The Day the Bad Guy Won.
Condance stood at the top of the stairs and watched with a smile of glee and malice as her knights dragged in a struggling boy, tied in ropes with a sack on his head. They had finally caught the legendary Prince of Hearts, who was supposed to take down Condance. They threw him into a chair and wrapped even more ropes around him, tying him to the chair as well. It was pathetic, really, when you watched. He was supposed to destroy the Black Empress Condance? Oh, that was simply too precious. She burst out with her amused laugh as she made her way slowly down the stairs and to the center of the room.
“Well, well, well. What have we here?” asked Condance, with her seductive voice that she had worked years to perfect. She removed the sack from his head. What she saw made her laugh even harder.
He looked even more pathetic without a sack over his head. His pale blue eyes were those of a captured animal looking straight into the barrel of a hunter’s gun. His blonde hair was messed up, sticking straight up in some places and flattened in others. He met Condace’s red eyes and whimpered. She raised her black-painted lips into a half smirk as she began to slowly circle the chair.
“The Prince of Hearts, hmm? Oooh, I’m really scared. So you’re the human they say is going to take me down?” She laughed yet again. “Oh, good luck. Maybe you’re not the right guy, or maybe they were just wrong to choose a human. I’m a sorceress, what hope does a human have against me? At least an Overlander would have been able to fight back. You don’t have a chance.”
Condance waited for the same snarky comments that all of the other heroes she had killed made, but he remained silent, his eyes fixed on the black mesh that formed the top layer of her dress. When she continued to circle him, the leather underskirt prevented her from taking giant steps, like she so badly wanted to. She knelt down and her red leather corset shifted up, so she stood again because it was really uncomfortable. She flicked her black braid behind her shoulder and paced, her adamant chain necklace clinking and her heels clicking against the black marble floors.
“So please, if you please, tell me your name, your highness,” said Condance, voice dripping with sarcasm. “Or are you too scared to even tell me that?”
“Jon,” replied the boy in a squeak.
“I must know how old you are now, my Prince,” said Condance, her voice still so full of sarcasm.
“I’m seventeen today, Condance,” replied Jon.
Condance smacked him right upside the head. Nobody had any rights to call her Condance. It was either you she-Devil, or Black Empress. She recomposed herself and continued to circle him.
“Oh, that is pitiful. You’ve come all this way just to tell me your name. I’m afraid that’s all you’ll be able to do before I kill you,” laughed Condance. “You’re joking. You’ve got to be. You’re supposed to kill me, but you’ve only got minutes before I kill you. Any last words?”
Of all the heroic things anyone could do, he started crying. Condance hit him again, harder. Seriously, any hero that she faced would have to be brave, fearless. This one was crying! He was so pathetic, she almost wanted to keep him and train him to be wicked and brave and fight to the end, then kill him properly.
“Grow up! What’s your problem anyways?” When he said nothing, she laughed again. “Boo hoo hoo! I’ve questioned you too hard! I don’t suppose you ever stopped whining long enough to reflect on your own shortcomings though. Honestly, you have me terrified for my life!”
Condance and the knights laughed, and then Condance punched Jon in the nose. He screamed and blood poured from his nose.
“Honestly, they just don’t make heroes the way they used to. You couldn’t take out a chair, much less a sorceress. Why did they send you anyways? Is the real Prince sick?” Jon said still nothing. Condance got so annoyed. She had had it. He was now just wasting her time. She snapped and sent the strongest pain waves that she could. Jon started writhing and screaming, twisting every which way. She snapped again and he stopped. He was still crying, only more quietly this time. “Cooperate, Honey, or I can do a hell of a lot worse. Are you really the Prince of Hearts?”
“Yes, I am,” said Jon. “They told me so, because of this.”
He shifted his hair and revealed a small red heart on his cheek, proving that he was the Prince of Hearts. No matter how pathetic, he was.
“See. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Well then, Prince of Hearts, I have you taken care of. You’re not threatening in the least. Now, without your permission, of course, I’m going to do my stuff.” She whistled and the floor beneath Jon crumbled and he fell down into her dungeon. “Good bye, foolish human boy.”
The pit closed up again and Condance made her way back up the stairs. At the top sat her ebony throne, one that had been crafted by hand only two months ago. She sat with her back leaning on one armrest, and her feet kicked up on the other.
“It’s good to be Empress,” said Condance. Then she looked over at her knights. “Why are you still here?”
They all left hastily. Condance sighed and closed her eyes. Things were working out perfectly. It was just her day. Her day got even better ten minutes later. In walked Harlan, the General of the Army.
“Ah, General Harlan! Have you heard the good news?” asked Condance, standing up to greet him.
“What good news?” asked Harlan bowing to her courteously.
“The Prince of Hearts sits now in my dungeon,” Condance looked at Harlan as he smiled in malicious relief. The Prince of Hearts, just even the thought of him, used to scare the crap right out of him.
Condance and Harlan slapped a high five. Prince of Hearts? Please! That wasn’t even a threat! He was the easiest thing to get by. Then Harlan looked concerned.
“Did you tie him up with adamant chains?”asked Harlan.
“Why would I? Adamant chains are hard to get, and you can’t just magic them up,” said Condance.
“No matter what you think, he’s a great magical force. You have no idea what he’s capable of.”
No sooner had the words left his mouth than the floor exploded and up levitated Jon, completely free of the ropes and glowing with an eerie light. He didn’t look afraid anymore, he looked… well, he looked like Condance herself, with that same evil grin, the same look of malice in his eyes.
“The Prince of Hearts is back,” said Jon, a wicked half-smirk on his face, so unlike before.
Now Condance was slightly nervous. This wasn’t what she had anticipated. He hadn’t done anything yet, but he was glowing. Little bit intimidating.
“You’ll regret coming back,” growled Condance.
He looked at her and she slammed backwards into the wall so hard, it cracked. A lot had happened to those walls, but nothing had ever even taken a chip out of it. He was powerful.
“Cooperate, Honey, or I could do a hell of a lot worse,” threatened Jon, using the exact same voice that Condance herself had used, laughing with the same combination of glee and rage.
“Harlan, do something!” shrieked Condance in her real voice, that of the scared little girl that was always inside of her, as Jon stalked closer.
“You’re the Empress! Besides, it’s you he wants!” Harlan ran out the front doors screaming “Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!”
Jon looked at the doors as they clanged shut and smiled. This was the exact way the elders said things were going to go. Harlan talked a good talk, but when it was time to stand and fight, he wouldn’t do it. He stood towering over Condance, who bunched up in a ball and started whimpering. He picked her up by the neck and threw her into the pit that he had left open. He followed her down and came after her. Condance stood her ground this time. She shoved Candace (what her name really was) deep into the back of her mind and reminded herself that she was the Black Empress, a tough-as-nails sorceress. This Prince of Hearts, whom she’d already beaten once, wasn’t going to frighten her now.
“They told me you were a human. Humans don’t have any magic,” said Condance, back ramrod straight and eyes burning with hatred.
“I’m only half human. My mother was an Overlander,” said Jon.
That explained some. Condance didn’t let her confusion show. She thrust her hands forward and a dark blast of energy hit Jon. His glow vanished and she could sense his life aura lowering. She was gaining ground. She looked to the ceiling and cackled, which was her first big mistake. He blasted her in return when she wasn’t looking. Soon they were blasting and casting spells and wounded and bleeding. By the end of it, they were just fighting hand-to-hand. Jon had Condance dangling in the air by her neck.
Well, this is it, thought Condance. My reign ends today. He’s going to win.
With her last bit of strength, Condance kicked him in the stomach so hard that he fell over moaning. She went over to him and ripped the Amulet of Hearts, the source of his magic, off of his neck and crushed it in her hand. She then ripped her adamant chain necklace off and tied his hands together with it.
“You weren’t even trained were you? You really are just a scared little boy. Shame, I would’ve kept you for training had you been trained even vaguely. Now you’re just going to rot,” Condance laughed and floated back up to the throne.
She held her hands in front of her and the floor reformed right before her eyes. There, two problems out of three taken care of. Harlan poked his head in and sighed with relief when he saw that the Prince of Hearts was nowhere in sight. He climbed the stairs and smiled at Condance.
“We did it!” exclaimed Harlan.
Condance looked at him with a face of pure discontent. He had run screaming and now had the gall to stand in front of her and say ‘we’. He noticed the look. He took her hand.
“What’s wrong, Empress?” She ripped her hand out of his grasp.
“You, General Harlan, are a coward. You are not fit to lead my army. You are hereby banished to spend the rest of eternity trapped with the Prince of Hearts in my dungeon.”
She picked him up with her mind and threw him through the floor. Then she snapped and the floor reformed, again. That was the day the good guy lost and the hopes and dreams of the people were crushed under the foot of evil. Served them right for sending a hero with no training and no hate or love to motivate him. They should have seen that coming from a mile away.
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