"Andra...you may have noticed that I do not address you
as 'Princess Andra'..." Lady Vevina said triumphantly when she saw the pained
look upon my features. "Well, in Erodaire, it is a tradition, I believe, to
treat banished princesses as any other figure upon the face of Neopia..."
"What? Banished? When?" I questioned and took
a step towards Lady Vevina. "You're lying...do not poison me with your words,
Lady Vevina, or I swear I will-"
"What? Send that fool of a Draik assassin after
me? Hah, well, you know that the penalty of threatening a princes-"
"You are not a princess!" I cried, but I felt
my knees buckle before me. "And I am not banished...everything which you utter
Lady Vevina smiled down upon my broken form,
and she approached me, her deadly gaze filled with hatred and pride. "Did you
not hear, Lady Andra?" she whispered horridly into my ear. "I've been dubbed
the Princess Vevina of Erodaire...and you are to be sent to Summer Castle..."
These words, although whispered, were pounding
into my ears. I dropped onto my knees and buried my face into my hands, shaking
my head mournfully from side to side. I did not want to believe these words...
"Do not weep, Lady Andra, the Summer Castle isn't
that awful," Lady Vevina said at fallen form, but I ignored her words.
"Only the king is able to declare these rulings...my
father wouldn't do this to me...he wouldn't..." I whispered to myself as my
arms started to shake in torment.
"Ha! I hate to be the one to break the news to
you, my dear sweet Lady, but..." Lady Vevina started with a chuckle in her tone,
"King Alastare, my dear, dear Uncle, did declare these proclamations...and his
words are final..."
"Liar!" I cried before I jumped up and started
running towards the doorway into the west corridor. Although I knew that the
words uttered by Lady Vevina were unbelievable and hard to accept, I knew that
they shall most likely hold ounces of truth in each letter. I hated that fact,
but what I hated even more was how my father would just ban me from his kingdom
so quickly...so mercilessly. It was then that I finally understood that the
coldness which gripped his heart was endless.
I dashed through the hallways towards my only
consolance in the entire depths of Neopia, all thought echoed out of my mind.
The only thing which lingered in my fragile body were the stinging blades of
the betrayal that I had placed upon my father, and the betrayal that he has
now placed upon my shoulders. The sun shone like fire outside, lighting up the
pure white hallways in deep red, staining my skin with it's evil color. All
mirth had echoed out of my life in one moment, and with a cry, I turned a corner
and stared ran straight towards the only place in Erodaire that I wished to
"Andra!" Oldraik cried, and I found myself falling
into his arms, my eyes stained with dry tears and my face filled with indescribable
feelings of inner-torture. "Andra," he whispered as he held my face in his hands,
"My father...he...he banished me," I cried and
pushed Oldraik away, falling onto the soft cushions that lay behind his form.
I opened my eyes and discovered the familiar windows of the circular room which
I both cherished and loved. The same red sun shone in through the windows, but
it was calmer now, as if it's ferocity had dimmed; unfortunately, the fierce
pangs of pain that plagued me were as strong as ever. I gave out another cry
as my eyes swiveled around the room; I realized that I would not be able to
stay in this place any longer, for I was being sent away to the Summer Castle.
"Andra...banished? When did he say this?" Oldraik
said as he sat down beside me, his hand resting reassuringly upon my shoulder.
His once comforting and understanding eyes now held only the depth and secrecy
of his life, but I still found myself trusting this companion-turned-assassin.
"You are just joking, right?" he said in confusion.
"I wish I was, Oldraik," I whispered back to
him. "But..." I broke off in mid-sentence, for I did not know what to say.
A consoling look appeared on Oldraik's features,
but I also noticed that a hint of doubt shadowing his face. "Don't worry, Andra,"
Oldraik said awkwardly, "I'm sure that the Summer Castle isn't that ba-"
"No...it's not that, Oldraik...it's not about
the castle..." I said back in an unnecessary dramatic voice. I looked Oldraik
straight in the eyes, almost as if I was trying to see into his secretive depths.
"This is the first time that I've ever been banished...the first time my father
was ever...disappointed. Do you know what banishment means?"
"When you are not to appear in His Majesty's
sight?" Oldraik said uncertainly back.
"Yes...and no. Banishment means that...it means
that he does not care for me...or love me...it means that he is so disgusted
with my appearance that he has ordered my removal from his kingdom so that he
will never have to lay his eyes upon me again," I said, clenching my fists tightly
together. Threatening tears hinted at the corners of my eye, but I quickly blinked
them away. "I...it hurts...knowing that...knowing that a father would actually
do this to one whom he used to love so much..."
"Andra..." Oldraik said comfortingly, "it's not
your fault...it's never your fault..."
But I ignored his words. I knew that Oldraik
meant for the best, but I was not assuaged by his soothing words. Too much damage
had already inflicted itself upon my heart, and the pain continued to pinch
and pierce and tear at my very innards until I was filled with torment. I was
suffering inside, and I hated that feeling. My shoulders were shaking slightly,
and I looked at Oldraik once more. His deep, red eyes were comforting, and so
was the shadowy colors of his skin. Now that I stare at him, looking deep in
his gaze, I saw the understanding which brought me to befriend him in the beginning...the
"It is not my fault..." I whispered to myself
and stood up shakily, the red sun still continuing to shower it's rays through
the windows. "It is not my fault..."
"There ya go," Oldraik cried out in pure happiness,
his hand patted me comfortingly upon the back. "Just keep saying that, it might
help, you know."
I ignored this statement. It was the events of
the past were taking place before my eyes once more, but this time, it was with
a new understanding. My mind flashed through images of my father, Sir Barick,
Lady Vevina, and the Deathdealers, but all of this were minute when compared
to someone else. Someone else whom I could and couldn't trust at the same time...
"It's your fault..." I whispered so that Oldraik
will not be able to hear these words. I shut my eyes, stopping the flow of tears,
for it nearly blinded my sight. With my left hand, I reached over to the sash
about my waist and withdrew my dagger.
"It's your fault..." I said out loud and quickly
turned around. A cry followed my sudden movement, and I soon found myself standing
over the fallen figure of Oldraik. His eyes were wide with shock, and his hands
were pinned down near his body. Along his neck lay the blade of my dagger, which
I held with a firm and unmoving grip. "It's your fault..." I said once again.
"Andra...what are you doing?" Oldraik cried in
surprise, carefully trying to avoid the deadly side of the dagger that lay dangerously
close to his flesh. He blinked back the confusion in his eyes as a look of bewilderment
slowly started to substitute it's place.
"It all started with you," I whispered at him.
"Because I helped you, I lost my father...and that is not worth it...you are
not worth it."
"But...Andra...you cannot seriously beli-"
"Do not make it harder than it already is, Oldraik,"
I said back and felt my hands shake with the emotions running through my head.
"You are my friend, yes, and one of the most wonderful friends I've ever had...you
were my only companion, Oldraik...and I cherish that feeling...but...if having
you as a friend means that I should be looked down upon in my father's eyes...that
is not worth it...you are not worth it..." I blinked away the tears which I
felt approaching. "I'm sorry..."
"Andra..." Oldraik said uncertainly as the fear
in his eyes subsided. In seconds, his entire face relaxed into the comforting
gaze that I have grown used to and become quite fond of, and a look of understanding
settled upon him. "Fine..." he finally said, all signs of emotions gone from
his voice. "Do what you have to do to gain your father's love...but remember,
a tyrant's love is always fake..."
Uncertainly planted itself firmly into my mind
as I debated over whether I was doing the right or wrong thing. I had always
known about the method of listing the pro's and con's of two different things
to be able to make a choice, but this procedure was something that I knew I
shouldn't count on now. I looked into Oldraik's calm eyes once more before I
made my final decision.
"Guards!" I shouted, flinging away the doubt
in my head. Sounds of chain and metal began to clang along the hallways in seconds,
but Oldraik continued to keep a calm persona about him. If it weren't for the
bulky soldiers quick response, I would've released Oldraik immediately. Unfortunately,
though, the guards of Erodaire were trained with quick reflexes and obedience,
so I barely had time to think about releasing Oldraik before regally-clad soldiers
stopped at my side. I still held the blade against Oldraik's neck, but this
time, my grip wasn't as strong, and I felt incredibly idiotic as I watched the
soldiers grab Oldraik and throw chains about his hands.
"What is it, Lady Andra?" one of the guards asked
and looked down at Oldraik. "What has he done?"
"This Draik here," I said in a wavering voice,
"escaped from the dungeons many weeks ago..." I felt my voice drift off as I
was not able to complete the sentence. I placed my blade into my sash once more,
turning away as the guards started to drag Oldraik away.
My eyes were turned away from the scene, but
I unconsciously noticed that my hand was upon the silver chain on my neck. Tears
fell upon my cheeks, and I made no effort to remove them as I listened to the
guards footsteps slowly take Oldraik away from me once more. With jerky movements,
my hand reached up and grasped the chain in a firm grip before I tore it from
"Goodbye, Oldraik," I whispered and threw it
out the open window. My eyes lingered upon the dark lawn, staring absently at
the place where the chain fell from. My heart was beating against my chest,
making it hard to breathe...but I did breathe even though I wished I could stop
each gulp of air that entered my lungs. Torment prodded me once more, laughing
and jeering at me, almost as if they were trying to force some sort of regret
out of my deepest recesses. What they did not know, though, was that I did not
regret it, and no regret plagued my mind when I reached out my hand and closed
the window for good.