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Son Of The Black Blood [Plot/FlashBack]

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Ghost

Ghost
A-Tier
A-Tier

Spoiler:
The acrid smell filled my nose, the black smoke a reminder of that day. As I watched the flames reach for the sky, I realized whoever said this was wrong: You can't put out a fire by adding more fire.

The Chronos hunted every member of my race, drove us towards extinction, and danced around our trembling bodies. They'd severed the heads of the Magi, bled out the Sundead, and hung the Moonstreaks. We'd let them.

Never mind that we fought back with every ounce of magic we could muster, knowing their armors were immune. Never mind that we sought for a semblance of negotiation, knowing those vile men would only seize the opportunity to enslave us.

We'd let them. The Magi, Sundead and Moonstreaks coven alike. But not the Twilight coven. Not after they targeted my son.

“That's the last of them,” Fiona said, cutting through my thoughts. She sauntered through the flames, a phoenix rising from the ashes. Sweat and blood clung to her skin, reminding me of a baby straight from the womb. My heart swelled with pride at the ruthless witch Fiona had become. That day, her innocence killed her fiancé; it was the wake-up call she needed.

“Are you sure? They could be lurking around….” My eyes strayed to the camp we'd just razed to the ground. “We should check under the rubble. These men can be cunning.”

From my periphery, I caught Fiona's smirk. “And witches can be perceptive,” she said.

I glared at her. “Is that sarcasm?”

The fire behind Fiona highlighted the teasing glint in her eyes. “No, my Queen. Of course not. I'm only saying you can trust me. I hunted down every last Chronos. Stupid men thought a ‘young witch’ with a ‘mere stick’ couldn't take them.” Her teeth shone yellow in the half-light when she laughed.

My cackles joined hers. “Too bad they had no chance to recant.” I eyed her staff. “It is a stick though.”

Her gaze hardened. “Not in our hands. Not anymore.”

I couldn't agree more.

The staff wasn't always our best choice of weaponry. The First Witch, through immortalized accounts, told us we needed both our powers and the stick. However, with every generation, our hold on magic grew stronger, and our skill with the staff faded into nonexistence. When the Chronos decided we were a threat to mankind and began picking us off, not even one witch could take a good swing with her second weapon. The First Witch foresaw something we ignored. We learned ignorance wasn't bliss the hard way.

The Twilight coven was down to the last twenty members before we learned to break through magic-resistant armor with the staff. I was good enough to train my girls, until many, like Fiona, could rain hell on Chronos camps.

I moved towards my right hand and squeezed her shoulder. “I understand. I'm proud of you, Fiona.”

The smoke-filled air hit my palm when she bowed. “My Queen, we only have you to thank for our survival.” Her shoulder met my palm again when she stood. “I'll rally the others. The next camp shouldn't be too far away.”

I dropped my hand, a snort leaving my lips. “If they haven't run by now.” Anyone a mile away must have seen the bonfire.

Fiona bared her teeth in a sneer. An expression she grew after MacFarlane's death. “Let them run. It makes the hunt exciting.”

“And the hunter becomes the hunted.” I returned her semi-depraved smile. Who could blame us? Centuries of being prey would drive anyone crazy. We'd only become crazy enough to spring back from the wall the Chronos pushed us to.

Fiona shouted, “Let's go before we miss them,” to the rest of my girls. Then she bolted, the last eighteen members of the Twilight coven spread out behind her.

My eyes fell on the bodies at my feet, my mind hoping—knowing—all my girls would return. Revenge was bittersweet this way. You taste delight on your tongue, staring at these men's vacant eyes and blood-coated mouths. Dread freezes your heart, knowing the loss of your family is more imminent with every mission. It's why I never brought my son on my “eventful road trips”, as I called them in front of him. I wasn't afraid Ghost would see the half-crazy bloodthirsty woman his mother truly was. I rather feared the possibility he'd fall into the hands of completely depraved men. The same men who took his father and wanted him dead.

The longer I stared at the bodies, the hotter my stomach grew. Anger and appetite became the same as I recalled that fateful evening. I pictured Ghost on the living room floor, waiting for me. But he didn't need to see my bloodshot eyes and throbbing veins. They had to go; I had to feed.

Black mists formed in my palm, and the men—except one—left the ground. The wave of my hands guided their corpses to the fire, where I dropped them without ceremony. The exemption was a knight between life and death.

I'll put him out of his misery.

The man's eyes widened as I bent over him, his legs scuttling against the sand in a vain effort to run.

“L-leave, w-w-witch,” floated past chapped lips. I snorted, and in the next second, my hand pummeled through his chest. A smug smile tickled my lips when he glowed.

“You're the one leaving,” I said, just as his transparent soul rose from his body. A whisper, and the poor thing couldn't ascend.

It didn't deserve to.

The Chronos' soul rushed into my open mouth, its own lips parted in a silent scream.

I tried not to think of several fallen witches then. They must have felt a similar helplessness as the Chronos murdered them.

***
With the flick of my fingers and a chant on my lips, a jelly bubble materialized, then melted away, unveiling our hideout.

The girls weren't back when I returned. But my son was here, safe and sound. I sighed in relief at the sight of him.

Ghost sat in a dusty chair, the blues in his eyes sparkling in the moonlight—the coven's only source of light. I couldn't tell if it was happiness or alarm in his gaze. Probably alarm. I resembled a Chronos corpse.

“You're back, mama?” his watery voice said.

“I am, my boy. Come, let me see you.” I managed a strained smile. Ghost tucked his legs under him.

“You're dirty,” he said. Laughter bubbled in my throat. “Am I now?” It was a rhetorical question; he nodded anyway. I couldn't hold it in after that.

My frenzied movements shook the table as I cackled. Never mind my son retreated into the shadows and away from the light. I was too proud of him to care.

No wonder the Chronos actively sought for Ghost. His tongue and talent were far above his age, and he was only one. Hardly surprising for a young wizard soon-to-be Witch King, but still.

Hopefully, I live to see the terrifying wizard those men feared he'd become.

Speaking of, it was high time I told him.

“My boy,” I said when my laughter died down, “what do you say I clean up and meet you here again?”

He rushed into the light, blue eyes eager. “Will you read me another story?”

Until now, I've snatched every opportunity to school Ghost about our race. I read him the First Witch's accounts, the Sundead's scrolls my coven salvaged, even MacFarlane's research about the depth of our powers. The last one was how I discovered the Twilight Hour, and who may cast such a spell. More than the others, I read MacFarlane's work to Ghost, hoping the Witch King Fiona's lover mentioned is none other than my son. The last male may wield it…

This time, Ghost had to understand at least a slice of reality.

I drew close to him; he pinned his nostrils. In between laughs, I said, “No, my boy.”

He turned in his chair, shoulders deflating. I noticed his dust-stained trousers. Fiona would have to wash them.

“I'll tell you one this time.” I waited.

His tiny body swiveled around before I could blink twice. “Really? Not one from the books?”

I shook my head, a bittersweetness in my chest. He sounded pure... so unlike his elders, unlike his future. “Oh, my smart boy. No.”

Pudgy fists punched the air. “Yes! I've read all of them!”

“Many times, I'm sure.” While you waited for me…

“Go, mama!” He reached out to shove me, but remembered I was filthy. “I can't wait!”

“Neither can I,” I said, halfway up the unlit creaking staircase. “I've waited long enough.”

After forty-five minutes of washing off grime, flesh, and blood, I returned to the living room, clutching a scroll.

Ghost was bouncing on the balls of his feet when I found him. “You're late!” Tiny lips pouted. I imagined human souls rushing between them. Should he choose to consume that race.  

I pulled out a termite-eaten chair, clearing my throat. “Dirt like that doesn't disappear in a minute.” Or forever… Not like I cared.

His eyes fell on my hand and narrowed. “You said you won't read.”

“And I won't. Sit, my boy.” He slid up the dusty chair behind him and pulled it close—but not too close—to me. His gaze was wary suddenly, as if he knew the story I was about to tell.

“You remember the story of the Twilight Hour?”

“The witch's immortality spell. Yes, mama.” His watery voice and smug tone hung between us. “Are you going to tell me about it again?” In the darkness, I imagined Ghost rolling his eyes. I shook my head.

“Remember... the story says only the last male of our kind may wield it?”

His silhouette shuffled in his chair. “It also says the magic is too strong—almost impossible—to wield, mama. You said such magic is a myth….” Calculating blues pinned me in the darkness. “Still, you told that story so many times.... Is it real, after all?”

My chair scraped against the floor as I moved towards him. “My smart boy. I said many things, but you must know now that this one—”

“Was a lie.” Was that anger in his tone?

“Might just be true,” I ground out. “And I'm not the only one who thinks so. There are men—evil men—out there who believe—”

“It's me.” That tone again. I itched to see his full face, but his stiff, shadowy shoulders told me enough.

“Is it why you kill them?” Ghost's whisper was a stone in my heart.

To be honest, I saw it coming. Unlike humans, our race developed faster. If Ghost spoke as well as the elderly witches, it was a given he'd think like us too. Night after night, I'd lie on my bedbug-infested mattress, wondering why he didn't ask about our bloodied clothes or the cuts beneath them, wondering why he simply took it when I said I was going on a trip, wondering why he never complained when I was out for days at a time.

Wondering when he'd call me out on all my obvious lies.

There was no point in hiding anything any longer.

“They are the Chronos knights. Men who hunt people like us.”

“Mama... you're hunting them now, aren't you?” It was clear: my son was angry at me.

“Is there something wrong with that, my boy?” I took on his tone, not realizing when I stood. “Do you know what these men would've done to you—what they did to your father—what they almost did to ME? WHAT THEY'VE DONE TO OUR RACE? Yes, Ghost Dynamite! Those weren't just stories, either. And you have to listen carefully now! Really listen.”

Ghost shrank in his seat. I dropped in mine, sighing. For a minute or ten, only tension charged the air. “Is that the story you want to tell, mama?” he asked afterwards. His tone had lost its curtness.

With another sigh, I sat up straight. “The Chronos came for you the day you were born, my boy. Like the days before, it was calm. Almost happy, even.” A smile touched my lips at the memory. “Your father—Kaname—had given my coven shelter in a castle at the heart of the forest. By now, the Chronos had eliminated other clans; we sensed we were next. More so because of Fiona's lover's predictions. We'd heard they were searching for a male wizard—the Witch King—and they hadn't found him among the three clans.” I gazed at Ghost. “I was expecting a boy, so everyone was scared for me.”

“You knew?” Awe echoed through his voice.

I blinked at him. “Witches don't have powers for nothing, my boy. You'll see soon enough.” His abilities hadn't manifested yet.

I heaved the third sigh, examining our environment. “The castle was far better than this place, Ghost. Cleaner, bigger, brighter. I didn't like the brightness though.” I chuckled; he joined me. Ghost knotted his fingers between his thighs, a sign he was now paying rapt attention. I pressed on.

“It was towards evening. Kaname and I were walking through the meadow. Or at least, I was trying to walk. You wouldn't let me.” Ghost's smile was bashful.

“Did… did they attack then?”

“Not them. You.”

“Me?”

“You chose that moment to come into the world. I had no choice but to let you.” I smiled.

The moon lit his entire face now, enough for me to spot tomato-paste cheeks. That he understood my allusion to labor wasn't shocking. “Stop speaking about this, mama.”  

I continued. “I was in the process when I heard it. A bang on the castle walls, followed by another. And another. Until the fifth, Kaname clutched my hand. But it got so loud, he had to check what was happening. It was the last time I saw your father. The next thing I knew, Fiona was upstairs in tears. Though the sulphuric stench reached me before she did.

“I guessed it before she said it. She'd watched the knights break through the castle walls and kill your father. Her fiancé had died soon after, her powers doing nothing to save either. She barely escaped to warn us they'd set fire to the castle.”

Ghost balled his fists. He was getting the point. Good.

“What could I do? You'd just come into this horrible human-dominated world, and Kaname had just left. Was I supposed to cry? Laugh?” I sniffed. “I could scarcely speak or move. But we were running out of time; I had to take charge. You see, your father was blind. Still, his guards never matched his skill with the sword. If the Chronos, whose brutality I'd only heard of till then, could take out my husband in a matter of minutes, I knew we were doomed. Guards or no.


“That evening, the entire coven—about six hundred of us—rushed to the tunnels underneath the castle. But the Chronos had an informant; they expected us.” I grit my teeth, the memory a presence in the room. I recalled how weak, how scared I was. There was no time to perform the customary strengthening ritual; relying on simple spells as we rushed through the tunnels was my only solution. It was half-baked.

“Mama, are you alright?” Ghost asked. In that moment, he was as pale as his name suggested. My face must have reflected the horror in his eyes, probably in his mind too. Though his imagination would never come close to the terrifying reality.

I inhaled deeply, exhaled. “I'm fine, my boy. But that day, I wasn't. I held you, as the Chronos slaughtered hundreds of my girls. It was chaos and confusion. It got worse when the knights spotted the bloody swath of clothes that was... you.”

“Mama, stop. Your hands are shak—”

“No!” My scream bounced off the brick walls. “You want to know why I hunt them? You want to know why I will never stop? Then listen, Ghost Dynamite!”

Ghost hung his head. I swallowed, my expression flicking between faux happiness and sadness. “They would have got us, had your father not made me learn to use the staff. I bashed their heads open, my young Ghost. A stick in one hand, you in the other. The lot of our coven threw themselves in front of me when I could no longer hold my own. While they risked their lives, Fiona, a few others and I escaped the tunnel and bolted through the forest. The tears still shone through red patches on Fiona's cheeks, but she held my hand and ran.” I sniffled. “Barely twenty of us could.”

An eternity of me staring into space passed before my son's voice filtered through. “Mama…” He sounded scared.

I chuckled. “In hindsight, it's funny. Before the attack, we'd heard rumors about their armor. Immune to magic and all, but we were too proud. If only we'd trained sooner, harder… my girls won't have died senseless deaths.” My gaze held Ghost's. "The Chronos knights didn't stop with Kaname's castle. They were—are—so convinced after seeing you, they scoured cities looking for us. They've killed girls who simply resembled us. Are those the men you want to defend? Men who won't think twice about killing us if we're discovered?”

Ghost shook his head, too slowly. “No, mama.”

I stood up, sniffling and wiping tears I hadn't notice. “Well, then. Thank you for that, my boy. You may not understand all this at once, but… someday, you will. I'll fix us dinner. The girls will be here any minute now.”

“Mama?” Ghost called when my hand grabbed the doorknob. “Am… am I truly the… Witch King?”

I sucked on my bottom lip. What should I say? I wanted—needed—him to be the fire that would put out this centuries-old conflagration. But, for now, I could only lead him to that point gradually, strongly. Assuming I had more time on Earth.

I didn't look at him when I said, “That's for you to decide, my boy. But I tell you this story. So that one day when this is all said and done. You Ghost will be the one and only king, now then let us go. Your black blood will serve you well in your quest for the throne."


Wc3194


Working towards>>> plot Trait (Black Blood:  which Ghost is born with. A black blood sort to speak that lives within him. A true sign that he is a witch.)

Exit


──────────────────────────────────────────────

Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break." -H.G. Wells

Never judge someone by the opinion of others.”
“Don't let your opinion sway your judgment.”-

Be Bless Be Fill With Bliss And Well Wishes

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