Rose, or Annabelle, is a strong part of a secret protection group that protects the evil empreor Drogen. But when a prophecy threatens to throw the balance of things out of order she must go on a special mission to stop it. But when she begins to question how she was raised will it effect everything she's ever fought for?
The streets were empty, and the air was cool. A thickness laid over the town of Silvrcling tonight making it seem that every sound echo back right to you. The clouds were full to the brim with rain, and getting ready to spill over at any moment. The only sound besides the wind howling was the clicking of my heels as I walked towards the old chapel. Everywhere I looked the stones had dulled and darkened with age and time. The town of Silvrcling didn’t always use to be like this; or so I was told. The Priestess told me that the town use to be full of life and beauty. She painted pictures in my head when I was a little girl. Telling me bed time stories to fill my head with sweet dreams, and keep the noises of the terrors that lay below on the streets. The Priestess told me that Silvrcling was beautiful; with trees and grass growing everywhere. The town small was in the center of an immense forest; and the forest next to a lake. Now the forest is completely wiped out, the lake’s just a small pond, and the city is in ruins. The only ones that know how to get here are the ones that belong to the secret organization of The Condemned Roses. We protect the new ruler, Emperor Drogen, in secrecy and stop the revolutions so that no one can try and change our peace and balance. Every Condemned Rose is branded when they are little with a small rose on the heel of our foot. I’m the last Condemned Rose to be born before the new law went into effect; the law that forbids mothers from giving birth. The Priestess calls me her special rose because I’m the last, not to mention most talented; plus my rose is on the opposite foot. She calls me her Rose, but my name is really Annabelle.
A quick movement in my peripheral vision made me alert. I continued without showing I had seen the movement but slowly and casually moved my hand to my katana. Another figure moved on my right but I still continued to walk. The sky lit up and I saw more movements followed by a loud clap of thunder. Another noise ever so faint over the thunder caught my attention. I heard a soft thud of feet behind me as someone landed on the ground; another loud clap of thunder and the whirling of a chain. The person behind me must have thought they were going un-noticed because I heard them advance towards me, but just before they struck I drew my katana out and blocked them. As chain hit medal the rain came pouring down in one fast sheet of liquid. The attacker was male; large and muscular. He wore peasant clothing, but was also clothed in armor; weak armor.
“Of course a Condemned Rose would know someone was following him.” The male said. His voice was low and rough. His eyes were steady and still as he looked over me. I could see him trying to measure my strength through my cloak, but it concealed me; only showing my eyes. He looked at me straight in the eye before speaking again. “It would be too easy if you didn’t know.” I let out a dark laugh. He pushed against me with his chain still against my katana.
“What are you laughing at?” Another male voice asked appearing from the shadows. This one had slightly surprised me, but I knew there was more than one person here from all of the figures I saw. I hoped back a good five feet to observe both of them. This one was wearing a sorceress cloak, the fabric more expensive which meant he belonged to the upper class family, tougher to kill but nothing to drastic. Fire lit up from his hand as he moved to throw it at me. I was quickly behind him and pushed him from the back, making him tumble forward. His hood fell off, revealing his face; never a good thing for them.
If someone was fortunate enough to get away, they always had their identity concealed so we could never find them; but once their identity was revealed there was no running. The larger guy got in front of the sorcerer, swinging his chain. They couldn’t see it, but under the darkness of my cloak I smiled. Silly rebels, everyone thought that Condemned Roses were men. Little did they know we were not men. Knowing that these two did not stand a chance against me I slowly lifted my hand to my hood. The two men tensed not knowing at what I was doing. I slid my hood off and revealed to them I was a woman. My long black hair falling down my back as the wind and rain whipped it out of the bun I had it in. When they both awed in amazement I spoke.
“I’m laughing at the fact you think I’m a man.” I wickedly smiled and laughed again. “Won’t matter anyway though; you’ll both be dead in a matter of moments anyway.” I laughed again and the sorcerer jumped up.
“You can’t win. The scum that calls himself ruler of this world will die!” He shouted at me.
I smiled again. “Not if I can help it.” Within a few seconds I was in front of the big peasant and my katana was slashing through his armor, then cloths, and last but not least his body. I could see the shock and amazement in his eyes as he took his last breath before coughing up blood. I drew my katana out of him. He fell to the ground limb and cold. The sorcerer was looking at him mouth hanging open
“No,” he whispered softly. Again I got behind him, I whispered in his ear.
“Are you afraid? Or are you still a believer?” The sorcerer sung his hand back at me with flames surrounding his hand.
“I still believe!” He shouted. I was too quick for him to even see me move. I laughed as I appeared behind him again. He swung behind himself again I just laughed as I jumped back a foot out of his reach.
“To bad,” I laughed again. He lunged forward with his hand on fire, but he was too late. Just as quickly as my sword pierced his heart, his flame went out and blood dripped from his mouth. “You could have made a great tool.” I told him. The fire that was on his hand now burned in his eyes as he looked me squared in the face.
“You’ll see, it will change.” He said slowly and calmly right before he spit in my face. I pushed my katana further in him out of rage; and his head went limb.
“Not likely.” I told him as I pulled my katana out and placed it back in its holder. I wiped the blood off of my face with the back of my hand as I looked at the dead corpses of the rebels. The rain still poured down washing the blood into the nearest street drain. Already there were vultures flying over head waiting to get at the corpses. I pulled my wet hair back in its bun, and pulled my hood over my face again.
“Gosh Rose, could you be anymore dramatic.” I looked up at the roof of one of the abandoned houses to see my friend Amelia crouching down on the roof; hood off. Amelia is another Condemned Rose, the second youngest. Amelia has short orange hair, and a small figure; even though she is larger than me. Not to mention being the youngest I am also the smallest.
She gently hopped down from the roof and landed next to me. I laughed at her. “Wouldn’t be any fun for me then.” I told her.
“It’s not meant to be fun,” A booming voice came from another roof. Amelia and I both kneeled down on one knee as we knew that the voice came from Cornelia, the oldest Condemned Rose. Oh great I thought as she landed in front of us.
“Sorry Cornelia.” I spoke up. “It won’t happen again.” I told her. Even though I had said this a thousand times before.
“And what has The Priestess told you about taking off your hood to outsiders?” Cornelia continued.
“Never-,” I began but she cut me off.
“Never take your hood off, and yet you continue to anyway.”
“It’s not like I didn’t know I could beat them. I knew I could so there was no real danger of my identity getting out.” I explained as I rose to my feet and looked at her. She the scariest of us all. Blonde hair, fierce eyes, nose, and mouth, and a voice that could send chills down your spine.
“You didn’t know that though, what would have happen if one got away?” Cornelia countered my explanation.
“I was watching her back Cornelia.” Amelia spoke up. Cornelia shot her a look and Amelia hung her head.
“This is not your concern; you’re supposed to be on your way to the palace to receive the guards.” Cornelia bit back to her. Amelia sighed. “Now be on your way before we send another in your place.” Cornelia ordered. Amelia nodded and hopped back onto the roof and began to jump the roofs of the buildings.
I felt pity for Amelia.
No one likes going to receive the guards; it was a horrid job. Receiving the guards meant you had to watch as they fought to keep their ranking and judge them. If they weren’t up to our standards, then they couldn’t watch Emperor Drogen. You had to deal with the guards as some of them tried to have their way with you, or mocked you for being a girl. Sometimes though, when it got to bad, the warden of the guards allowed us to show them a thing or two; that was only good thing that came of that.
“As for you, The Priestess is waiting for you. You’re lucky she favors you or she would never accept tardiness.” Cornelia said as she began to walk to the corpses. “Now be on your way, I will clean this up.”
I bowed again. “Thank you Cornelia.” Then I dashed off towards the chapel once again. Yeah, lucky me I thought as soon as I reached the chapel doors. I slowly stepped inside. This chapel always gave me the creeps. It was darker than the city itself, and there were old statues of demons and gargoyles everywhere. It smelled like old blood and decay, not to mention all of the bats up on the chapel ceiling. The Priestess was standing in the middle of the isle waiting for me. I quickly walked over to her and bowed before her.
“My child,” she said. “Rise.” She ordered. I rose and looked at her.
The Priestess was old and frail but still as strong as she used to be. Her hair had whitened with time and age, and her skin was somewhat wrinkled with time as well. She wore more than a simple black cloak like the rest of us. The cloak she wore was a brilliant red and had gold edging along with a design or roses along the bottom. When I made eye contact with her, her face lit up and her head rose a little.
“I have a task for you.”