The Conquered City

This story takes place in a world no different to our own with just a few differences. The tale unfolds from different points of views and from different people.

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1. Prolouge

The stage was lit, bright lights bringing sweat to her forehead. Music emanated from the band circle, as the conductor’s hands waved in fluid motions. She could feel the tight, red and black, corset restricting her chest rising and falling, as she took sharp breaths. A hush murmur fell as the lights flared. Celina could only see to the third row, everything behind had been enveloped by darkness. Scanning the first row she spotted a very distinct man, Lord Rothbowe, he sat in the middle of the front row surrounded by eight other posh aristocrats.

The music sprang to life and Celina’s feet started to rise and fall underneath her. She could feel the thin blade of sliver inside her silk pointe shoes. The red silk twisted and bent as she turned, getting further towards the front of the stage. The music built up into a crescendo as Celina turned until at the peak of the music she stopped suddenly, swerving, her hand reached down and clasped the metal blade and flung it without a second thought. Like a bolt of lightning it flashed as it flew through the empty space. A dull thud told her she had the target. A red stain sprouted from the embedded dagger. Lord Rothbowe slumped in his chair.  Celina turned, her petticoats spraying in a fan, and ran towards the exit as panic ensued.

Running through the crowd that had commenced back stage, Celina tore off her petticoats, her black silk shift still concealing her thighs, and ran to the back door. Flinging it open she saw a high wall, which surrounded the tiny courtyard. Her hands fumbled as she untied the mask the concealed half her face. It fell to the floor as she leaped at the wall. Celina’s hands found nooks and crannies as she climbed, she could hear screams behind her. Swinging herself onto the top of the wall she looked back to see flickers of light as people ran past the window. The full moon lit her path way as she scurried along the wall’s top and leaped onto the neighbouring roof. Leaping from house to house Celina found herself making her way down the jumbled street, finally coming to the last house near the wall which surrounded the city. The distance looked further from where she was standing than it did earlier. Backing up Celina to a run and flung herself through the immense space of air. As the wind whistled though her hair Celina saw the ground coming closer towards her. Her arms started to flail as she realised she had missed.

The minute she awoke Celina felt the manacles around her wrists and ankles. A creaking of a hinge made Celina turn her head.
“Finally you’re awake.” The harsh voice of King Dorian emanated from the far corner. “I thought you might be dead, but no you would be that helpful.” He appeared from the darkness his crown glinted in the light from the candles around the cell. “Now tell me, did you really think you could get away with killing my chancellor?” the question was cruel but Celina didn’t answer. “Fine if you won’t answer then I shall fetch the Shaman and let him make you!”
“I… I…”Celina spluttered.
“Or better still,” A wicked smile crossed his face, “I shall let you go.” That statement surprised Celina, “never before had the King been so generous to his captives.” She thought. “But I won’t let go with all your knowledge you have. I shall bring the Shaman and let him take away your recollections of everything except how to talk and how to fight, but we will supress that one.” The king turned, his cape spiralling behind him. Celina’s eyes grew heaving, she tried to remain awake but sleep was calling her. Her head lolled to one side as her eyes shut.

“Wake up.” A slivering hiss awoke Celina. The night sky was still present through the window as she turned to see where the noise had come from. A few moments later a taught face entered her vision and looked her straight in the eye. Swirls and patterns, runes and mystic shapes, covered most of this man’s features. His eyes were red like fire and as he liked licked his lips, to Celina’s horror, she noticed half his tongue was missing, “probably carved away.” She thought. As if Celina had spoken aloud the Shaman, for this was the shaman, replied “Yes it was carved away as part of a ritual the king…”
“Shaman! Stop divulging our secrets!” the King barked. “I don’t have to remind what happened to the last Shaman that let something slip.”
“No sir.” 
“Then what are you waiting for get on with it.” The Shaman turned back to face Celina.
“I shall wipe your memory but implant a false memory in as well.” The shaman said in a sly whisper, not hint of remorse or compassion in his voice. “You shall not remember the heinous acts you have committed and no one shall recognise you for who you are, assassin or your birth right. Everyone shall know of the Assassin but not know it was you, not even yourself shall remember it. The only people who shall know of you is me and the Sister. Now sleep.” The last words emanated in Celina’s mind as her eyes closed and she was swallowed by darkness.

 

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