Wraith, Henki, and I watch as the Shadows explore Sepulcrum. Most of them have never seen anything besides the barren Shadow District since they’ve died, and while this place is still monochromatic, there are mountains and forests and rivers. It looks like a black and white fairy-tale book.
“So will we avoid the Castle?” Henki asks, his form shifting in grey light.
I nod. “My dad doesn’t need to know I’m here. If he finds out, I’ll never be allowed to leave the castle again.”
Wraith smiles in amusement. “I did not picture the Shadow Princess as a rebel.”
My lips twitch, but I suppress the urge to smile in return. There’s too much that’s been going on lately.
“So Wraith, how were you assigned to the princess’ detail?” Henki asks, choosing to leave me sitting in my awkwardness instead of feeding on that emotion as well.
I tune out their voices and look over the mountains, to the one where I can barely make out the outline of Shadow Castle. The lack of shadows here makes every distance seem both infinitely shorter and longer at the same time. If Kendra had her way, based on what I can remember, then she would have moved the castle to her realm, which is the most terrifying part of the supernatural side. The very air in Gahenna preys on your innermost fears and pulls them out in front of you to face. That is where I’ll face my grandmother and hopefully save my family. If facing my deepest fears doesn’t kill me first.
Sudden movement in the small valley below catches my eye. It’s three skeleton horses with three riders. I bite my lip and lean back.
“Henki! Tell the Shadows to hide!”
I can feel his amusement at the request, but he complies, and the Shadows all melt into the ground, except for him.
“What are you doing?” I ask softly.
He shrugs. “I left Shadow District to follow you. The rest can all go back to our home, but I intend to enjoy my temporary freedom.”
I nod and continue to stare down the riders as they come up the side of the mountain. As they get closer, I can recognize them perfectly. And one of them is my dad.