Home > The Throne of Broken Gods

The Throne of Broken Gods
Author: Amber V. Nicole








It had been twenty thousand, one hundred and sixty minutes since she had left, and I had counted every single one. My eyes skittered toward the large clock on the other side of the room. Sixty-one now.

“So a giant, scaled-winged beast destroys half of Silver City and just disappears?” The anchorwoman shifts in her seat as she stares at me. Jill was her name, right? Or was it Jasmine?

Scorching hot metal bit at my skin as I pushed a large sheet off of me. The ground rumbled as I dug myself out of the hole my body had made when I crashed to the street. My ears rang, and when I touched them, my fingers came away wet. The silver shine on them told me everything I needed to know. Blood. She had screamed so loud it had burst my eardrums.

I threw my head back as another heart-shattering roar lit up the sky. It was pain and anger and utter heartbreak. It shook the nearby windows, and I wondered if it could be heard through the realms.

One mighty clap of wings, then another, and she was airborne. Thunder cracked the sky in her wake, the speed of her ascent displacing the air. Lights and sirens bellowed on the street as flames tickled the buildings all around me.

I couldn’t stop thinking about our time together, every second from the first to the last. Dianna’s words echoed as if we were back at that cursed mansion.

Her smile awoke something in me, and for the first time in a millennium, I felt the ice I’d encased my heart in crack. She gazed at me through those thick lashes, her hazel eyes filled with warmth as if I was worth something. She held a single small finger out, and I held my breath. What was wrong with me?

“Pinky promise, I will never abandon you, Your Highness.”

More of those odd words of hers, but they meant something to me. Everyone I held dear had left me. I’d lost them and secluded myself, yet this creature… no, this woman, promised me something I had begged for. Such simple words, such a simple act, had fractured something in me and shifted my world.

I stared at the empty night sky, watching her dark wings beat across the sky, her sleek form disappearing into the roiling clouds. Away from me.

“You promised,” I whispered as the sirens continued to wail.

Noise flooded the newsroom, pulling me from the memory and slamming me back into the present. Hot lights blared down on us. I did not remember the name of the woman sitting across from me, even though several people had reminded me.

Disappeared? That’s what they were saying. She had ripped a hole through that building and my chest as she fled.

I plastered a smile onto my face, one made of falsehoods and despair. I leaned forward. “Disappeared is a misnomer, to say the least. As you know, it is very easy for powerful creatures to hide.”

A slight blush grazed her cheeks, and my stomach rolled. How easy mortals were to manipulate with a smile and kind words. They had no clue what was coming. The casualties I feared would happen soon.

“Yes, and speaking of which, what would you like the people to call you?” She shifted closer, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “Since you have officially returned?”

I did not think or pause. I knew the answer and had denied it for far too long.

“Samkiel.” I forced another broken smile. Could they not see? “Samkiel is fine.”

Liam was a shield I hid behind as if I could pretend to be anything other than the World Ender. Liam was my attempt at a new start, even if it was a broken one. And Liam cost me everything. If I had been the king I was meant to be, been the protector the old gods built monuments to, maybe I could have saved her, helped her more. So, no, Samkiel was who I was, who I would forever be, and Liam died with whatever part of Dianna’s heart fractured that night.



Back at the guild in Boel, I splayed my hands on the table.

Vincent sighed beside me and folded his arms. “They had questions they were supposed to stick to. I apologize.”

Vincent gave the thin man behind me a hard stare. He adjusted his glasses and flipped through the tablet he carried everywhere. “I swear they picked their own questions, my liege. I would never…” he paused, “I’ll fix it.”

I sighed and walked to the window before turning to face them. Gregory. That was his name. He was a member of the council sent as an advisor to help ease the growing animosity among the mortals. Vincent approved of him. It seemed everyone approved of Gregory. They all saw I needed extra assistance, but Gregory could not help me with my problem.

“What is your job title once more?” I asked Gregory, cutting a glare at Vincent again, knowing he had more of a hand in this than the shivering celestial.

Greg’s throat bobbed. “Article 623 in the House of Dreadwell states all ruling monarchs must have an advisor. With all due respect, my liege, your parents had one, and you need one too. I should have been appointed to you the second you returned, but that did not happen. Since you have fully come back, the council feels it is past time that I assume my station. I am more than adept at dealing with the media. I have experience in political, legislative, and judicial matters as well. I am the qualified party.”

“Ah.” I nodded, the air in the room growing heavy. Vincent shifted and shuffled some papers on his desk. “As the qualified party, I can assume accidents like today will not happen again. Correct?”

Gregory looked at Vincent and then down, avoiding eye contact with me. “I will go handle this current situation.”

“Fantastic,” I said and turned to the window, looking out at the clear sky and the mortals below.

His footsteps receded, and I heard the door close a second later.

The power flickered, and I took a deep breath, steadying my nerves. Lights buzzed, and I took another breath, inhaling through my nose and slowly exhaling through my mouth.

“You have to expel some of that.” Vincent neared, slipping his hands into his pockets. “Another thunderstorm wouldn’t hurt,” he said, nodding toward the window.

I shook my head. “It’s been raining for days.”

“And it’s dried. Do it. You need it.”

My head lifted, feeling the familiar tingle beneath my skin as I summoned the energy. I felt every atom. They bounced off each other, building the storm. A tendril of power whipped out of me, and I took another breath. The sun disappeared, thick clouds rolling across the sky. Thunder rocked the world, the clouds broke open, and rain poured like someone had turned on a great faucet. I heard the curses of mortals down on the street as the wind howled.

“Feel better?’


My reflection glared back at me from the rain-spattered window. The suits they draped me in were supposed to make the mortals see me as more approachable, but I knew it was actually to show them I was not falling apart. My face was clean-shaven, and my hair trimmed short. They wanted me seen as whole and not the broken king they knew so little about.

Fake a smile. Look presentable, as if your entire world is not in shambles.

Pretend. Pretend. Pretend.

That’s what Vincent said, what he preached. He wanted the mortals to feel secure and not as if the world was on the verge of yet another catastrophe.

Lightning streaked across the sky, and the door opened. My eyes searched the reflection in the window. I longed to see her burst through the door, carrying a plate of food for me, a smile blooming across her cheeks as she did at the Vanderkai’s mansion.

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