Chapter 9: The Execution I
“This is unfairly wrong to Anna father, its undeserving!” Calista sadly complained after everyone had exited the gathering, leaving her to stand before her father in the royal hall.
The fact her father had openly declared for Anna to be executed by Dawn tomorrow really made her restless as she nervously toyed with her fingers. Such punishment shouldnt be served to a young lady who is finally starting to come out of her shell.
Despite knowing her fathers second most trusted general in Euphrasia, Calista couldnt bring herself to accept the fact that Anna would stoop so low as to kill her own people.
She instantly shook her head in skepticism. No, Sir Arlow has to be wrong in this one, shes known Anna since they were kids and the Anna she knows would never take the life of another.
“I wish mother was around at this chaotic moment in time,” Calista muttered before letting out a disappointed sigh, “when she returns from her pilgrimage she wont be happy with the decision you chose to make father.”
She continuously spoke with the worry etching to her tone while her father, King Olis stood up from his royal seat and made his way down to the altar. His expression was one Calista found difficult to falter with as he equally went over everything that happened just a few minutes ago, it still felt like a dream which he found nearly impossible to wake up from.
“I am not happy with the decision I chose to make Callie.” He breathed, “and if your mother was really here, shed understand how helpless I was, you witnessed it yourself.”
“Then withhold her punishment,” Calista hopefully suggested while reaching towards her father, “investigate the issue further, she doesnt have to be executed for something she didnt do.”
As much as all the evidence and witnesses points to Anna being the killer, she has a strong feeling that whatever happened last night was actually connected to Annalise, but it was perfectly set to frame her.
What she couldnt figure out was who did it That made her brows knit into puzzlement as she went over the thousand suggestions in her head. Could it possibly be the unknown person who pushed Anna from the stairs
Meanwhile her father, hearing his daughter strongly defend Annalise made him turn his head her way, which made Calista lower her gaze while holding her tongue like a little girl who got scolded with just the look in his eyes. She wanted to prove Annas innocence but at the same time, couldnt risk angering her father over the issue as well.
“I am not happy, but that doesnt mean Ill break the rules of Euphrasia for the sake of her safety. According to the witnesses and the last word of the dead people, it clearly proves Annas guilt for the crime committed.”
“But it could have been anyone, it could have been me, would you execute me otherwise” She questioned, knowing her father would actually investigate the matter properly if she happened to fall victim last night.
King Olis on the other hand was rendered speechless by his daughters sudden questioning, she was his daughter, so of course hed do a better investigation cause itll bring shame to his kingdom. His expression softened a bit as he gave Calista a gentle pat on her shoulder.
“Im not only a father but a king, Callie, I have to set an example for the kingdom and cant choose favor over the well being of my people.”
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“But father.... Anna couldnt..”
“I understand your point, but if truly, Anna isnt guilty of this crime, shell survive.” He assured her, which of course Calista wasnt ready to buy.
“How Shes meant to be executed tomorrow!”
Calista still wasnt willing to agree but before she got a chance to protest or remind him properly of his own words, her father walked out of the hall, leaving Calista to her own frustration as she paced back and forth in the quiet hall.
Anna has only a day to prove herself innocent or else shed be executed by hanging tomorrow. Biting at her nails, Calista chooses to find a way out for Anna before it reaches Dawn.
Inside the kingdom of Euphrasia, the rest of the day hastily went by with the palace drowning in an uncomfortable silence. Sir Arlow had specifically taken the job of getting everything ready for Annas execution tomorrow.
Clearly, everyone was affected either positively or negatively with the punishment given to Annalise.
Deep In the barely lit dungeon below the castle walls. Annalise was sitting quietly in one of the cells while resting her back against the wall, staring into space while hugging her knees to her chest, gloomily resting her chin on it.
The rows of candles along the entrance of the dungeon were their only source of light, casting a shadowy figure of Anna on the wall, opposite where she sat.
She had passed out earlier in front of everyone and was still dealing with the strange dizziness even after waking up, but chose to keep herself together and fight through it.
Those disturbing nightmares had awoken her from her uneasy slumbers but she soon realized she was in the dungeon, they had her locked in the dungeon like an actual prisoner, for a crime she knew nothing of. But now shes meant to be executed tomorrow morning.
A quick shiver ran down her spine but it was due to how cold the dungeon was, its her first time actually coming to one or rather, being locked in one and it was freezing cold.
Her stomach ached due to the fact she hadnt eaten anything all day and her throat still remained dry from lack of water. She was extremely thirsty but knew if she asked for water, those guards would rudely ignore her.
Just thinking about her predicament and the unexpected turn of events made unstoppable tears roll from the brim of her eyes, down to her cheek and chin. Her heart ached like someone who had been stabbed with a thousand arrows to the point it left her suffocated. She could barely do anything to ease herself of the pain as her own people chose to never support her.
The floor was cold, including the walls and there was not a tiny piece of warmth found in the underground dungeon. So this is how it feels like to be locked in one, tortured slowly in the freezing cold, with no food, water or anything till you eventually beg for death itself.
It didnt bother her that she was going to die, but what hurt her most was the fact she was going to die for a crime she knew nothing about.
Silently crying over her despair, the sudden footsteps approaching the direction of her cell made her wipe her tears immediately. She might be heartbroken and weak, but she wont let anyone else see the pain in her eyes.
Adjusting herself properly in a more comfortable position, the owner of those footsteps finally stepped out of the shadows and came into view.
The seriousness in Annas eyes slowly faded after realizing the person was no one else but Calista. To be honest, she was more than stunned.
“Ca_calista” Those were the first words that escaped from her dried lips after regaining consciousness. Calistas worried blue eyes slowly raked over her.
Despite being thin already she felt Annalise had gone even thinner, her skin looked a lot paler than usual and her dress was all messed up from the dirts on the floor, yet, her eyes looked different in contrast to her situation.
“Annalise.” Calista reached for the irons of the cell, causing Anna to crawl over as well while holding onto the irons.
“My princess, you shouldnt be here, its cold and not suitable for you to be in.” Annalise reprimanded softly but Calista shoved it away.
“And you think youre the one suitable to be in a cell thats meant for criminals I wont allow it.” She shook her head while trying her best not to get angry, she felt like breaking the irons herself but shook the thought away, knowing she wasnt strong enough to do something like that even if she tried.
“Im fine, you dont have to worry about me, I guess this is just my fate.”
“This isnt your fate.” Calista corrected while wiping the tears which Anna didnt know was starting to crawl down her cheeks.
“Fate doesnt decide for us, were the ones who decide how we want our fate to be and how we choose to run it.”
“You dont have to worry, earlier this morning, I sent a letter to Adryan, and informed him whats been going on.” Calista secretly disclosed information, causing Annalise to look her way in disbelief.
Calista nodded with a smile forming at her lips, “he said hed be here as early as he can and in the meantime, Ill try to slow down the execution before he arrives, he might be our only chance of stopping this execution.”