Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra
Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

Ayush Bhagat

Classics Thriller


4.7  

Ayush Bhagat

Classics Thriller


The Assassin's Riddle

The Assassin's Riddle

11 mins 471 11 mins 471

Chapter 1-The Hunt

The sound of the feet of horses on the white snow nearly completely drowned out the footsteps of the black kelpie, a water horse, that they were hunting. Soon, the deer walked into a clearing in the woods. "Keep still now,all of you" said King Julius as he drew an arrow from his quiver. He nocked the arrow and said "I wish to slay this kelpie myself." "But Your Majesty, it is not safe here" said the guard on his left. "Do you question my strength?" said Julius as he crept closer to the clearing where the deer was, "Erm, No Your Majesty. Of course not." "Then tighten your tongue" Said the king angrily. He crept closer and closer until the dear was just a few metres away. King Julius pulled the bowstring and let it go. It flew straight into the kelpie and embedded itself deep into it's heart. He'd slayn the deer with just one shot.He smiled as he saw midnight black blood flow out of the wound. Suddenly , a figure stepped out of the shadows.

Chapter 2-Assassin's Honour

a tall woman,fully dressed in light-weight white clothes and holding a beautifully carved dagger with a red topaz hilt and silver handle in each hand. She wore a mask and her dark coloured hair fell over her blue eyes.No wonder I could not see her thought the King "How fortunate that we meet this way, with your arrow in that kelpie's heart and not your hand." She ran her hand through her hair to remove the bits of frost from it and looked at the kelpie with a sad face "You stole me from my family, took them away from me forever and sent me into a life of sadness, anger and betrayal. However, now is the time to bestow my vengence upon you " Thinking quickly, the King said "To slay me now, since I am unarmed, my last arrow gone, will bring you no honour and shame will follow you forever. The woman snorted "As if we assassins have any honour " she said as she tightened her grip on her daggers. "I can offer you any amount of wealth or land that you desire if you let me go alive. "I do not desire any land or wealth, all I wish for is to exact my revenge on you. "However, I know mercy, and thus, I will give you a chance to live." "What do I have to do?" asked the King. "You must solve a riddle." said the woman. The King arched an eyebrow, amused,"A riddle?" he asked skeptically, "I know how well educated you are, Julius, however I regret to tell you that this riddle is much more difficult than you think." her tone made it quite clear that she was not regretful at all."5 months from now, you will return here, with no companions and no weapons.I will ask you for the answer to the riddle. If you could not find the answer to the riddle during that time, I will kill you. Do you swear on your honour that you agree with the terms?" "Yes" said Julius."What is the riddle?"

Chapter 3-The Riddle

The assassin said "I myself can never be seen, however my effects are, I always move forward, never back, I never stop. What am I?" She than began to step back into the shadows, "Wait!" said the King "What do I call you" she smiled and said "Moonshadow ". "Is that your real name?" asked the King, "Of course not" said Moonshadow as she disappeared out of sight. The King, puzzled by Moonshadow and her riddle, returned to his hunting party "Shall we return to the kingdom Your Majesty?" asked one of the guards "Yes" said the King. The sound of horse feet on the snow began again and the King let his thoughts about the riddle drown in it.Soon, they reached the snow-covered Kingdom of Tyria. His wife, Generia, was waiting at the palace gate. She wore a black wool dress with white designs stitched into it and was carrying a bowl in her hands .She looks beautiful, but also quite worried, is something wrong thought the King. He pulled up closer to her and dismounted "Is something wrong my dear?" asked King Julius, his wife than suddenly jumped with a startled expression on her face,dropping her bowl "Oh! I did not see you there Julius" said Generia, picking up the bowl ,it's contents were spilled all over the snow and ice. She stared at him for a moment and than mouthed "Come with me"

Chapter 4-The message

The King, surprised, followed her into their chamber."What's wrong Generia?" he asked, worried. With shaking hands, she pointed to a note pinned to the back of the door by a dagger with a silver handle and red topaz hilt. It said-

"I myself can never be seen,but my effects are,

I always move forward,never back,

I never stop, What am I?"

It was written with a strange, midnight black substance, kelpie blood thought the King, he tried not to look shocked but his face betrayed him. Moonshadow had snuck into his chamber and left the note to make sure he did not forget about their agreement. "Is something wrong, Julius?" asked Generia in her usual soft voice. "Moonshadow" he whispered as if to make sure no one except Generia could hear him, "Who?" she asked "Moonshadow" he whispered once again as he turned around, throwing caution to the wind. "An assassin" said the King. His wife looked at him with a grim look on her face,"Assassin?" She asked, the look on his face seemed to be a good reply. The King sat down and explained to his everything that happened, his wife's concern increased more and more with each word. Days and days passed by, however the answer to the riddle could not be found. One day, the King was in the library when suddenly, for some reason, he pulled out a scroll titled "The defeat of the Kingdom of Amarylia" he decided that if he knew which kingdom Moonshadow was from, it may somehow help him to find the answer to the riddle. He thought that it must be connected to him since Moonshadow wanted to kill him, and thus, came up with an idea that he hoped was false, unfortunately it was not. The scroll said-

One of the greatest exploits of King Julius The V was his victory at the Kingdom Of Amarylia . As most people know, the Amarylians are well known for the ability to perform white magic and along with mathematics, they are also taught the mystic arts. Their physical characteristics usually involve midnight black hair, deep blue eyes and a birthmark of the full moon on their wrist is always there.Their weapons usually have red topaz hilts and silver handles. They never actually harmed anyone, however, according to King Julius,it is only a matter of time before they decided to violate our borders and break down our walls.Thus,resulting in the death of their King Kasef and Queen Kalaria. Other important families that were killed are the Azamondians, Kasikas, Falconwings, Serpentinias and the Moonshadows.It is said that the only surviver from the Moonshadow family was their 7 year old Daughter, Moona.

The King, terrified of his newfound discovery, made a plan.

Chapter 5-The Answer

The King, unarmed, rode to the clearing where he and Moona first met. "So, you came" said Mona as she walked closer to him " Unarmed too, it seems that you really do honour your oath." she said as she picked up what looked like a bundle of clothes from a rock. "What is that?" asked Julius, gesturing to the bundle, "My child." said Moona smiling at her daughter "So, do you have the answer" asked Moona, still smiling at the baby "what was the father's name? "Akira, but you still have not answered my question" said Moona "No,I do not. But listen to me Moona,you do not have to do this, I can give you whatever you want."said Julius "So, you know my name now do you not?" she said, not shocked at all. "Yes" I do said Julius " And I know what you are, an Amarylian, correct? I thought they were all gone" Moona flinched " You said you could give me whatever I want" "Yes, I can" said Julius. Moona put the child down and said "Than give me my family back!" as she lunged at him, suddenly she was yanked back by a grappling hook which tore straight through her skin and flesh, she gave a cry of pain as the hook went deeper and deeper the more she struggled "Traitor!" she screamed at Julius, "you have clearly left me no choice" she said as she closed her eyes, the Earth shook, the river started flowing faster and faster as a

blast of bright, blinding light erupted out of her, burning everything in its path, everything except her target, Julius. He laughed at the look of pure shock on her face mixed with horror as he withdrew a 2 strange looking objects tied to one another out of his coat. "You-you're a monster ." said Moona. Julius laughed, "You misunderstand, darling, I am a pragmatist. The only way to survive your magic was to bring this little thing, curious, is it not, how somethings like a unicorn horn tied to dragon fang could protect me from your powers when even the strongest shield in the world couldn't ." he said."Amarylians are the real monsters. They killed my entire family when I was just a boy" he said angrily as he looked at Moona, his eyes blazing with fury."So what? One of my people killed your family. Does that give you the right to wipe out an entire kingdom?" asked Moona."I did not wipe out Amarylia completely Moona, I let you go alive did I not. It seems like I now have a chance to rectify that mistake." said Julius, as 5 more Guards leapt of the bushes behind him. Moona barely had a chance to grab her daggers before they threw a net over her "Let me go!" she shouted as she struggled more and more."Give up now, there is no one to rescue you just as there was no one to rescue my parents." said Julius as his mind drifted back to that fateful night.It was a dark and stormy night, I was eating my dinner with my family when suddenly, the door had swung wide open as a young man with black hair and blue eyes walked into the room, blue sparks of magic rippled throughout his body , my parents had than grabbed my hand and hid me in a dark closet, I heard screams as a bright blue light erupted from the man's body, than silence, when I stepped outside, my home was in ruins and my parents dead bodies lay on the floor. "Their screams still haunt me to this day" said Julius. Moona looked at him with an expression of pity on his face but this disappeared as soon as it came."But now, I will have my revenge by slaying you, the last amarylian" said Julius triumphantly. Moona smiled at him and laughed " Laughing at your own death, you're more foolish than I thought" said Julius when suddenly, 3 more assassins jumped out of the trees "You didn't really think that I was the only survivor of the invasion now did you" said Moona. The 5 guards immediately drew their swords as the lunged at them. The male assassin grabbed his sword and shouted "Die!" as he swung it at the nearest guard while the other 2 charged at the 4 other Guards while Moona ran towards Julius. He took out his sword and soon they were in a frenzy, Moona had a disadvantage due to her damaged hand but she made up for it easily, they were both equally matched and Moona was getting ready to deliver the final blow when suddenly, Julius ran towards the baby and picked it up as it began crying loudly,"Let me go alive and she lives" said Julius as he moved the sword closer to her, upon seeing this the male assassin ran towards Julius, sword in hand "No Akira! Stop!" cried Moona as Akira slid his sword back into it's sheath, the other 2 did the same. "Julius, please, let her go" begged Moona, "Please Julius" said Akira, worry and fear etched on his face. "It's King Julius to you" said Julius as he moved the sword closer to the child."King Julius, please just let Karalia go" begged Akira, " we'll let you go free if you let her go King Julius, please" said Moona. "No, I want you all to feel the same pain I felt when my family was taken away from me" he said as he put the child down and stabbed it, however, he could not, something stopped him before the sword even touched her, he looked behind him, and to his horror, a stone hand snatched the sword away from him and bent it as if it was a simple water reed. Akira smiled and shouted "The Earth is coming to protect her Julius.Your death is now inevitable. Your talisman will only work on amarylians" Julius screamed as the hand than began to drag him into the ground " Wait, Moona what is the answer to the riddle!" he called out before he sunk into the ground completely. "Time" said Moona.

Chapter 6- The End

Moona picked her daughter up and smiled at her " My brave little girl", she than turned to Akira who asked "What now?" "Now? Now we return home" said Moona, cradling Karalia in her arms "but the kingdom's destroyed" said one of the others "As long as the amarylians live, Amarylia stands. We'll rebuild the kingdom" said Moona, "Together".

Epilogue

"Your Majesty" said Diana, one of the assassins involved in the death of King Julius "It seems that Queen Generia of Tyria wishes for peace. She has requested an audience with you. "Oh Diana, as my closest friend , I believe you are allowed to call me Moona" " Very well Your Ma- I mean Moona" said Diana.

"And if Queen Generia wishes for peace, please request her to come here" said Moona " Yes Moona" said Diana. Akira smiled at her as he watched Karalia play with her friends from the balcony. The kingdom flourished and everyone was happy.



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