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     Crimson Chorus, From the Nine Kingdoms (Chapter 2), p.1

       R. Merino / Fantasy
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Crimson Chorus, From the Nine Kingdoms (Chapter 2)
Crimson Chorus, From the Nine Kingdoms
Chapter 2

R. Merino

ISBN: 9781370041480



This is an English version of the original: “Canto Carmesí, De los Nueve Reinos (Parte 2)”
ISBN: 9781310994104
Published: April 10, 2015

A cocoon that was guarding a humanoid figure, twisted subtly; producing sounds of the watery movements from inside.

The Arch took the knife and thrust it, without hesitation, at the head height. Penetrating and wounding the surface, he tore it with a vertical movement. The thick brown liquid spurted to all sides of the wound moistening the ground.

"Come, help him to breathe," said the Arch.

The disciple obeyed. He soaked his arms into the viscosity; took out a being soaked who could barely breathe due the amount of viscosity coming out from his nostrils and mouth. The soaking being fell on the ground and with desperate movements began to crawl; slowly, he calmed down when felt the warmth ground.

He stood up awkwardly; barely balancing himself.

The Arch and his disciple were studying him in silence.

He stayed like that for a short lap. Then, he walked just two steps; staggered a little but could hold him. He continued without a steady course, leaving viscous traces and staying away from both.

"Same as the others," said the Arch sighing disappointed.
***

II

The dawn arrived. It was the first bronze hour of the next day. Calmly, he woke up. When he opened his eyes the first thing that noticed was the sky, which for a few seconds he imagined of a leaden color blue but it was actually stony, reminding him that was inside the prison.
Ephesto was laying on the hard of the floor in a corner near the entrance. He made to remember everything that had happened the previous day. He felt no longer the injuries from his body and despite the hardness of the floor he had been able to rest. After waking up completely, he felt as if a shadow was watching him from the nearby corner. Aware that was the woman, he prepared a friendly smile to introduce himself; turned his attention to the direction indicated but, there was no one. He was alone in the room, apparently, but he could feel a presence, hidden and at the same time breathable, because it expelled a unique warm scent. He sat up and settled his back against the wall behind him, without feeling surprised.

"I can feel your presence ..." said Ephesto, smiling towards the corner, suspecting that was the right place where she was located and he wasn't completely wrong because there could recognize, almost imperceptible, a translucent figure marked in the air. "I wonder, for how long you can use your art to stay hidden?”

He waited for an answer, but received no reply. He stood up, and heard a noise; she had moved. He looked out from the window protected by metal bars, as shiny as Luca's chest-guard. He supposed it was made from the same material. In the background, the sand colored brown. He inspected the ceiling with a sneaky movement.

“First time I stay in a closed place. It feels strange ...”

He returned his gaze and was surprised by eyes of violet pupils floating in the air and staring at him. It was an indifferent and, at the same time, a captivating look. He felt that was getting lost in the density of those eyes.

"You said your name’s Ephesto, isn’t?" was heard the voice of the woman who spoke with a seductive accent inside his head.

"I did it ..." answered Ephesto in a trance.

"The judge sent you?"

"Yes ..."

"Why did he send you?"

"He wants to help you ... I mean!" he managed to look away, feeling confused. "I was the one who decided to help you!"

During the captivating effect of the woman, Ephesto had felt the words come out against his will. “Master artist of captivating ... She can make you see things that are not, deceive your senses if you allow it or your will is deceived. She could use you to escape if she wishes, but as I mentioned, she will not. You must convince her to change her mind. That will be your primal goal ...” he remembered the information given by judge Aquilha.

“Don't you remember?” Ephesto continued hesitantly. “I was the one who scared your captors, the one who threw the flame in the square. I thought you would take advantage of the distraction to escape ...”

The eyes vanished.

"I understand ... you don't trust me, because I haven’t given you any reason to do so," he sighed in relief. “It looks like we will be here for a while ...” glanced toward the window. “At least,” said suggestively, "we should exchange information to know each other ..."
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