SEVEN CROWNS | The Black Stone

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Chapter V

“Diamond is your kingdom.”

Ashley doesn’t know how to react. Surprise? Confusion? Plenty of emotions are haunting her body as she tries to digest the old man’s words.

“There are a lot of things you don’t know about yourselves.” speaks Mary looking at Ashley and Nate. Her daughter seems to already know enough. The brown haired stands next to Eamon and plays with her fingers nervously as she formulates her words in her mind before speaking to the them. “We come from another world.” she starts with a small smile and studies the young friends’ faces before continuing to make sure they’re concentrated. “There are six kingdoms, each of them connected to a gemstone or an element.” Ashley and Nate share a look, they’re starting to figure out the mystery behind their attraction to diamond and silver, but it doesn’t mean that they’re not confused at all.

“You are sons and daughters of kings and queens.” adds Eamon with a gentle tone. “You are royalty.”

Ashley gulps, the words repeating in her mind don’t seem to make sense to her but at the same time it sounded logical judging from her strange reactions after opening the book or seeing diamonds.

“We found a book named The Four Gems & The Two Elements.” says Nate after clearing his throat. “It’s related, right?”

Eamon widens his eyes, “It’s here?!” he exclaims. “I have not seen it in hundred years.”

“Hundred?” Ruby looks at him with surprise. “How is it possible?”

Eamon chuckles and says, “This book was written by the oldest warlock, Hezal was his name. He was my father.” he sighs. “He died five hundred years ago.”

The three friends share an astonished look. “You’re a warlock!” exclaims Ruby. “That’s amazing!”

“I thought warlocks are immortal.” says Ashley with a raised eyebrow. “A part from the fact that I thought they didn’t even exist of course.” she chuckles.

“We indeed are.” Eamon nods. “Only if we don’t get killed.”

Ashley presses her lips and lowers her head. She feels bad for making the warlock say that his father was killed. “So, where are the kingdoms you mentioned? Why are we here?”

“You are here because of a curse.” says Mary. “Eamon and a few warlocks sent you here to protect you from Mávros.”

Ashley and Nate keep staring at her, signalling her with their curious eyes to keep speaking.

“A few years back, a seventh kingdom was created. We call it the Kingdom of the Black Stone because of the gem’s dark power.” Mary stops talking to take a short breath. Remembering the battles from back then sent chills in her body. “King Mávros craves power, he wanted to rule all the kingdoms and proves that he’s better than all kings and queens. That’s exactly what he got in the end.” she sighs. Eamon takes her hand and caresses it gently. “We sent you because we couldn’t let him hurt you when you were still so young.”

“But why don’t we remember anything?” asks Ashley with a small voice. “How many years have we been living here?”

“It’s been fifteen years.” answers Mary making them gasp. “The warlocks erased your memories of the battles and all the darkness so that you can start a new life, a peaceful one here.”

Ashley rubs her neck and mumbles, “I don’t get why my parents didn’t tell me anything.” Eamon heard her and let out a heavy sigh. He looks at Mary who seems worried and scared to tell her the truth. “There… there’s something you don’t know, Ashley.”

The black haired girl looks at her confusingly. She doesn’t say a word because she feels that nothing good is coming.

“Lydia and Charles are part of this world.” starts Mary. “They… they are not your real parents.”

Ashley sees the world crumble before her eyes, she feels her heart explode inside her chest. Lydia and Charles have always been the best people in her life apart from her friends. The memories she has of them together always make her smile, she’s grateful to have parents like them especially after seeing how bad others can be. But knowing that that Lydia isn’t the one who gave birth of her is mindblowing.

“What are you saying…” she whispers as she feels her eyes burn because of the tears that are dying to fall. Nate places his hand behind her back and rubs it gently. He doesn’t find the words to comfort her because he’s still trying to get what’s going on.

“It was your mother’s last wish before we sent you here.” speaks Mary with a sad voice. “She wanted you to live a happy life surrounded by good people.”

“L-last wish?” cries Ashley. “Is she…”

“Your parents are dead, my dear.” Eamon sighs and looks down. The sad memories of the tragedies caused by Mávros are still consuming him. “They fought so bravely, both of them.”

Ashley’s brain can’t process anything anymore. She looks around and sits on the first chair she finds near her. Nate kneels before her and wipes her tears with his cold warm thumbs. He whispers comforting words but none seems to have effect on the poor girl. She’s too devastated that only tears speak on her stead.

“Aywin and Kilyn were the king and queen of the Kingdom of Diamond.” continues Eamon. “They ruled for many years and were known for their courage, their strength and their loyalty. Diamond was the most powerful kingdom of all, the richest and the most welcoming.” he sighs and a small smile appears on his face. He stands up and walks closer to the crying young woman. He uncovers her face and caresses the back of her hand gently, “You are the heiress to the throne, you are Queen Ashryn.” he bows to her and Mary and the female warlock imitate his movement.

“And you.” Eamon turns to Nate. “Nesterin, son of King Ehrendil and Queen Yaereene, the Prince of the Kingdom of Silver.” he then looks at Ruby and smiles, “Arlayna, daughter of King Nylian and my dear friend, Queen Lenna.” he nods at Mary who smiles to him. “Princess of the Kingdom of Ruby.”

The red haired smiles widely and looks at her mother proudly. Mary, or Lenna told her everything that day. She couldn’t contain her emotions at that moment and started crying while apologizing to her daughter for hiding the sad truth during long years. She told her that her father didn’t leave them, that Nylian is still in their kingdom, protecting the few lands they have left. She explained to her that everything about their old life changed, even their birth names and their appearance, because that way they had more chance not to remember.

Nate keeps looking at the warlock, fearing to ask him the one question he’s been dying to get its answer for four years. He keeps hesitating whether or not hear the truth for once and for all.

Eamon senses the fire burning in his heart, he lifts his chin with one finger and tells him, “You have something to ask me Nesterin, please do say.”

The blue eyed gulps and clears his throat, “M-my parents, where are they now?”

Eamon nods, “Your father, King Ehrendil stayed in Silver just like other kings and queens because they could not abandon the kingdoms and let Mávros control every single part of them. They have fought bravely and unfortunately they lost the war, but they are no cowards.” he finishes proudly. He then looks at the man’s bright eyes and sighs, “Yaereene regrettably did not survive. She was killed by one of the dark creatures.” Nate lowers his head, his best friend holds his hand despite her sadness and squeezes it gently. The things they have learned today are so overwhelming.

“The… the book.” speaks Nate with a shaky voice. “It said four gems and two elements and for now we only found three gems and one elements. Where are the others?”

“Three gems?” Eamon looks at him with surprise.

“We saw Ryul yesterday.” says Mary with a smile. “He doesn’t seem to know but he looked confused when he saw an emerald necklace.”

“I am relieved he is doing alright.” says Eamon before looking back at Nate. “Four of you a here in this world and the two others are in their kingdoms. Their parents refused to let them being cursed by lowly beings like warlocks as they say.” he chuckles. “On the contrary, they remember everything from the past and I wonder how they must be feeling now.” he sighs sadly. “The poor boys don’t deserve this sadness.”

“We should tell Elliott, Ryul or whatever his name is.” says Ashley after taking a long breath to stop her tears from falling. “He needs to know the truth.” Her friends and the warlocks nod.

“No one asked this question, so I will.” Nate stands us to face Eamon and Lenna. “You took our memories so that we don’t remember anything that’s related to our previous life, but why are we remembering just now? You said we’ve been here for fifteen years, so why do we feel the strong connection now?”

“Good question.” Eamon nods. “The warlocks and I have given all of our strength to create this curse. Everything you see now is not real but made by us. It lasted long but your stones or elements are asking for you, they need the youth and the intelligence of their heirs to extract energy from them. Your connection with them is stronger than you think. They’re not just jewels, they feel your presence and know what’s in your heart. They believe that you are the last hope to destroy Mávros. Our curse is powerful but never enough against the power of the stones and the elements.”

The three young friends are looking at the warlock, their eyes full of admiration and astonishment. Being part of a world like this seem just like a dream, a fantasy, but it is all real. They feel it in their hearts.

“Alexandra will get us there as soon as you tell Ryul.” Lenna places her arm around the female warlock’s back. “She’s the one who created the portal between the two worlds.”

“But there is one thing you need to make sure of.” says Eamon with a serious voice this time. “No one needs to know about this. What we said here must remain between us. You must pretend that you don’t know anything about the kingdoms.” he stands in front of the three friends and places his hands behind his back. “Live exactly how you used to, tell Ryul and ask him to be discreet about it too. We are surrounded, we don’t know who they are because some appearances have changed, but there sure are enemies here.”

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