Trust Thy Heart

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Chapter 17

I landed on a patch of land that seemed abandoned and made my way to the palace of BloomsRidge quickly. I know exactly where I am going, and what I am going to do and say when I get there. I am silent as I walk through the kingdom of Bloomsridge, some commoners stopping to stare at me as I walk confidentally through the center of the town that is closest to the palace.

Some of them whisper, and I can already tell what they are saying. They know where I am headed, and they are speculating on who I could be, and my importance within the Royal families. One little boy plays with a wooden plane, and accidentally runs into me. His mother gasps and marches him away from me holding him by the hair, even when I tell her it is ok.

As I approach the palace, I note the ring still on my finger. The one I’d been given by Brenton as a symbol of our engagement. I hadn’t even noticed it, and I scold myself for forgetting about it so easily. But this would come in handy in any way. It would show that I really am who I claim to be. Just in case they don’t believe me. In the back of my mind, I wonder if anyone noticed the ring back at the association.

Or if Como did. The realization makes me blush as I walk up to the gates of the palace. Guards stand on either side of it, brandishing long rifles. I stare straight up at them, and lift my hand in the air. My ring sparkles in the light, and the guards stare down at it in disbelief.

"It can't be." One guard says, squinting at my accessory to make sure it's real.

"She's supposed to be dead." The other's chime in, agreeing with each other.

"I do not know what you have been told. But I am Princess Anahita Aqua Cascade of the Kingdom of StormsEye, and I demand you to open the gates." I state confidentally, pronouncing each word with an elegance only a Royal can manage.

"If she really is who she says she is, they'll want to see her." Another guard suggests, and with that, the gates open for me. I bow my head to the guards in thanks, and hurry inside before they can even begin to change their minds.

I walk through the palace quickly, not caring about any priceless items around me. I am Royalty after all, I have seen it all. And I stop outside the door I know they will be in, taking a deep breath before managing to calm myself, and pushing open the doors to the dining hall.

My mother and father sit at one end of the table, while the King and Queen of Airdale sit at the other, and at the middle of the table is Queen Pele and King Mishan. The Royals of BloomsRidge sit next to the FoxFire Royals, in the center of the table as well. Everyone looks up as I walk inside, and my mother grips my fathers arm as she recognizes me first.

Again, Brenton is no where to be seen. But I don't focus on the singal thought, instead striding to the center of the room to face my family.

"Anahita." King Mishan nods his head to me in acknowledgement, while I stare blankly at each Royal in their extravagant dress uniforms and gowns. They all knew I wasn't dead, they had witnessed my fleeing from the palace with their own eyes. And yet, they told every guard, every maid, everyone in the palace that I was dead for their convenience, while broadcasting my disappearance to the nation.

"Hello mother, father." I turn my attention to my parents, satisfied as they look away under my intense stare.

"We are so glad that you chose to return to your rightful place here in the palace." My mother says, breaking the silence between us after a moment.

"Oh, no mother. I am just here to tell you that you are making a huge mistake." I respond, glaring at her darkely. "You are sending the wrong message to the commoners."

"No, we are not. The commoners need to know that we are still in power, and that we are their superior. And to make them fear us, is the best way to control them." The King of BloomsRidge speaks, his voice echoing across the huge room.

"Take down the restrictions." I command the King, but he just laughs at my attempt at over powering him.

"I don't think we will." He answers, smirking as my anger rises even more within me.

"You don't understand. The people hate you for this, they..." The King silences me with a wave of his hand.

"That is enough from you." He glares. "Guards!" The guards outside the dining hall come rushing in, and surround me immediately. I do not struggle, I know I am not strong enough to escape this time.

"If you ever try to escape, we will do things to your precious commoners." The King tells me, as the guards drag me out of the room. The message is clear, if I ever try to escape again, the Royals will round up innocent commoners and kill them. And that is what I get for returning to my past life. Wherever I go, it seems that I make everything so much worse than it was before.

***

I am given a room, and left to myself. They know I will not try to escape. Not with their threats of killing innocent people hanging over my head. I walk slowly to my shower encrusted with gold and white marble. It probably costs a fortune, and could most likely feed a family of five for at least three years.

I turn the water on, and strip out of my clothes. Looking in the mirror, I can see how scary I look. My eyes are tired and sunken in, and my cheekbones are clear across my face. I am boney and dirty from head to toe, and I remind myself of a skeleton.

Quickly, I step inside the shower and let the warm water run down my body. Dirt turns the clear streaks into brown, and I scrub myself free of all the sweat and dried blood that coats my body in an undesirable shell. I don't waste much time in the shower, and dry myself off quickly. A dress hangs from the door handle, and I slip it on, letting the smooth fabric fall all around me.

It's too easy to forget about the world outside, when you already feel a thousand miles away, I think to myself as I brush my hair back into a long braid. The Royals probably explained to the palace workers some lame excuse for my sudden appearance, as I rise back up from the dead.

I do not bother to put any make up on, deciding to show off my scars, and I head back into my room. Everything is delicate and in meticulous order, and I fight the urge to throw something. The maids would have to clean that up, and I don't want to cause any more damage or work to the palace staff.

I wander over to my large balcony overlooking a long lake. Like the one I saw from my last room in this palace. It bends and curves around tree's, and I lose sight of it as it dissapears behind the tall trees of the forest.

I gasp in as much air as I can manage, and turn back into my room with a sigh. My life is going to be a mess now. But I can't do anything to escape it without harming an innocent being. I just need to find a way to fix everything and keep the commoners safe at the same time. But from my perspective, there is no possible way to gain that incredible outcome.

I move out from my room, and glide out into the long hallway. It would seem beautiful to most people, but to me it reminds me of Brenton and...wait? Where is Brenton? Shouldn't he be here? My mind searches for answers, but the only thing I can manage is the inexplicable prediction that maybe, Brenton tried to act out against the evil ways of the Royals.

Maybe he had tried to make a difference, or had tried to leave the palace so he could try and search for me. And maybe something had happened to him. He could have been executed, hurt, tortured, he could be in a ditch somewhere because of me. But one thing's almost clear. Brenton is most likely not alive. Right? Because if he were, he would be right next to me, holding my hand gently in his. But he isn't here.

So what does that mean?

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