It’s night. Not bright, not so early. I just woke up after one more party. What a great time! What a victory and it lasts! You can celebrate it so many times. Sweet, oh sweet life. I think with a large smile on my lips as I reflect on the nights before. I take a goblet and sip slowly red drink. 

If just a father was here. With us. It would be perfect. I can’t believe how it did happen. If it wasn’t Milly who told me the news, I’ve never believed it. But she saw. She witnessed. She holded his ashes in her hands. I saw everything in those eyes when she told me on the field.

  • Father…

My heart soars. For her. For myself. It’s our pain. It’s our loss. I let out a long breath. He won’t return, will he? I shake my head slowly. He won’t. Won’t.. I take one more slowly sip.

It’s so quiet. I cross the room. Not in a hurry. Lost deep in my thoughts. My fingers lazily play with the goblet’s rim. Turn it forward and back. It’s almost empty. 

They showed up. Came here with force. Without any notice. After the deal Father made and they agreed peace. Father suspected something, distrusted them this time. He said negotiations get stranger, like never. He couldn’t point out what was wrong. He just told me, something was lacking. That’s why he recalled me to come back home. It’s not his usual behavior, so that was the reason I returned leaving my mission abroad. They didn’t expect me to join father’s forces on such a short notice, but I was there to defend what is rightfully mine, ours.

Beasts wanted a lot. With the time after lots of the meetings many requirements changed, but one was stable from the beginning. I crack the goblet in my hands spilling deep rubin drink.

  • They wanted her. 

They want Milly. And that’s what my father could never agree with. My anger bursts in my chest. She is the only one for me. She is our strength. She is the future.

I remember her eyes, her flowing walking in the garden. It calms me down as it always happens when she is around, when I think about her. I stop next to the window. There grows the garden where she loves to spend time. What a face she made when she saw me on one knee! I chuckle. Those big eyes, long eyelashes, raised eyebrows, slightly open mouth and pale skin. What a perfection she is. 

  • Lea! 

I wait till she peaks her head in.

  • Lea, where is Milly?
  • Still in bed chambers, probably sleeps.
  • If she awakened, tell her I’m waiting.

My sis has the heart of a great warrior, just like our father. She has a brain like our grandfather, though they both can see others through. She is feminine, looks so fragile, and reminds me of our mother.  She is perfect. She is ours. She belongs among us. 

  • King! King!

I hear Lea in a hallway. She runs in those noisy little human steps. Lea flew inside breathless.

  • Milly… King.. Milly… …
  • Breath woman! 

I wait impatiently. 

  • Speak.
  • She.. she is not there. I..

Lea is still breathless and catches on her words.

  • Maybe she is in the garden.
  • No, no.. And furniture is rolled out. Bath is not touched. Clothes.. She is nowhere.

I reach her chambers in no time. Check one hall after another. There is no sign of her, just as Lea told. Where is she? I peek through the window in the garden.

  • Lea, check Milly’s personal things. Tell me what’s missing.

I turn on my heel and rush out to find Morty in a yard. My chest is heavy from worry. It never happened before. She couldn’t leave the house without saying. She couldn’t leave me.

  • Have you heard tonight from Milly?

He is all ears and I get my answer. No. I curse.

  • Morty, check castle grounds, speak with the guards. Someone had to see her!

I have a weird feeling. It hangs in my chest heavily, but I grasp for hope. We will check the garden. I give an order to my personal guards. I am sure she is not here anymore. Those beasts still want her. They will do anything to get her. We have to find any clue where to start looking for. They couldn’t just disappear. I thought we had a victory. What was I thinking? Such a stupid mistake!

I look around and find myself in one of Milly’s favorite places. It’s a lake on our grounds near the mansion. We loved to play here. I picked little flowers for her and she made a flower rain over our heads. Everytime it looked so magical. She gave me those joyful laughs. Even now she brings my smile though my heart hurts. 

I get into the cold lake’s water. Doesn’t bother to take off my clothes. I dive underwater trying to calm myself and put my thoughts in order. Water runs from my hair, as so my tears roll down my cheeks. Where do I start? My fist meets two trees and they broke, fell down with a tremble on ground. My chest is still heavy.

  • My King. 

Lea approaches. I talk without facing her.

  • Say.
  • Just Millys’ black-gold nightgown is missing. 
  • Jewelry? Dresses? Daggers?

I interrogate her making sure she checked everything.

  • One dagger. The newest one.

Not surprising. She even sleeps with it fixed on her thigh and took it off only in my chambers. She felt not safe, though we held victory. What did she know? Or was it her inner voice? I nod letting her retreat and leave me with my thoughts.

I guide myself outside to meet Morty and the guards. I listen to reports. There is no good news. My insides tear me out, they bubble, seek for escape. Every minute we stand here, we lose her more and more. 

How did they manage that? Who helped them? Morty? I study him carefully. I remember him silently protecting her. It’s not the first time. I saw so many times his eyes laid down on her every step. He could betray me, but not her, not willingly at least. There is no use and I drop the thought.

I reach the main castle gate. Look straight through them. Where are you Milly? Corner of my eyes catches something on the ground. I squat and lift it up. It’s a black strip. I would recognize it anytime. Even her lily is on it. She is not on our grounds anymore. I curse again. Morty reacts and tilts his head turning towards me.

  • They will regret it. 

I wheeze through my teeth from anger. He tilts his hand clearly preparing to put a palm on my shoulder, but he changes his mind when he sees my eyes.

  • Sorgedon, we will find her.
  • Morty, gather so many faithful clans as you can. We’ll take the guns from my personal collection. You have a few days.
  • A war?! In a few days?! 
  • Call as you wish. We are going after her.

Continue reading chapter 09