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Candlelight



By: Jenny Zhou


Onyx, Princess of Nightleaf Kingdom, was on her way to the Candlelight, a sacred ceremony attended by all of the future rulers, to get Blessed with one special power…


She was dressed in a black silk gown, embedded with shimmering onyxes—her namesake—, as well as beautiful gold trimming. Onyx teardrops hung from her ears, and laced leggings covered her pale legs. Golden threads were braided into her long, black hair, which flowed down her back like a waterfall.


The maids ushered her family into a black carriage, embroidered in gold, with a driver dressed in his finest clothes. Then, they set off.


The Candlelight took place once a year on October 13th, in the center of the Wolfblood Empire. There, a shining purple crystal floated over a single black rose, with the roar of wolves sounding in the distance. The faint smell of blood hung in the air. That was where the future rulers would stand.


There, the crystal would pulse with supernatural energy, and Bless each future ruler with its power. Each ruler would have to pledge an oath that they would use their powers to help their kingdoms, until their last breath.


Onyx remembered reciting the oath for the past month—the words forever embedded in her head. “I swear by Calista, Goddess of Power, that I will use my newly Blessed body to help my kingdom, and my kingdom only, until my very last breath….”


Each future ruler had to be at least 16 in order to attend the ceremony. If they weren’t Blessed by then, they would be exiled from the kingdom and left to live the rest of their life as ordinary citizens.


***

Suddenly, the horses stuttered to a stop.

“What happened?” Onyx asked, smoothing out her dress. She couldn’t be late for her Candlelight. It was considered an omen if someone was late.


“We’ve arrived, my little thorn,” The Queen replied, flashing her pointy vampire teeth. “Come.” Her mother opened the carriage door, and the family stepped out.


Onyx found herself in a large forest clearing, a large purple crystal flashing its light, a single black rose underneath it. Wolves howled in the distance, and the faint smell of blood hung in the air. The Candlelight had begun.

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