Prologue Part 2Mature

He couldn’t move as he stared into the line of trees. Staring through the darkening shades of green overgrowth until the forest fell into black shadow. The depths were mesmerising until he felt the warm trickle of piss running down his legs. So surprised and frozen by the chorus of thoughts in his head that he almost forgot the basic instincts. 
The words jolted him alive. He snapped round to see two men rushing towards him. One was tall, black hair well kept and cut and a small moustache that formed a noose around his full lips. He had green eyes that the prince would remember anywhere, and he always wore a lively coloured doublet that made the Prince laugh. Today it was purple like the King before. The other man was somewhat smaller, his brown hair longer that the other man’s and more ragged, falling in greasy bobs. He always wore a black garnache and a white shirt beneath. 
“Princeling, to me!” 
At the same time, behind him, five men hurtled through the line of trees, each brandishing a tarnished sword and sporting boiled leather armour. 
“Arthran.” Was all the Prince could utter. 
Arthran with the green eyes gave him a quick look. His gaze then swiftly moved over the Prince’s head towards his fellow, “Dellan, keep them busy,” Dellan, one of the King’s sellswords, met the group and the clash began instantly, Dellan parried each tentative stroke of steel as it came. 
“Princeling,” he knelt down to meet the 10 year old boy’s eyes. “Do not fear, for no pain shall come to you this day.” His eyes quickly flitted over the Prince’s shoulder. Arthran looked him straight in the eyes, then looked back. 
“But...” the Prince’s mouth was open, but he couldn’t say anything, only look down, not believing. 
Arthran raised the young boy’s head by the chin and smiled. 
“Princeling, run along to your father now, he’s waiting for you. Run now and save yourself.” He urged, as calmly as he could, then he stood up, his hand moving behind the Prince and shielding him. 
“For the King!” Arthran called as he charged, leaving the Prince only wind in his wake. 
The Prince’s foot moved forward, one dainty step as a newly walking deerling, then the next one. He looked back to watch the fight, just for a moment he saw Dellan’s arm get cut as he tried to move out of the way of a thrust. Arthran saw him and yelled “Run!” once more. He did. 
Before he knew what was happening, he was walking, running, sprinting. Tears fell down his cheeks as he reached the city. Once as he ascended the long steps to the palace. 
Past the Many Arches, through the oaken entrance. Down the great entrance hall with its marble floor depicting the Scorching of Aradia. Up the curving staircase to the upper ground floor until he found the vast, winding staircase to the very peak of the King’s Tower. 
He burst into his father’s room. The grandest room in the Palace with its wood-panelled walls, its four poster bed with silken draperies and gold embroidered bedsheets with the King’s signet of the owl in gold leaf. The writing desk and shelving glistened with jewels and near the entrance, a finely crafted greatsword perched on small stands holding it up off the wood. 
The King sat at his desk, his quill scratching onto his memoirs, scrabbling along the page in haste. 
The noise of the King’s door slamming into the wall alerted him. He stared up from his writings and frowned. 
“Son, whatever are you going here?” the Prince didn’t care that he looked cross, that there were expectation for him about how to act, that his father had never been much close to him or even that he smelled of piss. 
“Papa!” he grabbed a hold of his father’s waist with his arms and squeezed, embracing him. All his fears evaporated, and all the tears he had managed to hold onto burst from him. 
“Whatever is the matter?” he growled, “stop this blubbering right now and act like a Prince,” he ordered, though his tone was much softer, “explain.” The King prized away his son’s arms from his neck and held him away, inspecting him. 
The Prince wiped his eyes. For an instant, he wondered why his father was acting like he wasn’t expected, then thrust the thought aside. His breathing came out ragged and distorted just as his words. 
“What?” the King’s forehead creased heavily as he tried to make sense of it. “Who?” 
“I-I—“ but no more words could come out. 
There were footsteps, loud and clattering ones that echoed from the tower. They scuffled to a stop at the entrance. 
“Sire!” the guards voice was low but insistent from the open doorway. It was a Captain, in his long, black and silver tunic, silver pauldrons which a black cloak hung from with the same owl as on the bed and a silver chain head cowl with a full head helmet with white hair on top. He was panting slightly. 
“Whatever is going on, Ared?” the King started to look helpless. 
“It is happening, happening now, just as you expected—“ all colour dropped out of the King’s face which fell, sagged just as the corners of his mouth and just as he fell back into his chair. Each line in his face deepened. 
But they hadn’t noticed the sound of more footsteps coming up the stairs. 
“Sire, we must leave n—“ the words were cut off midsentence and the King looked up. A shining steel point appeared through the guard’s throat, coated with red. Beads of blood dripped down his neck and onto the floor. 
Ared gurgled, his mouth frothing with blood as his eyes looked on in shock. 
“There will be no more talk of escape and the like,” the figure stepped through the door.

The End

31 comments about this story Feed