He walked through the halls of the prison, his nose permeating with the stench of rotting flesh and who knows what else, his boots heavy against the floor with each step, his anger rising. His hand clenched the letter in it causing it to wrinkle. It was unbelievable that the king would send a letter to him of all living things. He turned a corner and arrived at the cell, kicking the door he yelled. “Wake up you disgusting filth!” He stood watching, waiting as it rose from the ground, moving slowly towards the door.
“Raul, what is it I can do for you? Come to play chess again?” An amused smile on its face as it spoke allowing him to catch a glimpse of his sharp teeth.
“A letter came for you today.” He ignored its question. “From the king of Nydoar”
“The king of Nydoar?” It was surprised by his words. “What reason would he have to send me a letter?”
“To hell if I know.” He spat and tossed the letter into the cell.
“You did not read it?” Its tone curious but knew the answer already.
“I’ve read it in its entirety.”
“What does it say?” He picked up the letter and after straightening it out he began to read it.
“That you are to be set free and have been summoned to the palace immediately.” He pulled out the keys. “Apparently he needs you for some sort of quest. He did not specify any details.” Unlocking the door he watched as it read the letter from the king. “Though I should warn you, should you not arrive at the palace and in front of the king within three days’ time he will have you hunted and killed.”
“That is fine with me.” He turned to Raul. “Will you return what belongs to me?”
“I will. Follow me.”
It followed him through the halls and he entered a room and exited it moments later with the things it came with. “Thank you.” He took his belongings and placed his scabbard and sword on his belt. “Farewell Raul. I hope we never see each other again.” He folded the letter and placed it in his bag as he walked away.
“I do as well.” Raul watched it leave from his sight before returning to work.
He was finally free from prison, it didn’t seem as significant as he thought it would be, not when a king was threatening his life and forcing him to go on some quest. He stepped out into the sunlight, blinded slightly.
“Here” A guard handed him the reins to a horse. “You cannot make it in three days on foot.”
It was unsurprising to hear that he knew of the letter. Taking the reins, he then climbed onto the horse, a moment later kicking the horse into a gallop.
Two and a half days had gone by and he finally reached the Kingdom of Nydoar. He entered the kingdom within half an hour and dismounted his horse in front of the palace. He walked up the steps and to the door.
“Halt, what reason do you have here?”
He pulled out the letter. “I was summoned by the king.” When they confirmed the seal he was allowed to enter. As he walked through the palace many were giving him strange and curious looks a few seemed astonished while others were alarmed that a creature like him was there but he thought nothing of it. It made him smirk, a little to know that they knew he was there for a reason and they couldn’t threaten him. He entered the throne room a little while later and kneeled before the king.
“Do you know why I have summoned you here Mongryk?” The king’s voice was deep and echoed throughout the hall.
“No your majesty, I was not given proper time to read your letter, but the guard informed me that you had requested my immediate summons as you wish to send me on a quest.” He replied making sure to keep his head down.
“I have summoned you here because I am indeed sending you on a quest, one that requires someone with your skills.” From the sound of his voice he could tell the king was not pleased in needing someone like him. “I have a daughter” His tone now sounded confessional. “Her name is Isis. She is currently living with a race of Eon’s in a town called Vertlea. The home is on a hilltop I need you to go there and bring her back here to me.”
“Yes, your majesty.”
“Her life is in danger, you must ensure a safe journey for her, keep hidden and do not travel along main ways. If necessary travel at night.”
“Yes, your majesty.”
“You must have her here in two months’ time before the sun sets on the last day. Do you understand Mongryk?”
“Yes, your majesty.” There was silence and he knew it was time to leave. He rose from his position and bowed before turning and leaving the castle. He climbed upon his horse and began his journey.
It had taken him less than half a month to reach Vertlea. Dismounting he looked around searching for the house when he saw it in the distance. It looked like it was a little over a mile away from the town. He decided to wait until the town settled in for the night before he made his move. As he sat in the tavern he recalled during his travels he had come across an encampment of men, remembering the king mentioning his daughter’s life was in danger he decided to investigate. As he listened to the drunken men joke and laugh with each other he heard something in particular that sparked his interest.
“So this princess, where did they say she was located?”
“Vertlea. Captain said we need to –“He had heard a twig snap and he took a step back, ducking to keep hidden, missing the next words. Deciding not to risk getting caught in trying to find out more he left and continued on to Vertlea.
The tavern soon closed and he took a room in a nearby inn to bide his time in until things settled in for the night. By the time the town settled it was almost morning, leaving the room, he quickly made his way through the town and climbed the hill, making sure to stay out of sight. It had taken him no more than thirty minutes to reach the residence. He walked around the large home and found a balcony with its doors wide open. He looked around and saw a tree. “How convenient.” He climbed the tree and made his way to the balcony without much effort. “For a place that’s supposed to protect a princess it’s not heavily guarded.” He mused as he jumped from the tree to the balcony, catching himself on the railing.
She turned trying to get comfortable enough to sleep but the cool night air was starting to be a bit much. Opening her eyes she slowly got out of bed and made it to her doors stumbling a little over her night gown. She stepped out onto the balcony letting out a yawn and looking up at the moon smiled, loving its beauty. Grabbing the handle to her door, she paused, hearing a noise causing her to stiffen. As she looked around she could feel her heart rate increase, when she spotted it. She let out a horrific scream causing it to almost fall off her balcony.
He quickly regained his grip, hopped over the balcony ledge and ran to her, covering her mouth in the process. “Please, Princess. Do not do that. I don’t want to disturb anyone.” He pulled her into her room closing the doors. “I am going to release you; I am asking that you do not scream.” He removed his hand from her mouth and stepped away. “Thank you.”
“Help!” She yelled and began running to the door. “Someone help me!”
He sighed and quickly stopped her from leaving. He lifted her up and threw her on the bed. “Princess, please stop yelling.”
“Someone help me!” She yelled again. “Help!”
“Princess Isis, please!” He yelled and she stared at him in shock. He adjusted his belt. “Listen I am here because your father sent me. He wants you to come home now. So if you would just get changed, gather the necessary things and we will be on our way.”
“H-How did you know my name?” She asked eyeing him unsure of what she was seeing.
He raised an eyebrow at her. Was she not listening? “Your father sent me to bring you back home.”
She shook her head, her long raven colored tresses falling from her shoulders. “That’s impossible. I don’t have a father. I –“
“Isis!” A voice yelled interrupting her and the door burst open a moment later. “Isis I heard screaming and –“She cut herself off as she looked at the creature standing near the bed. “What is something like you doing here?” She spat out venomously.
“I came to retrieve the princess.”
“You filthy creature, what purpose do you really have here” She walked toward Isis. “Have you come to assassinate her? Tell me Mongryk! I demand to know.”
“Assassinate?” Isis looked at her confused.
He sighed having a feeling it would be a long day. “I told you I am here to retrieve the princess. The king sent me himself.”
“You lie! Do not think I am unaware of your kind.” She spat at him.
“I thought Eon’s were peaceful creatures?” He asked looking over her. He then pulled a document out and handed it to her. “If you doubt me then you may read this yourself.”
She looked at the document and saw the king’s seal on it. She took it from him and opened it then began to read it, sitting down as she came to the end and looking up at him in shock.
“As I said, King Deven sent me himself to retrieve the princess.”
“I would accuse you of forgery but the king’s seal is upon the document and it is irretrievable.” She looked to Isis. “My child, dress yourself, you and I have quite a bit to talk about.” She rose from the bed and left the room, returning a moment later. “Come Mongryk.” He nodded his head and followed her out of the room, leaving a very confused Isis.
Isis sat there utterly befuddled before she got up and began to dress herself wearing her favorite lavender gown. She finished preparing herself and left her room heading downstairs slowly still trying to figure things out. King Deven? Did he mean the king of Nydoar? She shook her head and headed outside to sit upon the terrace where her mother and the creature called a Mongryk sat.
“As I was saying, the king had summoned me and sent me on this quest to retrieve the princess.”
“I don’t understand he said that she would never need to return home. He swore that she would stay out of everything.”
“He didn’t explain anything to me either. So I cannot give you a reasonable explanation as to why I was sent here.”
“I don’t believe you. The king told me himself the day he brought her to me, that she would stay here for the rest of her life. I will not allow it.”
“Apparently he changed his mind.” He said shrugging as he watched Isis sit down. “Look all I know is her life is in danger and I’m supposed to take her home so she will be safe.” He returned his attention to the Eon.
“Safe? There? That is the worst place she could be! Here is the safest place for her!”
“Listen lady, I told you what I know. It is my duty to return her home, end of story.”
“I don’t care, she is not leaving here!” she yelled angrily to him.
“Listen if I do not take her from here by sun down then you can guarantee she will be dead!” He yelled in return.
“What?” She looked at him in disbelief.
“During my journey here I came across a group of assassins. They were discussing how to infiltrate this place in order to kill the princess.” He informed her. “They hadn’t form much of a plan and that was a few days ago. I’m sure they’ve got an idea as to how this place works. They will destroy this place and burn it to the ground to find her.” Technically he was half lying but they didn’t need to know that.
The Eon took a breath. “Then we have no choice. Isis will go with you.”
“Very well. Have her ready in –“
“I am not going anywhere” She interrupted. “And especially not with that thing.” Isis spoke then turned to him. “I don’t know who you think I am but I am not the person you are looking for. I am sorry you wasted your time but as I said you have me mistaken.” She stood up. “Now if you’ll excuse me I am going into town to pick up some things.” She walked away.
“I am sorry she is a very stubborn girl. I will have her things ready by the time she gets back.” The Eon stood up. “Please, if you could escort her into town and protect her.”
He nodded his head and followed her into town. He walked beside her in silence keeping an eye out for any danger.
“What are you doing here?” She hissed quietly.
He glanced at her. “I’m here to protect you.”
“I don’t need protection.” She put on her hood as a wagon drove by. “The Eon’s are a peaceful race.”
“That may be so but do you really not know who you are?”
“My name is Isis and I am a Daemon who was abandoned while I was young and found by an Eon called Michaela.”
“Did she tell you that?”
“No I figured it out on my own.” They walked into a market and she began buying a few items. They came to a store and she entered it, purchasing candles and a few other items. Next she stopped in front of a produce shop and began looking over the food. She told him the things she wanted to buy and paid the shopkeeper who left to get her change. She placed the items she wanted to buy in her basket.
“You’re buying quite a bit for just yourself.” He picked up an apple about to take a bite of it.
“It’s not for me.” She said smacking the apple out of his hand that he hadn’t paid for. When the shopkeeper returned she smiled and gave him extra money for the apple he dropped.
“How did you do that? I didn’t even see you move.” He scanned her trying to figure it out.
She turned and continued walking. “You deserved it. Taking food without paying for it.”
“I didn’t ask why. I asked how.” She looked away from him embarrassed.
“I have a tail.” She said softly.
“You have a what?”
She looked around before speaking again. “I have a tail. I am a Daemon.”
“I know what you are. Your father is one as well. I just didn’t know you had tails.”
“I don’t have more than one.” She spoke quickly feeling more embarrassed.
“No, I just meant your race.”
“Oh.” She looked away from him.
“Do you have wings?” He remembered her father having them.
“I’m not telling you.” She smiled and nodded as a wagon drove by, frowning slightly as the driver didn’t smile in return.
“You won’t get many smiles with me around.” He spoke noticing her frown.
“Why is that?” She glanced at him.
“Because I’m a Mongryk.”
“I know what you are but I mean; what does that have to do with anything?”
“Do you read?” She nodded her head. “Have you ever read anything about my kind?”
“No, at least I don’t recall reading anything.”
“How about the last big war here on this land?”
“I have not come across that war yet. Michaela does not allow me to read about violence that much.”
“I see.” He remained silent as they arrived back and Michaela greeted them.
“Come Isis. You and I have a lot to discuss before you leave.” He watched her walk away and stood guard nearby their home.
“Michaela?” She questioned as she was guided to her room and sat upon her bed.
“Isis, I –“Michaela sighed. “My dear, I want to tell you everything.” She grabbed the chair and moved it to the side of the bed. “We have never had a proper discussion about your past and I want to tell it to you now.”
Michaela nodded. “Where you came from, who you are.”
“But I thought I was abandoned as a child and found by you? You never told me otherwise, so what is there to know?”
“I never said otherwise because I was worried. I wanted to let you believe that so you would stay here, it was, and has always been the safest place for you to be.”
“Then, who am I?”
“Let me start with the beginning. Years ago a Daemon came to me, holding a newborn Daemon. It was a time of war and he was frightened especially since your mother had died trying to protect you.” She sighed softly. “You see the Mongryks are terrifying warriors but they served your father and protected the family well. One day things changed they wanted to take over the kingdom, no one knows why it happened but they started a war, slaughtering many. It had taken your father some time but after some negotiation he was able to acquire help from many kingdoms and they were able to defeat the Mongryks.”
“After the treaties were made your father brought you here to me. He requested to the elders to allow you to stay here for safety and for safety only. He promised us he only wanted to keep you away from harm and to never allow you to be a part of that world. After they agreed, I was chosen to take care of you and from then I have raised you to be the beautiful Daemon you are today.” She placed a hand on her cheek smiling warmly.
“But why didn’t you tell me the truth when I asked you about my parents?” The pain-filled look in Isis’s eyes made Michaela let her hand fall from her face and into her lap.
“I didn’t tell you anything because you were too young. I could only let you believe your own thoughts because I had vowed to never tell you anything regarding your past until you were old enough to fully understand everything that was done for you. I know I should have told you the truth then but in all honesty Isis, I was hoping I would never have to.”
“Because I believed that your father never wanted you back. I thought that it would just be us, mother and daughter, forever.”
Isis sat in silence for several moments, thinking over everything, her mother had lied to her about her origins –no she just never corrected her error. She just wanted to keep her safe and from the truth that her father would rather abandon her than actually raise her. She took a breath and looked at Michaela gently. “I am not angry with you. I feel a little upset that I did not know sooner but I cannot be angry with you. You only wanted what was best for me.” She hugged her. “You will always be my mother.” She placed a kiss upon her cheek and smiled at her.
Michaela smiled at her, her eyes teary. “That makes me very happy.” They embraced one more time before she wiped the tears from her face. “Now child, you must get ready. You do not need to take much with you as you will be traveling by foot and you cannot be seen or smelled.”
“But I don’t want to leave here. I don’t understand why I have to go in the first place.”
“Your father has his reasons. I am not sure I entirely trust them but if he is worried for your safety here then you must leave.”
“Will you not come with me?”
“No, my child. I cannot. An old Eon like me cannot take the journey you are about to. Now please hurry and ready yourself. Take no soaps or candles or anything that would give off scent. When you have finished meet me in the kitchen I will provide you with food.”
“Of course mother.” Michaela left her room and she grabbed her satchel and packed a couple of things before leaving her room and heading down to the kitchen. Michaela gave her some fruit and bread and a small bottle of wine and water.
“Come, the Mongryk waits for you and the sun is falling.” She led Isis out of the house and he turned to look at them.
“Are you sure you can’t come with us?” Her eyes pleading with her mother.
“No, my child. I told you, this is a journey you must take without me.”
“Hush.” Michaela pulled her into a warm tight hug. “You will be fine without me and while I detest his existence the Mongryk here will keep you safe from harm. Or he shall suffer the wrath of an Eon.” He raised an eyebrow at her but nodded his head. “Now go before the sun disappears from the sky.” She gave her a gentle push toward the Mongryk.
“Michaela I can –“
“We will see each other again.” She gave her a gentle smile. “Go. Be safe on your journey.”
Isis bit her lip before nodding her head and followed the Mongryk down the hill and into the woods. By the time they had reached the edge of the forest night had fallen, she glanced back to have one last look at her home only to see it up in flames. “Michaela!” She screamed and immediately began to run to her only to be stopped and brought back into the forest.
“Are you insane?” He whispered harshly.
“Let me go!” She yelled, tears falling from her eyes. “They need me! Please let me go!”
“We can’t go back. If we did then you. will. die.” He put a little extra emphasis on the last words to get his point across.
She continued to struggle a moment longer before she stood watching her home burn. “Michaela” She cried out her name. “Michaela.”