Everyone else was already in the dining hall. They were all chatting as they munched on their breakfast. The breakfast didn’t look like anything that was found on Earth. It just barely resembled some form of a home-style meal.
As I looked around the table, I noticed that we had an extra guest that I didn’t know. There was no question that she was otherworldly. Her light blue skin was a dead giveaway. If that wasn’t enough her outfit was the final piece that screamed I’m not like you.
She had blood red eyes and pointy ears, but those just didn’t stand out as much as the skin color and the outfit. The outfit was bright crimson and barely covered her private areas. It looked like a bikini that was way too small for her, with gold trim and gold designs. The only difference between a bikini and this outfit though was that the outfit had straps that covered both of her shoulders. The straps kind of looked like the shoulder pads on a football player.
As I looked at her, I became increasing uncomfortable. Not just because of her inappropriate attire, but also because there was something about her that started a fire in my gut. I could feel the gears in my mind slowly begin to turn. I knew her from somewhere, but I couldn’t place exactly when or where I had seen her. Out of nowhere hatred began to filter into my body and trickle down my spine. I suddenly wanted to kill her. I wanted to kill her so bad and make her suffer as I did.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Where did that thought come from? I quickly turned away from the new guest and followed Avin to my seat. I reached for my seat, but Avin grabbed it before I could, and pulled my chair out for me. I had hesitated a second before I sat down.
Avin seemed to be a real gentleman at heart, or perhaps it was just a force of habit. Maybe it was even just so that he could tick the guest off, because when I looked up, she seemed pretty mad as she glared at me. She might’ve even been a bit jealous.
I felt my lips twitch into a half smile. But I kept it hidden enough that no one else could’ve seen it. Instead, I straightened up my skirt so that it covered up my legs as Avin sat down beside me. Looking down at my skirt gave me a chance to collect my thoughts and compose myself.
When I looked back up, I had noticed that the new guest hadn’t even bothered to compose herself. In fact, she looked even more enraged than she had a second ago. I was a bit nervous that she might try to attack me or something. Instead, her face went slack for a moment. Then, as if given some signal, a big smile popped out on her face.
Her reaction startled me into sitting up straighter in my chair much more quickly than I had wanted to. It drew everyone’s attention to me. Too much attention for my liking. Then everyone was back to chatting with everyone else and didn’t even bother to glance at me again. I don’t know what’s worse having all of the attention on me or being completely ignored.
The only people who weren’t talking were Avin and me. We both just munched silently on our food. At first, I thought that the food might taste funny. However, as soon as I took a bite my thoughts completely changed about the food. The food was fantastic! I don’t think that I’ve ever had food quite like this before.
I had thought that I might make it through breakfast without being questioned or talked to. Right now that was the last thing that I had wanted to do especially with how I felt about the new guest at the table. Whom I had yet to be introduced to. Sally had apparently remembered that I didn’t know more than a handful of people here and that the new guest was not one of the people that I did know. Thank goodness for her. Otherwise, I may have very well been kept in the dark that entire time.
“Oh dear, I’m sorry Chris,” Sally commented apologetically, as she smiled at me and motioned in the direction of the new guest. “This is…”
Sally didn’t get to finish because the guest cut in on what she was saying to me. Which irked me and made me like her even less.
“Amavin Baequindlin, princess of the night, daughter of the great Malum Umbra, and lover of all men,” Amavin finished for Sally as she glanced over to Avin before turning her nose up at me. Sally looked a bit peeved by Amavin’s not so nice introduction, probably because she sounded like a snot-nosed bitch. Or maybe that was just my opinion.
Personally, I felt like she was trying to make me feel worthless, and I don’t think that I was the only one who had felt that way either. I could see out of the corner of my eye that Sally was biting back something. She was sitting so stiffly in her chair that I thought that she might jump out of her chair and storm out over to Amavin.
Amavin’s status didn’t matter to me all that much. But the thing that did bother me was that she was very striking in appearance. She almost looked like a model, well except for the blue skin and red eyes. She was everything that I wasn’t when it came to physical features. I felt so ugly being in the same room as her.
Amavin was a bit too showy for my taste, but I’m sure that men wouldn’t see it that way. In fact, I could feel the heat coming off of Avin in waves. I couldn’t tell if it was because he was angry or if he was being turned on by her. Avin looked like his sister as he sat in his chair as stiff as a board. Although I couldn’t tell if he wanted to kill her or take her right then and there. Unless. I looked at Avin’s posture again.
There was something different in Avin’s posture than there was in Sally’s. That’s when an odd question popped into my mind. Did Avin and Amavin already sleep together? That would explain what a lot of the tension that was in the air was. It was sexual tension. Although that didn’t explain all of the tension that was in the air. I think that someone may have crossed a line somewhere that I don’t know about.
Okay well, this silence is starting to get very awkward for me. King Regalis, was the name of the king that I just found out from overhearing other people’s conversations, cleared his throat to draw everyone’s attention to him. I’m sure that he could clearly see the growing tension and issues in the room. Although I was a little confused to see that it didn’t seem to bother him all that much. Shouldn’t he be at least a little bit concerned? I mean having issues between the young royals of two different kingdoms would be a problem for an empire at war, wouldn’t it be?
“Now that we are all well acquainted let’s get down to business,” King Regalis proclaimed once he was sure that he had the attention of everyone at the table. “First order of business is you, Miss Kris. Avin will escort you to the medical campsite, but he will have to leave shortly after to join in the war. You will head out in two days.”
He had been looking at me the entire time that he had been speaking, and now he seemed to be waiting for some confirmation from me. I had no idea what an appropriate response for this to a king would be. A thumbs up seemed a bit inappropriate for this situation, so I just nodded to him.
That appeared to be what he was looking for since he nodded back and went on to talk to the next person. King Regalis spoke to Val and Sally about something that appeared to be important, but I didn’t know what it was because they had switched back to their language. He seemed to be saving Avin for last.
When Avin’s turn did come around, King Regalis said something to Avin in their native language and then paused for a moment. What he said next he said in English so that I could understand too.
“Avin, his highness King Malum Umbra has offered his assistance in fighting this war, there’s just one small condition,” King Regalis commented as he glanced over to Amavin and then back to Avin. Uh oh, I could see where this was going, and I’m sure that I wasn’t going to like it too much. I don’t know why the thought of it was bothering me so much. I barely knew Avin. Still, I was hoping that he wouldn’t say it, and for a second, I thought that he wasn’t going to. But then he did. “Avin, after the war you will marry Princess Amavin.”
Sally spit out her drink, and Val stared at the king in complete shock. Avin stiffened up a bit but otherwise did not react. Amavin on the other hand was all smiles. As for me, well I tried my best not to respond at all. Although I did feel a little hurt. But I mean why should I feel hurt? It wasn’t like I even liked Avin all that much. Besides, I barely knew the guy.
Avin might turn out to be a total jerk underneath that mask of his. But a part of me knew that he truly was a good man. I didn’t understand what was causing these feelings in me, but I just couldn’t convince myself that he was a jerk no matter how hard I tried. Not much I could do about that.
I still didn’t understand one thing, though. Why had the king said this in English? It sounded like something that he wouldn’t want to let an outsider like me know about. But he had purposely told everyone in English. No. I was pretty sure that he was saying this for my benefit. He wanted to make a statement that Avin was off-limits. Did the king think that I was going to fall for his son and ruin the royal bloodline? Whatever his reasoning’s were it appeared as though no one else knew what they were.
I glanced around the table out of the corner of my eye and noticed that Sally was missing. What the…? Where did she run off to in such a hurry? She might’ve just gotten a bit frustrated and left. But from the way that she had reacted I could tell that there was some bad blood between her and Amavin.
Sally had had this look on her face almost like she had been betrayed the last time that I had looked over to her. I was worried about Sally no doubt about that, but she was going to have to wait a little bit. Right now I had my problems to deal with. Amavin wouldn’t stop staring at me. The worst part of it was that no one else noticed. She was staring at me in a way that no one else could tell that she was. What the hell was she waiting for?
The urge to kill her just grew the longer that I was in the dining room with her. I needed to get out of there before I did something stupid. But I was afraid to make a move to leave. I didn’t want to be rude to the king and just leave without a good reason.
I did need to do some more research in the library, but I was scared to go back there alone. Or at all frankly. So what does that leave me with? If I couldn’t go to the library to do research, perhaps I could train with someone then? Ooh, I got it.
“Your Highness, if you’ll excuse me I have to train with Sally, and I’d rather not be late,” I told the king in the politest way I possibly could. The king looked at me for a moment like he was studying me. He seemed rather curious and suspicious of my request. The way he was staring at me was starting to make my skin crawl. I was about to get up and just leave when I saw him nod.
I pushed my rage and my uncomfortable feelings down as I got up and bowed in the king’s direction. I tried to walk to the door as normally as I possibly could. I tried not to run out the door or stray too long in the room. The two guards that were standing by the doors pulled them open as I approached, and shut them behind me once I was through the doors.
As soon as the door closed behind me, I relaxed a little. But I still felt edgy. King Regalis creeped me out, and Amavin made me so mad to the point that I wanted to kill her from just being in the same room with her. What was going on with me? This whole place was starting to feel like one immense déjà vu headache, and I had no idea why.