The Hidden Force: Chapter XVI ⛰

Terrible Journey

The first day of the journey started badly. The horses were low on food since the raid and so were we. We had to break more often so we and the horses could rest. 

We planned for this so while the horses were resting we searched for food in the forest and traded with the villages for hay. We’d brought enough money to buy supplies for the journey. 

When that was done we had some time to sleep. It was getting colder and colder each night and the blankets we brought could not warm us up. So we decided to sleep during the day in the sunlight to keep us warm. We’ll travel at night. 

“Adan?” Itzel says. 

“Yes, Itzel?” Adan replies. 

Itzel hesitates before speaking, “I’m scared.” she admits. 

“Last time I saw the King was so long ago but I remember it. I’ll never forget.” she continues while looking at the ground. 

Adan grabs her hand and she looks at him, “I won’t let anything bad happen to you this time.” 

“Neither of us will.” I promise. 

Itzel smiles, still looking a bit on edge but obviously comforted. She sighs and looks up to see the castle in the distance. We’re almost there. By tonight or tomorrow we’ll rest in walking distance from the castle and the next day we’ll make our move. 

When we rest I take out my notebook once more and begin to draw and write the day’s events. This feels like the only thing I can rely on to be a constant in my life. The notebook which holds all my thoughts and ideas. Something from my old human life and something I’ve used in my new witch life. 

Soon we got to a spot the perfect distance away from the castle. We rest there. I look over to the stables from up in a tree. I see and recognize every horse that nearly gave me away last time I was here. 

I wonder if the witches’ horses would have been forgiving if I hadn’t been caught by Adan. Looking back on the memory I’m glad my plan didn’t work. The witches have given me a home I never felt like I had before. A place I felt connected to. 

Before this I never felt that the King was close to catching me. Even after dinner when his guards were chasing me I thought I had a chance of getting away. I was in the castle twice before but I never felt as nervous as I am now. Maybe it’s because I know that there’s a chance Itzel and Adan can get caught too. Or maybe it’s because I’ll be stealing more than I ever have before. 

It’s strange the only thing I’ve done for the witches is steal. Steal from them, steal from the King. It’s not right. I’ve left the mirror in Itzel’s room but I never apologized or formally returned it to them. The guilt is going to catch up with me eventually. I begin to doubt myself. What if this isn’t the right thing to do? What if I make everything worse?

With a sigh I say, “Itzel, what if I don’t want to do this?” 

She considers my question, “Why wouldn’t you?” 

“Because stealing isn’t the right thing to do.” a hint of confusion is heard in my voice. 

“He betrayed all of us, he steals and attacks us unprovoked.” Itzel explains. She has a point. 

“Yeah but aren’t we planning on doing the same thing?” I counter.

“Doesn’t he deserve it? We haven’t stooped down to his level yet. Doing that would require cursing him and taking away something close to his heart.” Itzel looks back at the castle then at me. 

“If you don’t want to be here you don’t have to. If it reminds you of terrible things then you don’t have to relive them.” I offer. 

She sighs then speaks, “But I do.”

Now at night I can’t sleep. I have too much to think about. If everything goes according to plan no one will know who stole from them. They should not get the chance to spot us in the castle. 

The sun starts to rise over the trees and light the sky until a soft sky blue occupies the sky. That’s when I know it’s time. I wake up Adan and Itzel. They too know that it is time. 

We hide our vital supplies up in a tree and grab cloaks and daggers for the heist. Then we cast a temporary invisibility spell over ourselves. That part was Itzel’s idea. After we head to the servants’ entrance, we get into the food supply. Only time will tell what happens next. 

*Editor’s Note* This series is going on hiatus again. The next set of chapters posted will be the FINALE, so I hope you’re just as excited as I am! For anyone wondering this is a series so the final chapter comes with an epilogue and cliffhanger.