“My queen, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I am your servant until the end.” I said. This can’t go wrong. I can’t fail.
“Vasper, you know I’m not your queen, and you are not my servant.” Her eyes still glittered in the light, and her smile stayed. She’s not mad?
“Please believe us, my queen. We have done nothing wrong.” Nova pleaded, almost begging. I’m surprised he wasn’t on his knees.
“Nova. I know what you’re thinking. I would never do anything to them, you have my word on that.” What is she talking about? I looked over to Nova and saw his shoulders relax a bit. A family?
“I’m sad to say that your actions have consequences.” She looked back at one of her guards. “Take them to the cells, please.” She asked. The guards walked towards us with cuffs in their hands. I can’t go to jail. Nova put a hand in front of me, distracting me from what the guards were doing. I look at him in confusion and annoyance.
“It’s not worth it.” He whispered. He knew I was going to fight my way out. I rolled my eyes and held out my hands for the guards.
Nova and I got cuffed and escorted down under the palace to the jail cells. They were empty and strangely still lit. They pushed me into the first cell and Nova in the one beside me. The cells were simple, a board on the ground with a single blanket on it, and a bucket in the other corner. I looked out of the cell to see the guards lingered at Nova’s cell, giving him a sad look before walking away. That’s strange. I looked at Nova through the bars.
“You better start talking Nova. The whole story.” I demanded. I want answers.
“When I first arrived here at twenty-one moons, I was assigned to infiltrate the palace and report back with secrets monthly. I was taken in by a woman.” He paused, looking down at his hands, “That’s all I’m going to say.”
“You have a family, don’t you?” I questioned him. He would be hung, or even worse, tortured. I can’t believe he would risk his life for that. He didn’t answer me, he just kept looking at his hands.
“Hey! I want answers, Nova!” I slammed my hands against the bar, trying to get him to look at me.
“You don’t understand, Vasper. I love them. I can’t give them up. If it means I die, so be it.” He finally looked at me, anger lacing his voice. I shut my mouth, too angry to say any more. I’m going to get killed because of this softy. Suddenly, the door to the jail swung open. A guard came through with a woman beside her. She was simple, dirty blonde hair that was pinned up in the back, sharp cheekbones, and a slim body. She looked back at the guard and he walked away. She walked up to Nova’s cell. I looked at Nova to see a smile on his face. So this is his wife.
“What are you doing here?” Nova whispered, holding her hand through the bars.
“The queen told me you were here and granted me a talk with you.” She squeezed his hand.
They continued to converse, talking about their home and what they were going to do. I tuned them out after a few moments. Their happiness was starting to get annoying. I looked at the cell door and studied the lock. The lock was intricate, so this was going to take a while. I took a pin out of my shirt and started toying around with it. I was so concentrated that I didn’t notice that Nova and his wife stopped talking. I felt hands cover mine and stop my playing. I was about to protest, but then I started to recognize whose hands they were. Queen Oriana. I pulled my hands back into the cell and looked at her.
“That was a valiant effort, Vasper. You were almost there.” She smiled at me, her light pink dress accentuating her curves. Ugh.
“Don’t patronize me.”
“I’m not.” Her smile turned into a smirk.
“What do you want.” I crossed my arms.
“I would like to have a talk.” She pulled out a ring of keys from behind her back. I scrunched my face in confusion. A talk? Is that codeword for killing me?
“I’m not going to hurt you.” She chuckled, picking a key from the ring and placing it inside the lock and opening it. She pulled the door open and motioned me to get out of the cell. I looked to see that Nova wasn’t in his cell and his wife wasn’t there either. How long was I playing with that lock?
I followed behind her through the halls of the prison. I looked around to see that there were no guards around. Is she stupid? I twisted my foot to check if my dagger was still there. Huh, she really is stupid. I took another scan of the halls to see if there were any guards that were hiding. It’s go time. In a flash I had unsheathed my dagger and had it raised above her head, ready for the killing blow. But it never contacted her. A sudden flash of light blinded me and I fell to the ground. I rubbed my eyes and looked up to see the queen holding my dagger in her hands. She gave me a smirk as she played with my dagger.
“As you can tell, this was a test.” She smiled, lending me a hand. I scoffed and picked myself up, ignoring her hand. “You passed.”
“Oh great. What’s my reward?” I said sarcastically, rubbing the dirt off of my clothes.
“A talk with me, of course.” She countered and continued walking. What is wrong with her?
We continued to walk through the halls until we got to a double door. She pulled on the handle and opened it. I walked in first and waited for the door to close behind me. She walked behind me until she got to the single table in the middle of the room. I took a quick survey of the room. It was a fairly big room, but barely furnished. The only thing in the room was a table and two chairs. Surprisingly, it was dark. Queen Oriana ball her hands into a fist until a light formed around it. Then, she opened her hands and threw the light upwards, lighting the whole room up. I looked at the walls to see scratch marks and dark colors near those marks. A chill went down my spine. Maybe I really am going to get killed. She sat down in one of the chairs and pointed for me to sit in the other one. I didn’t argue.
“So, you are Vasper Bellatrix, born in the Night Kingdom, currently living in a shack on the main road. You regularly visit the Tavern where you grew up and talk to Layla Vespera.” She stopped smiling. My chest tightened when she said Layla’s name.
“How do you know all of this?” I glared at her.
“I questioned a great spy.” She smirked. Nova, you traitor.
“If you are going to kill me, get on with it.”
“I’m not going to kill you.” She chuckled, her eyes turning from green to blue.
“What do you want with me then!” I slammed my hands on the table, jumping from my chair, startling her. I huffed in anger. This is just crude. She put a gentle hand on mine.
“To tell you the truth, I wanted to question you about Queen Ilta, to see if there was anything that Nova didn’t know, but you did.” She squeezed my hand, “I will not hurt you. And I will make sure that Layla stays safe.” I crumpled back into my seat in defeat.
“I don’t know anything that Nova doesn’t know. All I do is kill the person, I don’t ask questions.”
“Are you sure? You didn’t hear or see anything?” She asked again. I tried to remember what I was given before I came here.
“I was given a deadline before I left,” I recalled.
“How much longer do you have?” she leaned forward in her seat. I looked at the wall, combing through my memory. I slept at Nova’s home, and that was one revolution. And I’ve been here close to another revolution. I scoffed, trying to hold back my emotions.
I’ve met the deadline.