After the war of 1972, world leaders made the superior decision of splitting the surviving ten million people into six distinctly different domains - merging culture, religion as well as language in order to live in their own perspective territory. Each domain is ruled by a Prime Minister, guaranteeing that all persons be provided by whatever they need to survive.
Over the years it had remained peaceful, but five nations soon began to display their desires for more territorial claims. Only the nation of Siho remains in neutral grounds, choosing the side of peace.
To prevent another war from breaking out, Siho's Prime Minister created the National Guards Alliance, a special defense army that vows to fight for peace and order. They act as the kingdom's peacekeepers, and are made up of men not only from Siho but also those who sided with Siho's beliefs.
Anna, a Siho native, is accustomed to seeing men in uniform roaming around town since she was a child, but the presence of a new face awakens her curiosity, and ultimately, her heart. This is a love story of a young couple, in a time where war is inevitable.
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Chapter Fourteen: St. Helena (Part 2)
As Anna settled Daniel back to his bed, she couldn't help but cover her reddish face with the blanket.
She just confessed to the lieutenant, after all. She backed away to a chair across, bumping into his shoes which she removed from his feet and placed on the side of the bed. After he collapsed, she worried about how she would drag him back to the inn. Fortunately, a kind stranger approached their table and swiftly scooped Daniel off the ground and on his enormous shoulders.
The large man who offered his help to them reminded her of the Valkondh men from the camp. He was colossal in height, with bulky arms and a long, pointed ginger beard that reminded her evil magicians in fairytales. But of course, she can tell he wasn't evil.
"Where are you guys staying?" He said.
"Down at Ms. Betsy's inn," she answered.
The man nodded, and they made their way at once.
Their walk wasn't very long, and they quickly found themselves inside Daniel's room.
She thanked the man and offered him money, but he waved her hand away.
"Kindness is free," huffed the man proudly before disappearing downstairs.
When he was gone, Anna popped Daniel inside the room identical to hers. With his weight off her shoulders she removed his shoes before placing his head to the pillow. Putting the blanket over him, she decided he was set for the night.
He's going to need something for the hangover tomorrow, she thought glumly as she poked his cheek with her index finger, but it didn't take long before her own cheeks felt hot. Forget that. I just told him I love him.
She closed her eyes, and let out a big sigh. "Aspirin. He's going to need aspirin."
She shot up, and made her way out of his room. She went inside her own room and shuffled through her bag, only to drop the bag back to the ground as she realized something important had gone missing.
It was the black cylinder case, housing the very blueprint of the South Hall Penitentiary.
The map that will lead the National Guards to save her father.
Blood rose from her veins as she turned the room upside down. She checked under the bed stand, the dresser and under the table. It was only after she stood up that she noticed a piece of paper slipped into one of the books stacked ever so carefully, so much as so that it almost seemed as if nobody had touched it for years.
But someone had, and Anna noticed.
Find me where the wind blows your hair and your screams become nothing but echoes.
"The roof top," she breathed. "How cliché."
Stepping out of her room, she glanced over to the lieutenant's door.
"I won't be long," she whispered before turning around. Anna looked around the hallway to find a stairwell that would have lead her up, and it took her a second before she found a five-level wooden staircase leading to a door of what she could only assume to be the roof top.
On her way up, she realized that it probably wasn't a good idea to wear a dress when dealing with evil villains in a dark, windy place without anyone around.
Yet, Anna found herself in that predicament. And just as she had guessed, the culprit turned out to be the captivating woman she met earlier, who greeted her with a sly smile.
"You don't seem surprised," the woman said as she tucked a few pieces of her short blonde hair behind her ear. "What a shame."
"You stuck out too much, I'm afraid," said Anna as she stepped forward. "But what would a beautiful stranger want with an ordinary girl's belonging?" She extended her hand. "I'd like to have it back."
The woman, too, extended her hand, yet what she held at the tip of her fingers turned to be a loaded handgun. She directed the nozzle in Anna's direction.
"Did you really think I'd give it back so easily?" The woman shook her head. "Your ignorance irritates me, Anna. And did you just say ordinary? Don't make me laugh."
Anna put her hands back to her side, and fear started to fill her thoughts.
"Why are you doing this to me?"
The woman stepped closer until they were only a few steps apart. "Because I don't understand why he follows you around.," she said with such disdain. "With everything that happened..."
The woman's delicate face started to water. "And now, Hansel -"
"-Hansel..." uttered Anna, but her voice cut itself short when she noticed the woman touch the trigger.
"YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SAY HIS NAME," she bellowed.
"I..." Anna's attention wavered to the cylinder case the woman held in her other hand. "I'm sorry."
"Do you really care about this thing so much?" The woman lifted the case.
"I do," said Anna. "I beg you, give it back to me. I need it to save my father."
For a moment, she saw a glimmer in the woman's eyes, and for the oddest reason Anna almost thought she pitied her.
But she understood right away that such wasn't the case, after two words left the woman's lips.
Without hesitation the woman turned around and tossed the case in the air.
Anna screamed, and her vision blurred as the sight of it disappearing from the woman's fingers. Her only hope to see her father again, gone.
Anna's body quickly moved and she found herself two steps from jumping down. She leaned her body and prepared to take off, but two slender arms held her back to the ground.
"Are you crazy?!" The woman yelled as she pushed Anna back to the roof. "Are you trying to kill yourself?!" Quickly she threw the cylinder case beside Anna.
Anna immediately grabbed the case, clinging to it tightly as if it was dear life itself.
"You don't understand how important this thing is to me," said Anna.
"I know about you," said the woman. "You didn't need the map if you've seen it once."
Anna's eyes widened. She knows about me.
"...But I haven't seen it yet, "revealed Anna."I was told not to, so I haven't seen it."
The woman was left speechless in her tracks.
"I don't know who you are, or how much you know, but I beg you - do not say a word to the lieutenant. He... knows nothing."
"You crazy bitch," huffed the woman, but she placed the gun back to her waist.
"How lucky you are, for Hansel to come save you every time like a damsel in distress. But that's not what you really are, are you?"
Anna had enough. "Who do you think you are, to judge me with so much hatred? More than anything, how do you know about me?"
"You may think of yourself as someone who deserves no blame, but you know what you did," the women replied. "We all know what you did."
As she huffed those words, the woman tilted her head, nodding to someone as if someone standing far away signal that she leaves.
"How lucky you are, Anna Elixon," the woman hissed. "But don't be so comfortable. Once Hansel knows who you really are, he'll leave you."
The woman turned her back and began to walk away when Anna stepped forward.
"Who are you?"
The woman turned her head around, and her lips moved quickly, just enough for Anna to understand before Daniel opened the door to find only one person on the roof.
He ran towards her, his feet stopping just a step away from where she stood.
"You're here," she said with a smile to the breathless man in front of her. "You didn't need to come." She took one step backwards. "I was only getting some fresh air."
He looked suspiciously around him. "... Is that all?"
Anna began to walk back towards the door, when he grabbed her hand.
"Is there anything else you want to tell me?"
Anna jumped, and she shook her head. "We should go back inside. It had gotten colder."
Daniel let go of her, and he stood idly as he watched her walk away, unwilling to ask why she had the cylinder case in her grasp. He soon followed, but the small distance was enough for Anna to cover her emotions as she remembers what the woman said in a pitiful haste.
That man who follows you around... I love him.