20. Death

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I break my eye contact with General Otis. Please don't say anything! If this courting goes off smoothly, he should be a free man soon. The whole room is filled with knights and servants of the King. If anyone sees me recognizing someone I could be in trouble.

Peering over to the King my heart skips a beat, in a bad way. What if I was wrong and the King decides to have them all hung? I can feel a cold shiver run down my spine, at the thought.

No.

He can be kind. I believe that there is good in him. I concentrate on the thought of Otis being spared. I can feel his gaze on me, but I don't dare look.

"You! What are you gaping at?" The King spits. I glace up, he's talking to General Otis, who drops his gaze to the ground.

"That's what I thought," Theodore says.

A moment of silence fills the room before the King looks at me over his shoulder. I give my best to look composed, and not like the panicked mess I actually am.

"You're all murderers." Theodore says and leans his head on his resting arm.

They all avert their gaze. Some flinch at the sound of his voice. He must've taken personal care of these men. I try not to think about all the ways he may have tortured them, or had them tortured.

I doubt anyone will speak up to him today. I hope, that is.

The king goes on, "You've killed my men and fought for an evil man. And I have nothing but hate for you."

I shuffle. This sounds bad.

"But as I've said before I made a promise to give you a fair courting. Meaning...,"

He looks at all of them singularly. "...you'll get to choose."

Choose?

"You'll either swear your absolute loyalty to me, as your new and rightful King, or you die." A menacing grin strikes his face.

"Does anyone not understand?!"

No one moves. No one speaks. No one dares too.

He's letting them live. Joy fills my heart as I see my presumptions become true. He really is a good man after all. Suddenly being my mates mated doesn't seem so bad after all.

Theodore gets up from his throne and takes a few steps towards the prisoners.

"Who would like to begin?"

Suddenly a yell waves through the throne room, "long live the King!" It's Otis. Thank god he's obeying.

I can't see the Kings face but I'm more than certain that he's smiling, but so is Otis. Brightly...

"Of Lyria, you bastard!" He yells and subtly winks at me.

Shit. No! He might have just signed his death sentence! My heart starts pounding in my ears as the King suddenly lunges at General Otis. He strikes him straight in the face. Twice, and fresh blood starts oozing out of his nose and lip. Oh god.

The room turns silent and everything starts spinning.

All I can hear is the repetitive sound of blows to Otis' face. I can't move, I can't breathe. Otis falls backwards and the King gets on top of him, never stopping his blows. The sounds of knuckles colliding with facial bones makes me shiver.

"Stop," I whimper, barely hearing it myself. I can't see either of their faces but Otis never had a chance and isn't moving.

"That's enough." I croak, my shaking body not making it easier. A puddle of blood starts forming around my once family friends body. He's going to kill him.

"Stop!" I scream with all my might. The King proceeds to bash Otis skull another two times before getting up.

No movement. No yammering, no gasping for air.
He's dead. The evil King killed him.

My face is wet making my hair is stick to it, due to tears I didn't even realize I was shedding. The only word suitable for what just happened would be 'gruesome'.

I gasp for air. The King stands up straight and turns his head towards me, his back still facing my view. And there he is.

The Crimson King. The monster, that I've been chosen to be with. His eyes are dull and his face is splattered in fresh blood. His heavy breathing is the only sound I can hear, and his right arm is dripping with blood.

"ANYONE ELSE WANT A PIECE?" He shouts at all of them. The surrounding captives duck or cower away.

I'm a failure. These were my people, and here they are dying at my feet. I'd forgotten who I was, and worst of all I've forgotten who he is. How could I have been so gullible?

Thinking there would or ever could be mercy somewhere inside this mans heart.

"I hate you." I sob, and proceed to run through the throne room. I need to breathe. I need to get a clear head. If I get to emotional, it might blow my cover and cause a whole lot more death and pain. He mustn't know that I'm the princess....

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