In a restless fit she continued to toss and turn, images of flames lapping at her, around her, burning the homes of her people, hungrily consuming her loyal subjects, tendrils of acrid smoke ran rampant through her mind. The sights unholy chorus of screams lifted up in despair made her whimper. Sweat rolled down her temples as strands of white hair clung to her cheeks. Midalah, Queen suddenly turned mercenary, had never felt so helpless to defend her people. She turned again, her anxiety passing only to be replaced with a newer, more recent incident. A memory more traumatizing than the ones that came before. ***Flashback to an event 3 years ago*** The Nespar Gala was an annual event that diplomats, royals, barons, lords, and criminals attended. The elegant function often was a meeting place for mercenaries and prospective employers while allowing for them to rub elbows with the most influential individuals around. Midalah still did not understand why she had agreed to come to this gala with Krayle G'osh, one of the most despicable men she had ever met. 'He claims to have information you need, that's why,' she reminded herself. Since leaving Lon and S'Lara almost two years before to search for the person responsible for killing her entire family, Midalah had found no information till she had run across Krayle. He had recognized the young Queen immediately. With a few well placed questions, he found out Midalah's intention to find her family's murderer. Never one to pass up an opportunity that could present itself in any form, Krayle had sent word to Midalah that he had information on her family's deaths. Information that she greatly wanted. "My dear, you look enchanting this evening," Krayle told her, lifting her hand to his too thin lips. Midalah reclaimed her hand. "Enough of this," she said. "We've made our appearance, I've held up my end of the deal. Time for you to deliver." She wasn't entirely sure why she thought this man would know anything, but so far she had come up empty handed in her endeavor. "Of course," he replied, an unsettling smile crossing his face. "Follow me." Making their way out of the gala, Krayle led Midalah to his room where he promised her he had what she wanted. Midalah gasped as he shoved her toward his bed. "What are you doing?" she demanded. Krayle pushed her backwards. "Taking my payment for services rendered," he laughed in reply. Midalah managed to keep from gagging when his lips came down on hers. Callous fingertips touched her leg, pushed the skirt she wore up, and found their way against the smooth skin of her outer thighs. Midalah ran her hands down his side, wincing when he bit her neck roughly. Her fingers closed around the knife she had strapped to her inner thigh just in case she needed it. Pulling it from its sheath, she was glad he was preoccupied with what he was doing. In a smooth, terrified motion, Midalah put the knife at the base of his neck and ran through. Krayle jerked on top of her, a gurgling sound escaping from his throat. He slumped forward, taking his last breath. In horror, Midalah shoved him off of her. She was trembling, but would not allow herself to succumb to it. Rising quickly, she pulled her knife out of Krayle's body, wiped it off and slid it back in its sheath. Midalah hurried for the door then paused to look back. Tears burned behind her eyes, but she refused to let them fall. She would not allow herself that luxury until she had the information she sought. She would avenge her people. Shaking herself back to the here and now, she quickly left the room, wondering that this is what her life had become.
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