Chapter 14 - Melkar (P5) - A Trap with a Child-like Face
Mandrake bid them farewell, wishing them good luck on their travels and stood up, leaving the inn with the promise they would surely meet again. According to him, as the place began to fill the danger he’d be in would double. There were may people in the city able to identify him, if nothing else because his features were exactly the same as his brother’s.
The Knights watched him go with heavy hearts, since nothing he had told him about the world’s present situation had bode well for Mithir’s already dark future. And yet, since Elian had disappeared upstairs, neither Elipson nor Denar had been able to focus one-hundred percent on their talk.
Finally the group was left in silence. Outside the night had fallen and old, smoky lamps had been lit all over the common room, the small fireplace, now burning at a corner, filling the air with the scent of burned wood.
“This Princess … she brought an escort, right? Who came with her?” Arkel finally asked and they all turned to Elipson, all except Denar that had already guessed the answer.
“Well … It would seem she came alone.”
“Alone?!” Mahel repeated, incredulous, expressing everyone’s thoughts on the matter.
“But she’s Elian’s cousin, right? The child they took from Mithir all those years ago?” Elipson simply nodded to Lamar’s question in silent confirmation and Denar sighed.
“You’ll understand when you meet her. That girl in a never-ending well of problems …”
Elipson pierced him with a sharp glare but chose to remain silent, for the good of coexistence.
“You mean to say we know her?” Mahel asked, curiosity gleaming in his greenish blue eyes, although he kept his voice down, unconsciously trying, as always, to go as unnoticed as possible in the presence of the others …
“Nonsense! A Princess? I would never have forgotten such occasion!” Arkel countered perversely, and Denar played with his empty glass.
“Yeah, you’ve met her before.”
The three Knights looked intrigued and Elipson thought it better to say something that would erase from their minds the brilliant ideas she knew had begun to form.
“Allana is a very strong willed, brave young woman …”
“Or a very stupid one,” Denar interrupted her. “Because traveling alone from Mithir can only reveal one of the two!”
“She’s brave, and you know it! She has showed her courage and determination more than once! Only someone like that could stand losing everything she lost and remain firm, head held high!” Elipson insisted and looked at the others. “However she’s still young. Once you get to know her a little better you’ll see, she’s actually very kind and funny. And so I shall warn you all right now! If I even dream that any of you hurt her in any way you’ll have to answer to me!” she declared in an open threat, so that they’d take her serious and, for a moment, the expression on the other Knights’ faces clearly showed that they had understood her warning all too well .
“Eh! Who would have guessed we’d see the day. The Black Lady protecting a little girl,” Arkel mocked, laughing, and Elispon smiled back at him.
“Believe me, it’s not her I’m protecting. It’s you.”
A collective ‘oh!’ echoed all around, followed by wave of laughter that made Elipson smile. It was simply impossible to dislike that silly bunch. They were all grown men, most of them older than her, and they still needed someone to keep them in line, to wake them up after partying all night, sometimes even to lend them a friendly shoulder to lean on.
Her gaze fell on Denar for brief moments. There was a discreet smile on his lips. It was clear that Allana’s sudden presence worried him. And knowing him like she did there was only one reason that could explained why he felt that way. Like her, he too had fallen prey to the enchantment of those golden eyes. He too had become attached to her, and how could he not?
Looking back to all that had happened she could clearly see that he had fell victim of her spontaneous way of simply being; the same way he had fell under the spell of Elian’s gentle nature all those years ago. They both shared that same kind of presence that made those nearby feel drawn to them and willingly give them their love. Denar worried about her, about her safety, the same way he worried about Elian. And soon enough all the Knights would worry as well. All of them, forever captives, forever under that little girl’s spell. And the mere thought made her smile widen. Like a trap that no one suspects. A trap with a child-like face.
“Can’t we go find them?” Lamar asked and Elipson shrugged.
“We don’t know where they went.”
“Oh, leave that to me,” Arkel said and stood up. “Come Mahel … and don’t forget to growl!”
Mahel smiled shyly, but a mischievous expression took over his face.
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