• Gather your things, Milly. We are leaving this hell.

I snap from shock and blink at Morty as he addresses me. My father’s ashes lay quietly around me on the floor.

  • Watch your words!

I say angrily, getting myself on my feet. My voice is unrecognizable even to me. Morty digs his eyes down. 

  • Milly, that was King’s order.
  • King is dead.

I stare directly into his eyes. He doesn’t hold my gaze and turns his eyes down.

  • …What’s your order?

My hands have already stopped shaking, but my heart is not yet calm. It’s like a bird closed in a cage and looking for a way out. I look through the window. I can’t see red capes, but I know, that’s because they are too close. I don’t answer. My mind works double.

  • If you don’t want to run, we can offer them the Black’s key.

I turn furious at him. My fists are tightly clenched, long fingernails cut deep in my palms and blood drops. I don’t mind. My father’s ashes are painted red now. If my eyes could kill, Morty would be dead. 

  • To surrender ?! 

I roll my eyes and laugh. Laud. Harsh. Long enough. The whole trone hall echoes my voice. He probably thinks I am mad. I am not.

  • Surrender.. 

I chuckle, shaking slightly my head. 

  • Pathetic.. Pathetic..

I mumble under my nose. They are not getting away. It’s not easy to kill a man like my father. There was a reason why he was a King.. I tap my chin. Someone inside.. My eyes stop on Morty. A Traitor.

  • Find Leonardo, Richard and Cori. They are on our grounds. My servant provides you with information about their exact location.
  • You have a spy?

I narrow my eyes at him.

  • Do we ask for reinforcement? It’s a good idea. What will we offer them in return? They definitely will want..

I cut his words.

  • Close the gates!

His eyes widen and jaw drops.

  • But Sorgedon..
  • Do as I say! CLOSE. Damn. GATES! All of them. No one in or out ! 

Oh well!..

  • … and kill those three. 

Morty looks at me mortified. I am the youngest, just a few hundred years old. I’m gentle, all smiling and giggling. I never gave orders like this. I never had to. Times have changed and we require other matters. I pace back and forward as I speak up again.

  • We do not have much time, Morty. Leave gates to me. Find two more men to help you and kill those three. As soon as possible. As quiet as you can. It’s our priority.

I pull out of my pocket and hand him a little box filled with pure gold mixed by me with some special extras. 

  • Make sure this will linger for a few seconds on their skin. It will kill them. Bring me what they have on their fingers and necks. Don’t touch those things with your bare fingers.

Morty stares at me rooted in a place.

  • Move!

Finally he turns to leave.

  • And Morty. Stay safe. 

He places a palm on his heart. Leaves. He will do the job. 

Under my order, we hide our treasures. Beasts will get nothing. They will stay empty-handed. If they will stay at all. I smile. They may find walls, but no trophies. We closed the gates. Anyone who wanted to leave, already left. Enchanted walls will keep us safe and we will fight back. We will die without blood, but we are not surrendering. We will defend our walls, our people. 

I cross the yard and jump on the defence wall. I am searching for Sorgedon. Where is he? Only he left for me. It’s a bloody battle. Daggers fly and carve the air. Finally I find his flag. It’s still up. My heart pounds quicker and stronger. He is alive. He should be alive. Where is he?! My eyes search the field filled with black and red moving creatures, forest entrances. He is not there. Where is he?! I scan the field a few more times till my eyes find him on the battlefield. Why is he there? He didn’t hear the whistle?! He should be in charge! 

He is extremely quick, silent like shadow, and strong. He fights back, tears them apart, cuts their heads in one motion. I’ve seen lots of battles, but never seen one so remorseless like this with so much vampire blood and piles of ashes. My palm covers my lips, nausea leaps my throat at the cruel view, eyes still scam the field. It’s just too many red ones. Sorgedon is tired. Enemy doesn’t see it yet, but I know his body. He needs help. He won’t last long.

  • Milly. 

I turn around. 

  • Good to see you, Morty. Just about the time.
  • Done as you asked.
  • I always trusted you.

I pull a palm in front of him and he hands me a box. Inside is that, what I have been waiting for. It’s too dangerous for him to touch. Those three warlocks are dead. Hell to them! I open the box and put all three silver enchanted rings on my fingers. They burn my skin like the hottest hell, my legs don’t hold me anymore and I fell on my knees and hands hissing in pain.

  • Milly, no! 

Morty jumps to my help with popping eyes.

  • Stop! They will kill you!
  • Stay away, Morty!

Unbearable pain settles my body. I let a loud cry like a creature from another world.

  • Milly, you need help! Let me help you.

I shake my head. I need him alive. He has to help my brother.

  • What .. doesn’t kill you.. makes.. you.. stronger..

I black out. 

Vision ** I see Leonardo and Cori. They are in the beautiful forest. There is a lake nearby. Forest at a sunny midday. And it’s snowing. But.. it’s sommer. Confusing. I look up and have to narrow my eyes. Light is too bright. Eye pupils adjust a bit in a while. Some small white and pink pieces of snow fell down on the green grass. Under trees it feels so magical. One more man steps in. I never saw him. I don’t either see him properly yet. Just his back.

  • Deal?
  • No matter who holds the crown, if you’ll close your eyes at us.
  • You keep my blood. So what more do you want?
  • Right…You are right. You have a deal.

Leonardo runs his fingers along its sharp blade and murmurs something. Finally he hands the dagger to a stranger. All men leave without other words. 

I stand under the trees, my eyes water and tears drop on the grass next to those white and pink things. **

  • Sorry Richard. I will make it up to you. I had no time to find out the truth. I’m so sorry. 

I hide my guilt behind my closed eyes, but then I slowly open them. Cold and lifeless. I am back to cruel reality. Battlefield’s noises come back either. Morty gives me a worried look. 

  • Milly, your fingers.

Three fingers has fresh burning tattoos. I have no idea what I’m into. There is no pain anymore. And I am still alive.

  • Thanks, Morty. I’m fine. Watch the Wall. 
  • And your neck. 

He adds playfully. We used to joke about it as we were kids. He smiles and we place our palms on our hearts. 

I hit my way. Morty stays behind. I need to do more for our land, our people, my brother and the new King. I have to come up with a plan.

Continue reading chapter 04