The Lady Aster

All Rights Reserved ©

Summary

Snow. Blood. A heroic princess. This short story tells the tale of a gruesome battle through the eyes of a messenger owl, who would serve the beautiful and brave Lady Aster until the very end.

Genre:
Fantasy / Action
Author:
Mathew Nelson
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Chapter 1

Bitter white agony unfolds far down below me, and its screams are to me like a child writhing in pain. I flap my wings and soar further down, listening to the shrill sound of metal clashing on metal, sword striking shield, spear piercing armour and flesh alike. I am forced to avert left and right as arrows let loose in the sky – shooting up and then down to claim their kill. Soon this beautiful snow field will become a wasteland of blood and ice.

There upon the white slope I find her – The Lady Aster. She is young and fair, a beautiful flower if I had ever seen one, and yet as fierce as a lion, and thrice as deadly. She has the firm voice of a commander and the noble aurora of a princess – she is both of these things and more.

With a stern mouth, tender skin and enchanting eyes of deep violet, she possesses power to bring men to their knees with little more than a glance. Of course, The Lady Aster cares little for beauty when the lives of her people are threatened. She is clad in shimmering silver armour, leather gauntlets and grieves, and a magnificent crimson cloak draped around her shoulders to fight the biting cold – the brooch clipped over her breast is a sparkling cerulean snowflake. Her hair is a river of black flowing gracefully down to her shoulders; riddled with knots and sprinkled with snow, she would see to it when the fighting was done.

In her right hand is Shadowbane – a fearsome longsword for an equally fearsome lady. It was forged for her by the castle smith, and now it glistens magnificently in the sun. Her longsword is an undying flame; the pommel and cross-guard are pale ash encrusted with diamonds, the grip is black leather and gold, with a blade as black as coal, and yet still burning with a deep and solemn orange glow.

In her left hand is Snowflake – the beautiful round shield that is, like Shadowbane, a gift from her father, the king. The diamond blue shield rests on her arm as light as a feather. Lined around the edge with gold, the shield bore the sigil of her house – the glittering blue snowflake. She can only pray that when the day is done, it would not be stained red with the blood of the fallen, friend and foe alike.

When The Lady Aster sees me soaring above, I flap my white wings and land upon her arm. She is glad to see me. When she smiles, her purple eyes glimmer, and when she speaks, her voice is a blessing. “Hey girl, you had me frightened when those arrows flew. Remember to soar high, okay. We’ve lost enough brave warriors already, I can’t bear to lose you too.” She takes the paper scroll and attaches it to my leg. “Okay, now get this to Commander Rose as quick as you can. We can’t afford to lose any more ground here, and without his reinforcements I fear the battle will be lost.” She scratches my feathers beneath my beak and then lifts me up into the air. I take off immediately.

As I soar towards the clouds I can see the truth in Lady Aster’s words. Our foe are too numerous and too powerful. All around I see snowflakes shattering like glass, one by one. It breaks my heart to see them like this. I press on with all the speed that I can conjure. I know that the fate of these men rests in me getting this message to Commander Rose. I wish I could fly faster.

On the edge of the battle I see a sturdy old man clad in blue. He is a dear friend to me and has been for as long as I can remember. He is no longer a military man, his days of battle are long since passed, and yet here he fights with the courage of a dozen men. He is dying, I realise. His snow-white hair is drenched in sweat, and droplets of blood fall from his brow with every swing of his sword.

The man he is fighting is young and strong, while he is old and spent. I remember my lady’s words. “Remember to soar high, okay.” Just this once, I dive. I am like an arrow with the wind in my feathers, and when I reach my friend’s attacker my talons tear into his flesh. I use my beak too, and the sound of screaming is accompanied with the sweet taste of blood. A thrust of a sword ends his life. As I return to the sky, my old friend smiles and salutes me.

At first I don’t feel it when it rips through my body, but suddenly I become heavy, and I can no longer flap my wings. The shaft of the arrow goes straight through me, and remains there to drag me down into the snow. I plummet, helpless and in pain. My landing is soft, but it doesn’t matter. The life slowly drains out of me and fills up the soft blanket of snow, turning it to a ghastly shade of pink. I close my eyes. I am dying…

And then I begin to float, my body swaying side my side. I open my eyes and see the bleeding face of my old friend, as strong as ever, of course. He is reading the message intended for Commander Rose. He looks at me then and places his gentle hand behind my head. “Don’t you worry,” he says to me. “We’ll get this to Commander Rose, the two of us. You’ll see.”

His words fill me with joy, and I close my eyes one last time.
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Tiffany Yeomans: You’re such an amazing author!!! Wow wow wow!!!! With every book of the Riders that I read I fall even more and more in love with them and the stories you’ve created!!! They’re phenomenal so damn beautiful at the same time!! Please please write us some more books on the Riders!!!!😘😍😍😍💐🌸💜💜💞💞

Renee presley: It is so romantic and well written. By far one of the greatest werewolf books I've read in a while

Ezzy Limon: I chose this rating because its a great book, i like how this book is well written. I hope the author continues the story

Priyanka Dasgupta: Excellent plot short and sweet with the right amount of dramahad me glued to it till I could finish

jedidiahkachenga: Awesome book! Kept me on my toes I couldn't have enough 🥰🥰🥰🖤

Marietta Balogbog: Iending Is good but sad 🙁 to the part with the lust julien his mate and friend because of some woman nut to his true mate. break 💔 my heart for him when in the end he love his mate but its to late hope someday he also find a second chance and be friend again to the lost park he 🤕 Thanks to this...

More Recommendations

diaralulu: (+) the writing style is very intriguing, makes you feels certain emotions also.(-) There are some holes in storyline but it was alright

Sherry Fuhrmann: I'm not sure how I feel about it yet

jess spalding: Such an amazing story

Annaruto: I really really love this book! I prefer this over the Galatea one. I feel bad since you can’t post it here because you said Galatea has claims over it, but how come other stories of Galatea are also on here like mate me, the dragons princess, and others. I understand if you can’t, but I guess it...

Laura Wylie: This is a really good book so far I have enjoyed it very much considering I wasn't going to read it it has been a very nice surprise so far

Pamela J Atchley: Wishing that there was more to read

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.