Prologue: 3rd PoV
Once upon a time...
In a land far far away, there lived a prince and his family in a large, magnificent kingdom. He was a young man, hardly twenty years old, and he was very handsome.
The prince lived in Mukhauta, a kingdom that no longer stands in the barren lands of waste and pity of India. In a place that now houses the homeless and the poor.
Mukhauta was never like that.
The city was large, and it was beautiful. Sheets of pink clouds drifted over the dark blue skies, the sun gently sprinkling their rays over the houses and farmlands of the kingdom. It was covered by a large dome, a dome separating the lands from the human world, from the war and the arrows.
A long, narrow strip of cobblestone paved through the streets, houses on either side of the long road. Over time, the rocks eroded into a smooth path, a path in which farmers used to carry their heavy loads of fruits and vegetables to make a living in the crowded city.
Houses carved from stone and precious gems glittered in the sunlight, their bodies swaying in the light wind, but never toppling into the ground. The brisk heat forced many into light articles of clothing, but nobody in the kingdom-minded. Men worked in the fields, bringing home enough money to buy food and clothes while women helped around the house and in the fields.
The streets were always busy, no matter what day it was, or how the weather was forecasted. They were always cluttered with sellers from nearby cities shouting on the streets, their turbans flaring in the wind as they waved their goods around in the air, the atmosphere thick with yelling and bidding.
The scent of Mukhauta was rich with fresh vegetables and sweet, juicy fruits that had been waved and sold in the air by their sellers. The mouth-watering sweets that accompanied them were only the icing on the cake, as Mukhauta was known throughout the Lokon realms as a very cultural and very delicious kingdom.
Yes, Mukhauta was very beautiful.
But it was also very dangerous.
Hidden underneath the layers of the thick, juicy fruits and the satin wraps of turbans; hidden underneath the cries of children, underneath the footsteps of families, there was a threat, a threat so hidden, yet so obvious.
The prince had grown up in a life of luxury, but he was not narcissistic. He was a kind, gentle prince, who only portrayed dominance when he was most needed to. Handsome and muscular, he was every girl in the kingdom’s dream man—
—except, he wasn’t.
Hidden underneath that shiny smile and those rich robes, there was a sizzling power sitting in the prince’s palm, a power his parents had fought immensely to conceal. They had done everything they could to make sure the prince’s magic was a secret, a secret only the royal family had rights to know about.
There was nothing wrong with having magic, however. Everyone in Mukhauta had it; it was only the power that the prince had, the dangerous, murderous power that he held in his palm that made his parents wary; that made them afraid.
The prince was not locked in his tower; he was not forbidden to do anything he wasn’t supposed to be doing. He was simply only to wear gloves on his hands. He was told never to allow anyone to witness his miracle; he was never allowed to touch anyone with his skin, to feel their warmth flow through his veins, or feel their chill sharpen his senses.
For a while, the prime obeyed his parent’s will, keeping the gloves they had made for him secured on his hands. He would have stayed like that; he would have kept the gloves on for the rest of his life—
—had he not met her.
She was an exquisite beauty; a female warrior of the nearby Lahasa kingdom. She was by no means a princess, and she was by no means royalty, but she was gorgeous.
The prince became infatuated by her, by her pale skin, the color as creamy as milk; by her dainty hands, hands that would mercilessly murder any man or woman who so much as produced a drop of blood from the prince’s body.
Her lips were dangerous, were soft, were enticing. They regularly pressed against his skin, bringing out a flurry of butterflies in his stomach. Her hands smoothed against his body, her blade a sharp prick against his throat. He’d often been her toy, not that he’d minded. The prince had fallen hopelessly in love with the warrior, with her lips—
—but not with her eyes.
Alas, the maiden who had grown on him had no desire for the prince to catch a glimpse of her eyes, of the orbs hiding under a curled, golden mask; of the cherry red or plush pink lips that teased his skin and his heart every night, every day, every second of his life.
The Prince longed to touch her skin, to feel his hands against the slope of her belly, to feel her gasp underneath his smooth fingers, under his touch, his warmth. His parents, while supportive of his love for the warrior, forbade him from touching her with his skin, with his hands.
The prince, while upset, was content with pleasing his warrior with his gloved hands and his talented lips, but over the years that they had been together, something had begun to change.
The maiden came to his chambers less and less; her lips unable to meet his like before, like when they had first met. It didn’t bother the prince at first; he simply assumed that she had been under the weather, or she had been tired from training.
But as the days turned into months, and the months turned into years, annoyance and resentment began to crawl upon the prince every time he laid eyes on the maiden. He met her lips no more; his hands stayed limp on her body.
The maiden grew confused over time; what had happened to her beloved? Why was he not pleasing her like he used to? Had she done something wrong?
She questioned the prince one day during their stroll through the palace gardens, something that had once been another form of pleasure to both of them. She brushed her long fingers over the flimsy flowers, interrupting the dance they had been doing throughout the whole day. The petals cooed against her skin, but the prince scoffed.
“You have been doing something behind my back,” he sneered sharply, turning on his heel. His gloved hands clenched together, taking in the shaky arms of his love. “You have changed, Mohini. You are not the woman I once loved, not anymore. Your kisses are no longer deep, your whispers are no longer mine. They belong to someone else, now, do they not?”
“W-What...?” Mohini trembled. She clutched her boney hands together, her mask shaking on her eyes. “My love, what do you mean?”
“I am not your love, not anymore,” the prince growled. He took a step away from her, his stomach squeezing. “You have been with another, Mohini. Look me in the eye and tell me that I am slandering your name.”
Mohini didn’t look him in the eye, and the prince knew that he was right, despite a little part of him hoping that he had jumped to conclusions too quickly. He felt as if his heart had been shattered, the bits of glass a sharp weapon on the ground.
“Why...?” He whispered. He reached for the handle of a clay vase, and Mohini winced. “Why? What had I done wrong?”
“You did nothing wrong!” Mohini cried. “I--please, Rohan! It was an accident! It was a mistake! Please, I did not mean for it to go this far! I-!”
“You what?!” Rohan’s voice boomed across the gardens, the trees around him cowering. “I did everything you wanted, Mohini! I gave you everything you desired! Was my love not enough for you?!”
“No.” Rohan snapped. “You don’t deserve to call me by my name, Mohini, not anymore.” It was as if his eyes had hardened when he looked at her, the sheets of ice glittering cruelly in his dark eyes. “How did I ever love someone like you?! How could I ever have loved a woman I could not see?!”
Anger flared in Mohini’s chest. “How dare you!” She cried. “I admitted to my mistakes, Rohan! I apologized, and you call me--!”
“An apology doesn’t heal my heart, Mohini!” Rohan snarled. “An apology does not heal all those years I loved you! My pathetic mistake! A mistake for loving a woman who cowers underneath her own lover!”
“I, Prince Rohan Rajput of Mukhauta, reject you, Mohini, of the Lokon clan as my Queen, my wife, and my lover,” Rohan spat, his icy eyes glinting in the sparkle of the sun at Mohini.
She crumbled to her knees at his words, but no tears spilled from her eyes. Anger coiled like a python inside of her, squeezing her core. When she opened her eyes again, all of the hurt that had once spilled from her dainty eyelids glowed in vibrating anger, the orbs glowing a bright blue. She rose from the ground, floating in the sky, her arms spread around her, her robes billowing in the turbulent wind she had created.
Rohan staggered back, the gloves peeling from his hands and dashing into the forest from the wind Mohini created. The sky, the once berry blue sky, now dissolved into a dark grey, the clouds thick and heavy around the kingdom. Lighting flashed in streaks on the grey sheets, but the rain did not tumble.
“Now do you see?” Mohini cried, her voice vibrating over the large expanse of the kingdom. “Now do you see my face? My eyes? My lips?” Her fangs pressed against her ruby red lips, her eyes a reptilian green. Blue scales covered her dark cheeks, her ears twisting as if she were a troll.
Rohan swallowed the gasp that had threatened to split his lips. His dark eyes widened, his bare fingers pressing against the pillar the vase once stood on, the stone crumbling into ash under his skin.
“I curse you, Prince Rohan,” Mohini boomed through the tears now coming down on her scaley cheeks. “I curse you with the looks of a beast, with the eyes, the ears, the stance of a monster; a monster who hides from humanity. Only if you can find a maiden willing to look past your mask, then, and only then, will your curses be broken.” The light that had been accumulating in her palm blasted at Rohan, forcing him to kneel.
He roared, but it was no use; he was no match against her power. He felt his body beginning to change; his skin was no longer brown; his eyes were no longer chocolate tinted; he was no longer smaller than the carriage they had set up for display. Claws jutted from his fingers, fangs pressed from his lips. His hair tumbled in a dark, tangled canopy over his face, the ground around his hands crumbling to ash.
“W-What have you done?” Rohan roared. He looked up at the sky in despair, and as Mohini floated to the ground, his kingdom began to change. Cries echoed from the streets, streets that were morphing into forests and vines. The sky remained a charred grey, the castle became a dark black.
“You are to be alone,” Mohini spoke through the tears dribbling down her cheeks. “Your family, your kingdom; they are gone.”
“W-What...?” Rohan’s large black eyes surveyed what had once been his magnificent kingdom, now all gone and in ruins. His despair churned in his stomach, but soon, that despair flared into something hotter, more powerful.
“You!” The warning’s Rohan’s parents had given him disintegrated in Rohan’s mind as he grabbed Mohini with his bare hands. She screamed, electricity slamming and charring her insides, but Rohan was too in anger to care what he was doing, what his curse had only magnified.
It was only once Mohini was dead, lying lifeless in his arms, did Rohan realize the extent of his anger, of his fury, what he had done. He laid her gently on the ground, gazing brokenly at her pale face, at her blue lips, at her lifeless pink eyes.
He was a monster, a beast, a broken prince wrapped in dark cloaks and cursed with not only the power to kill, but the monstrosity of a beast. Left with only a broken mask, a mask that controlled his life span, Rohan dissolved into the shadows of his palace, waiting till the day the last piece of the gold-laced mask fell.
He was a beast, and who could ever love a beast?
First chapter (well, prologue,) is up! What do you think? Comment down below what you thought of this! Will Rohan ever find love again?
Published: July 3rd, 2020