"Okay, where do I begin?"
The four of us were in the Queen's chambers. I was sitting on the floor while the Queen sat in a chair across from me. Selene was on the bed, with the Princess sitting in her lap. Allie was happily examining the new feather that Selene had gifted her.
The Queen was the first to respond and asked, "I know you don't like to open up, but would you be willing to tell me what you went through in your past? I feel like it would help me understand what just happened."
I really didn't want to, but Selene's good mood made it hard to say no.
Sensing my dilemma, Selene let out a snicker. Hearing her, the Princess asked, "Selene, what's so funny?"
"Leo is technically in charge of me. Because of that, the two of us are linked. He is trying to be cool and mysterious, but it isn't working because I am happy, and it is getting in the way of him being grumpy."
With a frown, the Princess replied, "But Selene, that doesn't make any sense. How can he be mysterious if you know everything about him?"
"Exactly! He isn't very bright, is he?"
While the two shared a laugh at my expense, I asked, "Will I have a chance to defend myself?"
Letting out a sigh, I stated, "Alright, Selene, since I am not as bright as you. Why don't you tell them my story?"
Hearing this, Selene stopped laughing and waited to see if I was serious. Seeing that I wasn't going to change my mind, she said, "Alright, settle in, everyone. This is going to be a long story."
The idea of listening to my own life story seemed pretty dull, so I got comfortable on the floor.
I must have dozed off because I was awoken by someone gently nudging my leg. Opening an eye, I saw the Princess standing next to me. With a sad expression, she said, "I'm sorry that I kicked you earlier. I know I shouldn't have done that. I don't have many friends, and I got upset when I heard Selene got really hurt. I didn't want to lose her."
Giving the Princess a soft smile, I responded, "The only thing you have to apologize for is that you have two feathers from Selene, but you never asked for mine. I feel the same way about Selene as you do. She may be extremely needy, but she is important. She is also my only friend, besides you, that is."
Hearing that I was also her friend, the Princess perked up.
Gently poking my chest, the Princess said, "If you are in there, Mr. Archdemon, I am sure you are awfully lonely. Don't worry though, I will be your friend too!"
Hearing her words, my body froze for a moment. It was almost as if it was surprised by the Princess's words. The feeling went away practically as fast as it had appeared, but I could interpret the meaning.
Selene must have felt this also because, with a smile on her face, she said, "I believe he liked your gesture, Allie."
Now, any normal person would say that using a demon's power right after it tried to take over their body would be a bad idea. But Selene had said it best. I was dense.
Before I could second-guess myself, I took a deep breath and forced my left wing out of my body. It quickly worked, but I had to bite my tongue to hide my pained grunts so the Princess wouldn't worry.
Extending my wing out, I said, "Take whichever feather you want."
I was slightly worried that my feathers would stay sharp. They had only seemed to accept Selene, but as soon as the Princess took a step closer, they softened. I had no idea if that meant it worked because she was my friend or if the Archdemons power had accepted her.
Staring at my wing intently, the Princess settled on a feather that met her approval and gently pulled it out.
As soon as it was in her hands, she let out an approving "oooo" and proudly showed her mother.
As soon as her gaze shifted from me, I quickly pulled the wing back into my body, eager to get rid of the pain.
Looking at the Queen, she pulled her daughter onto her lap and gave me a sad smile.
"I honestly don't know how you survived all of that, let alone how you remain positive in life. I know my words don't mean anything, but I am sorry you had a past like that. That being said, I think I agree with Selene. From what I have seen and heard, I believe that somehow part of this Archdemon is alive in your body. I also believe that the man called the Doctor has to do with the Archdemon's disappearance. Why else would the Archdemon get so angry hearing that the Doctor is back?"
Shrugging, I replied, "You have nothing to be sorry about. What happened happened, and it can't be changed. Now, it seems like we are all in agreement that the strongest demon to ever exist is inside of me. What would our next step be? As you heard, our main goal is to find Selene's friend. The best lead we have is in the far north. On the other hand, the Doctor just reappeared, and he is in the far south. The two goals are completely contradictory to each other, and I don't know what to do."
Giving the Princess a nudge, the Queen said, "These are your friends. Why don't you see if you can help them?"
I looked to Selene, but she only shrugged, so I waited to hear what the Princess would say.
Staring at the floor as she concentrated, the Princess began.
"You two are my friends, but I don't understand either of you. You are awfully strong, but you don't talk to each other. Leo, you want to find the Doctor, but you are nervous that Selene intends to find her friend first. Why not just ask her if you can find the Doctor? And Selene, you told me about how you like Leo. Why not just tell him? I don't understand why you two keep your feelings from each other when we can all see how you both feel."
I didn't have to look at Selene to know that both of our faces were red with embarrassment. I guess I wasn't nearly as clever at hiding my feelings as I thought, if a child could pick up on them.
The sound of the Queen laughing snapped me from my embarrassment.
Looking up at her laughing mother, the Princess asked, "Did I say something wrong?"
Wiping a tear from her eye, she replied, "No, I think you were perfect. Sometimes a child's bluntness is exactly what is needed."
With a cute pout, the Princess said, "I'm not a child."
Getting to my feet, I held out a hand towards the Princess and said, "You may be a child, but you are still my friend. And thank you for what you said. We both needed to hear it."
Feeling her little hand in mine, I scooped up the giggling child and tossed her onto the bed next to Selene. Sitting on the other side of her, I asked, "Selene. I know we agreed to find your friend, but would you mind if we made a quick detour towards the Doctor?"
Giving me a smile, Selene replied, "That is fine by me, as long as I get to get my hands dirty."
Hearing this, the Princess let out a cheer and yelled, "Yeah! I want to get my hands dirty, too!"
With a laugh of her own, Selene pushed the laughing child over and said, "I think that's enough out of you for tonight."
I could only smile as the two of them played. Selene was happy. I was going to be able to find the Doctor. Things were..... good.
Getting to my feet, I said, "I'm going to head out and gather some things. We will leave tomorrow morning, so feel free to do whatever you want tonight."
Selene gave me a nod while the Princess gave me a wave. Turning to the Queen, I said, "Thank you so much for everything. If you ever need anything, find Selene or I wherever we are. We will help without any questions."
With that, I slipped out of the room, ready to start the next step of our adventure.
END OF BOOK ONE
(Hey everyone, as you can see, this is the end of the first book. There will be a book two to continue Leo's and Selene's adventure, but I am going to take a break from writing for a bit. Again, I can't thank you all enough for sticking with me. This was a lot of fun to write.)
(See you all in book two.)