This is a tale from the Book of Legends of Tranulia. In a little village in Tranulia named Kelinda, there lived a young boy named Cael. He was a kind hearted lad who eventually took over the throne of Tranulia, overthrowing Querya, the queen. She wasn't cruel, nor was she kind. She loved attention and was very arrogant and thought of herself as the most beautiful queen in the entire world. The only reason she believed in such nonsense was because she was always told so.
Cael was nineteen years old. During the wars Between Tranulia and other kingdoms like Árabêsk and Leteráni, boys of age fourteen and above were chosen to fight. They were trained in archery, sword fighting and many other things. Cael's nineteen year old father had passed away in war, and his mother had fainted of shock when she found out, only to be greeted with a stroke after she recovered. Cael had an elder sister named Kaela who, being called the fairest maiden in Kelinda, spent most of her time helping orphans at the local orphanage which Queen Querya had refused to improve the conditions of, stating that eventually the orphans will turn fourteen and will leave their temporary home for war. Unfortunately, some of these children were still a few years old and had no one to look after them. Kaela knew many languages, including ones that most people have forgotten even exist anymore, and had more than a few suitors asking for her hand in marriage.
Cael was adjusting his breastplate when they came to pick him up for the war against Kaele. He was named after the kingdom of Kaele because it was known for its wise people and strong and just warriors. As he climbed his horse, his eyes were searching for his sister. She always came to bid him farewell before wars. Just as he was about to give up, his sister appeared. She looked frantic, her ebony hair flying all over the place and her cheeks flushed. Beads of sweat on her forehead gleamed in the daylight. What made Cael worry was that she held an unlit candle in her hand and her face showed fear.
"Cael!" She yelled as a knight stopped her from going any further. The barracks were only for those who went to war. He requested the knight to allow me to speak to her. The knight nodded after thinking for some time and Cael jump off the horse and walked towards Kaela. he looked down at Kaela and smiled to himself. He was taller than her by more than a few inches. He tucked the hair on her cheek behind her ear and spoke in a low voice,"Kaela, what happened?" She took a long breath before saying,"Mai Caél, a mete kiluara quern a witula Richelle!" he raised an eyebrow. She repeated it in the common tongue,"Cael, Madam Richelle said that you might not return from the battlefield." Madam Richelle was the local fortune teller and all her predictions turn out to be true. Although a tiny part in Cael's mind worried him, he smirked and replied to his beloved sister,"My dear, dear sister. Madam Richelle didn't say that I would be in trouble, right? All she said was that I might not return. Don't worry. I'll be back safe and sound."
Kaela didn't look convinced. She didn't scold him for not listening to Richelle's warning. Instead, she took a match and lit the candle. She placed it at her brothers feet and kneeled. She whispered a few words in the language of the old religion and in return, Cael tried to stay as still as possible. The ritual his sister did every time he went out to war to protect him lasted a little longer this time. A knight called out to Cael to quicken his pace and Cael tried his very best to not look in the knights direction. His sister looked up at him and he bended down and reached out to place a hand on the fire coming from the candle. It vanished just before he could touch it. Kaela gasped. "Cael. We won't be waiting any longer for you. Get on your damn horse before I come and pick you up." A knight yells in the distance. Cael faintly nodded as his sister got up, frowning. She held her hands out to embrace him and he obeyed. She whispered into his ear while standing on the tips of her toes. "Stay safe, Cael..." She pulls away, kisses him lightly on the cheek and hands him an amulet. "Madam Richelle said that it could prevent you from getting hurt." He smiles at her and nods a goodbye as he climbed onto his horse.
They quickly reached the battle field. A large amount of blood was shed by the time they approached. Cael's jaw drops as he looks at the knights and children fighting, more viciously than he had ever seen. He frowns at the people and gets his horse to enter the battle. His horse hesitates before going in. Cael's teeth clatter as he shoves his sword through many knights from the kingdom of Kaele. His eyes water up, not from the fact that he has not seen such aggression in a long time, but because of the dust accumulating the air. It almost felt as if there was more sand in the air than oxygen.
Cael's eye started to sting and he tried not to let it bother him as he gravely wounded many other people. His horse kept hesitating whenever Cael commanded it to do something. Eventually, the his eye started itching so badly that he couldn't help but reach up to rub it. Something struck Cael in that moment. He fell off his horse as he shrieked. His sword stayed in his hands and he tried to get up, only to be greeted with such atrocious pain that he couldn't believe he wasn't dead. Blood was pouring out of his calf and hovering above his face was a girl. A beautiful, Kaelen girl. Half of her face was covered by a mask. He shook his head and rolled around as the girl tried to stab him with a sword of her own. Eventually, he gathered the strength to block the girl's blade with his own and he pushed onto her blade. He could see her teeth clench and a few drops of blood falling from the girl's hand.
He had never been in this situation before. He panicked and he winked at her, leaving her confused. He finally pushed her and she fell down, her sword falling a few feet away from her hands reach. He stood above her, wondering whether he should plunge his sword through her or not. Then he thought that it was unfair. She didn't have her blade and he had confused her. This was unfair. He picked her sword and threw it to her and she quickly caught it. He mumbled,"This isn't fair." And quietly climbed his horse and galloped away.
His leg started to hurt like a million ants had been gnawing on it. He tried his best to not fall off of his horse. On the way to the infirmary, he wondered whether the blade had been poisoned. His eyesight blackened at the edges and by the time he had reached his destination, he had encountered death about a million times. Not only had his leg been wounded, but his arm had been gashed and his head was covered by blood, dirt, sweat and hallucinations which refused to go away. His horse was also gravely injured, a leg fractured, Cael didn't know how that had happened and a large wound covered the horse's abdomen.
The nurse took one look at Cael and rushed him to a private chambers. His horse fell down and Cael couldn't help but feel pity for the majestic creature which had carried him all the way here. Perhaps Madam Richelle's prediction was about to come true. Colours flashed wherever Cael looked and the nurse had to try her best to stop him from screaming. She applied medications to the wound but the was no hope that Cael would survive.
A young girl with slightly tanned skin and copper curls framing her dirt and sweat covered face entered the private chambers, disregarding all the threats the other nurses had cast on her. Biting her lip, she handed a small pouch to the new Kaelen nurse. She told her to apply the antidote on his wound and he would be alright. When Cael saw the girl, he growled, his hand searching for his sword. It was the same Kaelen girl he had spared earlier. He took a step back, eyeing the nurse. She looked hurt. The nurse took a chance and applied the salve on his wound. If she had not done this, he would have died. The Kaelen girl sighed and left the chambers, clearly relieved.
Cael woke up in a cold, damp chamber. It wasn't a chamber, though, it was actually a dungeon. Cael tried to sit up, but failed miserably. As he tried again, pain shot up his arm. He noticed that his wounds were bandaged and that his leg felt a lot better.
"I'm sorry, actually." A voice startled Cael. He looked at the iron rods, forming a door which was blocking him from the hallway. The young girl he had wished to kill earlier in the infirmary was once again in front of him. This time, she was not wearing an armor. She wasn't holding a poisoned sword in her hand. Instead, she wore a peach gown. Her hair was untied and it cascaded down her back like a waterfall. Hell, if she hadn't tried to kill Cael, he would have fallen in love with her by now. Her eyes, a shade of green he couldn't decipher due to the fact that her eyes were as thin and as sharp as a blade. Her full lips looked bigger than her eyes and the colour of a red rose.
She turned her head, perhaps to let Cael see the side of her face she had hidden during the war. As she turned her head, Cael saw that her face wasn't perfect. A dark mark covered half of her neck and a huge part of the left side of her face. As Cael looked closer, he realised that it wasn't just a mark. Her skin was burnt. She asked the guards to release Cael and they obeyed. They lifted Cael up by his arms, not at all careful to not injure his wounds a bit more. He winced, though gathering the strength to fight if threatened.
Th guards threw him down at the girl's feet. She looked at him and offered him a hand. All Cael thought of this gesture was that it was a trick. He didn't know how it was a trick but according to him, it was. He pushed himself up and stands up, puffing his chest to show pride, even though the pain was clearly seen in his eyes.
"Where am I?" Cael said while gritting his teeth. The girl simply smiled and said,"Trapped." This caused Cael to look up in confusion."Excuse me, madam. You poisoned me and I spared you. You came to me in my time of pain and trapped me in a dungeon. Hell, I could kill you right now. I could have killed you back then, when I had you under me. But I didn't. Now let me get the hell out of this damned place or I swear I will murder you." The guards pointed their swords at Cael when he threatens the girl. "Does your sibling know of this. Does she know that you speak in such foul language to someone of royal blood?" That was all she said to create panic in Cael's mind.
Royal blood? Thought Cael. "Sorry, your... highness?" Cael assumed that she was just a princess since she looked so young. Maybe around sixteen or seventeen. The princess laughed as she said,"What, you think I haven't taken over the crown? There's no law in Kaele that states that a young princess cannot rule without anyone by her side!" Cael smiled as he realised that he had just made the princess laugh and so there are less chances of him being stabbed brutally if he amuses the beautiful, yet scarred princess.
"H-How did you know of my sister, your majesty?" Stammered Cael, who usually spoke with utmost confidence. His shoulders drooped a little. He realised that the pain had almost vanished. The princess smiled smugly as she said,"Oh, I just assumed that you had a sibling. I never pointed out whether you had a brother or a sister. But now, I do. How's your sister, boy?"
Cael forced himself to smile as he said,"I'll assume she's doing well, your highness. She was a mess when I last saw her, though." Cael wondered what made him give away a part of his life that could affect him to a princess he had just met. Formally, that is.
The princess looked at Cael in a way he couldn't decipher and eventually, she asked him his name. "My name's Cael, your highness." He said as he bowed down. She chuckled and said that it's was bit too late for formalities. Then she looked at him in a way that made Cael uncomfortable. She asked him what his full name was. "Cael Aritoma Tybalt." He said.
She smiled, as if amused by his answer. What did she think my name was? Lady Akinatoma of Trequa? Cael thought to himself. He asked her he name and she said,"Adelaide." Cael smirked and asked her her full name. She shook her head and said that it's too long. He insisted that she told him her full name. She took a long breath as if to emphasize what she was saying and spoke,"Princess Adelaide Alys Cedany Ryia Tristan Ariacea Carac Alianor Kaele." All Cael could say was "Wow." She shrugged and said that many distant relatives wanted to add their names and that the priests added a few names to depict that she would be a ruler as strong as Queen Alys of Leteráni or as wise as the royal adviser Carac from Terunqey.
In the distance, the sounds of footsteps were heard. Princess Adelaide quickly stood up straight and gestured Cael to bow down to her again. He bowed down and saw the princess tense up as a man appeared by her side. He had a regal glow which could only come from the king. As if to confirm Cael's thoughts that this man was the king, Adelaide made a low curtsied to the man and said,"Father," The king nodded his head once and looked at Cael. His eyes widened when he noticed that Cael looked less Kaelen and more Tranulian. Cael quickly bowed and mumbled ,"You majesty."
"Are you a spy, young Tranulian?" The king asked. He didn't sound like he was accusing him of spying. Before Cael could reply, Adelaide whispered something into the king's ear. The king's face showed a flicker of surprise but it vanished as quickly as it had appeared. He turned to the young boy and said,"I would like to dine with you tonight, boy. I expect you to be in a more comfortable state when I see you." He nodded his head once as a farewell and Cael bowed down and muttered,"Your majesty,".
After the Kings footsteps could be heard no more, Cael looked at the beautiful, scarred princess and asked,"Might I ask what you said to the king?" To his surprise, she winked and spoke loud enough for only Cael to hear,"Only if you wish your head to be chopped off, brave, young boy."