Chapter 1: One
“Ah, Bonesburough!” Eda lets out a deep breath as she drives the carriage carrying her wife and step daughter. “I haven’t been here since Lily and I were kids.” The streets were much larger and busier than the small human village they had just left. The sounds of merchants trying to sell their wares mixing with the busy talk of the locals. Bonesburough was the largest Elf city in all of the Boiling Isles and it was home to the largest royal elvish family, The Blights.
“Oh I'm so excited to see where you grew up!” Camilia places a kiss on Eda’s cheek, causing the witch to blush momentarily. Eda laughs as Camilia leans against her, the two sharing the drivers spot for the carriage. “This move is gonna be so good for us, Mi Alma, I can tell.”
“Well, getting a fancy new job in the castle helps with that.” Eda adds as they slowly make their way through the traffic. “That's my wife , a small town healer getting a gig at the castle. I'm so proud.” The witch glows with pride as it's now Camilia’s turn to blush.
The two continue flirting as Luz, their loving daughter, rides inside the carriage with all of their belongings from their old home. Moving to the city means a lot for a fourteen-year-old.
Especially when the town is home to The Emperor's Knights. Only the coolest and most badass knights make into their ranks and Luz has been training her WHOLE life to make it in. Magic doesn't come easy to humans, many can't do it at all, but thankfully with the help of her step mom she's been able to learn just enough spells to try out in the Tournament. Whoever can survive long enough in that tournament will, without a doubt, make it into the Emperor’s Knights.
Luz is also aiming to be the first human to enter their ranks. Even though her Aunt Lilth is one of their highest ranking officers, Luz wanted to get in the hard way. Through hard work and determination! Aaaand lots of reading, as she's doing now. Luz flips the page in her hefty book ‘Spells, and how to Cast them Safely’ while she writes notes on the parchment inside when suddenly, the carriage comes to an immediate stop - sending her and her book flying out of her seat.
“Come on out, Mija , we’re here!” She hears her mother's voice muffled through the thick wood of the wagon.
Luz pulls herself up off the ground and jumps out of the carriage door. She lets out a small gasp as she sees her new home, a pretty large building made of brick. It had to be at least two stories tall! So much larger than her childhood home.
“Holy cow! Mom this place is huuuuuge!” Luz excitedly runs around to the other side of the carriage where her mother and Eda were unstrapping their small luggage from the top of the wagon. “You can fit like..” She takes a small break to count on her fingers. “Ten of our old house in there.”
“Woah, slow down there kid.” Eda chuckles as she pulls down a suitcase. “Take a breath and help me out here so your mom can go unlock the house.”
Luz jumps at the chance to help Eda, taking her luggage and pet carrier, bouncing the whole way as they follow her mom up the few steps to their new home. It takes Camilia a second to figure out the lock but once she does Luz launches herself into the building. She sets the suitcase and pet carrier down by the stairs before running up them, an echoing warning from her mother following her. She finds so many rooms on the second floor. They have two bathrooms, a master bedroom and like three smaller bedrooms. So much more than her old house.
“Hey mom, can I pick my room?” Luz shouts down the stairs. She hears the sound of the rest of their luggage coming in by Eda’s magic but no response from her mom. She goes halfway down the stairs and finds her mom moving some of the boxes to other parts of the house. “Hey, mom! Can I pick out my room?” She repeats loud enough for her mom to hear.
“Ask your mother, dear.” Camilia doesn't even look up from the box she's sorting.
Luz huffs, walking down the rest of the stairs. Her mom gives her one stern look causing Luz to rush out the door before she could face her mother's wrath. She leaps down the few steps to Eda who has just magiced the last of the boxes inside. Luz puts on her most innocent face as she approaches her step mother.
“Heeey, Eda? Can I pick my own room?” She gives Eda her most powerful puppy eyes, batting her eyelashes like she's never done anything wrong in her life. Eda looks down at her, clearly unamused, but eventually breaks and sighs.
“Sure thing, kiddo. But the master bedroom belongs to me and your mom, okay?” The owl witch pats Luz on the head before returning her attention to the carriage.
Luz practically runs back inside, grabbing her luggage and pet carrier, before sprinting up the stairs. She finds the one room with the best view of the castle and sets her stuff down. She bends down to open the pet carrier, looking inside to check on her familiar.
“King, wake up! We’re here.” She reaches in and pats his bone head, waking the small demon. “I'm surprised you slept the whole way!” King stretched and yawns before walking out of the carrier, dragging his small stuffed bunny with him.
“I'm the King of Demons, Luz, no small carriage ride will keep me from my afternoon nap.” The bone demon speaks, though his mouth doesn't move. He does small circles around the room before finding a corner and dropping his bunny rabbit. “Nice place we got here Luz, much larger than our old room.”
“I know!” Luz squeals. “Wait until you see the rest of the hou--”
“Mija! Your Aunt Lilith is here, come say hi!” Luz gets interrupted by her mom from downstairs. The sound of the door closing echoing through the house followed by the soft sounds of her aunt and mothers talking.
“Come on King.” Luz picks up her familiar before heading down the stairs. She sets King down at the bottom before jumping into her aunt's arms. “Aunty Lily!” She hugs the older witch tightly before letting go.
“Hello Luz.” Lilith greets her niece with a pat on the head. “I brought you a house warming gift.” She pulls out a rolled parchment and hands it over to the younger witch in training.
“Oh my god, thank you Auntie.” Luz unrolls the parchment to reveal a poster for the Emperor’s Knights and practically crushes her aunt in another hug. “I'm going to put this up right now!”
Lilith waves as Luz runs back up the stairs, King struggling up the steps after her, before turning to her sister-in-law.
“Are you prepared for tomorrow?” her voice carries a tinge of concern as she watches Camilia unpack another box. The human woman sets down another stack of plates before standing and turning to Lilith.
“I mean, how ready can I be?” She laughs nervously. Camilia was about to be the only human to work in the castle. A task that carried so much stress to be the best, as many Elves looked down on Humans for having shorter lives and no magical talent.
“If anyone tries to say something, I’ll just challenge them to a witch's duel.” Eda says proudly as her sister looks at her with doubt.
“You won't be able to stick around every day she works, Edalyn.” Lilith points out. “Especially since you personally refused the Kings request to join the Emperor’s Knights with me.”
Eda grumbles a reply, walking off towards the kitchen with a stack of plates. The sounds of the porcelain plates clinking together drifts softly from the entryway. Lilith lets out a soft sigh before returning her attention to Camilia.
“I’ll be there tomorrow so if anything happens, please reach out.” She smiles at her sister-in-law.
“Of course.” Camilia gives Lilith a pat on the shoulder before seeing her out with the promise of seeing her tomorrow.
With that taken care of, Camilia and Eda spend the rest of the night unpacking and helping Luz set up her new room. The family was full with excitement for the days to come.
The next morning Luz wakes up to a scrying call. Her mother's voice comes through the small mirror she uses for calling, and Luz fumbles out of bed as she reaches for the mirror on her nightstand.
“Mija? Mija! Luz!! Darn it girl, wake up.” Camilia called through the compact.
“Sorry mom, I guess I was just really tired from the move.” Luz yawned as she held up the compact mirror.
“You need to start getting up earlier if you want to continue training with Eda.” Camilia tsks as her daughter sets the mirror down to try and fix her hair in her vanity mirror.
“I know mami but is there a real reason you called me?” Luz does a double finger gun in the vanity mirror, confirming that her hair is exactly how she wants it, before picking the compact one back up.
“Yes, your Auntie Lilith forgot her lunch today.” Camilia explains. “Can you bring her some food from home?”
“An excuse to see the castle up close? Of course I will.” Luz smiles. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.” She bids her mom farewell before getting ready for the day and bounding down the stairs.
Luz finds Eda sitting at the dining room table, King curled up on her lap as he reads the daily paper. Sitting in front of her is a perfectly wrapped up lunch, the handkerchief cover made with a cute raven pattern.
“Is that...?” Luz points to the lunch as Eda lowers her paper.
“Yeah, your mom already called me about it but I’m not technically allowed in the castle, so you have to take it.” Eda explains with a rather bored tone. “Lilith already told the guards to let you in so just tell them you're her niece.”
“Okay! See you later, Ma.” Luz gives Eda a quick kiss to the head, and ruffles Kings fur, before heading out the door.
The path to the castle was long but thankfully easy to follow. It was the only path wide enough for two carriages to head down side by side. Luz began her long walk to the castle, buzzing with excitement of finally getting to see the building in person.
Maybe, if she was lucky, she’d even make a new friend.
Chapter 2: Two
The Blight Castle was even more extravagant in person. Tall white stone walls surrounded the beautifully crafted towers, lined with gold that sparkled in the sun. Stained glass windows with murals of the past Blight family members doing acts of greatness could be seen from the front gate, the gate itself made of polished brass shaped to look like roses. Standing on each side of the gate were two members of the Emperor’s Knights. Their white capes flutter in the mid day wind and faces obscured by their expertly crafted bird head shaped helms. The two guards didn’t so much as move as Luz approached, her aunts lunch in hand.
“Uh, Hello! I'm here to see Lilith? She’s my aunt.” Luz explained nervously, holding up the lunch her ma had made. “I'm supposed to bring her this?” The two guards looked at each other, one nodding its head before the other turned to pull a lever. The large brass gates open effortlessly as one of the guards motions Luz to enter.
“You’ll find your aunt on the second floor, in the study.” The guard explains as Luz walks through the gates.
Luz gives the guard a quick nod, her excitement from meeting an Emperor’s Knight barely contained, before she heads to the castle's main entrance. She heads up a large flight of stairs to the main castle entrance where she meets two more guards. Luz opens her mouth to explain herself but one of the guards simply holds up their hand to silence her. The other guard opens the door and ushers her inside before closing the door behind her with an echoing loud thunk.
If the outside of the castle was beautiful, the inside was breathtaking. Large marble columns reached up higher than Luz had ever seen. The sun shining through the stained glass windows cast gorgeous colors along the white marble floor. Satin purple runners lead to and up a large set of stairs at the far end of the room. If this was the main entrance, Luz couldn't wait to see the rest of the castle. Quickly she headed to the large stairs and up to the second floor where she was greeted with even larger halls filled with doors leading to who knows where.
Luz wandered the halls, looking for the study she was told to meet her aunt in. Along the way she ran into the knights training hall, followed by the medical ward where she got to visit her mom for a short bit of time before she had to head back to work. She managed to get exact directions from her mother on where to find her aunt. She followed the hallway she was currently in until she reached a fork, where she took a left and found the third room on the left hand side. She stopped outside the large wooden door. The handle and hinges were a polished brass while the images of ravens in flight were carved into the solid wood. Luz reached up to the knocker in the center of the door, a ring hanging out of a ravens mouth, and gave it a gentle clunk against the wood. She waited a moment before trying again. When no one answered she simply grabs the handle and twists it, peeking inside.
Standing in the middle of this room is a single person, her back turned to Luz as she looks over a book. She mumbles something Luz can’t quite hear then flips the page of her large tome. The girl looks to be about Luz’s age with green short hair pulled back. She’s wearing a lovely pink dress that complimented her pale complexion. Luz catches a glimpse of her face as she turns to look at another tome she has to her side, grumbling again as she turns another page.
“Que bella ..” Luz whispers as she leans against the door, the hinges creaking as it shifts under her weight. The sound alerts the girl to her presence and she whips around. Her face melts from surprised to mild irritation as she looks over Luz. The girl's simple garb giving away her commoner status.
“Who are you?” The girl asks. Her voice is as elegant as her features, though it was also stern and demanding.
“I'm Luz," the witch in training introduces herself, holding out her hand. "Luz Noceda." The other girl simply looks at it, her golden eyes hovering on her hand momentarily before meeting Luz’s eyes.
“Amity Blight.” The girl curtsies slightly out of sheer politeness, but it's apparent that that's the only reason. “So.. are you lost or something? I can call the stable master to come get you since it seems to be your first day.”
“I'm sorry, what?” Luz tilts her head in confusion. Was this girl calling her a stable hand?
“Well, you obviously don't belong here so.. shoo.” The elf girl makes a single shooing motion with one hand as she returns to her tomes.
“Excuse me?” Luz scoffs. “For your information, I’m looking for my aunt."
“Your aunt?” Amity returns her attention to the commoner girl, single eyebrow raised in judgement.
"Yes, my aunt." Luz confirms, matching the other girls facial expression. "So freaking rude.." The brown haired girl mumbles under her breath.
Amity whips her body to face Luz in agitation, clearly having heard that - she opens her mouth to protest -
-“I'm sorry to keep you waiting, your highness.” Lilith enters the room as if summoned by her title, arms full of scrolls.
“Auntie!” Luz squeaks as she launches herself at Lilith, hugging her tightly.
“Auntie?” Amity echoes Luz in confusion as she watches her teacher pat the other girls head. She looks between the two. Her teacher, and elegant and well dressed member of the Emperor’s Knights and fellow elf, and Luz the.. human.
The gears in her head are turning more now than they ever had in all of her years of studying.
“I brought your lunch, just like mami asked me to.” Luz smiled, a beaming ray of sunshine in the otherwise dim room.
“Thank you, Luz.” Lilith returned the smile as she laid out the scrolls on a nearby table. She removed the lunch from the younger girls hands then thanked her by ruffling her hair. Luz giggled as Amity still stared in confusion. "You know.. while you're here, how do you feel about a tour of the castle?"
"What, really?" Luz exclaims, bouncing slightly with excitement. "That would be so cool!!"
Lilith steps out into the hall for a moment, hush voices following as the door closes. Amity simply huffs and crosses her arms as she awaits her mentor's return. For a brief moment she wishes her two companions Skara and Bascha were here to fill the silence with their bickering. Instead she was stuck with a human. Not exactly ideal to the young elf girl. Amity risks a glance at the strange being, the other girl simply bouncing with anticipation.
"Alright, Luz, if you go down the hall you'll meet with a girl named Willow." Lilith finally returns to the room, giving Amity a chance to relax as the human girl follows her aunt out the door.
Luz makes her way down the hall as her Aunt had described, taking in all the little details she could. She turns a corner a little too quickly and runs right into another person. The two tumble to the ground, a tangle of limbs.
“I’m so sorry!” Luz stands up first and goes to help the other person up, another young elf girl around her age. This one was slightly shorter than Luz and had fluffy dark hair. A pair of glasses laid skewed on her face as she dusted herself off with Luz’s help.
“No no, it's my fault.” The young elf girl says, adjusting her glasses. “Oh wow! You’re human.” She gasps, eyes lingering on Luz’s ears.
“Yeah, I’m Luz.” The bubbly girl introduces herself. “I was just looking for the girl who's supposed to give me a tour.”
“Thats me, I'm Willow!” The smaller girl circles Luz with excitement. “You must be Mrs. Noceda-Clawthornes daughter, then.” Willow deduces as she faces Luz once again. “It's been a big buzz around the castle, a human healer is kind of a big deal.”
“That’s my mom.” Luz beams proudly. “And one day I’ll be the first human to join the Emperor’s Knights.” She holds her hand out as if wielding a sword and swishes it around, the elf girl giggling at her antics.
“Well, let me show you the castle," Willow loops her arm with Luz's "Since you'll be working here some day."
Luz and Willow continue their walk through the castle, this time stopping every so often for Willow to give information on parts of the castle and Blight history. Finally they reach a room where the doors are wide open. Inside Luz could see a few students accompanied by a large purple horned woman who had to have been the teacher. Luz watches as the teacher ends the class, giving the students homework that insites a unified groan. The human girl waits to the side as Willow explains the Illusions class they had just witnessed. As she talks, a small elf boy who was in a very animated conversation with a set of twins, doesn't notice Luz standing there and runs right into her.
"I'm sorry!" He blurts out as he jumps back. He looks up at Luz and gasps, immediately reaching for his ears and pulling on his lobe. "Your ears! You're a human!"
"I'm starting to realize that's strange around here." Luz laughs. "I'm Luz, by the way." The girl introduces herself and holds out her hand. Before the boy can shake her hand the twins he had been talking to push him out of the way and both reach for her hand.
"Pleased to meet you." Luz shakes their hands respectively.
"Your highnesses." Willow bows to the twins, the two giving a small nod in response. "Ed and Em are the prince and princess." She explains as Luz tilts her head in confusion.
"Oooh!" Luz smiles before bowing as well. "I apologize , I'm still learning about the elven kingdom."
"Oh it's completely fine." Emira laughs. "We aren't really that big on royal stuff anyways."
"Too stuffy for our tastes." Edric adds on with a wave of his hand.
"That's only because you two get in trouble all the time." The small elf who had ran into Luz speaks up finally before returning his attention to Luz. "I'm Gus, by the way."
"Wow, you guys are all so nice." Luz smiles as she shakes Gus's hand. "A lot better then the first girl I met…"
" First girl?" Willow tilts her head.
"Yeah! She was really rude and thought I was a stable hand!" Luz grumbles, crossing her arms. "Do I look like I'm good with horses?"
"What did she look like?" Gus asks, still amazed he was getting to speak to a real life human.
"Oh, she was pale, had short green hair, and a really bad attitude." Luz counts out the descriptors on her fingers. The twins share a knowing look and Luz raises her brows in question. "Do you know her?"
"You could say that.." Edric chuckles.
"Though I never thought I would hear someone describe Mittens so plainly." Emira adds.
"Mittens?" Luz is now very confused.
"They're talking about their younger sister, Princess Amity." Gus clarifies.
"SHE WAS A PRINCESS?!" Luz practically yells before slapping a hand over her mouth. "I mean, she's a princess?"
"Mittens is actually the heir to the throne, believe it or not," Emira explains. "Mom and Dad couldn't pick between us so they picked her."
"There's more to it then that." Edric corrects his sister. "But who cares about that! Let's talk about you." Edric points to Luz.
"Me?" Luz mimics Edric, pointing to herself.
"Yeah!" Emira agrees with her brother. "A human in Bonesburough, that's exciting."
"It's been kind of terrifying, actually." Luz chuckles nervously. "But I'm happy for my mom, and ma seems to be excited to be home."
"Well, you should totally hang out with us sometime." Emira winks at Luz, getting a blush from the human girl.
"How about this weekend?" Gus speaks up, casually reminding the group that he was there. "You can come as one of our plus ones to Skara's birthday party."
"Great idea Gus!" Willow practically bounces in place. "You can hang out with us and learn about elves."
"Brilliant!" Edric and Emira speak in unison.
"So we'll see you this weekend, Luz." Gus smiles as him, Emira, and Edric leave to their next class.
"Alright, I think this brings our tour to a close." Willow claps her hands together. "I'll take you back to the front gate."
"Sure thing! And thanks for the tour!" Luz loops arms with Willow again before they both set off towards the castle gates. Willow bids Luz farewell before the human starts her trip back home.
The sun begins to set just as Luz reaches home. She enters the front door and announces her return, Eda responding with a greeting as the young girl enters the kitchen. Luz takes a seat at the table and begins to fill her Ma in on everything that happened. Eda listened intently as she prepared dinner, interjecting here and there. Eventually the two were joined by Camilia, the older woman sitting at the table across from her daughter. Luz excitedly tells her mother about all the new friends she made and their plans for this weekend.
Luz went to bed that night with plans to pick up something nice to wear to Skara’s birthday, thoughts swirling with all the new friends she just made.
Except, you know, for the princess.
Chapter 3: Three
The market was busy as ever, elves and demons pushing past each other as the shop keepers tried to sell their wares. The sounds of feet and hooves against dirt and the voices of the market goers mixing together in a weird harmony. Luz couldn't focus on any of that though as she followed her mother around, basket full of ingredients in hand. She let out a small whine as her mom stopped at yet another stall to look over their items, taking her time to ask the keep about the different ingredients he had available. Camilia picked out a few roots and paid the shop keep before moving on, Luz following once again. Eda tailed behind Camilia, taking a glance back at her step daughter. When Camilia stops again Eda takes the chance to pull Luz to the side.
“Hey kid, I know spending time with your mothers isn't ideal but don't let your mom catch you sighing like that.” The owl lady warned Luz.
“It's not that!” Luz defends herself. “It's just, Skaras birthday is today and I need to go get ready.”
“Ah, I see.” The older witch thinks for a moment. “Alright, here's the deal, I get you out of shopping if you take over my turn giving King a bath.”
“Whaaaaaat?” Luz whines before huffing out an agreement. Eda pumps her fist in victory before catching up with her wife.
Luz watches as Eda and her mom talk in hushed voices, turning her attention to the crowd with a “Blech” when Eda starts getting hansy. A few feet away, standing on a wooden box, was an elf boy maybe two years older than Luz. He was surrounded by a crowd of people as he spoke.
“WE NEED TO BRING THE BLIGHTS TO THEIR KNEES.” The boy shouted at the crowd, the crowd cheering in response. “TOO LONG HAVE THEY TAXED THE POOR AND LET US DIE IN THE STREETS AS THEY SIT IN THEIR CASTLE.” He points to the castle, the building visible from almost any place in the town. “I SAY WE NEED TO MAKE THEM PAY, LET THEM ROT IN THE STREETS WHILE WE LIVE IN THE LAP OF LUXURY.”
“Alright kid, I got you out of shopping.” Eda returns to Luz as she watches the boy continue his rant about the elven royalty. The witch turns her attention to the kid and sighs. “Poor kids going to get himself in trouble.”
Just as the words left her mouth a duo of Emperors Knights approached the kid, cutting through the crowd. They stand to each side of him as they grab his arms and lift him off his box.
“You’re under arrest for disturbing the piece and threatening acts of violence against the royal family.” The knight to the left says.
“YOU CAN'T SILENCE ME” The boy shouts as he struggles against their hold. The knight to his right takes his armored gloved hand and knocks him out, raising shouts of rage from the crowd who still lingered.
“Put him down!”
“Yeah, he’s just a kid!”
“This is why no one likes the royal family!”
“SILENCE.” A voice rings out through the market. Luz and Eda both turn their attention to the sound.
A large man makes his way through the crowd, his dark bird helm visible above the heads of the market goers. Luz decided he had to be at least eight feet tall, adult elves being able to reach seven feet by the age of twenty, and he towered over them all. He wore a dark blue cape lined with gold, that paired with his dark colored helm showed he was Captain of the Emperors Knights. Luz watched in awe as the man controlled the attention of the crowd. He stopped in front of the two knights holding the boy before turning around to meet the faces of the town.
“I assure you, my good people, this boy will be treated with respect as he is put on trial. If he is innocent, then he will be able to return to his home.” His voice was deep and gravely, “If we find out he is planning an attack against the royal family, well, we haven't had a public execution in a while..” The captain's words trail off as the crowd stays silent.
With a wave of his hand the captain and two knights walk off with the unconscious boy. When they are finally out of sight, Eda lets out a breath Luz hadn't even noticed she was holding.
“Good to know Captain Wrath is still as pleasant as ever.” Eda grumbled as her daughter looked up at her with concern. “What's wrong kid?” she smiles softly at the younger witch.
“Is that boy going to be okay?” Luz's voice comes out soft, her concern very evident.
“Oh, I'm sure they’ll probably just toss him in a cell for a few days then send him home.” Eda reassures Luz, ruffling her hair. “Now go, you have a party to get to!” She takes the basket from Luz’s arms and turns her around, pushing her towards home.
“Okay, I’ll see you tonight!” Luz waves at her mothers as she makes a mad dash for home.
When Luz leaves her house she sees the twins Edric and Emira who greet her with a luxurious carriage, much larger than the one Luz had rode in during her move. She heads down the few steps from her house and smiles up at the siblings. The twins had decided to wear matching yellow dress clothes. Emira wearing a nice dress and Edric wearing a fetching suit. Luz straightened out her suspenders, hoping that she wouldn't look too out of place with her simple white dress shirt, black dress pants, matching dress shoes and slicked back hair. As if sensing her concern the twins both looped an arm with the younger witch.
“Don't worry, Luz.” Emira smiled as she opened the door to the carriage. “You look great.”
“Couldn’t say it better myself.” Edric agreed as he helped the two girls into their ride.
“Thanks guys.” Luz chuckled nervously, a slight blush to her cheeks. “It's kind of hard to find nice clothes at such a short notice.”
As she moved into the carriage she was also greeted by Willow and Gus. She takes a seat between the two as the twins take the seat opposite of them. Willow has dawned a lovely green ball gown while Gus decided to go with a nice blue suit. Luz made a mental note about how absolutely adorable they all were.
“They insisted that they come with us to get you.” Edric is the first to speak once they are all settled into the carriage and it starts its way towards the castle.
“It was so adorable.” Emira laughs as Willow and Gus mumble and hide their own blushes.
“We all wanted to see you.” Willow corrects.
“Thanks guys, I have to say I was a little nervous.” Luz admits. “But going to the party as a group is definitely calming my nerves.”
“That's great! Now before we get there we need to go over some things.” Gus speaks up from his spot next to Luz. “As a fellow commoner, there are a few things you’ll need to know before walking into the party.”
“ What? ” Luz nearly jumps in her seat. “You’re not royalty?”
“Nope.” Gus smiles. “I did pass the entrance exam into the royal school though, that's why I'm able to go.”
“He was the first commoner to do so.” Edric adds. “To the surprise of no one, it's a little harder for commoners to get a good education.” His words come out through gritted teeth as he crosses his arm and stares out the window.
“I'm just really smart!” Gus is practically beaming with pride. “But back to the main point.” He adjusts himself so he’s looking at Luz. “I’ve been to a few of these things, usually as Edrics plus one.” He shoots the twin a thumbs up and Edric responds with one of his own. “So I know how to act around royalty, but do you know how to Luz?”
“Uh, is there more to it then just bowing?” Luz chuckles nervously and Gus plants his face into his palms.
“We should start with who’s important.” Willow grabs Luz’s attention with a gentle hand on her shoulder. “First you have the Blight family which you’ve already met.” She points to the twins. “Then there's Skara and Boscha who are both Duchesses, Skara’s the one with the birthday today.” Willow pauses to make sure Luz is paying attention, the witch in training nodding her head to have Willow continue. “Then there's my family, the Parks! We’re of commoner blood so we’re lower on the food chain but I'm still considered a Duchess.”
“Oh wow, there's so much to learn about elves!” Luz stares wide eyed at Willow.
“We’re almost to the castle so we’ll have to fill you in later on more of the details.” Gus interjects. “Mainly we need to cover how to NOT insult them.”
“First, you bow to anyone in a tiara.” Emira instructs. “Then you make sure to use titles like ‘your highness’ and ‘your majesty’.”
“But you don't have to do that with us, we don't care.” Edric adds.
“And don't make any moves on Mittens, Boscha gets really jealous when people talk to her.” Emira’s tone takes a serious turn. “Seriously, just don't.”
“Why would I make moves on Amity?” Luz blurts out, blushing. “I'm pretty sure she hates me!”
“We’re just looking out for you~” The twins speak in unison and it only kinda freaks Luz out. Just kinda.
The carriage finally pulls to a stop in front of the castle and Edric exits first, holding the door open for everyone as they leave the wagon, and the five of them head up the stairs to the castle entrance. The doors seem to open on their own as the group approaches and Luz finds herself staring again, the main entryway redecorated for the party. Along the walls were tables covered in all sorts of elven delicacies and the center of the room was left open for the attendees to dance as they please. A large orchestra band played music in the corner that carried through the room. Luz didn't recognize the music but it was nice and light, perfect to slow dance to but also nice to just listen to. To the side of the entrance was a well dressed snake man that reminded Luz of the cobras near her old home.
The man cleared his throat as they entered and introduced them as they made their way into the room. Luz gasped when he introduced her, turning to Willow with wide eyes.
“How did he know my name?” She asked her friend, her excitement barely contained.
“We have to give a list of our plus ones before the party.” Willow giggles at Luz’s excitement. “Since you came in with me they know you’re my plus one.”
“So cool.” Luz whispered, stars in her eyes.
The group made their way towards the snack tables, lightly chatting amongst themselves as the rest of the party goers entered the room. Luz looked over the table with awe and asked Gus about many of the small snacks and finger foods they had laid out. The smaller elf did a good job keeping up with her and even going as far as telling her which were his favorites. Luz had never seen so many different types of food before. She did her best to not over indulge herself though, not wanting to puke before the party truly got started. Just as Luz went to ask Gus about another strange snack she had seen, the doors to the hall opened once again.
“Her royal highness, and heir to the throne, Amity Blight.” The snake man introduced the princess, his voice echoing through the room. “And her majesty, Boscha.”
Luz looks to the main entrance and sees a strange elf girl with three eyes holding out her hand to Amity. The three eyed girl must have been Boscha. Luz could swear she saw Amity roll her eyes before taking the other girl's hand.
The redhead makes a point of pulling the princess closer to her as they make their way into the room. Amity wore the most elegant purple ball gown Luz had ever seen, not that she had seen many, and the girl accompanying her wore a red suit with a fur cape draped lazily over her shoulders. Boscha, which Luz had mixed feelings about, led Amity towards the snack tables and right for Luz and her group.
“Your highnesses.” Boscha bowed upon reaching the twins, the two frowning momentarily before offering their own greetings. “Willow.” Boscha says the name flatly, with a hint of disgust.
“Boscha.” Willow glares at the redhead before turning her attention to Amity. “Your highness.” She bows deeply, if not stiffly.
Amity gives a simple nod of her head as a response, her attention elsewhere. Her eyes scan the room before landing on Luz. Her eyes go wide as she points to the human girl who is currently stuffing her face with cookies.
“What are you doing here?” She hisses as Luz chokes on her cookies from being startled.
“Oh calm down, Mittens, we invited her.” Edric crosses his arms.
“But she's a commoner!” Amity weakly argues, her anger deflating at her brother's words.
“And so is Gus, but you have no problems with him.” Edric points out, completely shooting down his sister's protest.
“Yeah, well...he’s…” Amity struggles to find a good response when Emira tsk’s at her.
“We aren’t being racist , are we Mittens?” She raises an eyebrow at the younger witch.
“What? No !” Amity defends herself as Luz comes around the table to try and deescalate the situation.
“I’m sorry, your highness.” Luz bows as low and as elegantly as she can handle. “I believe we got off on the wrong foot.” She stands up and smiles at the princess. “I'm Luz Noceda, Emperor’s Knight in training.”
Amity huffs, turning away from the human. Boscha, who had been busy talking to another attendee, returns her attention to Amity. She takes one look at Amity’s stiff posture and her eyes train on Luz. She steps closer to Amity and places an arm around the princesses shoulder.
“Is this human bothering you, your highness?” She basically hisses out the word ‘human’ as all three of her eyes stay on Luz.
“No Boscha, I can handle myself.” Amity mutters before turning and leaving, Boscha following behind her like a lost puppy.
Luz deflates as the princess and her escort leave. The twins give her a pat on the back followed with reassuring words. Luz doesn't really hear them though, her mind focused on other things. She was not a person to give up. Ever. If she had given up before then she wouldn't be where she was today. So help her, she WILL befriend Amity. She has befriended the siblings, how much harder could Amity be?
The answer was very. The rest of the party, Luz finds herself seeking out the green haired royalty. Every attempt to talk to her is thwarted, however. Either by Boshca or Amity herself. The human flops down on a chair placed near the back of the hall, letting out a deep sigh.
“Rough night?” Willow's voice brings Luz out of her thoughts. The green witch hands her a drink before taking the seat next to her.
“Yeah,” Luz pouts as she takes a sip of the honey drink Willow had handed her. “I keep trying to talk to Amity but.. I think she's avoiding me at this point.”
“Hmm, well, Amity is a tough one.” Willow looks out to the dance floor where Gus danced with Edric, the boy standing on the taller elves feet as he leads the dance. “We were friends once, back when we were younger.”
“Whaaaat?” Luz sits up in her chair and leans in closer to Willow. “Tell me more!” She pleads.
“Well, I mentioned earlier that I'm a lower ranking Duchess?” Willow waits for Luz to finish nodding her head enthusiastically before she continues. “Well my dads got the title of Duke by helping fight in a war a long time ago, their combined magic helping save hundreds of soldiers.” She lets out a sigh. “So we’re technically royalty but the other families, they don't see it like that. Amity, however? She never cared.” Willow lets out a sad laugh. “Until one day when suddenly she did care, she said I was weak. That my family wasn't real royalty so she couldn’t be my friend anymore.”
“That's so mean!” Luz gasps, placing a comforting hand on Willow's leg.
“It's okay Luz, I'm over it now.” Willow reassures her friend. “My point is, Amity is strange. It takes a lot to be her friend, and you’re a commoner so she’s not even going to look your way.” The words come out harsh but Willow smiles at Luz. “That's okay though! Cause you have me, Gus, and the twins.”
“Yeah.. I guess you're right.” Luz beams at her friend.
“So, why don't we go dance?” Willow stands, offering a hand to Luz. The human girl takes it with glee and follows the other witch to the dance floor.
Maybe she couldn’t be friends with Amity, yet, but one day she was going to reach her goal of becoming an Emperor’s Knight. Then Amity would have no choice but to talk to her. It was a fiendishly clever plan, she thought.
Chapter 4: Four
the season finale killed me
Amity Blight was many things. She was smart, beautiful, kind, and currently running late to her class with Ms. Clawthorne. The princess cursed the need for frilly dresses as she turned a corner, trying not to trip on her frills. She makes a mental note to try to request some knee length dresses from her tailor. She almost tumbles to a halt in front of the carved wooden door that leads to Ms. Clawthorne’s study.
The witch takes a moment to catch her breath before entering the room. Much to her disdain, Boscha was already in the room along with Skara. She had hoped no one would be there to witness her tardiness. Boscha turned her attention to the princess, a mischievous grin tugging at her lips.
“You're late, your highness.” Boscha points out, even though Lilith wasn’t even in the room yet.
“Leave her alone, Boscha.” Skara rolled her eyes as Boscha laughed.
“Thank you for noticing, Boscha, but I'm pretty sure I didn't ask you.” Amity was unamused with the three eyed elfs antics. Skara snickered at the princesses' response.
Amity made her way across the room to her table, glad to find her tome was still there from her study session the night before. She flips open the cover and shifts through the pages. The green haired elf ignored the presence that appeared next to her as she tried to find the page she had left her notes on. She lets out a slight sigh of annoyance when said presence gets unbearably close.
“Do you need something, Boscha?” She huffs out.
“Just admiring your hard work, your majesty.” Boscha’s eyes don't leave Amity's face as she speaks, giving the princess the impression that she definitely wasn't admiring her hard work.
“So that's what you’re calling it now.” Skara’s sarcastic tone gets a frown out of the other girl.
“Well, do me a favor and admire from over there?” Amity points in the direction of Boscha’s seat.
The red head shrugs before heading back to her spot, sitting in the most dramatic way she could muster. Just as she does, Lilith finally enters the room. Amity calms at the sight of her teacher. Her shoulders tense once again though when the biggest annoyance in Amity’s life entered behind her teacher. Luz tailed Lilith like a lost puppy as the older witch spoke to her in hushed tones. Luz waits patiently next to Lilith as she turns to address her class.
“I apologize for my tardiness, your majesties,” The dark haired elf smiles at the three girls in front of her. “I would like to introduce you all to my niece, Luz.” Lilith directs their attention to the human nearly bouncing in her spot.
“Good day, your highnesses.” Luz bows with a flourish.
Amity frowns as the human straightens herself out. She hadn't seen her since Skara’s birthday last week and she was hoping she wouldn't have to see her again so soon. The girl tunes out as she watches the human talk to her teacher. How could something so… Luz , be related to her teacher? Ms. Clawthorne was the embodiment of elegance, intelligence, and grace. Luz was something else entirely different.
“- And she’ll be attending class today at the request of her mother.” Amity finally tuned back into Lilith as she explained the humans presence in their class that day.
“ What ?” Amity stood in her seat, slamming her hands on her table. Boscha and Skara turned to the princess, both confused by her outburst. Amity flushed at the attention, quickly sitting back down.
“Would you like to try that again, Ms. Blight?” Lilith's voice was cool as ice.
“I mean,” Amity clears her throat, trying to regain her regality. “This class is for those of….higher class so why is she here?”
“Good question, your highness.” Lilith smiles at her top student. “It's simple, by being related to me she is therefore allowed to attend any class I teach.”
“I guess that makes sense.” Amity grumbles, crossing her arms as she tries to hide a small pout.
“Now, with that over with, Luz please take the seat next to the Princess.” Lilith directs Luz to the spot next to Amity.
Amity immediately stiffins as Luz sits next to her but doesn't argue. She had already pushed her luck enough today with her teacher. Amity makes a point to avoid looking at the human as Lilith starts to explain what they’ll be doing in class that day. The teacher places cauldrons on each table with a select few ingredients. Amity tries to pay attention as Lilith explains what they’ll be making but Luz’s constant tapping on the table distracts her slightly. How could one person be so full of energy and so….obnoxious.
“Now, you’ll be working in pairs.” Lilith stands in front of her own cauldron. “One of you will be in charge of adding the ingredients, while the other must keep stirring to make sure the potion does not burn.”
“Ms. Clawthorne?” Boscha raises her hand to gain the teachers attention but doesn't wait for her response. “Could I work with Amity, while the human works with Skara?”
“No.” Lilith silences Boscha before she could protest, continuing on with her lesson. The red head slouching in her seat.
“So, I’ll stir?” Luz smiles at Amity, catching the princess off guard.
“Uh, yes.” Amity looks away, turning her attention to Lilith.
The princess follows her teachers instructions, adding whatever the older witch mentioned into the cauldron. Amity almost couldn't believe how well Luz had managed to follow her directions. She had slowed her stirring when given a simple gesture, and returned to a full speed when Amity had nodded her head. It was stupid to be amazed by something so small but Amity had started to think the human was only capable of running at full spead into any danger she could find. Not that Amity had really spent any time thinking about the human. No, none at all.
“Um, Amity?” Luz pulled the princess out of her thoughts. “You need to add the ginger root.”
“What?” Amity looked up to see that Lilith had moved on with the instructions. She turned to see that Boscha and Skara no longer had anything to add to their cauldron while she and Luz still needed to add the ginger root and owl feathers. She curses under her breath not knowing which to add in first so she tosses them both in at the same time and motions for Luz to keep stirring.
“I don’t think that's how you were supposed to do that, Amity ” Luz whispers to the green haired witch who responds by shushing the other girl.
Luz, of course, had been right. Much to Amity’s dismay. The cauldron started by simply rumbling, before the bubbles started up. Next thing the girls knew it was full on boiling before finally it exploded, covering Amity in its oily dark liquid. The princess attempts to spit the liquid out of her mouth as Luz grabs the nearby towel meant to clean up small spills and reaches for her face. Amity swipes the towel from the human girl's hands and uses it to clear her face of the failed potion. When she finally regains her vision she can see the whole class, teacher included, staring at her.
With all the grace befitting of her title, she stands from her seat and marches out the door. She hears Luz call her name but she doesnt stop.
Amity spends the next week taking private lessons, claiming she was ill and shouldnt be around the other students. Lilith didn't believe her. She was very aware of that, but she didn't make an attempt to convince her. Boscha had visited her many times during her “illness” to check up on her. Doting more then the princess would have liked. She also received a visit from Skara who had filled her in on what happened after she left the class. Apparently Luz had taken responsibility for blowing up the potion. Amity wasn't sure why the human would do that, but Lilith had bought the little white lie.
“That's nothing new for her, apparently.” Skara laughs. “Ms. Clawthrone says that Luz is prone to things like that, which is why she paired her with you.”
“Did she think I could help her?” Amity scoffs. “I'm a top student, not a miracle worker.”
Skara laughs hard at that before filling Amity in on all the new gossip around the castle. Boscha, as usual, challenged another poor kid to a witches duel for Amity's hand in marriage. The green haired witch sighed as Skara told her the outcome of said duel. Boscha had won but Skara had to remind her that winning didn't mean Amity would fall in love with her immediately. The princess chuckles as Skara continues to explain what happened next.
After her visit from Skara, the young witch had convinced the guards to allow her to take a walk. It took her a second to get them to agree to let her go alone. Whispers of the unrest in the town bellow causing many of them to be on edge. Amity wasn’t worried about it. Even if someone were to attempt something, she was strong enough to protect herself. She was a little cocky, yes, but she had the magic to back it up.
Amity made her way to the royal gardens, her favorite place to think. The tall rose bushes were not only beautiful but they helped mute out the sounds of the castle. They were also the most secluded place in the castle, aside from the gardener who came around ever so often. It was the one place Amity could go to think without the fear of being bothered. The witch excitedly turned a corner and headed out into the gorgeous greenery of the garden. The roses were in full bloom and the gentle breeze carried their scent. Amity took a deep breath, letting it out slowly as she made her way through the small rose maze. It only takes her a second to find her favorite bench that sat beneath a great weeping willow. She stops though, when she reaches her spot. It was currently occupied by another and with Amity's amazing luck, it was none other than that human.
“I could scratch that into the blade...then...yeah that could work.” The human girl muttered to herself as she sketched on a piece of parchment. She had a few books laying around in front of her, the pages fluttering lightly in the breeze.
Amity attempted to leave before the girl could notice her but as she took a step back a twig snapped beneath her foot. Luz looked up in shock before a small smile pulled at her face.
“Amity!” She actually looked happy to see the princess. Amity didn't trust it.
“Luz.” Amity greets her knowing she wouldn't be able to escape now. “What are you doing here?”
“Oh! I'm just trying to learn how to mix my magic with my sword skills.” Luz answers nervously.
“No I meant, what are you doing here in the royal garden?” Amity corrects, the human girl tilting her head in confusion.
“I was just looking for a quiet place to study while I waited for my mom.” The witch in training frowns. “I didn't know this place was off limits, I'm sorry.” She moves to get up but Amity stops her. Something in the sad look on her face pulled on the princesses heart strings.
“No, it’s...okay.” Amity rubs at her arm nervously. “You can stay.”
“Really?” Luz gasps, stars in her eyes.
“Don't make me regret this.” Amity warns the other girl, moving to sit next to her on the bench.
Amity takes a peek at Luz’s notes, her hastily written down words around drawings of swords have the princess chuckling softly. Luz looks at her with big eyes and a rapidly growing smile across her face.
“ Espera un momento - did I, Luz Noceda, just hear Princess Amity laugh ?” She stares in amazement at the green haired girl.
“Uh, hey! Are you trying to add a glyph to your sword?” Amity points to one of the dark haired girls drawings, trying to change the subject.
“Oh yeah, I'm trying to figure out which one works best but I'm not sure…” She looks down to her drawing. So far she had sketched out a sword with a plant glyph, ice glyph, and light glyph.
Amity leans closer to Luz, looking over her sketches. She hums in thought as she scans over the drawings. The princess plucks the charcoal from the other girls hand and grabs a piece of parchment.
“If you use refined moonstone, you can have the fire glyph engraved in the side.” Amity explains as she sketches out a sword and jots down some notes. “That way when you activate the glyph it won't melt the sword and can be used multiple times.”
Luz takes the paper from the elf girl when she's done writing down her notes. She scans over it several times before breaking out in a huge toothy smile.
“Thanks Amity!” Her eyes shine with joy as she looks over the paper, her huge smile plastered on her face.
Amity's heart stuttered at the sight, the sun suddenly feeling too hot. The princess watched as Luz gathered her things and rushed off, giving an excited goodbye and repeated thank you’s before turning the corner. Amity placed a hand over her heart as she looked at the ground.
What was this human doing to her? She must be getting sick.
Chapter 5: Five
Of all the things Amity could be doing right now, going for a walk with Boscha of all people wasn't exactly what she had planned. She had planned to take a stroll to clear her mind and get some peace, before her attention was demanded elsewhere. What she did not account for was the Duchess Boscha to demand to go with her ‘just in case she fell ill again’. The two turned a corner as Boscha told Amity about her “daring” battle with another lower class royal and it took all of Amity's self control to not roll her eyes directly at the other girl.
“You should have seen the look on his face, your highness.” A smug smile was plastered on the three-eyed girl's face. “He didn't expect me to pull out a third sword.”
“Where did you even hide a third sword?” Amity raised a brow but didn't take her eyes off the hallway in front of them. She wouldn't admit it but she was searching for a way out for sure.
“A girl never tells her secrets.” The Duchess winks and this time Amity doesn't try to stop herself when she rolls her eyes as she lets out a soft chuckle.
They enter a new hallway and Amity spots Willow, along with the human Luz, having a conversation near the end. It seems like they were finishing up as Luz turned to leave, waving goodbye to her friend. This was the princesses chance.
“Luz!” The princess picks up her dress so as to not let it drag on the floor, jogging right up to the human. Luz stops in her tracks at the sound of the princess’s voice, turning with a raised eyebrow at the girl running up to her. Thankfully her outburst followed by her slight speed up confused the redhead that accompanied Amity, giving her a chance to speak with Luz before she caught up.
“Play along, alright?” Amity hissed at the human girl as she slid an arm around the other girl's slightly muscular arm. Wow, that's not something she was gonna think about right now.
Boscha finally catches up to them and raises one of her three eyebrows at the princess, her eyes focusing immediately on where their arms have linked.
“Sorry, Boscha, but it looks like Luz is lost again and as heir to the throne it is my duty to help all those in need.” Amity smiles at her companion, nudging Luz in the process.
“Wha-OH! Yeah, I get lost all the time in the castle, sorry about that.” Luz says, managing to look actually apologetic.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have me do it, your majesty?” Boscha held out her hand as if to take the human away from Amity.
“No, no, it's alright. I can handle this simple task.” Amity responds, giving Boscha a specific look and a farewell curtsy before turning and pulling Luz along.
Amity waited until they were out of sight before she let out a breath she hadn't even realized she was holding. She allowed herself to relax as she pulled away from Luz, the human girl rubbing at the back of her neck nervously.
“So, what was that about?” Luz pointed back in the direction of Boscha.
“Hmm? Oh, her,” Amity sighs. “Boscha is.. well, we were friends at one point.” The princess makes a vague gesture with her hand as she explains. “But ever since I turned 14, she's been extra clingy.”
“What's the big deal about turning 14?” Luz tilts her head in confusion. It's not like being 14 was anything important in human culture. Maybe it was different for elves?
“Nothing,” Amity gives the other girl a particular look. “It's about what happens when I turn 15.”
“Oh! I get a quinceañera when I turn 15! Do elves have something like that?” Luz leans a little too close to the princess, causing the green haired witch to lean away in turn.
“A what? No. When the heir to the throne turns 15.. they get betrothed.” Amity says as her face drops a little, unable to hide it. Luz has never seen her look like this, and she has no idea how to feel about it.
“Okay, that sucks.” Luz says lamely as she stares at the other girl in muted shock, still trying to process this information.
“And since I turn 15 soon, Boscha has been trying for the title of my betrothed.” The witchling sighs, crossing her arms over her chest. “Not that she really has to try hard, I'm pretty sure my parents are going to pick her based on her family relations alone.”
“That's so dumb!!!” Luz shouts, slamming a fist into her open palm. “You should be allowed to marry whoever you want!! You're a princess for titans sake!”
Amity’s so surprised at Luz’s outburst that she manages to accidentally let out a laugh. Luz catches her trying to hide it behind her hand with a cough, and that action mixed with the sound of the other girl’s giggle has Luz’s own face beaming back at the princess - almost like she’s excited she got to be the one to witness this rare event. Amity averts her eyes out of fear of being blinded by Luz’s shining smile, why was she so kind and caring? No one else has ever said this about her before. Saying she should be able to choose her own future?
That’s something she’d think more on later.
“Thank you, Luz.” Amity gives the other girl a genuine smile. “For lying for me, and for thinking I deserve some kind of freedom to choose who I want to be with.”
“No problem, your highness.” Luz says as she puffs out her chest and smacks a fist against it. “It's a knight's duty to care about her princess!”
The two talk for some time before Amity has to leave. She was a princess after all, and she had other duties to attend to.
Luz left the castle that day with a new skip to her step. Her initial meeting with the princess had gone.. er.. bad. But now? She thinks she might be getting somewhere with the other girl. There’s hope for her yet, maybe they could be friends? Regardless, she couldn't wait to visit the castle again.
It had been a few weeks since Amity’s meeting with the human while on her walk. She hadn't seen her since and, honestly? The princess wasn't sure about how she felt about that. She had made a point to not think about it and avoid any mention of the other girl. Amity had returned to classes like normal and had acted as if nothing had happened last time she had graced them with her presence, and her teacher would often give her questioning looks but Amity would never acknowledge them.
Amity found herself sitting in the empty classroom, hours after one of said classes had ended. She flipped through her tome absentmindedly as she allowed herself to think about the human. Where had she been for the last few weeks? Her mother and aunt both worked in the castle and she had made friends with Willow and Gus. Those were all decent reasons to visit. Was it something Amity had done? No, the princess thought, she had actually been nice to the human girl their last meeting.
She lets out a sigh as she flips another page, a sound behind her getting her attention. The elf girl freezes as she hears shuffling footsteps behind her, and waits for the sound again before standing slowly. There are only three people in the castle who would sneak up on her and two of those were her siblings but there was only one set of footsteps she had heard. This meant that it had to be the only other person who would sneak up on her.
“Boscha, I’ve told you not to sneak up on me.” The princess grumbles, not turning around.
“I'm sorry, your highness.” A gruff male voice responds. “But Boscha isn't here right now.”
Amity whips around in time to see a large figure casting a magic circle.
Before she can react, the circle wraps around her throat and vanishes. The princess tries to scream but when she opens her mouth, no sound comes out. Panic sets in as she realizes the man had cast a silencing spell on her. She tries to take a step back but bumps into the desk behind her. The tall cloaked man takes a step forward, a low chuckle leaves his throat.
“I'm really sorry about this, princess, but you’re gonna have to come with me.” His voice holds no emotion as he approaches the small elf girl.
He reaches into his cloak and pulls out a jagged knife, the blade glints in the low candle light. Amity feels across the desk behind her as the assailant approaches. Her hand lands on her inkwell and wraps around it. She waits until the man lunges for her before tossing the inkwell at his face. The glass shatters against his skull and ink spills into his eyes. He shouts, tumbling backwards, as Amity dashes around him and out the door.
Out in the hallway she finds her guards unconscious, obviously under a sleep spell. She doesn't linger when she hears the man yelling from the study. With all the speed her dress would allow, she dashes down the hall. The frightened princess looks for anyone who could help her but the halls remain empty. Heavy footsteps echo behind her as she turns a corner. The man yells for her, as if she would stop for someone who had tried to kill her.
In a blind panic, the young witch finds herself running head first into another person. They tumble to the ground in a tangle of limbs, Amity quickly pulls herself up and sees that it’s Luz of all people, who’s still sitting on the ground full of confusion. The human girl stands and shakes her head before her eyes meet Amity’s.
“Amity!” She greets her, smiling brightly - and Amity has never been more happy to see the human in her life. “Is something wrong?” The human tilts her head, reading the fear on the princesses face quite quickly.
Amity opens her mouth to respond but is reminded of the silencing spell as no sound comes out, and she motions with her hand that she can’t speak. She grabs onto Luz’s upper arm firmly in hopes the girl can see the panic in her eyes as she points in the direction of which she came. Just as Luz looks up to see what Amity was pointing to, the large cloaked man turns the corner. His hood hides his face, but Luz can see the smallest hint of a smile as he approaches. Luz moves to stand in front of Amity, her hand already pulling out her few premade glyph papers.
“Who are you, and what do you want?” Her voice carries an uncharacteristically dark tone to it as she guards the princess, splaying her other arm out as wide as she can.
“A commoner, just like you.” The man's gruff voice puts the human on edge, and she feels her heart rate pick up speed. “Just trying to make a point..” He takes a small step forward, holding out his hand while his other hides behind his back carefully. “Hand over the princess and run, you don't need to be a part of this.”
“What do you plan on doing to her?” Luz pushes Amity farther behind her, the princess clinging to the human. Luz can feel the other girl shaking with fear.
“Let’s just say.. We’d like to use her to make an example .” He says, the last word coming out of his lips dripping with malice.
“I don’t think I like what you’re suggesting..” Luz narrows her eyes at the man as he takes another step forward, hand still outstretched as if trying to get Luz to take it.
The human's eyes flick between the man's hand and his barely visible face. Finally she lets out a sigh and reaches out for it, as if to take it. She can feel Amity pull on her shirt behind her but she doesnt turn to see her face.
“That's it, just hand over the princess and you can go free.” The man chuckles as he goes to take the smaller girl's hand.
Before he can grasp it, Luz slaps his hand with a piece of paper. The paper is quickly engulfed in flames before becoming a searingly white floating orb, and the man shouts as he’s blinded for the second time that night.
Quickly, Luz grabs onto Amity's hand and pulls her away and around the man as he rubs at his eyes. She takes the princess to the only place she can think of, the healers hall where her mother was working a late shift. Behind her she could hear the man yelling as he chased after them. The witch in training curses under her breath, her light spell wasn't strong enough to blind him for long. Amity barely manages to keep up as they run, one hand holding onto Luz’s for dear life and the other holding up her dress so she wouldn't trip.
The two round a corner as something comes whizzing by their heads. Luz doesn't stop to see what it was as she sees the healers hall just before her. She practically kicks the door down and pulls Amity in behind her. Her mother shoots up from her spot next to a patient eyes landing on her disheveled daughter and princess.
“ Mija , what are you doing?” She whispers harshly at her daughter. “There are people trying to sleep!”
“Sorry mom but there's someone chasing us and I think they want to kill Amity!” Her daughter tries to keep her voice low as she pulls Amity close to her, scared out of her own mind. The princess still holds onto Luz’s hand, her grip tight with fear.
“Woah, slow down Luz, who's chasing you?” Camilia tries to calm her daughter as another person enters the healers hall. The older woman's eyes look up to see the cloaked figure, dagger in hand. It all clicks together and she motions for the girls to get behind her. “Stay back, both of you.”
“I'm getting tired of this game of cat and mouse, princess.” The man growls, grip tightening on his dagger. “Just come with me peacefully and these humans get to live. ”
“I wouldn't count me out just yet.” Camilia reaches into her apron pocket and pulls out a few vials of a dark red liquid.
The older woman holds out her arm to guard the children as she tosses two of the vials at the cloaked figure. The glass shatters against his chest and the red liquid splatters over him, and he looks down at his drenched cloak before letting out a boisterous laugh.
“Did you really think a weak human potion could stop me?” He hisses as he goes to take a step forward. Just as he moves he notices smoke rising off his cloak before the red liquid starts to bubble, and then foam. “What the..!?”
“Not so weak now, am I?” Camilia placed a hand on her hip, a mocking tone to her voice as the man became completely covered in a thick red foam.
Amity realizes her voice has returned as the man's concentration is interrupted, and squeezes Luz’s hand to get the other girl's attention as Camilia leaves to retrieve the guards. She finds herself incapable of meeting her eyes as she struggles to find the right words.
“..Thank you, Luz.” She finally settles on something simple, her voice sounding a little horse from being locked away.
“Don’t mention it. I mean, I am training to be a future Emperors Knight, this is just all part of the job technically!” Luz smiles at the princess in reassurance, looking a lot less shaken than before now that her mother has taken care of the threat.
Amity finally meets the other girls eyes and realizes just how close they're standing to each other. She takes a tentative step back and lets go of the other girl's hand. Luz frowns at the lack of contact but doesn't reach for the princess, knowing the girl might need her space. Before either of them can say another word the Blight twins come running into the healers hall, voices overlapping as they show concern for their younger sister.
“Amity!” Emira rushes up and wraps her arms around the youngest Blight. “Are you okay?” She holds her sister close, stroking her hair. Amity clings to her sister and nods as Edric approaches and wraps his arms around both his sisters.
Luz hears a small sniffle from the princess and decides to give her space and time to be with her siblings. She walks past the man covered in foam, his muffled shouts barely audible. The young witch in training sticks her tongue out childishly at the man before heading out into the hallway. As she opens the door she sees several Emperors Knights being led by Captain Wrath, and she moves out of their way as they enter the hall. She doesn't stick around to see what happens, instead she spots her mom at the tail end of the group of guards and runs to her. The young girl throws her arms around her mother and hugs her tightly, burying her face into her mom's soft apron.
“You did such a good job, mija.” Her mother smooths out her hair and gives her a tight squeeze of a hug. “You were so brave and smart to bring the princess to me.” She reassures her daughter, rubbing calming circles into the girls back.
“I was so scared, mami. ” The young girl's voice is muffled by her moms clothing. “He had a knife, and Amity couldn't speak, and he could have killed us!”
“Shoosh, it's all okay now sweetie.” The older woman hugs her daughter tightly, pushing the hair out of her face gently in comfort. ”Let's go home for the night, dear, no doubt your mother has felt this by now.” She pulls her daughter away from her and gives her a soft smile, the younger human nodding and taking her mom's hand as they head home.
Luz takes one look back, eyes immediately falling on Amity several feet away. The princess gives her a soft wave goodbye as her sister drapes a blanket over her shoulders, and Luz’s stomach twists at seeing how small the other girl looks, remembering what had just happened. What if Luz wasn’t there for Amity to run into? What would’ve happened if the man had caught her and no one was there to help? She doesn’t want to elaborate on those thoughts at all anymore.
Luz returns the wave before leaving with her mother, trying her hardest to push those lingering thoughts away.
The guards offer the two a ride home, which Camilia happily agrees to. The entire ride is silent, Luz leaning on her mother the whole way home - she watches her daughter stare blankly ahead the entire time, and tries to calm the worried tug in her chest.
When they finally roll up in front of their house Eda’s waiting on the doorstep with frustrated worry written all over her face, arms crossed and foot tapping against the ground. The carriage pulls to a stop and Camilia opens the door, motioning Eda forward to carry their daughter who had fallen asleep during the drive. Eda enters the carriage and easily scoops up their kid to carry her inside, and Camilia follows close behind. Once inside the house they immediately put their daughter into bed, both giving her a gentle kiss goodnight before making their way back downstairs, King jumping up on the bed to cuddle at the human girl’s feet.
“So.. you mind telling me what happened?” Eda breaks the silence as the two women enter their kitchen, giving her wife a stern look.
The grey haired witch moves to the stove to put on a pot of tea while her wife takes a seat at the table. Camilia slumps against the table, head in her hands as Eda moves about the kitchen, waiting patiently for her to speak.
Eventually Eda places a cup of black tea in front of her, and she lets out a shaky breath as she takes the cup, watching as the other woman takes the spot across from her. They sit in silence a little longer while Camilia blows on the tea before taking a sip.
“Someone tried to assassinate the princess.” She finally speaks up, her voice barely above a whisper.
“What.” Eda sets her cup down a little too hard, causing the cup to rattle against its plate.
“Someone tried to kill the princess.” Camilia repeats. “She managed to get away and found Luz.. of all people.”
“And the kid was only there because she was bringing you your overnight bag.” Eda blinks and looks at her wife, concern all over her face. Camilia solemnly nods her head.
“You would have been proud of her, Mi Alma .” She smiles sadly into her cup. “She was so brave and she brought the princess right to me.” She continues to tell the older witch all about the assassin and how she stopped him.
Eda listened intently as Camilia recounted the events of the last few hours for her. She sipped silently on her tea until her wife had finished completely.
“I'm proud of both of you.” Eda smiles at the potion master who had won her heart. “I wasn’t even there to kick any ass for you, but what do I know? Clearly I was the one that married up.” She takes another sip from her tea as her wife hides a growing blush.
“You certainly have a way with words,” Camilia chuckles, grasping her mug lightly between her fingers. Eda watches her ring glint in the low light of the kitchen.
“I knew you wanted me for this mouth,” Eda grins cheekily and chuckles, Camilia spares her a scandalous look and Eda laughs a little harder at that, before the laughter dies down and a more serious expression falls on her face. “I do have to admit though, when I felt that fearful tug right here..” She points to her chest, right where a heart would normally be. “I almost flew straight to the castle.” She lets out a small laugh. “But then I could feel the calm that settled afterwards and figured I shouldn’t risk going to jail… again.” This gets a strong laugh out of Camilia as Eda smiles softly at her wife.
“This soul bond between us better NOT be the reason you get caught by authorities, Edalyn.” Camilia gives the other woman a flat look, taking a long drink of her tea.
“Not the full name!” Eda whines. “You’re sounding like my sister.”
Camilia rolls her eyes at that, unable to help the smile on her face. “Come on dear, we should head to bed. I still have to go back to work tomorrow.”
“Yeah, you're right.” Eda sighs as she stands, stretching her back.
Camilia stands with her and takes their cups, placing them in the sink. The two older women head upstairs, stopping only to check on Luz and King before heading to their own room for the night.
The next morning the street is filled with the townspeople as Camilia tries to head into work. Eda and Luz stand next to her as they all look to a hastily made stage. On the stage stood two Emperors Knights and Captain Wrath. A low murmur broke through the crowd as two more guards started to set up a guillotine on the stage. Captain Wrath cleared his throat to get the crowd's attention, the townspeople falling silent.
“Last night an assassin made his way into the castle.” His voice echoed through the streets. “He made an attempt on the princesses life.”
The crowd erupts into a cacophony of voices, the towns people shouting over each other to have their questions answered. The captain simply holds up his hand and the townspeople fall silent.
“We do not know if he worked alone.” Captain Wrath explained. “Once we have extracted what information we can from him, he will be publicly executed.” He waited for the townsfolk to quiet down again before continuing. “His execution is scheduled tomorrow at sunrise. That is all.”
The captain is followed by his fellow Emperors Knights as they head off the stage. The crowd yells and demands more answers but receive none as the knights enter a carriage that takes them towards the castle.
“Castle security is going to be more strict now.” Camilia comments as she turns towards the building in question.
“Will I still be able to visit my friends?” Luz frowns up at her mom as they continue their walk.
“Of course you can. You’re my kid and Lilith's niece, they aren't going to keep you out.” Camilia ruffles her daughter's hair.
“As long as they don't know I'm your other mom.” Eda adds with a wink which gets a laugh out of two humans.
The three made their way to the castle, the unrest in the town more evident now than ever. The announcement of a public execution was the main topic of every conversation. There hadn't been one in over 10 years after all. The last one was when the Queen had found her husband's secret lover and had him publicly executed to make a point. Of course the King had not tried to stop her, his subjects are simply playthings to him after all.
Luz felt uneasy as she entered the castle, the amount of guards more apparent now then they had been her last visit. She wasn't sure what she could do but she was overcome with the need to talk to the princess. Maybe together they could figure things out.