Chapter 1 - Intruders
Filled with unrelenting jealousy, Prince Marcus stood over his elder brother King Draxus who lay motionless on his bed while the powerful sedatives he had been given continued to do their job and keep him in a state of unconsciousness.
Marcus could feel the rapid thumping of his heart accelerating deep within his chest as he lifted the Veemon dagger up above his brother’s bare chest, ready to plunge it straight into his still-beating heart.
At long last, the throne would finally be his!
Meanwhile just outside of the doorway the next shift of guards had arrived to take over protecting the royal chambers, as they did every night. The two heavily armed men who had just arrived suddenly paused in horror when they caught a glimpse of their two dead companions lying in pools of congealed blood on the cold stone floor!
“What the hell...” one of them spoke quietly as his partner stood in shock with wide open eyes at the terrifying scene before them.
It was a blood bath!
“Call for backup!” the first commanded his companion who stood frozen in complete and utter shock. “Hey, come on man, there’s been a breach!”
The first guard shook the second by the shoulders to snap him out of his apparent daze.
“Wake the fuck up and call for reinforcements! Inform them there has been a breach in the royal chambers! GO, NOW!”
With a hesitant nod, the second guard bolted off down the corridor tasked with informing the castle’s security of the intrusion. As he ran he cried out at the top of his lungs to get someone’s attention; anybody’s attention!
“BREACH, BREACH! THERE’S BEEN A BREACH!”
The first guard was left alone to stand before the large pair of wooden doors leading into the royal chambers, fear of what he would find behind them flooding his every thought as he swallowed nervously and fought to prepare himself.
Slowly and quietly unsheathing his sword he stepped up to push the door open with his outstretched hand, ready for whatever he would find inside...
Only moments before, Prince Marcus held the Veemon blade up over Draxus’ chest, about to end his older brother’s life.
Just as he was about to make the fatal strike, he heard the cries just outside the doorway in the corridor and paused to listen.
“Breach, breach! There’s been a breach!” he could hear a panicked voice crying out.
Turning to the doorway he knew he had to think fast if he was going to find a way to explain himself out of this one! With a frustrated snarl he grabbed the dagger’s sheath from the mattress with his left hand and slipped it in underneath his robes, then dropped the Veemon dagger onto Lillian’s side of the bed.
Leaning down over his brother he whispered into Draxus’ ear.
“This isn’t over!”
Just as he lifted his head and rested both hands on his brother to fake concern over his wellbeing, the doors both flew open and the single guard stood with his sword drawn ready to strike. His gaze set upon the Prince hovering over the figure lying still in the bed before him.
“Oh thank god!” the Prince feigned an interest for his brother, furrowing his brows and grasping Draxus by either side of his head. “Come quickly, the King’s been attacked!”
“Prince Marcus?” the guard asked sceptically, narrowing his eyes as he quickly sheathed his sword and made his way across the room to join him by the King’s bed. “What is it? What’s happened here?”
“I’m not sure...” Marcus began to give an incredible performance. “...I came to meet with my brother as we had planned earlier on this evening and found the guards slain outside! So of course, I panicked and came crashing in to find him alone in the bed and unresponsive! And there’s no sigh of the Queen anywhere!”
“Is he breathing?” the guard asked, moving in to get a better look at Draxus. “Have you checked for a pulse?”
“I’m not sure. I think so...” Marcus replied as he watched over the guard’s armoured shoulder. “Is he going to be alright?”
Only seconds later several more heavily armoured soldiers appeared at the doorway and came barrelling into the chambers to join them. General Shasharan was leading them as he quickly rounded the bed and moved to hover over his King.
“What the hell happened here?” he bellowed. “Somebody fill me in, quick!”
“I found my brother like this, he’s unresponsive General.” Marcus explained, appearing concerned.
“Where is the Queen?” Shasharan asked looking around the room with deep concern. “Did you see anyone leave this room?”
“General, I am sure I have no idea where she is. As I told you already, I came in and she was gone. Draxus was lying here like this! I don’t know what happened!” the Prince’s expression had now changed to an agitated one; he wasn’t used to being interrogated, especially by the General!
One of the soldiers standing at the other side of the bed moved the sheet and noticed the glowing blue-bladed weapon lying there, beside their motionless King.
“General, look!” he alerted, pointing his finger at it.
Shasharan moved around the bed and stood over it, then picking it up with his hand and taking a closer look. His eyes showed his disbelief as soon as he had confirmed what he thought it was; a Lunai blade.
“That’s a Veemon weapon!” one of the soldiers announced.
“But the Veemon haven’t been sighted for years!” another added.
“Do you think they took the Queen, General?” a third enquired from behind him.
Prince Marcus stood by while the half-witted soldiers and General deliberated about what had happened in this room tonight. He of course knew exactly what had happened, but he found it quite intriguing to hear what these foolish men believed had occurred.
General Shasharan turned to Prince Marcus with the blade in hand as he spoke.
“Your highness, we will need to escort you to a safer location until we figure out what happened here.” he explained.
“What? No, there’s no need for that-”
Marcus was cut off mid-sentence by the insistent General.
“-I’m afraid it’s royal protocol, my lord.” Shasharan explained. “With the Queen missing and the King unresponsive, we need to ensure that the next in line to the throne is kept safe from any possible danger until this matter can be sorted out. Please, for your safety.”
One of the soldiers next to Marcus spoke next.
“Come on, your highness. This way.”
With a frustrated grunt, Prince Marcus scrunched up his face and huffed as he turned and marched off after several soldiers who led him out of the royal chambers and down the corridor.
“I want this place on lock down!” the General commanded sternly. “No one enters or leaves without my approval!”
He held the dagger up closer and inspected it for a second or two, then handing it to one of the soldiers and rounding the bed once more to stand over the sleeping King. Reaching down, he carefully forced one of Draxus’ eyelids open to reveal his glazed over eye. His pupil was extremely dilated indicating some sort of toxin had been used on him.
“What’s wrong with him?” one of the soldiers asked as they all stared in concern at their leader lying on the bed.
“He’s been drugged.” Shasharan whispered to himself.
“Is he...” another asked, but could not quite finish his sentence.
“No... He lives, for now...” General Shasharan replied sharply. “I want someone watching over him around the clock. Double the guards until I return, no one gets in or out unless I say so, is that understood?”
Every soldier currently standing around the bed nodded in response as the General made his way back around the bed again and toward the doorway.
He was going to locate the royal doctor and get an update on their security measures. As far as he knew, someone had made an attempt on the King’s life tonight, and it was highly likely whoever was responsible had also kidnapped their Queen!
Little did he know, the culprit was much closer to home than he could have ever dared imagine!