calm sea during golden hour



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1/28/20243 min read

She couldn’t recall when she had ran up the stairs and into the Royal Quarters, but she knew she had priorities now. Not just her life on this. Maybe a lot of them.

She didn’t bother knocking on the door, she pushed open Evelyn’s door and slowly came to stand beside the bed, watching Evelyn’s closed eyes and slow breathing for a while before she decided to interrupt her peaceful sleep and call her into the waking world of doom.

Was she being too dramatic?

Probably, yes.

Were they going to die?

Also probably yes.

50/50, she thought, regretting waking Evelyn as soon as the girl opened her eyes and frowned.

“V-Vienna?” she yawned, covering her mouth with a hand as she rubbed her eyes with another.

Vienna resisted the urge to “spill the tea”.

Wake up, girlie, your brother’s betrayed your sister, and slay! We’re all going to die. Isn’t that fabulous?

“We’re in danger. The Sol Dynastia’s invading us.” Vienna said matter-of factly. “Go get dressed, hun.”

Evelyn’s eyes widened. “….What?”

“The Lunae Regnum’s invading us.” Vienna repeated.

“No, you called me…hun?” Evelyn asked, raising her eyebrows as she got out of bed and headed for her dressing room.

“Oh, that was sarcasm.” Vienna replied, awkwardly fidgeting with the edge of her parka, perplexed with how Evelyn seemed. “Yeah, um, we’d better go down to the Excogitation Room. I’ll get Lyss.”

That was when Vienna remembered a snippet of conversation she’d heard between Elliot and Evelyn weeks ago.

Lyss is already on side but cannot be trusted since she is immature.

…Wasn’t Lyss on Elliot’s side?

“Hey, Lynn?” she called, taking a step forward. “Isn’t Lyss supporting Elliot?”

Evelyn came out of the closet, tearing on an anorak.

“Depends on who you ask.” Evelyn said, her tone subdued.

“I’m asking you right now.” Vienna replied, raising her eyebrows.

“Oh, Vienna...” Evelyn murmured, immediately busying herself in stuffing all of her sketchbooks into a sapphire-embezzled backpack. “She’s just a kid. She’s misunderstood herself…”

“Haven’t we all?” Vienna took a step in front of Evelyn, her head tilted. “We can convince her to be on our…the right side! Can’t we?”

“Vienna, it’s too late for that! Can’t you understand?” Evelyn looked up, her eyes almost glaring. The effect of those heretochromic eyes were far more deadly than Elliot’s grey, Elswyth’s pale blue, or Dimitri and Lyss’s green-gold. “We have to pack if we don’t want to die! Elliot and Lyss’ll be just fine. Believe me, I know how the average invasion goes, we’ve had one or two over the years. We evacuate, Acacius and the soliders get rid of the threat and we’re completely unharmed. We’ve done drills like a thousand times on this. Stick with me, you’ll be fine!”

“Yes, but this time, it isn’t just another invasion, it’s your brother who’s behind it!” Vienna insisted, taking a step back, her voice still firm. The point seemed to drive home, Evelyn’s face paling as she turned the inhaler over in her hands. “You have to be here, not in the past. That’s Elliot’s trick, not yours. I know you. You’re my friend, and you wouldn’t leave me alone, would you?”

“I can’t, you mean too much to me. Let’s get out of here, Vienna.” Evelyn said, her eyes on the petunia on her desk as she seemed to make up her mind, gently lowering the marble petunia into her backpack. Vienna eyed it with slight amusement, Evelyn had filled it with only her sketchbooks and that one marble petunia. Apparently materialism meant nothing to the girl.

“Now, we’re going to get Lysistrata, and go down to the main hall and out into the grounds.” Evelyn said calmly, even as Vienna shifted from foot to foot.

Was it really going to be that simple? And were they going to leave Elliot alone?

Vienna nodded, and then turned on her heel and started out the door.

“Where are you going, Vienna?” Evelyn called out, her tone startled. Vienna heard her footsteps approaching and fastened her pace, quickly running down the hallways, running faster than Evelyn could with her feeble health. It wasn’t for any old reason that Vienna’d won the Sports Day at her school 5 years in a row. She’d kept winning even after her friends threatened to break their friendship just because this new girl kept bagging the first medal every year.

Why? Because it was iconic.

She turned, stopped (the abrupt momentum almost bringing her to her knees) and knocked at the sparkly pink door she knew was Lysistrata’s. It was the only door on the sixth floor which wasn’t an uniform dark oak, and besides, it had her name on the top. No crown, just a toy blue badge tacked below the pretty cursive letters.

Once, twice, thrice. No response from her. Vienna finally gave in and pounded on the door, as hard as she could. Still no response.

She took a deep breath.

Calm…you’ve been wanting to do this your whole life, haven’t you?

She looked down the hallway once, relieved to see no princess with bronde money-piece hair and a killer wardrobe huffing down it. Then she raised her leg and kicked the door as hard as she could.

Shit. Shit. Blinding pain.