"Ugh..", Rania grunted as she slowly opened her eyes. Once fully opened, she noticed the dragon patterns on the wall and the unfamiliar room she's in. "Where...am I?" Then, with a sudden gasp, memories came back to her. She remembered herself being stabbed in the back, and the vines sucking her in, and a dragon breathing a ball of fire aimed at her.
"Rania! Rania!", the little pink-haired fairy called to her. "You're awake!", she said delightedly.
Rania looked to the direction of the small voice and there she saw the small fairy.
Recognizing her, she exclaimed, "Luna!...you..why are you here? Where am I?"
"Well ...you see, ever since you saved us before, actually..we've been following you.", the little fairy answered shyly. "And then, one day, we just saw you sucked in here and you almost died! That nasty dragon was ready to kill you! Good thing we were able to stop him in time."
"So you saved me,'' Rania responded with a sweet smile. "Thank you very much!"
Luna blushed, so as the other fairies who started gathering around her.
"Well, it can't be helped, we owe you anyways!"
"Hahaha, don't listen to her Rania, she's just shy." said the other fairy with a husky voice.
"Yeah, she's been worried sick about you this last few days that you hadn't woken up." added another.
Rania's smile widened as she chuckled. "I see, well thank you everyone, really..for saving me. Now I owe you big time!"
"Sheesh~ it was nothing," said another cute and plump little fairy.
They all laughed happily and you could feel a very comforting atmosphere around them.
"Were you the ones who healed my wound, too? I noticed it's gone and there's no scar." curious, Rania asked them.
Luna answered, "About that.... Actually, someone else healed you...the owner of this place"
"- I believe you're referring to me?", Elliot suddenly came from nowhere. Slowly, he paced towards Rania. "You're currently inside 'Anguis', mostly known as the forbidden chamber."
"...You're...the masked man at the ball." Rania wondered. "So..you live here?"
'Yes..and no. I currently stay here but this is not my home."
"I see. Thank you, for letting me stay."
"Tell that to your annoying little friends. They never stopped fuzzing about you."
Drawing close to Rania who still sat on the bed, he gestured his hands on the bedside table and suddenly, food appeared. There were warm bread and cheese, a delicious looking, piping hot soup, fresh fruits, some coffee in a cute cup and a glass of water.
"Eat up while it's hot. You need to recover your energy."
Rania was surprised by his kindness and all she could say was "Thank you". All the books she read about the forbidden chamber only says about how dangerous it is and how no one should dare enter or they will all die. Never in her wildest imagination did she think she'd be welcomed and taken care of inside. Perhaps, it was indeed because of the intervention of the fairies. And for that, she was even more thankful. A few moments later Ducis arrived with his very unwelcoming presence and told Rania to hurry up in recuperating herself. At this remark, the fairies argued with Ducis - he was really a stubborn guardian, and hard to please at that.
A couple of more days passed and Rania is now able to walk and finally regained some of her strength. Finally being freed of her bed, she walked downstairs and explored the whole chambers. Of course, she asked Elliot first, if it was alright and he easily agreed. Elliot was rather silent and seemed calm as compared to Ducis who was always grumpy towards her. He seemed aloof and not really interested in the things happening around him, as far as she observed.
Elliot. Aside from wearing his white mask all day, he liked reading books. Rania often found her in the library inside the bedroom chamber and sat there for hours. If he's not reading books, he practiced his magic on the balcony or in the forbidden forest just below his chambers. If not, he'd play a game of chess with Ducis or mess around with the fairies or chat with her for a moment. But never once did she saw Elliot stepping out of the chamber which made her curious. He would only go back and forth from the chamber or the forbidden forest which was, basically, part of the chamber as it looked like.
Why? Why doesn't he ever go out of that door? Is there something keeping him from going out? Was he not allowed to? As her curiosity reached its peak, she set out to ask him directly on a one, beautiful night. She's avoided it so far as she didn't know if it may offend him or whatnot. But her curiosity couldn't contain her and so, she asked.
"Elliot." she called for him as he sat on the railings of the balcony.
Elliot looked back at her. "What is it?"
"I've been meaning to ask...it's just that I'm not sure if it's alright."
"Ask away, you already came to me anyways."
"Y-yeah. So.... I just noticed...that...I never saw you went outside apart from the forbidden forest. Even on the day of the banquet, you were in the pavillion, which was part of the forbidden forest.... Why... is that? Is there a specific reason? Or is it that you just don't want to go out?"
"You imbecile!" Ducis shouted in anger as he heard the conversation. "How dare you - !" At his remark, Rania jolted.
"-Ducis, it's okay. She doesn't know."
Ducis face was full of anger. He never really appreciated Rania. After being reprimanded, he just kept his anger inside and frowned his eyebrows.
"I-I'm sorry for asking. You don't need to answer, I-"
"- I can't get out of this place.", Elliot answered. "I'm bound and chained to this place by a protective barrier. Ever since I was a baby I've been here, locked away...as if.. some kind of monster."
Rania gasped and furrowed. "I'm... really..sorry."
"It's alright. I'm used to it."
"You're not a monster, Elliot! You're..." Ducis wanted to say something but he couldn't and just kept looking worried for Elliot who looked in so much pain at that time even if he was wearing a mask.
"It's alright Ducis. You don't need to hide it from me. I've noticed it a long time ago. I'm...rather special...and dangerous."
"Why do you say that? Of all the times I've been here, all you did was take care of me. -"
"Yeah, I did. But if I were to use my magic, it would cause destruction. The mana that flows in me, its... too much to the point that it's dangerous. No magi is allowed to possess such huge amount of mana and yet here I am, overflowing with it." Elliot continued as he raised his hand and stared at it. "I'm a ticking time bomb. Imagine if I became angry, or sad? If I'm unable to control my emotions, I could certainly...destroy this whole planet with this much mana."
At this remark, even the fairies trembled. Rania got frightened for a moment but she thought...
"That's...if...you became unable to control your emotions, right?"
"I guess so. Or maybe whenever I feel like it. To be honest, I've thought of destroying this world many times already. Because, what's the point? I'm just stuck here anyways."
"- But you never did,'' Rania butted in. "Coz' deep inside you're not really bad. Instead, you are good. The fact that you can help a stranger, give them trust, and take care of them warmly proves that you're not bad at all. You're just ...bored and lonely."
Elliot chuckled. "Haha. You can't be sure about that. Right now, you can't even see my face. You don't know what kind of face I'm making. I could be grinning right now and planning how I should kill you." And with a sudden malice, he looked at Rania.
"No, you're not." Rania answered firmly. Then she approached Elliot and stood beside him. She then, held out her hand and touched Elliot's mask.
"Oh~ trying to remove it?", Elliot asked mischievously. "You can't remove it. It's cursed as well. That mask is a limiter. It's to keep me from using too much mana and from actually destroying this world."
But Rania didn't listen. "No, you won't destroy this world."
"You're too naive, if that's what you think. And many people die from foolishness, you know."
"You can call me naive if you want. But I... I just believe in the kindness of people and the power to make their own choices." she answered him with her eyes full of conviction as she stared at his eyes. "I believe that anyone given too much power doesn't necessarily mean they are dangerous. But instead, they are HOPE. For they possess enough power to protect anyone. And I believe that things happen for a reason. You having an enormous power as you mentioned, and that immense power choosing you, amongst all people out there, proves that it's because you are WORTHY of it. So never, ever think... that you are a danger."
And with that remark, Rania took of his mask. Yes, for some reason, she was able to take it off. And after the blank, white mask revealed a very lonely yet very handsome visage. He was too beautiful that he surpasses anyone before. With his bright blue eyes, a shed of tears can be seen at its corners. The stars can be seen twinkling in his eyes and the moon's light reflected on his skin made him look like he's glowing.
"Master," Ducis whispered. He couldn't utter any more words for he was appalled that a human girl was able to remove his mask. But deep inside, he felt thankful and relieved.
Rania smiled warmly at Elliot as she touched his face. Elliot, feeling her soft hands on his face, felt warm in his heart for the very first time. He lifted his hands afterwards and held out Rania's and closed his eyes gently. And little, very little, he let out a smile on his beautiful face.
"Thank you." he said in a warm and sweet tone.
The fairies giggled and felt happy witnessing what's happening. Everything was perfect.
Until... the full moon's light touched Luna's little body. And suddenly, the little fairy shone bright and her eyes, full white and glowing. As if someone possessed her, she started speaking in a mysterious voice.
"When the chosen one
Who is not one of us
Unveils the hidden Truth
The barrier shall be broken
And the path to the unknown shall open
But take heed and be weary
For in the unknown lies trials untold
The pits may be fiery
But take heart! For history is about to unfold!"