This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
Her scars and scratches stung, she was alive.
This isn’t in the prophecy.~
She jolted awake.
A sharp pain spun through her head.
“Be careful, Vexar didn’t exactly take it easy on you”
That voice, Lucia remembered,
She saved me, I had been slipping into unconsciousness, that was supposed to be the end.
The sun must set by the hand of the shade.
Lucia couldn’t understand why her Nemesis would want any different.
The night queen sat peacefully on a rock slightly above where Lucia lay, raven hair blowing in the cool autumn breeze.
“Did you sleep well?”
the Villainess’s arrow tipped tail flicked awkwardly. Lucia searched for what the Demoness could be mocking, but came up dry, she of course was no longer wearing her armor or sword, but they were rested by her side, quickly looking into their shiny surface she found no ink on her face either. Lucia looked up at her enemy, mouth agape. She struggled with the million questions on the tip of her tongue.
Well isn’t that embarrassing, you’d expect the Great Legendary Sun Hero could ask a simple question. Lucia felt like a bumbling idiot, she should be smarter, stronger, and she should be Dead.
“Well, I’m a villain aren't I? I do selfish things for my own reasons.” Her enemy averted her ruby eyes from meeting Lucia’s
“I was born to break the rules. Do I really need a reason?”
she paused, “you’ve always been so different, you always seem to have put the prophecy first, and I just wonder-” she trailed off. The Night Queen turned to look Lucia in the eye “What do you want, Hero”
“Well I, I Want to follow my destiny.” she replied curtly. What else is there, what else could I do? I’m a Hero, that takes sacrifice, sacrifices I’m willing to make. I don't need simple pleasures.
The Villainess slid down from the rock where she was perched and crouched down to hold both of Lucia’s hands in her own silver-blue palms.
“We both know that isn’t true hero”
Her touch had a slight chill like a river stone in the summer sun, Lucia couldn’t help but be soothed.
The Demoness stroked her hand, “Zarea, my name is Zarea. It felt weird, you calling me stuff like Villainess or Conqueress.”
“Zarea, do you really think we can defy fate?”Lucia felt her eyes grow wet.
“Well we already have, haven't we?”
“But what now, the prophecy has guided our entire lives.”
“We can be free, we can do whatever we please.~”
Zarea struggled to keep her footing in the torrent of emotions that flooded her psyche. The hero’s crystal blue eyes were clouded with emotions Zarea knew well but could never describe. She struggled to think of something, anything that could comfort the Hero.
“There’s no way it’s this easy.” the Hero’s voice wavered.
“We’ll be running from fate itself, we’ll be like outlaws running from our lives from the universe itself. WhoknowswhatwillhappennowtiswasneverseposedtohappenIshouldbe-”
Zarea cupped her hands around the hero’s chocolate-coloured face.
“Everything is going to be okay, nothing is going to happen to you, I won’t let it. Fate tried to force us to do many things, to be many things, but we were given free will nonetheless. If Fate wants to kill you or force us into our place, I’ll fight until my very soul dissolves.”
Zarea, brushed the Hero’s curly blond hair away from her face, “I don’t take orders, it shouldn’t have taken me so long to realise being your enemy was obeying them.”
The Hero lunged forward to wrap her arms around Zarea.
“Thank you.” the hero whimpered through her tears,
The Hero felt warmer than anything Zarea had known, she had lived her life surrounded by the cold shadows of Night yet the hero’s embrace felt as though sunbeams had reached down to earth and caught her in its daylight. She rested her head on the hero’s shoulder, careful to angle her pointed horns away from the hero’s face.
Every bone in Zareas body was screaming, they itched to fight to push away but her soul wouldn't let them. The hero sniffled.
“Lucia.” the hero blurted her grip tightened slightly, “you can call me Lucia.”
“ Lucia,” the name felt warm on Zarea’s tongue, “I want you to have something.”
She pulled away and dug into her pocket, pulling out a crescent shaped pendant moments later.
“This was my first successful enchantment, surprisingly it wasn’t a curse.” Zarea gave a slight giggle “it’s a safeguard, it should protect you from most fate might throw at you, and if you do get injured and need somewhere safe,” she laid the silver pendant in Lucia’s hands “go to one of my castles. if you show them this the guards will be unable to turn you away”
“Thank you Zarea” Lucia rested up against the boulder.
Zarea sat beside her, feeling the sunlight as it shone through the amber leaves above.
This is it,
And if fate doesn’t approve it can kill me.