I held back my tears as I saw one of the women take Jairo away, but I knew the emporer wouldn't disagree to helping him, after all, he had nothing to gain from keeping Jairo. I looked at the guard, hoping it was Nero, but no such luck. I sighed as I was dragged back to the dinner hall to say good night to the Emporer. I had tried to resist, but I realised that angering him wouldn't help anyone. Especially Jairo.

"Very well, you have all of your demands, so I will ask officially!"

The armour-clad Emporer bent down on one knee and produced a diamond ring that was beyond imagination and descriptive terms! It was pure platinum, buffed to a mirror shine. The solitare diamond was shockingly beautiful, it wasn't huge, but it looked less like a jewel and more like a glass case containing a million stars. It seemed to give out it's own light and I could see it dancing off the walls.

"I-I... Yes..." The word hurt to say, sticking in my throat as my heart desperatly tried to fight it down. I couldn't listen to my heart however, it didn't understand the situation.

"Brilliant! Tomorrow it is then! Guards, take my beautiful bride to be to her room! I'll see you tomorrow my love."

The two guards pushed me down the halls until we arrived at my door, I looked up and saw that one was Nero, I tried to speak to him, but he continued to treat me the same as every other guard. I felt very alone.

I wanted Nero to stay and talk to me, but I could tell from his face that was impossible, so I didn't say a word as he left me. The women from before were already there and they dressed me in a soft silk nightie and brushed my hair until I feared that it must have all been brushed out of my scalp before removing what remained of my make-up and leaving me alone.

I collapsed onto my silk duvet and allowed myself to sob until I felt my heart would break! I wasn't the type of person to indulge in self-pity, but I knew that I would never see my little town again, or my mother... Or Jairo. I allowed myself to weep until my eyes were dry, at which point I made my way over to the window. I looked up at the stars, they reminded me that even though I was so high up no human on earth could find me, I was still on earth. My ring felt cold on my finger, cooling my blood and helping me to get over the sadness that throbbed in my veins.

Eventually I was in such a state of calm I was able to draw away from the window and sit at my dressing table. I looked into my own eyes, I noted with some horror that they were the exact match of the purple gargoyles lining the temple. Well, I reasoned, at least Jairo would be free. I had nothing to return to, my whole town would hate me after everything I had caused. I managed a weak smile before somehow managing to force myself into a warped sleep.

I was back in the clearing, the darkness fell around me once more, another one of the evil woman's tricks! I searched around for Jairo in the night, running until I felt the grass beneath me turn to cloud. I stopped, my ring was shimmering, emiting it's own light and tearing through the previously invunerable darkness. I found myself able to look around and realised that I was standing at the very edge of the cloud.

"Where are you?! I thought you died!" I called out for the violet eyed demon whose head I had seen frozen in Ahemyst mere hours earlier.

 I looked over the edge of the cloud, using the ring to light the darkness when I jumped back! The second I looked over the edge I heard sobbing, not just one person but thousands! I held my ears to try and block out the sound of the heartbroken weeping from below. I steeled myself to look. I saw a thousand purple stone statues, or were they? They were moving, rubbing their eyes and howling, the sorrowful sound broke my heart.  

"What?! What's wrong?!" I yelled out, desperatly trying to find out and stop it, but I was ignored, they were too pent on their own sorrow.

I turned back to the cloud and saw the woman that I had searched for. She too, was crying like she had never been happy in her life. I didn't know what to say or do, I just sat down and tried to comfort her.

"G-g-get a-away from me!" She pushed me away violently, for a moment I was afraid, she had tried to kill me after all, prehaps I had overestimated our level of 'friendship'.

The glittering purple figure collapsed back into tears. I stood in shock as the cloud beneath her seemed to fade and she began to fall through the soft floor. I panicked and grabbed her hand, trying to keep her from slipping, she grabbed at the hand that my engagment ring sparkled on, her empty eyes reflecting it's light.

"Give it to me! Please!"

 Her face was the picture of sadness and longing, so I didn't hesitate in passing it over. She sat back on the freshly formed cloud for a moment looking at it, her tears temporarily dried and her mouth agape.

I suddenly felt my whole body freezing, looking down I saw that I was becoming crystalized like the rest of them! I looked hopelessly at the figure still clutching my ring as I too began to fall through the cloud.

I reached out for the symbol of my impending marrige when I saw her mouth one sentence.

"This was mine."

I woke with a start, cold sweat covering my body. I reached for my ring, it was still on my finger, thank goodness it had been a dream! I tried not to think too deeply into it, it was surely just a nightmare and held no deeper meaning than that, before resigning myself to sleep again. Hoping that when I awoke, It would all be over.

The End

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