Oh dear, I don’t believe we saw this one coming. You’ll have to read it to find out what happened to Prince Hayden and his knights…
Prince Hayden, Sir Alexander and Page Tucker froze in confusion and horror.
Prince Hayden managed to voice, “Y-Your dragon??”
Voice still cold as ice, “Yes, that was my companion, Maolong. Which one of you killed her?”
“Your companion, Your Highness? We believed it to be a threat.”
“Of course she was a threat. You broke into her home, possibly threatening me. Naturally she defended her territory.”
Prince Hayden apologized, “My apologies, Your Highness. We came to visit as my country of Dijoma and Ankanda have been longtime allies.”
“And that gives you permission to break and enter?”
“Not at all. But we believed the castle to abandoned and wished to find answers to what had happened to the royal family.”
“I am all that is left. My parents perished many years ago.”
Before he could ask how it had happened, she waved it aside, “None necessary. They were not kind people.”
That statement confused Prince Hayden as his Father had spoken fondly of what would be her grandparents.
“If you wish, we offer your refuge at the Royal Palace of Dijoma while repairs are done here.”
She frowned, “That is unnecessary. I am fine here. You may leave.”
Prince Hayden reached out carefully and gently took the Princess’s hand, “But one of your heritage does not deserve to live alone in the ruins of your castle.”
He yanked his hand back as a lacing pain raced through it. He stared at it as she scowled.
Sir Alexander pulled His Majesty back, whispering, “Sire, I believe it’s time to leave.”
Prince Hayden looked up from his quickly purpling and numbing hand to see pure anger on the Princess’s face.
He opened his mouth, “But-” but she cut him off, not desiring to hear the same she’s heard her entire life, “NOW!!”
The three men stumbled up the stairs just in time to avoid a strong wind, freezing the floor and steps where they had just been moments before.
As they reached the next floor, they could hear a loud roar quickly approaching from behind. Page Tucker made the mistake of turning his head, missing the last step and landing hard on his knees. As Sir Alexander turned to help his page, Prince Hayden stopped him. The frost had swarmed Page Tucker, freezing him eternally, head turned, hand reached out, look of terror on his forever young face.
Prince Hayden pulled Sir Alexander into a run once more.
“How are we to escape, Your Highness? She has the stairs blocked.”
“Servants stairs. There has to be another set somewhere! Go to the other end of the hall!”
The two ran and managed to luck out into another set of stairs heading down, coming out in the kitchen. But before they reached the door leaving the castle, the door exploded inward, knocking both men back through walls into the original entry hall.
Prince Hayden came to, body aching, mind fuzzy. As he blinked, clearing his vision, the previous events came rushing back to him. He tried to move, only to realize he was locked in manacles, hanging by his wrists on the wall.
He moved his head, trying to ignore the pounding in his ears, looking around. His chest grew heavy, lungs tightening, as he recognized every single one of his knights frozen around him in various stages of terror. He struggled against the chains, head pounding growing worse, fighting to get free, only stopping when he heard footsteps from just outside the room.
The same Princess entered, though her blonde tresses were now pure white, he would recognize those violet eyes anywhere.
“My apologies. I’m afraid Hailong didn’t appreciate his mother’s killers escaping though I’ve told him again and again I don’t like my statues damaged.”
She turned, looking at something just out of his range of sight.
Voice hoarse, struggling to turn his head enough to see, “Statues? Mother?”
“Of course. You didn’t think Maolong was alone, did you? Dragons are herd animals after all. Unfortunately, this one will have to be kept downstairs, his face was shredded in the destruction of my kitchen.”
Prince Hayden face paled as he managed to see what she was doing. Sir Alexander was barely recognizable, eyes missing, 90% of his body singed from the fiery explosion. Even so, she was freezing him just as she’d frozen Page Tucker, just as she must have every other one of his knights.
As she turned to face him, he saw that much of her skin had paled since he’d seen her upstairs, eyes appearing to glow.
“Why? We would’ve just left.”
“And what? Brought back reinforcements to kill the monster? I won’t allow that. You’re not the first ones to come here.”
She laid her hand on his cheek, he barely withheld a shiver from the iciness radiating from it.
“Please. I’ll leave and never return. I won’t tell anyone what happened here.”
“No. You’ll be the star piece of my collection. Every Princess needs a Beast after all.”
Even as the manacles clicked open, dropping him to his feet, arms lowering, he could feel the ice spreading from her hand through his body. He struggled to breathe even as his lungs stopped expanding and his heart stopped pumping, blood freezing in his veins. The last thing he saw was the Princess’s violet eyes glowing red within black holes, red lips parting to show sharpened teeth.
Princess Mara turned from her latest ice statue, white hair and sharp teeth gleaming in the wall torch light. Her glowing red and black eyes look outside the window overlooking the ruins of her kingdom.
It’s said she’s still roams the halls of her castle, freezing those that dare intrude in her home, adding them to her ever growing collection, the star piece still wearing his crown.
Do you dare? Or will you respect her privacy? Beware the red eyes in the dark.
Well? Would you intrude, becoming a beast or would you respect her territory, remaining a Prince(ss)? Comment below!
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