Distractions

Dragon Lord buried himself in the paperworks he had for the day. He had a guard from the dungeon request about Diamant's welfare. It was reported to him that she wasn't eating and was only surviving on water. Was she trying to die before he had the pleasure of killing her himself? He ordered that she should be given better food. He wanted to keep her there yet keep her alive. Something about him was selfish about letting her go, about letting her out from that dungeon where only him had the power to see her. He was worried about how frail she looked when he held her in his arms the night before yesterday.

Held her in his arms...

That sounded a little too personal, a little too close.

Preparing for a royal wedding was a huge task and people were already working tirelessly to make provisions for the day that was drawing nearer. DL still couldn't bring himself to order for the invitation letters to be sent out.

Time was running out! Getting these letters to where they should go might take days and that was a lot of time.

Time, he didn't quite have.

He looked at the paper in front of him again. The mines were doing great. What he was worried about was the huge amount of money demanded for the ships. He knew that ships were expensive but this felt overboard.

He sighed.

Then he started working again. The next time he lifted up his head to look around, it was dark. He had work till night!

He was glad he had taken care of a lot of tasks yesterday.

He looked into the darkness then called in a guard.

Someone was supposed to have been here to lit up the candles but then he remembered he gave strict instructions for him not to be disturbed.

A maid came in after sometime and the room brightened. She left the moment she was done.

He relaxed in his chair again and someone busted into the study that he had forgotten to lock. DL didn't even have to guess who that was, only one person with that kind of built could bust into his study like that.

Goben

And it was only when matters of urgency arose that he did it.

"Dragon Lord! An attack from the Riverside around the borders. The Water Tribe was heavily attacked earlier today. The news is just getting to me and I have sent some warriors to check. We were badly hit." Goben said with a voice breathless from running.

DL slammed his fist against his table in anger and his stood up.

"How is that even possible? Were they not enough warriors around that border?! That is one of the most heavily guarded borders! All my borders are heavily guarded!" Dragon Lord roared in anger.

"They...well....some..." Goben stammered.

"Will you quit that?! Tell me, already." DL said pissed off by his stammering.

"They had come like guests for your wedding." Goben said.

DL hadn't even sent out the invitation cards. His eyes flew to the pile of the invitation cards on his table.

"The guards realized a little too late that the cards had not even been dispatched yet. They thought, perhaps, the order for them to receive guests came a little late. When they realized their mistakes they fought back and discovered that they were enemies. They were able to push them back but the hit we received was brutal." Goben completed.

"Send some medical experts to them." DL said, his body suddenly felt weak.

"It is the Water Tribe, my Lord. They breed medical experts."

"Surely they do." DL said and fell into silence.

"Do you think they are the one? The same people with the bird?" DL asked as he watched the candlelight flickered.

"Yes, it looks like it." Goben confirmed.

"Once the warriors you sent get back, I want all what they found on my table. These attacks are becoming too bold, too confident!" DL ordered.

"Yes, Dragon Lord." Goben bowed.

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

Diamant's stomach stopped aching after sometime. She had been given good food and had eaten it quickly but since she had been skipping her meals for some days, it had disturbed her and her stomach had hurt.

For how long would she stay here?

For how long would he let her be here?

What exactly was she being punished for at the moment?

Sunain? Maybe she was still in the dungeon.

Diamant thought with her back turned to the bars as she laid on the floor not minding the filth.

Then she heard the gate open and someone stepped in. She turned immediately to see Dragon Lord take off his broad hat. His gaze penetrating.

Her face morphed into surprise. Why was he here in her dungeon? Not like she wanted it to be hers but it still was.

She could have sworn that she saw his face twitched in surprise but then she looked again and she doubted if it was ever even there.

Dragon Lord was surprised, he had thought she was sleeping. He didn't even know how he got here but then after the news of the attack he had dismissed Goben and allowed his legs to take him anywhere they wanted.

Now, here he was staring at a very much awake Diamant and he cursed in his head. He didn't have the energy for this.

"Here to set me free?" Diamant asked, hope slowly seeping into her eyes.

"You even dared to hope that?" DL replied, his face showing how stupid he thought that was.

"Then you are here to let me go to Sunain?" She asked again.

"How stupid are you?" He rolled his eyes.

Not as much as you

The voice in her head said but she pressed her lips tightly together, something like that would only get her into more trouble.

"Then why are you here?" She asked, her voice impatient.

"You don't get to ask that!" He replied hotly.

"Yes, I get to." Diamant said like it was the most obvious thing.

"This is my dungeon, I can come here anytime I please to do whatever I please." DL stated

"Technically, it is mine. You are not the one occupying this place with a chain on your leg."

DL wanted to reply to that then he stopped. He suddenly realized how stupid this was. He came all the way here and here he was having a foolish conversation about who owned a dungeon. He felt stupid and even more stupid when he realized how silly this situation was. This felt too much like a distraction.

He face went hard. He was slacking and he hated it.

"I know I talked about Sunain and you have refused to tell me anything. Will you at least tell me if you have seen Aaron? If he had asked about me?" Diamant whispered.

What was this? Was he now going to be giving reports to her? His lips formed into a straight line.

"I think you should be more worried about why I am here." He said, sinisterly.

"But that was the first question I asked and you..."

"I am here to tell you that I have you where I want you." He said.

"Where you want me?"

"Weak, entertaining fear and with not just one but more reasons to live." DL mocked.

Diamant eyes casted downwards, she felt that she had been stabbed in the chest. She had felt that this would happen but she didn't think it would be this soon. How could she allow herself to have seen and wanted live. But was wanting live wrong? Well it was, at least for her.

The Devil...

Diamant's anger rised and she stared at the floor boring into it a hole with her eyes. She was mad at herself, mad at the world.

She felt anger and rage's darkness taking control of her heart.

"And when shall I be executed?" Diamant voice cut the silence sharply as it stopped with an anger that wasn't ordinary.

DL flinched. Where had all the begging and the pleading gone? Her hard face that stared at the ground soon morphed into a face that showed no emotion.

She was going back to her old self, now only worse. Her face was empty, her eyes deadly cold.

A moment ago, she was right where he wanted her, right where her death would be pleasing, right where her death would mean killing a distraction.

Now, she was just...cold.

"Tomorrow." He answered back confidently despite the change in the air.

"Well then, I hope you will be doing it yourself." With that she turned her back to him and silence reigned.

He left in confusion. She was always an expert at this. Just when he thought he had her then she would slip away and he would realize he never really had her at all.

"No wonder the food was so good, a last meal." Diamant muttered to herself after she heard him left.

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

DL threw a fist at the hard wall and his knuckles bled. They would heal soon, they always healed.

Now he had a lot of things on his hands. This attack against him. This attack that was too greatly planned that he couldn't really decipher. This uprising against him that was becoming too bold. No uprising has ever had him this confused, this unsure and this vulnerable.

Then there was Diamant and an execution he was only certain about a while ago. Killing her now might be the same as killing her in the past. Upon the news of her execution, she went back to her old self. He must still kill her. Anything that took up his time and wasn't related to Alusa was a distraction.

She was a distraction.

What was she saying about him killing her himself? She always drove him to this dead end. She always ended up confusing him.

Then there was Nana who won't stop trying to get him to stop the wedding on pathetic excuses such of love.

Love...

Then there was that silly wedding. He walked to the invitation cards and pushed them to the ground angrily.

Distractions!

Then he looked at the wedding invitation card scattered across the floor and realization hit him and he smiled bitterly.

But of course...

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

"You sent for me." Goben said upon his entry to the study.

"When did the attacks started getting heated?" DL asked immediately

"My Lord?" Goben asked confused.

"When did the attacks started getting so pronounced and bold?" DL asked again, slowly tapping his pinky against his lower lip.

"That was after your return from the Fire Tribe."

"The Fire Tribe that demanded that I get an heir."

"Yes, Dragon Lord."

"Doesn't it all look planned to you?"DL turned to him then, he snapped his hands in excitement. His eyes brightened with an idea.

"I fear that I cannot respond, Dragon Lord. I don't know of that which you speak."

DL stepped closer to him.

"I will enlighten you, my dear friend. They demanded for an heir and while I was wondering where they got their confidence from, I pushed for a marriage. With my attention divided, the attacks increased and have gotten a little too close. The border was attacked on the disguise of wedding guests." DL explained.

"So, this wedding was their plan all along. It was a distraction." Goben said as his eyes twinkled in realization.

"That is only what you saw?" DL questioned as he laughed bitterly.

He went to the window and stared down at the kingdom. He looked to Goben again who stared at him in curiosity.

"The Fire Tribe is now an enemy. The Fire Tribe is betraying me!"

DL said and Goben calculated it all in his mind.

But of course...

"I want you to send some trusted warriors of the Black Mask over there by tomorrow. It is a day's journey so they would be here by the day after. I want them to bring their families here without anyone's knowledge. The enemy mustn't know that we know." DL commanded and Goben bowed.

He dismissed him and he left.

"Will have to remind them why I am called the Dragon Lord. Remind them that I am the King."

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