#Cruelty

Kailynn sits at the table across from her sister. Her hair glows like a burning ember and matches the rubies that adorn her neck. Kailynn is satisfied with the onyx stones that her husband, the Viscount, has given her just because he loves her. The necklace rest as a gentle reminder that she is loved. She smiles brightly at her sister, the newlywed wife of a handsome merchant. She tells tales of their many travels, and Kailynn could not be happier for her.
This month they traveled to Honnipu, the mountainous country of the Lycans. They treated her with their world-famous hospitality, and they dined on sushi and drank their fill of saki.
Her sister goes on of the glorious time they had, resting in the hot springs and watching the dueling matches of samurais as they entertained the court while her husband made deals with their Emperor.
She adored her time with her eldest sister, all of her sisters. She looked forward to their visits. It did her heart well to know that they were doing well. She gushed with pride as they congratulated her on her pregnancy and adored how they admired and envied her glow.
“Kailynn, you seem to have a spot on your dress.” Her sister speaks.
“Oh, dearest Gods,” Kailynn fusses, but she is unable to wipe at it. When she tries to reach, the shackles that bind her hands prevent her from moving.
No, no, no!
Kailynn screams in her mind. The sight of the chains breaks her concentration, and her illusion fades. She was not the wife of the Viscount, her sister not the wife of a merchant. She is nothing more than a dirty beast to those who should love her the most. Her parents.
She spends her days with her hands shackled in her cell. She would cry, but that would only waste what precious water she does have in her body. She wasn’t given much throughout the day, and very little of it was potable. Added with when she did get any, she had to decide to drink it or bath with it. She would not get both.
Then was the chore of how to eat the stale pieces of bread she received, if they remembered to feed her. The only days she was guaranteed a meal is when they would hire a new guard. She was such an afterthought that they never remember to tell the new ones to subject her to the harshes cruelty. They will just get caught showing her the smallest morsel of kindness then incurring her parents’ wrath.
Kailynn walks the floor again, cursing the Gods for giving her the gift of dark magic. They always had a plan. Right? What was their plan for her? Entertainment?
She couldn’t think of why the Gods would make her endure such a punishment for just being born, but she knows in her heart that she will ask them if she ever gets the chance.
Suddenly she hears several footsteps coming her way. It sounds like a whole squad of guardsmen. What fresh torment awaited her.
“Grab the witch! She’ll scare them off!” They yell, and Kailynn can finally see them come into view. One guard is holding a wizard’s staff, while another is unlocking a door.
“Princess! There are devils in the yard, be a good lass and get rid of them for us. The Count will let you have your old room back if you do.” Was this her chance? She didn’t care. She would take it. She nods her head and offers her hands to be set free. They hastily unlock her shackles, and she feels alive once more.
It had been so long since Kailynn had seen a staff. Holding one was better than she could have dreamed. Attuning with the staff’s power, she feels that rush that she remembers from the first time. Better than any drug and better than sex. Well, She wouldn’t know. She’s yet to experience either and doubts that she ever will.
Keeping pace behind the guards, she exits the castle and makes her way to the yard.
Six of the largest men she’s ever seen toy with her family’s guards. Winged men that she’s only ever read about in her studies. They are the joined union of a Fallen guardian and a Demon. They are called the Tagils. The largest and presumably the strongest was amid all the chaos, with two swords, cutting down all that came within range.
Kailynn pulled power from the staff and began to mumble what she could remember of a spell. The magic flows through her core to her hand, and just as she aims. The largest Tagil turns and faces her.
His hunter-green eyes didn’t seem like any monster she’s ever read about. he looks… Kind. He looks at her with sorrow, like he is concerned for her.
Her spell still active and aimed at him. She can’t fire the spell. Faster than she can react, the Tagil is right in front of her. He swings his sword, and Kailynn screams. Holding on to the staff, she trembles as he places one blade in its hilt so that he could take her to his side.
When she finally opens her eyes, she sees that the Tagil saved her from one of the guards. And in his arm, she felt safe. But more importantly. She felt like someone cared.

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