The maids' hands busied themselves as they draw open the heavy curtains, allowing the Ashuri dawn to stream into the bedroom. The prince's attendant, a young-faced boy, entered the room and stood by the sleeping prince's bedside.
One must not use their hands to wake up the royal family.
One must not make a loud voice.
So the attendant said cautiously:
"It's time for you to wake up, Prince."
The prince was a boy who usually sat up at the sound of the door opening. But the attendant never imagined that it wouldn't happen today.
'Did you tire yourself?'
At the thought, the attendant was handed a small bell from the maid who stood behind him. A subtle chime rang out, announcing the early morning.
– Ddalang, Ddalang.
Only then did the boy's eyes open.
The boy blinked for a moment as he gathered his senses, and he sat up in a whirl. Startled by the sudden movement, the attendant bowed slightly.
"Have you had a good dream, Prince? It is time to rise now."
He held out the boy's morning tea. The boy always woke up first to strong scent of the tea before washing his face.
'Since when do I drink tea?'
The boy–no, Bern–thought, and absentmindedly reached for the cup. He then saw that his hands looked very strange.
The wounds and calloused skin were replaced by pale hands and slender fingers. With a sense of alienation, Bern turned his head and looked his his skinny left arm.
There was not even a blemish on it.
No, that wasn't the problem. The problem was the sight of the left arm.
"My arm was cut off…" Bern muttered, before quickly closing his mouth. He had a voice that was too young to be his own.
"What kind of horrible things did you say? Did you happen to have a bad dream?"
The fall of Secretia, that was more than a nightmare!
He did not respond to the servant's words. He would find out why his severed arm was reattached later. What must be confirmed immediately was the life and death of his brother, King Chase.
"Where is my brother?"
At Bern's urgency, the attendant replied with a puzzled expression on his face.
"Both of them are still in their rooms."
This time Bern mirrored the servant's bewilderment. He had only one brother–Chase.
"I'm sure Prince Randall is already dressed, as well as Prince Franz."
Randall and Flanz.
Strange but familiar names.
One of them in particular he cursed to the hell.
The King of Kailis, Franz.
Bern's eyes narrowed at the name of the man not even worth killing.
At Bern's expression, the servant spoke up again.
"Come, Prince. You must get ready first."
Thinking that the boy hadn't properly awoken yet, the attendant called to the maid holding the bucket of water behind him. Bern, watching their actions, murmured in a low voice,
The servant turned his head and answered as his name was called.
A regenerated arm.
Bern said no more and began to think with his mouth shut.
He had never seen that bell before.
He had never seen that attendant before today either. Yet he knew his name.
Was that it?
No, Bern even knew the name of the maids attending him as well.
Ignorant by Bern's growing confusion, the attendant poured the water in the basin with a flowing motion.
'It was a bad dream.'
Bern recalled the attendant's words and he cupped his hands into the water. The only explanation for the situation so far was that he had no idea that he was dreaming.
Bern bent his face over sparkling silver basin.
No matter how terrible reality was, he would never run away into this wild fantasy. It was not like him.
Upon seeing the reflection in the water, Bern had to stop again.
The red eyes reflected in the water were not his.
"A mirror," Bern requested in a low voice.
"What do you need a mirror for?"
Bern did not answer.
Yan, who made a mistake of questioning him because of his unusual behavior, quickly apologized.
"I'm sorry. I'll fetch it right away."
Then he turned his hand behind his back and beckoned towards a maid to bring him a mirror.
There was no mirror in the prince's room.
Because of this, one of the maids standing behind Yan hurried out and brought back a mirror.
Yan accepted it and held it to Bern's face, and without a word of thanks Bern came to look upon appearance.
In the mirror was a little boy with black hair.
Peering through a long fringe shone two eyes of ruby light.
Bern raised his head.
There was a phrase inscribed on the edge of the bell. It was definitely Kailis.
It was only after seeing it that that he recalled the attendant called him prince, not emperor. He felt his lips burn.
Yan watched Bern wordlessly staring at the mirror.
'No. I'm Prince Bern.'
Bern repeated his name as if to not lose himself. Then, as if to defy him, a memory came into his head like a whisper.
'No, my name is–'
And a long name that he hadn't memorized before slipped out of his mouth without even realizing it.
"Calian Rain Kailis."
Calian, the third prince of Kailis.
That was his name, not Bern.
Bern furrowed his brow and turned back to Yan.
"What did you say my name was?"
Thinking that Bern was in a joking mood, Yan replied with a slight smile.
"You are Prince Calian. And I'm your servant Yan, who is supposed to take the prince to breakfast right now."
Suddenly, unfamiliar memories burst into Bern's mind as if it had been waiting for this answer from Yan.
The Kailian royal court, the etiquette, the weather, the schedule, the horseman, the flower garden, the wizard, the queen, the king. And two older brothers.
Yan was right. He couldn't be late for breakfast.
His memories were clamouring loudly in his head. Get up now. You can't be late for the other two princes.
Now named Calian, the boy asked quietly.
"What is the day?"
"It's April 28th. The weather is fair today, Prince."
After hearing this, Calian looked around and took in his surroundings. They didn't seemed to be at war with Secretia right now. So Calian asked again,
"What year is it?"
Calian's eyes trembled.
The Year 522 of the Kailis calendar was year 525 of the Secretia calendar. It wasn't the day he closed his eyes.
'It's ten years ago.'
Ten years ago. And now he was the third prince of Kailis.
Memories of the other two princes came to his mind as if to urge him to get ready and leave..