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Victory Song


Ah, once upon a time. What a wonderful way to start a story. Well, settle down, grab a blanket and a hot drink, snuggle into your favorite place where preferably no one will bother you, plug in your favorite ambience to a fantastical place, because I myself have a story for you that does begin with once upon a time... Let's just ditch the fairy godmother though.

Fantasy / Adventure
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away, where magic lived and mystical animals hunted down prey, where qilin, qianlima, Jixens, and kumiho ruled the forests, where heroes won their battles and discovered treasures, where kings ruled over their subjects with a gentle but firm hand and princes went riding off into the unknown to seek adventure, there was a prince. The land was magical, the weather was fair, the crops flourished, and the kingdom prospered, but not all was perfect. Witches were burned for practicing dark magics, sorcerers killed off the heroes to grow in power, kings ruled greedily and tyrannously, and princes ran off into the forest never to be seen again. And to the regular prince of the Besan Empire, it is the normality of the days they live in.

Jay knew his father did not entirely approve of his name as it did not sound quite royal enough, but he was happy with it more or less, since it had been in the family for generations. Which wasn’t that bad. His parents let him take music lessons, dance lessons, anything he wanted to, he was given tours of his kingdom in the state it was in without shielding anything, he had been attending balls since he was four, and he also knew of every single myth in the kingdom. One of his favorite subjects he studied was history. He loved hearing the old myths and legends his history tutor told him and the secret meanings behind the magic, sorcerers, or magical animals. The folklore, the old stories the elders of the kingdom told him or wrote down for him to read, tales of sorcerers in the golden fields of Kiriho, the witches in the mountains of Arahill, sea creatures in the oceans of Borwil, or the magical fairies of the Erekro forests.

One of the lord’s sons, a certain Timothy J, young, dashing, handsome, a total stranger to the ladies, would often tell him of such stories, or bring a book he found in the Grand Library of Kideke, the land Tim’s father governed for the king. Kideke was known as the land of stories, for it was so near the mountains of Arahill, one of the said homes of witches or goblins. Of course, Tim would have to bring the books back some time, but Jay sketched certain scenes down on paper, characters he imagined or animals he wished would exist. His life was happy, his life had nothing else he needed.

He was nervous about receiving the throne someday, but he hoped the day wouldn’t come so soon. And of course, he knew there were some secrets his parents couldn’t tell them, rooms they couldn’t open to him. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t curious. There was a room, next to his in the royal wing reserved only for royalty. And he could never find the door. But he knew there was a room. A big room. He had seen the window from the outside of the castle. His parents would not talk about it and refused to acknowledge there was even such a room. Even Tim had tried climbing the walls to see inside. He ended up breaking his arm and Jay had sworn to forget about the room to keep himself from the same fate. It still haunted him, but not enough to force him to climb up three stories to peep through the window.

And now, Jay hurried through his closet, picking out a white and gold uniform and quickly changing for the arrival of Tim’s family for the holidays, the entire castle decorated in flowers, vines, and pollen for the celebration of spring, the official start of the planting season and signifying another year of plenty for the kingdom. Quickly pulling on a pair of leather shoes, he ran a brush through his hair and rushed out of his room, ignoring the royal red set of clothes his maid had previously lain on the bed. Usually, he picks out his own clothes, unlike other princes that had everything chosen out for them. He had learned that at his thirteenth birthday ball, where he had met every other prince on the entire continent. He found he had a lot of other privileges and freedoms they didn’t. And it wasn’t like Besan was the biggest empire in the world. He guessed he just had different parents.

He ran down the stairs wound with gold and blue flowers down to the grand entrance of the castle, the flowers beaming from every single corner he looked at. His appointed personal guard met him at the entrance of the main wing of the castle, giving him a disapproving look at his outfit as he neared. “Jay, your family clearly told you to wear red,” Nick said, shaking his head at him. Jay laughed softly, already hearing the trumpets announce the arrival of the Jeon family. “It’s just Tim! Besides, we’re going riding right after this. And they don’t really mind as long as I’m polite,” he said with a smile, the man towering over him as he walked out the open doors into the morning sunlight.

The marble steps sparkled clean in the sun as he ran down the steps to greet his mother and father, both wearing royal red and their hands clasped in front of them ready to meet the family. His mother looked at him a little funny as he approached, a little out of breath and Nick took his place along with the guards surrounding the royal family. “Jay…?” his mother said from the side of her mouth, frowning at him slightly. He gave a small shrug. “Tim told me we were going to go riding. I can’t spoil my red suit,” he said with a small smile and his mother eventually cracked a smile at him, although she glanced at his head where his crown should have been. The open-air carriage glided into the courtyard, led by two Spring Jixen, a more elegant form of the deer the size of a horse except that their hooves never touched the ground, thanks to an enchanting done to them hundreds of years ago that cursed them to never touch the ground again- Jay shook his head to keep it from going into the details of the story, straightening up and clasping his hands in front of him as the carriage rounded and stopped at a word the lord gave.

Tim looked at him with wide black eyes, smiling widely as they met gazes, the younger wearing a plain cream satin blouse with some royal blue embroidery on the shoulders and cuffs, completed with black slacks tucked into black leather boots, his black raven hair a little wind-blown and messy but the style went perfectly with him. Jay suddenly felt a little overdressed. The lord and lady Jeon both wore a royal blue and cream outfit, very modest and rather plain, but the outfit looked extremely elegant on them, suiting them beautifully. “My King and Queen,” Lord Jeon said as they approached, both the lord and the lady bowing or curtseying as Tim stood behind them respectfully and bowed. Even with the plain dress on, Tim looked like a real prince.

The Queen nodded, accepting their greetings as the King motioned them both up from their positions. “Thank you for accepting our invitations Lord and Lady Jeon. And your son, Tim. Welcome to the Capitol,” the King greeted, smiling and gesturing them toward the stairs. Jay looked up at the azure sky overhead. This usually never happened when Tim only came over, usually, his parents didn’t even know he was coming. Tim gave a small cough, glancing at Jay as if asking when they could leave. Jay gave him a thumbs up and quickly turned around to catch up with his parents. “Welcome, Lord and Lady Jeon,” he quickly greeted on his way up and they both gave genuine smiles at him as he reached his parents. “Mother, can I-” his mother gave him a slight look and he stopped himself to pause and gather his breath. “Your majesty, may I take leave on an outdoor activity?” he instead asked, giving a slight bow just as he always did when he was in front of guests. His father glanced down at the bottom of the stairs at Tim, who was awkwardly watching the toes of his boots. His father was about to interject when his mother held up a manicured hand. “Go ahead. Be back by sunset,” she said, glancing at the sun with a small smile. Jay burst into a huge smile, leaning forward to give his mother a quick peck on the cheek before running down the stairs past Lord and Lady Jeon toward Tim.

The stables were near the end of the castle, Tim leading the way since he was already in the lead by at least twenty steps, running faster than Jay ever could the same way they always raced their way to Jaylar’s field. Tim’s Jixen was already there, although it was a fall Jixen instead of the royal Spring Jixen. Fall Jixen were known for their speed and nimbleness, with powerful hooves that didn’t float and a dark red coat with tall antlers and gentle brown eyes. Tim was already throwing the riding blanket onto his Jixen when Jay reached the stables, his white horse standing alongside Tim’s Jixen.

Jay had to jump to throw the plain leather blanket over Careev, grabbing the saddle off its hook and draping it gently over the white horse’s back as Tim slapped a Jixen’s racing saddle on and began on the bridle. “Hey, no fair, you were ahead of me getting here!” Jay complained as Tim laughed out loud and swung the leather and gold bridle gently over Nyx’s head and fastened it. Thanks to Careev already having his bridle on, Jay swung on first, forced to jump onto the tall horses’ back since he was maybe slightly vertically challenged before jabbing his heels into Careev’s sides and going shooting out the stable doors, hearing his horse’s powerful hooves thunder on the gray granite ahead of Tim as he laughed out loud and bolted toward the exit, scaring a couple of the servants running to and fro preparing for the grand ceremony.

Jixen’s were only native to Kideke, Tim’s small kingdom that had only recently been appointed to his parents when Tim was only seven. Tim had told him many stories about his kingdom, and despite it being one of the larger sections of the Besan Empire, Kideke was sparsely populated, with many farmers spread out across miles of land, growing rice, corn, and many other crops the Besan Empire depended on for its survival. The reason it was so sparsely populated was because of its proximity to the Arahill mountains. Jay still had to find out why.

Hardly was Jay out of the stable was Tim after him, Nyx’s powerful horns charging ahead of him and brown eyes glinting with the excitement of their monthly race. They wound around carts, servants, herds of animals, and furniture on their way to the back gates, Jay spotting Nick watching them from a vantage point in a tower, ready to give the signal to the soldiers near the gate to open it. Nyx charged ahead, light as a feather but not with the strength enough to challenge Careev. The iron gates of the back gate loomed up ahead, already raising up to allow them passage toward the meadow where they always spent their time. Jay felt Careev’s heart pounding through his legs, the white mane flying into his face as they charged into the lead, leaving Tim behind. His silver hair whipped in the wind along with his white coat as he took the lead, laughing as he waved Nick bye from his tower.

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