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


18. confusion

"Hello Lia, I'm surprised Saffron hasn't told all of you about me yet. My name is Death," Azrael said filtering into view. She was an unnerving sight. Her face was a mask of indifference and coldness, only her eyes gave away anything about her true feelings. They were completely black but somehow they told a story. She wore a half smirk and it put a air of uncaring malice about her.

"Death?" Lia backed up a step, "What do you want with me? Do you want to take me, because you'll have to wait, I have things to do, and I intend to finish them!" Lia said aggressively. She made a decision right then, she would fight Death if she had to, and even if it meant that she wouldn't go to heaven, or even if it meant she would never be able to die.

"Relax I'm not here to take you with me, I came to put your mind at rest, your sister is doing well." said Azrael kindly. The face she wore softened and the smile she wore seemed somehow kinder, and the air around her changed to one of compassion and kindness. Lia marveled at how she was able to change her entire appearance by just her smile.

"Autumn?" Lia gasped, not quite comprehending. Somewhere in the back of her mind she wondered if this curious girl meant her sister had gone to heaven, if so that meant her beloved sister had died. Lia knew that if her sister had died that her world would just crumble around her.

"Yes your sister. She works as a minstrel at the tavern where you used to work," Azrael explained

It took Lia a second to realize that the fact that she was working meant that she could not possibly be dead, then as she grasped everything Azrael said she grimace. "The Blue bottle? Oh that idiot," Lia put her head in her hand and sighed. "The men there have no sense of personal boundaries." She could just imagine it, her sister was innocent and she could see the look on her face when a man violated her without permission.

"They do now, your sister is a very powerful magician, and all it take was one man in the dust with a broken jaw for the rest of them to get the message." Azrael laughed. "I really have to leave, I just wanted to tell you that." Azrael smiled.

"No wait, don't," siad Lia reaching out to Azrael, but just faded away.

"go..." Lia finished belatedly. She stood looking at the spot where the mysterious girl had been. She was very glad to know that her sister was safe, but the appearance raised so many questions to her mind. Saffron knew this person? When did her sister learn music? Who was Death?

She shook her head resolving to answer those question later. She waved her hands, then disappeared in a flash bright yellow light. A couple of hours of walking distance from the camp, a lightning bolt struck down and when the smoke cleared, Lia stood, her blonde hair looking a bit ruffled and static electricity clinging all over her. Then she walked back to the camp with a purpose in her stride. 

Amber was there when she got back. "You were gone a week! How far did you walk her?" asked Amber amused.

"Only a couple of days," said Lia confused. She knew it had only taken her a few hours to get back to the camp, and she had only walked Dragon a couple of days. She tried to remember how long she had talked with Azrael and came up with a blank, it seemed as if she had no conception of time while she was talking to her. Lia added that odd event to her list of strange things about the curious girl.

"Oh wow, that's a long time!" noted Amber startling Lia out of her thoughts. "No wonder you were gone for a week!"

"Yeah," Lia murmured disconnectedly "no wonder," she said, then she had to smile at the irony, there was indeed a lot of wonder for her, and a lot of wonder about that girl.

Lia was welcomed warmly, and even Ivy and Sylvia managed to smiled slightly. They had another large feast to celebrate her safe return. As usual the cooking fell almost entirely on Ivy, and that wiped the smile of her face and replaced it with her normal Really? look. But as like normal, despite Ivy's discontentedness the food turned out fine, and Ivy was unable to resist dancing her heart out while Selena played. Then Lia sought out Saffron as all the girls were going to bed. 

"We need to talk," stated Lia.

"Dare I ask what we need to talk about?" smiled Saffron.

"Since we will soon be talking about our subject of discussion, I see no reason to keep it from you," joked Lia. Both of the girls laughed.

"So what will will we be talking about?" asked Saffron becoming serious.

"A friend of yours, her name is Death," said Lia. Watching carefully for Saffron's reaction.

Saffron started and her eyes went wide, her normal exterior of clam was entirely shattered and she could not seem to put the pieces back together. "Death? Azrael!" Lia was shocked at Saffron's frazzled and completely shattered expression. She was used to a calm and solid friend, Saffron was never frightened by anything.

"She did not call herself by the name of Azrael," Lia said gravely. "But she did say that you knew of her, and that you knew her." She had thought this talk would answer her questions, not give her more!

"I know her well,"Saffron said lowering her her head and averting her eyes "but I do not know of reason that caused her to seek you out," she continued, shaken.

"How do you know her?" Lia asked curiously. She hope this would not be another question that gave her more questions than answers.

"She was my friend and a mentor, a human once. She helped me so much, I loved her. But then she took the name Death in order to save someone. but once she was Death she found that she could not resist taking them, it is impossible not to take someone that is dying. It drove her mad and she slowly began to forget who she once was, she barely remembers anymore, and I think she is scared to remember it," Saffron told the sad story looking into the distance as if she could see the events as she told of them. "Lia, I must beg a favor of you, tell no one of this!" Lia nodded confused, then went to bed with much on her mind.

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