✍️✍️✍️✍️ Hellbound With You Chapter 686 - 690 ✍️✍️✍️✍️


Chapter 686 Why

In the blink of an eye, the three witches materialized in a thick forest, in the mountainous area, far away from where there were humans. This was not a place where humans would traverse. In fact, people went out of their way to stay away from this place and left it well enough alone. Thus, Lilith was confident that they would be safe from detection.

However, Zeres did not even seem to notice that they were not in the city anymore. He was still huddled over in the same position as earlier, never letting go of Alicia. It mattered not to him where they were. All that mattered was in his arms, but the object of his focus was now unmoving and not breathing any longer.

Lilith could only stand there, looking at them heartbrokenly as she tried to steel herself. To at least stay strong on the surface. Because she knew that if Alicia could still talk, she would definitely tell her not to cry. 

After a long while, the vampires arrived one after the other.

Lilith wiped her tears with the back of her hand and looked at them. She did not know what she could do at this point. She did not even know what was going to happen now. All she knew was that there was nothing she could do but only to rely on these vampires and wait patiently.

The vampires stood a little farther off from the witches as Alexander faced Ezekiel. "Now what's next?" he asked. Impatience was evident in his voice. "Are we just going to stand around here and wait until Zeres comes to his senses?"

Zeke met Alex's gaze before replying, "Yes. That's all we can do for now."

Alex narrowed his eyes and his jaws clenched and unclenched alternately. "Oh, I don't believe you Zeke. Just spill it out damn it! This would be the perfect time for us to erase his memories before he wakes up from this! But you said there is no need, why? I want an answer now!" Alex's voice was controlled despite his frustration and anxiety.

Zeke leaned against the tree and closed his eyes. For a second, it seemed as if he was tired out from all the problems that had arisen. But in the next moment, he slid down and sat on the ground in a composed manner. "Give it a rest for a moment Alex…" he said as he rested his wrists on top of his knees and dropped his head down, the only hint of him showing that he was suddenly weary.

Everyone, including Alex was surprised at this very rare display of weakness. Zeke never needed any rest after the battles he had fought, aside from those times when Alex had beaten him into a pulp.

Zeke did not move after that. He simply stayed still and motionless as if he were sleeping. A few drops of water dripped down from his dishevelled dark hair.

With a long and helpless sigh, Alex slumped on the ground too, leaning against another tree nearby. He thought that perhaps, the amount of power Zeke used to force the demons back into that portal and then forcefully closing it seemed to take a toll on his vampire body. Realizing this made Alex sigh again. Recalling that the number of demons he had forced back into the underworld was insane. Alex was even more surprised because his power and the things he could do actually surpassed his expectations. The worse was that he was convinced Zeke could even do far worse than this.

However, having such a tremendous power was no joke. His power was a hundred times more powerful than what his vampire body could supposedly handle. Alex was never worried about him previously because he knew how strong Zeke was. But today, Alex now realized that the reason why Zeke would rather die than let his guard down was because once he did, there would be no turning back and it would be game over for him.

Alex glanced over to Zeke again before he threw his head back and stared up at the sky. For some reason, he felt like he had found the answer to why Alicia decided to sacrifice herself for Zeres. Alex had somehow felt that Zeres' love for Alicia was one sided and that was why he was so confused when Alicia suddenly rushed in to save him.

Sighing again, Alex pinched the skin between his brows and stared at his good as dead friend still not letting go of Alicia. And he remembered that back then, Alex had held Abi's dead body the entire night and never let her go until the next morning.

The cold mournful dawn came. None of them moved from their spot as the snow slowly fell on them, painting the ground into a pure white scenery.

And then the morning light came. The sun did not shine on them, but the snow had finally stopped falling.

Zeke finally lifted his head, and everyone gathered around Zeres and Alicia.

Lilith was already kneeling before her fellow witches. "Zeres…" she called out, swallowing her tears, "we must let Queen Alicia go now…" her voice broke at the end.

They knew Zeres somehow heard her because his grip on Alicia tightened. It was as if he never wanted to ever let her go.

Seeing this, Lilith teared up and gently touched Zeres' shoulders. "You know we must let her go now, Zeres. We must let her rest now…" she added and this time, Zeres lifted his grief-stricken face, and his eyes were filled with nothing but hostility as if he would kill anyone that would wrest Alicia from his arms.

Suddenly, Zeke stepped forward and looked down at him.

"She's dead Zeres." He said, voice cold and hard with a frosty expression on his face. His eyes were colder than any ancient glacier in existence. "She died for you."

There was a heavy silence and then suddenly, Zeres cried out, facing the sky. "Why!!!" he roared agonizingly, "why are you all doing this to me!!! Tell me!!! WHY??!!!"

He continued roaring out his anger and frustration, repeating the word 'why' until his voice was spent and could not shout out anymore. All who were present had to look away, unable to watch Zeres and his heart-rending suffering anymore. Although evading their eyes barely helped.

When Zeres' grip on Alicia finally loosened up, Zeke moved and gripped the hilt of the sword that had pierced and joined the two witches. The moment he pulled it off them, Lilith's eyes widened in shock.


Chapter 687 No more

It was not just Lilith who was shocked at what was happening. Everyone who was looking at Zeke's action was rooted to the spot as well, eyes rounded and mouths agape. The moment the sword was pulled out from Alicia's body, silvery particles began to appear from her wound as if her blood were turning into silvery dust motes. And they seem to be floating about, twirling around her in the air, as if unsure where they should go.

Everything seemed to have come to a standstill as they absorbed what was happening before their very eyes. However, Lilith's reaction seemed somewhat different from the others. She had her eyes wide opened as though she was witnessing something totally unbelievable. From her body language, it seemed as if she was extremely agitated. However, one could not tell if that agitation stemmed from being overly stressed and worried or being excessively excited. 

The silver particles then slowly began to spread out as if to surround itself all around Alicia's body. And to the onlooker's surprise, Alicia's hair which was now dark began to turn silver again, little by little. As they looked on, it was getting more obvious that more and more strands of darkened locks were miraculously turning silvery white. Even Zeres who was deep in his anguish froze as he too, noticed this little bit of aberration occurring on the body of the woman in his arms and causing him to put aside his agony for a moment. His eyes were desperately hanging onto the figure of Alicia, wondering what on earth was happening to her.

Everyone could not help but hold their breaths. Could it be that something bad was happening even to her already lifeless and still form? Or perhaps, a miracle was going to happen? Was she going to come back from the dead?

Hope shone in their eyes as their gazes trained desperately on Alicia and the silvery particles that were circling about her. Perhaps, something they were not aware about had happened and now she would be returned to them, all hearty and hale. Or perhaps, the gods had heard Zeres' cries and have sympathized with him?

None of them made a single sound nor moved a muscle. They simply stood there attentively watching and patiently waiting for what was going to happen next. Hoping against all hopes that she would be given another chance and wake up.

When Alicia's appearance was restored completely back to normal – that is her previous looks as the witch queen – the silvery lights started to slowly disappear, like the fading lights of the fireflies. The moment Alicia's body could be seen through the thick silvery lights that were continuously fading off, Zeres scrambled forward to where Alicia was.

As Zeres cradled her, they could see that Alicia's lashes and her hair were bright as moonlight again. This was the appearance they were all used to. The sight of her shining bright again made them thought how she just seemed to have just been born in this world to gain this appearance. It was as if she was born to be this bright because she just did not seem to be suited for anything dimmer than the brightness that belonged to her right now.

They waited until the last silvery particle disappeared completely, expecting that she would open her eyes when it did.

But as they waited with bated breath, those beautiful eyes were still shut tight and not a flicker of her eyelids could be seen. Alicia's eyes did not open, and there were no signs of her breathing again as well. Those of them who had their eyes glued to her chest were disappointed as they did not see the upward and downward movement of her chest that signifies her breathing again.

However, they waited for another long moment until Zeres moved and gently shook her a little. "Alicia…" he whispered as if trying to wake her up from a very deep sleep.

But time passed and there was no response from the beautiful silvery figure at all, until everyone dropped their heads. Could it be that they had thought wrong? Was she not going to wake up again? Then what was the purpose of those silvery lights and why did it return her appearance to how it was before? Was it just so she would die nobly as a queen? Or was it just to grant her that recognition of her being a great witch queen during her lifetime?

Zeres' tears began to silently fall again. His teardrops were falling unrestrainedly on her peaceful, angelic face. He did not bother to wipe his tears nor hide the fact that he was crying in front of so many others.

At that moment, Alicia truly looked like a sleeping goddess. If only… she was breathing. 

Zeres could only hug her again, and he continued trembling in agony. Those who saw him could clearly feel that he was unable to accept that she was never going to open her eyes again.

Everyone could do nothing but stand there, looking at Zeres and Alicia with sympathy and sadness, except Zeke who had his eyes strangely fixed on Lilith.

No one else except Zeke noticed that the young witch was not crying along with Zeres this time. She was just sitting there, frozen still and her eyes remained wide opened.

A long while later, Zeres finally moved. He gently lifted Alicia into his arms and for the first time, he lifted his face and looked at everyone. Though seeing him now would break everyone's heart as his eyes had now lost all their light. It was like the moon that had lost its sun and its source of light was no more.

He looked so lifeless, almost like a living dead. They had to wonder what was going on in his mind now because they could no longer decipher anything from his dulled and deadened eyes.

Zeres eyes flickered over to Alex and lingered on him for a while before turning to settle it on Zeke.
Chapter 688 Coincidence?

He just stared at Zeke for what seemed like minutes. However, Zeke just met his gaze head on with none of them speaking to each other. Until Zeres started to move and silently walked past them with Alicia in his arms. His steps were unsteady as though he had not walked for a long a time.

They followed him with their gazes and after a few steps, Zeres halted. He lifted his face and looked at them. His mouth opened and closed a few times without anything being said for a while until after a long pause, he finally spoke.

"I'm…" his wretched voice was so hoarse and barely audible, but he continued anyway. Perhaps because he knew that the vampires could hear and understand what he was going to say no matter how inaudible and broken his voice was, "I'm taking her back… to the Black Forest…" he said and then after a few moments of quiet, he disappeared silently along with Alicia. And just like that, they were both gone from sight, causing differing emotions to be felt within the hearts of those who were looking on.

The moment Zeres and Alicia was gone, all the vampires fixed their gazes on Zeke, as if waiting for an explanation or a command.

But Lilith's eyes remained fixed on the spot where Zeres stood a moment ago. She could hear Alexander talking in the background, but Lilith's attention was fixed on something else, no, someone else – a spirit. She was looking at Alicia's soul.

And Alicia seemed to be staring back at her.

When Ezekiel pulled the sword from Alicia's body, Lilith watched Alicia's soul left her body. But she did not leave even when the strange lights appeared and seemed to be calling out to her. Lilith watched Alicia's soul seemingly talking to something she could not quite see and then she seemed to have made a choice and after staring at Zeres for a long while and then throwing a glance at Ezekiel, Alicia turned her back from that strange light and approached Zeres.

Lilith was shocked at what she had seen. She did not know why she was seeing this. And it seemed that she was the only one who could see it as no one else seems to have any other reaction when they glanced to the same area she was looking at. But all she could come up with was that this must be another one of the many powers that the witch queen has in her repertoire of skills.

However, she could not understand what Alicia's spirit had done. Who was she talking to in the first place? Why did she turn her back from the light? Was she choosing to stay? Could she even do that? What would happen to her soul if she chose not to go the afterlife?

When Zeres made the move to leave, Lilith watched on as she saw Alicia's spirit following behind him. But when Zeres disappeared with Alicia's body, somehow her spirit stayed behind. And now she was staring back at her. Did Alicia realized that she could see her?

Alicia's soul walked up to Lilith until she stood right before her. She was as beautiful as Lilith remembered her in life, and she was currently smiling gently at Lilith.

"I know you can see and hear me, Lilith," she said, and Lilith did not know how to react. She was paralyzed. "If you can see and hear me, just act normally for now. I need to speak with you once the vampires are gone." She said and Lilith had already opened her mouth and almost answered Alicia. Thankfully, she was able to stop herself at the very last moment before giving herself away. She had bitten down on her lips to stop herself from responding.

"Yes," Zeke had said, "we will all head to the Black Forest."

The vampires all agreed with nods, and everyone started to move to follow Zeres immediately.

Alexander was the first one to run off followed by Lucas while Kyle looked at Lilith. "Let's go, Lilith." He called out.

"Kyle," Lilith met his gaze and her eyes became a little intene, "um… could you give me some time alone? Just for a little while? Don't worry, I'm fine. I will catch up with you guys quickly. I just need a moment…" Lilith did not quite know how to explain to Kyle. She knew she had to stay to talk to Alicia's spirit, but she could not expose this fact at this moment. At least not right now.

Kyle stared back at her. He looked as if he did not quite approve of leaving her here all alone, but the look in her eyes told him not to insist to stay on with her. She was her own person, and she was a strong witch in her own rights. He would trust her to know how to take care of herself and not argue with her on this even though he was worried for her, he decided.

"Alright. I will head out a little, but I'll be waiting for you not too far ahead. If you do not arrive to where I'm waiting after ten minutes, I'll come back here to get you." He stated his compromise and Lilith nodded with a thankful smile at him. Ten minutes should be enough for her to settle with what Alicia wanted to discuss.

"Okay," she nodded. And Kyle though very hesitant, finally made the move to leave. Ezekiel followed him as Lilith and Alicia watched them leave.

However, Ezekiel suddenly halted and looked back. Lilith froze and wondered if he sensed or saw something.

Alicia's eyes widened as Ezekiel's gaze met hers full on before he retracted his gaze and left. But that one moment was just… was it possible that Ezekiel could see her too? That was impossible! Lilith was the only one who was supposed to see her! Or was that a coincidence?

Chapter 689 Trade

Lilith too, realised that the way Ezekiel stopped and turned to look back at them was somewhat off. Focussing on the direction of his eyes, she noticed that he was not looking at her but at where Alicia was standing!

"Is it possible that he could see you too?" Lilith whispered lightly at the sight of the suspicious look that appeared in Alicia's eyes, "He had singlehandedly returned all those demons back to the dark vortex. He is just too powerful. Maybe his left kind of demonic eye could actually see you as well?" She was hazarding a guess.

Alicia faced Lilith, her expression now thoughtful. "I don't think so. He must have sensed something but there should be no way he would be able to see me. Because only witch queens are the ones who possess the ability to see me in my spirit form. No one else, not even the demons."

Hearing the word 'spirit' came out from Alicia's lips, Lilith pressed both her lips tight. And she immediately set aside the issue about whether Ezekiel could actually see Alicia.

"My Queen…" Lilith started, hesitantly. She still could not quite believe what she was seeing and doing right now. She wanted to hug Alicia so badly, but she knew she could not, and she had to clench her fists to stop herself from reaching out. "W-what happened? W-what's going on? This means…" she swallowed hard, and hope shone in her eyes as she stared fixedly at Alicia, "this means you're not really dead, right?"

Alicia was silent for a moment, her head bowed and looking to the ground as though deep in thought. Though her expression was unreadable, Lilith could not help but feel a little anxious. After some heart pumping moments, Alicia lifted her head and looked at Lilith.

"I really am dead, Lilith," Alicia smiled sadly as she replied to Lilith's question. Her answer seemed to have broken Lilith's heart and her face fell and time seemed to have screeched into a halt.

"B-but… but you are…your spirit is still… you're here, right?" Lilith stammered, unable to properly process what Alicia had said. She still felt there was something that perhaps Alicia was not telling her or maybe keeping from her. Was she? Lilith felt confused and her heart was in turmoil.

"Every witch queen has an opportunity to state one last wish before they finally leave this world. This one last wish will be granted as long as it's not a wish to come back to life again." Alicia explained to Lilith in a gentle tone. "And my greatest wish is to lift the curse that has been plaguing Zeres ever since."

"C-curse?" Lilith's brows lifted high. She had not heard that there was anything of a curse affecting Zeres.

"Yes. He himself didn't know this but he was apparently cursed to draw on the powers of the witch queens as long as he was alive. So now that the curse is lifted, you and the future queens to come will no longer die such an unnatural death anymore." Alicia's tone was contemplative as she told all these to Lilith.

Shocked, Lilith's hands flew to her mouth. "Could it be that this was why you chose to sacrifice yourself?!"

"No. My main reason is to save Zeres. What I did about his curse is only secondary. However, my wish is apparently almost as great as wishing to come back to life again. For it seems, the curse on Zeres was just too great to be lifted even by a queen's last wish. So, to be able to have this wish granted, I had to sacrifice one thing, a greater sacrifice. Since I have already lost everything and even my life, all I had was my chance to go to the afterlife. I traded my only chance and that's why I'm here."

Lilith's eyes flew wide.

"Oh my god. But… why? What will happen to you…"

"I am not going to ever have the chance to go to the afterlife again. And that only means one thing. That my spirit will be stuck here forever… wondering this earth and never being able to go to that perfect resting place where all souls go."

What Alicia revealed was so shocking that Lilith could do nothing but just stand there frozen.

Alicia's lips curved up to a slight smile. "This is my decision, Lilith. I don't know what awaits me in the future but perhaps, I'll just stay invisible and roaming and watching over this world forever. Or perhaps, someday, I'll disappear. However, no matter what happens, I am not going to regret this decision. I died with so much regret because I have too many things I failed to accomplish before taking my last breath. But now I feel so relieved that I will be able to do so many meaningful things by dying. This exchange for my afterlife is worth it. So please don't feel sad for me." 

Lilith could no longer hold her emotions and teared up. Large drops of tears rolled down her cheeks uncontrollably.

"Don't cry Lilith. I know I'm dead now, but I am still here. Just that I'll be in spirit form. I'm not going to go anywhere."

Lilith took deep breaths and forced herself to calm down.

"Can Zeres see you too?"

"No, he can't. Only the queens can do it. And though Zeres is a silver haired witch, he is not a queen like us." Alicia said as she attempted to console Lilith by brushing her hair. However, her hand could not touch Lilith and her fingers passed through Lilith's hair like mist. "Now listen Lilith, I need you to tell Zeres about me. That my spirit is still here. I am afraid that after my funeral he'll begin to do something unforgiveable. Or worse, he would start to continue seeking death. The witches cannot afford to lose him now."

"But would he believe me especially since he cannot see you?"

"I will think of something to try and convince him. For now, you must tell him. This is the only way to calm him down now. However," Alicia's expression became serious, "make sure that the vampires do not know about this… especially Ezekiel."

"Why? Why must this be kept as a secret from them…especially Ezekiel? Aren't they the ones helping us all this while? And why are you so hellbent on keeping Zeres alive?"

Chapter 690 'I'm here'

Inside the crystal cave of Black Forest.

Alicia's body was laid on a rectangular crystal bed at the foot of the stairs heading to the throne.

Silvery particles were meandering and roving around her body like floating silver glitters. They moved in perfect unison and in a pattern that somewhat resemble a dance or perhaps it was more apt to say that those little flecks have a mind of their own. They swirled around, always spiralling about in an orbit of their own and rotating about Alicia in an elegant dance before spreading out and wrapping Alicia's body until every part of her was covered.

The crystal cave was silent and despite all the lights and beauty that were carved in every direction, the sorrowful and hollow emotion had filled it entirely. It was as if there was no more life left inside of it. 

Zeres was sitting on the ground, slumped to one side, and leaning his back against the crystal bed where Alicia's body was being laid upon. His one arm was resting on his bent knee as his head was buried in the crook of his folded arm. And he just sat there. Unmoving. Alone.

This was the scenario that welcomed Lilith the moment she entered the crystal cave. Slowly, she approached that lump of flesh that was Zeres, and when she halted just a couple of steps away from him, her eyes fell on Alicia's body. She noticed that despite everything, her body was considered to be in somewhat pristine condition even with the small wounds on her. The silvery particles that had fully wrapped her entire body began to swirl away again and when they finally lifted off from her body, she was left completely naked. All the little wounds that were on her had vanished. Even the blood and dirt were all gone. Lilith continued watching as Alicia once again was enveloped by the tiny lights. The next moment, Lilith saw that the queen's body was dressed in a pure white garment.

After that, the tiny lights settled down, lingering around her body closely as though they were guarding her. This was how the witch queens will be put to rest. Her body will stay here for days until the body finally turns into a crystal statue. They would then transfer the queen's statue to the inner Queens' chambers where all the previous queens rest in their eternal physical slumber.

Lilith wondered if Alicia's body was really going to become statue after a few days even though her soul was still here. She glanced back at Alicia's spirit, and she nodded at her.

Knowing that it was now time for her to speak to Zeres, Lilith took a deep breath and squatted before him.

"Zeres…" she called out softly, but Zeres acted as though he did not hear her. Lilith sighed at his stubbornness. Though she understood why he was that way and sympathised with him, the matter she came to speak about was also important and she needed him to be alert and focussed on what she will be saying. Thus, she cleared her throat and called his name a little louder this time. "Zeres! Queen Alicia has something to say to you. She had come to me and requested me to pass this message to you." Lilith said and the man finally moved. He lifted his face and looked at her.

Lilith suddenly felt intimidated. His eyes were threatening and cold. However, this should not surprise her anymore after all the things this man had gone through. She wondered if the old Zeres who was soft, gentle, caring, and warm would ever return to them.

He did not speak but only planted his heavy gaze on Lilith seriously and silent, waiting for her to speak. Lilith knew in one glance that she must speak now or else he might end up forcing her out of the cave.

"Listen… Queen Alicia's soul is still here." she started, and his cold eyes twitched. If she had not been looking intently at his face, she might have missed it as well. "I am telling the truth! She's still here and I am the only who can see her now. She came to me and had asked me to inform you that she's still here."

Lilith looked at Alicia who was now standing next to her. "She's right –"

"Enough!!" Zeres' hard voice echoed inside the cave and Lilith could not help but flinch at the explosiveness of it. Though she was more powerful now, her body would still instinctively react in the face of danger.

However, she cannot afford to waver now. Alicia had specifically come to look for her to ask for this favour. Because she was the only one here who could help Alicia. When Lilith looked at Alicia again, Alicia had approached the huge crystal pillar nearby and to Lilith's surprise, Alicia's reflection appeared on its surface.

Lilith immediately faced Zeres and spoke. "I know it's hard to believe what I'm saying but I am telling the truth. Please look there," she pointed at the pillar, "she's standing by the pillar, you can see her reflection!"

With rage in his eyes, Zeres gritted his teeth and clenched his fists tight as if he wanted to destroy something. However, he did not know why but he still followed Lilith's line of sight. And as his sight landed onto the pillar that Lilith was pointing to, what he saw seemed to freeze his soul and shock his mind.

A deep silence enveloped the entire cave.

Zeres rose and stumbled over to the pillar like a person drunk on liquor with a disbelieving look in his eyes.

He stopped right before it, and Alicia gave him a slight smile. Her lips opened and said the words 'I'm here.'

Though Zeres could not perceive her voice nor hear any sounds, he could read her lips and his knees weakened and trembled. He nearly fell to his knees, but he quickly grabbed onto the pillar. He dropped his head as his breathing hastened. Then he lifted his head and looked at her again. Still in partial disbelief as his mouth was slightly agape.

"Why…" he finally spoke. "What's going on?" he glanced at Lilith who was now just right behind him.