A secret relatoinship that could cause war is brought to an ultimatum by a feind.
Prompt: Dark Love – A love affair gone wrong threatens a kingdom with disaster/ destruction
She felt it in her heart; a longing for forbidden love. She had a choice to make; to submit her soul to the prince of a land where enmity existed between the empire of her father or burn with passion and abstain from her love. At the present there was a rest from war between her empire and the one where the prince lived. The prince was named Odinuus and the princess was called Ithia. During the short period of rest conditions of peace were being considered and the prospect of a league brought hope to both sides. For months Ithia and Odinuus had been secretly courting each other in the Windy Forest that separated the two kingdoms. It was a cloudy night the next time they met but this instance would present an ultimatum.
Princess Ithia rode at a fair pace with her long, braided golden yellow hair flail as she rode past the air. Her eyes were blue like pearls filled with two deep blue seas resonating with the light of a full moon. She rode with a lantern in her hand to guide her way through the blackness of the night forest. She stopped at a glen where a clearing of the canopy of trees opened to reveal the grey clouds that moved slowly like drifting spirits in the wind. She dismounted and sat on a dry, dark brown log. A soft wind ruffled her royal cloak made of silk and wool with a few opals decking it. She waited and her desire to see him was like waiting for the morning sun to shine on her soul. At last he came.
He emerged from the trees and his handsome features were highlighted by the moon above. He had short sleek black hair like a ravens smooth feathers and his eyes were green like a lush forest leaves. His skin was tanned like honey. He wore a bronze ring around his neck with the crest of his kingdom at the front of his neck which was a phoenix and dragon intertwined.
“You’ve arrived at last,” said Ithia.
“Yes.” The sparkle of love in Odinuus’ eyes abated for a moment and she saw it.
“What troubles you my love?”
He looked down at his feet and took her hands in his. “I have bad news.” Odinuus spoke with dire tongue. It is something that has been kept secret from my whole kingdom…my father…he’s dying.”
Ithia shook hardhead and sadness came over her face. “That’s horrible! You must be devastated. Is there anything that can be done?”
“No, his death is certain.”
“What will become of your kingdom? “
“I will be made king,” Odinuus said solemnly.
“Of a truth that your fathers’ passing is a thing of great sadness but why do you speak of kingship with such dejection?”
“You do not understand what I becoming king will do to us. In the event of my coronation my entire life will become a thing of public knowledge. In this cessation of violence there is still distrust and even a hint of despising between our two kingdoms. If we were discovered…”
Ithia put her hand to his lips. “I see. What if we were to forget our lineage and royalty and leave, just leave? There is a small city not three miles from here to the South.”
Odinuus released her hands and turned his back to her. “I could not possibly do that! I love my people and they will need me. And how could you simply abandon your father like that?”
“I had not considered that.” Her voice fell as she contemplated the thought. “There must be another way!”
“Such a plan fails me. I must leave. I promised my father I would go hunting with him at dawn and the sun is peaking.” With that they embraced each other and Prince Odinuus mounted his horse and left the glen. Ithia had a single tear that ran down her cheek. Suddenly a voice came from behind her.
“It seems that the lovely princess is conspiring with the enemy.”
“I could just picture the king’s face to now that his only daughter is in love with one of the enemy.”
“Sinod please, I beg you! Don’t tell!”
“As head of the nobleman of our wonderful kingdom of Nathadia, it is my duty to inform the king of all significant situations to him.”
“I will give you as much gold as you want but please do not tell this to my father.”
Sinod walked out of the shadow of an oak tree that exposed his features. His was bald with a white and grey beard that went down to his sternum that he stroked as he squinted his dark brown eyes. The fiend approached her in his purples and black robe holding a staff in his right hand.
“Your pretentious ways will throw both our empire of Enix and our enemy kingdom of Khrine into warfare. As for your bribe, riches do not concern me. There is however a condition that would incline to stay silent.”
“If it is in my power I will give it to you.”
“Good. Nevertheless what I desire will require Prince Odinuus’ presence as well. Is this always the place and time that you are accustomed to meet?”
“It is. We gather here once every eight nights.”
Sinod smiled and bowed to her before retreating back into the shadows of the trees.
Princess Ithia was filled with rage, sadness, and fear at the same time. “How can he do this? A nobleman is supposed to be honest and trustworthy and not full of such guile!” She said with an angry raised voice. She thought for a moment. “Though in truth, a completely loyal nobleman would certainly disclose this to his ruler.”
“What could he want?
She rode back still pondering Sinod’ s desire. Whatever it was she knew it would mean disaster. Ithia arrived at the castle just as the sun rose. In her own royal chamber she laid on her bed dreading that Sinod’s desire would mean giving up her beloved prince. When the hour had reached diner time, she ate her food halfheartedly and tried to keep from revealing her dejection to her father the king. What was even harder was hiding her disgust and anger at Sinod who sat a few chairs down to her left. He was a master charlatan who appeared, acted and spoke like an honorable man. His face was cheerful, and his eyes glistened with false goodness. He gave a patronizing nod when Ithia glanced at him. Inside she was sick with fear and anger. Her one and only wish was that her father and the king of Khrine would accept her and the prince’s deep feelings. With all this Ithia asked to be excused from the table.
“Father I feel worn. May I go to my room and retire?”
“Of course. I will be going to my quarters soon as well. I must rise early in the morning. There will be delegates from that Khrine arriving tomorrow. I do don’t know what they want. The mere thought of them entering my stronghold disturbs me. Just because there has been no war for months none can ignore the battles that have raged for the last half century. I still remember the day they set fire to our corn fields. They claimed that they did it in retaliation to something we had done; how absurd!
“But father do you not desire peace?”
“Indeed I do but Khrine would never consider such a thing.”
Ithia got up from her chair and walked out of the dining hall. Her father had always been stubborn especially when it came to affairs with Khrine. The wait for Ithia and Odinuus next meeting in the forest went by unbearably slow for the princess. Each day she sat at her chambers in one of the towers looking out her window at the forest in the distance. Finally the fateful appointment came and Sinod accompanied Ithia in the dark of night through the Windy Forest to the glen.
“Now that we’re here will you tell me what you so desperately want from us?” The princess said as she dismounted and walked over to the log and sat.
Before any reply Odinuus appeared. He smiled at first then it left his face when he saw Sinod.
“Ithia, who is this?”
Sinod answered for her. “Sinod, head of the royal nobles of Enix.”
“Why are you here?” Odinuus said.
“I’ve come to discuss terms. As you obviously now realize I am aware of your forbidden relationship. I also have knowledge of your fathers approaching demise. It would be in your best interest to heed my wish. For if you do not I will disclose you both to your king and my king.”
“You vile person!” Odinuus said.
“Do not vex me so avidly. My desire is simple; when the time comes for you to take your father’s throne you will forfeit it to me.”
“My kingdom will never live under the hand of such a duplicitous tyrant!”
“Consider the alternative. What would happen if you were discovered? There would be outrage on both sides and not only will you never see one another again but war would break out.”
“My kingdom or my love? How do I decide?” Odinuus said as he began to cry.
Ithia spoke up. “My love, we have no choice. I love you more than any other but nothing merits needless bloodshed that would surely follow if you do not comply with Sinod’s desire.”
“You do not know what is asking. Would you have him rule over your realm? What if we just leave, right now? There is a small town just a little distance south of here.”
Ithia responded. “Your realm needs a king.”
Odinuus thought about what mattered most to him. He was silent before responding. “We must leave each other’s side. That is the only option we have not considered.”
Sinod reacted in anger. “It’s too late! I can still tell the king any time eve if you stop seeing one another! The deed has been done. You have no choice!”
“Odinuus suddenly had a coy look on his face as he approached Sinod. “There is still one option.” Suddenly he pulled outa dagger and thrust it into Sinod’s side.
Shock came over Ithia’s face. “What have you done!”
The shock on his face exceeded that of Ithia’s. Sinod fell to his knees holding his side and slumped over onto the ground.
“Its’ over Ithia, we can be together now.”
“You murdered a man! How could you do that!”
“It was the only way for everything to work out,” he said as he went to embrace Ithia who then shoved him away.
“I did it for us!” he said
“You broke my heart Odinuus. I can never love a murderer. I thought I always I knew you, but now I see that I do not. Go; rule your kingdom but I will have no part of it. Good bye fair one, you were dearer to me than you could ever know.” With those doleful words she turned and mounted her horse than galloped away into the forest.
Odinuus clenched his fists looked at the sky and yelled in agony. “No!”
He observed the body of Sinod and was filled with guilt but he would in truth do it again if it meant he could be with Ithia. He broke out in tears before he rode off in the opposite direction. As the weeks went by both Ithia and Odinuus wondered what life would be like apart from each other. When the time came for the prince to take his father’s place, he did so without any pride or joy from his kingship. On Ithia’s part she could only muse on the good fellowship she had with the former prince before he shed blood. Far later on in the relationship with Enix and Khrine, when Odinuus and Ithia had passed away, the prolonged absence of war finally culminated into an alliance. Then one momentous day, the king of Khrine and the princess of Enix were wed that heralded a new kingdom from the merging of the two kingdoms where one king ruled over all.