This is part of the A to Z Challenge. A story told in 26 parts. Check Sunday’s post (4/14) for a recap of parts A-L.
“My name is Dianthe. I’m a healer, mostly,” Dianthe told the two men who still stood, mouths agape. “I’m told I look very much like the princess.” She stared hard at Cardelia as she spoke. Cardelia had the decency to look embarrassed.
“I’m sorry I lied to you,” she was speaking to Xavier now. “Thank you for rescuing me. I see the old king couldn’t spare anyone to come after me except young Car—Icarus here.”
“Icarus? That your name boy?” Valerius slapped Cardelia’s back and she stumbled forward. Valerius laughed. “This is the fierce warrior the king sent after you?”
“He didn’t send me. He doesn’t know. I saw the girl being taken and I followed,” Cardelia said, indignant. She hated the name Icarus but that was the least of her concerns.
“If you feel up to it, we shall escort you back to the palace,” Xavier said finally.
“No!” Both Dianthe and Cardelia shouted.
Dianthe recovered first. “I don’t want to go back. The king cares little about me except as a play actor for Cardelia. I don’t want to do it anymore. Besides, going back will delay your quest.”
“What about you, Icarus?” Valerius asked. “Why do you not want to return?”
“I, uh, I want to go on the quest.” Cardelia answered in as deep a voice as she could.
Valerius chuckled. “You seek to rule the kingdom, boy?”
Cardelia shrugged. “It doesn’t matter what I seek. I know where to find the flower of death.”