CHAPTER 52 - Of Siblings

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Author's note: The Enigma will be cleared in the next chapter.

Also, good luck!


The energy was palpable by the afternoon, flowing from one pensive King of the Summer Realm, to one cackling-her-neck-frequently Queen of the Autumn Realm, swirling around one lost-looking King of the Spring Realm, traveling straight to one gloomy-faced condemned Corresponder, and buzzing like an annoying fly over a helpless girl whose sister was hostage somewhere.

I looked at Doran's empty chair. He had told me an hour ago, before walking out of the palace, that Dylan had found a way to detect sorcerous traces of magic in the snow-capped mountains. Amelia's beautiful smile had flashed in my head.

When I had asked if I could go along, he had said, "It's outside the wards, I'm afraid. I have some soldiers patrolling in the north as well. How about I let you know if and when there is some progress?" I had simply nodded, assured.

Doran had leaned in to kiss some part of my face, preferably my temple, which he very well knew, made me go a bit dizzy. But then, he had cleared his throat, eyes wide, and settled with just an awkward pat on my head, his eyes flickering to Ralph and mine to his father.

I smiled, he'd handle it for me, I knew. But only if Doran would get some rest, I'd feel much better. We will get her out soon one way or the other.

Neo would – would have to – must – bring Amelia out during the Conquest tomorrow. He needed me to win the Throne, didn't he? Neo had covered his tracks well this time, and we were one step back.

Twelve guards had been stationed inside the palace, all armed and covered in plated armors, right down to their boots. The insignia on their armors suggested they were of the House of Aries, Ralph's guards. There were also a few extra Centaurs patrolling outside the palace since the morning. And the dread, instead of loosening had tightened like a thick noose around my neck.

Una had picked up from right where she had left off before I went into the dungeon – "Your skin will prickle. It might feel like an earthquake traveling up your arms, but just for the first few times. Get through it no matter what. This power move comes handy everywhere." She said, placing her now stone-hard arm on the table. "Not everyone can do it."

She had duly asked Lord Orlon's permission before teaching me her – 'Be Boulder' trick, and the kind old Lord had harrumphed but I knew by now, he wasn't as opposed to Earth magic, as he used to be before. The father-son were similar in more than one way!

But other than my fingers, no other part of my arm had turned into stone, a little green moss was all that had surfaced out. It hadn't hurt, instead tickled while shooting out of my skin. And Una, as usual, had called me an idiot!

From over Una's shoulder, my gaze kept flickering to Ralph's rigid frame, while he was seated on a High Chair, around a small round table, near a window to the far corner of the room. Some parchments were fluttering in front of him, while he was bent over them, with a quilled-pen in hand. More than a few times, my eyes caught the title of the book, he was occupied with – Ancient Warfare!

I watched him rub his eyes or lean back, crossing his arms and have a distant shadow on his face while he looked out the window. Should I offer to help? His handwriting was revolting anyways!

"What is Ralph doing?" I asked, to anyone who'd answer.

"King shit." Una said dismissively.

Serena and I glared at her. She perked up, "What? I do Queen shit, too. Just not in someone else's palace."

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