A gypsy girl that dreams of nothing but revenge for her dead family. A female warrior who can not love any one. Seven broken girls, and a prophecy that says they have to save the world. A hangman's noose that has been tied, but for the girls or their foe? Book one of The Heartless Chronicles


8. a life left behind

Ivy stood up in the dead of night. You could always tell when night was because it would get freezing. The air would turn frigid, and woe to those who were unprepared. Also the fires would get dimmer and would not give off nearly as much heat, no matter how much Amber stoked them they would not return to their formal light. 

A few days ago, they enlarged the camp it was the size of a small village now. Amber had set up her customary ring of fire. However just inside of that, Ivy made a barrier of vine and thorns and other plants. It was just like the one she had at home, it would take considerable force to get through it. And inside of the plant wall was a moat of Thalia's water. Thalia and Amber had devise a system to heat up the water by Amber's fire systematical heating up rocks and dropping them at the base of the spring creating a hot spring. Thalia was slowly learning how to control the temperature of the water, eventually they would not need the fires and the rocks, Thalia would just be able to heat up the water on a whim.

Even Ivy's garden had gotten bigger. Saffron performed a size changing spell. So the outside was still the size of a large house but the inside was huge.

Ivy was not happy about having to go at night, and she could not stop worrying about heat. But it seemed to be the only reasonable option. There was no way she could just announce that she was leaving, the other girls would certainly not like it. Night was definitely the best time to leave, but it made her nervous. They had never been attacked at night, but the monsters certainly sounded more active. As for light, she did not need to worry herself, and so she did not bother. She had fireflies, and they would provide her with all the light she could possibly need.

Ivy sighed. This had been her home for weeks. And now she was leaving, the thought made her slightly sad, but she also needed to see what was out there. She put on her wide belt with all of her pouches and bottles, she dared not leave without them. Then she tugged on her tall but soft brown boots. Her cat, Iris, stood up and stretched. She was almost all gray with brilliant green eyes with rings of golden fire around the pupil. She had navy blue paws like socks. She followed Ivy everywhere, and would come with her to the outside. Plante would not, they would stay to help the girls guard the camp. Ivy unfolded the cloak that she hadn't worn since she got here. It was completely black, the flip side was a mottled camouflage. and Ivy hoped it's small magic would provide her some protection. It would certainly provide her with much needed warmth.

She looked around to make sure everything was in order. The small leather bound book of herbs and edible plants lay next to the small vegetable plot. Each plant had a steak next to it telling the person who read it what plant it was. The animals were all healthy and the population would continue to grow. She had her cloak, and her only clothes were on her back. All the potions were on her belt. Her dirt pouch, and pouch full of berries also hung at her side. She had at least one ivy vine in her hair, and her magic levels were at full strength.

The first thing her clock would do for her was muffle all the noise she made, it would also help conceal her from the sight of the other girls and monsters alike. She had made sure that Sylvia would not be on watch, with her night vision Sylvia would spot her easily, even with the cloak. The cloak would also have some minimal magic resistance. And it would block some attacks like claws, or swords.

Something in the darkness outside was calling to her, ever since she and the other girls had that incident with the bacon craving she had felt a need to see what was out there. She knew that for some reason that she need to leave, and find what was out there. She could not stay even if she tried.

Ivy slid out of her garden. Her turn for watch tonight was over and she knew she would not be missed until morning. Her soft leather boots made no noise as she slid across the camp. Iris padded silently behind her.

"And just where do you think your going?" And low voice startled her as she was just a foot away from outside camp.

"Hello Saffron," Ivy said, without even turning around.

"Again. Where do you think your going?" Saffron replied.

"I forgot you were on watch, I was so worried about the possibility that Sylvia would be on watch that I did not think about you," Ivy continued.

"Last time. Where do you think your going?" Saffron's voice had a warning edge, and a dangerous tone Ivy had only heard when Saffron was talking to Lia.

Ivy averted her eyes.

"Your leaving." Saffron's voice had lost its edge, and was flat, like a violin not played in months.

"Lia has made it clear I'm not welcome," Ivy replied, finally finding her voice. It was a lie, and she knew, but she dared not state her true reason.

"Since when do you listen to Lia?"

"Never. But I'm too tired to kept fighting her, so I'm leaving." Ivy sighed.

"You need Amber's fires to survive," Saffron argued.

"Do you seriously doubt me that much?" Ivy opened her hand and a cascade of fireflies flew out. "I don't need Amber's fires for light this will do just fine!"

"What about heat?" Saffron stalled.

Ivy smiled recognizing the game Saffron played. Saffron had little to no hope of stopping her, so she was delaying the inevitable. "Some of my plants provide heat." Ivy said at last, deciding to play the game.

"What about us?" Saffron asked, taking a unexpected turn.


"What we will do without your plants, without your animals?" Saffron asked. Ivy looked at the huge snake wound around Saffron. It was another one of the animals she had breathed life into.

"I've left everything in order, the plants will continue to grow and so will the animals," Ivy  explained.

"None of us have your way with plants, with our luck we'll eat something poisonous." Saffron tried.

"I labeled everything and left a book of herbs so you would know what kinda plants are poisonous, healing, and edible, and what to do with them." Ivy replied.

"What happens when we don't want food we want friends," Saffron tried on last time.

"Then you turn to Lia and say "What the hell have you done?" Anyways I'll be back eventually. Something out there is calling to me and I need to find it. Now lets face it. You can't stop me from going, no matter how much you try. However I would like to leave before anyone else notices." Saffron looked ivy in the eye and stepped aside. Ivy stepped outside the encampment and sped away, she hadn't meant to say the part about the darkness calling to her, but luckily it had not changed Saffron's judgment.

From her tent, where she had been listening, Lia smiled. She had finally gotten rid of Ivy, her life was going to get better from here.

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