Prologue

"I'm here for a potion, Minerva."

"A potion, you say." The witch tilted her head in mock interest. "Might I ask what for?"

Edgar clenched his fists. "Drop the pleasant façade, Minerva. You know what for." He spat, obviously not in the mood for the woman's playful manner.

Minerva felt a spark of delight seeing the annoyance within her old foe's eyes, her pale, cracked lips turning up into a crooked smile—the uneven shards of her yellowing teeth showing bit by bit. However, despite the hag's deviousness, she knew he was right. News travels unnaturally fast in the waters of Ethelania, what with all the gossiping creatures that dwell there and all. So it was only natural that the sea witch of all people would find out the kingdom's secrets eventually.

"Right you are, your Majesty." said Minerva. "I must say, I'm surprised to see you, of all people, coming to me for aid. I have to admit, it's quite amusing."

"Yes, very. Now can we please get back to the matter at hand?" Edgar questioned irritably, solemnly. Minerva let out a sly chuckle, "As you wish, your Majesty," the upper half of her pale, scaly body lowering in a bow—just to add more to the man's nerves.

"Now, the spell you seek is one to rekindle the deceased. A potion that significant is far beyond my many, many years of dark magic."

"Yet, aren't you the most powerful sorceress in all of Ethelania?" Edgar smirked, knowingly reciting the witch's words from a previous encounter. The gesture slightly irked the old hag. "Need I remind you of how powerless you've rendered me after banishing me to this awashed, godforsaken prison?" snarled Minerva.

Edgar knew very well how incapable she was indeed; he wouldn't have come here without a guard if he didn't think the job wasn't thoroughly done. "Nevertheless," Minerva continued, "there is another way to induce the potion, but this option comes with a price." She slid a ghost of a smirk on her deceitful face.

"How much do you want?" Edgar questioned.

"Oh no your Majesty, the price isn't gold,"

"Then I am not setting you free if that's where you're getting at." Edgar crossed his arms over his chest, indicating that his decision was final. Minerva gave him another crooked smile. "Wrong again, my dear king. The price is the princess."

Edgar stilled, his blood almost nearly running cold. "My. .my daughter?"

"Yes, your daughter." Confirmed Minerva, "In blood, she's the closest to the queen than any other in the kingdom. It'll be easy to trade your wife's soul with hers."

Edgar paused as he thought of the possibilities of giving up his daughter. She's still only an infant, barely even two. To give her away would be to give away his last piece of sanity. She's the only piece of Erryn I have left, Edgar thought, his fists clenching with determination. "No Minerva," He said, his tone ordering. "I don't know what type of dark, unholy sorcery you're trying to manipulate me in to, but I won't stand for it."

Hearing his stern words, Minerva, as if unfazed, shook her head slowly. "Now your Majesty, you of all people should know that I don't like being turned down." She said with a coo.

"I will not bargain my daughter's life Minerva!" Edgar yelled, abruptly stepping back as the crashing waves of the lake seemed to grip him by the legs, his body falling down onto the white sand surrounding the cove. "I suggest you watch yourself, King Edgar," Minerva spoke warningly. "You are in my domain now. I may not have much power, but I won't tolerate your tone any longer."

Edgar looked up at the witch, knowing she caught his moment of fear. "I'll give you until tomorrow by nightfall. That should be more than enough time to decide." Minerva's words echoed in the king's head, even as she began to descend into the waters beneath her.

"Goodnight, your Majesty." Then with a smirk, she was gone.