I hoisted my basket onto my hip.I was out gathering herbs for my shop when I heard the bell , twice,three was wrong, they were closing the gates.I ran up the path and to the gates.I made it in just before they began to close.I stoped and talked to a footsoldier.

"Whats happening?"I asked simply, if we were under attack, I would be called upon to help with the wounded.

"Nobody knows, the Emperor just ordered that we go on lock down."He said.

"Thanks Edward."I replied.

"Not a problem miss Aoife."He said, and I made it to my shop, the streets were still crowded, but starting to clear out.I tied the fresh herbs up to dry and made sure I had enough healing ones before buckeling down. The little bell I had tied above my open rang as the door opened. I looked up and saw and I had always been friends, I was helping my parents out with the apothecary when she and her mother had first come were Royal that Sarah and I hung out everyday as long as we could.

"Whats going on?"I the door behind her.I looked at her normally smiling face, it was pale and grim.

"The soothsaysers have all agreed."She whispered.I frowned."You are to be the next recruit for the Imperial have asked runes, the sticks, cards, they've spent hours staring into their crystal balls and they all say the same are to be the first female to ever be of the Guard."She whispered.

"Wait, dont you have to be of noble blood to be a Guard?They have it wrong, Im not a noble."I said.

"Your mothers sister is the duchess of are of noble blood."

"What about my shop?"I asked, my mother and father had owned shook her head,

"Theyll send another apothecary to buy out your herbs, and then sell it to a family that needs a course, youll receive all the money, but you are no longer an apothecary."She moved to the counter and I sat down on the stool my father had made my mother the year before they as I did, the Imperial Guards burst through my door, and the Violet Court's messenger followed them.

"Aoife OFlynn, under order of Violet Court, you are hear by removed from you position and title of Apothecary and reinstated as Imperial are to come with us, your belongings will be sent to your new rooms in the palace and you will be placed under the aprentaceship of Imperial Guard MacConnell."Wait, MacConnell was Sarah's last name.I frowned at her, she shook her I dont think she had any other siblings.

"And if I dont go?"

"You will then be arrested and placed forcibly under your aprentaceship and title."I fell door leading to my rooms was right behind me, I had left my window open.I could make a dash for it.

"What will be your cho-seize her!"I had made my choice, I dashed into my rooms and dove out my in my neighbours yard.I tucked and rolled, before continuing to run.I wove in and out of the crowd before finding a blanket hanging to dry.I ripped it from the line that held it and wraped it over my long red they would have a harder time finding me.I slowed to a walk and began to act I made it to the grain stores, there was a tunel that lead under the walls and to the forrest.

The rumours that circulated about the Imperial Guard were not were Assassins, trained killers under the command of the Emperor, diguised as body the times when the King sent them out on their missions, they were hired went to other kingdoms and were paid to do horrible things.I didnt want any part of that.I dont care if I was declared an outlaw in this Empire, I would flee from the Violet Empire and restart in the Indigo Kingdom, or the Scarlet Kingdom, or something there were enough neighbouring areas that I could easily hide in.I made it to the grain stores, where I broke a rake to make a staff and entered the dark tunnels.I made it to the end and was about to make a dash for the forrest when I heard a Thump behind me.I turned around and saw one Imperial Guard.

"Ill tell you right now OFlynn, you've got what it takes,I've never had a harder time tracking were able to make it this would do well in the Guard."He had his hood pulled up so that his face was in shadows, but I could see him smirking.

"I dont want any part of the fine being an Apothecary."I said.

"Well, you dont have a choice. Now, put that staff down beofore you get hurt."I only gripped the staff tighter.I was scared out of my mind, I had never fought before, let alone against one of the best killers in the moved towards me, throwing his fist at my face.I leaned right and used my momentum slapping him in the face with the staff.

"Ouch."He his hand to his cheek, when he drew it away his fingers were stained he was distracted, I threw a punch at his he moved faster, he caught my wrist and jerked me to his my left wrist as he did wraped his arms around me and I was was like a sick and twisted dance."I was right OFlynn, you do have what it takes to be a make a fine addition to the Guard threw me over his shoulder like I was no more than a sack of flour and carried me back into the incesant pounding and kicking seemed to have no effect on carried me through the alleyways untill we reached the palace, where he brought me to a room and threw me onto the bed.I bounced and by the time I was on my feet, the door was shut and locked.

"let me out of here!"I yelled pounding on the door.

"Sorry, cant do that."He yelled back, and I heard him walk away.

"Damn it."I muttered.I walked around and my belongings had been paced neatly into a trunk and brought here.I guess this is my room now.I looked around it was a deep green like the woods after a rain too bad I guess.I sat on the bed.I must have dozed off because the next thing I knew.

"OFlynn, your to come with going to meet your new Master."A quiet servant said.I was too tired to object so I let her lead me to the throne room.I bowed before the Emperor and Emperess.

" glad to see you have made it to my humble palace."He said.

"Thank you sir."I muttered, I didnt care who he was, he ruined my life.

"Your Master is Imperial Guard MacConnell."I heard the doors open I looked over my shoulder to see the man who found me at the hood was down and I could see that I had left a long cut running down his cheek bone, it was already beggining to had closely cropped black hair and blue looked like he hadnt shaved in a while, stubble dotted his chin and jaw.

"Yeah sorry about that."I said, feeling bad, it looked like it stung.

"I see you two are already aquainted, It apears youll have your hands full Guard."The Emperor smiled.

"Yes sir we are, and hopefully she wont be too much trouble."He smiled, he had a kind smile, it wasnt the fake ones that never touched your eyes, like the kind I used at acually smiled, and he was kind of handsome, he couldnt be much older than me.I was 21, maybe he was 22,23.

"I make no promises sirs."I said stiffly.

"Dismissed, I expect her training will begin tomorrow, she has a lot to learn."The Emperor laughed.

"Yes Sir."MacConell said, bowing we left the room.

He lead me back to the hall were my rooms were, Im guessing the floor was dedicated to the Imperial Guard, when they were here, slept on the same floor.

"The Guard, when not on Missions, sleep on this floor."He explained.

"Okay."I , was I good or what?

"Training begins at dawn I mean that you will be up, dressed,and fed, waiting on the training grounds."He said.

"Yes Sir."I said.

"Youve got talent in you, get some sleep and Ill see what you can really do tomarrow."He said.

"Look I feel really bad about hitting you.I just dont want things to change so fast.I paniced."I said, motioning to his cheek.

"Its really nothing, Ive had worse."He said.

"Did you have it cleaned?It looks like its starting to get infected."I said."If you put a thin paste of garlic, thyme and will heal faster too."

"You really need to stop thinking like an Apothecary."He said,"But Ill try it."

"Yes Sir, sorry, its all Ive ever done."I replied.

"And stop calling me make me feel old, Im only me Mac, everyone does."He said easily, smiling.

"OKay, see you tomarrow at dawn Mac."I retired to my rooms, bathed and dressed in one of my night shirts.I fell asleep in the overly fluffy bed.