Chapter 30 - Insight
Copyright © DenGlemtePrinsesse, 2020
Destruction? Of what? Of Earth? Is it really?
How am I suppose to not worry when he said the word destruction in a manner like he's so sure about it.
So is that it? What I saw is a mere vision of my planet and nothing that will haunt me while I'm sleeping? It's just a vision, but my knees continue to tremble because it felt real to me. All of it.
I turned around to glanced directly to the three people. I had to look at them directly, for I'm not sure if they're still part of the illusion that the mirror showed me. But everyone in the room stood up in anticipation of them. Dave and I included.
The guy in the middle of a lady and a wise looking man was probably the one who spoke for he's staring at me as they walk.
"My Lord thou shall scare not thy guests." The lady in the white silk veil said, smiling at us as they crossed the remaining distance.
Was he joking then? Does that mean that the vision isn't really about the destruction of Earth?
"Our Aluthio is yet to perfect the art of interpretation." The other man added, bowing to my friends.
"My apologies." The guy in the middle spoke again, nodding to my friends.
His voice is deep and his words are very clear, something that sounded so comforting to my ears.
The soldiers in the room showed respect to him, but Eric snorted.
"Prince Gamette." Dave greeted.
Oh I see.
This is the prince they'd been talking about. I know now why I can see the same distaste on Macforth and Jermond's face as he walks towards the Moon Princess and kissed the back of her hands.
"The four princes and the lucky one." The lucky one?
I glanced at Errol and saw his jaw tightened as Prince Gamette addressed them.
"My Eiluthea, how come you cease to visit me." He speaks comfortably like my friends, not bounded by the ancient words that time had taken away from the human tongue.
"Myself asks thee the same, Aluthio Gamette." The princess smiled at him, blushing.
"Your humble servant offers his sincerest apologies, I'd been preoccupied lately. But we're here now, let's make that count." He kissed her hand again. The prince turned around and stared at me.
"And the infamous mortal." His golden irises are impossibly friendly and inviting. He stares at me with so much enthusiam.
Prince Gamette has the most immaculate face I'd ever seen. His irises are ocean. His nose is on point. His lips, a perfect pout. He has pointy ears. A thin silver twig on his forehead. His white, silky, straight hair falls down to his waist. He's wearing a white flowy gown, enchanted as he is.
The prince is basically glowing before my eyes. I'd never seen a man that could compete with the beauty of a woman, until Prince Gamette happened.
"Will you stop doing that." Eric complained, tugging me back to them. He's glaring at the prince.
I glanced around me to know why he's being grumpy all of a sudden, but when I turned around, I notice that I'd taken steps towards Prince Gamette when I couldn't even remember moving my feet.
"Apologies. Force of habit. Mortals are so easy to enticed." He enticed me?
"So what's with her vision?" Eric asked.
"The Tuar might only showed the mortal what it feared most, Aluthio Kira. The destruction of a whole land is a great deal to be shown to a single inhabitant." The lady said.
That's good news then. Earth is not ready for this battle where magic and dangerous creatures are involve.
"What exactly did you see?" Eric asked.
"I saw a white lady. She's trying to get out of the mirror, that she eventually broke it."
"Jesus. Stop watching horror then." He chided, shaking his head in disappointment.
As much as I wanted to help, I'm glad that the mirror didn't show me anything about Earth. I don't know what I'll do if I saw its future in chaos. Who should I talk to about that, the government? Will they listen to me? They'll probably think I'm a crazy person because my story will involve things that can only been seen in ones imagination.
If the mirror indeed showed me my fear, then it must really know me better than I know myself. I did feel fear earlier. Actually I'm still frightened even though I don't understand the message. The vision it showed me is ambiguous. I haven't decipher it yet but it manage to shook me through my very core.
"Your mortal is still bothered. It must have seen truly frightening then."
I can't help but shook my head as I stare at his beaming face. Despite his kind expression, Prince Gamette is yet another celestial being that look down on my race. Worse, that's not even the case. He refers to me like I'm a non living thing, the same way the Grand Duke refers to me.
Now that I'm thinking about the duke, I'm grateful that I didn't see him before we left their palace. I remember my first night in this land, I haven't done anything wrong then, but he'd already been vocal about his thoughts on me — in behalf of my forefathers. So I can already imagine the critical words he'd prepared for me after the Moon Princess and the Queen incident happened.
"Everything in your lunatic palace is frightening." I saw my other friends smirked at that. Macforth and Jermond especially, but Prince Gamette's grin only went wider.
"Are you scared then, Prince Kira?"
"Oh yeah? Let's go outside, you and me, let's see who scares whom." I gripped Eric's arm for he had already taken step towards the prince. I took the initiative to stop Eric because I'm the closest to him and because my other friends don't seem bothered.
I'm not sure if I'm overreacting or my friends just didn't care whether someone hurts someone at this very moment. I pulled Eric's arm but instead of stopping him, I was dragged along. Like a leaf sticked to one's hair in an autumn afternoon.
"Eric." Dave rebuked, making him stop. Dave has used that transitioning to angry tone again. That really scares me, though he'd never used that to me before, but I witnessed him used that to Macforth. Since then I'm sure I would never want Dave to address me with that tone.
I took it as a cue to pulled Eric back to my friends. While Eric gets easily distracted, he's never a short tempered. Prince Gamette knows how to get under his skin then.
It was a relief that Eric cooperated and allowed me to pull him back. I wasn't ready yet to see two enchanted beings fighting each other. With their strength and supernatural powers, this nature room will be brought down effortlessly.
"I'm afraid Prince Kira forgot the last time we had a duel." The prince chuckled, the muscles on Eric's arm tightened.
I understand now why Eric seemed ill-tempered towards him. I don't have to know what duel he's referring to, but just by witnessing the way he's treating my friends for the last five minutes, says it all.
"Do you want to try again?" The prince asked.
"That won't be necessary, Prince Gamette. I believe my men had already inform you of the aid we ask from your end." Dave asked politely, reminding everyone why we're here in the first place.
"Of course, Prince Heldreth. Let my maiden escort you to your chambers."
"Whenever you're ready, Your Highnesses." The maiden said, gesturing towards the door.
Dave nodded to me.
I glanced back at Eric because he didn't move when I pulled him with me. And he looks like he doesn't plan on moving at all. He's staring at Prince Gamette who's sitting comfortably with the Moon Princess. It looks like he'd invited her to eat with him at the long table. And while Macforth seems to disapprove the idea, I believe the princess is too polite to refuse the offer of our host. And just by looking at them I know they're really good friends. After all, it's the Moon Princess, everyone wants to be her friend.
"Eric, let's go." I whispered, scared that if we let him stay here, there'll be trouble.
"Your mortal seems to be loyal." Prince Gamette said. His smile is friendly, his words are friendly but somehow, he managed to say it a way that people can find it offensive.
"I'd never had a mortal servant before. I wonder how's that be like."
"Yeah? How about a father that actually cared for you? Ever wonder how that's be like?" I gasped at Eric's retort. I literally saw the glow in Prince Gamette disappeared instantly. The aura around him darkened, his smirk vanished with it.
I heard my friends chuckled before they vanished through the door. They didn't even tried to supressed it. Dave on the otherhand shook his head and left the room.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Did I hit a nerve or something?" Eric smirked, tugging me out of the room by my shoulders.
I don't know Prince Gamette's family background but if it's true that his father doesn't care for him, I'm afraid Eric had crossed the line. That is not a laughable subject, regardless if the prince is not friendly at all.
"You shouldn't have said that." I told him the moment we stepped out of that room.
"He started it." He answered, and walked faster than everyone, clearly not wanting to hear my response. Eric can be stubborn sometimes.
We continued heading down the hallway.
"Lose the grin, Eric." Dave scolded as we stop in front of a gigantic wooden door.
I can only seconded Dave through nodding, since Eric won't listen to me.
"You'll stay here." He told me. It's the first door in the infinite hallway.
"Take a nap. I'll call you when everything's ready. Errol's room is next door if you need anything. The rest of us are in the next hallway." I nodded. I could really use a little time to relax my eyes.
My backpack is already in the spacious room. The room is thrice bigger than any of the hotels I'd been. Huge transparent windows on the wall with massive curtains, so light and so open.
And just before I can close the door Eric walked in.
"What's wrong?" I followed him, leaving my door open. I don't want to close it with him inside.
"Nothing. I told you I'm keeping my eyes on you." He jumped on the bed, without taking his shoes off. I wanted to ask him if he could leave so I could get even a short nap but then I remember his healing ability.
"Can you heal a wound on my back?" And now that I'm thinking about it, I can feel the pain again. It's swollen, heavy and a little itchy due to the gauze. Like I'm carrying heavy stuff on one shoulder.
"Sure. Take off your clothes." My eyes widen.
Eric sat properly on the bed and glance up at me, waiting. Like he's not joking at all and that I really need to take my clothes off.
"Don't worry. You're not my type. Come on." Eric has pulled me to the edge of the bed, positioning my back in front of him. I'm suddenly having second thoughts about it. My wound is already stiched to begin with, maybe I should just wait for it to heal on its own.
"Shut it." He gathered my hair to one side. I flinched at the contact of his hand to the neap of my neck.
Eric peaked through my dress nonchalantly, searching for the wound. He didn't speak again but he pulled my thick clothes towards my wounded shoulder to give room for my arm to slip out of the sleeve.
My heart beats fast, like I'm committing a sin. I trust Eric, but this really feels wrong.
"Quiet." He literally slipped my arm out of the sleeves, gentle enough that surprise me. He remained quiet behind me and kept his distance, probably sensing my uneasiness.
It's already uncomfortable to have a guy inside my assigned room, but it's more uncomfortable to let my dress down while there's a guy behind me, staring at my back. But Eric seems to be taking this very seriously, and surprisngly being gentle that my doubts started fading.
I couldn't be thankful enough for that.
"How the hell did you get this?" He blurted the moment he saw my exposed wound. Eric is unbelievably careful while removing the gauze. I'd imagine him to be the type that would strip something off instantly for fun, even in situations like this, but he didn't.
"I landed on one of the mirrors back in the other castle." I don't know if Eric put a cold ointment on my skin or he already started healing my wound, because suddenly my back is cold, really cold. Like an airconditioner is placed directly to my wound.
It's soothing. The cold sensation instantly sent relief on my back. All the itch and the heavy feeling are fading. I can also see blue light in my peripheral vision, like his palm is emitting it.
"When was that?"
"The night when I went home. When I accidentally hurt the Moon Princess. Macforth kind of forgotten his strength—" Like what happened to you on the highway.
I'm thankful I was quick to stop myself from saying that. Eric has already so much stuff going on in his plate, he doesn't need more.
"Forth did this?"
"No, it's not like that. He's just guarding the princess and the queen back then. I kept coming and I'd been persistent with my apologies. That probably made him lose his cool. He didn't mean to hurt me." I'm sure of that. Macforth is never a violent person. While he might be grumpy at times, I'm sure he doesn't like hurting other people.
"Does Forth know about this?"
"No. He shouldn't. It isn't like he hurt me on purpose." This would only hunt his conscience.
The room fell silent after I said that. Eric must've realize I have a point. Of all my magical friends, he should be the first one to understand how it will affect Macforth.
"Eric, why is your power healing and not something like fire and water like the rest?" I quickly asked, ending the dead air.
"You're wrong, mortal. Mine is like theirs. This healing ability is just a bonus that comes from my element. I control the Earth. Well, not now at least, but eventually once I mastered harnessing all these enegy. It's a great deal of powers they'd given me, just so you know."
"Are you going to control the Earth?" Because technically, that sounded like he could rule my race one day. That's such an enormous responsibility. I'm just glad that Eric is on the good side. And I'm hoping he won't colonize human civilization in the future, when he got bored.
"Oh c'mon. I'm talking about the earth, earth. The nature, the forest, the real giver of life, and not your dull mortal plane. Just so you know, earth isn't even the real name of your land. Your ancestors just had the audacity to sully the name of my element."
"Really? What was Earth's name then?"
"The Gods named it Sarkin. It means freedom. Freedom from the direct influence of your creators. Freedom of choice, of will, and of your own way of living. But of course, humanity still wanted more— How did you get these bruises?" Bruises?
My head snapped to check my arm.
I thought it's already healed because I don't feel pain anymore. But when I look at it, there are still remaining purple spots. I poked it, and there's really no pain left.
"It's okay. They don't hurt anymore." I answered, focusing on the cold sensation on my back again.
Eric said that using his healing abilities weakens him, so we should only focus on the wound that needs mending. I don't want to take advantage of his generousity and push him to his limits.
"Ouch." Eric has poked my covered arm, when he doesn't even know what lies there. It turns out, my other arm hasn't healed yet. I pulled it in front of me so he wouldn't have the chance to poke it again.
"How did you get them?" That serious tone again. I don't like it when Eric sounded like this. It's like he has two personalities and this serious side of him is not my favorite one.
"I don't want to lie." But I don't want to tell the truth either. It might change the way he looks at me. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that. I just found a friend in Eric, I don't want that to change.
"Then don't. Tell me the truth. Who did this?" I can't. I'm scared.
What should I tell him? He might not understand. If I tell Eric, he will ask why, and I would've to answer. Mom said people will never understand.
"Pria." But Eric is my friend. He trusts me even when he's brother decided the otherwise. It would be unfair if I couldn't return the trust that he'd willingly given me. Friendship requires trust from both sides.
"It's really my fault. I tried to disobey Fathe—"
"Your father did this?!" I flinched. My heart races at the solidity of his words.
"Hey, I'm sorry. I'm not going to hurt you." Of course you won't.
I know he would never hurt me. I never questioned his intentions before. So why would Eric suddenly say that?
I opened my eyes, when I don't even remember closing them. Then I understood what probably prompted his assurance.
I'd bent over. I'd flinched away from him. I found my hands, covering my head. My body had instinctively cowered in fear just by the raise on his volume. I'm so lame. Or maybe not. Eric happened to be too close to me that my body reacted. If I was standing in the other side of the room I might not have found myself shrinking from the pain that wasn't coming.
"Is my back okay now?" I sat properly, composing myself. Like nothing happened.
"Yes." Eric's volume is lower now. I immediately, slip my arm back to the sleeve and turned around to smiled at him.
"Thank you." It didn't take me another second to glance away from his eyes for they stared through me. One solid second is enough to see the pity, sympathy, judgment and disapproval in his irises.
Eric disagrees with me, I saw it in the way he gazed at me. He might be thinking now that my father is the bad guy here, but no, he never was. It was just his way of discipline. And he would've never need to if I weren't disobedient in the first place.
Mom is right, people will never understand. I confirmed that now. I should've listened. I should've stayed silent.
While I might be lucky that Eric is kind enough not to state the obvious, that I overshared my burden to him, he's now probably thinking I'm paranoid and damage.
This is what I fear.
"Aluthio Kira, the mortal is being summoned." A maiden popped up in the open door. Eric's gaze and mine met, and we nodded to each other knowingly.
The maiden escorted us down the mountain through a spiral rocky staircase. It was polished and has handles, offering a smooth descend to its visitors. We entered a cave, but like everything else in this palace, it was furbished elegantly into a long hallway with high ceiling. And they magically managed to let the sunrays inside.
Eric is unbelievably quiet. I'd like to think that he's just tired becaused he used his healing ability, but I can sense a tension between us. It's like we'd just had an argument and none of us wanted to admit our mistakes and apologize.
"Am I allowed to see my memories too?" I glanced up at him, breaking the ice.
Eric was caught off guard. Like he's been digging deep through his inner thoughts and I suddenly disrupted that.
"Of course." Eric's tone is friendly, but it wasn't the cheerful one that I'd grown accustomed with. It bothers me that I'm the one responsible for that.
He opened the door in front of us, and we walked in quietly.
We entered a smokey white room, but there's a waterfall in the corner of it. Somehow the high ceiling had managed to make a room for an equally tall rock from which the water is coming. The room is bright. The walls are circular and white. It's like we're in a huge bathroom with white marbled floor and the foggy pond serves as one massive ground bathtub that covers almost the entire room.
"Take the dress off." My head snapped to Prince Gamette. My heart, racing. It's already hard pulling my dress down with Eric around. That's already out of the things I consider moral and I already felt like a sinner even if our intention was clean. Still, it's inappropriate. But now that the prince wants me to undress in front of all my friends, I feel like my soul will instantly be sold if I complied to that.
"Oh come on." Eric snorted, but thankfully it wasn't because of my hesitation. He'd rolled his eyes at Prince Gamette.
"Does that mean I really don't have to?" I asked, optimistic. I tried to brush off the thought that Eric once told me about this foggy room and he used the term 'skinny dip' while telling the story.
My hope instantly faded when Dave frown.
"You have to. That water is sacred. But don't worry, everyone will be out. Lady Isha will assist you." Dave smiled, symphatizing with me. He must've seen the hesitation on my face, there's no way I could hide it. But it's a relief that a woman was chosen to stay with me.
I nodded, then everyone left, just as Dave promised.
I counted for a few seconds, staring at the door before finally taking off the heavy fabrics from me.
Lady Isha gestured me to step into the waters and I did. I couldn't even see my own feet with all the fog going on but I could feel the smooth stairs going down deeper into the fog.
Surprisingly, I can still move freely with no constrain from the water molecules at all.
I went deeper.
"I'm sorry, Lady Isha but how deep should I go?" I asked, because the water is already on my chin level but nothing in my surrounding has changed yet — if there really is one that's going to.
This place seems to have insights of everyone better than we understand ourselves. It scares me but at the same time, I want to witness its magic.
"Thou will know." Oh. Okay.
I'm starting to panic. It's zero visibility down here. I feared that something will eventually going to drag me deeper into the invisible water. I can't swim. But I brushed all the negativity off. My friends wouldn't let me be in here if something will going to drown me. So I took the next step, the water rose above my head. But to my utter surprised, I'm still breathing!
I'm still breathing!
The water is clear below the surface. It's like they had flourescents down here. I can now see my skin and the bubbles from were the waterfall and the pond met. That's when I saw my stop.
They should've told me about this earlier, I could've saved a lot of time from worrying. It doesn't even feel like I'm underwaters at all.
My eyes are wide open, staring at the clear water around me. The clearest water I'd ever seen.
"Mortal." Lady Isha called. I turned around only to find that the waters had literally parted in two, towering me. Even the fog has cleared, showing me the staircase that I'd taken, exposing my nakedness at the same time.
Lady Isha stood by the edge of the pond-tub, holding my clothes for me. I blushed and covered myself, rushing up to get to her.
So, that's it? Have they gathered all my memories? That's a very quick process. But I was quicker to dress myself, afraid that my friends will walk in unannounced.
I glanced around, searching for my memories. Eric said that it will be shown like a slideshow. Where are they now? I want to see my memories too.
A maiden suddenly entered the room. Luckily for me, I'm half way dressed.
"Lunea Eiluthea requested an audience with the mortal."