Myth of Light – Chapter 1
Myth of Light
Nyx’s life is turned upside down when she finds out she kinda needs to help (or rather is forced to) save the land from impending doom. Along the way, she learns maybe her life already WAS upside down from the start. While fighting alongside a band of misfits, being stuck in a love triangle, and trying to figure out what parts of her life are a lie, Nyx totally has this under control. Oh, and she just needs to stay out of the sun… Maybe impending doom doesn’t sound so bad?
Prince of Darkness
The prince of the dark lands sits outside in his garden, faithfully doing his meditations. The sky is perfect: dark and gloomy. He sits cross-legged in the shady garden area with his eyes closed. His pale skin almost looks like smooth porcelain, and his sleek, black hair is brushed back. Black robes hug his slim figure before dripping onto the moss lawn on which he rests. The strange, blue light glowing from his chest, deep within the upper part of his rib cage, is strong and steady. His ring of servers come to and fro, cleaning up his garden, making sure he has water, and being quiet but attentive.
Nyx tends to him as well. Her dark eyes calmly keeping watch over the prince. Her black, curly hair is neatly tucked into a bun, but one curl falls near her face, refusing to stay in place. She wears black like all the rest of the servers, and the expensive fabric flows against her espresso skin. She nods her thanks to another server who brings a tray with a chalice on it, takes the glass, and quietly sets the cold water next to the prince.
“Nyx,” he softly calls out just as she passes in front of him. She pauses in her next errand and turns.
“Yes, your highness?” she responds. He cracks open a dark eye and smiles when he sees her.
“Join me?” he offers.
“I can’t,” she chuckles, shaking her head.
“Oh, come on,” he pushes, the smile growing on his face.
“I’m not trained. We’ve been over this.”
“You are breaking my concentration,” he jests with a hum, closing his eyes again. She sighs and sits cross-legged across from him. “Very good, now…rest your arms at your knees and close your eyes.”
“Oh, I’m so relaxed,” Nyx jokes as she follows his directions.
“Shush,” the prince chuckles, keeping his eyes closed and trying to remain concentrated. “Breathe deeply, focusing on your chest. On your core. Deep within your core.” Nyx breathes in and out. “Do you feel it?”
“Feel what?” she asks, peeking open her eyes. She blinks and looks at the prince. His chest is glowing a brighter indigo than usual as he methodically breathes in and out. He cracks his eyes open and meets hers.
“Yours is not glowing any brighter,” he states with a small frown.
“Nope, just hurts a little.” She rubs her collarbone where the top of her glow reaches. The action moves her braided leather necklace cord, swinging the intricate pendant inlaid with a red gem.
“We shall work on it,” he smiles gently, glancing at the pendant. They both close their eyes again, then hear footsteps.
“You are dismissed,” a woman’s voice strongly commands. Nyx scrambles to her feet in a panic, and the prince opens his eyes.
“Mother, we were meditating,” he sighs.
“Nyx has no need to meditate. She needs to recharge, then can go home for the day,” the queen says, shooting a dismissive look at Nyx. Her pale skin makes her sharp features look exotic, and her dark eyes are accentuated with perfectly pointed eyeliner. Long, straight, black hair cascades down her back, melting into an exquisite black dress.
“Yes, thank you, your majesty” Nyx replies with a slight bow. She looks down and notices the glow in her chest is a little more pink than purple.
“Donovan, you need to focus during your meditation,” the queen chastises, turning her back to Nyx.
“Mother, I told you, I wish to be called Jet-” the prince starts to argue.
“Donovan Jethro Anthracinus!” the queen scolds, immediately causing the young man to freeze. In fact, everyone in the vicinity freezes as the queen uses the prince’s full name. “You will not talk back to your mother, and you will focus during your meditation.”
“Forgive me, mother, but I was. I was teaching. You say that is the best way to-” Jet argues as his mom gracefully sits down in front of him.
“Teaching those who actually need it. And you are not ready to teach yet,” the queen cuts him off. He sighs and gives Nyx a sad look over the queen’s shoulder. She shrugs in response and rushes off as she was told.
Inside the dim castle, Nyx walks quickly to the server’s quarters. Once there, she slows her gait and tries to blend in with the others, but she can never hide for long.
“Hi, Nyx,” a server calls. “Is the prince looking for any new servers to join his ring?”
“Hey, Nyx,” another server comes up alongside her. “Can you put in a good word for me with the queen?”
“Nyx, can I be on duty with you? Your jobs always look so easy.”
“Nyx, I need-”
“Hey, Nyx, can you-”
Nyx keeps her head down but picks up her pace again as she beelines for a recharge closet. Quickly ducking inside, she shuts the door behind her, letting full darkness envelop her, and sighs.
“Everybody wants something,” she mutters, watching her glow recharge from pink, to purple, to indigo, to blue.
“Mother, can I not learn more exciting things than this meditation?” Jet asks, still sitting across from his mother who keeps her eyes closed.
“Once you master this, it will be the most exciting thing you will learn,” she replies. “Keep your focus…and you will find darkness within.”
“I do not see it,” Jet sighs, resting his chin in his hands. “I thought maybe I would be enlightened if I taught someone.” He looks expectantly at his mother, but she still keeps her eyes closed.
“I am quite positive a lady of the court would be interested,” the queen urges sternly. “Your ring of servers does not need to be involved in such matters.”
“But Nyx is-” he starts.
“Nyx is starting to distract you,” his mother cuts him off. “She is here for your diplomatic benefit, not as a special friend. Now focus. You are eighteen and should have mastered this five years ago.” Jet sighs at her words and resumes his position. As silence falls over both of them, their glows pulse and brighten.
A Colorful Encounter
“Good enough for a walk home,” Nyx whispers to herself as her glow barely reaches blue. Stepping back out of the recharge closet and tucking the one rebellious strand of her black, curly hair behind her ear yet again, she dashes to the exit before anyone else can try to ask her for a favor.
She just about makes it through the large, stone courtyard to the front entrance when the guards suddenly start to open the massive gate, and she hears horses pounding down the street. She quickly dashes out of the way as a troop of horses from another kingdom trots past.
The leader is majestically and colorfully adorned, but it’s his right-hand man who catches her eye. The young man is about her age, in his late teens, but more colorful than anyone she’s seen. His armor a dazzling blue, skin a bronzed tan, hair a bright blond, and eyes a brilliant green. He glances her way, and they make eye contact for what feels like an eternity. He holds her dark gaze in his colorful one with an air of curiosity, but then his red horse snorts, bringing his attention back to his troop.
The castle guards wave them on through the gate, and they trot into the courtyard towards the stable. She still stares as they start to dismount and tend to their horses.
“I wonder what they want,” Nyx whispers to herself, almost breathless, as she looks after them.
“Are you leaving or not?” a guard roughly asks. Nyx startles and looks at the gate.
“Um, yes, yes, sorry, yes,” she replies, heading out. She throws one last glance over her shoulder and sees the colorful, young man looking her way, then quickly turns and walks out, the massive gates closing behind her.
As Nyx walks through town from the castle to her home, the scenery drastically changes. The houses fit for nobles with ever-abundant shade structures and well-groomed trees slowly change to shacks, mildly protective with mostly dead landscaping, to tunnels and caves carved into the hilly sandstone with, you guessed it, nothing but sand around.
The people also change as she walks. Dark-skinned, highly honored servers, as well as the rarely seen nobles who occasionally pass by in a carriage, are replaced by merchants and tradespeople who make enough money to afford a house. Reaching the part of town with the sandstone tunnels, she starts to see more sand workers and people she knows. The clouds are thinner on the edge of town, and she can feel the uncomfortable heat of the sun.
Nyx gratefully turns into a tunnel marked with a 16. Her glow starts to recharge from purple to blue as she walks past the few people at the entrance to the largely abandoned middle section of the tunnel.
“Hey, Raven,” Nyx calls. A young man a little older than her turns around and grins, his tawny skin illuminated by his own blue glow from his broad chest. His tousled hair is a dark brown, not quite black like his sister’s but still curly, and his eyes are a sparkling gray
“Hey, your majesty. You’re off early,” he notices. Nyx rolls her eyes at the nickname.
“And you’re…” she trails off as she notices a bandage on his arm. “…home early because you got hurt. Again.” She sighs and motions for him to put his arm out.
“Aw, it’s nothing. Just a scratch. I’ll be better by tomorrow they said. Just sent me home for today,” he brushes off her concern as she looks the bandage over.
“They had you on point again for digging caves?”
“Yeah, I’m one of the strongest,” Raven tries to boast, but his face suddenly looks very tired in the low light. Nyx notices and furrows her brow as she lets his arm drop. It always upsets her when he has a rough day.
“On a more interesting note, we should go on a walk tonight. There are strangers in town,” Nyx offers, forcing a smile while trying to cheer him up.
“Oh yeah?” her brother grins.
“Yeah, colorful knights on horseback came to the castle today. I’m assuming they have an audience with the queen and king,” she informs, turning him so she can rub his shoulders.
“Too bad you didn’t stick around to listen in.” Raven winces at the pressure of her slender fingers.
“Yeah, Jet…Prince Jet wanted me to meditate with him, and the queen wasn’t having it,” Nyx admits.
“Aw, it’s cute that you guys are friends, but recently he keeps getting you in trouble,” Raven says, turning back to look at her. “You need to keep that job. Your other options are less than ideal.”
“I’m not worried about being thrown out of the castle. Apparently, I’m a ‘rarity’ and ‘impressive to have around’ so I’m told,” Nyx mocks with air quotes, earning another smile from Raven. “I’m more worried about being reassigned to someone else. Someone like the queen.”
“Well, you and Jet are close. You’ve known each other for years. Maybe just tell him you’re worried about it,” Raven shrugs, sitting down against the wall and running his hand through his dusty, dark brown hair. Nyx follows suit.
“Maybe…” she agrees, pulling her black hair down from her bun and over her shoulder to play with. Raven reaches a tawny hand over to rub her arm, and she looks down at it. “I’m sorry, Raven.”
“Why are you sorry?”
“I get special treatment just because I look different. I wish I could take you with me,” she explains, meeting his gray gaze with her emotional, dark one. He sighs and rubs her arm again.
“Don’t be sorry. Just be you. Life is giving you different opportunities than me,” he responds, giving her a tired smile. “It won’t be this way forever. The future holds more.”
“Yeah, the future…” she trails off.
Who are these colorful strangers in town?
To be continued…
Liked Myth of Light – Chapter 1? Read these next!
© 2021 Ariel G. Wach