1 Chapter 1: The Second Prince

"I have come to a weird realization."

Something doesn't feel right. It never did. From a very young age, I felt disconnected to those around me. Even though I am only 5, it doesn't feel like I really am. Everything is familiar yet strange at the same time. As the second prince, being lavish is the only thing I have ever known, but I always tend to think there is something more to it. Even though I am allowed to shower in all the riches as the part of the royal family, sometimes I am hesitant thinking it's a waste.

My father, King Edward II of an enormous kingdom named 'Freya' which, I suppose, is my home is a busy person as I hardly ever see him. I know it's supposed to be natural but even so... isn't that too cold to behave to one's own child? My mother, Beatrice, the previous Queen, passed away at my birth. A rumour being it was the grief of my birth that caused her demise. Due to such rumours, the maids and servants avoid me as much as possible or so I feel like. Maybe, I am just oversensitive. But then again is this normal for a 5-year-old kid?

I am the third and the youngest child of this 'family' which consists of the first princess, my elder sister, Lily, and the first prince, Robert, my elder step-brother born from my father's lover. My mother was in despair when my elder brother was born, as she loved father dearly. She tormented the concubine until her father shunned her out completely. And then .... she had me which drove her to further depression, ultimately taking her own life. Father never liked me as I was born from the woman he had come to hate, or so I think. I found the love I craved for at the most unexpected place. Former Concubine- Now the Queen was famous for her saint heart and kind spirit. She loved me like her own son and looked at me lovingly. She gave me warm hugs and kisses for countless good nights. Raised me like her own. The first prince, only a few months older than me treated me like his own younger brother, also quite surprising.

Until the day I realized it was a lie.

It was a beautiful evening, as I picked flowers for my mother. She loves water lilies and wears it as an accessory on her hair. Augmenting charm to her pure impression. As I walked towards the Queen's chamber where once my mother used to reside, I smiled unknowingly.

"You like her a lot, don't you?" Luca, my friend said. "What a 'momma's boy'!"

"Nothing wrong in loving your mother," I replied.

Luca is from a prestigious knight family that protects the borders. Due to much activity and safety concerns at the border, his father decided to send his family to the capital. Luca's elder brother is a guard at the castle and that's how I became friends with him.

"You sometimes act rather mature." He clicked his tongue as he expected me to whine about him teasing me.

"Do I?"

"Even your form of speech sounds a lot more formal for a 5-year old kid." He observed.

"Aren't you the same, Luca?" I said.

"Nah, I am your average 5-year-old cute kid. Give me a chocolate and I will show you my favourite rock collection."

I laughed out loudly.

"What's funny?"

"Nothing just...-Hey why is it so empty?" I asked as I looked around noticing emptiness of the surroundings, "Where are the guards?"

"No maids, even." He realized as he looked around.

"Is mother out?" I pondered.

"I don't think so." Luca pointed at the slightly hedged door, from which light cast out in the dark hallway.

Something feels different. I clutched my heart as I felt some uneasiness rising within me. This... Is this what they call a Deja-vu?

I unknowingly crept closer as silent as possible and heard a couple of giggles. Recognizing one of the dominant voices as my mother's I peeked in through the door.

"H-Hey what are you doing? What if we get caught?" Luca angrily whispered at me while I beckoned him to silence himself.

"He is just a pawn. Nothing more, nothing more." The Queen laughed wildly in a drunk state with a glass of wine in her hand clinking against other glasses that her ladies-in-waiting held.

"Oh my, Myra, using a 5-year-old kid as a game piece. How heartless!" One of the ladies laughed out loud.

"Just like his mother was a way to get the King close to me and the position of a Queen. He is a key to my son's path to the crown." Her 'saintess' act was completely dropped as her eyes grew darker and her emotions even more repulsive. "The more he hated her, the more I pampered him to be mine."

"R-Ray?" Luca called out to me but I felt as if my ears had gone deaf after hearing that, my eyes went blind as the scene played before him like an 'act'. Is this the same 'mother' who claimed to love me unconditionally? No, who is she? Where did her 'saint heart' go?

And Ray? Who is that?

A sharp pain attacked my head accompanied by tears that stung my eyes and I escaped to the garden for a breath of fresh air.

"Ray!"

Ray...? Luca...? Myra...? Robert...?

The names felt highly familiar to me, not just because they are my family but because its something else that I know.

But what!

I looked around, the perfectly shaded green grass, the flowers swaying in sync, the beautifully dyed orange sky, nothing felt real.

I..I.. who am I?

"Ray, what are you doing here? I have been calling you for hours. Let's spar, I am bored."

I turned around to look at my 'brother' or must I say ... the male lead of the novel 'Do You Love Me'?

I closed my eyes in distress and anxiety, hoping for it to be all a dream as I drifted towards unconsciousness.

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