Author: Mouse Penn PM
When Palona was young her father, Lord Hizlar, murdered her mother. Ever since then her father has used that pain to trained his daughter to kill mercilessly and Palona has been plotting her revenge, but one blue eyed girl could destroy it all.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Angst - Chapters: 4 - Words: 16,175 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 5 - Updated: 02-01-12 - Published: 06-26-11 - id: 2927249
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The pub and inn was mostly vacant, except for the few seemingly regular inhabitants sitting at various places scattered across the room. The air inside was musty but had lingering scents of roasted meats and strong alcohol. The pub was built up of dark wooden supports and rafters. Small lanterns and other candles faintly lit the interior. Some of the men watched Palona with hungry and prying eyes as she strode confidently to the upper floor in hopes of finding Lothar. Even though Fur Dien generally had a more pleasant than the Empire, some of the inhabitant's capability to become violent still is not to be underestimated.
She still had doubts about this meeting. Lothar and Palona had a history of competition. Lothar despised Palona, and she reflected his feelings. Palona was only a few months his senior and a head shorter though she had been taller in previous years. She could usually best him at any competition. However, the one thing he held over Palona's head, was the throne. Although he would ultimately prevail over her, he still tried to best her at every other opportunity.
Palona heard footsteps behind her and whispered an accusing question at the presence who could be none other than Lothar, "Are you here to kill me then?"
Lothar gave a false smile his jade eyes holding a slight wicked glow to them as he stood against the parapet and said, "That is up to father, he only wished me to bring you to him. Nothing more and that's all I shall do." Lothar signaled to the bartender to bring over some food and continued, "We should eat before we head out. It is a long ride if we wish to avoid uncivilized skirmishes."
Lothar led Palona to a small table in the corner. Palona's gaze turned to the small candle lighting the table. It was a single flickering flame surrounded by a puddle of molten cream wax that had long over run its tiny silver saucer in uneven lumps that once resembled a candlestick. The tiny wick was leading the small flare to its most certain demise within the same wax that had at one time been its shelter. The longer Palona stared at the fire the more it seemed to resemble something familiar but just out of the reach of her memory. She was startled out of her trance by the barman setting down a small plate of food in front of both her and Lothar. The food was slightly cold and tough but it was still pleasant much like the kind Palona was used to at home in the Empire. Dry rub and fire roasted pieces of pork with some lightly coated butter and salt lumpy mashed potatoes.
Palona and Lothar ate in silence, but half-listened to the unclear conversations of those around them. It was mostly gossip. The biggest topic was the attempted murder of the Princess Angela. Even the drunkards respected their princess. Although it had happened only days ago Palona felt like a lifetime had passed since she had last tried to take Angela's life. She wondered what had changed inside of her. What had calmed her lust for vengeance and renewed her ability to care for another life. There was something unnerving about that thought. Palona played with the remaining food on her plate until the same man took it from her.
"Why do you try to please me in such a polite manner?" Palona said in monotone, "Usually it is made clear the hatred you feel for me."
"I do not know what you speak about sister dearest," Lothar replied his eyes flickering with a spark of deceit.
Palona stuck her fork into the table, but her gaze remained vague and distant, and her voice monotone, "Yet still you remain a liar."
A small voice came as a distant whisper, "You are no better."
Palona senses became alert but she kept her body natural. Lothar's smile never left his face, "You have never confronted me this directly, since we were children. You have never been one to leave your beloved shadows, my sister."
Palona's hazy thoughts flickered to that murderous instinct, always stalking the darkness within her mind, never fully suppressed. The visceral, rabid fire, living within the depth of her heart, ready to pounce at the first sign of weakness. The same voice that was a mere whisper only moments ago rang through Palona's ears, "My name is Azreal!" Never before had the beast had such a presence, and with that single shout, Palona knew, she had lost. The mental prison crumbled, releasing the creature, and banishing Palona into a dreamlike state; her body was no longer her own.
Azreal looked around, finally in complete control of the vessel given to her. She had watched Palona grow, watched each struggle, and aided in each kill; an experience much like if one would look back on a memory. Waiting all those years for a chance to strike and break free of the chains binding her. The days spent with that young girl weakened the barriers, and the last second of exhaustion and hopelessness provided the catalyst for an escape. Azreal surveyed the room, and the young man the table. "I am weary of this place; shall we continue home or stay the night?"
Lothar's eyes glistened with suspicion. Azreal's tone was slightly different from Palona's and he had noticed. Azreal eyes shimmered with a frosty blue and Lothar seemed to forget about his doubts. He replied with a calm voice, "We will depart. Our horses await us in the stables." She made a small note of the incident, it must have been the magic all demons processed called glamor. It is the ability to change small things, convincing people that they didn't see or hear what they think they did.
Azreal did not prefer to ride on such a beast, but thought it best to hold her tongue. They took the main road, a well-paved and scenic but guarded road. Azreal enjoyed the company of Lothar; if someone crossed their path, they more often than not it ended in death. How she loved to watch blood dripping from the body. Even the subtle loveliness of the dying yellow and amber leaves skittering across the stone could not compare to the deep crimson of life seeping to the earth below. Finally, they arrived at the castle. Lothar lead the horses away, speaking in a small voice, "father wants to see you, alone."
Azreal thought to herself with a smirk, Lord Hizlar wishes to punish the weak one, Palona. Stepping into the arched black halls, a chill went down her spine. The cruel iron beauty of the throne room sent a small shiver through her spine. Lord Hizlar's eyes were stone cold, set on her as she strode towards him. Azreal wondered if he could see right through her, down to the true image of a monster. She quickly dismissed the idea; doubt and fear were signs of weakness. With closed eyes but a calm tone he spoke, "Where is my daughter."
Azreal bowed, her unseen eyes glowing with a flurry of devious emotions, "She became weak, and thus could no longer hold me captive. My name is Azreal."
"She has always been weak." His voice remained unwavering, but as Azreal lifted her head slightly she could see the twinkle of sadness within his eyes. "It was her mother who gave her the strength to live this long."
Azreal felt a pang of agony in her chest, it only lasted a heartbeat. The pain of losing a mother was reawakening Palona's will. Azreal pushed the emotions down. "I am aware. I have resided in her chains since birth, and fighting for my right to live just as long."
"You seized your opportunity and now you possess control of your vessel. Yet, you are no more than a parasite. Living off the life force of another; your life is dependent on hers." Hints of anger creeping into his voice as he spat, "It is ugly."
Azreal was taken aback by his tone. She stood erect. Ready for anything he threw at her. He had become a nuisance. Before she could react, he spoke again with the wave of his arm, "Go now. Leave me." Stepping quickly she decided it would be best to leave now. She needed to await her full strength before she should try anything. It was one thing to kill; it was another to kill a demon, human vessel or otherwise.
Elongated shadows created by torches on either side were her only company this night. Going on Palona's memory, she navigated the castle. Only a few things changed in the time since Palona's banishment. Names and faces of the slaves mostly, they didn't matter much to Azreal though.
One room in particular drew her attention. Painted upon a skillfully crafted door was a single elegantly painted rose. It must have once belonged to Palona's mother. After making sure she was not seen, she picked open the door and entered. The room, although aged, had been preserved just as Palona's memory. A large bay window had plant boxes filled with long dead roses whose petals had withered to the floor. The deep crimson curtains were pulled back, the garden visible below through the large window. Walls painted ivory with golden-stenciled vines crawling delicately through the room. An oversized and overstuffed bed with luxurious cream-colored pillows and a think pink veil surrounding the dark wood bedposts took up half the room. In the corner by the window stood a solitary rocking chair and close by a dusty bookshelf. Something stirred within Azreal; she never felt anything like it before, a fleeting pain in her chest, not a physical pain but an emotional one.