Prologue

Kingdom Of Caducus- 1586

Breath wheezed from my lungs with such force I could've gagged.

My feet utterly ached from the blatant abuse I was putting them through by running in heels. Mud was slinging on my skirts as I charged through the blackening grasses without the grace of a princess I was raised with. This was blasphemy. All of it. It couldn't really be happening…

I rushed over the moor, my chest weighed down with sadness, desperation, and rage. My eyes were watering from the copious amounts of lethal smoke coming from what was once my home. Castle Cecidit was being burned to the ground. But not just with any fire.

The masses of the Dark army were all you could see, spanning across the land. The weaved in and out of each other, almost like lapping waves. Here and there, you could see small amounts of our army, battling with no hope of winning. We were being overthrown. It was a coup d'état.

The sky was the cover of slate, heavy rain lashing down as if to add salt to our country's wound. The grass was dying at the feet of the Dark army, their prowess of utter evil too much for the earth to take. It would be destroyed soon. And there was nothing I could do.

This was infuriating. What right did the Dark army have to take my life away from me? To strip me of my title? As if they had any rights at all! This was my kingdom, my world! They were to rid their vermin selves out of it or I'd… I'd-

"You'd what, Princess?" Asked a cruelly familiar voice from behind me. "Go whine to Daddy that your precious kingdom was being taken away? Too bad he's already dead."

My heart sank into the depths of despair, my mind becoming even more clouded from the heavy smoke emitting from the once glorious palace. Slowly, I turned, not bothering to conceal the look of betrayal and rage that was blatant on my beautiful, ashen face.

Lucius stood there, every bit as charming as he was when he was a young boy. He was smirking at me, but it didn't show in his eyes, the colour of blue dawn. Dressed in all black, he looked every bit the murderer he turned out to be.

"Why?" I hissed, lashing around to look at him clearly. Something was burning deep within me, screaming, raging to get it. Any minute it could explode. "Why would you betray your own kingdom?!"

To my utter horror, he snorted. "As if it was anyone's kingdom but your own, you spoiled brat. Your selfishness and title may have pulled you through these rough times thus far, but look where you are now." He gestured to my burning palace with flourish. "Your precious little piece of control, being burned to the ground by an unstoppable power."

"You… you… fiend!" I spat, eyes boiling up in fury. "How dare you use such a tone with me! I gave you everything! You had everything you ever wanted because you were my loyal-"

He stepped forward with a wolfish snarl on his face, cutting me off. "Don't you dare call me 'servant'!" He spat. "I was never your servant… Or your friend. Those days were all lies, and now your bad Karma is being cashed in." He began circling around me with that predatory grace of his, and now I knew why. When we found him abandoned in the forest, we had no suspicions whatsoever that he'd be a native of the Dark kingdom. But his pale face, raven dark hair, and unearthly blue eyes should've been a large clue.

He was every bit inhuman as them.

"You were a tyrant," he started, ticking things off with his long, alien fingers. "A whore, a brat, a greedy bitch, a cruel monarch, and what else? Consumed by your own beauty." He smirked at me again, cruel and every trace of the boy I once knew gone. "Not that it exists, anyway."

"You bastard!" I screeched, lashing my nails across his cheek. Blood streamed out steadily, staining his white face crimson. His long, dark hair hid his eyes, and my breath huffed out in angry little bursts. The rain was soaking through my dress.

When he finally looked at me, he was smiling.

"It's time for your cruel rule to come to an end, Feyria," he said, and I could've sliced him again for saying my name with such impudence. "No more will you abuse commoners for being pure, lead men on with your power, or use your magic for your own selfish needs."

Knights in black armour that seemed to have a life of its own surged up behind him, and two darted behind me to bind my arms behind my back. Never had anyone been so rough with me before. My hands itched with the Light magic burning inside of me.

"I always hated you," Lucius muttered, almost with satisfaction. "And even though he would never admit it, my brother did as well." He turned around to look at something I couldn't see, and I was suddenly filled with dread. "Isn't that right, Alistair?"

Kind, lanky, and shy Alistair stood beside his elder brother, looking as strong and impassive as a statue. I couldn't believe my eyes. His gray ones were completely steely, and it almost overwhelmed me with tears.

"Alistair… I thought…" I couldn't even speak. This was such a painful blow I could feel it in my stomach. He had never looked at me in such a way before.

Maybe it was his serious expression that made me realize, right then, that I had been in love with him for fifteen years.

"You thought wrong," he said, startling me out of my reverie. His face was cruel and menacing. "I was never your lapdog, Your Highness. And never your friend. You made sure of that."

"You two will pay for this with your lives!" I snarled. "There is no way in the fiery depths of hell you will live through this betrayal!"

"Oh, but we will," Lucius chuckled. "Because your life ends here."

With blinding swiftness I had seen him use countless times, he whipped a dagger from its sheath and plunged it into my chest.

Pain blossomed in my chest like an explosion. The magic broiling in my stomach released all at once as blood streamed from my glaring eyes.

"You… will… PAY!" I screamed, using every ounce of strength I had left for my revenge.

Then nothing was left of the Caducus Kingodom, except for smoldering ash, easily blown away by the sorrowful wind.