Everyone was stiff as they waited for Zeres' response.

"Zeres, don't listen to her. Come to me now!" Dinah's voice reached Abi's ears. She was speaking to Zeres with such an oppressive tone, as if Zeres was some lowly beast under her command and control.

Abi swallowed. Unease had filled her heart as she stared at Zeres' back.

"Please, Zeres. Don't–"

Before Abi could even complete her statement, Zeres took another step. Abi's eyes widen, and her stretched out hand trembled a little.

"Zeres! Don't go!" she yelled. She moved to run after him, but Alex grabbed her arm, stopping her.

Despite Abi's call for him, Zeres never looked back again until he disappeared along with the creatures in the black cloak.

Abi's hand fell on her side, and everyone fell silent. Alex's face was emotionless while Alicia just stood there, quietly closing her eyes.

The deafening silence crept through the night as the three remained rooted in the ground for another long while until Alex finally spoke. "Let's go back to the castle," he said, and without waiting for Abi's response, he lifted her in his arms and leaped away.

Upon landing at the top of the northern watch tower, Alex put Abi down before facing Alicia.

"I believe you have answers for this, Alicia. What the hell happened to Zeres?" he asked, his face hard.

Abi also looked at her with millions of questions in her eyes. "What did you see in Zeres' memories?"

Alicia took a deep breath before she gazed at the couple. "When Zeres and Dinah got separated, native settlers found Zeres. They took him to their village, and he stayed there for over a year. Zeres had no memories at all when the natives found him." She looked at Abi. "But his memories before he met you in the Black Dragon Hill started to return to him by and by. When all his memories returned, he left the village to find Dinah—thinking that Dinah could explain to him why he couldn't remember the rest of his memories and why he was still alive to this day. But while searching, Zeres let himself hit by a car due to ignorance with the modern vehicles. Everything after that was pitch black, but I could tell that the humans who hit him saw how his body healed and freaked out. I am not sure because I could only hear voices, but the humans seemed to have brought Zeres to a certain facility. I later found out that those men Dinah's men, and they were sent by Dinah to bring him to her." Alicia paused, her expression now becoming grave.

"While I was trying my best to understand the jumbled sounds and voices in Zeres' memories…" she continued. "I started to see the memories of the witch queen during that time."

"The witch queen during that time isn't the one before you," Alex said, and Alicia nodded.

Alex narrowed his eyes, looking like he was having doubts. "Zeres didn't manage to break that spell for such a long time?" Alex couldn't seem to believe it.

"Don't underestimate the witch queen's power, Alexander. That spell is powerful because the price of that spell was that queen's life. In fact, that spell's supposed to last for a far longer period of time," she explained, and a short silence passed by between them.

"Why would she sacrifice her life for something like that?"

"Because Dinah promised her that she'd become immortal too once she drinks Zeres blood."

"How foolish." Alex hissed, shaking his head.

"That queen was desperate. She's old and was reaching her time limit."

"So? Why did Dinah do that to Zeres?" Alex asked again.

Alicia swallowed. Her face was a little indifferent as she spoke again. "Dinah had him experimented for more than 20 years."

"Experimented?" Alex's face darkened.

Alicia nodded. "They brought him in an underground facility, and the humans did all sort of nasty thing to him to study his body," she trailed off, gritting her teeth in anger. Alicia had seen all the brutal things that they did to Zeres. She saw how the humans cut him over and over and over. She heard Zeres' voice begging them to stop because even though he was under a spell and even though his body kept on healing and coming together again every time they cut him, he still felt the pain. The scene that Alicia watched was just too cruel that her heart even darkened with rage and hate because of how evil those humans were. Her heart broke and bled for Zeres. He didn't deserve to go through all those cruel tortures.

"Dinah had learned about your power Alexander, so she thought that Zeres must have had the same power as you. Because she knew she was powerless, Dinah wanted to do anything to gain the power she didn't receive. She tried everything. She even drank Zeres' blood, but nothing changed. So she asked her human minions to create something or anything that could be useful, of course, using Zeres' body as their key resource. But for many years, no experiment succeeded.

However, Dinah didn't give up. Because she finally accepted that it's impossible for her to get Zeres's power, she started to desire to turn Zeres into her obedient pet instead."

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