Ileus: The Dark Prince Chapter 68
Anastasia noticed that Kaizan was mixing medicines for all of them while they all sat down on tree stumps or the ground, stretched and groaning or passing remarks as to who was injured more. She shook her head and walked to Kaizan.
"I told you not to leave Ileus," he said with narrow eyes.
She exhaled. "If I stay with him, I will only grow more anxious. I need to divert my attention."
He glared at her, but then gave in. "Okay, ground these herbs to a paste, while I go and get water from the waterfall."
"Do you want me to come with you?"
"No!" he said sharply. "You are going to stay right here."
She jerked her head back and drew her brows together. "Why are you so jumpy?"
Kaizan grunted and left. He took a horse and what would have been just a five-minute walk was being covered on a horse. She was surprised but then she thought that perhaps he was in a hurry. She looked at him going through the field of wildflowers, collecting some more herbs, then turning to the falls to fill canteens with water. He came back while she was still helping others with medicines and bandages. As soon as he was back, she presented him with her work.
"Give it away to all of them," he said. His eyes were red and he was sweating.
"Are you okay?" she asked. "Do you have a fever?" Why was he shuddering?
"I am fine!" he snapped through gritted teeth and walked away from her.
One by one, all of them applied the medicine and went to their tents to rest, other than Aidan and Carrick.
Anastasia chose to stay out with them. The field of red blooms in front of her was too enticing. She wanted to explore it. Since Kaizan had cautioned her not to go anywhere, she just stood at the edge of the thicket of trees and watched the beautiful expanse in front of her. The blooms were swaying in the soft breeze. They were all over the field, which dipped down to a small valley and over to the rolling hills. How could a place be so mesmerizing? She filled her lungs with the aroma. The scent was heady. Ileus's lips flashed across her mind. "Help me isin!" she rasped.
She stood there for some time and when she was absolutely tired, she went back to the tent. Ileus was still sleeping, so she took out her boots, carefully hid her dagger under the fur and snuggled into him. "Wake up" she murmured against him and soon drifted off to sleep holding his hand. His big hand instinctively curled around her small ones.
Anastasia woke up to a loud noise of a thud, as if someone had been thrown to the ground. Panicky that the rogues have found them again, she jerked up to a sitting position. Her heart was beating like a wild animal. She noticed that Kaizan was sleeping next to Ileus and she didn't want to disturb him.
Slowly, she took the dagger out and crawled out of the tent. She peeked out and found that Aidan was holding Darla from the back. She was snarling ferociously. Her lips were pulled back and fangs had lengthened. Carrick was getting up from the ground near a tree opposite to her.
"Darla, calm down," said Aidan. "He is sleeping and you can't go to him."
Anastasia's hair rose on her skin. Was Darla trying to go to Ileus? Or was anyone else other than him sleeping in the tent? But why was she looking so dangerous? She had never seen Darla in such a mood throughout the journey.
Darla elbowed Aidan in his ribcage. He left her and doubled up, holding the point of impact with pain surging through him. "Darla!" he shouted. Carrick rushed to her again but she dodged him and turned to go towards Anastasia's tent with a dangerous growl. Anastasia's eyes became wide and her mind went numb. Was Darla trying to attack her? Or was she trying to attack Ileus?
Carrick caught her from the back and pinned her to the ground, but the Lykae girl was too strong. She managed to escape from his grasp and once again tried to go to the tent.
"Stop it Darla!" Aidan grunted. He held her from behind, locked her arms in his grasp and pulled her off the ground. "That's it! You are going with me!" He carried her away from there as she kicked him and snapped at his face with her jaw. Carrick followed them.
Anastasia noticed that they had carried Darla towards the waterfall. She hopped down on the ground and peeped in the tent down to find that Zlu and Tadgh were sleeping inside with no care of the world. Quietly, she leaned against a tree to watch the three of them, intrigued as hell. As soon as they reached the pool, Aidan tried to toss her in the water, but she freed herself with a roar and ran towards the wildflowers field.
"Stop her!" Aidan shouted. The two started running after her.
In order to help them, Anastasia joined them. The sweet aroma of the blooms hit her nose.
"Don't come here!" Aidan yelled at her. "Go back!"
"What? No!" Anastasia said as she continued to run. She was near Carrick, when he also discouraged her.
"Go back Anastasia. This is not a nice place!"
Anastasia couldn't imagine that a place as beautiful as this could be dangerous. "Are there wild animals here?" She scanned the area around. There were none. As she ran, she became short of breath.
"No! It is much worse. Go back!"
A bellow stopped her in the tracks. About twenty meters away, she saw Darla sitting amongst the red blooms with Aidan standing right next to her. She had thrown her head back and was bellowing. It was a painful cry.
Carrick ran past Anastasia saying, "Go back Anastasia. Please!"
"Is she in pain?" Anastasia asked as she now walked towards her with caution.