Wind whipped at the clothes of two adults standing in the shadows of the palace. The walls that normally shone faintly with a white light from the magic performed inside its walls and the white marble that made up it was a deep grey in the darkness. It was eerily quiet; the only sound was a river gurgling softly in the distance. Thousands of people lived in that building, yet no human sounds were audible except for the quiet argument that the two people were having. Two infants squirmed in the woman's arms, but they did not cry out.
"Alex, I can't leave you." The woman spoke, her voice filled with love and fear.
"Claire, you must go. I can't leave without informing the Council who is trying to murder our family." The urgency in the man's voice caused Claire to pause for a moment.
"I can't believe that he betrayed us," she said angrily, with a hint of sadness in her voice. It was almost as if someone that she had trusted completely had betrayed her in the worst way.
"I know Claire… what he has done is awful. Before I leave, I must know that you and our daughters are safe."
No matter what Claire said to him, Alex was determined. Finally giving in, Claire kissed Alex one last time before running towards the river, with their two children in her arms. The swishing of clothes, heavy footsteps of people running, and the tips of guns scratching against stone walls suddenly erupted, and assassins burst through a small palace door. Alex positioned himself between the killers and the river. It was too late to find any Council members, but he would die protecting his family. Unaware of the situation that her husband was in, Claire reached the river safely, and the boat that was floating calmly near its banks.
"There is a spell on them, but it only works when they are within a mile of each other," Claire quickly told her brother-in-law, Adam, as she handed her children over to him. "Separate them, but protect them, if you can."
"Who is the one responsible for all of this?" Adam asked her.
Her mouth opened to answer his question, but then she froze. A gun shot had just rung out, so out of place in such a scene.
"No," she gasped, and she turned and ran back towards the palace.
"Claire!" Adam shouted, but she had already disappeared in the shadows.
As she ran back to where she had left her husband, all Claire could think was how if she hadn't argued with Alex, and had just went to the boat like he had told her to, he'd be okay right now. As she drew near, her eyes fell on her husband's dead body, surrounded by men with guns. Bright purple light formed in her hands, and shaped itself into an arrow. The arrow of light flew at the assassins, and they fell silent instantly.
A final assassin, who had acted as a sentry earlier, ran outside to see the arrow striking down the others, and raised his gun. He aimed, and, as the magical arrow came hurtling towards him, fired. Claire's knees buckled and she collapsed on the ground, never to rise again. As soon as she was shot, the light vanished.
"It was my fault…" Claire whispered to herself, before the world went black.
Adam, wiping tears from his eyes, glanced down sadly at his two nieces. The light from Claire's magic had illuminated the scene for him, so that he could see, for a brief moment, his dead brother and sister-in-law lying on the ground near the palace. With a newly found determination, he started the boat's motor, and headed away from his childhood home. He would keep his nieces safe, or die trying.
The living assassin watched the boat speed off down the river. Though he had been ordered to kill all of the royal family, he didn't know the importance of it. He wondered for a moment why his employer had made it very clear that neither of the two princesses were to live. He faintly heard the Palace Guards running down the hallway that he had been in only a few minutes before. The assassin turned and ran; whether the girls lived or not was no concern of his. He had already received the money that he had been promised.
Sixteen years later…