Prologue

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-Jaycen-

"Where is my food?" I heard the young prince complain, just as I opened the door.

"I have it right here, Your Majesty, no need to worry," I said, placing the tray in front of him at his desk. He wrinkled his nose.

"What is this?" He asked. "Is this meat?" I nodded.

"On request from the King," I answered. "Is something the matter?"

"I don't want it," he decided. "It smells bad."

"Your father insisted you have this for dinner, Your Majesty."

"My father can tell me himself! I don't believe you!" The child shouted. "Go get him!"

"Yes, Your Majesty. Right away," I replied.

I hurried out of the room before the prince could call for the King himself - that never looked good. I found King Lance in the throneroom, speaking with his High Knight. The war, of course. They would be speaking non-stop until the war was won. I walked up to his throne - keeping precisely six feet away, as marked by the red carpets - and bowed deeply.

"Prince James wishes to speak with you, Your Highness," I informed. He nodded.

"He will have to wait a few moments. Please, Jaycen, take a break and eat something," the King demanded. "You must fuel yourself before the fight tomorrow."

"Yes, Your Highness," I acknowledged briefly, before scurrying off towards the kitchens.

Once there, I prepared myself a bit of stew and went off to my room. It was a nice room, much more lavish than my room at home. The promotion to the Prince's High Knight was a considerable adjustment. Sitting down at the edge of my bed, I ate quickly, not sure when I'd be needed next; the Prince was only ten, and he was notorious for calling me as many times as possible. I jumped at a knock at the door, and stood up to get it.

"Yes?" I said, opening the door. There was a short, stout delivery boy standing at my doorstep, thrusting a letter in my direction.

"S'for you, Sir," he said quickly, out of breath. I took it gratefully.

"Thank you, Thomas. Lots of mail today?" I asked. I took it upon myself to know all the delivery boys by name, to exemplify my gratitude. He nodded.

"Ever since the King announced we were going to war, I've had lots to do!" He replied excitedly, between gasps for air. "Maybe I'll get extra gold this month!"

I chuckled and ruffled his dusty hair. "Perhaps. Now, those letters certainly are not going to deliver themselves, are they?" I joked. He shook his head, smiling.

"Certainly not, Sir. See you 'round!" He exclaimed, bolting off again. The boys from the village were always much better mannered than the Prince - not that I would ever draw any attention to it.

Sitting back down on my bed, I opened the letter. I instantly recognized the looped, scrawled handwriting. It was a letter from my mother. I sighed deeply as I straightened out the parchment and read the short note. It seemed rushed, perhaps because my parents were working so much lately.

Jaycen,

News has reached the village that we are preparing for war. I do hope you're staying safe. As well as news of the war, your father heard about your promotion! Congratulations, I hope the castle is treating you well!

As much as I'd love to leave it at that, I've written this letter to warn you. You cannot fight in this war. You are far too important to us, to everyone. Your father and I can manage the expenses if you come home, and we'd much prefer it if you did return. Please write back soon. We love you!

Throne of Byrinthia - Book TwoWhere stories live. Discover now