Running the risk of sounding like a cliché, she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The single most indescribably extraordinary creature that this world has ever produced. Her voice, brighter and more wonderful than any instrument, rang in my ears. As did her name.
If I were a King, I would bring her whatever she wanted, whenever she wished it.
Her name is Hhaemphonia Alpana Viktamandis E’Dorjin – her name only half as majestic as she was herself. I hadn’t been in the town for long, and I didn’t know who she was until I noticed her father stepping out from behind her, along with her two brothers and quite a number of workers – pale skinned men dressed in royal blue jackets decorated with golden thread. The glimpse I had caught of her was enough for me to feel light-headed and cause me to feel the need to catch my breath. Her hair was so dark; it looked black as she climbed out of the Royals Royce, though when it caught the light, it shimmered brown, even a little gold. It fell past her shoulder blades and on past her waist until it tumbled down to a point just above her hips, glittering in the light.
Even from the distance of which I was standing at the time, I could see her clearer than I could see anything else. Her eyes stood out to me more than any other part of her. They were large and beautiful, framed with long black eyelashes and lined with some sort of black makeup. They were grey, the colour of a storm cloud, yet bright and kind. Her skin was the colour of a milky cup of coffee, for lack of a better description. She wore a white summery dress that looked expensive, and golden sandals, straps like vines wound around her feet. It is amazing how much you can capture with just a flicker of your eyes when you catch the vision of something so awe-inspiring.
She seemed to have noticed me too, though that may be wishful thinking. Her eyes had met mine for a split-second; I could have sworn it at the time. Her pale eyes twinkled. I remember it.
Now I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. Such a beautiful face was haunting my dreams. I closed my eyes and breathed out slowly. I would give anything to see it again. To catch a glimpse, perhaps as small as that one, in her direction would be enough to send my heart pounding against my chest again.
All I needed was a way, a lead … a sign.
I lay there, barely allowing myself to blink as I formed the image in my mind again, the one of Hhaemphonia E’Dorjin walking gracefully from the Royals Royce, her eyes twinkling in my direction. I wouldn’t allow myself to think that she was actually looking at me. I could not give myself false hope or impression. I was nothing in comparison to a lady of her perfection. I was not a fraction good enough to suit a princess like her. Princess Hhaemphonia. The name rang through my ears like a spell, a curse that wound my thoughts around it, forcing my life to one impossible path, one that had a dead end before it’s destination.
The transparent maroon curtains hanging around the tall bed in which I was lying in allowed the light of dawn to adorn my vision from the large window at the end of the room. I turned my head to face the orange sky, the scarce clouds glowing with their golden linings. Large birds in the distance flew into the brightening landscape, past the glowing hilltops and glittering rivers reflecting the barely visible suns rays in their waves.
I closed my tired eyes for a measured moment, yet the moment I’d planned to reopen them came several hours late. The small golden clock perched on my bedside stand read nine o’clock of morning and the sun had fully risen by the time I’d reawaken.
I blinked my tired eyes several times before rubbing them alert. I turned towards the window again and the landscape had changed. The sky was pale blue, no clouds littering the sky anymore. The desert-like view lay in contrast to the surprisingly green forests of the North, those that could be seen in the distance. The other side of the Great Forrest where lay Pataighen, a place I’d once visited.
I forced my torso up from the comfort of the pillows and delicately soft sheets to push my legs over the edge of the bed, sitting up and putting my head in my hands for a necessary momentary recomposition of my thoughts, and her face flashed before my eyes once again. I sighed deeply and lifted my head and got to my feet. The weight of my head seemed to have gotten heavier. I looked around the small room and sighed with appreciation for it. It had been one of the most pleasant visits I’d taken to foreign parts.
I am a traveller, going by the name of Alexander. How I see it, the world is mine to explore and to understand. The further the understanding of this world as I consider it, the further the education of its inhabitants and civilization of us. The three parts of this world were never in piece with each other. They each had suffered great wars, great disagreements. They were other worlds in themselves and did not trust one another: this is the least that I had learnt in the years I had spent on the road.
A man of the Mamaraeghen region would think entirely different to one of Pataighen or Sleighen. The men of Mamaraeghen are ones of great pride and ambition. They believe that desire is the key to fortune. They are artistic, poetic. Their world is beautiful because they believe that everything that is good and Godly is and should be beautiful. Even the room in which I was staying in at this moment was built with delicate precision, the walls adorned with flowing materials decorated with designs full of detail, embodied with silk threads of lavish colours that threw off the light of the sun perfectly, completing the image of a Mamaraeghen room. Even the delicate four-poster bed was a graceful masterpiece. Mamaraeghen prided itself on being truly inspirational and because of this, they were very prosperous.
Mamaraeghen traded its beautiful silks, exquisite purfume and the rest of its luxuries, and of course its extensive oil resources, for the materials that the other parts prided themselves for such as weapons and metal from the West (Sleighen) and the best wood and crops from the North (Pataighen). This is how Mamaraeghen was so wealthy. When there was no war, they grew and prospered more and more, and when there was war, it was only Sleighen that survived long enough to keep a grasp on their power. That’s why Mamaraeghen never changed. Their traditions are those of thousands of years, never shifting. Perhaps this is why Sleighen was so characteristically intriguing. Perhaps it is their adaptation of new ways and knowledge that made them as strong as they are today, having grown to be the most powerful of the three parts.
The Mamaraeghen, like Sleighen and Pataighen, was ruled by their Royals. The history of the Kings goes back further than any old scroll or cave painting. Each part tells their story differently. There are no two similar versions of it.
The Mamaraephens tale goes a little like this: The God of the gods created the world and in it he created three brothers, Mamminic, Sloane and George. For the first part, they shared the world and ruled peacefully alongside one another, but they were growing weary of their partnership. They became confident that they could raise to rule by themselves the world. They were both very similar in mind and thought, and it so happened that their plans mirrored one another’s, though kept secret.
One day, Mamminic decided that he would rule the world his way, and his way only. He would make it beautiful and decorate it with only the Godliest adornments. He would educate his people and make his God proud of his work. His domain would surely be the best of the three brothers, who had nothing on him. Sloane, on the other hand, was also plotting against his brothers. He grew weary of his siblings and decided that he was stronger than each of them. In his eyes, he was more powerful than any of them and strong enough to rule the world himself. He would make it powerful and strong; raise his people to be as strong and warrior-like as him. They would build the best weapons and stronger forts than the world had ever seen before.
George was the simplest of the brothers, not only in name, but also in his thirst for power – as of this he had very little. He believed that everything was fine as it was, though he suspected what his brothers were planning. On the day that was sure to turn to war, George fled to the North of the world. He used the Great Forrest as protection against his brothers. He was always a great lover of the forest and its creatures, and so they fought for him, and for their own freedom, against Mamminic and Sloane.
When Sloane declared war against the equally power hungry Mamminic, he did not see that George would have already taken a third of the world he was seeking. Mamminic and Sloane joined forces to eradicate George from his new territory, but they did not succeed. It was then that Mamminic and Sloane began to fight over their own parts of the rest of the world.
So, eventually, Mamminic and Sloane agreed to split it in half, so each brother ruled over a third of the world. It is said here that this is why Mamaraephen and Sleighen share treaties and peace agreements of such they had never named with the Pataighen King.
I had picked up such stories from each of the thirds of this world. Once, I longed for the true history. I wanted to know which one of these versions of the story were the same, but I knew one thing for sure, the three brothers existed. That was the one similarity of each tale. They may have had different names or characteristics, but indeed they existed. Their palaces still having survived till this day. Here in Mamaraephen, peoples believe that their King is the reincarnation of the one Mamminic. Each son is of his blood and his godliness, and it is God’s will that he remains their ruler. This is why the people are so lawful here; they are so religiously obedient and faithful in their King. Their King is also their God, so few go against him.
Each King of Mamaraephen is crowned King of Mamminic. The present ruler, King Regis, had walked just feet away from me. It was he who had followed his daughter from the car that had struck my gaze. It was his daughter that was still caught in my mind, the vision of seeing her replaying in my head like an old tape, over and over again.