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The Visit, Part 3

Author: skybirdday
Title: The Visit (Part 3)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Tragedy strikes the castle
Challenge: Chocolate #17 - freedom; Chocolate #18 - confinement)



"Fire!"
Athena was the first to rouse at the shout. Pulling on her clothes and grabbing her swordm she opened up the door and saw several people standing out in the hallway chatting with each other in different languages. Closing the door behind her, she said "What is going on?'
A tall, thin man turned to her, dressed still in his banquet clothes. "Princess Athena, there is a fire near the kitchens and has engulfed the banquet hall. My name is Aoi and I am one of the guards of the palace."
"What of Lord Daisuke or King Isumu or Queen Hana?"
"The King and Queen have been evacuating the palace since it was found 20 minutes ago where the fire is raging. I do not know where Lord Daisuke is or if he is safe. I have been trying to ask if someone will go with me . Both my mother and my wife work in the kitchen as cooks. I must go find them!"
"Aoi, do you know the layout of the castle?"
He nodded and said "Follow me. The kitchen is just past the banquet hall, but with so much fiire and smoke, we cannot go that way safely. However there is a secret tunnel that bypasses the hall itself. In days of war, the warriors of the castle would hide in here to ambush those who would do anyone harm inside the castle." Aoi said, pointing to a small crevice.
Quietly, Athena, Aoi and four others went through the small slit in the wall only to find the area bigger than it looked from the outside, and walked through until it opened before a wall of flame. "Mother? Are you there?" Aoi said loudly.
"She--is still within the flames," said a voice.
Aoi smiled. "Ayumi, my love. You are safe. Mother?"
Ayumi sobbed. "She and Li-Sung, honored elder, were trying to stop the flames. The flame overwhelmed them. Mother told me to run. . .the flame was too hot."
Aoi nodded as he took his wife into his arms. "Then Li-Sung did not die alone for Mother was with him."
Suddenly, a crackling was held as charred bits rained down upon them as the three tried to cover their faces with their hands
"We need to leave here and before the roof collaspes," said Athena.
Aoi nodded as he guided his wife and Athena back to the entrance from where they had come as flames licked at their heels. Then as they came out, Athena said "What is everyone doing here? You should have gotten out by now!"
An older man bowed to her. "Forgive us, Princess. We did not want to leave anyone behind. I am Hwan, once the head of the Royal Guards and now trainer of the younger Guards. I have served the Royal household for many years and may the One bless me with many more. You found Mei, Aoi's wife . How is she?"
"I have some minor burns," said Mei. "But Li-Sung and Mother, both died in the flames."
Someone in the crowd said "May the One have made their deaths swift!"
"Then we must go," said Hwan. "There is a few ways to get from the castle to the outside. One has been blocked by flame, but we will try the one we all know. Come and follow me." It seemed that time stopped as all headed down a stone tunnel until Athena heard someone say "Athena, you got everyone out!"
Athena turned to see Isumu and Hana, standing together among others who they had helped out. "Where is Daisuke?"
"Here, beloved," a voice said as Athena turned to see her beloved Daisuke standing nearby.
Athena walked over and threw her arms around him, bringing his face down for a kiss before parted a few moments later. She looked down as she gasped. "Daisuke, your hands--what happened?"
"I tried to stop the flames, but otherwise I am fine, beloved, now that you are here. My hands were burned and they hurt. They will heal and I will have to work to hold a sword again."
"I will stay with you until you heal."
Daisuke shook his head. "You have a duty to your king. Tomorrow, go home and serve him. I will be fine and I will write to you or dictate my words to a scribe."
"I wish that I could heal your wounds."
His eyes were sad. "So do I, beloved," he said as a man in white robes came to him and slowly took him away.
Athena turned to Isumu and Hana. "Isumu, what will you do now?"
Isumu looked at the castle. "We will rebuild."
The next day, Athena and her horse headed back the road towards home as her beloved lord watched her ride away.
END

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
oonaseckar
Feb. 9th, 2017 12:15 pm (UTC)
Drama! Is there always so much excitement in the castle?
winebabe
Feb. 10th, 2017 03:12 pm (UTC)
Isumu looked at the castle. "We will rebuild."

So much strength in that statement. A very action-packed piece!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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