Chapter 18

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Fight Against the Land

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I awoke to the sound of something crashing outside and something that felt like an earthquake.

Aiden, gorgeous, beautiful Aiden was lying over me, covering my body with his. I heard something crash on top of him and he grunted, but held himself up.

"Aiden?" I asked, "What's going on?"

"It's fine, just a really bad earthquake... I think." He said.

I tried to look past him, but there was another crash and I squealed as he grunted in pain.

He had held himself above me like a bridge but with the added weight, the bridge started to cave.

His skin touched mine and I blushed with memory of last night.

After about half an hour of nothing, he finally pulled himself up, shifting everything that fell on us to the floor.

Wide-eyed, I looked around the ruined room. Everything was pulled apart or broken on the floor.

The place was a wreck.

Someone knocked on the door.

"Princess? Are you all right?" I heard Leanne call.

I gasped.

"I'm alright! One minute!" I yelled, grabbing a robe from the wardrobe and putting it on, throwing Aiden his clothes.

He dressed quickly and I opened the door when he nodded.

"Oh!" Leanne exclaimed when she saw Aiden sitting on my bed wearing a pair of pants.

"I'm so sorry! Please excuse me!" She said, starting to back out.

"It's fine. Help me dress while Aiden goes back to his room to get dressed. We need to hurry and figure out what's going on." I said, pulling her back inside.

Aiden walked over, all his clothes in hand. He gave me a lingering kiss, then walked outside, heading down the hallway. "I'll be back in a few minutes." He called behind him.

"Okay." I responded, closing the door.

Leanne was looking in the wardrobe. "I don't know what you should wear today!" She whined. "If you wear a dress it would be caught if another earthquake comes. But if you don't it would be so un-princess-like!"

"Leanne! Calm down. I'll just have to be a un-princess-like person then." I said, while grabbing pants and a blouse.

She nodded, hurrying to help me and clean the room at the same time.

As soon as I was dressed, I ran outside to see what was going on. Every hall and room I ran past was a huge mess. There were ripped tapestries and expensive vases on the floor and such. A few paintings had fallen off their hooks and fell on the floor. In the ballroom the chandelier had fallen and shattered across the floor. Magic-made servants were cleaning up. Every time I felt a shudder in the earth, they didn't seem to notice, but rather kept going about their business cleaning the rooms and hallways.

I met Octavia, Morgan, and Aiden outside where Aiden and I had watched the sunset. Astonishment was written across their faces.

"What's the matter?" I asked. "What's going on?"

Only when I saw the disastrous mess that lay before me did I understand. The entire land was cracked. Fissures and chunks of land were everywhere. Even the Avalon wall was cracked in several places.

"Impossible." Octavia murmured, her eyes searching ours for help.

"There is no way that this wasn't done by magic." A woman with dark purple hair and silvery-blue eyes said, coming up behind us.

"Aia." Octavia acknowledged with a nod.

Aia nodded back then walked to the wall, staring out over the destruction.

"Octavia. Gather whatever soldiers we have that can fight. Less than thirty is a poor number, but we must create a plan. Have them wait while we discuss things by the round table. Bring your Lieutenant with you and have the princess come as well. She can bring whomever she wants." Aia said.

I shuddered. I wasn't really sure if I liked her very much, but I nodded anyways.

I sent a maid to get the rest of the pack that I brought with me, and Aiden and I followed Aia to the round table. 

"We have to discuss a battle plan. That is why I've called you all here." Aia said as Octavia walked in.

"We fight."

Everyone looked at me.

"What are you talking about? Fight? Against who? The very land is fighting against us. How are we supposed to fight?" Octavia's Lieutenant asked.

"I would have thought you would be the first to say fight." Kate murmured.

He glared at her, but said nothing.

"She's right. We have to find some way to fight. But I'm also with my Lieutenant on this. Fight against whom?" Octavia said.

I thought back hard. All of a sudden everything blacked out.

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"Daughter." A voice said.

I opened my eyes. I was in the forest and my mother stood over me.

"Darian is attacking Avalon, isn't he?" She asked.

"No. His mage is." I replied, sitting up. "Darian?"

"That was at least what he was called when he was in my court."

"Is there a way for us to defeat him?" I asked.

"Yes. Your power." She answered as if it was obvious.

"Wow. Thanks a lot." I said sarcastically.

"It will come. You just have to let it."

I groaned. A lecture. Wonderful. I sighed and closed my eyes trying to find my power. I followed a path I made into my mind. Every memory, knowledge, and thing I've seen or heard was on the path I created.

I looked for any sort of locked door or any hidden knowledge, but I found nothing.

"Ugh." I groaned, opening my eyes to a headache.

Then I noticed we weren't alone.

"Didn't know you could dream walk, Leyla." A familiar voice said.

"Darian." She hissed.

I looked at him, surprised. "Why are you here?" I asked.

"I came to see you. Or did you not know? I wasn't after your parents when I killed them. I was after you."

"Why do you want my daughter?" My mom asked.

"You see, if she didn't struggle so much I would have made you mine!" He hissed at the both of us.

"If you hadn't already noticed, you'll never get a hold of me!"

"Oh but I will. If you hadn't noticed, while you were asleep, I have gotten inside your castle."

I gasped and woke up to find faces above my own.

"He's here!" I coughed out.

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