He pushed open a small wooden gate and made his way into the rich blooming garden. An archway of green vines extended before him, sea blue flowers blossomed all around. Bringing with them the sweet smell of an ocean breeze. He closed his eyes drew a deep breath through his nose. It felt as if he was back on the shoreline, bare feet in wet sand and the yearning for a sea-faring adventure.
The man continued to walk down the white stone walkway, till he reached a cross junction. He cocked his head and looked down each of the pathways. Colour beamed from every direction, the entirety of the garden was in flower and it truly was a spectacle to behold.
A range of plant life had been gathered there, from all reaches of the globe. Curiosity got the better of him as he turned to his left and followed the humble pathway deeper into the diverse nursery of flora. Spanning above him now was an abundance of small yellow saplings, secreting a sweet smell that pleased the senses. Once again he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, this time he found himself standing in a shallow meadow. A sea of green and yellow span out from under him, shimmering gently in the cool mid-morning breeze.
“Bast!” A soft voice called out.
He opened his eyes and found himself back in the garden, he turned to see a young sprightly woman walking elegantly towards him. She was adorned with a toga, made of flowing white silk. A black belt was strapped around her waist. Silver blonde hair adorned her head, an elegant plait ran from the girls forehead and followed all the way down to her lower back.
“Daisy. Its an honour.” He bowed slightly as she approached him.
“You do not need to bow to me, just because I am lord protectorate now. You helped me remember, I wouldn’t have this without you.” She lunged forward, bringing Bast in tightly for a hug. “So great to see you again.”
Bast smiled warmly, “You have a beautiful garden Daisy. It’s truly incredible.”
She knelt down, smelling a small blue flower that sat in the garden bed at their feet. “Thank you Bast, However I suppose its nothing akin to the underwater gardens of Aurelia. It must be a breath taking place to see.”
“It is. However Bokung is refusing entry to the reef at the moment. On account of the hostilities.”
“The Argapods are a wise race.”
“I shall take you when the next opportunity arises.” Bast replied, whilst taking Daisy’s delicate hand and helping her onto her feet. “Can I ask why it is that you have summoned me here?”
“Certainly, I wanted to show you something.” She took his hand and led him down a series of winding pathways, leading ever deeper into the thick green of the garden.
They reached a large circular clearing of lush green grass. In the centre of this clearing stood a circular stone building, Which had a large set of steel doors facing towards them. The two of them made their way across and Daisy pulled a small key from her pocket, slowly opening one of the large white doors.
They made their way inside. The room was almost in complete darkness. Only one solid beam of light pierced its way into the room, highlighting a small black and red rose that sat in the middle of it.
“This is what you wanted to show me?” Bast asked confused, kneeling down to look at the singular flower.
“Do you know what that is? It’s a blood rose.” Daisy replied.
“I’ve never heard of one of those before… It certainly is beautiful.”
“They’re extremely rare, many people thought they were just myths. Want to guess why they call it a blood rose Bast?”
He stood up and watched as Daisy circled the room. Dipping in and out of shadow as she went. She came full circle and stood behind him, draped in darkness.
“It’s because they feed off blood.”
In a flash, Daisy brought her foot into the back of Bast leg causing him to crash to his knees. Before he had a chance to react she already had a blade poised at his throat. He stared down at the small timid rose beneath him.
“I’ve heard about your little revolt Bast. I know about your secret meetings with Bokung and the Muskove council. You helped me free this land from a tyrant. Don’t ruin everything we’ve achieved by trying to start a civil war.”
“The Argapods don’t want war, they want independence, as does Muskove. That’s all.”
Daisy brought the sharp blade closer to his throat. He closed his eyes and prepared for the end. But it never came. She withdrew her blade, but not before slashing it quickly across his cheek.
A small stream of blood poured out, a small droplet of which fell onto the rose beneath him. It soaked up the blood like a sponge and grew a little larger.
Daisy tucked the blade neatly away within her toga. She took a step back and faded completely into the darkness that surrounded the room. Her voice echoed.
“If I find out you’re making trouble for me again Bast, that rose is going to get a lot bigger. Now leave.”
Bast got to his feet, took a deep breath and composed himself. He touched the small cut upon his cheek. He glanced around the room and could see nothing but darkness. Only the small blood rose stood, flooded in a single beam of sunlight, he stared at it. Let out a heavy sigh of frustration, turned and left. Ready to return home, to Muskove.