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

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12. Hundred battles

I bit my lips as I walked home from the cells. Mom is always worried about me coming home late, she always have, but she says not all people are with her, and some will try to kill me. Even though I haven’t done a thing. Yet.

I kept on walking. How do I convince Vergile and Marissa to let her stay here? If she wins – of course, she wins, I know her!

As soon as I got in, Marissa started dusting me off, telling me I was out far too late. Mom kissed me, telling me she had worried, but guessed that the thing after the marking took some time, making my time in the cells with her drag out a little longer.

Vergile kept talking about how she would lose tomorrow. “I saw her fighting style that day. She won’t win one tournament!”.

I wanted to laugh I tell him he was wrong, but I didn’t have the energy to do it. I’m so tired. Rachael doesn’t have just one fighting style. I have seen her in action. She variants so much, you can figure out what she does next. I must admit that I have seen her kick to the stomach more than two times, but that aren’t in battle. She was just generally pissed off. 

“So… What was the noble stuff, they didn’t talk about?” Vergile suddenly asked. I smiled a bit. “You keep on talking bad about her, I’m not telling you!” Vergile look offended, so I laughed. Mom started smiling, so I couldn’t help but feeling in a high mood. I’m still tired though. I may not do a thing all day, but still… worrying rips out all my energy.

“You shouldn’t keep secrets from your family,” he noticed.

I smiled at him. “I aren’t”

“I can’t believe you won’t tell-“ he kept on going, I sighed. I love him, but he is still so annoying some times.

“She didn’t tell me” I answered “So I weren’t keeping any secrets. At all”.

Vergile didn’t look satisfied, but he didn’t look offended anymore.

Mom wanted to know anything about her fighting style, I gave up at last, and admitted her fighting style is too much even for me to figure out.

“What happens if she wins?” Dad noticed.

“She’ll get released from the cells…” I noticed.

Mom looked at me with big eyes. “Really? Then where will she sleep?”

I bit my lips and looked at Vergile. “I hoped she could stay here-“

“NO! NEVER!” Vergile hit the air with his hands “She’ll never get in here!”

Mom started discussing with ham, leaving me tired and worried.

She are only allowed to knock them out. They are allowed to kill her.

I got on my bed, and tried falling a sleep. When I finally woke up, I walked downstairs to see Crish, walking back and forth.

“Are you okay?” I asked him. He looked just as tired as I felt.

“Yeah… I’m just wondering” he noticed “How it got from… the girl who was human and knew your secret to this…. This problem everyone has with her!”

I smiled. “Well… many secrets have been revealed,” I noticed “And people hate being cheated”.

 He laughed and walked off to bed.

 

Rachael tells…

I fell asleep, and woke up to Adrian smilingly looking down at me. I started laughing loudly. He was wearing a uniform – clearly – with the colors known best to Amalion. Gold, Silver and strange enough blue and black. He had medals and everything on.

“I told you I am one of the five” he noticed “We sit next to the king-“

“Yeah Yeah” I answered and got up. “Time to get ready”.

I followed him out and into a training room.

“I can see there is usually many more people in this room” I noticed.

“You are the last to get ready” he noticed “So you could… have it all to yourself”. I ignored his ‘I’m sorry everyone is against you’-attitude and looked around and started laughing. “You know that my clothes aren’t done… I have nothing to change into”.

He started turning red, then he smiled. “Sorry, I forgot”.

“Never mind that” I leaned closer and kissed him “You need to get out to your place, get going”. He looked confused at me, but then started running. I started going around in circles. I’m not here to kill any of these people. These people – whoever they are – are good people.

I started smelling. I have missed this.

”Hey!” I turned around to see Simone and Gerimon. They threw something on me. When I looked at it I smiled.

“Clothes?” I noticed.

“Yeah, we guessed you would need it”.

 

Jaime tells…

Everyone waited patiently. We’re only waiting on her. Adrian took, not far from here, his place, and said she would be out soon. She came out after three minutes. I stared. She was wearing short shorts, really dark blue and red. On the side was the blue stripe all the way down. Her T-shirt barely covered her body. It didn’t cover the stomach, but her chest was where the dark part was. The back was red though. I stared at her hair the most. She have cut if off. Her hair was short. Shorter than mine actually.

She walked into the ring where the other contestant was sitting.

“Where did you get that clothing?” dad yelled over the stadium. She didn’t answer.

“She got it from us” the capes on mine side of dad took their hood down. A girl with blond hair and a guy with dark hair.

“She is never the less representing the nobles” the guy noticed “Therefor she will be treated like one”.

Dad couldn’t say anything against it, and the alarm sounded. They started fighting. I shouldn’t have looked away, there is so many rings, how do I find her? I looked where I thought she might be, but she seemed impossible to see. When I finally saw her, every battle had ended, and I could see a guy, not conscious. This guy wasn’t bleeding at all. She looked bored.

I looked at my dad who looked shocked.

“She knocked him out…” I could hear him mumble “With a single…. Kick”. She suddenly looked at my dad and smiled bright to him.

The scoreboard appeared and people moved around in the circles. I found her with my eyes, and didn’t look away. The alarm started again, and her opponent ran towards her. A guy, to years older than her. He look good trained. She jumped up on the shield around the circle. The one that gives a nasty sting. Suddenly she jumped past it and to the other side, while the guy didn’t have time to stop and ran into the circle. She looked at him as he fainted to the ground, and didn’t open his eyes. Dad sighed, and I waited for the rest to finish. Some of them would be bleeding and almost falling over at the end. She didn’t even look like she sweated. The others in the circles started to look scared at her. I guess she is on another level than the rest of them. The rest of us.

She came into another circle. Against one who could barely lift his arms. She didn’t do a thing, and he could barely move. He didn’t even try, he just stared down into the ground.

“King” One of the noble girls from before leaned forward and looked at dad. “Rachael is asking if we shouldn’t give the fighters a break”.

I looked at Rachael and then the girl. How did Rachael do that?

Rachael walked calm to him and took his hand. You could see the blood disappear and the wounds close. He started blinking and looked at his body, before he stared at her. Did she just heal him? She started talking to him, and he started smiling.

“We’ll have a break” Any other circle was done. But Rachael was the one to keep moving. Everyone could see she would have won that one too – if she had attacked him.

Rachael was left in the circle – while the rest of the fighters took a shower and walked out for dinner. I had a hard time leaving her, but I had to go with dad. At least she is protected in there.

 

With Adrian next to me we started discussing the different contestants – and the ones we thought she might have trouble with. All of them was giant – not the smartest, but if you are strong enough you don’t need to be smart.

“I think every part of the kingdom would have trouble fighting with her” Adrian noticed “I saw her fight. Battles without magic aren’t that tough for her. She has so many options and ways to beat her opponent”

I nodded. I would love to see her fight, were it aren’t for her life. She doesn’t really fight in the ring… she just… let them knock themselves out.

“I don’t believe she likes fighting” Adrian noticed.

I stared at him. He smiled. “I’m sorry. I should make it more clear. She doesn’t like hurting people, not for this” he pointed to the suit he was wearing himself.

“For glory?” I asked and took a sip of the juice. He nodded and took another bite.

“But she likes to fight…?” I asked.

He laughed. “Even when she is hurt, she smiles”

I looked at Adrian and tried imagine him as a friend. Before we met, I had seen him before. But never… never like this. I have never myself talked to him, but dad had him in a few times – to talk about different special appointments.

After dinner – we walked out to continue the fights. She was peacefully sleeping on the ground – hadn’t moved an inch. People started getting out. I kept my eyes on her – even though there was people talking down there, she hadn’t woken up yet.

Suddenly silence spread, as a man in dark clothed started walking out in the sand area. He was holding a spear. People stopped moving, a lot of people, without any weapons!

He kept moving towards her. I wanted to yell and wake her up, but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. Is this magic or shock? He stopped a few centimeters from her. Standing in black leather clothes. I can’t believe this. Has he paralyzed all these people?

Your kind-“ his voice was dark and low. Even from a far an echo followed and told us he wasn’t a white lighter.

Dancing through life-“he continued, raising the spear over her breast.

Can go to hell!” he jagged it down in the middle of her chest.

She hadn’t moved. Death by a single hand – a single hit. Killed while sleeping. If I could move, I would be running. Towards him or her I’m not sure. My feet would know. He started walking away, like nothing had happened. Rachael was still laying peacefully on the ground with a spear in her chest.

I kept trying to move. Suddenly she did. Her eyes opened up, and she sat up.

Did you really think you could kill me so easily?” She got up, and took a hand around the spear, with a tearing sound she pulled it out, making blood run down her clothes and skin before hitting the ground.

Impossible-“ he turned around with horror in his eyes.

“You can’t kill me with such a move” she noticed and smiled “You missed my weak spot”.

The blood was gone. Only sitting on her clothes now, where there should be a big gapping wound, skin was shown instead.

She started running towards him, while he started running away. She was faster and made him trip. Falling down in the sand she hold the spear in her hand.

“Sorry if my memory is weak, but have I ever seen you before?” she asked him. He was sitting down on the ground, not moving an inch.

“N-no” he finally answered.

“Then why would you kill me?” she asked “Or at least give a try on it?”.

He started turning red. “If I tell you-“

Rachael smiled. “You work for Maria!” she announced, “I thought she had learned by now that if she wants to kill me, she’ll need to come herself”.

The guy was looking at the spear in her hand.

“How can you be alive? The spear was poisoned”

Rachael started laughing. “Ferike lighters secrets” she den looked at it and threw it to the wall.

“I won’t need that” she noticed “but you could. I know Maria hate failures. You’ll return to her now, knowing she will kill you when you tell her you didn’t succeed” Then she sighed. “’Cause we both know the end could be a lot worse if you didn’t return”.

The man started crying, Rachael looked around at the rest of us.

“How are you making everyone like this?” Then she smiled. “Oh… of course”

She let him go, and when he left, we could move again. People was staring at the skin in her chest. I could see she was uncomfortable, but she didn’t blush, she didn’t tell people to look away. All she did was smile creepy, and looking back at them daring.

“I’m not that easy to kill” she said in the silence, while smiling like a maniac.

Dad let the rest of them battle, she was removed to get to the infirmary. Dad couldn’t let her compete after a blow to the chest like that. Knowing she would move on no matter what she was just in the finals tomorrow. After the fight, dad started talking about how he only needed the information about her body physics, that’s why he didn’t let her compete, but he said it with the same glimpse in the eyes as when he tries to act like it doesn’t matter to him we get hurt.

We walked down to her. She was laying on a bed, looking pretty annoyed. The healer was smiling to her, trying to get her to relax.

“When am I allowed to leave?” she asked dad the second we arrived.

The healer started laughing when dad asked her.

“As I told her, when I’m done checking her body”.

She looked up in the ceiling with an irritated mimic.

“I didn’t know ferike lighters could take such a blow” Dad said nervously. She started smiling and looked up into the ceiling.

“It hurts” she nodded “At first. But as soon as you get it patched up it stops”. She then took a deep breath. “All Ferike can heal like that. But it’s too dangerous if you don’t know how…”

Dad took a deep breath. “All ferike? Are you sure?”

She started giggling. “Yeah, I’m sure”.

“He said there was poison on the spear-“ dad noticed.

“Oh right!” She turned to the healer and asked for a little glass or something. From the tip of her finger one small drop emerged and fell down, making us stare.

“Too little to do any harm” she then smiled at the healer once more “But don’t touch it. It would kill most people”.

I saw the healer throw the glass in the trash, before starting to check her finger.

“That’s not normal!” The healer noticed “Why are you doing that? It isn’t healthy to play with the body like this!”

Rachael turned her head to look at the healer. “How do you know?”

“I’m a ferike too and I don’t twist and turn my body like you do!” Dad started to smile.

“But you have tried” Rachael ended the sentence “That must have been painful-“

“I haven-“ the healer started.

“Yeah you have. But if you lack the mental skills to see every detail in your body, it hurts and go terrible wrong” Rachael smiled “I have had training in this a few years – it’s not that hard to learn”.

The healer started shaking her head from side to side. “No. I won’t”

Rachael smiled for herself. “Afraid of ferike powers?” The healer blushed as she looked at the results from the test. Rachael didn’t laugh over her fright, she just shrugged her shoulders and looked at dad.

“This is because you make people fear ferike lighters from birth”.

“Ferike lighters brought this on themselves” Dad noticed “You know that”.

She started to smile. “You do know that the others… The gods of our race, chose themselves to follow there brother down here, right?”

Dad didn’t look surprised but I certainly did. It changes so much! We have nothing to blame the ferike for-

“If … If Natrona hadn’t done what he had done, they wouldn’t have to make the right choice and follow their brother” Dad noticed slowly.

Rachael smiled. “I don’t think our race would have been created if not for Natrona”.

“Natrona was a bad man” the healer noticed “He never acted out of kindness-“

Rachael shrugged her shoulders and just looked relaxed. “Natrona never did anything else than act out of kindness” We stared at her for a second. I looked at dad – maybe another secret I don’t know about? No. Dad looked just as surprised. He then smiled. “You sound just like your father”.

She sighed. “We are very alike in some ways”.

“Some” dad agreed.

“I’m curious” the healer noticed “You say Natrona only acts out of kindness. Name just one incident, where it can be seen?”

Rachael smiled. “He was the first to talk to the dragons. He made peace with them, and made sure as a new race we wouldn’t get killed. I must admit that another one of the gods screw that one up, by killing a dragon…”

“That’s why only Nobles are allowed to kill dragons” Dad noticed “To make sure a war with the dragons doesn’t happen. They are too hard to kill”

Rachael smiled. “The dragon have behaved nicely though. You kill every dragon that leaves there world, because you know they have been kicked out…”

I started to get angry. Why does she know all this? Why haven’t dad told me any of his secret to me? I don’t want to look like a fool when I take over this place someday, and standing in front one like her. Knowing everything around the kingdom, while I know nothing!

“Really?” the healer looked surprised, and then she smiled. “I guess he had another purpose for them…”

Rachael started to laugh. “That too”

Dad walked out, making me stare into her eyes for two seconds before leaving her to herself, and going after dad. We were walking on the hallway. “Why did you never tell me any of the stuff she keeps talking about?” I asked him “Why haven’t I heard one single sentence of any of this?!” dad looked at me, and sighed. He walked into his workroom and I followed him.

“I haven’t told you any of this-“ he started “Because for the moment you don’t need to know. All the secrets she has takes a big price”

“TELL ME!” I yelled at him “I WANT TO KNOW! LET ME HEAR IT ALL!”

Dad leaned up against the desk and looked down in the ground. “I hoped the secrets could remain in the N-… Green family… her family, it’s too much for me to bear” For the first time in a long time I could see tears in my dad’s eyes. I started to shake my head. “I don’t care… I want to know. I don’t want to be left in the dark”.

Dad sighed. “You will… not want to see what you see after… are you sure?”

I nodded strong and determent.

“Okay” he said “But was has been seen, can never be unseen”.

I wouldn’t do it, Jaime, listen to him” a voice that sounds familiar sounded in my head. I ignored it.

“I’m sure”

Dad took my hand and led me to the basement, with every precious artifact from our race’s life time, he got me in front of a pedestal with something on it, I couldn’t see what because a scarf was placed over it.

“Under this cloth” dad started “Is a… form of Videre… When you look at it… in a split of a second… it transmit every series of accidents and secrets this kingdom have had, which haven’t been covered up by nobles, before we had a chance to step in”.

I wanted to rip the scarf off.

“It happens so fast that.. it will only take a second” dad looked sad and took a deep breath. “All you have to do is look into it. As soon as I take off the cloth”.

I nodded, and looked at the brown scarf laying above it. The nobles mark was on it, so it’s a thing created by the nobles. I know they do cruel things, and have made cruel items for the sake of Amalion, but they have made good items as well. They always take care of our family and the kingdom…

“Are you sure?” dad asked and looked into my eyes.

“Yes” “Don’t do it” The voice again. If I tell dad about the voice he might not let me see – thinking I’m already insane or something.

He closed his eyes and tore the scarf off. It was an ocean blue crystal. In the middle a faint series of images was displaying. I bend down and leaned closer to take a better look. “ARGH!” I felt a flesh separating pain in the middle of my head. My hands took around it, and I closed my eyes. I felt like my whole body was being squished together, stretched out and minimized at the same time. I tried screaming but nothing came out. Images was flashing in front of my eyes, people killing, people turning, people talking, screams, blood, death! All the air was being pushed out of me, and I felt like I was drowning, with water running down my head. It stopped. It finally stopped.

The crystal was covered and dad had his arms around me. Her words makes so much more sense now! But it aren’t good I mean… So many innocents deaths…

I could feel dads arms around me, trying to came me down. Why is he doing that? And why is my body shaking? Realizing the obvious, I tried to stop shaking and crying. I looked at my dad and all the things I had seen… I broke free from his arms and started running as far as I could away from him. I could see the people crying… begin for mercy. I just ran. I didn’t know where to run to, so I just kept running. I didn’t stop to choose direction, I just kept going, seeing knights, paintings and an endless amount of walls pass by on my run to safety. I started running up stairs, losing my breath and feeling the weight on my shoulders get harder and harder to bear. As I reached the top of the tower I couldn’t get further. My body collapsed close to a wall I could lean down on. I took my arms around my legs and started crying uncontrollably.  I couldn’t see the room, my knees or my arms. Just a blur, making me able to see the images again. It wasn’t lighted the room. No sunshine appeared to be going in. I kept crying in the dark for I don’t know how long. Losing my breath, and apparently falling a sleep more than once. When I finally stopped crying, it was only because my stomach was growling loudly.

I got up, barely able to move my legs without it hurting I got down from the tower and walked around the hallways ‘till I saw something I recognized. It took some time, but it seemed like it was night, and I don’t mind.

Right now time shouldn’t worry me. I just need to... I just need to get it out of my body. I was still shaking. Is it because I haven’t eaten in who knows how long?

“Come see me” the voice said “I can help you” The familiar voice. I bit my lip. People who talks to you when you’re on your weakest always tries to take advantage of you… I shouldn’t.

As I walked around I bit my lip and decided where I needed to go. Someone who know this, someone who can live with it. I started walking towards the prison cells, but knowing how long the infirmary processes takes I turned towards it. I met her smiling on the bed, as I came closer to her, my eyes started to tear up again, and my hands went to my eyes. I reached the bed and laid near her. She took her arms around me and started stroking my hair gently.

“I-“ I tried. I gave up, and tried stopping crying instead.

“I can help” she said to me. My eyes looked at her, and my hands fell down into my lap.

“Really?” I asked her confused and dried off the tears.

“I can make you forget” she noticed and took my hand “Everything you saw”.

I bit my lip and made my head shake. “If I don’t remember it… I won’t… I can’t forget…”

She smiled gently to me, while her thumbs stroke my hand. “I can make the images disappear and make it all... easier…. To understand, you will remember what happened, but not in such… details”.

I took a deep breath and nodded at last. “I just don’t want to…” to see their death faces. So many innocents’ deaths… So many murders…

She nodded and took her fingers around my chin and made me look into her eyes. Her eyes got bigger and bigger, and I saw black. This didn’t hurt like the crystal… my stomach got warm, and I could hear a voice, I recognized her voice and felt calm. Even though I’m in the dark… it’s pleasant. I could smell her, and feel her heat. I couldn’t stop smiling. My hands stopped shaking, and when my sight finally re appeared, I could see her beautiful eyes getting smaller and smaller as she laid down.

“It’s hard magic,” she noticed “But it works”.

“Did you erase my memory?” I asked her “I can’t remember anything of it…” Only it was horrible.

“No” she answered, looking weak and pale. “You just isn’t thinking about it. The images is gone, but you know what happened. See here…. Vampires”.

Vampires is the result of a man trying to make our race stronger, but he failed in a way that made the lighter stronger, but at the same time weaker. The king had him killed.

I stared into her eyes. “I know it, I know what happened!” I hugged her, happy for the way of remembering it now. She didn’t ask for privacy or to be alone, but I could see she wanted to sleep. I told her good night, and left her for herself in the infirmary to find my bed. After reaching it, I fell asleep.

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