CHAPTER 55 - Of Two Slaves

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Author's notes: You guys have no idea how relieving it is to have our girl back after 6 chapters... (Eleni's last chapter was 54 when Neo fed her bullshit and made her a slave.)

This chapter is dedicated to one of my favorite readers who always had faith in Nova while everyone was still cursing him left and right. ❤️


No feeling. No fear. Nothing.

A huge mass of white light blinded me yet again, and I squinted my blurry eyes. The portal haunted my dreams maybe. And I heard a loud raspy voice -"This. Is. Not. Over."

The portal vanished. Thorns rose on my cold skin.

Had I been sleeping? Was this a dream? A dream where people were fighting. Metals clanked, horses neighed, the land trembled and magic of all kinds swayed. Where was I? This was a nightmare. I needed to wake up. Memories came rushing back to me. I was bound to a chair, with silver eyes looking at me. Raspy voice speaking to me.

They all pity you.

Amelia! I had seen her. A scar on her face. Not a dream.

Right then, a strong familiar arm slung around me, making me jump. "Eleni! Can you hear me?" I looked up to see Ralph, his face slicked with concern and relief. I moved away from him, wanting nothing but to cry into his chest. But his hand still clutched my shoulder tighter, not letting me go.

Your brother pities you enough to see you as an obligation not as a sister.

A few soldiers were lifting up an injured man in blue Winter armor a few feet away. His hands dropped limp by his side, and I saw they were scarred, blackened.

Come back to me, my starlight.

A deep ache pierced through my chest even without any weapon slashing through. I froze like being hit by a blizzard. Rooted like a withered tree, one chop of axe and I'd drop down dead. My hand flew to my heaving chest as I recognized the man.

Eleni, I love you.

"Who did this to Doran?" I whispered. My senses were numbing down. Dream. Nightmare. Unreal.

Ralph didn't answer, and I looked up at him, tears dripping like questions. He caressed a hand through my hair, giving in. "He was in a duel and he... won."

"That portal? Neo was here? Neo hurt Doran?" Rage built up in me, but a deep sense of guilt mingled in.

"Yes, Neo hurt Doran. He fled like the coward that he is with all his army. But... but he will be back for sure. Come on, let's get you warmed up."

This. Is. Not. Over.

"Will he be okay?" I asked, looking at the soldiers around who were airlifting the body of the boy, who... who loved me. Who had said he loved me. Who loved me, just like I loved him. But for some reason, I didn't want to touch him, didn't want to go near him. I was better away, no matter how maddening the rush was to touch his face and tell him he'd be fine. That I was here, right where he said he was waiting.

"He will be. He has to. We've got Autumn Healers here." Ralph said, moving his palm up and down the frozen skin of my arm. He held me closer, as if I was one step away from being snatched from him and I walked by his side, numb and dazed.

He made me sit on a stack of pillows in a tent, adjoined to Doran's. Placing a few burly soldiers around the tent, he came back with an elderly woman, a healer perhaps. She took my bloodied palm in hers and started to clean and bandage it up-for the third time now. Swallowing the pain, I took a moment to look at Ralph, who looked tired; armored, with a golden crown hanging loose on a hook of his scabbard's belt, as if it would drop down anytime and he'd be none the wiser. What all had happened while I was... asleep? Armor, crown, soldiers, tents...?

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