Crucible Vows

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Chapter 9

I always believed that when someone died, any pain they experienced would disappear. Waking up feeling pain all over my body reassured me that I lived. I didn’t realized that I was going to wake up in the one place I hoped to always avoid. The chill of the room startled me and panic rushed in as I saw the metal bars of the cell. One guard sat next to the cell door. Standing up, I ran over to the door and pull on it. I didn’t register how easy it opened. Without thinking, I pushed the guard off his chair and threw the chair on top of him trying to slow him down. I began to run towards the exit. I wasn’t going to let myself be imprisoned and killed just because people found out who I was. I had to survive for my people.

A hand reached out and grabbed my arm and spun me around to face them. “Elora!”

“No!” I screamed and fought against the strong grip on my shoulders. “I’m not going to just sit and die!”

“It’s me, Elora!” Luna shouted as he shook my shoulders.

My mind finally cleared as I looked into the helmet and saw the kind dark eyes I had seen so many times. It was him. A feeling of relief and anxiety mixed unnaturally in my chest as I crumbled to the ground. Luna’s hands held onto my arms as tears began to fall from my eyes. Genuine fear was a constant in my life since I had to leave my home.

Squeezing my eyes shut, I felt so defeated. “I’ll never be safe…”

I felt Luna’s hands shift as he knelt down in front of me. “Elora.”

“I never will be safe unless I get to Alovia.” I whispered.

I fell forward and clung to his tunic and let my tears continue to fall. I had no hope in my heart to make it through this trial for my people. I was alone and stuck in an enemy kingdom that wouldn’t allow me to go one day without someone wanting me dead.

“I’ll take you.”

My sobs stopped and I looked up to the knight who held me in his arm. “What?”

“I’ll take you to Alovia.” Luna repeated. He raised his hand and brushed away a tear with his thumb. “I’ll make sure you get there safely.”

He stood up and helped me to my feet. “The only safe way my people got to Alovia was by boat.”

“We’re too far North for a boat.” He explained. “And we can’t guarantee that a boat would take us to a kingdom that currently has bad relations with us. We can’t commission a carriage either. None of them go that far. But I can get my horse and help us ride there.”

“How long will it take?” I ended up asking without thinking.

“At least two weeks.” He responded. “Maybe longer because we need to let my horse rest. But it will be faster than going on foot. It would take about a month on foot.”

I ducked my head. “Luna, you don’t need to do this. You have your duties. I shouldn’t pull you away from that.”

“If I don’t go with you,” he stared down at me. “Then the likely hood of you actually making it to Alovia is greatly reduced. I’ll ask permission to leave first. The king shouldn’t need me that much.”

I didn’t make eye contact with him. Deep inside, I wished that I had more skills to protect myself so I wouldn’t be causing problems for this kind man. I wished that I could be home and safe with my family. Why had so much happened to so many innocent people? What provoked the King of Obrenor to attack my home?

“Stay here.” He requested. “I need to finish a few more things before we can go. But we’ll leave at first light tomorrow.”

My eyes shot up to him. “Wait!”

He looked back at me as my eyes begged him not to leave me alone. Walking passed me into the cell I slept in, he lifted his cape off the bed and placed it around my shoulders. His hands lingered for a moment before he gave me a small pat.

“You’re safe here.” He reassured. “Keep ahold of my cape and no one will bother you. I’ll be back in a bit. I promise.”

He moved passed me again and walked out of the room. Though he reassured me of my safety, I still as scared to be alone. Stumbling back, I eventually fell back onto the bed in the cell. My hands clutched the red and gold cloth of the cape tightly as I silently waited for his return. I pulled my knees into my chest and made myself as small as possible. Desperate, I prayed to my Gods for protection and comfort. It was all I could do to distract myself from the reality of my world.

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