Chapter 4: Eve - Part 1
The resistance has successfully emerged from the rebel hunt of Hidan the Hand of the King. Two of their companions were killed during their mission to rescue their scout, Hilidan. Sarayah managed to single-handedly kill Julio, the assassin, while rescuing Hilidan then retreated afterwards. At their loss for their companions, they have come to understood the gravity of their cause and their fragility. Prince Daedoran stepped up and boosted up their morale after his recent trauma from the sudden deaths of their companions. Hidan retaliated after his withdrawal from the encounter with the rebels but was outsmarted by the rebels, ambushing and disarming him. After the confrontation and a little negotiation, they released Hidan and hid under the shadows. Hidan turned a blind eye on them after the encounter.
Now there is only a day left before their attack...
Part 1: The Dilemma
The next morning after his retreat, Hidan was lying in his bed in his room in the castle while in deep thought. His equipment are all over the place.
“What a sudden turn of events... Prince Daedoran is going against his father.“, Hidan told himself incredulously. “The king doesn’t even care if his son loves him or not. He just wanted power.“, He continued.
One of his subjects went to him to report. The was an oblivious look on Hidan’s face.
“My lord, there are reports that caped people were sighted the other night escaping the castle. One of them threw knives to the gate guards!“, the soldier reported.
Hidan looked away and had a heavy sigh.
“Must’ve been that girl...“, He reminisced. “She’s a bit troublesome even for me.“, he continued.
Perplexed, the messenger questioned Hidan.
“Are you okay, sir?“, he asked. “You seem to be not yourself for a while now after the search for the rebels.“, he continued.
“Ah. Just random thoughts.“, he replied in relief.
“What shall we do, sir?“, the soldier replied. “The king would be very much angry once he knows about this, considering the initial reports to him about those rebels.“, he warned.
“Hmmm...“, Hidan responded in deep pondering. “I’ll be meeting with you lot momentarily.“, he continued.
“Yes, my lord.“, the soldier responded in agreement. “I’ll gather the division as you ordered!“, he echoed.
The messenger soldier went out and met with the other soldier waiting outside Hidan’s room.
“Something’s off of Sir Hidan.“, the messenger said to the other soldier. “He’s not himself lately.“, he continued.
“Do you think he’s still mourning for Julio?“, the other soldier said.
“Maybe?“, the messenger replied.
While their gossiping continued, Hidan suddenly appeared behind them.
“What were you two dirt bags talking about?“, Hidan asked with a deep voice.
His subjects were petrified then fled hurriedly away from him.
“What are you gonna do?“, Hidan asked himself. “I hate this dilemma.“, he continued.
Hidan changed into his gears and went out afterwards.
At the king’s dining room, Daedoran is seen having a meal with the king. He always finds his way back to the castle before the other people start looking for him.
There was an odd atmosphere in the room. The king is passionately eating the ever sumptuous prepared by the chef. Daedoran, unable to hide his subtly regrets for what is about to happen, asked a random question to his father.
“Father...“, Daedoran called.
There was no response from the king as he is continuously enjoying his meal. So Daedoran echoed what he said once again.
The king suddenly ceased eating and looked at Daedoran.
“What?“, the king said.
As the king responded in intimidation, Daedoran’s eyes were in downcast.
“D-do you value our people?“, Daedoran said in fear.
There was total silence in the room for a moment. After a while, the king wiped his mouth and responded.
“This world...“, he said. “The gods of this world, the Elves, abandoned us because we are weak.“, he continued.
“Huh? What do you mean?“, Daedoran replied.
“They are all-powerful, all of ’em.“, the king continued. “The only thing that has value to them is power.”
There was total unbelief in Daedoran’s face.
“Is that the reason why you chose to be oppressive over the weak?“, Daedoran said. “To show power that will never be theirs? Just to be recognized by the Elves!?“, he continued in higher intensity.
The king immediately stood up and was uncomfortable. He gazed at Daedoran with a clenched fist.
“What are you implying here, boy?“, He asked. “You think you can be powerful by being soft to people who doesn’t even know how to fight? The Elves wouldn’t even dare to look at us!“, he exclaimed.
There was total confusion in Daedoran’s face.
“What is about these Elves that you are so fond of!?“, Daedoran replied in higher insensity. “Do you--”
“I WANT TO BE AN ELF!“, the king shouted in interruption.
There was total silence in the room. The soldiers were a bit alarmed but they stood still for their posts.
Daedoran stood up and faced his father in question.
“You are not just mad.“, he replied. “You are out of your mind.“, he continued then went back to his room hurriedly afterwards.
The king gripped the glass of wine greatly until it broke into pieces, wounding his hand.
As Daedoran was walking on the hallway inclined forward, he passed by Hidan who was about to go to the king’s dining room. Hidan stopped and looked at Daedoran.
“When?“, Hidan asked Daedoran.
“Tomorrow, during his public speech.“, Daedoran replied as he passed by Hidan without looking at him.
The two separated without any more dialogues.
As Hidan met with the king, the latter was seen angry and raging, destroying the sumptuous meal prepared for him. Hidan was in shock as to he was being called to report about the rebels.
“Y-your Highness?“, Hidan called.
Immediately, the king stopped and looked at Hidan with a somewhat fake smile.
“Oh! Lord Hidan.“, the king said as he walks around Hidan. “The--Hand of the King.“, he emphasized with animated gesture.
“Ah--yes, it is I, your Hand.“, Hidan replied.
The king stopped with his movement and gestures and grabbed a knife, looking at its texture as if he was in deep thought.
“What made you come here?“, the king asked Hidan.
In a moment, Hidan was perplexed for he knew he was being called by the king to report.
“You have summoned me, my lord.“, Hidan replied.
“Ah--did I?“, the king replied subtly. “Ah--yes. About the reported sewer rats. Have you verified their existence?“, he continued.
“Yes, my lord.“, Hidan replied. “They are about to attack tomorrow during your public speech.“, he delivered in confidence.
“Hmm. It’s surprising that you didn’t execute them on sight.“, the king replied.
“They are a bit elusive I should say.“, Hidan replied while looking away.
“Gahahahaha!“, the king started laughing out loud. He walked towards a wall and stared on a painting about public execution.
“What do you plan to do about it, your Highness?“, Hidan said.
“They are well invited in my presence.“, the king replied with a smirk.
“R-right.“, Hidan replied.
“Release Hades tonight.“, the king said.
Hidan was suddenly in surprise about the order.
“That’s going to be a bloodbath, my lord.“, Hidan replied. “Are we a bit overestimating the rebels?“, he continued.
While indulging himself on the painting, the king replied
“Let us paint the castle red tomorrow then.“, he said.
Hidan then withdrew from the king’s presence in his permission.
Part 2: By the Shore
Daedoran was sitting by the seaside just within the castle grounds. Sarayah managed to sneak in, just as she always does, and went directly to Daedoran. She removed her hood and stood behind him as the gentle wind relaxes them from the pains of regret.
“It’s beautiful here.“, Sarayah said while looking at the sunset. “I’ve always loved sunsets.”
Daedoran glanced at her and was caught for a moment by her presence. He then returned to watch the same direction and smiled in relief.
“You surely know where to find me.“, Daedoran said.
“I’ve always been watching you from afar, my lord.“, she replied.
Daedoran side-looked at her and gestured his hand telling he’s offering her a seat by his side.
“Why not join me as I watch the sunset?“, Daedoran said. “Besides, we might not be able to see another one next time.“, he continued.
Sarayah broadly smiled and sat beside him comfortably in a modest manner.
“So... we haven’t really introduced ourselves and shared about our lives, right?“, Daedoran said in a calmly way.
“Yes, my lord.“, she replied. “We haven’t had the time yet. We are focused on our mission. Maybe we should open a forum and introduce ourselves with the others?“, she continued.
Daedoran chuckled shortly from her response.
“W-whyy, my lord?“, Sarayah curiously asked as her face turned red.
“It’s nothing!“, he replied in a wide smile on his face while facing her.
For a moment he realized, they were staring at each other longer than expected. He impulsively looked away and was bit lost in self.
“Mind starting with the two of us?“, she suddenly asked as she was still staring at him.
“W-what do you mean--with the two of us?“, he recalled tensely.
Sarayah stood up and fixed her clothes and reached her hand towards him.
“I’m Sarayah Ville Daea.“, she said in a most gentle and modest manner.
There was then cooler breeze that passed by them from the sea. Their hairs were waving to the other side as they were staring at each other. Daedoran was delighted with Sarayah. So he stood up and reached his hand to gesture a handshake with her.
“I’m Daedoran Gasford, prince of Gandath.“, he said. “It’s a pleasure to know you.“, he continued.
“It’s my delight as well, my prince.“, she responded in excitement.
After a while, his butler, Lemard, was looking for him all over the castle and sighted him by the shore with Sarayah.
“Your Highness!“, Lemard called.
In fright, Sarayah immediately covered her hood and tried to withdraw from the shore but Daedoran stopped her.
“Don’t fret, Sarayah.“, Daedoran insisted. “He knew.“, he continued.
Sarayah stopped and looked at Lemard and gestured a bow as respect for his loyalty to the prince.
“I’m greatly sorry for my impulsive response, sir butler!“, she said.
“Now, now! You don’t have to do that, young lady.“, Lemard insisted. “I’ve been lord Daedoran’s most trusted ally all throughout his life.“, he continued.
“Lemard’s the reason why I am able to meet with the resistance every time.“, Daedoran said. “He has never let anyone touch me or fool me either. He’s been my teacher in academics since I was a kid.“, he continued.
Sarayah reacted in gratitude.
“Woah, I see!“, she said. “Then I don’t have to worry about him.“, she expressed in relief.
“Well, he knows no secrets of mine. hehe.“, Daedoran expounded more.
Looking at Sarayah, Lemard recalled her attributes as described by Daedoran in their previous conversations.
“By the looks of it, you must be lady Sarayah, the most trusted aide of His Highness in the resistance.“, Lemard said.
“Ah--my name’s Sarayah Ville Daea.“, she introduced herself politely.
“Lemard. I guess you do not have to know my family name since I’m the only one left. Hahaha!“, Lemard replied in jest.
“May I ask what have you come here for, sir Lemard?“, the prince asked facing Lemard.
“Ah. I’m just here to report that it seems Hidan’s army is being deployed now.“, Lemard reported.
“For what reason? They just got here.“, Daedoran asked.
“I haven’t heard any.“, Lemard recalled. “Perhaps an urgent order from the king.“, he continued with uncertainty.
“Hidan must’ve informed my father about the attack during his address to the nation.“, Daedoran said. “Though I haven’t said any details as to how or where we attack.“, he continued.
“Mind if you divulge to me the details?“, Lemard requested. “I may be able to help you tomorrow.“, he continued.
Suddenly Sarayah interrupted in their conversation.
“Ah--my lord!“, she said hurriedly. “It’s getting dark already. We haven’t double checked the equipment. We need you there.“, she continued.
“I see, then we may best be on our way back, Lemard.“, Daedoran said. “Thank you for the valuable information.“, he continued.
Lemard reacted, “Ah--but sir--“,
Sarayah immediately grabbed Daedoran’s hand and pulled him away from the scene. They ran towards their escape route.
“Your Highness...“, Lemard whispered in regret.
At the king’s bedroom, King Raenan was about to take a rest when suddenly someone knocked on the door.
“Who is it?“, Raenan called.
“It’s Lemard, your Highness.“, the knocker said. “I have come to report about Prince Daedoran.“, he continued.
“Come in.“, Raenan replied.
Lemard went in then reported about Daedoran.
“We have a problem, my lord.“, Lemard said.
“What trouble are you referring to?“, Raenan asked. “Does he still thinks he can destroy me with his little rats?”
Lemard clenched his fist and started to answer in tensely manner.
“H-he’s working with a Ville Daea.“, Lemard replied in regret.
The king stood up petrified.
“What!?“, Raenan reacted. “Summon Hidan at once!“, he insisted.
“At once, my lord.“, Lemard replied.
Raenan flipped his small table in anger.
“You’ve crossed the line now, boy.“, he said angrily. “I’ll make sure you’ll regret what you’ve done tomorrow. There’s a special place for the head of a Ville Daea.”
Part 3: Last Supper
The resistance army were busy prepping up their equipment. Others went home to say goodbyes to their family to push through with the mission. Sarayah and Daedoran just came in from the castle. Each of them have geared up and sat down for their last supper. Chef Bartus really made their meals delicious like it’s going to be their last.
“Here comes your heavenly dinner!“, Bartus said excitedly.
“Hey Bartus, are you sure this won’t immediately lead to the after life once consumed? I still want to see the fall of the mad king!“, one rebel said in jest.
“No you dimwit!“, Leknov said. “Bartus is a staunch believer of Elves! He probably offered these to them so we could have their blessings.“, he continued.
“Hey, Leknov!“, Bartus replied. “I hope you are not sarcastic about your statement. Because Elves are really true! Hahaha.“, he continued.
Bolo joined them in their energetic conversation.
“Hey, do you know that the King Raenan is an Elf enthusiast himself too?“, he said.
“Really? I never thought the mad king would believe such a myth.“, another rebel said.
“They are real!“, Bartus insisted. “Someday I’ll be seeing them once I get to do what I have to do.“, he continued.
Daedoran cannot believe what he is hearing. He was always in doubt about the existence of the Elves and is always reluctant in learning about them. He’s been pondering about what his father said.
“Well what about our soon-to-be-king prince?“, a rebel asked.
Daedoran was unresponsive since he has been spacing out for a while now.
“My lord. Are you okay?“, Bolo said but was vaguely heard by Daedoran.
“Huh. Were you talking to me just now?“, Daedoran said after he cleared his mind.
“Yes, Dave just asked you if you also believe in Elves like your father the mad king.“, Leknov recalled.
“Ah.“, he replied. “No. I despised his beliefs. All of them.“, he continued.
There was a brief silence as he spoke about his father. Everyone stopped what their doing and listened to Daedoran. Bolo felt sympathetic about Daedoran.
“I’ve always hated him for his actions--his ideologies.“, Daedoran started to share his sentiments. “He was always a strong man in front of me. He never showed any weakness nor any love as a father. I never felt that not once. His only purpose is to expand his kingdom, enslave people, oppress the poor, judge them according to his interests and mood. He has been a staunch believer of those Elves. His room is full of Elven pictures and items. I’ve seen him locking himself in a secret basement and heard moaning sounds inside as if a man was possessed by a demon.“, he continued.
Sarayah and Bolo reacted depressed out of concern to Daedoran.
“Then your father is really a monster.“, Dave the rebel said. “No one will disagree with that, right?“, he asked for assurance.
“He might be a monster to anyone who has seen and known him.“, Daedoran said. “But not once has he ever hurt me. He has always been constructive when it comes to my growth. Maybe because I’m his only heir.“, he continued.
“Why wouldn’t the king just steal wives and make them his own by his own power to have many qualified successors?“, Bartus asked.
“He wouldn’t do that.“, Daedoran replied. “After my mom died, he started to change his principles--his perspective. Sir Lemard, my personal butler, said that my father really loved my mother. While she was queen, my father--according to sir Lemard--has always been submissive and soft towards my mother. It was said that the queen has acted as the king of the nation since all decisions came from her.“, he continued.
“Ah. A king blinded by love.“, Bartus started talking poetically. “And after the love was taken from him, he has shown no more of it. Fortifying his heart to never again replace the love that was lost.“, he continued.
Everyone was stunned by his delivery.
“Oh man, I never thought you were a poet!“, Leknov said in praise for Bartus.
Sarayah went towards Bartus and held his hands with sparkling eyes staring at him.
“Mister Poet!“, Sarayah called in a flattering voice.
“Heyy, lady Sarayah, w-what are you doing!?“, Bartus reacted blushingly and withdrawn.
Everyone had a great laugh at them together. The atmosphere turned into a livelier mood.
“Hey, guys!“, Sarayah called as everyone were too busy enjoying themselves.
Everyone then paused and listened to her.
“Since this might be the last night we might be able to do this, and tomorrow is full of uncertainties...“, she said. “Why not we open a forum and start introducing ourselves?“, she suggested.
“That would be a good idea but...“, Leknov said in a regretful way. “If we die tomorrow... What good would this do to us?“, he continued.
Daedoran walked beside Leknov and shouldered him.
“Hey, enough of that negativity.“, Daedoran said. He looked at each of them and said, “Whoever survives this fight shall remember the names of the deceased. Their names shall be engraved on stones in honor of their sacrifice.“, he continued.
“Long live King Daedoran!“, Bartus prompted.
Others followed along with the chant and had continued with the forum that Sarayah opened. They were happy throughout the night.
After resting, the rebels assembled and geared up and covered themselves with capes. Daedoran stood in front of them and led them for a final boost of their morale.
“Heroes!“, Daedoran called. “Fear not for the days of the mad king will finally come to an end! Love for the people will prosper and they shall inherit their own lands. Your names will forever be remembered all throughout history...as the heroes that freed Gandath from its oppression!“, he continued to declare.
Sarayah walked and stood beside him and faced their companions.
“Let’s die for the freedom of our people--freedom of our family!“, she declared. “Long live King Daedoran!“, she prompted the chant.
And everyone followed in chorus with the chants, “Long live King Daedoran!”
And after that, they sneaked from the village out towards the castle.
At the castle dungeon, chains were loudly clashing, and the ground trembled in its noise. Stampede of footsteps in metal footwear going to the deepest part of the forsaken place. As they have drawn near the deepest cell, they heard a large deep groaning voice.
It felt like a dragon’s breath that can kill anyone who comes near. Then the warden paused and commanded his subordinates,
As the front liners came forward to unlock the cell, a big hand with broken claws appeared and grabbed one soldier on the head and pulled it towards the bars. The victim’s helmet was crushed and his face was nearly destroyed by the impact.
"WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?“, the being said. “Tell me and I shall not pulverize this pawn’s head.“, he warned.
The warden stood still and talked to the prisoner.
“King Raenan ordered your release.“, he said. “Looks like his Highness is about to let you paint the castle red.“, he continued.
“RAENAN?“, the prisoner replied. “TELL HIM TO EAT SOME DIRT.“, he continued.
“I have the power to slay you anytime.“, the warden warned. “Submit without resistance!“, he continued.
“GAHAHAHA!“, the prisoner laughed out loud. “HAS HE GIVEN ME A NAME YET?“, he asked.
“The king called you Hades.“, the warden replied. “Is that enough?“, he continued.
“HADES...“, Hades echoed. “FINE. BRING ME TO HIM.“, he continued in submission.
Hades then released the injured soldier and complied with the warden’s instructions.
- End of Chapter 4 -