Beautiful Hell (Re-imagined)

Imagine this story as a version of Romeo and Juliet. If Romeo was a psychotic murderer...
For over one hundred years, a brutal and bloody struggle for dominance between the kingdom of Ra'Ziel and the plains of Torath has torn the world asunder, raining death and destruction upon the earth. But this war is coming to an end. With only a few descendants of both royal lines living, will there finally be peace? Alexandra Ra'Ziel wants nothing more than to end the feud that took her older brothers from her, but Tristan Torath has different plans. He wants - he needs - retribution for the wrongs he has suffered. And so their story begins. Because anyone can find vengeance, but only a rare few achieve true justice. And when a vow made more than a century ago compiles pain onto pain, is it really possible for the determination of two youths to overcome their hatred and end the suffering?

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1. Prologue

            Fedra stared down at the body, so sickly and frail, and felt the tears welling up within her once more. They hovered on her lashes, refusing to fall, refusing to retreat, just waiting.

            Like her father.

            His body, pale and cold as ice, bled heavily from the gaping wound across his chest, and yet still he remained. Fedra knew that his agony must be terrible, and yet there was nothing she could do. He would die regardless of what she or her brother did now. All that mattered was when, and Benzol himself, gasping for breath, controlled that.

            “Traitors,” the dying king wheezed, the sound grating against Fedra’s ears. “They’re all… traitors… traitors…” He trailed off, clearly unable to summon the breath necessary for speech.

            Keren knelt beside their father, his young head bowed with grief, his own tears falling shamelessly. Even though Keren was older by almost a year, it was Fedra who was strong. It was Fedra who did what had to be done, always.

            “I will punish them, father, I swear it. I swear to you on my soul that I will rally our people, that our coward of an uncle will die by my sword.” The steel in his voice was surprising. He sounded almost as if… as if he meant what he said. But Keren wasn’t a warrior. There was nothing he could do. Or did he actually…

            But Keren’s voice continued, promising Benzol what comfort he could. The prince reached down to his father’s side and found the broken helmet once worn by the dying man. It was broken, the crown that had adorned the top cut away, the entire thing split in half, the front separated from the back. Fedra watched in astonishment as her brother lifted the faceguard to his own head.

            “I swear father...” the boy broke down in tears again for a moment before straightening once more. “I swear that you will be avenged. And, until I see it done, I will keep my face hidden, so that no one may look upon my failure. If I do fail, then my sons, and my sons’ sons, and their children after them will continue striving for justice, until either it is met or the world ends. Whichever comes first.”

            But Fedra knew something that Keren had failed to see. Benzol, their father, their rightful king, their mentor and friend and teacher, was dead.

            The girl who had become a woman in an instant reached down to her brother and grasped his shoulder, offering the sobbing boy what comfort she could. Then, pulling him up, she led him from the tent to assemble a war council, for she knew that, young as they both were, they had no chance alone.

            But somehow, Fedra swore, somehow I will make those filthy traitors pay for this. Together my brother and I shall avenge our father. Together we will kill Ra’Ziel.

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