CHAPTER 30 - Of a Red Bird

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Run. Run. Run.

For a heartbeat, I stood outside the door, my now reddened dagger, clutched in my grip. Nostalgia hit me as I recalled it was the same dim-lit passage where Doran had dropped me during the night of the royal ball and where I had heard his father, King Orlon, conspiring against Prince Nova. Simpler days!

Even before I had climbed the steps down, a dozen guards flanked around me, their swords raised and flutes held near their faces. They were in all black.

My heart thundered as I knew I had to stay still - one poisonous dart, and I'd be dead. Without speaking a word, two guards grabbed me by the arms on either side, and dragged me inside again.

"I will walk myself," I said stiffly, not letting my fear show.

"You are not to be trusted," one of the guards spoke firmly, through his black mask.

I glared at him and he squeezed my arms harder, pulling me with renewed force. The high-booted footsteps of all the guards echoed in the shining hallways as they led me to the underground dungeon.

The same smell of the mysterious drug hit me once again, and I wanted to run faraway from there. To Una, to Doran, to my Corresponders team, to anyone who'd help me.

I had a sense of déjà vu as I was dumped roughly into the same room once again, where Prince Nova had first showed me his true colors.

He was sitting on the high-chair, nursing his wound. His doublet was heavily tainted with blood but the wound seemed to be healed.

How had he healed himself so quickly?

"That was quite a show you put on there," the roughness of Prince Nova's voice screeched in my ears.

"Let me go," I hissed, tears of dread making themselves show, as one guard secured my arm still.

"So that you can play with your dagger again?" he smirked.


"I know your plan," I said almost in a whisper.

"Aah, yes, right. You were there in the Winter Palace."

I stared down at him, "I heard your plans for the Eclipses."

"For the Lueshas," he spat. He had managed to make an already foul word even more derogatory.

"I am the bait, aren't I?"

He laughed. Heartily.

"So, you heard everything. I must admit I am impressed. Well, you could be the bait if you want to. I am sure whoever the leader of the Eclipses is, will come running for you with all his army."

"I am not here to impress you," I seethed.

"You are here just because you did impress me," he said after a pause, "by being what you are," his lips twitched in a smug smile and I wanted to burn him alive. I doubted whether he knew that I had fire. It would be better if he didn't.

"What do you want from me?" I asked as I swatted the guard's firm clasp from over my right arm, and stood up.

"It would have been much easier if you weren't this feisty," he pinched the bridge of his nose.

"Can't always get what we want, right?" I glared at him.

I regretted my words as I saw him rising up from his seat, with a face drenched with cold fury. Prince Nova came closer to me and this time I did not move back. He waved a hand at the guards, and I heard them leaving the room. He always seemed to make people leave the room before showing his true colors.

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