Jackrabbit

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 23 (v.1) - Chapter 23

Submitted: February 27, 2018

Reads: 69

Comments: 1

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Submitted: February 27, 2018

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I stared as his body hit the ground limply, feeling my legs frozen in place. A small trail of blood trickled across the stone from his open mouth. His uniform from before was tattered and stained all over.

 

The prince was dead, and neither Rachel nor I had killed him.

 

“Now you’ve gone and done it.” Aiz stepped over Henry’s corpse, the dripping blade gripped in her hand. Instead of focusing on us, however, she knelt down and tenderly picked the prince up before turning him over so that his face was towards the sky. Mismatched white-and-black hair spilled past her shoulders as she looked deep into his eyes. Those eyes must’ve come from his mother, for hers were dark and empty. Sticking two fingers into the knife wound, she withdrew them after a moment and painted her lips a bright scarlet with his blood. Then she kissed him.

 

I was certainly no friend of Henry’s, but watching his corpse be violated like that made me want to be sick. At the same time, Rachel and I could only remain in muted silence as the ritual continued. After a minute or two, Aiz finally noticed us. She rose to her feet, having lovingly laid her brother against the stone. With the sun at her back and her lips stained scarlet, she looked like a demon. “I just wanted to be with my dear brother, but you had to go and screw it all up.” She took a threatening step forward, and I shrank back instinctively. There was no way I could fight her, especially not in my current condition. She’d tear me apart in seconds.

 

“If Henry hadn’t tried to murder me, this wouldn’t have happened,” Rachel replied, somehow managing to keep her calm in the moment.

 

“It would’ve happened as long as you existed,” Aiz shot back, venom dripping from every word. “I just wanted Henry to love me, but as long as you existed, he’d never look at me. He was ashamed of me, partly because you existed. He cared too much about what you thought of him.” In her manic fidgeting, she sawed a chunk of hair off with the knife before flinging it to the ground. “Even after you ran away, he kept fretting. As long as you exist, Henry will never ever see me as anything more than a monster.” As she spoke, long shadows stretched behind her. That didn’t make sense, however, as the sun was to her back.

 

Dread clutched my heart. There was an otherworldly presence about her -- one that I hadn’t felt since Rachel’s outburst at Celstine. It was then that I remembered something Henry had told me previously: the church worshipped Largum, Yonah’s daughter and a fierce goddess of death and destruction. They wanted to bring her back. To resurrect her.

 

Terror roared in my ears as I looked at Aiz hopelessly. The girl in front of me was not monster; she was a goddess. There was not a chance in the world that we’d prevail.

 

As Aiz stepped forward, Rachel ushered me behind her. It was almost humorous being protected by the scrawny princess, but I did not laugh. Only an idiot would laugh at his own death.

 

“I’m sorry,” I muttered to Rachel. “I’m at my limit. There’s no way we can fight our way out of this one.” I gripped her hand, trying to find one last vestige of comfort. Her hand was soft, and warm. Even in the cold and bitter air, she was always gentle on the skin. It was due to a life of privilege and spoiling, yet there was something undeniably different. The beginnings of hard calluses crusted over her palms. The princess had grown from a girl into a woman since that day in the summer when she fled for her life. Even having sworn off violence, she went against that oath and challenged her own resolve to better help the country. If her parents could see her now, they would’ve been proud.

 

Rachel pulled me close, planting a soft kiss on my head. “I love you, Lennard,” she said, eyes matching perfectly with the sunset. Something about the way she said it sent chills up my spine.

 

I caught her arm, pulling her face close to mine. “Are you okay?”

 

She turned her back to me, stepped closer to Aiz. “I’m sorry,” she said at last. “I’m…about to do something you might not forgive me for.”

 

“What are you talking about?” I shot back, starting to feel panic set in. “You can’t fight a goddess with a healing staff!”

 

Her gaze flickered back to mine for just a moment before looking back at Aiz. For an agonizing second or two, they merely looked at each other. Then Rachel sighed. “This time, Lennard, I will protect you.”

 

In a single movement, she shattered the crown jewel of Lævateinn on the ground.

 


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