The World of Adelheid

The words had barely left her lips before the pooch stormed into the woods, not caring. After all, she had just stated she would not come along on their journey. She wiped blood from her mouth and looked around for her bag of belongings, only to find it ripped to shreds by Raidon’s claws. Tears of anger welled in her eyes, and if she could have screamed she would have, but he had left great damage on her vocal cords and talking earlier had made it hurt worse.
Why did I even agree to this? Her throat burned by trying to hold the tears back. I can get into the library by other means.
With her back against a tree, she let herself slide to the ground, her gaze never leaving the canopies above her. Even though Raidon had done excessive harm to the forest floor and torn a lot of trees up with their roots, the skies would not show through them. She could really have needed a bit of sun about now, seeing as she was barely able to keep her tears in check.
Only one week along with other people and she remembered clearly why she preferred to be alone. People, regardless of species, were filth. No matter what you did to or for them, you were always the bad guy. Always. Anger started to boil in the pits of her stomach and she wiped away her tears. This was pitiful, if people would not understand her, why did she bother? She owed the faerie and the pooch nothing, and for the curse… she did not care if they stayed that way or not. It had hit her like lighting from clear skies, leaving no trail of who or what that might have done it, and up until now she’d believed she was alone. She’d like to keep it that way.
“My, oh my, my, my, my,” a low-pitched voice reached her ears and she felt numb to her emotions immediately. “I never thought I’d see the Banebringer cry.”
The Oracalee-spirit materialized before her in an instant, revealing the tiny creature she was. A faint glow surrounded her, making it hard to sort out her features, but Morgan could tell she was a beautiful little entity. The spirit was no bigger than her own underarm, and she had long, and white flowing hair tucked into a curly ponytail, ice blue eyes, long sharp ears, and a body covered with white flowers and small leaves. A small crown balanced on her head, and her horse-like tail flowed around her, never touching her wings.
“Long time no see, Banebringer,” the spirit mused as she danced back and forth in front of her, fog emerging from underneath her tiny feet. “I believe you’ve robbed me of my prey twice now. I was just about to get him when he fled into the forest, hunting for his faerie.”
Morgan eyed the little thing, not bothering to answer. If they had met she certainly did not remember, but then again, her name was known across the land among many, and she had encountered hundreds of people claiming they knew her.
“I am hungry, you know,” the Oracalee pouted and forced her bottom lip to tremble.
Not my problem, she thought and fought the urge to roll her eyes.
“Are you concerned of his curse?” the spirit flung itself into the air and danced around her, purring in her ear. “I can tell you in trade for one of your secrets.”
“He’s a pooch,” she replied with her rasped voice, indifferent for the answer of the Oracalee. “That’s a curse enough.”
Yet, was she curious at all? She couldn’t recall a single moment from the last week where she had bothered to even think of it. Nayeli had revealed hers the instant they met, but Raidon’s simply did not interest her. Although she did indeed think being a dog was unfortunate enough on its own.
“Return the faerie and let us out of the forest,” Morgan wheezed. “And I will let you live.”
The spirit giggled and floated over to where Raidon had run before turning and showing her a long and silver colored tongue. It did not take her threats seriously, which would be its doom.
“One secret for another,” it hummed. “Your darkest one, for the faerie.”
Morgan scoffed, slowly rising from the ground, her tears all dry now. This creature did not realize she did not play games. In the past she would have let this incident go, letting the faerie and the pooch be slaughtered, but something deep in her core had shifted.
“There is a name I can’t remember,” she raised her voice ever so slightly while taking a step towards the tiny thing, and the spirits’ ears flickered at her.
“Your lovers name, no?” it asked and lazily floated towards her. “I do, I remember his name, but I do not believe this is your darkest secret. It seems so… small.”
Morgan did not respond, annoyance creeping up her spine along with grief. As usual, she let annoyance win, unable to keep her posture in check.
When the creature came close enough, her small nostrils flared at the sudden change in smell, and a shriek escaped her lips when Morgan flung her claws after her. Fog immediately emitted from all around them and Morgan growled as annoyance turned to anger. It bubbled underneath her skin, making her limbs tremble.
She was angry she was all alone, she was angry at the spirit, she was angry humanity existed, she was angry for letting Raidon harm her, she was angry she was still helping him now, she was angry at herself. At everything. Everything.
“Why do I bother?!” she screamed with new found power to her voice while looking for the spirit.
The fog was thick around her, but this time she knew where the Oracalee was. With a snarl she hurled herself forward and whisked herself the last distance to add power to her attack. Her fist hit the spirit directly in the ribs, and a small cry sounded from it before it slammed into a tree with a bone shattering crunch.
“Tell me why!” Morgan had lost all sense of herself, seeing red, and she threw herself after the spirit, ready to crush it underneath her foot.
The spirit, not ready to die, shrieked and slammed her palms together. It released all its power at once, sucking all the light around them into oblivion. All that was left was a thick and impregnable darkness, the Oracalee-spirits’ hunting ground.
Morgan stopped dead in her track and closed her eyes shut, trusting her ears to help. Anger kept bubbling in her veins, making her tears once again surface. Why did she care? Why? Tears ran down her cheeks and she clenched her claws so hard she pierced the skin on her palms, causing blood to drip down between her fingers. The dull pain eased some of her anger, and she swallowed hard, trying to control her emotions. They would not cause her death.
“Banebringer!” a hollow and furious voice shook the darkness around her. “You hurt me!”
The spirits angry wails amplified so much her own blood vibrated from the force, also causing the forest floor underneath her feet to slightly shake.
“I’ll have your head!” the voice split into a thousand voices, casting echo through her body.
Morgan flung herself to the side, barely escaping the shadowed claws swiping at her. Their presence had come too close to her skin and their magic left a torn scar in the air.
Something next to her cracked and rumbled, she realized it was a tree falling to the ground, and her heart skipped a beat. No one had ever seen the true shape of an Oracalee-spirit. They were formed as small and beautiful girls to lure their prey into their ground, and once there no one could escape. But she was not no one.
“Release the faerie,” she snarled. “And I will let you go with your life as payment.”
A high-pitched laughter boomed from all directions, poking sticks into her anger. It still did not take her seriously, and it would still be its doom.
“There’s no escaping me!” the Oracalee roared, and Morgan once again had to step to the side.
This time she was not fast enough, the claws shredding deep into the skin on her back. Her teeth clenched, and she hissed at the pain while stumbling a step forward. Yet, she did not let the momentum go without causing some damage herself. She twirled around, her knuckles guarding her face, and she sent all her force into the foot that connected with the spirits’ face. It crashed into the ground, and Morgan, ever the graceful, stomped on its body before letting her fist tear through its hair, flinging the creature through the air and slamming it into the ground.
Another set of claws met her skin, this time on her leg, and she stumbled forward, losing balance. Her palms hit the ground, her flesh cutting into rocks, and pain throbbed through the ruined muscles in her leg. The wound ran much deeper than she would have preferred.
The spirit cried furiously and slammed into Morgan’s side. They tumbled sideways and its claws ran over Morgan so fast she had barely time to whisk herself further away to escape it, blood running from her forehead and closing her eyes shut. No wonder no one had ever lived to tell about this. The little thing showed great devotion in murder.
Before she could react, the spirit connected so hard with her ribs some of them cracked, and all the air in her lungs were forced out of her body. She coughed and tripped backwards, able to remain her balance this time, and she gained some distance on the Oracalee while collecting herself.
Pathetic!” the spirit screamed, with anger in her voice. “I expected a lot more from a Banebringer! You are pitiful! Abomination!”
Abomination, abomination, abomination, the word boomed into the core of her very soul, and even though her wounds throbbed, she straightened her spine and stood up taller, causing her enchantress nature to shine through the cracks of her hardened personality.
Magic or no, enchantresses were born with greater power than mere entities like this could fathom, and so often smaller beings made the horrible mistake of taunting their true nature out of them. Not knowing what they were truly up against.
“You expected a lot more, is that it?” she turned towards the voice and lowered her own, it dripped of hatred and power. “I will show you who I am, Oracalee.”
A frightened whimper let her know exactly where the spirit stood, and she walked towards it, slowly. Her legs shook from the pain, her ribs throbbing, but she did not care. It was time to end this.
Abomination.
Her claws clicked together at her side, her breathing evened out, letting her authority flow through the air as lightning. The ground underneath her feet crackled from her sheer force, throwing a fainted light over the spirit. It was beaten up after their encounter. Morgan studied its true form. It was dark, created from nothing but shadows. Red eyes glared terrified back at her, and sharp teeth and claws bathed in her own blood shone in the light. It was no bigger than before, but its presence seemed forced, as if it were there, but not. Its edges blurred into the darkness around it.
“B-but-” the spirit stuttered. “Y-your… your curse?”
***
Once the clearing was free of fog, she noticed Nayeli and Raidon, in his human form, a small distance away. Nayeli, still unaffected by everything, smiled faintly at her. Raidon’s mouth were shaped in a surprised O as his eyes followed the fleeing Oracalee-spirit into the forest. Once they snapped back to her his mouth closed shut with a clack. His gaze eyed the blood running from her ears, eyes, nose, lips, and open wounds, and she could tell the smell reached him from the faint snarl on his face.
“So,” Morgan stumbled over her own feet. “You are free to leave the woods now.”
An unsteady step forward caused the world around her to spin viciously. Her legs gave in, her body falling to the ground. Raidon rushed forward and caught her in his arms, carefully turning her over without touching the gaping wounds on her back.
“Easy there,” he mumbled, steadying her trembling body.
His concern was disgusting, she hated it. She hated she was unable to stand on her own, but even her own consciousness was fighting against her. Pain searing through her veins like wildfire caused her to involuntarily whimper against his touch.
“This is the second time in only a few hours you are going unconscious,” he growled annoyed, telling her she was mistaken about his concern.
Nayeli came walking over to them, her faint smile nowhere to see anymore. Worry schooled her beautiful features, and Morgan tried to focus on her, but her gaze kept falling back to the canopies.
“Thank you, Morgan,” the faerie knelt in front of her and laid a hand on her forehead. “I can’t heal you yet, the spirit fed on my life force, making even my blood useless for healing for a while. We’ll take you to Meaha to rest, after that you can go home.”
“I take it my blood won’t do much good?” Raidon asked hesitantly.
“Doesn’t matter, I’d rather drink toilet water,” she murmured before everything around her went dark.

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