Chapter 2

Silent screams escape Nastusia as the vision steadily turns worse. Eyes opening to the darkness of the room she felt the collar constricting her airway as her fingers claw at the collar in attempt to bring vital air into her suffocating lungs. Tears stream down her face as her face begins turning pale and blue begins to creep in she, once again, wonders why it never just killed her. As the collar loosens and she grasps in as much air as she could the fog in her head slowly clears.

The room was rather a small house spelled so the inside was large enough for her to fit in comfortably. A few of the rags for clothes her parents had allowed Damien to, in his desire to make her life even harder, charm so they would try to attack her. Whenever they succeeded he would laugh as she fought to break away from their grip. As they attempt to keep her tied inside the small house she glared at them and dodges and she escapes out into the corridor.

With a sigh, Nastusia smiles slightly at the raven perched upon her house before gazing in sorrow at the obvious neglect of the corridor which she resided. The cobwebs and dust aggravate her sore throat as she carefully stays near the wall. Coming up close to the portrait of her great grandfather, Rave Andran, she allows a tiny smile to appear on her face.

As soon as she shuts the portrait behind her, she hears her uncle's portrait sneer at her, "So my brother still hasn't gotten rid of you yet, girl? Wasting his hard earned money you are."

Her smile withers as she stands in the corridor, trying to regain the strength to keep going. Head down she walks on with her soul bearing the desolate reality of her world. She shuffles into the kitchen and begins to cook breakfast.

As she carefully balances a cartoon of milk and several bowls in her arms she hears the familiar light footsteps of her sister. Setting a dark bowl on top of the table she asks Aydan, "What do you want for breakfast?"

Aydan frowns asking, somewhat disgruntled, "Why do you have to cook for us all the time, Onee-chan?" (older sister)

Nastusia shrugs offhandedly as she turns the burner on. Moving through the kitchen with practiced ease she opens the fridge to pull out several eggs. Turning back to the stove she reiterates softly, "What do you want for breakfast, Adyan?"

Flinching slightly as the collar suddenly tightens she continues making the meal as her parents enter with a list in their hands. Gazing warily at them she pushes back the rising panic to expertly mix the eggs and milk. Carefully setting the bowl down she forces out, barely politely, "Yes, sir?"

Her eyes stare at the wall behind her father as he draws in closer. As his fingers dig into her wrist she boldly snaps, "If you want something, say it. Otherwise I need to finish the breakfast you asked me to make."

A growl escapes his throat as he stares down at Nastusia in rage. She stares back, unperturbed to the escalating danger. Turning away from him with a sneer thrown at her mother she shoves her father's hand away to place the eggs onto the skillet.

Pretending not to notice them any longer she prepares the eggs. Carefully flipping the eggs she places several pieces of bread in the toaster and coolly inquires,"If that is all may I leave?"

She turns to face the doorway out and with a inner sigh of relief that Aydan has left finally glares at her mother. As she takes a step towards the door a rough hand grips her arm. Dragging her back to the stove her father hisses, "You should learn your place, servant."

He practically spits the world out with such disgust that Nastusia jerks her head up to stare at him in shock. Staring at her father in desperation to find something, anything to assure her that what he spoke is false. Gazing into cold, unkindly eyes she unwillingly concedes that what she hoped for wasn't reality.

Her face turns impassive as she eyes the flame flickering on the burner in apprehension. Eyes widen a fraction as her mother silently locks the door, warding the room to be sound proof. Stomach churning with blind terror she attempts to unclasp the father's tight hold on her arm as he pulls her next to the stove.

As her hand comes in contact with the burning flame she feels the collar suddenly changing. Pushing against the stove in futile endeavor to prevent the pain she forces her screams to remain internal as she glares angrily through her tears at her parents who watch with twisted laughter ringing from their throats.

Turning her gaze from her parents to the empty portrait of her first ancestor, Yokash, Nastusia finally spoke the phrase he gave her, "In light, darkness thrives."

Biting her lip she winces as the pain begins to cloud her vision. Swaying on her feet she barely hears a man roaring with outrage, "How dare you treat your own heir with such cruelty!"

Forcing herself to focus she turns to spot Yokash standing in the portrait with a look of pure indignation. Her father lets go and shakily Nastusia rushes over to the portrait with a small whimper of pain as her burned hand touches the wall. Pressing herself tightly against the portrait she pleads, "Take me back inside, please..."

Her eyes bore into the ancient man's with longing as he hesitates briefly. Glaring over at his descendants he snarls venomously, "From this day on, Nastusia and Aydan, shall be under the protection of I, Yokash. Should you try to disown them the magic will only turn against you."

With one last glare at the two angry parents he gently pulls Nastusia into the portrait.