Alia and Lucian rode into the capital city of Syburin, Castu, with the group of guards. They arrived at the capital gate that was blacked with ash and tar. “We should check for anyone who was near the blast area and check for any means of tactical bombing. Sir Lucian, please accompany me to the east and you rest travel west and south.” ordered Queen Alia.
She and Lucian studied the area and sought out those who where near the area of the blast. But almost no one saw any one near the blast zone and no one had been hurt. “I’m sorry madina but the only one near the area was the old shepherds son. He was in quite a shock for him when he saw this because he ran straight for the guards without a check on his father.” said an old woman who’d been hushing a screaming infant.
“No guards where notified.” Said the queen.
“No? Well that seems quite odd to all means. I wonder where he rushed off to.” The old woman said looking a bit confused. Alia had several ideas on what might of happened, but she’d need to question the guards and the Shepard’s son first.
“Where can we find the old Shepard, madina?” Asked Lucian.
“Just west of the gates dear you’ve only just passed it.” She said pointing in the direction they came. They bowed and thanked her and set backwards. As they approached the capital gate once more they came upon a guard from their scouting party lying on the ground. Lucian and Alia jumped off their horses. Alia surveyed the area while Lucian touched the man for a pulse. He was warm but dead and there didn’t appear to be any wound of any kind.
“He’s dead, just recently by his temperature.” He said pulling down the mans collar for signs of strangulation. ” I’m not quite sure how he died any ideas my lady”
“Hanseni are notorious for their ability to kill just by attacking a pressure point. Just one spot is all they need, I find it fascinating, don’t you?” She turned her head and smirked when suddenly the sound of two swords clashing caught their attention. They both sprinted fourth to the action as the remainder of their party had been sliced away by four clad in black.
“Halt and surrender!” commanded Lucian. The four looked at each other, shrugged, and sprinted toward the guard and queen.
“I guess you weren’t convincing.” Grunted Alia as she unsheathed her sword and launched forth. Two of the men in black clashed with Lucian as he launched in front if Alia. “For hells worth what are doing?” She shouted as she attack the others. They came from behind but Alia was to quick.
“I’m protecting you!” He shouted. “You would be so ungrateful to someone who serves their life to you?” He slashed one mans his chest while he spun to knock the other unconscious. Blood splattered to the ground as Alia launched forth to slice open one man and then cut the throat if the other.
“I can do well on my own you-” she couldn’t get the words out before he spoke.
“Shut up, My lady you are being a brat. I serve you my life I expect to be seen less as intimidation and more as an ally.” He said hovering over her. He bark like an obedient dog wanting his master to take cover. She flung her sword back into a man same as the others that ran towards her. “You speak so familiar but you are but a dog. What I say you, you do.” She said so calmly. But furry raged behind her eyes. She was humiliated.
“Your upset,” he grinned. “your upset that I protect you, aren’t you?” He said. He teased her and she hated it. She glared, her stare could set a man on fire. She thought about the idea of setting him on fire and thought otherwise. ” You be so arrogant as to deny help in the face of danger?” he yelled as she walked away.
“Lets go.” She said and continued to walked to where their horses were. She hated him, it was settled, she would kill him if she were next to him any longer.
“I’ve gotten you a hostage my lady. If that isn’t dog like I will be sure to catch you a rabbit or a goose.” He joked.
“Surely I crave goose tonight” she glared and climbed onto her horse. They rode close to the village expecting more men in black. They reached the castle gates before dawn. Having only found the remaining bombs and no men in black.
“I expected more then just four men.” Lucian said as they entered the horse shed. He threw the unconscious man on a chart and got of his horse.
“Small parties mean less chance of someone getting caught.” Alia said as she climbed off her horse. Shed been riding horses all her life. But the horse she was given to by her husband was tall and unsteady. She feared she would break something if she got of too quickly. But it was never hard to get down or up.
“Saints have me, where am I” said the man in black. He had crawled off and was now laying halfway off of the cart. His hands and head in hay. “What have you done to my leg Sirs?” He panicked. He kicked his legs high off the cart and flipped into dung.
“Thus man has proven that he worth nothing more but to build and die.” Queen Alia said as she watch the man roll in dung. “Guards!” she called.
Queen Alia sat at her desk. She hadn’t changed yet, she felt as though she’d have to leave once again. The queen watched the door ready for her knight to come escort her. She was excited, this man held information about the Hanseni. They were advanced but very vulgar and unruly. The Hanseni were a people that held strong beliefs and worshiped women. The Hanseni women could see the future and could talk to the earth making them the most powerful of their people. The men were skilled fighters and protected the most powerful of their women and leaders.
Lucian entered the room and bowed, “My lady he is ready to speak and he request that you negotiate his freedom for information.” He looked only to notice that she was glaring at him, “What is it my Queen?” he asked.
“You don’t knock.” she growled.
“My apologies My lady” he fully bowed, ” I have over looked my actions and I have no shame please forgive me.” he apologized. He was a gentlemen and he would never want her to think otherwise. She looked at him for a moment and stood and walked over.
“Let us take our leave, you are forgiven.” she said as she walked out of her room. She was flustered by him. His dark eyes caught her attention, his deep voice was soft. He was too gentle and he cared too much. “I’m an idiot” she whispered under her breath as she walked down the hall of grand castle. It was hers now and no one else’s to rule or send her to her room and ignore her.
“Who’s the idiot?” Lucian said leaned to look at her.
“No one I’ve said nothing.” She said and looked away.
“My lady forgive me if I should offend you, but-” he cleared his throat.
“I will not forgive teasing and I will punish you in the worst way if you decided to think other wise.” She glared uncaring of his statement.
“Silence your teasing has gone on far too long, you will be removed if you continue.” She said and walked down to the dungeon. She wanted to be serious right now. She couldn’t handle his teasing when she needed to be ruthless. ‘His words would be my undoing, I just know it.’ she thought.
When they reached the interrogation room Alia stopped. “Sir Lucian you will stay here and when I call I will need you to do one thing.”
“That shall be, my lad?” He looked at her.
“You should know, as my knight, you will have to know what I am about to do before I do it. You need to know what I want from you at all time Sir Lucian.” She said and walked into the room.
The man was strangely handsome, his eyes were low and he had a round face and full lips. He looked up and his jaw dropped as if he’d seen a god. His broad shoulders rolled and he leaned back. “Good dawn to you your Majesty. How can I help you on this good morn?” He said in his Hanseni accent thick and drawn out.
“You infiltrated my capital, you tell me.” Said and smiled. She didn’t like the way he looked at her. He leered at her body making her conscious of her attire. She looked at him, “If there a problem with my attire?”
“It is strange that a woman such as yourself would look like such a piece of brothel trash.” He smiled kindly mocking his own words. Alia hesitated.
“Yes, it seems you and my mother would have taken a liking to each other. Though i’d disagree, its easy to move around in when slicing open the enemies of my country.” She said as she crossed the table.
He leaned forward, “I see that you fair well on murdering the people who mean you good will.” He rose leaning over the table. “You have no idea the troubles that come?” He asked and narrowed his eyes he looked down at her face. Almost inspecting her big eyes and dark lips.
“You jest.” she said as she tapped his shoulder guiding him back to his chair. He sat and glared at the queen who was dim in the light. Her skin dark brown like her eyes that glowed radiant with heated rage.
“I do not jest your Majesty, I only suggest that you listen to what I have to say.” He said.
“I shall humor you. Rather, I will listen and if what you say is credible I will listen to anything you have to say afterwards.” She said.
He cleared his throat and sat straight as if he were a shoulder. “I come to you your Majesty to warn you of a prophecy from the highest of the Hanseni court.” He said and pulled himself close to the table. He leaned on his elbows.
” ‘The end times of peace may bring tragedy to the north of Syburin and the Queen and her guard.’ ” he recited. ” ‘ In the days end of the seventh harvest moon, ice will fall and never rise. If, and only if, the queen releases the Ninth from her cage. Peace will then fall once again on her kingdom.’ ” he finished smiling.
“Surely you are lacking a few.” she said as she looked at him wide eyed. “We live in a world where there is magic, a dragon, women who see the future, and those who are strong as gods. But I’ve never in my life heard of anything pertaining to what you’ve said to me.”
“You think my people do not think the same? You think my people find this of importance?” He said feeling agitated.
“I believe there is truth to this, all lies have a grain of truth of course.” She said siting in the chair across from him. “Sir Lucian!” She called. He walked in and stood as a if he were statue.
“Tell me what you think of a prophecy that for tells the end times of Syburin-”
“All of the North, your Majesty” said the man.
“Very well, all of the North and the only way to stop it is the release a creature called the ‘Ninth’.” She said as she looked at the man. She was interested but it seemed far fetched.
The man looked at him. “Are you her guard, good sir?” The man asked. He’d been staring at him as if he would be able to dig into his very mind.
“Yes.” He answered not understanding why he asked.
“Sir, exactly what is your name?” She asked. She never liked calling men ‘sir’ she believe most we not deserving just weren’t deserving.
“Dahlon Mouth your Majesty” he said bowing slightly. She looked at him remembering that he was Hanseni. She knew that name but the only way to confirm her suspicion was to see his family markings. Every Hanseni child when they came of age were marked with the story of their family name.
“Yes your Majesty.”
“Show me your markings.”
“My apologies your Majesty but you seem too forward. I wouldn’t want to offend your gentle king.” He said chuckling at the idea.
“The king is dead you can not offend what no longer exist. Now show me your marking or I will see them on your corpse.” She said stern and unamused.
“Yes your Majesty.” He stood and removed his top. His button had seals of high royalty. His markings black and blues like bruises across his chest dancing and folding on one another flying across his shoulder and arms.
“Your a born prince?” She asked looking at him confused. Shed never been in contact with Hanseni royalty. Never have they stepped foot in her country.
“Your Majesty my apologies for my untold truths but I needed to you to hear me out-”
“Silence!” She said and stood. “Your prophecy was from who?” She asked leaning over the table. He was to tall to look directly at so she stood on her toes and looked up.
“My mother, the Queen, Salah Mouth of the Hanseni.” He said and bowed in her name. A custom they’ve done in respect to their high tellers.
“Your mother sees all that can happen and you come on the pretense of disturbing my peace making!” She slammed the table. She breathed in deeply. “How old do you have to be for you to be this ignorant?” She paced. “We could have killed you when we fought, you could have died!”
“Twenty two years of age.” He said. A whole year older than she and he made such a mistake. The queen was baffled. “In my defense I did not know your were the queen or that your guard was Racktu.” he mumbled
“My lady I suggest you calm your self.” Lucian said. He was just as baffled being even younger than he. Two years was a long way for him to not think of his actions.
Alia stopped and turned to him, “You say that my peace making will lead to the end times, how?” She asked narrowing her eyes. She was curious about this ignorant prince knowledge.
“My mother suggest that it will come from the imbalance of destruction and chaos. ‘Without one there can be no other.’ My mother explains, ‘If two peaceful countries were to make peace then were does chaos rest?’ ” he said.
“Your mother is a stranger to thinking as well. I believe she talks of the God of war, am I correct?” She asked rolling her eyes.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“Then that would explain why war would need to rage for there to be no end times.” She thought aloud.
“My lady I believe he means no harm.” He said staring Dahlon with uncaring eyes. He was forcing himself to approve of this shirtless man.
“Does your position strain you good knight?” Dahlon smirked. His whole smirked flexed is relaxed muscles. He wasn’t very muscular but fit. His light tanned skin showed like candle light in the dimly lite room.
Queen Alia looked at him and then to Lucian. She was curious he seemed uncomfortable since he entered the room. She wondered if it was If was Dahlon being shirtless. It made her feel shy, having never seen a man undressed before.
Lucian sighed, “I feel as though this is bit rushed.” He said looking at Dahlon. Alia turned to see what he might be examining. She stared and even tilted her head to see him from different angles. In the end she was only flustered and covering her red face in embarrassment. “Please put your clothes on Sir Dahlon”
“Do I offend you good knight?”
“You have no idea.” Lucian said. He looked at the queen staring at Dahlons half naked body. ‘You have no idea how much you offend me.’ He thought to himself. Lucian blinked at himself unaware being slowly undone by his queen.
Guards flew into the room making him jump, “My queen we beg your forgiveness but Captian Falk has summoned an audience with you.” The guard gasped. “He says the northen state of Lysine has started to freeze over.”