I stood there in the middle of the market with my back turned to the speaker. The voice harsh and commanding, yet soft. I knew immediately who it was without even turning around. I slowly turned around to face my sister Naira as she stood there with one hand on her hips and the other hanging at her side after she had removed her hands from our shoulders.
"N-Naira!" I stuttered out as I took in the angry look in her eyes and in her pale face. Naira narrowed her eyes before shaking her head and gestured for us to follow her.
"You know you aren't allowed out here without guard Illyan," Naira said as she led us back towards the manor. Her voice held a note of admonishment in it as she spoke. I hung my head as we walked along the stone paved pathway and over the bridge. I felt so guilty at sneaking out, but I have to admit, it was the most fun I've had in so many years.
"I-" I tried to speak my then I heard Naira hiss out at me and I held my tongue. Naira was a scary person when angered and I wouldn't want to mess with her in that state. I stared at my feet as we walked, the silence of Irra was unusual as she would normally be fighting with Naira about whatever the problem was. Though this time, Irra stayed quiet and that unserved me.
We finally reached the gates to the manor. Guards stood and both ends and when they saw Naira, they signaled to the tower to open the gates and let us inside. The old iron gates swung open with a groan and off inside we went. When we entered the manor, Irra and I took off our cloaks and face coverings before walking towards the foyer.
"Ilyan and Irra Evanoire!" I heard the booming voice of my father echo throughout the foyer. Looking up at the second floor balcony I noticed the tall man that was my father. He had black hair and moss green eyes like me, except he was a bit taller than I was. If you don't want to make Naira mad, then you do not want to make my father angry either.
"Father, I-" I started to say to him, but he cut me off with a growl. I immediately snapped my mouth shut and hung my head in guilt. Irra stared at the polished tile floors and didn't even move her head an inch when our father bellowed out her name.
"You two know that you need permission to leave the manor!" He boomed as he made his way down the curved, golden staircase. His footsteps echoed across the expansive room as he walked down the steps.
Fear and nervousness had begun to well up inside of me as I watched my angry father move down the staircase in a slow, nerve racking manner. I was terrified to say the least. Once he reached the bottom he crossed to stand in front of us. His eyes held anger and even a bit of fear as he stared us down. Irra kept her head tall and I held my head down - neither of us met his gaze though.
"Irra, how dare you take Illyan outside these walls without permission and without anyone guarding her?!" Father yelled as he turned to face Irra with his anger. Irra stood still and seemed to have been contemplating what to say next.
"I just thought that she needed a break from all of this seriousness for a change," Irra said in as calm and collected of a voice as she could muster up. Father just narrowed his eyes I reached back with his hand and then swung it at Irra. It hit her cheek with a loud smack as the impact sent Irra tumbling to the ground while clutching her cheek.
"You are never going stop making pathetic excuses are you?" Father sneered before turning towards me. His anger that was still seething inside of him, was clearly shown in his moss green colored eyes that matched mine so very well.
"Illyan!" He boomed before walking over to my and harshly grabbed my arm. I felt the fear rise up inside of me even more. I could feel my heart pounding and my skin began to sweat. I felt completely sick and scared and vulnerable.
"You are going to stay locked in your room all night!" He yelled at me as he dragged my up the stairs and down the halls to my room. He reached the door and pushed it open before tossing me inside.
"W-What about d-dinner?" I asked in a stuttering tone of voice as he turned to leave my room. My father turned back around and with a glare he stalked back over to me and slapped me across the face before I fell onto my bed.
"There isn't any for you!" He spat before he stomped his way out of my room and down the hallways away from my room. Still clutching my cheek, I shot up and went to check the door to see if it was locked. Low and behold, the door had been locked after all. With tears in my eyes I went to sit back down on my bed and curled up into a tight ball.
As I laid there, I kept thinking about why Irra was so quiet with Naira earlier. She usually has a temper and sharp tongue that's even better than my own. Yet, on our way back she never uttered a single word. It was very interesting and scary at the time.
After my cheek stopped hurting, I had moved to lay on my back and stared up at the skylights in my bedroom ceiling high above my head. A small smile on my lips as I could see the moon's faint day glow beaming down at me. The moon has always made me feel safe. After a few moments of staring at the moon, I slipped off of my bed and went over to my library area and began browsing through the many books.
Many hours had passed and I picked up a book, finished it, and then moved on to another. These books were short and only provided minimal distraction from my boredom that came with this solitude. As I had finished reading the last book on the shelf, I heard a knock on my bedroom door. Yet, I couldn't open it to let even see who it was, let alone let them inside.
"Illyan sweetie?" I heard the sweet and soft voice of my mom called out from behind the double wooden doors. I immediately jumped up and ran over to the door and pressed my ear against it to hear her better.
"Yes mom?" I asked her in a manner of attempted calm before frantically adding to my speech. "I can't open the door, father locked me in!" I called out through the doors. It was then that I heard the lock click as the doors were unlocked. I pulled open the doors to reveal my mom in her battle leathers and her black hair pinned up in a tight bun.
"I-Is everything alright mom?" I asked her as a slight stutter overtook my speech. I stared into her forest green eyes as she settled a calm, kind expression on her face. She took my hands and led me down the hallways back towards the staircase that lead into the foyer. We walked down the stairs and the sight I saw waiting for me was very nerve wracking.
Naira stood off to one side with her own battle leathers on. Her deep black hair was put into a single tight braid. Irra was waiting for me by the statue of Isis we had in the center of the foyer. Irra has two suitcases near her feet and one of them was my own plain black suitcase.
"W-What's going on?" I asked my mother as she led me over to Irra. My mom looked at Irra before looking back at me. She knelt down and pressed a soft kiss to my forehead before touching our noses together in affection.
"Everything will be fine Illyan," She said calmly before taking a glance towards the front door. She leaned down for a hug and then pulled back.
"You must leave with Irra, Illyan," She said with tears in her eyes. Her voice had begun to crack as she spoke. I could tell that this was a heart breaking moment for her and so I flung my arms around her neck and gave her another hug. Then curiosity and fear sparked inside of me.
"Why? Where will we go? How long will we be gone? What will happen to you?" The questions just spilled from my mouth as I opened it. I was scared about this, yet also a little curious for some reason. A loud bang then echoed throughout and my mom and Naira jumped up at the sound.
My mom nodded to my older sister who ran out of the foyer and out of the main doors. She then turned back to me with a small smile on her lips.
"I don't have the time to answer, just follow Irra, alright?" My mom said as moved to stand back up. She began to walk out of the room.
"I love you!" She called back over her shoulder. She paused a moment to look back at me and Irra. I saw her give a slight, sharp, nod to Irra before turning to walk away again.
"I-I love you too!" I shot out before she turned the door handle and left the house. She turned around, offered me a small, saddened smile and then walked right out the front door, which left me all alone with Irra.
Irra picked up her duffel bag and mine before handing me my own bag. I gave her a look of confusion as I never remember packing a bag, but I took it from her hands anyways.
After I sling the bag over my shoulders, we went out the back door and towards the back gardens. The sweet scent of flowers hit my nose as the evening wind blew my hair around and chilled my skin slightly. I closed my eyes and stood still for a brief moment before I felt Irra's hand grab mine and made me move on from the gardens.
Passing the gardens, we headed for the wooded trail that wound it's way all around our providence. I had no idea where we were going, but I knew one thing - I was definitely terrified. We weaved our way through trees and rocks as we walked through the woods. The smell of earth was thick and the air was pretty warm since the tall trees blocked out much of the wind's gusts. All I could see for miles and miles were tall stems of brown bark towering up to green colored canopies.
We made it to a clearing in the middle of the woods. There was a large rock formation at one side of the the clearing. The other had a tree with a hole cut into it. An iron gate stood as a barrier to the inside of a large cave. It looked dark and scary, I hoped we would not have to step foot near it let alone inside of it.
Yet, Irra led me right over to it. Irra walked over to the gate's pad lock and pulled a key out of her bag before sticking it in the lock. She turned the key and the gate swung open with a loud groaning sound. Irra then motioned for me to follow her inside. I followed my older sister with nervousness as we crossed the threshold into the cave.
Well, here I go!