Chapter 1 (edited)

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Chapter 1

"Have you ever seen anything like it?" my half-brother, Zrahal, asked. He looked at the city walls in amazement.

I could hardly blame him. The walls were massive, at least 30 meters tall and made of rough stone. No enemy had ever managed to break through. At least, not yet.

...........

One month earlier:

"You wanted to see me, father?" I bowed sarcastically.

Looking at the queen, I couldn't help but smirk. She hated everything that reminded her of the king's unfaithfulness. Most of all, she hated me. Because I was the king's oldest son, she saw me as a threat to her children. When she married the king, she persuaded him to keep me and my mother hidden.

"As you are well aware, there have been conflicts between the northern and the southern kingdoms for a decade," the kind began in a business-like tone. "Therefore, I have decided that the best time to strike is now. We'll take them by surprise, and our kingdom will once again be the greatest. There's only one small problem, and this is where you come in." He nodded at me to indicate who he was referring to.

I didn't like were this was going. My plans for a quiet summer suddenly seemed like a distant dream.

"Your job will be to accompany Prince Zrahal and find the King's weakness. You will be disguised as a merchant."

Yeah, I would definitely have to kiss my summer plans goodbye. I kept quiet, knowing very well that once my father had made up his mind, nothing could change it.

"Your wish is my command," I finally said.

......... .....

As we were riding through the city gates, the smell of grilled meat and fish wafted through the air.

Many people looked at us with a mixture of surprise and disbelief.

"You'd think they'd never seen a camel before," Zrahal said, though I could barely hear him amidst the murmurs of the people around us.

Being a spy for father had its pros. By the time I was ten, I was fluent in five languages, could read lips, was able to fight, and knew how to ride on camels, horses, and elephants. And that's not even the whole of it. I've learned much more during the last 15 years.

My brother, being the crown prince, had to learn more academic subjects, and at seventeen years, this was his first time out of the kingdom.

"They probably haven't," I replied. "Hey, I think I'm going to take a walk. I'll meet you at supper." I gave my camel's reins to one of the knights accompanying us.

"Yeah, alright. But don't get lost like last time." Zrahal gave me a warning glare.

"It only happened one time!
Besides, it's not my fault you can't draw a map," I said with an easy grin, making him laugh lightly.

"There was nothing wrong with my map and you know it. If you aren't back by sunset, I'll send out a search team." He made his way to the palace, shaking his head with a smile.

I looked around at the small shops lining the streets. Things were so different from the markets back home, where the smell of spices was a constant comfort. However, unlike Zrahal, I have been here before, and I wasn't surprised at the novelties.

I walked for about ten minutes before I came across something that made me stop.

In an alley, a big man whipped a little boy that couldn't be more than 6.

"SO, YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST COME HERE AND STEAL MY FRUIT?! WHAT ELSE CAN I EXPECT FROM A DIRTY LITTLE ORPHAN LIKE YOU?! YOU'RE PROBABLY A BASTARD AS WELL!" He grasped the child by the arm with one hand, holding the whip with the other.

I had had enough of this, so I stepped in. "The boy is just hungry-I'm sure we can come to some sort of compromise?"

He took one look at me and let go of the boy's arm. "Are you going to pay for the fruit he ate? With interest, of course."

I nodded, and before he noticed the knife in my hand, I sliced his neck and he soon lay dead on the ground.

I walked over to the boy, taking a good look at him. He had a few scratches, but was otherwise okay.

"Where do you live? I'll walk you home."

He nodded at me and answered.

"The orphanage. Follow me."

After walking about fifteen minutes deeper and deeper into the slum, we reached an old building. It must have been beautiful once, but now it just looked like it would crumble any minute.

I snapped back to attention when the most beautiful young woman I had ever seen came running towards us.

She wore a light blue dress and a scarf that covered her hair. My blood froze to ice as she hugged the boy, dropping her scarf in the process and letting her golden curls free.

"It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Your Highness,"

I said, bowing.

....................

so what do you think?

thanks to the lovely Bohemianowl who will be editing my story from now on.

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