"Run Harissa! Run! Run!" were the words I heard and the next thing I saw myself running so energetically. I kept running until I ran into a burning village. The whole place was destroyed and blood plastered everywhere with heads and skulls of humans scattered all over.
Where was I? I roamed my eyes round. The whole place looked familiar yet strange. I was in the middle of the village alone walking nervously while calling out to anyone who could hear me but none was in sight neither a voice responding.
Suddenly,I found myself infront of a familiar house, eyes widened surprised, I began taking slow steps toward the entrance of the house when I heard whimpering noises followed by shouts and then the whole village was filled with people once again like they just appeared.
I became really scared but then the scenario was an unpleasant and scary one, very awful took at. There were warriors everywhere. The village looked like it was under siege and people were being slaughtered carelessly like animals.
Blood splattering, houses burning and just infront of me was a family kneeling down and one who appeared to be the leader of the troop yelling angrily at the top of his voice while they kept struggling to wriggle out of the hands of their captors.
Then that sweet soothing voice laced with fear, pains and tears shouted again "Run Harissa! Run!" Only this time I could see the beautiful lady who had the voice. She was looking back and forth instructing me to run but I didnt. I just stood there confused and next I saw the Troop leader shouted drawing out his sword and lifting it up in the hair "Behead them and get the girl for me" letting out a wicked laugh after speaking.
There, I watched the sword cut through the woman's throat and also the man who I assumed was her husband and their heads rolled to the ground.
I screamed fearfully in my head putting my hands across my mouth not drawing attention to myself. What a sight to behold! I quickly managed to peer at the face of the leader registering it in my brain.
Honestly I was so pained that I broke down in tears right away crying. I felt a connection between myself and the them - which was the reason for my tears. I hated violence and murder.
As the command had it 'search for the girl', I saw some of the soldiers rush into the house, immediately I looked up, saw a little girl who crying seriously just as I was and the next she was running.
Without further thoughts, I joined her running knowing fully well that she was being chased but I just wanted to help her.
So I ran after her while the men ran after us but then the sight I just beheld was burning within my heart and I kept crying profusely like I knew this people - like I was connected to them.
Running and still crying, I chased after her until it felt like, sparks of energy jolted through my body and I was jerked back to life or something sobbing faintly,
Feeling someone holding onto me and shaking me lightly "My lady! My lady!", I slowly opened my teary eyes untill they were fully opened.
"Thank heavens you're back. I was afraid we lost you" Echo expressed sadly heaving a sigh of relief as with everyone who was there present in the room.
As I looked around my environment, there was Adrian, Charles and then Dorothy.
"What happened to - " I tried speaking but noticed an obstruction- the life support I was on.
That was when Adrian came, pulled it away and helped me sit up on the bed.
"W-What happened to me?" I stammered touching my wet face and darting my eyes across the room.
Adrian wiped off the tears with his hands gently and pulled into a snuggly hug.
"You've been sobbing for three days now?" He looked at me after pulling away and all I could see was stress and worry all over his face.
"Actually you've been unconscious for almost two weeks" Charles spoke up from where he sat with his legs crossed as he took in the scenery.
"Two weeks?" I asked surprised. "I dont even remember what happened?"
"Its okay" Adrian hugged me again. "You will find out soon but for now thank you for coming back. We all thought we lost you" he whispered into my ears still hugging me.
Dorothy and Echo were releasing tears of joy from their eyes and smiles from their lips.
"Troy......? Where is he?" I asked almost agitated, pulling away from Adrian's embrace.
"He's fine" Charles answered. "But- " he stopped halfway not wanting to complete his statement.
"But what?" I asked anxiously.
"Excuse us" Adrian told Echo and Dorothy and they both walked out of the room before he spoke.
"He's away on a trip" and Immediately my face fell, with a little rish of disappointment.
"A very important one" Charles stressed.
"And trust me, he would have really loved to be here by your side when you woke up" Adrian added and I just kept looking at both of them confused.
Even though I still dont know what happened to me and why I was in the Prince's chamber, I still felt very sad and scared at that moment hearing Troy was absent.
After a while, I had showered and eaten, Echo was with me in the room and she kept expressing her joy that I was out of my cold state.
Furthermore, she narrated everything that happened to me and by the time she was done, I was sobbing, probably for two reasons.
One could have been recalling all the humiliations and pains I've gone through since I moved into court and secondly hearing how much Troy did for me and how he kept saying he cared so much about me and would blame himself should anything happen to me.
Those thoughts made me so emotional that I was feeling both loved and hated at the same time.
"Hey" Adrian tapped on the door popping his head inside the room. "Can I come in?" He asked smiling.
"Ofcourse" I said and turned to Echo who began acting funny. She stood up from the bed with her head bent when I'd not asked her to.
Well maybe it was acknowledging Adrian's presence but then it looked awkward. She was literally avoiding looking at Adrian as he walked in and toward me, she shifted to the corner and bowed before walking away.
"I didn't say you can leave" I called out to her making her stop abruptly.
"Please let her" Adrian said softly and she walked out. Then he took a seat beside me, holding my hands in his, he stared deep into my eyes for a couple of minutes, none of us saying a word.
Ok so, Adrian was so handsome with his masculine built, tall, broad shoulders, defined cheek bones, toned abs and biceps with a blonde straight hair with Ofcourse a pink lips. He really was good looking and charming but I didn't really fancy him that way.
I don't know why sometimes we just get lost staring at each other
"How are you.... really?" He mouthed in a very quiet tone.
"I'm fine. Never better" I exhaled lightly breaking our contact. "I know you've been worried about me. Echo told me everything" I smiled. "You know it's funny how a glass of water can knock me out for days"
He smiled. "Yea. I know that. Right?" He said massaging the nape of his neck. "Troy felt you were poisoned"
"Yea, that's what Echo told me" I shook my head unbelievably. "Just how much enemies have I amassed for myself that they want me dead" I commented sarcastically and we both laughed.
"You'll be fine. And I want you to know that no one can hurt you as long as Troy's here, I'm here and also Charles. We've got your back baby" he assured me and I just blushed hard.
"Anyways I wanted to ask you something" he said.
"You woke up today crying and mumbling some unclear words, same routine you've put up for two days now which literally gave us hope that you will be conscious soon. Can you remember anything at all that must have caused the tears. I'm curious". He lifted his shoulders with a concerned look.
As I thought about it now Adrain mentioned it. It was actually a nightmare. I narrated the fragments I could remember to him as we tried draw out an interpretation but couldnt just yet.
"Dont worry Rian, I'll figure it out on my own. So where did you Troy go to?"
"Actually I'm not supposed to say anything but - "he cocked his head with a silly expression on his face and his hands rubbing his chin. "I might just have something for you" he smiled and handed me a letter. "Troy asked me to give that you when you eventually wake up while I and Charles keep a careful watch on you"
Blushing hard and admiring the scroll which housed the letter "I miss him. Thank you Rian" I said and opened the letter to read.
My heart is very heavy and filled with fear as I write this to you. Unsure if you'd even get to read it but I hope you do because I'm not giving up on you.
If you're reading, it surely means I'm away on a parlous trip but then I dont want you to be afraid, because I will return.
I took your advice on the Otholian's issue and decided to act on it even though I know it maybe termed treason if the crown gets to know but I trust you and I trust your judgement, hence the secrecy.
Hopefully, we may be able to finally get a solution and avert any future occurrences of attack and maybe going to war on our end.
From my heart, I need you to be fine. I'm sorry for putting you through all these traumas, pain and humiliations. It's just that I can't survive without you, otherwise I would have probably let you go to ease your pains and sufferings in court but I'm sorry I can't do that. My heart will stop beating the very minute I loose you.
I will be back soon but until then Lord Charles and Adrian will look after you together with your court ladies and guards. Please remain in Zirconsite, I can only guarantee your safety there.
Stay well and beautiful my lady and see you soon.
I was crying by the time I was done reading. Fear and anxiety gripped me to my bones. How could he do it this way. When i gave my suggestion, I never said it should be a secret. What if something happens because he's going there unofficially and at his own risk. I cried out more as Adrian gave me his shoulders to cry on with his hands patting my back gently.
"Its okay Aris" he comforted me
"Why didnt you people stop him?" I asked pulling away from him.
"We tried. We did everything but he was resolute. Troy can be heady some times. I'm sorry" he said sadly.
I lowered my head down, tears running down my eyes and sniffling. "I wont forgive myself if anything happens to him" I said between hiccups.
"Nothing will happen to him. Troy will return" he nodded reassuringly. "My only fear is what the crown will do to him if they find out"
Sighing deeply, I wiped away the tears from my face. "I think we should tell the king" I sounded with a strong tone.
"No.... we cant do that Aris" he shook his head. "That will even be the war because it's going to be a threat to the crown and the kingdom"
"The scenario will look like Troy has been kidnapped or held captive and as the future king of Doxa, that is a national threat to the crown" he explained. "Cmon, let's just wait and relax. He will come back but you need to take care of yourself"
"How can I relax when the man that holds my heart is in danger" I muttered softly and then pausing immediately when I realized what I just voiced out.
Adrain looked at me surprised too. "Are you in love with the prince" he asked me chuckling lightly.
I facepalmed. "I dont know" I bit into my lower lips a bit shy and embarrassed.
"You are in love babe" he teased me.
"Ahhhhh" I screamed out quietly. "I dont understand what I'm feeling yet Rian"
Holding out his hand forward and smiling "But you just said it. Troy has your heart" he accused me.
"Okay yea whatever" I rolled my eyes at him playfully. "But please dont tell him" I pleaded.
"And why is that?" He looked at me and I moved my face away from his. "Wait.... why am I sensing an ounce of pride here"
"Adrain please okay" I held out my hands at him pleading with him to stop with the fast analysis.
It's no doubt I have strong feelings for the prince but I don't think its love yet. I still needed time to grow my feelings but Adrian hardly stopped. He kept pushing me playfully to admit that I loved the prince.
Its been three days since I recovered from the comatose state and this was the third time the king was requesting for the prince but same answer has been giving.
Apparently, Adrian and Charles had to come up with a lie that Troy was sick and the health of the prince or the king was always treated as a national secret.
The king at some point was confused at how the prince and his fiancee will be down shortly after returning from Troizinia where his brother stayed.
Echo told me he was really worried and was starting to suspect the Duke of Troizinia of wanting to threaten the crowned prince position and maybe project his son Ocean as next king should anything happen to Troy.
But the duke and his wife were one of the most nicest people I've ever met coming to court. They are so nice to the point that they visited me like twice in the royal hospital when I was there and kept sending flowers and cards which haven't stopped as I received one today.
So it was exorbitant to say that such kind hearted people would want to hurt the prince but yet I didn't know how the king would react this time around that the news was going back to him.
Also as instructed by Troy, I remained in his chambers since the news of my recovery hadn't been made known yet. Several times the queen had come around but had been constantly denied access in.
According to Echo, there were about a hundred soldiers outside within the compound and at the gate of Zirconsite following an order that refuses the queen or any other entrance apart from excluded few which included Adrian, Charles, the guards and court ladies.
At some point I was getting bored because I could not go outside. So basically my routine was sleep, eat, read and maybe converse with Adrian or Echo just as of now.
"What is the problem Adrian, you look troubled" I asked him anxiously hoping it had nothing to do with Troy.
"Its getting tougher each day hiding Troy's absence" he lamented.
"And you're afraid you will give in soon"
"I dont know babe. The pressure is getting much. Yesterday the queen sent for I and Charles, wanting to find out about the prince's condition and if you're still here"
"Really" I spoke stunned.
"Yea, we had to do what we had to do still covering up but then you know the queen, she wont back down. Hence my worry"
"Listening to you is even making me more scared" I said sadly. "Why do I feel like my coming here to court is tearing the royal family apart" I blamed myself.
"Dont blame yourself Aris. Its really not about you the personalities of the people involved. Troy chose you to the amazement of many including me. I must confess I was shocked because we all felt it was going to be Gemma but then, after the ceremony, it was difficult to announce his choice, I knew then it was not going to be easy and either ways emotions will spewed. But you know one thing that surprised me was Troy's strong decision on you. He's always allowed his parents influence his decisions but with you it was different. That's why I know he loves you alot"
"At this point now, what do we do?" I asked him blushing uncontrollably after listening to his words.
"I advise we wait for him to return", just then Charles bursts in on us panting causing us to quiver in panic.
"The king is coming here" he mentioned as I and Adrian looked at ourselves eye widened shocked.
"What?" Adrian said exploding out of the chair to his feet.
"How?" I stuttered.
"I dont know" he answered pacing to and fro highly agitated.
"And he's going to find out the truth" I added.
"Exactly!" Charles exclaimed.
"Shit!" Adrian shouted "I warned Troy about this. If the king gets to find out then its finished because we will all be accomplices and face the same tune"
"Then we have to stop him from coming here" I raised my voice nervously. "The king cannot come here"
"How do we do that?" Charles asked as Adrian joined him in pacing frustrated.
"What if we tell him I've recovered?"
"You think it's a news that will stop him?" He said with a scowl on his face.
"I dont know. Can you think of anything better?"
"I may have an idea" Echo spoke up and all our eyes fell to her direction. She was not here, where did she appear from? I wondered.
"And what idea could that be?" Charles asked her irked.
Taking slow steps toward us. "One of you could pretend to be the prince "'
"Are you out of your mind? How could you even suggest that?" Charles bellowed offended at her suggestion.
"Please let her finish talking" Adrian pleaded with him and he eyed Adrian feeling apathetic.
Echo suggested someone pretends to be Troy acting sick and probably in an unconscious state too along with me. Meaning I have to pretend I'm still comatose so he could believe.
So far that was the best plan we've got to we decided to go by it but the problem became who would pretend to be Troy.
Judging from Adrian and Charles who were handsome young men like Troy but amongst them, Adrian had more similarities to Troy than Charles hence he was asked to but he declined.
To him the idea was stupid and unrealistic but after much persuasion, he accepted and within an hour everything was set up. It was like putting up a film show.
It appeared funny but hopefully will scale through, thankfully Troy's aides were available so it doesn't look too suspicious.
Moments later, we heard the royal guards voice "Your highness, Their royal majesties, the king and queen are here"
The next thing the door opened giving them access and they came into the room where we both lay on the bed on life support.
One of the royal doctors whom we trusted was also there.
"Eridian" I heard the queen cry out once she saw the body. "What happened to my son?"
"Your majesties, we are still trying to diagnose but whatever it is, is highly contagious?" Dr. Xylon explained, preventing keen closure.
"Disgnose you say" the king growled, his voice loud and deep and frightening. "For weeks, you've not been to figure out the problem with lady Aris and now my son. Do you realize he is the crowned prince?"
"Yes your majesty"
"Then do your job. Tell me where they poisoned?"
"I cant tell" Xylon spoke with some type of confidence.
"Be quiet" he barked again and shot him a scary glare. "If anything should happen to my son or lady Aris, Your head will go in for it" he threatened but Xylon's confidence was on another level, probably because he knew the whole plot.
"Ezekiel" the king called to his guard. "Increase the number of gurads around here and no word..... I mean it, no word should get out of here concerning the prince's health. We don't know what we are dealing with. Understood?"
"Yes your majesty -"
"Wait.... Your majesty " the queen voiced out, obviously I suspectedit had to do with me.
"She doesn't have to be here, let her be moved back to her chambers or better still the hospital while she recovers so that it doesnt put Eridian in more danger"
"Who brought her here in the first place?" He asked.
"Eridian stubbornly did and I warned him. Now look at him"
"Ezekiel, Dr Xylon. lady Aris should be moved back to her chambers to continue her treatment there" he instructed and they left.
"Shit" I muttered under my breath feeling somewhat defeated, angry and sad.
The queen had won this time around.