Chapter Eighteen

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Chapter Eighteen

The sun looks beautiful, just barely able to be seen as the trees clutter the sky. With my skin feeling the warm rays of the sun, a soft breeze blows as well, reminding me of the mountaintop where Dregh told me things I hope never come true. With my body leaning against the doorway of the balcony located at the highest tower n Lucretia's palace, I look out to the mountain range beyond the trees, where Kyril told the elves we were headed. The mountains do not look like any other I have seen before, the tops covered in snow and black rocks, a frozen waterfall in the distances as the ruins of some old castle can be seen, the once white bricks holding a black strain as if a fire consumed the building. The trees are still green there at the base of the mountain, a set of stairs leading up to the road where the castle lays, but beyond the castle is the rest of the mountains that look unwelcoming and dangerous.

Millions of questions run through my mind, my thoughts consumed by what Lucretia told me just hours ago, on how my father plans to be a surprise guest for dinner who will try and kill Kyril. I remember the first time I heard of my father slaying someone, how I told myself that could never be true, but as the nights pass and I hear more of what my father has done, I begin to wonder why I have come for him. Why did I come to Iduna in the first place? I recall being upset, my mother distant as always, and having enough of the life I was living. Never before had I thought that mirror in my father's office could do anything, just thinking my mother kept it around as a reminder of him. Perhaps a piece of me had hope that my father was still out there, escaping into a new world through that mirror, and living an exciting life that made him excited to get up in the morning. I was tired of the same routine of a distant mother, friends who held more pity for me than true friendship, and a boyfriend who refused to agree with me even on the simple things. Maybe I even thought that if I could find my father and bring him back home...things would go back to the way they used to be: mother smiling, holidays celebrated with joy, a sense of belonging, and feeling that I would be actually loved for one. It is silly now, how my reasons for coming here were so damn selfish and I now find myself wondering if it was even worth it for me to come here.

My father is a murderer, murdering not just demigods who are Kyril's age, but also children no older than five. To think he may do this all because of some ancient family practice or destiny that he seeks to fulfill. Did mother know about this, about his reasons for coming here? I have always done so much for people, not just family, but friends and people I wanted to make an impression on as well. I put myself through so much worry and misery that I did not notice that I was burning bridges rather than building them. I constantly allowed my mother to go on her trips without any argument because I did not want to upset her and knew she was doing this all for our family. For friends I always stood up for them, always making sure they felt safe and like they could be themselves. I have always been loyal to those I want to keep in my life, to those who mean something to me.

But look where that loyalty has landed me now, tied up in a mess bigger than myself and lives on the line. My father is just protecting some family destiny, trying to take care of business, but even if he kills Kyril tonight he will not return home. My father will never come home, and I know this to be fact now, feeling so stupid for not accepting that truth before. Why do I even bother going along now, trying to find him, to think that he would help me return home? Then again, my options are limited because I am a human in a ream like no other and friends here are scarce. It is sad because Kyril is the only one here I could even call something close to a friend. He thinks me to be some soulmate of his and I know I feel no romantic connection to him, but I cans sense that we could become not just allies, but perhaps friends if under different circumstances. Would I be willing to watch him die tonight all because I need to have my father give me a way back home or whatever I seek from my father, or would I be willing to save someone who I may be becoming loyal to? Loyal to Kyril, someone who destroyed the portal back to my home, who I have held a sword up to and fought, and who even held me over a balcony the day we met. Kyril, someone who may just lash out at me if he knew I was Heka's daughter.

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