The Warrior Princess: The Coronation: Part Three
Cole yelled out,” What!”
Every eye turned to Cole. Terrence frowned and said to Clarity,” I better go. See you later, Princess.”
Cole watched as Terrence left. Clarity looked upset, but said,” Mara is back and she’s coming for me. I’m going to leave so she’ll follow me away from the kingdom.”
Cole began to panic because he needed his sister for his plan to work. Cole shook his head.” No. It can’t be true. I say we visit the dungeons now.”
King John said, “Spectacular idea, Cole. You will make a great king.”
Cole grimaced and looked at his sister for approval of the idea.Clarity nodded and the family rushed to the first floor of the castle. A guard stood outside an iron door, looking very grumpy.
Cole said,” We need to see Mara, please.”
The guard was silent, but opened the door. The family walked down the stairs and into the hall. The hall held all the cells, but only one prisoner was here today.
Clarity looked into the power nullifying cell. A shadow zafara was in there. She looked eerily similar to the one Clarity had seen earlier, but the messenger had been at least twenty years younger, if not more.
Mara noticed the family and said,” Can I help you?”
Clarity help up the note and said,” Why are you trying to scare me?”
Mara frowned and replied simply,” That’s not my handwriting. I can even prove it. I have a journal in here and I write all the time. I will show you.”
Mara walked to her nightstand and grabbed out a leather book. She wrote down the alphabet and showed Clarity the handwriting. Clarity compared it and nodded.
“She’s telling the truth. Mara, do you recognize the writing?”
Mara held the note for a moment, handed it back to Clarity, and replied,” Honestly, it does look familiar, but I can’t place it. I’m sorry.”
Clarity sighed. Maybe Terrence was right. Mara had changed a little anyway. She was more cooperative with the family and the guards. She even apologized for all the trouble she had caused. She would obviously be locked up for life, but she had taken it in stride.
The family turned to leave, but Clarity looked back at Mara one more time. Mara said, “Clarity, do you think my daughter can come to visit me?”
Clarity replied,” I didn’t know you had a daughter.”
Mara nodded.” She was a little younger than you when I left. I miss her and was hoping the king would be kind enough to let me see her.”
Clarity replied,” I will try to convince him. What’s her name?”
Clarity nodded and told Mara she would try. Clarity emerged from the dungeons and Terrence was there, his arms crossed.
Clarity didn’t see her family anywhere. Terrence stayed in his angry pose, so Clarity asked,” You going to stay like that all day, or are you going to rant?”
Terrence replied coolly,” Rant.”
Clarity sighed and Terrence began.” All I asked your brother if it was Mara. He ignored me and your parents said nothing. I didn’t see you and thought they made you stay behind, so I asked the guard. Pauley wouldn’t tell me anything. He insisted I leave. So I waited. Can you give me a straight answer?”
Clarity looked to the guard and saw he had a content smile on his face. She shook her head, amused. She returned her attention to Terrence They began walking down the hall. Clarity sighed and said,” Mara was still here. It wasn’t even her handwriting. She’s changed a lot, too.”
” I don’t care about that. Not like she’s getting out. Your dad was not easy on her after what she did to you,” Terrence said, motioning to Clarity’s arm
Clarity looked at her arm for a moment. The white bandage made her look like her arm belonged to a mummy, not to an xweetok. The wound under the bandage was worse. Terrence said,” I didn’t mean to remind you.”
Clarity replied,” It’s no big deal. I was just thinking how bad it looks under the bandage. It’s not pretty.”
Terrence stopped once they reached the kitchen.”See you later, Princess.”
Clarity nodded and continued on until she heard Cole and her father talking in the throne room. She listened silently.
“Cole, I don’t think the note was a light threat. I think sending Clarity away until you’re king is the safest thing to do.”
Cole replied harshly,” Why? You don’t want her there to see me get the crown placed atop my head? I don’t want the awful crown anyway. I never wanted to be king. Whenever I say anything, it never matters to anyone and the one person who listened to my opinion won’t be here for another two weeks."
King John said,” Cole, I don’t appreciate the tone. I want you to know that I do listen when you tell me of your worries, but I had the same worries. I was nervous, too. I only want you to know I believe in you.”
Cole said nothing in reply. Ivy came up to Clarity and said,” I didn’t think you would eavesdrop.”
Clarity frowned.” I wasn’t trying to. It just kind of happened.”
Ivy nodded and said,” It’s time for your bandage to be changed.”
Clarity followed Ivy to the hospital. The hospital was just outside the castle, but there was a door from the castle that led to the hospital. Clarity sat in the waiting room. Ivy got the items out.
Ivy returned and took the old bandage off. Clarity’s arm was scarred and bruised. It was awful looking. At that moment, Terrence came in, blood on his fingers.
“Ivy, I cut my fingers.”
Ivy frowned for a moment, but left the room to get some more supplies. Clarity tried to hide her arm, but it was too late.
“So that’s how your arm looks?”
Clarity nodded.”Awful, isn’t it?”
Terrence shook his head.”It’s not that bad. You made it sound there was bone sticking out and something really bad like that. Kind of got my hopes up.”
Clarity smiled. Ivy returned and cleaned Terrence’s hand quickly. She put a bandage on his hand and said in a cold tone,” You can go now.”
Terrence shrugged.” Bye, Princess.”
Clarity waved with her good hand and Ivy continued to wrap her bad one. After Terrence was long gone, Ivy said,” I can’t stand him.”
Clarity chuckled and asked,” Why?”
Ivy replied,” He was such a jerk when I talked to him. I see he’s nice to you.”
Clarity shrugged, but Ivy continued,” I guess since he likes you and all, it makes sense.”
Clarity replied warily,” What do you mean?”
Ivy shrugged.”It seemed obvious to me that he must like you. He always talks to you and you talk to him. It looked obvious.”
“I don’t like him like that. I think he misses Cole. Besides, we only talk because we run into each other. It’s more of a courteous thing.”
Ivy wasn’t convinced, but she dropped the subject and finished the bandage on Clarity’s arm. Clarity turned to leave, but said,” I hope you can be nice enough to him, seeing as you are the nurse and you’ll have to keep an eye on his hand. I wouldn’t want you to see Janelle’s bad side. She doesn’t like it when a nurse has horrible bedside mannerisms.”
Ivy frowned and replied,” I’ll keep it in mind. See you later, Clare.”
Clarity waved and left. She walked back to the main hall of the castle so she could go to her room. She saw Cole and said,” Hey, bro.”
Cole looked at her and said,” What did you do?”
Clarity tried to feign innocence and replied,” Why must you think I did something?”
“You never call me ‘bro’ unless you did something bad.”
Clarity sighed. She was busted.” I heard you talking to Dad. Can I help?”
Cole shook his head.”I convinced them to let you stay, though. I need you to be here. Besides, Mara isn’t invading. I’m still trying to figure out who it might be.”
Clarity didn’t have a clue. She was about to reply when Terrence ran up, yelling her name. She turned, but he was out of breath. Clarity waited until he could talk.
“I know who’s after you.”
Clarity replied hesitantly, “Who is it?”
Terrence said,” I was trying to perfect Samantha’s salsa recipe, because she asked me to make a new twist on it. A strange zafara came in, claiming she was the new chef intern. I shrugged it off, but she was talking very secretly to Roy.”
Clarity asked,” Who’s Roy and why is that a problem for me?”
Terrence replied,” Roy is the next step down from my position. He always seemed off to me, but I never thought much about it. Today, I overheard some plot against you, but I didn’t hear details.”
Cole said to Clarity,” Clare, please tell Terrence he should not be in our business.”
Terrence said to Clarity,” Princess, will you tell your brother I can hear him?”
Clarity groaned and said,” You two are impossible. Cole, Terrence is trying to protect me, too. I don’t mind him telling me any information he has. Terrence, I know you feel bad about what you said to Cole. Cole has a hard time forgiving, but you two were best friends. Fight if you must, but I talk to both of you. I’m not going to be the middle man.”
Cole shook his head and stalked off. Clarity was hurt. She thought he would like to know what was being planned against her. Terrence continued,” I don’t know what it was, but we need to tell your parents.”
To be continued…