For years Zedekiah worked as a slave and fought to survive. So when Lucien found him and pulled him out of the mines, he thought he was close to freedom – only to be given to Celyna as a birthday gift for her 18th birthday. Then, opportunity comes pounding on the door, and Zedekiah faces one of the most difficult decisions of his life: gain his freedom by leaving Celyna to die, or save her and face being a slave for the rest of his life.
After a few minutes, Celyna waved her hand back over the fire. Within seconds, the waves stopped and the campfire returned to its small soft crackling. Celyna slowly stood up and turned around – still checking her hair. She could see thousands of dead spiders covering the ground around them.
She suddenly felt a strong sensation of vertigo. Zedekiah looked up and watched as she started to reach her hand up to her head to steady herself. Celyna shook her head quickly for a moment – trying to shake off the feeling of dizziness. When she opened her eyes again, the fire and surrounding trees were beginning to twist and morph together into strange, fading shapes as the ground rose up to meet her.
Zedekiah quickly stumbled up to his feet after seeing Celyna fall. He looked at her for a moment and then walked over to her slowly and rolled her over onto her back. He jumped as a spider the size of his fist crawled out from under Celyna and started scurrying away. Zedekiah pulled his sword and plunged it through the spider – sticking it into the ground below and watching as the spider jerked and coiled its legs up beneath it. Then he turned back to Celyna.
Her face was pale and he could see her skin already sunken slightly from the poison. He knelt down beside her, holding his hand up over his mouth as he contemplated what to do. A few seconds later, he turned and grabbed his bag and pulled out a small glass vial filled with a liquid that seemed to swirl in different shades of green. He walked back over to Celyna and knelt down next to her, placing the vial on the ground.
Zedekiah leaned back on his heels and thought for a minute. He glanced around the small campsite – thinking of what would happen if he let her die.
I could be free… he thought to himself. They’ll just think she died of the Nether Weaver’s poison.
He stood up and looked around at the fire. Then he grabbed his bag and flung it over his shoulder and started walking slowly away from the campsite. After a few minutes, he stopped and turned back around. Lucien’s voice was running through his head loudly as he recalled the day he was brought out of the mines.
Do you know why you’re here? Why I’ve chosen you, Zedekiah?
It’s not every day that a slave can kill one of my guards… Do you think you’re good enough to be a guard for the Corcaird Draícht?
He started to pace in a small circle – listening to his thoughts interrupted by the slight rustling of leaves and the cries of animals circling the campfire.
Do you know…why I’ve chosen you?In frustration, Zedekiah kicked at the ground and threw his head back. He thought about the morning Lucien told him he was to be given to this girl.