Crucible Vows

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Chapter 32

It took a lot of strength, but I eventually was able to pull the dagger out of the ground by moving it slowly upward and back and forth until it was loose. I ran to the door and pulled, but the lock remained strong. I was still trapped. I needed to find another way out. There were no other exits in the room other than the balcony. I ran to it and looked around to try to find some way for me to escape. As I searched, I glanced down and saw that Arlen had made it to Luna and was speaking to him. I couldn’t see much in terms of details, but I did easily see the shine of a sword. I was running out of time.

I kept looking and saw an open window not too far away. The only thing was that I had to climb over the balcony railing and carefully use the ledge to cross to the window, without losing balance and falling to the ground a good distance below. If I fell, I didn’t think I could survive. I glanced down at my dress. The weight wouldn’t help me as well. I had to lighten it. Taking the dagger, I sliced through the fabric and made the skirt shorter in length and removing much of the weight it made. I quickly thought that I may need the dagger for later and placed it in between the small of my back and the tie of the sash.

I carefully got myself to the ledge and grabbed onto the stone as best I could. Slowly, I made my way across the carved wall of stone to the window. My heart was beating hard and fast with every step that I made sure to not put all my weight on a new spot until I knew I was not going to slip. It felt like an eternity, but I finally made it to the window and pulled myself through. Only a few moments were allowed for me to catch my breath before I took off running to the entrance of the Palace. I prayed that I would make it in time to keep Luna alive.

My heart was in a constant state of beating out of my chest. My fear was magnified over the thoughts of Luna dying by the hands of a tyrant to be. I knew now more than ever that I loved Luna with all my being and couldn’t see myself in a world without him. I wanted him to stay with me. And just seeing that he had followed me back to my own kingdom gave me a feeling of love that was stronger than any other I had experienced. Luna was the man I wanted to be with. I didn’t care that he was a former Knight of Obrenor. He was Luna, and that’s what was important to me.

Seeing that he willingly followed me to Nythstaesi told me that his love was just as strong as mine for him. I didn’t stop for a moment. I kept running, pulling up my skirts with my hands though I didn’t need to. I almost fell a few times, including once down the stairs, but I kept going. I needed to make it in time to keep Luna alive. Finally, I reached the entrance of the palace and began to run across the walkway to the gates. As I got closer, I saw only Arlen fighting Luna. That gave me some hope.

Reaching back, I grabbed the dagger and readied to use the skills Luna had taught me. I ignored the other Knights as they called for me to stop. Arlen had managed to get a solid hit that caused Luna to fall to the ground, and he was raising his sword to deliver a fatal blow. I ran in front of the attack and managed to deflect it with the dagger. A sharp pain went across my back and caused me to fall forward.

Luna caught me before I hit the ground. The pain I experienced in my back quickly disappeared though when I saw him. All the mattered was that Luna was there with me. That’s all I wanted.

“Elora.” His voice sounded tired and worried all at once.

“You came.” I said in a whisper. I was beginning to feel weak.

I glanced to the side as I heard an outcry from the Knights around us. Arlen’s sword was red with blood. What I could only guess was my blood. The other Knight’s quickly surrounded him and restrained him and took away his weapon. He was dragged away to the dungeons.

Luna’s hand went to mine and he gave it a squeeze. “Why did you do that?”

I looked back to him. “I couldn’t let you die.”

He let out a frustrated breath. “It was reckless and thoughtless.”

“I thought about it.” I responded. “I just didn’t expect that my deflection of the blade would cause it to hit me.”

His eyebrows furrowed together. He was trying to use his crystal to take the pain away. I saw it glowing. But it pulsed instead of having the steady glow of the process. He let out another frustrated breath and began to focus on my wound again. I looked at him through his helmet and saw his eyes began to glass over with tears.

“Why can’t I take your pain?” He finally looked back at me.

A sympathetic look came to my eyes. Reaching up, I lifted his visor to look him face to face. He did one better by just removing the helmet and letting it fall to the ground. He grabbed my hand again and held it close.

“It doesn’t hurt.” I explained.

I lifted our joined hands so I could touch his cheek, only now seeing the blood that stained his leather gloves. I paid little attention to it though as I simply gazed into his dark eyes and enjoyed the moment. He pulled me closer and pressed his forehead to mine.

“Elora...” He whispered as a tear fell from his eye and hit my cheek.

I took in a shaky breath. “I love you.”

He suddenly pulled away and stared at me. A weak smile came to my lips. My consciousness was fading fast. I tried to fight against it, but I couldn’t do it for long. Soon enough, I felt my hand drop and my world went black.

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