Book 1 The Queens of Love and Beauty

Chapter Twelve

March the 12th 281.

Tower of Joy.

One Month and One Week Pregnant.

Lya, myself and Gwen were stood in Lya’s room. We weren’t seeming to show, our stomach’s were getting no bigger. Which I took to meaning that Lya had become like me, and could control what size her stomach would get, and she had a protective cacoon inside her stomach, which held the babies safe.

That was how my stomach was all the time when being pregnant. They were always safe inside our stomachs. We both had protective cacoon’s inside our stomach’s.

Merlin then burst into the room with a little boy called Fred. Lya looked at the boy, and then looked at me. “Have you forgotten how to knock, Merlin?!” Lya asked.

“The guards are after him. I didn’t know what to do.” Merlin said.

I took the eight to ten year old boy in my arms, as he fainted. I placed him behind the screen that Lya changed behind. I put him down on the little mattress, as Merlin shut the door and hid behind there with Fred, as I shut the curtains behind them.

“My Lady?” The guards knocked. “My Lady?” Lya let the guards in. “I’m sorry to disturb you, my Lady. We’re searching for a young Druid boy. We believe he came this way.” The guard said.

“We haven’t seen anyone. It’s just us and our maid. We are safe here, I assure you.” Lya said.

“Best keep the door locked till we find him.”

“Of course. Thank you.”

Lya closed the door and ran to check on Fred. Merlin’s hands were covered in the boys blood.

I rushed down to the council chambers, and saw that Rhaegar was already there, standing next to my father’s chair. My father looked up at me, shaking his head.

“The Druid was only here to collect supplies. He meant no harm to any of us. Is it necessary to execute him?” Rhaegar said.

“Absolutely necessary. Those who use magic cannot be tolerated.” My father said, giving me a hateful glance, thinking I was magic.

In a way, I was. I could move thing with my mind. I could teleport myself to different places, in whichever world I was in. I have super strength. I could read minds, even when you try to block me from doing so.

I could heal my body even when I was close to death, even at deaths door, I could heal my body, even if my head was chopped off, I could myself. I could even bring people back from the dead, I could heal other people. There was more to my talents, but things I had not found yet, things I didn’t know I had in me. Not yet.

“The Druids are a peaceful people.” Rhaegar said.

“Given the chance, they would return magic to the kingdom. They preach peace, but conspire against me. We cannot appear weak.” My father said.

“Showing mercy can be a sign of strength.”

“Our enemies will not see it that way. We have a responsibility to protect this kingdom. Executing the Druid will send out a clear message to them. Find the boy. Search every inch of the city.”

I went back up to Lya’s room then. Fred was lying awake. Lya and Merlin watched the square below us as the boys father was waiting to be executed. Rhaegar and my father stood on the balcony.

“People of the Tower of Joy, the man before you is guilty of using enchantments and magic. Under our law, the sentence for this crime is death. We’re still searching for his accomplice. Anyone found harboring the boy is guilty of conspiracy, and will be executed as a traitor. Let this serve as a warning to your people.” My father said.

“You have let your fear of magic turn to hate. I pity you.” The boy’s father said.

“I can’t watch this.” Lya said.

She came away from the window and sat down on the floor, cradling Fred in her arms, motherly. Once the man’s head was taken off, Lya’s mirror smashed, telepathically done by Fred.

Later we were in Lya’s chambers, Merlin had come in from where he had been. He must have been running errands for Rhaegar, because he was out of breath.

“How is he?” Merlin asked, as he came over to where we were.

“He’s sleeping. He’s very pale. I worry he may have lost a lot of blood, Merlin.” Lya said.

“Has he said anything at all?”

“Nothing. He won’t even tell me his name.”

“You know, er, for a moment there earlier, I-I thought you were going to hand us over to the guards.”

“I’m glad you have so much faith in us, Merlin.” I said.

“No, no, sorry. Er, I meant, you’re the King’s ward. You’re taking a huge risk helping the boy.”

“I wouldn’t see an innocent child executed. What harm has he ever done anyone?” Lya said.

“Marcus believes he has magic, and that makes him guilty.”

“Marcus’ wrong.”

“You believe that?”

“I do too.” I said.

“What if magic isn’t something you choose?” Lya said, then looking at me, then back to Merlin. “What if it chooses you? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Nothing.” Merlin said.

“Why are you helping him?” I asked.

“It was a spur of the moment decision. What do you think we should do with him? He can’t stay here.”

“We have to find a way to get him back to his people.” Lya said.

That night, my father had asked myself and Lya to join him in dining tonight. We did so, Lya sitting at the opposite side of the table, myself in the middle, Lya to my left, my father to my right.

Lya sipped at her wine, the cup touching her lips as she gulped down the last bits of wine. She placed it back on the table, beside her food, that she had hardly touched. She looked down at her food, and ate the rest of her chicken.

“You seem troubled, Lyanna. Is something wrong?” My father asked Lyanna.

“No, Your Grace. I’m sorry I’m not better company.” Lya said.

“I’m merely concerned for your welfare, that’s all.”

“Thank you, Your Grace. All is well.”

Rhaegar entered, walking over behind my chair, leaning on it. He kissed me on the head, then giving Lya the briefest of smiles, she and him were not getting along too well.

Lya knew what he had to do as prince, but he hated that Rhaegar and I had to make hard decisions, and she knew that we did not want to make some of them, but if we were king and queen, we would have to do this on a daily basic.

“What news of the hunt for the Druid boy?” My father asked.

“We have conducted an extensive search. The boy is nowhere to be found.” Rhaegar said, giving Lya another quick glance.

“You mean you failed to find him?”

“Perhaps he’s already left the city.”

“You’re telling me that a wounded boy is able to evade the guards and escape the city? Nonsense, someone’s hiding him. I want him found as soon as possible.”

“He’s just a boy. What harm can he do, father?” I said.

“He is a Druid, and that makes him dangerous.”

“The Druids would see your father’s kingdom destroyed.” Lya said.

“I had no idea you were such an authority on Druids.” Rhaegar said, thinking she would be on his side.

“Lyanna is right. Double your efforts.” My father said.

“Yes, Your Grace.”

“Keep searching until you find him. And Rhaegar...an answer to your question yesterday. Yes, you can.”

“Thank you, Your Grace, I shall be happy for you to explain to the girls.” Rhaegar then left.

“You are both getting your wish, and Rhaegar is no longer prince of the Tower of Joy.”

“What? Why?” Lya asked, outraged.

“Because we will have two princesses, unless you would like to fight over who assumes the Lords roll.”

“I don’t understand.”

I did, so I let my father speak. “You are to marry. Not today, maybe not tomorrow. But after we have found this boy, and are done with him, then you will be married.”

We looked at each other smiling gleefully. “Thank you.” We said together, taking each others hand as we walked out of the room, smiling like school girls in the schoolyard.

March the 13th 281.

Tower of Joy.

Myself, Merlin, Gwen and Lya were all around the boy, Fred, we were looking at him, worried.

“He’s burning up. How long has he been like this?” Merlin asked, feeling Fred’s forehead.

“Since early this morning. I think his wound may be infected. We need Lyon before it gets any worse.” Lya said.

“No. We can’t involve Lyon. It’s too dangerous. Besides, if he finds out about this, he’ll execute me himself.”

“We need to get him away from the Tower of Joy, and we can’t do that while he’s sick. We need a physician.” I said, trying to be the voice of reason.”I’ll treat him.”

“Merlin, do you know how to treat an infected wound?” Lya asked, concerned.

“Not exactly, but I’m a fast learner.”

Footsteps and knocking came at the door. Lyanna went to open the door after I closed the curtains that concealed Merlin and Fred. I came up behind Lya as the door opened to Rhaegar.

“Rhaegar! To what do I owe this pleasure?” Lya said, smugly.

“Don’t get all excited. It’s not a social call. I’m looking for the Druid boy. I’m afraid I’m going to have to search your chambers.” Rhaegar said, we both gave him a angry glare, he then began walking around the room. “I don’t like it any more than you do.”

“You’re not searching my chambers.” Lya protested.

“Don’t take it personally. I have to search the entire castle. It will only take a few minutes.”

“I’m not having you mess up my things, there are some of Roxy’s things here too.”

“I’m not interested in your things, or Roxy’s, I’m just looking for any evidence that the Druid boy’s in the castle.”

I saw Merlin peek through the curtain and saw him looking at Fred’s boots, sitting out in plain sight. I went over and discretely threw them over to him, Rhaegar not seeing as I leant on the wall.

“Perhaps the Druid boy’s hiding in your chambers. They’re usually such a mess, you’d never know.” Lya said.

“It’s hardly my fault I have such a lazy idiot for a servant.” Rhaegar said.

“If you can’t even find your own servant, what hope do you have of finding the boy?”

“Really, I’m touched by the confidence you have in my abilities. And, as much as I’d love to stay and talk, the sooner we get started, the sooner we’ll be finished.”

“Well, I’ll save you the trouble.”

“Trust me, if I could find him, I would.”

“The Druid boy’s hiding behind the screen. I’m sure your king would love to know how you wasted your time by rifling through my things. Go on.”

“So you can have the satisfaction of making me look a fool?”

“In my experience, you don’t need any help looking like a fool. I don’t have to help you, no one does. You do it fine on your own. What are you waiting for? Take a look.”

“Why don’t you go back to brushing your hair, or whatever it is that you do all day?”

“Bye, Rhaegar. Good luck with the search!” Lya said, as he left, closing the door behind him.

“You shouldn’t rile him up like that, Lya.” I said.

“He’ll be fine.” Lya smiled, her beautiful smile then.

Later That Night.

Lya opened the door when the knock came, only opening it a crack, then seeing it was Merlin, she let him in, closing the door behind her.

“What the hell took you so long?” Lya asked.

“Sorry. Once Lyon gets talking about anatomy, there’s no stopping him at all.” Merlin said, he began treating Fred.

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

“I’m doing my best.”

“I’ll get you some more water.”

“Thank you, Merlin.” Fred said telepathically.

“Your welcome.” Merlin said back telepathically.

Lya came back from getting the water, she knelt down beside us, and looked at the boy. Merlin had finished with the paste that he had put on Fred’s arm, he had used it all.

Merlin then left us alone. We did all we could for the boy, then went to bed, this time in the same bed, secretly hoping this boy would be out of here soon, so we could be married.

March the 14th 281.

Tower of Joy.

Lya had woken before me, dressing quickly, as I did once I woke, to her, for want of a better word, stressing. I knelt beside her, she was knelt beside the boy, placing a cold and wet cloth on his head.

“Let me care for him for a while. You need to sleep. You’ll make yourself sick if you go on like this.” Gwen said, as she came in.

“His fever’s getting worse.” Lya said.

“Lyanna.” Fred said telepathically.

“Did you hear that?”

“What?” Gwen asked.

“He said my name.””Did he? I didn’t hear anything, my Lady.”

A knock came at to the door.

“It’s Merlin.” Merlin said.

Gwen opened the door for him, closing it behind him. She looked at Lya and I.

“How is he?” Merlin asked.

“He’s getting weaker. Whatever you did yesterday, it hasn’t worked yet. We have to ask Lyon for his help. After all you’ve done, you can’t give up now! Please! If he doesn’t receive treatment, he’ll die!” Lya said.

“Okay.”

Not Too Long Later.

Lyon had come up, and was examined Fred. He was looking at his arm, then at us. Lya looked sat, she had started to care for this child, she felt something towards him. I thought it was because she was meant to save him.

“I will treat this boy, but as soon as he’s well, you must get him away from the Tower of Joy, out of here for good. And woe betide anyone caught helping him. Well, one thing we know for certain.” Lyon said.

“What’s that?” Merlin asked.

“You’re no physician.”


March the 15th 281.

Tower of Joy.

Myself, Lya, Merlin and Gwen were watching some guards, in the lower tower, in one of the markets.

“The guards are searching everyone leaving the town.” Gwen said.

“There is another way out. There’s a secret door in the armory. It leads to the lower town. I’ll take the boy out that way.” Merlin said, looking at them.

“No. It’s too dangerous. We’ll to it.” Lya said, looking at me, nodding my way, then nodding at herself.

“But I--I’m good with secret doors and things.”

“If you are caught, Marcus will execute you. The boy’s my responsibility. I’ll smuggle him out of the castle.”

“Well, you’ll need a key for the door.”

“Who has it?”

“Rhaegar.”

Later That Night.

Lya had dressed in Gwen’s clothing, as I had. We had brought the boy down, so we could move as soon as possible.

“It’ll have to do.” Lya said, then sighing. “I feel I’ve put you in danger without ever stopping to ask how you feel about it. I’m sorry.”

“I know how it feels to face the treat of execution. And I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.” Gwen said.

There was a knock at the door. “It’s Merlin.”

Gwen went to open the door to him. Lya went to Fred. Holding his hand, myself holding the other.

“We’re going to get you away from the Tower of Joy. We won’t let anything bad happen to you. I promise.” Lya said.

“Are you ready?” Merlin asked.

Lya nodded. “Did you get the keys?”

“Yeah.” Merlin handed her the key. “Er, the door is behind the shield at the far end of the armory.”

“I’ll pack you some food and water for the journey. Be careful.” Gwen said.

That Night.

Guards marched through the landing as Lya peeked over the edge of the curved stairs and we descended with Fred. A serving girl saw us quietly sneaking off through the mostly quiet corridor at the bottom of the spiral stairway. They snuck out through the door behind the shield in the armory.

Later That Night.

I had to run a different way, but we met again, when Rhaegar’s men surrounded us.

“Halt, or I’ll run you through. Show yourselves.” Rhaegar said, as he poked his sword at my back.

We dropped our hoods, and turned around, to show Rhaegar our faces, and he saw them, shocked.

“Let him go. I beg you. He’s just a child.” Lya pleaded.

Rhaegar debated, looking at the guards around him. “Restrain them, all of them.” Rhaegar said.


March the 16th 281.

Tower of Joy.

“All this time, you’ve been hiding the boy in my own palace. How could you betray me like this?” My father said to Lya.

“I would not see him executed.” Lya said.

“I’ve treated you like a daughter. Is this how you repay me?”

We did what we thought was right.”

“You think it’s right to conspire with my enemies against me?”

“How can this child be your enemy? He’s just a boy.”

“He is a Druid.”

“Is that such a crime?”

“His kind would see me dead and this kingdom returned to anarchy and you would help them.”

“Then punish me, and Roxy...but spare the boy. I beg you.”

“Please make arrangements for the boy to be executed tomorrow morning.” My father said to Rhaegar.

“No! Please. He’s done nothing.”

“Let this be a lesson to you. Do you hear me? I want him executed at dawn.”

“Yes, Your Grace.” Rhaegar said.

“What have these people done to you? Why are you so full of hate towards them?” Lya said.

“Enough! I will not hear another word! Do not speak to me until you are ready to apologize for what you’ve done.” My father said, then leaving, Rhaegar leaving following behind my father.

Later That Day.

Myself, Merlin and I were in Lya’s chambers. We were all stood about, myself leant against a wall.

“I promised that I wouldn’t let anything bad happen.” Lya said.

“You can’t blame yourself. You tried your best.” Merlin said.

“It’s not enough.”

“He’s in jail now. There’s nothing more we can do.”

“I will not let him die. Can I count on your help?” Merlin nodded.

Lya and I went to Rhaegar’s chambers. We walked up and waited for him until he entered the room, closing the door behind her.”Make yourselves at home.” Rhaegar said, leaning on a chair.

“You can’t let Marcus execute the boy.” Lya said.

“You’re lucky he’s not executing you two. Are you telling me he really was behind the screen when I came to search your chambers?”

Lya nodded. “I know you believe Marcus’ wrong to execute him.”

“What I believe doesn’t matter. Marcus’ made up his mind. He won’t be talked out of it. I tried.”

“Then the time for talking is over.”

“Whatever you’re thinking, it’s not going to happen.”

“We have to get the boy back to his people.”

“No. Forget it.”

“I can’t believe you’d let an innocent child die!”

“It’s too late. He’s been caught. I have no choice.”

“And is this how you will rule when you are King? You’re not like your father. You can be better than this.”

“I will not betray Marcus.”

“If I know you at all, you won’t stand by and let this happen. Please, Lya. If you won’t do this for the boy, then do it for us.”

Merlin entered the room. Myself, Lya and Rhaegar looked at him, as we stopped talking about our plan.

“Sorry. Was I interrupting something?” Merlin said.

“Nothing you need concern yourself with. Go make yourself useful, muck out my horses.” Rhaegar said.

“We trust Merlin.” Lya said.Rhaegar motions for Merlin to enter. Merlin shut the door behind him and came over to us.

“We’re going to break the Druid boy out of the dungeons.” Rhaegar said.

“You can’t do that.” Merlin said.

“We have to. Marcus’ going to execute him at dawn.” Lya said.

“I mean...it’s too dangerous. You’ve already been caught once, and if the King catches you a second time he’ll never forgive you.”

“I’m not worried for myself.”

“Merlin’s right. When Marcus finds out the boy’s escaped, he will suspect you being involved.” Rhaegar said.

“It’s suicide.” Merlin said.

“You must go to Marcus, you too Rox and apologize. Dine with him, he cannot hold you responsible if you’re with him when the boy escapes with us.”

“You need me if the plan’s to work. You can’t do this on your own.” Lya said.

“Merlin will take your place.”

“Me?” Merlin asked.

“I’m going to take the boy out through the burial vaults. There’s a tunnel that leads beyond the city walls. Get my horse from the stables and meet me there. There’s a grate that covers the entrance to the tunnel.”

Night.

Lya and I got ourselves ready, and went down to dine with my father, to apologize. We went down to the Small Hall, walking in as two men shut the doors behind us, our direwolves behind us with tear stained cheeks to show we had been crying.

“We have come to apologize, Your Grace. You have been generous and kind and fair. And I owe you everything. I truly don’t know what came over us. I acted without thinking of the consequence. My behavior was unforgivable.” Lya said.

“I am glad you’ve seen sense. Dine with me. Let’s put this...unfortunate incident behind us.” Marcus said.

Later.

“It’s the Druid boy. He’s escaped!” A guard said.

“What? How?” My father asked.

“Your Grace, he was assisted by some accomplices. The guards are searching the Tower of Joy as we speak.”

“Find him and his accomplice and kill them.”

“Yes, Your Grace.”

“If I discover that you were somehow involved in freeing this boy, the consequences will be extremely severe.”

“Your Grace, you know I respect you too much to ever betray you like that.”

“I made a promise to your father that I would protect you. But if you cross me again, I will break that promise without a second thought.”

My father left us, we scowled as he walked out of the door. We sat there knowing that the boy had gotten to his people. I was happy to know that.

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