Through the Woods (part 6)

Catch up on the previous parts here.

First that intimidating queen, and now this supposed ‘princess’ in a very un-princess-like outfit saying something about saving his life. Ivaan wondered how many people wanted to save his life that day. His head already ached. He badly needed to sleep. “Look, I don’t know who you are and how exactly you plan to save my life, but I really need to sleep now. I’d appreciate it if you could leave me alone,” he said, trying not to yawn.

Jo wasn’t pleased. Here she was, taking this huge risk and defying her mother trying to save this boy’s life, and he was as disinterested as if she’d tried to give him a Geography lecture. She tried to remain calm. “Let’s make a deal-I’ll let you sleep. But you’ll have to listen to what I have to say first. I promise I won’t bother you after that if that’s what you want. How does that sound to you?”

Ivaan did not in the least bit want to listen to what this girl had to say. But it seemed she wasn’t going anywhere without putting forth whatever nonsense she planned to disrupt his sleep with. So he said- “Okay, but make it quick.”

“Not here.” She beckoned him to follow her. With her leading Ivaan through a series of corridors and staircases, they arrived before an amber-brown door with a bronze doorknob. Jo turned the doorknob- the door swung open without any restraint. Supposedly rooms weren’t locked here. It was dark inside, but as soon as she turned some tiny knobs and handles fixed on the wall beside the door, the room was bathed in the light of half a dozen lanterns suspended from the ceiling by metal chains. A single bed had been made and sunset-orange curtains were drawn shut, presumably over a window. A table-and-chair set was the only piece of furniture apart from the bed and another door led to what Ivaan supposed was the bathroom. A simple but cozy room.

“This is your bedroom. Make yourself comfortable,” she said as if the bedroom was hers. She pulled up the chair while Ivaan spread out his legs on the bed. “So, let’s get straight to the point. My mom told you about Kellemetlen sacrificing a child every five years to the goddess of bounty, right? And she also made you believe Oroszlan had saved you. Well, let me tell you then, that is only the half-truth. The truth is, there is no Kellemetlen. The sacrifice is performed every two years- not five- by her. In other words, she is that Kellemetlen. Her name is Auttaminen, though.”

What more ugly truths about Queen Auttaminen are left to be uncovered? Or is the princess herself lying? Wait for another fortnight to find out. 

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