Chapter 3 - The Captive Queen
The strange and unfamiliar odour filling her nostrils was what woke her from her deep sleep as she opened her emerald eyes and looked around the room she was now standing in. She did not recognise her surroundings and panic immediately began to rise within her as she realised that both of her hands had been tied together with thick rope, hanging down from the ceiling.
As she tried to call out for help, she was confused as her voice was nothing but a muffled sound, much like a grunt. Then she felt it, the material tied around her face, covering her mouth in an effort to silence her; she had been gagged as well!
“Mmmph!” she grunted, pulling as hard as he could at her hands.
Her fingers were numb from having been held up above her heart for so long and she moaned as soon as the pain took over. Her shoulders ached and her entire body felt incredibly heavy and weakened. Both of her legs struggled to keep her upright as they wobbled weakly beneath her.
Shaking her head she instead tried getting a better look around her, turning to glance over her shoulder but seeing only more darkness surrounding her. She was in some kind of dark room, but had no idea of where the room actually was.
Several minutes later her attention was drawn to the sound of what she believed to be a door unlocking and her emerald eyes squinted as a light entered the room and moved across the room, closer towards where she was restrained. Having been in the darkness for so long, the brightness of the light caused her eyes to hurt as she turned her head away from it until she had become a little less sensitive.
A voice caught her attention.
“Queen Lillian. It is truly an honour to meet with you, after all this time.” a slender figure stopped before her, handing the torch to another figure who stood to the side. “I can not tell you how long I have waited for this moment... to stand before the chosen one.”
Squinting her eyes again, Lillian turned her head to try and see the face of her captor, catching only some of her more prominent features. Long white hair tied in several neat braids behind her back, a pointed chin and pointed ears, then finally the most obvious clue; those purple glowing eyes staring back!
This woman was Veemon!
“Flynn, fetch some water for our guest.” she commanded with a turn of her head to the side.
The figure now holding the torch behind her turned and walked toward the doorway, obeying his master’s command without question. Flynn had always been loyal.
“How about a little more light in here, hmm?” she suggested.
Raising her hands slowly above her shoulders she instantly caused the torches fastened to the wall around the entire room to burst into flames. Lillian had to blink several times to acclimatise her vision to such brightness, but it worked eventually and she got her first good look at the strange woman standing before her.
“Oh, you are as beautiful as they say, aren’t you child?” her captor commented with a smile.
Unable to comment, Lillian only frowned in response.
“Allow me to first introduce myself. My name is Lady Lynn, I am leader of the Veemon and founder of The Order of the Pearl Dragon. I had my best men track you down and bring you here where you would be safe.”
“Mm mph, mm!” Lillian tried to speak, but the gag prevented her words from forming correctly.
“Here let me get that for you...” she chuckled, reaching out to grasp the material tied around the Queen’s head, “Can’t possibly have a one-sided conversation now, can we?”
Lynn began untying the knot behind Lillian’s head as she spoke casually.
“I do have to apologise for the way you were brought here, my dear. That was no way for a Queen to be treated!”
As soon as the gag left Lillian’s mouth she licked her dry lips, still frowning at her captor.
“There, how’s that?” Lynn asked with another smile. “Better?”
“I’d appreciate you releasing my hands from their bindings as well while you’re at it.” Lillian suggested.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that, your highness.” Lynn replied with an apologetic expression. “Not until the master arrives to claim you.”
Lillian froze upon hearing her words.
“Claim? What do you mean by that?” she asked. “Who’s coming to claim me?”
“The master, of course. He is very excited to finally meet you.” Lynn replied.
“Who is your master?” Lillian continued to query.
Before Lynn could reply, they both turned towards the doorway as Flynn entered the room and walked across to where Lillian was tied to the hanging rope above her head. She recognised him immediately and gasped.
“Flynn!” her voice was but a whisper.
“Ah, I see you already know Flynn here.” Lady Lynn began to introduce them as she watched Flynn step forward and hold out the glass of water for Lillian to drink.
He frowned when she turned her head away from it.
“Drink it, you must be thirsty.” he tried convincing her.
“I don’t want anything from you.” she replied snidely, refusing to meet his eyes.
“Don’t be foolish, you need to keep up your fluids.” Flynn reminded her with a more serious tone to his voice now. “Think of your child.”
“Her what?” Lady Lynn asked, suddenly drawn into the conversation with this new information. She turned to Flynn. “The Queen is with child? Why haven’t you told me about this?”
Flynn grasped Lillian’s chin firmly as he replied, while forcing the glass to Lillian’s lips.
“It hadn’t come up.” he spoke simply as he tilted Lillian’s head back and watched as she drank from it, clearly not impressed by having to do so.
Lillian was indeed thirsty, but she was also angry at Flynn for his betrayal. Why had he kidnapped her in the first place, knowing she was pregnant? He was putting both of their lives in danger!
Once she had finished the glass, he placed it down on the ground and Lady Lynn continued to converse with their captive Queen.
“This changes everything! I will need to...” she paused and looked to Flynn, changing her words quickly. “...make some changes to the ceremony. It shouldn’t take long... Stay here and watch her! I mean it, guard her with your life Flynn!”
“Of course.” he replied.
With that, Lady Lynn turned and quickly marched out of the room, leaving Lillian alone with Flynn. The captive Queen wasted no time trying to beg him to release her from her restraints.
“Please Flynn, just let me go... I don’t know who Lynn’s master is, or why he comes to claim me, but you don’t need to do this...” Lillian pleaded as she looked deeply into his eyes with her most sorrowful expression. “Please, I have a child. You must let me go!”
“Wait, what are you talking about?” Flynn asked, seeming confused by her words suddenly. “Who comes to claim you?”
Lillian quickly turned to check and make sure Lady Lynn was gone before she explained.
“Her master, she told me so herself!” Lillian replied. “She said he comes to claim me and that he’d be here in less than an hour... please you can’t let that happen! I won’t lose my child, I won’t!”
“Calm down, no one’s threatening your child, Lillian.” Flynn tried to calm her concerns. “We’re here to help you. You’re the one chosen by the Ancient Gods to free the Great Pearl Dragon from his dark cage. Lady Lynn is here to help you do that.”
She frowned at his words, shaking her head.
“Help me? How is this helping me?” she gestured to the rope holding her hands above her head. “I don’t know what lies she’s filled your head with Flynn, but she’s not here to help me...”
Flynn seemed suddenly uncertain for a moment as he looked back at her.
“If you don’t believe me, then why did she have me kidnapped? Why would she restrain me like this? Can’t you see she has an ulterior motive here, she’s using you!”
“I think that’s enough talking for now!” Lady Lynn suddenly spoke sternly as she stepped back into the room. Her eyes were fixed on Lillian, as if to warn her not to speak. A warning Lillian understood well as she closed her mouth and remained silent, much to her disgust.
Flynn turned to face Lady Lynn as she stood in the doorway. He seemed uncertain of what was going on.
“Come Flynn.” Lady Lynn commanded, gesturing for him to step outside of the room with her for them to talk.
As soon as he stepped outside of the cell Lillian was being kept in, Flynn began firing his barrage of questions at Lady Lynn. He needed to know what the hell was going on!
“My lady, what is she talking about? Who comes to claim her?” he questioned her. “Is there something you’re keeping from me?”
Lynn sighed deeply. “Of course not Flynn, you know you can trust me.”
“Then what was she talking about?” he queried.
“Don’t concern yourself with her silly delusions, keep your eye on the prize and follow my command. Do you understand?” her brows rose as she waited for his response.
After a slight hesitation, Flynn nodded his head and she smiled back at him. Her hold on him had not yet diminished.
“Now go, see to the ceremony preparations.” she commanded with a gesture of her head toward the end of the corridor they now stood in.
“Yes my lady.” Flynn replied as he turned and began to make his way down the corridor.
As he walked along, he thought back to everything that Lillian had said and he began to wonder whose side he was actually on in all of this. Was his leader planning on betraying him? If so, what could he possibly do to prevent Lillian and her child from being harmed?
For the first time in a long time, he wasn’t sure who to trust.
And it scared him...