Knome: The Forbidden Zone

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 54 (v.1) - Chapter Fifty-Three

Submitted: February 10, 2018

Reads: 18

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Submitted: February 10, 2018

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Krestlin Palace (Knome)

 

Anya walked through Krestlin’s grand hallway, descending down its wide ornate staircase to the palace's main floor.  As she walked purposefully, she was not greeted as usual by any of the staff.  Anya was unaware of her appearance or unconcerned, but all who noticed her, all who passed by her were shocked, by what they had seen.  The normally gregarious and friendly young woman, who was always immaculately adorned, and who knew by name, most of the staff, whom she would without fail greet, even at times, converse with any who would engage her, seemed, like a stranger, as she passed by.  Anya’s eyes darkly circled, remained downcast as she walked.  Her face was unusually pale, as were her lips, and she wore a cloak under which she tried to conceal herself.  She looked as if she hadn’t slept in days and the clothes she wore were disheveled and wrinkled. Her beautiful hair looked unkempt, or at least, it looked as if an attempt had been made to brush it flat with a hand.  But Anya didn’t know or at this moment she did not care.  She had contacted Yutiro and asked him to meet her at the Palace library and that was her only concern.

Anya had hung on to the words of her father as if, her life depended on them.  The Akadians had suspected that Wilhelm was trying to reach Knome, to be with her.  Those words were like nourishment to her soul, and although her father dismissed it, to Anya it was everything.  Wilhelm must have revealed the relationship he had had, with her, otherwise, why would they suspect that he had secured passage on the Corbellis for Knome to see her.  These cyclical thoughts occupied her mind, she had to know.

She tried to contact May, but her access to anyone outside of Knome had been curtailed.  Security reasons was the excuse she had been given by her father.  She doubted that, she remembered the look on his face after he revealed the news that Wilhelm was missing.  She sensed that he wanted to take back those words.  He didn’t want to discuss the subject further, and dismissed all her questions.  She knew there was a reason for that.  Had Wilhelm boarded the Corbellis, if so he would have been onboard at the same time she was a passenger.  Were they that close? Anya’s heart sank at the thought.  Was he still missing, she wondered, and what did that mean.  Had he somehow made it to Knome and was now trying to reach her.  She tried to dismiss her pessimistic thoughts, that it was impossible, that it was a mistake and he had been found.  She needed to know.

“I can’t go through with it, I can’t.” she uttered as she passed by a staff member who, turned around thinking she was speaking to him. Her pessimistic thoughts had won out and she paused.  She considered going back, returning to her room and facing her fate. If she were to rest her hope on an impossibility that turned out to be impossible, it would break her and she wouldn’t survive.  The thought of marrying anyone she did not love was repulsive to her.  To wed someone she did not know, someone who was an enemy, for political convenience, there were no words to describe the gut reaction she felt.  “I can’t,” she uttered to herself and continued on her way.

Yutiro had been waiting for some time in the Palace library in the Sciences section where he had agreed to meet Anya.  The area was secluded and dimly lit.  Yutiro was anxious to see her, he had been pulled from her personal staff after arriving back at Knome and had not seen her since, nor had he received a note from her, which had often been the case back in Akadia.  Her call to him was strange, at first, he thought that the call was a joke.  Anya sounded different, desperate, something he had never before seen in his mistress. The time away had fueled his imagination, he had kissed and married her countless numbers of time.  Actually, he allowed himself to indulge in this fantasy because he thought that he would never see her again in any intimate way.  And then she called, and he, felt ashamed of his thoughts.  He loved her and deeply respected her and it felt indecent to him to even fantasize about her, implying feelings in her that she had not revealed.  He tried hard to rid them from his mind. 

A voice knocked him out of his thoughts, it was a whisper.  He turned to see a figure approaching him and he felt perplexed.  Who was this person addressing and approaching him?  He didn’t have time for a conversation, he was waiting for…

“Anya?” Yutiro asked more to himself than to the approaching figure.

“It’s me,” Anya whispered.

Yutiro was stunned, he looked around for Anya, unsure the voice came from the approaching person.

‘Yutiro!” Anya called out.

He now realized that the person approaching was, Anya.  He wondered if she was trying to disguise her identity.  But as she got closer to him, he could see that she was not well.  He immediately felt concerned for her health.

He grabbed her arms near her shoulders.

“Anya, are you OK?” he asked genuinely concerned.

“I am, it’s good to see you Yutiro”

Still stunned by her appearance he missed her greeting entirely.

“My Lady, you don’t look well” He added.

“Well, thank you,” Anya replied sarcastically, a littler hurt by his assessment.

Anya’s moxie was still present and it pulled Yutiro out of his overt concern for her health.

‘Oh, my lady, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…” Yutiro tried to explain his comments, but Anya interrupted him with a familiar eye roll.

“Forget it, I don’t have much time,” she advised.

“I am, sorry,” he added, which he meant and if he could have explained, he would have told her that even in her current state, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

“Yutiro, I need your help.”

“Anything, my lady”

“I need you to contact May for me. To give her a message and I need her reply.

“Can’t you contact her?” Yutiro asked perplexed, May, was her personal secretary, surely, she would have access to her.

“No, my access has been blocked, I can’t contact anyone from the embassy”

“Blocked. Why”

“It’s a long story.”  Anya replied considering whether to spill the whole matter before him.  “Promise me, she cautioned, " that you won’t reveal what I am about to tell you.”

“Of course, my lady, I’ve never betrayed any confidence you’ve placed in me.”

“Promise me,” Anya demanded.

“Alright, I promise.” Yutiro complied, deep concern showing on his face.

Anya paused, taking a deep breath.  She looked around the library and walked deeper into the Sciences section where there was even less lighting.

“Back in Akadia, I was in a relationship with Prince Wilhelm Antilla, it was something that we kept secret for obvious reasons.”

The stunned look on Yutiro’s face was confirmation that the secret held.

“For a year we kept it secret, but finally I had to make my parents aware of it. They were not happy. Father convinced me that our relationship would not end well.  The Akadians would not be happy with a Knomen Queen, he told me”

Anya’s explanation crushed the small flickering hope Yutiro had, a hope that he might have a chance to win her love.  He agreed that such a union would be impossible, he lived in Akadia and knew the people.  Even among the diplomats, with whom he worked, such a union would be looked down on, if not protested.  Yet, knowing this, did not raise his hopes.  Anya was in love with someone else, deeply in love it seemed.

"So, I agreed with father’s conclusions, she continued, "and I broke off our relationship.  It was within that very hour when I confronted you about my possessions being taken, remember? Then you informed me about my father’s recall notice.”

“My lady, I’m so sorry, had I known what you were going through...”

“What could you have done Yutiro?”

Yutiro felt sick for the part he played in her distress.

“That’s not all.  After we returned, I found out that father had plans for me.  He wants me to marry one of the Myan Emperor’s sons as part of a marriage alliance, to cement, a cooperation agreement between our two governments.”

Anya was pleased to see the disgust on Yutiro's face, a feeling she shared.  Yutiro was truly disgusted, to force Anya into a marriage, sounded archaic and wrong.

“What are you going to do, my lady,” he asked.

“Yutiro, I can’t do it. “She replied as her eyes misted.

Yutiro approached her, taking her hand, without a thought to protocol.

“It’s why I need your help Yutiro.”

Yutiro wanted to help, but he wondered what he could possibly do in such a situation.  His princess was powerless to change her circumstances, what could he do?

“How can I help?” he asked.

“My father, had inadvertently, I believe, informed me that Wilhelm was missing.  The Akadians contacted our government because they believed that he was here on Knome.  Yutiro, they believed that Wilhelm was trying to get to Knome, to be with me.”

Joy and hope flooded Anya’s eyes as she uttered the words.

“My father refuses to let me know what’s happening, whether Wilhelm has been found or not.  He won’t let me broach the subject anymore.  That's why I tried to contact May.  When I left I gave her a note and asked her to give it to Wilhelm.  In the note I apologized to him for my lack of faith in his love for me. I do know he loves me.  And I pledged my constant love for him.  I need to know if he got that note.  I need to know if he is still missing.”

Yutiro was moved by Anya’s confession.  He wished that he would one day know such love.

“Do you really think he would come here," Yutiro asked.

“I am that certain, in his love for me.  That’s why I have to know.  I need you to contact May and relieve my anxiety. Please.”

Yutiro paused, not because he hesitated to help her, he was so moved by the passion in Anya's voice, the passion in her demeanor, that he mourned that, that passion was not for him.

“I will help you! I will do so immediately!”

Yutiro started to do just that, but before he could leave he felt a tug on his arm. Anya pulled him around and embraced him.  Yutiro couldn’t help it he embraced her as tightly as she embraced him and for a brief moment, he was lost in her.

“Thank you, Yutiro, Thank you.


© Copyright 2018 James Washington. All rights reserved.

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