Chapter no 45 – VANISHED

Lightlark (The Lightlark Saga Book 1)

Isla moved through the castle like a storm. If she’d had power, it would be everywhere. She ran like she was running from something, wielded her dagger like she might throw it; her teeth chattered like the marble beneath her feet was ice.

Ella, a Starling, was alive. Which meant her ruler had to be too.

Had to be.

As she approached the screams and rushing islanders desperate to get out of the gardens, she remembered her mask.

She wasn’t supposed to know Celeste, beyond the last few months. She wasn’t supposed to care so much.

Isla pinched her palm to keep from crying. Smoothing the worried lines across her face was like trying to move metal, but she did.

Still, when she entered the gardens, she was running. She gasped. Stilled.

Celeste floated in the middle of a miniature maze, looking a lot like she was sleeping. Silver fog and string thin as spiderweb wrapped a thin veil around her.

The only other ruler there was Oro. He turned to her, face drawn. “This is old enchantment. I haven’t seen it in a while. It’s a poison.”

Cleo. She had gone after Celeste. Just as Oro had suspected. “How do we fix it?” Her voice was breathless.

Oro shook his head. “We can’t. Only her body can mend itself. Moonling healing ability strengthens this poison.” Isla’s lips trembled. She watched Celeste like watching a corpse in a coffin.

During the last seventy-five days, she had begun to feel strong. So unlike the unsure, inexperienced Wildling girl who had stepped foot on the island.

Now she felt completely powerless again.

No. There had to be a way to heal her. She couldn’t just not do anything. “Whoever did this was interrupted,” Oro said, studying the webbing

around the Starling ruler. “It should have killed her immediately. That’s the

only good news.”

Her hands were in fists. “When will she wake up?” Isla demanded. Her voice was too loud, too raw.

Oro eyed her. “If she does . . . it could be days. Weeks.” The island might not last that long.

“It was her,” Isla growled. “Cleo.”

Oro didn’t meet her gaze. “Perhaps.”

“Perhaps?” Isla wanted to scream. She wanted to cry. But she did neither of those things and patiently waited for Oro to leave.

When Isla had almost been assassinated, Celeste had saved her. When she had almost been crushed by the ceiling at the ball, Celeste had been there. When Isla was reeling from Oro’s supposed betrayal, Celeste had pulled her out of her gloom.

She had always been a good friend. The best friend.

And Isla had failed her. She had been full of drink and moody on her balcony when her friend had needed her most. She had left Celeste alone at the celebration, knowing the risks.

She felt the air change as Grim appeared, in the safety of the closest room to the gardens. Finally.

“I need you to do something for me,” she said, her voice finally steady. “Anything.”

Isla took a breath that felt like there were leaks in her lungs. “Whoever attacked her will come back to finish the job. I need you to make her disappear until she wakes up.”

She was grateful when he didn’t question her request. Grim simply nodded.

And a moment later, Celeste’s body vanished.

You'll Also Like