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In medieval times, where the myths we know of were spun from, there was a season of lords and knights, of witches and sorcerers, of magic and spells, curses and plagues, love and sacrifices, and of war and blood. Several kingdoms existed, kingdoms spread out far and wide and had borders that greatly separated them from one another, far into the east and even into the north, where the cold that ravaged there froze life, but still, people thrived in these kingdoms.
Many a time, these kingdoms were ravaged, if not by the cold then by the plague, by famine, by war, or by some sort of curse, and many a time some kingdoms crumbled under these; lost and forgotten, and buried under the black soot of burning flesh and the witches’ cry, and they all did perish, save for seven. The seven kingdoms of the east and of the south.
This is not just a tale of one kingdom, and neither is this a tale of just one man, but it starts off somewhere.
And this tale starts off in the heart of Dragonsbane, where the king, Kade Cragore, and his queen, Gwyn Cragore Wixx ruled…
Every day was usually the same in Dragonsbane, it was always the same boring day, repeating itself every time, but today at least would not be so boring. No, today there would be merriment in the castle, today they would have guests and there would be music, and dancing, and new faces, and today she would no longer be forced to see the world through her window. Today, her sister would be getting married.
She twirled from the bed to the window and sighed happily, the sun would set in only a matter of hours and the main event would begin. She looked down from the window to the open courtyard and she giggled as her eyes took in everything it saw, it was a buzz of activities going on down there as every servant was busy with the preparations, carrying flowers here and there, the food being brought in and the tons of colorful fabrics that were used to decorate the whole place. Lyra bounced up and down while clutching tightly to the window, she was excited and she was hyper, barely having slept a wink last night. She smiled, and shivered in excitement before throwing the robe she had on, off her body and raced to the door, pulling it wide open and rushing out of her room. First, she would go see the bride and wife to be, maybe tease her a little and help her get dressed, and then, of course, try out some of her dresses while at the same time, dreaming of her own day; the day she would meet her soul mate, her hero, and knight in shining armor and afterward, get married.
Lyra was always excited whenever there was a function at the palace because that was the only time she ever got to meet people. Like literally the only time she had the opportunity to. On other days she would be cooped up in the castle and sometimes, she was never allowed to even go out to the garden, mother had said it was for her own safety but she had seen them allow her sisters to go out to attend events they had been invited for, she had envied them but she also believed what mother had said because she never did anything without a good reason and Lyra knew that she was the only daughter that mother really gave all her attention to, whatever she wanted, she got it, maybe it was to console her for not being allowed to leave the castle grounds but Lyra could do nothing about that so she always looked forward to events and parties that happened in the palace.
But this guard over her life would soon end because tomorrow, she would be turning eighteen and there would be another party thrown in the palace for her, tomorrow would be the day she would get to choose her man, her hero and her knight and she would chose someone, only that the person she would choose would not be a prince like how some of her sisters had chosen, she wanted to be like her aunt Jenny, who had gotten married to a knight and a leader in the royal army, she felt like romances like that was heavenly, unlike mother who had gotten married to some important prince.
“Soria!” Lyra yelled as she burst into the room, startling her sister and the rest of the servants who were helping her get ready. She looked around the room and her mouth hung open at the decorations that had been put up, she squealed when she noticed Soria in the most amazing dress she had seen in a long time and marveled at how much it fit her, they smiled at each other and Lyra, without waiting any more time, ran up to her sister, ignoring the maids and jumped on her, bringing both of them crashing down to the bed, there was a rip and a tear and protested screams from the maids but Lyra could only care less. She was just too excited.
“Lyra!” Soria protested, her arms wrapping around her sister. “Lyra, you have torn my dress!”
“Oh,” She said and rolled off her sister then sat up on the bed, giving her sister that puppy dog face.
Soria frowned as she examined the damage done to her dress, the entire left sleeve had been ripped off and there was a huge slit in the dress which came all the way up to her thigh. “Lyra! It took an hour of fitting to get this done and in one swift second you have managed to ruin it!”
Lyra clasped her hands together and looked at the dress, yikes, she had really destroyed this but it was not beyond redemption. “I’m terribly sorry, I was just very…”
“Excited?” She finished her sentence and sighed, turning to face Lyra with a smirk on her face. “I didn’t really like the dress anyway and besides, this is just the dinner dress and not the wedding dress, or I would have buried you in this room myself.”
Lyra giggled. “I did like the dress though but is it not a bit too early to be getting into the dress?”
“A bit too early?” Soria stood up from the bed to allow the maids to take off the dress so she could try on another one. “Darling, the sun is beginning to set and the guest would be arriving soon, maybe I too am eagerly excited to wait till when it gets dark.”
“And maybe Zaden was too eager as well.” Lyra said and folded her lips to keep herself from smiling but the mischief in her eyes was clear. Soria narrowed her eyes at her and almost immediately squealed.
Lyra nodded and shot up from the bed, grabbing her sister’s hands as they both jumped up and down squealing in happiness, ignoring the dress that she was now stomping on.
“I saw him come into the castle on my way here, looking so dashing in his complete uniform. Ohhh… Soria, I can not begin to tell you how lucky you are to have Zaden for a husband.”
“I know how lucky I am,” Soria said, flicking a strand of her hair and twirling, a huge grin on her face. “And I know how lucky he is to have me for a wife too.”
“I cannot wait to find my soulmate and get married,” Lyra fell back on the bed, staring dreamily at the ceiling. “I want a warrior like the man you got, not a prince and not a king but a brave warrior who would come take me out of this castle, I am tired of always being locked in.”
Soria smiled and laid down beside Lyra, she sighed. “Can’t wait.”
She was not sure how possible that was going to be, tomorrow Lyra would turn eighteen. Again. Like she had been doing so for the past thirty-eight years now and every year she was to turn eighteen, she would be given a potion that would clear two years off her memory, bringing her back to thinking she was still sixteen. Soria did not know how long this had been going on for but it had been before she was born, and according to her mother, Queen Gwyn Cragore Wixx, Lyra was not her sister but her fifty-six-year-old aunt who looked like she was still eighteen years old.
At first when she had been told, she did not believe it because she thought it was not possible. Sure she had heard stories of witches and sorcerers and she knew that was true but the fact that Lyra was that old? And still looked so very young was something she could not so easily accept, that was until she had seen it the time they had given her the potion to drink, Lyra had woken up the next day, fully convinced that she was only sixteen years old.
Why they had to do that, she did not really know because she was not told the full story but what mother had said was that it was for her own safety and she believed her mother’s every word.
Soria turned to face Lyra and she smiled. “Let’s get ready.”