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|Ahh, My pet project. This is my story that I work on the most often. The title is very subject to change since I'm not overfond of it. Please note scenes of violence are in this story. The first chapter.||
Chapter One – Sudden Tidings
Queen Jade sat on the dais next to her husband during the trial and hearing of various criminals. She looked around the room, taking in the tapestries on the wall, and the gilt on the edging along the floors and roof. Her gray-green eyes narrowed slightly at the sight of the one-handed dirty man looking at her, raw desire in his eyes. She shuddered in horror and revulsion at the thought of the man touching her. She nearly screamed when he lunged towards her, only the hold of the guard and the chains kept him from succeeding. Her heart beat fast and she was sure her color was high; fear tempered in the fires of disgust rotted away any pity she may have felt before hand. She resented the fact that she was forced to be witness to the presence of these foolhardy criminals.
As her attention span wandered she noticed other things like the way her husband shifted in his chair, and the hand of his guard on his shoulder keeping him awake and sitting upright. She was sitting on a gold plated throne set a little back from her husband’s. The throne was hard and stiff to sit on for extended periods of time, Jade thought, trying to find a more comfortable position. She further reflected upon her husband. Right, she thought derisively, he sure isn’t much of a husband. Her eyes slanted at her husband's claw like hands clenching the thrones arms so hard that his knuckles were ghastly white, and protruding. Her gaze traveled up his form, from the thin ribs to the flesh hanging off his bones, and his face, which reminded her of a skeletal skull, the hair becoming stringy and hanging in patches all over his head. She shuddered, and wondered how her father could have possibly married her off to such a thing. She partially pitied him, for he had bought himself a young and beautiful bride, as well as cheating his way to the throne.
Ah yes, the throne, Jade attempted to smother giggles. Her husband's second guard settled a hand on her shoulder and caressed the smooth column of her neck. Jade smiled serenely leaning slightly into the caress of her lover, Adan. Jade got all flushed just thinking about the few nights they had shared.
She tried to train her attention on the dirty ragman once again as her husband proclaimed in a watery voice, “He shall die at dawn on the morrow of the Primary Sun.”
Jade sighed once again; she also resented the fact that she was allowed no word in the sentencing of these people.
“Husband, Majesty…. What has this man done?” Jade hissed
“He has stolen from the markets twice, raped several women and had one hand removed already, therefore Lady Wife, he shall die on the morrow.” He said automatically dismissing her once again. Oh yes some husband, she thought bitterly. Jade leaned back into her chair, as the man was lead away.
She reflected upon the lands themselves now. Rethia, it was a beautiful place to live, and raise children, well protected by the kings army and mages, the people had very little to fear. That would most defiantly change once his brother came into power.
Jade stifled a yawn growing tired of reflection, she glanced to her husband before noticing that he was asking the guards to bring in the next prisoners. She was startled at the shrill screams that started coming from the hallway. A child, who didn't look more than ten or twelve, was kicking and screaming as the other child behind it walked with a quiet and injured dignity. Jade couldn’t make out the words but from the way the taller one was struggling to get to the other she assumed it had something to do with that. She watched calmly as they were brought before her and her husband and forced to kneel on the floor before them. Her eyes were trained on the two and the voices started echoing through her head.
“What crime have these two committed?” asked the King
“These two have committed the offensive act of Murder,” a guard spoke.
“Murder?” The king spoke incredulously.
Jade didn’t realize that her gaze was trained on the children; she didn’t even notice it when she sucked in a breath through her teeth, almost causing her pain in the tightly laced corset. Her spine suddenly straightened out almost as though she had a steel rod for a backbone. Her blood chilled further as the guard pronounced in ringing tones.
“Murder. They killed their father in cold blood with 14 people as witnesses, along with your brother Majesty.”
“WE didn’t! I did!” shouted the taller of the children, ones whose ragged red hair parted showing vibrant and defiant brown eyes.
The guard smacked the child across the face; the child fell to the ground and slowly stood up leaving a small bloody smear across her cheek. Jades teeth clenched at the realization that the two were female children.
“Shut-up trash and address their Royal Majesties as they deserve,” the guard reproached.
The girl stood up straight and tall and looked Jade straight in the eyes silently, asking for pity, or mercy? Jade wasn’t quite sure.
The brown-eyed child said quietly, “He would have killed us. I had to kill him first, before he killed my sister.”
The other child, who had long black hair ragged at the ends and big blue eyes that seared the soul, hiccuped between tears,” Please don’t kill us, Majesties. Please."
Jades looked wildly to her husband from the corner of her eye, his lips were compressed and his eyes were narrowed. Jade slanted another look at her husband noticing the flashing look of warring pity and mercy shaping his features. He sucked in a breath and Jade felt something crumble inside of her, her hands were clenched on the arms of the throne.
A sudden rap on the door broke the tension in the room the way glass shatters when it encounters stone. A footfall echoed in the doorway, Jade tore her gaze away from the pleading brown eyes and raised them to the doorway where a man was silhouetted by the fading sunlight. What was left of the sunlight sparked on the man's golden locks, but the rest of his face was bathed in shadow
Jade knew who he was though, and whispered the name under her breath, "Danik…”
“Come now, Brother,” came the sneering voice from the doorway, ”You aren’t going to let murderers live are you? What kind of old man have you become?” The child with the deep brown eyes turned towards the doorway, her eyes narrowed and her mouth set in a fine line.
Jade stood up and demanded, "What in the seven hells are you doing here, Danik?”
The corners of Danik’s mouth quirked upwards as he spoke, "Jade darling, I’ve come to claim my bride as well as my throne. Our father had intended me to sit there and not the rotting piece of flesh that is there now. And of course he also intended for me to have you.”
“Excuse me?!,” Jade shrilled.
The child with blue eyes paled and moved closer to the other child for comfort, the guards having turned to look at Danik.
“You heard me Jade, I’m tired of waiting, so now I’m going to take what is rightfully mine,” Danik said, "Of course, Jade, you wouldn’t know about having to wait would you? Being the only daughter of our neighboring King Bendarek. You would have inherited a throne anyway.”
Jade paled and stumbled back into Adan unable to say anything.
Danik smiled somewhat bitterly as he saw that his guards had stood the king up. He walked over to his brother, and pulled out a long ebony handled dagger in scripted with runes of pain and illness on it.
“Recognize this brother dear?” Danik asked, his voice laced with venom.
The King's eyes bugged out of his head and his breathing turned raspy. Jades own eyes widened and she would have fainted had Adan not been holding her up…
“The Death dagger…but it’s just a myth.” Jade whispered
“Does this look like a myth Jade, my darling?” Danik
“That…Where did you get that? It’s not supposed to be here…used…” The King gasped.
Danik cackled, and Jade realized that he was insane. That was why Darik hadn’t put his legitimate first-born child upon the throne. Adan’s hands gripped her upper arms holding her steady when she would have flown at Danik.
“Why did you kill our father?” asked Blue Eyes, one of the children. Jade had started calling the children by their eye colors.
Danik smiled coldly and walked over to Blue Eyes….
“Sweet little Honor. My precious baby girl,” Danik said, “I’m your father. I don’t know who N’tasha’s father was, after all, your mother was a whore.”
Honor screamed and flew at Danik, inadvertently landing on the upraised dagger. Danik took an involuntary step backward, pulling out the dagger with a squishing sound. N’tasha jumped forward and caught Honor before she hit the floor, her wounded blue eyes already going glassy with death. The dagger claims lives so much more quickly than normal, Jade thought wildly. Danik looked stricken and took another step backward his fingers partially red from the smeared rivulets of blood on the dagger, his daughter's blood. Whatever humanity Jade may have seen in his eyes left them as life flowed out of his daughter, his one last string to sanity.
N’tasha screamed and a large blast of violet flames flew from her fingertips, the flames turning from magical bursts to real and very deadly flames. Her clothes and hands had smears of red on them, the magic burning stronger due to the recent death. The magic ate at the blood becoming stronger, burning true white.
“Honor!” N’tasha screamed, tears of rage and pain flowing down her slender face, her eyes burning the same violet color of the original flames now echoing the colors of the real flames.
Adan stepped forward gathering the shaking and crying twelve year old into his arms, before turning around and unceremoniously yanking Jade towards the servant's exit. He yelled to the king's men, those last brave few that were still on his side anyway.
“Protect His Majesty with your lives!”
Adan soon had the small group running through the maze of hallways, passages and rooms, trying to get us out to the stables without being noticed by the traitorous guards.
“Oh please, can’t we slow down even a bit?” Jade asked with a pleading tone in her voice.
“Look Jade, I love you and I’m not about to stand around and watch a mad man murder you right under my nose! We are getting out of this place if I have to fight my way out," Adan said through gritted teeth.
He led them down to the stables and when she looked up at the Main Hall. Jade realized in some detached corner of her mind that it was on fire, yet Danik simply stared out the window wearing a demented smile and cradling his dead child in his arms. Jade knew then that whatever the future held for Rethia, it wasn’t a good one.
She heard N’tasha scream, whether in pain or rage, she honestly didn’t know. Jade was shoved up into a horse with an unconscious N'tasha placed into her arms once it was certain Jade wasn’t going to fall off.
Jade's last look back revealed a small boy standing on the battlements, his oversized cloak fluttering in the wind and the dying rays of the sun glinting of his mop of blonde hair. Jade wondered who he was before she recalled Danik's son, Christian.
7 years later
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