The Traveler Chronicles 6

RHEA’S TALE

PART 4: THE APPLE OF RHEA’S EYE

On their way to the Royal Palace of Pharland, Prince Xerxes insisted upon making several stops which greatly annoyed an impatient Rhea who detested having to bring her charge along with her on the way to meeting her beloved Rhiannon. After a while, she understood what had necessitated what seemed to be endless detours.

The Prince had been reconstructing the engagement ring he had given the evil golem modeled from Rhea’s likeness that was sent to kill him. Rhea naturally resisted having to wear the ring and argued that she had not accepted his proposal for marriage but the Prince was only so glad to remind her that in the interest of excluding the nastier details of their true meeting from his family that already thought that Rhea was soon to become their daughter in law, it was best for Rhea to wholeheartedly embrace the place of the wicked creature that had assumed her identity…

Rhea begrudgingly agreed to wear the ring on her finger as they finally approached the Royal Palace gates. She expected that they would be turned back despite Prince Xerxes’ royal blood or at the very least, Rhea anticipated they’d have to endure vigorous searches on their person for showing up unannounced but they were both surprised to find that their visit was anticipated.

They were cleared in record time with the Royal Guard insisting Rhea surrender all weapons on her person immediately before both she and Xerxes were escorted to the magnificent Palace entrance by the guard. Once at the entrance, they were introduced to the Royal Herald that took great pains in learning their proper title before going ahead of them to the garden and with a voice far larger than his stature. The Herald’s booming voice announced, “Your Graces, it is my honor to announce the arrival of His Excellency, Prince Xerxes of Mariamne and his fiancee, Her Grace, Lady Rhea daughter of Daphne.”

Prince Xerxes bowed reverently at the same time Rhea curtsied in respect to her Royal Highness, the Queen of Pharland, Queen Erabelle Roth and her husband, the King Regnant, King Toussant. They awaited the Queen’s permission to enter the Queen’s Garden and observed all pleasantries politely.

Rhea felt embarrassed for being so inappropriately dressed and thought that she had been far too hasty to want to meet Princess Anna Roth, her daughter’s recent reincarnation without a proper plan of action in mind.

Princess Anna and her husband, Prince Lisle, walked towards them and Rhea noticed something about her daughter’s present life right then she had been unaware of. Although it was very subtle based on her impeccable movements, Rhea could tell that Princess Anna was visually impaired based on a few nuances in her movements.

“Ah, the infamous Prince Xerxes of Mariamne. Your reputation precedes you. I suppose we should be grateful that you are engaged and have therefore not come to steal away any eligible beauties from our esteemed nation,” Prince Lisle jokingly asserted to break the ice.

“I am afraid I have long abandoned that reputation. However, with that being said, it is my honor to make your acquaintance, my liege,”

“Please, please, no more formalities. Lady Rhea, you are as glowing and beautiful as ever. Thank you for gracing us with your visit. My Anna has been looking forward to your visit,”

“My liege, it is an honor to be in your presence and I am delighted to have found favor with her grace,” Rhea said with a curtsy to Princess Anna.

Princess Anna surprised them all by running into Rhea’s arms with tears of joy in her eyes. Rhea embraced her too, surprised that it had taken such a short time. Did Anna really know who she was? How could she possibly know?

“You finally came to see me, Mama,”

“You… you know of me?” Rhea asked her surprised.

Anna nodded.

“My Anna is clairvoyant- she sees details of events that shall come to pass. These past few weeks, your name has constantly appeared to her in her premonitions and today morning, she saw that your path would cross with ours,”

“Is that right, my Rhiannon? Have you truly been blessed with such potent clairvoyance?”

Anna nodded and mapped out Rhea’s face.

“You are as beautiful as ever, mother,”

“My beauty can never compare to yours. You are a beautiful soul and Gaia could not possibly deny the world the honor of your soul’s reincarnation,”

Princess Anna beamed at her confidence before inviting both she and Xerxes to have tea with her and her parents. Rhea was surprised it was so pleasant having tea with Anna and her new family and that she even mattered to them. It was clear that even Queen Erabelle acknowledged Rhea as Anna’s second mother even though they were not even vaguely related at the time.

The Royal Family got so comfortable with Rhea and Prince Xerxes, they shared intimate knowledge with them, such as the fact that Anna had not been born blind but a horrific accident had happened when she was in her teens that had culminated in losing her eyesight. Unfortunately, it was something even the rapid regenerative ability of fair-folk and even the most skilled of healers could not resolve.

Anna was not at all perturbed by her blindness. She was actually glad, by her own admission, to have gone blind for when her eyesight had faded away, the eyes of her soul had awakened. Her skill in clairvoyance had greatly improved and her gifts had brought great fortune to her family and by extension, to the people of Pharland.

The Princess was the only child of Queen Erabelle who was descended from the Roth family line that had ruled Pharland since the founding of the nation. The people of Pharland were oblivious to her blindness, with all attending healers being sworn to absolute secrecy.

However, she knew of the Entity and how it had been gaining traction; it’s wicked claws deeply embedded in almost every nation in existence. She knew the agents of the Entity were gunning for the throne and sadly knew that there were those in her court, her exclusive royal circle, that aimed to see her disgraced.

Rhea pledged her eternal support to her daughter and promised to always be there for her should Anna require it. She recounted all the events that had led to her meeting Prince Xerxes excluding the fact of the key role Xerxes would play in the evolution of dryad-folk. All present in the room that heard it were stunned.

“It makes sense then why your auras are intertwined. You share a Protector’s Bond with the Adam of your kind,” the King pronounced.

Prince Xerxes proudly gazed upon his beloved Rhea, placing his right hand on top of hers on the table. She turned to him and threw him a dirty look so quickly that if he had blinked just then, he would have missed it.

“And yet I sense that you have yet to pledge allegiance to him, Mama. Why is that? What is holding you back?” Princess Anna asked her worriedly.

Rhea sighed. “It is quite complicated for you see, I have been preparing for a bigger battle against the Entity and if I pledge my allegiance to Prince Xerxes, it shall take me away from that battle in favor of protecting him. He is a prince and as such, has many warriors assigned to protect him,”

“Be that as it may, none of those warriors are the destined Protectors of Prince Xerxes. I fear that your hesitance is related to the anxiety and worries that have always tormented your poor soul, Mama. You have have always had an aversion to emotional attachment with anyone in your life and I fear that if you do not pledge your allegiance and learn to trust your charge and your bond, you will not find the peace and happiness you have so longed for,”

Rhea was surprised her daughter was so perceptive of her but acknowledged that what she claimed had merit. Perhaps it had been due to the severe effects of the Oedipus Complex she had suffered in previous past lives that caused her to develop an avoidant attachment style even  after so many instances of reincarnation. Had she been dragging all her past trauma into the present one?

She observed Prince Xerxes smiling encouragingly at her. His hands squeezed hers gently in reassurance and in total acceptance- he let her know through so simple a gesture that he wholly accepted her as she was, avoidant attachment and all.

“You came to me immediately you learned of my reincarnation because you not only love me, Mama, but because you yearn to have unconditional love. You desire a relationship that can furnish you with all your emotional needs and yet you reject it when Gaia provides the very thing you so desire and choose to associate with women with a polarizing view of relationships with males of your kind in general or am I mistaken?”

Rhea laughed aloud at that one. “You have become exceedingly wise in your second life, my beloved Rhiannon. You are right, of course. I have pledged my allegiance to the Devas Society and aligned my thoughts and aspirations with theirs. Perhaps in my naivete, I even imagined that I was anything like them but I am not. I am just afraid of being a Protector and of having to spend an eternity with just one man even though that is what I have been craving all along- the perfect relationship. I am still a flawed being even after all this time,”

“Don’t be too hard on yourself, my love. Life has not always been kind to you,” Prince Xerxes defended her. Anna smiled brightly.

“Mama, do not deny yourself the happiness you have earned any longer. Embrace the blessing Gaia has given you. Prince Xerxes is clearly the best mate you could have asked for,”

“But is he really, my love? I think I can understand why Lady Rhea chose not to pledge her allegiance to the heartthrob Prince of Mariamne,” Prince Lisle teased.

“You’ll have to forgive my husband, Prince Xerxes, you see, he is a Pixie and must live up to their infamous appetite for mischief and tomfoolery,”

All present in the room laughed at the Prince’s expense including Rhea. Could life really be so enjoyable? It seemed like she was in a dream and she was happy, truly happy for the first time in such a long existence….

She spent more time with her daughter and her new family and was confident enough to consider pledging her allegiance to Prince Xerxes by the end of their tea party. However, even as both she and her Prince prepared to bid adieu to the Royal Family of Pharland, her daughter Anna came to her terribly distraught.

“Rhiannon, my love, what troubles you?”

“Mother, I am afraid that I have a grim premonition to give you,”

“What is it? Are you in any kind of danger?”

“I am afraid that we are all in terrible danger. Mama, I sense someone… someone very wicked from your past here in Pharland- I sense my grandmother, Rhiannon the first…”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Phew! Another suspenseful end… Can’t wait for the next part, neither can I but in the meantime, assuage your suspense by following the link to previous parts;

  1. The Traveler Chronicles 6: Rhea’s Tale Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
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