Chapter 39:


The Scorned

Selene and I sat in silence as both sides prepared for battle. Archers quickly lined the castle walls, while the man paced behind them, barking out orders. I shifted my gaze to the army we had arrived with, and the Prince was doing the same thing. All of the soldiers were adjusting their armor and strapping shields to their arms. Multiple carts were being pulled to the front lines.

Selene let out a long sigh snapping my attention back to her. After a moment's pause, she asked, "Do you remember when I first met you? How skeptical I was to trust you? How I didn't divulge anything important about myself?" Nodding my head, I replied, "You mean how you told me your real name is Selene?" With a light chuckle, she replied, "Yes, and I am extremely grateful that you didn't press me on that matter."

Selene paused, trying to pick her words carefully, but eventually said, "I don't think you quite understand how much power you have over me. You don't know my real name, so I would be able to fight back a small amount, but in the end, I am yours. If you were to find out my real name, I would have to do as you say, or I could be punished just by you commanding it. I believe that is what we just witnessed with the man and the young women. When she was suddenly in pain, it was as if he had willed it."

I sat in silence as I thought about her words. Eventually, I asked, "So, are you saying that she is a demon, also?" Selene only shrugged as she replied, "Honestly, I'm not sure, but I would say from what we've seen, that's my best guess. I would assume that they are like us, a human with a demon slave.

I looked at Selene and asked, "Are you scared that I will do anything like that to you?" To my relief, Selene squeezed my hand and quickly replied, "Of course not. I trust you. Though I hope you now understand why I wasn't completely open when we first met. I had to figure out what kind of human you were."

I only nodded my head as I thought about what she said. Lost in thought, I turned my attention back to the two armies. The Prince's massive army was slowly marching towards the castle. Thinking to myself, I said out loud, "What if the Prince is smarter than we give him credit for? In a normal battle, I assume that you have to worry about soldiers deserting. Now you don't have to worry about anything like that. These soldiers under him have no option but to fight, with their resources being depleted. Their only option is to keep pushing forward no matter what."

Selene let out a scoff and replied, "I think you give him too much credit. Maybe there is someone behind the scenes pulling strings, but there is no way that he could devise a plan like this." I only shrugged and watched as the two armies verged on fighting.

The soldiers stopped their marching and stared at the castle walls. There was a brief pause where everything was still. A slight breeze blew through the field that was soon to be a graveyard. Selene wrapped both of her arms around my arm and said happily, "The show is about to begin."

As if on cue, the Prince thrust his arm forward and let out a yell. The soldiers let out a scream of their own and began to sprint towards the castle. Staring at the soldiers, I asked Selene, "What is their plan? They have no way to breach the walls."

Happily nestling into my side, she replied, "I am honestly not sure what this first wave is doing. The obvious plan for the Prince is to break through the gates. I can only assume that the carts are filled with some sort of explosives. If I were in charge, this first wave would be used to determine the archer's range. The question is, why would someone agree to this?"

The two of us sat in silence, unfazed by the gruesome scene that slowly unfolded before us.

The soldiers sprinted forward with no plan whatsoever. Once they got within a specific range, the archers on the walls released their first volley of arrows. I was initially impressed by the sheer volume of arrows that streaked towards the charging soldiers. However, that quickly changed as I noticed the archers seemed to be relying more on quantity rather than accuracy. Most of the arrows completely missed the charging soldiers.

The arrows that found their targets embedded themselves into the soldiers' shields, though a few did find their marks. Soldiers let out screams as the iron tips of the arrows ripped through their bodies. I turned to Selene, who seemed happy with what she was watching, and asked, "So this is the sort of thing that you enjoy?" Still intently watching the battle, she replied, "Sort of. I enjoy it when you have to try and figure out what the other side will do before it happens. This is predictable but still entertaining."

I nodded my head and replied with a chuckle, "This is weird for me. All of these people are dying around us, but I feel nothing. I know it should bother me, but I guess I am just used to it." Selene gave my arm a reassuring squeeze and said, "Don't let it bother you. You need to stop worrying about what you think should happen. We both don't want to be alone, and we want the other to be safe. Don't worry about those other sorts of things; just enjoy what we have now."

Her words sparked a memory from my childhood. I remembered that when I was having a bad day, my mother would say something of the same. It doesn't matter what you have or how you feel, be thankful for the people you have with you. With a smile, I leaned down and planted a kiss on Selene's cheek, just as my mother had done with me.

My smile quickly turned to fear as I realized what I had just done. I slowly turned to look at Selene and noticed that her face was remarkably red. I sat in nervous silence, hoping that I wouldn't join the bodies piling up in front of us.

Eventually, without looking at me, Selene said quietly, "Well, I sure wasn't expecting that." With a slight smile, she added, "Though I suppose it could have been a lot worse."