Chapter 7:

Chapter 7: Love Rival

The Princess And Her Warmonger

Sharia, The Warmonger woke up to an unusual sound. It was the sound of someone wearing high heels walking in the barracks. Normally that wouldn’t be too strange but Sharia recognized the sound. It unmistakably belonged to the Queen.

Getting out of her bed Sharia walked over to her coat rack and took the helmet off of it and tucked it under her arm. Next she grabbed her cape and put it on. Once that was done she put her helmet on and picked up her varasikara and walked towards the door. She has a feeling that the Queen wants to talk to her, and her feelings are never wrong.

Proving her point she heard a knock at her door. After debating in her head if she should ignore it or not she decided to open the door. On the other side of the door was a tall woman with dark red hair, like an old rose. Her eyes were light blue and her dress was a matching dark blue with white integral patterns. Despite the lines on her face showing her age, the woman had an air about her that showed a youthful yet fierce presence.

Maybe it was the piercing look her eyes had or the way she didn’t pose like most nobles in the Kingdom Faction would, seemingly ready for action, that gave her this presence. Regardless, it was one of the biggest reasons Sharia respects the Queen.

Casting a quick glance at the three royal guards accompanying her, Sharia took a step back and went into jagabadī pose.

“Queen Maine,” Sharia greeted, studying the Queen as she studied her, “What brings you here, if I may so ask?”

A simple act of formality. A rarity coming from Sharia. The Queen did not acknowledge it knowing that, if she did, she may lose some respect in Sharia’s eyes. Seeing Sharia up close and, especially hearing her voice, Queen Maine remembers where she has seen Sharia before, and not when she was in the arena as Cruel Knight.

“Sharia, The Warmonger…or should I call you Balaika rīpara?” Queen Maine asked.

Sharia visibly flinched at the title and, just for a moment, a bit of bloodlust came out of her, intense enough to make the three royal guards shiver slightly. Yet they did not draw their weapons. Sharia was still in jagabadī pose, which meant she did not intend to fight.

“Balaika rīpara, Blackus Rispara, it doesn’t matter,” Sharia said, her voice almost a growl, “I may not even be that anymore.”

“Blackus Rispara is what you’ll always be, Sharia,” Queen Maine denied, “After all, that name cannot be taken away. You’ll always be the First Black Reaper, founder of the Black Kulin Tearacloth Army.”

Upon hearing that the three royal guards froze in shock. Anyone in the royal guard knows of the army that is kept in the back of the Kingdom, seemingly prisoners. From what they have heard no one from the Kingdom has managed to beat them in a fight before. Despite their skill, the army has not once attempted to escape their “prison”. Their numbers are too small is the current working theory. Now, upon learning that Sharia was their leader, or former leader, the working theory may need some changes.

Sharia was silent for a while before, with a low hiss of annoyance, she turned around and picked her weapon up off the ground before walking deeper inside her room. After walking over to her windows Sharia placed her weapon down, laying it against the wall, and walked over to her dresser. Before she could do anything, Queen Maine stepped into her room.

“Care to take your helmet off?” Queen Maine asked.

Sharia froze and slowly turned around to face the Queen. Even with a helmet one could tell that her eyes were narrowed and a frown of disbelief was on her face.

“...Is that an order?” Sharia asked, her voice even colder than it normally is.

“I just want to see the face of the person who is protecting my only daughter,” Queen Maine responded.

“It’s the face of a monster, one that scared your husband, my King,” Sharia replied almost instantly.

“Then it is only fair that I see it."

Sharia didn’t respond right away. When she did, she turned around and, with no words, threw a red and black magic bolt at the door, closing it behind Queen Maine who had stepped into the room and blocking the three royal guards from entering. The Queen did not flinch. She knew that Sharia has no ill-intentions towards her.

With their privacy secured, Sharia put one of her clawed armored fingers underneath her helmet. Once it was loose enough to take her helmet off, Sharia did so. Once her helmet was off she put it down gently on the bed before looking at the Queen. Even in the sunlight her eyes, red in color, glowed through.


Princess Isalene felt like curling up in a ball and screaming into her pillow. Her first day with Sharia went by without the two actually talking to each other. Since Isalene had work to do and didn’t have any plans, she spent the day learning how to dance better, study history, study magic, and studying math. By the time she was done she had to go to dinner and, after that, she took a bath and went to bed. And, to make matters worse, today was going to be no different.

Today she will learn the history of warfare, study and learn about different types of weapons and do some training, and learn tactics on war and running a city. Plus, to top it off, she is visiting Marcus in the morning! She'll have no time to talk to Sharia once again.

'No! Don't give up, Isalene. You can do it. Plus, I can introduce her to Marcus!'

With renewed determination and a glint in her eyes, Isalene got up and started getting ready. By the time she was done quite some time has passed, far more time than what it normally takes for her to get ready even without her maids. She decided to wear a nice royal blue and white dress. The reason is simple. Marcus's favorite color is blue and, of course what's even more important, he says that she looks good in blue.

After checking one last time to make sure she looks presentable, Isalene walked over to the door and was about to open it when she remembered to get her dagger. Once she got that she walked back to her door and opened it.

Right on the other side of the door was Sharia who, without a doubt, looked bored. Upon inspecting the princess, Sharia let out a sigh.

"What?" Isalene asked, a trying her best to hide her embarrassment.

"Blue?" Sharia asked. She didn't wait for an answer and went on, "You look better in green, and that is coming from someone who wears and likes dark color schemes."

Isalene's response was to cross her arms and pout.

"Well, Marcus says I look good in it," Isalene retorted before realizing she made a mistake when Sharia chuckled.

"Marcus, ehh? Now I know why you took so long in there. Going off of Army Time Nicks*, you were there for about or a little over an Hour*."

Sharia had been wondering what was up. As far as she knows the Kingdom Faction doesn't have many ties to other Factions, and no close ties to any either. She also doesn't think that an official from another Faction came over. She also knew that Isalene was awake as she could hear her through the door. But, luckily it seems that Isalene just wanted to dress up for a date. If she was meeting an official from another Faction, Sharia might have some problems. No one outside of the Kingdom Faction, and only a few hundred of people at that, know that Sharia is still alive. If word got out that she was alive and hanging out in the new peace-loving Kingdom, the other Warmongers might have more than just a fit.

Isalene's face turned almost as red as a tomato upon hearing Sharia's words, both from embarrassment and shame. She knew for a fact that she was only making her image in Sharia's mind worse. Yet, she could find no words to defend herself with. Instead, she was just standing there with a somewhat stupefied look on her face. Sharia saw this but paid her no mind. Instead, most of her focus was on an enchanted green flower inside Isalene's room.

"May I enter?" Sharia asked, breaking Isalene from her rambling mind.

"O-Oh! S-sure," Isalene stuttered, stepping out of her doorway to allow Sharia access. Sharia nodded once before going inside. A couple of seconds later she came out and approached Isalene.

Without waiting for confirmation, Sharia tied the green flower on top of Isalene's head. Once it was done Sharia gently brushed Isalene's hair, making sure the flower stood out, unaware of how red Isalene's face was.

"There," Sharia said with a nod, "Now you look better."

Isalene only nodded in response, her head down so Shara wouldn't be able to see her expression.

"Now, shall we get going?" Sharia asked, offering her hand to Isalene like she did yesterday.

Isalene nodded and took her hand before she started walking to her destination, not caring if she was pulling Sharia...which she really wasn't. Isalene was barely strong enough that, when she shoves Sharia, she makes her move an inch. She is, by no means, dragging Sharia along.

Still, Sharia could see that the princess was in a hurry so, with a small sigh, she went along with her, keeping up pace.


Princess Isalene led Sharia, The Warmonger to a small party right next to the stables located outside the third entrance of the palace. Isalene, upon entering, looked around for what Sharia assumed to be Marcus. After a bit, she frowned before heading outside, going towards the actual stables part of the stables. Sharia took notice that many people saw her enter yet none even greeted her. For some reason she felt a twinge of annoyance at that. She wasn't announced, wasn't greeted, and didn't even talk to anyone here. Aren't the royals suppose to be strong and, well, sociable?

'Well, no matter. It's not my concern since she won't be a ruler.' Sharia thought. Yet, despite thinking that her eyes narrowed into a glare, causing anyone around her to back up.

Seeing that Isalene wasn't waiting for her, Sharia quickly followed Isalene outside into the stables where she noticed a horse race was going on. It didn't take even four seconds for Sharia to spot Isalene on one of the benches on a piece of furniture called a bleacher and quickly took her place standing next to her, though she was considerably hidden in the shadows. This did not go unnoticed by Isalene.

"Why are you hiding?" Isalene asked. Sharia was silent for a moment before giving her a response.

"Seeing if an assassin will make a move if I'm not in the open. It'll be easier to catch them this way."

"...Wouldn't that put me in more danger?" Isalene asked, slightly concerned and confused.

"What? You don't trust me?" Sharia asked jokingly, "Besides, I sense no killing intent so you're fine. The moment I do I'll track it down and make sure you're safe. And, if they have a ranged weapon, I'm standing right here next to you."

Isalene's only response was to pout some more. Before she got very far, her pouting was interrupted when the horse racers came into view, coming to a stop. She looked at them, her eyes searching, and smiled when she was someone dismounting a brown horse. He was not handsome but handsome enough to be noticed, and he has some sort of charm to him that made him stand out more. He looked to be a lower rank noble as well. He has nice short and kinda bushy brown hair, matching brown eyes, and nice light tan skin. Sharia noticed the bade og a noble on his chestplate, which, like his outfit, was silver and light brown. He even had a light brown cape.

'And that must be Marcus.' Sharia thought, seeing how Isalene looked at him.

After thinking that, Sharia snorted. She didn't get the idea of romance. She knows it can drive people to do crazy things but she just doesn't understand the concept. Why devote your all to someone that might not even do the same, or die in a battle within the first minute of it starting? Of course, Sharia is aware that she herself hasn't been in love with something other than war so she knows that she shouldn't criticize someone in love. In fact, she wants Isalene to get married. The sooner Isalene gets married, the sooner she'll be able to stop being her personal guard. After all, the chances that Isalene will keep her around when she gets married are extremely slim. While Sharia admits that she finds this experience interesting, she still longs for battle, whether it be in the arena or out in the field. She didn't earn the name Cruel Knight for being a weak fighter. The same could be said about her Warmonger title, though some people have the Warmonger title and not fight on the frontlines themselves. There have been quite the amount of arguments, mainly from the Orcani, that Warmongers should be on the battlefield instead of watching from a camp far away.

Marcus spotted Isalene without much difficulty and waved her over which, much to Sharia's disappointment, worked. With a sigh Sharia sunk into the shadows, following her while making sure she wasn't seen by Marcus nor the maid next to him.

"Rough morning?" Marcus asked Isalene when she finally arrived, noticing that her hair wasn't as well kept as it normally is.

Isalene blinked in surprise before running her fingers down her hair. Marcus was right. Her hair wasn't as well-kept as it normally is. Well, that was to be expected as she did it herself and not let her servants do it. She was also in a rush despite being in her room for about an hour, according to Sharia, and she doubts Sharia was lying about that.

'Actually, even though I was trying to look her best this morning for Marcus, why did I forgot to call my maids over. Why is that?' Isalene thought before she realized the answer.

"Sorry about that. I'm trying to do stuff by myself you know. And," Isalene looked around, making sure Sharia wasn't in hearing range, before she leaned closer to Marcus, causing him to slightly blush, "I am trying to impress my new personal guard."

Marcus was taken back. Since when did Princess Isalene get a new personal guard? He felt like he should have heard about it. He knew King Robert was holding a competition but, the last he heard, it wasn't finished. Then there was the problem that, whoever this new guard was, Isalene clearly respected them. While he knew that some of the Knights taking place in the competition were trustworthy and fine, honorbound men, most of them were of the younger generation with clear ulterior motives.

Ever since the Union was created, the Kingdom Factions hasn't been the same. After they united under King Robert, things started changing even more, especially when the Union was defeated. When the Kingdom Faction withdrew from the Great Wars, things got far worse. While Marcus doesn't know the full story, his father told him that the nobles offspring started learning from the Union and, by the time the Kingdom withdrew from the Great Wars, the morals and minds of nobles have changed.

Since Marcus wasn't alive back then, nor has he ever talked to another noble from another Faction, he doesn't know if life was better before or after the Union came. All he knows is that nobles were much more bloodthirsty and stupid.

"What's their name?" Marcus asked, hoping to get some kind of clue to their identity. He couldn't see them anywhere so they were probably not on duty yet.

Marcus's personal maid, Dorean, was standing behind him as usual. Also as usual, Princess Isalene was paying her no mind. Dorean didn't know if the Princess just didn't pay her any attention, thought she was above her far enough that she didn't need to acknowledge her presence, or disliked her for some reason. In the end, Dorean didn't really care. Still, when she overheard Princess Isalene talk about her new personal guard, she couldn't help but be interested. The whole Kingdom was a mess and, if things were going as they were now, Princess Isalene's new personal guard will only throw fuel to the fire.

"Oh. Their name is Shaira," Isalene informed Marcus with a slight blush.

Upon hearing the name Dorean couldn't help but shudder. Surely she can't mean that Sharia. She is in prison, after all.

'Besides, that war criminal and Princess Isalene together? Nah. There is no way such a pair could exist or even last for that matter.'

"I assume they start working tomorrow?" Marcus asked, looking around once more for them. For some reason he noticed that Princess Isalene looked confused at his words.

"They already started working. They're behind you now in fact," Isalene said, confused as to how the two didn't notice Sharia casually stroll up next to them. She may not be that much bigger than Marcus, her armor should make her stand out.

Dorean froze and spun around, only now sensing a presence behind her. Yet, when she saw who was there, she instantly wished she never spun around. There behind her was the one and only Sharia, The Warmonger, standing casually with her weapon over her shoulder blades. She wasn't much taller than Marcus but was taller than Dorean by a head. She was looking around before but. when they turned to face her, she turned to look Dorean. A flash of recognition flashed in her eyes, though her eyes were invisible thanks to her helmet.

"Ah. If it isn't Dorean Mallure," Sharia said, her voice amused, "Long time since I've seen you. You don't look like you're in your late thirties."

Dorean shuddered at hearing her voice and at seeing her again.

"And your voice sounds exactly the same as it did fourteen years ago," Dorean spat out, trying her best to control her anger and surprise.

Sharia cocked her head before letting out a slow chuckle.

"Ah. I see you're still angry over my capture. Shame your squad wasn't good enough," Sharia said, only this time her voice had a slow taunting icy edge to it.

Dorean and Sharia stared at each other a bit longer, Dorean glaring at Sharia while Sharia was giving the former assassin an amused look. Surprisingly, Sharia was the first to break their little "staring" contest first by casually strolling over to Isalene, paying Dorean no mind anymore. Meanwhile, Isalene and marcus watched this happen, Isalene looking more than a little shook and Marcus looking shocked and afraid. However, Isalene quickly broke out of her little trance and smiled once more at Marcus, hoping to salvage the situation.

"So, this is my new personal guard, Sharia! Sharia, meet Marcus Mike," Isalene introduced the two, grabbing Marcus's hand and offering it to Sharia, who glanced at the hand and back at Isalene before, with a sigh, took her weapon off her shoulders to free up her left hand.

"Sharia, The Warmonger," Sharia re-introduced herself, shaking Marcus's hand. Isalene pouted a little in her head. She wanted Sharia to look good in Marcus's eyes.

Sharia personally didn't care and wasn't going to withhold important information about herself. Besides, her title makes her what and who she is after all. It is every Warmonger's pride to have the title of Warmonger. Why, once they gained it, would they hide it?

"M-m-Marcus Mike, Count of Theshvale," Markus nervously greeted back. He couldn't help the feeling that Sharia wasn't even looking at him.

After the handshake was over, Sharia stepped back and just started walking around aimlessly. She had assessed Marcus in that handshake and decided he and the maid were no threat. He was easily intimidated but seemed to have a strong enough will. He was a "good" fighter but wouldn't last long in battle, an Officer at best. His hands were firm but not shaped enough, meaning he hadn't spent too long with many different kinds of weapons. He might make a good strategist but Sharia doubted it. If anything, he would need to go to officer school and learn from the grounds up to help his courage problem. She also saw one big glaring weakness in him. He was weak. He would not get done what needed to get done and, while he isn't corrupt, and won't be corrupted easily with greed like most nobles were, Sharia couldn't see him as a better choice in the long run for taking over his house. She would most definitely not want to follow him in battle either.

Of course, Sharia didn't care one bit for who the princess married. As long as it doesn't affect the Kingdom overall, or her, then she was perfectly fine if the princess married a sickly peasant. Sharia's duty was to protect Isalene from psychical threats, not make her own choices. If she gets heartbroken or makes a decision she'll deeply regret, then that would be an enjoyment to Sharia. Since she knows she can't "corrupt" the princess to see things her way, she knows full well that it will be hard for others to corrupt her too, especially if by greed. Sharia doesn't think Princess Isalene can be corrupted to be like a greedy noble. But, she might get corrupted by love and the whole "good-morales" some of the people in the Kingdom is spouting on about.

The rest of the party was spent with one tense and scared former assassin, one unnerved yet still happy boy in love, one happy pampered yet slightly confused princess in love, and one lazy Warmonger who watched the next couple of races all while keeping an eye out for any threats. Before, when she spotted Dorean earlier when she first saw Marcus, she instantly recognized her as some kind of assassin. An enemy or a retired or undercover one she didn't know. Still, a risk was a risk so Sharia walked up behind them, hiding her presence and blending into the crowd and whatever shadows there were. She was ready to throw her sword at the maid at any time but, luckily, it didn't come to that and Sharia made it undetected behind Marcus and the maid. Of course, Isalene noticed her then. She was right in her field of view after all.

Near the end of the party Isalene found herself walking towards Dorean, Marcus's personal maid. Normally she wouldn't give Dorean much attention since she didn't know how to speak to her properly, but now her curiosity was getting the better of her. Isalene always thought that Dorean was in her twenties since she looked young but, apparently she is in her late thirties. At least, that is what Sharia said and Dorean didn't deny it.

She found Dorean taking a small break, Smoking* under a tree. Marcus was currently busy attending to his horse and told Dorean she could get a break since Dorean couldn't really help him. Dorean had noticed her approach and stopped smoking, slightly surprised.Isalene herself was slightly surprised. She never knew Dorean smoked. She looked so refined. Normally, Dorean wouldn't smoke. However, after her recent encounter with Sharia again, her nerves needed a break. Since she still has to work, smoking was the best and fastest way to help clear and settle her mind.

"Dorean, may I ask you a question?" Isalene asked, hoping she wasn't being rude by talking to her during her brea

"Sure, go right ahead Princess," Dorean replied in a scruffy voice and tough attitude, completing different from how she normally speaks. Dorean instantly realized her mistake and quickly cleared her throat. Smoking brought out how she used to act back in the days and, because she never thought Princess Isalene would speak to her, she spoke without thinking.

Isalene blinked in surprise before giving Dorean a small smile, delighted that Dorean wasn't being so formal with her.

"It's alright. I don't really care how you talk. In fact, I would prefer it if you continued talking to me like how you normally talk," Isalene requested, her beaming smile causing Dorean to look away, a small blush on her face.

'...Cute...That smile is unfair.' Dorean thought. No matter how much she disliked Princess Isalene, she can't deny that the girl was cute.

"Sorry 'bout that. What do you wanna know?" Dorean asked. She expected it to be about Marcus since it didn't take much to realize that the two were in love.

"What is your history with Sharia?" Isalene asked, completing catching Dorean off guard.

Dorean was silent for a few seconds before she frowned.

"Sharia...was once a well-respected commander. My Guild*, the Grey Rose, was keeping an eye on her. We heard some nasty rumors about her after all. Well, that and she has no background in our Kingdom even before the Kingdoms united. Well, that and she has the title of Warmonger. During one assignment most of our guild was fighting a losing battle. However, it was because of Sharia that we managed to pull through. Later I learned that her winning streak apparently got our guild leader killed, but, because she saved us, we didn't do anything about it."

Dorean let out a long sigh and dropped her used smoker on the ground and stomped it out before getting a new one. She lit it up with a flick of fire magic and put it in her mouth before continuing her story.

"Around two years later, when I was off duty, I learned that Sharia was now a war criminal. Two days after I learned of that, I got the news that almost the entire guild I was in was killed in an attempt to bring her in. The Grey Rose didn't have enough members nor power to keep itself running and it was demolished. The worst part is that the Warmonger got to live and was put in the arena. I thought about entering the arena to kill her but decided against it. I would only get myself killed and make a fool out of myself."

"That is my history with that war criminal," Dorean finished with a snarl, her hate obvious.

Princess Isalene and Dorean stayed silent for a minute, Isalene's expression unreadable.

"Thank you for your time," Isalene suddenly said, doing a small bow before turning around to walk away.

"Princess! Wait!" Dorean called after her.

Princess Isalene stopped and turned around, a vacant expression on her face.

"Listen. I don't know why you chose Sharia nor do you have to listen to my advice but, please reconsider your choice. Sharia is a dangerous war criminal who pushes her twisted views on others, whether they like it or not. She may be loyal to the Kingdom and, in that regard, protect you, she'll won't do anything to protect you like any kind of friend would. If you make a horrible decision or start doing something stupid, she will just watch. She will find your suffering amusing. The only thing she cares about is war. You'll only hurt yourself keeping her around."

Silence once again settled between them. After a while, Princess Isalene did her small bow again and left without another word, her expression dark and unreadable. Dorean let out a sigh and leaned back against the tree she was under more. She could only hope that Princess Isalene listens to her advice. She's a good kid and Sharia...

....she's what one would call a monster.


Princess Isalene knew that there are two sides to a story. One can't just listen to one and decide everything. For that reason she made her way over to Sharia, who was waiting behind a nearby broken wooden cart that was there only for decoration. Her hand was gripped on the hilt of her weapon and Isalene had a feeling, no, knew that Sharia was watching her interaction with Dorean, seeing if she was in danger.

'Surely Sharia couldn't be that bad if she was doing her job, right?'

"Sharia, can you tell me what your history with Grey Rose was?" Isalene asked when she arrived by Sharia's side. Sharia looked down at her and was silent for a couple of seconds before nodding once.

"I knew, during my time in the Great Wars, that Grey Rose, a guild of assassins, was watching me. However, after I saved a lot of them in battle, they stopped watching me as much. I didn't save them because I wanted them to stop, no. I saved them because they were my allies in that battle, and they were good ones at that," Sharia explained in a somewhat fond tone.

Sharia let out a chuckle, remembering the battle and the assassins she saved, before continuing.

"Then, when I was proclaimed a war criminal, the guild went after me. I killed them. It was a fight and I didn't intend to lose. They were tough but ultimately, weak, and I won in the end. Later I heard that their guild was disbanded because of the lack of members and powerful supporters. I felt a little sad since the guild was great at what they did and fine warriors, and it was the stupidity of your father and the other nobles that really ruined them, but, in the end, they were my allies once, and my enemies once. We fought and I won. It is as simple as that."

After Sharia finished, Isalene looked down at the ground for a while before looking back up and grabbing Sharia's hand, even though it was on her hilt.

"Let's go. I want to take a nice long bath," Isalene told Sharia, a smile back on her face. Sharia was still for a couple of moments, confused, but decided to not think much about it.

"Alright. Let's get going then," Sharia said, stretching a little while Isalene started bouncing up ahead. Seeing this, Sharia let out a sigh and started speed walking after her, not wanting to lose sight of Isalene again.

It wasn't until later did Isalene realize she forgot to say goodbye to Marcus. However, she also found out that she didn't want to turn back and do so. Instead, she kept on walking, Sharia walking right behind her.


Marcus Mike was attending to his horse when he noticed that Princess Isalene was nowhere to be seen. He had started talking to her and when he got no response, he turned to see what was wrong only to find her gone from where she was standing before. He found her after walking for a bit talking to his maid, Dorean. He couldn't tell what they were talking about but it seemed pretty important. After they were done, Princess Isalene started walking away but not towards the track or stables. He followed her and saw her walk up to her personal guard, Sharia, and talk with her for a bit.

Marcus frowned. He did not like Sharia. When he first saw the way Princess Isalene talked to them, he thought they were a rival in love. Yet, when he first saw her, he was scared. She made him feel like an ant beneath her, and he hated it. His hate only grew when he learned that she was a war criminal. Well, he shouldn't call it hate. It was more of worry for the Princess. The only plus is that, since Sharia is female, she isn't a rival in love. Besides, it is quite clear that Sharia doesn't feel much for Princess Isalene.

'Still, what is King Robert thinking? What is someone like her doing with the Princess!?'

No matter how hard Marcus tried to wrap his head around it, he couldn't figure it out. Moreover, Marcus could clearly see that Isalene was uncomfortable with her personal guard. That's not to even mention that Sharia was already a bad influence on Princess Isalene. Isalene is a princess and should be treated as such. She shouldn't have to get ready by herself. Marcus feared how Princess Isalene would change if she kept on spending time with that war criminal.

Despite being told to be level-headed, he already knew what he would do. His heart wouldn't allow for anything else.

He will get to the bottom of why that criminal was Isalene's personal guard, and he will fix it. He may be a Count but he'll show that criminal just who she is messing with.

Smoker: A black object like a toothpick. Can be a plant, bone, wood, or even a piece of metal. There is a paste of magni beetle, or magni bug, inside, giving the object a unique flavor when lit. Using one is known as smoking.

Guild: A Guild is a specialized place for different things, the business they do being known as company.

Army Time Nick: Used for precise military tactics and timing. Sixty-four minutes equal an hour, and sixty-eight seconds equal a minute.

Hour: An hour of time used in Army Time Nick for precise tactics and timing.