I dreamt that Rielle screamed my name.
When I awoke, Faolin was gone. I searched high and low for him and panicked that he was somewhere in the house, scaring Rielle’s parents or about to be killed for entering the building. Anxious, I dressed and breakfasted fast. I tried to look in as many of the rooms along the route to the hall where I was briefed each day on what to teach Rielle but Faolin was nowhere to be seen.
In the hall, I was shocked to see Rielle’s mother looking distraught. Panic instantly rose inside me as I imagined Faolin’s corpse lying somewhere nearby.
“What has happened?” I asked worriedly.
Rielle’s father spoke with a grave tone.
“Our daughter has disappeared. She was not in her chambers this morning and the entire house has been searched. We fear she may have been kidnapped.”
Oh no! Rielle!
I remembered random things about her - her smile, her art, her joke yesterday. I remembered the scream from the end of my dream and guilt instantly flooded over me. She had called for me and I hadn’t come! Oh, what must she think of me?
This, combined with the disappearance of my beloved Faolin, was almost enough to cause me to fall to my knees and weep. But I remained strong, not wanting to appear pathetic before my employers. Also, it felt wrong to show more emotion than them. How terrible must it be for them to not know the whereabouts of their daughter!
“We would like you to look for her,” her father continued. I admired him at that moment, for standing so tall, for keeping his expression so clear of anything except determination. He truly believed that his daughter would be found.
“Of course I will,” I told him.
Rielle’s mother smiled weakly but Rielle’s father’s face did not change.
“See that you find her,” he ordered sternly. “As of yet there are no clues as to which way she could have gone so she could be anywhere. Make sure you find her before she comes to any harm.”
I swallowed nervously. He was placing a lot of pressure on me. But I was equally keen to find Rielle. I could not bear it if harm befell her, if people were mistreating her, if wild animals were threatening to tear the life out of her with vicious claws and evil teeth. The thoughts swimming around in my mind half-incapacitated me as I became terrified but I resolved to stay strong throughout this ordeal - Rielle needed me and if I failed her, I didn’t deserve to see her lovely smile or shining eyes ever again.
“I will try my very best,” I promised.
Mr Facaute frowned slightly but nodded.
I bowed my head in respect before turning and leaving. There was no time to worry about Faolin now - though I was extremely worried. Hopefully he’d have the sense to leave the house and find a forest to live in while I was gone. How I wished his disappearance hadn’t coincided so horribly with that of Rielle.
In my room, I hurriedly packed a bag with food that was appropriate for long journeys, spare clothes in case the ones I was currently wearing became very soiled and a leather flask of water. Into my belt I tucked a long sword that my father had given to me on my twenty first birthday which I hoped I wouldn’t have to use.
I left the house and set about looking for a clue - anything that might lead me to the location of dearest Rielle.