Chapter One-Preview – due to it being an unfinished piece
A child stood among carcasses in the middle of a village. The village homes were dark making the only light from the moon. A wind breeze blew smoke from the cabins to the sky. Blood was dripping from a silver katana as a gleam from the moonlight hit it. Her eyes a glowing red. “ Ristina, Ristina !” A boy with golden blonde hair cried out to the child desperately trying to obtain her attention.
Her black locks of hair covered only part of her eyes as she stared down towards another living villager. The villager boy was shaking as he wiped his hands along the crevices of a dark apron. The sword was pointed at his throat prepared to slice right through. Just before the sword dove for the villager her eyes changed to a soft blue color. A clang from the sword dropping wrang through the nearly empty village. “What just-” She fell to her knees, breathless from the amount of energy it took for her body to have killed nearly an entire village.
“ You should not be asking what just happened, but rather what set her off?” The golden blonde locked boy only two years older than her spoke as if the scene was a typical slaughter for the young girl.
“We were supposed to only pass through the village-” A man dressed in a royal purple kimono walked towards the two children his eyes stone cold when looking at the young girl. “ I said I was going to come back. I did not say kill the villagers.”
“She was afraid they would discover her true identity, and try to sell her off.” The man huffed as if the very thought of her being sold to anybody was a mere joke.
“ Sell her off? Tael, you realize there is no ransom for her right? If the Alimarian soldiers even recognize her they are ordered to kill the true princess on sight. Lucky, for her Zankfur knows the true sign of the princess’s birthmark, and knew the true story of her mother’s death. Protection by your father was granted. However, Any mention of Alimarian soldiers, or bandits, and she goes into a state of coldness.” Tael nodded his head as if the general of his father’s kingdom had taught him a new theory.
“ Does Zam know this?” Tael asked about his best friend’s understanding of the situation.
“ No. Your father has been very demanding about you young one’s having a pure heart. I can tell though if your job is to marry your cousin in the future…then a pure heart will be lost. Her darkness leaves no room for the naive.”
Tael huffed at the words. “ As if I’d marry her. You would to enslave me before I marry that crazy loon.” He stuck out his tongue towards her in a teasing manner.
“ TAEL! “ She smiled in response of the words. “ Sire, How do I control this random blackout I go into?” The sudden change of topic was back to understanding why she was set off to begin with.
“ It is not how to control the darkness princess, but rather how to accept the darkness in you. The only reason you slaughter is because of fear. How do you shut down the fear of your life being ended?” The little eight year old seemed confused by those words. How do you accept darkness?
“This conversation is meant for when you are older. For now, let’s make a proper burial for these innocents. They are people of the Zankfur kingdom even if they are traitors to the king.” Tael nodded his head. This was the second time he had seen the princess go off into a killing spree, and it was still a little nerving to him to watch.
The general began to search for a shovel, but the boy that Ristina almost killed came walking over with a shovel that was used for cleaning a horse’s stable. “ Here.” The boy wiped tears from his eyes. His garb was that of a slave hand. Slaves were bought from villages often to buy provisions for the villagers to survive through the winter. This was one such child that was going to be sold.
“ I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” The princess apologized to the boy villager.
Two nights passed by before every villager that was killed was properly placed under the ground and buried next to each other with rocks as headstones, and flowers on top of the each dirt casket. The four of them bent down to form prayers for the lost souls, then stood up, and headed on their way back to the castle.
Arrival to the castle was nothing short of typical. Merchants calling out the names of items of high value that could obtain valuable currency, royals walked around in pulchritude compared to the average slave, or house holder, and the sun sparkled on a large fountain depicting a wolf with its teeth bared where the pure water drizzled out of. The hustle and bustle of a busy morning street met the four of them. Children took the fountain water and playfully splashed each other. The village boy who traveled with them ran into the fray of playing children, splashing brown water from the bottom of his hay made sandals, and forcing the other children to slowly back away to not dirty their perfect little clothes.
The general placed up a hand signal towards the village boy. A scene with the city goers would only create a hardship for the princess, and prince. Crowds were difficult to maneuver in, and the city goers were already stopping in their tracks when they noticed Tael, and Ristina. The village boy slowly became aware of the crowding street, and ran back to Tael guiltily placing his hands behind his back like a child who had just been reprimanded for being bad.
“Make way for the king. Make way for the king.” A guard who was walking towards them was shouting at the crowd. In response, the crowd including the children kneeled down onto one knee . All except the village boy who knew nothing of this custom.
The king was dressed in a red and gold garment with silver tassels that dangled from the cuffs of his sleeves.His hair was a smooth disheveled black with locks of silverish gray that portrayed age was becoming a very relevant problem for the king. The crevices on his face shaped along the sides of a few scars from battle. This king was not against being on the front grounds if necessary.
Many stayed kneeled down awaiting the orders from the one before them to stand again. The village boy unaware of why anyone was kneeling decided to run up to the king tugging on the cloth of his robe. “ Sir, why is everyone kneeling?”
A snicker or two passed throughout the crowd as if even the city goers found this humorous. “ Everyone may rise. Why did you even kneel in the first place? Most the time you just ignore anyway.” The crowd chuckled as they stood at the king’s words.
“ It’s because the guard announced it.” The general that was traveling with them spoke out.
“ What have I told you Tulkiko about acknowledging everyone of my presence?”
“ My liege- I …I ..thought it was an important moment to see your son return with your niece.”
“ General please take your subject later and teach him what important matters really are.” By this time the crowd had began to disperse, and few people lingered to hear the usual thrall of playful arguments between the general, Tulkiko, and the king.
“ Dad, Can I please get to the castle? I am tired of traveling, and I am pretty sure Ristina is desperately yearning for the lovely desserts the chefs have to offer.” Tael spoke up poking the princess next to him.
“ Well, Tael your younger brother has been making a ruckus among the castle dwellers lately.” The king smiles gently to his son. The scene was sweet, and for a simple moment the city was able to forget all of it’s troubles with the oncoming poverty, and disruption of corruption that was going on.
Ristina, and Tael made their way to the castle aware that the closer they got to it the more people started turning their heads. The castle was built atop a cliff as if it looked down on the city as a church would to it’s people. Dark slices of grass littered the lawn of the castle grounds because the local groundskeeper was fired. Stones of varying length lined the path to the door of the castle in shapes of little circles. The door was made of real oak wood, and a large silver wolf doorknob was placed at the center of the castle door. Land was vast, and the castle looked as if it was partially built into the cliff.
There was a loud clanging noise as the large gates prior to entering the grounds opened. Inside, the castle walls were shiny like a maid just made her second round of cleaning, and the velvet dark blue carpet was freshly dusted. A guardsman looked at the four of them as if the idea of such a group was not typical here. “ Ristina, my dear, make your way for the kitchen. I believe my other son is awaiting your arrival.” The little girl blinked for a second before running off towards the direction that should be the kitchen.
Kenji was disrupting the maids in their white aprons, and dirty skirts. His hands tugged relentlessly at the edges of their skirts as if the food they were making was the best he had ever tasted in the world. “ Kenji!” The words distracted the boy from his never ending annoyance with the castle maids. His hands caught her as she flung herself into the boy who was only a year younger than her.