Chapter 6: The Truth Behind Rumors

Chapter 6: The Truth Behind Rumors

The intruders rushed toward King Atticus, intending to overwhelm him with their attacks. But Atticus merely stretched his neck languidly, like a panther preparing to strike.

"Look out!" Daphne screamed in warning, but it was too late.

Those intruders didn't know what her new husband was truly capable of, despite getting a tiny hint of his powers. With a tiny flex of his finger, Atticus had flung the same man whose ribs he crushed, straight into the chandelier hanging over their bed. The curved golden spikes stabbed straight through his body, as though he was a pig trussed up for slaughter.

The intruder gurgled, desperately trying to cry for help, but he only succeeded in coughing out blood. More blood flowed out of his wounds, sullying the bedsheets.

"Not how I expected blood to be shed this wedding night," Atticus said disapprovingly, glaring at the bloodstains as though they personally offended him. "Now the servants have to change the bedsheets."

Daphne shuddered at the sight, but her new husband wasn't done with causing enough carnage. The other two men made more desperate attempts to kill her husband, causing her to trip as she tried to keep out of the way.

These intruders clearly didn't care if they trampled on her in their attempts to kill the king!

While her fiance must have sent out this team of rescuers, they certainly didn't have her well-being as a priority! In fact, Daphne had the strangest feeling that she was merely an afterthought, the men were focused on killing Atticus, and not so much on rescuing her.

She had to rescue herself. Daphne plastered herself to the side of the wall, eyeing the drop from the window.

No, that wouldn't do. It was a long way down and she couldn't fly. If she focused, she could see a limp body lying prone on the ground, with his neck lying awkwardly to the side. She had no intention of joining him.

Daphne hurriedly turned back, only to see Atticus stepping on their heads with his foot, their faces frozen into a wordless scream.

"Now... where should I put you both?" he asked casually, not expecting a reply. "It's regretful that I only have one chandelier."

"Underneath my bed? No, no, too dirty. My dust bunnies don't deserve this," Atticus mused to himself. "The mantlepiece? How about the vanity table? I suppose if I lop off one of your heads I could mount it over... Wife, which head do you want to stare at while you do your hair?"

"Atticus!" Daphne screamed. "I don't want any heads! Let them go."

"Fair enough." Atticus shrugged, and flicked his fingers.

There were two identical cracks as both necks snapped at once.

Daphne gasped, horrified. This man, her husband, had just killed two men with a flick of his finger, as though he was snuffing out candles.

"I told you to let them go!" Daphne cried out.

"Yes, I let them go to receive divine judgment from the heavens," Atticus said blithely.

"You know that's not what I meant," Daphne seethed.

"Then you should have been more clear," Atticus said, his eyes blazing. "And I see no reason why you should care for these intruders."

"They were my rescuers!" she screamed. The hopelessness of the situation was sinking in; her last hope of rescue was gone, twisted away with a simple flick of his fingers.

"Sunshine, you cannot be this foolish," Atticus said, looking strangely disappointed. "How can this paltry team be a rescue party fit for a princess? I am offended on your behalf."

"Maybe this was all my fiance could manage in such a short time!" Daphne retorted. "It's not as though you gave him a lot of warning!"

"Are you listening to yourself? Crown Prince Nathaniel, of the prosperous Raxuvia Kingdom, can only afford to send a team of five to retrieve his fiancee? If you were my fiancee, I would have ridden out myself, rather than entrust such an important task to these pathetic assassins. Does he even care about you?" Atticus demanded, his eyes blazing with indignation.

"Assassins? How do you know?" Daphne chose to focus on that part. She didn't want to think about the heart-fluttering thought of Atticus riding out to rescue her from trouble. He was her trouble. She was in this state because of him!

Atticus easily pulled off one of the dead man's masks. He tilted his head, so that Daphne could see a tiny black mark at the back of his ear. It was in the shape of a serpent.

Her heart chilled.

Why was her fiance acquainted with them?

"You see this mark? This shows that he belongs to the Order of the Serpents. Surely you must have heard of them."

Daphne nodded, stunned into silence. While it was not customary for princesses to know about assassination guilds, Daphne had hoped that these people, living on the outskirts of the law, would know how to deal with her... inability.

As such, members of her family had once approached this and other similar guilds in hopes that someone from the black market would have a method to help her harness magic like she should've been able to at birth.

They hadn't.

And thus the royal family decided that this princess was no longer useful to keep around.

"Then," Atticus continued, "you should understand that they are most certainly not good people your 'lovely' fiance had sent to rescue you."

He walked around the bodies, easily evading the corpses without even having to look down. When he approached Daphne, the latter instinctively stepped back. The singular step was enough to send a throbbing pain up her foot, the sensation trailing up her leg like a bolt of lightning.

Instantly, Daphne hissed. She had forgotten about the cut herself.

"You've got a cut on your foot from the glass," Atticus commented, his nose wrinkling. "These men obviously didn't have your well-being in mind."

When Daphne tried to move again, Atticus clicked his tongue in impatience.

"Stop squirming. You'll only hurt yourself further."

Gently, Atticus reached for Daphne's foot. He picked at the piece of glass that was wedged in between her flesh, one hand holding her leg. His touch was feather-light and warm, a jarringly stark contrast to the violent monster that had torn apart four men just now.

"This will hurt."