26 Chapter 17: The Fall: Elyeria
Why was I angry? why did I care so much about what he said to me? I push it back down "Elyeria" he called for me, "I'm sorry" he seemed, himself, "it wasn't your fault"
"I know, but it's not your fault, I mean the eclipsing, your nightmares, it's not your fault, I care about and if it means that we have to endure, whatever comes our way we will" I place a hand on his cheek "but there will be time for sweet words later later, now we have traitors in our midst, did you find anything out from the kitchen boy?"
"No, he's staying silent" I repressed my urge to breath a sigh of relief now knowing that I was safe for someone in my situation "We might have to employ other methods"
"What did he try to poison you with?" even though I was giving the poison I only knew that it was meant to worsen Vios' condition "Darkdream, meant to make me see things, to make it look like I was about to go mad" he rubbed his tired eyes "maybe I am, I ate that meal, the healer said that I was lucky enough to make a recovery, but-" I was relieved
"But nothing, you're going to be fine" I kiss him on the cheek smile at him and walk away, knowing everything that I wanted to know. I was safe for now. I see the Marquess Mother in the castle halls. I don't greet her, she doesn't greet me. I wondered what she was doing back here. I think about Vios, I wonder whether all of this is worth going home, poisoning him and causing an entire nation to collapse due to a power vacuum. I think back to my desire to rule this place, it was a backup plan. If this spy situation worked out then I'd have no allies in this place the girl could get me killed before I get to go home.
I go to the library. It was huge, it looked as if the entire room was made of wood. The spines of the books were mostly red, green and brown. I looked at the titles. The history of Chrysia. Chrysian Myths and Legends. Meldavorni Myths and Legends. There was a small section containing the myths and legends of Neccavari. I look at the books. I decide to pick the Chrysian one, it made sense I was in the country, might as well learn about it. I find a deserted table and decide to sit down. I open the book, someone takes the seat in front of me, I look up. "I still feel guilty about last night"
"Let me make it up to you" he smiles, "I'm not taking no for an answer" I could tell that he was doing this to make himself feel better but I decided to indulge him "so, what do you have in mind?" I smile back at him
"Meet me in here at the exit, at sunset" he gets up and walks away. I turn my attention to the book, I turned the pages until I found something that interested me. Prophecies. I flipped through it this time slowly, the texts were one page long. I find something that catches my eye.
The Fall of The Marquis
Creatures stir in lands lost and untouched
The Sun melts the Iron Fist
The Bleeding Thorns strangle the Black Angel
The Sun burns The Scorpions
The Scorpions shall poison The Sun
The Blood shall spill as Poison rain falls
They all Fall
I wondered if this was true, I was never one that believed in prophecy but it interested me. There were elements of this which have proven to be true. I look in the book for an author's name but find none. I flip through the pages finding few things in there that interested me.
I look out the window of my room to see the sun setting. I traverse the winding labyrinth that was the Chrysian Court. I arrive at the exit, the guards were still there, "The Marquess Mother says that you are not allowed to leave the castle for your safety of course" the guards said
"She's with me" Vios walks up next to me
"What?" the guards stand aside clearing a path for the exit, after remembering who Vios was. I think about running, finding a port and passage back to Meldavorne then I remember that I have no money, everything that I do is with someone else's blessing. I follow Vios, we don't stray far from the castle. I'm led to a tower I climb up the stairs. We reach the roof, the sky was speckled with stars. "Lay down," he said, I do so. "what are you up to?" I asked Vios
"Do you always assume that people have an ulterior motive?"
"People usually do," I said
"So what is your motive?"
"To get some alone time, with you, I can't show you the world" he laid next to me "not yet at least, so for now I'll show you the stars" I remember being taught about the patterns in the stars, in my home they say that Fotiana, Goddess of Fire and Light, she shifted the stars with the last of her power, to leave a message, some of my people spent their lives analysing the stars, some say the message would tell the world the secret of magic others believe that it holds the secret of how to kill The Great Coming Evil, I was more apathetic to the warning than my siblings, well that was understandable, they believed themselves to be holding the comatose soul of the Gods, of course the evil was going to come for them, it was written, the evil was from the Other Land, the land where the Gods ventured out from and found the void and gave it life. I looked at them, "what do you see?" I asked, the man lying next to me.
"I see" I could tell that he was narrowing his eyes at the stars "I see a spiral," he said,
"what do you see?" I look at the stars, I trace it and make an eye, then I try something I trace it again and saw a spiral, I traced it once more and I saw spikes "depends on what I want to see" I answered
"Well," he turned to me "what do you want to see?" I look at him
"There is something that I'd like seeing more of but it's not the stars" we laid there on the roof, staring at each other, then we kiss. I think I like him, then my mind is pulled to the thing that I pondered for the past few days, did Vios deserve this? Is getting home really worth it? No, he didn't deserve this. There was my answer.
It was morning. I went to the garden. I sat on the bench next to the girl. "So did the Kitchen boy say anything?"
"No," I reply, I take a breath knowing that what I'd be doing was dangerous "I'm leaving"
"So you don't want to go home?"
"I'll find another way"
"And you don't care for our protection when the dam breaks?" she asked
"I can protect myself"
"If you think you're going to stop us, you're already too late" I remember the secret passages that I told them about, I then think of how much I betrayed Vios "goodbye" I get up and walk away.
I walk through the halls. I feel a hand on my shoulder, I turn around to see Dahlian, "so when will the wedding be?"
"Come on, I know that you both like each other,"
"The Fire-Scorpion Dove is flying,"
"In Chrysia, when two people are obviously in love, they get something that represents them, you The Scorpion and my brother The Sun, but Sun-Scorpion doesn't have a ring to it, so Fire-Scorpion it is" I couldn't help but smile at the idea. Fire-Scorpion. "Come on you know you like it"
"Well" he smiles "it does have a nice ring to it, but a wedding is a bit too much, too early"
"Compared to some of the people here, you guys took your time, some people got married the same day they met"
"True, but still," I said, "Where did you get the idea that there was going to be a wedding taking place?"
"Well there were no mentions of a wedding, but I noticed him sneaking back from the Tower, he strutted in with a grin so wide that for it to be wider his face would have to split" he smiled, happy for his brother, "but I warn you, my mother will find out, she probably already has, you'll be invited to a dinner, where she'll try to find out anything and everything about you that she can, she'll know if you're lying, guess why?" I think on the question "because she already knows"
"You seem to know a lot, how?"
"Because she's done it before, that's how she determines who gets to marry her children, luckily my wife to be passed"
"Let's just hope you do" he smiles and walks off to a group of people
I read in the library, a serving girl enters, "Marquess Elyeria, you have invited to a dinner at the Ristikos table" I assumed that my time of trial came. I walked behind the girl, her hair was orange. I follow her up the stairs through some halls and up more stairs. I find the room, it was bigger than it needed to be, for the table meant for one family and a few guests. The Marquess Mother sat at one head of the table, I sat on the opposite end. "Greetings, Marquess" she puts on a smile "we may now eat" I look at Dahlian, he gives me a pitying smile, I look at Vios he gave me a smile one meant to cheer me on. I sip my wine, it tasted sour and bitter, I put down hiding my disgust, she sips her wine then she sliced into her steak. After swallowing her slice The Marquess Mother froze, I notice and stare at her "are you alright?" her nose starts to bleed, then her ear, then blood drips from the corners of her eyes. She started to cough it up, it spluttered out of her mouth and onto her food, she screamed. I got myself to move, I pushed the doors open "Somebody help!!" I cried out "We need a medic!" my throat hurt, medics, barons, and guards rush to the scene to see what was happening. The medics rush her to the medical hall.
I find myself in the waiting room with Dahlian and Vios, a woman with black hair and brown eyes, enters "I heard about what happened" she runs over and hugs him "it's going to be okay" he hugs her back, not really hearing her, he was trapped in the moment that his mother started to die. I wanted to be able to tell them that it was going to be okay, but I got the feeling that it wasn't, but it was a feeling, not a vision, I may be wrong. Certainty, that's what told me that I wasn't wrong, certainty was always there, it told me when something was going to happen, I couldn't lie to myself. I looked at Vios, he was frozen, his hand was limp in mine, "whatever happens it was going to be okay" I turn his head towards me "I promise" I kissed him on the forehead.
The medic came in, he looks at me and the girl "it's customary that family hears the news first"
"She's my wife, she is family," Dahlian said, him and his wife smile at each other, I get up to leave, I feel Vios clench on my fingers before they slipped from him, I sit back down. Vios seems as if he's entranced by the floor, I place my free hand on top of his "very well then" he said "The Marquess Mother is dead, she had a seizure" he hung his head, Dahlian cried silently. Vios gave away nothing, he simply got up and left the room, "Go" the girl said. I leave the room. I look around, I don't see Vios anywhere. I find my way to his chambers, I hear screaming and things shattering. All the information that I'd given to the spy, schedules, the location of secret passageways and I told them when Maléna was coming, I helped them destroy the reputation of the house and worst of all I told the girl about the tasters so that they could intercept them, if it weren't for that Vios and Dahlian's mother would still be alive. I reach my hand towards the door, I don't get to feel sorry for myself, I don't get to make it about me, I had to be there for him. I opened the door "You lied!" he screamed at me, spit flew out of his mouth and his face was red, "you said it was going to be okay" he was sobbing "how is this okay?!" I closed the door behind me "my mother is dead, she's never coming back" he collapsed onto the floor, "it's going to be okay"
"It isn't" he continued to cry
"Do you think that it was going to be easy?" I asked him "of course it isn't your mother is dead" he looked up at me and I continued "you must be going through hell, but you have a nation to rule your mother isn't here to help you anymore, you are The Chrysian Marquis Vios Ristikos, you can grieve but you have work to do, now more than ever, you need to pull yourself together, do you understand?" he nods "I'll see you tomorrow" I kiss him "I love you" I walk back to my chambers. I start crying. I remember what I said before I left, what type of person helps hurt someone they love like this? Did someone like that deserve happiness?
It's the day of the funeral. I wear one of the only black dresses, that were left for me. I walk into the garden with my veil shrouding my face. I stand in the gardens with other people who were mourning the loss of Maléna Ristikos. There was a podium in the garden, in front of the horizon, Vios walked onto it "today we mourn the loss of my mother, she was a strong woman but her life was ended by cowards and their amongst you right now" I heard the footsteps of guards entering the garden, "we will mourn the loss of a great woman, but we can celebrate the killer being brought to justice" he smiled at the crowd then looked at me. I feel a hand on my shoulder "Elyeria Kasfi you are under arrest for the murder of The Marquess Maléna Ristikos, you have the right to remain silent, anything you do or say may be used against you in your trial, anything you don't or do will be used against you" the guard said, the crowd turned to me with shock, I saw the girl she was waved at me, her face wasn't blank for the first time she showed emotion, she smiled. Certainty, I knew that it would tell me when my day came. I was going to fall.