CHAPTER 58 - Of Heaven and Hell

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Author's note: You guys, have no idea how long I have waited to drop this one. Maybe since Chapter 1. Popcorns recommended. 

✨And here comes the apple of my other eye✨

✨And here comes the apple of my other eye✨

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"Kneel before me." The mind-controlling command rang again. 

But this time my head snapped open, refusing to comply.

Maybe it was only for a few heartbeats, or lasted for days, but now it was gone. A gasp escaped from me and I blinked my eyes, one hand still clutching my throbbing head, I brought the other in front of my face, and felt it... even the sliver of magic – returning. But how?

Head on the verge of bursting open, my thoughts revolved around the boy who was fighting for his life... would this hurt his mind? Would this hurt him more than he was already hurting in his unconscious state? The Head Alchemist couldn't have possibly protected Doran against Mind-controlling spells.

On the now brightly moonlit plateau, a familiar deep voice boomed. "That... is enough, Neo."

I looked up – White wings. And a starry sky.

King Nova was perched on his Air Dragon.

But where had he been all this time?

Zephyr was flapping his wings, pristine white body still etched with dark burning marks of my hellfire. Maybe Doran would carry them, too. I let out a shuddery breath.

Someone gripped my arm—Dylan. His eyes were bloodshot and I knew so were mine. Breathing ragged, we both helped each other up. Looking around, I found everyone rising, wincing, breathing hard as if we had emerged from deep waters. The hours to sunrise seemed closer, skies were a murky purple and stars twinkled and broke and I wished I had my sundial to check the time out of habit.

A glance ahead, where Neo's body shone in the ample moonshine, I saw his face was plain... almost innocent. He silently turned the Fire Dragon, and looked straight up. I had never seen the royal twins together, other than in portraits. Their resemblance in reality was eerily identical and goosebumps arose all over my skin.

"Hello, brother," Neo said, and a slow smile stretched on his face.

To my horror, the slaved soldiers rose up, fresh and untethered. They were injured, bloodied, but being tranced, they had no luxury of will, of screaming in pain, of lying down to rest—they could only oblige.

"I said... that is enough." King Nova's firm voice ricocheted. "Stop. This is our Spring army, our people, who are hurting everyone. Neither the Eclipses are yours to borrow."

"Your army, brother." His twin shrugged, "Not mine."

"Release them all." King Nova's voice was calm and firm, "I am giving you a final chance to make this right."

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