The Forbidden Village

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Chapter 18

I woke up the next morning to Avin and Val shouting at each other. I was pretty sure that they were speaking Elvish, but I could understand everything that they were saying. I opened one eye from where I laid on the bed and looked around to see where they were without moving my head. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.

Val was practically yelling at Avin, but in a whispery voice, about what had happened last night. What had happened last night? I groaned and rolled over onto my face as I remembered what had happened with King Regalis last night. The thought of him just made my skin crawl.

I heard Val and Avin pause for a couple of seconds before they resumed their discussion. I guess they had thought that I had just turned over and fallen back to sleep. No dice boys. As their conversation seemed to get more heated, I thought that it might be about time to get up.

I groaned and sat up on the bed. I rubbed the sleepiness out of my eyes and stretched in the bed. I looked down at the bed and noticed that there was a set of clothes folded neatly at the end of the bed. I got out of bed and changed into the new clothes just before Val peeked his head around the corner of the balcony door. I suppose that they had officially stopped taking now, and I could see them walking back into the room from the balcony. Val smiled as he came back into the chamber with Avin trailing right behind him with his mask on as usual.

“We’ll let you get ready and be back in 5 minutes to get you for breakfast,” Val commented as they got closer to where I was standing.

“I’ll be just outside the door,” Avin told me quietly as he passed me. He wouldn’t even look at me. It hurt that he was ignoring me like this. But where was he when I had needed him last night? He better be feeling shame or at least something about abandoning me last night.

Once the door had shut behind them, I relaxed and leaned against the pole of my bed. I felt like there was way too much focus on me from everybody here. It made me feel very cautious and self-conscious. Finally, the realization hit me; I had one day left. I had one day left until I was to be taken to the healer camp.

I was scared to go, no questions about that. I wasn’t exactly sure what it would be like in such a place. I would assume that there will most certainly be blood, but I mean how bad could things possibly get there? I shivered at the thought. I dreaded even to think about what else I could see at that place.

I pushed down the thoughts as I focused on finishing getting ready. Just as I finished fixing my hair, there was a knock at the door. I walked over to the door and hesitantly opened it a crack. I peeked through to see who it was that was knocking at my door. Avin stood a couple of steps outside the door, waiting patiently.

We walked to breakfast in silence, and even at the breakfast table we were both quiet. The only thing that managed to cheer me up a little bit was the fact that Amavin wasn’t there. I was just not happy to see that the King was at the table. I could not look at him. Not without feeling sick to my stomach. Everyone else was quite chatty at the table, though.

After breakfast, I went to my lessons with Aquaphira. She had said that I was making very fast progress with my lessons, even by elf standards. But at the end of the lesson Avin wasn’t outside the greenhouse like he normally was. Instead, Mallon was sitting outside.

I felt my heart drop, and the disappointment starts to sink in. Aquaphira didn’t seem all that pleased either, but she let me go with him anyway. Mallon’s head perked up as the door to the greenhouse shut behind me. He smiled and hopped up from his spot on the floor. He seemed euphoric which made me feel a bit better.

“Zavin said that he had to take care of some things and that he would catch up with us later,” Mallon explained to me before I had the chance to ask where Avin was. “Sorry but you’re stuck with me for the time being.”

Mallon rubbed the back of his head and smiled shyly at me. He sounded hurt. Oh crap, I didn’t mean to hurt his feelings. I smiled back to him and took the arm that he had held out for me. I let him lead me down a couple of different hallways that I was pretty sure that I had never been down before. We talked as we walked and he had made me laugh more than I have in a long time. But the further into the castle we ventured the more that things started to seem unfamiliar.

“Where are we going, Mallon?” I asked him as I looked around at the hallway that we were going down. There wasn’t any of the beautiful architecture like there was in the rest of the castle. It was much plainer than everywhere else I had been. There were cracks in the walls, the floors, and the roof. Most of the windows were smashed. Their scattered colorful fragments lay everywhere on the ground.

I tried to walk around the pieces because I didn’t have any shoes on or anything on my feet. Mallon looked over his shoulder and noticed my struggle. He turned around to face me before grabbing me around the waist and scooping up my knees. My heart jumped a bit as he lifted me up and continued walking down the hall.

“Um, you don’t have to carry me,” I murmured feeling embarrassed and flustered. “I’m sure that I’m pretty heavy and…”

Mallon stopped walking and looked down at me in his arms. I wasn’t sure if I should continue with my conversation or just leave it.

“Trust me, you are not heavy by any means,” Mallon cut in smiling at me with a super cute half smile. “In fact, I think that you’re the lightest thing I’ve ever carried.”

I felt heat creep up onto my face, and I ducked my head into his chest to hide my blush. I felt and heard him chuckle. My face began to heat up more. Then Mallon started walking forward again. Once my face cooled down, I looked up and around at the hallway again.

There were holes in the walls and the ceiling, and debris was everywhere. Outside of the windows was a whole lot of overgrown vegetation. Even some of the plants were growing through the cracks and embedding themselves in the walls, the ceiling, and the floor.

“Where are we?” I asked Mallon, confused and curious. What could’ve possibly caused all of this destruction?

“We are going to the sick bay,” Mallon replied glancing down at me, with a sneaky smile on his face. “I want to see exactly how good you are.”

My heart fluttered in my chest, was he flirting with me? It felt like he was but I wasn’t all that sure. He might just be complimenting me on my abilities. Either way, it made me feel superb. I relaxed into Mallon’s arms and let him carry me towards the sick bay. His arms felt good around me, so strong and safe.

It didn’t take too much longer until we got to an open room. That must’ve been the sick bay. There were men, women, and even children there. They all had something wrong with them. Either they were wounded or had an illness of some sort. The place didn’t smell all that good either; it smelled of sickness and blood. There was dirt everywhere, and the only thing that they had for comfort was either grass or thin blankets. This place looked a lot like the refugee camp that was outside the castle walls.

It made me sad to be here, seeing all this destruction and devastation that these people have to endure. I hated war; it only caused pain and suffering. But being here also made me feel very determined to help them in any way that I possibly could. I pushed up the long sleeves on my crop top and turned to Mallon.

“Okay, where do you want me to start?” I asked him feeling strangely confident, and even a bit excited. Mallon chuckled and smiled at me with something that might’ve been amusement dancing in his eyes.

Mallon directed me over to a boy who was very, very sick. Seeing the young boy so weak with exhaustion and hunger, plucked at my heartstrings. I tried to shrug it off as best as I could and focus on what I had to do. They had a medical station set up to one side of the room with all the herbs and utensils a medical aid would need. The mother seemed a bit cautious of both of us, me especially. Mallon managed to calm her down so that I could get close enough to take a look at her son.

I checked the boy over quickly, and mentally cataloged his symptoms. Once I was finished with my preliminary evaluation I tried to put the pieces of the puzzle together, to figure out what kind illness he had. Although I knew what it was the moment that I looked at him, it was always good to double check.

I went over to the medical station and made the boy some medicine that would help the kid to fight off the illness. As I was making the medication, my thoughts began to wander off in a different direction. Why hadn’t someone else noticed what was going on and helped him? Were some of the other healers here so ill practiced that they didn’t know how to treat illnesses such as this? I might have to talk to Aquaphira about this stuff later.

Once I was finished making the medicine, I walked back over to the young boy to give it to him. But he couldn’t move too much. So I had to feed him the mush that was his medicine. As the boy ate it, he seemed to regain his strength little by little and was able to finish the rest of the medicine on his own. The mother was so happy that she gave me a huge hug, and was whispering thank you to me in Elvish. I whispered back your welcome in elvish so that she would know, but so that Mallon wouldn’t know that I spoke elvish.

“Whoa, you truly are amazing,” Mallon commented as I stood up and brushed my knees off. The mother was staring wide-eyed at me, but I shook my head at her so that she wouldn’t say anything.

“Thanks,” I replied smiling. Maybe I had been a bit too hard on him before.

I continued around helping the ill and the wounded as much as I possibly could. Mallon walked around making sure that everyone was okay, and that they had everything that they needed. Wow, I did have him pegged the wrong way. He was very caring and sweet towards everyone in the room.

Once I was finished helping everyone to the best of my abilities, I went back to the medical station and sat down on the stool to rest up a minute. I’ve never done that much healing in one sitting before; I was exhausted. I rested my head on the table and closed my eyes.

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