I knew it had not when they began stumbling around, rubbing their eyes. My poison had taken on the effect of their own poison, striking them blind. I left their angry shouts behind me, hurling poison at more of them until I broke through to the familiar-colored light and saw the princess.
They must have kidnapped her to get the king and queen to liberate them, I thought, growing furious.
"You ungrateful children!" I yelled. They all fell silent in shock, turning to look at me. I scanned their hands, watching for any signs of aggression. "You wouldn't even exist without the Tribe of Mystic Fire Topaz! And you think you deserve liberation? How could any Tribe that resorts to such cheap and dishonorable ways of getting what it wants hope to be able to manage itself?"
"We wouldn't exist without you?" A woman stepped menacingly toward me, fingertips dripping gold. "You think that just because you stumbled upon a Love Jewel that we owe our existence to your Tribe? You didn't create the Love Jewel; you simply happened to find it and figure out how to use it."
"The first Love Jewel was made of mystic fire topaz," I said. "Don't you think that's a sign it was meant for us?"
"And where has it been for the last nine centuries then?" the woman shot back. "Don't you think that's a sign your tyrannical reign is over?"
The Citrinites began to mumble to one another, the sound crescendoing into a dull roar.
"I have it!" I shouted back over the cacophony.
"Really?" asked the woman skeptically, as the crowd hushed, folding her arms and stepping even closer to me. "Then why don't you just show it to me?"
I pulled the necklace out of my robe, the heart-shaped pendant glistening in the feverish yellow light. A collective gasp rose up from the hoard of Citrinites; I grabbed Lafrindyx's hand and we took off into the night...