The captain’s mouth ran dry. She could do little more than watch as Wren broke free of the guards, sobbing uncontrollably while clutching his brother’s body. She quivered. She froze and she burned and she felt nothing and everything at all. She quivered.
She gripped the hilt of her weapon with such tenacity the emblems broke into her skin. She tried to move her legs, but her legs would not move. One of the guards pulled Wren from his brother’s body, and began dragging what was left of Amir away. She rose. Still trembling, her eyes deadlocked with the king, the captain drew her sword as she spoke. Her chest swelled.
“This is our last order as your guard captain. Stand down. Anyone that moves against us will be cut down.” She turned around as the guards ceased all activity, remaining silent. She turned to the guard wearing the lynx armor. To the guard that had slain Amir. “Except you. You may approach.” The guard made no such move.
The captain removed her knightly crest as she approached the guard. The guard in question, the lynx guard, hesitated only for a moment. And then he ran. He burst through the doors of the throne room as quick as his heraldic namesake. The remaining guards circled in, blocking the princess’ egress.
“Daughter, enough.” The King announced. “Face your king and answer for your treason. What catastrophe could be so great that my daughter has forsaken all she was in so short a time?”
The princess faced her father, smirking with derision in her eyes. She spoke through gritted teeth. “Emarosa. Of the Elohim.”
Were it possible, the King’s skin lost color. The princess trembled, struggling to contain her rage as she watched myriad thoughts run through the king’s mind. The guards moved in closer, and between the king and his daughter.
“Emarosa lives?” the king asked. The princess remained silent. The king clutched his head, his eyes vacant. He fell to his knees. The princess’ muscles slowly relaxed at the inconceivable notion that the king could be anything but vicious.
“Do you care?” she asked with bitterness. He turned to her, his visage the closest thing he could ever muster to condolence. She dropped her weapon and moved toward the king in earnest. “Father, do you care?”
“Lenoa, my daughter…” the king raised his head. A blood-soaked blade emerged from his chest, Amir’s sickly ghost grimacing from behind.
“No!” the princess rushed through the guards to her father as Wren disappeared into one of the many corridors amidst the chaos. The princess held her father, his blood staining her hands. He pulled her close, whispering into her ear. She tried her best to listen, though she could promise no form of concentration. Unable to continue on, the king began to choke and gurgle on his own blood. The princess drew her dagger, and with one fell swoop, ended her father’s misery.
Only for a moment, her senses faded, her vision dulled. She fell into a vision of herself not long ago. Hush, hush. Just breathe. She exhaled, in the throne room once more. She kissed her wretched father’s forehead, and sealed his eyes. She held her father for some time as the guards watched on in silence.
A while later, she rose. She turned about, meeting the guards. They lowered their weapons. “The King is Dead. Long live the Queen!” they shouted as they knelt.
“Bury the king.” She commanded quietly with no great pride. She stepped passed the guards, kicking her rapier aside as she walked by.
She reached the doors and knelt beside Amir. Her fingers crossed his face, brushing the hair from his eyes so she could look into them once more. “Stupid farmer, you were supposed to be our pet…” she hesitated, “…our friend.” She hoisted his body up one more time, carrying him on her back like she had so often before. She headed for the door.
Her face was moist. Whether it was sweat or blood residue no one could say. No one was bold enough to mention the other possibility. Queens don’t cry. The doors of the throne room slammed shut as the Queen left the castle, body on her shoulders, never looking back.
~ Act I: Fin ~