The Dark Prince
Chapter 11 - Have You Tried To Find Out?
The Dark Prince
Author :MishaK
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Chapter 11 - Have You Tried To Find Out?

Acutely aware of the fact that she was resting on his chest, Anastasia shot up straight. 34;I I am sorry, 34; she murmured an apology. She wondered how long she had slept with him cradling her in his arms. It was his warmth that was so soothing to her that she had fallen into a deep sleep.
34;We will be stopping here for the rest of the night, 34; Ileus too a deep breath before replying and got down from the horse.
Sitting on the horse, she surveyed the forest around her. Not much was visible except the hazy outlines of the trees covered with crystals of ice, shining dimly in the moonlight. They had stopped in a clearinga gravelly patch of ground that was encircled with trees and bushes. The soldiers dismounted their horses and tied them to the bare trunks nearby. Holding her by the waist, Ileus helped Anastasia to the ground. As she exhaled raggedly, she found her breath turning into mist. She could hear water flowing in a nearby brook and wild animals howling in the distance... perhaps coyotes?
Soon a fire was built from the twigs, branches and logs that they could gather from across the floor of the forest and from what they had carried with them. Feeling extremely tired after riding nonstop for so long, Anastasia stretched and stifled a yawn with her hands. 34;I feel so smothered with this fog around, 34; she said lazily and walked to where they were all taking the equipment out to settle down for the night. Her eyelids were heavy and sagged on a stump nearby.
As she helped them with the furs and rolls, she saw Ileus and their gazes locked for a moment. The gold of his eyes was unnerving. Her cheeks heated again. She lowered her eyes and bit her lips. When she was done laying out her roll, she saw that the mist had cleared a little and she stared hard into the darkness of the forest.
They all lay their furs close to the fire. Nyles walked idly to her. She gave her the green pill and said, 34;Have this m 39;lady. You haven 39;t had yours for the day. 34;
34;Thank you Nyles, 34; she replied to her exhausted, yet chirpy companion with an affectionate smile. Nyles was almost swaying from side to side. The poor girl had never been tortured to this level. She was so used to the palace comforts. 34;These pills are made in the palace Nyles. Do you even know the ingredients that are used in making them? How will you procure those ingredients once we run out of them? 34;
Her clothes were all crumpled and she slouched a little. 34;M 39;lady, I do know the herbs that are required to make the medicine, but I have to ask these men to stop somewhere for me to hunt for them. 34; She rolled her eyes. 34;The way we are moving, it 39;s as if we will never stop! Frankly, I am too tired of them and their antics. 34;
Anastasia ate the pill and gulped it down her throat. It was so bitter that usually she used to have a lot of water after having it, but now she didn 39;t fuss. She mused after gulping it down, 34;I feel fine these days. I don 39;t think I need to have more of these pills. 34;
Nyles 39; eyes became wide as a saucer. 34;M 39;lady don 39;t even say that. We have had this conversation so many times. This medicine is necessary for you. Don 39;t you know your heart condition? Don 39;t you remember how depressed you get and your heartbeat increases if you don 39;t take the medicine. This is to give you relief from all the anxiety your little, fragile delicate heart feels. I have pestered the healer at the palace to make the best ones for you. 34; Her hand went to her heart. 34;I know what all you have endured in the palace and it hurts me so much. 34;

34;Are you asleep? 34; she whispered.
34;No, 34; he replied in a very low voice.
She smiled and a thousand questions came to her mind. 34;Do you think the bandits of the Dark Prince roam in these forests? 34;
Ileus turned his massive body to face her. The light from the fire reflected on her golden hair and she looked ethereal. 34;What do you think the Dark Prince is? Why would he roam around these forests? Do you think he has that kind of time? 34;
She shrugged. 34;Well, we need to be careful. 34;
34;I highly doubt you should fear him. 34;
34;Why? 34; She asked with wide eyes.
34;You should be afraid of your cousin and his mad sister. 34;
Anastasia stared in the darkness beyond him. He was right. She nibbled at her lower lip. 34;You know back at Vilinski, everyone could use their inherent magic, but I could never do it. Even though I am a princess and they say that I should have the strongest magic, I could never use it. I think I think, my powers are too weak. 34; She didn 39;t know why she was even confiding in him. This was the longest conversation she had had with him.
His hand came to her cheek and he brushed it with his knuckles. Anastasia stiffened. This act of warmth was so foreign to her from him, from anyone... 34;Have you ever tried to find out why? 34;
She shook her head as a heat crept over her skin again. 34;There 39;s nothing to find out. It 39;s just me, 34; she croaked.
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