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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50. Act 49

As everyone began to gain their senses and comprehend what happened I looked back over at Raize. A pair of guards had lifted her prone body and were taking her to the infirmary. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed Caiden making his way over to me. His eyes scanned my body, checking for injury. They landed on the burn at my neck. He began speaking before his feet had reached me.

“Princess what happened, are you alright?” The concern in his voice coated his face and caused his hand to reach out tenderly and examine the area. I grasped his hand in mine, pulling it away from the wound.

“Caiden, I’m alright,” I told him, “it’s not as bad as it looks. More importantly, we need to begin planning an attack against Straiyer now that we have the means to do so. “

Caiden nodded in agreement. I took a step, to go and continue talks with the councilors when a soldier, in full gear, stumbled into the room. The clumsiness of his movements drew the attentions of everyone to him. He stood for a moment, doing nothing as his lungs gasp for breath. Finally he straightened and looked at us all, the urgency on his face braced us for the news he brought.

“Imperial Onsia troops are stationed at our boarders, they are ready to attack.”

Now, it was my turn to gasp for breath as the news stole the air out of my lungs. This was too soon, we were not ready yet. The troops in Irian were still recovering from the attack. The feel of Caiden’s hand on my shoulder steadied me somewhat. I must have looked as if I was about to faint. The silence in the room began to thicken as everyone looked around at each other, searching for the answer to the situation in the air. It was Logan that broke the silence.

“Send word to all Terra Veneficum troops to prepare for war,” Logan’s powerful voice boomed throughout the room, giving strength to everyone who listened. A little bit of color returned to the soldier’s face as he nodded and left with his orders.

Faces turned to look at Logan, waiting for their directions as well.

“This council will adjourn to the maps room, where we shall then commence constructing a plan of action.” With that, time seemed to be set back in motion. Everyone set back to their jobs again: attendants followed officials to the maps room, and servants cleaned up papers around the room.

Caiden and I followed the crowd to the maps room. It was higher in the Citadel. When we stepped in, the crushing darkness of the room reminded me of the dungeon I had first found Logan in. It was quickly dispelled by the torches held by the attendants as we entered the room. Once illuminated, I could see the dozens of maps that hung about the room. The ceiling was painted as a map of the world. On the walls, maps were hung, and also there were several more stored away in cabinets and on shelves that lined the stone walls. In the center of the room there was a round table.

The attendants grabbed the right maps and spread them out on the table as we all sat down. A guard entered the room and gave us the location where the troops were. They were swarming the Junip Mountains at the moment. We had received estimates of over 100,000 soldiers.

The number puzzled me. Although Onsia had one of the largest armies in the world, we still did not have that many soldiers at our disposal. My mind began to wonder at how Straiyer had procured them when Logan brought my thoughts back to the meeting.

“While they are in the mountains, we shall have our magicians bring them down. We will have our soldiers ready to meet the few soldiers who make it through the pass,“ he said, moving the little blue pieces that represented the Terra Veneficum army.

“I have Irian troops waiting for my word to go over in Irian. Their base is not too far from the border. If we can get word to them, any escaping troops from the mountains we will be able to cut off and capture,” I told the council. We could not decimate the army, Onsia would need it for protection once we took out Straiyer, but we had to subdue them somehow. I hoped that we would be able to trap the army in a way to delay the war long enough in order to defeat Straiyer.”

“Good, we shall send a small troupe immediately to get to the caverns,” Logan said. He was about to go on but I spoke up first.

“Send me instead.” My words silenced the soft murmuring that had created a din in the room.

“Princess, that would be unnecessary and dangerous,” said one of the officials. “A small troupe of soldiers can deliver the message to the Irians. We cannot risk the future leader of Onsia to be killed in battle.” The others nodded in agreement.

“It is far too dangerous, you are the real target in all of this. Once Straiyer kills you, the Onsian people will have no one to look to and thus Straiyer shall ultimately win the country.” This official was the elder one with the blue eyes and white beard. He looked at me, trying to see if his point got across. I shook my head, disagreeing with them all.

“I am the only one who can make this journey, because only I know how to get there,” I told them. “The caverns are way too long and confusing for any sort of map. And even if a soldier somehow found his way into their base, they would not believe the soldier because they do not even know that Terra Veneficum exists.” The exasperation in my voice brought out the gravity in my words. It was true, no one outside of this country knew that actual people lived here. They assumed it was a savage land full of rogue, vagabond magicians.

My eyes traveled over the faces of the officials, and finally landed on Logan’s. He was not happy but to my surprise he nodded in agreement.

“The princess must make this journey. She is essential to the success of it.” The strained tone of his voice made it obvious that the words were hard for him to say. He then looked at Caiden. “Mr. Craise will accompany her on their mission, but I fear that any more people than that will be detected by the enemy.” Next to me, Caiden nodded, accepting the mission. The officials around the table, though reluctant, also murmured their agreement. With that settled the conversation turned to tactics and weapons. 

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