|In a time of division, Ewan is on his way to taking the throne. With enemies of his kingdom and country eager to take his life, Ewan is given a personal guard, a soldier by the name of Shayde. They start out as nothing more than prince and guard but, over time, feelings change. A romance that cannot be, a kingdom in chaos and enemies at their door.|
|Title: He Who Will Be King|
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He Who Will Be King Prologue: The Heir’s Nightmare
The day was hot, sweltering to the point that shade, wind nor water could relieve the stress of its heat. It was like standing above a pool of lava and waiting for your body to melt into a puddle of paste. The forest was quiet, seemingly devoid of life since most animals attempted to find some form of solace in the smooth grass or cool water. Even the birds had lost their will to sing and so only the soft sound of the occasional warm breeze could be heard.
However, the animals had to come out at some point.
When the sun was high but clouds rolled in, finally blocking some of the scorching rays, a doe appeared. Glistening rocks like crystals lined her wide eyes while dark green moss coated her back and legs. Her beady eyes peered through the thicket and her head swayed to take in her surroundings. All that could be seen was the calming green of the forest. Tall blades of grass danced in the wind while the trees creaked when a strong and hot breeze went by. She was making her way to the meadows, maneuvering under branches and through grass with calm and tentative steps.
Suddenly, her ears raised up high, shaking from side to side and her movements stilled. A leg lingered in the air before she took her next step. Silence, that was all there was yet the doe remained still as a statue, her eyes narrowing in on what she presumed to be a threat. Then, without warning, she leaped away moments before an arrow went whizzing past her head to lodge itself into the tree directly behind her.
Out of the forest came a young boy with bow in hand. Pouting, he trudged towards the arrow that did not hit its mark. A small hand grasped said arrow while the little one attempted to retrieve it from the tree but it seemed to not budge. Sweat rolled off the child’s brow, dripping from long eyelashes that shielded violet eyes so deep that they made the ocean appear shallow.
\”Missed or not, that was quite a shot, Ewan.\”
Ewan spun his head around, shimmering blonde hair drenched with sweat hardly moved with the swinging of his head. Frowning, Ewan brushed the locks from his eyes and attempted to remove the sweat from his brow while simultaneously swinging his bow back and forth in frustration.
\”It was a poor attempt. I had her!\” Ewan exclaimed around another huff before his older brother, Ryker, came forward with a grin.
Normally, Mahkans refused any form of hunting unless absolutely necessary. However, since their journey was taking longer than expected they were running low on food and thus Ewan had a chance to try out his archery skills, which resulted in their dinner running away. If he had succeeded it meant Ewan had to be taught what it was like to take a life, he had missed out on a lesson that day.
Ryker stood above his younger brother, appearing almost titan like in size with broad shoulders and muscular arms. He was the type of person that when he said \”move\”, you moved or he moved you. Unlike Ewan, who took after their mother, Ryker had silver hair and piercing green eyes like their father. Reaching out, Ryker grasped the arrow Ewan had trouble retrieving and, with a single tug, dislodged it from the wood.
Ewan’s cheeks had doubled in size with the air he was holding. Ryker simply smiled then innocently held out the arrow for the chipmunk to take. Grumbling, Ewan gave in and grabbed his arrow to return to its’ quiver.
\”You cannot expect too much on your first hunt.\” Ryker assured Ewan, who did not look pleased with his words, while Ryker reached out to ruffle those damp blonde locks. Ewan groaned before he tried to flee but it was pointless since Ryker pulled him into a headlock and showed no remorse.
\”Let me be!\” Ewan pleaded but his lips were pulled back into a smile without his consent.
\”Your Highness, we have a long journey to continue. We should return to camp,\” Tamir, Ryker’s, and for the time being, Ewan’s personal bodyguard spoke after coming from his own hiding place.
Tamir was a man of battle and that showed through his appearance with scars marring his face and arms. He stood tall in his glistening armor that only made the already large man appear even bigger. His blonde hair was kept short atop his head, allowing his bright blue eyes to really shine. Upon receiving Ryker’s gaze, Tamir bowed his head, keeping his eyes low while awaiting a response.
\”Come then, Ewan. We will continue tomorrow,\” Ryker said with a nod, pressing his hand to Ewan’s back in order to lead him to camp.
The remaining guards followed, appearing from their own hiding places as to not disturb Ewan and Ryker during their hunt. As much as both boys disliked the entourage, they were accustomed to it. Sadly, guards were a necessity for them and it had gotten to the point that neither batted an eyelash when one was around. Conversations flowed like they were not even there.
\”You will teach me more tomorrow, won’t you?\” Ewan inquired with excitement, tugging on Ryker’s hand that could easily encase the both of his.
\”I suppose I must if we wish to eat.\”
Ewan scowled at Ryker’s teasing tone. However, before the boy got a chance to respond to his brothers patronizing ways, Ryker came to a sudden halt along with the rest of their convoy. Ewan stopped as well, his hand continuing to hold Ryker’s that was slowly beginning to tighten the hold. Much like the doe earlier, Ryker’s eyes peered about as if he caught onto something. Tamir was the same, his hand lingering over the blade on his waist while everyone became rigid.
\”Is something wrong?\” Ewan asked, instinctively stepping closer to Ryker while also raising his bow to his chest. Small fingers trembled against the wood while Ewan’s eyes attempted to take in the threat that Ryker seemed to see. However, Ewan saw nothing, heard nothing and so peered up at his brother in confusion.
Ewan’s confusion was gone the moment Ryker’s blade came unsheathed in a second. Ewan had enough time to hear a small \”ting\” against the metal of Ryker’s sword. An arrow fell to the ground at Ewan’s feet, his eyes widening in shock at having realized that the arrow would have been lodged in his skull if not for Ryker. A shiver ran down his spine and his legs began to tremble.
The guards were on the move instantly. There was no time to take in those who were jumping from the trees, shouting in a language Ewan vaguely recognized but did not quite understand. Chaos erupted in the blink of an eye. A battle had begun before there was time to think and the boys found themselves smack dab in the center of it.
\”Tamir, take Ewan back to camp immediately!\” Ryker ordered, picking Ewan up like a rag doll only to hand him off to Tamir.
Ewan was not having that, shouting refusals at both Tamir and Ryker, who were paying them no mind. It wasn’t as if the soft punches of a 10 year old did much against an armored warrior but it was worth a shot.
\”You are coming with me!\” Ewan argued before reaching out to grasp the back of Ryker’s shirt. His brother sent Ewan a glare that was meant to frighten him but it only made Ewan more determined.
\”The camp is much safer and I cannot have you out here during a battle,\” Ryker said, once again ordering Tamir to take Ewan to safety. Around them their guards were battling, blades, axes, bows were all out and Ewan could hear metal against metal, grunts, cries of pain and soon smelled blood in the air.
\”I can help!\”
\”That does not mean that you should!\”
Ryker stood firm, staring at Ewan as if to challenge him. When the boy did no such thing, Ryker brushed Ewan’s hand away before charging into battle, swinging his sword through a man like he was made of butter. Tamir pressed Ewan’s head into his shoulder, attempting to shield the boys’ view of the battle but Ewan pushed upwards to knock Tamir’s hand away.
\”Take me back, take me back right now!\” Ewan ordered but Tamir’s job was to follow Ryker’s orders and so had no issues disobeying the young prince. Regardless, Ewan kicked and struggled while shouting for his brother, whose silhouette was disappearing further and further into the distance.
However, it did not disappear soon enough.
Ewan’s eyes took in the sight of his brother being impaled, the spear breaking through his back. The world seemed to stop spinning in that moment before Ewan let out a blood-curdling scream, one Tamir understood and only made him run faster. The child outstretched his hand towards the outline of his brother who dropped to his knees when the spear was dislodged from his gut.
Still screaming his name, Ewan’s eyes filled with tears as he watched Ryker’s limp body fall to the forest floor.