The Sovereigncy Codices: The White Night 3
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The soldier ran out of the front of the palace as fast as he could under the weight of his armour, a hand on his head to keep the white helmet in place. He skidded to a stop in the middle of the road that separated the palace from the Royal Gardens.

“Sir.” He addressed the group that awaited his report. “Prince Alric and Prince Axel continue to elude us.”

“Less of an eluding and more of a ‘no one can kill them’.” A nef’talin commander commented.

“Alric is a surprise but Axel we prepared for.” The clear leader of all the assembled commanders stated.

“Sophia and Kathryn?” The nef’talin asked.

“We have been unable to confirm their status.” The soldier responded.

“Confirmed their deaths.” The leader corrected. “We are all party to this, no need to mince words at this point.”

“Sir.” The soldier acknowledged with a nod of his head. “No one has survived against the Princes long enough to determine if anyone has been able to kill Prince Axel’s wife and daughter.”

“If they’re both still alive…along with Axel…” A drakomo captain wavered. 

“I have not spent a lifetime serving this family, learning everything about them, for your hesitation to jeopardise the whole plan.” The leader snapped. “They die and Rawlesca is for the better.”

The sound of glass shattering came from high above them, immediately followed by a scream that was rapidly growing in volume. They all looked up just in time to see the broken glass and white helmeted soldier slam into the road between the group and the main palace doors. A moment later Prince Axel landed between the usurpers and the body with enough force that the road cracked around him, their horses reared back startled.

Once the group got control of their mounts and collected themselves they regarded the enraged warrior Prince.

“Chancellor Valtine.” Axel snarled.

High on his horse, the middle aged advisor rolled his eyes. “Yes, yes. I’ve been planning this for years. Let’s get this over with so I can get to turning Rawlesca into a great nation.”

Axel tensed, happy to oblige, and readied to launch himself at the traitorous head of the Alexandria academia.

“Wait!” Alric called out, the elder Prince stood upon a shimmering platform of intricate construct of sorcery as he descended from the shattered window his brother had jumped out of.

Axel levelled a sword at Valtine. “I’m taking his head from his shoulders.”

“I am angry too, Axel.” Alric said his brother’s name to make sure he had his attention. “But if he has been planning this for as long as he says…he has planned for you.”

Axel snorted, his bright emerald green eyes locked on the Chancellor. There was a lengthy exchange of long looks between the brothers and the usurpers. The calm, quiet night outside the palace only underpinning the tension between the two groups.

“You are remarkably restrained.” Valntine stated regarding Axel. “Is it because of your brother’s orders? Or because your wife and daughter have not yet made a complete escape? A distraction to give up your life to save theirs?”

Axel stood up straight and gave his arms a shake to loosen himself up. “Do all your over thinking.” He said dismissively. “As head of the Akademia you rely too much on your mathematics and what SHOULD be instead of what COULD be.”

“I’ve calculated all this.” The Chancellor gestured to the palace. “Do you really think so many would have joined in my cause if they did not understand the clarity of my math?”

“I think math is very good at getting people lots of coin.” Axel commented. ”But even I understand that so much gold spent for naught is a fools investment.”

“Why am I even talking to you? You are a variable to be eliminated.” Valtine briefly looked at his subordinates. “Kill the elder brother. Leave the Draconis to me.” He said as he climbed down from his horse. “Mages!”

At his summons a cadre of heavily robbed individuals moved out of the cover of the gardens and onto the pathways. They arrayed themselves in a circular pattern around the Chancellor and started building power. The other coup leaders quickly cleared out and arranged themselves to attack Alric once Axel was engaged by Valtine.

“Don’t do anything stupid.” Axel told his brother.

“That’s my line.” Alric countered before he set to collect himself in preparation for the final, desperate fight to come.

Axel’s focus narrowed and more traces of the grand dragon within him rose up to augment his vision as Axel looked beyond the physical. With that elevated sight, he could see the very building blocks of existence, Axel saw a series of arcane links forming between the mages and the Chancellor. “You’ve planned for me? And this is the best you’ve got?” The younger Prince challenged.

“Waste your breath all you want.. You die tonight so that Rawlesca may flourish under my guiding hand.” Valtine told him.

Axel rolled his eyes. “And here I was with just a moment of hope that you weren’t some stock standard egotistical villain.”

If the Chancellor heard the Prince he made no indication. Valtine took up his combat stance in the midst of his mages and collected a considerable amount of power syphoning towards him into his hand. Axel ticked his head every so slightly to the side as he saw those tethers to the mages pulse, continuously sending power to the Chancellor.

“Armies far larger than yours have tried to out number me and I am still standing.” Axel taunted.

Again he was ignored, but again Axel noticed something beyond what his normal sight could see. While Valtine was the focal point, and everything was being directed into him, it was just a visual distraction. Faint tethers were wafting out from the mages, thinly reaching out into the city. The Prince’s inspection was cut short when the Chancellor pulled his arm back. Axel instantly launched himself for Valtine, his two blades slicing through the mages on either side of him as he passed. Before he could completely cross the distance, the Chancellor threw all that power right at the Draconian Prince bearing down on him.

The arcane spell hit him and Axel could feel the hook sinking in. Right before he felt the connection pull tight, time seemed to stop and he found he was staring at himself. Or rather someone that looked exactly like him, aside from the blazing crimson eyes.

“You do this and there’s no guarantee you walk out of this.” The Draconis Hyrarx told Axel. “This Chancellor IS prepared for you.” The ancient entity that fueled his power stated.

Axel looked at himself, at his partner all these years. “So let’s give him something he couldn’t have planned for.”

“Axel.” The hyrarx’s deep rumble warned.

“I know how this goes.” Axel told him. “Just promise me whoever you choose next…for her…make sure he’s great.”

His double smiled. “Their names will go down in history as legends.”

Axel returned the smile with a heartfelt one of his own. “It has been an honour and a privilege. Now let’s kill this son of a turd.”