Shaziah, The Witch Princess
The Tale of Two Worlds
The kingdom had always been a peaceful one, so when news of an attack reached the castle, it was not taken lightly, but rather with shock and dismay. Azrinax had always prided itself on being friends with its neighbors and with being diplomats for the cause of peace. Why were they being attacked? In the days that followed it would soon be apparent why.
Princess Shaziah and her maids were being ushered into the castle catacombs, not only had the enemy broken through the wall of the city, but they were advancing on the castle gates. Shaziah already felt a deep loss. Her brother who she loved dearly had given his life protecting some of the people fleeing the castle. Now she could not find her father or her mother, but the captain of the guard intervened a got her turned around to an escape route.
These tunnels had existed for centuries and were used in various sieges as a means of escape to the Lower Estrovine Mountains to the East. Here and army could lay held up for weeks without being taken due to the choke at the entry to the valley. The peaks of the mountains stretched high into the air preventing any normal being from using them to attack from the sides, so it was an ideal place of strategic value a strength.
Valice, Shaziah’s nursemaid and dearest friend turned to her young charge.
“MiLady, these old bones cannot keep going like this, but you must continue. I will take one of these crystal torches, and when the enemy approaches I will cause it to explode with the last of my magic. Now go, go from this place, and make me and your parents proud!”
“But, I cannot leave you here to die!”
“Princess, you know death is just the beginning of another journey, now live, live your best life!”
With this, and against everything inside of her, Shaziah and the rest continued down the corridors towards safety. Valice turned and waited as several enemy soldiers advanced on her. They never saw the spark which caused the crystal torch to ignite in a blast of purple flame, but as the walls of the corridor collapsed on them and also cut them off from the princess, they certainly found out.
Princess Shaziah froze when the explosion came. A tear and a whimper escaped from her. The captain of the guar Delfric placed a hand on her should and nodded in understanding, but then he motioned in the direction they needed to go, and she understood. They could not just stay there forever, they had to be moving. She picked up the pace as did her remaining maids, and over several more hours, they made their way into the mountains and out into the open valley. Their village of Opentall was nearby, and it was here they fled. By shadow and by nightfall they arrived at the inn.
“We ain’t got no rooms.”
“Well, what would you suggest we do?”
“Sleep in the barn with the animals, I will charge you half!”
The captain of the guard was about to lose his cool when Shaziah walked over and laid down the gold. They did not have time to squabble about Inn prices. They needed a place to rest for a few moments before moving on to Mount Maerin and finding more help to face whatever this enemy was, and wherever they were coming from. Rumor had it they came from the sky above. No one had heard or seen from the sky people in centuries, so if they were back, and indeed now hostile, how could they hope to overcome such an advanced race?
Shaziah was the acting monarch now, and this terrified her. She had never wanted to be in charge, and this was fine, her brother was going to ascend the throne, and she would end up marrying some stuffy noble and popping out children someplace. Arranged marriage was the order of the night in her kingdom. They had been trying to pawn her off on prince after prince and noble knight, but she found err with each of them. Some were too tall, others too fat, and some stank. What the real problem was however was her true love, Dartys. He was a brave and young squire in training to be a knight, which gave him the nobility needed for marriage, but her parents had forbidden it since he was not a full knight yet. How she wished she knew where they were now.
Just as she was about to fall asleep for a few moments, there were screams and outcries in the village. Someone or something was very wrong. Drawing her sword and rune arm, she and the others made their way into the town square from the Inn. What was found was horrifying. The battered and destroyed bodies of the King and Queen had been dropped from the sky by dragons. Their heads missing. Notes are attached to their bodies.
“If you wish to have their heads, you will come to Graven Rock Castle.”
Graven Rock. Now it sort of began to make sense. About six months earlier the Prince of Raven Rock, Aligto, had come to the castle to seek her hand in matrimony. Her spiritual senses let her know his intentions were negative, and now she knew why. He was hoping to overthrow the kingdom all along, and when he could not get it through marriage, he opted to take it by force! She growled in anger.
“This is so wrong!”
Captain Delfric nodded. He had known the princess since she was knee-high to a flea. Now she was the Queen, and he had never hoped to see such a day. They needed to get her someplace safer than the village, but there were few options. Many of the people felt that marrying into the Graven Rock family would have been good for the kingdom, and when the princess has turned him away, many were angered. Now many were blaming her for the war.
“You are to blame for this, you selfish princess!”
A tomato flew through the air hitting her in the face. She gasped as she fell to her knees more in shock and sadness than anything. The captain of the guard drew his bow back and pointed it into the crowd.
“This is now your queen, and you will not disrespect her any more than you would have disrespected King Mynar.”
Everyone froze and backed down, but Shaziah spoke next. Her words were full of pain but determination. She was tired of running from who and what she is. Especially because the villagers were not wrong. Marrying for love was not the privilege of a princess. The maintenance of the kingdom was. She looked down at her hands. Sobs wracked her body as people fell even more silent. She crawled forward and laid her head on her mother's chest. More sobbing. Now the crown suddenly felt horrible forever wanting to see something bad happen to their princess, now their Queen. They were mad, angry, hurt, and scared, and now they could see she was too. Then it was over. A single arrow shot through the air and into her chest. The pain was unreal as the poison on the arrow began to slowly work its way into her system. Everyone rushed the single perpetrator who had managed to make it this far. It however was too late. Shaziah was gone, and with this, the entire royal family of Decatron had been destroyed. So easily had they fallen, they had grown weak and careless in their comfort. Now they paid the ultimate price for their arrogance.
With her last breaths, Shaziah swore an oath to the cosmos. She placed her hand in her own blood and placed it on the ground in a blood oath.
“I will be back. Death is not the end. Revenge shall be mine; you will see.”
And with this, she faded.
The world of the dead was not what she expected. She found herself in a white room where no one was. Only white light and a sense of well-being. She slowly walked forward, then in each direction. It was as if the whole place went on and on, but some walls could be seen, and windows and doors lining walls far away. She could not get to them, but there they were.
“You are not ready.”
Shaziah spanked on her heels. There was a voice in the room with her, and now an overpowering benevolent force had made itself known. A peace unlike any she had ever felt before flowed through her whole being. She felt like she could sing a song so might it could move mountains in the presence of this power, but she had to know. Who was this? She opened her eyes.
“Who are you, and where is this place?”
“You are in the in-between, where you are not dead, but you are not living. I am Ecclesia, the Queen of Heaven, and your guide on this little journey.”
“Yes, you are not finished yet, what has happened was done through forbidden magic and unbalanced means. It cannot be allowed to withstand, but their ultimate plans are to use the ancient portals of Decatron to move to the Prima Terra and gain control over the Spirit of Living, Gaia.”
Shaziah was not sure she understood what Prima Terra was or who Gaia was, but she understood the trouble with using the portals. If they were used, they would destroy the whole planet. They had been put in place as a final resort before their ancient sun went nova. They had centuries before that became a problem, but it was definitely intended to be a one-way trip.
“What am I to do, Great Spirit, how am I to proceed. With my body dead, my kingdom destroyed, and insane people trying to destroy the whole planet in the process. What power have I to stop this?”
“That my child is for you to discover, but you must make the choice to not end. If you wish to serve me and save your people, you must choose to live.”
“I choose it. I will live, I am alive, and I am going to protect my people, and this planet which is my home and which I love!”
“Very good! Now hold on tight.”
The rushing sensation threatened to tear her entire body apart as she flew through the cosmos at the speed of sound and light. She could feel stars as she passed through them, she could see galaxies and nebula, and she could feel the heartbeat of the cosmos inside her own heart. Moments later she sat up in a warm bed. She was sore and tired, but she was sure it had all been a dream. She threw back the cover and yelped. She had a penis. She looked down. She had chest hair. She screamed a blood-curdling scream, waking the dead, and the parents of the body from their slumber in chairs about the room. You see she woke up in another body. The body had died during the morning hours and as its soul moved on, her soul moved in. Now she owned the body. She had heard of soul transmigration before, but she had certainly never experienced it.
“Honey, it's okay!”
“No, it's not okay! And who are you calling honey! You will call me Princess and kneel before your leader.”
Everyone looked rather confused at him now. Why in the world would they call Casimir Yost a princess and knee before him as their leader. That accident he had been in sure had done a number on him. Regina Yost his mother walked into the hallway where a nurse was headed their way having heard the scream. She motioned the woman over.
“He seems very disoriented.”
“What do you mean?”
“He told us we should bow before her, as our princess.”
The nurse looked more than a little concerned. That was not normal for a head injury in the sense that personality changes may have been normal, but waking up thinking you were a whole different person was not. She paged the doctor.
“Yes Mam, I have paged the doctor and she will reply asap. For now, go back into his room and try to keep him calm.”
Gina nodded and walked back into the room. Here and now Casimir was standing on the bed with the IV stand in his hands like a weapon. His brother and father were trying to calm him down.
“Where am I, where is Delfric!”
“Who is Delfric?”
“He’s the captain of the guard! Who are you people, where am I!?”
“You’re in the hospital, you fell off the roof of your roofing job and smashed your head, you are just a bit confused.”
Shaziah slowly let them have the IV stand. These people really believed she was this Casimir person. They had no idea he was dead, and that only her soul now remained in his place. None of his memories had surfaced for her so far, but in time they would. Until then she would have to wing it. More for their sake than her own. She had awakened in a new world through soul transmigration after a terrible war in her home country on her home planet had begun. What was she going to do now?