Run! run!…run. Craig got awake by a sudden, horrific trembling voice which continuously repeated the word, “Run”.
The red-stoned castle was a masterpiece of art in the city of Zoraaf. Craig, a nine-year-old kid whose father was a maester of the castle was given permission by king Sebastian to stay in the castle along with his family in return for the hospitality and loyalty offered by him. The opening sound of the door approached and it made Craig more scared, so he covered himself with his blanket. Xandra approached him and said, “It’s me boy, hey little warrior it’s your father”. For a moment Craig thought that he is going to die but then discovering that it was his father he hugged him tightly as if he never wanted him to leave.After all, he was a kid.
“What’s the matter warrior? why do you look so afraid?” Having bad dreams again…?
The kid replied in a sweet, calm voice, “They will kill me, they will kill me.” Xandra was taken aback!
He knew that Craig used to have bad dreams but never for once had he mentioned something horrifying like this before.Still surpassing all this over he replied to his son, “It’s just a bad dream my little prince.No one is going to kill us.Now go back to sleep.I have some work to carry out with the king.I must leave or else you know how the king looks when he becomes angry.”And they both started laughing. Craig nodded his head and went back to sleep giving himself the excuse that it was just a dream.
It was late in the night and the supper was set out.The king and the queen accompanied by the small council were ready to dine when suddenly the king called for Xandra and told the messenger to bring him at once. Queen Iliya was disappointed by his decision for she knew that Sebastian always used to enjoy the company of Xandra and she had never liked this habit of her husband. Her reasons were quite valid. She happens to be the wife of the king of Zoraaf, the most powerful being in the city.She was always deluded by pride, honour and beauty.No doubt, she was the most beautiful woman in the city with her eyes that could make anyone freeze and her smile that could kill a person in seconds. Regardless, she was unaware of the fact that at times beauty gets people killed.
Xandra arrived at once.”Sorry, my grace. Sorry for being late.” said he in a shivering tone.For a moment Sebastian looked at him from top to bottom as if he was about to squeeze him in his palm but then started laughing loudly.The room that was chilled with silence was now roaring to the music of the king and Xandra as they both laughed.
“Come here you little piece of shit, come and join us”, said the king.
“Your grace I respect your invitation but I don’t think that I am worthy enough for this”, said Xandra.
The king banged the table with his hand and ordered in a drunken tune, “Oh, common, fuck the honour and respect, just do it as I say.Sit down.” “Someone bring us a bottle of wine and leave the room. I want to discuss some personal business.” said the king. Everyone left, including the queen and Xandra could smell the hatred that was coming out from the queen and Lord Berrick, the queen’s guard. Now Xandra and the king were left alone in the room along with the stone-faced ancestors which used to add fear in the darkness of the large castle. “What’s the matter my king?, What is that so important that you want us to talk in private?” Sebastian replied in a tone filled with fear and guilt. “You see, I am the king of this city, the grand city of Zoraf. You know this is not a small kingdom to uphold.” “People must use to think of me that I am the most content person in the city”.But that’s not true Xandra. “I wouldn’t have all this wealth, this kingdom, these luxuries if I didn’t have you by my side.”You proved to be a true loyal warrior Xandra.The blood of a warrior runs through your veins. “Truly you proved that”.said Sebastian.
There was a dull, pale look on his face while he spoke and Xandra noticed that. Xandra belonged to ‘House Tribulus’, a house that was honoured in the realm not because they belonged to the warrior class but due to the bravery and the victory that they brought to the realm in the battle against Aakhan, the kingdom’s oldest enemy and Xandra had been there at the forefront in achieving the victory. “What’s the matter your grace?, You look upset.” asked Xandra. Sebastian replied,” I doubt that there is someone in my court who is plotting to dethrone my reign.” Hearing this, Xandra was taken aback.It felt as if he is drowning in the sweat of terror but then somehow he took control of himself and asked the king, “But who would dare to do so.I mean you have been handling the kingdom for the past ten years and no invader has ever succeeded in dethroning you then who, you mean your own people?”
Sebastian gave him a warm smile and said, “Power my friend, its power that can overcome your worst addictions.” Sebastian went on, “As you know Xandra that I have only a daughter, my little princess, Eliysa and in the coming days I don’t think that I can bring a boy into this world.,” “I am asking you to do me a favour. Join our houses. I want your son, Craig to be the king in the coming time and to uphold the kingdom. I see a good strength in him.”
For a moment Xandra felt emotionless.It felt as if his soul has been departed because he knew that the queen will never agree to this.She was a woman who always gave pride as her utmost priority. Moreover, she always wanted to keep the bloodlines pure.Listening to this she would never agree upon. Xandra feeling helpless replied to the king that first, he need to discuss the matter with his wife, Melisa.Then he will come to a decision. Sebastian although annoyed by this reply still tried to relax his soul and said,” Better be quick Xandra, you know I hate waiting.”
It was way past midnight.Even the whispering of the leaves was audible while his way back to his castle where his family and his nine-year-old little boy used to live. Craig had fallen asleep at last but Melisa was still awake.
Xandra stepped in and ordered the servants to bring him a glass of wine.Melisa recognised the darkness in which her husband was sinking.The tension could be easily seen in his reddish-brown eyes while he sat.
“What’s the matter? Why do you look so tensed?”, she asked.
Sipping down the wine directly from the bottle Xandra replied, “It’s the king.”
“What king?, tell me, what’s the matter?” She got much worried.
She had always been kind and loyal to the royal court, just like her husband. “Have you been falsely accused of something?”, she asked hesitatingly.
“No, it’s not that. The king fears that his life is in danger and he suspects that it is someone from within the royal court who wants him dead.”
“My God…but who would want such a noble king to be dead.” said Melisa.
“As I told you it is someone from within his court he suspects.”
“There is something else that you are hiding. Tell me what is the matter. Tell me the full of it, “said Melisa in a harsh tone.
At last finding, himself broken from inside Xandra told him the whole story that why he want their son to get married to his daughter.
“But the ‘Bratvans’ will never agree to this. Especially the queen.”
“I know”, said Xandra.”But what about you? Are you fine with this decision of mine?”
Melisa replied in a tone filled with uncertainty, “I am with my husband. You know I have always been. Just make sure that things get back normal as soon as they can.”
Xandra hugged her around in her arms and replied, “That’s what troubling me the most. This decision of the king can create a wall among our houses that too a very strong one.”
It was already almost half past midnight Melisa said to her husband, “You should better get some rest. As already things going to get harsh for you.” “Don’t worry, we will find a way out. We are ‘The Trojans’, we always do.”
The sun usually doesn’t use to shine in Zoraf.That was another reason why the city was also famous by the name ‘The Blind City ‘.
The king along with his court members was discussing about the empire’s security folds, trenches and armoury.From time to time the king has got a sense of his murder plot so he had been trying to look over each matter very closely. But he was unaware of the reality that the people whom he trusts the most will be the ones to stab him in the back.
Xandra while on his way to the court heard a voice in his head which continuously repeated and said,” I am sorry my son, I am sorry. I never wanted to leave you but I think it’s time.”
Slowly the voice faded away, mixing into the thin air which flew away shattering the palace windows. Xandra, feeling unconscious for a moment but then tried to catch hold of himself.It was nothing new.It was Thegal, his father’s voice who was a king’s guard to Sebastian until he got executed by the king for being accused of false charges.That nightmare still haunts him till now when he saw his father’s neck being chopped off from his body like a slice of meat.
“Where were you all this time?”Aren’t you late today?What has happened ?, you never use to act like this before.” said the king.
“Pardon me, your grace.I wasn’t able to get a sound sleep tonight.” said Xandra in a dull voice.
“Why do you look so pale, Xandra? What’s the matter?asked Sebastian.
”Is there something else that’s bothering you? I can feel that.” “Nothing your grace. There’s nothing.” replied Xandra in a shivering tone.
Sebastian continued thinking that Xandra must have been tired and might not have slept properly continued his talk, “See Xandra, later before your arrival I was just discussing with my court members and king’s guard about the increment in the defence on the walls of the castle.You see, I hold a quite large kingdom that needs to be guarded well, doesn’t it?”. Said the king laughingly.
“Yes your grace.Surely it needs protection from all sorts of dangers.” replied Xandra in a suffocated tone.
“Ok, enough of talking.I need to go Xandra.I hear from a messenger that there is some sort of summon that has arrived for me.” “As I said becoming a king is easy, but holding that position is not.” said Sebastian, while leaving Xandra in the room where although the sunlight used to enter all the time but always use to fail in defeating the darkness which was present there. On his way back to the castle to see his son, Xandra saw Melisa coming. “What was that the king called you for?” asked Melisa. “It’s nothing, just some castle reinforcements.” Xandra replied. Then looking at his wife he broke the matter of his vision which he saw on his way. “The lust for power has overcome their several years of loyalty,” said Xandra. Melisa replied, “I was with you when you stood by the king as a shield and I will be with you if you wish to cut his throat and dethrone him.” “I am loyal to my husband, just get over with it.” “But I don’t know how to do that?”.Said Xandra. “Well I have a plan. A plan in which the work will be done and none would doubt us.” said Melisa. “But how is that even possible?” Just wait till tomorrow’s sun to set for darkness is the fuel to carry out these deeds. The moon arrived at it was time.Xandra and Melisa quietly slipped into the corridors of the King.No one else was present in the room except for the king’s guard and the king himself. There wasn’t any need to worry about Sir Bolton, the king’s guard as Melisa had already mixed an overdose of an intoxicant in his wine which he usually used to drink. They both went inside the room and Xandra while taking out the sword from the sheath of Sir Bolton raise it high above his head and brought it down by chopping off the head of King Sebastian at once. Sir Bolton though was sleeping due to the overdose but got awake by the sudden voice.In the time he could even sense the situation around him, Xandra pushed the sword into his belly, making the blood come out from his mouth and sending him too to a night of eternal sleep. All this happened so suddenly and quickly.
Xandra sat back on the bed of the king beside his body and said, “We need to kill the Queen too. Otherwise it wouldn’t be wise to even imagine ruling the kingdom.”
“I have taken the revenge of my father but now I want to rule this kingdom.” Said Xandra in a lustful tone.
For a moment his wife, Melisa thought that he has gone insane but later on the lust to sit beside the ruler of the kingdom also overtook her and she also agreed upon this.
“We must kill her tonight only.” Said Melisa.
Heading towards the room of the Queen they both couldn’t see the threat which was about to come later on in their life.For the night was dark and full of terrors.
In the meantime, Craig got awake due to another nightmare.Finding no one in the room he headed towards the Queen’s room. Queen Iliya never use to like any person in the city of Zoraf.Her pride had overcome her beyond her limits but the company of Craig never disappointed her.Though she never wanted her daughter to marry him in the coming years but she was never jealous of Craig as she was with others of low breed. Stepping down one floor of the castle in the night when his shadow was dancing like a drunken man, Craig finally reached the room of Queen Iliya. What he was going to see he would never have imagined.
What he saw was just two dark shadow wildlings, stabbing a woman who perhaps may be the most hated person in the whole city of Zoraaf due to her God-gifted beauty and character and a dying voice from that half-dead body which continuously repeated the word, “Run!…, Run!!….”
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