A Reminder

Rage filled her mind as she breathed in the stench. Her stomach turned in disgust. She had thought that at least she would be put in the same dungeon as Sunain. She stared into the blackness, her mind replaying everything that happened that night.

Aaron wanted to r. a. p. e. her...

Diamant eyes burnt with painful tears. Yes, it was too fast, too soon but she had thought he was gentlemanly enough to know that he shouldn't force himself on her. She drew in a breath and regretted it immediately as the stench filled air rushed into her lungs and her stomach turned with disgust.

How could the DL do this to her? How could he lock her up here? How could he keep her away from Sunain?

But how could he not? How could he not do all of these? He had the power to do it!

He had the purpose to do it!

Her heart dropped at one vital thing she had allowed herself to forget. One thing that was the reason she was still alive in the first place.

Realization was a hard slap on her face as she realized that she had allowed herself to forget who she really was, what she really was.

Her hand went across her chest in an act to protect her from what she would soon allow herself to remember. What had been and will remain with or without Sunain or Aaron. To remember what had only been monetarily forgettable because DL wasn't ready yet.

"Just a prisoner awaiting her Punishment. Just a criminal whose punishment will be death when she wants life the most." 

A tear dropped. How could she have allowed herself to be so forgetful?

******************************

"They are back, Dragon Lord." Goben said as they all sat at the table once again. They were awaiting the arrival of the people sent to the Water Tribe.

The tension in the room said it all. There was no good feeling about this, something felt off and terribly wrong. The room smelt of oil and leather.

Outside the door, a form of struggle could be heard. Someone was been dragged along the corridor.

Their hands went to their swords instinctively as they silently awaited whosoever would come from the door.

The trio busted into the room with force and Roc who was holding a terribly injured Rina, fell to the ground, Rina tumbling along with him.

She growled in pain.

DL's eyes shone with anger.

They had been discovered and they had the guts to attack them, to attack his own men!

DL stood up as they all tried to make a place on the floor to place the badly injured Rina.

"How could this have happened?" DL asked, shocked and sad from the sight.

He almost flinched at his own voice. What was going on with him?

Still, it was part of him to care a lot about his warriors. So maybe he haven't changed at all.

"They came at us, it was terrible." Malik, a fairly dark tall muscled man with weaved black hair said, breathlessly.

"Something felt so wrong. It was like they knew we were coming. They were prepared. The third bar we checked was the one and though we killed a lot of them as we had to fight back, I think they had prepared a lot of us." Roc said.

DL face reddened in full rage as realization hit him.

"That message was a trap and we fell for it." He said and the room immediately fell silent, only for the sound of pain Rina made.

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DL was in his room now. He paced around, his mind troubled.

How could he had fallen for that so blindly? He should have guessed, it had been all on it, it was a trap.

This was a blow to him, a blow to his good judgement. His eyes flickered to the golden Specter of Fire lying at the other side of his bed. The blue light in the eyes of the dragon craved on the top of the specter made him think of going to see Landrus but he shook the thought away. Something about this situation didn't make him think that would be the best solution.

They had to get Rina treated and that too must be a secret. He was starting to suspect anyone.

Was this how it felt for Grandpa? How the voices made him crazy? How the uprising made him go mad? How the power leaving him made him run out of his own mind?

He questioned himself because he could feel it too. A well thought out uprising that he was failing miserably in containing, in erasing.

He felt like he was losing his mind. He was losing power and it killed him. It made him want to kill someone.

The voices in his head started accusing him again and he looked around in panic.

They had started coming during the day?

Now how was he ever going to keep his promise to his grandmother? How would he ever keep his promise to her not to die like his grandfather?

******************************

Nana walked into his room and looked around at the mess. Her eyes caught a glimpse of the Specter of Fire and her mind pondered.

It had never been left so openly by her grandson. Since it had been in his care, she hardly ever saw it except when it was with him and that was rare. No one would really want to see the Dragon so she hardly saw the specter.

She walked slowly towards it, lifting her gown in her hands as she trampled on the mess without taking her eyes off the specter. It looked so small for how much power it wielded.

When she got close enough, she saw how beautiful it was.

"What are you doing here, Nana?" DL's voice cut across the room as he walked in through the door.

He didn't like this, her presence here, her presence anytime he made a mess and she was just there to see it. Times like now.

"I came to discuss important matters." She said and walked over to the DL who settled down at the other side of the bed.

"What do you want to discuss?" He said taking off his boots.

He felt so tired and he placed an arm across his eyes while he rested his back on a pillow and swung his legs on the bed.

"Your marriage." Nana said sitting on a chair close to the bed.

"How is that important?" DL asked having more pressing matters to deal with in mind.

"How is it not? Tell me, how it is not?" Nana cried out surprised.

"I just have more pressing issues now, Grandmother." He said and sat up, his legs on the floor.

"Like your nightmares?" Nana asked looking around the room, her voice filled with worry.

"Like my nightmares." He confirmed with a nod.

That wasn't a lie, everything happening to him had been his nightmares.

"But Clara will stay married to you for life! She will bear your heir, your children! This is important." Nana insisted.

"What are you trying to say?" DL asked, still not really interested.

"I am just saying you do not love Clara, why should you marry someone you don't love?" Nana said deliberately leaving the part of Clara not loving him either, she didn't know how this would turn out and she didn't want to put the poor girl in trouble.

She tucked a stray strand of red hair behind her ear as she watched DL's facial expression grow into amusement and then he laughed.

"Love? Such little matters don't bother me." His words bubbled over through his chuckle.

"But you love me." Nana stated an obvious fact, trying to make him see reasons.

"That is different. You are my grandmother." DL said as he swung his legs back on the bed.

"And You can't maintain and rule a mighty Kingdom while you are at the beck and call of love." He said.

Nana's lips curled downwards, "I can hear your grandfather speaking through you. You know some of what he said aren't true, just like history."

"Oh please don't start again, Nana. If you compare his Madjesty with history then you are only telling me to relay on his truth because history is always valid. History is always true."

"But..." Nana started.

"Not another word, Nana. I still have the voices in my head to listen to." He said closing his eyes.

She stood up annoyed. How on Earth would she be able to help Clara now?

She left.

He would have to change the lock, he didn't like how Nana was always walking in on all his mess.

The thought lingered in his mind till he fell asleep and the voices took over.

******************************

Diamant stared coldly at the disgusting food that have been served to her. She had stayed here in the darkness for maybe a day or two. The tiny window so high up helped her predict the time of the day. She had only drank water and that too she wanted to spit out but had forced it down her throat.

Yesterday she had forced herself to eat the food but she doubt she would be able to do it today again. Although she felt weak, she believed it was better than eating the disgusting food in front of her. Her left leg was bounded with the wall by a long chain and she coiled herself up and wept.

If only she had her mind straight without any distraction, maybe she would have been here but she wouldn't have this sadness, this disappointment, this fear.

Her mind went over to Sunain then to Aaron.

It bothered her that she still thought of him after all he had done to her. Maybe she shouldn't really blame herself. She had known only him and Sunain in this new world and it was okay to think of them while her life remains vague to her.

She felt great fear, something bad was about to happen, she could feel it.

And Sunain? If she was still in the dungeon, does that mean Sunain was too? Or was she dead?

Diamant shivered.

But still, what bothered her most wasn't all these. What bothered her was why. Why was she so weak?

******************************

Roc completed the stitch on Rina's arm.

"How could you have allowed them to cut you so badly?" He asked, his eyes focused on cleaning another cut. He wasn't really awaiting a response and Rina knew. Her mouth felt too heavy to say anything.

He knew that she had protected him. The main cut on her arm was aimed for his back. She had stood in the way and he knew.

He remembered turning back a little too late to see her gasp in utter pain as she stuck the man who had attacked him down.

She had saved him.

He placed a wet cloth on her head and wondered.

How long he would be able to do this? Sooner or later she would need someone who properly knew how to take care of her, not someone who only knew the medical basics to be used in the midst of a war for temporary effect.

She had saved him, put her life on the line for him.

But why?

******************************

DL woke up, his eyes filled with fear as he looked around in panic. His eyes slowly adjusted to the little light in the room.

The candles were running out and no one had come to place new ones. He squeezed his face in confusion, someone was supposed to have done it.

Then he remembered.

"Of course! I had Goben change the lock and now I am the only one with the keys." He said silently to himself as he walked over to the table with the keys on it. After falling asleep, he had woken up shortly after and had everything done.

The voices started whispering back to him and he tore at his ears. His mind went to the magical staff. He contemplated seeking comfort with Landrus. Landrus presence had always seemed to drive the voices away.

Was it because Landrus was a magical creature?

But the specter was also magical and it never helped him to drive the voices away.

Then maybe because Landrus was a magical creature that was alive.

The voices in his head couldn't let him think straight and he stood up in rage. Hitting the wall out of desperation.

He just wanted the whispering voices of accusations to leave him alone.

His heart cried out in misery, each time the voices spoke they grew louder and louder.

Then he heard a struggle by the door. Someone was trying the keys in the new lock.

DL couldn't really hear it but he caught the muffled growl of the person's frustration.

Nana...

"I know you are in there! Let me come in, I have the drink with me. Let me help you!" Nana cried out pleading.

Because of the barrier between them her voice sounded muffled to DL.

"No! No!" DL recoiled, the voices filling his head with a rapid craziness.

"Just go away! All of you! Go away!" He shouted to nothing, as he was losing himself in the madness.

Nana banged on the door in frustration and he refused to open it. He wanted her to leave, he feared he would hurt her. He knew the craze was eating into him, this disease was killing him.

Killing him just like it killed his grandfather.

Nana left after a long attempt of desperation. Her heart broke as the thoughts of losing her grandson came to her.

It was all a deja vu...

DL sat up coiled up in a corner. Never had he felt so weak, so vulnerable.

He jumped up as he looked around like it was all foreign to him. He headed out. He didn't know where he was going but he was sure that he wasn't going to see Landrus.

******************************

Goben took another gulp from the cup. His eyes stared distantly into nothing.

He was the one who found the bird, he had struck it down. He was an expert with things like that. He had a special skill to sight when the birds were carrying information.

This trap was so well planned out...

His lips drew into a thin line and as he remembered the frustrated look on DL's face.

The timing of all these was all a big advantage to the enemies.

The DL was sick. Suffering from a disease of the mind. The voices in his head were making him go crazy. This was a time when he was vulnerable.

He took another gulp and ran his hand through his hair in frustration.

He feared that this would be an uprising that would eventually lead to their end.

He caressed the glass that held DL's gift to him when he was 15.

"Everyone..." He said to himself while he ran his hand smoothly on the glass. Although Nana had long stopped treating him like a part of the family and only saw him as her grandson's right hand man. Well, that was what he was anyway. He still enjoyed the good memories of when they were all together and he wished for it again.

Sadly, he could barely remember his own parents.

He blinked vehemently, that thought was one he had always avoided. Why allow yourself to drown in sadness when you can just enjoy the happy memories?

******************************

Lewis went into the darkness of his room, his hands tapping against the table to guide him to the candle stand. He struck the match and lit the candles. As the candles lit the room, Lewis looked around in dismay.

Someone had being here. Someone had been to his room.

His heart raced and he assessed the mess, then saw his box opened.

He rushed over to it as his heart beat wildly filling his ears.

It was gone...

Clara's handkerchief was gone. The one thing that kept him company on lonely nights, the only thing he could hold when he needed her and she wasn't there was gone.

He fell to the ground with a thud. Someone knew of his relationship with Clara. Then fear chocked him.

What if the person tells the DL?

He held his loose shirt in fear. He knew what that meant, it meant death.

He definitely won't allow Clara to be the next Daya.

Tomorrow, he would confess. He would tell everything to DL and he hoped that the DL would have mercy. He had served him faithfully. He would tell him about his love for Clara. He would confess. He would say it all before this intruder would use this to frame him or Clara.

He would make the first move.

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