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The loud sound of something exploding made Snow jump to his feet, and before he could understand what was happening someone wrapped in a dark cloak stormed into the bedroom.

Eyes wide in alarm, Snow saw ZaiWin swiftly slide off his chair just in time to avoid something bright and sharp. Suddenly he was completely wet, the rain now falling inside the room so thick that it made it hard to see, even hard to breathe, almost as if he was about to drown.

Heart hammering against his chest, Snow saw ZaiWin spin around and use his sword to parry the attack of two shorter, curved blades. ZaiWin tried to kick his attacker, but the other man nimbly jumped back to keep his distance, forcing Snow to quickly scramble to the other side of the room so he wouldn’t get caught in the middle of it.

He had never seen a real fight, much less a sword fight, and the loud sounds of the metal blades clashing echoed in his ears and chest as he followed the two figures dancing back and forth, splashing water everywhere, ZaiWin’s dark hair completely glued to his now angered face.

As if in a magic trick, the rain turned directly against him, the small droplets of water hitting ZaiWin like sharp, hard pebbles, forcing him to close his eyes and raise an arm to protect his face. And Snow watched in horror as the other man took that chance to slash at him, forcing him to step back.

The red blood that gushed from his wound was quickly washed away by the heavy rain, but the image of it remained imprinted in Snow’s mind. And suddenly he couldn’t hear anything else, a faraway buzzing sound filling his ears.

He was hurt. The words echoed in Snow’s head as he just stood there, watching the two men fight. Even though he could hardly see any blood anymore, and ZaiWin kept moving as if nothing had happened, he knew he was hurt, and the thought alone was almost unbearable. And then another cloaked man stormed the room, a sword in hand as he rushed to stab ZaiWin in the back.

Horror and anger filled Snow’s chest, making him feel hot all over, his back burning. He couldn’t allow him to get hurt any more than that! He couldn’t allow him to die! He had to make them stop! Taking a deep breath, filling his chest, he clenched his fists and open his mouth to scream.

The hand that grabbed his arm yanked him from where he stood so fast that he couldn’t help feeling dizzy, and something warm crushed his lips, silencing him. Suddenly he couldn’t see anything anymore, but in his mind that bright sword was still aiming for ZaiWin’s back. Since his anger had been momentarily erased by the sudden way he’d been pulled like that, fear took its place; a deep, cold fear that ZaiWin wouldn’t be quick enough to defend himself from that attack as well.

The loud sound of something cracking echoed throughout the entire room and then … everything was quiet, too quiet, making Snow think that he’d probably lost the ability to hear all together.

“Shit!” a voice whispered right beside his head and a warm breath tickled his neck.

The hand that had sealed his lips shut released him, finally allowing him to breathe, and Snow couldn’t help gasp for air, only to notice that his own breath left white puffs of smoke floating in front of his nose.

It was cold, he realized, and felt the warm body that had shielded him move away, leaving his back open to be attacked by the freezing cold as well.

Blinking in confusion, Snow straightened up, hugging his own arms, looking around in disbelief.

It was as if a bomb of ice had exploded where he stood, freezing the entire room and everything inside it, the ice climbing over the walls all the way up to the ceiling, the frozen crystals glistening like precious stones. It was beautiful, like a gigantic flower of ice. But it was also extremely cold.

As he turned around he couldn’t help take a step back.

The two cloaked men also stood there, completely frozen. One with two curved blades in his hands and his neck recently sliced opened, the expression on his face one of disbelief, death already claiming him. The other one had dropped his sword on the ground, and ZaiWin was now trying to free his own sword, currently stuck in the frozen men’s belly.

“Shit!” he repeated, this time louder, obviously angry at the fact that he couldn’t recover his blade, the other man’s body completely frozen stiff.

“Don’t think you can undo this shit!” He turned to look at him, and Snow could only stare back, not knowing what to say. “Didn’t think so …” ZaiWin sighed and, rubbing his own arms, tried to open the door, but it was also completely frozen, a thick layer of ice covering all the walls.

With a resigned sigh he crossed the room and sat on the bed, the mattress now as hard as stone. His clothes were also half frozen, Snow noticed, his long hair sprinkled with white flakes of ice. Even his eyebrows were glistening. Probably because they’d been wet, Snow considered, feeling his own clothes, but, although they really were wet, they hadn’t frozen like ZaiWin’s, or like the other men.

Even though Snow felt cold it was bearable. But ZaiWin … ZaiWin was shivering, Snow noticed, watching as his lips slowly turned blue even though he kept rubbing his arms with shaking hands. And he was bleeding. He was bleeding! Snow blinked, trying to avert his gaze from the red spilling out of the gash opened on his side. The more he looked the harder it was to bear it. He had to do something!, he decided, quickly looking around, searching for something, anything, that could help stop the bleeding. But everything was frozen under thick layers of ice, even the old wooden floor had become slippery.

Looking back at him, Snow saw him press his wound, a grimace taking over his face as he too looked around, probably trying to find a solution to their present predicament. And, as he watched, red blood started to seep through his pale fingers.

Blood, Snow thought, and his heartbeat became even louder.

The healer had told him that his blood could save lives, Snow recalled turning his own arm, looking at his wrist where several pale scars could be seen. That’s why they always bled him, why so many people would come into that horrible room. His blood was special. His blood could help him. But the mere thought of slicing his own skin open left him shaking and feeling sick to the stomach. And yet, the thought of ZaiWin being hurt, the thought of him dying like the other two men in that room, was even more unbearable.

His head aching from the conflicted emotions inside chest and from the unreasonable inner demand that he had to do something, Snow crossed the room in wide, urgent steps and, holding ZaiWin’s face between his hands, pressed his lips against his.

Nox ZaiWin was completely stunned, his mind going instantly blank.

Just a few moments ago he had been turning his head upside down, trying to figure out how to get them out that damn room. The situation couldn’t be worse. Even though he had a few fire crystals in his bag they would never be strong enough to melt that kind of thick ice, that was if he were able to open his frozen bag to begin with. The door was completely sealed, and so was the window. And, as if that wasn’t enough, he was slowly but surely freezing to death as well, the blood in his veins becoming sluggish, all feeling gone from his legs and hands. Even his wound had started to hurt less, which could never be a good sign.

The fucking brat! He had known from the instant he’d knelt at his feet that he’d be the death of him. He had never imagined, however, the brat would actually kill him trying to save him! Which sucked! Because now he couldn’t even get angry at him and make sure he’d kill him before he died! And to think that his entire life he’d worried that he’d be murdered in his sleep. No! Of course not! Such a comfortable death was only destined for the noblemen. Not him. He had to freeze to death at the hands of a supposed Celestial. Damn them all! And damn the Heavens for their fucking blessings!

He’d been ranting and cursing inside his head when two cold hands framed his face and something surprisingly warm covered his frozen lips. Not only covered, he realized, blinking, still unable to clearly process what was happening. He had been caught so off guard that his numb lips were easily parted, and a small wet tongue slipped inside his mouth.

Frowning, he looked at the brat’s face practically glued to his, at his peaceful expression, his eyes closed, his pale eyelashes trembling softly as he … tongued him?! Fuck no!, he decided, grabbing him by his shoulders, ready to send him flying all the way to the other side of the room. But then a tickling sensation where he’d been wounded stopped him, and he couldn’t help stare at the brat in front of him in disbelief. The pain … the pain was completely gone. Not only that, he wasn’t cold anymore, feeling slowly returning to his legs, even his feet, and he could suddenly breathe with much ease.

Snow’s warm lips slowly parted from his and ZaiWin had to blink twice to realize he wasn’t being kissed anymore, even though his lips were still tingly, as if the memory of the kiss had remained.

Looking at the brat, he saw him leaning forward, his small fingers trying to part his torn tunic so he could check the state of his wound, even though he was clearly reluctant to touch his bloody clothes.

The damn brat! he grunted to himself and slapped his hand away, startling him, making him to look up, his glistening, pale eyes looking worried and afraid.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

“It’s healed already! Stop poking at it!” he scold him but, even though his tone of voice had been less than pleasant, the stupid brat still looked relieved. “Shit! Just look at this fucking room!” he went on, wanting to vent his frustration, and Snow blinked, taking a step back, probably afraid he might hit him for freezing the entire room.

ZaiWin sighed.

“You do know you did this, right?” ZaiWin wanted to make sure, since apparently the brat had no idea of how to activate or control his daitai, and Snow averted his gaze, nodding guiltily.

ZaiWin sighed again.

“Once we get out of this damn city I will hammer your head until you learn how to control them!” he decided and Snow looked up at him, eyes wide in … what? Fear? “What? I couldn’t care less if you’re willing or not! The only reason why you didn’t kill me as well is because I can’t be killed by your daitai! If ZenTar or any of the others had also been here they’d be ice statues like those two over there!”

“No!” Snow interrupted him, surprising him since ZaiWin always had to practically threaten him to death to make him speak. “No … I … I want to learn … I want to learn,” he repeated in a low voice, lowering his gaze again, and ZaiWin stared at him for a moment, at his clenched fists, his shoulders tense.

Well, of course he wanted to learn, he thought with a sigh. Who in his situation wouldn’t. He knew better than anyone what it felt like to have one’s own power run wild, to be unable to control it, to have it lashing out at everyone around him, even against those he wanted to care for and protect. The fear, the self-loathing, the hopelessness and helplessness were almost overwhelming.

“Good! Now to get out of here before more unwanted guests decide to pay us a visit!”



Now, now, what were you thinking! What kiss? The boy was only trying to heal you ... *sighs* >_>

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A note from Sophia Carpersanti

Language:

ZaiWin: Literally zai (blade) + win (chaos).

Nox: Literally nox (night). Nox is the name of the Clan (family name), also the name of a Province. ZaiWin uses it because he is the Governor of Nox.

Daitai: Literally dai (light) + tai (mark), or Holly Markings, considered Heavenly Blessings. They’re the source of power.

ZenTar: Literally zen (silent) + tar (wind).


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About the author

Sophia Carpersanti

Bio: Sophia CarPerSanti was born with her mind lost in another world. Not too strangely, writing is her only passion since childhood, and so there's not much one can do to correct what was weird right from the start. Once deprived of writing total mental breakdown follows and yeah, nothing good comes out of it. And so there are a lot of books and manuscripts inside boxes and drawers just waiting for an opportunity to see the light of day. I hope you enjoy my beloved ones as much as I enjoyed creating them ♥

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