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Author's note: i get all my short stories or book ideas from dreams i have i just change it up so it becomes somthing i can use
I stared in to the east as the sun rose. Its rays turned the sand to the brightest gold. “My dear why are you up so early? It is not like you.” I jumped my breath catching in my throat before I saw it was only my Father. “Father!" You scared me. I-I had another vision” my father looked aghast before he composed himself again “Leona why did you not wake me! Well, I’m guessing the guards would not let you pass. Don’t worry I will speak with them. Now what did you see?” I paused, thinking, trying to pull back the bits and pieces I said “I saw a man riding across the desert. He will be here soon!” “What did he look like?” my father asked eagerly “He was tall, carrying a pistol at his side as he rode across the sand on a horse the color of the snow. His hair was the color as the golden sand he rode on, as he peered around with eyes like the sky.”
“Then I will hold you to your word. Oh! I almost forgot get dressed then come down for breakfast I have a surprise for you” “yes father” I said then after he left I slipped in to a white gown buckling a gold belt around my waist with the inscription of a green eye on it, my symbol. I am part of a prophecy, I think. Before the old king died he told his best friend that was with him to write down his last words which are as follows:
A maiden will be born with
Hair as black as night and
Eyes the color of the leaves on the trees
She will be born with a gift to see
And change things around her
Her powers will tell her of
A doom set in time
Waiting for her but when she returns
Home will be nothing like before
I can see in to the future I think that’s what it means ‘a gift to see’ I am the daughter of the king but, I did not tell my father the whole truth. I had seen me riding out to meet the lone rider sure, but I had also seen me being captured by the raiders. Specifically buy Giodan. The raiders are nomads that we give supplies to once a month. The supplies would go out today, but instead it would be the lone rider and the daughter of the king.
As I walked down the sandstone steps leading to the Great hall, I heard my father an Iorek captain of the royal guard “I’m sure she will accept your offer. We could have the wedding in this very hall.” He said in an excited little voice not unlike a childes whose mother has just given it a treat. So this was father’s surprise, Iorek marriage proposal.
I like Iorek but he’s my best friend it would just seem, well weird. He has dark wavy hair and always carries a doubled pointed javelin. As I came down the stairs Iorek stood up a little straighter and said “good morning princess you look beautiful just like always.” “Thank you Iorek” I said sweetly “father you said you had a surprise for me.” ”ah yes. You see Iorek has asked your hand in marriage!” “Why thank you Iorek “trying to acted surprised when really inside I was screaming No ,No, No. instead I said calmly. “But I’ll have to think about it you know talk to Micanna and such.” Iorek’s face darkened slightly then went back to his normal stern look so quickly I’m sure it even changed. “As you wish my lady.” Said Iorek as he bowed and walked away my father and I stood there for a few moments then father said “you would you like to talk about this over breakfast?” “If I must.” I said as I trudged toward the great hall.
When we had order the servants to bring the food my father looked at me intently and said “you will think about it won’t you?” I sighed trying to think of away to put my thoughts in lightly “father. I like Iorek as a friend. I really do, a best friend. He and I have been friends for so long it would just seem… odd. ” I said slowly. “Leona my darling you are almost 15 years old and 15 is the age when you are old enough to be married and become Queen. But that won’t happen till you have a husband. “But I don’t love him!”I finally blurted out before I could stop myself. “This is not about love. This is about finding someone to help you rule against the…” but I didn’t hear the rest of his sentence because I stared at horror at the man standing in the doorway, Iorek. “All you had to do was say no.” to me then turning to my father, “a lone rider is coming a crossed the horizon.”
How long would you say till the rider gets here? Iorek!” Iorek just stood there waiting for orders from my father. “Iorek please! I’m sorry, but don’t think…..I know you aren’t the next king.” I had only ever told four people about my sight, my mother, Father, Iorek and Micanna. They were the only ones I trusted. Still looking at my father he said, “He will be here in one hour sire. What should we do?” He punctuated “sire” to show he was not going to talk to me. “Well that is up to Leona. She is the lady of the house.” Said father, shifting uncomfortably in the awkward silence. “Walk with me please while I explain my plans.” I said standing up. “Yes princess.” He said stiffly. When we were outside I flagged down two guards and said “You, etch my horse and you, get my armor and take it to my room.” I turned back to Iorek he was looking everywhere but me. “You have good reason to be mad at me. But I can see you’re not the one” “Then who is?” Iorek snapped finally looking at me with piercing green eyes. “I-I can’t tell.” I put my hands to my head I was getting dizzy from concentrating to hard. “I think,” I slid down the wall, beads of sweat forming under my finger tips. I saw a flash of the bluest eyes I’d ever seen.
Iorek was beside me in an instant. “Leona is you ok? I’m sorry I shouldn’t have forced you to do that. I was just so mad. I just……” He saw my face and stopped. “What’s the matter, did you see something?” Iorek said slowly. “I saw the bluest eyes…..” I replied, only half listening, trying to figure out who it could be. The rider had blue eyes it could be him. I jumped as Iorek cut short my train of thought. “You better go get ready to meet the rider. Do you want a guard, you still look pale?” He said worriedly. “No I won’t need a guard anyway; if I did I would be breaking the tradition. Good bye Iorek! See you in the courtyard!” I called back as I ran up the sandstone steps to my room. When I got there Micanna was setting out my armor. “What should I do?” I said and launched into the day’s events. “I think you should go. What if you’re right and the rider is to be the new king?” “But what of the raiders?” I whispered not wanting the guards to overhear. “You’re one of the best fighters. I think you’ll be okay.” She pauses then said, “Just if they capture you please come back.” “Don’t worry. I will.” Just then a guard came in and said, “Your horse is ready.” “Thank you. You are dismissed.” I said, turning back to Micanna. “Let’s get this over with.” Micanna helped me into my breast plate, buckled on my gauntlets, and hung my quiver at my side as I strung my bow. I counted my arrows as she buckled my sword to my back. Finally, I slipped my dagger into my belt.
We walked down to the courtyard together. When I was mounted on my horse, I bent down as she said “be careful.” “I will.” I replied. I nodded to Iorek and thundered out into the desert. Sunset is a beautiful chestnut stallion. As I rode out I thought of what happened the day my mother rode out for the last time. The guards had spotted a small band of riders coming so they called her and told her what they had seen. She’d immediately mounted her own horse and ridden out. Giodin, the leader of the band, drew his sword and struck at Fleet, my mother’s horse. Ironically, Fleet is my horse’s mother. My mother was not a fighter so when Fleet fell she was left defenseless. Giodin slew her for no other reason than saying hello.
As I drew closer to the rider I slowed down. When in haring range I called to him saying, “I am Leona, princess and daughter of King of Jayeta! State your name please!” “My name is John Stevens, princess.” Replied the rider. “John. Please just call me Leona.” I said then I spotted the raiders coming over the next sand hill and quickly I said, “John is you any good in a fight? I’m not trying to be rude, but unless you fight those raiders will kidnap us!”
“Well, if you mean….I have my pistol and this here knife, but that won’t do much good against those soldiers. I’d say there is a score of foot men and then there are 2 riders.” Said John slightly stunned by what I’d said. “I have a short sword and a bow with a full quiver of arrows. The rider on the left is Giodin; leader of this band and on the right is Vaxen, his right hand man and seer.” I said smoothly, knocking an arrow to my bow. “Um, right……..Leona what is a seer?” John asked awkwardly. “It’s like a psychic, he can see into the future by using magic. Oh, and leave Giodin to me. He and I have a score to settle.” John stared at me curiously, but didn’t get nosy. “Get ready,” I said. “It’s about the get pretty busy.” Giodin and Vaxen pulled their horses to a stop just outside my range of fire. “Well Leona, long time no see. How long has it been? Five years I think. You’re old enough to be wedded. Am I right?” Giodin said in a matter of fact tone. “What does is matter to you? I would rather marry a scorpion than you, you murderer!” I pat back. “Well that’s a good way to greet an old friend.” He mumbled sarcastically. “Friend? Friend! You murdered my mother! She never did anything to you!” I shouted as rage began to boil in my veins. “Ah yes well let’s not let that get in the way of our marriage.” Giodin replied. “I will not marry you!” I cried. “Yes you will and if you refuse I will just capture you.” Finally letting his rage blow over me full blast. “Just you try!” I shouted. “I have trained for hours in our guard tower and have only been beaten by my teacher, waiting for this moment so that I can cut you to shreds!” Out of the corner of my eye I see John’s mount dance away from me. “Hmm…either I’ve scared the horse or John, I just hope it worked on Giodin.” I thought to myself. “Fine, you give me no choice. Capture them!” Giodin shouted, waving on his soldiers. There was a loud, “Crack!” as John fired his pistol, followed by the “Twang” of my bow string. Suddenly, a volley of arrows came out of the mass of bodies. One of the arrows streaked down toward me and sliced right through the sting of my bow and grazed my arm in its flight. Screaming in a mix of rage and pain, I drew my sword and began to cut my way through soldiers blocking my path, heading toward Giodin and Raxen. They had retreated to the back during the charge. I cut, slashed, jabbed, and parried until there was nothing left to block my path. Giodin facing me with sword already drawn. “I don’t want to fight you.” He said. “It’s a little too late for that.” Then I was on him, striking again and again, not giving him enough time to strike back. It took him everything to keep me from killing him. Finally a blow landed on his upper thigh, bringing him to his knees. “Call off your men and leave! Go back to your pitiful camp, Now!” I commanded, holding my bloody sword to Giodin’s throat. “Leona look out behind you!” I heard John shouting over the clambering of bodies and then, before I could turn, a dagger was at my throat. I heard Vaxen’s rasping voice in my ear, “Even after being one of the best of the guard, you forgot one important lesson ‘Always watch your back’!” Then he was putting a cloth soaked with sweet smelling herbs over my mouth and nose. The last thing I saw before everything went black was John fighting to escape the grasp of his captures to get to me.
Slowly I awoke to find I was bound to a wood stake in the middle of a tent. The ropes holding me to the pole dug painfully into my wrists. Suddenly, I heard the thud of someone being kicked and grunting in pain. “Then why did you help her!?” Shouted a voice I didn’t know. “I-did you really think I was going to let her face twenty-two trained fighters. Yeah, I know the odds still weren’t that good, but at least she wasn’t facing them all alone.” I was pretty sure it was John, but it was hard to tell because it sounded like he had a fat lip. I looked around, taking in my surroundings. There were two guards outside the tent flaps and John was kneeling, hands tied behind his back at the feet of a man not much older than me. He looked up from John, seeing my eyes open and said, “Ah good princess, you’re awake. Now we’ll get some real answers.” He aimed a hard kick at John’s ribs, who grunted again. The man came over and flicked out a dagger that I would have thought was mine if I couldn’t still feel it in my boot. The tip of the shining blade hovered inches from my throat. “How long have you known John here for?” He put as much scorn as he could into John’s name. “I’ve knew him for about five minutes before Giodin kidnapped us.” The man did not seem pleased with that answer. “Did he say what weapons he had?” “John said he had a knife and his pistol.” I said curtly. “Finally, what does this mean?” I watched him as he pulled my belt out from a sack with my bow sticking out of it. “Well?” the man said impatiently. I was not about to tell him what the eye really means. “It’s just an inscription. It doesn’t mean anything.” I said innocently. “May I ask who you are?” I added. His face turned red with anger. “I will ask the questions and I think you’re lying. Just as well, we’re on our way to see Giodin now. “But if you must know my name is Nato. Guards!” said Nato. Nato cut the rope’s holding me while the guards held my arms. Then Nato clamped on a pair of shackles.
The guards walked behind me, poking me in the back with their spear butts when I wasn’t going fast enough for them. “What is Giodin going to do with us?” I called back to Nato who was tugging a struggling John along. “How should I know?” He sneered back. Then I realize John was tied with rope, but there could be two reasons. One, John really didn’t look good his lip was really big and a bruise was already forming around his eye. He was barely keeping conscious. Two, I beat Giodin.
As I looked around, I saw children running playfully, fully fed and thought ‘this wouldn’t be that bad of a place to rule if their fathers weren’t all murderers and scum!’ Then a camp tent that could only be Giodin’s came into view with the raider’s flag flying high on it a white silhouette of a horse and rider. The guards push me into the tent where I stumbled and fell at the feet of Giodin. “Good that’s where you belong.” Giodin said. I struggled to my feet without the use of my hands. Two more guards followed us in so now I had 4 guards holding my shackles with Nato to guard John who finally was unconscious. “So, how has your post been? Comfortable? If not I can have it padded for you.” Said Giodin. “Oh, don’t go to the trouble of doing that.” I said, my voice dripping with as much sarcasm only to have it hardened “because you’re going to have enough trouble when I get out of these chains!” “Yes, well I have a proposition for you.” Dismissing what I said, Giodin continued “marry me or else you will be handed over to the grey maidens and Joyetta will come under siege!”
I stared into Giodin’s hard face in disbelief. Then, blood boiling, I said in a voice as hard as steel “And what makes that you…….that you” my voice lost its edge as a vision began to form in front of my eyes. It was night and I was walking surrounded by guard’s spears pointing at my chest, my hands bound by a length of cord behind my back. We came out of the darkness into a place as bright as day. Fires blazed everywhere unchecked. ‘It’s the courtyard!’ I thought. Men ran everywhere to stop the flames from spreading, but also to not be caught by the raiders running after them. Some of our soldiers were fighting. Iorek was trying to fend off five, but the light of battle left his eyes the moment he saw me bound to be replaced with dismay. “Leona! No, don’t let them take you! Fight!” Before I could shout a reply the scene faded away to be replaced by Giodin’s tent with me on my knees gasping for breath. I looked up at Giodin. “Look that got her! More threats like that and she’ll be like putty in my hand.” “Well this girl’s not putty.” I snarled “You will never get Joyetta!” I ripped the chains out of my unsuspecting captor’s hands. I swing the chains above my head, bringing them down on the heads of my captors, they fall like rocks. Vaxen’s dagger yet again has planted itself at my throat, as I knew it would. “Are you thick enough to make the same mistake twice or are you just ignorant?” Vaxen rasped in my ear. “I am neither, but you are overconfident.” I said quickly and swung the chains over my head. They hit Vaxen with a loud; “Crack!” and he fell in a heap next to the other guards.
As I bent to grab the keys of my chains from one of the guard’s belts I heard a scraping sound and saw a glint of metal out of the corner of my eye. “Ah, Nato. What can I do for you my son?” Giodin said casually flicking his sword beneath my chin. I stood up slowly, wary of the bright blade inches from my throat. “The guards thought they heard fighting. So, I thought she might be trying to escape.” Nato said prodding me in the back. “Yes, well as you can see everything is fine now. But you came just in time to help explain my plan.” “Father, do you think that is wise?” said Nato doubtfully. “I mean to say if she escapes and tells others of our plan then what do we do?” “That is true my son, but I want her to fully comprehend what will happen if she fails to obey me.” Giodin said curtly while his sword flickered ominously beneath my chin. Turning back to me, “The meeting of the raiders is tomorrow night and I intend to be there early so listen here and listen….” Rage and fear boiled in me. “There are more of you scum! What is the meeting of the raiders!?” I interrupted hotly. I glared at Nato. If I hadn’t seen what he did, I would’ve felt sorry for him. “Why of course.” Said Giodin, not noticing the icy stares I was throwing his way. “There are three clans. The black raiders which is us, the red raiders and the gold raiders. The gold raiders are our council. Any Grey maidens, female warriors, must fight the beast!” “What is the beast?” I asked slight bewildered. “The beast has two heads, one of a lion and one of a ram. Its tail is the head of a viper. It is said the one who kills the beast will be the chosen one, who will help us win back the lands we lost to the cities and kings.” Giodin said as if he was teaching a child that the sky was blue. “What?” Like a chimera?” Nato jumped back as if I was a viper. “Don’t say the name” He said, his voice hoarse with fear. “Yes, that’s what the beast is, but we don’t call it that. We have found two others like you. SO when the guards come you will be taken to their tent.” He explained. “Wait, will I be allowed a weapon?” I asked hurriedly. I needed as much information as I could get before the guards came, anything to help me survive. “What does the beast have for weapons?” I asked. “The viper’s bite is so poisonous you will die within a minute.” Seeing my face he said. “And there is no cure. Ah good, the guards are here.” He said, clapping his hands. “Take her to the grey maidens and give her armor, but not her weapons. We don’t need her escaping.” So the guards lead me out, spears pointed at me warily. As we walked away I risked a glance back. Giodin was standing over the still unconscious John. I wondered ‘what would Giodin want with him?’ as I was lead away through a sea of tents.
The guards led me to a tent of soft grey canvas. The canvas was thin enough to see the silhouettes of two other women, but nothing more. “Go on, get in there!” One of the guards said roughly using the butt of his spear to shove me through the tent flaps. I stumbled and fell onto another woman bringing her down with me. When we got back up and straightened out, I shouted at the receding backs of the men. “I can walk by myself thanks!” As I take in my surroundings the other two women stare at me. One is slightly shorter than me with shoulder length black hair pulled back loosely with a ribbon band. The other is a head taller than me with long, flaming red hair. It’s wildly curly, sticking up and out in random places. “My name is Kai and this is Kara.” Said the redhead. “My name is Leona, daughter of Brayton King of Joyetta.” I reply formally. “Kara gasps when Kia and I look at her she says “you’re the one.” I stare at her, wondering what she could mean. “I’m what one?” I ask slowly. “That man that follows Giodin around, the one with the rasping voice,” Kara said pausing, trying to think of the name. “Vaxen.” I supply. “Yes, Vaxen. I overheard him telling Giodin that he had seen somewhere that they would capture you!” I was taken aback, how had he known too? “What did he say?” I asked quickly. “I think he said ‘Giodin sir, the time has come to take Leona, I have seen a sign that we should take Joyetta and if she refuses to marry you, send her to the grey……” That’s all I heard because they walked away.” She answered slowly, trying to remember each word. “So you denied him marriage.” Kia said. “Of course! “Well, you don’t know, sorry I snapped at you. It’s just that, he killed my mother.” I said savagely. “I’m sorry for your loss. What was he thinking! Of course you wouldn’t marry him! He must be dense.” Kai said. “You told us about yourself, now it’s our turn. My father was a blacksmith, so was my brother. I was talking with them in the forge before Giodin’s men took me. I was walking back to the house when Vaxen came up behind me and said “my, what a pretty girl.” I tried to fight him off, but he just laughed and said “Ha, and skilled too!” Then a guard came up behind me and knocked me out. When I woke up I was here in this tent.” Said Kara. “My story is similar,” said Kia. “I was walking back from the fields when I was intercepted by Vaxen. What happened to you?” “I’ll start at the beginning,” I said. “Thirty years ago when my father took the throne the raiders attacked. We won the battle taking some of their land. We made a treaty saying we would keep the land we won and we would give them supplies once a month. They never really liked it, but they agreed with it because they didn’t have a choice. Five years ago on supply day my mother went out like she always did to give them what they needed and Giodin struck down her horse then her. I have hated him ever since. It was and still is the tradition for the woman of the house to hand out supplies. So, when my mother was killed it was my job. I decided to enroll in the training of a soldier to learn to protect myself. I was the best of the best in my house, just under my teacher, Iorek. So yesterday was supply day but,” I lowered my voice “I sometimes see visions and I saw one with a lone rider coming across the sand on a white stallion. It was true so I went out to meet him and Giodin came with a score of soldiers. John and I fought the best as we could with all of those men but to stand up coming here. Giodin wanted me to marry him so when I refused he sent me here.” Kia and Kara stared at me, mouths open. “You see visions!” Kia whispered. “Yes, the only people that know are my father, Iorek, my adviser and lady’s maiden Micanna, and now you two. My mother also knew before she died. You cannot tell a soul.” I said whispered back. It was a good thing too, because right then Giodin came in with a band of guards. “Wait outside.” He ordered the guards. Then, turning back to us he said, “I see you met the newest addition to you group, Leona. She brought a friend as well, how sweet. We were just getting him ready for tomorrow. “He said sarcastically. “What have you done with John Giodin?” I said fiercely. “If you kill him I’ll……I’ll” Giodin interrupted me saying “You’ll do what? Huh?” With renewed strength I said “I won’t fight your bloody chimera and I won’t marry you!” “So you’ll condemn Kia and Kara, who are nowhere near as skilled as you to fight the beast themselves?” He replies slyly. “We can pull our own weight Kia snapped “and that went so well.” He answered sarcastically rolling his eyes. “why are you here? I mean you must be here for some reason other than to bother us. I would think the lord of the raiders would have more important maters than checking up on his prisoners.” I said, prodding him in the chest. “You’re right.” He said grasping my wrist painfully. “Kia, we need to talk.” Kia’s face paled. “What-why, I didn’t do anything!” “We’ll see.” Giodin said slyly and pulled her from the tent
I paced back and forth waiting. “It’s been two hours! What could have they done to her?” I asked exasperated. The soldiers had brought food. “You should eat especially if we have to fight that thing tomorrow.” Kara said looking up from the scrolls she was reading. Then a clamor rose from between the tents. As I burst through the tent flaps the guards reached for my arms. ‘I’m not trying to escape you dimwits!” I screamed at them. Then while they sat staring at me I turned and ran toward the noise.
When I arrived at the scene Vaxen was standing over Kia who was on all fours. A dagger in his hand ready to strike. “No!” I cried as I flung myself at him. I cry out in pain as it slashes open the wound from the battle that got me to this place. Vaxen’s eyes bulged in rage. Kia had crawled over to where I had fallen. “Oh Leona I’m so sorry! Oh god, look at your arm!” She said scared. “It’s ok let’s just get out of here.” I said getting up and starting to walk back toward our tent. Kia stumbled and began to fall before I caught her. “Are you alright? Here, let help you.” I said letting her lean on me so she could walk. “Leona I’m sorry I think I told him I tried not to. I really did but Vaxen gave me this drink and….I’m sorry!” Kia sobbed. She looked into my face, but it was blank of emotion. Seeing this she sobbed even harder. “It’s okay Kia.” I said stroking her hair. “He has that influence on people.” Trying to calm her, but really making it worse. By the time we reached the tent my sleeve was soaked in blood. Kara seeing this gasped “What happened? Did you have to fight?” she asked in concern. “Not now.” I said weakly changing into a grey dress that matched the other two’s. Kara came over ripped some clothe off my white dress to bind my arm with because the dress was useless now. I look over at Kia she had lain down and fallen straight to sleep. “They did something to her Kara. When I got there she was on her hands and knees and Vaxen was ready to stab her! She told something she thinks. She said Vaxen gave her some potion. So I don’t know what they know, but when Vaxen went to stab her I threw myself at him to stop him and he opened up this wound again.” I said flatly. “How are we ever supposed to fight the chimera with your arm, even if you are trained? Kia can’t even walk without help, it’s almost like they’re doing this purposely so we don’t win.” Kara said worriedly looking back down at her scrolls. “If my plan works we won’t have to fight.” I said then lowering my voice, I told her my plan.
“It’s a good thing they gave us grey to wear. I almost got caught a few times.” Kara said pulling back her hood, letting her gleaming black locks to pile around her shoulders. “John’s tent is a row over and a couple from the horses.” She informed me. “Good.” I replied “but I don’t know how fit those are to ride.” Kia had awoken, eaten, and gone back to sleep. “So, let’s go over the plan again.” I said as Kara put a small leather draw string bag on the table. You’ll slip one of these pills into each one of our guard’s drinks and John’s when they are asleep. I’ll tie them up while you get John and Kia then we’ll saddle the horses and try to make it as close to Joyetta as possible. If we make it then we’ll figure out what to do from there. Kara whispered. “I hope this works. You’ll be the only one without a weapon unless we take from the guards, but I don’t think even with your dagger we can do much.” If it come to that go, don’t look back, just go East to Joyetta. Tell my father I have sent you and what I have told you. I said firmly, getting up to gather the things we would need to escape. Go do step one.” I told her and she slipped out of the tent. I turn “Kia, please wake up.” Then softer, “we’re almost ready to leave.” She rubbed the tiredness from her eyes “Already?” She replied groggily. “Yes Kia, do you think you can ride?” I asked looking at her bruises. “If it gets me away from Vaxen. Yes. I’m ready to ride.” “Good.” I said as Kara slipped back into the tent. “It is done they will be asleep in ten minutes.” She said. “Good.” I said putting the last thing into a supply bag. “My turn.” I said picking up the coil of rope we made from the remains of my white dress. I slipped silently out of the tent and crouched in the shadows. I could hear men walking past. I quickly and quietly bound each man guarding John’s ten and our tent hand and foot, grateful that no one disturbed me. I stuck to the shadows and made my way back to our tent to get Kara and Kia. They would meet me at the horse’s stable after I got John. I stuck my head out and nodded at Kara then I made my way back to John’s tent. I would have to explain what we were doing because we hadn’t told him what yet. I pulled back the tent flap and crept inside. “John.” He jumped and turned, gasping. “It’s me, we’re escaping! Hurry!” I whispered urgently. “But-how-the guards…?” He said uncertainly. “We gave them sleeping pills, but they’re bound to wake up soon so hurry.” “Ok, I’m coming.” He whispered, following me out. “Go, I’ll be right there.” I said, pausing to unsheathe one of the guard’s short swords. Then I ran quickly and silently toward the horses.
Sunset had run back to Joyetta. I would have to use a horse I didn’t know. “There aren’t any saddles.” Kia said weakly. “Can you ride bare back?” I asked. “I’ll try.” Suddenly, I had an idea. “John you can ride bare back right?” He nodded. “Kia you can ride behind John to save horses. Quick! I think I hear someone!” I said, hefting myself up onto the horses back. John pulled Kia up on to the horse and we galloped out of the row of tents. Just as we reached the last row a bugle blast rang out through the camp. “No! Now they’re going to catch us!” Kara wailed. “Just ride Kara and remember what I told you!” I shouted, falling back behind John. Kara shouted something, but I ignored her. I glanced behind me, it was Vaxen flanked by two men. “Leona?” Came a weak cry from in front of me. “Leona, what are you doing?” Kia asked. Vaxen’s men were coming up fast, so I slowed mine. John started to stop. “Go! I’ll slow them down!” Kia looked at me scared. “Follow Kara she knows what to do,” and with that I turned to face Vaxen.
“How valiant, fighting us so your friends can get away.” Vaxen said dismounting. Then I dismounted my face hard, determined. “Well come on let’s get this over with.” I said, getting ready to fight these men.
The two guards were easy. A flick of the wrist and a bash to the head. Done, easily done. “Good, good you were trained well enough.” Vaxen said and he launched his attack on me. He slashed and stabbed. I parried and dodged. Our swords rang out the beat of our dance then the beat began to slow, Vaxen was tiring. It had been at least ten minutes. Sweat rolled down his face, into his eyes. Then I stopped blocking and I took the beat up a notch. Vaxen, startled by my renewed vigor, stumbled and fell backward over one of the men’s forms. “I win Vaxen.” And with a sharp flick cut his leg. It would not kill him, but stop him from chasing me.
I rode for about an hour before I saw the bright lights of Joyetta. I urged the horse, hoping it could go faster. ‘I’m almost home!’ I though joyfully then I heard it. The pounding of hooves. “Please!” I shouted to the horse, “Go faster!” Then I was in shouting distance of the gate. “Open the gate! Quickly!” Then seeing their bewildered faces I shouted “I am Leona! Open the gate!” Realization dawned on their faces and they disappeared. The gates opened and I rode inside. Outside, I heard a cry of outrage. “No! You blasted idiots! Why weren’t you paying attention to them!? Leona I know you can hear me! You will pay for this!” ‘How could I pay for this” I thought, glad to be home. Then I turned and saw Iorek come running down the wall steps. He had rings under his eyes like he hadn’t slept the whole time I was gone. I dismounted and ran over to him and hugged him "God i'd missed him" and everything went black.
“Iorek go rest. The doctor said she’ll be fine. When she wakes up I’ll send her to you.” Said a male voice I recognized. “No your highness, I will stay. The doctor also said she’ll wake soon. I want to be here when she does.” Iorek said, his voice laden with tiredness. “How sweet. You two fighting over who should stay at my bedside. You would think it was my death bed.” I said slowly, opening my eyes. “Now Leona you know what we-Leona!” Iorek said and I laughed at his face. “Leona my darling are you alright?” My father asked rushing over to me. “Yes I’m alright. Where are Kia, Kara, and John?” “Sleeping. They will be glad to hear you are safe Kia came here distraught with worry.” Father replied. “Go and tell them father. I need to speak to Iorek alone for a moment.” I said. He nodded and left. “I’m sorry for what I said before this mess started. And well, when I passed out, I didn’t just pass out. I had another vision.” I said slowly. Iorek gasped and I went on, “the first vision must have been a warning of what would happen if I went to met John. Then the only I had at the camp was what would happen if I disagreed and the one I had just now told me what is to happen.” Iorek waited for me to go on, when I didn’t he asked, “Which is?” I paused then said, “you are to be the king.” He looked stunned. I continued, “But first I must fight Giodin in single combat.”
As I walked down the sandstone steps to the dining hall to meet my father I heard some guards talking. “The princess is just like her father, bringing a war on our doorstep with the raiders.” “I think we have some disloyal soldiers here.” I whispered to Iorek and he nodded. He walked down in front of me into view of the soldiers. “What is this? Men of the guard talking against the princess!” Iorek’s said sharply. The guards looked horrified, but when I stepped out from behind a pillar they look mortified. “When you,” I said. “Have fought men when the odds are 11 to 1 against you then you can talk.” I said, my voice as smooth as steel. “Iorek” and we turned to walk down the steps.
As I walked into the hall with Iorek I heard a squeal of “Leona!” Iorek had to jump back to avoid being run over by Micanna. “Thank goodness you’re alright!” She said, tears forming in her eyes. “I’m ok don’t worry, I’m ok.” I said soothingly looking around I said “Father, where is everyone?” “They are still asleep. Now what did you want to tell me?” I looked at Iorek then said, “I wasn’t unconscious.” My father’s face looked bewildered so I went on. “I had a vision. A vision of Iorek being crowned King.” Micanna squealed again, this time in delight and squeezed my hand. “But first I have to fight Giodin in single combat.” Micanna gasped and my father squeezed the back of the chair till his knuckles turned white.
“Princess, princess! A message for you!” “Thank you.” I looked at the seal. “Oh god! It’s from him,” then I began to read.
It is to my regret that you are home. I hope you enjoyed your stay, but I would like you to give me back the stolen goods. To prevent the killing of our men I suggest single combat.
Lord of the Black Raiders
“Well, I guess I don’t have a choice.” I sigh. “Do you think you can do it?” My father asked. “Yes. He doesn’t stand a chance.” Micanna shied away at the steel in my voice. “You there, send a message back to Giodin. Tell him I accept.” “Are you sure you want to do this?” Micanna said, strapping on my sword. “It’s this or war. I’ll be okay.” And with that I walked out of my room to meet my enemy in the final battle.
“This ends now Giodin!” My voice rang out across the sands. The men made a circle around us. Men and women also lined the walls. Iorek’s voice rang out as he read the rules. “This is single combat. Leona and Giodin will fight unaided till one is dead or unable to fight anymore.” He looked at me as if willing me to remember all my training; I nodded and then “begin.” I raised my sword and Giodin met mine. We slashed and jabbed, parried and flicked. The seconds dragged on into minutes. Sweat rolled down my face and my arms felt like lead weights. Giodin’s troubles were equal, if not more. I was waiting for the perfect opening as we did this deadly dance. Then an hour into the fight it was there, and I struck and I struck home. The blade slashed into Giodin’s calf. The men cheered telling me to finish it. “What are you too weak to kill a man? You maim them, but you can’t kill them!?” His voice rang out hoarse as he tried to keep the blood from flowing. “No Giodin, I am not weak, but I am not like you. I won’t kill a man who can’t fight.” I turned to walk out of the ring when I heard a twang and “thunk!” as an arrow hit home. I turned back in shock, but it was too late the arrow had hit home it was there protruding from the middle of his chest then with the weight of the battle falling heavily on my shoulders. Iorek ran up to me, “You did it! You waited it out and it worked!” “Yes, I did do it didn’t I?” I said heavily. The people were shouting, “Leona, defeater of the raider!” They shouted it over and over again. “Just ignore them.” Iorek said seeing my face. “No it’s not that it’s just if my mother hadn’t died on one of this would’ve happened.” I said seriously. “Don’t worry. She would have been proud.” And we walked side by side back toward my home.
I don’t know what happened to the Chimera, I guess I’ll never know if it was killed or even was real. Maybe I’ll learn in the future. Kia went on and married John. Kara stayed with me and I have a wedding, as well as a coronation to plan, but that’s another story.