Chapter 30 - Sweet Dreams
One of the castle’s servants casually made his way down the dimly-lit corridor with a tray balanced on his right hand. Resting on the tray were two drinks intended for the King and Queen who he was delivering them to; red wine in a glass goblet and a glass of warm milk sat beside it.
As he went to take another step forward, his entire body suddenly froze in place, as if time itself had frozen all around him. His leg was held in place hovering just over the floor as if he were about to take his next step, but he couldn’t move an inch! The reason for his apparent state was revealed as Rayvinn suddenly appeared from the solid wall beside him, stepping out and slowly moving across the corridor toward him.
Lifting a tiny shiny pin up to her pointed finger, she pierced through the first layer of her skin without hesitation or flinching. A single blood droplet emerged and she held it over the top of the wine goblet, chanting a single word with her hauntingly unsettling voice as her eyes glowed brightly.
"Laviet.” (translating as ′sleep’)
The blood droplet changed to a lime green colour just before it dropped down into the dark liquid filling the glass goblet. Pulling her hands away she grinned in triumph as she looked up at the servant who seemed to stare right through her, still caught in her spell and unable to even blink.
“Enjoy your drink, Dragon King.”
Rayvinn then turned around and made her way back through the solid surface of the wall where she had appeared from only moments earlier. Less than a second later the servant came out of his trance and stumbled, managing to keep balance of the drinks and looking around the corridor to find out what had just happened to him.
Seeing that he was alone he shrugged and continued along on his way up to the royal chambers.
At that exact moment the Kingdom’s rulers both sat together, Lillian in Draxus’ lap resting her head back against his chest with both of his solid arms embracing her as they stared calmly into the flickering flames of the fireplace before them. It was early hours of the new morning and the sky was still dark outside. The lovers were enjoying each other’s company for the first time in such a long time; that and celebrating their exicting news of becoming soon-to-be-parents.
Draxus’ chin rest on top of Lillian’s head as he inhaled the scent of her hair, closing his amber eyes for just a moment to enjoy the scent; one he would always remember. It was her scent, one which reminded him of roses.
He immediately turned to face the door as it opened and the servant walked inside, making his way across the room to where the two sat entangled with one another. As the servant arrived, he smiled and bowed his head as he spoke.
“Your drinks, majesties.”
Draxus moved both of his hands from embracing Lillian and reached out for the two drinks balanced on the tray, grasping at them carefully and lowering the warm milk into Lillian’s waiting hands.
“Mmm... thank you.” she said quietly as she brought he glass to her lips and inhaled the warm milky scent before taking a sip.
Draxus turned to the servant and nodded, giving him permission to leave which he did without a sound, leaving the two alone to themselves once more.
Lifting the glass goblet up to his stubble-covered mouth, he took a large gulp of the tangy flavoured red liquid. The taste was incredible, seeming to happily dance around on his tastebuds as he lifted the goblet up for a second drink. Once again, he was surprised by how wonderful this particular vintage tasted as it swirled down his throat and into his stomach.
“How’s your milk?” he asked with a warm smile.
“It’s lovely. Just what I needed to relax me, what with everything going on.” she replied. “And the company’s not bad either.”
He let out a low chuckle.
“No, not bad at all.” he took another large gulp and was almost finished the entire goblet by now.
“Draxus, I need to ask you something... I want you to do something for me...” she suddenly spoke with a more serious tone, although somewhat hesitant, as if she knew he woud not like what she was about to ask.
“Of course. Name it.”
“I want you to teach me how to fight.”
“What?” he spoke with yet another chuckle.
Lillian sat up and turned around to face him now as she continued.
“I’m serious. I want to know how to defend myself.”
Draxus shook his head.
“No, not happening.”
Her brows furrowed immediately at his blatent reply.
“You’re not even going to hear me out?”
“You’re not learning to fight.” he replied bluntly. “It’s far too dangerous, especially now.” he gestured with his eyes down toward her belly.
“But what if I need to?” she pleaded. “Draxus I need to know how to properly defend myself, if even the basics...”
She paused and frowned when she noticed the expression on his face as he seemed to almost nod off, his eye lids closing slowly and then opening soon after.
“My love, are you alright?” she asked, placing her glass of milk down and resting her hand against the side of his face.
“Hm?” he exhaled deeply. “Oh, yeah... just tired.”
Rolling her eyes and shaking her head, she stood up and spoke down to him.
“Come on, let’s get you off to bed then.” she seemed somewhat concerend as he stumbled while trying to get up onto his two feet.
“Woah,” he laughed. “How come the floor’s moving?”
Lillian was confused, he’d only had the one goblet of wine and he appeared to be completely drunk! As unusual as it was, she brushed it aside and helped guide him along towards their large bed where she helped him climb in under the covers and lay his head down on top of the pillow.
With a large sigh she looked down over him as he closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
“What am I going to do with you, Draxus.” she shook her head as she thought aloud.
With a smile that had forced its way out of her, she slowly bent down and kissed him on the forehead softly, then lifted her head up again. He was the very picture of peaceful as he lay still before her, fast asleep with his lips slightly parted and his large hands resting across his chest.
Lillian thought back to where she was only months before and wondered how she had managed to fall in love with such a man. True he was notoreously dangerous, deadly even, but he loved her more deeply than anything else in the world and she in turn returned his affections. And soon, they would be starting their family! Could things get any better than this?
Deciding she too would get some rest, Lillian quickly changed into a more comfortable long sleeved white nightgown made of silk and lace and climbed into the bed beside her sleeping husband. Snuggling in under the large, thick black blanket she lay her head down onto her pillow and got herself comfortable. Once she was she lifted her right hand to rest up on top of her belly, where their child was slowly growing safely. She smiled as she closed her eyes and allowed the calming serenity of sleep take her.
Just outside of the royal chambers Prince Marcus was casually making his way down the corridor leading to where the King and Queen slept. Two guards were posted outside of their doorway and Marcus knew what he had to do. Reaching behind his back slowly he unsheathed a dagger as he continued to approach them with a convincing smile.
“My lord, you’re up quite late.” one of the soldiers announced as he stepped up to them. “I’m afraid the King has asked not to be disturbed this evening. My apologies Prince Marcus, but we’ll have to ask you to leave.”
“Oh, that’s a shame...” Marcus faked disappointment. “I was rather hoping I may have a word with my dear brother.”
“It is rather late, my lord.” the second soldier chimed in, “Perhaps in the morning?”
Grasping the dagger tightly in his right hand he breathed in and then exhaled, preparing himself for what he was about to do.
The soldier nearest to the Prince didn’t get the chance to finish.
He was the first to feel the sharp sting of his dagger as it was skillfully slashed at his throat and his warm crimson blood began to run from the open wound gaping from his neck.
“What the hell?”
The second soldier stood in utter shock at what his Prince had just done and by the time he had the chance to react, Marcus had moved across to deal with him.
As the soldier pulled at the handle of his long sword to unsheath it, he had no chance of doing so in time. The Prince lunged straight at the soldier and used the same dagger to stab right through the right eye socket of his skull! With his mouth and eyes gaping wide open, the soldier exhaled slowly and then fell down to the ground lifelessly in a pool of his own blood as it began to form around his head. The dagger was still sticking out of his right eye!
Glancing down to the soldier, Marcus shook his head as he leant down and grasped the handle, pulling the dagger out of the deceased soldier’s eye socket with one strong movement and scrunching up his face in disgust upon noticing that his eyeball was still attached to the dagger’s blade!
“Oh, come on!” he muttered to himself with disgust.
Using his free hand to flick the eyeball off he cleaned the blade and sheathed it behind his back again, then moving across to the other side of the corridor and stopping before a solid stone wall.
Clearing his mind with a large exhale of air, he closed his eyes and stood silently for a moment; the static in the air around him suddenly began to change. The air became dryer and thicker somehow.
Opening his eyes he revealed that they glowed a bright red colour as he lifted his right hand up to touch the surface of the solid wall before him. As the red colour began to brighten, beaming out against the wall before him, it began to change from solid stone to a more liquid-looking surface and the portal had been opened.
Lowering his hand and stepping away from it, Marcus blinked a few times and his eyes changed back to their hazel shade as he seemed to be somehwhat out of breath.
From the liquidy surface of the wall in front of him several hooded figures stepped out into the corridor of the castle, one by one as they slowly moved aside for their leader who arrived last. Once all seven of them had arrived, the portal closed behind them and the corridor became darkened once more.
The leader of the hooded intruders moved to meet Marcus who waited for him only a few metres away. The Prince watched as the figure with the glowing purple eyes approached and stopped right in front of him. Six other pairs of glowing purple eyes stood behind, waiting patiently for their orders.
“Gentlemen...” Marcus finally spoke with a sadistic grin.
“Welcome to Westoria!”