ATTENTION! A/N: I am so sorry for the LONG time it took me to complete chapter 3. Actually I have edited all chapters 1,2 and 3 because I ended up being stuck and not knowing how to proceed with the story. I HIGHLY recomment that you read the 2 first chapters again to get to know Holly again. Also I have made a few things here and there more waterproof than the first try.
"WAIT!" Holly screamed from the top of her lungs as the sword touched her neck. Her heart was racing so fast she was sure they must have heard it.
The guard who held the sword stopped and looked questioningly up at Septimus wondering if he should continue with the execution or not. The prince glared at her for what seemed like an eternity. He was probably debating wether he should let her talk or just get it over with. He suddenly spoke, "Why should you get the liberty of keeping your life, witch? Why would you possibly think that I would grant you mercy?"
"If I was a witch why haven't I used my magic on you yet?" Holly felt she raised a good point. And the prince was clearly thinking it over.
"That is easy. Because you are still young. You haven't mastered the art of spells yet." he yet again raised his hand to order the guard to proceed with the execution.
Holly swallowed hard and tried to calm her frightened body so she wouldn't give herself away too much. "I have something. Something that will make your wildest dreams come true. Something only a witch can give you." the brunette felt ashamed that she had to lie again, but given the circumstances she really felt she didn't have any other choice. Also she was surprised at how easy it was to lie when her life depended on it.
the dark prince eyed her for a moment in silence before he asked, "... And what may that be?"
"A potion called Storm Soul. It grants the drinker eternal life!"
"A potion that grants eternal life?" Septimus sounded sceptical about it.
"Only a witch can grant you such a gift." Holly carefully created a waterproof story for this major lie. She just prayed he didn't see through her bluff.
"Oh, do let me in on this Storm Soul, dear Holly. And please tell me why I have never heard of this potion untill now." he was clearly making a mockery of her by now.
"You... you have never heard of this potion because it is stricktly against a witches code to speak of it. Heavens forbid if a witch heard me telling you this I would be cursed for all eternity with the worst curse you can only imagine." Holly realized by now she was on deep water. But she had no other choice. It was either this lie or death. "The berries found to create this potion is found on one single bush in this forest, but the berries are surrounded by long, highly poinsonous thornes that kills you an instant if you are stung." By now it was extremely hard for the brunette to keep a straight face. She had always been a terrible liar, but she kept herself cool the best she could.
To her surprise the prince seemed to think about what she had just told him. "I have never seen an imortal witch that don't need the power of a stars heart."
"That is because the bush can take one important thing away from you. Your life. No witch dare take the chance because too many have tried and failed." Septimus looked sceptical again so Holly hurriedly spoke again, "I have seen the bush." This apparently made the prince more interessted.
Septimus was silent for a few minutes, "Then you will guide me to this bush and you will make me that potion. For that I will spare your pathetic life."
"I can find the berries for you," Holly was in panic by now. This was going way too far, but she couldn't back down now, "but the brewing will take 6 months for it to be drinkable. If you drink it before the time you will die."
"Then it is settled." the dark prince raised his hand for everyone to listen, "We will go look for the star first and if that fails you will make that potion for me." Septimus waved the 3 guards away from her and ordered another guard to tie her hands and feet together.
The brunette was confused. Did she win? Her lie without a doubt worked, but wasn't everything back to normal except for the part that she would have to brew this fantasy potion? No, there was a difference, she was still alive. This had hopefully given her a week or two to change his plans and to save Yvaine.
She was yet again thrown over the huge horse in that extremely uncomfortable possition. This time however she would not accept it, "If you want that potion you should treat me better than this! I am no raggdoll, but a human being!"
A dark laughter could be heard from the prince who sat on the same horse, "I was not aware that giving me information about this Storm Soul potion gave you some sort of authority over me, (Holly)." the prince's voice was so dangerously calm that she went pale. She imediately regretted speaking those cocky words, but now it was too late. A guard came and lifted her off the horse and onto the ground. Confused, Holly looked at the prince.
"Since you haven't seemed to like your previous treatment I will provide you with a slightly different one." Septimus gave her a cruel smirk and turned his horse around. The guard proceeded to tie the rope which was forcing her hands together behind the saddle on the prince's horse.
When it dawned on Holly that the prince was planning on letting her walk she started struggling again. She kicked and protested and in the midst of panick she ended up hitting the guard who was tieing her up on the knee. The unnatural force bending his knee in the opposite direction made the guard scream in pain and he released her. The rope fell to the ground and the brunette was ready to flee, but in a flash the prince had jumped down from his horse and grabbed her by her hair making them face each other. She winced and closed her eyes in an attempt to shut out the pain his hand was inflicting her. His face was so close she could feel his breath on her own. She could not help but shiver from having this beast so close. She knew he would react, but not this strongly. However done was done and she learned not to try that again. She conforted herself that no matter what happened he would not kill her, because she was the only one who knew where the "bush" was.
"Well aren't you a slippery one. Always trying to escape." Septimus smirked at her and tightened his grip. Holly opened her eyes and clenched her teeth together in an attempt not to scream out in pain.
"Can... can you blame me?" she managed to say.
He gave her a sly grin and laughed, "I suppose not. No traitor is safe around me." he looked rather proud of that last statement, which made Holly sick to her stomach. She already knew that too well.
"You... you are despicable." she couldn't help but tell him.
"Well you would know all about that, Holly." he smiled and she knew what he meant.
"You are right." the brunette answered. "Pretty much all witches are like you." At least she had picked up that much from her observations as a star.
"And yet you are nothing like me." he continued.
"I am different." she lied with a whimper from the pain he still was inflicting on her with his hand.
"How so?" the prince raised an eyebrow. Holly decided that she had said enough. so she looked away and kept her mouth shut.
After seeing that she was not going to answer him, Septimus realized that they had wasted too much time talking and turned to get everything ready for the trip. He did not let her back up on the horse as he had told. As planned she had to be walking behind his horse.
Holding back tears which treatened to appear Holly bit her tongue to distract herself. When the guard had tied her firmly to the horse they resumed their chase, which went much slower now due to the prince's stubbornes. He just had to win and she knew it. Letting her back up on the horse now would look bad for his pride. She hated him. Never before had she felt this way about anyone. He was the only one she wanted to kill! the brunette gasped, horrified by her own thoughts. This was not a way for a star to think. She shook away the thoughts and focused on the walking in stead. She didn't want to admit it, but she was glad he decided to travel slow. Nothing was stopping him from setting the horse into galop to make up for lost time.
After half an hour Holly was panting heavily. For someone who had not been moving for millions of years this was complete torture. Surprisingly the prince turned to look at how she was doing. Probably just to take pleasure in her pain she thought, so she held her head high and worked on breathing calmly with her nose. The two shared a quick glance at each other before he turned back. Holly let out a sigh of relief. He didn't seem to notice how tired she was.
3 hours had passed since she had been tied behind the horse. The brunette was beginning to feel dizzy. Her bones were aching and her bare feet were bleeding. It did not help that the sun was shining brightly above her. Oh God. She wanted to sleep so badly. Her tired eyelids were close to betraying her, but her suffering feet helped her staying awake. Her panting had worsen and the prince had by now noticed it. Even so he still ignored it. Holly cursed the day he was born. If he had never excisted in this world it would without a doubt have been a much better place. Her cursing went on for thirty more minutes untill her feet began to sway. Because of her hatred and stubbornes she was surprised at how long she was able to endure this, but now her body was betraying her. every limp was screaming in pain and begged her to rest. Holly could no longer ignore it. On top of it her mind was starting to play tricks on her because of her dehydration.
The prince had strangely turned into Yvaine who was now smiling so brighly at her, and the ground had turned into her beloved starry home. It didn't hurt any longer. Everything was fine now. She stopped and looked around, feeling the cool breeze on her face. She raised her hands and waved at her sisters who was all around her. Yvaine walked up to her side and grabbed her hand, "Let's go home." she said to the brunette. Holly was so happy she could not stop herself from letting the tears fall.
"Yes, let's go home," She managed to say between her sobs. Suddenly everything went dark.
She abruplty woke when someone tossed water in her face. Gasping she sat up and confused looked around. She was sitting by a small and calm river and the grass in her hands tickled her. She spotted the sun far away up in the sky and a wave of major dissapointment washed over her. She was not home after all. Unable to stop it she started crying unaware of who was in her presence.
"Hey! Get a hold of yourself, woman! Are you still hallusinating?" a furious voice suddenly shouted. Holly was getting so sick and tired of that voice. So angry and full of hatred all the time. She looked at the prince with a gloomy face and shook her head. "Good," he continued, "then we will be on our way again. Such a burden you are. Because of you we have lost precious time."
The brunette had to hold back an outburst of laughter. Because of HER? He was the one whose pride was so abnormaly huge he would go to extreme lengths to proove that he was right, no matter how wrong he was! She turned away from his gaze and noticed the guards standing only a few meters away from the two. Suddenly realizing what he had just said about starting the search again she looked at her feet in horror. To her surprise they had been cleaned and tied up with bandage.
Confused she looked at the prince who answered her unspoken question, "We could not let you die from an infection now could we? I still want that potion." he stiffly said.
The brunette sighed deeply. It was always about greed. She could not understand how one person could be so powerhugry and selfish.
The prince stood up and walked over to his horse who was over with the guards. Holly stood, but gave out a painful scream when she felt her feet on the hard ground, which ended in her falling over. Shaking with pain she looked at the prince in worry. He was probably waiting for her to go to them on her own. He kept his eyes on her as she struggled to rise once again. The agony was too much so she fell down again. This went on for a few more tries before the prince walked over to her. With heavy breathing Holly looked up on him with teary eyes that shone with anger.
For a moment he just looked at her in silence before he suddenly bent down and yanked her over his shoulder. Holly let out a horrified scream and clawed her nails into the back of his coat. "Wh- what are you... !"
before she could say more he had walked over to his horse with only a few big steps and tossed her over it. To her great frustration she had to bite the sour apple and accept this position like before. At least it was better than walking. Only the thought of it made her shiver in fright.
Holly hadn't said anything after he had tossed her over the horse and he didn't seem to mind it. They traveled in silence for quite some time before Holly decided that she couldn't come anywhere with him if she didn't communicate with him the best she could. Maybe she could get him to sway a little bit. Make him forget about the star and rather focus on the necklace instead. But she had to start slowly, she knew that. "Your Highness," she began.
Septimus for a second looked surprised after hearing her speak. Almost as if forgetting she was even there. But his gaze quickly turned back into those cold and distant eyes.
Bloody liar! Holly thought to herself. What he had told her about her being in the way was just a big lie! He sure knew how to make other people feel like crap when they actually didn't have to.
"What?" he simply asked.
"Thank you for taking care of my feet." Those were the hardest words Holly had ever said in her entire life. He who had put her in that situation in the first place did not deserve those words. She wanted so badly to take them back, but she had to come on his good side no matter what. Her pride was a small price to sell right now.
Septimus understood very well what kind of game the girl was trying to play and slyly smiled for himself. He didn't mind to be a part of her obvious trick for a little while. "I'm glad you have come to your senses. You should be thankful I still let you live, witch."
"You are right. Not all would let a witch live like you have. No matter what wicked reasons you are keeping me alive for I am still grateful." the brunette was surprised to find that there was a tiny bit of truth in her last words. But it did not matter. Her words would surely not reach him the way she wanted them to anyway. Not this early anyway.
"Good. So maybe now you would like to tell me about this star and I will in return treat you better." Septimus sounded sincere, but she was not at all convinced she could trust him. And even if he was speaking the truth she would never tell him anything that would set Yvaine in danger. Now Holly held the strongest card. She knew what Yvaine looked like and Septimus didn't.
"I can't, because I know just as much as you do."
Surprisingly the dark prince seemed to accept her answer, "Very well. At least you are good for one thing. Making me that potion."
Holly felt horrible. He was treating her like an toy he would toss away once finished playing with. By now she accepted the fact that it could not be helped. This man clearly didn't know what it meant to trust someone else. By the looks of it he seemed like a man who had no one to depend on but himself his entire life. Thinking about it like that he made much more sense to her than before. Maybe that was the way to influence him. With trust.
Suddenly they left the forest and came out on an open field. One of the guards pointed at an object far from them and shouted, "Something is over there, mylord!"
Septimus spotted it and they closed in on it. When they were within range Holly gasped at what she saw. There was a dead man, with a slit troath laying in a bathtub. What was bizarre was that the mans blood was blue! What did that mean? An abandoned carriage was there too. Probably the dead mans Holly thought.
The prince went off his horse and walked over to the bathtub. "Well, well, well." he spoke like he knew this was going to happen. "The last brother dead."
Hollys eyes widened. His brother? Another prince? Why was Septimus not sad that his brother had been murdered?
In realization the dark prince raised his head, "which means that I am king." He started walking back to the group of soldiers while shouting victoriously, "I am king!" and all the men bowed before him.
"Oh my god." Holly thought to herself while she watched him coming towards them with a wicked grin on his face. Septimus, king? What on earth had the world come to, letting such a cruel beast rule Stormhold!
Suddenly the prince stopped in his tracks and looked rather troubled. "Damn, I still need the stone."
One of the guards stood up and asked questioningly, "Your brother doesn't have it?"
"Well why don't you find out." the prince said.
"No way." Holly said surprised. Were they going to search a naked man in a bathtub? For a simple stone? What was it about this stone that was so important anyway?
Septimus hearing what she said gave her rather dull look.
The guard who had been given the order to go look gave an uneasy sigh and walked towards the bathtub.
The second the guard had left a man who had been hiding from undernearth the abandon carriage grabbed Septimus' leg, making the prince jump rather awkward. Before Holly could stop herself she burst out laughing and quickly covered her mouth with her tied up hands. However it was too late. The prince had already heard her.
He leaned down and grabbed the ginger haired boy who had been hiding under the carriage and gave Holly a cold stare before he turned back to the boy and placed a knife under his chin, which made Holly gasp in horror.
"Please don't!" she frantically yelled at the prince in an attempt to stop him from yet another murder.
The prince turned to look at her and his eyes narrowed, "Do you by any chance know this boy?"
"N- no, I don't, but... "
Septimus quickly abrupted her, "so this has nothing to do with you, so stay out of it!" he snarled back at her and turned his attention back to the frightened boy.
"Where is my stone?" he demanded, making the boy shift uneasy.
Stunned and frightened the boy had to force himself to think. "The girl have it." he said in a sudden realization.
"What girl?" the prince said rather confused.
"I don't know, a girl." the boy looked very frustrated, "she got away because this was a trap set up for her, but the man in the bathtub came just straight into it."
"A trap?" now the prince looked even more confused. "set by who?"
The ginger haired boy gave him a terrified look, "A woman you should pray you will never meet."
By now Hollys face was white as a sheet. The girl they were talking about, could it by any chance be Yvaine? It would be a strange coincidence, but she didn't want to think it was entirely impossible.
"This woman wanted MY stone?" Septimus continued.
"No," the ginger haired boy shook his head slighly, "She wanted the girls heart. She said the girl is a star and she wanted to cut out her heart and..."
The prince shook the boy to make him stop talking, "... eat it." he finished and looked away, "oh my god."
Holly gave out a silent scream. It was Yvaine! This was not good. Not good at all! This boy was probably going to show the dark prince the way to her sister!
Septimus rose and ordered his men, "Time to hurry! A witch is ahead of us!" he yanked the ginger haired boy up on his feet, "This idiot is coming with us."