As the Princess was approaching her private room, she heard a strikingly sinister noise coming from her left.
That noise did not seized her aback, but who or what could have been wandering around the castle in the middle of the night?
She definitely had the check out what was going on, and, as she stepped into that room, she noticed a penumbral figure holding a knife she knew well enough to recognize it from its silhouette.
«What …» she said convinced it was one more attempt at murdering her. However, the one holding it was one of the young adventurers she was hosting, who pointed the blade towards her left arm.
«That is my punishment,» whispered the young woman, trembling, with a heartbroken voice tone.
Having approached her, the princess noticed that she did not resemble the sweet and kind wanderer she had met, but a sleepless demon whose face was staring at the abyss.
«For they are dead, and I am not» said again, as she put the knife closer and closer.
The Princess, however, reached her arm just in time to take it away before she could have done something terrible. The woman did not realize it was Her Grace herself, and felt scared to hear her loud voice shouting: «Stop!»
That knife was warm and sweaty, and she did not felt great while holding it, but she was more focused on her trembling guest.
«How did you get it?» asked with an irritated voice tone. The young woman sat closer to the wall, still confused.
Thus, she repeated her question, with a much louder voice. «HOW DID YOU GET IT?»
After swallowing, the woman started kneeling down to the ground, afraid of even looking at her. «I found it laying on the ground, and I just considered taking it.»
The Princess looked at it. One of her most precious weapons, who were rarely left outside of her private room and it was just there, on the ground, waiting for something bad to happen. She could not figure out what to say or think.
«I am so focused on what’s going on that I let something like this happen …» uttered as she turned the knife upside down, to hold it by the blade. It took a few seconds before blood started coming out of her hand. The young woman was shocked, but Her Grace was not.
«Princess, why are you letting yourself bleed?» asked, still trembling, but now standing in front of her. They were almost the same height, and so they looked at each other in the eyes.
«You have no idea how much of my own blood has been spilled by this knife!»
She was now remembering all the times others found her in the same position as the young woman was earlier, doing the very same gestures.
She recognized immediately that moment. Darkness, tears, negative thoughts, pain, agony. It was almost as she was looking into a mirror that, for some reason, was depicting her as an elegant Japanese princess.
«How is that possible?» she asked. «You have done so much, and everybody loves you. How can you hate yourself to the point of injuring you?»
The Princess looked up, grinning to the golden painting on the ceiling. It was too dark, but she was sure that wolf was judging her, as she has always done.
She saw herself as well in that stranded young woman whose soul was fighting too many inner demons.
«I heard you saying for they are dead, and I am not»
Those words were still echoing inside of her, who wanted so desperately to say she was used to say so. Yet, every time, that torture still hurts, a warning to never forget.
«I want you to understand I know what it feels like»
The Princess approached her other arm towards her, gently hugging her delicate body and making sure she was breathing cautiously.
Shortly after that, the two women were in another place, sitting down, talking about their demons. The young woman was remembering that night. As usually, a part of her would have preferred not to think about it, but she always awarded the one that was telling her it was the right thing to do.
«Everything I knew, the streets I called home, those who saw me growing up … everything disappeared in the blink of an eye, replaced by flares, death and devastation»
The Princess looked at her face, perceiving every single feeling. Those were terrible memories, but she found it fascinating that she was seeing a part of herself.
«I could tell you about what happened to me with those very words,» she said, looking at the fire emitted by the torches placed across the room. «Our eyes have seen more that they should have had»
The young woman closed her eyes, concentrating to her breathing. Those flames surrounding her were not trying to harm her, but to make her feel warmer in that cold night.
The Princess was smiling again. «Knowing that this group of foreign adventurers includes a girl that shared terrible memories with me helps me comprehending we truly are in the same side»
A deep friendship was about to be born, but the young woman was surprised by the motivations. «Are we actually bonding over our tragedies?»
As the Princess nodded, she laughed. A strange reaction, but she had a good reason. «My big sister has always told me about this place, and she was sure I would have become
friends with its Princess» she said, almost hearing her saying “I told you so” with a smile on her face.
«I wonder what her face will be when I’ll get home to tell her about it» That sentence astounded her. «So you are sure you will get home»
As her eyes were getting wetter, she looked up, still smiling at the irony of what she is about to say. «This is the relatively good side of my mind: I know will only die when fate will decide I’ll deserve to»
Then, she pointed out the knife, put on the ground right beside the Princess. «And, considering you stopped me from doing something bad with it, I don’t think that moment is close»
The Princess took it from the ground, and, as she was standing up, she said: «come with me in my private room»
The young woman widened her eyes. «What?»
«You need some rest, and our guest rooms are quite far from here»
The young woman swallowed. «Do you really want me to sleep in your room?»
The Princess was looking at the cut she made as she held the knife. «Every morning, right before dawn, I sit on the ground and meditate, so it’s not like I would have used my bed anyway»
The young woman didn’t need to be told so twice, and she followed the princess, hoping that such a rare occasion would have given her some temporary harmony.
An Italian university student who loves learning and creating, because every moment is worth imagining for.