Lidya chose a long cream color dress with overcoat in the same tone, there was weasel fur around Raine's neck, so she would be warm enough.
Raine's mind wasn't there when she went on the process.
Raine refused to talk to Lidya, ignoring her along the way to the place of the elder, she was good at it as she had been mute for eight years.
After realized her attempt to make Raine talked to her failed again and again, Lidya was silence in the end.
The Elder place was the biggest building after the Great Hall in this city.
It was two floors building with the color of amber, but because of the snow, the building looked very bright as it glimmered under the warm golden sunlight.
There was another staircase to reach the terrace and Raine should be careful, so her long dress wouldn't get wet, yet she didn't care and let the edge of her dress wiped the ice beneath her feet, made blotches of wet on its wake.
"Raine, I know you are angry with me, but please trust me, I have been in your position now and everything is going well." Lidya held Raine's shoulder, before they entered the building.
Angry? That word sounded strange in her ear. When the last time she was angry? She had been abused for years and didn't have privilege to be angry.
But now, she was angry?
"I don't believe it was only yesterday that I just woke up and felt very grateful to meet someone like you, but now you do this to me." Raine was utterly disappointed.
"Raine I have tried to delay this ceremony" Lidya was really trying to make an excuse for her to delay this thing last night when she reported Raine's condition. "They are in need for extra help, there was a battle with Lycanthropes last month and we suffered great loss. We need more shadow warrior who have been together with the Angel."
"You don't tell me everything don't you?" Raine looked at Lidya with expression that devoid from any emotion. "What else will happen to me?"
"After a quick ceremony which implies you are together with the appointed shadow warrior, you will go to his place" Lidya's expression was gloomy.
"That is why you said that I will find my own place?" Raine recall Lidya's words this morning.
The sun had officially set, as the weather was getting cold.
"You will have to do it sooner or later, Raine" Lidya tried to justify her action.
"I really don't know what this place or its rule and suddenly you pushed me to be together with someone that I don't know?" Raine raised her voice. "Just because I can't run from this place and I stand in front of you now, I willingly accept this!"
"You stay then you have to follow the rule here." Lidya averted her eyes from Raine.
"Can I go?" Raine asked sharply.
"You will not have a chance to even reach the border, just say that you can run from here, where will you go? If you think this rule is immoral, then you can see what those creatures out there could do to you." Lidya said sternly. "I bet you had never met them, that's why you thought our rule is awful, but once you meet them and"
"I had met them." Raine cut her monologue icily.
It was true that Raine had met them, she had met them as they had been trying to kill her and turned her insane.
"What are you doing here, Lidya? The elders are waiting inside."
Suddenly the door opened widely and Dorian's figure appeared from behind the door, he looked at Lidya and then Raine.
"There is a problem here?" He stretched out his arms toward Lydia and pulled her close to him.
"No." Lidya shook her head as she tiptoed to kiss his chin. "Raine only nervous." She said.
Dorian was still hostile toward Raine when he looked at the girl in front of him. "Go inside immediately, we don't have time to waste."
As if being together with someone and have s.e.x with them wasn't a big deal for anyone there, the so called ceremony was a mere introduction for two people, witnessed by ten elders who was sitting on tall chairs.
Raine's partner was Aeon.
They had met in the Great Hall this morning.
When Raine the Elder called his name and his figure appeared from behind massive golden door, Raine's heart skipped a beat.
Her whole body exuded rejection when he stood very close to her. She didn't like the closeness between them.
The feeling was totally different when she was with Torak.
On top of their tall seats, the ten Elders talked interchangeably, but not even a word that Raine could discern, her mind was elsewhere.
When Aeon stretched out his arms to accept her hands, Raine took a step back and avoided him.
But, Lidya was behind her to push her back, prevented her from taking another steps back.
Seeing Raine's reaction, Aeon didn't even furrow his eyebrows and patiently waited for her to come to him.
When Raine still rejected Lidya's advice to go to her partner, one of the Elder stood up, his nose flaring. "Your action is not appropriate!" He pointed his bonny fingers at Raine. "If you keep refuse this union, we don't have another choice except to punish you!"
The Elder's voice boomed inside the big room, echoed and reverberated throughout the wall.
Raine clenched her fist beside her body and stilled her heart that she wouldn't yield, if it was before, she would cower away and tremble in fear.
However, the reason this time was totally different, the situation was different.
In the past, though that was an act and verbal abuse, but it had never been s.e.x.u.a.l, yet now she was forced to be bonded with someone that she had never met!
It felt absurd and Raine refused to yield!
"Throw her to the dungeon until she learns her wrongdoings!" The other Elder shouted and gestured to the other man to apprehend Raine.
At that remarked, unexpectedly Aeon moved forward and wrapped Raine's tight fist in his big palm that felt warm.
"I will punish her myself." With that being said, Aeon walked out of the room with Raine tag along with him.
The room spun around Raine, when Aeon took large steps to go away from that place. They went down the stairs and walked through the white corridor before they arrived at the entrance door of the building.
He stopped for awhile to check on Raine, the girl stared back at him through her obsidian eyes, there were fear and stubbornness in them.
"I don't want to go with you." Her voice was so small, barely a whisper, but the way she said it, she was resolute with her decision.
She didn't want this union.
"If I bring you back, they will suck your blood dry." Aeon's voice was horse and hard as he tightened his grip on Raine's wrist.
Ignoring her futile struggle, he dragged her away from the building.
The cold wind brushed Raine's cheeks, forced her to close her eyes as the small particle of snow felt like tiny needles scratch her open skin.
The snow has fallen again.
Raine raised her arms to cover her face from the wind when Aeon grabbed her another hands and put them beside his waist, kept her hands there.
A second later, Raine felt the wind wasn't as strong as before, but the howling sound was still in the air, because of the distraction had gone, she opened her eyes slowly.
As soon as she opened her eyes, her vision was blocked by the view of Aeon's back. He walked ahead of her while keeping her hand inside the pocket of his lambskin overcoat to keep them warm.
He blocked the wind for her silently and made it easy for Raine to walk by following his footstep.
They walked like that until they arrived at the house that Raine assumed was his house.
Aeon led Raine to the terrace of the house and released her when he searched for the key house. "You will die within an hour in this weather." He said when he saw Raine glanced at the dark road, thinking about escaping from him.
Raine took a step back from him as she looked at Aeon in alert, Aeon was still searching for the key house from pocket to pocket before he found it on his shoes.
But, before he could open the door, Raine had decided to ignore Aeon's warning and dashed toward the heavy fallen snow.
She just reached the yard and stepped on the snow when her feet sunk until around her ankle, gave Raine hard time to move forward.
The weather didn't help her either when she tried to walk away. She thought, she would have high chance to escape than before, because who would stay on guard in this weather.
However, not only she couldn't move forward, but the harsh wind pushed her back until she sat on the wet, cold snow.
At this point, she was shivering because of the cold.
Raine bent her knees and supported her body in attempt to stand up, but it was so hard to even stand straight.
In that case, how come Aeon could walk leisurely like nothing happened?
Raine clenched her chattering teeth and curled her fingers, she felt them froze as the result of the direct contact with the snow.
Not only that, Raine also couldn't open her eyes.
It wasn't an hour, she felt she could die within minutes in this condition, suddenly she felt someone lifted her trembling body and brought her away.
It must be Aeon as he was the only person near her.
"I have told you, you won't be able to escape in this kind of weather." Aeon's deep voice sounded in Raine's ears.