10. Suspicions and Salts
“Saying that you do not remember something or someone is a less embarrassing or hurtful way of saying that you do not know it or them anymore.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Sir Gerard’s POV
a method to attain the glory of…assured fall!
What’s ought to be concluded should be concluded as soon as possible. Procrastinating might look a plausible solution but it may bring unfavourable conclusions. And when the realm of supernatural’ is in question, it brings perilous outcomes.
“One shouldn’t dwell on future which is unsure of its own; rather take command of present. Isn’t it what you preach, then how the worry of upcoming events is stressing you, Sir Gerard?”
From the growling sky above us, my gaze falls back to my friend and old acquaintance, certainly, his presence brings charm of shrewdness in air. Even if it is through the wide screen of LED.
He smirks in delight, probably for succeeding in gaining my attention. He might look indifferent, but I know, he is worried as much as the Guardian should be.
“Is this why you call me here, certainly not to dwell with you?”
This time, I put a smile, “No, not at all my friend. The mighty presence of Guardian Quinn needs significant matter of importance to deal with.”
A smug look graces him before he brings the ceramic cup to his smirking face, “You honor me, Sir Gerard. But the preparations of Annual celebration for Alpha Queen’s Day have always been under your vigilance.” He states, bowing his head at the mention of our Queen.
I too find myself bowing before letting out a sigh, “This time, it’s different.”
A scoff vibrates through the screen, “Presence of future Queen and amended relations between the royals, I believe the event relating to our Queen surpasses these matters. It is above all.”
I find myself pondering over his statement, indeed, the Annual Memorial Day of our Alpha Queen surpasses any event in the Kingdom. It holds utmost importance and significance in the life every creature in the entire realm. It’s signifies the existence of supernatural life breathing in the pious land of Kingdom Alicia and around the world.
I can’t agree more, “Indeed, it does. My worry isn’t over our Royal family, friend.”
A leisure shift, I notice on the screen, “Then, is it her presence around the entire realm and their questioning gazes or perhaps you distress over their primal urges.”
I remain quiet which attests his statement.
“Sir Gerard, we both know, its inevitable to save her from world, once she was a human in the territory forbidden for her kind, then, she became the reason to bring changes in realm; now, she is around the powers of Royals; it’s a matter of time, Kingdom will be revealed of her identity.”
I look out to the dense region of woods; the council hall has been confined safely in their shelter; as long as one authorized want to enter, woods let them, others merely walk past it and never touch the essence of it.
“It’s the strained relation that you worry.”
I let out a sigh, continuing to look at the mightiest protector of mankind, nature.
“It should be least of my worry, Raymond, yet I can’t help but think for how long holy spirits will give her. Majesty and Niera has a lot to face in future, which isn’t far from where I see.”
My friend cocks his brow up, a small smile gracing his lips.
The commotion of the door interrupts the discussion. I turn commanding the person to enter.
The guard bows before stepping back to offer Black space to enter. A frown merging on his forehead, he wheels his way to us. The guard bows and shut off the door, leaving us to privacy.
“Sir Gerard, Guardian Quinn. Please accept my sincere greeting.” He bows to my way then to the screen, a little pinch of hesitation sparkling in his stance, giving my friend a moment to smirk.
“I apologize, I was unaware of your meeting.”
I place my knee over the other, shifting my attention on him, “You took expedition leave, how was the experience?”
Black blinks for a moment, arranging his words to speak, “It was nice. I’m glad I opted to visit old foundations.”
Black is one of those gems of our Kingdom who possesses many traits in their personality, not only he excels in his enchanting blessing but also holds great knowledge in ancient fields. With time, he has brought himself to genuine interest, which takes him to his expedition on lost barren lands. He thrives to explore more but with Majesty’s presence requires his presence; he take advantages of every small trip he can make.
Rubbing his palms in excitement, I see he had a wonderful tour, after all, who won’t be thrilled to get a closer look of the ancient lands of Kingdom.
“I took a look of Majesty’s Palace; it was such an honour for me.”
“It’s the place of our Alpha Queen, where past has ruled and present is getting al its glory; only a few privileged can step in there.” Raymond provides to a bubbling Black.
His admiring gaze moves to me, “Thank you, Sir Gerard, for accepting my request to visit the foundations and also making all arrangements for my safe stay.”
When Black came to me seeking permission to visit old lands; it surprised me but then, it’s only fair we can offer him a small vacation for his diligent working.
“It was necessary Black; none can go there. Its not a place to wander. It welcomes the root powers of Royal and Guardians which it knows, others are mere trespassing outlander.” My friend mumbles; his shrewd gaze assessing the interiors so calmly; one can take it as blunt staring but sure, he is concocting something deeper.
Black’s astound gaze snaps back at me, “You used your Guardian aura to protect me, thank you Sir.”
For his bow of gratitude, I offer a mute nod, “Good. It was worthwhile, and you’re back on time.”
He catches the jest of my words in anticipating surprise, “Is Majesty back from his seclusion—”
“Yes. He has been with Luna as we speak.”
It’s not the face of Black but the sudden wave of icy cold air moves my attention on him, “Is there any matter which brought you here, Black?”
“Um! Yes, I wanted to report something but I can wait.” Black mumbles forging a smile.
The discomfort in his tone seems palpable, too easy to ready; I’m forced to wonder, if it’s about Quinn’s presence or he has something to be bothered about.
I lean back on my sofa, providing rest to my tired back, “It’s alright, Black. We were discussing about the arrangements of Annual Celebration.”
His eyes widen at my mention as his eyes lowers in respect, a slow yet palpable surge of cold hits in the air, proclaiming the effect of my words on him. Remaining quiet, I let him process since the event holds the honour and admiration in everyone’s eyes.
“Oh…a…yes. I…it’s almost time.”
“It is. I believe, it’s time we start preparing.” My friend asks, raising his arched brow. His polished tone is known to shatter confidence; Black losing his calm is a scenery for him.
“Yes…Of course, Guardian.”
Enough of this procrastinating!
From the smug smirking face of my old friend, I recast my attention to man on wheelchair.
“What brought you here, Black?”
“Ah! Yes, Sir. I wanted to speak to you about the matter you asked to investigate.”
His words bring me a frown, apparently to my friend, who recovers soon, “It that the incident on the day of my arrival?”
Black nods, “Yes.”
The lane of memory lightens up on the bridge leading me to that incident; the incident which nearly took away our ray of hope.
“The falling of Rampart on our Luna.”
I find myself nodding at his attesting declaration while reminiscing the details of events.
“I’m truly sorry for my delayed report. I needed to be sure to many aspects to present my report in front of Authorities.”
Raymond leans back into a comfortable position, “Understandable, under the circumstances of past few months, matters slip from mind whether significant or…not.”
Black blanches under his words, bowing again, “I apologize, Guardian. It’s my folly, I took so much time.”
Instead of rising temperature of the room, I choose to move toward the window displaying small fountain settled beside window with purple lotuses flowing on surface.
“Self-loathing is a sin which gets person to the prison of mind; it closes all doors to be free and courageous.” I mumble as I watch the details of the lotus stem.
“What have you found Black?” I ask, glancing back at the man, known to change air in his presence.
This incident has always been a reason for my worry; the glorious fortress of past, how can it crumble and fall. It shouldn’t be possible.
“Yes Sir, you wanted to look into it and find something.”
My brow rises slightly, “Have you?”
Black breaths a deep breath, “On my initial investigation, I found it must be natural. The fortress has been here for a long time. The structure is ancient and has been unoccupied for ages.”
“But it doesn’t mean it’ll fall. This isn’t just any ancient structure.” Raymond states holding back a small frown.
Indeed, the fortress is the place known of fortification since eras. It’s the place where our Queen ruled. The mighty powers above us are protecting it under their care. The clusters of spells have saved the integrity and pride of our past.
“We could assume so Guardian I assumed the same before I checked further.” Black said; and Raymond rose his brows.
He leans forward a little, “When I checked the security details, I found thin air.”
Black releases a tired sigh, “Actually Sir, I—I’d been hiding my true intention to visit our land.”
Fidgeting with his fingers, he continues, “I wanted to prove a hunch. Some answers we seek perhaps past could offer.”
“Had you gone there?” Quinn probes further; clearly intrigued.
Black nods, “Yes. And that’s something I felt eccentric and bizarre. I found the traces of soft brown sand in a very minimal amount but due to segmentation, I could trace it.”
“Brown sand?” Raymond inquires, placing his words in precise manner.
Shifting his gaze between us, Black slowly forms a nod, “Some particles of the same I found on the crown.”
Silence sinks into the atmosphere we engross ourselves into the combustion Black’s revelation has caused.
“I came across this information by chance while looking for something, searching through old papyrus in the archives. After this revelation I thought, this must come in your knowledge.”
Indeed, only the top floor of archives can answer the mysteries of past.
“Brown sand is—”
“We only find at two places; one is the castle and another—” Raymond raised his gaze to me not forming any another word.
“Where another?” Black asked scowling.
“Somewhere the death itself fears the dark.”
“I—I don’t understand Guardian.” He persisted.
“There isn’t anything to understand now but it’s time to take action.”
There is an old golden saying; Time brings you back to the places where you pray not to visit. You must face the rusted memories in the ray of present and nurture them in your wounds.
The wide deserted road still stands the same, not an ounce of change can be witnessed when it has gone through the timeless battles of past.
‘I’m here, Dexter.’ I ease up his concern. Since the moment, I asked Dexter to arrange this meeting, he’d been stressed. After all, it’s been ages, and none could’ve expected. It’s a phenomenon which the people would call eccentric.
‘I could accompany you—’
‘It’s alright, Dexter, it’s my field of concern. It’ll be only acceptable, if I seek my solution.’
His silence presents his acceptance as I smile and close the link.
How far one can walk with you when you’re the only one to cross the hurdle. One must realize this soon to save hardships promised in tomorrow.
I look around the vast greenery, colors of small flowers blooming in the wide area reminds me of time, when there was only barrenness in this land. Once this place yearned to be blossomed, yearned to grow a small fruit of its own.
The curse almost took away the hope to be nurtured that’s when she brought change.
Just how she promised…it took her a long time…but she did!
“This place won’t bow to the mighty Guardian, it’s the only place which refuses to submit to your power.” An icy announcement shatters the serenity the place was offering.
The air in the surroundings charges in the aura of a distinct power; I can feel it colliding with mine. A battle which we are fighting since ages yet never won; none surrendered, none conquered.
“I never wished to be bowed by anyone, this respect comes with my title. Also, it isn’t about the place but the owner who doesn’t even acknowledge my presence.”
“Neither do you, Guardian.”
Despite all allegations, a small smile forms on my lips, irking the host. Some wounds remain green as the time slips pass our palms.
“What brings you here, the loyal servant of the Throne?” the venomous tone resonates around, proclaiming her years of bitterness.
Despite the flame in my chest, I find a smug smile crawling on my lips, which I’m sure will vex the owner of this place.
“I sincerely hoped you’d know. Such a disappointment.” A sigh escapes me as fog lurks in the corners under the vines of climbing roses, “However, my dilemmas brought me here.”
“Is the Guardian really getting old, you seem to have forgotten, this place refuses to offer you any assistance.”
My lips purse in a thin line displaying my displeasure, I had anticipated this response. Yet I’m willing to leave past and mend the present. If it wasn’t for the matter of significance, I’d have let her wander. Sadly, that isn’t.
Looking toward the small pots, I admire the colors of moss-rose plants decorated in different shades, “Not to me, but to the throne. My dilemmas are for the future.”
I look back at the mature face, age has started to appear with the wrinkled shrewdness sparkling like years ago, “It is the Future Queen; I’m seeking your assistance. You’re aware of her presence in the Kingdom.”
The old acquaintance of mine scoffs, “Of course, an innocent soul capable of changing the present and promised future.”
A sparkle of shrewdness gleams in her eyes, “You can hide the deer, but musk will find its way to express its ethereal scent.”
Despite holding no direct meetings with our Queen, she efficiently defined her character. Indeed, Niera is like an innocent fawn; who, despite all out efforts found her way to make her presence known.
Just like one can bind the deer but binding the essence of its musk is something against nature; even with so many layers of protection, Niera has made her way to stand out.
Shaking away the thoughts smeared in musing, I avert the topic, “Don’t you wish to know?”
Crossing her hands in front, she draws a defensive pose, “The Guardian denied all my attempts to approach her.”
Despite the impeccable stance, I can read agitation on her pose, “It was for her safety.”
A brow rises in challenge, “Or you had motives of your own.”
“It’s preposterous.” I choose to smile shaking my head making her smirk.
“What is beyond your comprehension, you declare it preposterous.”
Suddenly, the air thickens with tension; away from the old grudges, I find myself focusing on her statement.
I take a step forward, “Do you know something?”
A known look of understanding drawn on her face, perhaps, we can decipher the faces of each other, despite the difference, “I tried to contact but you denied.”
She remains quiet at my eagerness; intentionally riling me up.
A resigned sigh escapes me, I must give in, in order to serve the throne.
Averting my gaze to the deserted path, I take my decision, “Meet Niera, find what we are unable to see and understand.”
“Is Guardian permitting me to meet the Throne’s apparent Heir, defying the Royal rules.” I sense the smugness in her tone, instead of infuriating, I find myself look past her.
“Who am I to permit someone equal to me? But if you wish to hear; Yes, I need your help, I want your farsightedness and vision which is beyond Guardian’s.”
If being stagnant is the purpose of life,
Would there be any hurdles?
August 13, 2021
Who is the old Acquaintance?
I hope you enjoyed the chapter, would love to hear you.