Bringer of Life
Location: The Land of Quar
There was something about his face that made it so painstakingly impossible to look away. Even with the sun setting and the night full in control, thoughts drifted to him where any normal person would allow sleep to befallen them. She saw beyond the mask, beyond the visage of wondrous perfection. There was more to him than that handsome, flawless face, and those emerald green eyes. A monster loomed in the darkness, patiently waiting for its opportune moment to strike. He even fooled the devil himself, making Mortalitas appear godsend.
She saw through the veil of lies. The truth was clear as day to Darla. If only others could see what she could through her eyes. Then they would be able to witness how much of a blasphemous tyrant Robun really was. Alas, it was far too late for that, the venom already due course. A light breeze blew, making her slightly uncomfortable. She was far too deep in thought to realize, or to care.
The hour tolled over the dead silent grounds. She glanced about, shifting her stare from left to right. With relief, she sighed, not seeing her betroth in sight. Robun was not of her own consequence, but of her father’s will. Already her heart was promised to another, to a man who treasured her more than all the wealth of Saranoth. Her hand traced the gem that hung around her delicate pale neck. She intended on giving her vow tomorrow eve to Favalon, if she could find him.
“Darla,” her eyes closed, recognizing the silky voice of Robun. Darla tasted his vileness in her mouth, wishing more than ever to wash it away. “You shouldn’t wander outdoors without accompaniment
“I am certain I am more than capable of stepping out on the balcony of my own room.”
And then his hands went on either side of her shoulder. The desire to make herself smaller grew. How anyone could be fooled by his act amazed her. His head leaned in to her neck, where he breathed lightly, barely placing his lips there. Darla‘s eyes rolled involuntarily. A soft moan escaped from her, almost losing all self control. “Why do you resist me?”
The moon and stars played witness, looking down upon them. The night was so calm, so still. She only wished that she could take the time to enjoy it. She longed for a nice long walk through the forest, hearing the birds call to each other, feeling the breeze brush pass her hair. Just once she wished to be free from her duties, from her life behind the walls. Sometimes she dreamed of fleeing to Port Noth, to the south, and sail as far away as she could.
“I can give you what you want, Darla,” her will was breaking as she fell deeper to his seduction. “I see the way you look at him. He has no status, no importance at all. What money does he have to care and provide for you? His life belongs on the battlefield, not a life for a lady at all.”
The venom soon reached into Darla‘s ears. It was so hard, so irrevocably impossible for her to resist the temptation to give in. His hand slid the shoulder of her dress off as he placed a kiss against her bare neck. Another moan escaped despite how she fought against it. The wind whispered Favalon’s as Robun took advantage of her vulnerability. When the realization dawned on her, she spun around and slapped him, returning to her quarters.
At first, she anticipated Robun to pursue after her, as tears welled up in her eyes. She wasn’t sure if they were out of frustration or bitterness. “My love, forgive me,” she whispered. Her pair of amber eyes reflected a broken lady. Her shoulder still hung out of the white laced dress, an early wedding present from her father. It was gorgeous. But she would never be able to look at it the same again. No it wasn’t the dress that she couldn’t look at the same again. It was herself.
As the days went by, she tried to find other ways to brighten her mood. Favalon was still away. Her heart yearned for his arms to hold her. It pained her each time a messenger entered the castle to deliver the amount dead. She was able to breathe again when she didn’t hear his name. She was truly blessed. Nothing would keep the two apart. She was certain of it.
It was in the middle of dinner one night when news arrived. The messenger told her father that it could not wait until morning. Her eyes stared intently, praying that it would continue to be good news. Darla realized that she was selfish. It was never good news to hear men injured or dead. But when she didn’t hear her love’s name at all, it just made her smile all the more.
“They were greatly outnumbered. Sadly, they didn’t stand a chance. The amount dead are still rising, it does not look promising. It appears there are no survivors.”
She feared for the worse. Her mind willed for her to remember what area he was sent off to fight. But nothing came. Her body went numb. He had to survive. He couldn’t be dead. It was…it was just not possible. She would never feel the warmth of his lips against hers again, or the fierceness of his kisses. The passion behind it made her feel weaker. “No,” she barely managed to whisper. “No.”
She could not remember what happened. Her eyes opened, she was in her room again. Darla tried to get up, but a hand gently kept her down. Her heart skipped a beat. It was Favalon! It was all just a dream. She imagined the messenger last night, delivering the amount dead. He never left. He was home all along. A wave of happiness washed over her. Relief.
Everything was going to get better. She could smile again. She could laugh again. She could love again. And she would not have to marry Roben either. She could wed Favalon and never have to worry about him. She hoped her father would consent to this idea.
“Favalon, my love, I was so worried about you.” While she spoke, she looked up at the ceiling. She found no need to look at him quite yet. Darla still wanted to soak realness of it all.
“My lord, I fear it is worse than we thought. She’s delusional.”
But…it couldn’t be. Her mind was spinning in circles. She felt dizzy. She couldn’t breathe. Darla started to panic. Who’s hand was she holding? Tried as she might, she couldn’t recall who’s voice spoke. But her father was there. Surely he would tell her what was happening. Maybe Favalon was on the other side, waiting to surprise her.
A hand started to stroke her hair. At least she was able to recognize her father’s touch. Words started to form in her mouth, but nothing came out. And then she started to cry. She started to let all of the emotions she felt come out all at once. Now she wasn’t so sure if she wanted to hear Favalon’s fate. “Please, no.” she whispered between sobs.
“I fear we must assume the worse. His battalion is unaccounted for. I must regret to say that Favalon and his men -”
“And if you value you life, you better hold your tongue.” Darla managed to smile at her father’s stern voice despite knowing what he was about to say.
“He’s…he’s alive,” her voice whispered.
It was a feeling she knew deep in her heart. There was just no way he was dead. Her heart did not will her to believe in it. He was alive. He was out there, somewhere. Darla had to find him. The image of his face burned heavily in her mind. Yes, she told herself, he was alive.
“The answer is no,” her father answered in response to Darla trying to sit up.
“The child is obviously traumatized by the mere thought…”
Traumatized? Words could hardly begin to describe how she was feeling. There was more to it than that. She felt empty without Favalon. Darla felt that she could never be happy again. His touch, his smile, his kiss, they would all just be a distant memory if she could not find him. Even as she conveyed her feelings to her father, Darla felt as if he was half listening to her.
With a heavy sigh, her father inconsequently gave in. “Favalon has traveled eastbound. Be off my daughter, god speed you.”