Excerpt for The New Reign by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


The New Reign

Of Lite and Darke, Book 1

M. L. Ruscsak

Dream Big Publishing

West Columbia, SC




This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used factiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Dream Big Publishing

A publication of Dream Big Publishing

West Columbia, SC

Copyright 2017 by M. L. Ruscsak

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in

whole or in part in any form.

Dream Big Publishing is a registered trademark of

Dream Big Publishing.

Manufactured in the United States of America

All rights reserved.

Summary: Nisha:

Three days after my birth I lost it all. My mother, My father, and all hope for all that they had dreamed for. Now on the eve of my eighteenth birthday I must make it right. I must Take my kingdom back from a man who claimed to be my proxy. I have to stop a civil war that is looming in the darkness. And I must learn about all these wonderful powers that have been dimmed until now.

Ethan:

I was born into a high-born family. A powerful mother and a gifted father. How gifted or how powerful I never knew. I never knew of what their powers had been nor what mine may be. That was all taken from me just over a year from my birth.

Now I am called dog. My name forgotten. My parents never spoken of. Anyone who knew them are long dead or too weak to speak. I am a ward of my uncle. The sole proxy to the Princess of Darke. The princess of the last Queen. I pray every night that she comes and uses her powers to kill my uncle and his followers. I pray that I will be alive long enough to see her just once.

I doubt that I ever will. I am set to be killed on the day she is crowned queen. My life will be sacrificed for her pleasure. Or so I am told.

[1. New Adult – Fiction 2. Fantasy ]

9781370871230

M. L. Ruscsak

Copyright 2017 by M. L. Ruscsak

Smashwords Edition

All rights reserved.






Prologue


With the see’s stone resting on the table before him Karnack sat his quill back into the inkwell. For more than three thousand years he had been doing in death what he had done in life… watching history unfold and keeping a detailed account for his queen.

A queen who even he had not seen since the time of the great war.

Still, he watched and waited for the child to be born that his queen had seen so many years before. A child who would be born a creator. A queen who would be able to defeat a threat that was still in the shadows of the great stars.

The rest of the first Fey, who had settled this land, had already given up on ever finding the child. Nicco had changed his name two or three times in the past three centuries. As Had Ean.

Of the three of them, none had ever been able to find out what had ever happened to their queen’s only child. A baby known only as Ari. His father had been the cause of their queen’s withdrawal from the realms.

Yet, he held out hope that one day he would find this chosen queen and give her the crown of the dead. A crown that would give her the power to stand and face a threat that only she would be able to defeat.

*~*~*

“Karnack? Are still watching the stone?”

He barely glanced over his shoulder to a woman who was just as beautiful today as she was the first he had laid eyes on her. “I am the scribe to the queen and I will be the one to see the chosen queen long before any other.”

Pulling a knife from her belt, she leaned on the wall watching him write some mindless dribble that none would ever read. “When you find her, tell me. I’ll make sure no harm ever comes her way.”

“Freya darling if what I know for fact ever comes to pass then even you will need help in protecting her.”

A soft smile touched her lips, “You let me worry about that.”


*~*~*

Part 1


280 Years ago

Larna: Princess of Feyen

“A day will come when one will rise to power not by birth but through blood. When that day arises, it will be but the beginning…”

- Ancient scrolls of Feyen




Chapter 1: Larna


She stood towering over her mother’s body. Her black crystal sword plunged into the heart of the woman who had given her life. Holding her translucent black wings still, she glanced over her shoulder, her father’s lifeless head on the floor but a few feet away from where his body had fallen. He had been the last Feyen warrior to fall.

The last before her mother. At least there, she had found a worthy adversary to face. Well, at least until she too had faltered and died.

A cruel smile formed on her dark red lips as she stood there silently watching her mother’s blood started to pool around her lifeless body. Not the red lifeblood that most Fey had, oh no her mother’s lifeblood was midnight blue. An oddity unto itself. Watching the blood seeping out of her body, Larna could have spat on her mother’s face for making her take this drastic measure. But, if she did it would ruin her plans, and that she wouldn’t do no matter what the price. “You should have listened to me, mother. Now look at what has become of you. No longer will you be able to listen to anyone. A justice that serves you right for never hearing the truth that was set before your eyes.”

Pulling her black crystal blade free from her mother’s heart, she used it to cut the fabric of her golden gown. Methodically she made sure that the cuts on the fabric mirrored the cuts on her own skin. She had to make sure that the cuts were shallow enough to hinder her movements but deep enough to look like she had escaped the slaughter. Escaping as the last surviving heir... the last of her mother’s bloodline. And escaping as the only living Royal Fey in all Feyen.

After all, anyone who had seen anything was already bound to her. Their memories were whatever she decided that they would be. Right now, in this moment, she chose for all of them to believe that a hooded man had stormed into the castle coming from out of nowhere and slaughtering all that had stood in his way. A cloud a mist had hidden him until the very moment that he had killed his first victim.

Yes, that would do nicely. And as for the man... Oh well, she had planned for that as well. Myrddin was either going to marry her or every Feyen citizen would believe that he had been behind the massacre. After all, there wasn’t a single person alive that didn’t know how powerful he truly was nor how dangerous. Nor would any every question his motives. Power, greed, lust? It wouldn’t matter what they chose to speculate, his very denials would only further their conviction in his guilt.

A cruel smile formed on her long thin face. But she would offer him another solution. She would offer her hand in marriage, after all, he was exactly what she needed. A Feyen man with more natural ability and dark power then the whole royal family of Feyen. Or she should say the now dead royal family.

But tomorrow would be soon enough to work on that... Tonight on the other hand... She had to finish this. Sniffling until tears started to run hot down her face she took a deep breath then took off in a terrified sprint down the bloody castle halls. Her ripped gown collecting blood from the fallen guards as she ran. There wasn’t anyone alive in this part of the castle or at least not anyone that would be of any use for her plan to work. So, screaming for help would do her no use at least not until she saw the light coming from the main gate... Then … and only then did she let out a shrill scream, “HELP! Help Me!”

She saw a single guard at the main gate and knew almost instantly who he was. A member of not just the royal guard but also one that also served as an elite warrior. As there was never more than a dozen in that squad she knew each of them fairly well. However, this one may be a problem for her.

Once she was crowned she might have to see to his death as well. No better yet, to his execution. Not a far leap that he might have something to do with the murders. She would just have to see what played out.

The moment he turned to her she knew two things. First off, he was scanning the area for trouble and secondly, he recognized her as a member of the royal family. In that breath, he partly ran and partly flew to meet her half way inside of the great hall. Just as he made it to her, she collapsed into his arms sobs running down her face as she gasped for air, “Princess... What...” He asked almost puzzled.

Catching her breath, she forced out, “A hooded intruder... My mother, you have to ...” Clawing at his white and gold uniform she tried to push away. Tried to escape his strong grip that even if she had been truly trying she would find nearly impossible. “Please, you have to help my mother.”

His sturdy grip finally failed as that was all he needed to hear. Larna watched only partly amazed as a single bolt of lightning flashed from his fingertips lighting the signal fire. Not a moment later more than a dozen armed guards stood surrounding them. All their eyes battle ready and scanning for the cause for the signal to be lit. Yet none moved for a minute waiting for the captain to join them.

A heart beat then two and the armed guard who was holding her; the sobbing princess, took command. “We’ll notify the captain later. The royal family is being attacked. The Queen is the first priority.” Glancing down at her he continued, “Princess Larna please come with me. The guard tower will be safe. You have my word.”

She had no doubt about that. After all, how would he ever know that it had been she that had killed her family? But even if he somehow did find out, after she was crowned not a soul would ever be able to do anything about it.

*~*~*

There was no sign of trouble until they reached the heart of the castle. No sign of struggle except the bloody footprints that the princess had left behind. Then a body. A young guard his name not yet known to all who worked the palace grounds… his body cut nearly in half. In an outcove, not but a few feet away another guard, Gavan, his throat slit from behind. Whoever had done this had to have stepped through the wall behind him. A damn foolish thing to do unless one was trained. Even then, not many had the skill to do so without being trapped in the stone. Of those, none had been near the castle recently.

Carefully with his golden wings now fluttering at full speed he flew down the corridors. His eyes seeing the bodies of his fallen comrades. Nothing about their deaths made sense. Unless all were asleep... which was highly unlikely and completely impossible... one of them should have called for help. One should have signaled for reinforcements or used mind-speech to call for help. Yet none did. And none seemed to have been fighting the unknown attacker. Not a weapon was drawn nor a spell cast. No whatever had happened here was not just a simple attacker. They had a purpose.

Galeron stopped just feet from the royal stronghold and fought not to become sick. Kailen, the youngest prince laid partly in his room and partly in the hall. His purple blood sprayed over his door. Two doors down the heir had been torn apart in her bed. The protective shield around her bed and room still fully intact. The other three royal children killed so thoroughly that there was no reason to send them to the Under Kingdom... Not even as fodder for those who may still dwell there.

Slowly and carefully, he made his way to the queen’s bedchamber. The king’s headless body laid in the doorway. His hand still curled around the hilt of his golden sword. The sword itself broken cleanly in half. In impossible feat... yet someone had been able to do so. The amount of strength required to do that? So, few could have done that. And those who possessed that skill were now dead.

Pushing the double door open enough to pass without disturbing the body of the king, his eyes found the queen. Her body lifeless on the floor, her blue blood flowing around her seeping from wounds that were not visible. The blood itself pulling toward the head of the king. The last show of the blood oath they had taken.

For a moment, he swayed at now realizing the royal family had been wiped out. In a span of a breath his mind focused on the only two people in all of the Feyen that could have accomplished this without sounding the alarm... and by the gods, it wasn’t Myrddin. Despite the attempt to make it look like it had been... he knew better. The queen’s window was open and there would be no time once dawn arrived... No time after his report had been made or when others found the bodies of the royal family. So, he dove from the window and flew over the city of Golden Sun and to the home of his friend.

*~*~*

Landing in a back alleyway Galeron hurried down the several twist and turns of the inner city until he came to the door of his friend. Raising his fist, he pounded on the simple wooden door, “Myrddin open the damn door. Or I break it down.”

When it finally opened, it wasn’t Myrddin but Princess Adrianna standing in front of him. Her long dark hair tussled from sleep. Her eye not yet open as she sleepily asked, “Galeron, what in the name of Darke is it?”

“We need to talk.” Pushing past her, he saw Myrddin just tying the belt to his black robe. “It’s started.”

For a moment, Myrddin just stood there numb. Finally, he whispered, “Damn it. We should have had more time to prepare.”

Closing the door Adrianna looked from her betrothed to her friend confused. Wiping her eyes to fully wake up she asked, “What’s started?”

Myrddin shuffled over to his long dark couch and took a deep breath, “Addy you know you hold my heart.”

Shuffling over to sit with Myrddin, Adrianna took his hand in hers then said, “Yes, and I know we will be married... So, what...” She looked deep into Galeron’s eyes. There was a worry there in his voice but more than that, there was a burning rage in those eyes. “Queen Elista?”

“Murdered. And whoever did it made damn sure it looked like something Myrddin was capable of doing. Or at least, someone who had a strong natural ability in the dark arts.”

Addy got up from the couch and turned away. She had only come here last year to learn some from the Feyen Queen how to rule true Fey. And she had. But she had also found scores of friends and the man who held her heart. More than that, she had been working on a treaty that would bind their houses together. A treaty that would fall apart if whoever now ruled didn’t see the wisdom in it. “What’s going to happen now?”

Myrddin sat back and snorted, “Princess Larna will become Queen. I’m sure all of the Feyen will be torn over it but not enough to do anything about it. At least not with some motivation.”

Taking a breath, she spoke as the only person in the room with authority to speak the truth without fear of penalty. “As a Fey, her powers and abilities are yet untested. She will have some years yet before she matures enough to handle the gifts that she currently has let alone be able to handle those of her people without going mad.”

A curt laugh then Myrddin growled, “She may be already?”

Addy raised an eyebrow in question, “Myrddin?”

“She’s been learning the dark arts.” Now both Addy and his friend stared right at him.

“What?” Both said nearly in unison.

“Larna asked if I could teach her. As one of only two people in all of the Feyen that was able, I consulted Queen Elista. After a very detailed conversation about what I was, willing to teach the little brat and listening to what the brat wanted to learn I agreed. As part of the agreement the queen gave her blessing to our union.”

For a long time, no one spoke. Slowly Addy shuffled back over to her beloved, “We could leave tonight.”

“No.” For a moment, he just sat there. His eyes focusing on something far beyond his home. Finally getting up he took the few steps to his window and said, “Adrianna, I need for you to leave. Go to Draken and take my sister with you.”

Jumping back with a start she growled, “Like hell I am. I am not letting her get away with this. Nor am I letting you take the fall for the likes of her.”

In a deep growl, he snapped. His voice rattling his windows and making both his friend and lover jump. “Adrianna this is not up for debate.” Slowly he came back to her and took her hand. Taking a deep breath, he needed to reason with her. He just hoped she listened just this once. “You will be the next queen of Darke. And I swear that I will be married to you well before that ever happens. But, I need you to leave. Larna is in way over her head, and I’m the only one strong enough to put things to right. Or at least, make sure she is limited on options.”

“Fine. I’ll go and I’ll even take Tenanye and Faerydae with me. After all, I’m sure Tenanye would love to see her betrothed. But I’ll be damned if I leave here without both of you being blood bound to me.”

“Now wait one second...”

“Don’t you start with me Galeron. I don’t know what game the little princess is playing. And frankly, I don’t care. But I will not let her use either of you for pawns. Besides The only way that she can’t bind you would be to be bound to someone stronger.”

“She’s right you know.”

“Just because your future wife is right about something does not mean I have to like it.” Galeron hisses as he paced the confines of the sitting room.

Narrowing her dark colored eyes, she spoke, “No, but you’re not stupid. So, what’s it going to be Galeron... Be the captain of my guards and first chair on my council or serve her and never live long enough to become a father?”



Chapter 2: Myrddin


The morning started with armed castle guards pounding on his door. If he hadn’t been warned last night Adrianna would have been here and naturally accused of the murders. Of course, he had saved her from that... now to do what he could and hope it was enough. Slowly he opened the door and looked deep into the guard’s sea green eyes, “I assume there is a reason you are trying to break my door in.”

Fear ran across the man’s face. An Elf not a fairy judging by the lack of wings. “Well, or would you like to waste my entire day?”

The guard shook himself from his stupor and forced out, “I... you’re wanted at the castle for questioning.”

“I see. Then let’s get this over with. I’m already late for another important engagement.” Not really but being with Addy had taught him a thing or two. Such as being Feyen and the only dark anything outside Darke... he had the authority to be curt and difficult. More than that... once he married the future queen he could send all those who and offended him to the Under Kingdom... perhaps alive... perhaps not. Either way, it was entertaining to watch the door open and the dead standing far below the opening waiting to greet either their next meal or then newest comrades.

Stepping out if his home Myrddin looked around at the nearly two dozen armed guards. Fairy. Elf. Light bearers. Then his eyes darted to the chosen ride to the Castle. Not a fine carriage but a trolley for trolls. Before he took another step, he used just a bit of simple craft... well simple if you were a master of several kinds of craft... Black smoke then a soft poof before a loud bang and a proper carriage stood before him. “If I’m going to the castle I will go in a style befitting my prestige. But certainly, not in an ill-made troll trolley.”

“Where is...”

He turned sharply to the young guard who had once again found his voice, “Where is who?”

“The Princess of Darke. We were told...”

“Hmp. The Lady had appointments else were. I believe she left midday yesterday.” That should be enough to keep Addy out of trouble. Then again, with her, he couldn’t be too sure. After all, trouble seemed to follow Addy wherever she dared to travel. It was something her twin had been ready to point out several times within the past year.

At He didn’t need to worry about Celeste in all of this. Thankfully, she had left for the Spire some days ago to introduce some poor sap to her mother.

*~*~*

Looking up from his book where he was trying to find anything useful Lord Eros tapped his book yet again and sighed. So many laws and traditions but none for crowning a child after the loss of her family. But the funeral passages were very clear and needed to be taken care immediately, “Princess we must see to the funerals of ...”

She had to play the distraught daughter who had lost her parents. The problem was that she was bored. Nor did she care what they did with the bodies. Burn them, bury them. Send what was left to the Under Kingdom. It made little difference to her either way. Of course, she couldn’t say that. However, she could sniffle once and fight back fake tears, “Oh, can the council please....” She sniffled and turned her head, “I... I just can’t.”

Handing her his pocket square he patted her back soothingly, “Of course my dear. I should have considered... Perhaps the council should speak with Lord Devros.”

“No...” Larna snapped. Then realizing her mistake, she started again, “No, I would like to see those who could have done this to m-my family.”

The large golden doors of the throne room blew open and crashed into the walls behind them. Myrddin strode in his black robe that marked him as a High-born covered most of his natural muscle and actual size. They did nothing to mask the dark power that could be felt from his annoyance. “I assume there is a reason the castle guard has brought me here.”

“You will hold your tongue Lord Devros.”

Narrowing his raven colored eyes, Myrddin stared at the first chair of the Feyen council, “As I am the ambassador of Darke and I demand answers Lord Eros. And I will have those answers or you can give them to my queen.”

“Gentlemen please, this a somber day.” When that did nothing to get either man to back down Larna sniffled, “Please, I would like to speak to Lord Devros privately.”

“I should think not...” Lord Eros protested.

“This is my will, Lord Eros. Now, please... I would think that m-my parents would like to be laid to rest.”

“As you will princess.” Turning back to Myrddin he whispered, “I will see you sent to the Under Kingdom for your crimes.”

Once alone Myrddin circled the dais, “What’s the game Larna?”

Her pale lips curled into a sinister smile, “Oh no game Myrddin. Just a proposition.”

“Oh?” Slowly he came to stand before her, “Tell me, what it is you are expecting? Your future told perhaps?”

“Oh, come now. We both know that is not a dark art Myrddin.”

He shrugged, “Perhaps not. So, let’s get on with it. What was so important for you to murder your family and try to blame me?”

“Figured it out, did you. Should have known you would have a spy in the guards.” She sat back on the throne, “No matter, I’ll know who soon enough.”

Putting one foot on the dais he leaned toward her, “Are you going to tell me why I’m here or should I guess?”

“Oh, I guess I will tell you. You are going to marry me.”

Like hell I am. It burned in his throat, but he managed to say is a swan song coo, “Am I? Now, why would I marry a child who has little in the way of natural ability?”

If he wasn’t towering over her she would have bolted from the thrown since she couldn’t she crossed her arms “I’m not a child. I am nearly two hundred years old. And I have plenty natural ability.”

Turning away from her he started to the door, “You have not answered my question Larna. And your game is starting to bore me.”

“Either marry me or you and Princess Adrianna will be held accountable for the murder of the royal family. And who ever warned you will join you for your death.”

Having known how this would play out he wasn’t fazed, “I will marry you on three conditions. As I do like the sound of being married to a queen.” Although the only queen he would marry wasn’t in this room. Or in this kingdom for that matter.

Larna mumbled already too preoccupied with the power she would have once they wed, “Ambition suit you. Now, what are your terms?”

“Nothing much. First off, the royal family of Draken should be in attendance. Since My sister will be marrying the crown prince in the next year.”

Greed lit her violet eyes, “Done.”

“Secondly, you will declare that any child of mine will be your heir unless you have a child with someone else that holds your heart.”

“Of course, your child would be my heir. What a silly thing to require.”

Uh ha. We’ll see about that. “And lastly, as is tradition you will give me your heart.”

“Again, Myrddin that would have been said in the vows regardless. Now is there anything else?”

“No.” He took a step up onto the dais and towered over her, “We will be married in three days.”

“Three...” She gasped already gazing into his eyes.

Smiling as her eyes locked with his, he allowed for them to blaze into a hypnotic blue haze, “You do not want your country without a queen any longer.”

“No, I suppose I don’t.”

*~*~*

“Addy, are you sure you want to be here? I mean my brother ...”

Addy turned away from her friend and let herself see beyond the room... beyond what most saw. Looked well beyond the cream colored flowered and rows of high back chairs. Looked well beyond milk-white walls. Allowed herself a look back over the past three days in this room. Then whispered, “Myrddin knows what he is doing and I plan on being here to find out exactly what... That and I plan on strangling him the very moment that I can for making me witness this to start with.”

Tenanye smiled as she watched her betrothed Prince Craykren and her brother discuss something that had both men playfully shoving each other. “I expected this for your wedding day but...”

Signing Addy shook her head, “We should go separate them before this turns into a brawl. Besides, it will give me the excuses to speak to him and possibly finding out something useful.”

“Just be careful Addy. There are those here that think you are the one who killed the Queen.”

“Aye, I know. I can feel their uneasiness like prickles on my skin. But it helps that my mother and sister are here. They wouldn’t dare cross Mum. She is already in a foul mood and I so doubt she will be able to control herself much longer.”

Patting her friend’s hand Tenanye smiled, “Your mother is always in a mood. But I agree with her if she should destroy this farce. However, none here would dare cross me either now that Craykren has given me a name that sounds more Draken. I doubt anything would be left of Feyen if they did.”

Taking Tenanye’s arm she smiled, “Oh you haven’t told me, I simply must know what Cray decided on for his bride.”

“Alyisope. It was his grandmother’s name. I do like it but I think those who have known me my whole life will continue to call me Tenanye.” Stepping over to her betrothed she hissed, “Craykren, I do swear if you act like this on our wedding day I will refuse to marry you.”

He spun around with the grace of a cat despite his large size. His armored scales looking like he belonged to a reptile race but his horns...those were all bovine. Then again, he didn’t bother to place glamor spell on his black talons that he had for fingers or the long tail that held a poison stinger. “It is customary for battle before marrying.”

“Yes, and you will do battle the night before our wedding. Not The day of. Do I make myself clear?”

He just turned to Myrddin, “I should eat you.”

Myrddin crossed his bare muscled arms giving his friend time to consider the possibility of a real fight rather than the playful shoving. Then gave a twisted smile, “If you eat me who will continue to teach you to speak properly?”

“I should eat you for introducing me to ... to... sister.”

Pulling on Craykren’s arm she hissed, “Come over here before you cause trouble.”

Addy smiled as she watched her friend walk away, “Is there something I should know.”

“Adrianna, my sweet you already know everything you need to. So, I ask you to please let this play out.

“Because I trust you I will do as you ask. However, do not expect your sister to remain civil to Queen Larna after she marries Craykren.”

“This is my sister we are talking about... I doubt she would remain civil with anyone I choose to marry.” He smiled then touched her mind, Besides you

Returning the smile, she laughed, “I suppose you’re right. She is never civil to anyone unless they can best her in fighting.” A soft chime rang softly signaling the ceremony was to begin. Sighing she asked, “Should I sit with my family or yours?”

“Addy, you are the princess of Darke. You must always sit according to your status. My sister has Cray to keep her from doing anything rash. At least for the moment.”

“Fine. I’ll try to keep Celeste from turning your bride into an ornate flower. But I make no promises. Both she and mother are in rare form today.”



Chapter 3: Myrddin


Adrianna gracefully sat in a white high back chair next to her sister and took her hand, “What have you heard?”

Pulling a strand of golden hair behind her ear she smiled, “Mother is beside herself. Don’t expect her to be on her best behavior if Myrddin goes through with this farce of a wedding.”

Looking slightly behind her she watched as her mother stood rigidly near the back wall, “Mother is rarely on her best behavior when surrounded by those who wish her family harm. And she is never on her best behavior when papa isn’t around to sooth her.”

“True. But she has never had to deal with a loss of a dear friend and children that she has known from birth.”

Reaching out to her sister’s mind she decided to have the rest of this conversation privately. And does mother know what happened that night?

You know as well as I that she does. But without proof, she is powerless to do anything about it. Then again that had never stopped her before when dealing with troublemakers.

Turning back to the door Adrianna narrowed her eyes and watched the murderer slowly make her way down the aisle. Her dress looking more like something she should wear for the wedding night and not to the wedding itself. I doubt she will get away with this.

Celeste wrinkled her nose in distaste of the dress. Or lack of dress. Does she realize that she looks ridiculous marrying a man who is twice her age and twice her height? Not to mention that thing that should be a dress... I swear her tailor elf forgot more than half of it.

Addy rolled her eyes, I doubt she cares about anything but the power that she thinks he can give her.

Well, it should be interesting watching her learn that she may have bought his hand but she will never have his heart nor his power.

*~*~*

Larna took the two steps up to the dais never looking at the guess who had shown to watch her become Queen of Feyen... But it was so lovely that the Queen of Lite and Darke had chosen to come but remain furthest from the festivities. Oh well… as long as the old hag didn’t cause any trouble then she wouldn’t need to have Myrddin dispose of her. Then again wouldn’t it be fun to rule all the countries that held Fey blood?

Tomorrow she would start planning on how to do just that... as for today...

Her voice filled with fake tears as she softly said, “Lord Eros, before we begin I would like to say something.”

Bowing accordingly he smiled, “Of course your grace.”

Now she turned to her guest, “I know this is not what you all imagined for the succession of the Feyen line but I do hope to make my mother proud.”

The golden doors of the throne room creaked opened and an older woman slowly made her way to the dais. Even slower she removed her hood from her crimson cape. “As you have left us no choice child. Get on with it. I did not come all this way to watch you blabber on.”

Her eyes widened in shock “Grandmother?!?”

The old queen leaned heavily on her crystal cane as she took a single step into the room, “What is it dear? Did you expect me to be long dead?”

“I...” She took a deep breath. Her grandmother hadn’t been seen for nearly a century. Not since becoming ill with something that no Fey had ever been able to cure... and yet she was now standing before her. Silver in her hair sure but not looking a bit unwell. Forcing herself to be calm she took a deep breath “I’m glad you could be here. Thank you.”

“Well get on with it.”

She had never met her grandmother and now was thankful for never speaking to a bitter old bat. “As I was saying before the dowry queen arrived, in breaking with the tradition of being wed before being crown I ask my first chair of the Feyen council to add this doctrine to my rein.” She called in a signed piece of parchment and handed it to Lord Eros.

Taking the parchment he began to unroll it. As he read, he stuttered, “Are you sure?”

“I Am.”

“Very well, your grace. As this day, Any child sired by Lord Devros will be named as heir to Feyen... Unless Queen Larna finds another man who can hold her heart.”

Adrianna sat back and tried not to smile. She had known Myrddin for just over a year and he had taught her one thing above all else... always be precise when dealing with the Fey. More so when dealing with a Dark Fey who would use ever word to their own advantage.

*~*~*

Larna stood to her full height now that she wore the silver crown of Feyen. Such a simple circlet but the power that she could now tap into... what a marvelous feeling.

“My Queen, are you ready for the marriage vows?”

“You may proceed, Lord Eros.”

“Very well.” He took a deep breath and tried to smile, “Do you Queen Larna, daughter of Elista freely give this man, Lord Myrddin Devros every part of you. Your hand, your heart and all that you will make together?”

“I, Queen Larna freely give my heart to Lord Devros to have for all time.”

Myrddin had been standing there quite and not really paying attention to anything until this moment.... however, now that she had said what he had excepted... He smiled and licked his wine red lips, “Do you really give me your heart Queen Larna?”

“Yes, I give you my heart.” It was then she realized her mistake as his hand reached deep into her chest pulling out her still beating heart.

He looked down at the black blood covering his hand then called in a silver box. “I will keep your cold black heart. Since you have given it to me in trust. And in return, you shall live till someone who can hold your heart is able to give it back to you.” Now he turned to the dowry Queen. “Queen Alista as you have ruled Feyen and being the one the one most capable please do so once more. It would seem your grandchild is but a shell of what she had hoped for.”

Alista narrowed her old violet eyes, “Very well. My granddaughter will rule in name only and those in this room are forbidden to discuss what had become of her until my death.”

“I think I can speak for all here when I say none shall speak a word.”

*~*~*

“Did you plan this?”

Helping Adrianna into a black coach he couldn’t help but smile. “My sweet must you always ask things that you already know the answer to?”

“Maybe I want to hear you say what I already know.”

Settling in next to her he smiled, “If you must know, I asked your mother to dispose of the queen once the vows were complete. But with the arrival of Queen Alista ... I improvised. After all, she did just lose her entire family. It would be cruel for her to lose the last link to her daughter. At least, until she decides what to do with her.”

“How very kind of you.” Looking over to the silver box that sat across from her, “And that...”

“In a century or two, I will return it. Possibly return it. Or any child that we have may choose to. But nothing can destroy the box.” Or the contents within.

Her eyes looked at the box almost memorized, “Enchanting.”

“Yes, and if you’re a good little apprentice I’ll teach you how it works.”

Sitting back she crossed her arms smugly, “You assume I don’t already.”

Giving her a kiss he smiled, “Incantation my dear, not power. And nothing that is close to your current abilities.”



Part 2

Eighteen years ago.


“An unrest is settling in among my people. Why I cannot say for certain. Whispers are spoken but even I cannot hear all that is being said. I just hope beyond all reason that whatever is wrong will not reveal itself to me until my daughter is born. I pray that I will have at least some time with her before I must be the Queen of Darke.

Yet somehow I doubt that I will ever get the chance to see my daughter grow into her gifts.”

-The private journal of Queen Adrianna. Queen of Darke



Chapter 4: Adrianna


Adrianna glanced down at her newborn baby and smiled. Very carefully she picked her up from the smoke black cradle. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with you. I can’t call you my little sweetie for the rest of your life.” She paused and let out a small laugh, “Well I could but it’s not a good name for a queen who will one day rule all of Darke.” A light giggle had her turning to the door.

“Dearest sister, have you given my niece a name yet?”

Looking at the woman who flowed into the room Adrianna could not help but smile. Her twin. Not an identical twin but rather her complete opposite. Where her twin had flowing golden hair her own was the color of the night. Thou both were tall and slim and seemed to flutter when they walked but Celeste embodied all things bright and golden. “I just cannot think of one that will do her justice” She pressed her lips together till they were nothing more than a thin line before continuing. “There is not a name I can think of that will embody the next queen that will give her enemies pause.”

“Oh dear. Our daughters are not yet three days old and you are already talking enemies. I do swear I should have your husband take you to see his homeland. I think all the darkness and gloom of your own kingdom has finally made you a little daft.”

Turning away from her sister she lightly scolded her, “Very funny. You know as well as I that I cannot simply visit the Feyen Kingdom. You on the other hand... they welcome you.”

Celeste rolled her eyes and held out her milky pale arms, “Yes well... Here give me my niece I should have some time with her before I leave for my own Kingdom.”

As she placed her precious little daughter in her sister’s arms, Adrianna paused. Something in the darkness was being whispered. All those she ruled were speaking of it but what good is a whisper in the dark when she couldn’t hear everything that was being said? “I want you to take her with you.”


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