Several days passed. Challan and his sister left for several days along with their knights, due to the fact that she’s traveling back to Tristania. He assured me on his way out that he’ll be back in no time and that there’s nothing for me to worry about. Even though I didn’t believe him at the start, of course, the touch of his soft lips on mine made me assured that what he said was true. I invited Layla and her fiancée Roger to come over for a lunch. The two of them didn’t exactly look like that they were thrilled for the invite. Roger was just looking at me suspiciously and every time I glanced at Layla I could see her hand going below the table as she pulled her dress down. I could see some scratches on her leg but she quickly covered them before I could closely examine them. They didn’t stay for long, which I wasn’t very happy about but I had to understand that just because I’m without someone I love I can’t make someone else make the same sacrifice as I did. On their way out, Layla hugged me and whispered in my ear that she was thankful for the invite. As I watched them go and fade away into the distance I felt that something was off, but I didn’t dare question it.
Several days passed and I decided to finally get out of this damn castle and stretch my legs for a bit.
‘Your majesty, where are you headed?’ Minerva appears in front of my door.
‘Going for a walk. I won’t take long.’
‘Oh, your majesty. Would you do me a favor and take this bag of cookie to Layla?’
‘You know that she’s a vampire, right?’
‘It isn’t for her. The cookies are for Roger’s mother.’
‘Oh, right. Very well, bring the box up here and I’ll take it with me.’
‘Thank you, your majesty.’ As Minerva turns around to make her way out of my bedroom but she stops and turns around, facing me again, sadness overflowing her face. ‘Would you please spend some time with her?’
‘What do you mean? What’s going on Minerva?’
‘I heard that she’s getting beaten badly by Roger and his mother.’
‘I’m not quite sure. Regardless of the reason, its wrong and we need to do something about it. After all, she’s still part of our heavily dysfunctional family.’
‘I’ll see what I can do. Thanks for letting me know that Minerva.’ She smiles and exits my room. I glanced out of the window. Overlooking the mountains and trees. It’s very bright outside. Clouds just make an impression that something must be burning bright up in the sky.
I arrive at the doorstep of Roger’s house. It is a small cottage at the periphery of the village. Its wooden texture gives it an impression that is newly built. They sure didn’t live long here. I guess that they are new to the island. I knock on the door. There’s no sound. I can’t seem to hear any footsteps approaching. I do what any normal human will do. I attempt to slam open the door. But a weak wooden creak stops me.
‘Yes?’ A small, hollow voice is heard. It’s Layla.
‘Why, hello Layla. How’d you been?’
‘I can’t talk right now.’
‘Can you come outside?’
‘I don’t think that that would be a good idea, your majesty.’
‘Why not?’ In that moment, the door swings open, and an elderly woman which I presume its Roger’s mother appears.
‘Who are you talking to at this time of the day? Don’t you know that Roger is tired and needs some rest?’ She turns her head vigorously from Layla to me. We lock our gaze between each other. She scans me from head to toes, looking disgusted. Like I am some sort of a prostitute. To me, she looks like a small, chubby, wrinkly little woman who didn’t see a hairbrush in the past few decades. Her dry grayish hair is put into an effortless bun and her old wrinkly hands are relentlessly shaking. She must be either paranoid or furious to see me.
‘Why, hello there…’
‘What you want?’ She cuts me off and I try my best to not give it away with my painful obvious facial expression.
‘I was just wanting to give this bag of cookies to Layla.’ I try my best to keep my smile on my face as long as I can manage.
‘She doesn’t need those. Look at this.’ She grabs vigorously Layla’s stomach and shakes it like a jelly. ‘She had plenty of those.’
‘Could I be able to speak to her?’
‘No, she’s only allowed to speak to people that Roger approves of and you, unfortunately, aren’t one of them. Goodbye.’ She slams the door right in front of my face.
I stay there motionless. In front of this wicked house’ doorsteps. Unaware of what should I do now. Should I slam open this door and strangle that ugly woman to death or should I just burn this entire cottage to the ground? Strikingly I fall in love with the second idea and ways on how to successfully accomplish that start overflowing my brain.
I remain in the bushes, unnoticed by the locals until the sundown. I can’t leave Layla behind. She did so much for me. I owe her that. She needs my protection. And I need some stress relief and burning the entire fucking house to the dirt will improve my mental health a lot. Sun is on the horizon and that signals that I should start my shenanigans.
‘HELP ME!!!’ I hear Layla screaming on top of her lungs. ‘NO ROGER! LET ME GO!’
‘SILENT THE BITCH!’ Yells what I assume Roger’s mother.
‘YOU ARE GONNA GET THIS!’ Roger roars.
‘NO, I DON’T WANNA HAVE YOUR BABY!!! LET ME GO!’ Roger is trying to rape her from what I hear. There’s silence. No sound is heard anymore. But people are gathering around the house. I can’t storm out of the bush now. I can’t risk them seeing me.
An hour and a half passed. People are finally starting to clear up. It’s truly fascinating how no one attempted to help her. I guess when a big group of people happens to be in the same place at the same time, they all tend to think that person who’s next to them will do something about it first. And when we play Chinese whispers the word that’s being passed telepathically often tends to paralyze us which results in us doing nothing at all to help the person in trouble.
Since there’s no one and the passage is clear now, it’s time for me to go inside and rescue the shit out of her. I approach the cottage slowly. I open the door in the same manner as my gait. I see that the cottage looks way bigger than it gives the impression from outside. There are stairs that lead upstairs and on the right side, there are two rooms. One is a living room and the other is a kitchen.
I make my way upstairs where I’m presented with three more doors. Two of the doors are right next to where the banister ends and the third door is a bit further away from the first two. There’s a long-elongated window on the opposite side where the stairs end. I open the first door, the closest one. There I see Roger’s mom, sleeping. Dozing away. I can’t comprehend how a sane person will able to find some sleep after such cruel and inhumane act that they did to Layla.
I proceed to the other door, where what I see next strikes me. There’s a bunch of torture devices that are being hanged up from the ceiling. This must be the room where Roger raped Layla. I close that room shakily. I can only imagine how much suffering did Layla went through while I was living a fairytale with Challan.
The third room, the farthest one, is where I find Roger and Layla asleep. I approach her slowly and try to wake her up. Her lips are bruised and she’s naked underneath the sheets. I wanna strangle Roger immediately, but I must do this professionally.
‘Layla, wake up.’ I whisper.
‘Your majesty?’ She replies.
‘We need to go.’ She slowly puts her sheet away and stands up. From waist below, she’s all bloody and bruised. Her bust area is purple and her neck has marks, long circular marks. She must’ve been used as a sex slave.
We make our way downstairs and we exit the house. I remove my coat and cover her up.
‘What are you doing your majesty?’
In the flick of a second, I make the roof catch fire. And the slow fire starts to spread throughout the cottage. Now it’s only matter of time when will they notice.
‘ROGER!’ The deafening scream comes from no other than the witch herself. Roger’s mother must not have been a light sleeper but she quickly realized what was happening.
‘MOMMY?’ WHERE ARE YOU!’ OH, MOMMY HELP ME! I AM BURNING!’ I chuckle at the way Roger calls her mother. Mommy. But Layla, however, isn’t that thrilled to see them burning in flames.
‘What’s the matter, Layla?’
‘What will the village say about me now? They will think that this is my fault. How could I ever leave the castle’s ground again?’
‘You can always do the catwalk down the city center and that will make them realize what you been through.’
‘That won’t work. That will only add to the point that I was angry and I wanted them dead.’
‘But didn’t you want them dead?’