Chapter 7: Chapter Seven

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

Reads: 46

Torchlight danced inside the glistened eyes of Larissa. Caeli pulled her close. "I'll be back before you know it."

 

"You shouldn't have to leave." Larissa whispered. "It's not fair. Things were finally feeling normalish again."

 

"It's gonna be okay." Caeli couldn't seem to swallow the lump in her throat. "Don't worry about me. You've got orders too, soldier." Her heart was breaking. She shielded her thoughts. It's not fair, Rissa, but it's the life I chose and I have to accept that. Adyta is my home and I will protect it no matter what. We'll all return.

 

The king bid farewell to his family. Prince Maximus stoic, squeezing his sister's hand.

 

I know you will all be fine. His soft brown eyes met hers. But, I'm begging you, protect my father.

 

You need not ask. Caeli nodded.

 

"Cae, please come back." Mariana pulled from her brother to hug Caeli's leg.

 

She lifted the young girl in her arms. "We will all come back. I promise. You keep your brother in line." The sorrow in her heart weld. "Give him a headache if ya have to."

 

"Okay." Mariana nodded.

 

"We're heading out." Marcellus took the princess from Caeli. "Be good, little princess." He handed her to the prince.

 

Caeli scanned the crowd. Did I really think he'd come? We said our goodbyes earlier. Darius had disappeared as the four were playing. Caeli found him leaving the garden. He had hugged her, told her to be careful. She didn't want to marry a man. She didn't like men in that way, but if she did; she would've married Darius, as Larissa was already taken. We'll keep our promise to each other. She shook her head. No time for thoughts of the future. My king is leading. I must focus on my family now.

 

*

 

"How could they fucking do this?!" Prince Maximus's booming voice woke Larissa.

 

She'd barely been sleeping since Caeli's departure. She expected Caeli to be silent for days, as she would be keeping her comrades safe. But watching all of Adyta was difficult and only Caeli would understand the pressure she felt.

 

"How could who do what, Max?" Larissa opened her window. "Do you know what time it is?"

 

"They released the council." The prince's words hit like ice in Larissa's veins.

 

She felt her nose twitch as a gust of wind snapped a branch off a nearby tree. "They did what?"

 

"My mother offered no explanation." Prince Maximus was practically vibrating with rage.

 

Larissa felt a jolt as she appeared beside him. She wrapped them in a hug, his rage filled her like steam from a covered pot. His thoughts raged of harming them, doing what should have been done; in his eyes.

 

Larissa couldn't stop this thinking. She couldn't argue. Maxy, I know this feels right. But we have to honor your parents' decisions. We knew this was a possibility when they didn't do it right away.

 

"It's bullshit!" The ground shook beneath them.

 

"Rissa!" Julius's terrified cry startled her.

 

Max, you need to stop. Larissa couldn't calm him, but she knew what emotion she could tame. Her siblings' fear and confusion was enough for her to manipulate into the prince.

 

It broke her heart to do this. Pain was something she never wanted him to feel. But as soon as he was afraid, she sent him thoughts of their flowers.

 

Slowly she led him down their path. The flowers had just begun to close under the glow of the sun. Look Maxy, we're with our flowers.

 

"Don't tell Caeli. She can't find out. It'll be too much of a distraction." He whispered, pulling her close.

 

"Agreed." Larissa sighed, enjoying the warmth of his bare chest.

 

"She's keeping me caged up. I can't take Mariana anywhere. Then she goes and does this?" He scoffed. "We're old enough to deserve an explanation."

 

"Just stay calm, you've been losing control a lot and we don't really know the extent of your abilities." Larissa played with his soft brown hair. You're causing earthquakes. We don't even do that. Has your mother explained any of this?

 

"Of course not." Prince Maximus shook his head. "Just that I can't lose control. How am I supposed to know how to control it, if she won't help me?"

 

"Darius says there's many secrets." Larissa recited the words she hated herself. Secret abilities just sound like a fucking disaster.

 

"I know I should leave, I have a duty...but I don't like feeling trapped." His breath tickled her neck.

 

"It'll be over soon, look how quickly the last one ended." Larissa rubbed his back. "I have to report to your mother later. I'll see you then."

 

*

 

His hand tightened around her throat. Get off of me! Caeli's tent flew with a gust. Marcellus emerged startled from his tent.

 

"Little one, are you alright?" He relaxed, after ensuring all was safe

 

"I can't get his fucking touch off of me." Caeli didn't have to keep walls built around Marcellus.

 

Her comrades, though she knew were awake, laid still. They knew she needed to speak, but only to their general.

 

Marcellus sat next to the roaring fire. He relieved the soldier and invited Caeli to sit next to him.

 

"It will take time, my girl, but the pain will ease." He stared at the flames. "Look to the fire."

 

Caeli watched the flames dance in the wind. Yellow, orange, red and blue; blending in a dance only ended by water.

 

"A beauty to behold, is it not?" Marcellus asked.

 

"It always is." Caeli nodded.

 

"I see you as the fire, my girl. A flame amongst the darkest of nights, guiding others toward greatness." His words held a wisdom she strived to comprehend. "There are those that would try to douse you, kill you entirely; because you shine so brightly. The council are those people. Caeli, they do not see you for how brilliant you are. They only see what they never did, the courage they never had; and so they'd rather destroy you." He slid his arm around her and pulled her close, much like a father would a daughter. "But I'll tell you a secret, Cae. You are stronger than they could ever be. You don't see the world with hatred, as your parents do. You see it as the bright, shining flame you are and you're brave enough to forge it for the rest of us. You will always be the strongest person I have ever known. Don't you forget that, little one."

 

Caeli's heart swelled. A bright flame? She closed her eyes and allowed a genuine smile to form. You hate this, but I can't say it out loud. I wish you had been my father.

 

Marcellus chuckled. "Many stars I had wished that could be true myself." He glanced toward the sky. "Though you may not have my blood, you are my daughter. When we return home, Liber and I will help you with the final amount for your property. I know you would not live with us, but you cannot deny my help. That is an order from your general."

 

"Yes sir." Caeli nodded. Thank you. I'll remember these words, always. Maybe they'll even help with the nightmares. I am blessed to have been given a general as understanding as him.

 

"Now, go fix your tent." Marcellus chuckled. "That is unacceptable."

 

Caeli chuckled. "Yes sir!"

 

I wonder how the others are. It's so quiet out here. She glanced at the trees. And safe...but battle will be here soon. She collected her tent and easily fixed her sleeping spot. I'm not really tired. I'll just stay up with Marcellus.

 

*

 

I wonder if they've heard anything.

 

This bread is stale.

 

There's Amu, how could they have been released? It seems wrong.

 

A frog.

 

I love Kara.

 

I need flour.

 

When will he nap?

 

What time is it?

 

Shit, I forgot to time it!

 

Larissa seemed to jolt as she released Duniwa's energy back. The citizens' thoughts faded. She gulped from her flask. Her head throbbed.

 

No one is going to attack now. Not after what the queen did. There's no way. Max was so pissed. But so am I. She spread her arms out, the cool grass tickled her skin. Maybe I should visit Darius. Haven't seen him since he ditched tag.

 

Larissa slowly exhaled as she visualized the entrance to the hospital. Eight guards walked near the entrance and exit, seemingly shopping. But always watching.

 

She opened the doors. An elderly attendant greeted her.

 

"Rissa, dear, are you looking for Darius?" She asked.

 

"Is he here?" Larissa didn't want to seem worried. "We haven't seen him."

 

"In his office." She smiled. "He needs the company."

 

Larissa nodded and immediately found Darius. His back was turned to her as he seemed lost in the book before him. For a brief moment, Larissa saw Darius's mother sitting there. You look so much like her. She always got lost in books too. Wonder what's captured your attention. She focused on his mind.

 

I know what the types are, but can the difference in them cause different abilities? I wonder if Queen Cassiana would tell me what blood types we are. Maybe it can explain why Max doesn't have the same abilities as the others. But it mentions elementals? That's what they are. Darius glanced behind him, he let out a startled yelp. "I fucking felt you watching me. Why didn't you make a noise or something?"

 

"What are blood types?" Larissa asked. "And elementals?"

 

"I can't tell you." Darius shook his head.

 

"Then let me read the book." Larissa demanded.

 

"I can't." Darius slammed the book closed and returned it to his shelf. "Why are you here?"

 

"You just disappeared and we haven't seen you." Larissa answered. "You didn't even see Caeli off."

 

"We said our goodbyes earlier." Darius sighed. "I had work to do. I have to protect this place."

 

"What exactly are you protecting? More than what's been shared. Tell me." Larissa insisted. "The things the queen has taught me, to harness the entire planet. How could she have known and never told me? Us controlling the wind. I need answers. I know nothing about myself, it seems, and I need fucking answers."

 

"Well I can't give you any!" Darius snapped. "I want to. There are so many things I want to bring to light but I can't."

 

"But why?" Larissa pressed. "What's at stake?"

 

"Mariana." Darius whispered. "I can't explain why or what but it's her. So please stop asking. You will discover more and you will figure it all out." He calmed and sighed, giving her a smile. "You always do, Rissa. Look, I got a lot of work to do. But I'll arrange some time away soon, alright?"

 

"Okay." Larissa nodded. Mariana? What would happen to her if Darius shared information? Who would threaten the princess? Is it the council? Then why aren't they dead? Larissa shook her head and sighed. I fucking hate this. Guess I'll just report to the queen.

 


Submitted: April 20, 2021

© Copyright 2021 kiara brae. All rights reserved.

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