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Submitted on
February 8, 2012
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You killed me.

You, damned...

You ripped me of the life!

The pale blonde girl was staring at her with her completely white eyes, spewed off by the impenetrable black fog behind her. She stretched out her hand, grabbing her neck in an iron grip. Ria was unable to speak, to move. She could not react. The guilt, heavy like an anvil, was crushing and taking her away the breath, while the little icy hand that was ripping her life was adamant. She felt, like a cold shiver, the touch of death. Her heart was pounding, as if it was trying to blow up: as if it was its only way to escape from that eyes and from that grip. That horrible, evil little girl, wasn't moving. She was tightening, stronger and stronger. Too strong.

... I'll have my revenge!

Ria awoke, sitting up. She was breathing heavily and her forehead was beaded with sweat. She was trembling. With death in her heart, she brought instinctively her hand to the neck.
Again that nightmare... she thought, while her consciousness was beginning to make space into the terror that had darkened her mind. Her eyes were misty with tears of frustration.

"Are you okay..?" Kyed asked in a whisper. Alarmed, he was looking at her, sitting at the bivouac.

His voice abruptly brought Ria back to reality. The girl turned toward the warrior, giving him a nasty look. The big grey eyes, feline form, were dark and distraught as a stormy sea. But she could not show weakness in front of anyone. And especially not in front of him.
She granted herself few moments to calm her breath and to wipe the shocked and frightened expression from her face, trying to wear the usual mask of coldness and detachment.

"Change shifts," she said dry, contemptuous, jumping up with the agility of a cat, but clenching fists as hard as she could, fearing that he could see that her hands were still trembling.

In the soft glow of the campfire, Kyed stared at her a for long time, carefully studying each gesture. Then he snorted, shaking his head and standing up too, reluctantly.

"As you wish..." he muttered, yielding, walking a few steps away. He stretched his cloak on the ground, then let himself drop on it, wearily.

Ria walked around the fire for few minutes, shooting furtive glances at Kyed, to make sure he wasn’t looking at her anymore. She then gave a long sigh and, taking the bottle from her backpack, she sat cross-legged by the fire. She drank some fresh water, which partly calmed the tumult that was still pressing on her soul.
Just a little more than an adolescent, she seemed small and fragile because of her thin body, with little curves, which was developed in less than five feet tall. Despite appearances, however, she was trained, agile and strong enough to embarrass any swordsman, though her specialty was the bow. On the delicate face, with a white and fresh incarnation, were embedded, like precious stones, the big and dark grey eyes, curious, sometimes cheeky. Short and smooth blond hair, a little unkempt, framed the face, giving her an air of saucy tomboy.

The spring was just starting but the temperature was mild. Especially near the fire. Ria was wearing simple traveling clothes: undecorated black leather pants, lost from the knees down in the tall brown leather boots. A high belt tughtened the cream-colored jersey, trimmed with simple green embroidery. The burgundy cloak over her shoulders was fastened around her neck from two bands of the same color. A pendant of polished stone hung on the chest, often hidden by the leather corsage she was wearing as protection.
Adjusting the mantle on her shoulders, Ria lifted her gaze to find the stars that were lighting the clear sky with their velvety glow. Jigaran and Naragij, the opposite and twin stars of fortune and misfortune, were the brightest and faced each other at the far sides of the sky. Before the time of sowing, the farmers used to pay homage to both of them, with a series of festivals, traditional dances and food offerings, in order to obtain the favor of the one and mercy of the other. The sight of those diamonds in the sky helped her to restore the peace she wanted and then, slowly, she let her gaze slip to scrutinize the black silhouettes of the mountains against the dark sky in the north-west.
Here there was Valar, the capital of the Kherming Kingdom, surmounted by the dark spiers of the royal fortress, perched on the summit of the Three Heroes’ Mount. She and Kyed had left the city that morning at dawn, heading for the south-east, where the black, formless and menacing stain of the Ardeithan Forest seemed to be waiting to swallow them in its impenetrable fauces, eager to have them for itself. It was said that no one had ever returned alive from the immense forest, the largest of all the lands of Kherming, and also that in the dense trees, dark mysteries and creatures of all kinds were hidden. Ria gulped, shaking her head, while a mild anxiety gripped her stomach in a cold and sudden vise.
The fear of the horrible dream, meanwhile, had vanished and, more lucid, she began to analyze the nightmare. It was torturing her almost every night. Always the same, in that immutable swell of terror. Although it was so familiar, every time it was like living it for the first time and she had never been able to explain its meaning. Who was that horrible little girl? Why did she accuse Ria of having killed her, when she had never killed anyone? But the guilt she felt during that dream was tangible and oppressive like a shroud bonded to her body. She sighed defeated, renouncing not to focus on issues that couldn’t be answered. She drank another sip of water, then launched a new look at Kyed who seemed to be asleep, and finally moved the eyes in search for the horses’ silhouettes not far, bounded by the reins to a tree.

The clearing was silent and serene. Maybe too much. Some fireflies were faintly flashing in the bushes of hawthorn, while in the distance some night birds launched their shrill lures in search of the female. Everything was calm and quiet. Everything. Except her.
And she knew that it was not only the nightmare to make her nervous. The anger of the day before was still vivid and intense. That fateful day when she had seen Kyed for the first time. The Chief Druid, King Ilfreug and the Proconsul of Kherming’s Army, had gathered around the table for the council of war. Kherming's salvation was in their hands. Ria was behind the Chief Druid, upright, martial, immobile. She was his pupil and bodyguard, belonging to the warrior class of druids, and being there was a great honor for her. In front of her, on the other side of the table, just behind the King, there was Kyed, the Captain of the Royal Guard. She had clearly seen him staring at her, remaining astonished as soon as he had seen her entering. His helmet had almost fallen on the ground from his hands from the surprise. And she smiled proud, imagining his astonishment at seeing that the most trusted warrior of the Chief Druid was nothing less than a girl. A female, yes.
While the meeting was held with concern and apprehension, she could feel the constant gaze of the Captain on her. It seemed possible for her to hear him asking himself how it was possible that a tiny girl had been held in such high regard. A female, an inferior being. Poor deluded. In a few moments, Ria had liquidated him from her thoughts as a baboon male chauvinist.
And, in fact, shortly after, she discovered that she had been right. As soon as it was spelled out that there was a need to send someone trustful to carry out the mission from which would depend the fate of the kingdom, and
Ria had been named, he immediately offered to accompany her, taking the word without permission.

A girl... Alone... Is too much dangerous. In two there is more safety.

That's how he had justified his intentions. The intervent of the Chief Druid was pointless also when he had proposed another druid to accompany Ria. No. The royal guard would stay out of the mission? What guarantees would Kherming have? Kyed had belittled her in the eyes of everyone and too easily had persuaded the King; despite the protests of the Chief Druid, he had not wanted to listen any other reason. Ria had never hated someone so much as she hated Kyed at that moment. She had  wanted to kill him, cut his throat like a beast, but the decisions of the King could not be discussed and she was forced to bow her head.
The idea of strangling or poison him while he was sleeping unaware, now that he was not far from her, brushed her mind for a moment. A persuasive and enticing thought, but quickly followed by the realization that it was not possible to kill a man without a very good reason. And above all, a real druid would never have done that. Then, the mission first of all.

While surrendering to the idea that she could do nothing but travel with him, the unpleasant feeling of being observed began to attract her thoughts. Then a muffled sound whisked among the branches of the near bushes. The girl frowned and focused on her senses. Since it was unclear where she heard the rustle, she closed her eyes. The slender, tapering fingers caught quick and secure the talisman around her neck: nothing more than a small black stone, speckled with flecks of amber, perfectly smooth and oval in shape, held by a simple coarse rope. She opened her lips to utter arcane and silent words, concentrating on the contact with the stone. And then, slowly, the invoked magic began to flow back into her body with a warm and sensual thrill. Her mind was opened, expanding beyond the limits of her own person, aided by the element that she was invoking: the Air. Dilating, while transported by the atmosphere, her conscience touched everything it encountered, starting from the fire, hot and thirsty of oxygen before her, the sparse grass that was cradled by the breath of the breeze. And Kyed’s breath, which was not the one of a person who was sleeping. And then, just beyond, the one, calm and vigorous, of the horses. Through the air, came to her all the smells around here, even the most subtle, that, as a wave of disparate flavors, almost took her breath away. One more effort of concentration and her consciousness had reached the fronds of the bushes around, penetrating the tangle of twigs and leaves to find a multitude of insects intent on their night operations. Finally she directed her trained conscience to achieve what had caused the noise.
She felt its vague heat and was able to pinpoint its location. Focusing all attention on the creature, she perceived clearly its little short breath and the air that was sinuously caressing the thick but soft fur and the long narrow ears. She was able to feel the continuous and rapid movement of the nose and the tense and stiff position of its neck. She smiled, realizing that it was nothing but a wild rabbit. She maintained for a little while longer the state of altered consciousness by the magic, just the time needed to expand it to the best of her ability, to check that, except the harmless rabbit, there weren’t any other dangers in the immediate vicinity.

Finally, satisfied, she called back her own consciousness, that, like a violent storm, flowed into her, leaving her breathless. Meanwhile, the thrill of magic was travelling languidly all over the body, up to the right hand, and then went back through her fingers to the stone, in the talisman. She opened her eyes and took a long breath. The spell, although simple and of easy execution, had taken a small part of her energy. She could feel this clearly, but she was used to it. This feeling would last only few moments.
With a sigh, finally more quiet and controlled, Ria hugged her knees.
Briefly, the eyes of the tiny girl were lost in the fire, giving her face a delicate golden luminescence, while the flames were dancing reflected in the black of her eyes. Remaining thus, motionless, wrapped in the silence of the night, she let herself get lost in her thoughts, with the hope that the dawn would soon come.
EDIT Omg! :faint: A DD??? I'm speachless... I can't really believe this! TAT I mean... I feel kinda ashamed 'cause I know my English is not good enough (I'm not native English) but I'm so crazily happy!! This novel is one of the most important thing for me and receiving such an honour for this first chapter is something unbelievable! I'd cry for happiness!! My babies Kyed and Ria have gotten a DD! TAT

Thank you SO much Endorell-Taelos and DorianHarper... I've no words to express my gratitude... you made my day :heart: ^

EDIT II Re-edited with the help of the amazing mirz-alt :la:
EDIT I tryed to edit and fix mistakes of this first chapter... -.- Sorry again for my bad English! TAT If you notice grammar mistakes, weirdness or wathever please send a note to me! TAT

Ok sorry. As some of you asked me, I tried to translate the first chapter of my story from Italian to English. SORRY. I know it is terrible, ad it was so much hard for me translate this also with the help of Google translator and Wordreference... I just hope this is understandable...
Please let me know if you find big mistakes or anything weird you can't understand... And please don't be cruel with me... I try to do my best, but my English sucks so this is the result... .__.

And... As it was one of the hardest and longest things I've ever done in my life I don't think I'll translate more chapters... Too much difficult for me, sorry o__o

BTW, here it is. The first, short, chapter of the novel...


:star:Italian version:

Teaser: Teaser - 1 . The Child Of Darkness by PiccolaRia

Art of the characters in this chapter:
OC Character Sheet: Kyed by PiccolaRiaCharacter Sheet: Ria by PiccolaRia
We can't... by PiccolaRiaThe invisible scar by PiccolaRiaUntamed by PiccolaRia

More info about my OCs and the story can be found in the dedicated group: :iconkherming-chronicles:
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-02-12
evinca Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh you did it! And not long ago you said it's too big and difficult job. Congratulations, it looks good!
CristianaLeone Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
:D Thanx! Actually this one was already translated when we discussed about it! xD
Przebrzydla Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014
Ah! I'm soooooo happy for your DD! Congratulations! <3 You really deserved it! (:
CristianaLeone Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014
Thank you my dear! T^T
Przebrzydla Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014
MafiaVamp Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
Aww congratulations on the well-deserved DD, dear! :tighthug:
CristianaLeone Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014
:glomp: Thank you!
DarHerverest Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
Love it
CristianaLeone Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
Thank you very much!
maximumcally87 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome :-)
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