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Dark Knights - print

The Dark Lady, 3

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Faced with rebellion from within, and invasion from without, will young Queen Nefasti flee, or pick up a sword and face her fears?

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    It has happened at last. Queen Nefasti’s friends are deserting her on all sides, treachery threatens from inside her own castle, and an invasion led by an old and angry acquaintance is knocking at the very gates to the Kingdom of Vadio. Dark Magic has stirred up things best left alone. Nefasti has been given a final choice, marry The Lord High Protector’s son, or suffer dire consequences. All of this threatens to ruin her 16th birthday celebrations, and probably end her life.


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    Dark Knights - print

    Dark Knights - print

    Faced with rebellion from within, and invasion from without, will young Queen Nefasti flee, or pick up a sword and face her fears?


    “You should be very careful being seen here. The ambassador has several servants about the castle.”

    “Oh, I doubt if he will try anything nasty within the walls of Oculus Gloria...on the high road perhaps, or in the forest near our estate.” Prince Haeres grinned at her over the rim of his cup. “I am ready if he tries anything.”

    Now he sounds more like the foolish and reckless youth I know.

    “Well, I must be going.” He stood, took her hand and kissed it. “I have heard rumors.”

    “Rumors?” Nefasti wondered what new crisis was about to unfold.

    “Yes, rumors that the Queen and I are betrothed.” His eyes sparkled.

    She snatched her hand away. “I did not say any such thing!”

    “Cousin, you should at the least keep me informed of such important developments,” he said, grinning even more broadly, “You have just doubled the number of enemies I now have.”

    “You probably deserved them,” the Queen snapped. “Besides, I never said that we were betrothed. I may have said that you were simply one of the many,” here she almost choked on the words, “who would make a suitable candidate. That is all I said.”

    “No need to be shy, cousin.” Haeres blew the Queen a kiss. “I am honored by your excellent choice. Besides, Your Majesty,” he said over his shoulder, “anything that annoys my dear Cousin Ferus is worthy of being shouted from the battlements.” Pausing by the door he turned and bowed, “Until I return with the Princess, then.” Winking at the Queen, he disappeared inside.

    Nefasti stared after him. Haeres no longer resembled the stuttering awkward boy Prince Lubricius thrust into the competition for her hand what seemed now many years ago. I wonder what he has been doing all those months while exiled on the borderlands, supposedly herding sheep. She wondered what else he had been up to, perhaps herding shepherdesses?

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