Chapter 14
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King Richard didn't get more details out of Mahnu, but they had made love again before she got out and said, "I'll be back soon."

The King watched her as she went to leave but she stopped and turned back. "Oh, the Queen."

"The Queen?" He interrupted.

Mahnu pointed towards his bed chamber, "She is still waiting for you."

King Richard wondered how she would know! No one told him! Can you read minds? He asked her silently.

"Yes." She said and was gone before he could answer.

He was speechless.

He had been right! It made a lot of sense, with her look when he woke up that time near Havlish, with the Princess, with the guards, with the assassins...

His thoughts stopped there. Does she...Does she know who are behind the assassins?

But wouldn't she tell me if she knew?

The King shook his head. Too much, it's been a long day and...

He was suddenly depressed...

...She's gone...

King Richard sighed unhappily.

 

By the time he got back to his bed chamber, he had forgotten that the Queen was there waiting for him.

Mahnu, he thought, come back soon.

Having come to a new low in his life, the King sat there in a daze, not even remembering that the Queen was right there in front of him...

"...Don't you think...Your Majesty?"

The King looked up to the Queen stunned, he had no idea what she had been talking about. "I'm sorry...What?"

Already, he felt like a part of him was missing.

 

***

 

The King's absentmindedness was seen by not just the Queen but everybody else around him. The days were slow and he found himself often looking out into the horizon, wondering where his Mahnu would be.

How could someone become so dear to me in such a short amount of time...And then leave me!

He knew that he was mad at her and that he missed her, all at the same time, but he couldn't do anything about it.

As much as I want to lock her in my chambers, I know I can't! King Richard sighs loudly.

All he could do, was find some nice flowers that he could pick for her for when she returns. It was not as easy as he thought, as flowers had different meanings and the first two that he picked had to be discarded!

His daughter had gone as far as getting someone to make her a special dress and when she had shown her father, he had agreed to play with her when the maiden returns, but fell into a daze afterwards...

There was even a special order of clothes to be made, only now waiting for the person to measure, as the materials and seamstress was already been taken care off.

It was all a sighing matter, as King Richard thought of the mean and cruel...But all so wonderful and beautiful woman...

 

The rumour of a consort coming into the palace was brought up in front of the King by the Queen's father, as he visited the capital the next day. But, King Richard flatly refused the rumours coldly, saying that the subject of having a consort was not a subject to discuss...At least not until the one being discussed returned!

Without anyone knowing where the woman was that he had apparently bedded, some people started to believe that it was not real and was in fact just a rumour. Yet, some knew for certain that it was real, but had to agree to stating that the woman seemed to no longer appear within His Majesty's chambers...

With that being said, confusion fell onto the Queen, her servants and her father.

"Rumours are called that for a reason, My Queen." Valtac said to his daughter.

They were by themselves in a meeting but he had spoken softly.

"I am sure it was no lie, father! It was seen!"

Valtac sighed, to believe it true would be against his wishes but he was becoming old and frail as the time went on. "I want to believe that it is what the King says...But if otherwise...Be prepared! I haven't worked this hard for nothing! I will take my leave!"

The Queen flinched to his words, they hadn't changed since she had become the fiancé of the Crowned Prince, all that time ago.

Then, what am I supposed to do now? She wondered.

The 'maid' seemed to have appeared and disappeared into nothing!

Worse yet, it seems she has lost face in stating one small matter with the subject of consort, which ended up being made to see that she was a 'jealous wife'.

All the years had gone by, and many knew of her rules of less maids around His Majesty, so she had blatantly said that this 'maid' had gone against the rules and should be punished...That was all she had said, but it has completely backfired and a few of her noble lady friends seemed to have scorned her behind her back and did not turn up for a morning tea that she had arranged the day before...

Luckily, His Majesty did not say anything, but she did not think that since he said nothing that she lost even more face. If she noticed that he had not said something good, to protect her from her silly outrage, she would be feeling even worse...

 

***

 

Mahnu had decided to travel west. After leaving the King, the suffering, she realized, started to grow two days later, louder and then louder again.

Was it always this loud? She thought with impatience.

Mahnu tried hard not to think of King Richard, but that was nearly impossible! To stop thinking of how she felt while she was with him, she realized that she had never missed someone so much in her entire existence!

Being apart from him was quite different, she never knew the habits that she had started while being with him and watching.

For a start, her nights were much longer. As she would walk or even sit in a tree for a break, she found that she had liked being indoors. The crickets, frogs and owls were too loud now!

She also missed the Princess. Had it been that much fun playing with her? Mahnu laughed, it all seemed so ridiculous!

 

After so long of being alone, it was all changed within weeks!

I won't be able to hear Richard's sarcastic attitude that he tends to hide from everyone. I won't be able to touch him while he sleeps.

Mahnu sighed. She already knew her answer and wanted to go back to his side. His power of silencing the sufferings was something that she yearned for now. It was also something that she wanted to take advantage of...Especially when she was immortal and that this was the first time this has happened to her!

If she knew keeping the sufferings away was as simple of being with someone that was special to her, perhaps she should have spent more time with the humans. It had been pure bliss, just for those couple of days, and now that she had them back, she realized even more how great it was that they had disappeared.

It was just something else that made Richard more special to her now. Something else that she now missed while being away from him...

Mahnu had made up her mind. I'm going back but I'll just check to make sure there's nothing too important that I shouldn't miss.

It was a bit harder to concentrate, since she had time off, but seeking through all the sufferings...

She heard about one of the Loyal Royal Knights going missing, feeling the family being worried about him, and thought that this would be a good thing to help Richard. Being able to report back to the leader of the Loyal Royal Knights, when she returned back, sounded like a great idea! She then ventured to Havlish, already excited to return to Conrella...Back to her home...

 

***

 

After her horseback ride, unable to walk now that she wanted to rush back to Conrella, Mahnu hid in amongst the trees at Havlish. As she tried to get closer, to what she thought was the center of the secret town, she could see that their security got tighter and it made it harder for her to move around without getting caught.

Finally, close to headquarters, she could hear the thoughts of those in charge and got information that the leader was on his way, and also the King, but they were arriving separately. It seemed close to the time that they gather and give their secret reports about all the towns.

Mahnu was still, as she felt emotion run through her. It had been about two weeks since she last saw him and just the thought that she was going to see him again soon, made her remember his touch. Excitement ran through her body and she was angry that she was unable to stop it...

As she stayed in hiding, by jumping from tree to tree, she continued to hear the thoughts of those close by.

It seemed that one of the knights had either been taken or left about two months earlier, and two weeks ago, a tablet that the prophets had left, from a long time ago, was stolen.

She wanted to know what was written on the tablet but those who thought about it didn't seem to know.

The leader of the Loyal Royal Knights arrived in a rush, and that was when Mahnu was shocked into disbelief upon what was written on that tablet!

 

"I came as soon as I heard!" The leader Marcus said, forging into the headquarters. "Is it confirmed, is the tablet gone?"

"Yes, Sir. And Knight Peter is still missing."

Already knowing of this fact, Marcus still had waited until now to come here, hastening his journey upon finding out the tablet had gone missing. Since the King was to arrive in only a few days time, the King decided to move up his journey and travel most of the way with Marcus as well.

Marcus sighed and thought about the contents of the tablet.

Mahnu gasped. It was everything that happened at The Siege and...

At his next thought, she appeared before him in anger. How stupid, she thought, the prophets wrote down the location of The Chest of the God's before they lost their future sight because of it!

Marcus reached for his sword and went to strike her. She was that angry that she stopped it with only one of her hands and held it tight, so that he couldn't get it back.

Blood spilt onto the floor and she sneered.

Humans!

Closing her eyes, she breathed in, knowing that she needed to calm down. She let go of the sword and it fell to the floor, making the only sound within the small area.

He was staring at her in a daze, seemingly not even aware of how angry she was.

She listened to his thoughts as he put them all together.

She is strong and angry about something...The tablet? Perhaps she knows something but how? I know more than anyone except...

 

"Mahnu?" He asked in wide eyes. "Is that you?"

"You know of me?" She asked, which confirmed his theory.

He bowed before her, the Goddess, the Betrayer, the Saviour of Mankind! He had never thought his grandfather's wish to meet her would come true in his time!

"Tell me, who has the tablet?"

Marcus lifted his head and nodded to his man standing by the entrance, who answered for him. "We are uncertain...We don't even know the direction they traveled in. We didn't even know of its importance straight away...We still don't...Sir, am I to get people to widen our search for it?"

As it was, the only thing they had done, was immediately tell the leader and searched around Havlish...That was it...

Marcus looked at Mahnu apologetically. He wondered if he should have told the rest of the Loyal Royal Knights, maybe then the tablet would have been properly protected.

"The tablet should have never been written in the first place!" Mahnu yelled, startling herself, as she hadn't raised her voice in a very, very, long time. "...But it is done and I can understand why they did it."

The prophets knew that they would lose their gift of foresight, so they left something to prove that they used to have it.

Mahnu sighed and wondered if there was another reason. What could be gained from someone finding this tablet?

...She needed to find it! No answers she had come up with, regarding the tablet, had been good ones.

If The Chest of the God's is found, then could a way to open it be found too?

Feeling anxious, Mahnu knew that she could not delay any further!

 

"I need a horse...Now!" Mahnu yelled. She didn't want to take her time to find this and so her reunion with the King, she already knew, would have to be postponed.

"I will travel with you." Marcus said, standing up.

Mahnu looked at him and knew he just felt guilty.

He admired her and just as he first met her, he had let the Goddess down.

Mahnu thought that it didn't sound like a bad idea but she preferred to be alone. Besides, he was the leader of the Loyal Royal Knights...

"Do not worry yourself. The King is on his way here. Did you not want to be here on his arrival?" Marcus had learnt about Mahnu and her talents when he had become the leader. Her knowing that the King was arriving soon should have been easy when she can read minds.

He was the one that knew the most in his village, he should be the one to inform the King, Mahnu thought.

"Stay." Was all she said, as she walked out to the horses.

"Then take one of my men with you. William!" Marcus waited until William was standing in front of him. "Stay close to Mahnu. Be as loyal to her as you are to me, understand?"

"Yes, Sir!"

Mahnu put a saddle on a horse and said, "I prefer to work alone."

Marcus stopped her, "If you find something, send him back to me."

Mahnu looked at William and knew it was a wise choice to agree to it, especially at a time like this. She nodded back at Marcus and left in haste, William quickly trying to follow.

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