This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
IN a far-away land, there lives a peaceful Kingdom by the name Excalibell. It is said that a hundred years ago, there was a great war in the small lands with the Demon King’s army who had planned on conquering the lands.
The people of the each lands had formed an army and fought back fiercely against the Demon King. However, the inexperienced forces were easily defeated by the Demon King.
When all hopes seemed to have lost, a saviour emerged amongst the people — a young peasant boy by the name of Excalibell Hunts.
Under his commands, he unites all of the small neighbouring lands, and built a strong force of army to fight against the Demon King’s army.
Excalibell defeated the Generals of the Demonic army, and saved the lands. He was later crowned as the youngest and the first King of the Kingdom. Under his rules, he created the largest empires the world has ever seen.
The Kingdom of Excalibell, once a poor land, became a beautiful place filled with the richness of numerous resource as well as the world’s greatest wealth, fames and vast lands.
For generations, the Kingdom has lives in peace, without any threats from the Demon King and his minions.
Ninety-nine and a half years later
The Kingdom of Excalibell
“PRINCE Duke? Where are you, Your Highness?” A manly voice was shouting at the hallway. He sighed before he took a deep breath and then he shouted again.
His loud shout echoed throughout the empty hallway of the castle. It belonged to a handsome male servant in his mid-twenties, dressed black and white suit — a standard butler garment.
He stood at five feet and nine inches tall. His short, deeply parted cinnamon hair swung to left and right as sharp pairs of dark chocolate eyes searched for someone: his one and only Charge whom had caused him more misery than anyone ever had — the Royal Prince and the sole Heir to the throne of Excalibell.
Aidan Timbell sighed heavily. How could he be so careless to let this happened again? He had merely taken his eyes off the Crown Prince for just a minute in order to speak with the gardener over the window regarding of tonight’s event.
When he’d finished and about to speak with His Royal Highness, the latter had gone missing.
Aidan had taken every measurements to make sure that the Prince wouldn’t escaped tonight. He had even walked fairly close to the Prince as not to lose sight of him, much to the latter’s slight annoyance.
Aidan sighed and scratched his head.
He did not hate His Royal Highness as they were childhood friends above all before he got promoted into becoming his personal attendant and also Butler.
Being the personal attendant and Butler to the carefree Crown, was a tiring and sometimes, a frustrating job. Nevertheless, it was the job that Aidan loved the most, no matter how many times he complained about it to his loving and retired grandfather, who had been the Head Butler and also the Butler of the previous Crown Prince.
Shaking his head, Aidan knew exactly where His Royal Highness had gone off to. In fact, he should already be there right now. Aidan turned on his heels and went off to the one place where he might find his young troublesome Charge.
“Is it ready yet, Laxuz?”
“In a minute, Your Highness. Please be patient.”
Two men were in a dark underground dungeon, surrounded only by glowing lights, as one of them worked intensively on a magical portal.
One of them was a tall, thin, and in his late thirties with very sharp features — giving him a skeletal appearance, with a medium wavy silver-white hair. He wore a pair of goggles and was busily with working on a deactivated portal in front of them.
The sound of his fingers tapping on the small keyboards attached to the portal was the only sound that echoed in the dungeon.
Behind him, a younger looking man wearing the Royal family’s crest pendant, waiting impatiently for the man to finish the job.
Prince Duke of Excalibell sighed and crossed his arms. He was a handsome young man, the type of man that made women swooned and go mad at the sight of him. With his tanned skin, soft curtained dark brown hair, and a sharp and wolf-like angular features, no doubt that he was the heartthrob of the Kingdom.
The perfect Prince Charming.
Deep olive curious eyes kept looking at their surrounding. He wore a brown leather with a buckled up front short sleeved jerkin, worn over the doublet, and a pair of dark trousers.
After a while, it didn’t seem like his friend, the greatest inventor in all of Excalibell, would be taking his eyes off the screen any time soon.
Getting bored of waiting, the young Prince decided to give the older man some space while he working on the portal.
“Call me when you’re done, old champ. I’ll wait outside.”
“Will do, Your Highness!”
Giving the inventor his most-charming smile, Duke went on ahead and walked up the stairs to the entrance of the dungeon.
Duke rested underneath an Oak Tree while waiting for his inventor friend to finish, and his butler to come and fetch him. The Prince inventively laughed as he could already imagined the annoying look on his butler’s face upon his disappearance and the long lectures that await him.
Sighed, Duke laid on the grass and took the moment by looking up at clear the blue skies. All the sudden, his beloved face’s appeared in his mind: her soft cheeks that often turned red whenever they were together.
Her lovely gaze.
Her cute smile.
“Ah, my dear sweet Marian. How I wanted to see your lovely face once more. To hold you in my arms again. Your smile that always brings warm to my heart. Oh, how I’ve longed to see you, my dear!” Duke sighed softly. He took out something from the hanging small leather pouch which he carried wherever he went.
Inside, there was a small gift wrapped nicely for Marian — an engagement ring.
“Tomorrow shall be the day Marian was born. I do hope with this gift, we can officially be together...” Suddenly an idea struck him.
“That’s it!” The Prince hastily sat up.
“Why don’t I go there and surprise her myself? I mean, even though she had told me she would be busy these couple of weeks with her dance recitals, but a few minutes of chatting with her won’t harm anyone, right?”
“Wrong, Prince.” Duke swiftly turned his head around, and found his butler was glaring sharply at him with both arms crossed on his chest.
“Aidan! I wasn’t expecting you to show up from behind me.” Nor did I expect for you to show up so quickly. Duke smiled innocently, running one hand over his soft locks.
“Really, Your Highness. I know that you are overly head over your heels for Lady Marian.However, please remember that your status as the Crown Prince of this Kingdom takes priority over Lady Marian. You can’t simply go over there just as you pleases, Your Highness. You might bothered her family if you came unannounced and unexpected. Remember what happened last time? Not to mention, His Majesty would be extremely displease this time if he found out that you went over there without his permission. Again."
Duke frowned deeply. The smile that was on his face a minute ago, faded at his Butler’s words.
Aidan had no intention whatsoever to be mean to the Prince. But as his Butler, it was his job to remind the Prince of his duty and responsibilities to the Kingdom over his true love, as Duke often called Marian.
Finally, after a long pause, Duke spoke up with an unsatisfied tone.
“I don’t see why I can’t go over and see my darling Marian as much as I please!” He lifted his hands in the air. “The King has already approved and blessed our relationship. And the people of this Kingdom, although it had taken them a while to accept Marian as their future Queen, but they do so nevertheless. So why can’t I go there, Aidan?”
“It’s true that King Edwin and the whole Kingdom have openly accepted your relationship prior to your engagement to Lady Marian. However, you should also be reminded that Lady Marian is not from the Noble family, and more importantly, the Lady is out of this world. Our World, Prince. His Royal Highness King Edwin had to pull many strings for Lady Marian to be accepted into the Royal family. It was all to his great efforts that you and the Lady are accepted and blessed by the people of this Kingdom and could be wed soon. Do you not think the very least you could do is to honour your father’s wishes after all he had done for you?”
Duke lowered his head. “I... I knew things weren’t going easy since the day when I’d announced my engagement to Father and the Councilmen. But, truthfully say, I could not imagine myself living without Marian standing by my side. We both have agreed to wait until we reached to a proper age in order to wed. Her parents have also agreed and accepted it. Although, it had taken me years to convince them that my intention is sincere!”
Memories of him begging for Marian’s parents to let him take her hands in marriage made Duke chuckled and his Butler snorted and rolled his eyes.
Taking a deep breath, Duke exhaled and said, “Very well. I shall honour Father’s wishes.”
Aidan let out a relief sigh. “Very good, Sir. Now then, why don’t we-” His words were short-lived by a loud voice shouting at the entrance of the dungeon.
“Your Highness, it’s done!” Laxuz shouted, excitingly.
A gust of wind suddenly blew on Aidan’s face, caused the man to shut his eyes and turned away. When he looked back, the Crown Prince was no longer standing in front of him.
A distinctive voice heading toward the entrance of the cave yelled directly at him.
“I shall honour Father’s wishes AFTER I go and see my Marian!”
Aidan was left stunned on his spot. Sighed heavily, he rubbed his now throbbing forehead and growled.
“Your Royal Highness, come back here!”
DUKE whistled happily a soft tune; one which he’d learned from Aidan, as he walked down the stairs of the dungeon where he’ left a few minutes earlier.
When he arrived at the bottom of the stairs, his eyes were glimmering in joy as the portal that he had been waiting for to be fixed, now activated!
Laxuz, noticed the presence of the young Prince, turned his head around and greeted him.
“Ah, there you are, Prince. Just as I’d promised ye! What do you think?”
“Marvellous! Excellent job and well done as always, Laxuz!” praised Duke, stepping closer to the portal. “With this, I am just merely a step away to see my darling Marian. Honestly, I have no what had happened earlier. It suddenly went off by its own when I’d just about to enter.”
“Must have been the connections. It happens.” Laxuz took off his goggles. His stoic and narrowly shaped eyes looked sternly at the Crowned Prince.
“Now, Prince. Make sure you wear that device I’ve given ya.” He pointed at the black and small device wrapped around the Prince’s right wrist.
“Time travels fast each time you go the other world, Prince. Just in case our precious Prince somehow got himself lost during his time-travelling adventure, the device that I’ve given you will helps to teleport you back here, by force."
Duke winced at the thought of being teleport back by force.
“It might hurt a lot when that happens,so please be very careful to not ever get lost, Your Highness. Other than that, You’re all set to go!”
Duke grinned widely. Hands shaking excitedly at the thoughts of meeting up with his sweetheart. He then took a look deep breath. Behind him, he sensed Aidan came in.
Meanwhile, Aidan had longed given up from stopping his stubborn Prince from leaving the place. He knew he would be in big trouble when the King found out about it.
"I'll be sure to be back before dinner." Promised Duke to his Butler.
Trusting his Royal Highness’s words, Aidan decided let him slipped, just this once. He looked on with one leg crossed against the other, and both arms crossed on his chest and nodded.
"I'm holding you to your words, Prince. Your father wishes to dine with you. He'd made it clear to me that he has something very important which he would like to discuss with you.” Reminded Aidan again, sternly.
“Got it. Thanks, Aidan. Here I go!” Duke stepped closer into the portal.
For some odd reason, he felt rather nervous when he was about to enter the portal.
What am I saying? I’ve done this plenty of times before. There’s nothing to be nervous about. Marian, I’ll be seeing you soon.
Shaking the bad thoughts, Duke proceeded by putting both hands into the portal. Taking another deep breath, he prayed that he would land safely on the other side.
Duke then pushed his whole body into the portal before he disappeared whole-bodily into the portal.
“True love, huh?” Laxuz said aloud after the Prince had left. “I gotta say, I’m quite envy of him on that part. Still young and yet, so deeply in love.”
He sighed longingly. “Have you ever been that madly in love before, Aidan?”
When Laxus turned to look at his friend, he found the latter scratching his not-so-itching head and a deeply frowned on his forehead.
“What am I suppose to tell His Majesty about this? He’s expecting the Prince to dine with him tonight, of all the nights!”
“Oh, you’re such a worry-wart! Just tell him the usual: the Prince had once again escaped before you could even stopped him from leaving. He’s his own son. He should knows by now nobody stands between him and the love of his life. Not even his incredible Butler. Like father like son, I tell ye!”
Aidan exhaled deeply and glared at the older man. “Easy for you to say.” He then sighed. “I need a drink.”
“I’ll be happy to join ya!”
As the two men about to leave the place, all the sudden, a buzzing sound came from within the portal stopped them.
“What was that?” Laxuz asked.
Aidan shook his head.
Taking a few steps back to the portal. The buzzing sound was distinctive yet loud enough to make a disturbing noise. The noise increased with each minutes passed.
“Has something like this ever happened before?” Aidan whispered lowly.
“N-No! Never! I’ve always check to make sure everything went smoothly well whenever the Prince wanted to use it. I would never ever allowed him to use it by himself either.”
The portal turned a total blank.
“No, PRINCE!” Laxuz ran to the portal in great panic and distressed. Aidan quickly followed.
Laxuz checked the portal. He knocked it with a bit of force before Aidan suddenly pulled his arm.
“What are you do-” Ignored his words, Aidan took a big step away from the portal before he dived a few feet away out of the dungeon, pulling the skinny inventor with him.
There was no signs nor warnings when the portal suddenly exploded in searing white, and the whole place crumbled down in disaster, leaving nothing behind.
Outside, Laxuz gawked in horror at the scene before him.
“Oh my god.... OH MY GOD!” Panicked began to overwhelmed him like big tidal wave. “What the hell just happened? All of my researches... The Portal. Prince!”
“Shut up for a minute.” Aidan hissed beside him. One hand was rubbing the side of his head, at the red spot where it stung.
"Oh God, you're bleeding!"
"It's nothing. Moreover..."
As Aidan stood on his two feet, Laxus saw the Butler took out a dagger which he kept hidden on his sleeves, and stood on his guard.
It was then when he realized the noisy buzzing sound had gone and was replaced with a total silence. The deafening silence lasted for only a minute before Laxuz’s panicked attack came back again.
This time, in full force.
“This is bad... This is really bad! Oh, what should I do? What should I do? Without the portal, even if the Prince uses the device, he can’t return teleport back! No doubt the King will be extremely furious about this when he finds out!”
“Calm down!” Aidan growled.
A deep scowl appeared on his usual calm and collected face. Forcing himself to take a deep breath, Aidan exhaled, and then spoke in a calm yet restrained voice.
“Can you figure out a way to fix the portal?”
“Oh that’s easy for you to say! I didn’t spend endless of sleepless nights just so-”
“Can YOU find a way to solve this?” Aidan said louder this time. His patients with the Inventor getting thinner.
Laxuz sighed heavily and scratched his head. “I can try. I do have a copy of the portal’s design back at my place. With plenty of helps, I can redo a new one within a month or so.”
Aidan firmly nodded. “That can be arranged. Also, is there any alternative way that we can use to go to the other world beside the portal?”
Laxuz thought for awhile before he snapped his finger. “There is! A new invention that I’ve just successfully finished its prototype! But really, it hasn’t being tested yet. So...”
“Better than nothing. Lend me that new invention of yours. I’ll look for the Prince on the other world.”
“Did you not hear me what I’d just said? I said, it has not being tested yet!”
“I heard you loud and clear. But as the Prince’s Butler, it is my humble duty to watch over him. I am partly responsible for letting him go after all.”
Aidan smiled reassuringly. “I’ll be fine as long as I am able to use magic. Just get it ready by the time I come back from telling the King about the bad news.”
Laxuz sighed again before he eventually gave up. There was no point of arguing with Excalibell’s finest Gran Mago after all.
“All right. It’s at my place. Everything you ever need is over there as well.”
"Very well then. Let's go."
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LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
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