Chapter 1: Betrayal

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 493

The day could only be described as too beautiful. The sky was a special kind of blue without a cloud in the sky. It was so warm that it felt like the sun was wrapping all in a giant hug. It was the kind of day the citizens of Avalon, the imperial city of Norik would usually laze about. Motivation for days like today was simply non-existent; but on this particular day, everyone was gathered in the town square around the massive water fountain, the anticipation so apparent you could almost taste it. All eyes were fixated on the monstrous but splendid castle that housed their sick king, Tyrus III.

Located on the balcony, overlooking not just the city but over the thirty-foot wall protecting it sat a young man deep in thought. He had silver hair that reached to the end of his forehead with orange eyes, the shape of his ears and chin suggested a hint of elven blood in his veins. The faint blue tribal markings on his forehead and cheeks only aided the suggestions. He wore a simple dark gray robe with boots. Not attire one would expect the Second Prince of Norik, Katar Theran-Tyrus to wear. The only thing he wore that stood out was on his right ring finger was a dark blue ring with a silver Hydra's head design, humming as if alive. 

Katar watched as the sun began to set. Normally he liked to sit on the balcony outside his chambers watching the sun descend but this time he felt no joy in it. He didn't know if joy would be something he'd ever feel again after this day. His father, King Tyrus III had been sick for weeks and with each passing day, his health became worse. No magician, alchemist or sorceress had been able to find the reason. Earlier today, Katar had heard the dreadful news. His father would not last the night without a miracle from the heavens. As if that weren't bad enough, the step-brother of Katar Lyrone Tyrus, First Prince of Norik, had been acting like he had been crowned king since their father fell ill. His arrogance became more insufferable by the day but what was clear to Katar was that after his father passed, his brother would more than likely exile him, if he was lucky. 

A knock startled him from his thoughts. " Enter," he said in a cold, stoic voice getting up from his balcony. A paladin dressed in gleaming white armor with a black cape entered and bowed at the waist. " My Lord," he said in a reverent filled voice. " What is it?" Katar asked, a ball of despair entering his gut. " Your father has requested your presence in his chambers. It is time." Katar had been expecting this summons but was unsure if he was ready. He pushed the selfish thought away and followed the paladin. The atmosphere outside his chambers was somber. Servants, warriors and nobles each went about their business, their unspoken grief clear in their eyes. Katar followed the paladin up spiraling staircase after spiral staircase, forcing Katar to recall the story behind the castle that some great king had desired to share council with the gods, thus he had set out to build a castle to reach the heavens themselves.

After several minutes of walking, they reached the door of the king's grand chambers. Waiting for them was the blonde haired blue eyes strapping brother of Kata, Jafar Tyrus who shot him a look of undisguised disgust as if to say how dare you be here with your foul blood? Katar shot him a look of hatred back and recalled their childhood which had been more like a rivalry. There was no love lost between the two siblings as the two had done terrible things to each other in the past. But now was not a time to dwell on past grudges. Without speaking a word to each other, the two siblings, begrudgingly entered their father's room shoulder to shoulder. 

The room was the second most immaculate room in the entire castle, the first one being the throne room. They both approached their father's bed and moved to opposite sides, not wanting to be near each other if they could help it. Their elderly father took a deep breath " sons...thank Adlar. Listen. There is much I have to say, and I have very little time. Adlar desires my soul and I can feel his patience waning." The once mighty King Tyrus III look past Katar, seeing something Katar couldn't even sense. " I come, my friends, just give me a while longer." Tyrus III took a few shaky breaths before speaking again.

" I have asked you both here because one of you must take my place. Both of you...have an equal claim to the throne after I am gone. Thus I must make the hardest.... decision of my life." Tyrus fell into a coughing fit, violently coughing, his body shaking. " Please stop talking father, it's taking all your strength. You needn't worry about who shall succeed you. We can figure it out after we've had time to mourn." Jafar said with a false kindness that made Katar want to gag. 

" No, I must say this." Tyrus III said in his raspy voice, turning his gaze to Lyrone. " Jafar Hildrion Tyrus, you are my eldest child, my only child who is not of mixed blood. You have earned the respect of the armies of our forefathers. And you have proven yourself as a man who could lead our great kingdom into the future." " I will father, I won't let you down." " I know you won't, you have always been reliable and willing to do what is best for the kingdom. Which is why I can rest easy knowing you'll do whatever it takes to support your brother as he picks up where I have left off." 

Jafar's face went from smug to shock and Katar's from disappointment to shock and disbelief. " Katar... Even now I see your mother's eyes in yours. I've never known a woman like her, she may have been of Elven descent but she was the greatest woman I've ever known. How I wish she could have survived your difficult birth to watch you grow but alas, this was not to be. I go to join her now and we shall watch over you as you lead our people." The eyes of Tyrus III began to close and his breathing slowed until it stopped altogether. Lyrone didn't say a word, just gave Katar a look of loathing and stormed out of the room. Katar stood frozen in place, unable to believe what he heard. Me as king?

" I can't believe it!" said his female companion for the hundredth time a few days later. The black haired, stormy blue eyed female paladin looked at Katar as if he were a god come to visit. " I mean, you as king. Katar, this is great!" " I believe you are more enthusiastic than I Janika," Katar said, regarding his childhood friend. The two of them were sitting on Katar's balcony discussing the previous few day's events from the passing of Tyrus III to the funeral and now they were talking about Katar's upcoming crowning as the new king. " I'm surprised you're not more excited. This is everything we always talked about!" Janika said. 

Katar allowed a rare smile to cross his lips. As always Janika's optimism was contagious. " Trust me, I am thrilled to have been chosen, especially in front of my brother but I cannot deny the truth. Throughout my reign, my brother and his allies will be waiting for me to fail. I will always have to sleep with one eye open. Plus it would be irresponsible to take a wife and children as long as he lives." Janika reached over and grasped the hand of Katar. Normally this would draw the ire of him but this was Janika. They had been close as children, Katar often referred to her as his sister they were so close. " I promise you Katar. As long as I live, your reign will go unchallenged. You shall be the king you were born to be, no matter the tricks that weasel of a brother pulls." Katar covered her hand with his own " thank you, my sister." 

A few hours later, Katar sat on his balcony once more gazing at the stars, dressed in his gold imperial robe, moments away from being crowned king. The royal mask he would wear to conceal his identity to the common folk was in his left.  Sighing he put it on, a silent sign he was ready for his coronation. A patrol of paladins awaited him outside his chamber, waiting for him to step into the hallway. Stepping outside Katar acknowledged the bowing warriors with a silent nod and stepped into the center, allowing himself to be escorted to the throne room. They were about to reach the throne room doors when the paladins that were escorting him suddenly stopped and shifted, forming a line separating Katar and the throne room. 

" Sorry Katar, but you won't be crowned king tonight" came a voice from behind him. Turning around he saw a brown haired green eyed knight wearing silver armor with a lion on his breastplate and a scarlet red cape. In his right hand was a giant white lance, in his left a shield. Endun Rhahlo, one of the eleven Knights of the King's Order. " And why would that be?" Katar asked, fearing he already knew the answer. His suspicions were confirmed a moment later " it's nothing personal Katar but Jafar has asked for your removal." Katar smirked " I see. And being the good little lapdog you are, you mean to take me out do you?" " Precisely," Endun said stepping forward. Katar narrowed his eyes as he prepared himself. He saw the two sterling silver earrings Endun wore. So, he brought his Imperial Heirloom did he? He's not taking chances. Neither will I.

Katar suddenly raised his right hand and a torrent of water burst from his ring. It rushed at Endun who calmly stepped out of the way. The current of water changed direction at a flurried motion of Katar's hand as if he were conducting a symphony. Endun again calmly dodged the torrent and gave Katar a smug look as the water returned to his ring. " You know your tactics will never work on me. Why even try?" " Enough playing around. Endun. I don't have time for your games." Katar said. " Oh, what a bore you are but fine. If you truly wish to go down in a blaze of glory I won't stop you. I'll even let you choose the battleground."

" I'm afraid you will end up regretting that decision," Katar said as water became to envelop him creating a massive orb. " Follow me." Katar led the way out of a window and to the roof of the castle. He landed on the ground, feeling the water churn around him. Endun joined him a moment later and pointed his lance at Katar " last chance. If you surrender Jafar has agreed to spare your life. That's a pretty generous offer if you ask me." " Tell my brother thanks but no thanks!" Katar said directing several water tendrils at Endun who dodged every single one of them and slashed them apart. That proved to be no good as they would reform and go after Endun again at Katar's instruction. Endun proved himself superior to the assault as he kept hacking and slashing as he moved in on Katar.

Growing impatient, Katar created a massive wave of water and directed it to Endun who jumped up before he could be engulfed. Katar saw him wink and swore, realizing his folly a little too late. Endun's earrings gleamed and a loud violent noise filled the ears of Katar who grimaced as he held his hands over his ears. He saw Endun running towards him and gasped as the blunt edge of his lance swung violently into his stomach. Katar flew backward off the roof and began to fall. However, the water rushed to him and enveloped him once more. Katar directed another water tendril to lift him back on the roof of the castle.

Endun didn't look surprised when Katar landed back in front of him. " Should have known this wasn't going to be easy" he said. " Those earrings of yours caught me off guard," Katar said, trying his best to not sound impressed. " What can I say, Sound attribute Imperial Heirlooms are just the best," Endun said smugly. " I knew you'd try to take me out from the getgo so I just waited until that annoying water was no longer around your eyes. After all, sound and water just don't mix." " But now I know as long as my water surrounds me, your powers can't touch me," Katar said. " You forget another ability my earrings have. I can read the thoughts of my opponents" Endun countered, his usual smug look on his face.

Katar gritted his teeth. Damn it he's right! Ah well, doesn't matter. As long as I have my water I hold the advantage. In order to hurt me, he'll have to get in close, which he can't do without my water grabbing him. I don't care if he can read my thoughts, doesn't do him a lick of good if he can't touch me. " Let's go King Katar!" Endun mocked " I don't have all night!" Moving his right hand the way a maestro would, Katar created several blades out of water and directed them at Endun who blocked every single one of them. From there the blade formed into whips and struck at Endun. The battle raged on with neither combatant being able to strike the other.

Katar snarled as he breathed in and out at a rapid pace. Damn it! I've used so much energy but I still haven't been able to touch the bastard." Endun was also breathing in and out at a rapid pace, the toll of using their Imperial Heirlooms starting to take a toll on both of them. Endun was the first one to make a move, running at Katar. Suddenly, something quick and lithe jumped between the two, causing Endun to back up. The two warriors glanced up to see another person jumping on the roof from a watchtower. Katar gritted his teeth when he saw who the newcomer was. This is not good!

The newcomer was female with red hair and brown eyes. She wore armor like Endun's except hers bore the image of a boar. In her left hand, she held a steel scimitar with an ebony blade and in her right, she bore a shield. That weapon of hers is gonna be trouble. It can stretch out for several miles to strike her opponents. I heard it can go as far as a mile. Her blade must have been what got between Endun and myself. " Having trouble Endun?" the woman asked. " Stay out of this Culra! This is my fight!" Endun said indignantly. " You were supposed to have finished him off already." the female knight said, eyeing Katar who was seething. " So you are in on this too huh Culra? Tell me, are all the Knights of the King's Order in on this?!" " Don't be mad Katar, it's just business, nothing personal. We are just making sure the rightful king takes the throne and for that to happen you must be removed." Katar opened his mouth to say something but stopped as a numbing feeling spread throughout his body, causing him to stop short. Looking down, he saw the tip of a saber being retracted out of his chest.

Katar fell on his face, the water that had been serving as his shield dissipating and covering the castle roof. Katar could feel himself bleeding out but could still hear what was going on around him. " Lord Jafar, we've got this under control!" came the objection from Culra. " I had all eleven of you fools play a part in this and you still couldn't get the job done. The council can only deceive the common folk for so long. It seems as though I'll have to end this." Katar felt himself being lifted up by the neck. He choked out blood as he felt his brother's blade penetrate his body once more. "" he muttered weakly. He felt his brother drop him and kick him in the ribs. " Worthless trash...Culra! Endun!" " Yes Lord Jafar!" came the response. " Dispose of him. Quickly, we have no time to spare. Once you get rid of him, hurry back! It is time for me to be crowned king and usher in the new golden age!"

As Katar's eyes began to close he had only one thought on his mind. Forgive me...father. 

Submitted: June 28, 2019

© Copyright 2021 Renegade96. All rights reserved.


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