Near the edge of the camp, Gulshano stared at the panicked Yanira. Gulshano couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Yanira claimed the army was coming, but there was no way for her to know.
“How do you…?”
“The woods…I can feel the disturbance in the woods. I know Shuyu is coming, so please run.”
Gulshano frowned and asked, “If what you say is true then why warn me? Don’t you want to be saved?”
“I do, but I don’t want all of you to die. Please believe me. Shuyu won’t spare any of you, so please…please…”
Yanira began to weep as she began to clench the sleeves of Gulshano. Gulshano saw no trace of a lie in her form and then took in a deep breath.
“I understand. We are not ready to face an army, so we will run.”
Yanira sighed in relief, but her eyes widened when Gulshano added, “And you are coming with us.”
“Whether you like it or not, you are my hostage, so you ARE coming.”
Yanira lowered her head and then gave a meek nod. Gulshano grabbed Yanira’s wrist and then called out for Kileona.
Kileona walked out of a hut and approached Gulshano asking what was wrong.
“We are moving base.”
Gulshano glanced at Yanira, who still had some tear streaks on her cheeks, and stated, “She said the King of Azseldo Kingdom is coming with his army.”
“Do you believe her?”
“…Better safe than sorry.”
Kileona nodded and then began to order the people around him to start packing up.
As Kileona barked out orders, Gulshano suddenly felt a tug on his sleeve and glanced at Yanira.
“Are you taking Lady Chalina, Nigam, and Leveret too?”
Gulshano went into deep thought and shook his head.
“I don’t plan to as long as we blindfold them before we leave.”
“So just me?”
Gulshano nodded and stated, “Even if I don’t have them, I have ways to make you obey.” Yanira lowered her head with a solemn look and then whispered, “Can I say goodbye to them?” Gulshano nodded and then practically flung her to the hut that Kileona exited.
“They’re in there. I’ll give you a moment with them.”
Yanira muttered her thanks and then entered the hut. The inside of the hut was dark, but it was light enough for her to see that Chalina, Leveret, and Nigam were tied up in a wooden cage.
“Lady Chalina, Nigam, Leveret,” Yanira exclaimed in concern. Nigam was the first to lift his head and smile when he saw Yanira.
“I’m glad they let you see us.”
Yanira nodded and then looked at Chalina and Leveret, taking notice that they were unconscious.
“Are Lady Chalina and Leveret, OK?”
Nigam nodded and stated, “Lady Chalina just feinted from the sight of the blood leaking from Leveret’s wound. As for Leveret, I was able to treat him thanks to that Kileona guy giving me medicine and bandages, so his life shouldn’t be in danger. He’s just sleeping now.”
“So after you treated Leveret, you were tied up?”
“That’s right,” stated Nigam with a sigh and then asked, “So do you know what those guys are planning?” Yanira nodded and stated, “They plan to flee the base.”
“Because Shuyu and his army are coming.”
Nigam smirked saying, “I guess Kaysan succeeded in getting help.” Nigam then noticed Yanira’s sad look and asked, “Aren’t you happy that someone is coming?”
“I would be, if I wasn’t aware that Shuyu plans to slaughter everyone here…even Lady Chalina and Leveret.”
Nigam’s eyes widened and asked, “Are you serious? How do you know this?”
“I saw it in my dream.”
“But that’s just a dream. It couldn’t come…”
“IT WAS TOO REAL! I know Shuyu is capable of doing it too, so how can I doubt it?”
Nigam sighed and asked, “So you told your kidnappers and now they are ready to flee because of it. I’m amazed that they believed you.” Yanira gave out a whimper.
Nigam leaned toward the bars of the cage toward Yanira and stated, “His majesty won’t slaughter anyone since they are escaping, so let’s wait for him to rescue us. I won’t let Lady Chalina or Leveret die either, so please don’t cry.”
Yanira wiped away stray tears and then stated, “There’s something else. Gulshano agreed to let you three go.”
“He is releasing us?”
Yanira nodded and added, “But he won’t let me go.”
Nigam’s eyes widened and yelled, “You can’t be serious!” Yanira remained silent making her answer clear that her previous words were true. Nigam shook his head and held his tied hands to the bars.
“If you stay with those kidnappers then Leveret and I came here for nothing.”
Yanira saw that Nigam’s hands were shaking and placed her hands onto his.
“It was not for nothing. You came for me and that made me very, very happy. I will make it through this, so…”
Yanira and Nigam suddenly heard a loud boom making them clench the bars. Yanira immediately stood up and ran out of the hut with Nigam calling her name.
When she got, she saw that there were flames beginning to surround the base. The resistant members were running frantically, while Trinak tried to calm them down and lead them away from the flames.
Yanira saw Gulshano staring at the flames and ran to him asking, “What happened?”
Gulshano glanced at Yanira and stated, “I wanted to see if the army was truly coming, so I sent a scout. Your words proved true since the flames have surrounded the base.”
“The flames are intentional?”
Gulshano nodded and stated, “It is a second barrier that would only activate when a member outside of the base activates it with their blood.”
Yanira clenched her fists realizing that the scout Gulshano sent was killed most likely by Shuyu’s army. Gulshano narrowed his eyes and added, “We have to leave quickly.”
“But the flames…”
“Will not hold for long against the army of Azseldo Kingdom, so let’s go.”
Gulshano grabbed Yanira’s hand, but Yanira ripped her hand away making Gulshano’s eyes widen.
“What are you…?”
“Yanira…you are my hostage, so you…”
“I’ll hold the army back, while you escape with the others.”
Yanira turned her back from Gulshano staring at the flames.
“Even with this barrier, you might not escape in time, so I will make time for all of you to survive.”
“I don’t agree with revenge. I never did, but I feel that your people and you deserve to find happiness, even if your kingdom will be born in another time or even in a different land, so please live.”
Yanira waved her hands in a smooth motion like she was swimming and then raised her arm bringing it slowly down o the level of her eyes. She then knelt down and the flames from the barrier suddenly increased and began to surround Yanira’s form.
“Yanira!” exclaimed Gulshano as he reached toward her, but the flames pushed him back making him tumble to the ground.
Gulshano stared at the flames and noticed that the flames rose from around Yanira as she ran her hands on the dirt ground like she was feeling the smoothness of silk. She then stood up and lifted up her right leg above her head and then ran her hand along the length and then lowered her leg as she began to turn, while waving her hands in a circular motion. The flames around her moved along with her body and then began to increase in size surrounding the base, except for one area.
Yanira glanced at Gulshano and did a small bow to him before she leapt into the air and spun three times running her hands along the flames that danced along with her.
Gulshano couldn’t remove his eyes from her, until Kileona touched his shoulder and stated, “We have to go.”
“She is blocking the army with the flames. She is letting us escape, so we must go.”
Gulshano took one more glance at Yanira and then nodded as Kileona ordered everyone to exit through the opening of the flames.
Gulshano took another glance at Yanira as her figure got farther away and then smiled.
We will meet again…I won’t let Shuyu or that mysterious being have you for long.
Gulshano disappeared into the crowd.
Soon only Trinak remained as he gathered a bag of supplies, but before he ran off he looked at Yanira as she began to spin on her left tiptoe with the flames circulating around her.
“You know Gulshano will try to kidnap you again to take revenge against your future husband, right?”
Yanira nodded and then looked at Trinak saying, “But I can still hope that he will change his mind and just live.” Yanira then knelt before Trinak with her arms wide open and smiled at him saying, “I also want you to live, so please leave.”
Trinak nodded, but he approached Yanira and touched the side of her left arm. Yanira felt a burn and cringed as she stepped back not breaking her graceful movements. Trinak smiled at Yanira and stated, “I know I will see you again.” With those words, Trinak left the base.
Yanira shook her head and then raised her hands to the heavens.
I hope my dance bought them enough time.
The flames fell upon her like a wave and then vanished without a trace of a burn on Yanira. Yanira fell to her knees panting.
Yanira heard the sound of hooves and glanced up only to see a horse with none other than Shuyu on top. The moment Shuyu and Yanira met eyes, Shuyu jumped down from his horse calling out her name. Yanira fell forward and collapsed into Shuyu’s opened arms. Shuyu held Yanira’s unconscious form close to his chest with a warm smile on his face.
Kaysan, on the other hand, looked around and stated, “Looks like those kidnappers escaped.” Shuyu didn’t answer, so Kaysan sighed and ordered the soldiers to search the camp. The soldiers did as told and were able to find Leveret, Chalina, and Nigam in the prison hut.
They were released from their bindings the moment Leveret and Chalina woke up. The moment Nigam was released he ran out of the hut calling for Yanira, but fell silent when he saw that Yanira was in the arms of Shuyu. Nigam clenched his fists and turned away just as Leveret was carried out of the hut.
Leveret saw Shuyu with Yanira and showed a solemn look before looking at Nigam asking, “So Big Brother really did come?” Nigam nodded and then looked at the remains of burned debris. He didn’t know exactly what happened, but all he knew was that Yanira had stayed.
Leveret, on the other hand, hoped that he wouldn’t be blamed.
Chalina suddenly exited the hut smiled at the sight of the Azseldo Kingdom army, but felt her heart drop when she noticed Yanira in Shuyu’s arms. She had the urge to approach and throw Yanira away, but she suddenly remembered how Yanira protected her during their captivity and sighed crossing her arms.
I’ll leave her be for today.
Kaysan reported that Chalina, Nigam, and Leveret were also recovered to Shuyu, but Shuyu only had his thoughts focused on Yanira as he lifted her small form up and climbed back onto his horse. He rode ahead ordering Kaysan to burn the remains of the camp and then return.
Shuyu left Kaysan and his army as he rode through the woods. He glanced down at Yanira as he rode his horse and smiled. He really did plan to destroy that camp and everyone in it. He was also angered that Leveret was involved with his princess and had the idea to end him in that camp with the cover story that Leveret was dead before he got there. He also planned to kill Chalina, since he felt that she was responsible for Yanira’s kidnapping. Those plans of blood shed came to a halt because of the flames and because of Yanira facing him the moment he entered the camp. Yanira calmed down his blood thirst. He felt that only she could do it.
Shuyu kissed Yanira’s forehead making her moan in her sleep and then tightened his grip on her small form.
I won’t let anyone have you. You are mine.