I stood at the end of the hall leading up to the throne room. I took a deep breath as I ran my fingers through my short brown and black hair. My hands began to shake. My heart pounded in my chest. Beads of sweat ran down my head as if I ran a marathon. Even the scar that hugged the curve of my right cheek burned as if it was a fresh wound. This nervousness felt different from the other times. It felt as if I was returning home after a long journey. I began my trek down the long hallway. The room ahead seemed to be about twenty miles away, when it was only about thirty feet in front me.
If I had to tell you the truth, I didn't want this. All I wanted in life was a peaceful existence with my friends. I was happy with getting into mischief with them. I was happy with the big dinners during the holidays and festivals. I enjoyed the little moments like the sunrises with Selfie or lying in the grass fields with Bradda, watching the clouds go by. I loved the moments when the little children asked me why my hair looked like it did. No one ever believed me when I said I was born this way. They thought I was simply being edgy. I just blamed it on my fae heritage. Those were my halcyon days.
But, if I had to tell another truth, Sindri, the dark lord of the fae, made those moment feel rare, as we were constantly reminded that he ruled this land with an iron fist. People were terrified of him. They despised him. The Kingdom of Sol moved to the underground caverns generations ago, while his men ravaged the lands with their dark magic. To even watch the sunrise or watch the clouds go by were putting our lives in danger.
All of this was coming to an end. The only thing I had to do was fully embrace a destiny I never asked for. I could feel the pressure slowly crushing me. It took every muscle in my body not to run away. Why did I have this feeling? I fought the best of the best that Sindri had to offer. Yea, I was nervous then. But I was simply afraid of letting everyone down. Or dying myself. Maybe this was no different. Maybe I magnified everything because this was the final battle.
I finally arrived to the room. I placed my hands on the doors and took one last deep breath to calm my nerves. I pushed the doors open and walked in. To my surprise, no one was here. "Where are you Sindri!? Come out and stop playing games!" I realized how dumb those words were. Sindri never played games. He wasn't the stereotypical villain you read in books that loved to tease the hero before throwing it all away on one last bit of dialog. He saw you, he defeated you. That's what he did to the last hero that battled him eons ago.
The funny thing was I could feel him there. Yet I couldn't feel him there. None of this made sense. My anxiety turned into confusion as I walked towards the throne. I decided to take a seat. I continued to look around. But it was still the same feeling. How could I sense him being here and not here at the same time? I felt a bit of shame taking a seat, while the resistance fought their hearts out outside the castle walls.
Then out of nowhere, while sitting on the throne, an even stranger feeling hit me. I was sleepy. Sleep eluded me when I had to train with the Fae of the Dragonfields. Those moments were nowhere near as intense. My eyes got heavy. My thoughts drifted to the time when I was actually given the chance to give the dragon magic to another destined hero. I guess I accepted it so no one would hate me. A feeling that oddly felt familiar. I couldn't keep them open any longer.
I jerked myself awake. But I wasn't in the castle anymore. Instead I was floating in an abyss. Before I could form a question, I heard his voice.
It was Sindri. All those feelings that I had earlier came back tenfold. Then Sindri appeared before me.
"Did you not hear my welcome?"