A young and small, blonde-haired girl watched with startling blue eyes as her mother was taken before the crowd by guards, tears in her eyes and terror in her face. Her father stood behind her, gripping her shoulders so that she wouldn't rush to her mother.
"Papa," Unda, the little girl, cried. "What are they doing to her?" She gulped as the large men took her up on the right part of the stage and one went to the other side, sharpening a long, thin blade.
"Unda, don't look," he begged, water forming in his eyes.
Unda couldn't tear her eyes away from her mother. She was only 5 years old and she was confused. What were these brutes going to do?
The soldier with the sword walked to the front center of the stage and started to shout, "As you all know, if anyone is found using their powers or suspected to have them, then they will be sentenced to death by the queen's orders. Let this be a lesson to you all!"
He took the blade and stabbed Unda's mother through the heart. Unda started to look away but just a second too late. She put her hands to her mouth as blood gushed out of her mother's chest and she hopelessly fell limp to the ground, the tip of the blade stuck out her back. Unda staggered back into her father who shielded her eyes.
11 years later…
Unda woke up in a cold sweat, feeling sore and tired but knew she had to keep moving if she wanted to stay incognito which was becoming increasingly difficult. Five years back, the queen had declared powers were extinct. However, a year passed and a prophecy had been told about four chosen people destined to defeat Queen Amethyst. And since then, soldiers had been ordered to search even harder for people who could be the ones. These people would have to be executed on sight.
Unda had been on the run for nearly her whole life. After her mother was found out, Unda discovered she had inherited powers of her own. Her father didn't know how this was possible since both parents had to possess powers in order for their children to have a chance to have powers. Of course, when he saw that she was right, he was absolutely terrified and started to move from place to place, worried people might realize there was something off about them. Somehow, through everything, no one had ever found out. Four years before, Unda's father became very ill and refused to let Unda heal him with her powers. Unfortunately, he passed away and she had to continue on her own.
She managed to push herself up to a seated position on her lousy attempt at a bed - made of dirt and animal fur she had scavenged. She got her things together then untied her horse from a nearby tree and walked deeper into the woods, wiping sweat off from the humidity. She found a stream and filled a pouch to the brim with the water. She would’ve used her powers, but knew it was too dangerous. The horse drank some water.
The chestnut brown horse made Unda’s life so much easier. For a while, she had been walking all on her own, rarely taking a break. She recently happened upon a small village with less security and succeeded in stealing a horse from three oblivious men. She pet him and for a second she almost felt at peace. Then she heard hooves quickly approaching her. She knew she didn’t have time to get away, especially since she had very little experience at horse-riding. Instead, she grabbed a knife from her pouch and waited for the people coming after her, hoping they might ignore her presence. She turned around, hiding the knife behind her.
“Hey! It’s our horse!” A big man yelled, hopping off of his horse.
She pointed the knife at him. “I’m warning you.”
He laughed and aimed a punch at her face which she dodged instinctively. He growled angrily. Two other men arrived, one much smaller, the other average. They got off their horses too. The smaller man ran for her but she slit his shoulder and he crumpled to the ground, holding his shoulder. The average man, who appeared to be smarter, took a sword from his belt and wielded it towards Unda. She jumped back and the smirked, ready for the challenge.
Her blue eyes sparkled as she fought with him, deflecting his blows and taking jabs at him. She fought with the grace of a dance yet also with the strength of a warrior. Her blonde hair and fur dress blew in the wind.
Suddenly, the man grew in rage and started to become increasingly violent. The games were over - this was a full-on battle now. His eyes darkened with each strike. He chopped a piece of hair off Unda’s head, millimeters from chopping off her whole head. That was when Unda realized how sharp his blade was. She gasped and fought back even harder. They struck each other’s blades with equal vigor; however, a knife was no match for a sword. He knocked it clean from her hand. He pointed his sword at her neck.
“Give me what I want now if you want to live,” he commanded sternly, nodding to his companions who were just now starting to get up. The others grabbed their swords and also pointed them at Unda. Even then, she was relentless.
“No,” she spat.
All three men raised their swords to strike her. She panicked and, from the stream, moved the water to fall all over them. Dumb move, but she did what she had to do. The men, caught off guard, fell over and dropped their swords.
The smart one widened his eyes. “My god.”
The smaller man put a hand over his mouth.
Unda got up immediately. “Ummm, it’s not what you think.”
“Ethan - we must capture her! She’s worth millions to the queen!” The big one said to the smart one.
Ethan shook his head distantly. “It can’t be…You - who are you?” The look he gave Unda was mixed with confusion and guilt.
With that question, Unda jumped onto her horse. “Yah! Yah!” She yelled as she whipped the horse.
Ethan stood up and stared after her. “I can’t let her get away.” He got on his horse and rushed after her.
Soon he was catching up with her and Unda’s horse was getting tired. “Keep going!” She screamed. The horse came to a halt as they reached a cliff. Unda yelped as she grasped the reins and flew. All that was keeping her up were the reins attached to the horse. Her feet dangled and her hands rapidly became sweaty. She peered down and saw that she was very high up. If she fell, she would be dead.
“Come on,” she looked at the horse, “Come on Billy, back up.”
“His name isn’t Billy,” she heard Ethan’s voice, but couldn’t see him.
“I don’t care!” Unda rolled her eyes. She looked down again and gasped. Her hands were slipping. She hated to ask for help, but she’d rather ask than fall to her death. “Please could you help me?”
He ran over to her and helped her up. She rose to her feet and sped-walk far away from the cliff. Combing her hair through her fingers, she sighed. “Thank you.”
Ethan nodded. “Of course.”
“Well, I guess we’re even then,” Unda said.
“You nearly take my life, then save me. I don’t owe you anything. You were just making amends.”
“I better be off then,” she turned around to leave.
Unda turned back to him and raised a brow.
He looked tired. And concerned… His blue green eyes had much wisdom behind them. Unda could tell. But what she didn’t understand was why he was working with those two buffoons.
“I - I can’t let you go.”
Unda got into a fighting stance. “I don’t want to hurt you, but I will if I have to. And if you tell anyone, I’ll cut your tongue out.”
“Believe me, you have my word. I actually want to join you if you would let me.”
“You’re kidding, right?” She chuckled.
“Never,” the man shook his head.
“Why would you help me?”
“The world is suffering. Until I met you, I had lost hope. I stopped trying. I had searched every country, every town, every small village, but found no one with powers. But you exist. And, according to the prophecy, others do too.”
“Who are you?”
“My real name is Alasdair.”
“Alasdair?” Unda couldn’t believe she was hearing this. How had she happened upon the great wizard? And what was he doing with those two idiots in that small dump of a village? “No, it isn’t you. It couldn’t be. You haven’t been seen in years,” Unda brought out her knife and pointed it at him.
“It is me. And, excuse me, but I’ve had to stay in hiding all these years to avoid being killed.”
“Fine, but I need proof… Show me your magic.”
Alasdair chuckled. “Very well.”
With a blue flash in his eyes, he now held Unda’s knife. He flipped it around in his hand. “This dinky thing isn’t going to help you very much in the real world.”
She gasped as she put her hand in a fist and the knife was no longer there. She opened it in awe. “How’d you -“
Another glint in the eye and the knife was enlarged to be a sword. “Now,” he threw it back to Unda who caught its hilt. “Tell me your name.”
“Unda,” she answered, still staring at her sword.