Beauty is proof against spears and shields. She who is beautiful is more formidable than fire and iron.
- Anacreon, Fragment.
Tomorrow they would wake up and none would know of it. Tomorrow it would all be forgotten...all the love and purity and dignity will be dust and the reign of evil will rise again.
The houses stood tall in the midst of the destruction, untouched by the looters, untouched by the chaos around. Maybe it was because they were built of solid stone and coldness of hearts perhaps harder than even stones.
The gothic structures towered, much like the invaders had and looked down on the corpses of the undead and the wounded, not even a stroke of pity in them.
The sun would never shine the cold blood red it normally did on this kingdom of wonder and at a point mystique.
The kingdom of pride stood defeated and undermined, and looted by the ones who were not to be mentioned.
Suddenly the sky throbbed out a solitary howl of pain almost for the bodies themselves. The lightening and the darkened sky flashed in anger for the looters and invaders.
Why could the woman who was Queen not care carefully enough for her kingdom but for her own frivolous affairs? Why were the noblemen so unjust and didn't fight the invaders themselves? What about the Knights? Why weren't they strong enough to fight off the killers so that at least the innocents of the kingdom could find some form of safety and refuge?
Lives, wills, wants...millenniums of years of them destroyed.
All because the queen was far too interested in her own life and times to actually give her throne to someone more capable...more literate in the life of the people.
Deep crimson blood from the middle of the streets began to flow quietly into the gutters that had been built solely for water...never for blood.
The streets were empty.
The torches were out.
As the last looter had slit his last throat and walked out with the last bag of money and jewels, a resounding silence was left in his wake.
The sudden cold wind which blew as a comrade to the storm flew out, blowing away the dust and slowly chilling the streets with its presence...blowing along with it a death sentence that knelled almost as loudly as a bell through the cold streets.
A cold dark gray, almost black sky blanketed the already destroyed kingdom. As the wind began to howl louder and louder, a few people crept out of their houses looking around themselves, searching the streets and gasping at the bodies that had been left for them to find.
As the slow din that had been murmurs began to grow into cries and anguished screams, accusing fingers pointed at the castles on the top of the mountain that belonged to the queen and her knights.
The screams and cries changed into hard hitting growls, as the men watched their women scoop up tiny children and babies that had long since shut their eyes and would not open them ever again.
Old women looked down at the sons they had sacrificed for their kingdom and wept bitter blood tears of grief and helplessness.
Little girls and boys searched for their siblings and parents only to come screaming back to their parents as they found them...disfigured and horribly mutilated.
The accusation and anger became widespread and the crowd below the bastions waited for that single flame to set of a fire that could cause further destruction than was already done.
Their anger was justified of course...the ones they had trusted with their lives had betrayed them...and now the people wanted their blood for letting them be looted. Raped, murdered and destroyed without a penny in their pockets to support themselves. Who could blame them?
As rage became widespread, torches were lit and the ran began to fall with a vengeance, a cold cruel rain that would cause the people left behind to die of cold borne diseases and others of heartbreak.
The streets that had not so long ago been strewn with the dead and their corpses was soon filled with rustling and angry individuals waiting to tear into human flesh for vengeance.
In the midst of the destruction and chaos a single figure stood.
What was startling about her was the fact that this was a child...of no more than perhaps eleven or twelve years, the innocence of youth still not gone from her face but her eyes were ones that held experience and determination something that the oldest of men had not in their eyes.
Already her beauty was coming to that of a young woman's rather than a child's. Her eyes were a bewitching shape with a dark honey brown taint and long lashes framed them. Her nose was long and aristocratic, perfectly suiting her face and tanned skin tone. Her long raven hair had a hint of brown as it traveled down to her mid back. Her figure was yet not as developed but was purely like a bud waiting to bloom into its full woman hood with her contours and gentle curves.
She was very tall for her age but took her height with grace and elegance.
She wore a cloak and a shabby set of robes but it took a complete fool not to notice the royalty in her posture, the way she stood and how she was.
Her eyes took in the scene with utmost calm and quiet. A scene that would have caused most children to run was one of her specialties. She took in the littlest details and the smallest of things before she lifted two slender, hard worked hands and suddenly she began to raise high above the ground stopping to a point where they could all see her and she hovered in the air.
"Good People of this Kingdom! Hear my words before you act!"
Her voice was neither gentle nor harsh it was neither demanding not pleading. It was powerful in its reach incredibly sonorous and almost cruelly striking in its address. It stipulated attention and attention was immediately bought by this unknown girl with her powerful demeanor and enticing beauty that was by no doubt unforgettable and formidable in its own way.
When the girl got their attention, she looked down upon them and spoke in words that were clearer and truer than day and storm themselves.
The rain splattered down on them and blew out their torches but this didn't seem to effect her. Instead she spoke on, as if she was used to the hard drops of water hitting her face and body constantly.
"The Queen is dead. And so are her Knights."
The crowds temper simmered and murmurs broke out because of the vengeance they lost and at the same time had. What normally anointed a cheer was hereby lost on the people of the crowd. Someone had killed the Queen before them and her Knights too...what justice had been done to them?
The girl watched their reactions carefully as she saw that the many thousands of survivors now listening carefully to her words. Her estimation was at least a hundred thousand of them had assembled here. She now chose to spoke again, reassured of their attention.
"As you know Princess Leola Thea Atlanta has been killed earlier this year. And her brother Prince Falcon Christiano Atlanta cannot take over the throne because he is a man."
Now the crowd was starting to get worried. If the last of the Atlanta family was ruled out, would the looters take over again? The girl noticed the worry and her voice softened a little as she noticed the stony silence accentuated by a few whispers that had started to take over the people. It was as if their grief for their lost ones radiated from their bodies and came to her in her own. Her sorrow knew no bounds for those that had been lost in the bloody battle. For a few of them she had called friends, brothers and sisters.
"There is an alternative."
The questions were going to rise and come forth to her as she immediately went on speaking without taking any pauses and hiding the anger she felt at the Queen for hurting the people so. Her next words however stood out clearly and quietly in the thin air witting for either recognition or betrayal. She pulled out a knife and cut her hand, letting the black blood that was possessed only of royals seep out as she spoke...proof of what she truly was.
"My name is Blaze Oriana Atlanta. I am the illegitimate child of Queen Alecia Malliciona Atlanta and the late Lord Tobias Caedmon."