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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14. Act 13

The door opened slowly, startling the officials. I seized the moment of the surprise and slipped through the thin space into the darkness beyond the door. I turned quickly, so quickly that I almost slipped on the step, and shut the door behind me before Straiyer could follow me through. I heard the mechanisms inside the door safely lock me inside the dungeon, and beyond that I could hear the din of many outraged officials.

            I took a deep breath, the last one that would consist of clean air, and headed down the steps. Since I had the paper, Straiyer could not open the door unless he wished to cast suspicion on himself. Still, I could not waste any time. I hurried, as fast as I could risk, down the stairs, gagging, only slightly this time, on the air. When I had finally made the long way to the bottom I rushed to the end, finding the magician there, still chained to the wall. This time I ignored the alarm ringing in my head and approached him without fear. His silver eyes watched my approach, holding curiosity.

            “Straiyer has killed my father, and has gotten me convicted of dealing with magic.” I paused, mustering my courage for the words I never thought I would be saying. “I will give you your freedom, if you take me with you on your escape.”

            Something flickered in his eyes, as my proposition peaked his interest. I waited for him to ask me something, anything, but instead he said, “agreed.”

            I looked at him puzzled, and suddenly weary of his easy agreement. “Don’t you have any questions for me?” I could not help but ask. He simply chuckled at my befuddlement.

            “I have been waiting for my freedom so years. When it is finally offered, there is nothing that would make me refuse it. “ He told me as his eyes shifted behind me, “and from the sound of it, we do not have the luxury to waste time on pointless questions.”

            I glanced behind me but did not see anyone; I could not even hear the officials on the outside of the dungeon. I decided to ignore it, and instead went over to the table of tools, looking for one that would destroy the chains. I noticed a sledge hammer, leaning against the wall. I picked it up with one hand and brought it back over to the magician. I set the torch on a holder on the wall and picked up the sledgehammer with both hands.

            “Don’t move,” I told him as I swung the metal end at the chinks chaining him to the wall. The chain broke into pieces, and so did a little bit of the stone, allowing his hand to drop to the floor. I did that to his other chains, one by one freeing him, until his unbound chains hung from his limbs. He looked at them, as if not believing that for once he could move unbound. Still, his body was too broken for him to even stand. That fact finally hit me, I did not know how I overlooked it, but now we were stuck at the bottom of the dungeon.

            “Bring that torch over here” he ordered. I looked at him for a moment, wondering what he planned to do, but did as he said nonetheless. I brought the torch over to him, holding it in front of him. “Now,” he said looking into the bright flame, “set me alight” he said. He noticed my hesitation and added, “ trust me, this is the only way.”

            I bit my lip and cringed as I moved the torch towards his hair. Instantly, the greasy clumps ignited. I jumped back as his entire body erupted into flames, burning quicker than paper. The smell of melting flesh singed the air, as the mangled body was reduced to nothing more than a pile of smoldering ashes. I stood there in the silence, alone. He had tricked me into giving him the ultimate escape, while he left me for persecution. Fear began to overwhelm me as my fate began to seem as dark as the dungeon. But then, the ashes began to move. 

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