It was just another night—the normal amount of darkness and fear. But something was about to change.
Little did Longwing’s residents know, today was the day they met their king. Charles traveled in a chariot, surrounded by marching soldiers—a small army. An expected decision of the king after hearing Melina’s prediction. Their quest was to avoid a catastrophe.
The chilly night felt like a curtain of clouded moisture. The residents didn’t dare step out into the mist—only the creatures of the night roamed the surrounds
Longwing was a quiet place, lit with torches that couldn’t last all night. And, in the center of town was a large burning bonfire—when they heard the invaders for the first time.
“Are you sure of this, my king?” Sir Fenix asked.
“I see no other way out,” said the king with a look of disappointment.
Melina had her own carriage, unlike the others—she had a large and private space. Charles spent a night of the trip with her, hoping no one would have noticed. But, Fenix was already suspicious of them.
The king’s advisor—the woman with mystical powers—the stranger who came to the kingdom and achieved such a high office. Something was wrong.
She must know of my affair with the queen, Fenix thought. That’s why she brought us here—to end my life.
“Sir Fenix,” said Charles. “Try to be quick and find a warm place to spend the night.”
“Yes, my king,” Fenix said and stepped out of the royal tent.
“You trust that boy too much,” Melina said as she emerged from the shadows.
“He’s a good man,” said Charles.
Melina raised an eyebrow. She looked as beautiful as when she was under the care of the clastle’s servants. Her wavy red hair was the only thing hiding her naked body, she waited for the tent’s curtains to close before walking towards the king. “I want you.”
Fenix knew he had to carry out the orders—there was no alternative. And, he approached his men.
“Soldiers,” said Fenix, “the work that has been entrusted to us is of crucial importance for the future of the kingdom. We must be bold and stealthy to end all the people of the town.
“That will be the only way we will eradicate the plague.”
The soldiers had only heard rumors of the approaching plague. Of the disease that’s going to doom the world—according to Melina’s predictions—although no one was sure. Not even her. However, the soldiers saw it as obvious. The people imagined that the witch had a special connection with the spirits, that she could talk to them.
Superstitions were enough to follow orders. No matter how crazy they were.
That’s how Fenix marched in front of his soldiers and surrounded the town. The orders were simple. Annihilate everyone.
And that was how, after a long battle, Fenix returned to the royal campaign.
“My king,” he said as soon as he entered Charles’ tent. “We’ve finished the job.”
“Are you sure?” asked Charles.
“No one is left alive,” Fenix said.
“Why are you lying to your king?” Melina asked, now wearing a low-cut red dress.
“It’s the truth,” Fenix said. “I swear.”
Melina moved her hands and a gray cloud appeared at a short distance. In it they saw the image of Fenix helping people flee the massacre.
Charles turned to face Fenix. “What is this?”
Fenix was silent, looking at the image. “That’s impossible,” he said, taking a step backwards.
“Let me worry about what is and is not possible,” said Charles. “Your role is to follow my orders.”
“But… my king,” said Fenix, “I’m sorry.”
“You know what’s the punishment for treason,” said Charles.
“Wait…” Fenix said, looking at Melina. “I had no alternative. It was my right, it’s my obligation to protect my family.”
“They will die from the plague anyway,” said Melina.
“You have betrayed me,” said Charles. “You have betrayed the kingdom.”
“The queen,” Fenix said. “She knows what’s happening between the two of you.”
Melina raised a hand.
Felix felt a pressure on his neck, it became impossible for him to breathe. Despite his efforts to catch his breath—he lost his strength until he fainted from suffocation.
Melina lowered her hand. “We’d better keep him alive to find out what he’s talking about. We can’t let the queen come between us.”
Charles nodded. “And we have to find the survivors.”