King Meccio was never one to take orders from anyone so as he walked with his daughter into the depths of the castle his mind was filling with questions. His mouth felt tight and no words were physically able to leave his lips, he merely led the way down to the oracle’s dwelling. “I had a dream father,”Persephone’s words were unable to break the spell that seemed to have fallen onto his mouth. She excused his lack of words and carried on, as they hadn’t spoken much since the news of her arranged marriage surfaced,”I know if I was given the chance I could go into the forest without marrying Prince Jarren.”

At this point the king halted, but still unable to speak he looked deeply into his daughter’s eyes. Persephone was stunned at her father’s silent gaze but no words were able to escape her, because as she opened her mouth the unnoticed door they stood in front of creaked open. King Meccio wanted to scream and comfort his daughter but his mouth stuck firm and his feet began taking him down the hallway, he tried to look behind him but his body was not submitting to his will.

    Persephone couldn’t understand why her father held back. They had once been so close, before the illness had fallen over the kingdom, though she had also been more focused on her duties as a princess back then. She thought to follow him but faith had other plans. 

The creaking door shook loudly which brought her attention away from her father, she peered into the room. It smelt of earth and mold, dark green tapestries hung from the low ceiling, assorted candles provided minimal light, several small cages made squeaks and scurrying sounds, there was a mound of plush pillows and empty bottles in a corner, the walls were lined with cabinets full of strange objects and assorted potions. In the center of this mysterious room was a table where a small cloaked figure sat staring into a glowing orb,”Enter child of Meccio.”

Persephone looked down both ends of the hallway then hastily stepped inside of the room, the door slammed itself loudly behind her which sent chills down her spine. “Are you the great oracle Reetah?” Persephone stooped down slightly in attempts to see the face underneath the cloak. The cloaked face lifted and the princess recoiled as glowing empty eye sockets looked back at her, a black fog shrouded the place where a face should have been,”I am the oracle you speak of. I see all and feel all through the power of the great divinity. I cannot give you the answer you are looking for, because the answer is already inside of you. I can only tell you this: as the days fade away you shall be tasked with facing the seven beasts heathens know best. Should you choose the path easily traveled you will surely fail and all will perish by your hands. Hold close to your dreams and don’t let yourself be distracted by matters of the heart.”

Persephone swallowed hard, she had never imagined the oracle to look so terrifying, only hearing rumors and stories. Pushing her horror aside, she had to ask the oracle a question,”But I want to know about my dreams, what do they mean?” The lights faded from the oracle’s eye sockets, the smoky substance that was the oracle’s face dissipated, and with a hissing noise the cloak fell to the floor in an explosion of ashes. Persephone sat alone in the candlelight and watched the dust settle onto the floor. She knew then that her journey was about to begin, though how she was going to get it started she had no clue.

She left the room and leaned against the castle’s cool wall, pressing her face up against it in hopes to calm herself down from the overwhelming sense of fear that was bubbling inside her. She heard Doogue’s voice speaking a few hallways over, never had the castle seemed as quiet as it did now. She walked to the feast hall where she heard him speaking but stopped dead in her tracks as she reached the doorway. The large table cluttered with decorations  for the upcoming feast to Prince Jarren and a small meal of bread, fruits, and wine couldn’t obscure the view she had of her knight talking to a man all to farmiliar, with messy hair and a purple robe. The man looked up at her with bright blue eyes, cocked his head slightly, and smiled a mischievously cocky smile, “You’re late princess.”

To be continued…