A Bloody Sunset

You are reading: The Dark Queen

Written by LadyStargazer on 31 May 2017 11:57.

The entire city was expected to appear at the castle gates before sunset. The proclamation had been given at dawn, and the whole city had been buzzing with gossip about what this could mean. If the queen was present, it would be the first time they had seen her since the fateful day she had appeared and cut down their defences as though they were nothing.

As the sun began to sink lower in the sky, the crowd gathered at the gate. There was a chair, black as tar, that had been placed on a podium right in front of the gates. When the sun had bathed the castle in red, the gates opened. A hush fell over the crowd. The procession began.

When General Vakkar stepped out ahead of the Queen's personal guard, he scanned the area for any possible trouble makers. He was a man who did not like unnecessary bloodshed, which made him an odd match for the Dark Queen. Nonetheless, she gave him control of her army.

Many would question how these two worked together but in reality, he thought, they made a perfect pairing. She expected efficiency, and he had always found that efficiency and planning meant less bloodshed. It worked. They were strategists, even in the heat of battle. It was what kept him alive, and in the Queen's favour.

Now he stood in front of the crowd, watching the anticipation on their faces, and prepared for their reaction. He knew what the Queen had planned, and it made him uncomfortable. But he had pledged his life to her, and he was a man of his word. So he stood silent, and watched.

The Queen emerged, clothed in black as always. She had placed on her head a crown unlike any other; twisted black branches that coiled around her head in a tight embrace. Around her neck there was a blood red neck piece, so it looked as though someone had cut her, and she was bleeding out. She was a sight to see; a harsh beauty wrapped in darkness. The General was so used to her unyielding face, that he no longer stared at the lack of expression on her face. He faced the crowd, daring anyone to try something and simultaneously begging that they didn't. He felt a presence slip past him and shivered. The Shadow. The Queen's personal bonded. That man would kill anyone he had been asked to, without so much as a blink. He was the only thing that made the General shiver, besides the Queen.

The Herald stepped forward and unrolled the parchment.

"Her Majesty, the Queen, wishes to inform you of the events of last night. Two assassins entered the castle and attempted to kill her in her bed. This is a cowardly action, and one that will not be taken lightly. The Queen serves this warning to all who wish her harm." The Herald looked up, and the crowd followed, just in time to see two heads on spears being thrust on to the battlements. "Beware those who defy the Queen, for her rule is absolute and without mercy." The Herald turned and bowed to the Queen, who had not seemed to notice the speech at all. In fact, she seemed to be studying the sunset as though it bored her, but nothing else held her interest.

The Shadow whispered to her, and she blinked. Then, she stood, and walked off the stage as though nothing had happened. The crowd stared in horrified silence. The General glanced at the Shadow, who gave a slight shrug, and followed the Queen. Sometimes, the General wondered why the Queen did what she did. She did not seem to gain any happiness from her conquests. She only seemed to become more solitary. More internal.

He wondered if she even felt pain anymore. He wondered if she ever had.

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