The Fearless King and the Warrior Princess

April 12, 2009
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Aurora and she had ten older brothers. She was trained to be a warrior alongside each of her brothers. At the age of eighteen, she started fighting in battles to conquer enemies of Winchester.
To the people, Aurora became known as the ‘Warrior Princess’. Quickly, she became feared by enemies across the land. However, there was a king who feared no one and sought to rid the world of the princess for good.
He sent out soldiers from his court to make attempts on her life, but each time they couldn’t get past her brothers, who were always with her. The king thought that if he could just get her alone he could defeat her.
That’s when it came to him. If he could kidnap her brothers, not only would she be alone, she would come right to him. So he set in motion his plan and over the next two weeks he captured each of her brothers but the eldest, the King of Winchester, but Aurora would still be alone when she came for him because the eldest brother could not leave his court. Now, all the king had to do was wait.

After creating a well laid out plan, the enraged Aurora mounted her horse and set out at a quick pace out of the court’s gate. After a huge argument with her brother Eamon, it was settled she would take no army with her so she could make a sneak attack. An army would draw attention.
The cheers of Winchester’s people reached her ears and gave her confidence. “The Warrior Princess is off again”, she heard someone shout. After a few minutes she was out of ear shot and could hear them no more. Everything was quiet save the trees and the thundering sound of her horse’s hooves hitting the ground.
She knew the man who’d kidnapped her brothers was Michael, King of Calaway. Sadness engulfed her whenever she thought of him. They’d been friends many years ago, before her father’s death. Everything was fine until Michael’s thirst for power drove everyone away, including her. He’d been alone after that, which no doubt had fueled his anger. ‘What was the purpose of kidnapping her brothers?’ she kept asking herself. But no answer came to her. She headed north toward Calaway. She’d find answers soon enough.

Michael walked down to the prison cells holding the nine brothers. Four of them were asleep, no doubt from starvation and dehydration. Two were sick with some disease, but none of that was his problem. “You traitor”, Nikolas spoke up.
Michael put a hand over his heart. “I’m so hurt Nikolas. There’s no need for name calling. I mean, we are all friends here”
“You’re no friend of ours. You’re just a traitor. We trusted you and then you turn around and stab us in the back”, spoke up another brother.
“Why are you doing this?” Nickolas asked.
“Can you think of no reason? If you cannot, then your intelligence is lacking. Here, I thought that you were the smart one Nikolas. Think about it for a while, the answer might come to you”, Michael said and walked away.

Aurora arrived three days later at the gates to Calaway. The place was almost completely deserted. There were no people in the streets, or little children playing games. The only people she saw were peeking out of boarded windows.
She walked up to the castle. Strangely, the doors were wide open,as if he was expecting her. She had an eerie feeling as she stepped through them. “This way”, a servant standing in front of the doors leading to the great hall said and motioned toward the doors. “He is waiting”
Aurora walked through the doors. Michael sat at the high table with each of her brothers chained to the seats around him. “Finally, you have arrived Princess. For a while I thought you’d gotten lost”
“You were expecting me?” she asked. Then she remembered he was practically a genius. Of course he’d been expecting her. Why hadn’t she thought of that?
“Indeed. In fact, I made preparations for your arrival. Come now and enjoy a meal, fore it wil be your last”, he said with an evil grin.
“Stop playing games. If you have a bone to pick with me than come and fight me, you coward”
He sighed. “Fine then, have it your way”
He stepped down and within seconds was standing four feet from her. Aurora drew her sword, prepared to battle. He drew his also, mirroring her stance. She didn’t know if she could kill him. Even after all he’d done, he was still her friend, even if he didn’t see it that way. Her thoughts were cut short when he swung his sword at her. Quickly, she pulled her sword up to block it.
The clanging of their swords echoed off the walls. He’d gotten better since they’d trained when they were younger. When she saw an opening, she took it and swung for his head. He ducked and her sword cut off a lock of his black hair. He saw his opening and jabbed a long dagger through her stomach.
“Aurora!” Each of her brothers screeched and pulled at their chains, but couldn’t get free.
Aurora backed up slowly, clutching at the dagger’s hilt. Watching as a blood stain slowly spread across her clothing. Her knees buckled under her and she fell to the floor.
She glanced up at Michael’s face as he walked toward her. His face was completely unreadable and detached as he stopped in front of her and raised his sword. She closed her eyes waiting for the blow. Instead, she heard the clatter of the sword hitting the floor.
Slowly, she opened one eye and then the other. He wore a blank expression on his face. “Why do you not finish me off?” she asked.
He didn’t answer her, but sank to his knees next to her. “What have I done?” she heard him whisper and covered her hand over the dagger’s hilt with his.
If she wasn’t mistaken, he looked somewhat… sad. She tried to pull out the dagger, but she didn’t have the strength. “Michael’, she whispered his name.
“Aurora, I’m sorry. God, I’m sorry. How could I have done this to you? This is my fault. I was blinded by power and forgot who I was”
She put a hand on his cheek. “I cared about you and I hope… I hope you’ll forgive me… forgive me for… for leaving you. I should have stayed instead of leaving you like the others. I’m sorry”
“No, don’t apologize to me. I don’t deserve it. Save your strength. I’m going to go get help”, he said and started to rise, but she stopped him.
“No, don’t leave. It’s too late for me”, she said and yanked the dagger out with her last bit of strength. Blood seeped out faster now. He tried to prevent it, pressing down on the wound with his hands, but it was useless. “Michael?”
“Ssh, don’t speak”
She smiled at him. “I love you”, she whispered before her eyes drifted shut.
He hugged her to him, finally letting a tear slip out. “No, Aurora, don’t leave me”, he wept. He heard the sound of wood splintering and chains rattling.. He didn’t have to look behind him to know that the brothers had gotten free.
One brother slung him aside while another took Aurora from him. He watched from a safe distance as they all crowded around her. “She’s still alive, but barely. Peter, start a fire. Vince, find some water. Lucas, you know the herbs we need. And Mark, help me carry her gently over by the fireplace. The rest of you can deal with him”, Nikolas ordered.
Four brothers turned to him with swords drawn. He deserved whatever they did to him. He waited as they got closer. “No”, a whisper came from across the room. “Don’t hurt him”
Everyone turned and looked at Aurora. “Are you sure? He is a traitor and sought to kill you. For that he deserves death”. All she could manage was a nod.
Days later she showed improvement, but it was a week before she woke up. Their wedding took place months later in the highest tower of his castle and people from all across the land attended. The Fearless King and the Warrior Princess were married and lived happily ever after.

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