– The lovechild Prince
Vince put down his pen as a sign of finishing his letter for Kyle, saying sorry that He could not make the in time return in Remembrance Day or the day would mark little Kyle his adulthood. Living in the North was never be easy for anyone, even the great prince Vincente’ Vasilis. However, Vince accepted all this, as long as he could protect the King – his beloved father and little Kyle from northern menaces – the most dangerous creatures – Blackbone Orc and so-called Ancient Undead.
It was been 5 years since he came here as their leader, suffered extreme cold air and loneliness. At first, Vince thought he would soon die here because even breathing was hurt and his lungs always cried for drug to deal with that stabbing feeling every time he inhaled. The Queen hated him, he well knew about it but it was certainty. Kyle was the only heir and then, he appeared, threatened Kyle’s position. But what’s worse, the King loved him for he possessed all of his mother’s traits so the Queen had no choice to accept him as one of the heirs, officially. Well, in these 15 years, she did nothing nice to him. And at last, with a very clever little scheme, she successfully pushed him as far as possible from the throne. Lord, he traveled all the way to the capital not because of that stressful place, mother had been gone and she desperately asked him to stay with father. 10 year-old, he realized he was just a love child of Great King Vasilis from a love maybe he already let it be dusted somewhere in the back of his mind. But thank the Lord, he was wrong, his father kept trying to find his mother but in vain and more than that, it was his only love. Vince smirked for how ironic this life could be, his current so-called-mother had everything she craved for, except the love of her man, but Vince wondered whether she really needed it or not.
However, Vince truly loved little Kyle, his stepbrother. That little brunette followed him anywhere, anytime he could escape his boring masters. That lovely mouth always said: “Brother, I love you the best!” and retorted hurtfully if Vince told him – “When you get a girl, that line will change into: “Baby, I love you the best!” Maybe living happily and safely inside great walls with no worries about anything sculpted such an innocent and pure heart in that small figure. At least, the Queen was still a good mother.
Today, next 3 months, Kyle would be honored as the Crown Prince safe and sound. Finally, the Queen could expel the threat what was hanging above her head in so many years. Vince well aware that, so for the first time in his life, he had to break the promise with his brother for the boy’s own sake. Kyle would be in depressed inevitably, he knew that puppy missed him like crazy as he addressed in many letters.
Folding the letter carefully with his own design for Kyle as the little prince once confessed that he always love Vince’s folding riddle – “It was very excited, brother.” Vince had thought he could hear the boy’s exclaim through his scribbles. Too bad for a soon-to-be Crown Prince, he got a bad handwriting.
With the sealed envelope, Vince left his chamber to give it to the messenger on time.
Snow… snow was everywhere, twenty four seven, 4 seasons a years as if this land was built by only snow. Although he managed to survive here in five years, this dire weather was still too harsh to cope with it. Vince still remembered the first warm thing he ever felt in here, the thing kept him staying alive was the grim heat from the blood he shed and tasted. It was never smooth from the first place, these people in this keep, a part didn’t want to be lead by a young prince, another followed cruel order to get rid of him as clean as possible. After 5 years, he was still here, gained respect and in piece.
Vince opened the messenger’s door and found the fat guy was arranging his pack. Hearing the unlock sound, the guy snapped up his head then his thick lips curved into a big smile.
“Your Highness.” – the guy greeted warmly.
Vince nodded with fainted smile for an answer. – “I saw you gained more weight since the last time you were here, Eric.” – Vince dropped his comment while handling his letter.
“Yeah, yeah. You know, your Highness, I need natural armor to travel safely in this cursed land.” – Eric complained non-stop every time he saw his young master. Despite the cold attitude, his prince was a very good listener and never judged his comrades because of some silly comments. Sometimes he thought the Lord really wasted, put every beautiful trait that girl always wished for on a single male sculpt, especially was that azure eyes. He bet that if you rode with Vince under moonlight, you would have a weird illusion that there were tiny sparkling dusts in those.
“I bet you, this area is the Lord’s love child. Fucking cold!” – He slipped out the sentence but immediately shut his mouth. In his covert glance, Vince was lost in his thought while focusing on something outside the glass window. Eric let out a heavy breath, celebrated secretly that the prince didn’t pay attention in his blah blah.
“When will you leave?” – Vince asked without redirecting his head.
“Tomorrow’s afternoon, your Highness.” – The fat man replied softly.
“Uhm…” – His stare was looking for something beyond this cozy room. Most of the soldiers in this keep shared their theories about their leader’s romance because of the strange shape ring on his ring finger. Thank to Eric’s big mouth and news he collected in his trips back and forth between the capital and here, their General owned a clean romantic profile, no any kind of relationships before he came here and in this only male harem as they jokingly call this keep, no girl within a radius of six miles. He was not gay, sure, if not, this was his heaven on earth, full of healthy men but perhaps he devoted his life as a priest. Hell, no, everybody knew he was a paladin. Eric still remembered, once Vince caught them in middle of their “story-composing” and surprisingly, he sat down to give them some prompts, which of course they didn’t know whether it was true or what. Their leader was awesome!
“I wish for your safe travel.” – Vince altered his look back to the messenger and smiled faintly then turned his boots to the entrance.
“Oh, and Eric!” – The handsome young man shifted his head slightly behind, locked his emotionless eyes on Eric’s face and spoke slowly – “I heard it!” – then left the room. Behind him, a pale fat guy was finding the towel to dry his cold sweat crazily. Thank Lord for his prince’s mercy.
That was a late afternoon when Vince and his troop came back after 3 exhausted days, tracked and killed a small group of Ancient Undead – this mysterious creature once was assumed as invincible monsters. Vince was the one found out the way to end their already-dead life by combining light magic he had been learnt with some masters in capital and secret spells his mother had taught him long time ago. But this time, the undead leader was stronger than they could imagine. His blood was unexpectedly poisonous and to eliminate them, his troop also suffered severed damage, especially Vincente’ himself. This poison did nothing but created intense inside out coldness, and with this extreme condition, it’s deadly.
“Your Highness, we can hold this place for a while. You should go to the South to cure this poison. The great was is coming and we all need you.” – The sub-leader said, almost wanted to tie his prince, threw him into a carriage and drove him South.
Vince sat silently on his bed, wrapped by many blankets and the stove was burning fiercely but he still had to calm himself from unbearable coldness. He felt like a chill climbed up every inch in his bones, dancing and laughing in a kind of winter festival, but not for warming up.
“I’m tired. Please leave me alone. I will consider about it.” – Vince closed his eyes and said, though his words already sunk into whispers.
The sub-leader left his seat to open the door then came back with a letter in his hand – a royal letter. The strong built man put it down in front of his young leader, let out a sight and walked out the chamber.
Vince reached for the letter, fought back this insane coldness when his skin touched the air outside his blanket. Maybe this was the only occasion, Vince tore the envelop carelessly to have a quick glance of its content.
“Dear my beloved brother,
You may do not know how depressed I am when your words hit my eyes. It has been 5 years and I have been waiting for this day to come like a mad man, craving to see you. I grew up, I understand your problem and why you have to act ruthlessly to me this time. But please, I am begging you. Please come back, please. I will ensure everything will be okay this time.
Father also misses you a lot.
Your little Kyle
PS: I heard some elfs will come to strengthen the bond. You always want to see them, do you?”
Vince narrowed his eyes on the PS and his thumb unconsciously rubbed the ring on his finger. A wave of mixed emotion crashed on him for the crazy thought that perhaps she would be in that elven group.
“Are you there, my love?”
– to be continue…