Abi and the silver-haired witch continued running.
Somehow, Abi didn't feel tired despite running for a long while now. Her body felt lighter than ever and her lungs didn't feel like it was on fire like it used to. She suddenly remembered the training regime Alex had put her through back then. Her heart used to pound in her chest from all the effort she had to exert just to run down the road but right at that moment, she wasn't even heaving.
They must have covered a few kilometers by now and they were going at a fairly fast pace. Did the witch cast a spell on her, Abi wondered because she somewhat felt that she was a balloon being dragged along by the silver-haired witch.
After what seemed like a long time, they stopped in front of a mossy, large tree. There didn't seem to be anything special about the place because the tree looked like every other tree in the forest.
The silver-haired witch then turned to Abi.
"Can you listen to see if some of the vampires managed to follow us?" she asked and Abi immediately obeyed.
Abi closed her eyes and to her relief, she couldn't hear any vampire heartbeats anymore. It seemed that they had managed to escape from the vampire herd. Abi's racing heart - from fear rather than exertion - started to calm down a little.
She opened her eyes again and shook her head in response.
"I think we managed to lose them. I can't hear anyone around the vicinity," Abi told her and the silver-haired witch nodded.
The witch then turned back towards the tree, still not letting go of Abi's wrist.
Abi saw the witch close her eyes and her mouth started moving, chanting some kind of spell. As the witch chanted, small, tiny lights appeared all around them, as if a large amount of fireflies had been awakened from their slumber. The tiny, blue colored lights enveloped the tree and a moment later, its roots retracted from the ground and the branches untangled themselves transforming the tree into a cave-like entranceway.
Abi's eyes widened in shock. Whoa! How did she even know which tree to look for in this forest filled with thousands of the same looking tree?
"Come," the witch said as she looked back at the shocked woman standing behind her.
Abi swallowed. She still didn't feel scared of this woman but there was still some doubt within her heart. She didn't know who this woman was. What if she never comes out of this entrance way again? What if this was some kind of trap?
"It's okay. Don't be afraid. It's safer for us inside. Those vampires won't be able to follow us in there or sense our presence," the silver-haired witch encouraged.
Abi hesitated. She felt that this woman didn't harbor any ill-feelings towards her. She felt that this woman didn't have any bad intentions towards her. She had felt this when she first locked eyes with her that night at the hotel. Now that she was here, she felt that this woman was kind of like Alex in a way. This woman seemed dangerous, in the same way that she knew that Alex was dangerous but she didn't feel scared. In the same way that she felt that Alex would never hurt her every time she looked into his eyes, she felt the same thing towards this woman, this stranger.
Even though she had only really had two encounters with this woman - she didn't count the dreams - this encounter had given Abi a bit more insight about her. Now that she had met her, even if they still hadn't properly introduced themselves, her gut told her it was okay to follow this woman. She didn't know why but Abi decided to listen to her guts. She was already here. Even if she refused, this goddess could very easily just drag her inside.
Abi then nodded and the goddess showed her a quick but sweet smile. She looked pleased.
They both walked through the entrance way, hand in hand. It was dark, so dark that Abi almost couldn't see anything.
Abi heard a noise come from behind them. The tree must have moved to cover up the entrance again. Abi wondered if someone would ever find her from this place. Maybe even Alex might not be able to locate her even if he searched the entire forest. Not unless he wiped it clean.
Abi was about to speak when the woman before her once again started chanting. Somehow, Abi found that her chants were pleasant to her ears, as if she was hearing some ancient, mystic melody.
And then, another door opened for them.
Light welcomed them. Abi had thought that the door would open up to another dark, underground world but she was wrong. The moment she saw what was on the other side, she was awestruck.
The place was like a cave filled with different shades of blue crystals, from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. They were surrounded by crystals everywhere, as if it was a cave made of thousands of years old crystalized glaciers.
She felt like she was walking underwater. It was just so breathtaking. She didn't know where the light came from but she thought that even the tiny light from a single firefly would be enough to light up this cave. Looking around in pure awe, Abi wondered if this was a natural cave or if this was a result of a spell that was cast by one of the witches.
The silver-haired witch finally let go of her wrist and she walked ahead of Abi, leading the way. There were many doors along the walls of the large corridor-like pathway. Abi could only think that this might be the witch's hidden palace? It was like she had entered another world. A fairyland.
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