✍️✍️✍️✍️ Hellbound With you Chapter 261 - 270 ✍️✍️✍️✍️


Chapter 261 Promise me

"Don't go anywhere, Alex," she told him.

"I won't. So please don't think about what happened, okay. Don't think about that; just think about our happy times together, okay?" he smiled, kissing her forehead. Although Alex tried his best to make her feel at ease, to stop her from worrying, Abi couldn't do it. Her fear had taken hold of her and it wasn't going to let her be.

"But… I'm scared Alex. You're not going to die, right? Tell me… please… tell me you're going to live. I'm scared that the reason why you're not pulling out this dagger is because… is because…"

"Shh…" Alex planted a kiss on her lips. He could see she was starting to cry again. "Don't worry… this…" he averted his gaze away from her and looked at the dagger on his chest. "I actually made you miss my heart," he looked up and flashed her a sarcastic smile.

"Then why are you not pulling it out?"

"Well, this dagger can only be pulled out by a powerful witch. There's a curse on this too. It will suck the memories out of the person who pulls it out," he answered, making Abi's brows crease in confusion. She was still unable to fully grasp all these supernatural things she had seen and heard. Everything was still hard for her to believe, but she didn't care anymore. What bugged her at that moment was the unsettling feelings she had. She felt like somewhere in Alex's statement was a lie and she hated herself for doubting him. Maybe she was just being paranoid?

"R-really?" she asked, asking for his confirmation once again. She so wanted to believe him, that all they needed to do now was find a powerful witch to pull the dagger out.

"Yes, Abigail. Don't worry anymore. This dagger won't be in my chest anymore once you wake up. You have to think positive to get through this surgery," he encouraged and Abi finally looked a little better.

A nurse came in and asked Alex to leave as she placed a mask over Abi's nose and mouth.

"Wife, I need to go now. I'll be just outside. I won't leave until the surgery is over," he told her and she cupped his face and kissed him. She started to feel drowsy as whatever she was breathing in took effect.

"Please promise me… you'll be here when I wake up. Promise me, Alex. Please," she begged and Alex bumped his forehead on hers as he uttered his answer.

"I promise, Abigail."

"Thank you, I love you."

"I love you too. I will wait for you outside."

"Mm. Wait for me outside, hubby..."

Once Abi finally lost consciousness, Alex bent and kissed her forehead again, looked at everybody's faces and nodded at them, before he glanced at his wife one last time and left.

The moment Alex stepped out from the room, someone grabbed him by the collar and pinned him against the wall, hard.

"What is the meaning of this? Huh, Alex?" the oh-so-calm and unfathomable Zeke looked so angry. The knuckles on his fists, which were holding on to Alex's collar tightly, turned white as Zeke glared at this damn foolish man before him.

"Relax, Zeke," Alex smirked, but then he quickly covered his mouth as he coughed. It wasn't a healthy sounding cough and when he took his hand away from his mouth, it was filled with his blood. Alex looked at his hand and then he wiped his mouth with his forearm, staining his shirt red.

Zeke gritted his teeth as he let go of Alex's collar. He watched Alex slide down the wall and sit on the floor, as if his superhuman strength had left him.

"Don't worry about me. You go inside and save my wife –"

"Ha!" Zeke snorted. His rage was becoming more inflamed at each passing second as he thought about Alex and what he had just done. Zeke then squatted before Alex so that their eyes were on the same level. "What makes you think that I would keep my promise and save her when you're the one who broke our deal?!" He smirked devilishly.

Alex leaned his head by the wall, closed his eyes as if he was in pain, and wiped the blood that dribbled from his mouth, with his wrist.

"Had you come and helped me out, this wouldn't have happened, Zeke," Alex opened his eyes and smiled despite the pain, like he was enjoying Zeke's angered face.

"Don't make me laugh! You know that had I barged in, Abigail would be dead by now! Xavier would have truly killed Abigail if he thought for a second that his plan wouldn't succeed! His plan was to kill you but if that failed, then he would have been satisfied to have you watch her die, to experience the pain and torment he had experienced in your hands."

"Of course you know that," Alex responded. "Had you barged in and something happened to her, you would have been the first one I would kill," he added with a smile and he coughed up blood again.

"Stop playing around, Alex," Zeke said, becoming more serious than ever. He couldn't contain his anger anymore. "Don't you dare think I will save her now. You broke the deal. You were supposed to stay alive. That's all you had to do for me to save her, but it seems you couldn't even do that! Useless!"

"I'm still alive, Zeke."

"Don't give me that bullish*t, Alex. You're dying! We both know it." Zeke retorted, sounding sure as if he just said that the sun would rise in the East and set in the West. "Damn it, Alex! Why the hell did you let this happen?!"

Alex finally looked at him with a serious gaze. He held Zeke's shoulder and moved his face near his shoulder. "Listen, Zeke…"
Chapter 262 Final Kiss

Zeke eventually went inside the operating room and performed the surgery.

Alex stayed and waited by the viewing room just outside the operating room and watched the surgery through the glass window. Zeke let him inside there because he was very conspicuous with a bloody dagger sticking out of his chest. Alex sat down and watched and waited despite the fact that the surgery would take hours. He sat there, unmoving, like a statue.

Many hours later, the green light was finally turned off. Alex looked disheveled and weak as he stood up from his seat just as the door opened.

He rushed towards Zeke and felt slightly less nervous when the man looked calmer than the moment he entered.

"How is she?" Alex asked.

Zeke didn't answer and just looked at the door as they wheeled Abi out.

Alex looked at her as she was wheeled past them. She was breathing - that was a good sign!

"I removed the tumor completely. All she has to do now is wake up," Zeke said and Alex's shoulders dropped in relief. He knew Zeke's skills were the best. He was one of the oldest vampires still around, just second to the current King and Queen of Hidden Kingdom. His skills were unrivalled in this world and he could perform surgeries that mere humans couldn't deal with. Even though Alex had never doubted Zeke's skills before - and he believed in him this time as well - he couldn't help but feel a little apprehensive because he was performing this surgery on the one woman that mattered to him. He knew this would be the outcome but his heart still felt nervous as he watched the progress of the surgery, no matter how much his brain said that it was going to be okay.

Alex left and followed Abi to her room, looking like he had regained some of his strength again.

He washed the blood that covered him and got changed before he walked closer to her. It was almost twilight.

He sat next to her and watched her face. She really looked so peaceful when she was asleep, like a sleeping angel. Alex took her hand and carefully lifted it up to his lips. He kissed her hand and smiled.

"You did well, my wife," he mumbled, his eyes brimming with happiness. He stared at the ring on her finger, her wedding ring, the ring that contained all their promises to each other, and the memories flashed in his head again. All the days he spent with her was worth it. He felt all sorts of new emotions he had thought he would never feel. The emotions he thought were destructive and useless were actually the season of life. One had to feel them all to consider himself alive. If not, that's how people become dead to the world.

"You're fine now, Abigail. Once you wake up, you can now live without counting your remaining days. All I want is for you to be happy. That's all I want now, Abigail. To see your innocent smile again, and the sweet happiness in your eyes," he whispered, staring at her face. "I love you, Abigail. You are the only one I will ever love. The only one…" he added and then he stood up.

His eyes dimmed and he held her hand. His thumb caressed her wedding ring but then… he began to take it off.

His heart clenched in pain as he pulled it off her finger. The vows on their wedding day played like music in his head and a bitter smile curved on his lips.

He stared at the ring in his hand and he closed his fingers over it. 'I'm sorry… forgive me,' he uttered within him before he bent down and planted a final kiss on her forehead; a kiss filled with all his emotions. The most painful kiss he would ever give.

Abi's family finally arrived in Abi's room, including Kelly. They were shocked when they received a call that Abi's surgery was over. They all thought the surgery was going to be that night. They were confused but hearing the news that the surgery was successful, they didn't ask any further.

"Wait, what's with this incense pot?" Kelly asked in curiosity when a nurse answered.

"That is an effective medicinal treatment for the patient. The scent will help the patient wake up," she explained, causing everyone's brows to knot, especially Kelly. How could that be possible?

"And where is Alex?" Andrew asked and the nurse told them he was dealing with the bill.

The family stayed in the room, waiting for Alex to arrive. Andrew wanted to speak with him and thank him so he was occasionally asking where he was. But time passed and as the family stayed there, speaking to the still sleeping Abi and obviously inhaling the hypnotic scent, they eventually stopped asking for Alex's whereabouts.

In the northernmost part of Hidden Kingdom (Country V).

In the middle of a thick and tall birch forest lay an old castle. The castle was eerie and dark with only a few lights on. This was the territory of the rebel vampires. These were the vampires who refused to abide by the modern laws of their kind. They didn't like the idea of being lowkey and being out of sight from the world. They didn't like the idea of peace between vampires and humans. Why should they hide themselves from this very inferior race? They were clearly superior but they were being suppressed!

They refused to be the one to hide and isolate from the world. They wanted to be free and do what they wanted. They wanted to drink human blood, which was banned by the current law, created 100 years ago. This group of vampires were the ones who wanted Alex, the real king, dead, because as long as Alex was alive, they wouldn't be able to start dominating the world.

A group of them left the castle and looked up at the sky.

"Hmmm, it looked like a storm was brewing, " said one of them before their eyes saw someone standing there.

Their eyes burned red the moment they recognized who it was.

Alex was standing in the middle of a bridge, in front of an iron gate. His eyes blazing gold as he looked up. The dagger was still on his chest.

Like a lightning, he jumped from below to the top of the iron gate. Tonight, he will burn this castle and everyone inside into ashes.

Chapter 263 King

The rebel vampires immediately took a step back upon the sight of him. To all the existing vampires on the planet, Alexander remained the King, the most powerful of them all. His existence spanned thousands of years more than them. They would probably be considered mere infants in the eyes of this King because even though they were vampires, they were not immortals. Like Alexander, they would live far longer than humans but unlike the Vampire King, they could die. What made things even worse was that the vampire's powers had been declining because they were banned from drinking human blood, according to the law.

Human blood was the source of their power. That was why vampires no longer had their superhuman powers during the day. Their superhuman powers only activated at night, unlike hundreds of years ago. Their lifespan also decreased because their kind were forced to live like normal humans. Because of the new law, not many have been able to live past 200 years, except for the pure-blooded royals.

Some vampires resented this new law and over the years their resentment grew into hatred at being suppressed, while others just followed the law and lived peacefully under the rule of the Reign family. But not everyone was at peace. Not everyone wanted to live like those worthless humans. They refused to be bound by this senseless law that held them back like prisoners. They were the superior race. Humans should be under the mercy of vampires, not the other way around.

That was why these rebels were desperate. They needed to get rid of Alexander, because once he was gone, they would revolt and kill the royals and start a new world dominated by vampires. Sure, they would still have Ezekiel to deal with but if all vampires united against him, they would surely win. But one thing they knew for sure was that as long as Alexander was alive, they would not be able to be free from his chains.

But it seemed that things had taken a turn in their favour. They were still terrified of his presence, even when he was still a distance away, but they could see it, the dagger poking out of his chest. Their Prince Xavier had succeeded. All they had to do now was pull that dagger out and he would finally take his last breath. Their fight was going to start now. Their Prince had paved the way for them and now all they had to do was finish it. They were going to kill him; just like how Alexander was able to defeat that black dragon, they too would be able to defeat him.

Hundreds of vampires then appeared from all around the castle. They were powerful, because unlike the obedient vampires, these creatures still drank human blood whenever they had the chance. Their strength was many times stronger than the vampires who had never tasted human blood in the last 100 years.

The vampires were going to attack him all at once. That was their plan. No matter how strong he was, surely one of the thousands of them would be able to pull that dagger out. It was now or never. This was their first step of their journey in ruling the world!

"Everyone get ready!" one of them said and their eyes turned red and their canines and nails started to grow.

A huge lightning strike hit the ground in between them and Alexander and the moment it disappeared, the first group jumped towards Alexander, as if that was the signal for them to start.

Hundreds jumped at him but he threw them back with a shock wave that emitted from his whole body. The vampires fell to the ground after being hit but they were barely hurt so they didn't waste another moment and went straight for him again.

This time, Alex fought back. His razor sharp nails had also grown along with his canines but his eyes remained black as night. Alex went down in a crouching position, muscles tight and coiled, ready to explode at the right moment.

When the closest vampire was about to get to him, Alex's legs sprung from under him and he faced this vampire head on, claws at the ready to strike through its heart and turn him into ash. He didn't have any more time to think as the horde reached him. He turned his body around, protecting his chest from their reach and as he did so, his powerful leg threw a roundhouse kick that smashed most of them to the ground. That was the difference in their strengths. These vampires were nothing. They were paper dolls floating in the wind against Alexander's almighty power. He didn't even have to use a quarter of his power to crush these weaklings.

As expected, none of them was able to even touch the dagger. It was like the god of slaughter had risen from the dead. The first group fell on the ground, already dead.

The vampires gulped in fear. Most of them hadn't ever seen Alexander's real powers. They only ever heard stories about him from their ancestors. When they heard those stories, some of them actually thought that the stories were exaggerated to make the stories more fascinating. There was no way Alexander had as much power as the stories portrayed. That amount of power was inconceivable to them possibly because they only ever compared themselves to the weak humans! And because they had never really seen Alexander's true abilities, he was regarded by these new age vampires more as a myth, than a legend, an existence that should never have existed at all.

In the pause that followed the first wave, the vampires saw something that gave them hope. They saw him coughing and clearly saw the blood that came out from his mouth. Their prince Xavier had told them that Alexander was weakened by the dagger. How much more powerful would he be if he had his full powers? The thought made them shudder, but seeing him coughing out blood gave them confidence. They were so close to victory, they could smell it.

"Let's not give him any time to rest. We're going to attack simultaneously!" one of them shouted and then, once again, they attacked Alexander with all their might.

However, as the rain poured over them, a thick layer of ash started to cover the land around the man with a dagger in his heart.

Hundreds of vampires had fallen but Alexander was still untouchable. He was smiling and reeking with bloodlust and the smell of death. It was like he was the grim reaper himself.

"What. Scared now? It's not over yet," Alexander uttered when suddenly, an arrow struck his chest, just an inch away from the dagger.

Alexander didn't flinch. A wicked smile carved on his lips as he looked up to the window where the arrow came from.

The arrows then came, one after another. They didn't give Alex the chance to pull any of the arrows out of his body so he moved and attacked instead. Like that old adage, the best defence was a good offence.

Guns also started to be aimed at him but he was too fast that most bullets didn't even touch him, while the ones that managed to hit him didn't even slow him down.

"Kill him!!!" they yelled as more vampires came out, like idiots who were ready to jump in the crater of an active volcano at the command of their master.

"Yes. Do come and at least try to kill me." Alexander said with a sarcastic smile.
Chapter 264 Ashes

The huge doors in the castle's top most floor opened with a creak. Smoke drifted up from the first floor and Alexander was on his way up, climbing the stairs leisurely. The first floor was already on fire.

Xavier was sitting on the window sill, looking outside into the darkness when Alexander stepped into the room.

"I'm surprised you didn't escape, Xavier," Alexander said. Alex looked disheveled, his clothes were shredded and his whole body was covered with nothing but blood. His hand was on the door's frame like he was supporting himself.

Xavier finally looked at him. "Oh well, now that you're going to die, I don't really have a purpose anymore. All I wanted was to take revenge on you, Alex. That was what kept me going until now, I guess." he replied, his eyes calm. "My only regret is that… I should have killed Abigail instead of you," he added, causing Alex to chuckle like the devil.

"It's too late for you to regret it now, Xavier. I do feel a little sympathy for you, though, because I believe someone brainwashed your poor brain. So? Who's this king who turned a prince like you into a pawn?"

"Why do you still want to know? You and I are going to die soon anyway. Sigh... I guess I should be satisfied by this outcome. Once you're gone, vampires, even the good ones right now will soon create some chaos in this world. Do you think your Abigail will still live a peaceful life once that happens? No, some of them will start to become curious about this woman who was able to kill the immortal Alexander." Xavier flashed an evil smile.

But Alex was unfazed. He had returned to his old self - the heartless man who didn't care about anything or anyone.

"Oh, is that so?" Alexander let out a menacing laugh as the fire now blazed inside the room.

However, Xavier lifted his hand and showed him something. "I actually took these with me. I knew you would come after me so I took a token for you to have when you take your last breath," he said as he showed him not just the jellyfish plushie but Abi's little lamb one, too. "Okay, how about we both watch them burn first?" he added, wanting to see pain in Alexander's eyes. He would never be satisfied with him dying this way. He wanted Alexander to die with regret and pain, like him.

Alex's clouded eyes constricted and flashed like lightning when Xavier attempted to throw the toys into the fire. But before Xavier let them go, Alex's hand was around Xavier's neck while his other hand clutched the toys. It's like the sight of those things were enough to bring him back to his human form.

Xavier smiled at him.

"Well, isn't this a dramatic end for both of us?" he said as his fingers wrapped around the dagger's hilt. "This is the end, Alex… your life is finally ending," he added, before gripping the dagger to finally pull it out.

The thunder roared and lightning struck the castle mercilessly as the fire began to eat everything whole, leaving nothing but ashes.

Days passed by but Abigail still didn't wake up. Her body was doing well but for some reason, she still hadn't gained consciousness. It was like she was refusing to wake up.

Her family was worried that the same thing that happened to her mother was happening to Abi despite the doctors and nurses telling them that she was going to wake up soon.

Kelly visited her often and would talk to her about her day and just chat to her about things that were happening in general. That day, Kelly told her the amazing news that a very nice couple adopted Little Betty. The couple was around their 50's and they had never had a child. They were also known to be kind and helpful so Kelly told her not to worry about the little girl. Little Betty was finally in a loving environment, around people who cared about her.

However, there was still no sign of Abi waking up.

Days later…

Abi's grandmother was humming a tune as she opened the window. She was humming the song 'Can't help falling in love' and Abi's fingers twitched.

The old grandma saw it and her eyes widened. She immediately called everyone. The doctors and nurses also came running.

As Andrew and the rest rushed inside, Abi slowly opened her eyes.

"Oh, thank god, our Abi is waking up!!" Abi's family circled her bed in anticipation and happiness. Their lovely Abigail was finally waking up.

"Oh my, she's waking. She's waking up!"

The doctors and nurses checked on her vitals and they were satisfied that everything was normal.

Abi heard the commotion. Her eyes blinked like butterfly wings until the people looking down at her became clear in her eyes. Her grandma, grandpa, and her dad were looking at her. Kelly was also there, along with the unfamiliar faces of the nurses and doctors. However, they all wore the same expressions. They all looked so happy and relieved.

Abi lifted her hand to touch them and her grandma held them in hers.

"Welcome back, dear. You did very well!" she said as she teared up.

Abi closed her eyes again. She felt like she'd been asleep for a very long time.

She attempted to speak but she felt her throat so dry. A nurse went to get some water and helped her to sit up on the bed. Abi took a few sips and her throat felt better. She felt like she had been wandering around the dessert for a long time and the water tasted so good.

Her family were hugging each other, happiness glowing in their eyes.

Once the nurses and doctors left, the family hugged her. Abi looked around again, as if she was looking for someone or something.

"Where is Alex?" she asked and her family, including Kelly, looked at each other.

"Who's Alex?"

Chapter 265 Not even a little

Abi's heart clenched in pain upon hearing those words. Her grip on the bed sheet tightened at seeing her family looking at each other in confusion. She lifted her face and looked at Kelly, but her best friend too, had the same curious look.

Silent tears began to roll down Abi's face. What? What happened? How did they not remember who Alex was? What was the meaning of this?

"Oh Abi, don't cry, dear… you should be happy right now. Your tumor is gone Abi," her grandmother coaxed her as she rubbed her back.

"That's right, daughter, a miracle has happened. A miracle. Your mother must have been watching over you like a guardian angel." Andrew said as he teared up.

Abi knew that they were right. She should be happy after hearing such news. If it was true that her tumor was completely removed, she didn't need to count her days anymore. She should be rejoicing at this moment to have been given a second chance at life, that the miracle she had asked for had actually been granted!

But how could she rejoice? How could she smile now, when...

Her eyes fell on her hands and her eyes widened.

"Where is it? Where is my ring?" she asked nobody in particular, as she looked around her in a slight panic.

"Ring? You don't wear rings, Abi," Kelly told her, confused and worried as she looked at her best friend panicking. Her best friend was acting very strange and she was starting to worry.

Abi's lips began to tremble. She shook her head and looked around the room, still looking. Maybe someone had took it and put it down somewhere and had just forgotten to put it back on again. Her eyes swept the room and that was when she saw that familiar incense pot sitting on the table. She felt like her world stopped in that instant, as the realisation kicked in. She felt like her heart stopped beating and in the next moment, pain like she had never felt before flooded her entire being.

"No… no… how could you… how could you do this to me… You promised me! You promised me!!" she wailed, grabbing the shirt by her chest as if she wanted to clench her heart to make the pain go away.

She cried and cried until her body could no longer take it and she succumbed to sleep again. Her family and Kelly didn't know what was wrong. They had no idea who this Alex was or what the reason was for Abi's tears. They had no idea at all! They called and asked the doctors but even they didn't know why she was acting like that. They looked at the charts and their tests results and everything looked normal so they really had no idea why Abigail had acted that way.

Abi woke up in the middle of the night. She lay in bed and just stared out into the darkness, her eyes filled with pain and anger and longing.

She spent a few more days in the hospital so that the hospital staff could monitor her recovery and while her body was doing well, the usually energetic Abi seemed to have lost her light. Where she previously saw blue skies and sunshine, it seemed like her world had now become gloomy and dark. Since she woke up, that genuine and beautiful smile of hers never appeared again.

Days went by and Abi was finally given the all clear to leave the hospital. She had asked to see Ezekiel Qin but she found out that he died just a day after her surgery. Kelly even showed her newspaper articles about the tragic plane crash that killed him. This news didn't make sense to her. She didn't believe that Ezekiel Qin would die so easily from that sort of accident.

When they arrived home, Abi immediately climbed up to her room. But to her dismay, the jellyfish aquarium wasn't there anymore and she saw the suitcase that she brought with her to Alex's mansion, sitting next to her bed.

With a heavy heart, she opened it and all her things were there, except for that little lamb plushy he had gifted her. All traces of him were gone. Everything that had anything to do with him was gone. There was nothing left. She knelt on the floor and cried again.

This pain was too much. It was unbearable. "You promised me, Alex… you promised you would be there when I woke up! You promised me… you, liar!" she sobbed. "Where are you? Come back, please…"

3 months later…

Abi woke up from the nightmare again. She abruptly sat up as her heart hammered against her chest. She ran her hand through her hair and squeezed her eyes shut and her lips wobbled as tears pooled in her eyes.

Droplets of salty water eventually flowed down her face. She struggled to breathe, hiccupping as she gasped. Two months have already passed but everyday she woke up, she felt like not a day had passed by because the pain didn't subside. Not even a little.

She had spent the last two months in endless pain. No matter what she did, she couldn't forget about Alex and the pain in her chest even for a little while.

She tried to do something. She went in search of him. She visited his house but no one was there anymore. It was empty, as if no one ever lived there from the beginning. She searched for the people who knew Alex but she never saw nor heard from any of them again. It was like they all just vanished into thin air, as if they never existed, as if Alex never existed. She started to feel that Alex, and everyone connected to him, were characters in a dream only she knew about.

Abi never spoke to anyone about Alex again. She knew they would only call her crazy. She didn't explain to her family or to Kelly why she was crying, what she was looking for, and what she was going through. She couldn't. They wouldn't understand.

She tried to fly to Country V but her visa was rejected. Kelly did everything to be able to get Abi a visa but for some strange reason, she was always declined.

Abi found it suspicious. Why were they declining her visa? Why wouldn't they let her visit the country again?

Abi remembered everything so clearly. The devil in her head kept telling her that Alex was dead, a thought that always broke her heart into million pieces over and over again. But she knew that these thoughts weren't senseless because if he was still alive, why was he not here with her? Why did he leave her? Why he had not come back for her? Why did he remove everyone's memory about him? Why did he take her ring and everything that would remind her of him?

But her heart couldn't accept it. He was alive in her heart even if her mind told her otherwise. She was not going to stop looking for him, waiting for him. Even if it took a lifetime.

"Abi!" Her grandma called out from below so Abi quickly opened her window and looked down.

"Yes, grandma?" she said when her eyes spotted a smiling young man standing beside her grandmother.

"I have good news Abi, so come down now. I found a way for you to visit Country V," Chris grinned and Abi's heart hammered.
Chapter 266 Chameleon

Abi rushed to the bathroom and washed her face. She couldn't let her grandma see that she had just cried again. She took a deep breath and fixed her hair before she left her room.

Chris was already waiting for her in the living room, sitting next to her grandmother on the sofa.

Since Abi was released from the hospital, Chris had been dropping by occasionally. He was always trying to cheer her up but Abi just couldn't make herself cheer up or smile like before. She learned how to fake a smile. She had learned how to smile with only her lips. She learned how to wear a mask. Because the pain she felt was something that even time could never heal. Her love for Alex was something that would never fade with time.

"Good morning, Chris," she greeted as she sat across him.

Once Abi's grandmother stood up and went to the kitchen, Chris turned to his side and pulled something out of his bag. When he faced her again, he showed her a plane ticket, flashing his charming smile.

"H-how did you manage to…"

"Haha, actually, I am going to bring you there illegally," he told her, causing Abi to look at him in surprise. "I really don't understand why they keep declining your visa. It's like you're some criminal who is banned from that country. I thought that someone with the name same as you must be a notorious criminal they are still hunting so I tried to prove that it wasn't you but nothing works. It is really strange."

Abi already knew. Even Kelly's dad couldn't help her. This was definitely not coincidental. There was definitely a reason why they were not letting her in there. This was one of the suspicious things she couldn't understand. But at the same time, this was giving her hope. Why would anyone want to keep her out of Country V? Who was behind all of this? Who was forcefully stopping her? Why did they not want her there?

There was too many questions. And there was only one thing she could do to find out. She had to visit country V. She was going to do anything to set foot in that country again.

"I told you, I don't mind how you get me there, even if it's illegal, Chris," she said, causing Chris to sigh. He had been asking himself why Abi was so desperate to go to that place. He had been asking himself why she had suddenly turned so cold and out of reach. He thought that maybe bringing her there would solve whatever was troubling her and once whatever it was that she was going through was solved, he was planning to confess to her. No, even if her problem remained unsolved, he would still confess to her once they returned.

Although, that wasn't the only reason why he was helping her. It was because he also couldn't help but be curious. He wanted to know what Abi wanted to do there, to see the reason why she was willing to do everything just to get there.

"Alright then. My team will be going there for a photoshoot. I demanded a private plane and thankfully, my company agreed. I guess that's one of the perks of being a superstar," he grinned cheekily at Abi, trying to extract a reaction from her. He was rewarded with a small smile, but he knew it was an empty one. He wished he could see Abi's smiles again. "This is the plan…"

The next day, Abi arrived at the airport. But she was unrecognizable. The Abi that arrived at the airport had shoulder length, light brown hair. She also wore a bit of makeup and the combination of the changes made her look like an entirely new person. She also wore a tight fitting dress and high heels which showed off her slender legs. This Abi turned heads when she walked into the room. This Abi drew everyone's attention because she was no longer hiding herself, she was going all out. She had to blend in with the crew so she had to act like one of them, and confidence was key.

As she walked towards the check in gate, a tiny light of hope flickered in her eyes and she looked brighter than she had in months. She looked around and finally found Chris, who was waiting for her by the counter. He had her new passport and boarding pass so she immediately went to him.

They went through the check in procedure and Abi's heart thumped in her chest. She was very nervous. She didn't want anything to go wrong so she stomped down her nervousness and played her part.

The attendant opened up her passport, looked at her face for comparison and then down at the passport again. Abi subconsciously held her breath and it wasn't til the lady stamped her passport that she finally let her breath out.

She was in! She was through the first hurdle and she was finally going to Country V again.

As they left the counter with their passport and passes, her phone vibrated. It was Kelly. The girl was boarding another plane so they were in different areas of the airport. The girls talked for a while and then bid each other goodbye when it was time to board.

Chris and Abi then boarded the private plane. It was a beautiful plane but this reminded her of Alex again. She remembered him clearly in her head, on that bright sunny day as he led her inside his private jet, flashing his wicked smile.

Her heart felt like it was being poked by a thousand sharp needles.

"Are you okay?" Chris asked as the plane started to move on the runway.

"I'm fine. Just a little nervous," she lied and she forced a smile, another fake one.

Chris only nodded and smiled back.

"Don't worry, you don't need to be nervous. I am here."

"Mn. Thank you."

The flight felt long, at least for Abi. Her heart was beating wildly in her chest and it beat faster the closer they got to their destination. She was filled with hope but the devil in her head was telling her not to expect anything. That what she will find there might just lead to another sort of pain that could leave her completely dead inside. She was scared and hopeful. But there was no going back.

She thought that maybe, hopefully, Alex would be there waiting for her.

"We're here, Abi. Get ready," Chris said and Abi immediately looked outside the window.

The familiar lights of the city were beautiful. The familiar surroundings somewhat calmed her, gave her some peace of mind if only for a split second, until she thought about what she might find out there.

Her heart palpitated even harder as the plane's wheels touched the tarmac.

The eagle had landed, or in her case, the little lamb turned chameleon.
Chapter 267 Haunted
Country V.

The plane slowed down and docked at the terminal. Abi could barely contain herself. She felt nervous, excited, terrified, hopeful. So many contrasting emotions were fighting inside her but the one that trumped them all was a relief. She had made it. She was finally back in this country again and the feeling that she had the first time she stood on the land, that feeling that there was magic in the air, shrouded her. However, knowing what she knew now, that phrase now held a whole new meaning and her eyes saw everything differently.

The ragged, snowy mountains, the rainforest, their surroundings looked exactly the same as it had but the smell and the feel of the air around them felt different. It was as if Abi could feel the difference on her skin, like the air was charged.

She took a deep breath of the cool air and her lungs soaked it in, as if it had been parched for a long time, and for the first time in a long while, a small, genuine smile formed on her lips.

It was getting dark by the time they passed through customs. Abi, Chris, and the crew went directly to the hotel and checked in after that. The hotel they were at was the same hotel that Abi and Kelly had stayed at on their previous visit. Once she got her room key, Abi dropped her luggage off in the room and immediately went in search of Kelly, who had arrived an hour before her.

Abi had sent Kelly a message asking where she was and Kelly had replied that she was downstairs in the restaurant.

Abi still hadn't changed out of her tight-fitting clothes, so when she arrived, all eyes were drawn to the beauty who gracefully walked towards a table. Abi, of course, didn't notice all the attention she was getting because she was so intent on finding Kelly and organizing their trip for the next day.

For the first time since she woke up from her operation, her heart was beating wildly, as if it had just been shocked back to life. She couldn't help but feel a newfound energy, a bubbling hope that she was in the right place, that if she had any hope in finding Alex, this place would give her the highest chance.

Kelly was sitting on a comfortable leather sofa, sipping on a cold juice, just browsing on her phone. She still remembered that last time she came here with Abi, but some parts of it were extremely blurry. She remembered that they had gone shopping, that they went to the ball but as hard as she tried to remember what actually happened during the ball, she just couldn't remember. She put it down to her possibly having a little too many alcoholic beverages that night so she figured she probably had the time of her life. It was just too bad that she remembered none of it.

She also remembered that she had left the country before Abi did and again, she had no idea why. However, Abi came back and she was fine, so there was nothing to worry about.

Abigail sat down opposite Kelly and soon after, Chris joined them. They ordered some food for dinner. The food smelled and looked mouth-watering but Abi had no appetite. She was too hyped up at the day's events. However, she forced herself to eat because she was going to need all her energy for the coming search.

During dinner, Kelly quizzed Abi about the place she wanted them to visit. Abi told them that while she was here the last time, she got lost one day and when she was trying to find her way back, she stumbled upon an old house.

Abi wove a tale about this house so that no one would become suspicious about how she actually knew of the place. Of course, she still remembered it, Alex's house - the place he took her to after she escaped from that hellhole of a dungeon.

After that, everyone went back to their respective rooms to rest, knowing they had an early start in the morning.

However, Abigail couldn't sleep. She opened her window and sat on a chair by it, staring out into the starry night sky, wondering if Alex was looking up at the same night sky, wondering if he was thinking about her too.

The pain in her heart was slowly being replaced by hope. With each breath she took, the light grew stronger and stronger. Hope was indeed a powerful antidote, but hope also had a darker edge. It was also known as the silent killer because it inevitably left one utterly defenseless and vulnerable to the disappointment and pain and suffering that would come when that hope was crushed beyond recognition.

And so Abigail sat on that chair, staring out the night sky until she drifted to sleep.

The next morning, Kelly, Chris, and Abi boarded a car.

Chris sat in the driver's seat while Abi took the passenger seat as she was giving Chris directions to the old house. She had some trouble trying to remember the way there because she only saw the road as they headed from the house. However, she was observant enough to note some key landmarks so even if they took a few detours to get there, they eventually got there.

The car stopped in front of an old house. It was eerily silent and seemingly desolate. Abi climbed out of the car and she approached it, bravely. Kelly was right next to her while Chris followed behind him.

"Oh god, Abi. I didn't know you wanted to hunt for a haunted house," Kelly said while Chris thought that this would be a nice location to film a horror movie or even dark-themed photoshoot.

"There is no one here, Abi," Kelly said but Abi was unstoppable.

This was it. This was the house she had stayed with Alex. She remembered that there was a housekeeper that kept the place running so she knocked on the door. She waited a while because the housekeeper was quite old. However, there was no answer. She knocked again but still nothing. Feeling impatient, Abi finally tried the handle and to her surprise, it wasn't locked.

"Hello?" she said out loud, as she stepped inside the house. She looked around and her heart sank. It looked like the house was empty. No one was living there anymore. She couldn't even sense the presence of the housekeeper. Nothing at all.

Abi walked upstairs into Alex's room and again, found nothing. Only the memories of them cuddling by that cold looking bed remained.

Tears pooled in Abi's eyes as her hope was slowly being crushed. This was Alex's house. He should be here. The light of hope in her chest was slowly being quenched as they left the house.

Chris and Kelly were puzzled but Abi hadn't said another word since they entered that house.

"Alex… where are you? Please… I miss you so much now…" she whispered softly.

No, she wouldn't give up yet. Just because this house was empty didn't mean that Alex was dead.

That night, they went back to the hotel and she came up with another plan, to go and visit the castle.

Chapter 268 Where is he?
The next night.

Chris was dumbstruck the moment he saw Abi come out of the room, all dressed up in a very elegant gown. She looked like a princess from a fairytale movie. She was prettier than all the artists he had worked with. If only her smiles weren't forced.

"Shall we go?" Chris offered his arm like a true gentleman and Abi accepted it.

Chris was undoubtedly a big help to them. Chris was a famous celebrity and the princess who was about to get married was coincidentally his fan.

The wedding ceremony was over but as per the country's tradition, the wedding party can last for three days. Most of the royals didn't follow that tradition anymore but the princess loved to have parties and she of course wanted to make the most of this event. So her wedding was to be celebrated over three days.

The princess immediately sent Chris an invitation to attend the last night of the party as soon as she found out that he was in Country V. Well, Chris deliberately spread the news through his social media that morning, as he was doing the photoshoot, that he was in the country so that the princess would definitely find out about it.

Kelly, on the other hand, was partnered with Chris's manager. Unfortunately for Kelly, the man was married so she couldn't even tease him or flirt with him. She could only behave herself. She very much wished that she could find a gorgeous beauty at the party tonight.

It was twilight when they arrived at the castle. The wedding was very grand. They heard that the second princess married the love of her life, who was from a noble family, so this was a happy union, not a political one.

Abi was dressed in a black mermaid dress, hugging her perfect curves. She accompanied it with an elegant diamond necklace and bracelet. She was simply breathtaking and very sexy. Since the party was a masquerade party, she wore a butterfly designed black mask with a silver lining.

Kelly, ever one to make a statement, wore a striking red dress, intensifying her bold, sexy, aura.

Everyone was well dressed and the atmosphere looked pleasant and joyous. The ladies with their partners, waltzed in the ballroom. Others stayed by the long tables of food and chatted leisurely amongst themselves.

Everyone seemed awed by it all, except for Abi.

She was occupied with her own thoughts, looking for someone among the crowd. Her heart had been beating ferociously since they entered the palace. She felt like this was her last hope. She didn't know where else she would look if Alex wasn't here as well.

But to her dismay, she couldn't find him in the crowd, not even his shadow. Even if everyone was wearing a mask, Abi would be able to immediately recognize Alex. She knew the shape of his jaw, the waves of his hair, the shape of his wide shoulders, his arms and torso, even his back. She remembered it all clearly in her head. She had not forgotten him, despite the fact that he had tried so hard to make her forget. But his most identifying feature was his aura. Whether it was the dark, cold aura or the calm, content aura, she would easily be able to identify him through that.

She continued to look around once again, hoping that she would at least find Zeke or Kai within the crowd.

The party went on and the closer they got to the end of the party, the faster her hope began to fade. The princess personally approached Chris with some other beautiful ladies, so Abi excused herself to go to the bathroom. But this time, she took Kelly with her.

"So? No sign of what or who you are looking for yet?" Kelly asked as they left the ballroom.

Abi let out a deep sigh. Her heart was so heavy that she was having a hard time speaking. She shook her head as an answer. Why? Why was Alex not showing up yet?

Kelly didn't know how to console Abi because she didn't really know what Abi was looking for or why. She had been curious about what her friend was going through and she had waited patiently for Abi to open up, but months had passed by and Abi never said a thing. She had changed so much since she woke up from that surgery and it pained Kelly to see her looking like a flower slowly withering.

She wished that bringing her here to this place she so desperately wanted to go would cheer her up, but it seemed it was a bad idea. It seemed the sunlight she was looking for wasn't here and now she looked more desolate than ever.

Abi went out of the bathroom first and waited for Kelly outside. She wandered in the corridor, her heart bleeding nonstop. She wanted to cry again. She was terrified that she would find nothing here. She was so scared.

But as she lifted her eyes, she saw a man's back. Abi immediately ran and chased after him. It was familiar! It must be him!

Abi ran as fast as she could. When the man disappeared as he entered another pathway, Abi accelerated. She must catch up to him!

With her will and desperation fueling her, Abi actually managed to reach him. She tugged his shirt, making the man halt and look back.

Abi felt like her heart was about to explode. She finally found hope again.

"Kai, it's me!" Abi said as she took off her mask, not letting go of Kai's shirt.

Kai's eyes immediately circled. He was shocked. He immediately looked around and without wasting a moment, he put her mask back on her face.

"Kai, where is Alex? Please… bring me to him," she pleaded.

Kai held her hand and brought her behind a pillar. He looked like he was in a dilemma.

"Please leave this place," was all he said, completely serious.

Abi gripped his shirt as tight as she could. "No, I'm not leaving until I see my husband! I will only leave with him. Please… where is he?"

Kai bit his lips. He looked like he didn't want to say a thing.

"I don't know what you are talking about," he said but Abi could see right through him. He was a bad liar and she was somehow glad that it wasn't the poker faced Zeke that she had found first.

"Stop lying, please. I remember everything. If you guys think that incense worked on me, then I'm telling you, you're wrong! So stop doing this and tell me, I'm begging you!" She was about to cry.

Kai looked shocked again. He couldn't believe Abigail was actually here and she actually remembered everything?! Didn't Zeke make sure she would forget everything when he performed the surgery? Zeke knew the incense wouldn't work on her so that was why they had planned to tweak her brain during the surgery. Could it be that Zeke…

"Please… Kai… please…" she continued begging. Tears began to flow from her face now, uncaring of who saw her like that.

Kai looked away, seeing the pain in her eyes. "I'm sorry. Alex is… he's dead. Please forget about him."

Chapter 269 How dare you

"Liar!!! Liar! You're lying!" she cried, pulling his shirt. "Don't lie to me."

Kai swallowed and gently held Abi's shoulders. "Please Abigail, leave this country. You have to go back. Alex is dead. He's not here –"

"No! I don't believe you." She trembled as she sobbed.

"I'm so sorry, Miss. You can't be here. Alex is gone so –"

"No… stop it, I won't believe you. Even if you show me his grave, I still won't believe you. I know he's alive! You guys are hiding him from me. Otherwise, why would you be sending me away? I know you guys are the reason why I couldn't visit this country! Why? Why are you doing this to me?"

Abi broke down in front of Kai. She was in so much pain. She couldn't take it anymore.

Kai could see it, she was drowning, barely holding on. Despite the lovely dress she wore, he noticed that she seemed to have lost weight and she was paler than ever that she almost looked like one of them. No matter how hard he tried to shield himself from the pain he saw in her eyes, it was far too raw and much too intense that even Kai's heart was swayed. He fell silent. He didn't know what to do or say to alleviate her pain. What could he do for her? What could he say to make her feel better? 'Nothing,' was the answer that came to his mind.

Seeing the state that she was in now, he didn't want to give her hope. It was hopeless. It was too late. She was too late and now, there was no way she could be with Alex anymore…

Kai could only slowly lift his hand and pull her into his embrace because he knew that no amount of words of pity or empathy could ever take her pain away. So he hugged her tight, leaning her forehead into his chest as she sobbed like her heart was breaking. She was clearly on the verge of breaking down.

He gently rubbed her back, trying his best to comfort her because it seemed that this was the only thing he could do for her now. He held her patiently until he felt her sobs die down a little and Kai felt relieved that she was finally calming down. But then, Abi pulled away and looked at him, eyes as fierce as a momma bear protecting her cubs.

"I'm not going to leave this place until I see him, you hear me? Now that I've seen you for myself, I know he is here somewhere and I won't leave until I find him!" she said as she pounded her fists on his chest, her chest rising and falling from the exertion.

Kai creased his brows, now looking worried to death. "But, Miss –"

Before he could say anything more, Abi pushed him away and that was the scene Kelly witnessed when she walked down the corridor, looking for Abi. She immediately dashed towards them and her eyes widened from seeing Abi in such a state.

Without a second thought, Kelly grabbed Kai's collar and pinned him against the pillar as Abi stepped back and squatted on the ground, her hands tugging at her hair.

"What the hell did you do to my baby girl, huh????! Answer me, you hooligan!" she asked, exuding a fierceness that could rival a tigress.

Kai closed his eyes, pinching the skin between his brows. He had gone through all the trouble of making sure that everyone who had seen Alex, and those connected to him, forgot all about them, and yet, he had the misfortune to paths with this girl again.

This was becoming extremely troublesome. That hypnotic incense was undoubtedly powerful but there have been a few known cases where someone's memories would be triggered when they encountered that person again, especially when that happened within the span of a year from their memories being wiped. That was why everyone returned to Country V, to their dens, to minimise the likelihood of this happening with Abigail or any of the people who knew them. They had to stay away from those people for years so that those who had met them would be able to forget them, completely.

"I didn't do anything! And who are you calling, hooligan? Don't turn this around on me, oh Queen of all hooligans. That name is much more suited to you when you're acting like this, even when wearing such a beautiful dress," Kai said and as expected, Kelly frowned at him. Why did he sound like he was familiar with her?

Her eyes narrowed as she surveyed his face. It was obvious that her eyes were asking where she saw or met him before.

However, Kelly set aside whatever that strange feeling was. 'Must just be déjà vu,' she thought and focused on the situation at hand.

She tightened her hold on his collar and pinned him harder on the pillar. This man had to pay for making Abi cry. She was going to break this damned pretty face of his!

"You asshole, how dare you make a girl cry, especially my Abigail!" she said through gritted teeth. She made a fist and was about to land a punch on his jaw, but Kai caught her fist.

What Kai did only inflamed Kelly's anger and that was the final straw. She was going to show no mercy and make him suffer. Kelly took a small step back and aimed her knee towards his groin, a small, mischievous smile playing on her lips as she imagined the moment he would double over from the pain, but to her surprise, Kai caught her leg, stopping her advance yet again!

"F*ck! You really want a fight, huh, pretty boy?" she snorted and in the next second, she pressed her body onto him. If muscle wouldn't work, then there was always plan B. Her softness pressed against Kai's chest but his reaction was the complete opposite of what she was expecting. Instead of the man falling speechless and his brain turning to mush, he actually jumped away from her like she was some contagious virus and then he had the gall to turn around and walk away.

Chapter 270 Gone

It was Kelly who actually became speechless this time after seeing him walk away from her.

Ohhh, this guy was really asking for it. Her hands were itching for a fight and she was so close to losing her rationality and she felt that she had to beat up this man or else she wouldn't be able to calm down.

She was about to go after him but she stopped when she noticed that Abi wasn't where she had been! What? Where did she go?!.

"Abi!" she called out as she looked down the corridors, trying to catch a hint of where she could have gone. Did she go back to the bathroom?

Kelly thought that she must have gone there to fix her makeup after crying so hard. 'Damn! I won't let that man get away with this. The next I see him, I will definitely make him pay!' she thought to herself as she dashed towards the bathroom.

Kelly started to worry when she didn't find Abi there. But then, a thought stopped her. She remembered that she didn't put any makeup on Abi as per her request because Abi had told her that their faces were hidden anyway. So Abi just only put on a very light glow up.

Where could she have gone?! 'Oh, Chris! She must have returned to Chris!' she thought hopefully, so she walked back towards the ballroom, keeping an eye out for Abi, and also for that pretty man that she wanted to beat up, as she headed back to the ballroom.

Abi's heart hammered against her ribcage as she walked towards a large crowd of women.

While Kelly was confronting Kai, Abi heard some girls come out from the bathroom excitedly whispering to each other as they hastily walked back to the ballroom. She wasn't really paying attention to what they were saying but she thought she heard them say it, his name, Alex. Did she hear them right? Did they really say his name? And if they did, were they talking about the same person?

Uncaring that her eyes were red and swollen and that her cheeks were sticky with tears, she immediately got up and followed them, utterly nervous and hopeful.

What welcomed her as soon as she entered the ballroom were groups of ladies standing around, looking in the same direction - towards the front where the bride and the groom were sitting.

"Oh god! He really looks like a god, doesn't he?" one woman swooned.

"Yes! Ahhh, I hope he picks me!" another woman answered.

"He didn't come last night so I think he might pick around three women this time. I remember the last time he picked women was three months ago, during the queen's birthday. He picked two of them back then."

"Ahh. Those girls are so lucky! I hope I could be so lucky! Please, let him notice me! One night with him would be a dream come true."

"You're right. Who wouldn't want to offer themselves to him?"

Abi heard all these whispered conversations as she stood behind them. She was almost hyperventilating, as if she was more than certain that they were all talking about Alex.

Alex was here. Alex was here. Alex was here. Her mind repeated those three words, over and over again, like a chant. She wrung her hands nervously and fanned her face as she took a few deep breaths to calm herself down. Her heart was beating so hard as if it wanted to come out of her chest.

Once she felt that she was ready, she slipped inside the crowd and wound her way closer to the front of the room. She couldn't hear anything anymore, just the sound of her loud heartbeats rang in her ears. It was like everyone and everything stood frozen and she was the only one moving.

Once she reached the front of the room, Abi looked in the direction every eye was focused on and she felt like her world stopped.

Alex was at the front, next to newlyweds, sitting like a majestic king.

Everything else faded away, all the music, all the chatter, all the people around her as her eyes drank in the sight of him. Her sunshine, her oxygen, her oasis. He was right there, in the same room, almost at touching distance and she couldn't take her eyes off of him.

Her heart sang and was instantly filled with so much joy, so much that she found it hard to breathe. Her eyes became blurry as tears of happiness filled them to the brim. She was glad that she kept looking, that her hope didn't fade, because here she was, finally seeing him with her own eyes again and he was alive and well! He was alive!

Abi was about to move, to dash towards him, to hug him and never, ever let go again. Her feet moved almost subconsciously, drawn to him, just like all those times before, but before she could even take a single step, someone grabbed her forearm, pulling her backwards, away from the centre of her universe.

Abi was slightly shocked and was about to push the man away, until she saw who it was.

Zeke. Her saviour. The man who cheated death by saving her, the man had supposedly died in an airplane disaster.

Abi gritted her teeth, pulling her arm to make him loosen his grip.

"Let –"

"Shh… Abigail. You need to listen to what I have to say, first!" Zeke hissed, covering her mouth as he pulled her back away from the crowd, not giving her a chance to get away.

Abi struggled against him, trying to break away so that she could run to her husband and bury her herself in his arms, just as she had imagined a thousand times. However, Zeke was having none of it. His grip was strong and unyielding.

Zeke dragged her to the veranda - the same one she was on when she had been kidnapped during that ball. Was Zeke going to kill her now, too, after saving her? No! She was so close! Alex was right there and she wouldn't let him get away again!

With all her strength, Abi bit Zeke's hand, but the man didn't even flinch. Instead, he bent down and whispered to her.

"Listen to me, Abigail! That man you see right there is no longer the Alex you know!" he said, dead serious.

Abi slowly released his hand from her teeth and she shook her head. "You're lying to me again. Please… stop messing with me. I'm begging you. Just let me go. I just want to be with him. I miss him so much. Please, Mr. Qin," she begged with all her heart.

Zeke sighed and pinned her against the wall. "Listen!" he roared, merciless as ever. "Listen to me first! You have to know everything before you go there and appear before him."

Abi looked at him with questions in her eyes but she was still too afraid Alex would disappear again. This was apparent in her eyes so Zeke assured her so that she would finally pay attention to what he had to say.

"Don't worry, he's not going to go anywhere. Now listen! I am the one who gave you entry to this occasion. Did you really think you can escape the eyes of the country of vampires? I know you arrived here in disguise and I let you come here to the palace," he said, and Abi finally looked at him. "Alex is dead, Abigail –"

"I said stop –"

"Goddammit! I said listen to me!!" Zeke growled again. How the hell did Alex deal with this stubborn girl?! She was testing his patience like never before.

"I'll tell you what happened so shut your mouth and don't interrupt me. Or else, I'll throw you out from this veranda to that cliff," he threatened and finally Abi nodded. She knew this man wasn't like Alex, who would never hurt her no matter how angry he was.

"We all got the prophecy wrong, Abigail. We thought that Alex was going to die, literally, once you stabbed him with that dagger. We got it wrong. Only his soul died. Do you get what I'm saying? That man right there is now just a soulless being. Alex's body will never die. The dragon's blood will never let his body rot. So you need to understand this. The Alex that you see there is no longer the same Alex that you remember, or more importantly, the Alex that remembers you. He no longer has even a little bit of humanity in him, no memories nor even emotions. He is now just a soulless entity. The Alex you know is dead, Abigail. He's gone."