Chapter 17:


The Scorned

Selene and I walked back to the Queen's chambers in silence, though this time, it felt different. The silence wasn't awkward. It was almost refreshing knowing that there was no animosity or disdain between us.

As we approached the Queen's door, multiple guards were trying to force their way in, but to no avail. When they noticed the two of us casually strolling their way, I couldn't help but chuckle at how quickly the color drained from their faces. The guards looked at each other, then turned to run away as fast as they could. Selene turned to me and asked, "Should I go after them?" I thought about it for a moment, then replied, "No. I'm sure we will have time later to tie up loose ends." Selene only shrugged and waited for me to open the door.

Forcing the door open, I noticed the Queen was looking extremely scared while holding her daughter tightly. When she saw that it was Selene and I, she let out an audible sigh. The Princess hopped off of her mother's lap and ran over to us, happily wrapping herself around Selene's leg. Seeing that the Princess was distracted, I motioned for the Queen to follow me outside.

Once we were alone, I stated bluntly, "The King is dead. This is your kingdom now. Selene and I will stay with you until we are sure that you and your daughter can live safely. What is the next step?"

The Queen was quiet for a long time, taking in what she had just heard. Eventually, she said with a sad laugh, "You make everything sound so easy. People are going to fight me every step of the way and try to slow things down." I couldn't help but laugh at her words and said, "I'm not sure if you have noticed, but you have two monsters working with you. You focus on being the Queen, and we will take care of anyone who gets in your way."

Staring at me, the Queen said, "You really are a scary fellow. What did I do to get on your good side?" Thinking for a moment, I replied, "Your daughter didn't hesitate to try and help me when I was upset. Because of that, Selene and I have grown closer, and we now have a goal. This is our way of paying you back."

The Queen looked like she had a lot to say, but with a sigh, she stated, "Okay, for the first step, I need to make an announcement about the King's passing. I don't see him being missed. The biggest trouble will be the nobles, but I will leave you to take care of them."

With that, the two of us headed back into the room, and I could hear the Princess giggling. Entering the room, I saw Selene running around and holding the Princess out like she was flying. The Queen let out a contented sigh seeing how happy her daughter was in the midst of everything going on.

The next few weeks flew by. Once the Queen broke the news, the citizens didn't seem to care. The nobles, however, were a different story. I didn't bother to pay attention to politics, but one noble got upset and threatened the Queen and the Princess. Hearing this, Selene quickly 'silenced' the noble in front of the others. From then on, there were no more problems. I was surprised that there were no more assassination attempts, but I assume that people really did like the Queen and were forced to follow the King's orders.

Selene and I were back in our room, talking about the next step in our adventure. It was getting pretty late, and we had talked earlier with the Queen about our leaving in the morning. A knock on the door interrupted our plans. Glancing at Selene, she shrugged and called out, "It's open. Come in." The door slowly swung open, and the Princess and Queen walked in. A guard tried to follow, but the Queen waved him off.

Once the door closed, I waited for the Queen to say something, but she slowly pushed her daughter forward with a smile. The Princess took a deep breath, then spoke to Selene, "My mom said you are going to be leaving tomorrow. When I first met you, you said that you would take me flying. Can we still do that?" Selene looked to the Queen, who gave her a nod in response. That was all Selene needed, and she scooped up the Princess, who let out a squeal of delight.

Stepping out onto our balcony, Selene slowly transformed into her demon form. Flapping her wings once, the two disappeared into the night. Turning my attention to the Queen, I stretched out on the floor and asked, "So, do you need anything, or was that it?" Looking at the bed, she asked, "Do you mind?" Shaking my head 'no,' she sat down and responded, "No. She was adamant about flying. If I didn't let her ask before you left, I would never have heard the end of it."

Chuckling, I got comfortable on the floor and closed my eyes. I heard the Queen say, "I have so many questions. May I ask some?" Without opening my eyes, I responded, "You can ask whatever you want. Don't expect a lot from me, though."

The room was silent for a moment until she finally asked, "You travel with a demon who kills, and you aren't affected by death. Yet, you have a soft spot for my daughter. What caused that?" I let out a snort, hearing her words, and replied, "With a question like that, you are asking for my whole life story." The Queen didn't say anything, so with a sigh, I said, "I was a normal kid until raiders showed up and changed my life. They killed everyone in their path and took me captive."

I was planning on telling her more, but the Queen interrupted me by yelling, "Wait, you were one of the captured children from years ago?! I had heard about that, but nothing ever came of it. What happened?"

Finally opening my eyes, I looked at the Queen and said, "You asked why I can kill and why I am not bothered by death. I'm sure you can figure out what happened to make me like this. I'm not going to talk about it more, but I will say that it would be a waste of time to look for survivors other than me." The Queen was at a loss for words, and we sat in silence until I heard Selene flying back to us.

Stepping into the room, Selene set down the Princess, who looked exhausted but extremely happy. She collapsed in her mother's lap and was asleep in seconds. With her daughter in her arms, the Queen said with emotion in her voice, "Thank you two for everything," and walked out of the room.