Las Víboras Part 5
She awoke from her sleep with a fierce headache. She couldn’t understand why it was so dark in her chambers and why she felt as if she had been run over by a wagon. Her body ached from toe to crown. Her eyelids felt heavy and her fingers numb. It felt as if her entire body had been sleeping and wasn’t ready to wake up yet, too tired to wake up.
She tried to sit up in her bed, but fell over the edge and hit the rocky floor. The stone was cold underneath her hands; she could even feel the stony touch and the coldness through her dress.
The world was swimming in front of her eyes, not that she could see much of it. She couldn’t see the walls of the room she was in, but when she lifted her head she saw the swimming outline of a door.
She suddenly remembered about a man with raven locks, blue eyes, and a taunting smile. She remembered that he had called himself Count Fidel Guillermo Hasta del Fizanto. It was the blue of his eyes that forced her to believe him.
During all those times spent together, the fake count had fooled with her. Or perhaps he was just a lying count. It was uncertain whether he had just been telling some lies, or whether he really was a count. At this moment, though, it didn’t matter.
All that mattered was finding Giuliana and a way out of wherever they were.
She rose to her feet, but the world turned and her ears dived underwater. She fell to the ground again, and stood on hands and knees, waiting for the swimming sensation to leave.
As soon as it subsided, she started crawling towards the door. She felt that the floor was definitely stone, possibly the floor of a cave.
The entrance of the cave room she was in had been dug out ruggedly, and fitted with wooden doorposts.
Outside of the cave room, she looked up and saw she was in a hallway. To her left, it was darkness. To her right, a light flickered over the end of the hallway, where the tunnel opened into a large room.
She crawled in this direction, slowly and painstakingly making her way past three entrances on her right and one on her left.
The light grew stronger and the floor less rugged. The hallway opened up into a large underground space. Here, there were three torches besides every exit out of the room. They counted twenty-four torches, and the effect was magnificent. In the middle of the room, there hung some kind of rough chandelier from the vaulted ceiling, and hundreds of candles burned in this.
The entire room was well-lit. She could see three exits, one at each wall, and wondered what lay beyond them.
“A lady on hands and knees,” he mocked from behind her. She swung around, too quickly, and fell backwards, her head spinning furiously once more.
She felt strong hands pick her up and felt the sensation of being moved. The count, fake or true, carried her to the exit across from them. This room had one exit out of it. It was also well-lit, and though her head was swimming, she could see a bed and chests by its foot and next to it, acting as a table.
There was a desk in the one corner, and bookshelves mounted on the wall over it. An exit was to the right side. The left lower corner, closest to them, had an armchair and smaller table. The right lower corner had the door and nothing else in it.
She saw all this, for he stood still in his sanctuary, giving her the moment to introspect.
“I apologize for the lack of style in my choice of décor, Milady. This is an underground cave system, after all. Finery should be left for castles.”
She didn’t look at him, but watched warily as he carried her towards the bed. He thumped her unceremoniously and turned away, walking out of the cave room. He returned but a moment later with a silver goblet.
The liquid reminded her of wine, but the smell was repulsive. She turned her head away from it, pulling up her nose.
“Milady, you will obey me or suffer the consequences.” He grabbed her chin and forced the liquid to her lips. Though she fought and struggled, his force and fight was stronger. The liquid sloshed at her lips, entered the cracks, slipped into her mouth and down her throat.
She felt the foul-smelling liquid dripping off her chin and onto her already-filthy dress.
He was merciless, though, and soon more of the liquid was landing on her tongue than her dress. Every last drop was forced into her, and then he let go of her. She had been fighting his hold and her head whipped back, lightly hitting the rock wall.
His smile was mysterious and mocking in the light of wall-mounted torches. He stepped away and towards the desk, where he placed the goblet and then seated himself.
The swimming sensation departed from her brain, even though her body felt exhausted and ready to sleep once more.
“Who are you really?” She muttered, willing her numb lips to life.
“I am really Count Fidel Guillermo Hasta del Fizanto.” He glanced over at her and back at the letter he was composing.
“What do you want with me?” Her head started swimming and dots splattered in her vision. “Why did you kidnap me?” Her tongue was getting heavy and she fell onto the bed.
The count stood from his chair and walked over to the bed. Without any effort, he picked her up and placed her back more comfortably. He then crossed over to the foot of the bed and pulled a light blanket from the chest. He covered Edelia and then sat down, rubbing his finger down the side of her face.
“You are Lady Edelia, a favourite of Queen Charlisia, and noticed by King Yulio. I am a man with great dreams for the day of tomorrow. It is time to end what exists, Milady. It is time to create the future. Your father is a generous man…He will not allow any scoundrel to walk away with his daughter.”
He cupped her cheek and leaned in closer.
“My dearest Lady, I require the perfect sacrifice. Who else but the daughter of Lord Evinson, the lord of property encompassing the magnitude of the King and Queen’s lands combined? Who else but the King’s favoured Lord to threaten?”
“Fear not, Milady…” He chuckled, pressing his nose against hers. “It will be painless.”