“Say something” I muttered, and hoped he heard me. Adrian didn’t answer, and he was riding behind me. Unable to hear and see him, I wanted to turn around, but my body is exhausted, and doing so would make the king wonder more about ‘the lover’ as the dragon so called him.
“I don’t know what to say” He answered, with doubt and confusion in his voice. I know the dragon’s world aren’t a nice place… The awful smell of burned meat, and the air, that’s hard to inhale, because of the heat. Not to take about being surrounded by dragons, who all seems to look down on you.
“I guess I know how you feel” I told him “They take your breath away”. “That wasn’t why I’m missing words”.
Surprised I turned around to look at him, but decided it wasn’t important.
“Sorry” I told him, and took a deep breath of the cold air. It filled my lungs, and chased the burning air out. The sun is setting, as the horse walked towards the castle – it very well know that way – I decided to follow the sun with my eyes. Sadly the city had been blackened, which of course must be because of the falling sun behind it. When I was little I dreamt of seeing ‘The great kingdom of Amalion!’ as someone once put it. It doesn’t seem so great to me. The king has a rotten heart, infested with love for Maria-
Ouch. My shoulder started to ache, I took my hand to it, and smiled a bit for myself. The old dragon must have given me a hit, when I didn’t notice it. No worry, it isn’t poisoned or anything.
“Something wrong?” I could already hear the worry in Adrian’s voice grow.
“Nothing, just a splinter” I lied. That dragon barely hit me, it won’t bleed, so I guess I’m safe for now.
We got back, and the king started to talk about some new assignments, I caught him off, and told him he could forget all about it. He didn’t resist much, but let us leave after that. Adrian and I went back to their house, and they were eager to hear about the dragon, and Adrian started to tell all about it, while I got to work.
I read through papers about nursing homes, new walls, new buildings, new reinforcement, and it continued like that. When done reading, I signed it with my first name, and placed it beside me.
“Why didn’t you write your last name?” I looked up to find Crish standing over, reading the paper.
“Well” I smiled for myself and looked at the paper. “I have my dad’s last name, and that it rarely used”.
He sighed “You know, that aren’t answering the question, just telling me ‘because that’s how it is”.
I looked at the paper – there is enough room for my last name, more than enough.
“I guess it’s out of fear” I told him “Did you know my last name, you wouldn’t doubt about killing me”.
He looked surprised, but then he smiled. “What can be worse, than being the dark lighters only child?”
“There is a few things” I answered back, and wondered about the guy. The guy with my families mark. I’m not the only child, and as soon as I get home, I want answers-
“Being Maria’s child” I told him “That must be dreadful”.
He looked surprised. “Who would ever have sex with that woman?!”.
I sighed “I wonder that myself, but before I can find out why she has a son, I need to get home”.
Crish apparently thought it was important – so important that he tried pursuing his parents into leaving early, so that we could all go home. His attempt didn’t work, and I would have to stay for 2-3 days extra. First day it was irritating. Even though I don’t need to be followed around by a guard, his parents gave me house arrest because ‘ it’s not safe for you to wander around, some people still hate you’- they used the word dislike, but I know they mean hate.
It didn’t go any better when it knocked on the door.
Adrian was the one to open the door, and I recognized the scent. Cyanite. My eyes fell on him when he entered, and I took a glance outside. It seems like a storm is coming. Huh. I sat down on the couch again, and not very surprisingly he sat in front of me, didn’t say a word, didn’t even look me in the eyes, but he was nervous. His hands kept touching itself, like he had sweaty palms. Adrian sat down beside me, and I continued with work.
“Can I ask why you are here?” Adrian asked after a while. Cyanite looked out of place, I looked up and smiled at Adrian. “He’ll talk when he knows what to say”. With that remark I continued working. Cyanite’s family condemned me dark didn’t they? I wanted to giggle, but I thought it would be rude, so I covered it with a cough.
Looking at them from the door, I could see Rachael having fun, looking like it amused her that the situation was so awkward. Adrian didn’t know what to say, and I’m sure after her remark of ‘he’ll speak when we knows what to say’, he didn’t think he’ll have to.
“Have you come because of your judgment at the trial?” Rachael asked, not sounding interested in what ever he would say, like she had already heard all that could be said.
“Kind… of” he answered slow.
Rachael smiled. “Then you can freely leave, I don’t care what judgment your family house gave me”.
“It’s not the only reason I’m here” He said.
She looked surprised up, but quickly returned to the papers in her hand.
“Can we get some privacy?” This was to Adrian. Adrian looked surprised but reluclantly got up, and walked out in the kitchen, the guy stared at me ‘till I turned around and left as well. I waited some minutes before sneaking into my spot again. When I returned Rachael was looking out of the window, with papers in hand, her back turned towards me and him. He was standing behind her, almost looking scared, just from the image of his back. It looked like he was shaking.
“I-I” He stuttered a few time, Rachael didn’t answer. Suddenly he got half down on one knee – holding a small box. My hand flew up to my mouth, and tried keeping a sound away. A proposal?
He took a deep breath. “Will you grant me your hand in marri-“
“No”. Rachael was hard and cold, she didn’t turn around to see him balancing on one knee.
I felt bad for him, for a second, she looked up from her papers, but then looked down in them again. He slowly raised himself, still with the ring in his hand.
“Do you really want to know?” Rachael asked him.
He stood still for a while, before looking around, seeing me, and then moving towards the door. He open the door to see what looked like a dangerous storm.
“It’s too big a storm to take out in” Rachael noticed “It might even kill you”.
He closed the door and sat down in the couch, again, I walked in and decided to sit down as well. He does not seem to mind anyway.
Is this guy even her type? He is tall and blond, and he looks trained like the rest of us. He even has a tattoo!
“Since I can’t leave why don’t you tell me about my faults?” He asked “Then I guess I have something to tell my dad”.
Rachael turned around without a smile on her face.
“You wouldn’t like what I have to say”.
“Give me it anyway”.
Rachael looked down in her papers, but her eyes didn’t move.
“The main reason is the fact that you don’t love me. The fact is you fear me, and that’s why you voted me dark at the trial” She quickly said “The second reason is the fact that your dad send you. I don’t want to marry someone that can’t tell they parents what they want, and what they don’t want”.
She looked up. “Despite that, you are in fact excellent, and a good noble. You could work more, and try to leave the girls in the kingdoms you visit alone, but nevertheless you are a good noble”.
“You would rather have married that army-guy?” he asked.
Army guy? Rachael smiled like he had said something funny, but then she nodded. “Yes. We were good friends”.
“If he hadn’t died, would you be married in this second?” he asked.
Rachael thought about it, while the rest of us sat in silence.
“That I don’t know”.
Adrian sat down and joined us. He actually sat beside the guy, looking rather uncomfortable.
“You were a weird girl when you were little. That hasn’t changed at all.”.
Rachael smiled like he had told her a compliment.
“That’s true” She said “I had a way to get what I wanted, and a way of behaving that seem to make people love me”.
He looked up. “Some people love you, some fear you”.
“Doesn’t wonder me” Rachael said smilingly, and then looked in her papers again.
I looked at the guy, and wondered for a minute why ‘the nobles’ act so high and mighty, when they in fact is just like us.
“Have you heard that another wa-“ he tried.
“Yes” She said, and kept on reading.
“Of course you do” He sat just in front of her, looking at her reading. His eyes follows her, and I tried looking at her – all I could see, where her eyes moving as she read whatever the paper’s said.
“Something on your mind?” He asked.
She looked up surprised, but then quickly looked down again. “Nothing-“
“If something is the matter-“ Rachael giggled a bit, as she opened a letter.
“Nothing is the matter” Rachael answered “I’m perfectly fine~”
“Can I take a look at your necklace then?” She looked up, with a expression that could almost show shock – then she shrug her head, and took the letter up.
“I noticed it during the marking” he said “I didn’t think you remembered every last tradition your family has?”
Rachael sighed and looked at him with a sad expression; I noticed Adrian looked bewildered at her.
“I don’t. I remember a few, the rest I have studied since I got my memory back”.
“What’s about that? Why do you… do these old traditions? They seem pointless-“ Rachael sat up, and put the letter down, as she needed to think about what he said.
“Pointless is asking someone something you don’t want” Rachael answered back “I don’t consider it pointless. It gives me peace”.
Rachael’s hand took around the beautiful necklace, that somehow looked cold and sad.
“Which traditions is that?” Adrian asked with a smile, and pointed at it. The guy next to him smiled “Oh, that’s a beautiful one. And very hard ~ doesn’t it take a few days?”
“Yeah” Rachael said, and looked down at it “But it’s worth it, in the end”.
My mind travelled back to the hard land – the place where there only is one living being, but a million dead. I looked out in the distant, where a wooden cabin was displaying. It was filled with cracks, busted windows, rotten flesh turned oil-black, running down the wood. My stomach turned, and I was happy I had nothing to throw up.
“Hearts will never be practical, until they are made unbreakable” A hoarse woman’s voice said beside me. I was happy I didn’t have to knock on the Cabin, and grateful that she came to great me. I looked at her – she was covered in grey cloths. Her skin was covered, and her hair a bit loose. It seemed crackled, like it had been badly burned. I couldn’t decide if the rot I could smell perhaps came from her, and not from Laina.
“The beauty with hearts is how fragile they are” I answered back “With out them getting broken, how would we ever learn?”. The woman giggled like I had told her something funny. I grew up with a knowledge of how love works, true, not the best examples, when you have a castle of broken hearts, but still ~ I grew up, always learning that there is no limit to what love does. Love makes you cross boundaries, makes you want to break the law, and even makes the most manically women turn to monsters for non-responded love.
“The hearts of many kinds are weak, and will break for almost nothing. That is a weakness” The woman told me. I smiled, remembering Adrian’s smile, Silencia’s grin when I wake up before her, and looks like a mess, dad’s eyes when he found me again, and Uncle’s expression the day I taught him I would never abandon him.
“Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses” I answered back, and was happy I had read a bit poetry before going here. She giggled once more, and I smiled for myself once again. It seems so surrealistic going here. Dad wanted me to go when I was older – or… when I was younger he wanted it, so I guess he got what he wanted. I turned around to look at Laina’s face. I quickly looked back at the woman and-
“Rachael?” A hand was wavering in front of my face, it took me a second to realize I was in Adrian’s families house, with a noble, Crish and Adrian.
“huh?” I looked up, and discovered I had day dreamed in front of them all. “That was weird” Adrian said, and sat back down.
“Her body was here, but her heart was elsewhere. Seems like her family in a nutshell”.
I looked up angrily at him, before wanting to throw something – even a pillow would help me satisfy my anger.
“Well yeah” I answered back “My family is a mess”.
They looked surprised at me, and I took a pillow to let my anger go. As it flew I realized it wouldn’t be enough, but enough to contain it.
It hit him in the face and I smiled. “My heart aren’t with my body, because it’s not were my family is” I told him, and looked out the window, where the storm was raging on. “Right now my mind doesn’t concentrate on either one of you. It’s following my sister, Jeremy, my dad, and Tyler” I smiled a second when I could feel the happiness my sister was feeling, then Jeremy’s worry over the storm ( and the fact that it could tear down the house, If there’s the smallest wrong in the construction), dad’s constant plotting and worrying, and Tyler’s ‘I hope she’s safe’.
I laid down, and closed my eyes for a moment, only to realize they were just sitting there – looking at me. I got up and walked to my room, to get some privacy.
“Ghrh” My mouth mumbled as pain shot up my body, after trying to move on the side. Laying down all day, in the same position is killing my back.
Where is Ray? He went out to go drinking last night, did he ever come home? My head moved, so I could see his door. The door was closed – so he isn’t home? I tried getting up, but I couldn’t even get up in a sitting position. This will take longer than a thought…
I moved my fingers, and was happy they weren’t to broken.
The door opened, and Ray walked in, truly half drunk, still looking like hell ( even though he had showered before going out).
“I met one” He told me “Her hair is like go-old, and her eyes like deep ponds”. He laid down on the ground, next to me.
I wanted to tell him, that’s every girl he has ever met. He always fall in love like this.
I laughed, and then coughed for a while.
“George is worried… if we don’t get you to a hospital or a healer… you will end up… unable to move” Ray told me “If we go to the warlock, maybe-“
“No” I told him. Warlocks are often – if not always – monitored by lighters. When they help other creatures, sometimes the creatures turn up dead, not long after.
He sighed, and got up. “I’ll take a nap”.
His mother was the one to wake me up. She told me about how Cyanite didn’t really talk with us – he started going through my papers, and work, and then just sat in a chair, looking at the storm. Crish had told her about the proposal, and she was curious why I had said no. I didn’t give her any answers, but asked what there was for dinner.
I got down, and sat next to Cyanite that wanted to compliment me with getting so much work done in so little time.
“Thank you” I told him, and started to eat.
“Do you plan to take up all your responsibilities as a noble?” He asked me. I had to think that one through. “What do you mean?”.
“Well you know… Visit the surrounding worlds, visit the other kingdoms, to make sure nothing weird is going one there, working as adviser for the k-“
I smiled for a second and shrug my shoulders. “You know I’m not on the kingdom duty. I have never met them either. And I’m not going to work as adviser for the king”.
“What about the development of new weapons and other useful things?”.
I shrug my shoulders, and continued eating for a while.
“The contact with other worlds?” He asked. I smiled a bit for myself. “I could never imagine not talking with other creatures”.
“Even if the sun sets down, and the world is burning, thou shall not rest, shall not give up, but thou shall work, and work, to the end of this time” He quoted. The rest of the family stared at him, but I nodded. “It’s not so strange is it? I mean, working ‘till you die. Human’s do pretty much the same thing”.
Adrian shrug his head, and with his eyes looked at his mother. I had forgotten that they know of my death. His mother looked shocked, her eyes widened, and I wondered shortly if we had opened a scar on her.
“And when the time it set, and the work is done, thou shall not rest, thou shall walk the worlds, with the human’s child”. He continued. I looked at him irritated, he shouldn’t continued any further with that quote. No one is suppose to know about Natrona.
“I don’t like religion” Cyanite noticed “Never have. It’s just theories about our world, and how it’s going to end”.
Natrona is real, how the world came to be is real, he know that, how can he deny the evidence?
“Not just theories” I told him “It’s a fact”.
“I didn’t know you were religious” Vergile noticed “Doesn’t seem like the type”.
Cyanite laughed, and almost chocked on some food. “Are you kidding? She grew up on it, soaked it in like a swamp, really. That’s why she is so traditional. Even when religion is the bad guy, right?”
Laina? I held around my necklace and took another bite.
“I grew up, learning about love” I told him “From a lot of stories, mainly about the gods”.
Most of them started to laugh. “The gods? Love stories? Most of them is about slaughtering each other, they did no good” Vergile noticed.
I smiled and dried the sauce off my lips.
“You grew up with the king’s version” I told him “I grew up with the one Natrona wrote, before he went into –“ My mouth stopped, and somewhere in the back of my mind I thanked myself.
“death?” Vergile laughed “Best thing that ever happened to him!”