Chapter 1


The stained glass window shattered easily under the impact of his fist. Shards stuck in his hand, blood trickling down and dripping onto the floor. The sound of it seemed to be magnified in the silence of the room. He feared she would awaken from the sound. But she didn’t. Nor did the sound of his heavy boots snapping the glass formerly depicting an ascending angel awaken her. It wasn’t until the rustle of the lace bed curtains did she stir in her sleep. He looked down on the sleeping woman nestled under the heavy blankets. Her thick black hair shone under the light of the moon and her skin was washed of all color, making her seem pale.

He stood over her for some time, assessing the situation. He reached out his bloody hand and ran his fingers down her cheek, smearing his blood onto her skin. Her eyes snapped open and he smiled a cruel smile down at her. Quicker than the average human, he unsheathed a wicked looking dagger and pinned her to the bed through her shoulder. Her harsh scream pierced the silence of the night and he worried that the guards would awaken in the castle. He paused for a moment but no movement came from outside the room.

“Where is it? Where is the mirror?” he hissed.

The princess was panting from the pain his blade wrought on her but she remained silent. She had a look of determination on her face and he knew he’d have to do a lot more to get the location out of her.

He twisted the blade in her shoulder, widening the hole. She screamed loudly as more blood pulsed out of the wound and stained her white night gown.

“I said, where is the mirror?”

He could see the pale gleam of sweat on her forehead but she still remained silent. He sighed heavily.

“I know that as the princess you have certain obligations to your country but I can tell you that it would be a lot easier for you if you just told me now. I don’t want to cause you pain but I will if I have to.”

The princess rose up in the bed, the knife tearing through flesh, and spat in his face.

“Go to hell!” despite her harsh words, so full of pain, she had a melodic voice that was pleasant to listen to.

He sighed again as he slowly wiped her spit away with his bloody hand. The sound his stubble made under the pressure of his fingers made a loud noise that seemed to fill the room. He looked at his hand that now had a mixture of her saliva and his blood that exactly matched the color of his armor. He smiled again when he noticed the glare the princess was giving him.

“Oh how I do admire the tenacity of the Sapphire women. Indeed, your mother had such a fiery spirit as well. Too bad. . .”

Quick like a snake, he pulled the knife out of her shoulder and twirled it between his fingertips. She let out a piercing scream from the pain.

“Now, Princess Aylia. I think it’s time we stopped playing this little game here and you lead me to the mirror. “

Aylia slowly got out of bed and walked towards the closed door. She held her bleeding shoulder tightly, trying to staunch the flow of blood.

“The mirror is this way,” she said. Her smile was the only thing that gave her away before she bolted out the door

Merde,” he muttered. Despite himself, he still felt the thrill of the chase beginning to bubble from within. While she ran through different hallways, he kept himself at a slow pace, relishing in her panic. He purposefully used heavy footsteps as he walked, making the stone floor vibrate underneath him.

“Guards! Guards! Help!” he heard her shout a short distance away.

Men, some still in their bed clothes, some in their uniform of a sapphire blue, came spilling out of doorways wielding various weapons. He pulled out his scythe and parried an attack made by a guard with a sword. He made a quick slice across the guard’s abdomen and the wound immediately let off a stream of green smoke from the poison on his blade. He kicked the next guard in the kneecaps with his heavy boots. He could hear the loud snap of bone as the guard fell to the floor, clutching at his knees in pain.

He gradually gained headway down the hall until all enemies were slain and he was free to follow the princess. He could hear loud crashes in the distance and he went to investigate. He turned down a hall that was full of debris scattered throughout. Fallen pedestals and fragments of pottery left him an obstacle course to get through, though it hardly slowed him down.

“Nice try, Princess, but it will take a lot more than a few broken vases to keep me from my goal. I will find you.”

He paused to listen carefully, hearing a rush of wind in one of the rooms at the end of the hall. Another smile curled his lips and he meandered down the hallway towards where the princess awaited him. He entered a room that was most likely the castle’s main library. It was a maze of books that he had to wind his way through but he didn’t have to go too far before he found the princess standing in front of a portrait hanging on the wall. It depicted a woman not unlike the princess, with beautiful raven hair but streaked with gray. Her hand was outstretched in front of her at arms length but nothing was in her hand. He looked at the empty hand for a moment and slowly let his eyes fall on the Princess who had a smug look on her face.

“What did you do to the mirror? I suggest for your own sake that you answer me.”

“You’ll never find it.”

He breathed heavily through his nose out of anger. He whipped his dagger out once again and threw it as the Princess turned to run. He felt a grim satisfaction when it imbedded between her shoulder blades and she fell to the floor in agony. In three long strides, he stood over her. He reached down and grasped the princess by the neck and lifted her off the floor. She dangled there for a moment in surprise and pain before her fingernails dug into his bloody hand. She tried to kick out at him but her struggles were futile. He relished in her obvious pain as she gasped for air through her obstructed airway. Her face was turning red from the exertion.

“Do not tempt me, Princess. The only reason you are unscathed is because you are the sole person that knows the location of the mirror.”

“Screw. . .you. . . “ she gasped out.

At this, he threw the Princess over his shoulder and strode out of the library. He made his way back to the Princess’s sleeping quarters, kicking the bodies out of his path, and to the broken window he had come through. He straddled the sill, the princess still over one shoulder, and made three short whistles out into the night air. Finally, he leapt into the empty sky and the princess’s screams were lost to the night.


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