The Price of Gold
(a fantasy Percabeth royal!au)
When Annabeth, desperate to help her family, is caught stealing from the imperial treasury by visiting Prince Perseus, she thinks her life is over. But after the guilty prince helps her escape, she soon becomes entangled in a complicated web of mystery, rebellion, and (worst of all) romance. One thing is for sure: her life will never be the same again.
This is only Chapter 1! This will be a multi-chapter. It’s my first attempt at a fantasy or a royal au, so I’m not sure it will be any good…but i hope you like it!
Snow swirled serenely in the cold air, slowly fluttering down to kiss the white blanket already formed on the courtyard floor.
It almost doesn’t look real, Annabeth thought. It certainly didn’t feel real, because not even in her wildest dreams did she actually think she would have ended up attempting to steal from the imperial treasury. Is it even an attempt if I have the gold in my cloak?
She pulled her hood tighter over her head and continued to walk along the narrow terrace that lined the courtyard. Annabeth could see the large gates up ahead, where she would be able to climb over the fences and run for it. Piper wouldn’t be able to flirt with the guard for much longer; she didn’t have much time left.
Her heart was pounding as she focused ahead of her. The biting, frosty air had been a blessing; most of the guards were inside, and the few outside were more focused on building a fire than investigating any cloaked figures who might be roaming the castle. If Annabeth did get caught, she would simply claim to be part of the visiting Prince’s company. She had timed her heist perfectly.
Suddenly she heard voices from inside the walls. She froze, blood curdling, and desperately looked around. Annabeth had never wished she was a mage more than she did in this moment, wishing she could disappear.
She decided to run for it. She barrelled forward…just in time to collide head on with the man who emerged into the courtyard at that moment.
They both went sprawling backwards. Annabeth hit the stone slabs hard, hissing in pain as her fingers dragged along the cold ice. Too late, she realised the bag had fallen out of her cloak. Gold coins skittered along the icy floor.
The man in front of her quickly got back to his feet, helped by an assistant, two guards behind him. His eyes, a deep sea-green colour, raked over the gold coins on the ground. “Who are you?” he demanded.
“I’m part of the foreign Prince’s company,” she said determinedly. “I’m with Prince Perseus. If you’ll excuse me—“
The man stepped forward, and two guards behind him placed their hands on the hilt of their swords. Too late, Annabeth wondered why he had two guards. She realised her mistake.
“I don’t know you,” the man said softly, before glancing at the coins once more. He looked back. “Guards, arrest this woman. She shall come with me before the King.”