Fear, pain and agony are very strong and powerful emotions. Harissa Ackerman has never felt any of them before in her entire life until the day tragedy struck.
Head chief Antoine Ackerman was the leader of a small village that lay on the outskirts and borders of the Kalahari kingdom.
Life in Eathros village was very simple and peaceful as everyone went about their daily activities with joy and happiness. The village was not so big and so everyone related with each other as one big happy family. They were also relatively very strong when it comes to combat.
Madam Julia Ackerman was the beautiful and hardworking wife of the head chief. She had very long black hair that she always let down her neck whenever she wore one of those long dresses of hers. She loved her family especially her children.
She was a warrior and very good at combat, most times she fought side by side her husband and others whenever the village was under attack. This got her the title of the strongest female in the village.
Alexander Ackerman was the eldest child and only son of the family who was followed by Larissa and then Harissa who was going to clock twelve in a week’s time.
Preparations were seriously ongoing for Harissa’s birthday celebration, who was the only one amongst her siblings that had a striking resemblance to her mother.
But unlike Larrisa and Alex who loved to indulge in combat training and fighting, she loved reading history , politics and leadership books which made her quite versatile and exposed at a very early age.
Her times were mostly spent either hiding in the library engrossed in one book or with her best friend Valeria visiting and helping people.
The week preceding her twelfth birthday was quite engaging for her especially since the D day was a Saturday. She made a list of activities she wanted to do which included organizing a literary competition amongst children her age, but Larissa, her sister managed to include a duel challenge Ofcourse with their father’s approval.
The finalist will fight on the eve of her birthday and the winner will get to make a wish on the D - day. The idea didnt go down well with her because she didn’t want people fighting to death to be the memory of her twelfth but what could she do when approval had been given and plans already in place.
On the eve of her twelfth as agreed, the finals of the duel was said to take place and was between Alexander, her brother and his sworn enemy, Ianthe Romayn who had always had a crush on her.
They fought and kept fighting while the crowd cheered on even when they were both badly injured but none was ready to concede defeat probably because of the price and wish the winner gets to make.
It then became pretty obvious that Valeria had a crush on her brother with the way she kept switching between emotions. Whenever Alex is winning, she goes all out cheering excitedly and when the reverse is the case, she becomes moody and teary.
Not wanting to see the end if the duel as both guys were literally on the brink of death and all the stupid crowd was doing was to cheer, sing, dance and jubilate not realizing they might brooding two brave warriors. With that thought flooding Harissa’s mind, she decided to jump into the middle of the fight and putting an abrupt end to their fight with none winning.
“That was the most stupid thing to do Harissa” Her mother scolded her with both hands on her hips.
“You could’ve been injured or worse still killed” her father’s voice rung out from the corner of the room where he sat.
The truth remained that, she knew neither of them were going to hurt her because they loved her which was also the root of their problem and growing enmity, hence her decision.
As she sat on the chair, not regretting her actions but shedding tears because of how hard she was scolded by her parents, she thought of running up to her room and locking herself in.
“Harissa did you hear me?” Her mother called out to her causing her to jerk back to reality. “You have caused enough commotion for one night, now get your room and remain indoors till you are fully matured”
Those words broke her heart coming from her mother but she obeyed immediately. Running off, her father caught her and pulled her into a tight hug wiping off her tears before letting her go.
At approximately two am on that fateful Saturday, loud cries and shouts were heard from houses far off from the Ackerman’s. This was quickly followed by swords clashes then an explosion sound accompanied by thick black smoke rising to the sky.
That was when the Ackerman’s woke with Antoine rushing out of the house with his wife who was only half dressed. Confusion and shock written all over their faces like a makeover.
At that moment, as they stood bewildered, some villagers were starting to run toward them wailing when they heard the voice of the second in command shouting “We are under siege! The village is under attack!”
Like a wild fire spreads without warning, in a blink of an eye, there were more than a hundred blood bath as humans were slaughtered like animals, and others burnt to ashes.
Screams of pains, fear, torture and agony were the only sounds one could hear as no one was being spared including the village warriors.
They were attacked and defeated without putting on a fight and finally, the face of the monster behind the atrocities surfaced revealing his face before the Ackerman’s who were now held down on their knees.
“Search the house” the voice commanded his faithfuls who panting viciously stomped into the house to obey their master’s bid.
“Who are you and what do you want?” Julia asked the stranger with her eyes filled with fear and tears.
“Hahhahahahahahaha” he laughed together with his men who were standing behind by.
“Stop it! Stop it please” she shouted with tears running down her eyes.
“Boss, this one here is a feisty one” one of the men pointed toward Julia laughing.
“I like fiesty” he growled loudly “Bring her to me”
As the men tried dragging her up, she restricted their moves and kept struggling to keep her knee on the ground, she turned her head backward toward the house where her daughter Harissa was locked up without any knowledge of the happenings around her.
They forced her up to her feet and was dragging her toward their commander when she looked up at the house again and caught those small hazel honey eyes staring at her filled with fear.
Then she mouthed “Happy birthday Angel” inaudibly as the tears kept falling to her cheeks. The next word she uttered loudly was “Run Harissa! Run! Run!“.
And that was it, Harissa’s last moment of her family. She stood at the window confused, scared and crying and watched them defile her mother, cut through her father’s body with their sword and everyone who was held down and after which her mother’s head rolled off her body.
She screamed and next, the men broke into her room to capture her, fortunately she was able to find her way around the men and ran as fast as her feet could carry her with the adrenaline pushing her beyond her limits,the image of the commander stuck to her memory.
That was how her twelfth birthday became the memory of her worst day. The mental image of that day was very much clear in her head as she ran away.
Few days after, still running away, her body felt like giving up on her and she kissed the ground colliding her head with a stone rock that lay close. Her body was phasing out fast and no one was around to rescue her.
Luckily for her, the duke and duchess of Islandes were returning from a journey and were passing by when they discovered her body.
Isadora, the duchess was moved and convinced her husband to help the poor kittme girl who was confirmed to still be alive by one of the guards who travelled with them.
Now, the duke Isidore and duchess Isadora Floros ruled over the province of Islandes in Doxa kingdom.
Doxa kingdom was governed by king Constantine Vernadoz 1 and the lovely princess turned queen, Queen Sheila Vernadoz.
Since Isidore and Isadora had been married without any issue,they immediately adopted Harissa as their daughter.
Though she was initially revived but was diagnosed to have lost some of her memories especially because of her head collision with the rock, hence she could not remember who she was.
It also distorted her speech formation for a while, the reason why she failed to pronounce her name as Harissa rather as Aris when asked. So her Aris Floros became her new name.
Islandes with the capital Rythfork was a very warm, cozy and beautiful city. Living and growing up under royalty was somewhat different for her but she adjusted well to her new life and home.
Ten years later
It was a tradition in Doxa kingdom for the crowned prince to get to choose a bride in a selection ceremony where all the eligible young ladies would have to parade themselves, craving and competing for the prince’s attention until his choice is made.
Troy Eridian Vernadoz was the twenty five years old crowned prince and was just about to go through his selection process.