The thick sound of thunder and splintering wood filled the air of the King and Queen’s chambers. They sat on the edge of the bed, their heads bent close together, whispering softly.
“Is the amulet almost ready? We are running out of time,” The Queen said, urgency coating her voice, glancing down at her infant son in her arms.
“It’s nearly finished,” said the King. He pressed his lips together in a tight line, blatant anxiety clear on his face. He grasped a small golden amulet in his hand, blood from the cut on his palm spilling onto its round surface. It had an engraved image of a fierce, feral beast standing upright with a long snout, sharp fangs and a slender tail that ended in a point, the symbol of the Royal Family.
“And what of our son? Is he safe?”
“Mentor Eadric took Baird to Amihar City. He is safe.”
Relief seemed to trickle onto the Queen’s face, but faded quickly as the thundering sound of ruin grew louder. She turned to face the door, color rushing from her face, and tightened her grip on the baby. The couple gazed at their small child, his tiny, soft hands clenched into balls. A whimper escaped his lips and he opened his deep blue eyes, staring up at his father. The corners of the King’s lips curled slightly upward into a sad smile. He couldn’t help but smile at his perfect child.
It had only been a few weeks since he was born, and already the thought of losing him was more than the King could bare. He could remember the first time he held him in perfect clarity. He had been in this very room, bright sunlight flowed in from the now-curtained window, giving everything in the room a soft, warm glow. His eldest son, Baird had been grinning ear-to-ear. He had always wanted to be a big brother.
He had held his newborn son in his arms, a feeling of delight enveloping him.The child had reached up and clutched The Royal Amulet he had worn around his neck...
A melodic hum emanating from the amulet broke the King out of his reverie.
He held out the amulet to his wife, “It’s time,” he said quietly, a misplaced calm spreading over his face.
She took the blood soaked treasure by the connecting chain and dangled it over her whimpering son.
The chamber doors
suddenly began pulsing and vibrating. It would be only minutes before they were broken through.
“Our time is up,” The King said urgently, getting to his feet and unsheathing his sword “Do it now!”
The Queen nodded and flipped the hidden latch on the small amulet. A brilliant blue glow illuminated from the opening. She held it down to her baby. The infant reached up and touched the strange, humming object. A flash of light filled the room as the child slowly faded from his mother’s arms. It had nearly happened in the blink of an eye.
The Queen stared down at her empty arms, left with nothing but the blood soaked amulet. She wept silently as her husband dropped his sword, strode to her and gathered her up in his arms.
“This is what’s
best,” He whispered into her long dark hair, “He will be taken care of on Earth.”
She nodded and buried her face into the crook of his neck, tears sliding down her cheeks.
A deafening boom burst through the air as the doors finally gave way and hundreds of cackling black Shade demons flooded the room.
The King tightened his hold on his wife, shielding her from the swarm.
The Shade demons charged toward the couple like a black sea, and engulfed them in darkness.
“What a mess,” Loken said, kicking aside bits of wood that used to be a door. He walked into the King and Queens chambers. There were sheets of paper, feathers and glass strewn all over the room. Furniture was destroyed or knocked over and there were spots of dried blood on the floor next to a shredded pile of wood, feathers and cloth, which must have been a bed.
“Those Shade demons can be so destructive,” Loken said to himself, a small smile tugging the corners of his mouth, “Must be why father likes them so much.”
He then realized the room wasn’t completely silent. There was a slight hum coming from somewhere in the room. His yellow eyes scanned the room and landed back on the shredded pile of bed. There was a light glow fanning out from the debris.
Was that there before? Loken thought to himself, lifting a brow.
Catiously, he padded toward it, and started digging through the wreckage, the faint hum he heard before growing louder.
He finally found the source; A golden amulet covered in not-yet-dried blood. There was a small opening on it, and from the opening came a faint light. He had never seen anything like it. He recognized the Royal Seal on its front and widened his eyes. Could this be what his father was looking for? Excitedly, he examined the ornament, turning it over and over. Surely this was more than a piece of jewelry.
He looked back the the opening and frowned. The glow had faded dramatically in the last couple seconds. He reached to touch the source of the glow.
A flash of light filled the room, and Loken was gone.
© Copyright 2016 anduril. All rights reserved.
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