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Xena: Choose Your own Adventure #2
|CHAPTER #21 ----- THE DISAPPOINTMENT||
H = 23 & 24, X = 9
Gabrielle narrowed her eyes and turned back to where they were going. She looked at Donerik.
"You never answered my question," Gabrielle said to the big man.
"What question?" Donerik asked.
"The one about you following Danaka all over the place."
"She's a wonderful warrior, a true hero. She's brave and she's a leader."
Gabrielle got a sinking feeling that this situation looked a lot like Callisto and Theodorus. Theodorus loved Callisto - Callisto wanted no part of him.
"She's not a hero. A hero is Xena," Gabrielle slipped.
"You don't think that your sister is a hero?" Donerik asked, confused. "Well, sibling rivalry, you know," she laughed nervously.
"It doesn't matter, anyway. She married a warlord's son. His name is Sphaerus," Donerik shrugged.
Gabrielle got a huge lump in her throat. It's not like she was deeply in love with Sphaerus, but *him* with Danaka was *not* a good idea.
"Explain to me how she got to marry Sphaerus," Gabrielle said, truly wanting to know.
"She threatened him, blackmailed him, bribed him, you name it, she tried it. Eventually, she had a dagger at his throat she threatened to set his brother's grave on fire. That got to the kid. He agreed to the marriage, and Danaka compensated the land. Now, Sphaerus loves his job - being a warlord," Donerik sighed hopelessly.
"I'm sorry," Gabrielle said under her breath.
"What? Why are sorry?"
"I know that you love her. You admire her with all your heart. Don't give up on that. She'll soon realize the dedication that she missed all these years," Gabrielle managed a sad smile. Donerik just sighed and nodded slowly.
They soon passed a mound of rocks. Gabrielle hoped that they were on the right track, and she hoped that Xena had caught back up. She was too worried to ask, for fear that Danaka would get suspicious.
Gabrielle figured that they were on the right track. There was only one road, so Gabrielle thought that they couldn't go wrong.
About two miles down the road, Gabrielle stopped the army. She knew that it was ridiculous doing so, but she wanted to scout the upcoming valley.
"Why do you want to scout it? Don't you know what's over that ridge?" Danaka asked, pursing her lips. That habit was beginning to bother Gabrielle.
"Of course I know! I just want to... make sure that it's still like that!" Gabrielle explained defensively.
Gabrielle went a few more yards and looked over the ridge. There was a village about the size of her own, and people were yelling happily to one another. Burnt trees outlined the area. Gabrielle had a sinking feeling that this was Cirra - and that the journey was over.
She climbed back down the hill and motioned for the army to move ahead. Danaka nodded and grinned. Gabrielle's stomach sunk.
Danaka approached the valley quickly on her horse, galloping around the village in circles. She came back to her army and Gabrielle.
"You really are Callisto," Danaka grinned. Gabrielle forced a smile, but groaning under her breath.
Danaka didn't notice and dismounted her horse. The next thing Gabrielle knew, she was being embraced by a warlord.
"Callisto, let's move here to Cirra. We'll live together as sisters. I won't be a warlord anymore! That's what you want, isn't it?" Danaka was breathless, her face glowing.
Gabrielle felt like crying. Why did a burden have to be put on her like this? If she moved with Danaka, then lives would be saved. But then - where was Xena?
"Where's Xena?" Gabrielle blurted out.
Danaka's smile faded. "You hug me but you think of her? Was she like a sister to you?" Gabrielle shrugged, not knowing how to answer.
"I killed her," Danaka said quickly.
"No, you didn't. I don't believe you," Gabrielle's voice cracked, not knowing what to believe.
"Oh? Well - here's her sword," Danaka pulled out the familiar weapon and showed it to Gabrielle.
Gabrielle's jaw dropped.
This was not good.
If Gabrielle doesn't believe that Danaka killed Xena, and she goes to look for her best friend, go to chapter #42.
If Gabrielle stays with Danaka to prevent the death of hundreds, go to chapter #43.