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2. The King Of Ehlesaar

Almost Fifteen Years Later...

The Kingdom of Ehlesaar was known for its wealth and beauty. Across  the oceans everyone had heard of the mines of diamonds and gold , riches beyond one’s dreams, oceans filled with pearls and lands as green and fertile as one could ever hope for. Whether it was the huge white snow-covered Altheyan mountains to the south, the glittering rivers  and streams that ran through the lands, or the orchards full of fruits and flowers that adorned the gardens of the wealthy. The enchanting beauty of Ehlesaar gave birth to the name ‘Heaven on Earth’ and to those who visited it was nothing short of that. Each season brough t its own beauty to the land. Summer was the longest season, but despite the heat, the buildings made of marble and stone kept the heat at bay, and when winter came it was not hard nor too brutal for most.

The people of Ehlesaar wore their wealth with grace and pride, showing it off in the forms of luxurious gowns, diamond jewellery, abundant meals with  rich wines and meat a plenty. The kingdom was prosperous and the rate of those who could not afford shelter was few. Yet when the problem is minuscule it is often ignored, dusted under the carpet as the voice is not loud enough to be worth listening to. In the middle of fine marble palace-like houses of the nobles, and the stunning villas of the working class there were still those who had nothing. And it was to these people that Ehlesaar did not feel like heaven but just another kingdom, even though they knew they were safer and far better off than what they may come across if they ever tried to leave the kingdom. Darkness, death and  danger were not far from their very own kingdom. To the west of Ehlesaar were the forgotten lands. Drained of water, nothing grew on these barren lands and  beasts of all kinds of nature were said to roam it. Lands that no one conquered due to its past. A place tainted with so much bloodshed that it was said to be cursed. To the north was a dense forest that separated them from the kingdom of Azhar.

With the kings' impressive army at all sides of the kingdom combined with his court of mages handling all the elements and  his supreme council of advisors from all the major houses of the kingdom, the people of Ehlesaar were untouchable or so they thought.

For soon their kingdom of heaven would face darkness too, it had already begun. Like a whisper in the night, a shadow cast over it – unseeing, unprepared and unbeknownst were the people who lived in Ehlesaar, but they too would soon have their eyes forced open.

-----

Far off in the depths of the forgotten lands where no man dared set foot, deep beneath the surface in a stone tomb-like cave sat a man encased in shadows on a blackened throne. Covered in a floating black cloak that was blacker than night, he towered near seven feet tall and the darkness and evil that rolled off him would make even the dead turn in their graves.

He had remained in these walls for the last fifteen years, waiting, recovering, biding his time until his return to power and the destruction of the kingdom of Ehlesaar and those responsible for his demise. His skeletal hands gripped the arms of the throne.

"It is time," he said his voice dripping with an evil so deep that it would make the evilest of men shudder.

"Sire..." a whispering voice hissed "there is still the risk..."

“I am the Dark Lord, and nothing will stand in my way, not this time. I will destroy them from within. This it is Ehlesaar who will all. I shall rise taking my rightful place and this kingdom……no this world will belong to me,” he hissed as the unseen bowed down to their Lord,

"Yes my lord, we are ready,"

"Perfect," The Dark Lord said, deep under the hood of his cloak a cruel, cold  smile crossed his lips.

Ehlesaar will fall, and he would be the one to destroy it...

-----

Near the southern side of the kingdom was the capital Odairo and in the centre sat the white marble palace housing the royal family. It sat upon its dais like a beacon for all those around. Its grandeur and wealth were something all admired, with its large jewel-encrusted pillar and archways, glittering marble floors and doors engraved with gold in intricate patterns. Huge granite ceilings held hundreds of crystal chandeliers in different shades of colours adding to the effect cast by the stunning stained glass windows. Many had wished to set foot or simply touch the beautiful palace of the royals. How they envied the life of those who lived within.

Deep within the walls of the palace, was a young  woman who wished one day to be set free, free from the palace she saw as nothing more than a white cage. Despite the size of the palace, it felt small and suffocating to the young woman. No matter how perfectly she fitted the role of a princess, to Princess Layana of Ehlesaar it felt as if she was tied down by chains wrought from gold and precious jewels.

Layana looked out from the large balcony of her bedroom, with the back view of the palace spread beneath her. The  beautiful Altheyan mountains in the distance glittered under the burning sunrise and below she could see the orchards with fountains and green gardens spread far and wide.

She brushed a stray strand of her waist-length champagne-coloured soft curls out of her face. She was a beauty that stood out even from her sisters with her smooth ivory skin, angular jaw and her pointed chin.  But above all, it was her eyes that caught the attention of all. A mystic rarity, her irises were part amber-red, part topaz and gold rimmed with long thick lashes. A slender nose and pouty plump lips finished off her looks. Her body was slender but filled with womanly curves and just like their kingdom, her beauty was rumoured through out the neighbouring lands. Soon her 18th birthday would arrive and with it, she knew the potential proposals of marriage…

She sighed softly turning away from the beauty of nature. Her body covered with only a silken lilac nightdress that flowed to the ground, the fabric clinging to the curve of her breasts.

Her quarters were as beautiful as the outside of the palace, with gold-flecked ivory marble walls, and tapestries made of ivory velvet and gold which hung around the room. Two large double doors with a filigree design sat on opposite walls. The furniture was all in white ash wood, with gold filigree encasing it. A four-poster bed stood opposite the stained-glass  balcony doors.

From the adjoining room, a petite maid stepped out after having gotten her mistresses ’ bath ready for her. She wore   a light grey floor-length dress with  a red sash that signified she was a member of Layana’s personal staff.

“His Royal Majesty has returned and wishes to speak to you immediately,” the woman said bowing politely, Layana nodded sighing inwardly, she knew the reason for his summons. Only two nights ago over dinner, Myra – the first queen, had insulted Azalea – the second queen. With her impulsive nature, Layana had not been able to remain quiet.

Myra hated her stepdaughters and although  she may not have been vocal about it, no one was blind. Layana herself was at the top of that list, for, unlike her sisters, she was the only one born out of wedlock. No one knew who her mother was, not  even Layana herself. Although being whispered about hurt at times, she never let it show. She only knew that on the day of her birth, she was given to the second queen Azalea who, while nursing her own child, would also take care of Layana. To Layana, Azalea was her mother, she had been the one to raise her, and take care of her through her life.

Once she had bathed, she donned a sage green dress that  was fitted to the waist then flowed out elegantly. A row of  dazzling diamonds in cognac and champagne made up the border of her bodice. On her feet, she wore a pair of gold shimmering sandals with two-inch heels. These were all the rage in the capital, with the new design giving women an added few inches and some elegance to any outfit.

“Thank you, Rina, I will make my way to my father's office,” Layana said taking a deep breath. Her  father was a scary emotionless man, well he showed emotions but those that weren’t the most pleasant to see at times. Anger was one that Layana knew would be coursing through his veins thanks to her insolence…

-----

Layana took a deep breath as she raised her hand to knock on the huge door made of ash grey wood and covered in a filigree pattern made of pure silver. Two guards flanked the doors, each keeping their eyes ahead, not daring  to admire the beautiful princess before them.

“Enter,” came the sharp cold voice of King Evaan bringing her out of her reverie. One of the guards opened the door for her and Layana stepped inside, her heart was pounding in her chest, her efforts to remain calm were futile.  After all, King Evaan was not one to be trifled with. She curtsied to her father,

“Father,” she said now looking at the man sitting behind  the large ash wood table. His cold grey eyes fixed on her as his thick brows knitted together.  His shoulder-length straight brown hair framed his face with a small beard and moustache lining his thin lips.  And

“Close the door,” he said emotionlessly, his voice as cold as the palace walls. The wall behind the kings’ desk contained a small stained-glass window which was covered with silver bars. This  was a room that could not be risked being broken into and was on the highest floor of the palace. There was a huge fireplace to the right of the desk and the  walls were lined with bookshelves. To the other side was a round table covered with a black cloth, with a few maps and scrolls lying on it.

“Sit,” her father said once she had shut the door, and Layana obeyed.

The king put down the scroll he had been reading and threading his fingers together rested his elbows on the desk,

“Care to share what happened two days ago with Queen Myra?” he asked his voice so calm, it  made a shiver run down Layana’s back. His calmness only showed he was extremely furious.

She took a deep steadying breath. Despite  the pounding in her chest she met her father gaze and readied herself to answer him.

“I do apologise for my outbreak… however, queen Myra had summoned us for breakfast to discuss bringing forward Terania’s engagement and she insulted queen Azalea on our upbringing,” she said her soft voice clear in that quiet room. It had been Aurelia her youngest sister who had accidentally placed her cup down with a clatter that had triggered the queen to feel insulted.

Evaan frowned as he looked at her,

“So, you are justifying your disobedience?” he asked coldly.

“No, I should not have spoken like that,” Layana said frowning slightly, thinking  she didn’t regret speaking like that. But  she could not say that to her father.

“Layana you are a princess, act like one,” he said coldly

“Even if it means the mother who raised me is insulted?” Layana asked softly

Evaan frowned, he didn’t care much for the issues between his two queens, he loved neither.

But Myra was his queen consort.

“Myra has every right to put Azalea in her place, and you need to know yours, do not push me Layana,” Evaan said coldly.

His words rang in Layana’s mind. Feeling  a surge of anger, she looked at her father defiantly.

“I am sorry Father, but I cannot agree that when  someone is insulted they should take it in their stride. I care not that Queen Myra called my birth mother a whore, but if she-”

“What?” Evaan said his eyes flashing as he looked at Layana who looked momentarily confused, her stomach fluttering nervously, was it because she said the word ‘whore?’

“I apo-”

“Did Myra call your mother…” he trailed feeling anger fill him, how dare she…

Layana looked at him, she knew the rumours. Rumours  that the king loved a woman once. It had been Cordelia who had confirmed this, she had a way to get her information and she said it was the reason Myra hated Layana. Because her mother was the one woman her father had truly loved.

She looked at her father who was now standing, his chest rising and falling in barely contained anger, his fists clenched by his side against his dark brown pants.

“Father, you're  worried about an insult to a woman who left you. But  what about queen Azalea who has been by your side, and raised three of your daughters with compassion and love, how can-”

“ENOUGH! Do not push me Layana! don’t you dare speak on a subject you know nothing off,” he hissed, anger burning in his usually empty grey eyes.

Layana almost flinched at the resentment and rage in his voice.

“I was only…” she trailed off knowing he wouldn’t listen

“I want 500 pages written on how a princess should behave, the decorum and the expectations by the end of the week! That is your punishment, now get out!” he snapped slamming his fist on the table.

“If I were a boy, would you expect me to behave the same way?” she asked quietly,

“You are not one, I have been cursed with nothing but useless daughters, now get out!” the king spat turning his back on the woman who reminded him so much of the woman he once loved. Seeing  her was a painful reminder of the woman he had lost...

And with each passing year, her personality, her confidence, her opinions were sounding more and more like her…

Layana felt a pang of hurt at his bitter cold words, trying to remind herself that he had spoken in anger.

“If you gave us the chance… I'm sure we could prove to be better sons than one could ever hope for…” she whispered. The king didn’t reply, and Layana  left the room, the sadness of his words weighed her down.

The king sighed deeply sinking into his seat once the door shut, how would they know how hard it was being a king with no proper heir. Yes,  Terania would be queen, but many did not want that.

No one wanted to see a female monarch. He loved his daughters but at the same time he  resented that they were not male born. He had kept his daughters sheltered, hidden away in the palace and Layana was the reason behind it. Because  deep inside he was scared that she may hold the power of her mother’s cursed bloodline.

A power that had lain dormant in the last few centuries leading many to believe it had died out. Although Evaan knew it hadn’t, he had been there the night of Layana’s birth and  he had seen what had happened…

Moonlight Muse

Thankyou for reading, please drop a comment if you enjoyed it!

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Comments (11)
goodnovel comment avatar
Crystal Bryan
Ooooh Muse! I've read all of 'The Alpha Series' and Im waiting (impatiently) for Leo's chapters to come out and now reading this... After this is complete I will have read every 1 of your stories in under a month. You have me hooked on every story! You are a true gem!!
goodnovel comment avatar
A H
beautifully written
goodnovel comment avatar
Emmanuel Dzimabi
Good Novel. I love it
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