The feeling of anxiousness never left Anna, as she made her way to her Lady's room in the long hallway. Moonlight creeping in between the silk curtains; the echoes of her footsteps bounced off the walls. The door to her Lady's room appeared in her sights, as she fastened her pace.
She heard a loud bang from the direction she came from, and her legs froze. Her eyes trembled as she looked back. The kitchen door flew open as she saw a shadow on the wall.
The shadow resembled a silhouette that was holding his arm, as his legs limped. Anna felt her legs give out as she fell to the ground. She heard shuffling of feet as a hand reached out to grab onto the door frame.
Her eyes widened, as she began to realize what was happening.
Someone's head poked out, turning towards her. Byron's pained expression appeared in Anna's face and she leaned back, barely able to hold herself upright. Byron's eyes pleaded Anna.
His lips made out as he looked behind him.
"Please, don't do this." His voice trembled as he pulled the door in, hiding Anna in the shadows.
Anna couldn't do anything. Her body froze in fear. More shadows appeared in the light and she covered her mouth. Soldiers. Her mind went blank.
What was happening?
Why were there soldiers in the estate this late?
Why were they attacking us?
Despite all the questions in her head, Anna picked herself up.
Her Lady, no matter what, she must be with her Lady, she must be with Aristia.
With all her energy, she turned around, Byron's face still fresh on her mind, and ran like her life depended on it, cause at this moment, it did.
Byron's head peeked out from the door once again, a gash on his forehead, as his glasses were nowhere on his face. He saw Anna's running figure before he dropped down to the floor. He looked in front of him.
The crest resting on the middle of the armor was the royal crest, more specifically, he recognized it to be the Princess' crest. Amid his situation, he couldn't help but let out a low chuckle.
'Lady Aristia's intuition is unmatched.'
A sword was immediately drawn to his neck.
"You dare to laugh now?"
Byron couldn't help but sigh. The knight in the middle, he remembered to be called Victor, couldn't help but glare.
"If you want to kill me, kill me." Byron simply replied, his back hitting the wall, as blood trailed down his arm and face.
'It's fine, Anna managed to leave.'
Victor dug his sword closer to Byron's neck, before he leaned down, getting in front of his face.
"Tell me where they are."
His voice growled, as the tip of his sword pierced into Byron's neck.
Byron couldn't help but wince, feeling a thin trail of blood from the cut.
"Kill me or don't kill me, I will not say anything regardless." Byron grabbed onto the blade of the sword before digging it into his wound.
"If you're not going to kill me, but instead torture me, I will do your job myself." His lips curled upwards, as surprise painted Victor's face.
His eyes closed before he felt Victor take one breath before the sword pierced his chest.
"Very well." He heard him grumble before his body limped over.
"Worthless loyal butler."
Byron coughed, blood splattering onto the floor before he looked at the soldiers who made their way towards Anna's direction.
His vision swayed to the moonlight being shined as his eyes filled with hope. His eyes fluttered close, his breathing became harder to take, as blood seeped around him.
"She has to make it."
His voice cracked, as he felt all his energy drain from his body.
His last word was lost into the darkness that surrounded him, except for the flickering lights from the kitchen that washed over his face. His arm that held onto his chest fell to the ground, as his breath stopped, a single tear falling down his face, as his mouth stayed in a small smile.
Anna reached the door to her Lady's room, and she felt her legs trembling. She looked towards the direction that she came from before opening the door quietly, rushing into the room.
Aristia was fast asleep, her hair spread out around her as her nightgown clung to her body. Her face was peaceful, as her sheets covered her waist.
Anna made her way to Aristia's bed, her hand tracing over the sleeping girl's cheeks, waking her up.
"My lady." Her voice barely above a whisper as she hears another scream from down the long hallway.
"Please." Anna turned her head towards the door at the voice of her Master. His voice was muffled due to the thickness of the wall, but the sound that followed could not be mistaken.
A clash of metal erupted from the room that not even the walls could muffle before a shrill cry erupted.
Anna's hands covered her mouth once again, as she muffled out her cry. She turned towards Aristia, pulling the sheets off of the girl as she pulled her into a sitting position.
"My Lady," Her hands shook the sleeping girl, as her eyes filled with tears. "Please wake up, we have to leave." Aristia slowly opened her eyes, as she saw Anna's tear-stained face.
"Why are you crying?" Aristia whispered, her hand rising to wipe the tears off of her cheeks.
"W-we have to go, now."
Anna pulled Aristia off of the bed, pushing her towards the corner of her room.
"What's going on?" Aristia's face was laced with confusion, as she was pushed into a small tunnel behind her bookshelf. Anna looked towards the door which was now being pounded at.
"I know you're in there, Aristia Whelmorn." A deep voice came from outside the room, as Aristia's body froze.
'That voice, I know that voice.'
Anna raised her index fingers over her lips, as she stepped in front of Aristia inside the tunnel.
As the bookshelf began to move back, the door flew open, and Aristia's eyes widened.
'The Princess' Crest?'
"They're escaping, seal the exits!" Victor's voice boomed to his soldiers, as he lunged forward, unable to stop the bookshelf from closing.
Aristia felt her heart beating in her chest. Her forehead dripping with sweat as she felt her head spinning.
'Why were the Princess' Personal Knights here?'
'Why were they looking for me?'
'Where were Mom and Dad?'
Aristia's thoughts came to a halt as she felt Anna's hand interlocking with hers, pulling her towards the light.
"D-don't look back." Anna's voice trembled, her grip on Aristia tightening.
"You must not look back."
She was just as scared as her Lady, but she must get her to safety. Her determination to keep her Lady safe willed her forward. She felt her heart ease when she reached the exit. She hugged Aristia's body close to hers before she jumped down, colliding with the ground.
A loud shuffling of feet was close by and Anna's embrace on Aristia tightened. "At my signal, I want you to run into the woods." Anna's voice whispered, talking close to Aristia's ear.
She looked up, looking at Anna's face before her blood went cold. "I'm not leaving without you."
Her Lady's voice was strong, Anna couldn't help but smile.
She placed her head on Aristia's shoulder, her fingers interlocking with Aristia's hair. Anna undid her bun, taking the ribbon from her hair, and she pulled Aristia's hair into a ponytail.
Anna's voice strengthened, as she stood up from the ground, taking Aristia up with her.
"N-no." Aristia's voice choked out, her arms wrapping around Anna's waist tightly.
Anna let Aristia out of her embrace before she looked towards the direction of the flickering lights.
"This way!" Victor's voice was loud compared to the silence in the darkness.
Anna stepped in front of Aristia, allowing her Lady to be able to make a clear run into the woods.
"On my signal, you run. You run as if nothing can stop you." Her voice deepened before she continued.
"And you will not look back."
Aristia's legs gave out, falling behind Anna as the two were face to face with the Princess' Knights. "Give us the girl." Victor's voice ordered Anna, who held her arms out, protecting Aristia.
Aristia saw Anna's hand trembling before she looked at the woods. "You know that will not be possible."
Conflicting her body's response, Anna spoke with courage and with no hint of fear.
Victor drew his sword, pointing it to Anna, and the rest of the knights followed suit. Anna stepped forward, getting closer to the group as she clicked her tongue. Aristia's eyes widened.
'My Lady, if I ever click my tongue at you, you must take it as the end of the relationship between us and leave me.'
Anna's words rang through Aristia's head and all she could think was that she had to survive.
For Anna, for everyone, for herself.
Taking all of her energy, she pulled herself up, her body lunging towards the woods.
"After her!" Aristia heard the loud voice order before Anna yelled.
"Over my dead body, you will not touch Aristia."
As Aristia ran deeper into the forest, her ears heard the cries of Anna and she held her tears in.
Before she made the turn, she turned her head back, and she let out a cry.
Anna's body laid on the ground, her eyes looking at Aristia, while blood seeped across her white apron.
She closed her eyes, her lips forming a small smile, before a sword swung at her back, causing her to cry in pain.
Opening one of her eyes, she looked at Aristia's crying eyes and she mouthed one word she knew that would make Aristia run faster.
At that moment, Aristia felt her legs run into the dark forest, disappearing into the trees. The Knights struggled to catch up behind her but all that Aristia was thinking about, all that her mind was occupied with was only one thing.
She had nothing. She is alone. Because of Eirae Ashbridge, she lost everything in a single night.