Favored By The Villain - Chapter 110
Levisia stopped running when she felt the bird landing on her shoulder, partially due to the added weight but also because she sensed that running was now rendered moot.
She turned around to see yet another Kraiden approaching her. Cassian, with his arms folded and head slightly tilted, gazed at her with an unreadable expression on his face. Was he frowning? Smirking? Levisia couldn’t tell.
Now that the initial shock had subsided, she remembered her manners and dipped into a curtsey the best she could, trying not to lose her balance from the crow on her shoulder.
“Good afternoon, Prince Cassian.” She said as she straightened herself up. “I apologise for running away from you. You startled me.”
“Ah, Levisia. So it is you.” Cassian scoffed. “Maybe if you were not so busy panicking, you would take a minute to actually realise who I was. And what are you doing here, anyway?”
Levisia flinched under his thunderous glare. It was the sort of look that Elizabeth sometimes gave Merril. One that screamed displeasure and disgust. Though, as she dared to look Cassian in the eyes, she realised that she could use this look to her advantage. Unlike the rest of the Kraidens, except for maybe Siaphyl, Cassian did have any special feelings towards her. He likely saw her as a nuisance, and wanted nothing to do with her.
That meant, despite him staring at her like he wanted nothing to do with her, he was the least troublesome of the Kraidens. He wouldn’t deliberately put her in the middle of his siblings and use her to stir up trouble. He was content to leave her be, and that suited her just fine.
Levisia quickly realised that she hadn’t answered Cassian’s question, and cleared her throat.
“Princess Elizabeth wanted me to join the inspection team.” She said, trying her best to hide her nerves.
“Elizabeth?” Cassian asked, his voice sceptical. His eyes slowly scanned her up and down. “Whatever for?”
“I didn’t want to join!” Levisia snapped, before taking some breaths to calm herself down. The last thing she wanted to do was get into an argument with one of the most important people in the Empire. “It was not my decision, Prince Cassian. Princess Elizabeth wrote my name on the inspection team, and forced me to come along. I did not intend for this to happen. Elizabeth dragged me along and then made this song-and-dance about me having to stay hidden to avoid Lidan, and that has all now been for nothing because Merril knows and now you know! Is nothing in my life private anymore?!”
Levisia angrily wiped away the tears that were starting to fall. She didn’t want to look at the pitiful look Cassian was giving her. She’d had enough pity for one day.
“Pathetic.” Cassian hissed. He reached out his arm and whistled. “Harrol, come. We must return to the carriages.”
Harrol, who was busy grooming himself, remained where he was on Levisia’s shoulder. Dread began to set into Levisia’s stomach as she shrugged her shoulder, trying to get him to fly away. Cassian loudly whistled, and clicked his fingers. Again, the bird ignored him, content to clean his feathers.
A tense atmosphere descended upon the clearing. Cassian, gradually becoming more enraged at Levisia; and Levisia, who was getting a backache from Harrol refusing to budge. The whole sounds were the rustling wind, Cassian clicking his fingers, and Levisia’s heavy breathing.
She mimicked Cassian’s pose, her arm held out in front of her and bent in at the elbow. Instantly, Harrol moved down from her shoulder and came to rest on her forearm. His claws were digging into her flesh, causing her to bite back the urge to yelp in pain.
“What are you doing to Harrol!” Cassian yelled; his hands clenched into tight fists. “How is he obeying you and not me, his owner!”
“I didn’t do anything, I promise!” Levisia shook her arm to get Harrol off. He remained firmly where he was, his claws digging further into her flesh. Levisia couldn’t help but cry out as pain radiated from her arm.
“It seems you must be doing something.” Cassian stepped forwards; his voice dangerously low. “I’ll ask you again: what have you done to my bird?”
“Nothing!” Levisia shouted loud enough to startle the birds within the trees. They flew away in a hurry, leaving Levisia alone with Cassian and Harrol.
Cassian reached out, his arm practically touching Levisia’s. Rather than hopping across to Cassian, Harrol took to the sky and flew around above their heads. Cassian let out another sharp whistle, shoving Levisia out the way. Levisia nearly lost her balance, stumbling backwards over a rock and barely managing to stop herself from falling backwards. No sooner had she recovered, Harrol was back on her shoulder, proudly spreading his wings out.