A Hand at Destiny

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I wake up in Taehyung's bed.

The curtain is open when I wake. It's angled in a way that it'll let the sunlight in, but so that the bright stream won't touch my face. I'm centered on the bed, blankets tucked up to my chin. The door is closed.

It's already past morning. I'd slept so well.

Taehyung isn't here.

I slip out of bed. Then I pad towards the window, my bare feet silent against the carpet as I pull open the curtain even further. Sunlight spills in, coating the room in a soft gold.

I see the Arena.

My eyes almost immediately find Taehyung.

He's hard at training, dressed in Asura colors and gaze fixed forward at the instructor. The sword in his hand burns silver in the light. He stands so noticeable, a beacon amidst rows and rows of soldiers.

I remember his warmth. The way his hair felt against my fingertips. How vulnerable he looks when he sleeps. And how much it makes me want to protect him.

Then there's a harsh knock.


My head jerks up.


The door flings open and smashes into the wall. Jimin is standing there, his amber eyes feverish and wild as he sees me. The moment he does, I see something in him shatter.


He looks torn.

And I should've realized, then and there.

That I wouldn't ever be allowed happiness. That in the end— no matter how much I tried to change my own fate and the fate of others—

It wouldn't ever work.

Jimin falls to one knee, trembling.

"Your Majesty the King and Queen has passed away, my Princess."



Something isn't right with the air.

Guards and maids run through the halls near the Arena. Some of the soldiers are whispering, and most of them had dropped their weapons. The instructor is gone, having been summoned elsewhere. He'd been gone for the past twenty minutes, with only an order for us to stay in position.

It's started to rain.

And as rivulets of water trace coils down my neck, I continue through the routine when no one else does. Every once in a while my gaze flickers up to the curtained window of my room, where my Mistress would be sleeping.

My eyes scrunch.

She really didn't understand how dangerous I was to her. And I knew I was being selfish, just from running my tongue over my sharpened rows of teeth. They had developed fully under my mask, enough to tear skin and break bone.

It was hard for me whenever I was near her.

But still I was selfish.

My blade slices through the rainfall. The tips of my locks drip water over my closed eyes.

If only I was strong enough to leave her. Would I ever become that strong? I didn't think it was possible. The more I stayed by her side, the more I—

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