Nothing Is What It Seems Chapter 8
Chapter 8: Welcome to hell, I mean Zaun
“Ok you two, stop.” Elizabeth said as she placed herself in between the two that were glaring at each other harshly. “We aren’t even sure that it is him Vincent, so we must gather more information on the matter.” Elizabeth reasoned with the two as they finally broke from the other’s harsh gaze.
Vincent didn’t say a word as he walked over to where he was sleeping and tied his sword back onto his back. Gabriel walked away as well, to gather his things, leaving Elizabeth standing there. She let out a sigh of relief and went to go pack up the rest of her things. Vincent watched her from his peripheral sight and asked, “So then to hell we go?”
Elizabeth laughed, “Yes we need to stop by Michael’s to see if he can offer us any aid. If the man that killed off Gabriel’s family is who we think it is, then that means the prince had a hand in all of this as well.”
Gabriel’s eye twitched, “Can’t you at least give me a name or something?” He begged.
Elizabeth gave Vincent a questioning gaze. Vincent glared back at first, but his eyes softened as he gazed into her eyes. “If it is who we think it is…” Vincent began finding the right words to say, “then there is no doubt in my mind that we won’t come across him as well.”
“Right because he took my mom.” Gabriel said sadly.
“There are other reasons.” Elizabeth muttered but stood to her feet happily. “Ok then, let’s get going!” She shouted cheerfully, excited about leaving the beach. She looked one last time into the never-ending water and shivered.
Vincent took note of her actions and pulled her towards him. She walked in between the two as they were heading for the kingdom of hell, I mean Zaun. “So why did you call the place we are headed to hell?” Gabriel asked as he broke the silence.
“Well you see before the prince took over, when King Simon still reigned, there were so many happy people who greatly adored their king. Simon was a fair and just king who saw people for who they were and not how for much coin they owned. There really was no poor district, as Simon made sure that everyone was taking care of, if they wished to better themselves. He was a man with the most silvered tongue any had seen. He could persuade a person that was about to take his or her own life, into living and making life worth it.” Elizabeth paused as sadness clouded her eyes.
“So what’s it like now?” Gabriel asked softly, though he had a sick feeling he knew.
“Well Prince Oswald is the exact opposite of his father. He knows nothing about the dangerous game he is playing.” Elizabeth said darkly as they continued on their path towards the kingdom. “Now the kingdom is divided and no matter where you look it’s…” She paused, shaking her head, “You will see what I mean when you get there. It’s divided into two main parts, the aristocratic society and the poorest district, even the kingdom itself was split into two extremes.”
“That’s depressing.” Gabriel said softly.
“Just wait till you see their means of decoration.” Elizabeth said sadly. Gabriel was curious now, but he didn’t press matters, seeing as Elizabeth was distraught over the matter.
After an hour or so walking in complete silence, they came to a huge cement wall that incased the whole kingdom. A dead body lay at the entrance as maggots feasted on the rotting corpse. “Gross!” Gabriel cringed, as he covered his nose, the stench proving too much for him.
Vincent and Elizabeth walked around it, as if it was normal for something like that to be lying in the middle of the road. “Come on Gabriel.” Elizabeth said softly as they headed into the kingdom that really had become a personal hell for the people that lived there.
Gabriel kept close to Elizabeth, as Elizabeth kept her arm hooked with Vincent’s. Dead bodies littered the ground as some hung up on poles as a reminder not to disobey the new form of government. “So this is what happens when you go against the prince?” Gabriel asked knowingly.
“In short, he keeps the bodies lying around as a constant reminder, enabling him to rule with an iron fist so to speak. Though from the looks of it, some people are starting to get sick from the way of life. It must have tainted their food and water supply.” Elizabeth said softly as a woman was on her hands and knees, vomiting up blood.
“What does the other part look like?” Gabriel asked in a frightened tone.
“Oh the other district is much more beautiful. They built a wall separating the two divisions so that way the taint wouldn’t affect them.” Elizabeth said as she turned down an ally, dragging the other two along. “Michael’s shop is close by.” She said softly.
“So how are there still shops doing business?” Gabriel asked quietly as they occasionally stepped over a rotting corpse that was lying in the middle of their path.
“Well you see they still need the merchants in the kingdom. They are paid handsomely and they get their food and water from the um, cleaner side of the kingdom. If they keep this up, then they will completely wipe everyone out.” Elizabeth said sadly.
“Are you sure it’s a good idea for you to be here though?” Gabriel asked as they stopped at a black smith’s shop.
“They won’t come looking for me in this mess. We aren’t staying here either. Most people seem to have fled to the outer skirts though, the smaller towns. We will do our hopping around from those towns.” Elizabeth whispered as she opened the door.
“Ah Elizabeth my dear.” A middle age man smiled at her, placing down a blade he was examining.
“Michael, so good to see you!” She smiled, giving the man a friendly hug. “Why are you still here?” She asked curiously, taking a seat on the counter and crossing her legs in an elegant manner.
“Well to be honest, I was planning to rebel, but some of my fellow swords men were killed.”
“Oh.” Elizabeth said surprised. “I’m sorry. I gave you enough coin, leave this hell hole!” She commanded.
“I would, but I’m also trying to keep an eye out for-“ His eyes landed on Gabriel and smiled softly. “I see so if you’re here, then that means Damien and the other’s are dead?”
Gabriel gave Michael a curious look, “Damien?”
“Your mother is Anilla isn’t it?” He asked in an unsure tone.
“Yes, you know my mom? Do you know where she is?” He shouted desperately.
“No I don’t know where she is, but if anything, she’s probably in the aristocratic society with all the nobles, working as a maid. Since she was healthy and not affected by the taint that caused the others ill.”
“Come with us, we need to stop this madness and get his mother back.” Elizabeth pleaded with Michael. “Your expertise would help us greatly.”
Michael laughed, “Elizabeth my dear, you haven’t changed at all. Still that little girl, trying to take on the world, but at least you aren’t trying to do it alone this time.” He smiled sweetly at her.
“So will you help us?” She asked quietly.
Michael looked towards Vincent, “So you are the one keeping her out of trouble.”
“As always.” Vincent muttered in a bored tone.
“Yes, I will join you.” He bent down to face Gabriel and ruffled his raven strands, “We will get your mother back.” He promised.
Michael stood to his feet and ran a hand through his soft black hair. “Well then shall we?” Elizabeth asked as she jumped off the counter.
“Yes but if you plan on going against the government Elizabeth, then maybe we should be well prepared, wouldn’t you agree?” He teased.
Elizabeth laughed, “I’m stocked with throwing knives.”
He shook his head, “Not what I had in mind. However, I have been working on some daggers that I thought you might like.” He smiled as he walked over to the counter and bent down.
“What kind of daggers?” Elizabeth asked with a twinkle in her eye.
“You sure do love your weapons.” Gabriel smiled, seeing how childish she looked.
“I do!” She said excitedly as Michael placed a box down on the counter.
“I hope you like them, they weren’t easy to make.” He said as he opened the box to reveal two daggers.
Elizabeth let out a surprised gasp, as she took the dagger into her hand. The blade was curved and the handle of the blade was bent towards the blade, leaving a small opening for her hand between the blade and the handle. The bottom part of the dagger was jet black and the top was a light steel color like the long sword. It was kind of big for a dagger, but not big enough to be called a sword either. “It’s beautiful!” She exclaimed as she quickly took the other one and swung them around expertly, to get the feel. “It feels like they are extensions of myself.” She smiled cheerfully.
“Good, I’m glad you like them. Let me gather some things and then we can leave.” Michael said as he started for his room.
“Ok, hurry up old man.” Elizabeth teased.
The door opened a few moments after and a guard came in. “Could you sharpen this-“ He stopped once he saw the three of them standing there.
Before anything could be said, or he could escape, Elizabeth quickly moved into action. She swiftly brought the daggers blade across the guard’s throat and cut through his neck with little effort. “Wow these things are sharp!” Elizabeth said happily, admiring her bloody blade. She tied them securely around her waist, after cleaning the blade and sheathing it.
Michael came back out to see the dead body in his shop. “We should go, now.” He warned as he had two swords tied to his waist.
“Indeed.” Vincent agreed.
They rushed out of the black smith’s house. “We need to get out of here quickly.” Elizabeth urged as she looked back to see a group of guards walking their way.
“That’s her!” One of them hollered, spotting Elizabeth.
“Shit!” Elizabeth cursed as she quickly turned and tossed a few knives at the guards. Her aim was impeccable and they all buried themselves deeply into the targets heads.
Elizabeth turned to run and catch up with the others, but she felt someone grab a hold of her waist and whisper softly in her ear, “Hello beautiful.”
Vincent and the others turned to see Elizabeth being held tightly against a man’s body. His hair was black with red tips and his bangs covered one of his eyes, where as the other one showed a bright sea green color. “Get off me Trevor!” Elizabeth shouted as she tried to send the heel of her foot into his groin.
He blocked her leg with his own, still holding onto her waist. “That won’t work on me sweet heart.” He teased.
She growled as she tried to fight the man off of her, but he just wouldn’t let go. Vincent quickly charged in, but Trevor swiftly jumped out of the way, still keeping his hold on Elizabeth. “Let’s not be too hasty.” He teased. “You don’t want to damage this beautiful face of hers, do you?”
Vincent let out a growl as Elizabeth kicked her foot up and went to stab Trevor with the exposed knife that was hidden in between the small portion of her shoe. “How clever.” He said as he easily dodged, but it did force him to let her go.
Vincent swiftly charged the man, now that Elizabeth was free and he easily dodged the onslaught of jabs that Vincent was doing with his sword. “Too slow little brother!” Trevor exclaimed in a cheeky manner.
Elizabeth felt rage boil in her veins as Vincent’s older brother taunted him. She joined in the fray as well as she maneuvered around Vincent and grabbed her daggers from her waist, quickly sliced where Trevor was. The older brother stuck out his tongue as he easily dodged the two again. “I’m going to rip that thing out of your mouth!” Elizabeth growled out.
“Would love to see you try love.” He smirked as he easily continued to dodge their onslaught of attacks, they were quick, but he was quicker. “Well this is starting to get boring.” He sighed; catching Elizabeth’s wrist during her barrage of missed swings, and then swung her in front of him as Vincent went for a jab. He was unable to stop himself as the sword went straight into Elizabeth’s shoulder.
Elizabeth screamed out in pain as the blade buried itself into her rotator cuff, spreading the muscle and making her left arm fall limply to her side. The heat of pain that was pinpointed from the entrance wound spread and quickly engulfed her whole shoulder. Vincent’s eyes widen in shock at her sudden cry as Michael stood in a defensive position in front of Gabriel after Trevor let Elizabeth go. “Elizabeth!” Vincent shouted in disbelief as he withdrew the blade from her shoulder swiftly and tossed it to the ground.
“Well look at that little brother, you hurt her. I thought she was your child hood friend and here you go stabbing her.” Trevor taunted more as Elizabeth fell to her knees, holding her shoulder in pain as blood gushed down her right arm. She cringed in pain as she closed her left eye and gritted her teeth. She was trying to be strong and not cry, but Vincent could tell she wanted to cry if it would ease the pain she was in.
Vincent’s eyes harden and he ran at his older brother again. “I will kill you.” He growled out as he swiftly swung his blade. Making the others unable to even see his blade being swung until it had already occurred.
Trevor was standing on the blade and he crouched down, “My what a beautiful sword this is. Did your dearest give it to you as a birthday gift?” He teased as Vincent drew his sword closer to him, making his brother in range to punch. Trevor flipped off gracefully and landed a few feet ahead of him. “How about this my cute little brother. My birthday gift to you is letting you 4 leave here alive.” He shrugged, “You should really get her to a doctor though. It would break my heart if she dies because of you.” He said the last part in a sadistic tone and disappeared in a blink.
Vincent quickly turned and rushed over to Elizabeth. He tore a piece of his sleeve off so he could try to cut off the circulation. Elizabeth began to sway as her eyes closed; losing too much blood was making her feel faint. “Hang in there Elizabeth!” Vincent urged as his voice filled with worry.
Once he had tied a knot into the torn cloth, Elizabeth let go, falling into darkness and off to the side. Vincent quickly caught her before she could hit the ground and picked her up. “Let’s go!” He shouted angrily to the other two, as he didn’t wait for them to catch up. Vincent was running so fast that the trees around him were becoming a blur and the wind nipped at his face angrily, but he didn’t care. He only had Elizabeth’s safety in mind and he was going to make sure that she got some medical attention. He looked down at Elizabeth’s face as her skin was becoming even paler than what it was originally. “Please Elizabeth, don’t die!” He pleaded as he picked up his pace.
To be continued...thank you to everyone who has been keeping up on my story.