Checkmate

By @Adyson_Engel
Checkmate

A castles population vanishes without explanation. Ivory goes on a journey to discover new places and stumbles upon the unexpected. Ivory meets an unexpected friend who reveals the secrets of the castle. Is her new friend telling the truth?

Chapter 2

A Blue Ghost

I whipped my head around. There was no one there. Who said that? 

The light of the torch only illuminated the room so much. Then a candle lit itself,allowing more light to come to the room. 

The first thing I saw was a green eye. I fell back. 

“What the-stay back!”

I looked at where the eye was and now saw a much clearer image. 

It was a man, only, they were….Floating? 

” You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” He laughed. 

The man in question was strange. Navy blue hair that draped over an eye as if hiding something. He looked to be wearing clothes that dated far back. A grey tunic and leather pants. A green cloak that draped around his shoulders and floated ominously by itself. His entire figure was transparent. 

“You’re…You’re a ghost….” 

” I’m well aware of my state.”

I grabbed the torch I dropped when I fell and held it in front of me, like that would really do something. 

“Who are you?” My voice was shaky. 

There goes trying to be threatening. 

“Crimson Cerise Cardinal.” 

“Your name is Crimson…? And your hair, is blue…”

“Thank you for stating the obvious.” He stepped around me. Well more like floating, but his feet still made the motion as if stepping on air. 

I looked around the room. This had to be a dream. I was in an empty castle, and the only thing in it, is a ghost. I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. The pain in my arm was telling me I wasn’t. My Glade why…?

I looked back at Crimson and he was still observing me in a critical manner, one that made me feel like I was small and had to make myself better. 

Till he spoke again. “You’re not from around here are you…?”

“…No..” My voice was small,something about Crimson’s presence made me feel afraid. 

” What’s your name?”

I didn’t want to say my name but I felt like I had to or else. “Ivory Corradetti.”

“Well, Ivory..welcome to Reylim, kingdom of possibilities.” He gestured to the room with his arms, as if that said everything. 

I spoke up. “If this is a kingdom, then where is everyone?” 

Crimson smiled. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” 

The smile was unsettling. As if releasing a mouth full of lies and no truths. 

“If you’re willing to share the story.”

I said it…I wanted to hear a story. A story. All about this castle and its secrets. Its story.

Crimson looked at his hand then his eye bore through me. “Would you like the small version, or the more detailed version?”

That made no sense. What does that mean? Detailed version? “What’s the difference…?”

“Trust me, there’s a difference.” He smiled the sick smile of his, then snapped his fingers. 

That’s when this story took its turn. Now a purple mist emitted from his fingers and started floating towards me. 

“What-What are you doing?” I started walking back. 

“Just telling a story, the best way I know how.”

The purple mist got closer then flew into my eyes. It felt like a hot searing pain, then suddenly a cool breeze. Suddenly I didn’t feel it anymore and I opened them. The room I was once in, was much brighter, the room was entirely changed. It was completely empty. 

There was no bed, no candle, no bear. No nothing. 

I walked out of the door and was met with maids rushing down the halls and guards doing rounds. Where did all these people come from? This castle was empty just a moment ago and now there were people among these halls. I felt like I was in a completely different place.

I wandered the halls and found an open door, I poked my head through and I saw a man with silvery gray hair pacing back and forth in front of a women with dark raven hair. 

” Florin, what am I supposed to do about this war? First its not having an heir, and now a war?! With the Shadows no less!” The man threw his hands in the hair,frustrated.

The woman walked over to the man and held her hands in his. “Preston,dear..We’ll find a way to win this war, you always come through. I’m sure the war won’t last long. The Shadows are just fooling around with the wrong kingdom.” 

The woman smiled and and kissed his hands. ” And the child? We’ll get one eventually, if Glade grants it, they’ll be born. 

Shadows? Its been forever since I’ve heard about them. Shadows are like a different species of demon,or what happens to them when we die. Not every demon turns into a Shadow though. Shadows are made when a demon has done an act that is unforgivable. Then when they die, they become a Shadow. Shadows can be born too, when two Shadows mate they can create a Shadow. Shadows basically can live forever, but at the same time they can die. At home not many people turn into Shadows, and if they do, they disappear on the same day. But a war between Shadows and demons? That was unheard of. 

” I see you’ve found the King.” A voice said next to me.

I screamed and almost ran into a wall.

Crimson was there buckling over from laughing. 

“CRIMSON!” I yelled at him.

” Did I scare you that bad?” He cackled. 

“YES! Don’t do that! You just appeared! Out of nowhere!!” I got up and glared at him. 

“Well you wanted a story. Now I’ll explain. What you’re seeing is from thousands of years ago. Back when Shadows and demons lived close together. Thats when the Shadows wanted more territory within the magic barrier. When King Preston said no, they called war. The war was supposed to be quick and peaceful, but it lasted for what seemed like forever.”

” How do you know this?” 

Crimson pointed behind him, I turned and I saw a small boy with the same blue hair and green..eyes. It was Crimson.

“Crimson why do you cover one of your eyes?”

He glared in my direction, his eye flashed red for a moment. ****, I made him mad.

” Its none of your business.”

I stared at him before he turned away, for a moment I thought I saw scars bridging across his nose. But then again I’m probably seeing things. 

Crimson was now watching the King and I suppose his wife. 

” Lets go, I’m about to leave anyway.”

“How are you doing this..?”

Crimson waved his hand around. ” Illusion magic. Its my specialty,to alter the reality and trick people, right now I’m showing you my memories. You see what I saw on that day.”

As Crimson had said soon the boy turned and ran down the hall. I started to follow him and he met up with a group of people who shared similar features. Squared out jaws, upturned noses and piercing green eyes that appeared to look straight through you as they could see every flaw. 

The boy walked up to a girl and hugged her legs. “Katie! Katie! Is it true that there’s going to be a war?”

The girl was wearing armor and had a sword sheathed at her side. SHe had insanely long hair. Katie patted him on the head. 

” Crimson, don’t worry about it, I’ll protect you.”

The other woman, that I assumed was his mother looked at her son. ” How do you know about the war, Crimson?”

Suddenly, Crimson quieted. “….I heard the King talking about it..”

The woman frowned. “Crimson, just because we’re very close with the royal family, doesn’t mean you can go snooping around.” She spoke firmly. 

The younger Crimson bowed his head. ” Yes mom..sorry mom.”

The mom walked away her dress trailing behind her. 

“Crimson, lets go.”

The younger Crimson followed his mom, looking back at his sister hopefully. Soon the illusion faded and I was in an empty hall. Crimson was there floating next to me. HIs jaw tightened.

” I think thats enough for today. Its getting late.” 

Crimson was right. The light that once came through the windows was now gone and moonlight replaced it. I saw the dark pink of the night sky. I turned and Crimson was gone. 

It seems I wouldn’t be going home for longer than I thought.

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