1 Chase

"There … she is entering the woods." One of the men shouted from the group of six men chasing the girl.

The girl saw them coming near and increased her speed and entered the woods. She ran and ran until she entered the dark part of the forest where no sunlight could enter.

"Huff... Huff.. " She hid behind the large tree to catch her breath. They were chasing her for at least two hours. Tears started to pour from Annabelle's eyes.

Today was supposed to be the best day of her life, her wedding day, but here she was running for her dear life. Couple of sobs escaped her lips.

" No... no. What is happening? Dominic, where are you please save me." Mumbled Anna.

She was more worried about her mother and Dominic.

'What would have happened to them?' Thought Anna to herself.

Her head was in a mess, she couldn't process what was happening and why? Her thoughts drifted to the morning when everything was perfect.

Everything was perfect, she was wearing a beautiful white wedding dress. Her blonde hair was decorated with colorful flowers. Happiness was visible in her emerald green eyes.

" Look at you! The most beautiful bride I have ever seen." Judith exclaimed, Anna's mother.

"I'm sure Dominic can't take his eyes off of you Anna." Said Rosalie. Rosalie was a princess of the royal family. Her mother was the daughter of the current witch queen. She and Anna were best friends from childhood.

"You stay here, let me go outside, and check the other preparations, Hmm," said her mother. With her Rosalie also left the room to give Anna some space she needed.

The wedding was simple. Dominic was an orphan who had no family. On her side she only has a mother and some friends. The wedding ceremony was organized in the royal castle of soulwoods village.

Soulwoods was a village where only witches reside. Located in the deep end of the soulwoods forest. Away from humans and other creatures lurking around.

" Don't you look gorgeous? As expected from the most beautiful witch of soulwoods." Mia's voice jolted her out of her Trans.

" Mia, you are here! I'm so nervous, what should I do?" Asked Anna, with furrowed eyebrows.

Mia was her childhood friend.

" It's alright, everything's gonna be fine. Don't worry too much." Mia patted Anna's hand a bit in reassurance.

Anna nodded.

" I just think that everything is too sudden. I mean a wedding without the queen mother." Anna lowered her eyes.

"Then why did you say yes?" the question came from Mia.

" She is gone for a long time and no one knows where and when she will return. Dominic doesn't want to wait anymore. He said she will be definitely happy in my happiness, which is also true so.." Her voice trailed off.

"But now something is bothering you ?"

" Yes or maybe not exactly. I mean I don't know how to express this feeling.." Anna fibbled with he fingers.

" Relax Anna. Everything will be fine and .." sound of the door opening stopped Mia in her speech.

" Mia you are here! Come with me, lady Augusta has called us in her presence," said Judith who entered the room.

" Now? But why?" Mia titled her head in confusion.

"Maids said she wants to discuss something" replied Judith, And both of them left the room.

Anna was in her own dreamland thinking about this magical day when she and Dominic will be one soon, a man and wife.

###

At present.

A sharp pain In her scalp jolted her out of her thoughts.

He dragged her out from behind the tree by pulling her hair and throwing her on the ground. All of them circled around her. The fear has Shaken her soul. " Why are you doing this to me? What have I done wrong?"

Without answering her questions one man cast a spell to freeze her on her spot to restrict her movement. But to his surprise nothing happened to Annabelle. All other five were shocked too.

"Try again Marius." Said their leader. The man named Marius tried again with another powerful spell which is used to injure a person but nothing happened again.

"She looks like a powerful witch." exclaimed one of them.

Before they could do more, Annabelle use her own spell to fight them. But she was no match for them, she was but a young witch with limited knowledge and power,. She was also outnumbered. They all attacked her together and soon she was drained of all her energy.

Two of them held her four limbs and one another held a knife. Its blade was soaked in green liquid. The knife was dipped in the most cruel poison obtained from the rare poisonous plant from soulwoods forest.

Annabelle's eyes widened from the shock. As the residents of the soulwoods and being witch herself, she knows what that poison was. She tried to struggle but to no avail.

The man then plunged the knife into her stomach.

As soon as the knife entered her body a sharp, burning pain shot from her wound and covered her whole body. Her limbs started to numb.

The poison was known as Shura poison, which is made by a poisonous substance and the combination of the spell. The victim of this poison first experiences a cruel burning sensation in their body which afterwards cools down slowly and then slowly the temperature of the body goes down to the point that the body freezes itself. And the process repeats itself until the body gives away and people die. Practically it destroys the body of a person who comes into contact.

After stabbing her with a knife they released her. Anna was shrieking in pain. She was rolling all over the ground.

" The work has been completed, we should leave this place now. We are very deep in the forest and it's not safe here " spoke one of them. With that all of them left the forest. No one was there to hear her shriek of pain and crying.

After an indefinite amount of time the pain in her body slowly reduced. Her throat was dry from all the crying. There was no energy left in her body. The burning was subside and her body was cooling down but Anna knew better that it was just temporary relief, soon the another round of torture will begin and there is no relief unless she died. After some time the pain of burning died down and Anna lost consciousness.

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