Night of the Black Witch

Within an academy of magic, there is an endless battle between two witches. Many who know these witches have decided to participate in this struggle for power. Arianna, a friend of both witches, seeks out the roots of their conflict, hoping to end it once and for all.

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2. Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Just as I had previously assumed, Angelina’s team was planning a raid on Luna’s. This was really getting ridiculous. I mean, sure, sorcerers at our academy had duels. It occurred often, actually. Never to this extreme, though. Angelina and Luna were beyond insane.

Angelina’s goal was to capture Luna’s entire territory and force her to surrender. Seemed like a pretty good idea to me, she didn’t want any harm done to anyone from Luna’s side, so everyone would be okay in the end.

There still was another thing I didn’t understand, though. Tempest was with Angelina. I saw her standing behind her in Angelina’s quarters. Tempest and Luna are best friends. Something was completely wrong, and I didn’t understand at all. There was absolutely no possible way that Tempest would ever leave Luna’s side, I knew this for certain. Especially considering the fact that Tempest didn’t seem to have any friends at all on Angelina’s side. She and Angelina barely knew each other anyway. It was too confusing for me, seeing Tempest sitting behind Angelina like a trapped animal. It was clear she wanted to be with Luna, and badly.

“Angelina?” I approached her, somewhat cautiously.

“Hmm? What is it?” The blonde replied obliviously.

“Why is Tempest here…?”

Angelina gave me a questioning look, as if to say ‘Why wouldn’t she be here?’
“Oh, her. She’s just something of a prisoner, I suppose.” She stated casually.

Prisoner. I didn’t like the sound of that. Angelina was taking prisoners? That was so… unlike her.

“We all know how attached this one is to Luna. Figured she’d make a good prisoner. It’s only to lure Luna in a bit.” Angelina went on, pointing at Tempest like she was merely some object. Tempest frowned in response, looking away in anger for a moment. She looked like she wanted to spit a million curses at Angelina, but held her tongue.

I stared at her for a moment, convincing myself that her imprisonment was only for the best. To bring order back into the Academy. I couldn’t help but notice how depressed she looked, though.

I never really liked Tempest all that much. I guess we would be considered friends, or maybe just acquaintances, but nothing more than that. We would never be close like she was with Luna. I’m not exactly sure what made me have a strange dislike for her, but nonetheless I did. Well, maybe I shouldn’t call it dislike. It was just an odd feeling. Maybe it was even jealousy. She always had Luna’s attention. Always. Luna paid a lot more attention to her than she did to me. Maybe that was why. Still, I felt sorry for her. She looked like she wanted nothing more than to run off and be with her friend.

“Anyway, we’re raiding tonight. What do you think, Arianna? Want to join us?” Angelina was speaking to me again.

“Uh… not really, no.” I stated honestly. I didn’t want any part in this whole thing.

“You could at least come and watch. It’ll be fun.” Angelina was talking about it like it was a football game.

“Well, alright I guess.” Why, why did I say that…? Why couldn’t I have just said a simple no?

“Alright~!” Cheered Angelina excitedly. “We’re going to begin preparing soon.”

Angelina’s preparations were simple, mostly just gathering her teammates together for the raid and giving them basic directions. She wasn’t planning anything too chaotic, based on what I heard from her plans. Just a simple battle.

Once that was over, we headed to the school. Tempest was left with a couple of guards, two girls that I didn’t recognize. Poor Tempest, she looked caged. Sad. Angry. Frustrated. It’ll all be over soon, Tempest. Things will go back to normal. I wanted to tell her that, but I didn’t think Angelina wanted me talking to her.

Angelina and her team marched onwards to the school building where Luna and her teammates would be. Sure enough, one of Luna’s subjects was at the door waiting for us. They probably caught on to what we were planning to do.

“Angelina and her lackeys. Nice to see you guys again.” He muttered darkly. I knew this voice well. It was Roman. Weird, Luna didn’t particularly like Roman. Well, Roman did happen to be one of the few guys at the Academy that was fair to her, so I guess I understood why he was on her side.

“Nice to see you as well, Roman.” Replied Angelina in a similar tone. The way she spoke to him made me convinced that they were far from friends. “We want Luna to fix Oliver immediately.” Angelina went straight to the point.

“Tch. Listen, I don’t know whether Oliver’s sudden loss of speech was Luna’s fault or not, but I know for a fact that she isn’t planning on doing anything about it. You might as well go home, you’re wasting your time.” Roman’s swampy green eyes scanned over our large party irritably as he spoke. He clearly wasn’t in the mood for our little discussion.

“In that case,” Angelina began, twirling her bottle-blonde hair, “We’ll have to make her fix him.”

“Heh. Right. Go home, Angelina. Take your ragged dogs with you.” He frowned, pointing at all of us. Suddenly, without another word, our entire group charged at him mercilessly. He was obviously prepared for this stunt though, as he vanished before any of our troops could reach him. Roman was a talented sorcerer. Nowhere near as good as Luna, but still had much potential.

Angelina and her group were now smashing down the school’s doors. There were no more guards around, so it was time to break inside. A loud crashing noise signified that the doors were broken down. Nothing was in Angelina’s way of tearing down the school. In huge chaotic groups, everyone on Angelina’s team rushed through the gateway, screaming and shoving. It wasn’t too long before they all began piling on top of each other to smash everything in sight. Utter chaos was the only way to describe the scene that was in front of me. They were acting like animals without even a touch of humanity. One part of me found their behavior disgusting, but the other part of me wanted to join in for some reason. It looked exhilarating, just to destroy… to cause mayhem. To be free to do whatever. Now I was just acting stupid.

In the midst of the demolition, new figures began to appear from the hallways that led to the classrooms and the hallway near the gymnasium. These figures were definitely teammates of Luna’s. They were all quick-footed and powerful. Within a few seconds, they were all over our rag-tag team of rookies. Some of them, I could see, were even wearing armor. Only a few though, who I assumed must have been in pretty good positions. I must have been correct, the ones wearing armor happened to be the ones that I knew were closest to Luna. Kara and Madelyn were two of the lucky few, but they seemed to be sitting back and watching the battle unfold. From a distance, I could make out a couple of polished iron swords sitting next to them as well. Those must have been conjured by one of the sorcerers on their team. Probably Luna or Roman, since I wasn’t sure if they had any other sorcerers with them.

I spotted a new figure, one that I no doubt recognized, sitting on a ledge above all of us. She was looking down, watching. Maybe even laughing, but I couldn’t see well enough to tell. This was Luna in her fashionable black garments, towering above everyone. “Well done! Well done!” She was shouting. This silenced the entire school. Everyone was staring up at her, waiting for her to continue. Her teammates were in strange positions, most of them seemed to be saluting her, but others were down on their knees gazing up at her like she was something so rare, so beautiful, that it caused them to sink low and worship her. Then there were some that looked up at her from one knee with one arm outstretched as if to touch her, and the back of their other hand over their foreheads or their hearts. Some’s heads were leaning backwards oddly. All of them stood still in their funny, statuesque positions, listening quietly for what she would say next. Even Roman was looking at her like she was something sacred. His sword was drawn, and he stood proudly, appearing like a hero from an ancient time. “Angelina, I am so proud of your decision! You have truly delighted me, your Highness!” The Black Witch spoke again.

“And just what do you mean by that, may I ask?” The blonde team leader spat back, giving Luna a look that greatly opposed the ones from Luna’s team, who looked more like servants than teammates.

“I am happy that you have decided to come and visit us tonight, no matter you’re intentions. We were just going to hold a wonderful ball, too!” Luna shouted down at us with an excited, playful tone. “But alas, what a shame. The Queen has no one to go with to that wonderful, fantastic ball that we were planning on holding… oh, what disappointment.” She pretended to sob as she went on, pausing a few times for a fake cry of anguish. All of her poor slaves cried at once, saying things such as, “My lovely Queen, do not cry!”, “Oh most loathsome night! Our Queen is sobbing!”, “Hence, avaunt, oh night beast that curses our Queen with cries of sadness!”, and “My beautiful Queen, I will accompany you to the fine ball!”. Pathetic. They were completely throwing themselves at her. And what was that speech pattern? Well, Luna always had a thing for fancy stuff.

Angelina looked more irritated by the second, “How awful. Sadly, there is nothing that can be done about that at the moment. All we are here for is to take back Oliver’s voice, no games.”

“I know not what you speak of.” The dark sorceress quickly stated. “If you want to know about Oliver’s voice, I suggest talking to one of your own wretched witches or wizards, because my noble knights and sorcerers had nothing to do with it. Now, about that ball…”

“Luna!” A voice from our side shouted over her. It was James, one of Angelina’s good friends. I didn’t know him too well, and I don’t think Luna did either. “Enough about the ball. We all know you took Oliver’s voice, and even if you didn’t you can still fix him with your magic!”

“Hmph. What makes you think I’ll do that?” Luna appeared displeased with James’s sudden outburst.

“We have Tempest!” Angelina yelled.

“I knew that already without you screaming it at me. Whether you have Tempest or not isn’t the deciding factor for whether I’ll fix Oliver or not. Anyway, even if I did fix Oliver, it isn’t like you’d return Tempest to where she belongs, so there isn’t any point in me doing so is there?”

I could see the frustration seething through Angelina’s rose-colored eyes. There was no way to negotiate at all with Luna. I had learned this soon after befriending her, but clearly Angelina had not been with her long enough to know this. Luna was beyond stubborn. There was absolutely no way to get her to do anything that she didn’t want to do, and there were no exceptions. Well… occasionally Tempest could persuade her to- that’s it!

“Angelina!” I made my way over to the blonde girl, whispering her name so that none of the other team would know what I was up to “I came up with an idea that I think might work.” My idea was simplistic to say the least, but still, it could work and it was worth a try. We had nothing really at stake anyway.

“What is it, Arianna?” Angelina turned to me.

“Tempest. We need to get Tempest to ask Luna to fix Oliver. If anyone can convince Luna, it’s Tempest.” I told her.

“But Tempest is too loyal to Luna, she’d never do anything like that for us.” Angelina whispered back. “And, Tempest and Oliver have a very, very bad relationship if you hadn’t known already. It’s probable that she hates him more than anyone on the entire planet.” She sighed in response.

I glanced at her curiously, “Why is that? Oliver seems decent.”

“Well, sure. To sane people.” She chuckled. “Tempest is strange. Nobody really knows exactly why she hates him so much. Not even Oliver. In fact, Oliver says he’s never even talked to her before.”

“…Tempest must have a reason, though.”

Angelina scoffed, “Doubtful. That girl is hardly even a person.”

I was shocked by how cruel Angelina’s words were… “hardly even a person”? Why would she say that? I hadn’t seen Tempest do anything before that made her seem like she was “hardly even a person”. Confused, I waited to see if Angelina was going to say anymore. Soon enough, she began to speak again.

“When I first started talking to Tempest, she seemed normal, but she’s something else for sure. I don’t know what, but she’s something.”

“Are you finished chatting with your accomplice, Angie?” Luna taunted from above us.

“Don’t call me that.” Angelina growled back at her. “I still haven’t decided what to do with you.”

Luna muttered something that sounded like “But I know what to do with you.” although, I couldn’t quite tell what she said. “I’ve given you enough time. It’s now the time for action to take place.” The Black Witch leaped off of her high ledge with the grace of a feline, and placed herself neatly in front of her army, facing us. Immediately, her servants all spun out of their dramatic poses and took place behind her, readying their weapons and holding them out at Angelina’s group. Kara, Madelyn, and Roman set themselves in the front row directly behind Luna. Their armor was shimmering with a potent beauty.

“Do you see what you’ve done to these people in such a strangely short amount of time, Luna? You’re sick, blasphemous.” My friend spat furiously in her direction.

“You call it blasphemy to have followers? I do not insult The Lord. If you say I am an aggression to God, you are mistaken. I am not a Goddess to these people of mine. I am simply someone that they look up to. They want you dead as much as I do, and it is just a fact that I happen to be the only one capable of bringing your corpse to them. I do not act as their Lord, only their savior. You must be eliminated, or else we shall all be imprisoned by you forever. There was never a short amount of time, I gathered my forces long ago, and my preparation began the day you jailed all of us. Give us our lives back, and your grave will be forgotten until another day. If you deny us, ready yourself for commination.”

My eyes moved back and forth, from Luna to her army. I studied them, trying to determine what was being said. Everything sounded foreign to me. My understanding of the situation was clearly at a low level, and I was sure that both team leaders understood my lack of prominence in their conflict’s history. There was certainly more to the story that I wasn’t aware of, but I didn’t know if I would ever find out any of it. Something about what Luna was saying made me want to believe her. Her words had emotion tied to them, unlike the dry speech of Angelina. There was something that was clear as day to me, Luna was trying to convince everyone that Angelina had done something to her and her friends, or at this point, her militia… without explaining exactly what it was. She had proclaimed that Angelina had “jailed” her, and only her elimination would set her free. What that meant, I couldn’t yet fathom.

“I am righteous and more Godlike than any of you, all of you combined. You say prepare for commination? I will strike commination down upon your pathetic heads. You will come to me, tears in your eyes and blood on your garments, and I will tell you never again to question my holiness. This power of mine was a gift from God, unlike your lowly demonic arcane.” Angelina turned around, picked up her feet and fled without uttering another word. Her hair swung as she dashed. Unsure what to do, I stood dumbly as everyone around me began to move towards any exit they could find. Most were covered in scratches and bruises, but I was untouched still. I had not fought or ravaged property. Though part of me had wanted to do it, I contained that element of my being as if it were a beast in a town of innocents. I had better things in mind for myself than savagery.

I felt the cool gaze of Luna on my shoulder, her bright eyes followed me if I made any sort of slight movement. I was nervous, I felt like a rat in a den of wild animals. Everyone’s eyes were quickly on me, and it led me to a realization, I was the last one who didn’t belong to still be there. My heart quickened. I didn’t want to go back to Angelina, as it occurred to me that she may not have been the person I thought she was. At the same time I knew that Luna wouldn’t even bother to consider giving me a chance to prove anything to her.  

“You there,” Her voice suddenly broke through the awkwardness. Her eyes were locked on me, “Are you, perhaps, giving yourself up?”

I turned around, facing her. I knew what she meant. She was planning on making me a prisoner, possibly as a means for revenge since Angelina had captured her loyalist, Tempest.

“Look, Luna,” I began, head drooping, “I don’t have anything against you. In fact, I’m positive that you weren’t the one who cursed Oliver.” Luna’s eyes seemed to glimmer for a moment. I hoped that she would consider my words, “But Angelina is my friend. Sure, I don’t agree with her methods of solving this dispute, but that doesn’t mean she’s a bad person… she’s just a little difficult,” I put it lightly.

“Come here,” Luna beckoned me. I obeyed, slowly and cautiously making my way over to where she stood, “You will accompany me.”

“What?” I asked, confusion clear on my features.

“You will accompany me to the ball.” She elaborated.

Chapter End.

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