The Red Sapphire

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Chapter 39

There was an unusual amount of shuffling going on outside his room since morning. Something had happened in the palace. Surrounded by complete silence and nothing to occupy his thoughts he strained to listen what he could through the door.

Apparently the prince had disappeared again, he’s heard stories of desertion or secret missions to other Garion cities, but if his past was anything to go by, Doranand suspected that he had gone back to Arnay.

Well he must be highly confident if he thought that he could take on Ana-Moriah directly. Then again Prince Milos rarely ever chose the direct route to achieve his ends. On one hand, he hoped he would fail and that the queen would destroy him. Then he wanted him to succeed as the queen herself was a blight to all that came in contact with her.

He kept on thinking of his strange visit the night before. What did he mean that Aliana didn’t love him? She very well told him the opposite when she last visited. Unless, she never told him. Which was quite characteristic of the princess. Ever since her mother died, apart from her anger, she rarely expressed how she felt, at least not in words. She was more of a doer than say-er.

Which made him wonder what exactly she had said or done to make him think that she was in love with him. I could be...He shook his head and snorted. No, the prince was delusional or blind. She only thought of him as a friend. That was clear to him now. She was practically moon-eyed when she spoke of him, but the prince honestly seemed to have missed that.

He snorted again. But what would be his motivation for wanting to lead him on? Milos was slick and things were not as they always appeared.

The good old doctor came in and at least he would have some reprieve from his thoughts and ennui of being stuck in this room. As soon as the man had put down his tools and started on his back. The questioning began.

“There seems to be quite an upheaval outside.” he said.

“Indeed.” said the doctor simply. He waited for something else but the doctor remained silent.

He tried again. “I hear that Prince Milos has left again?”

“He has,” replied the doctor.

“Is that all that is going on?”

“No,” he said as he discarded the last of the old bandages. “Your wound looks good.”

“By the gods doctor, I am like a starving man here shut off from the rest of the world. At least give me some information to feed on!” he said finally.

The doctor actually chuckled. “What do you want to know Lord Doranand?”

“Well I doubt the prince’s leaving is the only thing that caused the chaos out there.”

“Yes, indeed.” he waited, raising his brows as if daring Doranand to ask more. When he didn’t he continued. “The princess was also abducted.”

“Aliana is gone!” he said shooting up.

“No need to get worked up. She has been found now.” he continued.

“Oh,” he said sitting down.

“My blood tonic seems to be working. Standing so quickly should have knocked you out.” he said starting on the wounds.

That’s true thought Doranand. He did feel much better now. “So what happened?”

“Apparently Lady Sonetta had her abducted, but the princess escaped coming back here to expose her before the king. He in turn had the lady executed for treason.”

“That is indeed cause for upheaval,” he said softly. “Is the princess alright?” he asked shyly. Their last meeting had left both fuming, but a small part of him was still worried. They did argue back home, but this was the first time they’d ever let it fester for days.

The feeling left him uncomfortable and uneasy. Gods damned it, he missed the little brat. Then Milos had asked him to look out for her. “Could you do me a favour doctor, could you possibly pass on a message to the Princess? Tell her that I am sorry for the last time and that I am happy that she is safe.”

He wanted to tell her to come and visit but he hoped the message would be self-evident and she would come.

“I am to check on her this evening. I will pass along your well wishes.”

“Thank you.” he really hoped that she would come. She may give of an aura of impenetrability to those who didn’t know her and with her prince gone, she was going to need a friend. If friendship was all she needed from him, he would supply it.

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