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Blindsided

Forced to be blinded by the dangers that lurk outside this palace is driving me insane. No I’m not eager to rest my eyes upon the evil that fills this world, but eventually I’m not going to have a choice. Wouldn’t it be better to learn of the harshness of the world now rather than be blindsided by it later? Especially now, when obviously I’ve become a part of something dangerous, although my father tries so hard not to reveal his fear. I yearn to approach him.

My mother is terrified. I can see the fear in her eyes whenever she rests them upon me. I have seen the fear in my parents’ eyes before, but seeing such shrill terror in them now petrifies me. Just what is going on within this kingdom, and what does it have to do with me?

I have not seen Aaron since that day in the library. Honestly, I think he knows that I was a witness to it. To me, Aaron has always been a gentle, playful man that would give me all the time in the world just to make me smile. I’ve always known that he must have been a ferocious warrior, just by the stories and rumors that are passed around throughout the kingdom, but I never really listened to them. I sincerely thought that I knew who Aaron was and what his intentions were.

But what if he is right, and that man had intended on assassinating me that day? He had just been a normal commoner… what would motivate him to do something as dangerous as that, and so close to the palace? I am unsure of what to do, and even more so I am just unsure of myself. I am not fit to be an empress.

After these thoughts traveled through my mind, I decided to search for my mother in her chambers. Exiting my room, I entered the hall and slowly made my way down it. It was strangely empty and my bare feet clapped loudly upon the stone floors. The rhythmic sounds echoed ghastly and I started to feel as if something was horribly wrong. I attempted to brush the feeling away, blaming my paranoia, but instead it only intensified.

And when I felt the rough hand of some unknown being clamp tightly against my mouth and begin to drag me away, I knew that Aaron had been right. I screamed so loud that my lungs felt as if they would rip apart, but they attracted no one’s attention. I prayed to Luna that my mother or father would step out and discover me, or Aaron would race down the hall with his mighty sword brandished.

But no one came for me, and when I felt the heat of the sun on my skin I knew that I would never become the new empress of Vastland. I would be dead.

Good or Evil?

What defines a person to be good or evil? What is the line that is drawn between the two? I never really wondered about that. In fact until that fateful moment in the library, everything seemed rather black and white to me. Evil was evil and good was good… there were no shades of gray, no trickery. Everything in my life was stable.

But killing a person… how could that be good? I watched Aaron slaughter a man with an expression of pure rage on his face as he gazed into the fading eyes of his expiring enemy. I wonder what he felt when he yanked out his bloody sword and stared into those wide, unseeing eyes. Satisfaction or guilt? I certainly didn’t stay long enough to find out. It wasn’t soon after, though, when I could hear the sounds of an escalating arguement in the palace.

On shaky legs I stumbled out of the library, my studies forgotten as I focused on the rising voices. It was my father and Aaron.

“If anyone saw you,” my father growled, pausing momentarily to catch his breath. “Aaron, you could be reported for murdering a civilian.”

Aaron scoffed. “You’re telling me that you’re more worried about a man dying than the safety of your daughter?”

“We don’t even know that anyone is going to try anything!” my father exclaimed. I shuddered, my back slipping against the cool stone walls of the palace as I tried to wrap my mind around Aaron’s words. Was that man’s death my doing? I tried to listen as my father continued. “And you certainly didn’t give the man a chance to explain his actions.”

“His actions were obvious, Lukas! Elizabeth was in the library studying… alone. Who knows what he was about to do. If I had not discovered him…”

My father interrupted, “If you had not discovered him he might be back with his family. Alive.”

“I can’t believe you’re willing to risk your daughter’s life. Morals shouldn’t take precedence over your family’s safety, Lukas. Besides she is fated to be the next empress.” Aaron’s words saddened me.

I could almost picture my father shaking his head. It seemed as if the fire that had built inside of him had frozen. “I trusted you when my head told me not to, Aaron and you became my closest friend. I beg you to trust me. I would never risk my family and you should know that. But declaring an attack on Elizabeth would not only frighten her, but create chaos throughout the region. I cannot allow that until I know the facts.”

“Yes, my Emperor,” Aaron whispered. “I will apologize for acting foolishly… but I do not regret my actions. I ask you to respect that.”

“You are dismissed, Aaron,” my father quietly replied, and as he spoke those words, I quickly rushed back to my bedroom. I still do not know if my father decided to respect Aaron’s decision. And even if his actions were to protect the greater good, I don’t know if I can accept it.

Does it mean that sometimes it’s alright to perform an evil action in order to protect something good?

As a Witness

There was a death today in the palace. It’s not an uncommon occurrence, but this event truly affected me. I was in the library, studying over the writings of Luna and Nix when I heard shouts in the close distance outside. Of course curiosity forced my legs to the window and as I leaned against the cool stone of the palace, I observed something horrid.

My ears identified the clanging of swords, obviously brandished in a furious battle and I yearned to scream for attention. Perhaps if I had then none of this would have happened. Below, on the grounds near the east gate was Aaron, my protector, his sword arching through the air with a deadly intent as he brutally attacked an unfamiliar man.

I had never seen such a gentle creature possess such fury. It radiated from his blue eyes in waves and even from the tall window, I felt suffocated by them. What actions had this unknown man performed to provoke Aaron? The man looked like a simple peasant although he was swift with his sword, but what concerned me was the fear in his eyes. Professional swordsmen, at least the ones in the capital’s army, were trained to remain stoic in the heat of battle.

It was obvious this man was no soldier…

Below me I could hear mumbling. Perhaps they were pleads from the commoner, but Aaron never showed him mercy. With a vicious stab of his sword, the blade penetrated the man’s stomach. I couldn’t contain the tears that fell from my eyes and with a gasp, I stumbled away from the window. The floor roughly clashed against my trembling knees and with a groan I violently lost the contents of my stomach. I had witnessed a murder…

Innocence

A majestic bloom, full, beautiful, and new is like innocence. The radient petals flutter in the gentle winds, soaking up minerals like knowledge, gazing up into the sunlight as a newborn full of peace and youthful curiosity. Who shall predict of the plundering rains and chaotic winds that will some day rip those petals off and steal their vibrant colors?

My life, a life as the future Empress of Vastland is like the mountaintops covered in snow. Like the mountains that surround Naireth, the snow glimmers the tops in the winter, but then when the weather warms and the snow melts… it reveals the mud and dirt and rocks. Portraying the role of a leader may look spectacular, but underneath the glammer is only ugliness.

My mother and father always made things appear easy. Of course perhaps it was simple to them, for I know they lived through agony before the boundary was destroyed. I have no immediate knowledge of the world before Vastland, although it is obvious that it was a world full of evil and darkness. I don’t think I could have survived in such a harsh world so I thank Luna for my parents’ influence on the land.

But there is still evil, and one day… maybe soon, I will have to become the one who extinguishes that evil. Fear consumes my soul with that knowledge, but although a major part of me wishes that I wouldn’t have to fulfill that destiny, I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone else.

“That is what will make you an honorable leader,” my mother says. And my father agrees. Those who want to rule only fall under the power the position carries. But I can see how much they are proud of me, their eyes tell all. So I will continue to make them proud… it’s the least I can do for the two people who saved the world.

Some flowers, after withstanding the harshness of life, grow once again. Perhaps I will be one of those flowers.

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