CHAPTER 21- Of a King and his Son

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Note: Dedicating this chapter to my really special writer friends - kndlntsva and matthewchimneysweeps for supporting me since the start and being with me till now. I take inspiration from their amazing books.

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When the King of the Summer Realm, walked leisurely on the ground, and when he chided one of his soldiers, or when he simply sat down, massaging his knees, I kept a wary eye on him. Sitting on the steps of the mini-amphitheatre, I watched him like a hawk, after the impressionists left for the Lair, to sketch the dragons.

"This guy gives me the chills," Serena muttered from my side.

"Me too," I said, my eyes still affixed on him on their own accord.

"Can you believe Doran came from someone like him? I wish to see Doran's centaur form though." Serena said grinning wide.

I glared at her, taking my eyes off King Orlon's human body, reluctantly. As Doran in a centaur form flashed in my mind's eye, I felt my heart throbbing with excitement and something else that I couldn't really name. But his tortured human face, made me feel a bit queasy. He and I belonged to the enemy Realms, with him owing me a Debt. I closed my eyes, cursing the circumstances, cursing the nature of our bond.

I was new to this War of Realms scenario, but he had practically been raised with the feud brewing over.

I shuddered involuntarily, at the thought of his father, who was right in front of my eyes at the moment; he must have brainwashed his children, into hating the Autumn Realm. Realizing that I had to relieve Doran of this agony, I decided to ask him a favor as soon as possible and be done with it. The sooner, the better.

"Eleni, I don't think, he hates you," Serena said.

"He is the Prince of the Summer Realm," I blurted a little too loudly.

"I know, but..."

I could feel anger bubbling over me, not knowing exactly why. And right then, the man in question, walked over the ground, stopping beside the bench where his father sat. Serena followed my gaze, and was just as surprised as I was.

Doran said something to his father and the King seemed to be agitated. And just as he came, he was now turning on his heels, his face set in stone. I watched as the King got up, and shouted at Doran's departing figure. The words were inaudible at this distance but anyone could figure out their intensity. Doran paid no heed whatsoever and continued walking away. Almost everyone on the ground, and those on the steps, had witnessed the father-son conflict as well.

"For the love of the Throne, what was that?" Serena broke the silence.

In that moment, I was enraged at the King, on behalf of Doran. What kind of rifts could a royal family have?

"You should go talk to him." Serena said looking at me.

"What?" I blinked.

"Just saying, he might need a friend right now," she shrugged.

"I am the exact opposite of a friend for him," I knew my voice was raised again.

"Stop assuming things and just go," she said with a roll of her eyes, and got back to her parchment, clipped to the wooden board. Maybe, I was assuming things. I wrung my fingers for a while, eyes darting left to right. Finally, reaching to a decision, I got up.

Serena snorted.

"I am going just because you insisted."

"You tell yourself that," she snorted yet again before adding with a pointed finger, "Just come back soon. No detours."

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