Bringing the dawn of the day, the sun suddenly came through the window hurting Iltier’s eyes. She was seated still in her chair looking to nowhere in the window with dark circles under her eyes.
The night before had been a bit cold just as the previous nights with the cloudy weather of the season. Ironically the sun came that morning and, although strong in her eyes, it seemed weakly warm while lightning her cold skin. But she didn't feel warm at all.
Looking down at her stomach, she opened her left hand and saw the wolf symbol of the Silvain Family crest in the switchblade stuck there. Under her feet a blue blade sword was now red in a puddle of blood. Both blades were a set that had been a gift from the Ehrath and Silvain families, both blades were now bloodstained.
The blood drops hitting the floor seemed to imitate a clock.
tick tock tick tock
However, time for what she wanted didn’t seem to come at all.
It was painfull.
She had no doubt it would be, but not to that extent.
A switchblade going through her stomach was no laughing matter, yet she laughed ironically amidst pain.
Everything about the day that insisted on playing continuously in her memory and in her dreams exuded irony. The same sun hurting her eyes, their faces not blaming her in the least. The injustices. Her blade being inevitably used that way. Their words.
“Nghnn.” without strengh, her head dropped. She carefully gripped the switchblade, even a faint breath was enough to make her feel the blade piercing her entrails.
The pain was brutal but it was not enough to make her pass out. She didn’t even have strengh to scream over the pain, well, she didn’t want to scream to begin with.
The only thing she could do was cry, cry to her heart’s content. It was hurting so much, both in her stomach and in her heart that she wanted to cry until the moment she would finally die.
It took seconds for the switchblade to pierce through her, but why her eyes were taking forever to close? She wondered.
To her it seemed fair though. Now she could finally cry without regret. She deserved it, Iltier knew that.
Steps suddenly broke the blood drop silent room. She thought it would take them longer to come, but she was wrong. They were calling her name.
But her consciousness was finally starting to fade, her body losing strength and falling off the chair.
Will I be able to rest a little?
“Ilty, it's alright, nothing will change between us.”
Ahaha... It's not fair, right? For me to rest.
When Iltier opened her eyes, without even noticing that they were closed, she was in an unknown place.
She unconsciously put her hand on her stomach and looked around her own body but no wound could be seen. Her sword and switchblade were sheathed without even a drop of blood. Clothes that she used on her Imperial Journey.
She looked around curiously. As the princess of Ashtaria Empire, there were very few places Iltier was unfamiliar in her world, and even so she was sure that the place she was in at that moment was not one of them. She just knew it.
Everything that happened until that moment wasn't important, or so her mind was telling her. The only thing she should do was walk towards someone in the place she was.
In the unknown garden she was.
Suddenly another thought crossed her mind. In the vastness of trees and flowers she was walking in, only one person could be seen. As if in that infinity there was only him. And her.
In her mind, going towards that person was what she was supposed to do.
After crossing a small lake using round stones as a bridge, she removed her shoes at the entrance as she saw the man’s wooden sandals in the ground, and entered the small gazebo that was there.
The mysterious look of the one who was waiting for her was welcoming.
Iltier disarmed herself and placed the sword near where she would sit. There wasn't any chair or anything else resembling one, just a cushion and taking into consideration the stance of the man in front of her, he was probably using one too. She then, unreservedly, sat there crossing her legs to be as close to the table as he was.
Everything was peaceful as if she was home even though it was the first time she was in that place. Whatever was happening, it didn't look dangerous in the least.
“What is this place?” she asked without greeting him. Greetings were unnecessary or so her mind was telling her. “Naturaly if it is permited for me to ask. Ah but...’Dream’? No... it looks like it, but...” another country didn't even cross her mind, another world was an even stranger idea. She couldn't grasp where she was and so, confused thoughts filled her mind.
The person in front of her was somewhat direct in his gazes and gestures, which gave her the feeling that she was in front of someone like the people she trusted the most.
“This is not a dream.” He said in a calm manner looking directly at her. She understood his words but at the same time she did not. It was as if he was speaking in another language, an unknown language.
He offered her something to drink and she politely accepted.
“That's what I thought. It looks like a dream because there’s a lot of information in my mind just like when we dream and we know what is happening. But, at the same time, it feels so real. This place, I mean.” She looked everywhere from where she was sat and she couldn't recognize anything, even the gazebo that they were sitting seemed otherworldly to her.
It was build in a different way from her world even considering all countries and cultures. The place just didn’t look like a place that would be in Mardrake. But... “And yet, I feel that this is of no importance at all.” Her gaze once wondering, came back to his eyes which were observing her, a faint laugh in his lips.
The drink he offered came from the same recipient of the drink he was now drinking.
“Is there something...” He began to talk again in a calm manner. One hand holding the recipient with the drink and the other hand unnecessarily serving as a support to the same recipient. He was somehow on his knees and yet it didn't look uncomfortable to him in the least.
His clothes were another thing that Iltier have never seen in her life. It looked like a dress with long sleeves but it didn’t look feminine at all, on the contrary, it matched perfectly his silhouette. To her eyes, he exuded elegance.
But what caugh her attention the most was his voice. A husking and soothing tone that reminded her of her mother’s.
Ah,... that’s why I’m not guarded around him, he has the same feeling as mother’s. Even the pace of his speaking.
“...urgently unpleasant about this place?”
‘Urgently unpleasant’? Did my looking around made him uncomfortable? And if there is, what is he gonna do about it?
Iltier frowned at the man in front of her.
“Not unpleasant, I should say, but...” She answered promptly while again looking around. It was a fascinating place, like one she could never see in any part of Mardrake, her world.
Besides the lake with round rocks and red fishes, Iltier could see trees so exquisite that anyone would think it was a painting instead of a real one. It looked too perfect to be something made by nature, since in her mind ‘nature’ was wild and unpredictable.
The gazebo was small, enough maybe to fit four people comfortably, one in each side of the square table at the Center. Besides the table, which had recipients of different shapes, and the cushions, there wasn't much there. It was simple from the point of view of the princess of the Ashtarian Empire. But the gazebo itself had been built in a rich and detailed way, an exceptional work of art that went well with the whole scenario.
On their side, outside of the gazebo, there was another tree with something resembling a fruit she had never see in her life. It was red and big enough to not fit her hand. The base of the fruit had something resembling a crown of the kings of Viscerda, the neighboring country. Surrouding them all kinds of white flowers painting the scenario as if they were in the North of Viscerda, in a garden of white and really small Kanurias.
“Unknown?” Her gaze came back to him as he spoke what was on her mind. Yes, Unknown. Completely Unknown. Yet, a bit, but just a bit familiar.
Iltier looked down to her drink in a rounded and tiny recipient without handles. In fact she was curious to the taste of the offered drink, and as she saw him drinking, she though it would be safe to do so.
“Yes. Unknown. Besides...”
“I am not talking in your language, and this is due to the fact that I don't belong here. ” He answered, as if he knew what was on her mind.
‘I don’t belong here’?
“So, which Kingdom or country? ...Ah but, for some reason this is not of importance now. ...Again.” She looked confused at her own thoughts.
Her gaze, once in his eyes, fell on her hands which was holding the small recipient. The red drink was charming with what it looked like tiny red crystals and the scent was sweet and alluring but regardless her heart was heavy still with everything that happened.
And she was dead, she knew it. Should she say to him? What is this place to begin with? Who is he?
What is he?
“ ‘Killed myself’?” He finished her sentence. Her heart skipped a beat and she couldn’t bring herself to look him in the eyes.
The view of the garden until now was enough to bring out her curiosity, but his words came crushing to remind her of her reality. Iltier looked at her left arm and the six cufflinks on her sleeve brought faraway memories. Her eyes were filled with tears. There was no physical pain in her body, and yet.
“Yes.” So he knew.
“Well, after what happened, I didn't expect much. ”
Such cruel words.
“Did you expect anything from me? ahaha... ”
“But to use the same sword.” Iltier looked at her side. The double blade sword she used to kill in two ocasions was there. It was a symbol of pride of the families of her mother and her father but now all she could see was a piece of blue metal filled with innocent blood.
Their blood. And hers.
“Because it was...”
“ ‘Fair’, right?”