Chapter 13:


The Scorned

The walk itself to the Queen's chambers was uneventful, and I was torn about that. On the one hand, I wanted the Princess to be safe, but on the other hand, I really enjoyed fighting. It was almost like two different parts of me were battling for opposing outcomes.

Walking through the Queen's door, I was surprised to see that it was a relatively simple room. I was pretty sure that the room she had given us was more furnished than hers.

I watched as she tucked her daughter into bed and gently took Selene's feather from her. Happy that her daughter was taken care of, she gave me an exhausted smile. She was about to start asking questions, but I put up a hand and said, "You and your daughter have been through a lot. Rest, and we will talk in the morning. You know that I can keep you safe." She looked like she wanted to argue, but nodded her head in agreement and headed towards the bed.

I paced the room out of boredom until finally, there came a knock at the door. Throwing it open, I saw a surprisingly serious Selene.

She walked in and said, "They all talked immediately and said the same thing." Selene paused when she looked at me and let out a sigh, saying, "Can you take those things out of you? You look absolutely ridiculous."

Wanting Selene to continue, I reached down and began to rip all the arrows and bolts out of my body. I wasn't really paying attention and accidentally tore my cloak down to my waist.

Selene let out a gasp when she saw my extremely scarred body for the first time. She slowly reached out and traced her fingers across one, as if learning the story from it. We were quiet for a moment as her fingers slid across my scars, until I broke from my trance and grabbed her wrist.

With a low growl, I said, "Enough of that. Tell me what you have found out." Selene seemed almost embarrassed that she had gotten caught up in the moment and replied, "Of course. But not here. I don't want to wake them. Let's go out to the balcony. I made sure that there was no one around." I nodded my head in understanding and slowly walked towards the balcony.

I hopped on the railing and sat down, letting my legs hang over the edge. Selene joined me, and the two of us sat in silence. Eventually, she began, "She was cute, wasn't she? Whenever someone sees me in this form, they either run or try to kill me, but she came right up to me. It was nice to be treated normally for once. When you have someone like that, you just want to spoil them and protect them." I was surprised by her words. I was used to seeing a murderous demon, not someone who wanted to protect children.

Turning to Selene, I asked, "So what did you find out?" She suddenly got a serious look on her face and replied, "I tortured the first soldier, and he told me something weird. Then the next told me the same thing. All ten told me that the King commanded them to kill the Queen and Princess. He was the one who asked to meet us, then used your walking out to convince people that we were savages. They were going to kill both the Queen and Princess and blame it on us."

I felt my blood boiling at her words. A king, a father, just tried to kill his wife and daughter because his wife did not bear him a son.

To my surprise, before I could say something, Selene spat out, "That bastard. He's supposed to be protecting his family. I can't wait to kill him." Looking at me, she quickly added, "If you want him to die, of course." Staring right at Selene, I responded. "Don't worry. He will die. I can guarantee that."

The two of us sat on the railing for a long time in silence, listening to the wind as it gently passed. Selene eventually broke the silence as she asked, "Can you tell me about your body? Why was it so damaged?"

I really didn't want to talk about my past, but Selene had been very helpful, so with a sigh, I said, "Well, you were the cause of some of these, especially this one on my neck." Selene chuckled to herself, then said, "Come on. Give me something here. I know nothing about you whatsoever."

I paused to think for a moment, then said, "How about a deal? If you promise to tell me what your real motive is, I will answer three of your questions."

With a smile, Selene said, "Deal. But you have to go first." I grunted at her words, and eventually, I mumbled out, "Fine. What's your first question?"

Selene happily clapped her hands together and asked immediately, "So tell me about your scars." I gave her a look of annoyance, but she happily sat and waited for my answer. Looking at my own body in the moonlight, I said quietly, "Honestly, I don't remember most of these. I said before that I have killed a lot, and these scars represent that. Someone close to me died, and I lost control and killed everyone I could find. I killed until there was no one left, and my body is scarred because of that. When I get angry, I seem to lose control of my actions."

Taking in my words, Selene slowly asked, "You just said that someone close to you died, but you have never talked about others. Do you have anyone else or anywhere you want to go?"

I couldn't look at Selene and answered, staring at my feet, "No, I have no family or friends left. Honestly, you are the only person that I even know. And, yes, there is a place I would like to go to. I want to visit the place that caused these scars, so I can stop by a friend's grave. I feel like I never gave her a proper send-off."

Selene stared at me with a sad expression as she asked her final question, "What are you?" Shrugging, I responded, "I really don't know. I had human parents, but now I can't even feel. When you kill people in front of me, I don't feel anything. I know it should bother me, but it doesn't. Most of the time, I feel like a human sharing a body with a monster. That may be the best way to describe me."

Selene opened her mouth to ask more questions, but I held up my hand and said, "Those were your three questions. It's time for you to keep your end of the deal." Selene looked like she wanted to argue, but she eventually said, "It's going to be a long story." Looking behind me at the sleeping mother and daughter, I replied, "We have all night."

Letting out a long sigh, she began her story.