The Emperor's Captive: A Sunday short for FREE!

So... I blame the wonderful authors India Emerald, Jane Jago, and E.M. Swifthook for inspiring me to suddenly write this short story. lol It is a strange little medieval fantasy tale... and I hope you enjoy! :)

The Emperor’s Captive

By Lyra Shanti

Sitting on his alabaster throne, the ancient, yet ever-young looking emperor tilted his head to the side.

“And what have you brought me, Valnor?” he asked his most trusted advisor.

“This is the wizard I warned you about. We caught him in the mountains, calling the black dragons to his side.”

Slowly rising to his feet, Emperor Mar raised his left brow as dark strands of silken hair fell to the side of his long golden cloak.

“And what were you doing calling such dangerous beasts to you, wizard?”

Valnor tugged on the chains which bound his captive's hands and neck. “Answer the emperor, you dog!”

The ultra-blond wizard, dressed in a simple black robe, smirked and said, “I was asking them for a favor.”

The emperor grinned and replied, “A favor? What sort of favor would you ask of a dragon?”

A few moments of silence fell in the throne room.

“Answer His Majesty!” shouted Valnor.

The wizard smiled. “I would ask them to enact vengeance… as only dragons can.”

“What sort of vengeance? Against the crown, perhaps?!” Valnor yelled with another tug on the young wizard’s chains.

“No,” said the wizard calmly. “It is not against the crown, but the family who hath wronged mine. They destroyed my village and killed my mother and sister. I now wish to set asunder the house of Elnick with dragon's flame and death.”

“The house of Elnick?” said the Emperor. “They are distant kin of mine. To wish them death is to wish the same to me. Valnor, take this young, reckless wizard to the dungeon, and do not give him food or water. I will think upon a proper punishment for him later.”

As Valnor led the blond-haired man out of the throne room, and to the dungeon, Mar sat back down on his throne. For some odd reason, he couldn’t get the wizard’s scorching hazel-green eyes out of his mind.

It had been at least a hundred years since he had fallen prey to the sensual charms of anyone, let alone a male wizard, and yet… his prisoner haunted his thoughts. There was something in the man’s eyes… both sinister and sweet, sacred and profane.

Lying in his bed later that evening, sleep avoided Mar like a wild stag in the wood.

Why can I not forget that wizard’s eyes? Is he an old soul? Is he one of the original wizards from the dragon legends? I do not remember him… but if he were the reincarnation of THE ONE, then it would make sense.

“No,” Mar whispered into the dark of his room. “That is impossible. She chose to leave my side. She cannot come back. She wouldn’t… and certainly not as this blond-haired wizard.”

Shaking his head, Mar disregarded his speculations, and soon fell into a deep sleep.

Dreams came, and they were filled with dragons, wizards, witches and old Gods of fanged beasts. It was a memory, though distorted and strange.

There was a great war at play - The War of Light and Dark - and Mar had his giant silver sword. It was his inheritance: Aisha, The Soul Cleaver. His mother had given it to him when he’d come of age, and now it was his to wield against demons and dark creatures of madness.

“Don’t hesitate!” yelled his beautiful dark-haired mother. “The demons will not stop until you cleave their souls from their bodies! Do it!”

Without questioning his mother’s orders, Mar slashed the monsters in half, taking their souls for his own. At first, he had no knowledge that their power would become his, but soon after the war, he was well aware… and it changed him.

Mar became all-powerful, and immortal. His dream reflected the pain he’d experienced through the years. All his loved ones had passed before his eyes, even his sorcerer mother.

There was only one woman who could stand the test of time with him, and she became his enemy. Arwa, the Wise had once been his truest love, and betrothed. But she doubted Mar’s ability to handle his immense power, and so she battled him in magic, and she lost.

Unable to punish her with death, Mar exiled her to the ruins of his ancestors where she supposedly grew old, and died.

His dream depicted all of that, but added even more. As he watched Arwa walk away from his grasp, she turned her head, giving him one last look. Her sad green eyes welled with tears.

“I will always love you, my dark one,” she said before turning her gaze upon her horse.

She had never said those words in reality, but Mar didn’t care. He wanted the dream to last forever.

“Wait!” he yelled after her. “My love! I can change! I won’t let the power turn my heart to stone! I promise! I vow! Arwa! Wait!”

Waking abruptly in his bed, the distraught emperor looked and saw an unexpected sight: blond hair shining in the darkness.

“You remember me,” the man said with a coy smile. Hovering over Mar like a cloud in a starless night sky, the young wizard leaned in close.

“But… how? How are you in my room? You were taken to the dungeon…”

“I once told you, my love, nothing will keep us apart, and no prison can hold me.”

Focusing his eyes, Mar looked and saw familiar eyes of green.

“Arwa?”

“Yes, my love… it is I, though they now call me Idris of the Sea. Now… about those dragons.”

“You want me to help you take revenge against my own family?”

“Of course. And you will do it too.”

“And why should I?”

“Because you owe me, my love… for the past. Besides, I will not take no for an answer.”

Mar sighed and brushed back his dark locks. “I will help you, but I want something in return.” “What can I possibly give the emperor of time and space?”

Taking the blond wizard by the wrist, Mar looked deep into his eyes and said, “Your soul.”

A half-smile crept across the young wizard’s lips, “Oh, my dearest… you already acquired that long, long ago.”

©2017 Lyra Shanti

#darkfantasy #shortstory #lyrashanti #freestory

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