[Cinzel+Decorative Power. Something measured in the strength, beauty, and wealth. Not easy to obtain and too rare to be possessed. Still there are those that find their way into its realm: the beautiful minx who climbs into the bed of the King, or the appointed knight revered by those he crosses paths with, the Prince born into ruling, or in [b X’s case] the amulet. For years the amulet of Power has been sought out, its promise of delivering magic unknown to whoever wears it. With it, the wearer is bound to have all that thee wish on bended knee and at their disposal. It so happens to land in the hands of [b X] who despite the whispered commands, knows it is his duty to destroy it.
A simple task for a man who has never not once failed a mission. Though, that seems to become a bit difficult when his morality outweighs his logical argument and he ends up rescuing [b Y]; Prince of Valencia, the elven kingdom. A man trying his hardest to escape the responsibilities placed upon him if Valencia is expected to remain in peace with their opposing kingdom of Lathes.
Seemingly, one cannot get rid of the other, as there dark forces on the hunt, unashamed to rid of anyone who gets in the way of its quest for the amulet. ]
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“Do not worry my love,” Tahlia whispered to Matthius. She pressed a hand against her swollen belly, lightly rubbing it. She could feel the subtle hum of the child that grew within her: a boy. This was a blessing and she knew that Matthius was proud that his first born would be a male. He doted on her and made sure she was always taken care of. She had to practically beg him to allow her to come with, though he wanted her bedridden. She came from a small clan, one to which pregnancy didn’t always fare well for the women. A part of her was scared, but she loved Matthius with all that she had. “Things will go as planned.”
“I surely hope so, the fate of our kingdom depends on it.” Matthius couldn’t understand why Cyrus would run from his responsibilities. It was the thought of a child and while he hated the idea of a child being in power, he knew that there was great chance for manipulation in that sense. Cyrus’ mother, the Queen, seemed to have the same thought in mind. He had no doubt that she had no care about stepping down, but a lively young prince she could turn into a King that she had seen in her husband before his untimely death was what she wanted.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/9HhHLTs.jpg]] Helena wasn’t too surprised to find that she would have her own room. She figured she wouldn’t spend time with Cyrus until the night of their ceremony, [I if] a ceremony would take place at all. Some part of her hoped not and another part of her wished that Cyrus just had cold feet and would return to fulfill his duties. She could understand why he ran away. Had she not been with Greta Helena was unsure if she would’ve been able to leave her room. Becoming married was no easy task and especially so not to a stranger. She gripped Greta’s hand tighter, the woman giving her a reassuring smile.
“That sounds lovely,” Helena responded. They followed after Serena to which Helena couldn’t help but admire the woman. She walked as though she could part any crowd, the sound of her hells clicking vibrating in the halls. She was by no means . . . [I delicate] or more so not in such a traditional way as one would think of a princess. It’d only been the sound of Serena’s voice that drew Helena’s eyes from her lingering gaze on her physique before meeting her eyes. She smiled at the children as they ran through the corridor, their cheerful giggles bringing a smile to her face. The palace didn’t seem so cold then and she did begin to feel herself becoming more comfortable. Maybe it had to do with Serena, who’s presence still validated intimidation, but wasn’t as cold as her mother’s. The two were alike and yet so different. She was sure their clashing would come from their similarities they refused to acknowledge.
She eyed the doors. Choices had never been her best and her cheeks turned a soft lavender as she realized all eyes were on her.
“Well, [I go on],” Greta whispered, nudging Helena. She cleared her throat, before her eyes lingered on the room farthest to the right. She stepped forward and opened it up. It suited her perfectly, a canopy bed with light green curtains, embellished with flowers. Just as she had hoped there was a window that allowed her a great view, with even a balcony should she want fresh air. Though she wondered with so many rooms, would she have this hall to herself?
“This is the one.” She said with a grin as she looked over her shoulder her eyes meeting Serena’s.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/xvJIyFI.png]] “Cy?” Elio repeated with a raised brow. The male was clearly on edge, though he suspected he was still coming down from that shot of adrenaline that spiked when he was attacked. He had nothing to fear as Elio had no intentions of further traumatizing him. Come the end of this meal they would leave as he had his own duties to tend to As though the amulet knew his thoughts were concerned with it, he could feel a slight warm sensation against his neck. His hand reached up to adjust his collar, not wanting to be seen. Should he be spotted with such a piece he would surely be killed.
Elio was unaware thought that he had already be spotted. One of the men that had managed to survive the attacked had seen him walking away, watching as he tucked the prized jewel into his clothing. When he found his strength he would make his way to a man who for the longest had sought for the amulet in hopes to take hold of their dear country for himself. With such power, there was no chance for him to fail.
“You just so happened to be in my way,” he excused lamely. He was fortunate that a wench soon came to their table with a brew for both. There was really no choice of menu, just hat was prepared for the day and by the smell, he figured tripe possibly on the menu. He wasn’t picky of course, but if he was going to make this journey, each meal counted. Elio took a long gulp of the beer, the bitter taste sitting on his tongue like the foam that coated his top lip. He licked at the stray drip before wiping the remnants away with the back of his arm.
“Where are you from?” he asked with a raised brow. It was a bit unusual for a menu of his clothing to not be aware of the area. Though in that sense he figured this meant Cy was running from [I something] or [I someone] and that was more trouble than he needed. The woman soon returned with a bowl of tripe and oats, accompanied with a platter of bread and cheese. He grabbed a slice, dipping it into the thick mixture, coating his fingers. “I have a trip of my own to make. I’m not a babysitter you know.” He mumbled. Though, where was the male going eh wondered. Would it be so bad to have someone at his side? Despite him being ambushed, Elio thought the man to be athletic in some way, it would eb nice to have someone on his side.
[Left [pic https://i.imgur.com/8cOYWx5.jpg]] The Queen could see the uncertainty rise in Matthius and this deepened her worry. She could understand how this may appear to him and so she called for her personal body guard by snapping her fingers. A cloaked, masked figure emerged from behind the throne and leaned in close to the Queen. "I want you to find Cyrus. The little brat has ran off, most likely to the woods. Find him and bring him home by all means necessary." The unknown figure silently nodded their head, bowed in parting to the Royalty in the room before exiting . The Queen's inviting smile returned to her face as she looked back to King Matthius. She stood up from her throne and followed the King and Queen of Lathes to retire in a lounging area. Without so much as a glance to her own daughter.
[Right [pic https://i.imgur.com/J9Tvfbl.jpg]] Serena had long accepted that she would never be Queen, she was too close in age to Cyrus and the only way she could take the crown was as if Cyrus were to step down or if something were to happen to him. The first option was unlikely as her older brother took his role very seriously and the latter, well she was not going to take matters into her own hands. However, it was amusing to see the dream her mother had crumble.
The Queen was a cold hearted woman who seemed to believe that men could not rule. This theory was proved when she ended an age old war within a matter of weeks of becoming sole ruler. She had wanted her first born to be a girl, not a boy. Serena only knew this as her mother frequently complained about behind closed doors. She did not get on with the woman as she too had spent a lot of her time with her late father who taught her how to fight. It was due to this that Serena aspired to become the head of the Royal Guards. So far, it seemed like she was going to be Princess Helena's new Lady in waiting, but through observation she decided that Greta may be more suitable to stay in her position. Serena made a mental note to argue about it with the Queen at a later date.
Her smile turned more genuine as the other princess replied. She gently nodded her head. "I can show you to your choice of rooms?" She suggested, beginning to lead the slightly shorter woman through the palace corridors. "We don't expect you to share with my brother and there are far too many rooms for you not to have your own." She added on, looking at Helena and taking a moment to study her gentle, soft features. She was beautiful and there was a part of her that wished she could take Cryrus' place… Though, they would not be able to bear children… Serena shook those foolish thoughts from her head. "After you have chosen a room, I can show you the gardens that you so eagerly want to see." She stated this teasingly and continued to walk through the various marble,pillared corridors that had various paintings of her ancestors and landscapes. Everything seemed so fragile, as if the slightest touches would make it all fall apart. That, however, did not stop five boisterous children from running around, crashing into things as they raced and chased. Their loud footsteps and giggling could be heard on the floor above. Sereba gently rolled her eyes. "You will have to excuse my younger siblings. My parents had a lot of children and some of them have yet to mature." She said to Helena. "They are eager to meet you but I think my mother wants us all to be present before doing proper introductions."
A few moments later and they rounded a corner to find a corridor with three rooms."You can choose any of these, Helena. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible."
[Left [pic https://i.imgur.com/xBkE2pl.jpg]] Cyrus grew uncomfortable with the man's lingering gaze on him, it was quite the intense stare and for a moment he thought he had been recognised. After all, the High Elves of Valencia have distinguishable features. From their long, pointed ears to lines of art upon their face. He was just starting to realise how bad of an idea this actually was. There'd be nowhere he could go without being recognised by at least one person, then, once his mother found out, she'd send guards to find him. It would only be a matter of time before he was dragged back to the castle and forced into that marriage. He just couldn't understand why it had to be this way, that the two kingdoms had to unite under marriage. He would have preferred to have formed a platonic alliance and co-rule that way… But that was not tradition. His own parents had an arranged marriage, and so had his fathers. He knew he wouldn't be able to convince his mother otherwise, he also knew he could never learn to love Helena and that was not fair on the young woman. Living through a loveless marriage, she deserved better than that.
So, he hoped by running away that the arrangement would be called off and Valencia and Lathes would find a different way of finding peace. If the bloodshed and war continued, then he would return to the throne and take his place.
Cyrus almost sighed in relief when the man spoke again but he was disappointed to hear that he was not taking his offer of repayment. He nodded his head and thanked the other, walking with him in silence to the town. His nose curled at the stench of the tavern and his stomach grew sick. He had not smelled such a horrible scent before… But if he was to try and blend in then he had to pretend that he was used to it. He was thankful that they sat within a dark corner of the room, he was least likely to be noticed here. He still felt nervous though, and under the table he clutched the weapon that the other had thrown to him earlier. He directed his golden eyes to him when he spoke and the corners of lips turned up slightly in a polite smile. "It's nice to meet you, Elio, I'm… Cy." He had to think for a moment about his name before answering. If his face were not recognised then his name sure would be. "I really can't thank you enough for what you did, most would have looked the other way…" He said, keeping his attention on the other. However, he couldn't shake the feeling that he or rather they were being watched. He tried to shake the feeling and to not look around the crowded room. "As grateful as I am, I'm in need of your services again… See, I'm not from around here and I don't really know my way…" He didn't completely finish his sentence, hoping Elio would understand what he was asking. "I promise I wont be a bother… I just don't know anyone else."
Suspicion soon filled Matthius and he wondered if maybe this had been a trap. With him ere and far from his kingdom, there was the chance and possibility that they could be raiding his land. Though, Matthius didn’t think the Queen had it in her to do that; as cold as she could be, she was also a woman who planned and she would have to know there was nothing that would keep Matthius imprisoned in her grasp. No, he would find a way out and come to the aid of his people. He saw that look of nervousness in her eyes as well as a telling sign that this was something she had not accounted for. That said whether a trap or not, he was frustrated to know that things weren’t going smoothly. The deal was a marriage, one that his sister had accepted as princess it too her duty to be there for her people. So many lives had been lost, this marriage was important.
“Well,” Matthius said then. “My wife should retire and rest.” While he wanted to be protective of Helena, he had to understand that come now she was of the court of their soon to be allies. In order for the Queen to trust him, he had to trust her and other than her son’s absence, she had been true to her word. Matthius looked to his sister then, small and nervous looking. He knew it had been a good idea to suggest Greta come along with her as it would bring her some comfort. He leaned in to kiss his sister’s forehead. “Be watchful,” he whispered to her to which she nodded. He was soon escorted with his wife toward a corridor where they would stay until all matters had been settled.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/9HhHLTs.jpg]] Helena watched as her brother left with Thalia. She looked to Greta, thinking maybe they could explore together. Though she had to remember that this was not her home, well it was her new home and maybe she shouldn’t be so bold as to explore on her own. The Queen seemed to think the same and maybe more so to keep an eye on Helena. Though she had no intentions to be mischievous. She was encountered then by the dark haired princess Serena. Her beauty did seem to stun Helena and for a second she struggled to bring together a comprehensive sentence. She felt the little nudging finger of Greta to her side.
“Help, I, princess Helena.” She said as she came to a stand. “I suppose I am curious as to what my room will look like.” She wondered if that was too froward considering she would be sharing the room with Cyrus who was off in the woods apparently. Though she did have some curiosity as to if it was somewhere she could find solace in. would it have a window with a beautiful view of the land? She’d noticed the wide variety of different flowers, bright and vibrant colors that dared you to pick them. “Is there a garden?” She suddenly asked, her hands moving up almost to cover her mouth as though embarrassed. Though, she knew that as future Queen she would have to learn to conduct herself in a more professional and confident manner. Helena stood a bit taller then, though that did nothing much for her height, still a bit shorter than Serena and barely meeting shoulders. She soon followed along with her, trying to think of what to say.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/xvJIyFI.png]]
[font “times” [I He will be of use.]] Elio tried not to show the shock at the soft whispers that curled round his ears. He closed his eyes though, knowing the voice was not in his head and he hadn’t gone mad. This was the amulet. Though what use would he have for a man who couldn’t even protect himself? Elio opened his eyes to then find that the stranger had come a bit closer, his look genuine and true. Though it had always been tough for him to trust anyone and certainly not someone he wasn’t sure that could have his back. Yet, as his eyes traveled along the male’s body he couldn’t help but admire tat beneath such baggy clothing was the possibility of a man with great athletic qualities. Elio was then curious, as it was clear the clothes couldn’t possibly belong to the gentleman. What had this man been running from? Elio was curious though and figured maybe there was some use to him, perhaps. Maybe he could be the one to risk his life in throwing the amulet into the pit: a patsy. A small part of him refused to acknowledge the worry though in leaving the man behind.
“I’ll lead you to the edge of the woods.” He simply said, they would find a small town there and he could rest and get something to eat. Elio nodded his head for him to follow, his grip tight on therein of the horse though he doubt it run away. No matter, Elio kept another hand close to his side, waiting to attack the traveler should he turn on him. They’d finally reached the town, an inn not too far away but Elio had no intentions to stay; just food and some resting from the tireless walking. He sat at the table then with the stranger, huddled in a dark corner. The smell of dung and beer was heavy in the air, a few other men and women at their own tables. He motioned for two ales to eb brought along.
“So, shall we start with names then?” He asked. “Elio.” He said simply.
The Queen was filled with rage, her blood boiled and she became tense. She dismissed the servant and took a moments pause to regain herself. She then placed on a forced smile before looking back to King Matthius and Princess Helena. "It seems my son has... Ventured off... I do apologise but he has most likely just gone to the woods to take a breather. His father passed a few months ago and he only found out about the marriage this morning. I'm sure he will be back soon." She took another pause to let the information to sink in. "However, you are free to stay and explore your new home Helena. I'll have my eldest daughter be your escort." She had relaxed slightly but she still was not happy.
The Queen then called for her daughter and in walked a woman, she was younger than Cyrus but only by a year. She too had taken more of her appearance from her father, but just like her mother, her hair was as dark as night. Her golden flower necklace that was wrapped around her neck glinted in the light and her hips swayed slightly as she walked in. She bowed to the three of them with a polite smile before turning go the Queen. "Yes, mother?"
[Right [pic https://i.imgur.com/J9Tvfbl.jpg]]"Cyrus has decided to take off for a little while without telling me first and I would like you to show Princess Helena of Lathes around her new home so that she is not wasting her time waiting around." Serena knew she had no choice in this matter and softly nodded her head before turning to Helena. "Hello, I'm Princess Serena." Her smile was now more bright and welcoming. "Is there anywhere that you would like to see first?"
[Left [pic https://i.imgur.com/xBkE2pl.jpg]] Cyrus felt embarrassed that he had been saved, he was a prince, nearly to be King and he had just been rescued. But, he was grateful none the less. Luckily nothing was broken a d all his injuries would heal with some rest. However, he was taken aback by the strangers response. He caught the weapon thrown to him and then adjusted his clothing.
He was thankful that this man did not know who he was, but he was sure that he would want something. "But... You just saved my life... I have to repay you. It's the least I can do." He replied walking closer to the other. "I'd be most likely dead if it weren't for you... I dont mind what it is." He was almost pleading. He wasn't sure this mattered so much to him, but he did. He was also alone and if he could get a drink with the man then he could potentially let him travel with him.
They were being led to the throne room where she would be meeting the Queen and her soon to be husband, Cyrus. Helena had to admit that she had grown nervous, even more so since leaving the carriage. She tried not to show it though, walking with as much poise and grace as a princess were to. Her eyes darted around the palace, thick columns and high ceilings bedazzled with jeweled flowers. It certainly was quite different from their palace. She wondered what her room would be like. Would she have to sleep with Cyrus on the first night? That thought alone made her tense up and Greta had begun to rub her back to calm her down. She calmed down then. At least she had Greta, that’s all she could ask for in this time of transition.
The servant had finally led them to the throne room where they now stood before the Queen. They all bowed then in her presence as a show that this wasn’t some kind of trick; they truly were here to bridge between the kingdoms and stop this madness of war. It was clear at that moment that the Queen was alone.
“Queen,” Matthius started. “It is with my pleasure that we both have finally come to an agreement to which finally peace between our kingdoms is finally possible after all the years of bloodshed and loss.” He looked back toward Helena then, placing a hand out to her to indicate for her to step forward. She felt Greta’s hold release and timidly with her head down she walked to meet her brother’s side. She could feel his gaze and she finally lifted her head to meet the eyes of the Queen. Helena had to admit she was gorgeous, even in her age and yet there was a distinct daunting feeling that came with meeting her gaze.
“Princess Helena, it is with pleasure that my son shall have such a beautiful young woman by his side to see him through his years as King.” A servant had then entered the room.
“My apologies,” he announced as he bowed in their presence before stepping toward the Queen. She leaned just slightly as the young male whispered words into her ears. Words that seemed to further prove that the fear the Queen instilled was not by Helena’s imagination.
Cyrus was gone.
[center [b [size30 ❈]]]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/xvJIyFI.png]] The tale of the amulet’s origin did change from place to place. Some said that it had been created before the kingdoms of Valencia had split. Some say that the original King Valentine had been given the amulet when he was a poor young man after being approached by an old man. The amulet promised a power unlike any other, but only would do good by those who were good. During his reign, he had two men that he trusted with his life, the men that would eventually split when the King died to form the two kingdoms known today.
King Valentine had feared that one of the men would take the amulet and some believed that he was killed for it. Though the amulet was never found, rumor that the King had it sent by another servant to be buried away. Though rumors would resurface every few years that the amulet was still out there. Now it rested under Elio’s armor and around his neck. He knew that the only way it could be destroyed was if it were thrown in the fiery pits of Balthazar.
The first few nights with the amulet he feared going to sleep, unsure if someone would come to steal it in the middle of the night. It was just on the first night when he began to hear the whispers.
[font “times” [I I see you. I am yours. Keep me.]]
The voice had stirred Elio out of his sleep then. His chest rose and fell quickly as he looked around in the dark of the night, clinging his belongings to himself. Was he doing the right thing? With this amulet he could have control over the kingdoms, he could right the wrongs of his past and yet . . . something about the amulet just didn’t sit right with his spirit.
Come morning he had just finished eating and was back on the road. A bow sat across his back and his sword right at his hips. It was then he heard a disturbance not too far away, the sound of deep gruff voices. He knew something was wrong further when a horse had come running toward the opposite direction, nearly knocking Elio to his feet. He tried to calm the white stallion. His hand reaching out to grip it’s face and stare into his eyes. How strange then that the beast had soon calmed down, eyes as silver as mercury soon turning a dark black, as though tethering itself to Elio. He’d pulled away eventually, a bitter taste in his mouth then as he began to heave, breaking the connection but at least keeping the horse calm.
Elio knew the horse had to belong to someone, though it had no saddle, it did have a marking on I’s side, etched in silver. This horse had clearly been stolen. Some part of his decided it best not to go in that direction, knowing it meant he would come across a bout thieves and yet, there was a yelping sound that had distracted him. He sighed, pausing then and looking over his shoulder before finally mounting the horse. As he came closer he saw what he suspected, a group of thieves beating on what he could assume was a young male. In seconds, Elio had removed the bow and arrow, something different about how fluid he was able to pull the bow and in a second watch as it flowed through the air and miraculously through one of the thieves’ heads. In the same seconds he managed to send out two more arrows. When the horse came to a stop, the men now laid bleeding in the ground and the only one unmarked, a young male.
Elio had got off the horse then, bending to retrieve the arrows as the male was sputtering, barely coming to his feet. He looked worse for wear and while not necessarily the largest, he did look like he could carry himself well – had he not been outnumbered.
“No need to repay me,” he said as he began to pick the man’s pockets. He’d found a lead rope on one of their hips and had attached it to the horse then. “You shouldn’t be out here alone, without a weapon.” He muttered before tossing him one of the men’s daggers. He’d soon been on his way. He’d done his part.
Cyrus had always been close to his father, he was the first born child and so the Crown Prince. He spent the most time with the man and the two formed a good relationship. His mother, on the other hand, never quite seemed to like him or at least thats what he thought. He knew his mother had wanted a daughter first, but he couldn't understand why the woman still treated him differently to his siblings. Up to this point, he had simply let her be... Until that morning.
The two of them were sharing breakfast, alone. On the long table covered by a soft, white cloth was an arrange of foods. Tropical fruits, freshly baked pastries and squash juice. They are in silence, the only sound resonating in the room was the scraping of metal forks on plates. Butler's stood around the room, waiting to see e the Queen and the Prince. His mother cleared her throat before speaking. "Cyrus, I'm going to share some news with you. Now, you have no choice in this matter but it is for the safety for your kingdom." Her voice was stern, daring him to object. He turned his golden eyes to her, brows furrowed slightly in confusion. He did not answer her and after a moment, she placed down her silver cutlery, that was decorated with intricate flowers, before continuing to speak. "Today, you are going to meet and we'd your future wife, Princess Helena of Lathes. She arrives in a couple of hours so I suggest you go to your room and dress in the clothes I have picked out for you." His mother was a cold woman, but she had never done something like this.
"How dare you?! Father only passed two months ago and you go behind my back and place me into a marriage that I do not want!"
"I cannot rule forever Cyrus and this war has gone long enough. If you decline then the King of Lathes will view it as an attack. Now, take this like a man."
Their eyes locked in a glare before Cyrus suddenly stood up and stormed out of the room. He was filled with rage as he walked the halls, his quick footsteps echoing across the stone. He knew that this wedding would place and end to the age old war, but why could better terms be not agreed upon? Why did it have to force two people to marry? He knew he could never love Helena, there was something in him that held no attraction to any woman. But instead, he found the beauty in his fellow men. He knew that Helena would never be able to love him, and so they both would be condemned to miserable life. How could he rule his people properly if he were not happy? He refused to see this marriage through.
So, he called for a server and asked to borrow their clothes, he lied and told them he wanted to go into the city and blend in with the crowds. The servant dutifully complied, scurrying off to receive the clothes and give them to the Prince. Once Cyrus had changed, he snuck his way down to the kitchens where he proceeded to grab a few days worth of supplies. With his bag of food and pouch full of coins, he managed to escape the castle to the stables where he would take his horse and dash off into the nearby woods without alerting his mother.
A couple of days later and Cyrus was deep in the forest. To give his horse a break, he decided to walk on foot. He was surrounded by tall, strong trees, their rich, green leaves left gaps for the bright sun to peek through. It was peaceful and reminded him of when his father would take him hunting. The find memory brought a smile and distracted his thoughts. However, this would not let for long as he heard a voice.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" The voice was unfamiliar but it held cruelty in it. Cyrus looked around until he saw a group of five men begin to approach him. They had twisted grins on their faces and their hands on weapons. Panic began to settle in and Cyrus reached for his weapon, only to find it not there... He must have left it in the palace. He cursed himself. He had no chance of winning against the five of them.
"Looks like a citizen of Valencia."
"I heard they were all rich in the city."
"If that's the case then I'm sure pretty boy can spare us some change."
Before he knew it, a bat was swung to his face but he managed to duck. However, this allowed another to punch him in the stomach. This continued til he was on the ground, crying out for help. He tried to fight them, tried to defend himself and even run but there were too many. He was covered in cuts and bruises and for a moment, he thought the thieves would not stop their torture. Until, screams of pain replaced their cruel laughs and then there was nothing. Cyrus opened his eyes to find an Elven man with white as snow skin and long black hair. He slowly stood to his feet and winced. "Thank you so much sir... I thought they would never stop... I... How can I ropay you?"
Peace. That was all that was asked for and yet it seemed quite hard for Helena, Princess of Lathes, to consider her love at all a fair asking price for it. Though, she didn’t really have a chance. Her brother was Matthius was King and it was his duty to finally absolve this war that had been brewing between kingdoms and if that meant sacrificing his sister then so be it. Of course, with that said she hadn’t necessarily taken the news lightly. She had never met Prince Cyrus, a man who would now rule as King over Valencia with her subservient at his side. She’d cried for days, soothed only by Greta a maid who she considered to eb her best friend. Both her parents had passed on, but Helena knew that they would agree with what her brother was doing.
“Maybe you’ll grow to like him. I’ve heard he is easy on the eyes,” Greta said with a small chuckle as she pet Helena’s blond hair. Helena turned in the woman’s lap, now violet eyes staring into hers.
“What if he’s mean? What if he is horrible to me?” She knew what men of power were like. While she loved her father dearly, Helena was no fool to how he treated her mother and how he toyed with her heart like he toyed with the bodies of those he slept with.
“Sadly, some of us are born into situations to which we have no power and what we do have – must be sacrificed for the greater good.” Helena closed her eyes, the last of her tears falling from the corner of her eyes and down her cheek. Her friend was right. It was her duty and she knew there was no way she could get out of this courtship.
Come the day, she stared out of the window of the carriage, watching as the castle she had lived in all her life grew smaller and smaller. Her home no more. Though her brother at least had been kind enough to allow Greta to come with. She looked over at Matthius and Thalia, his own bride with a swollen belly from their child growing within her. Matthius looked very much like their father – sharp cheekbones and dark brown hair, with eyes a burnt orange like the embers of a fire. She could tell he was tense, going into Valencia, but hopefully things would go smoothly. They looked like a powerful couple and she wondered if she could pull that off with Cyrus.
They soon reached the castle where they were then ushered into, with little time before the ceremony would take place. Helena looked around. Her home to be.
[center [size30 [b ❈]]]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/xvJIyFI.png]]
“What do you want with me? How did you get in here?” Elio asked as he quickly came to a stand, dark strands of hair waving over his nude torso. He reached for his shirt before pulling it on.
"I have a proposition. You do know of the [I amulet].”
Elio’s eyes looked up at the man then, a straight line on his face as he tried not to show the worry at hearing tale of the amulet. Everyone knew of it, but it’s location had been a secret. Now it sat before him in the wrinkled man’s hand.
“It must be destroyed.”
“Destroyed?” He asked. Everyone knew of the power of the amulet; why would anyone give it away?
“There are those who seek it without pure hearts, and I fear it will soon fall into the wrong hands as my position has been compromised.” He inched forward, his sword slightly scraping against the floorboards of the room he stayed in.
“What’s in it for me?” He grumbled. The man had tossed toward him then a bag full of gold coins and jewels, more than what he was ever offered. “And more, more that you desire.” When the amulet fell into his hand, he could feel the intense heat from it, the coolness of the chain dulled in comparison.
“What do you say?” The old man asked, but when Elio looked up to answer, the man was gone, his sword still standing as though held by some kind of force. It seemed he had made the decision.
“I say ye’,” he said into the darkness.
Cyrus was the oldest of five siblings, this made him heir to the throne. It had been his destiny from the moment he was born and his whole life had been in preparation for the day his father would pass down the throne. He took this duty with pride and honour, he listened to his teachers, completed his training. He sacrificed everything, friendships, relationships so that one day he could make his parents proud and serve his kingdom as King.
However, nothing would prepare him for the loss of his father. He had been playing with his younger siblings, teaching them some simple sword fighting skills when he was called to the Kings chambers. When he entered, he saw a shell of his father. He was pale, weak and fragile. He coughed and winced in pain before reaching a hand out to Cyrus. "My Son, come here." He had obediently complied with request and he knelt on the floor, holding his father's hands. "I'm afraid my time in this world is running short and soon, I will be passing into the next life-" The man coughed in the middle of speaking and the nurses who were caring for him, pressed a cup to his lips to allow him to drink. Afterwards, he continued. "This means that the crown will soon be handed to you. Your mother was not born into royalty and so cannot rule for long."
"But father I... I still have so much to learn. I'm not ready." Panic filled his words and his eyes with doubt. But, his father shook his head. "You are more than ready... But, I must remind you that a King... A good King will make sacrifices to serve and protect his people. No matter what, you do the right thing for them." The man's voice was stern and his grip on Cyrus' hand tightened slightly. "I know papa." The crown prince was still worried, but he was also determined. He would not let anything come between him and his duty...
But, Cyrus did let something stop him... A couple of months later and his father peacefully passed in his sleep. He was given the ritual burial and the Kingdom was given a week to mourn his passing. After that week, everyone prepared for Cyrus' coronation and his wedding.
Without his knowing and consent, his mother discussed with the enemy Kingdom, Lathes, about peace. Their war had waged for too long and both came to a conclusion that to bring harmony, the two kingdoms must unite under a marriage. His mother would not re-marry, and so she offered Cyrus. The Monarchs of Lathes offered their daughter who had already agreed to the plan. Cyrus wasn't aware of any of this until the day he was going to meet his future wife.
Elio was considered the lowest of the low; a man who took innocent lives for a bag of coins. Though of course, not all were innocent. Wasn’t that why they had a bounty on their heads in the first place? Still, considering his ways, he wasn’t really sought out to be a man you could trust. All the more, he wasn’t the kind of man you wanted to be on the bad side of. In all, it was simple best to stay out of his way. Had he always been this way? Of course not. He at one point in his life had a wife, a child; he had a home. He was once a knight, one of the highest appointed by the King of Lathes. Until he was asked to abandon his family in order to protect the King, a man who was already on his deathbed. His son, Matthius was left to be in charge and he had forced Elio to make a decision. Did he want to eb imprisoned for defying the king, never to see his family again? Or risk his life for him and their kingdom, to not be promised the chance of seeing another day.
He had decided to fight. His home, swarmed by fire from the opposing elven soldiers.
He had decided to leave then, leaving his armor behind and turning his back on his kingdom. They did not deserve his loyalty and day after day, he thought of the decision he had made. His skills had not gone unnoticed and he started on just doing a few shakedowns as a deb collector. Eventually he got sucked into the dark underworld. He found killing to be easy, of course he had been doing it for so long as a knight, but there was something quite different in being a marksman.
He had to admit, it was a bit thrilling. Stalking your target, waiting for that right moment to come up on them in the silence of the night and snapping their neck, or for more of a challenge, shooting an arrow from miles away and watching them fall to the ground. Yes, maybe he had grown a bit cold, but what was to eb expected when his heart laid in ashes?
That said there was nothing that he was afraid of. No challenge that he thought he couldn’t handle, until he came across [b HIM]. The old man that had caught him in the midst of his nap, a hooded figure at first, only then to step from the shadows and into the light of the candle by his bedside. His first instinct had been to reach for his sword, surprised to see it held in the man’s frail speckled hands, as though it were a cane keeping him upright. He said nothing at first, stepping closer before outstretching his other hand, a silver chain dripping between his fingers like running water. In his palm, burning like a hot coal was a black stone, a red light emitting from it.
“Elio, I have a task for you. A task I promise to restore what is lost.”
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