Chapter 15 - Unexpected Visitors
Fear had completely engulfed Lillian as she sat there staring at the strange woman sitting opposite her, with those terrifying white eyes peering out at her. It felt like a predator eyeing its prey and Lillian was feeling extremely unsafe as she sat back against the carriage wall.
“Who... who are you?” she managed to question, her voice barely a whisper. "How did you get in here?"
Ignoring her questions, Rayvinn spoke as she casually sat back against the opposite wall of the carriage interior.
"From a Princess to a Queen in merely a day..." Rayvinn taunted with a unsettling smile. "Though I can't say I'm surprised, I mean... look at you!" she gestured with her outstretched hand toward Lillian.
Lillian's gown was this time a blue floor-length gown with golden sequencing and trim. Her sleeves were long and reached her wrists, and the neckline of her gown was a voluptuous 'v' shape giving a glimpse of her cleavage while not showing too much. Her hair was mostly down, with some of her long golden locks having been braided neatly around to the back of her head.
"Yes, you must have cast one hell of a spell on our love-struck leader, that's for sure." Rayvinn added with an intentional smirk.
By now Lillian was more confused than she had been initially.
"I don't understand, what is it that you want?" Lillian asked, still feeling a sense of danger around this strange woman.
"What do I want..." Rayvinn repeated, as if thinking aloud as she continued to gaze at the beautiful woman sitting across from her.
"Oh my dear, what I want is power. More power than anyone has ever been known to possess. More power than anyone has ever dreamed of possessing."
Lillian frowned, still unsure.
"So... why are you here then?"
Rayvinn rolled her eyes and tilted her head as both of her arms moved to fold across her chest, letting out a loud sigh.
"Let's just say, I just wanted to meet the woman who managed to tame the Dragon King. That would be his new Queen." she gestured toward Lillian with a nod of her head.
"I still don't..." Lillian trailed off, pausing and hissing in pain suddenly as she held at her right wrist and closed her eyes.
Rayvinn caught sight of this and her interest peaked as she sat forward watching.
"Are you alright?"
Opening her eyes, Lillian nodded her head as she replied, though still holding onto her right wrist and still clearly in pain.
"Yes, it's nothing."
"It doesn't look like nothing. Are you hurt?" Rayvinn pressed.
Rayvinn interrupted, reaching out her hands.
"It's alright, here let me see."
"No, really... it's nothing..."
But Rayvinn was very manipulative and pushed her hands in to grasp Lillian by her right wrist, lifting it up to get a better look.
"You don't need to..."
"Shhh..." Rayvinn hushed her with a strangely soothing voice that seemed to silence Lillian somehow.
The sorceress' white eyes stared down at the skin on Lillian's right wrist and a eerie grin seemed to slowly grow upon her face as she finally caught sight of it; of what she had long since been searching for.
The marking was unlike anything she had ever seen before, with a strange flame shape in the centre surrounded by a moon shape on either side and one just above it. But what amazed Rayvinn was that it appeared to glow from beneath Lillian's skin.
"Do you know what this marking is... what it means?" Lillian asked, looking to Rayvinn.
"Oh yes my Queen. I know EXACTLY what this is!" her emphasizing on the word 'exactly' caused a shiver to run down Lillian's spine.
Meanwhile, just outside the carriage King Draxus and his men continued to make their way along the road at a steady pace, completely unaware of their surprise guest inside the carriage accompanying their Queen at that very moment. As one of the soldiers riding beside the carriage turned his head, he noticed a faint glow coming from inside the carriage, beaming out from the single window. Curious as to what it could be the soldier maneuvered his horse to move across closer to the carriage as it continued to trot along.
By now, Rayvinn had of course sensed the human soldier moving in on them from outside and knew it was time for her to leave. Releasing Lillian's arm she looked the Queen right in the eye as she spoke in a deep and haunting voice.
"This is far from over, my Queen..."
With that, she vanished into a thick cloud of black smoke before Lillian's eyes, leaving her alone within seconds and in wonder of what had just happened. Looking around the carriage she noticed as the soldier riding outside peered in to check on her.
Meeting his gaze in the window, she fought to steady her heavy breathing as she tried desperately to calm down; it was after all her first experience witnessing magic and it was quite obvious that this woman who had visited her was not a friendly face.
Lillian sat for a moment, deep in thought. So many questions ran through her mind as she fought to make sense of the entire situation. Who was the strange woman with the white eyes and what did she want with her? Why was she so keen on looking at the marking on Lillian's wrist in particular? And finally, what did the strange woman know about her marking?
Several hours had passed by and the young Queen had fallen asleep, leaning against the corner of the carriage interior. As the carriage suddenly came to a complete halt, she opened her eyes slowly and looked around. Her hands rose to rub her eyes as she stretched her arms out and yawned deeply. Licking her dry lips in an effort to moisten them, she then turned to take a look out of the singular window, just to get an idea of where they might be now. Even a clue.
Nothing... just more trees; not much of an indicator.
Before she could think too much into it, the carriage door was swung open from the outside and a familiar helmeted head popped inside, fixing his eyes upon her.
It was her husband, King Draxus.
"My Queen, we've arrived." he announced smoothly, holding out his gloved hand for her to take.
Hesitating at first, Lillian finally reached out her hand to take his as she spoke softly to him.
"Where are we?" she asked as he worked to carefully help her down the carriage steps and onto the golden dirt below.
"Castle Veenah. Home to an associate of mine, Lord Blaine." Draxus explained, turning and beginning to walk.
Unsure of what she should do, she quickly followed along behind him as several soldiers, the General and Zaar did the same.
Glancing up at her new surroundings, Lillian was taken aback by the large white stoned building standing before her, at least three or more stories high with twin peaked towers on either side. A mass of green vines and moss had begun to spread along the front entrance, giving it a rather homely appeal. The entrance was made of two large wooden doors, normally bolted together, with golden detailing around the edges. Lillian had to admit, the detailing put into the exterior of this place was quite lovely; she could only imagine what it would look like inside.
Several women dressed in rather revealing white silk dresses were lined up just outside of the entrance and waited patiently for their newly arrived guests to approach. Each of the women wore their hair pulled back into an elaborate braided design and all of them seemed to have long hair, past their shoulders or longer. It appeared this Lord Blaine had a type he preferred.
Making their way together up the steps toward the entrance, Draxus stood at the front, with his new wife just behind him as a tall, slender man appeared through the doorway, a massive grin spread across his long face.
"My lord, King Draxus! What an honour it is to have you surprise me with a visit!" the slender man bowed his head as he stood before Draxus.
"Lord Blaine. It has been too long I'm afraid." Draxus responded with a nod.
"Come inside, rest yourselves. I'm sure we have much to discuss." Lord Blaine spoke, gesturing with his open arms for them to enter his home.
The very moment Lillian's eyes met with his she felt a cold shiver running down her spine. The way he looked her up and down as Draxus led everyone inside, it made her feel sick, though she didn't fully understand why.
As Lord Blaine led Draxus and his followers in through the entrance, they came through a small courtyard and finally into a large white stone room with comfortable seats and lounges spread out, as if it were an entertaining area. Just as she had thought, the interior was exquisite; decorated with fancy drapes, pictures, silk cushions and large fluffy rugs spread out across what appeared to be a grey marble floor. Lillian had never seen anything so extravagant in her entire life as a Princess!
"Sit, please all of you, sit. Rest yourselves from your travels." Lord Blaine commanded generously with a smile, then turning to face a hallway door and clapping loudly. "Servers!"
Almost immediately, several women entered the room and quickly walked across toward their Lord, their heads bowed down in respect the entire time as they lined up beside one another, awaiting their orders.
"Bring food and wine for our guests, quickly!" Blaine commanded, and within a second the women had all scattered once again; Lillian presumed to go and fetch the food and wine as they had been instructed.
Draxus sat on a large silk sofa, leaning back to make himself more comfortable as he stretched out both of his legs. Lillian remained standing where she, unsure of whether she too could sit down. She was afraid of angering Draxus in front of his host.
One of Lord Blaine's servant girls came over and went to reach for Draxus' helmet, but paused in fear as he fixed his frightening amber gaze upon her. Unsure of whether she should proceed, she turned to her Lord for clarification.
"My Lord?" her voice was weak, laced with fear.
Lord Blaine grinned.
"Relax Elissa, the Dragon King does not bite." he taunted.
Draxus looked across to Blaine as the servant Elissa reached down bravely and grasped the sides of his helmet, slowly pulling it up and off of his head. She quickly walked across and placed it upon a single red silk cushion, then went off to assist the others.
Noticing that Lillian still hadn't moved from where she was standing, Draxus turned to face his Queen as several servant women moved in and started removing his large black boots from his feet for him.
Lord Blaine's voice caught their attention as he spoke next, making his way across the room towards where Lillian stood.
"I don't believe we've had the pleasure of meeting, my dear." he practically drooled at her with a terrifying grin. "Lord Blaine of Veenah, at your service."
As he reached out to take her hand for a simple greeting, Draxus spoke; his voice showed clear warning as it came across deep and spiteful.
"I warn you to keep your distance, Lord Blaine..." he announced, facing them now. "You are addressing Queen Lillian Rose Krillian... my wife."