Chapter One

"Good work my love, good work. You've just ensured his life for yet a while longer."

Lianna fell to the ground with a sob.

"Ahh my pet, why does this still bother you so? You are very practiced in the art by now, no? You'd think you'd be used to it."

"I will never become comfortable with the monster you have forced me to be," was her only answer.

The silky voice replied once more, "True you will never like it, but you will continue to be my-ahhem- helper is a good word for it don't you believe? Or your son won't make it another day."

With that his robes swept the dirt floor of the room and the door slammed.


Lianna lay on the floor of the room that had been hers for the last fifteen years, crying for her son that did not know his mother lived in the same place as him, just below him in fact, in the dungeons.

She cursed the man that forced her into this submission. Cursed him for taking the life of her husband. Cursed him for taking her son from her and turning him into the wild youth he had become. Cursed him for reducing her to such a level.

But she couldn't do anything against him but curse him in solitude. After all, what could she do to one of the most powerful men in the world? He was the province ruler of all the valleys of the western part of the country, and she was his unwilling assassin.

Fifteen years ago, when she and her husband had learned that she was pregnant, they had attmepted to hide it from him because of a prophecy that had been made about the son of the son of Aswald Gruinken, who was her husband's father. The prophecy read that the child would be the only one to posess the powers to save the country of  Raling from the four tyrants that ruled it now.

Nevertheless, he found out, and was so angered that he himself came to dispose of the child.

As soon as she had the child, Rewald showed up on their doorstep. Her husband, her brave, wonderful husband had died that night trying to protect them.

She had fallen to the ground pleading with him, "Please Rewald, not my son, not my son."

She remembered the look that had come across his face. Then he spoke, "I seem to remember something about you... Something that could be of use to me."

She cringed. Lianna knew he was speaking of her background... She had once been a ruthless opponent of the ruler of the east province. She had been able to sneak unnoticed into his military ranks and plant poison in their ration supply, and with that one act wipe out an entire battalion in a day.

"I have a proposition for you," he continued, "You will be an assassin for me, and I will let your son live in the castle with me. But he will not be allowed to know of your relation with him, or know anything of the prophecy, do you understand? If a word reaches his ears I will dispose of him just as I have your husband. Who knows, a boy with such power could prove useful to me in the future."

Her head whirled rapidly... What else could she do?

Right then, she had knelt before Rewald Baladger and swore loyalty to him and to the pact they had made.

The End

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