Queen of Ruin

This story is just a work in progress and I'm going to see how it goes. Thanks for reading <3

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Chapter 1

 

They half dragged me into the throne room. The grip the sentries had on my arms weren't gentle and would likely leave bruises. The only sound in the halls of the castle, made of white marble, was my dress hissing on the floor as we walked. I had made sure to wear slippers so the clank of heels wouldn't ring out through the utter silence of the castle. 

My dress was chosen only to annoy the queen. It was a light, pale blue on the skirt but my bustier was deep blue, almost violet. I had a sleeve of jewels and metal running down my arms to my fingers and up to wrap around my neck. The rest of the jeweled cage covered my open back and ran down the front of my body. The v-line of the dress plunged deep to my waist revealing much of the front of my body and covering the intimate parts slightly. The skirt flowed smoothly around my legs with sheer parts that showed some of my golden tan legs.

The cruel and ungentle queen of my beloved country, Nalavas, would be waiting for me and likely want to hurl when she beholds my attire. The queen that struck fear through every living thing of Nalavas and anything outside of it. I suppose if other countries also feared her she did her job well, her job as a queen at least. Not as a mother, my mother. I got under her skin too easily. She envied how the people loved me, adored me and not her. How I got bright smiles in the streets on our country and she got terrified and pale faces that avoided looking at her. She hated everything about me. My power, my looks too similar to my father's and anything she could name.

She was beautiful though, enchanting even. That must have gotten my father, who was the king of Nalavas, to easily fall in love with her. The beautiful queen of Biden, the most powerful country the world has ever seen, was all he saw. That love was what got him killed. He gave her too much control, too much leeway and he was assassinated for her actions.

I hated every feature I got from her, the cunning eyes of fire. They were a hearth lit ablaze with its swirling flames that lived inside of her. The hint of power and magic that ran through her blood, that ran through my blood as well. She had come from a land where only the powerful could rule and that power ran through the females the strongest. I had her nose, her skin, her terribly beautiful smile. I was almost the exact image of her.

Her mother was weak, she claimed, which was why it was so easy for her to overtake the throne for herself. She killed her own mother to take the throne, that's how it always was. You didn't become queen until you killed the current one. We were immortal, so relying on the natural death wasn't an option. The magic in my mother was petrifying, which only made me stronger. She had given me such raw strength and power, whether she liked it or not I would take her throne and she worked me dry to prevent the inevitable for as long as she could.

"What is this about?" I asked the sentry on my right, Drakel. "Your queen wishes your presence." He answered, his voice rough and unkind. "That much I can tell but why?" I asked. "She will tell you when we get there." He said, not an answer. I sighed and shook out my arms trying to loosen their grips, they only held on tighter. I winced a little at the metal that dug into my arm from their hold. 

A piece of my hair fell into my face from it's hold atop my head. My servant, Meliza, had woven my dark curls into a crown with silver and diamonds intricately designed to appear like a tiara, another message that would enrage the queen. A show of my title, the princess of Nalavas and only living heir to the throne. Her throne. 

I kept my chin high and straightened my posture as we neared the throne room. There were sentries outside of the doors and they gripped their weapons tightly as we approached. I grinned at the gesture, they were afraid of me. I made all of my mother's loyal servants fear me as she had made our people fear her. 

One of them grimaced at my outfit, likely noticing my intentions behind it. I was so noticeable among them with their black uniforms as they opened the doors wide and released my arms. 

My mother sat atop her throne with only two sentries on the dais with her, like she wasn't afraid of anything in her own home, like she wasn't afraid of me. My father's throne she got rid of the week after his death and no one looked twice at the place it should have been in. I swallowed but didn't let the fear that was inside of me show. I might one day become stronger than her but she was still frightening with her beauty and powerful physique with equally powerful magic underneath. She looked me over, scowling at my dress and I held my chin even higher. She cringed when she looked at my hair and the message I was sending.

I approached her slowly, smoothly, and gracefully. Her court was here, watching, dressed in colors of only white, black, and gray. So bland, so grim and depressing. The queen was the only show of color wearing a deep red dress the color of blood. Her dress was large, and I didn't know how she would possibly be able to move in the monstrosity. She truly looked like blood drooling over the throne she sat on that looked as if it was made of bones, and maybe it was. Sometimes when I studied it I could see the details of different parts of the body the bone would belong to, but other times it looked like they were bones carved to look like flowers when put together fully.

Her crown was so large that it must have weighed a ton on her head. Her hair was woven around it like mine and it was absolutely magnificent if I were being honest. It was made of gold, she mainly wore gold while I preferred silver only because she didn't. There were rubies in her crown, the color of her dress, and I could've sworn there was fire in those rubies, living inside like a source of some other power on top of her head. Like the power inside of them was draining into her, perhaps it was. 

When I was but a few feet away from the dais, the sentries giving me a look of warning, I bowed deeply to her. So deep that when I dipped my head as well my face was almost to the ground. The marble in the halls were white but in her throne room everything was black as night. Everything but her and her throne made of bones. 

"Queen Teleena Mithra Faiden of Nalavas and Briden." I said, staying in the bow.

I wanted to choke saying her proper title, she only insisted call her by the full monster of a name, not anyone else. She still used my father's name which made me furious, which was why she kept it. Only to infuriate me. Everything was out of hate for me, but that only made it so much easier to consider truly killing her for the crown. I once told her, when I thought her to be sweet and caring, that I would either stay a princess at her side or that I would let her rule by my side when I came of age. The smile she gave me was fake, only so my father could think she was that caring figure.

"Stand." She finally said and I obeyed. My muscles were relieved when I was upright again. I hated bowing to her but she would likely rip out my throat if I didn't. Rip it out for her court to see what she would do to even her own daughter when she was disobeyed.

She took a deep breath before saying what she had brought me here for. "As you know, it is of our best interest to marry for strength and power. Your daughter, like me, will be the living image of that power and it is only fit to have a husband who will increase that power." She said, not getting to the point. I raised my eyebrows, gesturing for her to continue and she glared at me then looked out to speak to everyone.

"It has been arranged for my daughter, princess Mithra Faiden of Nalavas, to be wed to prince Talven Morgan of Belar. The wedding will be in some months and held here in the castle. The royal family and whoever they bring will be arriving in three days and the castle shall be prepared to house our guests. All of you will be invited to attend the wedding, dinner, and ball held in the couple's honor." She said and waited for it to sink in for everyone before adding, "You are dismissed."

My face went pale and I only stared at my mother and waited for everyone to leave the room. They all left rather quickly, my mother's dismissal wasn't something to obey to slowly. 

"Is there any reason you are still here Mithra?" She asked when everyone was far gone and couldn't overhear. The room was silent except for her voice, like the world was afraid to interrupt her. "I would've preferred the news delivered to me beforehand, privately, my queen." I made sure to add 'my queen' at the end. "The news was to be delivered how I wished, which was to everyone." She said and looked at me with distaste. "Yes, but--," She cut me off. "Are you not pleased? Are you not happy to hear that the future of our country will be brighter and we will be more powerful after your children are born." She snapped. "Of course I am, my queen." I said, curtsying in apology. "Rise, girl." She ordered and I stood straight.

She stood up from her throne and stepped before me. She was the same height as me but it seemed as if I was looking up to her with all the power she had just standing. She gripped my chin in her hands and made my eyes meet hers. The fire in them just as horrible as mine. Her hair was silver almost white and I was glad I wasn't born with it.

The metal claws she always kept attached to her fingers dug into my face, almost breaking the skin. "This is for the best. I wouldn't do something my daughter didn't wish." She said grinning with that cunning and terribly charming smile. I saw the lie in that smile, she couldn't care less about what I wished. "Of course, mother." I said. The mention of being her daughter was like a slap in the face that she owned me and likely the same for her when I called her mother.

She stared into my eyes with a ferocity I was so used to seeing but still made me shudder. "Pretty girl, he will be happy to marry you. He's the first prince in centuries to be born with the powers normally gifted to royal females." She said. "Plenty of our people have the power as well, my queen." I said. Finally, she released my chin but I kept it high and looked down at her through my lashes, a challenge of power. "Of course, many people in our lands are blessed with the magic we give, nowhere near as gifted as we; as me." She said in response, not as much spite as I expected.

I nodded, agreeing. Many had the little power that ran through the earth, gifting them with heightened senses and hardly an magic, but all that power in the earth lived inside of the royal families the strongest. We willed that power to do as we wished, controlled it. She always reminded people of it if they questioned her. 

"Go to your rooms, Mithra, you will need rest before our guests arrive." She said, not exactly an order but I was to obey. I dipped my head and the sentries helped her back onto her throne, a signal she was done with me and wanted me to leave. I turned sharply letting my skirt breeze the dais and strolled out of the room with the same grace I entered with. 

The sentries opened the doors for me just enough to go through then shut them softly when I was in the hallway again. I sighed and relaxed, grateful to be out of her presence. Meliza was waiting outside to escort me to my rooms, a smile on her face. She said nothing until we were far from the throne room. 

"How did it go?" She asked. My silence was answer enough for her. "What did she say?" She asked, her smile fading. "She arranged a marriage for me and announced it to me, along with everyone else. I wasn't surprised though, which oddly enough surprised me." I said. "That's awful, but you knew you would be arranged to marry and at least he will forever like you. If you don't get killed." She said.

I nodded but then snapped my head to face her. "I didn't tell you he was immortal or who he was." I said, revealing her fault.

Her face went pale and she bit her cheek. "Right, I was ordered not to tell you. I can't go against your mother's orders." She said. I sighed. "Of course, I'm sorry." I said. 

"You don't need to apologize, your highness." She said. "You know I hate when you say that, and my mother hates it even more." I said. She chuckled. "I know." She said softly. "Drakel escorted me to the throne room, he's in some mood." I mentioned. "Was he now?" She asked acting like she didn't know what I was talking about. "Get in a fight?" I asked. She paused before answering. "Somewhat."

Meliza was still young, not having lived half a mortal lifetime, and when her family asked her to marry I suggested Drakel. I didn't think they would actually fall in love. They were both immortal, but not much beyond that. They could hear better than normal humans and see better and of course live forever, but that was about it. When the priestesses had said that she wouldn't develop any magic she was devastated. Drakel had only basic magic. Moving objects, putting up illusions, nothing special. He was older than Mithra but not as old as I was. I had lived at least two centuries and seen enough to last me a lifetime.

"His parents are growing old, Mithra, they won't live to the end of the year." She said.

"I'm sorry Mel but you know that it is bound to happen when you are born." I said, with as much sympathy I could show.

I didn't feel bad for the immortals with normal parents who constantly complained about what they were. There was a way out of it, but none ever took it. They could let my mother drain all their power from them into herself and make them normal, but no one ever wanted to. Of course, she wouldn't make it painful like she did to torture those who disobeyed her. Having the magic drained from you wasn't an experience I wanted to ever have, and she wasn't strong enough to do it to me. I could one day, to her. Not kill her when I take the throne but make her mortal, let her die naturally and suffer without her magic. 

Meliza wasn't happy with my comment but she knew what I was thinking. "I don't think he'd ever let your mother do that. Or even a priestess." She said. "Well, tell him next time to suck it up and avoid bruising his princess, and future queen." I said. "Of course." She said, bowing. I pulled her arm and made her stand straight.

"I truly am sorry though, I know how it must feel to lose a parent." I said.

"Not both, not the way he will lose his." She said with tears in her eyes.

I gave her a small smile, showing her I really was sorry for both of them.

She was pretty as all immortals were, she had short golden blonde hair and her eyes were a pale blue, like the skirt of my dress. It was only a matter of time till she found someone to love and marry. Drakel was a likely match, he was handsome with hair golden like Meliza's and emerald green eyes with tints of blue. He was tall, broad, and muscled and made the perfect sentry for my mother. Not all the sentries were immortal but she preferred those with strength and magic that could serve her forever.

The rest of the way to my room we walked in silence. Some people in the halls bowed to me as we passed, others only scowled at me. Those faithful to my mother ignored me entirely, walking in the castle I always was met with mixed feelings toward me. 

Eventually we reached the hall where my room was. There was a grand sitting room when you first entered with a connected bath and bedroom. I left the doors to my bedroom open so it didn't seem like as much a small house as it seemed to be. My bed was large, too large, with white covers and quilts and grays splashed in. The only freedom of choosing I had was my wardrobe. It would send a negative message, prove we were united if she forced me to dress like her court. 

My room was so dark and depressing I had to order a servant to put up blue curtains. My mother protested, but she eventually allowed me to have them. "Call if you need me." Meliza said to me, bowing, before leaving me alone to my room. 

There was nothing to do, my mother only allowed to me roam the castle and sometimes visit the city, which I've done a thousand times. Only a few times has she given me duties, but those were to be trained in fighting, trained to use my magic, or being taught by countless tutors. Lessons in this, and that, the pointless skills she made me learn to master only made me frustrated and she enjoyed watching me suffer and drown in solitude and boredom.

I knew how to play almost every instrument and had beaten half the sentries in one on one battles. The ones that really made me work I enjoyed fighting, but she hardly let them leave her side. The strong ones that could teach me something valuable were always by her side. My teacher was very skilled and I had never beaten once but his boring moves were enough to make me yawn during training. Punch here, not there, we don't want to trick them we want to show we are better. I always argued tricking the opponent was the perfect way to win and prove your strength, he only made me run fifteen laps around the castle.

I was running past dark and dinner and practically dying at the end. A lesson for questioning his ancient knowledge. He fought in three wars which said enough about his age since there hadn't been a war since my mother was a child centuries ago.

There were weapons hidden all around my room just in case my mother finally ordered me killed when I proved myself better than her, but of course no one came unless I requested or to drop off my meals I wasn't forced to spend with her. Thankfully, she didn't want to eat with me as much as I detested eating with her. Sometimes I would order every servant to my room just take up time, but that got old after a while and only annoyed the servants. 

I lounged onto a white velvet sofa in my sitting room and didn't even bother undressing. The look my mother gave me for wearing it still playing in my head.

"Do you think you are so safe in your room?" Someone asked behind me and I jumped to my feet grabbing the knife I kept in the sofa. Basic thing but it could kill easily. I didn't see who the source of the voice came from, they were nowhere to be seen.

"Show yourself." I ordered. There were no sentries outside my room for my mother didn't care about my protection enough. They chuckled but stayed hidden. "I'm not here to harm you, Mithra." They said, the voice feminine. "I can't know for sure if I can't see you." I said, gripping my knife tighter. I rounded around the sofa to get myself out of a vulnerable place.

I should've sensed them, unless they are veiled. I wasn't dealing with a mortal but someone with magic strong enough to hide from me. My mother showed me once, before she hated me, how to find someone who doesn't want to be found. I would be able to tell the difference if I forced a gust of wind in whatever direction they were in. 

I felt the thrum of power inside of me and forced it blow a gust of wind strong enough to throw back my intruder. It struck nothing and I turned and forced out another until I turned a full circle, finding nothing.

This time when she spoke she was close enough for me to feel her breath against the back of my neck sending chills down my spine. "Missed me." She whispered. The power used to force another to my will was more complicated than simple force and I either had to order the being through their mind or verbally. I closed my eyes and sensed her around me, but I was unsure where specifically. "Reveal yourself." I demanded. Nothing.

"Reveal yourself!" I demanded once more and beads of sweat formed at my forehead from the use of power. Once she flickered into view in front of me a look of surprise on her face. She had burnt orange hair with fair skin and wore a cloak that hid her face from me. Then she disappeared again, but I lounged out and grabbed her. 

She was revealed fully to me then and I forced the hood off her head showing her face. I didn't recognize hair, she must not have been from this country. "Who are you?" I asked through gritted teeth. She smiled at me. "You are indeed stronger than the queen made you out to be." She said, not answering me. "Who. Are. You." I said again. She sighed and rolled her eyes. "Eleria, your highness." She answered giving me a mock bow. She pried herself from my grip and stepped back, crossing her arms.

"Why are you here?" I asked crossing my own arms. Her eyebrows rose and she shrugged. "Just doing my job." She said. "Deepest apologies, it's nothing personal." She added and lunged at me with a knife in her hand I hadn't noticed before. I dodged it just barely and whirled around to strike back. She blocked my attack mere inches from her throat and laughed. "So the princess can fight too, I'm impressed." She said. I scowled and came with my other arm to punch her side. She jumped away from the hit and cut my forearm. I bit my lip and spun aiming my knife at her throat.

Now she brought out another knife and hit away mine. It scattered across the floor and I was unarmed, but it wasn't over. She came at me with relentless speed and intention to kill and I had to doge, trying to lead her to where I had another weapon hidden. 

"I know where every weapon in this room is, don't think you can trick me." The girl said around blows. Her brow was furrowed in concentration and there was rage in her eyes, her dark green eyes the color of pine trees. She smelled of pine, in fact, a tree that was commonly found in Belar. She was sent to kill me to prevent Talven from having to marry me. I backed far enough away to allow myself a little time to let the metal sleeves on my arm melt and reform as daggers in my hands. She smiled and approached me with a feral demeanor. 

"Don't want to ruin your dress now." She mocked. "Trust me it's not anything of mine that will be ruined." I said. "Who was it that sent you from Belar? The king?" I asked. Her grin grew and she shook her head. "The queen?" Again she shook her head. "That bastard Talven?" I asked with all the venom I had in his name. She clenched her jaw and struck, but I deflected it in time and managed to drive a dagger into her shoulder with the small distracting rage.

"Does someone love the prince?" I teased. "How interesting." I added and twisted the dagger in her arm. She bit her lip to hold back a scream and kicked me away, leaving the dagger in her arm. She ripped it out and threw it away leaving blood on the white marble floors. "I have to clean that you know." I complained. "It will be your blood the servants will clean from the floors." She said. She was quite confident that she would accomplish her job. 

"I don't want to marry your prince either, let's call it a truce before you have the wrath of my mother all turned to your country pretty much vulnerable to her power." I said. She flinched but she had a look of rage on her face like a mask. "I have specific orders to kill you, not to bargain." She said and charged at me with unearthly speed. I missed a killing blow hardly and she sliced my abdomen ripping the dress slightly. "My mother will enjoy torturing you and your prince and keeping what's left of you as trophies." I said. She had to be afraid of my mother, everyone was and the more I talked her up the better my chances.

"I'd like to see her try." The girl snapped. "Oh she will try, and she will succeed. She's never failed in making her enemies suffer." I said. This was probably the first time I've praised my mother's cruelty as the girl backed away and looked me over. She stopped long enough for me to grab that power again and grab hers like a leash. "Drop your weapons, all of them, onto the floor." I ordered. Wide eyed she obeyed and every dagger, knife, and even a crossbow clattered to the ground as she removed them from herself. "Now, go to my mother and confess all you have done and what you were ordered to do." I said.

Now the face that was so intent and angry was scared, terrified by the words that came from my mouth. The order she had to obey. I felt her fight it, fight to defeat my power. She made the mistake of believing the lie my mother made about how weak I was, for I wasn't weak and if this girl feared my mother's power then there's no telling what she would think of me if she saw just how horrifying I can be. Slowly she started towards the door fighting every step but failing to break free. 

I was sweating, concentrating and using all the power I had to control her.

"Please." She forced out.

"Please what?" I asked.

"Stop." Was all I allowed her to say. "Then tell me, why are you here?" I asked. "I already told you." She said, I let her speak but when she did she moved quicker and had to choose whether to speak or fight against me.

"Still want to kill me, pity." I said. There were tears building in her eyes as she neared the door and she mouthed please once more. "Freeze." I ordered and she did so. "You will not kill me or harm me, or anyone in this country unless I say so. Now, you will leave without a word and confess to your prince that you couldn't do it because I convinced you otherwise and you will forget the power I have." I said. She nodded and I released her. 

She walked out of my room and I watched through my window until she was out of the castle. She stood still. I furrowed my brow. She couldn't have gotten loose to come back so easily. Then, a figure appeared appeared in front of her, just showed up out of nothing. They grabbed her and then they were gone.

I left my room and stalked towards the throne room. People gave me strange looks at my cut arm and abdomen but I ignored them this time. When I got there I burst into the room and my mother was indeed sitting in her throne with some members of her court around her. 

As I approached the dais they parted for me and I bowed at the edge. "My queen." I said and stood, not waiting for her to tell me to. "What is this?" She asked scowling at the blood on me. "I was attacked, my queen, by an assassin sent by Belar with the intent to kill me, but I defeated them my queen." I explained. She stared at me for a second then laughed. 

"Such stories with you." She said. "It is not a story." I snapped. Everyone gasped and she gave me a warning glare. "Apologies, my queen. It is not a story. Take a look and it will prove my claim." I said, my voice calm. She smiled. "If you insist." She said before plunging into my mind. I staggered back by the force and it only took her a second to find what she wanted then I forced her out with all my strength, throwing myself at her. No one could see or tell what had just happened before them but then she nodded.

"It appears you are right. Which only proves that this marriage and alliance is much needed to ensure our two countries peace." She said. I clenched my jaw. I opened my mouth to speak but she held up a hand, silencing me. I clamped it shut and let her continue. "So, the arrangements will stay the same and I will send word to Belar to push the wedding closer. In one month on the Night of Autumn." She said. "Now, I was rudely interrupted by your intrusion so now your training is doubled until the wedding and I will let Antoine know to meet you in the arena in twenty minutes." She added and waved me away. "Yes, my queen." I said bowing not as deep as before.

I stormed away to my room and screamed when I was alone in my room again. The girl's weapons were still on my floor and I left them there as I went into my closet and grabbed my fighting leathers from my wardrobe.

The leathers were tight and plain black and grey like almost everything in this damned place. I didn't even bother bathing after I stripped from my dress and pulled on my training wear. I clasped on all the plating over top and pulled on my boots that reached my mid-thigh. Then I pulled apart my hair woven into a crown and brushed it quickly before braiding it from my left side to sweep over my right shoulder. 

I slung my bow over my shoulder and placed my two daggers in belt. My daggers were beautiful and I had them specially designed to fit in my hand perfectly. The hilts were identical with designs of flowers and jewels that were inserted by magic. The daggers themselves were protected from any magic that wasn't mine, no one could take them from me or melt them from my hands, no one but me. I changed so quickly that I was early when I got to the arena.

The arena was large and more than half the city could fit in the grand stadium. It hosted fights and executions normally but I also used it sometimes to train. I waited impatiently tapping my foot for Antoine to appear. His eyebrows rose when he saw me waiting leaning against the wall nearest to the entrance. 

"You're early." He said.

"I don't want to learn to just fight today. I want to learn to kill, slowly and painfully." I suggested with a grin. 

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