Carvelle beckons to the servant with her long black nail. The servant's body stops and suddenly flies forward. Carvelle wills the magic to stop as soon as her servant was in front of her. "Do you have the Staff?" She asks in a threatening voice. The servant gulps. "Answer me! Your silence will be your execution." Carvelle narrows her eyes, "Yes or no?"
The servant's timid eyes wander gingerly to meet Carvelle's. "No." A heavy weight seems to be lifted off Carvelle's chest. Well, at least now the waiting is over, she thinks.
"How many casualties?"
"But you took 18 men? Was it that hard to take down a royal chariot?" Carvelle asks in astonishment.
"I believe... they knew we were coming." The servant says with a tinge more dignity than before.
"That will be all." Carvelle snaps. "You are dismissed." The servant bows and backs away, her brown hair falling coincidentally in her eyes. Then she turns and walks briskly off, releasing a breath she didn't think she was holding.
Carvelle's advisor dashes to her black mistress' side. Hope wears a black cloak, like all the rest here, but her hair is white as the moon. "Ma'am, I'm afraid that there is a spy amongst us. Even young June suspected that the king's forces knew we were coming. If she knows, then there will be unrest in The Black Fortress. We can't have skepticism."
"Too true." Carvelle narrows her eyes, and a sad look comes across her face. "For this, I am sorry, my dear Hope. But I mean, you knew that you couldn't survive here with a name like that." Hope looks at Carvelle with distrust and an unbelieving frown.
"You can't possibly mean.... But, no...." Hope's eyes widen.
"Guards, take her away." Carvelle beckons again to them, but lets them walk in their own pace. Hope lets out a sob.
"Please, no, I'm begging you. It wasn't me! I swear! I love you Carvelle, and I would never-"
Carvelle snaps her wrist, and Hope's words are cut short, her lips still moving, but her voice gone. 'Never get too close to something you love,' her father's words echo in Carvelle's mind. A tear trickles down Carvelle's cheek. "For you, daddy," she whispers. "All for you. This is your empire."