Hi there!

This story is about how the bonds of family are tested by war, of siblings who would do anything for each other, of kickass females who know their

shit. Revenge, angst, betrayal, tragedy will play a huge role, and so will as the title says - A Love like Thorns.

Note: This is not a nice romance story - it deals with war and tragedy and what comes with it - hence is rated M! Genres: Adventure, siblings, action, romance, enemies, twisted love.


Preface

In the mighty Central Continent, three great powers exist, of which two have ruled securely for centuries.

The mighty, once conquering, now peaceful empire of Zilandra, was the most powerful and ancient house which ruled. Fair and just, it shared a deep friendship with its eastern neighbor, the kingdom of Liria, which was smaller yet richer in resources. The friendship between these two nations incited the envy and hatred of smaller, greedier states which could only watch.

Of the other states, the most powerful was the southern war worshiping kingdom of the Xusa, its rulers originally barbarian warlords who had gained territory within the last few centuries. And this warring nation despised Zilandra which had defeated its goals over and over again.

Yet, when the only Princess of Liria, engaged to the ruler of Zilandra, disappears on the eve of her wedding, chaos erupts. The long lasting friendship was irreparably fractured, and anger soon gave way to coldness. Evil advisers fanned flames and schemed while outer powers began to encroach. Distrust and hatred was rife. The continent was in danger.

For nineteen years, the Princess and her lover had lived undetected. Yet, it was not to be.

For war would come, and the few would find themselves destined to rise, to change the very world itself. As the continent is plunged into vicious power struggles, who will survive? Who will emerge the victors?

For kingdoms must realign when alliances die and catastrophes strike.

Thus began a Destiny of Thorns...


Chapter 1


Nineteen years ago

Capital of Forla Kala,

Grand Palace of Liria

"Your highness! This is urgent!" courtiers surrounded King Lazarus as the king knelt beside his wife.

The queen had collapsed as soon as she had heard the news.

The magnificent ivory marble palace was decorated in great splendor, and the night was beautiful and serene, thought King Lazarus, as he took in the view from the great windows. From the royal towers he could see most of the beautiful capital Forla-Kala, the pride of the royal house of Liriana. A pride which was built of trust and friendship with another great Kingdom, a pride which after tonight, would no longer exist.

The clanging of the cathedral bells went by, which rightfully should have signaled the ending of a joyous event...

The wedding of the princess of Liria.

It was supposed to the greatest night for his kingdom, the continuation of a long alliance with the royal house of Zilandra.

And it was all gone.

He stood ashen, staring down at his wife as he clasped her hands.

The courtiers were highly agitated. Even though he knew why, his heart sank as he heard the next few words.

"Your highness. The Emperor has demanded an explanation! Zilandra is already breaking protocol and threatening us! We need to answer!"

Wearily, king stood up, motioning the royal doctors forward. The queen, still as ethereally beautiful as the day he had wed her had not moved for hours. She would not move for days. The anxious courtiers moved about, far too worried to even follow protocol. The King sighed, steeling himself.

"Tell them I agree to the meeting. Leave me be."

It was all over. The worst was yet to come. He left the Queen's apartments, moving to his own, hands shaking.

He hardly had to wait long. His oldest friend strode in, pale hair in disarray, eyes wild. With what emotion, the king could not tell, and was too afraid to look closer.

The bridegroom had worn his wedding robes, even after the the news had reached him.

"Tell me it is not true!" in two steps the man he considered a younger brother, a close friend, and had seen as his future son in law was shaking him hard. "Tell me she is still here! That we will be wed this night!"

Lazarus did not reply, the knowledge plain in his eyes.

With a shout, Iizara the tenth, Emperor of Zilandra, sank down on his knees, his handsome face pale. Unwed till his third decade, he had finally decided on a bride, a bride he loved.

"How could this happen? Why was there no inkling?" Lazarus watched pure agony cross his friend, the Emperor's face. "I thought she agreed to this marriage!"

Lazarus thought of his daughter's tearful pleading, and silences, her maid's entreaties on her behalf. Why had both his daughters betrayed him so?

"We believed she had agreed. We trusted her!" Lazarus still could not believe it. His daughter...

Iizara laughed brokenly. "You knew something was wrong. That's why you never allowed me to meet her. To allow her to write to me." the Lirian king could not speak. It was all true.

"To run away...she must have loved someone else. Loved him enough to leave her people, a position as my Empress."

The King flinched, unable to look him in the face.

The emperor rasped out, as if in great pain. "How I wish, I had been that man. To have her heart...that was my only desire..."

Shaking, Lazarus, knelt in front of him.

"Its not too late. We can quell rumors and find her before it is too late! I will do whatever -"

"It is too late my friend." the emperor stood up, as if a great burden was now upon his shoulders. "It is already too late."

And the king of Liria knew that he had lost not only his beloved daughter, but also his best friend.

The night air was cool, yet the cool ocean breeze could do nothing about the dark pall which had fallen in the great cathedral. Already the guests were moving, trying to avoid each other. As far as avoidance and looks of wide eyed fear went, they especially avoided two figures in dark robes. At an Imperial wedding, they were not the only foreigners, yet no one dared to approach them.

"How amusing!" the sloe eyed young man smiled as he watched the guests leave hurriedly. "I guess our plans are hardly necessary, right father?" he tossed his long braided hair back, the blood red ruby in his gold headband glittering. One his arm, a rearing horse was tattooed.

Beside him, a handsome man with the same red hair and dark eyes inclined his head thoughtfully.

"This was most unexpected. At least a Lirian-Zilandran tie did not take place." His eyes were hooded. "It is either a shame though. She would have made you, my son, a fitting bride."

The young man grinned, dark eyes dancing. "If I had known she had such guts I would have taken her long ago than court her from afar!"

"An alliance with the Lirians was impossible for us...till now." the man stood up, shaking his head. His son walking ahead, looked up at the beautiful night sky.

"I wonder...what will happen now?"


Lirian city harbour, ten miles away

"My love!" The slender girl in servants garb breathed out as she was pulled into her lover's arms. His eyes misted when he touched her face. "It was possible! I could not even hope that it would succeed!" The man

"Are you sure?' he gazed at her intently, then peered out from the side of the ship, drawing her to a darkened corner. "There is still time if you change your mind. I will not stand in your way. Right now, you have been forced to change your appearance, even shorn your hair! I fear that you may have to sacrifice more." his eyes were resolute in face of her possible rejection. "There is not turning back after this." He whispered, heart pounding as she stepped back, face wet with her own tears.

The sixteen year old girl trembled as she beheld the man who had changed her life, her very soul.

She knew, as she had known when she first saw him, that in this lifetime, she could never love another, and no matter what the cost, she would pay it.

"We cannot be together as we were, due to who we were! Yet you were also willing to forsake everything for me, just as I would for you, and only you." Her green gold eyes were wet as she turned her back to the city. To her past.

Towards him. "What you sacrificed was much greater." He was awed by her choice. And he hated himself as she smiled weakly. Yet, her eyes were resolute.

What he saw in them mirrored his own heart - this way may be wrong...but it was the only way.

"You know that if we sacrifice ourselves we will be damned!" She embraced him tightly, as if afraid of letting go. As the ship started moving out of the port, gongs began to sound into the night sky, slowly starting everywhere, ringing louder and faster. The ship was well out of the port by then.

"We will be punished for our choices, but this love, I cannot live without. If I cannot be with you, there is no point in living!" The girl was facing away, towards the cool darkness which lay ahead.

The young man sighed as he embraced her from behind as they stared ahead together.

"Neither of us expected this would happen, and even though I may be punished, I cannot let you go. You are mine, only mine in this life. May the gods be merciful to those we have left behind."


Hi there! I'll be uploading chapter two pretty soon XD

Feel free to msg me, if anything strikes you~