“PRINCE!” A dark world. The loud sound of somebody shouting his name echoed in the black abyss of his mind, the moment the Spirit Prince had instantly felt his world blacked out. The last thing Makai remembered before darkness ha...
A dark world.
The loud sound of somebody shouting his name echoed in the black abyss of his mind, the moment the Spirit Prince had instantly felt his world blacked out.
The last thing Makai remembered before darkness had completely taken over him, had been his Guardian’s worried and anxious face.
Dark emerald eyes slowly began to open.
Makai repeatedly blinked his eyes slowly,as his sight finally began to clear from its blurred. The first thing that captured his sight was the white flag with a red cross, just outside of the small tent he’s currently in — the First Aid tent.
Makai coughed loudly and shuddered as he sat up when the windy breeze from the outside touched his skin.
It was then the young Prince realized that his clothes was nowhere to be found and he was left half-naked.
Eyes widened, the Prince gasped loudly and made a quick inspection of himself, and to his surprise, there were fresh clean of bandages across his well-toned body.
Before he could say anything, the sound of the tent’s entrance curtain being lifted, and along came a face he immediately recognized.
“Ah, Prince. Glad to see you’re finally awake.” Leo smiled. He then lifted down the curtain and stepped in.
“What’d happened to me?” Makai finally found his voice and decided to ask after a moment.
“Well, you’d blacked out all the sudden,Prince. And on top of that, you’d nearly gave the poor Lord Eden a good heart attack.”
Makai winched, feeling slightly guilty for causing troubles to the older human Lord.
“What’s with these bandages?” Makai asked, pointing out the bandages across his body.
“Interesting that you’d asked about that.” Leo made himself comfortable and seated with his legs folded on the ground beside the Prince.
“One second, you were fine, and the next, you’d been writhing in pain and before any of us could have guessed what was wrong with you, you had several cuts appearing all over your body right before you’d blanked out.”
“What?!” Makai’s eyes grew widened.
“Miss Rinda had been the one to treat you. She said she couldn’t find anything wrong with you. Thank goodness the cuts weren’t as deep as much as they looked. Still, it was a big concern for all of us.”
Leo stared seriously at the Prince. “What do you think, Prince? Has anything like this ever happened to you before?”
Makai thought for a while before he shook his head. “No. None that I could think of.”
“Okay. What was the last thing that you’d remembered before you blacked out?”
Makai sighed tiredly. “I remembered hearing the briefing from Lord Eden, and then, it felt like something was drilling inside my head. Before I knew it, everything went dark.”
Leo nodded. “I see. Carry on.”
“I had an unusual dream.”
“What kind of dream?”
“I dreamt of that fateful night — the night that had changed everything.“ Makai looked at the empty space in front of him.
He bore a distance look in his eyes.
“Before you came to the manor, I’d given Mika her late birthday gift for our seventh birthday. It was a small round necklace with a Redwood tree locket on the left side and a Maple Tree locket on the right. It also had her name curved at the bottom of each tree. I’d remembered telling and made promises to her to be always be there for one another and protect each other.”
Leo smiled sadly at the young Prince but said nothing. He knew very well Makai was not an easy person to please, nor did he was the type to easily opened up to someone.
Hearing Makai telling him about his past was a privilege that rarely came as the Prince hardly opened up to anyone about the painful past.
Due to this, Leo had every intentions to save any privileges that was given to him by the terribly lonely Prince.
“What happened to the necklace?”
Soundlessly, Makai took out something from his pants’ pocket and showed him the necklace— with a broken string and only the Redwood tree locket that represent ‘Forever’ was tied on the strings, missing, its twin, the Maple Tree, that represent ‘Promise’.
“I’d snatched it back from her. The night when she’d abandoned me.” Makai said very coldly.
“You Highness,” Leo shook his head. “You knew you have my undying supports and loyalty. However, not once do you ever tell me what had exactly happened between the two of you on that night you had been assigned by the Queen to bring her back to the Spirit World. All I knew of that night was that when you returned to the castle, you’d been in a very depressing state and you’d sulked in your chamber for days.”
Leo lowered his head to the ground until his forehead touched the ground. “As your humble servant, I ask that you to tell me exactly what had happened that night so that I may be of a help to you, Your Royal Highness.”
Makai stared at his Guardian for a long time before he reverted his gaze back to the empty space in front of him.
“On that fateful night...”
IT had been the night of a full moon in the Spirit World. The moon had shone magnificently, casting its lights on the Kingdom of Spirits.
A little shadow had sneaked out from the castle, and ran into the forest behind the castle. He ran as fast as his little legs could carried him.
Ever since his stepmother had taken over the Kingdom a year and a half ago, the young Prince Makai had tried endlessly to find a way out of his misery.
Makai remembered clearly of what had happened a year and half ago after he’d been dragged by those worthless humans back to the Castle — or more specifically, the Castle’s underground dungeon.
He had been chained and locked up against the walls for days without any food nor water to feed his hunger and thirst. It had been a miracle that he did not just died from all the misery and heartbreak after what had recently happened to his life —losing his family and his kingdom all in a single night.
When the young Prince had been finally be allowed to leave the dungeon, he had been bought to the Audience Chamber to meet with the Queen and New Ruler of the Spirit Kingdom.
Reza had been waiting for him. She had a wicked smile on her face when she saw his poor and dirty appearance.
“Good to see you again, Your Highness.”
The young Prince had felt suffocating from just hearing her smooth voice; as if a snake had wrapped itself around his neck.
Makai had said nothing. Instead, he’d glared at her through the curtains of his long messy bangs.
“Allow me to tell you one good news,” Reza’s smile widened. “Your sister, is still very much alive.”
She had been able to see clearly of how the news affected greatly on the little Prince, and that had made her to grin even more widened.
After all, who wouldn’t be happy to hear that his one and only sister whom he’d thought died in the hands of the Humans, would still be alive?
Grinning in satisfaction, Reza continued to speak.
“It appears to be, the Princess had somewhat managed to escape from the human assassins whom I’d sent for them to kill her. Worthless creatures.”
Reza frowned a little bit. “Words on the streets had said that the Princess is currently living with and under the protection of a great and powerful Clan — The White Wolf. Surely you’ve heard of them before?”
Makai had nodded.
True, he had heard about them. At some point of time, his beloved Father had made a peace treaty and allied with the Clan ever since then. However, since the death of the King and the downfall of the Kingdom, he did not know whether they were still allies or enemy with the said Clan or not.
“What about it?” His raspy voice finally decided to say something.
At this, Reza had chuckle. “Don’t play dumb with me, Prince. I knew you’ve been trying to track on the Princess all this time even when you were locked up in the dungeon. You’ve sensed her, but you weren’t certain and doubtful to know for sure if she was still alive or not, weren’t you?”
Makai glared at her. What mind game is she toying with me?
Ignoring the Prince’s glare, Reza stood from her throne and had approached the young Prince with the same sly smile plastered on her face.
“For that, I’m willing to offer you a deal: if you can bring back the Princess to the castle, in return, I shall swear that I will never harm nor touch a single hair on her or even you, as a matter of fact. I’ll even let you two to live in the old manor of that you both loved so much. Life goes on, you’re happy and I’m happy. How about it, Prince?”
Makai had narrowed his eyes. “What’s the catch? Surely this is not just a one-way kind of a deal?”
At his statement, Reza had shaken her head and sighed disappointment.
“Honestly, must everything that I do is rather suspicious to you?”
“You’ve taken away my family and my kingdom from me within a night. So forgive me for being doubtful and suspicious of you, Reza.” He hadn’t even bothered to use the appropriate title to her, as he’d clenched his teeth tightly.
Reza had simply shrugged and crossed her arms. “There aren't any catches.”
Makai had narrowed his eyes again, in which the Spirit Queen had chose to simply ignored it this time.
“You will leave tonight. And you will go there alone. Use the portal at the behind the garden. You do know how to activate it, don’t you?”
Makai had mutely nodded his head and left the chamber.
Passing through the Castle’s guards to where the portal had been easily enough for the young Prince. In less than a minute, he had arrived on the Human World’s soil, known as Fulaina.
Makai had taken a good look of his surroundings; making sure there was no one around before he’d stepped forward and on his way. It had been night and therefore, darkness had filled in the thick forest.
The temperature had been cold, though, it hadn’t bothered him even the slightest as he had been accustomed to it. With his vision, he could see clearly in the darkness.
Truth be told, Makai hadn’t known where he’d landed. However, if what Reza had told him earlier was the truth, then most likely, he’d landed in the White Wolf Clan’s territory.
On Reza’s part, she hadn’t exactly known to be the most easiest person to please, nor had she was known to be fond of waiting.
If the original landmark of the portal had taken the Prince far away from his target, it could have taken the young Prince days before he could meet with his sister. Certainly, the Spirit Queen could not allowed that in her plan.
Not when her grand plan had already began to unfold its magic.
What Reza had been most anticipated the most by the end of the day, would be the look on the Prince’s broken face when he’d returned.
Getting inside the Clan’s front gates had been an easy task for the young Prince. He’d managed to move swiftly passed the front gates without any of the guards noticed his presence.
Makai had never wished to kill anyone, not when he could still run and unless he was cornered and left no other choice but to fight, despite his hatred to humanity.
His late father had taught him better than to hold against grudges, and Makai would honoured those teaching.
The late King had always said to him:
“Grudges begot more grudges, revenges begot more revenges and killings begot more killings. Nothing good would ever benefits you from them. Always remember that, my boy.”
Makai hid himself amongst the shadows of the trees. With his small stature, it’d be easy to fool them.
He’d closed his eyes and began concentrate on detecting his sister’s presence — her scent.
Being a pair of twins had its benefits. It’d made the job easier for him to determine where his sister’s whereabouts due of their similarity in scent.
Makai’s eyes had grown widened. He had looked around at every direction of the mansion — when he discovered the whereabouts of the familiar scent had come from.
Taking a long deep breath, Makai begun his moves.
Sneaking inside the mansion had unfortunately, to his dismay, had not been an easy task as he expected it to be. There had been guards guarding everywhere and at each corners of the mansion.
Even the servants of the mansion, Makai had suspected, weren’t the normal usual servants he shouldn’t take them lightly.
Shaking his head, the Spirit Prince had decided to be more focus on his goal.
Following the scent of his sister, Makai had to be very carefully with his quest. Up until now, he had been successfully avoiding being spotted by any of them.
Makai had swiftly entered a room when he’d heard footsteps coming from behind him.
He shut the sliding door and had been standing against the door, waiting for the person to pass by before he could proceed to the next room, when a voice softly suddenly called his name.
His body stood still and stiffened.
Turning his head slowly, the young Prince came face-to-face with the person standing at the centre of a garden, holding a bunch of flowers in her arms, and faced him with her mouth agape with incredulity — his sister.
She wore a simple and long white nightdress.
“Makai? Is that really you?” Mika asked, after a long pause and recovered her shock.
Makai hadn’t respond right away. In fact, he had remained very still until he heard the sound of footsteps getting nearer and louder approaching them behind the door.
Makai hadn’t foreseen this prediction. He hadn’t expected to meet up with his sister this quickly at all!
There was no way out of this situation. The Spirit Prince had now trapped between his sister and the sliding door. Panic begun shooting through his rushing heart. Even his palms had sweating intensely.
With panicked and widened eyes, Makai had been looking around to find a way out when suddenly, he’d felt someone pulling him from his spot.
“Quickly, this way!” Mika whispered quietly, pulling his sleeves and dragging his feet to the garden.
Then, she turned to the left corner and entered a private room with a small garden.
The interior of the room had been simple and spacious — bamboo tiles flooring with a sliding wooden door for the bedroom door and also, another thin sliding door for a small garden that connected to the room.
There had been a small study table to the left side, at a corner of the room and a single bed, with few pillows and a teddy bear, facing the door beside the study table. Few educational books had been neatly stacked against the wall, on the study table with stationeries.
Makai looked around in the room nervously but tried his might to calm down his nerves. To do that, he'd inspected a few things here and there while his sister had simply watched him quietly from behind, her tiny fingers playing with something that was wrapped around her neck.
“Makai...” Mika asked in a soft, meekly voice. “W-Why are you here?”
“I’ve come here to rescue you. To take you home.” Makai said confidently after a moment. He returned one of the educational book back to its place before turning to look at her.
Mika had looked back at him with widened eyes, before she looked away.
“What’s wrong, dear sister? Are you not happy to see me?”
The Princess quickly shook her head.
“N-No! I’m very happy to see you, Makai. in fact, I’m very thrilled to see you! Shocked, yes. But nevertheless, I’m very glad and happy to be able to see you once again.”
Makai stared at her with narrowed eyes before slowly, he had nodded and crossed his arms. He laid his back against the study table.
“How did you managed to find out where I am?” Mika asked again after a short silence.
Makai shrugged. “That wretch Reza. She knew you’re here and was the one who’d told me where to find you.”
At the mention of the Queen’s name, Mika had looked paler than before and terrified beyond belief. If before, she had been nervous with her brother’s presence, now, she’d looked as if the Spirit Queen herself was standing in front of her.
Mika rubbed the back of her not-so-itching neck.
“Is that so. S-She’s helping you to find me...” Mika said with a trembling voice.
At the change tone of her twin's voice, Mika has looked up and met with her brother's serious gaze.
“Do you still remember our promises?”
Ever so slowly, Mika nodded.
“Reza has taken over the Kingdom and destroyed everything that we had, especially our family. You and I are only ones left in this world. We are the only remaining Royal Spirits. It’s time that we do something right about it. We’ll get rid of her once and for all.”
“Y-You mean... kill her?” Mika looked at him in horror.
“What? No, silly. Getting rid does not necessarily means killing. We’ll simply have her exiled, take charges of our own fates and take back what rightfully belong to us — our beloved Kingdom. You’ll be the new Queen and together, we can change the future of our Kingdom for the better and protect it from the likes of Reza. I’ll protect you and be with you at all times, so you don’t have to wor—”
Mika had quickly covered her mouth with both hands as soon as those words left her mouth. She looked at Makai who looked incredibly stunned.
Her sudden outburst had shocked the both of them.
“What?” Makai’s tone lowered. His face had darkened.
Mika looked away. Tears begun to gather in her eyes.
“I can’t go back. I-I’ve chosen to be the Chosen Apprentice for this Clan’s Prince. That’s why—”
“Says who?” Makai whispered harshly. He walked toward her in threatening manner.
“Who dares to say that you’re this Clan’s Chosen Apprentice? What proves do you have to say that you are this Clan's Chosen Apprentice?!”
“T-The Clan believes that a Chosen Apprentice is a person chosen to be his or her Master’s sworn protector and also successor. The Chosen Apprentice should always be beside his or her Master. That’s why—”
“ENOUGH!” Makai roared. He then grabbed a hold of her arms and had pinned her against the wall.
His dark emerald eyes glowed brightly.
“You are the future QUEEN of the Spirit World! How could you’ve lowered yourself to be a — a servant to these scumbags?!”
Mika had starting to sob.
“Mika, look at me!” He forcefully lifted her chin and look at him. “Don’t you want to save our Kingdom from destruction — our home? Don’t you want to get rid of that parasite Reza for once and for all? Don’t you want for us to live together in the castle again like old times with Uncle Leo and the kind servants and the chefs?”
Mika had kept quiet. Her lips trembled.
“Well, don’t you? Say something, dammit! MIKA!”
“I,” Mika clenched her fists, trying to get rid of the stuttering and got the words out.
“I can’t take it any more. The war had started because of me. Father had died because of me. Many people had been killed because of me. The whole Kingdom had fallen because of me. I-I don’t want to cause any troubles any more...”
“So you think running away and being here will solved everything?”
“It’s won’t! But at least I can finally have some peace here!”
Mika looked up to her twin in the eyes. “I am the Princess, and also the Chosen One who is destined to bring great prosperities, according to what for our people’s belief. But what does being a the 'Chosen One' even means, Makai? How can I bring prosperities to the Spirit World when all that’d happened around me are nothing but deaths and grieves?!”
The air around them had grown tense. So tensed, even a blade couldn’t cut the air between them.
“You were loved by the people and the Kingdom,” Makai said in a low raspy voice.He had pulled away his hands from her, taken a few steps back, and then lowered his head.
“You have everything that I couldn’t possible ever hoped for! No matter how many times I’ve tried my best and hardest to please everyone — to become the Prince that they desired and hoped for, it will forever be out of my reach. But you...”
Dark emerald eyes lifted up and glared at the Princess.
“You were their Princess — the ever so sweet and adorable Princess! You’d been loved, respected and adored by them and the whole Kingdom. The people looked up to you as their future Queen. And this is how you’re planning to repay them? By running away? When the news of your so called ‘death’ reached them, they were grieving for you! I know because I could clearly heard them wailing for you even when I’d been locked away in a tower.”
Makai had clenched his fists and turned his head slightly.
“Many people had suffered and are still suffering under Reza’s wrath. Innocence lives are dying. We are the only ones whom they could ever hoped for to help them out of their misery, Mika. Do it for the people and the kingdom, if not for yourself. What do you say?” Makai persuaded for one last time.
Mika still looked uncertain. Though she had stopped sobbing. Her red eyes looked at Makai from the curtains of her bangs.
Ever so slowly, she shook her head.
“WHY YOU LITTLE-!” Makai had pinned her to the wall, this time with such a great force, the walls had cracked.
All the while, he shouted offensive words at her, not even caring how loud he had been or noticed when the guards had arrived and dragged him away from her before he could do any more harm to the Princess.
At the mansion’s entrance gates, the guards had thrown Makai out before closing the gates and locked it to prevent him from entering again.
Makai had swore loudly and madly outside of the gates. He’d ventured all of his deep frustrations by kicking the dirts. Eventually, the young Prince had managed to calm himself down enough to make his way back to the portal.
Halfway there, he heard someone calling his name.
Hearing her sweet voice calling out his name, had made the Spirit Prince to turn his head around.
Makai had watched her running toward him in the darkness in the white nightdress. Hope begun to arise in his heart, knowing that his sister would not appointed him.
Mika who had been running bare-feet in the cold of late Autumn season, huffing and panting when she arrived a moment later.
Once she’d gathered enough air to breath steadily, Mika straightened her back and held up her tiny hands at her brother.
“Come with me, brother! We can live peacefully together here. I’m sure His Highness would welcome you to his home too. There is nothing left for us over there, brother. We can start everything new here, you and I. Everyone here is very welcoming! I just know they would accept you too once I’ve explain everything to them. Please, Makai!”
At that time, it’d felt like a glass was slipping from my hand in a slow motion and slowly crashing to the floor before it broke into tiny little pieces. Why? Oh why dear sister... Did you have to go and said such things?
“Makai?” Mika blinked her eyes a couple of times. Her offered hands still waiting patiently for him to take.
When Mika noticed how unresponsive her brother had been, the little princess begun to feel worried and just about to touch his shoulder when she’d felt something sharp and painful struck around her neck area.
Eyes widened, Mika had felt something oozing and wet dripping on her chest area. Slowly, Mika looked down and saw her upper part of the white nightdress had been covered in blood — her own blood.
Three scratched lines were on her neck as well.
“Makai?” Mika had let out a loud gasp when her eyes met with his.
Makai’s own deep emerald eyes had glowed brightly and his irises slitted. His glare on her was sharper than any blades. His left claws had her blood stained.
Makai bought up the only one thing she held on the most ever since coming here.
Makai eyes narrowed and he’d bared his teeth and growled at her to back down, for which Mika had done just that, fearing his wrath.
“This necklace,” Makai gripped the necklace tightly. “IS MEANINGLESS NOW!”
The necklace’s strings snapped and one Maple tree locket fell on the ground.
Mika looked horrifyingly at the ruined necklace. Tears began to gather in her eyes again and this time, there were few tear- drops rolled down her cheeks.
Just before she had the chance to say anything, Makai had beaten her to it.
“You don’t need this thing.” Lifting his head, Makai spoke in a calm yet filled with hatred voice.
“From now on, You’re dead to me. If I ever see you again, I’ll kill you.”
He’d walked away without another word, entering the activated portal and had never looked back.
LEO fell into a deep silence. He had been listening well to the story and paid a full attention to the Prince. Not once had he interrupted the young Spirit from speaking.
By the end of the story, he could not, for the love of Heavens, even opened his mouth to speak — his voice wouldn’t allowed him.
Meanwhile, the Prince remained as silence as the night right after he’d finished telling the story. What’d possessed him to do such thing, he didn’t know. But for once in his life, Makai felt freed from a burden that had been buried deep in his chest.
Nobody spoke for a long moment. Only the sound of the wind blowing outside of the tent echoed the deep silence between them.
Leo looked at the broken necklace that was still lingering around the Prince’s fingers. This would be the first time ever that he’d heard of the necklace. But it wasn’t the first time he’d saw him staring at the necklace.
There had been times where he had spotted the Prince, in his own private moment, stared something on his hand. He’d only noticed later on that it was a necklace, and had only assumed that it was a family’s heirloom in which he’d kept as memories.
So that what it was.
Leo closed his eyes.
“What Reza had done to you, Prince, to the both of you, was a cruel and an unforgivable act. She’d stole your family, your innocence childhood, your Kingdom, your happiness — Everything. She dishonoured you and sullied your family’s good name. She thrown you, a mere child, who couldn’t even protected yourself into countless battles and gotten yourself battered up. And when you’d shown up after failing a mission, she’d taunted and humiliated you in front of the Lords and Nobles in public; saying that you are nothing more but a useless Prince.”
Leo shook his head sadly. “No child should have ever allowed to go through anything what you had to go through growing up, Your Highness.”
Makai listened in silence. Hearing his Guardian suddenly spoke up after what he had just told him made him slightly unnerving and nervous.
“I understood that. I had been there watching helplessly while she did as she pleased with. From what I understood based on your story just now, Prince, I believe the reason why you hated the Princess so much was because she had a better life than you — she was under the Protect of the great White Wolf Clan. Not even the Queen dared to mess with them. Even though she lived far away from you, her life, was still good and better than yours."
Their eyes met and Leo gazed warily at the young Prince, who was making sound as he was torn between denying what had just been said to him and searching words for a comeback.
“I won’t deny the fact that it is true — the Princess led a good life even under these circumstances; one that you have always dreamt of having. Even in the present, without remembering her past, she is be still able to lead a good life, whereas you have to suffer under the Queen’s wicked hands. It’s not unfair to you. It really isn’t. However Prince, because of those bitter memories you’ve suffered, the hatred and enviousness that you have toward the Princess over the years, you’ve become exactly what the Queen had wanted you to become — a bitter and broken soul.”
That certainly hit a spot as the Prince stopped his grumbling and looked as if he just got caught red-handed.
Leo monitored the Prince’s expression and body languages. Watched if Makai would react to violence like he always does whenever the sensitive topics like these came out.
When it was safer for him to continue, Leo did just that.
“Despite everything that had happened to you, Prince, why don’t you try looking things at more positive side? Because of what Reza had done to you, you’ve grown up and become a braver, stronger, fearless and proud young Prince. You’ve became unbreakable force to be reckoned with — all because you refused to stop from pushing forward. Your strong wills is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, Prince. Reza has not yet broken you. You should not give her the chance to do so. She’d brainwashed you, yes. Made you think that you’re nothing without her and that you are just a useless Prince who could not even inherits the throne, and a puppet to the politics and her games. Well, I think it is time that you show her and prove to her that you are a lot more than just her puppet. That you are who you are — the Prince of the Spirit World. But you can’t do that if you won’t stop being in the past and move forward, Your Highness. You need to move on.”
Makai had turned his gaze on the empty space in front of them. His face remained stoic with a slight frown on his forehead. Leo could tell he was thinking deeply when he placed a hand on the Prince’s bare shoulder.
“The first thing in order for you to move forward is to make amends with the Princess. It’s worse that she couldn’t remember about the past, but you made it even more worse when you’d attacked her knowing that she did not remember the past.”
Leo’s tone lowered. “Even that was shallow coming from you, Prince.”
Before Makai could reply, there was a loud coughing sound outside of the tent belonged to a female voice.
“Pardon me! I hate to interrupt your conversation, but Lord Eden has requested to see both of you immediately. He said it’s very important. So, hurry up and don’t keep the man waitin’!”
Leo got up to his feet and lifted the curtains, where he revealed a curious looking Rinda at the entrance with one feet tapping on the ground impatiently.
Dark not so obvious circles under her eyes from the lack of sleep Her eyes were slightly red and watered from working too much.
No one had taken any decent rest since the start of the War.
“Understood. We will head there immediately.” Leo turned his head to Makai who was already getting on his feet. “We'll finish with this conversation later. As for now, please get dress up, Your Highness. We’ll wait for you outside.”