Because all I need to do is keep posting new stories. Eh whatever, I really like the premise for this one though.
I hope you enjoy the first chapter!
Song of the Darkness
My legs and lungs burned as I turned another corner, 'Where am I going?' I groaned and slowed down until I had stopped and hidden myself around the corner.
The stale air I gasped in burned my lungs as opposed to making me not pass out and I almost threw up.
"She has to be around here somewhere!" A guard yelled and in the darkness I saw the light of lanterns coming closer to me.
"I need to hide." I whispered and took off running again.
I didn't slow down until I found myself in and even more unfamiliar part of town. People were slumped in corners and it was silent except for shuffling coming from dark alleyways. I gulped, this didn't look like a part of town I should be in.
Pulling my shawl closer and keeping my head down I moved quickly, looking around for someone who might be able to help me.
A sharp scream sounded and I whirled around only to see nothing behind me but shadows. Shivering in the cold of night, I kept walking. Subtle whispers could be heard faintly over the pounding of my heart. I could hear the word "assassin" being repeated over and over, whispers of the horrors that I was sure lived in the shadows, waiting to pounce.
My eyes darted around, it almost seemed as if the whispers were increasing in frequency and volume.
'I need to find someone who will take me in for the night. I can't stay out here, but who would be willing to help me? No one.'
"There she is!" A guard's voice yelled.
A white-hot fear overtook me and I started running faster than I ever thought I could.
"Sir, she's running!"
"I can see that!" the leader's voice snapped.
"Can we shoot?"
"Do you know what would happen if we shot her? The-" their voices faded out as I kept running, dashing around corners and ducking through alleyways.
The houses in the slum never looked very nice but the one I found myself running towards actually looked reasonably well-kept, I prayed that was a good sign.
A small bit of light passed out from underneath the shutters and steeling myself, I knocked on the door.
For a few terrifying moments it was silent inside the house and then faint footsteps sounded. They were slow and deliberate, fear pooled in my stomach and I wanted to just turn and run away.
Sound of locks being taken off the door hit my ears and the next moment I found a sword leveled to my throat.
A small squeak escaped me and I slowly raised my eyes to look into the eyes of a man. I didn't get a chance to really look at him before he spoke, his voice cold and chilling me down to my toes, "You have three seconds to tell me why you've come here or I'll separate your head from your shoulders."
I dry heaved and felt my knees shake at his words before I just couldn't take it and collapsed onto his doorstep. Tears eked out of my eyes and I sobbed, either I was going to be dragged back to the castle or I was going to die at the hands of this man.
"Enough of this," he pressed the sword harder against my throat, "What do you want?" Apparently he had no pity for crying women.
I gasped, the feel of steel rendering me almost speechless, "Please," I croaked, "Please just hide me. Please, they're going to take me back. Please," more tears fell, I was begging, I never begged. Begging was unseemly, but now I was begging for my life.
The man was silent for a moment, "Very well." He grabbed me and practically threw me inside the house.
I shakily got to my feet and looked around the room. Swords and other weapons, some I couldn't even recognize, adorned the walls everywhere, light from the few lit lanterns bouncing off of them. Furniture was scarce and plain looking, a couch pushed to the wall and a few chairs facing it, a bed roll shoved into a corner, a small kitchen in another corner with a small table, and two doors side-by-side leading to who-knows-what.
"Sit." he instructed sharply, pointing towards the couch.
I complied meekly and sat down, folding my hands over my lap. He moved towards me and sat in a chair across from me and I finally got a chance to take a good look at him. At first glance he appeared older than he was, scars marred his face, eyes unreadable, and maybe it was just the cloak, but he was huge, tall and probably muscular. The way he carried himself was like a cat, he hadn't even made a sound when he walked, who was he?
His voice cut through the silence, "So you want protection?"
I nodded, "Please."
He seemed impassive, "Very well, but it'll cost you."
Gulping, I forced my voice out, "What?"
He rolled his eyes, "I don't protect for free. How much money do you have on you?"
I pulled out the purse I'd filled with money before I'd left home, "I have 25 silver pieces."
He scoffed, "That's enough for a night."
I sighed sadly, "Only a night? They're not going to stop looking for me in a day."
He leaned forward, "Who are you running from anyways? You don't seem like a commoner."
'I'll have to tell him the truth, there's no way he'll help me otherwise.' I thought. Out loud I said, "I'm running from the palace guards." Reaching up to pull off my shawl, I let my honey brown hair fall to mid-back and looked down at my hands.
Silence stretched for a few minutes before I looked up at him. He had a thoughtful look on his face as he eyed me. He stood up slowly and went towards the kitchen in the corner, "I'll give you protection for a week, no more. Got it?"
I let out a grateful sigh, "Thank you, sir."
"What?" I asked, confused.
"My name," he replied, almost sounding amused.
"Oh, I'm Servatia."
"I know, the eldest princess, Servatia Quan."
In that moment a thought struck me, "Are you actually going to protect me? Or are you going to sell me out?" I asked the second half quieter.
When he didn't respond for a moment I grew worried, what if I had offended him?
He came back to the couch and handed me a mug of warm liquid before speaking, "I promise, I'll protect you."
I hope you enjoyed, please review!