The Blood King

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Chapter 9

I’m at a complete loss for words as I stare at the man in front of me. He’s beautiful. I hear Caius come towards us.

“I’m so sorry sir-” But the man holds up his hand, cutting him off. He smiles, revealing abnormally sharp canines. His face is like an angel. His nose is straight, and his jaw is sharp. His hair is a bright blonde, but his eyes. They are dark. The area that should be white is completely black, and his eyes are light gray with blood red around the iris.

“That’s quite alright. It’s not every day that you bump into an ikniri.” He says. I’m still at a loss for words. He notices immediately and chuckles softly.

“I was just heading to the study, would you like to join me?” He asks. Caius pipes up behind me.

“She was just heading back to her room, Xavien.” I see Xavien’s smile drop and he looks at Caius.

“I didn’t ask you that, did I.” He snaps. Caius is quiet and bows his head.

“No.” I look between them in confusion. Caius is being so obedient. As if he doesn’t care. Xavien smiles again, turning away from Caius and placing his hand along the small of my back.

“Come...” He trails off waiting for me to fill in his loss for words.

“Neytiri.” I say. He smiles again. It’s so contagious, and I cant help but want to follow him. Just to be near him.

“Neytiri. I would love to know how you managed to make it this far into the west kingdom without my knowledge.” He says.

We head through the winding hallways of the castle, and I stay silent the whole time, wondering if I’ve made a mistake in following this stranger. He leads me through two large double doors and into what looks like a massive room filled with books.

I look behind me at the door as it slowly closes behind us and try not to panic.

“If you’re uncomfortable, you’re more than welcome to leave. I would hate for you to feel anything but welcome in my presence.” He calls over his shoulder. I turn to the sound of his voice and see that he’s taking a seat behind a large wooden table with books, scrolls, and other things stacked on top of it.

“Please. Have a seat.” He smiles softly at me before putting his head down and beginning to write. I slowly walk to the seat in front of him and sit down, continuing to look around.

“Do you like it? I only just acquired this land, but soon enough I will be able to have what was once mine.” He says. I look at him in confusion.

“Acquired?” I ask. He nods, pulling a scroll from its resting place revealing a map. He points to the now green section of the map.

“Rykun is just a figurehead, so as not to scare the people into rebellion. It’s not time for them to be aware that their king has fallen.” He says simply. I take note that he is watching me very closely as he gives me this information.

“Rykun isn’t the king?” I ask. Xavien laughs above me. It’s loud and delightful.

“Of course not. He is only good for stirring the pot from time to time. But a king? No.” He says. I look at my hands.

“Then... why did Cassian want his support?” I ask. Xavien raises a brow at me.

“Like I said, Rykun is a figurehead. Everyone on the outside sees Cassian speaking to Rykun, but Rykun reports back to me.” He looks at the ceiling as if in thought.

“So, I guess you would say Cassian needs my support.” He smiles.

“Support in what?” I ask. He places his finger under his chin as if in thought.

“How did you come into Cassian’s possession?” He asks changing the subject. I narrow my gaze at him but decide to answer. Something about his gaze is causing my insdies to coil. He makes me very nervous.

“My adoptive village betrayed me. And turned me in to him.” I say. He leans back in his chair, placing his hands over his mouth.

“Oh?” He then leans forward. “And you just let Cassian mark you?” He asks. I know automatically he is talking about the marking on my face. I shake my head.

“No. I’ve had this for as long as I remember, but I don’t remember how I got it.” I say. He smiles.

“Oh, that cunning man.” He says more to himself than anyone else.

“I’m assuming Cassian doesn’t tell you much does he, innocent little Neytiri?” He says. I shake my head, completely aware of the sudden change in his tone. His gray gaze focuses on me for an abnormal amount of time. He then leans back in his chair, and lifts his chin towards the ceiling, taking in a deep breath and I jump in shock when I see gray smoke blow from his mouth, filling the air above him.



He says simply. He watches me close. Very close. Gauging my reaction. But I have nothing for him. He then smiles, leaning back in his seat, and crossing his hands over his chest.

“Wow. I always admired Cassian, but now I respect him even further.” He says simply. I narrow my gaze.

“I’m tired of all you people talking in riddles to me.” I snap. I lean forward in my chair.

“What is it that you know about me that has you so smug.” I say. His smile seems to widen, but he shrugs.

“Your people, were a race of fierce warriors. Born and bred for one purpose. Yet here you are. The last of your people, completely in the dark about your past, or even your purpose. And that, my sweet little naive ikniri, is what has me so smug.” He says. He sits back in his seat, and his eyes travel over my head to the door.

“It seems your beloved has noticed your disappearance.” He smiles. No sooner does he utter the words do the doors burst open. Xavien keeps his gaze locked to mine.

“Cassian. I was just getting to know your sweet little ikniri. You are a brave bastard I’ll give you that.” He laughs. My eyes widen, and I don’t think about the consequences. I turn around in my chair and look towards the door, but instead of seeing Cassian like I expected, I’m met with pitch black.

I let out a gasp of shock, reaching out my hands.

“Don’t bother.” I hear Cassian’s voice followed by his hands around my arms yanking me up from my seat. He’s pulling me along, but I have no idea where I’m going.

“It was a pleasure, Neytiri.” I hear Xaviens voice follow me out of the room, but my world is still encased in darkness. My heart rate is rising and my nerves are frying from the fear that I am feeling. I can’t see anything, nor do I know where I am going.

“Cassian, wait.” I call out in the darkness. I let out another cry as I stumble over my own feet.

“Cassian!” I say a little louder. He whips me around, and my back collides with the wall. I cry out from shock of the impact. I can feel his heat close to me, but my world is still dark.

“What did he say to you. Why would you go with him!” He hisses at me. I feel a cool breeze on my cheeks as the trail from my tears soaks my skin. I’m scared.

“What did you do!” He hisses. His grip on my arm is tight. Too tight. It hurts. I feel heat rushing through my body, and I open my mouth.

“Let go!” I shout in a panic. In the same moment, I feel the heat leave my body and Cassian immediately let’s go of me, hissing in pain. I place my hands in my hair, and my body slides slowly down the wall.

“I can’t see..” I whisper. I’m shaking. In fear. There’s silence.

“I... didn’t do anything... He just asked me questions...” I say. Silence. Then I hear the rustle of fabric and feel Cassian’s hand over my arm. He pulls my body into his.

“I’m sorry. I overreacted. Nothing has happened to your vision. I temporarily blinded you.” He says. He runs his fingers through my hair, trying to soothe me.

“I was careless. I shouldn’t have put you in such a terrifying position Neytiri.” He places a soft kiss on top of my head.

“I would never hurt you.” He says. As he says it, the world becomes lighter, until I can make out objects in front of me. We’re in a room. Not my room. My gaze travels down, and I can see the fabric surrounding me. It’s dark, blood red. Cassian’s robes.

I keep my gaze trained forward, but then I feel his hand under my chin, as he pulls my gaze up to meet his.

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