Lady Tatya lounged about in her chambers, reading a horror novel. This was one of her favorite genres. She loved the thrills, the twists, the terrifying reality that burst through the pages. But most of all, she loved the creativity.
So many ways to die, so many ways to make someone fall on their own sword. Tatya turned the page with such vigor, she almost ripped it. Yes, this was the moment in the story where the characters were cornered and trapped by the monster, the monster that had a million ways to torture them. Skinning, drowning, beheading… all wonderful ways to cause someone’s death.
Unfortunately Tatya’s monster was such a public persona. The Empress of an entire empire! And behind her stood the bastard king, with a skillset equivalent to even the Oracle in the Temple of Hypnotite, despite being so young. Truly a terrifying ex
Cecily and Emery had been cleaning up the Empress’ room when they heard the dreadful news. The Emperor was poisoned by the Empress! The two handmaidens refused to believe it. Although the couple had their ups and downs, Ursa was not a rash person, nor was she as vicious so as to poison someone! Cecily had witnessed their harmony for herself, just as they were leaving the room for their dinner. Besides, Ursa would never make such a cunning move without first consulting herself or Emery, not that Emery was much help.“We must see Ursa,” decided Cecily. Emery instantly nodded in agreement.“Where is she being held?”“From what I hear, she’s being confined in the prisons, but no one will speak with me in detail about it.” Cecily was always seen with the Empress
It wasn’t that Ursa wasn’t frightened or anxious about the results of the investigation. She worried how far the person who framed her went. She took comfort in knowing that their plan went awry when the Emperor ended up drinking the wine instead of her, although not much comfort can be drawn knowing that you were the one meant to be poisoned.Still, Ursa didn’t know how adaptable her opponent was to the new situation. She trusted her handmaidens with her life, and now they had the chance to prove themselves. Ursa only had a fledgling of an idea of who it could be, but making rash assumptions would lead to her downfall. So instead she sat in the cold, damp cell with only Cecily’s cloak to comfort her.***Emery knocked quietly on the door to the Emperor’s study. She had a feeling
Outside the palace, many began to riot. Men and women stood with rocks and hard projectiles ready to throw, while the palace guard stood with stoic faces, building a seemingly impenetrable human wall.“The Romanov witch has cursed our Emperor! Execute her!” they screamed. From above, Orlov watched the people with disdain. So quick to judge and condemn, without knowing all the facts. Orlov had attempted to keep the situation quiet until the handmaidens could find evidence that suggested the Empress was not to blame, but it seemed some unknown force was intent on the public knowing of the situation. It was this kind of scenario that Orlov had worried when he said he would not be able to openly help the Empress.A knock on the door snapped him from his reverie. “My lord, the court wishes to hear about the situation. They have called a
The maid crept around the corner. Surprisingly, there were only two guards on duty. They were standing by the door looking bored, as if they wanted to be anywhere but there. The maid could relate; she would rather not be there at this moment. But alas, it was either: assassinate the Emperor or be tortured by that lunatic Lady Tatya. To ensure that she did the job properly, Lady Tatya said she would ‘take good care of her mother’.The maid’s mother was the only family she had left! The only reason she kept working for the Poplovs was because she had no other source of income. If she knew this was to be the outcome, she would have rathered to starve on the streets.“Greetings,” the maid said in a shaky voice. “I’ve come to deliver medicine for His Majesty.”&
Heavy footsteps echoed throughout the dark, damp chamber. The maid’s arms were strung up in sturdy chains, her legs bound together with metal cuffs with sharp spikes poking into her ankles, blood running down her feet.The door swung open and four guards followed by the prime minister himself entered. The maid lifted her head, and shuddered at the sight of the cold, deadly right hand man of the Emperor.“You are the maid that tried to poison His Majesty, are you not?” the maid couldn’t help but gulp, even though that was getting increasingly harder. The pain in her ankles made it harder to even breathe.“I- I am, my lord.” Orlov nodded.“And who is it you work for?” The maid shuddered. Her mother was at st
When her maid never returned, Tatya felt a weird sensation in her heart, one she had never felt before. It was as if her stomach was flipping over inside her, turning the rest of her organs inside and out.She waited for Fate to come and catch up with her, but He never did.Her father came home from court, but he only mentioned the situation with the Emperor in passing, and not at all in a concerned manner.“Father,” she couldn’t help saying at dinner, “What of the Emperor? And the Empress?” Lord Poplov looked a bit irritated, but hid it well.“The Empress was cleared of all charges, Apparently it was just some maid, though I think there’s something more to it. That cunning Orlov is hiding something.&rdquo
“When was the last time you dined with His Majesty?” asked Cecily. The three of them were eating in a small side room in Ursa’s wing of the palace. It had become their new norm since the Emperor continuously cancelled Ursa’s dinners with him. Something inside her felt twisted every time she heard the palace maids whisper about Lady Tatya Poplova’s visits.She was their enemy, so why was her husband having dinner with her every night?“My Lady, you’re grinding your teeth again,” Emery pointed out. Ursa relaxed her jaw and sat back, throwing the piece of bread she was chewing on on her plate.“Apologies,” she murmured.“Does it bother you that much?”
It was the first time that he had visited her on his own volition since he was poisoned. He looked as healthy as he did before, with a bit of an extra energy to him that he didn’t seem to have before.“What can I do for you, Your Majesty?”“I want to throw a banquet.” Ursa didn’t look up from the papers she was perusing. If she did, she would see his face and his expression. She was curious to see what kind of expression he had on while making that kind of request to her. A banquet? To celebrate what? His mistress, the noble lady Tatya of House Poplova?“What for? Money’s tight. The people won’t stand for wanton spending,” she reasoned.“It’s the annual celebration of my… com