Holding My Breath

This is the second movella in the series, to read the first one go to: http://www.movellas.com/da/story/201309151613030721-still-breathing :D Sorry about the bad grammar! :D Hope you enjoy


11. A war between nobles

The guard during the night told me she hadn’t slept. She had walked back and forth, restless more than ever. I guess it was the taste of freedom yesterday. I took a glance inside the cell. She walked back and forth like he had told me. “Is everything alright?” I asked her. She didn’t answer me, but I could see her mumble for herself. Is she crazy? “Rachael, are you okay?” I repeated. She didn’t answer me. I took a deep breath and called for another guard. “Give the king this message,” I had written a note about her strange behavior this morning and night. He walked away with hasty steps before Adrian came with her breakfast. “Sure you want to get in there?” I asked, he looked confused at her. “Rachael, are you okay?” For the first time she looked up and smiled. “I’m fine, don’t worry about it”. Then she kept on walking. “You look upset” he noticed “And you’re mumbling with yourself”. She laughed out loud like a maniac. “Well sometimes you have to talk with a clever persons don’t you?” Then she sighed. “Sorry, some news I got during the night, may have upset me a tiny bit”. I opened up the door for him, since he insisted on getting in. I could hear his attempts to get her to tell her what made her so upset. The guard told me that no one had visit her, so how did she get any news? “It’s time,” a guard told me. I looked inside again, she was talking with Adrian, but not about what made her upset. “It’s time” Adrian came out before her. “Are you sure it’s safe?” I asked him. He shrugged his shoulders, and we got her out. We walked to the gate, and she didn’t hesitate when she said “Open the gate”. We opened them up, and for the first time, she didn’t just walk perfectively on a straight line, but she walked aggressively. People looked shocked when we finally reached the Jem. She did a bow that looked more forced than ever. Even the king looked surprised. “I heard that you was in a strange mood today” he noticed “but I didn’t think it would be so easy to see”. “I already told you I have problems controlling my temper,” She answered back without looking at the king. “Anything you would like to tell the rest of us about?” the king asked. He looked confused. I guess most of us are. “No” she answered. Then she turned towards the nobles. “But I would like to hold a meeting after this day”. “You are not authorized- “ The king started. Rachael started laughing. “Actually” a voice from the nobles seats spoke up “This matter is a noble conflict, and have to be solved as soon as possible. As a free noble I authorize it” Then you could hear the sound of one sitting down. The king looked offended. After that Rachael seemed at peace. For now. The rest of the day, the king seemed like he tried to provoke her, but nothing worked. It was as if he tried shooting her with his magic, but kept missing without her even trying to avoid them. “Tomorrow” the king said at last “You will compete in the yearly tournament”. For the first time she looked confused. “Yearly tournament?” “You know.. What we hold every year?” the king noticed. Then he looked shocked at her. “You don’t know anything about it, do you?” I took a glance at her. She looks like a person who likes to compete. Perhaps nobody told her, afraid that she would sneak off to compete. He sighed. “Adrian, please explain our guest what it is during tonight” Adrian nodded. The marking was ended for today so everyone but the nobles and her was leaving. Adrian tried staying also, but she threw both the guards and him out saying “This is a noble matter, sorry” with that we sat and waited. Once in a while you could hear high voices, but nothing they said made sense. We could hear fighting at one point, and Adrian tried opening the door, but it was locked too good. When she got out, – finally – blood was running down her cheek, a bunch of capes – probable the nobles - ran out with her, they went each their way. “Are you coming?” she asked us. We followed her down to the cell. Adrian tried again and again to tell her what had happened behind the doors but she just said. “Noble stuff, sorry”. Rachael tells… I closed the door behind them and locked it good. I turned around. Gerimon, Verimon, Julia, Mira, Qan, Androsali, Mist, Dean, Cyanite, Xavier, Simone, and Melissa. All standing and looking at me in their fancy capes and their perfect sat hair. “You have to tell us more about this” Gerimon said. “As I left my dad, I asked Jeremy to watch over my little sister” I noticed “Not only have someone stalked her, but yesterday one send in a creep”. They stared at me with wide eyes. “And you are sure Androsali was the one to send it?” Melissa asked me. I nodded. “Before Jeremy killed it he went through its mind. Androsali is its master”. Androsali didn’t look convinced or scared. “Androsali-“Verimon turned around looking at her irritated “You can’t just attack a noble family!” “She aren’t a noble” Androsali noticed, “That little girl is barely magical. She is the result of a woman married into a noble family and a warlock. The pestilence said it herself!” I walked closer to her. “She may not be magical, but that doesn’t justify an attack on her!” Androsali looked irritated. “Like you even care. It’s not like it’s a real part of your family, you are just out to get me” Verimon and Gerimon both looked irritated at Androsali. “Not everything is about you Androsali” Simone noticed “It’s a dirty trick to attack her family when she is on her marking”. Dean sighed out loud, but then smiled. “Why can’t the two of you just get a long?” “Because she is such – such a…!” Androsali started. I laughed out loud. “You are just mad because I beat your son in fight, and refused to engage myself with him”. Androsali got angry, and opened her hand to shoot a ball towards me. Dean and Gerimon got in the way and forced the hand down. Xavier, Qan and Dean was all starring as us. Mira, Mist and Cyanite was discussing rapidly. Simone took her arms around my arm and started talking to me to get my temper to relax a bit. “You cheated” Androsali said. “HOW COULD I CHEAT IN A DEATH MATCH? I DIDN’T KILL HIM! IS THAT YOUR PROBLEM?” She stared into my eyes. “YOU STOPPED THE MATCH TO EARLY; HE HAD A CHANCE TO WIN OVER YOU!” I started laughing. “I had his heart in my hand, he was laying on the ground, barely conscious” Melissa started laughing over Androsali facial expression. I sneaked out of Simones arms and started running around in the room with Androsali following me with a knife. She barely hit me in the face, when I gave her a kick that made her hit the gate with a big boom. Simone came running. “Are you okay?” she started looking over the room. “Barely scratched!”. Barely bleeding too. “I’m fine” I said. We walked down to Androsali. She was holding around her stomach, I could see tears coming out of her eyes. “You had no right to use that knife on me” I noticed “So I guess this will do as revenge for now” Verimon smiled. “Let’s say it’s it for now okay? I don’t want you two ending up killing each other!” Simone nodded agreeing. I bit my lip. “Fine, for now this is it”. Androsali looked at me confused for a second, then she took her hand out and I took it. “But if you ever try to hurt my little sister again, I will kill you”. The others looked at me, but then Gerimon smiled. “You Natrona’s and your family issues”. I ignored them and walked towards the door. “See you tomorrow”. “Hope you DIE” Androsali yelled after me. “You too” I answered back. I opened the gate and saw them with their capes on, covering their faces, running in each direction like scared mice. I should have declared war. Dad have always told me it shuts her up. She knows our army is bigger than hers. More trained and loyal also. “Are you coming?” Not the guards or Adrian was accompanying me to the cells. They got their feet running, and in no time were they beside me. I could feel Adrian’s eyes on me. I know he is curious. But sometimes these things aren’t supposed to be spoken of. We decided years ago – long before I was born – that the nobles no matter what has to look like a sturdy force, unable to keep us a part. But it aren’t always like this. We fight, we argue, we disagree. But we do help each other, split the work and take care of each other. Like Simone. She is a year younger than me, a pure water lighter, she always is so… protecting around us. Gerimon once told me she was a big fan of me. “She doesn’t stop talking about you” he had said “Every time you fight someone, she knows the result. She really want to spend more time with you” Actually one of few that got invited to my birthdays parties as a child. Apparently my dad and her dad was good buddies in school, so her dad speaks highly of our family. She heard on that since she was born, also that’s how she got to know everything about me. Somehow she acts like a big sister but at the same time is the younger unknowingly sister. The difference is just I have seen her in battle, and she is one of the few people I wouldn’t mind fighting with. I wouldn’t have to protect her all the time. If her parents died, I wouldn’t hesitate inviting her into our family. Bramai opened up the door to my cell. Adrian followed in, looking dissatisfied with my silence, and even more around my secrets. “What did you want with them? Last time you talk-“ Last time we talked I was the one in wrong. Making the king look so bad was a giant mistake, and I have learned from it now. My temper will someday be my death, but it isn’t now. Also they wanted to hear about everything that happened in my family. Verimon talked about as soon as I get out of the dungeon, getting me the paperwork my part of the family have to do. Not now, because it isn’t for the guards – or the kings eyes – to see at this point in time. “Last time we talked it wasn’t around something like this” I smiled at him, “This time I wasn’t the one in the wrong”. He stared at me, and tried demanding to know more. I smiled to him. “Sorry, noble stuff”. He start walking back and forth talking about how it isn’t good telling the people you are having secret for them. Making a meeting and make the king look like a guy that can get the kick every day didn’t help either. I just shrugged it off. “Relax. The king is for the current moments safe” I noticed “The other nobles and I would never change him in this point in time. Yet”. Adrian looked angry. “Every person in this kingdom have sworn themselves loyal to him!” I started giggling. I got up from my mattress and got closer to him, pressing him almost up against the wall. “The nobles doesn’t swear their lives on the king, and if you remember correctly, if a person can defeat him in battle… what happens then?” I asked him. He has to see the truth. I know that in their schools they learn to worship their king, doing whatever pleases him. The nobles are talked about like human celebrities, but never looked like a group of people with power. They don’t know that they get most of the good things in their society from the nobles. Hospitals – healers -, the orphanages, homes for ‘fallen lighters’, the yearly ‘garden time’ where flowers are planted outside every home in Amalion to make it bloom. Nobles work constantly to make sure everything goes as it has to, to make it a good year. The kings job is to educate and protect the kingdom. A job he does poorly. “That wouldn’t happen, the king aren’t allowed to fight in front of-“ I pushed him further up the wall and smiled. “Let us say that I happened. What would happen?” I could see he took a deep breath. “The winner would… be our new king”. “If a noble wins over him” I started “The Nobles appoint a new king. That are the rules. I know the others won’t fight him, and I have no intention to do so either”. He shot me with a wind ball, and if I fought back, I would have taken the king down of his throne. That’s why I had to get yelled at. Adrian took a deep breath. “I don’t think the people would accept it like that”. “They would” I said “They may not look at us as a power right now” I leaned as close as I could to him. “But they have too, when they can see their king is weak”. Adrian pushed me a bit back. “I get your point. I just don’t see why you nobles hide everything that aren’t good”. I smiled and sat down at my mattress. “Perfection creates expectations, Expectations creates hope. Hope is what makes us love. Love is what keeps us together”. He bit his lip and got down at the mattress beside me, he leaned on my shoulder. “So you are saying, that every person here… aren’t allowed to see nobles fight, because it will destroy the love in the kingdom?” “Kind of” I answered. “People lose loved once often here” he noticed, probably thinking about someone. I smiled and took my arm around him. “That’s why it’s important we all stick together, and protects each other”. He leaned down towards me and kissed my lips. “If I win this tournament tomorrow,” I noticed “I will get my freedom back”. He starred at me for a moment. “If? You’ll win it for sure!” “I’ll no longer sleep in the dungeon” I noticed “I’ll need a place to stay-“ “You can sleep with my family and me,” he noticed smilingly “My family won’t mind”. “Okay” I hugged him “How does this tournament work?”. He started telling me about a sort of ranking system. I have never heard about it before, but apparently there is these “five best fighters” of the kingdom. They kind of work for the king, with special appointments and such. The one who fight the worst of the five best, compete in the tournament. If I beat he or she I become one of them myself. He started telling me that he was the third best. Apparently, they can fight each other in an official fight to get a grade higher up. In the tournament you’re inside the fighting circle against one other lighter. You can’t exit the circle, and if you try you get a shock. When you knock out your opponent your win the battle. Normally you fight in small fighting circle around in small villages, before the best of those come here. There is 106 contestants every year. From every part of the kingdom. I will kind of get a “free pass” since I would normally have to compete in a little circle in some village. After an hour of him talking happy about this tournament I realized it is a highly loved entertainment/competition. I let him talk and talk, but at some point I’m sure I fell a sleep. It wasn’t on purpose. I woke up with my head in his lap, and him stroking my head like I was a kitty. I smiled and took the form of a cat. He looked surprised as first, but then he just went back to stroking my fur gently. “You look cute as a cat” he whispered. After an hour of me spinning loudly – making him shush me – I had to turn back. He gave me as a cat my clothing on, and I turned into a human again. He kissed me silently, and then walked home.

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