Chapter 9:

The Beginning

Beyond The Flowers

Leonardo didn’t dare move a muscle.Bookmark here

Anne was gone, Marceline was gone, Benedict was gone, Javier was gone, Adam was gone, Aiden and Tyler were nowhere to be seen, Fleur was gone, Lyna and Theodore were standing together for some reason. Bookmark here

But none of that mattered to him. Truthfully speaking, he didn’t care about anybody else as much as he cared for Arthur.Bookmark here

Arthur.Bookmark here

The boy he grew up with.Bookmark here

The boy he thought of as a brother. Bookmark here

The boy who had betrayed him.Bookmark here

The boy standing next to the dozens of Camellia guards right in front of him.Bookmark here

Time had frozen for the two, as they blocked out all other noises, staring at each other in agony. Bookmark here

Leonardo’s sword clattered to the ground.Bookmark here

Jafar turned around to the guards standing behind him, whispering something, after which, they all left the cave. Nobody tried to fight them. Arthur stayed, his vision still fixated on Leonardo.Bookmark here

Jafar turned around to face Lyna and Theodore, stepping forward with a smirk.Bookmark here

“Jafar—“, Lyna whispered, Theodore turned to face the girl, ready to attack. Bookmark here

“Yes, love?”Bookmark here

Lyna staggered backwards, her sword dropping to the ground with a clatter, she looked at him in disbelief. Bookmark here

“You said you loved me”, Lyna mumbled to Jafar.Bookmark here

“That I do”, Jafar chuckled.Bookmark here

Lyna shook her head constantly, falling to her knees as she covered her ears with her hands.Bookmark here

Jafar kneeled down, “Why is the human boy with you?”Bookmark here

Lyna stared at the ground, “You lied to me.”Bookmark here

Jafar smiled, standing up, “The Camellia have won.” Bookmark here

Theodore gritted his teeth, sprinting to the brown-skinned enemy, his sword millimetres away from Jafar’s neck. Bookmark here

Jafar gave a wide grin to the blonde boy as if the weapon aimed at his neck was no threat. Bookmark here

Jafar gripped the knife in his hand, rushing behind Theodore in what felt like less than a second. Bookmark here

“Boring”, he dug the knife right into Theodore’s back.Bookmark here

Jade stared at the scene unfold, trying to stand but her legs gave up. She cursed at herself for being so weak as she continued to sob.Bookmark here

Leonardo ignored everything, his eyes still fixated on Arthur as were Arthur’s.Bookmark here

Lyna stared up at this, looking at Jafar, “You—“Bookmark here

Theodore fell to the ground as he felt the life drain from his eyes, Jafar standing back with an unamused look on his face, “Boring”, he repeated.Bookmark here

Lyna crawled towards Theodore, mouth wide open. Bookmark here

Theodore coughed up blood, looking at Lyna above him, “I hate you”Bookmark here

Lyna’s breath was shaky, “Wha— what?…”Bookmark here

Theodore sobbed as his blood spread across the floor, “I hate you, Lyna.”Bookmark here

Lyna shook the boy as his eyes slowly closed. Bookmark here

Lyna cursed at herself constantly, burying her head into Theodore’s chest, crying.Bookmark here

Jafar stepped towards Arthur, “What are you still doing here, boy?”Bookmark here

Arthur ignored him.Bookmark here

“You’ve been staring at the human for quite some time. Still haven’t got rid of him?”Bookmark here

Arthur ignored him again. Bookmark here

“I’m talking to you.”Bookmark here

Arthur ignored him once more.Bookmark here

“Useless.”Bookmark here

Jafar walked up to Leonardo, raising a brow as Leonardo looked back at him. Jafar prepared to attack.Bookmark here

“Please—“Bookmark here

Jafar turned around, looking at Arthur, the boy who had just spoken. Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“Please don’t kill him.”Bookmark here

“Ha—. Why should I not?”Bookmark here

“Please”Bookmark here

Arthur’s tears fell to the floor as he plead. Bookmark here

“Please kill me”, Leonardo’s voice echoed throughout the cave. Bookmark here

Jafar turned back, holding in a laugh, “What?”Bookmark here

Arthur stared at Leonardo in shock, “Why?”Bookmark here

Leonardo spoke, “You betrayed me.”Bookmark here

Arthur staggered backwards, “Leo— we can live together. Just the two of us. I did this for you, all of this was for you.”Bookmark here

Leonardo shook his head, “Why would I want to live if I have to live with the likes of you?!”Bookmark here

Arthur was shocked, “I love you, Leo—“Bookmark here

“I hate you.”Bookmark here

Arthur fell to the ground as if those words had affected him greatly.Bookmark here

Jafar looked bored.Bookmark here

Leonardo looked down at his sword, picking it up. Bookmark here

Jade stared at him in horror, “Leo, don’t—“Bookmark here

He brought it to his head.Bookmark here

Arthur stared.Bookmark here

Jade crawled towards him, “Leo—“Bookmark here

Slice.Bookmark here

His head fell onto the ground, right next to Arthur’s feet, blood splattering everywhere.Bookmark here

The room was filled with Jafar’s laughter. Jafar wiped his eyes, looking at the remaining people one by one, “Sorry— sorry. This is too amusing.”Bookmark here

“You—“, Jade grunted. Bookmark here

Jafar ignored her, turning to face Lyna, “I won’t kill you.”Bookmark here

Lyna let go of Theodore’s body, looking up at him.Bookmark here

“I won’t kill you and I know you don’t have the guts to kill yourself.”Bookmark here

“Why—“Bookmark here

“I won’t kill you because I want you to live with carrying the burden of betraying your family and killing your closest friends.” Bookmark here

“Why—“, she repeated.Bookmark here

“Because I hate you, Lyna.”Bookmark here

Lyna stared at Theodore’s body, “I didn’t kill hi—“Bookmark here

“Yes you did.”Bookmark here

Lyna shook her head, “I didn’t—“Bookmark here

Jafar turned around, Jade wasn’t there anymore.Bookmark here

The man sighed, unbothered to go find her. Bookmark here

Arthur held Leonardo’s head in his hand as he sat on the floor, still processing everything. Bookmark here

Lyna gripped Theodore’s body in her arms.Bookmark here

“This is just the beginning. We’ll take over the whole country after this, and then the entire world.” Jafar smirked, exiting the the cave, leaving Arthur and Lyna.Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

Jade ran. Bookmark here

She kept running for hours on end. Her legs felt like giving up.Bookmark here

She couldn’t do anything at the cave but the least she could do was to stay truthful to the promise she had made to Adam. Bookmark here

The insufferable guilt she felt, watching all of her loved ones pass away and not being able to do anything, she just had Aiyla and Mary left.Bookmark here

Mary.Bookmark here

The girl she loved. Bookmark here

Despite being covered in bruises and splinters from tripping over too much in the vast forest, she kept running until she reached home. Bookmark here

The Orphanage she loved so much was right in front of her. If only she knew how to express herself back then, to express her love for everybody there. She hated herself for it.Bookmark here

She entered, it was awfully quiet.Bookmark here

She rushed to the boys’ dormitory, nobody inside.Bookmark here

She then looked inside the girls’ dormitory. Bookmark here

The Camellia had reached before she had, they’d done their damage and left. Bookmark here

Her breathing slowed down. She felt as if she were going to collapse. She had broken her promise so quickly.Bookmark here

There, right in front of her, was Aiyla curled up in Mary’s arms as the two of them laid on the wooden floor, froth sitting in their mouths.Bookmark here

“Aiyla, Mary—“, Jade fell to the ground, her legs had finally given up. Bookmark here

She sat there, holding onto their bodies as she wailed, everything had been taken from her. There was nothing left for her to live for.Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

“She’s crazy—“Bookmark here

“A madwoman, really.”Bookmark here

“I heard it’s called schizophrenia”Bookmark here

“What’d she say?”Bookmark here

“She kept talking to herself as if she were talking to people called Theodore and Fleur.”Bookmark here

“What’d she say?”Bookmark here

“She kept saying she was sorry.”Bookmark here

“She’s mad.”Bookmark here

It was the Year 1709, Lyna was sent to live in a hospital for mentally disabled citizens. She had become the talk of the town, everybody was talking about how crazy she was.Bookmark here

She couldn’t tolerate the noise.Bookmark here

She wanted to leave.Bookmark here

It was all her fault.Bookmark here

She wants to see Theodore and Fleur again.Bookmark here

“What is she doing?!”Bookmark here

“Is that a woman on top of the building?”Bookmark here

“Call somebody!”Bookmark here

“Get help!”Bookmark here

-Bookmark here

-Bookmark here

-Bookmark here

-Bookmark here

-Bookmark here

-Bookmark here

-Bookmark here

-Bookmark here

-Bookmark here

-Bookmark here

“I’ll be with you soon, Theo, Fleur.”Bookmark here

And then, she jumped.Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

It was the Year 1715, Jade had become the new owner of the Orphanage.Bookmark here

“Miss Jade, could you tell us the story again?”Bookmark here

Jade looked down at the child, giving a warm smile, “Of Mary and Adam?”Bookmark here

The child nodded.Bookmark here

“Alright—“Bookmark here

“—Once upon a time, there was a handsome Prince named Adam. Adam had become quite fond of a neighbouring countries’ princess named Mary so he—“Bookmark here

And so, Jade continued. Bookmark here

Her story had a happy ending.Bookmark here

But the original story was a tragedy.Bookmark here

It was only a matter of time until the Camellia would finalise their plans to take over the country and the story would just repeat itself, with different victims this time.Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

The morning after the attack on the Camellia’s hideout, Arthur walked towards the edge of the cliff, staring down at the river below. It was very far down, nobody could survive the impact. Bookmark here

“The humans treated me kindly.”Bookmark here

He began.Bookmark here

“Especially you—“Bookmark here

The boy said, stepping off the cliff, his arms raised and a smile on his face.Bookmark here

“—Leonardo.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.