Tiana and Tim were back in the cave fast asleep as Alex and Kaiya were sitting just outside of the entrance. The forest around them was proficiently lit by the bright full moon, giving Kaiya enough light to wrap Alex's recent wounds.
“Ouch” cried Alex, feeling a tight pressure on his cut.
“Sorry.” Replied Kaiya from behind him. She was trying her best to be gentle, while working on her task.
“It's okay,” Alex replied, before changing the subject. “You know I'm surprised.”
“First the fire, the food and now this.”
“Well,” Kaiya replied with a smile. “Just because I'm a Princess, doesn't mean I have to be completely useless.”
Kaiya finally finished dressing Alex's wounds. “There.” She said before moving around to sit beside him.
Alex shuffled his arms a little, to test the strength of his bandages. “Thanks.” he said.
Kaiya replied with a subtle smile, before looking up towards the peaceful night sky. They both sat in silence and allowed themselves to enjoy the sight. It was the first time since the start of their journey that they weren't at odds. And after everything they've been through together, neither them wanted to ruin the peaceful moment.
“So, Beautiful night isn’t it?” Kaiya stated, being the first to make an attempt at a friendly conversation.
“Yeah.” Alex replied beginning to feel nostalgic. “When I was a kid I use to enjoy this sight a lot.” He then, turned his stare towards Kaiya beside him. “Thank you for staying, back there.” He said, with an unexpected gratitude.
“Thank you, for saving me.” Kaiya replied. “And I know you must be upset about Sy, but...”
“No it's fine.” Alex spoke cutting her apology short. “I have a feeling that I'm going to thank myself later.”
Kaiya replied with a smile before they both turned back up at the moon and shared another brief moment of silence before Kaiya spoke again. “Alex, can I ask you something?”
“Why do you hate my father so much?” She asked. “The kingdom loves him, he’s a good man.”
Alex immediately dropped his head in despair as grief overtook appeared on his face. Kaiya wanted to regret her question, but if Alex was still going to pursue her father's death she at least wanted a chance to sway him against it.
Alex lamented before lifting his head, ready to answer. “Kaiya,” He called, using her name for the very first time since they had met. “I was there the night of the rebellion. I was only child but that's a night I can never forget.”
The moon shone down upon the burning castle of Alrum. The rebels had made their move, catching the castle guards by surprise and immediately began to take them out. Young Alex desperately ran though the bloodshed looking for his beloved father. He tried his best to get away from the dangers, but everywhere he met by fierce fighting.
“FATHER! WHERE ARE YOU?” He tearfully cried out in tears while still running through the castle halls. He tried his best to shield his eyes from the chaos, but it only made his search harder.
Floors above young Alex in the highest tower, the former General and leader of the rebellion, Mana, was locked in a vigorous duel with King Jonallen Sith.
“I never would have expected you to betray me!” Shouted the King. “You were my most loyal general!”
“It didn’t have to come to this!” Mana cried with regret. “Ever since you’ve lost Evelyn you’ve changed. I denied it before, but I just can’t deny any more. What you’re planning is wrong and I’m going to do whatever I have to, to stop you. Forgive me, my King.”
In that moment young Alex burst through the doors with his face drenched in tears and sweat. “FATHER!” He called.
Distracted by the cries of his son, Jonallen instinctively turned away from his opponent. Mana took advantage of the opening and without hesitation he thrust his sword through Jonallen’s chest.
“NOOOOOOOO!” cried Alex, as he fell to his knees, watching as his father's lifeless body fall to the floor before him.
Mana immediately turned toward Alex, shameful of killing the Prince’s father before his young eyes. Mana dropped his sword as he attempted to move toward Alex in comfort. “Alex, please.............” Before he could finish his words the frightened young Prince sprinted back out of the room, not looking back.
“Oh my.” Kaiya replied, with wide eyes of shock. “I understand now. That’s why my father has been so hesitant to have you killed after all you’ve put the kingdom through. He feels guilty for killing King Jonallen in front of you.”
Alex let out a soft sigh. “After that night, my life has been a never ending struggle.” He said. “Going from one battle to the next, fighting each day to stay alive. I guess I've just been putting all the blame on King Mana for what I've become.”
“But Alex, now that you’ve endangered me, he will not be so compassionate.” Kaiya added. “That’s why he wants me to marry Prince Rupert, he thinks it's only the way to save me from you.”
“I see.” replied Alex in thought. “But, do you love you him?”
“I don’t know.”
“Then why are you marring him?”
“Cause it’ll make my father happy.”
Alex took a deep breath, before turning towards Kaiya, trying to catch a view into her radiant eyes. “Well, what would make you happy?” he asked.
Kaiya turned towards Alex to return his gaze. As the brief seconds past they began to inch closer and closer towards each other, finally ending face to face. Their heads began to tilt and their breaths went silent. However, just before they could press their lips together a loud, unexpected thunderclap cause them both to jolt back in surprise. They immediately turned away from each other, both trying to process what had almost happened.
“Maybe we should go inside,” suggested Kaiya. She turned back up toward the sky, trying to avoid eye contact with Alex. “It looks like a storm in coming.”
“Yeah,” Replied Alex with disappointment. “I suppose you’re right.”
Back at the castle of Alrum, King Mana stood on his balcony staring into the dark stormy night. He could see nothing but rain and lighting crashing into the trees of the forest. He couldn’t help but worry himself about what his precious Kaiya might have been going through in such a dangerous.
“Don't worry my friend.” Came the voice of King Lira, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. “We will find her, I promise. And I will make sure that Alex pays for his crimes once and for all. I give you my word.”
“Thank you,” Replied King Mana with a forced smile. “And thanks for everything you've done. I look forward to day when I can call you and your son family.”