Chapter 29 - Conspiring Alliances
Prince Marcus was alone as he entered the darkened room and checked one last time to see if anyone had followed him.
After convincing himself that the coast was clear, he closed the door quietly behind him and made his way across to the other side.
A sudden voice startled him as he stopped dead in his tracks and turned toward it.
“Prince Marcus, I don’t like to be kept waiting...”
Marcus met her pale white eyes and let out a big sigh of relief; he was afraid he may have been caught out.
Luckily for him, the darkly dressed woman sitting in the chair in the corner of the room was one of his many secretive accomplices.
“Rayvinn, you startled me.” Marcus announced, then continuing toward the large shelf at the other side of the room.
“Are you certain you haven’t been seen?”
“I could ask you the same thing, your highness.” she taunted with a small grin.
“But where’s the fun in that?”
Her riddled words made no sense to the Prince but he ignored focusing on their meaning and continued searching for the scroll he had originally come down here for.
It was a hand-drawn map of the castle’s secret passageways built decades earlier in case of emergencies.
They had been intentionally kept secret and only members of the royal family knew of their existance for safety reasons.
Marcus intended on using them for an ulterior purpose.
“Why are you here Rayvinn? You know you risk spoiling our plans if you are spotted.” he demanded as he pushed several scrolls to the side, focusing only on his search.
Rolling her white eyes, the valuptuous woman stood up from her seated position, her long black hair fell down over her shoulders and to the middle of her back.
“Oh don’t be ridiculous, you know I am as loyal to the master as you or anyone else...” she paused and grinned as a single brow rose in menacing intent.
“Perhaps even more so...”
Marcus turned his head slightly, not enough to meet her gaze but enough for her to have noticed as he glared with fury and then returned to his search.
“Watch your tongue, sorceress!”
His tone now laced with warning.
“You know nothing of my past, nor my intentions. You have no right ot pass judgement on me.”
She took a step forward as she continued.
“You seem stressed my Prince, what is it that troubles you?” she asked with a playful expression.
Marcus did not reply immediately, instead he stood for a while with both his hands resting on the desk in front of him, hesitating to respond. Something was clearly troubling him.
“He will be here soon.” the Prince’s voice was soft, vulnerable.
“We don’t have much time.”
“Who’s coming?” she asked with furrowed brows, but only a second or two later she realised and her expression changed to one of serious concern instead.
“The master, he’s coming here?”
Marcus nodded, still with his back facing her.
Marcus recommenced his search for the scroll as he continued their discussion.
“I’m not sure. But whatever it is, it has to be pretty important for him to come here in person. He hasn’t shown his face in over a decade.”
Marcus’ hands suddenly froze and he gave a small smile as his eyes finally locked onto the scroll he had been searching for.
“There you are!”
Grasping it firmly within his palm he turned around to find Rayvinn standing right before him, less than a foot away from him.
Her white eyes seemed to hypnotise him as he stood staring down at her for a moment in silence before he spoke again.
“I have been tasked with ensuring my brother is taken out and I in turn assume the throne after his demise. The master requires our Kingdom’s alliance and loyalty and with me as King, he will get it unquestionably.”
“Oh, um... I’m afraid that may be rather difficult.” Rayvinn announced with squinted eyes.
“If King Draxus were to die then the throne would go to the next in line... and unfortunately, it’s no longer you.”
Hearing her words, he frowned down at her.
“What are you talking about?”
“I suppose you haven’t yet heard the good news.” she teased with a smirk.
“Congratulations Marcus. You’re going to be an uncle.”
Gritting his teeth and narrowing his hazel eyes, Marcus began to breathe deeper as he looked away from her and clenched his fist in anger around the scroll he held.
He spoke through his gritted teeth now.
“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. But this in turn changes everything... I must inform the master.”
He appeared to be thinking to himself as Rayvinn moved her hand up towards his face, but he grabbed her wrist and held her in place.
“Rayvinn, don’t.” his voice hinting caution, “Just... don’t.”
“My dearest Marcus, please don’t be mad at me.”
Marcus released his hold on her as she wrapped both of her arms around the back of his neck and leaned her firm breasts against his toned chest, in an attempt to try seducing him.
“Are you still angry with me about what happened in Ordanna?”
Marcus’ hazel eyes narrowed for a moment as she continued.
“I told you before, it wasn’t my fault! It if weren’t for that moronic fool of a King screwing everything up, I would have finished Draxus off myself!” she pleaded.
“It’s a little late for an apology my dear.”
Marcus pushed her back forcing her to release her grip on him.
“You had him practically gift wrapped and all alone, and between you and Rathman’s army you couldn’t handle my brother.”
“He had a bloody dragon, Marcus!” she snapped angrily.
“And you had your powers...” he shot back.
“...or are you not as powerful as you claim to be, sorceress?”
This time Rayvinn’s eyes narrowed at his comment as she let out a sulking sigh and crossed her arms in front of her.
“I suppose you feel rather untouchable now huh, what with you being under the master’s protection and all...” she frowned.
“... but be warned Prince of Westoria, your protection will not last forever. Sooner or later the master will lose his interest in keeping you safe and when that time comes, it may be wise to have a friend like me.”
“Actually, now that you mention it, I do need a favour from you.” Marcus announced, surprising her.
Rayvinn’s eyes widened in disbelief.
“You’ve got to be kidding!”
“I need you to find a way to keep Draxus immobilised. Drug him, knock him out, I don’t care how you choose to do it but it can’t seem suspicious in any way. It needs to be done, tonight.”
“Why not just kill him then?” she asked, seeming confused.
“Get rid of him as you plan to?”
“If his death were to occur under suspicious circumstances, here in the castle of all places I would be the first one they come looking for...” he paused and shook his head.
“...no, I have other plans for him. Ones which will ensure I am next in line for the throne.”
“Why do you need him immobilised then?” she continued to query, needing to know more than he was willing to tell her.
“You have your orders my dear, and I have mine.”
Marcus redirected her question.
“Can you do it or not?”
With a giant huff she glared with fury at the wall behind him.
She practically shot her reply back at him.
“But consider us even after this, I’m done following your orders.”
With her harsh words, her eyes glowed brightly as she summoned up enough magic to transport herself from the room to another unknown location.
Marcus watched as she disappeared from sight entirely and then he was left alone once more, the scroll grasped in his hand.
The truth was, Rayvinn was right.
The only reason he was being protected by his master was because of his close ties to Draxus and therefore Lillian.
If King Xytsis wanted to find a way to get to Lillian, Marcus was a possibility; a way to get closer.
Shaking his head, he remembered he was on a tight deadline and needed to get moving.
He was expecting company to arrive soon.