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Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Four


by christinetran

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Silence reigned in the darkness; I did not speak, or breathe, or think. I couldn't believe what I had just heard. "That's impossible..." I whispered incredulously. "Surely a mistake has occurred, Sir Barick."

     Sir Barick simply shook his head. "Everyone knows...and we all suspected many moons ago that Vevina would run off someday. She may look proud, and happy...but deep inside...she was torn. You could see it in her eyes. Her cold, red eyes...they spoke of a headstrong will that refused to be broken. Instead, they wished to break...and they eventually did..."

     I nodded absentmindedly in response to Sir Barick's statement. My stomach was in knots by now. Funny...I finally come home, only to be exposed to such a surprising event. I wondered how my father dealt with this fact. Hundreds of questions clung to my mind, and it confused me to no end. I didn't know where to begin...

     "Why are you back?" Sir Barick asked suddenly and interrupted my thoughts. "I've told you my story. Now you must repay the favor and tell me your tale."

     "To have my questions answered...mostly about you and your journey, " I whispered back.

     "Then ask your questions."

     "I have forgotten most of them...and they were useless, pointless. Mostly curiosity questions at that..."

     Sir Barick nodded understandingly before he pushed himself away from the wall and stood up. "You chose a bad time to come back, Princess," Sir Barick muttered, a hint of irritation clouded his voice. "You should've stayed where it was safe...with Hetal. We would've come for you after...but your presence ruined our plans..."

     "What are you talking about, Sir Barick?" I questioned and stood up as well. I kept one hand against the wall, though, for my eyes have not yet accustomed itself to the darkness.

     "I've been eavesdropping...leaving the castle walls occasionally, and traveling into the alleyways of the banished," Sir Barick whispered secretly. I felt his cold hand grip mines and began to lead me away from the wall. Reluctantly, I followed him. I did not know where he was leading me, though.

     "Sir Barick?" I hesitantly said, almost fearful of his answer.

     "The deathdealers...they are planning up an attack upon the castle. They are planning on taking over Erodaire," Sir Barick said to me. "I know. I've been in their headquarters. I've seen their blueprints. I've spoken to Vevina."

     I was silent. I did not know how to respond... I released my hand from his grip. "When shall the attack commence?" I asked quickly.

     "Today."

     "You must be joking, Sir Barick."

     "I do not joke, Andra. It is unsafe for you here. You must leave. My journal brought you here, and now my words will bid you leave. Go away. Come back when it's safe." Sir Barick grabbed my hand hastily once again and started to drag me through the darkness. "I shall lead you to a trapdoor that opens into a safe place. You shall conceal yourself there and wait 'til all is over."

     "But...no! I cannot leave! Not now, Barick!" I cried and tried to wrench his hand off of mines, but his grip was steel. "Let me go, Sir Barick! I refuse your offer!"

     "Don't be a fool, Andra. You can't save your Father. His fate is now in the hands of the deathdealers. He deserves what's coming to him."

     "No! It's not him, Barick! It's Oldraik. I've come back to apologize!"

     Sir Barick stopped in his tracks, and I felt his grip loosen around my hand. I heard him sigh softly, almost depressingly.

     "What's wrong, Barick? Did...did something happen to Oldraik?" I asked nervously.

     "No...it's not that, Andra. Nothing happened to Oldraik. He's safe. You needn't stay behind for him. Now we must go on; time is precious, as everyone says."

     "What happened to him?" I asked softly.

     "He left. He escaped. Now, let's go, Andra. We must not waste away in the darkness here any longer."

     "But how! How did he escape, Barick? Just tell me, and do not throw any of your tales in my face like before. Just tell me, straight out."

     "Vevina released him as well, all right?" Sir Barick nearly shouted back at me, his voice filled with irritation. "She offered him a deal; she would set him free if he were to join the DoE with her. Oldraik's free now."

     "What?" I whispered incredulously.

     "You heard me, Andra."

     I rested my forehead against my hand and closed my eyes tightly. My head felt like exploding after what I just heard. Vevina, Sir Barick, the Deathdealers...Oldraik...I leaned my back against the wall once more and collapsed on the floor.

     "This is so confusing...it's as if everything has changed since I left...everyone's so different...my home is so changed..." I whispered to myself. Pulling my knees towards my chin, I buried my face into my hands.

     "Do no weep, And-"

     "I am not weeping!" I cried back harshly at Sir Barick. "Leave me alone..."

     "Andra, I know that the news is incredibly surprising, but you do not need to act cruel and irrational," Sir Barick muttered.

     I was silent and refused to answer his words. My head was pounding with what I had just heard, and it echoed in my ears. I couldn't think of anything else.

     "I have to leave, Andra...it is not safe here anymore. The Deathdealers approach with every second," Sir Barick whispered urgently. "You must come with me."

     "Go away," I growled between clenched teeth. A fool he is...Sir Barick. Why did I ever come back anyhow? I could've stayed there...with Hetal and the rotting dust of the hallways. I could've stayed there and not abandon dear Hetal...I regretted ever coming back home. It has left a bitter taste in my mouth, and it has made my head spin. "Leave me!"

     "Andra, you are not serious. I cannot leave you here...you don't even know the way out, for your eyes are not adjusted to the darkness. My eyes are...I know where the exit lies."

     I ignored him and pressed my body closer against the wall. I felt cold, and goosebumps graced every inch of my skin. Oldraik...in the Deathdealers...I couldn't believe it. I still remembered our first meeting. He was trying to dethrone my father, and I caught him, thinking that he was part of the D.o.E. But I was proved wrong instantly, and it turns out that Oldraik is simply one of the many villagers who despise the King.

     Sighing heavily, I buried my face into my open hands once more. My Father...My King. His anger and tyrant fist never ceased to strike fear into many hearts...except mines. I've gotten so used to pretending that I do not fear him that it's a part of my life now. My life is an act...I pretend to be something I'm not, and thus, I always believe in what my character thinks, not what I think. What do I think? I closed my eyes and felt a few tears drop upon my palms...I felt so torn. Oldraik has left me for Vevina, and my father has banished me. I have forsaken Hetal, and Rune is simply a ghost. I cannot befriend a ghost...it is unlogical. But Sir Barick...

     "Sir Barick," I whispered, but the silent darkness was my only answer. I felt my throat choke up, and I whispered, "Sir Barick?" once more. No answer.

     He has left me in the dark...just like I told him to. I felt disgusted, and I hated myself at that moment. I always chase them off...I always do. It's not that I do it intentionally...it always seem to happen. A reaction, an eruption. I felt like screaming, of attacking something, or someone. I hated my father, I hated Oldraik, and I hated Vevina. I wished that I had never met any of them, and that I was still living my old life of shadows and fear. Why did I ever help Oldraik...

     "Pah...you fool..." I heard Rune's familiar saying resonate in my ear. He was a ghost...I shouldn't listen to him. I can't listen to him...I'm not supposed to even hear or be able to see him.

     "Go away, Rune," I said in a barely audible tone, but deep inside, I really wanted him to stay. Ghost or not, I needed company. I have always feared the solitude of darkness...

     "Andra..."

     I felt Rune's hand grab my shoulder, and he squeezed it comfortingly. I nodded slowly to indicate that I was listening.

     "They are coming...save him...save her...save Erodaire..."

     "What?" I asked perplexedly, and I looked up. I saw his deep eyes gaze into mine, and I could count every little wrinkle in his face. His mouth was set in a firm line, and his face was expressionless.

     "Save them, Andra," he whispered once more. I continued to gaze into his ghostly face as it started to fade away into the blackness...and then nothing was there.

     Slowly, I stood up and rested my back against the wall, my hands clenched tightly. I knew that I couldn't sit here forever.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Princess of Erodaire IV: Part One
» Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Two
» Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Three
» Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Five
» Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Six



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