The large doors were pushed open and entered a ratty young man in dirty and torn trousers, shirt, gloves, and cape came in.
“Aw, you’ve returned.” The king who sat perched high on his throne mused, “I was expecting you back much later.”
“Don’t underestimate me, your highness.” The man with purple hair and dark eyes told the older man, “His head as you requested.”
He tossed a brown sack to the middle of the floor. One of the guards in the room came over to it and opened it up to pull out the severed head of the poor sap that the king didn’t want around anymore.
The king nodded favorably, “Very well done, Paul.” He said, “I’d expect nothing less of you.”
“I’m honoured sir.” He said.
“My daughter is expecting you for tea, why don’t you go join her?” He suggested.
“I appreciate that sir,” Paul said, “But I must be going.”
“Non sence!” The king boomed, “Paul, if you keep this up her hand will surely be yours in no time. But you mustn’t keep a lady waiting.”
He closed his eyes in defeat, “Yes sir.”
“Oh and, Paul.” The king said as he was about to leave, “Come back here after you have your tea. I wish to speak with you about a special job.”
He nodded and left heading towards the chamber of the young princess.
“Paul!” Princess Dawn cried as he was let through the door by one of the maids, “How nice of you to come. Please do sit down.”
She motioned abruptly to a round table filled with flowers, china tea set, cookies, sandwiches, an other sweets that Paul enjoyed.
“Thank you mi’lady.” He said and pulled out Dawn’s sat.
“Thank you.” She said and pulled out her fan to giggled behind it.
“How was your job this time?” She asked as she poured tea for both of them.
He smirked lightly, he knew she was only doing this because she liked to hear his voice.
“It was that of the usual.” he said calmly, “Nothing a woman like you should even worry her head about.”
“Oh, please tell me more.” She begged.
“Mi’lady,” he started, “Such things a woman should never know. They lay in a man and his life beyond her eyes. I would never hide a secret from you, but I find it best to keep yourself as pure from what I know for as long as I can.”
She pouted, “Can you at least tell me what he was wanted for?” she asked.
He smirked again, “Rape.” He said emotionlessly. The princess tensed and then went on to ramble about the new dresses her father had gotten her, and how her royal blue puppy, Piplup, had gotten the cutest of ribbons.
He listened to her well, he didn’t care much for it at all, but he was polite enough to listen.
“Oh dear.” Paul said standing up after gazing at the clock, “I’m sorry mi’lady, but your father still wanted to speak with me.”
“Come to my room tonight, after you’ve spoken with him.” She begged.
He smiled and kissed her hand, “Of course.”
And with that he was off, his sword in hand and he tied it to his waist.
Paul sighed as his pace quickened, he loved that fair maiden like he loved no other, but when ever he was with the princess another, completely different came to his mind, one who hasn’t come to him in years.
Back in the king’s throne room, Paul was surprised to see all ten of the land’s best bounty hunters in there with him.
“Glad to see you made it.” The king said and smiled evilly, “This is a job for all of you, and the one who carries it out will receive the hand of my daughter.”
“Young princess Dawn?” Ash, the third greatest in the land asked.
“Yes.” the king replied.
“Might as well start planning the wedding, sir.” Garry, the fourth best said, “Her hand is as good as mine.”
“You don’t even know who I want you to hunt your that confident?” He chuckled.
“Who do you want us to hunt anyway?” Barry, the seventh, and most arrogant out of all them asked.
“The man who goes by the man Red Shadow.” He said.
The room suddenly got cold. It made sence why he got all of them here now.
The Red Shadow was the most notorious being out there. He murdered, he killed, he burned, he slaughtered, he rapped, he did everything and no one has ever come close to catching him, let alone killing him.
“My sources tell me he was last seen in the mountain range to the east of here.” The King told us, “I want him eliminated. He could pose a serious threat to us in the future. A rumour I heard says our enemies are going to try to hire him to fight on their side, thus causing them to raise in power greatly. I want him out of the picture before they can set eyes on him!”
“How do we know the enemy hasn’t already made contact with the Shadow?” Drew The fifth one asked.
“The Shadow has been wreaking havoc on this side of the mountains for months now. There is no way that the enemies would travel into our territory to make contact with him. Even if they were desperate.” The King told us.
“It is as if the Shadow is waiting for something or someone.” The King’s advisor, Brock spoke, “His violent actions have had spikes and decreases all over the land. Almost as if he’s wanting a chase.”
“If it’s a chase he wants it’s a chase he’ll get!” Ash exclaimed.
“That’s the attitude I like to see.” The king said, “All of you will leave in the morning. I want you all well rested and fed. It might just be the last time you know comfort.”
A fainting cough filled my ears as the man on my blade gasped for a breath. I slid him off with ease.
“Last time you underestimate someone, huh?” I asked coldly.
I stared down into his fading eyes.
“Last time you do anything.” I whispered and brought my long dagger down severing his head from his body.
I licked my lips as I watched the red liquid ooze out from him. He never expected me to be the one known as Red Shadow.
The poor sap came looking for a lady friend, and he found his death.
I wiped off my blades with the end of my cloak. The moon had just come out from behind the clouds, the night wind sprawled my long hair around in every direction.
Killing. I was the only thing that seemed to bring me peace anymore. I was just wishing for a time when I could see him again.
–At The Castle–
I pulled out and rolled over as the princess snuggled closer to me.
“As always, my hunter, you never disappoint.” She smiled.
I let out a small one and looked at the ceiling. How much longer could I keep doing this?
I layed a hand on the princess of this country many times over. She never once complained, she wanted it.
That was the reason why I had to do any and everything in my power to get her to be my bride. She’d be killed if anyone found out. And so would I.
“So your going to find the Red Shadow and then come back with his head to be my husband right?” She asked sleepily.
“Yes, Mi’lady.” I said, “I don’t know how long it will take.”
“As long as you come back and we can get married.” She smiled.
I did too as I go out of her bed and gathered my cloths to put them back on.
“Sweet dreams, my princess.” I said and kissed her cheek before I left.
I stared at myself in the mirror I had in front of me as the drunks around me made such a loud noise. I was in a tavern right now, drinking ale and staring at myself.
I used to be fairly pretty, having nice tanned skin, a rounder face, large eyes my right one grey, my left one green. I had long black hair I kept up all the time. But it was what was on my right cheek and side of my neck.
A burn scar that didn’t seem to heal quite right, and a small scar on my neck that was small but evident even after all these years.
I took a sip of ale and examined what I did with the scar on my neck. I had tattoos on it, tangled and webbed around in a pentagram. It was the one I’d carve into trees to mark my territory.
I sighed as I took another sip, as the doors to the tavern flew open.
“The King!” The Man yelled, “He’s sending bounty hunters up here in search of the Red Shadow!”
Everyone was silent, I put down my mug gently, wiped my mouth with the back on my hand, and smirked.
“Things are about to get interesting boys.”