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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2049642-The-Princely-Hero
by brom21
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest · #2049642
A prince must go on a rescue mission and liberate his kingdom.
King Grail waved with a smiling face to his subjects as he proceeded down the concourse with people on both sides. The procession was heralded with trumpets and shouting. Flags were waving with the royal eagle seal and confetti was floating through the air.

The king glanced back to his son Prince Rhylen. “What a fine day for a festival is it not?”

“It certainly is father,” the prince said.

“Where is your sister Thena?”

“I thought she was just late getting out of bed.”

He turned to a servant. “Go and fetch Princess Thena, quickly.”

“Yes sire.”

King Grail walked up a scaffold to address the people. “To all my subjects and beloved people, I welcome you to the Great Festival!”

Then a man in a tattered brown cloak cried out. “Is it really such a great day, King Grail? In the name of the Western Kingdom I defy your rule over us.”

“Why do you reject my rule? What else could you want?”

“We would have it that we rule over you instead,” said the man.

“Your army is minute compared ours. With what leverage do you challenge me?”

“You’ll find the princess is missing. If you do not yield to my master, her life is forfeit.”

“But...how…and why?”

“Spies and operatives are everywhere in your kingdom,” The rebellious man said. “Give me your crown!”

Grail looked down in tears and his eyebrows lifted up in sadness. “My daughter, my subjects; all lost. What choice do I have?”

The man in brown approached him. “Hand it over.”

The king’s hands shook as held it and put to his forehead. Then he relinquished the crown. The people were aghast and terrified.

“This day a new power arises. All hail The Western Kingdom and its king, Devius!”

“Prince Rhylen was filled with anger. How dare him! Don’t worry sister, I’ll get you back!

A few hours later, King Devius arrived to take the throne. He was tall, and his eyes glared with maliciousness. He wore a Golden mail, cover in a silk azure cloak.

Unknown to even his father, Prince Rhylen slipped away in the cover of night on horseback. He carried a sword, lantern, some gold, and dried venison and fruit. To reach the Western Kingdom, he would have to go through the Mystic Forest. It was said to be haunted by spirits. He was unafraid and when he had made it to the border of the forest, he entered slowly, and carefully. The forest was dark, murky and still as death. Up in an old tree a raven suddenly screeched like a dying soul.

“What a horrid cry. It sounds as though it is truly possessed by some entity.”

He continued on in the unsettling silence that seemed to stretch across for miles. The only sign of movement was a slight gale and crunching leaves. Suddenly a glowing human form rose from the earth and broke the silence.

“Who enters the forest of the dead?”

Rhylen was startled but poised. “I come through your realm to reach the Western Kingdom.”

“The souls of that place are they who live there. When the wicked die here, they become evil ghosts like me. What do you seek there?”

“They have taken my sister. I come to retrieve her.”

Without a word more, the spirit rushed at him. Rhylen’s weapon passed through its manifestation like air. Then in a flash of light, a shining being appeared with a gleaming sword. The new entity slashed at the ghost as the evil spirit was split in two and dissipated to nothing.

“This will guide you through the forest good prince. My name is Corsica. I came from the land of Ithareal, another world where I observe you spiritually. Take my sword. It will protect you.”

Rhylen was speechless in awe. He wanted to question her but she suddenly vanished. He held the sword, at a loss for words. Then he shook himself to bring him back to reality.

“I must press on.”

He then flicked the reigns of the horse and broke out in a fast gallop holding the glistening sword in the air. No other spirits appeared. A last he exited the Mystic Forest and the sword vanished out of his hands. And there in the dark hours of the morning he saw, the castle of the Western Kingdom separated by a vast, open plain filled with grass and animals like deer, rabbits and birds.

“I’m on my way sister!”

He rode on with a fearless, valiant heart. He would save his sister and his kingdom no matter what the cost.

“King Devius will regret the day he challenged my kingdom, even if I must take his life. Though I pray it will not come to that.”

At this point he was leery that he did not have a plan. He stopped his horse.

“In all my zeal, I have taken no thought as to how I will avail this. I must think.”

I imagine my sister will be in a dungeon. I forgot about a disguise. Getting to her would require royal raiment to even get in the castle, and if I encounter guards. And I would be immediately recognized with my royal attire. Perhaps if I were to grab a royal individual and gag his mouth then steal his clothes? That would be too risky. I don’t know what to do.

He was silent for a time waiting for the right plan to enact.

I have it, yet it is a desperate scheme.

Prince Rhylen tethered his horse to a tree and hasted for the outer city. It was very busy in the streets and the first part of his plan will be easy. Upon going through the city entrance, he hid in an alley and spied from the shadows.

“Ah, that one looks perfect,” he said eyeing a clothes seller’s kiosk. He looked in both directions and then crept along the side of the wall and hid behind a tent. Then he waited a few minutes. When a small clearing was made in the crowd, he rushed over to the kiosk and crouched under the counter. Then as the seller was talking with a buyer, Rhylen took a large wool cloak with a hood and scampered off into the alley. He dawned the cloak and walked out complacently, careful to keep his royal clothes covered.

“The next part is easy.” Then he walked up openly to a man selling cutlery. “Hello sir.”

Rhylen coyly picked up a large knife and put it to the man’s throat.

“Give me all your money.”

A guard apprehended him at once. He was grabbed by the arm and dragged through the city with people staring. They entered the castle gates and into the grand hall where royalty were walking to and fro. The guard marched him through a stone entrance and down a stairwell to the dungeon.

“You’ll see how we treat those who threaten people with killing them!”

He was hurled into a dank cell with barely any light coming from a small hole in the ceiling.

“Time for the next step.”

Rhylen expected the dungeon ground to be made of stones that were crumbling in at some areas like the one in his kingdom. In a corner was a large pointed pebble he was able to pry loose.

“This is going to smart some.”

With the sharp pebble he cut an incision just above his left eyebrow. His self-inflicted wound bled profusely down his face so that it looked like a fatal wound. Then he laid on his back and shut his eyes. Soon the keeper passed his cell.

“What the Devil!” said the keeper as he franticly opened the cell cage. He knelt down to see if he was dead. Prince Rhylen quickly opened his eyes and grabbed the keeper by the throat and got up. Then he took his sword.

“Where is Princess Thena! What key is to her cell!” he said with the blade at his neck.

“She is one floor down, and three cells left of the floor entrance! Her key is the bronze one with a semicircle at the handle. Please don’t kill me!”

“I don’t intend too.” With a bop on the head with the handle of the sword, the keeper was unconscious.

He exited and saw a stone path that led down to a staircase. He sprinted to the lower floor and took out the key and went in the direction of the cell.

“Rhylen! Thank God you’re here! How did you mange?” said Thena.

“I used a trick or two. Come on!”

He took her hand raced back the way he came.

“We’ll get noticed if we go into the grand hall. And that is the only way out, “said Thena.

“You won’t get out. You’re as good as dead, both of you.”

They turned behind them to see a person Rhylen’s age in fair clothing and guards by his sides.

“I am Prince Thaydus. Guards, take them back to the dungeon to wait what will happen to him”

“You’re a coward. You hide behind your guards because you know I would beat you in a fair fight. You’re daddy’s little spoiled boy with no honor.”

Thaydus face turned red with anger. “Am I? Very well, I’ll fight you in a dual. Guards disperse. We will fight in the hall where all can watch me humiliate you.”

As soon as they stepped onto the dual ground, the fight was commenced.

“En garde!” said Thaydus. The fiend rushed at his foe with his blade but was evaded by a quick slide to the left by Rhylen. Rhylen raised his sword and came down upon Thaydus who stopped it with a block over his head. Then he spun around to swipe at Rhylen’s stomach as he stepped back to avoid the attack. Rhylen gestured as if he were to come down with his sword again but lifted his foot up and kicked his enemy in the chest sending him slamming into the wall. Thaydus cursed at his opponent and darted toward him with a straight blade to pierce his heart but his weapon was parried to the left by Rhylen. Then, in a wave of childish anger, Thaydus came flailing his blade in every direction as Rhylen easily dodged each desperate swing. Then with a quick swipe if Rhylen’s’ sword, his enemy’s sword went flying out of his hands.

“I win. Now I trust you have messenger pigeons? Write a letter to your father that you have been defeated and to relinquish the crown back to my father! Furthermore, I will take you hostage until I am safely in my home, then I will release you.”

“Of course!” Prince Thaydus wrote the letter with haste and bound it to a pigeon’s leg and with a spoken word it flew to Rhylen’s’ kingdom. The king of the Western Kingdom saw his son’s hand writing and cried out in anger.

“I was so close. So close! It was veritably mine! But he is my son and only air.”

He got up from Grail’s throne and sent for a servant “Get Grail for me at once,”

A half an hour later, the servant retrieved him from the common lands and Devius stared at him with hatred. He held out the crown to King Grail. “Your kingdom is restored to you. I and all of my servants and from my land will leave at once.”

“But why?”

“Ask your meddling son when he returns.”

When Rhylen came back, he was congratulated for his heroic deed. Once again, the Western Kingdom swore fealty to king Grail. A parade was held to celebrate the victory and freedom of the land with a greater and more gallantly celebrated one than ever before.

1,969 words
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