Yanira groaned in her sleep, but soon woke up only to see the rock ceiling above her. She shot up from the bed looking at her new surroundings in puzzlement.
“Where am I?” Yanira muttered, but then noticed that her long red hair was brushed and the clothes she wore were now a long green dress that resembled Willow’s clothes. Yanira noticed a mirror and saw that she had been cleaned up as if she were never in the ocean before.
Yanira blinked in confusion wondering when and how she ended up in this room. She remembered doing the water dance to fight the Kraken, but everything after was a mystery to her. It was as if the memory that should be there was erased.
Yanira puffed her cheeks in her frustration, but then shook her head and stepped off the bed. She then approached the only mirror in the room and noted that she looked different compared to the last time she saw her reflection, but she also noticed a new mark on her forehead: a flame symbol with blue lining. Yanira tried to wipe it off believing it to be just paint, but soon realized that this mark no matter how many times she wiped would not rub off.
“What is this mark?” Yanira muttered running her fingers along the lining of the symbol. The symbol suddenly gave off a glow and the next thing she knew, her hands were engulfed in flames. Yanira screeched in surprise before realizing that the flames on her hands didn’t cause her pain or burn her flesh. It was like an illusion, but her thoughts of it being an illusion was washed away when the table where the mirror stood caught on fire. Yanira gasped as she managed to put out the flames on her hands, not noticing that the mark on her forehead stopped glowing and immediately held her hands toward the flames on the table.
“Adininaju No Kayishu Fibimi Sino!”
Water erupted from her hands like a stream engulfing the flames to nothingness, but the table still showed signs of the flame damage. Yanira gulped as she placed her hand to the damaged wood to attempt to repair it with another spell, but the door of the room suddenly opened revealing a smiling black haired girl.
“I see that you are awake at last,” stated the maid as she walked in casually with Yanira staring at her with wide eyes.
“Who are you?” Yanira asked as she tried to cover the damage of the table.
“Oh yes, my name is Lia. His majesty assigned me to you for when you wake, Lady Nira.”
“That is your name is it not?”
Yanira shook her head saying, “My name is…wait a minute, when you said majesty do you mean the king?”
“That is correct.”
“The king of what kingdom?”
“Rheolis of course.”
Yanira frowned realizing that she had managed to enter the castle of Rheolis, but why she was there was still a mystery. It was obvious to her that they mistook her for someone else, so instead of stating her true name, she asked, “What is his majesty’s name?”
“His majesty’s name is Damario Acestes.”
“Damario…so he really did betray Rasmus.”
Yanira shook her head and stated, “Sorry, I’m just a little confused. Can you tell me why I was brought to the castle?”
“I’m sorry, but his majesty didn’t give me the details, but I was instructed to bring you before him when you awoke, so please make yourself presentable.”
Yanira nodded, but was surprised when she was pushed down into a chair before the mirror with the damaged table by Lia and had her long hair combed.
“Your hair is so smooth,” complimented Lia as she ran the comb through Yanira’s silk like hair. Yanira giggled saying her thanks, but then she began to wonder what Damario had planned for her. Did he really mistake her for someone else or was he aware that she was on Rasmus’s side? He did meet her before. Yanira then realized that when he did meet her, she had yet to grow, so her looks when he first met her were greatly different. Yanira clenched her fists realizing that if Damario truly didn’t know who she was then she would have to pretend to be this Lady Nira in order to get information and hopefully assist Rasmus, where ever he was in hiding.
When Yanira was done being groomed by Lia, she was escorted down the unfamiliar hall. Yanira examined her surroundings in case she would need to escape, but to her surprise, there was no visible exit making her heart weigh with worry, but she snapped back to reality when Lia announced that they were about to enter the chambers of the king.
Yanira remained still as Lia knocked on the door saying, “Your majesty, Lady Nira has awoken and I have brought her to see you as ordered.”
“Enter,” was the only word Yanira heard through the closed door, before Lia opened the door urging Yanira to step inside. The moment Yanira walked pass Lia, she heard Lia whisper, “I was instructed beforehand not to enter, so please be courteous before his majesty in my absence.” Yanira didn’t even have time to convince Lia to enter with her, before Lia shut the door behind Yanira leaving her in a room bathe in the sunlight from the balcony of the chambers.
Yanira faced forward and saw the familiar face of Damario sitting before a desk covered with piles of paper. It was as if he were working to the very moment she entered his chambers. She remembered that Damario had a respectful look when she first met him on the ship, but now he had an aura of one ready to rule.
Damario met eyes with Yanira making her slightly flinch in discomfort.
“You are Lady Nira, correct?”
Yanira nodded not being able to find her voice, but she at least knew that Damario indeed didn’t recognize her.
Damario placed his feather pen down and circled to the front of the desk, not tearing his eyes away from Yanira.
“Are you aware that you have made a contract with the Fire Kraken, the guardian of my kingdom?”
Yanira shook her head, not understanding what Damario was saying.
Damario immediately approached her at a speed that Yanira couldn’t follow and moved strands of her hair away from her forehead revealing the symbol.
“This mark proves that you made a contract with the Fire Kraken, so the question is how did you do it?”
Yanira gulped feeling a chill from his voice.
“I do not know. I fought the Fire Kraken, since it aimed for my life when I fell in the water, but after the fight, I remember nothing.”
Yanira nodded. Her words were truth, but she did wonder how she made a contract with the Fire Kraken.
Damario frowned placing a hand on her forehead to cover the symbol.
“Listen well, Lady Nira, you will remember how you made the contract or you will be executed for stealing from a royal.”
Yanira felt her heart stop momentarily as her legs lost strength. She knelt to the ground with cold sweat with Damario towering over her.
“I truly do not know,” stated Yanira as she gathered her courage and then glared at Damario adding, “Even if I did, I wouldn’t tell a king who threatens the weak to get what he wants.”
Damario was momentarily shocked by her words, but then chuckled saying, “Weak? You sound head strong to me.” He then knelt before her placing a hand under her chin for her to face him.
“Lucky for you, I can’t end your life, until I know how you made the contract, so enjoy your short life. It will end when you remember.”
“I won’t tell you.”
“But you will. I assure you.”
Damario released her chin and then stood up calling for guards that were waiting in the shadows and had her dragged out of his room.
The moment Yanira was gone Damario chuckled to himself saying, “I will finally have the chance to use the truth serum.” He sat back at his desk remembering Yanira’s glare and muttered, “That girl…I might be able to use her.”
Meanwhile, Yanira was dumped back in the chambers she awoke in before. Yanira was about to complain about the rough treatment, but before she could say anything, a gold bracelet was slapped onto her right wrist by one of the guards.
“What is this?” asked Yanira staring at the bracelet.
“Orders from the priestess: you are to wear this and it can’t be removed unless the king orders it removed.”
Yanira frowned trying to pry the bracelet off, but it was like a vice grip. It refused to even budge. Yanira groaned, but maintained her stature saying, “I will wear the bracelet, so please leave this chamber.”
The soldiers obeyed. The moment they were gone, Yanira muttered, “Libehaeji” with her hand pressed against the bracelet, but the bracelet didn’t react to the spell of release making her puff her cheeks in annoyance.
“I guess a priestess seal was made on this too.”
Yanira sat on the bed staring at the only window in the room. She knew she was a prisoner, but she hoped that her imprisonment would allow her to gather the needed information for Rasmus and the others to gain the throne once again.