After months and months of serving the King, serving the queen. It was all just too much for one person, one female. A female, a wonderful, beautiful girl who has spent her entire life fighting for her own world. Her own freedom, she wants it and she will get it. Fought out many wars, taken on the strongest of foes, so many legends that will be written once she perishes. Giving up the Throne, it’s just another story. Her blonde hair soaked in blood of those she defeated. Her arms scarred with many legends hidden away behind each wound. So many stories to tell, it would be a loss of the kingdom if she had fallen.
“You wonder in here, do you want to take her back?” A voice replied to the man whelping for his life.
Hands on his knees, his face melting into sadness. His lips slit down the middle with his arms wrapped in rope. Behind him, his back left with a scar for life. All of these so-called slaves of the kingdom were left to perish in the mines full of crystal. The great stories had unfolded, many died, and many survived and told their modernised stories of a legend. Anyone who survived underground was still sent to prison. They were also thrown away, locked away in a solid, frozen prism. Shocking, it was never going to be the easy way out for any of them. She had learnt that, with her name being carved on every single body she left behind. The bodies from innocence, and the corpses that were left in blood. Their eyes had faded away, vision removed. Blind and unhappy, they don’t feel it. It’s all a memory that died slowly. Their deaths were brutal but she would never reveal how she killed them. Her silver, sharp blade with a blunted edge around each side. She loved to lunge into them. To fill them with pain.
Even with so many guard, guards that pleaded to live. Once known as a prisoner, somehow, some way… they had managed to pull the strings on the King and Queen. They had managed to beg for their lives, muttering words that were forbidden in the kingdom’s boundaries. Outside the walls; the walls covered in so much blood. Different sized pools sitting beside the lakes that kept the enemies at bay. Many plunged to their death, some bodies were barely noticed. The guards did what they could, some were corrupt, going behind the Royals backs. Leaving them with another life fighting to see another day. Claimed lands that they spoke of in secrecy were then revealed by outside guards. The guard tower was meeting zone, a place that was worthy for those who wished to betray and serve the creatures of the damned. The goblins, the hideous undead that lurked beneath them. Abominations of mixed-up corpses, and parts of animals that had been devoured by the creatures of the swamps.
Left with little security, no guard dared to take on some of the monsters out there. If you were going to leave and set out on a Quest for the King or the Queen, you’d be left with one part of your body no matter what the outcome. This was seen useless, a way of just getting out of the castle. A way to leave the world and never return. It was a brutal way to go, but it meant sacrifice for those that wished to take on the King and Queen. Outside of the swamps, lurking in caverns, lurking in open-spaces and ruined villages. Arachnids that had grown too powerful, their webs clinging onto the screams of the deceased. The trapped ones, the ones who are lost are left to cry and shrivel in their wrapped-up cocoons. Egg sacs buried deep with-in some of the corpses, some of the meals, the left-overs. The Arachnids would feed on the fear of others, they’d laugh with silence. Cruel and unforgiving they may be, but the King and Queen are yet to go near them.
From the King’s perspective, he saw the two peons sitting next to their sister from the outside lands. They sat there and held her hand tight. Holding it in place, trying to keep her body from shaking, the fear had devoured her soul. The King didn’t move a muscle, his heavy plated gloves clung onto the Throne’s arms. His smirk could not be seen, it was hidden behind their backs. The Queen was asleep, she had fallen asleep due to the lack of work around the castle, lately. The two peons known as the left-overs to the Arachnids, they were nothing but flesh on bones. The sister of them, she had been injured severely. Her wound open for any creatures small enough to cause her infection, to cause her death lurked around the open-spaces that lead into her body’s stream of veins and other parts that were still known as left-overs.
“Ma, lady… you can’t just sit there. The King, he is no fool. He would take you out, finish you right here.”
She gasped for air, her breathing became more like panting. “I shall be fine. I-I just need something to drink…”
The peon, the brother of the injured woman. Zane, the one that always tried to keep her safe stared into her eyes. He could see nothing but fear. His thoughts turned into darkness, leaving him with all kind of emotions to deal with. The door in his brain had left in all the pain from her. The suffering sister, she cried and cried beside him. The other brother known as Ralf, kept his feelings locked away from them. His family stood and one laid on the ground dying without knowing that death is eating her already. Chunk by chunk, she’d lose more functionality. She’d lose more love, and soon the hatred would take over for the last few minutes of her life. Her worthless life known to the King will be a graceful day to celebrate around the table of Royalty.
“Those savaged beasts… they are all out there, my brother. They hold onto you, they don’t let go, and soon we’ll be joining her at the death bed. Flowers all around us, it’ll feel quite peaceful.” Ralf expressed his feelings.
“It shall not happen! She will sit beside us for as long as she may. You do not make orders around here!” He shouted.
“…I don’t have long left…” she sighed.
“No, no… rest. You have as long as it takes. Healing can be purified. Just like your death, it can be stopped.”
“Mother, ah, she was quite the clever one. The intelligent of the bunch.” Ralf laughed.
“Yes, and like you and me, we will fight for what is right.”
“No. She may be wise, but she was a fool to think we’d follow her through the savage lands, and then only to be feasted on by the goblins…” Ralf grinned as he spoke in a brave-like tone.
“Bravery is not us. That is the Royalty.” She cried.
“Whether it be your heart in stone. Whether it be you left alone. We shall not leave you, we shall not take you to the holy world. We shall hold onto you, and we’ll make sure you feel well. Whether it be your death, we shall be with you, my sister.”
“Yes, and our Mother. Her words will continue to flow around our homes. Our village is not left alone. You two will be brave and watch over our Mother’s life. Her world left with-in ruins, you will rebuild it when I perish. When I am gone…” she sobbed.
Ralf looked at her for a brief second, her eyes flowing out clear waters. Their mother had told them all, that her daughter, Alice shall not be forgotten. Her eyes would always flow the holy waters of the lakes around her family Kingdom. Zane remembered her exact words, words that can’t come from the same person ever, ever again. These words embedded in the hearts of many. Royalty chose to ignore the deaths of peons. Worthless, they were worth one thing, their corpses left to rot for the beasts outside. Or, leave them to replant the growth of nature. The spirits of many agreed to this rule. The royal rule that kept them all from fighting each-other in the years that passed them.
The past of the world, the mountains that never existed back then. Soon, these mountains shall become a threat. Goblins had already taken over the middle-layer of the cliffs that stood over the castle for years. Human camps were burnt down, leaving nothing but the deceased to rest in flames. The evil laughter, the echoed screams. Goblins cheering and making so much noise around the ones they killed. The King remembers these images perfectly. The Queen never had witnessed the hellish lands of these beasts. Wherever they had come from, all these strange, demonic creatures that had raised out of nowhere. It was nothing but a mystery. The King watched half of the Royal family be dragged away by goblins and hordes of the larger creatures. Some torn apart in-front of him. Others dragged by claws, dragged by spikey chains and some bounded on the back of a wolf.
“Sister, Alice. Do you want me to send a message to our Kingdom?” Zane asked with kindness.
Her eyes flickered, blinking several times. The wounds had opened up, allowing more viruses to take place. “You… can do what you want. You may have to take over…” she coughed, her heart thudded leaving her with more pain to hold onto.
“Why don’t you just… come back with us? We should be able to protect you, a holy aura of some sort. It shall keep you alive. Enough time, we need that time. It’s precious, you know that.” Ralf spoke with honesty.
She gasped, her coughing became more frequent. “…you can do what you like. If this Kingdom falls, it’s a day worth celebrating. Share the beers, the ale that our mother and father shared together. Drink it with greatness. Graceful to those you lost.”
Ralf let go of her hand, his palms now sweaty and covered in his sister’s blood. Zane didn’t let go, he refused to leave her behind. Ralf hadn’t spoke about leaving her behind due to his softer side interfering with his true intentions to go ahead and leave her for the King to deal with. Zane remembered that they both carried her to the Kingdom of Royalty. St. Knoxnite, the castle full of vengeance and disloyalty to its people who try to live inside the walls of death. Escaping is the reason why most of the peons flee. That and the knowing of the King’s punishments for those that trespass or fail to comply with his wishes.
Before Alice could even say another word, the King stood tall from his Throne. His plated armour; full of crystals, and gold that had crystalized into a far richer type of metal. His black and greyish hair mixed in with the crown of jewels. His face looking a little broken, it seems. The wounds behind his sleeves concealed by a soft fabric. The armour that looked more like something from a God. It seemed that this armour was smelted and hammered by the valiant Blacksmith of the outside world. Zane and Ralf watched the King rumble the grounds they stood on. He may be human, but he is certainly a whole lot more than that. Ralf decided to flee and leave his brother and sister to be punished. Afraid of the Royals, he ran to the near-by forests and hid away, wanting to be never found by his people or the ones that he betrayed for his own life.
“Well, two little peasants stand before me. Why don’t you introduce yourselves?” The King spoke with a graceful tone.
“Ahem’ I don’t know. We are here because my sister, my own sister of the villager behind darkness. No more light to guide us through the endless nights. My sister, ah, she is injured, my Lord.”
He raised his eyebrow, as Zane tried to keep his nerves under control, several elite guards of the castle stood beside the King. Two of them looking quite menacing and dangerous to the worthless. Another threat behind armour, it’s typical. The King slammed his frozen, crystal staff into the red fabric of the carpet. His face full of fury and his mind becoming overtaken with power. He spoke in more a serious tone. Making his voice sound more threatening than a warm-friendly greeting kind of way.
“Be it, Peasant or a worthless man or child. Why do you come to us? Sorry, ahem’ you certainly have courage my friend. Flesh on bones, is that why you run? Are you afraid of the creatures out there? The ones that block the light from your village. Or, do you wish to be taken away from the ones you love?” He grunted, his staff held tighter in his hands.
Zane shaking in his shell, he tried to stand up for himself. His sister bleeding to death near him, and the King was yet to notice.
“I don’t expect any kind of Royalty to look out for the weak.” Zane mumbled. “BUT I do expect two of the same Race, to, to actually make a difference, to unite as one. Why must you hold back on all those years of torture and misery?”
The guards becoming impatient with the sobbing man, Zane. They grunted at him and the King asked for silence. The Queen still snoring behind them as their little conversation became more deadly. The King slammed his staff into the wall behind Zane and spoke in a deeper voice. He sounded a little aggravated and not even wanting to listen to what Zane has to say. He became tired of the words from the weak. A Peasant or not, he did not want to listen to it. He just ignored everything he heard and proceeded on threatening the worthless man.
“My boy, you may come here from such as distance. However, I don’t stand for you and your men. I stand for Victory. I stand for the ones that meant it. From our little… worthless conversation, I’ve gathered a lot from you. Your pleading really satisfied me. I wouldn’t go too far, a great distance means they won’t hear you scream. You are no Warrior. You are little, small and weak. Our Kingdom runs in MY family. As for this crying Cur. Like I said, she is worthless…”
Zane tried to hold back his fury. The pain around him became too much for him to handle, alone. He continued to stand in the King’s way and tried to make conversation with him. Trying to actually make him speak truth. His sister continued to beg in the background and groan in pain. The King didn’t even seem harmed by this. He didn’t even look a little interested or even concerned. It was true, the King has no feelings for the weak. It was wonder to why, his family taught him everything.
“No! I shall not bow down for thee. You are nothing! Craven, I don’t know why I ask of you to look out for us. When we know that our Kingdom shall fall.” Zane spoke with anger but tears rolled down his eyes, showing pain and emotion with-in the man.
“HOW DARE YOU! You, sick little bastard. All of you are so needy, so greedy for the power of Kingdom. You know what, my Father. He fought for the good of you people. As for my mother, she promised me a new rule is in order. Where you worthless scum could be nothing more than dirt to this world. We’d walk all over you and you’d be known as a separate Race.”
Zane calmed himself, trying to speak in a low toned voice.
“I’m sorry, my Lord. Your graceful family, they kept us well hidden. We were safe. I was out of order to even come to you. I know that, but what I said, you can’t excuse. So, if you help my sister, you may throw me away. I shall rot for the good of my people. And for the worthless of many. My village will be dead but hey, one village is worth nothing to you.”
“My friend, the good of you, is nothing more than the worship for us. We love it. We can’t get enough of your misery. If any village will fall, any kingdom… you may claim it. It’ll be worthless, just like you. The difference being, we’d have more supplies. More bricks and stone, all this lumber to keep us kept. We’d have a defensive ground to stand on, unlike you and your hag, here.”
Zane didn’t have to think twice, his actions could only lead to a punishment. Prison, locked away in the dungeons or die trying to save his sister. With all these feelings and emotions rushing around in his head. Zane picked up his sister and ignored the pain, the groaning, and the crying. He ignored it all and tried to run away with his sister in arms. The King watched, not before sending his elite guards to hunt them down.
“You shall not bring Hell to our doors!” Zane shouted, as he jolted, he ran and ran with his sister.
“It’s always the same. You shall not live to see another day, goodbye my friend.” The King mumbled to himself.
Running across the timber bridge and trying to get past the broad walkway. He pushed himself as much as he could, with no armour, it meant less to carry. His sister weighing a lot for him, but he didn’t mind it. He just ran and ran, trying to ignore his sister’s wishes. She kept speaking, gasping, crying and moaning whilst she was carried by her brother. She may have called him senseless but certainly weren’t worthless. He was worth something more to her, a brother who needs protection from the world around them. Alice tried to say ‘stop,’ but her brother ignored her completely.
Elite guards armed with powerful weaponry and heavy armour that would slow anyone down. They chased not far behind from Zane and Alice, trying to hunt them down for the King. Zane had reached the end of his path, coming face to face with a sudden drop. A crevice of some sort, it was deep, a bottomless pit is what the King described it as. He held his sister closer to him, whispering to her; ‘you shall not be the only one to fall.’ He held her tighter and attempted to walk across the fallen trees. These trees were bridges across to the other side. No army dared to cross the bottomless pit, it was suicide if they may. Some have tried in the past, but they soon had fallen to their doom.
“Idiot, how can you even think to cross the bottomless pit?” An elite guard shouted from behind Zane.
“Shut up! It’s worth everything. We are worth far much more than you, bastards!”
“Very well, the King will get the message. I’ll write it down as ‘the fallen, worthless hag falls in her bastard’s hands.’ He may get a laugh out of this. Ha, ha. You are foolish to even cross that line.”
Zane continued to ignore everything around him. Ignoring the guard’s insults, ignoring his own sister’s words. Alice had no option, no choice to go forth from. She was forced to cross the line, Zane looked at her and then looked away. Soon, he had reached the middle of the fallen tree, standing on top, frightened for his life and his sister’s good health. His sister finally screamed, she wanted to be heard. Her brother listened but didn’t take much notice of what she had to say.
“Zane, you are being foolish. Mother would never do such a thing. What you are doing, it is kind and really has got me flattered. But, leading you and the fallen one, me. How can you want to fall like me? Our village needs a leader, one that will listen. You may ignore me, brother. But, Ralf, he isn’t going to keep our village up for long. Alone, he stands no chance against the beasts of the wild. But with a brotherly hand, he may just live to tell the tale…”
“So be it. If this is the end of us, Alice. We’ll look into each other’s eyes for as long as we fall. Idiot, idiot, I know! But why must you die alone? The death of another, it won’t do us good. Shall it be done? No. Our brother, Ralf, he is in no order to take over. You gave your word to me, leaving me with no option to choose from. It’s rather we die, or we fight. What shall it be, sister?” Zane’s eyes watering, as he spoke in a tone that shown fear to her heart.
“An arrow to both. We can’t let that happen, Zane.” She groaned, trying to speak for as long as possible.
“FIRE!” An elite guard shouted from behind Zane.
Before Zane could even stand and face his enemies, his inner demons. An armoured guard had fired his crossbow; a sharp silver arrow flew through the air and collided with Zane’s spine. In an instant reaction, he lost grip of his sister, trying to ignore the pain that the arrow had left inside of him. Alice stared into her brother’s eyes, as she slipped away from him. She felt as if the fall would last forever. Slow-motion, she imagined it to be slow and instant death on the way down. Zane didn’t feel that, he felt dizziness and anger building up inside of him.
“Peasants! So worthless…” a guard mumbled.
“Another arrow, my Lord?” the guards asked with sarcasm.
They laughed, finding it funny and entertaining that the King had no order. He was back at the kingdom, waiting to hear the news that the hunt had finished. The guards didn’t wait for an answer, it was obvious it weren’t going to happen. Two of them fired their crossbows, one arrow missed and hit the leaves of the fallen tree. The second arrow pushed through the air and shot right through Zane’s left arm. He groaned in pain, trying to control himself. Blood gushed out of his back, he felt even dizzier and tried to keep a footing on the tree’s bark, no use, he had lost grip of everything. His sister included.
The guards continued to torment Zane, laugh behind his back and keep the entertainment rolling. Alice slipped even further, her heels failing to hold a grip. She was too weak to control her own body, she only knew that her voice would be heard no matter what the outcome. Her heart thudded more and more, her eyes feeling loss of vision. Zane used his uninjured arm to extend and hold onto Alice’s left hand. Ignoring the serious pain that came with each arrow, he continued staring into her eyes. She continued to stare into his eyes, losing more vision and soon wanting to just let go of his hand. She wanted to give up, she knew that Death had her. Death had her to begin with, with the bite of the beast, it became obvious that she was going to die.
“Zane… hear me, please. Let go, surrender. Surrender or go out trying! If that means violence, let it be the answer, just this once. Let it be known that our family fought the Royal bastards...” she whispered with her last breath.
In-front of Zane, his sister’s motionless body dangled by his own hand. He stopped looking into her eyes, her eyes were frozen, it was clear that she had lost the fight with the wounds. She had been infected by Death. Zane chose to let go, holding his head down in disgrace. He looked behind him, the guards stopped firing and gave him one last chance to surrender to the King and their Queen. Zane stood, jolting over and over, his body becoming unstable to hold him up.
“Okay, Peasant, you have one more chance! You may have lost the hag, but you can still save yourself!”
“One less reward for you…” Zane mumbled under his breath.
The guards never heard him, but they watched him try to move forwards. He tried to walk across the fallen tree, go backwards, leading back to the kingdom. His head hurt, many memories of him being once with his entire family, before it had been destroyed by creatures that are the deadliest threat to the Peasants. His eyes continued to water, making him lose vision a little. He felt dizzy but still tried to stand, fighting for his life, he pushed himself towards the guards. They started chanting, wanting Zane in their possession. A reward for them is sure to follow, they laughed and watched Zane walk closer and closer towards them.
“Look where it got you, Peasant. Ha, ha. Don’t look down, though. You might find the old hag still breathing…”
Zane looked down feeling sorry for himself. Guilt began to eat up at him, he let go of her, but what else was there to do? He continued to weep, his arms swelling up with bruises and wounds that had opened up from the arrows shot into him and through him. They all extend their hands out, smiles all round, and they couldn’t wait to have Zane captured by all of them. It was a day to celebrate for them, a day they would all remember. Same for Zane, only difference was, he had nothing to celebrate for. He had lost his sister, and maybe his brother. He knew that Ralf is either dead or on the verge to dying due to his selfishness.
Zane collapsed three steps away from the guards. The wounds had become too serious, voices echoed around him, as he laid there fighting for his life. Before he closed his eyes, he witnessed several hands turning into shadows, grabbing him by his arms and legs. Soon, he couldn’t see anything but felt the pain of the wounds rubbing against the ground. He was being dragged by the guards across the rubble and bumping over the bark. They dragged him away, smiling with happy faces everywhere.
Zane, you are foolish.
Brother, are you just thinking about them again?
You are banished from our lands, and if I find you stealing from us again, you’ll be sorry!
“Peasant… Peasant? – Are you with us, Peasant?” A man in white robes kneeled in-front of him.
Zane groaned, his head hurting, and his wounds flaring up again, as he woke up. The white robed man introduced himself, as the King stood tall behind him, casting a shadow over the man. As he turned his head a little, he could see thousands of guards staring at him. All in armour, some covered in blood, and some just smiling with no armour or robe on. They had no clothing, Zane figured that they were not guards, they were more prisoners awaiting their fate to be written by the King.
“Aylard, my Lord. That is my name. This man’s wounds can be healed, he could be cleansed forever. If you wish, My Lord. Shall I heal him?” He asked as he analysed Zane’s wounds.
The King grunted, he stared at Zane with his face expression changing all of a sudden. His eyebrows lowered, he looked furious at the Peasant. He couldn’t help but notice that the so-called hag, Alice wasn’t with Zane. This made him speak to the Peasant, the guards hadn’t informed him about Alice’s death, and they chose to keep it a secret from him.
“Very well, we have all the time here. It shall begin now, the Queen, her beauty will be sure to make you talk to me. As for that hag, the one who did nothing but moan? Is she going to join us, my friend?”
Zane spat out his drool from his frustration. His saliva landed on the King’s angry face, he blinked but didn’t rise to Zane’s level. He lowered himself down a level, kneeling down in-front of him, beside the man in white robes. Zane coughed out a little blood, but still gave the King evil looks. He was no impressed, he was disgusted with both, himself and the King. They were to blame for Alice’s death. He soon spoke out the truth, his side of the truth.
“Ahem’ you can have more of that. If I could, I’d spill it all over this forsaken castle… the place of unforgiving, I’ve learnt so much about it. I really wish, I could go back and change that. Knowing this place ever existed is a burden to me. But, I shall not speak in my sister’s words. Her blood was spilled, but it was out of sight. Your pathetic kingdom stood on her, crushed her!”
The King stomped on Zane’s left hand, crushing it into the ground. He looked down at Zane, standing up from his kneeled position, putting more weight onto his feet. Crushing the hand more and more, he whispered to Zane. Only wanting Zane to hear the words, the guards still tried to hear what he had to say, as they held out their ears using their hands. Zane groaned in pain, the King laughed, smiled at the enjoyment he was having.
“You are becoming a Glos-piece of scum. You may hate me, but shall it be written down that I saved you fools? Or, should I take my Throne and crush it into dust, just to prove that I still stand on top of you all. The Queen has more to stand on, sure. Yet, she doesn’t stand for you pieces of scum. Worthless fools, I wonder why I even dared to let you talk to me. The hag may be gone, a shame, really. The guards here, they love a bit of babe. Yet, you make me wish I threw her out to the goblins.”
Zane held his anger back, stayed calm. The King stopped crushing his hand, as he stepped back and held his staff above Zane’s skull.
“It may not kill you, crush you, but I’d rather have you rotting right now, than letting you live down there. You’ve caused so much trouble around here. A lying thief, I dare to say. You shall not have any more words in this Kingdom, if you bring any more of your broken people, I shall feed them personally. They shall be devoured by the undead or the creatures with eight legs.”
“Ha, taming them? As a worthless man, I can still tell you from experience that those creatures won’t have any of you near them. Not even us! Doesn’t that tell you that you don’t rule the lands?” Zane smirked, feeling quite happy with himself.
“Shut it, you have spoken for far much longer than I wanted. You’ve really taken the side of them, stand for them? Ha! And who was it who brought back the parts of those creatures? My father. He had written the fate for you and your worthless villagers. Peasants, pathetic little people wanting so much more from the rich.” The King mocked him.
The King rested his staff on Zane’s forehead, putting slight pressure on it, trying to force it through his skull. He sweat as he continued to put more pressure on the staff. Zane knew that the staff wouldn’t go through him, but the King was clueless. He stopped, taking a deep breath from much of his efforts, he sighed and asked a guard for a favour.
“Silvers, bring the execution to this man… a sword, a blade, anything that’ll put him out of his misery.”
Several silver armoured guards stood in-front of the elite guards and the hooded robed women, they moved forwards and delivered the King several weapons; a blade, a golden sword, a wooden dagger, an iron-crested axe. The King raised his eyebrows, confused with some of the extra items he was given. One being, an apple, and the other being, underwear from a woman. The King grunted, not understanding why he was given two pathetic items. Well, the second being useful to the guards. The King laughed, thinking it was more of a joke from the guards. Funny thing was, it was not a joke and it was them being stupid.
“This golden sword, my question is, will it even prove effective… I’m going to need someone to try this for me. One of you get up here at once!” He shouted, as he walked slowly, dragging the sword along the red carpet.
The guards shrieked, one of them stood forwards, feeling brave but at the same time, terrified. As he stood forwards, a woman in a blue and yellow robe grabbed him, trying to hold onto him. There was a romance going on between them, he had been meeting up with her, and sharing their love together. The King didn’t notice that, he just realised that he was about to kill one of his own. Hesitation occurred, but he hadn’t thought about the embarrassment that will follow, but the fear, he was hungry for.