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Crimson Curse

By Vanessa Calouro All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Romance


Izota Kingdom was one of the richest kingdoms in all the world. For centuries, it had fended off enemy kingdoms bent on conquering its resource-filled land. Now, as the last member of the Sneaux Dynasty takes the throne, a new threat looms on the horizon. No one knows how the massacre happened. Everyone in the castle had been murdered. King. Queen. Prince. Everyone except Princess Aldora who was suddenly thrust into the position of Queen at the tender age of sixteen. Quickly, she was forced to learn her duties as Queen while struggling with the demons of her past. They only grew more powerful with time and soon they will completely take over her mind, making her a prisoner inside her own body. Will she be able to rule her kingdom when each day it becomes harder and harder to maintain her sanity? Or will she crumble, giving herself up to her temptations?

The Imperial Bath House

The summer nights in Izota Kingdom were often hot and muggy, despite its fame for snow, ice, and glaciers. It was the kind of unbearable heat that made hair stick to necks and skin stick to furniture. On this oppressively humid night, Queen Aldora could no longer stand her royal duties. With her mind nearly fried to a crisp, she stowed away. It was time for a well-deserved bath.

Her long, iris-colored cape flowed behind her as she walked toward the imperial bath house. Except for the castle, the bath was Izota’s largest building. It loomed overhead like a crystallized monster with its various buttresses, towers, and colorful stained glass windows. In the moonlight, they sparkled like eyes, constantly scrutinizing the wary traveler.

In order to construct the bath house, grand slabs of marble traveled across the land on the backs of enormous Caspian Clawdinas - large, white-furred felines found only in the Oreias Mountains.

Artists had worked day and night, carving the marble slabs into beautiful renditions of the Izotian countryside. Some artists had even lost their lives while painting the vaulted ceilings. Their sacrifice, however, resulted in a marvelous recreation of the night time sky. Striking golds and riveting silvers captured the breathtaking Northern Lights found only in Izota.

Aldora approached the entrance, slowing her pace in this holy place. With silent footsteps, she entered. She craned her neck, admiring the imitation starlight sparkling from above. She watched them twinkle and wink at her before she crossed into the statue room. A large trefoil archway stood before her, marking the entrance to the main washroom. A small grin played on her lips.

She crossed the threshold.

Once inside, the sound of rushing water reached her ears, soothing her fatigued body. She closed her eyes, her memories bringing her back in time...

She was a new Queen. A month into her reign. After a rushed meeting with the Royal Izotian Council (RIC), they advised her to visit the Kingdom of Forbidden Depths - Cascata.

The Kingdom had recently risen to power with its discovery of a water-generated energy source. Despite various inquiries, Cascata had yet to disclose this mysterious new power supply. Still, hushed politics aside, the seaside kingdom had proved its allegiance to Izota for generations. In fact, they were Aldora’s most affective ally against the Ash Lord - Pyralis. This tyrannous overlord controlled Lavanova - the Kingdom of Fallen Ash - with a brutal totalitarian government.

Pyralis, like his forefathers, yearned to conquer Izota for its vast resources. The task, however, proved impossible. Even after countless wars, countless centuries, and countless deaths on both sides, Izota still maintained its autonomy.

During Aldora’s trip to Cascata, she needed to convince Queen Rydia to take an active stance against Pyralis. Previously, Queen Rydia had only aided the war effort by sending food, resources, and weapons. But, through compelling argumentation, Aldora finally managed to persuade the sweet-tempered Queen. Rydia was known throughout the world as a pacifist who disliked violence of any kind. Aldora had her suspicion that Rydia just didn’t want to get her hands dirty.

Still, Aldora got her to sign the agreement, especially when she pointed out the vulnerability Cascata would face in the case of Izota’s fall. Without an army, Rydia’s kingdom had no foreseeable defense against Pyralis. Her only real choice was to send her strongest citizens over the border so they could be trained by Izota’s superior military captains.

Eventually, with the documents signed and a kinship established between the two Queens, Aldora finally began to enjoy herself. She visited one of the world’s most renowned beaches: Pria dos Minhos.

The soft sand under her feet felt strange, but at the same time, oddly enjoyable. The uniquely black sand got between her toes, tickling her ever so slightly.

However, what the Glacial Queen had appreciated most during her visit were the marvelous waterfalls that decorated the land. She had never seen such volumes of water pour down from the Heavens. The sight of the mist sparkling in the sunlight looked like daytime stars, dancing right above the water’s surface. It was a magical sight that she couldn’t bear to leave behind.

For this reason, she ordered the construction of her own waterfall. It was the focal point of the imperial bath house. Together with the vastness of the building, it demonstrated the luxury of her kingdom. There was nothing Izota couldn’t buy.

The flashback faded from her mind. She opened her eyes and took in a deep breath. She stood before the man-made waterfall that had taken almost three years to make. The crisp water cascaded down the slick marble walls and into the pool below. Tiny bubbles floated to the surface, popping after a moment, demonstrating the futility of something so strong and yet so fragile as water.

Aldora stepped forward, slowly stripping off her queenly garments. Piece by piece, they dropped to the floor. Soon, her pale, milky white flesh shimmered in the glowing moonlight. It filtered from the skylights above, concentrating on the Queen like a spotlight. Her foot touched the water first, hovering there like it wanted to float across the water. She sighed contentedly as she felt the water cloak her skin, easing away all her troubles.

At last, she submerged into the water, letting it caress every inch of her body. A warmth blossomed in her chest. She sunk to the bottom, her toes grazing the slick surface before she propelled herself upward. Breaking the surface, she couldn’t help the small moan that escaped her lips. Steam snaked around her bare shoulders like an adoring lover.

And realistically, it was no surprise that the steam treated her so. Since she was 16, men found themselves trapped in a trance when they gazed at her. She enraptured the world, forcing it to take a shuddering breath just to continue revolving around the sun.

Her body was perfect. Skin like porcelain. Proportions only meant for a goddess. Even with her small stature, she still possessed the elegant and sleek body type that was common in the icy land. More so, her features were so delicate and well-crafted that most theorized that she was a direct descendant of the Syrinx, an ancient fairy-like species, known for their beauty. They had once ruled over most of the world, but then the Siege of Nightmares happened.

To this day, it is still unknown how the siege started or who instigated the attack. No offender was ever found. The only evidence left after the massacre was the thousands of mutilated Syrinx bodies scattered across the land like a plague.

Those who did not die in battle quickly lost their minds. They screamed stories of demons and other nonsense, slowly pulling out their hair and begging for a painless death. In the end, the remaining Syrinx died in their sleep, suffering horrendous night terrors before finally escaping the mortal world.

Since then, new empires had risen and fallen throughout the landscape. Battles had been fought and lost. Races killed and reborn. Izota had been one of the first kingdoms to rise after the Syrinx Dynasty. Aldora’s family, the Sneaux, despite their naturally docile appearance, had always ruled the land with a just hand, making sure their people were safe and happy, even as rival kingdoms such as Lavanova or the now extinct Elwood threatened their doorstep.

Aldora admired her family’s history carved into the posterior wall. Her eyes traveled along the vivid battle scenes. The moonlight crept through the window, highlighting the Queen’s milky skin, causing it to glimmer and shine like she was covered with well-polished diamonds.

Her dark, beautiful hair flowed down her back in soft ringlets, framing her face, giving her a gentle countenance that matched her almost child-like frame. Adding to this innocent appearance were her large, chocolate-brown eyes that could make any man weak-kneed and short of breath.

In essence, Queen Aldora was nothing less than a modern-day goddess.

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