Author: Winter Fox PM
Everything in Columba's life changes after she moves into a fortress full of deadly assassins. Yet, terrifying as it would seem to be, she finds herself falling for one of them. This journey involves her joining her father and the assassins in their plot to control the entire land and execute the vile king. Medieval Times.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 16 - Words: 73,179 - Reviews: 24 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 05-16-13 - Published: 06-03-12 - id: 3028882
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This is my first story that I have ever written. Some feed back would be very much appreciated, but be easy on me although I'll take any criticism that will help me improve where needed.
Thanks and enjoy!
Bang! Bang! There it was again, the usual knock on our wooden door. It happens about every other night here. You'd think that by now I would just sleep through the commotion, yet, I still find myself waking up in surprise. The visitor is always for my father who happens to be the most significant man in town, well, at least to the people who need him. He is the leader of the Coercion fortress in town. But I'm not supposed to speak about it or tell anyone so you'll have to keep this a secret. My father threatened to take my life if I couldn't control my tongue about this masked communnity. However, about every night there is a convene in their "sanctuary". It's a grand castle about 3 kilometers away from our house in the town. It stands alone over looking the city. I go there whenever my father wants me to, he says it's the safest place I could possibly be in these difficult times.
Our house was very small, only two rooms. I slept in the front room where we would eat and talk. My father had his own room where he only writes and reads, but this house was not necessary for him. Obviously, my father was very wealthy however he decided that he needed a place where he can get away and also be hidden if needed. He ruled a huge castle just a little far away. Others live there as well, that's why I usually don't go.
My father suddenly came out from the back room and walked over to the door quickly, and looked back at me assuming that I was awake from the visitor. "Columba, I'll be back in the morning," I heard him whisper. He walked out the door and closed it behind him.
He'll be back in the morning alright, but he'll just leave shortly after that. I was alone now, nonetheless, it is nothing new to me. My mother had died shortly after she'd given birth to me. I never knew her. But being 17, I'm well aware on how to take care of myself.
I still live with my father because I can't leave him until he marries me off to some well groomed man that he likes and feels will benefit us. Most girls get married when they are 16, but the marriages don't usually last too long. It's not always about love, it's if the girl or boy's families want the marriage to happen. If a family isn't getting what they need off of the marriage, they can just stop it and they split, even if the two couples did fall in love at one point. But enough about that.
A Little History of the Coercion Bureau:
About 50 years ago, the Slavia family took the throne in Ciyra, the capital of our land. The last family line had fallen and there was no one left to take over in their true blood line. So the vote for the new king was out. It came down between my great grandparents' family, the Anatlynn's, and the opposing Slavia family. Unfortunately, we, the Antalyn's, did not get the throne. The reason so is because the Slavia's were more connected to the last family line and the people of the land believed that they would do as well as the last family had done before. But they soon regretted in choosing the Slavia's.
The Slavia's promised a new age with new lenses of politics, economics, along with no more fighting and no more starvation…but there has been no change yet, just more suffering than before. My grandfather, who started the Coercion Bureau, wanted to rise up against what he called madness. So he got about ten other men who also wanted to end it. My father was very young at the time, and he wanted to follow in his fathers' footsteps so he was a part of Bureau and learned everything he could about them at a very young age.
My grandfather, already a rich and powerful man, constructed the fortress. From there they would find orphan boys who didn't have any family and enroll them with their ways. Men from outside villages came to my grandfather with elite skills and mastery of ancient fighting. From what my grandfather knew from these men, he would train these orphan boys and other men to become killers. They were put under harsh conditions, training every single day being pushed to their absolute limits. They started out as novices and worked their way up in ranks based on their skills. But there weren't any assassinations going on yet, they just started from scratch.
Everything seemed to be going perfect for my grandfather and the fortress, until the deadly plague struck Kaladia. About half of the Bureau was whipped out, including my grandfather. About ¼ of the town was hit too. After that, no one returned to the Bureau, and my father wasn't ready to take over the fortress just yet. But just recently, the new Sovereign, Kyrare II, took over in Ciyra at the age of 15. Rumors had spread that he poisoned the previous king, his very own father, but no one really knew for certain. However, he is more ruthless than what his father had been, he tortures citizens just for fun, trying to put fear in our eyes so we know that he is the highest of all. He assembled soldiers in each town including Kaladia, and put in a ruler for each to help keep control. The soliders and small rulers are all just as cruel as Kyrare himself.
As time went on and living conditions worsened, my father called everyone back who was originally part of the Bureau, and they all agreed. Some were as young as 14. There are about 70 of them, not including my father, but there are other little agencies in different towns with more of our brothers. They are all part of the brotherhood, once part of it you are always part of it. Even if you're not titled as an assassin you still go through the same training just in case an emergency came up. It doesn't seem like much, but Kaladia has a population of about 3000 and it is the 3rd biggest city in our kingdom. 70 is all the Coercion Bureau needed. The Bureau's first obligation was to take out the rulers that were put in each of the towns.
That's really all I know about them, I'm hoping that I'll be able to learn more about them. I once asked my father if I could be an assassin when I was younger and all he did was laugh and yelled, "Absolutely not!"
It usually doesn't take long for me to fall back asleep, but ten minutes later just when I was getting comfortable in my bed, the door rapidly burst open. No knock this time.
"Columba! Wake up, your father ordered that you need to come." It was in a whisper but demanding. I knew who it was, the man who comes and gets and escorts my father every night. He was wearing all black and I couldn't see his face, but I recognized his voice. His name is Ryerson, he is one of the head trainers from the Bureau.
"Ok." Was all I could say in a tired voice. I jumped out of bed and ran to the door. I am never taken along at night so something must be up. I slipped on my leather shoes and headed out the door with him.
Running there would be ridiculous, at least for me it would be. I would pass out before we reached halfway. Luckily he came on a horse, thank God. We got on the horse and left without a sound.
It was a warm summer night, the moon was high in the sky and all the stars were visible. I could see the castle from my house from the moonlight and it was really beautiful. We were there before anyone in the town could notice. The whole castle was lit up, torches were burning in every corner.
We stopped outside the gate, and Ryerson said something in a different language to one of the guards. The gate opened and we went in. This was the front courtyard and the ground was all stone. To the left of the enterance were the stables where they kept the horses and some of their gear. There was another courtyard behind the castle but I have never been back there before.
"Go inside." He said and motioned me to the doors. He got off the horse and then helped me down. He took the horse by the reins and started walking towards the stables and left me in the middle of the courtyard. I walked up to the huge doors that were already opened. A guard was standing there on the outside waiting for me.
"Good evening, Columba." He said as I approached him. He continued, "If you follow me, your father wants you to join him." He was wearing shiny armor that shined really bright when the moon reflected off of it.
He led me into the huge hall, the ceilings must be about 40 to 50 feet high, paintings, gold, and stones filled the room. The floor was made of stone, of course. To the left where you walked in led to the study were thousands of books were. To the right was the mess hall, another huge room where they dinned. Straight ahead was a staircase that led to up the meeting room where I was expected. Everyone in the fortress would be up there. I followed the guard up as he was already hurrying up the stairs. Walking up the massive stairs was difficult, I already am so tired and I felt like I was seeing things. It must have been two in the morning.
There were only three ways you could go up here, either straight ahead, to the right, or to the left. To the right was the long hall where their rooms were. To the left is where the people working in the fortress stayed over night if they wanted. They were mostly just the cooks, servants, maids, and the animal caretakers.
But we walked straight into the huge meeting room. I could see my father on a platform higher than everyone else. He was at his desk with three men standing over him, they were his best students, the top 3 in the Bureau. There was Marcus, 33. Richard, 22. And Orion, 20. According to my father, Orion is his most valuable piece and one of the youngest. It always gave me chills seeing these three. I could feel it now as we approached them.
All the others were on the lower ground standing and talking amongst themselves. We made our way through the crowd and up to him.
"Sir Jraun, your daughter." The guard spoke to my father and stepped away.
My father looked up, "Ah, I'm terribly sorry to make you come here Columba, but as of tonight we well be staying here. It isn't safe out there anymore with the raids that nearby lands are sending out, and the men that Kyrare has been sending to the towns. I'll have men go back to the house and gather our possessions and bring them back here." I looked at the desk and there were maps and a bunch of papers spread out. My father then looked at the guard who brought me up, "Will you please take her to her chamber?" He asked the guard. The guard nodded and led the way. I followed without word.
I did not require an escort; I'm capable of walking there myself, I know exactly where it was. But I kept these thoughts inside, I never talked out against my father.
I looked back at my father, he was already looking back down at the desk and talking to the three standing over him. I glanced up at the three by him, but I quickly looked back down and turned around. Richard and Orion were both looking at me, even though their faces were hidden by darkness, I caught a glimpse of their cold eyes.
We walked back through the crowd, I thought I was going to faint, I was too tired to be walking. We were still on the second floor of the palace, walking by the stairs where you can see the huge room below. We went down the hall that led to where everyone slept. At the way end was where my father would stay if he didn't come home. We walked all the way down the hall. My room was next to my fathers, and someone else's next to mine, and they all stretched down the hall. The guard opened the door to my room, the room was probably bigger than the house that we lived in. But we had to keep a low profile in the main part of city.
"Here we are." He said, "I'll leave you to sleep."
"Thank you." I said and he shut the door and was gone.
The room wasn't filled with gold, as everything else seemed to be here, but I didn't care because it was perfect just as it is. There was a huge window with white curtains hanging down to the floor, I pulled the curtains out of the way, and the window was already opened. It wasn't really a window because you could just walk out of it. And out there was a balcony with a couple of non lit candles on the railings.
The moon lit up the room. The bed was also huge; I don't need any of this. But I was too tired to care now. I went to the bed and laid down and blew out the nearby candles.
A/N: It may be a slow start but I promise things will pick up soon :)