Chapter 3 - A Tempting Offer
Marcus was both flabbergasted and furious after hearing the news of Lillian having bonded with a dragon of her very own. And she hadn’t just bonded with any old creature; it was the Great Pearl Dragon!
“You’re absolutely certain of this, Rayvinn? I mean, there’s no chance that it could have been a similar looking creature?”
“Marcus, do you believe me a fool? I know what I saw. That fucking thing lay waste to us within a matter of minutes!”
Turning to face the balcony window now, the King Regent appeared deep in thought as he slowly walked across the room to stop and stand before it.
“Xytsis will not be pleased to hear this.” he spoke softly, as if to himself while deep in thought.
“No… he won’t, will he?”
Rayvinn’s voice suddenly seemed much closer than she had been only seconds earlier as the sorceress wandered up to stand just behind the King Regent.
Although she was too close for comfort, Marcus did not turn around to face her as he continued to try and think of possible ways to use information like this to their advantage.
Unfortunately for him, he could think of none.
“From what I understood my father intended on bonding with the mystical creature himself when the time revealed itself. I guess that’s no longer possible… pity.”
Her tone was smothered in sarcasm and Marcus chose this as his moment to turn around and face her, his eyes narrowed as they began to glow a threatening eerie red hue.
“Exactly who’s side are you on here, sorceress?”
But her reply surprised him completely.
His eyes narrowed further in question as he waited patiently for her to continue explaining what she had meant by her admission.
“Oh, by the way, how is working with my father treating you, King Regent?”
Before he could think to prevent the words from escaping his mouth, they had.
“Working for him is more like it.”
Rayvinn’s smirk only widened upon hearing this. Her bottom lip stuck out as she exaggerated a pout and continued.
“I’m sorry to hear it.”
“I highly doubt that.” his reply was sharp and snake-like.
“Hmm… sounds like we both have problems. Mine being the fallout from my father when I inform him of my apparent failure and yours being the fact that Xytsis will never take you seriously enough to become his equal…”
Rolling his eyes at her pathetic attempt to try and convince him of something, as she was obviously currently doing, Marcus let out a heated sigh.
“Your point Rayvinn?”
She pursed her lips while considering how she would respond.
“It seems to me, King Regent, as if we both share one in the same problem. One we should seriously consider ridding ourselves of once and for all.”
He looked her up and down, still unable to link their connecting problem amidst all the chaos occurring around him in that moment. What problem had she meant?
This was Rayvinn’s moment to roll her eyes before giving him her answer.
“Our problem is Xytsis.”
His eyes widened with surprise, his brows raising at her gall.
“Is it now?”
“Oh, don’t pretend you haven’t yet considered ridding yourself of my meddling father somewhere along the line during his non-stop micro-management of Westoria. Has he ever let you have a say, this entire time? Has he allowed you to be the first to make a move without repercussion?”
Marcus’ answer was obvious as he turned his head to the side, avoiding her gaze.
“No… I thought not.” she added, the side of her pale mouth rising ever so slightly.
This would be even easier than she had initially thought. Marcus was like clay being moulded within her very hands. All she had to do was play her final card, one that she would only ever use as a last resort.
“You speak of treason, sorceress.”
Marcus’ voice was soft now, though he appeared to be open to hearing more as he turned back to meet her glowing eyes.
“Do you know what will happen to either one of us if Xytsis even learned that this conversation took place? I know you are his daughter, but I on the other hand have no such sway over him.”
“Being his daughter has never made my life any easier, King Regent. If anything quite the opposite.”
Her eyes began to grow brighter with each passing second as she continued speaking through now gritted teeth.
“I have suffered bitterly and fought blindly through more obstacles than anyone I have ever known in my lifetime. And even now I hold no worth to him, not even as his daughter. I have worked for that man my entire life and have yet to earn any glimmer of respect from the man who was supposed to guide and mentor me into adulthood.”
Now she had his attention; she was playing the ace up her sleeve.
“All I want is to take what should be rightfully mine. I want to bring that man to his knees before draining every last drop of his life’s essence, to make him even begin to understand what I have suffered through since the day I was born as his daughter.”
Silence fell as Marcus continued staring directly into her now sizzling white eyes, her brow creased inwards with sheer fury as she remained still and unblinking, meeting his stare head on.
“You would really defy him? Be careful sorceress, betrayal is not something to take lightly. Once it has been committed there is no turning back-” he reminded.
“-I have no intention of turning back.” she cut in sternly.
“And you are asking for my aid in this… act of treason, I assume?” he confirmed.
“Together we would stand more of a chance. With our combined power and skill to strategize, he wouldn’t even know what hit him until it was too late… well, with that and what I alone already know about him, we can-”
He quickly interrupted, “-I’m sorry, with what you know about him?”
She couldn’t help but smirk.
“I know the only way that can kill my father. Normal mortal weapons simply won’t do it... I know what will.”
Marcus suddenly chuckled.
“And here I thought you actually held some sort of important information from me, sorceress…” he announced.
“I’m afraid that I already know about Lunai blades and that they kill your kind, your father included. Or did you forget our little meeting on the balcony not so long ago? When I held a Lunai dagger at your throat?”
Rayvinn quite literally bit her lip in an effort to prevent herself from saying anything in reply to his obvious attempt at riling her up. She would not give him the satisfaction of reacting as he wanted her to. Instead she smiled and spoke her response calmly.
“Oh Marcus, Marcus, Marcus… how could I forget our time together… But no, as a matter of fact I wasn’t referring to a Lunai blade being used on him. Besides, a weapon made from Lunai would only injure him, not kill him and then you would have to get close enough to use it on him.”
She turned to face out through the balcony window now as she continued to explain.
“I am the only one he has ever trusted enough to actually divulge details of how he could be killed. It has been my secret for many decades, one that I will put to good use soon enough.”
“What exactly are you saying?” Marcus asked, aiming to clarify.
“I know the only way to kill the demon King Xytsis, and I plan on sharing that with you if…” she trailed off.
“If I choose to join you.”
She merely grinned, still not meeting his face as she peered out at the darkening sky surrounding them.
Marcus took in a deep breath, inhaling and then exhaling through his nostrils as he unknowingly bit his inner cheek.
This was a serious choice, one that would either be beneficial or the end for both of them.
For all he knew there could have been spies anywhere listening in on them right now. Perhaps this was all a test and Rayvinn was trying to get him to admit treason to her father? He couldn’t be completely certain.
And at that moment Rayvinn could clearly see that she had Marcus hooked, all she needed to do was reel him in. And she knew exactly what would do it.
“I know all you have ever wanted was to become King of Westoria, Marcus. First your brother robbed you of it because of his birthright, then my father came along and turned you into his minion…”
Marcus appeared to snarl to himself as she turned to face him.
“But the fact remains, if we have any chance of gaining the level of power we both so desperately desire, we have but one choice, your highness. We must unite as one and take him out.”
His eyes, still tinged with a faint red glow around the outsides of his irises remained fixated on hers as he considered everything they had just discussed.
Yes, she had a valid point and yes Xytsis had turned him into his loyal minion, though he hadn’t been officially given that title as of yet. But Marcus was not a fool. He knew that Xytsis, as powerful as he was, would never see him as an equal.
With the demon King around, Marcus could never rise to power, not entirely.
A question suddenly sprung to mind and before he knew it he was asking her.
“So, if we were to go through with this…” he paused, allowing her to finish the rest of his sentence.
And she did just that.
“You would be free once more to lead the people of Westoria without question, without having to answer to anyone else. With my father out of the way our power combined would at last become strong enough to find your missing brother and destroy him for good, legitimising your claim to the throne unquestionably.”
“And Lillian?” he asked.
“Her fate is in your hands, my lord. You can choose to keep her as your Queen, or end her along with her child…” she paused, noticing Marcus’ expression now.
It was obvious that he lusted after the Dragon Queen and Rayvinn knew dangling her in front of him would only add to her efforts to convince him.
Marcus had always wanted Lillian, right from the very first moment he had ever laid eyes upon her.
“And what would you have to gain from this?” Marcus continued his questions, clearly untrusting, no doubt from their past together.
“This seems like an awful lot of trouble for you to merely kill your overbearing father.”
Rayvinn chose to answer honestly.
“I would of course obtain my father’s power when he passes. With his power and mine combined there would be no one strong enough to stop us, not even the Dragon Queen herself. Together, we would become invincible, our reign would last throughout time.”
“So, the question is am I willing to risk my loyalty towards my master for a possible chance at more power?”
Marcus spoke his comment aloud, narrowing his eyes as he too turned his head to look out through the balcony window.
“No Marcus…” she interjected. “The real question here is… who’s side are you on?”
It didn’t take him long before he announced his answer with a confident smirk.
“Like you said before sorceress... I’m on my own side.”
End of Sample -
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