The Guardian: An Unfortunate Wish
Did I make the right choice? It felt like I was breaking their trust. We did not even know each other properly but within this short period of time we were together, I really, from the bottom of my heart trusted those people. Relationships are easily broken. Especially considering our circumstances. So much had happened. I did not know the reason or their purpose for helping me, and I did not think that it was all because of Daiyn’s grandfather. Maybe it was. I did not know. I was confused. I was feeling too many emotions that I could not comprehend. But in the end, I was still feeling sorry for them. I could not help it. They would probably start hating me. After all, I did stab them in the back and left without even saying goodbye nor thanking them for all they had done for me. Even if they used me, I felt grateful to them.
A jeep was ready to take me away from this place. As I was getting inside, I hesitated for a second, but still went in and sat down. The prince sat down next to me and to my surprise, General Claw was coming with us too. As we started driving away from the tower, I looked at it one last time, thinking that I would never see those people again. I was sure that I would regret my decision in the future but at that time, it felt right to make that decision. It was my only way out. It was the only way to find out the truth. I did not go along with the prince for the sole purpose of revenge. I wanted to find out the truth. There was so much that I did not understand. It was true that for one minute I thought that the best solution for me was to die because the reason why I was living was taken away from me. Everyone probably found themselves in this kind of situation at least once in their lifetime.
Throughout the whole journey to Deonion, I did not say a word. The prince and the general did not talk that much either. I realized that I was still wearing the clothes with my mother’s blood on them. It had dried. The bright red color had turned into a crimson red. I tried to scratch it off, but it was not coming off.
The prince noticed it and started looking at me up and down.
“Don’t worry. I’ll get you some new clothes when we arrive at my home,” he said to me. I just nodded.
It took us the whole day to get back to the kingdom Deonion. First, we travelled by jeep but then had to take the train to get over the cliff again. At the train station, there was another car waiting for us that took us to Deonion. We boarded the flying cabin to get to the floating island. The whole time two other soldiers and the general were travelling with us. Probably for the safety of the prince.
How many times has it been that I have travelled back to this kingdom? As I was thinking that we stepped out of the flying cabin and onto the dock. To my surprise, even more soldiers were waiting for us. Or should I rather say for the prince? They greeted the prince and the general, then stepped aside to reveal that a carriage was ready for us. I noticed that I was the one who was getting all their attention because of my blood-stained clothes. The prince put a hand on my back and gestured with the other to get into the carriage. This time, it was only me, the prince and the general. The other two soldiers did not come with us.
The kingdom looked the same as before, showing no evidence that the monsters called Caedes attacked here too. But then it was night-time and no one was around. I wondered what had happened to them and how many people got injured or died because of them. My mother crossed my mind.
“What happened to the monsters and people after the attack?” I asked General Claw.
“We killed the monsters. All of them and treated the people who got injured,” he answered while looking at me like the answer was obvious.
I slowly nodded my head and the conversation ended there. I wonder if killing all of them was the answer. After all, it was not their fault. They were created by researchers without their free will. For some reason, I felt pity for them even though one of them killed my mother. I wondered what had happened to my mother’s body. Was it eaten by the creature or was it still lying on the cold floor? I could not make myself go and check when I had the chance. The prince asked me on the way back if I would like to search for her body, but I declined. The carriage stopped in front of a gate. It slowly opened and we went through it. The castle had a huge front garden with various flowers and trees. In the middle of it was a beautiful fountain with crystal clear water. The carriage once again stopped but this time right in front of the entrance to the castle. Maids and butlers were standing in a row, ready to greet the prince. When we went inside, the castle seemed a lot bigger than it appeared from the outside or it might be because it was already dark outside. It seemed like all the lights of the castle were on and I was able to see the inside of the castle in its full, beautiful glory.
It seemed like I had entered yet again another world. A golden chandelier was hanging from the ceiling above us. The white ceiling itself was engraved with leaves and roses. On either side of the room were heavy dark brown wooden doors. The whole castle was made of white and gold marble. Four big pillars made from the same stone were supporting the ceiling. In each corner was standing a statue, made to look like the emblem of this kingdom. A pigeon flying out of its cage. The stairs that led to the upper floor were covered in a lavish red carpet that went all the way to the entrance. The stair rails were made of golden leaves. Above the stairs was hanging a portrait of someone. The king I assumed. I just stood there in the middle of the big hall in awe. Everything looked so pretty. I could hear talking behind my back, but I was not giving it much attention until a maid approached me.
“Miss Ari, please follow me,” she said while starting to walk away. I looked around to see where the prince and the general were, but they were already gone. Even the other maids and butlers had disappeared.
I started following the maid up the stairs and down some very long corridors that were also decorated in a luxurious way. The maid stopped in front of a room. The door to it was already open. She gestured with a hand to go inside. I did as she told me.
“I have left a nightgown for you on the bed. Please do not hesitate to wear it. If you do not like the one I have set out for you, you can find others in the wardrobe to your right. There you will also find some other new clothes which you can wear tomorrow. The door in the right-hand corner of this room will lead you to your private bathroom. I have already prepared a bath for you. If you need anything else, please let me know. I will be in the maid’s room. You can find the maid’s room at the end of this corridor on the left,” she explained to me.
She closed the door and left. Her explaining and closing the door were so fast that I did not even have enough time to thank her. The room was decorated with paintings and bookshelves. Another chandelier was hanging from the ceiling but this time, it was smaller than the one in the entrance hall. A dressing mirror and table were on the left side of the room next to a big window. The heavy-looking gold, red-striped curtains were closed. The most impressive part of this room was the big bed with the golden lace curtains in the middle of the room. At each side of the bed were nightstands that had lamps and vases with white flowers on them.
I walked over to the bed and picked up the white nightgown that was laid out on the bed. Some beige lace was attached to each sleeve. I did not care to investigate the wardrobe to see how the other ones looked like. I just wanted to get out of these blood-stained clothes as quick as possible. I went into the bathroom to take the bath the maid had prepared. The bathroom looked as luxurious as the rest of the castle. A big white bathtub was filled with water and some candles were lit around it. It smelled like vanilla beans. I blew out the candles and cleaned my body from my mother’s blood. Afterwards, I changed into the white night gown and left my clothes on the bathroom floor. I did not know what else to do with them and I could not be bothered to go and find the maid to ask her. I was too tired. All I wanted to do was to get to that big bed and fall asleep. Once I closed the golden lace curtains and laid down on the bed my eyelids felt very heavy and before I knew it, I had fallen asleep.
I was standing next to a girl with short black hair in the middle of a muddy road. Where was I? I looked around and it seemed like we were in the middle of nowhere. We were surrounded by greenery. The air was moist and warm. I did not know what happened but there was an accident and a boy got hurt. Some jeeps were parked behind the accident scene. I walked through the crowd that had gathered around the scene but for some reason, something felt odd. The boy who got hurt was lying on the road but there was no blood. No one was helping him. I started feeling uncomfortable so I went to his mother and told her that we could carry the boy to one of the jeeps and lay him down in the backseat. His mother agreed with me. After we laid him down, I told the mother and the two other children with her to get in the jeep as well, to be safe. I shut the door behind them and told them to open one window to let some fresh air in.
A shiver ran down my spine as I felt that something was really wrong with this whole situation. I turned around and saw a little boy staring at me from the opposite side of the road. His blank stare was distressing. I felt a sudden urge to leave this place. I walked back to the girl who was still waiting for me, grabbed her hand and started running away from the accident scene. Behind me, I could hear footsteps that were getting closer. Someone was shouting. I stopped running and looked back, seeing two soldiers walking past us with their guns in their hands. If they did not say it to us but then to whom? No one was on the road in front of us. Confused I turned around to see who they were addressing. It was the little boy. He was standing right in front of us and again was staring at me. The policemen were talking to him, but I could not understand what they were saying. It looked wrong that they were pointing their guns at a child but at the same time right. I thought that it would be best to leave so I started running again with the girl back to the accident scene without looking back. A heavy fog was blocking my sight.
We stopped running and started to walk. The accident scene disappeared, and we were in a small village. At the first glimpse, the houses looked nice and cozy but then I realized that they were destroyed. Fearing that my house would be destroyed as well, I sprinted with the girl to my house. Even from far away, you could see that it was all burned down. I went inside and noticed that the girl who was with me a second ago had vanished. My hand was empty. It was very dark and gloomy. The shadows of my house were making me nervous. I felt heavy and my breathing quickened. I started having cold sweats. Someone or something was watching me. In the corner of my eye, I could see something moving in the shadows. To get away from it I opened the nearest door and went in to be safe from whatever was crawling outside.
Suddenly I realized that I was in a classroom full of students and a teacher. The teacher told me to sit down so I walked to the nearest empty desk and sat down as I was instructed. It was a sunny day. Someone shouted out my name near the windows. It was the girl who disappeared. I went up to her and she pointed out the window to another classroom window. I followed her gaze and at first, I could not see anything because the sun was blinding me. Someone was sitting in the open window. I knew it was the same creature that was in my house. I could not see its face because of the bright sunlight. The girl grabbed my hand and started walking out of the classroom and down the stairs, leading me outside. I looked back again to assure myself that that creature was still there, but it was not. It had disappeared. A few moments later as we walked out of the school gates, I started to hear screams from the very school I came from. The girl told me not to look back and I listened because I was too terrified.
I knew I was not safe in my house. The girl led me to another house as a solution. I was surprised that it was not destroyed like all the other houses. We walked to the back entrance, and I knocked on the door. The girl disappeared again, and I was standing all alone in the backyard. The same strange feeling came back to me that there was something wrong. I started banging my fists on the wooden door. I started crying and begged that someone would let me in but no response. Why was I scared? I stood against the door with my back and was analyzing my surroundings. Suddenly the door opened, and I stumbled in backwards. A woman was standing in front of me. I quickly closed and locked the door. Without asking who she was I asked if all the windows and doors of the house were locked. She smiled at me and shook her head. In a panic, I started going around the house, locking all the windows and doors I could find. When I went into the living room, I noticed that the woman opened the window again which I had closed a few seconds ago, only to find that she was talking to someone. I did not understand what she was saying. I walked up to her to see who she was talking to and saw in shock that it was the little boy again. I pushed the woman aside and closed the window as fast as possible and closed the curtains. Only one room was left. It was the room at the end of the corridor. The door was open and so was the window. As I walked towards the room, the creature crawled inside through the open window. As a reflex, I shut the door and called the woman to bring the keys so I could lock it. She came and tried to put the key into the keyhole but failed to do so as she dropped the keys to the floor. The creature managed to open the door a bit and looked with his blood-stained eyes straight into mine and told me that it would devour me. It sent goosebumps all over my body. I started feeling cold. The woman managed to put the key into the keyhole, and I pushed the door shut so she could lock it. The door would not stop that creature to get in further. I ran back to the kitchen and grabbed food and drinks. After that, I went to the woman and said to her while putting the supplies in one room to lock herself in that room and to not come out whatever might happen. I assured her that everything would be alright. She listened to me and locked herself in.
I was certain that the creature was after me. With no option left I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and went outside. I started running again thinking about the girl who was with me but then disappeared. Oddly I was thinking about her and who she was in this situation. I realized that I ended up at the accident place again, but all the people were gone. I stopped in my tracks and looked back, checking if it was following me which it was not. Instead, the little boy appeared again, this time smiling at me. Sighing out in relief, I turned around to run away but only to see the same blood-stained eyes again, a few centimeters away from mine.
A sharp pain went through my body. I looked down and saw the creature’s claw buried in my body. It slowly pulled its claw out. Blood was gushing out of the wound. Before my legs could give in it pushed its claw into my body again. This time, it went through my body. I started coughing up blood. The kitchen knife fell to the ground. Was I going to die? As my unresponsive body was hanging from its arm, I noticed another body lying on the ground behind the creature. It was my mother’s body. Her head was laying a couple of meters away from her body. Her eyes wide opened. Tears started falling down my cheeks. Not because of sadness but because of anger. It was ridiculous how helpless I was. I was going to be killed by the same monster that killed my mother before I could kill it. I was slowly losing consciousness. The sound of my blood dripping into the puddle of blood beneath me was echoing in my ears. I could hear steps. It was the little boy. He stopped right in front of me, and the creature pulled out its claw and I fell to the ground. My body was in pain and my head was spinning.
“Do you really think you can save everyone?” the little boy whispered into my ear as everything went dark around me.
I opened my eyes. It was morning already. Someone was knocking on my door. It was the maid. I got out of the bed and walked towards the door. Before I could reach the door, I stopped. I turned my head to see myself in the dressing mirror. My eyes were teary; my face was swollen and my hair was a mess. I blinked several times to get rid of the tears and went with my hands through my hair to look a bit more representable. I did not want the maid to get a false impression of me, especially not after she saw me with bloody clothes yesterday.
I opened the door. The maid smiled at me and then entered the room.
“Good morning, Miss Ari. I hope you had a pleasant sleep,” she said to me while starting to make the bed. Afterwards, she opened the curtains and windows. It was a sunny but windy day. The curtains were slightly swaying around.
“Would you like to have breakfast in your room or inside the dining room?” she asked me.
“I am not hungry. Please leave my room. I would like to get ready,” I replied. I did not mean to sound angry, but my words came out like that. I needed time alone to sort out my thoughts. The maid immediately walked out of the room.
“As you wish. The prince is waiting for you in the Royal Garden. It is right behind the castle. Please go and meet him when you are ready,” she told me before closing the door to my room. I felt bad. I should not have talked to her in that way, but I could not help myself. I walked over to the wardrobe to get some clothes but all I could see were dresses.
“Do I really have to wear a dress?” I asked myself while picking out a random one. I let out a sigh and went into the bathroom to get ready. After all the Prince was waiting for me. After brushing my hair and putting on heels that matched my rose gold, full sleeved dress that reached my feet, I left the room. The maid said that the Royal Garden was behind the castle. But how would I get there? At that moment, I saw a girl standing at the end of the corridor. The prettiest and cutest girl I had ever seen in my life. She looked exactly like a doll with her golden locks and big, green eyes. She had light skin. Her light blue dress reached her knees, and she was wearing matching shoes. She was holding in her arms a fluffy, white bunny. I could not tell if it was real or plush. The bunny was wearing a tiny, pink hat.
“Are you looking for the Royal Garden?” she asked me while taking a couple of steps towards me.
“Yes, I am. Do you know where it is?” I asked her back. She nodded her head and slowly walked closer to me. I smiled at her, but she started blushing and hid her face behind the fluffy bunny. Smaller than the palm of my hand.
“What is the bunny’s name?” I asked her and started petting the bunny, realising that it was real. It was a tiny bunny.
“His name is Mr Fluffy,” she told me with a big smile. “My older brother asked me to show you the way to the Royal Garden. It is this way.” She grabbed my hand and started walking. I followed her small steps.
“Your older brother? Does that mean you’re a little princess?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“Yes, I am,” she said smiling. She did resemble the prince.
“May I ask what your name is, little princess?” I asked her.
“Oh, I am very sorry. I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Genevieve Cammelli. Daughter of King and Queen Cammelli and younger sister of Jean-Luc Cammelli,” she introduced herself enthusiastically. I was impressed by how well she could speak even though she did not look like she was older than six years.
She led me through various corridors, down some stairs and through the kitchen to get to the Royal Garden. I was amazed at how big the garden was. It was made of various flowers, trees, fountains, and statues. The paths were made from pebbles. As we were walking through the garden, I could see a lake as well. Some koi fishes were swimming around in it and lotus flowers were floating on top of the water. The sunlight was reflecting off the water and it looked like the lake was sparkling. It looked calm.
We reached the end of the Royal Garden and were standing before, what looked like a graveyard. It was hidden behind a hedge, made of red roses and you could only see it through the entrance, where I was standing. The prince was standing in front of one of the gravestones. After he heard us coming, he turned around and looked at me. Genevieve let go of my hand and started running towards him. You could easily see that they were siblings. He had green eyes, the same as Genevieve but not as big as hers. His dark blonde hair was getting messy because of the wind. For some reason, he looked taller and athletic than the first time I saw him. Maybe because he was wearing more casual clothes which still looked expensive. A white shirt, black trousers, and lace-up formal shoes. As I was walking closer to him, I noticed that he had an ear piercing on the bottom of the right ear. It strangely looked attractive.
“Look, big brother! I brought your girlfriend,” Genevieve said while pointing at me. She looked very happy, but I was not.
“I am not his girlfriend Genevieve,” I quickly told her. It did not seem like her older brother was going to tell her that.
“Why not?” she asked me innocently. “My brother has never brought a girl before to our castle. You are the first one.”
“Well,” I stuttered. Why was he not saying anything? I looked at him, expecting he would say something. But nothing.
“We are friends,” I explained to her. “Right now, I don’t have anywhere to live, and your older brother was so nice and took me to his house. Or I should rather say his castle.”
“I see,” she said slowly nodding her head.
“Gene, go now. Mother is probably looking for you,” the prince told her. “And thank you for bringing her to me.”
“Yeah, mother is probably looking for me. Bye-bye,” she said to me with a big smile and left the graveyard.
I turned around to face the prince.
“Why didn’t you say anything?” I asked him.
“What do you mean? Oh, you mean when Gene was saying you are my girlfriend?” he asked me back.
“Yes,” I said irritated.
“Well, technically you do belong to me now. I saved your life, doesn’t that mean you owe me your life? But you cleared it up. So, no harm was done,” he said smiling.
“No harm was done,” I repeated and decided to drop the topic before it got more awkward. He gestured with his head at me to look at the gravestone. The one he was standing in front of. I walked closer and read the name written on it. Louise Night. My mother’s name was clearly written on this gravestone. But why? A single white rose was lying in front of it. Tears started building up in my eyes.
“I told my men to search and find your mother’s body. I thought that she deserved like all the other victims of the attack a proper burial,” he clarified.
“Thank you,” I whispered. I let out a laugh. “I am a horrible daughter.”
“No, you’re not. No one would blame you for how you behaved. You were in shock,” he said trying to console me.
“No. My actions were disgraceful and shameful. My thoughts are unforgivable. Who in this world would leave their mother’s body on the cold ground?” I cried. He did not say anything. Instead, he pulled something out of his trousers. It was the knife Daiyn’s grandfather gave me and a necklace.
“I think these belong to you. Your father’s knife and your mother’s necklace,” he said while grabbing my hand and placing both items inside the palm of my hand. It was then I realized that grandfather did not tell me that the knife belonged to my father. I figured it out when I saw the two Ns engraved into it. They stood for Nero Night. I could not remember seeing that necklace, but it looked familiar. It was a golden locket necklace in the shape of a heart. A pearl was attached to the middle of it. The outside of the heart was decorated with floral patterns. I turned it around to see the back of it. Louise Night was engraved on it.
“One of my men found this necklace near your mother’s body. I thought you might want it,” he explained.
“I don’t know how to thank you for all you have done for me,” I said to him. I looked into his eyes while fighting back tears.
“No need to thank me. And stop blaming yourself. Whatever happened it wasn’t your fault. There is only a certain amount of pain that a heart can take. I realized in the court that you have a very strong heart. Being able to stand on your two feet even after hearing and experiencing what happened to your parents. If you don’t stop blaming yourself, your heart might break,” he said with a soft voice. I shook my head.
“My heart will always be crying because an already broken heart is beating within my chest,” I explained to him and put my left hand on my chest. I lowered my head. Why was I telling him my feelings? Without saying anything else I walked away. The moment I reached my room, I locked it and sat down on the floor with my back resting on the door. I was holding the knife and necklace next to my heart and started crying. I felt lonely. When I was about to open the locket on my mother’s necklace, someone knocked on my door. It was such a gentle knock that I would have not heard it if I was not leaning my back against the door. I heard another knock. Who could it be?
“Ahem. Are you in there? I… I wanted to ask you if you would like to eat lunch with me?” a soft voice asked me. It was Genevieve. I stood up and opened the door. She was staring at me with her big, green eyes, waiting patiently for an answer.
“I would love to. First, I have to put some things away,” I answered her while quickly wiping away my tears. I went to one of the nightstands to put the knife and necklace into one of the drawers. Something else belonged next to my father’s knife and my mother’s necklace. I retrieved the picture that Doc had given me from my bloody clothes. It was stained with blood, but it did not bother me. I got on my knees and unfolded it to put it next to my parent’s belongings. Genevieve was following me around. She was still carrying around her bunny.
“The necklace is really pretty. Why are you putting it away?” she asked me puzzled. I went down on my knees and showed her the necklace.
“It belonged to my mother but unfortunately, she is not with us anymore,” I explained to her.
“My older brother told me that your parents are not with us anymore. It’s very sad. That’s why you should wear it. I bet your mother would have wanted that too,” she told me. She grabbed the necklace out of my hand and put her bunny on the bed and walked behind me. Before I could turn around to see what she was doing, she was already putting on the necklace for me. I turned my head to see her face. Her big smile showed me that she was satisfied with the result. I did not take it off. I guess I could wear it for a day for Genevieve.
“Oh, and I forgot to tell you. You can call me Gene. Because we are friends now,” she clarified.
“Gene. It’s a cute name. You can call me Ari. Because we are friends now,” I replied to her. She looked happy with my answer and walked over to the bed to pick up her bunny. She grabbed my hand again and led me to the dining room.
It was empty. I could see no one in the dining room. A long dark brown table was set in the middle of the room. Two candle chandeliers were hanging from the ceiling. A dark red carpet was covering the floor. A portrait of the king’s family was hanging at the end of the room. I could see a fireplace on the right side of the room. Two swords were hung up above it. Gene told me to sit down next to her. We both were sitting at the end of the table. It was covered in candles and flowers.
As I was looking around the prince entered the dining room. He sat down opposite of Gene after giving me a smile. I wondered if the king and the queen would eat with us but to my surprise, someone else entered the room. It was General Claw. He took a seat opposite me. No one was talking. We were all waiting for the food. After a couple of minutes, butlers and maids were coming in, serving everyone food and drinks. Everyone started eating and the butlers and maids stood behind us against the wall in case we needed anything or to fill up our glasses with water.
“You’re wearing your mother’s necklace,” the prince said to me. He looked satisfied with me wearing it.
“Yeah. Gene was so nice and put it on for me,” I replied hesitantly and gave Gene a smile. She smiled back and continued eating her food.
“By any chance, do you know Daiyn?” I asked the prince. His face reacted to his name.
“Yes, I do. We were childhood friends, but you probably want to know more. Am I right?” he answered me. I nodded my head.
“My father, the king and Daiyn’s father, former general of this country were friends,” he continued. “Meaning that I and Daiyn spent our childhood together. I don’t know how much you know about him but.“
“I don’t know much about him. Only that his father died and his mother disappeared,” I interrupted him.
“I see. Gene, have you finished eating?” he suddenly asked his younger sister.
“Yeah. I just finished,” she answered.
“The adults have to talk about something. Can you go and play with a maid?” he asked her politely. Without saying anything she stood up, nodded her head, gave us a big, cute smile, and left with one of the maids. Taking her bunny with her.
“Now I can talk freely without worrying about my younger sister listening to things that she should not hear. Daiyn’s father was killed,” he continued. “He was killed by my father because of treason. This whole situation involved Dr Nero Night, your father as well. Do you want me to continue?” he asked me. I could clearly hear by his voice that he was worried about me.
“Yes, please continue. I need to know,” I requested.
“As you wish. You already found out about the Caedes. And the fact that your father was the lead researcher. All three kingdoms found out about what your father and the other researchers created and ultimately my father, the king of Deonion ordered Dayin’s father to kill those monsters and the researchers if they would resist the arrest. Daiyn’s father not only refused to kill the researchers but also the monsters. He told the king that he would try and talk to Dr Nero Night to stop his detestable research. My father was not pleased with his decision and took away his general status and forbid the soldiers to help him. He knew that Daiyn’s father would die if he went alone. So, in the end, the general did go alone and ended up being killed. To this day, we don’t know exactly what happened or how he was killed, considering he was the strongest man in the army. To be honest we also don’t know exactly what happened between my father and Daiyn’s father but you can imagine how Daiyn and his family would have felt. Daiyn’s father was a good man and could not imagine killing one of his friends who was your father. He had served the army for a long time. After that incident, Daiyn and I stopped talking to each other and we became strangers. The next thing I knew was that his mother disappeared,” he stopped talking.
I did not know what to say. Why was it that everyone got hurt by the actions of my father? I did not understand it. What was the goal of my father? What was it that he wanted to achieve by doing all of this?