Not too far apart from the entrance, but far enough to avoid listening to any scream of pain or despair, was the north wing of the castle. There was the core of the Midnight Chambers, the name given to those belonging to the Opel Stridan Family.
The main room of the set was reserved to the First Son, the elder child and former head of the entire Noble clan. At its right, was the room of Valerius, who was the acknowledged ruler and voice of the clan, and his wife; while at left, there was the splendid room for the Third Son, the Prince and heir.
At least, that's what it should have been, since he was killed one year ago.
His murder was a painful event that the Nobles still mourned and the subject of mockery for those who still dared.
However, despite the long days of solitude, that night, the room was not empty anymore. There was a young man resting on the huge bed. His breath was slow and profuse. Deep blood-colored eyes were closed. His tan skin was a little lighter than Valerius'. Black hair was straight and overall shorter, if it wasn't for longer bangs framing his face. And even if he was as attractive, he lacked the royal air and dignity of the Second Son.
As a matter of fact, that was the greatest difference between them. More so, because he looked almost identical to the deceased Prince, if it was not for some of his features.
It was certainly puzzling. With all this resemblances, he was not related to Opel Stridans. Even more, no one among the nobles knew who he was or where he came from. The only thing they were sure of, was of his bloodline and even though, they were suspicious.
At first, the heads of the Five Houses wanted to dispose of the mysterious stranger, believing him to be another sickening creation of the Witches... or worse, one perfected child of the Lumine. But as soon as Mia Opel Stridan saw his face, she ordered not to lay a finger on him, taking him under her care.
And no one dared to defy her.
That way, the unknown man ended sleeping in the Prince's room. While Mia stood by his side, staring at him with her love-filled red bloody eyes. For she was the one who had lost his son to the Hunters and she had found her lost hope and happiness in the sudden appearance of this newcomer.
"When will you wake up?" She asked, caressing his forehead with motherly care.
The door creaked.
Mia turned her face to the entrance to find the familiar figure that just opened the door. Valerius walked forward, moving similar to a ghostly shadow, and leaned towards her, in complete silence. His hand reached her chin and lifted it slowly; she opposed no resistance as he came closer and meet her lips with his. As he opened his mouth a butterfly escaped, flying through the almost inexistent gap between their breaths and disappearing behind Mia's throat. She swallowed and he kissed her lightly.
"It's been so long... I... I was afraid you were leaving yourself to die." He whispered.
"I was..." She replied. "But he came. He came..."
"He's not our child, Mia." He said gently. "You know I mourn him as well, but Fay is dead."
"I know he is not him. This boy... he is my Zion." Mia smiled. "That's the name I've given him".
Valerius tried to said something but retreated as he saw her. She looked so slim and fragile, he feared one word could break her apart. He just watched her as she fondled the young man's cheeks.
Under the amber lights of the lamps, her light tan skin looked golden. Her dark, long, straight hair seemed like a fragment a from the night sky. Her delicate lips and almond-shaped eyes trembled as she felt a stir.
"Zion's breath... is getting lighter." She said, filled with joy. "I really want to see him awake."
Once again, Valerius was about to mutter a word, but changed his mind half-way and the failed intent came as a sigh... he didn't have the heart to discourage her after all, even though he couldn't help but feel suspicious of the newcomer.
The young man stirred and then relaxed. His eyelids trembled slighthly as he fight with his own weariness to open his eyes. Mia leaned forward, with excitement. She moved her fingers from his sleeping face to hold his hands. They were getting warmer.
Zion stirred again. This time, his eyelids shook. His breath trembled with long sighs, as if taken air was something new for his lumbs. Mia moved even closer, her hands clutching his with motherly adoration. Meanwhile, Valerious watched silently... full of worry.
He finally awoke. Those rich crimson eyes were still blurred by the long sleep. Mia let a happy exclamation sound escape from her mouth. The young man moved his fingers. He coughed and tried to stand up.
Mia looked hopefully at Valerious. He understood perfectly what she was trying to say with her eyes. Not very content, he helped the young man to sit... his body felt light as a feather.
"How are you feeling?" Mia asked.
He didn't answer. He was confused. The last thing he remembered was his betrothed sweet smile when they both raised the cups. And now, he found himself in a foreign room, with unknown people. He got desperate, insecure, scared... where were his friends, his family? What happened to his fiance?
He tried to scream her name...
But he didn't remember. He didn't remember how she was called.
He placed both hands over his face. His heart was aching, tears were coming. Tears? He didn't want to cry in front of this people.
"Zion? Are you alright?" Mia called again, trying to touch his head. He slapped her hand, defensively.
"Who are you? Where's this place? Where is she?" Zion said, his voice growing colder, even though he didn't mean it.
Mia and Valerious looked to each other, confused. There was a long silence and Zion took the opportunity to get a hold of himself. He breathed deeply and controlled his anxiety. Turning his face to the strangers, he moved his hands away to reveal his handsome face.
"Who are you?" He repeated, with a calmer tone. "Tell me, what in the world happened?"
"You just woke up, Zion." Mia answered, lovingly, "And now you don't remember. Maybe it was the fall, my child... We are your parents."
Valerious looked at his wife, shocked. This was going too far, all too far. Zion didn't notice. He was all too confused to notice. Was it true? Then his memories... his beloved. Was it a dream? He fell backwards. He felt his body weight was duplicated at least twice.
"Don't push yourself too hard. Eventually, you'll recall everything."
The Second Son grew in anger. He had to snap Mia out of this. He came between them.
He couldn't finish. Mia took his hand. Her eyes were fierce. Burning as he had never seen them before. It was the first time he saw the true power of the Aaricia.
Yes, Valerious was the Second Son. The king. The ruler. But it was just because she had chosen him of all suitors, because she married him. The true soul of the Dark Sky, the true heir of the Nobles was Mia Opel Striden of Nite.
"What's been said is what it is." Mia said, with a menacing yet feminine hiss.
" It is." Valerius repeated.