CHAPTER 27 - Of a Lost Heirloom

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"So, what you're saying is, we start a rumor of sorts that we might execute Lueshas?" Lady Orella asked in a disinteresting tone.

"Well, sort of," Prince Nova said flashing his ever-so dazzling smile at her.

"Look here kids, it took me thirty years to make the citizens understand that the Lueshas are not all evil. I won't let you ruin it." High King Maris suddenly seemed to be glowing with the ancient power that he still carried in his veins.

"But father," Prince Adrian spoke, "it might actually work. We might lure the leader of the Eclipses out."

Lord Ralph seconded him, "And besides, we don't even have to make it public. As we all know that the Eclipses have eyes and ears in every House, they might just overhear a rumor and be warned thereby. Also," he paused to look at Prince Nova before adding, "No one's killing anyone."

The elderly Wielder of all the Four Elemental powers nodded at him, "This is much better, Ralph. The people should remain oblivious at any cost. And no killing. Let's wait for that potion by Virgo House."

Everyone bowed their heads in respect as the final word seemed to have been passed by High King Maris. I swore I saw a vein flex on Prince Nova's forehead. Sagging with relief, I thanked Lord Ralph and the High King with a heart full of gratitude.

"Who's hungry?" King Orlon said suddenly, and nudged Prince Adrian with his elbow, to pass him the dish of a fresh steaming apple pie. I distinctly noticed the vigorous eye roll that Doran gave his father.

I was trying to stay calm for his sake, but it was getting difficult with every passing moment. He was looking around the room. Could he sense me here? He had said as much that he was guided to me when I'd be in danger.

I sucked in a breath - I needed to get out of here. Quick.

Doran gulped the entire of his glass of water and I realized that I was doing it again. I took deep breaths and steadied myself. There had been tons of such incidents wherein I had broken down - had Doran felt them all? Went through everything that I did? The softest part of my heart, that he solely owned, seemed to shatter into pieces at the thought.

"Excuse me, it's about time my spy brings me some news," Lord Ralph addressed the gathering and got up from his seat.

In that moment, I remembered why I was stationed here and just in time, did I realize that indeed more drinks were required. With a last glance at the table of the royals, at Prince Nova and Doran, who sat side by side, I walked back to the pantry that I had come from.

I stopped near the threshold of the pantry and hiding my face, announced - "First course is about to end." Without waiting for a reply, I hurriedly glided through the passages, looking for the servant chamber where I had stashed my satchel and clothes.

Staying in this beautiful palace was dangerous. What was I thinking, coming to a meeting where people discussed about the Eclipses? About people like me.

As I reached the passage, I found myself in a conundrum - which door had it been? The panic rose in my chest, as I heard distant footsteps.

At the last moment, I recalled there was a small bell at the door handle and quickly ducked inside it. I wasted naught but a heartbeat and dashed to the bed where I had kept my belongings. Relief flooded me as I found them just the way I had left them. I quickly stripped, and lay bare in nothing but my under bodice. My situation scared me to the core as I donned my reliable blackness. I elemented my white hair back to black and picked up my satchel.

I cursed myself for having brought it as it was heavy with my sundial, which I clearly did not need here.

Listening intently at the door, I waited for a few long moments. Making sure that no one lurked out in the passage, I slowly opened the door, taking a quick peek outside and closed it noiselessly behind me.

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