They rode at a small pace deep into the forest, Cedric had taken Buckley, his brown horse with him. It was his favorite horse in the stable. They rode silently for a while before Cedric broke it unable to rein his curiosity, “Father?”
“Yes my child?”
“We are going hunting right, I mean it explains the bows and arrows we took along with us”
“Hmm”, he merely hummed.
“However this does not explain why we are riding further into the forest. We have been at it for a day now”, Cedric added, “We are further away from the kingdom…”
Do not be a whiny girl now Cedric, Aileen is much more tougher than you are”, his father dryly remarked.
“I do not lie do I?”, Javaid asked in a taunting voice
Cedric fumed, this was another reason why he did not like his younger sister so much. He was never up to par in his father’s eyes when it came to his sister. It was because he had retained his morality compared to her. He rode on silently not bothering with the conversation.
“Well to answer your question, we are not actually going to hunt. There is a lot you need to learn my son, if you need to be king”
They arrived at a part of the forest where there was an open field, there were no trees.
“We are here”, Javaid said, he got down from the horse and surveyed the environment. His blue cape fastened on by diamond brooches billowed behind him, “This is my favorite place in the woods. I would come here as a young man. This place provided the solitude with I grew as a man…”
Cedric stared around, “It is just a sparse land father", he muttered under his breath, “There are many other sparse lands"
“I can hear you Cedric"
Cedric shrugged nonchalantly.
“This is where you will make your mark Cedric, this is where you will make the decision to be a great king”, he squeezed his shoulders.
“Should I tie the horses?”, Cedric asked.
“No they would not stray”
“See father, I do not know exactly why we are here but we can not be sure the horses won’t stray”, Cedric walked some distance before he turned back, “We can not be sure the horses won’t stray. It is a long distance from Salvador to here, I can not afford the walk home”
Javaid looked at him and smiled, “Okay, I will assure you”, he stretched his hands towards the horses. They neighed loudly and struggled, “There you go! They are stuck to the spot. You can be assured they will not leave this place princess”
“Father quit with the jokes I do not find them fu…”
“Shh”, Javaid whispered, with his finger on his lips, with his hand he beckoned on Cedric to stay close, “I hear footsteps, someone is nearby…”
“That is not a problem father”, Cedric replied with a loud voice, unmoving.
Javaid smirked.He moved to the center of the field, he looked around the forest intently. He took a deep breath and began to twirl his hands in a rhythmic motion, his eyes were shut. It was as if a folk song was playing but only he could hear it. He stretched his hands towards a part of the forest and drew his hands towards himself. Out of that part of the forest came a man and son, holding their throats struggling for breath. They crawled on the ground towards them.Javaid looked on in admiration at his son.The man and his son were pushed forward by a force they could not control. Cedric brought his rhythmic dance to a halt as he brought them before the feet of his father.“Look here father”, Cedric smiled with pride, “It was nothing to worry
“How was your hunting trip with father?”, Aileen rushed towards him the moment he arrived at the stables.“Good”, he said in a cryptic manner.“Just good?”, she inquired, “Surely there’s more?”He didn’t say a word to her, he continued to tend to his horse Buckley. He unsaddled it and meticulously brushed his body.Aileen was having none of it, “Come on Cedric, spill the beans already do not ignore me. You and father rarely go out leisurely, if it is not a war or…”“Why is that?”, he cut her off harshly.She stared at him surprisingly, she knew he merely tolerated her but never had he raised his voice at her, “Cedric…”, she called out in a whisp
***“You know what it is like don’t you?”, she rambled on, “It is like he is a different person. Like I don’t even know my own brother…”Kalliste merely nodded. The walk had her listening to Aileen’s pathetic monologue and her nodding in understanding or rather pretending to nod in understanding. If Cedric had treated her badly for any reason it was most likely that she deserved it. She was not one to wish ill on anyone but Aileen deserved all the ills that came her way. She was a wicked…“I am such a sweet person, I do not deserve to be treated like this, not by anyone let alone my own brother”, Aileen’s high pitched melodramatic voice cut through her thoughts.
“…she has not had anything to eat the whole day your highness. She has been tucked in bed all day, refuses to speak to anyone and we are worried. This is not her usual behavior and so I…”Ceric waved a hand at the maid to stop her from talking, “Let me see her”The guard at the door, knocked briefly, announced Cedric’s presence and opened the door to him.Cedric strolled into the chambers, his hand behind his back. His eyes strayed for a while before they settle on Kalliste who was curled up in a ball under the sheets, “Leave us alone"The maids scurried out leaving the room.Cedric walked towards the dresser and studied the candelabra, he ran his fingers tip over the smooth golden surface. He had picked it out with his mother many years ago. He managed a small smile, “What is the matter Kalliste?”She did not reply.“Wh
“Edgar! Edgar! Please you have to help me. My child has gone missing please!”Cleopatra thought she was hearing voices in her head again or it was one of her visions that appeared real. It was not until she heard a loud bang on the door did she realize the cries where coming from the real world. She swiftly shot up from bed, this was not an unusual occurrence in Averna. She was used to waking up earlier than usual because Edgar was Averna's physician. Most emergencies happened at night but this was different, she thought. She has heard something about a missing child. She stared out of the window and it was so dark outside, she groaned, it was not dawn yet.Cleopatra walked to the mirror and stared at her reflection, her hair was ruffled courtesy of a cold bad night sleep. She quickly put on a woolen sweater over her long night dress so she wouldn’t freeze to d
***It had been a while since the volunteers set out in search of Priscilla. Cleopatra sat on the floor next to Edgar, a blanket draped around her shoulders as she gingerly sipped from the cup in her hands. It was nearly dawn, the people gathered around had increased.Not too long after it happened, the story of how she had been in Priscilla’s head was on the lips of everyone. Many people stole glances in her direction but when she turned to meet their gaze they would turn away. She hope Priscilla was found, maybe their attention would be diverted she thought to herself.“Are you alright Cleopatra?”, Edgar asked.She nodded.“
***After the talk with his mother Cedric had left feeling dirty and disgusted with himself. He took a shower and scrubbed thoroughly hoping to wash away the guilt he felt but he had come out sore and the guilt still weighed heavily in his heart.He opted for archery, anything to get his mind off his current dilemma. There was a dummy target a few yards away form him. On a normal day he was a good archer probably the best there was in all of Salvador. Today however was not a normal day and today he was not the best. He had shot a host of arrows and save for one that had hit the outstretched arm of the dummy, the arrows had flown in to the forest. A couple of guards ran back and forth fetching the arrows but his aim seemed to worsen more and more after every shot. He tried one more
***Cedric leisurely strode into the throne room, his father was pacing about around his throne, “Father”, he called out to him drawing his attention.Javaid turned around when he saw Cedric he beamed with smiles, “My son”, he walked towards him. When he got to Cedric, he pulled him into a hug, “I inquired on your whereabouts, the guards informed me you had gone to see the royal artist”“Yes”, Cedric answered, “I wanted a new painting done but thanks to Aileen I won’t be getting one”Javaid chuckled, “Let me guess she killed him?”“It is not that hard to figure out”, Cedric answered dryly.&