The round area was filled with dozens of creatures; spirits, souls, demons, ghouls. Two faeries circled each other in the middle, hissing and spitting. I pulled my hood over my head tighter and engulfed my face with darker shadows. A lesser demon came forward and spoke into a black swirly shell:
"Welcome, everyone, to the shadow realm tournament! Today, two darklings shall be fighting each other to the death," Everyone cheered and screamed in excitement. "Yes, exciting isn't it? Who shall win? Place your bids now!" The demon held out his black velvet hat to the ghouls first, then demons. Spirits and souls were only permitted to watch, never bid. They didn't have Emerald Cajade, the shadow realm currency to do so, nevertheless. Then at last, the unfortunate creature came up to me and asked me to bid. I grabbed a handful of coins and dropped them into the hat.
"Torio," I whispered. The coins disappeared.
"Are you sure? That creature looks about as strong as a butterfly can get." I nodded at him.
"I'm sure. He shrugged and walked away with his unsettling grin.
"Alright! Torio, Pika, begin!" The faeries began to scratch and bite at each other, each tearing up the other's skin or wings. Torio had green wings and bright blue eyes, while Pika had dark yellow wings and crimson eyes. There was a certain viciousness to Pika that most lesser faeries did not have.
I narrowed my eyes slightly in suspicion. Only royal guard faeries such as Tarot were vicious as it was their nature and job to guard the palace and its residents, but simply a normal, common faerie, vicious?
"That one's been enchanted, eh, William?" I jumped and glanced around wildly. The voice chuckled. "Hold your horses, mate. It's James." The man stood beside me, his golden eyes glittering in the moonlight.
"Oh. I thought for sure that I had finally been found out by my father, coming to illegal gatherings. What brings you here, ma man?" I plastered a grin unto my face and moved aside a bit so the fella could sit by me. He let out one of his dark chuckles and heaved a deep sigh as he sat.
"Well, where do I start? I certainly enjoy bidding on faeries and losing all my money." We both laughed heartily and he hung his arm around my shoulder. There was a spirit of a predator in his eyes. There always was. It felt as if he would snap your neck right there and then whenever you stared into his golden eyes for too long. James turned away, breathing in the cold air. I followed his gaze. He seemed to be mesmerized in the moon.
" There wasn't a moon back in Blackthorn. I never could imagine it could be this beautiful or-or bright. Makes me wonder how bright or beautiful the sun is." I glanced at him in an odd manner.
"You mustn't mean the light realm, surely?"
"You mean the human world? Ah yes. Haven't you ever wondered what goes on there? What the mortals do? I surely have. Their world, from the stories I have heard while I was in Frozen River prison, is absolutely wonderful. They have both the sun and the moon! Can you imagine that?" I shook my head in utter disbelief.
"Don't you get any funny ideas, James. The light realm is more dangerous than you can ever imagine. Remember what the humans did to a demon once it had been banished from the shadow realm? They killed it. Just like that!"
"But William, that was thousands of years ago! Who knows, maybe the humans have changed their ways and they will accept our kind now!" I pitied James, whom was more naive than anyone I had ever seen in my 635 years. He looked as serious as he was when I first saw him walk through the doors of the throne room. My head shot up and my lips parted.
"Say, James, why were you with my father this morning?" He seemed taken aback, but then regained his composure and cleared his throat.
"Well, ya see, mate, I wanted to ask him a simple question." His golden eyes looked anxious as he said this, and I knew something was wrong. He wasn't telling me the whole story. I tried again:
"Look, James, I don't want you getting yourself into any sorts of trouble, alright? The light realm or any realm in that manner, should not be tampered with. Why do you think no one has gone there before willingly?" James seemed to consider this, and I was about to breath a sigh of relief, content that he had come to his senses, but I had spoke too soon.
"Come now, mate, it can't be as bad as they say. What's wrong with just travellin' between a few worlds without harming anything, eh?" I knew I was fighting a hopeless case, and shook my head helplessly.
"Just as long as you don't hurt yourself..." I breathed, and a loud voice snapped my attention back to the faeries. One lay unmoving on the ground, and another looked torn and injured, but otherwise standing. I couldn't quite see clearly whether it was Torio or Pika, as a ghoul was blocking my vision.
"And we can all see who the winner is, everybody! The winner is.....Pika!" I groaned. I shouldn't have bid when I didn't know the faerie was tampered with. Suddenly, James shot up beside me with a fierce expression on his pale face.
"That faerie was tampered with! Its been enchanted with crystal death! It will die in a few hours nevertheless, no matter how strong it was!" The lesser demon raised an eyebrow at James. I smacked my forehead with my palm.
"Sit down, James."
"But we have to let them know-"
"Sit. Now." At my dark tone, James soundlessly sat back down and interested himself with his shoes. I heaved a sigh and nervously shushed the crowd with "Pardon him" And "Sorry for the disturbance, he isn't from around here." When the crowd died down, I grabbed James and dragged him out of the stadium.
"Why on earth would you-" Chiming bells cut me off, and I glanced at the large clock in the square. It read: '7:00'. Dumbfounded, I glared at James, then began rushing towards the palace. He trailed behind silently as if a lost puppy.
"Where are you going??" James asked. I massaged my temples, as I had a raging headache from stress.
"Well, the ceremony is about to begin, fool. If I'm not there, father will surely thrash the place."