Ania's eyes darken, her eyes threatening to be overflowed by a certain familiar salty liquid as she watched her mother tremble under Kevida's unsafe hold, partly whimpering.
"We had a deal." Ania expresses, her tone anything but calm while Kevida beared an expressionless reaction.
"We did, you work for me and I don't hurt them." Kevida retorted, bringing the blade closer to the woman's neck.
"Your Majesty please..." Ania dropped on her knees, the warm liquid flowing down onto her cheeks.
"I beg of you to not hurt them, if you want to punish anyone then do it unto me, they have done nothing wrong."
"Oh no, I dare not, how could I possibly let this child grow up without a mother." Ania felt relief wash over her. For a moment there is total silence,a calm before the storm.
"Take the child." The mother cried out as the guard made an attempt to snatch the child from her, taking to her heels and heading for the door.
"Mother! " Ania called, but her voice drowned in the chase. The woman came to an immediate halt as she almost ran into a certain menacing vampire.
"I believe after all these time woman, you should have known better than to run from a vampire." Kevida could hear the frightened woman's heart pounding hardly, as if begging to be pulled out through her chest.
"No!" Ania's mother cried as the child was pulled out of her arms and the cloth used to cover him was dropped to the floor. Holding the child by his legs, upside down, the guard swung him.
"I wonder what the child will look like if he's cut into two? Oh I know...." The guard drew out his sword and stationed it in between the crying child's legs.
The mother fell to the ground, wailing as she crawled to the man who had her child's life in his hands.
"Dead." Kevida answered in a brightened tone.
Ania cleaned the tears that had unwillingly fell onto her red hot cheeks, her gaze shifting to her mother, then the helpless infant, to the heartless guard and finally the psychotic vampire. She felt angered, frustrated and drained of energy, there was no use fighting.
"Why are you doing this?" Bitterness laced her croaked voice as she spoke.
"Now we're getting somewhere, you see my dear Ania, you can stop this, you can stop all of this, in fact, I am willing to give you your freedom back and relieve you of the curse, you can leave right now, with your family and never return to Hubis." Ania's face softened but the sourness in her expression lingered gravely.
"What do I have to do?" Ania announced as she knew Kevida well. She might be the most devious, wicked, cruelest and coldest person she ever knew but in all the two years she had lived in Hubis, Kevida never went back on her word. Many people found that integrous trait strange, herself included.
"What did you see in Lord Dacren's mind?" Kevida finally blurted. Ania opened her mouth to speak but Kevida cut her off.
"And no, I am not talking about Baclihian hill nor the cave. What else did you see in his mind, Ania?" Kevida trodded closer to Ania.
Kevida had gone through all that trouble just to get that information from her and she knew why. She sensed from the very beginning something did not add up. A witch with the magnitude of power Ania possessed should not have fainted from the spell, except....
"I don't know what you're talking about." Ania denied. Kevida gave the guard a knowing look and he raised his sword, in position to divide the powerless infant still turned upside down, hanging from his leg.
"No!" Ania and the mother both cried out simultaneously.
"I will do anything you ask, just please don't hurt them" Ania pleaded.
"Very well then." The guard dropped his hands and drew the sword back into the scabbard hung on his waist.
"The truth Ania, not a single word omitted." Ania rose her head as she has no other option but to comply with Kevida.
"I know everything, she showed it to me. It has come to my full knowledge how I have been raised by people who do not share the same blood as I and also how my mother parted from this world."
Ania spat bitterly, her gaze locked on Kevida burning with agitated anger, then turn to the woman she had known all her life to be her mother up until yesterday when she had invaded Lord Dacren's memories.
He had let her break the memory seal at the cost of his life to show her where she came from and all Kevida had confessed. And in that moment, time had stopped and she had met with the lady she was supposed to search for in Lord Dacren's mind.
She had showed her to fight the right way and how to use all the pain and resentment she felt towards the merciless Queen. She was not accepting defeat, she was simply saving for a greater opportunity. It didn't matter if Kevida knew or not, all that mattered was she was not going to escape death this time.
"Let me guess.... Dezel." Kevida growled.
"Anything else you would like to add?"
"Do I have your word that I would be set free along with my family?" Ania glanced at the woman who had raised her and then back to Kevida.
"You have my word girl, now speak before I lose my temper." Kevida's tone grew darker. Ania exhaled heavily.
"The cave is a trap, they were planning to kill you there." Ania's face glowed dimmer as she revealed the truth. She searched Kevida's face for any sign of shock but she beared none. Walking up to Ania, Kevida held her head between her hands as she chanted the spell.
"Jus atbrivojat no sis pareizrakstibas"
"Your Majesty." Christian called out, running towards Kevida. She whipped around, her hair following her swayed movement. He felt time stop as he took in her full appearance.
"Your Majesty, we need to talk." Christian spoke, as he tried to recuperate the air knocked out of his lungs.
"Yes, Christian?" She asked, her tone more distant than they were apart.
"You can not leave." Kevida drew her eyebrows together, his statement catching her full attention.
"And why is that Christian?" Kevida questioned again, suspecting the Hunter's words.
"Just please, you do not know how much my heart fears this might be your last mission, I care about you Kevida, don't you feel the same way?" Kevida's face molded into a suspicious posture as Christian took her hands in his and stepped closer, holding her eyes with his, until they were close enough to feel each others warm breath.
"Do you not feel what I feel Kevida, the way my heart beats so dearly for you, how I want to protect you and care for you?"
Kevida remained emotionless but Christian was determined to make her show something, anything, even if it was just a glint of sparkle in her eyes but nothing came.
He placed her hand that was in his on the left side of his chest, to show her how much his heart beat for her, closing the inch-long breath between them, he claimed her mouth with his.
He continued teasing her lower lip, seeking entrance but she never gave in. He finally pulled away, catching a glimpse of confusion in her eyes like she was fighting against something within her but it vanished almost immediately, like it was never there. Her stance returning to a confident and upright one. She looked him straight in the eye answering his question.
"No." She answered, he narrowed his eyes at her answer, a little taken aback.
"And I suggest you stop this childish play. We both know I do not feel Christian, not for anyone and certainly not for you. Our relationship is platonic and I would love to keep it that way. You should stop wasting your time with these unrequited feelings you are merely hurting yourself." She released herself from Christian's hold.
"Now if you'll mind, meet me with the others in the centre courtyard." And with that she was gone.
Christian felt like he had just been splashed with a tank of cold water, it felt worse by the second. He felt like his world had just been crushed to a million pieces, her tongue was so sharp it had driven a hole into his heart.
Then he wondered. Could all that hunter had told him be true? With all his might he wanted to deny it but deep down he felt it, he felt the rejection, her words had sunk so deeply into his heart, it felt like a permanent branded scar.
One that he felt could not be healed.
"Christian." A hand landed on his shoulder, jolting him out of the heart break replay that was placed on repeat in his head.
Christian snapped his head to Hunter and in that moment he regained himself. He would only be subjecting himself to more emotional trauma if Hunter had found out what had went on between Kevida and himself.
He knew his dear friend would only add more fuel to his fire rather than quench it, he had always been a disciplinarian and never approved of their relationship.
His finding out would be nothing more than an icing on the cake. He had planned on warning Kevida but she had never intended on listening to him, all he could do now was protect her no matter what. After all, she was the was the only woman who held his heart in her hands.
Even though she had stabbed into it on numerous occasions.
"What happened?" Asked a concerned Hunter, tilting his head in the direction Kevida had left.
"Nothing, She just said we should meet her at the centre courtyard." Christian ran his hand across his face, brushing off the hurt he had just witnessed earlier. All he felt was an aching numbness.
"Your Majesty, Your Majesty!" Sir Vrendore panicked as the moment he caught sight of the stone-faced Queen. He briskly walked up to her side with worry-ridden features lining his millenial face.
"What is it Sir Vrendore?"
Kevida asked between gritted teeth, she had just got out if one trouble to run into another, her dark-hued facial expression drawn into an ugly frown.
"Your Majesty, it appears we have a problem." He vented, slowing down his pace to that of his superior. Kevida peered into his weary worn eyes, staring daggers in them.
"Speak and make it fast Sir Vrendore, I do not have all day." Sir Vrendore taken aback by her statement quickly adjusted his countenance, brushing off her insult as he was already used to the snarky remarks from Kevida.
"King Solovar and his men are right outside Hubis Your Majesty." Sir Vrendore reported, his voice shaky, bearing frightened pitches.
"And how is that a problem Sir Vrendore?" Kevida bit in annoyance, her frown deepening.
"Your Majesty, you don't seem to understand...." Sir Vrendore paused.
"He brought an army, I believe he has with him up to three hundred men." Sir Vrendore expressed, putting more emphasis on the number as he glanced at the fourty still lined up.
"What do you mean brought an army?" They both stopped in their tracks, a few metres from the lined up soldiers as Hunter's deep voice boomed through the courtyard.
Kevida's gaze met with Christian as they leave Hunter's but are immediately veered back to the Captain.
"I need ten of your strongest men." Kevida announced. Kevida's eyes once again meet Christian's.
"But Your Majesty, Sir Vrendore....." Hunter protested but Kevida shunned it, exerting her authority.
"A decision has been made Captain Hunter and I do not plan on going back on it."
"But Your Majesty, forgive me if I insist, if what Sir Vrendore said is true then you need me to....."
"You are not to defy my orders Captain Hunter, you are to stay here in Hubis and guard it with the others. A ward will be set up so no one enters. The sooner we get this done, the better for us all."
Per Kevida's order, ten of the strongest men were prepared for her, along with Christian and they set out.
"Open the gates!" Hunter commanded the guards at the tower guarding Hubis, they in turn passed the order. Men gathered their strengths to roll the gates and an moments later, the large iron gates of Hubis were pulled up. With a horse to each of them, they left the walls of the magical castle.
Kevida turned back to Hubis.
"Trer ze flas kuh" An invisible shield, drew over the castle like a blanket.
Kevida and her men compared to the hundreds she was standing in front of march onto the battlefield summoned by King Solovar. A large horn was blown and three men on horses, rode towards Kevida, stopping but a mile away.
The one in the middle who beared a crown on his head, jumped off his horse first, followed by the two men in armour suit by his side.
Kevida watched with keen interest and a killer glare as the three men made their way to her.
"What do you seek here vampire? You know very well this lands are supernatural free." King Solovar started, jumping straight to the point.
"I should be the one reminding you of those rules King Solovar." She said his name as if it was venom at the tip of her tongue, dragging it as if he were an old acquaintance.
The man in front of her no doubt looked older than her but that seemed so only because she was a vampire. They never aged, one of the perks Kevida had grown accustomed to. He had tendrils of white hair sticking out of his crown and a beard to match. His face lined with wrinkles, a neccesity of old age.
"Do not try to cross your boundaries Kevida, King Aestrek......."
"Is dead, burnt to ashes and no doubt lost to the wind, I am the Queen now and I suggest you respect me as such or I will be tempted to put an end to your miserable life."
Her words were low and demanding, the more words she uttered the colder it felt. Even the sun that shone harshly up in the sky could not melt the chills that her tone stirred.
Kevida took a step towards him and the two men standing right behind him drew out their sword. In return Kevida's men imitated their actions. King Solovar raised his hands, signaling them to stand down, causing Kevida's men draw their swords back in.
Kevida continued taking steps forward until she was close enough that only he could hear her whispered words.
"You may not care much about your life King Solovar but I hear you have a son that is barely of age and a royalty-blood seeking brother. With your death I bet that he will not spare your son and that beautiful young wife of yours......" Kevida trailed the sentence, clicking her tongue. " I heard she is a beauty to behold, one that surely can not be left uncoveted." Kevida played. King Solovar's face turned pale white.
"Are you threatening me?" The corners of her mouth twitch into a smirk.
"Take it as you wish King Solovar, all I want is that you and your army stay out of my way while I take care of some unfinished business and I will leave you in peace, otherwise....." Kevida paused as she took time to eye him.
"And if my words are not enough, this should be." Kevida reached into a secret pocket by the downside of her black leather pants and took out a circular silver seal, crystal-white stones embedded at the edges. It had a square logo on it and in the tiny squares, representations of the four main supernatural beings were indented into it.
The first were fiery flames, representing the power of witches, the next was a drop of blood, indicating the thirst of vampires, followed by a full moon, denoting the night when werewolves turn without control, and the last was the drawing of a stake, which stood for the Hunters purpose, to hunt vampires.
The King's eyes widened on recognizing the shining object in her hand. King Solovar hated that it was in her who possessed it.
He hated having to obey the ruthless and heartless Queen but right there and then he was powerless and had no other choice but to oblige with her request even if he objected, whoever possessed the Nadeal seal was the overall ruler, no one could escape her.
"You may do as you please...." He takes a half bow, his crown tipping downward.