Chapter 7: Moments
Lunch had been served a few minutes ago. Rivola had eaten her fill and was staring at the book. But the words would not enter her mind. She was simply staring at it when Shahir asked,
‘You are not reading. What are you thinking of Rivola?’
‘Nothing. I was thinking of home.’ She said and shut the book.
‘Where do you live?’ Shahir asked. ‘I live in Shepyt. My town is called, Galesie.’
‘I live in Shepyt too. I live in the capital, Claropolis. At Mr. Starenskier’s house. Crestville.’ Rivola said.
‘Crestville? Then you must be Rivola Lumnisca.’ A new voice said. Rivola looked up to a pretty girl smiling down at her. The girl had straight caramel brown hair falling over her shoulders. Her dress was a simple, red, shin-length chiton tied at her waist by a sash. Her features were aristocratic and her eyes were soft brown.
‘I’m sorry. I don’t think we have met before.’ Rivola said.
‘No. But I have often seen Mr. Starenskier at the Royal Court.’ She said.
‘Royal court?’ Rivola frowned.
‘Yes. I am the Kareya Silversand. The Princess of Shepyt.’ The girl smiled.
Ah…we need to make our move fast. The Dark Lord said. Siva couldn’t see him but he was sure that the he was awake. I’ll collect my own energy. But you need to get me a few valuable things.
‘What do you want my Lord?’ a girl asked. Siva had noticed that this girl had a strange enthusiasm with her. She was to a certain extent pretty. Her wavy blonde hair was decorated with blue sapphires and she had black eyes.
Ah…Daughter of the High Gales! I need your deception skills my girl. You shall go to the Center. The Son of Death shall assist you reaching there but after that you have to secure your place and win the trust of a few people.
‘What for?’ Siva asked.
Ha, ha, ha…Son of Death, she will try her own ways to kill a few people. If she fails and they reach their destination, I’ll send you. You will steal what is necessary and with the prized possessions you shall return.
‘When do we start?’ the girl asked with a nasty smile.
Right now. Go, son of death help my General reach safely. Further orders will be given. The voice commanded.
‘Yes sir!’ Siva saluted and bowed in spite of himself to prepare for her journey to the Center.
Roy could make out the stars clearly. Twinkling and shimmering against the night sky. Lana said beside him in her charming voice,
‘The Legend says that the night sky is actually, the goddess of Night, Lady Rartria’s cloak which was woven out of the winds and decorated with the stars.’
‘I know. But Science tells us that stars are giant balls of gas.’ Roy countered. Lana remained silent then spoke looking softly at him,
‘But Roy, in this world of gods and monsters. Magic and Darkness, you can never tell which one is true.’
‘Everything depends on what we believe.’ Roy said.
Suddenly Aila squealed pointing at the ocean-floor,
’What is that?’
Roy looked. She was pointing the bluish radiance of the waves that seemed to glow like ‘light’. He leaned against the railing and looked scrutinizing every little detail. He could make out rocks. Large shiny crystal rocks that were giving off lights.
‘Those are stones.’ He said.
‘Lady Gemina’s stones.’ Lana said.
‘Who is Lady Gemina?’ Aila asked. Lana looked shocked,
’You don’t know who Lady Gemina is?’
Aila merely shrugged. Roy couldn’t help smiling coldly. He explained what he knew,
‘She’s the goddess of Jewels and Protection. She’s the wife of the God of Death. But I wonder why she placed those rocks here. Supposed to protect the island or something.’ Roy said.
‘It is not our business to question the decisions of the League of Gods.’ Lana said severely.
‘What if they ask you to die?’ Roy asked.
‘I would willingly lay down my life.’ Lana said her head held high. Roy sighed and turned to the island where they had stopped. People were moving out bustling and shouting. Roy looked up at the sky and he understood why Siva had such different views from this girl, Lana. She was just too religious.
‘Come on Roy,’ Aila said, ‘we need to get down.’
Lana hugged Aila and said,
‘May the Creator protect you!’ She smiled and skipped away into the small crowd assembled there. Aila got down following Roy and Kai. Suddenly they stopped.
Before Roy stood the four senior Crimsonelves, Clare, Russ, Flash and Dus. Russ merely smiled at Roy. But the other three continued to glare. Finally Clare said, his voice rising,
‘It was just a few moments.’ Roy muttered. Clare shouted,
‘So? You are a disgrace to the family! Bad enough you had to come with us and now you come late?!’
Aila backed up a few steps. Why were they shouting like this at her brother? She saw Roy bite his lips. He said,
Clare seemed to calm down a little. He turned his attention to Aila and said,
‘I really pity you, Aila. You had to get stuck with this waste of space called Roy.’
‘How can you say such things?’ Aila asked. Clare examined her and said,
‘It’s our wish and it was because of this loser that mom left us. It was because of this loser that you had no brothers for the past thirteen years.’
How could they say such things about their very own brother? She couldn’t control her urge.
‘Enough!’ Aila shouted. She could feel her ears getting hot. She moved forward. She was so angry that she wanted to slap Clare but someone restrained her. Roy held fast to her hand and said,
‘Stop it Aila.’
‘But they insulted you.’ Aila said.
‘I am used to it. Now back off!’ Roy said and pushed her backwards. She stood there seething. Clare looked like he wanted to slap Roy in the face but Russ pushed him forwards and commanded Dus and Flash to follow.
Aila glared at Roy. Much to her annoyance he seemed to avoid her eyes. They walked towards the campfire which had been lit and Kai asked,
‘Who were they?’
‘Yeah.’ Roy said.
A woman stood at the middle of the crowd. She spread her hands and bowed,
‘I welcome you to the three thousand thirteenth years of the Quest of the Platinum Cup where you either survive or perish!’