Chapter 11: Truth uncovered
Kaileena started preparing what would probably be her last battle. She left her swords, just sharpened, on the armrests of her Throne. When the Prince would come in, the main gate would close, and she would try to kill him there, with the benefit that he would be confused.
The Empress was divided. On one side, she wanted to kill the Prince. For on the other side, she wanted to tell him the truth and so, avoid a mortal battle, hoping that their destinies would meet without any of them dying. But she didn't really see that possible. After all, he had said it himself: He had come to kill her.
She heard a sound from far away, followed by another sound of opening doors. The Prince had activated both Towers. She went there and checked it with her own eyes. The door was opened. The Prince wouldn't take long to arrive and the Hourglass was almost empty. She starred at it, thinking of what was about to happen. Some minutes later, she heard the Prince´s steps behind her. He stopped beside her, staring at it too. They stayed in silence until the Prince spoke.
"Time is running low, you ready?" He asked, walking to the stairs. Kaileena followed him, and as they walked up the stairs, the Prince made a proposition that he would have never made if he had knew who she was. "I´ve been thinking, Kaileena. There´s little for you on this Island, and there will be less still once I´ve stood before your Mistress. Come with me to Babylon!" He offered. "You´ll have a chance to begin a new life, free from the evils of this place!"
Kaileena looked away. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. If things had only been different …
"So, what do you say?" He insisted.
"I´m sorry, Prince. But I cannot take you up on your offer." She answered, not looking at him. She wanted to avoid his eyes.
Kaileena entered the Throne Room while the Prince remained thinking. He couldn't understand why she had rejected his proposition. That place had nothing for her. If the Empress died, she wouldn't have anyone to serve. In Babylon, she could start a new life in the Palace, as his own servant or, if the King allowed it, as an special guest. She would be under his protection and she could live in the luxurious places of the Tower of Babel. But yet, she rejected him.
Disappointed for not getting the answer he expected, he entered the Throne Room, ready to finish the Empress. He´ll speak again to Kaileena about his proposition later. But, when he came in, there was anybody. No signal of the Empress or the Sands.
"Where is the Empress? Where are the Sands?" He shouted, confused and irritated.
He looked at Kaileena, who stared at him seriously. Maybe too much. She walked some steps away from him and activated a mechanism. Behind his back, a huge gate fell to the floor, sealing the room. The Prince didn't understand it. He couldn't react, he was only able to see how his only escape was closed.
"What are you doing? You´ve trapped us in here!" He yelled at Kaileena, who was heading to the Throne.
"I´m sorry, Prince. But only one of us can cheat fate today."
The Prince was growing more and more confused as the seconds passed. Kaileena reached the Throne and raised both swords, still not looking at him. Then, he understood it. He had been fooled. The Empress had been in front of him all the time and he didn't know it. He trusted Kaileena. But now, he understood why she had helped him. It was all a trap to bring him close to her. Now, everything fit. He understood why she said those things when she gave him the Lion Sword. She had seen him coming. She had seen everything. And since then, she had been trying to eliminate him. That was why he was attacked at sea. He would have never wondered such an outcome …
"You …" He mumbled, still unbelieving. "… Are the Empress?"
"Surprised?" She asked, rising her head with superiority.
"Dissapointed. How have you been such a coward? You really must have a twisted mind to think of such a trap!"
"I told you that the Empress had no love for the world of men. If I remember well, I told you to leave some times. And yet, you kept coming back again and again. I´ve been trying to avoid this encounter in all the possible ways!"
"Because you are afraid of me." He said.
"You have no idea of how much I have suffered since I saw my fate! And I won´t let it come true! If you can change your fate, I will change mine too!"
The battle started. Kaileena attacked before his opponent could have a chance to attack her. Using her powers, she appeared in front of the Prince and, before he could react, she kicked him in his face and threw him some meters away.
"You won´t change your fate …" She laughed.
"We´ll see that!" And from the ground, the Prince tried to throw her his dagger, but Kaileena avoided it.
"Fool … I am the Empress of Time. I know your every movements before you do!"
"And you should know that I am the Prince of Persia … And the King of Blades!" He answered, running to her.
"Hah! It will take you more than a simple sword strike to penetrate my defenses!" She laughed again, blocking his attack. "This is so wrong, Prince. How dare you to defy the Timeline?" She asked, trying to gain some ground while blocking his sword.
"You are not the most appropriated person to tell me that." He answered, slowly making Kaileena retreat.
After breaking her block, Kaileena raised herself into a Sand whirlwind and she invoked her Imperial Guards right after it. They would fight in her place while she stayed in the whirlwind, safe.
"You should have never come to this Island!"
The Prince killed Kaileena´s minions at the same time that her rage grew. When he defeated them, he stayed there, waiting for her to go down from the whirlwind.
"Come on! Don't be a coward. Come down here and fight me!" He yelled.
"You don't understand, do you? I will always be one step ahead of you, Prince!"
As soon as she step on the ground, she saw the Prince jumping over her. She backed away to avoid his sword, but this time, he reached her. The Prince looked at his sword. Blood. Kaileena had a deep wound in her stomach. In pain, she pressed over the wound with her arm, cursing him.
"I had hoped the Dahaka would kill you. I had hoped that Shahdee would keep you from the Island, or the Towers would finish you off!" She yelled at him. "I even cursed the sword I gave you … And yet you did not die!"
Kaileena tried to attack him, but the Prince blocked her attack and made her fall by kicking her right in the stomach, making her fall to the ground.
"Why would you do this, Kaileena?" He asked.
"I have already told you. I have foreseen my future: To die at your hands. But like you …" She walked closer and placed her swords against his. "I have decided to change it!"
"No, Kaileena! I don't mean that! Why did you choose the violent solution? Don´t you understand that with this you´re only going to make the events of the Timeline come true? Everything you saw will happen!"
"The Timeline showed me this battle. It showed me how you killed me … But I won´t let it happen!"
The battle continued for some hours because any of them gave up. However, Kaileena´s strength started to weaken. She was finding difficult to defeat this human. Finally, after a final crash of their swords, the fatal outcome arrived.
"You won´t leave this Island alive!" She yelled after getting away from him with her powers, appearing in the other side of the room.
"I mean you no harm, Kaileena." He said, that was something that confused her. "But I must finish this!"
They both ran to the other, with their swords in their hands. When they met, they both searched their opponent´s torso with their swords. There was a thunder noise when their swords met. They kept running after the crash, stopping slowly.
When they stopped, the Prince realized that he didn't have any wounds. But his sword, however, was broken. The upper part of it wasn't there. He turned to look at Kaileena, who remained quiet. She looked at her stomach and there, she found the other part of the Lion Sword she had given to the Prince. That same sword that she had cursed was now piercing her organs. Her blood fell to the floor, making a red pool at her feet. Then, she realized it: Everything was over for her.
"You are a fool, Prince!" She said, turning and allowing him to see her wound. "No matter what you do, you´ll still fail." Her strength banished slowly, and she fell on her knees, letting go one of her swords. "Just as I have tried and …" She could feel her eyes closing, her heart stopping, and her breathing become harder. It was her last breath, and she said her last words. "Just … As I have failed."
Kaileena collapsed, falling to the ground, covered with her own blood from the pool that had been formed. It was the end. Far away, she could hear a voice talking to her. It was the Prince´s voice, who, after seeing her falling dead, walked beside her, apologizing.
"I am sorry, Kaileena. You have fought until the end. Rest in peace."
The Prince extracted the piece of the sword from her body, placed her hands on her chest and covered her with a part of the huge curtains from the Throne. Happy for his victory but sad because of Kaileena´s death, he walked to the mechanism which opened the gate. But, before reaching it, he felt something behind him.
He turned and saw Kaileena´s body exploding into golden sand, which threw the Prince away, against a wall. The hit was so hard that, hurt and confused, he fell unconscious.