My eyes fluttered open, welcomed by the cool morning breeze that entered from the balcony. I stared at it in silence. It was so calm that I felt like crying.
Biting on my lower lip, I inhale and let out a shaking breath.
“Mila?” a familiar voice I yearned to hear called from behind. I blinked, preventing tears from rolling down my cheeks. “Mila, you’re awake?”
This time, the voice sounded worried. I didn’t dare move, but it was because I didn’t even know what to tell him. Finally, hearing a rustling sound, I close my eyes.
“Mila, you are awake, right?” Zion whispered. The side next to me moved as he sat down. “I’m here, don’t be afraid.”
I slowly opened my moist eyes.
“There you are, my love,” Zion whispered. I sobbed but didn’t utter a word. “It’s all right. How are you feeling?”
I shifted my eyes and looked around. I didn’t notice it earlier, but I’m in Zion’s room. His scent was all over the sheets.
“Tell me, Mila, how do you feel?” Zion asked, distracting me.
“Sore,” my hoarse voice answered. I embarrassedly gulped.
Zion nodded and stood up once again. I followed him as he walked towards the coffee table where some bins and a jar were. I shifted my eyes back to the bed I was in.
I lifted my arms and saw a few bandages here and there. Then, worried I had a worst injured, I tried to sit up, but I winced, making Zion look my way.
“No need for you to get up,” Zion said as he walked back with some water. I weighed my body weight on my arm.
“Thank you,” I smiled and sipped on the water that cooled my throat.
Once I had finished it, I gave it back to Zion.
“What happened?” Zion suddenly asked as I tried to sit up again. “Who did this to you?”
I tensed under his intense gaze that made my beating heart tremble. My lips started shaking as I worriedly closed my eyes.
Did I have the courage to tell him?
“Mila,” Zion said, grasping my hand and bringing it up to his lips. I watched his gesture. My heart fluttered as his lips kissed every knuckle.
“How long have I been asleep?” I asked, deviating from the question. Zion sighed but didn’t retort.
“It’s been four days. You had me worried, Mila,” Zion muttered. I looked at him with sadness.
Closing my eyes, I tightened my hold on his hand. Tears started sliding down as I muffled a sob.
Zion carefully pulled me into a hug as I cried my heart out.
“It’s all right. I will take revenge on whoever did this to you,” Zion groaned. I could feel his hands squeezing on my lower back.
“No, please,” I sniffled.
“What?” Zion retorted. I had to prevent him from doing something stupid. He can’t fall again. “You know who did this to you?”
I pushed him away and used the back of my hand to wipe my snotty face.
“I need your brother here,” I said, looking away.
“Why?” Zion snapped, to which I cringed. “Are you unable to tell me? Am I so weak before your eyes?”
“It’s not that!” I spat in frustration. “I think your brother needs to hear this as well.”
Zion clenched his jaw and abruptly stood up. I rubbed my forehead with worry. I didn’t know what way this could go. It all depended on how I told them.
I uncomfortably moved my gaze away from the two-man who stood before me. Then, knowing that this might go wrong, I asked Rosa to be present.
“I’m glad you’re awake,” Noah smiled. I awkwardly thanked him but remained with my head and eyes down.
“So, can you talk now?” Zion asked, taking a seat near my feet. I toyed with the bedsheet. “No one will harm you here. Do you hear me?”
“I-I know,” I stuttered.
“Fine, then what happened after you left?” Noah asked. I let out a nervous breath.
Raising my head, I looked at both men.
“I got attacked,” I whispered.
“Attacked, by whom?” Noah frowned. I started panting as I replayed everything in my mind.
“Mila, you can talk,” Rosa encouraged.
“A man attacked me,” I continued.
“Do you know who it was?” Zion asked calmly.
I nodded firmly.
“Was it some thief?” Noah asked this time. I shook my head.
“You know the person?” Zion suddenly whispers. I tensed and stopped fidgeting. “Mila?”
“Frey…” my voice barely whispered said.
Everyone near me tensed. I looked up and saw their troubled faces.
“Frey,” I repeat. Noah chuckled and raised a hand.
“Frey? Is that someone you know? Because I don’t think we would know a name like that to us,” Noah said, troubled.
“You know,” I said sternly, this time making him halt. “Prince Frey, the one who was your friend.”
This time I looked at Zion, whose eyes were wide as a frightened deer.
“Mila, what are you saying, child?” Rosa said, intervening.
“As you heard me,” I barked. My eyes moved to everyone. “Prince Frey attacked me. He was the man following me!”
My voice was escalating the more I explained.
“He was at my house. He came for me!”
No one was saying a word, making it harder for me to continue. Did they think I was lying? Joking?
“Mila, watch what you’re saying,” Zion suddenly growled. I clenched and gripped the bedsheets.
“Why?” I said, tearing up. “That man with the black mist is Prince Frey, my father!”
Everyone’s eyes fell on me as the words left my trembling lips. Rosa gasped next to me.
“I know you don’t believe me. Not even I believe it,” I said, crying. “But it’s the truth.”
I remained silent after that, waiting for their reaction. But all I saw was a shock.
“I know I don’t believe it still, but when I saw the proof and how we both look alike. I believed it,” I muttered angrily.
“That bastard died long ago, Mila,” Zion said as his face darkened. “I saw it with my eyes when he died.”
“He didn’t,” I said, shaking my head. “It was all a lie!”
“ENOUGH!” Zion yelled, making me cry harder. “I killed that bastard with my own two hands. His blood is on my body. So how come you’re fucking saying that?”
“Believe me; I have no reason to lie!” I retorted back. “He told me it was a fucking lie. Everything was a trap!”
Zion looked at me, stunned.
“If you don’t believe me, I can show you proof,” I said, looking at him. “Also, my mother and sister left. They’re now in his place.”
“That’s why,” Noah finally said. Zion snaps his head his way.
“What?” Zion scowled.
“The familiarity I always felt and what the priests said,” Noah scoffed. “Your powers as well.”
“You believe her!” Zion snapped, standing. With long strides, he stands before his brother. “It’s a fucking lie!”
“She is the woman you say you love, but you are saying you don’t believe in her word? How can you trust her then?” Noah angrily answered. “Daughter and descendant of the gypsy clan.”
I looked at Noah, who eyed me with something dark.
“Your a descendant of Morgana,” Noah continued. This time, I frowned, confused.
“Morgana is the late queen and saintess,” Rosa answered my silent questions.
“Yes, and it means you’re her granddaughter,” Noah said and walked towards me. I recoiled in bed. As he kneeled in bed, he yanked my wrist and looked at my hands. “Light attribute.”
“What?” I asked.
Noah met my eyes and smiled. His smile made me shudder. What was this feeling coming from him?
“You’re a light attribute saint,” Noah said, letting go. “Why were you running if you’re his daughter?”
Why was I even running for? Wasn’t it good my father appeared?
Looking towards Zion, I noticed his lowered head. His shoulders trembled.
“So?” Noah questioned, making me shift my eyes back at him.
“I couldn’t,” I said, keeping my voice steady.
“Can’t what, child?” Rosa asked this time.
“I can’t go!” I yelled, making the room go silent. “I-I can’t.”
Rosa gripped my hand and smiled, encouraging me to speak.
“He wants to force me,” I whispered. This time, Noah frowned.
“Forced you to what?” Noah asked.
“To be the saintess. He plans revenge on you and your people,” I said, facing him. “And I can’t leave Zion.”
“But you’re his daughter,” Noah said with anger.
“I know,” I dejectedly answered.
“You’re a gypsy,” Noah groaned. I looked at him in shock. His face contorted in anger.
Why was he so mad?
“You’re his seed!” Noah hissed.
“I didn’t fucking know that!” I spat coldly. “You think I got to choose? My mother never told me!”
Noah turned cold as he stood there glaring at me.
What was wrong with them? Where are they planning to blame me or something?
I turned to look at Zion, who still had his back to me.
“That fucking bastard didn’t die,” Noah said through gritted teeth. “Frey must know you’re with Zion.”
“He always knew,” I spat. “You had him under your noses and didn’t even realize it.”
“What?” Rosa said nervously.
“Frey was here for the welcoming ball. Who do you think told me everything about Zion?” I said, looking at Zion. Then, turning around, he looks at me. His emerald eyes were full of worry. “He came disguised as someone else, and after I left the castle grounds, he followed me to the river. He was the one who told me to stay away from Zion.”
Noah stumbled backward.
“It seems he has been here for a while, and you simply didn’t know,” I said, raising my head. “If you think it’s my fault, you’re wrong. You simply didn’t kill him as you should have done.”
“You don’t tell us what we should have done!” Noah snapped. “You don’t know what he did!”
I took several deep breaths, trying to remain as calm as possible.
“You don’t know a thing what Zion went through!” Noah barked.
“Yes, you tried to kill him. Shouldn’t I be the one affected then? The one mad for trying to kill my father?” I answered, making him let out a coherent yell.
As I raised my arm to cover my face, I heard footsteps and a groan. Lowering my arm, I looked at Zion standing before me, shielding me from Noah’s view.
“He might have played us. But I’m the one at fault,” Zion muttered. “You shouldn’t take it out on Mila. She’s innocent in all this.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“I was the one who got tricked, and you were the one who introduced him to me,” Zion said, glaring at Noah, who was on the floor. “It’s both our faults.”
Noah lowered his head as he dusted his clothes.
“I want you out of this place,” Noah said as he turned his back to us. “I want you out of my castle.”
I gasped and lowered my head.
Was he throwing me away? Of course, but where was I going to go?
“No, you won’t give that order!” Zion barked back, making Noah stop.
“Excuse me?” Noah said, hissing back. “Are you-“
“I’m the king still!” Zion answered with a clipped tone I’d never heard before. Noah flinched at that. “I have the title and crown. You only took my place.”
“Zion, what do you think you’re doing?” Noah growled, approaching him. “You think you can take what’s yours back?”
“I can, and you know it,” Zion said calmly this time. His determined voice made me calm down. “According to the law, I am the king and owner of this castle. If you need to be reminded, call the temple. They should give you the same answer.”
Noah looked behind Noah and scoffed. Then, without another word, he walked out of the room. I remained on my spot, uncomfortable with the entire situation.
“Could you get some relaxing tea, please, Rosa,” Zion muttered as Rosa nodded back and excused herself.
I looked away, worried he might be angry with me. Instead, to my surprise, I’m pulled into a hug.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” Zion whispered against my head. My eyes tore up, and I started crying again. “Please forgive me.”
I shook my head and slowly pushed myself away from him.
“It’s my fault,” I said between tears.
“Shh, there’s no need to apologize,” Zion answered. I continued shaking my head.
“It’s my fault. All this,” I said, rubbing my eyes, but Zion slowly lifted my chin.
“No one is at fault. You’re the most innocent one here. I am the one who did everything. If there’s one person you should be mad with is me,” Zion said and caressed my chin. “So, just hate me.”
“I can’t,” I said, gazing into his eyes. “How could I when I love you?”
“I know,” Zion said, leaning. “You’re too kind-hearted.”
“But your brother doesn’t think that,” I answered dejectedly. Zion shook his head.
“Give him time,” Zion mumbled and kissed my forehead. “All I want now is for you to stay calm and not worry about what might happen.”
“But what if-“
“No, Mila, nothing will happen. Not when you’re by my side,” Zion said, leaning closer to my face. “I won’t allow Frey to lay a hand on you.”
Tears slid down my cheek as I nodded and let Zion kiss me. His stiff lips are a refresher to my hot and trembling ones.
“You’re my one, my saint, and no one will take you away from me,” Zion whispered against my lips.
Hugging him, I rest my head on his chest.
I don’t know what might happen. But I was worried that Frey would come for me. I know he won’t stop until he gets his hands on me.