Favored By The Villain - Chapter 111
Before Cassian could say anything about the display of behaviour, Harrol let out an ear-piercing squawk and took to the air. Her arm and shoulder now free, Levisia rubbed the area where Harrol had been perched. She rolled her sleeve back to see that, to her immense relief, Harrol’s claws had not broken through her skin, but her arm was sore and swollen to the touch. She made a mental note to apply some cold water to it when she returned to the carriage as Harrol continued to screech at an unknown enemy.
As Cassian reached to the scabbard that was attached to his belt, Levisia ducked behind a tree. She wanted to avoid any confrontation if she could help it. Cassian and Harrol were bad enough. She didn’t want to be in actual, physical danger. If Cassian told her to run, she would be ready to.
After waiting behind the tree for what felt like an eternity, she heard rustling next to her. She froze, waiting to see what else would happen. When a branch snapped, she bent down to pick up a fallen tree branch. She lashed out at the person who appeared in her peripheral vision, gasping when the figure caught her outstretched hand.
“Honestly, who do you think you are? Attacking a member of the Imperial family is a crime, I’ll have you know.” Cassian ripped the branch from her hand and let go of her wrist. “I don’t know what you did, or why Elizabeth chose to bring you along. This is a matter for the Kraidens to deal with. Are you a Kraiden?”
“I… No, I’m not.” Levisia held onto her arms, and curled in on herself. She knew she didn’t belong, and Cassian’s words proved it. She was only around because of Elizabeth treating her like a pet. And with Merril using her to get under Elizabeth’s skin, and Lidan being, well, Lidan… She couldn’t fit in even if she tried.
But, maybe, she didn’t want to fit in. Before Cassian started shouting at her for Harrol acting up, she preferred his attitude towards her. It meant that she was not being scrutinised for her every mood, and she was free to do what she wanted. Something clicked inside her, like a candle had been struck in the darkness. The Kraidens stuck to her because they liked her, even though it was not that reciprocated. If they were to dislike her, they would go out of their way to avoid her. Levisia couldn’t help but smile at the first glimmer of hope she had felt in a long time. For the remainder of the time she was at the Imperial Palace, her goal had changed from simply trying to survive the ins and outs of the Kraiden politics. Now, she would strive to make them all hate her to the point where they wanted nothing to do with her.
“What the hell are you smiling at? You look like you’ve received a divine blessing.”
Levisia smiled at Cassian’s confused expression. She gave him a proper curtsey, now that her shoulders were not weighed down by his crow.
“Thank you, Prince Cassian.” She said as she straightened up, her smile still stretching from ear to ear. “You have made me realise something very important. As you say, I am not a Kraiden. Nor do I want to be one. I am Levisia White, and I am going to make my own path. I came here because I was forced to by Elizabeth, and I am going to make the most of a bad situation.”
“Did you hit your head or something? What are you talking about?” Cassian folded his arms. “I don’t know what my siblings see in you.”
“Neither do I.” Levisia started walking away from Cassian. “Oh, and by the way.” She turned her head to face him. “Perhaps you should try being nicer to Harrol. Maybe then he might come to you. Just a thought.” She turned back around and continued walking away with a spring in her step. It felt as though a weight had been lifted off her chest, and that the rain clouds that had been loitering about her head had cleared away to reveal a brilliant blue sky. The sun was shining down on her in both the physical and metaphorical sense. She slowed down, basking in the light and the warmth of the sun’s rays.
She was certain that nothing could ruin her blissful mood, no matter how unexpected the news. Her smile was still there when she reached the carriages, and she climbed into hers ready to face Elizabeth and Merril. Though, neither of them were there. Not to be deterred, Levisia took out her book and continued reading, able to properly focus on the words without Merril peering over her shoulder.