Prince And Pride

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The Bard

Mexcatli and his brother wandered around most of the day through the Day of Jericho festival. They saw all sorts of things while they were doing so. People who came from the neighboring villages of Asgard. However, it was one person that Mexcatli had been looking forward that arrived today, a bard.

When he was young, bards used to come to the palace to perform for he and his brother. It was something that always occurred until he was a bit older then it abruptly stopped. His father claiming that he was too old for such foolish tales, it was after all those foolish tales that made Mexcatli want to go off on an adventure and forget about his princely duties. It was most likely due to this that his father forbade the bards from returning to the Asgardian palace. He was the crowned prince after all such adventures were not something that the crowned prince was supposed to have.

Mexcatli resented being the crowned prince. It was more like he hated it. Being crowned prince of Asgard meant he was on a tight leash. Rarely did he have an opportunity such as today to be away from the palace without a very tight leash. Mexcatli was very sure someone was probably watching him from somewhere in fact he could almost feel the eyes of that someone on him as he walked.

Suddenly Mexcatli stopped dead in his tracks. He instantly forgot his worries and his feelings of being watched when the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen in his entire life walked by him. She was gorgeous. She had long soft brown hair with bangs down the right side of her face. She wore a set of silver O shaped earrings which glowed nicely in the light of the setting sun. She had fair white silky skin very soft looking.

She didn’t look older than Mexcatli maybe around the same age as him, perhaps just a hair younger. She wore a very beautiful green dress with gold embroidery all around it. She had a shawl covering her hair which was being held up by a beautiful gold hair band. She passed him and gave him a warm smile and carried off. Her face was almost feline in nature it was very beautiful. Mexcatli watched her walk passed him flushing red as he realized he must look like a total idiot with his mouth agape.

Lucas had managed to walk some paces passed Mexcatli and realized that he was talking to himself. He turned around and looked in the direction that Mexcatli was looking and he smirked.

“That’s the lady Lucy.” Lucas said.

“You know her?” Mexcatli said.

“Not really, I know her guard. Janus, he calls himself. I bet he is her personal body guard the way he acts sometimes.” Lucas said.

“Where are they from?” Mexcatli asked.

“I’m actually uncertain.” Lucas furrowed his brow. “Come to think of it I asked Janus about that once and he did not give me a direct response.”

“She’s the most beautiful woman that I have ever seen.” Mexcatli muttered mostly to himself.

“She’s quite pretty.” Lucas shrugged he patted Mexcatli on the back and said. “Come, the Bard awaits.”

“Oh yes…” Mexcatli said.

Mexcatli thought heavily of this Lady Lucy. The fact that her title was lady made her a noblewoman at least. Which meant Mexcatli’s father wouldn’t mind if he married a noble woman. Mexcatli shook the idea out of his head. Why would he marry a girl he knew nothing about?

Mexcatli fallowed his brother to the theatre where the Bard was playing. Toniuth Joetche was his name, he was renown mostly because of his deep voice and his ability to really sound like a good story teller. Toniuth performed at the palace a few times, Mexcatli knew that he was going to have fun the Bard was very good.

“My lords!” The attendant said raising his head as they got closer and saw who they were. Mexcatli sighed deeply annoyed he couldn’t go a day without being address as a lord.

“We are here to see your bard perform.” Lucas said.

“Indeed, right this way.” The attendant said they walked down the aisle and got to the front most row and sat by a tall burly man (shorter than Mexcatli, which he sighed about when he realized he was taller than this burly man). Across from the burly man he saw her again, the Lady Lucy and a man with a black coat and slicked back light blue almost white hair. The Lady Lucy looked passed the burly man and noticed Mexcatli she waved her fingers at him from recognition before the white-haired man looked at him suspiciously.

“That’s Janus.” Lucas said.

“Why the devil does he have blue hair?” Mexcatli whispered.

“Huh…. I never noticed it, he does have a hint of blue, doesn’t he?” Lucas said. “I don’t know it might be from where they are from.”

Mexcatli turned back and watched the lady sit down and cross her legs in a very lady like manner. On her feet, Mexcatli noticed, were these perfect pearl white heels. They looked so amazingly perfect for her feet. It had an inch heel to it and it was strapped to her ankles it was very shiny and really looked like the shoes were specifically designed for this young woman’s feet. The murmur of the crowd stopped when a man walked onto the stage and looked around.

“Rejoice!” the man started. “For he has sounded the horn, the horn which shatters the vile creatures of the dark.”

“Where is she from?” Mexcatli asked again whispering.

“I don’t know actually, I never did ask Janus again where they are from, it doesn’t really matter to me anyways.” Lucas said. “She’s pretty though, maybe you should invite her to the palace.”

“Last thing I need,” Mexcatli snorted

“Oh, come now brother,” Lucas said.

“It’s true, if I bring her over the next thing you know mother is going to be calling her mother and in two weeks I’d be married.” Mexcatli said.

“Is that a bad thing?” Lucas asked.

“It is if I wanted to get to know her first before marrying her.” Mexcatli said.

“If I were in your shoes, I think I wouldn’t mind marrying her.” Lucas said.

“Lucas, she is pretty, but I much rather get to know her first before actually going off and marrying a woman I hardly even know, and I just met.” Mexcatli said.

“Suit yourself,” Lucas shrugged the murmur suddenly fell silent as a second man entered the stage. He was a colorful man, tall (still short by comparison to Mexcatli though, he grumbled how he was probably the tallest man in the planet to himself). The man was old, old he had gray hair mostly on his head that was turning white with his age. His face was wrinkled and worn out from the years he had seen. He was wearing a great red cape on his back, a nice black tunic with all sorts of strange and wondrous things on the front, including a great red fire bird, a phoenix, scrawled on it.

“Is he seriously wearing that?” Mexcatli heard Janus grumble loud enough so that he could be heard.

“Quiet,” the Lady Lucy said.

“He looks ridiculous,” Janus said and Mexcatli looked down three people away from him and saw him shrug. There was something about the way Janus was acting as if he knew the man on stage, including the fact that Janus seemed to sink down in his chair flushing red in his cheeks. Mexcatli looked back up it was the same Bard that he had seen perform before in the palace. The man’s eyes looked around as he accepted the applause as he had reached the center stage. The man had frost blue eyes, eyes that looked as cold as the ice on top of the highest mountain and yet they looked serene and knowledgeable.

“Greetings all those of Asgard!” The man said in a big bellowing voice it echoed throughout the building. Mexcatli instantly looked around for sound amplifications but he saw none, it was the man’s very voice that was causing this. Mexcatli was impressed. “I am Toniuth Joetche, the great Bard of Ages they call me!” the man waited as the crowd applauded.

“The great bard of ages!?” Janus murmured through the applause looking redder if that was even possible. The Lady Lucy jabbed her elbow into him hard. “What? It’s not your....”

“Be quite!” Lady Lucy snapped, and Janus sighed.

“I have come to your fine city to perform the greatest of all legends on this fine day.” The bard said. “THE GREAT DAY OF JERICHO!” the man said with an even greater bellowing voice than he had before. The crowd erupted in applause and Mexcatli looked sidewise and saw Janus covering his face as if he didn’t want to be recognized or something.

“From the sky they came,

They came with a great thunderous flame

Those who served the dark

He whose heart was as thick as bark

They came to sweep out the land

They came from the mountains, rivers, and sand

Warriors who glowed as crystals, men

From the deep dark of his evil den

Lead by an insane man named Pride

There was nowhere that our people could hide

That it was the end was near

Then we rejoiced when we hear

The great Horn sounding like a thunderous wave

And from the north he came with an army to take them to the grave

The great King of Asgard and his men

To send the evil back to their den.

The King blew the horn once more

The evil fled for they knew what was in store

For them was the end

It was time for the evil to bend

The horn of Jericho had been sound

Millions of people came from around

To fight against those of the dark

The sound of the horn that hark

So, the crystal gods did fall

It was an achievement of them all

For those who saw freedom ring

Came from a horn from a great King.

Applause started up as he ended the first part of the verse of the Day of Jericho. It was a very well-known story. Caledfwich On Heim was Mexcatli’s ancestor, the first of the On Heim family to rule Asgard, at that time the ruling family was the Van Heidenreich’s. The eldest daughter and heir to the throne married Caledfwich and he became king after the old king died in the initial invasion of crystal giants as they were called that came from the sky. The whole thing would have sounded like some sort of old wives’ tale if the skull of the creature known as Diamander, did not exist in the palace of Asgard. Mexcatli turned to the Lady Lucy and Janus who still covered his face with his hands still visibly red. Mexcatli wondered why the man was acting like this. Lady Lucy didn’t seem to notice him; she seemed too engrossed by the tale.

The man waited for the applause to die down before he cleared his throat and started up again. But before he did his eyes met Mexcatli’s and he looked taken aback. It was for half a second but Mexcatli recognized the surprise in the man’s face even, so it was brief. Mexcatli no doubt thought the man recognized him as the crown prince of Asgard. Mexcatli sighed.

“What’s the matter now?” Lucas asked.

“He recognized me.” Mexcatli said.

“He has performed in our palace before.” Lucas shrugged

“Well for a moment I was hoping no one would recognize me,” Mexcatli said. Mexcatli sighed again; he disliked being so easily recognized by all those. He was easily recognizable by two things. One his height, he was a head taller than any man he had ever met before way taller than any Asgardian was meant to be and so he often grumbled about his height. The second thing was his gold eagle or hawk-like eyes. No other Asgardian, it seemed, had those eyes not even his parents. These two things alone made him wonder if he really was their son. Mexcatli had seen pictures of these feathered women in myths named Carrions that had gold eyes, but they were thought to be long dead or extinct. Aside he had never seen a male Carrions before in the myths they were always female.

The man continued his performance as if nothing occurred for another twenty minutes or so before he took a standing ovation and left the stage.

“The man is a good performer,” Lucas said as they got up Mexcatli looked over and saw Lady Lucy stand up and talk to Janus with her hands to her hips. He couldn’t hear what she was telling him over the noise of the crowd, Janus was still red in the face and he put his hands up gesturing to himself and back in the direction of the man who exited. “Why don’t you at least go talk to her?”

“I am thinking about that,” Mexcatli said as they walked out of the building across from them Lady Lucy was talking vigorously with Janus as if she was scolding him, she was acting as if maybe she was his sister, but she didn’t look anything like him. But what came across to Mexcatli from the way that she was acting was a sibling squabble, or something very kin to it.

“It is you,” the bard said suddenly standing in front of Mexcatli he didn’t even notice where he had come from and Mexcatli even looked back, he could have sworn the man had just disappeared just a second before off the stage.

“Hello Bard Toniuth,” Lucas said extending his hand.

“Greetings Lord Lucas....” the bard said he gave him a polite bow but didn’t take Lucas’s hand.

“That was a good performance.” Lucas said ignoring the fact that the bard had not taken his hand.

“You are too kind, I remember performing when you boys where young, I recognized you Lord Mexcatli by your eyes.” the bard pointed at his eyes when he said this as if he was trying to show him something. Mexcatli tilted his head a bit wondering what he meant by this, but he didn’t understand it right away.

“A lot of people say that it seems.” Mexcatli said sounding a bit annoyed.

“Oh, come off of it now,” the Bard said. “My Lord should rejoice it is a good occasion to celebrate, I by the way noticed you seemed interested in the Lady Lucy, she is a precious beauty, isn’t she?”

“Tell me about it, Mexcatli kept gawking at her,” Lucas said and Mexcatli punched his brother’s arm. “Ouch!” he said rubbing his arm. “What you were I am surprised she didn’t notice you stare at her with little....” Mexcatli acted as if he wanted to punch him again so Lucas jumped back and ran off laughing.

“Sometimes he is such a pest,” Mexcatli muttered.

“I can imagine,” the bard said. “So, my Lord, I remember when you were young, you said you wanted to set off on an adventure. Do you still desire this?”

“Of course,” Mexcatli said.

“The Lady Lucy’s guard, that boy named Janus he is known as.... well now anyways I named him Alexander, but he likes the name Janus for some reason...” The bard said.

“What do you mean you named him Alexander?” Mexcatli asked.

“He’s my eldest son,” the bard said shrugging suddenly that explained a lot to Mexcatli. Including Janus acting a fool and turning redder by the minute as the Bard performed. “He is not my eldest child, that title belongs to Sandra, my only daughter.”

“I see,” Mexcatli said.

“As I was saying.... apparently, the Lady Lucy is here on behalf of Lord Leonard, her father. She is trying to find something that her father said was here in Asgard.” the Bard said. “Or so Janus said.”

“Which is?” Mexcatli said.

“A map that was made by Caledfwich’s wife the queen of Asgard eons ago after his death.” The bard said.

“What is this a map of?” Mexcatli said.

“Where the horn of Jericho lays.” The Bard said simply as if it was the most obvious thing it could possibly be.

“Come again?!” Mexcatli said trying to tame his enthusiasm.

“Did you listen to the last bit of the Day of Jericho performance?” The bard asked.

“I heard it all.” Mexcatli said.

“Yes well... the horn is supposed to be found so that Magog’s prison could not be broken it was thought to be one of four things in the universe that could do it.” The Bard said.

“But Magog was imprisoned by the creator at the beginning of time how could a simple horn destroy his prison?” Mexcatli said shuttering at the thought that the devourer of suns would be loose again.

“Do you not pay attention prince?” the Bard said. “‘THE HORN SHATTERED WALLS, STONES AND THE EARTH, FROM WHICH GAVE IT BIRTH. THE HORN SOUNDED LOUDER THAN THUNDER MORE POWERFUL THAN A VOLCANO IT SOUNDED LOUDER THAN A TORNADO.’” the bard quoted.

“You mean to tell me the Horn can shatter the walls of the chaos beast’s prison?” Mexcatli said.

“It is a theory,” the Bard said. “For eons the horn had been lost. And so, it was assumed to be safe. But recently followers of Magog were said to be looking for the map here in the walls of Asgard. Searching for it to free their master. It was here that one of his great commanders suffered his worse defeat. Pride lost here to your ancestor: Caledfwich On Heim.”

“And you are telling me this why?” Mexcatli asked sounding a bit suspicious.

“There is no need to suspect wrong doings, prince.” The Bard said. “I just decided to forward you this data, for your eyes burned for an adventure as a child. I remember you telling the king once in my presence.”

“That is all nice and said well,” Mexcatli said. “However, I do not want to go off on some folly adventure.” Mexcatli said he turned to leave.

“Not even if I tell you rumor says that up in Villajengard they have seen crystal giants?” The bard said and Mexcatli stopped in his tracks.

“Crystal giants, like the ones that came here before?” Mexcatli said.

“Indeed prince, a giant crystal hand was said to have appeared in the great Artic of Villajengard.” the Bard said.

“How is it that you know of this?” Mexcatli said.

“My prince I travel.” The bard said shrugging. “In any event if you don’t believe me you can ask the Lady Lucy yourself. I assure you that she will tell you the same...” the Bard looked behind Mexcatli’s shoulder temporarily it was not long, but it was long enough for Mexcatli to notice and turn his head he saw no one there, but he was certain he had heard shuffling of feet just seconds ago. “Now if you excuse me.”

With that the bard was going leaving Mexcatli thinking to himself. It could not be that the sun eater’s followers were trying to free him. He was trapped in his prison by the creator where he shall remain until the end of time. Mexcatli shrugged off the thought. But it was eating away at him. He decided to find Lady Lucy, he smirked to himself. She is very beautiful this gives me an excuse to talk to her. Smiling brightly Mexcatli left the theater.

Behind him the Bard walked hastily through the corridors.

“That boy has ears like a wolf and eyes like a hawk.” The bard said seemingly to himself until a light flashed over his head through the dark corridor revealing none-other than Foxx walking next to him.

“That he does Captain,” Foxx said.

“It’s been too long since I last saw him, I hardly recognized him when I saw him if it weren’t for his eyes, I would have never known it was him.” The Bard said.

“Why did the Commodore send you and Lady Lucy here to test him?” Foxx said.

“The Lady Lucy volunteered, she wanted to meet him, and they are of similar age I think.” the Bard said. “And Janus came because he is Lady Lucy’s guard and has been for most of his life since that incident that occurred way back when.”

“When she ran off by herself on a shuttle?” Foxx said.

“Indeed, my old friend.” the Bard said.

“Do you think he will accept the test?” Foxx said.

“More than likely,” the Bard said.

“I suspect as much also.” Foxx said.

“I think the boy will do well.” the Bard said.

“Let’s just hope he will,” Foxx said. “If Pride really did survey for all these years that means that he will come back with a vengeance.”

“Indeed,” The Bard said they suddenly reached a door and the Bard pressed three buttons on a key pad that appeared next to it. The door buzzed.

“Welcome Captain Toniuth,” the computer said.

“That imbecile son of mine almost gave me away blushing as much as he was.” the Bard said as he walked in and when he did his attire changed very quickly into armor that was black like a volcano’s soil with red magma pulsating throughout it. On his shoulders were epaulettes, three stripes with a star: the rank of a captain. “But he guards Lady Lucy like no other can guard her. Let us hope that it is enough if the likes of Pride are still around.”

“Hell, of a test to go through.” Foxx said. “I remember mine with that thing that Conrad had created: Aniahalon. All none-the-wiser that this creature existed.”

“You do have that scar to show otherwise.” Captain Toniuth said. “It’s so interesting how Asgard has isolated itself as much as it has during the reign of Odin, most people do not even think or fathom here on the subject of beings beyond this world now. I have spent now a week since the Commodore sent me here as I was the closest to this space to test the boy. He said back then that Lucy was going to show up even though he was going to try and convince her otherwise and so she is here. And she fits here had you not noticed? Then again, she is the daughter of a Carrion, speaking of which the boy looks like a male Carrion he would be the first Male Carrion to be born in the last countless of centuries if this is the case.”

“I’ve heard that he looked like male Carrion, before.” Foxx said. “Never seen one before though, what makes people say that?”

“His eyes.” Captain Toniuth said. “They are a lot like our eyes.” Captain Toniuth pointed to his own eagle like frost blue eyes when he said this. “I pointed at my eyes in hopes that he would recognize that our eyes were the same, but the boy doesn’t seem to know much about the other race that lives on this planet. Then again Odin must have not told him.”

“No, he hasn’t I know for a fact that Mexcatli doesn’t even think he is his parent’s son which means he questions why he is taller than Asgardians and why his eyes are as Gold as they are.” Foxx said.

“You were around Odin when he was younger, you knew her didn’t you?” Captain Toniuth

“Ronja?” Foxx said. “Yes sir, I knew her well she was a very beautiful being I don’t know how she was killed off so Odin can reign the way she was.”

“Pity the prince never knew her.” Captain Toniuth said. “In any event Lady Lucy will probably do the last convincing of Mexcatli.”

“I don’t like the idea of her being here.” Foxx said.

“Just because you wanted your own daughter to marry him doesn’t mean we should prohibit him from meeting someone else.” Captain Toniuth shrugged. “Remember my old friend we are testing how self-determined he is.”

“Indeed...” Foxx said he and Captain Toniuth suddenly appeared in the center of a massive bridge with people walking around taking notes and talking. Looking at various different things. In front of them was a screen with a man’s face. Foxx only knew it from historical records to be the mad dictator of the Axis: Conrad Structhem which came to be known as Pride.

“If Pride is stirring that means he has forces lurking about looking for the horn as we speak. We must make haste and find this thing before anyone else does.” Captain Toniuth said. Foxx agreed they needed to find the Horn of Jericho before anyone else came to this planet. He only hoped that Lady Lucy could convince Mexcatli to go find it.

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