Despite the drawbacks the road had no traffic to hinder the stallions' required speed and offered the secrecy the passengers sought. The road led directly to a small merchant village. However there was an offshot on this road, a secret path used only by the royalty. A path to the castle.
The interior of the carriage was a royal blue, against one wall of the carriage was a bed made of the softest red silk. On it laid Queen Tania, breathing hard for she could give birth to her baby at any moment. Beside her sat King Ralph. He held her hand in a comforting manner, because he could not find words to soothe his beloved wife.
On the opposite wall sat two Royal Bodyguards staring in obvious discomfort. They were not accustomed to seeing their powerful monarchs crying like commoners.They were shaken out of this state when a loud noise of breaking wood sounded and the carriage came to a violent and sudden stop. The King turned to his guards, motioning them to investigate.
A minute later two blood curdling screams were heard, followed by a strong clap of thunder and rain pounding furiously like fists on a canvas drum. The King reluctantly pulled out his dagger. He gazed back at his wife breathing deeply, as his hand rested upon the carriage handle. This could be the last time he would ever see his wife again. He kissed her and stepped unto the dark open path.
Lightning flashed, illuminating the King's surroundings. Before him stood a man standing an astonishing seven feet tall, towering over the two fallen guards. He was dressed in sleek black armor that covered him from head to toe, a red cloak was wrapped around his waist, his shoulders adorned with golden armor.
He bore a helm bearing the sign of the Coronian Empire; a King Cobra's head, fangs barred. In his right hand, he held a six-foot long sword with gold, ruby and diamond filigree covering the hilt in beautiful yet menacing patterns. The end of the hilt formed the same King Cobra as the helm, fangs and all. He spoke in an insidious voice more chilling than the stormy winds themselves, " Hand over Queen Tania and I swear with my life I will make certain your death is a swift and painless one."
Out of nowhere a blue bolt of lightning struck the assassin, striking his side. Sending him spiraling hard against an old pine tree, breaking it in half upon impact. Half of the tree collapsed upon the assassin, but he tossed it aside and jumped to his feet, glaring angrily with glowing red eyes at his attacker.
His attacker was a wizard dressed in a red robe with golden dragons embroidered at the bottom. In the dark the wizard seemed to have long grey hair. One eye glistening silver from the moonlight peeking through the clouds and the other was covered by a patch. He leaned on a solid oak staff.
The assassin spoke with a venomous tone, " Keep your nose out of my business, Brother!" He hefted the half of the tree that had fallen upon him into his hand and threw it like a spear toward the wizard. Without even a simple motion of the hand the trunk stopped halfway to its target. The tree trunk floating in the air the wizard smirked and the tree trunk flew back toward the assassin with ten times its original speed.
The assassin jumped on the log as it flew and ran along the trunk cutting it in half with his sword. The trunk split and landed on the ground. Landing between the two halves the assassin grabbed the two pieces and smashed them against the Wizard with brute force, shattering the two halves into millions of pieces upon impact with the wizard's energy shield.
He growled and charged at the Wizard with the bloodlust of an entire army, only to collide with the energy shield once more. The assassin flew head first into the ground, forming a muddy ditch as he slid against the soft soil. The assassin quickly jumped to his feet, pointing at the Wizard, " You are going to die coward!" The assassin sheathed his sword and prepared to attack using magic when the Wizard created a whirlwind and it snatched the assassin and dragged him far away from the carriage.
The Wizard uttered to himself in an amused tone " You haven't changed a bit brother, always rushing into situations without thinking them through." He then untied the stallions and whispered into their ears; they galloped toward the castle at full speed, thankful to be freed of their reigns. He then turned to the King, only to find him lying dead in a pool of his own blood.
A large shard of wood had penetrated his skull, killing him instantly. Stepping into the carriage the Wizard took one of the Queen's hands. The Wizard muttered a sentence under his breath and teleported the Queen and himself to a safe place, far from the carnage of the beaten path.
The assassin, flustered by the whirlwind, quickly returned to the carriage. There it stood solemn and still, he rushed to it and flung the door eagerly sending it off its hinges, only to find gold, food, and supplies. The Queen was gone. He picked up the King's corpse and lifted it above his head and screamed a demonic curse skyward, overpowering the strong voice of the pouring rain and thunder.
He tore the corpse in half, the sound of bones cracking resounding loudly as blood splattered upon the assassin. He threw both halves away; suddenly he fell to the ground in pain. A voice of pure malice filled his head, blocking all other sounds, " You have failed me slave, why?" doubling the assassin's pain.
The assassin replied, " My brother was here..." he gasped for air and continued, " he is masterfully learnt in the magic of the dark arts, my liege. He must have teleported Queen Tania away."The voice left for a moment, then the assassin gripped his chest as a wide gash started to form on the left side of his torso.
The affliction started from the top of his chest and continued below to his stomach. He winced in pain and screamed thunderously. The voice returned, " This scar will be a reminder of your failure. The pain with it shall endure for the remainder of your unnatural life. Now I am sending Lord Krale to assist you in your mission and to train you in the magic of the dark arts. With his help, you will become stronger than your keen brother. I have sentries to watch the castle.
Take the carriage to the Beta Camp, we shall use it to our advantage." The wheels magically repaired themselves and two skeletal creatures emerged from the ground, replacing the stallions. The assassin sat at the reigns and led the carriage at full speed to the Beta Camp hidden deep in the cavern of souls.
The Queen awoke in a large bed made of rough hay; she vaguely remembered the events of the preceding night. The only indication that she had given birth was the sight of two babies placed safely on a marble pedestal. They laid on a silk pillow to keep them comfortable and were covered with a blanket with the Royal emblem upon it; a golden dragon's head.
A wise and comforting voice came from the doorway, " The birth was a complete success. You may now call yourself a mother of twins, a son and a daughter." The Wizard stepped into the room, in the dark it had been difficult to see his features but in the light his skin was pale for mastering magic was no easy task.
Although he was only thirty years old, his features placed him well beyond his years. His seemingly dull gray hair was a lustrous silver that flowed down to his shoulders with the perfection of a river. His silver eye reflected the light giving him a magical allure. He looked like a demigod.
Before he could explain she screamed at him in a mother's protective anger, " After all I have been through, you take them away! Do I not have the right to keep my children! They are mine!"
Queen Tania asked more calmly, "But could we not protect them, my husband commands the best army. Can we not risk that?" The Wizard shook his head and answered her question, "Unfortunately that is not possible. My brother killed your husband. And your children have a far too important destiny and must stay out of the Coronian's hands at all costs. If but one of them is captured, our whole future may possibly be condemned to a long period of suffering. I cannot even risk teleporting them, for I sense a force greater than mine who could detect magic and track it down to where it went. Now name your children and we shall depart."