Prologue Part 1
It was beautiful. Astonishing as it is, it gleams with power and reeks of destruction. But she did not care anyway. She had conquered the highest mountains, fled to the untamed woodlands, crossed the wide oceans, and drawn the attention of mankind.
She came to admire the scenery, stood on top of the rich walls. Her bare feet kissed the rough and thick surface as her gaze bored forward into the rustle beauty of the urban territory.
Her cautious, lingering steps marveled at the wide, brick-layered wall top.
She had travelled across The Land to the highly-guarded, grandiose city. The tempting, skyscraping barriers had her amazed and tempted. The same walls which she conquered with endeavor and pain. Her closed lids had her reminisce her sweet moments of triumph.
She had not wavered despite the cruel mockeries and the vicious laughter of the nobles. Clearly though, they had not welcomed her in the upper-class society. Her bare feet had been scorned at, yet she had not lost her courage. Notwithstanding the screams of cultured ladies and the thunderous marching guards, she had hopped onto a gap and had begun to climb smoothly upwards.
Ah, she remembered one of the guards shouting at her that time. She smiled to the memory.
"Come down this instant!"
Her ears turned deaf towards the still-bellowing commands as she bathed in the radiance of the eventide.
She had unraveled the mysteries of the everlasting earth; journeyed thither to find a new privilege, a new taste of the wind and summit. Her home was long forgotten. She had known herself as a lone traveler, created to trace the outlines of The Land by her bare fingers. And by her bare feet.
She will not fall from the greatest heights, even when her past dragged her down to the deepest pits.
The wind swayed with her silent hums. Her arms were wide open to greet the everlasting eventide. She felt as light as a feather, soaring above the promising skies. It was a dream, a wish, a prayer, which she endlessly shouted ever since that night. To set the clouds ablaze. To walk on stormy tides. She smiled.
“Who are you, milady?”
Her head turned unwillingly towards the husky voice. As soon as she opened her heavy lids, hazel rounded in amusement. Standing a few feet away from her was a tall man, his features were carved by the gods and his deep black eyes stared deeply into hers.
Her lips made no move to hesitate. “The world calls me Ashe, and I am a voyager resting here to seek fresh experiences. What about you, sir? It is quite amusing to see someone like you climbing to the top of this wall, just like I did.”
“Daniel Trevor, at your service.” He bowed, emitting a light chuckle from the raven-haired beauty. The corner of his lips curled up. “And why would you choose such a dangerous place to admire the sunset?”
Ashe switched her gaze to the ginger skies and answered, “I wished to savor every bit of The Land. Who knows if I would die this second?” To add the emphasis, she arched her back backwards, causing herself to fall in a risky situation.
The man’s eyes bulged at the sight and he was about to attempt saving her when she laughed at his anxiety. He scowled. “That was not safe, you know. You could’ve fallen.”
“And you would’ve saved me,” she pointed out with a touch of an innocent smile.
“Well,” he shrugged. “I guess you’re right.”
She sat down to relieve her fatigue and swung her legs in boredom. “What do you do for living? I can see through your eyes that you possess wild freedom yet prosperity seemed to shine as well.” She squinted. “Tell me; share your secrets with me, for I wish to live a better life with no boundaries.”
Hearing this, the man laughed. He settled down next to her and gazed at the sunset. “I won’t tell you,” he said and glanced at her pouting face. He smirked. “But I will show you. If you promise me something.”
“What promise?” she asked curiously.
He leant closer to her until their noses were an inch apart. Ashe remained unfazed but she slowly backed away, only to be tugged closer by her neck.
“Promise me that you will …” He hesitated before laying out ghostly kisses across her cheek. Once he reached her mouth, he halted and their warm breaths collided against each other. Ashe watched with intent as his lips left her haven and leaned in to whisper in her ear, “never fall in love with me.”
The man went back to his previous position, leaving Ashe speechless. He then added another statement. “I have a fiancée somewhere out there, and she doesn’t like polygamy. So,” he looked back at her. “Do you accept this deal?”
Somewhere out there was his fiancée.
She need not falter. She nodded and stared back at the eventide with a genuine smile lighting up her face.
To never fall in love with him.