‘Sacrificing oneself for another allows a person to die content, and the survivor to live in endless guilt.’ – Words of the Broken Warrior
A thin woman with long pale hair and a white dress entered the great hall. The shining stone floor of the room echoed her footsteps as she walked toward the ornate throne at the very end. Her long white dress was reflected in its mirrored surface, and glittered in the candlelight. She had an air of importance that was in contrast with her anonymity. She paused in front of the throne and gave a sweeping bow to the man seated upon it.
“Thank you my Lord, for this audience. I did not expect such generosity.” She knelt before him, her hand to her heart. He made a gruff sound in his throat.
“I do appreciate your humility of course, but I would really rather that you went ahead and told me why you have come.” He had very little patience for the time consuming public audiences. This woman had no title and was unknown in his kingdom, it was unlikely anything she had to say was in any way important. She looked up at him and smiled. The candlelit hall’s gentle flickering light made it hard to discern her age. Everything about her looked young except for her pale blue eyes. Her eyes were those of an old woman, just like his eyes were old in his young face.
“I came here to claim kin, and to offer my assistance with a problem of yours. I think you will find me to be particularly helpful.” She said. He raised his eyebrows.
“You are related to my late wife? She never mentioned any relations, nor sisters.” His headache worsened with his irritation. Every opportunistic peasant sought to grasp riches or power in some way, and claiming kin was a favorite.
“Not your wife Sir. I am your half sister. I was borne the year before you and was raised by an elderly couple living in the mountains. They died several years ago, but they told me the secret of my parentage before they did so.” She said quietly. He scoffed. He looked far too young for his years, and this woman looked to be the same age or younger than he did. It was impossible that she should be his older sister. He’d furthermore never before heard that he had had one.
“That is impossible. You are wasting my time. He said harshly. He motioned for a guard to come and remove her. She shook her head.
“My Father was the Demon King.” She said forcefully. “I was borne to him and to a medicine woman whose powers I think you know well.” She said. His eyes widened. He left the throne and strode toward her, holding up his hand to halt the guard making his way towards them. When he spoke his voice was scarcely above a whisper.
“And what do you know of the Demon King?” He asked. The legend of his father’s deadly victory over the invading army, his disappearance, and the bloody death of his wife, had led to a variety of rumors surrounding the man.
“I know that he would be better called the Bear King.” The woman said quietly.