Chapter 12:


The Scorned

The Queen shrank back in fear as Selene shifted into her demon form. Her horns and tail slowly forced their way from underneath her skin. Soon she finished her transformation and asked, "So what is our plan?"

Looking Selene in the eyes, I said, "I want you to do what you do best. These two will be with me, so feel free to let loose." She responded, "As you wish, master," and slowly faded back into the shadows with her usual sinister smile.

Turning to the panicked Queen, I said, "I know a lot is going on, but I need you to trust me. If I am going to keep you both safe, I need you to follow me. The archers that Selene warned about will be here soon." The Queen took a deep breath and replied, "I don't have many options and my daughter seems to have taken a liking to like you, so I will trust you. What do we do?"

Looking around our surroundings, I knew I wouldn't be able to get inside the building, so the only option we had was up. I reached out and wrapped my arm around the Queen's waist, who was still holding her daughter and pulled her in close. She let out a yelp of surprise from my sudden intrusion into her personal space.

Still holding her tightly, I said, "We are going to jump onto the roof. Try to be as quiet as possible. If I have to fight someone, I don't want your daughter to wake up and see."

I could tell that the Queen was confused with my words, but I didn't allow her to ask any questions. Squatting down, I held her tightly and suddenly leaped into the air. This time my aim was good, and we were able to reach the roof. Unfortunately, I hadn't thought about the landing. We crashed down safely, but it was safe to say that everyone heard where we were.

I could hear soldiers yelling all around us, alerted by the noise I had made. To make matters worse, the Princess sleepily asked, "Mother, what is going on?" I cursed under my breath that the child was now awake. This made things much more difficult. I could tell that the Queen was struggling to think of what to say, so I spun around and said in a soft voice, "There are some bad men around who are after us. You helped me, so now I will gladly help you and your mother."

The young girl stared at me for a moment, then slowly nodded her head. We tried to move as inconspicuously as possible, but it wasn't long before the archers appeared on the roof. One spotted us and called out to the others. Soon we were cornered, with only a wall behind us.

There had to be twenty guards in front of us, and they all had different types of bows trained on the three of us. Turning to the Queen and her daughter, I said, "Make sure you stay directly behind me, and everything will be fine." The Queen didn't have a look of fear in her eyes. She seemed surprisingly calm at this moment. Looking right at me, she said, "I asked for your help because I feared something like this would happen. Please take my daughter and run. I will happily die if she can live."

Hearing her words reminded me of my father. When the raiders were upon us, he tried to get me to safety, knowing his death was inevitable. Smiling at the Queen, I said, "You are an amazing mother, and I promise you will see your daughter grow up. Now what you said earlier is correct. Selene is a monster. But if I am stronger, what does that make me?"

As soon as I turned back around, twenty arrows embedded themselves into my body, knocking me to the ground. The Queen and her daughter let out a scream as I landed next to them. I heard one soldier say, "That whole speech, and then he dies like that? Oh well, now for our real targets."

That was all I needed to hear, and I sprang back to my feet, saying, "So the Queen and Princess are your targets. Good to know." The soldiers stood in shock. I even heard the queen whisper, "How?"

After their brief confusion, the soldiers began to frantically take aim, but I never gave them a chance. Lunging forward, I barreled into them, instantly sending half of them off the roof, screaming as they fell. The remaining ten all attacked me simultaneously. Daggers and fists hit me, but I felt none of it. Darting between them with speeds that even surprised me, I knocked each one out but made sure not to kill them.

Standing among the bodies, I turned back to the Queen, who only stared at me in disbelief. Freeing herself from her mother's grasp, the Princess slowly walked towards me and asked, "Do those things in your body hurt, sir?" Looking down, I realized that all the arrows and bolts were still sticking out of my body. Smiling at the girl, I said, "No, I don't feel much of anything anymore." Scooping up the child, I continued saying, "But it is way past your bedtime. You can ask all of your questions tomorrow." She tried to pout, but giggled as I tossed her into the air and caught her.

Suddenly I heard a flapping of wings, and Selene landed next to us. Looking me over, she said with a smirk, "You know it may be helpful if you learn how to dodge." I was going to say something, but the Princess slowly wriggled from my grasp and walked towards Selene. Stopping right in front of her, she said, "That is so amazing that you have wings! I wish I could fly."

I wasn't sure what Selene was going to do, but to my surprise, she squatted down and replied softly, "Well, one day, if your mother lets you, I can take you flying. But for now, you can have this." As she said this, she reached out and plucked a feather from her wing, causing her to wince slightly. She then handed the girl the feather, who happily accepted it and paraded back to her mother, showing it off.

I leaned in close to Selene and whispered, "I am going to take these two to the Queen's chambers. Apparently, they weren't after us but after them instead. I left these soldiers around us alive on purpose. I know you are a skilled assassin, so I am sure that you have some interrogation techniques. Find out what you can about why they want the Queen and Princess dead. Then join us in her room."