The Proof Of Worth
Crowned prince Rumplestiltskin of Misthaven fears that he is not ready to take the throne. Although living with an unhappy marriage to his wife Princess Milah, his only happiness is his young son Baelfire. In order to prove himself worthy of the crown. A month before his coronation he embarks on a quest to retrieve the ancient treasure of Avonia. RumBelle AU.
Chapter 1 – The Proof Of Worth
Crowned Prince Rumplestiltskin sighed sadly as he looked out the window at his beloved kingdom.
In a months’ time he would take his father’s place on the throne as high king but he feared that he was both unworthy and also not ready for such responsibility.
Rumplestiltskin was a kind hearted man, he cared for his people and was always there to make sure they had both comfort and good health.
On his 21st birthday he had abolished all taxes. In his eyes the royal family had enough money already and the town’s people shouldn’t have to pay that which they did not have.
His wife; Princess Milah had not been happy about this.
She had been his fiancé at the time. Unfortunately their union was not one of love but one for the good of the kingdom.
Rumple had always been against the idea of marrying someone who he did not love but his kingdom had been in terrible financial trouble and so he had no choice.
Rumple’s mother Queen Madeline had always wanted her son to marry for love but she reassured him that love can work in mysterious ways and he may come to love Milah.
This was not meant to be.
One good thing had come out of his marriage to Milah. His son Baelfire. He had been overjoyed when he saw his new born son for the first time, not because he now had a male air to be his successor but because it had always been a dream of his that he would one day become a father. Baelfire was Prince Rumple’s greatest treasure and to him he was priceless.
In the first 5 years of young Baelfire’s life Rumple had christened him with the nickname Bae as his son was still developing his power of speech. Every moment he spent with his son was precious to him. From his very first smile, to his very first steps and to his very first word. ‘Papa’.
Rumple smiled softly as he thought of his son, the crowned prince had never witnessed magic but his son was the closest thing he had.
“Papa! Papa!” little Bae came running into his father’s study holding the arm of his teddy bear in his tiny hand and Rumple smiled brightly and lifted his tiny form into his arms and hugged him,
“Ahhhhhh there’s my boy, what have you and sir teddy been up too?” he asked gently and little bae giggled happily,
“We was in the garden and we was fighting a dwagon” he said excitedly with childlike innocence and Rumple chucked,
“a dragon you say?.... wow and I suppose the heroic sir teddy won the fearsome battle” he encouraged his sons’ imagination with a warm tone and Bae giggled as he wriggled out of his papa’s arm and started jumping around, acting out how he and sir teddy had defeated the evil dragon and Rumple chuckled as he listened to his son’s tale.
Milah entered and rolled her eyes as she watched her husband encourage their son’s childish ways,
“Honestly rumple I just don’t understand why you allow our son to carry on with such silly thoughts” she said with a bored tone and Rumple looked at her sadly as he lifted Bae to sit on his lap with sir teddy,
“They’re not silly thoughts Milah, they’re his dreams, his imagination. We should encourage him to be a child whilst he still can.” He defended gently, although he had not come to love Milah the way a husband should, he always tried his very best to make her happy, and that always proved to be a very difficult task.
She rolled her eyes once more,
“never the less, our son is a prince, a future king and it’s about high time he started acting like one” she said firmly and removed sir teddy from Bae’s tiny arms and left the room, slamming the door behind her.
Rumple held Bae in his arms as he started to cry. Sir teddy had always been at Bae’s side ever since he was born. He was the first present Rumple had ever given Bae and he soothed his son by rocking him back and forth gently in his arms and gave him a small white lie by explaining that his mother had simply taken sir teddy away because he wasn’t well.
Rumple wanted to be both a good father, king and husband but he was doubtful of himself that he would be able to do so. He needed a way to prove himself and he found hope within an old legend.
‘The Ancient Treasure Of Avonia’. It was said that he who found the ancient treasure would be granted any wish they desired.
Rumple smiled brightly, He would be able to wish for his kingdom’s happiness and most of all his sons’.
As most quests were filled with danger, this one was filled with only one. In order to find the ancient treasure, he and his knights would have to travel to the ancient ruin of the castle of Avonia. The kingdom was once said to be the greatest kingdom of them all but it was now overrun with ogres. The downfall of the kingdom of Avonia was brought by the ancient ogre wars. No one knows how the Great War ended but something kept the ogre’s within the borders of the ancient kingdom. It was like some magical barrier was keeping them from being able to cause harm to any other kingdom.
The legend was accompanied with an ancient chant:
“To they with good intent may the path be clear,
To the kingdom of ancient Avonia.
If there quest be pure and there heart also true,
Unlimited wishes soon await you.
But be warned. The path which you walk is not open to all,
Those with dark deeds will certainly fall,
The path for those good will soon be complete,
If no dark intention then no danger they shall meet”
Prince Rumple would not lie, in some ways he did not understand the riddle he had come across. How could there be no danger in a kingdom that was overrun with fearsome ogres.
He had taken a total of fifteen men on his journey to the lost kingdom. One of the knights had been instructed by rumple to prepare a cart with medical supplies, warm blankets, food and barrels of fresh water for the journey. Rumple wanted to make sure that all his men were comfortable on the journey. Quest or no quest his subjects’ needs and health came before his own.
They entered the kingdom very cautiously and Rumple couldn’t help but look at the ruins sadly. This kingdom was probably so beautiful before the ogres’ invaded and now it was all run down and forgotten.
Rumple and his knights nearly jumped out their skin as an ogre stood to his full height. He had been curled up sleeping and his grey skinned, moss covered body made him appear as a harmless bolder as they passed. They all drew their swords preparing for the ogre to attack. But it didn’t….. The ogre took one look at them and it grumbled grumpily and stalked off to find another resting place. This happened with every other ogre they passed. They all walked away and Rumple realised. The ogre’s couldn’t attack those who came with good intentions.
When Rumple and his men finally reached the ruin of the castle they all dismounted their horses and tied their reins to the cart securely and proceeded into the castle.
Little did they know that after they entered one of the water barrels started to shake and the lid soon came off and a giggling prince Bae popped his head out. Little Bae wanted to join the quest and be a hero. His papa had told him to stay home because it was too dangerous but Bae wasn’t afraid. He had defeated dragons and monsters and he was going to help his papa find the treasure.
Bae giggled as he climbed out the empty barrel. He reached back in and withdrew his tiny wooden toy sword and then jumped off the cart and ran up the path towards the castle.
Little did the young prince know that he had taken the second path that lead to the castle basement, whereas his papa and the other knights had taken the path to the castle’s great hall.