"We're not here to please the ignorant" ~Andy Biersack
I pulled the bow string taunt, looking down the slightly curved arrow, seeing a buck that stood about two meters in front of me, his horns proudly caressing the sky as he strutted up the rocky hill.
I loosed the arrow, watching it embed in his side, a squirt of blood staining the pristine white snow at his hooves.
The buck let out a loud moan, taking off at a stumbling run, the arrow hindering him in his escape.
The rest of the deer scattered, and I waited a few seconds, hiding my bow and collection of arrows, before I took off after the buck at a dead sprint.
I ran up a rocky crevice, now that I had caught up with the buck, and ran alongside him. I prepared myself to jump.
I leapt, pushing off from an ice covered log, my foot slipping slightly, taking me off balance.
As I was falling, I let out a huff, slamming my hands out in front of me, bracing for impact.
I pushed off from the floor, turning my fall into a flip, springing from my hands and bringing my feet into the side of the buck, knocking him off his feet.
I knelt by the thrashing bucks side, making sure to avoid his flailing hooves.
“The Mother respects your help to her children” I whispered, looking into the animals wide, fear filled eyes, those eyes that rolled to show white.
I slit the buck’s throat with the knife I carried in my rabbit skin boots.
“Hey. You there. That kill is on the King’s land. You have no right to it” a man called, and by the thundering of boots I knew there were at least two of them.
I froze, knowing it was the King’s guards.
“I-I’m sorry” I whispered, keeping my back to them.
“Show us your face little girl” they chuckled
“I... don’t want to” I muttered meekly, my voice rising in pitch at the end.
“Well too bad” a gruff voice said, his fingers wrapping sharply into my hair, yanking me backwards to face him.
Then he let go as if I had burnt him
“It’s one of them” he yelled “Get back up, get back up now”
I knew I should have worn my scarf over my face before I left. But I never listened to papa.
I heard the calls and footfalls of more soldiers running down, and I turned quickly, grabbing the feet of the buck and pulling it onto my shoulders, so the carcass rested on my back.
Once again, I turned, running as fast as I could, my breath coming in short hard gasps as I lugged the heavy body with me.
If I could just make it to the forest, I’d be safe. They’d never find me.
But then I heard a thundering bang, and for a moment I dwelled on what it could have been. But then I blacked out.
As the young girl hit the floor, we removed the deer from her frozen hands.
She was pretty, maybe about at most 17 summers. Old enough to be married.
Would she have a husband who would mourn her?
The ageing soldier felt pity for the fire headed girl with the pale, milky skin, and the full red lips and the beautiful big blue eyes.
The general rode toward them on a large chestnut horse.
The tall man dismounted and pulled something out of his cape pocket.
It was an old yellowing leather bound book.
He crouched next the girl and fingered through the book.
“She’s a huntress” the general bit his thumb nail, debating.
They all leaned forward, trying to see the tattoo that dominated her right cheek. It would mar her features, and be a signal to everyone that the great mother had chosen to whisper the secrets of the huntress into her ear before she was born.
“Bring her back to the castle; the king will want to see her” he finally decided, turning his back to the and mounting the horse again before riding off.
The ageing soldier traded looks with his son who was in this group.
The girl was in for one hell of a ride.
On the other side of the kingdom, a completely different world to the wilderness, there was a girl stood outside her mother’s shop, doing laundry in the street. She tucked a strand of blonde hair inside her bonnet, and rubbed her hand over her clear blue eyes.
“Tatum” my mother screamed from inside and I raised my eyes to the heavens before drying my hands on my pinafore and walking into the stuffy laundrette, pushing aside the flap.
“There’s someone here to see you” mother said joyfully.
Behind her was a man that everyone knew, he was the whisper teller.
“So, you finally got in touch with him huh?” I whispered, falling onto the stool behind me, the strength leaving my knees.
I removed the plaster from my cheek, turning my face so he could see the left side of my face.
He roughly took my chin in his hands, and peered at my cheek.
The whisper teller was a handsome man in his late thirties, he was short yet well built and had piercing green eyes which burned holes in my cheek.
“Speed. She has exceptional speed” he said, before taking the money in my mother’s outstretched hand, telling me to go up to the castle, as the king had use of my services.
Once he had walked out the house, I turned and punched the wall, leaving cracks in the soft covering.
“I dn't believe I payed that when we already knew you had speed, I thought you might have some other use, Tatum. But you heard the man, so get out of my house, now!” my mother was practically skipping for joy as she shooed me out, leaving me with nothing but the clothes on my back.
I took off towards the castle, wondering the whole way as to why I was wanted.
“And this is Thorpe” my elderly father said, walking in with the king. Bow boy a voice ground out in my head.
I bowed, the suit I was forced to wear making my movements stiff.
How splendid he looks. He looks more like royalty then my son my mouth quirked slightly in a half smile.
As I rose again, I saw my reflection in the window.
Brown eyes, brown hair.
Big tattoo on my cheek.
“He’s a mindreader” not all that smart either his voice whispered at the edge of my thoughts
Not smart? In the window, I saw my eyes flash.
How dare he?
I was smarter than all of the people in the slums put together.
I was probably smarter the half of the people in this household.
But of course my father didn’t care.
“Is that so?” the king asked, walking forwards purposely, taking my chin in his rough and gnarled fingers.
He looked into my eyes answer my question quickly, but don't meet my eyes
“Yes my lord” I muttered, keeping my eyes on his chin so as not to meet his eyes
“Follow me then” the king turned and strode away, and I followed at his heels, sturggling to keep up with the old man in front of me.
The king hated this household, reminded him of his dead sister.
I brushed the sweat from my brow.
With my chestnut brown skin, my tattoo wasn’t as bright as those with pale skin, but it still stood out.
However, everyone knew I was a healer.
So even though they hated my kind, they’d come to me if needed.
I put my hands to the soldier’s wounds once again, and focused, frowning.
Only my concentration was keeping him alive at the moment.
I pushed my mind forward down my arm, through my fingers and into the soldiers body again.
I trapped the blood flow running through severed veins, and stitched them back together then letting the blood run again.
As I pulled out of the flesh, I stitched muscle as I went, before finally stitching the skin.
The stab mark in his thigh had already started scaring and turning pink as I opened my black eyes.
I fell back into a chair that was placed behind me, and put my hand to my face, gasping for breath feeling dizzy.
“Are you okay Vaidya?” my sister asked worriedly.
“I’m fine” I muttered. She asked every time I healed.
She passed me a cup of bitter tea and I swallowed it, relishing in the warmth and power it bought.
The soldier was still asleep on the table. Maybe about 15 or 16. Far too young for war.
As I was studying the soldiers impossibly blonde hair, there was banging and crashing as another soldier walked in.
“Are you alright Vaidya?” he asked me
“Y-Yes. But I can’t help anyone at the moment, my energy is spen-“
“You can help us just fine” he said gruffly.
He grabbed my arm and pulled me roughly to my feet, walking out my house.
“Where are we going?” I asked boldly, my eyes furrowing.
“To the castle. The king requires your assistance”
I frowned again, but followed him, yanking my arm out of his grip and walking proudly alongside him.
I sat with my feet up looking out the castle’s windows, waiting for the other whisperers to arrive. My reflection showing only half of my face in the window, but what could be seen, I had bright blue eyes and deep midnight black hair with a tinge of blue.
Just as soon as I started to wonder where they’d got to, there was a bang as the door opened, and a proud dark skinned girl walked in. At least 19 summers. She had dark hair that was braided close to her head, and she looked fearsome with her dark black eyes.
“The healer is here” the soldier said with a bow.
As he raised his eyes and saw only me, the prince, he raised an eyebrow and said only
“Greetings my lord” before taking his leave.
The next to walk in was the king himself, with a brown haired fellow of maybe 21 summers.
“Why don’t you three get acquainted” the king suggested before walking towards his throne.
We looked at each other in distaste.
Next to arrive was a girl who was wearing a bonnet and pinafore.
She moved swiftly, yet with an eerie grace to her movements. She seemed shy, and kept her head down looking at her feet, the soldier who also escorted her bowed and took his leave.
“So, you’re a healer” I nodded at the brown skinned girl and she raised a perfect eyebrow at me
“Well done, you can listen, want a round of applause?” she asked sarcastically.
I raised my hand to strike her, how dare she talk to the heir of the throne like that, when two guards carried in a small petit body with red hair.
They dropped her to the floor and bowed and once again took their leave.
The healer turned from me and walked swiftly towards her.
“What did you do? Was there a need to shoot her” she shrieked at the guards retreating backs
The healer placed her hands either side of the hole in the girls thick furs and pulled them aside, so we could all see the weeping wound in the girls side.
The healer swore under her breath and closed her eyes as her hand touched the girls snow white skin.
We watched in astonishment as the blood flow stopped, and after a few seconds, a bullet fell onto the floor at her side, and the gap was healed.
The dark skinned girl fell backwards, half unconscious.
“Okay. Now we’re all here, I can introduce everyone” the king’s voice boomed.
“The dark skinned beauty there is called Vaidya, and as her skills suggest she’s the healer” we all turned to look at the groaning healer on the floor, who was clutching her head.
“The little blonde thing in the corner is called Tatum, and she has extraordinary speed” The blonde had moved in to the middle of all of us and bowed so fast, everyone but the brunette man jumped.
“My sisters nephew” so that’s where I recognised him from “is called Thorpe, and he’s a mind reader” everyone immediately looked at him with distrust, and he awkwardly scratched his head.
“Now, the fiery little red head over there I’ve never met in my life, but I hear she is a huntress. Caught on my lands. Which means she can stalk, has good eyesight and hearing, good aim, good reflexes and is very flexible. Or so I hear. I’m going to guess she’s one of the people living on the outskirts of the territory. Probably very savage” everyone looked at the red head with pity
“Her names Sayda” Thorpe’s voice rang out, clutching at his head.
At the sound of her name, the girl woke up.
She had breath taking blue eyes, and her perfect lips parted slightly
“Where am I?” she asked boldly, her voice like music on my ears.
Everyone seemed hypnotised by her, leaning in to listen to her speak.
Then she looked at us and gave a small grin
“Oh no! Papa! I must go to him” she was on her feet in an instant, already out of the doors at a dead sprint
“Stop her” the king commanded
Sayda was bought back into the middle of the room with Tatum holding her in a head lock, a hand in Sayda’s lovely red curls.
But Sayda didn’t stop struggling, even though it must be causing her extreme pain.
“Sayda. Stop” I whispered soothingly, my ice blue eyes meeting her ocean blue ones.
She stopped struggling and weakened under my gaze.
“and then of course. Prince Emir. He’s a hypnotist”
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