”Hey, what time do you usually sleep by? ” I asked the child who had taken to jumping up and down on my bed.
”Uhh… Midnight! And I wake early, the moment the sun rises! ” He replied in between shouts of laughter as he jumped up.
”That makes this easier then, but… ” I knew it would be hard to hold off sleep on my part. Babies need sleep, so they could literally shut off anywhere.
I couldn let him escape on his own. It would be way too dangerous. And as a one year old I might not be able to provide protection, but I could provide distraction. After all, anybody walking the castle grounds was deemed suspicious, unless they were the King or they had some type of retainer.
It was lucky that I saw that map, because now I had some idea on where the gardens will take me depending on my route. I should be able to get Luka to a safe spot where he could fly over the wall and get to his hidden village safely.
”Luka! ” I called the boy in a sudden urgency which had him stopping his fun altogether and turn to me in surprise.
”You need to be careful in crow form, so it might be better to turn into a boy at some point, until you
e far enough from the castle, that is ”.
He nodded, ”Ill be careful, but you don need to worry much, normal crows can do this, but our clan has been hunted for dozens of years so at night time when we fly its impossible to catch a glimpse of us when theres no light ”.
He was much calmer than he was earlier. And at his words I gave a large breath of relief.
”Thats good ”.
”I want to thank you ”.
”Eh!? ” I furrowed my brows at him in confusion.
”I always thought all humans were bad, but you helped me. There are good humans too… ” he gave me a smile a child should never have to wear.
”T-Thanks ” I stuttered back, maybe it was the genuineness of it that made me embarrassed.
He held out his hand to me with a toothy grin, ”Ill never forget I have a friend like you, Princess Mallory Blackburn ”, he knelt down like a knight holding an outstretched hand towards me which I grabbed onto, confused, ”I owe you a debt that Ill come back to repay you for one day ”.
”What? You don have to! I was just helping a child- I mean my friend! Friends don owe favours to each other ”, why was I so flustered?
”No ”. He immediately replied, ”my parents taught me to repay debts and Ill repay you for this one. Its my honour as a prince ”.
He kissed the tiny, pudgy hand in a way a knight would to his lady.
”A-Alright… but don do it at your own expense. Do it when you can afford to, when it doesn risk anybodies life ”, I sternly scolded, scared he might come back here again.
”Okay, but Ill be grown up when I can do that so I won forget you until then! ”
Right… well see about that…
”…. I believe you …. ”
The sun set passed frighteningly slow, the sky darkened with each passing minute and soon we stared at a black sky together, in a dark unlit room, I grabbed onto Lukas hand, squeezing it in reassurance.
”Lets go ”.
The garden was silent, the occasion whisper of faint music came from the main castle, but that was it. I couldn hear the sound of knights patrolling, marching, the sound of clinking metal that always followed them.
The way to the safest exit was past the administration office, there would a nearby stream filled with exotic fish (dad likes his fish) and beyond that would be a small, maintained forest garden. I only heard about it from mother who said it was a wonderful place and Victor would always say there was lots of trees.
It looked like he might be right from the way it looked on the map so it was our best bet to let him transform there and then fly over the walls.
”Come on ”, I whispered just as the administration building came into sight. The place was deserted, but just as I felt hope bubble up in my chest I caught sight of a metal suit, reflecting the light of a street lamp outside the building.
It was soldier, hiding away, ready to take on any passing abnormality.
”Hes not moving ”, Luka caught sight of him just as quickly. I could feel his trembling form besides me, ”hes waiting for me… ”
I frowned at him. This is why Im here.
”The area opposite seems pretty clear, right? There isn a soldier in sight ”. I asked glancing at the darker side of the building.
”I can see anybody, not even behind the trees or bushes ” he replied.
I already knew from the book that Ruby had special sight from his bloodline so Lukas impressive sight was no surprise.
”Luka. Listen carefully. ” I turned to the boy with a serious expression, ”Im going to distract the knight ”.
”What! ” He harshly whispered, ”hell kill you ”.
”No. Hell kill you. Im a princess, if he hurts me hell be in trouble. I can distract him for only a moment so I need you to quickly and quietly leave. Its just beyond the stream and into the forest. No knights can enter there so you should be safe ”.
”But what if you get hurt? ” He seemed to forget about his own worries.
”I won . If I do then Ill be healed ”.
”What will you say to him? ”
”That I lost my mom at the party. Don worry about me, think about yourself and if you hear a commotion don you care come back, otherwise we both die ” I jabbed a finger at him.
”…. I don like this plan ”.
”If they capture you they won kill you. Theyll find out where your village is and then theyll kill you. Ill be fine even if they think Im you. And somebody will eventually recognise me, anyway ”.
I heard him gulp.
”O-Okay. Be careful. Ill come back one day, I promise ”.
”Ill be waiting ”.
And with that parting I crept along the bushes , closer to the knight and then when I was close enough I left my hiding spot, startling the still knight.
”Who goes there? ” He called drawing his sword out and holding it towards me.
”I- I lost my mommy ”
”A child? Well that makes this easier ”, I heard him mutter, ”come closer little one, Ill find your mother for you ”.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw the movement of a small body passing the opposite side of the building safely.
”O-Okay ” I walked closer to where the light shone, revealing my tiny self.
”Dark hair. Light skin. Found you ”.
In quick swift movements the knight appeared before me and suddenly pain erupted at the back of neck. My vision blacked and I felt my mind doze off, but I heard a laugh before I completely fell asleep.
”Ha! And they said Id never catch it this far back! I was the only one with enough brains to come here! ” He boasted.
Thats good. That means Luka is safe…
When I finally woke up again it was to loud voices, all arguing with each other.
”What will a child be able to tell us!? And one this young! ” One shouted, they kicked something out of frustration.
”Maybe we can hold it hostage? Wait till the parents come along? ” Suggested a meeker voice.
”And why would they walk into such an obvious trap? We
e screwed. Theres really nothing we can do except kill the brat! ”
I heard the sound of a sword being drawn. My senses becoming alert.
”Wait. We haven even seen it transform yet. How are you sure its actually one of those things? ” A new, intellectual voice added.
”It was walking around at night on castle grounds, the party is miles away from the administration office, theres no way its a human. And Mark said it was looking for its mother, thats more evidence! ”
Thats a really great point, a really fair point.
Alright. Lets wake up.
I fake groaned, ”unmm mommy? ” I opened my eyes, feigning innocent confusion as I looked at the armed men surrounding me. They didn sound as scary as they looked.
Right now, I was tied to a chair, surrounded by knights in full armour, all of which are drawing their swords because Ive woken up.
”Its woken up! ” One of them cried, nearing me with a sword.
”Mommy! ” I shouted in alarm, trying to sound like a child whilst doing so.
”Hans! Step away! That could be normal child! ” Another man, with beautiful flowing silver locks and a handsome face, judging from his voice he was the one who saved me.
”Theres no way! Look at her eyes! They
e full of evil! ”
”Lets see it transform first. That way well be sure ” the handsome man interjected.
”But itll be too late then! Itll be flying all over the place and then itll escape! ”
”We are trained knights. We can take down a bird ” snorted a blonde haired young man.
”Chris is right. Lets wait ”
And then they all turned to me, staring at me expectantly.
It was starting to feel pretty awkward and uncomfortable.
They weren going to stop either.
It was only when at least 10 minutes past when one of them reached over and grabbed my hair in a rough grip that had me whining in pain.
”Turn for **s sake! ” He shouted at me, the stench of beer oozing from him.
This was getting scary.
”Go to your mommy! Grow your cursed wings and go! ” He started thrashing my head around which hurt so much tears fell from my eyes.
”Hey Dave, if you kill her we won find out ” said the blonde man.
”Shes a cursed being shes better off dead. Its obvious shes not a human. Lets just kill her! Thatll at least draw out her demonic kind ” rough hands circled my neck, grip tightening so fast I couldn say anything and suddenly I couldn breath.
I- I was going to die! M- Mallory was going to die! Oh somebody! Anybody! D-Dad!
Stupid Emperor! Save your kid!
And like music I heard the words, ”his Emperor has arrived! ”
As if burned the hands left my throat, leaving me gasping and coughing for air. My eyes opened to sight blinded by butterflies. I wanted to groan at my splitting headache, but I wanted to breath even more.
”Emperor! We caught the child ”- the voice was cut off by a loud bang.
”Who did this! ” A loud booming voice shouted.
Nobody answered the terrifying voice of Emperor.
The rope around me was quickly broken and my coughing body was held in a delicate hug.
”Answer me! ” Another bang was heard, ”which one of you bastards hurt my child! ”
Fresh air finally travelled to my lungs, the butterflies subsided revealing a group of shocked knight who all dropped to the ground in begging positions.
”Your highness, p- please forgive us we found your child wandering around at knight and mistook her for ”-.
”Silence! I didn ask for why shes here! I asked for why shes hurt! Her neck is bruised! Who dare lay hands on my daughter! ”
Fingers pointed to a large man, whose legs shook as he knelt down.
”I- Im sorry your majesty! P-Please forgive me! ” He continued to cry out begging for his life to be spared.
”D-Dad ”, I grabbed the terrifying mans shirt.
”How dare you! If you had killed my daughter I would killed off anybody who carried a speck of your blood right before your naked eyes! Since shes alive Ill only kill your children! ”
”Every knight in this will taste death a painful death. Nobody shall leave alive! ”
”If you kill yourselves now itll make this easier! ”
He stopped, looking down at me. His face looked so hurt and regretful that I almost felt bad for what I said next, but I said regardless.
”I want to go home ”.
”I want to go home. Can you just lock them up for now and do something later? ”
The knights who had been once begging, lifted their heads with eyes the size of saucers.
She can talk!?
”O- Of course I can. You want to go home? Ill take you home! ” He seemed like a completely different person compared to before. In a 180 degree switch he glared at the knight beside him, ”stick them all in a prison unit. If a single one tries to escape relay me their name. Ill come up with a special punishment for them ”.
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