Bound in Crystal

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Chapter 5

Chapter 5

Odeya awakened in an empty room; she quickly climbed out of bed, troubled. She remembered every word he said but there was no sign of him.

She found a katana on the floor but the moment she picked up the white katana, she could feel its energy. It felt like a thousand raging storms in the palm of her hands. No mortal could craft a powerful weapon such as this. There was Japanese markings on the blade. She placed it back into its sheath when she heard the door creek open.

She was so glad to see Clytius, “Odeya! I heard what happened! You still alive?” he said.

“barely!”

“the place is a mess never seen anything like this before!”

“how is Ayalet? Is she alright?” she asked.

“it was so horrible, I know understand why is this happening, I need to find answers. This mess started when I stole something from the Gods” said Odeya.

He stood here not sure to believe her. “anyway I got to get back and help my sister, the place looks like hell” he said.

“I will be down in a second just need some time to think” she said.

“are you sure you okay?”

“yes!” said Odeya.

She stood silent as she watched him shut the door, she wondered if she visited the Palace she could put Avril in danger but she hadn’t seen her for years. She glanced at the Katana once again as she held in her hand hoping to get a vision but nothing happened. She strapped it around her back and prepares to leave.

***

As down slow down the stairs, walked across the broken bottles and ash towards Ayalet. “Odeya! I’m so glad you alive! Not sure about healing magic he had done, he saved your live” said Ayalet.

“I had a vision of him but it wasn’t clear, his name is Jin! That’s all I know” she said.

“never heard of him but the young lady said you will be safe for now and will meet again” said Ayalet.

“forgive me but I must leave! I need to find information about the Black Rose and if its linked to any of the attacks I just encountered”

“will you return? Clytius asked.

“yes I am sure, I also promised Tayana a visit to the Palace” said Odeya.

“Tayana! I need to check on her, Goodbye Odeya we will meet again” she said.

She hugged Odeya knowing that she wasn’t fully recovered from her nightmare. With her bag safely across her back and the Katana, she makes her way out. As Odeya stepped out into the street, without any warning a vision surfaced.

She found herself standing next to a frozen lake. She could see a little girl approaching bringing with her an icy wind. She had beautiful green eyes with silver-white hair which fell over her shoulders. Shocked to find that she was the same little girl she encountered at the Palace of Helios.

The child touched Odeya’s face. Odeya could see a tear rolling down her cheek, a sad expression on the little girl’s face but when Odeya wiped the tear she disappeared like dust blowing in the wind. The environment changed she heard a war horn in the distance. She noticed the black clouds darkening the sky from the north, which trembled with a raging storm which broke as she looked. It drenched the ground. Odeya’s boots sank into the waterlogged ground. She looked behind her and saw an army of soldiers. These were no ordinary soldiers. She could not see their faces as every soldier had a mask and held two katana swords each. They also had very little armor and no shields at all. She felt a powerful energy within them as if they were built for one purpose only and that was to fight. It was the same energy she felt when she came into contact with the hooded warrior, but something was a different about these soldiers. A young woman appeared in front of the army. It appeared as if she was leading the army. Before Odeya could study this mysterious woman, her vison ended. Before she tried to make sense of it a male voice behind startled her. The unknown strange smiled as she turned to face him.

“who are you?” she asked.

“Ichiro! Avril’s personal chef but don’t think we have met before although I have been working in the Palace for many years” he said.

“now we finally meet, how strange is that” said Odeya.

“are you hearing to the Palace, may I accompany you” he asked.

“yes I gladly accept!” said Odeya.

“so why are you away from the Palace?” she asked.

“I was told to bring in some rare ingredients from the Hydran market” he said.

“you been to the market, what is it like? Will you take me there someday?” Odeya asked.

“trust me! its not something in a dream if you haven’t been there you will easily get yourself lost or worse, killed!” he said.

“think I could handle myself!” said Odeya.

“anyway, why are we having this conversation in the middle of the street?” asked Odeya.

“I will meet you back here when I’m ready!” he said.

~***~

Ichiro watched her disappear into the busy streets, he needed her to leave before he could set his plan in motion. He quickly made his way to a corner of narrow streets. There was no poverty in Arydress and the streets were also kept clean. Arydress was the largest city in Eradonis and the Empire fought to keep it the way it was.

He came to a large red door with the name Sneaky Dragon above the door. He pushed the heavy doors open. It was empty which; was a relief. Sneaky Dragon was the second largest tavern in Arydress. “Hello! Is anyone here?”

Long seconds pass when a familiar voice greet him. “Ichiro in disguise! You even fooled me!”

“Ryu! What are you doing in Eradonis?”

“Well the Prince asked for help so I’m here. All the wooded creates are already in the Palace waiting to be opened so you better hurry” said Ryu.

“I guess I owe you” said Ichiro.

“So are you still after the Zail’s fire nymph? If he found out what you doing, he will skin you alive!” said Ichiro.

“That won’t happen. You better get going.” said Ryu.

“The darkness is growing not even Delos will be safe. Be safe friend” said Ichiro.

Ryu’s calmness about the situation proved that he was strong. Ichiro had been a good friend for years but there was a dark secret about him.

~***~

Ichiro slowly made his way back, Odeya was already there waiting. “Lets get going before the Empress throws a fit, she gets really grumpy when her food is not on time!” said Ichiro.

He chuckled as they both take a slow stroll to the Palace. “So tell me are you sure we haven’t met before? She asked.

“well the Palace is a huge place and I prefer to work alone” he said.

“Well do you have any family or friends?” she asked.

“Yes but that’s a sad story” said Ichiro.

“Tell me” she said.

“You sure you want to know?” he asked.

“Yes!”

“I was born in an unhappy family, my mother hated me and as for my father he was always commanding me, training me and the worst of all he used to use torture when I don’t obey” said Ichiro.

“That’s awful” she said.

“There was no love, I was pawn to them. The only person that they cared for was my sister, well half sister. She was also under my fathers command, always obeying; never to question him”

“So I’m guessing you escaped him with your sister, am I right?” Odeya asked.

“Yes but it wasn’t a happy ending, my sister was captured and ravaged by an evil man. My memory of my sister had been taken away until now but I don’t remember what she looks like” said Ichiro.

A long silence filled the air as they reach the Palace gates, Odeya was shaken by his words. She didn’t know how to comfort him, he looked strong and it seemed like nothing could break him.

~***~

The Royal Palace was built by the Ancients and made with solid red and white marble, it was impossible to penetrate the palace walls and it could withstand any attack. The palace was stretched across on a large Cliffside, a massive bridge leading to the fortress with pillars all lined in a row. The design of the pillars and wide arches made it unique. This brings out the beauty of the Palace. The guards that blocked the entrance recognized her and let her in.

They both walked towards the opened gate into the garden entrance. Rows of beautiful red flowers filled the place making it looked like the gardens of

Eden.

“Well I’m afraid this is where we part ways” said Ichiro.

“I would like to spend more time and get to know you better, if it’s okay with you?” Odeya asked.

“Afraid that won’t happen”

“Why?” Odeya asked.

“I shall be returning home soon, things are going to get worse but maybe I will say a quick goodbye before I leave” said Ichiro.

Odeya watched him walk away and realized that there was something that was not right about him. Why was he so mysterious, she could tell he was hiding something.

~***~

As soon as Odeya entered the massive Throne room, all the soldiers turned to face her as if they were expecting her; or were they waiting for someone else to walk in through the door. Frozen in place, she hadn’t been to the Palace in five years and something was clearly not right.

Everyone in Arydress knew that the Royal army was not to be trifled with, they were strong and fierce and trained at a young age. Some soldiers even fight in the Arena to prove their strength. Avril kept her soldiers in check and if they disobeyed they were brutally punished.

The soldiers step aside as she nervously makes her way towards Avril. She climbed the staircase which was made out of fire gems that gave it a unique style. Behind the Throne there was several black doors which Odeya was forbidden to enter.

What secrets were hidden deep inside the Palace? The seven black rooms remained sealed not even the Empress knew what was down there.

The Throne in front of her had a design of a sleeping dragon. The ancients that build the Palace knew what they were doing. The sky roof was breathtaking, the floor had a black and red pattern which made the room look beautiful.

Two soldiers held a prisoner, his chains were tightly bound around his wrists. Although he had a scar on his face he was attractive. She then noticed that the Royal advisors were present which meant trouble.

“Odeya! Sister I’m so glad to see you” said Avril.

“it’s been years! where have you been?” Odeya asked.

Avril hugged her tight but their reunion was cut short by the advisors.

“take him back to his prison! I will deal with him later” said Avril.

“I heard about the assassin, is it true?” Odeya asked.

The soldiers remove him from the Throne room. The advisors then requested that Odeya leaves as she does not belong there. She disliked the advisors and it was also offensive to Odeya for she was not Royalty.

“I guess I’m not welcomed here” said Odeya.

“will talk about this later, how about we meet at the gardens when I am done with this prisoner and I will send some hand-maidens to pamper you, you look a mess” said Avril.

“that would be lovely” said Odeya.

The guards escorted Odeya to her Royal bedroom. She could finally relax for a bit before she heads for the library. Odeya’s room was huge and airy. The guards closed the doors behind her. She crossed the room passed the large mahogany furniture on her way towards her bed. She needed to hide the katana sword and the black ancient box to keep it safe from enemy eyes. It was thanks to her training she knew how to hide stuff from others.

She stood near the mirror and placed her tips of her fingers onto the mirror, focus on the spell she was about to say.

Escondido en segredo

Déixao estar

Non visto

En Shadow’s Light

Hidden in Secret

Let it be

Unseen

In Shadow’s Light

The sword and the box shimmered into a silver liquid and vanished. Odeya was so glad to be back in her room and the soft bed brought a smile. She flopped onto the bed, rolled around in the silk sheets and loved the softness against her skin. It brought joy and comfort to her, she was home.

She got up and removed her boots, she walked across the cool floor out into the balcony. She sat on a comfy chair and closed her eyes enjoying the cool breeze; forgetting the nightmare of the past few days.

She didn’t care about her early encounters with the stranger or the hellhounds. She listened to the sound of the wind flowing through the trees. A calmness filled her mind but she dared not sleep as she took in the fresh air. Every moment was precious to her and she missed being treated like a princess. It was not long before her hand-maidens enter. They were all excited to welcome Odeya back. Immediately they take her to the Royal baths. They walk across a stone pathway into a large building. The doors were also made of solid black wood. The guards opened it and Odeya stepped inside. It was breath-taking. The glass roof above was designed with crystals handing down. It absolved the air and turned it into a crystal oil and dropped onto a marble stone table. The oil was used to make the skin glow. Several pools with both hot and cold water were filled with a shiny red and silver pearls. Some pools displayed a shiny silver liquid, which is an ancient oil harvested from the Tavozin flowers. It is used to soften the skin and healing. Odeya walked across the shimmering cool red floor and scanned the paintings on the wall, paintings of past Empresses that ruled before Avril. Pillars were all lined in a row and statues of water maidens pouring water as fountains into the pools. The hand-maidens remove her clothes and tie her hair using clips. They take her into a circled ring bath and her feet touched a cool liquid.

They use a leaf shaped bowl to gently pour warm water onto her body. She closed her eyes and all her pain, fears and anger began to wash away. They gently rubbed a silky white soap on her entire body. She loved being pampered and wanted it to last. They then use a gel to cover her body and took her to another circle rind. Steam melted the gel slowly until it came off completely. Then Odeya stepped into the pool and soaked up the oil. She relaxed her body enjoying the hot oil. She enjoyed long minutes of pure relaxation before she stepped out of the pool. The maidens dried her with a towel and she then lays on the stone table. The droplets of red oil fall onto her body and they gently rubbed it onto her entire body. While she lays on the table they unclip her beautiful long hair pouring water over it. They used a sweet smelling liquid on her hair. Hot and cool air blows onto her body, she enjoyed the ten minutes of pure bliss. Then the hand-maidens wash away the liquid on her hair gently lifted her up and poured water again over her body to wash away the oil. They put on a red bath robe to cover her naked body. She took her finger tips and magically dried her hair and the maidens gasp in amazement. She relaxed on the soft pillows and they offered her chocolates, she gladly took the whole tray. Then the hand-maidens leave her to relax for a bit. She listened to the sound of the water fountains, the sounds were soothing and she could fall asleep at any moment. She didn’t want this to end she could lie in the pool for hours. Soon the hand maidens return and removed her bath rope, they rub a cool cream on her body and they dress her in new clothes. It was a design that Odeya loved, something similar to the Lexicon black Kimono outfit. They set her hair in an up-style but leaves strands of hair down. Odeya helped herself to more chocolate, eating every last one. She decided to delay her visit the library, she could use some rest.

~***~

Few hours alone in her room was total tranquility and felt it was time to visit the Grand Library.

She knew her way to the library and entered the Grand Library, it was a huge dome like building with connected gardens and it was filled with ancient scrolls and books. There were three levels with swirling staircases leading to the upper flours. It also had many reading rooms. Rows of books stacked ceiling high in the shelves and maps that stretched across the walls filled the library. She walked to the section where the ancient scrolls were kept. There was so many it could take days to go through all of them. The scrolls were so old that they were not catalogued. She grabbed as many as she could carry and placed them on the table, she went back for more until the table becomes full. She took a seat and got to work. She broke the seal of the first scroll she found. The writings were written in black ash, she reads it but finds no information. Every scroll she opened was interesting but nothing led to the black rose or the strange temple for found, not a single clue. Odeya went back to the shelves and she found a mysterious black scroll hidden beneath some other scrolls. She quickly grabbed it.

“another black scroll!” She broke the seal revealing an ancient language and the rest of the words were faded, Odeya could not make sense of it. She decided to take the scroll with her hoping to unlock its secrets. Odeya felt that she was wasting time trying to find something that is a myth. She looked around, the library was a mess, opened scrolls lying on the floor.

When Odeya looked up to find Avril aprouched her carring Astarlin

“Astarlin has been causing a lot of trouble in the Palace, better take care of your pet”

“am so glad his safe” said Odeya.

She grabbed him held him close but when she placed him down go goes off running towards the door. Odeya was confused or was it her magic that scared him.

“that’s very strange!” said Odeya.

“we will find him again but I would like to know where have you been all these years and why has your hair turn black? What is going on Odeya?” Avril asked.

“long story! I was dragged away and forced into training, something about Guardians” said Odeya.

“it has been five years, I even sent my Royal Guards to look for you but there was no luck I even lost hope thought you were dead” said Avril.

“I survived it but while I was in training a heard that Haniel is missing so when my training ended I went straight to the Temple but it has been destroyed and no sign of the priestess” said Odeya.

“you think she is still alive?” Avril asked.

“am not sure, there was no clue linking to her death so let us hope” said Odeya.

“well I need to leave we meet at the gardens soon, I need to pervert a war and with the feast in a few days will make it difficult”

“war? What have I missed?” Odeya asked.

“the Prince of Siacodia has been killed, he was the one I was meant to marry, alliance has been broken so I need to find another solution or this will lead to war” said Avril.

“that does not sound good! Was that the reason for the assassination attempt?” asked Odeya.

“No! Something was different about the assassin, he was stronger and faster, I barely escaped” said Avril.

“think I can help, want to see what I have learnt in my years of training?” Odeya asked.

“alright, I could spare ten minutes”

Avril takes a seat as the room began to freeze as snow began to fall inside the library and soon the floor was covered in thick snow. Odeya then used the power of fire. She heats up the room and the snow started to melt and water flooded the library floor, Avril stood up in shock. The heat dried the water and formed storm clouds and the room became dark and eerie as raindrops fall, lightning flashed. Avril was drenched, the icy wind made her shiver. She waved her hand and the clouds disappear and the room turned back to normal. Avril was more surprised that the books and the scrolls were not affect by the water and snow. Odeya used the tip of her finger and slowly ran her finger down her hand to draw the water out. Avril was dry once again. Odeya wanted to show her more but that was for another time. There was so many things she wanted to share with Avril but did not know where to begin.

“elements the best part of the training”

“this is truly amazing! I shall delay my royal meeting, come let’s take a walk to the gardens, I could use a small break from royal duties” said Avril.

“that would be great!” said Odeya.

They both walk towards the gardens and kept the conservation light. The gardens were beautiful, the different rows of flowers filled the entire garden, stone benches were all around and the fountains were huge. Odeya stretched herself on the soft grass, taking in nature. She missed the company of Odeya and she was glad to have her back. Avril was taking strain as a Royal and longed for freedom, just a little time anyway, away from her royal duties.

“Tell me about Ichiro”

“What do you want to know?” Avril asked.

“How long has he been your personal chef?” Odeya asked.

“Ten years if I’m correct. Atreus found him badly wounded and there was some strange markings on him including a sun tattoo on his left shoulder. “wait? a sun tattoo? Was it silver or gold?” asked Odeya.

“afraid I don’t remember” said Avril.

“he also had the symbol of Arydress on his back so Atreus brought him to the Palace” said Avril.

“Okay that’s something I was not expecting. He has a sun tattoo, I need to see it. Tell me where would I find his sleeping quarters?” Odeya asked.

“Odeya! What has gotten you so curious about Ichiro?” Avril asked.

“I just feel like I know him” said Odeya.

Two guards approach them reminding the Empress that she is needed back at the meeting hall. She had to leave to attend to her Royal duties; Odeya watched as she walked away, she felt alone again. Avril and Odeya could not spend much time together; Royal duties took most of Avril’s time. Odeya sat in silence enjoying the fresh air. She took a slow walk in the gardens trying to clear her mind.

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