CHAPTER 42 - Of a Forest (Part II)

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Prince Nova.

I felt a chill rise up through my spine at the mention of his name. The sky overhead lurched into a whisper of thundering or maybe it happened in my head.

A certain pair of angry brown eyes were affixed on me, and I dared not turn towards them. Guilt was all that I felt for having hidden this fact from Doran.

"I asked you, didn't I?" He said, and I turned to look at him. His once gentle eyes, were nothing but flames of restrained fire. I took in a huge guilty breath.

"She was afraid," I heard Serena's gentle tone, "He had her under his control. I sort of understand why she chose not to tell us anything."

Una reached a hand towards her, and Serena gently curled her fingers around it. I understood then, that Una knew what had happened to Serena. What the devil had done to her or had planned to do!

Doran jerked his head away in a swift motion and I felt a pang of hurt gripping me. "Nova did all this." He whispered. Not a question. "The day we met the Phoenix, the blood on your dress...what did he do?"

I shuddered slightly, and found my vision blurring with the images of the dead guards. "He killed his guards in the study."

"What?" Una sucked in a breath, "Nova? Really?"

The air around us seemed to change and I looked at Serena. She was on the verge of tears and it was making the air violent.

"Was this the same day when we met in his study?" Ralph asked in a low voice, his fists clenched.

I nodded.

"I shouldn't have left you there," Ralph said, his red eyes flickering wildly.

"You didn't know. Besides, you didn't know me either." I said and offered him a small smile.

"Why did he take your blood in the dungeon, Eleni?" Serena whispered.

And I practically felt everyone freezing up.

"What's she saying? What blood?" Una asked in a rush.

"That bastard was in the dungeon?" Doran asked, his forehead furrowed.

I nodded and turned slightly to Una, "He has the Head Alchemist." The pain in my palm flared up.

Una swore at my side. "Yes. I..." she said with a nod, her eyes flickering with worry, "Fireling showed me your satchel and the wand inside...well, I understood."

"My blood is the missing element," I said, my hands trembling in my lap.

"But..." Una rubbed her palms and squared her shoulders, "But why is he being like this? Why does he need a drug that is used to keep people slaves? Nova won't hurt you, hurt anyone... There's a mistake. Are you sure?"

"I don't know but he has someone as his slave. Or many more. Maybe even the Alchemist is his slave..."

Now that I was finally letting it all out, I wanted to spill it all. Every. Single. Thing. But they needed to know that this wasn't going to be easy.

"You are not supposed to know this," I said in a meek voice.

"Well, don't worry about that. We can handle this," Ralph said and I found Doran and Una agreeing.

I suddenly screamed aloud, "No. You cannot. He threatened me that he will take revenge from my brother, and he almost did," I glared at Ralph, "And he also threatened me with you," I turned to Doran.

"And he held a dagger at Serena just the other night. It's not that easy. You can't handle this." I shuddered again but continued, looking at Una, "He also threatened my sister. I cannot let you just run to him and demand for answers. This isn't your typical courtroom drama. He is always one step ahead. Always."

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