Who knew dying would hurt so badly?

As his breaths became unsteady and his blood soaked into his royal attire, the king did not say those carefully crafted last words he had his poet write for him. He ignored the witty lines he had always wanted the world to remember him by. No, to him, this was not the end. He had one last card up his sleeve, the ace he believed even death could not beat.

“You said I wouldn’t die.”

From the darkness, a figure emerged. Casting her cloak and hood to the ground, she revealed herself to be nothing more than a skeleton of milky white bones.

“Like my halloween costume? You’ll never guess whose bones I’m wearing.”

Despite his vulnerable state, the king’s voice did not lack his arrogant authority. “Speak plainly. Do not jest. We made a deal - I help you find the boy and you ensure I do not die unless my life and death fulfils a great purpose.”

The Skeleton’s tone was mocking, yet filled with an informidable edge that intimidated the king. As he tried to back away - something that was not easy when the tooth of a gigantic lion pinned you down on the floor - the Skeleton merely grinned.

 “Who said anything about your life? I promised to make your death a useful one, and I certainly intend to do so. You thought you could waste your life away here at the castle and live forever, didn't you? You fool! I am about to begin my halloween experiment - 5 amateurs would try to earn a spot in my glorious new team, and even if they fail, I shall know of the nature of those who call themselves human. Those like my son and that awful man who turned me in. Ah, I feel the beginning of a new age!”

The king gasped, realizing that for him, it was truly over. No life left to live. Without a hint of remorse, the Skeleton sarcastically bowed and waved goodbye, allowing the king to die from his fatal wounds. His royal majesty passed away with a shocked look on his face, feeling utterly betrayed by the one person he trusted more than anyone in his whole castle. It was a very un-kingly look, and he hated how much satisfaction it would give his killer.

His killer…