Princess of Erodaire III: Part Five
After Hetal left, I sat absentmindedly on the couch and
stared into space. It was like the joy of my life was suddenly sucked out after
Hetal left, and all my problems and worries started to crowd my mind once more.
I tapped my fingers rhythmically upon the table as I looked out the window. The
stretch of all the grass has started to become monotonous, and the sun still hung
brightly in the sky. It wasn't even noon yet.
My eyes started to drift towards the open door
on my right side, and they eventually floated down to gaze at the satchel bag
sitting near the end of my bed. "My Silver Draik Sword and Draik Armour yearns
to be out in the battlefield once more.." I whispered the last words I have
read from the journal before I was interrupted, and now my mind started to become
curious about what shall happen within the story. I stood up from the sofa I
was seated upon and briskly walked out of the room, through the door, and towards
the satchel bag. With one swift movement, I kicked the bag aside and stuck my
hand through the floor's crack. My hand groped the ice cold stone until they
finally landed on the leather-bound book, and I pulled it out of the crack quickly.
I slowly traced my fingers along the abnormal
bumps upon the book's front cover before I opened it up to the page I stopped
on. I quickly found my place in the book and started to read...
...but alas...I know that I shall never feel the taste of arm to arm combat,
for I know that the King shall never allow me to fight. Pah! He says that I am
allowed freedom, and yet he refuses my wish to fight? I never knew sarcasm to
be of the King's humor before.
The sun grows dim in my window, and my candle
is starting to flicker and faint. I must say good night to you, but I shall
write again...as soon as I have "free" time, of course.
Ending of the Entry of the 18th Day of the Month of Eating.
I stopped reading right there, staring at the
word 'Eating' continuously. "Rune..." I whispered the name of the journal's
owner, and I started to imagine how he looked like. "He was most likely a Draik,
since most who work in Erodaire's castle were Draiks, and he was probably painted
an expensive color, as most honored friends of the King are. Perhaps he was
a bright blue with golden stars embedded on his skin...a Starry Draik. Or maybe
he was as white as pure snow with lines of soft lavender...a Striped Draik.
Maybe I shall never know..." I whispered to myself and ran my hands over the
books pages once more. They felt old, and yet I knew that it would be many more
years before they finally fell apart. "So many secrets you hold. Perhaps, maybe,
you'll reveal to me things that I do not yet know, but should know." I reached
for the pages edge, turned it, and started to read once more...
Month of Eating. The 19th Day
We had lost the Western Tower. I had heard this
news from a messenger Draik who came during the early hours of the morning.
Blast it all...Lorezai shall soon take over the kingdom of Erodaire; I know
that this is true, but I fear to speak these words before my Royal Highness
in case my thoughts are deemed as 'treasonous'. Pah! I still scoff at those
words. The good news, though, is that before it's capture a few of our West
Tower, some of our weapons were sent to the Southern Tower upon the backs of
the Whinny's and the wings of the Dragoyle's. I knew that our new Petpet Training
Center (or PTC) would be good for use in the near future. I just thank Fyora
that the Western Tower only contained a few prisoners who aren't that treacherous
at all. That still doesn't mean that I should let my guard down, however. My
sword and armor lie patiently upon my chamber's door.
On to better news, now. I was finally able to
hold Alastare today. Of course, he may be an egg, but such a perfect egg he
is. He is colored a bright yellow with splashes of white, which means that he
shall be quite a happy Draik. The shapes of his white spots show that he will
be an honorable, yet pride-filled, King. I'm mostly worried about the shape
of the egg, though. Tis round, but there's a dent upon it's left side, indicating
that the future will hold trouble for the dear Prince. I dearly hope that the
trouble won't be bad, since it would be just horrible if Erodaire were to lose
it's king, though I won't be surprised if he does get lost. Lorezai still hangs
on my worries...poor Prince Alastare shall be born into the times of trouble.
Ending of the Entry of the 19th Day of the Month of Eating.
"Trouble indeed," I whispered calmly to myself
before I dropped the book onto the floor and exited the room. Halfway through
the entry, my mind had already made up the fact that I would have to exit my
room at least once. As I passed my bed, I picked up one of the satchels marked
with an "X" on the front and stuffed my hand in there. My hand groped around
in there before they caught the fine silk of a white scarf. I pulled it out
and used it as a hood for my face. I'd rather go by invisibly then noticed.
I exited the room and entered a wooden hallway;
tapestries decored with oranges, whites, and purples hung at the top, and I
slowly traversed the hallway and read the stories told in each tapestry. I saw
Draiks dressed in shining armour befriend the first Whinny. The sun blazed down
upon a Dragoyle as it helped save an Aisha from a horde of wild Drackonacks
tinged in purple, blue, and one had flames of fire drawn upon it's back. I saw
the Erodaire Castle, sitting upon a hill that overlooked it's kingdom; the flag
with my father's emblem of a Mutant Draik powerfully wielding a sword soared
over each turret. Homesickness stung my throat and made my eyes water before
I turned my gaze and continued to walk down the hall.
Many windows hung at either side of me, but
I ignored each of them. I already knew what was outside the Summer Castle. The
floor's white rug tug and scratched at my feet; it's texture was absolutely
atrocious. I could see layers of dust lying upon it. "When was the last time
they cleaned this section of the castle?" I asked myself bitterly and kicked
a puff of dust into the air.
"Pah! Quite a long time," I heard a rough voice
I stopped dead in my tracks and stared at the
end of the hall. Holding the wooden door ajar with one hand stood an aged Nimmo.
His skin was faded green, and the wrinkles on his face showed his age. His eyes
were filled with years of knowledge, and he seemed to be able to see right through
me as he gazed down the hallway. With slow and steady steps he walked forward,
a cane in one hand. As he came closer, I started to realize how saddened his
face seemed, almost as if he wished that the world would just stand still and
not give him any more grief.
"Pah! Andra, glad to see you here safe and sound,"
he said in his slow and steady voice. Wisdom clung to each and every one of
his words, and he sounded tired as he continued to speak. "I suppose that you
are going to go down and see the bottom of the castle. I wouldn't if I were
you. It's in worse condition that this blasted rug you stand on." With a chuckle,
he stopped and stood before me, his eyes still fixated on mines.
"I'm...I'm sorry, but I don't know you..." I
said back. "But it's nice to meet you."
"Pah...of course you don't know me, young one.
Nobody knows me anymore. Nobody pays attention. They just walk past and pretend
I'm not here. But, deep in their conscious," he tapped one finger upon his forehead,
"they see me, and they fear me. Ha! Fear an old Nimmo like me? Crazy fools...everybody's
a crazy old fool..."
I looked at him in confusion before he gave
out another loud chuckle.
"Pah...I believe that I didn't answer your unasked
question, young one. Call me Rune..."
"Rune?" I gasped when I heard that name. My
mind instantly flew back to the journal in my room. Property of Rune: Caretaker
of the Erodairian Children of Royalty I thought in my mind. "Were you a
caretaker?" I quickly asked.
"Pah! Me? Caretaker? You're more old and crazy
than everyone else in the castle, young one," Rune shook his head with another
one of his chuckles. "No, young one, I tis not a caretaker, but a family member
of mine's used to be one," and his eyes seemed to twinkle at me mysteriously.
"Rune...a family name. Many of the Castle's of Erodaire carry someone by the
name of Rune. Many. Then why do they fear only this Rune? Crazy old fools..."
I wasn't sure how to answer this, but a wave
of relief washed over me. Even if I did want to find out who in the world Rune
is, and meet him, for some reason, I didn't want this Rune to be the
one who owned the journal. "That's quite an interesting name, Rune."
"Pah! Yes, yes, weird indeed. More than a hundred
Neopians out there are called Rune, so that means they all must be weird. Ha!
Imagine that. Half the population of Erodaire...weird! But I'm not surprised...considering
how foolhardy our king is. Fools...all just fools..." Rune whispered to himself.
He glanced at the tapestry that held the picture of the Erodaire castle upon
it. His eyes seemed to become lost as he gazed at it. "All fools..." he whispered
to himself. With a sigh, he turned his gaze away and stared at the dust-filled
floor. "I'm a fool...an old fool at that..."
It seemed as if every second spent with Rune
seemed to be filled with confusion. Clearing my throat, I said, "How are you
a fool, Rune? You don't seem like a fool to me."
Rune stared at me, his eyes still containing
the lost look in them. He blinked once before he whispered, "Pah...your mother...Queen
Aletha...yes...that was her name. Such a fool I am. Such a fool I am for letting
her disappear. Fool. I'm just an old and crazy fool..."
To be continued...