Chapter 6: Edge of the Sea
The vast waters stretched for miles as far as my eyes could see. The cool breeze that blew from the deep green and blue waters brushed my cheeks. The smell was fresh with a hint of a fishy scent lingering in the air.
The sun was rising behind the mountains gleaming down on the water creating it to sparkle. The waves washed up onto the black sand crashing and lapping over each other. I didn’t waste another second to run across the long length of the soft grainy rocks. With arms stretched wide open and eyes shut, I began to imagine flying while the wind whipped at my body.
I spun around as my laughter filled the morning air with my happiness. It almost felt like I could yell and scream in joy that I was free. Just yesterday, I had been so miserable to the point I wanted to end my life and now here I was at the edge of the sea about to go on an adventure. It will be a voyage that I will never forget.
My eyes opened to see the men trailing slowly behind me like they were not amused by the beautiful sight. They appeared to be sluggish since early this morning and through their whole briefing with Clyde’s father.
Clyde looked the least bit happy as he watched me from afar. I couldn’t help but smile though giving him a huge grin not letting a single thing ruin this moment. It had been the one thing I had been looking forward to since reading about it in books. Even seeing them in paintings that were hung in the walls of the castle.
“Hurry up!” I yell at them all with my hands cupping my mouth to make sure they hear me. My voice echoes off the trees causing some birds to take off from their nests.
“What’s got her so excited?” I heard Clem say with a grim voice. Fenwick smiles and looks back at Clyde waiting for him to answer Clem’s question.
“She’s never stepped out of the castle walls ever since she was born,” Clyde drags his booted feet along the sand with a sack of his belongings over his shoulder. Clem’s mouth formed an ‘O’ shape and continued walking towards me.
“Well let’s see if she still has that excitement when we come across the creatures of the deep.” Ryder commented making the men all laugh in unison.
“Worst part will be the-”
“Shut it, Fenwick.” Clyde snapped cutting off what Fenwick was about to say. Clyde only gave a warning glare causing me to raise an eyebrow in suspicion.
The creatures of the deep? Are they hiding something from me?
“What are they like?” I asked curious to know every detail of these ‘creatures of the deep’.
“They’re monsters, foul creatures who love to feast on human flesh. They are not welcoming of their home to us,” Clem told me as they finally caught up to where I stood waiting for them.
“They sound wonderful!” I shout in glee even more curious about the odd creatures they were mentioning.
“You do realize they will try to eat us, right?” Fenwick astonishingly points out to me, but nothing fears me at this moment.
“Let her be, Fenwick.” Clyde grumbles out with an exasperated sigh while rubbing his eyes in a tired manner.
“Forgive him my lady, he’s not much of a morning person. He’s always quite this grumpy,” Blaive whispers down to me and flashes a smile. Then he suddenly looks like he’s in a panic and quickly runs in front of me kneeling down.
“Forgive me! I do not wish to apologize because of your status, but because I treated a woman in such distasteful means. Please, forgive me for my behavior and my horrendous manners.” Blaive begs for forgiveness on his hands and knees.
“Blaive!” An angered voice shouts from behind the group of men. My eyes shoot up to see Tristan riding in on a horse at full speed. The sand kicks up as the horses hooves dig deeply with its strong legs.
His features appear darker than I have seen on his face before. His eyes hold rage while his jaw is clenched in annoyance. Before I am aware of the situation, Tristan jumps off the horse that haults in front of us and grabs Blaive by the shirt shoving one of his swords under his chin.
“Tell me why I shouldn’t kill you now,” Tristan snarls in Blaive’s face breathing hard from rushing.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” Blaive says not looking directly in Tristan’s eyes. It was clear to me that Blaive had been hiding something since he gave the impression of being guilty.
“Tell them,” Tristan growls through his teeth while he shoving the sword closer digging in his skin. “TELL THEM!” He immediately shouts after already demanding an answer.
Blaive doesn’t answer, he only holds his arms up in surrender. Tristan is losing his patience with him and draws a small amount of blood from the tip of the sword being held even closer now. A small droplet of blood slides down the silver blade leaving a red stream behind it.
The other men watch silently, however Clyde is looking elsewhere uninterested in the situation. Ryder, Clem, and Fenwick look as though they’re apathetic towards Blaive. Blaive still does not waver though as Tristan presses further.
“If you don’t answer, I will send you to hell myself!” Tristan pulls the blade away and skillfully goes to swing the blade near Blaive’s throat when Clyde holds his hand up to stop him.
“Wait,” He simply says still looking towards the quietness of the trees. “How long do we have Tristan?”
“Not long, my lord.” Tristan glares down at Blaive as he holds the sword to his neck now.
“What did you do, Blaive?” Clyde turned to finally look Blaive in the face. His green eyes held a mix of emotions, rage, fear, and concern. Clyde rushed to my side pulling me close as his eyes once more scan the trees.
“They threatened to kill my brother and my sister... they would have...” Blaive broke down into sobs not finishing his sentence. “I’m so sorry...” was all he managed to muster out.
“Tristan, how many?” Clyde asks in a hurry dragging me quickly towards the water where a small boat waited for us.
“There are about hundred men riding this way on horses with Prince Aridor leading them.” Tristan sheaths his sword forgetting about Blaive and following beside Clyde.
“We must hurry to the ship, he’s coming for her and he won’t stop until he breathes his last breath.” Clyde’s grip tightened around my forearm as he spoke. The moment we approached the rowboat his hands pick me up by the waist and he carefully, but quickly swings me over the side.
“Sit,” was all he said tossing his bag into my arms. A cold sweat breaks out over my skin as I slowly bend my knees to sit while my eyes never leave the tree line.
The image of Ayden stepping out from the trees made my skin crawl in disgust. He was coming for me and that realization made all my happiness disappear. An uneasy feeling settled in the pit of my stomach and my body began to tremble in fear.
The small boat jolted forward when the men pushed it across the wet sand. The waves crashed against the sides of the wood lapping around and falling inside the boat. They pushed the boat by hand as far as their thighs and hopped in. They all grabbed the paddles and began pulling the paddles back.
Blaive remained in the same spot Tristan left him in, he didn’t move or dare look our way. Not far from where he sat I could see movement in the trees. My eyes focused on the spot to see who would come into sight first. Like a nightmare in play, the one I despised the most emerged from the shadows of the trees.
His once perfect hair was wildly tousled as his beautiful eyes watched us frantically from afar. He pushed his horse to move faster to get us in a feverish frenzy of rage. We all watched the scene unfold as all his men came into view from the trees as well.
The Prince jumped from his horse running out to the water drawing a bow and arrow. He aims it at the men and before he could release the arrow what I did even shocked myself. Standing from where I sat I rushed to stand in front of them all to block them.
There was no way he would be able to shoot me as long as he wanted me alive. I held my breath hoping that my gut feeling was right and he wouldn’t hurt me.
“Princess!” Fenwick calls out in an astonished voice while all the others kept rowing. We were farther out into the waters where I knew an arrow would be mislead from the high winds.
It didn’t matter to me as I stood as a sacrifice so they many not die for me. Ayden drew back his string only able to watch us escape from his grasp again. Clyde came up from behind me and guided me to sit back down on the small wooden plank.
Everyone was silent, only the sound of the water around us was heard. Ayden appeared to be angrier than before. A wrath greater than the rage was shown on his face. He wasn’t looking directly at me, but the person who sat right beside me. Looking from Ayden I turned my head to glance at Clyde who was also giving Ayden a murderous glare.
Between the two men held something deeper than words could explain. It was like a war would break out between the two just from the glares.
“Clyde?” I whisper his name even though the moment felt like it was forbidden to speak. “What’s going on?”
“Blaive betrayed us.” Just as Clyde spoke it, Ayden walks over the Blaive who is still on his knees in shame. The Knights and other warriors of the Kingdom of Aridor surround him.
The Prince grabs Blaive by the hair ands turns his head around to look at us. Even though Blaive had intended to rape me in the beginning a pang of sadness fills my heart. Blaive’s face was red and eyes swollen as he looked at everyone of us right before a sword in plunged through his heart.
A shriek of terror was let out from me as my hands covered my mouth in disbelief. Clyde rested his hand on my shoulder when tears started form in my eyes. Blaive had a family he was trying to protect, yet he was killed anyways.
The Prince ripped the sword from Blaive’s chest letting his body fall to the ground. He then pointed the bloodied blade to Clyde like he had been indicating that he would be next.
The men of Aridor yelled in chants while the Prince disappeared behind them no longer able to do a thing. For now.
Next time I’ll dream sweeter🌹
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