Infinity (Chronicles of Nerissette) Online - Andria Buchanan

Prologue

I was sitting in front of the mirror at my dressing table in the Queen’s Tower. That’s how I knew it was a dream. My tower had been burned during the Fate Maker’s last attack against the palace, but right now, in my dream, it was still standing. It looked the same as it did the first time I’d ever set foot inside it.

“The End is coming,” my reflection announced, and my eyes widened as I stared back at the girl in the mirror.

“What?”

“The End is coming,” my reflection said again. “The Last Rose is on her throne, the relics have been found, and the land is free of the Fate Maker. The time of the Prophesies has come.”

“Wait. What? No.” I shook my head, and the girl in the mirror arched an eyebrow at me. “No, that’s not true. I don’t have all the relics. The Mirror of Nerissette has been destroyed, the Dragon’s Tear is hidden, and we’re searching for the last one, the First Leaf, but I haven’t found it yet. We haven’t found it yet.”

“You have found it,” the girl in the mirror argued. “The First Leaf was never lost. It’s always been with you. Because of it life flows through you. The ability to keep this world—and its people—alive lives inside you.”

“I don’t—”

“The Last Great Rose is on her throne with the relics. The dead will rise, the lost will be found, and our world will be free again. The Prophesies command it.”

The girl in the mirror in front of me dissolved, and when I looked into the glass again, nothing stared back at me. The room behind me was reflected as if I weren’t even there. “Wait!”

“She’s right,” Esmeralda said, suddenly appearing. I gaped at the sorceress, still trapped inside the body of a small black-and-white housecat, sitting on the reflection of my bed in the mirror. I glanced over my shoulder and saw that she wasn’t actually there; even in my dream, she was just an illusion. “The time of the Prophesies has come.”

“But the Prophesies are made up. Make-believe. You should know—you’re the one who made them up.”

“The things I wrote, I never meant for them to come true. But now they have. Fate, or whatever it is that truly guides us, has made the nightmares I wrote about come true, and you’re the only one who can save us. Save our world, Allie. Save us. Before it’s too late.”

“Save you from what? The Fate Maker is trapped in the Bleak, and I’m signing a peace treaty with Bavasama in the morning. Our world is safe.”

“Death is coming, my queen. A world of death and nightmares, and if you’re not prepared, they will destroy us all. The nightmares I unleashed upon this world will destroy us all,” Esmeralda said.

“I don’t know how,” I said. “I don’t know what to do. Tell me what to do.”

“When the time comes, you’ll know,” Esmeralda said, bringing her brilliant green eyes up to meet mine in the mirror.

“No, I won’t.”

“There’s only one thing that can defeat nightmares,” Esmeralda said. “Only one thing stronger than fear.”

“What?” I asked.

Instead of answering the cat in the mirror began to fade away.

“No!” I slapped my hand against the mirror. “No, don’t leave. You have to tell me what I need to do to keep us safe. What I’m keeping us safe from. You can’t leave me.”

The cat disappeared, her eyes the last thing to go, as I stood there, watching her. “Don’t leave me,” I whispered. “Please don’t leave me. I can’t do this alone.”

Chapter One

“Are you ready?” my boyfriend, Winston, asked in my ear as he came to stand beside my throne later that morning. I felt my heart flutter. We hadn’t had the chance to spend much time together in the past year because of the war we had been fighting, but the boy who could turn into a black dragon still made my knees weak. “All you have to do is sign your name and it’s all over. We’ll finally be at peace.”

I swallowed as the rest of the nobles started to filter into the room, all of them quiet, their faces drawn. It couldn’t be this easy to arrange a truce with the empress of Bathune. Aunt or not, she had tried to kill me. My people were all waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I didn’t blame them. I was sort of waiting for the exact same thing.

After all, waiting for the next disaster