25. A Saint with a Broken Heart
I sniffled the aching pain I felt from everything. After our last talk, Noah nor Zion have come to visit me. I know they felt troubled by knowing that I’m the daughter of the person who betrayed and even toyed with them.
Still, it wasn’t fair to me. I have nothing to do with all this. I’m just an innocent paying for what her father did.
Rosa occasionally came to check on me. To see if I was still in my room. All this time, the thought of leaving has been crossing my mind.
Maybe because of fear or worry, but I felt it was best if I disappeared.
Using the back of my hand, I wiped some tears that slid down my red face. I’ve been staring outside the forest for a while.
I don’t know why I keep having this feeling that someone is out there. That he is watching me, waiting for a chance to come and get me.
Noticing the guards doing patrol, I frown. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Ezekiel. But it would be risky stepping out of the castle.
Dismissing the idea, I get back to my thoughts. I had more important things. Maybe visiting Ezekiel might put him at risk. As I sigh, I hear the bedroom door open.
I quickly dried my snotty face and pretended to be thinking.
“Mila?” Zion said, calling.
I looked at him over my shoulder.
“Hi,” Zion said as he smiled wryly. I muttered a hi and returned my attention to the guards patrolling.
Zion quietly approached me until he was by my side. I didn’t utter a word either. Look at him.
“Don’t worry, he won’t be able to get in here,” Zion muttered, to which I scoffed.
“He can. He came for the party, didn’t he?” I said, annoyed. Couldn’t he understand Frey had his ways?
He didn’t seem like an ordinary man. He looked dangerous.
“Can’t you trust me?” Zion groaned, making me look at him. “Trust me at least a bit, Mila. I can protect you from him.”
My heart nervously beats in my chest. Should I believe those words?
Smiling sadly, I lowered my head and remained silent.
“Frey wants you because you’re his daughter and knowing we have a relationship. So he will find it appealing,” Zion said.
“Relationship?” I whispered, still with my head cast down. “What kind of relationship do we have?”
This time, I faced him as he looked at me with anger.
“What do you mean?” Zion said in a clipped tone.
“I’m asking what relationship we have,” I retorted. “All I know is I’m the saint who helps you quench that pain.”
Zion looked stunned, but he quickly changed that face into a scoff.
“Is that what you think?” Zion blurts. I cringe at his words. “I thought we loved each other.”
“How can you love me?” I whispered dejectedly. The pain in my chest doubled the words. “We are not from the same world.”
I smiled, even though I felt heartbroken. As I move on my chair, a sudden tug has me gasping.
“You? How could you whisper those words?” Zion asked. “Have you listened to yourself?”
I looked into his emerald eyes that weren’t shining how they should.
“You’re hurting me,” I said, wiggling my way out of his hold.
“You say we don’t belong? Why?” Zion asked again. “Is it because you’re a saint and I’m a sinner? Or is it because I’m royal?”
“Zion, please,” I begged, trying to lose his grip on my wrists.
“You are a princess, a saint, a royalty like me,” Zion muttered, making me stop moving. I snapped my eyes up while smiling sadly. “We are the same. Remember it. However, Frey is a bastard of a man. He is royalty, and that makes you, as his daughter, a princess. The future queen. My queen.”
I pushed him hard and finally released myself from his hold.
How could he say that?
“I’m not the daughter of a murderer,” I groaned angrily. “He wasn’t there for me. So what makes you think I see him as my father?”
Zion stood there watching me. His face darkened for a reason.
“He is not my father,” I repeated. “And if he takes me back home. Then I will do the impossible to reject my position as princess.”
“You can’t do that,” Zion said, barely a whisper. His face was cast down. “You’re making a mistake.”
“My only mistake is ever thinking I had a father,” I answered back. “And even though you would accept me for who I am. Now I can see you can’t love me if I’m just a saint.”
Zion snapped his head, but I shook it and turned my back to him.
It seems there’s no choice but for me to leave this place.
“I don’t want a life where I will be worried that any moment I can get kidnapped or the person I love will look down at me,” I mumbled. “I don’t want any of that if it’s that way.”
“Mila, you’re misunderstanding this,” Zion said. His voice was trembling. I shook my head.
“No, it’s best if we don’t continue this,” I said, halting his movements.
“What?” Zion whispered. I turned, facing his shocked face.
“It’s safer if we stop this. All the feelings we have its best if we let it go,” I said as calmly as possible, but it was hard. I could feel the lump forming in my throat. “I don’t want your people or you to get hurt because of me.”
Zion searched my face as I smiled softly.
“I don’t want you getting hurt again for something my father did. It will break me if Frey lays his hands on you and hurts you just because we made a foolish decision,” I smiled.
Zion clenched as his hands balled into fists. I took a deep breath to calm the trembling voice that gave me away.
“I’m sorry for ever hurting you,” I said and bowed. “But I’m just a girl, a saint, a human. I’m nothing special for you to look at me in any other way.”
“Is this how you plan to make me hate you?” Zion asked angrily. I moved my eyes and smiled.
“If you wish to, go ahead. Hate me, loath me,” I smiled. “Didn’t you hate me in the beginning? So it shouldn’t be hard for you to do.”
That removed Zion’s angry face. Instead, he now looked taken aback.
Did he think I never noticed it?
“Mila…” Zion mumbled, to which I just shook my head.
“Now, if you could, please leave. I wish to be alone,” I said and moved out of his way.
Zion looked hurt, but it was for the best.
It took him a while for him to concede and take his leave. But before he closed the door, he looked my way one more time.
I gave a bow and a soft smile. Then, with a painful look, Zion left.
Standing outside the balcony, I looked down at the forest.
My eyes were never leaving the trail that took me deep into the forest.
Hugging myself, I sighed and leaned on the pillar. It was around midnight, and I wasn’t sleepy at all. On the contrary, just thinking about what happened in the afternoon with Zion made me sleepless.
After he left, I cried my heart out. I love him, but it was the best if I wanted to keep him safe and out of Frey’s reach.
I have to make everything stop, but how? What could a girl like me do?
I lowered my eyes to my hands. My rough palms looked alien to me. Then, muttering, a small light appeared.
It was the light the priest mentioned. As a light attribute saint, the temple could call me forward. However, it was something I wouldn’t want. It would be good.
I could hide in the temple until Frey gave up on me. He would never dare step into the temple since he is a dark magician, and I know his powers rely on more than magic.
Tiredly, I look up at the night sky. It was a silent and eerie night.
If I wanted to go to the temple, I would need to summon the temple. It would take a lot of my power and drain me for a while, but I could. They would be here by the morning to take me with them.
It will also prevent Zion or Noah from intervening. Another reason I should do it.
With a gulp, I walk closer to the rail and close my eyes. I know the way to summon the temple, but will my actual powers work?
Anyone who tried to summon the temple would have to be sure to have all the power in them.
Concentrating, I chant the summoning. My hands started warming up as my head throbs. I took several deep breaths to calm the throbbing. If I didn’t concentrate well, I would exhaust my powers in vain.
The chanting became faster than my hands and arms started burning. The sensation made me pant, but I couldn’t stop. I had to achieve this.
Once I felt a connection, I called forward for someone to listen to me. But, unfortunately, my body started feeling weak as I continued.
Feeling an established line with someone, I say the phrase to summon. Then, feeling my legs finally give out, I fall to my knees.
I opened my eyes again as everything spun around. My head was breaking in two as I softly massaged it. Hopefully, by morning, someone will be here looking for me.
With a sad smile, I laugh.
“I’m sorry, Zion,” I whispered to the night breeze.
“Harder!” I ordered as the guards fought.
I’ve been awake since early morning. It was all because of a restlessness I felt.
I unconsciously moved my hand to my chest, rubbing it. Why was I feeling like this?
I snapped my head around as Rosa’s voice reached my ears. Frowning, I watched her hurried figure running my way.
“Rosa?” I said, turning completely around. Rosa halts and takes a few seconds to herself before she looks up. “What’s the matter?”
“The temple,” Rosa said between gasps. I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion.
“What temple?” I asked, confused.
“The grand temple. They’re here, for Mila,” Rosa said. My eyes widened as worried started creeping into my chest.
I don’t give a chance for Rosa to explain more because I’m dashing down the hallway and straight to the castle’s entrance.
Everyone around me looked surprised as I sprinted. As I reach the entrance, I abruptly halt. My chest rises and falls as I intake some deep breaths.
From afar, I saw Noah and some guards. But Mila was nowhere. Fixing my sweaty hair, I walked towards them but stopped when a figure appeared at the top of the stairs.
Eyes the size of a saucer meet Mila’s surprised ones.
As my mind connects dots, I snap my head and look at her.
“You, you’re the one who summoned them?” I asked. The words sounded harsher than ever before. “Is this your way out?”
Mila just stood watching me. I couldn’t read her face nor understand why she insisted on keeping herself away from me.
I lowered my head and balled my hands. Anger and the feeling of incompetence were frustrating me.
“Move Zion,” Mila ordered.
“You think I will let you go this easily?” I mumbled without meeting her eyes.
“Move, I said,” Mila retorted.
She started descending the stairs, but I didn’t move. So instead, I put my arm up, blocking her way more.
“Zion,” Mila warned, but I ignored it.
“You’re running away, right?” I asked. “You’re running for what? You think Frey can’t touch you while in the temple?”
“Yes, he won’t,” Mila answered.
“You’re wrong,” I spat back, this time meeting her eyes.
“Zion!” Mila said, raising her voice.
“YOU’RE A COWARD!” I shout, making everyone present turn their heads our way.
Mila’s jaw clenched as she stood there looking down at me.
“Coward?” Mila said. Her tone was colder like ice. “The coward here is you. You ran away from everything and everyone. So don’t you dare call me a coward when the only coward here is you!”
I stayed baffled by her words. Mila wasn’t wrong. I became a coward when I ran away from my sins, and I’m still the same coward.
“So don’t say shit here when you haven’t even seen yourself!”
Mila started stumping her way down, but I stubbornly kept my arm up. Finally, throwing me a glare, Mila slapped my arm away and walked towards the entrance where my brother and the people from the temple were watching.
I followed, trying to reach for her arm. But as I grazed her fingers, my brother stood and stopped me.
“Noah!” I growled, but his eyes were giving me all the warnings possible. “Move, Noah!”
“You can’t,” Noah said calmly. But, though he seemed to like that, he was angry.
“You don’t order me. Don’t forget your place!”
“And don’t forget yours as a sinner,” Noah retorts back. I flinched as I stunned looked at him. Did he just say that?
I wanted to argue, but my eyes moved to Mila, who was bowing her head to the temple people. I pushed Noah out of my way and reached for her wrist.
“Mila, please!” I begged.
“Zion stops it,” Noah answered. “Mila called the grand temple. Then, finally, she decides to let her go.”
“I can’t!” I said my voice breaking. My hands started trembling. “Please don’t do this!”
“Zion,” Mila said and turned around. Her hand moved to my grip, and slowly she pushed it away.
“Mila, please, I promise to do what you say. So please, I beg you don’t go to the temple.” My voice was audible for her to listen. “Please.”
This time, I reached for both her hands and squeezed them. Again, I waited for her answer, but my heart broke when Mila slowly pulled away.
“I’m sorry, Zion,” Mila said and bowed her head. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. “I have to. I belong there, and it’s safer for you.”
I was speechless.
Getting closer, Mila suddenly leans and places a kiss on my cheek. I couldn’t react to it. I was feeling sick.
Caressing my cheek, she makes me look at her. She had tears in her eyes as she softly smiled.
“Take care, Zion,” Mila whispered and grazed my lower lip. Then, pulling away, she looked at Noah and gave him a firm nod.
Turning her back, Mila says something to the temple people I don’t hear. My surroundings were already numbed.
As I hear the horses whine. I finally react and look at the temple’s carriage leaving. My body moved on its own as I ran behind it. But I never reached it.
“ZION!” my brother yelled, but I stopped, falling on my knees.
As tears slide down my face, I feel a hand on my shoulder.
“It’s the best Zion,” Noah mumbled. But I pushed his arm away.
“You don’t know a shit,” I said, standing and dusting my pants. “You will never understand people like us.”
Noah stood there with his eyes sideways. Gulping down the pain and sadness, I head back into the castle.
I felt so useless. Why did I have to be such a vain king?
Passing everyone, I head straight up to my room. My head started throbbing. The darkness and only close friend was crawling my head, blinding me unconsciously. Without control of my body, I grabbed the sword in the hallway and approached the servants.
Without notice, I slice their throats.
End of Book 1