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The Cursed Prince

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Chapter 1: The diagnosis

The king escorted the royal enchanter to the prince’s bedchamber, his wife was too worried about their son’s fate to join them.

“Stronghammer, this is him. My son, prince Artemas”, the king told the royal enchanter.

“An unusual name, your majesty. Where does it come from?”, the royal enchanter asked.

“My wife chose the name, she told me it means whole,” the king said.

The royal enchanter approached the sleeping prince and sighed.

“May I make a suggestion, your majesty?”, he queried.

The king nodded. “Go ahead”, he insisted.

“Uncover his face, if you want me to lift the curse, I must see his face”, the royal enchanter replied.

The king reluctantly uncovered the infant prince’s face and the royal enchanter laughed. Yes, to the king’s great surprise, the royal enchanter laughed when he saw the prince’s accursed face for the first time.

“Your majesty, this is no curse which has made your son look like this”, the royal enchanter muttered.

“Then explain to me, why did he grow uglier when we looked upon him less?” the king inquired.

The royal enchanter smirked. “It was merely in your head as that is impossible. The young prince is not cursed for looking this way, he looks like this because of a sin you or your wife has committed. Tell me, what sin caused your son to be this ugly, your majesty?”, he asked.

The king nearly kicked the royal enchanter out of his palace for accusing him and his wife of such a thing, but he sinisterly smiled at him instead.

“My wife and I have committed no such sin, Stronghammer. Diagnose my son again. This time do it right or I will send for the executioner,” the king growled.

“Your majesty, never speak to me in that tone again. I am 1,666 years old, I have ‘diagnosed’ thousands of people in this realm. Do you know how many times I was wrong?” the royal enchanter asked with a scowl on his face.

“Never,” the king muttered under his breath.

“Correct. I know a curse when I see one and this is no curse... yet,” replied the royal enchanter with a worried look on his face.

“Explain what you meant by yet, Stronghammer,” the king insisted.

“Although your son’s bad looks were caused by a sin on either you or your wife’s behalf, it could quickly develop into a genuine curse if you continue on the path which you are on as we speak. You or your wife must atone for the sin,” the royal enchanter explained.

“I must speak to my wife. Stay with the prince, Stronghammer,” said the king.

“As you wish, your majesty,” the royal enchanter responded.

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