Chapter Seven - The dream
He sensed her sweet taste in his mouth, her pleasant touch on his skin.
He ran his hand through her silk hair and broke the kiss so he could study her.
The top of her face was covered by a red mask inlaid with three tiny gems.
The girl wore a long crimson dress which reached to her ankles.
She wore a silver pendant with an Amethyst stone attached to it ' a stone which the Astradians believed is capable of saving one's life from death.
The front of the girl's hair was pulled back in a small, tight bun. The rest of her curls were spread over her back. It was a common hairstyle among the Arkadian girls.
Mako could not tell whether that girl was an Arkadian or Astradian.
On the one hand, she had the Arkadian hairstyle and the crimson color of her dress and mask symbolized the national color of Arkadia, the kingdom of Fire.
But on the other hand, her pendant could only belong to an Astradian. Not to mention her skin which was bright and not tanned like the Arkadians'.
Mako moved her dark hair and met a couple of beautiful ocean eyes.
"Who are you?" He asked.
Her lips curled into a small smile but she did not reply.
He studied her with curiousity and reached his hand to remove her mask but she grasped it and shook her head, the smile not leaving her mouth.
"What are you trying to tell me?" He asked. "You come to my dream every night and I do not even know who you are.
You lead me to this place..." he gestured to the place there were at.
The place was entirely dim except for the four torches hanging on the wall which Mako lit with his fire element.
Four stone walls surrounded them. At the side of the room there were stairs leading to the front door, and at the center of the room stood a rectangular huge box fixed to the floor.
The girl laid her hand on Mako's cheek so he will return his attention to her. Her hand slipped over his face, down to his arm until it reached his wrist and she drew him to another kiss, more demanding this time.
"Please, tell me who you are," he whispered against her lips.
The girl ran her thumb slowly over his lips and trailed small kisses over his neck.
Mako twirled her and pinned her to the wall.
"I asked you something!" He raised his voice and a rage rose in it.
He hated the fact he had to beg for answers. Never in his life had he begged for anything, since royals get anything they wish for, well, almost everything.
He had always had control over his life, even when he was not the crown prince, when his brother abdicated the throne abdicated the throne.
But right now, it seemed as if that mysterious upsetting girl had control over him.
Suddenly, Mako noticed the tattoo inherent on her right shoulder. The girl followed his gaze. It was a black circle with X sign inside of it. The Chosens symbol.
"Are you one of The Chosens?" He asked, astonished.
She kept being silent and her eyes moved to a spot behind his shoulder.
Mako turned and gazed again at the long huge stone case.
"It is a tomb stone," his jaw dropped when he realized.
He slowly approached the box as if something might break out of it any second.
Strange words were engraved on the grave and The Chosens symbol above them.
Suddenly the symbol started glowing and when Mako turned back to the girl, he noticed her tattoo was glowing too.
"What is going on?!".
She still did not reply.
He glanced back at the grave and studied the words engraved on it.
Before he had the chance to deepen his gaze in the words and try to figure their meaning out, he woke up and opened his eyes.
He woke up in his room at the inn and jumped panickly when noticed Amaya staring at him.
"Can't you come inside a room like a normal person, like, when I am awake?" He asked while rubbing his eyes.
"You had that dream again, didn't you?" She asked.
She sat at the bed and handed Mako a water bowl.
A number of weeks ago, Mako started having the same dream every few nights. Everytime it got longer and Mako found out new details.
The same dream about the beautiful mysterious who would not reveal her identity to him.
Mako felt that strange special connection to that girl, a connection he could not explain to anyone, not even himself.
Although Amaya kept telling him that it is foolish of him to assume that that girl actually exists, he believed that she does. He could sense it.
He wished to find her throughout their journey to Amato. Though, it is going to be challenging, since he had no clue what she looks like.
Part of her face was always covered by that crimson mask which she would not let him remove from her.
She also had the tattoo of The Chosens. It was so ridiculous. Mako did not even believe in the legend of The Chosens.
He had always thought it was a bed-time story which parents told their children.
Despite his disbelief, he had to figure out the meaning of the dream and the identity of the girl. He wanted answers, therefore he had to find her.
And then there was lady Lyla who came into his life a few days ago. But she did not talk much, she seemed so distant.
He kind of liked it about her the fact that getting help for her people was her only goal. The fact that she was so focused in that goal.
"What was new in your dream tonight?" Asked Amaya.
"Come on, Amaya, I just woke up".
He took water in his hand and washed his face. The water was freshing and cool.
Mako went to the bathroom and changed his clothes.
"Put some shirt on!" Ordered Amaya when he returned shirtless.
"I am looking for one".
He sat on the edge of the bed and searched his bag for a clean shirt, however, the thoughts of his dreams distracted him.
"There was a grave in that room," he told Amaya.
"Strange," she raised her eyebrow.
"And it is not everything," he got up on his feet. "It had words engraved on it".
An intrigued gaze appeared on Amaya's face.
"What was written over there?".
"I do not understand the language," he frowned.
"Do you remember me telling you about The Chosens tattoo that girl had?".
"It was engraved on the grave as well".
Amaya intended to reply but there was a knock on the door.
Mako approached the door to open it and found himself facing lady Lyla.
"Good morning," She said awkwardly when she noticed he was not wearing a shirt.
"Good morning, lady Lyla," he replied. "My apologies, I will put a shirt on".
He took a shirt from the bag and quickly wore it.
"Lady Amaya," Lyla frowned when noticed Amaya's presence and seemed even more emberessed.
"Lady Lyla," replied Amaya.
"I came here to let you know that breakfast is ready and we will leave the inn once it is done," Lyla cleared her throat.
"Thank you for letting us know".
"I am sorry for interrupting the two of you, I will take my leave now".
They left the inn early at the morning and rode in a convoy.
The morning air was wonderfully refreshing. The dewdrops that fell last night laid on the leaves of the trees and adorned them like tiny diamonds.
Lyla stopped her horse and lingered in front of the damp tree. She raised her hand above the leaves, shut her eyes and focused. She looked for the familiar energy inside of her, her element.
"What are you doing?" Amaya's voice interrupted Lyla's thoughts and made her jump in panic.
She turned around, opened her eyes and noticed that Amaya and prince Mako stopped their horses beside her and glanced at her confused.
"I am sorry, I did not mean to scare you and interrupt you in... whatever it is you were doing," Said Amaya with an apologetic smile.
Lyla took a look on the wet leaves which remained in their place, like before.
"It's okay," she lowered her head to her hand in disappointment. "It did not work anyway".
She ordered her horse to keep riding and they followed her lead.
"What was it that you were trying to do, anyway?" Asked prince Mako.
"I wanted to check whether my water element has returned yet. But he had not".
"Returned?" Amaya frowned. "What do you mean?".
Lyla took a deep breath and told them everything which happened the other day at the forest.
How she was chased by the Scandian soldiers. How Ranus took away her element, how she felt part of her power vanishing and the fact that it had not returned yet.
"I have never heard of such an ability," Mako frowned. "I have never heard of an Elementor whose element was taken".
"Neither have I," replied Lyla. "I must find out more details about Ranus' ability, so I will be prepared next time".
"Wait!" Mako blocked her path and made her horse stopping. "Next time? Do not tell me you intend to fight him again".
"Of course I do, that was the whole point. I want to get king James' help and to fight Scandia. Hasn't that been obvious this whole time?".
"I thought you will stay at Amato until the danger passes," There was considerable confusion on his face.
He cleared the way for Lyla and they continued to ride, slower this time.
"Prince Mako, I am not afraid of war," she lowered her voice. "Astrada has known more wars than I can count. At some point, the hope that there will ever be peace just fades".
"It is a sad way to live," admitted Amaya.
Lyla straightened her head.
"Well, I was born to it so this is the only life I know".
She pulled the rein of her horse and continued riding by herself.
Later that day they stopped freshing up in the middle of the road.
"The horses are exhausted, therefore we will stay here for the next hour. Settle down!" Called Mako to his guards.
"Prince Mako " a guard approached him and bowed. "We will look for a lake in order to fill the water jugs".
"We will come with you".
"I could use some water to fresh up," Amaya followed the guards.
It did not take much time to find a lake nearby. After all, Arkadia was known for its many water sources.
The lake was small, a bit more like a fountain, but it was beautiful. Lyla had always found water fields to be astonishing.
Before Lyla could take off her shoes, Amaya had already jumped into the lake and sprayed water everywhere.
Mako and the guards around the lake raised their hands in front of their faces so they would not get wet, but not Lyla, she missed the sense of the water on her skin.
Mako glanced at Amaya, amazed and amused at the same time.
"What?" She smiled. "I was hot".
Unlike Amaya, Lyla went into the water more slowly, they were too cold.
A few seconds later she got used to the cool water and went completely inside.
She sighed in relief and a smile came over her face. She did not even realize how much she missed that feeling.
The water always helped her relaxing and forgetting about all of her worries.
She spread her arms to the sides and twirled with joy.
When she stopped, she noticed the prince's gaze laying on her.
"No, please," he grinned. "Do not stop on my account".
She crossed her arms. "Aren't you coming inside?".
"No he is too afraid to ruin his regal garments," Amaya mocked him. "And besides, water weakens fire Elementors".
"Then how come you are inside the water?" Lyla raised an eyebrow.
"I will not linger inside for a long time and I need a refreshment from the hot sun.
She dived and washed her straight brown hair.
"You want to tell me that you would miss that amazing feeling?" Lyla turned back to Mako. "The water is great and we have been riding for a long time".
"She is right, Mako," agreed Amaya. "Come on, lift your royal manners for a second and come inside".
Mako sighed and chuckled..
"Alright, alright," he gave up. "But only since the two of you are so stubborn".
He took off his cloack and laid it on a branch of a tree. Then he took off his shirt and approached the lake.
Lyla immediately took her eyes off his half-bared body.
"Yes, come on, prince!" Amaya teased him as he slowly came inside.
Mako shut his eyes and relished the cool water.
"Well?" Lyla waited to his response.
"You were right, the water is amazing".
She smiled triumphantly and continued to swim in the lake.
Mako followed her in swimming and his face turned serious. Lyla turned to stand in front of him.
"Lady Lyla, about what you saw when you came to my room this morning..." he started.
"It is alright, prince Mako," she erupted.
"No, you do not understand, Amaya is just an old friend. Nothing is going on between us...".
"It is none of my business".
"She is actually in love with my brother!" He said fast so she would not get a chance to interrupt.
"Oh," she raised her eyebrows. "I did not even realized that Arkadia has another prince".
"Well, actually he would rather to not be called a prince".
Mako told her the whole story. He was never supposed to be the Crown Prince, his brother, Prince Charles was supposed to be.
But a month before his coronation he abdicated the throne and left Arkadia. He wanted to be free from that burden. Afterwards, it was decided that Mako would be the future king.
"Doesn't it bother you, though?" Lyla asked when Mako finished the story.
He looked at her confused. "What does?".
"You could have been free if your brother had not abdicated," she pointed out. "But now it was taken away from you".
Mako pondered the question.
"I have never considered it that way," he shrugged. "I mean, I have never wanted my brother's throne, though I am glad for getting the opportunity to help my people and lead them... I can only hope to be a worthy king".
He looked into the distance and Lyla's eyes wandered to his honey eyes and his brown-golden hair that was completely wet.
"I think you will be," she said and he turned to meet her gaze. "The first step in becoming a good leader is being a good person".
He smiled at her words.
"My cousin is used to say it everytime the nobles demand immoral requests," she explained. "He is going to be a king soon, just like you".
Her thoughts wandered to her beloved cousin. She always knew he would be an excellent king.
They always got along, ever since they were kids. They used to walk around the palace and perform pranks on the servants. He used to tell her many stories which her mother had always refined in order to not scare Lyla and Amber, her sister.
"I hope he is safe," she sighed.
"He will be, soon enough," Mako laid a hand on her shoulder to reassure her.
They turned to get out of the lake and Mako offered her his arm.
"Prince Mako, I can get out on my own," she smiled. "Didn't we say you will leave your royal manners aside?".
"I will, once you stop calling me prince Mako," he replied and got out of the water.
Lyla rolled her eyes while laughing.
She placed one of her feet on the rock and then the other. The rock was slippery and she almost slipped, but Mako grabbed her back and stabilized her in front of the tree.
"Good catch," she gasped in relief. "I guess I needed your help after all".
He was close to her and she felt his breath on her face. His eyes were fixed on hers and his gaze was confused.
"Are you okay?" She frowned.
He shook from her.
"I'm fine, it is just ..." he continued to study her face with a strange look. "Something familiar."
He turned to leave and left her wondering.
"What was that supposed to be?" She murmured to herself.
She pulled her long hair back to dry it in the sun and lowered her hand towards her shirt to squeeze it out of the water.
Her hand stopped when she felt something was missing.
She looked down at her neck and her jaw dropped when she realized her amethyst pendant was not there, it was gone.
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