Chapter 25 - The Curse of Endless Slumber
Rayvinn sat alone in a darkened room, lit only by the roaring flames of the large fireplace crackling loudly as it continued to devour large chunks of wood. Her demonic white eyes scanned over a parchment of writing which she had laid out before her on a wooden desk to inspect. After being given the near impossible task of assassinating King Draxus by her father, she was having mixed feelings about pulling this off.
On one hand she wanted to please her father and complete her task without fail, as she was normally known to do. On the other she was for some reason conflicted about ending Draxus’ life. Not that she had any feelings for him; it wasn’t possible for her to actually feel anything for anyone, what with having no heart, but she did not like the idea of finally ending their playful encounters for good. She enjoyed menacing him far too much to end it.
Still she had a mission to complete and could not think to fail her father’s command. Even if she had refused him, he would only send someone else to do it instead. No, if she was going to do this she would have to find a way to please both her father and her insatiable need for making the Dragon King’s life difficult.
The scroll laid out before her contained information relating to an ancient artefact she had recently managed to acquire; one with incredible supernatural powers and quite a history behind it.
The artefact was a rare dagger, with a blade made from sculpted black glass and the handle carved from the skull of an ancient demon king who lived many centuries ago. Thought to have been lost throughout the ages amidst the many ancient wars between good and evil, this dagger was more infamously known as ‘krath-veit mannur’, translated in the native tongue as the ‘curse of endless slumber’ and was believed to be able to force one into a deep sleep. And lucky for the young sorceress, she now had it in her possession.
Rayvinn read the next part aloud to herself.
“As soon as the dagger pierces through the heart of the intended victim, he or she will fall into a death-like slumber, one of which they will be unable to wake from without the cure… Hmm… so there is a cure.”
Her white eyes began searching amidst the writing below for mention of what ingredients the cure would contain. If she were to choose to wake Draxus anywhere in the future, she would need to know what to use and if it were easily accessible or not. Both her eyes narrowed and a menacing smile formed on her lips as she found what she was looking for, once again reading the information on the scroll aloud.
“Ah, here it is… In order to reverse the curse of endless slumber one would need to feed the sleeping victim blood from his own bloodline, as well as chant the following words… ‘veit-samman ruwan’, translated as ‘Awaken from thy curse’.
She thought silently to herself for a moment realising what this would mean. Only the blood of a family member could wake the Dragon King from the ancient curse, should she choose to go through with this secretive plot to remove him from the picture and appease her father’s wishes.
Pushing her chair back and standing up the sorceress turned and made her way across to the other side of the darkened room. Coming to a halt before the stone wall, she lifted her right hand and activated her magic as her eyes glowed brightly. An invisible force then proceeded to lift one of the stones forming the wall out from its place and revealing a hidden compartment behind it. And there sitting inside was a small wooden chest trimmed with gold and several precious ruby gemstones. A large black circular lock with a hole in the middle fastened the lid shut and prevented anyone from getting inside to learn of its contents.
Reaching for the small chest with both of her pale hands the sorceress pulled it out from its hidden compartment and made her way back across the room to return to the desk with the scroll laid out over it. Placing the chest down on top of the scroll, Rayvinn then reached for a small sharp pin made of silver, then lifting her free hand up and pointing her finger toward the pin. Without any kind of hesitation, she pressed the pointed end of the pin against the tip of her outstretched finger and sucked in a sharp breath as it pierced through her pale skin, causing a droplet of her black blood to form into view.
Lowering her pointed finger down to meet the lock, she poked it in through the small hole and waited patiently. Less than a few seconds later the lock suddenly clicked open and she removed her finger and took off the lock, opening the chest up slowly to see the object hiding inside.
It was the ancient dagger known as ‘krath-veit mannur’, the black glass of its jagged blade shone as it reflected with the light from the fireplace and the small rubies imbedded in the carefully carved bone handle glistened. Rayvinn had been saving this for a special occasion and had not told a single soul about having possession of it, not even her father.
Doing so would have only made her a walking target.
Reaching down into the chest, her fingers wrapped around the bone handle and she lifted it up before her, admiring the beauty of something so rare and intricate.
It was time for her to complete her mission.
“Lillian… Lillian, please wake up…”
The somewhat familiar voice seemed to call out to her from somewhere nearby as the young Queen groaned and slowly began to open her emerald eyes to the dimly-lit room. A fuzzy figure began to form beside the bed as she blinked to better her focus. His eyes were glowing a purple shade as he leaned down over her.
“Flynn?” she narrowed her eyes as she finally recognised who was speaking to her. “Is that you?”
He smiled, nodding his head.
“Yes its me.” he spoke, “I need to speak with you, it’s urgent.”
“Of course...” she sat up in the bed, “Is something wrong?”
Quickly glancing behind him at the doorway to check that they were indeed alone, he turned back to face her again as he sat on the side of the bed beside her and took her by either side of her shoulders gently while he explained.
“I needed to warn you Lillian. You’re in danger, you and your child.”
Sensing his obvious fear Lillian frowned, “What are you talking about? Flynn, you’re scaring me... How did you even get here?”
“It doesn't matter, please just listen. No matter what happens you must know that the King’s brother can not be trusted, do you understand? He is not who he appears to be.” the Veemon began to explain vaguely, still on edge about being discovered by the guards just outside of the doors.
“You’re talking about Prince Marcus?” she queried.
“Yes. Please my lady, you must stay away from him at all costs, at least until King Draxus returns.”
“Flynn, I don’t understand. Has something happened?” her tone showed concern as she looked him in the eye and saw the intense fear mirrored back at her.
He decided to go into a little more detail and risk possibly being discovered in the process. She deserved to know everything, after all that had happened to her recently.
“The night of your kidnapping we had help getting inside the castle. Help from the inside, I mean… It was Prince Marcus, my lady... He's not who he pretends to be; he's far more dangerous, believe me.”
Lillian seemed to freeze upon hearing this. She had always secretly suspected it from the way he would act around her, but having now been told it were true, it gave her an unsettling feeling in the pit of her stomach; one other than the usual nausea caused by pregnancy.
“You’re absolutely certain of this?” she asked him, even though she already knew the answer.
“I was there my lady… and the massacre of the two soldiers by the door, I'm afraid they were his handy-work as well.” he added, “You must be extremely careful now that the King is gone. The Prince is working for the same master as the former leader of the Veemon, Lady Lynn and has shown that he has no hesitation to take a life.”
Lillian’s eyes widened upon hearing this; she knew who the master that Flynn was referring to was from her last encounter with the demonic Mage King.
“Xytsis... no…” her voice was hesitant as she swallowed nervously and began to visibly panic, “Flynn, what should I do? I’m no longer safe here, not without Draxus.”
Flynn squeezed both of her shoulders reassuringly as he gave her a small smile.
“Do not worry, my Queen. I have chosen to remain here until your husband returns. You have my sworn word that I will protect you with my very life. No harm will come to either you or your child, I promise.”
“You don’t have to do that-” she hesitated but he cut in quickly.
“-I’m afraid that I insist, given your current circumstances. I have come all this way after all.”
Lillian could see that he held quite firm with his decision. She returned his smile although hers showed a lack of confidence when compared with his. Once again she and her unborn child were in serious danger; a danger that had apparently been lurking without their knowledge… until now. She would have to keep her distance from Marcus as much as possible in order to remain safe and now with Flynn’s help, she had a chance to do so.
“Very well. But you do know that you are a wanted fugitive here in Westoria. The soldiers won’t hesitate to arrest you on sight. How will you protect me if you can’t be seen?” she enquired with intrigue.
Flynn grinned back at her already prepared with a reply.
“I’ll just have to blend in then, won’t I?”