Chapter 23 - Protect My Queen
Prince Marcus casually strolled along down the length of the pristine and well-lit corridor, leading him through to the private room where he would meet his older brother for a sudden and urgent meeting. After being summoned with somewhat awkward timing, he wasn’t happy about being commanded about at such a late hour in the evening. However as frustrated as he was, the truth was that his brother was the King and whether he liked it ot not, he had little choice in the matter.
As he reached the end of the corridor he was met with a pair of the King’s Guards who nodded at him, the one on the left reaching in and turning the handle to open the door and allow him entry.
“You do realise the hour, brother?” Marcus spoke snidely as he strolled along into the room and the door closed behind him with a click. “I was rather… tied up with something.”
“Castle Woodsend has been attacked.” Draxus got right to the point as he leaned down on both arms, his palms spread out across the table and supporting his body’s weight.
“What?” Marcus was either exceptional at acting surprised or he genuinely was. “Are you certain?”
“Yes. I’m taking Drako and heading there now.” the King continued as he stood up and rounded the table to join his slightly shorter brother.
"I'll come with you then." Marcus suddenly announced, but he was quickly shot down.
"No brother, I need you to remain here in Castle Krillian. While I am gone you take charge and act as King Regent until my return.” Draxus explained sternly.
Marcus looked down at the floor, seeming both surprised and delighted by the news, though he needed to focus in order to hide his excitement. This was his chance to rule, even as temporary as it were.
“Wait, what about the Queen?” Marcus questioned, looking back up to meet his brother’s amber eyes. "Will she be accompanying you on this journey?"
Draxus shook his head as he replied.
"No I can't risk anything happening to her, especially with the pregnancy. Lillian will remain here..." Draxus reached out both hands and grasped at Marcus’ shoulders firmly as he looked him dead in the eye and added, “... I need you to watch over my wife while I am gone.”
Marcus fought to hide his grin as he turned his head away slightly and nodded.
“I realise that I am tasking you with a great burden. For that I apologise, especially for the urgency of it all. But she is the most important thing in the world to me and I will not allow any harm to come to her. Please keep her safe until my return… Will you do this for me, brother?”
Straightening his head to meet his brother’s gaze again, Marcus nodded again as he replied confidently.
“Of course. You have my word brother… Lillian is safe with me.”
Before his final departure Draxus needed to say one final goodbye to Lillian, if not for her sake then for his own peace of mind before travelling into the unknown.
As he stood over her while she slept peacefully before him in their bed he could not prevent the warm smile that slowly formed on his face. She was beyond angelic; so very peaceful. Instead of waking her he decided to give her one last kiss goodbye.
Leaning down over her he closed his eyes and pressed his lips to her forehead softly. Her skin was warm and she smelled of roses, as she always did. As he lifted himself back up to stand over her again he spoke one final time before leaving her in peace.
“Sleep well, my love. I will return to you soon.”
With those words he turned and exited the room, on his way to find Drako and head off on their journey to the Kingdom of Rykiss.
The next morning came rather quickly and across the lands the Veemon warrior Flynn was sitting amongst patrons at a local tavern and enjoying a hearty breakfast of sizzling sausages and scrambled eggs.
As the other patrons of the tavern went about their business completely oblivious to his presence Flynn seemed otherwise distracted by something as he sat poking at his left-over breakfast with his wooden fork. He couldn’t seem to get his mind off of the Dragon Queen. Whether he liked it or not he was worried about where she was and how she was doing, though he wasn’t quite sure why he cared at all. As he had understood, she was safe. Back with her husband and returned home where she belonged.
So why was he feeling such concern for her?
A singular voice seemed to catch his attention as it stood out from the rest of the mumbles formed by the small crowd of early risers chatting and laughing amongst themselves this morning. He listened in for a moment while taking a drink of water.
“... That’s what I heard anyway. Apparently there are fears that the King and Queen of Rykiss may have been among the hundreds believed to have been slaughtered during the attack at Castle Woodsend." the first patron announced.
"Yeah, they’re the parents of the Dragon Queen of Westoria you know… My sources tell me that the Dragon King himself is on his way there now to check it all out.” the first patron continued, taking a sip of his drink.
“I too heard news about that attack only this morning. But from what I understood the Dragon King is leading his entire army across to Rykiss to aid the survivors... him and that pretty little Queen of his.” a third voice countered with a chuckle.
Several other men seated with them around the small oak table all chuckled in unison.
“Come on Havaard, I don’t know who you heard that load of crap from but you’re being fed lies mate...” the first patron quickly corrected him with a playful pat on the shoulder. “… No, they say the King travelled alone last night. Yeah, left his Queen back at Castle Krillian under the watchful eye of the King’s brother, Prince Marcus.”
Hearing this Flynn suddenly turned his head to face the patrons conversing around the table less than two meters away from him. His stomach began to turn as he considered what this would mean for Lillian and her safety.
“If you ask me that may not have been the best idea, hey?” the third patron chimed in again with a grin. “If it were me in the Prince’s place, I’d certainly have a go at her.”
Havaard nodded adding, “You know what they say, while the cat’s away the mice will play…”
The entire table suddenly exploded into a volcanic eruption of deep-bellied laughter as they all seemed to have enjoyed the last comment a little too much for Flynn’s taste.
Now he was beyond worried.
If these fools were anywhere near accurate with their acquired information, Lillian was unaware that she was in serious danger. With Marcus watching over her there would be no one to help protect her from any kind of attack or attempt to kidnap her again. After all, Marcus was behind her most recent kidnapping!
Flynn wouldn't allow anything to happen to Lillian in her husband’s absence; he couldn't.
He would have to travel to Westoria and tell Lillian everything he knew about the treacherous Prince Marcus, no matter the consequence for his actions. He swore to keep her safe and he would do exactly that.
Rising from his wooden chair the Veemon grabbed his cloak and pulled it on, flicking the hood up over his head as he grabbed one last sausage and began marching out of the tavern on his newest mission.
It was time to reunite with the Dragon Queen.
He needed to get to Castle Krillian and fast... Luckily, he had a way to do just that. But would he make it in time?