Touch of Decadence

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Prince Orion Krazolz stood by the bed of his sister, Lyra with his mother and father the King and Queen of the planet Tesceanus. The war between the witches and the people on the planet Tesceanus had ended when his mother had ascended to the throne. The people had enjoyed peace and prosperity until now.

"How could she be under a spell? The witches have been dead for the last twenty years," Orion frantically asked the healer. Fury surged inside him chilling his insides to a ghastly cold at the sight of his beautiful, innocent sister lying in a deep, death-like sleep.

"I'm sorry your royal highness. But there is no other reason for her illness. She's young and strong and we find nothing physically wrong with her,"  the cloaked healer said. "I saw a case like this years ago. It's a spell that befell all of the women in the royal lineage." Turning to the King, the healer said, "Our Queen is at risk as well."

"That's not possible, unless all of the witches from the Xalto coven weren't killed. And if that's how Lyra became ill, then I will take my unit out and hunt them down myself," Orion said, his voice rising as he gazed at his sister who looked so peaceful she appeared dead.

His mother, the Queen stared at Lyra as she lay sleeping. For five days and nights, she had not awakened, and lay unmoving. "How long can she survive like this without breaking the spell?"

"Forty days," the healer said quietly. "Then her heart will stop beating."

The thought of his sister dying was more than he could bear. He clenched his fists, wanting to hurt whoever did this to her.

The Queen glanced over at Orion, terror in her eyes. "Zitora promised revenge.I fear we are under attack."

"From the witches?" Orion asked.

"Zitora, of the Xalto coven, told me his revenge would be a long time in coming, and that he would destroy me and win the kingdom even in death. If he put a spell on your sister when she turned twenty-one she would be overcome with the sleep and die, his prophecy would come to pass once I'm dead."

Orion suddenly recognized his mother was in grave danger. Women had ruled Tesceanus for the last two hundred years, with twelve men sitting on the council. Long ago, they decided women provided life and should, therefore, lead while men gave council. War became almost non-existent. All clans came to the palace to resolve problems and strategize under the leadership of the women who ruled. 

Twenty years ago, his mother ascended to the throne with the death of Aunt Narween Nuefl. If Lyra died all they would need would be to kill two more and the kingdom would be up for grabs unless he or his father took over the throne and Orion had no desire to rule.

"Which puts you in danger," Orion said suddenly afraid for his mother. "We must put you and Lyra under guard."

"Healer, is there any way to break the spell?" his mother asked her eyes beseeching him.

"Only the kiss of her true love or the spell being either broken or absorbed into the body of another, will awaken her."

"But she's not of age and does not have a male subservient or husband yet," Orion said, frustration making his words terse as he realized whoever did this to her knew she would not be betrothed.

"Which is why the spell was cast to start on her twenty-first birthday," his mother said quietly. "My daughter is the next in line to the throne, and I fear that this spell will kill us both, putting the kingdom at risk."

Orion's father, stepped out of the shadows and wrapped an arm around his wife. "Are you certain? I don't like the idea of another fight with the witches."

She nodded. "Zitora was a powerful warlock who wanted to rule. He must have placed the spell on Lyra when she was a baby. There is no one else who has this type of power."

"Is there anyone who can break the spell?" Orion asked. "Maybe a good witch? One that won't harm others and wants there to be peace on our planet?"

If the witches from the Xalto coven returned to Tesceanus then war would once again rage across the land. The peace they have enjoyed for the last twenty years would be shattered.

The healer sighed. "Reports say there are good witches in the Blanchet family coven. They live in Magic, New Mexico on the planet Earth. I don't know if they are strong enough to break the Xalto coven's spells."

"No, there must be another way," the King said. "I don't want to bring witches back to our world. They are still causing havoc in our kingdom. For years we've had to clean up the destruction from their black magic. Now that they're gone, why would we bring them back?"

"To save our daughter," the Queen said, turning to him, her eyes imploring. "They are our only hope. Orion must travel to Earth and seek out this coven and bring one of the witches here to rid our daughter of this evil spell."

The King shook his head. "I hope you know what you're doing."

She glanced over at the bed. "Time is of the essence. It will take Orion five days just to reach their planet."

Orion sighed, nodding his head. "And if I leave and you and Lyra dies, then the kingdom will fall to my cousin Aquila."

"Or she could die like your sister and me. The world could fall into chaos."

"And if I don't leave..."

"We are doomed to fail unless you find the Blanchet coven on the planet Earth."

"My Queen, please reconsider," the King said.

"What else can we do? Watch her die? Dear husband, we must try to save our daughter and the kingdom," his mother said, her hand resting on his arm. "Even if it means bringing the witches back to our home."

The King leaned into the Queen. "Of course, you're right, but I fear what the witches will do to all of us."

"I know," his mother said softly. "But I'm willing to take that chance."

Orion didn't want to leave his family. He didn't want to travel to a dangerous world with a government that would like nothing more than to dissect him. The thought made him furious that they had no regard for life.

Sadly, Orion shook his head. "That planet is full of primitive beings who are destroying their world and who will someday become extinct."

"Yes," his mother said, "but our kind could be endangered unless we break this spell."

Her voice cracked with emotion and he watched her wipe a tear from her eye. He hated it when his mother cried.

His father stepped forward and gripped him by the shoulder and leaned in close. "There is a ship waiting for you. Travel safe my son."

Orion hung his head. He wanted to wrap his arms around his mother, but as Queen, he could not touch her in front of anyone unless she initiated the embrace. Only his father had the privilege of hugging her openly. "I will leave right away."

"Keep in contact, Orion. I fear for your safety."

As he did, but if he could save his sister and his mother, he would take the necessary risks.

His mother left his sisters bed and came to his side and cupped his cheek with her hand. "May the Gods watch over you and keep you safe, my son."

He nodded as she and the healer stepped out of the room, followed closely by his father.

Orion didn't like the idea of traveling to a primitive planet, he loved his sister and mother and would do whatever it took to protect them. So if that meant he would have to travel to Earth and some place called Magic, New Mexico, hopefully the Gods would protect him.

Walking to his sister's side, he picked up her hand. "Hang in there, Lyra. I'm going to bring home someone who can break the spell and heal you.”