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PostPosted: Mon Feb 7, '11, 3:27 pm
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Many years after.

A spaceship arrived at the purple moon with new visitors. The group consisted of Adan and Gwyn, sons of Nial and Laya, plus the always loyal androids Mieu and Wren. They were taken to Lune for an audience.

“I´m deeply honored by your visit, prince Adan. In the past, your valiant father defeated me and married Laya, setting our worlds at piece. But once again, evil stalks our world, Adan. I am sending Kara to accompany your group. She has my Lune slicer, I think you will need it. I´d join your group myself, but I trust my daughter and think she is best fit to help you. Please, take care of her.”

“Don't worry, honorable Lune, I'll treat your daughter as if she were my sister. We will defeat this evil force and return here eventually.”

“I trust you, Adan.”

The group stayed for some days in the purple moon to rest and prepare themselves for the most important battle in a thousand years. During the night preceding their departure, Adan was surprised by someone calling him from a room that was always locked during their stay.

“Adan! Come here, please!”

A bit surprised, Adan followed the orders and entered the room. As he entered, the door was shut behind him.

“Are you sure no one has seen you?”

“I... believe so.” Adan was still surprised. He turned his face and met a beautiful green-haired woman, holding a candle to light the room.

“Oh, Adan... you are so handsome. You have your mother's face.”

“Thanks.”

“Don't you know me? I'm Alair, Lune's sister.”

“Aunt Alair! I can't believe it!”

“Shhhh! Nobody can know you've been here, otherwise I'm screwed. Come, sit here by my side.”

Adan reluctantly sat beside Alair. Though he had heard many times about her in the past, he was used to think of her as a middle-aged woman, forgetting that the Layan women at their forties looked the same as they looked at their twenties, as his own mother. The only thing that differed in her appearance from the woman his father had known was that her eyes expressed pain and sorrow instead of hope and joy.

“We were told you were...”

“Sick. That is what my brother always tells everybody. I've never been sick.”

“So why are you kept locked here?”

“I'll explain that to you. But first of all, I've heard Kara will join you. I trust you as the son of our dear Laya and honorable king Nial. A long time ago, your father rescued me. I'm sure you can protect my niece, Kara.”

“I'll protect her as if she were my own sister.”

“I've seen through my window that you have grown quite a liking to her.”

“Well... yeah...” Adan blushed.

“Don't worry, it is fine.” Alair said so rubbing Adan's arm in a friendly way and then taking his hands on hers. “I'm glad to see her so happy with you.”

“Thanks...” Adan blushed further.

“I have called you here, Adan, to make you swear me one thing.”

“Swear?” Adan was surprised.

“Yes. Please, swear to me that, no matter what happens between you and Kara, always treat her like a woman, like a lady, with respect.”

“Oh, you shall not worry about that...”

“Please, swear that to me.” Alair eyes shone with the expectation.

“I swear... aunt Alair... I'll always treat her as my sister...”

“Thanks...” Alair released a sigh of relief. “Thanks, Adan.” Alair wiped a tear which was rolling down her cheek.

“Aunt Alair...”

“Listen, Adan, it is very important for me, as I consider Kara as my own daughter. You know, my brother Lune, he is not a bad man, but he is handing you Kara as spoils of the war.”

“What? I can't understand that.”

“You know your father defeated my brother a long time ago. My brother consider your people as our conquerors and considers his own daughter as your right, as son of the conqueror.”

“Really? You are scaring me, aunt Alair.”

“Look, Adan, have you heard about Maia?”

“Wasn't her my grandpa's ex-fiancée?”

“Yes, she was Rhys ex-fiancée. Do you know what happened to her?”

“No. Sometimes grandpa and grandma talk about her, but it looks like they have never had news from her after they've got married. They still refer to her in Landen as the most beautiful flower of the world.

“That is the way they called her back then in Layan lands. If I tell you what happened to her, do you promise to never, ever mention that to your grandpa.”

“Oh, aunt Alair, you are scaring me.” Adan was very shocked by Alair's behavior.

“Promise me.”

“I promise...”

“When your grandfather defeated king Cille in battle, he had to concede victory, but he still hated Orakians. He didn't offer Maia to Rhys because she loved your grandfather or because she was his fiancée, but because he considered her spoils of war. In his mind, your grandfather, as the conqueror, had the right to take everything, including his daughter.”

“That is terrible!”

“There is something worse than being offered as spoils of war. It is to be rejected as spoils of war. It is the greatest shame a Layan woman can endure.”

“My grandpa told me he thought she had married that cousin who helped him back them.”

“Lyle? Oh, no man would touch a rejected woman.”

“Wasn't she Cille's heiress?”

“It doesn't matter, no Layan man would ever shame himself by having anything to do with a rejected spoil of war. The day your grandparents left was the last time princess Maia has seen the sunlight.”

“What?” Adan was very shocked.

“Shhh! If they discover you here, it will be me who will never see the sunlight anymore!”

“Sorry, aunt...”

“She was locked in the castle dungeon because she was a source of shame for her father. Poor Maia, she became crippled with sickness, she had rotten alive in that dungeon... she didn't live to her eighteenth birthday...”

“I can't believe that!”

“They say she moaned every day, all day long, in pain, but her father never cared about her. She was locked in a cell with no windows, only a small gate to pass the food through. After many months of suffering, the guards noticed that she had not moaned anymore, neither had she touched the food for five days, so they decided to open the cell gates to see if she was dead.”

“Poor Maia...”

“They say when they opened the cell gate, they have seen Maia's body rotting, inside a large pool formed by the blood she has been throwing up for weeks. Yet, she was still alive. They say one of the guards immediately hanged himself and the other fled the castle, saying he had just seen the image of the hell. No one had courage to return to the cell, so king Cille went there himself, torched the cell and locked the gates again.”

“How can a man do that to his own daughter?”

“It is not over yet. They say the fire was extinguished by itself after some hours and the king ordered guards to return to the cell and seal it. Then, the guards started hearing low wails of pain inside the cell. The king, desperate, ordered the cell to be filled with molten iron. No one wanted to do the evil work, so he ordered workers to come with him and he himself filled it with molten iron to bury Maia for once and for all. They say they could still hear her moaning for a long time. There is even a legend among Layan folk who says she is still alive and that you can still her her moans.”

“That cannot be true! I've never heard such a thing in my life.”

“But, apart from her still being alive, that was true! They did it because she was a rejected spoil of war. She was considered the lowest thing, the devil herself.”

“But she didn't do anything...”

“That is how the Layan consider their women. Of course king Cille was mad, but every women rejected by a conqueror has to face humiliation and suffering for the rest of her life.”

“But mother is a Layan! That can't be true!”

“Holy Laya would never approve it, but I don't know why Layans ended up acting like that.”

“I'll never treat a woman like that. Grandpa must never learn about that, he would commit suicide himself!” Adan was deeply disturbed by the story. “Just because the conqueror rejected the woman... Alair!”

“Huh?”

“My father... turned... you... down...”

“Yes.”

“So that means...”

“Yes.” Alair looked strangely resigned and calm.

“Oh, no!”

“Why do you think Lune told you I was sick?”

“That can't be true...”

“It is. That is why I've never paid a visit to you. Lune wouldn't let me out of the castle and would always tell you I was very sick to travel.”

“I can't believe that, all those years we always believed you were facing health problems.”

“When you father turned me down, I was imprisoned in this castle. Not like poor Maia, but he has never let me out again. Since that day, I've never talked to anyone besides him and the castle servants, you are the first, Adan.”

“No, Alair...”

“I used to be treated very badly, as an object. Then Lune married. Kara's mother died when she was still a baby. Lune told me to help him to raise little Kara and that gave my life a new meaning.”

“That is so sad, Alair. I don't know what to say.”

“I've done my best to teach Kara to be a great woman. The woman I wanted to be, if I could.”

“You have done a pretty good job.”

“Thanks, Adan. That is why I beg you to not let it happen with Kara.”

“Don't worry. I'll treat her as I treat my sister Gwyn. And I'll do something about your situation, I swear you, aunt Alair.”

“Adan...”

“I'll ask my mom to press your brother to stop this madness.”

“Please, don't...”

“When I vanquish the ultimate evil, I'll return to free you. You are such a good woman, you don't deserve to waste your life here.”

“No, Adan...”

“You are still pretty. Any Orakian would want to marry a woman like you... even me...”

“No, Adan...”

“I'd marry you if that would set you free.”

“No, Adan, please, don't.” Alair stood up and opened the door. “You have already given me what I wanted from you. I'm sure you will treat my dear Kara as she deserves to be treated. Farewell, Adan.”

“Aunt Alair...”

“Farewell, Adan. Thanks.”

Adan reluctantly stood up and exited the room. The door was closed immediately after he left. He waited for some time, but the door never opened again. He was feeling vert bad to learn the truth about Alair and other Layan woman, a mix of anger and sadness. He also had a strong resolution in his mind: to treat the charming princess Kara the best way he could.

Inside the room, Alair let the tears flow freely from her eyes. “Laya, holy Laya! I think I've made it. I'll be the last living spoil of war. I hope people of the future will eventually forget such a thing existed in the past. Thanks, Laya, thanks.”
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