I barely had time before I could dodge the rough fist Rafael was aiming for my face. Now, how could I let that shitface ruin my handsomeness that my mother and father worked on so hard? So, I crouched down, slipping away from him. Getting back to my feet, I didn’t wait to deliver a pleasurable blow in his stomach with my leg. I was granted with a lovely noise of thud and a crack. Very good!
I wiped the blood off my face and took a leisure walk toward him. They should have known messing with Nathaniel Valendard meant messing with the death. Alas! They wouldn’t understand me in an easy way. Well, their loss.
I kneeled down before a groaning Rafael. You wouldn’t recognize this thick-skulled meatball at the moment. I was so proud of my handiwork. He bored his eyes on me, still had the nerve to challenge my skills. However, I gave him a taunting smirk before pulling out the knife I was hiding in my black leather boot. With one swift motion, I lifted it in the air. My aim was his heart.
This bastard thought he would get away after almost raping my Tulip last night. I should have cut off his damn...
“Nathaniel! Wait!” The all too familiar soft voice screamed.
I halted midair before looking up to see Tulip was running through the crowd. She dropped down before me and snatched the knife away. I couldn’t stop her. I was too shocked.
“What were you thinking!” She screamed. “You could have killed him!”
I scowled and seized the knife back.
“He deserves to die!” I growled, spitting on Rafael’s face.
I felt her small hands gripping my arms, making me look at her. Her warm brown eyes, filled with tears, made me wish to tear apart that devil to pieces.
“Let him go,” She spoke softly.
My eyes widened. “But-”
“The Queen won’t spare you.”
Ah! The damn Queen! It had to be her. It had to be her stupid laws for not killing anyone without her permission. And, that was the problem. I didn’t have time to wait for her approval. She and her freaking law could kiss my ass for all I cared.
“I don’t give a damn.” I raised the knife again. This time with more determination.
I stopped again. Ugh! Why did she have to be so persistent?
“Listen, Nathaniel,” She cupped my face, forcing me to look at her. “You may not care, but I do. And, for my brother, I can face hell, but not the Queen, please. She’s too dangerous to mess with and I can’t afford to risk your life because you broke the Queen’s law.”
I had enough.
“Why it had to be that freaking woman all the time? We may live in her kingdom, but we are no pet. She is the Queen because of us!” I all but screamed.
“Careful of what you speak, young man.”
The voice made my head turn back. There stood an overweight man, crossing his arms. I knew him. He was known as a cheap drunk merchant in the market who sold soil at gold’s rate. The infamous Gunderson Crawford, who hated the Queen with passion. And, right now, he was wearing a tired scowl.
“What are you looking at!” He snapped, making me realize I was staring at him with rather wide eyes.
I had no business with him so I turned back to the bustard to finish my unfinished business. I raised my hands, ignoring the screams of encouragement of public and protest of my sister. And, for the nth time, my hand stopped midair. I bet Rafael himself was getting irritated by the continuous interruption.
I growled and turned back to the drunk merchant. I opened my mouth to give him a piece of my mind.
“I need to talk to you. Come!”
“You got to be damned, Gunderson!”
“I am damned, boy.”
“No way. I’m not going to be the scapegoat.” I turned away.
This was insane.
“You have to. My life is on the line here.” He gripped my hand tightly.
I scoffed. “Then, why bothered to insult that royal in the middle of the crowd, huh? Look, your problem, you look out. Spare me!”
“Wow! Was I the only one who shitted with the Queen? What were you doing down there, huh?”
How dare he!
“Watch it, man!” I growl.
“You watch it!” He snapped back. “It’s either you come with me to the palace to become the warrior or to hang with me. Your choice.”
I fisted my hands. How could he blackmail me into becoming a dog for that damn bitch! I would rather die than be the freaking warrior she wanted me to be.
“No freaking way!” I growled in his face.
I had enough. I started to walk back where the fight had taken place just a few moments ago, the Market. We were on the outskirts of the crowded area of the market to talk as Gunderson liked to put. After this argument, I was not going to even look at that shitfaced merchant. Ever!
“Fine!” He screamed in a shrill voice as I continued to walk away. “When your family suffers because of this, come meet me in hell.”
I stopped. What did he mean?
“What!” I turned back.
The evil merchant smirked.
“If you don’t come with me right now, I have the permission from the Queen to do whatever it takes to bring the candidate to the palace." His words made my eyes go wide as he smirked. "And, you know you have a beautiful family so..."
I was blown away. Slowly and surely, I fisted my ball, my brows furrowed as I gritted my teeth so hard they could break. My inside burned with fury, pain, and anguish. That damn bitch stooped so low to let some scumbag threaten my family!
I couldn’t find the strength to speak. I was too busy strangling and burning that Queen alive in my mind to notice the devilish grin on Gunderson’s face.
The midday sun seemed to be too hot all of a sudden. Sweat trickled down my forehead, muscles ached from the intense fight earlier. I slowly masked my scowl with a dead expression. Fine, Queen Aravena. I would give you what you want and what you deserve!