In a small cottage, hearty laughter rang through the walls. Inside was a rather cosy setting, a tall fire danced in the hearth and there were old yet bouncy looking chairs. It was cluttered with several books and seemed slightly small, but it had a comfortable home-filled feeling to it. Sitting in these bouncy chairs were four individuals, two young men and two young women. One man and woman shared similar features, both had tall straight noses, pale ruddy skin, brown eyes and black hair. Obviously they were siblings.
“Honestly Olivia,” said the man with black hair to his sister, ” Silver was only joking yet you still turned him down so harshly.”
“Yeah Olivia” chanted the other young man who had orange coloured hair and freckles, “I was only joking, you didn’t have to turn me down that harshly, I’ve got some pride y’know.”
“I didn’t mean to turn you down like that Silver.” Olivia waved her hands apologetically, “You’re a great guy and all…but my heart isn’t there.”
“Olivia you don’t have to answer so seriously, Silvy was only joking.” said the other girl who was quite small and had mouse like features.
“I know he was!” Olivia squawked, clearly frustrated by this conversation, “Elly, it’s just because Baron had to bring up that dumb topic of marriage. He’s such an idiot.”
“Hey don’t call me an idiot when I’m sitting right here!” Baron huffed.
“Well that’s cus you are an idiot.” Olivia pouted.
“How am I an idiot for wanting my baby sister to find someone nice and get married? I mean you’re nearly twenty for crying out loud and it isn’t like you’re one of the Princesses with countless suitors waiting for you at any time. It’s not like I’m telling you to get married right this instant, I just mean that you should find a nice fella that you can go steady with, that’s all.”
“It’s not your place to tell me these things.” Olivia yelled.
“Really! It isn’t, then whose is it? We ain’t got Parents Olivia!” Baron yelled back.
“Oi both of you calm down!” Shouted Silver. “Jesus you are like a pack of rabid demon beasts in a cage, I swear.”
The siblings quietened down, harrumphed and glared at each other.
“Baron, you should know that the reason she doesn’t like that topic is because she’s still set on you-know-who.” Muttered Silver.
Baron’s eyes went frosty, he glared at his sister, “You aren’t still thinking about that Man are you?”
Olivia lowered her gaze initially but then met her brothers eyes defiantly, “So what if I am?”
“Oh for the Saint-Beasts sake Olivia, stop thinking about him like that. He’s a Prince and not just any Prince, The-Freaking-Evil-Prince. One of the worst of the worst.”
“One of the worst?! How dare you call him that after everything he’s done for us, you know as much as I do that he isn’t evil.”
“Oh shut up, regardless of what his true nature is, he’s still apart of the Monarchy, those Nobles and powerful rich folk never gave a damn about commoners like us. They only marry into power, they’re manipulative and cruel and you know for a fact that all the Princes are fighting for the throne. It’s a bloody war. How many Princes have died? How many has your crush killed to remain in power? And let us not even talk about what he did to his concubine. I know you’re not deaf, everyone knows that story. There is no way in hell I’d let you get wrapped up in that crap, so you better stay far away from him.”
“Just because the Monarchy is messed up doesn’t mean he is. He gave us the money to start our business, he brought us all together, fed us and gave us shelter. I know the things that people say he has done are terrible, but that’s just it, they’re rumours. Stop slandering a good man.”
“Olivia stop spouting love-struck crap. He did all those things for us and commoners like us too use us. He supported us to spread his influence, he didn’t help us from the goodness of his heart.”
The siblings glared at each other.
“Umm, not trying to interrupt, but are you guys close to the Evil Prince?” asked Elly, her eyes wide.
“Oh yeah, I always forget that you joined our crew not too long ago.” lamented Silver “But yeah we know him kind of. We benefited from some of the charity work he’s done and had the unfortunate pleasure to meet him on a few occasions. You can say he was a benefactor and one of the reasons we’re employed at the best shipping aircraft organisation in all of Titania.”
“Really! You guys never told me that you met him. Is he as handsome as they say? Are the rumours real, I’ve only heard some, but the ones I’ve heard are a bit unbelievable, he can’t be that evil, surely”
“Oh he’s evil alright.” Baron gritted his teeth.
“I’ll tell you the facts.” Silver began,”You see our Overlord, the 450th King of Titania, Bow Alerian, is known by most people as a woman lover. That kinda thing usually isn’t a problem, however he’s our King and a cultivator at the Samsara stage. He’s lived more than a few thousand years, so of course he’s had more than a few children. The Princesses live in luxury while the Princes have to prove their worth and kill each other endlessly for a right to the throne. There are now so many branch families and nobles that the royal family tree is a mess. It’s madness.
Then one day nearly two decades ago a woman from beyond our solar system, from those legendary really powerful parts of the endless plains, came to our planet. Compared to the pedigree of women on our planet she was obviously in a league of her own. When the King met her he did everything to make her one of his woman and gave her even more power and wealth than the Queen.
Then she got pregnant with, the at the time 400th Prince, Cahir Alerian, which he’s now ranked the 4th Prince by the way, which goes to show how many Princes he’s disposed of.”
Silver chuckled darkly to himself, enjoying the power of a storyteller, when he noticed them all looking at him rather intensely.
“Let me continue the story.” said Olivia
“Hey no fai-” Before Silver could finish protesting he was cut off.
“They say that when Prince Cahir was born, lightning rained down from the sky and more than 10,000 citizens were struck down and killed. The skies themselves cried out in protest. A midwife who was at the scene of the birth apparently said that the baby was born with blue skin because of the amount of electricity coming off of him. Having an affinity with the Lightning element and such a strong one at that, he is destined to amount to great things. He has the bloodline of the true dragon and phoenix just like the rest of the Royal Family but his bloodline is exceptionally pure. Not only that but his talent to cultivate energy is at a grade SSS, perhaps one of the greatest talents to appear on this planet in the last four hundred thousand years.”
“Could you please stop kissing his arse.” groaned Baron
“I am just telling it as it is.” Olivia glared, then coughed, “Ignoring that rude interruption. Obviously because Prince Cahir is so overpowered he became a threat to all the other Princes and nobles. Knowing that many people would want to kill the Prince before he grew up, his Mother did many conniving things and built up a large number of supporters in government. He grew up helping kids like us, and has huge support amongst the public as well, he is known as a Prince of the People.”
“Are you done?” asked Baron, “Because you completely skipped out why he’s known as the Evil Prince in the goddamn first place. Which is because he’s manipulative. He was ranked the 400th Prince when he was born and now he’s the 4th. Princes don’t just die that quickly. Most of them have their own people, their own influence and resources. None of them are weak. After Cahir turned ten 396 princes died in less than eight years. You do the math, he killed them. Not to mention he has his own posse of nobles and people in government that are controlling everything from behind the scenes. You say he’s a man of the people but he’s killing us with all the austerity measures. Raising those taxes, privatising all our welfare systems, capping benefits.”
Olivia yelled, “That’s just bullshit, there’s no proof he’s involved with any of those policies.”
“Yes there is, unlike the other royals, he has a lot of support in government, he has to be pushing those policies, and even if he isn’t he hasn’t done anything to stop it. Not to mention he’s a complete psychopath, that murders people for fun and uses them to train his magic skills like they’re puppe-”
“That’s just a goddamn rumour.” yelled Olivia.
“How the hell would you know if it’s a rumour or not, and here’s the thing, you don’t know. You can’t disprove these stories. You know the saying that if there’s smoke there’s a fire, it’s not like this came from nowhere right? Prince Cahir is dangerous. And the story everyone knows about proves it. Even you should know this one Elly.”
“You mean the Lady Rain incident.”
“Yep that’s the one.”
“That incident began” said Silver, “because Minister Rain, the previous Finance Minister, was caught embezzling money. He had to pay back everything he laundered and only slightly avoided execution. His entire family became bankrupt and homeless. He went begging to his Noble friends for help, but he was rejected until Prince Cahir’s mother offered him back his status and some wealth on the condition that his daughter became her son’s concubine.”
“It was because the Minister’s daughter was a grade A talent, her element was light and she had a pure dragon bloodline. A perfect concubine for a prince” Silver added.
“But she died right?” inquired Elly.
“Died, you mean killed.” Baron let out a dark chuckle, “Prince Cahir fried her from the inside out, all her blood evaporated, she became a pile of burnt flesh and bones, and his excuse for this was and I quote, she wasn’t pretty enough.”
“That hasn’t been proven” squeaked Olivia.
“Yes it has, they tried to cover it up but pictures of her body appeared all over the interweb, and it’s obvious she was killed with lightning magic. And a servant who had a guilty consciousness wrote about overhearing their conversation and witnessing her death. And that same servant was killed in an ‘accident’ a week later. That is in no way a coincidence.”
“That testimony could have easily been fabricated by one of his brothers.”
“But that doesn’t change the fact that he still killed her.”
The siblings looked like they were going to jump on each other, Silver was restraining Baron and Elly restraining Olivia.
There was an awkward tense silence that filled the room.
Trying to lighten the mood, Silver laughed a bit, “So that’s why they call him the Evil Prince haha…but you know what let’s forget about him, we were having a lovely evening before this topic came up. I would love to go back to it.”
Baron sighed and sat up straight. “Silver is right, we shouldn’t be arguing about this.”
Olivia pouted and harrumphed in response, but she no longer glared at her brother.
“I’ll make some tea.” said Elly.
At that moment the doorbell rang. “I’ll get the door.” said Silver, jumping up, “You guys expecting anyone.”
The Siblings shook their heads.
Silver shrugged and went to the door. The moment he did his jaw dropped open wide, his eyes nearly popping out of their sockets. “Prince Cahir!” he gasped.