Chapter 93

Capron hadn't visited in 3 days.

Her wrists ached under the heavy chains that bound her magic.

Katrin and Felix's words echoed in her head. If anything happened between Capron and Sharpspeak's Princess…

She felt the pain in her gut again, blossoming outward till the tips of her fingers tingled.

They had to stop this. Stop the attacks by the magicians, the violence, the fear. It was chaos. And she knew it would continue until Capron decided to either protect them under the law or exile them. This uncertainty of the future would only increase the chances of someone in the castle being killed. Assasinated.

But it didn't matter either way. As soon as word of her being alive got out, likely due to Princess Nymra, Halburn's faith in Capron would disappear. He hadn't killed the powerful sorceress, at least not permanently. If the nobles had learned he had harbored her here as a friend after she had nearly eradicated those in the castle that fateful day, all hope in him having a solid reign as king was for naught.

Her being alive threatened his reign. Perhaps it was better if she did disappear.

The dungeon chilled her to the bone, along with her thoughts. She hadn't remembered being so cold in so long. She longed for the warmth of her magic, the ease to which she could now start a fire.

He still hadn't visited her.

She felt tears prick at the corners of her eyes. Before she knew it, water was falling. Cold and salty, but not salty enough to sting. It poured out of her, things she hadn't realized she had kept inside for so long fluttered to the surface. It was the sting of hurt. Of betrayal.

Despite logic, she expected him to come to her aid.

Sure, perhaps her magic could link them again. Perhaps she could speak with him, ask him why he had left her here. Why he hadn't fought. But she feared the answer. He had everything now. He had his kingdom. He had a future. Sure it may be turbulent, but it was a future of possibility and hope for him and his people. The magicians had lost a powerful force by losing Nadia, even if she did represent the darkest among them.

It was better for him if she remained out of the picture.

Everything she had fought for was slipping through her fingers.

She had to find a way out. The guard was too far away to call to. The chains were too heavy. What was she without her magic? She couldn't will her way out of this. And no one was going to save her.

She twisted her hands around, beneath the chain. They were small, almost fragile looking things under the thick metal weight. Perhaps if she just twisted them enough that way...

The door to her cell opened.

The guard stood there, but he held nothing of the usual bread and water offering of the day.

She backed into the wall.

As the glint of the blade caught her eye, she could feel the wound in her chest throb.

"If he finds out I'm dead, I'm sure you'll be next," she said.

"Yeah, well he thinks you've given yourself up to your people." The man responded. "He won't find out."

Given herself up to her people? Did they not think she was already dead?

He took a step forward.

"Who ordered this?"

He didn't answer her, instead, he drew his arm out as if to slice straight across her middle.

That was more than a killing blow. That was the effort of someone who wanted to see someone else suffer.

She dove to the side just in time, unsure where the reflex had come from. She shook with cold fear. She couldn't fight well enough armed with a sword let alone when her hands were tied up by some magicked chains.

She twisted away as he rushed forward again, feeling the air from the avoided blow ruffle the edge of her tunic.

She couldn't dance forever.

The door to the cell was still open, beckoning her as she ducked and dove away from each near blow.

He caught her when she was distracted, catching her side as she turned. She felt the warmth and stinging pain as blood started to pool against her skin. She hissed, subconsciously calling to her magic, but realizing too late she was still unable to.

Her bound hands rose before her, as if by some force not her own. She ducked as the blade came down between them.

The blow rattled her wrists but she pushed sideways just the same.

He had not seen the move coming as the knife flew from his grasp. She dove, landing on her injured side. A whining breath escaped her lips. She turned to her stomach and reached for the blade. Her fingers caught the handle.

He landed his boot against her back, crushing her to the ground. Her chin banged against the cold stone and she felt the air rush out through her nose.

She closed her eyes, wheezing as she fought for breath.

"I don't need the blade. Especially for things like you."

He grabbed her loose hair and pulled it back forcefully. Pain shot through her neck.

He removed his boot and she was forced to roll over.

But the knife was still in her grip and she held it forward. It shook. Even she could see that as the light from the torches caught and glinted against the even steel of the blade.

She was weak, that much she now realized. But then she saw the open door out of the corner of her eye.

That was all she saw. All she wanted.

She screamed and sliced at the only thing she could. The guard's knees.

He hadn't expected that.

He fell and she rose, aiming straight for his heart. Her hands pressed against the stranger's chest as he sank to the ground, hot blood spreading into the fabric of his tunic.

The coldness spread through her. The dread. Her hands never stopped shaking. It had gotten worse.

Until the cold had numbed her very fingers.

She said not another word to him but instead backed to the door, eyes on him the entire time, her breathing heavy.

"Murderers. The whole lot of you." Blood poured onto his lips as he spoke.

She could taste it on her own, though perhaps it was just in sympathy.

Her breathing was in short gasps as she still fought the pain in her ribs.

She turned and ran.

Can't believe anyone is still following this story, but thanks to all who are. I read the reviews and it gets me motivated to finally finish Ardis and Capron's story.

Much love to you all.