The ethereal light shone down int the clearing, forming a halo around the ground below. The glade of blossom trees was silhouetted by the bright white light, so that the ivory of the petals seemed to glow with the subtle evening dew that hovered upon them, the gossamer wings of a fairy.
The trees stood in in two perfect lines, parallel to each other, planted perfectly and equally spaced. The rows were long, creating a corridor of nothingness in between. The first two trees swept over the top of each other, the flowers of each caressing the branches of the other, they grew almost knotted in their archlike formation. The rest of the trees grew vertical.
In the void between the trees, the floor was not the same dark green lush damp grass that had grown up through the shadows of the surrounding forest. At the arch of the blossoms, the grass vanished entirely and was replaced by black and white squares, as neat and perfect as the lining of trees. The squares themselves were made of some brutally hard material, which seemed unnatural in such a silent, deserted place.
The wind did not blow between the blossoms. No sound emitted from the world around the glade - if one could call it that – and a strange fog seemed to swirl around the floor. The further down the corridor of trees, the higher the mist rose, until it was eventually as tall as the trees themselves. Strange lines of shapes were silhouetted in the fog; they seemed to be figures sitting on horseback; some standing; some that could not be made out. Upon approaching the figures, it was clear that they were all armoured in shining white metal, standing proudly, perhaps defending the hulking castle in perfect, purest white that towered behind them. This was no glade; this was a courtyard. The ground was a chess board. And the figures were not defending – they were waiting to attack.