Vallarie was covered in blood. She had slain many creatures with magic and sword. Yet more of the abominations seemed to spawn out of the ground. It was nothing less than a massacre. She watched as hundreds of her comrades died violently at the hands of these creatures. Their claws and teeth were so powerful that they ripped through the steel plate armour as easily as a knife cuts through butter.
Another creature lunged at her. She was tired and low on stamina. Her reflexes became too slow to defend herself from the blow. The beast ripped open her back, and a fountain of blood poured out through her ravaged armour. She cried out in pain. It felt like she had been slashed with a pitchfork on her naked back. She fell to the ground, and the creature moved in for the kill. Vallarie was quick enough to use a powerful spell to rip the beast apart, but she had now exhausted all of her magic reserves. She crawled on the field as the sound of dying men and mighty roars attacked her ears. She needed to retreat. She had climbed over a dead body. When she looked at the face, tears had streamed down her cheeks. It was Glenn, her squire. Glenn’s light brown eyes were wide open in shock. Her stomach was ripped open and her entrails spilt out of her. Vallarie knew that the girl had suffered. The savages cut her open and left her to suffer.
Vallarie continued to crawl away from the battlefield. Her heart broke to see her knights and their squires being slaughtered by the dozens. There was nothing she could do. She could barely stand and did not have enough magic power to heal herself. All she could do was retreat. She needed to warn Algon about this new threat to their kingdom.
After some time, the sound of death and terror had become distant. She was getting further away. Her body ached, and she wanted to rest a few moments to catch her breath. But now was not the time. She needed to keep moving. To get as far away from those creatures as she could.
She stopped abruptly. A soft growl echoed behind her. There was a creature behind her. There was nothing she could do but face her death like a true knight. She turned around on her back was only able to see a massive fist swing toward her before she could see no more.
She opened her eyes slowly. Her vision was blurred and could not make out what was in her field of vision. She felt an intense pain on her back and her jaw. It was cold and damp where she lay. She tried to lift her hand to rub her eyes, but they were stuck. She looked down and saw that her wrists and ankles were shackled. She also realised that she was cold because she was completely naked. The floor was damp. As her vision cleared, she took in her surroundings. She was in a dark cell. It was some sort of dungeon. She was being kept prisoner, but by who? The creatures? That doesn’t make sense.
She heard footsteps not far off. The sound was getting louder. Someone was getting closer. She tried to cover her nakedness, but her hands would not reach. The chains on the shackles were too short. She was in a lot of pain, hungry, tired, cold, and felt extremely vulnerable.
She looked up and saw General Marcus standing on the other side of the bars. He opened the gate and sauntered toward her. He had a wide grin on his face as his eyes travelled all over her bare body. He was doing this on purpose, she thought to herself. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of showing weakness.
“We meet again, oh mighty Knight-Commander.”
“I should have known. Only you could be in league with such horrid abominations!”
“My brothers? Yes, I did tell them to bring you to me. You will do quite well.”
“Do for what, you demon!?”
Marcus smiled at her as his eyes gazed over her body again.
“What is your plan? What do you want with our continent!?”
“Nothing,” Marcus said simply.
“So you do this for the joy of it!?”
“Partly, but there is someone on this continent that I need. She is the one component I need to pave the way to royalty.”
“Yes. Only she can kill the demon king. Then it will be my era to rule the underworld!”
“Demon King? Underworld? I don’t understand!”
“Of course you don’t. And you do not need to my dear. All you need to know is that the key is now on her way to your brother’s side and that poses a problem. I must yet again use the empire’s resources to capture her. And YOU are the key to demoralising the great Fiondan army. Your death will break the ranks of Fiondan and allow the empire to carve a path to Princess Azzara.”
“So it is her you are after! My brother will never let you have her! Even if you kill me, it will just make my brothers-in-arms fight harder!”
Marcus laughed coolly. “Oh, I’m not just going to kill you. I’m going to torture you first. Then I will humiliate you in front of them all. And then I will kill you.”
Marcus snapped his fingers, and two large men walked into the cell. “Meet Gunder and Burke. They are the Empire’s finest torture experts.”
Vallarie’s heart began to pound in her chest. Fear and anxiety had taken hold of her.
“Gentlemen, before you begin, take her to the barracks. The men could use some entertainment.”
Vallarie screamed after Marcus as he walked away. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she cursed him and made promises of killing him. Her screams were drowned out as Gunder gagged her mouth and threw her over his shoulder. She bit on her gag and cried as the two men delivered her to the men waiting in the barracks.