The Chosen One

by Lydia Bowers

Preface

Aiden's life is about to be changed forever. He will be taken away from his small mountain village, and be given a mission so deadly and dangerous, that an adult would shy from. Will he survive?


PROLOGUE

Aiden raced down the tree covered slope. The time had come, the battle cry was sounded, and the Slavain's were here. His heart thumped wildly as he heard screams coming from the town hall uphill. He had to get his mother and sisters into the caves before the Slavain's found them, if he didn't reach them in time, they were as good as dead. The sun vanished and was replaced by a cold dark cloud, Aiden shivered and realized that darkness would soon fall over all of Ember if the Slavain rebels won their battle. Suddenly an arrow whizzed past his ear and Aiden stumbled and fell. As he scrambled to his feet he managed to get a glance at his pursuer. A Slavain solider dressed in all red was reloading his bow and was pointing it at him. Aiden looked around franticly and saw a holly bush about five feet away from him. He made a dash for it but failed. A metal tip grazed his leg and he screamed in agony. He glanced down at his leg and saw bright crimson blood slowly soaking his pants. He grabbed handfuls of moss and placed them on the wound, trying to stop the bleeding.

"Got you"

Aiden looked up to see the Slavain solider that had released the arrow.

"Get away from me!" he yelled, trying to scramble to his feet.

But the pain was too great. He fell back onto the ground with a cry. The Slavain Solider laughed deeply, the sound of it made Aiden shiver. Aiden closed his eyes for a moment before opening them. The Slavain solider had pulled an arrow from the quiver slung over his shoulder and had shifted it in his bow.

"You stay really still" he said.

Aiden swallowed deeply as he stared at the sharp arrow tip pointed at his chest. The soldier smiled and drew back the string, ready to let it fly in his chest. Suddenly, the soldier's eyes flashed with recognition, but it disappeared as soon as it came. Aiden recalled something that his Uncle had said. 'Your life might flash before your eyes, seconds before your death'

But Aiden didn't see anything except for the wicked eyes of that Slavain soldier, glaring down at him. Aiden braced himself for the sharp point to enter his chest, but it never came. Instead a great shout arose and a stick knocked the bow out of the soldier's hand. The arrow did fly off the string, but it never came to Aiden's heart.

The next thing Aiden knew he was opening his eyes, and instead of dark grey clouds, all he saw was bright blue sky. He sat up with great effort and painfully pulled himself to his feet. He glanced around fearfully, thinking that the Slavain solider was just behind a bush. But all he saw was a blue tunic spread on the ground a few feet away, and to his surprise there was someone in it. He clenched his teeth as he walked over to the body, hoping that the pain in his leg would eventually subside, but what he saw only worsened his condition. He stared at the body in horror for a moment before he sank to his knees.

"Mum!" he cried, shaking the shoulder of the body.

There was no movement except for rustling of the trees behind him. Aiden stood up with a choked cry, forgetting about the pain in his leg. Tears flowed freely down his face, making clean straight lines on his grubby cheeks. An arrow was stuck in his Mothers stomach, the one that was meant for Aiden.

Suddenly a small voice spoke, barley a whisper. Aiden kneeled back down. The face of a woman with brown hair and blue eyes stared blankly up at him. Aiden bit his lip, and placed two fingers on his Mothers neck. A faint glimmer of hope rose in his heart as he felt small beats.

"Aiden" whispered the voice.

Aiden wiped his hair out of his eyes and leaned toward the woman's face.

"Yes Mum" he said hopefully.

The woman turned her blue eyes toward Aiden's green ones.

"Always serve the king"

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