The Third Kingdom

A reluctant Princess. A Great Empire. A Kingdom in need of a Queen. Princess Zarai is the third of the Emperor's nine children, and heiress to the Third Kingdom of the Sea. A wild child by nature, and rebellious in every sense of the word, she is not going to be tied down just because a set of ancient rules say so. Haunted by what she witnessed five years earlier, Zarai is totally unaware of the immense power her secret holds inside of her. The man set to mentor her in the year leading to her ascension, General Kai of the Armed Forces, is not to be trifled with either. The two hate each other from the first moment, but are inexplicably drawn to each other. As the tempers flare and passions run high, can Zarai put up with the attractive prude of a man her father has chained to her, and will Kai's icy heart let the fierce Princess in, after being frozen for so long?

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9. Chapter 8

It was as I twisted back in the saddle,gesticulating gleefully at Kai, that Nala skidded to a halt.

The momentum threw me forward, punching the breath out of my lungs. I gasped, winded as I hung from Nala's side, legs entangled in the stirrups and the leather cutting into my skin.

I tried heaving myself up desperately,giving up when bolts of pain shot up my twisted knee, and swinging upside down,my hair skimming the dusty ground.

Hooves thundered from both sides, seemingly racing to get to me,and I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to block the sound out. Dusty leather boots stopped near my head, the person's arms reaching out and heaving me from the horse with seemingly no effort.

My vision blurred as the blood rushed back to my body, making my knees buckle. I clung to the arms that gripped me, relief flooding my bewilderment as my fingers brushed the familiar Imperial Armed Forces' cresting down the sides of the cloak.

Kai pressed me to his side, his other arm steadily gripping a long curved scimitar.

Following its line with growing trepidation, my stomach sunk as I saw the sight in front of us: three giants of men, each wielding a spiked mace, The dirty cloths tied around the lower ends of their faces marking them as desert bandits.

My heart stilled as I scanned for the caravan, seeing nothing but swarthes of filthy disheveld bandits crawling over the landscape like insects.
Where was it?

I slowly turned my head to the back, worst fears slowly coming true. My eyes froze in horror, morbidly transfixed as the last of my guards was cut down savagely by a hulking monster of a man whilst he struggled to unsheath his sabre.

He never stood a chance.

The bandits cursed and shoved at the remaining healers and servants, poking them with their weapons and kicking whomsoever was unlucky enough to trip.
There was no sign of the shriveled old man who had nursed my wounds so recently.

I saw the dead lying littered on the desert floor, their blood seeping into the yellow cracked floor and staining it a muted brown. Any sign of life was met with a vicious stabbing frenzy, as if putting out a fire.
The body closest to us had its head turned in my direction. Realisation dawned on me as I recognised the face: a stable boy from the Palace who Abel and myself had been playing hide-and-seek with that night in the catacombs, no older than myself. Now his black eyes stared lifelessly at the sky as blood leaked from the side of his mouth.

Bile rose in my throat.

Oh Lord, what had I done?

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A/N:

So sorry about the short chapter, but now I will be trying to upload more frequently, maybe even every day. This means shorter chapters but better content!

Please dont be silent readers and comment what you think below. Constructive criticism is welcomed.

Thanks Lovelies

-burningtherain

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