“Only you?” the king snarled at the black-cloaked man in front of him.
“Yes, my lord,” he replied, trying not to show his nervousness. “Only I escaped. The rest were killed by Mindtwyster scum. They took the girl.” The king slammed his hand against the wall and growled.
“Devlin, I order you to do ONE simple thing, and you failed! Bring the prince here. Now!” he ordered a servant, who was cowering and shaking visibly in the corner.
“Yes, master,” he said in a strangled whisper, hurrying out the door. A moment later, he came back with a handsome boy striding confidently next to him. He had messy, raven-black hair, and perfectly angelic face. His striking, green eyes flashed mischievously as he stepped up to his father.
“You wanted me, Father?” he asked, grinning. One would expect that he, having a cruel and ruthless father, would be the same. But no, he had a strange liking for animals. He also had a tendency for trouble, and was much too playful, at least in his father’s opinion. The only similarity between them was their stubbornness and inclination to disobeying orders.
“Ahh, Zayden. I have a…proposition for you,” the king said, giving him the smile he reserved only for his son. Zayden inclined his head curiously.
“And what would that be?” he questioned cautiously.
“I want you to go to the Mindtwyst Academy,” the king announced, smirking evilly.
“I thought you hated them,” Zayden said, confused.
“I did, and I still do. But I want you to spy on them—on nothing in particular, really. Just report to me if you notice anything interesting.”
“Yes, Father” he replied, a playful glint in his eye. As he turned to leave, his father’s voice stopped him.
“Oh, and Zayden?”
“Don’t make yourself too noticeable, try to blend in.”
“I’ll try,” Zayden grinned cheekily, and then left. King Leopardo turned to the still-standing ninja in front of him.
“Take him there yourself. He leaves tomorrow. Don’t make any more mistakes.” Devlin saluted, and then stepped out of the room.
He shuddered, then took a big breath. Protect the prince. Make sure he stays safe, but don't let him know I'm there. he thought. I will not, must not fail this. If I fail, I'll die. The boy is, after all, the king's son.