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A Draken Rising; 26: What happened in Caligo.
Posted by Estrella LeMar, Jan 28, 2009. 1488 views. ID = 2286

A Draken Rising; 26

Posted by Estrella LeMar, Jan 28, 2009. 1488 views. ID = 2286
This post was written in 4 minutes.
This post has been awarded 8 stars by 2 readers.
This post is Part 27 of a writing series titled A Draken Rising.

Estrella, Markus and Ellius all sat in Rafael’s room as Horatio filled the room with music. As he came to the end of one song, Rafael momentarily opened his eyes.

No one noticed.

During the next song that Horatio played, Ellius sang along. The song was called The Loving Hands of the Prince. As Rafael listened to the words, a gentle peace settled over him. (Who is this Prince? Has a man truly done such wonderful things? I want to know this man, to meet him.)

As Horatio and Ellius finished the song, Rafael opened his eyes once again, “I wish I could play the violin so well. I’d like you to give me lessons someday.”

“Captain, you’re awake!” Estrella leapt to her feet, “No doubt you’re hungry. I’ll fetch you something to eat.”

“It’s good to speak with you again, Captain,” Markus spoke quietly.

Rafael looked over at Ellius, “How long?”

“It’s been seven days, lad.”

“Seven days?” Rafael’s mind wandered back to the man who had saved him from Babriel. He had said seven days, as well.

“If it has been seven days, that means it is your anniversary, Markus. This is the first time I have no present to give you.” Rafael frowned slightly.

“You finally waking up is present enough. Besides, Horatio has been playing the violin for us; we couldn’t ask for much more.” Markus grinned.

“Ah, yes, Horatio.” Rafael turned his gaze to Horatio, “How exactly did you get here?”

Horatio set down his violin. “Ellius never learned much about medicine or healing. That sort of thing is my specialty. After three days with you still unconscious, he became worried. Ellius sent Markus to get me, using a warp-stone you had created.”

“I see.” Rafael tried to sit up.

“Gently…you’re still hurt rather badly.” Horatio helped Rafael sit up.

“Is everything in order, Markus? What has happened during the last seven days?”

“I’ve been being run ragged as usual, Captain. One of the ladies from the caravan
Ellius was in just gave birth to twins. A boy an’ a girl. Then, there’s that fellow, the really young, thin one; he’s got himself into trouble, again. He was trying to balance himself atop one of the picket fences, when he up an’ fell off. Broke his arm. ‘Bout time that happened in my opinion. I’ve been telling him not to do such a fool thing. Perhaps, that will teach him to listen to his elders.”

“What about the horses? Have you begun saddle-training those three colts?”

“Yup. We have. Plus, we have three new colts and two fillies.” Markus leaned back in his chair.

“The black quarter horse…how is his leg?’

“Oh, he’s up and running, again.”

Rafael nodded his approval. “Good, very good.”

Estrella walked into the room, a steaming cup of soup in her hands. “Here is your soup, Captain.”

“Markus, Estrella, would you mind leaving us, for a time? I wish to speak with the captain in private.” Horatio took the bowl of soup from Estrella’s hands. Estrella hesitated.

Markus took hold of his wife’s hands, “Come, we have not taken a ride for some time. Now is as good a time as any.”

Estrella sighed, “Well, all right.” She grinned. “I claim the little, red mare.”

“Fine with me,” Markus grimaced. “That little mare is too smart for me. When I try to ride her, I spend more time on the ground than on her back. I swear she’s got something against me.”

Laughing, the two of them made their way outside, firmly closing the door behind them.

Ellius helped Rafael sit a little straighter, and Horatio handed Rafael the soup.

“Thank you.” Lifting the bowl up to his lips, Rafael took a long
draught. “Mmmmm, excellent, as usual.” Everything was quiet, for a moment.

“Ellius, what happened in the ruins? When you found me? It is all a blur to me, now.”

“You were badly wounded. I offered to help you, but you refused.” Ellius staired off into the distance, for a moment, before continuing, “You spoke of trust and how you cannot even trust yourself.”

“Ellius, Horatio, the two of you I do trust.” Rafael spoke earnestly. “Never in my life, before I met you, did I truly trust anyone. At any given moment, my father’s mood might change. Nothing ever was, or is, safe with him. Cao Nocens would kill me without hesitation, if he ever got a chance.”

"I would gladly leave the Wyriens, if I could,” Rafael sighed, “yet, it seems as if that is impossible. If I tried to leave, my father would search me out, killing anyone who stood in his way. Then he would kill me, slowly; besides that, where would I go?” Rafael handed the soup bowl to Ellius, before closing his eyes; he was so weary.

“Captain," Ellius paused slightly, “What happened at Caligo? What exactly took place?”

Rafael slowly opened his eyes and looked at Ellius.

“If I am to properly treat your wounds, I need to know what took place,” Horatio said.

Rafael turned his gaze toward Horatio. Horatio was so concerned. “All right then,” Rafael took a deep breath, before beginning to speak.

“March 13th is the day I was born. Every year, I am required to be at the palace by three o’clock, in the afternoon. If I am late, my father will torture different slaves, until I arrive. When I get there, he makes me finish them off.”
Rafael paused and looked down at his hands. “One year, I was four hours late. I had to kill forty six different people. Some were old, while some were only five or six years old. There were men …and women I had to kill.” He shivered.

“What happened this time?” Ellius coaxed.

“I arrived at the main gate, and rode into the inner courtyard on a wyvern. After
I arrived, five men bound me. Two of them took whips, and began to strike me.”

“How long did they beat you?”

“Until I gave in to my anger.” Rafael closed his eyes, “I could feel the anger rising, the fury coursing through me. It was not just because they were beating me either, it was so much more. Anger for the fear they cause, anger for the pain they put so many through. My anger took control. I felt as if I lost control of my emotions and actions.

The ropes that bound me burst into flames, and fell away as ashes.

I drew my katari.

The five men sprinted towards the door. I raised my hand as they approached it, and it slammed shut in their faces. As I turned to face me, I used some spell, I don’t even know what spell it was, but it made me invisible.

I was so angry. I thought about how those men had always lived in darkness; I felt they should die in darkness.

All light faded, and the room became pitch black. One by one, I felled them all.

Afterwards, Malus congratulated me on a job well done.

I left then. I went to Osadious; I did not want the people at the oasis to see my weakness. I was not there long before Ellius found me.”

“This happens every year?” Ellius asked.

“Ever since my tenth birthday,” Rafael confirmed.

“You are pale.” Horatio spoke softly.

“I am weary.”

“You should rest.”

Rafael nodded slowly, “Rest, yes, that’s a good idea.”

Horatio helped Rafael lay back down.

“Ellius, will you go fetch me some more of those herbs I’ve been using?”

“Of course.” Ellius quietly left the room.



“Will you play another song for me?”

Horatio nodded, “Of course.”

Horatio lifted his violin, and began to play. He watched as Rafael’s eyes slowly
began to close as the boy fell asleep.

Copyright 2009 Estrella LeMar. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 8 stars by 2 readers.
This post is Part 27 of a writing series titled A Draken Rising. The next part of this series can be found here: A Draken Rising; 27.

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