Chapter 4

The Cave opened up and witch Cleselda began chanting, “nimwe!, nimwe! nimwe! nimwe! what do you want my child?”

"nimwe! ninee! nimwe! nimwe! nimwe! nimwe! nimwe! nimwe! nimwe! nimwe! nimwe! nimwe! nimwe!"

"I want Jerald and Rachel to cry for eternity. I want them to weep everlasting tears. I want to hit them where it hurts the most. I want blood," Clarris pleaded.

"Remember, Clarriss, there is no going back. I've seldom heard you ask about the sacrifice you're about to make or the consequences that will follow. You're not really interested in learning about your ancestors?"

"I don't care about the ramifications or my family history; all I want is to have King Jerald on my feet, and I want him to forever remember the day he laid eyes on me."

Hearing these words, Cleselda smiled. Initially, she had doubted whether Clarris would take revenge on behalf of all the Cresent witches. But to her surprise, Clarris was ready to unleash her wrath without any questions. She was proud of herself.

The witch continued chanting. "Niwe! niwe! niwe! niwe!" She grabbed Clarris and ordered, "Take off your clothing, and plunge your innocent body into the sacrificial blood," the witch demanded as she grabbed her.

Clarris plunged into the pool of blood without hesitation, stripping off her clothing. Nothing mattered at the time, because she was a woman ready to wreak havoc on anyone who had betrayed her. She gasped for air, but her determination forced her to hold on. Finally, the witch let go, and Clarris inhaled deeply. She kept chanting, "Nme nimwe nmwe."

Clarris screamed at the top of her lungs, "I want his sons! I was not worthy of him, but I will be worthy of his son," she said as the witch stopped chanting and stared at Clarris. "He forgot about me as soon as she had told him about her pregnancy. I want his joy turned into his sorrows," she added.

The witch grinned, knowing that not even her millennial old ass would have thought of it. She gave Clarris a potion to drink and resumed her chanting, "Nimwe! hey! ninweee! ninweee! "

The earth split open, and hellfire erupted within, dividing into light and darkness. Clarris was snatched by the witch and thrown into the scorching fire. She attempted to escape but was pulled back by rotting hands. The flames began ripping through her skin. She screamed in agony as her entire body burned to ash.

Darrell, still in his rat form, regained consciousness in the dark corner of the cave. Trapped between the bones, the chanting, and Clarris's screaming piercing through his ears, he could see the hellfire pouring its rage. It was so hot that his mouse body would have been roasted if it weren't for the bones in front of him.

There was silence after the chanting and yelling ceased. Then Clarris rose like a phoenix from the bottom of the hell pit, her eyes as black as coal and her skin flecked with reddish and greenish scales. Her hair was so long that it swept the floor behind her, and the edges had snake eyes and a mouth. When she walked, the hair hissed. A new creature emerged one that was a hybrid of a witch, serpent, phoenix, and mutant. She was an abomination, and no creature was allowed to have the powers that she possessed. 

Cleselda chanted, and Clariss"s chest opened up. Her heart floated out, and the witch took it and buried it in her crypt. "This is my gift in exchange for the abilities I have bestowed upon you," the witch stated.

Clarris sensed Darrell's presence and went over to where he was pinned and picked him up. "Hello little mousy, I'm so hungry," she said in a cold hissing voice.

Cleselda bowed and said, "You look lovely, my queen."

 Clarris was about to bite Darrell's tail off when he screamed in terror, "Please Princess Clariss, do not eat me, It's me, Darrell."

Clarris came to a halt in mid-air and grinned at him. "I know it's you, Darell. I can hear your thoughts, and you look delicious even in your mouse form," she said. "I would have had an affair with you if my eyes were as open as they are now. You always looked delectable in that knight's robe," she complimented.

Cleselda burst out laughing, while Darrell hid his apprehension behind his little mousy eyes. 

She joked, "Bring me my clothes, Cleselda; Darrell is staring."

Cleselda dashed to her tomb without delay and fetched anything for her to wear.

"Please excuse me for staring at my princess; please spare my life," Darrell screamed out, pleading.

Cleselda returned with a splendid gown fit for a queen, which she presented to Clarris. As she put the dress on, Clarris wondered aloud, "How strong am I, Cleselda?"

"No one compares to you, my queen; all the forces of the buried crescent witches have been restored in you. You are impenetrable. You'll be able to make armies kneel in front of you with only your fingertip, and men will die of desire with only your face and body. " The witch spoke up.

Clarris grinned and transformed Darrell back into a human with a snap of her fingers. Darrell struggled to breathe, and as he tried to rise, he collapsed under the weight of his own body.

"Hold on a second, Darrell," Clarris told him. "It's been seven years since you've used those legs."

Darrell gave her a startled expression. "For I have saved your soul. You shall serve me for eternity," she said as she raised her hands and lifted him.

At that, Darrell tried to protest, but his throat was blocked; "you only speak when spoken to," Clarris blasted out.

"Treat this as a gift, and you will be able to live indefinitely. You'll still have the chance to avenge the man who sentenced you and your companions to death.

 Darrell came to a halt as she hissed some chanting. She whirled the hellfire around and sprayed it at Darrell, who screamed in agony.

As Darrell burned before their eyes, Clarris and Cleselda both burst out laughing. His skin became scorched, and after a few minutes, his skin turned as dark as coal, and his eyes darkened. In front of Clarris, he knelt in submission and said. "My Queen" 

"Rise," Clarris ordered, and Darrell did so, revealing flesh on his skin. The two women eyed each other, with Cleselda putting clothing on him.

"We have a date with Ergad," Clarris announced.

**************

King Jerald, Rachel, and their two sons sat in the garden in Egard, munching on their treats. Rachel was expecting to give birth to their third child any day now. Rachel inquired, putting kisses on King Jerald's hand, "Have you thought of the name? I will soon be put to bed."

"We'll call him Maximus after my great grandfather," King Jerald answered.

"That's not bad; I've heard nothing but positive things about him. Our son, like your grandfather, will conquer many nations."

"So I'm not great because I haven't conquered nations?" Jerald grabbed her face in his palms and whispered.

"You are amazing in my eyes, and you have conquered my heart, my king," Rachel replied with a smile.

She noticed ashes on her dress and tried to brush them off, but she was burned and screamed in agony. "OUCH!"

 "What is it, love?" Jerald snatched her hands and asked. Rachel's firstborn son cried out in pain before she could respond, and they both ran to him. They noticed the sky darkening and more ashes falling as they looked up. "It's the ash," his son exclaimed, and Jerald turned to look at his wife, who agreed with teary eyes.

King Jerald jumped to his feet and rushed into the castle with his sons and wife. "Please tell me what's going on?" Rachel inquired, her voice trembling.

One of his dark knights rushed up to him and said, "Your Majesty, we need to take you into safety."

"Can you tell me what's going on?" King Jerald inquired.

"Looks like a spell hell; the sorcerers are on it," the knight answered, "but first and foremost, your protection comes first. Come with us, they will come and explain everything."

Rachel inquired, "What is the spell hell?"

The Dark Knight replied, "Witches, they're back."

"That's unlikely; the Elders of Ergad made sure there were no spellbinders left," King Jerald responded.

"We're not sure yet," the Knight replied, "but it's pointing to the witches."

The eldest son cried out, "Mom, I'm scared."

Rachel clutched her sons in terror when the knight came to a halt in front of them after realizing that they had just passed the same corner. "Your Majesty, this castle is under a spell."

"What, please no, what's happening?" Rachel cried out.

Jerald now took both of his sons in his arms and motioned for Rachel to join them. "There is another way out of this castle; follow me!" shouted King Jerald.

He inquired of the knight, "And where are all the other knights and guards?"

The knight came to a halt with a grin on his face.

"Why would you ask for the others when I'm here to save you, and I'll even enter the Deadman's Forest on your command?"

Jerald came to a halt and turned around, recalling the voice. The knight shapeshifted into Darrell, and both Jerald and Rachel's hearts slowed for a moment.

"Is that how you greet the knight you sent to his death, despite the fact that you had no interest in the woman we were sent after?" With a grunt, Darrell asked.

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