Christa Marian is a senior in high school when reports of the mysterious woman the papers call "the enchantress" begin. She initially disregards it, but the things surrounding this mysterious woman will end up twisting Christa's life in ways she would have never foreseen.


2. Chapter 1

He slammed a newspaper on the table in front of her, causing her to jump at the sudden disturbance of her peace and spill some of the tea she had been drinking on her jeans. She gave him a disapproving and somewhat cold look as she began to mop up the lukewarm liquid with the frustrated thought of a stain on her mind. He sat down across from her, his brown eyes full of excitement and intrigue. She recoiled a bit at the strong scent of cologne.

"Christa, look at this. Right here in town. A sighting of the mysterious enchantress!" his voice was eager and quick as he jammed a finger down repeatedly on the blurry black-and-white picture of the town sign on the front page. She sighed and resisted the urge to roll her eyes or tell him off. It wasn't the first newspaper that reported on this strange story. News channels had flocked to their state, worldwide outlets were reporting on the newest scoop. Christa herself had been bothered by them on her daily walk to the bus stop as they sought to find townspeople to interview. Business had skyrocketed as people came to tour the places the "enchantress" had been sighted, or presumably sighted. It had been a month since the first "sighting" of this woman who could do this beyond human ability, like bend elements or use magic. It had gained a huge worldwide following in the short amount of time she had arose to the attention of the public, with many following it obsessively and others denouncing the woman as a hoax, a government ploy or some teens playing a prank. There was even a campaign started by old-timey anti-magic fanatics to lynch her if they ever found her. The thought of magic had completely consumed the world like a forest fire. Unfortunately for Christa, she had an obsessive friend sitting right across from her. She raised an eyebrow before finally rolling her eyes, scrolling through her music and responding to his fanaticism with an overall sense of disdain for the subject.

"Is that what they're calling her now? First 'Witch', now 'Enchantress'? They have to come up with a better name for their tourist bait," Christa placed her tumbler of tea on the table, searching through her school bag for extra tissues to continue cleaning up the mess he had made. The girl at her side picked up the newspaper and read the headline aloud.

"'Second Mysterious Enchantress Sighting in Small New Jersey Town. Is This Killer Clowns All Over Again?' Man, they need better headlines, too. I can't believe you actually think this stupid stuff is true, Trevor," she scoffed as she tossed the newspaper down on the plastic, watching as it carelessly slid through the crack in the middle of the folding table. Trevor barely caught it before it hit the ground, clutching it so hard his knuckles turned white. He sat down, his eyes shining as though he knew all the world's secrets and was about to share them with the two girls. He leaned forward, his voice a hoarse whisper, barely audible in the crowded school cafeteria.

"Just think about it. Guy goes on midnight walk with girlfriend down in the Pine Barrens, girlfriend gets murdered out there. Guy gets arrested, saying demons did it and a mysterious woman made of light saved him. Everyone thinks he's crazy, right?"

"That's because he was, Trevor. He didn't get a very harsh sentence because he pleaded mentally ill," the other girl shrugged it off with another scoff. Seeing the hurt in Trevor's eyes, Christa gave him a kind and sympathetic smile, deciding to entertain him and herself before the school day began.

"Ignore Violet. So what else happened?" she leaned forward, playing along with the teasing secrecy.

"That wasn't very close, right? Then we get the first sighting in the town over. Guy is out walking his dog, dog runs into the woods, he stumbles and calls the police out saying he saw two women fighting. Apparently, one was glowing and the other had black wings. Police can only find puddles of silver 'ink' in the forest when they investigated, as well as strange marks in the ground and trees. Almost like burns in some places. In other places there were chunks taken out of trees, like someone had hacked at them with an axe. They tested the silver stuff and they said it was unimportant. But you know what I think?" His voice was getting higher as he stood up, about to declare his final point. He gazed at his two friends as though waiting for something, like a drum roll, and was disappointed when they stared back at him in confusion and annoyance. "Guys, that's your moment, you're supposed to ask me what I think."

"Oh right, right. What do you think?" Christa hid her amused grin under her hand as if she were yawning as Violet rolled her eyes and went back to surfing the web on her smartphone. He slammed his hands on the table, spilling Christa's tea again, to which he sheepishly apologized before inhaling deeply so he could commence with his shouting of:

"I think it was her blood!" he articulated the end by slamming the table again, causing Christa to jump... again. People from other tables began to stare at his show of obvious over-excitement, their judging eyes scanning over him before their conversations turned inward again. She sighed as Violet used a fistful of napkins she had quickly retrieved to sop up the spilled tea, looking slightly annoyed at Trevor's outbursts.

"There goes my all my tea. Well, what's so different about this sighting? You seem a lot more enthusiastic about this one," Christa asked, putting her head down on her arm and gazing up at Trevor with her brown eyes slightly glazed over, because she was really listening to her music more than him. Violet nudged her and gave her a glare, attempting to discourage her from getting him to continue. Trevor looked ecstatic that someone wanted to listen to him, and eagerly did the opposite of what the annoyed girl beside Christa wanted.

"Well, this one was different. Much different. A man called in saying he saw the women fighting by the lake, the one by your house, actually. Since the police are right there, they got there in time to witness it. They actually saw it, and so did other people,"

"Okay and...?" Christa drew out her words and then looked down at her phone to check the time, getting kind of tired of her friend's obsessive ranting.

"Did you see her?" he asked in a hushed voice. Christa scoffed.

"If I saw her I think I'd tell you," she raised her gaze and looked at him with amusement in her brown eyes. He rolled his eyes and continued.

"What's even cooler is no one could remember what she looked like after she left. But, someone got a picture," At Trevor's words, Christa raised her head slowly, something flickering in her eyes for a second that Trevor saw as excitement. "Ahh. I knew you were interested! It's only of her side, but you can see a little of what she looks like. She has a scythe and she's wearing this really cool cloak-"

He started to pull out his phone, but before he could, the bell rang. Christa stopped Trevor before he could walk away, deciding to be evil for a little bit and shove another idea into his conspiring head.

"Here's an interesting thought for you, Trevor. What if there are more enchantresses? Maybe they're an alien race," Christa said, a bit of sarcasm in her voice. Trevor rolled his eyes.

"I already thought of that, Christa. Let me know if you actually come up with a good idea," He walked away with a somewhat condescending air and muttered "really" under his breath, leaving Christa with her jaw open in offense. Picking up her bag, Christa turned to her friend Violet with a bemused look.

"It's quite odd, you must agree. I wonder why the lake though. Wonder what brought them to that location," She gave her friend a grin as she spoke in a mock-pondering tone. Violet sighed and gave Christa an annoyed smirk in return, shoving her slightly.

"Not you, too. I guess it is a little odd. Maybe the both of them just wanted to be seen?" Violet replied as they strolled down the hallway. Most passing overheard conversations were about the mysterious woman. She had indirectly taken control of the town, the state, the world, invading the minds of children and adults alike at the prospect of something "not normal". It defied status quo and confused many who believed their mortality was the only thing that existed. Christa tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear and gave Violet one last smile before they parted to go to their different classes.

She entered her classroom with an abundance of friendly faces that greeted her happily, which she returned just as enthusiastically as she sat down at her desk. At her side was another friendly face, one that didn't look as friendly at the moment as she fretted over a grade.

"What did you get on the last test?" As Christa sat, that was the first thing the girl said to her. Christa gave her a sympathetic smile, knowing that what was to follow would not be positive.

"Sixty two out of seventy five... what about you?" The girl sighed and looked down before giving Christa a smile, which she knew came from frustration and an attempt to cover her disappointment.

"Fifty two," she clutched the paper a little tighter at the confession.

"This is an AP class, remember? It's meant to be hard," Christa put a hand on her friend's arm and gave her a kind look. Her friend was not the smartest person in the class, even if she tried her hardest. The same thing happened to Christa. She studies her hardest for everything only to find that it was all for naught. She inwardly sighed, knowing she would probably have to change her attempts to pass the class.

"I have to pass though. If I don't my parents will kill me," she put a hand to her forehead and groaned, a strained smile sitting on her face to cover the stress she felt as she joked: "I am going to die because of this class."

"It's okay, Lillian, you'll be fine, and I'm here to help if you need me. On the other hand... Arjun over there got a seventy three and he's still not happy," her voice became a little darker and annoyed at the mention of him, anger sparking inside of her for a brief moment. She glanced over at him, but he was engaged in a conversation. Usually she would call out to him to tease him, but she was feeling unusually tired on the Monday morning, so she resisted the urge.

"Well, he and his friends are geniuses. I don't know why he would even hang out with people who aren't as smart as him," Upon noticing Christa's slightly betrayed and hurt look at her words, Lillian cringed as the smile melted off her face. "Sorry."

"It's alright," she murmured as she finally caught his eye and received a quick smile from him. She quickly smiled but then her eyes flicked away from him as she remembered what had happened between them.

"Stupid feelings," she muttered. It had been a while since she had told him that she liked him, and the feelings had since faded, but it had taken a serious toll on their friendship. She made many attempts to repair it, to fix the awkwardness and close the gap between them, but she felt he was not putting in the same effort. She tried to ignore it, ignore him, but it just wasn't working. It made her extremely... sad. That was the only way to describe it. Sad.

She shook herself out of it as the remainders of the poisonous and painful memory began to creep in from the corners of her heart it had been banished to. She was probably just overthinking it; she knew if she couldn't get over the awkwardness herself it would only damage their friendship even more. Things were steadily getting better and she just needed to take her time.

Suddenly, a slender hand came down gently on her desk, disrupting Christa's hard stare at her desk's beige surface. Her heart leapt into her throat for a second, stunned by its unexpected appearance, and she whipped her head up to see a girl standing in front of her desk. She was extremely pretty, with unnaturally blue eyes framed with long, full lashes. Her blonde hair fell in ringlets over her shoulders. Her makeup was almost expertly done, accentuating her beauty in the best of ways. Even with her gorgeous looks, she had a sort of cold and scary aura, her blue eyes hollow and narrowed, making many shy away from approaching her. Christa, after getting to know the girl, knew better than to be intimidated by her looks.

"You scared me! Hey, Eilish. How was your morning?" She asked the girl, who put on a forced smile that Christa interpreted as an attempt to be friendly.

"I'm tired," she complained slightly, with a lilt of an Irish accent gracing her soft voice. Christa nodded in agreement with a sigh.

"Me, too. How are you liking the neighborhood?"

"It's alright. Not at all like Ireland. I miss the open towns and the quaint villages of the country," she responded nostalgically.

"It'll take time, I know. Just know you have people to help you adjust. You can always come to me," Christa put a reassuring hand on the girl's arm and gave her another smile. Eilish nodded, the smile on her face a little more relaxed and sincere before she moved on to her seat in the back of the room. Christa leaned back and tapped her fingers on her desk. Eilish was a transfer student whose parents had just recently passed away. She was sent here in hopes she could "start over", in a sense, funded by some good-for-society charity so she could finish her senior year in America. She was incredibly smart but detached from society, giving most people the cold shoulder. Christa had quickly tried made her feel comfortable, for she found it easy to make friends even with the coldest people. People usually gaped at Eilish for her looks and assumed she was just some scary popular girl from the look she always wore, one of cold disdain for the people around her, but in reality she was a quiet, kind, clever, and smart student. In truth, when the two had first met Christa couldn't help but feel uncomfortable in her presence. She really was a little strange. Under her green gaze it felt as though she was being surveyed, monitored, sized up like prey under a hidden enemy's gaze. It made her shiver and squirm as though someone had brushed their cold and clammy hand across her neck.

Eventually, the feeling began to subside as they got to know each other through the many classes and after school activities they shared. She was an incredible sabre fencer; she was one of the first ones to beat Georgina, their A strip for women's sabre. She played the cello on a professional scale, stunning the string ensemble teacher into silence on the first day she came to school. She spoke French fluently, an advantage to her when her classmates slipped into speaking the language. She would often relay the conversations to Christa, but most of the conversations her friends had were boring. Overall, Eilish, with all her skills and her cold beauty, was both terrifying and elegant.

Christa looked up, attempting to pay attention to her teacher's history lesson, but found herself unable to focus properly. Usually she was a bit distracted anyway but today her teacher's words just sounded like gibberish to her. It was as if something was blocking her senses; it was as if all the information he recited was hitting a wall in her brain, sliding off of it instead of absorbing it as it should have. She glanced around the room in an attempt to brush off the puzzled look that had spread across her face, only to find that her classmates all had similar countenances. Cold fear suddenly gripped at her heart, the strong and quick beat echoing in her body as adrenaline rushed through her body. She inhaled sharply and clenched her fists, closing her eyes. Her breath came in quick, short gasps as the air seemed to grow heavy with tension of a foreboding and unseen force. It felt as though there were tons of eyes focused upon on her, watching her every move. Her teacher trailed off as he noticed their strange faces and the shared feeling of fear that had infected the room. He attempted to shrug it off, a forced and strained smile stretching across his lips.

"Is everyone else feeling that too?" He asked with a nervous laugh, looking as confused as the rest of the class. That's when the pain hit their unsuspecting bodies. There was a cry of unified agony as a sharp pain jolted through their heads, like a bullet right through their brains. Screams echoed throughout the hallways, for all in the school must have fallen prey to the same event, as though some wicked spell was cast upon the building. Christa watched through eyes blurred with tears as Lillian had collapsed to the floor, the pain leaving Christa's friend too weak to sit upright in her desk. The same had happened to some in the classroom, others just barely staying in their desks with only their willpower to keep them there. There were some who had also started to cry, as though hoping the tears would take some of the pain as they left their bodies. Christa felt nauseous as she gripped the desk tightly so she could avoid the fate some of her classmates had fared. Their teacher had passed out, his eyes reflecting the lights in the ceiling and making them seem an eerie milky white.

Then came the head-splitting ringing. It made their whole bodies shake, somehow leaving them even weaker than the pain had, as though it was draining out all their energy. Christa looked around with heavy eyes, horrified and struggling to remain awake, as even more of her classmates collapsed, prey of these strange occurrences. Some of their mouths were gaping and must've been letting out screams of agony, but nothing was audible over the terrible ringing. It was horrifying to look around at her friends while they suffered. The ground began to shake slightly under their feet as everything began to grow hazy in her eyes. The floor was anything but soft as she felt herself fall sideways. Everything seemed to go in slow motion as her eyes closed on their own. She was too weak to stop them, and had no intention to, as she was sinking, sinking into the comforting and painless warmth of the darkness. Just as her eyes fluttered shut, a bright flash of light flared from behind her eyelids, intriguing her and encouraging her to open her eyes with what little strength she had.

It was as though the light had struck energy back into her body, for her eyes shot open and she gasped. Her heart was racing in her chest, a quick rhythm that shook her still-weak body. She sat up quickly, looking at her classmates who all had either lost consciousness or were too weak to move any longer. Her head was killing her. She dragged herself over to Lillian's body, the girl's face still furrowed with pain and her mouth still gaping. Her friend's chest hardly moved, making Christa's heart ache with worry and guilt that she was fine while her friend suffered. Christa raised a hand to touch Lillian's hair, stroking it softly with tears in her eyes. Her lip quivered with sadness as she looked up to the other side of the room where more of her friends lay, along with Arjun. Her heart longed to go to them, to comfort their unconscious forms, but she could not bring herself to go over there. She didn't have enough strength to move and instead hunched over Lillain with a sob, pulling her friend's head into her lap and stroking her cheek slowly with her small, trembling hand. She eventually pulled herself together and glanced up from Lillian, massaging her head in an attempt to ease the pain, only to see a woman in the corner. A manic grin was planted on her face as she leaned nonchalantly against the teacher's desk in the corner. She played with a strand of her icy blonde hair as she gazed Christa over with narrowed grey eyes. Christa felt trapped as panic seized her under this strange woman's gaze, feeling almost violated as the woman seemed to look right through her. The woman tapped her bright red lips before moving forward slightly, her black gown swishing as she moved.

"No icebreakers or hellos, miss? What a shame. It took you long enough to notice me. You're the only one who seemed to get through this little trick of mine. I call it the 'near death experience', if you were wondering. It's what it feels like to get shot. But you don't die," She held her hand up in the shape of a gun and pointed it at Christa, making her flinch. The woman chuckled as she moved forward. She nudged one of Christa's unresponsive classmates with her foot, smirking at the sight of the girl covered in her own vomit. "Humans are disgusting. You got lucky, missy. I'm not in the mood to kill all of you. You caught me on a good day. I just want to lure this... 'enchantress' out "

The woman finally made her way to Christa and leaned down so her face was close to her prey, running a long, black claw down the girl's cheek and leaving a small gash. Tears welled up in the girl's eyes as aching pain from the cut began to spiral down her nerves and she bit her lip to try and contain it. She could feel the blood dripping down her cheek, eventually hitting the ground with a soft splat. She could not control her fearful shaking at the woman's cold touch. It was as though she was holding the barrel of a gun to her forehead, leaving her unaware to the time she would pull the trigger. The woman trailed her finger across the now red stained cheek to twirl it in a strand of the girl's hair, laughing softly at her prey's helplessness and how Christa feared her so much and yet, could not do anything to prevent her from touching her.

"Well, little miss, since you're so paralyzed by fear and the only one not bleeding or covered in their own... filth, I think I'll just have you for my next meal," she grinned, moving her hand to her waist to pull out the rapier that rested there. With a quick flick of her wrist, she would've sliced the defenseless Christa in half, but she was not there anymore. The woman whipped around to see the enchantress herself standing there, donned in her familiar royal blue cloak with its ever-moving enchanted swirls. She wore a dark purple dress which faded into black. It draped out across the floor where she stood, rippling like the ocean waves in a gentle breeze. She was the same in most of her appearance to the woman that had been seen in the area, but different from the true enchantress that the other sought to meet once again. As she moved, she was tenser and quicker, almost jerky and lacking the elegance of the enchantress many had seen. Her skin was a darker color than the enchantress that the woman in black had pursued this past month. Her hair was straight and black, reaching the middle of her chest and as pitch black as the shadows of the night. Even though she was different, she radiated a similar aura of protectiveness, standing in front of Christa in a wide stance that was meant to shield her from this evil woman.

"You're not Miaka," the woman's tone was slightly stunned and quite angry, for this woman was not who she intended to draw here. The other moved forward slightly and her face, formerly masked by the shadows of her large hood, was struck by the bright lights of the room. Her eyes were different as well. They glowed a bright and unnatural purple from under the shadows of her hood, seeming to be the most drastic difference from the other enchantress. It was all the woman could see, too, for the rest of her face was covered with a tight piece of black fabric that stopped halfway up her nose. As she walked, her dress seemed to climb up her legs, twisting and tightening until it formed a black body suit. In a moment she was in front of the woman, then the next she was behind her, the only sign of her movement the shining flash of silver that came from the drawing of her two, large dual swords. They were khopesh: two long, curved blades that looked like they could cut through flesh like a hot knife through butter. They had a swirling pattern curved into them, almost like vines, similar to that of her cloak. The enemy began to laugh, as though she found this situation somehow funny, but in reality she was so angry she could do nothing besides laugh. It was a common reaction among people who are so furious they cannot bring themselves to believe that something like their situation was happening.

"No! This is not what I wanted!" she was laughing, bending over and gasping from her hysterics, before standing up and going completely silent, her face solidifying into a flat countenance. The other girl stood the behind her, crouched and ready, as the woman turned slowly toward her. She was completely calm, eerily still as she gazed at the combat-ready girl. Then suddenly, she stomped her foot, the ground shaking and knocking the fearful and wide-eyed Christa backwards, as well as any others in the school who had managed to pick themselves up off the cold ground. The woman gave a furious scream; at the sound her hair spread out almost like static electricity had picked it up off her head. Out of midair, shadow-like daggers launched themselves at the girl, who rolled out of the way quickly so they hit the wall with large bangs, blowing up clouds of broken brick. The room fell silent for a moment, the blonde woman's shoulders heaving, before she turned toward the enchantress girl, her eyes narrowed and her face twisted into a look of pure disgust and hatred. Her voice was venomous when she spoke, dripping with her loathing for the girl. "Oh, now... Now it's a bad day."

The cloaked girl launched herself off the wall in less than a second, her movement nearly silent even though her feet had propelled her off the solid side of the room. The enemy barely had time to deflect the two blows that the other had thrown at her, the metal clanging on metal sound stirring some of the students on the floor. At their movement, the woman's head had whipped toward Christa, her eyes deranged as she scanned the room and a maniac grin spreading across her face slowly. The khopesh wielding girl launched herself at the woman's neglected back, but with an outspread hand and her eyes set somewhere else, the woman sent black smoke propelling out of the ground towards her. Christa could only watch, fearfully awed as the smoke wrapped itself around the girl's limbs and held her in midair. The purple eyes flicked around in unspoken panic as the smoke worked its way into her ears, nose, and eyes, which were the only openings available to it.

"Oh, you're in for quite a treat, little miss," the evil woman tucked some of her hair behind her ear and gave Christa a devious smile, her now-red eyes glowing ominously. The lights began to flicker and soon they exploded, one by one, raining down shards of glass. The windows exploded outwards one by one. The room began to grow cold, Christa's panicked breath showing in short cloudy bursts in front of her face. Christa's savior, now pervaded by the black smoke, began to writhe with assumedly pain. The shimmering khopesh fell out of her hands and hit the ground with a clang, exploding into gold sparkles as soon as they landed. Her mouth gaped open under her mask and a hollow choking sound came out, which soon turned into a loud wail as her stiff fingers clawed at the air, attempting to attack but reaching nothing. Christa crawled away, whimpering, as the same black smoke that tortured the girl in the air began to stalk across the ground, invading the bodies of her helpless classmates. Surprisingly, as it reached her, it crawled up an invisible shield, protecting Christa from feeling the painful effects of the spell. The woman did not notice, as she was too busy stealing the life away from the bodies on the floor. Their moans and screams that soon followed their contact with the smoke made tears well up in Christa's eyes as she clamped her hands over her ears in an attempt to protect herself from their cries. To stop the tears and the images of her friends' bodies twisting in unimaginable agony, she squeezed her eyes shut as well and appreciated the darkness that lay under her eyelids.

In that hazy and muffled darkness, she could vaguely make out the sounds of sirens in the distance. The woman quickly lowered her hands and hissed softly, the black smoke sulking away from its victims and back to her form. The bodies that had been dancing with anguish moments before now fell limply to the ground like marionettes whose strings were cut. Those who had some life or consciousness left in them whimpered and retched, as though trying to rid their bodies of any remnants of the smoke.

"Well, so sorry to cut this party short, dearies. I'll return soon enough," she stepped over their bodies again, nudging the formerly defensive girl who had fallen so quickly to her spell and chuckling softly. She turned back towards Christa, who was still cowering against the wall in fear that somehow she would feel the agony her classmates did. The woman saw in her expression that she feared and grinned mockingly. "Oh, little girl, I could make you feel so much pain. I think it's funny all you humans fear the feeling of pain. It's so much fun to cause it!"

With a kick to one of the bodies on the floor, she gave a short and curt laugh and flicked her wrist. A swirling, oval-shaped hole tore itself open in midair. It emitted a harsh red light and wavered in the air, like a hazy heat wave on a hot summer night. She gave Christa one last grin before stepping through it. It sealed itself shut behind her, collapsing in on itself as though someone was sucking it in from the other side. As soon as the woman was gone, a strange calm came over Christa, the school mysteriously silent as she gazed around the classroom in mild shock. The sirens were beginning to grow ear-piercingly loud to her weak and aching head, but she took a deep breath and relaxed to maintain her composure and not lapse into panic once more. She stood, for the most part steady on her legs, and walked slowly over to the girl that had saved her. Her heart was pounding as she gently propped her up as the girl began to regain consciousness. The fabric had slipped off of her face, revealing her identity; luckily, the woman who she had been fighting just moments before had not seen. It was a familiar face to Christa; though stunned, she smiled ever so gently at her and pushed back the sweat-damp hair in a caring matter. The girl feebly smiled back, and in a moment she was behind Christa, pulling down her hood and looking at the broken glass and barely living bodies of the students. Her violet eyes looked slightly sad as she knelt down and gently touched Lillian's neck, searching for a pulse.

"Alive, but barely. I hope that's the case with all of them. You're safe now," her voice was soft as she crunched across the broken glass. Even though the room had been dark a moment before, the morning sun was now shining through the window, reflecting off of the glass and speckling the walls with beautiful dots of light, almost like stars. The sky outside the windows was a gentle pale pink, but the bird song had given way to the sinister sounds of sirens. The hooded girl pulled up her hood again as she knelt down beside Arjun, as though she knew Christa was concerned for him. "He's fine too, and it's safe to assume everyone else is. I stopped her in time to make sure of that. She still got away, though..."

"You did very well, Kaya," Christa's savior turned to see a surprising sight. The girl she had been protecting had fallen to the ground, now unconscious. There instead stood the enchantress, the one that Rosaline had tried to lure out. The other jumped slightly at the woman's unexpected arrival, staring in shock for a split second. The woman's voice was elegant and musical, her eyes gentle as she gazed at Kaya. Kaya quickly knelt down and put a hand over her breast in respect, bowing her head and staring at the ground as her face flushed red. The enchantress moved closer, a kind smile on her face. "Oh, don't do that. You protected my life and hundreds of others' lives. Without you, I would've sacrificed my safety and the lives of all of these innocent students."

"It wasn't enough, though. It wasn't enough to stop her," Kaya rose and looked sadly at the enchantress, who shook her head and smiled knowingly.

"Kaya, there is still much to learn, my knight. You did your job and protected me and the many others. That's all that matters," the enchantress put a hand on her shoulder gently. Kaya instantly relaxed at her touch and nodded somewhat reluctantly, as though she could not accept her failure. The enchantress, however, accepted it, and calmly knelt down beside another girl to take her pulse. With a grim, flat look, she turned her gaze back up to Kaya. Her eyes, now visible as she looked up at her knight, had shifted from cool to utterly broken, full of sadness and guilt. Tears began to well up in their large depths and fall over her smooth cheeks. "Dead."

With a solemn and determined face, she stood, the only sign that she felt emotion the tears that continued to run down her cheeks. Holding out her hands, she closed her eyes and began to speak softly in an ancient tongue, one used by beings that did not inhabit the world she stood in. When she opened her eyes, they were a completely different color, shining a bright and clear green, narrowing in focus as she continued to speak. The light in the room seemed to move, the speckles reflecting off the broken glass peeling off the wall and combining into the translucent form of the girl whose body still lay motionless on the floor. The girl stared at the enchantress in shock, her lips moving but no sound coming out, as she was separated by the thin film of death and could not contact the ones still in the world of the living. With a soft whisper of the word "come", the enchantress spread out her fingers and thrust her hands toward the girl. Her form tried to back away from the enchantress' outstretched hands, her eyes wide and slightly terrified, but she could not escape the woman's touch. As the woman's hands connected with the girl's shoulders, the spirit stumbled backwards and seemed to slip out of the film, falling backwards in slow motion as though she had been pushed off a building. Her physical body simultaneously flaked away into golden sparkles, which soon swirled around the girl and solidified her wavering see-through form. When she hit the ground, it resounded with a loud thud, confirming her return to the physical plane. Her chest began to rise and fall slowly as color returned to her soft brown cheeks, her face looking peaceful as she slept on.

The enchantress was panting with exertion as she fell to her knees with a similar sound, smiling through her tears as she reached out to touch the girl. She stopped herself before she did, her shaking hands centimeters away from her body. She brought her hands back up to stare at them, an awed look on her beautiful face as she took in what she had just done. She turned to Kaya in her amazement, her weariness evident in her blue and orange eyes. Kaya had to shake herself out of her astonished stupor to catch the enchantress before she fell, the exhaustion of such a feat taking its toll on even the powerful woman. Using her powers of time manipulation, she slowed the enchantress' descent in order to calmly catch her in her arms. She laid the woman down on the floor gently before her form dissipated into shimmering specks of dust, floating out the window and into the gentle morning warmth. Kaya watched them go, smiling as she turned back to look over the room. The students were beginning to stir, the ones who had fallen, trying to prop themselves up on their weak hands. Her attention soon shifted to the door being broken down, men in protective equipment training their guns on her. They shouted something, but she was gone in the next moment, leaving them puzzled as to what exactly had happened in the school that morning.

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