Chapter 39 - A Parallel Coincidence

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***Edited Version 6/23/19***


Kastali Dun

Saffra struggled to find sleep, tossing and turning. Her plight was worsened by her dreams, which continued to follow the face of an adolescent girl. She knew the face...from somewhere. Each time she awoke, she opened her eyes to gaze at the darkened canopy of her bed. She had seen the face before, even recently, but where? Once more, she tried to get comfortable, dragging her covers with her as she changed position. This time she drifted off to sleep again, but her dreams changed...

Queen Isabella wept in a man's embrace. Her frantic cries were muffled as she sobbed into the crook of his neck. "My daughter...my only daughter..." The man appeared equally distressed, though he controlled his emotions well. Atop his head was a golden crown. Saffra's eyes widened. This man was King Eymar, the first king of the Drengr monarchy.

Saffra gazed upon the scene until it made sense. She was forced to dig deep within her memories until she recalled the story of a new kingdom and a dead princess. Princess Irelia had been the first child born unto the monarchy and she had never lived to womanhood.

King Eymar cooed, smoothing down his mate's golden hair as he whispered reassurances. They would find her. No harm would come to the princess. The gods smiled down upon them, did they not? Irelia was merely caught up in the streets of the city, lost perhaps.

The king and queen stood within the king's tower. This was not the king's tower as Saffra was used to seeing it. This was the king's tower in its original state, long before new trends required changes to the furnishings.

Something about Queen Isabella looked different. Saffra studied her. The queen looked run down, almost frail. Her face, though riddled with grief, was tired. Had she spent too much time away from the forest? Or was it something deeper that whittled away her essence?

A door slammed, echoing through the chamber. King Eymar and Queen Isabella looked up—so did Saffra. A man entered; he was a Drengr by the looks of him. "My king," he said, his voice deep and rich, with the hint of a strange accent. "Guards have been summoned to search. Every street in the city is alight with torchlight. Our own have taken to the skies. They will search beyond the walls of the city. We will not stop until she is found." There was something strange in his voice, as if human speech was still new to him. Then again, it probably was. All the original Drengr had once been entirely draconic.

At his words, a hopeless gasp escaped Queen Isabella. Once more she buried her face and wept. "I fear she has been taken, stolen from me by evil."

"You fear she has been kidnapped, my lady?" A look of alarm passed over the Drengr's face.

"Kidnapped, or worse. What if she...?" The queen could not finish her statement.

"Gods above, my love. She has not died. I can feel it in my heart."

"If she is kidnapped, Your Grace, we will make her captors suffer. They will feel my wrath," said the Drengr. The king nodded before turning back to comfort his queen.

"Oh, Irelia! Oh, my daughter..."

As the queen wept, a familiar face swam into Saffra's mind. It was the girl from her previous dreams, from the painting she had passed so many times. She pictured the painting, Irelia with her mother, the queen. Poor Irelia was lost, missing, or worse...

"Irelia...Irelia..." Queen Isabella's sobs echoed in Saffra's mind, repeating over and again. Her thoughts began to turn over as her consciousness sharpened. The sorrowful cries changed, morphing into something more coherent. Loud pounding was accompanied by a voice. It was growing more insistent...

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