Eljena’s backstory, part 2

Continued from here

“Poor princess. Other young women like me just had big local parties. She had to be paraded through the streets of Jacumba for everyone in the capital to see. My husband and I were seated at the palace’s public ground for the end of the parade, rather near the back and close to the right side as appropriate for our station. When she entered through the gates of the wall that separates the grounds from the city, the crowd all rose and started to move with her towards the palace where the final ceremony would be. That’s when I was separated from my husband, and I did not see him alive again.

“The woman I’d insulted had a group of men who surreptitiously moved between us in that mob. It wasn’t hard, as there were at least three thousand nobles all crammed into the grounds and I doubt my husband was ever aware I wasn’t at least close when hell unleashed herself on me.

“Because we were at the edge of the crowd, and towards the back, it was rather simple for these men to form a wall, you know, a barricade that kept me from pressing forward with everyone else, while in the tumult, not even my husband could hear me calling for him. Then she hit me and, for a moment, all I could see were stars. When I shook my head clear, I was on my knees and the woman I’d insulted was standing above me, a stick in hand raised for another blow. Not a small stick: it looked like the leg of a fancy dining chair that had been torn off. If she’d been strong like a man, I’m sure that first blow, or one of the later blows, would have killed me, which her eyes made clear was her intent. Then the beating began.

“Sometimes she clawed my face instead of hitting me with that chair leg. If not for my magic, I’d have terrible scars now, because her nails were long and quite sharp, and able to rip my skin after bashing me in the cheek with her stick. The beating was vicious and those men just stood there, backs to me as I pleaded for my life, ignoring me.

“There was no warning, just as she’d given me no warning, when the magic erupted. I was about to just give up and welcome the fatal blow when it exploded out of me. To this day, I have never experienced such a rush of magic. The woman and all the men were each blown a good twenty feet away, tumbling like leaves. And it left me healed, completely healed, although still weak.

“They were all frightened when they could glance back at me, and they ran away one by one like scared puppies, until I was alone in that back corner of the palace grounds, unnoticed by the rest of the crowd. I didn’t know why until later, but as that surge moved with the princess towards the final celebration, there’d been a murder. My husband, I learned the next day, was stabbed by unknown assailants. Witnesses said they weren’t certain who, but they were certain that my husband had no idea of his doom until the blades pierced him, one to each side. He only gurgled when he fell, which was quite enough to distract the witnesses from realizing who had killed him.

Concluded here..


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