What lies beyond freedom
I went to the river the next day and found Clover sitting on a tree branch looking in the direction I came from. She was holding a long cloth with two apples in it.
“You run fast don't you?” She jumped down from the branch.
“Were you that excited to see me again?” She stared at me with a smug face.
“ Here I haven't eaten yet so I thought I would get you something too.” She handed me an apple and put the cloth on the ground next to the river.
“It wasn't that I just wanted to ask you a few questions.”
“Ok, then what's your question?”
“Why did you ask me to become yours yesterday?”
“Didn't I tell you? We both share the same dream of leaving paradise.”
“Then what do you mean by becoming yours. Yesterday I found out that you were part of the royal family?”
“Did you think I was talking about marriage? Though it's not completely out of the question. Even if we were married though that doesn't mean that we could leave. It would only grant us the freedom to travel to other paradises for diplomatic reasons.”
When she said that my face went red and she walked closer to me.
“I don't think it would be that hard to fall in love with someone that shared a dream with me though.”
“What I mean is to serve on my personal guard. I won't tell you more until you give me an answer.”
What she meant by marriage wasn't out of the question. At that moment I answered not knowing what would happen when I said yes.
“Then yes. I will become yours.
“I knew you being here wasn't just by chance.”
She walked over to a rock and picked up a beautiful flower with red petals that curved inwards and green stamens sticking out from it.
“Isn't this flower beautiful? I've loved it ever since I first laid my eyes on it.”
“I haven’t seen a flower like that growing near the stream. Does it only grow around this time?”
“No, actually it grows year-round. It's called a bloodshot Lilly.” She gently smelt the flower and presented it to me like she wanted me to smell it too.
“I've never seen a flower like this before.”
“Thankfully this won't be the only time you see this flower.”
When I smelled it something happened. I started feeling warm. Then the warmth turned into heat. My vision became blurry and everything was in a shade of red. I felt mad but the only thing I could think about was survival. Then I passed out not knowing what happened.
While passing out I felt something cold. My eyes opened and Clover was holding me underwater.
“Ash if you can hear me tap my hand.”
I followed her instructions and she lifted me out of the water. While I was coughing she handed me the cloth that the apples were wrapped in. When she reached out to me there was a scratch on her arm that wasn't there.
“Sorry that you had to do that. I think I'm allergic to that flower. Thanks for washing it off of me.”
“Oh that wasn't an allergic reaction and I wasn't washing you.”
I froze in wondering what happened and why she said that with a proud smile.
“Have your parents ever told you this? If you ever see our eyes bloodshot no matter what, run for help?”
Now that she mentioned it they tell me that all of the time but never tell me why.
“It's because when we get into intense situations where our heart rate increases too fast humans get adrenaline rushed into their blood but we get something different called Frieril. It makes us faster, stronger, and more agile. Though it's difficult to be agile because it puts your mind in a feral state where you can't think straight.”
“Then why did you put my head into the river?”
“It's because the only way to stop a bloodshot devil is to either put them unconscious, kill them, or drown them in water.”
“I don't understand why you would do something so dangerous though. What if I would have hurt you or gone into the village? I heard people whose eyes turn red can't stay in the village.”
“First of all, that's not true. That's only for people that can't control it. Second, there would've been no chance of you hurting me or escaping.”
“Then what's that scratch on your arm?”
“You just surprised me. I didn't think that you would be as strong as you were. That's a good thing though. It means that if that's your strongest right now you can grow god knows where from here. Not to mention it didn't take much for you to switch back, unlike other people. That will be useful later.”
“Still though, could you not do that? I don't want to hurt you again.”
“Listen ash no matter what you think as you are not ever your strongest could make me sweat. Just because of that since you're so serious about being part of my guard, doing this twice a week will be part of your training.”
With that, she stormed off angry. I had no idea what I did but I did know one thing. With what she knew she might be my key to leaving this place.