There is a bell somewhere – was the first thought that came to Selene as she woke. The dim room she found herself in had a strange damp smell that reminded her of her rare visits to the town abattoir. She quickly rose, crinkling her nose and inspecting where she laid. A thin rug that was made of cotton, its brown color no doubt had once been a white, but with the stains, it was hard to tell.

”Mia… Wake up ” she whispered cautiously, believing her sister was nearby. The silent echo she got was hers.

”Mia?… Mia ” she whispered lowly into the dim room but was still answered with silence.

Turning around slowly with hope of seeing in the dark room, Selene went as far as she could with the darkness but there seemed to be no Mia.

Angry and scared, Selene went to the door which was a thick mahogany wood, the hinges looked old and loosening, she banged with what strength she had.

”Mia!! Father!! ” she yelled

Why would they put her away from her family? She thought

Were they save? She worried

Her father maybe the worst father one could ask for but she loved him greatly, he was there for her when her mother was no more, he just wasn as good as other fathers she had met.

But Mia was her concern, the six-year-old could do nothing for herself, other than being spoilt with royalty, Mia was calm and easily scared by nature. She feared to think how she was faring without her.

”Let me out! ” Selene yelled frantically ”Let me out! Hello! Father?! ” As pounded on the door.

Hearing the sound of clanking and approaching footfalls, Selene backed away from the door and grabbed the only weapon she could get – a wad of cotton.

The door opened and sunlight streamed into the poorly lit room. At the doorway was a brawny guard with the sapphire seal of Sol, wielding a nasty looking sword.

”The lord will be with you shortly ” he said and held open the door for her

”Where is my sister? ” Selene asked, trying not be be cowed by the large man.

”Where is princess Mia? Did you leave her behind? How could you, she is just a child ” She accused furiously.

”You will speak with the king ” he replied again with a stern voice, divulging nothing more.

Selene gulped at the tone and carefully slid out the door, following the lit hallway but continuously glancing behind as the guard trailed her stoicly.

******

”The council meets again in two days my Lady ” the portly butler said and handed a stamped letter to the princess who sat with a goblet in hand, a satisfied smile on her pretty face.

”Could they not make it any sooner? ” Alexandra asked impatiently

”The weather at the north does not favour land travel as it is my Lady ” Nicholas replied ”It is the fastest they can be under the circumstances ”

”Should I forget, Nicholas, prepare for their arrival, dismissed ” Edgar said with a flick of his wrist and the man went out of the throne room with a bow.

”The hostages are overflowing the dungeons, I think a few be picked, able bodied workers for my corn field and a few mistresses for you then the rest be made away with ” Alexandra suggested as she twirled the goblet in hand, the liquid swishing.

Edgar glared at her, he surely knew what her ”made away with ” entailed. Selling them to the traders of the East, no one ever knew what the trader did with them.

”None will be disposed, they will be sent to the slaves quarter, extra hands ” Edgar said

”You know the captives are not Solians until after the trial ” Alexandra said with a dubious smile

”I know Alexandra, they will be sent to the province prisons till then ” Edgar replied with a finality to his voice.

”After you pick the ripe maidens albeit, or…do you not need any new mistress? The old one was…disposed ” She goaded, still playing with her wine.

”Alexandra, do not speak of her ” Edgar warned sternly

”Does it still hurt? Well it shouldn , you of all people should know all walkers are killed, burnt. ” Alexandra replied with a plastered grin.

”She was not a walker, she was bitten, forcefully initiated ” Edgar defended with a frown.

”Says who? ” Alexandra scoffed, but decided to push no further, she knew that cold look Edgar was wearing and it was not good at all.

”Keep Monique out of your lips, Alexandra ”

”Makes me wonder what father would have done if it was your own mother, love indeed ” Alexandra said staring at her wine

”Enough! If you have nothing else to say then Id have to attend other issues, I tire of your ravings ” Edgar blurted.

”I will excuse you then dear brother, but, truth hurts ” Alexandra muttered and stood to depart, handing the goblet to a servant by the door.

Edgar stared at his stein long forgotten on the enormous table before him. He would never be free so long as she was here, he was certain of that. Oh he so wish she would marry off and disappear. Dwayne was still awaiting a trial he was certain he would lose to his step sister. Alexandra was an Oalistair, the only daughter of the late lord of the Sols, If anything, his father was known for his ruthlessness, and he was certain Dwyane wouldn get away with such crime, ”raping ” Alexandra. The rumours of the kings behaviour was not secret, everyone knew the ever generous Cedric, a womanizer of its finest kinds, seven daughters from five mothers. Mistresses and consorts and even servants. Edgar had been skeptical when the rumours of Cedric and Alexandra got to him but he had thought his step sister wise enough to not fall prey to such scandal as not to taint the Oalistair name, only to hear that she was raped and now with child for the King. Running to the Harmony council, Alexandra had cried for justice and Cedrics refusal to share his land as compensation had led to an open war between Sol and Riverland.

Edgar refused to interfere in her issues, she was old enough to court, lay with and marry whoever she deemed fit. The Council had decided the crime was henious enough that the land be forfeited and Alexandra would be governess of Riverland soon, another land to the Sols name. Edgar was sure Alexandra had made generous offers to the Council for such verdict and it didn help that Cedric had no male child and of his daughters, only two were seen and taken yesterday, it was too easy, Alexandra with her power and influence would no doubt take over Riverland and as much as he was not happy for the mans misery, he wasn angry either, more land for Sol was a good idea.

A tap on the golden door dragged Edgars attention there, another low tap came and he nodded to the guards who opened the door.

”My lord, the princess has woken ” the guard announced.

”Bring her in ” Edgar said. The little girls he had seized yesterday was his worry, how would he deal with another set of nuisance and crying. He prayed the trials came sooner, surely he was more experienced in the craft of battling than calming crying children.

”Where is my sister! ” Selena questioned loudly as soon as she came into the large room.

First thing that caught her attention was the looming throne that sat at the end of the room with a large table in front, seven seats surrounding it, a stein and globlet sat abandoned on the table. The guards that stood at the door by either sides of her had their hands on their swords and looked straight ahead.

”I see you have woken ” Edgar said, ignoring her rude tone, deciding that her petite nature might have deceived him into thinking she was a child too. Obviously he had an angry little-woman and a little girl in his custody until the trial.

”I am not a slave here, I demand an answer, where is my father and sister? ” she asked loudly

”Leave us ” Edgar said to the men at the door, who nodded quickly and left the room.

”I am no slave here! I demand to__ ”

”You soon will be if you don watch your mouth ” Edgar snapped, turning to the young woman before him. Her deep blue gown stained with mud. Her jet black hair tangled down her shoulder to her lower back. She stood with shaky legs yet a confident lift of the chin, he never knew Cedric had such a feisty daughter.

”You do not scare me, I want to see my family. The council is yet to decide, I am still free and so is my sister ” She said

”But this, young lady is my manor and I decide who stays in the dungeon, your insolence will make you remain there ” Edgar replied sofly

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