He could not breathe. The air was being sucked out of him. He imagined himself anywhere but the place he was in. It wasn't working. He tried to balance himself in the hurricane of emotions he was feeling. There was no stable ground for him. Only chaos.
He did not know that there were dungeons in his kingdom. He was in a holding cell precisely, but not in a dungeon. The holding cell felt like a mouldy dungeon. The walls were pristine and clean but they were closing in on him. He never thought he was claustrophobic but still, there he was, getting more and more anxious as seconds passed.
He took some deep breaths to calm himself. There was no point if he took action without thinking it in a thorough manner. He was already on trial for the royal assassination. His own mother's murder, which he did not commit. He was just a simple citizen. He was a prince but he was sixth in line for the throne. And he never wanted to become a ruler. He liked staying in the background and observing everyone. He was smart, so he took up assisting duties. That way he knew what happened in all departments and learned many secrets too.
He had a brother and a sister. Prince Vihaan was the eldest and the most sensible. He was fierce, calm and very loyal. Viaan loved his brother and adored his sister Ahana. Ahana was mischievous and a very caring person. He wondered if they thought he was innocent. They would believe him, right?
Viaan was the youngest and the most spirited among them. He was always full of energy. Their father had died when he was five due to some illness which was never disclosed to him. No one told him what that illness was. His mother then became the queen and ruled Mihira. She always found time to help her children and also took care of all matters of the kingdom. He didn't have the time to process the information that his mother was no more.
He was reading a document when the royal guards entered his chambers.
The chief had a pale face and Viaan understood that something was wrong, very wrong. He took a deep breath and declared, "Prince Viaan, you are under arrest."
Viaan was shocked. He did not know why he was being taken to the holding cells. He was told the reason when he was pushed inside the cell. He couldn't believe his ears then. He wasn't allowed any visitors. No matter how much he yelled, he got no answers. He knew only one thing. He had to get out somehow. There was no window and the door was firmly locked. He was pretty sure that the guards were watching his movements somehow.
He would get a trial and then somehow if he was lucky, he could prove his innocence. That one thought calmed him immensely. He wasn't the killer so he wouldn't be punished, he frantically hoped so. He recalled the last time he saw his mother.
She was sitting in her office poring over some papers. She smiled when she saw him. She got up and took him to the sitting room and enquired about his day. He was happy that day. He never thought that the next day, he would be sitting in a jail cell. He had to find the person responsible for his mother's death. He was shocked and he could not bring himself to show any weakness. He had to remain strong for his family. They counted on him.
He tried thinking of the events in kingdom. Everyone did their jobs and had no major complaints. They were happy and no one had any particular vendetta towards the royal family. People respected them. Viaan particularly always stayed among the people. Vihaan couldn't always stay outside the palace so it was Viaan's job to talk with people. Ahana worked with foreign affairs. He couldn't think of anyone with a grudge or something more sinister towards the queen.
But someone was not happy. That someone was responsible for his current predicament. He had to get out of this cell. Even if he was on trial, there was a chance the council wouldn't be in his favor. Whoever planned this must have tried to tamper with evidence. And Viaan was sure about that. He had no one on his side for the time being. He could get help from his siblings, if only he could talk to them. The royal guard wouldn't allow him anywhere near them. They must be on lockdown or worse. He did not want to die without proving his innocence and certainly not without seeing his mother's killer punished.
That being decided, Viaan closed his eyes. He thought about his options. He had no particular friends. He had no confidants in the palace. And if he somehow managed to escape the palace, he needed some cover, so he could remain hidden.
It was nearing midnight because Viaan was brought in after dinner time. He desperately hoped that all of that was a vivid nightmare. He had lots of those. But his nightmares never became real so he didn't focus on them. They normally made him feel entrapped and helpless. He woke up with fright and fear clawing his senses.
He hoped that someone would come help him. Maybe his brother or his sister. He had no one else. His prayers were answered in a different way because the ground started shaking. Someone would come to let him out. Then he could break free of them and escape. He stood in front of the door ready to take out anyone who entered. It was hard considering the ground wasn't stable but Viaan stood strong. The door opened and a hooded person appeared. Viaan quickly kicked the person. The person didn't expect this and lost his footing on the floor. Viaan was about to run when the person caught his leg and pulled. Viaan couldn't balance himself and he fell. The floor was hard and he felt the pain after being knocked down.
He struggled to get up because something was keeping him down. The person was up and was looking down at him.
"Who are you?" Viaan managed to choke out.
The person did not remove the hood but whispered, "Get up and come with me. You must hurry."
It was a girl and Viaan didn't know her. But he was not stupid. He knew she was there to help him and he couldn't refuse that. He could run away and find the killer and clear his name. It was the most perfect plan.
So here we go.
What do you think?????
Tell me in the comments. I hope you guys like this.
And thank you so much Ellipsis167 for the amazing cover. You rock, girl :)
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The Battered CrownFantasy
No kingdom exists without its own troubles. But who was responsible for the crime of an assassination. The crime of killing the Queen. When the youngest Prince, Viaan is accused of killing his mother, all chaos breaks loose. Who would kill the Queen...