Raven black hair pooled in thick coils about a moonlight pale face. Her exposed arms revealed rigid cords of muscle and a latticework of scars. They betrayed a past she had shed and let fall from her like so many sakura blossoms in the shadow of Spring. Draped in a nightingale robe pulled closed at the waist with black cloth, she made ready for what was to come.

     “ What I do, I do for you.” She took the intricately carved pendant that adorned her neck in a gloved hand and brought it to her lips, “Righteous lives do not go unavenged.”

     Heavy oak doors branded with a field of copper tigers groaned open before her. Two men of immense stature and breadth marched into the room armoured in the painted steel of the Palace Guard. They each carried a dragon-tooth blade across their back.  

     A walking execution

     The thought cut through her mind but she shoved it back down into the pit of doubt that tore at her heart.

     They aren’t who you came here for and they won’t stand in your way.

     The gilded behemoths stopped their approach and became still as a windless night just feet from where she stood. Through the tiger doors came the echo of sandled footfalls.

     She steeled herself and steadied her breath.

     At her hip hung her metal courage. She gripped the sword’s midnight hilt and turned intense eyes toward the doorway.

     Ringed in lantern light the silhouette of her opponent emerged from the recesses of the Imperial Court. Stepping into the room, she could see his person in full. A delicate face with deep set, amber eyes that burned with the same ferocity as the dragon that curled around his robes looked on her with weary disdain. Iris purple and sunrise gold, the colors of the Tatsuasaki family, breathed life into his silken garments.

     The Crown Prince of Mimashitochi.

     And the man that butchered her family.

     The dire sentinel to the prince’s left pulled at the scabbard on his hip. He drew forth a blade as dark as a raven’s wing and presented it to his master. The prince stepped forward, sword in hand, and slashed at the air in practiced motions. The midnight edge carved the air in a flurry of movement that would have been elegant had they come from any other hand.

     “They begged, you know? For me to spare their wretched lives.” The prince lowered his sword and faced the girl that watched him in silence.“ They say cowardice is a symptom of spoiled blood. Perhaps now I will be able to rest easy knowing the blight of the Sonikari line will die with you.” He leveled the sword’s point at her chest and spoke his final words, “Shall we end this?”

Daily Prompt: Symptom

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