Dark black smoke soared within pitch dark night. We were watching from the top of a hill three kilometers from our destroyed tent. Holy Maiden of Phoenix Clan’s name is not just for a show. She could silently transport all of us to this place in a blink of the eyes.
“Well, are you really sure that you won’t deal with them?” asked Iole.
Mother shook her head, “Let them be, we can spare their lives, so don’t deliberately take them away.”
“Bah, you are always as merciful as those priests of any goddess’ temples. It’s so annoying to stay with you. By the way, we should now discuss a more serious issue.”
“Ara, what it is, my Holy Maiden?”
“So, is this thing really your bloodline?”
‘Oi, oi, oi, a lady should not point her index to a handsome baby boy like me and told me as a thing.’
“Of curse he is, isn’t he looks like someone you know my Holy Maiden? You know who I mean.”
“No….!” She yelled so hard while grabbed her head and squat down, “No, no, no, it can’t be. You just married for a week before that….” Then she stopped and realized something, “Oh, I am sorry, I don’t mean to make you remember something painful.”
“It is okay, I heard you had thrown a tantrum on Eastern Purgatory because of him. Deep from the bottom of my heart, I really thank you. But it is already more than enough, please don’t involve yourself any deeper, you still haven’t realized the danger behind our circumstance.”
“What? How can you say something like that? Aren’t we friend? A friend should help each other. Wait for me. When I took the Eastern Highest Throne, I’ll use all the power under me to find him.”
“Ara, it looks that you pretty sure that you’ll get the throne?”
“You…?” She became speechless, “Can’t you support me at least once?”
“I’ll not support someone to commit suicide for some stupid reason, you know that.”
“Bah, it really useless to talk to you!” Then she caressed my check, “He is really his child.” Tears flowed down from eyes moist eyes, “At last, after a year without news, I still find hope that he is not just an existence within my imagination. This boy is his living proof.”
For a moment, there was silence, a calm stillness.
I felt sleepy, not in my baby box; instead, a warm flaming red robe covered my body. A hummed lullaby that was foreign yet blew a kind of tranquility deep into my soul.
I stood in an endless meadow, full of high flowering grass, with some red-leafed parasol trees here and there. Countless phoenixes dancing in the sky or just perch on the trees.
Then, one flew and hovered just in front of me, this phoenix smaller than the others. But what makes her different was that she has a flaming royal crown and a bright red halo above her proud head.
At first, she looked at me with curiosity, then something gleaming within her bright eyes. It was like she smiled happily, then she gave me a bow.
I couldn’t see clearly anymore when I opened my eyes. I was returned into a small lap inside a running carriage. The twin suns were already high above.
Did I oversleep?
I didn’t find Holy Maiden of Phoenix Clan anywhere. She had already left.
While along the way, Lina got a telepathic message from Milena that old man Kornel were running amok and killed the leader of the black-clothed men while throwing everybody else outside the city and crippled them. There was also news about the group that attacked us last night when they knew what was happening in Milena. They quickly dispersed and run away far away to hide. They had no idea how their Lord can step into a dragon’s tail.
At least, nobody could make a connection within the black-clothed man’s secret mission on Ione, and that Ione was still alive. That was what Mother plans all along, so we can avoid the unnecessary trouble that has tailed Ione from wherever she came with her brother.
And after the six days of our journey, I smelled something intriguing. It was a sweet scent brought by the breeze. A fragrant that can melt any heart.
“Aunt Flo, where are we?”
“We should be near our destination. Since I met you and Iole along our journey, then I felt that place should be my destination.”
“And that place is?”
“A small village called Violet Cane Village.”
“Ara, you won’t know it. Many people don’t know it. Since it is only a small village at the border of Corrine. But our family has a small residence or exactly a residence that my husband and I bought in the past from our first pay when we worked as a mercenary.”
“You were a mercenary?”
“Was it so surprising?”
“Well, yes, we are a mercenary of five, I was the strategist, my husband the warrior, Iole was our leader, and two more perhaps you’ll meet them shortly. After my husband and I retired from mercenary’s life, I work as a librarian, while my husband has a career in the military.”
“So, that is why you know the Holy Maiden of the East?”
“Something like that.”
After a while, our carriage reached the border of the village. People could see the violet cane field spread till the horizon. This village specialized in sugar and sweet industries, if not because it was found too far from the nearest large city, it might already become a small city.
When our carriage entered the village, I heard many footsteps came toward our carriage.
“Lady Flo, you return!”
“Thank Lord, we missed you so much, Lady Flo!”
“Lady, how long will you stay now, hope it at least a month.”
“Oh, where is that rascal Aloys?”
People were greeting and laughing, they seemed to know Mother.
“Thank you, everyone, I am afraid I will disturb you from now on. We are planning to stay here at least a dozen years. So please be kind to me like you used to.”
I swore I could hear many tools and gears were dropped to the ground, followed by a celebrated yell.