Still Breathing

" I closed the book, and laid my head on my hands. How can it be, that I’m knowing of this world? Of Adrian? " - Rachael

It's easier just reading first chapter and decide if you like this story or not ;) And i'm sorry about the grammar(i'm working on it :)

Link to the next in the series: http://www.movellas.com/da/story/201401122252099906-holding-my-breath :D

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21. A Dark day

When I got home, Silencia was having some friends over. I quickly hidden my cape, but I hadn’t changed the dress before they walked out from her room. Silencia ran to me, and swung both arms around me. “Missed you!” she declared happily. I laughed “You too”. She stopped hugging me, and I noticed the two girls – at her age – staring at me. One was a little taller than Silencia with beautiful long green hair and blue eyes. The other one had brown hair, with a book stuck in her hand – even though that hand was hanging down the side of her body.

“We’re going to the movies” Silencia said “You can come with u-“ The girls behind her looked just as begging as Silencia did. I took a deep breath. “Thank you, but I have some homework to do, so I don’t get to slow in school” then I hugged her, and asked if it was alright I cooked some dinner for myself – from what was available. She said mom wasn’t going to come home today, so of course I could. And then the all started putting outdoor clothes on. Huh… I ran to my room, found some money I had taking out of my account. I ran to them and laid the money in Silencia’s hand. “Buy whatever you like to” I said, and tried to ignore the outburst from the other girls “Wauw!” And “OH MY GOD!”

Silencia hugged me and said thank you. Then they took off, and I was left alone in the house. I searched through the cabinets and found some meat in the fridge. After a lot of time, I had made a beef with potatoes and béarnaise sauce. Then the doorbell rang.

 

An hour earlier…Adrian tells…

“How long can you hold of the king?” Chris noticed “He wants her, and he’ll get her” Chris was looking bored as hell, while reading the book. I sighed. People always end up in the kings hands, if he wants them. If I told her now – maybe she would have time to prepare herself. Mom was agreeing with me – it’s better to wait for her to regain full health, before telling her anything. Dad is like Chris – better tell her now, and get it over with.

“How bad can it be?” Chris noticed “Last time she was here – she didn’t act like a dark lighter, so I’m sure she won’t be marked” I wanted to punch him.

“Adrian is right” mom said “You don’t have to act like a dark lighter to be marked. It’s enough that your parents are dark lighters”. Chris looked confused up from his book, and as mom who was half asleep on the couch.

“That doesn’t seem fair” he noticed.

I laughed. Of course not! The kingdom is cruel towards dark lighters, it’s like a warning – if you become a dark lighter, you children will be too, and then… they’ll forever be.

“It isn’t” Mom said “As long as she don’t attack random people, and stay as low as possible, there’s a bigger chance for her”.

I nodded, it’s my turn to patrol the area around the forest. I put the jacket on and walked out the door. After the meeting I discovered something – the ‘prince’, goldilocks, wasn’t allowed to leave Amalion anymore. Apparently he is going through the training for becoming the next king. I guess it’s hard for him not to leave the kingdom isn’t it?

 

Jaime tells…

I took a deep breath and laid down on my bed. I want to leave this place. I want to warn her. The girl I saved – how can she ever be evil? I didn’t see anything evil about her. Just an unlucky girl, out in the woods. Dad is preparing like a maniac – he’s reading through all the laws of the kingdom, to make sure he has a right to judge her. The Tennant of the different parts of the castles are told to make their soldiers ready for ‘full’ protection.

So there’s going to be a guard at every door, to every room, house and gateway. Only because she’s the darkest lighters daughter. I got up from the bed and walked to the window. The sun is falling quickly in the horizon. People in the kingdom are worried for what is going on in here. Dad hadn’t told anyone the plans of inviting the darkest lighters daughter to ‘mark’ her. When he even told the water lighter Adrian to get her, he also told Adrian ‘it’s just to check if she’s evil like her parents’.

I checked some of her background – by bribing some people – and it turns out she has been hunted by birth. Both her parents aren’t mark either. Her mother – Tricia? – is apparently married to the dark lighter, but has never been marked herself, since she ‘never carried out any dark action’. A guard – three times my age – told me that dad hunted my girl even before she was born. The law says that you have to have two dark parents to be marked yourself. If you have to normal parents then you’re mark as that. So when the news of an ‘outsider’ was going to be born, everyone started looking for the couple. They all wanted to kill the baby, only because they didn’t want to answer the question of ‘what is it?’. I climbed onto the window and sat there. As the news grew around Amalion, people from the other worlds learn about her too. Dark lighters and other creatures started to swear to protect the child with their lives if necessary.

“IT NEEDS TO HAVE A CHANCE!”. The guard told me, an old woman yelled. “IT’S ONLY A BABY! LEAVE IT ALONE!”.

Then she was born and taking into hiding for her own protection. I found an old report of the only lighter that ever saw her completely for more than a few seconds.

I was patrolling my area, when I could feel someone touching a little pond. The dna didn’t register as anything known, so I travelled to the pond and a little girl was standing there. She didn’t seem dangerous, just curious.

“Are you a water lighter?” she asked. He voice was beautiful and she was standing in a little summer-dress. I looked behind her to see we were surrounded by trees, behind her a big mark of different color flowers were resting, and behind that… a giant house was displaying. I noticed the guards at the doors, but they couldn’t see me.

“Yes” I answered her “and who are you?”

“I’m Rachael” she said. The name didn’t say me anything at the time, I guessed she had to be some rich lighters daughter. She didn’t seem afraid of me, and she just sat down.

“Why where you touching the water?” I asked. I hadn’t felt a full body, only the little finger.

“Because I wanted too” but then she put her finger to her mouth. “but don’t tell dad – he says I’m not allowed too”. And then I guessed I had run into a dark lighter family. Normal lighters don’t often touch the water, but they are allowed too. Dark lighters keep away from it, because they know we can find them.

“What are you?” I asked – I tried smiling to not scare her.

“I’m a wind lighter! And a fe-ri-ke” she was playing with the last word. I knew what was coming, I’ll get back and report it, and a bunch of people would storm the house and try to kill anyone in it. The little girl seemed harmless, and I didn’t want to let it happen to her, so I tried convincing her to leave with me – but she wouldn’t even jump in the water. Then a call from a woman “RACHAEL; where are you?” made her run back to the house. After that he left the pond, checked it different times, and after a week they stormed the place.

The only mentioning of her in the reports after was “I swung my knife in the air, and hit the arm of a little person. Before any blood had fallen to the floor, I could see the wound was gone. I tried running after the person, but as I came around the corner, the person was gone. Some had seen the whole body of her, but they hadn’t killed her – they didn’t realize she was the target.

“She could disappear, I was staring into her confused eyes, when she just disappeared”. People where both afraid and curious about her. So nobody would ever leave her alone. They escaped the house and found a new one. I got a report saying that the ‘white-lighter Tricia” promised to give the location of the dark lighters, if she would no-longer be hunted. Even there they escaped from the guard. I guess ‘Tricia’ left the home.

I can’t even send a guard to warn her. He would kill her, the second he sees her.

I got up and walked to the door. I need to do something – anything! It’s impossible for me, to just sit here, while the whole kingdom prepares to mark her.

“Jaime!” A hand from a side corridor got my arm and pulled me to the side.

“The old seeker want to talk to you” Fria said, then she left. I bit my tongue. Usually the old seeker only contacts people when it’s important. Damn it! I changed my direction and headed down the basement. It was dusty and old. I looked into her eyes, and sat down. “Fria said you wanted to talk to me?”

“Don’t worry child” she said. She smiled to me, through her wrinkles and happy eyes. “The love you have will be fine. Don’t interfere”

“What are you talking about?” I asked confused and leaned close.

“The Katena will not bow for the king” she said “But the king will neither bow for her” The Katena? I took a deep breath, she’s so old, her mind are filled with predictions, and it always have been. If you’re smart you listen to her words, and try to figure out what she’s talking about.

“What? Who are the Katena?” I asked. She smiled softly to me, before yawning. “The answer will be found in books. But the Katena will rise, and do the duty the universe have planned for her”

“Rachael – will she be alright?” I tried “Will she survive?”.

The old lady’s smile disappeared and she shrug her head. “I’m sorry not, my child, death is in a hurry after the soul, before it will be forever lost from him”

I sighed, that’s a clear out no. “Thank you” I said, then I started walking towards the library. I tried asking the librarian first.

“Does Katena say you anything?” I asked. He got all pale and stared shrugging his shoulders. So it does.

“It’s okay, I won’t tell anyone” I said “I’m just after information-“

He took a deep breath and leaned forward.

“The Katena is the name of the first female descendant from Natrona” he said “And… and” he couldn’t speak more. He took a book from under the table – the forbidden books section – and handed it to me. “You didn’t get it from me” then he sat down and I ran to my room, while hiding the book in my cape. I went to the desk.

First there was a picture of Natrona’s descendant’s-line. Almost everyone was boys. Until the end, where a girl was hiding.

“The Katena” it was saying underneath. So the Katena is a girl – without questions – The first chapter was about the Natrona and how he messed up in the gods’ world. Then the next was about the ‘goals’ of the descendants, and how they messed things up. The fourth was the only one beginning to explain something. “When the kingdom is in need of help, the gods and universe play together and find a solution. No one ever figured out why – but apparently the solution can only display itself in the Natrona line. Therefor the Katena is called Katena. The middle name of Natrona was the name Katena, now giving to solutions of the problems”. So – if they’re so good, then why is it forbidden to read this book? I read on.

The first Katena – Which name was Vivre – was a girl. Like any other descendent from Natrona she was taking care for. She was teached by different people than the kingdom, to make her see its faults. She was hunted by every last person in the kingdom, since the king at that time – called Cyniac – was afraid of getting thrown of the throne by the Katena. As the only person in the kingdom, she refused to bow. When she a day was caught – or surrendered herself – she was taking into a marking. When he told her to bow – she refused with the words. “I don’t bow, for the ones that lays me in chains”. The king was too afraid of her, to let her walk freely, and the marking had to begin with the bow of the person charged. So he threw her in jail, waiting for her to either die – of starvation – or to bow for him. She did neither. Every night a citizen of the kingdom threw some bread through her window so she never starved. She was sixteen when captured – even though her parents tried getting her out, she never did, not by escaping. After two years of sitting in jail, the king visit her in her cell, only to see her as healthy as always. She didn’t reply when he talked, she didn’t even look him in the eyes. People thought she might have gone insane – but they were so very wrong. In two years she had practiced her magic in the dark cell, making her so much stronger than the king. He discovered their ways of getting food in her, and moved her to a lower cell – without windows. Even that didn’t kill her, it only made her so much more worth for the people. While she was trapped in the lowest cells without any sunlight, the citizens of Amalion was protesting against the treatment of the young girl. People were questioning the meaning of this, and started to see the punishments in new light. Even though they knew this treatment wasn’t new, they couldn’t stand to let it happen to her. The people loved her, and wanted to make her their queen – all because she refused to bow. In fright the king brought her up, and she wasn’t marked as dark lighter. Since they had no background on her – to tell her she was. She calmed the people down, she made them rethink the punishment, and made them be better persons. Even though this was good for the kingdom – suddenly a night a person slipped her throat.

I smiled for myself. I guess I know why Natrona’s descendant is the reason the riot started. Only such lighters can see through such chaos.

 I bit my lip. I had forgotten everything about Rachael. How can I be sitting here, reading, with her being persecuted like that? In the darkness I walked silently to my horse and road to the gateway. Three guards was standing in front of it. They know I’m not allowed to go out. I need to see her. Not just see her – I need to warn her.

 

Adrian tells…

I can see her street from here. Mom and dad wouldn’t mind if I just left the route for a second – would they?

I started walking towards her house.

 

Now…. Rachael tells…

“You shouldn’t have answered the door” the voice said. My head had hit the wall hard, my body could hardly move.

“You should be smarter than that when you’re being hunted”.

I started to raise my hand towards him, black clothes and cowboy hat.

“The poison won’t last long” I said.

He laughed. “Isn’t it interesting that ferike lighters bodies are so dependent on their magic? From a simple hard beat to growing new arms”. He walked to me, and stomped my hand down, while making twenty crack sounds from my hand.

My breathing became harder. This won’t kill me. This will only torture me. He doesn’t know, but I’m sure the person who sent him did.

 

Adrian tells…

I walked up the street. Something is wrong! The door to the house is open! I started running, all the light on the street is gone. What is happening?

I stopped at the entrance and hid at the wall.

“You can scream all you want girl” a man said “I’ll just crush your chin, and then your neck, then your feet, and then your other hand. So just start screaming girl”

He laughed, and I could hear someone heavily breathe.

“I don’t” she said “feed the ones who lives on the last screams of others – I would rather die”

“And die you shall” the man said. I took a quick look. Rachael was laying up the wall, her right hand to the side, blood running to the floor.

“Tell me” Rachael started “How is it, to be so dark… that you can’t even look into your own eyes?”

He got up and kicked her. Her head moved to the ground. So she can’t move?

“Tell me who you work for” she said “You don’t personally have something against me, do you?”

“The name of the mistress may never be spoken” he said. I bit my lip and looked down. I aren’t prepared for a battle right now.

But I can’t leave her here, she’ll be killed.

“You know – “Rachel’s voice got me looking. “Your mistress only gave you enough poison to make me stunned for a few hours”. He laughed. “You wouldn’t know that!”

Okay – so she will be alright. Now I just need to kill him somehow. I looked at him, and felt the knife in my hand. I can’t hit him in the hearth, neck or head. But I can damage him. I threw a knife, and it hit him in the shoulder. He took his knife and we started fighting. At last I was on top of him, and jacked the knife down in his heart.

“Th-“ she started, then her eyes closed.

 

Jaime tells…

I have found it! I could see her in the doorway, but before I even had a chance to go out of the forest, a familiar face appeared.

“Thank you” she said, and then she leaned forward and they kissed. The water Lighter Adrian and my girl. She isn’t mine so much though.

“Will you be alright?” he said, while carefully looking at the wound in her head.

“I have tried worse, don’t worry” she said “If it starts bleeding again, I’ll go home and Jere will heal me”.

He just nodded and then they kissed again. “I need to go back to my patrol” he said. She nodded and closed the door behind him. Adrian started walking along the forest. Of course Adrian can’t put these details in his reports – saving her would be unforgiveable for dad, kissing her would be worse. I bit my lip and looked at the house. It seems like Adrian is taking care of her at the moment… she don’t need me then. Slowly with the horse by my side I started travelling back to Amalion. I can’t believe I’m such a fool… to think there won’t be someone to take care of her… to love her.

To… kiss her. Adrian probably already warned her about dad. Why didn’t I think about that? As I walked I started to smile. But they can’t stay together. If not – because of the laws – then because of their differences. Sooner or later they’ll go separate ways, and maybe hers would be mine.

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