I am standing on a ring made of holy power. A halo, I guess. It's quite solid, but I can feel it weakening due to corruption…Am I really that evil? Well, I'm not evil enough to make it crumble in a moment. I still have a few moments.

My uncle, just one jump away, is standing on the cliff with arms stretched, a triumphant smile upon his ugly face. I can't (or maybe just won't) hear him, but I know he's calling for me to go back to Atridea. But I don't want to go back there, where he will be a looming shadow, where I will be a pawn disguised as queen.

Everywhere else is just empty. So, quite simply, death awaits in all corners. If I died, my uncle would take the throne, and transform the beautiful Atridea into a tyranny. I don't want to force that onto people. But it'll happen one way or another.

It's true how time seems to slow for bad situations. Each second is four, as I stand here frozen, waiting, for another choice, something that's actually beneficial.

Uncle wants me in his grasp to create some huge scandal. One that would have me, a princess, exiled from my own country. For there is no greater embarrassment than that. I can see that strange thirst in his eyes, his restless twitching, and his every movement.

Death. Would it really be that bad? But wouldn't it be cowardly to run away from the fight? Even if I were going to lose either way. Isn't saving your own life by running away also considered wise? Well, in this situation, I can't exactly be wise…

CRACK!

"NOOOOOOOO!" I scream, my voice echoing and soaring, so unlike myself. The ring is disintegra-No, it's gone!

I fall for ages, colors swirling about, voices cackling. I see me, at age eight. I'm sitting at the table, two hours after dinnertime has started, obeying a command to not eat unless the king was present. Father was oversleeping.

Was I really that sinful? Is it a sin, not to do anything for yourself in life? To listen to your elders, to act out their commands without emotion? Do I really deserve to die like this?

Suddenly, I was cradled in muscular arms. I looked up at my savior. He was a masked man, riding a dragon bare-backed. A dragonrider, I thought. They had been outlawed for their immense power, and obviously, their immense dragons took up too much space.

I was startled. I didn't recognize either of them one bit, but they felt so…familiar. Like a friend who completely changed the way they looked.

He helped me off when we were back in Atridea. I stood there, gawking at his dragon for a long time until I snapped out of it and said,

"Thank you, sir. For saving me there." I was nodding my head in agreement to what I said. "If you do not mind me asking, sir, who are you?"

The man took off his mask and smiled kindly. He was about fifteen, very handsome and I would've bet that many of the other princesses would've died to be his bride. Then he opened his mouth and said, to my horrifying surprise,

"My dear Lucille, I am your father."