Previously: After Cowan hurt Evrial both mentally and physically, she decides to ignore his warning. Going to King Isaac, she starts to wonder if confessing her true nature is such a good idea.
"Continue, Evrial." His simple order and use of her name made her nervous. A sudden feeling of cowardice threatened to lie but she pressed on.
"Your Majesty, this is a difficult thing for me to say. To confess really. I know what killed Rachel... I-I know because I am a creature of shapes," she paused, awaiting his wrath but when silence met her, she continued, "my shape is that of a Vorg, hence the reason I know what killed her. You may not believe me your Majesty, but I assure you it was a Crassus who took her life.” She knelt on the cold ground and waited for his reply. The silence in the room was unsettling and she could no longer take it. She glanced up to his face. To her surprise and relief, he was smiling down on her, "You are not angry?"
He chuckled as he walked around his cluttered desk and stood before her, making her stand with him, "Evrial, I have known for years of your hidden…well, hidden character. I know that you have two shapes which is a rare quality indeed. I know basically everything about you." His words startled her. He knew? Once again, she was hit with so many emotions. Her world was being flipped around on her and she hadn’t even had time to blink an eye. So many questions…but only one wouldn’t leave her.
"Sir, may I ask how you know of this and why I have not been hanged...if I am not mistaken, I believe that you hate everything to do with any form of magic.” She restrained herself from smacking her own face. Hanging? I brought up hanging…to the one man who hates me for who I am.. Way to go there Evrial! He chuckled again, making her feel very uneasy. He was taking this too lightly. This was the calm before the storm, she knew. He was merely toying with her. Although, how would he know about my second shape? She only mentioned one.
"Let me explain from the beginning, but before I start, I just want to say that I admire your courage in admitting this to me."
He smiled encouragingly and motioned to the chairs on the other side of the room. When they were both seated, he started, "When you were just a babe, your kin, who have named themselves Haines, had a falling out with my kingdom. I was going to banish them from Calderon and slaughter those who refused to leave but instead, they made a proposal. They offered me peace, they offered me their most cherished member in exchange for their quiet stay in the furthest part of my kingdom. I was reluctant to accept but Queen Pauline, my first wife, urged me to accept. She hated bloodshed and wished to resolve it once and for all," he drifted off and Evrial could tell he was remembering his time with his deceased wife, "Well, I accepted and they gave me you. A babe? Not at all what I expected. I thought I was going to get a brute, a man of shear force and power. I did not understand how you, a little child, could be their most valued member. I thought… I thought they were trying to cheat me of my end of the deal and in retaliation, I killed the two Hainian deliverers and sent their heads back to your kin. I am ashamed now but I went on with my plans. I banished them to Lithian and slaughtered any that remained." He lowered his head and shook it ruefully, "I was going to kill you too, but thankfully, my better half stopped me from making such a cruel act towards a helpless child. I had other reasons to want you dead but she stopped me. It was not until a few years later that I realized your significance. Your guardians –who you have known to be your foster parents– whom I sent you to after, came to me and explained how you would be a Vorg one minute, a hawk the next and yourself the next. When they became too old to care for you properly just ten years ago, they brought you here, where I made Mr. Cander care for you. You grew up as a servant and to answer the question I see forming, that is what you shall remain until further notice."
Evrial was speechless. King Isaac knew about her the whole time and never did a thing about it. She was one of the most prized members of her kin? What kin? She was led to believe that there wasn't anyone else with the abilities she possessed. She was led to believe that she was human with special qualities. How could all this come to pass without her knowing something was going on? So many questions flew through her head but once again, only one pushed itself to her most prominent thoughts.
"I know that Mother and Father weren’t my blood parents but I was told I was an orphan. Are my parents alive then?"
"I don't know. They were not the deliverers, I do know that but where they are, their wellbeing and who they are escape my knowledge. Evrial, just know that I am very relieved and very happy that you now know of your past. Believe it or not, it was hard for me at times to have you serve me my porridge in the morning or to have you pour my coffee. There were so many times I wanted you to know, for I knew that you could help me with something, but I couldn't. I am glad that you came to me with this,” he stopped and looked at her, truly looking at her, taking in every detail as if it would be the last time he saw her, "I must let you go. You need to rest and think of everything we have discussed. We will talk again soon, when you have this all sorted out with yourself."
She took her dismissal and walked slowly back to her room, still in a daze. He had spoken to her so softly it was as if it was all a dream. She almost wished it was a dream. Everything she had known, or at least thought she had known, was a lie. Mr. Cander worked for King Isaac? Was his love and affection part of an act? No…much had changed but that? That she knew was not a lie. He was the one thing in her life right now that she knew was right. She knew she could rely on him.
Even Cowan, who she was so sure of just that morning, was not someone she felt she could be with. His words stung and she didn’t appreciate the bruise beginning to form on her arm. He threw her against that wall none too gently. Thinking back, she couldn’t believe how he had treated her. Words she could take. Hurting her physically…that was an entirely different matter. That was no way for a gentleman to act and she should have told him so. She was going to talk to him and let him know what she thought when he “found time” for her. One thing she knew for sure was that this wasn’t how their relationship would progress. He would either smarten up and come to terms with who she really was or she would leave. As much as it would pain her to do so.
She opened the door to her room and laid down on her bed. She cuddled up in the blankets and thought about everything. Rachel’s death, her future discussion with Cowan and everything she just learned from the most powerful man in all of Calderon.