Lake Swallow was the epitome of peace, its small waves lapping to and fro in the summer breeze. If you stared deep into it you could almost forget the smouldering ruins that surrounded it.

Princess Anadia was at its shore, petrified except for the few tremors of fear that still coursed through her. There was nothing to go back to and yet people were still looking to her for guidance. “Let it swallow you” a voice in her head whispered.

Tiny, clumsy feet approached from behind. “Anadia, the elders want to talk to you,” her younger sister Sendi said.

“Okay I’m coming,” she responded. Where was Esix now? Her brother was the one meant to take over but he was now resting eternally. She stared at her reflection. On her head was the crown. It was only a symbol of power everyone knew it. She could take it off and hand it to someone else and they could become king or queen or whatever devil ridden thing the Kaladani were ruled by.

What was power anyway? “I don’t want to quit,” she whispered to herself.

Her reflection stared back in disapproval. “Maybe I should and nominate someone else. End our lineage’s rule. I can’t give this burden to Sendi.”

Her reflection now seemed to be staring into the distance. “I guess I don’t want to quit because I think I have something to offer. They are my people as I am theirs. I don’t want to quit.”

There was a moment of silence before she stood up and stared defiantly at herself in the water. “I think I’ll stick with this for a while. I swear I’ll leave them better than I found them.”

As she stood up she heard something splashing in the water. She turned. Something shot into the sky. It was so fast she wasn’t sure it had even happened but as she approached the clearing where the others were dark clouds had already started to form over them.

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