*Author's Note* here's the new, revised version of chpt. 1! I've been thinking about revising this one for a while, but had no idea where to start. Thanks, MagicWords, for giving me an idea of what to work on! Reviews are always greatly appreciated!

I walked down the long corridor, my leather boots making virtually no noise on the cold, stone floor. I was late. It was the night of the coronation of King Anton VI. I cursed myself for missing the opening ceremony. I hadn't expected the sermon to take as long as it had.

I opened the heavy, gilded door and slipped into the ballroom silently. The Chief Guard was nowhere to be seen. I sighed in relief. If he'd seen me coming in so late, then I would've been in big trouble. I brushed off my cheap mail shirt and looked around. I joined the other guards at the front of the room, surrounding the king's adviser and the Arch Priest. Thankfully, nobody noticed I was late.

I looked around the room and noticed a pretty girl with her long black hair tied back in a braid that hung halfway down her back. She was wearing an ornate black and red robe with loose cloth that hung round her neck. She was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen. Her striking golden eyes were focused on the Arch Priest who was speaking to the soon-to-be king. Her brow was furrowed and a small frown played across her lips. She reached into her pocket and to find something, then took her hand out. She seemed distraught, as if she were very nervous about something. I sensed that something was wrong. Surely the girl wasn't a priestess, so why was she focusing on the Arch Priest so intently?

I noticed four men wearing the same red and black robes as the girl. They also had the same striking golden eyes. They were moving quickly and purposefully to the four wall torches that hung in each corner of the room, providing light. Before I knew what was happening, the room was plunged into blackness. Then four men must have doused the wall torches. What was going on? Thanks to the dim light form the large stained glass windows, I could just barely make out the girl moving swiftly and silently towards the Arch Priest.

"Stop!" I shouted. But it was too late. I heard a grunt from the Arch Priest and a thud as he fell to the ground, dead, his throat sliced by the knife that the girl held. The four men and the girl crashed through the stained glass window illuminating the room in the afternoon sunlight. There were outraged shouts and terrified shrieks as people saw the Arch Priest lying face down, blood oozing out from under him. I stared in horror as guards poured out of the shattered window in pursuit of the assassins. I grabbed a spear from the rack behind me and started towards the window.

"Not so fast, Cian. You can stay here and help calm the crowd down," ordered my commander. I nodded and put the spear back in its holder. I looked around the room at the newest guards, comforting mothers and children. I watched in disgust as the king left the room, without even saying a word of reassurance to the crowd. I walked over to a woman who was trying in vain to quiet her young daughter, who was wailing uncontrollably.

"We're going to find the person who did this," I told the woman. She turned to me with sorrow in her brown eyes. She looked on the verge of tears. She must have admired the Arch Priest very much, and now he was dead, face down on the floor with blood oozing out of his slit throat. I looked toward the front of the room and caught a glimpse of the King's adviser leaving the room, a satisfied grin on his face.