Chapter 8:

Episode Eight: You'll Surrender Your Heart

A Religious Witch?! How Incredible!

It was nearly dawn when Lilith opened her eyes suddenly. She didn’t intend to fall asleep in her room, much less for that long. However, she didn’t have much time to think about anything when she saw Priest Deacon opening the wardrobe in the room.

She yawned as quietly as she could as her eyes adjusted to the darkness and she reached for the glasses she took off. Lilith realized soon that it must’ve been too early for bedtime since the nuns weren’t in bed either. She didn’t feel very rested but once she saw Priest Deacon, she started to feel a bit happier again.

“Priest Dea--”

“Come on. Get up. We have to leave now. That cow of a nun alerted my father behind my back and it looks like he’s coming.”

As she approached Priest Deacon, it was then he started to throw things out of the wardrobe - nun uniforms, blankets, and other miscellaneous items that Lilith couldn’t recognize.

“What are you looking for?” Lilith asked quietly. There was something strange about Priest Deacon that she couldn’t put her finger on. He acted differently and more frantic than before though she gathered as much as he went through the wardrobe.

“I’m looking for something important. Go get your clothes. Surely, they gave you some, didn’t they?”

“N-no… They only gave me a nightgown…”

He finally turned around with a strange-looking box that had a keyhole in the middle. It reminded Lilith of her mother’s box when she was younger but she didn’t know what happened to it after she died. The slight thought of her family made her a bit sad - she didn’t want to think about them any more than she had to.

“That’s it? Then don’t just stand there. Go get it. I found what I was looking for.” He placed the strange box underneath his arm as he started to leave the room. But right before he passed through, he turned around and gave Lilith a gentle smile, something she was more familiar with.

And yet, she didn’t feel at ease at all. She hadn’t been there very long and all she wanted to do was be with Priest Deacon.

She started to run out of the door when she saw him still waiting near the door. When she looked up at him, she noticed that he wasn’t as tall when she first met him but his eyes still pulled her in as they did that first time she saw him.

“I… I forgot to tell you, sweet Lilith, meet me in the garden. Keep this between us, okay?” He gave her a gentle smile.

And it still didn’t put her heart at ease.

Regardless, she nodded her head and headed back inside the room. Even though he’s not his usual self, it’s clear that they had to move quickly.

She felt a bit sluggish from her impromptu nap earlier but seeing those eyes of his made her want to get to him faster.

When she arrived back at the room, she went back to her bed and grabbed what little items she had which weren't much. She only had the aforementioned nightgown and maybe some trinkets she found on the ground. Some of the nuns scolded her and tried to take them from her but Lilith ended up finding them again. She pocketed them and kept them hidden under her mattress for luck - luck that only Priest Deacon would look her way.

She would have to steal a bag from one of the nuns. Lilith looked around for one and saw one. It seemed to belong to maybe Emeline but it didn’t matter. The only nun Lilith could think of that always went against Priest Deacon, against her, was Emeline. She wouldn’t miss her if she disappeared. She always wanted her to leave anyway - what’s a missing bag for her troubles?

Lilith furrowed her brow and she tried to fight her tears as she forced her eyes shut. If her eyes would stay open, she knew she would cry and she knew she would stop herself from leaving.

Once she grabbed the bag, she immediately put everything in the bag. She couldn’t see if there was anything else in the bag itself - she wouldn’t care. It wouldn’t matter. All she had were these little trinkets and the nightgown that was provided. It was bigger on her than it looked but she knew she would eventually grow into it.

As long as she’s with Priest Deacon, that’s all that mattered.

It didn’t take long for her to pack everything she owned, including the clothes on her back. Once she managed to get it closed, she threw the strap over her shoulder and ran out as quickly and quietly as she could.

Since she didn’t want to rouse any additional suspicion, she made her way towards the garden where she’d share her first kiss with him. The garden that had its flowers wilt in the ending of the season and where she would ultimately decide to live here at the church, but it seemed as though that another beginning was starting.

As she went through the church and tried to keep the bag as conspicuously hidden as possible, she felt light even with the weight of the bag. It wasn’t heavy but it certainly felt that way with how her adrenaline pumped and how sluggish her movements felt as she tried to hide.

It was the same number of nuns on that evening - it seemed they had just finished supper which explained why they all seemed to have come out of one place - and Lilith had to be smart about this.

You must return home! This man is no good!

This strange voice, a voice she hadn’t heard in months, caused Lilith to completely stop in her tracks. At least this time, it sounded familiar to her. Was it because she had heard it before? Or was there an inflection in that voice that reminded her of someone?

Certainly, it couldn’t have been Emery. The war continued. The war… the war was still going on. Of course, she wasn’t so naive that she thought the war would wrap itself up in only a few months or so. It could take years before the war would end. And that’s only if Emery was still alive…

But the voice wasn’t Emery. It couldn’t have been. The voice sounded nothing like him.

“I don’t have time for this. I can’t return home! I definitely can’t now!” Lilith whispered to the voice as her response. “I can’t return to that demonic place!”

Once she saw a chance, she took. She scurried as quickly as her now tired feet could take her to the garden where her precious Priest Deacon waited for her.

Eventually, she made it there and let out a relaxing sigh as she closed the door behind her gently. Gently enough for the noise to blend in the gossip of the nuns as they took to their nightly duties.

Lilith grabbed her hair and combed through her blue strands with her fingers - mostly to make sure that it wouldn’t get caught on any of the brushes of the flowers. Her pink eyes had to take time to adjust itself to the darkness. She clutched her bag and hoped that voice wouldn’t come back.

It was there when she first arrived and now it was here on the cusp of her departure. What was its purpose? Why wouldn’t it speak in the duration she was there?

And most importantly, where was Priest Deacon?

With her hair in her hand, she gripped that. She adjusted the strap of the bag to ensure it didn’t fall and then she walked down the path of the garden.

In the daylight, it’s easy to navigate without worry but the darkness highlighted their overwhelming shadows. The bushes and trees were taller than they were in the sun and the flowers’ shadows reminded Lilith of tentacles trying to ensnare this young beauty.

This only made her grip her hair tighter. The imagined horror of this eleven-year-old gripped her imagination more than her hope of finding Priest Deacon until she noticed the sound of dripping water. When did that start happening? Did someone forget to turn off the faucet for the gardening hose?

But soon she realized that the path in front of her started to glow and soon she started to realize where the drips came from - the water started to drip unnaturally upwards instead of downwards. It was a small carpet of light as it didn’t reach that far. At most, the glowing carpet reached about a few feet ahead of her.

A step. It was safe.

Another step. It was still safe.

Every step she took, the glowing carpet moved ahead of her and illuminated the area more than she expected it to. It was benevolent to be sure but she was even more surprised that it came out of her.

“No matter what, I’m always going to be a demon…” her mutters trailed off as she took the next few steps. The light, however, did turn the shadowed giants and tentacles to something more ‘normal’ - they were the regular bushes, trees, and flowers after all.

For all the ‘demonic’ magic she seemed to possess, it did its best to protect her in this darkness as she searched for Priest Deacon.

As she searched high and low through the garden, she just couldn’t seem to have found him. She tried her best to quash any thoughts of him leaving her behind in this church - he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t! He just wouldn’t!

Lilith quickened her pace and, still, the glowing carpet followed her until she was about to turn a corner. Something stopped her - it’s better to say it was an invisible wall that stopped her. It seemed to have made the glowing carpet disappear and that made her blink once, twice, and three times.

She wasn’t sure why it disappeared but soon enough, she saw a lantern at someone’s familiar height. When she realized it was Priest Deacon, she could feel her entire body relax. Lilith ran up to him and hugged him tightly.

Lilith wasn’t going to admit she was scared. If they were running away from the church, there’s a chance wherever they were going, it was going to be a lot scarier than walking through the garden at night. She had to show him that she was a brave girl for him. And she was a brave girl for their relationship, as forbidden as it was.

“Priest Deacon! I was looking for you! I’m ready to go!” She let go and looked up at him. Lilith ignored the disinterested look on his face. “I’m all packed up! Where’s the carriage?”

He finally sighed and lowered the lantern to her level as he squatted. His gentle blue eyes made her blush as he gently smiled. He raised a hand to rub and pat her head gently. Then his smile disappeared.

“Follow me.” He stood up and started to lead her to the carriage. Lilith was too happy to think any more about the situation although she did idly wonder how he managed to gather everything in such a short amount of time.

No matter! It’s no matter at all! Lilith thought as the two reached the carriage and Deacon opened the door. He allowed Lillith into the seat first and she could feel herself shake.

She felt excited and oddly scared, about the upcoming trip. It was going to be just the two of them - away to live in their forbidden relationship together. Once she was inside, he closed the door behind her. Confused, she turned around and stuck her head through the window.

“What’s going on?” she asked Deacon. She was confident to drop the Priest as she was sure that abandoning duties at this church would cause him to finally drop that saintly name. He shouldn’t have anything else to devote to anymore, right? After all, she dropped her demonic habits for him. He should absolutely drop his heavenly habits for her.

He placed his index finger against his lips. “I’ll only be a few minutes. Don’t worry, Lilith.” Her heart skipped a beat when he said her name and in such a whisper that made her heart flutter. “Please be patient.”

But a few minutes was too long for Lilith. However, the excitement wore her down. She promised herself to lay her head against the window and only close her eyes for a few minutes - because when she woke up, she would see Deacon first thing. And he would no longer be a priest but the prince she deserved.

A smile covered her face as she felt something warm cover her body. Maybe it was a blanket he brought or it could be her mother visiting her and she had wanted to bless her for it. After all, she felt a gentle pair of lips on her forehead.