The Sovereigncy Codices: The White Night 2
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Panting heavily, Alric leaned back against the wall. “I did not realise so many people wanted us dead.

“One.” Axel told him as he pulled over the last white helmet he killed. “Or a dedicated few.” 

Alric furrowed his brow at his brother. “What do you mean?”

“Gold is a powerful motivator.” Axel reminded him. “Mercenaries.” He indicated the group of bodies spread around the hall. The warrior Prince pointed his sword at one of the dead. “His armour is too small. Wrong race.” Axel pointed to another. “And her, well…” He shrugged. “Likely all the armour was stolen, placed in a central location and put on in haste when the time was right. Get dressed and get to the palace. Would’ve been the orders.”

Alric sighed, dropping his head back against the wall. “What do we do?”

Axel looked up and down the hallway before he turned his attention to his brother. “We find the bastard promising them wealth beyond measure and remove their head from their shoulders.”

“Do you think they would even be here?” Alric asked.

“If you were attempting to overthrow the royal family, would you not be here to ensure its success after all that planning?” Axel countered.

“You are far too smart for this.” Alric told him.

Axel shrugged. “Experience.” He looked down at the terran body at his feet. “Probably should have kept one alive to get an explanation from.”

Alric pushed off the wall. “I’m sure there will be more. That cannot be all that was sent to take over the palace.” He said limp hopping towards the next hallway junction.

Axel nudged the soldier’s body one last time and turned to follow Alric. The younger Prince saw the blade come around the corner up ahead a moment before a streak of black and white flashed past him and a hand covered in living metal pushed the sword intended for his brother away. Axel’s wife’s hand closed into a fist and she hit the traitorous soldier with an uppercut so strong that it lifted the much larger and heavier male up off his feet and sent him crashing into those that followed behind.

Sophia snatched the released sword out of mid air and tossed it to Axel as it was his turn to race past her. With a sword in each hand he became a whirlwind of death and slaughtered all those reinforcements that had come to ensure the deaths of his family. His ferocity and speed caught them all unprepared and like those that had first shown up, Axel made quick work of them.

When he was done he turned back to see his wife soothing their daughter from that eventful ride on her mother’s hip. Axel cast a quick glance up and down the intersecting hallway before he moved back to his family.

“You’re injured.” Sophia told Alric.

He looked down at the wound on his leg. “Comparatively, just a scratch.” He said.

She gave him a very similar unimpressed look and switched her daughter to her other hip. Sophia’s hand glowed a soft blue and she placed it just above the cut on her brother-in-law’s lower thigh. As Axel made it to them the wound seemingly stitched itself back together. Or rather, the damage was reversed to the point of not having happened.

Alric sighed. “Thank you.” He said genuinely.

Sophia levelled a finger at him. “Next time be more careful.”

Axel put a hand to his wife’s back. “You need to run. As fast and as far as you can.” That perfected unamused look returned in full force. “It is just us.” He told her of the four of them gathered there. “Should anything happen to either of us while we reclaim the palace.” Axel indicated Alric and himself.  “The two of you NEED to live.”

Sophia sighed and glanced between the two brothers, then down the hall before she looked back at her husband. She reached up and grabbed the back of his neck to bring his face within a hair’s breadth of hers. “Do NOT do anything stupid.” She stressed. “The Kingdom cannot lose both of you.”
“We won’t leave Rawlesca to whoever is behind this.” Alric stated.
Axel brushed Sophia’s cheek with the back of his hand. “The clean up from tonight could take a while, but when this is done I will find you. Whether it be in this life or the next.” Sophia gave him a scowl for that last bit. He turned his attention to their sleepy daughter, her night black hair a mess on her mother’s shoulder. “And you, my baby girl. Whatever fate awaits me I know that yours will be worthy of songs for generations to come. A greatness permeates your being the likes of which has never been seen before, my beloved Kathryn. Wherever you go, whatever you do, know that your mother and I will be with you always.” Axel smoothed her hair and gave her a kiss on the top of her head.