Chapter 23: Those Who Loose Die

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She still couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. Eglanor hadn't talked to her in three days, he was ignoring her. Why was he ignoring her? Especially when this was a time where they needed to stick together. She glanced around the entrance hall to find him secluded to a corner, alone. He didn't even look at her. Even though the looked directly at him, her heart pounded with agony, she wanted to hold him. She wanted to feel his skin against her's, and kiss him, letting their breaths linger together. Meathil stood still, and stared at the boy, the one she loved. Why was he not looking at her? Did... Did he change his mind about loving her? Was it something she said? Something she'd done? What was it that was keeping him so distant? They stood in the entrance hall, waiting for the queen. Ug... She hated being called to the hall. They had been waiting for almost an hour, when was the queen even going to get here? And why did she call them to a meeting? Was she just planning on slaughtering them all then and there? That might work, but Meathil would never let her touch her bracket as long as she was alive. There was noise coming from the outside, but that was normal as she'd seen. The past few days she could hear the outside village, the wagons passing the palace, and the shouts of terror from passersby. Meathil looked around, everyone was huddled together, all her girls, and Rivornor. Deigil looked less like she was going to barf which was good, hopefully the girl was feeling better. The other day, Deigil had lied to her about something? She was keeping important information from the group, it was wrong. What was going through her mind? What was so important that she had to resort to lying?

At that moment the princess entered, the girl looked weak. Something had happened to her? No. Not something, but someone had done something to her? Or she hurt herself somehow. However, Eredhelil had a hard time walking up the steps to her throne. Meathil's eyes saw Deigil flinch when the princess almost fell, almost as if she was about to run to her aid. What was going on?

"Thank you for coming today, the queen could not be here, so I am here. The queen has an annual guards choosing, which determines which guards work here at the palace. Today is the day for that event and my mother has chosen to invite you all. I will warn you, the criteria is brutal, and you may witness multiple deaths today." Death? That was what all the noise was about, there was a crowd of men and women outside waiting to get called for their assessment. "Usually my mother would handle these sorts of things, but today, I shall. Syson please call in the first person." The man next to her walked off and headed to the door. How brutal were these choosing so that people would die? The first person came him, it was a young woman with silver skin and brown hair with bright green eyes. She stood in a warriors stance, ready to fight. Were they going to fight?

"Your highness where-"

"Just move to the sides captain, we wouldn't want to get your outfits soiled by the blood of others would we," the princess responded to her question before it was even asked. They all moved to the sides of the room and just watched, as the girl in question knelt on one knee.

"Your highness, it is such an honor to meet you." The girl looked to be around fourteen, not old at all, barely a teenager. How old would the other be? "My name is Sericse Ajia, born to the Lord Ajia of Dioma. I wish to ask you to consider me to serve you." There was a pause. Born to a Lord, so those were the second sort of royalty. It went the queen, princess, lords, ladies, and then public. The girl never faltered in her words, she was well educated. Her green eyes pierced through every one, even when she glanced at Meathil herself, it took her breath away.

"You seem to have a good way about catching the attention of others. You look physically fit, and seem of good education. Although, there is one thing we still need to test." The princess grinned, it sent chills down her spine.

"And what might that be my lady?"

"Wether or not you can survive while fighting me?" Within seconds of those words leaving her mouth, the princess kept off her throne and drew her sword. She sliced the young girls leg almost him half, all Meathil heard were cries of agony, of pain. But, Sericse drew her sword and fought, she blocked the attack that was brutally directed at her head. Meathil watched as blood dripped from the girls whole body, the blade had poison in it? Did everything they had, have poison in it? Instantly the girl fell to the ground, dead before she even got a chance to fight. "Pity, I had hoped you would be better at fighting. I wanted to enjoy today as much as I could before having to bring out my murderous side. Although you should have learned to dispel any poison from your system before coming here, didn't you know, swords and poison are my specialty." Eredhelil leaned over the dead girls body whispering the sweet words of truth into her ear. It made Meathil remember the Cex sea, and how brutal and sadistic she had been back then. Was that same woman now coming forth? "Take her away Syson. And all you men and woman! May this be a lesson! Leave now if you have not been trained to be immune to any poison, because you won't last a minute against me otherwise!" She was warning them? Maybe she was better than Meathil predicted. Immediately more than half of the new recruits ran far away from the palace. She'd saved them from death. There were few left, but they all showed signs of true strength. "Bring in the next person." A man with silver hair, dark silver skin, and bright purple eyes looked up at the princess. He had his horns out and claws ready for battle.

"Hello your highness, my name is Freio. I am a simple farmer, but have been training in the dark arts since birth. I also have apprenticed with Master Riokia, who has been training me in sword play since age 3." He introduced himself with such ease just like the last person. Hopefully he wouldn't end up like she did.

"Hello, Freio. How old might you be?" She asked, no emotion in her voice. He looked to be 20, but you never could tell. The Venus stopped aging once fully matured. 

"I am one hundred and seventeen years old your highness." Meathil heard Rivornor choke on the water he was drinking. One hundred and seventeen, that was much older than herself, and her bracket.

"Ah, so you are only five years older than myself. You must be pretty wise then, much wiser than the previous woman. So tell me, do you know your way around poison?" Five years? That meant that the princess was one hundred and twelve years old! That was... Crazy. Although she was not the oldest person she'd met. After all the queen of Venus was over a thousand years old, and still looked not a day over twenty.

"Yes your highness, I do."

"Good, now get ready sir, for you will have the fight of your life." With that the princess stood for her crouched position and began a sort of dance like movement. Her movements were so swift, they looked like she was an angel. Eredhelil held a sword in her hand and her feet danced to an invisible rhythm. Meathil watched as the princess gracefully sliced and chopped away at the man. He looked overwhelmed, not just because of her fighting style, but also because of her beauty. He seemed distracted, caught in her eyes. Meathil looked at the princesses feet, trying to find a pattern, but there was none. The feet of the girl danced and glided across the floor, making sharp and swift movements when needed, but always precise. The man could not keep up with her style of sword play, it was something not even she had seen. The battle lasted longer than the other recruits did, but inevitably ended the same way. With one quick swipe of the gorgeously crafted silver sword, the princess decapitated the man, his blood spilling on the frozen floor. No one moved, this was the first time lots of them were witnessing her true power. And Meathil, even as being someone who fought her before, felt lucky to be alive. "You were an honorable fighter, I will send word to your master at how brave you were. But all things must come to an end, and your life ends here. Rest peacefully." She couldn't watch anymore, but she noticed a difference in the princesses stance. She was limping a little, was the woman pushing herself? Why? And how the hell did someone capable of this, get hurt so badly? She watched again and again, as all the men and women, died at the hands of royalty.

~

There had been fifty, that was how many people she and her bracket watched the princess kill. None of them even laid a finger on her. But, with each one, Eredhelil got weaker. Meathil walked back to her room, the halls silent. She had gone to the library, hoping to find out more information about the queen, but nothing was there that they didn't already know. Everyone had retreated to their rooms, no one dared to even look at the princess after that display. They were all scared, scared that they would get slaughtered. Who wouldn't be scared? But, fear was a weakness, one she couldn't afford right now. Meathil wore long dark purple robes, the fabric so light she felt like a cloud. It was extremely cold so she wore a fur caps that was made of some type of cat. Her room wasn't far from the library, and every time she walked to it she passed the Royal study. Meathil was careful not to let her curiosity get the better of her when walking past it. She was just about to reach it, but stopped once she turned the corner, hiding behind a pillar. What was she seeing? The princess walked out of the big white doors, extremely weak, leaning on her personal guard, Syson. It wouldn't have looked usual at all, except for the fact that the princess was so weak she couldn't walk. How badly did the girl push herself? Apparently extremely badly. But then someone in a hooded cape came into view... Who was it? Meathil couldn't see the face of the person, though she knew it was a woman. The woman wore a dark black dress, that had long silky sleeves. The dress... It looked familiar. The figure placed a hand on the princesses face and gently caressed it. Finally the princess reached up for the woman's hood, and pulled it off. Revealing someone who made the game change.

Deigil.

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