Chapter 1 (

”She is an abomination, a crusader, an outcast; we should kill her before she dooms us all. ”

”Yes, kill her. ”

”Burn her, ”

”Burry her life. ”

Everyone kept on yelling and cursing the girl who was chained to a huge tree, looking for the right and painful way to end her. But what hurts her the most is that the people she thought would always be her supporters were actually the ones who yelled the loudest for her execution.

But despite all the betrayal and chaos that was happening right in front of her, Rainer didn seem to be bothered by it; her head was still held high as before, her eyes held no fear in them, and despite the fact that she was bruised and in pain, she still refused to show any form of weakness, because she knew deep down in her heart that she was not at fault. Even with the angry mob before her, she knew that nothing would happen to her. She didn know how it would happen, but all she knew was that she wouldn die, especially not at the hands of her enemies.

*****

”Rainer, Rainer, ”

A deep but soft voice called out to her. It was very close, yet very far. She stood in the middle of the desert, looking for the voice that kept calling out to her. The cold midnight air that touched her face gave her a strange sense of serenity.

She kept on wandering through the desert looking for him, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn find him. She wanted to go home but she couldn because she had lost her way, but strangely, she felt safe—safer than she had ever been.

Her eyes swept through the land, and finally, her eyes met with a pair of gray eyes that were looking right at her. She reached out to him, but a storm began to arise, and before she could touch him, he was no more. Then she saw another pair of golden eyes looking right at her. But those eyes don belong to a man but rather to a beast.

The beast strode further towards her with grace and elegance. She should have run away, but she watched it close in on her. But abruptly it stopped, and then everything went blank.

Rainer gasped as her eyes snapped open. Her long, dark hair clung to her face despite little to all her sweating. She quickly picked up the paper and pencil that were lying on her table, closed her eyes, and quickly began to sketch the beast and the man she just saw in her dream a moment ago. But as usual, she couldn remember all the details. All she remembered about the man were his gray eye, the scar on his left eyebrow, and his raven dark hair, and all she could recall of the beast were its white fur color and golden eyes.

Rainer sighed as she was defeated once again by her own dream. She had had this dream more than a hundred times, but anytime she tried to recall the dream, she always got the same result.

With a defeated spirit, she got up only to see her bed full of sand. Well, that was her normal. She dusted her bed and quickly cleaned and packed the sand. She was glad she didn have a roommate, or else life would be even harder.

Rainer stayed in a boarding school that is meant for witches; no one wanted to share a room with her because she was weird. The school is one of the best, and it isn easy to go there, but somehow she got in, even though she wasn as strong as the other witches.

She can even cast a spell without her spell book, despite all her effort; she just couldn cast a spell without her mini spell book. Its not like Rainer is dumb; in fact, when it comes to reading, studying, and physical combat, she takes the cake, but sadly, those things aren valued in the kingdom.

Already running late, Rainer quickly went to the shower, washing away all of the sand from her body. After a long, well-deserved shower, Rainer made her way to the dresser and got dressed.

She looked at her reflection in the mirror, touching the silver and golden-like tattoo that looked like a blooming rose on her neck. It was no doubt beautiful, and it matched her hazel eyes, but it was still strange how she got it. She was born with a golden and silver ring-like tattoo on her ring finger. As she grows up, she sometimes sees strange marks that keep popping up out of nowhere on her body. They are nice, but it is becoming difficult for her to hide them from everyone.

She quickly got dressed in her uniform; she wore her jacket, which covered all her marks except for the one on her neck, so she styled her hair in a pigtail that she brought to the front, and with that she was ready.

She walked out of her room towards the main hall, where all final-year students would go to get and complete their last assignment as witches before graduation. Tony Rainers best and only friend was leaning outside Rainers hostel waiting for her,

He is one of the schools most handsome guys, who every girl wishes to have; he is undeniably a playboy, but he really cares for Rainer, as there were childhood friends.

All the girls who passed him saw him and wished that they were the lucky ones that he was waiting for, but unfortunately it wasn so, and all the girls cursed Rainer for being close to Tony.

Finally, Rainer walked out of the hostel. She knew that Tony was there, but she just chose to ignore him. Tony, on the other hand, was already used to Rainers morning grumpiness, so he just did what he always does, which is to annoy her.

”Good morning, beautiful, ” he said, but Rainer was already immune to his annoying self, so she did what she did every morning: ignore him. It was just like a morning routine.

Tony kept on trying his best to get a reaction from Rainer, but she was not going to give him that satisfaction. Rainer saw her little sister Mindy, who was talking to her friends cheerfully, and seeing her that happy just made Rainer smile for the first time that morning.

Mindy, who felt someones gaze on her, turned to find her big sister staring at her. She quickly ran towards Rainer, totally abandoning her friends. When she got closer, she gave Rainer a tight hug.

”Morning Rainer, ”

”Good morning, Mindy, ”

”Good luck with your final assignment; I know youll get it. ”

”I hope I do, ”

”Of course, you will, umm, Rainer pleads if you have the time to see Grandma, please do. She has been calling for you since last night. ”

”I will. Is there a problem? ” Rainer asked with a voice full of concern, Mindy shook her head with a smile on her face,

”No problem, you know, grandma, you should go now; you don want to be late. ” Mindy hugged Rainer one last time before running off to meet her friends, leaving Rainer thinking,

”We should go now, beautiful. ” ”I don want to be late for class, ” Tonys annoying voice broke Rainer from her train of thought. Rainer just glared at Tony before walking out.

They finally got to the hall, which was already filled with fourth-year students. They went to write their names on the attendant list nearby. They arrived late, which caused them to sit at the back. A few students who sat in front saved a seat for Tony, but Tony simply declined because Rainer wasn with him, so he and Rainer sat at the back together.

”I knew you were an idiot, but I never knew you had graduated to this leave, ” Rainer said, folding her hands in front of her chest while rolling her eyes at Tony.

”Finally, she has spoken, if it took you long enough. ” And to make this clear, I didn refuse that empty seat for you; I just did that so I could have some time to catch up on my sleep. ”

”Let me guess you were busy with your new girl throughout the night. ”

”Yep, now someones getting smart, ” Tony replayed as he leaned back. Rainer sat there, not able to shake the words Mindy said out of her mind. Why did her grandma want to see her so urgently? Did her stepmother do something bad to her, or was her health deteriorating even more?

Her grandmother was a very powerful woman at her time, but after the war that took place between the witches and the desert, she was never the same. Mindys mom didn want her living in her house, and neither did her grandmother. When Rainer got to the school, her grandmother cried night and day pleading to be with her grandchild, and since Rainers stepmother is the principal of the school, she gave her a place in the school where Rainer can always visit at any time.

Rainer, Mindy, and Tony are the only ones who go to meet the old lady, while Rainers older sisters couldn care less.

”Have a nice sleep; Im going out, ” Rainer said, getting up from her seat,

”Where? ” Tony asked, his voice already sleepy.

”To see my grandmother, we are nowhere near the front; Ill be back before you know it. ”

”Take your time, tell her Ill come to visit during the weekend, ” Tony waved his hands before closing his eyes. Rainer just rolled her eyes at him before leaving.

Rainer walked out of the building and began walking on the schools premises. She walked past the garden, where people were, and was headed into an isolated place where the only things that could be seen were tombstones and overgrown grass. She walked deeper into the eerie cemetery the closer she got to the small house.

It was so quiet that the only thing one could hear was the whispering of the wind blowing the dried leaves and the gentle dancing of the trees.

Finally, Rainer arrived at the small wooden house. They were small pots well placed on the windows, with the light blue curtains gently swaying to the wind. Yes, the house was old, but it was well taken care of. Rainer raised her hand to knock on the gray wooden door but stopped when she heard the light clicking of glass.

Mother must be having her morning tea, she thought to herself as she made her way to the back of the house. There she saw her grandmother sitting on a bench, looking out into the horizon.

”Good morning, grandma, ” Rainer said, walking over to her grandmother,

”Good morning, my dear, ”How was your night? ” her grandmother asked, taping the space on the bench, indecently inviting Rainer to sit next to her.

Rainer sat with her grandmother, who was still looking in the direction of the desert as if she were watching something fascinating.

”Grandma, you wanted to see me? ” Rainer asked, looking up at her grandmother, who just hollered in response as she sipped her tea.

”What is so interesting about the desert that it makes you get lost while looking at it? ” Rainer asked, not able to keep her curiosity at bay.

”What do you see when you look at the desert? ” Her grandma asked, still looking at the horizon,

”I see a wasteland, ” Rainer honestly said, looking at her grandmother, who just smiled back at her, finally looking in her direction.

”Rainer, my dear, explain what you see when you look at the desert. ” Her grandma asked once again, this time placing her hand gently on Raines shoulder. Rainer looked in the direction of the desert, looking for a better way she could explain it to her grandma.

”Umm, I see an endless land full of sand, dust, and some dead plants. ”

”Haha, is that all you see, my child? ” Can you see the endless beauty and grace of the desert? with all the mischief it embodies. ”

”It is beautiful if you look at it that way, but still, grandma, why do you look at the desert? ” ”The forest is a more beautiful place than the desert; there are a lot of colors, and there are also closers, rivers with lots of life in them, but yet you chose the desert over that, and aren we enemies to it? ”

”You won understand Rainer, my child; not all animals with teeth bit to kill. ” The desert may look plain and unyielding, but beneath those sands is a whole lot of mystery. ”You know something, my childs life is just like the desert; you never know where the wind will blow and take you. ”

”Forget about that; come join me; lets eat, ” her grandma said, taking Rainer to the small round table that was covered with a light white tablecloth, with the cutlery gently placed and arranged.

”No grandma here. ” ”I have something else to do; when I come back, well have lunch together. ”

”Okay, dear, please do not work too hard; do you understand? ”

”Yes, gran, I love you. ” Rainer places a quick kiss on her grandmas cheek before quickly running off.

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