"Get her!" they bellowed.
I'd been running for hours, non-stop. But the monsters kept coming, kept chasing me. They shot fiery arrows, threw rock, anything to try to make me stop.
Right when I thought I couldn't run anymore, I tripped over a tree branch. As I started to get up, something hit me on the back extremely hard. My vision turned blurry then everything went black.
Chapter One: Crimson
Every morning, I awake to sunshine pouring through my window. I always go to the windowsill and look out to the glorious land of Crimea during the sunrise. I look down to a bustling courtyard, with servants and workers, keeping the castle away from any imperfections. But this morning, there was something different that I had seen. Down below, I watch as two guards drag a person to the dungeon. She was a female, and she seemed like she was of the human race. Her scarlet red hair shone in the sunlight.
When the guards were out of sight, I walked to my dresser to get dressed. I put on a red shirt that had sleeves that went up to my elbows. I pull on some slick, black pants and black boots with golden buckles. I tie a black belt onto my waist. Upon my shoulders, I draped a black cape with golden shoulder plates. I fixed my hair with my hand, and then put on some red and black gloves that showed half of my fingers and went up to my wrists. I then grabbed my sword, Aether, from beside the door and bounded off the arena for my morning sword fighting practice.
Everyone I passed greeted me with either a nod or a hello. As I got to the arena, my swords master greeted me with a smile.
"Good morning to you, Prince Crimson," he said.
"Same to you, Master Baron," I replied.
With that, we get into fighting positions. He lunged with his sword, I dodged. I took a strike at him, he blocked it. We kept at it for perhaps two hours, until we were drenched with completely sweat.
"My, my," Master Baron panted.
"You have become quite the swordsman. Sooner or later, I no longer will be worthy of being your master."
I laughed. "Master, I will never surpass your skill. You will always be my master."
Master Baron put on a grateful and pleased smile. I took a quick bow, then ran off to my archery practice.
Just then, a familiar voice stopped me.
"Mister Crimson, sir!" the voice of a ten year old girl called.
"Well, well," I said happily, turning around.
"Good morning Mister Prince, sir!" said the little girl.
"Why it isn't my most favourite girl in Crimea! How are you doing today, Cassia?"
Her violet coloured hair was neatly tied into two braids. Her bright blue eyes shimmered as the little girl laughed.
"I'm doing wonderful! I just got back from the orchard." she said happily.
Just when I was about to say something, my stomach growled. I blushed.
"Oh, you must've skipped breakfast again!" I was being scolded by a ten year old.
"A hardworking prince like yourself shouldn't be skipping breakfast. Here, eat this." Cassia said, handing me a shiny red apple she took out of her basket. "It's freshly picked."
I took the apple gratefully.
"Thank you, my dear," I said and gave her a little brotherly kiss on the forehead.
She giggled and said "An apple a day keeps the doctor away, at least that's what the humans say."
With that, she ran off to deliver the basket of apples. I watched her until she was out of sight, and then ran off to my own archery practice, munching on the apple along the way.
After archery practice, I heard someone call me.
"Psssst, Crimson, come here for a moment, will you?"
I turn around to find Dominic, a close friend of mine. His lime green eyes were big with worry.
"Dominic? Is something troubling you?" I whispered.
"Did you hear about the girl that was captured last night?" he asked me.
"I saw the guards dragging one to the dungeon this morning."
"Rumours are going around," he started, and then looked around. When he was satisfied, he looked back at me.
"People are saying that she is the Demon-Slayer Princess." he finished.
"What? I thought she was killed, along with her parents." I replied confused.
"There are rumours that she escaped, and is the last alive of the royal family."
"Impossible," I muttered.
I left Dominic and went to my room. Could it really be? I thought. Had the princess survived? I had to know who she was. I looked out my window. The sun was setting, making everything outside look blood red. I had an idea.
At around midnight, I got up and left my room. I took Aether along with me, just in case. I crept down the long flight of stairs, and then in to the courtyard. It was a beautiful starry night. I ran to the dungeon, avoiding all of the guards.
Just as I suspected, the dungeon night guard, Bublin, was fast asleep. The keys were hanging on hook just above him. I carefully clutch them, not making a sound. I grabbed a torch, unlocked the door, and went into the dungeon.
I used my torch to light up the way. I stifled a shriek when I saw a skeleton. I'll have to tell Father about that, I thought. I looked around to every cell, until something red glowed in the torch's light. It was the girl that I saw with guards this very morning.
I knelt down beside the cell, watching her. Suddenly, she began to stir. I watched as she shook her head, and sat up on her knees. She looked up, and her eyes grew wide. She looked straight at me. I was face-to-face with a real live human girl.