|Once and Always|
|Book: Once and Always, Chapter 11|
Chapter 10: Secrets, Truths and Lies
Chapter 12: Secret of Secrets
Chapter 11: A Forgotten Past
Two days later, Eléonore arrived to take Suzuka, Drako, and Hermione down to the Library. Guiche stayed behind to work on the potion some more. Agnès also came along as a little extra precaution.
"There's the door." Eléonore as they walked down the tunnel. Once again, she opened it with ease, and they pressed on
"You said, you've been down here before." said Suzuka, who was holding a torch "What exactly were you looking for?"
"I was looking for information on the person who led the destruction of my home town, D’Angleterre, of which I am the sole survivor." said Agnès "Unfortunately, the information had been removed long before we got there. All we did manage to find out was why it was burned down."
"Did you ever find out who led that squad?" Hermione asked
"As matter of fact, we did." Agnès replied
"Who was it?" Drako asked
"It was your father." Drako stopped in his tracks for a few moments after hearing this
"Father told me that he committed a great sin in the past, but he never told me what it was." Drako said, catching up to them again
"Well, he committed that sin, many years before he met your mother. He had also saved my life that night. By the time I met him again twenty years later, he had turned over a new leaf." said Agnès "However, after I found out that it was him, I wanted to kill him, so badly. But I didn't, because I knew that his students would hate me for it, and the cycle of hatred world continue. So, in order to break that cycle, I decided to let him live, but I also decided to never forgive him."
"That must've been hard." said Suzuka
"You don't know the half of it." said Agnès "However, now that I have child of my own, because she's so precious to me, I think I finally understand. I think I understand, how he must've felt when he burned down my village, and when Drako was born. So, after all this time, I've finally forgiven your father, Drako."
"Dad will be delighted." said Drako
There's the cavern." said Eléonore as they neared a opening in the cave. Once they reached the abyss, they immediately noticed that the bridge was there again. "I knew it. The magic of the place repaired the bridge."
"What magic?" said a voice behind them that made them jump. It was Erlea
"What are you doing here?" Suzuka said outraged
"I saw mister Colbert going into the ladies room, and couldn't help wondering why." Erlea answered
"Was it really any of your business miss Gamo?" Drako asked
"Maybe not, but you know me."
"You're so nosy!" said Hermione
"Kids today." Eléonore said to Agnès
"I know." Agnès answered "I hope I can raise Yuki not to be like this. And by they way, I already knew the bridge had repared itself, because I left a report book in the library years ago."
"Come on kids, are we moving on or not?" Eléonore called
"Coming aunt Eléonore." said Suzuka as they started moving across the bridge.
Within a few minutes, they were in the library. While leaving Eléonore and Agnès under the impression that they were looking for the history of Tristain, they were really looking into things that happened before, or around the time, Suzuka was born.
"I think I found something." Drako whispered to Suzuka. Suzuka dropped the book she was holding and looked at the one Drako had in his hands
"What is it?" Suzuka asked
"This was about 16 1/2 years ago, around the time your mother concieved you I think. Listen," Drako read from the text "Iagnom de Omag, alias Omeggadon, tried to seize power from the Emperor of Germania. A task force of Tristainian representatives, along with one Gallian knight, and one Germanian citizen, were sent to resolve the matter. Mission was a success, but at the cost of the life of one of the Tristainian representatives. Omeggadon manged to escape capture and was not seen again for several months." He finished reading "The date he died, and a list of those involved follow."
"And look," Suzuka said pointing to the list "My parents, your parents, Guiche's parents, Hermione's mom, Queen Tabitha and Queen Tiffania, even Agnès is on this list."
"Your aunts are on here as well. But one of the names have been blacked out. I think that was the one who perished." said Drako
"And look, the day he died was my birthday. But what does this mean?" Suzuka asked
"It means that our families know more than they were letting on." Drako responded
"What have you two got there?" Agnès said behind them. Drako quickly closed the book and hid it behind his back as he and Suzuka turned to face her.
"Nothing." Suzuka and Drako said together, trying to look innocent. Drako quickly replaced the book on its shelf behind his back, and he and Suzuka moved away from where they were standing.
Once they were out of earshot, Agnès quickly noticed that a certain book was out of place and recognized it at once "I hope they didn't just read what I think they read." Agnès thought to herself
"Hey guys," Erlea called "What's with this door back here?"
Everyone assembled where she was pointing and noticed a large wooden door that looked pretty heavy.
"That wasn't there last time we were here." said Eléonore as they walked to the door
"I can vouch for that." said Agnès "Her Majesty did tell me that she added something to this library not too long ago, but she didn't tell me what it was."
With enormous effort, Agnès, Suzuka, and Drako pulled the door open and they all peered inside. Inside was pitch black. Agnès held up the torch Suzuka had earlier, and what they saw made them all jump. It was an large red rock-like dragon. It was sleeping, but their yelp awoke it to their presence.
Just the dragon sent a blast of flame at them they hurriedly closed the door and made to exit the library, only caring about putting as much distance between them and that beast as possible. No one spoke again until they were on the other side of the bridge.
"Who put that there, and what were they thinking?!" Hermione asked panting "Keeping a thing like that, locked up in a library."
"You don't use your eyes, do you Hermione?" said Drako "Didn't you see what it was staning on?"
"I wasn't looking at its feet! I was to preoccupied by its firebreathing head!"
"It was standing on a trapdoor, which means it wasn't there by accident. It's guarding something." Drako concluded
"Guarding something?" Erlea asked bewildered
"Yes." said Eléonore "Probably some secret document no one wants read." she said that coolly, but Suzuka heard an unmistakeable hint of dishonesty in her voice. Clearly showing that she knew something about that dragon.
Later that night, Suzuka, Drako, and Hermione met with Guiche next to the large pot Saito used to bathe in so many years ago.
"A dragon guardian?" said Guiche
"Yes." said Suzuka, leaning on the pot "Agnès said that she didn't know anything about what Henrietta put in that library, but I'm guessing that was it. And what aunt Eléonore said makes me think that she knows a thing or two about it, but not very much."
"What do you think it's guarding?" Hermione asked
"The Ring of Anderville." Suzuka said flatly
"Of course!" said Drako, pounding his left palm with his right fist "The ring was removed long before that woman finally managed to get into Osmonds office. Henrietta must have thought it wasn't safe enough, and had it moved down there. That must've taken months of planning."
"If we're right, we know where the ring is, and one of the things that are guarding it. But there are likely other things down there as well." Suzuka concluded
"Moving off of that, you said that you found some documents on Omeggadon." said Guiche
"We did." said Drako "It explained what he used to be known by, what he did, when he died, and who was involved. On the list of those involved were most of our relatives, including our parents and the current queens of Gallia and Albion."
"It's not enough. We need more information." said Suzuka "How much longer do you need with the Shape-shifting Potion, Guiche?"
"It's going smoother than I thought it would." Guiche answered "I just need to do a few more things with it, and I should have it ready by this time next week."
Meanwhile, in Agnès's room, the grownups were getting a little suspicious;
"What makes you think they know something they shouldn't?" Eléonore asked
"That report book I left in the library, it wasn't on the shelf I left it on." said Agnès, who was breastfeeding Yuki "I noticed it after they moved away from the shelf it was supposed to be on."
"Come to think of it, they were acting a little strange." said Eléonore
"Should we confront them?" Agnès asked
"Even if we did, what can we do? Will they listen? They're just as stubborn as their parents." said Eléonore
"You may have a point." said Agnès as Yuki finished feeding. Agnès covered her breast and put Yuki down in her crib "But I don't think we should let them probe for any more information."
"Even if we restrict that, they're bound to get the truth one way or another." said Eléonore "We should just let them have their free reign, but keep a special eye on them all the same."
"I guess you're right." Agnès replied
With a bit more information in their hands, and a plan for deception via a potion set, they prepared to get a little more from the grownups. Meanwhile the adults were keeping an eye on them, without getting in the way