The Beast Within

In a world where magic is outlawed and virtually extinct, Princess Fiamatta suddenly finds her world turned inside out by the traitorous word. From royalty, to fugitive, to leader of the rebels, Fia is forced to work with a handsome, arrogant magician she found locked away in a dungeon.

btw, this is my NaNoWriMo story so criticism is much appreciated! Thanks :)

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2. Act 1

It started in the early hours of dawn, at the end of a long summer night. I can remember those times clearly, smelling the sweet lilacs from outside, and the spell of sleep that seemed to settle on the woods in the distance. Here in the castle, the only sound to be heard was the soft snores from the servant quarters.

            I slipped my toes out of bed, lightly touching them down onto the plush carpet. The air was chilly, compared to the warmth of my bed, and made goose bumps rise across my legs. I stood quickly and shrugged on my robe, trapping whatever warmth that was still with me in its satin folds. After tying it in the front, I ventured out of my room and down the corridor to the bathroom. As I approached it at the end of the hall, I heard a noise that was not common for the night. Ignoring my original purpose, I decided to investigate. It sounded like whispers at first, as if coming from the walls. But as I made my way through the maze of halls I came upon a sliver of light, peeking out from beneath a door. Slowly, I came to a stop just outside of the door and pressed my ear against it, trying to make out some words. It was suspicious when people were awake at this hour, which only peaked my interest even more.

            The words were hushed, but I was able to make out most of what was being said.

            “It’s still alive? I thought I had ordered you to take care of this.”

            “Why yes, your majesty, you did, but think of it this way; now that you have it within your control you can use it. Imagine all of that power, beneath your control.”

            “…Are you sure that it is controllable? What if it were to break free?”

            “I have that taken care of, sire. It will be broken, it cannot withstand my methods for long.” There was a cackle like chuckle to follow that sent shivers through my bones; not only because of what it signified, but also the recognition that came with it. I stepped away from the door when I heard shuffling inside. I had just barely made it to the end of the hall when the door swung open and the king stepped into the hallway, followed by his royal adviser, Straiyer. For a moment, I could see his head turn in my direction, I could only pray that the shadows hid me from his wounded sight.

            “We need to stop meeting in the middle of the night like this, it is very inconvenient for me to be losing sleep,” my father reminded Straiyer. His face turned towards my father, giving me the chance to slip away before he could come investigate.

            “Of course your majesty,” Straiyer said, with a bow, before they both dispersed back to their own rooms. At that moment I was just returning to mine, as my head spun with questions. I wasn’t sure what I had actually heard, but if Straiyer was involved I knew that it wasn’t good. He was a military man, always dressed in a black tunic and pants with red trimming, and with the country’s emblem embroidered over the left breast. His face was angled and pointed, always giving him a stern expression. His head was always shaved, making him as bare as his tunic except for the black mark across his eye. I had never been able to figure out what the mark really was. It was almost as if someone had written in a foreign language across his eye, and sealed it shut. Whenever I had asked my father about Straiyer’s eye, he would always say it was a sacrifice of war. Perhaps for once Straiyer’s sword lost to the pen.

            Either way, Straiyer had always given me a bad feeling. I hated that my father kept him around, but he had a brilliant mind, and we have never lost a war because of his strategies. But what power could they have been talking about? My head began to feel increasingly sore as I thought about it. Finally, after crawling back into my now cold bed, I gave up and surrendered to sleep. 

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