|8.| ▪The Words that Hurt▪
I sat across Zion while he happily ate and hummed to a soft tempo song.
The clattering of plates and the sound of music have me boiling in anger.
“My love, you should change that awful scowl from your pretty face,” Zion smiled.
“Fuck off,” I said as I stared into his bottomless black eyes.
It’s been two days since the incident in the dungeon. Zion has been keeping me chained to the chair all this time.
On a few occasions, he would let me lose, but without him leaving me alone. So I have no choice but to stay with him.
The soul that resides in him hasn’t let go at all of Zion. He has possessed his body as it belonged to him like Zion was no longer present.
“Let me go,” I seethed.
Zion stopped midway with his fork. Slowly he set it aside and raised his eyes.
I couldn’t understand what he wanted; there had to be something.
“Why are you doing this?” I asked.
He blinked while grabbing his fork once again.
Zion remained silent for a while before he cleared his throat.
He was calm, something I wasn’t expecting since his demeanor was different when he was possessed.
“What’s your name?” I questioned him. This question has been lingering for a while.
After I read the few contents of the books from the dungeon, I understood that souls like this have a name, but it’s taboo to mention it.
Also, it’s not allowed due to being a disadvantage to the soul trapped in the body.
“Tell me what’s you seek,” I said sternly. “What did Zion do to you for you to hurt him like this?”
His black eyes were still focused on me. He wasn’t flinching nor saying a single word.
I needed to keep pushing until he wavered.
“Did my father just place you there?” I asked.
This time the corner of his lip twitched.
Looking away, he continued eating in silence. The music had stopped, so it was only the sound of clattering and our breaths.
“I won’t let you hurt Zion,” I spat, making his hand grip the fork he was holding. “I will make sure you leave Zion alone.”
A sneaker suddenly left his lips.
“You think that will be the solution?” Zion asked as he abruptly stood.
The scraping sound of the chair made me flinch.
“You think that expelling me, exorcising me from him, will save him?” Zion asked.
I leaned on the chair.
Zion strides until he put his arms on either side and cages me.
“Well, bad news, my love. You can’t save him,” Zion chuckled and kissed my cheek.
I snapped my head away from his touch.
Reaching for my chin, he gripped it and made me face him.
“You asked me why your father put me here?” Zion said, sending a shiver down my back. “Well, let me tell you the reason then.”
I frowned as he leaned to my ear and whispered the words.
My eyes widened, and my stomach turned as Zion chuckled and stepped back.
The awful taste I had in my mouth was making me regret asking that question.
“Now you know, my love. I hope your curiosity is satisfied for now,” Zion said and started to leave.
I pulled on the chains as the doors to the dining room closed with a bang.
Tears shed down my face as I bit my lip and tried to suppress my angry scream.
This had to be some mistake. How could my father wish that for me?
My head wobbled to the front, making me gasp in confusion.
I blinked a few times before I could finally realize where I was. I was still locked and chained in the dining room.
Did Zion forget about me?
Feeling that tightening pain in my chest, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
Opening the back, I looked around. The silence that filled the room told me it was around midnight. Was Zion asleep then?
All these past days, he has been resting a few hours before disappearing somewhere in the castle. I had a hunch where he went every time since the dungeons were the only place he would go.
Sometimes around a particular time, I could hear the banging sound and screams and the banging of the gates.
It seemed the fog was eager to come in and create chaos. But my presence was suppressing it, and now I was sure it was because of my powers.
I lowered my eyes to the chains once again. I needed to get out of this and meet with Bishop Archer. He must have wondered what happened since I told him to meet me back a few nights ago.
I pulled on the chains and then cursed as I noticed they didn’t budge.
Sighing, I let my head fall back against the chair. My eyes stared straight at the ceiling, where a few drawings lay smudged from the lack of attention.
The entire castle looked abandoned.
Looking back down, I frowned when I noticed a small ball of light moving out the window.
I crooked my head in confusion. Did I imagine that?
As the light moves again, I notice it’s looking for something. So, without waiting, I summoned my powers and got its attention.
The ball of light stopped moving, but when it felt the surge of my powers, it quickly entered the room and moved right in front of me.
I furrowed my brows. It was the magic power of someone but whose?
After thinking, I realized that there was only one more person in this place who could use this kind of power, and it was Bishop Archer.
“Free me,” I ordered to which the ball complied.
Bishop Archer’s powers were different from mine. However, since he specialized in fighting magic and healing and my power was only for healing and exorcising spirits, so it was good he sent help.
It means he knows something is up.
Once the chains turned into dust, I stood and massaged the zone where they were wrapped on me. Small bruises covered a few parts of my body, but I didn’t mind.
I looked back towards the dining door entrance. Zion wouldn’t come back until tomorrow, so this was my only chance to escape and head to the tower to meet with Bishop Archer.
Running out of the place, I head straight to the black fog that lingered in the garden.
Noticing me, it hissed like a snake, spreading away from my presence.
I snickered and walked like I owned the place. I could defeat this, but it would need the bishop’s help.
Closing the door of the tower, I make haste until I reach the window. I glanced a few times before a figure appeared out of the darkness.
“Bishop Archer!” I said to be happy. But my smile disappeared when I saw his angry face. “Bishop?”
Another person walked out of the darkness, making my eyes ball out.
“Ezekiel?” I said but saw two of the temple knights holding him. “What’s happening?”
“Saint,” Bishop Archer said but halted his words. “No, Mila, I should call you.”
I frowned. What was wrong with him?
“What’s wrong?” I asked, confused. “Why-”
“We are leaving,” Bishop Archer spats. I blinked.
“Excuse me, Bishop, I’m not getting you,” I said, putting my hand over my temple.
“It’s not hard to understand Mila, especially since you know what’s happening here,” Bishop Archer said, his lips in a thin line. “Why didn’t you say you were his daughter?”
“What?” I asked, frowning.
“You are that man’s daughter!” Bishop Archer hissed this time. “How could you?”
I was so confused. I didn’t know what Bishop Archer was referring to.
“You played us, Mila,” Bishop Archer continued.
“I don’t get what you’re saying,” I respond, earning a death glare from him.
“Stop playing stupid, Mila,” Bishop Archer groaned. It was the first time I heard him say something like that. “You’re a gypsy, the daughter of the man who ruined this place and made the loathed king a sinner.”
My hands balled as I clenched my jaw.
“Watch your words,” I said. “Don’t forget I’m in a higher position than you, Bishop Archer.”
Bishop Archer scoffed, taking me by surprise.
“You hid from us the fact that you were his daughter. That you had once a romantic relationship with this bastard and that you carry the blood of a sinner as well,” Bishop Archer barked. His voice echoed in the night. “You kept all this from us!”
I clenched hard, trying to keep my composure.
It was hard by the minute, but if he continued pushing, I would snap at him.
“You lied to the temple, you who is the daughter of a murderer and black magician,” Bishop Archer hissed. “How can you carry the power of light?”
“Is that what you’re mad about?” I said, trying to sound calm. “The fact I’m from gypsy blood?”
“NO!” Bishop Archer yelled.
All the knights stared at him. Some looked surprised, while others seemed mad as him.
It wasn’t my intention to lie. It was what the Pope ordered me. My true identity was to be kept a secret from everyone in the temple. But now it backfired me.
“Yes, I carry the blood of a gypsy. Yes, my father is who he is, but that doesn’t define me!” I growled back. “I’m my person, and not until four years ago did I know for the first time who my father was.”
There was a stressful silence before Bishop Archer scoffed again.
“I didn’t hide it because I wanted it,” I explained. “The Pope knew.”
A few gasps reached my ears while others whispered between themselves.
Maybe this would appease Archer’s anger.
“The higher-ups and the Pope know. They were the ones who ordered me to keep it quiet,” I explained. “So if you want to blame someone, blame the Pope!”
Bishop Archer started laughing loud, making everyone look at him. Then, reaching for his pocket, he pulls something out.
I frowned since I couldn’t see what it was exactly.
“The Pope has said he doesn’t know a thing,” Bishop Archer said, showing me a letter. “I contacted the Pope, and his words were he doesn’t know any of it. That you lied to the temple.”
My eyes widened. How can that be true?
“Impossible!” I screeched. Was he betraying me?
“Sorry, Mila, but everything is here. The Pope admitted that he was wrong and prayed that the gods forgive him for not knowing that you were the daughter of that sinner,” Bishop Archer said. “I think that makes things clear.”
I took a step back.
“We will be leaving,” Bishop Archer suddenly says as he lets go of the letter. “Goodbye, Mila.”
“No!” I called. “Ezekiel!”
“MILA!” Ezekiel yelled, but the knights covered his mouth. Dragging him away with the rest of the group.
“YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME!” I cried. “You know I’m not that kind of person Archer, you’ve known me for four years!”
Bishop Archer stopped.
“Know you?” Bishop Archer whispered as he looked over his shoulder. “I’m not even sure anymore what was true.”
I screamed, pleaded as I watched them leave.
They couldn’t leave me by myself. I needed their help so I could stop Zion from doing this.
“Please!” I begged in tears.