The darkness wrapped around the pair like cold velvet, and the slave girl’s teeth began to chatter again. “Wh-What’s going on?” She asked, and her skin chilled, goosebumps springing up upon her chest. There was still the shock, fear, but underneath all of that was awe. This woman, whoever she was, was free. She didn’t answer to anyone but herself, and the girl was drawn to that, in spite of herself.
For his part, the knight actually flinched; the girl could feel him trembling beside her; even the chain that bound her manacle to her neck was shaking, creating a cheery foil to the darkness and the chill. The girl’s eyes spotted, she’d barely adjusted to the light before her master had angered this woman. “I want an answer! I did not drag my nag and slave here for nothing, I tell you!” His voice was like steel, but his companion could hear the tremble beneath it. Seasoned warrior, he might have been, but she knew him too well to buy his act. She could feel the girl’s presence in the room, even if she couldn’t see her. It hung over them, a dark specter that shimmered with dark, unknown power. Yet she couldn’t bring herself to be afraid. She was astonished, wonderstruck, in a way that she hadn’t ever been before.
The girl was broken from her thoughts by her master yanking on the chain, nearly throttling her as he did so. Spots of light danced dangerously in the corners of her vision, and she gagged, barely managing to keep herself from losing the meager meal she’d had before they’d departed. “You’ll take this worthless piece of scum before you ever put your hands on me, you witch!” The woman’s laughter rang out, tinkling like bells, echoing throughout the chamber. “Do you really believe I’ll harm that poor, helpless creature you’ve forced under your thumb?” The noise scraped against the knight’s ears, making them ring; he clenched his jaw. He’d been on a battlefield before; this was just the same, only he was dueling with a different opponent. An opponent who had a distinct advantage. But if nothing else, he could use the girl as a distraction, as a way to run… But his self-preservation battled with his avarice, and he didn’t dare move, holding the girl as a shield in front of him.
“That child wasn’t the one who willingly trespassed on my property to sell me to a pair of traitorous royals!” The woman’s voice had a deep timbre under it now, suggesting something otherworldly and old beyond either person’s comprehension. The slave fought to free herself of her master’s viselike grip, but he hadn’t come all this way to merely fail. His grip tightened. “I’m not afraid of you!” The knight blustered further, and the girl’s mind went blank with panic and terror; it was like her head was filled with dozens of angry, buzzing bees; she just couldn’t bring herself to think clearly. “And what, pray tell, do you mean? Sell you to a pair of traitorous royals? Do you speak of the king and queen?”
The girl’s derisive laughter surrounded them, a vicious, ghastly chorus that rang of rage and bitterness, it cut the girl to the quick. “Who else would I be talking about, you foolish, insolent man? You will regret crossing me!” The presence of the princess and her magic loomed ever closer, and the girl clenched her teeth, trying to stay calm. There was simply no way for her to free herself, and frustration fastened tight claws around her throat. The knight had the chain wrapped around his fists and had lashed her against his body; deep down, she wasn’t the least bit surprised that her master was using her as a human shield. He’d always loathed her, from the moment that she’d come under his care. It was something she’d learned to take in stride, but a part of her wondered if she, in fact, deserved that treatment. She’d never asked for this.
The princess seemed to hover above them in a mass of glittering power, and the girl held her breath, waiting for the annihilation that was certain to come for her. The knight was screaming something, but the sounds were muffled, muted as if she were being held underwater. Her terror was so complete that it felt like there were iron bands wrapped around her chest, her vision turning black at the edges. Her knees had turned to water, and all the fight had left her as quickly as it had come. Whatever happened now, she just longed to be free of the horror that had taken over her body and rendered her useless. The ethereal form moved closer, and all the girl could hear was her ragged breathing. Everything else had stopped, and she wondered if she’d be frozen in this moment until the end of time, suffocated by the oppressive, inescapable darkness and the knight’s greed.
“You’re such a fool, you’ll believe anything they tell you,” The other girl snarled, and her voice bounced back off of the walls, making the girl shiver. “Just because they’re the royals does not mean that they are the equivalent of gods. I can smell the arrogance on you, old man, borne from them! And to choose a child for a defense! Have you no honor?” “I’ve plenty of honor, bravery, and chivalry besides! Come out of this darkness and fight me!” The knight rejoined; his contempt and rage were clear, even though the girl could not see his face. “If you’re as powerful as you seem, surely you’ll have no trouble cutting me down?” He had the nerve to laugh, and the girl heard a deep, guttural growl, emanating around them and making the walls of the tower room shake. Air moved above them, and the slave girl instinctively tried to duck.
There was a massive crash that made the walls rumble with displeasure, and the knight and slave landed on the cold stone floor in a tangled heap of limbs and chains; bright, multicolored lights flashed in front of the girl’s eyes as her head bounced off of the floor. The last thing she heard was her master’s high-pitched, deep-throated screech of pain and wrath before the world was lost to her.
Part three! Check it out y’all! Thanks to Mlle_) and reddit for the sweet prompt!