The priestess of Rheolis Kingdom, Sapphire, waved her hands around the flames at the center of her temple with her eyes slightly glazed. Ever since the king changed, her power was growing weaker and the Fire kraken annulling the contract further weakened her power. Sapphire refused to lose her position as priestess as long as there wasn’t a decent heir to take her place and her weakening power would not change her position. She had searched for an heir, but had yet to find one. Girls of the kingdom that had the power of a priestess were too proud and would only weaken the kingdom if they became a priestess, so none in the kingdom met the requirements for her position.
Sapphire did rituals to increase her power when she weakened, but ever since the kraken broke the contract, the rituals had little effect. In her desperate thoughts to increase her power, she was currently doing a ritual that would find the source of her drained power. The flames before her seemed to rise as her eyes gave off a glow as visions invaded her thoughts.
As she suspected, Damario, though he was the new king, was not recognized as the rightful ruler by the spirit of the Kingdom, which was the true source of a priestess’ power when they took the role of priestess of the kingdom. The Fire Kraken breaking the contract was also the source, since the Kingdom depended on the Kraken for protection and was the sign of a ruler of Rheolis. Her vision then changed to of Yanira dancing around a bomb fire, while wearing the garments of a priestess, but then a gold crown formed on her head as Yanira seemed to meet eyes with Sapphire.
Sapphire gasped as she snapped back to reality and the towering flames shrunk. She fell to her knees as she gazed at the still burning flames.
“I see…this kingdom has recognized the new contractor as the rightful ruler.”
Sapphire struggled to her feet and then sat in a straw made chair. She heaved out a sigh wondering what she could do. She couldn’t exactly go up to the new king and say that he is not the rightful ruler. That is just asking to die. She also couldn’t say that the girl that was brought in should rule the kingdom. That would also lead to her death.
Sapphire’s troubled thoughts were interrupted when she began to cough violently. She coughed into her sleeve and then saw the spots of blood that formed from her cough. She knew that she had little time. Seeing these visions, she also knew that it was definitely time to relinquish her position to an heir, even if she was reluctant to do it. She then remembered the vision of Yanira in priestess attire and placed a hand to her chin in thought.
“Could that girl be…?”
Meanwhile, Yanira was trapped in the chamber she was placed in. She was provided food and water along with a change of clothes, ever since she was first placed in the chamber days ago, but she beginning to grow restless, especially when she realized that her intelligence gathering was going nowhere, while locked in the chamber. She tried to use her power as a priestess to escape, but the bracelet on her wrist sealed all her powers, so she was no different than a regular human at that point.
Yanira puffed her cheeks in annoyance as she sat on her bed.
“There has to be a way out.”
Yanira looked around the room until her gaze landed on the window. She then looked at her bed sheets and curtains and smiled as an idea dawned on her.
On the other hand, Damario was walking in the castle gardens with his closes advisor: Charnak, a slave that he had bought when he was younger. Charnak carried no last name and was completely devoted to Damario and in turn, Damario trusted Charnak with his work.
This day, Damario wanted to go for a walk, but since he still had unfinished work, he brought along Charnak to discuss the work. Charnak wrote on a pad as he spoke to Damario.
“The rebels against your ruling have been gathered in the dungeons, but there are still members according to the interrogation of the captured members. Should we wait before we execute the ones we captured?”
Damario nodded saying, “It would be more fitting to execute ALL rebels, so just continue the interrogation methods until all are captured.”
Charmak nodded making a note in his pad.
“I also want to ask if it is time to replace the priestess. I have noticed that she has grown weak.”
“I have noticed too, but she has mentioned that there was no one that can replace her at this time, so just send a doctor to keep her health up, until a priestess heir is found.”
Charmak nodded again making a note, but inside he was feeling uneasy about the priestess. He didn’t mention it, but he had caught her coughing out blood once. He thought about telling Damario, but didn’t want to anger his king, so he kept his lips sealed about the priestess’ health, but then opened his mouth to mention something else concerning the priestess.
“I think I may have found a worthy priestess heir.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, she is the daughter of Duke Salome: Christine.”
“Duke Salome: isn’t he one of my supporters?”
“That’s correct. I witnessed his daughter bring a garden to life and her demeanor is quite sweet, so she seems fit to be a priestess.”
Damario rubbed his chin in thought and then nodded saying, “She sounds promising. Introduce her to Sapphire tomorrow evening, so please head to Duke Salome’s estate to inform him of this meeting.”
“I will obey,” stated Charmak with a bow, before he ran off taking this message of the king as top priority.
Damario seemed to relax with his advisor gone and continued his leisure walk through the garden admiring the rose bushes. He placed a finger to one of the roses with a smile.
Everything is working in my favor.
He suddenly heard something fall and glance over his shoulder only to see a red slipper lying on the ground. He picked it up as he examined it wondering where it came from. He heard a small squeak from above and glanced up only to gasp when he saw the dangling form of Yanira. She was holding a rope made of blankets and curtains as the wind blew making her swing.
“NIRA, WHY ARE YOU THERE?”
Yanira squeaked when she heard the familiar voice of Damario. She glanced down and saw Damario, but she took note of his displease look and immediately turned away with nervousness in her face.
“I am just hanging out,” stated Yanira in an uneasy tone, only to yelp when the window blew through her long red hair.
“You were trying to escape, weren’t you?”
Yanira’s silence was a good enough answer for Damario as he crossed his arms with a displeased look.
“If you return to your room, I will let you off just this once.”
Yanira glared at him saying, “Says the man who tried to use truth serum on me.”
“…How do you know that?”
“You think I wouldn’t notice the smell of truth serum in the cake slices you sent.”
“Is that why you never ate them?”
Yanira glared hard at Damario, but her glare fell when the wind blew making her squeal in fright. Her legs were practically hugging the blanket and from Damario’s point of view, she looked like a scared cat clawed to a tree. Damario cover his mouth trying to conceal the chuckle that threatened to escape.
After maintaining his composure, he asked, “So are you going to return to your room or do I have to punish you?”
Yanira suddenly heard something tear and the next thing she knew she was dashing toward the ground. She screamed in fright and tried to use a spell only to realize that the bracelet was still on her wrist. Yanira could only use the air around her to try to fall on her feet, but she knew that this would still lead to injuries if not kill her. She just wished that she estimated the height of the ground from her window right the first time.
Yanira expected the impact of the ground, but instead felt firm arms grab her followed by the softness of bushes. Yanira blinked in confusion until she realized that she was in the arms of Damario. Damario was groaning in pain as he moved away from the rose bushes.
“Are you OK?” asked Yanira in concern, but then noticed the thorns on his bloody neck making her turn pale.
“Your neck is bleeding!”
“So it is,” stated Damario like it wasn’t a big deal, but then glanced at Yanira saying, “Your cheek is also bleeding.”
Yanira blinked in confusion, but soon noticed the sting on her right cheek and began to tear up.
“It hurts,” whimpered Yanira. Damario smirked at her saying, “Serves you right for trying to escape through a window.” Yanira whimpered placing a hand to her bleeding cheek, but then glanced back at Damario’s bloody neck.
“Doesn’t your wound hurt?”
“I’ll be fine,” stated Damario, but Yanira noticed that he slightly winced when he moved his neck. Yanira felt a pang of guilt, since she was the reason for his injury. She knew that he was an enemy, but it didn’t stop her need to want to help him.
Yanira placed her hand on his wounded neck and without warning yanked the thorns out. Damario screamed out curses nearly dropping Yanira. He was about to demand what she was doing, but suddenly felt her soft hand on his neck.
“The thorns had to come out. Head to the infirmary, while I cover the wound.”
Damario was angered that Yanira was speaking to him in a demanding way, but just sighed and began to walk. As he walked, he could fell how warm Yanira’s hand was. It made him blush a bit, but when he saw her face again, the sense of familiarity surfaced again.
Where have I seen this girl?