CHAPTER 35 - Of Chaos

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"You are one of the staff for the High Lady of Aries House, I am guessing?" King Orlon asked.

"No, I am a Corresponder, Your Highness."

"Is that so? Well, regardless let me give you one advice." He leaned forward in his seat before adding, "It's okay to take help if you are going through a bad time." He smiled softly at me, "Someone might believe you."

My heart clenched at his words. Little did he know the someone was his own son.

"You are too kind, Your Highness," I bowed in my seat, hiding my face, afraid of letting him see the effect his words had on me.

"Now, off you go." He said as the palace of Aries came into view again. "The duel is starting in an hour - I wasn't planning on going but now I just might."

I gasped. The duel was starting. Ralph might not be at the palace.

"Your Highness, I am sorry for asking too much of you, but could you take me to the amphitheatre?"

He scratched his chin, "I'd suggest you take a day off from your job. But not a problem, lass." I watched as King Orlon turned in his seat and spoke to the driver, "To the amphitheatre."

As I stole a glance at his golden crown, I remembered the incident at the royal ball. He had spies at the Gemini palace. Was there a very different reason for that?

Did he know something too?

Later. I'd get to the bottom of this, later.

I felt drowsy as the carriage hopped along the quaint roads. I saw people shutting their shops and making way to the amphitheatre. Of course, they were excited – it was the final duel of the Dragon Round.

A gnawing long-lost memory of the Virgo House's High Lady flashed in my head – she had asked me to show her my Mark after the end of the Dragon Round. I gulped.

I rubbed my eyes, making the exhaustion go away. King Orlon had reclined a little in his seat, his hand covering his eyes, breathing even.

A Defensor is always tired, I thought. But Prince Nova, he did not look tired, on the contrary he was always... fresh.

The Alchemist's words rang in my head – 'That's how he wins.'

Master, that's what she had called him.

Had she given me a hint? A faint groan left my lips as the mystery bubbled in my head and King Orlon moved his hand off his eyes to look at me. But he did not say anything, and I felt grateful.

The carriage halted at the entrance of the amphitheatre. As we got down from it, I realized that there was going to be a huge issue and right then –

"Come on, girl. Let's get you with your team."

I pursed my lips and followed him, keeping my head down as his royal entourage came to stand beside him. What a dimwit I was, coming with the King of the Summer Realm.

"Eleni?" a deep silvery voice spoke and I turned around sharply.

Doran's handsome face peered at me. Instead of being surprised, I found myself sagging with relief. It hadn't been much long that I last met him, but it seemed like ages ago. All the memories rushed through me, the supper that we had shared at the small eatery and the way the phoenix had greeted me in his presence. I wanted to tell him – that I had Fire just like he did. I wanted to put my arms around him and melt away.

"Do you know her?" King Orlon asked, his eyes moving between us.

"What's she doing with you?" Doran asked, an expression of defensive anger fleeting on his face and he took a step towards me.

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