“You’ve got talent and the will to become a great empress one day.” Rouya heard her father’s words echoing in her mind.
“They’re coming,” Markus shouted as he stormed out of the room and nearly collided with Rouya. “More of Kalim’s soldiers are marching on the castle. We have to escape from here at once.”
The guard slumped to the floor just as a whole shaft of arrows poured in through the window. The remaining guards drew their weapons but were struck down before they could move to cover.
Shahzadi Rouya danced on her heels, letting herself glide over the patio as she spun the scythe above her head and brought it down in a swift motion. The blade silently cut through flesh and came out the other side. She held her stance and breath, readying herself to continue with a follow-up chain of motions. Her opponent gave in first and separated down the center where she’d cut a clean line. The melon fell to the sides and dropped from the stand, spilling its innards across the patio.