"I have said this in the past and I will continue to repeat it as long as I live: Whoever tries to hurt our national unity is my enemy until the Day of Judgment."
~King Hussein I
December 12th 1607
"I beg of you, your majesty forgive I, for I wish thee no harm. I knew of no other way to warn you, with him so close." He whispered behind me and I couldn't move, let alone speak, with his hand around my mouth.
The water felt as though it paralyzed me within. I and my child were held unmoving. The thought of it being harmed sent my heart rapidly beating.
"Your majesty is all well?" Hal called from behind the door, I prayed he could sense that all was not well….not well in the least.
"We are out of time my queen. Trust not the King's brother, for he wishes to wear the crown." He spoke and when his hand released me I screamed.
I screamed until it felt as though I could not breathe. Hal and Hart all but knocked the door down their swords drawn as I held on to the side of the bath gasping for air.
"A man…" was all I could bring myself to say, they moved towards the small broken windows.
"Have the castle secured now!" Hart yelled back to the guards.
I didn't know when Angelia and Violet returned but they were blocking me from view. They placed a robe around me quickly, helping me to sit down.
"Your majesty is thee injured?" Hart kneeled before me and I shook my head looking away.
"I want him found now." I hissed clinching on to my robe.
Trust not the King's brother, for he wishes to wear the crown.
December 12th 1607
Rising out of the snow all that I could see were the half buried bodies of my men, and their swords. Hands rose from the snow like gravestones marking where they lay.
"The King!" Two men behind me called.
"I am well save them!" I yelled back trying my best to pull myself out of the pit of snow I remained in but at the very least I could breathe.
"How many dead?" I asked rising up.
"None." General Cole reply beside me, to my surprise. I looked to him, his blonde hair almost looked white in the snow. General Cole was not a very tall man, nor did he seem strong enough to fight. Many jested he was a man trapped in a boys body for all eternity but what he lacked in appearance he made up in wit and cunning. It was why I had sought for him to follow me on this mission.
"What is your command sire?" He asked as I turned looking back at the pitiful half frozen men standing behind me, their noses and cheeks red, their eyes wide with ice chips hanging from all the hair upon their faces.
"We press on." I shook off the snow from my arms and walked on; surely if we had made it thus far God was upon our side.
Not one of them grumbled as we trenched up the mountainside. With each step it felt as though our legs went deeper and deeper into the snow. However, what focused us was not the cold but the sound of the Phillips army laughing away below us. They were all unaware.
"Cole." I said as we stopped near the edge.
He nodded turning back to the men who had taken their place in the snow, their bows and arrows all awaiting my command.
"None shall survive." I said taking the bow Cole had handed me. "On my mark, light the signal."
We would distract them up above and Jasper and my uncle moved up the line.
"Now!" I yelled against the icy wind.
December 12th 1607
Trust not the King's brother, for he wishes to wear the crown. His words danced around my mind like a cursed song. My skin still felt as though it was crawling from his hand. Never in all of my life had I truly wished to kill a man with my own hands.
"Enter." I spoke while taking a seat upon the sofa of Edward's and I's chambers. My hand rested upon my stomach as Esme, Rosalie, and Alice rushed in. Their hands were on their skirt bottoms, holding them up as they rushed forward.
"I am well. We are both well." I said to Esme who still looked to my stomach with the utmost fear.
Taking her old, yet soft hands, I placed them on the side of my stomach allowing her to feel as our child moved once more. It was only then did her green eyes relax and she pulled me into a slight hug.
"Never frighten me so Isabella." She whispered as she kissed the side of my head.
"Bella, what took place? We have heard of nothing other than your attack while bathing." Alice whispered, sinking to the floor where she took a seat by my legs. If it were another time I would have teased her endlessly, for she looked like a small child at her mothers feet.
"Emmett along with the rest of the guards are about all of the castle as we speak. Do not fret, this man shall surly hang before the days end once captured." Rosalie added softly, I knew she must have believed it would bring me comfort but once again, the mans words played on in my mind.
I looked her over, her appearance just as tussled and worried as Esme and Alice and yet, I couldn't bring myself to ignore the fear. Were her words true? Or was she the Judas in the room.
Reaching out for the hand she extended to me, I smiled. "Thank you Rosalie. I trust that Emmett shall not rest until the deed is done. I wish to rest now but I shall see him soon. Should there be any word please have it brought to me immediately."
Edward had told me once to never allow them to know how we truly felt. To never make them aware of our true intent. His words carried even more wisdom of late.
There was a knock at the door. "Enter." I called towards the door.
With his head held high Emmett looked to me with a frown marring his face. "Sister, are you well? Never shall I forgive myself. Did this fiend speak?—"
"He did not." I lied once more. "He was only but a ghost, one moment there, the next unseen."
I wasn't sure if it was my imagination or if he truly did seem to relax at my words either way I took note and it bothered me greatly.
"We shall return come morning." Esme whispered kissing the side of my head.
"Would you like me to stay?" Alice asked standing with her hands in my mine.
Part of me wished for her to stay so I could tell her what had truly happened but a much bigger part of me, the Queen, the mother to the future King, told me not to trust anyone…not even her.
When had I become this person?
"Alice I shall be fine. I am sure there are more then enough guards stationed not only outside my door but near the windows as well?" I directed my question to Emmett who simply nodded.
"Very well. Should you need something—"
"Of course thank you Rose." I grew weary of having to calm their fears as I battled my own at the same time…but such was the nature of royalty I had learned. Finally when all of them, with the exception of Emmett, had taken their leave; I stood.
"How?" I asked him.
He frowned "He scaled the side of the castle entering through the window."
"So there were no guards on the castle grounds."
"King Edward." I snapped. I had not meant to but I felt the need, the need to reassure him and everyone else, that Edward was King and should remain so until our child was fit to rule, I would not accept anything else.
Emmett looked me over oddly before bowing his dark head; "Forgive me your majesty, King Edward has taken all of the best men. The guards are spread too thin."
"I want this man found Emmett and I want him alive, am I clear?"
Again he nodded and when I turned from him I heard the door close gently. Trying miserably to calm my shaking hand, I placed it over my stomach slowly moving over to the secret passageway Edward had shown me. I never would have thought I would have needed it.
I would not be so naive nor accept this fear. What would come I would be ready for. I shall protect our country's future as Edward protected its present.
I needed this man in order to find out one simple truth. Who was betraying our King, our family, our country? Once I knew they word burn.
December 13th 1607
Walking over the bodies of the dead, I moved forward through the path the men made for me. All of it covered in blood, dirt, snow and ice and yet never did any of them seem more joyful. Their cheers rang over every and anything, yet all I could do was focus on the dead, more of them French than English but all of them young…too young.
"What shall we do with them?" Jasper came to stand beside me as I looked at the prisoners held on their knees in the snow. Most them barely covered and blue in the face, their guns rusted and shoes all but worn to the soles. It was apparent that they had trusted more in the safety of their location then in their combat skills.
"Have any of our men been captured by the French?" I asked.
"None that we know of sire." Carlisle replied.
'Do you know how often a good king comes along Edward?' My Bella's voice sounded in my mind. 'Once maybe twice in two centuries; the people long for good kings but are often the subject to nothing but scorn. What is a king without his people? But a man with gold. Be not just a good king, my love, but a great one."
It was one of the many conversations that we had shared together in bed and there were nights where I could listen to her wisdom for hours. It was her passion for justice, that first drew me to her and even now, it drove me to wish to be great.
"Sire?" Jasper called.
"Untie them." I stated ignoring the gasps and grumbles of the men behind me. "Now!" I snapped, when no one moved. It was only once all of them were on their feet did I move closer. I heard Jasper and Carlisle move closer but I held a hand up telling them to stand back.
"Pères. Brothers. Hommes. Sons. (Fathers. Brothers. Men. Sons.)" I spoke out in French taking a moment before adding; "That is what all of you are. I wish not for you all to lose your lives in a war such as this. Too many of your brothers, my brothers, my countrymen have died in a war I did not wish for. I do not want France for my own. I do not wish to be your king. I wish for peace for the both of our countries. Peace your King would ignore, even if it meant all of your lives. A king should seek to serve and protect his people, not use them as pawns for his own legacy. Return to your homes, your families. Drop thy arms and no blood shall be spilt. Spread this to all your brothers upon this land. Should they think this war is just and wish to fight, we shall fight and I will destroy everything in my wake to protect my people. King Phillip may never end this war but as his people, you have the right to end the bloodshed."
I was not aware Jasper had taken to translating my words into English for my men until after I had finished.
There was nothing but silence for a moment before the commander took a step forward.
"You wish to trick us!" He spit at my feet. "You English are nothing but—"
Before he could finish, a sword entered his back and exited from the front. It was not by the hand of any of my men but that of another French man. Pulling his sword free from the commander's back he stood before me, bowing his head as did the rest of the French.
"We shall spread your words King Edward. We know not if all will heed thy warnings but we no longer wish to fight." The man replied in French.
"You are free to leave but make haste. Should you stay around us much longer we shall find ourselves wary of your intentions."
They nodded, a few already in the woods running.
"You truly are the King they say you are." The man replied, before following the rest of his countrymen.
"Long Live King Edward!" Jasper yelled.
Causing them to erupt in cheers once more.
But all I could wonder was; who were 'they'? And what has been said about me?
Forgive me! I know it's been forever. I have no other excuse then the fact the real life has hit me so hard writing was kind of put on hold. Right now I'm in a whole new city and so I don't know when the next chapter will be up...but I'm hoping it will be by the end of the week.
to all of you who bought my book, reached out on social media, and even reviewed this story...THANK YOU! It means the world and the moon to me.
Ps. Thank you Little Bella for helping me beta this.