Chapter 28: Screw it all
I walked away, feeling my whole world was collapsing all around me. I punched the three gaslights lined on the wall one by one, turning the alleyway into complete darkness, which fit perfectly with my somber mood. I wanted to roar, I wanted to destroy, I wanted to do something, I just didn’t know what would calm the void that was growing in my chest. I had left Sierra there, scared and alone, as if I had a fucking choice. I had established an order in here, and she had forced my hand. How could she have betrayed me like this? Why would she do it? The thing is I kind of knew why she’d done it, and that was worse. How had life brought us to this point?
Damn it! I knelt down in darkness, taking my head in between my hands, trying to shut down the images, and the events of the night. My dragon was crying out, screaming at the deception of our mate. I needed to think clearly, because what I feared was worse than a mere betrayal. No, the reality was much, much gory than that. What Rocco told me, if it turned out to be true, could shatter my world. Was there any doubt? Shit, it didn’t seem that way. How could fate have been so cruel? I was ready to confront my family, face my friends’ objections, I was ready to leave my fiancé for her. Hell, I was even ready to forge some kind of peace with her kind, a thought that had been occupying my mind lately. But, this was simply unforgivable. There was no doubt as to what I’d heard before Rocco’s last breath, what he’d been trying to tell me, and he had said it over and over again, as to vanish all the clouds of doubts in my mind.
He’d told me who she was, who she’d been all this time. I would have discarded his words as gibberish, had he not given me evidence to back it up, and had I not seen it with my very own eyes. How could I dispute what I saw, what I felt with my own hands? But, then if I believed that, then everything between us had been a lie, her feelings, and even mine had all been fabricated in a web of untruths. I didn’t know how to live with that, I didn’t know how to stop caring for her, loving her, worrying over her. I could surely kill everyone here, the order in the unit be damned, the infiltration be damned, everything else be damned, and just get her out. Yes, I could do that, but how could I, knowing what I knew now?
“Seth?” said a voice, waking me up from my thoughts.
“Father?” I said, trying to compose myself. “Father, I’ve been waiting for the news from the Palace, what’s happening over there? Are things stabilized?” I asked, swallowing, and trying very hard not reveal my pain.
“Son, things are bad. You know Rocco has rebelled against your brother. But, what you don’t know is that the rebellion is catching on among some of the noble families. They think we’ve been ineffective in exterminating the humans, wiping their race from Rawonia. We don’t know who is a friend, who is an enemy anymore. And, Dante is still missing, have you found any trace of him?”
“No,” I sighed in frustration. “Rocco hasn’t said much about his location, only that he was in the hands of the witch.”
“What witch?” father asked, surprised.
“Yes, it’s true” I said, firmly. “I didn’t believe him at first, but now I do.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yes, and I believe she’s behind the madness as well.”
“I got the vial, Seth. We’re trying to analyze and reproduce it. Let’s hope that it will work at least. With everything going on, we certainly need some good news,” he said. “Wait, did you say the witch has powers to spread the Drakon madness. How is that possible?”
“I don’t know. But, what I know is that she has the power to kill our dragons, and turn the Drakons into complete humans,” I said, my voice etched in pain. My voice sounded foreign, strange, even to me. It was as if all this was happening to somebody else, and here I was watching it all from afar. Yes, I had seen it with my eyes, the witch had destroyed Rocco’s dragon, humanized him. I couldn’t feel his dragon, see it, touch it when I’d held Rocco. The tattoo was completely and utterly gone. Who had the power to do something like that? It could only be the witch.
It was all part of a plan. She had a gun, she would have killed him to stop him from talking. It was too bad Fileas had beaten her to it, and her luck had run out when Rocco had decided to spill her secrets anyway, seconds before he died. Sierra was the witch, it all made sense now. I had not believed her to be from another world, but she’d been telling the truth all along. She had a mission to complete, she’d been saying. I had to give her credit, she had never lied, not even once. It was just her story had been so outrageous, so preposterous that she hadn’t felt the need to lie, and I’d simply chosen not to believe it. Indeed, she’d come here from somewhere else, to ruin the Drakons, to end Rawonia, which is why she’d been looking for the heart. She knew what it meant all along. Rawonia would disappear if its heart stopped beating. The planet would simply destroy itself, like a self-destructive bomb, ending all life as we knew it. Rawonia would be no more. The Drakons would be no more. The humans would be no more. It would be a disaster. And, worse yet, the witch who wanted all this, was my mate.
“Do you know where she is? How do we contain her? How do we find Dante?” father asked, sequentially, his nervousness spreading through his mental communication.
“I have her father,” I assured him. ” And, I will find Dante. Leave it to me.”
“Good. Good, and Seth?” father said.
“When you are done, hurry back home, we have to rush your wedding. We need it to keep our alliances. It’s more important than ever. Your union with Nicole will assuage fears and doubts among the royal families. Her father is an important figure among the aristocracy, you know that. Their family goes back centuries, her bloodline is pure, and the Drakons like her. She will be good for you, but more importantly she will be good for the Kingdom in these trying times.”
I sighed, my insides were burning. How had my life changed so drastically? “Yes, father. I understand. I know my duty,” I said, cutting off the connection. He allowed it, thankfully.
I opened the hatch, and went out. I needed fresh air, it was as if I couldn’t breathe. I shifted, not caring who saw me. I let my dragon out, allowing its wings to beat the air, fast, and firm, the emotions of rage, despair, and sadness providing the fuel to keep up with its maddening pace. I howled in the sky, a sound dipped in pain, and outcry. I was the master Uruloki, the master of the skies, the master of the Drakons, the master of all Rawonia, and here I was reduced to this weakling, who was willing to give up everything in the blink of an eye, if only I could reverse the time, and be with her again, as content, and happy as I once was. I sought the veil of oblivion, I wanted to forget, I wanted her back in my arms, damn it! I flew till the morning, not stopping, not thinking, just feeling the crisp air brush my skin, and letting the dark clouds devour me, and consume my inner demons.
I entered the compound, and waited impatiently till Fileas woke up.
“Where is she?” I asked.
“She’s under arrest, and being held in one of the empty rooms, I haven’t chained her,” Fileas said. “I thought you wouldn’t like it.”
“Yes,” I said, barely. “But, increase the number of her guards.”
“Is that really necessary? It’s Sierra,” he said.
“Yes, it’s necessary. Do it,” I snapped. I didn’t know her powers, and I wasn’t taking chances with her getting away.
“What will we do about...?” he said.
“Uhm, how will we deal with the trial?” he asked, averting his eyes.
“Nothing. Arrange one,” I said, looking him squarely in the eyes. “By the way what were you and Brian doing in the west end last night? I believe I’d told you to leave the Drakon to me.”
“I am sorry, we were close by and I knew you were heading there for interrogation, but we heard some rhythmic sounds, and were just inquiring. I guess it was the Drakon breaking his chains,” he said quietly.
“Yes,” I said, not saying anything else. It wasn’t his fault he’d done his job, and shattered my world along with it.
“How soon do you want the trial to take place?” Fileas asked.
“As soon as possible... I want this to be over, I need it to be over,” I said.
“Take her some food,” I instructed, and then left before I lost all my will and determination to be resolute on this issue, and had her freed.
“You bastard, what have you done to her, where is she?” Baran came right at me as I was walking. “I will kill you, I swear I will,” he shouted, pushing me, trying to provoke me into a fight.
“You can’t kill me, I’m already dead. She did that,” I said. “Restrain him,” I commanded my men ruthlessly who rushed to sedate him. I didn’t want to kill him, not yet anyways.
“You, asshole! I will not have you hurt her, I swear I will find a way.” he managed to utter, before his heavy body fell in a thud on the floor.
There was hate in Travis’ eyes, a hate that burned a hole through me, all throughout the day. Elvan, too, wouldn’t look me in the eye. Thankfully, Baran kept to himself and slept for the day, and that meant one less human to deal with. That black haired girl though irritated me as much as Baran did, she kept grinning as if her life had just brightened. I wanted to darken her world, crush her spirit for finding joy in my misery. It would have been so easy, if only she was the witch instead.
I couldn’t help but ask Fileas how Sierra was, at least a few times during the day, despite my attempts not to.
“She’s not said a word, and she’s not taken a bite of food,” he reported.
“Does she think she will be punishing me by doing that?” I snapped. She certainly was doing a good job. “Force it down her throat, if need be. Make sure she eats,” I raged.
“Yes, boss,” he said.
The rest of the day passed quickly, but my head was in a spin, as my dragon had now transitioned from a stage of rage to a stage of constant denial, giving me the headache the likes of which I haven’t experienced before. Hours later, I finally sat down, my dragon was now silenced, lying still, hurt and confused. I closed my eyes, letting sleep claim me, and provide the solace and peace I desperately sought.
It was Fileas’ voice which woke me up. “Boss, I’m sorry,” he said, hesitantly.
I opened my eyes, finding myself in blissful oblivion for a few seconds, not remembering Sierra’s betrayal, nor her real identity. Then it all came back, and I sighed. “Yes?” I said.
“The jury has gathered. Sierra’s trial will proceed within minutes. We’re waiting for you.”
“I see,” I said. “Then, let’s not keep them waiting,” I added, dragging my feet to the courtroom.
My heart pounded in my chest, my palms sweated, my whole body was excited in expectation of seeing her, my mate, the witch...How disgusting was that?