Deception of Two Kingdoms

White Dragons

The White Dragons have a fickle alliance with the Black Dragons, yet they fight the same common enemy called the Dark Forces but they still have altercations amongst themselves. Neither side is feeble-minded enough to wage war on each other for they already are with Dark Forces. Vallimos is a young, intelligent, kindhearted prince whom is not afraid of anything he has just arrived from the frontline of battle; he is delighted to see his family again, but most importantly his sister. There is a great feast to be made for his safe return; celebration is something he does not find to his liking.

The castle is a fluorescent white of the purest ivory, the air is sweet with the scent of several kinds of flowers, and the quiet music of the ocean playing in the distance soothes the mind and soul. As Vallimos climbs the tower to his sister's chamber, his midnight hair falls just below his shoulders, his dark leaf-green eyes kept a cautious glance in every direction, his white skin wrecked by scars from battle. The children's laughter growing into nothing more then a whisper behind him, the only sound is his boots echoing off the stone steps.

At the top of the tower he began his way to his sister, it's a hot summer day and the heat is too much for him to bear in his armor he knew that he should have changed into something more comfortable. When he reached his sister's chamber he didn't know if he could face her, the last time she had seen him was before he had known battle. He knocked on the door with an unsteady hand he heard her get out of her chair and walk to the door. She opened the it slightly but when she saw him she swung the door wide open with a smile on her face then rushed out into the corridor to embrace her brother, she released her gripped so she could get a better look at him.

"My, my. It has been quite some time since I have seen your face, and have you looked what the war has done to your face. It looks like it was painful, how long will you be staying before you return to the war?" She gently touched the scars that ran down the left side of his face then she invited him in for a sit.

"Until my wounds heal and I am ready to continue the fight but that shall not be for some time to come. Indeed it was painful and those are not the only scars I have acquired, tell me, dear sister what has home been like while I was gone?" He watched her comb her golden brown hair that fell to her waist; she looked at him through the mirror with her piercing blue eyes.

"Basically the same, though Father did have another meeting with the Black Dragons by the look in his eyes it did not go well" He slammed his fist into the wall. "Oh, come now brother, I know you rather dislike them but they have not wronged us." She continued to comb her hair.

"Hate would be the preferred term and I know they have not wronged us. But I feel uneasy and I know that one day they will strike when our defenses are down. I refuse to let that happen, perhaps I shall stay here even after my wounds are healed to guard the castle, in case they make their attack soon." He looked at his swollen hand. "I care not to discuss such matters, right now Sillia. I am finally home and I would very much like a long good rest. I will take my leave of you, dear sister, I shall see you at the feast."

"Brother… are you feeling well? You seem different…." She turned around to look him in the eyes.

"Of course, the war has not changed me that badly," he lied, in that moment all the painful memories of war came back to him.

He left her chamber with a bow, as he descended down the tower he knew that sleep would not happen for he was restless. So he decided to head to the garden he had planted when he was a child, not in the mood for conversation he avoided everyone he possibly could he only came across a people who praised him, he smiled and bow then walked away as quickly as he could. He continued his way to the garden along the way he heard many of his people speak greatly of him, but there were a few whom words were vile. He ignored them, as best he could the castle was busy with people getting the preparations for the feast.

He passed the dinning hall he knew what awaited him at the end of the corridor: his beloved garden where he could think his thoughts without being disturbed. There were flowers of from all kinds of families but his favorite were the white roses, the sun shone as though it were heavenly light giving them life, he took a deep breath through his nose to take all the scents. He could smell lavender, tulips, of course the roses and so many more that he couldn't describe. He couldn't sleep due to the restlessness… the war had definitely changed him, though he could not say it to his sister his only choice was to lie to her. He knew in time she would figure out he was never going to be the same.

Clearing his mind of everything he didn't want to remember he noticed that one of the white roses fell to the ground lifeless, he walked up to the rose and knelt down he gently lifted it into the palm of his hand. He carefully wrapped his fingers around it then a light glowed from hand when he extended his fingers; the rose stood up straight full of life.

"Is Father still unknowing of your ability?" Sillia asked, as she walked into his garden. "Vallimos why have you not told him?"

"Aye, so he can disown me, I think not besides Father dislikes the sorcerers that live in the castle. If he were to find out what I can do, he would most likely have me exiled and I do not wish for that to happen." His eyes were fixed on the rose.

"But you cannot keep it from him forever, you realize? One day you will have to tell him, Vallimos you have a magnificent gift why not use it to help others?" She walked to him and placed her hands on his shoulders.

"Nay, not a magnificent gift 'tis a unbearable curse… and I will keep it from him as long as I can I see no point in telling him now. And may I ask why you came to my garden I thought you were dressing for the feast?"

"I saw you from my window and wanted to know why you lied to me about needing a good long rest." She chuckled.

"I am restless so I decided to see how my garden is doing since I have been away, by the look of it no one has come here it a while." He stood up and turned to look at her. "My apologies for being untruthful but I need to be alone."

She put her hands on his face then a frown curved her lips. "The war has changed you, my brother… by the look in your eyes you do not want to return to the battlefield, would I be correct?"

"Indeed, you would but I must ask that you keep my feelings from Father." His voice had a hint of pleading. "I wish not to disappoint him…."

"'Tis a good way to an early grave to ponder such thoughts." She smiled. "If you will excuse me I have to get ready for the feast, shall I see you tonight?"

"Yes, you will," he answered.

"Vallimos do me a favor, please get some rest before the feast you are sickly pale."

He nodded to her she smiled and went beck to her chamber he was no longer in the mood for conversation, and he dreaded the celebration for he knew that he would have no choice when it came conversing with the others. He glanced back at the white rose he had given life, a frown curved his lips and with a sigh he walked back into the corridor. He could hear metal chiming from the sparing room just down the corridor to his left.

I can rest later, he thought.

He gave a quick turn on his heels and headed to the sparing room, he had to admit his curiosity got the best of him. His right hand frond its way to the hilt of his sword as he walked into the room, there were twenty strong men clashing metal; whether it was sword, axe, or spear. There were long tables with weapons of various kinds laid on them Vallimos approached the broad-shoulder man, who seem to be training the others.

The turned to see who standing to his side when he saw it was Vallimos he bowed immediately. "My Lord, what brings you here?" He stood straight, his voice deep.

Vallimos could the light in his brown eyes through his long dark hair. "I heard the chime of metal and decided to come." He looked toward the men. "How are they fairing?"

"Great, My Lord, though not as good as you. Is it true what they say?"

"Is what true?" Vallimos raised his eyebrow.

"That your combat abilities are second to none." He was eager to know the question.

"So they say, would you like to test their theory?" A smile curved his lips.

The man was delighted to accept the offer. "Of course, My Lord." He turned to the table behind him and grabbed a battle-axe.

"What is your name, good sir?"

"Varr," he answered, swinging his axe.

"Shall we begin?"

Varr nodded and walked to the middle of the room he was followed by Vallimos, the other men who were training stopped to watch them. They stood in the middle of a white circle they were surrounded by the others. Vallimos removed his cape and threw it aside then unsheathed his sword. They circled each other before making their attack Varr leapt forward coming down with a hard swing, Vallimos stepped to the side and the axe cracked the floor below then he cut both his arms. Varr recovered and took his stance ready for his next strike, he started swinging his axe violently then ran towards him. He jumped over Varr and cut his back he fought with such gracefulness that all men envy.

As blood trickled down Varr's arms and back he wasn't quite ready to give. His last attempt to cause a wound of any sort, he swung many blows that Vallimos dodged effortlessly. Then he cut Varr's gut and legs he fell to his knees.

Vallimos walked up to his and placed his blade on Varr's neck. "I win. Do not be discouraged about your skill for if I was a normal man in combat you would have surely won." He sheathed his sword and helped Varr to his feet.

"Your skill is envious, My Lord. I could not see your attacks, though I cannot help but wonder who is capable of defeating you." He went to the table and set the axe on it.

"I doubt that my skill is envious 'tis simply luck and eventually it ends." He patted his shoulders. "My apologies, but I must take my leave for I am tired and I have things that must be done. If you attend, I shall see you at the feast."

They bowed as he walked away he headed for his bedchamber, he walked up another tower and into his bedchamber. He dressed in something more comfortable then he went lie down to rest… the dread of the feast was more apparent now than ever. He awoke in a cold sweat his sleep was plaque by nightmares he could not, would not forget the morbid memories of war. He got out of bed and dressed for the feast he changed into his formal attire then headed to the dinning hall.

He departed from his room and descended down the tower and made his way to the dinning hall, he frowned when he saw that the feast hadn't begun. There was music, dancing, and singing even in dark times they could still make merry and all their fears seem to flee for a short time. He scanned the crowd and found his sister sitting left of their Father, she waved him over. He crossed the hall to the table were the royalty sat; he took his seat on his sister's left. People walked up to the table and praised him then left with a bow.

"I feared that you were never going to come, did you enjoy your rest?" Sillia asked, as she grabbed a decanter of red wine. "Would you like some?"

"My rest could not be more enjoyable and no I would prefer some whiskey, is there any?" His weak attempt to lie failed.

"I do not know, I will ask one of the maids to bring you some but try not to get drunk so early in the night." She poured herself some wine then put the decanter on the table. "Tell me, why must you insist on lying to me when you know you cannot lie to me? You look very disoriented, how bad was your nightmare?" Her voice caring and calm.

"How dare you call me a liar, my rest was very enjoyable." He took her goblet of wine and downed it.

"Brother who are you trying to convince Father or I?" She poured herself another glass of wine. "Vallimos just tell me what is bothers you so… for me please?"

"I can't now, but perhaps later when the feast is over and I can get some whiskey." His voice husky. "The hatred I have for celebration I cannot stand it, how long before it ends?" This time he poured himself a glass of wine then downed it.

"Another hour or two, be patient it will all be over soon," she said, as she rubbed his arm to calm him. "Would you still like that whiskey or can you wait?"

"Later is fine, for now I will drink wine." He poured his third glass of wine and took a sip.

The cooks brought roast pig and all kind of vegetables they also brought some strictly for the royalty. They started eating and conversing amongst themselves but Vallimos ate in silence. Laughter filled the hall Vallimos knew that what him and the others warriors do to keep them safe, to make sure they will never know fear was worth something.

The King rose to his feet. "Ladies and gentlemen I would like your attention, please, for I have an announcement. I King Victor would like to inform you that my daughter, Princess Sillia is to be married come fall. I will reframe from mentioning the prince whom she is marrying, but you all are welcome to attend if you wish." He looked at Sillia and smile he raised his goblet. "A toast to Princess Sillia may she find happiness."

They all took a sip from their goblet and praised their Princess then bowed to her. Sillia noticed that Vallimos was looking at with a very displeasing expression, she didn't know if she should speak with him or let him be. She decided to say something than nothing.

"What troubles you, brother?" she asked.

"How long were you planning on keeping your marriage from me?" He tried to control his voice. "Am I not important enough? I thought you would tell me of the exciting news… I am happy for you. I just thought you would have told me sooner. When is the day?"

"I care not to explain such matters at the present time, but I will when we talk tonight, fair enough?"

"'Tis fair," he answered.

They sat in silence for the rest of the feast afterwards they went to Sillia's chamber. She sat in front of her mirror and he stood with his back against the wall. They were silent neither one knew how to start the conversation. The night's air flowed in from an opened window and with it the scents of Vallimos' garden; the clouds freed the moon from its imprisonment and allowed it to shine its beautiful light. The silence between them was becoming awkward they adjusted themselves uncomfortably.

"The day of my wedding is the first day of summer, will you be attending?" Sillia broke the silence.

"If I am not back fighting the war, I would love to after all you are my sister it would be inconsiderate not to." He smiled warmly at her.

She jumped out of her chair and dashed over to him. "Thank you, Vallimos," she said smiling then she embraced him. "I cannot explain how much this means to me, and now you are sure to find out."

"Think not that it will be so simple for me to except this, or the man that I have as of yet to meet. Have you met him? Are you sure he will make a good husband or a king for the fact of the matter?" He looked toward the window as he continued. "Do not mistaken me for I am truly happy for you, but I will not trust a man I have not met. When is his arrival?"

"Yes, I have met him though it was only for a short time, and I think he will be a good man and king. He will arrive when the morrow comes, about midday, promise me you will be nice." She took a step back and looked him in the eyes.

"I will promise nothing."

"Why not?"

"What if I do not like him? What if he angers me? For what am I to do? Nothing, I think not." He tried to keep calm. "But, I will try for you and that is all I can do I believe that is a generous offer, is it not?"

"Indeed, that is quite fair," she said.

"Would you happen to have any whiskey?" he asked.

"You are lucky this night for I do have some whiskey," she replied.

She walked across the room and opened her cabinet grabbed the decanter of whiskey and two glasses. She went to her the stand where her mirror is, and poured them each a glass. Vallimos walked over to her and reached his hand for his glass she handed it to him, he downed it without savoring the flavor. She on the other hand took in the scent before taking a sip. They swayed away from the conversation and concentrated on their drinks. The bluish silver light of the full moon was even brighter it shined into the room he blew out all the lanterns, and let it light to dance across the room.

He didn't like arguing with his sister but he couldn't bring himself to let her go, especially with someone he'd never met and did not trust. But, it was their ways she would be married to him come summer he was at least happy she met him, and that she is content with the decision made for her. He poured another glass and took a sip he missed having little conversations because the war brought him: loneliness, emptiness, and coldness.

"Vallimos I must why you have not found love? What ever happened to Lola you loved her, and you cannot deny it for I saw it in your eyes." She sat in her chair and looked at him.

"That was some time itself has forgotten we went our separate ways in life, even before I left to the war. And indeed, you are right I will not deny loving her but the past is the past." He shifted the way he leaned against the wall and looked out the window. "More to the point she has probably met someone who can be there for her, and love her the way she deserves."

"Vallimos! How dare you say such things?!" She was outraged at him. "She asked of you when I saw her last she never stopped loving you."

"I am done talking for tonight I will see you in the marrow, sleep well, my dear sister." He walked up to her and kissed her forehead. "Do you mind if I take the whiskey with me?"

"Do as you wish," she said angrily.

Without another word he grabbed the decanter of whiskey and his glass then left her chambers as quickly as possible. He tried hard not to think of the woman whom his heart belongs to, but it was impossible the thoughts engulfed his mind she was the only thing in his head. He hoped that the whiskey would dull his ability to think. He made it down the tower then he started his way to his chamber, and to him it couldn't come soon enough. He walked up the second tower then he walked to his chambers, once inside he shut the door behind him. Glass after glass he could not stop himself from thinking of her the whiskey intensified his thoughts of her, it was futile no matter what he did he couldn't bring himself to the memory of her die.

The night passed by quickly into the marrow, the birds were singing their beautiful songs to welcome the new day, and a cool breeze flowed into his room. He awoke suddenly and startled, someone rushed into his chambers and was shaking him violently. He opened his eyes and sat up in haste he looked at the man to his right, an angered expression he started to feel a headache emerging.

"What is it you want?" Vallimos asked disoriented.

"My Lord, your sister…" the maid said.

Before the maid could continued he got out of bed then clothed himself in a rush, and headed to his sister's chamber. When he saw Sillia's pale blue lifeless body he was filled with dismay he could not believe what his sight beheld, he held her in his arms tears streaming down his face. He kissed her forehead as tears flowed he became anger-filled, and then he used his powers in hope to revive her but to no avail. He noticed that she was clenching something in her hand, he investigated her hand and removed a piece of black cloth he tightened his hand around the Black Dragon's crest.

"Who knows of this?" Vallimos asked the maid.

"His Majesty was the second to know of this, though he did leave immediately after a few short minutes," the maid answered.

He grabbed the covers off the bed and laid them carefully over her then left to the throne room. He was still in shock from see his sister dead the delusion was already building, he bypassed the guards at the doors and swung them open, he then quickened his pace to the king and queen. Tears flowed down the queen's cheeks his father sat there with an emotionless expression. He stared at his father coldly and threw the crest at his feet.

"I wish to know what is to be done about this." His tone venomous and words sharp like blades.

"What do you mean, Vallimos?" King Victor's voice held no sorrow.

"I mean: when do we attack the Black Dragons? This outrageous offense will not go unchecked I will see to it myself." His words determined his next actions.

"You will not doing anything, do I make myself understood?" Victor snapped.

"Prince Vallimos, if you attack the Black Dragons war will rage between us, and we cannot fight two separate enemies. It is best that we do nothing then have genocide forced amongst our people." The chief adviser stepped forth.

He was pale and gangling looking he was an elderly man, he came to stand by King Victor's side. His dark eyes were focused on Vallimos.

"Are you saying that we our do nothing and pretend this betrayal never happened, is that what you are saying, Chief Adviser?"

"I am sorry, Prince Vallimos, but indeed that is what we must do. As I said we cannot fight on two separate fronts, would you risk our people lives for revenge?" He looked at his king. "Would you agree, My King?"

"I am afraid we have no choice but to let this matter go."

He balled his hands into fist. "You bastard, she is your daughter and she deserves to be avenged, would you deny her that?!" They said nothing. "You are a pathetic repugnant coward as a king as you are a father, I will avenge my sister whether you agree or disagree."

"You will be exiled from our kingdom and if you so happen to return you will be killed, do you wish that?" Victor asked.

"If it means righting a wrong then yes, at least, I have the courage to stand my ground to our enemies unlike you. She trusted the Black Dragons for they have not wronged us, and I said to her that I was waiting for the day they do -- that day has come and it is time to take action. If you would stand idly by and let them commit such a crime and not retaliate… the disgust I feel to call you my blood." He knew what it meant when he spoke his words, and he had made peace with that decision.

"You have made your decision, then?" King Victor would not show his true feeling.

"Aye, I have and I will leave come midday for the Black Dragon's castle, would you grant me one last request?"

"What is it?" Victor asked.

"Give her a proper burial and have the people know that she: was caring, loving, and most importantly forgiving." With his last words he left the throne room to his chamber.

His thoughts were his only company he fell into the delusion for a second he couldn't believe she was gone, was it possible she was still alive and this was a nightmare, and maybe his revival spell was delayed? Reality cracked: he found himself lost with insanity and there was no escape, but no matter who tried to stop him the Black Dragons were going to pay for their sadistic endeavor. He started to pack what he needed then he put on his armor, and when he was done he headed to the training room. He was searching for good men who would agree with his purpose he first setout for Varr. As he entered the room he saw Varr in the middle of the room he walked up to him.

"Varr may I speak with you for a moment?" He was hoping Varr would join him.

"Of course, My Lord?" he said, "over there would be more private."

Varr led him over to a corner. "Varr have you heard of my sister?" The pain was growing.

"Aye, I have, my apologies. What is it that you needed to speak with me?"

"My pathetic father refuses to do anything because it will cause war with the Black Dragons. I have come here to ask you if you will join me in avenging my sister's death, will you?" he asked. "And if you know anyone else who would join me."

"Indeed, I will join you but as for someone else to join you, I cannot say." His tone expressed disappointment.

"There is no harm in trying and I eternally grateful for your help, but you need that you will be exiled from this castle. And if you return you will be killed," Vallimos explained.

"I care not I need some fresh air anyway." A huge grin covered his face.

Vallimos nodded and walked with Varr back to the training circle were he would find men to join him, well al least he hoped. He was looking for men who have seen battle and weren't afraid to do what they believed was right. His thoughts went back to his sister he would avenge her no matter what it costs, and hopefully there would be him that would join him and bring his sister's death to justice. But it would be costly in many ways: first, he and whoever with him would be exiled, second he wasn't sure it he is capable of this, and lastly how would he be able to live life afterward? He shook those thoughts out of his head it was pointless to ponder he needed to keep his thoughts one-tracked.

He studied their movement, their skill, and their determination, he was sure he found all the men he needed to accompany. The first was Varr, the second was a sorcerer named Malik, and thirdly was a lancer named Conner. Vallimos walked up to their group to take his studies further.

"You three," Vallimos said to them. "I come to you asking you for a boon, would you be willing to help me?"

"What kind of boon, My Lord?" Conner looked at him his brown eyes showed wonder. He was tall and muscular, his white skin dripping sweat.

"I wish to avenge… my sister's death, will you help?" He was all but pleading.

"Aye, we will, but remember a boon for a boon." Malik looked at Conner with his snowstorm eyes. He was tall and skeleton-like. He put his hands through his white hair. "What say you, Conner?"

He let his black medium length hair fall over his face. "Indeed, I will, but I also of the consequences for helping will be exile."

"And you would be willing to help nevertheless?" Vallimos asked.

"Yes, no one deserves not to be avenged, Prince Vallimos, my services are at your deposal," Conner said bowing.

"As are mine, My Lord," Malik said.

"May I join you, My Lord?" Vallimos knew that voice: it was Lola he turned around only to overwhelmed by her beauty. Her golden hair curled down passed her shoulders, her white skin was shinning in the light, her body built was lean, and her amber eyes were staring into his. He was frozen in place too many felling were flowing through him at once, it confusing for him for the night before he tired forgetting her. And now his heart flutters at the mere sight of her for his desire for her burns like a raging fire.

"Lola…." He was speechless.

"Vallimos, you have changed since I last saw you. My sincere apologies for the lost of your sister, and I want you to know I am willing to help you. So may I join you?"

"We need the help we can get, My Lord," Varr said.

"Aye," Vallimos replied, though he knew this would be dangerous and he didn't want to lose someone else that is important to him.

"When do we leave for the Black Dragons?" Lola restrained from showing her true feeling toward him.

"Well, since I have assembled my companions I suppose we can leave immediately, would anyone like some previsions before our departure?" Vallimos asked them.

"I think it would be a good idea," Lola replied.

They each filled up their bags with as much as they could take, and they also cooking utensils then they setout for the Black Dragons. Vallimos didn't look back after he was on the other side of the gate he walked with pride for he knew he was doing the right thing, and with his companions he was positive that his sister's avenging would be a success. They had to go by foot since the horses belonged to the castle they crossed the field though it took most of their day away. They decided to make supper then get some rest before continuing.

"Is there any game around here to hunt?" Varr asked Vallimos.

"I'm not exactly sure, maybe, you would have to look for yourself," he answered. "I would start be the river it would be the best place."

He nodded then went to the river while the other stayed to make a fire, and setup camp. In was night by the time Varr had returned triumph with a deer, he then started to gut it for the soup he smelt on the fire. The night air was cool, the stars danced across the cloudless sky, and the sounds of crickets in the distance along with raccoons weird sounds, for some strange reason sounded like singing. They had very little conversation, but when the meal was done there was only silence except for the sounds of nature. Afterward they fell asleep Vallimos stayed as far away as he could from Lola because he wasn't ready for them to talk about the past just yet.

When the first light of the morrow touched the ground they awoke well rested to continue to the Black Dragons. Vallimos noticed that Lola was missing.

"Where is Lola?" He looked at them.

"I know not, she was gone when I awoke," Conner said.

"Will you and the others take down camp while I go look for her?"

"Aye," he replied.

I knew bringing her would be a mistake, but she had to insist on accompanying we, he thought as he headed to the river. Maybe she went to get some meat before we leave.

He walked along a dirt path with grass and trees on both of its sides he reached the river, and when he saw her she was bathing he quickly turned away. Every part of him wanted to turn and see her lean wet naked body though he knew better. She noticed him she got quietly out of the river then dressed, and headed over to him.

"What is the matter, Vallimos? 'Tis not like you haven't seen me naked before, correct?" She startled him.

"Indeed, but it would be improper for me to gawk at you like that… you are a lady after all, are you not? Are you done? Shall we head back to the others?" He stared into her eyes his lips yearned to merge with hers.

"Yes, we can head back, now. Vallimos…?" There was no sense in answering his question.

"Hmm." He looked at her.

"Nothing." She went to kiss him but he turned away too quickly, she sighed then followed him.

When they returned to camp Varr and the others were waiting for them, Malik glanced at them slightly with an angered expression.

"We do not have the time you two to go off to the river to lay with each other, now is not the time for that we should have a while ago. Now we have lost valuable sunlight, what say you?" The anger crept into his voice.

"Malik, we did not lay together." He kept calm. "How dare you have the audacity to say such a thing, and now we are wasting more sunlight standing arguing over unimportant matters, would you not agree?"

"Enough of this!" Varr yelled. "We do not have time for this and I refuse for you two to continue your bickering!"

"He is right, this pointless and we have better things to do." Conner stood between them.

They stood there in silence the wind blowing in their hair; Vallimos put his hand through his hair. He realized that was no sense in arguing for they must save that anger for the Black Dragons, and he had to remember that avenging his sister was his only purpose. But are his actions of good intent? Or is he really on a quest for revenge? In his mind: what he is doing is for good intentions and nothing less. But did the others feel the same way? He hoped so but he could be wrong maybe they were here for their own reason, Nevertheless they were assisting him and that's all he cared about.

"My apologies, my lord, I should not have spoken to you in such a way," Malik said after a moment's thought.

"I am no longer your lord for I am banished, and my royal title has been renounced. We are equals you and I and you too." He pointed at the others who were talking amongst themselves. "We all are equals, now should we continue our quest?"

They nodded and grabbed their bags and followed Vallimos up the path. It was midday and the bird had just finished their morning songs, the day started to get hotter, and lushes green sight they beheld was beautiful. The huge tree stood their tallest and full of life, the grass was knee-high, but there was a dirt path they walked along. As they reached the hill they started to head upward, which took them a couple hours, once they were at the top of the hill: the Black Dragon's castle was in sight. Though it would still be a day or two before they reached the castle.

They decided to rest once they reached the bottom of the hill. It took them a couple hours until they reached the bottom then they decided to rest. The night was peaceful, the sweet scent of the air was mouth-watering, the moon shined across the sky and ground, and the wind was calm it was a perfect time to start a fire. Still Vallimos tried desperately to keep his distance from Lola he couldn't bear it if they got close, and he had to leave again… what was left of his heart would surely break. All except Vallimos sat around the fire they cooked a meal as they talked. He stayed in the shadows as he planed his next move, but he couldn't think about her once in a while. He so badly wanted to hold her in his arms and kiss her passionately, though he knew it be best not to for he couldn't let her go once he did. And that was something he couldn't afford there was greater things at stake then love.

Love is just as important, is it not? But yet, I cannot bring myself to tell her that I still love her. I did everything that was expected of me, and yet life still sees fit to punish me, why is that? Of course, questions that I cannot and never hope to answer, he thought. Sillia, my dear sister, I swear to you now that once I avenge you I will confess my feelings to Lola, and ask her to marry me.

"Why do you insist on sitting by yourself in the dark?" Lola asked, as she sat down beside him. "Come sit by the fire and eat something." She looked at him.

"I am not hungry." His tone was almost rude.

"You need to eat, please, won't you eat something?" She understood that he lost someone important to him, but there was no reason in starving himself. "For me?"

"Later, all right?" He glanced at her then looked quickly at the ground.

She sighed. "Vallimos, I must ask you something." She wasn't sure she breathe the words. "…What happen to us? You loved me once, did you not? I never stopped thinking about you after you left for the war, and I never stopped loving you, please tell me you feel tell me you feel the same."

He was silent for a long moment. "I would be lying if I denied it… Lola I have never stopped loving you, but is there not someone else who captured your heart while I was gone?" He couldn't wait any longer he had to tell her.

"Then why do you go to such length to avoid me?" She placed her on his and made him look her in the eyes.

"I had to… I need to avenge my sister before I can have a life to live, do you understand?" He brought his face closer to hers.

"Aye, I do, and I cannot wait until we can live our life together."

"As well as I, my love," he said.

She parted her lips and he kissed her the way he wanted to since the first

moment he laid his eyes on her beauty again. The kiss was brief but its effects lasted long after they were done. He embraced her and she started to feel love-drunk she wrapped her arms around his waist. They sat there staring at the stars but they knew this newfound happiness wouldn't last long. Because they had a fight ahead of them, and one or both of them may not return.

"It is time for us to return to the others we will continue our quest in the morrow." He kissed her again.

"I know, but can we not stay a moment longer?" She looked into his eyes; hers were pleading him to stay.

"My apologies, but we cannot you and I need our rest. For if anything were to happen to you… may my soul be damned for all of eternity. We will have our day when we will sit under a starry sky, and we will make love. For now 'tis a time of battle and love plays no part, do you understand?" He looked at her his tone apologetic.

He rose to his feet and walked back to the campsite she followed behind him. They arrived to silence the others had fallen asleep, which was good because they may have started another argument. Vallimos found his bedding and laid down he was startled when he felt Lola lay against him. As he closed his eyes he knew at heart the marrow was going bring brutality, bloodshed, and lost.

He awoke to the sun shinning in his eyes he sat up and looked around, the others were awake and cooking breakfast. Lola was still asleep at his side he didn't wish to disturb her, so he rose to his feet quietly and went to sit with the others. Vallimos was silent he closed his eyes, and listened to morning songs of the birds.

"Vallimos!" Varr got tired of calling his attention so his punched his arm.

He snapped back to attention. "Why did you strike me?" He doubled his fist.

"My apologies, but you did not answer me when I spoke. I wanted to know when do you plan to make your move, and when do we continue our way?"

"I have realized that now is the time for strategy: we will continue at dusk so we have the surprise, Malik I will have you conjure ropes to scale up the wall of a tower, and lastly we will hunt down and kill the Black Dragon's prince." He struck Varr on the arm and smiled.

"So what do we do until then?" Conner asked.

"Wait," Vallimos answered. "There is nothing else we can really do."

They sat patiently waiting for the sun to set. They practice, prepping one another for the battle to come. When it was midday they decided to take a break they rested, and Lola made something to eat while Varr went hunting for some meat. Their conversations were concise the only time they spoke longer than a moment was when they were training. As the sun started to set they knew they needed rest because it wouldn't be long before it was time to move. They left their camping equipment behind because it would only slow them down.

As they continued toward the Black Dragon's castle Vallimos stared to shake, he refused to lose the audacity his thoughts came to him of his sister. He wasn't sure now if she would agree with this: She never hated them she believed they were good people, but he didn't care avenging was his only goal it life now. He'd given up his home, his life, everything that he knew to avenge her. But he also thought that maybe this was a quest for revenge. He shook those thoughts and was determined to carry out his quest to the end.

They came to a path shrouded by trees that are twisted and contorted, it was silent even the wind was still, the sky was clear but there was no moon. There was an uneasy feeling welling inside them like something bad was about to happen. Vallimos heard something running behind the trees he raised his hand to signal the others to stop. Then he pointed to the direction of the noise they drew their weapons ready for combat. Lola saw a Dark Force run pass them.

"Vallimos, What are the Dark Forces doing here? Are there any known reports about them having any reinforcements here?" Lola asked.

"Not to my knowledge, but that doesn't mean it not a possibility." He took his stance. "Prepare yourselves they could strike at any moment." His voice was no more than a whisper.

"Will we being attacking them?" Varr asked Vallimos.

"No, 'twould be better if we could seek around them without a fight, do you not agree?"

"I suppose you are right," he replied. "Do you have a plan as to getting around them?"

"Malik, could you make us temporarily invisible to them?"

"I know not, to cloak the five of us from their sights would drain me quickly, and therefore I could not tell how long the spell would last. Is that a chance you are willing to make?" He looked at him.

"In your opinion, would that be a wise choice?" Vallimos turned to face him.

"Nay, it would not because if I'm drain of my power then you lose an ally in combat," Malik answered.

"A different plan then, you four will head to the other end of the forest, and I will meet you there."

"What are you going to do?" Lola asked.

"I will make sure they do not follow you."

"That is suicide I refuse to let you do that."

"You have no choice either we all stay and fight or, you four go ahead of me and I risk dying by myself." Before anyone else could object he ran off into the darkness.

Vallimos came into a clearing he noticed that someone was standing opposite of him, the person turned to face him... it was Prince Evangelo. He has jet-black hair, sky blue eyes, and he wore a Black Dragon's royal armor with the gold insignia of royal lineage. Evangelo drew his claymore.

"Evangelo... you murderous bastard before this night ends you will lie dead at my feet!" He barely could contain himself. "You murder my sister in cold blood and now you will pay for it with your life!"

"Think you I would reduce myself to your level of filth." Anxiety barely evident in his voice.

"I did not come here to converse 'tis time for your death." He threw his bow and quiver to the side, and gripped his sword tightly.

"You could have prolonged your life a few more minutes," he retorted.

"Overly confident aren't we? Have at you!"

Vallimos charged him swinging his sword at his neck Evangelo pivoted and took his stance. He attacked again with each blow he tried to find a weak spot in his defense, but to no avail. He determined that Evangelo studied the art of defense thoroughly; whereas he studied the art of offense this battle would hard for either one of them to overcome the other. Vallimos knew that he wouldn't attack him because he would lose his advantage, but he knew there had to be a way to trick him into offense. He resumed attacking him still trying to find a weakness, but Evangelo's defense was flawless there was no way to break through.

When he attacked again Evangelo pivoted and thrust at his side, but it missed him by an inch then he swung at his back he laid his sword flat against his back barely block the blow. Vallimos did a roundhouse kick, but he evaded the attack then he took a couple steps back Evangelo knew he couldn't best him in offense. Vallimos realized that they both were equals in combat, and the chances overcoming one another would be nearly impossible.

"You are well trained in defense which makes it difficult to best you," Vallimos said.

"And your point? Your offense gives as much a challenge," he replied.

"Though I want to see you dead at my feet I think it not to be an achievable feat."

"Think you I would leave this a standstill after I found your crest in my sister's lifeless hand?"

"How dare you say that I betrayed our treaty when in fact you are the one whom killed my sister, for I found your crest in her lifeless hand." He heard a voice in his mind telling him to kill him.

"Do you expect me to fall pray to your wicked tongue?" He heard a voice in his mind telling him to kill him. "You bastard, are you telepathic? How dare you enter my mind?"

"What do you mean? I am not telepathic, but are you?"

"Nay," he replied.

There was a silence between them as they pieced together the truth. They heard the cracking of sticks as someone approached them; it was the emperor of the Dark Forces. They took his stance ready for an attack.

He gave them a distorted smile. "'Tis a shame that you two can be so easily manipulated into tracking each for the sole purpose to kill one another. The unspeakable intelligence that you are known for yet, you fail to realize the true intention of your princess' assassination. Granted it was a clever plan to have the Prince of the White Dragons, and the Prince of the Black Dragons kill each other in combat. So that we could take both kingdoms for ourselves, but no you finally saw through the delusion I built for you. At last, I have to do it myself which is not an inconvenience to me since I have studied you combat abilities.

"Before I end your lives I want you to know that your sisters begged for their pathetic lives before I slaughtered them, and I drained them of their life force. I want you to know the name of the one whom will be responsible for your demise: I am Kairesh!" His voice was demonic and scratchy then he drew his sword.

He charged at Vallimos and swung at his neck, but Evangelo blocked the attack then Vallimos thrust his sword. But Kairesh pivoted and struck his with the pommel of his sword. As he continually assaulted them with ferocious attacks Evangelo blocked each blow, but the final knocked him off balance. But luckily Vallimos made an attack before Kairesh could kill Evangelo. Vallimos raised his hand and shot forth a beam of holy light at Kairesh, which seared his decayed flesh, he let out a horrific scream. They both looked at each other and smiled then they charged Kairesh, and dismembered him then Vallimos used his holy power to disintegrate the remains of his body.

"I must say that your defensive skill are quite remarkable, and I thank you for defending me from his attacks." He extended his arm toward him.

"Coming from an adept of offensive tactics I take that as sincere compliment. I am glad I wanted to kill you." He extended his and grabbed him by the forearm then shook.

"Why is that?"

"Because it caused the unification between the two greatest kingdoms of the continent Dragonstea."

"Indeed, you are right, my friend, but there are more Dark Forces lurking around this place. 'Tis best that we hunt down and annihilate them before they escape."

Evangelo nodded and went off into the forest he grabbed his bow and quiver, and then he went in a different direction. It was quiet, the wind was stiller than a statue, the smell of Dark Force's emperor burnt flesh was sure to alert them. He needed to find his companions before his was attacked, although he could probably slay them single-handedly but it was best that he assisted them. Failing to find them he had forgotten that he said he would meet them on the other side of the forest. So he had to backtrack to regroup with them he hoped he could reach them before they were ambush by the enemy. When he found them it was too late the enemy got to them first.

He stopped dead in his tracks he sheathed his sword, and grabbed his bow with his left hand. He drew an arrow from the quiver on his back, and in the blink of an eye he killed five. His skill as an archer was so acute that he could slay anything, even though he had little light to see. He notched another arrow onto the string of the bow, at that moment one of them crept up behind Lola, and without thinking he shot the thing dead. Malik shot forth fireballs burning the to ashes Conner was defending the wounded Varr from them. Using evasive as she could muster Lola managed to slay three of them. Vallimos could no longer leave them endanger he slung his bow onto his shoulder, and raised his hands in front of him then he shot forth his holy light. As they started to disintegrate they let out inhuman scream, which was painful on the ears.

Vallimos was sure that they had killed half of Kaiersh's army that accompanied him, and he was positive that Evangelo had killed the other half. He wasn't sure what he should do now so he headed home; of course he knew it would mean his dead as well as his companions. He had to go whether he admits or not: he cared deeply for his parents and he wouldn't abandon them, but to his despair they both his died of broken hearts. Dumb-found as what to do he married Lola like he promised, and took the throne with her as his queen. Vallimos and Evangelo formed a trustful treaty, and they both were the greatest kings Dragonstea has ever known.