One by one, each of them were taken capture by the gnoll soldiers when they climbed out of the hole. They faced the gnoll king whose eyes were fixed on the sword. He stepped towards Silvernist. She leaned backwards. She couldn't walk anywhere for a gnoll soldier kept her hand behind her back.
"Where did you get the sword? And what is it?" He importuned. Silvernist didn't reply. She just stared at him. Why the sword? She thought. She watched him reach for the hilt.
"NO! You can't touch it!" She exclaimed. The king touched it anyway, sliding his finger down the hilt. But then he yanked his hand away. A small cut appeared on his finger leaving blood to come out. Even a single touch and you'll get cut. He thought. His eyes lingered on the sword. I only...
"YAAA!" He turned around and saw Ark ‘al swing his sword at him in belligerence. He jumped out of the way and hurriedly withdrew his sword as well. Ark ‘al thrust swings on him until the blade finally cut his chest. The gnoll king cried out and touched his chest with his hand. Blood covered his finger.
"I will not let you continue to be king, father," Ark ‘al yelled. They gasped.
"Father?" King Timothy questioned.
"Yes, he is my father," Ark ‘al replied and pointed his sword in his father's face. "He cast me and my mother out of the fortress leaving us to suffer and starve because of his cruel heart. Then my mother died. Because of him." The gnoll King straightened up and glared at his son.
"I-I had other things more important to worry about. You and your mother just... got... in the...way." Ark ‘al angrily slashed his chest a second time. The wound was in the shape of an X upon the king's chest. More blood gushed out and the gnoll fell to his knees.
"You never cared about us," Ark ‘al spat.
"Your right, I-I never had." Ark ‘al dug his sword into his heart. Father, this is what you deserve. I never cared about you nor you I. Ark ‘al thought. After he pulled the sword from his heart he fell to the ground dead.
"Take that elf to the dungeon." The gnolls obeyed and tied Ludok's hand. Ludok's face was pale as the gnolls dragged him off to the dungeons. Silvernist glared at his back. Because, you betrayed us, this is what you deserve. She thought. She felt the ropes around her hand loosen and she was free like all the others.
"Please forgive me for the trouble my father caused you," Ark ‘al told them. He bowed. Elanor stood by his side.
"I will be king now," he said.
Ariana was lying on a cold, hard ground. She stirred.
"Where?" She whispered and opened her eyes. Millions of twinkling stars shown beautiful in the night sky. She moved her hand across the ground feeling dirt and leaves.
"Wha-?" She looked down and saw a fire. And beside her sat Phibreal. He was lost in a deep gaze for he looked distant. Ariana smiled. Phibreal. She thought happily. Hoping it wasn't a dream; she reached out her hand and softly touched Phibreal's hand. It was soft and warm. Good.
"Ariana!" Phibreal got on his knees and hung over her.
"Did you wait for me to awaken?" Ariana asked him in the sweetest voice she could make. His face turned a little red.
"Yeah, I did." She raised herself so she sat in a sitting position.
"Be careful! Your back is still injured!" Phibreal exclaimed putting one hand on her shoulder and the other against her back to support her.
"It's alright. I'll be fine," she replied.
"Here, rest against me," Phibreal said. "Just in case." Ariana blushed as she leaned against him. So comfortable and warm. She thought. Then she looked at all the sleeping figures that also lay around the fire.
"It is all over?"
"Yes, we are safe now." Ariana smiled and looked into the fire.
"I honestly don't know." He glanced at Silvernist. "I think Silvernist knows." Ariana looked at the witch. She remembered when she stayed with her to protect her.
"Thank you Phibreal for waiting for me to wake up." She felt Phibreal nod.
"Let's sleep now," he said.
"Alright. But, is it alright if I lay on your arm?"
"S-sure." Phibreal laid his arm out for her to rest her head on. Then they lay next to each other closing their eyes.
"You said that already." Ariana nudged his stomach with her elbow.
"That does not matter. I say thank you as much as I want." He chuckled.
"Right, Princess Ariana." She nodded.
"Good night," she replied.