Leo: Between The Four Sons

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Chapter Four: The King

The thing about going to your room to sleep is that you might expect to sleep. The expectancy didn’t seem to work well with my mind because that night I didn’t sleep at all. I checked on Violet a couple of times but she seemed to have wonderful dreams that weren’t in coordination with my nightmares.

At one point, I gave up. I stood up, walked over to the bowl of water, and splashed it in my face. I heard something outside and saw that Katherine was sitting on the balcony sketching something in her little black book. She wore a blue sleeping dress and her long black hair was braid into a bun.

I stepped outside letting the cool breeze sweep through my dark hair. She frowned while she was drawing. I always liked that about her but didn’t know why.

“Couldn’t sleep either huh?” I asked her.

She looked startled “Um? No. And you?”

“No,” I admitted. “So what are you working on?”

“Oh nothing,” she said closing her book.

I went over and sat down next to her. I took the book out of her hand. She wanted to take it back but allowed me to look through. The outside was a little burned and some of the pages as well. I guess the fire from the town at least left this for her.

I looked through it, slowly admiring her sketches. Pulling my face at some indicating that it was bad or good, acting as if I was an art critic of some sort. She laughed a bit and after the few times she stabbed me with her elbow, I gave up.

“These are really good,” I told her.

There was no lie behind my words because they were respectable.

“Thank you, but it’s nothing like the one’s Lynx paint,” she said while blushing.

There were many drawings of happy families with little children smiling that I never saw before. But there were more sketches: Me sitting by the river, her mom and dad in the bakery and a bunch of other people from the village I didn’t have a lot to do with. Then I came across a drawing of a griffon that immersed from fire and my eyes widened. She looked at me and then at the painting.

“Nightmares,” she said with concern in her eyes.

I told her about the nightmare I had the night before and she gave me a look of sympathy like she knew what I was going through. Then I realized that this was the first time we actually had a chance to talk alone since everything that had happened.

“I have to tell you something,” she said getting that distant look in her eyes.

I remembered yesterday when she tried to tell me something in the forest before we saw the soldiers. It was hard to believe that it was one day ago because to me it felt like an entire week went by. I looked at Katherine and I saw that the words she was about to utter were like a cry for help. I gave her back her book and nodded.

“Um,” it didn’t look like she knew how to say it but she straightened her face.

Her eyes were getting a little sparkly around the edges like the tears were being trapped.

“The day of my eighteenth birthday, my mom and dad told me that they weren’t my real parents. A...” she started crying.

I put my arm around her shoulder trying to comfort her and I felt that she was cold as ice. To tell the truth, I was shocked. Something like this would have never even a cured to me.

“They said that they found me inside the barn one night and I was screaming and crying. They said there wasn’t anyone around so they decided to take me in and raise me as their own,” she cried. “My own parents didn’t even want me Leo!”

I wanted to take a step back and gather my thoughts but I was against the wall of the house.

“Now you don’t know that Katherine. Maybe they just couldn’t care for you-”

“No! They didn’t want me,” she said looking me in the eyes.

Her blue eyes filled with tears like a bright blue dam ready to burst at any second. Yet still trying to be strong enough to keep those last bits of water from going lost.

“If they wanted me they would’ve come back for me. I mean I just wanted to know who they were?” she said with the tears running down her face.

The thing was that even the strongest dams had a weak spot in their construction.

“I understand,” I said stroking her arm but I could feel that she was getting warmer.

“No, you don’t!” She paused seeing she might have been a bit harsh, “No one does.”

Her cheeks were red with hatred as she looked away.

I didn’t want to argue so I let it slide since I could see she was really upset. I turned her head to mine and wiped a tear from her cheek but her eyes still avoided mine.

I suddenly remembered the first day I met Katherine, the day they moved to the village. I was four years old and in town with my mom when a man walked up to my mom. It was Mr Morley, as I came to know now. A little girl was standing behind him with black hair made in two pigtails and her blue eyes filled with fear as she stared at the village. She was a little taller than me then and was wearing a grey knee-length dress with black shoes.

‘Don’t be scared,’ I told her.

‘I’m not,’ she stated. ‘I just like looking around and that can make my eyes watery sometimes.’

From that day, we were friends.

“No, I don’t understand. And no one else will ever understand the pain and grief you’re going through,” I stopped not sure what to say. “But I can try... And we can be in this together.”

She looked up at me with her big blue eyes and I could see the moons’ light reflecting off them. The water from the dam seemed to stop running for a while as they found a temporary way to save the wall. But a more permanent solution would have to be found or the entire dam would break. It looked like she wanted to say something else but she held it back and simply replied with, “Thank you.”

She laid her head on my shoulder and cried once more but not as much as before. I stroked her hair and gave her a kiss on the forehead.

“Shh. Don’t worry. Everything is going to be fine,” I told her, but I wasn’t actually sure how things were going to turn out. In fact, I have never been quite sure about anything when we started this ‘quest’.

I didn’t know if I was able to protect her or my sister at this stage. After all the things I witnessed today. The world just seemed a little cruel to me and much larger than I expected. I felt a little lost because there was nothing out of the ordinary in my life and now with all of this, there would never be going back to the simple life I knew before. I missed my house, my dad and my mom. A happy Katherine.

I wanted to share it with Katherine but after what she just told me, I couldn’t. I thought about sending them home, but I couldn’t send them home now. They would never leave.

“Shh,” I whispered to Katherine again. “We’re in this together.”

We just sat there the entire night staring at the moon. I felt exceptionally sorry for Katherine because I figured it was pretty bad not knowing who your real parents are and I didn’t have any other way to comfort her. Me being here with her was the best I could do.

At one point, she dozed off but I didn’t just want to leave her alone here, so I stayed with her the entire night. I didn’t mind since I wouldn’t have fallen asleep if I did go. I stroked the tears off her face and gave her tight side hugs while she was sleeping.

I stared at the silver moon shining so extraordinary in the sky along with the thousands of stars. I looked back at Katherine and felt her snuggling up close to me. A small smile formed at the edges of her mouth as if she was having a wonderful dream. Her hair smelled like some sort of flower, like lavender or something and it somehow calmed me down. I could feel that her body was warm against mine so I didn’t mind her snuggling closer at all. I didn’t know why but something just felt right about this moment. The world wasn’t perfect, but you could find perfect moments in an imperfect world.

I’ve never been surer about anything as I sat there. I held her close and I think I might actually have dozed off.

The next morning at sunrise, I woke Katherine up and said that we had a lot of travel ahead of us today. I helped her stand up and she headed to her room and climbed through her window. I went to my room and splashed my face with water again. I noticed that there was water in the bath and I quickly jumped in. When I was inside, I didn’t understand who drew the bath, it confused me, but I didn’t care. My mind wasn’t well rested enough to figure this out right now. I soaked in the bath for a few minutes and then got dressed.

I then swung my bag over my shoulder and headed downstairs. There was no one downstairs and it was silent. I walked over to the front door, the wooden floor creaking as I walked over it. I opened the door and a breeze of freshness blew inside. Lynx was standing at the end of the trail down the hill brushing Abrus. He was wearing battle armour over his human half but I couldn’t wrap my mind around the reason why?

It almost looked like he was talking to the horses. I didn’t know if he could, like if he could communicate with them since he was half horse or something? I walked over and bid him a good morning. He greeted me back and straightened his brown bow that hung over his shoulder. I wanted to ask him why he wore armour but I didn’t know if I should.

“A call from the Lord of the Forest,” he said as if he was reading my thoughts. “It’s an emergency.”

I replied with, “Oh?” I felt a little stupid that I couldn’t have come up with something better but I already said it.

“Don’t worry boy. I will still show you the way on my way to him,” he said looking at me. “As soon as your friends are here we can head off.”

On that note, Violet emerged out of the doorway walking over to us and tied her bags to her horse.

“So where to?” she asked Lynx.

My little sister, so young but so sure that she could handle whatever was about to happen.

“I would like to take you to the Cave of Mystery first, but it has been brought to my attention that you might not be ready to meet the guardian. Plus, at the moment the cave is located somewhere I am unaware of, so it is out of my reach. I will take you to king Hendry’s palace so you can tell him the story so he can go talk to the council,” Lynx said pleased with his work.

I didn’t know what the council was but I had a feeling I would find out soon. I also wondered why Violet had such an interest in all of this.

“So what are we waiting for?” Violet asked ready to head off as she climbed on her horse.

I saw that Katherine was standing just behind me and walked over to Glimmer. She avoided my gaze and it felt strange because I didn’t do anything wrong? She tied her bags to her horse and climbed on and I followed. I saw she had a bow slung over her shoulder just like Lynx.

“He gave it to me this morning,” she said after she noticed me staring.

I looked over at Lynx who I could now look at in the eye. It was hard to tell what he was thinking but he didn’t seem like he wanted to share his thoughts.

“Let’s go,” Lynx said and he started riding, or more like running, to the edge of the dome, on the opposite side where we came in.

I stared at Katherine to see how she was doing after last night but she nodded in a gesture to tell me she was fine. Although she still didn’t look me in the eye and I could tell her cheeks were a little red. After that, we followed Lynx to wherever he was going.

We walked for a long while until we came to a river that froze solid. It was the same river as before.

“Oh look it’s our little friend,” I said sarcastically.

Katherine made a faint giggle but Lynx didn’t look like he understood. So, I guessed he wasn’t one for a lot of humour.

“You just follow the river upstream and you will find king Hendry’s palace next to a waterfall.”

We could have done all this by our self, if the griffons didn’t interfere or if we didn’t see the satyrs and stopped. Either way, we could have reached it quickly. And it made me proud to know that we were on the right track yesterday.

“Thank you for everything,” I didn’t share my thoughts with Lynx though.

Both Katherine and Violet also thanked him and we started riding along the river.

“Before you go,” Lynx said and walked towards us. “You should know that the four kings are always fighting and bickering and they don’t like each other much. Try to understand the deeper truth within everything someone tells you. This will make things difficult, but once you understand who you are within yourself, it will be all right. The difficulty sometimes comes as a blessing and I fear it will especially be a hard blessing to understand for you,” he pointed at Katherine.

I didn’t again understand what he was talking about and I could see Katherine had a very confused face herself. He walked towards her and took a necklace out of a concealed pocket in his breastplate. It looked like a glass white snowflake.

“Wear this and I would hope with everything in me that it will protect you,” he said. “I wish I could have more time with all of you, but I believe we shall meet again and hopefully we will learn more about one another. For now, you must look out for each other. And from this moment on, you should know that your lives will change forever.”

After Lynx told us that interesting, yet a scary fact, he started running away in a different direction.

I didn’t know what was wrong with the people in this forest. They didn’t seem to understand the concept of a conversation and every time they talked they would just seem to run off to who knows where leaving you not understanding anything. Violet shook her head in disbelief to how this could happen again.

I didn’t take his words in perspective because I’m sure that asking someone for help won’t change my life unless the king would help save my dad. That might make a change.

The entire thing with Katherine was puzzling too. A necklace couldn’t protect her? Although it did seem pretty and all but still. Besides the way it shimmered in the sunlight, it didn’t look like it might over much protection. It looked fragile and frail.

We then started riding again and there was not a lot of talking as we rode. Everyone seemed wrapped up in his or her own minds and I didn’t know if it was better when Violet asked so many questions.

Now I was silently thinking. Katherine was looking at the necklace she placed around her neck and Violet was looking through one of her bags.

It stopped snowing and the entire forest was completely quiet. The only thing you could hear was the drumbeat of our horses’ hooves on the little pebbles next to the river. But even that sound was muffled out because the snow had mixed in between. Every now and then, there would be a little squirrel that would run along the branches of the pine trees, but then they would just disappear between the leaves and snow. The animals must be immune to the coldness here because it didn’t seem like any of them were hibernating.

While we were riding, I thought of my mom again. I was bound to anyway, with Katherine’s story and if my parents knew. I wondered what she would think about the three of us riding in the Winter Forest to a king’s palace that we didn’t even know anything about. She probably would have yelled at me but I think if she knew what was going on, she would understand.

“Look,” Katherine noted.

I looked over at the river and I saw it. The river started flowing again. I remembered what Lynx had said about the king practising and I still didn’t grasp the concept. What would he be practising for? There were so many questions I started to have and somehow they started to get more and more and I didn’t know where I was going to get the answers.

“Did Lynx talk to you about anything else this morning?” I asked Katherine.

“No,” she replied. “He only told Violet and myself that we should always protect ourselves.”

Violet agreed, and I could sense that maybe he wanted to say something to Katherine alone, but because Violet was there he hesitated.

We kept riding for another while when the horses suddenly stopped and their heads shifted from left to right with their ears standing up. I grasped my sword and jumped off Abrus. Katherine followed with her bow and pulled an arrow from the quiver. Violet also jumped off her horse and her fist was clenched over a little dagger that I didn’t even know she had with her.

“Where did you get that?” I asked her.

She smiled embarrassed but her smile wavered with the look I shot at her. I grabbed the knife from her and tucked it into my belt. What was she thinking? What was she going to do? Attack an army with a knife? Then it dawned on me just how silly we all really were. It was just like if I attacked an army with my sword. Before I could say something else to her, I felt a pulling in my gut and there just before us water jumped out of the river and formed a block of ice in front of us. The horses staggered backwards and the same happened behind us, a block of ice as high as my head. We were blocked in because there wasn’t enough space to fit through the trees to my right. I turned towards the river pointing my sword. That was the only directions we could go but also the only place an enemy could attack from I guessed. A stream of water from the river lifted up into the air and in my moment of confusion, the water reacted. The water moved forward and slammed me in the stomach. I stumbled backwards and the water froze me solid up to my neck.

“What?” I couldn’t move.

I didn’t even have time to react or feel the coldness that formed around me. Two more streams came out of the river and froze Violet and Katherine who looked at me dumbfounded.

Three soldiers jumped out of the river and they were completely dry. But how did they do that? They wore white clothes from neck to toe, it looked like it was made out of white fur but I couldn’t say what animal. All three of them were men. The one had dark skin with black hair, brown eyes and a pointy nose. The soldier on his left had brown eyes and he was bald and looked a little older than the other two. He also had a scar running over his face so I figured he had a lot of battle experience. The other had light skin and golden blond hair with light ice blue eyes. He stood in the middle, between the other two, so I guessed he was the leader and I almost immediately knew I wasn’t going to like him. He looked about my age, maybe a few years older. I didn’t know why someone so young would be in charge, but if he was, he had to be a good warrior. All three of them, by any measurable standers, were handsome in their own way I supposed.

“Well, well. What do we have here?” the one in the middle said circling us. “Mortal? Spies perhaps?”

The way he lingered on the ‘s’ in ’spies’, it seemed like he met a couple of them before.

“No. We’re on our way to see King Hendry,” I said in a calm voice.

“Why?” he asked looking me dead in the eye.

He irritated me and I didn’t want to tell him.

“Our business,” Katherine told him and I felt good about it.

He walked towards her.

“You’re not in a position not to tell us, beautiful lady,” he didn’t try to hide the seduction in his voice.

Her cheeks turned red, while she examined the situation and I don’t know why but I felt something stirring inside me. There was silence for a while.

“Well?” he said flipping her braid.

That was almost too much for me to handle but I didn’t know what to say?

“We have to tell them Leo, we have no choice.”

I looked over at the other two soldiers standing by the riverside with the horses. There was no way out but still, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want help from them at this moment. Violet at least seemed calm about everything and so did the horses, they didn’t feel threatened anymore.

“Fine,” I told Katherine annoyed.

She told them the entire story. How many times have we told the story the last couple of days? And if they take us to the king we would add one more time to the list.

“How can we trust you?” he asked.

“You can’t,” Katherine told him.

I felt pleased with her answer. In fact, I couldn’t offer a better one. He looked around and circled us again. His walk becoming slower than faster.

“Very well,” he said and made a signal to his following soldiers with his hands.

A boat made out of white ice flowed down the river as they turned to face it. It wasn’t a large boat and wouldn’t take that many people. They guided the horses onto the boat and the soldier behind us pushed us onto the boat without even touching us. He simply did something with his hands and there we shifted onto the boat.

The three of them moved to the front of the boat, lifted their hands above their heads and moved them backwards in a blink of an eye. The boat started moving forward at such an incredible speed that we shifted to the edge of the boat. It was irritating being frozen.

After a while, it slowed down. Then we just kept moving upstream on a boat made out of ice, created by soldiers dressed in white. Nothing, out of the ordinary, just another normal day too these people.

We were still frozen solid so I didn’t think they trusted us yet, but as soon as I thought that, they released us.

“My name is Daucus, by the way,” the blond-haired person said.

“Leo, Violet and Katherine,” Katherine pointed out to him. He walked over and kissed her hand.

“The pleasure is mine,” he said.

Katherine I think was going to pass out afterwards but she didn’t.

“Would’ve been a better pleasure if you didn’t freeze us,” I rolled my eyes.

He gave me a smirk, displaying the one flaw he had, a crooked tooth. The moment his smile disappeared however, the entire illusion of his perfection came back into full focus. I didn’t know if she liked him but something about the fact didn’t sit well with me. I mean he was a lot more handsome than I was and more firmly build. Still, at this point, not my favourite person in the world. Even if she did like him, he just froze us and I didn’t know what he wanted to do to us if he didn’t believe our story.

We passed rows and rows of pine trees full of snow. That was another sentence I got tired of thinking about too.

Nobody spoke much. Katherine was nettling with the necklace Lynx gave her and Violet put her hand in the water. I simply stared at everyone. The one guard didn’t take his eyes off us but Daucus and the older one didn’t seem to care less. Still, I was thinking of ways to escape. Jump over the side with Katherine and Violet maybe? Throw Daucus with my sword? Throw Daucus with a piece of ice I could break off? Maybe he would decide to show off his skills and fall in the water himself? The possibilities were endless, although none of them seemed to work out in the end. Who knew how they could control the water? We were stuck in this little boat no matter what.

After a while, the boat started to slow down and in front of us was a large white wall of ice and snow that went on as far as the eye could see to the left and right into the forest and over the river. On top of the wall there stood two soldiers that had white spears in their hands also dressed in white like Daucus. Silver helmets covered their faces so I couldn’t see any detail. They turned towards us and locked their spears making an x. There were two little silver and white guarding lookout huts on top of the wall at the edge of the river, where the guards seemed to have emerged from.

Daucus yelled, “Hail King Hendry!” and the two soldiers moved sideways.

The place where they stood before collapsed into the water sending little waves our way. An opening formed in the wall, perfect for the boat to fit through. The boat started moving ahead passing the wall on both sides and my mouth fell open in amazement.

There behind these big walls was an entire city with people walking along the river and riding on boats. Houses of different material were built around the river very closely to one another, their roofs all covered with snow. I could easily see white streets through some of the houses, linking everything.

On both sides of the river, there were black lamps, which would be lit up at night probably, with swirling shapes. I could just think how lovely it would look with the light reflecting off the water alongside the moonlight.

We passed under a couple of white bridges that connected the two sides of the river. People walked over them looking down at us. I could even see some children running and playing in the streets as we passed. There were not many soldiers. It looked like everybody lived in peace here. The streets were clean and the entire city seemed elegant.

I looked over at Violet and Katherine who also never seen a city this big. Their eyes were sparkling with delight. My mind thinking to quickly in order for my eyes to take in everything. I didn’t think my jaw could drop any lower but amazingly it happened.

Right ahead of us was a waterfall falling down the edge of a cliff. The Mist, I remembered. The water came crashing down at brutal force into the river. Next to the waterfall, on the cliff surrounded by the continued pine forest, stood a beautiful palace. It shined in the sunlight as if it got made completely out of crystals or glass. I never in my entire life saw a real palace before so this was unbelievable.

Next to the waterfall, it looked like there where stairs or a trail-way heading up to the palace against the cliff. It was brilliantly beautiful. The single palace overlooking a marvellous city, beside a waterfall.

There was an aura about the place that made it seem like everything here just fit well together. The detail and beauty precisely figured out to the last turn of a street or canal.

We started getting closer and closer to the waterfall.

“We have to stop!” Katherine and I yelled at the same time jumping to our feet.

“No we don’t,” Daucus told us with a grin on his face.

I could feel the power of the water as it fell into the river. Hitting it with a force that I was unable to describe. We were about ten meters away now.

Katherine gave a glance at me like she just realized that she didn’t like this guy. There was nowhere to go but straight into it.

We smashed into the waterfall and Katherine and I stumbled backwards as I grabbed her shoulder. We went straight through it. The water crashed onto us and we all were completely wet. For a moment, I thought we were dead or at least that I would’ve felt pain. The water that came down didn’t hit us that hard. It was more like a summer drizzle than a massive waterfall. I felt confused because strange things did happen, but this was too weird.

“Going up?” Daucus told us smiling wide.

I could see know that even his smile looked perfect except for one small crooked tooth on his lower jaw set of teeth. He managed to irritate me more.

Katherine and I fell to the floor again as the boat moved up. I looked over at Violet who was grasping the side of the boat like she was going to die while the water from the waterfall rushed over her.

I coughed water trying to breathe. We broke over the top of the waterfall with a burst and drifted to the edge of the riverbed. After some loud coughing and shaking myself dry, I stood up and helped Katherine up. I had no idea how we rushed up a wall of water but for once, I didn’t want to wrap my mind around the reason.

The water rushed out of holes that were in the side rails on the boat as it started moving in the water again.

The landscape looked somewhat the same as in the forest itself with pine trees and the river, except for the massive palace on the cliff with winter gardens surrounding it.

I tried to gather my thoughts as the boat moved closer to the palace. I had to focus and not think about everything else that was happening.

We climbed off the boat and Daucus led us towards the entrance of the palace. The boat dissolved into water again just as they got the horses off and my head was starting to ache.

The other two soldiers said that they would take the horses to the stables where they would be safe. I didn’t want to leave Abrus but I had no choice. I had to show them that I trusted them for them to offer me help.

The coldness was starting to get to me because I was still wet but I tried not to think about it too much.

The view from up here was fantastic. You could look over the entire city, the streets zigzagging through rows of buildings and bridges stretching over the river canals here and there. I could even see an entire piece of the surrounding wall that made a circle around the city. I seemed a lot bigger from up here.

By the time we made it to the entrance of the palace, I was dry. Daucus or somebody must have used their ‘water-powers’ to dry us because there wouldn’t have been a way to get dry so quickly in the winter weather.

I looked more intently at the palace now that I was close. From here you could see that the palace structure was made out of white marble but there were so many windows that it shined in the sunlight. Round towers stretched out into the sky with white cones on top. It was hard to decide how large the palace was because it just seemed to go on forever.

Five steps led up to the entrance and there was one big door that looked as if it almost was two storeys high. It was made out of some sort of black metal and must’ve weighed a ton.

In the middle of the door, there was a symbol of a tiger’s face surrounded by a circle engraved in a silver metal.

Daucus greeted a few soldiers that guarded the door and they opened them.

We walked into a big room with a big crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Another set of doors headed into another room but they were closed. The room was large and the walls and staircase seemed to be made out of pure white marble. The staircase made its way to just above the doors below, on the side of the room and then there seemed to be two hallways leading in different directions. The white tiles washed clean and shiny, almost reflecting everything.

“I am just going to see if the king is here?” Daucus said opening the closed doors and shutting them again.

I realized that I didn’t even think of what to tell him so I figured I would just let Katherine do most of the talking.

Another time we would tell the story.

The palace wasn’t cold inside, unlike the winter outside.

The doors that Daucus went through had two tiger faces carved on each one of them.

“It’s beautiful,” Violet muttered.

The door started to go open and an elderly lady appeared. She had shoulder-length grey hair that was completely straight and she was wearing a white long sleeve dress that went just below her knees with black shoes.

“The king will see you now!” she told us.

I bit my lip and looked over at Katherine who looked like she was going through what she was going to say. I didn’t know why I felt so panicked. I’ve met all of these strange creatures and didn’t have trouble talking to them, no matter how freaked out I was. I guessed it was maybe just the thought that I was going to meet a king that got me agitated. He was just like a normal person. I tried to calm myself down.

I really did hope that he would be able to help us because otherwise, everything was a waste.

We walked through the doors and someone closed the doors behind us.

My hands were sweaty but calmness filled me when I walked inside. The temperature was cold but not cold enough to put on a coat, nor warm enough to forget that you should keep one near.

On the sides of the room, there were rows of white marble flowerpots filled with white roses. The walls had big glass doors and windows on both sides that lead out to gardens.

There in the distance sat a man with short black hair and a black stubbed beard on a big white throne that had about five steps going up to it. He was dressed in complete white and had a big crown on his head that looked like it was craft out of glass. His eyes were so intense that I could see them even from a distance. It was my mom’s favourite colour, Caribbean Blue. He stared at us from his higher seat.

Next to the king stood three men, one of them was Daucus, and beneath the king’s feet laid a white tiger like the ones we saw in the forest before. Behind him, on the wall, there were white drapes that hung down from the ceiling with a silver symbol on them. It was the face of a tiger definitely.

The walls of the room were build out of marble, like the rest of the palace. In the middle of the room, there ran a white rug, which looked like a layer of thick snow on top of the white tiles. We stepped onto the rug and I took a deep breath.

I started moving forward believing that Katherine and Violet would follow.

When we reached the middle of the room, the king stood up from his throne and started moving forward. He then started running and the next thing I knew he started hugging me.

“My son, you finally returned.”

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