1 - First Sight
Prince Sugi stands in the courtyard staring at the crescent moon, the calming influence seeping into his pale skin somehow easing his mind. The attack on his kingdom had been too close for comfort so his nerves are on edge. The stillness is broken by the soft chiming of bells in the distance and dry leaves crunching under someone’s careful step. His uneasiness increases, not knowing what dangers might lurk in the adjacent woods. The lush scenery providing many places for an enemy to hide from the light, but the moonlight reveals the chiseled face and plump lips of a striking young man emerging from the darkness.
The princes’ eyes grow big as this is his private courtyard and no one is allowed here under the penalty of death. Only someone bent on killing him would dare come this close. Many have tried and paid with their life. They blamed the prince for bringing darkness into their land and in a way he had. Their peaceful balance with the dark nature spirits of the night had been broken.
You see the prince was cursed by a druid sorceress that fell in love with him at first sight. When the prince did not return her affection, her once gentle heart turned to stone and she vowed that no one would be able to gaze into his beautiful eyes but her. Harnessing her power from the natural world, she laid the foundation of the evil that befell him. If anyone dared to meet his gaze, they would be frozen on the spot and a slow merciless death would follow. This stranger either doesn’t know or he is here for the kill. The prince, unarmed except for his deadly stare, holds his hand up as if it could stop the steps of the stranger.
“Stop!” He manages to finally speak, “You must turn around at once and leave here.” The prince warns the approaching man and turns his face trying to shield his eyes, but is unable to look away for long since his fright is so great.
The stranger stops in his tracks and stares at the beautiful young prince like he is something out of a dream. He has never been in such a magical place, nor laid eyes on someone so delicate and otherworldly. He stands there staring into his eyes frozen in time. The prince’s violet hair blows softly in the wind adding to the enchantment.
The young prince yells for his elven guards with anguish in his eyes, his gaze as perilous as poison. This beautiful stranger is close to death and there is nothing to be done. No one has survived a peer into his cursed eyes.
Without a sound of warning, the blonde is surrounded by the wood elves pointing their arrows at him. He looks around putting his arms up in defeat. Lo and behold, the intruder is not frozen! The prince notices and is perplexed but still hides not wanting his defenders to suffer the horrible fate that has befallen others.
The stranger’s eyes dart to the silhouette of the prince that can be seen behind the translucent curtains. He waits the tortuous seconds for him to give the order to shoot.
The head of the guard, Jeon, a talented warrior whose duty and life purpose is to protect the prince, comes towards the intruder.
Brows furrowed and full of menace the young knight announces, “Who dares accost our prince?”
The prince continues to hide his face and listens intently for the trespasser’s response. Sugi is extremely curious and astounded as to how he has survived the curse. The only person that could still look at him is his mother, but after the attacks, his father fearing for her life asked her to return to the lands of her people.
The prince is astounded. How is this person not affected by the curse?