A teenage girl trotted out exhausted out of an alleyway almost tripping over herself in the aftermath of defending herself. Her clothing had been somewhat torn and ripped near her shoulder and abdominal area. Her jeans were ripped on her left knee and there was smeared blood on her right cheek and other places on her body. She staggered forward and a trash can rattled as she walked unsteadily. She paused. Her stomach felt like mushed oatmeal. The last couple of hours have not been fun. She hadn't eaten in as many hours. But she knew if she were to survive, she couldn't stop to eat. She thought she heard someone coming after her.
The girl turned her head back to look. There was no one there. Her heart was beating rather ravenously, like it was drinking in her fear of getting caught. She heard a scream from several yards back. It was then quieted soon after.
She breathed a sigh of relief. The city that she lived in was full of noise and completely incredulous to what she was feeling. But then as soon as she thought she had a reprieve she heard voices that sounded familiar. She sprinted quickly to a dark and shadowed corner. The voices get closer to her.
“That royal bounty is worth millions. We have to find this girl before the guards do. This could set up our faction for life!" said Namir, who didn't like being out this late. Too many incidents with this girl. I don’t like it! It feels like we’re walking into a trap. This girl is ending up being not worth my time and effort. Do we even know what she looks like?” said Pravin, the agitated twenty something, former guard to the Palace.
But they were now on loan to whoever paid them to get the job done. His compatriot chuckled.
“I thought I caught her several blocks back. I caught her coming out of a food mart, she ran, and I got snagged in a crowd and I lost her in the crowd of the party." said the older former guard.
He looked back nervously. Namir stared at him and rolled his eyes. He hits him in the head.
“How can you let that happen? We were trained to track, find and eliminate any threat to the throne. If we want that bounty, she has to go. Do you want that money?”
His compatriot looks at him and answers.
“Hell yes! No small waif is going to get in the way of that.”
Alright then. Grab that weapon and that bag and come with me.” asserted Namir.
His companion did. Namir looked around and saw someone walking towards him in the dark and he jerked the person around to him. The woman screamed and he let her go.
“Sorry.” She ran like she had seen a ghost. They knew the girl that had eluded them was in the vicinity.
She felt that the noose was around her neck. Sweat trickled down her throat as she touched her foot. It felt like she had been walking forever. She heard footsteps scampering near her. She hoped it was another partygoer from the recent parties that had been going in the city earlier.
She sat down next to a dumpster and felt her stomach and it started to rumble. She was hungry and the recent festivities had been full of food and drinking, something she had wanted to partake of. But she couldn’t because it wouldn’t have been proper. Royal society was not allowed to mingle and fraternize with the common folk. It just wasn’t done. Because she was not like everyone else. Everyone else was not important, or necessary to feel comfortable.
She was royalty. Of course, at that time it didn't feel like that. But that's what her birth certificate said in the hospital. There had been a newspaper article that announced the royal family's baby with enough sparkle that all the royal members of the kingdom were enticed to notice. It was designed as a test of worthiness that the King tried to eke out of his members.
She then heard a ruffling. She crouched near the garbage bin and saw a black cat. It stared at her with its purple eyes with its thinly veiled pupils. She suddenly had a chill on her. As it purred at her, it nestled in between her legs. She realized she never had a cat.
They were furry cute creatures. Not what she was used to in her life. She patted it as it licked her hand. It looked hungry for food. She didn’t have any with her. She didn’t even know what it ate or drank.
“Sweet kitty, I don’t have anything for you to eat. You sure are cute. I wish I could keep ya little mongrel, but…” She heard voices nearing her.
She held the cat in her arms as the men neared her. “Cold comfort you’re here, assassin. I don’t know who you are, but you have been a thorn in my side since I cornered you in that market.” said Namir.
The girl felt her chest to calm herself. She breathed slowly in and out. “I will make a deal with you, young one. You show yourself to me and my men and we can let you in on the reward.”
“ What?! That reward was going to be split between us!”His companion yelled.
“Shut up. We can be generous especially since it took quite an escape from the Stockyard to give us the slip. So, we can adjust our figures. So..? Do we have a deal?”
The girl put the black cat down carefully and grabbed her dagger out of her backpack. The men clamber down the alleyway. away from the main part of the ancient, cloaked in shadows of the city.
The girl weighed her options. Her hand neared her dagger. It shook. Nervous with anticipation. “Are you here, young girl ? Are we speaking into the air?” His footsteps walk the past her. The girl breathed as if her lungs were measuring the time she took to breathe.
“Enough of this hide and seek! Time to come out!”
He looked around and told his compatriot to give him something. A fiery torch is brought to bear in his hands.
“We have another deal. Reveal yourself, or we will burn this village down!” said Pravin.
Both of them held lit torches in their hands. The girl knew they meant business. She appeared to them in the barely lit shadows of one of the areas. She was as a moderately tall female girl with long ears.
Her ears were so noticeable they were like mini towers. It was something she had an affinity to hide. She didn’t like them. That’s why she wore a cloak to hide them. Her light blue hair flowed long with some tight twists down the half of her body. She was wearing a dark cloak that had the decorated marks of red streaking stars in the cosmic continuum. This was over a light green shirt and green pants that was worn through. She held her dagger in between her first and second fingers hoping for a chance to use it to dissuade the usurpers to the throne. They were threats to her and her father. And they were not going to go away easily.
“There you are! Decided to show us yourself? And what it is you want?” asked the former security guard.
“I never said I would take the deal.” she said.
She advanced forward to them letting the light hit her like a strobe in the night.
“You have an alternate offer?”
“I see that what you want is begging. And I do not beg. My father has long worked to weed out men like you. Men that feed on the lower bases of society. Of our society. And I won’t be a part of bargaining with you.” The elder guard laughed.
"It seems daddy dearest hasn't told dear daughter everything. But here she still stands." He told this to his fellow compatriot.
The former guard saw that the girl was well educated on the mannerisms of the royal court. And he knew she was an obstacle that must be removed. And that only led to one thing.
“Me thinks you know something we don’t, fair maiden…” said Pravin.
She stared at him with piercing eyes knowing one false move could be the end. She clutched her dagger in her left hand and her rope in the other.
The guard grew impatient. “Tell us…”
But before he could utter the next word, she charged toward him swiftly attacking his throat and knocking him down. The thief tried to respond but she held his chest down to keep him from getting up. His friend that was with him ran to his defense and she kicked him in the groin.
He slumped over in the dark shadows of the alleyway. The force pushed him several feet away. He was able to belch out a groan from his throat. She pointed at him with the dagger to not push his luck. The two thieves were shocked that someone could do this to them. She looked at her initial aggressor. She shoved the dagger in his throat.
“I suggest you leave immediately before it gets ugly.”
The interloper being caught between a rock and a hard place, seemed to grimace a smile between his cheek and teeth. But he knew this wasn't an ordinary commoner.
"I would say you are not the average partying teenager on these streets, you're something different." said the elder guard.
He lifted open the hood of the girl despite her physical presence over him. And it revealed her background.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have here an elf!"
The crowd in the street was somewhat dispersed. But there were a few hangers on that heard him.
"An elven princess. The elves, for those who don't know..."
He moved the girl’s hand away from him. The girl placed it against him.
“Most were banished by traditional society for bringing blood magic, sorcery and the dark arts to this realm but apparently some survived. Apparently, there’s no justice for crimes against humanity…!”
She heard this and it sickened her. It took everything within her not to squeeze him until there was no air left. But she knew that was against the laws of what she had been taught her entire life. She also knew that he wasn’t worth it.
“You are not even supposed to exist technically so…” he murmured.
“Shut up. You don’t get to talk in this scene, you are going to the worst possible place, to the King’s dungeon. The King’s dungeon…? You know what it’s like down there, don't you? When he finds out what you’ve done, you’ll be lucky to be breathing proper air in there.”
The thief jerked back away from her at the mention of the dungeon.
"A lot of nasties and creeps live down there. Not many have come back from that. I bet you can't wait."
She smiled at the thought. She stuck two daggers in his jacket next to his neck on both sides.
"This won't keep us from the royal bounty, princess. If you nail me two more of us will just take our place. One thousand credits for the head of an elven princess! Maybe, More!! Now before we get that reward... you know I ought to get a little something for my troubles..."
He inched his head and body closer to her. His horrid breath was nearing closer to her. His long, serpentine tongue lurked out of his mouth to lick her.
"Shut up, filthy, nasty, you aught to be bathed in terrania oil and have your mouth washed out!!" She slapped him several times. and knocked the taste out of his mouth.
“And they say mongrels in the pit are disgusting.” (Terrania oil is something crude and used for cleaning out human waste.)
Soon the authorities arrive and take the both of them, but they don’t see the princess or the bag, because she left him there to dry. That confrontation with the thief was a little challenging but not surprising.
The elven race have had a rough time of it lately, well ever since it was reported about what happened a long time ago. A member of the elven clan had been cast out for delving into the dark and supernatural. He had fallen in with a bad group and then humanity found out and made a law to ostracize this group. There was a falling out and the King pushed the group out of his kingdom. And banned them from coming back. But the group separated after that, or so it seemed. The princess knew about members of her race through stories of the land. But she had never seen much of them herself. And that made her wonder.
As she took a holocab back to the pristine, untouched halls of their palace of security, her mind began to think that all was not as cool as she thought, within her community.
Soon the lights of the elite military house were lit up as the cab slowed to a stop. She then got out feeling every wound on her legs and face.
In as much as been said about the elven race they were not totally devoid of mortal wounds. They did hurt just like any human, but their hurt was more over time. That’s why some in the elven community had taken up with sage masters and even wizards to extend their healing abilities. As she walked up the stairs, she saw several members of the King’s Guard march down the stairs as they always did in uniform fashion. They were the King’s right hand in matters of battle and circumstance. One of those members, happened to glance at her as she stepped up. He was young as she was but was dark in color. He had somewhat dark brown and short curled hair. But it was tied up in a tail to keep it from getting in his eyes.
He had a barely noticeable mustache which he made sure to groom, because of the strict dress and style code. As he walked down the stairs in gear, he touched his gun on his side and nodded towards her.
The princess had seen him in the mess hall before when the guards would present themselves after they came in from an excursion to eliminate the scurvy elements of society. She caught his eye and smiled at him. She knew that he was good to keep the peace for her father, the King. He and her, in getting to know each other, started to become friends. Or of a friendly nature. He tried to relate as much as he could about the goings on in the King’s guard, and she told him about the elven mystical ways of the past.
She still didn’t understand her family’s mystical connection to elven mysticism herself; it had just been thrust to her into the spotlight when their ruinous one- night stand had been brought out in public view. When she stepped out of the elevator to her lofty suite in the palace, the hired royal staff greeted her. She waved them away.
She felt unusually strange about it. She began to think about her father’s interactions with her family. She didn’t think about it before, but she did now. Why didn’t they tell her about the elves being cast out of their community? Why did the royal community hide that? And why didn’t her mother tell her before the national media found out? Those were some of the questions she had as she opened the door to the suite.
Thank you for reading!
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