The Curse - A Short Story
Treasury Minister Nelan Genaur sat in his private study in the Amojian Royal Palace. His son sat opposite, recently promoted to Commander, he was all a father could ask for. Nelan had called his son, Drake, apparently to wish him him on his twenty fourth birthday. Nelan wanted to pass on a legacy to his son; a truth that would change his life.
"Son, you know of the Curse of Prince Berjin."
"Of course, father every child in Amojian knows. Our kingdom is called cursed land for it."
"Tell me of it."
"Prince Berjin, under dark influence, murdered his own younger brother Kairon and over his did body chanted the curse that haunts our kingdom."
"The actual curse?"
"That His majesty King Lodern and Amojian will be plagued with poison and murder for five hundred years."
"And what if I told you that this was a blessing?"
"Father, you have something to reveal." Drake sat up, more attentive. A knowing look in his eyes.
"Son, what I am about to tell you is what I have seen. I have lived. I swear upon the name of the Earth Mother that it is truth. King Lodern was never made a king. He was governing in trust till the young prince Berjin came of age. High Priest Orin was his confidant and advisor, as he still is, and it was his ambition that goaded King Lodern to make a grab for power."
"But.." Drake could not help interjecting. "Prince Berjin was suborned by the dark..."
"Son, listen. I was there. I helped Berjin escape. King Lodern was the one under sway of the High Priest. I have witnessed this. I will stop if you can not bear to hear the truth."
Chastised and anxious, Drake hurriedly promised not to interrupt again.
"A day later I managed to follow Berjin with a handful of loyal soldiers. The King had spread the story that Berjin was kidnapped and a dozen teams were deployed trying to trace him. A force of two thousand soldiers was made ready under the commanders expressly loyal to the King. When I reached Berjin, he had taken refuge in the caves at Argent Valley along with his younger brother and a few dozen loyal people. I related the news to him; advising a fast escape from the kingdom. There was no other way. The Kings forces would reach the valley in a few hours and by morning all way would be blocked off. But the prince had other plans.
He asked each of us to swear loyalty before he told us what he planned to do- which all of us did. Many like me thinking that he would ask us to die a warriors death and receive the benediction of the Earth Mother. The Prince separated us into four groups. He addressed a smallest one- "You will probably die with me. Though once I am dead you are to try and escape and contact Brother Naved and his wayfarers." He now addressed Brother Naved, his teacher and a priest of the Earth Mother. "You and your men will range the kingdom, spreading not only the faith but today's story and also record the oppression and troubles which require immediate attention. You can contact the soldiers and tell them what is needed, they will do their best to dispense justice."
The third group was of officers and soldiers- all veterans, all the most capable of fighters. "You will take Kairon and keep him safe for a few years. Teach him to fight and survive the worst of times and the most dire circumstances and when he has honed his skills let brother Naved and his Wayfarers teach him the letters. You will be my fighters, my sword cutting and cauterizing as required. The wayfarers and the minister are your eyes and ears, they can inform you of the problems my people face and what measures are required. You will plan and execute whatever action is required and live to attack again in my name."
Then he turned to me. "Minister Nelan you and these officers of Amojian need to go back. You will be the first defence and the eyes and ears; you will stay amid the corrupt and be their witness and even judge them when needed. You can call on the fighters to act, to kill, to destroy or help as needed to keep Amojian as safe as possible. Till it is time for Korian to rise and reclaim his birthright."
In the morning when the uneven battle began and the prince's supporters started dying he stood over a dead soldier and shouted out his curse. With a cry, a wail loud enough to startle the dead he began with slitting his left wrist. "Lodern, by my blood and that of my dead brother; I curse you and I curse Amojian. Till you walk the right path and act fair you will be spared. But as soon as anyone steps over the line, kills and usurps, shows bias and injustice to the weak he will die of poison or sword. Earth Mother be my witness and my avenger; I give my blood for your vengeance to rise against these tormentors."
He died there, his face and body punctured by a dozen arrows. But the curse lived.
Son, now I invite you to join our accursed band to keep Amojian safe from the King and Orin, the priest."
PICTURE CREDIT: PEXELS.COM