Blood Crown
By Violet Day
Date: January 18, 2021
Ch. 1616

“I couldn’t tell you! I knew you would be eliminated, and…” He trailed off.


“You gave me hope that the competition would actually find me someone I would like. Someone being you.”

The words were incredibly sweet and touched something deep inside Senna, but one feeling was much stronger than all the others.

“I’ve grown up hating you,” she said. “I’ve always hated the Elevated, especially the royal family. I would think about you, how we were the same age and yet your life was so entirely different from mine. You wouldn’t grow up knowing what it was like to work until your hands became raw and calloused, just so you could support your little sister and father. You wouldn’t grow up knowing what it was like to be ten years old and have to spend less and less time at school because your family needed you to work. You would never know what it was like to be poor and hungry and see rich and powerful people on the television, their lives like lavish games.

That’s why I came here. My wish to be queen had nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the power that comes with the position. I wanted to change the world for kids like me. I took this chance –leaving my family in the process –so I could change their lives. Losing wasn’t an option for me. And now… here I am. Obviously this competition was yet another example of the Elevated royal family taking advantage of the lower classes. Your own mother put together a convoluted way of finding the right ingredients –human ingredients –for her own dark magic. Who knows what she wants to do with the souls of these ten strong young women. Anyone raised in this place… The royal family is evil.” Senna took a step back. “This entire palace is evil. I should have known this would happen.”

And she turn and ran.

She wasn’t really running from Prince Yoren. She wasn’t running from the yet another corpse they had come across.

She was running from everything in her mind right then; all the rushing bad thoughts. She felt like she had nowhere to go except home. No, she reminded herself, she couldn’t leave until this was resolved. She needed to make sure each and every one of these girls was truly dead before she went home.

A flickering light like firelight shone through the archway to another hallway. Senna turned, thinking she may find one of the girls.


She tried to turn back into the hallway from which she had come, but found herself frozen.

“There you are,” the strong, controlled voice of the queen said. Her voice filled the hall, which felt like it was shrinking around Senna.

“Let me go,” Senna tried to say. She barely managed to get it out.

“No, darling, I can’t do that. You see, you’re all I’m missing if I’m to complete this spell I’ve worked so hard for.”

“I’m not a sacrifice!” Senna said. She felt like she was being drowned in something thick and sticky. She could barely move.

“Shhh, please, don’t resist.” The queen strode closer. Senna saw that the source of the flickering light was from a strange fire the queen held in her palm. “I wouldn’t want this to last any longer for you than it has to.”

Senna slumped to her knees.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to end. She was supposed to be brave, and strong, and save the general population… She wasn’t supposed to die at the hands of someone she hated and wanted to replace.

“Mother! Stop, now!”

The crushing feeling around Senna disappeared. She crawled away, leaning against a wall to catch her breath.

Yoren turned the corner into the hall, his face determined. “Let Senna go. Give the life energy back to these girls. What are you doing, mother, what are you thinking?”

“I’m afraid it’s too late, doll,” she said, dryly. “And I can’t let this girl go. Unless you have another young woman of similar caliber in mind to sacrifice for the sake of the spell?”

Yoren took another step toward his mother, past Senna. “What spell is it? What are you trying to do?”

“Yoren,” she said, her lined face looked stern and intimidating in the poor lighting of the halls, “This is a spell for both of us. For you, chiefly. I’m doing this for you.”

“Tell me what it is. If it’s for me, I have a right to know,” Yoren said carefully.

“This spell will give you eternal life,” the queen said. “You will be able to rule forever, queen or no queen. And… and your reign will never end like your father’s; when you are old and sick. You will be young and strong and sound of mind forever. You will be Dornesse’s eternal king.”

Senna stood next to Yoren. She took his hand in hers, following a strong compulsion she couldn’t resist.

“I’m not old and sick, mother. I’m young and I have a long life ahead of me. I am not my father. You don’t need to worry about losing me. You didn’t need to do… any of this…” Yoren seemed to be unable to continue.

“You didn’t need to hurt anyone,” Senna spat. “You are sick and evil.”

Yoren squeezed her hand tightly. He looked up at his mother. “You deserve to die,” he said, his voice thick with hurt and anger. “You can’t take so many lives and live on yourself, blameless. You have always treated me like something to control and play with and now you are doing the same to these young women while making a choice regarding my own life for me.

“Kill me,” the queen said, her voice flat. “I have no reason to live if my son does not want to live forever with his mother.” She let the fire fizzle out in her palm. “You’ve always been weak,” she added, her voice so unmoved it terrified Senna.

Senna watched, frozen, as Yoren moved away from her, his hand falling away from hers. White electricity buzzed and snapped in his palms. He stood before his mother. He pulled one fist back, engulfed in pure magical energy, as if he was about to punch her.

He dropped his fist by his side, letting the power leave his hands. “I can’t,” he said. “I can’t. I can’t stop you. I never have been able to.”

A little smile played at the queen’s lips. The fire came back to her palm and she pushed Yoren aside, setting his arm ablaze. She strode until she was facing Senna. While Senna watched Yoren to make sure he was able to put out the fire, she noticed something moving in the hall behind them.

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