The Adviser: Day 21 of 31 Days
For Day 1, click on the image above
He was going away. Jewel’s beloved prince, who had rescued her from the Enchanter’s land and brought her into his own kingdom, was going away. She did not know when or for how long, but he was leaving, and she would be alone.
Jewel felt sick with tears. All she could think to do was cling to him and beg him not to go.
“Why are you clinging to me?” he asked, and he would not let her hold him back. “Trust me.”
Jewel wished she could wiggle out of her doubt and slip back to a very brief time in her childhood when she had not yet learned that trust was too precious to give away.
“You’re afraid,” the prince said, looking at her with kind eyes. “Do not be afraid.”
“No one who’s left me has ever come back,” Jewel countered, as if all the hurt in her past could justify the fear and doubt she felt toward him now.
“I know.” He wrapped her up in his arms and whispered into her hair. “I’m sorry.”
Tears flowed down Jewel’s face.
“I know your fears, and I’m asking you to trust me in spite of them. Because you must know this about me: if I did not abandon you when you were outside my gates, I will not abandon you on the inside.”
“But you’re leaving.”
“Yes, but I am not leaving you alone.”
Just then, the door to the vault swung open, and a shadowy figure stepped into the opening. “I thought you might need a helper, so my father sent the very best one he could think of.”
The man stepped forward, a shock of flaming red hair grabbing the light. He was not very tall or very broad, but he looked powerful nonetheless. In one hand, he held a scroll, in the other, a sword.
It was terrifying.
Jewel looked at the prince for an explanation because so far, this was worse than being left alone.
“My people call him the Adviser, although that hardly describes how important he is to me. He is like my right arm.”
The adviser bowed slightly.
“My kingdom could not run without him! There is not a stone he has not set in place, or a single person he has not helped to train in the ways of our father, the king.”
The adviser stepped forward and held out the scroll.
“In fact, he has brought you our ancient writings. Everything you need to know about how to honor the king and live like me—it’s all here. You don’t ever have to worry or wonder. All you have to do is read it.”
Jewel had tried to read the scrolls herself, but with every page, she felt like she had to unlearn everything she had ever known. “It’s overwhelming,” Jewel admitted. “I feel like I don’t know anything, and now you’re leaving and I’m supposed to just be you when I’m not even very good at being me.”
“You do not have to worry about being you, Jewel. Just stay close to me, and you’ll begin to understand who you truly are.” It was the adviser’s voice in her ears. As he spoke, his eyes warmed with kindness, as if he could already see her adorned with all the riches in the prince’s kingdom.
With astonishment, she realized he loved her.
“Why do you love me?” she blurted out, then clapped her hand over her mouth because she hadn’t meant to say it. But how else could she respond when this man seemed to know and cherish her when they’d only just met?
“I love you because you are his.”
The answer was simple but profound. The words sucked the breath right out of Jewel’s lungs. Once again, she realized it was the prince who made her lovely. It was the prince who made her loved. And it was because of him that this adviser had come to her side. Not because the adviser first loved her, but because of the perfect, reciprocal love he and the prince had for one another.
“You are his prized possession, Jewel,” the adviser was saying. “You are his bride. Do not fear. I will use all the resources at my disposal to protect and defend you. There is nothing I have not already overcome.”
Jewel noted the sword at his side and was comforted.
She was also thankful she was no longer his enemy. She knew that if she had met him just a short time before, she would not have been able to stand in his presence. Surely, she had been full of the very things he was protecting the kingdom from.
As it was, Jewel felt a dividing was about to take place in her life. There was no doubt in her mind that this adviser—this Advocate–would not hesitate to cut away the things that had no place on this side of the wall.
The sharp edge glinted in the light. She couldn’t help but wonder how much of her would be left when he was through.
*Join us tomorrow for Day 22!