Chapter 3: Attempted Murder.

"Again, daddy!" I said happily. My father lifted me into the air and spun around. It's the first time my father ever did this. He carried me out of town to a cliff not too far off. But why? Because I'm sick? He never did this before. Not even to Clairine. It was scary and fun at the same time. He put me down again and patted my head.

"Did anyone tell you that you're extremely light?" my father asked. I stumbled to the ground as my vision swam for a second. Concerned, he put his hand on my forehead for the fifth time that day. "It's gotten worse, hasn't it?"

"Then why bring me here?" I asked out of curiosity. He hugged me tightly, as if I was going to fade away. It's been a two years and I still wasn't cured. The whole town tried everything but nothing worked. Constant headaches, coughing every hour, short-term memory, and sudden flashes of pain isn't something common for a four-year-old like me, right? There is no cure. "Is it because I'm dying?"

My father shook his head. "No. I'm not going to let you go. You, Clairine, and your mother is why I'm here. You gave me the will to go on."

"Then why ignore us?" I said. I didn't hug my father back. "Why start caring for us now? Because I'm going away?"

My father pulled me away and looked deep into my eyes. "Only because they'll kill you if you're with me."

._._._._._._.

"Shayne! Get up! You're late!" I jerked awake when my sister's voice sounded extremely close. Instead of seeing the stony ceiling, I saw Clairine's scared face. I suddenly got up causing me to collide into Clairine.

"Auww!" I cried out as I rubbed my head. "What is it this time Clairine? What am I late fo-" She suddenly grabbed my wrists and dragged me out of my bed. She rubbed her head when she let me go.

"You're supposed to be with the master's great grandson. He asked if you can play with him today!" She threw me a set of clothes that I wore for very formal and important things. For example, being the playmate of my master's great grandson who just happens to be born the day before me. "Meet him at the Fountain Garden at sun high. And please, Shayne, don't do anything stupid again."

"Me? Stupid? It was Elliot's fault that he wanted to play pranks on the high prince. He tricked me." I said as I changed my shirt. Clairine rolled her eyes as she helped me with the laces at the side of my shirt. There wasn't any need to change out of my pants because it's already formal.

"Quit blaming others." she said in amusement. It sounded forced. I sighed and took her hands. Immediately, I noticed her hands were shaking slightly. I turned to face her and placed her hands on my chest. "Shayne?"

"I didn't kill him. It's all a trick." I said. She looked at me in shock. I looked down, unable to face her. I felt her hands slowly slip away. "So, please stop forcing yourself. She'd be upset, wouldn't she?"

"It's not that." she said. I snapped my head back up with a confused look on my face. She suddenly pushed me to the door. "Now hurry up. Or else you'll get smacked again."

"Yeah." I said hurriedly. I dashed out the room I shared with Clairine and two others. The halls were empty more than usual. Lately so many people, who have either made a horrid mistake or a minor mess up, have been either tortured or killed. The castle itself is becoming more and more of a dead castle. And more than half a hundred of the servants were children like me. But that was before. Now, there's about less than fifteen of us, including me and Clairine.

I burst through the East Gates as I rushed to Fountain Garden. The guards jumped at the sudden intrusion.

"Hey! Don't go slamming gates open, Shayne!" One of them yelled as I kept running.

"Sorry! I'll make up for it later!" I called back. All most all the guards knew me. Even a few of them came with me on missions that involved killing. Besides, I'm one of the boys who're trained to kill. Er- supposedly… I'm also the royal servant of the Black Knight's great grandson…

I froze to a stop and found Prince Elliot doing something I never expected him to do in a million years. He sat on the edge of the large fountain in the garden with a large book. He was actually reading! "E-Elliot?"

He suddenly snapped his head toward me and smiled his happy-go-lucky smile. Immediately, I felt all my shock replaced with dread. Like every day, Elliot would always smile at me and somehow trick me into doing things we're never supposed to. And at the end of the day, I get smacked. "Hey, Shayne I know what we're going to do today!" He saw me frown. "Aw, don't give me that!"

"Let me guess. Put fifteen cats in the High Prince's room?" I asked. Elliot laughed.

"Haha, no, but a good one." he said rather passively. "We're going to actually study today!"

"That's sounds great, You're High—wait, what? Study?" I exclaimed. On a usual day he would have already dragged me into unwanted pranks. But never has he told me that he was going to study.

"Hey, I do study!" Elliot said defensively. I raised an eyebrow. "Okay, okay, fine you win." I smirked. "But the Royal Exams are coming up and it involves casting a spell. And I suck at magic, so I was hoping you could…"

I immediately backed away. I knew he can use magic, and I know how bad it is. "What? No way!"

A sudden flash of pain in my chest took over me. Pain so intensifying that I thought my heart was going to burst. I felt myself fall to the ground and Elliot's frantic yells were like a whisper. Or was he? I don't know, I couldn't tell. It went away as fast as it came. Everything around me became suddenly clear again. Elliot was shaking me. His voice was high pitched.

"Shayne! Oh, Sweet Mother Maythel, please tell me you're okay!" he said franticly. I nodded slowly. That pain…I felt it before…

"Elli, what just happened?" I asked as I rubbed my head. Elliot stared past me in total horror. "What?"

I turned around to find his great grandfather. His sword pointed at Elliot. Blood was dropping of the blade. The marking on my chest started pulsing as blood hit the lush grass. I got up and held out my arms in front of Elliot.

"Out of the way, Shayne." he said coldly. I stood my ground.

"Tell me why." I said just as coldly. Elliot nudged me. I turned my head very slightly in his direction. I saw him shake his head violently.

"You expect me to give you and answer? I knew you lied. You never had the heart to kill anyone. Only strong enough to hurt." said Master Jonathan. He redirected his sword to my heart. "To be marked so forcefully is a beautiful curse. It just goes to show how desperate the Goddess is."

I looked at Master Jonathan in shock. "This is what you've been planning all these years?" I cried out. Elliot suddenly grabbed my wrist and brought me down at the last second when Jonathan's blade narrowly missed my chest.

"Run!" cried Elliot. He dragged me with him as we ran away from his crazed great grandfather. Suddenly that very same blade Jonathan was holding slashed right in front of Elliot. Out of nowhere, I pulled him back and quickly slid my fingers on the flat side of the blade down to the handle. Jonathan glared at me when my hand touched his. Pulling the handle toward me, I kicked Jonathan in the abdomen and pulled the sword out of his grip. I hesitated at the last second as I was about to slash at his face.

"Shayne! Do it!" cried Elliot. I blinked. 'What,' I thought, 'kill him? I can't!' I flipped the sword and held it reversed. 'I made a promise.' I smacked Jonathan as hard as I could before he could act. Blood flowed from his head as he struggled to stay standing.

"There's no way - even if I'm gonna die – am I killing anyone. Hell, I can't believe you kept me alive!" I said. I grabbed Elliot's wrist and burst into a sprint toward the castle. Elliot's not safe here. Neither are Clairine and me. Heck, since when was me and my sister safe?

I felt Elliot slipping from my grip. I slowed down as we past the gates that I burst through earlier. But there was no usual greeting from a guard. It was quiet. "Where's…"

I stopped dead as I found the reason why. A second later Elliot ran into to me in full force. I fell to the ground face first. The sword in my hand skidded two feet away. "Wah! Watch it! Sword here!"

"It's not my fault that you suddenly st- Clairine?" he asked suddenly. He pushed me down to the stone floor. I looked up to see my sister holding a - a stick? I blinked twice. Lying at her feet were the guards. My eyes widen in shock as I realized what my sister did. She managed to knock out three trained guards.

"Did you- how'd you- why'd you-!" I stammered. She merely shrugged and dusted off her light pink dress.

"Well, if a sword works, why won't a stick?" she asked, smirking. Elliot got off me. I slowly pushed myself up.

"Girls aren't supposed to fight…" he said, staring at my sister. I facepalmed.

"Um, it's kinda hard to avoid picking things up when I'm stuck with Shayne." she replied. I groaned.

"Come on, we don't have much time." I said, grabbing Elliot's wrist again. "The longer we stay here the earlier our deaths would be." I looked toward the sword. "We still wanna live, right?"

"But where?" asked Elliot. He tugged my wrist. "I'm a prince remember?"

Clairine walked over to the sword. "We'll get there when we get there." She picked it up and dropped her stick. "Let's go."

She ran off toward the castle with us boys behind her. But instead of going in the direction of the doors, she ran to a wall. We stopped in front of it.

"Huh? A wall?" asked Elliot. I voiced my confusion.

"I was wondering the same thing. I mean, what are we going to do? Walk through the wa-" Clairine kicked the wall. I stared in awe when a portion of the wall opened up to a secret passage way. Elliot gaped.

My sister turned to us with a smile. "Any more questions?"

I snapped myself out of my stupor and pushed Elliot into the passage, my sister following closely.

"Wait! I can't leav-!" Elliot cut himself off.

"I can't leave what?" I asked. He shook his head.

"Nevermind." He said quickly. I gave him a look of concern before turning to Clairine.

"Where does this tunnel lead to?" I asked. The tunnel was dark and damp. The air was stuffy and a little wet. My sister closed the door. All the light disappeared. Great, now we're three blind mice.

"If we keep our left hand against the wall and follow it, we should be outside the castle gates by a foot." she said. I gave her a surprised look even though she couldn't see me.

"How do you know these things?" I asked.

"I was trained to learn all the secret passageways because I'm a maid. I take care of the royal family. I'm supposed to keep them safe." she replied. "And I do believe His Highness should also know about this."

I heard Elliot laugh nervously. "Haha…I forgot?"

"Wow." I said sarcastically, as I placed my left hand on the wall. "Clairine, I hope you're right." I felt her flick at my head. "Ow!"

"Of course, I'm right! Now get moving before we get caught!" She shoved me into Elliot, who yelped.

As we did as she told us, I couldn't help but wonder. How did she know when to come? How did she knock those guards out? I thought about the blood on Jonathan's sword that my sister took. I don't recall seeing any dead bodies or blood anywhere. But as I kept going I suddenly remembered what Elliot said before entering.

"Wait! I can't leav-!"

What was he going to say? He can't leave what? What was more important to him than getting away?

Then it hit me. I cursed violently.

Damn. Shayden.

._._._._._._._._._._.

Wow. The longest chappy I've ever written in any of my stories. But it was worth it! And now the adventure shall begin! This chappy was not edited but I will put up the edited one, when it's been edited. Wait…I just finally noticed something… in all of my stories I always somehow manage find a way to add in Shayden. He's everywhere! And has a very, very weird history with all my main characters. But in each story he has a different personality… And yes, this story shall be updated randomly. Tell me how you thought of this chappy! I didn't get much feedback last time. Maybe…two to five reviews for the next chappy? So just let me know how you like it!