Chapter 1 – Reborn
… …. …
It was a cold, cloudy day. Not a sun in sight. The wind howled and swept through everywhere. The temperature was rather cold, colder than usual.
There was a witch, whose name was Ribbon. She was over five hundred years old. She was orphaned; originating from Sabbath, with a natural talent for herbs and medicine.
She went to the Royal College, off somewhere in the Marzanna continent, where only a handful of students could hope to be admitted. There she excelled and became top-notched, a prodigy, equipped with a lethal set of skills as classified by the security bureau.
It was guaranteed that her life would be a success story.
Ribbon was sought out by plenty of sponsors, a lot of which came to see her for guardianship. Eventually, even the king had taken notice, and employed her under his wing…
But the world wouldn’t let her have it easy.
Contrary to everyone’s expectations of Ribbon living out the rest of her life in luxury and riches, her end turned out to be quite dismal and miserable.
Ribbon was dead.
Her body found, burnt in the Feagan northern forests, which was located in the land of the Pagans. Because of this, the king had lost his most valuable asset.
There was no way to stop Plague.
Ribbon’s death brought chaos to the Marzanne continent.
And victory was certain for the Pagans.
With their forces spreading at a rapid rate, the countermeasures the kingdom had prepared had come short. Everyone was afraid.
The Pagan King, a psychopathic murderer, who was threatening the king and his country, only aims to devour the world. With no hope in sight, Marzanne will gradually deteriorate.
Ribbon, I miss you all the more these days.
Are you really dead?
It seems so empty.
The Diary of Dr. Baba Yaga
It was obviously just a dream. It was certainly so because these dreams have kept coming throughout the year, without fail.
They always begin with a woman tied to a tree post.
“Are you awake?”
A man spoke to her as he stared at her predicament.
Her eyes glazed over the people around her, demeanor unchanged, calm, eerily like she was dead. She was tied to the tree, with her gaze trailed to the ground, no signs of agitation or resistance.
There was no escaping her position.
“I’m sorry Ribbon.”
He continued, appearing apologetic.
Ribbon refused to speak.
“I had expected you would’ve lasted a little longer, but you’ve reached your limit.”
He stroked her chin, seemingly more pleased than anyone else with her situation. For compared to the rest of the expressionless people who appeared to be like the dead, only his eyes burned with the distinctly joyful feeling.
Ribbon, on the other hand, just stared at him. When their eyes finally met, Ribbon let out a laugh. At that point, the man’s eyes narrowed momentarily.
“What are you laughing about? Are you happy about this turn of event?”
“Are you having fun?”
She asked, a smile lingering on her lips.
“Why, of course. It’s been plenty of fun.”
He gestured towards her,
“You, dear Ribbon, have been interrupting my work in every possible way, including that vampire. You’ve given me more troubles than I could ever hope for! In fact,”
He paused for dramatic effect, amusement and joy stuck on his face, as well as gleeful anticipation.
“I’ve been looking forward to this particular moment!”
But it is killing you!
The half-mad man gleefully brushed her silvery locks.
“But it is a tad bit disappointing.”
He calmed down a bit, staring at her in a longing manner.
“You were, after all, the only woman to have ever caught my notice. I thought you would’ve played with me a little longer.”
“I’m sorry to disappoint then.”
“Doesn’t it scare you so? You are going to die soon.”
He said, looking quite thoughtful for a moment.
“Had I been afraid of death, I wouldn’t have acted against you in the first place.”
But death was cruel, everyone in Marzanna was afraid of it. And yet Ribbon, who was the center of all the chaos, was not. Because of this, the man in front of her seemed even more captivated of her.
“You could still live.”
He suddenly said, whispering the words close to her and brought his lips next to her ear.
“Should you choose to join me.”
He stared at her, anticipating her positive answer, but she only stared right back, a dry smile poised on her own lips as she answered him right back.
“I respectfully decline so.”
He didn’t like to be refused, and so he gave her his deadliest glare before looking back at the awaiting people and back at her.
“You’re supposed to be smart, but now, I’m not so sure.”
He said, his jaw clenching with every word.
“Very well, you just lost your second chance at life.”
He appeared to be mourning the thought of her loss, but he eventually raised his hand to give out a signal. As he did so, the numerous people gathered around her began to cheer and shout with enthusiasm with torches lighted in their hands as they drew near.
“Our paths end here.”
“Are you certain?”
They lit the straw beneath her as they threw the torches down. The dry straws quickly caught aflame, and began to burn, rising and growing as it spread around her into a giant flame, reaching for the skies. As the flames continued to burned, eventually the heat and smoke it had created became too suffocating, but Ribbon had not shown any sort of indication she had felt such distress and pain…
Instead, she laughed.
She called his name amidst the flames and smokes. He stared at her, wondering what she was planning to say now.
“We will meet again, that I promise you.”
She told him, her smile never leaving her face.
It was the only way to describe what she was saying. At least, that’s what he thought.And yet, it was a baffling thought.
How did she not suffer? How was it she wasn’t scared?
Her eyes lit up within the flames, carrying an intensity that wasn’t there before.
“The next time we meet again.”
And the gleeful glint in her eyes was replaced by something of a venomous nature.
“You will die.”
She told him.
And with that, the wind grew stronger, howled louder. The flames continued to grow, and round Ribbon’s body they circled, engulfing her and the wooden pillar she was tied to. Her last words lost in the flames, but he had heard her as clear as day.
The people cheered on as they watched Ribbon die.
At last, the witch is dead!
But the man turned once more to the sight of Ribbon’s burning body, with an unfathomable expression on his face..
As opposed to his gleeful disposition before Ribbon died, now he only looked troubled, confused.
He stood there, long enough for the burning flames to disappear completely, before he finally left.
I will come back to protect everyone, and ensure your death.
Was it all just a fool’s hope on her part? Or was it a witch’s curse?
“The next time we meet again.”
He scoffed at the thought.
“You’re already dead. How could that ever come to pass?”
Ribbon was dead. She was dead. It was like a mantra repeated in his head over and over again…
Those last words, it was all just nonsense.
And yet still, he continued to think about it.
“I believe you won’t be coming back from the dead, but should you do so then you will-”
He shook his head, it was the impossible.
Her laughter was carried out by the wind, and he left as soon as the ritual started to attract the crowds.
And that had always been the dream’s end.