Immortal Love in the Dark
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[Mature Content] Peace will never prevail over Rothnia until blood has been spilled, the prophecy said. And for peace, Kieran Allendale, the King of Rothnia, must sacrifice his people or his love. With all the dark forces coming out of their hibernation, Kieran has to make a choice all over again. But amidst the danger, there lies a hidden enemy with an entirely different agenda that would crumble Kieran's world completely. How will Kieran overcome the precarious situation? Will he be able to save his love as well as his subjects? But before that, will he get the love he has been seeking for a long time? ------------------------------------------------------ Meanwhile, Irene finds herself in a strange land after an accident, and since then, her life has been anything but normal. Having no idea where she is and how she got there, Irene is now in another body, who everyone addresses as Sylvaine. And to her horror, the land is dominated by creatures she once considered a fantasy. Desperate to return to her old life, she tries everything she can, only to meet the man who has been haunting her dreams even before she became Sylvaine. Who is he, and what does he want from her? Why is he so mysterious and dark and possessive about her? All Irene wants is to get away from him, but the man has other intentions: To make her his for eternity. --------------------------------------------------------- "I finally found you, sweetheart." The man whispered, trapping the girl in his arms. His dark, red eyes twinkled in happiness, his longing for her evident on his face. "Why did you make me wait this long, dear?" But the girl in his arms was lost in her thoughts to answer him. 'Isn't he the same man I met in my dreams? What is he doing here, and what is this place?' She tried to escape from him, causing the man to tighten his embrace. "Now that I have you where I want you to be, I'll never let you go, darling. You are mine and I'll cherish you for life."
1. Enigmatic castle
Irene stared at the beautiful castle in front of her, her eyes twinkling like the stars in the night sky. The entire place held a mysterious vibe to it. Yet, Irene was not terrified of it. On the contrary, she was eerily calm, and the place attracted her like no other thing. It was as though this was where she belonged, this was where her heart belonged.
Without another thought, she lifted her beige-colored dress and walked towards the castle, a gentle smile landing on her lips. The castle was barely lit, and Irene had to squint her eyes to see her way. She found herself standing in front of the castle door, and even before she could lift her hand, the door opened, stunning her for a moment.
Irene blinked in shock at finding no one before her. The place was utterly dark, and there was not one person inside. The moonlight paved the way for her, and Irene followed the light as she took slow steps inside the castle. Her heart was thundering in excitement, and she clutched her dress tight, enthusiastic about venturing further into the castle that had piqued her curiosity at first sight.
However, the moment she stepped inside, the coldness of the place hit her hard, and she shivered in her place. Rubbing her arms to warm herself up, Irene continued to walk, trying to find out why she was even here in the first place.
Irene had to rely on the moonlight to help her see what lay ahead of her. So, she stuck to the places only where the light could reach. She did not know what she was looking for or even who she was searching for. But whatever it was, she had to find it, for she knew she was here solely for it.
"Hello," Irene spoke, her voice softly echoing through the magnificent castle, and for a moment, the girl was mortified to hear herself. But she tried to strengthen her heart and took another step. "Is anybody here?" She spoke again, and this time, her reverberating voice did not scare her much.
No response. That was what she received, and Irene frowned, pondering if she had been wrong in her assumptions. But the thought vanished as soon as it had come, and Irene licked her lips, which had gone dry in nervousness. Her footsteps were barely audible, and the girl kept an eye around her, even though the light for her to see was scarce.
She could vaguely feel a gaze on her, and she twisted her neck, trying to find who was observing her. But all she saw was darkness and more darkness. A chill went down Irene's spine when he realized that someone might be observing her every move when she remained oblivious to it. Her mind screamed for her to run away from the castle and never return. But her heart said otherwise. It repeatedly consoled her and told her to continue walking.
In this war between her heart and her mind, her heart won eventually, and Irene continued walking until she was standing in front of the staircase, just beside the window. Irene was glad the moonlight was strong and she did not have to squint her eyes to see around her.
Slowly and cautiously, she climbed the stairs, keeping her eyes and ears open. She could hear no other sound besides her breaths and footsteps. Somewhere far away, she heard the owl hoot and the crickets chirping. But there was no noise inside the castle.
Irene stayed closer to the wall as she climbed the stairs one by one. The feeling of someone's eyes on her intensified as she climbed the stairs, and Irene wiped the drop of sweat that had rolled down her cheek even though it was freezing.
"Hel-Hello," Her voice refused to leave her throat, and she had to clear her throat. "Hello. Is anybody here?" She questioned again, this time her voice softer than before. By now, Irene had covered more than half the stairs. But she got no response again. 'Why is nobody responding to me?' She wondered, for she knew that the castle was not vacant. She could feel the presence of someone whose aura was strong and intimidating, even though she could not see them.
Reluctantly, she covered the rest of the stairs and reached a long corridor where the moonlight could not reach. However, unlike the floor below, the corridor was illuminated, the candles on the candelabra hanging from the ceiling spreading the light everywhere. Unknowingly, a relieved sigh left Irene's lips, and she dropped her hands that were clutching her dress tight.
She trod carefully ahead, gulping in anxiousness. Irene had the intense urge to retrace her steps and leave the place forever. However, the mystifying place stopped her from leaving, piquing her curiosity. With renewed courage, she proceeded further. The corridor was long, with rooms on either side of it. Though the girl wanted to explore the rooms, something in her told her to stick to the corridor.
The corridor stretched forever, and Irene wondered if it was never-ending. The feeling of someone's gaze on her had not left her since the time she had reached the first floor. And Irene turned back to see if anyone was following her. But there was no one. The place was deserted. Fear crept up in her heart, and her palms turned clammy. Finally, she reached the end of the corridor and stopped when she saw a painting looking back at her, the candles in front of it illuminating it. What attracted her was not the man in the painting, nor the artistic mastery, that had made it life-like. Instead, it was the red eyes of the man that pulled her to it.
Irene stood observing the painting, completely forgetting the fear within her. She had no idea how long she stood watching the man. There was something in him that drew her in, baffling her. Irene almost shrieked when a hand snaked around her waist and spun her around, only to come face to face with the man to whom the painting belonged.
"Finally, I found you, darling."
"Finally, I found you, darling."
As soon as the man's captivating voice fell on her ears, Irene woke up with a start. She was gasping for breath, sweat dribbling down her forehead. She frantically looked around her to see where she was, the familiar walls of her bedroom staring back at her. Only when she was certain that she was not in the mysterious castle but in her apartment, tucked in her tiny bed, did Irene heave in relief. She licked her lips which had gone dry in fear after the horrible dream she had seen.
Irene grabbed the bottle from the bedside table and drank the water, soothing her tensed nerves. The cold water worked like magic, and finally, her erratic heartbeat returned to normal. With a frustrated sigh, she ran her hand through her hair, recalling her dream.
It was always the same scene, the same place, and the same man. No changes at all. It always started with her standing in a beige dress in front of a dark, mysterious castle at ni
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