First of all, thank god this chapter is out of the way. If you want a primary explanation for why this book has taken so long to release, this chapter is it. You’ll see what I mean later, and I’m still quite conflicted about it.
Our story so far is that the group has decided that they will make Maron win the tournament by putting the most strong contestants to sleep so their fights are missed.
I woke up peacefully. Here it was usual to be awoken by the sounds of early morning practice, or people shouting but thankfully today was quiet, and Rick was already up.
“Are you better?”
“I’m feeling… ok. Do you fancy a walk?” he asked grinning.
I got Rick up slowly and leaning on me we left into the open. Rick couldn’t be happier. We spent an hour walking and having conversations about things that you miss or don’t think about, and only realise when you see them again after being cramped indoors so long as well as many other things.
I felt apprehensive about the plan. In some ways it was flawed as well, but there was no use bringing it up because the plan had to be done. It would always look suspicious if I was the only one left alive from the list of favourites. We had decided on a compromise since I was adamant that it would be traced back to me but even so, there was always a risk.
It was too far from the tents, but Rick still needed to sit down. So we picked a nice spot overlooking a group of people practicing.
“I don’t think I can walk any more today. I really want too, but it could do more harm than good” This was sensible.
“Alright we’ll get you back and then you can rest.” I said.
Ricks legs gave way halfway back, and I had to carry him.
He was heavy and it was difficult. And the idea of the future queen carrying a weak, half blind, crippled person through a large glorified campsite was just funny to me.
“I feel really bad.” Rick said “You’re so frail.”
“You’re the one who can’t walk.” I said trying to ignore the pain.
In this manner we made our slow way home, taking intermittent breaks to rest. Occasionally Rick would walk, but it was difficult to get very far like that.
“Are you any better Rick?” Rob asked as we arrived back. He had started a fire and seemed to be brewing a strange concoction.
“I walked for a long time… and then ran out of strength Just a little bit more rest is all I need” Rick replied.
“Well just sit tight here, hope you’re healthy by tomorrow.” He said.
“Thanks” Rick replied enthusiastically.
“Now Maron since you’re awake already do you think you could buy me something, here’s some money.”
“What do you want?” I asked Rob.
“Just get me some empty bottles, I’ve not got any. Oh, and also, here’s a bit extra so that you and Rick can buy yourselves a tent. I can’t stand hearing you at night.” He handed me the money and I blushed with embarrassment, it felt humiliating.
“In the meantime, me and Kil are going to start with the plan and Rick will guard the tent. Does that sound good?”
“Yeah.” I said, still shocked that we hadn’t been as quiet as I thought. Struggling from exhaustion I went to the shops, feeling my shoulders being noticeably lighter.
When I finally arrived, I couldn’t find a place for bottles, why couldn’t we use water skins? Maybe they weren’t safe enough or something but I saw no reason why a small bottle would be any better. So after a while of not finding anything I took to my last resort which was buying things that came with a bottle: alcohol.
I picked up some bottles of wine because it was all they had. They were quite large. But very tempting and I’m sure very tasty. As I went home, with tent in hand, I desperately wanted to drink it all.
I set up the tent quickly and went to get Rick. Rob was nowhere to be seen.
“Look what I got!” I said but Rick was asleep. “RICK!” he woke up with a start and looked pleased to see me.
“Yeah?” He asked.
“I’ve got us a new tent, common let’s go!”
The tent was a lot smaller than the other but it was marginally bigger than the compartment we used to be in. I showed him the wine I’d bought and he looked excited to share the moment with me. We opened a bottle and drank from it in turn, hoping to drain the whole thing away so that we could use it for putting people to sleep. All my worries of drinking vanished with him around because I wanted to be with him more. It didn’t take us long to be stupidly drunk with just over half the bottle gone. Once we reached this level we were too busy playing around with each other to notice the drink left. After a while I knocked it over stupidly and we lied in a stupid mess, not bothering to pick it up. Then we did it.
About five minutes in he said “Sore wa hontōni kūrudesu, ē, anata wa sentōkidesu, anata ga katsu.” Clearly. This was the spell to increase alertness and perception, slowing and distorting time. Then he said “Anata ga kenkōnanode, anata no kenkō o shinpai suru hitsuyō wa arimasen.” Which were the words used so that he would feel better again.
Despite time being slow for him, he went inside me harder and harder until it began to hurt. Then he started putting me into painful, unnatural positions that I didn’t want to be in. I was bruised and pained. I noticed blood, my blood.
“STOP! STOP! STOP!” I shouted pulling away, but he wouldn’t let go. Rick was under the influence of the spell and there was no way of making it stop. In my panic I forgot the words to the spell and had no idea what to say. For every action where I tried to break free, he would know exactly how to counteract.
Rick finished and to my relief pulled out. He had been horrible to me. I ran away as fast as I could from the monster. How could he use the spell knowing how violent it makes people?
Rick would now attack the first person he saw, I realised that now.
“ROB! KIL! ROB! KIL!” I shouted. Where were they?
“what?” Rob said only moments later running. I was too scared to remember that I was naked, but he instantly knew what had happened and ran to get Rick. He put his hands over his face and he collapsed.
I was exhausted too, and moments later I decided to rest. When I got back, I found that there was still more wine left.
I woke painfully the next day with Rick unconscious next to me. All I remembered was running away from Kil scared for my life.
“What happened?” I asked him as I woke him up tiredly.
“I’m sorry Maron. We did it, but I… scared you…I… think I cast the spell and it made me go crazy. I’m really, really sorry”
“Yeah I remember now. That was…horrifying”
“I’m so sorry Maron that was stupid. Please I wouldn’t have done it if I wasn’t so drunk” He said.
I was reluctant to go along with him, but understood what had happened “We were both drunk let’s just forget about it”
I left the tent without another word. Then I saw Rob, and he was furious.
“What the fuck is the matter with you?” Rob shouted at me, only to my confusion.
“I… I’m feeling a bit better” I said, but it only made Rob more enraged.
“I asked you to do one thing! One fucking thing! And look what you do. You get drunk out of your mind and cause all this mess for us, who are actually doing our jobs! I had to wrestle that wine off you!”
“I’m sorry” I said.
“You should be. You’re supposed to be the future queen of Sevren, act like it! Now let’s find Rick”
Rob gave us the scolding of our lives. He was annoyed, and rightly so, starting to feel tempted to make Kil the king instead.
Luckilly for us Kil and Rob had eliminated a lot of the contestants while we slept through the day and night. Rob poured all of the wine away, and I couldn’t help but stare.
“Maron come with me.”
I followed him worried; I didn’t want to go but felt like I had too.
“I don’t trust that I’m able to support your goals anymore if you’re as stupid and immature as this you don’t deserve the title.”
“But…” He cut me off before I could explain and promise never to do it again.
“There are some conditions I need from you now for me to support you, or you’re going to sleep just like the others.” This was blackmail, I began panicking “When your queen, I want lands, a lordship and to be your hand”
Honestly, I didn’t want to agree but Rob was a good person and I could see why he didn’t trust me. He would also do well in those rolls. I had never thought of the power that came from being the queen, it hadn’t occurred to me.
“Ok” I said, fully aware of what the consequences could be.
After, I went back to Rick and the whole incident was never brought up again.
Thanks for reading? What did you think?