Chapter 13: The Prophecy...
It had been two weeks since arriving on Kaaelith and I had to say that I enjoyed my stay. I didn’t meet many of the locals and hadn’t been allowed to wonder around the castle by myself, but that didn’t really bother me. According to Elroy I had to have a guard, either one of the Guardians or an official guard of the kingdom. Either way I felt like I didn’t have much freedom. Nicole was the same. After two weeks of being constantly guarded, you kind of get fed up of it.
I walked down a narrow corridor with a guard at my side.
“So... nice weather isn’t it?” I asked, trying to make conversation. However, all the guard did was grunt in acknowledgement. It was as if he wasn’t as happy being with me as I was with him. We carried on walking when suddenly another guard ran over to us.
“What is it?” The one beside me demanded.
“There’s a fight going on outside the castle walls. The captain said we should go and check it out.” The other explained.
“I’m on duty at the moment.”
“I’m sure she will be alright for a few minutes. We have to go, captains orders.”
The man sighed, “Fine You, stay here until I come back. I won’t be long.”
Both men turned and ran off, leaving me alone. I smiled, it was about time.
I contemplated on what to do. I could stay and do what the guard said, or I could look around the castle, something I wasn’t permitted to do when a guard was with me. After ten minutes I began to wander, not really sure where I was going. I was in the north end of the castle, somewhere I hadn’t really had chance to see. Many armed knight armoured statues stood in the hallways and I could have sworn some had people in them. Ever since arriving I wondered why knights never had their wings out like the locals. Maybe their armour was too heavy for them to fly? As I made my way through, I caught a glimpse of a wooden door that was hidden behind a ruby curtain, just behind one of the statues. That was odd, why would a door be covered up? I got closer to it and found that I could fit through the gap. The door itself was already ajar, which was also peculiar. Who and why would someone come through here? I looked behind me, making sure no one was around.
“Perhaps I shouldn’t go in...” I mumbled to myself. After a few seconds I sighed and walked through the door.
Yet another corridor, I couldn’t see though, mainly due to the rapidly advancing darkness. I had to hold onto the walls in order to know where I was going. Seconds later and I could see the exit, light from the outside world peering through. The door creaked as I opened it. This door was also hidden by long, draped curtains which now blocked my exit. They were a few inches apart from the walls so I was able to fit through the gap without moving them. I paused and looked through a hole in the curtain, only to find that a throne was right in front of me. I was in the throne room? How did I get here? Doors opened, getting me to close the curtains and back away quietly.
“Elroy.” A woman greeted.
“Ah, lady Galadria, you sent for me?”
“Yes I did.” I could hear footsteps come from the front of the curtain. “You see, I want to have a talk about the girls you brought here.” That got my attention.
“Why? Is there a problem?”
“I’m afraid so. You see, the girls have been fine enough and haven’t caused any trouble.”
“I know that’s why-“
“But...” There was a pause before she carried on, finally walking away from the curtain and I guessed over to Elroy, “The threat they pose to my kingdom is another.”
“Threat? I don’t think I understand.”
“You know that it doesn’t matter where the girls go, the demons will follow. More and more of my scouts have told me that more demon spirits are being found in the shadows of the land, and that has only happened in the last two weeks, since you brought the girls here.”
“Just because the threat of the demons is getting worse does not mean that the girls are responsible for this.”
“Aren’t they? Elroy, you know the prophecy and you know that the demons are going to try everything to get them.”
“You forget that the prophecy is the only thing keeping the demons at bay and keeping us alive.”
“We don’t know that for sure, what we do know is that the demons know that they’re here and that it’ll only be an amount of time before they attack. I can’t put my people in harms way.”
“You would be putting your people in danger by suggesting this. Giving the girls up will only make the situation worse and give the enemy enough power to take over the city. You wouldn’t stand a chance.”
“Then what do you suppose I do? Hmm?”
“I suggest that we carry on the way we are now, keeping the girls here and as far away from the demons as possible, at least until we can figure out what we can do to stop them.”
“The prophecy doesn’t state-“
“The prophecy states that the girls and the amulet are the key. We know that much, and we know that we have to keep them safe.”
“Why do you defend these girls over your own people, Elroy?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“You care for the half breeds more than your own people. It doesn’t matter what I say, you’ll defend them. Why?”
“I promised an old friend that I would do everything to protect his family. That is what I intend to do.”
“Bah, you protect the girls because of an old dying man’s wish?”
“And why shouldn’t I?”
“Huh, the question you should be asking yourself is, at what cost? Is it worth risking your own race over this? You’re no fool, Elroy. You know we don’t have a chance against them. If we give the girls away, we will have enough time to evacuate the city, saving more lives. We could rebuild again, survive. Isn’t that what you want?”
“And what is to say that the demons won’t find you again? There are only so many planets you can colonise before they find you. Besides, they would be even more powerful, so again you won’t stand a chance.”
“We will survive... we always have and we always will.”
“No you won’t. You’ll just keep fleeing until you have nowhere else to turn. An old friend once told me that there comes a time when we all must fight, but is it better to go down with or without one? In the end as long as we have hope, we will prevail.”
“Hope? What can hope do?”
“You’d be surprised. It can turn the tide of a battle very quickly.”
She sighed. “You have faith in them?”
“Fine. The girls will be able to stay for now, but if the threat gets any worse... then I’m afraid I won’t be able to help you any longer and you will all have to leave.”
“I understand, but you must know that either way, I’m going to protect the girls, no matter what.”
“If the time comes, then I’ll make sure that you are miles away from the city and that the demons follow you and stay away from us.”
There was silence and I tried to peek through the curtain. However, all of a sudden I was held roughly by the shoulders and hauled forward.
“W-ow, what the-?”
“What’s the meaning of this interruption?” Galadria demanded. I looked up, both Elroy’s and Galadria’s faces full of shock.
“I uh can explain.” Elroy interrupted.
“You can?” I asked, but suddenly added, “He can! He definitely can! Yeah, tell them that... err thing you told me to do.”
“Yes that ‘thing’. I told Mia to uh...”
“I-I was looking for Nicole! We were playing a... uh game. Yeah, she was hiding and I had to find her. I came across an old door and thought that she would be there but she wasn’t. And that was when I was caught by...” I looked up at the man who had found me. He was wearing the exact same armour as the one who had guarded me before, but was slightly skinnier and taller. “This tall guy.” I muttered.
“You can ask Aidan and Logan as well! They were also playing with us, but I couldn’t find them so I gave up.” I knew the twins would probably defend me on this, but it would mean that I would owe them something later, probably something they’d never let me live down.
“Did you hear any of the discussion?”
“Discussion? No, sorry I was too busy trying to find Nicole. I didn’t hear anything.”
“Hmm, right. Well, it seems that your guard isn’t with you. Care to explain?”
“Yes, my guard... err... another came and told him that there was a fight outside the city and he went to go and help.”
“A fight? Why wasn’t I aware of this?”
The guard who held me shrugged, “I didn’t hear anything about a fight... ma’am.”
“Hmm, I will have to speak to the other guards about this. In the mean time it seems you’re without one.”
“Yeah... I guess I am.”
“You knight, what is your name?”
He paused for several seconds before replying, “Lai.”Lai?
“Well Lai, I am instructing you to now be this girl’s bodyguard. You will guard her day and night and make sure that she doesn’t go anywhere she isn’t authorised to. Is that clear.”
“Another guard? Really?” I found myself asking inadvertently.
“This one won’t leave your side. This makes sure that you are constantly guarded and that this little incident doesn’t happen again.”
“But can’t I have Elroy, or Daryl or Erie? Why do I have to have a guard?”
“I don’t need to answer you, half-breed. Get out of here, all three of you.” I sighed and walked out. Oh how I hated that woman.
We all exited the throne room and it was only then that the realisation that I had a full-time bodyguard really sunk in. I had a few minutes to myself when the guards changed shifts, but this one was going to be with me all the time.
“So you have to follow me around everywhere I go?” I asked him as we walked out.
He shrugged. “It appears so.” I was surprised to find that this guard had more personality than the others and that he actually spoke more, maybe he was new?
“Mia?” Elroy called from behind.
I turned around. “Yeah?”
“I need a word with you.” He looked over at Lai. “Alone, for a moment.”
“I’ll be here, just don’t go out of my sight.” Lai replied, leaning against the wall with his arms across his chest. This guard really was different from the others that had accompanied me. He was more laid back and relaxed. Why was that?
“My dear, what did you hear in there?” Elroy asked seriously.
He sighed, “Mia...”
“All I heard was that Galadria wanted us to leave and that there was some prophecy that was linked to me and Nicki. Ok, I heard all of it.”
Elroy put his fingers on the bridge of his nose and shook his head. “You shouldn’t have heard any of that.”
“I know, I’m sorry! I saw a door that was open and decided to go in it. I didn’t intend to go to the throne room. To be honest after what Galadria said I want to stay as far away from her as possible.”
“Hah, well that makes two of us.”
There was a slight pause. “Elroy? What prophecy were you two on about?”
“It isn’t important.”
“Please tell me. I need to know. It is important; I don’t know why you’re keeping me in the dark about all of this.”
“I’m keeping things from you to keep you safe.”
“Wouldn’t it be better to tell me so that I can keep myself safe? I need to know what I’m up against.”
“Alright. There is a prophecy. It was written just after Thaksinen’s defeat. In fact, it was written on the back of your amulet.”
“My necklace? Wait that’s not possible.” I took my necklace off and turned it on it’s back. “There’s no writing here.”
“My dear, we weren’t going to keep the prophecy in plain sight now were we? Here, hand it over.” I gave him the amulet. He put his palm onto the front and added pressure to several of the small stones it was decorated with. I was surprised to find that the stones began to click into place and that the back of the amulet slid off, hiding the text. “You see, we added another layer onto the amulet.”
“That’s pretty clever.”
“Hah, it is. Here, read it for yourself.”
I looked at the back of the amulet; the writing was engraved into the back. It read: ‘Blood was spilt across the land, leaving darkness to prevail. Evil now lurks within every shadow; housing monsters that are eternally hungry. A child will survive, abandoned and alone. Her heir will take her place, born with the gift of her race. A hungered soul strives for the fallen angel, needing what all demons crave to be able to reach it’s full power. The day will come when the final battle arises... and the future is left to the hands of fate.’
After reading it, I wasn’t sure what to say. A child will survive... my grandmother perhaps? A fallen angel... born with the gift of her race... Nicole wasn’t born with wings which only left... “Me?”
“I’m afraid so my dear.”
“But... but why me? I thought it was both Nicole and I. You said it was both of us!”
“I know, I know. For all we know it could still be Nicole. The prophecy never said that there would be two heirs, only the one. When you were born we weren’t sure what to think, or if either of you were going to be born with our abilities.”
“But I was. Why me?”
“We aren’t sure, nor are we sure that it isn’t the both of you. You see, you may have the abilities of an angel but you are both sisters, meaning that you are connected. Whatever the demons want is linked to the both of you. Why else would they try and kidnap the both of you? You are both important, though we aren’t sure why.”
“So... this demon is after us?”
“It seems that way, from the prophecy anyways.”
“Why? What does he want with us?”
“Who knows? Whatever it is, I won’t let him have it. You are safe here Mia, don’t worry.”
“From what Galadria said we aren’t going to stay here much longer.”
“The Queen says many things but she rarely means them. She’s trying to do what is best for her people and the demons have got everyone scared. She’ll come to her senses eventually.”
“Are you afraid of them?” I questioned.
“At times. I would be a fool to not be. Everyone is afraid of something, but sometimes it is good to be fearful, it proves that we are still who we are.”
“Yeah.” I smiled.
“And what about you Mia? Are you afraid?”
“Would it be bad to say that I’m completely terrified?” I joked, though deep down I meant it.
“No, I wouldn’t expect you to not be afraid, nor do I ever expect that to change. You’ll be fine.”
I smiled and looked back over at my new bodyguard who was still leaning against the wall patiently. “Do I really need him?”
“I’m afraid you have no choice. The man has been assigned to you by the Queen. He won’t leave your side.”
“Great.” I mumbled before making my way over to him. “Ok, we can... err... get going.”
“I’ve got some business to do within the city, I’ll meet with you soon to continue your flight training.” Elroy said.
“Alright. See you soon.”
Elroy left, leaving me with Lai. I began to make my way back through the castle corridors, Lai following behind.
“You’re close to that old man, aren’t you?” He asked.
“Yeah... I guess I am.”
“What were you both talking about?”
I looked at him suspiciously. “Err nothing.”
“You were both talking for a while, I doubt that it was nothing.”
“Well it was... just about personal stuff. You don’t really need to know.”
We carried on walking when I noticed Nicole walk by at the opposite end of the room.
“Nicki!” I called out, running over to her. She stopped and turned, Daryl was with her.
“What is it?”
“You’re not going to believe what I found out.”
“Why? What is it now?”
“I need to talk to you privately for a moment.”
“Seriously? It’s that bad?”
“Daryl, you wouldn’t mind would you?”
He shook his head, “No.”
I smiled. “Thanks.”
I dragged her off to a corner. “Ouch, alright what is it now?”
“Ok, I’ve found out that there’s this prophecy involving us and that’s why these demons are after us.”
She looked at me wide eyed for a moment before laughing. “Oh you really had me going there, alright now what is it?”
“I’m telling the truth!”
“Of course you are.”
“Here, look at this.” I took off my necklace and handed it to her.
“What is this?”
“Read the inscription on the back.”
“Fine but if this is a waste of time-“
“Just do it.” She huffed and began to read it, slowly coming to terms with what I said.
“The demons want us.”
“Well of course they do, haven’t we already figured this out? You know, when they kidnapped you?”
“Yes but now we know for sure.”
“So who’s after us?”
“I’m still not sure, but we have to be careful.”
“Well I could have told you that!”
“I was just telling you what I knew, you know keeping you up to date?”
“Yeah well thanks for telling me.” She said sarcastically.
“By the way, who’s that guard with you?”
“It’s a long story, but Galadria decided to make him my personal bodyguard.”
“It’s not funny.”
“It kind of is.”
“He has to go everywhere with you then?”
“Yeah. He’s different from the other guards though, but I’m not sure why.”
“Well at least you won’t get bored.”
We made our way back to the two men, but I immediately noticed that Daryl’s expression had changed. He didn’t take his eye off of Lai, as if he was suspicious. He also seemed to be on guard around him.
“Yeah?” He answered, still not taking his attention off of him.
“Is everything alright?”
“I’m not sure. Who is this?” He pointed to Lai.
Lai stretched out his hand. “Lai.” Lai stated simply.
Daryl didn’t make an attempt to shake his hand. “Lai...?”
“He’s my um full time guard.” I added.
“Full time guard?”
“It’s a long story, but yeah.”
“Maybe we should get going.” Nicole suggested.
“Yeah... sure.” I agreed. “Daryl, are you coming?”
He glanced from me to Lai. “No, I have to go do something. I’ll see you around.” He said before making his way in the opposite direction, not looking back. I stood in place, confused.
“What’s his problem? He was alright a few minutes ago.” Nicole commented from behind.
“I don’t know.” I gazed at Lai for a few moments before shrugging and walking off.