PRINCESS AUDREY'S EYES snapped open as she took in a deep breath and sat on her bed. She dreamed about her father being killed by the dark fae that took place ten years ago. She could still see it all. Every detail—the sword, what her father looked like before his body went still and landed next to her, the dark fae that plunged the sword into his chest, and-
Every single damn detail.
She shook away the upsetting vision and began gradually moving out of her bed. She looked at the brilliant clock that hung over her storeroom and saw that it was half-past nine. That made her bounce directly up and into the restroom.
Audrey remembered that her mother was having a couple of guests from around the world to have some breakfast and show them around the Kingdom of Orland. The only reason why her mother wanted the guests to the kingdom was to show off to them about how well the city has been developing.
Audrey turned the brass knob of the shower spigot. The steam of the hot water filled the room, making the air heavy as she breathed it in. Stripping off her robe, she ventured into the water. The warmth of it calmed her fair skin. A relaxed moan escaped her lips as she looked into the steady fall of the water above her.
AFTER THE SHOWER, Audrey was dressed in a green silk gown with golden lace around the edge of the dress. Audrey ran her hands over her silk green shirts. She traced her finger over the golden lace embroidered on the sleeves and collar of her gown. Green and old, for Orland. It was not the type of gown she would have chosen for herself, but her mother had insisted. Audrey brushed her long blond hair into a pony tail, pulling it out of her face. Her mother had not specified how to wear it, and pulling it away from her face was always how Audrey preferred to wear it. Even if her mother would most likely comment on it later.
Her mother had given her strict instructions on what to wear. From the gown to her make-up. Even her shoes had been selected for her. It was mostly because the Queen did not trust Audrey not to show up without a stitch of makeup on and in flats.
Audrey blotted the red tint on her lips as she slipped on the black high heel shoes that had been laid out of her. Glancing at herself once more in the mirror, she looked every bit the Royal Princess she was expected to be.
She opened her door and walked out. She made a right turn seeing the soldiers placed on either side of the door. One of the soldiers nodded at her, and she returned it with a smile. She made her way down the hall and made another right turn. She saw her mother sitting on a golden throne, waiting for her.
"Your late." Her mother's cold harsh voice echoed the chamber as Audrey advanced towards the golden throne.
Audrey rolled her eyes and groaned, "Yes, I know."
Her mother simply demanded, "Why?"
"Because Jennifer," Audrey's maid, "forgot to wake me up at eight. I told her to wake me up but... I guess she's busy with something." Audrey shrugged.
Jennifer Hammond was Audrey's maid and her best friend. After Audrey's father died, Jennifer came and serve as Audrey's maid ever since then.
"Your maid is slow and unhelpful." Audrey's mother criticized.
Audrey wanted to that Jennifer was the best thing she'd had since dad. But instead, she replied with, "I disagree."
The sovereign raised one of her foreheads and got off her position of authority. She advanced toward her little girl and stopped when she was a couple of feet from Audrey. The queen inspects over Audrey and grinned.
"Good... you've followed my rule of the green and gold gown with a black high heel. Perfect." Audrey mentally rolled her eyes.
As if her mother could see Audrey's mentally rolling of the eyes, she turned around and walked towards her throne.
"I will go to Harmstead and grab some supplies we need our guests," Audrey said as if she could read her mother's cold thoughts.
Rumor had it that after the Great War of Orland where the king was killed, Audrey's mother executed someone right on the spot for speaking out of terms.
The queen nodded and waved her hand in dismissal. Audrey nodded and strolled away from the chamber.
AFTER HER GIRL left the chamber, Sovereign Marioth walked around her honored position, she grasped the main thing that helped her to remember her mate. Consistently, she would wake up in the center of the night with sweat covering her head and the cushions with her hands shaking. Consistently was a battle for her not to twist up in a corner and cry.
Since the time that day the ruler was killed, Marioth has become unfeeling on the grounds that the lord was the main thing in her reality—excluding Audrey—that made life worth living for.
She once thought of plunging the knife that her dad once provided for her into her own uncovered chest and wanted that she was with her mate.
HER FIRST STOP was not the town yet rather her room. Audrey transformed from her green outfit into a white pullover and tight Levis. She kept her hair as it was and exchanged the dark high heel into earthy colored calfskin boots. Audrey put on some silver armbands and investigated the mirror. She saw a pale-cleaned female with green eyes and light hair gazing directly back at her.
Gods... I look so much like my mother.
Audrey snickered and looked away and opened up the door only to face her maid.
Jennifer was wearing a white cover around her midsection alongside dark free gasp and a white shirt. Her red hair was placed into a bun. She earthy colored tan skin resonating the daylight that gleams from the window that is over Audrey's bureau.
"I am so sorry that I didn't wake you up," Jennifer said.
"It's fine... I really didn't want to be woken up." A lie.
"Okay..." An answer that wasn't really reassuring.
Audrey asked, "Why were you late if I can ask?"
"Of course!" Jennifer smiled. "I meet this cute boy, Justin, and we hung out and oh my god... he's so funny."
"How did you meet him?" Audrey questioned.
"Well," Jennifer started, "I was told to clean out somebodies' room and when I was done cleaning and existed out of the room, I bumped into that cute boy. I talked to him and we have so much in common!"
Audrey raised one her brow and smiled.
"What?" Jennifer asked.
"Nothing." Audrey smiled and shook her head.
Jennifer shrugged and walked to Audrey's bed and started organizing the sheets and pillows. Audrey watched as Jennifer walked to her bed and began organizing the sheets and pillows.
Even though Jen was Audrey's best and only friend, she had never seen the girl outside of her maid uniform. As an employee of the royal palace, Jen had to abide by strict rules. Her hair was always carefully twisted into a bun at the back of her head. Her makeup, though minimal as it was, was always done. She always wore black and white clothes and her apron was rarely absent from her waist.
When they were younger, Jennifer had to obey far more rules than that. She had a specific uniform back then. The two were always being scolded for the informal way Jennifer behaved around the royal princess. Now that the old head of the household had retired, the new mistress over the servants was much more relaxed. Audrey knew that Jennifer liked her far more than her last
"MARIOTH," KING HERBERT whispered to Marioth who stood in front of a younger girl, Audrey, "get Audrey to safety. I will deal with the dark fae and will return to you."
Teardrops ran down the queen's cheek as she nodded, slowly. She turned and picked up Audrey in her arms and started to run away from the ruins of Orland. She was only a few yards away when she heard a blade go through a body. The bones breaking and the sound of the blade tearing through fresh skin and flesh. More teardrops went down her cheek as she tried not to look behind to whose body it was.
"I want to see daddy..." Audrey whined.
"No... we have to get to safety..."
Audrey wound down Marioth's arm and rushed to where her dad was. Marioth turned around and stifled her scream at the scene before her.
The blade was still plunged into King Herbert's chest. The dark fae gripped the collar of the King's green and gold clothes. Lifting him up to stare into his blank lifeless eyes.
"No... daddy..." Audrey sobbed as she ran towards the dark fae.
"Audrey..." Marioth shouted after her daughter but Audrey was already next to the dark fae.
"I want my daddy back..." Audrey punched the dark fae in the knee repeatedly.
The dark fae chuckled. "Pitty." He looked down at Audrey.
"What... did... you... do...?" Marioth sobbed.
"King Herbert is weak... like your kingdom," the dark fae snarled at Marioth. He removed the sword from Herbert's chest. Marioth cringed at the sound of the sword releasing from Herbert's chest. The fae then dropped Herbert's corpse down by his foot and Audrey ran towards her father and sobbed in his chest.
"Your majesty...." A voice interrupted Marioth's image and she shook away the vision.
"What?" Marioth asks with an annoyed tone.
"Maverick's back." The soldier replied back and stepped away into his spot by the entrance of the chamber.
A black-furred wolf stood at the entrance. His earthy colored eyes frowning at Marioth's eyes. Marioth nodded and Maverick started walking towards her. The queen noticed soldiers tensing up as Maverick passed each one.
"What have you found?" Marioth asked.
I've found dead bodies in Westhold, the wolf responded back in Marioth's mind.
The wolf's head nodded.
"Show me," Marioth demanded.
AFTER ARRIVING AT the center of Harmstead, Audrey looked around and smiled. The town was packed with citizens and tourists all around. Music could be heard through the speakers that hang from the light poles. Audrey walked around, searching for things to buy for her mother's guests.
Harmstead was one of the cities where The Great War of Orland took place. Orland armies moved from Westhold to Harmstead and then to the last place where King Herbert was killed, Jedburgh. Jedburgh got the brunt of the battle. Many citizens died all around the land of Orland but Jedburgh lost a million citizens and now a rural city.
Life in Harmstead is simple: you get a house or an apartment, you buy knickknacks that you can purchase, and you raise a family. But... here's the catch, there's a creature called Ketran that roams the lake nearby the city. Ketran would visit the city once every four years and would take many lives underneath the seas to devour. Many people have been afraid of this monster and tried to kill it... but it never works. Ketran is always stronger than the citizens of Orland.
The lake nearby Harmstead is called Lake of Herbert. Lake of Herbert was named after the king since the king himself loved the lake so much as a child, Herbert would visit it every day to either fish or just play in it for hours and hours.
Audrey took a left of a busy intersection and saw a store that she was tempted to visit ever since she was in Harmstead five years with her mother. It was a jewelry shop filled with the rarest substances in Orland and is made into bracelets, earrings, and other trinkets or bobbles. Audrey made her way to the store and saw the selections of earrings.
Holy crap... those are beautiful!
"Good morning, what may I help you with?" A female standing inside the store asked.
"I'm just looking," Audrey replied, her eyes darting everywhere in the store. They landed on a set of emerald earrings with diamond specks glittering inside of them. "Beautiful," Audrey breathed as she admired the craftsmanship of each item on display.
"Of course! Take all the time you need."
Audrey smiled back and looked around again. She noticed a gold and blue necklace that hang from the corner of the store.
"How much for this?" Audrey asked holding up the necklace.
"590 gold pieces." The female replied back.
"Thank you..." Audrey looked at her pouch that she brought with her and counted out 590 gold pieces. She laid them down on the grey countertop and said, "I'll take them."
She okayed the necklace into a white leather box and wrapped it in brown paper. She smiled as she handed the wrapped package to Audrey, who carefully placed the small package into her pouch.
"Thank you so much!"
"Come back anytime!" The female replied back, smiling.
Audrey had not walked far before she took out the little box. She carefully unwrapped it. As she looked down at the necklace, it was as if the jewels were wearing right back at her. She smiled as she ran her finger over the smooth cold surface. She began to remove it from the box and -
She bumped into a person. Audrey fell to the ground. the necklace smashing on the cobblestone street, shattering into a million pieces. Audrey's heart dropped when she saw the remains of the beautiful necklace. Audrey was ready to tear into whoever had run into her, but she gasped as the looked up to see the most beautiful man she had ever seen before towering over her. The man smiled kindly, reaching down he offered her a hand.