0 of 26 questions.
"The people who raised you aren't your birth parents," Pastor Lucas says quickly, like a dam has burst. Words are tumbling out of him in torrents. "You were born to King William and Queen Daphne."
"They were killed when you were just a month old," Lucas explains. "There was a revolt... a coup. Your father's younger sister, Princess Hazel, saw in your birth the end of her hopes for the throne."
"Gildeon isn't a kingdom of humans,
___," Jared says softly, and you realize with a shock that he's in on this, too. "At least, not JUST humans. There are also... elves."
_____." Jared takes a deep breath, then looks at you, his familiar face pleading for you to believe him. "I'M an elf. And so are you."
"Listen, I know this is hard to accept," Pastor Lucas says urgently. "But you'll see. It's all true,
____. As soon as you come to Gildeon with us, you'll see!"
Jared seems to realize how upset you're getting, because he leans forward and takes your hand. "
_____, I need you to be calm right now, okay? Gildeon needs you."
It's the passion in his eyes that convinces you that this isn't a joke. All three of these guys, including your best friend in the world, are certifiably insane.
You get to your feet and make a break for the door!
__, stop! Please!" Jared's big, familiar hand grabs your shoulder. Before you can react, a picture on the living room wall (a photo of you and Jared at his eighth birthday party) moves. On its own.
"Don't scare her, Levi," Jared admonishes, but it's too late for that. You watch the picture lift from the wall and float in front of you, blocking your way. Your blood runs thick and cold as ice.
"Told you we're elves," Levi says, popping up in front of you with a delighted grin. "Now come on, sit down. Let Prime Minister Lucas explain." Numbly, you allow yourself to be led back to the couch.
"We were talking about Hazel," Lucas says. "She began recruiting her army as soon as Daphne's pregnancy was certain, if you can call it an army. Prisoners, trolls... but most of all, goblins."
_____, I know it's hard to believe," Jared murmurs in his most calming voice. "It even sounds crazy to me these days. But would Lucas or I ever lie to you?"
"Oh." Jared drops his hands from your shoulders and looks away, avoiding your eyes. "Well, the prime minister... isn't... exactly... my father, exactly."
"But I AM Prime Minister of Gildeon," Lucas says authoritatively, pulling your attention back to his story. "Or I was, until Hazel's coup. Her rabble took the palace so quickly, it was like a flood."
Levi gives a snort of laughter, but Lucas looks grave. "They killed the sentries before any alarm could be raised, and Hazel continued inside. Your parents died before they had time to stand up."
"She could have killed you too, but she wanted you alive," Lucas continues. "That hesitation gave me time to spirit you away to the last place she'll ever look. The human world."
"I would have raised you as my own, but I had duties in Gildeon," says Lucas. "I gathered survivors and loyalists, and together we formed a resistance. Hazel has the throne, but we're holding strong."
"It took four years to get the resistance on its feet. As soon as it could run without me I came back," Lucas goes on. "You'd been adopted by then, so I went into the ministry to get close to you."
"Lucas, we should let her sleep," Jared says, sounding concerned. However, you still have a few questions.
Lucas doesn't look thrilled by the questions, but he begins rattling off answers. "In the human world, only the three of us know your location. Gildeon is another dimension."
"We're telling you now because it's time to take you home. The Provisional Council wants your training to start so that when we challenge Hazel openly, we can do it with a real queen at our head."
"Now, can we worry about everything tomorrow? You've got to be exhausted," Lucas says soothingly. You're not fooled. "You didn't answer my other question. Why didn't Hazel kill me?"
"She probably wanted you for an heir. It would give legitimacy to her regime," Lucas says. Out of the corner of your eye, you see Levi get to his feet and fold his arms over his chest.
"With respect, my lord, you can't have it both ways," Levi says. "Is she your queen or your child? Because you owe your queen the truth."
Lucas exhales. "Very well. The truth is, there's a fair chance that you have the potential to become the most powerful elf who's ever lived."