Chapter 18 - Request
Copyright © DenGlemtePrinsesse, 2020
"Dave, can I go to the bathroom first?" I whispered secretly, not wanting to face the Queen in this state again. Dave glanced down at me, a little surprised, either he'd forgotten I was with them or he'd forgotten how messy I actually look like, still he nodded, agreeing it's what should be done.
"Excuse me, Grand Duke. Before we meet the Queen, can we go to the bathroom first? Privs needs to get herself cleaned."
"The mortal need not stand before the Queen, my Lord. Its presence deemed unnecessary." The Grand Duke replied, I avoided his gaze.
"I'm afraid the castle's too big for her to roam alone. If the Queen is not in hurry—"
"Dave, it's okay. I can manage." I smiled, convincing him. The last thing I need is everyone blaming me for being the cause of delay. And besides after learning how unwelcome my kind is in this land I don't think roaming around will be a good idea, regardless of the scenery this land has to offer.
"I'll accompany her if you want. We'll follow after." Errol suggested.
"I'm afraid that would not be possible, my Lord. The Queen wishes for thy presence. Every single one of thou. Perhaps the servants could show it the way, yes?"
"Right away, Grand Duke." The girls looked at me, gesturing to follow them. I waved goodbye to my friends as the Grand Duke leads them to one of the archway on the other side of the dining. They seemed to be in a rush.
We walked towards the empty hallway outside. I thought we're going back to the empty foyer we'd first enter but we didn't head towards the glass-panelled hall that captured my attention earlier.
"Will you be coming back to Earth?" I jumped when one of the girls asked. Though both continued walking forward, I am positive the question was intended for me.
While the idea of Earth doesn't seem like a new thing here, I'm surprise how natural or normal she spoke about it. I caught them glancing at one another.
"Yes. Are you from Earth too?" That, I am positive. I walked in front of them, my lips, curling in the corners, knowing finally I have someone to talk to. I have so many questions.
Both girls held their heads up to face me, holding my hands.
"Can we come with you? Please? Will you ask the princes to grant us amnesty? Please." They asked, wringing their hands in front if me. My eyebrows furrowed at the answer I didn't see coming. More than all the questions I was planning to ask, there suddenly is a more vital one that's hanging on the tip of my tongue.
"Are you not allowed to leave this place?" Panic came rushing to my heart, sending all my blood to my chest as I waited for their response. When they shook their heads, I felt like someone had struck the back of my knees.
They are both human. If they're being locked in here, would that be the same faith that's waiting for me? My chest ached. I step back, disregarding my shaking knees. I suddenly felt the urge to be next to my friends. All the enchantment I felt the moment we landed here, and all the scenery this world still has to offer suddenly didn't matter. I want to go home.
I turned around, determined to go back to the dining room. The two girls running after me. My resolve is to find my friends and never go anywhere without them as long as I am here on their land. If that's what secures my trip back home, I will be much more than willing to do it.
I would start looking from the archway I believe they entered. But when I reached the dining room, the Moon Princess was on my way, and I'm not sure if I was allowed to just walk pass her. So I remained on my feet, bowing at her.
I heard the footsteps of the girls as they came rushing behind me, stopping abruptly as soon as they saw the Princess.
"Do tell, mortal. How is it that thou came to the possession of my princes?" Her soothing voice ringed in my ears and I am lost. There was something sad about her voice, but in a good way kind of sad. It's like watching that part of a tragic opera where the lead is sitting by the fountain, under the bright full moon, singing a tale about the love she had to lose and yet will be forever remembered. But even then she smiles, her irises conversing with the moon, as if a secret is being left untold. That's how the Princess' voice appealed to me.
I don't think I would ever be worthy to be directly address by the spell-bound voice, but I would be forever grateful for this moment. She is a princess, and on top of that, she is magical.
I am so captivated by her, I almost forgot to answer.
"Your Highness..." I started extremely awkward. The words were foreign to my tongue, it's very different that I'm actually using it to address someone compared to when I'm only reading a book. It didn't help that I was unsure of how I should be conversing with her, or if I should really be in the first place.
"... I think it is destiny that made me meet them. Eric belives I am to offer support to them... Your Highness." My breathing was loud, filling the silence of the room. I didn't dare to look directly in her eyes. My heart, ecstatic as I waited for her response. And it's taking a while now I'm no longer sure if she would ever respond, or if I offended her.
It was the sound of the footsteps and armours clanging in unison behind my back that made me ease up — a little.
"Your Highness, we'll be taking the mortal by the order of the Queen." I glanced up to the two soldiers in confusion, panic shooting through every fiber in my body. But if that would mean I will be meeting my friends sooner I will gladly comply.
We all bowed down to the Moon Princess before walking out of the dining once more. And for the first time I notice that the two girls were no longer in the room with me. I might've been too anxious earlier that I never realized when they walked away.
"The Queen wants thy presence at the banquet." One soldier announced as we walked and I wanted to cry at his words. I exhaled loudly, realizing how tense I was since the girls talked to me. Perhaps I wouldn't be prevented to go back home. Maybe, I wouldn't ended up living here the same way the girls did. The Queen invited me to grace the feast that was mentioned by the Grand Duke earlier. Maybe my kind isn't being hated that much by the people in here, perhaps it's just the Grand Duke. I found myself smiling. I will definitely ask Dave to take the girls with us when we return home.
When I focused on my surrounding again, I realize the narrow, elliptical hall we're walking through. It's made up of bricks and it's completely empty. The difference of this hallway is so obvious compared to where we came from. The next thing I knew, we're outside and the wind is blowing my hair away from my face. A small group of people and soldiers were waiting. The soldier gestured me to go to them.
"I'm sorry. I thought we're going to meet the Queen?" I asked, puzzled as I glanced at the men and women in front of me. It feels like I was taken back from the medieval era. Their gowns and tunic were beautiful and stylish in their own old way, the only thing that's keeping my panic at bay.
"The Queen request the mortal at the banquet." Oh. So apparently it will be held outside the palace. I nodded, walking to them. And we all started moving forward the moment I reached them.
We headed towards the same forest we went through earlier. And I was looking everywhere to have a glance of the sun again, but it's nowhere in sight. The sky is a bit dim above us, but when I made my first step on the edge of the forest, I litteraly jumped for it's night again. Like someone had switched the light off.
We're walking through a path of overgrown grass. Although it doesn't appear like a real pathway, it seems like a lot of people had passed through the same direction we're heading, for the grass in our way had been unnaturally tamed. For certain, this is not that part of the forest we'd walked earlier.
Our group was composed of twenty eight people, from different age. Everyone is escorted by a soldier. It must have been a quiet walk if it weren't for the armours of the soldiers and their heavy footsteps, plus the sound they produced when their axes hit the side grasses that's outgrown our suppose path.
"I'm sleepy." The little boy in front of me announced and I believe everyone turned to him and let a small chuckle. The soldier escorting him leaned down and carried the boy up to his side, and he looks like a small teddy bear given the size of the soldier. The little boy let out a long yawn before resting his head to the man's shoulder, his heavy eyes blinking at me. His cheeks are so red, even the dark skynight couldn't hide. His lashes were long complementing the crystal blue irises. He would fit for a milk tv commercial. I smiled when his eyes finally give in to sleep.
I wasn't sure how long we walked, but my feet were weary enough to tell it has been longer than I thought. My hands flew to my knees from time to time. But since no one bothered to pause for a while, I assumed it's just my endurance that is weak.
After a few more minutes — I assumed, we finally reached the end of the tall grasses. I yawned, but when I saw a circular coliseum in front of us, all the tiredness and hunger was replaced by excitement and joy. I was half running before I knew it.
The soldiers escorted us in. It's a labyrinth from the main entrance to the center of the building, for we'd turned several times it made my head spin. The coliseum is yet another exaggerated structure in size. The ceiling is way up high, the walls are made from huge, white bricks, and again the interior was left bare. No chairs, no tables, nor crowd. I wonder why is that.
The moonlight penetrating through the open window above is the only one that's actually shedding light to us. And by the interior of the place, I don't think a banquet will be held in here.
"Try to get a deep rest tonight. You will be needing that." Oh. Apparently, this isn't where the banquet will takes place. I sighed, imagining the distance we still have to cross tomorrow.
The soldiers bowed at us before heading to the door we came from. Their faces depicts exhaustions that none of their actions allowed us to see.
"Excuse me." I asked, walking after them. Some turned to face me but only one truly stop to listen.
"Will the princes be at the banquet tomorrow?" The soldier only nod and turned for the door.
"Are you not going to rest like us?" I couldn't help but to asked, weary was written all over his face.
"We are to set perimeters outside. We have to make sure the people will be safe. Try to sleep tonight. It will help." Then he turned away.
I turned back to the small gathering inside, thinking how could one sleep on the bare ground, but when I looked at them, everyone has already settled and claimed their own zones in the spacious room. Only three other guys, sitting next to each other are awake.
As I was walking back to the center, I notice the door in the other side of the room was still unoccupied. One that is so open, a direct passage out to the forest. I headed towards that door instead. I want to feel the night breeze brushing on my skin, and I was beaming as I get closer.
I lean my side by the wooden frame as I let my eyes feed on another unearthly scenery that was brought before me. The landscape of the forest outside is descending, apparently we are somewhere up a mountain. And although the thick, huge trees in front of me were nothing but empty trunks, the moonlight sparkling through the wide dark ocean behind it covered the gloomy front, the abandon woodland has to offer.
"Are you not going to sleep?" I turned around facing the two guys, smiling down at me.
"Can't blame her. I sure couldn't with that god-awful smell." Another one pulled his head back in an utter disgust sending my eyes, wide, to my body. Oh no.
I remember I wasn't able to clean myself earlier. I glanced outside, wondering if the ocean is far from here.
"I am Rade, this is Terra. And that guy over there is Cirga. We came from the Kingdom of Ojat'e." He smiled at me. Apparently they're clueless that the smell is coming from me.
"Hello, my name is Priavara and I came from..." Should I say Earth? Or what was the name of that kingdom again.
"Helmithio. I know, we waited for you remember?" I cringed. As much as I wanted to thank them for I didn't have to lie about the kingdom, I feel so embarrassed. I never wanted to be the cause of delay.
"I'm sorry for making you wait."
"Don't be. It's an honor to be accompanied by the Helmithio Princess." My eyes widened at that.
"Your presence alone gives comfort to us all. I initially thought they're dismissing our plea." Terra added.
"I am not a princess." And this time, their eyes widen and it feels like a straight slap to my face. Did they only talk to me because they thought I am someone important?
"I beg your pardon?"
"I'm sorry, Terra but I'm not a princess. I don't know what makes you think I'm one. I'm sorry to disappoint you." Both guys glanced back to their friend Cirga who's quick to crossed the distance between us.
"Let us leave." Cirga whispered, standing next to us. His tone, his face, his gestures were all covered with rage and disappointment. I turned away from them, looking back towards the forest. I'm starting to think that it's not only the Grand Duke that hate humans. It hurts experiencing racism firsthand.
I saw men moving outside, between the dried tree trunks. The soldiers must have finished setting perimeter.
"On thy feet! Quickly!" My eyes snapped to them as soon as I heard the tension in Cirga's words. And I watched them shot one last glance outside before walking backwards in absolute disbelief.
I immediately glanced back outside, eager to find what he has found. But I don't think there's something alarming about the soldiers, walking fast... approaching fast to us... faster than I would've thought possible.
Instinctively my feet were moving, stumbling backwards. My knees were shaking and so was my whole body. My mind couldn't process what I am actually seeing, but the danger I am feeling in every part of me was enough to compel me to comply with that sudden urge of self preservation I know nothing about.
The speed. The huge pair of bright pointed eyes. They were no soldiers. My mind was clueless but my instinct is so aware of the threat from which I need to get away.
I looked around the room, searching for something I could hide myself but found nothing, it's just an empty space. Then I saw the other door, the one where we came from, the only thing I could use from this one empty circular spacious room.
I started running towards the other side of the room. I don't care about the labyrinth I have to go through, I would deal with it once I get there, once I had hidden myself. But on my way I saw the people, laying peacefully on the ground, oblivious of the danger that is coming. My feet slowed, hestitating to continue walking and save myself or detour and wake the people. I'm shaking, knowing very well that the longer I hestitate, the lesser the chance I'm giving to both of my choices. Dave.
My feet was moving before I could even decide. Right. At least, there would be enough of us to fight whatever is coming.
I ran back diagonally but was snatched from my suppose path. My mouth, covered by a strong hand and so is my body. I tried to take it off but the arms were so firm of its resolve to not let me go. My body was being towed towards the entrance—my original plan. I felt like an absolute ragdoll being tossed backwards.
I watched the small crowd as distance continue to grow between us, then someone moved from them. It stood up, and I immediately know who it was. It's the little boy. I tried to remove the hand off my mouth, my fingers pointing to the kid, but the hand only tightened on my mouth it actually hurts. I started to feel the tingling sensation with the harsh response. I stop fighting, feeling he could break my neck with another struggle from me. But I continue tapping his arms and poiting to the kid that stood in the middle, still adjusting to the darkness surrounding him. Both arms stiffened around me, my veins I could feel them bulging in my arms, and my front teeth were being forcefully pushed back. My heart is erratic, it really hurts.
And then they arrived.