CHAPTER 25 - Of a Discovery

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Ragged from the run, I climbed the steps to my chamber. It was the day of another dragon duel and I knew that the entire embassy was deserted. My run from the Gemini Palace to the Liberan embassy had been desolate as well, not a single soul was to be seen on the streets. I slammed the door shut, entering my room. In one rapid movement, I unslung my satchel and dropped it to the floor and staggered inside the washroom.

Locking myself in, I looked at my numb reflection in the mirror. Without pausing to think, I scooped the ice-cold water from a large tankard in the hollow of my palms, and splashed it on my face. The contact of the water with my skin, made me shiver violently. But I splashed some more, continuously, shuddering with the impact.

Why was this happening to me? Since the day I stepped foot in the Winter Realm, my life had changed its steady course and now rocked hard in the middle of an ocean, with a thunderstorm brewing overhead.

I should have never come here; nothing would have ever changed. I would have been still going to the Post in the morning, making dinner with Amelia and tending to my garden and poultry. Life would be normal.

Nostalgia and regret formed a deadly combination and tugged at the broken strings of my heart.

But secrets as dark as this, never stay hidden for too long.

Splash.

I would have given myself away anyways.

Splash.

Endangering Amelia and Uncle Barak's family.

Splash.

If Prince Nova opened his mouth - even my closest friends would face the consequences. No one cohorts with the Lueshas. A shrill laugh left my throat as the cruelty of my situation hit me – both my royal friends were Luesha hunters themselves.

Panting heavily, I picked up the half-filled tankard, and held it over my head, pouring all of the freezing water on me. I took a sharp breath as the coldness overpowered.

I collapsed on to the wet floor. Hugging my knees closer to my chest, I trembled. Would I die if I stayed in the cold for too long? Would it matter to anyone?

Not to Amelia, who had, for some reason, loathed me. Not to Serena, who I had distanced myself from. Not to Doran, who belonged to the enemy Realm. Not to Una, who hardly knew me, to whom I lied consistently.

It might matter to one person though - I clenched my fists, as Prince Nova's face scurried in my head. He needed something from me, didn't he?

The events of the past hour kept replaying in my mind's eye, threatening to stop my already slowing heartbeat.

I let out a loud scream, until my throat was hoarse. My body sagged down heavily, as I howled with angry tears. My own voice deafened me. Why was this happening to me? I did not want any of this. No body would.

Serena, Una and Doran had never threatened me, after knowing my secret of having Earth powers. So why had Prince Nova's words felt like a sword pierced through my chest?

He was supposed to be a glorious Prince on the verge of becoming the Conqueror of the Throne!

I screamed some more into the thunderous silence.

Time passed by in a hazy blur, as I sat there drenched, leaning on to the bathtub, freezing in the chilly air surrounding me.

Did I have no way out of this? Was obeying the golden-haired rogue, my only option? Was this the reality of the prince? Of the Defensor who was on the path to a sure victory?

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