By Marli Hanekom
"Zexal!" Her father screamed her name as she, Haden and Morvius were running down the hall. They were trying to visit her sibling who was kept behind closed doors.
She didn't understand why she was not permitted. They stopped in their tracks, she slowly turned around and walked back reluctantly. She could see he was furious.
Haden and Morvius stopped a step behind her. As she turned her eyes slowly upwards, his hand struck her cheek making her tumble backwards. Haden stabled her by the shoulders.
He glared at her father defiantly, Morvius whimpered slightly at her fathers gaze.
"You know well you are forbidden to be in this hall! How dare you! You who stole your mother's life and now that of your twin." She gripped Haden's hand to let him know she was alright.
" I'm sorry father. It will not happen again." His nostrils flared. " Leave and go to your lessons, you better not fail." He left without another word. They did as they were told.
Haden clenched his fists. " Your father has a terrible temper." She gave a small smile at his words, Morvius let out a breath that he was holding.
Morvius rarely speaks but he and Haden are her best friends or as her father will call them her future guard.
She felt sorry for Morvius as he is kinda small for a boy, Haden, on the other hand, is more hot-blooded and outspoken.
The sun touched her face and she closed her eyes welcoming its embrace, feeling the warmth and her feelings washed away. " Alright, you two let's get to sword practice.
"They were running towards the barracks, the future king as her father will say, needs to fight with his guard to know how they should improve on, or how they should fight better.
Haden chose a broadsword, Morvius twin daggers and Ayame who is still small for weapons training picked up dual swords.
They ignored the guards who grunted when they walked past to the training grounds. She wiped the sweat of her brow as the bells started ringing, her eyes widened.
"No!" Haden, Morvius turned slowly towards the castle's shadow that looms over the barracks, a black tower was on the castle's left side just high enough to stand taller than the barracks.
Painted black to deliver grave news so all the people in the village and around the castle. The bells kept tolling, announcing a death in the royal family.
Ayame dropped everything and started running back to the castle.
The servants were running as orders were barked, they didn't notice as she slowly walked to the hall to her twin she hardly knew.
Her father was on his knees in front of the room, that's the first time she's seen him cry. His head slowly turned towards her in his eyes was nothing but hatred.
Late that evening she stood in front of her siblings grave. "Here lies Ayame Alucard, beloved daughter." She bowed and placed a blood-red rose on the grave.
Haden and Morvius slowly standing closer. " My beloved twin brother buried under my name." She shed tears for a twin she never knew.
Her father kept them apart as he was severely ill and no doctor could tell them why. Haden tried to speak her name. "No, Haden.
I am Zexal and this will be the last time I will shed any tears or any of you will use my name again." She turned around her tears dried against her cheeks. She took both of them by the arms.
"Let's get some rest. Tomorrows going to be a blessed day."
She woke up as her door flew open. "Ayame you have to hide!" Haden grabbed her arm, she flew off the bed and he pushed her in the closet. She could only see through the small gap.
Morvius was thrown into the room. Haden blocked the gap with his back. " Well well. Two snot-nosed brats here to protect the prince?" He started to laugh.
She heard a dragging sound on the floor, he drew near. "Where is the boy?" Haden clicked his tongue at the man. "Ain't talking, are we? Well, guess we'll do it the hard way.
" He stepped closer and slammed his fist into Haden's gut.
She saw him crumple to the floor. The man started kicking him asking him where the prince is. And yet he doesn't speak. Ayame couldn't take it anymore. She pushed open the closet doors.
" Please stop!" The sight that greeted her was not pleasant. Morvius was lying still his face blooded. Haden still staring defiantly at the man kicking him. The man smiled.
" Graced us with your presence, hey small lord. " Three other men came into the room, no chance for escape.
When she turned back to the men her world went black, the last thing she remembered was Haden screaming her name.
House Ignitus The thunder roared loudly in the background. A man with strong features was smiling as he watched the storm. His eyes shone with triumph. His mouth curved and he started laughing opening the windows, welcoming the storm. A boy peeked curiously around the door at the laughing man. He walked closer. " Father, why are you laughing?"
He turned to the boy his smiling from ear to ear. " Igni my boy! It is a glorious night indeed. The turn of the tide has finally come." The boy shifted nervously, he didn't like the way his father was acting. Not that he understood what he is talking about. His father turned back to the window, lightning blazing through the window.
"The plan succeeded, the Alucard brat will arrive tomorrow. I want you to befriend the young boy. We need leverage. The dragons have been asleep for centuries, The order of Lucard is failing. " He smiled to himself. Igni didn't know how to reply to his father's ramblings. He was taught the lore of the land.
No one can go against the order of Lucard. They are the rules of the land. They were formed for the people, to be their voices. The legends state they can control all the elements. That is what lead to the order of Lucard and that the lands be divided equally so that no House can become more powerful than the other. Igni turned to leave his crazed father in the throne room.
He didn't want to be part of this great scheme. He let out a sigh. " And I certainly don't want to make friends with this boy." He climbed into bed thinking of his mother. She died in a brutal accident with the fire dragon that was supposed to be their protection from invaders. But the beast turned on them and she was burned to a crisp.
"Mother if you can hear me. I think father's heart turned to stone after losing you." Sleep came with difficulty.
The next morning Igni was to be in the throne room to wait for the prisoner or guest as his father would call it. He would be more than happy to continue his training to become a knight in the firemation than be a baby sitter. The doors open bringing him back from his thoughts. The guards brought forth a small and scrawny boy he snickered to himself.
If his father didn't mention that this is a boy he would have guessed he's a girl. He noticed the boy is looking around nervously. They stopped in front of the throne. the king stood up smiling. "Welcome Zexal Alucard!" The boy looks up nervously. The king continues. "You are going to be our guest until your father gives in to my commands."
Igni stares at his father dumbfounded. Zexal's small body started quivering with laughter. "My father will not bow to your commands King Ignitus. He would be too proud to bend the knee to a lowly king as yourself." In anger King Ignitus lashed out at Zexal with his accepted, hitting him on the shoulder. Zexal trembled and fell to his knees.
"You small whelp. Who do you think you are to speak to me like that in my own kingdom?" Zexal stood up wiping his hand across his shoulder and winces at the small cut, blood lightly oozing from it. Igni smiled to himself. "I should give the kid some credit being defiant like that to the king of fire is brave and stupid." The king found his composure again.
"You will be in my son Igni's care." He sat back down and waved his hand. Igni walked to the guards motioning them to follow. He stopped at a small room and threw the door open. The guards led Zexal through, they undid the bounds. He was messaging his wrists. Igni watched him closely. "Escape is inevitable." Zexal's face darkens.
"My father will never give in to your father's demands." Igni sighed. He knew talking will not help now. " Get some rest. I'm sure your journey was a long one. I'll bring you some food later. " Igni left and locked the door. Ayame curled up on the bed.
"What have I gotten myself into. My Father will never bend the knee to the commands of a kingdom. The order of Lucard must be neutral, always. " She fell asleep wondering if Morvius and Haden are alright.
House Alucard Morvius and Haden were in King Alucard's throne room. He was pacing angrily. " You were supposed to protect him! What good are you that you can't protect my son!" Morvius shrinks back but Haden ook a step forward. " We have tried our best to protect your daughter!
We fought for her. The way I see it, my lord, you are the one at fault!" The king stopped and smacked Haden to the ground.
"You dare to defy me. I have no daughter. He is my son and we need to get him back." Haden stood up and motioned to Morvius, they left the king to his rantings. King Alucard collapsed on his throne. "This is very troublesome. This can go wrong on so many levels."
Haden is still trembling with anger. Morvius always quiet. "I can't believe that man! It's his fault that Ayame got kidnapped." He slammed his fist in the wall. " He can't rescue her, that's why the royals are always well protected. The order must stay neutral." He slammed his fist in the wall again.
"Come Morvius. We will need to train and then we should go to the archives we must get information on the order, and the loopholes as to what should be done when an order member's children get kidnapped. We don't even know which house kidnapped her." Morvius shook his head.
" I know, I tore a piece of their clothes." Haden gaped and then smiled. "Morvius you sly bastard let's go!" They ran off.
King Alucard left the castle cloaked. He doesn't want the guard to follow him. He needs to do this alone. He hasn't visited her since he took her son. He knocked at the door. "Just a minute." He slowed his breath this will not be a warm welcome. The door opened. The woman looked curiously at the cloaked man. He took off his hood.
"Arian I've-" A small fist connects with his face. "How dare you! You come here to expect me to welcome you!? After all, you've done to me?" She's panting the years have not been kind. He bowed his head. "I understand that I'm the last person you want to see on your doorstep. But I would not have come if it is not important." She swallowed.
He could see she is considering his words slowly. "Fine. But don't expect me to be courteous." He stepped in the door closing. "Why are you here King Alucard. Have you come to see what else you can take from me?" He closed his eyes. " I know you won't believe me, Arian but I am sorry. You knew I would have been coming for your son.
Although he doesn't know he is an Alucard. He has to be at the castle it is, unfortunately, the tradition of house Alucard." She motioned him to sit. "I know well of your traditions King Alucard. My husband told me everything. You didn't have it in you to kill your own brother. You let him renounce his name and to never bother you. You never calculated he will fall in love and get married, have children.
That is why you took my boy. In your house tradition, only one can rule. So my son was sent to the slaughter by your mistake and years of tradition." He nodded knowing full he was the reason for her sadness.
"Arian, I had to kill my father when Bane and I reached maturity. I knew Bane could never kill someone. So I set him free. I was in pain. " She snorted. "I heard your wife died at childbirth. You must be very angry at that poor babe for absorbing your wife's life." He clenched his fist. "I loved her more than anything and yes, the babe took her from me. But that's not why I'm here."
He let go of his rage. "The prince has been kidnapped and you know what that means. It could be the end of the order if I make a stand for my son. I have to stay neutral always." He hung his head. Arian started laughing. " And what? Did you come here to feel better about losing a child? Do what you must to keep your order or let it fall. Now get out!"
He sensed the hostility in her voice. But is it true that he only came to feel better about losing a child not once but twice? Little did his kingdom know he had twins. It was not uncommon for twins to be born in house Alucard, one was usually stillborn but the fates have changed. Funny enough it's usually the girl who is stillborn. Never have there been a woman who ruled.
He sneaked back to the castle. "I have decisions that have to be made." He looked up at the mountain behind the castle. The dragons have been slumbering for centuries. He knew that was a lie there was still one beast in House Ignitus who killed their queen. That only happened when the twins where born.
The guardian statue came alive and unleashed a breath of fire so strong that it killed their poor queen while she was still praying. Then it dawned on him. "No! It couldn't be." He walked faster to the archives. The letters from the other kingdoms are kept there.
He had to check if the other dragon statues came alive on the twins birthday.