The rebellion against power.
Chapter 1 – The capture of a prince.
The residents of the town were screaming. The soldiers of the King invaded the town of Zutra this time. Again. They were sent by King Simon to collect taxes. But everyone was too poor to pay for anymore taxes.
Blood. The air surrounding the town reeked of blood. A small boy who got separated from his mother met one of the King's soldiers. The soldier pointed his rifle at the boy. The child was sobbing desperately in a corner. Then 'BAM'. The child still trembled, terrified. The soldier fell to the ground. There was nothing left of his head. It had literally exploded.
And just above the child, on the roof of a small house was a girl. Tall, brown hair pulled back by a hair band and deep black eyes. Empty, heartless black eyes. She looked at the child. "Leave." was all she said with a stern voice. The boy looked up and ran away petrified.
"As sharp as always, Maria". Sara said as she landed elegantly near Maria. Sara was twenty years old. She had short, orange hair, big blue eyes and smooth skin. Her hands had become very rough since she started her training with daggers. She didn't like to kill, not that anyone else enjoyed it. But the only time one saw her fight was when the battle was getting too serious for her to stay out of it. She admired the young, yet ruthless Maria for her courage.
Then the twins, Eric and Elliot came along. They were sixteen years old. They looked very much alike, short, dark brown hair, grey eyes and delicate skin, like a baby's. After all, they were both pampered nobles until not too long ago. They never fought, except for when Maria loses sight of an enemy and they protect her. Their weapons were nun-chucks. Their weapon fit their personality and 'job' as rebels. They were the brains behind every plan.
After them came the very tall, strong but very sensitive Will. He came up with the idea for the rebellion against the King. He learned how to use every kind of weapon he could possibly get his hands on. He was about thirty years old and he had long black hair, dark brown eyes and dark skin. He taught all of them how to fight and he strictly trained them everyday. But he loved all of them and as much as he didn't want to resort to violence, it was the only way to stop this merciless man from leading Cernia to its destruction. His weapon is a bazooka, which Maria uses more than he does. But in desperate situations he uses his fists to avoid killing soldiers uselessly
Last but not least, the charming playboy, Carl, arrived. He had crimson colored hair, hazel eyes and ivory skin. He was about twenty-four years old. He creates his own weapons. They are mostly home-made bombs and explosives. He flirts with Sara a lot but she doesn't really like him.
Behind each of their smiles lies a painful past they wish they could forget.
They were the rebels. They hindered the King in his killing sprees around the different towns in their country, Cernia. The aim of the rebels was to stop the King from acting this way. All six of them had different reasons and ideas to reach their near-impossible aim.
The soldiers heard the gun shot and ran towards the area where they were. "The rebels! Kill them!" a soldier shouted and millions of gunshots flew towards them. Eric and Elliot ran into hiding while Will and Sara covered for them. Carl just ran in random directions, occasionally throwing small bombs which he had made the day before at the soldiers.
Maria just stood there, immobile. When the gunshots subsided, Maria smirked. She held out two guns different in size, shape and weight. But she held them strongly in her robust arms.
There was an uneasy feeling in the air. The rest of the rebels held their breath. Sara looked excited and waited.
Blood. There was an odious smell of blood in the air. The soldiers dropped down on the filthy streets in masses. They were brutally killed. By a heartless girl of barely 18 years of age.
The others came out of their hiding, and approached Maria. "We're going to look for Simon's first crown prince, Edvard. And take him as hostage." Eric and Elliot said. "Eric, Elliot and Will." Maria said as she turned around to head home. "You go." She said as she put her larger gun on her shoulder and the other gun in her left boot. "WHAT!? BUT I WANNA GO!" Carl shouted as he sprinted in front of Maria. But Maria's glare was enough to scare him off like a puppy scared of a wild, hungry wolf. "Sara, Carl… you go find something to eat. I'm starving." she said, loud and clear. She sprinted towards their small room as quickly as possible, put the key in the key-hole and turned it. Once. Twice. And the door opened.
The house was a mess. Despite the time of chaos in the country, they had many good memories in that place. They practiced day and night how to shoot or fight bare-handed. After all, they had obtained a contract signed by many nobles who paid them to kill the soldiers and the King.
Suddenly she noticed that Sara and Carl were staring at her blank face. "Let's start cleaning up. When the others arrive we'll start cooking" she said as she took the food and started to put it roughly in a cupboard they had found in the trash nearly a year before. "This sure brings back memories." Maria said as she gently brushed the cupboard's surface. They were all busy cleaning the mess they had left the night before.
"Where are the twins and Will? I'm concerned." Sara said as she took the empty bottles of wine and put them among the trash. "We should check on them, Maria! Please let me go at least! They might have gotten caught!" Carl shouted as he approached Maria. "There is nothing to worry about. There's Will. He always manages. I would have been more concerned if you guys went. I'm sure you would have gotten caught." Maria said as she started sweeping the floor. "So… you don't trust us? And you trust Will like that? IT IS NOT FAIR! I'm going! Suit yourself!" Carl screamed angrily as he headed towards the door and slammed it behind him.
"What a weird tower…are we sure it's the right one?" Will whispered as the three of them looked at the tall tower, concerned. "Elliot, stay guard here while I examine the area. We won't eat if we don't do our job properly." Will said as he started to examine the area. "Eric, why didn't you go with William?" Elliot said as he made sure his voice wasn't too loud. "I would never leave you alone Elliot and I don't feel like walking around and running away from puny guards." Eric said as he impatiently walked around. "GUYS ARE YOU OKAY!? YOU ARE NOT DEAD YET RIGHT?!" Carl shouted, relieved that Maria was right and that they were safe. NOW they were in trouble.
The guards heard Carl shout and found them. Will was furious with him and they were carried inside by the guards. "STOP THERE!" Maria shouted as she walked inside the courtyard of the tower and glared menacingly at the guards. "Let them go." Maria said as the guards recognized her and her teammates and quickly sent someone inside to inform their master. "Don't even try to put up a front with me. I am not afraid to kill you." she said as she clearly examined the guards. She aimed and fired. The guards were dead. They rapidly ran away from there before the master appeared.
The next day they went back there. Maria, who decided to stay out of the 'cat fight', decided that now was the perfect timing to test their new weapon. She took it out, at first it was heavy, but then she realized Will weighed more than it, so she managed to hold it on her shoulder. Will looked to check on her, as if he had the bad premonition she was up to no good. "NO! NOT THE WEAPON!" Will shouted as Maria had managed to lift the bazooka. She held it close to her face, aimed at the tower and its whole ground floor exploded. "MARIA!" Will and Eric shouted as the astounded guards were too amazed to keep on fighting.
Suddenly the crown prince, his real mother and siblings ran outside. "Found him." Maria said as she walked towards the prince, Edvard. "You must be Edvard. I'm Maria, a rebel. You must have heard of us." Maria said as his mother stood open-mouthed and terrified as she spoke. "Come with us quietly or we will send you to hell crown prince." Carl said menacingly. "NO. Mother, go inside. I won't let them hurt you." Edvard said as he looked intensely at Carl. "Shut up, brat. We only need you as a hostage, nothing more, nothing less." Maria said as she gave Will the bazooka. "You carry the bazooka, Will". "Don't make me take you away with force, kid." Maria said as she glared at him. "Okay then. I will come then if you insist so much." Prince Edvard said as he examined Maria from top to bottom.
"That was foolishly easy." Maria whispered to herself.
The prince followed her, as if enchanted, but no one could have predicted what kind of person he was and the way he changed while he was with them.
"I don't like him" Elliot and Eric said as they growled at the Crown Prince. "Let's go!" Will said as he pulled the two of them from their ears, following Maria.
Sara looked back as she saw the prince's mother crying, kneeling on the ground and reaching out. Reaching out for her child whom she knew would change. She knew he would never go back home.
So she bowed down to Prince Edvard's mother. "Do not worry madam; your son will be under our care. He will be alright." Sara said as she smiled at the older woman with a very gentle yet elegant smile. Then she ran off to where the others were.
Chapter 2 – The start of the journey
"So bright. Did I leave the curtain open?" I said as I tried to get out of my bed. "What's this heavy thing on me...?" I was utterly shocked. The bratty prince ate all MY chocolate. "Wait. Why is he sleeping here?"
I forgot to introduce myself. I am Maria. We just got a hostage, the crown prince of Cernia, prince Edvard. He was supposed to sleep on the dirty sofa, in the kitchen, but somehow he ended up in my bed. "SARA GET THIS THING OFF ME!" I shouted. I was too angry; after all he ATE my chocolate. I wanted to beat him up but I couldn't because of the promise. "WHY IS THE PRINCE IN YOUR…How was your first time?" Sara said as she blushed more and more by the second. The others all came in and the twins blushed so hard that Eric probably had a nosebleed. "What? Get him off me, he ate my chocolate." I said as Sara's face turned from embarrassment to disappointment. "Oh so that's it. Prince Edvard wake up please." Sara said as she shook him slightly.
He had a very subtle body.
He woke up and looked at me. He smiled and said "Good morning, darling." That does it. I punched his face so hard he fell off the bed. "Guys we have to think of our next moves very carefully. If we don't we're dead meat." Eric said as we stared at him. "I think we shouldn't stay here any longer. We have to somehow get to the capital. The nearer to the king we are, the better it is for our plan to succeed." Elliot said as he kept his eyes on the Crown Prince. "I agree with you. Travelling right now isn't safe though. Especially for us." Sara said as she brought me a cup of tea. "We need to disguise ourselves as rich folk. That will help us." I said as I drank my tea quietly. "That will be troublesome though. Money-wise we are probably covered, but we better earn some more money just in case." Will said as he polished the bazooka I had polished the night before.
"No." Edvard suddenly said. He startled all of us. "From what I am hearing, I do believe you peasants want to rebel against my father. Any particular reason for this rebellion, if I may ask any of you?" he said as he looked at each of us. "We can never forgive him for what he's done to all of us." Eric said as he sat down near me. "Shut up Eric." I said. I didn't want him to blurt out our past to the hostage.
"I'm sorry but we are planning to rebel against his father! He should know our reason for that right?" Eric and Elliot both said. My heart was torn. A sudden excruciating pain struck my heart. That was one of my weaknesses. "Mihael" I whispered in a depressed tone. "If we're going to the capital, we should start preparing for the journey. Carl, try to find some clothes for the prince and prince, you have to disguise yourself. Elliot, Eric try to find a detailed map of our country, Cernia. Will, prepare our weapons and the ammunition we might need. Put them in a sack. Sara, you're coming with me. We're going to buy food and some supplies for the journey. Oh and when you're all done come here and I'll tell you what to do." I said as I devised a plan in my head.
I know, it's mainly Eric and Elliot's job to plan things, but I am the leader, and I want to focus on other things. Remembering Mihael always makes me sad, even though we had great memories together, the few years we had spent together…
Anyway, the shopping was all done and we all went home. It was the afternoon now. "Well the next part of the plan is this: Sara and Carl go and choose some clothes for all of us. The money from my hunts and Carl's will be more than enough" I said while eating some soup. I hate eating soups but they are the cheapest food and the twins don't want me to eat chocolate all the time. Apparently chocolate is bad for my health.
Everyone agreed to the idea and we continued preparing for the trip. We put on our new clothes but Edvard started causing trouble. He's mind wrecking. "I have to wear THESE CLOTHES? These aren't fit for royalty like me." Edvard started blabbering. Whiny brats are my least favorite people, especially when I have anger issues. "SHUT UP AND PUT THOSE CLOTHES ON!" I shouted. Nighttime approached now. "We have to go now. Eric go buy the cab from that man on Side Street. Elliot go with him." I said as I checked the contents of the sacks we were going to take with us on this journey.
"How long will this trip be? Do we have the money to pay for everything? Maria please we should at least stop somewhere to rest in this journey!" Will said as he picked up the two sacks we had. "We'll see." I said as I headed out, taking one sack from Will's muscled left arm. "We got a cab! Hurry up!" the twins came shouting happily. We put the sacks in the carriage and we jumped in. And our journey started. Like that.
We all looked so different. I looked in a stream to see my reflection. It reminded me of back when I still had a family. They aren't dead. Probably. But as you can see I don't know how they are doing.
We were a very big family of eight children. Only one person could understand me from this big family. Mihael. My only older brother. We were very close. I confided in him when I went through a hard time at home or with the neighbors sons but he was the favorite son. Everyone loved him but no one noticed that right under his shadow there was me. I was happy enough to have a brother to talk to. But once, King Simon crushed the little happiness I had.
It all happened two years ago.
It was a very cold day and our parents sent Mihael and me to go out for an errand. It happened so fast.
A bullet suddenly hit Mihael. Near the heart.
"Your highness, we must return to the royal carriage immediately. It is now getting late" a bodyguard said.
I ran to my brother's side. I cried tears of sadness and….anger. I glared at that man who did that to my brother. "Why did you do it?" I shouted as I woke up and ran to punch him. I was never violent but that moment, punching that man out of his senses was all I wanted to do. "Go ahead and kill me young lady." he said as he handed over the gun he shot my brother with.
At that same moment my parents ran over to see what had happened. He immediately left. My parents blamed my jealousy. Why couldn't they see my crying face? Why didn't they see that man... royalty…their esteemed King kill my brother. Why? Why? WHY?
At that point, my parents disowned me. They kicked me out of the house as they carried my brother's corpse... in my room. I watched with my heart shattered.
Just looking at my own reflection can bring such bad memories back. I better go back or the others might get worried about me.
I smiled faintly. Someone still cares about me after all. I would be happy to die for killing that man, knowing that someone cares for me.
But I can never show such weakness to them. I must always show them my strong and heartless self. We must win this battle at all costs.
Chapter 3 – What happened to Sara?
I don't sleep much. I'm an insomniac. Probably the main reason is because whenever I sleep I keep having the same nightmare. David. Even though his father was the man who took all my innocence and purity, I still loved David, more than my own life.
It happened three years ago. I held David in my hands as I would walk around and play with the other children in my village. "Sara dear, are you sure you have everything you need for your son? Do you need any help?" These were the kind and honest words the village women would say everyday after I play with their children for a little while. I thought that everyone in the village would put me aside, act like as if I never existed, or that I was the shame of the village. Nothing of the sort.
It was a rainy day. A storm was approaching and I suddenly heard noises coming from outside my little cottage. David was crying more than usual and heavy footsteps approached us. I didn't know who it might be but I was afraid. I had a bad feeling about it. A sharp knock on the door was followed by a rough kick at the door, which immediately collapsed to the floor. I held David tightly in my arms. I knew the man who came in my house because of the gossip in the village about him. His hands, his rough yet delicate looking hands, terrified me.
They had blood all over them.
He had an ominous stench of blood on him too. Two of his men grabbed me from my hair and they took David from my arms. That royal man snapped my poor baby's tender neck. A small crackling noise came as David stopped crying. It was the first time in my life to wish to hear David cry. It probably took seconds but the pain those few seconds brought me was worse than when I was abducted and abused. I thought I would never smile again. I wanted to join my son.
I wanted to die.
For a whole year I was paralyzed. That year I was dead inside, and yet I was still able to breathe. As I looked out of the window, I saw the village people, they had fake smiles on. After a year I talked to them. "Why is everyone sad?" I asked as my eyes moved from one person to another. Their children were all killed that day. Their necks were snapped in front of their parents.
It wasn't depression anymore. It was anger. I wanted my revenge. He must die. He WILL die.
I travelled towards the northern side of Cernia. I had to have my revenge in order to die in peace. I arrived in Zutra after a whole year and a half of walking aimlessly towards the capital. The closest I could get was Zutra. I lost all hope back then.
I thought that I was bound to die in that unknown place. If it wasn't for that young lady I would be dead by now. I owe Maria my life. Will and Maria gave me the hope to go on.
I woke up startled. That same dream again. I realized it was dawn already. I woke up and looked at the others. Some of us were sleeping, but I couldn't help myself but notice that prince Edvard was awake. He was playing with Maria's hair. "He probably likes our Maria." Carl whispered from under a rag he was covering himself with. "No doubt about it. But it's strange that he likes Maria. People are usually afraid of her." I whispered back softly. "Didn't she scare all of us in the beginning? Now we all love her like a sister. Except for the twins." he whispered back as he smiled at me.
That smile he showed a ton of girls just to get their attention, to disappoint them in the end. "When he's not flirting he's actually quite nice." I thought as I smiled tenderly at him. I felt my cheeks flush my heart beating and suddenly I was fidgety. "Is there something to eat? I need a midnight snack." I said as he reached out to give me a piece of bread. "Is this good enough my beautiful lady?" he said in a funny tone. We both laughed to our hearts desire.
That was probably what woke everyone up, including Maria who found prince Edvard playing with her hair. "What are you doing?" she asked as she glared at prince Edvard. "Your hair... got tangled with mine?" he said unconvincingly as he tried to get himself out of trouble. "I won't kick your butt now because I'm hungry. When I'm satisfied, I'll deal with you." she said as she woke up and rummaged through the sack full of food.
"Carl, today you take the reins in your hands. We're counting on you." Maria said as she jumped out of the carriage. I also leaped off and when the carriage started to move we ran after it in order to exercise our muscles, instead of lazing around on the carriage.
The journey went on for quite sometime and eventually visited many villages and towns and we were getting closer to the capital city, where King Simon lived.
Chapter 4- Murachia, the burnt village.
I hate these horses. Riding horses isn't fun at all. On the bright side, I can slip glances at Sara like this without her realizing it. She's probably the first woman that didn't fall for me immediately.
But right now I can't think about Sara. When I'm alone I remember what had driven me to despise the king so much. It was ten years ago. I was only fourteen and I loved helping around in my village. I helped the doctor because I loved the job. I always had a certain passion for sciences and curing others. Once the doctor had sent me out of town to bring some medicine for an elder who loved me very much, like pretty much the rest of the village. It took some time to get the right medicine and when I returned back home...
My feet shook and I couldn't walk. The village had been burnt to ashes. By the burn marks on most villagers and buildings, I could guess that someone had caused the fire on purpose.
"Mom... Dad?" I said and repeated and screamed over and over until my throat hurt so much it felt like it was burning. Finally I found my parents.. or what was left of them. I recognized them from my mother's gold necklace. She wore that everyday. The bodies were practically ashes. I ran to the village gate. I ran so much I could barely breathe. But it was deserted.
The next nine years I spent them trying to forget this bad memory by going out with different women. It worked until I heard some women gossiping about it. "I wonder what happened to those people in that northern village, Murachia. The King Simon had sent his army to burn the whole village, right?".
"What?" "Our so called king killed my village?! He destroyed my family for his pleasure?! I will never forgive such a man! He will taste his own medicine! He will die!" I thought as I started to train myself.
I still roamed various towns and villages looking for cute girls. But I had an aim in my life. Then when I reached Zutra I met Sara.
"Want to go for a drink somewhere just the two of us?". It's my usual pick up line. It always worked. "Huh? Scram. I'm not interested." she growled at me ferociously like a wild tiger. "Sara, where are you?" Maria called. She looked so attractive back then. "100 push-ups. Don't try to avoid it. NOW" she hissed as Sara ran inside smiling slightly despite the harsh treatment.
"If you want to reach your aim you must aim high. You must train to reach your aim. No one will help you out of pity." Maria said as she turned and slowly followed Sara. She had broad shoulders, like a fully grown man's.
Harsh. But she's right.
They aroused my interest. I followed them and convinced Maria and Will to join them. We had the same aim after all. Reaching it together sounded almost amusing.
We arrived in a new town Xerdas. We stopped to buy some food and some needs. Eric and Sara went to buy them while we all stayed to guard the carriage.
Suddenly some thugs targeted our carriage. Their face was fully masked so we couldn't see their faces at all. "Give us all you got in there" they shouted. "What if we don't?" Eric said with a stern voice. Eric doesn't try to involve himself too much when it comes to violence. "Get them guys!" said one of the thugs. Maria and Will crackled their fists. One of them tried to punch Will. He hit Will, because Will is very bad at defense, but the guy's fist hurt more than Will's 'Abs of steel' as Sara calls them. Another one tried to hit Maria. She caught his foot mid air and a crackling noise was heard. It sounded like a small branch crushed under one's foot unintentionally. But it was no branch. It was the guy's leg that got shattered. In a matter of seconds, the thugs got knocked out.
"Let's unveil their faces now." I said as I took off each mask one by one. As I took off the last mask I looked up at the others to make sure they were watching. Maria's fists were still clenched as she glared at each one of their pained faces. "We have to go. We have a long way ahead." Maria said as she started off back to our carriage to resume our journey.
Chapter 5- Held back
It was evening and they decided to continue their journey. Will had the reins in his hands this time. He looked back at them. Maria and Edvard were sleeping very close, while the twins tried to separate them more. Sara and Carl were on another side talking. Carl was admiring Sara's perfect small face, high cheekbones and short orange hair, that perfectly matched with her lovely light blue eyes. It was delightful for him to look at her angelic face. "We must be prepared at all times to face danger now. We can't let our guard down. I know something bad is bound to happen soon." she said as she looked at Maria as she woke up to shout with the twins that annoyed her with the commotion they were causing and she also shouted at Edvard for sleeping too close to her.
Sara and Carl both laughed, while Will quietly smiled as he turned to continue looking forward. "Will, stop the carriage there and get some rest. I'll take the first shift in guarding." Maria said as she covered herself with as many rags she could. Suddenly Edvard hugged her tightly. "Do you feel any better?" he said as he smiled quite an irresistible smile. His blond hair shined slightly in the moonlight and his blue eyes looked straight at Maria's serious face. "Yes, much better but this position is quite uncomfortable to guard the carriage." she said as she tried to break free from his grasp. But instead he held tighter. In the end, the twins punched him so hard he lost consciousness for a few minutes. "May I hug you to keep each other warm, Sara? I don't want to get punched in the face for it though." he said as she glared a little, then blushed and looked away. "As you wish, Mr. Playboy." she said playfully.
"I don't like him." I said. "Me neither" my twin brother, Eric, said. I guess it's our turn to tell you our tragic story. Right after we get prince Edvard off Maria, torture him, laugh at him, then probably skin him and take his place beside her. " Elliot, he's not worth dirtying your hands for. We can torture him in better ways" Eric said as we smiled at each other. We always have tricks up our sleeves, especially when anyone dares to put a finger on Maria.
It might take a long time though. He's got quite a strong hold on Maria…
It all started when we met her, when we were in deep need of someone to help us from our nightmare. As much as she's strict, we all saw her kind and loving side every once in a while. If she tries she can even look like an angel.
She is our angel after all. She saved us from certain death. Quite unbelievable for a young, heartless and bloody girl isn't it? Yet one must never judge a book by its cover. Behind each of our faces lies a dark side we hide, that comes out when we hear the magic words 'King Simon'.
Chapter 6- An unexpected encounter
"ACHOO!" Edvard sneezed as he tried to cuddle up in the few rags we gave him for the night. "You okay?" Sara called out from her corner. "I think I have a fever."he whispered, hoping not to wake us. He became more considerate of others than he used to. "What is this noise? Stop it we're trying to sleep" my brother and I said as we lazily glared at Edvard. "I can't help it. I'm burning up but I'm so cold.." he said or so we think he said. We couldn't be bothered anyway, we were too tired to listen to the prince moan.
Unexpectedly in the morning we found ourselves in the outskirts of another town. Oh, and the narrator is me, Eric.
"We didn't plan to come here though. Maria what's going on?" my brother Elliot said as he crawled next to Maria. "Well that stupid prince really has a fever. We have to stop here for the night so that he regains his strength."she said as she yawned loudly. "Did you get any sleep tonight?"I asked as I suddenly realized she was dying to doze off. "How could I? He moaned all night long I think I have a headache too."she said angrily as she got off the carriage and she started wobbling and if it wasn't for us she could have fallen on the floor and slept there. " Okay let's wake the others up and find a room for the night."Elliot said as he looked into the carriage and noticed that the others were all gone. "WHERE DID THEY GO!? THEY MUST HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPED! OH MY WHAT ARE WE GOING TO D...Oh hey guys where have you been?"Elliot shouted as both Maria and I gaped at his over-reaction. "I think he's being influenced by the prince." Maria said. I nodded. "Now, Eric carry Maria to the carriage. She's too weak to walk." Sara said as she winked at me. Confused, I did what she said. Will drove them to the rented room while we walked silently behind, to make sure we don't disturb them.
The room was decent, I guess. But we also needed to buy some more provisions, for the last part of the trip. We are going to confront that man soon. Thinking back, I don't see any particular reason as to why he did what he did to our family.
This story dates back to two and a half years ago. We were both young masters in the city of Qanda. Elliot and I despised each other for the fact that we looked so much alike, that no one recognized which is which. Our parents could tell us apart though. We loved our parents so much because they knew what we felt. They understood us, unlike those other plain aristocrats that pretended that they cared about us, when they never did. To us they looked meaningless. Like from a different planet from ours. We were fine with that though. We couldn't be bothered to care either.
But once that man invaded our property. He invaded our lives and crushed them just like when someone crushes a cockroach under their foot. He killed our most precious people. He took away our house. We were alone and deserted by the other aristocrats. No one gets on the king's bad side on purpose. Unless they want to die, that is.
Without our parents or our house, we were completely alone, hungry and poor. We went to all our relatives, who treated us like dirt, unlike when we were rich. We realized for the first time that everyone was blinded by money and power. Everything to survive, even if it means to betray your loved ones.
We walked miles and miles ahead, no particular destination. We thought we were bound to die soon. We had arrived in the city of Zutra. It was a sunny day after probably a week, not sure how much exactly, of endless rain. By now my brother and I had become unseparable. "This is it, Elliot. I'll see you on the other side." I said as I slowly felt myself fall to the ground. "Eric, Eric, ERIC WAKE UP!"I still remember my brother's desperate shouting and crying as the people looked from the corner of their eyes, then looked away scared. After that I thought I was dead. " Hey young man, wake up and eat something." A sweet yet stern voice whispered as I slowly opened my eyes. There I had thought I saw an angel in a white dress. "Hey Elliot your brother is gaining consciousness" an enormous man shouted as I saw my brother rush in the room to hug me. "YOU'RE ALIVE! I'M SO HAPPY!" he cried and hugged me for such a long time that I couldn't help but notice that my brother was starting to get stronger too. "I'm sorry to disturb this dramatic scene but I'm pretty sure this young man wants to eat."the beautiful angel said as she brought some disgusting liquid and a dirty spoon. "Eat up and enjoy your meal" she said as she handed it over to Elliot and left the room.
"Who are you people and what is this disgusting slobber?" I asked as I looked suspiciously at the huge man. "Don't look at me like that... you're scaring me..." the huge man said as he moved away. At the sight of such a big man to move further away I laughed so heartily. "My name is Maria while this big guy is Will" the angel, Maria said as she came in with four broken cups of what seemed to be commoner's tea. "You haven't touched the soup yet? It's gonna get cold!" Maria said as she took the bowl and spoon from Elliot's hand and started to feed me. "Put this tea tray on that box right there. Will, your tea is in the blue cup, while..umm.. Elliot right? Your tea is in the white cup with a crooked Sakura tree."she said as she fed me the awful-looking liquid. It was surprisingly good enough and I ate it hungrily. "Want a cup of tea? Will bring me the other two cups. You know I love my tea still hot."she said as I finished the last drop of soup in the bowl.
Maria and Will took care of us with amazing patience. A week after we had come here, Sara and Carl showed up worn out. "We got caught by the patrolling guards, again. Sorry we came so late but we had to take a detour to infiltrate the town guards."the orange-haired girl said.
" Hmm.. what did you find out then?"Maria said as she moved closer to an old wooden table. " This is all we found. This is the map of the whole country and the exact location of each and every Tower Guard with the exact information of how many guards and weapons there are in each on these papers here. This is probably the main palace right here" the red-haired guy said in one breath as he pointed in the middle of the map. "Good job guys. Go rest now, if you want. Will, take care of those kids for a half an hour. I'm going to the basement to practice."she said as she threw a rag over her shoulder. "Kids? What kids..HOLY COW! Cute twins!" the orange-haired girl screamed as she hugged me and my brother. "They ain't that cute."the red-haired guy said. "What are you guys scheming?" Elliot said as he grasped the girl's arm. "If you're going against the King, please let us join" I said as I limped in front of Will the big guy.
"Are you sure? You look extremely weak and you don't seem to be very strong even when you're in full shape."he said as he grunted and pushed us towards two beds. "You go get your proper rest and gain your strength, then go find your relatives."he said confused. "We have no one to turn to anymore. Our precious ones were killed by that man"we said in one synchronized tone.
The three of them stared at us and Elliot told them our story. "Looks like I'm going to have to start training people all over again." Maria said as she approached us. "Welcome aboard. We are rebels and we hate the monarchy that is destroying our country. If you have that same aim, you can join."she said in a stern voice.
Sounds interesting. That's what I thought at that moment. "Ok. Please train us." I said while Elliot stared at the map. "I suggest that we should start to travel. We all find jobs to earn some money and when we get enough, we should head over here." He said as he pointed at the capital city, Rachia. "This is where the King lives so even the surroundings must be highly guarded. We will be needing a good opportunity to infiltrate. We should talk about that when we arrive there though."
It was the first time I saw my brother so serious and composed since our parents died. " We should also think about food, clothes, ammunition and so many other things we will need. It will take time to earn the money and find ammunition and weapon sellers. We will start looking for a job and start earning money." I said as I turned around towards the door. "Wait just a minute. Let me tell you that we are paid by several nobles to kill the King and his army. Thus I will also train you guys so that you will start earning money like us." Maria told us.
Now we realized what we had gotten ourselves into. We realized that we had to kill people to live. To regain our family's honor We were confused so we asked them to give us some time to think it through. Before we left Maria whispered " It is hard to kill someone. But when you see their faces you'll realize that they don't deserve to be called humans. They are monsters that must die. Or else everyone else will die."
Days had passed. We heard gun fire in the vicinity. A sudden clutter of footsteps were heard in the apartment and we looked up to check. They were dressed up in green uniforms and were getting their weapons and ammunition out from the chest in the middle of the room. They all left the building. We dressed up and looked inside the chest. Among the guns that looked difficult to handle, we found two pairs of nun-chucks We had a slight idea of how to use them so we took the nun-chucks and rushed outside to reach the others.
We were horrified by the scene in front of us.
Elliot got to his senses first. He saw a man creep behind Maria. He ran as fast as his feet could carry him. That's where I saw my own brother kill someone. He didn't even look like he regretted using those nun-chucks to choke the army soldier. Suddenly, Sara was screaming and pointing at me and I realized someone was right behind me ready to kill me. I saw my brother run back to me.
I couldn't let him kill someone else. Not for my sake at least.
I turned around and hit the man with the nun-chucks. Then I strangled him. It sounds cold-blooded but at that time I couldn't help crying as I strangled the man. We sided with evil to defeat something much more evil. A few minutes later all the soldiers were down. I hugged and cried on my brother's shoulder like I never did before
But that was a decisive day. We decided to join.
And now here we are, taking care of a lame prince who can't stand a little cold. Weakling.
Apparently two hours have passed in the real world, Maria took her nap and she's as gruff as always, while the prince took his medicine and he's being taken care of by Maria. Wait, MARIA IS TAKING CARE OF HIM?!
That's how the twins kicked Edvard and he got so sick that they had to stay in that room for about a week.
Chapter 7 – A warped destiny
My wife and I owned a little bakery in the outskirts of Zutra. Our house was right next door. We were happy, but the bakery didn't sell well. We were very poor at the time.
Once a tax collector came and he demanded an outrageous sum of money to be paid immediately. He knew we couldn't afford it. "William and Eleonora Stronghold, married for six years. Lovely couple." he said as two army soldiers came inside our house. "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" I shouted as I pushed my wife behind me. My wife, Eleonora, was a most enchanting young lady of twenty-three years. She had extremely long black hair tied up in a clumsy ponytail. Her deep, black eyes shined and made her small cute face irresistible to me. She was rather short and extremely fragile, like a delicate flower that can break if not handled with exceptional care.
I couldn't let them anywhere near her. And yet I was too weak to protect her. They shoved me away, they held her tightly in their strongly-built arms as they said. "We were instructed by the king that if you don't pay, Eleonora Stronghold must die."
Then they cut her throat.
I fell to my knees as I saw my wife fall to the ground. Her shining and happy eyes were suddenly dull. Her delicate hands who knew no rest, were suddenly lifeless and worst of all, the guilt that consumed me was unbearable. If only I had worked harder to promote our shop. If I had been a better husband.
The same thoughts and that same scene haunted me for many years. I was only twenty-four, after all. I married early the love of my life and she was taken away from me.
I spent the next four years trying to become stronger, picking fights for nothing and sometimes getting so beat up that I spent whole days without moving or limping around trying to find some food. I became a most horrendous person.
Every gun or every weapon there is, I know how to use it. I learned as I passed my time with weapon dealers. I did so many obscenities that my wife would have been shocked to know of. But now she was dead anyway. The pain in my heart can never heal but I realized that I wasn't alone. I could live on without Eleonora.
Once as I was in Zutra I saw a carriage. It had golden plates and decorations. Not even nobility could afford such a precious thing nowadays. I presumed it was the King. Indeed it was him. I saw him as he approached a cute little girl and a taller, older young man. He shot the young man like as if it was that easy to do. For him it was. I saw the adorable young girl cry, yet she rose from the young man's side, glared at the King and screamed at him. The King, speechless, smiled at her and gave her the gun. " Go ahead and kill me, young lady" he said as he turned his back on her and went back to his comfortable carriage, and watched happily the following scene.
The young girl's parents came, their faces first as white as death, and then they angrily turned on the child. "You jealous bitch! How dare you do that to our beloved son! You aren't considered our daughter anymore!" the father shouted. "We don't care if you die! Leave our house this instant! We don't want such a disgraceful daughter!" the mother shouted.
I have no words even now to their behavior If she had really killed her brother, she wouldn't have been screaming his name and crying helplessly. "Mihael, wake up! Please! He didn't hit you did he? NO you're still alive right? Don't leave me alone in this world where no one loves me. PLEASE!" she uttered hopelessly as she collapsed on her brother's dying body. "Go away now!" the father shouted as he carried her brother away inside.
I watched Maria's pained young face as her parents took her brother away. She lay on the ground for whole days, without moving an inch. She wasn't crying anymore. She lay there in a shocking state for two whole weeks. After that she stood up, wobbling, and started to walk towards me. "Why have you been staring at me for all these hours?" she said as she blankly looked at me. "My situation is similar to yours. How about we help each other?" I said as sweetly as I could. "What happened to you? You look quite.. sad."she said, as she cocked her tiny head to the side.
She looked so pale and awfully thin. I couldn't help but take her with me. "The King took someone important to me too. The person I loved the most in the whole world." I said as she squeezed my hand and smiled. "My brother was more important to me than my own life. I would have preferred dying in his stead."she said calmly. "I have an idea! But will you help me to make it happen?" I asked her as I slightly lowered my head down to hers. "It depends. Tell me what it is."she said as she looked at me, with a pair of empty and cold eyes. "I bet we aren't the only ones who have lost their loved ones on the King's whim. How about we rebel in the name of our whole country?" I said excitedly as I started to smile foolishly at her. "It's a stupid idea. It will get us both dead. How are we going to survive without money. We also need to train ourselves. His army is quite powerful. Will we be able to solve all these problems without a hitch?"she demanded as her face had a bit more life in it. "I have everything covered. Will you be my first comrade? My name is William Stronghold. How about you?" I said as gently as I could.
"Maria. My name is Maria."
So many memories just from going to a baker's shop. I walked away as I looked up at the sky. "I hope you're alright up there, Eleonora."I whispered softly. I headed to the apartment at that moment and I found everyone packing, ready to leave. " There you are, Will" Maria said as she looked at the bag I was holding. "Bread, huh? Is that the new ammunition we're going to use on the King?" she said, dying to start laughing.
Then I realized I was supposed to buy ammunition, not bread. "Sorry guys, I completely spaced out."I said as I started laughing along with the others. "That was a good tension breaker, good one Will" Maria said as she smiled tenderly. I realized this was the first time I saw her laugh so heartily.
It didn't last long though. Eric and Elliot quietly sat down on two chairs. " Listen up, we had a laugh but we have to devise a plan. Without a concrete plan we can't infiltrate the palace!" the twins whispered to all of us. "That's already covered, I know of a perfect opportunity." Maria said as she sat on the table. " There will be a ball in the King's palace in a week's time. We can infiltrate there."she said as she got off the table and started to put the bread in the food sack.
"Perfect! Just one glitch. We can't infiltrate as guards. No uniforms and you two are girls. How will we infiltrate?" Elliot said unconvinced. "Well, today I was thinking it through and so I asked a girl's opinion on the subject. So, Sara and I went out and borrowed.. these" Maria said as she took out a sack from a wardrobe, with five suits and two pretty dresses inside. "Maria. You're a genius! But, you do realize you're also a girl right?"I said as I was still shocked after she said that she asked for a girl's opinion. "Of course I know. But I would have never chosen the right suits with the perfect sizes for all of us."she said as she grinned at me.
"Well then let's get going or else we won't arrive in time! Hurry up and get everything in the carriage!" Sara shouted as we all quickly started packing the last necessities and loading everything in the carriage. In an hour we were ready to depart.
This was it. We can get out of it alive, or we can die trying. All for the sake of our loved ones, for our revenge.
But is it really worth dying for?
Chapter 8 – An unplanned intrusion
They traveled for three days and three nights. Finally they had arrived to their destination – Rachia – the capital city of Cernia.
"The security looks pretty tight. How are we getting in?" Edvard asked as he peeped over Will's shoulder from the carriage. " Act totally cool about it. We are nobility who want to go inside beforehand to prepare for the Ball. Act like nobles, got it!" Will said sternly. "Heh, good luck with that." Edvard snickered as Maria and Sara punched him in a coordinated manner.
The guard suddenly approached them, asking them what they wanted in the capital city. " We are here to attend to His Majesty's ball which has been organized in four days time. Would you mind letting us inside, fair gentleman?" Maria said as she changed completely into a high-class woman. "Yes madam, please do enter this lovely city and enjoy your stay!" he said, as he let them pass and quickly went over to the next carriage.
"Where did you learn that? It was rather impressive!" Edvard said as he happily grasped her hands. Maria looked down at his hands, then she slowly lifted her eyes to look at him. "Well, we do work for the nobles and I am often the one to visit them for our payment." She said as she gruffly slid her hands away from his grasp. "Now, one tiny problem. Where do we stay for these four days? And we don't know anything about common noble lifestyle! What are we going to do?" Eric said as Will drove the carriage to the side. "Eric's got a point. It's going to be tough to stay incognito."Will said as he turned to face them.
"I can always teach you guys the basics you might need. As for living, isn't a tent good for the time being?" Edvard said gallantly "Where to live huh? I think I have an idea of who might help us. Will, do you remember that old noble who died last year?" Maria said as she smirked. "Yeah the one who had that young son who just inherited the business? Wait a minute. You're not thinking about blackmailing that young man to let us stay at his house are you?" Will panicked as she looked at him dismayed. "Even I understand what she means. That young man fancies her, so it will be a piece of cake to make him do whatever she wants. Right Maria?" Carl said as the rest remained shocked at the thought.
"NO WAY YOU'RE DOING THAT!" Eric, Elliot and Edvard shouted. "Just watch me. Will, do you remember where his mansion was?" Maria said as sh turned her back on them, while they gave up and looked down at the ground, depressed. Sara and Carl had a blast poking them with all sorts of things they found in the carriage, while they just sat there, motionless. "Yeah, we're not too far away. Let's go!" Will said as he immediately drove the carriage through many narrow streets. Will stopped the carriage abruptly and after glancing at his surroundings, he whispered "We're here. Maria are you ready? Guys wake up now and start preparing to go in." Will said while he instructed Maria to wake everyone else up. "You sleep on a fifteen minute journey? Really?!" Maria said as she quickly took a pair of high heels from the clothes' sack, put them on and gently left the carriage and strode towards the entrance. The mansion was enormous, and compared to the huge entrance, Maria looked so tiny and frail. She knocked on the door and the butler opened the door.
"Hello Miss Maria. Please wait here while I announce your arrival to the Master." He said politely as he silently went back inside. In a matter of seconds, a young man of about twenty-five years of age. He had long black hair, tied up with a hair band, big green eyes and very light, fragile skin. "Maria! Have you come to see me?"he said excitedly as he pulled her gently inside. "Why yes, , but will you do me a big favour? You see my friends and would love to attend His Majesty's fascinating ball, but we do not have anywhere to stay? Would you let us stay here please?" Maria said as she grasped his hands, looked him in the eye and smiled as gently as she possibly could. The young man blushed and looked away. "Yes but you will need to wait for the maids to prepare the rooms. And..well.. Will you call me by my name from now on Maria?" he said as he hid his face the best he could in his current position. "Thank-you very much, Henry." She said as she looked back at the others and winked.
They all went inside and waited for the maids to prepare their rooms. "Now tell me the truth Maria. What are you guys planning this time? Don't tell me the time has come already right?"Henry Thompson said as he sat down at the dining table with all of them. " We're still not sure. We're going to the ball and try to infiltrate. We have to obtain the map of the castle. Or else.. Eric, Elliot, I'll get you two uniforms and infiltrate the palace." She said as she approached the pouting twins. " us?" they said simultaneously. "You guys know about the etiquette needed and how to dance! We have to learn from Edvard."she said as she knelt down near them.
"I know it's hard for you, but you will be fine in there. Don't worry." she said as she roughly patted them. She rose and looked at Edvard, who was still depressed. "How long are you going to stay like that? If you want to go help your father, we're not holding you back." Maria said as she turned her back to him and found a place near Henry. "Is he...Crown Prince Edvard? What are you doing?" Henry whispered angrily as Edvard looked up.
"I won't betray you. Never. But I believe there is no such thing as a castle map. Don't worry I think I know what we can do anyway." He said as he glared at Henry. "May I take Carl with me? We will become butlers for a day. Is that ok with you? We'll inspect the area and then on the day of the ball we will slip out of the room and do whatever we need to do." Edvard said as he looked at Maria.
Somehow the immature, childlike prince looked manly and strong. "The rooms are ready, Master."a young maid announced as everyone rose from their places and followed the maids to their rooms.
The next day Edvard and Carl wore their butler suits and went to the palace. They managed to fool everyone else that they were butlers and they inspected the palace. Eric and Elliot stayed outside instead and drew a sketch of the palace from the outside. Then they cautiously sneaked in the palace storage room, while Edvard explained the whole are to the twins. They drew a sketch of the palace's interior from Edvard's detailed description. When they left the storage room they noticed that there was a man training in the garden, asthe King watched him pleasantly. "He's gonna be a tough nut to crack" Edvard said as he walked briskly away from that scene, following Carl. They realized that the palace had more traps and tricks against intruders than they thought. Late that evening, when everyone else was sleeping they left the palace.
When they arrived at the mansion, Henry was teaching the others how to dance. The lesson was brought to a halt, as they all ran towards them. "How did it go?" Will inquired as the twins started to explain the whole journey to them. "It was quite tiresome, so we are going to retire to our chamber." They said as they sleepily walked up the stairs. "The King has a masked bodyguard. He is very talented. We must be extremely careful." Edvard said as he bowed down slightly and retired to his room. "I'm going to my room too. It has been a tiresome day today." Maria said as she politely saluted the rest and walked slowly up the stairs.
She entered her room, took off the bulky dress she was forced to wear, took all the hair pins out of her hair. They really hurt her scalp. She wore the white nightgown she found on her bed and looked under her bed. There it is. She thought as she took out a roll of bandages, wrapped it around both her hands and put the rest of it under the bed again. She started stretching, then some very simple fighting positions and she spent the night training. Early that morning she took out her guns and practiced her shooting until she noticed Henry quickly approach her.
"Breakfast is ready. Everyone will be waiting there shortly."he said as he turned back. "Do not strain yourself too much. You need some rest too, Maria" he said, preoccupied. "Don't worry about me."she said as she put her things away and started heading inside. It was a delicious breakfast and all of them started the lessons about etiquette together. "I hate this." Will said as he struggled to remember which spoon to use while eating soup. "This is sure nostalgic!" the twins say as they get the hang out things very fast. "Do you need any help, Sara? I can feed you if you want." Carl said as he tried to spoon-feed Sara, who immediately replied "That is not proper etiquette, Sir. You are using the wrong spoon. That is the teaspoon." She said as everyone in the room burst out laughing. Suddenly Maria rose from her seat, and gently made a tinkering noise with the spoon and wine glass. "Attention please. I would like to inform you that as much as we must learn proper etiquette, we must also keep training."
"..And this can also be the last time we see each other."she said as she politely bowed down and left the room. "She's got a point. Do you think you can allow us an exact hour to get back in shape?" Will asked Henry as they al stopped and stared at Henry. "Yes, you may. Only after breakfast. Be ready by lunch though." he said and he continued eating quietly.
Edvard left the room with the others, and went to Maria's room. He knocked and opened the door, only to find Maria sleeping deeply. He sat on a chair close to her and stared at her. When she woke up, about half an hour after this, he greeted her with a sweet good morning. "Do you have something to say to me?"she asked him as she sank her head in her pillow. "I've been with you guys for this past month. It was very pleasant, I really think I grew up. I am prepared for all kinds of consequences this rebellion will bring. But please, PLEASE take care of yourself. I...I...like you. I'm serious. I never liked a girl like this. It might seem like I'm a playboy or something but I...it feels pretty real to me. So please come back after this rebellion."he said, blushing and hoping she felt the same way. She looked up at him, then slowly rose from her bed and opened her window. A sudden strong gust of wind filled the room, it went through her long, smooth brown hair. "There is a high possibility I die in this rebellion. There is a high possibility your father dies. Do you really think you can like your father's murderer?"she said with a melancholic voice. "I've always lived in that tower and I saw him only once in my lifetime. After what I heard from the different towns we visited, after all the things I saw the citizens of my country suffer, I believe father also must die. This cold-blooded reign must end."he said as he walked towards her and hugged her. He never felt so comfortable yet concerned while hugging someone. It felt like he cared so much for that one person.
She's the one. She must become my queen.
Is what he thought. He could have never imagined that that was the last time he could hug her as he pleased.
The four days passed by so quickly, but they managed to do all the things they needed. At dawn they were all up and running. They were preparing ammunition, weapons and for the first time, Carl saw how frightening it was to see Sara wiping her daggers. That meant war was coming upon them. Maria was loading her guns with the ammunition she had prepared. She put her machine gun in her safe-keeping case, while she put her small gun in her suspender she planned to wear under her dress.
Sara was done wiping now. She gently put her daggers on a piece of cloth on her bed and started to prepare. She started to put on some make-up. A touch of lipstick. Some products to conceal some defects on her face she thought made her face look horrible. That's all. Then she headed for the dress. It was a beautiful, strapless white dress with a dragon embroidered on it. At least it looked like a dragon to her. A maid entered to help her dress and after an hour she was done dressing up. Maria appeared at her door, wearing their camouflage uniform they wore when they went out to kill the King's soldiers. She gave Sara a case for her daggers. "Go start getting ready. I'll make you a pretty princess for tonight. Thank-you Maria"she said as she turned around to fix her hair. She had somehow managed to curl her short orange hair. Looking in the mirror, she realized that this could be the last time she could make herself look pretty. The last time she will remember with her friends. "Can I come in, princess?" Carl said as he showed up in her room, wearing a black suit with a grey tie. His hair was tied in a ponytail and he looked like a gentleman. "You look good in a suit."she said as she rose and walked towards him. "Your dress looks really good on you too." He said as he tilted his head forward and kissed her. "I don't want to regret not doing this if I die." He said as he smiled and left the room.
"Make-up? No I don't want that. Thank-you."Maria said as she tried to push the maids off. "Miss Maria please close your eyes and let us work. If you don't like it, simply don't look at your reflection" the maids said as they put make-up on Maria. It didn't take them very long. Then her hair."Now the dress, Miss Maria. You will look stunning. Red is indeed your color " they said as they helped Maria put on her dress. When they left, she slipped on the suspender with her gun, and her red heels. Then she looked at her reflection. Her hair was in a curled up-style, with a red rose near her ear. It was a little itching. Her dress was crimson with long golden-colored sleeves. Right in the middle of her chest there was a golden embroidery going all the way down to the very edge of the dress. She looked blankly at herself, remembering the days when she wanted to wear such dresses and go to balls, and made he brother Mihael promise her he would buy her such a dress once he becomes an aristocrat. "Mihael, I might be joining you up there today"she said with a subtle smile on her face. She turned around to leave the room and meet the others. She forgot the window open, and her bandages flew outside, while the window slammed shut.
They met in the hallway, complementing each other. The twins had cleaned up quite nicely. Eric wore a fully black suit with a red tie. His hair was brushed back and he looked like an aristocrat, which he was after all. Elliot wore a black suit with a red vest and a matching red tie. His hair was also brushed back but in a different way. They didn't look as much alike as they usually do. Will didn't want to dress up. He gave up learning etiquette methods so he decided to infiltrate as a cook. He was always an amazing cook.
That's how the six of them including Edvard and Henry Thompson went to the King's ball.
Chapter 9 – The Ball
"Mr and Mrs Thompson have arrived! Mr and Mrs Alden have arrived. Sir Eric and Sir Elliot Davies have arrived."the announcer at the ball called out as the people looked at the entrance. They were all mesmerized by us. I, Maria, had to pretend I was Henry Thompson's wife, Sara and Carl pretended to be a married aristocratic family from the North of Cernia. Eric and Elliot pretended to be foreign aristocrats while Edvard...
Edvard decided to go meet his father, try to talk to him to bring peace to the country. He knew his destiny now. I hope he will be fine though...
I danced with , I ate and had fun. There was also a lot of chocolate. It was heavenly! I separated from the rest of the team, but we were close enough to make sure the other wasn't in trouble. The twins attracted a lot of attention from the ladies, both married and single ladies. I smiled as I looked at them struggling to get away.
I smiled. I guess my feelings are coming back to me. Right at the end. I guess it is true that in the last moments of our lives we feel all kinds of feelings, we remember our whole life in a few minutes. Since I'll be near my older brother, I guess I don't really have any regrets. Except one.
I wonder how my family is.
Now isn't the time to think about this. Now is the time for me to dance with Henry Thompson happily. Or at least pretend to.
Suddenly I had this bad omen that something was bound to happen before we could react to it. And there it was. The guards came in shouting "THIS BALL HAS BEEN INFILTRATED BY FILTHY TRAITORS. THESE PEOPLE WANT TO MURDER THEIR ESTEEMED RULER! WHOEVER THEY ARE MUST BE TURNED IN IMMEDIATELY!" a guard shouted. I knew most of the nobles in that room, but I always took the precaution of covering my face when I met them.
The same nobles who wanted King Simon dead, betrayed us in the end. They pointed out at Sara, Carl and the twins, while five guards held Will between them. In a matter of seconds, they were all captured, but before leaving Sara looked at me. I knew that look, and it meant that I had to stay strong and that I must run away. "So quickly!" Henry said amazed. "Maria I...I'm sorry!"he said with an apologetic look. "It's not your fault. Do you have any idea where the bread is? I want some bread now." I said as he pointed our a small table full of bread on top of it. It was near the entrance. I walked briskly towards it, pretended to drop something and so as I was 'picking it up', I looked under the table.
As I suspected the cases were all there. I then asked Henry to take me home, pretending I was still shocked by the loss of my friends. I somehow managed to bring my machine gun along with me, also Sara's daggers and so in about a hour we arrived at Henry's mansion.
I trained myself with Sara's daggers for the first time until dawn the next day. I wore my camouflage outfit, prepared the ammunition, wiped the daggers and put them in my utility belt.
It's time for the King to taste some of my wrath.
Chapter 10 – Edvard's confession
Well, I had planned to go to the ball. But I have to so many balls that missing this one doesn't feel like it will make any difference. I won't be able to dance with Maria so it's useless to go. I think I should do something useful to stop this nonsensical rebellion. I will have to stop father by explaining everything to him.
But will he listen to me? Will he believe me if I say I'm his oldest son, Edvard?
When the ball started, I crept inside the Main Hall, where I though father would be. There he was, standing by the huge window as he looked at the guests coming in the palace one by one. He was quite tall, and even though he was barely fifty years old, his hair was all white. He wasn't balding though, not at all. His face had the first signs of old age, wrinkles and his face was so thin you could see the outline of his cheeks. He had dark circles under his small, brown eyes. He wore a long black cape and a fancy golden shirt. The more people arrived at the palace, the more he grinned, he almost looked like a tiger about to feed on its prey. He was a frightening man, just looking at him one felt compliant, meek. His crown shined in the light the chandelier above me spread across the enormous yet, empty, void room I found myself in.
He turned around, as if he had just realized I was there and he spoke in a stern, menacing voice which to me sounded more melancholic than Maria's voice the day before. "Who comes forth in such a rude manner?". I replied slowly to him "My name is Edvard Morrison. I am your eldest son, you made me the crown prince not too long ago, father.". He came closer to me in a strange manner, like he was afraid of me. "It is you indeed, my esteemed son. What would thou like from me?" he said as he stepped backwards. "I want you to stop this injustice. You are hurting the country folk for your own selfishness. Father please stop this! The citizens might never forgive you for what you have done. They might come and kill you! Listen to me and stop doing whatever you feel like doing!"I shouted desperately as I tried to reach out to his darkened heart.
It was all in vain. He flinched at each sentence I spoke. "I will not stand to such insolence. I will never stop and if the citizens find my methods offensive, I am looking forward to see how they can infiltrate such a flawless guard system I possess" he spat like a snake filling its prey with its venomous poison before eating it. "Guards, arrest him!"he shouted as his guards submissively came in and took me away. My shouting and comforting words were all for nothing.
It was too late for this lonely yet evil man to change.
I was locked up in a dungeon. It was a filthy, poorly-lit humid small cells. I could barely breath down there. I passed a whole hour alone until I heard many footsteps and familiar voices. "Let me go you dirty guard!" Sara shouted as she jumped and fidgeted trying to break free. I scrambled to my feet surprised and astonished. "Guys?What happened?" I asked but the guards kicked them inside their cells. When the guards left to bring us food I decided to talk again. "Where's Maria? Did they capture her?"I asked hoping for the best as I slid down the lurid wall and sat down. "No. She always hid her face when she met the nobles. Every person who saw her with us is dead by now. So don't worry, Edvard"Will said as I let out a sigh of relief. "She'll get us out of here. She knows what she's doing!" Sara said happily.
I have no idea how many hours had passed. All I knew was that I had to get out of there. I wanted to help her. I was afraid she couldn't handle it alone. Yet I knew that I would have been a hindrance. So I stopped trying to run away.
Suddenly, a man with a long cape and a mask came to the dungeon. I recognized him immediately. He was the capable man practicing in the garden outside the palace. He opened my cell and pulled me out while the other guards did the same with the others.
"Where are you taking us?!" I asked the masked man. He didn't say anything. Instead the other guards replied harshly "To our King. He will find a suitable punishment for you murderous traitors!".
We eventually arrived in front of the enormous door I had entered the day before. "This is the end huh?" Will said as he looked at each and every one of us. Sara kept looking behind her all the time. "It's now or never, Maria" she mouthed. I was probably the only one who realized that she said that. We were now in front of the father. He was sitting on his golden chair, decorated with all kinds of precious gems. " Come forth, for you shall die today. Bring my son here, masked boy." He said as the masked man pushed me close to my father. "So they kidnapped you? Such treachery! These murderers must die now! Prepare everything immediately! They must be tortured here!
The guards came to a halt as they heard shooting noises from outside. "What is this unpleasant noise!"the King shouted as he demanded the guards to check on what was happening outside. Their inquiries were answered soon enough though. I smiled as I saw the person who was shooting outside.
The dirty, rebellious faces lit up with hope of survival, but I had a bad feeling that this battle was going to be very tough for them. I hoped with all my might that they all get out of this alive.
"Aren't you rushing things a little? Our dear King."a familiar voice said as the door was kicked open.
Chapter 11 – The Final Battle.
"So you're the mysterious rebel we were all looking forward to meet?"the King smirked as I stood there. I felt a little like a hero and that I was needed for the first time in my life. It is such an amazing feeling, which comes with a great responsibility "Indeed I am. Although I am not too bright, I am very sarcastic. You do not deserve to be called a great King. Even a monkey makes a better King than you" I said as I anticipated the anger and frustration which were rather visible on his face.
"KILL HER! NOW!" he screamed as the guards surrounded me. "Excuse me sir, may I talk to a friend?" I asked as I stood on my tip toes. "SARA YOUR DAGGERS ARE HERE! GO GET THEM!" I shouted as she angrily shouted back at me. "I'M TIED UP HOW CAN I GO?!". Good point there. So I fought those guards alone. I shot most of them in the forehead, the rest I just randomly shot. In a matter of minutes they were all down. "Is that all you've got? I'm kind of let down."I said as I walked towards the King, occasionally stepping on a corpse and nearly lose my balance.
The King was left open-mouthed. He looked up at me, and then to his bodyguard who was standing right next to him. "No. You missed one of my best soldiers. He was in a near-death situation and now he has no recollection of the past. He's my most trustworthy minion. Go ahead" he said as he signaled with his head to the masked creature to fight me. "Bare-handed, if you may. He's no good with weapons."the king said as I put my machine gun on the floor far away from me. I didn't have the guts to kick my most precious gun, while I hid my back-up gun, in my boot.
And the battle began.
As I started to punch, he quickly started to avoid my every move. It was a typical plan of making me tired and then he will react. So I started to show signs of fatigue, when in fact, I had an adrenaline rush. I couldn't wait to see what kind of fighter he was. He then kicked up high, trying to hit my face, as I was bending down. So I did a backwards somer-sault. Then I attempted a quick round-house kick, but he caught my foot in mid-air and threw me down. As I was lying down on my knees, I rapidly kicked him on his foot. It is a painful move which is rarely gambled upon. This is because it doesn't always work, because it is supposed to make one's opponent lose balance.
Fortunately he lost balance and I decided to pin him down, as I reached out for her gun and prepared to kill him. "Now let's see what kind of bastard with be loyal to such a King" I said as I took of his mask. It was the biggest mistake I did during a battle. He had a beautiful thin face, short, brown hair and brown eyes exactly like mine. Then it hit me.
My brother was still alive. He was right there. I didn't know what to do as I sat there, without even flinching.
The King stood up, paced a bit and sat down. He was definitely nervous. His face was pale with fear, probably he feared Mihael would recognize me. Fear that even his most trustworthy bodyguard would turn his back on him.
But Mihael didn't recognize me.
Instead he pushed me off and stood up in a jiffy. I couldn't move anymore. My brother had forgotten me. The person I treasured the most in my life was still alive, but he didn't know who I was. He didn't need to tell me he didn't know me, I knew my brother and his eyes lit up every time he saw me. His eyes were as blank and cold-blooded as mine, when I lose myself during a battle. It was rather interesting to see my brother like that, since he always had such an adorable, happy look on his face.
It was a hard nut to crack. Every time I managed to punch or kick him, he rapidly rose back to his feet and punched or kicked me back. Then I remembered Mihael had one weak spot that he could never possibly get rid of. Every time I hit him right on the back of his head, he was always stunned. So i kicked him in his stomach and while he bent forward with pain, I jumped over his back and managed to hit him with my elbow in the exact spot.
As I though I managed to stun him. "Why use my brother as your ultimate weapon? What did he do to you?". I roared, as I glared at him with all my might. I wanted to torture him but I couldn't move from where I was. The King, amazed, said to me "So you're Maria, this man's little sister? I remember you. Your story was amusing to watch." He smirked as he said that. "I suddenly have this sudden urge to strangle you, but I would never dirty my hands over such a nuisance."I said as I looked painfully at my brother. He was still stunned but I knew that when he woke up he was bound to fight me again. I didn't want to kill him but I wanted to save my companions.
"Why did you forget me brother? You are still the most important part of my family. Please don't do this to me. I never did anything bad enough to you that you would want to forget me right? Mihael?" I said as a tear rolled down my cheek, I bowed my head down close to my brother's face and held his arms tightly in my hands.
I could feel my companions' eyes on me. I understood why. I couldn't blame them.
After all, my brother was still alive, while all their loved ones were dead.
"I am strong. I can do it." I kept repeating to myself, but I knew that in the end I couldn't just kill Mihael now that I found him. So I stopped crying, I lifted my head up, and tried to look as composed and serious as always. I rose and lifted my machine gun up. It felt so heavy, like suddenly all of my burdens and sins were expressed through the weight of the same machine gun who shot all those people. I went back to were Mihael was, while I aimed at his head.
He opened his eyes, slowly, as he stared at me, still dazed. "Maria, put that thing down it's dangerous." He said as he rose to his feet. "Where am I? And you grew up so much since just now. Wait, weren't we going to buy the vegetables for tonight's dinner?" he inquired as he blankly looked around. " Mihael? You don't remember what just happened?" I asked as I looked at him, baffled. "Yes, I do. I'm just messing with you, you crybaby!" he laughed loudly as he hugged me tightly.
"Get off now. I have something to do." I said as I pushed him aside, and ran as fast as I could to release my companions. Mihael ran up to the King's throne and tied him up with the rope which he tied around Edvard before. "I know you currently hate me and I can't blame you for it. But let us put that aside and do one last thing together. After this we can all separate." I said as Henry's butler knocked on the door, leaving the cases with all the weapons. Henry didn't know what was in them. We kept him in the shadow of everything, to protect the few innocence left in the world. All of us picked our precious weapons, which had gone through our journey with us. " At the count of three." I whispered, not wanting to be discovered before we do the deed.
A mix of noises were heard at that moment. King Simon was now dead and our revenge was complete. It was the end of the first most brutal ruler Cernia had ever seen.
And hopefully the last.
Will fired his bazooka. Once. Twice.
The palace was now in chaos. Edvard stayed there, near his father. He cried for the loss of his father. The loss of his freedom because he knew very well that he would eventually become King. I grabbed Mihael's arm and I started running out of the building, but he pulled his arm away, while he ran away through another exit. I didn't think much of it at that time.
When I was outside, it was raining cats and dogs. They were all gone. I was left alone again. I didn't have any idea what would happen to me, and frankly I didn't even care. My life's goal had been completed.
I sat down on the wet ground like I had done when I thought Mihael was dead. Will anyone find me and take me in just like Will had done? Who will that be?