tagNon-EroticRedamancy Ch. 18-20

Redamancy Ch. 18-20


Chapter Eighteen

Queen Velorina was nursing her newborn babe when the guard stormed in.

All black armor, he clanged over to the queen. A vassal of King Toros's trailed behind him, his gangly form stumbling the moment he entered the queen's birthing chambers. He looked young, no older than eight and ten with light hair that fell into his blue eyes. He sported two larger front teeth that appeared to keep his thin lips from closing. He could be handsome in another light save for his mouth.

"My queen," he spoke, his tone squeaky and unsure.

The queen's face fell. Tears formed in her eyes as she kept them on her daughter. The babe suckled gently, her black hair mashed against her fresh head. She hadn't a clue in the world. Her life was just beginning.

"My queen, please," the vassal spoke, his voice breaking. "I must take her. He commands it."

Velorina sighed and hugged her babe closer. "You don't have to do this. She's barely a day."

The vassal's heart hurt. He hurt for the queen. But he had his orders and that was to not allow the baby to live.

The queen looked up at him then, "Elisven..."

He was taken aback. "Excuse me, your highness?"

She sucked in a deep breath. "Elisven. I've named her Elisven."

A pain struck the vassal. "A beautiful name for a beautiful girl." How could he do what was asked of him now that he knew she had a name? She had a title and that made her Broslan. Royalty at that.

He sighed and turned, thinking of walking out, thinking of running away, thinking of defying the king. Instead, he feared for his own life. He was selfish. He pinched the bridge of his nose before he muttered, "I'm sorry," and stepped out of the chambers.

The sound of Queen Velorina protesting and crying struck his ears. The sound of the babe crying out for her mother pained him as she was being ripped away from the queen. How could someone be so heartless?

Once the guard was behind him with the wailing child, he turned and grabbed her. "Leave us," he ordered the guard.

What shall he do with her? He thought about what the king had said when the guard handed the babe over. She quieted down in his arms and began cooing. She opened her large, green eyes and looked directly into his. She had a crop of raven hair that matched her mother's sticking out in all directions.

He adjusted the green cloth that covered her. The vassal hadn't realized he was humming and rocking her to sleep until she was breathing softly, eyes closed.

That's when he knew he couldn't go through with this. He couldn't harm an innocent being.

The vassal turned on his heels and re-entered the queen's chambers to find Queen Velorina with her head in her hands and shoulders shaking.

"Your highness," he softly whispered. "Queen Velorina?"

She shot her gaze up and he was flung across the room. He kept the babe safe and close to his chest when he hit the wall. Blackenthors were incredibly powerful and she wanted him to know that as she hit him with an invisible force that had him gagging and retching.

"My queen, please," he begged.

The babe began crying and that's when the queen halted her movements with a hand in the air. She wriggled her fingers and brought Elisven to her. She cradled her child in her arms and muttered, "Why?"

The vassal stood on shaky legs, blood dribbled down his chin. "She asked me not to," he smiled.

Queen Velorina glanced up. "How could she?"

He took a step forward and kneeled before her, pausing to ask permission to touch Elisven. At her approval, he cupped her face. "Her eyes."

When the queen smiled, the vassal felt lighter, as if a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders.

"What is your name?"

"Ashryn, your highness."

"Ashryn," she repeated before meeting his gaze. "You will need to leave the castle. He will find you. I cannot protect you."

He nodded. "I understand, your highness. The king believes I have taken care of this matter. You must stay hidden; keep the babe out of sight." He whispered and glanced out of the open doorway to ensure that there were prying ears or eyes.

Chapter Nineteen

Jehenne stretched lazily on the straw mattress, her naked body feeling cooled by the silken sheets.

Sir Syne laid next to her, head in his hand as he eyed her. The gods casted him in his favor when she chose him as a lover during her reign. She had the pick of the lot and he caught her eye. They had known one another since they were both children, having grown up in the castle together. Him, a lowly squire and she, the child of a servant.

How far they both had come.

The ship rocked back and forth, lulling them both into a deep sleep. They were nearing Asna with each passing day, a solid fleet of nearly a thousand more ship following the royal vessel. She was prepared for war.

One girl could be the end of her and Jehenne wasn't going to let that happen.

The queen wouldn't allow her throne to be stolen from her. She had won it fairly by force; the throne was hers and hers alone. She hadn't married yet and she knew she should take on a suitor but first, she was enjoying her company with Sir Syne. He was good in certain areas like her chambers. She needed him.

Besides, she was still young, ten and thirty, so she had time. Children were not her primary concern but she did need them to secure her lineage. Perhaps she could wed a nobleman from Edrein to link the two countries. After all, Adraemor was much larger than Asna and by having the two countries as one, Asna could become the humans'.

"She's close, my love," the queen smiled and sighed. She rubbed a finger down Syne's sternum. "I can feel her."

The Ravelon line wasn't entirely human. Phaedrocs, they were called, an ancient line of mages that used the elements to fuel their power, bred with the humans of the Ravelon family. Mixed blood of races and the people did not like that. It created abilities one should not be gifted to wield.

Thank the gods Avelyn was born powerless and she had been stolen for that very reason. A Phaedroc without magic? That was unheard of.

Jehenne rose and wriggled her fingers, cracking them as she did so. Her powers were given to her through potions she drank each night. The potions were made of extract from the dead Phaedrocs when they were killed off years ago.

Black smoke emanated from her fingertips. She brought her hands up to her face and blew the smoke out, watching as it reignited darker and thicker. Jehenne made little shapes with the smoke, allowed it to form differently before it faded into nothing. Her power grew and she wanted to release it but knew she needed to wait.

In her other hand, she formed a ball of it before flinging her arm to the side to dissipate the smoke. The power ran through her body and she shivered before she inhaled deeply to control herself lest she destroy the entire ship. She had to rein herself in, had to control herself, and wait. Patience was key, she realized, as she brought her hands close to her chest, feeling the lost princess nearby.

"Avelyn," she whispered. "I'm coming for you."

Chapter Twenty

A flutter formed in Dev's middle.

She cleared her throat mid-sentence of speaking to Ara, another lady in waiting. "My apologies," she muttered and rubbed at her stomach. She couldn't possibly be hungry. Perhaps breakfast had upset her insides.

Ara only smiled at her, her red lips revealing white teeth. "Are you alright?"

Devyn nodded. "I believe so."

Another flutter and a slight pang occurred in her chest this time. She coughed and it went away.

She glanced towards the queen who was dressed in a dark purple dress, pretending to be in mourning over the loss of her child. Her ladies all matched her, having to be the perfect picture of sadness.

The king still believed his daughter was thrown over the Silver Gorge three moons ago. He hadn't realized that the queen who secretly kept her in her chambers with several mid-wives and wet-nurses to look after her when the king wanted the queen beside him at all times. She rarely was able to see her child but when she did, Queen Velorina's eyes lit up.

The queen adored Elisven as did her ladies.

Devyn honestly looked forward to seeing the babe each night when the queen snuck up to her chambers after having to wait for the king to fall asleep. He wanted her to carry again but the queen would not allow that to happen. She couldn't handle going through a second pregnancy with her husband.

Just then, a shiver caused her to jump and cry out unexpectedly. She issued her apologies once again and sat up straighter. What was going on with her? All eyes from the twelve ladies surrounding her landed on Devyn. She shifted uncomfortably on the bench cushion and sighed.

She tried to ignore the sensations arising in her body as the carriage carried the queen and her ladies to their destination. Queen Velorina had been invited to dine with Queen Kaliea. Cassius typically refused such requests as he'd rather stay in Ieslal however, Queen Velorina jumped at this opportunity so as to escape the castle.

King Toros chose not to accompany his wife as Broslan nobility left diplomatic and event relations to the females. The men stayed home and handled strategic maneuvers between the nations. In other races, like the humans of Edrein, the women were only allowed to be escorted by men to these types of duties. The noble women of Edrein could not enforce political decisions even with their husbands' consent. Elves, on the other hand, did not bother with sex and reign. The females could make any choice they so pleased to make in government and battle as did the men.

Devyn often thanked the gods that she wasn't adopted into human nobility in Edrein. Sure, her father owned land but he was not a knight or a Lord. He simply held no title.

"Devyn, is something wrong?" Queen Velorina asked from across the carriage.

She glanced up and spotted the queen's compassionate eyes staring back at her. "Yes, Your Highness. I think my curse is starting early this moon," she murmured and rubbed at her middle once more.

The queen nodded in understanding before she tapped lightly on the roof. "Let us rest a moment, shall we? Stretch our legs," she beamed when the carriage halted.

The path they were on was rocky and being still was a nice release from the many bumps they were enduring. Devyn stepped out of the carriage and rubbed at her backside, having been sitting the bench for several hours.

There was a stream down the bank of the hill where the path was on and the ladies all headed down there to play in it, forming a circle as they did so. Devyn sat on a small stump near the water and splashed water onto her face. It was refreshing and alarming but she still felt those strange feelings arising in her belly.

Queen Velorina joined her ladies at the head of the small circle, near Devyn, and began humming the same song she sings to Elisven each night. It was almost melancholy but also sweet. The ladies joined her and their voices rose above the birds and the wind in the air.

Devyn's voice died out when she was yanked back suddenly by an unseen force.

A few of the ladies gasped as did the queen when they noticed she was now on her back in the mud. "Gods," Devyn cursed.

Another harsh yank had her pulled further back.

"Devyn!" Queen Velorina called out and held up her hands to bring her back.

Dev was pushed softly towards the ladies when she was caught midair. She looked down when she felt her world bottom out. She tried not to move for an instant but then she was severely jerked backwards by her middle. She was slumped over, head down and legs out, as she flew through the air, through the underbrush and foliage that stood in her way.

Everything hurt as it hit her body until finally, she stopped, landing against a boulder. Her head bounced against the solid rock and she hissed in pain. Her body ached and the agony became too much.

Her vision blurred but she knew she saw a familiar figure marching her way, one with silver eyes.

Then, he was gone and the world went black.

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