Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Four
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
"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
"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,
"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
"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
"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...
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
"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...