Reign of Ice Online - L.P. Dover

A Few Days Ago

THERE WAS A stirring in the air that reeked of menace and death, and as my fingers touched the land below me it felt as if it was weeping. I could sense the sadness all around me as I looked out over the horizon. Drake and Sorcha left a while ago to rescue her guardian, Oren, and her friend, Sarette, from the dark sorcerer’s army. Knowing my brother they would surely succeed, but something just wasn’t right. I was training alone in the Spring Court garden, practicing my new sword techniques, when I heard the stampede of hooves trembling on the ground beneath me. The sound of horns bellowed out from a distance, signaling a cry for help, and with that sound my blood ran cold.

Racing toward the front of the palace, my eyes went wide at the sight before me, my heart plummeting in my chest. Warriors from Summer, Spring, and Winter were headed toward the palace, most of which were in varied states of injury. Some were bleeding or slumped over their horses, while some I could tell would soon be piles of ash.

Kalen and Meliantha both charged out of the palace, along with dozens of their Spring Court warriors, as they rushed to the gates. Sheathing my sword, I ran up to my sister and faltered when I saw her weary gaze.

“Meliantha?”

“It’s bad,” she whispered, turning a tear-streaked face my way. “I can feel it in my blood.”

My sister had healing capabilities, but even I didn’t know how much of her power she could give until it drained her. “Will you be able to save them?” I asked.

She kept her gaze on the warriors as they approached the gate. “Yes, I’ll be able to, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve lost so many. So many are … gone.”

As soon as the warriors entered through the gate, we all rushed to help them. The warrior I approached first had an arrow sticking out of his chest and was about to fall off his horse, his face pale and drawn. Luckily, I caught him in my arms before he hit the ground.

“Thank you,” he wheezed, coughing and sputtering.

Holding him in my arms, I half carried and half dragged him up the steps, trying my best not to jostle him. “It’s okay, I got you,” I murmured soothingly.

Before I could carry the warrior into the palace, my blood froze in my veins when I heard Kalen’s roar; it echoed loudly in my ear. When I turned to see the slumped figure in his arms I knew exactly who it was going to be. From the short, brown hair, creamy pale skin, and the black and silver warrior gear I knew without a doubt that it was Brayden in his arms.

“Oh no,” I cried, wishing I could go to him. There was a reason I had that unnerving feeling and it wasn’t because of the war, it was because of him. He was hurt and deep down I knew it. Please, let him be all right.

Kalen rushed inside, carrying an unconscious Brayden in his arms, while Meliantha followed, casting me a worried glance before she too disappeared inside the palace. Quickly, I draped the warrior’s arm around my neck and put my hand around his waist, trying my best not to touch the arrow. As soon as I got him helped and healed, I was going to find out how Brayden was.

“Come on, warrior, let’s get you fixed up and healed,” I grunted, trying to hold as much of his weight as I could.

“Kamden,” he whispered, lifting up his head. His soft hazel eyes were full of pain, but his lip pulled up at the side in a sad smile. “My name is Kamden, Your Highness. I trained with you the other day.”

Forcing a smile on my face, I blew out a shaky breath and said, “That’s right, Kamden, you did. I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name during that time. You can call me Ariella.” Worry for Brayden plagued my mind, but the warrior in my arms needed help just as badly. Carrying him inside, I was directed to a room by one of the servants who had a bed already for Kamden. I placed him on the soft sheets, and as he lay down he hissed when the arrow jostled in his chest. It was slowly moving out on its own, but I knew he would heal quicker if I pulled it out.

“This is going