Author's notes: Heads up - there are things happening in this chapter which would be properly explained in the next chapter. This chapter and the next chapter are sort of moving parallelly. I could have posted that chapter first, but eh, where's the fun in that. It's been so long since we had a proper TOFR-like plot twist. So, hold on tight. *wink wink*
I'd request you to recall the Defensors' sacrificial Enigma objects, and also the story of the Throne! These both things are kinda important from here on.
Right before we turned to part ways, I heard galloping of horses.
"Eleni! Nova!" An urgent voice called and I gulped, before turning and faced Serena. She was on a white horse, and behind her sat... Prince, well Lord Adrian of House of Scorpio.
I suddenly wished Amelia could have met him, for she had a thing for the previous Prince of the Four Realms, like she had for - my eyes widened - King Nova. A sharp pain swiveled in my chest as a horrible realization seeped in. Neo had hurt her with the face which she had adored to bits and pieces. I sent a silent wish to a falling star to keep her safe.
"Um, why did you come here, Serena? Una wanted you down the mountain..." King Nova asked, brows raised.
"She doesn't listen to me, and I don't listen to her." Serena said, her eyes dripping with urgency. "Eleni, I knew Doran would get you back. I have some things to say to you about how incredibly stupid you are, but that'll have to wait."
She was mad, alright.
I looked behind her, a dozen mounted soldiers flanked. Lord Adrian got down the horse and gave her a hand. She jumped down gracefully and walked over to us. "Neo went, didn't he? Doesn't that strike you odd?" She spoke rapidly, as if there was just no time.
"Extremely odd." A lady spoke from behind.
"Arlette, good Heavens!" Lord Adrian's body sagged with relief and she quickly came to stand by her brother's side, who slung an arm around her shoulder, and wiped the blood off her hair.
Serena shook her head, "It is not odd. He didn't go because Eleni came. He went because you Defensors abandoned the pedestals. The one who is worthy isn't standing there. You all abandoned it. Someone's got to be there for it to arrive. You ruined Neo's plan." Serena spoke rapid and fast. "And so did Doran."
We stood perplexed, hanging onto every word she spoke.
"It has always been about balance." Serena said, "And I know it. He used the Gemini House and Libra House, both. The scales always tip in his favor."
A hush fell around, as we hung onto every single word Serena spoke. She'd know about balance and scales - about the Libra House's Mark which I had waited for all my life in vain. I'd trust any of Serena's theory in a heartbeat. She was not just a calligrapher, but a Historian for the Liberan team. And even she didn't know that she had been one.
She turned to King Nova, "The Throne only gave what one was ready to give it back. This... we skip this part thinking it's poetic, but no... It's quite simple and horrible. Neo solved this Enigma. Which no one ever did."
"You did too?" Lady Arlette asked, her brows sky-high, while King Nova stared at Serena as if he had seen a ghost.
"I think so. Neo wants the Throne. Even he knows that the Throne will never choose him. And that's why... the balance. Disguised as his identical twin, he was in the Conquest, too. He probably thought, his brother would not last long, and he would then continue as Nova. But, joke's on him for Nova never lost, not even a single duel." She smiled to herself, maybe she was even talking to herself.
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The Throne of the Four Realms ✔Fantasy
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