"You little fool."
The first words I hear opening my eyes two days later comes from my arrogant brother. He stands over me, Granny relieved and speechless behind him. I don't bother trying to rise, instead keeping my eyes on him. He seems to struggle for further discussion, gesturing for Granny to leave us instead. Once the door closes, he turns back to me. With granny gone, I slip out of bed and look to Ravus. The two of us exchange mildly hostile looks.
"What were you trying to do?" He asks like a parent scolding a child, "Summoning something like that… You're not ready for such things!"
"… You didn't think I was going to avoid my lessons, did you, Ravus?"
"Summoning and magic are no longer in your agenda! Do you want so badly to aid our enemy?!"
"We're on different sides, still! You don't see it!" I try to avoid yelling too loud, "You and I should be the least of Niflheim's supporters!"
I storm out to the balcony, and he follows eagerly, the two of us continue arguing in the open air.
"Regis killed our mother! Why deny the obvious?" He growls angrily, "You should be focusing your efforts so we can further acquire the power of the Six! Not go summoning some terror of who knows where!"
I clench my fists and look out silently to the surrounding nature, "I will do my job as the Oracle … and assist the rightful king of Lucis. I've sworn that since my Ascension."
"… Even if you'll lose your life?" He spits that out scornfully, "You'll die…!"
I want to believe he says that out of worry for a family member. But as he said, I am a resource to the Empire, "You think I don't know that…?!"
"… Despite what your foolishness will get you into, you are still my charge. I will watch you, and you are not to attempt such things again. Nor will you leave the castle."
I expected as much. Great, my little stunt has just costed me all the freedom I had before. I can't even summon Carbuncle anymore. Only his pin is there to remind me now. Soldiers everywhere, that hateful Ardyn coming to visit, and a cage so sturdy which I can't break free …
When the airships sounded, I was sitting with my nose in a book. Ardyn can bite the dust for all I care. I don't want to greet him. But it doesn't mean he wouldn't come to me. And that he did, along with Ravus, and a squat elf-like general.
"Oracle, so good to see you're in good spirits," The bird seems to lack its wings this time, though it's no less foul, "You look more beautiful than ever, like a young sylleblossom. That reminds me of a rhym-"
"Oh, please, no. Not with the rhymes, Ardyn. Excuse him, Oracle. Allow me to introduce myself," The squat general bows, "I am Verstael, commander of the Imperial troop."
I hope they weren't expecting me to bless them, because that was the furthest thing from what I was thinking. I look at each of them impassively. Ravus coughs and that signals for the end of this charade.
"…We'll be brief here. But I did want to see the youngest Oracle with my own eyes," Verstael smiles, "Before our business in Insomnia."
The three leave me in peace. Business? In Insomnia? I want to inquire, but I'm afraid lying snakes tell no tales.
I look back to my pages. Gentiana is not present to guide me. She's only here when I call for her, being that she's a Messenger, a being Oracles use to communicate with the gods. I've learned to call her since I was little, and she's taught me much of the Astrals and gods. Eventually, she came to be considered one of the castle staff, even. Now with this lockdown, I don't want to risk anything.
Luckily, the literature isn't too dense. It talks of the Six. They are, to this day, the ruling Astral gods here on our fair land. Their dwellings are documented, yet no one but the Oracle can usually approach them. People form worship for them, and they are tied to the crystals. Once Noctis becomes king, he will likely be able to establish a connection with them and the natural forces surrounding the crystals as well. After all, they are the holders of trial for blessing and covenant for the king's ascension.
Once the time comes, I will likely need to seek the Six and their aid for Noctis against the Empire. The rites, like summoning, will definitely be harsh on my life force. I must be prepared when the time comes.
If anything has come of Ravus' prying eyes that is good, he has at least given me more time with Pryna and Umbra. Perhaps he thought that would pacify me. I scratch that part of their neck they enjoy so much and they playfully lick my hands. Pryna looks to the frame on my table and whines. It's a photo of me and Noctis during his recuperation.
"I know," I pull Pryna close, "I miss him too."
"… Why not use that, then?"
I turn to see Gentiana. I must have unconsciously called for her. Of course, that's not to say she won't appear by herself if she sees fit.
"What? Pryna and Umbra?"
"Yes. They can go long distances. And they know their ways to Insomnia. The guards would hardly be able to tell if they were wild or tamed, a perfect guise. I'm sure you must be wanting of some news, no?"
There's no reason it would hurt to try.
And, of course, Gentiana is correct. My mail comes back with Pryna. I wonder how I hadn't thought to do this earlier, seeing as I had once sent mail to a friend of Noctis' named Prompto, who retrieved Pryna after the silly dog got separated from me.
It's a letter from Regis. He must have intercepted Pryna. I read it slowly to savor the feeling of outside contact. It's like a fresh meeting with an old, but dear, acquaintance.
I do not mean to be brusque, but I do hope you are well. You are clever to have thought of this 'doggy mail.' I send my regards with Noctis' wishes. I'm afraid I cannot have him speak to you so close to such a crucial moment. Instead, I propose outright extraction from your current situation. I will send a scout to come and retrieve you from the clutches of the Empire if you agree. Help will arrive in five days hence. I am sorry for the brief notice, but currently the Empire has been gaining ground, and things have been getting pricklier. We will have much to talk about. May the gods be with you.
Best wishes from a foolish king,
I read it over multiple times before clutching this shard of hope to my chest. The joy and nostalgia threaten to burst. I want to laugh, burst out and laugh at all their Imperial ranks. Luckily, the first thing I do is scribble a messily put together reply. Yes, yes, and yes again … I could barely write my usual elegant cursive with my hand quivering with excitement. At long last, something has begun to move … But in which direction? The King mentioned something of importance approaching on the horizon. That must be something to do with the business Verstael mentioned.
King Regis is making his move. I will try to accommodate all I can to stand against the Empire alongside him, and Noctis. Against my brother, Iedolas …
Etro permit the stars be purged of their scourge. I leave in five days.
+*+*+NOTE+*+*+ ...And the stage is set for Kingsglaive. I hope you have enjoyed this short series. Thank you for following through.