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La Belle Fatale, Part Two

King Adam’s Revenge

By Stephanie HoogstadPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 6 min read
5
La Belle Fatale, Part Two
Photo by R. Martinez on Unsplash

Author’s Note: This story is a sequel to the story “La Belle Fatale”. For the first part, follow this link below:

Leaves crunched beneath hooves as the winged horse landed in the clearing. Atop the winged horse sat The Belle, adorned in her peasant’s garb, leather riding gloves, and a mud-brown cloak. Before them stretched a fork in the road, one path leading towards the town and the other towards King Adam’s castle.

The Belle pulled the scroll out from her leather satchel. It was a note with coded information on her latest target: Lord Bethel, a former client of hers and lord of the town towards which she was heading. He would be easy enough to arrange a meeting with, even easier to get drunk. From there, it was only a matter of slipping him the poison and paying off the necessary guards and servants to forget that she had ever been there. Then his son would inherit his title, and she would get her pay.

Another day, another routine job.

For a moment, The Belle glanced down the path towards King Adam’s castle. She shook her head.

She tucked the scroll back into the satchel and took out a silver mirror. Stroking it along the frame, she closed her eyes and pictured King Adam’s face.

The blackness of the mirror swirled and faded, giving way to the image of King Adam’s chambers.

Standing before the window, surrounded by deceased guards, was King Adam. His hands hung by his sides, blood dripping from his claws down to the stone floor. To his right and slightly behind him, an elderly guard and a young guard stood at attention. Their eyes avoided the bodies lying all around them.

“He is coming, Your Highness,” the young guard said.

“Let him,” King Adam’s gruff voice replied.

“Your Highness, you are too weak, too injured,” the elderly guard rebuffed.

King Adam turned, exposing a bleeding wound to his right ribs wrapped in a makeshift bandage constructed from silk bedsheets.

“He will not bring many men,” King Adam said.

“He will bring enough,” the elderly guard retorted. “Please, Your Highness, come with us.”

King Adam shook his head.

“This is my kingdom. I will not abandon it.”

“Live to fight another day.”

King Adam smiled slightly and placed a hand on each guard’s shoulder.

“Reginald. Thomas. You were the only ones to remain loyal to me all these years. They will kill you if they learn that. You must run. Now.”

Unshed tears shined in both guards’ eyes.

“No,’’ the young guard, Thomas, declared.

“We have stayed by your side this long,” Reginald added. “We will not abandon you now.”

King Adam’s tail flicked back and forth.

“Thank you.

He pulled them into an awkward embrace as the guards tried to avoid touching his wings.

The image faded as The Belle put the mirror back into her satchel. She looked down first the path to the town and then the path to King Adam’s castle. She sighed and pulled on her winged horse’s reigns.

***

King Adam towered over the limp bodies of Thomas and Reginald. He glared at their murderers, growling from deep in his chest.

“I should have known that a female assassin would not have what it takes to slay a beast,” the Duke said as his guards wiped Thomas’s and Reginald’s blood off their blades. “I guess that if you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself.”

The Duke snapped his fingers, and two of his guards approached King Adam with iron chains.

King Adam recoiled at the sight of the iron, but he did not back down. As the guards tried to swing the iron nooses around him, King Adam swiped with his claws and tail. He took down one with his tail, but as he lunged toward the guard, the other secured an iron chain around his neck.

King Adam scream in pain as the iron burned his skin. The stench of smoldering flesh filled the room. King Adam collapsed to his knees as he clawed desperately at the metal around his neck.

“Resist all you want,” the Duke said. “You are not getting away this time.”

The Duke turned to his Captain of the Guard.

“Finish it.”

The Captain took out an iron blade and approached King Adam. As he pulled back the blade to strike the King’s heart, a whistling sound pierced the air. Something small and sharp hit the Captain in the back of the neck. His eyes rolled backwards, and he collapsed onto the floor at King Adam’s knees.

A series of whistles sounded. One by one, the Duke’s guards and companions fell, darts sticking out of their necks. Their veins slowly dyed black and protruded from their paling skin. The light faded from their glossed-over eyes.

The Duke breathed heavily, sweat pouring profusely from his forehead, as he searched for their attacker. He startled as a cloaked figure dropped from the rafters and landed beside King Adam. The Duke’s eyes widened in recognition.

“You!”

The Belle lowered her hood, a smirk gracing her rosy lips.

“Me.”

She removed the chain from King Adam’s neck.

“He is all yours,” she said, motioning towards the Duke.

King Adam narrowed his eyes at the Duke. He prepared himself to pounce as the other man inched his way towards the wall.

“Please, Adam, you cannot,” the Duke whimpered. “We are brothers.”

King Adam hesitated. He glanced at The Belle, perhaps gaging her reaction or seeking her permission.

The Belle nodded.

King Adam returned her nod. Then he turned back to the Duke.

“You stopped being my brother when you locked me up in this castle.”

King Adam launched himself at the fleeing Duke.

The Belle did not look away as King Adam used his claws to rip out the Duke’s throat. She did not look away as blood pooled on the floor beneath them. She did not even look away as the Duke’s last breath escaped him and his head lolled to the side.

She did look away as King Adam returned to his human form, naked and covered in blood, and walked toward her.

“You saved my life,” he said. “How can I ever repay you?”

The Belle smiled slightly.

“Let us just say that you owe me one.”

King Adam seemed to think about something. Then he walked over to the rose in the glass and removed the flower from its protective casing. With a grand gesture, he presented the prize to The Belle.

“Take this,” he said. “It will help you contact me when you need me.”

The Belle arched a brow at King Adam but accepted the rose.

“How?”

“You will know when the time comes.”

The Belle tucked the rose behind her ear and raised her hood.

“Very well,” she said as she approached the window. “I must be off. Good luck, Your Highness.”

King Adam smiled.

“Good luck, The Belle.”

The Belle opened the window, allowing a breeze into the room. She stepped on the ledge and looked around. Spotting the white figure of her winged horse, she jumped in time to land the horse’s back.

King Adam rushed to the window to watch as The Belle and her winged horse flew off towards the town. His heart ached like he had never known it to before.

Fantasy
5

About the Creator

Stephanie Hoogstad

With a BA in English and MSc in Creative Writing, writing is my life. I have edited and ghost written for years with some published stories and poems of my own.

Learn more about me: thewritersscrapbin.com

Support my writing: Patreon

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Comments (4)

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  • L.C. Schäfer15 days ago

    I love that you've included all the recognisable elements here (the rose, the mirror) but given it such an original spin. I love that he's a shape shifter and she's an assassin 😊

  • Lindsay Sfara2 months ago

    I am so glad you came back to this story, and it did not disappoint. I absolutely loved how The Belle responded with "Me" to the Duke. Awesome work, Stephanie!

  • Hahahahahhahaha the Duke deserved it! So glad the Belle decided to swing by King Adam's castle and got to help him. Also, I wonder how would she use the rose to contact him. Would that bw revealed in part 3?

  • Could it be love at first flight? Loving this story, Stephanie.

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