Mino stood in his garden, admiring the scenery. It belonged to him, all of it. The beauty of the lands, the people, the animals – all ready to die for him. And yet…something felt missing.
The day before had been his sixteenth birthday, and the three-year anniversary of his reign. Eli, his advisor and the man he respected most in the kingdom, had asked to see him to discuss something important. At the time, Mino had thought that Eli meant to discuss war strategy, not that Mino needed to learn any more. He’d won three wars, and was ready to take on anyone else who wanted to get in his way.
But Eli had wanted to tell him something else, something much more important than war. His words still rang in Mino’s ears.
“Before he died, King Mino, your father had left me a piece of paper that I was to open and read upon his death. I did so when that happened three years ago. In the paper that I read, there were further instructions that I was not tell you the contents of the paper until your sixteenth birthday.”
“You have kept something from me, Eli?” Mino had asked, puzzled. Eli was a man Mino showed a lot of trust in. If he couldn’t be trusted, then no one could.
“Only on the instructions of your father, King Mino.” The old man had continued quickly. “And now that the day has arrived, it is time for me to tell you what I know.”
“Well? What is it?” Mino had said curiously. Perhaps his father had left him some treasures or land.
Eli had hesitated. And then he had told him.
Adopted. Mino pondered upon the word as he patted his pet tiger. The tiger purred softly. Mino had been found as a baby. Found, in fact, in this very garden by the king. The ministers had assumed that the king had brought an illegitimate child, and the king had let them assume so.
Mino was not very surprised by this news. He had always felt…different. His father had been a powerful man, but Mino was more than that. Mino was special.
And now, standing in his garden, he felt something beckoning him. A journey of some sort, an adventure. Mino walked through the garden and leaped over the fence, leaving his tiger behind. He stared at the rising sun for a moment, and then started running towards it, sword in hand, ready to take anyone in his path. He kept running until he reached a large gate. He sheathed his sword, and slowly opened the gate. He felt no sense of danger entering this strange place that he had never seen before.
Instead, for the first time in his life, he seemed to feel a sense of belonging.