As he drew closer to The Gorgon, Hadrion could hear the sharp whispering getting louder in his head. "You are a kind, brave man Hadrion. You have done so much for this kingdom, so much for your friends, so much for your mother. It is too bad they don't see you. It is shameful that they don't care about you, that they use you for your abilities but treat you like an outcast. When they do look at you, they look at you in fear, and disgust, only speak to you out of pity or duty because you are the prince. They call you a friend, but you know it is a lie, it is only because they feel sorry...
Alita heard the creek of several bows being drawn. "These are dangerous times my lady, with dark magic all about.", called the captain in a serious and tense tone. "Finish the blessing."
"All hail the King of the Northern Wind, for as long as he lives in our hearts, our kingdom will live forever." She could hear the soften of bows and a sigh of relief from the guardsmen.
"Pass and be well your lordship."
'Ivan broke away at a wild pace, racing the wind itself. A black stallion of the Royal Guard, Ivan had been under Alita's care since he fell from his mother's body 7 years ago. He loved playing these war games with her, 'leading' her troops into battle, matching the princess's intensity of sport and duty. The princess was the only one who could ride him and he never wanted anyone else. Ivan knew what he was, a war horse, a servant to the land and forever faithful to the woman who he carried, his friend and future Queen.'
'Alita battled her way up that hill towards that wretched creature, cutting down each Corrupted, one by one. She could feel the weight of despair dragging her down, flashes of hands grabbing and clawing at her, memories of pain and fear, the night the Gorgon Magus violated her. She knew he was casting a spell on her, just as he did her to countrymen, trying to change her, make her weak with self loathing. The Gorgon Magus held his talisman high, chanting in that foreign tongue, the snakes writhing and biting at Alita. It mattered not, the fire that burned inside her forged a will so strong, the even the gods couldn't break it. She would not turn, she would...
'Hadrion silently rode through the courtyard of the castle until he reached the inner gates. The crowd that had gathered whispered and gasped in shock, as this was the first time the prince had been in public with his mask off. Hadrion's visage was gruesome, even terrifying, yet his presence was one of pride and fatigue, for he had defeated the great enemy of the land. His mother came to the window and Hadrion raised the hard won trophy for her to see, the head of The Gorgon Magus, his father. '