Las Víboras Part 6
He watched as she struggled to reply, as her eyelids shut and she could not fight the sleep and the power of the drug capturing her body.
He pulled his face away and stood. He walked over to the desk and sat down, dipping his pen into the ink and finishing the last part of the letter.
Lady Edelia Evinson, daughter of His Most Gracious Lord Evinson, has been captured and will remain in my power until certain conditions are fulfilled.
King Yulio will recall his forces protecting the gold mine on the border of his land and Lord Evinson’s. Lord and Majesty will then combine their wealth and present it to the entrance of the mine. My messenger will collect the sum and Lady Edelia will be released.
Her Majesty will enter the mine with the prize, sans soldiers. She will be protected by my men, until Lady Edelia is released unto her Majesty.
My conditions will be met, or Her Ladyship will suffer at the hands of dark forces greater than the entire kingdom’s greatest men.
He blinked, looked over at the young woman’s sleeping frame. The potion he had forced into her will ensure of her inactivity for the following twelve hours. Following that, he would have to think of other methods to contain her.
She would be capable of taking out his entire force; he was certain of that. He smirked ever so slightly and returned to his letter.
Five thousand pieces in gold, three hundred crates in rubies, and twenty in diamonds will release Her Ladyship and protect Her Majesty.
If the sum is not presented for Her Ladyship’s release, Your Highness…Your daughters, in their separate kingdoms, will be unfortunate enough to suffer severe and possibly lethal accidents.
He signed it with a flourish, in contrast to the rest of the strong lettering. He placed the letter to the side, allowing the ink to dry.
Hernando entered the count’s cave chamber and stood silent. For the moment he was allowed, he watched his friend. The count finished his letter and rose from his chair, immediately turning to his best man.
“Think what you will of me, Hernando, but I see a brilliant future. You are blinded by your sense of goodness.” Fidel crossed the room and took hold of Hernando’s shoulders.
“I fear for your end, Fidel. Those who play with darkness will be swallowed by it.”
“You fear for evil to prevail, my friend; your fear blinds you.” He sighed and released Hernando. “If you wish to be released, give the order and I will obey you.”
Hernando shook his head sadly.
“We have walked the journey too long, Fidel. Infants to children to boys to young men to what we have become. Your soul will be consumed, I see the end of this all, yet I will walk until we both fall.”
Fidel smiled, dipped his head.
“You deserve the life you seek. At the end of this all, you will have it.” He turned and folded his hands behind his back. He stared at the sleeping frame of Edelia. “We all have our predestined journeys and adventures. I believe they are chosen for us, before birth. We must travel the path carved out for us.”
“You believe a prophesy of a beggar woman, who could have been more? A witch, an evil teller of one’s fortune, or the face of evil herself?”
“I believe that woman spoke truth. ‘You, Count Fidel, will restore this kingdom and the power of Víboras.’” He quoted. “It has been spoken; so it will be.”
“Do you consider this mission worth the sacrifice of an innocent maiden? A lady, she could have been your bride, do you consider this worth her end?”
He nodded slowly.
“The consequences of a sacrifice, have you considered that?” Hernando joined his friend, but looked into Fidel’s face, instead of at the lady. “She will haunt you, my friend. I see it in her face, her disposition, her spirit. She will haunt you for the impertinence and lack of character you exhibited regarding her person and life.”
“She may haunt me. Her presence I will survive.” He turned from her and headed for the large space of the cave’s system. His friend waited for a moment, pity etched into the lines on his face.
He followed, found the count standing underneath the chandelier. He had already extinguished the torches and was busy exterminating the light of the chandelier.
“You have feelings for her,” Hernando proclaimed. He kept five paces behind the count. “You willingly accept the hold she will forevermore have on you.”
He extinguished the last of the candles and they stood in the darkness. Fidel’s voice was cold and eerie when he replied.
“A sacrifice, Hernando, requires of one to give what he loves.”
Hernando retreated to the mouth of the door. Out of both left and right hallways appeared ghostly presences of pale green. They twitched and floated in the air.
They met in the center of the room and flew to the chandelier, lighting the candles with their light. Green flickered and cast shadows. The presences vanished as they lit the chandelier.
Hernando turned and walked towards his friend’s chamber. He despised his friend’s alliance. He would not advocate anybody, least of all himself, to witness a meeting between the Víboras and his friend.
The count stood strong and unwavering in the room. He could clearly hear the slithering of the snakes and their hissing. They entered from the left and right entrances, slithering to the middle of the floor, gathering in front of him.
They twisted into each other, rising higher and higher into a human shape.
They formed the hem of a dress, the skirt, the middle, the bodice. They rose and formed the sleeves, sleeves that reached to the elbows, from where they fell and became loose to allow the lower part of the arm to the wrist to feel free.
Two black hands appeared from these sleeves. Her neck appeared, then her head. They slithered around her and formed her head. Her eyes were black, lifeless.
Then her complexion changed.