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The Neopian Times Week 146 > Continuing Series > Princess of Erodaire II: Part Five

Princess of Erodaire II: Part Five

by christinetran

"What is the meaning of this?" he cried angrily and stared in bewilderment at Oldraik. Another surprising thought occurred to me at that exact moment; Oldraik was adorned in pure black clothing, the same clothing which the Deathdealers wore...

     "Father! He is not one of the Dea-" I started quickly before my father glared at me with eyes filled with fury.

     "You are the one who tried to assassinate me many weeks ago...the one who escaped..." my father whispered with struggling effort as he tried to contain his malice; he took a step closer to Oldraik. Oldraik just simply stood there, abashed and quite surprised. He nodded in reply to my father's question, obviously at a complete loss for words.

     My father took one glance at Oldraik, and then took a look at me standing ever so calmly next to him. I could clearly see the puzzle pieces fit itself together within his eyes, and I knew that all hope was lost.

     "You helped...you helped him to escape?" my father whispered at me, anguish in his tone. I looked at his face and quickly took note of the pain which lingered in his eyes...the pain of suffering and always being betrayed by all those who he loved the most. And I, the only one whom he now trust, betrayed him once more.

     "Father...I can explain..." I said softly and stepped towards him, but with a cry, he pushed me back.

     "Do not call me Father or any other type of fatherly name!" he cried at me. I saw glints of tears ebb out of his eyes. "You are no true daughter of mine," he whispered before he took flight and flew towards the direction of the castle.

     I felt my knees buckle before me when I heard those words as all thoughts flowed out of my mind. The only words which stayed within my head were the words which my father uttered, and the image of his heartbroken face continued to flash into my thoughts. I was torn by the fact that I tore apart the relationship between me and my father, and I was torn by the fact that I was the reason for my father's incredible pain. I hated myself because of that, and all I could do was just sit upon the dirt ground and despise all of my previous actions.

     "Andra..." Oldraik whispered as he kneeled down beside me. "Andra," he repeated again slowly, "I'm...I'm so sorry...it's all my fault..."

     "No, it's not, it's my fault," I whispered back to Oldraik and buried my head in my hands. The same image of my father's wounded face just wouldn't leave my head, and all I could do was sit there and allow it to haunt my mind. "All I wanted to do was be his loved daughter, and instead I just went off and broke the last of his trust."

     "You may have lost his truth, but you have gained mine's in the process," Oldraik said consolingly. "Stop pressuring yourself...it will only lead you to worse situations, Andra."

     I listened to Oldraik's comforting words with a deaf ear; My father meant everything to me, and gaining the trust of a stranger in exchange for his trust was a worthless deal in my eyes. "You may think that you're words are consoling, but they are barely whispers to me, Oldraik. There is nothing you can say that will ease my emotions..."

     "I may not understand the agony which you currently face, but there is one thing know for a fact," Oldraik said and took me by the shoulders. I took my face out of my hands and glanced at Oldraik's stern face. "You cannot live your entire life trying to desperately live up to your father's expectations, Andra...if you do, you're simply chasing a flame that shall never start, for that flame will always drench underneath your father's high standards. You are perfect the way you are, and you should stay that way. Do not underestimate your own abilities or compare them to other levels of perfection...you are flawless and finished. Don't change."

     "You are kind, Oldraik...too kind to a betrayer like me," I said back, allowing a smile to grace my features after I heard Oldraik's heartening words.

     "You did not betray your father, Andra. You just simply misplaced his trust for you in another place...talk to him...if he truly cares about you, he would listen," Oldraik said back with a grin. "I'll be waiting in the circular room for your return and your father's response; the window is open, I suppose?"

     "Yes, the window is open, Oldraik," I chuckled at this statement. "Thank you for everything, Oldraik."

     "Well, I'd do anything to help a friend," said Oldraik as he gave me a quick wink and flew off into the sky. The sun was just about to fall into the afternoon of the day, and it's rays illuminated Oldraik's body as he flew towards the castle looming in the distance. His black cloak fluttered behind him in ripples of black cloth, and soon his form disappeared behind floating clouds. With a sigh, I released my wings and jumped into the air; the feel of wind beneath my wings revitalized my once agonizing self, and I flew towards the castle with a hopeful heart. Surely, I thought to myself, my father would find it in his heart to forgive me...for I am his daughter, and the heiress to his kingdom...he shouldn't stay angry at me forever...

     As I drifted upon the air and enjoyed the gift of flying, my mind started to wander and it eventually brought me back to the time someone else betrayed my father...someone else who was extremely close to him.

     "Aletha," I whispered my mother's name quietly to myself as memories came flooding into my head. I was but a child when she left, and yet it still stands out in my mind, as clear as a diamond. Yet, some parts of her departure were still vague in my mind. The first thing which I remembered were loud noises...crashes and disquiet echoed out of my parents room, and I remembered quicky sitting up in bed as fear struck my heart. Soon, I heard the metal clangs of soldier armor as they rushed down the hallway; I heard voices, both familiar and strange...and then all was still.

     I was still sitting upright in my bed when my door burst open and my father rushed in. His eyes were glazed over with tears of both anger and hurt; his face showed signs of deep distress, but he still managed to keep a smile upon his face as he scooped me into my arms.

     "Your mother still loves you, My Andra," I whispered softly as I recalled the words which my father spoke into my ear that day. Tears stung at my eyes, and I brushed off both that and my memories; they were just too painful to live over again, even if it is just in the mind. I glanced up and noticed that I was getting closer to the castle already. Ahead of me, I saw the flying form of Oldraik as he lowered behind the great, brick walls and hid himself in a tree.

     "Thank you, Oldraik," I whispered to myself and continued to fly closer and closer towards the front door of the castle. The grey stones glinted dully in the sun's wavering light, both strong and formidable. The walls surrounding the castle were exact replica's of the fortress' sides, bordered on both sides by tall and towering trees. Green and grey...these were the only colors which were located within the wall's interior. The green of the grass, bushes, and trees lined up against the grey stones...these were the only colors....

     I closed my eyes, allowing the wind to pound into my lids and lowered myself to the front door. I took in a deep breath before I reached out with my hand and threw the front door open. The cool air within the castle met my skin already burned by the rays of the fiery sun, and I shivered at this sudden invasion. Taking in another deep breath, I walked into the castle, carefully closing the large door behind me.

     "Andra...is that you?" a sickeningly sweet voice asked. I shuddered, and looked up to meet the eyes of a Starry Draik...Lady Vevina.

     "Yes, Lady Vevina, what is it?" I asked back, forgetting the fact that she didn't address me with the proper title of 'Princess'. As I took a closer look at Lady Vevina with clearer eyes, I noticed that she was gripping a white Draik plushie in her arms...my white Draik plushie...

     "I heard about what happened," Lady Vevina said back, her eyes twinkling with delight. "You pained your father so much, you know, Andra..."

     "Release my item; it does not belong to you," I growled menacingly at Lady Vevina. "Unhand my white Draik plushie."

     "Oh, this little thing?" Lady Vevina said back as a sinister smile crossed her face. "Why, it's so small and insignificant? Why do you love it so?"

     "It's...it has sentimental value," I stuttered nervously. "Why are you so interested in it?"

     "Because," Lady Vevina started off, her eyes glinting at me with her hidden secrets. "It reminds me of that chain about your neck...when did you get it, and why is it so important to you?"

     "What are you saying? Quit talking in questions, and tell me your answers," I said quickly as rage surged into my head.

     "I knew it...I always knew that you were the culprit who aided the escape of the Draik...and I've been desperately trying to reveal this truth to my dear Uncle Alastare, but it seemed as if you took that painful task away from me," Lady Vevina said happily, stars about in her eyes.

     These words sent pangs of guilt into my mind, and another image of my father's melancholy form flashed into my mind. I held back the tears which threatened to stain my face, but the agony upon my soul was already revealing itself.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Princess of Erodaire II: Part One

Princess of Erodaire II: Part Two

Princess of Erodaire II: Part Three

Princess of Erodaire II: Part Four

Princess of Erodaire II: Part Six


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