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Some day a hero will make it right

This is Part VIII of Princess for the Night. Part I of Princess for the Night is here

humpty dumpty opium tales she looks into her Aunt’s crystal ball, and sees her hero, the one she would some day marry, the one who loved her, the one who would avenge Tonna’s death and free these villages from the curse once and for all, running. Running, with a panicked look on his face, without a sword in hand. Running as fast and as far away from the village as he can.

So much for a hero.

So much for true love.

So much for…

“This may seem crazy, Isabella.”

Isabella stares forward with a blank look on her face.

“Isabella. Pay attention.”

Isabella turns and faces her Aunt.

“This may seem crazy, Isabella, but it’s the only chance we got. Remember the love potion you made?”

“Yes. And no, I’m not going to waste it on that pathetic-”

“No. I hope that coward dies. I got a better idea.”

A little telekinesis

Early the next morning, as planned, Isabella’s aunt slipped the bottle into her dress. Isabella only had to keep her cool under duress. No big deal, right? You only have a ten ton beast that could bite an armored warrior in half with one bite that wants to eat you. Then of course, the potion is made for a human. Will it work on a dragon?

Who knows? It’s all we got.

Avery’s miles away by now and nobody else wants to risk their life and the lives of all the local villages for a single girl. Every year, the same thing. A virgin girl in a white dress sacrificed to the dragon. One life in exchange for thousands.

Cowards. All of them.

No time to judge though. Must focus on the task at hand.

This year as every year, the girl, chained to the same post in front of the dragon’s cave. Cold and damp, her shivering alone made her spell casting even more difficult. Never mind a giant fire breathing flying reptile will soon be expecting a feast.

Oh, I’ve already made that point. Well, I’m going to make it again to really hammer into your head how hard it is to cast this spell.

You cannot lose focus. You cannot lose concentration. Telekinesis is one of the more difficult spells to cast in ideal situations.

You know what makes it even worse? Your hands really make spell casting more simple. Even better than your hands? Something concentrated. Like a wand for instance.

Well, she didn’t have a wand. And her hands were tied above her head in a cold iron chained grip. So she couldn’t exactly use her hands to cast this.

Only her mind. And what makes this even worse? She had to have her eyes open. Isabella couldn’t close her eyes or else she’d have no idea where that bottle would go, even if she somehow managed to cast this spell under these conditions.

The dragon

And so the elders secured her in place. And walked away like the cowards they all are.

Like Tonna’s parents, Isabella’s parents couldn’t come to say goodbye to their daughter. Her mother collapsed in the morning and her father raged with a pitchfork. It took half a dozen men to finally subdue him and knock him out. Knocked out some of his teeth in the process too.

Yes, he loved his daughter. And yes, if he could, he would have stopped this. But now he lays knocked out, bleeding, and missing his front teeth in the barn. Oh, he also shat his pants.

Sorry. I probably should have spared you that detail.

Anyways, the dragon. Yes, maybe it’s due to the timing, but the dragon doesn’t come out until all the elders were out of sight.

Isabella rehearsed the spell many times with her aunt. However, it’s all easy under ideal conditions. When you didn’t have a gigantic fire breathing flying reptile that can bite you in half with one bite slithering towards you.

Yes, Avery described Tonna’s death in brutal detail to Isabella. So Isabella now knows what would happen if she fails to cast this spell.

Or, if she succeeds in casting the spell and the potion simply doesn’t work. Don’t think for a minute that that hasn’t crossed her mind.

The Finale of Princess for the Night

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Wake up Isabella!

This is Part VII of Princess for the Night. Part I of Princess for the Night is here

Opium Tales wizard isabella did try to not drink too much. She didn’t. However, let’s not forget that she’s just a teenager. And her aunt kept shaking her. “Wake up, Isabella. Wake up.”

She said it loud enough to wake Isabella. But softly enough not to wake Isabella’s parents.

Her aunt was the only one who knew everything. This of course goes back to her aunt being the only one to know Isabella’s a witch. As they both share that gene.

Groggy, Isabella finally comes to.

“What, Auntie?”

“We have a problem.”

Princess of the Night Part VIII is here

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One hell of a party

This is Part VI of Princess for the Night. Part I of Princess for the Night is here

Opium Tales wizard isabella got tons of hugs and even more tears from pretty much everyone. Everyone, except Avery, who was practicing one last time, then wanted to get a good night’s sleep. If he could.

Unlike the previous girls, Isabella celebrated. Yes, Princess of the Night means they’ll throw you one hell of a party. But it also means you’re going to get fed to a dragon the very next day. Of course fun was the absolute last thing on most girls’ minds.

Except Isabella. She was having a blast. And everyone else was loving it.

The prior years, guilt and denial dominated everyone’s minds. This time, showing Isabella a great time took the main stage. Because this time around, Isabella really wanted to make use of a party.

She was careful not to drink too much. She wanted to keep her wits. Sure, Avery would have to do the hard work. She’d just have to sit pretty and pray the dragon eats zero people tomorrow instead of two.

Or more. Yes, the thought of Avery failing, then the dragon rampaging through the local villages, charring and flattening everything in sight crossed her mind. The pact was there for a reason.

Both of her parents cried. However, she assured them things will be OK. The girl who’s supposed to get eaten by a dragon is assuring her parents things will be OK? Strange world we live in.

Oh, believe me, it gets stranger. Let me just end it by saying that it was indeed one hell of a party.

Princess of the Night continues here with Part VII

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Another year, another lottery

This is Part V of Princess for the Night. Part I of Princess for the Night is here

Opium Tales Humpty Dumpty Autumn came much faster than anyone would have liked. Another year, another lottery. The neighboring villages all gathered around and the virgin girls, as ordered, submitted their names.

Avery had been training. He has vowed to put a stop to this madness once and for all. Despite the thick hide of the dragon, Avery thinks with a well placed slash to the throat, he could take the dragon down and end this.

Nobody else has dared. But nobody else has had his vengeance. Disgusted by Tonna’s death. Disgusted by the cowardice of his people. Avery has had enough.

For her fourth year, Isabella submits her name. The other girls do the same. An elder reaches into the box, scrambles some papers around and pulls out a name.

Several hundred people there. Yet, silence. Nobody utters a word. They all wait for the name to be called.

Everyone knows everyone. Every year, someone loses a family member. And everyone loses someone they know. A sister. A daughter. A granddaughter. A niece. A friend.

Every year, the older people become more numb. The young people get more anxious. That person must die for the survival of all the neighboring villages.

But why hasn’t anyone questioned this practice? Why hasn’t someone stepped forth and even attempted to be a hero?

Every year, the name gets called. And that girl becomes princess for the night as each village puts up the best party they possibly could for her. Then the next morning, they chain her in front of the dragon’s cave and the dragon feasts.

The confession

Avery witnessed last year’s carnage, to no one’s knowledge, except for Isabella’s. Not even his trainers knew.

Avery finally decided that he will put a stop to this. Or die trying.

At first, Isabella thought he was mad. Then as he described Tonna’s death in painstaking detail, Isabella almost shared his vengeance. But not at the dragon, for the dragon is just a beast. But for the whole process. The villages. The cowardliness.

Isabella watched Avery train and saw that Avery was becoming a monster. If anyone had a chance against the beast…

And if Avery dies trying, will the dragon attack the villages? That means the pact had been broken. Someone dared stand up to the dragon.

Avery considered this. But, he was confident that he would end this. Once and for all. No girl ever again will die the way Tonna died.

The draw

So, as I was telling you earlier, the elder reaches into the box, scrambles some papers around and pulls out a name. As he has done before for many years.

Each time he drew the name, there was a sadness in his eyes. A remorse. A helplessness.

As always, nobody uttered a word. Even the children, usually restless, knew that someone they know, they won’t see alive tomorrow. Even they kept still, and kept silent.

“Isabella.”

Unlike the other girls, Isabella came forward with a blank face. She neither cried nor collapsed. She simply moved forward. And bowed, accepting her fate. For she knew, the love of her life, her future husband, the greatest warrior this village has ever known, had a plan.

Princess for the Night continues here

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Avery’s vengeance

This is Part IV of Princess for the Night. Part I is here.

opium tales green the image of that initial bite never left Avery’s head. He couldn’t sleep for weeks, visualizing Tonna getting bitten in half. When he closed his eyes, he still saw her death.

Despite throwing up one to two times a day for weeks, Avery insisted on training. Umfrey had utmost respect for Avery’s work ethic before. But now, it was borderline insane.

Borderline? Why did I even say borderline? Take out that word. I was completely wrong to use it. Insane. Yes, Avery’s work ethic became insane.

Nobody trained like Avery. Nobody. He took it to a whole new level.

And within weeks, he was getting results.

Tired and exhausted, after a few weeks of intense training, he stopped throwing up. He learned to focus his vengeance. He learned to control his emotions.

Avery was already Umfrey’s best student. But now, he would become Umfrey’s only student because the other students were so intimidated by Avery that they quit one by one.

Isabella notices something

Avery stopped visiting Isabella every chance he could. And when they rarely snuck out together, Avery didn’t talk much. They didn’t kiss much. Avery would stare into space a lot.

Isabella would ask him what was wrong or what he was thinking about. Avery would come to, and smile and kiss her, then go back to staring into space. While saying nothing.

“Did I do something wrong,” she’d ask. He’d answer “no baby. You’re perfect.”

But she knew something was wrong. She didn’t know that Avery saw Tonna’s death. Nobody knew. Not even Umfrey.

“Were you in love with Tonna?”

“No. But she didn’t deserve to die.”

Isabella agreed. But why now? Why all of a sudden? Even as teenagers, they’ve been through several of these lotteries. And Gwen two autumns ago actually was Avery’s friend. Avery barely knew Tonna.

Isabella knew something was wrong. The child in Avery was dead. He was now a man, and a man with a vengeance.

Continue with Part V of Princess for the Night here