A thunderous roar filled the night air. Ladon was quickly on his feet and ran to the source. Passed winding hallways Ladon ended up in the throne room of the castle. There in the middle of the floor lay his father in a pool of blood. He ran over to him and knelt beside him, "Father, Father! Can you hear me? Father!"
There was no movement from the King. Tears streamed down his eyes and a heard of warriors came crashing into the room along with his mother and his father's advisor. The Queen ran to them and stared down at her dead husband. "What happened?" Ladon couldn't answer. He could only hold his father's lifeless body in his arms and cry. The Queen wrapped her arms around her son and cried along with him. The warriors all knelt on one knee and bowed their heads in respect of their beloved King.
Serena stared at the throne. Soon it would belong to her. All of the kingdom would belong to her; from the rolling hills to the sea to the west to the plains of the north and the forest of the south. It frightened her to think that she was going to have to rule. No one knew how much longer the King could hold on to his life. There were days when he showed no signs of the illness that plagued him and then there were days where any movement or touch could cause him the most agonizing pain. She wished that the doctors knew what plagued him and how to treat it.
"Your Highness, is something the matter?" Serena turned to see Amon. He was new to the scholars of the castle. He looked about twenty with eyes the color of honey and hair almost silver. He was on the tall side and lean.
"Just thinking of my father. Is there something you need, Amon?" He smiled at her. Whenever Amon smiled at her she tried not to blush but it was hard to do. Amon was beyond handsome. In the few months that he's been there he's known things about her that she wouldn't dream of telling anyone.
"I was just passing by when I saw you." He walked over to her and stared down at her. She was a head shorter than he was. She felt his honey eyes stare into her forest green ones. "Your Highness, you have a strand of hair falling out. May I?" Before she could answer in any way he lifted up his hand and smoothed the strand pack into place with the rest of her charcoal black hair. He backed away and bowed, "I'll take my leave now."
Ladon looked out onto the rolling hills that surrounded him. He took a deep breath and turned towards a castle in the distance. Somewhere near that castle was the man he was looking for. There hid the man that killed his father.
"Your Majesty, are you ready?" His best friend, Askook, stood holding the reins of a pure white and a chestnut brown horse. Ladon nodded and took the reins of the chestnut.
"He'll want to be hidden, so I'm betting he'll be near the castle grounds. It's the best place for him to not be noticed. They'll be used to getting newcomers there."
"He would have changed his appearance. How will we know what he looks like?" Askook was only older than Ladon by a few months, but he looked years older with his dark brown eyes and short dirty blonde hair. His features were more set than Ladon's. Ladon had a rounder face than Askook with caramel brown eyes and long silver hair tied up loosely.
"I'll be able to sense him. I won't let him escape this time. I'll bring him back even if I have to kill him first." Ladon turned his attention back towards the castle.
"Shall we go?" Ladon nodded.
Serena stood on her balcony looking out onto her kingdom. The sky was a clear blue, not a cloud in sight. A sigh escaped her lips and she slumped down placing her elbow on railing and cupping her face with her hand.
"You seem bored?" Serena didn't have to look to see who it was. She could tell just by the voice that it was Amon.
"What is it, Amon?"
"Time to begin your studies for today, Your Highness."
She groaned, "Why must I study more? If I were a man I would have been able to take the scholars exam by now and passed with one of the highest grades."
"Your father wishes you to learn everything you can. It can only make you a better Queen one day."
She turned to him, "I don't feel like studying today, Amon. I'm going to go into town." She walked passed him back into her room. She called for her maid and told her that she wanted her usual dress that she wore into town.
"Princess Serena, please understand the importance of your studies."
"Amon, I'm going to change now so leave me." Amon stared at his Princess but finally bowed and left the room. Serena smiled triumphantly and changed out of her pale blue gown into a dark red dress that she had bought from the town dressmaker.
Amon insisted on going with her much to Serena's annoyance, but she knew was never allowed to leave the castle grounds without an escort. Together they walked into the peaceful town that lay just outside the castle gates.
Ladon and Askook sat in the local pub waiting to see if they could listen in on any information. A local woman sat the table just behind them talking about the King's failing health and worrying about the "poor Princess".
"Kel, the Princess can take care of herself. I wouldn't be worried about her." The man who ran the pub called from behind the bar. He was bald and muscular like at some point in his life he might have been a soldier or a blacksmith maybe.
Ladon stood up and went over to him, "Excuse me, but my friend and I are new in town and are looking for a friend of ours."
The man looked Ladon up and down, "What's this friend's name, Stranger."
"Sorry, Sir. Name doesn't ring a bell." He looked out into the pub, "Does anyone know a guy named Castor around here?" Everyone stayed silent for a moment, but they all shrugged or shook their heads. Ladon nodded at the man and sat down at his table again.
"Shouldn't you be able to sense him?"
"Yes, but the problem is something is getting in the way."
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know. Like there's something about this place that can hide us. That must be why he chose this place. If I can't sense him clearly then I can't find him."
Before Askook could reply the entire pub stood up and knelt to the ground. They turned towards the doorway and saw a young woman that looked about eighteen with charcoal black hair that flowed in waves to her back with forest green eyes.
"Your Highness, can I get you anything?" The man asked. She smiled and nodded and sat down at a table. Behind her was a tallish man with hair almost as silver as Ladon's and honey colored eyes. Ladon stared at the man.