Apsara stared in horror as she watched the scene before her. She turned to look at Darik unsure how to feel towards him. Finally she couldn't stand it any longer. Apsara spun around and started out of the room. She felt someone grab her arm.
"Let go of me Darik!" she exclaimed, glaring at the man. She yanked her arm out of his grip. He stumbled after her.
"Aseria, please listen to me!" He called. Apsara turned back to him. He didn't look like a bad man. His eyes showed his apologies and she knew he hadn't want to hurt them but her mind wasn't responding to this. She hadn't even noticed him say her name wrong.
"Those are my friends out there!" She said pointing to the door. "Don't expect me to sit around here and do nothing. I'm going now." she stabbed a finger in her chest before rushing out to search for her best friend.
She burst through the door just as a solider lit the building next door on fire. Running as fast as she could with her leg, she dashed toward Dao's house. Apsara found it just as it started to go up in flames. Without thinking, she began to run into the house. Before she reached the door, however, someone tackled her. She screamed and tried to get who ever it was off of her.
"Apsara, please -" the voice was cut off as her fist made contact with her attacker's face. She knew that voice. She stopped struggling and gave the figure a hug.
"Dao! I thought you were dead!" she said as tears began to appear in her eyes. She smiled as she stared at the familiar mop of black hair. Dao had been apart of the group that had found Apsara in the woods. He'd then offered to help Umiah take care of her while she recovered. With all the time they'd spent together they'd become fast friends.
"I got out just before they lit the fire. I saw you running and called your name but you didn't respond so I didn't have any other choice but to tackle you. I hope I didn't hurt you." He said a bit sheepishly. Apsara smiled and was about to respond before five soldiers approached them. Dao helped Apsara to her feet and placed a protective arm around her shoulder.
"Have you seen this man?" one of them demanded while another held up a painting. Dao shook his head but Apsara was too slow to stop the gasp that escaped her mouth. It was a faded painting but the face was very distinct. It was a painting of Darik. The soldiers noticed her reaction and one took a step toward her.
"Where is he?" he demanded stopping in front of her. Panic flew through her body.
"Why do you want to know?" she asked softly. Dao tensed up, watching the soldier carefully. "Who is he?"
"This, my dear, is none other than the traitorous Prince Ekavir." Apsara felt her eyes grow wide at this. Darik was a prince?