to feel bad for doing this to him, but it was for the sake of the love she had for him. "She kept the magic out of sight. How else would she achieve what you feel now? Sire, she is a witch, and she will light a new day by the end of this one. It's my duty to make sure witches are not running rampant through your kingdom."

Aymric's shoulders fell, his eyes still wide with disbelief and anger. Juliana had never been wrong before. Serenity was a witch. She had tricked him and tried to use him.

_______________

A crowd was gathered in the center of the Kingdom, where the executions normally took place. Instead of a guillotine, however, there was a cross with a woman tied tight to it. The blond hair that fell to her waist was messy and she'd been put in a dirty white dress, her blue eyes filled with tears as she saw her purple haired prince in the front lines of the crowd along with the brown haired priestess. The cross was high upon a blood-stained stone stage, with three steps leading up on each of the four sides.

Amyric's eyes were filled with pain and regret at seeing her like this, but he had to be here, to keep his kingdom strong. "Is the cloth gag really necessary?" he asked Juliana quietly, but so she could hear him over the roars and curses of the villagers.

"Yes your highness, it is. The curses she could spew could end your life in just a second," she told him, her eyes cold on the 'witch', while the shouts around her screamed to set the wood ablaze. "Burn her!" One called. "Burn the witch!" Called another.

The Prince ground his teeth as he tried not to shake. He didn't want this. His head bowed, he walked slowly to the stage and up the steps to Serenity, whose eyes pleaded with him for release. Amyric's hand slowly trailed down the side of her face and to the back of her neck where he wrapped his hand around her hair. His other hand was pulling out a knife, his eyes downcast with tears rolling down them. Closing his eyes, he swiped the blade and cut her hair off. He couldn't look at the shock and hurt and fear on her face. Instead, he tossed the disembodied hair to the side and off the stage to the cheer of the crowd. "I'm sorry," he choked out. He turned and walked back to Juliana's side to the sound of Serenity's muffled cries of resistance and pleading.

Juliana raised her hand towards the witch as the sun began setting. "The accused before us stands guilty of the crime of witchcraft! What shall be her punishment?!" She spoke over the roar of the crowd, who immediately began chanting "Burn her!" Some individuals preferred other methods. "Behead her!" "Bring her to the gallows!!" When it was established that most of the villagers preferred burning, the Prince's head bowed. Beside them a villager was lighting a torch. Another was at the stage, pouring oil over the wood that had just been thrown at the base of the cross. Serenity was fervently shaking her head in denial, tears flowing from her eyes as she tried to scream her plea. "The kingdom had decided your punishment, witch! Your sins will be cleansed and your soul purified by the flames of the cross, so that you may never plague another human being with your trickery and evil!!" Taking the torch from the villager, Juliana handed it towards the Prince. He immediately stepped back.

"N-no...I can't do it," he said quietly, shaking his head with the tears still in his eyes. He couldn't kill her.

"Your highness, you must, this is for your kingdom! She has tricked you with her spells, and you must be the one to eradicate her from the world!" When the Prince still refused, Juliana pursed her lips. "Would you have her live then? Would you allow a witch to live so she can trick you more and take over your kingdom and turn it into a dark wasteland? Would you have it, Prince?!"

Amyric's eyes widened lightly and he began shaking. He couldn't. He took another step back. "I won't burn her," he choked out.

The priestess' eyes narrowed and she turned with her white robe fluttering behind her. She went to the base of the stage and threw the torch forward. "Your judgement shall light a new day!"

The crowd cheered at Serenity's screams, but after a few minutes, when they realized that her body was not burning, they all fell to awed silence, only broken by the cries of the witch in front of them. The tears that were coming from her eyes were quickly being licked up by the red flames that were the only light in the square. Amyric's eyes were wide with horror. She really was a witch. But...that didn't stop the fact that he loved her. If she had cast a spell on him, it had not broken. His jaw trembled and tears started from his eyes as he took Juliana's arm. "That's enough. The fire isn't working," he said, his voice thick. "Take her down."

Juliana shook her head. "The fire always works. This is another trick, your highness," she said. "She wants us to take her down, so she can escape us."

"Then make it so she can't escape, I don't care, I said take her down!" He couldn't take this. It was torture. She was...Wait. She wasn't screaming anymore. Amyric's head quickly turned to look at Serenity, as did everyone else's. The blond woman's head was bowed and she had fallen silent. Amyric couldn't see it so well through the flames, but he thought her eyes were closed. The purple haired prince suddenly felt weak. Was she...dead? He swallowed. "I-is she...?"

Juliana shook her head. "No. We can't be sure. We'll send her to the depths!" she cried after turning to the crowd. "She'll burn until morning, and then we tie her to a rock and send her back where she came from!" At this, the crowd cheered, as the priestess picked out men from the crowd to keep watch in shifts, to make sure the witch didn't escape.

_______________

When the morning came, Juliana was the first to get to the square. It was two hours before sunrise, and the fire had burnt out, but still Serenity showed no signs of having ever been on fire. Juliana's eyes narrowed. She'd never truly thought the woman was a witch, but now she knew. There was no more doubt. She sent two of the guards off to get rope as she walked to the cross. The gag that had been in the blond witch's mouth had burnt all up and had fallen off her. Her face was blackened with soot and ash in certain spots, and her hair was raggedly cut. Juliana glared at the poor creature. "This is what you get, you know. You're evil trash, scum, trying to win over the Prince's heart by using witchcraft," she spat. "He deserves better than a filthy witch. You'll never harm another with your evil again, do you hear me witch?!" Juliana brought the back of her hand against Serenity's face with a force enough to ring through the mostly empty area. The brown haired priestess' eyes widened and she took a step back at the coldness that was in the now opened eyes of the witch. They were filled with malice, and very suddenly Juliana feared for her life.

"I am no witch," she hissed quietly. "But your whole kingdom will burn for doing this to me," she promised, tears starting from her eyes, making clear trails through the ash that darkened her face. The blue orbs that glared at the priestess were shining with tears and hate. Hate for them all. For humans, for this priestess...and for the prince. He could have stopped this, but he'd allowed her to burn. He'd allowed her pain and suffering, and for what? Because she'd helped the people of this village by healing their wounded and sick? "You should go say goodbye to your family, priestess," she said with a shaking voice. The woman before her's eyes were wide with fear. "Oh, and priestess," Serenity called quietly when she turned away. The priestess stopped in her tracks, but didn't look back. "The Prince will never be yours."

Juliana's eyes widened and she started shaking lightly before she called a guard over. "She's awake, gag her quickly, before she utters out any spells to destroy us," she ordered in a panic, to which the guard obediently obliged.

It wasn't another hour until villagers started showing up, but there were not nearly as many as the night before. Another half an hour until light peeked from the horizon. Villagers continued to show up, but the Prince was nowhere to be seen. It was only when Juliana was about to go on with it did the Prince, looking terrible in both mood and appearance, show up. He did not look at Juliana, but stood silently by his father, the King, as Juliana ordered men to remove the cross and carry the witch to the sea, where the villagers followed them. A large rock was waiting on a ship that would take the witch out to sea. The King and the Prince, as well as nearly half the villagers who'd shown up, were allowed onto the ship, the witch tied silently to the cross that leaned against one of the masts. When the sun was completely above the horizon, the ship set sail.

It sailed for an hour and a half before it dropped anchor and came to a halt above a deep part of the sea. The witch had her legs and arms tied to the large rock with strong rope. The Prince stood furthest back from the processions, the King by his side to try to offer comfort to his grieving son.

Juliana glanced to the purple haired men. The Prince was a spitting image of the King, only younger and clearly more fit. Her eyes narrowed before she ordered four of the strongest men on the ship to pick the boulder up and another to pick up the witch, who did not bother fighting, much to the surprise of the villagers. "She knows it's hopeless," whispered one. "This is her punishment. Vile witch," spoke another. "Throw her over!" cried one. The closer they brought Serenity to the edge of the ship, the louder and more excited the cries got. When she was thrown over, cheers erupted and the Prince nearly fell to his knees, his hair covering his eyes as his head bowed and tears spilled.

"Why..?"




_______________




Days passed with no event. Days passed without word from the Prince. The King was growing concerned, for his son would not eat or leave his room. Even if food was delivered to him, it would sit untouched outside his room. When the King knocked on his son's door, there was no answer. Finally, when he felt enough was enough, he entered his son's room after retrieving the key upon finding the door locked. As the doors creaked open, the purple haired king froze in his tracks. From the lantern on the ceiling of the room hung a rope upon which the end was hung the young prince dangled unmovingly, a chair tipped over halfway across the large room.

Soon after this, the Kingdom fell into chaos, for the only child of the King was dead, and there was no one to take over the throne. Fighting commenced upon the richer families, claiming to be distantly related to the King's bloodline. During the chaos, a neighboring kingdom took its chance and attacked, burning the great city and taking over. The priestess was taken as a slave girl by the attacking forces, and most of the villagers were slaughtered. The few who survived scattered over the lands adjacent and to the far away Vallies across the ocean. The blond witch who had stolen the prince's heart had been the last witch to burn before the fall of the Kingdom...
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A New Spell

Post by Cross on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:11 pm

Years passed as the witch remained underwater, physically unchanging, and completely unconscious. As the time flew by, the rope holding her to the boulder deteriorated, helped along by all manner of sea creatures. However, the creatures that would normally eat humans stayed away from her for some reason. When the ropes were broken enough, the underwater current floated her around for a while before she washed up on the shore of a lake outside a moderately sized village. This was ten years after the fall of the Prince's village.
 
 
"Hey. You alive miss?" A teenage boy with dirty blond hair was sitting on his feet next to Serenity, poking her gently.
 
A brown haired boy of the same age stood next to him with his arms crossed. "She's not breathing, of course she's dead."
 
The blond haired boy glanced at his friend before turning the woman over onto her back. "Wow. She's pretty," he said, which was accompanied by a low whistle from his friend. He put his head to her chest to listen for a heartbeat. "H-hey, I think she really is alive."
 
His friend raised an eyebrow. "Really? We need to get help then," he said quickly. "Stay with her, I'll be right back," he called, already having turned on his heel to run off.
 
The blond haired boy frowned and looked back to the woman. "I wonder where you came from. You a mermaid, miss?" he wondered. "Or maybe you're a sea witch," he said quietly. "Aren't those the nice ones? I mean, you're really pretty and all. But you just floated up here from nowhere, didn'tcha?" He fell silent, feeling sort of silly for trying to talk to an unconscious woman. So instead, he turned her on her side and started patting her back to try and get her to cough out whatever water she'd swallowed while he was waiting for Chris to come back. His eyes widened and he nearly fell back when she actually did cough out water, and a lot of it. He was surprised she was even alive after seeing how much. Despite the fact that she was breathing now, she was still unconscious, but now the blonde boy was at least relieved to know she was alive. When Chris came back, there were two older men with him, each with different shades of brown hair. "She coughed up some water. She's breathing now," he said to Chris, standing up.
 
The brown haired teenager looked to his friend, waving him over. "Hey Jared...I think we should go with her to the medicine guy," he said, looking over to the woman.
 
____________________
 
 
"What's your name?"
 
The blond woman looked down without a word, her eyes empty. The older man in the room was roughly thirty years old and had red hair. Jared and Chris, who'd come with the men who'd taken the woman, looked to each other with a frown. They'd managed to find a woman living in the village who would let this blond lady have a dress more fitting than the dirty rags she'd been wearing earlier. It was blue, and matched the lady's eyes. The woman in question was sitting on the edge of a bed, having just recently woken up. Jared walked up to the bed, kneeling in front of it. "Hey miss...we wanna help you. Can you tell us where you're from?"
 
Chris crossed his arms. "Egh, I bet she's a mute," he said, catching a glare from Jared. "What?"
 
"What's wrong with you, don't talk about her like she isn't even here. She can hear you, ya know."
 
Chris rolled his eyes. "What if the problem is that she can't hear, then?"
 
The red haired man sighed lightly at the two's bickering. "I don't think you're helping. If she's neither, you're just making her feel bad, and probably uncomfortable."
 
At that the two boys stopped talking and glanced at the blond haired woman, whose gaze remained fixed upon the floor. They glanced at each other and frowned with a sigh. Jared looked to the doctor. "Can you send someone to get us if she says anything?" He wanted to know more about this woman who came from the sea. Chris, on the other hand, didn't seem as keen, but didn't object.
 
When the boys left, the red haired doctor looked to the blond curiously. "Where did you come from?" he wondered aloud.
 
____________________
 
 
Days passed without the woman speaking, and for those days, the doctor took care of her, ever curious of her origins. Rumors started spreading around the town about how she was a mermaid come in human form to take the village's men. Other rumors relied on yet more rumors that the northern lands took care of witches by throwing them into the sea, and that she might be a witch. Some yet said she was the wife of a sailor or pirate, and washed up after a shipwreck.
 
The doctor ignored those rumors, and only made simple conversation with her once she started speaking. He learned only a few things about the woman. One, that her name was Serenity. Two, that she hadn't been badly injured. And three, that she didn't remember what had happened to her. He tried all kinds of things to jog her memory, like questioning her favorite food and color, but he only knew of medicine, and not healing like some of those supernaturals that were rumored to use some strange magic called 'chakra'. One day, however, a boy came in very ill, and the doctor learned yet another thing about Serenity, when she insisted on helping him: she knew quite a bit about herbs. The boy left the house the next day feeling right as rain. The more people Serenity helped, the more clarified rumors became, until there were but two versions: the woman was either an angel, or a witch.
 
Even when the blond woman became more accustomed to speaking again, she usually only did so softly, and briefly. She lived there for a good few years before people started noticing that she didn't age. It was around that unfortunate time, that a woman familiar to the un-aging beauty happened into town with her husband, a slave trader from the north. Though her hair was shorter and her face more matured, it was unmistakably the priestess from the kingdom. Serenity didn't have the misfortune of seeing her until it was too late. The first time the ex-priestess saw the blond haired witch, she dragged her husband hurriedly away and warned him, and begged him to let her warn the rest of the town. He only indulged her to silence her, a mistake that would weigh heavily on the entire village.
 
The village, still believing in the existence and curses of witches, took this threat seriously, especially once the brown haired woman told them that she was a priestess of the northern kingdom, and came about saying that they'd thrown the witch into the sea not ten years ago.



_______________


 
It was on a day which Serenity was helping to make medicines that they came for her. She was idly chatting with the red haired medicine man, who'd noticed she'd finally started smiling a bit more frequently. It had been years since she'd come to this village, and to catch a smile from the blond beauty was a rarity. He was almost certain that he'd begun falling in love with her smile, if not the woman herself. On this day, her hair was tied up as she was working, and when the knocking came at the door, the doctor insisted on getting it so she could continue working.
 
The doctor, whose name Serenity had learned to be Harrin, blinked as he saw guards at the door. "Is...there something I can help you with, m'lords?" Everyone in the village knew that if guards came to your house, it meant bad news.
 
"We've come to see that your houseguest makes it to her rightful place."
 
Harrin was quiet for a long few moments. "Which is, where, exactly?"
 
"Jail. And then the guillotine."
 
The doctor's eyes widened. "For what crime?"
 
"Do not worry until tomorrow. Her crimes will be read aloud in the square."
 
"But..."
 
"Either retrieve her, or we will take her, and you with her."
 
There was a long pause before Harrin swallowed and went to the kitchen. "What did you do?" he asked, wide eyed.
 
Serenity looked up at the doctor curiously. "What do you mean?"
 
"There's guards at the door, calling for your arrest."
 
Immediately, Serenity feared for the worst, but put her things down and stood up. She was certain her face had paled a shade or two. She would see what they wanted instead of immediately fleeing, but if they were going to try and accuse her of being a witch again...well, she didn't know what she'd do, but she wouldn't have it.
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A Witch's Hate

Post by Cross on Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:03 am

No trial had been held for the newest accused witch. There were never trials for those accused, and the woman who had claimed to be a priestess had been backed up by her slave trader husband, who was well-known and well-respected. There was no reason to doubt the word of him and his wife. So this day, when the sun was highest in the sky the day after her arrest, Serenity sat in a cell open to the public. It was almost like they were being put there so the villagers could fear what would happen to the witches and leave town if they were one themselves. Otherwise, it just served to fuel the hatred for witches that ran rampant throughout the village.

Serenity sat against the back of the cell with her head bowed and her knees pulled to her chest in the same light blue dress she'd been wearing the day before. They'd probably left her in it to let others know that a witch was a witch, no matter how pretty or well dressed she was. She didn't look up at the harsh calls of "You'll burn in hell!" or "Damn witches!" She didn't look up at the cries and pleas of the other women in the cells, who were adamantly denying that they were witches. None of the other women tried to talk directly to her though. All for the better, because Serenity would not have replied anyways. She only looked up when he heard Harrin call her name. He was wearing a brown cloak so as to shield his face from the rest of the crowd, so he wouldn't be caught talking with her. His red hair was hard to miss though, no matter how short it was. Serenity didn't move to the front of the cell however, where the doctor was kneeling to look at her.

"Serenity...are you...really a witch?" He sounded a bit sad, she thought. Her blue eyes were both sad and angry at the same time, and she only shook her head. How could he believe her to be a witch? She had lived next door to him for years, helping him with his medicines and patients when he needed it. But then again, a woman having any proficiency in medicines was suspicious to begin with. She didn't care, though. She wasn't a witch, and he should have known this. "Why don't you speak? Tell them you're only a doctor?"

Serenity's eyes narrowed. "Speak?" she said lowly. "Like them?" She motioned towards the other women, many of whom were begging for release and mercy. "There's no such thing as a woman doctor."

At that, Harrin looked confused. Hadn't she just said she wasn't a witch? But surely if she wasn't a witch, then she must be a doctor, and if not a doctor then a witch. It could only be one or the other, if she made such a claim as there are no female doctors. "They'll kill you if you don't say something," he said sadly.

"They'll kill me either way."

Harrin's eyes widened lightly. Didn't she care that she would die? Or maybe it was that she couldn't die because of witchcraft. He'd been there when she'd been found at the beach, and according to Jared, she'd coughed up enough water to have drowned a fish. The doctor looked around quickly, but discreetly before turning his attention back to the beautiful blue eyed woman in front of him. "Don't let them kill you. Please." A pause. "I have to go now. I'll...I'll see you again. Soon." When Serenity said nothing and only bowed her head again, the red haired doctor got up and started away quickly.

____________________


Unlike what the guards had told the doctor, beheading wasn't the only fate awaiting Serenity. Before that, the village officials, who were at this time priests, insisted that the accused by punished by whipping until they spoke the truth, which would result in the 'cleansing' of their souls. In all there had been five women accused. The youngest three of them admitted almost immediately, within five lashings. The second oldest of them was a woman in her thirties, who refused to admit it, but instead protested profusely that she was just an ordinary housewife. She broke at nine. Out of all the "witches," Serenity was the only one to remain silent except for an occasional whimper of pain on impact. This "cleansing" was made public, so there was a crowd gathered around the cells. The witches who had already confessed were trying to urge Serenity to just give in. That is, once they'd all stopped crying and nursing their own wounds. The blond woman didn't close her eyes, despite the tears flowing from them.

Why do they do this..?

After each lash, Serenity was given the opportunity to confess her "crimes" to the public. That was, each lash before fifteen. After that, the priests became impatient with her and let those who wished it use the whip five times before pushing her to confess. Her hands had been bound tightly with rope to the cages, as were the other witch's hands, so there had been no way for her to escape or turn around. Even if she'd been able to turn around, the public would have only caught a glare from her. That was all the priests got when they turned her face to look at her.

She often caught words from the public during the torture, that she must have been a witch, because no human alive could lose as much blood as she. That a human body couldn't possibly contain so much of the red liquid. She heard that eventually people began leaving because they couldn't stand the sight of it. One or two people might have vomited during the procession.

Serenity wasn't allowed to fall unconscious. Every time she came close, icy water was dumped over her and her wounds. The first time it had happened had been the only time she'd let out a scream. In total it had happened three times in total. Once after twenty. Once after thirty. And once after fifty. And then came fifty-five.

"Y-you win," she cried lightly. "I-I'm a witch..."

____________________


It was three days later that the women were dressed in rags and lined up for execution. Serenity had heard the guards talking about the wait should make them further fear their demise, and that the blond one was to go last, because she'd been the last to confess. Or, she thought she'd heard that. Much of the time she'd been unconscious, and her wounds burning fiercely. For those three days, they were allowed two meals, and little water. Serenity took neither.

When the sun had peaked above the horizon on the third day, they were put in chains to be led to the square. This time, Serenity looked around. She saw a few people she knew, and bowed her head once she did. She was fearful of these people. She'd once called them friends. And now they were cheering on for the execution. It made her wonder. Made her wonder what humans really were. Were they monsters? Were they capable of being kind, or were they pretending? Did they care at all for the truth? For the knowledge that she was not a witch at all, but rather cursed?

One by one, Serenity watched the blade come down and each time she had to look away, her whole being shaking with fear. Would she really die from this? Would her head come off and leave her aware of her separated being and the pain that comes with something like this? Would it be excruciatingly painful like the whipping? Would her head even come off? When the last woman before her was brought up, she had to be dragged, for the middle aged woman had fallen to her knees and was begging for mercy. Serenity had never seen this woman before, but it was clear she'd been broken by these people. The blond woman herself started crying at the sight, her head bowed as a guard started unbinding her shaking hands from in front of her, and rebinding them behind her back.

When it was her turn to be brought up, she had no way of protesting against it. Her body no longer felt like her own. She was in too much fear to be able to try to run or escape. When she was forced to her knees in front of the large wooden contraption and read her crimes, she had a brief chance to look around at the crowd. She saw Harrin in his brown cloak, trying to hide himself. All Serenity could imagine was that he'd been one of the people cheering on for their deaths. She didn't know for sure, but she hated Harrin for showing up to watch her die.

The whole world seemed to slow around her, when the blue eyed woman saw the brown haired priestess from the kingdom standing in the far back with a brown haired man. Serenity's head bowed as hatred began welling up inside her. That woman. That single woman could have such an impact on her life? That woman who had taken away her home and the prince's love...that same woman was now taking away her home for a second time? She would not have it.

"Do you have any last words, witch?" The answer came as a dark whisper, not to be heard by any. "If you wish your words to be heard, you will speak up," the executioner demanded.

"SYNDRYL!!"

The whole square was quiet for a long moment before the executioner shook his head and Serenity was pushed forward, her neck laying in the notch where the blade would come down. Before another move was made, a loud roar echoed through the area, and a ball of white fire came flying towards the top of the guillotine, causing the blade to fly off and cut a bystander clean in half. That was when the screaming started. Serenity didn't move until Syndryl landed on the wooden platform next to her, using a claw to cut the ropes that bound her hands. What do you wish of me?

"Kill them all," Serenity growled, her blue eyes narrowed. Syndryl didn't question her, and flapped his wings down powerfully, sending white fire raining down on any creature he saw moving. The blond witch used the shattered remained of the wooden death machine to help herself to her feet. She watched as Syndryl soared through the air. He didn't limit his killing to burning, however. He ate well that day, as Serenity had so duly noted some time later. Only when the whole village was immersed in flames and everyone dead, did Serenity call Syndryl back. She had some troubles getting herself onto his back, but when she finally did, her only order before she passed out was "Take me away from this place..."
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