The Dark Prince
Chapter 8 - Iskra
The Dark Prince
Author :MishaK
© Freeuz Novel Updates

Chapter 8 - Iskra

Everyone around her became absolutely silent.
The leaves of the trees were bejeweled with frost. shining yellow, blue, red and gold even under the grey skies. Although the mist rolled along the ground, she saw fallen logs damp with moss littered around. And somewhere from deep inside the forest she heard a faint buzzing noise... a call... a powerful energy... it thrummed... Anastasia shivered.
When she was only seven, thin papery wings had unfurled for the first time from her back. Transparent with a silvery mesh of pulse lines, forking along the delicate bone that arched at the top, she had spread them slowly under her nanny 39;s guidance. And as she spread them, the pulse lines had flickered like lightning. Her nanny had squealed in pure delight. But that was the last time it had happened. Aed Ruad had slashed the bone of her left wing with his sword, permanently damaging it. The pain had left her unconscious. When she woke up, her nanny was gone... forever. Three years later, her parents were dethroned and imprisoned in the celestial prison by Aed Ruad and Maple. Ever since she had been waiting for a chance to escape from this dread and come back with vengeance.
Someone came from behind and grabbed her upper arm. 34; Round up everything in ten minutes. Extinguish the fire! 34; he said as he dragged her to the carriage with the bowl in her hand. The mist rolled back around them. 34;Do not leave anything behind. 34;
Ileus opened the carriage door and pushed her inside even as Nyles protested loudly. She ran after them but Ileus had closed the door and blocked her way to get in.
34;I will ride with m 39;lady! 34; Nyles protested. 34;She needs me. 34;
He pointed in the direction of Darla who was already packing everything up and said, 34;You ride with her! 34;
34;No! 34; Nyles shouted.
34;Then you can stay back, 34; he replied coldly.
34;What? 34; she said with a shock.
A soldier chuckled at her predicament and she knew that the man was serious. She turned and walked to Darla mumbling curses, throwing her bowl as she went..
Stunned at this sudden change of events, Anastasia sat in the carriage absolutely quietly. She watched him helping them with clearing everything. He picked up the logs and threw them towards the jungle as if they were like toys. Within a few minutes, things were packed swiftly and it looked as if nothing ever happened there.
Ileus climbed into the carriage. The coachman immediately pulled the reins of the horses and the carriage started moving.
34;What happened? 34; she asked in a low voice.
34;I suspect there are bandits around. Those are the crazed ones. 34;
Goosebumps covered Anastasia 39;s body as her mind froze. Her face paled and she thought for the first time that what Nyles said was truethe Dark One, the piratethe bandits were his people.
Outside she heard the clomping of horses. She opened the shutters of the window to see that a rider was on the left. The dirt road must have narrowed because the rider fell back allowing the carriage to go first.
When she looked back at Ileus, she found him leaning to one side with his eyes closed. Feeling awkward, Anastasia tucked her knees and pulled her hands to her side. She slid to a corner and pulled her legs up to look outside, even though there wasn 39;t much to see, she liked the fact that she was out of Vilinski and that every breath she took had the taste of freedom. She hoped that they made it to raid as soon as possible. She remembered when she was just fourteen how Iskra, her secret mentor at Vilinski was teaching her the art of sword fighting and had said, 34;You will be a great warrior if you can fight without your inherent resources. The taste of freedom is going to be a thousand times better when your wings are freed. 34; While Iskra had flapped his wings around her and attacked her from above, she was thwarting his efforts from the ground. It was difficult but she had eventually succeeded after falling down at least a dozen times. In the process she had seriously injured her left arm and had to stay in a cast for fifteen days. She had a tough time explaining to Maple how she got injured. Her security had increased manifold.
Anastasia closed her eyes as Iskra 39;s face appeared in her head. Iskra had been her self-appointed mentor after her parent 39;s disappearance. He was Aed Ruad 39;s confidante, but was not quite loyal to him. He was her father 39;s man and had been given the task of teaching her the art of war. Though she could never use it. Because her cousins had threatened that her parents would meet with dire consequences if anything happened.
34;You should know how to fight, Anastasia, 34; he would say. 34;Not because you need it, but because you are the princess of Vilinski, and you never know when you will have to use it. 34; He was teaching her how to use daggersthe small curved ones, which when twisted in the victim at a certain place could kill them. She was close to finishing that part of the training when somehow Aed Ruad had found out about Iskra.
Anastasia had watched how her cousin had chained Iskra to an iron post in the main garden of the palace and cut him limb by limb for doing something like that behind his back. She remembered how Iskra hadn 39;t even grunted when Aed Ruad was maiming him. He had only looked at Anastasia and gave her a weak smile as if conveying that it was a pleasure to teach her.
She had run to his rescue and killed a few guards in the process. She had gone to stand in front of him to defend him, but Maple and her guards soon overpowered her. She was chained for weeks for this act, not given food, caned and threatened until her spirit broke. No, until they thought her spirit broke. She mourned the loss of Iskra. She loved him like her father. Only he was the one who was a messenger between her and her parents.
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