Bride of War
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Monika is an unfortunate woman who has experienced a lifetime of terrible luck. She thought her luck had finally turned around when she became betrothed to Duke Mathew. Monika prayed to the God of War on the eve of her wedding in hopes of currying favor and blessing her marriage. She sips from the goblet of wine and finds herself taking her last breaths, courtesy of the poison Duke Mathew slipped her. Instead of meeting the afterlife, Monika awakens and discovers she was saved from an untimely death by none other than Slade, the God of War. Monika soon falls for the gentle giant, but as history has proved itself time and time again, Monika's luck runs out when Slade's powers begin to wane, weakening him to near death. To save her love, Monika determines she must take her luck into her own hands and band together with her adoptive family of demi-gods to save Slade and become what she was always destined to be...the Goddess of War.
Something about humans lends to a barbarism that can never be overshadowed. I've always known that. Especially, if they mark you as a bad omen. As unlucky. I'm unlucky. Born in a cursed year. The day I came screaming from my mother I ripped her life away with me. And my land was struck by a flood. Thousands died. Still, at least on this day—my wedding I'd hope luck would be on my side. I brush my hair back, looking up at the temple. It figures the only one around the venue is the god of War. Of course. Just my luck. I shake my head, sighing.
"Please bless me and my husband," I whisper, bowing my head. "Bless my marriage —" I hold the goblet of wine in my hand. If I have to commit to a god to finally be free of this curse, fine. I just want to be happy. "Bless my husband—"
I sip from the goblet, drinking half the wine. I pour the rest out on the altar, as is customary for an oath with the gods. I look up at the statue. God of War, huh? He stares down, the marble making his stare almost blank. He's scarred, holding a sword, in his hand a fearsome expression on his face.
"And please don't kill me," I add hastily.
"She's got to be done by now," I hear my future husband call from down the hall.
A smile stretched across my face. I'm once again reminded today is my wedding day. I'll be married and live happily ever after like the fairy tales.
"She'll have drank from the goblet by now; right?"
And that's a woman I've not heard before. My stomach turns. My skin starts to itch and my throat begins swelling, stifling my words. My vision blurs. I look down at the goblet. They finally stand before me, as I sink down to my knees. And there is. The man I'm supposed to marry. He's in his wedding attire a White tux, his hair slicked back, his medals adorning his pocket. He stared down at me with contempt. I can't seem to make out his features. It dawns upon me, seeing the shadow of his arm around her.
I think I'm going to die here.
"Monika..." he starts, bending down, adjusting his suit.
My eyesight blurs worse. I'm glad though. I don't want to see the expression on his face. He doesn't explain. Doesn't continue with his explanation. Just...Monika. As if my name said it all. As if nothing more were needed. It was implied.
Monika...He stands and leaves. I blink, staring at the ceiling. At that statue. He stared down at me as if to ask what I was doing here.
What could a god of war hope to bless?
I nod. "I am so...unlucky."
My eyes close for what I'm sure is the last time. Through the haze, those eyes almost seem closer. Less dead.
• • •
I open my eyes again. I touch my face. Am I alive?
"I'm seriously so unlucky." I sigh, sitting up, taking stock of my surroundings.
What is this place? I looked down at my wedding dress. A single drop of red wine christens the lace letting me know I hadn't hallucinated. I'm not in a honeymoon suite. My husband tried to kill me. And why? Monika...
Because I'm Monika. That's all the reason anyone ever needs. I stand. But if I'm not home, where I am? My fingers finally relate the sensation of the soft bedding. This room is huge and covered in gems and gold.
White Columns run along the borders of it, the floor cool, stone. No one I know has money for this. Hell, barely the King. So I should definitely leave. Being unlucky around the wealthy brings death.
"Madam?" A young lady seems to appear. I jump a gasp fleeing my lips in surprise.
What the hell? Where did she come from I did hear a door open or footsteps—
"Madam I didn't mean to alarm you."
She wears a white dress with a cloth over her face. Maybe this is a crazy sex dungeon for the wealthy. I'm going to be sold into sex slavery aren't I? Ah...I'm just so—
"I'm Po. I'll be serving you. How can I help? May I bring you a meal."
I lick my lips. "Po...can you bring me a to-go bag? I don't think I feel comfortable staying here. Where is...here, anyway?"
Po shifts. "Well—Masters home."
What a roundabout answer. I'm going to be killed if I stay here. I raise a brow. "And who is your master?"
The young lady takes a deep breath. I hold mine. It's a pervert, isn't it? A crazy person who's going to strip off my dignity.
"The God of War."
I laugh, holding my stomach, as it rips out of me, the sheer absurdity of her words replaying in my mind, forcing more laughter. She laughs as well, hers tentative and hesitant.
"Okay," I chuckle. "Now really. Tell me where I am."
"Come on," I urge her. "Seriously just...listen. I'm very unlucky. Just give it to me straight. It's a pimp, isn't it? Shh, it's okay," I put my finger up. "If it's a pimp we will deal with that–"
Po smiles anxiously through the lace of her veil. "Ah...I mean he's very famous for his exploits. He's a knight, Madam. He's decided to let you take refuge here."
A knight? I shift. That would be...a turn.
"How many women does this knight save, Po?" I start looking around. "You know what don't even answer that. I have to go—"
I stand, quickly sinking to my knees at the pain in my s
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