"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
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...