|Series||RECKLESS by Pixichi|
|Previous||RECKLESS, Chapter 16|
|Next||RECKLESS, Chapter 18|
|← RECKLESS, Chapter 16||Chapter Chronology||RECKLESS, Chapter 18 →|
The king sat in the war room, a goblet of the finest red in one hand and a book on swords in the other. He was awaiting Walter for any news on Victoria. The old man was late reporting in, so the King continued to sip his wine and wait.
"Victoria, where could you be by now?" Logan shuddered at the thought of all that could happen to her out at sea. The nerve of Reaver giving her that ship! He should have known better. But then again, he did have a point. Victoria was a grown woman, and like it or not, Logan could not keep her from the dangerous outside world. She needed to be free. The king sighed and then reached for and rang a small silver bell that was atop his end table. Two guards rushed into the war room and bowed before him.
"My lord?" They asked in unison.
"Bring me Reaver. I wish to speak to him." The king commanded. The guards bowed and left the room. From behind them came Walter, out of breath and a look of horror on his bearded face.
"Your majesty!" Walter cried. Logan carefully set his book down upon the end table and looked up.
"What is it? Any news on my sister?"
"No, and the guards that you sent to Millfields found nothing. There was no one at all in that house." Walter explained.
"So he has gone crazy..." Logan chuckled.
"Who your majesty?"
"Oh? No one. Is that all the news that you bring me?" The king asked.
"No, there is more..." Walter started, but was quickly interrupted by the two guards he had sent to release Reaver who came bursting into the room.
"My lord! The prisoner, he's gone!" They yelled. Logan sat up in his chair.
"Gone?! What do you mean gone?! That cell is inpeneratable. How could he be gone?" The king began to pace the floor in front of the fireplace. He turned to Walter again.
"You were saying?" He asked his royal advisor. Walter cleared his throat.
"Westcliff has become completely destroyed." The kings eyes widened.
"What?! How is this possible? How did this happen?"
"No one knows your majesty. The only thing that we do know is that it was destroyed earlier this morning, and there were no survivors." Walter continued.
"Who told your men then?" Logan asked.
"A young ruffien who made it back to the port in Bowerstone Industrial, half crazed and barely alive. He said his name was Gustavan."
"Gustavan? I have never heard of him. And his ship?" The king asked again, interested.
"The Rose Maiden majesty." Walter answered. The king jumped at the name.
"The Rose Maiden"?! That's the very ship that Reaver gave to Victoria! Victoria is in Westcliff! Of course, how could I have been so stupid? She's always talked about fighting in the Crucible, like mother did. Guards!" The king who now knew where his sister was.
"Yes my Lord?"
"Ready your ships for travel, we're going to Westcliff!" The king shouted.
"We your majesty?" Walter asked Logan.
"I need to make things right with Victoria. Dragging her back here against her will would only make the cycle of hate and anger continue between us. I need to go in person, to be a responsible king, and an understanding big brother." Logan replied.
"That's good. I have always hoped for that. Good luck out there your majesty, I'll keep things together back here." Walter said. The king smiled and started out of the room.
"Thank you Walter, I'm off." Before he could leave, Walter added one last comment.
"You know your mother didn't want to be the queen at first either. Perhaps young Victoria is just simply following in her mothers footsteps. Maybe letting her make her own way in life is what is best after all."
"I understand that now. That's why I'm going to Westcliff. Victoria needs to hear that very sentiment from my lips." The young king then left, letting the door shut behind him.
Ben paced along empty-hearted across the expanse of Old Town. He had never been so depressed in all of his life. He was usually so carefree and happy, but without Victoria, all of his usual joy seemed fruitless. Well, maybe it's for the best. Victoria was a special girl, no mistaking that. But she was still a princess, and no noblewoman would ever want to be with me. He kicked an empty can of stewed tomatoes, and it rattled across the empty street. He continued to pace, heel to toe alone in the darkness. He couldn't sleep, although the hour was late. Ben just couldn't seem to shake the princess from his thoughts. Even when he did sleep, his dreams were filled with her. Her light blonde hair, her wild amber eyes, even the sound of her sweet yet feisty voice filled his every thought. From across the street, the noise of a man shouting roused Ben from his painful memories.
"Git outta my yard ye flea bidden mongrel! I'll teach you ta nose through my garbage!" Ben heard a thud and a yelp, and then a familiar furry face emerged into view. Daisy charged towards Ben, and the young man held out his awaiting arms to the frightened creature.
"Hey girl? Are you alright? Where's your mum?" He asked, trying to calm her. Daisy locked eyes with Ben and whimpered. He knew instantly that something was wrong.
"Come on, let's go and find her."
"My Lord! We are approaching a rather ominous storm." The ship's captain called down to the king. Logan looked up at the foreboding clouds.
"It's been a long time since I was out at sea. Not since Aurora. Those beasts that took mother, I failed in destroying them..." He instinctively touched the scar on his cheek. The clouds were getting closer and darker, but the king had full trust in his men. Sea water lapped up and down the sides of the ship, as the waters began to grow choppier and more uncertain. Logan wasn't sure, but he thought that he had seen a long dark mass swimming below the ship. He shook off the concern, feeling that it was a mirage, conjured up by his nerves. He called out to the captain.
"How does it look?"
"Its going to get rough up ahead. But I think that we can pull through sir." The captain replied. Logan stroked his goatee and looked down again in hopes to see that shadow again, but it was no longer there. Just as he was about to sit down to rest, a massive wave rose up from the dark waters below. It was a great black snake, at least that was what Logan thought as he drew his sword. But the captain knew better.
"Sea serpent!" The captain cried. The sea serpent seemed to get upset by the screaming, because it roared an echolike rumble that spewed brine and sea water all over the ship. Even though his life was in great danger, Logan couldn't help but stare up at the ancient horror. It had to have been at least 100 feet long or maybe more, and its entire body was pitch black and was covered in large scales. The serpent had long sharp fangs and white eyes. The tufts of seaweed and algae on its head made it look like it possessed two ears. It was then that Logan saw that what he was looking at were the monsters enormous blow-holes. Keeping his sword drawn, he bravely approached the serpent.
"Your Majesty! What are you doing?!" Logan looked up at him through the howling wind.
"We have to kill it! It's that thing or us! Ready your harpoons!" The king commanded. The captain nodded and shouted the signal for attack to his men. They nodded and manned the harpoon guns. Logan turned to them and commanded.
"On three! One...two...thr-" The kings command was cut short, when the sea serpent grabbed him up and in an instant. The captain finished the command.
"FIRE!" The men did as told and seven harpoons pierced the creatures thick hide. The enraged serpent roared again, and then a third time as Logan trust his sword into its right eye. Then, it dove back into the chilling waters, Logan in tow. The ship's captain ran to the front of the ship, desperately searching for his fallen king. But all he found were dark, goopy bubbles on the water's surface.
Victoria was shocked at the person who entered behind her.
"M-mother?" She stuttered to the long-lost face before her.
"Victoria Remswood. I finally found you. Now we can begin." Connie spoke, not recognizing her own daughter. Victoria was puzzled.
"Mom, its me, Victoria. Where have you been?! It's been 16 years, everyone thought that you were dead!"
"I am not your mother! Now, let me make this next part very clear. You have been brought here to Master Xaiver's castle to fight me." Connie explained. Victoria fell to her knees as her weakened legs finally gave out.
"Fight you? But your my mother, why would I want to?" Connie was growing more impatient.
"The sooner that I kill you, the sooner you can be quiet I suppose. The duel shall begin soon, which is why you have been allowed to keep your weapons. Ready yourself girl. I shall destroy you soon." Connie hissed and then left the room. Victoria remained motionless and stunned on the cold floor.
"Girl? Why didn't she-and she's supposed to be-What the hell is going on?"
Axel and Reaver were now inside the keep, and making their way though rather carefully. Reaver was surprised at the complete lack of guards. Axel, however appeared far less optimistic.
"He probably already knows that we're here." Axel commented, reading Reaver's thoughts.
"You know, that's very annoying of you. Can you keep out of my head for just 10 minutes?"
"Sorry, just can't help myself. I guess I am a bit of an eavesdropper." Axel laughed.
"There is a huge difference between listening in to someones words and reading someones very thoughts." Reaver snapped sourly as he stepped out onto the second floor of the castle. Axel followed behind, taking one last look behind him at the winding staircase they had just ascended. The two men hadn't gone but three feet when Axel pulled Reaver close. Reaver glared up at the ancient.
"What the? Unhand me at once!" Axel gave him a sharp stare.
"Be quiet, or they'll hear you!" Axel shushed him. But it was already far too late. Reaver pulled away from the old will user just in time to see that they were indeed surrounded by ten large knights donned in black armor and red capes. The symbol of a skull was carved into the brooch that held the cape onto their shoulders.
"Welcome to Obsidian Keep. We have been expecting you. Please, come with us." The guards spoke in unison. Reaver went for his pistol, but Axel put his hand on his and shook his head.
"Just do as they say. If they kill you now, your family will soon die too." Axel reasoned. Reaver shot daggers at the nearest knight and then slowly holstered his weapon.