Sins Of A Forgotten King #1

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8.Stone Hand


♣Mila♣

“You should be better now,” I smiled as the old woman thanked me. Then, letting a sigh out, I stand up and stretch my libs.

“You did well today,” Ezekiel says as he hands me some juice.

“Thanks, it’s not that busy,” I smiled, looking around the entire plaza.

It’s been two days since I last saw Zion.

That day at the lake, he left with that pain in his arm. I tried to stop him, but he stubbornly didn’t listen to me. I could have helped him. I don’t get why he ran away from me. Is he so ashamed of how he looks?

I smiled dejectedly and grabbed the wooden cup. Yet, strangely, I miss him, and somehow I’m worried. He didn’t look good at all.

A ruckus made me look to the front. My eyes widened as I noticed King Noah heading my way with his people. Ezekiel got closer and put his hand on my waist. My eyes lowered. What was he doing?

The horses came to a halt, and King Noah got down. We both bowed before him.

“King Noah,” I said with a stern face.

“Hi, Mila, it’s nice to see you again,” King Noah said with a bit of sarcasm. I gave him a tight smile. “May I have a word with you?”

My eyebrows furrowed as I felt Ezekiel’s hand tighten on my side. King Noah raised an eyebrow. He was looking at Ezekiel and me.

I sighed loud enough to get both of their attention.

“Sure, your majesty,” I said and pointed towards the bench.

King Noah nodded and followed me. I could feel his gaze lingering a bit more than necessary over Ezekiel.

“So what can I do for you, your majesty?” I called and took a seat.

“Sorry to come so suddenly, but I need you to listen to what I have to say,” King Noah said and sat next to me. His hand moved up and down his thigh. “Surely you have noticed Zion hasn’t come around, right? That he didn’t even come to get you.”

I nodded without answering.

“My brother has been bedridden,” King Noah mutters.

“What?” I said, alarmed. Was it because of my last time at the lake? “Is he all right?” I asked, concerned.

King Noah sighed and leaned on the seat.

“Listen, Mila, I know I might ask too much, but I would like for you to come to the castle with me right now,” King Noah suggested.

I lowered my head and stared at my hands, gripping the skirt so tightly it was all wrinkled.

“Just come and see for yourself. If you have questions after you see my brother, I promise to answer all of them,” King Noah whispered. There’s a plea in his voice as he smiled dejectedly.

Though I was against going to the castle, I was worried about Zion. I just had to check on him; then I could come back, right?

I looked back at the man that was by my side. King Noah looked stressed. Like if he hasn’t been sleeping at all.

“Fine,” I sighed, “But I need to come back before nightfall.”

“Yes, please,” King Noah said and stood up, offering his hand.

I looked at his extended hand and then his face. King Noah looked calm.

I sighed in surrender and held his hand. Then, standing, I noticed all the people had gathered around. I followed the faces until I saw Ezekiel. Then, letting him know I would be back, I left with the king.

Our ride to the castle was silent and stressful. I didn’t understand why the surrounding air was so heavy until I got down from the horse and stepped into the castle.

My entire body tensed, my eyes widened, and my heart quickened as I heard the screams. I started moving on my own without realizing it. Reaching some brown double doors, I noticed the guards bowing their heads as they threw the doors open.

My eyes moved towards the poster bed. Stopping in my tracks, I felt tears well up. What was all this?

I stared at the healers as they tried to control Zion’s pain.

“Mila?” King Noah said from behind, making me jump in fright.

I gulped the lump in my throat and stared at Zion, who curled up like a baby. His face was sweating, and he looked paler than before.

“Leave us,” King Noah suddenly ordered. All the healers present gazed at us but did as the king asked.

I didn’t mind them. All I could see was Zion’s state as he hugged his body. The moment the healers moved away from him, I took a step forward.

Taking a deep breath, I move to his left side and sit next to him. Zion’s lips had dried blood from all the biting. My heart clenched as I saw his state.

“Zion…” I mumbled as my hand moved to his forehead.

I inhaled when my hand rested on his forehead. He was so cold that it made me shudder.

King Noah just watched me in silence. It was uncomfortable, but if I was here, it meant he wanted my help.

I smiled down at Zion as tears welled up on my face. Then, slowly, I whispered some words and concentrated on his pain. My eyes moved around his bare body. His stone’s hand was stiff as a rock. Last time he could move it a bit, but now there was no such movement.

A slight hue emanates from my hand as I close my eyes. It took me a few minutes, so he could stop groaning. Then, slowly, I opened my eyes and smiled tiredly. Zion was calming down. His face looked less strained, and his hand loosened the grip on his arm. I removed my hand from his forehead and instead held his fisted hand.

Zion seemed to react to my healing powers, which was good.

Once sure he was better, I smiled and let him go. I let out a breath and stood up gently, covering his body with the bedsheets.

After fixing my skirt, I turned and looked up to find King Noah with a surprising look.

“You did it?” King Noah whispered as his eyes moved to his brother. I just nodded and walked closer to him.

“Let’s leave him to rest,” I said and walked towards the door. I needed to put some distance between us.

I walked to one of the enormous windows and leaned my head on the wall. My entire body felt weak as my head spun.

King Noah was saying something to the guards before he turned his attention back to me.

“Are you all right, Mila?” King Noah asks. I nodded and lifted my head. “You look pale.”

“It’s all right. It’s normal after healing someone like him,” I said and smiled at him. “I think it’s time we talk.”

King Noah nodded and asked me to follow him.

We walked to the other side of the castle. At first, I didn’t mind it too much, but now I can see that the castle’s south wing was busier than usual.

“Is it me, or are there more people here?” I pointed out.

“You’re not wrong, saintess,” King Noah smiled.

We reached enormous golden doors with the kingdom insignia. I looked at them in awe as the guards opened them for us. Then, I excused myself and stepped into the vast office.

“Please take a seat,” King Noah offered.

I looked around the room. Shelves and shelves of books filled most of the room. Three armchairs and a wooden table lay in the middle as I lighted a fireplace on the side. There wasn’t anything special except for the books.

“I know you might have a lot of questions, Mila,” King Noah said, chuckling. “But I need you to promise me that what I tell you right now will remain between us.”

I frowned and tried to understand him.

I knew from what Ezekiel told me that King Noah was good with his words and quite mischievous.

“Very well,” I said, taking a seat and looking back at him sternly.

I was going to test him and see how far I could go.

“Good, now let’s start with your first question,” King Noah said.

“What is happening to Zion?” I asked without moving my gaze.

King Noah looked at me and then chuckled.

“Straight to the point, I see,” King Noah snickered.

“Let’s not waste time here,” I blurted, making his smile disappear.

“Fine. My brother Zion is under a type of punishment or curse. But it’s not a curse is a payment for what he did,” King Noah explained with his head leaned on his armchair. “Have you heard what happened some years ago, before I became king?”

I shook my head. No one has ever mentioned what happened to Zion. And even if I asked my mother, she would especially dismiss the conversation, saying it’s nothing of importance.

“Oh, now that’s surprising. As a citizen of the kingdom, I thought you might know,” King Noah nodded, “But don’t worry, I will tell you.”

I leaned on the armchair and tried to pay close attention.

“My brother made a mistake long ago. His payment was his body. But, as you know, human hearts can be greedy, and one misstep can cause a disaster. Here, Zion made it more dangerous,” King Noah explained. “Zion’s punishment was to turn into a rock and die while suffering miserably. The punishment for his sins can’t be undone that easily.”

“Punishment for his sins?” I mumbled.

“Yes, Zion had a relationship with some close gypsies. You know the people that could be friendly but still make your life miserable if you make a mistake with any of them. In this case, Zion mixed himself with a group of gypsies,” King Noah sighed. He looked troubled as he explained.

“And what did Zion do to them?” I asked softly.

King Noah was rubbing his forehead. His hand stopped, and he looked at me.

“What did Zion do?” I asked again.

“Zion killed four gypsies, and not any gypsies,” King Noah said, making me tense up. “He played with black magic, and that resulted in the death of those people.”

“Why would he do that?” I hissed.

King Noah smiled sadly.

My heart started beating fast as I felt his intense gaze. I didn’t like this.

“Zion wanted to be king no matter what, Mila. So he agreed with a being called Crudel,” King Noah whispered.

Every hair stood up on my body as my hands grasped the armrest so hard I felt I could break it.

I know the name Crudel. Standing up abruptly, I put my hand over my chest and anxiously backed away.

“Mila?” King Noah called as he saw my fear. He stood and tried to reach for my arm, but I slapped it away.

“Impossible,” I stammered.

Confusion crossed over King Noah’s face.

“What are you talking about, Mila?” King Noah asked.

I lifted my gaze as tears slid down my face.

Without another word, I rushed out of his office. King Noah yelled my name as I desperately ran down the hallway. My feet moved fast enough to put distance. Then, making a turn, I opened two doors and shut them.

I leaned on the door and slid down. As tears slide down my face, I curse under my breath and cover my mouth with my hands to stop my muffled cries.

This had to have been a mistake. How could my father’s name come up?

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