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Scholar-Journalist

Short story: The Wilford Empire

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By Anushka Gupta

“No one expects an angel to set the world on fire!” exclaimed the man, covered in his own blood. “It’s fun to do the unexpected,” whispered Nerezza as she pierced her dagger through the man’s skin. The man gasped in agony and collapsed on his knees.

Wiping the blood off her dagger, Nerezza walked away. She paced up and down, consumed with anger and frustration, grinding her teeth and clenching her fists. Even on that misty cold night, the ancient castle of Wilford could be located from a mile away. It was a tower of rocks, with turquoise water and green land on its either side. The fragrance of sandalwood along with the sweet crispy wind flew in the corridors.

As soon as Nerezza sat in her chamber, she heard a soft hurried voice. It was Evelyene, her younger sister.

“Oh, dear Nerezza! Pray, make haste and come down, for there is such a grave matter to be discussed! I cannot tell you what it is. Come down at this moment.”

Nerezza asked questions in vain; Evelyene would tell her nothing more; and down they ran into the dining-room.

“I’m sure you know that the man was a Scottish spy,” asked King Harris Lennox.

“Certainly, father.” replied Narezza.

“I am confiding in you with a very significant matter, my dear.” added King

Harris, “I need you, your brother Adurn and the chief’s son, Idris, to go to Scotland and take back your Grandfather’s sword which was abducted by Eirian Morgan. It’s time it returned back to where it belongs.”

Eirian was Nerezza’s childhood friend. There are things about your childhood that you hold onto, and Eirian was that to Narezza. Until, they got to know that the Scottish were never really their ‘comrades.’

Adurn, Idris and Nerezza set out to sail from Wilford in France to Scotland the very next morning. Safely making their way inside the Scottish Castle, they headed straight to the chamber in which the sword was kept according to the sources, only to find out that Eirian had already been expecting them. This could only mean one thing: word had leaked in the Scots that they were here.

Taking out her sword, Nerezza dauntlessly moved forward towards Eirian and his soldiers.

“Do you trust her?” Idris enquired to Adurn while taking out his own sword.

“No… but I do trust her anger.” whispered Adurn.

The only sounds heard next were the clinging of metal, screams and grunts. Adurn got hold of the vintage sword while he fought Eirian. Passing the sword to Idris, Adurn collapsed to the floor. Eirian had stabbed him in the back.

Adurn’s hands turned red because of the blood while Nerezza’s eyes filled up with tears. Seeing Nerezza getting emotional, Idris gives her the sword while he carried Adurn’s unconscious body with him. They made a quick exit, successfully reaching the ship to head back to France.

Pulling her brother’s unconscious body close, Nerezza burst into tears. She didn’t notice her own injuries and ignored the hurt.

“Don’t- Don’t you dare leave me, Adurn” she whimpered, “Stay with me.

Please, please don’t go-”

It started to pour heavily from the night sky, thunder rumbled and the winds were harsh. The ferocious waves smacked against the side of the ship, some going higher than the ship. A few drops of water fell on Nerezza.

Idris pulled her away, trying to calm her down. “Leave me!” Nerezza gets away but she stumbled and wavered. Her vision was blurry before going black.

Next day:

The golden rays of the sun extended throughout the land, giving the world a magnificent hue. The splendour of everything that the sun’s rays touched seemed to be enhanced. Nerezza, who stood on the rocky cliff, was no exception. Through her brown hair, ran a few streaks of vibrant blonde which gleamed in the basking sunlight.

The sun is also a star, yet we admire the ones we see at night. We never know how much we need it until it’s gone. Some people are the sun, the work they do keeps our very lives intact. Adrun Lennox was that sun, she recalled.

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